Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cassette Commotion! program 1

Well, here we are ... the last Tuesday of the first month of 2012 ...

Last year on each of these particular Tuesdays, I decided to release a new "Thrift Store Vinyl Radio" program, and putting each show together ended up being a ton of fun. I haven't completely ruled out doing more of those shows this year, but I did realize recently that I have a HUGE amount of cassette tapes which have really amassed through the years, half of which I have NO IDEA what is on them ...

Soooo I thought it'd be quite an audio adventure to go through them and make a sort of strange "grab bag" kind of mixtape/sound collage radio show out of what I happened to find on them!

My basic "process" was taking handfuls of tapes and randomly placing them in plastic grocery bags, thus separating them. Then, for each show I will dump the load of tapes (one bag at the end of each month) onto the floor and just record stuff from what I come across!

Some tapes have no writing on them whatsoever, so in that respect I'm gonna have to simply say that the track is either "found sound" or maybe just guess at who the artist is ... haha ... I'm stoked about completely RANDOM this process will be! Going to thrift stores and not really having a set item that I'm looking for is such a passion of mine ... I love just suddenly chancing upon all sorts of hidden treasures and odd gems that I never expected to discover ... This will more or less be my attitude and philosophy with this "radio program" ...

And with that in mind, let's pop open the 1st bag and just see what happens! As always ... ENJOY!!!

(The 3rd track on this particular show is taken from a cassette by the local musician, Tan Lnz from Gadsden, AL and his stuff is pretty amazing! Check out his blog RIGHT HERE!)

You can download the mix HERE.


2 random news items =

1. John Wendel posted this wonderful piece about the music of my favorite band ever, The Smiths that recently aired on NPR ... Have a listen : "Long Live The Smiths' Complete Works" ... thanks a ton, John!!!

2. Listen to this eye-opening piece about Alabama's absolutely embarrassing and horrible immigration law that aired on "This American Life" RIGHT HERE. Shame, shame Alabama lawmakers.



1stly, Justin posted this awesome undergroundFrench 1977 classic by Plastic Bertrand ... cheers, J-Unit! =

Ryan posted this sppoky trailer for the new Die Antwoord album ... yikes! Thanks, R! =

And John Wendel posted this intense Boris video for their 2009 song, "Pink" ... Danke, John! =

Roy Burns recently posted this paint-smeared madness by Nurses ... Gracias! =

This 'un by Ant'lrd (Colin Blanton, originally from B'ham) has some rather cool old film footage in it =

Speaking of old film footage, this one by The Caretaker is chock full of it ... Creepy meets sleepy! =

Funnily enough, this next video actually sounds like something The Caretaker would do, but the sound is amazingly produced by actual TREERINGS ... It's a modified turntable that reads treerings and makes piano music out of them! HERE's the article and here's the video =

Dessert is upon us!

Jennifer Harrell posted this 1st one and I think it's hilarious! Kudos to this violinist for his grand sense of humor! Thanks, Jennifer! =

And Jennifer's sister, Sarah Harrell posted this funny early Woody Allen stand-up routine, "The Moose" ... cheers, Sarah! =

Oh Lord! Ryan sent me this ridiculous screaming preacher ... haha!!! Wow! =

And finally, Roy posted this dad and 2 kids performing "Everything Counts" by Depeche Mode ... Excellent! Merci! =

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Focal Point : Cocteau Twins

Cocteau Twins.

I don't even know where to start. This band has amazed and perplexed and entertained my ears for so many years. Although they dissolved in 1997, to this day their sound continues to transcend anything and everything else around them. The music of Robin Guthrie and Simon Raymonde seems to be spun from color-soaked dream clouds floating in some ethereal other-world, while Elizabeth Fraser's voice bounces, floats and flies through their sonic atmosphere like some elated angel, a soaring bird, an audible aura ...

And that honestly is the best I can describe their sound ...

... Sigh ...

It feels appropriate that I actually don't have words to accurately explain Cocteau Twins' music because so often, Elizabeth Fraser didn't actually sing lyrics, but rather she just sang sounds and syllables, like musically imitating the sounds a baby would make ... It's been defined as Glossolalia or mouth music, and in a way it sort of sets the listener free ... You find yourself simply listening to the human voice as a beautiful instrument instead of reacting to words and sentences and meanings ...

And on that note, may I proudly present to you the pure ecstatic joy that is Cocteau Twins =

You can download the mix HERE.

Here are a few music videos by Cocteau Twins =


Etta James passed away at the age of 73 last Friday, Jan. 20th.
What a voice she had. Rest in peace.


Dig this new release by Jack Vogt on Birmingham's own Step Pepper Records label ... It's total awesomeness! Listen to it RIGHT HERE.


Ready for a sheer ton of great V*I*D*E*O*S ???

1st up, Elise sent me this awesome one about "solar bottle lightbulbs", saying "Change the world. I love soda bottle recycling! All kinds - but this one is epic WIN!" ... agreed! Thanks, E !!! =

Peaking Lights are my favorite band right now ... here's their very wonderful video for "Hey Sparrow" =

Wow. I dig stuff like this ... It's an Animal Collective time lapse video of them recording their album "Strawberry Jam" ... neat-o! =

This next one's from Laura and it's Ohama with a cover version of "My Time"by Tona Walt Ohama ... it's weird and pop-arty how these days folks just take clips from movies and make new things out of em! Nice ... Cheers, Laura! =

Yes! A New Wes Andersion movie is on the horizon!!! =

Yes! Crazy, experimental Colin Stetson stuff! =

It's Tuneyards, live on Jimmy Kimmel! So good ... =

Classic stuff!!! Weston Flippo posted this next one ... It's The Cramps live at a mental institution ... Love it ... danke, Weston! =

And this one's for Ryan, cuz he indeed loves Xiu Xiu ... =

A triple-decker dessert is upon us ...

1. Elise sent me this one called "video for Briona" and it kills me ... Not so much funny as it is ANNOYING and CREEEEPY ... yikes! Gracias, "baby girl" ! haha =

2. Speaking of CREEEEEPY, Maz sent me this totally and completely insane McDonalds commercial ... Corporate nightmares! Merci, Maz! =

3.And lastly, this one's from Ryan ... the Magic Poop Collector to the rescue! haha!!! Bless you, Ryan! =

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

How To Listen To Now 2011

I'm like 2 weeks behind in getting this out, but whatever! Time to celebrate the shit-ton of grrrreat sounds that came out during 2011!

It's funny ... I've made these "How To Listen To Now" best-of-each-year mixtapes for what ... 6 years now ... and it's strange just how very difficult the task is to gather up in one single, solid mix all of the good music that I've encountered during the course of an entire year ...

So often in hindsight I end up either regretting some of the song choices I included OR discovering a band or an album after the fact and wishing it had been on the mix. ARGH!!!

As silly as it sounds, last year when getting HTLTN 2010 together, an actual deciding factor in picking out the songs was whether or not each one had a music video or not! And that decision was founded simply because I knew I was presenting the mix on this blog and I thought it'd be cool if each one also had an exciting visual counterpart ... (It just happened to also help me narrow down the list of which songs to include) ...

As I recall, I ended up regretting it because SO many great songs from last year just didn't have a video ... and as a result, I feel like the mix doesn't truly reflect what I was enjoying musically that year ...

SOOOOO ... This year I decided to just be completely honest and include anything and everything that I felt was a powerful sonic experience for me ... I wanted to be able to listen to the mix years from now and be able to not only enjoy the songs for themselves, but to also celebrate the particular memories I have attached with each song and remember what I was doing and how I was feeling the very 1st time I heard each one ... and oddly enough not all, but many of my choices just happen to have accompanying music videos ... so YAY!

But enough of my sentimental jabbering! Here's the mix already!
How To Listen To Now 2011 ... As always ... ENJOY!!! =

Wanna download the mix?
Well, you can HERE.


Speaking of 2011 music, one of my favorite music blogs is Aquarium Drunkard, and they did an epic 2011 year in review, listing TONS of great albums, along with song samples from each one ... Check out the coolness RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.

And speaking of cool, Laura Ledbetter (who's contributed many a marvelous mix to Psychic Tuesday, btw!) has a totally excellent treasure chest of a blog ... chock-full of amazing photos, videos and incredibly interesting what-nots! You can dig it all HERE.


And now may I present ... 2011 : the year in videos!!!

The Drums "Money" =

Tuneyards "Bizness" =

David Lynch "Good Day Today" =

Crystal Stilts "Sycamore Tree" live =

Peaking Lights "Tiger Eyes (Laid Back)" =

no video for Tom Waits' song "Bad As Me", but this 'Listening Party' clip is pretty damned excellent (and funny) !!! =

John Maus "Believer" =

PJ Harvey "The Words That Maketh Murder" =

no video for Girls Names "Cut Up", but here's one for their song "Bury Me" =

no video for Cloud Nothings' "Been Through" but here's one for their song "Should Have" =

Ty Segall "You Make The Sun Fry" live =

The War On Drugs "Baby Missiles" =

Panda Bear "Slow Motion" =

no video for Julian Lynch's "Canopy" but here's one for his song "Back" =

Washed Out "Eyes Be Closed" =

M83 "Steve McQueen" live =

The Soft Moon "Circles" =

Radiohead "Lotus Flower" =

Dirty Beaches "Lord Knows Best" =

Kurt Vile "Jesus Fever" =

Julianna Barwick "The Magic Place" =

Wow ... That was a LOT of videos!
Now for a small, but satisfying double-decker dessert ...

Seth Persons recently posted this classic Nick At Nite commercial saying :
"I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday, but I can remember all the words to a Nick at Nite commercial that aired when I was twelve." Haha ... cheers, Seth! =

And Justin Cordes posted this crazy and funny Turkish Dr. Who thingy ... thanks, J-unit! =