“Peaches” – The Presidents of The United States of America – “The Presidents of The Unites States of America” (1006)

Feb 28
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If diving into the deep emotional waters of “Hospice” is like watching “Boys Don’t Cry” after a long, hard day, then listening to the irreverent babblings of The Presidents is like watching “Wayne’s World” after a long day of Disneyland, Slurpees, and Krispie Kremes.

i took a little nap where the roots all twist
squished a rotten peach in my fist
and dreamed about you woman
i poked my finger down inside make a little room for a ant to hide
nature’s candy in my hand or can or pie

– DAVE

“Kettering” – The Antlers – “Hospice” (2009)

Feb 26
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I’ve had this song queued up and ready to post for about six months. I think about posting it about once a week but always file it away for future use because it seems like the mood has to be just right. This is an intense song, off of a very serious, tightly structured album.

“Hospice” is a narrative in full color 3-D. It’s so vivid that I swear while listening to the album, you can smell that dank, disinfectant, sickly, musty, uncirculated air that is common to hospitals. I have a like/don’t like relationship with this album and band. The whole of this album is catharsis through musical artistry. The amount of sorrow in tone and lyrical content is epic. It’s what makes the album good, even great according to many-a musical critic and fan. To me, the level of grief is what also makes it hard to listen to. The world, and my musical tastes are not and don’t have to be all rainbows and butterfly kisses but this album is so into morbid, self loathing that I have to psyche myself up to listen to it.

Everyone should grieve and treat the death of a loved one as the horrific moment in life that it is, but for me, The Antlers are wallowing in death and misery to the point where I think that they embrace it as a thing to be cherished. There’s no redemption, or moving forward in this album. Bitterness, anger, and regret are present in heaping quantities. Lead singer Peter Silberman often lends his voice to his dying partner and speaks for her but there are never any comforting words from her to him.

If you’re in a relationship that is difficult, even without factoring the massive circumstance of the other person being terminally ill, you are obviously a commendable person if you see it through to the end. I guess that’s where Silberman’s haunted misery is coming from. To me, this relationship doesn’t sound like it ever had any potential to be a joyous, long lasting, loving union, even if the illness were not present. But, Silberman committed to it, saw it through, and the world got “Hospice” as its result.

– DAVE

“The Spirit of Radio” – Rush – “Permanent Waves” (1980)

Feb 24
Posted by admin Filed in Rewind, T-Top Tunes

The Canadians are gaining steam down the home stretch in their quest to “own the podium” at the Winter Olympics. We got to see Nelly Furtado, K.D. Lang (awesome performance) and Sarah McLachlan at the opening ceremonies. How’s about an appearance by the all time great, gold medal power trio to wrap up the game?

All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open-hearted.
Not so coldly charted
It’s really just a question of your honesty, yeah,
Your honesty.

One likes to believe in the freedom of music,
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity.

– DAVE

“How It Ends” – DeVotchKa – “How It Ends” (2004)

Feb 24
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I love movies like “Little Miss Sunshine.” It’s all about character development, relationships, and group dynamics. It only relied on special effects to the point of dressing up some seven year old girls as little Chuckie looking, scary zombie dolls. When you can draw a cast of Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, and Steve Carell to a low budget film made by first time directors and a screenwriter’s first script, you might just think that you’ve got a solid little flick.

There is no escape,
From the slave-catchers’ songs.
For all of the loved ones gone.
Forever’s not so long.
And in your soul,
They poked a million holes.
But you never lettem show.
C’mon it’s time to go.

And
You
Already know.
Yeah, you already know
How this will end.

– DAVE

Trudy The Action Hero

Feb 22
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Man, that Trudy chick in “Avatar” was almost as scary as another Trudy that I know. So, who is Trudy the fighter pilot’s musical soul mate, and what does she sing in the shower:

A. Dixie Chicks – “I’m Not Ready to Make Nice”

B. Wendy O. Williams – “Goin’ Wild”

C. Pat Benatar – “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”

D. Culture Club – “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”

While you contemplate that lovely array of choices, here’s a little tune about another outlaw Trudy, and her sidekick.

“Trudy and Dave” – John Hiatt – “Slow Turning” (1988)

Well David put a match to a Lucky Strike
And the smoke curled up ’round his head how he liked,
It made him feel a little mysterious
‘Til Trudy said “David honey, what about us?”

So he thought about them and those shots ringing out
And other things he shouldn’t be thinking about
Like how it wasn’t them at all, just life that was mean
And how a twenty dollar pistol made him feel so clean
Trudy and Dave
They’re out of their minds
Trudy and Dave
They’re out of their minds

– DAVE

“Talk to Me” – Stevie Nicks – “Rock A Little” (1985)

Feb 21
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I had Sirius’s Classic Rewind on for awhile yesterday as background noise. Of course, they played all of the standard classic rock stuff from the late 70’s and the 80’s. Tom Petty, Neil Young, Van Halen, Foreigner, Autograph (now, there’s a hair band), and Styx were in the mix. There was a bunch of stuff that I haven’t heard for awhile, but really don’t need to ever hear again (think Bob Seger). And then there was this Stevie Nicks song which I haven’t heard for ever.

I thought that Stevie did a good job in her duo/supporting role with Taylor Swift at the Grammys. It was an interesting pairing since they aren’t exactly of the same genre, and their singing styles are pretty opposite, but it worked. And then, Nicks started rockin’ that tambourine like she likes to do, and it really worked.

– DAVE

“Let The Drummer Kick” – Citizen Cope – “Citizen Cope” (2002)

Feb 20
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I could easily do Clarence Greenwood justice by dedicating a post per week to his music.

Relations
Creation
Incarceration
Determination
Equation
Humiliation
Reincarnation
Situation
Elation
Identification
Retaliation
Education
Inspiration
No substitution
Solution
Conclusion

– DAVE

“Who’d Have Known” – Lily Allen – “It’s Not Me, It’s You” (2009)

Feb 17
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Or, how about at least letting Thom Yorke be a guest judge?

I really, truly am a fan of American Idol but the show drives me absolutely nuts at time. What I love about the show is the fresh faced, wide eyed, deer in the head lights, top of the world, end of the line, jubilant, desperate, cocksure, unsure, arrogant, and humble array of contestants that the show unearths each and every year. Once we get past all of the semi-staged comedy in the first few weeks, there are always some memorable performances, a few people who you really want to support, and inevitably a few that you cannot stand. For the most part, the contestants are amateurs, and they sometimes perform as such which is actually kind of refreshing. Considering how enormous the audience is – live and TV – I’m always impressed that the vast majority of the contestants keep such good composure, even in the face of scathing criticism.

The things that I dislike about the show seem so obvious and easy to fix:

– Making the person who is voted off sing the song that had a lot to do with them getting sent home. On the Super Bowl post game I think that they should have had Peyton Manning come out and show us exactly what he was thinking as he threw the game deciding interception…. and them administer a hundred paper cuts and rub him down with salt and lemon juice for good measure.

– Ryan Seacrest – Seriously, why is he necessary? In fact, why couldn’t they just send him on a permanent shopping trip with Paula, and have Ellen host the show. I like Ellen as a judge, talk show host, comedian, and person. Ryan? I respect the fact that he supposedly has a great work ethic, but besides that, the best thing he ever did was say a naughty word or two in “Knocked Up.”

– The guest judges. As a whole, they have been a comical collection of people for what is, as the permanent judges often like to say, a singing competition. The exemption of course is Mary J. Blige who I’m sure, not only does a mean rendition of the phone book, but also a stirring take on “The Joy of Cooking”, “Excel for Dummies”, or a bus schedule if that’s what she’s in the mood for. But, but, but, Joe Jonas, Mrs. Beckham, Doogie Howser, and the awful Katy Perry are so obviously lacking in credentials. This is where the show loses credibility as far as it being this big thing where they’re looking for the best talent. If that was the case, then they would have more Bliges, in the form of people like Adele, as well as past AI stars such as Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, or Reuben Studdard as judges. These are people who can actually sing, meaningful advice since they’ve been there, look and act real people, and aren’t all about their hair and clothes. Avril Lavigne is somewhere in between, IMO.

And if I was in charge of such things, the week after I booked Thom Yorke to judge, I would send in Lily Allen.

– DAVE

“No Surprises” – Radiohead – “OK Computer” (1998)

Feb 17
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

There are never any surprises on American Idol during Hollywood week (I know, there aren’t any surprises during any week). I’m talking about the material that the contestants get to choose from. It’s about five pages out of a karaoke catalog with all of the crazy stuff like Dennis Leary’s A-Hole song, The Divinyls, Cheap Trick, and the like all ripped out.

I like some Jason Mras songs. I respect Michael Jackson’s music. Lady Gaga is pretty undeniable. If you can separate John Mayer’s music from the other words that come out of his mouth, it’s okay sometimes. But, wouldn’t it be awesome for somebody to sneak in some Airborne Toxic Event, or maybe a NIN track. Or, the kings of happy ditties, the one and only Radiohead.

This is my final fit,
my final bellyache

with no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises please.

Such a pretty house
and such a pretty garden.

– DAVE

“A Song for Ellie Greenwich” – Parenthetical Girls – “Entanglements” (2008)

Feb 15
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This is genre inventing music. While listening to this album, the face that I often see is Willie Wonka. If you replaced the creepy candy factory with the ultimate bookstore, threw in a few prepubescent brats, covered their ears on the naughty, scrumpdillicious (sp?) parts… it’s Hackman’s Wonka. There’s some Cobain in there in a glazed over, jigsaw puzzled words, and neurotically blissful kind of way.

Parenthetical Girl puts out the kind of original, hyper-creative music, that frankly, no one wants to hear. I’m not in the obscurest camp whose credo plays as “everything that is good, is everything that most people don’t know exists.” This, however, is one of those bands that I hope stays deep within the fringe because if I ever hear them on my radio on any channel except KEXP, the apocalypse may be near.

just like me
they long to see you on your knees
but all these he’s into she’s
irreparably slow these hopes we’ve sewn
and so we forego
what pleasantries we’ve grown to know

hand in glove
for lack of the words, we called this love
but now they’ve cynical slurs to define what it was
that we have done

– DAVE