Monday, August 01, 2005

Doggone if June didn't grow up to be a handsome woman.

glisten: June Carter and Merle Haggard

June Carter - "The Heel"

Back in '61, when 'The Heel' was first released, June and Johnny had yet to meet and country audiences could still handle wild, rollicking, Wurlitzer-driven novelty tracks like this one. 'Heel' briefly flirts with the idea of becoming a murder ballad, but June Carter is too soft hearted and introspective to do in her cheatin' man, bawling that "in my heart's arithmatic / I find it takes two heels to click".

Two years later, Johnny Cash and June Carter had embarked into the ring of fire and one of music's most productive, famous and intense relationships. Johnny would get the lion's share of the fame and recognition; June would be the rock. No knock to the man in black intended, but June's due for a critical reexamination; her over-sixty year career produced more than a few great songs. Here's hoping her newly released collection does the trick; in the meantime, snap up this Tarantino-esque gem, then click some of these links to get more.

Buy "Keep on the Sunny Side", June's exemplary soon-to-be-released two disc greatest hits set, from Amazon.
It's great stuff and a long overdue honor for this country queen.
Download a number of other classic tracks by June from her official website.
Read more about June from the House of Cash website and on this fansite.
Learn about The Carters, the first family of bluegrass.

Coping with a rotten heel.


Merle Haggard - "Roly Poly"

Some songs never fail to get a grin out of me; this is definitely one of them. Originally written and performed by Bob Wills and his band, The Texas Playboys, 'Roly Poly' is not entirely dissimilar to Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely"; the proud parent seems simply floored by the vitality of his youngster and Daddy's enthusiasm is catchy.

Hard to believe, but this cut is thirty-five years old, hailing from a time when the Okie from Muskogee had still yet to receive a pardon for his past transgressions. For a man as grizzled as Merle to sound so honeycomb sweet... well, that's talent. This is likely to be the nicest song you listen to over and over for the next three days, so go ahead and pull up a chair and get comfy.

You'd have to be half-nuts to buy Merle's out-of-print "A Tribute To The Best Damn Fiddle Player In The World: Or, My Salute To Bob Wills" from Amazon; prices start at sixty nine bucks for the CD and go up from there. I imagine a decent used record store is your best bet, but those of you with a turntable (just got a new one myself!) can buy a copy of the LP from EBay for only four bucks.

Don't let the price gouging fool you into dismissing this; it's an absolutely essential album, packed with some knockout country swing.
Read the Merle Haggard Onion interview or this one, from Dallas Music Guide.
Visit Merle's official site.
Learn more about Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys.
Read the AMG Haggard profile.
Save the Rolypoly

Hey there Mister Big Shot Audioblogger, Where Have YOU Been?

On the grind.
Working hard at the new gig.
Eating well.
Seeing something like eighteen shows since last we spoke; everything from Lady SOV to Uncle Earl, Charanga Cakewalk to Cocorosie, Jim White to Goapele, Balkan Beat Box to Lesley Gore.
Listening to dozens of discs.
Maybe a dozen films too: In the Realms of the Unreal, Grizzly Man, The Singing Detective, the exceptionally shitty War of the Worlds.
Got started on the giddily fun Psychonauts.
Saw some Shakespeare.
Lotsa girl time.
Wrote a yet to be posted piece for Salon on R. Kelly and six album reviews for Jazz Times magazine, including one on Ry Cooder's highly overrated Chavez Ravine.
Getting soused for the first time in a long time with a cantankerous, brilliant sumbitch.
Meeting with the fine folk of ILM.
Feeling my head spin and swell when I saw that, even without updating for two weeks, Th' Hut turned out our half-millionth customer some time ago.
Cleaning out an inbox with two hundred and fifty relevant messages.
Emotionally and mentally prepping myself for the big old 3-0, which will happen TOMORROW (birthday wishes are welcome).

But mostly recharging and a little bit of this.

Today is Liz Phair and a pile of work and a busy life after the late night. Today is the first post of the rest of my life. Today is me saying: Hi.

Hope I didn't keep you waiting.

whole lotta spiffy

Just afore I signed off for a bit, I compiled a pile of spiffy. This is the most of it; quite a lot of it is old (which is to say it's made the rounds) but I like to think there's still a few gems in this dark loam. Happy spelunking!

Vintage Wedding Photographs
Professional animator/designer/sculptor Peter König's site offers an impressive portfolio of creepy crawlies.
Le Building is an eccentric, fun and inspired mini-movie.
This collection of '70's NYC club photos has already made its way all over the web; but I remain amazed at the dionysian revelry of the City's glory days. Ah, for a pre-AIDS party scene with a Moroder soundscape thumping in the background... them were golden times, I imagine.
I know I'm a geek for caring, but how come the internet hasn't beeen buzzing about this Final Fantasy VII CGI movie? This was the last FF that really OWNED me; Cloud, Aeris, Cid and Barrett are like old friends... any hope of a US release on this?
More GemSweater fun.
Props to Danyel; her new novel Bliss is done dropped. Those of you who'd like to play fictional fly-on-the-wall with musical high-rollers should cop this Harlequinized inside scoop.

And speaking of naked cartwheels...
One of the great things about the internet is that if you ever wondered what, say, a multi-piece papier-mache diorama of a unicorn orgy would look like, someone has already gone to the trouble for you.
Worst pun of the year award: "I chose unicorns for a reason--to make a point."
I'll be wobbling through these in a bit, but I figured I'd share with those of you Francophiles and polylinguists who could get a jump on my fumbling: dig on this mostly-new-to-me French collection of audioblogs.

And while you're at it, when was the last time you looked in on the Grandaddy and the main inspiration for my own obsessive audioblog archiving : good ol' EC Brown has updated his page with new art and new sites from across the web.
Daft Punk's 'Technologic' performed by robot dogs.
Belated condolences to London Lee over at Number One Songs in Heaven who recently lost his father. Lee posted a touching remembrance on the page; stop by and pay your respects.
(Link temporarily down; love to London regardless.)
Now THIS is disturbing.
Also available in mini.
If you really MUST know what's going on here, click this; for myself, I prefer to pretend that it's a Jim Woodring dream made flesh.
The Online Stax Museum
24 hours of music with Mark Harp.
He's not kidding; that's a full nonstop day of his music up there. Worth a listen, if not twenty four hours worth.
I rather like the new Fischerspooner and Röyksopp singles; go ahead and give 'em a try.
PORTAL, New Jersey.
The video on the website is down, but Milk and Cookies is johnny-on-the-spot.
This stuff makes 'LIGHTNING BOLT' seem socially acceptable.
My favorite wikipedia articles are the ones that doggedly embrace the quixotic; what could be more of a fool's errand (and more fun) than The Archive of Fictional Things.

But what's this? So few fictional cows? Get cracking, you ersatz bovin-ologists! Show some gumption!
"Oh my Goodness! Becky, look at her bible!"
Um, if Southpaw is supposed to be THAT evangelical, how did he come to be so intimately familar with "Baby Got Back"?
That "yawn-arm-around-the-shoulder" maneuver=you're going to hell.
"And if you're catholic? There's even more."
mp3act is a bit too technical for this poor lam3r to figure out; anybody want to tell me if it's worth my learning a few new tricks?

And while you're at it, anybody want to recommend a good remote listening program for iTunes so I don't have to bring a portable drive with me wherever I go?
Lord knows that taking potshots at Miss Martha Originals African-American Collectibles is all too easy, but OH that ad copy; even Anne Geddes would find this pap nauseating.

If the meandering non-sequiturs, the mind-wobbling cutsey-isms or the simply bizarre captions don't do it for you, the occasional egregious double entendre should.
And now:
Finding Nemo On Ice.

"But how are you going to explain what these fish are doing on ice? Isn't that going to kill them? What if the actors accidentally fall down? Fish don't fall down!"

"I wouldn’t be surprised to find out it was “Finding Nemo on Ice” that inspired Thornton Wilder to remark, “The theater is supremely fitted to say: Behold! These things are.” These things being giant mutant fish with legs"

"the placement of the fishe's eyes on the breastplates of the costumes coming in for particularly adult criticism from the folks wandering about during intermission."

"The fun-filled family adventure features a kaleidoscope of scenic elements, visuals, costumes and musical numbers ranging from a classical jellyfish ballet to monkfish getting jiggy."

"Nemo found...on ice!"

(both of the above via snarkymalarkey, who is pretty consistently good for a laugh)

And speaking of watersports, who wouldn't love an R. Kelly Golden Showerhead?
Beats a trucker bomb hot tub, no doubt.
Bobby Yang: Rock Violinist.
His much circulated Star Spangled Banner video really won me over; wouldn't mind seeing this guy if he ever finds his way up to New York.
He's certainly America's Biggest SOMETHING.
This has GOT to be a joke of some sort, right? A play on Brent's Freelove Freeway, certainly? Please?
Audioblog networkers/online music sharers/all-around nice folks Dirty on Purpose have been amassing good press and building up a devoted audience as of late; if you haven't had a chance to see 'em live and you've a taste for melodic shoegazer pop with a bit of distortion to rough the edges, check em out.
Man, I love The Perry Bible Fellowship, even if there are a few strips I don't quite get.
My big city Hut folk should keep a constant eye on Flavorpill; it's long been an excellent source for info as to where the show's at this weekend. If ya didn't know, it's indispensible.
Nippop: no music, but an excellent primer to the world of Japanese pop, indie, punk and rock.
Lordy sweet jesus; talk about a time-waster: TV Ark offers what looks to be HUNDREDS of old-school television clips, ranging from kids shows to Doctor Who to PBS promos. The emphasis is on British channels, but there's a lovely selection of US TV to page through as well; ah, memories.
Bald guy gets gully, yo.



FORKSCLOVETOFU SEZ: Anthony Miccio is a poprocka and th' Hut's expert on all things big, radio-friendly and glistening that might otherwise escape our more rockist readers earholes.
Anthony dispenses wisdom and choice bon mots at Anthony is Right.

Smashmouth - "Your Man"

A touring musician wrestles with the devotion of a lover back home that he doesn't deserve, possibly because he's a member of Smashmouth. Frustration, confusion, anger, gratitude - all supported by a dramatic build-up of power chords, dance beats, keyb bleeps and Christmas bells. For such an emotionally varied tale, the track is oddly compact, like they thought they might be able to make a hit out of this subject matter. They may well have: "Walkin' On The Sun" was able to critique crackheads and the commodification of sixties culture, while "All Star" contains a verse that dances across the thermometer, successfully celebrating and warning of both extreme heat and cold. As it wasn't a single, "Your Man" is not among the twenty (twenty!) tracks included on their upcoming greatest hits album, but I certainly can't think of twenty superior songs in their discography.

Buy the album, Smashmouth, which features "Your Man (not to mention, "I'm A Believer!")
According to the band's website, the band has recorded a new album with the producer of the Killers that 'features an aggressive sound that harkens back to their multi-platinum debut, 'Fush Yu Mang.' The return of ska-pop??? The end of family movie soundtracks??? Only time will tell.
What DO people who listen to Smashmouth listen to?


Tongue twisting South African mbaqanga from Abafana Baseqhudeni. Believe me, with a name like Smuckers, it's GOT to be good and WHOO BOY this stuff is GOOD.


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