Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pazz & Jop 2011

I just submitted my 2011 Village Voice Pazz & Jop ballot, which I'll share with y'all here. BIG DISCLAIMER: If your favorite hot platter is not here, it's probably because I didn't hear it and you should send it to me immediately. I don't get the deluge of freebies that I used to once upon a time. This is what I actually heard this year and loved.

1. Poly Styrene - Generation Indigo
2. The Mekons - Ancient And Modern
3. Rob Kennedy/MDA - The Purgatory Home Companion
4. Deerhoof - Deerhoof vs. Evil
5. PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
6. Wild Flag - Wild Flag
7. Wire - Red Barked Tree
8. Ruby Howl - Heaven Hides Here Too
9. Moon Duo - Mazes
10. The Mountain Goats - All Eternals Deck

Singles (VERY loosely defined in these digital downloading days):
1. The Granite Countertops - Something Different (token piece of shameless self-promotion, actually released almost 2 years ago but I really like the video I made for it this year)

2. Deerhoof - Super Duper Rescue Heads!

3. Rob K/MDA - Bardot Hotel

4. It Thing - Life Is Sick

5. Half Man Half Biscuit - National Shite Day (came out in 2008 but I didn't discover it till this year so PLLPPPPPPPPPPPP)

6. MamaCoAtl - Food Is A Weapon

7. Vivian Girls - The Other Girls

8. Dylan Champagne - Baby In A Bear Suit

9. The Hallflowers - I Can't Get Started

(No videos for The Hallflowers! Perhaps it's time to dig through the archives!)

10. Shovelman - Rollin'

Different song, but this will give you an idea of what this guy can do with an altered shovel.

Whirlin' twirlin', I'm whirlin' daaaaown!

I always loved that one Poles single from 1978, but I knew absolutely nothing about them until Davis found this link and this video. Hope you're having a great life, Michaele Jordana, wherever you are.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Moon So Bright

Great new video of a long-out-of-circulation Angel Corpus Christi song that somehow never made it to her "The 80s" CD. Nice primitive animation. Good to hear this one again.

Noodle Brain Productions: The Integrity Tone Scale

Davis Jones has just posted the second episode of Noodle Brain Productions' 2006 TV show on Youtube. It's an educational program exploring the Integrity Tone Scale. It also gave birth to the Experimental Bunnies, who first assembled to provide the musical score for the show.

Now playing in four parts:

The music can be heard by itself here:

The Experimental Bunnies: Music For The Integrity Tone Scale by earcandleproductions

UPDATE: We neglected to mention that Matthew Grasso also contributes music in the very first part of the show. Thanks, Matthew!

Ear Candle Radio: The Ghost Ship Sails On

We made a startling discovery recently that, even though we ostensibly closed down Ear Candle Radio for a while, it's still up there, but only available for Live 365 VIP subscribers. We can't edit the current stream in any way until we restart our account. We can only turn the stream off or on right now. For our friends with VIP subscriptions, we're going to leave it up. There's loads of good stuff to enjoy there until we come roaring back at a later date with an all-new playlist.

The Wall Talks Back

As of yesterday, I am now ORIENTED! In January, I start my first semester in the Broadcast & Electronic Communication Arts department at San Francisco State, and had my final final at City College.

One of the best things I did this semester was this project for Sound Recording Studio class, where I did a special dub mix of "Talking To The Wall" by a young local garage-rock band, The Sweet Bones. Oh, for my own C24 Pro Tools mixing console! There is a terrible shortage of insane dub mixes of rock songs that I would love to remedy.

The Wall Talks Back - The Sweet Bones by earcandleproductions

Put a ring on it!

Cool movie about ringed planets and how they work.

I confess, I do get a twinge of childish amusement at the narrator's attempt to make "Uranus" sound less obscene by pronouncing it in an equally obscene fashion. Some things are better left alone. Anyway, check out these amazing graphic depictions! I love me some astronomy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


After seven years of broadcasting on the intertubular airwaves, Ear Candle Radio is going on indefinite hiatus. It has been a magnificent time and a rewarding experience sharing our own unique vision of radio with all of you, and we will be back again one day. In the meantime, we are stepping up production of our own music, and building our Soundcloud page, where you will soon be able to hear everything we've created, and be the first to catch the latest bits of culture that the Experimental Bunnies and the Granite Countertops have in store for you in the new year.

Come around for one last listen before the moving vans roll in.

Keep watching this space. We have plans.

Neo and Davis at Ear Candle Productions.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: October 2011

1. The Zombies - Care Of Cell 44 - Odessey and Oracle
2. Monty Python - Galaxy Song - Monty Python Sings
3. Harry Belafonte - Lead Man Holler - Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean
4. Echo & The Bunnymen - Villiers Terrace - Crocodiles
5. The Experimental Bunnies - Open Your Mouth And Say OM - Bunnies On Fire
6. Vivian Girls - You're My Guy - Everything Goes Wrong
7. The Tornadoes - Telstar - Telstar/The Original Hits
8. Siouxsie and the Banshees - 20th Century Boy - Downside Up
9. Roger Miller - Space Is The Place - Oh
10. Neil Young - Love And War - Le Noise
11. Ken Nordine - Faces in the Jazzamatazz - The Best of Word Jazz, Vol. 1
12. Heartless Bastards - All This Time - All This Time
13. The Experimental Bunnies - Power Source - Music For The Integrity Tone Scale
14. Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Sweet Sweet Bulbs - Trout Mask Replica
15. X-Tal - Smells Like Smoke - Good Luck
16. Tall Dwarfs - Michael Hillbilly - The Sky Above, The Mud Below
17. The Small Nambas - Famous In Santa Cruz - Live At The Santa Cruz Art Center 5/5/80
18. The Quails - Your Heart Is A Muscle The Size Of A Fist - Atmosphere
19. Prickly - Hedgeclipping Song - The Long Secret: A Harriet Records Compilation
20. Love - Nothing - Four Sail

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Enetrtaining the troops

The Conspiracy Of Beards performed for the demonstrators at Occupy SF on Friday, October 28, and Davis Jones was there to capture it for Ear Candle Productions. Solidarity in song. "Everybody knows the deal is rotten!"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

We were there

Thanks to Terri Weist for the picture.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tangle of matter and ghost

The Conspiracy Of Beards, with guest vocalist Amy Tobin, do a breathtaking rendition of "The Window" at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival on Oct. 2 in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Davis Jones and Hilary Fielding ran the cameras, Davis did the editing, and J Neo Marvin tweaked the audio a bit.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Eternal flame

O Canada

Checked into our Tunecore account to discover that we sold a ton of copies of Crashing Into The Future by the Granite Countertops through iTunes Canada. Thank you for your support, o hip and wise citizens of the great white north. Hope you dig the sounds.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20, September 2011

1. Systemwide - The Sound Of The Sun - Sirius
2. Ruby Howl - Joey - Heaven Hides There Too
3. The Soulsations - Funky Nightclub - Eccentric Soul: Mighty Mike Lenaburg
4. The Magnetic Fields - Love Is Like A Bottle Of Gin - 69 Love Songs
5. Jon Langford - Sentimental Marching Song - Skull Orchard Revisited
6. Iggy Pop - Life Of Work - Zombie Birdhouse
7. Coyle & Sharpe - Maniacs In Living Hell - Audio Visionaries: Street Pranks & Put-Ons
8. Alice Cooper - Living - Pretties For You
9. Vivian Girls - The Other Girls - Share the Joy
10. The Sons Of Champlin - 1982-A - Love Is The Song We Sing - San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970
11. John Trudell - Rich Man's War (Album Version) - AKA Grafitti Man
12. The Clash - Justice tonight-kick it over - Super Black Market Clash
13. The Aislers Set - Jaime's Song - Terrible Things Happen
14. Wire - Please Take - Red Barked Tree
15. Karen Mantler - Arnold's Dead - Farewell
16. David Bowie - I Took A Trip On A Gemini Spacecraft - Heathen
17. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Masengo - Mojo Presents;Africa Rising
18. Ken Nordine - Faces in the Jazzamatazz - The Best of Word Jazz, Vol. 1
19. Anne Briggs - Living By The Water - Anne Briggs
20. Syd Barrett - Bob Dylan Blues - Wouldn't You Miss Me

Monday, September 26, 2011

How could you ever want anything else?

The Angel Corpus Christi and Rich Stim X-tal project rolls on with this extremely trippy video for Happy Americans. Stoked and honored.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How soon they forget

Their hack journalism helps you get your precious war, and this is the thanks they get?

Remember those wonderful days when a pack of aspiring war criminals pulled out all the stops to try to destroy people like Susan Sontag? On this tenth anniversary of the happiest day ever, they're at it again, except they are no longer mere "aspiring" war criminals and history has proven them dead wrong about everything. And that old liberal media will let them get away with it again in spite of it all if enough people don't push back.

Seriously folks, take some time out to rub their faces in just how out of touch they are. Lives still depend on it.

Meanwhile, Digby states the obvious, brilliantly.


Every time I see the phrase, "CNN/Tea Party Debate", I think the same thing. Thank you, liberal media!

Also worth noting. Like they care.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Inconvenient e-mails of the past

SEPT. 12, 2001
"They love explosions 'cause they never get burned."
X-tal, "Happy Americans"

Dear friends,
Back around 1985, at the height of the Reagan years and as the Hollywood action movie began to reach new heights of pyrotechnical fabulousness, I wrote the song quoted above. At the time, I meant to make a point about how easy it is for Americans to talk casually about bombing one country or another because for generations we have been fortunate enough to have been almost completely spared from the reality of war within our own borders. Now that we are still reeling from yesterday's events, I hope that one thing we take away from this awful experience is the inability to ever again see an explosion anywhere without wondering who was in it, what their lives were like, and who they left behind. If the anonymous delusional fascists who committed these crimes accomplished anything besides damaging the Bill of Rights and the Palestinian cause beyond recognition, I hope they have given us a vivid reminder that war is something more than cool special effects and flashing blips on a video screen.

I expect that the days and weeks ahead will be filled with much talk about how "we must now stand by our President". The biggest fear in my mind now is not of more evil airplane stunts, but of what our current illegitimate Republican junta and their Democratic lap dogs may do in order to convince the public that they are "doing something". At this point, our government has virtually been handed a blank check: our forces can attack any country anywhere and claim they are retaliating. If Bush had ever shown himself to be the least bit trustworthy at any time up to now, this prospect might not be quite so disturbing. I suggest we all keep our bullshit detectors cranked up to 11 at all times. The public's desire for justice and closure could allow us to take way too much for granted. Also, I wonder what sort of "anti-terrorist", "anti-sedition" legislation is even now working its way through Congress. In a time of emergency, we could be asked to support any number of draconian measures in the name of unity and security; don't be surprised if our freedom of speech is seriously curtailed. (Don't worry though, I'm sure that only truly "dangerous" speech will be threatened, i.e. anything that dissents against our leaders' agenda, like...oh...this e-mail I'm writing?) I hope I'm just being paranoid; we'll see how things unfold. My thoughts are with those grieving right now. Go easy on one another; we're all a little edgy this week.

Illegitimati non carborundum,
-J Neo Marvin

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bein' all that they can be

Angel Corpus Christi and Rich Stim's X-tal covers project marches on. Nice one.

Happy Americans by mxrich

It's actually been quite a long time since I've sung this song. It seemed so tied to the patriotic rah-rah zeitgeist of the Reagan era (with a goodly dose of snark at cheesy 80s rock anthems thrown in) that it doesn't really seem to suit an age of angry birthers and teabaggers. The ignorance lives on, but that giddy euphoria has been replaced by an ocean of butthurt. On the other hand, since the lonesome death of St. Ronnie, there's been no shortage of talking heads invoking those wonderful years when Americans were oh so happy. So the time has never been better for Angel to bring this one back.

(Ironic note: back when this was written, Daniel Ortega was one of America's Top Scapegoats, along with Noriega and Qaddafi---hey, how about that?---who were name-dropped in the song in various alternate versions. When the Sandinistas regained power in Nicaragua recently, Ortega distinguished himself by allying himself with the Catholic Church and the right wing and passing one of the cruelest, most Draconian anti-abortion laws in the hemisphere. While the average American has forgotten his name, I'm just about ready to pick up that water gun myself. I won't say what I'd like to fill it up with.)

UPDATE: No, this song is not the least bit dated. The spirit of all we were making fun of back then is all too alive. Pass the fried, genetically modified chicken!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20, August 2011

1. Karen Mantler - Arnold's Dead - Farewell
2. Jon Langford & Skull Orchard - Flag of Triumph - Old Devils
3. Alice Cooper - Living - Pretties For You
4. Vivian Girls - The Other Girls - Share the Joy
5. Simon Comber - The Jaws Of Life - Endearance
6. Richard Thompson and Linda Thompson - Night Comes In - Guitar, Vocal
7. Peter Kadyk - Frankenstein - Take Me To The Porch
8. Pavement - Mellow Jazz Docent (Remastered) - Quarantine The Past: The Best Of Pavement
9. Jackie McAuley - Bangerine - Jackie McAuley
10. The Bats - Just Do It - Stroke: Songs for Chris Knox
11. X-tal - Census - Everything Crash
12. Ken Nordine - Faces in the Jazzamatazz - The Best of Word Jazz, Vol. 1
13. The Experimental Bunnies - Do What Now? - Bunnies On Fire
14. The Ruts - In a Rut - The Best of the Ruts
15. Deerhoof - Basket Ball Get Your Groove Back - Offend Maggie
16. The Original Bushwhackers And Bullockies Band - Ned Kelly Was Born In A Ramshackle Hut - The Shearer's Dream
17. Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics - Masengo - Mojo Presents;Africa Rising
18. The Lijadu Sisters - Life's Gone Down Low - The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria
19. KXP - Labyrinth - K-X-P
20. The Granite Countertops - Haystack - Crashing Into The Future

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day, throw him into a tank full of sharks, and...well, at least he won't be hungry anymore

Cerberus, a blogger whose eloquent comments/rants on Sadly, No! have really been hitting the mark lately, offers up this brilliantly argued post about the economic issues we have been dealing with lately. We are getting a lot of arguments now about how helping out those in need somehow weakens them or saps their initiative, and what the unemployed really need is some good old tough love. She demolishes this rhetoric beautifully here:
Are people more motivated by fear than other methods to search for work?

Well, no, not really. We can look to countless psychological reports that fear actually shuts down the ability of the brain to think at its peak ability. Furthermore, fear and dire potential consequences often induce strong boats of depression and despair and as anyone who has suffered depression can tell you, depression means immensely lowered energy reserves, longer sleep schedules, and so on. This means less time available and less energy available to send out applications and continue job searches. Add this with businesses’ desire to hire happy workers and the fact that job searching is an emotionally tumultuous and unpleasant activity and one can see that making it even more harrowing and difficult is about the same level of good idea as beating an abuse victim to try and stop them from flashing back...
Oh, but isn't it harmful to the economy to prop up these lazy slackers? Isn't it detrimental to our strength as a society to disregard the wisdom of the Invisible Hand?
Countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were able to much easily ride out the global economic collapse than countries with less robust safety nets. Scandinavia in general has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship and has actual class mobility, where the ability to form a start-up and succeed is much easier than in the states...Shockingly, seeing as how most new business ventures do fail, having that not mean potential death encourages people to take a risk and be innovative. Robust welfare systems instead of breeding cultures of waste and laziness show the highest rates of innovation and some of the robuster economies in the world.
I really hope she doesn't mind me quoting her so heavily, as you should really read the whole thing, but just one more paragraph:
These are people’s lives, who are being asked to die, who are suffering until eventual bankruptcy and death, because a bunch of sociopaths think that a lack of a safety net will make people search harder for non-existent jobs.
It takes a lot of inner strength to combat this kind of psychological and economic spiral in any circumstance. It takes a lot of gall to promote policies that spread this kind of misery to more of our citizens, while continuing to tell them it's for their own good. Something's got to give here, and if the Democrats aren't up to the task of addressing this because the debt is suddenly more important now than it was ten years ago, we'd better brace ourselves for some real turbulence that will make the Tea Party look like the elite poseurs they really are. And maybe that's what it's going to take.

As the Granite Countertops put it:
Something beyond all this
Something no one can predict
It's an earthquake from below
Going which way we don't know.
Listen to "Crashing Into The Future" here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Well that's cool...yeah, that's cool

Angel Corpus Christi and Rich Stim just posted this great cover of the X-tal song "Encore". Wow. Thanks.

Encore by mxrich

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20, July 2011

1. Gil Scott-Heron - Running - I'm New Here
2. Dylan Champagne - Baby in a Bear Suit - Love Songs of the Apocalypse Vol. 1
3. Combustible Edison - The Corner Table - Schizophonic!
4. The Three Johns - Torches of Liberty - The World By Storm
5. Cornelius - Mic Check - FANTASMA
6. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Number 1 Hit Jam - Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: A Retrospective
7. Belfast Gypsies - People, Let's Freak Out - Them Belfast Gypsies
8. The Beach Boys - Long Promised Road - Sunflower / Surf's Up
9. The Aislers Set - Mission Bells - How I Learned To Write Backwards
10. The Temptations - Masterpiece - Psychedelic Soul
11. Simon Comber - Endearance - Endearance
12. Pelt - Empty Bell Ringing In The Sky No.2 - Empty Bell Ringing in the Sky
13. Paula Frazer - That You Know - Indoor Universe
14. Moon Duo - Seer - Mazes
15. Division By Zero - InSight - Division By Zero
16. Mighty Ballistics Hi-Power - Privilege - Here Come The Blues
17. Interstellar Grains - Circuits In Time (Revisited) - IG2
18. Viv Albertine - Never Come - 4 Track EP
19. The Velvet Underground - Ride Into The Sun [Instrumental] - Another View
20. Peter Cook & Dudley Moore - The L.S. Bumble Bee - 7" Single

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20, June 2011

1. Kaki King - Falling Day - Junior
2. X-tal - Census - Everything Crash
3. Yoko Ono - Greenfield Morning I Pushed An Empty Baby Carriage All Over The City - Plastic Ono Band
4. Wendy Carlos - La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie, Abridged) - A Clockwork Orange: Wendy Carlos's Complete Original Score
5. Thai Elephant Orchestra - Gentle Monsoon - Water Music
6. Suicide - Universe - Why Be Blue?
7. KXP - Labyrinth - K-X-P
8. The Fall - What About Us? - The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004
9. Cabaret Voltaire - Split Second Feeling - Red Mecca
10. 101 Strings - Flameout - Astro Sounds From Beyond the Year 2000
11. The Dirtbombs - Strings Of Life - Party Store
12. Marc Riley With The Creepers - Jumper Clown - Cull LP
13. X-tal - Frightened - Mayday
14. The Mekons - Heaven And Back - Rock N Roll
15. Alan Price - In Times Like These - Between Today And Yesterday
16. Wingless Angels - Zion Bells - Wingless Angels Volume II
17. Steve Hillage - Solar Musick Suite a)Sun Song (I Love It's Holy Mystery b) Canterbury Sunrise c) Hiram Afterglid Meets the Dervish d) Sun Song - Fish Rising
18. The Experimental Bunnies - Ready For Your Instructions - Biology And Physics
19. Joe Rut - And The Horse I Rode In On - Injured While Faking Own Death
20. King Missile - Cheesecake Truck - Mystical Shit / Fluting on the Hump

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lifeless masses of matter that resemble vegetables

If "conventional" produce (which is anything but) was not subsidized by the government while organic farmers are forced to pay extra to do the work they do, the whole "but organic food is so EXPENSIVE!" argument would disappear overnight. Me, I'll take the yam that sprouts when left to its own devices.

When I was a naive young punk rock hipster, I was a bit embarrassed to admit I grew up on a farm. Now, when I look back, I realize I was exposed to things my peers never knew, and that younger generations can't afford to take for granted.

Not to over-romanticize things too much because my dad did try using chemical fertilizers sometimes and he did die of colon cancer, but even so, it was a family farm, which a lot of kids have never seen. Everyone could benefit from a spell of tilling the soil, just to see how this stuff actually comes out of the ground.

What's happening to the food you find in American stores and restaurants is a travesty, so bear with me as I harp on the subject. The fun and music of our blog has not ended; it's just taking a time out.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pieces of a man

Missed this one when it came out. Michael Franti offers a no-holds-barred eulogy for the recently departed Gil Scott-Heron. Read it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Robyn O'Brien gives us the lowdown on the toxic swill we call food in America

We buy poisonous agribusiness-grown food for ourselves and our kids, which makes us sick. Then we go to our doctor to be treated, and our crappy health insurance (or none at all) forces us to pay an arm and a leg to be "treated". And corporations make a bundle every step of the way. Diabolically clever of them, isn't it?

Meanwhile, other countries have banned the kinds of genetically-mutated, patented, pesticide-filled foodlike products that are the staples of our dinner table. We could do the same, but we don't, because we are AMERICA and we are FREE! A sea change in US food policy would seem to logically go hand in hand with health care reform, if our political system and our media were not under the thumb of the very people who make all of this possible.

Spread the word. It ain't gonna spread itself.

Something to brighten your day

Here's a very sweet young lady who knows how to take care of business. I can think of quite a few public figures I'd like to turn her loose on. ("Now I'm going to give him a real thrill!")

Hat tip to Big Bad Bald Bastard for sharing this.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Jason: A good guy who needs your help

We have added a donation page to our website for Jason Axis, a member of our family who is fighting a hard battle against lymphoma. Please stop by and pay a visit.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Merry Go Round has stopped

Maati Stojanovich and I were walking to some gig in North Beach around 1979 or so, and this wild-eyed, disheveled homeless-looking guy came up to us, saying, "Hey! Do you guys like Captain Beefheart?" And then he introduced himself as Wild Man Fischer, went into a long tirade of how Frank Zappa ripped him off, and asked us for some spare change. I think we gave him a couple of dollars, and he took off in search of more punk rock hipsters to panhandle.

Kind of surprised he lived this long. Farewell to a troubled soul.

Strike up your matches, there's so much to see

We updated our video link at the top. The movie page on our site is up and you can find loads of exclusive stuff there. Go thou and take a gander.

(By the way, the post title is a little hat-tip to the mighty Trader Horne, who are well worth your attention.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Let's keep talking about Weiner, shall we? After all, nothing else of interest is happening in America right now.

UPDATE: This dickish regime will not last. If there were any fence-sitters in Wisconsin, I can't imagine they will stand for this sort of Big Government intrusion on their right to enjoy beer for very long.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thought for the day

I know politics attracts narcissists like honey attracts ants, but anyone with a lick of sense should know that if you decide politics is your calling, you forfeit the right to be Iggy Pop. Sorry. It's the simple truth.

UPDATE: As usual, Doghouse Riley hits all the right notes.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

An informed citizenry speaks out

This is what happens when a population grows up without being taught basic critical thinking.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Typical girls reluctantly celebrate the royal wedding

Time for something more wholesome after the last couple displays of Horrid American Wrongness. How about a charming UK musical heroine?

This is a British series I've never seen before, where the host drives the guests around London, interviewing them casually as he drives. As a videographer, I'm wondering where they put the cameras. I was amused when she referred to "Mick and Keith" and it turned out to be Mick Jones and Keith Levene, not those other guys.

We saw Viv do a solo performance a couple of years ago. She has some great new material, very different from the direction Ari took the Slits in her final years. I look forward to the full album.

Somebody badly needs a hug...or something

Another jaw-dropping video passed on by one of my Facebook buddies. Do you suppose this passionately sincere gentleman might be in denial about something?

The cross is good! The penis is evil!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

This is the most disturbing thing I have ever seen

Just looking at this will make you want to go on a detox diet.

This is to announce: We are on a new spiritual path

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20, May 2011

1. Vivian Girls - The Other Girls - Share the Joy
2. Poly Styrene - Code Pink Dub - Generation Indigo
3. Van Morrison - Listen To The Lion - Saint Dominic's Preview
4. The Units - The Mission is Bitchin' - The Early Years of the Units 1977-1983
5. Trial - The Border - Moments Of Collapse
6. Suicide - Super Subway Comedian - The Second Album + The First Rehearsal
7. Mallard - Road to Morrocco - Mallard
8. Ken Nordine - Down the Drain - The Best of Word Jazz, Vol. 1
9. The Granite Countertops - Something Different - Crashing Into The Future
10. Culture - Poor Jah People - Cumbolo
11. Wyatt / Atzmon / Stephen - What A Wonderful World - For The Ghosts Within
12. Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Sweet Sweet Bulbs - Trout Mask Replica
13. Vivian Stanshall - Possibly an Armchair/Fresh-Faced Boys - Teddy Boys Don't Knit
14. Moon Duo - Seer - Mazes
15. Sleater-Kinney - Get Up - The Hot Rock
16. Peter Cook & Dudley Moore - The L.S. Bumble Bee - 7" Single
17. Lost Cherrees - You're You, I'm Me - In The Beginning - The Studio Recordings 83-85
18. Linda Smith - Something New! Remix By Arthur Loves Plastic - Something New!
19. Society of Rockets - The Great Experiment - Future Factory
20. Paul Revere & the Raiders - Get It On - Midnight Ride

Saturday, May 28, 2011

He was new here

We lost another amazing artist. If you didn't see Gil Scott-Heron live, you missed something. We have the records and some live videos, but to be there when he launched into one of his elegant, hilarious, sharp 10-minute monologues was an unforgettable experience that will never be available again. What a brilliant mind.

Here's an old post about the night we saw him two years ago.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quote of the week

"Jumping off a bridge is bold, too."

Stupid or crazy: Which is worse?

A thought-provoking essay from the Phil Nugent Experience:
Maybe this is connected to the plight of the mentally ill in this country, who are ignored, shunned, stigmatized, until still-functioning people with real problems are afraid to seek help. Maybe people figure that if they weren't monsters, we'd do better by them.

On the other hand, we do pretty well by stupid people, even erecting shrines to the idea that they're morally superior to people with more complicated thinking processes: these can take the form of a movie like Forrest Gump, or the kind of press coverage that George W. Bush enjoyed until about 2006...

I always thought that the movie industry's evolution from Being There to Forrest Gump spoke volumes about how the U.S. has changed between the '70s and today.

Feedback is nice

It's great to get listener feedback for our station, even when it's this short and simple:
hello, from Quebec Canada. keep on grooving

Many thanks! We'll add some new Leonard Cohen tracks just for you.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ear Candle Radio status report

Hey, dear listeners:

The recording and editing of our DJ segments for the latest playlist has been held up due to family emergencies and a heavy load of schoolwork. (At the moment we only have four of them done and uploaded.) But don't let them stop you from enjoying all the great music we are broadcasting! So keep listening and voting on the songs, while I finish writing up my research paper on the state of internet radio for Introduction To Electronic Media.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Granite Countertops: Something Different

Killing two birds with one stone:

Our first official Granite Countertops music video, and J Neo Marvin's final project for his Digital Media Skills class. Can you spot the John Waters quote in the lyrics?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20, April 2011

1. The Who - Call Me Lightning - The Ultimate Collection
2. John Lee Hooker - John L's House Rent Boogie - The Best of John Lee Hooker
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Gloomy - Creedence Clearwater Revival
4. Calamity Jane - You Got It Rough - Martha Jane Canary
5. Alan Price - In Times Like These - Between Today And Yesterday
6. The Slits - Newtown - Cut
7. Scrawl - Public Image - Nature Film
8. Steve Hillage - Solar Musick Suite a)Sun Song (I Love It's Holy Mystery b) Canterbury Sunrise c) Hiram Afterglid Meets the Dervish d) Sun Song - Fish Rising
9. Frank Zappa - The Gumbo Variations - Hot Rats
10. Slim Gaillard - Dunkin' Bagel - Vout For Voutoreenees
11. Mark Eitzel - Seeing Eye Dog - The Invisible Man
12. Division By Zero - InSight - Division By Zero
13. Robert Wyatt - Trickle Down - Cuckooland
14. Peter Green - Hidden Depth - The End Of The Game
15. Pelt - Empty Bell Ringing In The Sky No.2 - Empty Bell Ringing in the Sky
16. Neil Young - Walk With Me - Le Noise
17. The Granite Countertops - Shiny Objects - Crashing Into The Future
18. Fleetwood Mac - Oh Well Part 1 & 2 - Then Play On
19. The Experimental Bunnies - The Process - Bunnies On Fire
20. The Zombies - Care Of Cell 44 - Odessey and Oracle

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Blame SF: Wagons And Boys

Our official video for this deceptively sweet Davis Jones composition by The Blame SF, which was first released on The Full Disclosure Principle in 2008. Originally created for an assignment in J Neo Marvin's Digital Media Skills class at CCSF. (Using vintage 60s TV ads provided by the school.) How's it look?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


She has a new album out this week, and the snippets of songs and her words in this interview make it sound like it's going to be really good. How sad that we have to lose her voice on the eve of her triumphant comeback. Poly Styrene, you left us way too soon.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Same Five Questions

Thomas Crone is a St. Louis-based writer who was extremely supportive of X-tal back in the 90s. I recently got invited to do a fun interview on his blog The Same Five Questions, which puts me in the company of the great Tony Visconti, two posts below me. Thanks, Thomas!

Spotify! What is this and how will Google provide?

Rather than launch its own digital music service, Google is considering whether to partner with an existing service, including the likes of Spotify, to power Google Music.

According to a source with knowledge of the talks, Google has told the labels that it has begun discussions with Spotify in recent weeks, though no agreement is in place. Spotify is the European streaming-music service that also has ambitions of launching in the United States.

The talks with Google and Spotify have coincided with an inability by Google to reach agreements with the four top record labels on licensing a cloud music service, the source told CNET. Google had originally hoped to launch a new music service by the end of the year, and then was aiming for March, but now it's indefinite on when it might debut.

Google declined to comment for this story. Spotify, however denied that it has spoken to Google about powering the company's service. "Nothing in it," said Spotify spokesman Jim Butcher.

So, the question is whether Google is trying to scare the labels into ceding better terms. All the major labels would like nothing better than to see another large distributor competing against Apple.

Read more

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Paula Frazer of Tarnation fame has a new band, Skystone, with a crunchy, soaring "late 60s hard rock meets the Banshees" sound. We shot this video of them at the Make Out Room on Mar. 22, 2011. Dig it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kucinich meets Walker: This is priceless!

Getting down to the people's business, even when surrounded by wankers.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20, March 2011

1. Frankie Rose And The Outs - Memo - Frankie Rose And The Outs
2. Danbert Nobacon - Christopher Marlowe - The Library Book of the World
3. The Andrew Oldham Orchestra - The last time - The Rolling Stones Songbook
4. The Quails - Your Heart Is A Muscle The Size Of A Fist - Atmosphere
5. Neo Boys - Poor Man's Jungle - Crumbling Myths
6. Colin Newman - Lorries - The Singing Fish / Not To
7. Steve Hillage - Solar Musick Suite a)Sun Song (I Love It's Holy Mystery b) Canterbury Sunrise c) Hiram Afterglid Meets the Dervish d) Sun Song - Fish Rising
8. The Granite Countertops - Atlas Wept - Crashing Into The Future
9. Rob K/MDA - Time to Pay - The Purgatory Home Companion
10. Nico - Frozen Warnings - The Marble Index
11. Love - Love Is More Than Words (or Better Late Than Never) - Out Here
12. Janis Ian - Society's Child - The Essential Janis Ian
13. Incredible String Band - No Sleep Blues - The 5000 Spirits Or The Layers Of The Onion
14. George Harrison - Microbes - Wonderwall Music
15. Funkadelic - Can You Get To That - Maggot Brain
16. The Firesign Theatre - The Giant Toad - Dear Friends
17. The Firesign Theatre - 40 Great Unclaimed Melodies! - Dear Friends
18. The Arrows - Make Love Not War - Everything You Always Wanted To Know About 60's Mind Expansive Punkadelic Garage Rock Instrumentals But Were Afraid To Ask
19. Vivian Stanshall & Kilgaron - Are You Having Any Fun? - Keynsham
20. Tall Dwarfs - Michael Hillbilly - The Sky Above, The Mud Below

Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Terese Taylor videos up!

We have some new movies of Terese Taylor from the El Rio on Oct. 28, 2010. We caught Terese and her bandmates working out some new material, resulting in some fresh performances. Dig it:

And another. "Mental health, yeah!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Let's get the hell out of Flatland

The late, great Carl Sagan on dimensions. Wanna see what a shadow of a four-dimensional object looks like? Watch.

the sights and sounds of Madame P

Madame P and her machines play the Undisclosed Location a few years ago, captured by our cameras.

The bad one

Video montage by an old friend. Sleater-Kinney juxtaposed with the tsunami.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Talking sense to deaf ears

"Oh that crazy fringe politician Dennis Kucinich! Why can't he be pragmatic and reach across the aisle like all the NICE Democrats?"

Meanwhile the "nice" Democrats continue to capitulate. At least Dennis has the guts to call them on the carpet for what they sat on their hands and allowed to happen in 2003.

If we make it out of this disgusting period of history, our great grandchildren will be screaming "What was WRONG with those idiots? He was the only one of them talking any sense at all!"

Watch the video. The man's on fire!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Content Providers at their most populous...

Neo looks so cute here! This was a fun, but short lived line-up of The Content Providers. All great players... all in transition...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A small facelift

We just updated our homepage and made a few changes. We kept the listening stations for the X-tal archives but the links for our most recent releases go directly to the iTunes pages. We encourage our friends to follow the links and explore the music. Every time you preview a song, we get a few pennies in our coffers, which helps us survive in this brutal capitalist world.

And of course, we'd love it if you bought an mp3 or a CD. The music still sounds good. Check out that new Experimental Bunnies album.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wanna balance the budget?

It's not hard. Really, it's not.

Thank you, John Darnielle

The Mountain Goats have never been known for agitprop, but John's always been a conscious guy, and a remake of this classic anthem has never been more timely. (Hat-tip to Truculent & Unreliable for helping put this one out there.)

Power In A Union from JD on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20, February 2011

A lot of songs carried over from the previous month's top 20, but pole-vaulting to the top is something new and beautiful:

The number one song on this month's chart is unique in that it features no humans contributing to the music. And by that we don't mean it is a heavily-sequenced piece of electronica. Oh no, the Thai Elephant Orchestra is exactly what it says it is: original music composed and performed by actual elephants (lovingly assisted by their pet humans).

More empathy for the animal kingdom follows with the late Ari Up delivering the title track of the final Slits album, Trapped Animal. Donovan returns with his impression of Sunset Strip life circa 1966, Brighter Shades deliver the sound of young Baltimore, Tom Verlaine and Sonic Youth give us two extremes of exploratory New York guitar music, and Neil Young woos a beautiful dancer.

Some rare gems surface this month: Portland's Neo Boys offer up some reassuring words from their extremely out of print Crumbling Myths EP, Modmach (led by ex-Unit and current Winston Tong collaborator LX Rudis) serve up a tense, circular depiction of stress and escapism featuring some mad guitar from MX-80's Bruce Anderson, Northern California guitar virtuoso (and firm friend of the Ear Candle posse) Matthew Grasso offers up an original composition that pirouettes intricately around a single note, and Linda Smith shows up with another one of her calm, deliberately paced homemade pop masterworks.

We hear from spoken word guru Ken Nordine, lost genius songwriter Elliott Smith, the mighty Dirtbombs of Detroit, a cool instrumental from Chuck Berry, an evergreen psychedelic ballad by the Troggs, a trippy post-punk drone-rant from Public Image Ltd, Patti Smith and her snakecharming post-Coltrane clarinet, a lovelorn patient by the name of Gregory, and Brian Wilson surfin' with Gershwin.

Thank you dear comrades, and keep listening!

1. Thai Elephant Orchestra - Gentle Monsoon - Water Music
2. The Slits - Trapped Animal - Trapped Animal
3. Donovan - The Trip - Sunshine Superman
4. Brighter Shades - There's Nothing, Stranger - You Shine So Bright
5. Tom Verlaine - Days On The Mountain - Words From The Front
6. Sonic Youth - Silver Wax Lips - Silver Session
7. Neil Young - When You Dance I Can Really Love - After The Goldrush
8. Neo Boys - Nothing to Fear - Crumbling Myths
9. Modmach - Security - Modmach
10. Matthew Grasso - Contemplation On The Corpse - Past Present Future
11. Linda Smith - I'll Never See You Again - Nothing Else Matters
12. Ken Nordine - Reaching into In - The Best of Word Jazz, Vol. 1
13. Elliott Smith - Bled White - XO
14. The Dirtbombs - Start The Party - Dangerous Magical Noise
15. Chuck Berry - Deep Feeling (Instrumental) - After School Session
16. The Troggs - Love Is All Around - The Troggs' Greatest Hits
17. Public Image Ltd. - Flowers of Romance - The Flowers Of Romance
18. Patti Smith - Higher Learning - Land (1975-2002)
19. Gregory Isaacs - Love Is Overdue - Reggae Mix
20. Brian Wilson - They Can't Take That Away From Me - Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin

Sunday, February 27, 2011


We are busy moving,, and to a new server and the sites are temporarily offline. Please be patient while we make our move. We'll be back up in 24-48 hours and gradually adding improvements both bold and subtle. Watch this space for announcements. We're looking forward to the changes.

UPDATE: Well, that was fast! As of 8:00 AM Sunday, we are back again! Good morning!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Jenny Woolworth's excellent interview with the great Swiss post-punk band LiliPut can be found here, here, and here.

Some videos for your pleasure:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Solidarity is a beautiful thing

UPDATE: Those bold freedom-fighters of the "tea party" respond:

Compare and contrast.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy birthday Yoko Ono!

Even Paul gets into bringing the noise here. We would have bumped "The Long And Winding Road" in favor of some of this lively jam if it had been up to us.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20, January 2011

Two great ladies of the stage appear twice on our charts, so let's raise a glass to Patti Smith and Terese Taylor. Julie London's impeccable lounge take on a bubblegum classic returns to our charts. (Hat tip to Johnny Ray Houston for first turning J Neo on to this great cover) Iggy Pop shows up with a portrait of industrial drudgery from his weirdest album ever, The Velvet Underground give us a sublime instrumental that was first unearthed in the 80s, Tom Verlaine stretches out, and the Slits unleash a boisterous number from their final album. (What a shame that "World Of Grownups" was never recorded!)

Troubled founding Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green released a highly underrated instrumental album shortly after he first went around the bend, and the track "Hidden Depth" holds the number 8 spot here--very much in keeping with the Experimental Bunnies spirit, we're thinking. Paul Kantner's first solo album got a lot of stick from some Jefferson Airplane fans, but when it's good, it's really good, and "Have You Seen The Stars Tonight" is as good as awestruck San Francisco acid-folk gets--certainly miles above anything else to come out under the dreaded "Jefferson Starship" name. The mighty voice of Mark Lanegan calls out for the all-too-rare Pacific Northwest sunshine, Ken Nordine guides us through the plumbing, and the late great Gregory Isaacs croons sweetly.

The Fall offer up the mysterious, haunting "Riddler!" (possibly the definitive mission statement of Mark E. Smith), Donovan witnesses the innocent decadence of a more innocent time, Brighter Shades from Baltimore toss off some superior pop-punk, Public Image go psychedelic and quasi-Arabic, Brian Wilson reimagines Gershwin for the California girls and boys, and the Mountain Goats wrap it up with a supernatural vignette: "When the ghost of your father starts pushing you around/how are gonna make him stop?/I took down all of the crosses/I let him set up shop!"

We listened hard to our dry run of the new playlist last weekend, and realized there is some room for change. We're back on random shuffle while we rework some bits, add and subtract here and there, and record our back-announcements. See you with the new version soon, and keep listening!

1. Patti Smith Group - Pumping (My Heart) - Radio Ethiopia
2. Julie London - Yummy, Yummy, Yummy - Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
3. Iggy Pop - Life Of Work - Zombie Birdhouse
4. The Velvet Underground - Ride Into The Sun [Instrumental] - Another View
5. Tom Verlaine - Days On The Mountain - Words From The Front
6. Terese Taylor - Chief Letters - The Clothes We Wore Before We Were Married
7. The Slits - Trapped Animal - Trapped Animal
8. Peter Green - Hidden Depth - The End Of The Game
9. Paul Kantner - Have You Seen The Stars Tonight - Blows Against The Empire
10. Mark Lanegan - El Sol - Whiskey For The Holy Ghost
11. Ken Nordine - Down the Drain - The Best of Word Jazz, Vol. 1
12. Gregory Isaacs - Love Is Overdue - Reggae Mix
13. The Fall - Riddler! - Bend Sinister
14. Donovan - The Trip - Sunshine Superman
15. Brighter Shades - There's Nothing, Stranger - You Shine So Bright
16. Terese Taylor - Goats For Daddy - The Cryingness Of Your Crying When You Cry
17. Public Image Ltd. - Flowers of Romance - The Flowers Of Romance
18. Patti Smith - Higher Learning - Land (1975-2002)
19. Brian Wilson - They Can't Take That Away From Me - Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin
20. The Mountain Goats - Cao Dai Blowout - New Asian Cinema

Saturday, January 29, 2011


A quick video of this afternoon's demo in support of Egyptian democracy:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Now playing

Sneak preview of new Ear Candle Radio playlist playing this weekend starting tonight!

No DJ banter yet. We'll be out in the field, perhaps near YOU, soon, recording back announcements. Maybe we'll even ask you to say a few words, you never know.

This time around, I found some great public domain sound clips that we'll be judiciously sprinkling among the music. Everything from history to current events to comedy to just plain weirdness. All part of our never-ending quest to keep it fresh.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I love your solitude, I love your pride

Since the Conspiracy Of Beards are hard at work on a very difficult and haunting new arrangement of "Joan Of Arc", I was drawn to this gut-wrenchingly beautiful essay about "the patron saint of blasphemy" from Tiger Beatdown. It dispels some myths, illuminates the enormity of the hate crime committed against this formidable character, and makes me think (not to say anything glib about Leonard Cohen and his genius) a very different song could have been written about her.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Doctor Dark

The sad passing of Captain Beefheart needs to be noted here. At 15, Trout Mask Replica seized my consciousness and made my isolated life better. I never tried to make music like the Captain (that's a gift that only comes once in a century at least), but his fierce independence was always a model. Like Syd Barrett, he retreated from music early; unlike Syd he moved on to a happy successful life as a painter, with a wife who by all accounts was a true partner. At least he lived a full life before the MS got him.

Notorious as a difficult, capricious bandleader who was both unreliable and a control freak, Don Van Vliet got a lot of criticism from ex-bandmates. At the same time, his unorthodox mind and methods resulted in music like no other. He was the weird old master who abused his students yet left them with skills and insights that few ever gain. A complicated story.

Drummer, transcriber/co-arranger/musical enabler John "Drumbo" French pays tribute here. It's a moving testimonial.

Style and substance

Amanda nails it here. As I once said cynically about one of the crap jobs in my past, "It's not what you're doing, it's what you look like you're doing!" For me that was a glib, sardonic joke. For others, it's a way of life.

Help out a good guy in need

Roy Edroso of Alicublog, one of the smartest, funniest writers on the Internet, is going through a bad patch.Here's a place set up to help him out. If you can spare any donations, do so.

Update: Apparently the response has been overwhelming, and Roy is extremely grateful. We look forward to the resumption of his indispensable commentary.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: December 2010

As we see off 2010 and set a place at our table for 2011, may the road rise for all of our listeners. We could be wrong, we could be right, but PiL's blazingly righteous benediction from the mid-80s is just the thing we need to set a precedent for a better year to come.

A brief bit of hard won wisdom from Gil Scott-Heron is followed by Donovan's 100% scientifically accurate presentation of how astronauts deal with their bodily functions in a weightless environment and World Domination Enterprises' pounding indictment of industrial poison. The Magnetic Fields invite us to walk a lonely road, Faust go exploring the world of inner space, the Dirtbombs bring the party, Baka Beyond take the party to the jungle, and Huun-Huur-Tu find entire universes in their own well-trained throats.

The Experimental Bunnies express uncertainty on a track from the score for Noodle Brain Productions' television show on the Integrity Tone Scale. Nick Drake shows up with one of his sweetest songs in a brief career full of sweet ones, Funkadelic offer one of their greatest should-have-been-hits, Chumbawamba lift their voices on a rollicking vintage anti-sweatshop ballad, Sly Stone and company find the world-weariness in Doris Day's signature tune, and Arthur Lee croons one of his fine late-period melodious gnomic numbers before yielding the floor to an unbelievable guitar freakout by the little-known Gary Rowles.

Following that, we had Muddy Waters' molten lament "Standing Around Cryin'" (listen to that harmonica!), the first movement of Missa Luba, Mark E. Smith riding one of the Fall's most titanic-sounding soundscapes, the late great Vivian Stanshall accosting passers-by about their shirts, and Bill Callahan's deep rumbling voice finding new corners in a Chris Knox song on the Stroke benefit compilation.

And that's a wrap for 2010. Keep listening; an all-new playlist is on the way!

1. Public Image Ltd. - Rise - Public Image Ltd. - Greatest Hits So Far
2. Gil Scott-Heron - On Coming From A Broken Home (Part. 2) - I'm New Here
3. Donovan - Intergalactic Laxative - Cosmic Wheels
4. World Domination Enterprises - Asbestos Lead Asbestos (Heavy Pollution Mix) - Love from the Lead City
5. The Magnetic Fields - Walk A Lonely Road - Realism
6. Faust - So Far - Faust/So Far
7. The Dirtbombs - The Thing - Ultraglide In Black
8. Baka Beyond - Booma Lena - The Meeting Pool
9. Huun-Huur-Tu - Oske Cherde - Sixty Horses In My Herd
10. The Experimental Bunnies - Uncertainty - Music For The Integrity Tone Scale
11. Nick Drake - Cello Song - Five Leaves Left
12. Funkadelic - Can You Get To That - Maggot Brain
13. Chumbawamba - Poverty Knock - English Rebel Songs 1381-1984
14. Sly & The Family Stone - Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) - Fresh
15. Love - Love Is More Than Words (or Better Late Than Never) - Out Here
16. Muddy Waters - Standing Around Cryin' - The Chess Story 1947-197
17. Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudouin - Kyrie - Missa Luba
18. The Fall - Gross Chapel -- British Grenadiers - Bend Sinister
19. Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - Shirt - Tadpoles
20. Bill Callahan - Lapse - Stroke: Songs For Chris Knox