Or “How I Plan to Discover New Songs on the Internet + Not Let it Kill My Love of Music”……Five new songs (no more, no less), five days a week, for 30 days. Thursday June 13th 1. From The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits…….Don Shirley Trio: Waterboy (Cadence, 1961)I’ve never heard anything quite like this, nor did I expect to be so taken by such bizarre, idiosyncratic arrangements. LOVE! 2. From Lost in the Grooves….Graham Gouldman: The Impossible Years (RCA, 1968)Despite my obsession with 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love” and Graham Gouldman’s compositions for little-known Brit girls like Little Frankie (“Happy That’s Me” is some fine perky folk-pop), I’ve never given his solo material a proper listen. BIG mistake. If “The Impossible Years” is anything to go by, The Graham Gouldman Thing LP must surely be a masterpiece. LOVE! 3. My own curiosity….B.J. Thomas: Eyes of a New York Woman (Scepter, 1968)I think I’m more excited to have stumbled upon this site–WayBackAttack.com–than I am about the song I discovered on it. Any lover of lists will be mighty pleased by the selection of top 100 song lists, and their peculiar organization into food, cars, cities, … Read more
Or “How I Plan to Discover New Songs on the Internet + Not Let it Kill My Love of Music”……Five new songs (no more, no less), five days a week, for 30 days. Wednesday June 12th 1. From The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits…….Hot: Angel In Your Arms (Big Tree, 1977)A fairly unremarkable soul ballad from what Billboard describes as an “interracial female vocal trio from Los Angeles.” 2. From Lost in the Grooves….Sam Cooke: Lost and Lookin’ (RCA, 1963)Reviewer Kris Kendall recommends listening to Sam Cooke’s Night Beat album as a whole, rather than singling out one song. But upon hearing the achingly beautiful ”Lost and Lookin’,” I’m reminded that I’m seriously missing out on staggering male talents like Sam Cooke. I’m ashamed to admit that I own not one Sam Cooke record, but that’ll all be changing now that I’ve heard this. LOVE! 3. My own curiosity….Chvrches: Gun (Virgin, 2013)The latest single from Scottish trio Chvrches (pronounced “churches”) isn’t breaking new ground with its chiming synth pop and beats you’ve surely heard before. But what they lack in originality is made up with the sweetest pop melodies, a punchy chorus, and an ending … Read more
This Thursday June 13th (tomorrow!) writer, journalist, and girl-pop champion Lucy O’Brien will be joining former Lush guitarist Miki Berenyi to pay tribute to Blondie’s Parallel Lines LP from 1978, as part of the Idler Academy and Rock’s Backpages monthly album club. The vinyl LP will be played in full, and followed by a discussion with O’Brien and Berenyi. I’ve attended a couple of very fine events at the Idler Academy (rosé wine tasting and a talk on the history of gold), and I’m gutted to be missing this one. For full details, visit the Idler Academy’s website.
Or “How I Plan to Discover New Songs on the Internet + Not Let it Kill My Love of Music”……Five new songs (no more, no less), five days a week, for 30 days. Tuesday June 11th 1. From The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits…….Dave Edmunds: I Hear You Knockin’ (MAM, 1971)Yes! To discover such rawkin’ records is precisely why I’ve embarked on this musical journey. I know far too little about ’70s glam + power pop, but this makes me wanna discover more! more! more! And search out the Smiley Lewis and Gale Storm versions that came before. 2. From Lost in the Grooves….Sagittarius: Musty Dusty (Columbia, 1968)Reviewer Andrew Hultkrans suggested beginning with “My World Fell Down” off Sagittarius’ Present Tense LP, which I already know and adore. So I thought I’d try out “Musty Dusty,” which Hultkrans very aptly describes as “an unbearingly cloying lullaby to the singer’s childhood toys.” It’s unlikely I’ll find an occasion where I’ll want to hear this again, but I’m most intrigued to hear the rest of the album. 3. My own curiosity….Empire of the Sun: DNA (EMI, 2013)If I’d been asked to pick my favorite song of the 21st … Read more
Or “How I Plan to Discover New Songs on the Internet + Not Let it Kill My Love of Music”…… On Friday, I wrote about how the internet’s been messing with my pleasure in discovering new music. While the 24-7 availability of the world’s music catalogue should in theory please the hell out of a music obsessive like me, it’s actually done the opposite. It’s killed the thrill of the chase, the mystery, the intrigue, the anticipation that builds from reading/ hearing about a song and finally getting to listen to it. Every time I log onto facebook, twitter, e-mail, I get bombarded with so much music that I don’t even know where to begin. It’s all just a click away, yet I have little desire to listen. Judging by many of the comments and e-mails I’ve received in response to my piece (thank you kindly!), I’m not alone in my inability to manage such mind-boggling access. So rather than let it lead to total paralysis, I’ve decided to follow a strict musical diet in hopes of the “less is more” approach reviving my zest for discovery. The plan is five … Read more
Music journalist Sophie Heawood wrote in the Guardian recently about wanting to free herself from the clutter of her music collection, and promptly disposed of her life’s worth of CDs, LPs, and tapes. She believed the internet, home to nearly every single piece of music ever recorded on the planet, would provide a far greater listening experience–the freedom to listen to anything you wanted, anytime. Instead she found herself listening to only Rihanna, streaming on Spotify, and soon realized that the internet actually killed her love of music. Fairly shocking for someone whose life was defined by music. It turns out her relationship with music is a bit more complex than the very black and white physical format versus digital debate, but I can empathize with the overwhelming choice available on the internet as a whole lot less liberating than one would expect. The idea of being able to listen to any song I wanted, whenever I wanted would’ve prompted an ecstatic fit from an 18-year-old me, but in reality, it’s proven to be more overwhelming than thrilling. And the attempt to listen to so much just makes me wanna run to my safe and … Read more
Actually I don’t like London in the rain (the constant drizzle was partly responsible for my moving back to NYC). But I remember being caught in a heavy downpour on a leafy street in King’s Cross, without an umbrella or wellies. There was nowhere to take cover, so I turned up the volume on my ipod and walked home in the rain, resigning myself to getting soaked and feeling oddly liberated. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, there’s nothing like music to enhance the mood of a rainy day. I actually tried making a summertime mix a couple days ago, and it just wasn’t coming together. It was pouring outside, and Annette’s “Muscle Beach Party” didn’t exactly fit with the cozy feeling being inside during a torrential rainstorm. So I switched to the Satisfactions “Bring It All Down” and took it from there…….. 1. The Chiffons: Up On the Bridge2. Eiichi Otaki: Ame No Wednesday3. Shapes & Sizes: Rain On My Face4. Barbara Chandler: How Can I Say No To You?5. Jacqueline Taieb: Le Printemps A Paris6. The Sweet Things: Don’t Come Looking For Me7. Blossom Dearie: I Like London In … Read more
You don’t need subtitles to understand the appeal of Mariko Kaga, often called the Japanese Bardot and star of Monday Girl (Getsuyoubi No Yuka), Ko Nakahira’s French new wave-esque tale of a good-girl-gone-wild from 1964. Petite and pouty, Kaga piles her hair up in a messy black bouffant, and looks ravishing as she prances around in a men’s shirt with a cigarette dangling from her mouth. I picked up the DVD whilst living in Tokyo, and despite the lack of English subtitles and my failed attempts to understand the too-fast-to-catch Japanese, I enjoyed multiple screenings, perfectly satisfied watching the adorable Kaga flit between Yokohama’s nightclubs and bedrooms, in Nakahira’s beautiful monochrome. Monday Girl has rarely been shown outside of Japan, but the BFI in London are soon to host a film festival honoring Nikkatsu, the oldest film studio in Japan, with screenings of Monday Girl along with girl-gang drama Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter, juvenile delinquent flick I Look Up When I Walk (starring “”Sukiyaki” singer Kyu Sakamoto), along with other top picks from the studio’s ”golden age” of the ’50s + ’60s. The Nikkatsu Studio Film Festival runs from June 1 – 30, 2013 at London’s BFI … Read more
Bust Magazine’s Happy Hour On Thursday June 6th, I’ll be DJing at BUST Magazine‘s Happy Hour from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Heathers506 East 13th Street (Corner of Avenue A)New York, NY 10009For directions, please click here. Plenty of girl groups, R&B, soul, pop, swing, and easy listening to swig cocktails by…….
Danny Harris was once an Olympic silver medalist in track and field. Then he began dabbling in drugs. Then his grandmother died. It was the beginning of a downward spiral that cost him his athletic career, sports sponsorships, his home, and all financial stability. He ended up in the 52-block vicinity in downtown Los Angeles known as Skid Row, the subject of documentary Lost Angels, Skid Row is My Home. Actress Catherine Keener narrates in an overly serious and somber tone, perhaps as an attempt to over-emphasize the incomprehensible–Los Angeles’ highest concentration of homeless are living just blocks away from its financial epicenter. As the system for providing housing and health care to society’s mentally and physically disabled as well as drug addicted continues to erode, the neediest have little choice but to live on the streets. Many of Los Angeles’ 50,000 homeless ironically call Skid Row their home. It’s come to symbolize a community, a place for America’s forgotten. We meet Danny Harris, along with Terri ”Detroit” Hughes, Kevin “KK” Cohen, and Albert “Bam Bam” Olson, whose varied yet similarly tragic tales of comfortable-to-destitute highlight just how easy it is to end up in poverty. Those that believe that all individuals should be fully responsible for themselves and ”get a job” would do well to watch Linda Harris, whose congenital skin … Read more