Because of spambots and the non-checking of this site that I do, I have closed all comments. However, if you see a song you like and the link is dead, you can email me and I will send it to you. shutupmulder at yahoo dot com. I really will. Thanks for reading.

Video Hookup 11-28-15

Doing this one just for myself. Should you ever find this post, it will be because you were floating in space and needed something to hold on to.

1. Drake, Worst Behavior. I’m majorly obsessed with Drake. My view of this video is influenced by Ta-Nehisi Coates’s book Between the World and Me so I see this as a kick against society, a discriminated person who says, you think I’m bad? I’ll show you bad. “Always hated the boy, but now the boy is the man / motherf***a I done growed up.”

2. Chvrches, Empty Threat. If you’re not listening to Chvrches, you must be dead, and I feel bad for you. I love this video about baby goths going to a waterpark.

3. The Avett Brothers, February Seven. I was reading an interview with Courtney Love and she was like, “I listen to the Avett Brothers, like every woman of my age” (paraphrased, because I don’t know the source). Yes, Courtney. Yes.

4. Valentina Lisitsa, Chopin Waltz in C Sharp Minor, Op 64 No 2. I love watching her work. She makes what must be hours and hours of practice look effortless.

5. Rage Against the Machine, Killing in the Name. This was our unofficial high school theme song and I’m surprised these many years later at how spot-on the ideas of it are.

6. Zella Day, 1965. “Can we go back to the world we had — ?” The cry of all philophers and all the broken-hearted.

Video Hookup

… the non-english speaking version.

01. K’naan wrote “Soobax” to protest the occupation of Somalia, his home country by hostile troops. Soo bax means “Get Out,” according to the amnesty international site. I am majorly fond of K’naan, and this is a great song.

02. G-Dragon, dubbed “the Korean Lady Gaga” by my friend K., singing his hit song “Heartbreaker.” Is it the white hair or the commitment to androgyny? I’m hooked.

03. More Korean pop, from the Wonder Girls — “Nobody.” Retrofabulous! I played this one on my ipod for two weeks straight. This video has a plot and everything, heh. How many chances to be a star hinge on lack of toilet paper? Probably a lot of ’em.

03. And even more KPop, this time it’s two bands in one: BigBang and 2NE1 collaborating on “Lollipop.” The great thing is that pop basically transcends language. The outfits, the lights, the colors, the ridiculously pretty people — they all speak for themselves.

04. This one is a year old but I just heard about it via SoundRoots — Sister Fa, who is an activist in Africa but also is very famous hip-hop world, wrote “Milyamba” about the lives of Senegalese women in the countryside. And you thought life at your desk was hard.

05. Not really about music, but if you’re a language geek like me you will like this video about trying to emphasize gender in written Arabic.

06. Fusion! It’s Celtic + Indian, bet you never saw that coming. Vancouver band Delhi 2 Dublin combines them beautifully, and it’s way fun to listen to (videos are pretty low quality, but here is one for “Apple Jam” and one for their CD release party in Vancouver). Hear more at their site.

07. Via BoingBoing: In 1972, Oleg Sharov played “Flight of the Bumblebee” on the accordion. It sounds very beelike. (“Bumblebee” was written by Rimsky-Korsakov)

08. Last but not least, the ending song to Castle In the Sky (Laputa), a Hayao Miyazaki film made in 1986. It’s a song about setting out with nothing but a desire to find something lost and beautiful.

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Alan Wilkis

By some happy chance I got a copy of Alan Wilkis’s album “Pink and Purple” and faithful reader, it is fan-frigging-tastic. It was like being transported back to my teen years, only better (to be fair, anything would be better than that). The whole record is chock-full of 80s vibe, but it’s not derivative at all. Like Doe Deere, it has upped synth and beat to the next level, creating something as modern as it is retrospective. It’s a slim six songs long, so you don’t get bored, and I dare you not to at least chair-dance.

If they’d played this at my school dances back in the day, I might have gotten out there and danced to swank tracks like “N.I.C.E.” and “Gotta Get You Back.” “Snuggle Up To Nail Down” is my favorite track, with its wry summary of pretty much every relationship: Sometimes it’s like we’re doing double-dutch. Just don’t get tangled in the ropes … oops, too late.

Alan Wilkis — Site | Myspace

Alan Wilkis — N.I.C.E.


Blind Pilot

[ed. note — Hey, whut whut, has it really been three months since my last update? Probably the 4,500,000 points I have in Bejeweled Twist were responsible. If you asked for a song from me during this time, and you didn’t get one, write in again. I just sent a few out to people who commented last month. Check your inbox! And your spam box, ha ha.]

Today’s music is actually the music of last year, but I’d never heard of Blind Pilot until my brother-in-law pointed me toward their 2008 album “3 Rounds and A Sound.” This is not unusual, given how much mail & RSS I sift through every day, but what a criminal oversight. Blind Pilot is what you’d charitably call GWG music (Guy With Guitar) — even though there is a rest of the band — so if you don’t like that, bail now. But I do! I love it! Especially if it comes from Portland, where they grow it all organic-like.

Oddly, the songs from “3 Rounds” remind me forcibly of the Format, not because there are handclaps (there aren’t) but because there’s a joyfulness in the music that just says, these people are having fun with their music. It’s not SRS BZNS, and if you danced to it, that might be okay, indie princess. And that’s pretty much it — I just like this music, I like songs that say till Kingdom Come / you’re the one I want. Oh, sweet devotion.

Blind Pilot — Site | Myspace
Blind Pilot — Daytrotter Session

Blind Pilot — 3 Rounds and A Sound
Blind Pilot — One Red Thread


Video Hookup

Once again my video links have reached critical mass.

01. Regina Spektor does “Blue Lips” on Jools Holland (via Culture Bully). It is probably an understatement to say that I am SO SO SO SO SO SO SO anticipating this new album. Also, R.Spektor is so very adorable.

02. Space Cowboy’s new single, “Falling Down” (via Electroqueer). I am enamored of this Space Cowboy fella because of his collaborations with Lady Gaga, but he’s also monstrously danceable by himself.

03. Bishop Allen does “Butterfly Nets” in a bathroom (via IGIF). It’s one of my favorite Bishop Allen songs, definitely. Plus, ukelele is the new orange.

04. JoCo singing “Future Soon,” (via Boingboing), the ultimate nerd anthem. I find it a very sad song (I can’t decide from the text whether it’s supposed to be sad) — I hate to think of science smoothing away everything that makes us human (i.e., our flaws).

05. Don Omar’s “The Chosen” and “Virtual Diva” from his new album “iDon” (at Slate). Of course I can’t understand a darn thing Omar is saying, but if it’s reggaeton and cyborgs, I am on board like Scully on a ghost ship.

06. Beverly Sills singing from “La Traviata” with the Muppets (via LAist). Is there something that’s not to like? I didn’t think so.

07. Over at Boingboing they are obsessed with cigar box guitars, which I think is weird, but then they linked to this video of Keni Lee Burgess playing that Muddy Waters classic, “Baby Please Don’t Go,” and I can now see their side of the story.

08. Has everyone already seen this? YANP linked to a trailer for “Where the Wild Things Are,” complete with Arcade Fire soundtrack. If it wasn’t Spike Jonze directing, I would say, psh, you can’t make a movie out of this book. Instead I’ll just say, this sounds like a movie for other people to watch.

09. EQ does it again — lots of footage of the nostalgia 80s reunion in Quebec — Tiffany, Deborah Gibson (maybe she went by Debbie for one night), Samantha Fox, and Rick Astley. I don’t care what you say. I listened to “I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Spanish Eyes” about a million times when it came out, so THERE.

10. Iron & Wine does “Godless Brother In Love”s on Jimmy Fallon (via Culture Bully) — get it while it’s hot at Hulu. I love Sam Beam but looking at that beard gives me the willies.

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Ah, my favorite genre, the mishmash that is folk/alt-country/alt-folk/americana, whatever you want to call it. Whatever the moniker you choose, it’s the heartsbloody, dirty-handed songs of the people, and excluding blues & blues rock, there isn’t anything better to listen to. Lately there’s been a slew of good stuff coming down the pike like the train rolling past Folsom Prison. Let’s take a listen, shall we? *beep* [advance filmstrip]

01. The Felice Brothers — Yonder Is the Clock

Though the album is (on the whole) rather lugubrious, all the Felice Brothers elements are there — death, brawling, the mob, you know, stuff like that. I’m not a person that throws around the word “authentic,” thanks to a lot of theory training, but the Felice Brothers strike me as a deeply human band. Entry track is “Run Chicken Run,” a romping singalong about how chickens don’t get no life after death. (Unless you read that one Shalom Auslander story.)

The Felice Brothers — Site | Myspace | Label (Team Love)

The Felice Brothers — Run Chicken Run

The Felice Brothers — Boy From Lawrence County

02. Justin Townes Earle — Midnight At the Movies

I have not heard the entire JTE album yet, but I love the juxtaposition between the two songs I do have. “Midnight At the Movies” is kind of this micro-study of humanity, this guy who’s reaching out for anything but who mostly ends up with his flicks. And then “Mama’s Eyes” is this really warm, human introspection about parents and where a person gets his physical and mental traits. I love them both! And probably whatever else happens to be on an album between them.

Justin Townes Earle — Myspace | Label (Bloodshot)

JTE — Midnight At the Movies (sxsw showcase version)
JTE — Mama’s Eyes

03. Scott H Biram — Something’s Wrong / Lost Forever

This one I haven’t heard either, but I’m a Biram fan and from the two tracks that Bloodshot released, I’m thinking it is standard Biram fare, all hellfire and brimstone. Woot! Smells like sulfur up in here.

Scott H Biram — Site | Myspace | Label (Bloodshot)

Scott H Biram — Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue
Scott H Biram — Judgment Day

04. Roadside Graves — My Son’s Home

Straddling the pointy pointy fence between alt-country and folk, these guys come from New Jersey, of all places. But there is no Bon Jovi in these stark, deceptively simple songs. The harmony is a little shaky in “Far and Wide,” but that’s practically a bonus. The album is not out yet, but enjoy these previews.

Roadside Graves — Site | Myspace | Label (Autumn Tone)

Roadside Graves — Far and Wide
Roadside Graves — Ruby

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Well, I tried and tried, but me and the Hazards of Love just aren’t going to be BFFs. I had a previous commenter (thanks, Josh) who said that the title track was pretty good, and it came up randomly in my ipod, and I liked it pretty well, but like he said, the rest of it … eh. Not even the addition of Ms. Awesomesauce Worden can mitigate the ehness. Sorry, Colin and crew.

But something else came up randomly on my ipod — keeps coming up, actually, and I keep thinking, “this song is excellent! What is it?” — and it is pretty much always from the Harlem Shakes’ album Technicolor Health, which they kindly sent to me way back in January. This blog is very fond of “Burning Birthdays” and the full-out brashness it blessed my ears with, so I was glad to see the Shakes continuing the trend.

Technicolor Health is sometimes dissonant, sometimes chaotic, sometimes blippy and sometimes it goes bangety bang, but it’s all in the service of the sound. It’s a sound you have to work to get into, which is why I’m just writing about it now, I guess (yeah….). My favorite song is “Sunlight,” which combines a great beat with funny, ironic lyrics: I had a coat of many colors / sold it off online (PFork hates that line, which must be another reason to like it so much). And on the opposite end is the melancholic “Unhurried Hearts,” which (to me) laments the way life just rushes on like a freight train, and love sometimes misses us entirely.

Nice work, guys! Sorry it took so long for the writeup. I’ll be over here rockin’ out to my ipod.

The Harlem Shakes — Site | Myspace | Label (Gigantic)

The Harlem Shakes — Sunlight

The Harlem Shakes — Unhurried Hearts


Off topic, does anyone have an “entry song” into “Hazards of Love”? You know, a song you can listen to and it gets you excited to hear the rest? Excluding the Rake’s Song, that is. I listened to the first three tracks and it was like, snoozeville, so either I am way off base or I just haven’t found the way into it. Any suggestions? (Confession: I kind of hate albums where the whole thing is one story. Excluding “The Wall.” But even that gets on my nerves sometimes.)

Aaaand, back to topic in five, four three ….

The ladies are rocking my socks off these last few months, with some really great stuff. It’s so much fun to look at my playlist and realize that it’s all women singing/writing/playing (yes, guys are great too, that’s not the point). Let’s recap, for those people who have been hiding under a rock for awhile.

01. Lisa Hannigan — Sea Sew. Have I said enough about this album? I THINK I HAVE.

Lisa Hannigan — Venn Diagram

02. Camera Obscura — My Maudlin Career. This one is classic C.O. and very fun to listen to. It starts off with such a great track, “French Navy,” where Traceyanne Campbell laments the fleeting nature of love and its unholdability.

Camera Obscura — French Navy

03. Vienna Teng — Inland Territory. Her voice is so beautiful that she sneaks all kinds of social issues into her songs and you don’t even notice until you’re singing along.

Vienna Teng — No Gringo

04. Bat For Lashes — Two Suns. Spacy, nutty, gorgeous: it’s all still there in the fabulous mix that is Natasha Khan.

Bat For Lashes — Travelling Woman

05. Neko Case — Middle Cyclone. The usual mix of the unusual: startling violent images, mysterious lyric play, being stalked by a cyclone. You know; same old same old.

Neko Case — Polar Nettles

06. Jenn Grant — Echoes. Understated and beautiful folk with jazzy undertones; the lyrics almost remind me of Bjork sometimes :D but the music does not sound anything like Her Icelandiness.

Go forth and listen!

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A beautiful new song by NY band Edison Woods has hit my inbox: well, sort of dropped into it with a teeny splash, but the ripples keep getting bigger and bigger. This is the Edison Woods of “Last Night I Dreamt I Would Last Forever,” a song so weirdly and slowly sublime that one forgets that it spans over seven minutes.

This new song, entitled “Wind Song,” reminds me of nothing so much as the Cinematic Orchestra — both bands employ that muted atmospheric piano and the sped-down pace. There’s just a bit of that European, San-Ilya-esque sensuality thrown in as well. The songs end up sounding almost otherworldly, but not in an alien way. More like they are the soundtrack following someone with a perfect life, someone who throws open French doors into a sunshiney morning.

I don’t have a song for you to sample, but you can listen to the Wind Song in its entirety at Edison Woods’s site.