Friday, December 30, 2016

Snatam Kaur DIVINE BIRTH (2010)

I overdid it on Joy Division and needed this to reach equilibrium.  Struggling to prepare for inauguration, and it is really hard to hear how upset my folks are over the phone.  I know it is just the manifestation of a lot of things that were already very wrong here, that were convenient to overlook, but man it feels simultaneously personal and cosmically tragic.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Mark McGuire aka The Road Chief THE ACTIVE IMAGINATION EP (2016)

The Road Chief is a guise for Mark to make goofy, jubilant survivor music.  I can't help but love these wordless odes to joy-in-endurance, triumph-cum-existence; they're sunny day real estate in winter solstice days, they are cheery for cheeriness' sake.  Recorded in Portland and L.A., Mark sums it up better than I can: "Party songs for the wandering outsider in the post-human world."

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Magnetic Fields 5 SELECTIONS FROM 50 SONG MEMOIR EP (2016)

Monsieur Merritt has a fresh, voluminous conceit coming to us in March, and shared 10% of his auditory memoir early.  '93 and '02 are awesome: '93 is On the Bus Mall by the guy who lived it, '02 is like a Marseilles-march honoring our haunts, and how we must continue to show up for each other.

Steph and I saw the St. Louis Symphony accompany Casablanca and I think hearing the live orchestra play with this scene is my favorite cinematic experience ever.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mark McGuire {The Bad Dreamers} THE SLEEP WATCHERS (2016)

nocturnal, aqueous, nightswimming deserves a quiet night.  buy it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Mark McGuire THE ROLLING HILLS (2016)

Spring is the best season, followed by summer, autumn and then goddamn winter.   Winter can take flying fuck at the mooooooooooooooon!
Oh yeah, and another great Mark McGuire release, nowhere else, buy it here, Bandcamp is the best service to support musicians and it is an awesome site and app to boot.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR dir. J.C. Chandor (2014)

Not the descent-into-crime movie I was expecting.  A beautifully-shot locomotive of a parable about how if you want to keep your nose halfway clean and succeed in America, it will be a struggle every step of the way, and it takes superhuman perseverance to take the high road.  Is Oscar Isaac our best male actor under 40?  He's at least the most fun.  I am an absolute sucker for films set in this post-Watergate era, and this was exactly what the doctor ordered on an icy night when the roads were impassable and my wife had to try farm roads, retreat to the tavern, and get a ride to the homestead with her dad.  We have a couple more layers of insulation than we used to, but we still live in a most violent year.

Monday, December 19, 2016

ROGUE ONE dir. Gareth Edwards (2016)

It was nice to see some stakes.  I remember how upset I was as a third grader seeing Return of the Jedi for the first time, and seeing one Ewok die, and the other mourn him.  Especially with modern America's valorization of the military, I'm glad the kids might understand that good guys die too.  ROGUE ONE was much better than THE FORCE AWAKENS, but these things are never going to really be for me anymore, and that is just fine.  Shout out to whoever was responsible for getting those flight helmets nice and grimy.  Ya done good.

Mark McGuire CYNTHIANA (2016)

Last month's gift from Mark; more lowkeymajorkey sublimity. I guess Emeralds et al. are my Grateful Dead.  Buy it and support an awesome dude and his family.

Daily Zen:

Sunday, December 18, 2016


I haven't listened to any artist more than Mark McGuire this year.  I didn't realize I could share these this easily, but Bandcamp is such a terrific site.  I've bought a bunch of his stuff, and he's been prolific with new releases and digging into his archive as well.  Mark is taking an alternative route to Spotify and I think it is working well for him.  I get alerts every few weeks that he's posted something and it always makes my day.  This one reminds me in spirit more of the high-flying spirit quests of his Road Chief project.  Get swell with me.

Friday, December 16, 2016

LA LA LAND (2016)

Sold out opening Thursday night in St. Louis at the one screen in town that is playing it this weekend.  They were turning people away, which seems to demonstrate a nutritional-deficit-like need for what we hoped this film to be--and the hunch was right; Chazelle, Gosling, Stone & Co. could cure anemia with celluloid.  Just superb. Read Scott's masterful review. (His mention of its reverence for "the old rhythms of life" is especially trenchant.) See it this weekend if you can, so that you can see it again in the new year on the big screen.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Favorite Television of 2016

18. Portlandia
17. Catastrophe
16. Bajillion Dollar Propertie$

15. Harmonquest
14. Love
13. Lady Dynamite
12. Mr. Robot
11. Search Party

10. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
9. The Mindy Project
8. Mozart in the Jungle
7. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
6. Veep

5. Silicon Valley
4. Stranger Things
3. Game of Thrones
2. Westworld
1. Broad City

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Frank Ocean ENDLESS (2016)

Talent to squander and dude does.  ambient, prog-soul that is vapor-thin but nice until the 9:19 album closer, a sarcastic 90's electronica throwback that takes any goodwill and tosses it in the garbage like a cartoon fish skeleton.

i guess the press needed a myth and it happened to be Frank and he didn't stop them and Apple paid out.  nice work if you can get it.  he could improve nearly everything on the charts but that's not the world we live in.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sturgill Simpson A SAILOR'S GUIDE TO EARTH (2016)

Evening-porch country-soul.  The Dap-Kings show up in places to transmorgify modern outsider country into something grander, like the cosmic americana Gram Parsons was searching for.

daily zen

weird af, 3 tracks:
1) 0:00 (Mysterious Girl)
2) 4:07 Seaside Party (Seaside Party of Love)
3) 9:07 (Mysterious Cult)

"Sinsemilla is a highly potent form of marijuana obtained from unpollinated female plants"

get you some! source:

The internet is as weird as you want it to be.

Pynchonwiki!  Have a great day!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Childish Gambino AWAKEN, MY LOVE! (2016)

Left turn into bubblebath soul with really nice funk guitar and keys, hope it finds the people who would really love it.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Chance the Rapper COLORING BOOK (2016)

As a mixtape it is ++++++ as an album it could tighten up but the highs are so jubilantly high

daily zen

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Ian William Craig CENTRES (2016)

This is an especially rich and therapeutic zone-out album for the end to this crushing year.  IWC has an uncanny way with creating quiet spaces and knowing just when to drop in choral healing.  See: Purpose (Is No Country)

I mean, they perfected it in Japan before I was born, but same with NES.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds SKELETON TREE (2016)

The most graceful and subdued journey through loss I've experience since Donald Hall's WITHOUT (1998.)

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Francis and the Lights FAREWELL, STARLITE (2016)

A more palatable loopy pastiche a la James Blake or Bon Iver, probably not amiss in chic restaurant, by this light electro-pop lifer.  Not going to return to the whole thing, but good God is this a perfect raspberry sorbet of a single:

Tuesday, December 06, 2016


Somehow behind DIFFICULT PEOPLE on Metacritic, which hurts my soul.  DIFFICULT PEOPLE is borderline unwatchable.  I know because I've cringed through every episode when the cupboard is 100% bare.  KIMMY is a joyous freight train and season two capitalized on so much of the promise of season one.  I'm so glad Netflix stepped in and saved it, it is one of the most delightful things on TV.  Do people punish it for not being 30 ROCK, the greatest sitcom of all time?

Monday, December 05, 2016


So I was probably a little too gushing with the Mindy post, but I think my sense of the state of comedy is skewed by the strange release schedules common among the best sitcoms right now.  UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT is my favorite right now, and LADY DYNAMITE occupies a strange in-between space--it triple-downs on LOUIE's ambition, and quadruples its success rate.       Maria is my vote for most talented entertainer on the planet right now, and she seems to have found the perfect outlet for the bullet trains that her brain sends rocketing around pop culture, WASPisms, and first world frailty.  This show is darker than almost any drama sans THE WIRE but it leavens the loaf with pugs and slapstick and the best array of supporting characters possibly ever.  Did you think Dean Cain would be super-relevant in 2016, and maybe produce its best comedic moment?  Steph and I have seen her perform live twice now, and I just hope she can continue to do whatever the heck she wants.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

The Berkeley Renaissance

"Any fool can get into an ocean..."

Any fool can get into an ocean
But it takes a Goddess
To get out of one.
What's true of oceans is true, of course,
Of labyrinths and poems.  When you start swimming
Through riptide of rhythms and the metaphor's seaweed
You need to be a good swimmer or a born Goddess
To get back out of them
Look at the sea otters bobbing wildly
Out in the middle of the poem
They look so eager and peaceful playing out there where
    the water hardly moves
You might get out through all the waves and rocks
Into the middle of the poem to touch them
But when You've tried the blessed water long
Enough to want to start backward
That's when the fun starts
Unless you're a poet or an otter or something supernatural
You'll drown, dear.  You'll drown
Any Greek can get you into a labyrinth
But it takes a hero to get out of one
What's true of labyrinths is true of course
Of love and memory.  When you start remembering.

-Jack Spicer

I've liked the Spicer I've read, need to explore more.  This one reminded me of WESTWORLD, and it had sea otters in it.  Dude had my number.  Had to resign from UC Berkeley due to Red Scare legislation.  What a boss.

Friday, December 02, 2016

13 Favorite Taylor Swift Songs

A list I created last weekend to punish Steph for traveling on Thanksgiving.  My passive aggressiveness has layers, like an onion cake.  (Thirteen is Taylor's favorite number, if you're a dummy who doesn't know that.)  I think we all know that the true victim here is me.  I will martyr my modest Taylor fandom to you.

13. Love Story
12. Speak Now
11. Welcome to New York

10. Blank Space
9. Shake It Off
8. Mine
7. Style
6. Our Song

5. You Belong With Me
4.  Wildest Dreams
3. Back to December
2. Sparks Fly
1. I Knew You Were Trouble

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Long December GOAT

Finally time for the GOAT winter song and top five Christmas song.  That was the longest goddamn month of my life, felt like we were crawling towards December.  Grateful that a lot of people are fired up and not giving up.

I remember turning in a biology final fall semester freshman year and singing this song to myself as I packed up my backpack.  The couple the row in front of me turned around looking like they'd seen a ghost and the girl very solemnly said: "That is my favorite song." It is weird to have songs that have literally been helping me live for over a decade.

MR. ROBOT S2 (2016)

It was a challenging season, especially the Elliot-centric episodes, but nothing on TV has felt as essentially of-the-moment and daring since Sorkin-era THE WEST WING or pre-Obama THE DAILY SHOW.  It is incredibly thoughtful, perhaps takes itself too seriously, but what else is taking on the fundamental issues of the present with this kind of unflinching courage?  THE AMERICANS is kind of a stylish echo of this, but we have the benefit of distance and spy-cool detachment, whereas MR.ROBOT shows the warts-and-all youth grappling with a seriously fucked system, with dice loaded and decks stacked to such absurd levels that the characters, and we along with them, need to ask why even play the game.

ps still-President Obama got me a raise (my employer already sent out the memo, whoops, and is honoring it) in addition to cutting my taxes for eight years and covering my privileged white ass with health insurance for two years I really needed it, long live the man the myth the legend and fuck the new guy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Local boy makes good.


A combination of attrition and gradual cast shifting/improvement (I'm particularly fond of Jody and Colette) has made MINDY my favorite live-action sitcom right now.  It is kind of a throw-back to sitcoms of the past with plots that don't especially matter and shameless guest stars, but it adds so much verve with modern, ADHD pacing and killer comics hitting double-time jokes.  I think it has gotten even better on Hulu, but the audio is a little off.  Had this problem when COMMUNITY went to Yahoo--seems like the actors aren't mic'ed well, or somebody in post is missing the mark, but there are legitimately jokes that can't be heard no matter how much you pump the volume.  I probably haven't given this show enough credit the last couple years, but now it is legitimately one that I look forward to every week.  It's off until Valentine's Day 2017, so I'll be catching up on those I missed in seasons 1 and 2.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Equal parts GIRLS and VERONICA MARS, with a dash of TWIN PEAKS.  I can't get over how tonally perfect it is.  Resonant in the face of mystery and tragedy, sharp as a tack about our urban(e) generation's strengths and weaknesses.  John Early is hilarious and Alia Shawkat has a lot more range than I gave her credit for.  It is weird to be this high on a TBS show, and weirder that they actually handled it correctly--so much smarter to release it in one go and keep momentum, rather than let people lose track of it in the cable hinterlands.  

Monday, November 28, 2016


Thrilling, enthralling, brainy and ungraceful. I've been happily along for the ride the whole time, but 100% would understand and not fight someone who hated this show's guts.  I think it is incredibly meta-textual and meta-contextual re: exploitation, dehumanization, and perversion.  Anthony Hopkins is doing what only he can and elevating the cast with his strange basso-soul, like an operatic villain.  I'm not sure what greatness the show has in its bones, but right now, at this velocity, it doesn't matter.

PS How bad are the opening credits? So bad!  Is there some study on American opening credits behavior I don't know about?  Like, is it exactly as long and boring as it takes to reheat nachos?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Leonard Cohen's YOU WANT IT DARKER (2016)

The title track is a hymn for the ages, and the absolutely perfect song for the end of this fucking year.  What a grace note to leave on. (Speaking of which, I would go to a church that just played Leonard Cohen's music.)  The rest of the album is minor key majesty, a fond farewell to a friend. Godspeed, goodsir.

I want to believe we deserve better, but paying taxes and accepting shelter from a corporo-fascist permawar surveillance state means we probably don't.  Saving up for expatriation. haha /rant

Human history is a mostly fucked enterprise, and those particular conditions led to Raspberry Beret, so I guess I'll just compromise.

Raspberry Beret from HA Animation on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Bruno Mars 24K MAGIC (2016)

I'm so glad that Uptown Funk and Mark Ronson changed the Bruno trajectory.  Dude is undeniably talented but was serving up treacly, condescending garbage that was interchangeable with whatever Ed Sheeran, Andy Grammar, and other traffickers of blue-eyed-dead-soul were foisting on the radio.   24K MAGIC captures a sound that it is absolutely lacking on the radio, but it isn't simply retro--bumping the soul-funk BPM up saves it, makes it more accessible and visceral.  Mr. Peter Gene Hernandez also has a talent for inventing goofy cool dance moves and seems inspired, after working with Mr. Chabon, to make lyrics half the fun too.  The album starts with four very strong songs before detouring into Side B sexy times RnB which doesn't offer anything you haven't heard before a thousand times. Still, I'm happy with the singles we got and encouraged to keep an eye on this guy, where I'd written him off before.  We could do worse than the Weeknd, Drake and Bruno setting the goalposts for us.  Also, Kanye hates how pretty he is, which makes me happy.  Petty heroes for a lesser age, but it is the age we've got.  How much of our thirst is just for new wedding floor funk? Aging such sweet sorrow; school dance anxiety turns weighty, loaded, the punch spikes itself.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Weeknd STARBOY (2016)

Mr. Tesfaye has an increasingly good ear for production, is writing more memorable lyrics, and in general is an idiosyncratic force on pop radio with his own formula for hologram soul music that works more often than not.  It seems to me to be music from the future we imagined in the 80's, like it is exploring an alternate present. At a bemusing 1h8m, he hits the wall halfway through.  The collaboration with Daft Punk is a perfect pairing, and I hope it's not the last. Future and Kendrick show up and the force of their personalities are a welcome diversion--Tesfaye needs to ask for help more often. His spiritual girlfriend Lana Del Ray shows up for such a brief interlude I'm not sure why they bothered.  They need to duet.  Likewise, Sam Smith and Justin Timberlake lent backup vocals but should have been given more work.  They could have lifted and brought some of these songs into relief, where they now disintegrate back into the electro-pop ether.  Thank heaven for small favors: The Weeknd is not MJ like he wants to be, but he is light years better than Chainsmokers and their ilk.   I guess the lesson this year is that we're already in Westworld, and sometimes the androids are safer allies than the humans.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016



This was a really great episode and had some vintage Scott-argument-winning. Are you subscribed?  WHY AREN'T YOU SUBSCRIBED?

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Had a good time seeing this in a tiny theater on opening Friday with a happy crowd. I harbored secret hopes that Harmon was more involved than a pass-over, but you couldn't really detect his touch.  I don't know jack about Doctor Strange but seeing it has me interested in picking up the Ditko run.  I don't think I sighed once during the movie and Steph tells me I sigh many times during most Marvel movies.  I am unaware of this and ashamed (and secretly proud) of my autonomic nervous system.  I am not sure they gave BenCum (I just ruined your day) enough meat to chew on--dude was astonishing in HAMLET (2015) and I hope he gets pushed to his limits.  Then again, I still need to see THE IMITATION GAME (2015).

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Carly Rae Jepsen EMOTION SIDE B (2016)

I wish my ancestors had stopped their emigration in Canada.  My low center of gravity would have been a tremendous boon in hockey, and maple is a top 5 flavor.  

GOTHAM CENTRAL omnibus (2016)

My favorite version of Gotham is the noir minimalist version here, with Batman as ancillary, with his efforts the black-hole like pull on every aspect of the city.  Up there with my favorite Batman graphic novels: DARK VICTORY, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CAPED CRUSADER, YEAR ONE, HUSH, THE LONG HALLOWEEN, and THE DARK KNIGHT

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Pallbearer FEAR AND FURY (2016)

Not really a doom metal band, more Southern Gothic writ large: huge and majestic, dark and wounded.  I suspect this will hit the spot this week and if so, go check out their phenomenal first two albums. Black Sabbath indeed.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 144 NEIL IS ON SPOTIFY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! REJOICE, YE WEEPING

-first song to absolutely blow my mind, and make music an obsession.  playlist is up to 1,338 on this joyous news (yes, I've been cheating.)

--i'll always be driving through the west hills when that guitar gets going

---probably my theme song senior year of high school

----danny, fever, barn

-----so glad neil stuck with coke

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 143

-i prefer this jackson

--the 90's obsession with white tees and levi's ruined me for most of college.  also, white tees are horrible attire for the coffee-addicted slob.

---I aspire to Janet backup dancer-level happiness

----it needs to be really loud you guys

-----i guess the drums aren't aging well to everyone's ears and that is totally fair, especially when they are 50% of the song.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 141 and Michael Ian Black's NOTED EXPERT (2016)

His best album in my opinion and I'm a man who actually owns VERY FAMOUS

-every time i hear this it will be 4 a.m. in the frozen food aisle, stocking ice creams.  those fucking little pints are harder to stack than they look, especially when your fingers freeze and ice has built up everywhere.  i got beef with ben and jerry.  anyways dying in someone's arms sounded like a nice alternative to wage slavery.

--it me.

---so unfortunately she's not on spotify in the US as of earlier this year, making this especially helpful of old Ben.  the 3rd Puett child will thank me.  Truly a godfather for the ages.

----any dude that references Patsy is alright by me.

-----he gets a Cornball pass from me, King Cornball.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 140 and Chris Garcia's LAUGHING AND CRYING AT THE SAME TIME (2016)

Really terrific and empathetic set from a guy I'd never heard of.

-what a weird career

--i like timberlake's voice, and often the production, i just think he perpetually works with some pretty weak songwriters.  no reason he shouldn't be making classics à la Uptown Funk

---did i tell you about the thanksgiving we got in an altercation with JT's security guard?

----I thought *I* was the most over-earnest male of the 1990's...nope!

-----private planes are way worse than sharks you guys

Monday, October 31, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 139 and Lady Gaga's JOANNE (2016)


-humanity ftw

--i always forget about these songs and when it comes back around, it sounds like one of the fundamental building blocks of modern pop

---drummer sweater prolly smells great

----pretty sure i've been listening to people rip off that opening riff for the last ten years.  they can start ripping off the rest of the song, please

-----rick james just air-drummed there still hope for me?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 138 and Chris Hardwick's FUNCOMFORTABLE (2016)

I've always been lukewarm on Hardwick but he won me over with this set.  More honest, creative and funny than anything I'd seen or expected from him.

- i contain multitude, i am grunge goon, i am lovely old lady who enjoys baths and these sweet jams.

--Jesuit high class of 2005, some of you may exist because of this song.  the math checks out. (Gorman mic drop)

---Ye knew that you if you start with the best ingredients, cooking is child's play

----my roots are strong and deep

-----you best believe I know the anita songbook son

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 137 and Steve Hauschildt's STRANDS (2016)

Life's been good to me so far.  Check out the new album from 1 of my 2 favorite electronic music creators in the world, Steve Hauschildt, formerly 1/3 of Emeralds: STRANDS is going to be one of my top ten for the year, of this I am quite sure.

-the weight of actual human sadness in youtube power ballad comments could resink the titanic.  not being belittling, it is medicated people reaching through time and space towards each other with kinds words and it is very very uncomfortable, but in a reassuring way.

--you're a good man, Charlie Brown

---i hope no one does advanced analytics on how many songs on here employ falsetto.

----so fucking buttery rich....i wish shame behaved like water, and followed the laws of osmosis.

-----10,000 is such a nice soft cushion..

Friday, October 28, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 142

-I just put a lot of Mariah on there you guys

--I think 90's RnB invented New Sincerity way before DFW

---seem to have lost a lot of stature, but maybe they never had it?  Just seemed like it was a massive band when we were kids, now a footnote

----maybe a person full of shame (me) has to practice being shameless, like a hot air balloon dropping ballast?  Anyways Darius is alright with me.

-----apparently just anyone could get a job directing music videos back in the day

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 136

-I just put a lot of Mariah on there you guys

--I think 90's RnB invented New Sincerity way before DFW

---seem to have lost a lot of stature

----maybe a person full of shame (me) has to practice being shameless, like a hot air balloon dropping ballast?

-----apparently just anyone could get a job directing music videos back in the day

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 135 and Kyle Kinane's LOOSE IN CHICAGO (2016)

Listened to this twice in one day, which I don't think I've ever done with a comedy album before.


--this was my middle school jam.  I was so misunderstood you guys.  

---some songs like this are just going to end up with multiple artists covering them on the playlist  because you gotta stack the deck a bit, even if it is your deck and you're the dealer and you're playing solitaire 

----i need chill transfusions

-----i've been using the Toddy cold brew system this year and holy shit it is a life changer, get on my level.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 134

-the people who feel the most anxiety (me) are probably the people who shouldn't feel any, like the fear of getting hit is worse than getting hit maybe because it lasts longer?

--lookin for the water from a deeper well

---oh damn flip phone core at its peak

-----it became the rosetta stone for vaporwave.  

-----not on spotify because nothing is problems fucked us, we should have had a better avril.  we live in the darker avril timeline

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 133

-fernetty pot for the soul!  (Ben's unsuccessful and dangerous line of fernet-based soul-cleansing netty pots. The alcohol kills the brain bacteria!) i mean, the water is just gonna be somewhat tainted due to circumstance, and my unending joy at over serious bros mimicking depth, it has its own cavernous tragedies

--I'm not sure but I think Louis C.K. was the lead singer of Tonic

---btw I've gotten even worse at bowling.  like ~50 bad.

----how many dude-babes did they find to front these bands after Kurt?

-----i'll always have Doug's back because he helped me save the february men's encounter from ruin

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 132 and David S. Pumpkins

This paralyzed me with laughter

-you know that in islands across the pacific and indian oceans there's a bar with a local kid who knows how to play this and adele and don't stop believing on acoustic and everything is spelled wrong and mispronounced and fucking perfect

--I do not understand how the vocals were recorded for this.  how could he sing so softly and clearly.  it's not whispering, it's too well-defined for that.  the articulation is stunning.

---what if, and I know this is my stupidest (possibly offensive) take ever, but i think whenever you sense someone wants to know if a person in a story is white or black, you just called them 'oh yeah, he was a cool American.  well, I mean, his dad was cool, his mom was white.  but he identifies as cool."

----whenever a new song is recorded in studio, they should play this on the monitors and then listen to the playback.  if you truly believe your song belongs in this continuum, you can keep it, but you have to pass this shame-flame-walk

-----i'm not sure there is a state that seems more romantic in abstract but that I am more disinclined to visit, savannah aside.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 131

tfw you find a new song you love on youtube

- i bought this album at the Circuit City (RIP) over off holgate and it wore it out

--maybe some days you fight, and when you can't fight with joy in your heart, you give up for that day, so you don't burn out, idk.

---definitely his worst fashion phase...oh ps I figured out the difference between what I hate in a cappella and what I enjoy.  I can't stand when they mimic instruments, cuz they are about 10% as good as they think they are at it.  I do like straight-choral arrangements.  who who who who the fuck enjoys a white boy beatboxing who who

----has portland gotten demonstrably cooler yet?

-----honestly i would probably need a lobotomy to be this chill.  not saying its stupid, just saying i need surgically severed anxiety neural pathways

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 130

-so sue me there is meaning in the prince shadow, he made enough cool to graciously allow all these lesser men.

--weirdness prior to internet-driven incentive to deviate from the mean

---i have so many questions

----dude probably got me into music more than anyone else

-----you can't give this shit to teenage romantics, it is uncut, it leads to long pauses in empty art classrooms, windows full of more light than should be allowed.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 129

-how did I go so long w/o eddie money, you people are supposed to be my friends

--clearly eddie had no friends one could suggest writing some verses?

---our modern ballads need more power

----if you're gonna have a double neck guitar, you need to invest in double the fog machines

-----seriously power ballad youtube is out in force, and they are a very genuine group of people.

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 128

-WHUT WAS HAPPENING????  How lenient were drug laws?

--Yup that is some fucking bass

---1:13 ladies and gentleman, george michael.

----this shit is why I wanted to learn the sax, what fucking sexiness, it is like a candlelit steak dinner and all satin everywhere...yeah, you definitely need to double down with some sexy spanish guitar too.  we had some passionate lovers in the '90s.  some many millennial exist thanks to this.

-----great song, great scene in Keanu

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 127

-tap's strange rebirth in our it due for a comeback?

--maybe history's most heavy music video.

---man her voice is thinner than she is.

----I need more Wham! in my life


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 126

-how often do you beg for the forgiveness of your species?  please do it more.

--history is cave aged, it is strange and funky.

---wut now?

----did she invent Fury Road?

-----the videos are killing me softly

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 125

-I love this lady straight up.  I think she falls way into goth musical theatre a little bit too much, but if she could channel this inspiration and BPM a bit more, she could be a huge star.  Such an alluring voice.

--the 70's are more interesting in abstract and practice than the '60's.  of course the revolution of empire failed.  What do you do afterword, with a scared, conservative hegemony?  How do you adapt to veterans returning, war failed, promise lost, just smoke and exhaust everywhere, just death and worse, life.  life without hope of change.  the guitar in this is sick and I think *a lot* of sneaky pop hits over the years have terrific, 3/4 point lead guitar, totally in pocket but expressing so much.

---Bridesmaids is going to be looked back on as generational, as a turning point in comedy an inflection point in feminism.

----ugh I think I was alright tonight until I saw that old 76 ball.

-----This came on the radio when Steph and I were driving in Ireland and it made the day, it was sweet cheese, WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE 90's?  I have no idea.  I am Kurt, rolling in a grave.  I'm Rick Fox, jheri curled up, just ready to accept the world as a glory plane, as a place where dreams come true.

ps oh fucking no i just learned RF is a goddamned Canadian.  that bastard rained clutch threes on the Blazers in the playoffs like he had hate in his heart, but no.  born in fucking Toronto.  goddamn it Rick.  next you'll tell me Robert Horry is from Wales.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 124

- what a weird time, we were so stupidly wealthy in melodic folk pop and we championed fucking AnCo, just for cachet or whatever.  I really need to stop visiting Pitchfork full on, but I like to check in every morning and utter my catchphrase WHAT SOPHISTRY IS THIS??????

--don't tell me


I am sorry I have been zipped up in an emotional gimp suit for the last decade-plus, it is well past time to be open, So let us stop talkin' falsely now/The hours getting late

---from ol' Beaverton!  did not get enough love.

----should be one of those alt-radio hits that plays for years and keeps a bands' name alive

-----if you haven't read The Mysteries of Pittsburgh you need to.   is the musical bed of this song just auto-tuned bro vocals?  plus a YYYs-lite guitar riff and some tom-heavy, muted drumming?  I have no idea.  it works.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 123

-everytime this comes on the radio, a whole region rejoices, quantums of relief and smiles, warehouses, offices, cars with people who can breathe like free divers swimming hard for the surface and breaching and gulping air and life

--someday, in a lonely dystopian/utopian compound, maybe near Fossil, OR or French Lick, we'll earn this, we'll barbecue SPAM and find the song on its terms, which are ether above us.

---2:15.  dude owns a lot of land along the Flathead River, where I lived that summer in Montana.  mixed reports on him as a steward of land, 100% all precincts reporting that he can fucking own the Platonic ideal of a yuppie jam godbless him in my book

----PDX dudes, saw them under Hawthorne bridge, met singer at Zupan's,  they got robbed from Lumineers' era folk-pop, should be rich

-----wherever we went, whether the Gorge waterfall where we ate roadside blackberries, or the once and future treehouse site where we found and guzzled Hood strawberries, Doug and I behaved like bears, good thing no salmon appeared, could have been ugly.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 122

-'96.  keystone, Rosetta's stone, for the grungy power-pop to follow: the somewhat lazy songwriting excused by undeniable attitude and fantastic bar chord changes.

-- a little more personality here, presaged the pop-punk explosion, basically blink-182 with a more traditionally 'good' singer.  when was the last time you drank a milkshake with a friend?  +1 for super nintendo, mario kart, flannel, my heart bursting

---weirder than freak folk imo

----someday the Priuses (which autocorrects to praises) will be the old woody beaters full of wonderful girls of trouble.

-----I mean, the idea is that this would only show up 0.01% of the time, and wouldn't that be nice, once a week or two, just simple utter stupid joyousness.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 118

eat your heart out you animals

-I guess I was really into The Very Best and didn't want to credit these bros

--girl you and I will die unbelievers

---IS IT A CHRISTMAS SONG??  i say no and i am liberal af.

----such a pretty arrangement

-----now that's a pocket choir

Thursday, October 13, 2016


about damn time.  the other day when I realized how slim the pickings for Bob on youtube were I just went ahead and loaded all the no-brainers onto the playlist.  I don't have much original to say except one of my favorite memories of Portland is singing Like a Rolling Stone with Scott and Ian in the jeep.  I know we were turning from McLoughlin onto Holgate some summer night and we made it all the way to Scott's house and I don't think any of us missed a single word, it is absolutely my favorite sing-along song in the world, I can never help myself.

Here's to Mr. Dylan, well-deserved Nobel Laureate.

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 117

-dude was a pretty good blogger imho

--gylly's on board!

---to be fair my serious dial has been at 11 since grade school.  it appears to be stuck.

----it is kind of baroque sub-Saharan

-----America don't love you

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 116

-an ad for Beats earbuds (ew) and Campari (cool)

--kind of a Talking Heads song

---i am very sorry but I dig that synth

----Steph got me over my irrational disdain for them through exposure therapy

-----bless you nerds.  we shall inherit something.  cold brew?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 115

-what we want Nicki please.  top 5 rapper going, and a smoother transition to singer than Drake.  seems like she's being poorly served and should be ruling.

--there's been a proliferation of cynical Pitbully songs that Lorde called out in Royals, put up your hands, dance, etc...mild exhortations by businessmen.  JT's new single is exactly that and sucks for it.  THIS.  This is Platonic, this should be locked in the museum with that cubit they use to measure a centimeter or whatever.

---@2:30 mama monster

----could she loan some excess personality to Katy plz?

-----0:34 is she the only human who understands syllables?  She is a friend of the integers.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 114 and Frank Ocean's BLOND(E) (2016)

excellent prog n b and he quotes elliott

- starts at 8:45.  one of Ben's great calls, having this on the wedding playlist before it was released as a wedding single.  I savor the memory of the fifteen seconds of doubt while everyone waited to see wtf it was.

-- 2:54 yass queen

--- i'm w/ JGL

----i mean, she could be the best country artist going if she wanted to be.  v excited for JOLENE.  and her Gaga's next album.  rimshot.

-----We miss you Clarence

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 113 and Solange Knowles' A SEAT AT THE TABLE (2016)

just a very good political r n b album.

-life is good and it is a damn shame we have to fight so hard to preserve it but money never sleeps so neither can we...check to see if you can vote early!

--RVW; I used to be the only deejay who played him at our classical station, no idea he had two of the GOATs on the Classic FM hall of fame, but this is my jam i need austerity and triple-large string sections, hold the flutes, seriously Keith hold the goddamn flutes.

---you could take a bath in her voice.  Not on Spotify which is a crime.

----I adore this song

-----I believe there is subtext, I have to believe, and do believe.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 112

Senegalese dudes buy these birds and release them to represent letting go of worries, so in the middle of this damn election, I feel like flying to Dakar just to do this.

-good thing the SFPD vice squad took the night off.  Supposedly there's a part in Last Waltz where you can just see a coke rock hanging out of Neil's nose.

--thank you, Mr. Cash.  I love those devotionals from deeply broken dudes.

---could you turn it off a car radio?  (PS I think More Than a Feeling is the GOATest of those songs, I just did a lap around town, with frozen foods melting in the car because MTaF came on the radio)

----I mean, it's a mariachi song isn't it?

-----WHO MAKES STEVE GUTTENBERG A STAR?  Steph and I ask each other listen at least monthly.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 111

It is going to be such a stressful month waiting for this election to be over, so let's just listen to some yacht rock and look at pictures of Marilyn, ok?

-y'know I usually raise my hackles at anyone who suggests they were better w/o Young (sorry, Colonel!) but I'm starting to think I was wrong.  CSN were team players, Y was a megalomaniac.  Glad they went separate ways.

--love porch couches.

---celebrate the domestic, get a houseplant, just be revolutionary and don't eat chicken wings.  For the love of God, don't let those bastards make you eat wings. they're turning us into animals it is straight Gulliver bro

----the first of many car songs to come.  Oh Neil, you are so uncool.  Due to his anti-Spotify stance, I found an Emmylou version and good God her voice.

-----for the times you can't kill your own hope

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 110

-should start  on all radio stations at 4 A.M. just as a fuzzy American flag stops showing on TV.  that the country I want.  I want days to end in flags.

--I sing this outloud, usually pops up when I'm feeling especially rudderless: her name was Anne/and I'll be damned/if I recall her face/she left me not knowing what to do

---thank you Jack Black, you truthteller.

----call your folks

-----I mean, *of course* I was getting laid throughout high school, playing chess, listening to Canadian orchestral 70's folk, watching the McLaughlin Group every Friday night.  I was Sinatra and Dino combined.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 109 and THE DRESSMAKER (2016)

An operatic farce that won and lost me at least ten times.  We saw it with a pretty tony crowd in the nicest mall in town, and they were amusingly vocal when it slowed down too much, but the ones that stayed got sucked back in.  Steph pointed out that it felt very much like it was onstage, and you could easily see it converting.  Felt like The Music Man meets Tarantino meets a British sitcom, with that strange mix of dry wit and slapstick they love. Almost a high-art level of tonal incoherence, which I don't mean as a slight really. Truly, authentically bizarre.  

-still sounds revolutionary in vocal recording

--heard this for the first time in years the other day.  it sounds like he knows how it will end.

---got to do a little hiking in WV in '11, and drove through it as a kid.  only place I'd ever been greener than Oregon.

----used to walk the beagle to Gordo...I've always been hip as shit.

-----one song that pulled me into music...I had this vague memory of this song and how much I'd loved it at like 12, took so long to find at 17 with only my folks' moldy lp collection to peruse.  he was in there somewhere.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 108

-this was my theme song one winter

--have you been on a bus through the meadowlands?  something.  Gethard talks about how he used to go home from college and at night it would just be on fire.

---this album made me mad to find their previous work, couldn't anywhere, one day it just appeared in the vault and I was let down.  not enough meadowlands.  but that's what happens when you go a decade between albums.

----they sold me on it too!  bought it at EM at some point, really the only song that stuck though I tried to love the rest

-----now that is a damn close harmony

Monday, October 03, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 107

-every version of this song is the best version.  i guess Bob has a lot of his stuff pulled off youtube, but it is up on Spotify?    I may need to rejigger the arbitrary rules to this project.

-guys, you think my bullet vest is too much?  Be honest.

---he's wearing a pretty damn dope Neil Young Tonight's The Night t shirt.

----screw it I'm not waiting.  My favorite song of the year so far.

-----at one point I was legit excited at the prospect of Tip getting out of prison, and this single seemed to justify me, but time...time has not.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 106

-fetch another round!   best music if you are the guest on a boat, bring dark rum and Brandi

--More like Aaron DOPEland, amiright? *waits for high five*

---If I don't die or worse/ I'm gonna need a nap
At best I'll be asleep/ when you get back

alltime great lyrics

----ally yourself with stoners and losers they have broken hearts and kindness to spare

-----see them live if at all possible. 

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 105 and 22, A MILLION

Listened to it a couple times of some worthless work speakers, wasn't feeling it.  It just sounded like a wonky loop album, of the James Blake ilk that always bores me to tears. Jon Pareles on the New York Times Popcast said it was a headphones album and he was totally right.  Played it five times while painting a couple walls in our guest room.    On headphones it is evident that he is still crafting songs from whole cloth, weaving disparate elements into a grand whole.  I don't think there's anything that jumps out at me like BON IVER, BON IVER but next is the car test.  Highly recommended, put me in a great unanxious contemplative mood.


--bless you sweet braff, you mean so well.  I'll ride for Scrubs, that dude gets a pass.

---parking their cars on my chest

----I think about this roof, other roofs so often.  how I just want to sit on roofs with the people I love.


Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 104

-all of us still have terrific hair (knock on wood) what are the gosh darn odds on that?  Meanwhile RIP Stipe's hair, it was beautiful.

--you bought a new bag of pot so let's blow it


---- i remember running laps to this around Cronin field some hot as hell summer morning.  that old lady setting pace.

-----I was on 45th/I was half out of the bag my street!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 103

-with hair Billy looks eerily like Michael Ian Black.

--top twenty opening riff.  and then that kick drum? that is how to do it.  the piano in this is so nice.

---people always stop to listen to listen one.  my dad, brothers and I were at that burnside and sandy intersection, and made it home in silence with this on.

----I debated this one earlier, decided against it, but then in came on during a fantasy football power hour and it is essential.

-----made '03-'04 a lot more fun

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 102

-andre please save more music

--ain't got no time for holy rollers!!!

---you gotta know what's on your sleeve

----you got no fear of the underdog/that's why you will not survive

-----like my brother says

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 101

-back in 03-04, in the Chris Ott days before they sold out post-AF, Pitchfork gave away mp3s on their site, pretty scattershot, but hugely important in helping me branch out.  turned me onto a lot of stuff I wouldn't have heard in a million years, without much context, which was also important.  they were just these mysterious things that stayed on a burned disc in my car on repeat.  Phoenix was on there with one of their earliest singles, Everything is Everything.  I still think the song is too repetitive, but it had undeniable charisma.  Glad they made it.

--novelty from a genuine place.

---I can't love their albums, don't believe they're a 'generational talent' like they're being sold but this I can get behind. can't we ever just let something be 'nice'?

----why didn't they make a video for this song it rules

-----this is a case where I don't understand the lack of crossover.