Monday, December 31, 2007


Listen to AYER CACHE LA QUEBRA' DEL AJÍ by Los Jaivas.

Happy New Year's Eve! Obviously it's still the holiday season and we're correspondingly getting low traffic at the moment, which is kinda too bad for these songs.

It's certainly no reflection on my opinion of Ayer Cache La Quebra' Del Ají. I think this is a thrilling piece of work, and I probably like it just as much if not more than the Jaivas track we put on the holiday mix, La Quebra' Del Aji Corre Que Te Pillo. The song we've posted today has a more pungent vocal that really appeals to me, but may need a few listens for others.

Los Jaivas are one of Chile's most famous groups, and they spent literally decades refining their Andean/prog folk sound. I've been trying without success to get more of their material, but there's always 2008...

Enjoy your parties tonight! We'll be back tomorrow and the rest of this week with just a few more South American selections before we move on to territories anew.

LATE UPDATE: What a mess! Thanks to a kind commenter, I went back and double-checked the tracklisting for my copy of "Todos Juntos," the album from which I took all of these tracks. Sure enough, it was all mislabeled. The track uploaded here is actually La Quebra' del Ají, not Ayer Cache. The actual song named Ayer Cache was mislabeled in my copy as Cuero y Piel, which I could have figured out was wrong if I had listened to the lyrics closer. Not having much Spanish, though, it's difficult. And so on. The song I had listed on the holiday mix as La Quebra' del Ají is actually titled Corre Que Te Pillo, so I suppose I'll have to go fix that! Anyway, the songs themselves are all the same, and it's quality through and through. I encourage you all to go find the whole thing. This place has it all correctly labeled, but the sound quality isn't as good as the mislabeled tracks you can find here. All apologies!

Photo: Jose Artigas, Trump Soho.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

...And a Happy New Year!

I got an obnoxious email from a Manchester United supporting friend after they had briefly gone top of the table after Christmas.

Easiest. Retort. Ever.


Friday, December 28, 2007


Listen to VIRGIN by Traffic Sound.

Another quick one while we're away... Virgin was also on the mix for a long time until we decided that Meshkalina, another Traffic Sound song, should go on in its place.

Virgin is more sophisticated in its arrangement and production; it's really solid, in fact. It's the title track to Traffic Sound's best album and therefore one of the best albums to come out of this whole period. I haven't listened to it much since the beginning of the month and am looking forward to hearing it again in a minute!

I'd write more but the beach beckons... have a good Friday!

Photo: View of Manhattan Bridge through a screen.


Thursday, December 27, 2007


Listen to EL MUNDO ES UNA FLOR by Hojas.

We're blogging from snowy Maine today so comments will be brief. The last thing we were waiting on before we finished the Christmas CD was this record from Hojas, a well regarded Uruguayan band (but from Colonia, not Montevideo).

We waited and waited, and then it finally came, and I put it on. El Mundo Es Una Flor was the definite standout on two or three listens, but I couldn't find a way to work it into the sequence, so I left it off. Now you can make your own evaluation.

Stay warm!

Photo: Amtrak station, late afternoon.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Listen to EVERY NIGHT by Los Mockers.

Happy Boxing Day! We'll ease back into music here with some songs that didn't make it onto our Holiday mix for whatever reason. Today's selection is from Los Mockers, who we've already alluded to being the Uruguayan Rolling Stones, and here is the aural proof.

Like the Chocolate Watchband, the Mockers had their Jagger and Jones imitations down pat, which could yield some pretty good tunes in their own right, but could also leave them open to being mere copyists.

Every Night is one of my favorite Mockers tracks, and as so it sounds like good early Rolling Stones but with its own thing. It's a good arrangement and recording, how it comes straight into that ascending guitar line and leaves plenty of space for the drums and vocals to accent the groove.

See you back here tomorrow (hopefully, we'll be blogging from Maine) (hopefully, having beaten the sailors).

Photo: Federal courthouse, dirty window.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Goodbye Oscar Peterson



Sunday, December 23, 2007

The gift that keeps giving!

We're signing off for a couple of days (probably). We'll put up some more Christmas songs on the featured playlist on the right (you can play them over your computer Christmas morning!), and leave you with a song we blogged earlier this year: The Gift That Keeps Giving by the Super Furry Animals. Here is the holiday-themed video for all of you (Be sure to watch til the end!). Happy Holidays!


Friday, December 21, 2007


Listen to BOUREE by Jethro Tull.

A few weeks ago I fielded a request from a longtime reader to post some Jethro Tull, namely Bourée (one of Tull's earliest hits and a signature tune of the group). Because it's so (relatively) well known, I demurred, saying there's no real point in having this blog if we're just posting something you can get on the radio, etc.

That was that. It was? Well, a couple of weeks later, I was gathering together some Christmas music to post, and I came across mention of a Jethro Tull Christmas album! It's only a few years old, includes seasonal material, including newly recorded versions of their old stuff. For whatever reason, Bourée is considered Christmas music (Ian Anderson originally adapted it from a minor Bach piece for lute), so here it is. Happy Christmas!

Photo: Charcoal Oven Hamburgers.


Thursday, December 20, 2007



I'm not really sure this is even a Christmas song, but I've always wanted to post a Sensational Alex Harvey Band track. I read somewhere that Bon Scott only listened to two singers, Elvis and Alex Harvey. And while I don't hear a huge amount of Elvis in early AC/DC (not saying it's not there), Bon Scott's voice (and his imitators like Brian Johnson, the Upper Crust, etc) can be a near carbon copy of Alex Harvey's. It's quite uncanny!

SAHB's songs are theatrical in a way that don't always translate to record, but their highs are pretty high and their lows are pretty interesting. There's No Lights isn't really either, but it's still worth your time this holiday season. What else are you going to listen to today? Below the fold is a live performance of the song, including a little snippet of a mulletted John Peel.

Photo: Will Rogers Theater.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You'll Never Walk Alone (But You'll Lose To Chelsea)

Listen to YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE by The Kop Choir (In-Studio Version).

Shame to miss out on a two-legged Merseyside derby... or is it?


Citizen journalism!

Bus Gets Smashed By Evil Trump Soho

By How Long It Takes
Published: December 19, 2007

HUDSON SQUARE - Shortly before 9 a.m. this morning, the evil Trump Soho reached down and smashed up an innocent X6 bus that happened to be passing by.

Not content with rending the fabric of the historic and picturesque "Hudson Square" neighborhood, Trump Soho construction project seized on an opportunity to degrade and demoralize New York's famed public transportation system as well.

According to one eyewitness to the accident (whose account is obviously biased towards all things evil and Trump), the bus ignored verbal warnings and orange pylons to cut across Spring Street in order to reach its route up the Avenue of the Americas. The trip was cut short, however, when a crane load being lifted off a parked tractor trailer swung around and hit the bus, fracturing several windows and denting its frame. The eyewitness said, "He was too much in a hurry, now he's goin' nowhere!"

More photographs from the scene below the fold.



Listen to SANTA LOOKED A LOT LIKE DADDY (DADDY LOOKED A LOT LIKE HIM) by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos.

This one's been a favorite of ours for years, in fact if any of you have ever come around chez nous at Christmastime you've probably heard it many times. The title and the performer tells you about all you need to know. Except also that it was recorded around 65, so Don Rich is playing on it, superbly.


No need to do a separate Arsenal post, just wanted to add that yesterday's match was as entertaining as I've seen in awhile. People that say we don't have strength in depth are crazy. Maybe not as crazy as me, who had this secret thought (at least until Boro) that our second team could win the league. Maybe not, but they are all very good.

Photo: Carlyle Motel (2).


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Listen to OUT ON THE ROAD FOR CHRISTMAS by Red Simpson.

Red Simpson is, Dave Dudley excepted, the voice of trucker country music. That may or may not mean much to you, but it makes Out On The Road For Christmas a quintessential trucker Christmas song.

There's a really, really great profile of Red Simpson that WFMU put up earlier this year. I highly recommend you go read it. I'll just share one anecdote from the article:

The oft-told story goes that after a gig in the early seventies a real life truck driver approached Simpson for an autograph. Expressing his admiration for Simpson's musical treatment of his daily drudgery, the trucker asked Red how long he had been trucking. The fan was shocked when Simpson explained he had never been in the cab of a rig in all his life. Feigning disbelief the trucker awkwardly stumbled as he asked Simpson "... then why would you write so many songs about trucking?" Red Simpson confidently answered, "Money."
Money. Isn't that what the holidays are all about? :)

[Note that this copy of the song includes a snippet of unrelated dialog at the end. Can't remember why that is.]

Photo: Coronado Plaza on Route 66.


Monday, December 17, 2007


Listen to SANTA CAME HOME DRUNK by Clyde Lasley and the Cadillac Baby Specials.

If there's any field of music collecting that has really been changed by the internet, it must be Christmas music. Used to be you'd have to scrounge around for the same three or four tapes you bothered to pick up. Maybe one or two novelties or obscurities here and there, but for most people it wasn't worth the effort or expense to get very much of music that you're only going to play once a year.

And while that's still true to a degree, there are some people that take the time to dig around for really great (or strange or shocking) Christmas music, and now it's so easy to find this time of year. If you read any music blogs, everyone always puts up their favorite tracks, and pretty soon you've got a real stable of Christmas horses.

The point is, we've got a few years of Christmas music collecting now, so this week we'll share some notable examples.

Today's is my personal favorite. I don't know anything about it or Clyde Lasley except what's on the tape. A ramshackle blues shuffle, about, you'd think, Santa Claus out on a bender drinking all sorts of gins and whiskeys. It gets pretty hard to follow Lasley's story though. But I have done it, and the best thing about it is it's not even about Santa Claus! Santa drops out after the first couple of lines and only reappears at the end. The rest of it is complete non sequiturs with names of liquors thrown in here and there! Awesome.

Photo: Beverly's Pancake Corner.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

No more ceiling project!

Notwithstanding so much help from all sorts of people to whom we are really grateful, we still managed come in with a pretty amateurish painting job.

The edging, in particular, is apparently the work of someone who cannot, um, edge. But, it's allover now bar the cleanup. Thanks for everyone's help!


You'll Never Walk Alone, But You'll Lose To Manchester United

Listen to YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE by Child.

This post originally read "You'll Never Walk Alone, But Uoull. Listen to SONG here." Philip provoked me into trying to post the song from Corner Bistro on beer number eight, but I didn't have good enough HTML fingers on the iphone.

So here's the second attempt. It's by Child, and it's the most over the top version I have of the song. My apologies to Liverpool fans for the the delay. You were really bad and could probably use the cheering up...


Friday, December 14, 2007

Now available: Everybody's Saying Music Is Love!

Our full holiday mix of classic South American pop music is now available for download. Click here or on the picture on the right. Artwork and everything is included. Happy Holidays!

The back cover:

The full tracklisting:

1. Persons and Faces : We All Together
2. El Pino y la Rosa : Los Shakers
3. Mañana : Totem
4. Jerusalem : Ana y Jaime
5. Te Recuerdo Amanda : Victor Jara
6. Everybody on Monday : Laghonia
7. Maybe I Know : Monik
8. No Tengo Idea : Almendra
9. Siempre Tu : Los Shakers
10. Navidad En El Peru : Coral Infantil Colegio de Chiclayo

11. La Pata y el Pato : Climaco Sarmiento y Su Orquestra
12. Mi Cueva : El Polen
13. Profecia : Vox Dei
14. Meshkalina : Traffic Sound
15. Green Paper (Toilet) : Pax
16. It's OK : Telegraph Avenue
17. La Quebra' del Aji Corre Que Te Pillo : Los Jaivas
18. Estamos Seguros : Los Delfines
19. Stone : Texao
20. Lo Más Grande Que Existe es el Amor : We All Together

More facts and figures:

-- In the end we picked from about 500 tracks. We picked songs from Peru (especially), Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia. We also considered songs from Venezuela, Paraguay, and Bolivia. We didn't consider Brazil because that's a whole different kettle of fish!

-- We All Together, Laghonia, and Monik are related acts. Different iterations of much the same personnel.

-- Monik's Maybe I Know is a faithful cover of Lesley Gore's 1964 hit. I think that the cover improves on the original, which is a little sterile for me.

-- The cover art is taken from all the different photos posted on the blog over the last year.

-- The refrain "Everybody's Saying Music Is Love" will be familiar to those of you who attended the wedding in August.

-- The sound quality is pretty mixed. We apologize for the tinny mp3 vinyl rip sound on some of the tracks, but these songs simply aren't available around here in any other form. It's sequenced to be not too jarring.

-- There's one Christmas song on the mix. The song title gives away which one that is!

-- There's one other song that's not really in a pop/rock idiom: La Pata y el Pato, a cumbia from Colombia. Think of it as a short, sweet palette cleanser.

-- The first half is more pop, second half more rock.

-- If you're on Facebook you can join our blog group. To be honest I don't know what the purpose is either!

-- There's really only one ballad on the mix, Te Recuerdo Amanda, Victor Jara. It might be his best-known song. It's also one of the most beautiful songs out there.

-- Vox Dei is the longest track at seven and a half minutes. It's also the prog-iest.

-- The last track has been featured on the blog before. But since I got that song from another blog, and that blog had the name slightly misspelled, I hadn't been able to get a good recording of it, until one day I realized it wasn't "Los Mas Grande" but "Lo Mas Grande"! It's fixed on the mix.



Listen to MI CUEVA by El Polen.

El Polen was an acid folk group from the Andes. Boy were they. Mi Cueva lays it all out: quenas and antaras (what sounds like the pan pipes), charangos (what sounds like the ukulele), and an unmistakeable hippie sensibility that connects over time and space.

Mi Cueva sounds superficially like Simon & Garfunkel's El Pasa Condor (those pan flutes), but this is heavier, deeper, and more interesting. I love how it builds and blossoms into those gorgeous vocals. I think it shares the same beauty and sensibility as Bros by Panda Bear (which may be a stretch but is definitely a mutual compliment).

Photo: View of Villarica through a car window and the trees.


Thursday, December 13, 2007


Listen to NO TENGO IDEA by Almendra.

I've learned through the last few months that I'm not the hugest fan of Argentinian rock. As far as I can tell, the scene is all about brittle guitar soloing and needlessly fussy arrangements. (Either that, or a massive massive Stones fetish, which is how it sounded to us when us when we visited. As one blogger puts it, "few bands from Argentina these days overcome their OMG Rolling Stones = teh awesome phase." Check out that link for proof.)

Anywayz, I do know with some confidence that Almendra is one of the most important Argentinian rock groups, and I've got most of what they recorded. Some of it is very good, some of it is not to my taste (see above). But I love No Tengo Idea for a very specific reason, and that reason is, it sounds almost exactly what you would imagine the Kinks would sound like if they decided to do a Victoria or Lola-era jam with Spanish lyrics. Seriously, doesn't that sound like Ray Davies vamping along? I think this is a very funny observation.

Photo: View from Acela.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

If only every day were like this...

The ceiling? Finished but for the drying. Christmas shopping? All done. The Arsenal? Back to winning ways. So, while you go visit Kate and Mayur's Christmas blog, I'm off to buy a lottery ticket!



Listen to EL PINO Y LA ROSA by Los Shakers.

Somebody on the internet recently argued that the last album by Los Shakers, "La Conferencia Secreta del Toto's Bar," is 'better than Sgt Peppers and Pet Sounds put together.'

Now that's loco. But I tell you what, just like there are a litany of pop albums whose greatness wasn't recognized upon release (Forever Changes, Radio City, etc.), "La Conferencia" is ripe for examination.

As mentioned on Monday, Los Shakers were known as the Uruguayan Beatles in their day. But their day was 1965, and their sound aped "Meet The Beatles" era Lennon & McCartney. For some reason, though, the band went on a recording hiatus, and the music scene passed them by. Similarly to The Zombies, when they went to deliver their album to the label in 1968, the label rejected it, the group split up, and the album was stillborn.

What a shame. The music on "La Conferencia" is a revelation. Clever arrangements, brilliant modulations, gold plated melodies, confident incorporation of candombe and tango styles, great performances, great recordings. It's light years ahead of what made them famous.

We actually put two selections from this album on this year's Holiday Mix as a tribute to our infatuation. Anyway, see what you think. A real highlight: El Pino y la Rosa.

Photo: Downtown view.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Rivals:This Friday at the Annex

Quick programming note. Guestblogger extraordinaire Corbett leads his band of Rivals to the Annex (152 Orchard St.) this Friday at 8. Everybody's saying their music is lovely. Go see!



Listen to JERUSALEM by Ana y Jaime.

Jerusalem is the second song we're featuring from this year's holiday mix, Everybody's Saying Music Is Love.

Today we bring you another act whose exposure here is all out of proportion with their quality. For the life of me I can't find out the first thing about Ana y Jaime, except that they are sister and brother, and while they become a well known folk act in Colombia, they were only 15 and 17 when they recorded the album from which Jerusalem is taken. 15 and 17! But that's all we know! (It would help if we had the liner notes to the CD reissue, but we don't.)

Jerusalem has such a great melody and sturdy arrangement, I have a hard time believing these kids wrote it. At the same stage, I'm pretty sure it's not the same song as the English-language hymn. One way or the other, these two sing the hell out of it. They "harmonize as only people who are closely related by blood can" (that's Gram Parsons (possibly) via Corbett).

Listening to the mix, Amy awarded Jerusalem the title of "most beautiful song." No stronger endorsement can this humble blog offer...

Photo: View from Ayasofya.


Monday, December 10, 2007


Listen to EVERYBODY ON MONDAY by Laghonia.

Everybody on Monday is the first song we're featuring from this year's holiday mix, Everybody's Saying Music Is Love!

Just a few days before we set off for Maine, I was on the internet and downloaded this random album by a group from Peru I had never heard of, named Laghonia. I did a search on my favorite music board, I Love Music, and couldn't find anything on them (somebody says there's only two copies of the original album!) Unbelievable cos I was blown away by how good it is.

So the first thing on my list after we got back from getting hitched was to start collecting this stuff in earnest. We had already told the blog about We All Together, a group that has a small cult following as being among the best Beatlesque bands out there. Well, it turns out that all of the principal members of We All Together had previously been members of Laghonia, so it's no surprise that they sound alike.

Both bands are heavily into late period Beatles. But where We All Together's sound is more Badfinger/Gilbert O'Sullivan, Laghonia's sound is more stoned psychedelic. If you've ever heard Spirit's "The Family That Plays Together" (and you have), then you'll have a good idea what you're getting in to.

Everybody On Monday was written on the spot following an unusually hard rain in light and dry Lima. That spontaneity is reflected in a great recording--all George Harrison guitar and Hammond Organ (the only one in Peru!). Live, organic. And everything comes together in a wonderfully mellow extended coda.

It's just amazing this music is not more well known. So do your part and listen! :)

See you back tomorrow for more holiday mix tunes.

Photo: View of Manhattan Bridge through a screen.


Happy Holidays! Enjoy some music from us!

Season's greetings! This is our favorite time of year, not because we get presents (though that's nice too), but because we get to share our Holiday Mix with all of you! As many of you know, every year we've sent out these mixes to our friends, and every year it's become a bigger production. In fact, this here blog started solely to distribute the one from last year.

So that brings us to this year, and I have to say, it's probably the best one yet:

Everybody's Saying Music Is Love

Every mix has a theme, and the theme of this one is Classic Pop Music from South America. It sounds obscure doesn't it? Well, trust me, if you love the Beatles, the Kinks, Pink Floyd, Santana, Jethro Tull, Badfinger, Simon & Garfunkel, Carole King (that is, all that classic pop and rock music from the late 60s and early 70s), then you'll definitely want to hear this.

Just as the British Invasion swept the U.S.A. and revolutionized music on this continent (as Corbett has been discussing this past week), so it did in South America. Particularly in places like Lima and Montevideo, local musicians picked up guitars and tried their best to sound like their British idols. (Groups from the latter city even formed their own "Uruguayan Invasion" of Argentina, with Los Shakers as The Beatles and Los Mockers as The Stones.) Over time, just as in America, bands married local and foreign musical idioms with ever more sophistication and style. For those willing to look, there's a universe of great music all of these acts have left behind.

Long-time readers will already be familiar with groups like We All Together and Almendra, but we've gone scouring the internet for music from all over South America. Everybody's Saying Music Is Love mixes twenty of our favorites.

Each day this week we'll be previewing five of our very favorites. The full mix, including all of the artwork, will be available for you to download beginning on Friday. And the week after, we'll be sharing some great traditional Christmas songs (traditional? well, you'll see), so you should stick around for that too!


Saturday, December 8, 2007

You'll Never Walk Alone (But You'll Lose to Reading)


I was just telling Philip last night I was sad I hadn't been able to post more of these versions. Reading obliged by mugging Liverpool today, so I give you Ray Charles! You'd have to say Liverpool were unlucky with their finishing and the two referee decisions in the first half. On the other hand, Reading were impressively clinical with their chances and they never really looked like conceding once they got out in front.

Let's hope the same thing doesn't happen to us tomorrow!

UPDATE: It happened.