“Mongk II” – British Sea Power – “Valhalla Dancehall” (2011)

Oct 31
Posted by admin Filed in Indie, Rock Bands, UK

It’s rapidly approaching that time of year when music wonks like myself start compiling their “Best of” lists for the year. I should spend more wonking wakeful moments contemplating much more meaningful matters such as… finding a second receiver for my fantasy football team (Megatron can’t do it all by himself, come on Mike Williams… the Tampa Bay Mike Williams), figuring out where I’m going to sleep at night when I’m roughing it in India in less than two months, how to share books with my book worm friends via our Kindles, and how to coax some positive side effects out of my ‘roid prescription. But no, I’m mostly concerned about thinking about my “Best of Music” lists for the year.

“Valhalla Dancehall” probably won’t make page # 1 of my best albums but is sure to get honorable mention status. “Mongk II” as well as other tracks on the have that kind of dystopian, romantic, chaotic tone that makes you think that something bad is about to happen.

“(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” – Elvis Costello – “My Aim is True” (1977)

Oct 30
Posted by admin Filed in UK, Uncategorized

Any list of “The Best Voice in Rock and Roll History” isn’t complete unless it includes Declan Patrick McManus aka Elvis Costello. I was listening to CBGB on I Heart Radio the other day – this is a good spot to land if you want to transport to the punk heyday of the late 70’s – when I wrote on a little internal Post-It and put it in a place that I could make inner eye contact with it to remind myself to post some Elvis. He’s really about a Top 3 rock and roll singer, no? I’m not even sure that I can think of two better.


“One” – Mary J. Blige (with U2) – “The Breakthrough” (2005)

Oct 29
Posted by admin Filed in Soul Music, Uncategorized

Week # 3 of “Cover Fridays” is really more of a semi-cover since the original hit makers are helping create the new version. It’s good stuff though, and includes R & B royalty Mary J. Blige. Bono provding backing vocals is a novelty that you won’t often hear on one of his own songs. The harmonized bridge halfway through has a nice contrast. And of course, Blige really brings it throughout. A lot of what makes U2 so good is the huge amount of soul that is embedded in everything they make. This song is a sliver of proof that “everything is good in moderation” isn’t always true as the heaping doses of soul that the Dublin foursome originally applied were doubled up with the addition of Mary J. Blige.


There Will Be A Game Seven

Oct 27
Posted by admin Filed in Hip Hop

Did everybody just see that baseball game… Game 6… World Series… back and forth back and forth… Rangers lookin’ for rings… Cards trying to extend it to Game 7… Cards win!!!

Since the game preempted my tried and true practice of sorting and sifting through whatever music I’ve lstened to today (Editors, The Civil Wars, Sia, Temper Trap) and arriving at a worthy song pick, I’m going to take the bandwagon way out and go with a hometown boy.

Nelly was checking in his hometown before the rest of us would-be mayors even knew about checking in. I’ll give him the Play On Mainstage for the day, and promise to come back with something from deep in the heart of Texas if the Rangers manage to right themselves and pull this series out.

“Batter Up” – Nelly – “Country Grammar” (2000)


A Couple Random Things

Oct 26
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

I love all things revolving around The Black Keys… except that I wasn’t one of the lucky golden ticket winners to their free show at the new Microsoft store last Friday at U Village.

Here’s an interview that Dan Auerbach did with GQ this month.

My brother pointed me to a funny clip featuring Joseph Gordon-Leavitt and Jimmy Fallon doing karaoke on Fallon’s show. Gordon-Levitt also talked about his new book RECollection which is part of his website (hitRECord.org) which is a gathering place for creative people to build and collaborate on various performance art projects. Check out the website, and of DO NOT miss the Axl Rose impersonation with Fallon (you’ll have to venture to YouTube on your own since embedding is disabled).

And finally, Tom Waits has a new album out. “Bad As Me” was released yesterday. This is the first time that I have ever posted a song that I’ve never listened to before. I hope we like it.

“Bad As Me” – Tom Waits – “Bad As Me” (2011)


“How to Be Dead” – Snow Patrol – “Final Straw” (2004)

Oct 25
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Deck The Hall Ball 2011 was unveiled today and, man, is it a glorious line up. We’ve got Cage The Elephant, Young The Giant, Foster The People The People. It almost seems like the co-headliners should change their names to Death Cab “The” Cutie, and Mumford “The” Sons. Mumford and Sons live in concert is about as good of a Christmas present as I could ask for and probably more than I deserve. I’ve been checking the band’s website on a weekly basis, and finally they have relented and will be playing Seattle in about six weeks. It’s going to be a great night. The End’s holiday concert bash will be rounded out by: Grouplove, and Two Door Cinema Club.

Probably my favorite Deck The Hall Ball so far was the 2004 show. The Killers were still fresh and new and always put on a great live show. Franz Ferdinand are another well oiled live act and Keane are such a great piano-centic pop act. Modest Mouse sounded great, but their between song tuning sessions and tinkering seemed to last at least 90 seconds between every number, and after awhile it was hard to sit through. The real star to me that night though was Snow Patrol. Besides Modest Mouse, the bands playing in the middle of the line up had a nice balance of showmanship, and rock and roll. Gary Lightbody and his Snow Patrol, for the most part left the dry cleaned, sparkly attire at home and just came out in jeans and t-shirts and rocked the place. I came in liking this band but I was so sold on this band after that night that I listened to them non-stop for about a year. I recently stated that I listened to The Black Eyed Peas “Elephunk” some ridiculously huge number of times (in the hundreds) when it came out in 2003. I listened to “Final Straw” just as much way back then in the early 2000’s.


“Which Side Are You On?” – Natalie Merchant – “The House Carenter’s Daughter” (2003)

Oct 24
Posted by admin Filed in Folk

Here’s one for my long range planner, Natalie Merchant with the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall on Saturday, June 22nd of next year. She’s got a fairly massive body of work to draw from so it’s tough to know how much of “The House Carpenter’s Daughter” she’ll draw from. Full orchestral accompaniment to go with the simple folk songs on this album would make for a powerful presentation.


“Mother’s Little Helper” – The Rollng Stones – “Aftermath” (1966)

Oct 22
Posted by admin Filed in Rock Bands, UK

What a drag it is getting old

I’ve got the dreaded bloody eye ball. You’ve all had it, or will have it when you get old… or maybe not. I’m actually the only person that I know who has ever been afflicted by the bloody eye ball. What am I talking about? Well, it goes a little something like this.

I woke up two days ago and had a big arch shaped blind spot with little speckled spots underneath it partially obscuring the vision of my right eye. Hmmm, that’s peculiar, was my first reaction. Upon closer examination in the bathroom mirror, I could have swore that the spots were blood colored. So, I called in sick, got an appointment with an eye doctor, explained to iDoc that everything I looked at was blood splattered – the ceiling, my breakfast, the dog, my wife’s face, trees, nothing could escape the same spray pattern. iDoc seemed a little disbelieving but dilated me, took a bunch of pictures with some super duper fancy cameras, and then showed me the results. Yup, there it is a little boomerang formation of blood pooling on my eye. Trippy, right? It is the scary season so I guess it kind of makes sense. Don’t know the cause yet. No headaches, not even blurred vision, just slightly obstructed view (shouldn’t I get a discount for the bad seats) for everything.

The good news? I saw this other guy who was a retina specialist, and a fastidiously thorough guy who seems very determined to get to the root of this old guy’s eye ills. And, he wrote me a prescription for steroids to deal with the inflammation in my eye which will then let the blood re-absorb to other ancient regions of my body. I AM ON ‘ROIDS. Look out people, old guy with blood in his eyes is on ‘roids. The ‘roid period of my life is off to a pretty boring start over the first 30 hours but I’m sure that some fit of inexplicable anger will come my way once my favorite football team kicks off in a couple of hours.

Doctor please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old

“I Believe in You” – Cat Power – “Jukebox” (2008)

Oct 21
Posted by admin Filed in Girls Rule, Singer Songwriter

This is installment # 2 in my “Cover Fridays” theme. To reiterate what I said last week, sometimes a good cover can stick closely to the original and come off as great, so I’ll post some of those. It can also be lots of fun when an original gets twisted and turned into something that doesn’t much resemble the original with the new version even ending up in a different genre from the original. I dig that a lot of the time too as evidenced by the fact that I posted an Afghan Whigs cover of song by The Supremes.

Today’s pick involves an original from Bob Dylan, one of the most influential singer-songwriters in the history of popular music and a cover by Cat Power, singer-songwriter and old soul who in a lot of ways seems like she’s been time transported from the mid-60’s. Her artistic freedom with covered material and soulful musings throughout her entire songbook could lead one to believe that an examination of her DNA might conclude that she is the love child of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.

The original:

The cover:


“Pablo Picasso/My Way Home” – Citizen Cope – “The Clarence Greenwood Recordings” (2004)

Oct 20
Posted by admin Filed in Singer Songwriter

I haven’t played anything by Citizen Cope in way too long. Hard core Citizen Cope fans would probably spend hours debating what his best song is. Is it: “Let The Drummer Kick”, “Son’s Gonna Rise”, I really dig “Appetite for Dynamite”, “D’Artagnan’s Theme” will get its share of votes, “Brother Lee” is solid, and the one that I’m guessing would be a narrow winner is “Bullet and a Target.” I really like my song pick today though.

Songs lke “Pablo Picasso” and “My Way Home” always need to be played together, right? Once in awhile some DJ, or more likely robo-DJ gets it all wrong and plays Green Day’s “Brain Stew” and then moves on without spinning “Jaded.” Really? Just don’t do it people. Don’t even think about “Load Out” without “Stay.” Who would crank Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker” without taking the double shot of “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just A Woman).”

I don’t try to give much advice to live by on this blog but I do believe that this is golden: Whenever you’re given the opportunity, always make it a double.