Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ms. Vega's a purty one.

Sorry about yesterday's power outage. I'm excited to report that I think the problem is not only fixed but maybe circumvented for the foreseeable future! Thanks to those of you who kindly offered to come to my rescue; though it wasn't needed this time, your names are duly noted and on the Christmas list and I'll come runnin' if necessary. Bless!

So to make up for yesterday's silence, here's a double helping of acapella goodies!

glisten: Acap' CD 2

3: Suzanne Vega - "Tom's Diner (Acapella)"

Spencer - Holy christ, this song is awful! I really don't think the world needs an a-capella version of Tom's Diner. The vocals are weak (she sounds out of breath after only a minute of singing!) & the I Dream of Jeannie melody becomes grating after two verses. I tried to come up with something good to say about this track but I honestly can't see how anyone could find it enjoyable.

Now is the time that I point out that the acapella version of Tom's Diner heard here IS, after all, the original version. DNA's remix was the hit but what you're hearing here is what the song was intentionally intended to be: a quiet intimate moment. Of course, it didn't quite work out that way...

Kevin - With the backing track stripped away, Vega's song loses much of its cold detached vibe, and seems more urgent and quietly desperate.

Adam - This almost sounds like an early demo of what became possibly the worst song to hear first thing in the morning, despite it being the original. It's an interesting study in music marketing how the remix overtook the original.

I've always liked this track and always liked Vega.

Buy "Solitude Standing" from Amazon.
This is a really good album; tho' I'm probably partial to 99.9 F as a favorite.
Visit Suzanne's official home on the web.
She's packed it with sound samples of EVERY SONG SHE'S EVER RELEASED and also hands out a few freebies. Check out the front page for the new DangerMouse "In da Diner" mashup of this enduring track.
Watch Suzanne perform it live.
Celebrate Tom's Diner's Day on November 18th. Find out why and learn more about the William Holden connection at the former link.
Play Suzanne Vega guitar tabs.
Explore Vega.net for a number of tributes, including a complete discography, creative ruminations and even a Portugese fansite.
Wouldyabelieve Tom Baker in Tom's Diner?
Also: Cats and airplane models. Naturally.


4: The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet - "Way Down in Egypt Land"

Adam - "That Moses was a bad motherf…" "Shut your mouth!" "I'm talkin''bout Moses." "I can dig it."

Spencer - Starts out nice & brooding like an old plantation spiritual. Whatever they do 46 seconds in makes your heart rattle around in your chest. The following low rumbling vocals are very unsettling. But then they pick it up for a little bit & in doing so lose me completely. It's a jarring arrangement but after repeated listenings I think I understand what they were going for. Good track.

Kevin - Reminds me of the Ink Spots. Turns out they shared members.

That would be Cliff Givens, I think; but Cliff wouldn't join the troupe until '43 and this is a '39 recording. Point taken tho' and I really SHOULD post some Inkspots.

This level of quality in vocal performance is just not heard these days, said this old fogey.

Lovin' that train-derailing bass. Schweeet.

Buy "Volume 3 of the Complete Recorded Works of The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet".
Read some background on the band and peruse an incomplete discography

I can't tell you how frustrating that there's nothing about these guys that I can find on the web. Somebody start a fanpage and I'll hook you up with a five cd set. Fair?
Study Exodus for the rest of the story.


5: Ol' Dirty Bastard - "Shimmy Shimmy Ya (Acapella)"

Adam - What a capella mix would be complete without the ODB? I think it'd be cool to hear an a capella rap-off between all the Wu-members. Ten bucks on Method Man.

Spencer - GAWD-DAMN this is a boggy fuck-all holy hymn that ends too quickly. The backwards verse fades out after only a couple of lines. The original beats the a-capella but this is good shit nevertheless.

Kevin - Does he sound any more sane without the backing track? No, I think the man is authentically crazy.

God made dirt and dirt'll kick your ass.

Buy "Return to the 36 Chambers" from Amazon, for the nonacapella version.
Listen to more ODB goodness.
Wear Dirt McGirt T-shirts. Let th' world know that you DIRTY.
Read the VICE interview with the Dirty one.
Marvel at ILM's discussion over the ODB presidential nomination.

Those of you who don't stop by ILM on the regular. It's a great place to learn more about music of all styles from industry professionals, critics, musicians and thrill seekers of all types.

I _DO_ have (and proudly wear) an "ODB for President" shirt, by the by.


6: Charley Campbell - "Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-One (Ain't Working Song)"

Adam - I'm sure this one strikes the fine purveyor of this fair website on a personal note. I, being part of the working class (as opposed to the ain't working class I suppose) can only dream of a near decade of free time, so perhaps the song is lost on me.

Dude, you gotta be fuckin' kidding me. Trust me when I tell you that I'm bustin' my ass payin' the rent AND balancing this site. I would VERY much like to be asleep now, but I gotta make the doughnuts. It's work. Don't doubt.

Spencer - I've heard this one from the Alabama Saints & Sinners comp. The banter between Lomax & Campbell makes me grin everytime. This is a good song for which you can make up your own verses. Just don't let the bossman hear you when you come around to the coda.

Kevin - I'm feeling this one. I went to a dance party the other night and blasted this on my headphones while watching everyone dance.

Campbell is one of those guys who likely never recorded anything but this. What a fascinating legacy and one that he no doubt couldn't have imagined would have such long reaching echoes.

Somebody pretty pretty please remix this. I really want to hear that.

Buy "Deep River of Song: Alabama" from Rounder Records.
Read a review of this disc.
Learn about the sin of sloth at Deadlysins.com.



If you want to be a guest reviewer, here's how we play:

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.
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.


Those of you who missed the amazing Fensler GI Joe PSA remixes are hereby commanded to checkacheckacheckitout NOW, then scoot back here and see just how pomo they can get by comparing to Garrison Films GI Joe PSA Remixes Remixed!

Stop all th' DOWNLOADIN'!
The latest media for your tofu-boy? Watched Variety Lights (Fun and beautifully filmed, but somewhat unremarkable plot), Re-Animator (campy zombie fun that couldn't feel more 80's-fied) and the unimaginably good Once Upon a Time In America.

That last one is almost certainly going to be one of the top ten films I see this year. Almost four hours long and too short!

What's new in CD's? Another loverly promo from the fine fellas at Sumosonic (yet to crack it, but [as always] what a great tracklisting!), a few CD's I'm reviewing for YRB, Janet Jackson's Damita Jo (a little uneven, but some great high points), Twista's Kamikaze (not listened to it much yet), Lil' Flip's Undaground Legend (absolutely great), Wu Tang's 36 Chambers (I keep losing my copies), a nice promo from the folks at Sounds are Active and a full CD from Xn (just got here today!)... and of course, the musicblog circuit. 24 Hours ain't enough.

Okay, it's time to sleep and prep one last outside project I've needed to work on forever. I'll keep ya'll posted and try to find my way over to M4Robots afore too long.

Stay cool.