I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS

...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Let's spread the clap

Ah, the simple handclap. Think of all the feel-good joy it has added to your musical life. This underrated form of percussion gets its dues today on the Fuel blog.

You may not realize it, but many a song to which you say, "Oh! That is infectious good-time fun right there!" relies on the handclap to add a certain joie de vivre to it. Classic handclap songs include Jack & Diane (Mellencamp, John or John Cougar, not sure at that juncture in his career which he preferred) and, of course, who can forget Hall & Oates on Private Eyes (they're watching you)?

I have hand-selected (ooh, no pun intended) for you, my loyal readers, four more recent tracks which keep the handclap alive, just for fun. For your listening pleasure:

You're So Damn Hot, OK Go (love this band, more on them later)

When U Love Somebody, Fruit Bats

Shuffle Your Feet, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Hello Conscience, The Zutons

And I am not the only one thinking about handclaps lately. Check out Cokemachineglow's list of the Top Eight Uses of Handclaps in Pop Music.


Stay tuned tomorrow for my holiday music EXTRAVAGANZA! (sorry, no Kenny G). I've put together a nice little CD-length mix for you to take with you to gramma's house, or wherever this Christmas season takes you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Undiscovered Gem #1

From time to time you unearth a song from an artist you know and love that has somehow escaped your notice. Hence the title of this post, an undiscovered gem.

I greatly enjoy Ben Harper, but never bought his Live From Mars album for some reason. Just came across the beautiful cover he does of The Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work" and I love it. Check it out.

"The Drugs Don't Work," Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals

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Aptly named Pandora

Valerie over at Rock Snob said this is addictive ("musical crack"), and she is right.

Discover new music with Pandora


How much fun is this? Plus, it feels scientific, which is a bonus to me. Makes me feel like I am accomplishing something intellectual (instead of just, um, wasting time).

Monday, November 28, 2005

Monday Music Round-up

Happy Monday, folks. Okay, time for another collection of musica which I am enjoying this week. Enjoy:

Waiting for Pete Doherty To Die
The Indelicates

Thanks to Revolution In The Head for this track. Try to listen to this (or even read the title) without laughing. If you can, you are a better man than I. A tongue-in-cheek tribute to everyone's favorite smacked-out junkie (former Libertines frontman, currently in shambles and in Babyshambles). This song deserves a picture - since there are so many great ones of him out there. How about:
How could Kate Moss NOT want a piece of that action?

Cancelling Stamps at the University of Ghana Post Office
Just what the title says, this is absolutely awesome. I love African percussion and this makes me want to work in a post office, or at minimum mail a letter to Ghana. How wonderful to make something so mundane sound so amazing. Big ups to http://aurgasm.us for posting this and other world music tracks. Diversify my ears.

Could We
Cat Power
Swingin' alt-country turn with an edge from Ms. Power (Chan Marshall), who has got to be one of the most diverse female artists out there that I know of. I have mentioned her before and will mention her again, I am sure. From her new album The Greatest, coming out in January 2006. This track has the trademark slinky vocals (what else would we expect?) and great Memphis horns. Check it out.

I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need to Be Nicer
The Cardigans
The Love Fool folks go foxy. I like the spunk and the edge in this song, lead singer Nina Persson gets sassy. Plus, how can you go wrong with a title like that? This is from their new album Super Extra Gravity, produced by Tore Johansson, who also has worked with Franz Ferdinand and OK Go.

Y Control (Faint Remix)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
I am listening to this a lot lately. Very good, trancey licks with stomping backbeats and even what sounds like some handclaps. And I love Karen O from the YYY's edgy and earthy punk rock voice, although she is a little too full of herself, what with the over-the-top sexual posing. The Faint haven't changed this song too drastically from the original, just lightened up the hi-hat and electrified the guitar a bit more heavily. I like the overall effect.


And a *bonus laugh* for today comes courtesy of dooce.com. Please read THIS POST, and here is a link to Knoxville Girl, which plays a prominent role in this lovely little story. Man alive, it's a classic.

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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Jeff Buckley

In belated honor of what would have been Jeff Buckley's 39th (!!!) birthday on November 17th, I want to do a little featurette for the man who has brought more beauty to my ears and to my life than any other artist in my collection.

Buckley was a beautiful and talented singer-songwriter with a haunting voice, who was hailed by many as the most promising artist of his generation. I remember first hearing Eternal Life on a cassette tape sampler that came with my SPIN Magazine my freshman year of high school (1994). It grew on me and I found the full Grace album in the bargain bin at the Wherehouse (is that how they spelled it? and why was it in the bargain bin?!).

Soon I was in audio love. I remember many nights in high school falling asleep listening to Grace, especially Mojo Pin, which begins with the lyrics, "I'm lyin' in my bed, blanket is warm, this body will never be safe from harm..." which seemed terribly deep and tragic and meaningful to a 14 year old. There is such immense and almost untouchable beauty in every track on Grace. It is one of The masterpiece albums.

Jeff Buckley drowned in the Mississippi River in May of 1997, right before I graduated high school. I still clearly remember reading the tiny blurb in the newspaper that he was missing after a night swim. He and a friend were listening to a radio on the beach of the river and waded in to cool off, during those nascent days of studio recording for his follow-up to Grace (to be called My Sweetheart The Drunk). Jeff was floating on his back, singing. A boat went by and the wake caused small waves to wash up on shore. His friend was worried about the radio getting wet and he went to move it further up the beach. When he turned back around, Jeff was gone. No sound, no splash. Just pulled under. Part of me has always wondered what he was singing [edit: Whole Lotta Love, Led Zep]. It gives me chills.

His body was recovered a week later at the foot of historic Beale Street, birthplace of the Blues. I remember being so sad that they had to identify his beautiful body by his piercings.

(edit: David Browne tells the story so much better than I do)

I was heartened to find out about the wonderful variety of songs penned by the musical community as tributes to Jeff after his death. I would think that the highest form of compliment that a musician could receive would be to see how he impacted so many others, and how he lives on via their music.

TRIBUTE SONGS FOR JEFF BUCKLEY

A Body Goes Down - Duncan Sheik
This is just beautiful poetry: Once in a while / A man comes along / Even his failures were favorite songs / Oh to have made something so unsurpassed / As certain things fall away / So certain things may last . . . Of course there is grace / And those halos of pain / Maybe he sang what he came here to sing . . . A body goes down /In the Mississippi waters /Weighted by a beauty /Afraid of its light / Notify your holy men / Console your sons and daughters / And tell me one more time / What is just / What is right . . .

And I think that one of the most amazing things about this song is the fact that the music *IS* the Mississippi River. Listen to the dark way it swirls, with an undercurrent. If you close your eyes, you can see water sliding by in the moonlight. It is amazing.

Trying Not to Think About It - Juliana Hatfield
Juliana's sweet singsong voice pays tribute to her reactions immediately after she heard the news. The two artists were friends, and she once opened for him on tour. The song says, "I want to close my eyes / and sleep for a year / Tell me that it's only a dream / That it's a nightmare." Melodramatic though it is, I felt the same way.

Memphis Skyline - Rufus Wainwright
A lush, piano-based tune with lyrics to give me chills (recurrent theme): "Always hated him for the way he looked / In the gaslight of the morning / Then came hallelujah sounding like Ophelia / for me in my room living..." Such honesty, and I love how for Wainwright the pivotal point was that hearing of Buckley's ethereal rendition of Hallelujah. From the exhalation that starts the song, the whole recording is spellbinding magic.

Grey Ghost - Mike Doughty
This turn of style for the former frontman of Soul Coughing ("Super Bon Bon" anyone?) is a bit uptempo for the subject matter, I think, but I like the way he hauntingly constructs the night Buckley died. "On the docks in Memphis / with the boombox, nodding out, singing . . . In the trail of the barge and the light upon the brine / He has staked these thoughts and the force is undivided . . . Sleepy-eyed, the man is wading out into the night, singing . . ."

Bandstand in the Sky - Pete Yorn
I've updated this from the original version I posted, the Live From New Jersey "good times" rendition. Yorn finally did a nice studio treatment of this song for his newest album Nightcrawler, and it's more serious and dense than the last. "Come with me to a river I have seen . . .on the way, we can wash off in the stream. Time is waiting for the lightning to arrive, you can take my life but I'll never die." I have to say, though, every time he sings the line, "We just made a bad decision, that's alright," I wanna yell "No it's not!"

Valley of Sound - Heather Nova
Nova wrote this after going to a Jeff Buckley show that she says, "moved [her] to tears." I never did get to see Jeff Buckley live. I did attend a fan gathering at Noe Valley Ministry in San Francisco (a spartan church-type building) after his death, and they showed a live performance DVD. Buckley had played that venue when he was alive, and seeing him projected onto a big screen at the front of the room, it was almost like seeing him live if you pretended a bit. I remember the heaviness in the air and the way you could almost feel him, especially during the line in Hallelujah, "Baby I've been here before, I've seen this room and I've walked this floor..."

Wave Goodbye - Chris Cornell
Showing how far-reaching Buckley's influence was, here we have THE set of pipes from Soundgarden, a quite hard-rockin' mofo in their day, penning a tune about Jeff. Apparently they were good friends and Cornell wrote this in '97 after Jeff's death. This track was on Cornell's 1999 solo album Euphoria Morning. Cornell says, "Yeah, the lyrics are about Jeff, but obviously it's also about a death and loss and I was a little scared of that. It's so straight forward; it's one of the most straight forward songs I've ever written. But there was no other way to do it."

Memphis - PJ Harvey
Ms. Polly Jean Harvey was friends with Jeff Buckley, and penned this abstract, simple song for him with the refrain, "Oh, what a way to go - you're peaceful, you're smiling." And apparently singing "A Whole Lotta Love," as I learned from a comment posted to this blog. Thank you to 'Splean' for emailing me this track, which appeared as the b-side to the November 2000 single "Good Fortune."

You Were Right - Badly Drawn Boy
This song isn't really about Buckley, more of a mention ("And I remember doing nothing on the night Jeff Buckley died"), so it is on the list by generous extension of the rules. It is a great song, though, containing one of my favorite other lyrics, "And songs are never quite the answer, just a soundtrack to a life, that is over all too soon . . ." That is actually an excellent note to end this post on.

Update March 2007 - Since I posted this back in '05, several of you have written me with additional suggestions for tunes to add to this post. I have not been able to verify directly that all of these songs were intended to relate to Jeff, but they all certainly seem to:

Live In Blue Sparks - Rebecca Moore (Jeff's love and muse)

Blind River Boy - Amy Correia

Gracing Wolf River - Flecton

To The Sea - Mark Eitzel

Neath the Beeches - The Frames
(I just learned that a young Jeff did a stint as guitar tech for Glen Hansard of The Frames)

In A Flash - Ron Sexsmith

Except For The Ghosts - Lisa Germano


...and I have the feeling we're not done.

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Friday, November 25, 2005

Turkey and Betty Crocker

Thankfully, my turkey turned out really well yesterday...

Ryan (not Bryan) Adams show 11/18/05

So Ryan Adams played an outstanding show last Friday night in New York, which I would have loved to have been at. SOMEDAY my turn will come! Stop standing me up, Ryan, goldangit!


The setlist was awesome, a nice blend of tunes. Songs highlighted with a link will take you to the yousendit site to download the video of the performance. I really enjoyed watching these, and for those of you who may not have heard Ryan before, take a look & listen.

Thanks Sharif, for taping and sharing!

Shakedown on 9th Street
What Sin Replaces Love
Nightbirds
Peaceful Valley
Beautiful Sorta
A Kiss Before I Go
Please Do Not Let Me Go
Willow Jane
Love is Hell

intermission

The End
Jacksonville Skyline
Hard Way to Fall
Now That You're Gone
Games
The Rescue Blues
Magnolia Mountain
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)
I See Monsters (this one is a zip file due to size)

****************************************
Now a little blurb for my friends who don't know yet who this man is. "Bryan Adams? That guy with the Everything I Do, I Do It For You song? Really, Heather?"

Um, no. Ryan Adams is, in my opinion, one of the best, most beautiful, honest, prolific, and heartfelt musicians of our generation, and is chronically underappreciated. I feel like it took 25 years of my life for me to hear about him, a stellar recommendation from a friend in the know.

My reaction when I first heard him was to exclaim out loud, and felt like a punch to the gut (in a really good way). It had been a while since I had been introduced to a new *quality* musician, one who I felt I could really delve deep into, and respect and admire for their music. Adams can do stunning piano, quality rock'n'roll, back-porch alt-country (he is the former frontman for alt-country poster boys Whiskeytown, whom you may have heard of), and writes music and lyrics that make me stop and say woah. My current favorite lyric of his is from Hard Way To Fall, talking about a girl (aren't they all?), and sings, "I could find her in a thunderstorm by the way that the rain would fall..." How beautiful is that?

Ryan has his third CD of the year coming out on December 20th. It is called "29," and it is supposed to be about a journey through his twenties (so I can sorta 6/10ths relate to that), and allegedly represents his stylistic follow-up to 2003's Love is Hell, which is probably one of my favorite Ryan Adams albums. How is that possible, you ask, when two other albums (Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights) were released in between? Well, from what I hear, 29 was written in New York immediately following the release of Love is Hell, and he has sat on the tracks and let them percolate a bit. And now we are reaping all the benefits.

December 20th can't come soon enough. Merry early Christmas to us all.

*Credit to Dan's Flickr album for the great photos

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Whatever happened to Corey Haim?


An excellent question. The Thrills were wondering this same thing:

Whatever Happened to Corey Haim (mp3)
The Thrills

I had such a huge crush on him and his stupid mouth agape look.
(I would like to point out that the poster above, from BOP, which I probably had, is autographed in 2001. Who the flip is seeking Corey Haim's autograph in 2001?!?).



Thursday, November 24, 2005

Born to run & Modest Mouse coverville

So, here is what crazy people get up and do on Thanksgiving morning:

Well, not stand there and smile, actually running would be the answer I was looking for. My first 5K! I think I did decently, although I would not win any land-speed records. I was just aiming to finish and not fall down or have to walk. It was actually fun, lots of nice people out cheering us on, and it made grateful to live in such a fabulously beautiful town. The view of Pikes Peak this morning was just amazing. We do have so much to be thankful for.

I am currently waiting for my first turkey to finish cooking so we can all see how I fared as a gourmet chef.

I laughed the whole time I was preparing the turkey. I don't think I have ever before followed instructions such as:

  • Press one leg down near leg clamp to release.
  • Remove neck from body cavity.
  • Remove giblet package (giblet package?!) from neck skin area
  • Using your hands, gently separate the skin from the breast at both ends. Smear the meat beneath the skin with the herb butter mix.

It was hilarious. I was talking to this little headless turkey on my counter, "sorry buddy" as I slid my fingers under his skin. Have a Silence of the Lambs holiday, y'all.

Then, while kicking back with a Fat Tire and watching the Broncos game (oh, look what a Coloradan I already am!), I noted CBS's gratuitious use of "Float On" by Modest Mouse as, like, crowd-pumping music (and commercial break music, and commentator background music, etc.).

It reminded me that I want to share a few Modest Mouse covers that I have come across lately. Seems a lot of people are interested in covering them. Here are the covers and originals for your musical perusal purposes. None of this is really new news, but worth listening to if you haven't heard them yet, especially if you dig the unique sound and lyrics of Modest Mouse:

Ben Lee, "Float On" (and the Modest Mouse original, in case you are not watching football and did not hear it gratuitously, or don't own a radio).

Sun Kil Moon (Mark Kozelek) released a whole album of Modest Mouse covers, called Tiny Cities, in Kozelek's breathy languid style. Several of the cuts are unrecognizable to their originals until you get to the chorus. Kozelek takes some growing on you sometimes, but I like these interpretations:

Sun Kil Moon, "Ocean Breathes Salty" (and the Modest Mouse original)

Sun Kil Moon, "Dramamine" (and the Modest Mouse original)

Have fun muchachos, and eat well (oh, and be thankful, eh?!) .

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Pearl Jam Live Anniversary Mix

Okay, so I didn't have this blog on October 22, so this is a one-month late post in honor of the FIFTEEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the first Pearl Jam show (under the name Mookie Blaylock) at the Off-Ramp Cafe in Seattle on 10/22/90. I know, how has it been 15 years? Does this mean I am getting old? Holy crap!

So here is a little mix of some of my favorite Pearl Jam live cuts and covers.


(DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE MIX AS A ZIP FILE HERE)

Smile
(Barcelona 11/21/96)

From the 1996 Pearl Jam Christmas Single Vinyl
It is impossible to listen to this version of this song without smiling. I've never heard such a combination of growling screams with harmonica. I love the churning feeling of this song. "I miss you already..." - listen to the Spanish crowd singing along throughout the entire song, it gives me shivers.

I could just stop the collection after that last track and go home satisfied, it's *that* good. Man. But, one song does not equal a mix, and there is so much good stuff out there....

Beast of Burden
(Brixton Academy in London 7/14/93)

Pearl Jam's very loose interpretation of the Stones get-down-with-your-sexy-self classic. They obviously take this humorously. The best line, in true self-effacing not-a-rock-god style, is "All I want is for you to make love to me...that's just in the song, I don't mean it."

Thin Air
(Benaroya Hall in Seattle, 10/22/03)

This one is in here because of the funny little guitar mess-up on the solo by Stone Gossard and how everyone gets a laugh out of it. Ed comments, “There was no chance of getting away with that one.” As soon as the song ends, you can hear Stone play the solo perfectly ("See?") and then you also hear Mike do the same, rubbing it in. Ha! Even guitar gods make mistakes sometimes. Stone still rocks my socks off.

Timeless Melody
Ed Vedder with Death Cab For Cutie (11/09/2004 in Seattle)

While not technically a "Pearl Jam" performance, Vedder and DCFC do a nice cover of The La’s song Timeless Melody. I find it to be a sweet blending of voices, with Vedder's richer deep voice and Gibbards pleasant gentle one. Great comment from Gibbard at the end: "You know, sometimes I wish I could talk to the 14 year-old me and tell him what the 28 year-old me was doing. Cuz I don't think he'd f***kin' believe that shit right there!" I believe I would feel that same way, Ben.

Do The Evolution
(Maui 2/21/98)

Switching gears from dreamy pop, let’s face a wall of guitars and a screaming, angry, almost manic Ed. This version of DTE sends chills up my spine so I put it on here. Second night of the Yield tour, they open with this cut, with THAT riff being the first notes heard. Here’s the thoughts of a friend who was there: “McCready's unexpectedly flailing around the stage like he used to in 1992, Stone's over on his side, leaning back, slicing at the strings like he does when he's playing his best, the crowd unifying the whole experience by screaming.” It’s gonna be a good night.

I Am A Patriot
(Tibetan Freedom Concert, 6/13/99)

Another cover, this one originally by Steve Van Zandt. But I don’t think Van Zandt ever rocked it like this. I’d heard PJ do this track live before, but it was always much slower in keeping with the original. This one is significantly better than the original (sorry Steve), and all punked out – jump around, you Tibetan freedom-ers! One of my favorite tunes to play on the 4th of July.

State of Love and Trust
(Singles Release Party, Park Plaza Hotel Ballroom in LA, 9/10/92 )

Fittingly this excellent live cut comes from the premiere/release party for the Singles movie, with its ace soundtrack, of which this gem is a part. Starts with a nice tag from Mudhoney's song "Overblown," about Seattle - "Everybody loves us, everybody loves our town," and continues to blast the eardrums of all the Hollywood executive-types gathered to fete the film. Their three-song set ended with Chris Cornell and Jerry Cantrell, among others, all getting up on stage with Pearl Jam to belt Rockin' In The Free World.

It’s OK
(Jones Beach, NY, 8/24/00)

Dead Moon cover
Because I am sucker for a good singalong. And this is a good singalong.

Rearviewmirror
(Saturday Night Live, 4/16/94)

Because a good live rendition of Rearviewmirror leaves you sweaty, breathless, and drained, but exhilarated in your soul. This is one of those. This is a tight rendition from ’94 when they played it with simmering anger (but because this is live on TV, we get the homogenized lyrics of "I gather speed, you're so lucky with me"). I have this on video still, and I can picture the way Vedder turns his head after the line, “I am not about to give thanks (No!)….” and almost spits in anger. And he nails the emotion on that drawn-out “rearviewmiiiiirooooor…” at the end of the bridge, and I love the way Abbruzzese nails the build on the drums at the frenetic end.

Hunger Strike/Leash
(Sorpasso, Italy 2/18/92)

Okay, had to add one more track for a couple of reasons. First and foremost is THE SCREAM that kicks off Leash. Makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. This is an early, early version of Leash, one of the first times they performed it live, and it is just out of control. Secondly, this is a beautiful (almost) a capella rendition of Hunger Strike. Finally, it is in my beloved Italy and I love the enthusiasm of the tifosi italiani (Italian fans) - listen to the dude wailing the back-ups to Hunger Strike! This was when Pearl Jam was playing for mere hundreds, and this particular venue was overpacked (in Italy? never!). The enthusiasm comes through in the music, and you can almost picture the roiling, sweaty crowd. I wouldn't have wanted to be down in the front for this one . . . Okay, yes I would have.


And *that* is why I love them.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday Music Roundup

Here is some excellent music I have come across in the last week or so. Enjoy!

Neil Finn with Ed Vedder - Stuff and Nonsense
This song is just stunningly beautiful, I love Vedder's voice, always, and the way he harmonizes with Neil Finn on this live track from the St. James Theater in New Zealand. Simple piano backing, higher octaves from Vedder which are my favorite because of the wavering fragility of his voice. Yes, he has the scream, which we love, but the delicacy of this just gets me every time.

Eels - Living Life
This song is from the cover CD The Late Great Daniel Johnston, which has many excellent tracks other than this one, including stuff by Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, Teenage Fanclub, and Tom Waits. Daniel Johnston is a quirky Texas-based songwriter who I was introduced to in my teens (oh, so long ago) with "Walking the Cow" (covered by T.V. on the Radio on this CD). Johnston has been called "one of the twentieth century’s great, maudlin pop musicians."

Rogue Wave - Everyday
Buddy Holly cover, but can't you hardly tell? Love they way they make it their own, as a cover should be. If it sounds the same as the original, what is the point of recording it as a cover? Heard a lot of good things about Rogue Wave live, they are opening for Nada Surf on at least part of their upcoming tour.

Snowden - Time of the Season
Layered funky beats all over this Zombies cover. Eminently listenable, even though I am not 100% in favor of the lead singer's voice at all times. But check it out, shake that thang.

The Thorns - Long, Sweet Summer Night
I love this "supergroup" which I just found out about, though the song is from 2003 or so - The Thorns are Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge, and Shawn Mullins. This song is out of season currently, but download it now, save it, and listen to it in the middle of a hot, sticky, August evening and thank me!

Today's Foxtrot...


Today's Foxtrot...

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers


So last night I got to see Roger Clyne and Peacemakers again with Kristy and Seth in Boulder. It was an awesome show, he is a fabulous performer live. I think he puts more into it than almost any other live artist I have seen. He has talent coming out his ears, plus, he has such a good heart & demeanor and that comes through in the music and in his interactions with the audience. It makes it fun to be involved with, after all my years as a teen-angst-grunge-rocker where all my idols could barely chin up to face the audience, some even playing with their back to us. Hey!

The opener band was too twangy for me, though the lead singer gal had a great Alison Krauss/Dolly Parton-type voice. The opener freaked Kristy out a bit because she thought I had roped in her into coming to a country concert (ha!). We checked out the merch table, I almost got the RCPM flask with their logo and the slogan "En Tequila Es Verdad," which made me chuckle, but reconsidered. When would I really use a flask? The last time I had need for one it was during that loopy Fellini film in the Castro in SF this summer when Amanda and I snuck in a little something to make the art noveau of Fellini's cinematic world seem more bearable and funny :P

It is hard to explain what kind of music RCPM plays to Kristy or anyone else that I would want to invite along for the first time to see them live. Their tagline is something like Cowboy Punk/Rio Grande Rock, but that isn't really apt. Some songs are straight rock'n'roll (Thrill, Counterclockwise), ones that are just rad to sing along to at the top of your hoarse lungs (Mexico, Banditos), some have a calypso/mexicano twinge (Mexican Moonshine, Mekong), nice ballads too (Switchblade, Wanted)....just goes on and on. Just buy Americano! and his stuff with the Refreshments and your life will be better. I promise.

You can download some other cool live Roger Clyne tracks on the Live Music Archive site - apparently there is a Roger Clyne fan in Colorado who dutifully tapes all the shows and posts em up. Hopefully he will follow suit with last night's show.

Dude, I nearly wet myself when they ended with a *screaming* cover of Baba O'Reilly. It reminded me of the days when Pearl Jam used to end their shows with that. It was in-sane.
Don't cryyyy
Don't brace your eyes
It's only teeeeeenaaaage wasteland!!
(drums)
Sally take my hand
We'll travel south cross the land
Put out the fire and don't look past my shoulder....
(hey, wait...what is this song about???)

They also threw in a snippet of Add it Up by the Violent Femmes. That just rocks and it was unexpected for me. We all sang along at the top of our lungs, "I take one, one, one cuz you left me and two, two, two for my family...." One of the greatest, um, overdose songs of all time. (Is there such thing as a great overdose song?) - That makes two Violent Femmes covers in live shows for me in as many months (OK Go covered Prove My Love). I saw the Violent Femmes live once at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, back in the day. That was also a very good show.

SIDE NOTE/REFLECTION: Johnny Cash/Walk The Line.
Man alive. That was a great movie. It makes me love the man even more, and understand a bit more of his struggles and how they informed his music. It made me think about the concept of music and performing, and getting what you think you want and finding out that it wasn't what you wanted.

Cash thought he wanted to be a musician (and he did), but the process of becoming one splintered and shattered everything that he held dear, his first love/wife, his daughters, his health, his sanity at times. Listening to his duets with June Carter, watching the process of a new song coming together and taking life, the thought crossed my mind, wouldn't that be awesome to do that? I would love to be a singer like that, I thought, express myself, entertain, create something beautiful. But then to watch the process of his entire life unraveling and the hell he created...which seems to be a recurrent theme among successful people during their ascent to the heights of stardom...it made me think about that whole process. Sometimes you think you want something, but when you look at who you really are, your inner motivations, listen to the way you tick and what is truly important to you, you realize that maybe that thing isn't such a good idea after all.
END REFLECTION.

Music link 1: There is an excellent bunch of mp3s you can download on Salon.com (along the left toolbar):

Music link 2: Also a nice collection of mp3s from the You Ain't No Picasso music blog of indie tracks the blogger loves and recommends.

OOoooh, and an excellent Cat Power cover (she is so smoky) on the Gorilla vs. Bear blog that I am totally digging. I have heard several very good tracks off her new album, The Greatest, coming out in January 2006. She is the master of covers in my book (well, one of the masters)...

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Welcome to my mind

So, why am I creating a blog? I don't even know if I can support that word, in keeping with how I generally tend to feel about hip new slang words that inevitably work their way into the mainstream media and then middle-aged people try to pick up and use and then I have to explain to them what they mean ("NO, dad, blog, not blob. Short for weblog...nevermind!")

But I was thinking that there are things in my brain that need to come out in some form, to be shared with and loved by the general world, my friends in particular. :) Too many of you I don't see often enough, or talk to, so welcome to my little e-world. There is stuff I think is interesting, funny, cool. I hope this can be a place to send friends to hear the latest song that is blowing my mind, or to read about my recent making a fool of myself, bands you should go see live when they are in your neck of the woods, or to hear a funny story that I want to pass along.

So enjoy! Thanks for stopping by.


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