Monthly Archive for December, 2006

Level-The Raconteurs

What can I say, one of the few songs this year that for some reason I’m happy to come on the radio. I think it is the creepo synthy opening and the thumpa thumpa before the wah wah. Then some other stuff happens. And it doesn’t go on to long. Super awesome B+.

Phantom Limb – The Shins

It’s shew shinny Nines! Er, shinny new Shines! Damnit… It’s The Shins! It’s new! It’s… um…


Well, it is The Shins.


But, well, it sounds kind of like an out-take from their first album.

And that’s a bad thing?

No! Well… no… well, it’s not quite…

Not quite…?

It is The Shins, though.

The new album—
  Yay! New Shins album! Shew Nins album! Where?
    comes out January 23rd.

Oh… that’s…

Several weeks, yes.

And… this is… all we get until then?

Remember, it is The Shins.

Think shiny!


Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division / performed by June Tabor & Oysterband

Both June Tabor and Oysterband are mostly known for (British) folk music. However, they often seem to do things from other genres when they get together. There’s a cracking version of Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties” on the album they did together — said joint album actually being the only thing I knew by either of them until recently.

It looks like Oysterband is now putting on these “Big Session” concerts every year, with this video being taken from the 2006 one. A live album was released of the first of these concerts which also includes this song. Sadly, it’s never been released in the US — I’d love to hear this with better sound quality.

First Circle – Pat Metheny

[Update: Found a second, more characteristic performance.]

Metheny’s best compositions (and “First Circle” is quite definitely in that category) often have a sense of joy to them that is rarely matched. I’m not sure the piece is best served by the big band sound in the later sections in this performance, but awesome all the same.

(And any ECM haytahz left out there can bite my lutefisk.)

Deportee – Woody Guthrie

Lyrics by Woody Guthrie; music by Martin Hoffman.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, “They are just deportees”

The crash on January 29, 1948 killed 28 Mexican farm workers who were being deported, and 4 Americans who were flight crew and security. News coverage gave the names of the Americans, but never identified any of the Mexicans.

The performance is by Arlo Guthrie & Emmylou Harris, and was recorded for the 1988 Woody Guthrie/Leadbelly tribute video A Vision Shared.

Another version by Joan Baez & Bob Dylan (1976).

“This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright #154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin’ it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.” — Copyright notice on a songbook Guthrie distributed in the 1930s (see).

LDN-Lily Allen

I don’t care to know anything else about this artist or her background or maybe this song being x-months old. The point is this, the sample kills and the song is pop genius and you need it for your Friday. It’s actually genius, really.

Tie Your Mother Down-Queen

First off. And second. How is Brian May’s Louis Quatorze hairdo so appropriate? Also, he a guitarist that bothered to create his own sound, even though it really is only window dressing for Freddie’s unstoppable theatrics. Somehow this is the leanest and meanest possible version of total rock excess there can possible be. It is both stripped-down and baroque. Thus, the oxymoron that is the genius of Queen.

Not Just Words-The Black Heart Procession

The kind of indie rock small-scale epic you can fell good about. Ignore the Jay and Silent Bob lookalike band. Also, the curiously 90’s-esque video. Super good tune. From 2006’s Spell.

Destination Unknown-Missing Persons

By far my fave Missing Persons tune, yes it is 80’s New Wave, a touch of Blondie, ice barbie instead of ice princess, but also more than a shade of Gary Numan. In fact, an MP-Gary Numan duet would be awesome. The intro makes you feel like there’s a person there, warmer than the usual Gary Numan toaster sex tune, but then the slightly metallic tinged vocals say HUMAN-ROBOT hybrid and it is awesome.