It Was A Good Year

Dec 31
Posted by admin Filed in Pacific Northwest

I agree with a lot of the bloggers, DJs, music critics, and columnists as to who is deserving of recognition for “Best of ’10.” I’m infatuated with, crushing on, or like as much as a pulled pork sandwich: Beach House, The Black Keys, Kid Cudi, Arcade Fire, Deerhunter, and Gorillaz to name a few. I’ve gotten a lot of plays out of the work that all of these acts have put out this year, and thank them for entertaining me.

However, the band and album that I loved more than all others this year was, The Head and the Heart. I loved everything about the folksy, hopeful, thankful tone of this band and the way that they work together live. They look like the love every second of their time together on stage and they work in blissful harmony. I’m confident that their music will continue to be original and soulful, but I’m excited that they will soon be known by a much larger section of people and will get to reap the benefits that their art brings them.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Happy New year everyone!!! I remember when I was a little kid and would get to stand on my grandma’s front porch and pound on pots and pans while grandma played “The Sidewalks of New York” on her harmonica. New Year’s Eve is almost always a good time but those little kid ones were the best.

“Lost In My Mind” – The Head and the Heart – “The Head and the Heart” (2010)


“Last Dance” – Donna Summer – “Thank God It’s Friday” (1978)

Dec 30
Posted by admin Filed in Disco

The last time that I heard this song was ten years ago, almost to the day. We were in Pasadena hanging out on Colorado Boulevard on New Year’s Eve. If you’ve never been, it’s good, clean fun as long as you don’t have an issue with flying marshmallows and corn tortillas. The locals as well as the lucky fans of whatever teams are playing in the Rose Bowl start lining the street early in the evening for a curbside sleep over in anticipation of the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. It was a really happy place with hardly anyone getting out of hand. The worst offense involved the local cops confiscating a few cases of silly string that apparently, some street vendor didn’t have a license to sell.

In the post midnight revelry, I vividly remember “Last Dance” blaring out of several boom boxes. The Donna Summer classic is time capsule worthy for future generations to get a good taste of what the 70’s disco era was all about. Divas have been doing their best for the last 35 years to try and duplicate the same sort of vibe. Its a tune that will bring couples together on the dance floor for a slow moment or two before changing the tempo and lighting the place on fire. Donna Summer was the queen of the charts in her day, and “Last Dance” was her signature song.

I love the long version. There’s uncertainty, joy, contemplation, fear, elation, desperation, vulnerability, and hope that you just don’t get with the three minute radio version.


“Yesterday” – Donny Hathaway

Dec 29
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

One of these days, like today, when I don’t have the proper amount of time to devote to this blob, I’m going to start a run of posting many covered versions of the same song. “Yesterday” holds the Guinness Book of Work Records for the Most Recorded Song with at least 1,600 versions made off of the Beatles original. I’m not picking today to start my lazy streak of posting the same song, so if it has to start and end with a stellar version that is not the original, it’ll have to be Donnie Hathaway.


“Real Love” – Beach House – “Teen Dream” (2010)

Dec 27
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Award show season is almost upon us. Is there an award for Most Beautiful Song of The Year? “Teen Dream” is on my list of best albums of the year. The atmosphere is perfectly colored and balanced throughout the album. What is within our grasp is often not what we behold. The iridescent colors and hues of a spectacular sunset will often cause us to tell each other to look right now before it’s too late. This is where “Real Love” is, coming and going. It’s going to take some things happening just right to turn this into a happy ending. But, no matter the ending, the process should be breathed in and savored because there are some really spectacular things taking place along the way.


“Bed Intruder Song” – The Gregory Brothers (2010)

Dec 26
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

This post surely won’t find some of you until after you’re done torturing yourselves with day-after, bargain hunting mallapalooza. I’m spending the morning trying to assess the amount of physical activity that it will take to shoo the meat, gravy, frosted Christmas tree cookies, mashed potatoes, and Scotch eggs that invaded in full force over the last 36 hours. If the gifts that my family gave me say something about me, they think I like a little drink of booze now and then, and enjoy putting a rub or sauce on a slab of meat before I throw it on the grill. They know me so well. Those are indeed some of my favorite things. I didn’t get a ton of music but what I did get was top notch. Live at KEXP, Volume 6 is a perfect variety pack of tunes from what has got to be one of the best radio stations in the world. Pick up a copy for yourself and all your music loving friends.

Billions of ITunes credits got dumped out of Santa’s bag and into you computers. May I suggest that you spend a few credits on the new Band of Horses album. That Kanye fella will get a few more buys, and don’t forget to try my favorite band (at the moment) The Head and the heart. Do you need to spend a buck to buy “Bed Intruder Song?” Maybe not since it’s one of those song that lose a lot of its value without an accompanying video. In fact, the original video for this song created by The Gregory Brothers as Episode 12B of their Auto-Tune The News series was the most watched YouTube video of 2010 with over 5 million views.

For reals, doesn’t everyone want somebody like Antoine Dodson on their side? He’s going to have your back, he might make you laugh, he’ll be your friend, or your worst enemy if you get out of line. I love the guy! If Ross The Intern can get a regular gig, Mr. Dodson is definitely worthy. Come on Conan, step it up and get the guy on your show.


“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” – John & Yoko, The Plastic Ono Band (1971)

Dec 25
Posted by admin Filed in UK

I spent some time last night debating my favorite rock and roll Christmas song. A lot of them such as Bruce’s version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” are just a good, clean child’s view of Christmas fun. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” obviously has a much bigger message and calls upon our humanity to do something good for those less fortunate. But, the hands down winner was “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”

It’s obviously a Christmas song, and Christians will internalize the message of the song into the framework of their religion. But, the song’s message is for everyone sung by a man who was unbounded by culture or religion. I suppose that to some it could come off a little preachy, or skeptical in tone but the underlying sentiment is rock solid.

War is over

A glance at the history of humans would suggest that we are incapable of not warring, nonetheless we should continue to strive for peace. In the holiday season when goodwill towards men is more overtly displayed, miracles are hoped for, and wishes granted, the gift of the end of violent conflict should be asked for every year.

Merry Christmas to everyone especially my family near and far, and to my dearly departed who helped form my vision of Christmas as a time when anything is possible.


Wayne’s World Twentieth Anniversary

Dec 24
Posted by admin Filed in Rock Bands, UK

It’s hard to believe that the first “Wayne’s World” movie was released almost 20 years ago. Wayne and Garth are most likely partied out, and driving minivan loads of kids between school, soccer and home but if they did manage to pull themselves together for a 20 year anniversary Wayne’s World Part 3, I’ve got a song substitution request for the famous Bohemian Rhapsody scene.

It doesn’ include the solo piano and vocal build up, or the distinctive opera section, but don’t you think that Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia” could seamlessly slide in when the guys start head banging in the pacer. The rock out section of both songs isn’t exactly the same but the time signature is the same and the energy level is nearly equal.

Cue up the Wayne’s World clip to the 2:06 mark, hit mute, then pause.

“Knights of Cydonia” – Muse – “Black Holes and Revelations” (2006)

Fire up Muse, roll forward to the 4:13 mark. Un-pause Wayne, head bang recklessly.


“The Wall” – Pink Floyd – “The Wall” (1979)

Dec 23
Posted by admin Filed in Rock Bands, UK

“The proof is in the pudding.” What does that mean? Do people eat a dish of pudding and then have this epiphany and say, “I’m convinced, God does exist, the proof is in the pudding.” A little research/Google reveals that the original saying was “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” That definitely makes more sense. It would be like if I had some friends over for dinner and decided to make durian pudding for dessert. As I hand all of my guests a serving, I might say “so, I just found this recipe on the internets (if I was dumb enough to serve people anything durian flavored, there’s no doubt that I would pluralize the internet), hmmm, I hope you guys like it, but the proof is in the eating of the pudding, bottoms up, suckers.” That statement would make sense, but it wouldn’t make sense that I would have a whole pack of friends gullible enough to come over to my house and let me feed them durian flavored treats.

Here we are though, who knows how many years, and iterations down the line, and like a bunch of lemmings, who just make sounds that we’ve heard before but have no idea if they have any real meaning, we walk around saying “the proof is in the pudding.” It’s almost as dumb of a saying as the response by someone who thinks they’re getting one pulled over on them and says, “you’re shittin’ me.” What the heck does that mean? If I say something that seems somewhat unbelievable someone might think that I’m defecating on them. Like, I think so poorly of you that I’m going to say something that will cause you to look at me in the head turned sideways canine kind of way, and then to prove how dumb you are, I’m going to come over and sit on your lap and drop a deuce. Why do we say the random things that we do? Don’t get me wrong, I love a ridiculous figure of speech or two (one of my Christmas dinner guests loves to say “holy shit balls” now that’s just good clean fun mixing religion and bodily excretions in perfect union) but be creative folks, invent the ridiculously exclamatory things that you say and quit relying on your grand parents sayings because after all “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”

And now back to the pudding, I mean music.


“Lentil” – Sia – “Some People Have Real Problems” (2008)

Dec 22
Posted by admin Filed in Aussies, Girls Rule

The sad things that we do to ourselves, or each other, or to ourselves by way of what we do to each other. Second chances are often granted though, and it’s sounding like Ms. Sia would really appreciate one.

Sia’s 2010 album “We Are Born” has been summed up by reviewers as decidedly more upbeat than her previous efforts. I’ll get around to it eventually but I rather like “Some People Have Real Problems” and am still busy listening to it. The softly sung verses, and pleading chorus in this song, to my ear are similar to Tori Amos. Sia is interesting and honest from the Joe Cockeresque contortions and extremity movements to her openness about her bisexuality. Madonna composed the new album but don’t let the star power sway you towards Sia’s newest work if you aren’t familiar with her. The jazzy, funky Aussie from Adelaide has been making good music for the most part of a decade. Do yourself a favor and listen to some of her older stuff.


“If I” – Aloe Blacc – “Good Things” (2010)

Dec 21
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Aloe Blacc, anyone? Y’all in on him? Got him downloaded and in your mix? Aloe Blacc!!!

It seems like unadorned, neo soul can be hard to come by anymore, but Blacc has created a record that will make people pay attention to the genre. Blacc talks about the record and is profiled on his label’s (Stones Throw Records) site. The man is all about positivity. His messages will remind some of Marvin Gaye. Although he doesn’t have the same amount of manly gravel in his voice, he reminds me a bit of Terrence Trent D’Arby.

The video that I posted is the only one that I could find with “If I” so you get a bonus track with “I Need A Dollar” which has been the most widely played song off of this album.