Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Music is my favorite waitress

Happy 2008!

This year, I resolve to be more present. Not present here necessarily in that I may not post more often, but I'll try. What I will continue to do, however, is to never burden this here joint with blah blah about why I haven't blogged nor will I remark that, gee, it's been a while since I've written here...

Why? Because that's irritating. Just blog. Gah.

And with that:

Starpower here would like to update on some fab new music recently acquired, some even obtained the old-fashioned go-to-the-store-and-pay-money-for-a-physical-CD way:

Who: Bob Dylan, Live 1964

Why: Well, aside from speaking for itself why, it has the song "If You Gotta Go Go Now (Or Else You Gotta Stay All Night)" which I have never heard Bob Dylan sing. Only this guy Joe from college with acoustic guitar. In fact I oft-requested of Joe to play that particular tune, not because I wanted him to serenade me with that particular sentiment (though it is super sweet. I mean, swooooooon), but it's just a great song and the lighter side of gettin some isn't celebrated often enough.

Anyway, over the years, I have tried to find this song on any of Dylan's records and, short of applying myself and looking in iTunes (which I may even have done), have always come up short. The closest I got was once in 1995 when I was in someone's apartment who had Dylan's box set. Sure enough, the song was on there. I rejoiced. And then found every other disc in the set but the one containing the song. Then I felt stymied. Until now.

Results: Fantastic. Double disc of some heavy lyrics but often surprisingly silly chatter from Bob Dylan, 23. Some accompaniment by a lady folkie who was also a big deal at the time but I won't mention her b/c I don't want to ruin the surprise. I will say that it's not Joni Mitchell. And that Joni's better. But, anyway, super great buy. I recommend it, esp if you can listen in close range to the volume control on account of that harmonica gets really f'ing loud. Stupid acoustics of the stupid venue. Nonetheless, it kicks ass and should be bought and enjoyed by all of you. It's Dylan. Respect.

Buyer's Remorse?: Hells no.

Who: Kris Kristofferson's Best Hits (or something)

Why: $7 at Best Buy whilst Christmas shopping, presumably for others.

Results: Much like paying $7 for Me & Bobby McGee on iTunes since there's not too much on there that's awesome otherwise. But a song about a hangover and street corner and, I think, rain. Anyway, he's got a manly voice and M&BM is really fantastic and the other songs, through road trips and a love of slowish, folkish country, are probably tunes I can grow to love.

Buyer's Remorse?: Buyer feels more like she could have lived without adding to the silly/ironic portion of her collection, but also feels like $7 is a pretty fab bargain. In short, time will tell.

Who: Gym Class Heroes

Why: On a compilation from a friend. I told her I really dug the songs. She burned me their album Cruel As...

Results: Slight disappointment that they're the ones who sing that tune with the Supertramp track in the background, but otherwise super dig it. Even the Supertramp-y one would be good if it didn't fully contradict itself--a thing a detail/consistency-monger like myself has little patience for. Type A Communication Style aside, great CD. Besides who doesn't feel a little bit cooler listening to hip hop? Even if it is hip hop made safe for alterna-types.

Buyer's Remorse?: Totally. I hate free kick-ass music. Ugh.

Who: Say Hi (aka?/formerly? Say Hi (To Your Mom))

Why: Because they were so good live.

Results: Finally listening to it after seeing them so many months ago. As in, removed the packaging to lend to my Gym Class Heroes-burning friend. We met up last night, I got the music back I'd lent her and am now checking it out and still loving it very much. More grown-up and ambient than you'd expect from such a snarky band name. Layered and musical and vocals just a teensy bit beneath the music. A great voice all the same. The album is called The Wishes and the Glitch and track 6 (Magic Beans and Truth Machines) is especially catchy. Check it out.

Buyer's Remorse?: No, particularly because I think Anila gave me the $10 at the show to buy it. Which reminds me, I owe her $10. Bummer.

Who: The Velvet Teen

Why: Because I was so psycho in love with their song The Prize Fighter off one of two fantastically great compilations an old intern made for me. (Said compilation was the seed for many many purchases.)

Results: Went to Amoeba, bought three of their CDs (two LPs, one EP), liked them a teensy bit less than The Prize Fighter which is simpler musically than a lot of their other stuff I got. Nonetheless, went to see them live and really wanted to love them. Saw Say Hi there and ended up loving them instead. It's all a journey, people. A long wondrous journey.

Buyer's Remorse?: Eh, not really. The beauty of used music is it's cheap. They deserve more of a listen, all of these Velvet Teens. When my heart's a little more open to their songs sounding less like that one song. Still, if I could recommend an iTune The Prize Fighter would be it.

Who: Stars

Why: Great songs: Celebration Guns, Tonight and Your Ex-Lover is Dead, all three from Intern Extraordinaire

Results: Made a fortuitous purchasing error, which led to me buying not Stars song sung by Stars, but Stars songs sung by Stars friends. Record name, aptly: Do You Trust Your Friends? And, indeed, they were right to. Really great stuff on there and a whole slew of new bands to check out.

Buyer's Remorse?: Nyet.

Other bands from Intern Extraodinaire (and the songs that made me love them). In alphabetical order, because I'm fancy and you're worth it:

American Football (sadly defunct, after one album) - I'll See When We're Both Not So Emotional (big big ups to this one)

Athlete - Chances, Forest Fire (newest album is great, which these may not be on)

Bloc Party (which I've avoided on account of hating the name) - Waiting for the 7:18

Minus the Bear - Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Wherehouse (still need to look into them more)


This is a special category (versus the others, which are uncategorized) reserved for the daring sound-unheard purchase. This one goes to Blue Mountain, used from Amoeba and sounds like Wilco's kick ass uncle who got the sound down before Wilco's other uncle, Uncle Tupelo, took all the credit and then gave way to Wilco. Can't recall the name of the record but the pic is of a front porch of a more-country-than-Britney-country farmhouse with people in flannels and a big black dog. Which, now that I think of it, may, in fact be the name of the album after all: Black Dog. Maybe? Anyway, do it, Doug. You won't regret it. Unless you hate guitar and cigarette-throaty crooning about whiskey and rain. But, come on, who don't love that?

It's a safe bet I'll blog about music at some point in the future. It's a safer bet that I love each and every one of you fine, fine folks. Awww.