Saturday, December 10, 2011

Song of the Day: "Down"

The band is Summer Camp, as opposed to Summercamp. A British indie duo inspired by 60s girl groups and 80s synth pop.

As opposed to 60s synth pop and 80s girl groups.

I do like the somewhat timeless pop quality of the song--we would have played this at the radio station 20+ years ago (or, you know, when I worked there, 2 years ago [cough]).

Song: "Down"
Artist: Summer Camp

Friday, December 9, 2011

Song of the Day: "St. Croix"

It's been a shitty morning followed by a shitty midday so far, so here's a song that should help take a bit of the edge off.

The band: Family of the Year (love the name).

The song: "St. Croix" (love the sound).

YMMV... and if so, put your complaints on your own blog.

Song: "St. Croix"
Artist: Family of the Year

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rick Perry, super smart

Rick Perry's Unpopular Opinions Tumblr

Songs of the Day: "Marvin's Room"/"Can't Do Better"

Drake brings a low key swagger to "Marvin's Room"--it's got all the hallmarks of big hip hop (club? check; niggers? check; bitches? double check), with the subtle musicality of some drum and bass. It's a shame he's so uncomfortable with his voice that he auto-tunes the shit out of the song, otherwise it's the the perfect song for the Fucking Andrews Fucking McMeel Fucking Publishing Fucking Christmas Fucking Massive, I'm sure you will agree. Ho fucking ho bitches!

But wait, there's still more! Because then JoJo (possibly NOT the same JoJo of Jodeci and KC & JoJo fame) did this remake: no more "fuck that nigger" now it's "fuck that new girl" and, AND, it's even still perfect for the very same Fucking Andrews Fucking McMeel Fucking Publishing Fucking Christmas Fucking Massive. It's a fucking Christmas fucking miracle bitches!

Let's make December 8 Drunk Dial Awareness Day!

Song: "Marvin's Room"; "Can't Do Better"
Artist: Drake; JoJo

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Song of the Day: "Dearest"

Continuing this week's rants about the Grammy awards, today's topic: Grammy Inertia. The best way to get nominated for a Grammy? Win a Grammy! Many good-but-otherwise-unremarkable recordings sneak in a nomination with the only clear distinction being a recent Grammy win by that artist.

I like the Black Keys, was pleased with their Grammy wins earlier this year (Rock Duo/Group with Vocals and Alternative Album), and I know/have a copy of the tribute album Rave On Buddy Holly on which this track appears, but even I was surprised to see this among the nominations for Pop Duo/Group Performance (I'm still learning the revised category names). Is it a case of Grammy Inertia, or is it truly among the most distinctive pop music recordings by a duo, group or collaboration (with or without vocals) from the last Grammy eligibility year?

I mean, it's still better than "Moves Like Jagger," but then, so is my as-yet-untitled musical about a Cockney flower girl. Which is nothing like My Fair Lady--it's inspired by the Eddie Murphy movie Trading Places. Stay tuned!

Also not listening to music at all is better than "Moves Like Jagger."

Song: "Dearest"
Artist: The Black Keys

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Song of the Day: "Holocene"

I have a love/hate relationship with the Grammys. Lately it's more hate than love. For more than 10 years, the Grammy peeps (NARAS, if you want to get fussy about it) have used some kind of selection committee to identify a set number of possible nominees for Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and, possibly Best New Artist. I'm pretty sure the short list for these categories has 30 works or performers. It's how The Joni Letters or The Suburbs could win Album of the Year even though you still don't know what they are (in years past it was you could typically predict the top category nominations by reviewing the top 25 albums in terms of sales, and the top 25 songs based on radio airplay... Taylor Swift would still have been nominated, but it was Kanye that helped her win.

That kind of helping hand isn't apparent with this year's Album of the Year nominations, but it is among the Best New Artist nominations (or it's entirely possible that everyone but me knows who Skeetulrichex is but me; maybe J. Cole) and Record of the Year, with this song.  And while I like Bon Iver, that "Holocene" is nominated for Record of the Year bugs me. The same way that nominations and wins for "Please Read the Letter" and "Here We Go Again" bothered me. I feel like it ought to be an unwritten requirement that more than 2% of the general population can identify a song for it to be eligible, even if that means classics like Time Zone's "World Destruction" and David Guetta's "When Love Takes Over" wouldn't have been nominated as Record of the Year... but then, they weren't anyway.

I'm actually okay with "Fireworks" picking up a nomination. Gaga should be in Record of the Year and Bon in Album of the year, that might assuage my issues this morning (well, one of...).

Oh, and, can even big Bon Iver enthusiasts tell the difference between this, "Perth" and "Calgary"? Or am I the problem (see also: Coldplay and 27 variations on "Yellow" [but their "Clocks" was an excellent Record of the Year]). I said I like them/him, right? Anyway, Record of the Year nominee "Perth" "Calgary" "Holocene":

Song: "Holocene"
Artist: Bon Iver

Monday, December 5, 2011

Song of the Day: "Holiday (What Do You Want?)"

The Leedy Party kicks off the holiday season for me, so here is the first of the seasonal selections: Mike Doughty with Rosanne Cash from his Yes and Also Yes album. Doughty uses a duloxetine capsule for percussion on some tracks of the album, but it's not clear whether or not this is one... but let's pretend it is so as to justify my mentioning it.

I guess there's nothing specifically about Christmas in the lyrics, so really this could be about any winter holiday, like President's Day or Epiphany. Still, it's really cold here in Portland, so we can start with this.

Song: "Holiday (What Do You Want?)"
Artist: Mike Doughty/Rosanne Cash

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Dennis Wilson

"They say I live a fast life. Maybe I just like a fast life. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world. It won’t last forever, either. But the memories will."--Dennis Wilson, All Summer Long liner notes

When I saw Wilson's name among today's birthdays, I had this vague association (really do I have any other type) of him with Natalie Wood. More specifically of his death with her death. That's why I went down the rabbit hole, to see if there was any connection of Wilson's drowning in December 1983 with Wood's drowning in November 1981 (which recently became some news story, but I'm not really paying attention). Aside from being the top 2 celebrities listed in 12 Notable People Who Died by Drowning (suck it Brian Jones [RIP]) there doesn't appear to be any connection.

But Dennis Wilson's actual life and death are far more interesting than some imagined connection between him and Wood. For example, he's the uncle of 2 members of Wilson Phillips. He was the only member of the original Beach Boys who could surf. And, oh yeah, he is personally responsible for the crimes of CHARLES MANSON!!!! (Not really, but it got your attention, and also kinda...) But first, here's Dennis singing lead with the Beach Boys on "Forever":

Okay, here's the details on Wilson's connection with Charles Mason, per Wilson's IMDB biography by Chris Parson (here):
In 1968, Wilson picked up a couple of women hitchhikers and took them to his house to party. The women were associated with a wanna-be song-writer named Charles Manson, who invited himself to visit the Beach Boy. Wilson also picked up a male hitchhiker that year, drug dealer Charles Watson, whom Dennis invited to hang out at his house. In fact, Manson met "Tex" Watson at Wilson's house; the two would become partners in some of the most infamous murders of the 20th Century. Initially, Wilson tolerated Manson's presence at his house, as he brought his groupies with him. Wilson had encouraged Manson's musical ambitions and one of his songs, "Cease to Exist", appeared on the Beach Boys album "20/20" under the title "Never Learn Not to Love". Eventually, Wilson and his musical confederates whom had been introduced to Manson became disenchanted with him, despite the former pimp's provision of women, due to Charlie's fierce temper. Ultimately, Manson and his girls proved to be unwanted guests who tried to commandeer Wilson's house. Wilson, too intimidated to evict his guests, eventually moved out of his own house. Shortly thereafter, Manson and his followers left and began their descent into the hellish frenzy that culminated in the Tate-LaBianca killings. 
Here's "Dreamer" from Wilson's 1977 solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue:

So really after Charles Manson, something like "dated Christine McVie" is pretty pedestrian. How about "he married his cousin?" I mean, technically she was his cousin's daughter, and they didn't realize it until after they were married, and that was only his fifth wife, so it's not like he had this pattern or anything... but still, colorful, right?

I guess it's worth noting his appearance in the cult classic Two-Lane Blacktop, a movie I'm scarcely aware of but in reading its description, am now seriously considering as a Christmas gift for my dad  (spoiler alert)...

Here's an unreleased version of "All Alone" (well, if it's on the youtubez, presumably someone got a copy):

Wilson is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and shares a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with the rest of the Beach Boys.

Happy birthday dude. Rest in peace.

Song of the Day: "Can't Get Enough"

Fresh off the success of yesterday's "who the fuck is Sleestack" blog post, comes today's "who the fuck is J Crew" song of the day.  Except once again I'm confusing my upscale casual retailers with my Best New Artist Grammy nominees. Turns out dude's name is J. Cole.

So who the fuck is J. Cole? A young rapper with a colorful past, such as:
Before J. Cole was signed to Roc Nation, he worked a job as a bill collector. One morning, he turned on his cell phone and noticed that he received a text from an associate asking him to call the associate back. When Cole returned the call, the associate informed Cole that he received a call from Jay-Z’s associates and that he had to meet with them as soon as possible.
True story. It really gives you hope.

And makes me wonder whether or not "associate" was originally a more urban word like "brother" or "homey" or, um, "neighbor" (you know, the n- word that white people shouldn't call blacks, per Lisa Lampanelli) before a more diplomatic person than me edited it.

Anyway, here's Land's End J Cole with Trey Songz.

Song: "Can't Get Enough"
Artist: J Cole/Trey Songz