>> < Radiohead / Hail To The Thief >
Everyone's heard this already, now I'm listening... there is nothing else to say. No, I didn't do the free download, I waited and got the Special Edition. Why? I don't know man, don't ask me that. I had a bad day... and they seem to be getting worse. Not because of Radiohead, they just are. I am fucking things up. But this concerns you not — just listen to the record.

>> < Wilco / I Am Trying to Break Your Heart >
This is a documentary film (DVD) by Sam Jones. It takes place during the making of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I'm a big Wilco fan, so being able to see behind the scenes during the recording, mixing and rehersals of this phenominal record is a treasure. The highlights are Tweedy sitting and playing solo, being a fly on the wall during the creative process and, of course, the new songs. A big thanks to Porous Walker for sending me his extra copy of this great DVD.
(Ryko Distribution)

>> < Fugazi / In on the Kill Taker >
On my way out of the house for a two hour drive I pulled Fugazi off the shelf. Why not, it's been years. Ten. It was originally released in 1993. Man, I'd forotten. For me the real deal starts with track 4, "Smallpox Champion" and continues from there — "Rend it", "23 Beats Off", "Sweet and Low", "Cassavetes".... This is an epic string of unhinged smash downs. Puts the so called punk rock — and metal — of today to shame. Kings of emotional dynamics and substance. And the unabashed nod to Sonic Youth is the SHIT.

>> < Múm / Finally We Are No One >
Four folks from Reykjavik, Iceland... peaceful, ambient electronic mixtures which might bring to mind an eerily beautiful fairy tale soundtrack.
(A note on Múm from FOB, Mock, in Europe: "I saw listed Múm as your current earfood and described it as electronic... I must say that before I saw them live about a year ago I thought it was mostly electronic too, but amazingly only a very very small part of it is actually computer stuff... even most of the drums are real drums and the drummer is in-cre-di-ble. they play accordion, cello, vibes, a moog, a rhodes and all kinds of kids toy instruments... Try to check out their first cd Yesterday Was Dramatic - Today is OK as well... it might be hard to find as it came out on an Icelandic label Thule Musik.")
(Fat Cat)

>> < Graham Coxon / The Sky is too High >
We're going back into Graham's discography for this one. 1998. All songs were written and recorded by Graham... that alone demands respect, but these songs are haunting and funny and somtimes angry and so the depth is there. I've heard the new Blur sans Coxon and I tell you, I can't get into it. Too clean? Not sure, but Coxon solo delivers the gritty and real with an emotion that is rare and should be cherished. And all his other records are tremendous as well. One of my favorites.
(Transcopic) 5/22/03

>> < The Roots / "The Seed 2.0" >
This track features Cody Chesnutt. I'm slow... everyone knows about this already, right? So smooth and such a GROOVE. Man. Nice. Oh the CD Phrenology... but you already know that.
(MCA) 5/20/03

>> < Big Lazy / Big Lazy >
I found out about Big Lazy by clicking on an Insert Silence (Amit Pitaru and James Paterson of Presstube) animation (scroll down to "Aug 16th) about a year ago. I keep going back to the disc and have ordered all their others. I'm not sure how to describe it accept maybe like this; rock-a-billy instrumentals with a movie soundtrack sensability.
(Tasankee Records) 5/16/03

>> < Wayne Shorter / Alegria >
This is a beautiful recording. Some real time and love invested. The pieces are interesting in terms of both choice and arrangements. My favorite is the Villa-Lobos piece, "Bachianas Brasileiras No.5." Hypnotic and deep. Shorter's layering of tenor and soprano saxes is lush and the rhythm section is soulful and rich. "...his most poignant sonic setting on record." --Eugene Holley, Jr.,
(Verve) 5/14/03

>> < Loose Fur / Loose Fur >
Mueller just handed me this one. Jim O'rourke (Gastr del Sol) Glenn Kotche and Jeff Tweedy (both of Wilco) . I'm a Wilco fan, so he thought I would like it. I do. I liked the Gastr del Sol record, Crookt, Crackt or Fly as well and wore it out —you can hear certain Gastr sounding guitar in Loose Fur. Good stuff. Thanks, Andy.
(Drag City) 5/07/03

>> < Calexico / Even My Sure Things Fall Through >
Reaching back into their discography now. Though I'm a big fan of Joey Burns's sweet yet meloncholic vocals, the instrumentals are my favorite tracks as they evoke interesting pictures without words — but using a wide range of instrumentaion. Not too say this is overly layered work. Calexico is emotional and dream evoking in their simplicity. Again, artwork by Victor Gastelum who's also done board graphics for Girl.
(1/4 Stick Records) 4/25/03

>> < Sign of the Fox >
This is the newest sound machine from former Wax (an excellent band that preexisted much of the pop-punk wave of a few years back) bassist, Dave Georgeff (Burdie Cutlass). There may be audio clips posted at when they update the site. We'll let you know when.
(Sound of Sounds)

>> < The White Stripes / Elephant >
As good as everyone says it is. God save them from celebrity.

>> < Gang of Four / "History of the World" >
Nick Harcourt (see below) played it this morning and reminded us all how much "modern new wave" bands owe these guys. You can find this song on the great best-of CD, A Brief History of the Twentieth Century or originally on Songs of the Free.
(Warner Bros) 4/15/03

>> < Nic Harcourt / Morning Becomes Eclectic >
"Morning Becomes Eclectic: Morning Becomes Eclectic is committed to a music experience that celebrates innovation, creativity and diversity by combining progressive pop, world beat, jazz, African, reggae, classical and new music. Recognized nationally as a forum for promoting a wide range of music ahead of the curve, the three-hour show has become a very attractive whistle stop for both established and emerging artists from around the world." --quoted from
(KCRW) 4/08/03

>> < Giant Sand / Purge and Slouch >
I'm listening to Calexico and thinking the drums and bass sound really familiar. Then I remember this Giant Sand CD from 1993, Purge and Slouch (from the liner notes: "The air in the room took precedence. Lyrics were just luggage. Should have been wordless. Instead it got sputtered on... I don't know what we did here bu Purge and Slouch"). I grab it, pop it in. Sure enough, John Convertino and Joey Burns. Giant Sand are a collective of musicians who play it loose and free with real feeling breaking through at times -- and they have a massive collection of recordings... I'm really late in learning this. Lotta catching up to do. Check their site.
(Restless) 4/03/03

>> < Calexico / Feast of Wire >
Absolutely beautiful music. Mood evoking songs pulled from multiple influences and put together with a grand array of instrumentation. Everyone should know about Calexico. Highly recommended by Bend -- find it for sale at Audio-Obsessive (click the banner above). And props go out to Victor Gastelum for his nice stencil artwork on both front and back covers.
(1/4 Stick Records) 3/26/03

>> < The Vines / "Get Free" >
So what if the song's in every other pop movie out right now. So fucking what? I like it just like I like Blur's "Song 2."
(Capitol Records) 3/21/03

>> < The Chameleons / Script of the Bridge >
Sure, I like Interpol. But the rest... argh. Reconstituted, regurgitated, paying no homage to their roots. Listening to the new crap doesn't make me nostalgic, I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly makes me want to hear the originals. When reviewers talk of Interpol they mention Joy Division. OK. But they owe just as much to The Chameleons, who had a pretty devoted following back in the day, but were mostly overlooked. Too bad. Script of the Bridge is a pretty emotional record (yes, record, it was a piece of vinyl in it's first incarnation), the production quality may not be up to today's standards, but it is beautiful and somewhat timely nonetheless.
(Dead Dead Good ; distributed by Pinnacle) 3/20/03

>> < Liam Lynch / My United States of Whatever >
Just seemed sort ot timely to me. Liam Lynch is funny.
(Global Warming) 3/19/03

>> < Jump With Joey / Ska-Ba >
I used to go listen to these guys rock the house every Wednesday night at the old King King on La Brea back in '92. The beer was big Fosters, the music a hybrid of ska and jazz cranked out by a talented crew led by Joey Altruda. Man, it made me feel good. I played the CD today and it all came back. Thanks, Joey.
(Ryko Disc) 3/15/03

>> < This American Life >
If you listen to public radio you've probably heard of this show. Always, always interesting and sometimes damn powerful. Slap Ira Glass on the back next time you see him. The shows are all archived at

>> < Royal Finger Bowl / Happy Birthday Sabo >
Love this record. A trio able to move from honking and crashing New Orleans funeral-type dirges to stories of hostage love, accordions, whiskey and broken dreams (with a nod and a toast to Tom Waits) "When I make my money, baby you'll know it." A sentiment to live by in these times of pre-apocolypse. I'm ordering their latest, Greyhound Afternoons, today. After this drink. Really.
(TVT Records) 2/19/03

>> < Eels / Souljacker >
I've had this one sitting in my office for over a year and just yesterday I put it in after that long while and I've already played it 10 times in a row. "In this world of shit, baby you are it. A little light that shines all over." Brilliant, unique sound, voice. Great sense of humor too. Can't beat that.
(Dreamworks) 2/18/03

>> < Aphex Twin >
Bootleg burn from Rob Abeyta. This was scrawled on the disc itself: DRUKQS. I like it. A time motivator.
(Warp Records) 2/12/03

>> < Squarepusher / "Love Will Tear Us Apart" >
Squarepusher does an interesting cover of the infamous Joy Division track, "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Also did a video with Chris Cunningham (better known for his Aphex Twin work).
(Warp Records)

>> < David Cross / Shut Up You Fucking Baby >
The guys across the room are playing it right now. Hilarious and yet, depressing if you listen to the whole thing in one sitting, as Cross is brilliant at targeting humanity's shortcomings.
(Sub Pop)

>> < Shaver / Victory >
Simple, basic old-school country from the Billy Joe Shaver. Singing and acoustic guitars. Lot's of religion. "Is every song about Jesus?" my spouse asked. "It's a record of redemption," I answered.
(New West Records)

>> < John Coltrane / "Alabama" >
I don't have to tell you who he is. Today being Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, give tribute by listening to the Live at Birdland recording of "Alabama," Coltrane's deeply moving lament over the tragic moment when four young girls were killed in the infamous Birmingham, Alabama, 1963 church bombing. It's hard to walk away from "Alabama" unshaken.
(Grp Records) 1/20/03

>> < James Newton >
His recordings aren't the widely distributed pieces from Blue Note or Capitol. You've most likely never heard of him but you have heard him -- in a sample on the Beastie Boys' "Pass The Mic" (the rights to the sample were sold out from under Newton in 1992, and in a surprise verdict he lost his copyright infringement case against the Beasties. He is appealing.). James Newton is possibly the most talented jazz flute player you will ever hear -- if you hear him. I was lucky and heard him perform years ago in San Pedro, his home town, and was blown away. His music is worth looking for and hearing. The real deal.

>> < Medeski Martin and Wood / The Dropper >
This is from 2000, but it needs to be revisited. Dark funky jazz in a stoney sort of vibe -- though not all of MMW's CDs are like this one. We're happy that Blue Note gets progressive in the jazz world, instead of just staying standard.
(Blue Note)

>> < Lou Rawls / "Street Corner Hustler's Blues" >
Classic mid-60s cool monologue jazz by a great vocalist. You can find the track on his latest, "Anthology."
(Capitol Records)

>> < Yeah Yeah Yeahs >
Again, loaned to me by Mueller (see Liars below). I haven't developed an opinion yet, though the intro on the first song, "Bang" is awesome. Apparently this lead singer dates the lead singer of the Liars and the bands won't tour without each other.
(Wichita Recordings)

>> < Gang of Four >
Mentioned briefly below as the precursors to the Liars... I put on the vinyl so I could remember. Ah yes — "LIFE, IT'S A SHAME!" — "PARALYZED" — "CALL ME UP" — "We live, as we dream... alone." Any of their recordings are great, and all are available on CD,

>> < The White Stripes / "Little Room" >
Go listen to the lyrics of "Little Room." It's on the White Blood Cells CD. New year's sentiments.

>> < The Clash >
Joe Strummer died yesterday. He was 50. Another aggressive vein of positive energy gone. Put a Clash record on and just listen to his voice.

>> < Liars / They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top >
Recommended to Bend by Andy Mueller of the Quiet Life, which is sort of ironic, since these are loud, edgy, staccato rockers reminiscent of the infamous and bass driven Gang of Four. Good stuff.
(blast first/mute) 12/22/02

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