Wednesday, August 13, 2008


So I've been incommunicado for a couple of days working on a project that is going quite well. But it has kept me off the bus and out of my iPod. This morning putting the buds in my ear felt like punching the clock, further proof that the conceit of writing about the binary equation dressed up as art is ending soon. But not today.

1. 'Blown Away' by Pixies from 'Bossanova'

Something happened to The Pixies sometime after 'Doolittle' came out. The music became claustrophobic, insular. It feels like how you feel when you are trying to get through to an addict. They'll keep you involved in 87 stories about this that and the other thing so that you won't notice the empty bottles in the dumpster out back. The stories are well told and interesting but you really want DIFFERENT information from them.

2. 'Long Grift' by John Cameron Mitchell from 'Hedwig And The Angry Inch'

This might be my favorite song off of this amazing album. I love singing along to it. I love the lyrics. I love that it mixes up con-man lingo with love affair talk. Perfect.

3. 'You Ain't Me' by Frank Black from 'Cult Of Ray'

Funny, from Pixies to Frank Black. This is the sound of the addict after he's come through to the bright side of sobriety. The riff and lyrics aren't necessarily better, they're just clearer. More willing to truly communicate.

4. 'London Calling' by The Clash from 'Live: From Here To Eternity'

If The Clash were a movie star they would be William Holden in 'Stalag 17'. I've watched it 3 times in the past week and I can't get enough of it. Gruff, tough, smoking. INTEGRITY.

5. 'Jane Says' by Jane's Addiction from 'Kettle Whistle'

I know they're important and all but I usually don't care all that much about these guys. They add an intro to this live version of the song which is really interesting, though, and I find it quite telling that I like the meandering new tidbit better than the actual song. And Perry Farrell is like Crispin Glover on Letterman.

6. 'It Only Hurts When I Cry' by Dwight Yoakam from ''

Repeat from an earlier post.

7. 'Once You've Loved Somebody' by Dixie Chicks from 'Wide Open Spaces'

I dare you to try and resist this group. If you haven't sat down and listened to them from beginning to end than I shan't allow you to form an opinion.

8. 'Don't Do It' by The Band from 'The Best Of The Band'

If any 'band' could be 'THE' band, The Band is the band to do it. How a bunch of Canadians can sound like riverboat gamblers out of a Mark Twain novel taught how to play modern instruments is beyond me.

9. 'Sunshine On Leith' by The Proclaimers from 'Sunshine On Leith'

This album is like Stonehenge. Ancient, anonymous, specific, gorgeous, a little frightening, and sort of goofy.

10. 'On the face of it' by The Evens from 'The Evens'

I would join a militia group if Ian MacKaye started one, so I am a little surprised at how NOT into The Evens I am. I haven't really sat down to delve in so it could be I just don't get it yet but the very fact that I haven't worn it out by listening tells me something. Maybe someday.

11. 'The Ghosts Of Saturday Night' by Tom Waits from 'The Heart Of Saturday Night'

Gina's pasties burn her nipples but her mind's not on that, not tonight. She's dreaming that old dream again, the one where she's living high off the hog with some smart fella footing the bill, his name is Bill in fact, and that's part of his charm. The music keeps her moving up there between the Poles but her Equator's cooling fast so she's got to find a place to land that's warm and sweet. The dollar bills gather at her feet and wait to be spread out on her kitchen table later under the long ash of her cigarette and the scratchy little pencil she uses to add up the spoils that have not gone to the winner.

Oh, I'm sorry, did you want a SONG?

12. 'New Killer Of America' by Bomer-B (aka Brendan O'Malley) from 'Out Of Charactor, Act 1: Id City'

Now that I've just trashed Tom Waits let me turn that critical eye upon myself and say that I love this song. I tried to program a drum beat, the 1 wound up the 3 so you can't tell when the hell to dance, a Bob Dylan harmonica drifts along over the incoherent skitter of percussion and a keyboard tries to hold everything together. I wrote this a year before 9/11.

New Killer Of America

I'm the New Killer of America
Got more giants locked up than Comerica Park
In San Francisco Sisqo the Kid singing 'The Thong Song'
I don't know what I'll do
If I don't get my groove on soon
I'm tired of this country
That's why I been to the moon
That's why I been to the moon
That's why I been to the moon

I'm the New Killer of America
Manifest destiny, Ha!
I'm just makin' the best of me
'Coz that's the only way this freedom's worth the waste of my time
I'll give you every last sandwich
You can have every dime
'Coz motherfuckers come from all over the world just to die here
And I ain't gonna let 'em down by freezin' in the headlights
Like a deer
Like a deer

I'm the New Killer of America
I'm the New Killer of America
I'm the New Killer of America
I'm the New Killer crazy like Magilla
Like Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'
Is that not killer?

I'm drinkin' Miller
It's less-a-fillin'
Still need a million

13. 'Julianne' by Ben Folds from 'Ben Folds Five'

I hadn't heard Ben Folds when I bought this album. I'd read something about him somewhere and it talked about how hard it was to tour little clubs and lug a real piano in and out. I remember thinking it was pretty damn cool that someone was applying piano playing to the punk aesthetic. Finally. He seems like such an institution now but back when he first hit the scene there was NO SUCH THING as young piano playing male rock bands. There still isn't if you think about it.

14. 'My Blue Tears' by Dolly Parton from 'Little Sparrow'

She has her own theme park. You would never know it by listening to this song. You'd think you'd just discovered the next great country singer. And you'd be right.

15. 'Pow' by The Beastie Boys from 'Check Your Head'

Repeat from an earlier post.

16. 'Little Blue Number (Previously Unreleased - Live) by Richard Thompson from 'Watching The Dark'

I prefer his slow tunes. On the fast ones everything gets all muddied up. When he has a long slow drumbeat going behind him he is unstoppable.

17. 'Karma Man' by David Bowie from 'Bowie At The BBC (Disc 1)'


18. 'Good Love Never Dies' by Liz Phair from 'Liz Phair'

Again, read 'Who Said Life Wasn't Phair?' on this blog to hear what I have to say about this gorgeous hot mom.

Hmmm...sometimes going through the motions is fun!