Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Zoe 5 [Dec 2009]

I actually didn't get this to Zoe in time for her birthday in December 2009. I don't remember why but I was probably just being lazy. Listening back to it now, especially in comparison to the previously posted Zoe 2, I think it's fair to say that my tastes have evolved considerably since 2006. Which isn't to say that this mix doesn't have its fair share of instantly like-able tunes ("Distopian Dream Girl", "Temptation" and "Troubles Will be Gone" are all about as catchy as they come) but, unlike older mixes, it also goes in weirder directions with blissful instrumentals ("Hope", "Miami Morning Coming Down") and long spoken word epics ("Street Hassle", "The Three Great Alabama Icons", "End of Radio").

I've since done another mix for her (which I'll likely post sooner or later) which expands on some of the musical ideas explored here. I'm also currently dragging songs into a folder marked "Zoe 7" that I'll begin sorting through come November. I've mentioned it before, but making mixes is one of the ways in which I explore music and learn more about it.

I do hope, of course, that you, my faithful reader(s), find something to like here too.

Also: if you do like something, go buy the record.

Here's the track-list:

01. Lou Reed - "Street Hassle"
02. Built to Spill - "Distopian Dream Girl"
03. Dirty Three - "Hope"
04. New Order - "Temptation"
05. Drive-By Truckers - "The Three Great Alabama Icons"
06. Earth - "Miami Morning Coming Down"
07. The Mountain Goats - "Color in Your Cheeks"
08. Sonic Youth - "Sympathy for the Strawberry"
09. Silkworm - "Ooh La La"
10. Yo La Tengo - "Nowhere Near"
11. Smog - "Bloodflow"
12. Shellac - "End of Radio"
13. The Tallest Man on Earth - "Troubles Will be Gone"

And here's the download link:



Friday, June 10, 2011

a new war

a different fight now, warding off the weariness of
retreating to your room, stretching out upon the bed,
there’s not much will to move,
it’s near midnight now.

not so long ago your night would just be
beginning, but don’t lament lost youth:
youth was no wonder

but now it’s the waiting on death.

it’s not death that’s the problem, it’s the waiting.

you should have been dead decades ago.
the abuse you wreaked on yourself was
enormous and non-ending.
a different fight now, yes, but nothing to
mourn, only to

frankly, it’s even a bit dull waiting on the

and to think, after I’m gone,
there will be more days for others, other days,
other nights.
dogs walking, trees shaking in
the wind.

I won’t be leaving much.
something to read, maybe.

a wild onion in the gutted

Paris in the dark.

- Charles Bukowski

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stray Marvels: Lifter Puller - "Let's Get Incredible"

As I mentioned in my Hold Steady B-sides post from a few months back, Craig Finn is one of the lyricists I most admire. He's got a striking and original voice, complete with unique phrasing and offbeat imagery; oddly grounded and yet almost more poetic for it. He's never overtly surreal, his characters are exaggerated but remain tangible and realistic, and the streets and landmarks he speaks about are actual places you can go to. Add to that elements of crime fiction, The Replacements, wayward Catholicism and Bruce Springseen and you might begin to get an idea of what Finn---and The Hold Steady---are about.

Lifter Puller (or LFTR PLLR), Finn's first band (which also featured HS guitarist Tad Kubler as bassist on their final album), is a somewhat different beast, but no less interesting. More noisy and post-punk than bar-band, Lifter Puller offers an early peek at Finn as a developing lyricist and frontman. The song I'm posting here could even be read as a mission statement of sorts: a song-length dedication to the people druggies, lowlifes and music fans that make up Finn's vivid world.

I don't know about you, but when Finn sings the line, "Dude looks like Jesus / But sleeveless", I can't help but smile.

Here's the download link:

Lifter Puller - "Let's Get Incredible"


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

People Fall Off Buildings Presents: An Introduction to... Built to Spill

"In America / Every puddle / Gasoline rainbow"

"I wanna see movies of my dreams / I wanna see it when you get stoned on a cloudy breezy desert afternoon / I wanna see it untame itself and break its owner / I wanna see it now."

"Without me there's nothing / I'm the only thing that dies / If it came down to your life or mine / I would do the stupid thing / And let you keep on living."

"Every thousand years / This metal sphere / Ten times the size of Jupiter / Floats just a few yards past the earth."

"No one wants to hear / What you dreamt about / Unless you dreamt about them / Don't let that stop you / Tell them anyway / And you can make it up / As you go."

"You thought of everything but some things can't be thought / You thought of everything but one thing you forgot / Is you're wrong / And you better not be angry / And you better not be sad / You better just enjoy the luxury of sympathy / If that's a luxury you have."

"The plan keeps coming up again / The plan means nothing stays the same."

"Funny thing with blood / Try to stand but neither leg is awake / Just this side of love / Is where you'll find / The confidence not to continue."

"You were right when you said / It's a hard rain's gonna fall / You were right when you said / We're still running against the wind / And life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone / You were right when you said / This is the end."

"Yeah, it's strange but what's so strange about that?"

"When I was a kid I saw a light / Floating high above the trees one night / Thought it was an alien / Turned out to be just god."

"And when you know / How few things there are worth knowing / I suppose / Anyone who tries could forget."

"Most of us are wrong / Most of us agree."

"They don't want to think about the other side / Is that grass just greener 'cuz it's fake?"

"It doesn't matter if you're good or smart / Goddamn it / Things fall apart."

Here's the track-list:

01. Nowhere Nothin' Fuckup
02. Car
03. Distopian Dream Girl
04. Randy Described Eternity
05. Made-Up Dreams
06. Velvet Waltz
07. The Plan
08. Else
09. You Were Right
10. Strange
11. Goin' Against Your Mind
12. Traces
13. Wherever You Go
14. Hingsight
15. Things Fall Apart

And here's the download link:


Enjoy (and share).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stray Marvels: Joanna Newsom - "Only Skin"

I meant to do a write-up for this before it auto-posted but I forgot to.


This is a great song. In fact, few can match it in terms of scale and pure beauty. Bill Callahan (Smog) even does backups near the end, his voice providing a lovely contrast to Joanna's.

I just hope she doesn't let Andy Samberg guest on her next LP.

Here's the download link:

Joanna Newsom - "Only Skin"


Friday, May 20, 2011

Let Me Count the Waves

We must not look for poetry in poems.
—Donald Revell

You must not skirt the issue wearing skirts.
You must not duck the bullet using ducks.
You must not face the music with your face.
Headbutting, don’t use your head. Or your butt.
You must not use a house to build a home,
and never look for poetry in poems.

In fact, inject giraffes into your poems.
Let loose the circus monkeys in their skirts.
Explain the nest of wood is not a home
at all, but a blind for shooting wild ducks.
Grab the shotgun by its metrical butt;
aim at your Muse’s quacking, Pringled face.

It’s good we’re talking like this, face to face.
There should be more headbutting over poems.
Citing an 80s brand has its cost but
honors the teenage me, always in skirts,
showing my sister how to Be the Duck
with a potato-chip beak. Take me home,

Mr. Revell. Or make yourself at home
in my postbellum, Reconstruction face—
my gray eyes, my rebel ears, all my ducks
in the row of a defeated mouth. Poems
were once civil. But war has torn my skirts
off at the first ruffle, baring my butt

or as termed in verse, my luminous butt.
Whitman once made a hospital his home.
Emily built a prison of her skirts.
Tigers roamed the sad veldt of Stevens’s face.
That was the old landscape. All the new poems
map the two dimensions of cartoon ducks.

We’re young and green. We’re braces of mallards,
not barrels of fish. Shoot if you must but
Donald, we’re with you. Trying to save poems,
we settle and frame their ramshackle homes.
What is form? Turning art to artifice,
trading pelts for a more durable skirt.

Even urban ducklings deserve a home.
Make way. In the modern: Make way, Buttface.
A poem is coming through, lifting her skirt.

- Sandra Beasley

Sunday, May 1, 2011

People Fall Off Buildings Presents: An Introduction to... Earth

Here's the tracklist:

01. A Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge, Part 1
02. Seven Angels
03. Crooked Axis for String Quartet
04. Raiford (Felon Wind)
05. A Plague of Angels
06. Coda Maestoso in F (Flat) Minor
07. Engine of Ruin
08. Hell's Winter

And here's the download link:


Enjoy (and share).