March 29, 2004

"This is out of my hands."- Kam Fong

So saith the Postman, in one of the most frightening musical performances of the '90s, in my opinion. For my inaugural MP3 post I wanted to pay homage to the almighty Kam Fong. "King of Prussia" was the obvious choice, but as this is my first MP3 post I didn't feel like going through the hoops of creating a non-AAC file. So I thought I'd dig even deeper into the vault.

This version of "AFC" was recorded by the explosively charged Fong lineup that, albeit relatively short-lived over the lifetime of the core group, won the most exposure for the band. While the original lineup featuring Chuck Madden was a more creative affair on the whole, and slightly more mellow if that term can even be used with this act, the lineup that featured Ryan "The Postman" Widger on bass was a catastrophic mixture of personalities that oxymoronically nurtured the music while at the same time nurturing conditions always ripe for mayhem.

Anyhow, Jones (guitar), Boran (drums) and Widger walked down the street one day from Boran's then-digs and noticed a recording studio in the neighborhood. They booked time and captured four tunes, the first being "AFC." Sonically, this version is sort of flat, particularly at its opening, and I have the feeling the eight-year-old cassette I ripped it from is to blame. In any event, Fongophiles will almost immediately take note of the additional layers of guitar and The Postman's demented David Yow-esque vocals, which, if they could be understood, would reveal dark and violent lyrics about experiencing a car wreck firsthand. While the frenetic layers of guitar in the bridge section beginning at about two minutes into the number seem to almost come unhinged, Widger's closing line underscores what most of you already know -- these guys have some serious fucking problems.

Jones' superlative lyrics have more breathing room on the version recorded with Madden after he returned to the fold one last time, and the latter version is not to be questioned performance and arrangement wise. However, the Postman years of Fong, though lost now in the darkening murk of the 90s and somewhat pale in comparison to the fruits of the Original Lineup's triumphant return, were truly something to behold, from drunken, late-night altercations with drum sets at Chuck O'Neill's summer pad at Wes, to cataclysmic, ground-shaking, confrontational and obscenity-laced performances at Wesleyan. All culminating in the maniacal line quoted above.

March 28, 2004

"She said wake up its no use pretending." - Iron & Wine

I have been listening to the latest Iron & Wine record for just about 24 hours straight. It is a remarkable and beautiful record. It doesn't have as much of a dusty, ageless feel as its admittedly stellar predecessor. But the same sort of domesticity and introspection shine through, aided by a more pro-sounding production and broader instrumentation. And the melodies and understated singing are simply gorgeous. I will probably listen to this at least a hundred times before getting tired of it, and it is the first record in years I can really say that about.

Before my attention was consumed by I&W, I was heavily involved in a handful of discs sent me by KooMahhhhh. I was surprised by how glossy sounding the new Von Bondies is, but golly that record packs a wallop. And I was exceptionally pleased with the various mixes. I had to spin Rollins' "You Didn't Need" a handful of times 'cause I haven't heard it in years and it is totally rad.

Spent the weekend parsing the contents of 30 Magazine Street and putting them in boxes. Surprisingly tiring work. Offloaded Dave "Drums" Dean's excess drums onto Brig-Dawg this afternoon, which enlarged the dent I put in the box pile on the back porch this afternoon. Whiled away many pleasant hours Friday evening with Logie and Ms. W and Lopez at Central Kitchen and the Middle East. Beer out of pitcher for some reason seemed like a novel concept. And helped smooth out the sting of getting robbed of the $40 bucks we paid to see a student production of Donnie Darko, which was abominable. Glorious beer would never do to me what that awful play did.

One thing I am very excited about is the prospect of turning this into an MP3 blog. I think I have the set-up figured out, I just need to get some time to go ahead and do it. But I am even more excited about the new blog curated by the Good Doctor, which aims to offer some really cool music in a no-nonsense (well, there will probably be some nonsense) manner with some insightful editorial context. Doobz maintains the best private collection of music I've ever laid eyes on, which is likely second only in awesomeness to that maintained by superstar Joe McInally, who I have mentioned here before. And having mediated access to some of the choice cuts in said library is a very exciting prospect.

Well, tomorrow is the final inspection of the new condo. Hopefully we will also close this week, and by this time next week we will be well on our way to transferring the entirety of our domain so many blocks southwest, if indeed that is southwest.

Oh yeah, here is a very solid review of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which I enjoyed very, very much. The movie that is. Not that the review is bad. It's good.

That is all.

March 21, 2004

"Don't go, say you'll stay, spend a lazy Sunday." - Stars

I'm a sucker for the indie pop love song, seemingly even more so as I get older, and the latest fixation is by Stars, which is fronted, I beleive, by a woman somehow related to the Broken Social Scene collective. I found the song on some blog somewhere, so you may be able to turn it up.

Anyhoo, today we bid adieu to J.J. Jackson, who, as one of the five original MTV VJs, played an integral role in my development as a youth. This article also proves that Mark Goodman, once a radio DJ in Philly, is still kind of a whore for attention. But at least his hair isn't as bad as Adam Curry's. Who, from what I recall, architected MTV's original online presence. Or something. Anyway, the last time I heard Mr. Jackson I was driving to the Nantucket ferry in the last couple years. He was hosting a Beatles radio show, and played the song "Blue Jay Way," which has since become a favorite of mine because of the play on the words "be long."

Last week Mystical Beast told me something I don't think I ever knew about Happy Flowers: that James from YLT and Dump was a one-time collaborator. I have had this artwork sitting in a file in my house for about 10 years; maybe one day I will actually get around to framing it. Anyhoo, Happy Flowers was one of the first underground records me and Woods discovered back in the day, probably courtesy of the great Joe McInally. In college, we played the cut "Unhappy Meal" on the radio. A lot.

Finally, I think this is worth comment. I stopped listening to Stern when I went to Wes 'cause, you know, he was just too Un-PC. But I did appreciate his humour at times, and Stern got me and Two-Can and Joe Bags and Big Dave through two summers' worth of hot work for the township. But I finally gave up on Stern once and for all when I thought he got too lazy to impress upon people that he is being ironic, not a bigot, when he makes all of his racist, sexist, ist-ist wisecracks. The majority of his listeners don't seem to know better. I know there are plenty who disagree with me, and I am too lazy to make any sort of firm argument. Back to the point: If Stern mutated his show into a valuable liberal political vehicle, I would be very, very, very happy. Not just so that there would be more meaningful (hopefully) mainstream political discourse. But because I think Stern is smart enough to foster such a thing on the air. But instead just talks tits and ass for four hours a day.

NCAA tournament is pretty exciting this year. I think 30 Magazine St. #1's pool hopes rest solely on Kansas getting to the Final Four at this point. Let's keep our fingaz x'd. Keep your eyes open for the latest Winston Bongo tirade at YRS, tambien.

That is all.

March 17, 2004

"And sometimes Y, you might need it too." - The Evens

Just. Stop. Everything.

And check out what Fugazi's Ian Mackaye is up to. This is amazing. If you aren't hip to the Pancake Mountain show, I just saw something on 60 Minutes or Dateline or something about it in the last week or so. So Google it. It is basically D.C.'s version of WGBH Boston's Zoom show for kids. But damn if this isn't a really awesome song and video, even though it is targeted at someone 1/6 my age. Thanks Monkey for turning me on to this.

That is really all.
"It's such a beautiful day, I wish the sun would go away." - Small Factory

Astute readers may have already stumbled on the cut from the new Wilco album that has made its way online via the very good MP3 blog SaidTheGramophone. If you haven't, you must. Right now. The song is called "At Least That's What You Said," and it is part somber piano ballad, part annihilatingly awesome Neil Young/Crazy Horse-styled guitar freakout. If I was 10 years younger I would have cranked my stereo up to 5, listened to this 10 times in a row, and started smashing things during about the fourth or fifth listen. Even the Monkey, after Herculean effort, is roundly praising this tune:

"You know, on a shitty dial up connection like we have here, it took me almost an HOUR to download that fucker ... but you know, when I listened back to it, at the 3:13 point --- that song just turns into total fucking GOD. Amazing, and so worth it. Plus, I spackled the bathroom walls while it was downloading, so no biggie."

The prospect of seeing the band rock out to this while Nels Cline is melting faces with his guitar pyrotechnics is really the most exciting thing I can think of right now. Anyway, I am also into new cuts I have found online from Pedro the Lion and Leslie Feist (a particularly hooky tune called "Mushaboom," of all things). So there.

Ripped four Kronos Quartet records to my ITunes this evening to boot. Felt like listening to it at work this week. So there you go. Also ripped the Blue Skied An Clear comp. Decided to sit out St. Patty's Day festivities -- Lopez and I figgered if we weren't feeling it and there was no groundswell, we can wait till next year. It's not like they stop serving beer at midnight tonight for the next 364 days. Tho I will feel pretty gypped if it turns out that that is the case.

That is all.

March 15, 2004

"Would it be all that bad to forget about my favorite thing." - velocity girl

A lot of people dying in the rock and roll world. And yet somehow Ronnie Wood keeps chugging along. But let's accentuate the positive: vegetable oil, dude.

More snow coming. That totally blows. Gave a hunk of money to our realtor and signed the agreement of purchase and sale this afternoon. This condo thing is coming along.

I am now on the hunt for this, since Kemp Harris got Lopez all jazzed on it when we were all out drinking our heads off Friday night. Not really my cup of tea, but Lopez goes through a big disco phase every once in a while that is pretty fun. On the other hand, I have been trying to find a used copy of this in stores for months, with no luck. I might finally break down and pay what they are asking online after this house thing is all done. It is one of my favorite indie records from the day, now out of print.

Adam Oh of Roll Over Baby fame is booking the room below the Can Tab. Easing into a big opening in the fall. We batted around a lot of exciting ideas for it as we downed suds Friday. I think my head still kind of hurts.

Saw what turned out to be an amazing Bruins game Saturday afternoon with the Good Doctor. While all the yelling didn't do much for my head, the Bs ended up getting lucky and getting back into the game and won it with :04 left on the clock in overtime. We had an excellent vantage point for the whole thing, as Doobs scored A #1 tickets through work. Hot stuff.

My ITunes vitals to date: 3,021 songs ripped; 7.9 days of music; 13 gigs of data. Currently spinning "Jane Says" by Jane's Addiction. Not the version I prefer, which is the live cut from the act's amazing debut on XXX Records, but the styled-out version from the band's Nothing's Shocking effort. The former record stomps the gonads of the latter record in a lot of ways, not the least of which is the nihilistic, tribal assault of "Chip Away," which closes the set. In other news, Double Nickels on the Dime just keeps giving.

That is all.

March 9, 2004

"Those sheets are dirty and so are you." - Descendents

Kudos for the KooMahz who released Baby Kumar v. 2.O Monday morning. Good work people. And kudos to the Good Doctor for coming through with a promised hook-up of many, many radical records, including Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime, Descendents' Two Things At Once, Guided By Voices' Bee Thousand, Fripp & Eno's No Pussyfooting and a multitude of other muy caliente records. Si, muy caliente. My shoulder hurts for no reason. Not a lot more to report.

That is all.

March 6, 2004

"King of the road says you move too slow." - Fu Manchu

This week's holy crap moment comes from The Monkey, who reports that uber guitarist Nels Cline is the latest addition to the Wilco line-up. More information here and here. This is probably the most musically exciting thing to happen since... well, for a while. Nels Cline's "Bath" is probably my favorite jazz song ever. EVER. So there you go.

Currently listening to a Clash bootleg of rarities my old AOL buddy Liza hooked me up with. While her copy was called "The Ultimate Rarities," it is the same thing as what I presume to be more widely known 2002 European boot called "Street Rats." More info here. The sound quality is pretty decent, just a little quiet and fuzzy. A lot of interesting stuff here.

Not a lot more to report. It's been a quiet weekend. Worked on the taxes, getting in the planning stages of packing up our stuff so we can head down the road in about a month. Got a lot more CDs ripped. Currently, I've got 2,568 songs ripped constitute 11.24 gigs or 6.9 days of listening.

The MP3 blogs keep on giving, and this month's music development series mix CD promises to be pretty compelling, in my humble opinion. As my new music purchases are on hold for a while, blogs like Bubblegum Machine and Large-Hearted Boy are really picking up the slack of exposing me to new and cool things. And I keep following threads and finding more new cool stuff everyday. There is a lot of great live stuff here, including a super Blonde Redhead show (can't wait to get their new record), though the dowloads are painfully slow. In short, the Internet rocks.

Here is a little more on Wal-Mart. Those guyses whole head sucks.

That is all.