Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"The Walkmen Are An Indie Rock Band"

YACHT "Summer Song"

YACHT - Summer Song from Jona Bechtolt on Vimeo
Nothing like a little frame story to enable you to get away with a real low budget video. Also, for some reason, I find the guy who plays the "video company boss" or whatever to be oddly charming. Someone get him in a bit part in a Wes Anderson film.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Serge Gainsbourg "La Javanaise"

I've had this song sitting on my computer desktop, waiting to post for about two months. So, here it of my favorite early Serge songs. A great mix of chanson and a early 60's girl group, doo-wop sound.

Lyrically the song seems to be about Serge's of the letter "V." The letter, and it's sound, dominate the song. I did a bit a Googling and found one reference to the song being about a trend amongst French teenagers to add additional v's to words. A bit like a few years back when everyone was adding "-izza" to everything.

Watch serge sing the song, hold the cigarette, but never smoke it. Amazing. I'm pretty anti-smoking, but I'll be damned if he doesn't make it look so fucking cool.

Download Serge Gainsbourg "La Javanaise"

Squeeze "Argybargy"

In honor of Squeeze's impending "reunion" (only a sorta reunion...its only Glen Tillbrook and Chris Jools Holland...sigh) show at the Showbox on September 16th, I purchased the painfully excessive double disc version of their finest album Argybargy.

But why a TWO DISC version of an LP that is 3.99 or less in every Half Price Books in the US? Quite simply because it's the ONLY version of this album on CD, a fact that is fully absurd. Can't get an LP on yr iPod...well, okay, you CAN. But I can't.

There are probably no better pop singles of the era than "Pulling Muscles (From a Shell)", "Another Nail in My Heart" and "If I Didn't Love You", the latter of which contains on of my favorite lyrics of all time ("Singles remind me of kisses/Albums remind me of plans"). Some of the other tracks can be a bit clunky, but on the whole I find the album quite a bit more charming than the "singles and filler" clusterfuck that was Cool For Cats or the Argybargy follow-up, East Side Story.

This expanded edition of the album has a cracking live show on the bonus disc (if you want it you'll just have to shell out the bucks for it...not everything in life is free internet-mooch), which has me fully excited to see the band in just under a month. Well, not too excited. I know better than to get my hopes up lest I be shocked into a coma when gaggle of middle-aged men lurch onto stage. But, if they play "Vicky Verky", I'll probably scream.

Download Squeeze Argybargy Disc #1 (Original Album + Bonus Tracks)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Joki Freund "Yogi Jazz"

I don't like jazz much, as a rule. And the jazz that I do like tends to fall into two distinct categories.

The first category includes reocrds that go "Bomp BOMP Zing WHIZZZZZZ HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOnKKKKKKKkkKkKkkK! Shhhuuuuuuuuufffflelele SSSSSSsssSSShuuuuufflffflffle...Crack Crack Crack BANG!" You know, the kind of thing you listen to once and then file away in the iTunes only to have it either #1. pop up unexpectedly; scaring the crap out of you while you are trying to read or #2. pop up unexpectedly while you are doing the dishes and mix really well with the sounds of the wet dishes clinking together.

The other category is what I like to call "Charlie Brown" jazz. Basically light jazz that wouldn't sound out of place in an animated film about 1950's Paris.

So why in the world I own this piece of rare 1960's German jazz? Quite simply, it comes down to one factor: Jonny Trunk.

Jonny Trunk operates a small cult record label in London called, appropriately enough, Trunk Records. I adore this label and feverishly gobble up everything it releases, from horror film soundtracks to BBC Radiophonics to airy folk. But my most treasured records from the label tend to be these odd bits of British Jazz that toe the line right in between my two favored schools of jazz. Sort of like if Pig Pen played the piano in the Peanuts band instead of Schroeder.

This album was featured on Trunk's "Recommended" page in April with the following praise: "There is no way on earth I am ever going to get a real one of these Lps, so when I heard the Japanese had issued it on compact disc I went and got one. And very pleased I am too. Not only does it have one of the great, iconic jazz sleeves but it has to be one of the great, faultless sessions ever recorded. It's the unexpected rhythms that get me here."

And, as it was the only one of his recommendations that month that I could easily find, I bought it. And here it is.

RE-UPPED HERE: Download Joki Freund Yogi Jazz

Download Joki Freund Yogi Jazz

Something Else Mix #2

A unique and decidedly mopey mix featuring: "OMGZ THAT ZOMBIES SONG FROM THAT RUSHMORE-GUY'S MOVIE ABOUT BEING UNDERWATER!", a maybe more beautiful version of an already beautiful song, my favorite vocalist of all time, a song of calm, groovy 60's country, one of Dylan's simplest and most elegant lyrics rendered with a bit of soul, a Spiritualized song that repeats the same thing over and over and over an what's with that because it gets better everytime, a song deceptively simple from my favorite record as a child, "I heard and old girlfriend/has turned to the church/she's trying to replace me/but it will never work", a great song with a better title, soul/lounge explosion (or as much as something like that can explode), my 100&, all-time favorite "loser" song, the best song on my least favorite B&S album, and a song displaying an almost depressing level of devotion.

1. The Zombies "The Way I Feel Inside"
2. Jens Lekman "A Little Lost" (Arthur Russell Cover)
3. Scott Walker "Duchess"
4. Bill Fay "Be Not So Fearful"
5. Porter Wagoner "Lonely Comin' Down"
6. Rod Stewart "Mama, You Been On My Mind" (Bob Dylan Cover)
7. Spiritualized "Baby I'm Just A Fool"
8. Harry Nilsson "Think About Your Troubles"
9. Pulp "Bad Cover Version"
10. Beulah "My Horoscope Said It Would Be A Bad Year"
11. The Sapphires "Let's Break Up For A While"
12. Frank & Nancy Sinatra "Somethin' Stupid"
13. Belle & Sebastian "Don't Leave The Light On Baby"
14. Eef Barzelay "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" (Live) (Ink Spots Cover)

Download Something Else Mix #2 (M4A version for iTunes with artwork and chapter titles) here.

Download Something Else Mix #2 (MP3 version with artwork) here.

Monday, August 4, 2008

R.I.P. Solzhenitsyn

By reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in the 11th grade I learned about the limitless tenacity of the human spirit and that I can write a 15 page essay in one night if I have to.

Thanks man.