Monday, July 12, 2004

let the arachnophobia commence!
arachnaglisten: Spider Mix CD

Welcome to all you newcomers and welcome back to all my regulars! I'm excited to announce that we're starting another mix CD series here at the Tofu Hut. Let me explain how we do this:

For the past several months, I've been sending out a mix CD collection with an arbitrary and offbeat theme (previous mixes include "songs by children", "songs with the word "f*ck" in the title", "songs that start with the letter B by artists whose names start with the letter B" and "embarrassing music to listen to at the gym"). These CD's are sent to Tofu Hut listeners who are granted a scant few days to listen to the CD and then email me a track by track review of the mix. Then I post their reviews UNCUT, UNCENSORED and UNEDITED (but peppered with my own smartass comments and observations in italics) along with the tracks in question. It's like listening to a mix CD with a bunch of friends... only you don't have to have any friends... except me. And I'm already your friend! Yay!

Get it? Got it? Good!

This time our mix CD theme is:


Let's meet our three guest reviewers.

First off is Mason. Mason was the tardy gent who kept our review party from starting earlier but he's already been chastised and has cleaned out the cobwebs:

what a mess of a reviewer i am. not only am i completely late in giving my track by track comments, i can't for the life of my find the tracklist and instructions. they're probably in the same theatre where i was able to play this disc before the spiderman 2 premeire. oh well, it's probably just as well that i don't know exactly what i'm listening to. kinda like juke box jury, but not british and with more legs. here we go.

Here we go indeed! Mason might be late but he wins brownie points for his remarkable corporate synergy; knowing that this mix got played at a showing of Spiderman2 (which I haven't seen yet, but would like to) gives me a kick. (Before you ask, the release of SM2 was NOT the impetus for this mix; just a happy coinkydink). Be aware while reading Mason's reviews that he doesn't have a tracklist handy; he occasionally gets a tetch confused.

Next, we have Brian who writes:

Sorry it took me so long. I started late and listened too much. I liked most of it. The review follows. I know it wasn't my mix, but how about Eno's "Spider and I" or The Who "Boris the Spider"? Both of those are quintessential spider songs, and I hardly ever (never) use the word quintessential. This makes three times. Thanks for letting me listen.

Believe it or not, the Who track was rejected as not spider-y enough and I'm not familiar with the Eno track, so those of you who were hoping for either of the above are S.O.L. Sorry. I imagine you'll like what's here tho'.

Last up is Tuwa, who's raring to rock:

You're right, this was a fun one. Well, here you go.

Who am I to argue? Let's kick it off!


1. The Electric Company - "Spider Man"

Mason: ooh, i remember this. electric company? i have it connected with some childhood memory of a not very good spiderman cartoon. 12 solid seconds of funk. probably better than the cartoon.

Wasn't even a cartoon, although I could certainly see how memory would fudge on the details. Actually, this was a live action bit. If you'd like to learn more, stop by The Electric Company Spidey Episode Guide.
Stuff like this is why I love the internet. Want information on an obscure pop culture reference? Don't worry; somebody's already done months of research for you.

Tuwa: Spider Man didn't hang out too long. Must have had a mugging to stop somewhere. I think this is the shortest song I've ever heard.

If you want more, you'll have to buy the extended single by Gary William Friedman from Amazon. I'm as shocked as you are that this is available. Much less as a single. Here's more info from spiderfan.org.
This is ALMOST worth getting. I'd certainly accept it as a nice birthday gift (wink wink).
Note to self: Next time a great site with tons of obviously copyrighted material pops up to archive out of print stuff: download, download, download! I missed out on pretty much EVERYTHING this site had to offer before it got grounded and I'm still kicking myself.
I loved me some EZ Reader back in the day.
The Spidey Mego Photo Guide
With Ultra Rare Electric Company Packaging! Say it with me: oooooOOOOOOooooo!


2. Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup - "Just Like a Spider"

Tuwa: This is the first thing I've heard by Crudup. It's a good introduction.

Brian: Perfect. Shows why Crudup was the innovator he was. Musically innovative lyrically compelling. A scary spider.

Mason: super loose blues. nothing feels in tune here. i think i love it. all this spider/blues stuff must have something to do with the black widow? we need less black cat bones, more spider webs!

Crudup is an easy sell to anyone just starting blues music; he wasn't known as "the Father of Rock and Roll" in the seventies for nothing. The music still sounds remarkably fresh and contemporary some fifty years later, arguably more so than the many who would go on to cover his tracks.

Buy "The Essential Arthur Crudup" from Document Records
As always with the Document catalog, just search for the title.
How about their new random autoloading site music feature? Neat, huh?
More obsessive types should look into Document's four volume COMPLETE Arthur Crudup reissue series, spanning fourteen years of grimy blues action.
"One could reasonably argue that Crudup’s original 'That’s All Right', which rocks at least as hard as Presley’s follow-up take, is actually the first rock song."
The hullaballoo over this recent Time magazine article has been considerable but the piece itself couldn't be much more wrongheaded.
Arguing that Elvis' cover of a blues track was the first rocknroll cut is nutty beyond nutty; no one with even a flirtation with the history of popular music believes this for a second and the Memphis celebration isn't even ABOUT that. The article is a sort of disingenuous posturing toward an obvious stance: that Elvis was greatly influenced by black artists.
Fuck man, I coulda told you that when I was ten; don't you listen to
Chuck, punk? It doesn't make Elvis' influence on the music any less important, but he ain't reinvented the wheel. Just smoothed it out a little, did right by it and sold it to the nice people.
Now Crudup? That guy put some spokes in the wheel.
Some light bio


3. Lowell Fulson - "Black Widow Spider Blues"

Tuwa: I love the old blues (I mean old, before people came up with happy blues, the auditory equivalent of vanilla chocolate), and this one is no exception. I feel like I'm in the bar and it's got a wood chip floor and no one will serve me a beer because I haven't been born yet.

Brian: How can someone so generative be so generic here? Not his greatest thing. So sue me.

Mason: more blues. it sounds "smokey" to me. makes me wish i liked the blues more.

One way to like it more is to listen to it more. If you like this, why not check out these two reasonably priced compilation discs from Rough Guide records, available at Amazon. They're as good a place to get started as any.
Also, buy "My First Recordings" direct from Arhoolie Records.
They'll even let you listen to the tracks first.
Fulson bio


4. John Lee Hooker - "Crawlin' Black Spider"

Brian: Rules the den. Makes you ask what happened to the blues today, and not want to know the answer.

Mason: ack, more blues. i think i recognize this one, but i'm not gonna make a guess. this i like.

Tuwa: John Lee Hooker. A national treasure, along with Willie Nelson. Some knowledgeable inspired mp3blogger should have a National Treasures week. Yeah, he's good. The melody's a bit similar to "Crawling King Snake," but that's allowed. And hell, van Gogh on an off day is still worth a million dollars.

Yeah, this bears more than a passing resemblance to 'King Snake,' but as sequels go this is more _Godfather2_ than _Godfather3_.

Hooker evokes dirty jukejoints, cigarette haze and the beginnings of inebriation better than just about anyone.

Buy "BB King and John Lee Hooker: Back 2 Back" from Amazon
For SIX BUCKS OR LESS it's a good buy.
Say, there's an idea for a good musicblog: someone who seeks out underpriced CD's on Amazon and then hypes them with a promotional track. Amazon, are you listening? Synergy, calling out right over here!
I think this excellent fansite is much more informative, intuitively designed and more rewarding than JLH's official home on the internet; you can decide for yourself.
Audio clips available at JohnLeeHooker.com; the sound quality is rancid but it should spur you to go get some more.

I just finished mailing out the NEXT mix CD on Saturday, so you reviewers should be getting it in the next few days.

Time for ANOTHER Mix CD mailer. The next mix CD is entitled CRAYOLA CD ONE: BLUE TUNES.

If you want to be a guest reviewer, here's how we play (pay close attention; I'm introducing some new rules):

If you want a copy of the next mix CD for review, email me at the address listed at the top of this page with "CAN I HAVE A CD?" in the subject line and a friendly request in the actual mail. The first three requests I receive will get a response from me detailing the rules of review. Everybody else gets a nice pat on the head. As soon as I receive the first three requests, I will update this post to let you know that we're full up. If you miss out this time, keep reading the blog; there's likely to be a few offers over the next few weeks.
Please note that there is no charge whatsoever for this CD, _except_ you are going to be expected to write a track by track review... quickly. United States only please, unless you're willing to fedex me a check for shipping and handling in which case you're in. Sorry to be American elitist; I'd love to be able to go global but it's just too damn expensive. Again, if you wanna pay for it then I'm happy to include and indulge my beloved overseas readers as well.

UPDATE: I've got my three. Be on the lookout for the next post and thanks for looking in on me!
33 RPM is sadly MIA. What gives?

Lots of action here in the Hut as of late. If you look to the right of the vehicle, you'll see that we have a crop of n00b musicblogs; some of the s tandouts here include the musicblog My Mean Magpie, the Real World label page (watch out for that autoloading music!) and something I was astonished to find: Amazon is posting MP3s.

Stay tuned for a PILE of reggae links that I just discovered and am riffing through. Very exciting stuff!
Longtime readers may recall that I have a strict rule about removing tracks after about a week. We're not a library or a repository or a reference source; if you want the music in the long run, you need to go buy it (preferably direct from the artist).

There are, however, a VERY FEW exceptions to this rule; cuts that I've left on to promote sites I like or in memoriam of an artist I respect.

Unfortunately, a very few of these tracks have caught the eye of somewhat more rapacious eyes than mine and are being exploited by pay services and other similarly trashy individuals. This saps my bandwidth and it also reminds me that it's probably wise not to leave ANYTHING up permanently. So they gotta come down, but I wanted to give you all ONE LAST CHANCE to listen to this handful of songs.

Songs to Wear Pants To - "We Photocopy Our Body Parts" via Songs to Wear Pants To.

Usher and Clint Mansell - Requiem for an Usher (Dopplebanger Mashup) via Dopplebanger

Lenlow - "Chocolate Cake via Lenlow (hey, he's got a new mix up!)

Seamore Funk - R U Horny, an apology for mistaken identity track from way back in Prince Week (I'd LOVE to see the MSG concert; anybody got a spare July 14 ticket for a reasonable price?)

Jim and Tammy and Their Friends - "Oops, There Comes a Smile!", posted in support of Tammy's battle with cancer.

Notorious BIG - "Freestyle on Funkmaster Flex, posted on the seven year anniversary of Frank White's death.

Women of Mambazo - "I Say No" in memoriam of Nellie Shabalala.

When this post falls off the front page, these songs are coming down.
Lusitania is back in the game and HOW with a MASSIVE new post that's hella fun and not to be missed.
I finally got Meta'd! Not quite an FPP, but close to it. I'd be lying if I didn't say that this didn't satisfy a desire deep in my bloggin' heart. So Matt, can I freakin' finally join ?
Okay, here's the six million dollar question: I've been approached by an unnamed business that has offered to pay me to post links to their site on this page. I have SERIOUS issues with making money off of this site; I fear that would compromise my already tenuous ethical position in musicposting (hence no paypal buttons, etc) but if I were to assume that they were paying for the site's traffic ranking and hipster sheen (which they assure me they are) then I'm just getting paid for my writing which is fine. I'm conflicted. What do ya'll think: should I accept advertising?
On another topic altogether: if anyone feels like lending out hosting space, I would be DEEPLY indebted. I can't imagine that I'm not gonna be a victim of accelerated popularity unless I can find a few new sites to broadcast from. Alms for the poor?
I've been involved in a NUMBER of side projects lately; I'll tell you about them tomorrow. Time is getting tight for me these days; I'm working something like 45 hours a week waiting tables and another 20 or so a week bloggin' and scourin' the web for musicblog info. Updates of this size are somewhat less likely in the future. Again, I plead: HIRE ME! I wanna work in music media of some sort doing copy or editing or pr or somethin'! I got's mad energy! I got over a hundred thousand words worth of portfolio material right here in this blog! I'll even take out the garbage! C'mon!

clicky: we toot our own horn

I just posted the following at Monkeyfilter somewhat in response to the Meta-link and am reposting it here.

Take a peek.

So from multiple previous posts and from about town, most of you are probably aware that I am an musicblogger (AKA mp3 blogger AKA audioblogger). A musicblogger is a person who offers interesting, out of print, rare or otherwise engaging music to people at no charge, simply out of love for the sound and to promote artists that they would like to see get more popular. I'm not prejudiced; I also include record label sites, artist's personal sites, people who aggregate the daily adventures of other musicbloggers into digests... I like em all.

There are more musicbloggers out there than most people would believe; I've been keeping a close eye on the phenomena these past six months and have compiled what I think is the most comprehensive list of musicbloggers yet available. This resource is on my own page as a sidebar but it's not very user friendly and difficult to unearth and utilize unless you know what you're looking for (which would explain why I'm posting this here in my own blog as well)..

I figured it might be time to let loose a new (in)complete list on to the web. My hope is that (after all you monkeys take some time to explore), that this resource will be disseminated onto the web and get a few more people interested.

As of July 4th, all of the following sites were live and had tunes available to listen to.

Here's the grand collection, organized (somewhat) by genre. They are presented in no particular order of preference, barring my personal favorites.

I hope you'll forgive me an initial self link here as I modestly suggest that you might want to start your musical journey by dropping by MY SITE, The Tofu Hut? Now that that's out of the way, here's my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE musicblogs, the ones that I check daily. These are of just about every genre. Check out: Gabba.Pod, Said the Gramophone, Fluxblog, Fruits of Chaos, TtIKtDanceAgain (run by a monkey!), Basic Hip Digital Oddio , Honey Where You Been?, Comfort Stand Records, Tyrone Shoelaces, new (ish), Negro, Please, soul sides, Esselle, Boom Selection, punkassbitch, Totally Fuzzy, Cocaine Blunts, ready rock moe rex, Planet Blarg, copy, right?, Fat Planet, Scenestars, Largehearted Boy, Music For Robots, Radio Babylon, The Suburbs are Killing Us, The Lusitania, Word in the Alleys (run by a monkey!), nevercamehome, Oddio Overplay, Moistworks, GetchaBootlegOn, Tried and True Attention Getting Tactics, womenfolk, MUSIC!, bumrocks, Scissorkick, Pop 77, lacunae, 3hive, Cheeky Monkey, Bloggio Oddio, Rusty Spell, 52 Weeks, Idiot's Guide to Dreaming, Achtung Baby!,Spoilt Vict. Child, Cloud 2, Telephone Thing, Sizemore, The Crutch and Kingblind.

Here's a list of excellent music sites that tend to specialize in ROCKNROLL/POP/JAPANESE, CHINESE, KOREAN POP (a popular online subgenre)/"ALTERNATIVE"or"INDEPENDENT" AND RNB: Pop Is Pablum, robot is smashed, Torchomatic 80's, Max's Music Page, Marx vs. Monorail, Vague Space Music, Nobu Log, Modern Life Is Rubbish, Starving But Happy, My Space Music, V/VM Test Records, Bang and Burn, Sixeyes, BPatcher, 1,000,000 Love Songs, Into the Groove, Uncritical, Coolfer, Better Propaganda, Losing My Edge, Lost Bands/New Wave Era, Talkie Walkie, Wants 2B Nameless, Kittytext, Royal Music, Listen Closer, Negatendo Music, Birth/Music/Death, Bubblegum Machine, EmptyFree, classical gasp, nitpick, Mystical Beast (retired, but loved), Sleeve Notes, opacodex, So This Is Love (en espanol), The Catbird Seat, Fighting Against MtPH, Pitchfork, klepshimi, David F. Presents, Fingertips, ZenZen, big ticket, Sloro, NPG Music, Schkopi (Prince Radio), Rock'N'Roll in the Real World, Mystery and Misery, No Frontin', Just Music, Chromewaves, Dylan, White Stripes Boots, Spinal Tap Collection, george mike, John Peel, Frank Payne, Jeff's Cubicle, Live Tom Waits, Insound, Preservation of Music I Love, K-Records, 2ifbysea Records, Enthusiastic But Mediocre, J/C/K Pop Central (webring of J/C/K pop sites), Coverlog, The Wily Filipino, Epitonic, De Subjectivisten, Blackyellowblack, GLOBALPOPCONSPIRACY, Music For the Free world, NYLPM, Matador Records, Song of Solomon and I heart Nellie McKay.

Here's a few sites that specialize in HIP HOP AND REGGAE: Rank's Reggae Revival, Shutemdown!, The Box, Soulstrut, MC Chris and Hip Hop Music.

Similarly, here's a very few sites that specialize in JAZZ and OLD TIMEY MUSIC: Admas Band, The Vamps, The Red Hot Jazz Archive and The Ragtime Ephemeralist.

Here's a bunch that specialize in DJ CULTURE (which is to say: electronic music + remix and mashup DJ's): Redder Records, DJBC, Fetter Konig, Dinbot, Diffusion Online, Lionel Vinyl, Eve Massacre, Culture Deluxe, Deep Disco Force, mcsleazy, FakeID, soulwax, Reformat Records, Wired Sounds, Release the Reality, DJJayR, Tapeworm Collective, Design Project Neko, Dopplebanger, MP3BLOG, Daz Automatic, //blahblog, fourstones, djfood, Songfight, bOOmbOx, Reset Music, IDC, Fabulous Bastard, NeverHeardIt, disquiet, Go Home Productions, Empire State Human, Bush No. 10, Poj, SutureSounds, Fettdog and Warp Records.

Next up are a collective of EXOTICA/ESOTERIC/BIZARRE music hunters: 365 DAYS, Mark VII, American Song Poem Music, Empty Handed, Raymondo's Dance-O-Rama, Belly Bongo, Your Pal Doug, Little Marcy World, Show and Tell Music, Voices on the Wind, Dana Countryman, Space Debris Presents, Oddball Auditorium, Sem Sinatra's Solar System, April Winchell, Incorrect Music Siftings, Pastor McPurvis and Mister Swank.

Then we have a list of offbeat and unclassiable SPECIAL NEEDS musicblogs; musicblogs that specialize in one offbeat topic: Noam Chomsky Audio, The Fan Soundtrack Listing, Backmask Online, Drummerworld, It's A Trap! (Scandinavian Tunes), Songs to Wear Pants To, Bootleg, Tendo Web, Bhangra Plus, Circuit Benders, The Sound of Magic, Overclocked Remix, Radiant Slab, Theremin Vox, Tamil Mahal, Monkees Sing Along, Gamelan Nyai Saraswati, The Authentic History Center and John Hughes Movies.

Lastly, here's a few sites that offer something different, so YOU TELL ME where I should classify them: Brad Sucks, Webjay, Internet Archive, Illegal Art, Troubled Diva, Swen's Weblog, OpenDir, Dream Chimney, ihypq, Steev's South America, Musical Family Tree and IUMA.

Still not enough for you? Okay, here's a few more bonus music sites that feature music you can listen to or tools to find more music: Ogg Vorbis, RadioBlogClub, AltaVista Audio Search, Boombastic Radio, Downhill Battle , Eigenradio, Magnatune, DJ Martian, Oh, Manchester, mp3 4 free and Intellectual Hip Hop.

Here's one last one for good luck: at The Amazing EC Brown MusicLink Page, you'll find LITERALLY hundreds more places to find music.

And there's plenty plenty more; I have at least another thirty or forty musicblogs I haven't listed here yet and new ones are appearing LITERALLY every day.

Go forth and find new music and then go buy an album from one of your new favorites!

So let's see what _that_ does.