Garrick van Buren on the Gentle Readers

Garrick van Buren ordered a stuff package during the charity drive last month. Being the analytical guy he is, he posted his more or less song by song analysis of the Hi Honey album. I say over and over that this is really a fantastic album, and if the music business were driven by justice and merit that would have been a huge hit. A lot of these songs really hit me deeper than the intellectual, they go straight to my lizard brain. I feel a lot of melancholy and loss and happiness when I hear them, like they have a jack plugged straight into my emotions. Thanks to Garrick for writing this up.

Harry Shearer, Media Mogul

Harry Shearer is someone I’ve been listening to a lot lately. Since KCRW added the podcast of Le Show, I can finally listen to it. I’ve never had access to it on the airwaves (or known that I did.) Now I’m a big fan and catch it ever week. A few days ago, I saw the news that Harry and his wife Judith Owen are starting a record label, Courgette Records. There is not much at the website now, but according to the press release there should be some good stuff coming soon.

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Big Chief

I’ve had one of those Caesar Brothers songs – “Big Chief Sor Night and Day” – running through my head ever since I first heard it. I am humming it right at this moment. It’s get hints of “Iko Iko” in the melody and cadence, which gives it some extra resonance when you hear it. Damn but it is a catchy tune.

The Arts and Sciences and Slushers

Here’s a photo to give a feel for what the trip to Greensboro was like. It was fantastic to get to spend a little time with the band, to see them play (which completely rocked) and to see Indigo Girls play as well. Their merchandise table was pretty much swamped the whole time between sets and after the girls played, which is good. It reduced our hang-out time but it’s worth it to get their CDs into the hands of new fans and also to get a little money into their touring cash box. Thanks for a great evening! I’m glad we went.

Gatemouth Brown on NNK

I listened to the Nashville Nobody Knows interview with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. As it happened, I was in my car in downtown Conway when they played this great version of Brown doing Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” with Jo-El Sonnier. I cranked it up and was blasting the cajun-styled music from my car. For some reason, I’ve always enjoyed doing that. When I lived in Lafayette, I loved cruising around in my pickup on Saturday morning listening to “Zydeco Est Pas Sale” on KRVS. It feels kind of cool to be cranking something that isn’t heavy metal or gangster rap. Plus, the fiddles and accordion sound great at volume. I always am hoping for bemused bogglement from the passers-by.

Dash Rip Rock

I’ve listened to all three of the Dash Rip Rock podcasts so far, and am anxious to hear more. This is pretty much the prototype of what I had in mind when I talked about how bands could do one of these for promotion. Bill plays songs on his guitar, plays recordings from shows and tracks from the cutting room floor and tells stories. Good stuff, and it happens to be a good southern rock band that I like. It’s worth listening to just for the theme songs. One of these days I’m going to play the themes in one of my podcasts.

Blues Podcast

On a whim, I checked out the Roadhouse Blues podcast. There were a number of good songs on there, so imagine my suprise when they announced that one of the bands, Johnny Flash and the Rockets, are from Myrtle Beach. That’s right, I discovered a good band local to me by listening to this new podcast that comes from who knows where. Cool stuff. He also has me in his blogroll, so he’s obviously got impeccable taste. Now I just need to keep my eyes open to see the Rockets playing at some dive bar around here. I can’t wait.

Earwig

Since playing it on the podcast I recorded Sunday morning, I’ve had that Rocket City Riot song “Hypodermic” running through my head. I can’t get it out. 48 hours and counting. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I’m playing it now.

Confluence

Here’s a cool confluence of events that work out to a good eventuality:

  1. I found the external USB CD burner that was packed in a weird box for the last year and a half so that I can hook it up to my linux box which doesn’t have an internal burner
  2. I ran across the linux tools for etree archives
  3. I found the list of etree full show downloads on archive.org, in particular this list of over 30 Camper van Beethoven shows

In other words, cowabunga! Find me a coupon for blank CDs, will you?

From Russia With Love

If you just plain can’t get enough of the Beatles and that mashup from a few days wasn’t enough, how about buying yourself a set of Russian nesting dolls of the Beatles? If I were to get one (or have one got for me) I’d want this one of the approximately Abbey Road era boys. I note that all sets, no matter the state of their hair and mutton chops, are invariantly in the order of outside-to-in Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr. Is this the ranking of importance that Russians place on them? Not that I’d disagree with that, although some days I’d think about moving Harrison up to the 2 spot.

What I’d really want is a set of them from the concert on the roof. In the history of the band, that to me is the moment that has the whole story compressed into a few minues. Their love of music, their (waning) affection for each other, the inevitability of it all ending, every bit of that is in each of their faces as they play “Come Together”. That moment when Lennon tightens his coat around him, that gesture contains the beginning of the end. Any time I see any footage or even a still from that event, I get a twang of the heartstrings. Even when they parodied it on the Simpsons, I got the twang. All Camelot stories end with it falling apart, and all of them have that moment where the point of no return has been crossed. This was that moment for the Beatles.

Megabeatles

After seeing the post on Boing Boing about the mashup of the Beatles with themselves (like, 40 of the songs) I downloaded it and listened to it. My god, this thing is so beautiful and transcendent that it brought a tear to the eye of this fan of the Beatles. The density of the reference and association is such that it brings them all back simultaneously. I find that all the affection I have for the individual songs comes flooding in, even when I can only make out subliminally that I’m hearing them. Just the enormity of all that George Martin production and those distinctive drum sounds and organ licks and guitar riffs, wow!

And much like I’ve had to say over and over in the podcasting world, yes Cory you do get the Bittorrent benefit even with a file as small as 5 megs. Cory expresses skepticism to that fact on his post, but yes it is worth using BT, even for a single song if it is highly in demand and has many simultaneous downloaders as this does. Folks, don’t hold the BT at an arms length, embrace it!

The Spirit

Earlier this evening, as we got ready for house guests with me cleaning and my wife making candy (peppermint bark and fudge, yum) I decided to drop on the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack to Charlie Brown Christmas. That just does it for me, and not just the big crowd pleasers like “Linus and Lucy”. My favorites on that disc are their version of “Fur Elise” and the Guaraldi original “Skating.” I imagine that some of this is imprinting on that music and that show at a young age, but it just does it for me (even when I spin it in June.) Things seem calm and pleasant and right while it is playing. Even if that’s just an illusion that can’t be sustained, I’m thankful for those precious few moments when the biggest worries are a lousy tree and a room full of oddly dancing kids with 4 fingers on each hand.

Jason Loveall Fights the Power

Jason Loveall is the fiddle player for the Siderunners and I bought his solo CD at the show. He verbally gave me permission to play his music in the podcast, but I absolutely love what he wrote on the back cover of the CD (which obviates the necessity for the permission anyway). I reproduce it in its entirety:

Thank your for your purchase! Show sales feed the musician. Live shows fuel our machine. Undermine the labels and freely distribute this to friends and the web. We the people shall decide what is good. Your help in informing others will increase show attendance and merchandising; chipping away at the stone of corporate mediocrity will create the new renaissance across all artistic borders and open the forum. Viva La Revolucion!

Right freaking on! Since Jason feels like this, he ought to formally give it a Creative Commons license. He may not know about it, but it would be perfect. He could then give even more granularity to his grant, specifying non-commercial or everything if he doesn’t care, etc. There is a phone number for booking on this disc, so I might call him and tell him about CC licenses. I’m trying to bridge the gap between the musicians and the nerds.

Run on the Side

Last night we did indeed make a company field trip out to the Hideout to see The Siderunners. It was a kicking show, unamplified, with the band playing at one end of the bar as loud as they could. It was kind of like a troubador experience. We were standing right over by them, like maybe 3 feet from the band. The first set was songs from Ain’t Inventing the Wheel, which is what I’ve been playing in the podcasts. The second was new songs from the upcoming album and covers. They did a great version of “Lost Highway” with the bartender singing, and a bluegrass version of Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” double time.

I am at this moment wearing my Siderunners “Country up your Ass!” shirt. I got to talk to Nate van Allen a little, who is the guy that gave me permission to play there music. He was really cool, and some of the other guys in the band said that had read this weblog from googling on the band’s name. They also said that they’ve seen spikes in the sales of the album on iTunes, at least a few of which I can take credit for. I bought the solo album from Jason Loveall the fiddle player, which I’ll play on the next clambake. All in all, it was a great time. The only downer was the extreme smokiness of the bar. The new shirt which I had never worn was already stinky before I put it on. Oh well, it smells like boogie.

John Waters XMas

I heard a snippet of this Fresh Air interview with John Waters where he talks about his XMas album. It’s hilarious, as it is every time he talks, and I really do like the songs on his album, in particular “Santa Claus is a Black Man.” Wow!

He had a great quote talking about Santa Claus and parental lies to children. With tongue in cheek, he blames the Easter Bunny for causing heroin addiction.

The Easter Bunny is why we have all these heroin addicts. Your parents tell you there is an Easter Bunny, and everyone knows it’s a lie. Then, when you grow up and they tell you drugs are bad for you, you say “Sure, just like the Easter Bunny? Pass me the syringe.”

It’s interesting to hear him talk about how he loves XMas without irony, since I tend to associate everything he says with irony. If I were going to buy an album of tunes for a holiday party, this would be the one.

Nathan Sheppard

Band of the Day! Man, I haven’t done one of these in ages. Today the lucky winner is Nathan Sheppard. He has a page with songs available at Garageband.com. Most are Real Audio (ugh) but you can get the MP3 of “Travelling on”. I played his song “Travelling On” in the last EGC audio post, and I’ve been listening to it over and over. I find it is one of the few things cheering me up in this ugly time. As of this point, I’ve never bought anything from the iTunes Music Store. I’m considering buying a few of his tracks. If I had found out about him a few yars earlier, I’m sure I could have easily seen him in Atlanta when I lived there. Better Nate than lever, I guess.