Friday, September 17, 2004

Mr. Blake takes it on home. Last call, ya'll.

Lazy bones and distracted mind mean a late, but large, update.

glisten: Drunkard #10

19. Norman Blake - "Whiskey Deaf and Whiskey Blind"

Jowey - Typical old-school country fare here. Decent, but doesn't really jangle my bells.

Mark - See, Norm loses me right away when he wants to go to Florida. I'll just let him go. Bye Norm. Have fun down there, fryin' your ass off in Floribama. Other than that, this is pleasant enough little ditty. Not enough to hook me though.

Illovich - Stuff like this makes me suspect I'd like country music more than I let on. I guess this is more folk or bluegrass or something, but I think of country as commercialized bluegrass and folk, sort of. Shit, I just googled this guy... he was in Johnny Cash's band, and played on a Bob Dylan album too. It's funny, apparently in some circles this guy is really famous, but I've never heard of him, I guess that happens to most famous people.

Brooks - I really like this song. It sounds like a Traditional, but it's an original composition.

Norman is probably best known these days for his role in the soundtrack to O Brother but he's got one helluva career to boast about.

Norman (and his wife and collaborator Nancy) are also family friends and something special to see live. Strongly recommended.

Buy "Far Away Down on a Georgia Farm" from Amazon.
Not one of my absolute favorites but still exemplary work. Other standouts on the album are "The Cat Came Back" and "Give Me Back My Fifteen Cents".
Read this interview with Norman.
Learn to play guitar and mandolin with these instructional tapes from Norman and Nancy.

Heck, if you want to you can even buy the Norman signature model from Martin Guitars.


20. The Louvin Brothers - "The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea"

Jowey - Great track! I grew up listening to country-gospel. Even if I didn't really like it, it's become a part of me. Another song about repenting the sin of drinking, though, which is a bit depressing, as I sit here drinking Southpaw Light. This one is especially tragic since the drunk was so wasted he missed his mother's death. I suppose the ending is a bit nicer, since he's in heaven with her. I especially love that 40's country-gospel harmony, nothing is sweeter.

Mark - This is an old joke. Of course the Louvin Brothers are kneeling in front of the toilet. Or toilets. I'm not sure how many brothers there are. This is pretty hilarious though. I swear to god that I'm going to be cursing those fucking Louvin Brothers the next time I'm bent over the bowl. Sonsa bitches.

Illovich - Country gospel holds little appeal to me. This track is like, if Patsy Cline was really annoying and preachy. The opening organ reminds me of the opening of "Don't Crush that Dwarf, Hand me the Pliers." Let's eat!

Brooks - I love the harmonies. I guess Johnny Cash played this song - and from my research there seems to be some kind of controversy regarding whether this song was written by the Louvin Brothers or by the Carter Sisters - even though the Carters have the song-writing credit. Regardless, it's a great song.

Buy the infamous "Satan is Real!" album from Amazon.
Better (and unjustly so) known for its cover than its contents, this is a real humdinger of a disc that every wouldbe hipster hayseed should be packing somewhere on the CD rack.
Explore this Charlie Louvin page.

Totally unrelated, I was ecstatic to discover a link on the same page to the music of The Four Eagles, whose music I can't seem to find online or on CD anywhere. In any case, there's two tracks up here and you best believe I have this bookmarked.
Do yourself a favor and listen to the audio clips; they're spectacular.
Read this illuminating article on Ira Louvin.
Listen to a bunch of Louvin Realaudio tracks.


21. Lord Buckley - "God's Own Drunk"

Jowey - Lord Buckley, one of the worlds few beat poet/comedian/rappers. I've heard better stuff by him, but this one had it's moment. His rant at the bear was especially funny but especially that part about the bear dance. "it was just like the jitterbug dance, it was so simple it evaded me." Say what you will about him, he certainly has excellent command of the English language.

Mark - After that last song, I was just about ready to pass off into a little drunken slumber. Then Lord Buckley comes on trying to tell me jokes or something and I'm just all confused as to who's talking to me, and what in the hell he's talking about. And who are the people who are laughing. So many questions. Ah. He's totally fucking with this peaceful little sleeper and waking up those creeping worms in my belly. He must hate me.

Illovich - God damn, what the fuck!?! This guy is out of his mind. I had never heard of Lord Buckley, but he's really cool. His monologue skills are on a level that is hard to explain-- I've heard lots of monologues that were supposed to be great-- mi'Lord is really on, a beatnik hipster that doesn't falter in his patter. And apparently, he was in a tuxedo, which must have made his live shows that much more surreal.

Brooks - Spoken word. I'm not familiar with Lord Buckley - and at first I'm not really sure what's going on. And about half-way through I realize that it's supposed to be funny - and it is somewhat funny. But I get the feeling that it's one of those things that's funnier when you see if performed in person. Apparently this guy was some kind of inspiration to Captain Beefheart and Zappa was a fan.

Buckley could be one of my favorite rappers.

Chronically underappreciated today, I would be MOST gratified (if ya'll dig on this wigsplittin' jive) to see all you little babies flip script to land more Buckley tunage and then tell your cats and kitties about it. Dig?

In a new internet era where hipsters, flipsters and fingerpoppindaddies are all about riffing on the lingo and gilding the English lily, Buckley deserves acknowledgement and insane props.

"Buckley's Best World," from whence this hep rant hails is sadly outta print but if this piques your interest, you could do worse than to go and buy "His Royal Hipness", the Lord Buckley best-of CD from Amazon.
If you ain't keen to Buckley's retelling of the Jesus story, "The Nazz", ("he was a carpenter kitty") you NEEDS to, Jack!
Visit the official Buckley site.
Dig on these transcripts of Buckley's "Mind Bubbles".
Buy "Dig Infinity", the '02 Buckley bio that you can find reviewed in this ecstatic Salon article and discussed in this NPR show.

A choice quote from NPR: "In 1969, the comedian supposedly gave a thirtysix hour nonstop performance under the influence of LSD..."
Explore a cornucopia of neat links and info at this L.B. fanpage.


Thanks to all the guys for contributing to the Drunk CD! That's all she wrote for that one; I'm going to take the next week off from the "mix review" concept and drop a collection of classic gospel and spiritual music on you. Don't let that scare you off; these are tunes that will get you up off your ass and drop your jaw to the floor, I promise.

There might also be a few surprises in store, courtesy of the inimitable O-Dub.

Plus interviews with largehearted boy, the suburbs are killing us, number one songs in heaven, profiles of Swung By Seraphim, Something I Learned Today and more!

Also, keep an eye out over at Music 4 Robots for more concert review pieces.

It's a good time to be a To-ficionado!

Okay, I gotta get crackin' on answering my email; but first:

Meeting the Neighbors

Radio KRUD starts with a few friends in their early twenties who get together and talk about the songs they love. There's no division by genre; if anything, there's a premium placed on eccentricity and obscurity and lack of hipster cache. One day, one of them decides to share with the world.

Their wide eyed excitement with the music that they love and discover is refreshing and beautiful and contagious and unjaded as all get out.

This is likely where musicblogging will go; into the colleges and the thousands of insular musicgeek cliques. I can't wait.

Recent offerings at KRUD include Old 97's, Meatloaf, Rick Wakeman and Spiritualized

Here's the two most prolific posters on KRUD, Glenn and Meaghan.

I'm Glenn Fitzpatrick, 22 years old. I work as a customer service rep and student by day, musicblogger by night and I do my own stunts. I created Radio KRUD mostly on a whim one day after talking with an acquaintance about where they found all these really cool songs that they had introduced me to. They subsequently pointed me toward various friends and bargain bins at local cd stores and even specifically The Tofu Hut. From there I did some searching and found out about all the other musicblogs and when I realized that my friend Meaghan and I had been doing the exact same with our personal journals, I created Radio KRUD as a central place for my music recommendations/reviews. I invited her along with my friend Dave to co-blog with me as they both had unique taste in music. I chose "Radio KRUD" as the title after one of my friends once made the joke a few years ago "You're listening to Radio 'K' 'R' 'U' 'D' - don't touch that dial, it's got KRUD on it!".
My name's Meaghan Quinn and I'm better known on the crazy interweb for my work in online comics. I'm 24 and have been forcing my musical tastes on my friends since the 80's when, thanks to my access to a recording studio, I made some of the first mix tapes ever (or so I claim). The first one had Roberta Flack and Simon & Garfunkle.

What was the greatest motivation for you to create your site?

Glenn: I used to occasionally post a song or two on my personal journal for my friends and while my taste in music can be rather eccentric at times I've got plenty of songs to cover a wide range of music, so I tried to bring out some of the groups that not many people might usually hear. It's really just an outlet to talk about what I find that I like or hate.
Meaghan: Glenn. He got me posting songs in my livejournal to pay him back for doing the same. I've always been a mixtaper and giving my friends songs to listen to has always just been a rewarding experience.
Recommend three other musicblog sites and give them a sentence or two of introduction.

1. I've recently discovered Fat Planet and I really enjoy how there they bring in songs from all around the world when I want to hear something with an international flavor.

2. Honey, Where You Been So Long has a great collection of old-timey blues songs.

3. Since I enjoy hearing what one artist can do with music from another, I like the selection of cover songs at Copy, Right?.
1. I have superfluous hearts for Spoilt Victorian Child and not just because it somehow reminds me of what I loved in highschool.

2. I check Soul Sides the most often because the old, forgotten R&B is not to be missed. I feel like every song I get from there I need to save and cherish. It's really the music blog with the songs most likely to introduce me to things I've never heard before by artists I've never heard that makes me want to put down money for.

3. Said the Gramophone is just really good songs. I run out of words, but I honestly am crazy about this blog.
Is there a major flaw in the way that musicblog sites function that you'd like to see corrected?

Glenn: Hmm... I'd like to see more support from the music industry - personally, there's only so much indie music I can take before it all starts to sound the same to me. On one hand I want to promote the indies and groups that are underappreciated and unheard, yet on the other hand there are times that I'd prefer to talk about more mainstream groups and say just why their songs A, B, and C rock out, yet D, E, and F didn't. If musicblogging could be seen more like the promotional tool it can be rather than straight-up filesharing, I think musicblogs could have a little more credibility. On the flip side of the coin, with musicbloggers being much more indie-centric, I have a feeling that if I or anybody were to start posting more commercially produced songs that they'd end up being tossed on their ear out of the musicblogging party and ostracized for fear that everyone else would be seen as guilty by association by the recording industry. So, while I really want to post more commercially available songs for critique, I don't because I don't want to be "that guy" that gets the whole musicblogging party crashed.
Meaghan: The only thing I wish there were an easy fix for is remembering where I get music from. I don't know who to thank for introducing me to Sondre Lerche, who was my first "musicblogging at work" purchase.
Do you really think that posting music effectively promotes sales of the album?

Glenn: If it wasn't for the journal that led me to discover musicblogging; I never would have discovered how much I love sambas, Som Tres, or Trio Mocotó. If it wasn't for another friend posting online about how great Andrew WK's music is I never would have heard of him, much less gone out to meet him in person at a cd signing. Same goes for yet another friend and Belle & Sebastian. Through musicblogging I've found things that I never would have found otherwise. I keep the songs I download in a particular playlist all sorted by number of times played and when I go browsing for cds I take a look at that playlist and see what's at the top of the charts that I don't own and move on down the list. That way I'm always working on making my music collection legit. There's been times on occasion where I'd forget about a particular artist or song just because at one time they didn't really catch my attention, yet when I re-discover that song I find that it's just one of the greatest things in the world and want to run right out and buy their material ASAP.
Meaghan: I just mentioned Sondre Lerche. After downloading "You Know So Well", I pretty much turned around and bought the album it was on immediately. I owe about half my music collection to highschool, where we were too poor to buy all the music we wanted and made do by only ever giving each other tapes all the time. We also hit up our parents collections and made do on very limited budgets. Then when I had extra money, I'd spend it on stuff that not only came recommended. It's like advertising - you don't expect people to immediately purchase what they see in an ad, you just put the idea in their mind and hopefully they remember it when they do go to buy something.
Can you list a few bands that you enjoy listening to that might surprise your readers?

Glenn: Well, probably the ones that other people might think are most unusual would probably be Barry Manilow ("Copacabana") or Falco ("Rock Me Amadeus")... stuff like that might be considered to be embarrassing, I guess, as in "well, yeah, I did used to listen to Falco back in my college days, but I was just experimenting! *blush*". When you're running a musicblog I think your readers expect that your taste in music to be rather varied - if you're constantly posting the same sorts of songs over and over and over, they might as well be listening to the radio with the same dozen songs on rotation all the time.
Meaghan: I love Frank Zappa and Frank Sinatra, Jethro Tull and Ludacris, Thelonius Monk and Pete Yorn, Lil' Jon and The Who, Ricki Lee Jones and Dave Brubeck. It'd be easier to list what I don't like (whiney rock and pop country).
Are you a proud member of the iPod Nation?

Glenn: Of course! I myself have had the pleasure of owning several iPods of various generations and sizes since they've been introduced, tending to upgrade each model about once each year for one with more capacity. Right now I'm using a 40 GB 3rd generation iPod which I think I'll keep a bit longer just because I finally have one that can hold my entire music collection and still have about 5 GB of room to spare. Until Apple comes out with a newer iPod that does something new and revolutionary (perhaps tune in to internet radio stations via wi-fi?), I think I'll stick with the one I've got. The 4th generation ones (click-wheel versions) just don't have anything compelling enough for me to upgrade to quite yet. In any case, I'm still trying to think of a good name for my current one - what good is a friend you take almost everywhere, yet you have no name to call them?
Meaghan: Don't I wish. iTunes is my best friend, but I've got my fingers crossed for Christmas presents.
Give me a good story about how one of the tracks that made it up on your blog got there.

Glenn: I'm notorious for liking the song "The Spanish Flea" by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, and my friends used to joke with me about how I'm probably the only person in the world who would enjoy such a thing. So, I ended up posting it on Radio KRUD one day, and later when I was checking the links to the site I found this page where all I could read were "Radio KRUD", "The Spanish Flea", and "Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass". I was really curious about what they were saying about one of my most favorite songs ever, so I asked in a subsequent post if someone could please translate for me what they were saying, and surprise, surprise, it looks like I really am the only one who enjoys that song (see the 3rd comment). What amazed me was the reach I had with my site - I was able to post one song up online, and next thing I knew I was getting commentary about my choice in music from people in Finland of all places!
Pick one musician and one question. Who is it and what do you ask?

Glenn: Lemmy from Motorhead, how come your vocal cords haven't shredded yet? I used to be able to sing like that occasionally...
Meaghan: Peter Gabriel, Will you please stop being a perfectionist and just put out some of the hundred songs you've written in the past decade???
Could you see yourself still running your site in five years?

Meaghan: I don't know about this site in particular, but I see myself still finding a way to impose my taste in music on as many people as possible for the rest of my life. But I'd love to keep doing it with Glenn and Dave for a long time.
What's the best live show you've ever seen?

Glenn: Well, it's not one particular show, but rather an entire performance - about 3 years ago I went to visit Megs and we went to see Music Midtown. Several blocks are fenced off in downtown Atlanta for the concert, and several dozen bands perform across stages all scattered about. Not only was it mostly all major acts, but it's structured so that you can just wander around from stage to stage and see different groups perform and listen if any new bands catch your ear. For example, the bands performing that I went to see that I knew of at the time were Blue Oyster Cult, Bob Dylan, The Sugarhill Gang, Steppenwolf, The Wallflowers, Booker T. Jones, Ben Harper, and Run DMC; the ones we saw that I hadn't really heard of (and now am a fan of several of these) were Patti Smith, Bilal, Blueground Undergrass, Kansas, Ben Harper, and The Blind Boys of Alabama. All of those that I hadn't heard of were pretty much just the result of spur-of-the-moment hey-let's-go-see-if-these-guys-are-any-good wandering around. The performances were excellent, and the entire festival was only something like $40 for three whole days of rock! I've been meaning to go back since then for the festival, but never had a chance to.
Meaghan: Jump, Little Children in the (now, thankfully defunct) Elbow Room in Columbia maybe three or four years ago. It was the best of concerts, it was the worst of concerts, it was South Carolina in the summer in a tiny, tiny room with the worst opening band I've heard (Virgin Wool). It was mixed badly; we were packed in; there was no air circulation and during the show the bartenders flung water from pitchers to at least make us feel like we weren't going to die. But the show was consequentially so full of life and energy and there was such a connection between the band and the crowd, it was just incredible. That and the guys all stripped down to their boxers to play. It just felt like we were all friends here and were all drunk, even though I don't think I was old enough to drink then. It was just fun.
Do you have a message for youngsters who'd like to start their own musicblog?

Glenn: You need something to differentiate yourself from the many other musicblogs out there. Anybody can write about their favorite songs so try to make yours stand out in some way. There's always an audience for anything in musicblogging, so feel free to take it upon yourself to create your own niche. Searching for new material to post is like the old internet when it really was browsing - just see where you end up and what catches your eye.
Meaghan: Knock yourselves out. There's room for all types here on the interweb!
Drop on by Better Propaganda and pick out a track to hype.

Glenn: "Friends Seen and Unseen" - Charlie Hunter Trio

I had seen the album on the iTunes Music store recently, and browsing the Better Propaganda archives I recognized the album cover. Their song "Freedom Tickler" has enough energy in it to keep my foot tapping, but it's not over-the-top energetic to destroy a lounge-around sort of mood - it's got more pep than coffeehouse music, yet not something that you can get up and dance to. The brass gives their sound a more funky feeling than jazz group Soulive... it's probably more on par instrumentally-sounding with Action Figure Party yet without as many musicians. Don't ask why, but for some reason I feel like I should be wearing sunglasses when I listen to this song.
Meaghan: "Fit But You Know It" - The Streets

Because a couple of my friends had already reccommended some of their other stuff to me and I'd really liked it. I have a sort of prejudice against anything other than southern rap but I really, really like The Streets and this song is just really good stuff. The dissonance and odd coupling of sounds is both unsettling and really listenable (and foot-tappable) and the lyrics are just cool.


Speaking of the Streets, spin by Radio Babylon and scroll down for some neat remixes.
They Might Be Giants have created their own iTunes store, employing an excellent business model for grassroots needs and cutting the middleman right out. They're also smart and innovative enough to offer freebie downloads and package deals (13 bucks for two albums sounds a lot more reasonable to me) and web-only exclusives. The site is refreshingly clean and gimmick/animation/autoload music free, something some artists could really learn from (when I want to play and browse, I play and browse; when I want to buy, I want a SIMPLE BARE BONES interface).

I expect to see a great deal more of this sort of thing in the future.
They love us in Italy. I think. Anybody provide translation? Babelfish suggests it's just a skim of the Morning News interview.
I know it hasn't been a minute since I just shouted out to We Eat So Many Shrimp but they've gone BAZERK lately. Loads of new posts.
What specifically got me so excited?
This ESG freestyle.
Skip the beef and bravado and start at 6:30 on this track.
Motherfucker's HAWT.