Friday, January 26, 2007

Song of the Week 1/26/07

Earth Opera - "The Red Sox Are Winning"

I know we're only in the first month of the year, but I do believe I have a guaranteed entry in my Top 10 Reissues/Compilations/Etc. list for 2007. Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra Records 1963-1973 surveys a decade of releases from the label that brought us everyone from Judy Collins to The Doors and Carly Simon to The MC5. This five CD set is packed with some so-so folk songs, some so-so early '70s singer-songwriter tracks and a whole bunch of weird shit. Listening to the second and third CD discs Wednesday night while doing laundry I thought my iPod had suddenly tuned in WFMU. One great '60s gem after another made for perhaps the best night of laundry ever. And the highlight had to be this track from Earth Opera. The liner notes say this Boston band got caught up the "Bosstown Sound" hype of the mid-to-late-60s. I just think these once and soon-to-be-again bluegrass musicians just got their hands on some great drugs to make this song. There's a xylophone solo, weird lyrics about wars and arranging hair while looking in a mirror, a bridge that sounds stolen from a Gershwin tune and a hook about the 1967 Sox "Impossible Dream" team. Whew, it's almost too much for a brain unaddled by drugs to take.

I suppose I shouldn't have been shocked to find that one of the main forces behind Earth Opera's everything but the mushroom-filled-kitchen sink sound was David Grissman, who later went on to make bluegrass recordings with Jerry Garcia.

Oh, and did I forget the over-the-top lyrics at the end of the song? Here you go:

"Let's make Boston America's number-one baseball city. Kill the hippes! Kill the hippes!"

WOW. I'm glad I was born in the '60s, but even more glad I wasn't old enough to be aware of anything until 1973.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Song of the Week 1/19/07

Teddybears featuring Iggy Pop - "Punkrocker"

Damn Cadillac Commercial:

This song has been stuck in my head for days after hearing it during some football or hockey game. At least the video is slightly better:

Um, is there anything about this song (or this post) that screams "punk rocker?" I think not.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Song of the Week 1/12/07

Styles P - "G Joint"

Styles P made a killer single over four years ago called "Good Times" that I heard all the time pumping out of cars in Brooklyn. It's sped up hook of "I wanna get high, high, high" rattled around my brain for a month or so. It took four years for Styles P to make a follow-up, and it took me four weeks to actually drop the new album, Time Is Money, into my iTunes. So one night this week I'm listening to a playlist of stuff that I hadn't spun yet, with Styles P at the top. I hit play when I stepped onto the F train, then thought I had ripped in a bum CD. The opening of Asia's "Only Time Can Tell" was in my ears, not Styles P. After 10 seconds, I took the iPod out of my pcoket, and then heard someone talking over those distintive Asia keyboards. Then bam, Styles P starts rapping over a wicked sample about raps crew that suck. Wow, what a mindblower. At the end of each verse the Asia sample -- hell, it's just a big chunk of the song -- comes back in. In theory, this weird track shouldn't make any sense, yet I couldn't stop playing it. One night I had either a Rangers or Islanders game on, and from my kitchen I heard the opening of "Only Time Will Tell." I had to rush into my living room just to see if, for some reason, they were going to play the Styles P cut. Alas, they didn't.

In conclusion, I hope Styles P doesn't wait four years to make his next solo album--and that he samples something from Yes's 90125.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Coalition for NYC Homeless Benefit 1/6/07

When Magnetic Field regular Jon Quinn asked me to DJ his birthday party/fund raising extravaganza, I readily agreed.

And then I totally forgot I agreed to do it for an entire month.

Fortunately Quinn sent me an email to reconfirm a few days before, so I was ready to spin a not-so-traditional mix on the warmest January day ever in New York. (And when I say "not-so-traditional," check out the last 30 minutes).

The Hold Steady - "Party Pit"
Electric Six - "I Buy the Drugs"
The Jam -"In the City"
The Kinks - "Set Me Free"
Love - "Alone Again Or"
Spoon - "Everything Hits at Once"
The Smiths - "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before"
Squeeze - "Cool For Cats"
Social Distortion - "Bad Luck"
Velvet Underground - "Sweet Jane"
The Lemonheads - "The Great Big No"
Guided By Voices -"Glad Girls"
The Pipettes - "Pull Shapes"
Bananarama - "Cruel Summer"
The Go-Gos - "Vacation"
The Breeders - "Cannonball"
The Raconteurs - "Hands"
Fountains of Wayne - "Red Dragon Tattoo"
Hoodoo Gurus - "What's My Scene"
The Replacements - "Left of the Dial"
New York Dolls - "Personality Crisis"
Buzzcocks - "Orgasm Addict"
The Monkees - "I'm a Believer"
The Turtles - "Happy Together"
Joe Jackson - "Is She Really Going Out With Him"
Elvis Costello & The Attractions - "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down"
Matthew Sweet - "Girlfriend"
The Strokes - "Someday"
The Jesus & Mary Chain - "Happy When It Rains"
The Pixies - "Head On"
The Ramones - "Rockaway Beach"
Nada Surf -"Blankest Year"
The Hives - "Main Offender"
R.E.M. - "Finest Worksong"
T. Rex - "20th Century Boy"
David Bowie - "Moonage Daydream"
Talk Talk - "Talk Talk"
Gang of Four - "I Love a Man in Uniform"
Translator - "Everywhere I'm Not"
Wilco - "Heavy Metal Drummer"
The White Stripes - "Hotel Yorba"
Badfinger - "Come and Get It"
The Beach Boys - "Wouldn't It Be Nice"
Big Star - "In the Street"
Nick Lowe - "So It Goes"
Love and Rockets - "All in My Mind"
The Shins - "Caring Is Creepy"
Elliott Smith - "L.A."
Arctic Monkeys - "Mardy Bum"
The Clash - "Police on My Back"
The Fall - "Victoria"
Simple Minds - "Alive and Kicking"
The English Beat - "Twist and Crawl"
Bill Withers - "Lovely Day"
Boz Scaggs - "Lido Shuffle"
Doobie Brothers - "What a Fool Believes"
REO Speedwagon - "Keep On Loving You"
Journey - "Don't Stop Believin''"
Whitesnake - "Here I Go Again"
Rick Springfield - "Jessie's Girl"
Pat Benetar - "Heartbreaker"
Andy Gibb - "I Just Want to Be Your Everything"
Madness - "Our House"
Hall & Oates - "Private Eyes"
Toto - "Rosanna"
Hall and Oates - "Kiss on My List"

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Song of the Week 1/5/07

The Pipettes - "Pull Shapes"

I always enjoy the beginning of a new year because my creative rush of listening to 20 albums over and over again for ye old list is over; they're aren't a lot of good albums that come out in thefirst month of a new year; and I usually get a chance to hear something from the previous year that I missed. I heard The Pipettes for the very first time on Tuesday when I did a little bit of new music exploring courtesy of This former terrestial station has gotten even better musically in its Internet run. I heard "Pull Shapes" within 10 minutes of cranking up the WOXY stream. This sonic flashback to when people didn't think murder the first time they heard Phil Spector's name is just pure fun. Strings, handclaps, massed female vocals and a snappy backbeat--did this come out in 2006 or 1966? Think The Ronettes crossed with Banarama (this vocal trio is British, and the one wearing glasses is hot) and you'll know their exact sound.