Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Song of the Week 4/8/05 UPDATE

A few weeks ago I wrote the following lines in the Song of the Week entry about Josh Rouse's "It's the Nighttime":

"In the guise of my day job I interviewed him in 2000 about his second album, Home. I vaguely recall liking the disc, but I don't have it in my collection now. I think I may have given it away to a co-worker or (more likely) sold it on St. Mark's Place to feed one of my various addictions."

Now, dear reader, that mystery has been solved, as my friend April revealed to me over the weekend that I had given her that copy of Rouse's second album. She was even kind enough to ask if I wanted it back after five years, which of course I respectfully declined. Now if someone (cough, cough) made an illegal copy (cough, cough) of it at some point and it showed up mysteriously at my desk at work, I'd have no choice but to play it.

One more thought about "It's the Nighttime": I've had I-Tunes and my I-Pod since mid-March, and on Saturday I checked out what was the most played song on the I-Pod. You guessed it -- 22 times so far for "It’s the Nighttime." I do believe we have a contender for Single of the Year.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Song of the Week 5/27/05

They're GOOD bad news.

Rilo Kiley - "Portions for Foxes"

Thursday night I finally had my chance to see Rilo Kiley perform, and rarely has a show far exceeded my expectations as this one. The L.A. group's last album, More Adventurous, landed at number-four on last year's Top 20 list and is a tour de force of guitar-based pop. Singer-guitarist Jenny Lewis sounds like a dry political commentator, a heartbroken homewrecker and the leader of a '60s Phil Spector-produced girl group -- and that's just within the first five songs. I never expected Lewis to play all these roles live, and do it in such a forceful and -- yes, I'm a guy, so I have to say it -- incredibly sexy and seductive way. Lewis strutted around the Webster Hall stage like she knew she owned it. It was such a confident and powerful performance that I can't imagine Rilo Kiley not breaking through to a much bigger audience very soon (perhaps when they open Coldplay's U.S. tour later this summer).

Thursday night's performance of "Portions For Foxes," the second single from More Adventurous (which has gotten a recent push from their new label, Warner Brothers) was absolutely perfect and justified the 12 times I listened to the song this week. Lewis sings about someone that's bad for her, but she just can't shake. It's a topic many folks (including yours truly) can easily identify with. This verse and chorus always slays me:

"I know I'm alone if I'm with or without you
But just bein' around you offers me another form of relief
When the lonliness leads to bad dreams
And the bad dreams lead me to callin' you
And I call you and say..."C'MERE!"

And it's bad news
Baby I'm bad news
I'm just bad news, bad news, bad news"

Oh yeah, I know you're bad news Jenny, but I'm sure that wouldn't stop me or the other 599 tongues-a-wagging indie rock guys at Webster Hall from taking that phone call from you.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Trouser Press Issue 97 (a.k.a. A Friday Night of Rock) 5/20/05

So Friday night I teamed up with Trouser Press co-founder (and the guy that runs the office at my day job) Ira Robbins to spin a night of artists that the magazine covered from 1974 to 1984 at the lovely Magnetic Field in Brooklyn. Thanks again to all who showed up; hopefully we were popular enough that they'll invite us back. So what follows is the complete list of songs that we played:

The Bonzo Dog Band - “Intro and Outro”
The Bonzo Dog Band - “Trouser Press”
The Yardbirds - “Over Under Sideways Down”
The Troggs - “I Can Only Give You Everything”
Beau Brummels - “Laugh Laugh”
Rolling Stones - “In Another Land”
King Crimson - “21st Century Schizoid Man”
Status Quo - “Caroline”
Taste - “It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again”
The Animals - “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”
T. Rex - “Children of the Revolution”
Dr. Feelgood - “Back in the Night”
Mott the Hoople - “Sweet Angeline”
Tom Robinson Band - “2-4-6-8 Motorway”
Bryan Ferry - “The ‘In’ Crowd”
Sparks - “Something for the Girl with Everything”
Brian Eno - “Driving Me Backwards”

999 - “Homicide”
The Replacements - “I Hate Music”
The Clash - “Tommy Gun”
New York Dolls - “Personality Crisis”
Dead Boys - “Sonic Reducer”
Dead Kennedys - “Too Drunk to Fuck”
Hoodoo Gurus - “I Want You Back”
Cheap Trick - “Southern Girls”
KISS - “Love Gun”
Sweet - “Ballroom Blitz”
Graham Parker and the Rumour - “Discovering Japan”
Joe Jackson - “I’m the Man”
Nick Lowe - “Maureen”
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down”
Dave Edmunds - “Let’s Talk About Us”
The Soft Boys - “Queen of Eyes”
Psychedelic Furs - “Dumb Waiters”
The Cure - “The Walk”
The Go-Go’s - “Turn to You”
Buzzcocks - “Orgasm Addict”
The Jam - “In the City”

Jeff Beck - “Plynth”
Sensational Alex Harvey Band - “Swampsnake”
Be Bop Deluxe - “Crying to the Sky”
Brian Tchaikovsky - “Girl of My Dreams”
Skids - “Into the Valley”
Flamin Groovies - “Shake Some Action”
Roxy Music - “Virginia Plain”
Kraftwerk - “Autobahn”
Damned - “I Feel Alright”
David Bowie - “Where Have All the Good Times Gone”
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - “Goon Squad”
The Who - “Heatwave”
Thane Russell - “Drop Everything and Run”
Cockney Rebel - “The Psychomodo”
Nektar - “Remember the Future”
The Clash - “Police and Thieves”
The Move - “Hello Suzie”
Mike Heron - “Call Me Diamond”

Rolling Stones - “Crazy Mama”
Ramones - “I Remember You”
The Pretenders - “Back on the Chain Gang”
The Tubes - “She’s a Beauty”
The Runaways - “Cherry Bomb”
Blondie - “Rip Her to Shreds”
Blotto - “I Wanna Be a Lifeguard”
The Who - “5:15”
Blue Oyster Cult - “Joan Crawford”
ELO - “Showdown”
Faces - “Stay With Me”
Alice Cooper - “Billion Dollar Babies”
T. Rex - “Jeepster”
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - “Change of Heart”
The Stray Cats - “Rock This Town”
Marshall Crenshaw - “Cynical Girl”
Split Endz - “I Got You”
The Plimsouls - “A Million Miles Away”
Talking Heads - “Take Me to the River”
J. Geils Band - “Love Stinks”
INXS - “Don’t Change”
Donnie Iris - “Ah Leah”
Sweet - “Fox on the Run”
David Bowie - “Life on Mars”
Rolling Stones - “Time Waits for No One”

Song of the Week 5/20/05

eels - "Hey Man (Now You're Really Living)"

As of Friday night I had no idea what the song of the week would be, and then I ran into my friend Rhett. He asked what I knew about the eels, and in our discussion he said he saw the band play on Last Call With Carson Daly, doing this quirky song with a chorus that went "hey man" or something like that. I told him the song was called "Hey Man" and it was on the eels excellent new double disc, Blinking Lights and Other Revelations. Then I realized that was the song I was humming the other day after hearing it on my usual new music reference, the World Cafe. Voila--a Song of the Week was born.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Co-Song of the Week 5/13/05

Austin's favorite utensil.

Weezer - "Tired of Sex"
Spoon - "Sister Jack"

I've never had a Co-Song of the Week before, but these two songs battled for my brain over the past seven days, so I figured, why not. It's my damn blog, I can do whatever the heck I like (except post MP3's I suppose).

I got tickets for Weezer a few weeks ago, and I've been playing their albums like mad in the Ipod for the past two weeks in anticipation of last night's show. During that same time I've also been thinking that now as I approach middle age, it's probably time to stop catching up on all the nookie I felt like I missed out on in my 20s. So when Weezer played "Tired of Sex" to open their show Thursday night, I yelled every word for what it was worth. (And I'm sure I scared my concert pal Moria--as well as many other kids much younger than me--standing near the sound board with my yelling and pogoing.) I could go on and on about Pinkerton's impact on me and the many messed up young adults who worship the album, but plenty of other folks have already done. I will say that its crazy, mixed up, self-loathing lyrics resonated with a self-loathing unconfident 26 year-old, and they still do to a much more confident, yet still incredibly self-loathing 35 year-old:

"I'm beat, beet red
ashamed of what I said
(What I said)

I'm sorry,
here I go
I know I'm a sinner
but I can't say no
(Say no)

Thursday night I'm makin' Denise
Friday night I'm makin' Sharise
Saturday night I'm making Louise
Oh, why can't I be making love come true?"


The lyrics in "Sister Jack" don't grab me like "Tired of Sex" (Heck, I don't even understand most of them.) But the oft-kilter rhthym hooked me the first time I heard it on the public radio show The World Cafe 2 weeks ago. That one spin convinced me I needed to get Spoon's new album, Gimmie Fiction, as soon as it came out on the 10th. I was pleasantly surprised to find an MP3 of the song the next day, and quickly got it onto the Ipod and listen to it almost everyday.

Somehow this week almost became "Sister Jack" overkill. I heard it Monday morning on on WFUV, and I was singing the song all day. Then I was invited to a listening party that night at a bar in the East Village, Hi-Fi, where I heard it the track two more times. The next day I bought Gimmie Fiction and was surprised to find there was a bonus disc with a demo verson of "Sister Jack." Later on Tuesday I went to one of my favorite MP3 blogs, Sixeyes, and they had posted yet another demo version of it. Wednesday night I heard it yet again on the World Cafe. So with all those signs, I had no choice but to also make it Song of the Week. I just hope these two tracks can co-exist peacefully on the same page.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Song of the Week 5/6/05

Oasis - "Lyla"

(Ooh, I figured out how to put a pic up!)

I haven't liked an Oasis single since 1997's "D'Ya Know What I Mean," so I must admit to being surprised that this has grown on me so much. Like most of Noel Gallagher's best songs, "Lyla" is a complete ripoff of someone else's work. The melody of the opening verse is a complete nick of the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man," and the rest of the song sounds like it was borrowed from The Who and Soundtrack of Our Lives. The thievery is besides the point--it's just good to have Oasis back is somewhat fighting form. Now we just need more outlandish Noel Gallagher interviews.