Jesse Jarnow

Archive for April, 2008

frow show, episode 43

Episode 43: Gimmie Jimmy Carter

Listen here.

1. “You’ve Got To Believe in Something” – Spin Doctors (from You’ve Got To Believe In Something)
2. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
3. “My Pillow is Threshold” – Silver Jews (from Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea)
3. “Absolutely Sweet Marie” – Bob Dylan (recorded 19 May 1998, San Jose)
4. “Jambalaya” (demo) – Hank Williams (from First to Last)
5. unknown song – unknown artist (southeast Asia) (from Yeti #5 compilation)
6. “Steppe Spiritual” – Sun City Girls (from Mister Lonely OST)
7. “Underground Antes Da Primeira Hora” – Quarteto Em Cy (from Quarteto Em Cy)
8. “Vô Batê Pá Tu” – Baino and Os Novos Caetanos (from Baino and Os Novos Caetanos)
9. “Book of Numbers” – The Mae Shi (from Hillyith)
10. “Rainbow Flag” – Matmos (from Supreme Balloon)
11. “Sullen Lamp Lighters” – Computer at Sea (via MySpace)
12. “Agnes B Musique” – Sonic Youth (from SYR7: J’Accuse Ted Hughes LP)
13. “The End of the Tour” – They Might Be Giants (from John Henry)

moving entertainments

Charlie Rose interviews Charlie Rose:

Dude plays pretty music on glasses:

Yo La Tengo give M. Ward & Zooey Deschanel a little bit of that YLT feeling:

Snoop & Willie:

Not only do I think that it’s okay that Joe Smith talked back at heckling fans in Chicago, I think it’s kinda awesome. What’s the matter with ballplayers breaking the fourth wall (give or take, oh, jumping into the stands and beating up a handicapped guy, as Ty Cobb once did)?

Yes, Billy, this is a goddamn:

You watched Prince cover “Creep” when Pitchfork posted it, now watch it again:

“air” – greg davis

“Air” – Greg Davis (download) (buy)
from Curling Pond Woods (2003)

(file expires May 5th)

Greg Davis’s cover of the Incredible String Band’s “Air” has me from the first keyboard tone, which simultaneously seems like it should be some kind of thrift store organ, but is too warm and rich to be so. Soon enough, though, come harmonies and a strum that lands somewhere between Western swing and uke-driven exotica. The verses are mostly mood — way more so than the original version — something more forceful than the wordless mmmming and just enough to gently nudge the tune along. But they’re beautiful, too. After a fairly New Agey beginning (“breathing, all creatures are”) it drops down to ominous folk mystery: “you kissed my blood, and the blood kissed me.” “Air” is a sunset in unfamiliar colors.

doug sisk memorial links

(Actually, I’m pretty sure Doug Sisk is still alive.)

o Kottke breaks down the knuckleball using Josh Kalk’s PITCHf/x tool. The latter is amazing. Honestly, most of the math is entirely beyond me, but graphing the way a pitcher’s pitches break is a way to visualize a pitcher’s work, and is beautiful. It’s modern art, really, each chart somehow finding the truth of a particular player. Of course, the highly modern colors on the white background contribute, too.

o Slate‘s Matthew McGough on the golden age of baseball movies.

o Safeco Field in San Francisco has some kind of free live network for Nintendo DS users. Sounds fun, fersure, but such a strange platform to do it with. I mean, I guess DSes are popular and all, but wouldn’t it make more sense to develop it for the Blackberry or something? (Thx, VB.)

o The Mets latest 5th starter/hope, Nelson Figueroa, is the definition of the contemporary international journeyman. Born in Brooklyn (represent!), in the past year Figueroa has pitched in Mexico (all-star), Taiwan (Series MVP), the Dominican Republic (Series MVP), and the Caribbean (Series MVP). Definitely an Omar Minaya type of player. (via Metsblog)

o A whole mess of links about the 1964 World’s Fair which spawned Shea Stadium.

“agnes b musique” – sonic youth

“Agnes B Musique” – Sonic Youth (download) (buy)
from SYR7: J’Accuse Ted Hughes (2008)

(file expires April 30th)

One testament to the productivity of Sonic Youth is the insane and amazing bootleg site Kill Yr Idols, which posts at least one album/cassette/7-inch by Sonic Youth or its members pretty much every day. Totally illegal, fersure, but an exception should be made for the nobility of the cause. (“Downloading keeps the links alive: please link this site on blogs, forums,” they proudly proclaim.) The territories keep growing. The newest ephemera, an entry in the venerable and psychedelic SYR series, and released on vinyl only earlier this week, isn’t up yet, but it surely will be soon.

In some ways, both jams on SYR7 — “J’Accuse Ted Hughes” (from All Tomorrow’s Parties in April 2001) (2000, according to KYI) and “Agnes B Musique” (from the band’s Murray Street studio in 2001) — could be drawn from almost anywhere in the musicians’ vast collective/solo/side-project output. In theory. In practice, it’s the Jim O’Rourke-era lineup, demonstrating why they’re Sonic Youth. On “Agnes B Musique,” Steve Shelley hangs quietly behind an improv begins genially, the sheets of glittering noise coming later, drones within pulses within drones. Good with the lights off and the headphones on.

“small shape” & “they will appear, behold” – akron/family

“Small Shape” – Akron/Family (download)
recorded live at Tonic, NYC, 15 July 2005
from Yeti #5

“They Will Appear, Behold” – Akron/Family (download)
recorded live at KVRX, Austin, TX, 12 March 2008

Two new Akron/Family tracks. The first, “Small Shape,” comes from a live set at Tonic in July 2005, and was recently included on the disc accompanying Yeti #5. From the bottomless catalogue of the band’s two-guitar era, it begins with a lush double-strum, a xylophone doubling the bassline as Seth Olinsky’s vocal begins. The structure is slow, if such a thing could be said of a structure, its movement beginning when the xylophone changes allegiance and begins to double a vibrating guitar as harmonies pile up and, eventually, Dana Janssen begins a marital beat. (Can’t wait ’til the issue gets to the top of the reading queue. It looks amazing, and the rest of the disc definitely is: Sublime Frequencies outtakes, excerpts from Jeff Mangum’s record collection, deep cuts from editor Mike McGonigal, etc.)

The second, “They Will Appear, Behold,” is more recent, from a South by Southwest radio session by (I’m pretty sure) just the core trio. With Afro-pop inspired guitar, and an equally slow-structured pulse, it even sounds a little like The Slip at first. Though the lyrics are a bit, shall we say, crunchy (even before they tap Sioux holy man Black Elk for the title refrain), they are hardly didactic, and unfurl over a patient, potent melody/chant.

“here no more” – the breeders

“Here No More” – The Breeders (download) (buy)
from Mountain Battles (2008)

(file expires April 25th)

I’m going to say it anyway, because it’s right under our noses and it might get missed: Kim and Kelley Deal’s harmonies are what make the Breeders so lovely, even in 2008. There are (possibly apocryphal?) stories about the twins singing country duets for truckers in their native Dayton that I remember reading in Circus circa Last Splash. Until bootlegs surface, “Here No More,” from the new Mountain Battles, will suffice. The melody is decent, really just serving as a vehicle for their sweetly decaying singsongs to make something nice between them, pleasing genetic harmonics in full effect. Hardly radical, but it doesn’t need to be.

useful things, no. 12

The twelfth in an ongoing collection of functional webpages anddork- like tools (excluding any/all Google programs)

o The new and old bins at WFMU, complete with notes from music director Brian Turner and other DJs.

o More online mixing at muxtape.

o Melodyne promises “direct note access” polyphonic sampling. I suspect technology like this might be similar to alchemy or divining rods, but I’m sure it’ll work for some people.

o Notable digital archives from newspapers and magazines, for free and for pay.

o Omnisio allows the user to make YouTube playlists which join together multi-part movies.

o Scribd is a free OCR scanning service.

o Sorry, a break with the self-imposed ban on Google tools ’cause it’s too cool: GoogleEarth now layers current New York Times headlines over its maps, so one can read the news geospatially.

frow show, episode 42

Episode 42: Springtime in Bourgwick

Listen here.

1. “Tower Records Ad” – John Lennon (from WFMU Radio Archival Oddities compilation)
2. “The Children of Rock and Roll” – Ron Lennon (from Rutland Weekend Television)
3. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
4. “Fallen Snow” – Au Revoir Simone (from Fallen Snow)
5. “Air” – Greg Davis (from Curling Pond Woods)
6. “They Will Appear, Behold” – Akron/Family (recorded March 2008, KVRX)
7. “Theme From Ulcerative Colitis” – Yukio Yung (from Valborgunmassoæfton)
8. “As Tears Roll By” – Daniel Lanois (from Shine)
9. “Richmond” – The Faces (from Long Player)
10. “Life Goes Off” – Jim O’Rourke (recorded 16 September 2002, Aoyoma Cay)
11. “A Certain Guy” – Mary Weiss (from I Hate CDs: Norton Records 45 RPM Singles Collection)
12. “Spooks” – Radiohead (recorded May 2006, Copenhagen)
13. “Asozan” – Yamataka Eye (from Re… Remix?)
14. “Empty Bell Ringing in the Sky, no. 5” – Pelt (from Empty Bell Ringing in the Sky)
15. “Mountains of the Moon” – The Grateful Dead (from Aoxomoxoa, original 1969 mix)
16. “Here No More” – The Breeders (from Mountain Battles)

links of dubious usefulness, no. 18

o A massive archive of Sonic Youth bootlegs and side projects.
o Garfield minus Garfield.
o Brian Dettmar’s gorgeous book autopsies.
o Product vs. Reality comparisons.
o Philosopher John Rawls on baseball.

rubulad, RIP?

Busted, down on Classon Street. Quite possibly the end of an era.

I saw lots of other people with cameras. Anybody got any better pix? Or, y’know, information? (Some more info emerging in the BV comment section. Anything concrete would be appreciated.)

The NYPD hauling away the fun:

Le sigh.

“thinking for now” – mark david & the nightly lights feat. don helms

“Thinking For Now” – Mark David & the Nightly Lights feat. Don Helms (download)

(file expires April 18th)

That Mark David‘s “Thinking For Now” is an uncommonly decent contemporary country tune — vintage without sounding overtly nostalgic, with a great bridge — is kind of beside the point, though its escape of nostalgia is remarkable, given the ghost that powers it. More than anything, Hank Williams’ lonesomeness found emotional form in the swelling steel guitar of Don Helms who — holy Moses — is still alive and recording in 2008, playing his original 1949 double neck Gibson Console Grand with Mark David and company, an Ohio concern. Helms’ voice is as clean and pure now as 60 years ago, cutting through its surroundings with a dignified mourn. More than any lost Hank tracks or flown-in ProTools duets (or even trios) between three generations of singing Williams, these are the true adventures of Hank Williams’ still blue, still lonesome heart in the 21st century.

have read/will read dept.

These mostly fall on the latter side of the above equation. Definitely need to make some time soon to catch up on my links.

o Two pieces about what Murakami is up to.
o Cory Doctorow on multitasking and disruption.
o Recent semi-interview (circa, uh, last week) with Eye and Yoshimi from the Boredoms all about the new Super Roots disc. (Big ups, Whiney!)
o GQ begins to untangle JB’s wreckage.
o Alan Bishop on his Sun City Girls brother, the late Charles Gocher.

“all the way around & back” – charles ives

“All the Way Around and Back” – Charles Ives (download) (buy)
conducted by Leonard Bernstein

A Charles Ives piece from 1908 structurally mimics an archaic baseball rule from the composer’s childhood, via Timothy Johnson’s Baseball and the Music of Charles Ives: A Proving Ground:

The additive process aptly represents the gradual process of the runner. If the initial Db that begins each measure symbolizes first base, then each added note tracks the runner’s progress toward third. The skipped additions (moving directly from five to seven and from seven to eleven notes) seem to depict the runner’s increased speed as he builds up momentum heading for third. Finally, the complete pattern is repeated once more, running as fast as he can, before the whole process is reversed beginning with an extra two measures of the final undecatuplet, as the runner returns to first base in the same way that he traveled in the first place — rapidly at first, then easing up as the base is reached.

At first glance the symbolism of the baserunner, speeding up as he rounds the bases and then slowing down as he returns, seems to be lost in this palindromic reversal, since a runner presumably might easily trot back to first base after a foul ball. However, the rule that determined how quickly one must return to the base after a foul ball changed over the years. The rules of 1883 state that “a baserunner who fails to return to his base at a run following a foul ball is liable to be put out by being touched by the ball while off his base.”

(Thx, Jakebrah. Definitely need to read this.)

“mountains of the moon” (original angel choir mix) – the grateful dead

“Mountains of the Moon” – The Grateful Dead (download)
from Aoxomoxoa original mix (1969)

High on the list of Dead tunes likely to convert freak-folkers is Aoxomoxoa‘s “Mountains of the Moon.” With Tom Constanten’s swirling harpsichord and Robert Hunter’s oblique, mythical lyrics, it’s a bauble that didn’t sustain in the Dead’s repertoire, whose most tender songs required (for better or worse) a certain machismo to survive the ‘heads. While “Mountains” served as a perfect prelude to at least 11 “Dark Stars” in 1969, its modal (1) melody couldn’t even last long enough for the band’s abundant acoustic sets the following year. Drag.

I love how Hunter’s lyrics get down with the folk mythos — Tom Banjo, Electra, etc. — but also find a moment of psychedelic focus, the hallucinations parting for a brief second like ascending angels: “hey, the city in the rain.”

It is perhaps the aforementioned angels who hummm and ooooh behind the original 1969 version on Aoxomoxoa, removed by Jerry Garcia himself in a 1971 remix. On first listen, I wished there were more of them, but I think they’re in just the right proportion to last the duration of the track’s four minutes without grating. Like the Blood on the Tracks demo acetate, the Aoxomoxoa mix comes bundled with the vinyl warmth of its source. (Big ups to SeaOfSound for the music.)

(1) I think.

out of print

A very small bit of food for thought, via Eric Alterman’s New Yorker piece “Out of Print,” about the state of the American newspaper industry:

The news cultures of many European nations long ago embraced the notion of competing narratives for different political communities, with individual newspapers reflecting the views of each faction. It may not be entirely coincidental that these nations enjoy a level of political engagement that dwarfs that of the United States.

frow show, episode 41

Episode 41: A Collection of Music Played on Opening Day by the Scoreboard Operator at Snugglebunny Park, the Shining New Home of the Bourgwick Snugglebunnies Imaginary Baseball Franchise. Sort of.

Listen here.

1. “Threats to Herb, no. 3 – WLOK (from WFMU Radio Archival Oddities)
2. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
3. “Water Curses” – Animal Collective (from Water Curses EP)
4. “Walderez Walderia” – Flavio Kurt (from Obsession compilation)
5. “He Shoot the Sun” – Kahimi Karie and Jim O’Rourke (from Nunki)
6. “Clouds and Snow” – Ben Kamen (from Dreams EP)
7. “Shoulder Full of You” – Blitzen Trapper (from EP3 EP)
8. “P.O.V. Waltz” – Harry Nilsson (from The Point)
9. “Launderette” – Vivien Goldman (from Disco Not Disco compilation)
10. “Albuquerque” – Neil Young (from Tonight’s The Night)
11. “The Upside of Good-Bye” – Michael Nesmith (from And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’)
12. “Track 2” – Negativland (from Negativland)
13. “Noh-Miso 6” – Kunihara Ayama (from Obscure Tape Music of Japan compilation)
14. “Side A” – Thurston Moore, Jim O’Rourke, Lee Ranaldo, and Steve Shelley (from Melbourne Direct)
15. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” – Doc Watson (from Black Mountain Rag)

moving entertainments

Trippy ’60s filmmaking #1, Arthur Lipsett, via Digaman:

A Goofy Music reedited into David Lynchisms, via SoS:

Near-psychedelic bluegrass, via Deadwood:

Ween jam (a little bit of) “Dark Star”:

’cause it’s still funny: