A friend gave me a promo copy of this album a couple of years ago (the guys in the band are bis buddies). My wife and I took to it immediately, especially this track. We and played it again and again on our wedding day - and ever since.
I spent some time with a very accomplished older businessman yesterday. This is the second time we’ve met and like the first, I loved hearing his stories about the old days, as well as his views on what’s to come. While folks like this might not be hip to the latest technologies or cultural trends, we can learn so much from elders given that they’ve seen it all before.
One area I didn’t agree with him though, was his claim that manufacturing jobs in this country will be on the rise. I’m not an economist, but given the global shift in skills and labor, that didn’t make sense to me. Time will tell, I guess.
With all that has been going on the last few months, and especially this week, the discussion spawned a lot of thought about lucky I feel to have a sense of security in my job and life. There are so many people, in this country and across the world, who do thankless work every day. Now, the world financial crisis is just making it harder for them.
The dialogue and subsequent train of thought, made me think of Salt of the Earth, one of my favorite Stones songs of all-time. I especially like Keith vocals in the beginning. With his worn and tired voice, he captures the spirit of the song perfectly.
I’ve been getting a lot of requests from my readers (Josh Stylman) lately to post more folksy/alt. country stuff. Well, ask no more. Here’s Deer Tick doing “Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin)” from War Elefant. These guys are great.
I’m back on the east coast and something about the trees, the weather and the food have left me with me an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia. Watching baby Nina with family, knowing that it will be some time before it happens again is painful. I’m lucky to have the strength and support of lovely Mika to make sense of it all.
A bit too lazy to pick the perfect song to show how I feel so I chose the title track of AA Bondy’s American Hearts. He recorded this album in the Catskills a few miles away from our house which we miss dearly. It’s quite new but it sounds like home.
Stumbled across this Portland band reading an article about environmentally responsible artists. Apparently, they rode their bikes for an entire west coast tour - including their stuff! Lyrically interesting, their sound is reminiscent of low-fi acts such as Iron & Wine, Elliot Smith and The Shins. I’m in.
The Revolution Will be Televised (If You Have Premium Cable)
I wanted to post Bruce Springsteen’s performance of The Rising at the inauguration festivities, but when I tried to find it, I came across this note on Youtube:
"This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Home Box Office, Inc."
While I respect that they own the copyrighted material, this just seemed lame. It’s an unbelievably historic weekend in our nation’s history and HBO owns any record of it.
So, I started posting about the experience (everything you’ve read til now) and came across a related article from the newly installed Zemanta, written by a guy with a similar point of view to mine. My favorite quote:
"Class act, HBO. God forbid people get to see Pete Seeger sing "This Land is Your Land." And, doesn’t this violate the spirit of the idea that corporate America doesn’t own D.C. anymore?"
"There is something a bit intuitively objectionable about barring other networks and random citizens from pointing their cameras at a public event like this on the Mall, and effectively prevent the broadcast of a key public part of the event, though the Inaugural Committee argues that selling the exclusive rights were the only way to pay for the extravaganza in tough economic times."
That that last part is particularly interesting and something I hadn’t considered until now. While there are pros and cons to a taxpayer funded event like this, it’s obviously more fiscally prudent to have it subsidized by someone like HBO. But, where is the line where is the line between what should be public vs. private record? While my experience was about something as trivial as posting a song to a blog, the open vs. closed question has societal implications that are much, much broader.
As I pondered this, I came across another article (again, from Zemanta - which is very cool, btw). This time from Talking Points Memo, which clarified the rights issue:
"It turns out HBO does not own the copyright. They have a six month license. The inaugural committee owns it. Not as bad as I thought.”
Still seems weird to me that HBO is “renting the moment” and not allowing everyone to take part. I can’t remember the last time there was a general feeling of national pride like this - all citizens should get to experience it.
I’ll stop rambling since I don’t want to seem to naive or idealistic. After all, it’s not like Obama has a Golden Palance tattoo, right? As for the video, I’ll set a reminder to post it in six months - hopefully, the government allows it then.
I love the Echonest team so this leaves me conflicted.
This product is at once the worst (potentially takes out that certain magic out of music blogs, systematizing and making them available for easy harnessing by some of the most voracious internet marketers out there) and the best thing that can happen to music blogs (validates the passionate sharing of taste as that with significant impact, etc).
Most places on the web where geniune conversation/excitement is shared eventually succumb to such a force and then we are left to seek new pastures yet unpolluted.
A natural lifecycle for most things on the more subtle/interesting content edges of the web. Tumblr will be in an interesting place in 3 years.
For some reason, I totally missed Elbow’s The Seldem Seen Kid when it was released last year. It’s probably because I never really got into this band. I had heard a lot of their previous work and while I thought they were good, it never clicked for me.
While I’m still exploring it, this last album is excellent. I especially like this tune - to me, the sound has elements from artists ranging from Peter Gabriel to Tom Waits to Spoon, but still totally orginal.
I recently stumbled upon the music of Bobby Charles. He’s a New Orleans Musician that made his way up to Woodstock in the 70’s. He made an amazing album in 1972 that faded into obscurity or more likely never really surfaced to begin with. The studio musicians included RickDanko and Dr. John just to name a few. The track, “I must be in a good place now” is 70’s AM radio bliss. It isn’t the best track on the album but worth a listen. Vetiver covered the song on their recent and excellent “Things of the Past” album. (they cover a number of crate diggers including one of my favorite Townes Van Zandt songs). I included the track Street People from the Bobby Charles album which might be the strongest of the lot.
“The person who is going to make all of the money in the future is the person who creates a filter. What is that filter going to be? Is it going to be the Hype Machine? It’s something that’s going to tell you what to listen to; the filter must be something that people trust. Blogs are on the road to that, but, if you go to Pitchfork the concept is clouded because there are too many different writers saying too many things; there’s no single opinion. The filter is going to be just like the radio stations. No one forced us to listen to those. We listen to the stations where that guy plays the music we like. It’s going to be the same type of thing online, but it’s going to basically tell you what to listen to, and it’s going to have a lot more elements besides music.”—Bob Lefsetz on music blogs promoting music. Full interview here. (via Zoya & Taylor) (via fascinated)
I heard this tune for years, mostly in samples, but had no idea who the original artist was. Then, I was watching Spike Lee’s 25th Hour (perhaps his finest film, in my opinion) and realized he used this song in one of the key scenes. So, I checked the credits and discovered the somewhat forgotten world of Cymande.
Will Oldham has used various disguises during his 15-year career, recording under the names Palace, Palace Music, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and yes even “Will Oldham.” The indie-folk songwriter and occasional actor (“Old Joy”) joins us for a sneak preview of his forthcoming Bonnie “Prince” Billy album, “Beware.”
Quincy Jones - Sanford & Son Theme/The Streetbeater
I had a conversation with a friend the other day about the best TV Theme songs of all time. My short list came down to stuff from my childhood including the songs from Good Times, The Jeffersons, Hawaii Five-0, WKRP in Cincinnati, and of course, the theme from The Muppet Show. The conversation pretty much ends for me when this song comes up though. This piece by Quincy Jones is not just one of the best TV theme songs around - it’s only of the funkiest pieces of music I’ve ever heard.