Friday, April 30, 2010

Video: new Black Keys song

Good stuff

Song of the Day: Animal Collective - Leaf House

Everyone and their mother had Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion as their album of the year in 2009.  While I enjoyed the album, I really missed the acoustic guitars and sitting-around-a-campfire (with a sweet mixing board) feel of Sung Tongs and Feels.  The former was my first exposure to the band, and I must have listened to the first side 20 times before I even made it through the rest of the album.  There is something captivating about this song, the lead track off of Sung Tongs, that gets completely lodged in my head.

Lala shutting down May 31st

Well, this will destroy my blog.  If you know of other ways to embed streams, let me know.  In the meantime, fuck Apple.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Video: Stevie Nicks singing backstage

This video is courtesy of a Sports Guy tweet from a few months ago. It has since become an obsession of mine. I can't exactly put my finger on why, though a few things about this are clearly awesome:

1. Stevie Nicks has an awesome voice (duh)
2. The woman harmonizing has a really fantastic voice too, though she doesn't get enough camera time here
3. I love how the makeup woman just gives up on trying to do apply makeup, and she stands back and starts watching this unfold
4. The way Stevie looks at and sings to the makeup woman (around the 1:05 mark)
5. How Stevie doubles over in laughter at the end, like that's the most fun she's ever had

I guess part of the appeal is the voyeurism, like you're watching something that only the people backstage were meant to see.  Hell, maybe it's actually an elaborate setup, but I prefer to think this is just a great candid moment.

Song of the Day: Scissor Sisters - Take Your Mama

I first heard this song on the late, great Indie 103.1 (still on the internet at, and thought it was an old Elton John outtake.  Not only does the singer sound like '70s John, but the piano and rollicking beat would not be out of place on Honky Chateau.  Is it a blatant ripoff of Elton John?  Maybe.  But it's still a great song.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Song of the Day: CocoRosie - Lemonade

I don't know much about this band other than it's two sisters, they have three albums and they're next one is coming out on Sub Pop sometime soon. When this song came up on Lala, I thought for sure it was Bjork - I mean, one of these ladies is a dead ringer for her.

Now I'm streaming the rest of the album here, but this is the song that's stuck out the most so far - especially the chorus.  If you don't have a Lala account, you can stream the song on SoundCloud below without signing up for anything (but Lala is free and doesn't spam you - highly recommended).

Lemonade by subpop

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Song of the Day: Mike Watt (w/ Frank Black) - Chinese Firedrill

When Mike Watt's Ball-hog or Tugboat? was released, I hadn't heard Minutemen, but I did recognize most of the artists who contribute to this record.  It's an impressive list:  J Mascis (Dino Jr), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Evan Dando (Lemonheads), members of the Beastie Boys and Sonic Youth, etc.

What I remember most about this album is that Mike Watt played at the Cat's Cradle one night while I was at UNC.  The opening band?  Foo Fighters.  Also there?  Eddie Vedder.  I have a list (in my head) of concerts that I should have gone to, and this one is near the top (the top concert I thought about going to but didn't and therefore I'm an idiot is Radiohead at the Cradle in 1995.)

I still really like this album and feel it's pretty underrated.  Even without all of the guest stars, most of these songs are great, including covers of Sonic Youth and Funkadelic.  But this song, featuring Frank Black (Pixies) on vocals, is one of my favorites.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Song of the Day: Belle & Sebastian - Funny Little Frog

Funny enough, early Belle & Sebastian has the same stigma as The Cure.  One of my favorite scenes in the movie High Fidelity is when Jack Black's character, Barry, comes in to the store, energized and wanting to play his mix tape, and gets denied by John Cusack's Rob.  Barry refers to what Rob and Dick were listening to as "sad bastard" music - a song, "Seymour Stein" by Belle & Sebastian, which is one of my favorites.  While I enjoy the "sad bastard"-ness of The Boy with the Arab Strap and If You're Feeling Sinister, it wasn't until The Life Pursuit that I became obsessed with the band.  In particular, songs like "Funny Little Frog" will make you wonder how they ever got pegged as sad bastards in the first place.  

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Song of the Day: The Cure - The Kiss

My initial impressions of The Cure mirrored how I felt about The Smiths - they were mopey, humorless and boring.  This prejudice was borne from hearing snippets of songs rather than taking the time to actually listen to them.  I borrowed Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me from a friend, and again, as with The Smiths, I realized from the first song that I was completely misinformed about The Cure.  "The Kiss" starts off with about 3 minutes of guitar, then Robert Smith goes on a vitriolic rant for the rest of the song.  While pop songs like "Friday I'm in Love" or "Love Song" are probably more effective means of exposing someone to The Cure (and I'll admit they're better songs), it was this different side of the band that made me a fan.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Song of the Day: Beach House - Zebra

I posted a video of kids singing this song, but I've yet to post anything from the new Beach House album, Teen Dream. I've been a Beach House fan since the first album, and barring something extraordinary, this album will easily make my top 10 of the year.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Success for Indie Record Stores, Not Indie Record Fans

According to almost any news outlet or blog, Record Store Day 2010 was a rousing success. People lining up early outside record stores, limited edition items selling out quickly, stores selling non-exclusive items as well…everyone’s happy. Or are they?

I went to Amoeba in Hollywood, my favorite record store, and a place I can’t leave without spending $200 or more. I arrived about 20 minutes before the store opened, and I’d say there were roughly 150 people in line (last year for RSD, I’d guess maybe 50 or so were waiting outside, not in a line but just in a crowd). By the time the store opened, there were at least another 100 or so behind me.

Once the doors opened, it was a mad rush to the two areas designated for the RSD exclusives. The people who got to the stations first were looking through everything, sometimes calling band names out and passing stuff back, sometimes just everyone grabbing at everything. After reaching over a smaller person to grab the two things I could get my hands on, I gave up. It was too much work, too much stress and too much competition.

I went to find my wife, who had gone to the other station, and she was still behind quite a few people. At that time, one of the guys in front was getting thrown out of the store – I’m not sure why, but I can guess. My wife finally got to the front and was able to grab a couple things, but she had a worse time than I did – people grabbing her, not really respecting the line, etc.

While I was demoralized by the lack of civility at the store, I was more distressed by what I saw online later that night (no, it wasn’t 2 girls 1 cup). That’s when I went on eBay, searched for “record store day” and found over 1,500 items for sale, including the Beastie Boys 12” for $66 (it cost under $10), the MGMT 12” for over $40 (it was around $10) and the UK-only Blur 7” for almost $200 (not sure how much in store but I’m guessing well under $10). At the time I post this, that same search on eBay lists 1,939 items, including at least two listings for the Smashing Pumpkins 7” for $175 (retail price of about $6). I could have grabbed that Pumpkins 7” – when I was in line at Amoeba, there was a copy just sitting there near the line – but I didn’t, because I haven’t really enjoyed anything they (I should say “he”) have done since 1998.

Unfortunately, an affinity for the music is not what brought some people to RSD – it was to buy low, sell high. And there is nothing wrong with that in theory – I often brag to my wife about albums I bought years ago for $12 that now go for $200 on eBay, yet I feel – and this may be a point of contention – like I somehow earned it. That is, I bought an album when it came out because I liked the band, and years later that album or band became more popular, making that record scarcer. This seems more genuine than just being first in line, wanting to get your hands on the records that you think will make the most money on eBay. This, to me, cheapens the RSD experience.

I’ve seen other complaints on line, and I’ve also heard of stores doing things to make the experience a bit less of a ratfuck, such as more orderly lines and better displays. One idea I read that makes sense to me is that the customers bring a list of what they want, and the employees fill out their lists, and when they run out, that’s that. Will that stop records from being sold on eBay? Definitely not. Will it mean that I don’t want to punch somebody in the face for grabbing something from my hands? Definitely.

If I sound like an old curmudgeon (I’m 97 years old), then so be it. But if this, or something worse, is what I have to look forward to for RSD 2011…well, that may be the one day of the year I don’t want to go to Amoeba.

Song of the Day: Fela Kuti - Zombie

With a show currently on Broadway, everyone seems to now know Fela Kuti's name.  I was first introduced to his music about ten years ago by Remain in Light by Talking Heads - when reading reviews and interviews about the album, African music, particularly Fela, would often be cited as inspiration for this album.

I've since become a Fela devotee, buying about six of his albums and desperately wanting to make it to Broadway.  Two years ago at the El Rey, I was lucky enough to see one of his sons, Seun Kuti, put on one of the best shows I've ever seen, playing with the Afrika 70 band with which his father used to play.  That band played on this song, the title track off Fela's Zombie album.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Song of the Day: Phoenix - Everything Is Everything

In a way I feel a little late to the Phoenix party - I just bought Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix at Record Store Day this past weekend. However, what really has happened is that I own two of their early records - Alphabetical and It's Never Been Like That - and while they're both good, neither is very consistent.  So when people started raving about Wolfgang, I took the reviews with a grain of salt, but now I've been hearing them everywhere and am a believer. This song opens up Alphabetical and is honestly the only Phoenix song I can hum from memory.  Time for me to revisit the earlier stuff.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Song of the Day: Doves - Here It Comes

Every band in the late '90s and early 2000s that came out of Britain was compared to Radiohead, which of course is unfair to every band that came out of Britain not named Radiohead. With Doves, it's a particularly ridiculous comparison, as the two bands share very little in common.  Doves' singer Jimi Goodwin is not the most emotive singer, but his voice fits the music well - they're a band that rely on rhythm and ambiance for a lot of their songs.  Doves had a best-of released yesterday and are a band that, despite having only four proper albums, have enough good singles to warrant it, including this one off of their debut album, Lost Souls.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Song of the Day: Gang Starr - Just to Get a Rep

Just saw that Guru from Gang Starr passed away yesterday from cancer. I'm not terribly familiar with their music, but I've got the Step into the Arena LP, and it's as good as hip hop gets.  This song is definitely one of my favorite hip hop songs. RIP

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen finally being reissued on vinyl

Admittedly, I'm a hypocrite - I hate when stuff that I own that's out of print gets reissued.  But when I don't own it, and it goes for $200 plus on eBay...well, let's just say I'm excited.

Just got an email from MusicDirect that Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space is finally being reissued.  And there was much rejoicing

Song of the Day: Emerson, Lake & Palmer - From the Beginning

ELP is one of the reasons people cringe when they hear the word "prog." Most of their catalog is wanky bullshit - don't even get me started on that "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends" song - but they have a couple of singles that are really good. "From the Beginning" was a classic rock radio staple for me growing up, and I think I appreciate it more now than I did back then. This song sounds particularly good on vinyl - I find acoustic guitars usually do - but the problem is you have to sit through the rest of the songs, and it's not a pleasant experience. So if you like this song...well, I wouldn't recommend to seek out the rest of their catalog. Maybe start with a "best of" compilation and pray you can find another song worth hearing.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Song of the Day: Supergrass - Late in the Day

I was disappointed to hear last week that Supergrass had called it quits. I was first exposed to them through MTV (gasp!) while in college, and I still remember the video, and how after the intro, when things got rollicking, the guys were bouncing around on pogo sticks. Having become more familiar with their catalog, I now recognize that most of their songs would be appropriate for pogo jumping, but I still think the video is genius, and there first four albums are close to perfection. Links to the song and the video are below

The audio:

The video (embedding is disabled - lame):

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Song of the Day: Queens of the Stone Age - Auto Pilot

In honor of Josh Homme's Record Store Day video and his involvement in two bands releasing vinyl on this day, I'm going with one of my favorite Queens of the Stone Age tracks as the song of the day.  I bought R (or X...or Rated R) on a whim and it quickly became one of my favorite albums.  With Songs for the Deaf, Queens became one of my favorite bands - they have the best mix of hard rock and melody I'd heard in a while.  I still really like them, but the post Nick Oliveri stuff hasn't resonated with me quite as much.  Although I don't miss some of the songs he screamed, he lent vocals to some of my favorite tracks, including this one off of R.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Song of the Day: Faces - Stay with Me

Remember when Rod Stewart was cool?  Yeah, I don't either.  But put on any Faces album, particularly A Nod Is as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse, and you'll realize that once upon a time, before he had to ask if you thought he was sexy, he was a badass. This is probably the best-known Faces song, and for good reason - it's one of their best songs.  You can hear the Stones (this was released during their epic Beggars-to-Exile run and includes guitar by Ron Wood, who later joined the Stones), the drunken revelry of the Replacements and a how-to manual for the Black Crowes here.  Excellent, underrated stuff, probably somewhat tarnished to many by Rod Stewart's latter day transgressions.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Song of the Day: Aloha - Summer Away

I honestly have no idea why Aloha aren't more popular.  I mean, who doesn't love a good vibraphone?  I'm embarrassed to find out that I left this off my top 21 albums of the 2000s - it was a complete and utter oversight, as I come back to this more often than some of the others on the list.  I really had a difficult time choosing a song from this when in doubt, I chose the most rocking song on the album, which has a very "Synchronicity II" feel to it.  It's somewhat anathema to the rest of the album, which is dominated by slower but equally wonderful, vibraphone-enhanced songs.  But like I said, when in doubt, rock out.

Plus, the video will make you have a seizure!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Song of the Day: Brian Eno - Needles in the Camel's Eye

Brian Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets was recently being mentioned by a number of bloggers that I read (@aquadrunkard, @mattpicasso, @daverawkblog), which made me realize that "Needles in the Camel's Eye" would be an excellent song of the day. I first heard this song on the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack and had no idea who it was, but I didn't think it would turn out to be Brian Eno.

Brian Eno's done everything - solo work and Roxy Music, plus producing '80s U2 and Talking Heads albums - and while he's often called an "ambient" artist, this song is about as glam rock as it gets.  Interestingly, his other contribution to the VG soundtrack is also a song from this album, except that the soundtrack version is sung by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Song of the Day: Devotchka - Along the Way

Watching Little Miss Sunshine for the first time, I remember being particularly impressed with the soundtrack.  I saw in the credits that Devotchka contributed original music, and I tried to seek out their albums but couldn't find any on vinyl.  Luckily, A Mad and Faithful Telling was released shortly thereafter (a purchase I actually noted here back when I was barely writing any posts).

This is a criminally underrated album (even my mom likes it for crying out loud), likely due to the fact that it's not easily categorized.  It could probably be called "World" music, but that has such negative connotations that I don't even want to go there.  It sounds like the kind of music I'd imagine hearing in Eastern Europe, and apparently the word is Russian (and you'll hear/read it throughout A Clockwork Orange, in which some of the language is Russian and some is made up gibberish), so that may be why I make that connection.

"Along the Way" is easily my favorite song on the album, and one hopefully you'll be humming the rest of the day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Song of the Day: Jimi Hendrix - Machine Gun [live]

I'm feeling pretty basic this morning. This is from the live Band of Gypsys album and one of my favorite Hendrix songs. I once saw a guy named Gibb Droll play this with his band, and by the time he got to the end, he had torn out all his strings save one, and was playing the solo on that one string. It was one of the greatest performances I'd ever seen, and there were probably only 20 people there. It takes balls to play a Hendrix song and this guy killed it.

But Hendrix isn't too bad either - take a listen

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Song of the Day: Death Cab for Cutie - Company Calls

Last night I went to see Ben Gibbard, lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie, play a solo show at the Largo. I'm not the biggest DCfC fan, but I own a few of their albums and thought the show would be worthwhile, particularly seeing someone from a band that usually plays to 10 times as many people.

I may write a post about the show itself, but for now I'll concentrate on the song of the day, off of We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes (2000). This is my favorite DCfC album, and one of the records in my collection that regularly goes for over $100 on eBay (which means it will likely be reissued on vinyl soon, killing the value). Also my favorite DCfC song, one that brings to mind early Modest Mouse or Built to Spill.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Song of the Day: The Futureheads - Hounds of Love

Is it a sign of defeat if your best song is a cover? In this case, the Futureheads did a good job of making the song their own - it's not a note for note facsimile, and I particularly like the intro to their version. This is one of my favorite singles of the last decade, but I haven't bought a Futureheads album since their debut. Am I missing out?

I couldn't find the Kate Bush version on Lala, so here it is with video

Friday, April 9, 2010

Video: kids sing Beach House's "Zebra"

Another awesome video from PS22 (see the Bjork post here)

Song of the Day: Spinal Tap - Big Bottom

My dad introduced me to This Is Spinal Tap when I was about 11 or 12 years old, and I've probably never thanked him for it, despite it being one of my favorite movies.  Almost every band has a "Spinal Tap" story of their own, and it should be a right of passage that you have to see this movie to even be in a band.

Although there are many that bring tears to my eyes, the scene that perfectly encapsulates why This Is Spinal Tap is one of the funniest movies ever made is the "11" scene:

And while I've never had the urge to buy the soundtrack, some of the songs are equally hilarious. The best is "Big Bottom," featuring a triple (!) bass attack, and some fantastic puns (my favorite - "how could I leave this behind?" Listening to this makes me feel 11 all over again.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Song of the Day: Love as Laughter - In Amber

This song, from Laughter's Fifth, sounds like it could be a Pavement outtake if it were sung by somebody not named Malkmus.  Despite the head honcho Sam Jayne playing on a Beck album (One Foot in the Grave) and being on Sub Pop, these guys never achieved much stardom, which is a shame because this is a great, rollicking album.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Video: Metallica as Smooth Jazz

courtesy of Sondre Lerche (@SondreLerche)

Song of the Day: Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position

What would happen if David Bowie and Bryan Ferry had a love child? Well, I think it might have happened. And it might be Patrick Wolf.

I read some good reviews of his album The Magic Position, but since I couldn't find it on vinyl, I settled for buying the 7-inch of the title track. As soon as I put it on the turntable, I was hooked - the xylophone (I think) melding into the strings, then just the beat (with handclaps!) and some sort of horn, the melodramatic delivery - just a great pop song.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Song of the Day: Handsome Boy Modeling School - The Projects (Pjays)

The name Handsome Boy Modeling School comes from the short-lived sitcom "Get a Life" featuring Chris Elliot.  You may remember the theme song, which was "Stand" by R.E.M., or the fact that Chris Elliot was a newspaper boy.  I've got a DVD of a few episodes of the show, and to say that it's strange is a bit of an understatement.  It's really difficult to imagine something like that on a major network today.  That said, the funny parts are hilarious, particularly if you like Chris Elliot, but it's definitely spotty.

The band's debut album, So...How's Your Girl?, samples clips from the show throughout ("modeling sucks!"), and like the show, it's a bit hit or miss.  This song, featuring Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, is my favorite.

Interesting to note - like yesterday's SOTD, this song is playing in the background of a very popular movie.  This time, it's Ocean's Eleven, during the scene when Brad Pitt and George Clooney are at a bar, having just scammed the celebrities during a poker game*.

* I think I've got that right - haven't seen the movie in a while

Monday, April 5, 2010

Video: Janelle Monae - Tightrope

A previous song of the day now has an awesome video

Song of the Day: The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Going to Hell

Some interesting facts/opinions about the band, album and song:

1. Brian Jones was the guitarist for the Rolling Stones who died mysteriously in a swimming pool in 1969, arguably before the Stones recorded their four most classic albums.
2. Jonestown Massacre was named for Jim Jones, the cult leader who most likely is responsible for, among a number of deaths, the term "drinking the Kool-Aid"
3. This song is from the Brian Jonestown Massacre's only major label album
4. When watching the movie American Pie, I was surprised to hear this song playing in the background in one scene (if memory serves, it's when the guys are in a restaurant formulating their plan)
5. If you like music documentaries, you can't do much better than Dig!, which shows that Anton Newcombe, the leader of BJM, is completely and utterly insane
6. Despite the name of the band and the song, and the insanity of their leader, BJM is not death metal or pure evil.  Just a band stuck in the late '60s
7. I own 11 BJM albums - this fact surprised even me
8. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Song of the Day: Daft Punk - Robot Rock/Oh Yeah [live]

My first exposure to Daft Punk was a bootleg of their Coachella set from 2006.  I didn't know much about them, other than they were French, and they were playing at James Murphy's house.  Their live shows are supposed to be quite a spectacle, and after seeing Justice live a couple years ago, I can only imagine what Daft Punk live would entail. 

Luckily they did release a live album in 2007, so at least we get to hear what a Daft Punk concert entails (bootlegs not withstanding).  I prefer most of the tracks on this album to the studio material, and this song (medley) that leads off the album is particularly cool, as it seamlessly mixes a track from Homework with one from Human After All.  With the guitar riff and drums, even if you're not a huge fan of "dance" music, you might like this.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Song of the Day: Bob Mould - Brasilia Crossed with Trenton

In my freshman year of high school, I started subscribing to Rolling Stone.  Once I bought my first CD player, in my sophomore year, and started my quest to own every piece of music ever recorded (still working on it), I began exploring the CMJ (College Music Journal) charts, which were published in the back of RS.  This is how I came across the awesomeness that is Bob Mould.

Specifically, it was his band Sugar, and more specifically, the first album, Copper Blue.  This led to discovering his first band, Husker Du, which led to hearing his solo albums, Workbook and Black Rain.  While the latter was in the vein of his other stuff that I'd heard (loud guitars, punk/postpunk sound), the former was a fairly quiet (for him), acoustic affair.  This long, almost stream-of-consciousness song from Workbook is the one that instantly grabbed me, and it remains my favorite to this day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Playlist: March 2010 songs

These were all featured in the March blog.  Links to individual posts are in the right column.

Song of the Day: The Byrds - You Don't Miss Your Water

This is alt-country ground zero. Once I started listening to Wilco and Whiskeytown, I started getting into the bands they were influenced by, like The Flying Burrito Brothers. The Gram Parsons (and Chris Hillman*) connection begat this album by The Byrds.

While everybody and their brother knows the early Byrds songs - probably a Dylan cover, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" or "Eight Miles High" - the songs from Sweetheart of the Radio are not exactly classic rock staples. Which is a shame, because this is a great album from start to finish. I had a hard time picking one to play, but this one has the great Byrds harmonies their known for, as well as some serious country twang.

* I was 99% sure that Chris Hillman was in both groups, but I verified it by going to, which I frequently reference. If there is a better music reference site on the web, I will be surprised (but delighted if you'd tell me what it is).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Erykah Badu - the "secret" show at the El Rey 3/30/10

On Monday I found out about Erykah Badu's "secret" show from the El Rey's Twitter feed, and I immediately bought tickets, thinking that it would sell out immediately.  Even though I'm not familiar with all her output, I really enjoyed her last album, 2008's New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War, and I had a feeling this show would be, at the very least, interesting.

The show was supposed to start at 9, but based on Rob Harvilla's tweets during her NY secret show (see link below), I figured we should probably show up at 10.  But then I got scared that maybe we'd miss something, so we arrived around 9:30.  When we got there, I was a bit surprised to find that they were selling tickets at the door.  I was comforted by the fact that I at least put some money in Ticketmaster's pockets.

We walked into the El Rey with a DJ spinning and some crazy videos playing in the background - Erykah driving, then B-movie clips (reminded me of the Largo's Little Room), then more driving, then a photo shoot, then more movie, etc.  And then, we waited. 

Then another DJ spinning.  More waiting.  Then camera flashes started going off like mad in the middle of the crowd near the front of the stage, and we wondered if a celebrity had been spotted.  And one had - the woman of the hour.  She walked from there towards the mixing boards in the back, people taking pictures, her posing for some.  She sat at the mixing board for a good 20 minutes, another DJ started spinning, and then she eventually walked backstage, people still taking pictures.

Eventually her controversial "Window Seat" video started playing on the screens, though the music wasn't - it was still the DJ.  For the last 30 minutes or so, roadies and band members seemed busy on the stage, and finally, around 11:30, Erykah came out. 

At this point I should mention she had some serious Rick James/Venus Williams beaded braids going on, hair hanging down past her butt, wearing a trenchcoat and jeans.  The crowd went nuts, even though we had just seen her in the audience, but was finally time.

She played a couple of songs I knew off of 4th World War, what must have been some older songs based on the crowd's reaction, and of course songs off the new album.  We eventually had to bail around 12:30, so we didn't get to hear "Window Seat," but the night and the wait were worth it.  She has a voice and a presence that really can't be described, and her music is so appealing - and also potentially polarizing - because it's so eclectic.  Some songs are like scat jazz, some pure R&B, psychedelia, reggae - everything is in there.  Even if you've never even heard of Erykah Badu, go see her (but show up late).  You won't be disappointed.

Excellent album review and NY secret show review from Rob Harvilla at the Village Voice

Feature at Pitchfork about what Erykah was listening to at certain ages in her life

Pink Floyd's "Money" - Nintendo style

(via Prefix)

Song of the Day: Oasis - Don't Look Back in Anger

In college I worked at the Blockbuster Music (remember those?) on Franklin Street. We got a promo copy of (What's the Story) Morning Glory, and since no one else wanted it, I took it home. I had heard of Oasis's first album, but never actually heard it, and I didn't expect much.

Instead, I found that I really loved the album, and it made the band huge stars in the US (they were - and remain for reasons I can't fathom - huge stars in the UK).  While "Wonderwall" was the big single (I even put it on a mix tape), I now find a lot of the album to be somewhat difficult.  The reason - Liam Gallagher's voice.  It grates on me now a little bit, and though I still think "Wonderwall" "Champagne Supernova" are good songs, it's "Don't Look Back in Anger" (sung by Noel) that has now become the mix tape staple.