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Tag Archives: reggae
Blacklisted — Neko Case
Chicago Transit Authority — Chicago
Chronological Calloway Vol. 1: The Early Years 1930-1934 — Cab Calloway
Do It Again — Röyksopp & Robyn
Dreaming of You — Selena
The Feast of the Broken Heart — Hercules & Love Affair
January 07003 | Bell Studies for the Clock of the Long Now — Brian Eno
Los Angeles 6/10 — Daedelus / Teebs
Lost in the Spectacle — York Factory Complaint
On the Water — Future Islands
Suicide — Suicide
World Psychedelic Classics, Vol. 4: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia: Nobody Can Live Forever — Tim Maia
Yellow mY skYcaptain — Paz Lenchantin Continue reading
my friends have marvelous taste in music, which they sometimes demonstrate via pay-what-you-want demos
i once had an uncle who firmly believed that any bodily ailment could be cured with a little hot water. cut yourself? no alcohol, no hydrogen peroxide, no antibacterial nothing… just rub it under some hot water for however long you can stand, and you’ll be just fine. inflated lids? aching tummy? broken bones? hot hot hot!!! fucking water. his fascination with the miraculous effects of steaming fluids flew far beyond the even relatively acceptable realms of reason. suffering from heartbreak? get in the shower, and don’t come out until you’ve stopped crying.
oh wait… it wasn’t my uncle that believed that stuff. it was me!
god all i ever do on this fucking thing is write about myself.
Christ. i just did a fucking search (lord why the fuck do i swear so fucking much?) of my entire blog, and found zero instances of the phrase “Radio Lily.” how the hell did i get to like post 4,073 and never mention Radio motherfucking Lily. Radio Lily, which broadcasts live daily from a small spot in New York City, does this exact thing 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
that is, it spins curvy reggaeish music.
a girl named Sara introduced me to Radio Lily. i am eternally grateful to her for the gift… so much so that i often think about her and wonder whether she’ll actually visit me in SF like she’s promised on several occasions. i just want to pull a blunt w her again and blast Lily on Lily. that’d be nice.
i write the strangest things on my phone’s notepad, like this: “nobody’s whiter than Jack White, no matter the clothes he wears nor the grow he hairs.” i was high on white and weed watching the very man wank around onstage when i wrote the lines, so i have very little insight into what the fuck i was actually trying to say. maybe you can guess?
outside lands was so good. extra sweet because of the free vip pass for the entire weekend. sheesh. here are some other amazing acts i caught:
huh? what? there were all these, like, legendary dudes gripping their legendary weapons, and then, like, you break the pattern with some legendary dudes gripping their weapons too far in the distance for me to notice and some horse banner thing. some crazy horse banner thing. and then i’m just, like, standing here holding this harmonica, listening to pretty aery girl pick her banjo like a badass, and i’m like, what? huh?
what makes me so sure that any of this is worth publishing on the Internet?
here’s another note from my phone: “how is a string of hair a dj?” see, the funniest thing to me about all these notes is how nonsensical they are even to me, the supposed author. the vast majority of the time i’m compelled to pull my phone out of my pocket, tap ‘Notes’, and scrawl down some craziness like “how is a string of hair a dj,” i am pretty fucked up on at least one thing. and every one of those times, without fail, i convince myself that i can get away with writing something like eight words to convey the thousand page manuscript of an idea exploding inside my head. i convince myself that, with just those eight words, i will be able to reconstruct the manuscript at a later date. this is rarely, if ever, the case. how is a string of hair a dj? only god knows now.
just below that nonsense, however, is something that makes sense to me. it’s the name of a song i started singing one night:
it came directly from the heart. crawled out of my bloody valves, climbed up my esophagus, and collapsed a spineless critter on the span of my tongue, the song. i had spent the entire day, evening, and night w a girl and her friends, but i couldn’t be w them anymore. they were drunk and couldn’t stop singing songs. it wasn’t about pounding corn to the rhythm of the sun or strumming strings to the pleasing of our guts, no no no. it was all about hitting a note at the proper time and coming up with clever lyrics to match the proper rhyme. i was bored and/or lazy. so i retreated into the stranger’s house, being house sat by a bunch of irresponsible vagrants like us, and scraped the critter off my tongue w my iphone. the operation, to this day, has resulted in zero complications.
i have no idea what that’s about either. i thought it may have been an artist and album, but i can’t find anything of the sort.
201206241522. i’m listening to the original version of “Blue Monday” as performed by the illustrious New Order. i am rocking and dancing and shaking my head, as i am apt to do when listening to a single considered to be the best-selling 12″ of all time, when i hear the line “those who came before me.” i then have a thought. an idea. specifically, the development of an idea. you know how the catholic church used to have everybody at mass, including the pastor leading the fucking thing, facing the same direction? and then they changed it to the priest facing the congregation. well, the next step is everyone facing each other. OH WAIT THAT’S ALREADY EVERY DANCE PARTY EVER. okay, i get it; i think a little too catholic. so stab me.
Itty Bitty Nitty Gritty Heart. Continue reading
ooh… i feel love i feel love i feel love i feel love i feel love….. consider me an official convert of the Church of Bellotte, Moroder, and Summer, because this shit is seriously the meaning of life and death right here. singing, moaning lovely, simple poetry over a repetitive, thumping synth line that could have come out yesterday, Donna Summer proved to me in just under six minutes why she is called the Queen of Disco. said David Bowie in 1989: “One day in Berlin … Eno came running in and said, ‘I have heard the sound of the future.’ … he puts on ‘I Feel Love’, by Donna Summer … He said, ‘This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.’ Which was more or less right.”
before 2010, all i knew about Carly Simon was that she was some alright white chick from my parent’s time that made one popular song which my favorite band from high school managed to incorporate pretty interestingly into my least favorite song by them. oh, but now, she is so much more. i think during the summer, Stalker posted a YouTube link to this song on his Facebook, and i am so fucking glad i caught it. it’s eight minutes of Simon singing “why. does your love. hurt so much. don’t know why.” over the most bombastic drum and bassline of all fucking time, highlighted by colorful keys in dub rhythm. what. the. fuck. it goes on forever, it sounds the same the whole song through, but it never gets old. fucking blast it.
this track needs no introduction. well, it shouldn’t. but it took me until january 2010 to discover this musical gold. “don’t push me ’cause i’m close to the edge, i’m trying not to to lose my head. it’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how i keep from going under.” and quite possibly the most superb beat ever produced. or at least the first (this shit preceded Dr. Dre’s chronic tunes by a decade!) i hardly give a shit that he’s rapping about something “real” because i’m too busy bobbing my head in sonic ecstasy. i think i’m seeing a trend here. i like my singles to be BASSY.
god look at all those sparkles on that album art; Music & Lights, that’s where it’s at. so where Grandmaster Flash sung about the hard-knock street life, Boney M. sings about… a Russian mystical legend named Rasputin, in the silliest way possible. i’m really not sure if these guys had any other hits, but it doesn’t really matter because “Rasputin” has everything: delicious disco beat (based on a Turkish folk song), male and female duet, a chorus that you can’t not sing along to, and motherfucking handclaps. hey! hey! hey! hey! hey! hey! hey! hey! let’s fucking rebel against the system! and fucking dance at the same time!
okay, i’ll just throw this out there. maybe, just maybe, i wouldn’t love this song so much if Jacob hadn’t thrown it on while i was on the peak of my very first roll. oh god i’m so glad he did though. i was a free-floating space effigy, representing everything horrible in the world, and i was fucking burning. burning burning burning burning and dancing like a desert phantom with mind-altering ice cubes melting at a million miles per second in the palms of my hands. “go downtown with the drugs in my body, step back up i’m the life of the party, come back home and we’ll get something started, stay up late put some heat in my heartache.” yup.
i’m starting to think that singles even more than albums draw their power from nostalgia. this was the very first song i heard Panda Bear perform live. Andrew D. mailed me his Pitchfork ticket, i hopped on a plane for free with my mom’s passes, flew to Ontario (a nice place to potentially get “stranded”), flew to Chicago, took the L downtown, walked into Union Park with a backpack carrying a couple days of clothes and sunglasses hiding yesterday’s ophthalmologist attack on my eyes, walked up to Noah’s stage (after securing an actual roof to sleep under [love you, Nora & Erin]), bummed a puff from some kids, and bowed to the awesome unintelligible sublimity that is “Drone.”
ohh… love to love you baby… sound familiar? yes, it’s Miss Summer singing about how lovely love is, but this time she does it for seventeen minutes (the version above is a ridiculous three minutes, so unfortunate), and instead of doing it over a track that is the future of music, she does it over the music that fits the era better–smooth, funky disco perfection. half the time you can’t tell whether she’s singing or orgasming. (Wikipedia said the idea at first made her uncomfortable, naturally enough.) half the time you can’t tell whether you’re listening to music or orgasming. i wonder what it’s like to have sex to this song…
nine minutes of crying, “Love Cry.” i played this for a friend who knew and enjoyed Four Tet’s older material, but to this he said something like, “what is this dancy house bullshit?” oh yes, all electronic musicians must bow down to the Great Disco Ball in the sky at some point in their careers, it is inevitable. i first downloaded this when it was released at the end of 2009, was reminded of it at senior week in San Diego, and it cemented itself in my soul at Treasure Island, when Kieran Hebden performed it as the San Francisco sun set behind the city, leaving only cold and clouds. Love Cry… Love Cry.. Love Cry.. Love Cry..
i’ve come to realize that i am (at least) a complete sucker for two qualities in music. one, music about music. two, Minimalism. now, “Tomboy” is probably even closer to just plain old rock than the ~Minimalist work i mentioned in my last post, Fly Pan Am, but if you just focus on the guitar portion of the song, you might see what i’m seeing. first chord first measure, second chord second measure, third chord strum for four measures. repeat. it’s as if the first two chords are flight preparation and the third chord is the spiral into infinity. listen to it loud on headphones. i’m a stoner and i can’t fucking wait for Panda Bear’s LP to come out this year.
you didn’t really think Sublime wrote their own music, did you? just kidding. i’m going to spare you the WHICH IS BETTER THE COVER OR THE ORIGINAL? argument (though, for the record, i ordinarily prefer the original), but this version of probably the best stupidest smoking anthem ever is just undeniable reggay goodness. gone is the Reefer Madness sample, gone are the endless bong rips, gone are the turntable scratches, all that’s left is sincere stoned singing and a rocking band burning happily for a few minutes. now i just want someone to tell me why Sublime cut quite possibly the greatest lyric from their cover: “i smoke two joints when i play video games and at every 10,000 points (i smoke two joints).” Continue reading
everything’s so crazy. i’ve just been rethinking more intensely than i have for awhile that i’m actually in Athens. i guess i stopped thinking about it as i settled in more, but the arrival of my family (minus danny) on sunday really just brought it all back.
following two days of awesome class trips (but also early class trips), i thought i’d take advantage of saturday night and get tanked. Elaina, Hannah, Sam and i taxied up to the Maddy-Xanthe-Caitlin place where we all had a little whiskey, a little vodka, a little tequila, before heading out to monastiraki. i don’t remember what the original plans were, but the revised plans involved this place called spirit. thank god i had drunk myself into at least a hint of aggression and said Fuck. No. We are going to the dirty alley.
oh, the dirty alley. monastiraki bustles with night life, but there’s this one dirty little sketch alley that intrigued me from week one in this ancient city, but i’d only gone there once, when andreas’ friend took me. so we went. and it rocked. a small bar, rock & roll, cool people, and enough girls to make me think i found a lesbian bar (it wasn’t). a few minutes after arriving, i get a call from my dad saying he just landed at the airport. ! i had no idea, i thought they were coming sunday afternoon. i tell him where i’m at and to give me a call when he gets to his hotel, a five minute walk from the bar we’re at.
a couple drinks later i get the call and billy and my dad come down to meet us. i’m still pretty trashed and it blows my mind to see people i associate with a different half of the world. anyway, they came back to the bar we had all been at, it’s blasting music still, and my dad buys me and my six friends a round of drinks. he has a cigar with a beer and looks sooooooooooo cool. i go between talking (yelling) with them and dancing with the girls. crazy weird funny great night.
on sunday i woke up early (10am) to meet the family by 11. i tried to be a good tour guide, but i haven’t even done half this stuff myself. and this is actually the reason. i know i’m going to have many opportunities to visit the Acropolis, so why bother doing it until the super-tourists come? we saw the beauty that is 2500 years of decay, walked through the ancient Agora and then the new one, where they have a ruckus of selling instead of ruins. we got some delicious lunch, lazied around in their hotel, walked through the National Gardens to my apartment, where we lazied around some more before visiting a local cafe and enjoying life. everyone napped and we met later (i brought Elaina) for dinner in psiri.
today i fucking aced my mythology midterm. maybe i really should stop being so cocky about it. i might end up being severely disappointed. in lit, we’re back to poetry. we’re reading Giorgos Seferis, one of the most important modern Greek poets, greatly influenced by Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, among others. i hope you’re ready for some excerpts. from The King of Asini:
And the poet lingers, looking at the stones, and asks himself
does there really exist
among these ruined lines, edges, points, hollows and curves
does there really exist
here where one meets the path of rain, wind and ruin
does there exist the movement of the face, shape of the tenderness
of those who’ve waned so strangely in our lives,
those who remained the shadow of waves and thoughts with the sea’s boundlessness
or perhaps no, nothing is left but the weight
the nostalgia for the weight of a living existence
there where we now remain unsubstantial, bending
like the branches of a terrible willow tree heaped in unremitting despair
while the yellow current slowly carries down rushes uprooted in the mud
image of a form that the sentence to everlasting bitterness has turned to stone:
the poet a void.
i’ve been really fascinated reading this stuff, because of the references made to ancient Greek mythology. you find the references throughout all the famous literature of the world, but it’s different here. it’s like the poets are grasping with how they should identify with their, if not blood ancestors, then at least their geographical ancestors. decay of great civilizations, everything to nothing, who am i? from Helen:
Nightingale nightingale nightingale,
what is a god? What is not a god? And what is there in
man? man, from Last Stop:
‘The same thing over and over again,’ you’ll tell me, friend.
But the thinking of a refugee, the thinking of a prisoner, the thinking
of a person when he too has become a commodity —
try to change it; you can’t.
Maybe he would have liked to stay king of the cannibals
wasting strength that nobody buys,
to promenade in fields of agapanthi
to hear the drums with bamboo overhead,
as courtiers dance with prodigious masks.
But the country they’re chopping up and burning like a pine tree — you see it
either in the dark train, without water, the windows broken, night after night
or in the burning ship that according to the statistics is bound to sink —
this is rooted in the mind and doesn’t change
this has planted images like those trees
that cast their branches in virgin forests
so that they rivet themselves in the earth and sprout again;
they cast their branches that sprout again, striding mile after mile;
our mind’s a virgin forest of murdered friends.
And if I talk to you in fables and parables
it’s because it’s more gentle for you that way; and horror
really can’t be talked about because it’s alive,
because it’s mute and goes on growing:
drips by day drips in sleep.
i think this has actually been my favorite poet so far. maybe it’s because he often uses words like “abyss” and “everywhere.” i like that. on wednesday i have to present on his other poems in relation to the Wasteland, by Eliot. wish me luck.
want to know something funny? i’m already working on a mix for the summer. i love you, Adam, for starting this last summer. i am already so pumped: i’ve got 5 songs, 16:40, 2007/1970/1971/2009/1981, electronic/rock/reggae. i hope you’re all as excited as i am.
last night was the second night in a row that i went out against my own will: this time because it was an opportunity to hang out with actual Greeks. a couple days ago i mentioned that i met my friend Andreas’ cousin Theos and this girl(friend?) of his. well he invited me out last night, so Elaina and i went up to monastiraki, met up with him, and made our way to a small, loud little bar. i had been in this neighborhood before and i had specifically seen the dark alley before where you can find this bar. i’m glad i actually went there this time. i think the place plays different music depending on the night (last night we were promised live music and disappointed by the lack thereof) and last night it was all punk/reggae/ska. i knew the Sublime song, the Toots song, and recognized the Flogging Molly and Offspring. Elaina pretty much named every single other song with no problem. after leaving, the punk and i went to her apartment and bullshitted around for awhile, before i sleepily walked home.
i love music! i love music projects! Dan commented on my last.fm yesterday, suggesting that we exchange lists of “the greatest albums of all time. that means: most personal, most unique, most mind-boggling, most catchiest, and by far the most important of all, most ‘you need to hear this album before you die’-est…oh, one more stipulation. if you (or i) see an album we haven’t heard, we have to immediately download and listen to it. that’s how good they oughta be. and i say this with around a dozen+ gigs of unlistened music…” i love this kind of shit! you’ll notice we’re trying to avoid the insanely obvious (The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc., although Dan kind of cheated with Piper). i’m passing on his list to you because it has a lot of great music on it:
- (1971) Bob Marley and the Wailers – African Herbsman
- (1968) The Zombies – Odessey and Oracle
- (1977) Wire – Pink Flag
- (1970) Nick Drake – Pink Moon
- (1967) Pink Floyd – Piper at the Gates of Dawn
- (1980) The Raincoats – The Raincoats
- (1979) Public Image Ltd. – Second Edition.
- (1991) Slint – Spiderland
- (1971) Can – Tago Mago
- (2002) Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People
lacking surprises, here’s my list:
- (1996) Tool – AEnima
- (2007) daft punk – Alive 2007
- (2005) Devendra Bahart – Cripple Crow
- (2001) Aphex Twin – drukQs
- (1969) King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King
- (1970) Miles Davis – Live-Evil
- (1998) Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children
- (2007) Panda Bear – Person Pitch
- (2002) Nine Inch Nails – Still
- (2004) mum – Summer Make Good
i find our picks interesting in their differences. the most obvious difference is genre. Dan’s run the (post)punk/rock route while mine features way more electronica. i guess it comes down to the years. i ran the numbers and the average year for Dan’s list is 1977.6, whereas mine is 1995.9. number and genre games aside, both of these lists feature absolutely stellar music and you should download every single one you don’t have and don’t listen to anything else ever. if you want to get in on this fun, just post some albums on my last.fm. stick to maybe ten, since that’s the precedent that Dan set (and i don’t want to download a million more albums….. or do i?). Continue reading