Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday, March 30 @ Havana. Bunch of friends showed up (including Dave Segal, in town from Orange County), which made it that much more enjoyable.

1. Thee Headcoats, “I’m Hurting”
2. Jim Atkins, “I’m a Ding Dong Daddy (From Dumas)”
3. Hank Snow, “The Goldrush Is Over”
4. George Clark and His Calypso Orchestra, vocal by the Duke of Iron, “Walter Winchell”
5. Suburban Knight, “Midnight Sunshine”
6. Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators, “If This Ain’t Love (Don’t Know What Is)”
7. Julia Lee, “Gotta Gimme What’cha Got”
8. Harmonettes, “Shame, Shame, Shame”
9. Steely Dan, “FM”
10. Norma Jean, “I Like Love”
11. Sylvia Hall, “Don’t Touch That Thing”
12. Go Home Productions, “Making Plans for Vinyl”
13. Highstrung, “Watch Me Sustain the Early Days”
14. The Strokes, “On the Other Side”
15. James Brown, “Get Up, Get Into It, and Get Involved”
16. The Masterdon Committee, “Funk Box Party”
17. Johnny “Guitar” Watson, “Ain’t That a Bitch”
18. The Chi-Lites, “Stoned Out of My Mind”
19. The Mystic Moods, “Cosmic Sea”
20. Bobby Byrd, “Hot Pants--I’m Coming, Coming, I’m Coming”
21. Van Halen, “Dance the Night Away”
22. Primal Scream, “Loaded”
23. Double Exposure, “Ten Percent (Original Walter Gibbons 12” Mix)”
24. Hoosier Hot Shots, “I Like Bananas (Because They Have No Bones)”
25. Thee Headcoatees, “Davey Crockett”
26. Joe Houston, “Flying Home”
27. Royksopp, “Eple”
28. Carl Craig, “The Climax (Basic Channel Reshape)”
29. Distance, “My Demons”
30. Luminis, “Spectral Arc”
31. The Clientele, “Winter on Victoria Street”
32. Hot Chip, “We’re Looking for a Lot of Love”
33. Augustus Pablo, “Jah Dread”
34. Dillinger, "Natty Kung Fu"
35. Diana Ross and the Supremes, “You Can’t Hurry Love”
36. Ivy, “Streets of Your Town”
37. Duke Ellington, “The Swinger’s Jump”

I have a somewhat unusual name, but I'm not the only person with it. I was reminded of this when I saw this piece, which quotes the other M.M.--if I remember right, a DJ as well as a dancer from Harlemwith whom I had a MySpace-mail exchange a while back; seems like a very nice guy.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I succumbed, or tried to. Less than 24 hours after I posted my Muxtape, it up and disappeared. This, needless to say, is somewhat infuriating, especially given how long it took to upload the fucking thing. Then I tried again and it seems to not only hold but be seen by others: take a look/listen.

Monday, March 24, 2008

"[H]is beatific smile and closed eyes proved that he was in heaven already, embracing his instrument like a lover, like a strong friend. Yet he no longer owned a bass. 'That's outrageous,' said jazz legend Charlie Haden when he heard this at the time. 'I'll give him one of mine.'" R.I.P. Cachao (via Rickey).

Havana, March 23. Easter. On (mild) acid. Here we go.

1. Brandy ft. Kanye West, “Talk About Our Love”
2. Sir Lord Comic & the Upsetters, “Django Shoots First”
3. Ghostface Killah ft. Amy Winehouse, “You Know I’m No Good” [the single version that reduced Amy to a glorified call-out hook girl, what fun]
4. Jorge Benjor, “Taj Mahal” [the 1976 disco-funk godhead one]
5. Cassie, “Is It You”
6. Jens Lekman, “Kanske Ar Jag Kar i Dig”
7. Bee Gees, “Too Much Heaven”
8. The Mountain Goats, “You or Your Memory”
9. Ulf Lohmann, “Because Before (Remix by the Orb)”
10. Miles Davis, “Nefertiti”
11. Japancakes, “Only Shallow”
12. George Akaeze & His Augmented Hits, “Business Before Pleasure”
13. Van Hunt, “Dust”
14. Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, “Sunshower”
15. Black Box Recorder, “Weekend”
16. Hank Snow, “I’ve Been Everywhere”
17. Holly Golightly, “Believe Me #2”
18. The Auteurs, “Show Girl”
19. Period Pains, “Spice Girls Who Do You Think You Are?”
20. Augustus Pablo, “Bells of Death”
21. Plug, “Keen as Mustard”
22. Steel an’ Skin, “Reggae Is Here Once Again”
23. Sleepy Brown ft. OutKast, “I Can’t Wait”
24. M.I.A./Diplo, “Walk Like an Egyptian”
25. Mariah Carey ft. The-Dream, “Touch My Body (Remix)”
26. Mary J. Blige, “Till the Morning” [Rodney suggested this one; A+, Rodney]
27. Hercules & Love Affair, “Hercules Theme”
28. The Jacksons, “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) (Special 12” Disco Mix)”
29. Hot Chip, “My Piano (DJ-Kicks)”
30. The Rapture, “I Need Your Love (Playgroup Dub)”
31. Robyn, “With Every Heartbeat”
32. Foals, “Hummer”
33. Tony Alvon & the Belairs, “Sexy Coffee Pot”
34. Gwen Guthrie, “Padlock (Larry Levan 12-Inch Remix)”
35. Baby Ford & Zip, “Morning Sir (Version)”
36. Rick Astley, “Never Gonna Give You Up”
37. Dear Jayne, “Rain”
38. Mescalinum United, “We Have Arrived”
39. Soulja Boy Tell’em, “Yahhh!”
40. R.E.M., “Sitting Still”

Saturday, March 22, 2008

OMG want so fucking bad. Especially since my roommate Dave just d/l'ed the prototype version (he has a PC, I a Mac, and therefore I can't d/l it) and we played it for about a half-hour. OMG want so fucking bad.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My favorite thing I guest-blogged at Idolator today: Spin's 1990 "Hip-Hop Map of the World," by ex-Grand Royal editor Bob Mack.

Monday, March 17, 2008

2008 1/4
1. The-Dream ft. Rihanna, “Livin' a Lie” (Def Jam) 4:16
2. Dear Jayne, “Rain” (Music Line) 5:13
3. Jill Scott, “My Love” (Hidden Beach) 3:50
4. Hot Chip, “We’re Looking for a Lot of Love” (DFA) 4:44
5. Blood on the Wall, “Acid Fight” (The Social Registry) 5:09
6. Drive-By Truckers, “That Man I Shot” (New West) 6:03
7. The Thermals, “Everything Thermals (Daytrotter Session)” ( 1:29
8. The Teenagers, “Feeling Better” (XL) 3:03
9. Soulja Boy Tell'em, “Yahhh!” (Interscope) 3:10
10. Erykah Badu, “The Cell” (Universal Motown) 4:21
11. Etran Finatawa, “Asistan” (Riverboat) 3:45
12. Quarks, “Willkommen” (Monika) 1:53
13. Dop, “Merci” (Orac) 6:47
14. Guy Noir, “Flex” (Resopal Schallware) 6:03
15. Invisible Conga People, “Cable Dazed” (Italians Do It Better) 6:12
16. Sascha Dive, “Annihilating Rhythm” (Drumpoet Community) 6:18
17. Luke Bryan, “Country Man” (Capitol Nashville) 3:10
18. Reba McEntire & Kenny Chesney, “Every Other Weekend” (MCA Nashville) 4:04

Songs from albums I’ve purchased: four (1, 3, 6, 10)
Songs I bought as downloads: six (2, 9, 14, 16-18)
Songs I got from eMusic: two (5, 8)
Songs from promo CDs: three (4, 11, 12)
Songs from promo downloads: one (13)
Songs downloaded free from sites posting w/artist's permission: two (7, 15)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Speaking of very short song reviews, this is really good--as Daddino himself put it, "so much better than it should be."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Stray thought: forget about race for a minute. Thinking about it in gender terms, the reason Dirty Mind was so decisive for Prince was that it crossed him over to boys. Remember, the debut was marketed largely to teenage girls; he was marketed as much as a sex symbol as a prodigy early on. The second album was the one with the pop hit and the metal "Bambi" but also featured him shirtless and riding a goddamned pegasus. And I'm sure the cover of Dirty Mind made a lot of boys recoil in homo-fear, but it also opened the possibility that this dude really was as dirty as a lot of other dudes' imaginations, and that's always an intriguing proposition at 15. Plus his punky presentation screamed rebel, which has its charms for boys of 15 as well.

This review of the new Hot Chip by James Glazebrook is about the most accurate I've read in terms of capturing my own reaction to it, only in this case I didn't quite know what I thought of it the first time around. I was supposed to write about it and my patient editor suggested numerous changes I knew I couldn't make because I didn't really have any interest in the topic whatsoever. I thank Glazebrook for making clearer what I was reacting to--and for filling in crucial detail about the group's status in England.

Monday, March 03, 2008

1. I'll never forget the day I realized I could make a living as a writer if I tried hard enough. I was working coat check at First Avenue and was irritated about my schedule or lack thereof. Sitting there with a clipboard, I did some math and realized that if I wrote enough record reviews, I could cover all $330 per month I was paying for my room in a three-BR house on Emerson and Franklin with $500 or more to spare. What more could a recently single 24-year-old possibly need? I could have the life of relative leisure I'd never dared to imagine for myself and do what I'd always wanted to do besides. I knew I'd be leaving Minneapolis at some point soon anyway; might as well go out in what for me amounted to style.

That was nine years ago. Today I'd be deeply fearful of making that decision starting out, or close to it. I'd know I'd still have to work door or barback, clean squid or deep-fry it, serve ice cream or make waffle cones, to pick some of the jobs I had before going all-pro, all the time. I miss those days tremendously, if it isn't obvious; I miss meeting people and forming friendships and standing all day without straining my lower back. Music was so threaded into the fabric of that life that I can't honestly refer to it as an escape, but it was an ideal and that can be hard to appreciate when you're immersed in it completely.

2. I just came across Tom Ewing's new marketing blog, and if I'd seen it a week ago I would probably not have written my last Project X as I did. Tom's own additional thoughts on his great Peel column--not especially surprising he extended the idea of "filtering out weird stuff" better than I could. He goes where I was trying to: the stuff about Noir City and the Dandelion Radio list were attempts to talk about how music listeners on the web often use filters as blinders or guards, and how that makes for poorer tastes and less-broad interests once the initial shock of novelty wears off. This is at least part of why urban-boho listeners like myself (often white, somewhat tech-savvy, indie-minded if not always interested in indie per se) have re-embraced indie rock in the past couple years, often at the expense of further-ranging stuff, at least from what I've seen. (I live in Seattle, so I've seen plenty.) But my original plan was to bring in some other things (particularly David Hepworth's disarmingly open ruminations in the new, fifth-anniversary issue of The Word) that I just didn't have time or energy for--or really, just wasn't organized enough to do.

3. The reason for this, besides my own chronic disorganization, is that two Saturdays ago I put together a massive CD shelf that now occupies the house's living room. It's a great-looking thing, and as I'd planned it opened up a lot of floor space. (Not that I'm finished cleaning my room, of course. But I can walk around in it for the first time in months.) Going through it leisurely I'm finding a lot of stuff I'd forgotten about, more or less--things that weren't in my mind's forefront, old friends, yadda yadda. First up was playing Angela the Hoosier Hot Shots' "I Like Bananas (Because They Have No Bones)," the dizziest record I know, even more so than Slim Gaillard's "Serenade to a Poodle." ("Don't give me no peaches, they are full of stones/I like bananas because they have no bones.")

But the past few days have been all about that banner year . . . 2004! I've been revisiting a number of things from that year: Annie's "Heartbeat," Brandy's "Talk About Our Love," Portobella's "Covered in Punk," the U.S.E. album, all of it sounding glorious as before. It's strange to think of such a fraught year--my many health problems, worrying over my sister's pregnancy, fielding snide remarks re: the unpardonable sin of having better things to do than going out every fucking night of the week, the election--as such a sonic bounty, and indeed it doesn't now (and didn't at the time) have the sort of anything-can-happen feeling of 2001-02, music-wise. Just a year so solid I expected every one after to be much the same way, only to make way for 2005, which at the time I called the worst pop year of my conscious lifetime, and 2006, which made 2005 seem like every golden age you could hope for. (Since I keep count, 2007 was a great year and 2008 is shaping up to be a very good one, though c'est la vie if it too sinks.)

The real revelation about '04 was coming across CD-Rs of Mike Daddino's "Recommended Listening" folders. Mike had a great idea: each month he compiled favorite tracks and, instead of labeling the files artist-and-title, wrote mini-reviews and/or mini-summaries before the .mp3 tags. These glosses of Xgau's Honorable Mentions and Greil's Stranded discography carry a jolt because of their format, and also because he does them with real style. They were some of my favorite pieces of criticism I saw that year, and I'm sorry I'd forgotten them, though given the insane busy-ness of my life just in the past three months (never mind four years), it's not terribly surprising. A few are simple notes ("breakout track from ’04’s likeliest hip-hop consensus album"--Kanye West ft. Twista & Jamie Foxx, “Slow Jamz”), and others wouldn't translate outside his (our) groups of friends.

But a number of them are enjoyable and have legs: "idm blowhard gets something right for a change" (Squarepusher, “Iambic 9 Poetry”); "ukranian dance parties musta been real barn burners" (Samuil Pilip’s Lemkiwska Orchestra, “Daliwskyj Tanec”); "‘disguise it as an aztec camera reunion and the hipoisie would cream’" (John Mayer, “Clarity”--not sure who Daddino's quoting there, but they're right); "aussie krautjazz groove, m denny for the new age of anxiety" (The Necks, “Drive-By”); "house music for people who need paxil" (Richard Davis, “Bring Me Closer”); "the insidious influence of ‘hey ya’ continues unchecked in alt-land" (Raya, “Animal Farm”); "rock lobster girls just wanna have fun dancing on the ceiling ‘cause they got the beat" (Alan Braxe & Fred Falke, “Rubicon [Original Version]”).

Sunday, March 02, 2008

March 2, Havana DJ’ing
1. Steve Reich and Musicians, “Drumming – Part Four (1971) (Live from the Kitchen, 1977)”
2. Althea & Donna, “Uptown Top Ranking”
3. Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, “I’ll Play the Fool”
4. Candido Camero, “Blue Prelude”
5. Dennis Alcapone, “DJ’s Choice”
6. J Dilla, “Anti-American Graffiti”
7. Foghat, “Slow Ride”
8. New Order, “The Perfect Kiss”
9. The Headhunters, “God Made Me Funky”
10. Talking Heads, “The Great Curve”
11. The Messenger, “Guide My Soul”
12. Missy Elliott, “We Run This”
13. El Currante, “Jungle Fever”
14. Red Foley, “Midnight”
15. Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet, “Job”
16. The Dundees, “Never”
17. Teenage Fanclub, “It’s All in My Mind”
18. Clinic, “Distortions”
19. Peshay, “The Real Thing (90 BPM Version)”
20. Comet Gain, “Just One More Summer Before I Go”
21. R.E.M., “Near Wild Heaven”
22. Troubled Hubble, “To Be Alive and Alone”
23. LFO, “Every Other Time”
24. The Go-Betweens, “Born to a Family”
25. Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers, “Road-Runner (Twice)”
26. Luna, “Black Postcards”
27. Jeffrey Lewis with Jack Lewis and Anders Griffen, “No LSD Tonight”
28. Jim Eanes & the Shenandoah Valley Boys, “Missing in Action”
29. Claro Intelecto, “Peace of Mind”
30. Lashio Thein Aung, “You Got What You Got”
31. Earl Hines & His Orchestra, “Angry”