Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I've left memories behind

While our hero Chris Knox recovers from his stroke, let's have a rare look at him and his peers at a very tender age in this incredible vintage documentary on New Zealand music. This video is the holy grail!

(Hat tip to New Zealand music blog The Doledrums.)

When the Flying Nun label first reached US ears around 1986, I flipped immediately. Suddenly Rough Trade was flooded with a small nation's worth of rough, scraggly, eerie, whimsical post-punk psychedelic bands, all distinct but all sharing a haunting, other-worldly feel, like multiple Syd Barretts and Velvet Undergrounds from a parallel universe. I remember Rolf at the Rough Trade shop on 6th St. proclaiming in his German accent, "THEY SOUND LIKE THEY HAVE MUSHROOMS GROWING OUT OF THE SIDEWALKS!" The underground music of New Zealand ruled my world for a good chunk of the late 80s, and its nice to see the scene in its infancy here.

Hmmm, this documentary seems sadly incomplete...


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Seen Your Video: Soul Comes Home---A Celebration of Stax Records and Memphis Soul Music

It wouldn't have been a bad idea to open this concert movie with the short bonus feature on the opening of the Stax Museum Of American Soul Music in Memphis, rather than tucking it away among the extras. The mini-documentary covers how the Stax label's legacy was not well-served by the city of Memphis for a long time until, after a lot of effort, a museum was opened on the same block where the old Stax studio had been, finally making up for the indignity of having a vacant lot left where musical history was once made.

The concert on this disc was a reunion of original artists (and a few odd friends) celebrating the opening of the museum in 2003. Had it all happened earlier, maybe more of the original Stax artists might have been available, but at least they did it while Isaac Hayes was still with us. This is not the place to find definitive performances of classic songs. For that, check out this thrilling footage from 1967, courtesy of the mighty KrustelKram blog.

The great moments include: Eddie Floyd, Jean Knight, and Percy Sledge putting everything they have into their big hits; Isaac Hayes looking dead cool, if slightly frail, as he sings and conducts the Theme From Shaft (it's great to watch his gestures as he acts out every little orchestral detail in the song's epic intro); Al Green (not a Stax artist, but he was from Memphis and Al Jackson played on his records, so close enough) blissing out as he delivers "Let's Stay Together" and "Love And Happiness" and letting us know he can still hit those high notes; and the righteously maternal Mavis Staples, commanding the stage on "Respect Yourself" and "I'll Take You There".

Less awesome: an OK blues jam from Little Milton and Jimmie Vaughan; Rance Allen wailing out a gospel number where he testifies that he's never been to Paris, India, Switzerland, or New Orleans, but he doesn't care because he's going to Heaven (sorry, just can't get behind that attitude); Solomon Burke, still full of warmth and stage presence but not doing any of his own material. Instead, he duets with Mack Rice on one of my least favorite Wilson Pickett songs, "Mustang Sally", which goes ON AND ON AND ON, then lends his commanding voice to a heartfelt take on Otis Redding's "Try A Little Tenderness" that ends with him looking skyward, raising his walking stick and proclaiming, "I love you, Otis." That was a nice moment.

Strange but interesting and sweet: The Bar-Kays ripping through "Soul Finger" as Chuck D delivers a potent, laudatory rap and somebody, possibly the Bar-Kays' lead singer, imitates Flavor Flav's trademark "Yeeeeeeeeeaaaaah boyeeeeee" yells. Just plain strange: Michael McDonald standing in for Otis on "Dock Of The Bay" and, with Carla Thomas, standing in for Sam and Dave (where the hell was Sam Moore? He should have been there) on "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby". And yes, Stax was a wonderful example of integration and color-blind creativity, and McDonald has always had a passable soul voice, but come on, the Doobie Brothers guy?* Was he the best choice for this? Sigh. Oh well, it could have been worse and Michael Bolton could have shown up instead. On the other hand, if Arthur Conley had been available instead (sadly he passed on in Europe that very year) that would have really been something.

The three surviving members of Booker T & the MGs tear into an extravagant run-through of "Green Onions". When you've been as snappy, tasteful and economical as the MGs were through their career as both session musicians and instrumental stars, you have earned the right to showboat a little, and they do. But it's Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper we're talking about, so even their self-indulgent soloing comes out immaculate and crafty. I definitely could've sat through two or three more numbers by just them.

Overall, it's a nice concert and a fine tribute; I agree somewhat with some of the Netflix reviewers that it felt a bit like a public TV pledge drive feature, dull moments and all, but the value of the event is more than the actual performances: it is the joy of seeing these folks back together and being honored for their achievements while they are still alive. The bonus features are not to be missed either; I felt like there's the seed of a proper, comprehensive documentary on the history of Southern soul in these scant but intriguing interview clips with Mavis Staples, Isaac Hayes, Steve Cropper, Solomon Burke, and more. Perhaps a movie version of Peter Guralnik's Sweet Soul Music? How about a five-volume DVD set like the Beatles' Anthology? This is our cultural history, the dramatis personae are dying one by one, let's do it right, shall we? I'd buy one.

*George Clinton said it best back in the 70s: "It was cooool...but can you imagine Doobie in yo' funk?" I don't even know what that line means, but it never fails to crack me up.

Like dying and going to Beatnik Heaven

Patti Smith at a School Of Harmolodics workshop at this year's Meltdown Festival, curated by none other than Ornette Coleman himself. Jazz, poetry, dance, it's all here. This is so cool:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Atlas Wept

We are proud to present a preview of the latest recording by The Blame, Atlas Wept. Give it a listen:

You thought you would have your way forever
Turned out not to be true
You thought you were the hero of the movie
Now the world points its finger back at you
What can you do? What can you do?
Throw a tantrum...play the victim

You thought you were the winner of the dogpile
That pile of bodies, now it's rolling over you
You thought you were the author of the future
The book slammed shut before the end of Chapter Two
What do you say? What do you say?
Blow the same stupid horn
Serve the same tasteless corn

You can't be satisfied to sit and count your money
Without your words written in the air
It's not enough just to get away with murder
It eats you up that they don't love you everywhere
So you keep croaking at every microphone you see
Our forsaken angry god
One sad obsolescent clod.

Dig it here. We have two guest contributors on this track who have not yet told us how they want to be credited, but when we hear from them, we will give them the appropriate shout-outs.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bodies...we all got bodies

Terrible news about Chris Knox. The Tall Dwarfs legend (a brilliant songwriter, performer, and friendly, funny guy) had a stroke, and apparently his prospects for recovery are not yet clear.

If you want to monitor his progress and send fond wishes, Chris's family has started a blog.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Read and breathe

The most interesting commentary I've read so far on the current situation in Iran, from a pseudonymous Iranian-American poster on the normally hilarious Sadly No!, which has been hosting some serious, non-snarky discussion on the matter:
I am so glad people are wising up. I’m Persian, born in the US. I’ve been to Iran several times, last time was 2007. I have been telling people for YEARS: Wait. Do not intervene. The hardliners are shrinking, the youth is something like 80% of the population, and they all like the West. Even most of the middle aged people want a return to a more western culture, and be part of the world (while not giving up all of their Islamic Republic). Mostly, they are sick of a bunch of stupid rules and religious thieves running the country. There are charity boxes lining the street, but everyone says the govt just keeps the money.

I knew this was going to happen, but not when. I am glad the US is sitting back and not saying anything. Just sit back, shut up, and watch it happen. If not this time, then next time. When the new govt is in power, extend an olive wreath, GENTLY. They will need to settle in and show their independence first. Iranians are big on independence and respect.

I always tell people the following rules about the Middle east (semi tongue in cheek): they are very independent, and dont like being interfered with. They are very ethical and are big on keeping their word. They are tricky, but will never balls out lie (most of them at least). They like to argue/fight, and have long memories, and are big on honor.

Dont give the hardliners a reason for anything. The second the US does anything, game over.

I see it like this: What the hardliners just did is insult the whole people. They lied to them. They interfered with the voting process. They did this before, but it slid, for various reasons (they are tricky). But now they have been been caught, and people are PISSED. If it fails this time, I guarantee every one of those kids will remember this, and be back for more, the same way Iraqis and Afghanis have their own vendettas for being bombed by the US. Don’t shift the spotlight. Those kids won’t give up until the army is driving around in tanks. Which unfortunately might be really soon. Hopefully the army backs the populace. You’d have to be really dumb, or hardcore religious, to not see how the wind is blowing over there.
UPDATE: More thoughts from here:
Demonstrators in the streets in Iran today utilize allegations of fraud as the tip of their spear, but what fuels those protests goes beyond the official results of an election. That is even more true of Iran than of other recent examples of this post-electoral dynamic because the terms of the election itself were a farce even before the votes were counted: The Iranian "president" and "parliament" - elected powers - are in the end overruled by a Supreme Leader, his "advisors," his "experts," his "Guardian Council" (Ayatollahs, which is to say fundamentalist religious clergy) and the elected leaders live under their veto power on virtually all matters except for some of style and tone and what to eat for lunch...

More to the point: The yearnings by those in the streets of Iran today precede and supercede the concerns about yesterday's election results. They are seizing the moment of the election, but this is not really about the election. This is about a much deeper and wider discontent with the theocratic-political system they have lived under for 30 years. The timing of the protests has as much to do with the world's eyes being on Iran at this moment and the quorum of international media reporters that are inside Iran as part of that watch. (It's an advantage that the 1989 protesters at Beijing's Tienanmen Square did not have when their demonstration was cut short by a massacre.) The cost for the Iranian state of resorting to excess violence and brutality to shut down this revolt would, as a result, be much higher to its own goals at home and abroad, than it was for the Chinese regime twenty years ago. In that, the protesters have the system over a barrel.
In short, history is happening right now, and it's not "our" job to do anything about it. I'm thankful those brave kids waited until the neo-cons were out of favor over here to make their stand.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Seen Your Video: The Unbearable Lightness Of Being

In the realm of totalitarian kitsch, all answers are given in advance and preclude any questions. It follows, then, that the true opponent of totalitarian kitsch is the person who asks questions. A question is like a knife that slices through the stage backdrop and gives us a look at what lies hidden behind it.‎
-Milan Kundera

Somehow I managed to miss this movie when it came out, despite having a girlfriend of Eastern European ancestry, despite an interest in the Prague Spring and Cold War repression, and yes, despite an interest in smart, pretty European actresses. It must have been the way the film was advertised, with copious stills of Lena Olin frolicking on a mirror in sexy black lingerie and a bowler hat, that caused Maati to judge it as a piece of sleazy sexploitation that she had no interest in seeing. We probably were not the only Americans to write off what turns out to be a provocative, complex epic rich with historical insights, philosophical criticism, and full-blooded, fascinating characters. It was actually Davis who brought up the movie, and, when I admitted that I'd never seen it, insisted that we put it in the queue immediately. Now I know what I missed.

Well, first off, the movie is full of sex scenes, which are essential for what they reveal about the inner workings of each of the three main characters. Without them, the movie would probably be less successful and less illuminating. And the meaning and power of sex is a crucial theme in the novel by Milan Kundera (previously thought unfilmable...and maybe it is; I haven't read it) that Phil Kaufman's film is based on.

It's 1968 in Czechoslovakia, and the city of Prague is open and inviting. The Soviet-supported government has loosened up a bit, offering what they call "socialism with a human face" (which sounds pretty much like what we've had in most of Western Europe for years at this point), and people are relishing a taste of the Sixties in their corner of Eastern Europe. Surely a little free love, rock and roll, and open discussion of ideas can't do any harm, can it? In this milieu, womanizing brain surgeon Tomas (Daniel Day Lewis) and clever eccentric artist Sabina (Lena Olin) have a good thing going: regular dates for playful, theatrical sex involving mirrors and a handsome black bowler hat, and the freedom to live their lives apart the rest of the time. It suits both of them, so far; neither one has much use for commitment or romanticism, Tomas satisfying his insatiable curiosity via endless one-night stands and Sabina expressing her contempt for convention and connection; to her, such things are oppression, boredom, and worst of all, kitsch. (Her recurring comment: "I like to leave.") Both of them might live out their lives this way quite contentedly, but circumstances intervene.

Enter Tereza (Juliette Binoche), an eager, sensitive small town girl who Tomas hopes to recruit as his latest playmate. Responding to his casual flirtations, she packs her bags, moves to Prague, and shows up at Tomas' door. You may expect to be set up for a trite virgin-whore dichotomy between the two women, but that whole notion is delightfully subverted when Tereza literally pounces on Tomas, kissing him ferociously and knocking him to the ground. This girl may be guileless, but she is no shrinking violet. When he wakes up the next morning (this is a man who made a big point of never spending the night with any woman---not even his best pal Sabina---once the deed was done), their hands are locked together in an iron grip. That grip holds for the rest of the two characters' lives, in spite of everything.

How does this hedonistic, downright smug cad make the shift and learn what love is? Well, it does not happen quickly or easily, and it takes the whole movie for it to happen conclusively. Tomas compartmentalizes his life so he can continue his exploits while simultaneously giving lip service to his commitment. But Tereza's power is palpable, even when she seems to be the "weak" one. It's Binoche's performance that is key here; she is so utterly irresistible that you don't doubt Tomas's love, twisted and inauthentic as it may be at the start, for a second. Not only is she as cute as a button, she utilizes her training at a clown college to energize her screen presence. In an unusually sexually charged movie, competing against Lena Olin's formidable catlike poise and piercingly intelligent eyes, Juliette Binoche steals the show with sneezes, goofy grins and silly little dances. It's magical.

This is neither a ribald sex farce or a tragic love-triangle story, though. It's a character-driven epic that follows three intriguing people's lives during a focal point of 20th century history. There's jealousy, but there is also a deep bond and a mutual respect that grows between the two female leads. The night they first meet at Sabina's apartment, Tomas seems to become irrelevant all of a sudden, a boy trying to get the attention of two adults. A later intense-yet-comical scene featuring the two leaves us wondering, "did they or didn't they?" (I won't reveal any more; you really should see this film. Several times.)

But all of that is only one aspect of this sprawling movie. Remember, this is Prague in 1968. And we are there. (The role of Prague is well-played by Lyon, France and some skillfully-placed backdrops---this was a pre-Glasnost, pre-Velvet Revolution production.) The feel of the city in the first hour is one of optimism, challenge and excitement: a 60s environment of mini-skirts, cool shades, Czech-language covers of "Hey Jude", and free-flowing conversation interrupted by incredulous musings to the effect of, "can you believe we're getting away with this?", while scowling bureaucrats lurk in the background.

Ah yes, the scoundrels. There's a great scene early on in a nightclub where a rock band is beating out a boisterous rendition of "That'll Be The Day" to a gleeful audience of bopping youth. Up in the balcony sit a group of Communist Party officials, toasting each other and gazing imperiously at the crowd below. Sabina, Tereza, and Tomas play a game at their table, posing the question, "Can you tell a man is a scoundrel by looking at him?" and sizing up the Party potentates one by one: "scoundrel", "scoundrel", etc. (Naturally, Tomas becomes the butt of the joke at the end.) One of the "scoundrels" approaches the stage and demands that the band play a dour patriotic song. The band obliges and the audience howls with disgust, while the big boys on the balcony smile and raise another toast...until the band, having had enough of this crap, break into a swinging 60s boogaloo version and the kids go wild. The Party officials exit, indignant, and the fun goes on. It's a small victory, but ominous as hell when you know what's coming. We get our first taste of the authoritarian mindset here. Later it comes out in full force.

When the Soviet tanks hit Prague, it's absolutely gut-wrenching and effectively invasive. It's as if another movie has suddenly barged in to destroy the one we've been watching for the last hour. We switch from color to stark black and white as actual footage is blended with shots of Tereza shooting photos, Tomas searching for her, and Sabina, shrewd and unsentimental as usual, driving to the border in her already-loaded car (everybody drives these cute dinky-looking Czech sedans that look about one step up from the notorious East German Trabant) and beckoning to the couple as if to say, "Fuck this shit; are you leaving now or what?"

We're in a police station as Tereza, among other photographers, is being interrogated by the authorities. Taking pictures of the invasion is in itself an unpatriotic act, you see? Here again is the authoritarian mindset at its finest: it is something beyond any particular ideology; we could just as easily be in Chile during Missing. (Well, at least she isn't slaughtered in a soccer stadium with thousands of others. On that count, Brezhnev's lackeys come out looking relatively good.) "Left" and "right" have no meaning in this setting. Which economic system or political structure or global alliance is being sworn allegiance to is beside the point; authoritarianism is the same everywhere. The Communists in Czechoslovakia in 1968 would be fascists in Chile in 1973 or Taliban in Afghanistan in 1996 or Fundamentalist Christians in 21st century America. The attitude that people are out of control and need a strong hand to keep them in order...that's universal. The rest is window dressing. A scoundrel is a scoundrel. Something to keep in mind when you read that the excellent German movie The Lives Of Others, about Stasi surveillance in East Germany, is considered by some morons to be "one of the top conservative movies of recent years". (Stepping off of soapbox, putting away my old Crass records...)

There is a period where our three protagonists all end up in Geneva, living the exile life and trying to adapt. Both women find the Swiss insufferably superficial; Tomas takes it all in stride, as he always does. A subplot ensues where Sabina is courted by an earnest but rather clueless married Swiss college professor, and she starts to look less like a force of nature and more like a temperamental brat. (Specifically in a funny sequence where she makes a big scene in an expensive restaurant because she hates the Muzak playing almost imperceptibly in the background. Most of the movie is fueled by a nonstop Janacek soundtrack which makes the offending rinky-dink "noise" sound even sillier than it already is, so the viewer may see her point.) In the end she bolts for the US, ending up in Bolinas, where she pursues her art career, befriends a sweet elderly couple, and flirts with a hunky mailman. Tereza, having nothing to do and feeling both unable and unwilling to fit in the world of chic Western European photojournalism, heads back home to face the worst that post-invasion Prague has to offer. Tomas, the empty cipher the movie revolves around, goes through the motions of being womanizing Tomas, the suave brain surgeon about town, for a moment. He can't stand it. The lightness of his being has become unbearable. Suddenly, something/someone truly means something to him. He has to leave everything, because life is pointless without his wife.

Back home the authoritarians have won. The returning Czech expatriates have their passports confiscated at the border as their reward for coming back. The same settings that seemed lively and vibrant at the start now have a quiet, nasty, ominous feel. Every person you pass on the street could well be gathering information on you, so the intellectual fervor of the Prague Spring has been replaced by sullen, bitter silence.

Tomas loses his position at the hospital because of an article he wrote in a magazine about Oedipus Rex and what it means to take responsibility for one's actions, which the secret police interpret with the same critical acumen you would find among our own current right-wing pundits: "Do you really believe that Communists should pluck out their eyes?" Offered a chance to sign an official retraction, he refuses on principle; Tomas is actually fairly apolitical, but he will not accept being pushed around by anyone. Eventually he loses his practice altogether and becomes a window-washer (even then finding opportunities to play the horndog, this time with the wife of a Party official), while Tereza is sexually harassed as a bartender and later has a creepy one-night stand with a seemingly friendly guy who may be yet another spy. Any glamour that may have come from the previous regime's sexual openness has now been replaced by predatory sleaze and exploitation. In the DVD commentary, there is much talk of how sex in Czechoslovakia became an arena where people felt it was the only place they could have any freedom. (Or was it an opiate for the masses, passively sanctioned by the state?) I guess the Communists didn't suppress access to birth control, since with all this rampant coupling, nobody ever seems to have the slightest concern about getting pregnant.

Tereza and Tomas find their peace in the end by leaving the city and joining a collective farm run by one of Tomas's former patients. This is no sentimental rural idyll; we see them working terribly hard. But the forced simplicity of their life somehow gives them back the dignity that the scoundrelocracy of Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia robbed from them. In the final moments of the film, we see a subtly different Tomas, a decent, compassionate man whose healing powers are still with him, and a man totally devoted to the incredible woman who has been right there with him the whole time. The last night we share with them, they and their friends drink and dance at a little pub. Later, the couple head up to their room, Tereza balancing her feet on her husband's. After three-plus hours of film punctuated with intimate sex scenes, they open the door and close it behind them. There is a little more after that, but I'd like to end this review there, at the moment when they are finally left to themselves for one last sweet night.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Let's not allow this to fall down the memory hole

The Rude Pundit's latest missive is as rude as usual, full of lurid, ugly fantasies about the lurid, ugly Ann Coulter that are par for the course in Rude Punditland and cathartic for many of us who are sick to death of our entitled and coddled opinion-generator class, but the end of the post contains a real bombshell that should be read by everyone interested in the truth behind the Tiller assassination, not just the strong-stomached ones who can handle RP's um, robust brand of commentary. In the interest of raising more questions, I reproduce this quote from one of his readers.
"For some few years I volunteered as an escort at Dr. Tiller’s and several other clinics. I didn’t know the good doctor well, but met with him on several occasions and was impressed with his kindness and the care he obviously felt for the women who needed his services.

"Of course I have been heartbroken by his assassination, but I’m not so full of hate towards his killer. I’ve seen too many of his kind on the lines; in fact I remember seeing him. We knew Mr. Roeder as 'Prom Queen' from the flowers he usually carried there, and the screaming fits he would throw when approached by escorts. He was one of many not-too-bright mentally ill recruited by various self-appointed fundie leaders who groomed them to scream the threats they themselves were so careful not to utter aloud.

"I’m pretty sure that he has been exploited again to shoot Dr. Tiller. I don’t know who is using him this time- when I saw him, he was in Troy Newman’s stable of nuts, but the fundie leaders are an incestuous bunch who tend to swap followers as needed.

"According to papers Roeder filed today, his possessions amount to a 16yr.-old Taurus and $10, and he only works occasionally at minimum-wage jobs. Yet he managed to finance several 400-mile round trips to Wichita from the KC area in the last month to case the church and know Dr. Tiller by sight, bought a handgun, gas and meals etc. Also, he asked- begged- for bail to be set today, despite his total lack of assets. Obviously, the poor bastard expects someone to post it, all of which leads me to believe that he is not the solitary nutcase the fundies claim he is.

"Somebody had to put him up to it, help him plan it and pay his expenses, and will now feed him to the sharks. Hopefully, and maybe with a bit of psych help, he will realize how he was used and name names."
OK now, can we get some research on this pronto, before this conspiracy gets swept under the rug?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Whatever happened to the Mighty Ballistics Hi-Power?

This British band made two EPs in the mid-to-late 80s, then vanished. Have yet to find them on vinyl, CD, or mp3. Good stuff in a dubbed out punky reggae vein with allusions to old folk songs and earnest lyrics about the UK miners' strike, class struggle, the British tabloid press, the Cable Street riot, and in this particular track, misogyny. Yeah, a "message band", but not as heavy-handed as that sounds, filled with haunting spaces and ear-grabbing choruses. The MBHP were on regular rotation in the X-tal van back in our touring days as both Mick and I were fans.

Until now, I never even knew what these guys looked like. Below is a video I found. That sure is one filthy looking warehouse they're playing in.

It would be great to see this lost music released again. I'm not sure their records even came out on CD the first time around. (On the other hand, in these days when every formerly rare record seems to be turning up somewhere, it's almost refreshing to see something this truly elusive. When I was a kid, record collecting was a SKILL! Now get off my lawn!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

You can set your clocks to the sanctimony

Somehow, as soon as the news came out about Dr. George Tiller's murder on Sunday, I instinctively knew that Chris Matthews would have Will Saletan on his show Monday night and the two of them would respond to this act of religious/political terrorism by sensitively and compassionately scolding all those selfish women who won't meet the pro-lifers halfway for a sensible compromise on the oh-so-troubling issue of abortion.

Imagine my surprise last night when I was correct! I must be psychic or something.

UPDATE: More thoughtful sensitivity from the thoughtfully sensitive Mr. Saletan. Thank you for sharing, dude.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: April 2009

This is a damn good list this month.

We've got the powerful and passionate Mick Collins and his excellent band the Dirtbombs turning Barry White into sexy garage-rock glory at #1. We've got Jeffrey Lewis putting a Jonathan Richman-like spin on the works of Crass and making it work. (Here he finds melody and poignancy in what was originally an eerie spoken word piece about looking at the graves of fallen soldiers and seeing only futility.) We've got a cynical political punk bar band record that was handed to me a couple months ago by local poet/journalist Michael Layne Heath, who also plays guitar with the Screamin' Geezers. ("They're making money, you can't argue with that!") We've got one of the most underrated bands of the British Invasion, the Dave Clark Five, who, bless their souls, treated every song they did as A NAIL THAT WAS MEANT TO BE POUNDED JUST RIGHT.

We've got another pointed anti-folk blurt from Paleface, who deserves more than to be known mainly as Beck's ex-roommate. We've got return visits from Angel Corpus-Christi and Love. We've got a brief gem from local psychedelic fusion miniaturists the Interstellar Grains. We've got an old favorite by African Head Charge, who implore us to "hold some more" and "love some more". We've got another funky Bush Tetras classic, which reminds us to congratulate bassist Laura Kennedy on her progress after her liver transplant. We've got a big messy Mothers Of Invention epic from their most inspired period, just before Frank Zappa made the mistake of his life by breaking up the band.

We've got the band Ian turned us on to, one of the bands that inspired Mike to bring back the Slumberland label, the blazing guitar and lazy vocals of Crystal Stilts. (Hat tip to Ian.) We've got an oldie that inspired many a hallucinogenic journey in the 80s: basically the Cocteau Twins covering Tim Buckley under the name This Mortal Coil; frankly, I've never been able to get into either of the Buckleys' musical output, but damn, that This Mortal Coil song hits the proverbial spot. We've got another AMAZING track from the Young Disciples. We've got Sonic Youth in the 90s throwing themselves into a cover that's guaranteed to piss off both Beatle-haters and overly serious Beatles fans and please anyone who loves great music.

We've got a great, great, great ballad from the Pretty Things; just listen to Phil May's voice when he groans "I love you baaaaaaybeehhhhhh!" We've got an oddity from the little known corners of Leonard Cohen's discography that only caught my attention during the Conspiracy Of Beards' New York tour; love that major-to-minor shift at the end of each stanza. We've got a depression ballad from fellow Mekons fans the Knife And Fork Band. We've got a kick-ass piece of musical journalism from Jonathan Mann. (I'll post the YouTube video through which I discovered this indie gem in an upcoming post.) And last, we've got Irma Thomas, a New Orleans goddess, showing us what love is all about.

Running this station is an endless source of joy, and knowing that someone out there is paying attention is the icing on the cake. Keep on listening and voting!

1. The Dirtbombs - I'm Qualified To Satisfy You - Ultraglide In Black
2. Jeffrey Lewis - Demoncrats - 12 Crass Songs
3. John Shirley's Screamin' Geezers - They're Makin' Money - We're Not Supposed To Be Doing This
4. The Dave Clark Five - Any Way You Want It - The Hits
5. Bush Tetras - You Can't Be Funky - Boom in the Night
6. Angel Corpus Christi - Theme From Taxi Driver/NY NY - I Love New York
7. Paleface - Stupid War Movies - Paleface
8. Interstellar Grains - The Source - Interstellar Grains
9. African Head Charge - Hold Some More - Songs Of Praise
10. The Mothers Of Invention - The Little House I Used To Live In - Burnt Weeny Sandwich
11. Crystal Stilts - Verdant Gaze - Alight Of Night
12. This Mortal Coil - Song To The Siren - It'll End in Tears
13. Third Flight - Third Flight - Eccentric Soul: The Young Disciples
14. Sonic Youth - Within You Without You - Daydream Nation
15. The Pretty Things - You Don't Believe Me - Get The Picture?
16. Love - Love Is More Than Words (or Better Late Than Never) - Out Here
17. Leonard Cohen - Stories Of The Street - Songs of Leonard Cohen
18. Knife & Fork Band - Depression Of 1990 - Almost Friday Night
19. Jonathan Mann - Hey Paul Krugman - Song A Day # 3
20. Irma Thomas - Take A Look - Time Is on My Side