Friday, June 27, 2014

Robert Plant "Rainbow"

I saw Robert Plant a few years ago, and got a laugh thinking how silly some of his early Zeppelin hippie-dippy references sound (like in "Ramble On").

While it doesn't actually sound hippie-dippy or like a 60s throwback, I did have to laugh when I read that his brand new song is called "Rainbow."

You don't get much more hippie-dippy sounding than that.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

She & Him "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"

If you're local, then you know this scene during Tourist Season . . .

You're in the grocery store.  There is a person.  Often older.  DEFINITELY a tourist.  They are standing in such a way that they are blocking the aisle and are completely unaware that you are trying to pass them.  There is just enough room for you to squeeze by, but you know that the second you try this, they are going to start walking and bump into you.

So there I was, staring at this tourist doing just this.  Staring at him.  Hating on him.

I mean really, is there ANY occasion where it is okay to wear an oxford shirt and a sport coat, with shorts?  Does that make any frickin' sense whatsoever?  How is it that when people go on vacation, they have no clue how to dress?

I was staring.  I was hating.  I was sure that if I looked down, he'd be wearing black socks.

Actually, I was wrong.  He wasn't wearing black socks.  He was wearing black sneakers, with white tube socks.  Ugh.

What do the socks have written on them?


He moved and I pushed my carriage past him.  I got about halfway down the aisle before I just couldn't let it go.  I turned around.

"Excuse me.  Sir?  Do your socks say 'I (Heart) She & Him'?"

He looked at me blankly for a second, woken from his trance of looking at flavored coffee.  Then he gave me a warm smile.  "Yes.  I love that band."

"Great band."

"My wife and I saw them years ago, in a little club, before they got big.  Have you seen them?"

I did talk about how much I liked them, though I didn't drop my M Ward story.

"Socks, huh," I said.  "Usually people get a t-shirt."

"You can get anything these days," he smiled.

Truer words were never spoken during Tourist Season.

"Have a great day," I said to him, and sped off with my carriage, wondering what grocery store weirdness my next collision might bring.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Neko Case "Thrice All American"

I got a big kick out of this Neko Case/Kelly Hogan goof on Sci-Fi and Fanboys and such.

And because I was sitting at the kitchen table on a late afternoon, I decided to go to the basement and pull out some of my older Neko Case records, like "Furnace Room Lullaby."

It's been a while since I'd gone back to the Neko Case of the 90s.  The think that struck me was that on top of loving the record as much as ever, I just couldn't get over how little-of-a-clue that record offered, as to what Neko Case would sound like in 2014.

I mean, the voice is still there.  The mystery.  The confidence.  The sly humor amid the darkness.

I guess I'm mostly talking about the country references, which are pretty much gone without a trace now.

In the late 90s, Neko Case seemed like she was going to be an enigmatic Patsy Cline for the modern age, crafting timeless, country-tinged dark ruminations.

And while the music of 2014 still feels timeless and dark, there is a complete absence of twang.

The strangest part about it is that it happened slowly and quietly, subtly.  I mean, there's still a bit of twang in Case's voice in current songs like "City Swans."  Just not in the instrumentation.

I was trying to think of another artist who so quietly, easily slipped out of country, without calling attention to it---so much so that you kinda forgot that's where they came from.

Wilco came to mind at first.  But I do recall an interview with Jeff Tweedy, pre-"Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," where he was contemplating a future "zero Country reference" record.

Maybe Joe Henry?  He was alt-country before alt-country was alt-country.  Now he makes records as timeless and dark and somewhat-uncategorizable as Case.

Anyway, just an observation.  It's nice to still be surprised by an artist.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Public Enemy "He Got Game"

Stick with me, MVY listeners . . .

I was following a Facebook thread last night from a friend whose musical tastes run shockingly similar to mine.  The post was based around late 80s/early 90s rap music, starting with The Beastie Boys amazing back-to-back records "Paul's Boutique" and "Check Your Head."  Further comments cited De La Soul, Black Sheep, Boogie Down Productions and Public Enemy, among others, as producing great albums in that era.

Then the thread host mentioned Public Enemy's "He Got Game" soundtrack, and wham! I was hit with a little bolt of lightning.

I am certain that I have not thought about that song since it played on WABN, some 15 years ago.

How certain am I that it was erased from my memory?  When the song came on I thought, "Oh yeah, the song where they sample 'For What It's Worth' a little too heavily."  While completely forgetting that STEPHEN STILLS IS IN THIS VIDEO!!!  They didn't just sample, Stephen Fucking Stills performed with Public Enemy?!?!

This isn't the kind of thing that slips your mind for a second.  Either it's there, or it's not there.

For me, it was definitely not there.  Until now.

Hey mvyradio listeners, I know many of your aren't interested in Public Enemy, but you gotta at least skip ahead to 2:20, when Stills shows up.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Patty Larkin "Do Not Disturb"

"It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child." -- Pablo Picasso

Take a second and look at the three pictures above.  Do you know what the hand-written signs say?

That Picasso quote at the top of the post is oft recited in my house. It comes up because my wife is an elementary school art teacher.

She uses the quote with her students, as encouragement, explaining to them that they have a certain talent that even Picasso struggled to compete with.

And she uses the quote on those occasions when she if offering instruction to adults, particularly the ones who say "I can't draw" or "I haven't done art since I was a kid."

Tapping in to your inner-kid-ness is a talent.

And as a parent, it can be a necessity.

Our daughter is completing her first year of public school.  Kindergarten.  Her knowledge and her skills grow every day.  One day she's sounding out the word "red."  And what seems like a few days later, she's reading aloud, slowly but surely, through "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish."

Then she leapt into spelling.  She is labeling pictures.  Writing stories.  And posting signs with important information for our family about our new kittens.

I always struggle to read these signs, and usually I have to ask my wife for help.

"Just read the letters," she tells me.

In other words, don't sound it out.  Just say each consonant and vowel, as is.  Our daughter isn't really blending letters, or writing the silent letters, or using the "soft" versions of letters.

Read it, as is.  As it sounds.

The above pictures say:

"Bubble soap" (which was a potential name for one of our new kittens)

"Smelly Section" (note the corner of the house where we keep the trash barrel and the cat litter box)

"A couple of days ago I got two new kittens.  They are fun.  One is Kiki and the other one is Jasper."  And at the top of the page it says "Toilet Paper."

On the same day I saw my daughter post this sign where she was trying to make a cat bed, I also heard the Patty Larkin track on MVY.  That song makes me happy because it mentions Paul Klee, who is my wife's favorite artist (after our kids, of course)  And yeah, I can hear how "disturb" could easily be sounded out by a 6 year old as "distubv."

As of this posting, my favorite art teacher has not updated her site about her planned 2014 Summer classes, but you can keep checking this link.

Hear the song on Youtube.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Undertones "It's Going To Happen"

A Throwback Thursday post:

It was always fun, on my old alternative show, to play throwback tunes. 

Funny to think that it was nearly 20 years ago, that I was playing this song as a Throwback, then!

Hear the song on Youtube.