Jesse Jarnow

Archive for May, 2008

uncle bill robinson memorial links

o Accepted baseball wisdom begins to mutate.

o A pro-Willets Point gentrification blog (including a link to an AM NY piece on ” 0, 2757074.story”>the Mayor of Willets Point.”

o Charting salary v. performance on big league teams in real time.

o Slate publishes some travel writing on baseball in the DR.

o A Baseball in Science Fiction bibliography.

o Mmmm, Tokyo Giants food.

o Giuseppe Franco for Mets manager! (Who? Him.)

o Dude traded for 10 bats in Texas.

frow show, episode 45

(The 666th post on! m/_ )

Episode 45: Genghis Cohen Triumphant!

Listen here.

1. “Real Talk” – R. Kelly (from Double Up)
2. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
3. “Favorite Sweatshirt On” – Mixel Pixel (from Let’s Be Friends)
4. “Dam Maro Dum (Take Another Toke)” – Asha Bhosle with the Kronos Quartet (from You’ve Stolen My Heart)
5. “Jan Pahechan Ho” – Van Shipley (from Bollywood Steel Guitar compilation)
6. “I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Is In” – Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (from Daptone 7-Inch Singles Collection, v. 2 compilation)
7. “Could Have Been – Lee Fields (from Daptone 7-Inch Singles Collection, v. 2 compilation)
8. “Is There Any Body Here Who Loves Jesus?” – Rev. Louis Overstreet (from Rev. Louis Overstreet with his sons and the congregation of St. Like’s Powerhouse Church of God in Christ)
9. “Between Me and You Kid” – Mudhoney (from Five Dollar Bob’s Mock Cooter Stew EP)
10. “Etude #7: Ballad” – Marc Ribot (from Exercises in Futility)
11. “Can I Sleep In Your Arms?” – Willie Nelson (from Red-Headed Stranger)
12. “Hula Blues” – Sol Hoopii (from Hula Blues: Vintage Steel Guit Instrumentals from the ’30s and ’40s compilation)
13. “Moonglow” – Bud Melvin (from Return of Bud Melvin)
14. “Typical Hippies” – Lucky Dragons (from Dream Island Laughing Language)
15. “Hydrophone” – Max Eastley (from Rediscovered Musical Instruments split LP)
16. “Window To Mars” – Elf Power (from In A Cave)

have read/will read dept.

Despite the time off, these mostly lie on the latter side of the equation.

o Nicholson Baker on “The Charms of Wikipedia” in the New York Review of Books.
o Jim O’Rourke interviews Kiyoshi Kurosawa, circa 2005.
o Cloud advertising. Amazing technology, like something out of Dubai or Wonders, Inc. Less-than-inspiring use.
o Ezra Klein on “The Future of Reading” in the Columbia Journalism Review.
o A Wired profile of Japanese internet superstar Hiroyuki Nishimura.

some recent articles.

(Back to regular posting after Memorial Day.)

DIY Gondry: Even Better Than The Real Thing (Paste) (with Silencer of Music short film!)
Doses Wild, Dark Meat profile (
Hammer, Tongs, and the DIY Inspirado of John Rambo, Son of Rambow/Hammer and Tongs profile (Paste)

Dark Meat at Cake Shop, 20 April 2008 (Village Voice blog)
Dump at Maxwell’s, 24 April 2008 (Village Voice blog)
Bent Festival at DCTV, 24-26 April 2008 (Village Voice blog)
Lou Reed at the Highline Ballroom, 5 May 2008

In A Cave – Elf Power (Village Voice)
Superfuzz Bigmuff: Deluxe Edition – Mudhoney (Paste)
Walk It Off – Tapes ‘n’ Tapes (Paste)
Attack and Release – The Black Keys (Paste)
Pancho and the Kid – Chris Barron (

Nurses 5 Float Past” – Hallelujah the Hills (
Miami Ice” – Icy Demons (
Shoulder Full of You” – Blitzen Trapper (
We Both Go Down Together” – Colin Meloy (

Shine A Light (Paste)

o Paste #42 (Ben Gibbard cover): Philip Glass blurblets, Hammer and Tongs profile, I’m Not There reassessment
o Paste #43 (Scarlett Johansson cover): “Running Into Stonehenge” essay, album review of the Silver Jews, Be Kind Rewind reassessment.
o June Relix (Tom Petty cover): album reviews of Phish, Imaginational Anthem, v. 3; book reviews of Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan Drawn Blank

frow show, episode 44

Episode 44: The Return of Jerry Garcia Marquez

Listen here.

1. “20th Century Fox Fanfare” – Alfred Newman (from The Essential Alfred Newman Film Music Collection)
2. “Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago” – Soul Coughing (from Ruby Vroom)
3. “Katie’s Been Gone” – The Band (from The Basement Tapes)
4. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
5. “Espiral” – Cineplexx (from Picnic)
6. “Majesty” – The Music Tapes (from Music Tapes for Clouds and Tornadoes)
7. “Worlds Approaching” – Sun Ra and His Astro Infinity Orchestra (from Strange Strings)
8. “Positively 4th Street” – Jerry Garcia and Merl Saunders (from Live at Keystone)
9. “Why Not Your Baby?” – Doug Dillard and Gene Clark (from The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard and Clark)
10. “Take Me” – Karen Dalton (from In My Own Time)
11. “Opportunity to Cry” – Willie Nelson (from Crazy: The Demo Sessions)
12. “Roll With the Flow” – Michael Nesmith (from And the Hits Just Keep on Comin’)
13. “After the Gold Rush” – Neil Young (from After the Gold Rush)
14. “I’m Not There” – Sonic Youth (from I’m Not There OST)
15. “Take Care” – Big Star (from Third)

hippie-country heartache, no. 2: george jones & leon payne’s “take me”

“Take Me” – Karen Dalton (download) (buy)
from In My Own Time (1971)

“Take Me” – Jerry Garcia and David Grisman (download) (buy)
from Been All Around This World (2004)

(files expire May 19th)

I’m a sucker for songs that send the singer to some specific utopia, like “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” or Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou,” or Patsy Cline’s “You Belong To Me,” or any of the Mountain Goats’ “Going to…” numbers. George Jones and Leon Payne’s “Take Me” is a neat variation, a catalogue of desolation — an impossibly dark room, Siberia in winter — twisted into sunshine. But it is mostly imagined sunshine, the singer in a state somewhere closer to the darkened room than the springtime California promised in the final verse.

The desolation is clearly present in Jones’ original with Tammy Wynette, but that’s probably more reflex than anything. Jerry Garcia and Karen Dalton amplify it to the song’s front. Garcia’s junk-decayed voice cracks as it needs to, his delivery all resignation, though David Grisman’s mandolin is perhaps a little too airy for the proceedings (at least until his solo). One-time Village folkie Dalton, meanwhile, is perfect, her own junk-cracked voice unbearably hopeful over a quietly lush combo, like a feminine Ray Charles.

hippie-country heartache no. 1: “roll with the flow” – michael nesmith

“Roll With the Flow” – Michael Nesmith (download) (buy)
from And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’ (1972)

(file expires May 14th)

It’s hippie-country heartache week here in the wunderkammern, and former Monkee Mike Nesmith’s And the Hits Just Keep on Comin’ is a remarkable, hook-filled beaut.

Country tunes don’t often speak, word for word, to the specifics of one’s particular heartbreak. But even narratives that are the 180-degree opposite of the use they’re serving can still stand-in just fine. Break-up songs sung from the perspective of the one leaving, like Nesmith’s “Roll With the Flow” can be of use to the broken. (In this case, perhaps through contrarian, pissed-off empowerment.) It is almost as if the sound of country — here stripped close to absolute simplest: acoustic guitar, pedal steel, and voice — acts like a welcoming arm. Warmed in its embrace, country veritably promises that even if this singer doesn’t address your problem with this song, it will most assuredly come around sooner than later. That faith hums warmly through the genre, like the anticipatory minutes after one has fed money into a crowded bar’s jukebox but before the sound in his head has made itself manifest in a room full of strangers.

have read/will read dept.

I will still probably post here more days than I don’t (so keep checking back!), but I’m gonna take a small step back from the blog for the next few weeks, at least. I need to do some writing for myself and only myself. Been a while.

o Robert Rich’s response to Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans theory.
o A BusinessWeek profile of Other Music, the awesome Manhattan record store whose new release bin (and equivalent section in their newsletter) is probably the most discerning review section in the country.
o While at school in Ohio, a friend and I joked about running a pipeline from New York to bring a supply of tap water for proper pizza and bagels. Kottke looks into it.
o The NYRB gets loose on Wikipedia. Looking forward to sinking into this one.
o With all the insidious cross-marketing, yadda yadda, sometimes it’s a relief to know that the Man often still just doesn’t get it.
o Dmitri Nabokov is going to publish The Original of Laura. Yay!

the last verse & “honey in the rock” – blind mamie forehand

“Honey in the Rock” – Blind Mamie Forehand (download) (buy)
from Goodbye Babylon (1927/2003)

(file expires May 8th)

Burkhard Bilger’s recent New Yorker piece, “The Last Verse,” is excellent — the type of typically sprawling think-piece/profile that could end up in a future Da Capo Best Music Writing edition. But it also bummed me out. “Is there still any folk music out there?” the subhead asked. It’s an endlessly fascinating question, but — if you limit “folk” to its literal definition — the answer becomes equally limited.

For his own recordings, Rosenbaum laid down only a few ground rules. The musicians could come from anywhere and play almost anything: fiddles, guitars, washboards, or spoons; harmonicas, Jew’s harps, or accordions. (In one recording, a broomstick kept time; in another, a pick-axe.) But the songs had to be traditional, the music learned from relatives or local musicians. He wanted folksingers, as he puts it, not just singers of folk songs.

And, thus, another story about dudes driving the South around looking for old performers and older records. But folk music is more alive than that, pulsing from car stereos and ringtones in the centuries-old rhythms at the core of reggaeton, or in the magpie strategies of the bootleg/mash-up world. Even if hip-hop is the very definition of mass culture — see, for example, the ridiculous Jay-Z/Soulja Boy feud being played through the NBA — it still requires an intricate constellation of references to understand it, many of which can only be passed person to person. While there’s plenty that comes through media, there’s still plenty of slang that can trace back decades, if not more.

The answer to Bilger’s question is unquestionably, “yes.” A truly oral culture is no longer possible, but we have something else — a world where text is so plentiful it becomes both meaningless and ephemeral. How does one collect it?