Combination Block

Thursday, August 17, 2006

When You Kissed Me, Why Were You So Scared?

O.K., because a big theme of this blog is nostalgia, I'm going to write about a musician whose songs make me feel particularly nostalgic. His name is Jacob Borshard, and he writes love songs that really bring back the headswirling agony of unrequited love. He wears his total vulnerability like a badge on his sleeve, and for that I can't stop loving him.

Also, he gives both of his albums away for free download on his webpage...

here are a few of my favorite songs:

Jacob Borshard - Ernest Hemingway
Jacob Borshard - 6,000,000 Dead Punks Can't Be Wrong
Jacob Borshard - If You Loved Anyone (Mary 2004)
Jacob Borshard - Grass Stains

He also makes sweet bronze sculptures of brontosaurus and dogs...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Musical Equivalent of a Bubble Bath

O.K., so it's Saturday afternoon and I've decided to share some songs that've been dominating my playlist for the last week or so...

First up is Jens Lekman, who has been endlessly blogged about and glorified... And rightfully so... This song is a cover of Arthur Russell's 'A Little Lost', which I've posted like 3 times before (I can't help it, it's a damn good song). I got it from a collection of rare songs by Jens, though according to his webpage it's from an Arthur Russell tribute EP, if anyone has this, let me know...

Jens Lekman - A Little Lost

Next up is Lavender Diamond, sometimes called Becky Stark and the Lavender Diamond. They released an EP in January called 'The Cavalry of Light' which has been getting rave reviews... This weekend they are playing a festival in Big Sur organized by Brightblack Morning Light, which is pretty cool if you ask me. This song is from some kind of demo (they're currently working on a full-length), and is a little more upbeat than the songs on 'Cavalry". I love it, and it's fun to sing along to, plus a band that releases a 4 song EP in January and already makes my year end top 10 list is special (though not necessarily "special").

Lavender Diamond - I Told Him So

This brings us to Metallic Falcons, the side project of CocoRosie's Sierra Casady, and her friend Matteah Baim... Their music could (and perhaps should) be described as creepy and awesome... They have a record out called Desert Doughnuts, featuring contributions from Devendra Banhart, Jana Hunter, Antony, and Greg Rogrove (of Tarantula A.D.) I higly recommend picking up a copy. I chose this song as a sort of tribute to Snakes on A Plane, and while it appears on the aforementioned Desert Doughnuts, this versoin is from a self-released CDr.

Metallic Falcons - Snakes & Tea

You can also go here for ringtones.

Lastly we have Woelv, the recording name of Genevieve Castree, who is apparently the girlfriend/partner of Phil Elevrum-- you know, the Microphones guy. Anyway, Woelv sings beautiful songs in French and apparently releases her records simultaneously with books of artistic interpretations of the songs... Conceptual, yet still badass... This song is off of the 2004 book/record Pamplemoussi, and is something else.

Woelv - Chanson Pour La Nuit

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I have, and as always if you like waht you hear, click one of the links on the right and buy these people's records. Every sale buys them some kind of delicious breakfast burrito.

Oh, and in the future we're going to try and update this blog more often, y'know like every day or something... but only if people are reading it, so tell your friends...

Monday, July 24, 2006

barkitecture and swedes who are great

Tonight I found myself watching a show called barkitecture. I'm serious. It's about dogs and people who build them things, dog houses, I suppose. This fine episode titled "Scout's Puppy Pal" was all about an older dog (Scout) and the new puppy who came to replace his dead companion. Unfortunately I missed the first half of the show - but from what I could tell Scout wasn't that into this new puppy. He seemed pretty sad if you ask me. But they built him a new "German Chalet Doghouse."

Don't worry. It'll be on again.

Barkitecture aside, a few weeks ago I got to see some great swedish bands here in Washington at dc nine. The Acid House Kings were preceded by The Legends and a great DC band, The Positions.

Acid House Kings and the Legends share a few of the same members, as do Club 8 and the Love Ninjas. I've found a few great songs from all three swedish bands. I hope you enjoy them.

Acid House Kings - Brown and beige are my favorite colours

The Legends - Lucky Star

Love Ninjas - Keep Your Love

Sunday, June 18, 2006

To Quote Beat Happening, "I've Got a Crush on You..."

O.K., so ever since adolesence I've found myself periodically developing secret, mostly innocent (sorry about going through your trash thing Ms. Timony) crushes on the women of indie-rock.  It isn't something I'm proud of, but it is something I'm learning to live with -- I mean I've finally stopped using back issues of Magnet as a form of pornography (hey, I really did read the articles, too).  It seems the whole genre of indie-rock is geared towards shy, socially awkward boys having crushes on girls who they will never, ever wind up with (my wife being the exception to that rule) -- why else would the mix-tape play such a central role in the cultural exchange of boys in ill-fitting t-shirts?  That's really what makes Seth Cohen so likeable, and hateable at the same time, he is the fictionalized hero of all those sad high school fantasies, the one who made it, a young Ira Kaplan if you will...  Anyway, to that end, these women have served a double purpose for me, both writing the songs that make the young boy cry, and being the girls that make the young boy cry.  I swear it's not as creepy as it sounds.  Well, maybe it is.

I guess there's just something about a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice...

Kim Gordon

Kim Gordon was my first indie-rock crush... ever since I heard Swimsuit Issue for the first time, Ive been wishing I was Thurston Moore...  And she just gets sexier as she gets older -- seriously, compare a Confusion is Sex... era picture with a current one... my god

Sonic Youth -
Sonic Youth - Jams Run Free
Kim Gordon/Ikue Mori/DJ Olive - What Do You Want? (Kim)

Mary Timony

Mary Timony was my next indie-crush, and I still rremember the moment it happened... It was Downstairs at the Middle East and she was opening for Bis.  She had a cold and was all cute and sniffly, and I'm still smitten.  Anyway, she was in a some great bands, the most well known being, of course, Helium, but also The Spells, and Autoclave, and has released some damn fine solo albums...

Helium -
Silver Strings
The Spells - the Age of Backwards
Mary Timony - On the Floor

Cat Power

O.K., Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) is seriously crush worthy... Not only is she amazingly beautiful with a beautiful voice, but she is probably the best song writer of the last thirty years (listen to the full version of Willie Deadwilder for proof... And, she's painfully shy.  Sigh...

Cat Power -
Good Woman
Cat Power - Nude as the News
Cat Power and Entrance - Do the Romp

Joanna Newsom

As if it wasn't cool enough to be related to San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, Joanna decided to break hearts and blow minds by becoming -- certifiably-- the coolest harpist ever...  She writes some of the most literate songs around, and her voice is stunning.  And that isn't open for discussion.

Joanna Newsom -
Man's Road
Joanna Newsom - Peach, Plum, Pear (Walnut Whales Version)
Joanna Newsom - Bridges and Balloons (PocketMix)

Laura Veirs

After seeing Laura Veirs perform at Modified recently, I can definitely say that I'm smitten.  Her songs are infectious and she is just really, really cute.  And her stage presence was amazing -- transfixing, even.  Wow.

Laura Veirs -
Cast A Hook in Me
Laura Veirs - Snow Camping
Laura Veirs - Lake Swimming (Live on KCRW)

So there you have it, the secret non-creepy crushes of my little fragile fantasy world on display for all... I guess they aren't so secret anymore...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

i hate danger

Ah, sex... the most natural of instincts, the most complicated of emotional entanglements... is it any wonder that this most powerful of human experiences, that which brought us all into the world, would be the feature of the first DOUBLE ALBUM (oh yes, I adhere to the Foghat Principle) on this humble little blog???

In keeping with the theme, the songs collected here range from short to long, from fast to slow, from mindblowing to mildly dissapointing, from forgetable to regretable... some will be gone tomorrow, others will still be with you ten years from now, and to make it that much more authentic, you'll always remember the first, even if you find it a little awkard and uncomfortable...

(my cleverness knows no bounds)

allen ginsberg - Please Master
arctic monkeys - Love Machine
m.i.a. - URAQT
peaches - Fuck the Pain Away
gary wilson - Groovy Girls Make Love at the Beach
sun city girls - Gary Had Sex
john cale - Hallelujah
pink nasty - Groove 'n' Grind
the vaselines - Sex Sux (Amen)
neutral milk hotel - Song Against Sex
be your own PET - bunk trunk skunk
t. rex - Hot Love
liz phair - Flower
bikini kill - I Like Fucking
destroyer - Virgin With a Memory
belle & sebastian - Meat and Potatoes
broken social scene - Handjobs for the Holidays
john vanderslice - Bill Gates Must Die
lil' kim - Not Tonight
gogol bordello - Think Locally, Fuck Globally
rilo kiley - Teenage Love Song
mecca normal - I'll Call You
arab strap - Packs of Three
the blow - Jet-Ski Accidents
heavenly - Hearts and Crosses
will oldham & david berman - A Leprechaun Gave me a Blowjob
art brut - Good Weekend
june panic - Sex is For Children
dna - Young Teenagers Talk Sex
pink mountaintops - Tourist in Your Town
black nasty - Gimmie Your Butt
avett brothers - A Lover Like You
david dondero - Pornographic Love Song
nouvelle vague - Too Drunk To Fuck
orange crush! - Summer Come Over
jimmy edgar - I Wanna Be Your STD
the faint - Casual Sex
guv'ner - Coozwax
free kitten - Secret Sex Friend
mother and the addicts - Fuck Me Mummy, I'm Ugly
naked city - Sex Fiend
momus - Coming in a Girl's Mouth

Oh! What stamina we have!!!

Anyway, we all know I've just scratched the surface, so if you have suggestions please share...

happy listening!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Happy Birthday, Allen Ginsberg

The world is holy! The soul is holy! The skin is holy!
The nose is holy! The tounge and cock and hand
and asshole holy!
Everything is holy! everybody's holy! everywhere is
holy! everyday is in eternity! Everyman's an
--From Footnote to Howl

Allen Ginsberg was the greatest poet of his generation and a guiding voice of the anti-war movement, the gay rights movement, and the anti-nuclear movement.

He was generally a pretty great guy and he and I happen to share a birthday.

Aside from his poetry he had a great love of music; all things lyrical I guess... anyway, in honor of his birthday (He would've turned 80 today), here are three songs of his that I'm particularly fond of:

Allen Ginsberg - End Vietnam War Song
Allen Ginsberg - Infant Joy
Allen Ginsberg - CIA Dope Calypso

The first song is taken from a 1976 reading at the Jack Kerouac school for Disembodied Poetics in Colorado. The second song is a William Blake poem that Ginsberg arranged for recording and features the late and amazing Arthur Russell on cello. The last track, CIA Dope Calypso also features Arthur Russell on cello, and for a political song is remarkably catchy.

What the heck, because birthdys are all about the presents, here's a little gift:

Arthur Russell - A Little Lost I know I've posted this song before, but it is just so amazing, I had to do it again.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass

hello friends. long time no write.

I want to give a shout out to two really great songs today.

Yesterday, Matador Records posted a track off the forthcoming Yo La Tengo record "I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass." It's really good. In fact, I can't say enough about it.

See for yourself:

Yo La Tengo - Beanbag Chair

Now, when your friends are in bands it's sort of hard to be honest all the time about their music... am I right? You go and see them with high hopes - but it always sounds like Creed karaoke night. Getting to the point - my friend Emily Arkin from Somerville, MA has a new project called Shepardess. She's working with Hilken Mancini (count me outs, fuzzy, punk rock aerobics) and Mike Savage (count me outs, cherry 2000).

They are really good. Emily is a big Breeder's fan and it shows. I hope you like it.

Shepardess - Upside Down