Sunday, April 04, 2004


It's time for another classy guest review, number six if I'm counting correctly.

The ground rules again: I offer a mix CD, free of charge to my lovely listeners in exchange for a FAST review. I like to get people's 'first glance' response, before too much of a cynical/critical response kicks in. I print the review I receive unedited, with my own smarmy comments italicized.

Following up on the heels of Scott's March 24th review of A LETTER B CD (did anybody else get that or was it only funny to me?), I received the following email from the talented and beautiful Elaine:

"Hey Tofuman! Emailing this a little later than expected because of some internet issues at the family home :X But! It's here! :D
I listened to this once at the school library, once on the plane back to Ohio, and once more while typing this review :3 By the way! Your XD and :3 figures on the package were way cool :D "

Elaine's referring to the "killer smileys" I drew all over the brown paper package her CD arrived in. At least I hope she is; maybe some crazed postal worker shares El's obsession with those wacky sideways faces and had a go at my envelope with a sharpie.

"And yes, this is going to be full of emoticons because... I'm strange like that? :x By the way, I know you said that Google is my friend..."

Direct quote from letter sent is "For more information on artist or songs, Google is your friend," which is my friendly way of saying I'm not gonna give ya TOO much info in the liners.

"but I like to listen to music in a complete vacuum of information... My opinions are always warped by outside input, if you know what I mean."

Wouldn't have it any other way.

"So! On to "The Letter B" CD review!"


1: Blind Willie Johnson - "Bye and Bye, I'm Going To See the King"
I have no idea what instrument he's playing, but it's kind of... bluegrassy? For lack of a better word.

Blind Willie was a helluva blues guitarist and I can appreciate how it might be difficult to recognize the sound after too much exposure to electronics. It really is pretty beautifully odd.

2: B.K. 'Black Ace' Turner - "Beer Drinkin' Woman"
Along the lines of the first song, but clearer and more polished. He gives some good advice too: if she don't love herself, let her go!

New idea for an advice column:
Dear elchan; my girl don't love herself and I'd like to let her go, but she won't let me go. My question to you is, should I drink more beer?

3: Butterbeans and Susie - "Tain't None O' Your Business"
A guy and a girl singing a conversation with each other over ragtime piano. I'm fond of these kinds of duets.

"I found out that I'm a chump and the wool's pulled over my eyes. (Woman's voice: Now I wonder who woke you up?) But I'm gonna know somewhere fo', yessir you're gonna tell me somewise. You stay out nights till three and four and come home leapin' drunk. (That's MY business!) Then come to bed and turn your back, huh? Sue, you know that's the bunk! Yessir, now listen here, Sister Kate; now tell papa who's keepin' you out so late! (Say listen, Butter!) Let me hear it! (I don't mean to cut you short and I ain't puttin' on airs.) What's wrong with ya? (But I got my two hands full mindin' my own affairs. Now I wouldn't answer your question if I knew I had to die so don't keep asking cuz I don't want to lie. You can't make me tell you so there it's no use to try. Furthermore: tain't none o' yer doggone bizness!)"

4: Beans Hambone - "Beans"
You really weren't kidding about liking beans songs, were you? XD The singer is all right, but the notes he plays seem entirely wrong for the song o.o I feel like his instrument is getting progressively more and more out of tune...

I think this is just perfect. I'll let ya'll be the judge.

5: Brak - "I Love Beans"
I almost got kicked out of the library for listening to this... You see, I had about an hour before class, so I popped into the library to check out Ulysses (required reading -_-) and read some email. I was browsing away when this song started playing and I laughed soooo hard~ What else am I supposed to do when he sings when i eat beans I "sit in my own little cloud"? Thankfully, no librarians around <3

Brak and Joyce are two great tastes that go great together.

6: Badger Theater Movie Phone - "Weekend at Bernie's II"
This is really just a recorded summary of what show the theater is playing. Fairly amusing n.n; Bernie's? Sounds like it's really a pair with the song below...

7: The Sesame Street Beatles - "Letter B"
I wasn't listening very closely the first time I heard this song and I wasn't looking at the track list either, so I didn't even realize the song was saying "letter be" rather than "let her be"... :X A pretty decent imitation.

Elaine is clearly not a huge Beatleds fan.

8: Theme from "Benson"
I don't know what Benson is and I'm reviewing this song on the plane so I can't find out, but this seems like it'd be a typical instrumental theme song for a '60s or 70s sitcom.

Off by a decade, but you're in the right neighborhood.

9: Bob Vido - "Boo Bah Bah" (Edit)
This was over almost before I realized it was on o.o A guy does some scatting at the beginning, then fades out and lets the piano go. Then he pops back in at the end!

Both reviewers seemed confused as to why I would give them a minute long edited version of this track; the audio above, is the uncut version. I don't think the additional two minutes or so of audio especially helps. You be the judge.

10: Branford Marsalis - "The Mo' Better Blues"
This instrumental jazz song is so perfect. This started playing when I was trolling the library stacks for my book... I usually hate walking around with music playing because I like to be hyperaware of my surroundings, but this made me almost forget it. I wanted to walk rhythmically (ok, that doesn't make any sense, but that's the closest I can get!! ._.) Strut?! I have problems with instrumental jazz sometimes (mostly having to do with long car trips, my mom, and Kenny G), but I think this has converted me.

11: Baaba Maal and Mansour Seck - "Bibbe Leydy"
The best description for this is "otherworldly." I mean, I'm walking down a crowded New York sidewalk and I was hallucinating foreign street markets and expecting people to start dancing around... sinuously o.o; Y'know, with boa constrictors and stuff :x I don't know if that says something about the song or me, but it's true.

12: Britney Spears - "Breathe On Me"
Britney always sounds the best when she's electronically distorted :3 Very breathy (haha -_-) dramatic electronic music. Like "Toxic," but less in your face and more in your bed. Um, yeah.

13: Basement Jaxx - "Breakaway"
One of the voices in here sounds strangely like he (?) sang the Hamsterdance. Other than that, a solid dance song.

Que est "hamsterdance"?

14: Count Bass D - "Beno"
I wonder what Beno means. I like the swanky background music and the singer's voice, but it gets a little repetitive after a while.

"Beno" is a graf tag.
Again, I strongly recommend you go get this track for free direct from the Count.

15: BDP - "The Bridge Is Over"
It seems so odd to hear all this rap over this simple little melody on the electric keyboard. My question is... The bridge is over what?

Queens and Brooklyn, I believe; dating back to some for real ol'school inter-boro beefs.

16: Beenie Man - "Bossman"
Sean Paul? *shrug* Didn't particularly catch my fancy, but I'm happy to wiggle around to it anyway o.o

17: Bilal - "Bring 2"
I'm noticing another theme on this cd: bass & beat. More B's! Yes! Is that on purpose?

Not necessarily intentional, but I like it!

Either that or my jet lag is kicking in, even though I stayed in EST time. Those few extra minutes before sunrise, y'know...

18: James Brown - "Bewildered"
Oh yes, I'm gonna love you <3


This is a pretty doowap ballad complete with backup singers and "dootdoot"s :3


19: Chuck Berry - "Brown Eyed Handsome Man"
If the previous song was doowap, I'd have to describe this one as swing. It's got that big band feel to it~

El's understanding of Chuck Berry's place in music history cracks me up. :3

20: Bo Diddley - "You Can't Judge A Book By the Cover"
Random fact: I wrote a 15 page essay on book cover art (pain), so I've heard all about this phrase :X;; That said, I love the bass in the background and the lyrics aren't something you can shake a stick at either. You can shake your booty though? :x

Damn straight I can!

21: Ben E. King - "Young Boy Blues"
This has to be one of the quintessential "longing" songs. Short and bittersweet.

22: Billie Holiday - "Big Stuff"
It seems like such an innocent song, but I swear she's singing sexual innuendos tongue in cheek (wouldn't that be hard to do?)

Depends, as always, on whose cheek we're talking about.

23: The Bjork Trio - "Brestir Og Brak"
More bass :3! I wonder if Bjork sings in it (I don't think so, but I could always be wrong). Maybe it's a jazzy cover of one of her songs. I can't really stomach the real Bjork, but I like this song :3 Ever listen to the Brunching Shuttlecock's parody Bjork song? XD

Don't know the Shuttlecocks, but this IS definitely Bjork, albeit in a loungy mood. You can find more of the same on the album "Gling Glo" available (on vinyl even!) direct from the publisher.

24: Naftule Brandwein - "Bulger Ala Naftule"
An instrumental track that features a flute, I think.
(Clarinet, actually.)
Some kind of woodwind instrument, anyway.
It conjures up some kind of strange Disney rabbit chase o.o The little clipcloppy noises remind me of horses, though I know they're probably castanets or that one wooden bell shaped thing I always had to hit in elementary school music class.

That was no "wooden bell shaped thing", that was ME! You broke my heart! And my cranium!

25: Beatles - "Because" (Vocal Track)
an acapella version that sounds disturbingly like a church chorus. At least, that's what I think, but I've only heard one a handful of times, so feel free to disagree.

Get thee to a nunnery!

Great work El; thanks ever so!

Musicblog fans will no doubt better know Elaine as one of the co-proprietors of the justly popular Fruits of Chaos. Stop by and check out their fine selection!

If I get the chance to finish all my typing and link hunting, tomorrow should kick off purple glisten.

Stay tuned.