12 mars 2008, 18h27m
31 oct. 2007, 15h27mHere's what I've got for Halloween this year.
1. Songs shall be chosen for content, lyrics, or a creepy, halloween-y feel.
2. Only one obligatory song permitted per playlist.
2a. Obligatory Songs: Monster Mash, Thriller, Werewolves of London
3. All songs must be able to fit on standard 70-minute CD-R
Electric Eel Shock - Scream for Me
Misfits - Astro Zombies
Bo Diddley - Bo Meets the Monster
Queens of the Stone Age - Monsters in the Parasol
The Sonics - The Witch
Eagles of Death Metal - Kiss the Devil
Wolfmother - Witchcraft
The Apemen - Creature from the Haunted Sea
The Coral - She Sings the Mourning
The Black Angels - Young Men Dead
Oysterhead - Shadow of a Man
Black Sabbath - N.I.B.
Orbital - Satan
The Bomboras - A Fistful Of Terror
Ween - Voodoo Lady
Warren Zevon - Werewolves of London
Donovan - Season of the Witch
My Morning Jacket - I Think I'm Going to Hell
William Shatner - You'll Have Time
The Eels - My beloved Monster
30 oct. 2007, 20h26m
26 sept. 2007, 21h23mIt’s typical Ween, meaning it’s awesome. No two songs are in the same style and the production is great. It starts out manic-depressive, goes into the expected schizophrenia of musical styles, and ends up with a lesson in classic rock history from late 60s pop to late 70s prog.
1)Fiesta – Sounds like a vintage game show theme song.
2)Blue Balloon – Has a lounge-y type feel to it, and so far we’re 2 for 2 on songs with trumpets. Sounds like something Flight of the Conchords are trying to do.
3)Friends – Obviously drawn from the Friends EP, except it has a more organic dance feel to it. Also some trumpet action is present.
4)Object – Seems to be a darker version of Baby Bitch. By that, I mean it’s slower
5)Learnin’ to Love – A cheerful, foot-stompin’ two-step.
6)With My Own Bare Hands – Deaner provides vocals for what is sure to be another classic hard rock track
7)The Fruit Man – Chunky reggae beats with trippy vocals
8)Spirit Walker – Seems to be their take on the later years of classic rock bands such as The Who and Zeppelin where they get all epic and spacey.
9)Shamemaker – A classic Ween track from the get-go.
10)Sweetheart – Zombies-esque upbeat classic pop song with a good jazz rhythm
11)Lullaby – piano ballad?
12)Woman and Man – 10+ minutes of moody prog rock. Really good prog rock, a mix of drugged out. Its sweaty.
13)Your Party – Perfect choice for an album closer. Mellow without being depressing.
9 juin 2007, 16h50mMay's mix is a smattering of new music with older classics in the same stylings. Songs were selected for flow as much as style. The songs span indie, punk, electronic, and folk and some even combine one or more of the styles. I even get dangerously close to emo on it, but not too close since the most "sensitive" tracks come from Wilco and John Butler instead of Get Up Kids. And of course Black Rebel Motorcylce Club are always dressed in black and have tempers and Dinosaur Jr loves Soap Operas so much that their history practically is one initself. Oh yeah, and lets not forget the band famous for its on-stage tantrums, At the Drive-In. Maybe I've accomplished something transcendental here, almost metaphysical, making an Emo Mix by proxy of the band's biographies instead of their music. Either way, enjoy.
1. Medicine Cabinet Pirate are a strange band formed in the early oughts. They combine a Pavement aesthetic with the quirky writing of Minus the Bear and Guided by Voices to produce a unique lo-fi sound.
2. Pardon My French, from Rhode Island, make what seems to me like the only type of music that can come out of Rhode Island.
3. Holiday Yeah, so I put the Get Up Kids on an album. So what? They were emo before emo was emo. And being that it's still a short week following a holiday, I felt it was appropriate.
4. Summer Babe (Winter Version) is responbile for almost all of today's indie rock. They're the underground Beatles. This song in particular illustrates this point: it's one of their more basic, straightforward songs, and it is one of the greatest songs of the past 20 years.
5. Not What You Wanted formed from the ashes of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. They're more emo than emo because TBJM is really only famous for getting in a fistfight on stage while playing for major label scouts, which makes these guys cool by default. Their latest release, Baby 81, wasn't great, but wasn't bad. This is one of the catchier tracks.
6. Better Than are Australia's latest export mixing Reggae, Funk, bluegrass, and Folk music. They're known to put on really good live shows. This song, though one of their more mainstream hits, is a chick magnet, along with track 10 on this mix.
7. Big Nipples Lefty McRighty and the Boxcar Cadavers are Canadian, which means that their sense of humor is Canadian, which means that it's awesome. It's the result of mixing the maturity of Ween's 12 Golden Country Hits with Uncle Tupelo's punktry and the classic outlaw country of the early-mid 20th centry.
8. Stack Shot Billy. One of the greatest bands making music today, not much to say besides two guys making raw music that rocks your socks off.
9. Pissed Off is adding a little J-Rock to your day. Everyone could use a little more Japanese music in their life, and this song hopefully satisfies it. It's got a catchy guitar that would fit any Tarantino-style murder scene real well.
10. Hesitating Beauty Mermaid Avenue collection has a real unique story. As it goes, when Woody Guthrie was being stalked by Bob Dylan in the 60s, he was told of a secret stash of Guthrie tunes hidden in a farm in New York. Dylan however could not for one reason or another get a hold of them. Then, Guthrie's daughter contracted Bragg to record the songs to make them relevant for young'ns today, and so they did. This song is also a chick magnet.
11. Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl is another Canadian band, but this time a "supergroup" made up of members of various indie bands. For some, the band is an acquired taste until you realize that their whole method is to bring order out of chaos. At first, their songs sound like a mess of incoherent noise and sounds. But as each song builds up, it all seems to come together in amazing ways.
12. Boy From School, like other contemporaries such as Lcd Sound System, are an electronic outfit making delicious indie music with catchy beats without sounding like the nu-newwave revival of Franz Ferdinand, et al.
13. Bang On! make electronic music sound good. This is from their 1998 release Decksanddrumsandrockandroll.
14. Gut Feeling. This song was used beautifully in The Life Aquatic. It provides a good bridge from electronic into straight up, no shit rock music
15. Rockin' in the Free World's lyrics, in the first verse especially, are as prevalent today as when they were written:
"There's a lot of people sayin'/we'd be better off dead/Don't feel like
Satan/but I am to them"
16. We're Not Alone. were one of the most underrated bands of the 80s and 90s, and had one of Spike Jonze's classic videos as they drove around NYC in a golf cart smacking golfballs around for Feel the Pain. Their funny story is that singer J. Mascis told bassist Lou Barlow that the band was breaking up, so Barlow left. Mascis and the rest of D. Jr. then went on a world tour. Barlow then formed Sebadoh, another underrated and influential indie band from the 90s. This is off their recent comeback album, which as far as combacks go, it's not cheesy, lame, or an exploitation of their name.
17. Voodoo Lady (Live, 5/4/04 @ Vic Theater, Chicago) live version of this song is better than the album version, even though it's twice as long. It's been stuck in my head lately so I put it on the mix.
18. Let it Go and Rock!. The Cool Jerks are a garage band based out of Memphis. Though a bit more punk than most othe garage revivalists such as Reigning Sound, Deadly Snakes, and Dirtbombs, they've got a cool name, 9 members, and talent for catchy riffs with more than just your standard guitar, bass, and drums.
19. For Now, We Toast ATDi broke up for being labeled emo, which is pretty emo if you ask me. Well, that reason and because their song "One Armed Scissor" and their knack for political anger had them being billed as the new Rage Against the Machine. Anyone who listens to more than one song knows that neither label is true as they made some of the most intelligent, aggressive, and downright best songs of the 90s. They know go by the band names "Sparta" and "Mars Volta", though neither compares to their original incarnation.
20. Can't Seem To Make You Mine. I figured I'd end the mix with a classic cover of a classic. From the album Acid Eaters, I present to you the Ramones covering the Seed's garage classic.
9 juin 2007, 16h33mThu 7 Jun – Dinosaur Jr., Awesome Color
Cousin It and friends really rocked hard, especially for being so old. It was one of the first shows in a long time where I wasn't waiting for it to end because my feet hurt from boredom or that the crowd was so annoying that it ruined the show. There were freaks in the crowd who kept talking to us, mostly aging hipsters who were asking if we liked dinosaur jr, so we ignored them. They played a decent mix of old and new material, kept it fast, kept it loud, and along with the Built to Spill show last fall, reminded me that people still know how to shred on the guitar.
18 avr. 2007, 16h33mApril 2007: Politics as Usual
Recently, the amount of political jockeying going on has really gotten to me. From Imus to Gun Control, to even the skyrocketing taxes where I live that are funneled into bottomless pits while I still sit in traffic for more than an hour to travel 10 miles. It's all really getting to me. And so, I present to you my April playlist, full of dissent, anger, and dissatisfaction from the past 40 years:
Comrade - Mini Band
A college favorite of mine, it's just a really good song
Full Disclosure - Fugazi
Arguably the political band of the past 20 years, they lived by their words and DIY ethic. This song is one of their later releases but one of my favorites about wanting out of today's society
Worlds Apart - ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
In a world where every band wishes they were political, this is one of the few modern protest songs that encapsulates today's world in less than 2 1/2 minutes.
Bastard! - Electric Eel Shock
The second time the Japanese trio graces my playlists (and I don't even like them that much), but to adequately grasp this song you just have to view the video for it.
War Pigs - Black Sabbath
Because this just wouldn't be a politically themed playlist without it
The W.A.N.D. (The Will Always Negates Defeat) - The Flaming Lips
Wayne Coyne says this song probably came about by playing War Pigs non stop on their last tour. Where ever it came from, I like it.
Sixteen Military Wives - The Decemberists
Just a well written song that pays a nod to my hatred to News Anchors.
I Can't Get Behind That - William Shatner featuring Henry Rollins
More social commentary than anything, I still think that the prevailing political attitudes from BOTH sides dictates how society behaves.
Light Up Ya Lighter - Michael Franti and Spearhead
Spokenword artist Franti + Reggae jammers Spearhead have encapsulated the attitude towards the War shared by a great deal of the country: you can support the troops while opposing the war.
Buffalo Soldier - Bob Marley and the Wailers
Again, just a classic political statement (one of many) from a major force from a bygone era. I figured I'd continue with the Reggae-War theme.
The Pusher - Blind Melon
Classic Steppenwolf cover is mainly a push against religion, but since religion only exists as a metagovernment to give despots a sense/justification of contr...I digress. It just rocks.
Southern Man - Neil Young
The song that started a feud with those good ol' boys in Skynyrd. Neil could take them any day.
Political Science - Wilco, Live from the Garden NYE 04-05
Dedicated to the Republican National Convention, this Randy Newman classic says it all.
Machine Gun - Jimi Hendrix, Live from the Fillmore East NYE 1969-70
One of the all-time greatest anti-Vietnam songs, Hendrix & co. do their best to sonically recreate a jungle battle with bass, drums, guitar, and a little rock'n'roll.
Sky Pilot - The Animals
The story of a priest who goes to bless Air Force pilots as they fly off into certain death. A different take on politics as usual
City Hall - Tenacious D
JB and KG overthrow the government then reign as two kings until they poison each other during the Idaho Potato famine. Yes, I included the secret song.
23 fév. 2007, 4h43m...to catch up with the sun but its sinking: What happens if Sirius and XM Merge?
My predictions on what we could expect if these two combine to form one company. This is assuming that the FCC and Justice department find it OK and justifiable to become such a monopoly.
1. Currently, xm and sirius aren't individual radio stations, but act as auxiliary bandwidths in addition to AM and FM (presumably why XM chose the name). However, these are sort of tantamount to company towns where they appear to be a freely set-up arrangement of shows who have slots on a provided medium. Not so. Much like a company town, these "communities" are not the product of willful settlers who started from the ground up to form a community. Instead, they are started from the top-down and everything is planned a highly organized, intentional system.
As a justification for the merger and a revenue kick, I predict that the merged company will begin to sell space, acting like a privately owned broadcast frequency of sorts. Essentially, they will become a private FCC and sell their own "licenses". Instead of selling 92.3 FM to a company, they'll sell Channel 24. This will avoid them being accused of being a monopoly since they are simply selling their spaces to multiple "voices", much like they do with their syndicated programming.
2. They offer the government irresistible concessions. For example, pretend we strike a some-what powerful nation such as Iran. Not really anyone sophisticated, but someone who could mount a cute little defense against us. Basically, a nation that's not China or Russia with satellite-destroying capabilities. It is easy to take out an communications infrastructure based on towers conspicuously placed on buildings and in the open which contain the mechanisms for both radio and cellular transmissions. Also, the services which rely on these towers only work where the towers have reach. It is conceivable, although unlikely, that a country such as Iran could mount an attack on our communications infrastructure in a terrorist fashion. This would create some havoc and confusion, but most of us would get by.
The new merged company would probably offer some sort of guaranteed access to their networks. Since the satellite reaches (inter)nationally to a civilian audience, this would prove to be an invaluable asset to the government. As a result, they'd really like to see satellite radio not only take off, but become a culture staple like broadcast radio is today. If XM and Sirius can demonstrate their only way to remain viable is to merge, the FCC could possibly make an exception. Of course, this has consequences of the worst kind, since we can expect the FCC to demand censorship rights over such a venture, taking away the uncensored appeal of the Satellite radio. If this scenario were to be true, then that means that the parents who don't parent will want to hold someone accountable for their children hearing new words. Then we'll have the people who are offended by everything listening only to the channels that offend them and complaining, so down the tubes we all go.
3. This still leaves the merger as the sole company in charge of these airwaves, so unless they get the government to fund Howard Stern with a stipend, the fees which are charged for the services will most likely rise gradually and unabated as far as their elasticity will stretch. However, the speculation that as a monopoly the company will jack prices up incredibly are entirely unfounded. I'm sure some sort of measures will be put in place to regulate the cost of the services, since the government interest mentioned previously is still there. Also, the merger will not want to price themselves out of business since satellite radio is not in such high demand that people will pay anything for it, and they still want to be appealing since no matter what happens they will need to expand their listenership to get more revenue. The prices will not suddenly jump, but they will rise.
The only thing I'm sure of is that as the listener base expands, the variety of music will shrink to please the most amount of people.
23 fév. 2007, 4h32mHold on, just a little bit longer
Why sirius and xm should not (and cannot) Merge
No one is a bigger cheerleader for Sirius radio than I am, so with that said, yes I do in fact have a bias here. But lets be fair: I have applied to work there numerous times. I must have applied for over 20 positions ranging from general ass-kisser to revolutionary DJ. They probably have 5 different versions of my resumes 20 times over and I can't get so much as a "thank you but we're not interested. I don't care. I can't help it if I like superior ideas. If I wanted XM's lack of musical diversity and collusion with ClearChannel, I would have bought XM instead of Sirius.
The reason I wanted satellite radio is two fold. First, I like music. A lot. Not just the same 40 songs, not just a monthly quota of two songs per artist. I like the singles, I like the b-sides. I like the random extended jam from 1974. I like the basement recording of two guys in Brooklyn on a powerbook. Will I ever hear that on traditional radio? No. Its gotten to the point where broadcast radio is pulling an MTV and has more programming than music, and by programming I mean commercials. 8 minutes of songs, 3 minutes of commercials and so forth. It really ruins a good groove, and it causes listeners to switch stations to hear the same song they just heard on another channel.
But that's what the FCC and Clear Channel call diversity: the priviledge to hear the same song on 4 stations at once, some with less static than others. Wow. So generous.
The other reason why I bought into Satellite and abandoned broadcast radio is because they keep consolidating their ownership into fewer and fewer companies, namely ClearChannel. This same company who banned Stairway to Heaven after 9/11 as to not offend the uppities controls a large portion of the information disseminated to us over the airwaves. I don't like that. I don't like 1 company.
So, satellite, what gives?
The big discussion over satellite radio is that it continually operates at a loss. Both companies are in the red, why did Sirius pay over $500,000,000 plus bonuses to Stern when they couldn't afford to, etc. So, the logical choice was to merge. At least to them it was logical. Pool their collective resources and get Oprah fans to pay Stern's salary and vice-versa. Create one company and give the genius Mel K his control over it and you're golden, right?
In this age where technology has made us all super-efficient (and, as Marx predicted, we do more work for less money, meaning we actually get paid less), the first thing we've lost as a culture is our patience. We rushed into Iraq, we rushed to criticize it, we get more road rage when people impede on our rush hour and we expect individuals to be instantly communicable via cell phone whenver we call them. There is no excuse for an instant call back.
So, of course, we're too impatient to give this new technology, a new media time to grow into itself. Sure its going to operate at a loss. You try replacing an entire industry in less than a decade without re-inventing the content. See how cheap it is. The only thing people aren't in a rush to do is change. They want what works, and why pay for radio when you get it for free/have an ipod?
Well, why, do you have a TiVo when you can watch LOST for free? Because you can record it. You can eliminate the excessive commercials that are shooting the industry in the foot. Its the same bullshit they feed us: we're stealing their stuff so they raise the price by adding more commercials...which causes people to steal it more frequently. Also, you can be exposed to new content altogether just by paying a small monthly fee with TiVo. The same goes for Satellite Radio.
The point is that traditional radio is on its way out much the same way broadcast TV will be officially obsolete in the very near future. New York, the worlds largest market with not a single free frequency, has already lost two of its most revered stations: 92.3 KROCK known for its alternative music, as well as CBS 101.1, which met with severe backlash when it became JACK FM. To add insult to injury, they turned 92.3 into talk radio and added the smug-voiced spokesbot for Jack FM to blare into the ears of Baby Boomers across the tri-state area.
Its already falling, and as Z100 continually violates the law by playing Justin Timberlake 3 times an hour and commercials become more prevalent as revenues fall because listeners plug in their ipods or beam into satellites, broadcast radio will become simply a default...a plan B for nostalgia and Time-Life anthologies. Thankfully, our government is steadfast in its commitments. Nope, we don't have to worry about companies with enough money to pay one person half a billion dollars to have a radio show offering money to a government known for its refusal to take money for favors.
Currently, the FCC license given to XM and Sirius does not permit them to merge. It simply just does not permit it. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16676005/). So, assuming they hold true to their word, this shouldn't go through and we can get back to our regularly sched*acquiring signal*uled programming. Well hey, the satellite silence sure beats half-hearing a great song through static. Unfortunately, since this is all primarily stock driven without regards to the actual listeners, this may drop the stock if it doesn't go through, which then might set them back a few months financially. So then will we be stuck in this vicious cycle of never getting out of the red and considering a merger? No. Not if we're patient. We just need to give them time. In fact, us listeners could do our favorite company a favor and start a word of mouth campaign. I don't care if you like Sirius or XM, but get a friend to buy into it. Get 5. I'm getting it for my father for his birthday and we're putting it on our boat. I'm getting it for my cat too. He likes Stern even though I don't.
The future will be internet radio, which may allow certain broadcasters to remain somewhat potent in the future. But that technology is still a ways off. We still need internet radio hardware that is seperate for a laptop (trying explaining to a cop why you were surfing the web while driving simply to find a radio station) as well as affordable go-anywhere internet service that doesn't cost $80 per month. But that's neither here nor there.
The present clearly is in satellite radio. We have the infrastructure in place, and we have two companies competing for our love. It's here, it's now. It's more powerful than we think. Once broadcast falls, people will realize they can still hear their favorite songs and then some COMMERCIAL FREE. Ok, well I'm certain commercials will work their way in eventually, but not to the extent that will cause their downfall such as in broadcast radio. See, if we don't like it, we'll just stop paying and plug in our iPods. Suddenly, we matter to the broadcaster. It is growing at a healthy rate. We just need to give the companies time to grow into their shoes. Consolidation is not the way to do that.
4 jan. 2007, 17h04mFew artists get me excited these days. Typically it takes a new release from an established act to really get me going, usually something from My Morning Jacket, Ween, or Wilco. But 2007 held one album I had been more excited for than all the others (Both Ween and Wilco are supposedly in the studio). It's taken me almost a year to get it since I first read about it in Under The Radar last spring, but I've finally got my hands on the 3rd release from one of the best bands I've heard in a long long time: The Bees/[A Band Of Bees latest entitled "Octopus". Under The Radar had mentioned in their anticipated release review last spring that the band had retreated to a farm and recorded while listening to excessive amountsThe Band, so I expected a folk/retro/psychedelic album that followed suit from 2004's Free The Bees. Instead, Octopus takes its cues from the ultimate summer album, Free the Bees as well as their first release, Sunshine Hit Me, melting the two into a sort of soul-funk rock project with a bit of reggae/dub influence.
The production on it is incredible and although it doesn't have the pop appeal of Free the Bees, it doesn't really matter since it more than makes up for it in pure groovability. Tracks such as Left Foot Stepdown and Who Cares What The Question Is are more in line with their previous albums, laden with catchy keys and viral vocal lines, stand-out tracks such as Got To Let Go merge the intense horns of The Russian with the grooves of Angry Man to create a song that would be best featured as the theme to a 70's cop action-drama (in the same way Off the Record makes you want to go surfing). Love In The Harbour is the required slow-jam for the album (see:I Love You, Sky Holds the Sun , and is probably the only real folk-influenced track on the album.
The best track by far is the danceable (This Is For The) Better Days, employing one of the sweetest guitar riffs to be plucked in quite some time. The riff complements the rolling bassline and punchy drums perfectly and blows away any of those dance-punk groups that pollute the hipster scene.
As far as winter releases go, this is a heat up, windows down, crank the bass and wish it was summer again album...and it will definely keep fresh til the summer comes around again.