Jerking it in the Early Morning

Despite the bad taste in jokes for titles this morning, it’s been a long night (still looking to be nowhere close to done) as I sit alone at school in a computer lab and try to hammer out the last bits of my thesis paper. I went on a music spending spree out of boredom over the weekend and found this little gem of an album that I couldn’t pass up. The Caesars are an indy rock band that go by multiple names (including but not limited to Caesars Palace). This was a hit here in America but the rest of their work seemed lost on us as a market. This album is actual astounding, predicting/influencing a lot of what popular music sounds like today.
The album is actually pretty solid as a whole, but this as a flagship song is by far and away the best on the album. So for those up as early (or late) as I am enjoy a rock/pop classic.
As usual, relax and listen well.


Nico: the art and the heroin

I would like to start with saying that I’ve unfortunately lost my computer to a bout with gravity that involved rolling in one’s sleep and a lot (and I do mean a lot) of swearing. That being said, I had another video of this song where it’s performed live with Lou Reed and John Cale of Velvet Underground fame but because my school computers do not have speakers, decided to play it safe due to the unsure quality of the audio.
As many know record store day was April 19th, the day before Easter, and like thousands of other dedicated music lovers went to my local record store with eager anticipation. What I found I did not expect. Being a known face at Zeebeedee’s (my particular favorite store) I found that it was packed. Just down the street another record store had a line that wrapped around the building. Work nearing I was forced to leave and come back during my break only to find almost everything gone.
Attempting to try a new place that seemed so popular I found it almost equally wiped clean and decided to start browsing the CD section. What I found was the entire discography of Nick Drake (a personal favorite whom I’ve blogged about before) and this collection of two Nico albums that were mixed with the help of John Cale. Nico, having met fame through mostly sexual encounters (including but not limited to Brian Jones, Lou Reed, James Brown and even Leonard Cohen) fell in love with the harmonium after making Chelsea Girl (which I only recently found out was a disaster in her own eyes).
These two albums are some haunting murals of her already haphazard life. The booklet I think aptly described her “Valkyrie voice” combined with the drone of the harmonium as one of the truly great works of song.
In many ways Nico (whom I have blogged about before) has continued to infatuate me with her quirks and personality which I am only able to experience through second hand stories and articles. Obviously the “real” Nico will never be able to truly unfold to me, but many of her closest confidants have cited these works as her favorite works. While the albums may be a bit pretentious (as was many of the works created by the “workers in song” of the era) it can still be said that as far as an attempt to truly try something different and create a personal touch to music, Nico made it her life’s work.
The unfortunate final years of her life where spent with her son and also in an attempt to find her next heroin fix, leading many to regard her final works of music simply attempts to make money for the addiction, the pieces we find here are the nice in between, showing not just a junkie’s work, but a woman in transition from child to adult dealing with the harsh and in many ways unflattering realities of life.
In my own words, I hope I don’t sound elitist, but I write how I do. In my own words, sit back, relax, and listen.

Smog (AKA Bill Callahan)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I apologize, as life has been busy. Currently I’ve got Capstone (or my thesis class) which I am behind on as well as the constant struggle of school and work, because Thai Food isn’t going to serve itself. (Drive through Thai Food? If this isn’t real, it should be.)
But enough about me. Bill Callahan has successfully done what many musicians only dream of, developed a cult following that has led to enough success to be “heard of” but not enough to betray his underground status.
As I had heard of Bill Callahan before, I actually had never sought anything he had worked on out. A year or so ago, I had become obsessed with this lo-fi project called “Smog” which almost instantly made me a fan. A constant on my Pandora radio I delayed looking up much about Smog for no real reason.
About a year later, I struck up a conversation with my friend Kevin Mallon (I’ve tried to insert a picture of him but for some reason I can’t. It would have been great, funny captions and all) who mentioned the name Bill Callahan tied up with Smog (about which I was trying to sell him on. It wasn’t a hard sell.) Only then did I start my research of the extensive amount of work that is Bill Callahan.
This performance is at the ever impressive NPR tiny desk concert series, which holds some of the best of the best of bands around today. In the typical NPR fashion, they even can discuss music with an aptitude rarely seen today.
So check it out and as usual relax and listen well.

Shakey Graves

So I have to admit that I have absolutely no information on this guy. I’ve just found him today and so I thought of you my faithful followers of music. I write today because his voice reminds one of that Appalachian sound mixed with some modern blues, rock guitar riffs. It’s truly awesome. As a Saint Louis native I was glad to hear that he had come through a few times. With nothing else to say and current tasks at hand (SPRING BREAK!) Ill leave it to you to find something and get back to me about this young musician.
Relax and listen well.

So it goes…

Today I’ve been thinking a lot about “love”. As a single male that is on a campus that is mostly women (many of whom are very attractive) I’ve also found that a lot of them are rather shallow. Not to say that I’m so great, but there is a “cookie cutter” type on my campus in particular. I’ve also been watching one of my roommates interactions with his girlfriend (who honestly drives me up a wall. God I hope they don’t follow this blog….) and when looking at in comparison to other relationships he’s been in, it seems to me that people are willing to be unhappy so long as their not alone. Bukowski (not a great source but….you know….) states that there are worse things than being alone. After looking at my roommates current situation this is looking to be more and more true.
Now on the topic of loneliness, I recently watched Louis C.K. talk about how our generation tries so hard to distract ourselves from the imminent feeling of loneliness with our phones and technology. I liked how he began to say that allowing that moment of complete loneliness to “wash over you” makes you a better person, meaning that today people are so absorbed in being distracted from being alone that we’ve lost a unifying experience in isolation. Empathy has been lost because people are so “plugged in”.
Not to sound too depressing because obviously there are still people out there who are good and still working towards it and just as always, it’s not the majority.
Today, Lou Reed gives us a little bit of his experience with love and different perceptions of love.
So just relax and listen well.

Not Necessarily Stone But Beautiful

If you don’t know the influence of Hendrix then you’ve been under a rock for most of your life. Known for the tumultuous mix of flash stardom and a desire to be genuinely heard, the combination brought about one of the greatest rock trio outfits that the world ever saw. Though talked about constantly, his early years are quite the mystery to the world still. One of the earliest memories was a story of Jimi showing up to play with Muddy Waters who only briefly interacted with young Hendrix before disappearing after the set. Described as a quite “boy” who didn’t like to talk about home too much. So today we remember that shy kid who loved to play music and wanted to be truly heard in word and watch his performance of rock god-dom.
Relax and listen well.

“Anji” “Angie” “Angi”

I have recently been obsessed with this song. I actually came across it on a pandora station and immediately began to research it because it haunted me. However, I had the hardest time finding it because, as the title(s) show(s) there are multiple different names for this song and each arrangement of it has been called something else by each different artist performing it. The song, originally from Davey Graham, has been covered but other such musicians as Paul Simon and Bert Jansch.
I hope that you too become captivated in the same way.
Relax and listen well.