We are a record label, a video production company, a radio station, and now a blog. Join proprietors J Neo Marvin and Davis Jones as we muse about music, film, culture and politics, and keep you posted on the latest Ear Candle activities.
Friday, December 20, 2013
The three rules of life, according to Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.
2. Have a great bullshit detector, and learn how to use it, and how to apply it.
3. Be tender: Be open to the world, and in love with everything and everyone in it.
Bonus fourth rule: Practice how to feel sad without being sad.
Monday, December 16, 2013
The Deep End: Difficult Listening Hour
The Deep End - Show 2.13 - Dec. 14, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
The Deep End: Punk Singers and Mis-Shapes
The Deep End - Show 2.12 - Dec. 9, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
New video - Jean Paul Sartre
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Song Of The Six Pack
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Deep End: Five Years Ahead Of Our Time
Monday, December 2, 2013
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20 for November 2013
2. Roger Ruskin Spear - Make Yourself A Happiness Pie - Electric Shocks
3. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Gamma Ray - Global A Go-Go
4. Cream - What A Bringdown - Goodbye
5. Mama Mia d'Bruzzi - Redistribution of Wealth - Redistribution of Wealth
6. Sandy Bull - Carnival Jump - Re-Inventions
7. Neil Young - Motion Pictures - 5/16/74, The Bottom Line, New York City, NY
8. Esquivel - Latin-Esque - Space Age Bachelor Pad Music
9. X-tal - Long Dark Night - Everything Crash
10. Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band - Safe As Milk - Strictly Personal
11. Romeo Void - Present Tense - Nvr Say Nvr 12" ep
12. Prickly - Hedgeclipping Song - The Long Secret: A Harriet Records Compilation
13. The Love Dogs - Universal Indians - The Love Dogs
14. The Blue Orchids - A Year With No Head - The Greatest Hit
15. Bjork - Mouth's Cradle - Medulla
16. Alex Chilton - Dalai Lama - High Priest
17. Robert Wyatt - I'm A Believer - His Greatest Misses
18. Stephen Marley - Mind Control - Mind Control
19. Roni Size & Reprazent - Ballet Dance - New Forms
20. The Action 13 - More Bread To The People - Rebel Music - Songs Of Protest And Insurrection
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
The Deep End: I Wanna Holler, But The Town's Too Small
Friday, November 1, 2013
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: October 2013
1. The Granite Countertops - Shiny Objects - Crashing Into The Future
2. Singers & Players Feat. Prince Far I - Autobiography - Staggering Heights
3. Link Wray - Alabama Electric Circus - Wray's Three Track Shack
4. Blumfeld - Verstarker - L'Etat Et Moi
5. Mister Rogers Remixed - Garden of Your Mind - Mister Rogers Remixed
6. Mecca Normal - I Walk Alone 2013 - I Walk Alone by Mecca Normal 2013
7. Fuxa - 3cp - Very Well Organized
8. Deerhoof - New Sneakers - Milk Man
9. The Cannanes - Bumper - Small Batch
10. Bjork - Where Is The Line? - Medulla
11. Bad Brains - Big Takeover - Bad Brains
12. Amadou & Mariam - La Paix - Dimanche a Bamako
13. The Velvet Underground - I Found A Reason - Peel Slowly & See
14. The Sonics - Keep A Knockin' - Here are the Ultimate Sonics
15. The Pretty Things - I See You - S.F. Sorrow
16. Pavement - In The Mouth A Desert - Slanted & Enchanted
17. The Jesus & Mary Chain - My Little Underground - Psychocandy
18. Helium - Lucy - Hole In The Ground 7"
19. The Granite Countertops - Lullaby For Hamza - Crashing Into The Future
20. Love - With A Little Energy - Reel To Real
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
The Deep End: That's The Story Of A Life
A tribute to Lou Reed.
Here is the script I was working from. Sometimes the segments from Metal Machine Music compete with my voice a bit (hey, that's why I'm back in school, to improve my audio production skills!), so here's what I'm saying (ad libs aside):
So what you are hearing right now in the background is the album Metal Machine Music, Lou Reed’s controversial experimental music album released in 1975. Lou Reed just passed away this weekend, aged 71, and on tonight’s Deep End we’re going to spend the entire hour paying tribute to his life and work, both solo and with his groundbreaking band from the 60s, the Velvet Underground. We’re going to start quietly with the very first song from the Velvets’ debut album. I first got the news about Lou when I woke up yesterday, and had to immediately reach for this. How strangely appropriate that we find out the bad news on a Sunday morning.
“Beginning To See The Light” from the Velvet Underground’s 1969 Live album, probably the most influential record ever for me. I was 20 when I first heard it, and it just swept away everything else I had ever heard. It was like folk-rock but with the power and directness of punk. The music wasn’t showy; it got straight to the point, while the lyrics had this sly, deadpan wit that made me want to be as cool and worldly wise as that guy singing. Becoming a Velvet Underground fan then was like joining a secret society where everything was smart, dark, sexy and a little bit scary. What more does a kid growing up want? And Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison elevated the rhythm guitar at a time when everyone else thought guitar playing was about doing the fastest solos possible. It was a different way of looking at music that ultimately changed everything. More Velvets and solo Lou coming up.
“Real Good Time Together”, a great, slightly insane remake of an old Velvets song from Lou Reed’s album Street Hassle from 1977, when the CBGB’s scene was helping to bring him a whole new audience. We started with “Some Kinda Love”, from the third Velvet Underground album, an oddly quiet record from a band who often made a lot of noise. I think this album in particular is the source of the whole twee indie-pop sound, but Lou’s lyrics come from another place entirely. We’re gonna break for a promo, and then showcase more of Lou’s solo work, starting with a great one from Transformer, his first hit record, produced by David Bowie.
Intense. That was “Waves Of Fear”, from The Blue Mask by Lou Reed, with some great guitar from the late Bob Quine. Before that, “Vicious”, from Transformer. That song makes me think of certain former friends who claimed to be flower children but were really just vicious. Next in our special Deep End tribute to Lou Reed, a song from the album New York, where Lou started branching into social commentary, in his own wonderfully abrasive style.
Lou Reed just gave us “The Last Shot”, a song from the 80s that could be about giving up any number of bad habits. Before that we had “Dirty Blvd.”, which featured a little guest cameo at the end from doo-wop legend Dion DiMucci. You’re listening to The Deep End with J Neo Marvin as we continue our tribute to the late Lou Reed. Coming up, one of my favorites, the opening track on Lou’s very first solo album, “I Can’t Stand It”.
The most important thing is “Work”! That’s from Songs For Drella, an album by Lou Reed and his former Velvet Underground comrade John Cale where they told their version of the life of Andy Warhol, who actually managed the band for a while. This is a song that shows another side of Warhol than we usually hear about, namely his relentless work ethic. Next we have something special from one of Lou’s final albums, the double CD The Raven. It’s special because Lou Reed had a lifelong love for avant-garde jazz, and in this song he got to collaborate with free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman, on a little psychodrama called “Guilty”. It’s a terrible thing to be consumed by irrational guilt, and Lou nails that feeling here.
Another less-celebrated track from the 80s, “High In The City”. Lou captures the paradox of being swept up with a loved one in a state of public intoxication, and at the same time being wary of all the other intoxicated people around you! Like all great writers, Lou’s genius was in his attention to detail. We started with “Guilty” from The Raven, and in between we had another gem from the 3rd self-titled Velvet Underground album, “That’s The Story Of My Life”. We’re approaching the close of this take on the story of the life of the great Lou Reed, but before we turn it over to Matt Freitas and Good Times Are So Hard To Find, we’re going to hear one final song by the Velvets, Lou Reed’s hymn to the redemptive power of “Rock & Roll”.
Friday, October 25, 2013
The Deep End: What's Your Take On Cassavetes?
The Deep End - Show 2.7 - Oct 21, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
Friday, October 18, 2013
The Deep End: Ando Meio Desligado!
The Deep End - Show 2.6 - Oct 14, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
Thursday, October 10, 2013
The Deep End: See the people all in line, what's makin' them look at me?
The Deep End - Show 2.5 - Oct 7, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Thank God for the liberal media
A party controlled by its most extreme faction will ultimately be forced back to the center. The Democrats learned that when Walter Mondale was losing to Ronald Reagan, and Michael Dukakis to George H.W. Bush. Now it is the Republicans who don’t seem to understand that their extreme tactics are pleasing a small percentage of their countrymen but alienating everyone else."Walter Mondale, the Eugene V. Debs of the 80s. I am speechless.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Thursday, October 3, 2013
The Deep End: Open the box! Open the box!
Are you ready to rock? "Yes." Outer space is a really nice place. You thought that I would need a crystal ball to see right through the haze. Poverty, poverty knock, oh how I wish I had wings. Open the box! When we kiss it feels like a flying saucer landing. On the day that I forget you, I hope my heart explodes. He took off his glasses and said, "that's the biggest load of rubbish I ever heard in my life!" When will they understand that we must be set out of the prison?
The Deep End - Show 2.4 - Sept. 30, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: September 2013
1. John Cooper Clarke - Beasley Street - Snap, Crackle & Bop
2. X-tal - Dub Rat - More Fun
3. Huun-Huur-Tu - Kh mei (v) - Sixty Horses In My Herd
4. Pleasant Day - Haunted House Of Love - SF Unscene
5. The Great Unwashed - It's a Day - Collection
6. Wire - 40 Versions - 154
7. Can - Waiting For The Streetcar - The Lost Tapes
8. The Saints - River Deep Mountain High - (I'm) Stranded
9. Roger Miller - Space Is The Place - Oh
10. Rico Bell & The Snakehandlers - Big River II - Darkside Of The Mersey
11. The Pastels - Nothing To Be Done - Truckload Of Trouble
12. The Misunderstood - I Can Take You To The Sun - Before the Dream Faded
13. Jimmy Cliff - Under The Sun, Moon And Stars - Unlimited
14. The Music Magicians - Convertibles and Headbands - Do You Know the Difference Between Big Wood and Brush?
15. The Experimental Bunnies - No Sleep Till The Pleiades - Aranka
16. Kevin Ayers - May I - June 1, 1974
17. John Shirley's Screamin' Geezers - They're Making Money (You Can't Argue With That) - We're Not Supposed To Be Doing This
18. Can - Midnight Men - The Lost Tapes
19. The Amps - Pacer - Pacer
20. Suicide - Super Subway Comedian - The Second Album + The First Rehearsal Tapes
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
A land that I have heard about
(WNY-FM gives us more info on the original and the group that performed it.)
Nice (though rudely interrupted) clip of Bunny singing his version:
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The doltishness never ends
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
New Deep End podcast: Saints, God, and Death
The Deep End - Show 2.3 - Sept. 23, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
Like A Shot Off A Shovel
Please, please, please, let me get what I want!
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Deep End #2.2: Finding our feet
The Deep End - Show 2.2 - Sept. 16, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
First Deep End of the Fall
The Deep End - Show 2.1 - Sept. 9, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
Monday, September 9, 2013
New And Improved Deep End
Monday, September 2, 2013
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: August 2013
2. Chastity Belt - Seattle Party - Seattle Party (single)
3. Tuxedomoon - Litebulb Overkill - Desire/No Tears
4. Kraftwerk - Tongebirge - Ralf And Florian
5. Dillinger - The General - CB 200
6. The Sweater Girls - Alternative Ulster - Rebuilding The Bridge
7. Psychic TV And The Angels Of Light - Godstar [Hyperdelic Mix] - Godstar 12"
8. The Mekons - Afar & Forlorn - Ancient & Modern 1911 - 2011
9. Walt Kelly And Others - Go-Go Pogo - Songs Of The Pogo
10. Thee Outside - Testcard - Deaf Disco
11. Mezmetic - Ain't Gotta Go Fa' - A Handful Of Sand (... And A Strange Distant Wave)
12. The Love Dogs - Universal Indians - The Love Dogs
13. Jeffrey Horn - That Love Is Gone - Infinite Love
14. The Fall - Systematic Abuse - Reformation Post T.L.C.
15. The Wailers - Mr. Brown (DJ Spooky remix) - Creation Rebel
16. Tall Dwarfs - Two Minds - Stumpy
17. Solex - Solex In A Slipshod Style - Solex Vs the Hitmeister
18. Jimmy Cliff - Under The Sun, Moon And Stars - Unlimited
19. Helium - Lucy - Hole In The Ground 7"
20. Deerhoof - Spy On You - The Runners Four
Monday, August 5, 2013
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: July 2013
1. The Granite Countertops - Rainy Night In Florida - Planets Don't Twinkle
2. Alan Vega - Every 1's a Winner - Saturn Strip
3. Karen Mantler - The Bill - Farewell
4. The Television Personalities - She Can Stop Traffic - My Dark Places
5. The Spinanes - Jad Fair Drives Women Wild - International Pop Underground Convention
6. Rufus Thomas - Itch And Scratch (Part 1) - The Funkiest Man Alive: The Stax Funk Sessions 1967-1975
7. Johnny Cash - As Long As The Grass Shall Grow - Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian
8. The Whitefronts - Surface Plasmon - Roast Belief
9. Spacemen 3 - Take Me To The Other Side - Singles
10. Mecca Normal - I Walk Alone 2013 - I Walk Alone by Mecca Normal 2013
11. Festizio - **** - Hot City
12. David Bowie - Heat - The Next Day
13. Viv Albertine - In Vitro - The Vermilion Border
14. Rob K/MDA - Look in the Mirror - The Purgatory Home Companion
15. Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus - Needs Understanding - Tribute To The Emperor
16. The Byrds - The Day Walk - There Is a Season
17. Lou Reed - Last Great American Whale - New York
18. Kicking Giant - She's Real (version) - Alien ID
19. Ed's Redeeming Qualities - Another Song In Celebration Of Chickens - Big Grapefruit Clean-Up Job
20. The Cannanes - Crawler - Small Batch
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Another devastating blow to our blogroll
Sunday, July 28, 2013
No more Frozdick Family updates
Friday, July 26, 2013
Top Of The Pops
We want to make this little song the catalyst for a serious cultural shift. Not just through our donations, but through the song itself. We are making an extra effort to get this one widely heard and injected into the national conversation. You can get your own "Rainy Night" mp3 at iTunes or Amazon.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Rainy Night in Florida
Now available at iTunes and other fine digital distributors.
Monday, July 1, 2013
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: June 2013
1. Mecca Normal - I Walk Alone 2013 - I Walk Alone by Mecca Normal 2013
2. JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound - Baltimore Is The New Brooklyn - Heavy Soul
3. Kalo Kawongolo / Seke Molenga - Guipimbu Gienu - African Roots
4. Bjork - Where Is The Line? - Medulla
5. Cibo Matto - Sugar Water - Viva! La Woman
6. Workdogs - Eulogy/Regrets - Workdogs In Hell
7. Jah Wobble & Keith Levene - Understand Dub - Yin & Yang
8. Dr. Spaceman - Good Intentions - Zwanzig Kilometer Stau
9. Dolly Mixture - Understanding - Demonstration Tapes
10. Tom Verlaine - Always - Dreamtime
11. Siouxsie And The Banshees - Icon - Join Hands
12. Roger Ruskin Spear - Make Yourself A Happiness Pie - Electric Shocks +
13. Raybeats - Tone Zone - Guitar Beat
14. Linda Perhacs - Parallelograms - Parallelograms
15. Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard - If Life Exists? - Em Are I
16. J Neo Marvin & The Content Providers - Running Up A Tab On The Universe - Slowly I Turned
17. George Faith - So Fine - To Be A Lover
18. The Flying Lizards - Postscript - The Secret Dub Life of the Flying Lizards
19. Blaims - Can't Sleep - Modoc Records Sampler, Vol. 1
20. Tom Verlaine - The Blue Robe - Dreamtime
Saturday, June 29, 2013
The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band in their prime
Monday, June 24, 2013
Jean Paul Sartre
Sunday, June 23, 2013
The Baby Came Down From The Mountain
The players on this recording, who you can catch fleeting glimpses of, were:
J Neo Marvin - Bass, guitar and production
Davis Jones - Melodica
Glenn Stevens - Lead guitar
Gulya Oblokulova - Keyboard
Gwennie Stevens - Keyboard and vocals (!)
Saturday, June 1, 2013
The Last Deep End Of The Spring
The Deep End - Show 13 - May 24, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20 for May 2013
1. Viv Albertine - Still England - The Vermilion Border
2. Tsunami - DMFH - A Brilliant Mistake
3. Sara Jaffe - Heron's Head - Salt & Water
4. The Detroit Cobras - It's My Delight - Tied & True
5. Jenny Hoyston - I Don't Need 'Em - Isle Of
6. J Neo Marvin & The Content Providers - Running Up A Tab On The Universe - Slowly I Turned
7. The Cannanes - 52 Linthorpe Street - A Love Affair With Nature
8. The Lijadu Sisters - Life's Gone Down Low - The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria
9. Curtis Mayfield - Other Side Of Town - Curtis
10. The Small Faces - E Too D - Small Faces
11. The Slits - FM - Cut
12. Shovelman - Rollin' - The Dirty West
13. Paul Revere & the Raiders - Get It On - Midnight Ride
14. Langley Schools Music Project - In My Room - Innocence & Despair
15. Kristin Hersh - When The Levee Breaks - Strings
16. Julie London - Yummy, Yummy, Yummy - Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
17. Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Gamma Ray - Global A Go-Go
18. Iggy Pop - Life Of Work - Zombie Birdhouse
19. Doctor Alimantado - Dreadlocks Dread - Born For A Purpose
20. The Lijadu Sisters - Turbulent Waters - Sunshine
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Ear Candle Spotlight on The Deep End
The Deep End - Show 11 - May 3, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
The Deep End: Last group show
The Deep End - Show 12 - May 10, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: April 2013
1. 17 Pygmies - Still Waters - Jedda by the Sea
2. Shan-I Benjamen - Look After Your Structure - Holding Up Half The Sky: Women In Reggae/Roots Daughters
3. The Ramones - I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement - Ramones
4. R.L. Burnside - Shake 'Em on Down - A Ass Pocket of Whiskey
5. The Freak Scene - I Dig Your Mind - Psychedelic Psoul
6. The Ramones - Humankind - Too Tough To Die
7. Peter Ivers/David Lynch - In Heaven (Lady In The Radiator Song) - Eraserhead (Original Soundtrack)
8. The Loud Family - Spot the Setup - Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things
9. Darlene Love - A Fine, Fine Boy - Phil Spector Back to Mono (1958-1969)
10. Game Theory - Exactly What We Don't Want To Hear - Lolita Nation
11. DJ Kazuharu - Mystic - Modoc Records Sampler, Vol. 2
12. La Dusseldorf - Dusseldorf - La Dusseldorf
13. Ed's Redeeming Qualities - Random - It's All Good News
14. X-tal - Union Sunrise - Who Owns Our Dreams
15. Sugar Minott - Time Longer Than Rope - Reggae Legends
16. Romeo Void - Present Tense - Nvr Say Nvr 12" ep
17. Ran-Dells - Martian Hop - Lux and Ivy's Favorites Volume 6
18. Prolapse - TCR - Backsaturday
19. The Mothers Of Invention - Fountain Of Love (Original Mix) - Greasy Love Songs
20. Jon Langford & Skull Orchard - Pieces of the Past - Old Devils
Saturday, April 27, 2013
The Deep End on KSFS, 4/26/13: Including a crash-course in Sleater-Kinney
The Deep End - Show 10 - April 26, 2013 by Thedeepend on Mixcloud
Friday, April 26, 2013
All he had to do was nothing
What always struck me about Bush and his incompetent cronies is the activist nature of their "wreck everything quickly" administration. All Bush had to do was NOTHING to have a successful presidency. Everything he touched turned (immediately) to shit...and yet he couldn't wait to destroy more. Thank goodness the American people turned on him during the post 2004 "Wind At My Back" "Hand Social Security Over To Wall Street" debacle.Another take on this monstrous misapplication of undeserved good will.
The Rude One offers a better idea how to spend our tax money.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I'm going to need to see this, I think
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Brain In A Chair
Brain in a chair, going nowhere
Stuck in your brain and forgetting to care
Get out of that chair and go get some air
Better start treating your body fair
Eyes glaze as you're turning a phrase
Limbs fold up as you gaze and gaze
So much stress trying to get things done
Brain in a chair ain't having no fun
Mind like a fire, ass like a stone
Can't live on numbers and words alone
So much to remember, so much to forget
And somebody's wrong on the Internet.
Brain in a chair, lost in its lair
Cracks in my shoulders give me a scare
Stiff aching fingers never touch a guitar
Time to go somewhere and let's make it far
Haven't had water for twelve solid hours
Riding the wave of my mental powers
All my biology washed down the drain
Nothing left in this chair but a brain
Brain in a chair, going nowhere
Time to stand up and get out of there
Move your body and set yourself free
Go into the bedroom...turn on the TV.
Way Back In The 1960s
Season 6 of Mad Men presents us with a Don Draper hellbent on undoing any sign of growth we might have seen in him in the previous two seasons. After bottoming out in 1965 with alcoholic blackouts and creepy, destructive sexual power-tripping, he pulled himself together and married a smart, assertive young woman who kept him interested enough that he seemed to be making a real effort to make his second marriage something his first could never be: a real partnership. Fast forward to 1968 and Don is back to his 1960 self, luxuriating in the privileges of the double standard that allow him to pout jealously over his actress wife playing a love scene in a soap opera one minute and mess around with the bored stay-at-home housewife downstairs in the next. Don's pathetic, threadbare hypocrisy is further underlined by the earlier scene where he and Megan are propositioned by another couple; for a minute the Drapers seem to be on the same page. But while Megan's objections seem straightforward enough (it's just plain skeevy and doubly uncomfortable because she has to work with these people!), for Don this kind of flagrant sexual openness is a violation of the twisted code he lives by where a man indulges his appetites in secret and returns to the "good" woman waiting patiently for him at home.
Deliberate Values Dissonance has always been the point of Mad Men. From the beginning, the show has rubbed your face in the conventional wisdom of 50 years ago. The characters are true to their era, but they're seen through the eyes of a present day audience. The brilliance of the show is the way they've played with that: sometimes blatant (Doctors smoke cigarettes! Everyone drinks at work! Sexual harassment is just a perk of success!), and sometimes jarringly subtle. (Wait a minute, is that family really going to just leave all that trash behind in the park? Ummm...I guess they are, all right. Lady Bird Johnson and "Keep America Beautiful" are still a few years away.) This could have been done in such a way that we are allowed to smugly sit back and look down at those poor ignorant fools from a less enlightened past. But instead, we're given a set of deep, complicated antiheroes negotiating their way through a rapidly changing culture, which has made for some of the most fascinating TV we've had in years. We view this world, so different from our present and yet so much the same, through a lens that adds layers of meaning to everything that happens. If a time traveler took a few episodes of Mad Men and showed them to a Sixties audience, they would (once they got over their shock that this overtly risque stuff was actually a TV show) not see the same show that we do. The most obvious example would be the way the men treat the women. Sexism and even misogyny are simply a fact of life for all of these people. They no more question it than a fish would question water. But we get to see the impact of each casual word or act through the eyes of the female characters, most of whom don't even have the language yet to understand what's being perpetrated on them, but they know they don't like it.
At the same time, there are no cartoon villains in this show. We care about these people, no matter how hideously wrong they are, even tragic douchebag Pete Campbell, who got put in his place deliciously by his wife Trudy the week before. (So deliciously that it's easy to forget the poor woman he was caught cheating with, the evidence taking the form of a horrific beating by her husband. If you needed a reminder that we've progressed a little bit on the issue of domestic violence, look no further.) And there are no flawless heroes either. Megan may be guilelessly honest and sincere, but she's made some ruthless moves to get her acting career off the ground. And even Peggy, our viewpoint character if anyone on this show is, had to betray a friendship for the sake of her job last week, and seems to be OK with that in this episode. Temptation, corruption, workplace politics and, of course, (this is a show about advertising, after all) the art of persuasion keep popping back up as recurring themes. Whenever Don or Peggy delivers a great pitch to a client, the thrills are palpable. And when we see Don do a crappy pitch that falls flat (as we have two shows in a row now, though last week's was deliberate and even brilliant in its passive-aggressiveness), it's painful to watch.
The show first caught my radar when my favorite feminist blogger, Amanda Marcotte, started co-hosting a weekly video critique of the show with partner and fellow blogger Marc Faletti called The Orange Couch, which continues to probe brilliantly into the historical context of each episode, and gives you a more enlightening picture of what it's about than those ubiquitous Banana Republic ads.
By the end of last summer, Davis and I had devoured the first four seasons on Netflix. The fifth season came out on DVD just in time for her birthday, and now we're watching the new season in real time. I've seen a few online naysayers who think the show is going downhill. Nonsense. The characters keep surprising us, but I have yet to see any of them do anything that doesn't ring true.
The other subplot (besides Don's increasingly anachronistic "morals") that caught me was the sudden power struggle between Joan and Harry. Talk about your workplace politics! Both of them have a valid point, but the central bone of contention (Joan has more authority as a partner in the company than Harry, but does that mean she has the right to fire Harry's employees without his permission?) is a controversial one, and the combination of power imbalance and gender dynamics just makes the whole thing murkier. I leaned towards taking Harry's side while knowing that doing so undermines Joan's hard-won authority and respect. There are no good answers. (But we also got to see what may be the beginning of an alliance between Joan and Dawn, which has all kinds of possibilities.) Things are bound to get even messier as 1968 progresses, and I don't want to miss it.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Exactly What We Don't Want To Hear
Scott's music could be glibly classified as "power pop", but his bands would never be mistaken for the late 70s/early 80s wave of skinny-tie bands singing predictable songs about crushes on pretty girls to recycled British Invasion riffs. Every Game Theory or Loud Family album was stuffed with terse, complex, melodic songs that reveled in wordplay without losing their essential warmth. Not the stuff of top 40 hits, and strangely out of time with the aggression of punk or the smoothness of synth-pop, Scott could have ridden the coattails of bands like REM or the Smiths, but the timing wasn't right. (Who can predict these things? A lot of people pretend they can, but in the end all it amounts to is dumb luck, wild guesses and bullshit.) But even if the "heartland indie", "rock of the 80s", and "alternative rock" booms passed him by, Scott always had a hardcore fanbase who loved his unique gifts.
I was always dimly aware of Game Theory, but with so much to pay attention to during the independent music explosion of the 80s, I never made it a priority to check them out. I may have to chalk some of that up to an aversion to more pop-oriented music I had at the time. I felt a need for something more primal and rude. (Less Beatles and Kinks, more Stones and Who, maybe.) I did finally see the light, though, when the Loud Family wound up on the same label (Alias) as my band X-tal, and put out the jaw-droppingly good album Plants And Birds And Rocks And Things. We played a label showcase gig together where I met him for the first time. I don't remember much of our conversation, except that he was an incredibly friendly, upbeat person with a way of putting you at ease. He was the same the other time I met him, when the Loud Family played Terrastock 2 in 1999. Just a genuine, sincere, very cool guy.
His personality came across in everything he did: the songs, the book, or in person. He left behind a wife and two children. He was 53. Strange how, in a week of tragedies and deaths his was the one that affected me most. This was personal. Scott Miller was one of the good ones, and I'm sorry to see him go.
Check out my all-time favorite Loud Family song here. Even with 75% of the lyrics delivered as a spoken-word piece, the tune is ridiculously catchy. The words themselves deserve to be quoted at length; it's the story of a character who spends his life striving to be the quintessential alpha male, only to realize his entire belief system is a ruse. I would love to do a video of this song using nothing but footage of Don Draper in Mad Men:
I used to go out with supermodels
But it didn't make my life okay
I used to be the cold stare, don't care
Stay fresh in the Frigidaire
I just assumed that was a moré*
I didn't spot the setup
I used to get A's in psychology class
But it didn't make my life okay
I used to be the point-blank think tank
What I say or daddy spank
I just assumed that would pay the way
I didn't spot the setup
And I could always be the judge
And bear the grudge
And tell you where you lost it
And I could always be the one
Shade your sun
And steal your fun away
But it didn't make my life okay
BY THE WAY: An untimely death has already garnered Scott some of the attention he deserved more of when he was alive. To catch up with a great artist you may have missed out on, the Loud Family website will get you off to a good start.
*OK, this is driving me slightly nuts. All the lyric websites think he said "amore", but I always assumed it was the singular of "mores" as in cultural values, as in "I just assumed that was the way it was supposed to be." Wordnik claims "the singular is rarely used", but it just seems more right somehow. If only Scott was around to straighten this out...
FURTHER UPDATE: A site has been set up to help out Scott's family. Click here for the Scott Miller Memorial Fund.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Blogging flurry ahead
OK, OK, not exactly five consecutive days. I've got a bunch of drafts piling up that will all spill out on Wednesday and Thursday at this point. Waaaah, work sucks.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Back on the Orange Couch
Monday, April 8, 2013
Tramp The Dirt Down
There's a mighty crisis coming
Peals of thunder, pearls of wisdom
Reagan, Thatcher dead and gone.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The spirit of Confederate treason endures
Raleigh, N.C. — A bill filed by Republican lawmakers would allow North Carolina to declare an official religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Bill of Rights, and seeks to nullify any federal ruling against Christian prayer by public bodies statewide.Why does North Carolina hate America?
"The Constitution of the United States does not grant the federal government and does not grant the federal courts the power to determine what is or is not constitutional; therefore, by virtue of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the power to determine constitutionality and the proper interpretation and proper application of the Constitution is reserved to the states and to the people," the bill states. "Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion."
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
The Persecution and Assassination Of Classic Rock As Performed By The Inmates Of The Deep End Under The Direction Of J Neo Marvin And Big Bad Benny
On this Friday's Deep End, we'll be including a mini-set of songs from the 60s inspired by Marat/Sade, (full title: The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade), a deranged Brechtian satirical play that became an equally deranged movie that launched the career of Glenda Jackson. A piece taking in subjects like madness, revolution, authoritarianism and decadence was bound to resonate with a wide variety of characters on the 60s rock scene. First we have the classically trained folksinger Judy Collins with a medley of musical numbers from the play itself. The shocking, angry lyrics clash perfectly with the genteel chamber music accompanying them. Then comes "The Red Telephone", by the LA band Love, whose leader Arthur Lee seized on the chant of the mob in the mental hospital, "We're all normal and we want our freedom!" as the climax to his epic song of dread from the band's masterpiece, Forever Changes. Finally, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band throw out their own soundcollage/anthem, "We Are Normal," which takes a completely different approach to the same quote.
Marat/Sade, worth seeing:
Judy's take on it, as relevant as ever:
Arthur Lee and Love, essential listening:
The Bonzos, the missing link between the Who and Monty Python:
Ray Collins, eternally hanging out
Monday, April 1, 2013
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20 for March 2013
1. The Who - Dogs - 30 Years Of Maximum R&B
2. Mister Rogers Remixed - Garden of Your Mind - Mister Rogers Remixed
3. Harry Belafonte - Lead Man Holler - Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean
4. The Supremes - Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart - Compact Command Performances: 20 Greatest Hits
5. MJB - Income - How To Abandon Earth
6. Lou Reed - Love Makes You Feel - Lou Reed
7. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Night Shift - Rastaman Vibration
8. Pink Floyd - Main Theme - More
9. Glenda Collins - It's Hard to Believe It - Joe Meek: The Alchemist of Pop: Home Made Hits and Rarities 1959-1966
10. The Soul Syndicate - Harvest Uptown, Famine Downtown - Harvest Uptown, Famine Downtown
11. Siouxsie and the Banshees - 20th Century Boy - Downside Up
12. Kevin Ayers - Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes - Whatevershebringswesing
13. The Granite Countertops - Haystack - Crashing Into The Future
14. X-tal - Union Sunrise - Who Owns Our Dreams
15. Visible Targets - Just For Money - Sub Pop 5 - Cassette 'Zine
16. Shorty Long - Night Fo' Last - Essential Collection
17. Le Tigre - Don't Drink Poison - This Island
18. Ken Nordine - Faces in the Jazzamatazz - The Best of Word Jazz, Vol. 1
19. Heavens To Betsy - Firefly - These Monsters Are Real
20. The Fall - Mike's Love Hexagon - The Real New Fall Album: Formerly 'Country On The Click'
Sunday, March 31, 2013
It really is.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Exclusive Dr. Spaceman track on new compilation
Here is the good doctor's contribution. But check out the whole thing!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
We are disputing their shenanigans and hope to resume normal service soon. In the meantime, you can always buy our music and listen to it all you want!
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
More where that came from (On The Deep End)
On last Friday's show, we played "I Don't Need Help", a track by Johnny K. Killen and the Dynamics, from the marvelous compilation album, Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label. A man is talking to his oldest and closest friend who has helped him in times of need. Suddenly, his friend seems to be showing a little too much interest in our protagonist's sweetheart, and he needs to be set straight:
We've been buddies for a long long timeIt's classic soul, with a catchy tune, a ring of truth and a clever twist on some basic human emotions. How, you wonder, was this NOT a monster hit back in the 60s?
And you've always treated me kind
And whenever I was down and out
You were always there to help me out
But now I see you watching my baby
I see you giving her the eye
Well, let me tell you something:
WITH HER I DON'T NEED HELP
I CAN HANDLE HER ALL BY MYSELF!
Of course, the music business is a ruthless world, and talent does not always equal success, even in the revolutionary years of the 60s and early 70s when anything seemed possible. People have been endlessly rediscovering, reassessing, and reissuing music from also-rans from various musical scenes who have turned out to have back catalogs that match or surpass any of the established acts of the canon. From the Velvet Underground to Rodriguez, artists who went nowhere in their time have eventually made their impact on the world. The whole phenomenon of Nuggets (and its even-more-obscure little brothers like Pebbles and Rubble), from the original double album compiled in the 70s to the Rhino series in the 80s to the various comprehensive box sets of the present day, has shined a light on the once-forgotten geniuses of garage-rock, a genre that was once thought of as horrid trash that had no place in a rapidly progressing musical world.
But what about soul? Where were the great lost artists and songs that couldn't compete with Otis, Aretha, Smokey or James Brown? In the last decade, a small reissue label called Numero has answered this question with the Eccentric Soul series, doing an astounding feat of research and recovery and gifting us with a staggering number of hits from an alternate universe's jukebox. Not everything on these albums hits the mark, but the ones that do will touch places in you you didn't even know were there. I can't recommend them more highly.
Here is Numero's Ken Shipley guesting on the Onion's AV Club, playing some of his personal Eccentric Soul favorites and telling some stories of his own about the project. Absolutely fascinating, and essential for anyone who loves great, passionate music.
We also played a track by the wonderful Lijadu Sisters, a phenomenal pair of identical twin sisters from Nigeria who combined close harmonies, sexy voices, funky African grooves and conscious lyrics. After putting out a series of albums, they resettled in Brooklyn, where they live today. What made them unique was their strong, assertive natures and unwillingness to be stopped by the patriarchial traditions of African society. Here they are, stealing the show in the fascinating Nigerian music documentary, Konkombe:
The sisters' career got a shot in the arm recently when their song "Life's Gone Down Low" was included in the compilation album The World Ends: Afro-Rock & Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria, a mind-opening collection of stunning, funky music that shows how the cultures of the planet influence each other, and how we all recreate our own culture from exposure to others.
Here are the Lijadu Sisters in a more recent video, still as gorgeous and grounded as ever:
We played a classic track by the Pretty Things as well, but the band seems to have ensured that none of their YouTube videos can be embedded, so I'll be leaving them out of this post. Go get yourself some Pretty Things albums right now, though! I recommend S.F. Sorrow, Get The Picture?, and Emotions, in that order. Immerse yourself in the only band that has shared members with both the Rolling Stones and the Mekons! This is the sort of thing The Deep End is all about.
Monday, March 11, 2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Ear Candle business: The new albums are out!
We also have direct links to iTunes for our two newest releases:
Dr. Spaceman - Zwanzig Kilometer Stau
The Experimental Bunnies - Aranka
And yes, there is a Granite Countertops album in the works, but singing and songwriting are forced to take a backseat to schoolwork until the summer comes. By then Neo and Davis will have new songs bursting out of them. So far, the partially-completed ones sound like the 'Tops are on the verge of a great evolutionary leap. It's gonna be worth the wait, we promise!
Saturday, March 2, 2013
The Deep End
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20: February 2013
1. The Velvet Underground - Ocean - 1969: Velvet Underground Live
2. The Rolling Stones - Mona (I Need You Baby) - The Rolling Stones Now!
3. Weekend - Nostalgia - The '81 Demos
4. Serpent Power - Nobody Blues - Serpent Power
5. Soft Machine - Why Are We Sleeping? - The Soft Machine Volumes One And Two
6. The Experimental Bunnies - Ready For Your Instructions - Biology And Physics
7. Curtis Mayfield - Other Side Of Town - Curtis
8. The Cramps - Zombie Dance - Songs The Lord Taught Us
9. Blaims - Can't Sleep - Modoc Records Sampler, Vol. 1
10. The Minutemen - Hell (Second Take) - Ballot Result
11. Jon Langford - Sentimental Marching Song - Skull Orchard Revisited
12. The Experimental Bunnies - No Sleep Till The Pleiades - Aranka
13. The Dirtbombs - Strings Of Life - Party Store
14. Vomit Launch - Lift - Exiled Sandwich
15. nervous norvous - transfusion - lux and ivy's favorites volume one
16. Curtis Mayfield - Hard Times - There's No Place Like America Today
17. Bob Mould - The Descent - Silver Age
18. Siouxsie And The Banshees - Icon - Join Hands
19. The Kinks - Flash's Dream (The Final Elbow) - Preservation Act
20. Scott Walker - Epizootics! - Bish Bosch
Thursday, February 14, 2013
The tyranny of consensus?
Friday, February 1, 2013
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20 for January 2013
1. The Pretty Things - There Will Never Be Another Day - Emotions
2. Slim Gaillard - Dunkin' Bagel - Vout For Voutoreenees
3. Jefferson Airplane - Spare Chaynge (Complete) - The After Bathing At Baxters Sessions
4. Cryptohelix - Sun Sets On Empire - Cryptohelix
5. Tarnation - Burn Again - Gentle Creatures
6. The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth - Transcendental Youth
7. The Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass - Theme De Yoyo - Les Stances a Sophie
8. Robert Wyatt - Sea Song - Rock Bottom
9. Patti Smith - Tarkovsky (The Second Stop Is Jupiter) - Banga
10. The Lijadu Sisters - Life's Gone Down Low - The World Ends: Afro Rock & Psychedelia In 1970s Nigeria
11. Jah Wobble & Keith Levene - Understand Dub - Yin & Yang
12. The Granite Countertops - Picking A Fight - Crashing Into The Future
13. Go Team - Bikini Twilight - Go Team 7" Vinyl
14. David Bowie - Fantastic Voyage - Lodger
15. Rufus Thomas - Itch And Scratch (Part 1) - The Funkiest Man Alive: The Stax Funk Sessions 1967-1975
16. Roger Ruskin Spear - Make Yourself A Happiness Pie - Electric Shocks +
17. They Might Be Giants - The Bloodmobile - Here Comes Science
18. LaVern Baker - Jim Dandy - Soul on Fire: The Best of LaVern Baker
19. The Mothers Of Invention - You Didn't Try To Call Me - The MOFO Project_Object
20. Jon Langford & Skull Orchard - Flag of Triumph - Old Devils
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Ear Candle Radio's Top 20 for December 2012
1. Poly Styrene - Black Christmas - Black Christmas
2. Toiling Midgets - Preludes - Dead Beats
3. Mark Silverman - I Can't Dance - Perverse Milkman Art
4. Angel Corpus Christi - Encore - Angel Does X-tal - EP
5. The Quails - Your Heart Is A Muscle The Size Of A Fist - Atmosphere
6. Nervous Norvous - Transfusion - Lux and Ivy's Favorites Volume One
7. Husker Du - I Apologize - New Day Rising
8. Them - Could You, Would You - The Story Of Them
9. Siouxsie and the Banshees - 20th Century Boy - Downside Up
10. Sandy Bull - Carnival Jump - Re-Inventions
11. Poly Styrene - No Rockefeller - Generation Indigo
12. New Order - Ceremony (1st Version) - Ceremony: 30th Anniversary 'Record Store Day' Edition
13. The Kinks - You Make It All Worthwhile - Soap Opera
14. The Controllers - Electric Church - Tooth And Nail Comp.
15. Celine Keller and Holger Fath-Tati - Turnaround - Turnaround Soundtrack
16. X-tal - Smells Like Smoke - Good Luck
17. Nat King Cole - L-O-V-E - 100% Swing
18. Moon Duo - Seer - Mazes
19. Kristin Hersh - Your Ghost - Hips And Makers
20. Danger Can - Jet Turbo Theme - Let's Get Clecky!