Friday, April 20, 2018

Weekend Mix/Bad Birthday

I wrote a whole thing, albeit short, due to lateness.
Blogger became "Unresponsive", I became "Impatient", my computer crashed, and it's all gone,
so fuck it. Here's the Weekend Mix:

I'm glad Nick Cave has achieved a career where he plays The Barclay Center rather than overdosing in obscurity, only to become a legend posthumously. If that had happened, this compilation covers what would have qualified him for that status.

Bad Birthday

Bad Birthday, too

Bad Birthday redundancy



Wednesday, April 18, 2018


I wanted "Life Line" to be today's "Song Of the Day," and stumbled across this version.

There was no one like Harry Nilsson.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"We gotta lotta nerve doing this song."

Scott Ligon and Casey McDonough of both NRBQ and The Flat Five.

Currrently, my favorite thing of the last 2,000 years.

Prepare to weep.

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party's "Junkyard" has been one of the "ten albums", would have surely made the list if it were twenty, and will probably someday cycle back into the top ten.

I was turned onto The Birthday Party just as they broke up in 1983. "Junkyard"(1982) was their last full length. Nick Cave was at the height of his junkie years, and I had no idea he would survive or go on to such acclaim as an artist. The Birthday Party was intentionally as cathartic and darkly humorous  as could be. Nick has matured as an artist, and his palette broadened, but albums like "Murder Ballads" (1996) are still plenty dark.
They actually hired Ed "Big Daddy" Roth to create the cover art. By this time Roth was a devout Mormon, had no idea who the Birthday Party were, and was later appalled to find out.
Here is one of my all-time favorite songs, "Big Jesus Trash Can" (words:Nick Cave, music: Mick Harvey).

From their final ep "Mutiny In Heaven" comes the equally disturbing "Deep In The Woods" (1983).

And a promo video for "Nick The Stripper", from "Prayers On Fire" (1981).

Music for a dark day.



Sunday, April 15, 2018

Songs Of The Week, 2018: 4/7-4/13

International Feel (Complete)- Todd Rundgren
Shirley- John Fred & His Playboy Band
Say Goodbye- Cheap Trick
Doing That Scrapyard Thing- Cream
Love's Gone Bad- Chris Clark
If You Change Your Mind- Raspberries
Edible Flowers- Finn Brothers
International Feel -Todd Rundgren 
While discussing vinyl remasters with The John Sally Ride, "A Wizard/A True Star" came up and of course I needed to hear it right then and there. Decided I wanted to post "International Feel" as a SOTD and found a version on YouTube created by a fan, that combines the opening and closing theme from Side One. That's what this is.
Shirley-John Fred & The Playboys 
I love Louisiana Swamp Pop and with a trip to New Orleans on the horizon, I felt like hearing some.

Say Goodbye- Cheap Trick
Felt like hearing it.

Doing That Scrapyard Thing- Cream 
I picked up a terrific Japanese "Best Of Cream" at last week's record show. This track was on it and it sounded so good on this particular pressing, I made it a SOTD.

Love's Gone Bad- Chris Clark 
I have been obsessing about the "Soul Sounds" album by Chris Clark. It's one of the rarer Motown records. It's like Dusty Springfield backed by The Funk Brothers trying to sound like a garage band. I finally found an affordable copy and this track is a personal fave.

If You Change Your Mind- Raspberries 
Another random winner thanks to iPod shuffle.

Edible Flowers- Neil Finn 
With all the talk about Neil Finn joining Fleetwood Mac after Lindsey's firing, I felt like hearing some. You know I really love Neil Finn. I have since the first time I saw Split Enz in 1980. And of course,  love Lindsey. But I don't think I want to hear Neil sing Lindsey any more than I want to hear Lindsey sing Neil.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Weekend Mix/Uneven Pavement Ahead

"This Malkmus idiot is a complete songwriting genius" said Gary Young, original Pavement drummer, and owner of Louder Than You Think, the Stockton California recording studio they first recorded, upon hearing their early material. 

Pavement formed in 1989 and seemed to be unaware they had a career until it was nearly over. They broke up in 1999 after an unplanned hiatus. Stephen Malkmus was done with the band and left it to  co-founder Scott "Spiral Stairs" Kannberg to call the others. Drummer Steve West never even got a call. He found out the band broke up via the internet.

During the tour for "Wowee Zowee", Pavement often took the stage without a set-list, opting instead for substance fueled jams in avoidance of playing "hits". Some of these occurrences took place during the 1995 Lollapalooza festival, where the hostile audience response included pelting the band with mud and rocks. They later dubbed themselves "The band that ruined Lollapalooza".

In spite of it all they managed to make at least one great record, and a bunch of good ones, leading some prominent critics to call them "the best band of the 1990's".

I must have read a review, probably by Robert Christgau, in the Village Voice when I bought "Slanted And Enchanted" in 1992.
I heard a bit of Velvet Lou and Television which predisposed me to like it. "Home" was the song, atypically quiet and pretty, that really got me. I loved about half the album, which was enough for me to keep listening. The first 5 tracks on the mix are from this period.
As recently posted, the next one, "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain"(1994) knocked me out. Indie Classic Rock. An oxymoron if there ever was one.
All of it except one grating composition by Scott Kannberg appear in their original order as tracks 6 thru 15. "Fillmore Jive" the closer, does the same here after a handful of tracks from  "Wowee Zowee"(1995), "Pacific Trim"(1996), "Brighten The Corners"(1997), and "Terror Twilight"(1999).

There was a reunion in 2010, and could be again in 2019, however don't expect any new material. 
Stephen Malkmus has moved on. His seventh album with The Jicks, "Sparkle Hard" will be out any minute.
Tickets are available for their Brooklyn shows in June. They are scheduled to appear tomorrow (April 14) at Town Hall for WNYC's "Live From Here".

Uneven Pavement, too


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Does Humor Belong In Music?

Sure it does as it is one of the greatest weapons against misplaced authority.
While Elvis didn't exhibit much, intentionally anyway, The Beatles sure did.
Here is another album that made an impression and remains in rotation.

Phil Austin, Peter Bergman, David Ossman, and Phil Proctor weren't a band in the usual sense, but wrote and performed songs here and there on their albums. In 2005, The US Library of Congress, added "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers" (1970) to the National Registry, calling The Firesign Theater "The Beatles Of Comedy".

In High School, my best friend and surfing buddy, "Stretch" had an older brother, whose records we plundered and stacked on the turntable while we played pool in the "rec" room. (It actually had a refrigerator outfitted with a tap on the door for kegs).

That's where we found The Firesign's  classic albums. Cheech And Chong records were funny once, and George Carlin's "7 Dirty Words" hilarious food for thought, but The Firesign's were something different altogether. No one-liner's or jokes, exactly, but a surreal melange of layered wordplay.
Their records insisted being heard many times, preferably with headphones, just to figure out what the heck was going on.

Fortunately, big brother also had "The Firesign Theater's Big book Of Plays" which we borrowed and studied in detail. Out in the water, between sets, we'd recite whole passages.

Here is one of our favorites, featuring their most well known and recurring character, 
Nick Danger, Third Eye.

After 1973 they were on again off again until the deaths of  Peter Bergman (2012) and Phil Austin (2015). One of my favorites of their later years is "Boon Dot Bust", from 1999.

Here is a tidbit:


Don't forget to tune in for tomorrow's Weekend Mix