Miscellaneous

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Some Sunday links of the “world music” variety (the most useless of all categories, but apt if you’re spending your cash on a ton of Putumayo collections).

[links removed. contact me for a copy.]

01. Paris Combo — Je Rêve Encore [from “Paris Combo”]

02. Idan Raichel Project — Bo’i [from “The Idan Raichel Project,”]

03. Bopol Mansiamina — Samba Samba [from “Putumayo Presents African Party”]

04. Mi Son — Mecanica de Amor [from “Putumayo Presents Cuba”]

05. Asha Bhonsle & Mohammed Rafi — Chura Liya Hai Tum Ne [from “The Rough Guide to Bollywood”]

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This is all good news.

01. A new Cake On Cake album, due out Oct. 1st, with new songs to stream at her Myspace! I dance with Swedish glee!

Cake On Cake — Come On Rainbow

02. LAist has a nice new podcast called “Advanced Afrobeat For Beginners.”

03. I decided to suck it up and go see Flogging Molly at the House of Blues next month. Only Dave King & co. would get me out of the house in the face of Disneyland parking, traffic on the 5, and crazy kids wanting to mosh into me. I am waaaay too old to mosh. Get out of my personal space, you kids!

Flogging Molly — Black Friday Rule

04. More Decemberists! Now in handy pretentious three-volume set. Hey, I’ll take what I can get. Coincidentally (or not, maybe), YANP linked to some new live songs that Meloy has been playing lately. “Valery Plame” gets on my nerves, but maybe with some drums it will be better.

My favorite so far is definitely “Night/Rake.” No one gets the joke of this site’s title (Bon Ton is named after the Upper Ten Thousand of regency romance novels), but I love hearing songs about really nasty rakes, like the dubious character in the Mariner’s Revenge Song who leeches off the narrator’s mother and absconds, leaving all his debts for her to pay. This new guy sounds even worse, though. Whew.

05. My secret punk-rock boyfriend, Matt Pryor, has a new album out. I have a very soft spot for Mr. Pryor and his sweet, off-key singing, but it’s not everyone’s cuppa so I won’t go on for ages about it. It’s called “Confidence Man” and is put out by Vagrant records. I just missed Matt at the Troubadour too, sigh, so I will have to listen to the album in lieu of going down to WeHo to stare at his tattoos hear him sing.

The Get Up Kids — Mass Pike

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Random songs:

[ed note: tracks removed. contact me for a copy.]

01. the Indigo Girls — Down By the River [from 1200 Curfews]

02. Tokyo Police Club — The Baskervilles (Amplive remix ft. Aesop Rock)

03. Crystal Castles — Air War [from Crystal Castles]

04. The Old 97s — Bird in a Cage [from Satellite Rides]

05. Telefon Tel Aviv — Fahrenheit Fair Enough [Fahrenheit Fair Enough]

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I Always Say Yes

The best thing about the internet is getting to read beautifully written, thoughtful music commentary like Thursday’s post at Moistworks (which, for lack of title, I am calling “I Always Say Yes”). I spent the week watching old episodes of “Life On Mars,” a British show about a guy who has a car accident in 2006 and wakes up in 1973, and topped the whole thing off with Brian’s excellent story about a flyer he found tacked to a telephone pole in the small town of Hillsborough. The flyer had nothing on it but an address, but Brian went and found the place it referred to, feeling very strongly that he was having a sort of mystical experience. I hope he will excuse me for quoting a bit of the post:

Let me be clear – I didn’t think the flyer was there specifically for me, and while I fantasized that if I found the address, there would be further instruction – another flyer, or some other cue – I didn’t really believe this would be the case either. What mattered here was choice, and my awareness of it – here was a portal indeed, a chink in the armor of the constructed day I could step through, if I chose to, and perhaps tease out some thread in the world that would have otherwise remained concealed. If it was mine or for me, it was only because I noticed it and chose to honor that noticing.

Have you ever looked into a dark doorway or at a blank flyer or into a mirror and felt that you were on the edge of something? I have. Brian urges us to take the step off the beaten path and head out and explore the unknown; the path not taken, so to speak. To find a thread that might not lead anywhere, and follow it anyway. In this I was reminded strongly of the Miyazaki movie “Spirited Away.”

Chihiro, the heroine of the piece, makes two choices that change the direction of the movie completely. One is involuntary — she follows her parents through a strange tunnel and into a deserted amusement park, which turns out to be run by a witch named Yubaba. Her second choice is voluntary — she gets on a train that only goes one way, in order to save her friend Haku from dying. Both times she is not sure where she’s headed, but takes the adventure in pretty good stride. And both times it turns out spectacularly well, full of friends and life and in Chihiro’s case, a radish spirit and a baby that gets turned into a hamster. (This would probably not happen to you, however.)

I think Brian and Miyazaki are saying the same thing: the unknown beckons. Take a step, and it will lead to magic.

Spirited Away — A Road To Somewhere

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Random stuff keeping me occupied:

[ed note: tracks removed. pls contact me for a copy.]

01. Immuzikation — Sweet Young Angel (Feist vs burial vs Jens Lekman)
      [Myspace — warning, this is the ugliest myspace ever]
02. Gangstagrass — On the Run
      [Site]
03. The Polyamorous Affair — Merry Go Round
      [Myspace]
04. Camera Obscura — Your Sister’s Social Agony
      [Underachievers Please Try Harder, 2004]
05. ABBA — Take A Chance On Me
      [The Album, 1977]

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Random bits of music I have picked up lately:

[ed note — tracks removed. plz contact me for a copy.]

01. Bruce Springsteen — O Mary, Don’t You Weep [the Pete Seeger Sessions]
02. Weinland — Sick As A Gun [La Lamentor]
03. The Breeders — We’re Gonna Rise [Mountain Battles]
04. Vanessa Paradis — L’incendie [Divinidylle]
05. Fischerspooner — Danse En France (DIM remix) [Danse En France EP @ iTunes]

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Well, personal concerns have kept me away from the internet for awhile (gasp) but ye olde show must go on. Ryan from Burly Time sent me some bright, beautiful instrumental pieces by a Detroit guitarist named Nick Schillace. Very laid back, exceptional listening for the stressful time I have had the last couple weeks. Of course today I was listening again and my brain said, “‘1976’ … wait, isn’t there a song called ‘1974’?” Which of course caused a mad scramble through my CDs, and this post.

[ed note — tracks removed. contact me for a copy.]

01. Nick Schillace — 1976
02. Ryan Adams — 1974
03. Cake On Cake — 1981
04. Travis — 1922
05. Ox — 1913

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It is to laugh (+ mini video hookup)

Lollerskates, guys, I just saw this post over at Catbirdseat, where scalpers are offering $300 a pair for the upcoming Vampire Weekend gig … at the El Rey. The El Rey! Dude, it doesn’t even have outdoor cachet (unless you count the Ralph’s parking garage over on Western)! If red velvet and baroque gold REALLY turn you on, you too can spend $150 to jostle for standing room with the rest of the indie kids! And buy a bottle of water for $5! Oh man, you guys have no idea how hard I laughed at that post.

In other non-LA or -Texas related news:

01. Felice Brothers & Bright Eyes cover Tom Petty. Man, I love me some Petty.

02. An oldie but goodie: They Might Be Giants, “Anna Ng.”

03. EQ has new Private video: We Got Some Breaking Up To Do.

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In honor of my slogging up La Cienega tonight to see the Mountain Goats, I present some songs that I wish he would play. I am still digesting Heretic Pride, although I like it very much (even more than Get Lonely, which I did not expect).

01. Going to Marrakesh (live) — Darnielle is the master of simile; he can’t even seem to help himself. This is my favorite Mountain Goats song and the similes are simply perfect. Chance of being played: 0.0000000000001%

02. Palmcorder Yajna — Love the image of the camera inside the television, with its aperture “yawning and blinking.”

03. Has Thou Considered the Tetrapod — the turn in this song is in the last two lines, and those lines are chock full of menace. I wouldn’t want to mess with that tetrapod either.

04. Collapsing Stars — “You can look but you won’t find / another love like ours” — sweet loving homicidal maniacs.

05. Tollund Man — Poor guy… singing his lament, making his sacrifice, only to be dug up and leered at hundreds of years later.

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Time for another edition of I Love It, I Love It Not. You can make up your own mind! If you want to. If not, that’s cool — here, have some Trader Joe’s carmel popcorn. Delish.

I love it:

01. NEW BLACK KEYS ALBUM APRIL 1ST — This better not be an April fools joke, or I’ll cry my eyes out. Collaborating with Rod Stewart, though, can go ahead and be a joke.

02. Supernatural Superserious — although I haven’t been a hardcore REM fan since “Automatic For the People,” I’m looking forward to some new Stipe.

03. Nigerian Blues, 1970-76. Afrobeats for all! Coming to Itunes, I hope, soon.

I love it not:

01. The Moldy Peaches. Heard their stupid song again at the theater the other day. It’s indie at its worst — so precious it makes me want to barf.

02. Vampire Weekend. Last year sometime, everyone hated Vampire Weekend and officially declared them dead before they even got started. Then they got started & now they are everyones’ darlings. Good for them, I say, but I didn’t like it a year ago and I don’t like it now.

03. Eh, the carmel popcorn put me in too good of a mood to think of a third band to mock. Post any suggestions below.

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I’m well aware that “Heretic Pride” could be purchased if one were to hop over to Amazon, and I’ll get around to it. At the moment I’m on NPR listening to Mozart’s opera “The Abduction From the Seraglio.” When I was a lassie I attended quite a few operas at the Bayrische Staatsoper, but I never appreciated them like I would now, when I have no opportunity to attend one. NPR is a great repository of … well, everything, but opera too, so see if there’s anything you like.

The Abduction is mostly the story of Belmonte, a Spanish nobleman who comes to the Pasha’s seraglio* to rescue his captured lady-love. I bet on the stage it’s totally opulent and full of gold hangings and veils and whatnot. The theme was very popular with Mozart’s audience, who were fascinated with all things Turkish / Oriental; the opera was received well enough for Mozart’s father to remark, “Even the Archbishop was gracious enough to say: ‘Really it wasn’t at all bad.'” [the Mozart Project]. Damned with faint praise! But 200+ years, here we are.

I don’t own anything from this particular opera, but here’s one from my favorite crazy Masonic opera, The Magic Flute: “Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja” (english: Yes, I’m a birdcatcher). Coincidentally, the ladies over at Speed of Dark also posted about Mozart yesterday, so if you want a couple non-operatic pieces, head on over.

*the seraglio would be the place where the Pasha stored all his women; i.e., his harem. Back in the day if a Pasha liked a girl’s looks he’d just snag her by force and take her back to the seraglio, which she could basically never leave, since it was heavily guarded. She’d remain there as a slave or concubine, depending on the Pasha’s whim. This became the stuff of many romance novels (and apparently operas too).

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Heather noticed that the Format are disbanding (the post on their myspace blog says it was amicable & everyone is still friends). This is sad news; the Format was an excellent pop band and they put out two great albums, chock full of pep and handclaps. If you’ve never given them a chance, well, no time like the present! “Interventions & Lullabies” especially is worth the listen.

The Format — Site | Myspace
[tracks removed. contact me for a copy.]

01. The First Single (Cause A Scene)
I’ve been waiting all this time / to be something I can’t define

02. Tune Out
The fifty-one is backed up and too slow / let’s tune out by turning on the radio

03. Time Bomb
Tell the new wave kids their make-up kits can find me / where self-pity gets a breath of fresh air

04. Inches & Falling
I love love being in love / I don’t care what it does to me

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Vacay

I’m sort of on hiatus as I rewatch season one of Veronica Mars and catch up on “Gossip Girl.” I’m being frivolous here; don’t mind me. I did check out a Bukowski collection from the library, so I’m not all dilettante, I swear. But the big question on my mind is this: the Mountain Goats are coming to the Troubador for two nights in March (the 4th and 5th). At $16 bucks a pop, I could go both nights … of course it would ruin me for a week to miss that much sleep (I’m old, okay? Old!). What would you do?

1) Go the first night, when he’ll be fresh
2) Go the second night, when the setlist will probably be better
3) Go both nights, and damn the torpedoes
4) Stay home and avoid trying to find parking in WeHo for two nights straight.

Since I’m old, I’m leaning toward 2 (or 4). Opinions? Anyone ever done the back-to-back thing and lived to tell?

2008!

I’m back from the trip to my in-laws’. The niftiness of Christmas present (portable backup drive! wooo!) was offset by the Zune that my father-in-law acquired. He is a good grandpa so he catered to my son and nephews by playing Dr Demento in the car … over and over and over … and over. Yes, I love Dr Demento as much as the next girl, but there’s only so many times a person can hear “Roly Poly Fish Heads” without wishing heartily to be struck deaf.

But I simply must share the misery.
[ed note — tracks removed. Contact me for a copy.]

Bulbous Bouffant — sketch by The Vestibules at Ferin.com (note: this is what an English major’s thoughts sound like most of the time).

Ti Kwan Leep — sketch by the Frantics, with accompanying song “Boot To the Head” (warning: six year old boys will get VERY ATTACHED to this sketch and ask for it AT LEAST one million times. And every time it says “boot to the head,” they will laugh hysterically. And then sing it over and over for a zickety zillion hours.)

Weird Al Yankovic — Yoda. Also requested by Star-Wars-obsessed boys.

And of course … Star Trekkin’, by the Firm. Because your life wouldn’t be complete without it, though I’d say most kids don’t know what Star Trek is anymore. Welcome to 1995 1987 1981 2008!

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Infotainment

What I might say about Oink getting shut down, I’ve said already. I don’t think it’s defensible in the least to give a site donations to provide you with free pre-releases. Just like an ipod, you’re putting your money in the wrong place. You might give me puppy dog eyes and talk about “quality” and “obscure artists,” but the fact is that you want to give almost nothing and get everything. You’re the Wal-Mart shopper of the music world, and therefore you’re contributing to a system that, in its sheer conglomerative force, chokes to death the very thing that you claim to love. Free trade doesn’t mean that you get everything for free. It means that you pay the value of the commodity, something that Oink very obviously had no interest in doing. Oink users should be ashamed of themselves and change their wicked ways.

Idolator, ever on topic, has an interesting article on how the hype storm choked The Black Kids. Poor Black Kids. I guess they were talked up so much that they couldn’t compare in person to all the hype. I had listened to a BK song previously, and thought they were terrible, and didn’t understand the hype, but it’s sad, like Jess says, that they never really got a chance to work on their sound before the judgment of the hype came down on them like the hammer of doom. Or … maybe it was a blessing in disguise? As always, decide for yourselves.

Spread the hype

Via Fabulist, there’s an interesting new teaser page from the hype machine. It says, it wants to see 10,000 people on the page at the same time, and then they will unveil the new hype machine page. It’s kind of lame because not everyone can leave their browsers up all day, but if you’re out there, all ten of my faithful readers, then spread the word! Because hype can work for you.

Apology

I want to apologize to Ryan from the Catbirdseat, who posted a nice comment onto my last post, even though I maligned his site … by mistake I marked the comment as spam and then Akismet did its thing (I’m very tired this morning). Ryan fills a niche too, let’s not forget. There always has to be someone out there who’s faster and more smug than you, someone with the opposite view who fires you up and makes you think.

That being said, let’s adjourn to the 19th century.

Hector Berlioz — La Gloire (from “Benvenuto Cellini”). Performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Colin Davis.

[ed note — This got long. I’m not apologizing; but I will apologize because there’s no obligatory mp3. I’m sure you can find something to amuse you.]

Hello! How are you? Did you have a good Radiohead Day? I’m fine, thanks. I’m very enthusiastic about Radiohead Day, so let’s talk economics. I received the download code in my email this morning — about twenty seconds later, the file was on my desktop (unlike some sad folks, I could not care less about bit rate, so that didn’t factor in). Twenty seconds later, I could listen to the music, which is really the bottom line.

It’s the libertarian way of doing things — let people decide for themselves how much the commodity is worth to them. Some of them pay a lot for a box set; some pay a reasonable amount and buy the download; some pay nothing and feel bad about it and pay later; and some pay nothing at all and feel justified in doing so. It’s all part of the equation. Libertarians have a deep independent streak and a (possibly misplaced) faith in peoples’ abilities to regulate themselves. Only you know how much you paid or didn’t pay for “In Rainbows,” but I would be willing to bet that Yorke & co. made a good pile of money off it; as much as any represented artist would have made. This morning Connor from IGIF noted that when he polled 27 people on his campus green, half of them were listening to it. I would be willing to bet that most of them, college students though they were, paid something, and even $2 is better revenue than pirating.

Of course, Radiohead has the freedom to do such a thing; they paid their dues, so to speak, and their fame is so well established that they can circumvent the system. They used word of mouth so effectively that probably 12 hours after they posted their site, I heard about the album from half of my RSS feeds. While Beck went the opposite route, creating a physical form that everyone wanted, Radiohead has masterfully ridden the wave of immediately available infotainment. Music blogs jumped on it — pounced, even — gleefully counting down the days and basically talking about Radiohead ad nauseum. I’m not even that big of a fan, but even I felt the hype boiling overhead like a thunderstorm.

Which brings me to the series of articles written by the author of Pretty Goes With Pretty; it’s called, “Can’t Talk, Hyping.” Ironically I had never heard of this blog (which doesn’t mean much), but for some reason I still read Catbirdseat, which recommended it. The four-part article criticizes mp3 blogs for forgetting their roots and becoming mini hype machines, churning out recommendations for money and based on promo advances nudged at them by record labels. To join the conversation, intimates this article, one must download an enormous quantity of music at breakneck speed, present it with “an audio clip, myspace link, a list of tour dates, and — not always — a perfunctory they’re grrrreat!” (part II).

Two forces make this article completely correct in every way. One is what I call the Catbirdseat effect; the smugness of the folks that sit with their music you’ve never heard of, and mock you because you are five minutes behind the hype. Catbirdseat today ridiculed people’s love of Radiohead by posting a fake review, complete with disclaimer: “PLEASE NOTE: I have not downloaded or listened to In Rainbows.” See? They’re so far ahead that they don’t even have to hear the music to make fun of people who like it.

The second is the Goodhodgkins phenomenon — the simple overwhelming nature of music that falls under the indie genre. It drowns anyone who tries to keep on top of it; maybe three blogs I know actually make a stab at completism. Those blogs become the type that PGWP despises: perfunctory, swift, and overposted. Many of them make good money doing it, too, because someone out there has to try and keep their finger on the pressure point. I certainly don’t want that job (witness my infrequent postings! I’d be a mess). If you have Goodhodgkins phenomenon weariness, you bemoan how much music is out there. You can’t keep up with it. It hurts you to try. You give up. I admit, I’ve been feeling Goodhogkinsy myself these days. And I agree with PGWP; lately I’ve been tacking up lots of mp3s without much writing attached to it. How many times and how many ways can you say “awesome” or “well put together” or “great instrumentalism”? Not too many, I’ve found.

When those two forces combine, a writer feels like she is not only drowning in music, she’s going under so fast that she will never be ahead of the curve, so she pushes harder and hypes faster (or quits altogether?). So the article is completely right. And yet, and yet. It ends asking why don’t all the music blogs get together and talk about ideas? Why don’t we push an agenda like lit blogs instead of going arm in arm with record companies?

Several reasons, I imagine. One, the age and status of the usual music blogger would tend to be a person who consumes a ton of music quickly, spits it out, and loves to be on top and have high stats. Coolness = stats to those people. I don’t have a problem with that, though it isn’t my thing (in interest of full disclosure, I get between 600 and 800 hits a week, if I post). One thing that bothers me about PGWP’s article is that it sees listeners as rubes, gawking at the hype and not understanding the machine behind it. Of course (some) bloggers make money; they get free promos; they put ads up on their website and some of them get thousands of dollars to do it. Good for them; like I said, they fill a niche. Are the visitors to a site like Brooklynvegan so stupid that they don’t see it’s a lot of business? I surely hope not. And stats must equal coolness; I see many “famous” sites quoted over and over like the nerds quoting the cheerleaders. Someone’s always got to be the cheerleader (and yes, I’ll take the nerd position, thanks).

Two, music is personal; more personal than even a novel, especially since no one reads these days. We music lovers have a secret fetish for hearing the same tunes in different guises. We probably have 4000 songs on our iTunes that are about heartbreak, and 4000 more about falling in love. Some people lovingly caress one or two albums a year; others zip through fifty or sixty and are just as happy. Everyone is looking for that chord in them to be struck, that one chord that no one else can hear, the shiver up the spine. How can you initiate a dialogue about that chord, that thing that is so personal? I venture to say that you can’t have a conversation about it, per se. But you can put it out there and hope that someone will come along who hears the same chord. I don’t get enough comments on this site to fill a pint jar; why then do I write? Why did I bother with these words at all? Am I just hollering uselessly into the void? I don’t know. What I do know is that when I hear music that strikes a chord in me, I vibrate, and sometimes I reflect that musical chord, that personal love, with words. I’m not a musician, and all I can do is write down my love.

Some people take that personal fetish and make it political; they parlay their friendly persona into visitors and money and hype and (you might say) soullessness. But for every soulless hype site, there are five sites that keep the personal personal. Those sites are still out there, plugging away, telling us about their memories, their experiences, talking to unknown readers for no reason whatsoever. They don’t have an agenda, and they don’t want to have one (or their agenda is, like Muruch, to expose a certain genre of music). They get great stats, maybe, or they don’t, and they use record companies to help obtain what they like, not just to boost numbers. Using myself as an example — I sift through what the record companies send me. Sometimes I even slap an mp3 up with a “they’re grrrreat.” Not everything hits my buttons, that’s for sure. I even like to talk about what I don’t like. Sometimes — gasp! — I even like to talk about what everyone else is talking about too. Sometimes I don’t. Is it hype, or love, or something in between?

Hey reader, I’m talking to you! You out there, with your Radiohead on! For what it’s worth, I liked “In Rainbows.” Probably I’m gonna write about it. You should too. Don’t forget what Thom Yorke says: “Don’t get any big ideas / they’re not gonna happen.” Or like Homer says, the lesson is, never try. Right? You might make some money off what you love and earn the eternal scorn of the Catbird set, even though they’ve got ads all the way up the right sidebar. You might fill a need, you might get so popular you can go around the rules. Who knows? It’s a big infotaining world out there — someone might holler back at you from the void.

Misc.

So like … Radiohead, and stuff*.

But also new Regina Spektor video! (I’ll be seeing her at the Wiltern very soon, yippee.)

And oh baby, new Sea Wolf (how can something so totally indie be so totally hot?). Take a chance on this local boy, because you will not regret it.

And if you want something stripped to its bare bones, new Peter & the Wolf! I was a big fan of “Lightness,” so we’ll see how “the Ivori Palms” shakes out.

If you like light jazz numbers, Queen Latifah put out a new album called Trav’lin Light — very unobjectionable and in parts even inspired.

[ed. note — tracks removed. contact me for a copy.]

Queen Latifah — Trav’lin Light

Sea Wolf — Winter Windows

Peter & the Wolf — The Ivori Palms

*yes, I bought it, but more to show good faith than in actual expectation of a good record. I’m a “Bends” girl, so I didn’t take the change to Kid A style all that well.

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Syncopation

My parents divorced when I was 22; my father gave my mother the baby grand when he left. He gave her a lot of other things too, but I was really surprised about the piano. After all, he was the one who played it. I had an indifferent 2 years worth of lessons and gave up; my sisters both tried it and gave up. My mother, as far as I know, never played. When I visit my dad and stepmom in Tulsa these days, he has a small upright. At least he didn’t give up playing too.

When I was a kid, I had trouble getting to sleep (I still do). I used to lay awake at night for what seemed like loooong hours, staring out at the crack of light coming through the hallway door, listening to my father play piano. He was particularly fond of Joplin rags, and I would listen to the music coming in under the door until I finally fell asleep.

What music came in under your door when you were young and impressionable?

[ed note – tracks removed. contact me for a copy.]

01. Scott Joplin – Weeping Willow Rag
02. Scott Joplin – Elite Syncopations
03. Scott Joplin – Pleasant Moments
04. Scott Joplin – The Easy Winners
05. Scott Joplin – Bethena

(Obviously these are played neither by my father, or by Joplin himself, but Tom Pascale or John Robson. You can find more at The Piano Society.)

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Heard the new Britney, huh? Yeah … me too. Yeah. Let’s change the subject.

[ed note: tracks removed. contact me for a copy.]

01 Neko Case – Make Your Bed
02 Bert Susanka – Onward Christian Slater
03 Josh Ritter – Rumors
04 Shaggy – Oh Carolina
05 PJ Harvey – When Under Ether

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DD resolved

In spite of a nice person who wrote me too late, I did not get Decemberist presale tix. I guess I’ll have to buy them with the hoi polloi. Oh well … I’m not really unhappy. I’m kind of waning on current Decemberists (though their early stuff still turns my crank). Their conceit is just getting … too intricate, I guess. I wish them luck of course; who doesn’t want to be famous and fabulously wealthy doing what they love? I’ll just curl up around my copy of “Picaresque” and dream.

Video for “O, Valencia”

Touch of Class remix of “Perfect Crime 2” at Stereogum

Decemberists Dilemma

So the Decemberists are touring again, I’m sure you’ve heard about it. One “long night” and one “short night” every date, and the long night is the long songs and the short night is the short songs. Well, according to Brooklyn Vegan, if you want to get in on the presale you have to buy tickets for both nights (though you get $10 off. Um, yay?).

I don’t want to go to both nights. In fact, all I want is the “short night,” because if I have to listen to the Tain I will claw my eyes out. But I do want in on the presale. Therefore, the dilemma.

You can help me out! If you would like to be my partner in presale, and take the “long night” ticket off my hands (for the going price minus $5), you can email me at shutupmulder at yahoo dot com. Serious offers only please. The Decemberists are playing 11/29 and 11/30 at the Wiltern — 11/29 is the “long night” — and presale tickets start tomorrow (Sat.) at noon eastern.

I don’t get a lot of comments, but some opinionated fella posted three on my Amy Winehouse post, talking about how she makes him sick (poor guy). Popular opinion has definitely turned against her, all of it her own fault, and across the pond they are probably sick of even seeing her name. Still, I can’t be too mad at her. I love faux-Motown-revival too much. Not that I have much to say here. I just think it’s interesting how she was pretty well-liked a few months ago and now people can’t stand the sight of her. Kind of like a fella who stripped and jumped off a cliff on MTV a while ago. He was British too.

But let’s move onto things that rock my world!

01. Gorilla vs. Bear was lucky enough to be able to host a video of Annie Clark performing “Your Lips Are Red”. Annie Clark, of course, is St. Vincent, and St. Vincent rocks my socks. Ms. Clark is beautiful, and badass, and the way she handles that guitar makes her a certified grrrrl in my book.

02. An anonymous, “legally savvy” member of the Jefitoblog readership posted a fantastic summary of the music piracy/copyright discussion. If this person is a guy, I want to marry him. If he’s a chick … I’ll consider a move to the other team. It’s the best, most comprehensive, easily understood summary of law that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

03. Music! In case you read through #2 and still don’t feel bad.
[Note: music removed. please contact me for a copy.]

a. The Black Keys – Stack Shot Billy
(from “Rubber Factory”)

b. Kunek – Coma
(from “Flight of the Flynns”)

c. Maria Taylor – The Ballad of Sean Foley
(from “Lynn Teeter Flower”)

d. Murray Perahia – Chopin Étude no. 2 in F Minor, Op. 25
(from “Chopin Études, Op. 10, Op. 25”)

e. The Ditty Bops – Bye Bye Love (The Everly Bros.)
(from “Moon Over the Freeway”)

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New bebe

Let me be the 1,001st person to congratulate Chad and his wife on the birth of their new baby girl. New babies are the sweetest, cutest things in the whole world, as long as it is not 4am, and as long as you are not living on 3 hours of sleep, and as long as you know what the hell it is they’re crying about so you can stop the noise.

I’m not cynical! Much. But as the parent of a five-year-old, let me offer this advice: when she gets older and begins screaming, “I hate you!”, what she really means is, “I’m not getting my way!” Which means, you did the right thing. :D

Here’s a leetle lullabye you can sing to Madeline, even though you will have to change the lyrics a bit:

Paul Simon – St. Judy’s Comet

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The Terrible Twos

Check it out! My first ever indie rock boyfriend, Matt Pryor, has some new songs out. And a new band! It’s called “The Terrible Twos.” And there’s a song called “Caroline” about a girl who has a birthday right near Christmas … just like me. Poor Caroline, you better just get used to having ‘birthday/Christmas’ presents. Or guilt-tripping everyone of your acquaintance through the rest of the 11 months. Trust me here, the guilt trip is your friend.

And The Terrible Twos have a cool website where you can color in owls, and a new album called “If You Ever See An Owl…”

… what do you mean, it’s for kids? I like coloring in owls.

The Terrible Twos – Site | Myspace

The Terrible Twos – Caroline

The Terrible Twos – When I Get To Eleven

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I’m tired of talking. Aren’t you tired of hearing me talk?

[These tracks have been removed. You can contact me if you’d like a copy.]

1. Josh Ritter – Girl In the War
2. The Black Keys – She Said, She Said (Beatles)
3. Union of Knives – Evil Has Never
4. The Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band – My Soul To Keep
5. Arvo Pärt – Fratres For 4, 8, or 12 Cellos

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You know how you wake up and it’s one of those days? It’s too early because the kids haven’t adjusted to daylight savings. Your neck hurts and you feel a headache coming on. You take a shower and notice just exactly how dirty the shower door is. There’s nothing to eat for breakfast; you have to put on Sesame Street instead of being able to watch Veronica Mars. And it’s only 7 am. Bleah. Here’s some music.

[These tracks have been removed. You can contact me if you’d like a copy.]

1. Robin McKelle РBei Mir Bist Du Sch̦n
2. Nelly Furtado – Maneater (siik remix); from Siik.org
3. Vienna Teng – Cannonball (Damien Rice)
4. Bettie Serveert – Lover I Don’t Have To Love (Bright Eyes)
5. Michael Penn – Walter Reed

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Extra treats

A couple extra Halloweeny things:

The new Contrast Podcast! Music to watch ghouls by, and bob for apples by, and eat scads of sticky candy by …

And a little piece in the New York Times written by Neil Gaiman, who can summon creeping horror in only four sentences (seriously, every little hair on the back of my neck is standing up):

And then there was the one who said, in her cellphone’s voicemail message, sounding amused as she said it, that she was afraid she had been murdered, but to leave a message and she would get back to us.

It wasn’t until we read the news, several days later, that we learned that she had indeed been murdered, apparently randomly and quite horribly.

But then she did get back to each of the people who had left her a message. By phone, at first, leaving cellphone messages that sounded like someone whispering in a gale, muffled wet sounds that never quite resolved into words.

Eventually, of course, she will return our calls in person.

I’m sick and my typing arm hurts from a stupid tetanus booster (stupid tetanus! Stupid sexy Flanders!) so here’re some things you could be listening to if you were as cool as me.

[These links don’t work anymore! You can get a copy by contacting me, though.]

01. Regina Spektor – Ne Me Quitte Pas
02. Soltero – Fight Song For True Love
03. Rachmaninov – Prelude in G-Sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12
04. Beck – Hell Yes
05. Dan Zanes & Friends – We Shall Not Be Moved

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Life is very long

No time today either. Instead posting comic strip as postmodern, metaphorical signifier of indie songwriting. Or something. Graduate school was a long time ago.

Throwaway

It’s only 9am and I’m already calling the day a wash (and as you can see, this two-line post didn’t even get done till 12:30). So here’s some random stuff.

[These tracks have been removed. You can contact me if you’d like a copy.]

1. K̩k̩l̩ РPonton La Belle
2. Okkervil River – O Dana (big star cover)
3. Ox – 1913
4. Pat Travers – Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights) live
5. Rimsky-Korsakov – Nocturne from “The Golden Cockerel” (1907)

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