Sunday, May 31, 2009


36 FLA
Listen to POPCORN by The Fairfax High School Marimba Band.

Real time blogging. I've head this sitting in my drafts pile for awhile, and I think it's time to share it. Especially since I've now listened to it four times in a row (Thanks, WFMU)! Trying to decide what to blog next week, I guess y'all will find out soon enough!


Friday, May 29, 2009


Listen to STICK HEAT by Toe Fat.

What's there to say about Toe Fat? That they have about the dumbest name ever thought of? I think that's probably a good shout. You have to give this tune thirty seconds to clear the dumb ukelele bit, then you get into pretty decent Sabbath-y, Deep Purple-y riffing. The vocals are proto-hair metal. All in all, it's an interesting track, veeeery much of its time (1970).


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Bus Stop
Listen to NITTY GRITTY by Doug Sahm.

When I picked this to post on the blog a few weeks ago, I was really excited about it. Now I'm less so. So I'm posting it more in hope than expectation that it'll blow your doors off. It's basically a good-timey Texas tune. Very eager to be liked.

Most of you will recognize Mr. Sahm, if at all, from the Sir Douglas Quintet (a great band name, by the way), but he had a long and fruitful post-stardom recording career. This is from that long and fruitful part.


Sunday, May 24, 2009


Listen to IT'S OVER by Los Dug Dug's.

Not a bad time to play more Los Dug Dug's. I had someone write in saying they had been looking for Yo No Se forever and was glad we had it. Happy to oblige! There's more out there, just so you know!

I'm kinda disturbed by the news that Jay Bennett has died at 46. I'm pretty sure he led a much, much harder life than I did, but his specific recent complaint--that he had had been too hard on his knees, ignored them in the vain hope they'd 'fix themselves,' to the point he had destroyed his hip joint and needed a total sounds vaguely familiar. Anyway, it's also timely in that Corbett had been provoking me into giving Wilco another listen, Wilco being a band I've found incredibly annoying ever sense Bennett left. So now instead of listening to the new Wilco album, I'm going to play "Being There" instead. Peace to his family.



Listen to KAA YE OYA by Hugh Masekela.

I didn't end up getting to meet Mr. Masekela the other week at the Ubuntu fundraiser (though I got a couple of nice photos). Here's a relatively rare selection to take you through the end of your weekend.


Friday, May 22, 2009


Listen to JOM by Lamine Konté.

Senegalese movie music. Mr. Konté passed away a couple of years ago. To the extent he was known in this country, it's probably for "Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants." As much as I enjoy (parts of) that album, you can imagine that's not really his career highlight. Here's a nice obituary that sums his career up rather better:

Paris, 02/10/2007 -
The Senegalese musician Lamine Konté died in the night of 28/29 September 2007. Konté will be remembered as one of the first artists to put a modern spin on the kora. He also goes down in music history as the man who set the work of some of the greatest poets from Africa and the African diaspora to music.

Konté eventually set up a new home for himself in France in 1971, where he caused a stir with his innovative style of kora-playing, recording three key albums: La kora du Sénégal (volumes 1 & 2) and Chant du Nègre, chant du monde. The two volumes of La kora du Sénégal are a veritable ‘tour de force’ of harmony and dexterity, fusing traditional Socé melodies with mbalax, Afro-Cuban rhythms, jazz, soul and R&B. On Chant du Nègre, chant du monde Konté creates a stirring musical and vocal accompaniment to texts written by famous African literary figures.

Konté wrote some memorable film music in his time (including scores for Jacques Champreux’s Bako l’autre Rive, Jean Mazel’s Du Sénégal aux Amériques and Souleymane Cissé’s Baara). But one of the most outstanding highlights of his career was his collaboration on Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants (originally a soundtrack to a documentary, this became a conceptual double album released in 1979 on which Wonder sang in Bambara). Konté once said that "working with such a remarkable figure was simply unforgettable – and all the more so when you think that this brilliant musician dares to do film music when he’s actually blind!"

Lamine Konté, an elegant, secretive and discreet figure loved and respected worldwide, was also passionate about history and an avid reader of Jean Diwo. In March 2005, Konté had taken to the stage in Paris to celebrate his 60th birthday with fans, friends and kin. Two of his cousins, Abdoulaye Diabaté and Moussa Cissokho (griots turned musicians like himself) joined Konté on stage on this occasion, Diabaté manning the piano, Cissokho pounding away on the sabar (a traditional drum) and Konté picking up his guitar and enchanting the audience with his mesmerising vocals. An evening as magical and unforgettable as the man himself!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Sixth Avenue
Listen to TONIGHT I'M GONNA GO DOWNTOWN by The Flatlanders.

Hard to believe it's been this long on the blog and none of us have ever posted anything from this album before! I know I speak for a few when I say this is is one of the best albums you could ever hope to listen to. Probably the best thing that ever came out of the Rolling Stone Album Guide we used to read religiously...


Monday, May 18, 2009


Listen to JERUSALEM by Ana y Jaime.

It's my understanding (but not being Colombian, one I can't confirm) that Ana y Jaime are a famous folk duo in Colombia, like Simon & Garfunkel or Crosby Stills & Nash.

But being American, I know I had never heard of them when I picked up this album. I'm glad I did, though, because it is fantastic all the way through. This track, which we put on our Christmas CD a couple of years ago, is about my favorite. It's from their debut album, when the two of them (siblings, by the way) were still teenagers. Impeccable.


Sunday, May 17, 2009


Listen to SAI DA FRENTE by Escola De Samba Mocidade Independente De Padre Miguel.

A little Sunday school (of samba) for you. No words, just beats.


Friday, May 15, 2009


White coats
Listen to CUMBIA EN DO MENOR by Lito Barrientos Y Su Orquesta.

This track needs no accommodation. If you can't start dancing madly to this (or at least tap your feet or shake your head), you need to take a look at yourself. This is off the uniformly excellent "Colombia! The Golden Age Of Discos Fuentes - The Powerhouse Of Colombian Music 1960-76" compilation.

Something that Quentin Tarantino could have easily put on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack and it would have been a classic with a whole generation.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Listen to COCALECA by Lucho.

A short detour to Panama for you. I shared one of Lucho's Christmas songs over the holidays, and talked a little about how my grandfather had insisted on playing him that record every Christmas Eve. He wasn't a particularly sentimental guy, so this act of blatant nostalgia really made an impression. So now part of his legacy is my thing for this Panamanian organ music. For those of you without that backstory, this stuff might not be to your taste, but give it a shot. It is pretty fun if viewed through the right lens.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Listen to TOMORROW NIGHT by Elvis Presley.

I think this is my favorite song on the Sun Sessions, and therefore just about my favorite Elvis. I say this without looking again at the tracklisting, so I may be embarrassing myself here, but I can definitely say this is the one I've listened to the most in the last couple of years.


Monday, May 11, 2009


Listen to PERSONS AND FACES by We All Together.

We had this as the opening track on our Christmas CD a couple of years ago, and I do like it quite a lot. The Beatles by way of Badfinger or Gilbert O'Sullivan is apparent here. They were from Peru, and I gotta think to have made a name for themselves there in music they had to have been pretty connected, pretty privileged, but on the other hand, to get a following in the rest of the world took some genuine talent and luck. I can hear all of that in this accomplished, wistful little tune.



Listen to GOD DON'T NEVER CHANGE by Blind Willie Johnson.

One more bit of ancient Americana before the week kicks off in earnest.

"Blind" Willie Johnson was an American singer and guitarist whose music straddled the border between blues and spirituals. While the lyrics of all of his songs were religious, his music drew from both sacred and blues traditions. Among musicians, he is considered one of the greatest slide or bottleneck guitarists, as well as one of the most revered figures of depression-era gospel music. His music is distinguished by his powerful bass thumb-picking and gravelly false-bass voice, with occasional use of a tenor voice.


Sunday, May 10, 2009


Listen to I'LL BE RESTED (WHEN THE ROLL IS CALLED) by Blind Roosevelt Graves.
Listen to WOKE UP THIS MORNING (WITH MY MIND ON JESUS) by Blind Roosevelt Graves.

A "joyful noise" for you this Sunday morning. Happy Mother's Day!


Friday, May 8, 2009


Listen to HEAVEN KNOWS (WHERE I'VE BEEN) by Lambert & Nuttycombe.

Out of nowhere, Corbett made a comment to me the other day that was nice but over-generous: that Lambert & Nuttycombe was "my greatest discovery." Of course, he meant only as between our circle of friends. But even so limited, it wasn't quite true. For sure, I was the first guy I knew to download the album, but I really only seized on a couple of tracks and stuck with them.

So after he had brought them back up, I decided to have another listen to the album. And now, I'm hooked hard. Take this song, Heaven Knows (Where I've Been). I tell you, this one ticks every box for me. It's succinct, the singing is very structuring, the melody moves in interesting ways, and with the harmonies, the arrangement (particularly the ending), there's plenty of small dramas.

By the way, it sounds a little like a Grizzly Bear song doesn't it? It's more of a Grizzly Bear song than even the "Horn of Plenty" songs are. I've got Grizzly Bear on my mind a little bit, since I finally downloaded their new album (caveat: will still buy, go to the concert if I can get tickets, etc). I like it, but I really do wonder if we've not seen the best of them. Like the album closer (which you can stream here). It's a pretty song, but for some reason it sounds very Radiohead/Coldplay/U2, an "important" stadium rock style album closer (caveat no. 2: not that I've ever heard the end of a Coldplay album!). I might be overreading things a little bit, I admit.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Listen to U.R.A.Q.T. by M.I.A..

Just in case my wife ever visits these days, this one is for her.


Monday, May 4, 2009


Listen to YMAELODI A R YMYLON by Super Furry Animals.

Why don't people talk about Mwng more? I mean, stupid question, it's all in Welsh, but for me, it's Super Furry Animals' second-best album after Guerrilla (you can't argue with all of that, but whatever). Less argument that this is the catchiest, poppiest track on Mwng. That ascending chorus still gets me every time.


Saturday, May 2, 2009


Third Avenue
Listen to CLEAR SPOT by Captain Beefheart.
Listen to SUN ZOOM SPARK by Captain Beefheart.

No real justification needed for Captain Beefheart. As I get more into this thing, I find myself wanting to upload songs for the blog so I can then play them on the Blip station. You see, it can only play what it can find on the internet. So if I put it on the internet, it can find it!

I'd have to think about this, but these two tracks are probably just about the two songs you'd need if you're interested in hearing Beefheart, but not bothered to become a fan.