Wednesday, May 12, 2004
i know ya'll missed the bounce
Ladies and gentlemen: Elvis is in the building.
Howdy howdy howdy! Feels like it's been a month! It almost HAS been a month. Did you miss me? I missed you. But heck, what with my previously personally penned fill-in oneaday posts, you probably didn't even notice I was gone and for that we must needs pay proper appreciation with a big Tofu THANK YOU to the faithful aboveandbeyondthecall attention of Sean at Tangmonkey, without whom etc. etc. The brotherhood of the musicblog is a powerful tonic for this sad sick heart; kowtow, kowtow, kowtow.
One hopes that it goes without saying that the three of you out there who STILL aren't reading Gramophone have some small hope of saving your immortal soul if you hustle over there right now, but I make no promises.
Those of you lookin' for music should scroll on down; I'm gonna indulge in some catsup jawin'.
Just you and me left? Fair enough. Let me regale you with LOADS of dirty laundry.
Just prior to fleeing the Florida coast, I was contacted by a fine fellow at Flagpole; Athens GA's prime source for weekly hipster news(or so I'm told). Seems the golden polish of the Tofu shine beams as far as Georgia (or maybe they's just twisted on 'shine, whichever); cause them thar folks requisitioned a cleaned up copy of the rambling purple glisten text for publication! My rambling reflections on Mr. Nelson saw print at the end of April and this was cause for no small celebration here in BeanCurdTown. The plan is that this will be only the first in what we hope to be a long string of journamalistic misadventures culminating in my eventual JaMA essay, "A Case Study of Aural Detritus Ingestion as Panacea or 'Earwax: She's Good For What Ails Yuh'".
The first leg of my grand-go-bout set me down in semi-sunny Nashville;home of the Goo Goo Cluster, Gran'pa Jones, Lynchburg Lemonade and (for the moment) my immediate family. Heading to the homestead gave me ample opportunity to raid both the local library and mi padre's music collection which offered up some sixty CD's worth of gold; quite a bit of which will find its way to the halls of the hut sooner rather than later.
While in the "Music City", I got to meet with Chris, longtime Tofu listener and first time caller. Chris was kind enough to pop for drinks, hook me up with a copy of Van Lear Rose (which, though I haven't had a chance to listen to heavily, sounds on first impression to be fugginastoundin) and tour me around some of the recently built sights. Much obliged for the Southern Hospitality, son. Music cognoscenti should go drop by Chris' site; there's excellent dish, acutely funny writing and bright ideas aplenty in them thar hills.
I also fielded a few VERY interesting and lively calls while in Tennessee for an NPR spot on "MP3-J's" that you can listen to here. It's an informed intelligent piece and I'm eating my heart out that I've managed to elude the whitehot spotlight yet AGAIN. Dude, I coulda had audio of Bob Edwards saying "Tofu Hut" fr'crissakes! Ah well. Ben Walker put together a well balanced and erudite argument and Elaine, Sean and Matt are certainly amongst the best voices the field has to offer so I can't complain. But I think I will anyway.
(On a similar note, props to Soulsides and Tangmonkey for their recent respective Village Voice shoutouts. We're just out of the public eye, folks; cresting anyday now.)
I should also note that I had some pretty serious email withdrawal while I've been between terminals, so today and yesterday's been all Christmastime; opening my shempshemp addy, I found it full of all kind of blog-related goodies and commentary and kudos. Thanks to everyone who droploaded tracks and shared kind words. It's much appreciated.
Now for the big news: your favorite son is a New Yorker again and how's it feel? Just like I pictured it, skyscrapers and ev'rythang. Today finds me typing away in the very maw of Hell's Kitchen; my second time making a go of living in the City and my first time laying my head down nightly in the isle of Manhattan. I always thought Manhattan living was like living in a mall, but we takes the (relatively) reasonable home we finds and we likes it.
The past two weeks have been all about fixing up my 11X6 cell into livable condition, finding furniture and running crap back and forth across town from overpriced boutiques and my temporarycrashpad. The bed was delivered today; there's another day or so of unpacking and buying bricabrac and then it's be time to get started on the business of living in earnest.
Now what does this mean to you? Well, first I'd very much like to meet up with fellow NYC musicbloggers and/or musicfans to trade tracks, talk shit or go see some music; so please drop me a line and we can grab a drink and discuss Lil' Flip's finer points (or Mingus or Hank or Baaba, whatever floats your boat). Bonus points if you're iPod Nation; BIG bonus points if you'd like to play Dance Dance Revolution (I'll bring a pad, three discs and a PS2 if you can provide a TV and some space). Elaine, I'm looking at you for that last one. Are you ready for five footed action?
The other thing is that although I do join the city that never sleeps with a fairly sweet apartment (Only six floors up ["penthouse"]! And no oven ["simple maintenance"]! And did I mention that the shower is in the kitchen ["cozy"]?), I most certainly am NOT yet gainfully employed and that means my New York people are obliged to throw your boy a bone.
I'm young, energetic, bright and I can do anything; more info is an email away.
No job will be discounted out of hand, but preferable gigs would involve work with a publisher, a magazine or a label where I could work with editing, copy or the web. Industry people, you're looking at my portfolio. Lord knows, I can keep a deadline.
Look at it this way, if I can't get a gig that supports my internet habit, no more music and we're ALL gonna go hongry. Me moreso than you, but c'mon. Have a heart.
Also, the sooner I'm a member of the middle class, the sooner I'll quit bitching. So SERIOUSLY, get in touch; I'm primed and ready to rock.
Ain't too proud to beg.
Yoko Kanno - "Green Bird"
Yoko Kanno has a hand in much of the best music in the worlds of anime and video games. She's probably best known for her work on Macross and Cowboy Bebop, where this particular track originates.
Kanno is seldom the sole artist performing on her tracks and this one is no exception: the solo vocalist is a woman by the name of Gabriela Robin, tho' some suspect a degree of dopplergangerism.
Haunting and gentle. Puts me in the mind of falling leaves, which fans of the show will tell you is TOO appropriate.
Buy the limited edition "Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack" Box Set from Amazon.
But dude, if you do? You are SUCH an otaku.
The Shrine to Green Bird details the circumstances of "Green Bird" within the pertinent Cowboy Bebop episode and obsessively explores and dissects this choice tidbit.
The Yoko Kano Project
Loads of info and audio!
Goodie Mob - "The World I Know (Country Livin')"
Before there was Cee-Lo, there was "that reallytightmotherfucker from Goodie Mob". Actually, pretty much all the guys in da Mob carried their weight, but SweetShuga'Lo has certainly seen the most solo success. Not to talk shit, but you gotta wonder what Big Gipp is doin' these days. Oh right, he's doin' Joi. He's doin' ahight.
Goodie Mob is probably somewhere in my top five favorite hip hop groups, longside Tribe, De La, P.E. and th' Roots. And the Coup. The Beasties. Bone. Th' Wu. Run DMC.
You can find this obscure track on the "Slam" soundtrack, available from Amazon.
With Big Pun, Nore, KRS, Dead Prez and Mobb Deep.
The break up.
Considering the "different directions" everyone went in, I'd say a reunion is unlikely for at least another few years.
Air - "Sexy Boy" (Cassius Radio Mix)
On paper, this don't do much for me; but put it on the iPod, set me out on the track and watch us go. The length is just right for the last mile and change; the constant BPM grind and the synth buzz force a hustlin' pace consistency.
Definitely head and shoulders over the original. "Talkie Walkie" is high up on the list of albums I need to get. Like shortly.
Buy the "Sexy Boy" single from Amazon
With a bonus B-side, "Jeanne"; later released on Moon Safari (yes, I know it's nothing to do with Air).
Astralwerk's Air site
Astralwerk's Cassius site
Mary McDonald - "Titty, Give Me Some Titty"
I've been wanting to work this sucker (pun intended) in for awhile, but was never sure when to cut her loose. Guess now's as good a time as any.
A perfect addition to your offbeat mixtapes. Ms. McDonald seems just as tickled as anyone, don't she?
I tried this method myself recently and got nothing for my troubles but a healthy slap.
These modern women. Sheesh.
Purchase "Deep River of Song: Alabama" from Rounder Records
Also where a few of those children's songs from Kiddy Glisten came from.
Choosing a Wet Nurse, circa 1612
On behalf of mankind: Evolution, we thank you.
Damned if you sumbitches didn't make another THIRTY musicblogs while I was gone! It's my own fault for wanting to keep an index on the phenomena; but I feel compelled to hunt down ever more even when I can hardly keep up with the music I already have. It's the selfless part of me. Or the obsessive compulsive, I lose track of which.
Anyway, here's five new musicblogs for you to play with. Sorry if these come as old news; I'm playing two legs short in a three legged race and trying to make up the distance.
Dopplebanger's tracks merit a look around but there's one mashup on there that's made such heavy rotation today that I'm happy to take on the onus of hosting it myself: Requiem for an Usher.
"Yeah" is a bittersweet love song at best (a style that Usher has had pretty much down for years now) but this mix with Clint Mansell's Requiem for a Dream wrings out every last drop of darkness and angst in that puppy. "Decided to cheat" sounds like it's breaking his heart; the "yeah"s sound like yelps of pain rather than pleasure.
Of course, after "ass to ass", maybe even "Shiny Happy People" would sound anguished over these strings... anybody wanna take that challenge?
The Dub-Hung Remix has its moments, but the real story here is the terrific irony of a cease-and-desist sale of the remix letter from an artist who's made his bucks singing badly over other people's music.
Of course why anyone would buy a William Hung remix album under any circumstances boggles the mind, but who am I to judge?
On the more serious tip, The Red Hot Jazz Archives offers metric tons of pre-1930's RealAudio soundclips. Go on spelunking and you're bound to come out with jewels.
Tamil Mahal's Bollypop site is a slloowwwww download, but when you're offering a pair of soundtracks by "Lagaan" composer A.R. Rahman you can afford to make folks wait.
Get it while it's hot; this site goes up and down like (insert your own joke here).
Heh. I said "insert".
Space Debris Presents... is yet another in the burgeoning line of retrolicious-hosted exotica/rare/strange/vinyl sites. Currently, SDP has a full album by flutist/saxumaphony Alex Scorier. Pretty funky stuff; go get you some.
Defining "weird": reading about your baby godsister blogging about "making out" with a guy. Hey, Laura! Get to studying kid! And for christsakes USE A CONDOM OR I WILL KILL YOU. No doubt.
What happened with Blogger while I was gone? Heavy redesign and everyone's blog via blogspot requires multiple refreshes to rid it of the gibberish. Anybody know what's up?
I'll email info on the mix CD to all ya'll tomorrow. I just got the final tracklist right and it looks pretty fuckalicious.
Two non-blood family folks have been especially helpful in gettin' me started down here, Julie (who's beau has been tricked into putting up with this blog as a homepage) and Kim. Thank you ladies; yer godsends.
Now the rest of my NY peeps: where you at?