Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dan Quayle is a vampire

If you have to point out depressing facts that are hard to take, do it with sarcasm and a smile like Max Keiser:

Squares for nihilism

Cenk Uygur and Jonathan Kim talk about the new documentary Waiting For Armageddon. If you are wondering why certain segments of our population are so adamant about not getting anything constructive done to fix this broken country, well...after all, if God is about to destroy the world, shouldn't we be helping him along? But of course, anyone who calls him or herself a Christian is mainstream by default, while all Muslims without exception are malicious terrorists, right?

You have been following Fred Clark of Slacktivist and his devastating weekly critiques of the best-selling Left Behind books, haven't you? This is some crazy, dangerous shit and sensible people (that includes you sensible Christians out there---we know you exist!) need to stand up and stop this evil, demented movement.

Here's one we made earlier

A particularly good lineup of the J Neo Marvin and the Content Providers crashing through "Happy Fun Ball" at the Brainwash in 2005. Lending their skills to Neo and Davis here are Carvell Wallace on guitar, Ron Guensche on bass and Jeremy Hanberry on dumbek. This configuration lasted for one or two gigs, but could have conquered the world if they had stayed together.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Integrity...what a concept!

Contrary to common perception, the poor of the world are mostly quite honest, even though they have far more justification for stealing.

Read the rest at the link. The fact that these people's mentality seems incomprehensible to the average American does not speak well for us. Is it possible to learn a thing or two as the hard times continue? Not likely, with our media in charge. (And they are in charge. Don't kid yourself.)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A-one, and a-two, and a...

Way back in the beginnings of YouTube, I recall stumbling on this classic video. But considering the copyright issues involved, I thought this would have been pulled ages ago. Well, I'm pleased to discover it's BACK!

Being "of a certain age", I actually remember watching Lawrence Welk at my grandparents' house as a kid on weekends. I must say they sound better now than they did then.

Colossal Youth

Combing around YouTube looking for something interesting, I see our friend Ian has his own channel and look what he's dug up.

A fine band, those Young Marble Giants were. Nice to see them again.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I feel a movement coming on

There's something foul clogging our system that needs to be expelled and flushed. A new Constitutional amendment would go a long way towards correcting the damage our transparently corrupt Supreme Court has just set into motion. I'd like to see this campaign pick up some real momentum and have America start living up to its own myth for a change.

The right wing in America has become highly skilled at selling false populism as a cover for policies that are destructive to the very people that buy into their rhetoric. I can't wait to hear their "proof" that complete corporate control of the electoral process will give the American people more freedom. We'll probably see commercials with Fortune 500 CEOs driving pickup trucks or something to show how authentic they are. Whatever.

A salute to the good people of Maryland for spearheading this crucial proposal. Let's stand behind it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The best single of 2000

10 years ago I was thoroughly smitten with a local band called the Subtonix. Here they are at South Of Market bike messenger bar the Tempest doing their single, "Trophy". I know it's way too dark and the sound is wonky (you can't hear the sax for the first few seconds), but their blazing, audacious brilliance is not a bit diminished. I'm glad to see this online. I'm pretty sure I was at this show.

They used to go onstage smeared in fake blood and wearing dresses made of garbage bags and play the catchiest, most uninhibited reverb-slathered gothy post-punk with catchy sax riffs, spooky keyboards and whooping vocals. Plus, they were all really nice people, which never hurts. Several of them have gone on to become more well-known: yes, that's Jenny Hoyston, later of Erase Errata, on guitar. And the sax player is Jessie Evans, who then fronted the Vanishing for a few years and went on to become a star in Berlin. On lead vocals and bass is Jessy Montaigne, who moved to Portland and now leads the Magick Daggers. Drummer Cookie Tuff is doing some sort of burlesque performance art thing, and I don't know what happened to Adrienne the keyboard player. Hope she's doing well and being creative somewhere.

Can it be that an entire decade has passed since the Subtonix walked the earth? Glad I didn't miss it.

The place I made the purchase no longer exists

One of my favorite Fall songs, "Wings", a stompy potboiler about time travel, entropy, and the butterfly effect, is mimed by a young Mark E. Smith (with first wife/guitarist Brix standing by and pretending to be sullen) while the rest of the Fall hoist a few at the pub and ignore the camera. Top stuff.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rowland around in that stuff

We have not yet officially observed the passing of ex-Birthday Party guitarist Rowland Howard. Sorry to see you go; you were one of the true originals.

This looks to be a fascinating movie, a glimpse into one of the most feral, wild bands of all time toiling in the studio. Here they are, playing against their own "madman" stereotype, caught being deeply focused on their art and perfecting all the subtle details. (What? You didn't know there were subtle details? Listen harder.) Hearing Howard's guitar all by itself is a revelation; the trebly, rubbery noises and haunting harmonics are so integral to the Birthday Party sound that you don't always notice the difference they made, until you hear them starkly naked as they are here.

Gotta pull out that Wings Of Desire DVD again.

The sun shines out of our behinds

Tonight I feel like taking a moment to bask in the sheer awesomeness of Sandie Shaw:

Morrissey fans would probably be appalled at me for saying so, but wouldn't it have been great if the Smiths had taken the plunge and recruited Sandie as their full-time lead singer? This version is 20 times better than the original as far as I'm concerned. (I can haz flamewar?)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We really appreciate all of you out there who click the thumbs up button to put

these artists on the top twenty. We don't vote and we are always pleased with results. That there is even a top twenty is a function of you all making your mark on this station. J Neo is devoted to keeping you all freshly entertained, and always open to hearing new music from all over the world. No guarantee he will think you are a match, but he is really great about pointing someone to their own genre. We don't play anything formula or status quo, and are pleasantly surprised when one of ours goes mainstream. Means our ideas are getting out there and that is a good thing.

Music is the most powerful medium for change. It can really inspire and move folks and people who make music where we come from inspire to cause movement on the other side. The space between order and chaos makes for a sweet ride, if in balance.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: December 2009

Primal epics top our chart this month! The Stooges' full-length version of "Ann" from 1969 is one of the most beautifully devastating rock and roll experiences to have been unearthed in the last decade. For 40 years, we knew this song as a brief, Doors-esque ballad of passionate submission, but now that we have the complete version we get a complete noise-catharsis with the late Ron Asheton's guitar leading the way to white light bliss. The mood of intense smoochiness continues with the Seeds' full-length version of "Up In Her Room". Oh yes, things are getting steamy here.

Richard Thompson's jaunty call to arms interrupts our reverie. "We're poisoned by the greedy who plunder on the needy." Still relevant, still kicks ass.

The Magnetic Fields bring back the romance with an enticing invitation, but throw in some subtle jabs at intolerance with the mumbled line "we got beat up just for holding hands". High time to do away with the ignorance of yesterday, we say. Jumping San Francisco girls Von Iva deliver one of their more low-key numbers, a sultry ode to a green-eyed lover. Then the Tall Dwarfs concoct an amusing collage of a distorted Jimmy Page quote that speaks the truth for many of us. (Time to note that a new Tall Dwarfs album is being worked on; despite Chris Knox's stroke, he is expressing himself with non-verbal vocals and according to what we're told on his blog, the results are amazing.) A classic from Sparklehorse, "Painbirds", goes out to all of our friends who struggle with their health.

Next up is a new San Francisco band, Society Of Rockets, who J Neo Marvin discovered when they shared a bill with the Conspiracy Of Beards. Harmonious, ecstatic Brian Wilson/Arthur Lee/Zombies pop. More, please. Then comes REM's 90s rant about America, "Ignoreland". So, is that us? Does it have to be?

The Mekons' Tom Greenhalgh offers up a wistful ballad about celebrity from his limited edition solo project, with his own children singing along poignantly. The awesome New Orleans singer Irma Thomas smolders on an irresistible soul love song, Gina Birch from the Raincoats (as The Hangovers) asserts herself admirably, obscure Santa Cruz banjo virtuoso George Stavis lets the sound unfold, and Dengue Fever show us the consequences of passive-aggressive behavior.

Cibo Matto make us feel like we're in New York with their vivid, surreal rap. Burning Spear chants down Babylon, the Pogues give you some more details of what Burning Spear is talking about, and Chumbawamba remind us that we have to take everything we hear with a grain of salt.

Bringing up the rear...what's that smell? Cab Calloway and the Wild Magnolias both seem to have the same thing on their minds. Be sure to have your card handy if anyone asks.

1. The Stooges - Ann (Full Version) - The Stooges
2. The Seeds - Up in Her Room [Long Version] - A Web of Sound
3. Richard Thompson - The New St. George - Henry the Human Fly
4. The Magnetic Fields - Take Ecstasy With Me - Holiday
5. Von Iva - Emerald Eyes - Girls On Film
6. Tall Dwarfs - Seduced By Rock And Roll - The Sky Above, The Mud Below
7. Sparklehorse - Painbirds - Good Morning Spider
8. Society of Rockets - I Am A Battery - Future Factory
9. R.E.M. - Ignoreland - Automatic For The People
10. King Tommy's Velvet Runway - Hello Star - Dance On The Volcano
11. Irma Thomas - Take A Look - Time Is on My Side
12. The Hangovers - I'm Glad I'm Me Today - Slow Dirty Tears
13. George Stavis - Winterland Doldrums - Labyrinths
14. Dengue Fever - Sober Driver - Venus On Earth
15. Cibo Matto - Sci Fi Wasabi - Stereo Type A
16. Burning Spear - No More War - Man In The Hills/Dry And Heavy
17. The Pogues - The Band Played Waltzing Matilda - Rum, Sodomy & The Lash
18. Chumbawamba - Everything You Know Is Wrong - Un
19. Cab Calloway - Reefer Man - The Hi-De-Ho Man: 1930-1933
20. The Wild Magnolias - Smoke My Peace Pipe (Smoke It Right) - The Wild Magnolias