Friday, December 25, 2015

Sex Pistols - Huddersfield, Christmas Day 1977

No holiday song today.

Instead, a holiday concert from my favorite band.

Sex Pistols - Huddersfield, 12/25/1977

In 1977, in Huddersfield, England, Sex Pistols put on a pair of free concerts - one during the day for the kids of striking firefighters. Another at night in the same venue, again, a benefit for the firefighters. These would be their last two shows in England before their band-ending US tour. It wasn't planned, exactly - it seems to have come out of a combination of the desperation of the band to play anywhere and the desperate need of support by the strikers and their families. But it's still something else.

The video daytime one is pretty amazing - kids dancing in their Never Mind the Bollocks t-shirts, John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon handing out cake (and smiling as kids smear him with it), Sid clowning it up for the kids, Steve Jones and Paul Cook goofing off in the back - all great stuff.

You can imagine the Pistols must have seemed quite a spectacle to kids. What might seem threatening to the rest of the UK looks a lot different when it's done in from of 7-year olds. It's contrary to the Sex Pistols' public image, but it's not hard to see how much they're enjoying it. John Lydon grew up poor and working class, as did the other three. Doing this benefit must have felt pretty amazing - something you can hear in their voices when they talk about it even today.

Here is some video smashed together into a music video.

There is also a Julien Temple documentary:

In it you can see Johnny Rotten belting out "Pretty Vacant" while kids smash cake on his head.

And finally, here is the audio of the whole show:

If I could go back in time and see one historical concert, this would probably be it. Both halves - afternoon and evening. At least now, thanks to archival footage and the internet, I can listen to it on Christmas. God save the Sex Pistols, and Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Eric Cartman: Oh Holy Night & the MacKenzie Brothers: Twelve Days of Christmas

Double Post for Christmas Eve!

Not technically rock and roll, but a) it's my favorite traditional Christmas song and b) extremely funny.

I still sing "Jesus was born, and so we give presents" and "the night with the Christmas trees and pie" when the part comes up.

Not enough funny?

How about Bob & Doug MacKenzie?

I first discovered Bob & Doug from their movie "Strange Brew." It was on HBO a lot when I was young, and my cousin and I watched it once, and then twice, and then three times, four, five, six . . . I have no idea. Dozens of times at least. I still watch it at least once a year.

I'm just glad that for all the smoking they do in their SCTV skits, they don't smoke in the movie. If they had, I'd probably have started. All the beer, back bacon, and hockey is probably enough, eh?

"Good day, and welcome to day twelve."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Joan Jett: Little Drummer Boy (Live 2013)

On the tenth day of Christmas, I bring you Joan Jett doing "Little Drummer Boy" live.

Let me just get this out of the way: if you don't like Joan Jett, we don't need to talk about music.

Here is the original version if you prefer that.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Alice Cooper: Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Not a song I really like, but an artist I really like:

Alice Cooper doing "Santa Clause is Coming to Town."

Actually, when I hear this song I remember one of my ESL students who, with his friends, had warped the song into "Santa Claus is Killing Children." Which actually sounds more Alice Cooper than Alice does here. Still, Alice Christmas to you all.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Aimee Mann & Liz Phair: Winter Wonderland

For the eighth day of Christmas, you get a cover.

This is a really recent one: Aimee Mann accompanied by Liz Phair on "Winter Wonderland."

This reminds me that I really need to do a Liz Phair centered song list.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Metallica: Linus & Lucy

One the seven day of Christmas, you get Linus, Lucy, and Lars.

Here is a short snippet of Metallica playing the Vince Guaraldi Trio's iconic "Linus & Lucy" - often erroneously called "the Peanuts Theme" or "Charlie Brown theme."

They segue into a little of "Burn" by Deep Purple, and "Run to the Hills" by Iron Maiden.

But the Christmas bit today is Linus & Lucy.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Dave Edmunds: Run Run Rudolph

On the sixth day of Who Will Save Rock and Roll's Twelve Days of Christmas, you get Dave Edmunds:

Not a great upload, but a great version of the song.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ramones: Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)

On the fifth day of Christmas, punk rock gave to me: The Ramones!

Badly acted video plus really catchy song.

I bet Johnny hated it.

But I love it.

I miss The Ramones. I only ever saw them once, in the CJ era. Great show. Made up for all the times I tried to go but it was sold out, weather intervened, our ride didn't show up, etc. etc. Once. Only once. But it was great.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Dickies: Silent Night

When I was a very little kid, I liked to sing this song. I had a nice voice, apparently, even if I made "silent" into a three-syllable word.

I couldn't do to it what The Dickies did.

It's amazingly loyal to the song, yet it's 100% Dickies. It sounds closer to "Stukas Over Disneyland" than any other Christmas song, that's for sure.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Kinks: Father Christmas

I love the Kinks.

Here they are, lip-syncing on German TV. Heh.

This song is pretty popular on the radio - I'm not highlighting something you don't know. But I always loved it. It's got that Kinks cheery cynicism to it. A touch of harsh, sad reality without losing a bit of optimism in the mix. Like the lonely guy in Waterloo Sunset looking out on the world, you've got this guy who wants to believe in Christmas and all it stands for. And some rough kids who'd like that too, but have more direct needs than cheer and season's greetings. Plus it's catchy. Can't beat catchy.

And like I said in the past few days, it's one of the songs I played a lot for my students in Japan.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Shonen Knife: Space Christmas

It's the 12 songs of Christmas. This is number two.

Shonen Knife - Space Christmas.

As I mentioned in The Darkness's entry, Space Christmas was one of the only Christmas songs I had on .mp3 with me in Japan. It's still one of my favorites. It doesn't make much sense, but it's joyful and fun. That also describes Shonen Knife - they do very fun, very happy, very poppy rock - very earnestly and seriously. So have a Space Christmas.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) - Live 2011

It's the 12 songs of Christmas. Let's get this ball rolling.

The original video is also awesome. I love the Hawkins brothers playing the double-necked guitar together. Having seen the guitar stunts they do live, I believe they'd manage it at a show, too, if they tried.

True story - when I was in Japan, I had very few Christmas songs on .mp3. Living in the US, who needed them? They run non-stop for months. I had to do a class with two junior high special ed kids, M~ (a girl) and M~ (a boy), and I was called on to run Christmas songs the whole time in the background. Amongst Linus & Lucy, Run Run Rudolph, some South Park Christmas songs, the Kinks Father Christmas, and others, I had this song from The Darkness. I just remember the look my English-fluent co-teacher gave me when it came on. I kind of shrugged and said, well, it's a Christmas song.

And it's a good one. Silly but sweet.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Rest in Peace you Philthy Animal

Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, former Motorhead drummer, died at age 61.

You can hear him on the iconic Motorhead song, Ace of Spades.

You can also see him in the Ace of Spades documentary, here split into 5 on Youtube.

Thanks for the kick-ass drumming, Phil.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Iron Maiden - Aces High

So Motorhead's Ace of Spades came on at the gym today. That brought up "Aces High" and we couldn't remember who sang it for a while until I blurted out . . . "Not Iron Maiden?" "YES!"


Oddly appropriate song for Veteran's Day to come up at random.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Basement - Run Runaway

I don't know this band from anything, but I do like this cover of Slade's Run Runaway.

It's kind of charming, which is probably something people don't say about the lead singer's singing very often.

It's pretty much straight-up, but I suspect it's hard to make this song without doing a straight-up cover. What are you going to do, speed it up? It's fast. Slow it down? For what, to explore the depth of the lyrics? Nah, just fire up the electric violin and get rocking.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Slade - Cum On Feel The Noize & More

Thanks to Tom for bringing Slade up tonight.

For those of you who didn't know that Quiet Riot's biggest hit is a cover. I didn't, for a long, long time. Now you know too!

And more Slade:

And even more Slade:

That last one might be their best song, in my mind . . . and it's one of their much later songs. I remember I'd hear it occasionally on the radio. Then one day I came in to work after hearing it, mentioned it to my friend Jimi O., and he said, "Yeah, Slade! Alright!" and then I was off to collect Slade tracks.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I Attack The Darkness!

I'm off to see The Darkness tonight in NYC.

Unfortunately, I only own two shirts that are remotely metal:

- An Aerosmith t-shirt that's way too small (it's from High School, pre-final growth spurt and pre-weight training.)



Trogdor wins, man, Trogdor wins.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Wreckless Eric live on WFMU

On Saturday night, a friend of mine and I went to see Wreckless Eric, best known for Whole Wide World.

You can hear the whole set here:

Prove It All Night! with Pat Byrne: Playlist from October 17, 2015

I just love how Wreckless Eric now looks like Bricktop's nicer, younger brother.

And Wreckless Eric might not save rock and roll, but he's giving it a real go.

Friday, October 9, 2015

. . . And Out Come the Wolves, 20th anniversary

There is a 20th Anniversary vinyl coming out of . . . And Out Come the Wolves from Rancid.

There is also a full replay of the album with commentary over on the Tim Timebomb & Friends Show. Both can be found here:

Tim Timebomb & Friends

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Darkness - Barbarian

The entire new album from The Darkness just rocks. This is the first track, and it just gets funnier the more often I see it.

I can't get past "shirtless in the rain" without either singing along or just rolling it back to see again. If I get past that . . . writing out the lyrics AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA is just awesome.

I'll see these guys on 10/27. Hurrah!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Rancid, H2O, and The Interrupters at Terminal 5

Last night my wife and I went to see Rancid at Terminal 5 - her second show, my, uhm, I don't remember.

It was a typical Rancid setup - they headline, they have one band they're touring with (in this case, LA's The Interrupters), and one local band. The local band was H2O.

I was pretty happy when I saw that, because I had not seen them in a long, long time. I'm certain the first time I saw them was opening for the Rancid 1995 And Out Come The Wolves tour.

Turns out this is the band's 20th anniversary - and those shows they did opening for Rancid at The Roseland Ballroom were some of their first ever shows. In fact, if I went the third of three shows, which I think I did, I saw their third show ever. Pretty cool.

H2O was really good, and I enjoyed The Interrupters even though I'm not such a big ska fan (I like ska-infused punk, but not as much as straight-up punk.) I did enjoy their cover of Sound System by Operation Ivy (that's the old band of Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman of Rancid)!

There is a setlist up, but it's got a duplication (they didn't do Junkie Man twice, I can't spot the missing song offhand.) Speaking of Junkie Man, they did that with Lars doing the Jim Carroll (Basketball Diaries, The Jim Carroll band) poem during the bridge.

It was a tight set - much less stage chatter than in the past. And their drummer (who I still think of as "the new guy" despite having been in the band longer than the original drummer) was very animated, standing on his kit a few times during the show. Very cool.

It was an interesting show, since it was the first full non-festival set I saw since Let's Go in late 1994/early 1995 that didn't feature "The War is Over" and the first show in years that didn't feature one of my favorites, "Black Derby Jacket." But I'll live - I like every one of their songs and they always choose good ones to play live. Really oddly, they only did one track off their excellent new CD, and that as an encore! But they played my wife's favorite, Olympia WA, so that's the most important part.

Here is a taste of all three bands live:
Rancid, "Last One To Die"

H2O, "Guilt by Association"

The Interrupters, "Take Back the Power"

Great show, I'm glad we went.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Darkness: I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I don't know if these guys will save rock and roll or not, but they're trying:

Sometimes, to show how awesome something is, you need to a) be better at it, and b) take the piss out of it. The Darkness is that for 80's hair metal.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tom Robinson Band: 2-4-6-8 Motorway

One band I missed when I was young was the Tom Robinson Band. I first heard 2-4-6-8 Motorway on a compilation CD set that traced punk into the new wave. I regret not hearing it earlier - it's that punk-y, garage-y sound I like so much.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

All-Star Auditions: the Horndogs

A friend of mine forwarded this to me when we were talking about Joe Walsh.

In order:
Slash, Rick Nielsen, Dusty Hill, Matthew Sweet, Joey Ramone, Lisa Loeb, Dave Mustaine, Roy Clark, Johnny Lang, Michael Stanley, and Joe Walsh as "Ed."

I love that no one can keep a straight face when Joey Ramone is auditioning.

And the comments on Joe Walsh.

"His guitar playing's kinda sloppy"
"Yeah, yeah. And he looks kinda slow."

Hey, ten bucks is ten bucks.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Naive - Tanks-Punks / НАиВ - Танки-панки (live)

Just sharing this great live version of Tanks-Punks.

НАиВ - Танки-панки

Makes me wish I learned anything in that semester of Russian that I took. Maybe after Japanese and then Spanish, I'll go back to learning Russian.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I Like the Cover Better: Ain't That A Shame

As always, the rule for these posts is that I love the original, but I like a cover version even more.

Out of all the Fats Domino songs, I think the strongest and best of them is Ain't That A Shame. It's got that Fats Domino swing, a nice beat-drop, beat-drop rhythm, and great lyrics ("My tears fell like rain" - been there.)

But the Cheap Trick "Live at Budokan" version of it? I like that version better.

It's everything I like about the Fats Domino song and it is a perfect showcase of everything about Cheap Trick. Great bass line, fantastic guitar, inspired and passionate vocals, and oh those Bun E. Carlos drums.

It's the first encore song at Budokan, and the intro is just classic Cheap Trick. This could be the intro to half a dozen other Cheap Trick songs, but instead it suddenly and seamlessly veers into Ain't That A Shame. The latter half of the song shows the virtuosity of the band, and their willingness to put on a show for the fans. My favorite version. On the full set, it goes right next into Clock Strikes Ten . . . too bad that video doesn't.

Those screaming Japanese girls give me goosebumps.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Wreckless Eric - The Whole Wide World

I love this song.

I was actually introduced to this song via a cover by The Prissteens*. That cover floored me, so I eventually found the original . . . and it was even better.

Wreckless Eric reminds me in ways I can't quite explain of Jonathan Richman. Maybe it's the soulful honesty of his voice? The confidence mixed with vulnerability? Not sure.

* Another WFMU intro, from Terry T's Cherry Blossom Clinic, who introduced me to countless bands, not the least of which was the Prissteens - ("They put the 'angry' in 'Shangi-La's'") and Puffy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Night of the Vampire

I was in my old home town of Niigata (新潟) a couple weeks back and went to a live show with a friend. We saw 5 bands, but the standout was the final band, Night of the Vampire.

I can best describe them as half rockabilly and half Madness Japanese guys dressed as vampire clowns.

Yes, you might want to read that again.

They really rock, though - a lot of energy, great sax player, and a solid set list.

If you want to skip the intro chatter and get right to a signature song, click here. Or for their cover of I Want You To Want Me by Cheap Trick.

Here is them covering Rock This Town by The Stay Cats, with another band. It's that kind of energy they convey the whole time. My only complaints were that the set was short and they didn't sell CDs. I'd have bought one.

By the way, you can see them sing Happy Birthday to my friend Kevin at the end of this video. He mentioned they did that, so I decided to see if it was up on Youtube. Yes, yes it is.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ken Yokoyama: Won't Turn Off My Radio

Back when I taught Junior High School in Japan, I had some students who were way into punk music. They introduced me to Hi-Standard and its lead singer, Ken Yokoyama and the record label Pizza of Death. One proudly wore a "Fuck Ken" t-shirt, which I can assure you they and Ken Yokoyama both understood.

I chanced to see Ken Yokoyama on Japanese TV playing his new single:

It's good. If you like that, you'd probably enjoy the rest of his songs, such as How Many More Times or Ricky Punks. Or this cover of Basket Case by Green Day.

Actually I had an interesting discussion about him and his English. I said he speaks English well - but with a very strong Japanese accent. The person I was talking to said it wasn't good, because it sounded so Japanese. I think both are good points. Ken's English usage is correct. He doesn't just sprinkle random English words into a song ("Let's Fighting Love!") but uses English correctly and well. Yet there is the accent. You decide.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Covers: William Shatner / Common People

Until this morning I have no idea this cover existed:

William Shatner, off of Has Been.

That's the album he did with Ben Folds, and this song partners him with Joe Jackson. I love how much this reminds me of The Nails "88 Lines About 44 Women", and a bit of People Who Died.

But yeah, until today I'd never heard this song. I didn't even know the original existed, either. This song didn't hit where I was in the 90s, I guess. It rocks. The cover though, that's just awesome.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I Like the Cover Better: Don't Call Me White

This might be the first NOFX song I ever heard. It's also my favorite, closely followed by "Brews."

I got that on a punk mix CD (Probably from the Give 'Em The Boot series from Epitaph) and put it on a mix tape with a bunch of songs by The Offspring (Jennifer Lost the War), The Ramones (extras from the end of the All the Stuff series), Rancid 45s (Hyena, I Wanna Riot), and Down By Law.

Later, though, Rancid and NOFX did a split CD covering each other, and Rancid just destroyed the original for me. Here is Matt Freeman on a bass-and-deep-voiced-vocals version of Don't Call Me White.

And yeah, I like their cover of Brews better, too. But that's another post.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wire - Map Ref. 41N 93W

The is my favorite song by Wire. I happened to turn on WFMU just in time to catch it on Fabio's show, Strength Through Failure.

"Map Ref. 41N 93W"

I especially love that they introduce the chorus by saying, "Chorus!"

I must have worn out the section of audiotape where I had that song back in the mid-90s. That's when I discovered Wire and a lot of other UK punk I'd missed when I was younger - Wire, the Stiff Little Fingers, the Undertones, Poly Styrene and X-Ray Specs, Infrariot, Television, and more. Some bands I'd heard of, but never heard - some neither. Some I knew the catalog backward and forward - Sex Pistols, The Clash, Buzzcocks. Wire was a "neither." This song just blew me away . . . and I hadn't listened to it in years. Time to pull out all my Wire stuff and re-listen. They're touring the NY area right now, but work means I won't see them. Maybe someday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Clash in Tokyo

I saw this article, and the video in it, over on my news feed.

The Clash Storm Tokyo in 1982

A couple of my favorite things together - The Clash, and Japan.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Superchunk doing Devo's "Girl U Want"

I love this cover of Devo's "Girl U Want" by Superchunk:

It's not as good, in my mind, as the original - but it's still excellent.

Friday, May 15, 2015

I Like the Cover Better: Summertime Blues

I like the original song, "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran.

I even like the Rush cover from Feedback. And this excellent Kyoushirou version in Japanese. And The Who. And The Stray Cats. The Beach Boys (one my hands-down favorite bands). Even Marc Bolan and TRex! It's a can't-miss song.

But nothing compares, in my mind, to Blue Cheer:

It's oddly a cover that doesn't work as well without your brain knowing the original, but it takes that meta-song knowledge and spins it somewhere amazing. It's Quentin Tarantino-like in its ability to show you what's awesome about the original by going someone the original never, ever, could.

If you know any Summertime Blues covers I didn't mention, please add them in the comments.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fun, Fun, Fun (Single Version)

The other day, I was out around lunchtime. 75 degrees. Windows rolled down. And The Beach Boy's Fun, Fun Fun - the Single Version - blasting from my radio.

It's a simple joy, but it's joy. Joy does not demand complexity.

My favorite lines?

"Well the girls can't stand her because she walks, looks, and drive like an ace, now.
She makes the Indy 500 look like a Roman chariot race now."

I had fun, fun, fun for 2:21.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Motorhead on The Young Ones

Without a doubt, the finest musical moment on The Young Ones.

Except, perhaps, the non-singing bits done by Madness.

That's from Bambi, probably the finest episode.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Alone Again, Or

I keep hearing this song on the radio that reminds me of Love, especially of "Alone Again Or."

A great track, and if you're a fan of the movie Bottle Rocket, a song with multiple layers of memories.

This is the song - Calexico, Falling From The Sky.

Turns out they did a cover of Alone Again Or.

Looking into covers of Alone Again Or, The Damnned - yes, The Damnned - did a cover of Alone Again Or. That Captain Sensible, he's a wanker, but he's got taste. Or so I say. Maybe Dave Vanian picked that one.

I'm about as shocked as if I'd found Motorhead covered this song. Which they haven't, unless my Google Fu has failed me.

Love was quite the influential band.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rancid, "Killing Zone"

Last post, I mentioned my friend Roxanne had used "Happy Up Here" as fight walk-out music.

I only got to walk out to music once in a fight - most of my matches were in a competitive system that didn't do that kind of stuff until you turned pro.

I didn't have a lot to pick from, because I needed a CD and I didn't have a burner. But what I did have was Rancid's B Sides & C Sides.

So I picked something rousing - in the end, it was a toss-up between "That's Entertainment" and "Killing Zone."

I went with Killing Zone:

To this day, I can't listen to the song. I love it, but I have to skip it when it comes up on the CD. As soon as it comes on, I feel all of the pre-fight tension. The nerves, the crowd noise, the tightness of the tape on the gloves the way I chew on my mouthguard, everything. It comes back in a rush and my heart beats faster and I feel my blood pressure rise. It's become a fight-or-flight cue. I can watch the fight without a lot of tension, but I can't hear the intro music. I tried when I wrote this post. But no, still not, more than 7 years out from the day I walked out to it.

Music is like that - it gets into you so deep that it becomes inextricably linked with what was around when you heard it, or the events you went through while listening to it.

It's a good song, though. B-Side quality at worst. I'd listen if I could.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Royskopp - Happy Up Here

One song I hear fairly often as filler music is Royskopp's "Happy Up Here."

I was introduced to this song when my friend Roxanne introduced me to it by using it as fight intro music - she's a professional MMA fighter. If this sounds pretty upbeat for fight music, just remember she's The Happy Warrior.

There is something to be said for live-action Space Invaders, too.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ramones Walking Tour of NYC

My friend shared this with me today:

The Ramones Guide to NYC

It's a walking tour, basically, of NYC through the lens of the The Ramones.

And because Joey mentions it:

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sloan covering Gary Numan's "Cars"

In another installment of interesting covers, I found this:

Sloan Covering Gary Numan's "Cars"

Nice cover, and and a very interesting softer take on "Cars." You've got the tambourine, the synthesizer, and so on, but you've also got a nice variation on the chords on the guitar.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Belated Memory: AJ Pero of Twisted Sister

Back on March 20th, Rock-and-Roll lost a member of a band I really like: Twisted Sister.

You can see him in that video, hitting the glitter-covered drums. Great song, by the way - rocking beat, great lyrics, fun to sing along to in the car. Play it loud.

I always loved Twisted Sister, and I really enjoyed the fact that they played on the hard rock station's look in GTA3: Vice City. Dee Snyder snarling in that wig and awful makeup . . . it takes me right back to only the good parts of High School.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Forgotten Album Track: Atom Tan/The Clash

Possibly my favorite track on the last album by The Clash is Atom Tan.

It's a strange stream-of-consciousness indictment of society in a very typical Clash fashion. While Combat Rock is best known for Should I Stay or Should I Go? and Rock the Casbah - for good reason - and possibly should be better known for Know Your Rights, it's Atom Tan that I queued up the moment I finally got this again on CD. It is, hands down, my favorite track off the album.

Now you've caught an even atom tan.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bjork, MoMA, and Pagan Poetry

I've been a very big fan of Bjork, as I said before, ever since I saw her on 120 Minutes and saw "It's Oh So Quiet."

Lots of people have been telling me about the show about her at MoMA.

I'm planning to go, although it sounds like it's very poorly executed - this review is typical:

'Björk' at MoMA Is a Beautiful, Ill-Conceived Disaster

Short version: The show doesn't really do her justice.

Which is too bad, because she's a singular artist. Unique in the sense of having no one to really compare her to.

Here is one of my favorite songs of hers, from Verspertine - the song "Pagan Poetry." Kind of a sad counterpoint given that her current album is about breaking up with the person who inspired this song. But the song is powerful, all the more so for the ephemeral nature of love.

The song is SFW, but the video features a topless (and very pierced) Björk, which probably is NSFW but seems to fly on YouTube.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Television - See No Evil

The band Television had a pretty short career, although they've since re-united and do some touring. But they pretty much came and went in a flash.

They had some outstanding songs, though. This one is my favorite:

See No Evil

I like the lyrics, the rhythm, and especially the guitar over that baseline.

I recently stuck Marquee Moon on my MP3 collection for the car and was struck by how sharp and new this song sounds even today. It's like a sharper Strokes song, a more killer Killers song - you can hear its influence decades and decades on.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Layla, dismantled

This is a very cool post about Layla - with the layers of tracks separated. You can hear the backing tracks peeled away from the main part of the song.

Layla Isolated Guitar/Vocals & Separate Backing Track

That coda at the end always makes me think of a different song, but not one I can identify. It just brings up the edge of a song I think I heard when I was young but never fully registers.

Also, it makes me think of Goodfellas, but Scorsese song usages always do that. Janie Jones is linked to Bringing Out the Dead now, too, pretty much forever.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Faith No More - Epic

I first encountered this song in writing, actually - in an issue of the Dirty Pair comic, where Kei and Yuri get drunk and sing Epic at karaoke.

A friend who knew Faith No More told me which song it was when I finally heard it on the radio. So I was pre-disposed to like it.

Still, when I hear it I don't really think of Kei and Yuri. I think "And Sir James Martin of Faith No More......founder of the Faith No More Spiritual and Theological Center." Thank you, George Carlina and Bill & Ted.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

More Naive / Наив

Here is my second favorite Naive / Наив song.

Fuck You (I'm Not Your Candy). Unlike Tanks-Punks, this is all in English, and while it lacks that Pretty Vacant-esque ending that Tanks-Punks has, it has a lot of early Pistols showing in it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Naive - Tanks-Punks

I have to thank my friend for this. Way back in high school, we heard about this Russian punk band called "Naive" - with an upside-down A and two dots over the i like the o in Motorhead. He plunked down some money to buy it direct from Maximum Rock N Roll.

This is the standout track on an album full of good stuff:


Thanks to studying Russian for a bit, learning way too much Nadsat (I too slooshy Sex Pistols real horrorshow), and the lyrics sheet, I could follow along to this.

I hear Naive (it's Наив in cyrillic) have a bunch of other albums that I haven't heard yet - that from here/ And there are (very good) live versions of Танки-Панки on Youtube. The rest of the album is worth it.

Good stuff.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Misfits - Where Eagles Dare

Reason #1 to love the Internet: Everything is out there somewhere.

Back when I was in High School, I got a ride . . . somewhere . . . with a friend of a friend. On the trip, he was blasting some hardcore the whole trip. All I could remember from the whole soundtrack to the trip was "I ain't no goddamn son-of-a-bitch." Decades later, that popped back into my head and I searched for it on Google.

Misfits, "Where Eagles Dare." Makes sense. He was a big Misfits fan, now that I think back. Also, the parking brake was how he stopped the van.

Good song, good stuff, and the Internet is pretty amazing if only for that one reason. It's all out there, somewhere, and even a single line from a half-heard hardcore song is enough to hear the whole thing over again.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bjork in the New York Times Magazine

Bjork is releasing a new album (actually, the mp3s seem to already be available). The NYT did a profile of her:

The Peculiar Genius of Bjork

Of course, I'm getting that album. I got into Bjork via the video for "It's Oh So Quiet" off of her second solo album. I wasn't a big Sugarcubes fan (still not, really), but when I saw that video I went out and purchased both Debut and Post. I haven't looked back from there. They could pretty much mail me any non-remix new CD of Bjork's like a subscription. I'm going to want it, and even if I don't really bond with the album I want to listen to it at least a few times.

She's someone who really deserved the term unique - there isn't anyone out there quite like her.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Doctorin' the Tardis (The KLF)

In honor of the Dalek-related post on my gaming blog, I bring you the song that got me into The KLF (here aka The Timelords.) My sister recorded this video for me and showed it to me, as I recall - something she did for Beck's "Loser," too. In both cases it was well worth the watching.

It has a supremely bad mock-up Dalek getting wrecked by a US-style police cruiser, and a Doctor Who theme song riff going the whole time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dead Boys Live at CBGBs 1977

Here is a good set of the Dead Boys live at CBGBs. I got into the Dead Boys backward, from lead singer Stiv Bators' next band, The Lords of the New Church. But once I found them, I couldn't get enough Dead Boys.

This is a pretty good set for seeing how small the place was.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tuff Darts - All for the Love of Rock and Roll

I was on an airplane last night, and of all things to have on the music playlist was a CBGB's retrospective. Amongst the tracks was this gem by Tuff Darts:

I first heard them doing Your Love is Like Nuclear Waste, but this song is really a keeper. It's been covered by other bands and it really demands to be covered more.