Monday, September 11, 2006

Luigi - "Single Cell" Video

Can anyone say "New Rock Crush"?

Good. I knew you could.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Singles Only: Blue Mountain - "Black Dog"

What do you do when one of your favorite alt-country bands releases what is, in essence, a novelty song?

You eat it up, naturally.


MP3: Blue Mountain ~ Black Dog
[From 1997's Homegrown (out of print)]

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Singles Only: Tracey Ullman - "They Don't Know"

I've found that getting older is really just about shedding inhabitions, tearing down the fences one has built around himself, etc.

That said, I might have lied earlier when I called that Reivers song my favorite evs.

Long before Tracey Ullman unleashed The Simpsons on your ass, she had a very respectable career as a musician. I was maybe 10 or 11 when this song came out--just discovering girls. All of the sudden, everything seemed to make perfect sense.

"They Don't Know" is a song in a perpetual state of suspended animation. Written by Kirsty MacColl (who was taken from us much too soon), it pays its respects to the golden age of Motown girl groups but somehow establishes a character all its own. Tracey may have covered it as a goof, but that makes no difference to me.

I guess it qualifies as a guilty pleasure. If it's wrong to love this song, being right is for suckers.


MP3: Tracey Ullman ~ They Don't Know
[From 1992's You Broke My Heart In 17 Places: The Best Of Tracey Ullman (originally released as a Stiff Records single in 1983]
Buy: [eMusic] [Amazon]

Bonus MP3: Kirsty MacColl ~ They Don't Know
[From 2005's The Stiff Years, originally a 1979 Stiff single]
Buy: [eMusic]

Singles Only: Palace (Will Oldham) - "Gulf Shores"

There are a lot of songs that try to capture the essence of a place and fail. This song succeeds despite and because of itself.

Leave it to Will to cram insinuations of both incestual and homoerotic flirtation into just one verse. Can't a beach just be a beach?

if I whisper nothings in your ear
will you pass them on to him?

MP3: Palace ~ Gulf Shores
[From 1995's Mountain EP]
Bonus MP3: Palace ~ West Palm Beach
[From the same EP]

The Royal Stable
Palace Records
Bonnie Prince Billy

Friday, September 08, 2006

Concerns Have Been Registered...

...regarding the plan discussed below. So I'm going to try to stay on top of current things here, too. From now on, older tracks I post from my collection will have a Singles Only designation in the title. Everything else won't.

MP3: Jack Logan ~ Teach Me The Rules
[From 1996's Mood Elevator (out of print)]

you got a set of eyes, you've got a set of ideas

allmusic: Logan bio
Jack Logan's Web
MySpace: Jack Logan
Aquarium Drunkard's post on Logan's Bulk

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Reivers - "Bidin' Time"

I thought it only appropriate to get this "singles" ball rolling with the song I consider to be my favorite of all time. Or, at least, that's what I tell people when they happen to ask.

The Reivers, for the uninitiated, were a fabulous band from Austin, Texas, extant from the mid 80s to the early 90s. This track found its way to me by way of a compilation put out in 1990 (it was originally scheduled for a 1984 release) by the legendary DB Records. Look for more cuts from the comp in this space in the future. You might glean from the tracklist that there are some real gems.

So: "Bidin' Time." Originally recorded for the group's Saturday LP, the song didn't make the album. This is something I scratch my head over. Maybe the band sensed it would pale all of the other tracks in comparison.

Jangly guitars, possibly the most disciplined use of the pedal steel ever commited to tape, and the ambivalent-yet-determined vocals of Kim Longacre are a few of the things that make this song so endearing to me. Here's another:

if harvests are bare and dust clouds disposition
gods and authors are in vain
but if you know the seed will grow
a lot depends on other things

MP3: The Reivers ~ Bidin' Time
[From 1990's Squares Blot Out The Sun compilation on DB Records (out of print)]

The Reivers (unofficial site)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Summer Hymns - "Mr. Brewer (Cackle, Cackle)"

The Aquarium Drunkard's recent post on the new Summer Hymns record got me thinking about my favorite track of theirs, the ostensible subject of this entry and available below. The fact that I so strongly associate the band with a particular song got me thinking about something else.

I've always divided people who listen to music into two groups: "album people" and "singles people." To me, the former group always seemed to be the more evolved of the two, so naturally it was the one I associated myself with. The advent of the MP3 era (and, more specifically, MP3 blogging) has changed everything. I find myself with a music library full of individual tracks by bands I may never hear a long-player from. Some in the music industry would point to this and say "see, told you so, MP3s are evil." But the fact is, I'm buying more music today than I have at any other point in my life (much of this is attributable to the convenience and immediate gratification eMusic provides.)

So it just so happens that I'm also in the early stages of organizing my CD/record collection. I am notoriously messy, so it's going to take awhile. In putting my fingers and eyes on these albums I haven't listened to in years, I'm finding that I am not so much nostalgic for the experience of revisiting the album in toto as I am scanning the track list for those songs that really meant something to me, the ones I associate with very specific people, places, times and feelings. And I'm realizing that maybe I never really was an "album person" at all.

I've been passively looking for a focus for this little blog, so I'm going to try an experiment. For the foreseeable future, I'm going to focus on the songs that have really 'taken' with me over the last 10 or 15 years. Hopefully it will a) help me get my shit organized is a shorter period of time and b) provide some sort of public service, introducing folks to stuff they might have missed for whatever reason or (as in the case of Justin's Summer Hymns post) remind someone of something that's Very Good but has been unconsidered for awhile.

My goal is to post at least a song a day. I plan on writing something about what each song means to me. I might mix in some other random stuff. Maybe it won't suck.

(No commentary on this one; too many words already, and I think it speaks for itself.)

MP3: Summer Hymns ~ Mr. Brewer (Cackle, Cackle)
[from 2000's Voice Brother And Sister LP]
Buy: [eMusic] [Amazon]

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm Outta' Here

I hope all of your Labor Day Weekend dreams come true. Be safe and be happy. Hope to see you next week.

MP3: Buffalo Tom ~ Anchors Aweigh
[from 2002's Besides: A Collection of B-sides and Rarities]
Buy: [emusic] [Amazon]
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