Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October- Mary & Paul "Under The Covers"

"Under the Covers" is a collection of favorite cover tunes from Paul & Mary Mena. Some are classics, some more obscure; some faithful homages to the original, and still others hilarious send-ups. What they have in common is that they are all great music. Enjoy!

M: 1) I Would Die 4 U (Mariachi El Bronx) A sometimes hardcore punk/sometimes mariachi band from LA covering the Prince classic but truly making it their own song.

P: 2) Gimme Some Money (Gories) Leave it to Detroit's before-it-was-trendy garage band to cover none other than Spinal Tap. My thanks to WMBR's James Dean Deathcar Experience for unearthing this one.

M: 3) Smells Like Teen Spirit (Los Straightjackets) This frenzied version of Nirvana's monster hit is covered by my favorite masked instrumental guitar band from Nashville. The cover art for the single is as priceless as the cover song itself.

P: 4) Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Nirvana) Kurt Cobain does a gut-wrenching acoustic interpretation of a Leadbelly blues chestnut.

M: 5) Cold Shot (Dr. John) From the Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan recorded during Austin City Limits in 1995. Kind of a so-so CD but this song really stands out.

P: 6) Downtown Train (Everything But The Girl) Ben Watt and Traci Thorn turn a gritty Tom Waits tune into something serene and magical.

M: 7) Train In Vain (Annie Lennox) How could I not segue from one beautiful train song to the next? Annie Lennox covering The Clash.

P: 8) I Heard it Through the Grapevine (The Slits) The Slits were more than female punk upstarts with dreadlocks - they celebrated their influences with infectious energy and their own unique style.

M: 9) Ring of Fire (Dick Dale) The man in the Hawaiian shirt covers the man in black.

P: 10) Sunglasses After Dark (The Cramps) Only the Cramps could take a revered rockabilly standard by Dwight Pullen and turn it into something twisted and sinister. Needless to say, it's one of my favorite songs.

M: 11) I Saw The Light (Dash Rip Rock) Don't we all need to see the light after a sunglasses-wearing night? Despite their limited discography I somehow always manage to sneak a DRR song onto each CD club compilation, don't I?

P: 12) Disguises (The Jam) I love the way these ultra-serious mod punkers dismiss their idols in the Press while faithfully covering one of their lesser known tunes.

M: 13) Beat On The Brat (U2) U2 are so bombastic and take this song sooo seriously that it makes me I play the song over and over again.

P: 14) Mrs. Robinson (The Lemonheads) Paul Simon wishes he never gave up his hairpiece every time he hears this rollicking rendition.

M: 15) Season of the Witch (Luna) A song from yet another movie....Luna covers the Donovan hit from the soundtrack of "I Shot Andy Warhol".

P: 16) Going Going Gone (Richard Hell & the Voidoids) I'm not much of a Dylan fan, so it's somewhat ironic that I like this messy cover as much as I do.

M: 17) Sloop John B (Me First and the Gimme Gimmes) I must admit that I first heard this band during WBCN's final hours of broadcasting this summer. They played this Beach Boys cover along with the Me First rendition of Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Morning Coming Down". Both songs blew me away.

P: 18) Try a Little Tenderness (The Von Bondies) Even though "C'Mon C'Mon" is a great song, this hidden track is the best cut on "Pawn Shoppe Heart"

M: 19) I Can't Help Falling in Love With You (Eels) For better or worse this song has been done by Elvis, UB40, Doris Day, Bob Dylan, Pearl Jam and Clay Aiken, just to name a few. This is a really beautiful and simple little version...Just "E" and his piano.

P: 20) Pale Blue Eyes (REM) Michael Stipe and company show their love for the Velvet Underground with this delicate, countrified arrangement.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

September- Chandler "Golddiggers of 2009"

Allright, Sept 30th- I feel like I'm cramming for finals! Wish I had some speed...

Decided to go mainly with recent discoveries this trip, though in many cases new tracks by old faves; totally new discoveries for me this year include Jenny Scheinman, Dressy Bessy, and David Mead...

1. The Real Ambassador; Never knew an album existed by Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, and Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross until a week or so ago -apparently, this was some sort of liberal musical spearheaded by Brubeck (also features Carmen McCrae on a couple things, and at a couple other cuts I particularly dug, “They Say I Look Like God” and especially “Since Love Had It's Way”.) I suppose everybody knows Brubeck and Louis; the first Lambert Hendricks and Ross album, “The Hottest New Group in Jazz”, is my favorite, esp. “Sermonette” and “Cloudburst”, and apparently it has been re-released with some extra cuts (just 5 on itunes -yup. Itunes sucks -but a whopping 29 on the infinitely superior emusic, though in double album format.) You've got to pick and choose here, though, and try to remember that scat singing, in the person of these guys, King Pleasure, Betty Carter, Les Double Six, Ella, and very few others, once had real promise, most of which was decisively dashed by their modern successors. (Sort of like you can't blame Stevie Wonder for the horrifying school of vocalizing he founded that currently rages out of control, because he's still great, and how could he know it would lead to Mariah Carey?)

2. Prank Calls; Kelly Stoltz, a discovery of my nephew's, seems so far to be pretty much a one hit wonder, but he's still young, so you never know.

3. Wild Prarie Art; Paulette is a friend, and a true, hilarious, crazy genius -she used to have tons of stuff up on her website,, but now apparently just a lone best-of collection on CDBaby -don't “Liquor Store”, “I Like Coke”, “Shut the Fuck Up”, and especially “Chequessett Forever”, the latter featuring one of the most astounding vocal performances of all time. Paulette's a particularly great lyricist, so 30 second samples don't really do her justice, dammit.

4. My Fair Lady; Half of the Bird and the Bee is Inara George, Lowell George's daughter; their other great song is “My Love”

5. Hey May; Dressy Bessy have the world's worst name, plus they come from Denver, but, though they're a little hit or miss, I found a whole album's worth of great stuff from their catalog, and recommend them particularly to Muffs fans everywhere, and vice versa.

6. Your Wife and Mother; The Virtues and the Ambassadors -are they really two groups? It makes sense, because this song almost made me drive off the road when I heard it, and is probably too powerful to be performed by just one nadn (though my band, the Philharmonic, sure has a good time trying.) Got this off a series of Bluebeat compilations courtesy of my great old friend Mad Dog Hart, the Bully of Broadcasting.

7. Whither The Invisible Birds?; Deerhoof rule!

8. Dangerous Tools; Frances Baskerville, aka the Singing Psychic -a few years ago, my pal Keith Spring came up with some great videos from the Daily Show of the Singing Psychic, and more recently he found a bunch of stuff up on the WFMU blog, which is always an excellent source for completely out there shit, and you can't get much further out there than Frances.

9. Whatcha Gonna Do "Bout It; Doris Troy- had to get this one off vinyl from her debut album on Atlantic, which is choice right through; sorry about the skip! Other great cuts: “Lazy Days” and of course “Just One Look”.

10. The Highway's Coming; Tommy Womack -don't know much about this guy, except that this is from a live-in-the-studio collection, and my wife has had it on repeat for about two weeks.

11. Dododo (Ekassa No. 1); Sir Victor Uwaifo & His Melody Maestros -you got me; another emusic discovery.

12. Beautiful Lover; Terry Adams is a longtime musical mentor, my favorite pianist in the world, and the mastermind behind one of my favorite bands, NRBQ (sadly defunct at present); quick, buy everything (well, maybe not literally, as they've got out tons and it's a very broad and indulgent range) -just listen, they're amazing, and this new album, “Holy Tweet”, is a swell listen right through. DO NOT pass up any chance to see him do anything live.

13. Come On Down; I guess Jenny Scheinman is mainly known as a violinist sometimes associated with Bill Frisell; I much prefer her one album of singer/songwriter stuff, mostly for her concise, unpretentious singing style.

14. Gee Baby; The first time we went to the old NRBQ house in Saugerties, about forty years ago (jesus!), Terry turned me on to this, plus King Pleasure, Monk, and a bunch of Jerry Lee and Beach Boys stuff I'd missed somehow. The song re-surfaced again this year for some reason, and we (the CTP) ended up covering it, which is a ton of fun. Thanks, Opie!

15. Kuu Lei; The Kalaama Quartet is again courtesy of Mad Dog Hart, off an album called “Hilo Hulas- 1930's Hawaiian Steel Guitar” that is a delightful surprise right through.

16. New Mexico; David Mead is a ridiculously good, high singer; a little slick, but “Chatterbox”, the album before his latest, is a good listen right through, and the others have some lovely moments.

17. Aquas De Marco; I got turned on to Elis Regina by my friend Tad Price, who one day turned up out of nowhere with 15 home-burnt Brazilian compilations -boy, was I glad to see him! Brazilian stuff has become a real passion for me, and I'd particularly recommend Marisa Monte and Caetano Veloso as well.

18. Comunhao; And Nelson Angelo Y Joyce, both well-respected solo artists in Brazil -this one's from the seventies collaboration, and was stumbled upon by my fake son, Fakey.

19. Celery Stalks Along the Highway; I've most often seen this song by the Will Bradley Orchestra featuring Ray McKinley called “Celery Stalks at Midnight”, but McKinley, the drummer, definitely shouts out “Celery stalks along the highway” at one point (which he supposedly did spontaneously in place of a 2 bar drum solo. They had a wonderful band together (Bradley was a trombonist, I believe), and did the original version of the Rolling Stones' “Down the Road A Piece”, as well as another one I always loved called “Rockabye the Boogie (Put the Eight Beat To Bed)”, and this one, which I also hope to cover someday. (By the way, there's a great animated abstract cartoon of this somewhere.)

20. Ana Eco; Jenny Scheinman, this time on violin. I usually don't care for solo violinists much, but I love great string arranging, and this is a beauty, off one of her instrumental albums.

21. I Used To Fly In My Dreams; Boatclub is my friend Tom Carns' band from Oakland, CA, and this, their debut, I believe, is a great album, full of surprises and mostly a lot more rockin' than this.

22. Something You Can't Return To; Jon Brion has done some great production and soundtrack work, including “Magnolia”, one of my favorite movies of all time, and “Synecdoche, NY”, which can be kind of a struggle to watch but is well worth it and full of its own kind of magic; there's some other good tracks on this one as well.

23. Timetakesthetimetakes (edit); I know absolutely nothing about Peder, as I haven't gotten around to following up on this track yet; Keith discovered them as well.

Loving all the music, everybody! (well, a lot of it, anyway...) Keep 'em coming!

ps By the way, sorry for burning this in itunes -sometimes I'm just plain lazy. Long liner notes, tho, huh?

pps And if you're in the mood for something really quiet and boring, check out my new solo album, “After She Left”.

Friday, August 7, 2009


"Kindly do the Needful"
I've been living and working in Bangalore, India for a year now. The English spoken here is rooted in British English, and also adopts some of the grammatical flourishes and phrasing of Hindi and more regional languages (there are a ton of them). The result is a number of cute linguistic idiosyncrasies. One thing I have found in Indian English is that it tends to be a bit more indirect. Written Indian English also has a lot of random capitalizations, like "Please pass the Rice and daal, Avinash".

"Kindly do the Needful" is a common signoff for an email, which is essentially a polite way of saying "Get your shit done".

So anyway, here's the playlist.

1. Carter Burwell - "Way out there"
This is from an opening sequence of one of my all-time favorite comedies, "Raising Arizona". I figured that this little shot of bluegrass adrenaline, which I thought was awesome when I was 10 and still do 17 years later, definitely deserves the opening spot.

2. Old 97's - "Melt Show"
This is from their album "Too Far to Care", which is a really good album full of the nervous energy and earnest longing in this tune. I like the guitars on this one a lot - they're raucous yet still manage to keep it tight.

3. Max Tundra - "The Enternatinment"
Max is one of my favorite electronica musicians. He puts out an album every half-decade or so, on account of the fact that he writes all of his stuff on a Commodore Amiga (ie: olllld school, I love the transition on this piece from schmaltzy glitch-pop to East European dance anthem. Max's 2002 album "Mastered by the guy at the Exchange" is one of my all-time favorites.

4. Unkown - "Light my mall on fire"
I recorded this on a digital voice recorder from a podcast on malls by RadioLab, which is one of my favorite programs.

5. My Bloody Valentine - "Map Ref 41n 93W"
This is a cover of a great Wire song - actually the only Wire song I've heard. The lyrics of this are fantastic. This is what Graham Lewis, who I'm guessing wrote the song, had to say about it: "There's actually a place called something like Centretown, Iowa [referring to the coordinates]. The song is about travelling. I flew from L.A. to New York in 1978 and crossed the mid-west, and it went on and on and on and on. It was just incredible that this grid system was imposed on an enormous stretch of land. The other verse refers to travelling through Holland, by road, seeing all the dykes which is another grid system. 'Curtains undrawn' -- seeing these blocks of flats, like dolls houses with people sitting in them all day with curtains undrawan. It's a travelogue." MBV's version is cool and bathes you in that swooshing guitar sound Kevin Shields made up.

6. The Charlatans UK - "Tellin' Stories"
Sophomore year of high school, 1997. My friends rocked out to STP, Bush and the Butthole Surfers, but I was way into Britpop - I'm talking Blur, Cast, Hurricane #1, and these dudes.

7. Guitar interlude
I don't know who this is - it was wedged between several gigs of music that my friend put on my computer as a backup for his music library.

8. Juana Molina - "Solo su voz"
A piece of Juana Molina's was used as background music for another RadioLab podcast on sperm. Turns out she was a successful Argentinian commedienne who had her own show TV show for a few years, and then dropped out to pursue music, which was her real interest in the first place. The music's kind of weird, though, so a lot of Argentinians scratched their heads at the decision. This is among the more straightforward of her songs, and I have no idea what she's singing about, but it doesn't matter, does it?

9. Jorge Ben - "O Namorado Da Viuva"
I worked at a nonprofit in Boston, and at one point helped manage a big gala (well, big for us) for the organization. The night was to be capped off with dancing by a live band - except the band got in a huge fight just before they were to go on stage and broke up on the spot. I kind of freaked out, and luckily my dad happened to be attending the event, and he ran over to Borders and picked up a half dozen Latin-themed dance mixes, one of which included this song. As it turned out, no one wanted to dance anyway, so there you go.

10. Jens Lekman - "Kanske Ar Jag Kar I Dig"
I don't love this guy, but I like him, and the breakdown at the end of this track is kickass.

11. Bobby Valentino - "Come touch me"
My younger brother is a DJ, composes and sells hip-hop beats, and most importantly is my guide to contemporary hip-hop and R&B. He's responsible for this one and a few others on this mix. I love the beat on this one.

12. Dazz Band - "Let it whip"
The first of two TV ad-inspired tracks on the mix, this one is from a Reese's commercial.

13. Bunny Wailer - "Cool runnings"
It's summer, right?

14. Andrew Bird - "Fitz & Dizzyspells"
Don't know much of this fellow except that he's a master whistler. Just a nice pop song here.

15. Beach Boys - "Child is the father of the man"
I've got a thing for crazy studio perfectionists like Brian Wilson and Kevin Shields, yet a lot of my favorite stuff of theirs are the rough cuts and outtakes, because they showcase all the creativity these guys had to offer without the pretence or the ultimately destructive obsessiveness with capturing the right sound. They already had it.

16. Brian Eno - "The Big Ship"
This one makes my heart swell. It makes me think of every major hello and goodbye I've had.

17. Fleet Foxes - "Blue Ridge Mountains"
These guys are pretty big now, and I expect that many of you have already heard them. This one is for those who don't yet know them, because Fleet Foxes is the real deal. This is from their first album, which is amazing and my favorite album of the last year. If I played an instrument, I would have already started a Fleet Foxes cover band. Seriously. Oh, and they kill live, too. They're like CSNY if those dudes could actually sing in tune on stage. I hope this link works, it's from a performance of their song "Mykonos" on Saturday Night Live:

18. Department of Eagles - "No one does it like you"
The opening sequence sounds like it was recorded in an airplane hanger. That's all I need to say.

19. Marlena Shaw - "California Soul"
Yes, you have heard this before. It's from a Dockers commercial.

20 & 21. J. Dilla - "Stop" and "Don't cry"
Dilla's one of the big-time hip-hop producers whose reputation has only grown since he died of lupus a few years back. These tracks are from the last album he recorded, mostly made from his hospital bed. This guy lived for music.

22. Alice Russell - "Hurry on now"
I like everything about this song - the horns, the hooks, the vocals, giving in to the devil, the ghostly strings at the close.

23. D'Angelo - "Africa"
Been hearing about D'Angelo for years, so I bought his 2000 album "Voodoo" recently. It's a slow burner, and it's taken some time for me to get used to a songwriter not interested in cramming as many ideas in a measure as he possibly can, but it's worth sticking with.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


all i want is you Barry Louis Polisar Juno Soundtrack
I Might Be Wrong Radiohead Amnesiac
Stratford-On-Guy Liz Phair Exile in Guyville
Coconut Grove Lovin' Spoonful Lovin' Spoonful Anthology (LS)
Speak, See, Remember Pavement Terror Twilight
Queen of The Highway The Doors Essential Rarities
Change Blind Melon Blind Melon
Don't Be Shy Pearl Jam Live: 03-03-03 - Tokyo, Japan
My Moon My Man Feist The Reminder
Lay It Down (feat. Anthony Hamilton) Al Green Lay It Down
The Way We Get By Spoon Kill The Moonlight
Gambling Bar Room Blues John Mellencamp The Songs Of Jimmie Rodgers: A Tribut
Army Ben Folds Five The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner
Off The Record My Morning Jacket Z
Flatpicker Blues The Benders The Benders II
I Wanna Be Your Dog Uncle Tupelo 89/93: An Anthology Country
People Get Ready Eva Cassidy
What Light Wilco Sky Blue Sky
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

April- Josh "El Touchy"

1. Louie Louie El Touchy
Opening track to Louie Louie’s 1974 album Touchy. Probably the best one-man band I’ve ever heard, Luis Johnson is an obscure LA musician, screenwriter, and painter. They say he still plays in lounges, country clubs, and restaurants. Maybe one day, we can touch…

2. Dent May & His Magnificent Ukelele Meet Me in the Garden
This guy lives near Oxford, MS. His new album is on rotation at the radio station. This is the only cut that’s really grabbed me so far. I like the “every other Friday” part and the fact that it turns into a Beach Boys song.

3. Lee Hazelwood Tulsa Sunday
This is from 13, the most over-the-top stuff I’ve heard from this consistently over-the-top artist. I’d recommend it for it’s lush production and the absence of the cute spoken introductions that slowly get on your nerves over the course of Trouble is a Lonesome Town.

4. Arthur Russell Hey! How Does Everybody Know?
1951-1992. The wikipedia article on this guy links to the following topics: Oskaloosa, Iowa; Allen Ginsburg; Columbia University; Ezra Pound; minimalism; The Modern Lovers; Talking Heads; Nicky Siano; Gloria Gaynor; no wave; Phillip Glass; Chicago house… Anyhow, this guy was good. Most of his work was in dance music, but last year’s collection, Love is Overtaking Me is mostly in the rock/folk area.

5. Jerry Williams Shipwrecked
Williams is also known as “Swamp Dogg.” The recent anthology of songs written and recorded by this genius is full of stuff like this. He’s been around a long time, and is apparently still going strong. “Shipwrecked” is from 1968.

6. Phil Ochs Half a Century High
“In the tube where I was grown, I was alone.”

7. MV & EE with the Golden Road The Hungry Stones
I like this because it’s basically a Neil Young song. From the recent album Drone Trailer. Somehow, this is the only six minute song I put on this disc, mostly because I didn’t have a longer version of “Walk On By.”

8. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy Hard Life
I’m hoping that putting this song on here will help me quit listening to it. If I could play a clean Bb-maj, I’d sing this to myself every night before bed. This is from the 2003 album, Master and Everyone.

9. ¡¡¡Surprise!!!

10. What It’s All About Girl Talk
OK, when you’ve recognized every sample, send me the list on the back of a postcard. Winner gets a prize. Girl Talk is a DJ.

11. Voltage Hold On I’m Comin’
Rarely, does a garage rock cover really offer anything to the soul original. Then, every once in a while, a Japanese group nails a Sam and Dave song, and it shows up years later on a comp of Japanese garage rock called G.S. I Love You.

12. The Monks I Hate You
Recorded after their 1999 reunion. The band formed when they were all GI’s stationed in Germany. This is no edgier than their mid-60s recordings. Talk about anticipating punk!
13. Xavier Cugat & His Orchestra Music to Watch Girls By
The CD this comes from, a collection of Cugat’s work, fell into my hands one day at WXYC as I was getting ready for my show. I ripped it to my computer but haven’t seen it since. It’s a mystery. I do know that there’s a synthed-up version of this tune called “Music to Watch Space Girls By” on the Leonard Nimoy album, Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space. It is also very good.

14. The Beastie Boys The Sounds of Science
I’m ready for the world to discover the Beastie Boys again. This track comes from their second album and greatest masterpiece, Paul’s Boutique. Among other things, the song features samples from at least two Beatles songs.

15. Miss Abrams & the Strawberry Point 4th Grade Class Floating Away
This is from the CD rerelease of the class’s 1970 self-titled album. Rita Abrams was a folk singer in Boston before she was a school teacher in California. The demo for her first single was cut with kindergarteners, but they were a little to excitable for a real recording session. The kids behind her on the single, “Mill Valley,” were in third grade at the time, but had graduated to the fourth grade by the time they went into the studio for the rest of the tracks. Crazy, right?

16. Love Maybe the People Would be the Times
Or Between Clark and Hilldale
A nice peppy one from Forever Changes.

17. Yo La Tengo Floating Hippo
Didn’t my dad put on so Yo La? They’re just about the best. I was leaning toward their cover of “I’m Your Puppet.” There’s at least three great versions of that song, but I guess I forgot to put it on.

18. Isaac Hayes Walk On By
The version on Hot Buttered Soul clocks in at 12 minutes. This is the single version of the Bacharach standard, originally popularized be Dionne Warwick. I know a woman who doesn’t like Burt Bacharach. She says that I don’t understand because I didn’t live through it. I guess she doesn’t understand pop.

19. Digable Planets (feat. Jazzy Joyce) 9th Wonder (Blackitolism)
Blowout Comb is an incredible hip-hop album. “Dog It” was also up for consideration. 1994.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

March- Tim

No Theme

My ears have been telling me for some time now that I ought not attend events at which amplified sound levels render conversation with a neighbor all but impossible, and I have been tapering off in recent years, skipping a number of shows in local clubs by bands I would have paid to see in the past. (Outdoor shows are a different story, yet the PA system at the new Busch Stadium has me thinking I might have seen my last Cardinals game in person.) When Bruce Springsteen’s tour dates came last summer, though, and St. Louis was on the list, I decided I was good for what might be a final fling.

Bruce and the E Street Band delivered a great show, and on the drive home I decided to retire from live rock’n’roll—and I realized what I should do for my 11 CD Club compilation: Live cuts from acts I’d seen in person.

The CD just didn’t turn out the way I wanted (and I even worked on a two-fer), mainly because running so many live cuts together simply sounded disjointed—applause that would start or stop oddly, sound levels that I don’t know how to manipulate, etc. I’d intended to start with Springsteen, representing my final show, forty years after seeing my first, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, which I’d conclude with. In between, on the first disc, I would have given you

The Grateful Dead
Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen
Lucinda Williams
Freedy Johnston
Randy Newman
Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks
David Bromberg
John Prine
Counting Crows
Van Morrison
Neil Young
Talking Heads (in lieu of David Byrne as a solo act)

Disc 2 would have included

Quicksilver Messenger Service (w/o Dino Valenti)
The Band
Led Zeppelin
Jorma Kaukonen
Jefferson Airplane
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
The Allman Brothers Band
The Faces
Jonatha Brooke
Bob Dylan
Taj Mahal
The Ditty Bops
The Byrds
Lyle Lovett

Instead, you’re getting a single disc but with a cleaner flow from one cut to another. I consider my taste in music is eclectically mainstream, nothing too far out of the ordinary. I hope you enjoy . . .

You Got to Believe Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks: I saw “Lonesome Dan Hicks,” without the Lickettes, at Jabberwocky in Syracuse, filling in mentally the female harmonies.

Life Worth Livin’ Uncle Tupelo: Spawned both Wilco and Son Volt, early arrivals in the era of “altcountry.”

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart Wilco: The more successful scion of Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy’s band plays often in Columbia.

Guns of Brixton Calexico: I’m not used to Clash covers, but this works. See this band if you get the chance; they also do a hot version of Love’s “Alone Again Or.”

Essence Lucinda Williams: Raw.

Bandit Neil Young and Crazy Horse: If you didn’t see the Greendale tour you missed something—something weird, yes, but something special, too.

Bears Lyle Lovett: I would have included “Church,” with his Large Band, if I’d used the live music theme. Lyle’s great live whether in a small combo or the bigger sound.

If I Needed You Townes Van Zandt: Tough life, great songwriter; see the documentary on him, Townes Van Zandt: Be Here to Love Me.

1952 Black Vincent Lightning Richard Thompson: One of the all-time great songs, which the brother of the groom at a wedding I attended last fall effectively transformed into a ballad for the newlyweds—nobody died in that version.

Living without You Mary McCaslin: Nice cover of a Randy Newman song I would have included on the live set (by Newman, that is).

This Perfect World Freedy Johnston: Never have I seen a performer do a more effective job of quieting down a loud-talking jerk than Freedy did at Mojo’s, a little club in Columbia, walking down from the stage to croon in his face, “ . . . You ought to hear your voice.”

Losing Your Touch Alejandro Escovedo: A friend who ran a local record shop told me to buy this album (Thirteen Years), and I did because he had never steered me wrong. He didn’t that time either.

Nobody’s Baby Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings: Josh gave me the album this song comes from. Thanks, again, to my kids for helping me not to remain stuck with my sixties stuff.

I Can’t Keep from Crying Sometimes Al Kooper: But speaking of the ‘60s, who better than that rock’n’roll survivor himself, Al Kooper.

I Will Not Be Your Fool David Bromberg: This tune comes from the Tribute to Steve Goodman album. I saw Bromberg in the tiny chapel of Hamilton College my sophomore year at Colgate—one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

Goodnight Nelda Grebe, The Telephone Company Has Cut Us Off
Mother Earth, featuring Tracy Nelson: Once upon a time, I was madly in love with Tracy Nelson, but I’ve never seen her live. Four of us from Colgate had tickets to see her open for The Earl Scruggs Revue (winter of ’73?), drove to Amherst in Steve Elliott’s VW, and discovered that there was no show—lost the ticket money, wasted the gasoline, and my passion remained unrequited.

Oh Shenandoah Charlie Haden Family and Friends: Rick said that he collects for a grandson versions of “John Henry”—I don’t consciously collect “Oh Shenandoahs,” but I do have quite a few, and this new one is among my favorites.

P.N.S. (When You Come Around) Illinois Speed Press: I’ll bet not many of you have this song, from a band produced by the same guy who made a boatload of money producing Chicago. Paul Cotton moved on to Poco after the group’s second album and demise.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

February- Rick

Redemption Song 3:28 Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros
Even though some of the lyrics are whacked, the main message is of transcendent hope. Nothing wrong with that. This has been in my personal listening rotation the most of any song the past six months.

Where Did the Spring Go 2:04 The Kinks
Not apparently on any album except weird compilations , my friend Betsy Nichols sent it in another CD club. Good New Millennium Depression music.

Astonished (In Memphis) 5:32 Giant Sand Chore Of Enchantment
Giant Sand has as a rhythm section of the main two dudes from Calexico. They are very interesting live if you ever get a chance.

The Warmth Of The Sun 2:53 Beach Boys
I saw them perform it live with Willie Nelson once. It was one of Carl Wilson’s last shows before he died. They said they wrote it the night they heard that JFK was murdered.

What A Waster 2:58 The Libertines What A Waster
Too many fucking wasters in my life the last five years.

History Lesson, Pt. 2 3:52 The Minutemen Double Nickels On The Dime
I’m not sure why exactly, but this is my favorite song. I think it is about love, friendship style. D. Boon died in a freak car crash.

Without You 2:28 Hope Roth
My daughter Hope’s new CD. It is really good. What a blessed Dad I am.

Love Me Like You 4:53 The Magic Numbers The Magic Numbers
From England, not glamorous and they are good and they sure sound happy.

She Cracked (1972 Demo Version) 2:40 The Modern Lovers A rarer version. Jonathan Richman is great.

Sure Hope You Mean It 3:42 Raphael Saadiq The Way I See It
Somehow a new soul record that sounds like the old stuff but doesn’t sound like a cheap imitation. The whole record is good if you get a chance.

pissing in the wind 4:19 badly drawn boy the hour of bewilderbeast
This is called shoegazer music sometime. So be it.

The Way You Look Tonight 3:00 Billie Holiday
You can never have too much billie holiday in your life

Try Not To Look So Pretty 2:57 Dwight Yoakam
This is what country could be

I'm Beginning To See The Light 3:37 Ella Fitzgerald The Gold Collection
Her voice is a force

Do You Know How It Feels To Be Lonesome? 3:31 Gram Parsons & The International Submarine Band Safe At Home
Gram Parsons before he was a star. Definitely one of a kind. Harvard drop-out, died young, his body was stolen and burned out in the desert in Joshua Tree.

Ruler of My Heart 2:37 Irma Thomas
I always loved Irma and then my first trip to New Orleans I saw her at her new club (now washed away) called the Lion’s Den and she sang like an angel, was incredibly gracious, and we got a lasting hug good-bye. Doesn’t get better than that.

Just Because it's Dying 3:43 Jenny Toomey Tempting: Jenny Toomey Sings the Songs of Franklin Bruno
Jenny was in a punkish band Tsunami and is a journalist. Look up Franklin Bruno on line, he is the most unlikely looking musician you ever saw.

Black Sheep Boy 1:19 Okkervil River Black Sheep Boy More shoegazer stuff, the good kind

Battered Senseless MIA Heart 4:01 Silver Lining Well Dressed Blues
Local band, who are great live that are on a sort of sabbatical. The woman singer can do Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin covers that are killer.

Bird On Your Grave 5:02 Marissa Nadler Songs III: Bird On The Water
Her new CD is better but I don’t have it. She was my kid’s nanny last year.

John Henry 3:14 Odetta Treasury of Folk - V4
I made my grandson (2.5 y.o.) a CD of all John Henry songs, he is obsessed. Odetta is his favorite. He has good taste.

Scissors 3:48 Ivy Neff Another daughter Ivy recorded this a few years ago. She has got away from music, I hope she gets back to it. Her brother Oliver is on drums, he has continued and has great drum chops.

Station Blues 2:10 Othar Turner & The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band Everybody Hollerin' Goat
Otha died a couple years ago. I have never heard any other music like this. He taught his granddaughter to play so the beat may go on.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

December- Matt

1. Mujer Que Camina- Alejandro Filio
2. Hilo- Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra
3. Volver, Volver- Buika
4. Golden Touch- Shinehead
5. So Long- Fink
6. Salato Parte Due- Jovanotti
7. Illusion (Live)- Julieta Venegas & Marisa
8. Que Lio- Marc Anthony
9. Y'outta Praise Him Intro- Robert Glasper
10. Angel Nemali- Stanton Moore
11. Sintiendo Rara- Ximena Sarinana
12. O Bijav- Bela Lakatos & The Gypsy Youth
13. Madam Madusa- UB40
14. Pretty Girl (The Starcrossed Lovers)-

November "Television Speaks Vol. 1" Jonah

1. On Parade- Electrelane
2. The Ironman Takeover (Skit)- Ghostface Killah
3. Apocalypse Politics- Joan Of Arc
4. Sanddollars- Why?
5. Hip Hop- Mos Def
6. Return Of Jackie & Judy- Tom Waits
7. Alleged Legends- The Streets
8. Who Could Win a Rabbit- Animal Collective
9. Funeral Face- Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
10. She Speaks, Rings and Chimes- James Rabbit
11. Give The Drummer Some More- The Greyboy Allstars
12. Kim & Jessie- M83
13. Drop-Out- Times New Viking
14. The All-Girl Team- Blitzen Trapper
15. People Of The World Unite- Laurel Aitken
16. Square- The Beta Band
17. Ain't It Strange- Dr. Dog
18. Criminal (featuring Saigon & Truck North)- The Roots
19. Forks & Knives (La Fete)- Beirut
20. It5!- Architecture in Helsinki
21. We're From Barcelona- I'm From Barcelona
22. The Arm- Islands
23. Letter From Belgium- The Mountain Goats
24. My British Tour Diary- Of Montreal