Monthly Archives: September 2008

“Once again in the world of 1200 feelings”

Good flick.

Will Oldham – “All These Vicious Dogs” from All the Real Girls(Soundtrack) [2003]

I really like this movie – I have for a long time.  And this is probably one of the better soundtracks I’ve ever heard; David Gordon Green knows how to put a soundtrack movie together; check his stuff out if you haven’t yet.

I don’t know if you’ve heard the version of this song Oldham does on Master and Everyone, but this version kicks that version’s ass back to school.  I’ve been holed up in my car listening to this song for an hour and a half, left the car and had the song stuck in my head for the rest of the night.  And not the kind where you can’t get it out of your head, it’s more the kind that bores into whatever part of your brain is active on any given night.  That’s the kind of shit this song is.

If you listen real close, you can hear the little rhythm track in the background.  Good stuff, kids.  Good stuff.

I told you it was a really good soundtrack so buy it already

Also you should buy the movie

Posted by Phil


Filed under 2000s, Folk, Soundtrack

“And the equinoxes flip”

Gastr del Sol – “The Seasons Reverse” from Camofleur (1998)

Staying abreast of the (fascinating) financial crisis and school/work has been eating up most of my time, but I noticed just now that autumn is here. Here’s one of my favorite “Season Change” songs, from what still sounds like one of the best records of the 1990s, Gastr del Sol’s Camofleur. The Onion A.V. Club ran a pretty neat list on changing season songs the other day, but they seemed to have missed Grubbs & O’Rourke’s contribution to the canon.

For real, it’s one of the great albums, buy it

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1990s, Pop, Post-rock, Rock

“Immerse your soul in love”

Radiohead – “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” – Performed live at the All Points West Festival, Jersey City, NJ, August 8, 2008.

Radiohead – “There, There” – Live at All Points West, 8-8-08

Radiohead – “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” – Live at All Points West, 8-8-08

I was lucky enough to see Radiohead live on two consecutive nights this summer at the All Points West Festival in Jersey City, NJ.  The Radioheads sure know how to put on a good show.  All of these tracks come from the Friday night show, on August 8.

The band is very tight and together when they play live, as evidenced by these recordings.  It is difficult to hear the contributions of each individual band member on the albums; seeing them live gives one a new appreciation for the structure of a Radiohead song.  After seeing them live, I’ve discovered some of my favorite parts of certain songs are the background vocals provided by Ed O’Brien (he’s the tall one).  Listen for these especially on “There, There.”  The first comes about 1:57 into the song.  I never paid much attention to these lines before because they just sound like mumbling if you don’t know the actual words being sung (read the lyrics here), but knowing what Ed is actually singing has added a new dimension to this song for me.

“Street Spirit (Fade Out)” is my favorite song from The Bends.  The song sounds completely hopeless until the final lines:  “Immerse your soul in love.”

“Jigsaw Falling Into Place” is a standout track from In Rainbows, the band’s latest effort, which is some of their best work yet.

Buy their albums if for some reason you don’t already have them all

Posted by Adam


Filed under 1990s, 2000s, Live, Rock

Raise a toast to David Foster Wallace. I think he might have been our only decent teacher.

“It now lately sometimes seemed like a kind of black miracle to me that people could actually care deeply about a subject or pursuit, and could go on caring this way for years on end. Could dedicate their entire lives to it. It seemed admirable and at the same time pathetic. We are all dying to give our lives away to something, maybe. God or Satan, politics or grammar, topology or philately — the object seemed incidental to this will to give oneself away, utterly. To games or needles, to some other person. Something pathetic about it. A flight-from in the form of a plunging-into. Flight from exactly what? These rooms blandly filled with excrement and meat? To what purpose? This was why they started us here so young: to give ourselves away before the age when the questions why and to what grow real beaks and claws.” (Infinite Jest, 900)

One of my heroes is dead.

David Foster Wallace faced down some of the fundamental problems of existence: how the fuck do you communicate with any other person, share a shred of authenticity, while you’re stuck in your own dumb head and he or she stuck in hers; how can you give yourself away to something wholly other (that phrase is not a mistake) than yourself and not go insane; how do you write about this stuff in an engaging and original and above all direct way, while getting at all the feelings these problems drum up. That he died by suicide enrages and saddens me, because his books are such a force for life. And I’m not the sort to tear up when famous people kick the bucket.

The internet is ablaze with eulogies, so I’ll keep this brief. Here’s a song about inspiration and a hero; a song by that hero, also dead too young; and a couple of links to hints toward what made David Foster Wallace such a hero.

The Hold Steady – “Constructive Summer” from Stay Positive (2008)
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – “Coma Girl” from Streetcore (2003)

Charlie Rose Interview
Commencement Address

Buy all his books

Posted by Glenn


Filed under 2000s, Rock

“Far as I can see, she loves me”

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – “Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles (live)” from I’m Going To Do What I’m Going To Do: Live At My Father’s Place 1978

Thanks to the good folks over at The Mixed Tape Film Series, I recently got the chance to watch The Big Lebowski on the big screen-ski. Cheap beer and free pizza at the best theater in town guaranteed a good time for all. As a bonus, I noticed for the first time that this song, one of Beefheart’s best, appears in the movie. (It’s during the part where the Dude mixes a white russian and listens to his answering machine.) Here’s a killer live version.

You’re not dealing with morons here, SWR loves Beefheart

Don Van Vliet: it’s what’s for dinner

Posted by Glenn “not exactly a lightweight”

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Filed under 1970s, Live, Rock

These songs are really almost the same song


Bruce Springsteen – “Streets of PhiladelphiaMusic from “Philadelphia” [1994]

Primitive Radio Gods – “Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My HandRocket [1996]

Let’s just be clear: lay down a keyboard track, throw some crappy electronic beats over that ish and put some mumbly vocals in the background and I will love that song forever.

It should also be noted: not only did Chris O’Connor of PRG rely heavily on B.B. King’s “How Blue Can You Get” (Live at the Regal [1964]), but the title is baldly stolen from Bruce Cockburn’s “Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand” (Further Adventures Of [1978]).  Still, I just love this song.  Maybe we’ll have some meta posts later about creativity and originality (or the lack thereof) in modern popular music.

Bruce Springsteen tried beats and it wasn’t too bad

Primitive Radio Gods “wrote” this song

Posted by Phil


Filed under 1990s, Pop, Rock

“Floating on the top is better”

Idaho – “To Be The One” from Hearts of Palm [2000]

Summer is drawing to a close here in Pittsburgh: I watched the sun set on my neighborhood’s bricks the other day and it felt just perfect.  Much like this song.

Jeff Martin makes perfect miniatures of sweet, slow, pop goodness.  Treasure these last few days of summer and look forward, desperately, to autumn.

Buy buy buy Idaho Idaho Idaho

Posted by Phil


Filed under 2000s, Pop

“Who will take the salt from the earth?”

Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Green River” from Green River (1969) and “Dont Look Now” from Willy & the Poor Boys (1969)

Minutemen – “Green River”  from Post-Mersh, vol. 3 (1985) and “Don’t Look Now” from Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)

At the end of this month, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s first five albums will be re-released in honor of the band’s 40th anniversary.  For those who have long dismissed CCR as merely classic rock station mainstays, I encourage you to take this opportunity to more deeply explore what I consider to be one of the most impressive succession of albums in rock history (consider, for example, that the two albums featured here were released within 3 months of eachother).

And no greater tribute could be payed to Creedence than to be covered by the universally admired Minutemen.

I wouldn’t hold out much hope for the tape deck though…or the Creedence.


Posted by Jordy

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Filed under 1960s, 1980s, Rock

Heave away!

The Pogues – “South Australia” bonus track from If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1987) reissue

Here’s another, non-a cappella version of the sea shanty “South Australia.”

More Pogues at SWR

Buy it here

Posted by Glenn

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Filed under 1980s, Acoustic, Folk, Punk, Traditional

A capella battle, dark horse candidate

South Australia – Traditional

My interest in sea shanties stems from my interest in folk music. Sea shanties are work songs that were sung on sailing ships. The rhythms of the songs would help the sailors time their movements while performing tasks that required synchronous movements from multiple saliors. There are several types of sea shanties that correspond to different jobs, and “South Australia” is a capstan shanty. This song would be sung as the ship was raising its anchor.

“South Australia” has its origins on the London-Australia shipping route, and was sung as a ship was leaving London headed to Australia. Since sailors couldn’t play instruments while working, the songs had to be a capella, thus my entry into the Great So Well Remembered A Capella Battle of 2008.

The Wikipedia entry on Sea Shanties is very informative.

Indulge your inner seafarer

Posted by Adam


Filed under Traditional

A cappella battle, round 1

Which is the better a cappella group: world-music purveyors Yeasayer, or world-class fuckheads Rage Against The Machine?

You tell me.

Goddamn, do I hate Rage Against The Machine.

Buy Yeasayer (it’s a pretty darn good album)
Buy Rage

Posted by Glenn


Filed under 2000s, Live, Rock, Video