Thursday, October 29, 2009


Listen to MAKE HER SAY by Kid Cudi.

John back again. Like you, I travel with music. Before I leave, I load up an ipod with handpicked good stuff that current tastes predict will be enjoyed. At first, it’s great browsing albums or listening on shuffle, but after a few days, maybe a week, the power law takes over: 20% of the music, 80% of the time. By the end, there are a handful of very well explored songs in the rotation. That’s when an enjoyable, productive insanity blossoms and new theories develop. I first noticed this phenomenon when I was walking down the streets of Warsaw last Christmas thinking about how much I was thinking about ”Take A Load Off Your Feet” and wondering why other people weren't thinking the same thing. Most recently I discovered "Martha My Dear" is the sequel to "Penny Lane", and, for goodness sakes, the bass isn’t even the best part!

Gotta come home though, and between immigration and customs at JFK, while praying more bags will magically appear, searching for an empty $5 smart cart, and hoping the taxi line will be quick, an out-of-bounds song returns. It sounds right and says welcome home. A week ago for me, it was “Make Her Say”, by Kid Cudi. Enjoy!

Photo: satellite dish.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

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

Listen to YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE by Chet Atkins.

Ha ha you got beat by the kids! Actually, that's not really true. We had some kids but a lot of first teamers too. Seemed like an open enough game from my snatches of streaming clips. I'd write more but I need coffee, ta


Saturday, October 24, 2009


Soho morning 3
Listen to THINGS WE SAID TODAY by The Beatles.

It would be a huge stretch to say that I could listen to Chet Atkins all day. I have a lot of affection for him, mainly because this random one-off album that he did with Mark Knopfler somehow became one of the albums we listened to more than anything growing up. But there's no denying that his ideas about taste neutured a lot of great music in Nashville. If you listen to his productions or his solo recordings, you'll eventually forget what it's like for music to thrill or threaten.

Nothwithstanding that, he was obviously a great musician and he could do a lot of neat things with songs. I've never been a huge fan of the Beatles original,* but this cover of Things We Said Today is the dog's unmentionables. I love how he interprets the main melody.

* Though like everything else, the new remaster sounds fantastic.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Brooklyn Navy Yard Bike Tour 12 - Fourth Street
Listen to TRACY JACKS by Blur.

About a month ago, I was thinking a little bit about what to do about this year's Christmas CD, since I haven't really dug into any new music or genres this year like I have in the past (country, Jamaican, South American, rare groove, or what have you). So I had the thought that maybe I could go back to Britpop, since it's been a long, long time since I've listened to any of it or since anyone has really thought about it. And we know Britpop (and we're talking the prime-to-decadent period from 1995 to 1997) pretty well. I thought getting Corbett & John on board to help put something together might be fun.

But, I never did anything about it, except load up this track, which is probably my favorite non-obvious Blur track, and therefore one of the best tunes ever recorded.


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

Listen to YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE by Wing.

I was watching the games last night on tape delay, and since I was at work later than expected, I only watched the last part of Liverpool's match, after Lyon's equalizer. With Manchester United coming up this weekend, you can't even be sure they've hit bottom.

Well, their problems are there for all to see, so instead let's talk about the music. After this weekend's loss, I figured I needed to freshen up our collection of anthems, so I went through my notes and archives and uploaded another 15 versions -- so don't worry, we'll make it through the end of 2009 at least!

One of the links I came across was to a woman named "Wing." I dutifully downloaded the album, and hit play......................................And I must say, this is possibly the worst thing I've ever heard in my life! Really, listen to it! ('hey, this milk is rotten, have a drink!')

It is comically, comically poor. So I had to find out a little more about this lady. At first I figured that "Wing" was google proof, and I wasn't even sure if that was the name of the artist. It really sounds more like a karaoke mistake than a singer.

But it turned out to be pretty easy to track her down. I found a link to her personal web page where the album on which this song appears is for sale. Except it's SOLD OUT! Sold out! Seriously, listen to this tune again and tell me how it's sold out!

I went to her "about" page and it all started to make a little sense. Wing is a woman from Hong Kong who emigrated to New Zealand who loves to sing, apparently. So much so that she managed to record herself performing. And somehow, this music got a following, traveled across the Pacific, and was picked up by the fellas from South Park, who wrote an entire episode about Wing and her music. Here's a clip from that episode, and keep in mind that the singing on that clip is actually Wing! The worst singer on earth, and she's now selling out jazz clubs in New York. What a wonderful and odd world we live in.

So, the moral of the story is, be careful Man United! Stranger things have happened.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

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

Listen to YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE by The Crowd.

My sympathy for Liverpool is increasing as they reveal themselves to be less than what I thought they might be. It's clear by now that they're not challenging for the title. They are 5 or 6 teams that look better than them at the moment, including Sunderland, who thrashed them 1-0, albeit with the aid of a ridiculous goal that hit a beach ball on the way in and never should have stood.

Straight after the Liverpool match (which I kept an eye on as I was watching Arsenal beat Birmingham), I took in the OU-Texas game, and couldn't shake the feeling that being a Liverpool fan is a little bit similar to being an Oklahoma fan these days. Undoubtedly one of the most storied clubs/programs in the sport, a lot of recent success but a lot of frustration recently too. Both have men in charge who are undoubtedly competent but can rub outsiders the wrong way. When Rafa's scrappers scrapped the Champions League trophy, there was a lot of placing of Rafa on a pedestal with Shankly and Paisley by a lot of Liverpool fans, which seemed premature at best to me. To me, Rafa's Liverpool will always flatter to deceive.

Until pretty recently, I would have rejected any comparisons with my football team. Bob Stoops won the National Championship in 2000 and it felt like for a long time that the next one was only a matter of time. At least for me, I've never really questioned that he was the man to do it (I'm sure the bloom was off the rose a long time ago in the hothouse talk radio atmosphere back home, though). You have to wonder, though, even accounting for the bad luck he's gotten (Bradford's bad shoulder being the equivalent of a bouncing beach ball in the Liverpool game), whether this Oklahoma program is going to make it back to the top any time soon. Having said that, I'm almost a little relieved we won't suffer another title game debacle this year. My nerves couldn't handle that again!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Lilac 4
Listen to SPLASH 1 by 13th Floor Elevators.

This week is OU-Texas week, which has difference to my life this year. Last season, I was pretty good about following every game where possible. This year, well, you might accuse me of being a fair weather fan, because we've lost a couple of games and I haven't even seen any of them, except for the Tulsa game. There are a few extenuating circumstances -- I was at a wedding for our first loss, I had a dinner engagement for the Miami loss, we've not been on free TV a couple fo the weeks, but it is what it is. I half-jokingly said after the Florida game last year that I was boycotting the team for awhile, but it's turned out to be true.

Anyway, why are we discussing this? I have a song for you, by Austin's own 13th Floor Elevators, clearly the best thing to come out of that town ever. But my digression has used up all of my blogging energy, so you'll just have to be in the dark about the song. Roll on Saturday.


Friday, October 9, 2009


Seaview Hospital 13
Listen to O MY SOUL (ALTERNATE VERSION) by Big Star.

So you're in luck, since this song is awesome. I've always been really partial to the original version of this song, though it's hard to consider it among the very best Big Star songs. Which are about melody, and this one is about raw power. It puts the power in power pop, for sure. Anyway, I'm not gonna babble on long, I just thought some of you might like to hear it, from the new boxed set.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009


32 mph
Listen to FIRED UP by Moe Tucker.

I don't know what it emans when you get confused about days of the week. Should I be happy that I was thinking it was Tuesday instead of Wednesday? Does that mean I'm a day closer to the weekend (yippee!) or that I wasted a few hours operating under the assumption that the entire work week laid in front of me (boo!)

I wish I was fired up, pissed off, instead of just vaguely confused. Maybe the song will help?

Anyway, one of my oldest friends from junior high, Meredith Meyer, went to L.A. and became a famous singer, and she's in New York next week for a few shows. I'll probably bug some of you directly about going out Sunday night (the 25th) for her CD release party (if I haven't bugged you already). Click here for more info.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

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

Listen to YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE by The Knickerbockers.

This is kind of a companion to the song I posted the other week by the same group. Here we have the Knickerbockers more predictably going back to Merseybeat stylings.

I can't say I'm surprised that Liverpool lost to Chelsea, but I also can't say it's of any deep significance. If Liverpool wins their home games agains tthe big four and beats everyone else, they'll do well. Losing away to a big four team is going to happen to a lot of teams this season.