Saturday, August 31, 2013

Joan Jett & Paul Westerberg "Let's Do It"

Here's another Weekend Post:

Had Paul Westerberg on the mind, due to The Replacements reunion show.  Hadn't thought of this cover tune in a long long time.  From the "Tank Girl" movie soundtrack . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.

Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show.  They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are fun to revisit.

Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Hold Steady "Constructive Summer"

I've launched a variety of post features on this blog.

Some have been fruitful (Hello, "Let Me Ruin This Song For You"). 

Some have not (Goodbye "Random Ridiculous Songs That Have No Business Being Played In Public Again But I Heard In The Grocery Store Today").

I'm not sure how far I can go with this latest one, but, Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome:

"Dismissive One Sentence Reviews By Friends."

Have you ever had a friend, co-worker, or family member say something critical of a song or band, and, from there forward, are never able to hear it/them, without hearing their slight?

My friend Martin has been good for several of these.

When I once suggested he listen to The Hold Steady, his two word review was "townie rock."

At first, I thought this was a shallow and dismissive view.

But upon further thought, it's actually a pretty succinct and accurate assessment. 

The Hold Steady's songs ARE pub ready.  And the characters in the lyrics ARE often like the guys and girls you went to high school with.

But where Martin was saying it as a slight, I think those characteristics are what I enjoy about The Hold Steady and songs like "Constructive Summer."

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Livingston Taylor "Grandma's Hands"

I'd kinda forgotten that I even knew this song, but as soon as I heard the new Willie Nelson single, "Grandma's Hands" I was immediately whisked back to seeing Livingston Taylor.

Barbara Dacey had put together a concert at Nectars (formerly The Hot Tin Roof) to celebrate her 25 years at MVY, and Livingston was on the bill.

Jess Phaneuf and I were standing near the entrance helping greet late-comers as Livingston's set was underway, when the power went out.  For a moment, I thought it might just be a brown-out, but no, the power went out and stayed out.

This might be the kind of thing that would fluster or flummox another artist and derail a whole night of music.

But I turned to Jess and said, "If there's anyone you would want stage when the power goes out, it's Livingston."

The consummate and unflappable performer, he took just a moment to assess the situation.  Then he put down his guitar, stepped in front of the microphones to the edge of the stage, and began singing and clapping.

In a moment where you could have lost the audience, lost the flow, lost the night, Livingston grabbed the room with his own two palms and led the crowd through "Grandma's Hands."

Within a few minutes, the power blipped back on, but the night, thanks to Livingston, felt nary a flicker.

Hear Livingston Taylor's version on Youtube.

Hear Willie Nelson's version on Youtube.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Rentals "Waiting"

I was doing a little research for the That Dog post I did on Sunday, and I found this awesome little piece of trivia.

I immediately wrote to my friend Lori T, just to see if I had made an amazing discovery, or if this little fact was known and out there.

Lori knew it, but maybe this will come as a fun surprise to you.

Reading up on That Dog, led me to The Rentals, because Petra Hayden had worked with both bands.

And reading up on The Rentals led me to note one of their temporary members.

She wasn't on their first album, which had the alterna-hit "Friends Of P."  But she joined the band for their tour, and for the recording of their second album.

She later left the band, to pursue her career in acting.

You've no doubt seen her on a very popular TV show, and/or in one of the most successful comedy movies of all time.

I won't give her name away.  Just watch the video below and look for the keyboard player in the green outfit.

And if you are totally stumped, you can click through to a picture of her, or click here for her Wikipedia profile.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Billy Bragg "Handyman Blues"

The thing about being a homeowner is that you live with wear and tear.

Like that hole in the screen door.

It was a hole first.  Right at the bottom.  I can't even remember how it got there.  Then the kids started kicking at it.  Eventually, it got loose enough that the cat started treating it like a cat door.

And no one was coming to fix it.

I am not handy.

I know this has been a bit of a frustration for my wife, who had hoped that, over the years, I might at least develop some interest in the subject.  (And just to be clear, she is reasonably handy, and very, very willing to try to fix things around the house.  Last Christmas, she asked for, and received, a power sander)

Instead, cabinet handles remain loose.  Sink stoppers are repaired with scotch tape.  Hanging a picture on a wall may require 6 or 7 large nail holes.

I am not handy.  But I am a husband, sympathetic to my wife's wishes.

I stared at that screen door.  I vowed to replace the screen.

Let's just jump ahead here, with some quick edits to the film.

Lots of small cuts on hand.  Staples from staple gun strewn about driveway.  Large, uneven bulges of metal screen protrude from finished door.  The first time it closes, a chunk of wood falls off.

Zoom in on that tear in the new screen, caused by the handyman putting it up.

"Nice work," my wife says sarcastically.

So she didn't marry a handyman.  And that's frustrating sometimes.

But it's okay, too.  And she knows that.

After 8 years of marriage, we've both come to understand that you can't marry someone who can be all things.  Your spouse may be a great cook, a carpenter, an artist, a CEO, a good listener, a party-person, a co-parent, a lover, a business partner or a friend.

They can been several of these things.  But not all of them. 

You trade some minuses for some pluses.

We're happy.  We make each other laugh.  We balance each other out.

After 8 years, our marriage continues to work really, really well.

Even if our screen door doesn't.

You don't get to say this line very often:  "This Billy Bragg song made me laugh!"  But it's pretty true to my life.

Happy Anniversary, baby.

See the video on Youtube.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ray LaMontagne "Forever My Friend"

"That's not cool," Ray Lamontagne said to my wife . . .

We worked extra-hard, preparing for our wedding (which was 8 years ago, this week).

We had decided early on that we would personalize as much as possible.

That meant that we wrote the entire ceremony ourselves.  My wife's brother got a certification from the Governor to officiate.  We had friends sings.  We designed the invitations and programs and Save-the-date cards ourselves, and printed them on our home computer.

Party favors?  Well of course, those were CDs.  With a playlist created by us.  With a cover designed by us.  With all 100+ CDs burned by us.

Painstaking care went into this playlist (as it did into all of the above).  We were quite proud of it.

At Newport Folk 2005, my wife and I were strikingly calm for folks just a few weeks away from getting married.  I was working for MVY at the Festival.  She came and helped out at the MVY tent.

She was particularly excited to see, and meet, Ray Lamontagne.

His debut album "Trouble" had come out a year earlier, and he was playing the Festival.

After his set, she made sure to get in line at the autograph tent for a chance to meet him.

Now, I wasn't there, but this is how she says the conversation went:

"I love your album," my wife said to Ray LaMontagne.

"Thanks," said Ray LaMontagne, shyly.

"And I love the song 'Forever My Friend.'  I'm getting married this month, and we put it on a CD of our favorite songs that we burned for 150 of our guests."

"That's not cool," Ray Lamontagne said to my wife, his mood and expression turning dark.

Upon later reflection, telling an artist that you pirated their song dozens of times is probably "not cool."

I have also learned that Ray LaMontagne has a reputation for being extremely shy, and pretty uncomfortable with any social interaction.  So the conversation my wife was expecting to have---where he applauded her decision to included his song on our mixed tape, and offered his blessings on our impending nuptials---was unlikely to ever materialize.

And when we hear that song, or bring up Ray LaMontagne, the embarrassment creeps back into her face again, she gets a little flush and she says, "I wish I didn't have to associate this song with that incident!"

But I love it this story.

Because I love the guileless way of my wife.  I love that she was so in love, and so excited for her to marry me, and so proud of what she and I were creating, that it never occurred to her that anyone would be any way other than equally as giddy about it.

Including Ray LaMontagne.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

That Dog "Never Say Never"

Here's another Weekend Post:

Another alt-rock violin song . . . this track is such a quintessentially 90s song, with the catchy, riffy tune and that distinct 90s keyboard sound popular with West Coast acts like Weezer.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.

Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show.  They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are fun to revisit.

Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dambuilders "Shrine"

Here's another Weekend Post:

Always loved this one from the Boston-based band.  It's probably my first introduction to the alt-rock violin, courtesy of Joan Wasser (see Joan interviewed by Barbara Dacey). Hear the song on Youtube.

See the interview on Youtube.

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.
Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show.They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are fun to revisit.<
Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Zoe Lewis "Snow White"

My wife and I read books to our kids at bedtime. For the sheer fun of it, I read anything with Winnie-the-Pooh or Nutbrown Hare with an English accent, trying to mimic the narrators of the popular series. I am not sure my kids are as tickled as I am when I do so, as evidenced one day when my three-year-old asked me not to read the book that way.

America is obsessed with England. Look at the past few months. A new royal baby. Simon Cowell’s scandal. John Oliver’s successful run as host of the Daily Show. But why is it that when Brits sing, their English accents conspicuously disappear? That is not the case with Provincetown darling Zoe Lewis.

The singer-songwriter’s seventh album was in 2011. I have been awaiting an eighth, but it turns out I am going to have to wait awhile. Lewis just wrote a musical! Titled Across the Pond, it is about “an assortment of quirky transatlantic passengers [who] contemplate the definition of home high in the clouds somewhere in-between Heathrow and JFK!” After a sell-out run in June, it is being brought back to Provincetown Theater in mid-October.

I first reached out to Lewis after her release of Small is Tremendous in 2004, when I had just taken over as editor of Cape Cod Magazine. When I emailed her to request a comp copy, she was through the roof that we were giving her the publicity. When I got the album, I immediately fell for her. There were so many memorable songs, as she mixed pop, jazz, and even some Latin and Middle Eastern sounds effortlessly. The songs are fun, and some are something you’d rock out to with your young children, but they all have subtle and not-so-subtle subtexts. This one is just plain fun! (But the premise…not for children)

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kami Lyle "Ice In Her Glass"

I played trumpet all throughout high school and college (hey, if you’re going to be a band geek, drums or trumpet is the way to go; they get all the ladies). So when I found out that local musician Kami Lyle also played horn, in addition to writing songs, recording albums, and fronting a trio that plays a lot locally, my interest was definitely piqued. I have been trying to see her live for years, but have never gotten the chance. I was on the verge of going to a show at the Cotuit Center for the Arts this winter, but a blizzard roared into town, and it was cancelled.

If you ask me what kind of artist she is, I really could not tell you. From what I can gather, she gained a little fame for a song called “Polka Dots” in the ‘90s. Kinda Cyndi Lauper-esque, which is probably a bit of a stereotype because she comes off as a cute, ditzy blonde with a squeaky voice. But it seems she has some Nashville and songwriting cred too, and has even played trumpet on a number of prominent artists’ recordings. She does a good Bob Dylan. Lately, she’s letting her jazz side be seen more and more. Whatever she is, we’re glad she’s here.

After a summer hiatus, The Cotuit Center for the Arts brings back Lyle to host her Sit-A-While singer- songwriter concert series on Thursday, September 19th, with Jon Pousette-Dart and Gretchen Peters. Tickets are $25 general admission, $22 for seniors and $20 for members. Pray that we don’t get snow!

For a sample of her latest songwriting contest 2ndplace winner and more evidence that she is indeed a ditzy blonde (sorry Kami, but c’mon) click on this: 

Hear the song on Youtube.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Patty Larkin "I'm Fine"

I'm back to work this week, but taking a vacation from the blog.  Scott Lajoie fills in . . . 

Two years ago this time of year, a photographer for the magazine and a dear friend of mine passed away unexpectedly. It’s a memorial site on Facebook where a lot of us post messages and remembrances of our friend Jay throughout the year, but when mid-August hits, there is a flurry of activity. I have noticed that a lot of people post music clips. A friend posted Lucinda Williams’ “Sweet Old World;” another woman posted Patti Smith’s “Paths That Cross.” I posted Joss Stone’s “Take Care.” They weren’t songs my friend necessarily liked; he was more of a PJ Harvey and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds fan. It is music that we associate with him and his passing; for me, it is what I happened to be listening to when I heard of his death. It is as if music is the preferred method through which some of us process loss.

Renowned Wellfleet singer-songwriter Patty Larkin is releasing a new album called “Still Green”  next month. She retreated to a Truro dune shack to write songs for this latest endeavor, saying that she needed to get back to nature and a solitude that only such a shack provides. (Remember this woman lives in Wellfleet with her partner and two children; one might assume an Outer Cape off-season would be quiet enough.) She says this album was written in part to deal with the recent loss of her parents.

We received an advance copy as we were preparing to write a profile on her for the October issue. It’s not a dark album in the least. The songs don’t dwell on death. But it is evident from her lyrics and the care she put into crafting each song that she is very thoughtful of the most important aspects of her life that she was afraid were being overshadowed.

Barbara Dacey did an interview with Patty Larkin, where several songs from the yet-to-be-released "Still Green" are previewed, here.

Hear "I'm Fine" on Youtube.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Molly Parmenter, "U Know I'm No Good"

I'm back to work this week, but taking a vacation from the blog.  Scott Lajoie fills in . . .

We started doing two new annual features for Cape Cod Magazine back in January. One is our annual "People of the Year," and the other, which has ultimately turned out to be the most fun, is our "People to Watch." As you can imagine, we encounter a lot of people we would love to put in the magazine, but for some reason they don't warrant their own feature, or they don't fit into other articles. "People to Watch" is a chance to cram a bunch of profiles (albeit short) with great portraits (after all, nobody reads anymore!).

I had heard raves about Berklee College of Music student Carly Tefft through various media and had chosen her first as one of our three "upcoming performers." I rounded out the trio with two other women: Rayssa Ribeiro, a native Brazilian with a booming voice who has fronted a few local bands, and Centerville's Molly Parmenter, a bartender at the Island Merchant who had stepped out from behind the bar to do acoustic nights there and had been garnering some buzz.

We gathered the women one afternoon at photographer Dan Cutrona's studio. As is the case with any photo shoot that amasses complete strangers, there is some awkwardness. I wondered whether Carly's reputation, her studio familiarity, and experience playing at some Boston venues would perhaps intimidate the other two. Not Rayssa. During her moment, she grabbed a microphone from her car as a prop (we didn't have anything to plug it into!) and belted out a song with no musical accompaniment.

Uh-oh. What would Molly do? I kinda winced. She started playing her guitar, a few bars of a melodic strumming riff. She closed her eyes, and she started singing. Over the next couple of minutes, it was as if her heart had opened up on the spot and her own gorgeous lyrics bled out. I don't think Dan took too many pictures. After she was done, both Carly and Rayssa complimented her profusely for such a great impromptu performance. As for me, I was happy for the confirmation. I am not a music scout, but it was evident I had chosen these special ladies well.

All three are worth seeing live for a night out, but I post Molly's YouTube video of her cover of Amy Winehouse's "U Know I'm No Good," out of sheer irony. Check her out at the Island Merchant in Hyannis tomorrow night. She goes on at 8 p.m.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Parkington Sisters "Our By The Day"

I'm back to work this week, but taking a vacation from the blog.  Scott Lajoie fills in . . .
As editor of Cape Cod Magazine, I am privy to some great local music here on the stopover point to Martha’s Vineyard. This week, I will be focusing on some of our area’s best women performers.

A few years ago, I stumbled upon Wellfleet’s Parkington Sisters. The five had been performing along Main Street Hyannis. They seemed talented enough, with a sisterly knack for great harmonies. But it wasn’t until PJ and I traveled to the Narrows in Fall River to hear the Parkington Sisters open for David Wax Museum that my curiosity was really piqued. I got copies of their two most recent albums and listened to them non-stop for almost a month. Their music is truly original. After all, who can sing like the world’s best church choir one moment, and rock out with the Dropkick Murphys the next? I was particularly astounded by how moving such simple melodies could be, even if they are hardly radio friendly.

Hear "Ours By The Day" on Youtube.

We featured them in the magazine the following March (although with the youngest sister intent on finishing college, they were down to four). We did a little fashion spread with them (they are all pretty photogenic to say the least) and gave them little Faustian questionnaires to fill out. Turns out they are quite funny and interesting, too.

I could go on and on about how they combine so many different influences into their own sound, but it is just as well you just listen yourself. I, for one, am anticipating their next album.

Hear "Inside My Head" on Youtube.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Skee Lo "I Wish"

Yesterday I posted a song about the Skillet Toss, and my friend Scott jokingly asked if I had a song about a Skittle Toss.

The Google-Of-My-Brain went to work, and I came up with this one.  Hey, there just aren't that many songs with the word "Skittle" in them.  And he does get a bottle tossed at his head.

It's pretty close, Scott, right?

Either way, it's a pretty cute, innocent 90s song.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Evan Dando "Frying Pan"

Doing "Fair" songs for the MV Ag Fair . . .

One of the highlights of the Fair on Martha's Vineyard, is the Skillet Toss, which is exactly what it sounds like.  Local women compete to see who can throw a frying pan the farthest.

And yes, I have a song for that.  He's the Victoria Williams song called "Frying Pan," sung by a guy who's spent many a summer day on the Vineyard.

Hear the song on Youtube.

See the Ag Fair Skillet Toss on Youtube.

Friday, August 16, 2013

R.E.M. "Carnival Of Sorts"

Fair songs for the next couple of days, for the MV Ag Fair . . .

Uh, what is this slice of awesomeness brought to us by Youtube?  A super-young R.E.M. on a Nickelodeon show hosted by Fred Newman?  Score!

See the awesome video on Youtube.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bonnie Raitt "Too Long At The Fair"

I'm on vacation this week.  So is the President.  So are about 70-thousand other folks who are on the Vineyard right now.  Which is part of the reason I'm vacationing elsewhere.

Though I do hate to be away during the Ag Fair, which is as sweet and wholesome and as far away from the perceived glitz and glamor and "tony"ness that the media likes to claim MV is about.

For the next couple of days . . . fair songs.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Josh Clayton-Felt "Building Atlantis"

I'm on vacation this week, so here's another We Used To Play This post:

This song could have been a hit.  We played it.  But circumstances were really what prevented its success.

Josh Clayton-Felt was a Boston-based musician who had success in the 90s with his band School Of Fish, and had a minor alternative solo hit called "Window" in the mid-90s.

He was working on a follow-up, when he was diagnosed with a rare form of testicular cancer.  He passed away within a month.

His label released the record, but when an artist is unable to tour or even interview in support of a record, that record has a hard time gaining any traction.

mvyradio played "Building Atlantis" but the record slipped from public consciousness, and our playlist, not long after.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Jimmy Buffett "Savannah Fare You Well"

I'm on vacation this week, so here's another We Used To Play This post:

People have pretty strong feelings about Jimmy Buffett, and those who have negative feelings are usually reacting to a) the over-saturation of the biggest hits and b) the "party" culture around Parrotheads.  (That 2nd one is kinda like how some people don't like the Grateful Dead, based solely on their dislike of Deadheads)

But Buffett has this treasure-trove of really well-written, well-observed, lovely tunes and stories.  And if they weren't obscured by the huge success of party anthems like "Cheeseburger In Paradise," I think more folks would respect his talent.

In 2000-ish Buffett put out a nice collection of tunes, and we played "Savannah Fare You Well," a lovely addition to a great collection of the singer-songwriter under-appreciated canon.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Jay Farrar "Voodoo Candle"

I'm away on vacation this week so here's anotherWe Used To Play This post:

Jay Farrar has mostly used the Son Volt moniker, even though the band members has changed pretty frequently over the last 20-something years.

But occasionally, he puts something out under his own name.  This one, circa 2001, sounded great, and I liked playing it, but it didn't really last on the mvyradio playlist . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dandy Warhols "Bohemian Like You"

Here's another We Used To Play This post.

We played this one a LOT for the first few years after it came out.  But listening now, I can see why we dropped it from rotation.

Great song, but it's got such a different attitude than the songs usually found on mvyradio.  It's very 90s in attitude (snarky, ironic) and young in subject matter (server jobs, dating), where most of the MVY audience is in a different place in their lives.  Still, a good song is a good song, and you have to play them when you can.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

XTC "Stupidly Happy"

On these Weekend Posts, I try to put up songs that I enjoyed in the 90s, but have disappeared or faded into obscurity.

I've been at mvy so long (since 2000), that now there is a whole list of songs in my head, that used to be part of our playlist, but have slide out of view and memory.

I'm on vacation starting today, so while I'm away, I'll do some of these "We Used To Play This" posts.

XTC made a great comeback around 2000 with a couple of very strong albums, including "Homegrown."

I haven't heard this song in a good decade, but it's quality stuff from Andy Partridge.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Joe Jackson "Got The Time"

I shot out of bed a few minutes ago, with this song in my head.

We're supposed to leave for vacation tomorrow.  Nothing's packed, nothing's ready.

Had to go to a wake yesterday.  Had to do some juggling because Mom just got home from a hospital stay and needed someone to sit with her, as she's still a bit immobile.  The wife couldn't do it because we'd spent the morning after a completely sleepless Wednesday night at the pediatricians with an unhappy 3 year old who, turns out, has croup and strep throat.

We shipped the 5 year old off to the other Gramma's for the night so she's got to be picked up today before anyone can start getting ready to go away, and I've got work.  Yes, the last day of a Friends of mvyradio Drive usually means I get nothing else in the office done, but I've got stacks of scheduling, reports, emails from listeners, voicemails and other things to deal with before I head out the door.

And I have no blog posts lined up for my vacation.

I missed a day of posting for the first time in over a year, this week.  And I am fastidious about posting on Facebook every day about my blog.  Forgot to do that yesterday.

Joe Jackson's got the best advice for situations like this. 

Though I'm a guy who likes to look at the horizon, and see how everything will come together between here and when I have to go, it's too overwhelm to do that now.  I just have to focus on the task in front of me, get that done quickly and move to the next thing.

"There's no such thing as tomorrow only ONETWOTHREEFOUR!"

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Jim James "A New Life (tUnE-yArDs remix)

In the pop and rap and dance world, artists are very open to remixes, to invigorate a song, and perhaps extend the its life in the public eye.

Wonder why artists from the mvyradio world aren't as open?

It doesn't have to be a dance remix.  Do like Peter Gabriel did, and reimagine a tune with strings or a choir or a Latin feel.  It might actually work for some of the singer-songwriters we know an love.

At least you can count on Jim James for some adventure . . .

Check it out here . . .

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

R.E.M. "New Test Leper"

If you're a dope smoker, you're naturally paranoid.

I mean, not just from smoking dope, but (at least back in my day) from getting caught.

I was never one of those guys who could light up a joint in public and not care.

Really, I was never really a pot smoker myself.  But I certainly traveled with pot smokers.

We were seeing R.E.M. at an amphitheater outside Nashville.  This was the tour behind the record "Monster" and they were trying out new material that would eventually appear on "New Adventures In Hi Fi."  It was raining.  There were a lot of young people there who were more interested in drinking beer and making out, than listening to the band.

To make things a little brighter, one of my friends decided to light up a joint.

He hadn't gotten too far, before a figure was coming down our aisle, with a flashlight.

I nudged him.  Instinctively, he tossed the joint to the ground and stepped on it.

The woman with the flashlight brushed passed me, handed something to my friend and kept walking.

I gave him a quizzical look.

He laughed and showed me the sticker she'd give him.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Charlie Mars "Picture Of An Island"

This is the new Charlie Mars single being worked to radio stations like MVY.

Right now there is a small, undaunted, resilient team of record promo folks who are calling radio stations asking them to consider playing the track.  Coming up with any and all reasons to do so.

Sometimes that means adding in a stretch of a reason . . .

If a song that comes out that has the words "Island" or "Sea" or "Ocean" in the title, then you can guarantee that a promo person will add in to his/her pitch to me:

"You're on an Island.  It's a perfect song for a station on an Island."

Hear the song on Youtube.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sungha Jung "I'm Yours"

It was Saturday night of Newport Folk and I was hanging with the mvyradio On The Road crew, eating a late dinner, talking about the day.

My wife had made a surprise visit to join me in Newport.

She was talking to weekend DJ Jane about music, and the subject of playing music came up.

My wife got a guitar a few years ago, but found it difficult to a) find time to practice, since we had new babies, and b) press down on the heavy, hard strings of a guitar.

So we got talking about ukeleles.

Both Jane and I had see a documentary called "The Mighty Uke" about the unlikely resurgence of this instrument, and about the joy and ease of playing it.

My wife decided:  She needed a ukelele.

Late the next day, she called me from home to tell me something incredible.

She was driving home from Newport, and she called her mother, to whom she mentioned the ukelele thing.

To her surprise her mother said, "Oh, I have your grandfather's ukelele in the closet upstairs."

And by the time I'd gotten home from Newport, she was already on the Lazy-Z-Boy, strumming away. 

She's since found a treasure trove of Youtube instructional videos that have taught her, in a week's time, to play "Over The Rainbow," Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz.

Her grandfather had a love and fascination with Hawaii, and had traveled there a number of times shortly after the State joined the Union.  There's even a famous story about a surfboard he owned . . .

He also bought a ukelele and learned to play.

The ukelele on the Lazy-Z-Boy

Though she, more than anything, wants to keep the family heirloom, and to learn to play it well, my wife couldn't resist.

A 1950s name-brand (Martin) Hawaiian ukelele?  How would you find out how much it was worth?

She did some Googling, and naturally there is a site.

And she got really cracked up.

Because she said the name of the site, and then realized what she said.

Go ahead, you say it out loud, but do it away from the kids and the co-workers.

The site where she found information on the value of her grandfather's ukelele?

"Uke Hunt."

Hear a uke version of "I'm Yours" on Youtube.

See a Uke tutorial on Youtube.

See the "Mighty Uke" trailer on Youtube.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Meat Puppet "Backwater"

Here's another Weekend Post:

It's kind of hard to even wrap my head around, but The Meat Puppets actually nearly crossed over with a Top 40 hit once.  Still a great sounding song . . .

Hear the song on Youtube.

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.

Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show.  They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are fun to revisit.

Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dandelion "Weird Out"

Here's another Weekend Post:

I probably wouldn't have remembered this song at all, if not for a friend posting it on Facebook . . . Thanks Lori T.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Weekend posts are a chance to revisit songs that have happy memories, not of anything in particular, other than just hearing the tunes.

Many of these songs were tracks that I played during my 90s stint as an Alternative/Modern Rock radio show.  They're tunes that I hardly hear these days, but are fun to revisit.

Click on the "Weekend Posts" label below, to see other posts like this.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Robert Randolph "Born Again"

I hate to play this game with songs I actually like, but "Let Me Ruin This Song For You."

Jump to the bottom and remind yourself of Stephen Stills' "Love The One You're With."  Then listen to the new Robert Randolph song.

Do they actually sound the same at the chorus?  Or is it just that the rhythm of Randolph's phrasing is just like Stills' phrasing?

Hear Robert Randolph on Youtube.

Hear Stephen Stills on Youtube.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Father John Misty "Hollywood Forever Cemetary Sings"

There were lots of great sets and lots of great songs at Newport Folk 2013, but the most talked about performance was by Father John Misty.

"Why was he so angry?" I heard one woman say to another.  "It made me very, very uncomfortable."

"I loved it," said the woman next to her.  "I grew up with artists who weren't afraid to protest."

I'm not sure what FJM was protesting.  But I did enjoy how provocative he was, even when it was uncomfortable.

I spent a bunch of time on Youtube, looking to see if anyone had uploaded some of his stage banter, but I couldn't find any.  So I'm going to have to paraphrase.

First he came out by himself and dropped this hilarious line:

(Looking at his drink)  I guess this is strawberry moonshine.  It's what gay bootleggers drink.

But after a few songs, some of his commentary turned pointed.

The only reason I was invited to the Folk Festival is that I'm white.  And I have a beard.  And there's some acoustic guitar on my record.

And he had things to say about other, unnamed bands.

If you're going to put on your porkpie hat and your vintage clothes and pretend that you play Folk music, after you've made your millions of dollars I think you have a responsibility.  So say something for once in your fucking life.

(note:  these are all paraphrases, as best I can remember them)

I've already written about FJM's stage manner and moves.  He didn't disappoint.

I heard a lot of talk about these things at the show.  I even heard lots of folks say his set was amazing.

But oddly, I didn't hear people talk about the songs.  Which is too bad, because his voice, his songs and his band sounded really really good.

When when you get a performance like this, maybe that's what you have to talk about.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Hear the original version on Youtube.