Monday, June 26, 2006

What's Left Of My Sanity

Sunday is TV theme song here at Pop Zeus!


Yakity Sax (Theme from "The Benny Hill Show"

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This week's song is one of my favorite theme songs, although not necessarily one of my favorite shows. "Yakity Sax" is like the default music playing in my head at all times. Once all thoughts leave my head this song starts playing. Either this or the Cantina Band song from Star Wars. This may or may not make me a lunatic.

Built To Raise Hell

Built To Spill ATP01

Built To Spill "Goin' Against Your Mind"

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I've been meaning to make this song my mp3 of the week for quite a while now but because of it's too long to email I'm putting it up here. Built To Spill has once again made us wait for another indie guitar swing masterpiece but the wait was worth it for this song alone. "Goin' Against Your Mind" is nine minutes of Doug Martsch doing what he does best: showcasing shimmering guitars and inpetetrable lyrics like "though i saw an alien/turned out to be just god".

This bearded Idahoan has composed the soundtrack to much of my life so far, however incidental it may have been. It seems like every stage of my life can be remembered by a Built To Spill song, probably because he waits anout three or four years in between every record. "Goin' Against Your Mind" will surely be no exception, as I already have memories of jamming out to it driving hung over back to Los Angeles from Lompoc, CA with visions of Sugar Leaves dancing in my head. Only a few will be able to decipher THAT one!

Crazy Like An Ant


Adam & the Ants "Beat My Guest"

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Poor Adam Ant. Recently Adam was sent to an institution for a mental condition after he went to a local pub brandishing a gun. Adam swears he did not intend to use the weapon. What? So you can't walk into a bar with a loaded gun and wave it around at people anymore? And you'll send one of your own beloved pop celebrities to the crazy house for doing so? For shame, England, for shame.

Just listen to "Beat My Guest", Adam's homage to S&M nd tell me if you think he's crazy. He's not! He does ROCK, however as proved by this song. So as you listen to this song, think about poor old Adam up in the looney bin, eating cereal thru a straw and watching Woody Woodpecker cartoons, and think about dropping him a line.

Needles & Pins


The Death Set "Distressed"

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"Distressed" is a great little song. It's the audio equivalent of having needles stuck in your eyes for a minute and a half. Australians Beau Velasco and Johnny Siera make up the Death Set, a band that came together because they both shared the love of flailing around the stage like an apeshit spastic.

The duo recorded their demo 'To' on a pair of jury-rigged harmonica microphones, telephone ear pieces and electrical tape. The recording mashes together bits of drum mcahines, tinny guitars, screeching vocals (yes that is two grown men singing) and samples from anti-drug videos.

So here's to the Death Set! The best duo to come out of Australia since Bon Scott and uh, the bald dude from Midnight Oil?

Hop Special


Roland Alphonso "Hop Special"

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This pretty little reggae instrumental is a loose cover of a Procol Harum song. See if you can guess which one. I'll give you a hint: it's the only Procol Harum song you've EVER HEARD.

Roland Alphonso was a key player in the progression of Jamaican music. So important in fact that he was "knighted" by the Jamaican government with an "Order of Distinction" in 1977 for his important contributions to the music and culture of his country. Alphonso inspired generations of music lovers around the world from his home country to the U.K. 2 Tone movements of the 1980s.

"Hop Special" comes from the magnificent Sounds And Pressure compilation 'Sounds & Pressure Vol. 5'. The Sounds & Pressure reggae re-issue label can only be rivaled by the Blood & Fire label in fantastic finds from reggae's golden era. Reggae music has once again stepped into the spotlight in recent years, but only as a booty shaking, "get busy" type of mindless dance hall drone that is heartless and soulless compared to great artists like Roland Alphonso, King Tubby and Lee Perry.



Thurston Moore "Psychic Hearts"

Thurston Moore "Hang Out"

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When I was in high school, I briefly wrote for the high school newspaper. I wrote record reviews (makes sense doesn't it?). When Thurston Moore's first solo record 'Psychic Hearts' came out in 1995 I wrote a review of it. The teacher who ran the newspaper rejected my review. She said she had never heard of Thurston Moore or Sonic Youth and neither had her son (who was a tool), and no one else probably did either so it wasn't mainstream enough for the school newspaper.

I tried to explain to her that that was the point and perhaps if people read about something they had never heard before it would sound interesting to them and they would give it a listen. Hence the point of a record review. I was nixed. She suggested that I write something more along the lines of my review of the Beatles' 'Live At The BBC' the week before which had apparently gone over well with the faculty. I declined and quit the newspaper.

It's things like this that stick with me years later and are the reason why i send out these mp3s every week, as well as write Pop Zeus! on a daily basis. If people never get the chance to read about it then they'll never know what they think of it. You may or may not like "Hang Out" by Thurston Moore, but at least you were given the chance. Fuck that bitch.

Crotchety Old Bird

Sunday is Tv theme song day here at Pop Zeus!

Disney BarksUncleScrooge1276_3178_4

Theme from "Duck Tales"

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This week it's the them from Duck Tales. A show I watched regularly as a child as well as reading the comic books and playing the video game (one of my favorites). Uncle Scrooge was a miserable, greedy old bastard who wouldn't give up a dime of his gigantic money bin. He preferred to swim a round in his money rather than spend it. What a fucking dick.

Bill Hicks' State Of The Union Address


Bill Hicks "Send In Vanilla Ice"

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Bill Hicks was a comedic genius. He straddled that line between comedy and being a spiritual leader with his outspoken opinions (that I almost always agreed with) about everything from shallow lifestyles to women dig asshole guys.

He may have had a hard time dealing with his audiences at times. Typical American comedy club audiences hoping to hear the "why do i always get the shopping cart with the broken wheel?" joke were not ready for Bill Hicks, and was known for tearing into them at times. During one performance he screamed "Hitler had the right idea! He was just an under achiever!" at the crowd. He was fed up with stupid people expecting stupid entertainment.

This particular snippet of Hicks' performance showcases his vile distaste of the state of music in the early nineties. Not much has changed since then, with pop music as bad as ever. Whatever happened to good pop music? I guess it still exists but it doesn't become popular. The only thing that can be force fed to American youth is mindless, sure fire shallow tripe.

I noticed something the other day while watching MTV. It seems that popstress Nelly Furtado has a new image. She's basically doing exactly what every other pop princess singer like Beyonce and Christina Aguilera are doing now, singing retarded r&b garbage with the token celebrity rapper guest appearance. Now I never particularly like Furtado before, but I did a few videos for her in the past so I knew she was somewhat different and creative. It's as if there was a meeting where the suits told Nelly "listen, being creative is just not going to work in the music business. Yr gonna have to act like this if you want people to like you". So she did.

Like i said, not much has changed.

He's Such A BITCH!!


David Bowie "Dodo"

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Here's a great Bowie track from the Rykodisc re-release of 'Diamond Dogs'. Its always been one of my favorite tracks of his. Bowie lilts over a Stax-ish horn section about a stupid friend of his in a catty sort of way. He's such a bitch!! If this song were written in the last six years, it could easily be construed as being about president Bush, but you didn't hear it from me.

Organ Grinder


The Boris Gardner Happening feat. Leslie Butler "Ghetto Funk"

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The fantastic reggae re-issue lable Blood & Fire recently put out a compilation called 'Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown 1973-1980', a collection of Jamaican artists doing renditions of American soul classics. It's a fantastic group of songs from some outstanding musicians whose passion for the music prove there's more to Kingston than just reggae. Certain songs do get the reggae make-over, but "Ghetto Funk" is just a funky as they come organ workout. And not the kind of organ workout you're thinking of. Scumbag.

From the album's liner notes:

"This instrumental is more in the way of a homage to Hammond maestros Jimmy Smith et al, rather than a direct cover version. Here organist Leslie Butler shows he's no stranger to the B-3 cookbook, jamming faultlessly while the rhythm section bubbles under him, anchored by Boris' ferocious bassline."

Hummels They Ain't


Figurines "The Wonder"

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Sure I've been going on and on about Swedish artists lately, but what about Denmark you ask? Well indie popsmiths Figurines hail from the land of the Great Dane, so I can't me blamed for focusing all my attention on the Stockholm scene. Although let's face it, there's some pretty good music coming out of there. Figurines are out to change that.

Figurines hail from the land of the ice and snow where the midnight sun and the hot springs blow, the small town of Vestbjerg in Northern Jylland, a palce far away from any major Danish cities. They ended up listening to a lot more American indie rock than that of their native country, and it shows on their LP 'Shake A Mountain'. With a nod to artists like Modest Mouse, the Shins and Built To Spill, Figurines prove there's more to Denmark than viking films, although they have some very good ones there. "The Wonder" has hooks sharp enough to slay a mythical Yeti, and enough left over to go ice fishing on the Baltic Sea. I apologize for any generalizations I make about Europeans. I'm just a dumb American and i've never been anywhere else.

Set Controls For The Heart Of Darkness


The Horror, The Horror "This Is A Lovesong"

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The Horror, The Horror is not a good band name for this Stockholm indie pop group. The darkest point during the journey to the heart of darkness does not reflect on these Swedes' music at all. A better choice for them may have been "I Swallowed A Bug".


Not nearly as forboding as their name, "This Is A Lovesong" is still a wonderful little pop gem complete with Franz Ferdinand-ish guitars and apathetic hipster vocals. It's the kind of thing I usually love to hate, but I just can't bring myself to do it this time. Perhaps it has something to do with my admiration of the Swedish, or maybe its just a good song, plain and simple.


Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to flail around drunk in my Vietnamese hotel room and punch out a mirror.

Love Yr Captors


Yo La Tengo "Stockholm Syndrome"

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So it's been established that I'm a big fan of Swedish indie rock, but what about Stockholm Syndrome? The psychological state of falling in love with your captor? Well i've never experienced it myself, but Yo La Tengo wrote a great song of the same name on their 1997 LP 'I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One', and it's one of my favorite songs.

This quiet acoustic strum-along will make you feel sad and happy at the same time with it's subtle chord progressions. If you've ever been kidnapped by Turkish pirates and ended up embracing them as your own family (I believe Steve Malkmus wrote a song on the subject) then you'll understand what this song is about: love. It may be love induced by an unstable psychological state of torment, but hey, love is love. And if you ever do get kidnapped (god forbid) you may be surprised how easy it is to fall in love with their lovely lovin'. This is the most nonsensical post i've written yet. Just enjoy the song.

Spider-Man Has Never Been Drawn As Half-Assed Since

Sunday is TV theme song day here at Pop Zeus!


Spider-Man (70s cartoon theme song)

The Ramones "Spider-Man"

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This week i've chosen the 70s Spider-Man cartoon show theme song, along with the Ramone's version of the same song. Let your spider sense tingle all day long!

Dangerous & Moving


John S. Rad "Dangerous Men"

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This mp3 is an advertisement of sorts for Iranian auteur John S. Rad's "Dangerous Men", a film that took over two decades to make, and it shows in the final cut. "Dangerous Men" has been described as "Ed Wood meets Miami Vice" and is so bad it borders on the surreal. Scenes shot in 1987 butt up against scenes shot in 1998 (you can tell by looking at the CALENDAR in the background!!) as John S. Rad relentlessly barrages his audience with nonsensical plot twists and horrible, HORRIBLE acting.

At one point an actor, on the phone in his scene, is visibly reading his lines off the script on the table in front of him. We know this because his lines are highlighted in yellow marker. Also, the phone cord is NOT ATTACHED TO THE PHONE. "Dangerous Men" is so poorly made that one may tend to believe it was made like this on purpose. But then why did it take so long to make? Such is the mystery of John S. Rad.

This hysterical mp3 features Rad himself "rapping" over a piece of found stock music about the virtues of his film ("It's SO DIFFERENT!") as well as the film's website, which you can see for yourself HERE: dangerousmenthemovie.com

Yes, this is a higly played mp3 on my playlist, as it never seems to get old for me. And I think you will agree that Dangerous Men, the movie, is FINE!

Raffi For A New Generation


Busdriver "Imaginary Places"

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Methinks that Busdriver might be considered more jazz than hip hop, although the argument could be made for both. On "Imaginary Places" he admits that he "just wants to hold yr hand when you die", making him the most original rapper I've heard in a long time. I just couldn't picture the Game saying something like that, nor 50 Cent. Although 50 Cent could be saying anything through those fucking marbles he has in his mouth. Seriously why is that guy popular? He's like the shittiest rapper i've ever heard!

Busdriver, real name Regan Farquhar, hails from Los Angeles. Considered to be one of those "underground" rappers (which I guess means he lives under the 5 freeway somewhere and feeds on the ghosts of dead famous people), I think the world would be a better place if they'd let Busdriver rap every day on TRL instead of the absolute GARBAGE they show on there now. He could clue kids in on how to REALLY piss off their parents: by showing interest in the arts.


I Pitty The Fool Who Dislikes This Song!

pitty sing

Pitty Sing "Radio"

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I still can't tell if this song is serious or not. How exactly does one "fuck on the radio"? And what does "we'll make it go HOOOOOO!!" mean?!? Pitty Sing challenges you with these questions and more in a throw back to 80s pop where such questions could be asked without expecting an answer. You were only expected to shut up and dance.

The dude singing may sound British, but he's not. He's just a guy from New York named Paul Holmes doing a brilliant Erasure impersonation. Pitty Sing takes its name from an evil cat in a Flannery O'Connor short story, and they're not afraid like they've been featured on the "Less Than Zero" soundtrack. New Wave is not dead as far as these hipsters are considered, and they challenge you to try and do it in, but not before you do coke in a New York nightclub bathroom stall with them. All four of them.

With Love From Me To Dudes

Morning Glories-Fully Loaded

The Morning Glories "Tower"

The Morning Glories "Jazz"

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The Morning Glories' "Tower" was brought to my attention by a friend of mine solely for the line "You got to feel like heaven". See, we had a short lived game where we would think of songs containing the line "heaven" and replace them with my name, Kevin. It was fun for like a half an hour. "You got to feel like Kevin, or you don't feel nothin' at all".

But having the song pop up on my shuffle alot compelled me towards acquring the Morning Glories' full album, 'Fully Loaded' and I found i like it quite a bit. They sound alot like the Jesus Lizard, albeit slightly more subdued. The Morning Glories came and went during the nineties and I never heard of them until now, but it's pretty good stuff.

Another game much more fun than the "Heaven/Kevin" game is replacing the word "you" in song with the word "dude", or "dudes". Its another one of those things that never gets old to me, and it's endless because every song ever recorded contains the word you. Example: the Scorpions "No One Like You"

there's no one like dudes
i can't wait for the nights with dudes
i imagine the things dudes do
i just wanna be loved by duuuuudes
no one like dudes!

See? comedy gold. Or how about "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys:

i may not always love dudes
but as long as there are stars above dudes
dudes never need to doubt it
i'll make dudes so sure about it
god only knows what i'd be without dudes

One more. Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me"

i want dudes to want me
i need dudes to need me
i'd love to dudes to love me
i'm beggin dudes to beg me
didnt i didnt i didnt i see dudes cryin?
didnt i didnt i didnt i see dudes cryin?
feelin all alone without a friend you know dudes felt like dyin
didnt i didnt i didnt i see dudes cryin?

Well, at least its funny to me. I welcome your own variations of the DUDE motif in my comments section!

NOT the film starring Judge Reinhold & Fred Savage


John Berenzy Group "Vice Verses"

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So this one comes courtesy of my brother MOIK. Seems MOIK had heard this song a few times on a radio show in Klamath Falls, OR called the Retro Lounge (of which i have a sweet t shirt of, thanks!). "Vice Verses" came off a 70s punk compilation called 'Killed By Death 3" and according to MOIK is a "weird punk tribute to miles davis. john berenzy was trying to explore the sonic possibitities of the travis bean (aluminum neck) guitar in that song. lee ranaldo (of sonic youth) also did a lot of experimenting with the travis bean guitar. as you can see it has an distinct, unusual sound. and let's face it - there's a lot of guitar noodling on that song for a so-called punk song."

According to johnberenzy.com, Berenzy is a self taught musician form New York City who played on the CBGB scene in the 70s with Patti Smith, Television et. al.He was an accomplished guitarist that one writer described as "John Lennon being introduced to Jimi Hendrix by Lou Reed". Well okay, the song is cool, but let's relax there, chief.

So enjoy 4 minutes of punk guitar renaissance noodling!

I sit alone in my four cornered room starin' at candles


The Geto Boys "My Mind Is Playin' Tricks On Me"

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If you've ever partied at my house, you'll know that I have a habit of performing this song in its entirety with great flair towards the end of the night. It's always been one of my favorite songs and should probably be considered one of the greatest rap songs ever recorded. I have entertained many with my rendition of "My Mind Is Playing Tricks On Me", but now that you have it, it's YOUR turn to act like the jack ass for once. Learn it, perform it and there will be a parade thrown in honor of the winner.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hey Butthead You Got Any More Nutmeg?!?


Theme song from "Beavis & Butthead"
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Sunday. TV theme songs. You know the drill.

This week it's the theme song from Beavis & Butthead. I remember my freshman year in high school all we would talk about at the lunch table was Beavis & Butthead. It was brand new at the time and it paralleled our lives in so many ways.

Although I love B&B, my favorite part was always when they would watch the videos and not the acually "story" parts. In keeping in theme with recent posts, I found a pretty good clip of them watching Hulk Hogan's "Real American" video. Enjoy.

Mr. T. To Pity Fool, Film at 11


Mr. T has always been a hero of mine. To say he cares about children would be putting it lightly. When I was very young, I had a poster of Mr. T holding an armful of kittens up on my wall. This showed the sensitive, thoughtful soul beneath his fierce and forboding exterior. Once when sent out to the grocery store for a birthday cake for my mother, my brother let me pick out the cake. I picked a Mr. T cake for my mother's birthday. Mr. T has nothing to do with my mom but this just proves how important Mr. T was to me growing up.


Mr. T "Don't Talk To Strangers"

Mr. T "Mr. T, Mr. T (He Was Made For Love)

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In 1984 Mr. T put out a record called 'Mr. T's Commandments', a non-religious yet highly spiritual guide book to life of sorts for young people. Tracks like "No Dope No Drugs" and "You Got To Go Through It" taught valuable life lessons that only a role model like Mr. T could explain. And why wouldn't Mr. T be a role model for children? I mean, he had a mohawk, wore gold chains and pitied fools. Those are attributes that don't belong to everyday men. So when Mr. T talked, people LISTENED.

mr t muppets

So here are two of Mr. T's Commandments. He sings (okay, he really just talks) with deadly seriousness about the danger of talking to strangers in a slow jam that goes on FAR too long and is lauded by female session singers in "Mr. T, Mr. T (He Was Made For Love)". Mr. T himself doesn't even make an appearance in the latter and he doesn't even have to, as the women make comparisons to golden gods and superman in a bacchus praising of his manliness that one may only found occuring while Moses was away at the top of the mountain on the black sabbath.

So if these songs don't make you realize that Mr. T is a god amonst men, then I truly pity you, and Mr. T. does as well.

Here are some youtube videos I found featuring Mr.T. A Burger King ad from 1985 (a year after he put down his commandments) depicts Mr. T as a kind hearted soul, sparing the life of some fucking guy in a suit after deciding he like the changes made to his favorite sandwich, the whopper.

and another video (although its the shittiest resolution i've EVER seen) of an ad for TR3 car wax, where Mr. T explains the virtues of toughness, then his proves his own by ripping the door of a car with old people in it. The lesson here is: don't park your car anywhere near Mr. T, especially if he is shooting a spot for car wax.

Trolls In The Glen Are Consorting (Again)


Pavement "Black Walls"

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Time for a Pavement song. This one's called "Black Walls" and it comes from a live bootleg called 'Stray Slack'. Pavement has always been one of my favorite bands and I've heard rumors that they may be getting back together soon.

In their off time, Stephen Malkmus has been recording solo records (last year's 'Face The Truth' being one of his best), Bob "Nasty" Nastanovich bought a race horse and I recently saw bassist Mark Ibold on an episode of 'Strangers With Candy' playing Kansas' "Carry On My Wayward Son" in a band fronted by a fake-mustached Stephen Colbert. So at least they're keeping busy.

At the end of "Black Walls" you can hear Malkmus launching into the intro of "In The Mouth A Desert". I remember once me and my friend Pat saw Pavement twice in one night. Once at the early, all ages show and then later for the 21+ show. We were right in the front of the stage and when we heard the opening strands of "In The Mouth A Desert" Pat started cheering. Stephen Malkmus looked at him like he had two heads. He was always a bit of a snot, that Malkmus, but we like him anyway.



The New Pornographers "From Blown Speakers"

The New Pornographers "The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism"

The New Pornographers "Broken Beads"

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Since yesterday's post was about the Decemberists, I thought I'd write about another obvious indie rock snob band that I like, the New Pornographers. Again, you're probably already familiar with them but I've been meaning to put some of their songs up for a while now so if you've already heard this maybe you can go listen to some Stockhausen or work on your "what are you looking at my fedora for i'm so much cooler than you could ever hope to be" look in the mirror. Talk amongst yourselves hipsters, I know i'm SO 2003.

For those of you who DON'T know, the New Pornographers hail from Canada. they write brilliant pop songs that sort of sound like they should have been played on TRIAD in the 70s. It's dated but fresh, and they're better than most bands who try to pull that type of thing off. Carl Newman, who writes most of the songs (it coud be said he's the head pornographer) cites Brian Wilson as one of his chief influences, and it can be heard in songs like "From Blown Speakers". The songs are filled with colorful stories as well. "The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism" was supposedly written after being on tour with Guided By Voices and getting drunk with Robert Pollard every night. Ha!


Neko Case, a sort of indie superstar in her own right, also contributes to the New Pornographer's records, although she doesn't always tour with them because she's got her own thing going on, I guess. Truth be told her songs are kind of my least favorite and I still don't understand all the hooplah that surrounds her. Maybe someday I will. The band is sometimes thought of as a sort of indie supergoup, because its members hail from bands like The Blacks, Age Of Electric, and Fancey. And if you've heard of any of those bands then congratulations, yr cooler than me, cause i've never heard of any of em.

I may seem to be coming off as sort of defensive but the fact is that i LOVE this band's records. Its just that i've encountered some fans of theirs who really do have "more indie than thou" attitude and I don't understand it, because the New Pornographers' songs are about as power pop as they come. It would be like being snobby because you listen to Cheap Trick. I mean, come on dude, EVERYBODY likes Cheap Trick.

Chamber Pop Up Yr ASS!!


The Decemberists "Grace Cathedral Hill"

The Decemberists "Song For Myla Goldberg"

The Decemberists "The Engine Driver"

If you frequent audioblogs like this one, you've probably noticed that the Decemberists are a critical favorite. I like them but sometimes the songs transform themselves into easy listening lite fm type crap. Take "Song For Myla Goldberg" for example. I think its a great song until the breakdown with some sort of harmonica solo that sounds like "That's What Friends Are For" by Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick. Was that Dionne Warwick? I don't know and I don't care. Partly because I associate that horrible song with my eighth grade dance, where the girl I had a crush on then would only dance with me to THAT song, obviously sending me a message that she only wanted to be friends with me. So fuck that song.

But the Decemberists do have their moments. "The Engine Driver" is easily my favorite song of theirs. Those who know me personally know that it went on my 'Best Of 2005' compliation that I give out for Christmas every year. See? It pays to be my friend. And that's what friends are for. *shudder*

  • The Decemberists Official Site
  • Now You Have Worn Them


    Ew Ew Ew "Chicken In Chains Gang"

    Ew Ew Ew "Scribbleface"

    Ew Ew Ew "Fragrant Lasso"

    [right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

    Ew Ew Ew is a two-piece rock/electronic outfit hailing from Los Angeles and Chicago. You see, they both make music and send it to each other to finish off. Ah, i love technology. Comprised of Tony Franken (L.A. contingent, also of Record Robot fame) and Ted Geerdink (Chicago contingent and all around nice guy), Ew Ew Ew makes challenging music. Music that will challenge you to a fight, lose that fight, and then come back with a switchblade comb. Ew Ew Ew isn't a very smart fighter, you see....

    I like Ew Ew Ew so much I took the liberty of making a music video for one of their songs, so enjoy "The Priciest Jeans In The World"!

  • Ew Ew Ew @ Soundclick.com

  • Ew Ew Ew @ Myspace.com
  • Whoop! (There It Was!)

    automatic baby

    Automatic Baby "One"

    Today's mp3 comes from a simpler time. A time when MTV used to have decent programming on it instead of shows where Xibit pimps yr ride and monosyllabic teenagers sit around and look pretty in orange county. The official name of the band performing this song was "Automatic Baby", culled from the latest album titles of its members, Michael Stipe and Mike Mills of R.E.M. and Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton of U2.

    Their performance of U2's "One" comes from Bill Clinton Inaugural Ball Ceremony, broadcast on MTV in 1993 (!). I've always tended to think that Michael Stipe had a better voice than Bono Vox (slightly), and this is back when both these bands weren't confounded me by going completely astray from where they started musically. It pains me to say I haven't bought a record by R.E.M. OR U2 in a long while, as I used to think these guys were brilliant. But alas, time changes. They remain superstars, but I just don't get the appeal anymore.

    So like I said, it was a simpler time. Beavis & Butthead ruled the airwaves, Tag Team was busy stealing our hearts with their hearfelt ballad "Whoop! (There It Is!) and the Spin Doctors were getting nominated for Grammy Awards. Interesting story about the Spin Doctors. There was a Greek church up the street from my parents' house and once riding by it on my bike i noticed someone had spray painted "Spin Doctors Rule!" on the side of the building. I'll never know if that was meant to be sarcastic or if some Greek Orthodox Priest was just SO into 'Pocket Full Of Kryptonite" that he decided to desecrate his own church.

    Ah, the nineties....

    Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    Blanche Was A Filthy Whore

    Sunday. TV theme song. If yr a regular here you were expecting this.


  • Theme from "The Golden Girls"

  • [right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

    This Sunday's tv theme song is for old people everywhere, from a show about four wicked fine old ladies.

    Pre Jangle Angst

    hate yr friends

    Lemonheads "Rabbit"

    Lemonheads "Amazing Grace"

    Lemonheads "Hate Your Friends"

    Lemonheads "Fucked Up"

    [right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

    I've always had a soft spot for Evan Dando's Lemonheads, especially 1993's 'Come On Feel The Lemonheads'. There was something about their brand of jangle pop that just sounded good to me. Even the name of the band fit well, cause they were sugary. Much like Count Chocula.

    chocula 2

    But before the sugary sweetness, the Lemonheads were a different kind of band. And yes, Evan Dando was involved in it. These power pop punk tracks culled form 1992's singles compilation 'Hate Your Friends' show a different side, but the pop sensibilities are still there, especially on tracks like "Hate Your Friends" and "Fucked Up".

    how will i know

    Evan Dando "How Will I Know?"

    [right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

    Evan Dando went on to reform the band in a different light, and was last seen rendering acoustic versions of Whitney Houston hits such as "How Will I Know?" but his catalogue is solid all the way through as far as i'm concerned. I remember seeing the Lemonheads at the Taste Of Chicago one summer (they were headlining!) and being in the front row of the Petrillo Music Shell. We had to sit through a set by Poi Dog Pondering (ugh) and had to deal with smelly dancing hippies with emphysema on their arms (or whatever that white stuff is). It was kind of not worth it. Nothing is.

    The Black Angels' Death Song

    los angeles negros

    Los Angeles Negros "El Rey Y Yo"

    [right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

    I know very little about Los Angeles Negros except for that it means "The Black Angels", but I don't think they're a motorcycle gang nor do I think they are very big Velvet Underground fans. I do know that "El Rey Y Yo" was once sampled by the Beastie Boys on their 'Hello Nasty' record, and I think that's what led me to them. Despite what you may think, this song is NOT about the kid from the Jetsons.

    From what i've gathered from the internets, Los Angeles Negros got the chance to record their first album from winning a a contest organized by a Chilean radio station. I believe the call letters were CBASS. They topped charts throughout Latin America during the 70s and after their original singer left they became Germain y sus Angeles Negros. No word on whether that was Jermaine Jackson or Jermaine Dye, but i'm thinking it was neither.

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Apocalypse NOW!

    I came across Thunderbirds Are Now! thru last.fm, one of the greatest gifts the internets have ever given us. The Thunderbirds never let up with their brand of caffeinated rock n roll, and I love it. They immediately caught my attention with song titles like "Nice Hair, Hope You Win", which I actually said to a sweet dude queued up in a sweet line for a sweet Hollywood night club recently. I think he was more flattered than offended.

    Thunderbirds Are Now! "Not Witherspoon, But Silverstone"

    Thunderbirds Are Now! "Harpoons Of Love"

    [right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

    Thunderbirds Are Now! hail from Detroit, or as us Chicago sports fans call it, De-Toilet. They play high energy garage rock and the way I envision them they all play double neck guitars (even the drummer, somehow), with a Renaissance costumed orangutan on keyboards and their encore is projectile vomiting on the audience in true De-Toilet fashion. I hope i'm not disappointed if i ever get to see them play live.


    Music To Get Beat Up By A Girl To, pt. 3


    Elvis Costello "God's Comic"

    Elvis Costello "...This Town"

    [right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

    So I said yesterday I would talk about Elvis Costello, but there's a catch. I'm not putting up any of the new stuff that I bought because first of all it's probably not new to YOU, uber hipster music snob, and second just thinking about EC made me think of my favorite record of his, 'Spike'.

    First of all, I have been familiar with Elvis Costello for years. When I was a wee lad, all of my older brothers and sisters were big fans. So much in fact that when I firs saw an Elvis impersonator on tv, and heard people calling him as such, and I had to stand up and say "He's doesn't do a very good imitation of Elvis. He doesn't even have the glasses and what's with that flashy suit?". So I knew who Elvis Costello was before I knew who Elvis Presley was.

    I've been slowly collecting his records for years, the guy rivals Robert Pollard in his productivity. Although i'm not a very big fan of what I call the "old timey" Elvis, like all of his Burt Bacharach nonsense, I do admire 'Spike'. It kind of straddles that line between old timey and rockin' Elvis.

    My sister was actually the one who turned me onto this record. Her bedroom was next door to mine as a lad and I remember hearing her play it often when it was new. I liked it so much I snuck in there and copied the cassette on my boombox and then left the COPY in her case. As if she wouldn't find out. Needless to say she beat my ass, and I deserved it.

    So enjoy a few songs from Elvis Costello's 'Spike', a record so good it was worth getting my ass kicked by a girl for.

    Motor Away! (while i swear at you...)


    Swearing At Motorists "Flying Pizza"

    Swearing At Motorists "Small Town, Big City"

    Swearing At Motorists "Thin Man From North Main"

    Swearing At Motorists "Doors Are Closing"

    Swearing At Motorists "Calgon Take Me Away"
    [right click to download, ctrl click if yr a mac!]

    So Swearing At Motorists has sort of a link to Guided By Voices; they both hail from Dayton, Ohio so that's how I heard of them. But I never actually listened to them until just recently. I caught their set at SXSW (ANOTHER good band i saw there, and believe me there's still more i haven't written about yet!) and I thought they were good. Not great, but good.

    Swearing At Motorists is a two piece drummer and electric guitar outfit, and the singer Dave Doughman seemed like kind of a strange guy. He would bounce around and rock out to the parts of the songs that didn't rock and be totally still during the parts that did. The performance seemed a little to me like a Jonathan Richman show, and the music a little like the Mountain Goats. Witty songs like the Mountain Goats, that is to say.

    So the other day I was at Amoeba Records spending a ridiculous amount of money (as usual) and I came across Swearing At Motorists in the used bin. They had what I thought was all their records in there, so I just bought one, 'Number Seven Uptown' basically because I recognized the name of one song, "Flying Pizza". I remembered this because Doughman had asked the crowd to sing along with this song during their set and a clueless audience stood silent.

    'Number Seven Uptown' turned out to be a great record. So good in fact that I went back the next day and bought up the rest of their catalogue in the used bin. Unfortunately I've been so stuck on 'Number 7..' that I haven't delved into the other records yet. Well that and cause I also bought a shitload of Elvis Costello. But that's a post for another day.... like tomorrow.

    Be sure to check out my brethren's music blog, the Record Robot, for Tony's counter post on Swearing At Motorists. Yes we planned it. Yes, we're dorks.

  • The Record Robot

  • Swearing At Motorists Official Site
  • Don't DO this to me Waylon.....


    Waylon Jennings "The Boxer"

    Waylon Jennings can take any song and make it seem like he wrote it about himself. He could take a song from the "Mary Poppins" soundtrack and make it seem like its about drinking. Here, Waylon covers Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer". He sings the song like its a thousand years old, and squeezes more emotion out of it than those two balding hippies ever could. I'll admit i've never been a huge fan of Simon & Garfunkel. I'd just rather hear a fat old cowboy sing about picking up whores on seventh avenue than those two guys. It just makes more sense.

    Even if you don't like country music, you'll probably like this. I wouldn't consider it a country song even, but rather a sad song being sung by a guy who's done a lotta livin'. And if you don't like it, Waylon will come to your house and bust you over the head with a bottle of Lone Star. Than he'll apologize and take you out drinking. That's just the kind of guy he is.

    Saturday, June 17, 2006


    Sunday TV time again.


    Cookie Monster "C Is For Cookie"

    Cookie Monster "If Moon Was Cookie"

    [right click to download]

    This week I'm dedicating these songs to a very special lady friend of mine. She has googly eyes like cookie monster.

    Sunday, June 11, 2006

    9/11, Never Foghat


    I Am The World Trade Center "Holland Tunnel"
    [right click to download]

    I Am The World Trade Center is not actually the World Trade Center. The building never actually wrote and recorded music. This electronic group took their name before the events of 9/11, so it's not one of those garbage pop-country acts designed to prey on your emotions and make money off your suffering. No, I Am The World Trade Center is quite tongue in cheek, actually.

    I immediately recognized the guitar sample in the beginning of this song from Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco". It goes off on a few tangents from there. "Holland Tunnel" is a skewering of scenesters who will go to the "opening of anything, even a toilet seat". I've had this song for a while now and it keeps popping up on my iTunes. I generally don't like dance music but this song has something odd and ominous about it that keeps me interested, Kind of like Count Chocula. I mean, he's an evil vampire lord and yet i'm attracted to his chocolatey goodness. But I guess he's really not that scary. Whatever, I'm going to go eat Count Chocula now.

    Whole Lotta Mulatu


    Mulatu Astatke "Yekermo Sew"

    Mulatu Astatke "Gubelye"

    Mulatu Astatke "Yegelle Tezeta"

    [right click to download]

    Here's some great music from a great film. In Jim Jarmusch's "Broken Flowers", Bill Murray finds out he has a son and must travel around the country visiting his old girlfriends to find out which one is the mother. A friend of his makes him a mix cd to accompany him on his voyage, and these three songs play as Murray drives around trying to unravel his mystery. It's perfect music for a mystery, although it may be more suited for solving a mystery in a place like Tangier rather than Ohio.


    All three songs are by Mulatu Astatke, a seminal figure in Ethiopian pop and jazz. His style of afro-jazz grooves is like nothing I've ever heard before, although i don't listen to a lot of jazz. As soon as I heard this in the film I went out the next day and bought the soundtrack, which also contains music by Sleep, The Greenhornes, and Dengue Fever's briliiant "Ethanopium", a cover of Astatke's "Yegelle Tezeta".

    Don't worry, this isn't turning into a world music blog, but everyone needs to take a break from NECROPHAGIST every now and then.

    Gary Numan Vs. Tarantulatron 3000

    Gary Numan

    Gary Numan And Tubeway Army "Something's In The House"

    Gary Numan And Tubeway Army "Are Friends Electric"

    Gary Numan "Complex"

    [right click to download]

    Okay, I recently found out there's much more to Gary Numan than the song "Cars" (although I still think that song is great). I picked up his first three records that have been remastered, and was surprised to see how quickly he conquered my playlists. The first record, 'Gary Numan & Tubeway Army', is a great guitar record, which seems strange for a guy who became well known for his eighties'ed out synth rhythms. I've put up 'Something's In The House' from that record since it's hands down my favorite as well as reminding me that people used wear skinny and hang out in new york night clubs where there was always a chance of Corey Hart spilling a kamikaze on yr parachute pants.

    'Replicas', Tubeway Army's second record, is just as great. On this one he starts seriously getting into the keyboard thing. This is the record that contains the hit 'Down In The Park', which contains the ominous line "oh no there's a rape machine". What a horrible image this paints in my mind. Gary was obviously spending a litttle too much time in his robot workshop during the writing of this record. But it payed off, because he since went on to be a two time champion on the show "Robo Trumble". Oh, i'm sorry i meant "Robot Rumble".

    i assassinator

    The last song on here is "Complex", from Numan's first solo record "The Pleasure Priniciple". This is an airy composition that trumps the hit off that record, "Cars", anyday. After "The Pleasure Principle" gary went on to do some ridiculous shit, none of which ever compared with the work he did on these first three albums. But he's always got the robot battle thing to fall back on. Good for him.

    Music To Listen To As The Apocalypse Occurs, pt. 13

  • Clutch "Shogun Named Marcus"

  • [right click to download]

    Plain and simple, this song rocks harder than any other song ever recorded. "Shogun Named Marcus" is the type of song that makes you want to jump through a plate glass window, then gather you friends and overturn a tractor, slam an entire half gallon of Jack Daniels, bust the bottle over your head and then set fire to a retirement home. I say it MAKES YOU WANT TO do those things but i'm not suggesting you do any of them, cause glass hurts, and old people are sweet.

    Scintas Called....

  • Mates Of State "Ha Ha"

  • Mates Of State "Abercrombie"

  • [right click to download]

    So I stayed away form Mates Of State as long as I could. I'm not that into The Postal Service and it just always semed, well, too "wussy" for my taste. But I finally caved and gave them a listen and I have to admit they're tolerable. These two songs at the very least are catchy enough to where I find myself singing along in the car. And so for that reason alone, they deserve to be here.

    Mates Of State are a husband and wife keyboard team. I saw a music video of theirs the other day and they're extremely odd looking people. They both wear far too much makeup and it makes them look like Vegas showroom entertainers. The kind that stare smiling at you off the back of the "In Vegas" magazine sitting on the floor of your hotel bathroom at 11am when you're hunched over the toilet cursing yourself for ever coming to this horrible, sinful place. I'm just speaking hypothetically, that's never happened to me.

    Unleash Yr Inner Mathlete


    Tapes N' Tapes "Icedbergs"

    Tapes N' Tapes "Futon Fire"

    [right click to download]

    Now here's the kind of band I admire. Some dudes from Minnesota who are starting to garner the admiration of critics and are apparently "hot" right now, yet they all still work full time jobs back in Minneapolis. This is an true indie rock story. Big label bands generally go from being tattoo artists directly to shagging groupies in over sized tour buses in Monaco.

    Tapes N' Tapes are obviously big Guns N' Roses fans, hence the "N'", it doesn't reflect in theit music though. I haven't seen any pictures of these guys, but I envision at least one dude with glasses and at least one dude wearing an ironic t-shirt. But that's okay, because theire record 'The Loon' is less of a fashion statement than an attempt to bring rock n roll to simpler place. A place where rehearsed head banging choreography doesn't exist. And no one plays the bagpipes while wearing a kilt. And no one is a giant douche. In essence, they try not to suck.

    This version of 'Icedbergs' comes of their original EP, but it can also be found on 'The Loon', which I can only imagine is named for Minnesota's state bird. Don't ask me how I know that. I also know that Mel Gibson is actually from America! Did you know that?!? Ha! What a world we live in!