Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Brian's Alabama Goddamn Mix

(photo by Spider Martin)

This mixtape was created for you by the incomparable Brian Teasley ... it is entirely different from his last contributed mix (Xmas In July Mix) and I really love listening to it, not only because it's so unique, but because it also feels historic and the songs strangely make me feel both shamelessly and shamefully proud of my home and my southern heritage ...

it's located right HERE

and while yer listening, here's a word from Brian himself:


For some time now, I’ve collected songs about Birmingham, and, Alabama in general. It’s unbelievable how many amazing 78s were recorded between 1920-1935 that reference Birmingham either in lyric or title, or very often, both (conveniently "Alabam" and "Birmngham" rhyme, and that's a fact often taken advantage of in many of these ditties). Obviously, I couldn’t include a tenth of the songs that wax poetic about the Heart of Dixie or, for that matter, the Magic City itself, but, unequivocally, the songs on this compilation are some of my personal favorites.

Many here are obvious and well known, and a few are somewhat rare. I should state that there is also a myriad of phenomenal field recordings captured by musicologists / documentarians which were made between 1920-1950 or so. I didn’t include any of those because I thought that, for the uninitiated, the harsh, scratchy recordings might be hard to bear, but there are indeed so many of these absolutely brilliant performances from people who very likely never even heard the recordings they made. Also, even up to recently, everyone from Huey Lewis to Ani Defranco to the Drive-By Truckers has written entire songs about or at least referenced Birmingham. I avoided those, because I simply don’t like them or, as is the case with the Truckers and others, thought absolutely everybody has heard them by now.

I am proud of my Alabama heritage and am constantly amazed at the degree to which I have been shaped by my childhood here, my long exodus, and my eventual return. That said, I do have a love / hate relationship with Alabama, and you will find the authors of these songs, probably for both similar and distinctly singular reasons, seem to grapple with this as well.

Some of these tunes are silly and about the rather swingin’ or wildly rambunctious South, some are deeply sad and remarkably capture the strife of slavery and the struggle of the Civil Rights movement, and many are just about passing through on the way to some place else, and likewise, in the greater scheme of life, I am glad that I, for better or worse, have “passed” through this place myself.

I do hope you enjoy this comp. and will begin (or continue) your own hunt for gems in the ruff of Alabama music history. Thanks for checking them out.

--Brian Teasley,


once again, thanks Brian!

What a fun and productive week! I had a wonderful birthday last Tuesday ... Peter's long-distance sweetie, Christine was in town and she not only treated us to some delicious Makario's cuisine, but also made us vegan mint-chocolate cupcakes and pumpkin pie!!! mmm -mmm! We had a nice fire in the backyard, too and afterwards I partied a bit more at Bottletree cuz that night also happened to be their 3rd anniversary!

In Fred & Daily news, we spent this past weekend shooting a video for the song "Jingle Bell Bitz" from our newly released Christmas album, "Hairy Crimmah On Ice" (free download until Dec. 1st!) ... Brian Teasley also lent us his "elves & Santa" costumes & Xmas stuff which made for a hilarious "elf rap" section! He also arranged a wonderfully surreal "sixties tv show" type segment at Bottletree, too ...yay, Brian! I should have the video edited in a week or so ... it's gonna be nuts-o!!!

Speaking of surreal, in video news, I found 2 really great ones this time... ENJOY!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Was Born Mix

This mixtape will be perfect for:
A. smelling crayons
B. pretending yer bedroom is the entire world
C. blowing out candles
D. smelling roses from graveyards
E. backyard fires with friends

HERE is where you can partake of it.


Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah! You say it's yer birthday!
Dah dah dah dah dah dah dah dah! It's my birthday too, yeah!

How charming that this year Peter & I's birthday actually falls on a Tuesday, the day we were born! Yes! I woke up and found this (and an insane list of birthday greetings!) waiting for me on facebook this morning ... thanks, Lucy!!!

Also, Mimi (who's birthday is the day before mine)sent me this wonderful Sesame Street thingy ... btw, my name means "small, but dynamic) ...thanks, Mimi!!!


So, this past week was a pretty good one ... I finished another stack of commissions (witness below) and started the foundations for my shows at Bottletree ("Hybrids") and Barehands ("Ghosts") ... haha ... I took the theme of the Boutwell show and divided it into 2 shows! So, it's been exciting, because both themes are new and experimental for me ... I actually love not knowing what I'm doing and surprising myself with happy accidents and such ...

Also, this past Sunday, most of the Bearons, some members of the Sons Of Pitches team and an assortment of friends played an awesome softball game at Ruffner Park ... we divided into 2 teams of 7 and called ourselves the Crips & the Bloods ... i was on the Crips and we won 13 - 7! In a way, it felt like a happy family reunion, seeing all of my fellow Bearons together after so long ... it was also heaps and heaps of fun! Again, photographic evidence lies below ...

(wow! my uncle Fritz just called me from Munich, Germany to wish me a happy birthday!)


In Fred & Daily news, we just released our Christmas album! and if you get it before December 1st, it's FREE! take a LOOK!

And lastly, in video news, I came a cross 3 pretty amazing ones (if the image gets cut off, just click the video itself) ... ENJOY:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Josh's Polyatom II : Barbarian World Mix

This mixtape was created for you by Mr. Josh Cooley ... the monumental 2nd installment in his Polyatom series ... The adventure continues in this rollcoaster ride of a mix, dropping us into an ever-shifting menagerie of madness, masks, miraculous mistakes and marvelous maniacs! who could want more?! once again, thank you Josh!

dive in right HERE!


Oh I wish I could say that now that the Moss Rock Festival is over I can now just lay down my brushes and hibernate in my bed for a full month ... but I CAN'T!!! haha ... no ... to be honest, I'm actually pretty excited about the pieces that I'm working on for both my December Bottletree show and my "water closet installation" at Barehands Gallery ... both will involve me having a bit more fun and experimenting this time ... seems like I can't get enough of that lately...

Speaking of Moss Rock, I did okay ... it just felt a wee bit cramped this year cuz I'm used to having much more room at Magic City (yes, I've been spoiled!) and I didn't know my neighboring artists this time either ... so, yeah it felt kind of weird and claustrophobic ... what helped immensely was seeing my friends and talking to them ... I hope I didn't seem like too much of a grumpy, complainy old man to them! haha ... it was a pretty moody festival for me, overall ...

I've also rediscovered the pleasures of my record player again, since I finally cleaned up the back room, suddenly making my floor-lined vinyl collection visible! Ah, the beauty of cheap and scratchy thriftstore treasures!


video-wise, I found this new one by Jarvis Cocker (of Pulp fame) ... I dunno ... it makes me laugh in a sort of muppet humor way! Plus, he may be my new fashion icon soon ... who knows! haha:

and lastly, the much-loved Grizzly Bear have a beautifully strange clay-filled & dream-like video for their song "Ready Able" ... (once again, the screen gets all chopped-off, so to view the full picture, just click the video) enjoy:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Totally Random Mix 2

This mix tape will be perfect for:
A. turning new leaves
B. looking back on the past, happily or sadly
C. driving aimlessly
D. doing "spring cleaning" in the Fall
E. making conscious changes

you can download it HERE.


Ah November ... the start of the Celtic year ... a time when the veil between this world and that is very thin and spirits glide back & forth between the two ...

I went crazy and totally cleaned up the outside of the house the day after Halloween (which was pretty fun: I went to Bottletree and Philip Griffith's as Where's Waldo this time) ... I also completely cleaned my room, too ... it feels like I cleaned the inside of my head a bit in doing so! I also made a fire in the back yard and thought about a lot of things I would like to do in the future and things about myself that I'd like to change ...

I think it's funny how this year everything was so lined up date-wise: Halloween was on a Saturday ... the time changed Sunday ... Day Of The Dead fell on a full moon (which was a Monday!) and this year Peter and I's birthday will fall on a Tuesday (day we were born) ... also, both Xmas and New Year's will get 3 day weekends cuz they fall on Fridays ... wow

Day Of The Dead at Barehands Gallery was really fun, too as usual ... I took a few photos, which are down below ...

The Moss Rock art festival is this weekend (Nov. 7th & 8th) and I'll be showing new work at that ... here's their site in case you wanna look at it ... my tent number will be 120


in video news, Charlie Smith turned me on to this great band from California called Girls, who released their debut album a couple of weeks ago ... I found two different versions of the video for their single "Lust For Life" (no, it's not an Iggy Pop cover) ... the 1st one's clean and the 2nd one ... well, it's pretty dirty:

(sorry it gets all "chopped off" ... it looks better if you click the video and go to the site)

speaking of Charlie, she also sent me a great video of a live Jonathan Richman performance she shot where he stops playing guitar and happily dances around like a some sort of holy man in a musical trance ... very inspiring! thanks, Charlie!