Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 29

File under unexpected:  Tim Heidecker's album is a really good homage and update to Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, and Warren Zevon

^^TERRIFIC BOOK I think Ken, Dave, Ian and Pat would dig the hell out of it^^

-crushing one another with colossal expectations

--it burns being broke, it hurts to be heartbroken, and always being both must be a drag

---last of the late greats


-----Top 5 in favorite crescendos of all time.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 28

I dug X-Men: Apocalypse!  The dialogue was pretty clunky, but the action was great.

-it is pretty weird how often we treat strangers better than our own mothers.  maybe we resent how much they created us.

--i'd listen to several albums of Sam just rewriting the Bible for us

---my favorite Christmas song, non-Kermit division

----I could play this on guitar for a couple nice months

-----He willingly goes by the name Topher, people!

If that's still not enough:

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 27 and thoughts of the moment

Hail, Caesar!  and the The Nice Guys were both thoroughly pleasant affairs. Mindy's having a great season and Lady Dynamite is fun. (We're seeing Maria Bamford for a second time in a few weeks and I couldn't be more excited. She and Patton are the best stand-ups I've ever seen.)  Portlandia had maybe its most boring season yet.  Steph pointed out how much of it didn't seem to take place in Portland.  Not sure what is up there.  Now you're caught up!

-reggae always sounds best to me early in the morning

--probably my very favorite

---I think with the knee-jerk disowning of hacky-sack bros kind of threw the baby out with the bathwater in a lot of ways.  I mean, would you rather hang out with someone who was way into Marley or LCD Soundsystem?  Overall people interested in a gentler world, but because they had laughable accessories....idk

----sharing a roof at night is a profound thing.  I think it's one of those Vonnegut things that has a force to it that you might want to deny, but it's there all the same.

-----Making HAY on your hate

PS  They remastered It Still Moves and it sounds even more terrific:

Friday, May 27, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 26

-I loved you, well nevermind

--I probably should have started with Big Star.

---finest girl in the world

----guns are made to be stuck by

-----world's best nose.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 25

-those are some very lightly tapped bongos

--if you haven't been to the Crystal Ballroom 80's dance party, you absolutely should

---so weird and magical

----prepare for your lizard brain to be happy all day

-----would have been an amazing Catwoman. Probably would still be, if DC could actually commit to Dark Knight Returns instead of taking half-measures.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Losses Come Later

starting @ the 3:27 mark, Prince takes the stage and turns it into a raga, a perfect tribute to George and worthy of him.  Wild.

The Purity of Oblivion

As the video says, X-Men was the 2nd best superhero cartoon of our youth--it had a scary groundwater of the government as enemy, terrific villains, and trusted kids with multi-episode arcs. Apocalypse legitimately frightened me as a child.  A lot of baddies had comically fey voices, which made them seem temporary impediments to the world order, but there was something anti-theist about Apocalypse.  As with Batman: The Animated Series, X-Men invited us into a bigger, more dangerous world and it was mesmerizing.  My brothers and I actually rented some X-Men VHS tapes from a Hawthorne Hollywood video back in like 2008, but they were so shredded by time.  I think we were curious how much of it held up. I can only imagine what their experience with the show would have been, being younger.  I'm a little nervous to go see it this weekend, because I'll actually have skin in the game, caring as I do about the storyline.



Props to the Shakespearean actor:

John Colicos...
Apocalypse / En Sabah Nur (voice)

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 24

-water flowing underground

--here we stand

---home is where I want to be

 ----say something once, why say it again?

-----take my money, my cigarettes

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 23

-couldn't wait til Friday


---they have some of my favorite guitar tone ever

----love how uptempo it is

-----he's still got the chops, maybe just needs to work with younger people?  I think he'd sound great with CHVRCHES

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 22

-listened to this a lot in Montana

--he's the real deal beneath all the artifice

---my only gripe with Ben is that he had a great band name for his first project (All-Time Quarterback) and then abandoned it for a worse one

----hard to listen to sometimes but uultimately reassuring

-----i have a hypothesis that a lot of our generations bands would have more classic songs if they had pushy producers who made them play it as fast as they could.  velocity so underrated.  midtempo "rockers" can suck it!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 21

-That quiet high piano pattern lets you know that the next four minutes of your life are going to be very alright.

--Nearing 30, and this oldboy finally ready to admit that losing Freddie Mercury was a much greater loss to humanity than Kurt Cobain.

---Honestly, probably the best takeaway for me from the Men's Encounter was a CD with Under Pressure on it.

2nd best was football: TD thanks to a clutch block from Ian, fumble recovery under a pine tree into deer scat, tackling Heath in the open field, and knocking the wind out of Doug so hard that he got a nose bleed and stuck grass up there.

But Under Pressure.

---- Mister Farenheit is better than every rap nickname ever invented.

-----What I love most about this is that QUEEN made the best rockabilly song of the last 50 years and ethered every cutesy band to follow.  And it was a trifle for them.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 20

-if her video can have 264M views, why the fuck can't we get Charli on the radio?  We have that Vine girl's idiotic Peter Pan song for goodness sake!

--she was terrific live

--- maybe it's a nationality thing?  We can only have one tangentially-major British pop star at a time and it's Ellie right now?  (obv. Adele is a different beast)

---- depressingly low views

-----the through line of this project will be how much life confuses Ben

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 19

-this will be a better year

--he bites my moves

---i owe money to the money to the money i owe

----i wish i believed in fate

-----you've got a nerve

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 18 and thoughts of the moment

new radiohead is boring but ok.  james blake is aggressively lazy.  are we really gonna pat this shit on the back?  ANOHNI is operating in a similar realm of sound (synthesized, downbeat despondence) but way more potent and valuable.  (are session musicians prohibitively expensive all of the sudden?)  drake is aimlessly fine, per usual. Chance is good and refreshing, especially after TLOP.   LEMONADE has some truth in there, especially Freedom and Formation.  whole cloth, the album is not for me but I believe it was made truly sincere and charged, and I respect that and think it will do good in the world.

VEEP and SILICON VALLEY are both having their best seasons yet.  KIMMY fulfilled its S1 promise.  BROAD CITY is my favorite show on television after RICK & MORTY (S3 soon!) and SCHUMER is on point.

KEANU was a fun film, and I think it was important because of how casually not-white it was.  As if that is also a totally valid norm to work from.  I guess I mean big studio movies are so baseline white, and when in doubt, go straight/white that a film being so nonchalant in having mostly black actors....it shouldn't be so rare, but it still somehow is.

HOW TO BE SINGLE was infuckingcredibly wasted.  I hope the phoenix that rises out of its ashes is that we will get to proceed into a Dakota-whatever-free future.  I literally don't even want to google what that girl's name is but hooollly guacomole is she a redshift of life leaving the universe.  

-so I guess I need to be cool with not all of these being on Spotify, not just heavy hitters like Prince, Neil Young and Kate Bush but whole record labels.  There's no Bonnie "Prince" Billy either.  Anyway, however good the Chromatics version is, the original is an order of magnitude better.

--great video

---jesus the past is heavy.  all the elementary schools kids sang this to our eighth grade class at the graduation breakfast.  I ate strawberries and did not want to leave.

----often imitated, never duplicated

-----she officially has the best extras in all of music videodom

"more than 200,000 quasars are known"

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 17

-i wonder how much better the current pop foot-stomp folk-revival would be if they replaced the incessant Whoa-oh-oh's with the more honest la-la-la.  Is this the dumbest question I've ever asked?

--half a mile from the county fair

---woke up singing this.  also, my video is showing "Support Israel" pins for sale.  unsettling.

----this one is about losing his mom in 9/11.  I think it is my favorite piece of art to come out of that.

-----had this CD in the car summer '11, this song always seemed to come on as I was leaving work at sunset, driving through the zoo and home on Rock Creek Park, a curvy little road that is my favorite part of D.C.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 16

- what power pop should be but usually isn't

-- Best youtube uploader comments ever?:  "Uploaded on Jun 7, 2009
I love this song!

Especially when i'm drunk on beer!"

---Dire Straits have this weirdly calm, ebullient maturity.  

----I wish I could renfair the 80's

-----I made a pilgrimage to save this human race

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 15

-introduced via The Thorns cover, first CD I ever bought.

-- pretty little hairdo/don't do what it used to

---this lifetime's easy/way back there's a funeral

----Smile when you're down and out

-----Another song that made a 90's film something bigger, turned goofy mythic.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 14

- serenity

-- I will eventually use this playlist as I become an eccentric AM radio tycoon

--- this is why I'm doing this

---- I can't believe a billion dollar kids movie used this song, let alone used it so gracefully

----- Beyonce knows what's up.  Also I now believe Karen O is related to Adam Driver

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 13

-they played this once at our Thursday night bar with carpeted dance floor, and kids full of long islands and Andre went nuts

--it was that weird experience that happens in college radio (seldomly!) where you know how good a song is, and then out of nowhere everyone on campus knows about it, and it's a heady rush, to hear coming from dorms on a Friday night

---something roommate Robby and I could very much agree on.

----One of the only good songs they played on my mom's smooth jazz station, so you better believe I clung to it like a lifeboat

-----It is pretty weird how this song makes My Best Friend's Wedding

Monday, May 09, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 12

New Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool--you could scramble all the songs from their last 3 albums and A) I wouldn't especially like it B) be able to guess which album it's on and C) the song would 95% likely be better if Thom wasn't singing on it.  Dude has decided anything approaching a vocal melody is trite.  WHICH WOULD BE FINE (exhibit A. Julianna Barwick) IF  dude had a good voice but he shuuuuure as shit doesn't.

I think you can trace when their shit went real south to his solo album, which should have been ridiculed at the time.

-carried me through parts of 2015, especially the early mornings

--2 songs but they were released in 1 video first, so they're linked to each other now in my brain, even if non-consecutive on the album

--- oblivion

----be a body


Saturday, May 07, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 11

-M83 manages to make nostalgic-au current- and future music, all while building natural excitement and extending empathy.  Strange brew.

--such a great career arc too, made music for the moody kids for years, now somehow realized how many people feel like outcasts, at least some of the time.  I always underestimated the value of big tent music.

---best French artist since Edith Piaf?

----weird analogue, but the only American band I can think of that manages to skew formula but cobble together dynamic, unpredictable songs that thrill

-----Adam Goldberg!

PS for playing along at home:

I came up with the idea of this when I realized Spotify caps you out at 10K songs in 1 playlist.  I wondered if I had 10,000 songs I'd always be happy to hear.  I'm not sure.  They don't have Neil Young or Prince, so that makes it a little dicey, but we'll see

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 10

Hale fellows well met, my Russian friends!  I am sorry to see that so many of you still have to use Internet Explorer--I believe Microsoft has discontinued supporting it here in the U.S. and many websites do not look very good on IE.  I hope this is getting to you alright.  I strive to be your #1 source for silly opinions.

-It took all the coke in town/to bring down Dennis Brown

--When we're driving around and the Cranberries pop up on Sirius, it is a guaranteed goofy sing-along.

---This song temporarily made me insane and spend 800 bucks on a Martin Dreadnought I had no idea how to play

----I heard this song and tried to John-the-Baptist for old Bonnie Bear but no one was buying it back then.

-----same as above.  I guess I had blown any credibility when I played the Hold Steady at a party.  Music about parties doesn't extend by necessity into parties.

Julianna Barwick makes novenas of grace:

Friday, May 06, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 9 and Hello Russia!

Most of our views come from our friends in Russia--hope you all are doing great there!  Possibly my favorite poem of all time is by Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko


Weddings in days of war,
false cheating comfort,
those hollow phrases:
'He won’t get killed...'
On a snowbound winter road,
slashed by a cruel wind,
I speed to a hasty wedding
in a neighboring village.
Gingerly I enter
a buzzing cottage,
I, a folk dancer of repute,
with a forelock dangling
from my forehead.
All spruced up, disturbed,
among relatives and friends
the bridegroom sits, just mobilized,
Sits with Vera-his bride-
but in a day or two
he’ll pull on a gray soldier’s coat
and, wearing it, leave for the front.
Then with a rifle he will go,
tramping over alien soil;
a German bullet, perhaps,
will lay him low...
A glass of foaming home brew
he’s not able yet to drink.
Their first night together
will likely be their last.
Chagrined, the bridegroom stares,
and with all his soul in anguish
cries to me across the table:
'Well, go on, why don’t you dance! '
They all forget their drinking,
all fix me with goggling eyes,
and I slide and writhe,
beating a rhythm with my hooves.
Now I drum a tattoo,
now drag my toes
across the floor.
Whistling shrilly,
I clap my hands,
leap up near the ceiling.
Slogans on the wall fly past,
'Hitler will be kaput! '
But the bride
her face
with tears.
I’m already a wet rag,
barely catch my breath...
'Dance! '-
they shout in desperation,
and I dance again...
Back home, my ankles
feel as stiff as wood;
but from yet another wedding
drunken guests
come knocking at the door once more.
Soon as mother lets me go,
I’m off to weddings once again,
and round the tablecloth anew
I stamp my feet and bend my knees.
The bride sheds bitter tears,
friends are tearful too.
I’m afraid for everyone.
I’ve no desire to dance,
but you can’t not dance.

Translated by George Reavey (revised)


Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 8

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 7

-Seems to me that Petty should be revered at the same stature as Bruce Springsteen.  Is it cuz he didn't have a self-fulfilling nickname like The Boss?

--That stature should be very tall.

--- When a song like this comes out and doesn't even sniff Top 40 radio in America, I realize I don't understand how the world works.

----Or this

-----Or this?  Why do we wait five years and then *best case* we get a more boring version with Ellie Goulding or someone singing it?

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 6

-I wouldn't mind if much more post-synth, post-drum machine pop sounded somewhere between this....

--....and this.

---when you stuck at work listening to an "oldies" station, this sounds like an oasis

----seems like in the 80's, they had a much healthier relationship with BPM. PS I think Bieber could do a killer cover of this. 

-----It is flat-out amazing that this song still sounds refreshing and invigorating.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 5

-A go-to when I'm feeling really despondent.  Never fails.  I'm like Hagrid with his little pink umbrella.  PS how bullshit is it that none of the professors could just like, tutor the dude?  WTF?

--So glad this got an official release.  Each Sam Beam new release is less and less interesting, but as he keeps revealing his back catalog, it is becoming evident that he's written 40-50 amazing songs.

---The Prince-sweeping algorithm on Youtube hasn't found this guy yet.   I've singing this all week. 
---Gah they're finding 12" remixes within a week!  Damnation,  we need a symbol for him that computers don't recognize....
Replacing it, with a stone cold classic that always always always sound good.

----I'll always remember being 6 and the first time we visited my granddad's grave, we drove through the cemetery and this was on the stereo.  It will always sounds like being glad to be in a warm car with your whole family.

-----How shameless can Ben be?  This shameless.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v. 4

-Some of these are going to be obvious

--painfully obvious

---the 80's are the second greatest decade for music, after the 60's, and the U.K. plays a huge role in that.

----at some point I might get sick of it, but ten years and 100's of listens in, nope.

-----my favorite duet ever and I am a huge sucker for duets.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Ten Thousand Favorite Songs, v.3

--long-term romance is the new punk rock

--had a badly-recorded, joyous live cover of this done by Death Cab and the Decemberists that kind of melts into the original in my mind, until it is a globally sung, gleeful go-fuck-yourself

--possibly my favorite bass line ever

--it has to be one of your favorite songs if every time you hear it, heavy weights fall from your body

--this song on a car stereo rules.  Phil Collins practicing choreography in a sweater vest and rumpled khakis rules even harder.