Here’s a video by Jason Zavala for his song “Trains.” It’s a nice, low-budget affair that’s delightful and endearing. And, most importantly of all, the song’s pretty great as well. Because what’s the use of a good video if the song doesn’t bring it, right?
If it’s December at You Ain’t No Picasso, then it’s time for Mixmas! Every year I like to turn YANP over to some of my favorite bands to showcase some of their favorite songs through a themed mix. They pick a theme, five songs that fit the theme and then share a little about why they picked each one.
YT link: We Are Scientists – After Hours
We Are Scientists had probably the busiest year of any band that didn’t put out an album. Keith holed himself up in Athens, writing their next record; they recorded a series of shorts for MTV UK called “Steve Wants His Money”; and they did a bit of touring to boot. As such, I’m extremely glad Keith was able to fit a Mixmas mix into his schedule. He’s always a highlight to have involved, and it just wouldn’t be the same without him.
“Songs of Excess” by Keith Murray of We Are Scientists
Guys, over the holidays, I really go for it. I eat too much. I drink too much. I want too much. Essentially, I live out Dave Matthews Bands’ smash hit, “Too Much.” It helps assuage the guilt, though, to listen to tales of other people’s excess. By comparing myself to other monsters, I can more easily absolve myself of my sins, which, ultimately, is what Christmas is all about: comparative absolution. Right? Am I understanding it correctly?
The Clovers – One Mint Julep [YT link]
A classic story: boy meets girl, boy has one drink, boy kisses girl, boy is compelled by girl’s angry father to marry her. My favorite part of the tune is when the baritone guy pipes in and asserts that his own misbehavior has resulted in “six extra children.” Six EXTRA children? I’m not even sure how many actual kids that constitutes. Does he have eight total, only two of whom were intentional? Hard to say. It’s telling that, for a narrative, the lyrics are curiously free of solid details, save for the name of the responsible drink. That tends to be the nature of my nights, as well. I never remember falling down flights of stairs or punching cops, or whatever – I just remember drinking that first pina colada.
John Lee Hooker – One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer [YT link
I love a guy who’s self-aware and shameless enough to go ahead and order some scotch and some bourbon and some beer for himself, all at once. Dude is triple-fisting, and doesn’t give a damn. How is he drinking these, though? Is he taking a peck from the bourbon and then immediately following with a sip of scotch? Or is he cleansing the palate with the beer and alternating the whiskies? Also, why mix your whiskies? Just drink twice as much bourbon, John Lee Hooker! Your drinking style is outrageous!
Hooker really nails the belabored storytelling style of your average drunk here, though, which is nice:
JLH: And then I sit there, getting high.
Me: Yes, you were drunk.
Me: And then …
JLH: Feeling good.
Me: Get to the damned point, John Lee Hooker.
JLH: And by the time… I looked on the wall…
Me: Yeeees . . . ?
JLH: At the old clock on the wall.
Me: Right, looking at the clock …
JLH: By that time . . .
Me: What! Tell me!
JLH: It was 10:30.
Me: Great story, John Lee Hooker. You should write that one down.
MP3: Wild Beasts – Hooting & Howling
Despite the fact that Wild Beasts made my favorite record of the year (Two Dancers) and became my not-so-secret band-crush of 2009, I’m pretty sure I’d not want to spend a night out on the town with them. Over the course of the album, they willfully scare old people, have sex in public, and, in Hooting and Howling, engage in all manner of thievery and violence. It’s nice to know that there are guys left in the world who can write dazzling, intoxicating lyrics about beating the hell out of their romantic rivals, even when, they admit, occasionally, the guys don’t deserve the punishment and, perhaps more importantly, the girls aren’t worth defending. Sometimes, I guess, you’re just too bored to NOT get some guy’s blood all over your hands or go loot a local shop, you know? You know?
Weezer – Can’t Stop Partying [YT link]
I’m just going to come out and admit it: I think Raditude is amazing. I can’t defend it. I can’t even begin to try to get down to the mechanics of it. It’s just good, in the same way that water is just wet. Yeah, the record is stupid. Yeah, it was apparently written by and for thirteen-year-olds, but, HOLY COW, it scratches a bunch of itches, all at once. I first heard it when a friend stopped by my house and declared it “the biggest piece of shit of the decade,” and proceeded to sit me down for a listen. When it was over, I very calmly told him that he was an “idiot jerk,” and that the record was amazing. He agreed, and, through some Disney-prince’s-kiss-type magic, he immediately fell in love with Raditude, as well. It’s JUST GOOD. Although “Can’t Stop Partying,” isn’t the best song on the record (that title goes to “In The Mall”), it does win points for being so tear-jerkingly tragic. It feels like the transcript of some Hollywood AA-meeting: “Hi, my name is Rivers, and I gotta have Patron.” “Hi, my name is Lil Wayne, and I gotta stop mixing alcohol with pharmaceuticals.” “Hi, my name is Jermaine Dupri. Screw rehab, I love my addiction.”
Fabolous – Throw It In The Bag [YT link]
Man, Fabolous has simply written THE theme of excess for 2009. Not only does this dude not look at price tags, he doesn’t even know where to find people who would do such a thing (he suspects they live in Atlanta, though). Dude buys Mercedes Benzes and immediately proceeds to do donuts in the parking lot. Questioning the veracity of his offer of gifts? Think again: his license plate says GetChu1! My favorite part is when he really goes big by offering to “help you out with the groceries.” Thanks Fabolous!
For a long time, I thought that, at the end, he was saying “Everybody do the Throw It In the Bag” (I think it’s actually, “Everybody do it. Throw it in the bag.”) and I got really excited about the idea that maybe Fabolous had come up with a sweet, shopping-based dance move that he was really hoping would catch on. Oh, well.
Halfway into watching Zach Galifianakis’ Live at the Purple Onion DVD last night, one of my roommates turned to me and said, “You know he’s going to be playing Lexington next year, right?” Surprise, surprise! Turns out Zach will be making an appearance at the University of Kentucky at the end of February.
Feb 28, 2010
Tickets are $30 for non-students and $15 for students and can be bought here. And why should you care? This is why you should care:
Photo by someone who isn’t me
If it’s December at You Ain’t No Picasso, then it’s time for Mixmas! Every year I like to turn YANP over to some of my favorite bands to showcase some of their favorite songs through a themed mix. They pick a theme, five songs that fit the theme and then share a little about why they picked each one. This year I’m also giving away a YANP shirt, so check below for the hint about tomorrow’s mix.
MP3: Deerhoof – Let’s Dance the Jet (Mikis Thedorakis cover)
Deerhoof fill up a large, otherwise unoccupied space in my heart. I honestly think my musical compass would be fairly lost without them in my library. As such, it’s an extreme pleasure to have Satomi join us today to share some of the best songs she’s received lately in mix CDs. It’s a wide variety of mostly rare stuff, so unfortunately I couldn’t track down two of them. If you’ve got an MP3 or a link, drop me a line and I’d be happy to host it! But for now, here’s the leading lady of one of my favorite bands!
“Best Songs From My Friends’ Mix CDs” by Satomi from Deerhoof
Ultimate Spinach – (Ballad Of) The Hip Death Goddess [YT link]
The beginning of the song reminds me of Anton Lavey’s “The Satanic Mass”. It’s spooky and beautiful. I love whispering singing with tremolo guitar… double “death” effects. Jeremy from Dymaxion has a great collection of 60’s music. He gives us a mix cds every time we visit nyc. I can’t wait to go back! but next time, I would like to request that he include track names!
Bosavi Musicians – Really Hungry!
This guitar music from Papua New Guinea make me want to sing along. It’s a song you want to sing everyday. Modern music sounds fat and complicated. Living music like this doesn’t need any kind of boost. I can imagine the Bosavi musicians to be honest and pure from this recording. The title is just great too. [Song given from Greg Saunier’s ipod.]
Bolot Bairyshev – Alas
Traditional music can sound strange to foreigners. It’s the case. This Mongolian man does throat singing and play guitar but listen… “alas, Alas…”unique! The cover is amazing!!! Check this out
He is playing guitar inside his coat. He beats vogue. Extra info – He also has 16 other sisters and brothers. [Song given by Saya from Tenniscoats and OneOne.]
MP3: King Geedorah – No Snakes Alive
King Ghidorah is one of my favorite monster. MF Doom did such a good job using electronic organ samples from Godzilla. Great sounds!!! [Song given by Sam Mickens]
Raymond Scott – Cindy Electronium (1959) [YT link]
Hooray! I love Raymond Scott!! Piko. Piko. [Given by Eri from Nymph.]
Tomorrow’s hint: the next contributor has added his wit and wisdom to every Mixmas since the beginning. This year he and his bandmate starred in a series of comedic shorts for MTV UK and put the finishing touches on their third major label LP, due out in 2010.
What a crazy year 2009 was for concerts. The great shows were plentiful, but I’m running low on great bands that I haven’t already seen. Still, it was an impressive year for concerts. I saw a lot of great ones, but managed to keep the list to a slim 40 of the best. So here are the photos and quick reviews of each of the 40 best shows I saw all year. Let me know who rocked your face off in the comments.
#40 :: Neon Indian @ Monolith | [Original Post]
It’s hard to believe that this was only Neon Indian’s third show ever. They were tighter than most bands I saw this year, but that could have had something to do with how tight their album is anyway. Great set in an insanely packed indoor part of the Monolith music festival hosted by WOXY.
#39 :: Blitzen Trapper @ Pitchfork | [Original Post]
I would say this was easily a better show than the first time I saw Blitzen Trapper, but it probably tied. Of course, the first time I saw them I was half drunk, eating breakfast burritos in Austin and this time I was incredibly tired and way too hot in Chicago. Still, it was an incredible set by one of my favorite young bands.
#38 :: The National @ Pitchfork | [Original Post]
If I was a big National fan, this probably would be in the top 15 or even top 10. Unfortunately they’ve never really clicked for me and it’s relegated to number 38. It was a fantastic show, though, that was the best of the handful of times I’ve seen them.
#37 :: Final Fantasy @ Pitchfork | [Original Post]
No, seeing Owen outdoors in the hot hot sun isn’t the most ideal setting — but really, there’s never a bad place to see Final Fantasy. This really just whet my appetite for the next time I’ll be able to sit down in a theater and enjoy his music to the fullest.
#36 :: Peelander-Z @ Hot Freaks/The Mohawk | [Original Post]
Their set lost a little bit of the surprise that I got seeing them last year, but the fact is that they still put on one of the liveliest, wildest, most memorable shows I saw all year.
#35 :: Ponytail @ Pitchfork | [Original Post]
It was like watching large amounts of static electricity play instruments on stage. So yeah, it was pretty awesome.
#34 :: Mission of Burma @ Boomslang | [Original Post]
Never thought in a million years that I’d get to see Mission of Burma — let alone at a cheap show in my hometown. To top it all off, the show was great and the audience was exactly as pumped as this classic band deserved.
#33 :: These United States @ Buster’s | [Original Post]
What a great homecoming for TUS right after their new album Everything Touches Everything came out. The new material was somehow even better live and the old stuff sounded as great as ever. To top it off, it was the opening show for Buster’s, so it was a proud night to be a music lover in Lexington.
#32 :: Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ Monolith | [Original Post]
I finally got to see the majority of a Yeah Yeah Yeahs set. I was so miserable, though, that the fact it ranks as high as it does is a miracle. It was pouring rain, practically freezing and just all-around miserable. Luckily the Yeah Yeah Yeahs put on a hell of a show, so it didn’t bother me too much.
#31 :: Circulatory System @ Al’s Bar | [Original Post]
The only thing that softened the impact of this show was that I saw all the principle players at the best show I saw last year: the Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour. Still, it was a magical show that disappointed me slightly with the turnout.
Read the rest of the list after the break.
My friend Patrick introduced me to this track the day after Christmas. After yelling across the room for nearly the entirety of the song, I finally found out that it was called “Zorbing” and written by a band called Stornoway. Kooky band/song name, sure, but it does sound pretty sweet.
Link removed by band’s request.
Stornoway – Zorbing
This track sounds so much like how I hoped the Math and Physics Club would wind up sounding. It’s bright, sharp and hopeful pop that sounds a great deal like the Lucksmiths. And as is too often the case, I’m discovering this song in the completely wrong season. Things are just starting to get quite chilly here in Kentucky, but yet this song just screams spring. Maybe it’s a blessing though; I could use something to keep my heart warm when I’m de-icing my car.
Well now that Christmas is out of the way, let’s get back to the funk! Here’s Sugar & Gold’s video for their song “Neighborhood.” You’d never know it to watch this clean, poppy video, but S&G put on one of the funkiest shows I saw in 2009. Check ’em out live if you get the chance!
*sniff* Three of my favorite things together: MST3K, Christmas and Road House.