Mar 31, 2008

He Thought He Could Stop When He Wanted To

RobertPolidori - Deslondes Street, New Orleans (2005)

I do not want any more talking.

Anymore moving about.

And all, absolutely still and absolutely quiet.

Look up here. LOOK up here.
Let me have your undevided attention.

Nobody talk. Nobody move.

Absolutely nobody looking around.
Put your head down. Eyes closed.

eyes. Eyes closed.

C'mon, right now, c'mon.

Nobody moving, nobody talking.

Absolutely still.

The Books - It Never Changes to Stop (mp3)

Mar 28, 2008

Snow on Seattle Cherry Blossoms

Cai Guo-Qiang - Inopportune: Stage One (2006)

Sketching a Cincinati girl at the hostel who is breaking this spring from becoming a librarian. Some companies hire library
students to manage their record systems, she defends. Taking a misguided reccomendation for cheap dining and matching experimental $30 platings of oxtail and goose liver with $14 glasses of smoky scotch. Watching traditional Korean dancing and only being able to think about basic training of the Korean National Guard. Running into Eric Elbogen from Say Hi To Your Mom outside a strip club. To clarify, neither of us were at the strip club, just on the street outside it. Being sold thirteen-year-old Native American girls by an overwieght elder who explains that their parents will accept an SUV in exchange. Eating warm Russian potato pastries from a cart and not being bothered by the pervasive smell of seafood in the open air market. Marveling at seven exploding Ford Tauruses flung through the air and interpreting it as a Ballard-esque commentary on American terrorism. Observing huge flakes of snow settle lightly on fresh cherry blossoms.

Johanna Kunin - Fireflies (mp3)

Mar 23, 2008

Deliver Me Out of the Mire

Ethan Aaro Jones - "In Water"

Portishead - Deep Water (mp3): A dip. To cleanse, even if quickly. A refreshing sip of a new Portishead on a sunny lawn chair with a ukulele. A Portishead without makeup that takes time for scrap-booking class. To amass perspective gained. A glimpse of lengthening afternoons before and after nights spent in the bowels of some dirty venue. A deep gulp of water when once all the faucets dripped spirits. To baptize growth with beach. To emerge a barbershop singlet.

Mar 22, 2008

More Great Songs of 2007: 11-20

Jiro Osuga - The Person Who At A Concert IV (2005)

The weekly countdown continues with ten more great songs from my father's addition to my 100 Great Songs of 2007 series. Our intertwined music experiences are apparent as he features a band that has slept on my couch, a lyric positing psychology hidden in smoking behavior, and a song about the beauty of functioning as a tribe as I fail to join the family for Easter. I think the inclusion of "Be Safe" and "Nature Springs" means he'd understand that sometimes after long weeks inside and on paper, some time spent in a submarine searching for a far away dream is necessary too. Enjoy his great picks, as usual.

11) Band of Horses - Cigarettes, Wedding Bands (mp3)

12) The Clientele - Bookshop Cassanova (mp3)

13) The Cribs - Be Safe (mp3)

14) Fields - Song for the Fields (mp3)

15) Flight of the Conchords - The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room (mp3)

16) The Good, the Bad and the Queen - Nature Springs (mp3)

17) John Vanderslice - Central Booking (mp3)

18) Luka Bloom - Tribe (mp3)

19) Pinback - Good to Sea (mp3)

20) Voxtrot - Introduction (mp3)

Mar 21, 2008

A Slurred Perception

Wendy McMurdo - Roxanne, Entrance Hall, Summerfield House (1997)

Plastic Chord - No Windows (mp3): This is a spring night spun into a winter dither. Deep steps waddle unsettled and careen between embankments like the drunken trauma of a Fort Drum soldier. Its sound bakes porous like cookies that don't pool in a circle, but slowly break and crumb like Pangaean coastlines. Near the end of the night, the chords begin to climb... slurring about inoculated clones and following (though aimlessly) the twinkling xylophone lullabye, the semicircular canals, the North Star that always seems to get us up the stairs to bed in this state.

[Plastic Chord plays tonight (Friday) at the Project Lodge at 7pm]

Mar 19, 2008

Cancer of the Appendix

The Blithe Sons - Morning at Night (mp3): This is a song for undiagnosed, meandering cancers. It's how I imagine Sigur Ros would fire me with an acoustic guitar. It's a gentle reminder that even Hitler and Jesus could be found sleeping. Gentle like the routine of my boss asking me every day if I'll be in tomorrow as if I had the choice. Gentle like the stillness of a canyon, born over decades of silent aggression. Gentle like neglect.

Mar 17, 2008

Another Day Not Unlike Any Other

Club 8 - Whatever You Want (mp3): This song is so polite in the way that it says you're wrong. It doesn't just disagree, it refers to society as "yours" as it steps away. Your cars, your houses, whatever you want to buy... all great reasons to stop looking for meaning. All great reasons to step away from you and abandon ship. It ends with tapping fingers on bongos like tapping fingers on dining room tables or nightstands... tapping "so what now"?

Mar 15, 2008

Staple My Heart Closed

Jean-Christian Bourcart - Tivoli, New York State (2005) [from Collateral]

"I projected photographs of mutilated and dead Iraqis on American houses, supermarkets, churches, and parking lots. I was thinking of this new generation of kids who will be traumatized for life by growing up during wartime. It was a desperate gesture: my personal protest for the lack of interest for the non-american victims. I found the images on the web. Some American soldiers post their own pictures on a website. They would show a cut leg with the caption: “where's da rest of my shit?” Or a blown up head with the caption: “need a hair cut”. I could not help thinking of those images as some kind of restless ghosts that endlessly wander in the intermediate level of the web. I took care of them like a embalmer would; downloading, revamping, printing, rephotographiing, then projecting them as if I was looking for a place where they would rest in peace and at the same time haunt those who pretend not to know what was going on." - Jean-Christian Bourcart

Crane Your Swan Neck - Staple My Heart Closed (mp3): As I sat to write about this track in the context of Randall's appearance tonight at Madison's The Project Lodge, I was stuck by how poignantly the song projects onto Bourcart's commentary about the domestic American relationship to the daily plight of soldiers and innocent civilians in Iraq. Randall's voice moans raw and urgent in a sterile Midwest. In this desolate night his prospects are looking bleak, he's in too deep. He's crossed a line. But he is trying to tell you, he's caused pain and his regretful carcass aches.

happy birthday brian

Mar 14, 2008

Parsing Parsley

Daniel Shea

Lick the salt off the back of your hand and imagine this: Color, any color other than white. Among bent native grasses in warm field, a spot, a comfort. A place for being, where the world comes offering music. Sun arching its back overhead and beating constant fodder. Centipedes rustling to nustle against warm hands. Moments rushing like heart beats and then content stopping in the silence. Wind oozing like the exhale beneath her voice. Shed the beard, these are the new sounds of spring hitting a fresh clean face.

Oh! Custer - Your Name (mp3) [buy]

Mar 12, 2008

Feigning A Life

Timothy Archibald - from The Last Mascot

Oops he accidentally internalized some of the fakeness he's been wearing. This song is a fork in the eye of the innocent thought that personality will be preserved for years when canned. Sixty-year-old conversations about Medicare and trash collection can't be ignored when they move into the cube next door. Repeating conversations about the weather everyday starts to make one actually care about how chilly the walk home will be - but care in the way that hollowly lacks care - to make one pay attention perhaps... which is all one really has to pay of himself. The sounds of key strokes, no matter how loud the song in the headphones, drown out the spirited sounds outdoors. Never has it been clearer that a career trying to fix problems is a career surrounded by problems. Maybe a career in engineering could create a life that didn't contain them at all.

Astoria - Work My Will (mp3)

Mar 11, 2008

From the Floor

Katie Kingma - Tolland Sportsplex

Dance music for me is often an easy way out. A celebration of the sun when I well know that the true work was done by the elves to push it up over the horizon. Or maybe I dreamed that instead of cracking my encyclopedia - lazy. Instead of the cause, synthesizers often feel to me like a fleeting symptom. Like something easy I can grasp, blame without an X-ray, and fix. Plastic beats are this raw reality of their own, pounding on about how superficiality is sometimes even more authentic than pure authenticity. But sometimes I would really just like to know the truth.

Hot Chip - My Brother Is Watching Me (mp3): Speed this up and it's my brother, slow it down and it's the ceiling above my bed with my brother watching down on me.

Mar 9, 2008

More Great Songs of 2007: 1-10

Till Gerhard - Dawn (2005)

Released in 2007, but recorded live at Massey Hall in January 1971 (as I was just beginning my last semester of high school), this relic lets us hear rock history being made. The Toronto audience listens intently to several new songs, not yet recorded for “Harvest”. During the transition between the two songs (both of which would've made my "Great Songs of 1972" list), there is no applause of recognition for what was soon to become a trademark composition, as the audience hears it for the first time. Gives me shivers…

Neil Young - A Man Needs A Maid / Heart of Gold Suite (mp3)


And with that you're introduced to my father. Words sincere and taste as deep as the reasons anybody listens. He's chosen 50 great songs from 2007 that I neglected in my 100 Great Songs of 2007 series - and I'll be devoting one post a week to share his fantastic picks with you. Be sure to let him know what you think. Here it goes...

1) Angus and Julia Stone - What You Wanted (mp3)

2) Au Revoir Simone - The Lucky One (mp3)

3) The Avett Brothers - Die Die Die (mp3)

4) Bishop Allen - Click, Click, Click, Click (mp3)

5) Thurston Moore - Honest James (mp3)

6) The New Pornographers - Myriad Harbour (mp3)

7) Rilo Kiley - Give a Little Love (mp3)

8) Bruce Springsteen - Last to Die (mp3)

9) Laura Veirs - Pink Light (mp3)

10) The Sea and Cake – Transparent (mp3)

Mar 8, 2008

Internet Killed the Video Star

La Blogotheque Take Away Show #87. 2 - Yeasayer "2080" (March 2008)



La Blogotheque continues to show that it is the new newspaper, the new music video, the new concert, and the new party. It seems silly to write about the perfection of how the last syllable of the third yelped phrase drops out of falsetto, or how a room full of people drinking beer is sculpted into a choir with impeccable pronunciation. But it's hard not to tell everyone you know.

Yeasayer - Wait for the Wintertime (mp3)

Mar 6, 2008

A Kid's Head on My Bike

Shepard Fairey - Operation Oil Freedom (2007)

I want to see sparrows with wings the size of Russia but no hesitation to fly. I want to live days with sunsets that fight like protestors being escourted out of the room flailing. I want to listen to singers that strain to get louder when the track starts to fade out, only to be inevitably buried.

Viking Moses - Werewolves in the City (mp3) [buy]

Mar 5, 2008

Safety Warnings Can Be Good Lies

Zhang Peng - Yi Fan No. 2 (2006)

I wouldn't notice time passing if it weren't for my toenails, but it seems like forever since I've heard new sounds from The Notwist. Their new album The Devil, You + Me collaborates with the wild
Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra and will be released this summer. The characteristically atmospheric "Good Lies" is as quietly dangerous as a child in a field of plastic bag goodbyes.

The Notwist - Good Lies (mp3)

The Notwist - Consequence (mp3) [from 2002's Neon Golden]

Mar 3, 2008

A Damning Eyewitness

Taryn Simon - Larry Mayes [from "The Innocents"] (2002)

This is the scene of the arrest - the Royal Inn in Gary, Indiana. Larry Mayes is hiding beneath a mattress that muffles aggressive pounds on the door. He is about be sentenced 80-years for rape, robbery, and unlawful deviate conduct. He is about to serve 18.5 years for crimes he didn't commit. The mattresse has never experienced such urgent dreaming.

Tom Waits - Innocent When You Dream (mp3)

Mar 1, 2008

Spending Hours

Michael Velliquette - 8 Headed Serpent (2008)

(1) Hours translated excruciatingly in opportunity cost for breaths.

(2) Hours cashed in at death's prize counter for armfuls of toys made from single molds of plastic.

(3) Hours of sidewalk.

(4) Hours invested wisely in thinking about millions of other hours.

Decomposure - Hour 1 (mp3)

Decomposure - Hour 9 (mp3) [buy]