Tuesday, June 4, 2013

covers I would love to hear.

Low - "Detachable Penis" (King Missile) (with Mimi singing) (just kidding) Naked City or some other John Zorn group -- "Man in the Street" (the Skatalites) Björk -- "Dreams" (the Cranberries) Tom Waits & Marianne Faithfull -- "Fairytale of New York" (the Pogues) Tomahawk -- "Spoonman" (Soundgarden) Rod Stewart -- "4'33''" (John Cage)* Posthumous/Post-breakup Ones: Stan Kenton and His Orchestra -- "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Queen)** Morphine -- "Money For Nothing" (Dire Straits) Mr. Bungle -- "MacArthur Park" (Jimmy Webb) *Epilog: now that I've thought about this one, it's comical because I'm saying I want Rod Stewart to shut up, but he's already weaseled his ugly little fingers in too many artistically relevant pies, and I'd rather he not think any more highly of himself. **Kenton & his orchestra were the ones who came up with the "Wall of Sound" phrase and idea -- I was originally going to have "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" as the song I wanted to hear them play, but I don't think that old nut Phil Spector gave them due credit for the conceptual Wall, so they shouldn't be paying tribute to his work.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

back to coherency, not nec. to mass appeal

First, I want to thank whoever marked "crazy", "sexy" AND "cool" on the post below. YES! I needed that!!!! You been listenin' to TLC?

Speaking of TLC, I realized something while listening to Slayer. It's a clear illustration of the distinction between good music (objective) and appealing music (subjective):

Thrash is basically hardcore with more talent, but I will always enjoy hardcore more - even when thrash is more intense. Thrash metal is great, black metal is great, grindcore is great, but for me it just doesn't get any better than true-blue hardcore punk rock. Bad Brains, the Minutemen, F-Minus, Black Flag, early Hüsker Dü...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nev@r f0rgetteth that "Wisdom in the Woods"* was written to the tune of "Favorite Mistake" by Sheryl Crow.


*a funked-up uke tune I wrote on my mission

Thursday, February 9, 2012

because why not

you get a draft from over 2 years ago:

Sidney Poitier is the MAN.

My favorite In the Heat of the Night moments:

(1) when Poitier offers that humanistic little laugh while the convict in jail is telling him about a girl;

(2) when the guy in the greenhouse slaps him and Poitier immediately slaps him back harder.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I didn't make this, but it rules.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ambiguous/amorphous longing may be better said as...


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

you know when you have a blog and you feel like putting something on it but have nothing productive to say so you post inane crap like misheard lyrics

Now you're in Neeeeeewwwww Yooooooooooooooooork
Concrete jungle wet dream tomaaaaaaaaaaaatoooo
There's nothin' you can't do...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I'VE LOST MY MOJO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Rare gratitude for TV

I'm watching the Africa Channel. Currently on is a program about female leaders from various African countries meeting together, and joining forces with American doctors and philanthropists, to improve quality of life for (and save the lives of) African people. There have been previews of a show about African influence in black American music and even clips of an African soap opera.

In a time of year that's bloated with smiley, saccharine, Anglo-Saxon commercialism, discovering this channel has been not just a breath, but lungful after lungful of fresh air.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Often black people, especially non-gay folk, become enraged when they hear a white person who is gay suggest homosexuality is synonymous with the suffering people experience as a consequence of racial exploitation and oppression. The need to make gay experience and black experience of oppression synonymous seems to be one that surfaces much more in the minds of white people. Too often it is a way of minimizing or diminishing the particular problems people of color face in a white supremacist society, especially the problems ones encounter because they do not have white skin. Many of us have been in discussions where a non-white person – a black person – struggles to explain to white folks that while we can acknowledge that gay people of all colors are harassed and suffer exploitation and domination, we also recognize that there is a significant difference that arises because of the visibility of dark skin…most people of color have no choice. No one can hide, change or mask dark skin color. White people, gay and straight, could show greater understanding of the impact of racial oppression on people of color by not attempting to make these oppressions synonymous, but rather by showing the ways they are linked and yet differ. Concurrently, the attempt by white people to make synonymous experience of homophobic aggression with racial oppression deflects attention away from the particular dual dilemma that non-white gay people face, as individuals who confront both racism and homophobia.
— bell hooks

Monday, November 21, 2011

Janelle Monae M.I.A. Lykke Li Santigold Bat For Lashes Sia

Sometimes I don't end up digging a song/artist everyone raves about until years after the explosion. If and when I do, the wonderful thing is that I've got legions of faces of people I know smiling in my head, waiting together in solidarity, waiting for me to join them and dance a little. Case in point: Santigold. And, a little earlier, Bob Dylan (yes, I am a songwriter-guitarist who went years without caring at all for Bob Dylan).

Music is one of the big things that defines a generation. It's nice to let music periodically connect me to my own generation, a generation from whom I often feel so utterly detached.

cf: this

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

a new favorite artist.

I admire many established musical heroes. At the same time, I'm strongly drawn to current artists who reimagine and destroy and rebuild what the legends did. That said, my apologies to Dana Colley, Ralph Carney, Clinton McKinnon, John Lurie, Tia Fuller, John Zorn, Ornette, Rahsaan, Coltrane... my new favorite saxophonist is Colin Stetson. Even if you don't care for the sax, hear me out.

I discovered him just today.. through Tom Waits, of course. I learned that Stetson, not enduring Waits favorite Ralph Carney, contributed his sax to Waits' Blood Money (even the lovely clarinet solo on "All the World is Green"). I looked him up. Skepticism ensued because of his appearance and the fact that his name is Colin rather than Sonny or Vince or something with 'bone' in it. He has played with Arcade Fire. Big-time, but not my thing. I read that he had solo albums, so I peeped a piece called "Judges". I liked it, but thought it was dense electronic music. Then I found a video of him doing a La Blogothèque Take-Away Show. He warmed up, then played "Judges" again - exactly as I'd heard it the first time. My whole head woke up.

It was a human voice. A mutant human voice from a colossal bass saxophone. It screeched like a downtuned, distressed Diamanda Galás. It jumped among plaintive ostinato lines and otherworldly percussive tick-tacking and high-register melodies with the grace of Bobby McFerrin. I couldn't believe it was one guy with one horn. I also couldn't believe he didn't faint at the end of each phrase. But there he was, the same guy with the high-and-tight and the Ed Hardy-looking shirt, not so much playing as reciting epics, as breathing pained, cinematic fire.

I'm not into prescriptivism, so I won't say you HAVE TO check him out. But if you want to know what drives me, then do it.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

I can't believe I found this


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I was pretty sure I hated the Dave Matthews Band since I was about 12.

But you know when one line from a song you heard a lot in previous years - but perhaps only peripherally paid attention to - gets in your head and you become DETERMINED to figure out what it is? That's happened with several songs lately that turned out to be DMB tunes. So I gave them another listen. They bring back good memories of all kinds of things: elementary school, innocence in general, my sister Hilary and her friends hanging out at the house, my old pals the Willises, not having an aversion to the radio...

And come on, objectively they're pretty talented.

Don't get me wrong here. I've usually been one of those people who rolls his eyes at the very notion that Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews and others of that ilk have so many fans while talented singers WITHOUT frogs in their throats struggle. But Dave Matthews seems like such a nice guy in interviews, and while his vocal style is most assuredly not my favorite, there's nothing at all inherently wrong with the music he and the band became famous for.


P.S. that's a couple more ALL-CAPS WORDS than I normally type for fear of coming across like an annoying person...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

what's my name

This dog looks a little bit too much like Snoop Dogg for its own good.

It belongs to the sister of an acquaintance of Adrienne's.

I hope it becomes an internet meme.