Monday, June 28, 2004
Carl, back in th' day.
I'm a bit exhausted and right back off to work AND not all of my spider CD folk have contributed their reviews yet (get to it guys!), so we're gonna do a week of grabbag singles, Fluxblog style.
Must say that I've been happy with these mix CD responses tho'. So let's do another.
The first three to leave an email and intention of interest are gonna get in on the next mix CD, Ain't Got No Gee-tar, a collection of acapellas.
Blind Mamie Forehand and A.C. Forehand - "Honey in the Rock"
Graveyard guitar by A.C. can't quite drown out the sweetchild/oldsoul plea of Blind Mamie. That monotonous front-desk bell! That tender vibrato! The insistent strings!
Once this got hold of me, I couldn't let it go; it's been on repeat all day.
Purchase the astonishing "Goodbye, Babylon" Box direct from Dust to Digital Records
It's an indisputable work of art with over a hundred and thirty tracks and an entire disc of preaching. At a hundred bucks this is certainly no impulse buy, but I must say that it's a beautifully produced and expertly executed overview of a complex genre. While by no means the last word in gospel, this collection will be enough to give anyone food for thought and music for the soul for years to come.
So you say that a Benjamin is a little bit much to ask? Alright, I still think you should save your pennies; but you can also get Mamie and A.C.'s haunting masterpiece on "American Primitive Vol. 1: Raw Pre-War Gospel (1926-36)" available direct from Revenant Records.
The scantest sort of info on the Forehands, via AMG
Carl Perkins - "Movie Magg"
Simple, joyful and heartfelt as hell; this track has been a favorite since childhood. Carl's yelping falsetto, traintrack guitar and cornpone anachronist romance adds up to a good ol' time.
Buy Carl Perkins' "Original Sun Greatest Hits" from Amazon
Rockabilly like it should be done.
Some bio info on a good ol' Tennessee boy
After watching "Mystery Train", I can't help but think of him as "Carl-u Perkin-san".
It's getting redundant hearing me bitch about how hard it is to keep up with new musicblogs, but I _DO_ really want to give a shoutout to a few of the new guys who've very kindly contacted me directly.
Here's some new faces:
Cloud Two offers some homecooked tracks and a few dj cuts.
Scissorkick has been mentioned in passing here before and has earned eternal fealty by posting a handful of obscure ratatat remixes. Lots to see and do and tho' his latest "joy in watching somebody get badly injured" film clip is a tetch repellant to me, his long recent posts on presidential music and rainy day delights are anything but.
Redderrecords gives you free Mogwai remixes.
Lacunae is not just "another goddamn audioblog", to borrow his phrase, but chockfulla intelligent and notablequotable writin'. A daily delight.
And of course, dozens more to come.
I've got a free gmail account for the first person who identifies and droploads a song with the following lyrics:
"Everything is everything; it's all good. In my droptop fleetwood rollin' through the hood.... it ain't nothin' but a chickenwing; shorty do yo' thang."
Please help. We're all counting on you.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Peter in action
Peter Dizozza was one of the first people I met upon moving to New York City and he is by far the most successful and creative. Pete has been a dangerous friend, a collaborator, the first to pick up the check and the last to pull the trigger. He is a fascinating character and a pioneering figure of the Antifolk movement, an NYC genre of DIY post-punk music.
Peter is a playwright, a lawyer, a pianist, a singer and an actor; wearing whichever hats are most appropriate to the given moment. His work is singularly bizarre earmeme showtunes; unholy unions of Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Stephen Sondheim.
They are nutty, offbeat songs and they are catchy as fuck-all.
In person, Peter is cryptic, easily distracted, unbelievably literary and prone to rants and complex theorizing. Lunch with Peter is a visit with a straightedge hetero W.S. Burroughs.
The six songs presented here represent the slimmest tip of Peter's musical iceberg; there are literally hundreds and hundreds of tracks to hear.
What a terrible, terrible shame if the poor fellow has to take the Van Gogh route and be ignored by the popular listening public until he takes a bullet to the chest.
If this appeals to you, tell a friend; send a friend! Let's get this guy rich and famous!
Come and dance with Peter! His music and stories are extravagant and mad and wonderful!
by Peter Dizozza - "Two Lovers on Tomorrow's Road" (from _Prepare to Meet Your Maker_ )
First, let's establish a few things. Peter is generally the writer of these pieces, not the vocal performer. Very often these are performed in, well, less than optimal fashion.
I really dislike the male vocals here, but Meghan Elizabeth Burns does just fine on her end.
"Two Lovers" is a sweet and perplexing Broadway ballad from Peter's epic "Prepare to Meet Your Maker". Mr. Dizozza's scripts cannot be simply distilled into soundbites; explaining the plot of this twisted and often dadaistic story would be like parsing Cremaster.
I'll let someone else try.
This Antifolk page contains links to buy Peter's material, interviews and background info.
Peter is the Theatrical director at the Brooklyn based Williamsburg Art and Historical Center.
The inexplicably named Michael Douglas is Peter's personal weblog.
by Peter Dizozza - "Meet Your Maker" (from _Prepare to Meet Your Maker_ )
You're gonna want to turn up your speakers; this is a poor quality recording.
A fascinating blend of warped theology, Les Miz glamour and shimmy shimmy shimmy kick!
The similarities to the "Three's Company" theme song are undeniable, gleeful and only serve to enhance my giddy enjoyment.
Some CD reviews
Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches is an afficianado and conspirator of Peter's.
by Peter Dizozza - "Hang My Head" (from _Pro Choice on Mental Health_ )
So we finally get a taste of Peter's oft-maligned and ubergeeky nasal vocals. I love Peter's singing style; he's so engaged and joyful, utterly unwilling to back down from any melody and supercharged enough to leap at any arpeggio or unreachable note.
His voice is a shower voice, better than it has any right to be by virtue of its self-assurance.
The bridge kills me... SAAAAAVED! I dare you not to sing along.
Exploring Peter's astonishingly content and mp3 rich official site, Cinema VII, is an adventure in itself.
Loads to see and do.
Buy "Pro Choice on Mental Health" from Amazon.
Peter's first and thus far only solo album. Fascinating, repellant and beautiful.
by Peter Dizozza - "Don't Leave Me Behind" (from _The Golf Wars_ )
More of Peter on piano and vox.
Pricelessly loopy lyrics and groan-inducing near missed notes to a wurlitzer bossanova beat produce a somehow distressingly sad song about loss and fear.
This moves me about twenty times more than Wilco ever did.
Download and listen to this other great track from "The Golf Wars": Square One.
One of my favorites.
The Golf Wars.
by Peter Dizozza - "Attractive Storm" (from _The Last Dodo_ )
Helluva torch song.
New York's own Sidewalk Cafe is probably Peter's most regular haunt; keep an eye out in that direction for one of his regular and wonderfully entertaining live shows.
The Last Dodo, you say?
by Peter Dizozza - "Tell Me Now" (from _The Last Dodo_ )
Sexy and enigmatic.
Peter's instrumental work for film scores and such are just as interesting as his musical numbers.
Explain this antifolk thing again?
Get to know Peter better.
Two friendly conversations with musicblog luminaries yesterday: one with Sean, who told me about his gmailswap windfall (drop by and beef up his traffic!), patiently and kindly listened to me bleat on in my lowbloodsugarrambleranting fashion about banding up all the hot musicblogs into some sort of zeitgeisty superfriendsforcesite and my hemmorhoids and such.
The other call was with Keith, making an attempt to coordinate a trip to go see Diz Rascal and Th' Streets at Irving Plaza this Wednesday.
Sold out tho'. Anybody want to help us out? Please drop me a line.
If we make it, will we blog it? Stay tuned.
Sean and I also had a good lipflappin' about the sheer overwhelming force of new music and the tidal wave of new musicblogs. These days, I'm finding at LEAST one new musicblog a day. I'm cataloguing them in my favorites links, but I'm VERY behind on reading them and I've had to cut back on DL'ing, as I'm months behind on listening.
The prevailing trends excite the hell out of me: people exploiting a vacuum in niche specialties (the "FINALLY, THANK GOD!" blues musicblog Honey, Where You Been So Long? comes to mind immediately); group musicblogs of the "songs4robots" variety (see 3ive and scenestars, for starters); the "hi, here's what I like" bare bones lack of pretention musicblog (check the fetal spoilt victorian child) and the new generation of professionals joining in the fun (coolfer and lacunae and scissorkick and fatplanet and a dozen more).
The problem is no longer in finding new music; it's how to balance the canoe in the sea of riches.
You should have such problems. And now you do. Stroke, stroke, stroke kiddies!
Remember that story in the Ray Charles obit post I wrote last week about the guy at the bar saying let's put Ray on the ten dollar bill?
Anybody seen the Eric Palma New Yorker cover this week?
I feel so dirty.
All the "fuck" tracks are coming down tomorrow. Last chance, kiddies.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Another filler post and late as I was up quite literally all night watching (in one sitting, yet) the first season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is utterly brilliant. I never got Seinfeld, but this is BEYOND funny.
So why should I be the only one to laugh?
Bill Cosby - "Noah"
Bill's got in a lot of trouble these days with a few clearly heartfelt but astonishingly poorly phrased words and his output for the last twenty years or so has been the acme of mediocre. But in his heyday, boy: that cat could rock the podium!
Here's the definitive Cosby bit.
Buy "Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow... Right!" from Amazon
Lenny Bruce - "Adolph Hitler and the MCA"
St. Lenny suffers a bit from the passing of time. His schtick ain't quite cutting edge or topical these days and hardly anybody has the patience to stumble through the outdated references. This Hitler bit is reasonably timeless, but your milage may vary.
Buy "The Lenny Bruce Originals, Volume One" from Amazon
Richard Pryor - "Mudbone and the Little Feets"
This is close to the funniest thing I've ever heard.
Pryor is one of the true tzaddikim, no doubt.
Buy "Is It Something I Said?" from Amazon
Pop (all Love) had prolly the most comprehensive obit tribute collection for Brother Ray and is pimping all manner of offbeat info and songs. It's a helluva neighborhood.
You're gonna find a ton of dropped links but there's still some live action at Bhangra Plus. Looking for DL'able material here should define how you waste time at work for the next four weeks.
Better Propaganda is doing what the rest of us musicbloggers would be doing if we had half a gram of common sense: they're getting paid to distribute free music. On the upside, you can get some free music while they profit. With music for every taste, it's the return of mp3.com; heck, it's win/win!
33 RPM is so goddamn good looking, I thought they were label sponsored. No such luck for them. You'll feel hella lucky exploring their three fold selection: something old, something new and something upcoming. Gorgeous layout and great taste equal happy DLing.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
donny hathaway, late in the game
Tomorrow will be the EIGHTH day in a row working. Ain't doin' nothin' but payin' th' rent. I have a nice piece in the works about a friend and conspirator who you probably haven't heard about but will love.
In the meantime, I hope you won't mind some filler so that I can get some sleep.
I just recently got into Donny Hathaway in a big way, spurred on by a gorgeous offering from O-Dub at Soul Sides.
You know that wacky moment when you hear a song you've never heard and then go,
"Oh shit: that's where the sample from "X" came from and I really should've known that already, but I didn't and OH SHIT, that makes me want to listen to "X" and this song is super rad and OH SHIT, shouldn't I have already known this? I feel so stupid and so dumb, but man this track rocks and that track rocks too and isn't it amazing that both songs still sound so great to me and isn't it a perfect world sometimes?"
Warren G - "My Momma (Ola Mae)"
I've been listening to this track ever since it came out.
Warren G is a horribly underrated MC.
Buy "I Want It All" from Amazon
Tight from top to bottom.
Donny Hathaway - "Valdez in the Country"
I finally found this track, the obvious predecessor to "Ola Mae" about a week ago.
Funky as all getout. Make it your song du jour for the whole summer.
Buy "Extension of a Man" from Amazon
A real masterpiece throughout and an excellent piece of first exposure.
A discography of a too brief career.
Monday, June 21, 2004
Technical difficulties. Will call provider tomorrow.
UPDATE: Server updates left me unable to post to my hosting service. Off to work now, but will post some gems this evening.
Also, on the way out to the post with those spider CD's. Patience, patience...
UPDATE: Server updates left me unable to post to my hosting service. Off to work now, but will post some gems this evening.
Also, on the way out to the post with those spider CD's. Patience, patience...
Friday, June 18, 2004
D'Angelo - "Shit Damn Motherfucker (Live)"
Max: Cool! Who knew someone would write a whole funky-ass song based on what I say when I stub my toe?
Amanda: When I was a kid I decided to make up a song utilizing as many bad words as I could think of. Envision a countrified sing along with this one line: We're singing hell, damn, shit. I think D'Angelo does a much better job of stringing three bad words together.
Jake: such a great voice; whatever happened to him anyways?
RW: Have you heard shitsheissemerde on the new !!!? Doesn’t it sort of sound like a bite on this? D’angelo never really leaves too much of an impression on me. I don’t know why. It always seems pretty good at the time but I never find myself trying to listen to it
Ryan: Very cool and soulful. Really nice a smooth, kind of late 70s 80sish, but in a
really good way. Just kind of synthy funky.
Beautiful man. Just beautiful. This was the track that got me into D.
Buy "Live at the Jazz Cafe" from Amazon
Forty bucks for a seven track bootleg import live album and execs blame the flourishing of P2P on kid's ethics?
Still no news.
Magnetic Fields - "How Fucking Romantic"
Max: Mr. Merritt is the weariest of the world-weary, the bitterest of the bitter. Delicious and short and totally unconnected with real life and how real relationships work (making it that much better).
Amanda: Nice rhythm. I like a song I can snap along to.
Jake: one of my favorite songs from the "69 love songs" box set.
RW: This is a really annoying track. Something about the way his voice is recorded. It’s like super-detailed and super-vague at the same time. Is it supposed to be in a funny signature? It’s god a bad rhythm.
Ryan: Um... ok. Acapella angst. What if you threw a crap poetry slam and no-one
came, but you taped it anyway and then made all your friends listen to it
The Onion interview below suggests that Merritt was writing three songs a day while making "69 Love Songs".
One assumes this one was a Friday special.
Buy "69 Love Songs" from Amazon
Indispensible and impressive. This cut is one of the weaker tracks on the album; go give it a spin and a buy.
Stephen Merritt and Sufjan Stevens interview
"MERRITT: (T)here’s nothing inherently good about Peaches. But I really like it.
STEVENS: I liked the first record, with the panties on the front. The way it was recorded, she was right there. And I loved the tone of her voice."
Whoda thunk it?
Recent Onion interview
Belle and Sebastian - "Fuck This Shit"
Max: I was so glad this song has no lyrics. I worship Belle & Sebastian and Stuart Murdoch is my nice guy pop idol. Hearing him make cryptic remarks about sex is one thing (“When she’s on her back she had the knowledge to get her into college…”), but I think I would weep if I heard him actually say the title of this song. I will not allow him to show this kind of anger.
Amanda: It's ok. Pretty.
Jake: love the B&S. every time i hear this song it makes me think of that deone warwick song whose name escapes me. i know you know what i'm talking about.
RW: Sounds sort of like an interpolated moon river in the intro. . . oh and I guess the whole song.
Ryan: This is, just kind of charming. No vocals, just some nice harmonica over a
string background. I can't help but wonder if this is a cover of another song
that I just don't remember or something. But it's cool anway.
I'm not entirely into B&S, tho' "Step Into My Office" is brill, duh.
Buy the "Storytelling" soundtrack from Amazon
Mostly gentle, excepting the excerpts from the film. Brutal, brutal film that; but I really liked it.
The B&S Official Site
Bernie Mac - "Motherfucker"
Max: That’s funny, I don’t remember him saying this on his FOX show. I must have missed that episode. This is unrelated to the topic at hand, but I have a funny story prompted by Bernie’s comment about the lack of black terrorists. A teaching colleague of mine, when discussing the Columbine shootings and bomb threats in high schools in his class, had an African-American girl lay out the difference between the races like this: “That’s the difference between black people and white people—if you make me mad, I am not going to blow up a damn school. I will cut you, but I’m not going to blow shit up.”
Amanda: [insert name] people say the funniest things.
Jake: this guy is hilarious. i wish his show was as funny as his stand-up, but i guess that shit wouldn't fly on network tv.
RW: No comment on this. I’m sure it would be funny if I was in the room.
Ryan: It's a NOUN, it's used to describe a person, place or thing.
Bernie Mac is a sad example of what happens when you take a genuinely funny person and stick them on a network TV show. If they flop, it's generally because they're too dangerous for network (Richard Pryor comes to mind), if they succeed then you get the sort of pap that is the Bernie Mac show. Meh.
Buy "The Kings of Comedy" soundtrack from Amazon
"Three, four years old, and that was one of the first words I knew: motherfucker."
Black Sheep - "For Doz That Slept"
Max: Well hey, Millie—welcome back!
Amanda: Ooh, very nice. The Millie Jackson symphony has been remixed!
Jake: man, that first black sheep record still holds up and is great.
RW: Ok, so it’s all “full circle” old to new. Thanks, Shempster?
Ryan: You're fucking with me? The remixed #2? They RE-fucking-mixed fucking#2?
That's just fucking hillarious. Better than #2.
As everyone here notes, this is indeed a remix of the Millie Jackson track we heard back in day one.
Buy "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" from Amazon
Spectacular album. Shame these guys never took off afterwards.
See also the MUCH delayed and forgotten Non-Fiction.
Thanks to all the kids for jumping into the orgy. We should have the Spider CD group ready in a week or so. I'll be back on Monday with new tracks that require no parental advisory.
Have a pleasant weekend.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Late night and some blogger glitching means late post.
But fuck it; here we are!
Trey Parker and Matt Stone - "Shut Your Fucking Face, Uncle Fucker"
Max: Sheer genius. I sing this in the car. A lot. Really loud. Okalhoma! is my favorite musical, and the first time I heard this song (especially the last 20 seconds), I thought I must be in musical-theater heaven. (Suck my balls.)
Amanda: This song equally amuses me and grosses me out. I do like the Coplandesque strings that accompany the fart solos.
Jake: well, this is definitely from south park, so the previous track probably wasn't. oh well. i can't watch this show too often, but the film was great.
RW: this is sort of funny.
Ryan: I just wish Robin Williams had done THIS song at the Oscars... If you don't
know what this song is, you're living in a cave and someone is reading this to
you, go away.
The first time I saw the South Park movie it was under duress. My girl at the time was a fan; I wasn't, so I wasn't expecting much.
Needless to say, the moment I heard this song I was pissing myself. Definitely one of the high points of the American musical.
Buy the "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" soundtrack from Amazon
Comedy Central's South Park page
South Park Latino
Peaches - "I Don't Give a Fuck"
Max: This is the kind of thing that ruins the word—every screech drains it of any fun or force or shock.
Amanda: I like the slight pause before she says fuck. I don't give a [beat] fuck. Don't you wonder what the parents of her former music students think of her new career? I do.
Jake: please god no. make her go away.
RW: Peaches doesn’t sound all that convincing here. Definitely not my image of the “I don’t give a fuck” attitude. Nice granular synthesis noises at the end though!
Ryan: Boooooooooo yeah! I need to listen to this song about 20 times a day until
I've fully internalized the invalueable life lessons that it has to offer me.
I've really found a hotbed of hate for Peaches and it surprises me. I recently had opportunity to meet Keith over at TtIKtDA and his take on Peaches was that she was an obnoxious over-the-top harpy. He's hardly alone.
The general argument follows RW's line of reasoning, that she's "not convincing" in the same way that a bad RnB crooner sounds like he's going through the motions. I just can't see it; this song fits under my "tracks to break shit too".
Comments from the peanut gallery?
Buy "Fatherfucker" from Amazon
Peaches official site
Tres Joel Veitch
Rage Against the Machine - "Fuck Tha Police (Live)"
Max: Yeah, fuck tha police for pulling me over in my Ford Taurus and taking away my Urban Outfitters knitted skullcap!
Amanda: You can really hear how rock-rap was inspired by them. This cover was probably novel at the time, wasn't it?
Jake: i'm not even sure what to say about this.
RW: Zach de la roca sounds exactly like Steve Albini on that one Big Black live album. Especially when he says “just something nice and friendly” In fact, this whole track sounds sort of like big black with the huge pounding drum machine replaced with a weak sounding rock drummer. I guess that shouldn’t be surprising.
Ryan: I liked the Jay and Silent Bob version better. *shrug*
The first I ever heard of RAtM was at their Lollapalooza appearance. Their first album hadn't hit yet; they were the second opening act after Babes in Toyland, who sucked. The audience was still filing in around midday and nobody was quite in the mood yet. Rage took the stage; Zack picked up the mike and said "Hi, we're Rage Against the Machine" and they IMMEDIATELY started "Killing in the Name Of". The crowd went spontaneously apeshit and we started banging bodies like prison basketball.
It was great.
I'm well aware that Rage is "Urban Outfitter" punk; they put on a helluva live show and they put their money where their activist hearts are and I've got a soft spot for 'em.
It's a little lame that Zach forgets the lyrics, tho.
Have I mentioned lately that I hate Kevin Smith?
I hate Kevin Smith.
Buy "Live and Rare" from Amazon
RAtM's official site
The Zack De La Rocha Network
Dub Narcotic Sound System - "Fuck Shit Up"
Max: This is awesome, and may be Jay-Z’s only competition for best track on the CD. “Make it fucked-up” is a fine and liberating mantra for living life…unless, of course, it’s “Invade Iraq…and make it fucked up.”
Amanda: Nice lo-fi sound. Or is that my computer speakers?
Jake: good ol' calvin johnson. love the halo benders, but can't say i've heard much dub narcotic sound system stuff i've liked.
RW: I remember going to beat happening shows at St. John’s semi-religiously in high school. Dub Narcotic never made much sense to me. The production on this track is so shitty! and not in a good beat happening way. It sort of sounds like my high school’s funk band “chickenhawk.”
Ryan: For some reason, I keep wanting to hear this song being used in an old Batman
TV episode. It's just got that, bat-tootise feel to it. I don't know.
Honestly, this doesn't do much for me; but I could already tell I'd be in the minority.
This track courtesy of the ever-popular FLUXBLOG.
Buy some Dub Narcotic Sound System from Amazon.
Any suggestions from fans on where to start?
Dub Narc page with plenty of DL's.
Calvin Johnson interview
Eamon vs. Sinead O'Connor - "Fucking Compares 2 U (DJ Fancy Dan MiX)"
Max: These two slide together so seamlessly that one bootlegger (perhaps even this Fancy Dan person—I don’t remember the name) didn’t even claim to have “mixed” them…he simply “observed” that the two go together nicely with almost no effort. I’m glad this version was included and not the Eamon original, which grates. Plus I’d really like to burn that dumbass hooded sweatshirt he’s always wearing.
Amanda: Interesting. It's just a slight change from the original. The other singer kinda sounds like Sinead.
Jake: this is fantastic. i usually loathe mash-ups, as their done so poorly so often. not so here.
Ryan: So the song starts, and I'm like, ok, it's what's-her-toast. Whoop-d-doo.
Then I think about the title and I'm all like, ooo, I bet this will get better.
and well, it only kind of does. It's still got that whiney mopey feel to it.
I think it would have been better if it was Sinead and Peaches. It even sounds
better to say, seriously, Sinead and peaches. I can even see it, like two
photoshopped big peaches with her bald head inbetween them. Perfect! I'm
sorry, where was I?
RW: Eamon! I saw the video for this the other day. Lots of yelling and throwing pizza on the floor and walking around in a ridiculous velour tracksuit and wallabees on Staten Island. Is that right? Can it really be staten island? But then I heard it on radio and it didn’t sound as bad. This mix is very eye opening for me. I can’t really remember but listening to this it sounds like these two songs are basically the same. Are they actually the same? Both songs seems even more dysfunctional and abusive spliced together. Sad.
This really DOES have a "you-got-your-peanut-butter-in-my-chocolate" feel, don't it?
As a bonus, here's ANOTHER interesting Eamon mashup that I've come to like even more:
Eamon vs. Purify - I Don't Want Your Puppet
Get Your Bootleg On (from whence this was scarpered) is becoming a real online Algonquin Round Table for the DJ community. A helluva place to visit and search. You'll find tons of interest.
The unofficial homepage of EAMON games
we beg your indulgence
There have been SO many worthwhile musicblogs up on the scene, several of whom have gotten in touch with the Hut, that I get dizzy when I scroll through my new links list.
I'll devote some time over the weekend, introduce you to my forty or fifty new friends and update that sidebar.
Really. Shit done blown up.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
50 Cent - "Fuck You"
“My advice if you get shot down is get the fuck up.” That’s really fabulous advice. 50 Cent should be a motivational speaker for inner-city schools! Angry lyrics, but a rather relaxed flow—must be that ecstasy that he mentions early on.
Amanda: Not my bag.
Jake: i always want to dislike 50 cent, but his voice is just pleasing to the ear.
RW: I don’t know this song. It’s nice! I like the primo-sounding beat and the midway-revised 50 flow before it got really exaggerated. We recently checked the itunes “most played” in our office. Embarassingly, it was “groupie love” in the number one position. How did that happen?
Ryan: Better backround samples, sharper timing, but otherwise about more of the same.
I continue to hold that 50's best material is his lesser known material. This one's probably my fave; the Nas sample and the positive-thinking principle (well, sorta) sells it for me.
Buy "Guess Who's Back" from Amazon
A grimier, less-produced "Get Rich" equals a more interesting album.
Sony's 50 site
Beef is on!
50 vs. the paper of record! I look forward to the "Letter to the NY Post" recycle.
Bathgate - "Fuck That"
Okay, so mea culpa: I sent this out listing it as a Jay-Z track; but a bit more recent research reveals it to be by some cat named Bathgate whose career apparently never took off because he sounded too damn much like... Jigga. Just listen to it; the guy sounds nice but this is some serious Dolly the Sheep action.
Still a hot track, tho'.
Max: This song had me at “put your middle fingers in the air.” What do I love more than saying “fuck”? Aw yeah…Flippin’ the bird. I think this might be my favorite of all the songs on this CD, at least in terms of its message—it’s about using the word for empowerment (Fuck that—I’m better than any of this shit”), not as a disheartening sign of detachment (“Fuck that—I don’t care”).
Amanda: I like the xylophone action.
Jake: dangermouse's remix album has me reconsidering the greatness of jay z. beyonce is so hot, he must be an ok dude.
Do you want to tell him? Cause I don't have the heart.
RW: This is ok, I guess. It sounds sort of like a demo? I probably wouldn’t listen to this again. Though, it is a good tip to not mix GAP and Gucci.
Like acid and base?
Ryan: No no, this one's unique because they used a fucking Marimba over it. Marimba?
FUCKING Marimba? What the fuck ever. Bored now.
With Jay retired, is now the time for the second coming of BATHGATE?
Probably not. Nice cut tho'; but fr'crissakes: who takes the time to call out Will Smith?
Buy the "Kiss of the Dragon" soundtrack from Amazon
DJ Clue's Rocafella Page
Three 6 Mafia - "Get the Fuck Out My Face"
Max: The real genius here is that the preposition “of” has been omitted from the title, which instantly raises the “keepin’ it real” value of the entire track.
Again, I'll invoke Hamlet.
Great folk.blues/gospel-ish sample going on in the background—take that, Moby!
Amanda: the sample in this song is great.
Jake: i like the old field recording sample, but that's about it.
RW: Sounds like Moby at first! But then the mafia comes in! this track seems to be suffering some mp3 encoding problems. Lots of essing aliasing sometimes the lyrics seems to blend in to the hihats. I can imagine it sounding really nice.
Ryan: Hurm. Well, it's similar, but they got more of my attention with the cool
sample opening. Sadly, I'm more interesting in listening to the sample than the
WWF sounding mysognist crap rap that comes after it. Somehow I don't think they
appreciate the irony of using a powerful female vocal sample to back up that
kind of content.
Yeah, the Mobystyle influence is very difficult to ignore right? As for the sound quality, meh. We aren't intended to be your last stop; if ya like it and ya want it cleaner and clearer, then buy it. Ya heard?
Buy "Da Headbussaz" from Amazon
3-6 is really doing it for me lately; haven't heard a bad track yet. Bone meets 2 $hort meets Juvie, just dirrrtier.
A bunch of 3-6 DL from Memphis Rap
More DL's including the spectacular "Sippin' on Some Syrup".
Ween - "Where th' Motherfucking Cheese At?"
Max: Hilarious! Bleeps and beats and dirty words and tweaked vocals. Thirty seconds of just what the doctor ordered.
Amanda: Catchy. I could see a good talent show-type dance routine to this with lots of jazzy shoulder shrugging.
Jake: ah, a joke rock classic.
Ryan: Ahh... fucking perfect man. 30 seconds of parody musical sorbet. Ex-fucking-zactly what I need to hear.
From Ween's website:
"Earlier in 2002 we were hired by the largest advertising firm in the country to write music for a Pizza Hut commercial. Pizza Hut had hired them to come up with a whole new image to promote their new Pizza, "The Insider" which had all the cheese inside the crust. In keeping in line with their new cutting edge image, the agency hired Ween to do the music, and we delivered in a big way. Unfortunately, they didn't like a single piece of the 6 tunes we submitted and they had us rewriting the song every day for a couple of weeks before they hired someone else. In my opinion, it is one of the best tunes we wrote all last year. "
Buy "The Mollusk" from Amazon
Pers. Fave. Plenty of other material to choose from. I also dig their country album.
Few artists are as web-friendly as Ween. Their remarkable website offers access to Weenradio (24 hour Ween action!) and the original TV-friendly version of this fifteen-second classic. Only TMBG has a better site, IMHO.
Ween tabs galore.
Jon and Al Kaplan - "Put the Fucking Lotion in the Basket"
Jake: this is great! so dumb, yet so good. i have no idea where this is from but i'm going to guess south park?
RW: What situation can these people possibly be discussing? I might have spaced out but I don’t really understand what’s going on? This guy has imprisoned some woman and is making her apply suntan lotion? It’s fucking creepy. Is this part of some larger concept album? Where did the poodle come from? I will never listen to this track again.
Amanda: Wow, the internet tells me this is from a musical version of Silence of the Lambs. I feel like I need to know more about it.
Ryan: Ok, this is the song that broke me. I didn't even know there was a musical
version of Silence of the Lambs. This is the fucking *amazing* to hear.
Max: Fantastic—though the SOTL musical will never see the light of day in anything larger than a 30-seat community theater, this song should be heard by everyone who has seen the movie or read the book. Seriously, this is a great example of why the word is so perfect—even in this over-the-top comic scenario, ol’ Jame Gumb is still pretty scary. Pretty fucking scary.
This is fuckin' brilliant. You're obliged to go get ALL of this. Like right now.
Visit Jon and Al's website for the complete musical and loads of other neat stuff, including a tongue-through-cheek lost "Return of the King" scene.
The Hannibal Lecter Soundboard
Buy "The Silence of the Lambs (Widescreen)" DVD from Amazon
AND AS LONG AS WE WAS SAYING "FUCK YOU" HERE'S A BIG ONE:
What an amazing and exciting season it's been. Insane props to the Pistons for accomplishing what most thought would be impossible.
Shouts to Chauncey!
Musicblog love forthcoming; I'm drunk on Bball at the moment...
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Liz Phair - "Fuck and Run"
Max: The true classic of the “Fuck” song genre, isn’t it? I’m not sure whether it’s cleverness or accident, but let’s face it: the real shock here is not the F-bomb or the longing for “all that stupid old shit,” but the “Even when I was 12” line. Twelve? I mean, gross! (I saw her in concert once, and she admitted that it sort of creeped her out to hear people screaming their requests for this song.)
Amanda: I remember when this album came out someone on All Things Considered did a piece on the lyrics to this song. The puzzle if I remember correctly was the following: Is it letters and soda or fetters and soda? Hmmm.
Good question. Any Hut readers know the answer?
Jake: probably one of liz phair's best songs. i'm sure i'm not the only person who would say that.
RW: And I was going to an all-boy school in the middle of nowhere and I listened to this record an unhealthy amount. I haven’t heard this song in years. It’s a good song!
Ryan: Now this is a lot more like it. This is a cool song, it's a good captureing of
a real-world sentiment of a moment. It's all about waking up to what you
settled on last night after too much booze, but it's not cruel, it's just human.
It's about getting what you can get when you can't get what you really want.
Liz sounds world weary and in the middle of a dinner of re-reheated Chinese takeout. And "The Swan" is on in the background.
In other words, it's a good song for bad times.
Buy "Exile in Guyville" from Amazon.
Liz caught A LOT of shit for her last album and although I haven't heard the whole thing, what I HAVE heard seems entirely palatable to me. Why all the hate?
Sex advice from Liz.
Missy Elliott - "They Don't Wanna Fuck Wit' Me"
Max: A slow grinder—even when Timbaland drops a guest appearance, it’s not my favorite Missy genre (though she can rarely do any wrong in my eyes). I felt more menace in “Lick Shots” when she repeats this song’s title early on. There’s a real song here—unfortunately it doesn’t start until about 2 minutes in.
Ryan: I like the Ms. E. She wraps like she's languishing. Plus this song has some
very weird background sounds, like someone's trying to do a vocal rendition of
the sounds of a Galga video game. It's just familiar enough to stick in the
Amanda: She is so damn good at making music.
Jake: a good missy song. not a great one. love timbaland's little part.
RW: Hey, another good track.
It's strange how Missy appeals to EVERYONE: whether your favorite artist is Coldplay, Nas or the Dixie Chicks, you gotta show th' girl some love.
Blizzy blah blah blah zay, blizzy zah zah zah zay.
Buy "Supa Dupa Fly" from Amazon
Missy's first and probably best album; Timbo's production is only sounding better and more influential over the years. Astonishingly little filler for a freshman hip hop album; even Busta's in- and outro's are fairly well done.
Missy's official site
Michael Musto's Missy interview and a radio interview with a flu-y Missy.
Fischerspooner - "Fucker"
Max: Yawn. Don’t call a song “Fucker” if you ain’t gonna say the word, fucker.
Amanda: I can't stand Fischerspooner. No reason other than complete prejudice on my part.
Jake: ugh. i'm glad this stuff isn't going to be "cool" anymore soon.
RW: This is actually the first time I actually heard fischerspooner. A friend of mine dances for them but I never went out of my way to actually hear their music! I’ve only ever thought of them as the fake band with the costumes. I like this track! There’s a lot of sloppy timing in a good way.
Ryan: I like stereo effects, and the FS has got em'. There's nothing like a track
that screams, LISTEN WITH BOTH EARS ASSHOLE! It's a nice driving trance/techno. With just a hint of vocals.
I _like_ Fischerspooner, but then I never read or heard about them. I just got the album. Is there something unpleasant going on that I'm not aware of?
Buy "#1" from Amazon
Clearly a love it or hate it proposition, but I likes it.
The FS official site
Fuck You Casey Spooner offers loads of music.
Tupac Shakur - "Fuck 'Em All"
Ryan: "That's right bitch, fuck 'em all!" hey. It's Tupac, it's a classic man.
Max: This is more like it — brings me back to my elementary school days, when I was instantly afraid of anyone who would say the word out loud. I mean, if they’ll say something so horribly dirty, you just know they’ll beat the shit out of you with no provocation, right?
Amanda: Once again, it's me. I know it's damn near blasphemy to not like him.
Jake: great song; who's rapping on this with him?
That would be the Outlawz.
Once the music for that site hears, you'll hear ANOTHER fuck song. Kismet?
RW: Is that an eye of the tiger sample? Similar to Beck, I could never really understand the Tupac. His production usually sounds really muddy. “middle finger affair?” I can’t really connect with the sentiment on this track either. He seems much too relaxed for “let ‘em die, fuck ‘em all.”
Tupac's vicious side comes out like crazy. "Notorious Biggie killer" is a little distasteful in the ugly aftermath but it's hard to argue that this track ain't bangin'.
I set up silverware in restaurants while listening to this. Think before you ask me for more water, cuz I might go buckasswild.
I'm so sad.
Buy the double Disc "Better Dayz" from Amazon
It's been said before, but 'Pac is continuing to release better music as a dead man than most are while they're still above ground.
Probably no artist has as many fansites as Tupac. You can find autopsy photos, news, lyrics, bios, poetry (by and about), portraits, discographies galore and all manner of ephemera without hardly trying. You can assume that any site with longstanding audio archives is gonna get bombed in a heartbeat, so don't expect to find many dl's. For the sake of argument, you might consider starting at Tupac Fans.
'Pac fans should be aware of the history of his namesake.
Ol' Dirty Bastard - "You Don't Want to Fuck With Me"
Max: How sweet of him to clarify his stance at the beginning—women are still free to fuck him, but they just can’t fuck with him. The strangulated chorus begs all of the suburban white kids to sing along! Almost as good as his best-ever line (which also involves the word du jour): “I don’t have no trouble with you fuckin’ me, but I have a little problem with you not fuckin me.” The man is a master of the form.
Amanda: Is he no longer going by the name Big Baby Jesus?
I think it's Dirt McGirt these days, but why split hairs?
Jake: i would start chanting "free ODB" but i guess he's out now. i love this dude.
RW: Doesn’t Ol’ dirty sound like he’s in a different room than the track here? Except for that ridiculous snare pre-set that’s way up front! Definitely not the best ODB track but it conveys the sentiment “you don’t want to fuck with me” adequately.
Ryan: ODB, living proof that you don't need to know how to sing to make music. I can take or leave this track. It's just not as there at Tupac, it's almost rap formulaic.
Couldn't disagree more, Ryan. Dirty is about as UNformulaic as they come.
"I'm the cunt-breathed asshole eater and if you let me physically eat it, it only gets }}BELLLCH((("
I'm in awe.
Buy "Nigga Please" from Amazon
An astonishingly bizarre but brilliant salvo fired from the iconoclastic icon of hip hop anarchy.
That Chris Rock is all over this album only makes it weirder.
ODB's Wu Page
The ODB quote generator
We're rushing towards maximum density when it comes to musicblogging. Sleeves rolled up and teeth gritted, I'm jumping back into the fray.
Stop me if you heard this one:
I met Henock Temesgen a few nights ago when he stopped by my new apartment; my Ethiopian roommate is apparently somewhat connected to the music scene. Henock's a bass player and after he shuffled through some of my music, he threw on a CD of his work with Admas Band.
I found it to be friendly, enjoyably funky world jazz that was loads of fun. Stop by the band's homepage for plenty of sound samples and maybe pick up an album.
Henock was joined by his friend Teodross Avery who tossed on a copy of HIS album, "New Day, New Groove". Great stuff, with cameos by Common and Ursula Rucker. IUMA is streaming clips of the album, but both of these guys will likely get some play in the Hut next week or so.
"Womenfolk focuses predominantly on women in music. There are many talented ones out there and they need to be heard. Every once in awhile, I may break the rules and spotlight a few men people should be listening to as well."
Liz Phair, Beth Lisick and Sam Phillips so far. The design and the writing are admirable and the idea is a great one. Definitely a regular checkback spot.
Lost Bands of the New Wave Era celebrates "artists who have appeared on a major label and released on a minor label between 1978 and 1985."
Couldn't be much less my forte, so I'm curious to look about a bit and see what grows on me.
I'm Losing My Edge is TtIKtD eclectic with the Fu-Gees and Bjork sharing front page space with Cat Power.
Silence is a Rhythm Too couldn't be more all over the place and content laden. Faves list f'sho.
Monday, June 14, 2004
Time for the fourth installment of Th' Hut's Mix CD series. Longtime listeners will know the deal; as for everyone else:
I offer a themed mix CD of my own making, send it out for review by Hut readers and then print said reviews uncut and uncensored (except for my own italicized wit, sarcasm and bullshit) along with the tracks discussed. It's like a listening party only you don't have to have any friends or music, just internet access.
I'm a stickler for quick responses to these things since I love to see what people's unguarded (and often uninformed) first reactions are. As such, the reviews you'll read here are immediate, often submitted after only one or two listens to the CD.
This week's theme is an awfully fruitful one;
Frightfully Unclean Carnal Konsiderations, songs that feature the word "fuck" prominently in the title.
Since I've never tried it before, I figured a big ol' orgy of reviewers would be appropriate; a group fuck, if you will.
Bearing all that in mind, let's look at our roster of guests:
First we have Max, who writes:
"Hope my review is okay and I apologize for any errors or stupidity (blame it on the speed at which I wrote, yeah, that's it)--I enjoyed writing it.
A too-long disclaimer: I love the F-word. When deployed correctly, I think it may well be the best, most efficient one-syllable communicator of meaning that we have in the English language. I went to high school with a lot of international students, and I swear that “fuck” was their only swear word, trotted out for everything from disappointingly soggy moussaka in the cafeteria to rage over failing a physics test. But their overuse didn’t kill it for me…now I teach high school and I worry that the word is dying out. I overhear “shit” far more often, and I can’t exactly use my classroom as a venue to express my love for the far-better word. But I won’t let it die—I still drop it into conversation (outside of school, don’t worry) all the time, and few things make me happier than hearing it in a song (repeatedly is even better). This CD has been asking to be made for a long time."
A man after my own heart! Leave your clothes on the hook in the foyer and jump on in! There's enough for everyone!
Next up is Amanda. Without even an opening note of apology or gratitude, she leaps headlong into the fray with a silent and whipsmart abandon.
Dear Amanda falls under the "brevity is the soul of wit" rubric, but I've never had issue with a quickie before. Welcome her with open arms, my fellow Epicureans!
Here comes Jake. He's missing both pinkies and can't use a shift key, so don't stare.
"here's the reviews after one listen. heavy on the hip hop, but that's probably the best part of the mix. and i'm not even a hip hop kid; i guess they're just better at using the expletives."
We welcome all genres, races and creeds here at the 'First Annual Hut Diggity' and your lack of digits will not be mocked. The lube is in the rumpus room; you're going to need it.
Ah, a mystery woman; the enigmatic "RW," who expressly (and wisely) requested anonymity from the hordes of salivating onlookers.
"The theme of my reviews is basically unedited first impressions?"
RW, "O" here will show you to the piercer who will prepare you for the evening's entertainment. Try on a saddle that fits you and I'll be by to check on you after I pick out a proper tail.
Arriving fashionably late, we have Ryan, who tells us:
"Well, that was a journey wasn't it? In terms of content the disk is a mixed
bag, but you can't really expect it not to be with this kind of theme. In terms
of how the thing is put together as a whole? Very nice, beginning and ending
with a song and it's remix (not counting the 8 seconds of madonna) is very cool.
I almost wonder if the idea for the disk came to him when he managed to get
both songs in the same place at the same time. Following all the rap songs with
Week is also fantastic. And and bitter over-rapped taste is completely cleansed
by the silence of the lambs musical track. That's just fucking brilliant. Thanks for the disk! It is a seminal work indeed!"
Ryan, your drollity is only eclipsed by the prolixity of your immense schlong. I imagine you'll fit right in (no pun intended). The games have already started; go peek into the poolroom for a little "Eyes Wide Shut" action.
Well, the guy/girl ratio is all off, but a party is a party is a party.
Let's get this menage started!
Madonna - "What the Fuck Do You Think You're Doing?"
Max: My God, she can’t even give this one sentence a convincing line reading.
Ryan: Ah... 8 seconds of attitude, good way to start things off. I wonder where this came from?
Amanda: I always wondered what this sounded like. It was supposed to foil American Life pirates, wasn't it?
Sure was. In an attempt to fend off DL'ers, Madonna flooded Kazaa and likeminded P2P's with hundreds of different named files that contained nothing but this little black kiss and silence.
See the links below for the obvious backlash to this rude rejoinder.
Maybe if she had a better attitude, the album would've sold. I see that when she's pissed, she doesn't have an English accent.
Jake: yup, that's madonna. i can't believe people still pay attention to her.
RW: ok, ha ha, I remember that.
Buy "The Immaculate Collection" from Amazon
After the steamer that was "American Life," it's legit to hate on Madonna all you want; but washed up or not, she's had a helluva run. If you don't have a friend with a good collection to burn you a mix CD, this would be a nice place to start; there's not a bad track on there.
GHV2 ain't bad either, tho' there's a bit more filler than on the previous disc.
"The entire song-- it's a metaphor for big dicks."
The Madonna Remix Project was my original source for this cut.
Drop by and flip through their files to see Madonna get fucked up a bit more.
"Morgan Webb, will you marry me?"
Nothin' says lovin' quite like the John Hinckley approach.
Millie Jackson - "The Fuck You Symphony (Live)" (Edited for listenability)
My editing on this piece was of Millie's drawn out introduction and disclaimer.
Max: The piano-plonking in the beginning makes me think this should be worked in as some sort of extended intro to “9 to 5.” Hey, it could fit! What really saves this from getting boring is the mock-seriousness and full-on bombast of the presentation. You can picture the singers never cracking a smile until that last shouted bit. Then it all falls apart: “Do that shit again!” Was Millie related to THE Jacksons? Was she the “evil” one until Michael and Janet went nuts? Is she the one whose album covers always had her looking like she was screaming or about to embark on an oral “sexcapade”?
No relation to Michael, but that's a pretty good description of the album art.
"DO THAT SHIT AGAIN!", indeed.
Amanda: This song would have been nice to have in my angsty teen years. A lovely sing along.
Jake: very silly. would probably get irritating ver quickly. wait, it already has.
RW: I’m not really sure who Millie Jackson is. This is pretty annoying but wow the crowd loves it. Fuck as a derogative exclamation?
Ryan: Well, it's fun to listen to, but past that, it's a bit of a yawner. Probably a
lot more fun for the live audience than for us listening at home.
Tip of the hat for this track to Sleeve Notes, who died for our sins.
Buy "Live and Uncensored" from Amazon.
My knowledge of Millie is pretty limited, but I'm curious to hear more. Anybody wanna dropload a track or two?
Millie's official site
The Coup - "Lazymuthafucka"
Max: The warbled title works as a nice reminder of another type of muthafucka—the mythic sexy one that Prince sang about so wonderfully. Sadly, I think more of us fall into the “lazy” category. There’s a great energy to this song (an immediate jump into the lyrics, for one thing) that you would never expect from the title. It could sound angrier, I guess, but at least there are some funny lines to carry you through its overlong running time.
Amanda: I didn't like this on my first listen, but the second time around I really got into the chorus.
Jake: the coup are great and way underrated. this a is a good track.
RW: I remember them from high school. Freestyle at the fortune 500 club or something like that? “capitalism is like a spider. . . “ The political message here seems a little vague. You’d think that the coup would be the last group on earth to make a whole song about the protestant work ethic but that’s cool. The production also seems really muddy.
Ryan: Now this I like. Very straightfoward lyrics, the saw filter in the upper
ranges starts to annoy about 2/3rds of the way through the song.
Everybody loves Th' Coup.
Buy "Party Music" from Amazon
I've already hyped up the Coup here at least twice before; like Jigga said, "What more can I say?"
Go get it already.
The Coup's official site
Artcoup.com is a striking photography page with an international social conscience and a dark but insightful eye.
Beck - "Fuckin' With My Head"
RW: This is one of those songs that came out of that tiny window of time where it was easy to put together drum loops and samples on pro-tools but it wasn’t super-accessible bedroom technology like it is now. So you could put together a song like this and pat yourself on the back for “genre-bending.” I guess it still sticks together decently now, but I never could really get too into Beck.
Max: Meet the heretic: I don’t like Beck—too much artful sloppiness for me. He’s all pose and pastiche and persona, and I just can’t (won’t) make an investment in his music. This sounds like practically every other Beck song to my ears, and “fuckin’” just joins the background noise with no impact whatsoever.
Ryan: Beck rocks. I was also kind of pleased to see the scope of the cd spread out more. Truly a worth addition to any fuck compilation.
Amanda: Is this early Beck? He sounds more bluesy than he has lately.
Jake: beck isn't terrible or anything, but i often wonder why he's so popular. "one foot in the grave" is a pretty great album though.
Some very diverging opinions here. Gotta admit, this is pretty uninspired Beck. I much prefer his faux rnb/disco stylings, a'la "Odelay" and "Midnight Vultures".
Buy "Mellow Gold" from Amazon.
He's definitely just getting his feet underneath him on this album but there are a few shining moments.
Beck's online home comes with an apparently abandoned blog.
Sleater-Kinney - "Write Me Back, Fucker"
Max: I like the snotty slowed-down vocals a few seconds in. That’s the kind of thing that makes me scared of rock girls, in a delicious way.
Amanda: Ok, ok. I know this e-mail is late, but I'm writing already!
Somebody's guilt complex is showing.
Jake: great live, but never been able to get into the recordings.
RW: I got this on a mix-tape my first year of college. I think I always fast-forwarded through this track though.
Ryan: I should like this more, but I don't. This song bores me, the lyrics are
uninspired, and it's nothing I haven't heard before.
S/K require me to be in a very specific mood to dig 'em; otherwise they're just so much noise. They appeal best when they're in a serious "fuck off" mode.
Buy "Dig Me Out" from Amazon.
"WMBF" is a non-album track, but this is my fave of what I've heard from the ladies so far.
These Sleater-Kinney fansites have a bunch of music for dl.
The Suicide Girls interview.
Max, here's a whole world of delicious, scary rock girls for you.
Friday, June 11, 2004
glisten to ray
First and foremost, thanks to everyone out there who contacted me with well wishes, kind thoughts and offers of housing during the Hut's downtime. It's been a helluva coupla weeks for me, make no mistake; but the cat done landed on his feet again. Juicy details to follow; first we gotta talk about Ray.
Ray Charles was a chameleon: an American icon and a bad black boy from back in the day. He was the Superbowl voice of America the Beautiful and a notorious heroin addict. He sang about Georgia and drinking mint juleps on the veranda and getting stoned and getting ditched and bein' busted. He was a Kennedy Center honoree, a womanizer, a commercial shill, deeply and immortally funky and a profound influence on almost every genre of popular music for over fifty years. He was VH1 and BET and MTV and PAX and CMT.
He was Ray and his loss is our loss.
I heard about it while I was watching the Pistons game at a bar and they showed his picture on the news at the half and when I yelped in surprise and sadness, the guy two stools over turned and nodded sagely and said "Put his ass on a ten dollar bill" and that's about right ain't it?
New listeners face the same problem that they might find on first embracing JB or Stevie or Elvis: there's SO MUCH music available to choose from of such varying quality and familiarity. Trust me; it's worth the effort.
Here's a few somewhat more obscure cuts from Ray; each one a gem.
Give these a spin.
Ray Charles - "Eleanor Rigby"
Along with Aretha's version of the same track and Stevie's "We Can Work It Out", this is one of my fave Beatles covers.
Ray's official home on the internet
NPR piece on Ray's passing
"For about an hour and a half, I can make these people forget about their problems, their troubles..."
Great half hour BBC Realaudio piece on Ray Charles.
Ray Charles - "Late in the Evening Blues"
Circa 1949, this was one of the very first sides Ray cut and was his first popular single.
Buy "Genius and Soul" the Ray Charles box set direct from Rhino records.
The first four discs are breathtaking; the last one is more of an occasionally embarrassing curiosity (duets with Hank Williams Jr. and Chaka Khan?)
Pretty essential stuff but if you're on the ramen and burrito diet, Rhino offers several lesser iterations for every budget. This two disc set isn't bad and the neophyte may wish to dip a toe in with this single disc "best of".
Incidentally, this track is the only one I'm posting that's NOT in the larger box set; this one comes courtesy of a twenty disc French box set of blues and jazz essentials that's apparently unavailable in the states or online.
Nice cut tho', right?
This fansite has an excellent, if incomplete, lyrics listing for Ray's catalog.
The NYT obit
Ray Charles - "It Should've Been Me"
Ray's funky nasal tone and hysterical lyrics make this one priceless.
Buy "Brother Ray", Ray's autobiography, from Amazon
I'm off to the library today to get a copy myself. What a helluva life.
The Ray Wiki
"It's a Miracle!"
There's great apocryphal stories that Ray used to terrorize his assistants by forcing them to go out for drives with him on his property.
Ray Charles - "At the Club"
Fifty got nothin' on Ray.
"Even with his health problems, Charles has been busy working on a CD of duets with such performers as Elton John, Norah Jones, B.B. King, Diana Krall, Johnny Mathis and Willie Nelson."
Expect this to be pushed up for release next week.
"Regina King and Kerry Washington have been cast in biopic Ray, with Jamie Foxx on board to star as the legendary musician and Mark Rydell directing."
And this should also be out shortly. Foxx seems due for a breakout role on the heels of _Ali_ (which, incidentally, I thought was otherwise execrable), so I'm hoping for the best.
Here's a favorable review of a test screening.
Not to be confused with...
Michael Ray Charles' work deserves a peek.
Ray Charles - "Lonely Avenue"
Probably the least obscure track I'm listing here, but one of my alltimefaves.
In a perfect world, I woulda also dropped "Greenback", "Understanding", "Baby, It's Cold Outside", "I Got a Woman", "Kissa Me Baby", "Busted", "Booty Butt", "Shake a Tailfeather", "I'm Movin' On", "Them That's Got"... just go get some more, eh?
Soul Sides is hosting a live copy of "Georgia on My Mind"; go snap that up too.
As white as Ray ever got.
"I believe the Lord will retire me when He's ready. And then I'll have plenty of time for a long vacation."
TELL A FRIEND
So yes, it took a week and a half but the Tofu is back in the house. Your erstwhile narrator busted ass like a hobnail boot and managed to find a nice space in the city not three blocks away from crazytown with a MUCH more reasonable layout and setup, friendlier roommates and what amounts to a cheaper rent.
Still looking for a media gig tho'. Come find me!
"He knows just how much we can bear," as they say. Again, thanks for all the friendly boosts; I'll be answering my email, reviewing everybody's sites, finding all the new hot spots and fixing the site up a tetch now that I'm more or less comfy again.
So spread the word fellow musicbloggers: I'm back and the logorrhea is recommencing!
I'll start the F.U.C.K. mix CD review next week; I apologize to all the participants that the train had to be derailed, but Ray comes first.
Aren't we due for another CD? The first three people to leave name and email in my comments with the intention of interest get a crack at the next mix disc: Eight Legs Good, Two Legs Bad, songs about spiders. US and Canada only, unless you wanna chip in for postage in which case, feel free.
I think I mentioned this last post, but Mozilla crapped out on me and I lost a ton of links. Again, I beg you: if you are running a site that features music, contact me at email@example.com and I'll totally plug you here.
We likes being your one stop shop. Drive around.