i got a bad religion and a forty-five

Mike Gunther getting his howl on at the 7th Street Entry in Mpls, May 2004.

Last Thursday, JRDN & I ventured out to the Turf Club in St. Paul to catch local heartthrob Mike Gunther and his band the Restless Souls. I've known of Gunther for quite a while (his younger brother was my class president at Armstrong high school), but I first saw him perform back in May of last year, opening for gypsy punks Gogol Bordello in what may have been my top show of 2004. City Pages named Gunther the area's best songwriter in 2003, and I'm not one to disagree. I missed his performance at the Fine Line a few weeks back, so I made damn sure I was in attendence this time.

MP3 Mike Gunther & his Restless Souls - "Have Mercy"
Just as he was at that Entry show, Gunther was preceded by local bluegrass duo The Get-Up Johns at the Turf Club, as well as the Tin Star Sisters, who apparently co-starred in a music video for this song. Ben Weaver may have been the headlining act that nite, but I (along with plenty of Armstrong alumni) were there to see Gunther stomp & hiss & shout & croon all over the place, and he didn't disappoint. Cyn Collins was at the Fine Line show & did a fine job of describing Gunther's stage persona for How Was The Show:
Mike Gunther, ordinarily kind of a quiet guy, becomes an old-time troubadour on stage, singing of dark matters of the heart, battling the demons of desire, drink, guilt, loneliness, and jealousy. He is oft-compared to Tom Waits and Nick Cave, and it’s easy to see and hear why; but he and his band really are in a class of their own. Using his versatile voice - at times gravelly, at times smooth and longingly plaintive, at times the voice of a medicine show barker – Gunther uses religious iconography in the song “Have Mercy” and lyrics “turning water into wine” and evokes dark and sometimes nightmarish images of sex, murder and mayhem. With the aid of ‘20’s or ‘30’s revivalist preacher suits and kerchief, it began to feel hot as hell on a mid-summer day even though it was 0 degrees outside. Not only does the high theater and performance, which is like none in this town, make the show worth seeing to be believed, but the skilled instrumentation and Gunther’s and Scholten’s songwriting is worth hanging on every word.

That odd, deep-bass beat you're hearing is multi-instrumentalist Suzanne Scholten banging a bunch of old, rusted chains on an oil drum. Very sexy. "Have Mercy" comes from Gunther's 2003 debut album Every Dream That's Dropped & Died, which you can order here from Heart of a Champion records. There are additional songs available via mp3 at Gunther's website.

MP3 Mike Gunther & his Restless Souls - "Redemption #4"
I friggin' love this song, the opening track on Every Dream That's Dropped & Died, so I decided to repost it. And while the Waits influence is blantantly obvious, I think I also hear some Johnny Cash swirling around in there.

BTW: Local artist David Witt designed a poster for this Turf Club show. Also, a shout-out to childhood chum Kyle, who apparently reads this blog, and Angela, who I hadn't seen since high school, who were both at the show.

MP3 RANA - "900 Numbers" (Live in NYC 5/11/02)
ATTN NYC: If you missed last Thursday's RANA event, the first of their 3 week Tribeca Rock Club residency, you've got another opportunity to rawk out tonite. Don't miss out. Want a preview? Download RANA's classic 11/29/02 show from CBGB's through iTunes. It'll be ten bucks well spent. This loud, massively stretched-out version of "900 Numbers" comes from a memorable 2002 performance at the Mercury Lounge in NYC. Guitarist Scott Metzger uses some trippy layered echoing effects with great success as keyboardist Matt Durant goes off on an incredibly intense & wild rant, as he tends to do on this particular song, and it's powerful sh**. Play this at a high volume & your ears may bleed, but in the good way.

Lastly, Oscar nominations came out a couple days ago. Yawn. For all the hype surrounding Sideways, the best thing about the movie (by far IMO) - Paul Giamatti - got snubbed. Oy. I was glad to see Before Sunset & Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind get screenplay nods, as well as Kate Winslet for her wonderfully manic-yet-tender Eternal Sunshine performance. I've been so bored with movies of late that I haven't seen a lot of the nominated flicks. I have almost no interest in Clint Eastwood's "girlie" fightin' Million Dollar Baby since a) I accidentally found about the movie's big plot twist and b) it seems to be as overly-lauded as his last feature, Mystic River. Ugh.

ETA: "Shorelines" "7/4", apparently the first single from Broken Social Scene's forthcoming Windsurfing Nation LP, is up over at just for a day.

Kyle from More Cowbell just informed me that this version of "Shorelines" "7/4" is from an in-studio performance on CBC's Zed TV, not from the new album. I thought it didn't quite sound like a Dave Neufeld-produced track.

dance dance dance to the radio

At 9am this morning, 89.3 FM here in Mpls changed over to an "eclectic" non-format & became KCMP The Current. It's sort of the MPR-version of local college Radio K, and includes some on-air talent that once ran the short-lived but glorious "revolution radio" Rev 105 (1994-1997). I haven't listened to FM radio in this town for a long time (I only recently tuned back into AM w/the local Air America), but this station may actually get me to shut off the iPod from time-to-time while in the car, which is a feat btw.

MP3 Atmosphere - "Say Shh"
Local MC Slug talks up his hometown of Mpls on this Atmosphere track, appropriately enough the first song played on The Current today by music director & morning DJ Thorn. It's a hidden track on Atmosphere's 2003 Seven's Travels LP, and its lyrics speak lovingly of the simple joys of living in the midwest ("if you know this is where you wanna raise your kids").

MP3 Low - "Transmission"
This Joy Division cover, from Minnesota-based Low's 1996 Transmission EP, was also played this morning on The Current. Apparently, it was also under consideration to be the first song, a popular suggestion on the station's blog, which has followed The Current's preparation leading up to its debut, taking feedback & new ideas along the way. The Current 89.3 is sponsoring the homecoming Low show at First Avenue on February 12 w/Pedro The Lion, as well as the 2/23 Kings of Convenience show at the Fine Line. Low's new album The Great Destroyer comes out tomorrow on Sub Pop records.

Besides these two tracks, the first two hours of The Current also included Earlimart, Jim White, Ani DiFranco, Luna, Hank Williams, The Replacements, Iron & Wine, Johnny Cash, Death Cab, Wilco, Patsy Cline, Frou Frou, The Arcade Fire & a particularly interesting set featuring !!! ("Hello, Is This Thing On?") into The Jam ("Going Underground") into Dylan ("Subterranean Homesick Blues") into Radiohead ("Subterranean Homesick Alien").

You can stream The Current via 32k Windows Media or "cd-quality" aacPlus, which unfortunately won't work on your iTunes (go here for audio help).

ETA: More Cowbell has the playlist from the station's first eight hours.

all the furniture is in the garage-uh

Just when we all thought I was done yapping about James Murphy, witness the newly re-launched LCD Soundsystem website. It's got release info, a new forum, a four page bio & ringtones (!), as well as a brand new video:

MOV "Daft Punk is Playing At My House" video (hi-res) (17.7mb)
MOV "Daft Punk is Playing At My House" video (lo-res) (4.3mb)

Stereogum & the now famous Music For Robots also have LCD tracks up.

LCD Soundsystem will be in stores on February 15 in North America, this Monday (1/24) everywhere else. I'll try to shut up about Mr. Murphy now.

It was snowing like a muthaf**a here in Mpls today. Enjoy your weekend.

ETA: You may experience some temporary problems w/The Big Ticket on Saturday nite due to maintenance on .Mac, where I host all my files:
.Mac services will be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance from Saturday, Jan. 22nd at 10pm until Sunday, Jan. 23rd at 6am (PST). Included in this outage are all web-based services and iDisk [...] We regret any inconvenience this causes and appreciate your support as we continue to enhance our service.

My apologies in advance. Hopefully the outage won't last too long.

neither much worse nor much better

From Oct '04, the Moz & his t-shirt's creator (via Stereogum). Bless you, Jon Stewart.

MP3 ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - "Worlds Apart"
Well, it's inauguration day, so this seemed appropriate. Bleh. It's the title track from ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead's forthcoming Worlds Apart LP. I'll be avoiding the "news" today like the f**king plague.

Unless it's The Daily Show's "fake" news, of course. That's funny.

ETA: Ah, more bloggible stuff about The Arcade Fire (take that, Coolfer). Both Jen @ Daily Refill and Kyle from the fansite Us Kids Know point to video interviews & great live performances from a two-part episode of the Turnpike series on Lawrence.com. Check out the Turnpike archives for past episodes featuring Spoon, New Pornographers & The Shins amongst others.

i'm gonna whittle you into kindlin'

I haven't done a Waits Wednesday in quite a while, not since the first day of Mix '04, way back in December '04. What's the matter with me? You all must be going through withdrawal. It's all my fault, of course, as even I haven't devoted nearly enough listening time to last year's Real Gone LP.

I will honestly try to do better, starting right now, as a matter of fact...

MP3 Tom Waits - "16 Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six" (live)
I recently got my hands on a VHS-rip of Tom Waits' 1988 concert film, Big Time. It got played all the time on IFC back when I was in college, but (of course) they stopped showing it by the time I finally started really getting into Waits during my sophomore (IIRC) year. The film is just as visually odd-yet-sumptuous as I remembered from the glipses I did manage to catch at the time, with lots of Waits chilling out in a ticket-taker's booth with a giant, mischievous smile on his mug. But, for a guy who missed out on the man's 1999 tour in support of Mule Variations, it was especially delightful for me to see the man's full force stage persona in action. Someone needs to remaster this sh** for dvd ASAP. This song, which originally appeared on 1983's Swordfishtrombones LP, is the leadoff track from the film's soundtrack and does a good job of encapsulating the film's madcap energy.

MP3 Tom Waits - "Train Song" (live)
During most of Big Time, Tom Waits is stomping around like a madman, leading some bizarre eastern-European cabaret, backed by an eclectic band including NYC guitarist Marc Ribot. But "Train Song" displays another, more quiet side of the man. It's just Tom at his piano, emotionally crooning rather than further distorting his gutteral growl. It even begins with Tom doing a short bit of storytelling, an area that finds him at perhaps his most charismatic. "Train Song" originally appeared on 1987's Frank's Wild Years.

As-per-usual, you can find all the Waits info you need over at the Tom Waits Supplement, and the latest news at the adjoining blog The Eyeball Kid.

and the rest will follow

Attention, Air America listeners & fans of really-really loud rock music: the Austin TX band ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, who I last wrote about back in November, will be appearing with host Janeane Garofalo on tonite's edition of the Majority Report. I don't know whether or not they will be performing any songs, but they might since their delayed new album Worlds Apart is finally coming out next Tuesday (1/25).

ETA (1/20/05): Apparently the Trail of Dead interview was terrible, the worst since Janeane had Peaches on the show last year. It dragged on so long, they never got to Jason Bateman either. Plus, they didn't perform.

My old friend Nancy Kiu has apparently been working on the new Fox series Point Pleasant, which premieres tonite at 9pm ET after (ugh) American Idol. Yesterday, she sent out the following plea to watch her show:

watch POINT PLEASANT! the show that i've been working on for the past few months is finally airing WEDNESDAY the 19th and THURSDAY the 20th at 9pm on FOX. it's a midseason drama exec produced by marti noxon, one of the exec producers on buffy the vampire slayer, and co-exec by ben edlund, the creator/writer of the tick. it starts off a little fox-ified but i promise that it gets better with each episode. tell your friends, your family, hell, even your pets, and if they happen to have a tivo or a nielson box, all the better! so tune in and support a lass in need of ratings.

As Nancy mentioned, the second episode of Point Pleasant will be airing tomorrow nite (1/20) in its regular timeslot, after The O.C.. I wasn't really looking forward to this show (seems kinda like an occult version of The O.C.), though I know that Angie over at The Brain Drain (scroll down) is, but perhaps I will tune in after all. I'll happily encourage others to do so as well, because Nancy is the bestest. The West Wing will just have to wait.

The PP cast, all conveniently in one room. Hey, isn't that Jake from Melrose Place?

BTW: I picked up season three of Curb Your Enthusiasm yesterday on dvd. It includes the Krazee-Eyez Killah episode that is a favorite of my pal Marc. Next Tuesday brings the release of another HBO show, the outstanding second season of The Wire. It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.

Lastly, Pitchfork has finally gotten around to reviewing Apostle of Hustle's Folkloric Feel, an album I quite liked from 2004. Brian Howe gave it a 7.7.

yr paranoid heartbreaking beats-suh

Jason Bateman of Arrested Development, humble in victory (x 3). Photos: WireImage

Golden Globes, yawn. At least Bateman won. There is further Globes commentary & other cinematic shenanigans over at The Conversation, a blogging alternative to Slate's "Movie Club" that I stumbled on last nite.

Also, the Vikes lost. Season over. Ain't no big surprise.

MP3 LCD Soundsystem - "On Repeat"
I know, I know. Broken record. Or rather, in this age-of-iPod, "On Repeat". Yes, it's another eight minute track from LCD Soundsystem, who I just can't seem to shut up about. I keep returning to the self-titled LP, like I can't help it. It's been practically the default position on my iPod over the past several weeks. Perhaps I'm drawn to James Murphy's "I'm on Sudafed" vocal delivery, or maybe I'm just intrigued by the way he pronounces everything with an extra syllable ("on repeat-duh"). I haven't been able to make out all of the lyrics yet, but I do love this freak out towards the end:
I wish I could complain more about the rich,
but then all their children run the streets,
come to every show. No one wants that!

I wish I could complain more about the rich,
but then all their children would flee the schools,
come to every show drunk & unwashed!

How true. The newly-redesigned (also yawn) Pitchfork reported last week that LCD Soundsystem, which streets on February 15 in North America after releasing on January 24 everywhere else, will be a 2CD set featuring a bonus disc compiling songs from previous LCD singles. Here's a tracklist:

01 Losing My Edge
02 Beat Connection
03 Give It Up
04 Tired
05 Yeah (Crass Version)
06 Yeah (Pretentious Version)
07 Yr City's A Sucker

I really like "Yr City's A Sucker", the b-side on the UK "Movement" single.

Free Williamsburg has an e-mail interview w/LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy by Rajeev Muttreja & Jason Bell, cross-posted on One Louder.

mp3 bloggers: we got served?

Moistworks got shut down this week, as its host was served notice by the apparently British IFPI that it was "hosting infringing files" (aka mp3's). The site is now back up, and is moving to a new hosting service. But could this be a warning shot aimed at the rest of the "mp3 blogging community"?

Dunno. Gulp. Who's next? Heads up via donewaiting.

ETA (1/17/05): Mystery & Misery opines on the subject with authority, outlining a six point "creed" that many, if not most, mp3 bloggers live by. Aussie-based int'l music blog Fat Planet also offer his thoughts (1/20/05).

i just wish i had more to blog about

Howdy, y'all. My apologies for yet another quiet week here on the blog. I just haven't had much that I thought was worth mentioning, or that wasn't covered far better elsewhere. I do have a few random Friday tidbits, starting with some musical selections that appeared on recent episodes of The O.C.:

MP3 Olympic Hopefuls - "Let's Go!"
This track, from locally-hyped indie pop-rockers Olympic Hopefuls, played after the first commerical break of last week's episode (w/Modest Mouse). I had been meaning to pick up their disc for a little while, and JRDN was nice enough to loan me his copy last weekend. I still need to listen some more to The Fuses Refuse to Burn, the debut LP available through 2024 Records, but I'll get around to it. You can find O.C. music listings at the Weekly Mix.

MP3 Joy Zipper - "Baby You Should Know"
My ears perked up early in last nite's episode at the sound of this lovely Joy Zipper song, which I posted before way back in May of last year. "Baby You Should Know" appears on the duo's sophomore album American Whip, which is finally getting a stateside release on February 22 from dangerbird records (it seems like I bought the UK import from Other Music forever ago). This track barely missed inclusion on Mix '04, so I'm happy to repost it. FYI: Bolt also has the full music rundown & links taboot from last nite's O.C.

I just recently stumbled upon Neon Bubble's (of Web Nymph fame) amusing breakdown of Road House, the Swayze-iest of all Swayze flicks.

Singer/activist/cute-as-a-button Nellie McKay appeared on last nite's Majority Report on Air America, which featured actor Justin Theroux guest hosting w/Janeane Garofalo. Nellie talked a lot about animal rights. Those of you who were watching The O.C. (or who actually have a life) can download a mp3 of the show from the Air America Place audio archive.

BTW: I didn't mean to diss on all O.C. viewers just then, many of whom, if not most, surely have fascinating & fulfilling lives. Unlike me right now.

The Killers are on this weekend's SNL, but I don't really care. I can't watch that show, though I'm tempted to for host Topher Grace. Probably not.

Lastly, if I were wearing a hat, I would tip it to great sites like Fluxblog, Chromewaves, Stereogum & Brooklyn Vegan (who has been kicking serious ass of late), who always manage to find interesting or amusing stuff to write about or post every single day. I just can't keep up that kind of pace, and I truly admire those bloggers who are able to do so. Kudos all around.

Enjoy your weekends, folks. It's friggin' cold here in Mpls, btw. Brrr.

ETA: "Great Release", the blissed-out Eno-esque album closer from LCD Soundsystem's upcoming debut LP, is up over at gabbaPod. FWIW, it was also playing on my iPod when I f**ked up my car last week. So be careful.

Also check out the fancy new re-design over at Womenfolk. Oh so pretty.

we like the ardy that rocks the party

There weren't only dogs behind bars this weekend at the RiverCentre. Oh, the horror!

Howdy, folks. Time for a little weekend recap, if you don't mind:

Friday nite, I saw the Wolves squeak out an 89-84 win at the Target Center before venturing to St. Paul, where Evan's photography was being shown at the MMAA, with musical accompaniment from locals Whisper in the Noise. The next morning, JRDN & I rolled back on down to the RiverCentre, which was packed to the gills with bitches. Yes, it was day one of the Land O'Lakes Kennel Club dog show, and our pals the Rosens' tibetan terrier George was in competition (though I'm still not sure if the dog actually knew what was going on). It was quite the spectacle, though not what we had expected from previous viewings of Best in Show. No Parker Posey, no Fred Willard, lots of dog feces. Here's a write-up on the event from the local Star Tribune.

Later that afternoon, I luckily stumbled across a Boing Boing post informing me that fellow NYU alum & Lonely Island dude Andy "Ardy" Samberg had appeared on the previous nite's Premium Blend on Comedy Central. As I've mentioned before, Andy has to be one of the funniest people I've ever met, though I didn't know that he actually did stand-up. A pleasant suprise.

If I ever bothered to check out what's going on over at Friendster, I would have had more advance notice of Andy's appearance from his gal Mimi. Alas, I was lucky to find out about it before Comedy Central re-ran the episode on Saturday nite, so I fired up the ol' VCR & recorded it for posterity:

MOV Andy Samberg on Premium Blend (29.8mb)

Andy is more than just a Channel 101 superstar. Chez Chat, the Lonely Island blog, has more info & comments. It also tipped me off to a pretty funny interview the dudes did with Osterich Ink. And in honor of Andy's Comedy Central stand-up debut, here's a song (and two remixes) that's all about the young man by TLI's hip-hoppin' alter-ego, Incredibad:

MP3 Incredibad - "Ardy Party"
MP3 Incredibad - "Ardy Party (Ardy vs. Kid Icarus remix)"
MP3 Incredibad - "Ardy Party (Doria remix 1)"


I tuned in-and-out of Sunday's 31-17 playoff win by the hometown Vikes, accidentally missing out on Randy Moss pretending to moon the fans at Lambeau (ESPN's Page 2 also weighs in on the incident). I'm a very cynical Vikings fan, as I'm always expecting the team to blow it, and I often am able to find sick humor in how they always manage to do so. Then again, if the Sox can overcome a history of failure, perhaps the Vikes can as well.

I'm not holding my breath.

After all the constant Fox promos throughout the Vikings game, I just couldn't avoid the fourth season premiere of 24. I was a huge fan of 24 from the beginning, catching every single hour of both season one & two. But I found the show's third season to be rather sub-par, getting lost in random storylines that went everywhere-yet-nowhere & bringing back (and killing off) too many characters/villians from past seasons. Even as the show seemed to get back on track about two thirds of the way through, my patience had waned & I never got around to watching the last several episodes. However, TPTB have retooled for "day" four, ditching most of the cast & centering the show more solely on Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer. I think it was a good move, starting relatively fresh with a brand new storyline without being weighed down by having to incorporate past characters. While the first two hours that aired on Sunday nite weren't amazing (or anything new), they were very captivating in classic 24-form, and I'll be tuning in tonite for another dose. Jack is back, ladies & gents.

Chromewaves & The Brain Drain also watched 24, and have their own takes on its return (beware of spoilers). Not suprisingly, there's a 24weblog.

Elsewhere, on an unrelated note, Daily Refill tries to find a connection between the Unicorns breakup and the Brad & Jen breakup. Hmm...

ETA: Exclusive A Scanner Darkly images over at Ain't It Cool. Sweet.

do you want to wear the overcoat?

Doesn't my car look angry? Its hatred is directed at me, and rightly so. Gulp.

As you can surmise from the photo above, I f**ked up my car on Tuesday. Nobody was hurt & the car still drives (though it's out of commission for now as I wait for an estimate), but it is most certainly not good. I just keep serving up winners, don't I? Can you guess how my week has gone?

I'm still listening to LCD Soundsystem almost exclusively ("On Repeat" is the hotness), though the latest Heavy compilation found its way into my mailbox a couple days ago. Despite featuring indie rock tracks like MP3 "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)" by The Arcade Fire (mp3 courtesy of better Propaganda) & some lesser known hip-hop, Sumosonic 33 has a decidedly electro/dance vibe that fits in nicely with my LCD kick of late. Plus, I haven't done a Heavy-related post in a while, so why not today? Here goes...

MP3 Liquid Liquid - "Flextone (Brennan Green’s Deviant Funk Mix)"
Sumosonic 33 kicks off with this track by early 80's legends Liquid Liquid, from a new split 12" w/Liquid Liquid member Dennis Young coming out on Rush Hour recordings. James Murphy & Tim Goldsworthy of NYC's the DFA recorded new material w/Liquid Liquid ("Bellhead" appears on Compilation #2), and had this to say about working with their idols:
James: One of the biggest honours of my life. They’re friends of ours now, and they have the best sense of who they are than almost any band I’ve ever met. I generally don’t want to see a band that comes back after twenty years. It’s always depressing. But I couldn’t resist, and I went and saw them, and they just fucking tore the roof off. Far better than almost any new band. In fact, that’s the problem with new bands. They don’t have Liquid Liquid to compete with - they have the boring each other to compete with.

Tim: Working with a legend is absolutely terrifying. Because Liquid Liquid are one of the things we turn to when we’re listening to stuff, a root band. They still use the same instruments and sound exactly the same, and its difficult to produce because… they’re fucking Liquid Liquid! Am I gonna be the person to put an acid bassline on Liquid Liquid and be hated by thousands? I don’t think so. They have a pretty faultless back-catalogue, and they have mystery, because no-one really knows what they look like, or anything about the early gigs. They’re one of those perfect bands. So I felt like I had to go to a lot of therapy to cope with the weight of possibly being the man who destroys everybody’s perception of Liquid Liquid. But it’s a complete honour and I’m quite happy to die now.

My first introduction to Liquid Liquid was on the opening track ("Optimo") of the 2003 compilation New York Noise: Dance Music From The New York Underground 1978/1982. There is also a self-titled collection of material compiling three EP's & some live material available through Amazon.

MP3 The Juan Maclean - "I Robot"
This hypnotic instrumental track from The Juan Maclean is the last song on Sumosonic 33, and likewise also appears on the DFA's Compilation #2. The above Liquid Liquid quotes come from a track-by-track breakdown of that three disc set, with Tim & James also providing some odd-yet-interesting commentary on señor Maclean:

Tim: Juan is originally from the much-missed and totally underrated Six Finger Satellite, who Sub Pop should really put out a compilation of, ‘cos they were years ahead of everybody else. They were electronic, but tough and scary. Awesome stuff. His own stuff has elements of Kraftwerk and… I don’t know how to describe Juan really. He’s insane. One of the most intense people you’ll ever meet. You can ask people about Juan and they’ll says he’s extremely scary. Then you meet him, and he’s not. But then you get to know him and he is. There are many, many layers to Juan, and he’s very real.

James: ‘I was a big fan of Six Finger Satellite, then we were friends and I was their live sound mixer for years, and I helped them produce their last album. He’s just terrifying to be around. A very heavy character. He was a junkie for 13 years and I hated him at first. But that changed and its an honour to work with Juan. He’s a very genuine character, and an unusual talent… much more surreal than most people.’

bonus MP3 Black Leotard Front - "Casual Friday"
Seeing as how I'm already overloading on the DFA, and it's obviously Friday, I thought this was a reasonable track to repost. JRDN referred me to a City Pages review of Compilation #2 with some insightful thoughts on this fifteen minute song from staff writer Michaelangelo Matos:

After playing "Casual Friday," by Black Leotard Front (a.k.a. Murphy, Gonzalez, Russom, and Christian Holstad), three times in a row and stopping myself from making it four, I've decided it's the greatest 15-minute disco record of all time. (Runners up: Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby," Paperclip People's "Throw.") It hearkens back to the DFA's first great production, the Rapture's "House of Jealous Lovers"--only instead of giving an indie rock band the club-mix treatment, Murphy and Goldsworthy sound like they took hold of the West End Records house band circa 1981 and decided to art 'em up. There's an incomprehensible lyric about confronting somebody at the office; a pealing, glassy synth wriggle that announces each sonic shift; and the funkiest, sexiest, blessedly loosest pronunciation of the word bonjour on public record; not to mention an ending that pays explicit homage to Sleezy D's apocalyptic early acid-house hit, "I've Lost Control."

As of last nite, most of the Mix '04 tracks are now down. Hello, weekend.

it's the saddest nite out in the usa

Happy new year, y'all. I hope people had a nice, celebratory weekend. I just kinda laid around, as was my prerogative. I saw The Life Aquatic again, and while I connected with it much better the second time around, my initial reaction (scroll down) wasn't too far off. I rang in 2005 with some Mpls peeps, a low-key affair that was highlighted by a fine feast prepared by my pal Rachel. Bravo & kudos to her! She is truly a first class hostess.

I'm still saddled with a bunch of work, so it's likely to be another slow week on the blog. However, I have been listening to a lot of LCD Soundsystem...

James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem & the DFA, in a photo I poorly ape below.

MP3 LCD Soundsystem - "Beat Connection"
While I've listened to "Yeah" plenty of times this year, I didn't really get turned onto James Murphy's LCD Soundsystem until I picked up DFA's essential 3CD Compilation #2 the day after the November election. Since then, I've been hunting down LCD tracks in my free time & looking forward to the self-titled debut LP, due out February 15 (according to Pitchfork).

My curiosity spurred me on to read up on Murphy, notably several entries from Eppy at clap clap blog. As per usual, Eppy is writing way over my head, though he's got some interesting stuff to say. Me just not smart enuf (head hurt). Eppy also pointed me toward an unedited interview transcript for the January 2005 issue of The Wire in which Murphy (IMO) comes off like kind of a dick, albeit an intelligent & opinionated dick who seems to know what he's talking about and is quite passionate about his work.

Anyway, "Beat Connection" was the b-side to LCD's 2002 12" single for "Losing My Edge", a song that I've had since I picked up DFA's Compilation #1 almost exactly a year ago in NYC, but had barely listened to until recently. And now I keep coming back to those two tracks. Clearly, I showed up way way late to the LCD Soundsystem party, but then what's new? That's me, always a few steps (or years) behind the rest of the pack.

"Beat Connection" may be James Murphy's semi-ironic take on the mopey state of the "indie scene" (circa three years ago), but my current fascination with the song is a bit more direct, I suppose. I've been a real funk of late, actually I've been in a somewhat of sh**ty mood for about four years. Now as one year bleeds into the next, my fear of "fun" and lack of "play" are unfortunate realities. In a way, last Friday was sort of "the saddest nite out in the USA" for my general timeline. And yet I keep listening to this track, searching for the will to shrug off my fatalist idealism & let go, find that climactic breaking point that makes me lose my sh** & push on. Several LCD Soundsystem tracks have similar moments of explosive release, and perhaps that's why I've been listening to them so much of late. Of course, it helps that this song is the hotness. And yes, I know I need to relax.

Joe over at working for the clampdown noted that his “side one, track one for 2005” (© Fluxblog) would be "Daft Punk is Playing at My House", the leadoff track from LCD's forthcoming album that I would have posted today if The New Black hadn't beaten me to the punch over the weekend. Start your year off right & swing on by to give it a listen while it's still piping hot. If you haven't already, check out the video for the new disc's lead single:

MOV LCD Soundsystem - "Movement" video (19.2mb)

ETA (1/5/05): You'll find a Soulwax remix of "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" at 20 Jazz Funk Greats. Go forth, download & move yo damn ass!

Don't I have anything better to do with my time? Like shave? Apparently not.

Holy re-design, Batman! Head on over to the new Scenestars. Snazzy.

FYI: Be advised, I'll be taking the tracks from Mix '04 down shortly. You can easily access the whole mix through the December archive. Bon voyage.

ETA: Brooklyn Vegan has a fantastic profile of NYC's best shows of 2004, with related mp3's & pretty pictures. Holy crap, do I miss that city. Oy.