Jesse Jarnow

Archive for October, 2008

3.5 months.

Baseball, more than other sports, is a game of statistics. There are batting titles, earned run averages, and Bill James freak-outs. It is a game of distances covered simultaneously by whipped balls of cork and running feet, coming down to inches, and the strategy that pits them against one another. There are lefty/righty match-ups, pinch-hitters, and careers made or broken by the chance encounters of a baseball after it connects with a bat. Numbers are the game’s blood.

Despite this, like the point where human consciousness emerges from a collection of cells and organized tissue, stats only go so far. Ultimately, baseball requires a leap of faith — or, at least, a willful defiance of the numbers. Your favorite team might collapse down the stretch, but they’re still your favorite team. It is not rational. It is the opposite. The Phillies may have won the World Series, but I say fuck ’em, the Mets are still better with exactly the same passion as I did in the middle of the summer, and the same as I will when spring training starts. Fuck ’em. See you in three-and-a-half months.

have read/will read dept.

o Google and the Authors’ Guild settle their lawsuit.
o Uncut presents a massive series of interviews with the session players who worked with Dylan throughout the ’80s and ’90s. A huge new body of Bob-lore for the Neverending era. Have only read David Kemper so far, but am absurdly psyched for the rest.
o Big Wired piece on open source hardware.
o Christoph Neimann’s elegant cheat sheets for Manhattan.
o Some of Robert Wyatt’s favorite things.

frow show, fmu-06

Listen here.
Detailed playlist.

Going Steady Singles Week! All songs A-sides unless otherwise noted.)

1. “Season of the Witch” – Donovan (from Sunshine Superman)
2. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
3. “Halloween” – Mudhoney (from Touch Me I’m Sick/Halloween 7-inch)
4. “Search and Destroy” (mono) – Iggy and the Stooges (from Search and Destroy white label 7-inch)
5. “U Stink But I Love U” – Billy and the Boingers (from Billy and the Boingers Bootleg flexidisc)
6. “Love-> Building On Fire” – Talking Heads
7. “Tropical Ice-Land” – The Fiery Furnaces
8. “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power to the People” – The Chi-Lites
9. “Make the Road By Walking” – Menahan Street Band
10. “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” – Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
11. “Soul Master” – Edwin Starr
12. “Everybody Suffering” – Laurel Aitken
13. “My Boy Lollipop” – Millie
14. “Dark Star” – The Grateful Dead
15. “Disco 3000” – Sun Ra
16. “Despite the Water Supply” (Side A) – Jim O’Rourke (from Touch Series, v. 7 7-inch)
17. “Despite the Water Supply” (Side B) – Jim O’Rourke (from Touch Series, v. 7 7-inch)
18. “Blue Bayou” – Roy Orbison
19. “Kites Are Fun” – The Free Design
20. “Cycles” – Frank Sinatra
21. “As I Went Out One Morning” – Why? (from Unusual Animals, v. 4 7-inch)
22. “Yo Yo Bye Bye” – Dump (from The Hollows 7-inch) (UK)
23. “Aquarius” – Boards of Canada
24. “Six Stories” – Jeffrey Lewis (from Seasons 7-inch box set)
25. “Gojam Province 1968” – The Mountain Goats (from Satanic Messiah EP)
26. “George Jackson” (acoustic version) – Bob Dylan
27. “Cold Rain and Snow” – Oneida (from Heads Ain’t Ready 7-inch)
28. “He Don’t Love You (and He’ll Break Your Heart)” – Levon and the Hawks (from The Stones I Throw 7-inch)
29. “Sour Milk Sea” – Jackie Lomax
30. “Boy Wonder, I Love You” – Burt Ward feat. Frank Zappa
31. “Baby” – Caetano Veloso with Os Mutantes (from Ao Vivo EP)
32. “A Certain Guy” – Mary Weiss (from Don’t Come Back 7-inch)
33. “Yellow Brick Road” – Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
34. “Success” (Diplo’s Unsuccessful Space Dub) – Dark Meat
35. “Launderette” – Vivien Goldman
36. “Grains and Sauces/Ice and Rings/Aqua Waters” – Black Swan Network (from HHBTM singles club 7-inch)
37. “Two” (Side B) – Yoshimi
38. “The Present Time/Seven Thousand Luminous Aches and Pains/The Dinner Plate” – Black Swan Network (from HHBTM singles club 7-inch)
39. “Marigold” – Nirvana (from Heart-Shaped Box 7-inch)
40. “Nature Trail to Hell (In 3-D)” – Weird Al Yankovic (from King of Suede 7-inch)
41. “Early 1970” – Ringo Starr (from It Don’t Come Easy 7-inch)
42. “Memories” – Robert Wyatt (from I’m A Believer 7-inch)
43. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)” – Brian Eno
44. “Sol ’07” (Side A/B) – Wooden Shjips
45. “Now 2000” (Side A) – Yo La Tengo (from Some Other Dimensions In Yo La Tengo EP)
46. “Now 2000” (Side B) – Yo La Tengo (from Some Other Dimensions In Yo La Tengo EP)
47. “Piggy In The Middle” – The Rutles (from Let’s Be Natural 7-inch)
48. “Porpoise Song” – The Monkees
49. “Goodnight Irene” – Little Richard

hear the wind sing

from Haruki Murakami’s first novel, Hear the Wind Sing (1979):

A newspaper reporter once asked Heartfield, “Your protagonist dies twice on Mars and once on Venus. Isn’t there a contradiction here?”

To which Heartfield responded, “Do you know how time passes in outer space?”

“No,” replied the reporter, “but that’s something nobody knows.”

“Then tell me, what’s the point of writing a novel about something everyone knows?”

“money” – apollo sunshine

“Money” – Apollo Sunshine (download) (buy)

(file expires October 31st)

The Apollo Sunshine’s “Money” sounds like Simon and Garfunkel, but I think it’s really “Imagine” for 2008 — an idyllic take on the world’s corruption du jour. “War is over! If you want it,” John and Yoko proclaimed, shorthanding the 1971 single. Apollo Sunshine’s take on impending global economic meltdown is the same, existentially: fahgetaboutit. “I wonder what I’d do, if everybody forgot what money was,” they harmonize, a slightly more complex task than disregarding religion. In Lennon’s world, peace comes immediately. For the Sunshine, it’s a little more personal. “With all that’s happened, would we still play guitars?” they ask. “Yeah, we’d play guitar!” they reaffirm, voices rising into subdued falsetto glee. It’s easier to imagine such things when you can hum along so easily.

frow show, fmu-05

Listen here
Detailed playlist

1. “Some Misunderstanding” – Gene Clark (form No Other)
2. “Obama Is Beautiful World!” – Anyone Brothers Band (via YouTube)
3. “Lonely Little Girl > Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance > What’s the Ugliest Part of Your Body?” – Frank Zappa (from Joe’s Menage)
4. “Music (Japanese version)” – Petra Haden (from Gum EP)
5. “We’ve Got To Get Ourselves Together” – The Staple Singers (from Soul Folk In Action)
6. “Sarah Through the Wall” – Brad Barr (from The Fall Apartment)
7. “Caminho Do Mar” – Quarteto Em Cy (from Quarteto Em Cy (1966))
8. “Departure” – Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid (from NYC)
9. “People Watch Change” – Capleton feat. Barack Obama
10. “This Summer Night” – Bertrand Burgalat feat. Robert Wyatt (from Cheri B.B.)
11. “Autoscope” – Benard Estardy (from La Formule Du Baron)
12. “Dinner and a Movie” – Phish (from Junta)
13. “Where Do You Run To?” – Vivian Girls (from Vivian Girls)
14. “The Horrors of Isolation: The Celestial Dissolve, Triumphant Hallucination, Light Being Absorbed” – The Flaming Lips (from Christmas On Mars OST)
15. unknown – unknown (from Yeti #5 compilation)
16. “Bye Bye Butterfly” – Pauline Oliveros (from Electronic Works)
17. “Aimless Breeze” – George Parsons (from Down In A Mirror: A Second Tribute to Jandek compilation)
18. “Jupiter Variation” – John Coltrane (from Interstellar Space)
19. “Four Freshman Locked Out as the Sun Goes Down” – No Kids (from Come Into My House)
20. “Arms, Legs, and Moonlight” – Eric Chenaux (from Sloppy Ground)
21. “Women’s Hour (Reading Your Letters)” – John Baker (from John Baker Tapes, v. 1)
22. “Music To Watch Girls By” – unknown (from Indonesian Cassette Mix compilation)
23. “Obama Is Here (Luda Politics)” – Ludacris (from The Preview mixtape)
24. “Obama Obama” – APT (from A Milli Beat)
25. “No Space in This Realm” – Akron/Family (from Meek Warrior)
26. “The Light That Fills This World” – John Luther Adams (from The Light That Fills This World)
27. “He Shoots the Sun” – Kahmi Karie (from Nunki)
28. “Albert Camus” – Titus Andronicus (from The Airing of Grievances)
29. “Pinecone Accumulation” – Greg Davis (from Vestibule and Separate: Cottage Industries 3)
30. “Fog and Shadow” – Apollo Sunshine (from Shall Noise Upon)
31. “Stella Blue” – Willie Nelson (from Songbird)
32. “Looney Tunes” – Yo La Tengo (from Sugarcube EP)
33. “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” – John Bix (from tXXXs demos)
34. “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” – George Harrison (from Brainwashed)
35. “Windfall” – Son Volt (from Trace)
36. “I’ll Keep It With Mine” – Nico (from Chelsea Girl)

david byrne & brian eno’s everything that happens will happen today (greatest misses #8)

“My Big Nurse” – David Byrne and Brian Eno (download) (buy)

This was supposed to have run this month, but it somehow disappeared in my editor’s inbox.

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

We’ve been living in David Byrne and Brian Eno’s world for so long that their rekindled relationship–28 years dormant before the new Everything That Happens Will Happen Today–shouldn’t be too surprising. But, being their world–their ideas about rhythm and aesthetics formed in the crucible of the late ’70s Talking Heads, and now well-institutionalized by indie-punx, hippies, and pop fascists alike–it’s all a bit less shocking this go-round. Indeed, the two aren’t overly ambitious, either, the simple changes of “Wanted For Life” and “Strange Overtones” recalling the twang-enhanced Heads of True Stories. (“These beats are 20 years old,” Byrne admits on the latter tune.)

Written as a cross-Atlantic collaboration behind the concept of “electronic gospel”–Eno on backing tracks, Byrne on vocals–the producer’s work truly improves in higher resolution than mp3s allow, worn synth swells blossoming into holographic depth. Regardless, the two succeed best at being graceful, including the lullaby-like title track and the C&W sunset gallop of “My Big Nurse.” “A million kinds of possibilities for dancing on this lazy afternoon,” Byrne sings before a right lovely organ figure trickles by, an ethereal burst of vintage Eno, as recognizable as a Frippertronic guitar cloud on Another Green World.

It is not a perfect union. When the music slips uptempo, such as “I Feel My Stuff,” one can almost hear quotation marks appearing around the grooves–the implications of music to dance to, rather than the act itself. But, concepts be damned, Byrne himself is in marvelous form, lyrically and vocally, having evolved into a powerful singer in his post-Heads years. The future is here. And it sounds remarkably like music.

some recent articles.

Mr. Wouters’ Machines: Dutch artist Xelor (Paste)
Catching Up With: Alex Holdridge, director of In Search of a Midnight Kiss (Paste)

In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic In the 7th Moon, the Chief Turned Into a Swimming Fish and Ate the Head of His Enemy by Magic – Kasai Allstars (Village Voice)
The Fall Apartment – Brad Barr (Relix)
Radiolarians 1 and Zebos: Book of Angels, v. 11 – Medeski, Martin, and Wood (Relix)
Such Fun – Annuals (Paste)
Me and Armini – Emiliana Torrini (Paste)
Dirty Laundry/More Dirty Laundry – v/a (Paste)
Brazil Classics at 20: Anti-Aging Solutions Revealed – v/a (Paste)
Droppin’ Science: Greatest Beats from the Blue Note Labs – v/a (Paste)
Only By the Night – Kings of Leon (Paste)
Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails – The Baseball Project (

Willie Nelson at Radio City Music Hall, 25 September 2008 (Village Voice blog)
Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise at Knitting Factory, 12 October 2008 (Village Voice blog)

The Holy Modal Rounders… Bound to Lose (Paste)
Happy-Go-Lucky (Paste)

The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art by Don Thompson (San Francisco Chronicle)

In print:
o Paste #47 (Violence issue): album reviews of Emiliana Torrini, Kings of Leon (Dischord), movie review of Happy-Go-Lucky, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, DVD review of Phish: Walnut Creek
o November Relix (The Clash cover): album reviews of Medeski, Martin and Wood, Brad Barr, Jolie Holland, DVD review of Cornelius.

frow show, fmu-04

Listen here.
Detailed playlist.

1. “U.S. Millie” – Theoretical Girls (from Theoretical Girls anthology)
2. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
3. “Vo Bate Pa Tu” – Baiano e Os Novos Caetanos (from Baiano e Os Novos Caetanos)
4. “The Saga of Cyrus and Mulgrew” – Garth Hudson (from The Sea to the North)
5. “Kandore Mandore” – Andore Kandore (from ’69 Folk Best compilation)
6. “Untitled” – Jim O’Rourke (from Old News, v. 1 CD-R)
7. “Eleven (It’ll Rain!)” – Skeletons (from Money)
8. “Bomb” – Inara George and Van Dyke Parks (from An Invitation)
9. “On A Brass Bed (In Paradise)” – King Khan and His Shrines (from Mr. Supernatural)
10. “Shake Daddy Shake” – Eula Cooper (from Eccentric Soul: The Tragar and Note Labels compilaiton)
11. “Such A Scene” – The Changes (from First of May EP)
12. “Rory Rides Me Raw” – The Vaselines (from The Way of the Vaselines anthology)
13. “Higher than The End” – Twi the Humble Feather (from Music for Spaceships and Earths)
14. “Namer” – High Places (from High Places)
15. “Green Rain” – Shugo Tokumaru (from Exit)
16. “I’ve Lived on a Dirt Road All My Life” – Manitoba (from Up in Flames)
17. “Tintinnabulations” – The Alps (from Jewelt Spirit CD-R)
18. selections from the Musee Mecanique presents Zelinsky Collection, v. 3
19. “Train Your Child” – Washington Phillips (from I Was Born to Preach the Gospel)
20. “Harvest Moon” – Cassandra Wilson (from New Moon Daughter)
21. “This Is It” – Lothar and the Hand People (from Presenting…)
22. “Birthday Boy” – Ween (from GodWeenSatan: The Oneness)
23. “I’m Not A Young Man Anymore” – Velvet Underground (6 or 7 April 1967 The Gymnasium)
24. “Jam > Ship of Fools” – Grateful Dead (23 June 1974 Jai-Alai Fronton)
25. “Rockin’ Chair” – Mildred Bailey and Her Orchestra (from Complete Columbia Recordings anthology)
26. “Sun in Aquarius” – Pharoah Sanders (from Jewels of Thought)
27. “Love” – Yann Tomita (from Doopee Time)
28. “All You Need Is Love” – Steven Bernstein and the Millennial Territory Orchestra (from We Are MTO)
29. “Sad, Sad, Sad” – Arms (from Kids Aflame)
30. “You Win Again” – Elvis Costello (from Charlie Haden: Rambling Boy)
31. “Mississippi (Time Out Of Mind outtake)” – Bob Dylan (from Tell-Tale Signs (Bootleg Series, v. 8) anthology)
32. “Singing to the Sunshine” – Cardinal (from Cardinal)

the frow show: now with extra sleeplessness!

Lovely Frowsketeers!

Despite–or, perhaps, because of–this topsy-tuvry housing market, the Frow Show has scored some prime corner real estate. Specifically, the bottom right corner of the WFMU programming grid, where I’ll kick it from now through June 2009. Starting this week, I can be heard on Sunday nights/Monday mornings, from 3 am – 6 am EST.

As always, if you don’t happen to be awake during those hours, all episodes are archived almost immediately.

Unfortunately, due to RIAA impositions, I don’t think I’m going to be able to make the show available as a podcast. Drag city.

Should be fun anyway, though. Got some guests & other stuff in the works. Watch here (or listen there) for details.

recent spins

Product that has expired as product, too good not to mention.

Lothar and the Hand People – Lothar and the Hand People (1968)
I sometimes think I could only download psych LPs from 1968 and never run out. That’s not to say that they’re all really good. Some are mad generic. But Lothar and the Hand People’s self-titled debut is really good. Incredibly catchy (sounds like the Velvets sometimes), plenty weird (theremin, electronics). Top notch.

What Is!? – King Khan and His Shrines (2007)
Likewise, ’68 garage-psych revival bands seem a dime a dozen (or less, if one’s jacking wifi from the neighbors), but pretty much every song on What Is!? is a total winner. The organs are exactly right, the choruses even more so.

Stardust – Willie Nelson (1978)
I’m beginning what I imagine will be a long, fruitful relationship with the music of Willie Nelson. Besides the spare Crazy demos from ’59, this is what’s grabbed me most: Willie doing Tin Pan Alley standards. A stoned sweetness in the cosmic neighborhood of Ray Charles and Jerry Garcia and Richard Manuel (see below). Jah bless.

Whispering Pines: Live at the Getaway 1985 – Richard Manuel (rec. 1985, rel. 2002)
Been on a Music From Big Pink lately, fueled heavily by John Niven’s entry in Continuum’s 33 1/3 series, whose central haunt is provided by the late Richard Manuel. Whispering Pines was recorded in a Florida club, six months before Manuel hung himself in a motel room. Played on a cocktail hour synth, the music is as distant and sweet as ever. Love the Ray Charles covers.

In My Own Time – Karen Dalton (1971)
Unfathomable loveliness. Billie Holiday with a banjo. Though Dalton despised the schmaltzed up studio arrangements—she was a Village folkie, after all–I think I love them. Her voice practically calls out for syrupy strings, for redeeming fantasias.

have read/will read dept.

o Michael Lewis buys a mansion.
o Wired profiles Weird Al.
o Big, thinky piece on The Whole Earth Catalogue.
o Stanley Milgrim’s Six Degrees of Seperation theory gets halved.
o Roger Ebert on how to read a movie.

frow show, fmu-03

Listen here.
Detailed playlist.

1. “Your Cheatin’ Heart” – James Brown (from Dirty Laundry: The Soul of Black Country comp)
2. “Frow Show Theme” – MVB
3. “Some Clouds Don’t” – Fred Frith (from Cheap at Half the Price)
4. “Slippery People (club version)” – Staple Singers (from Slippery People 12-inch)
5. “1000 Cities Falling (part 1)” – The Sadies (from Favorite Colours)
6. “My Big Nurse” – David Byrne and Brian Eno (from Everything That Happens Will Happen Today)
7. “Unfinished” – Kevin Ayers (from What More Can I Say?)
8. “Wayne Wayne” – R. Stevie Moore (from Nevertheless Optimistic)
9. “Flower Sun Rain” – Boris (from Smile)
10. “Shiokumi Kasatsukashi (Collecting Water)” – Kachikuri Mimasuya (from Victrola Favorites: Artifacts from Bygone Days comp)
11. “Apes Guide to Apes” – The Apes (from Yeti #4 comp)
12. “Iko Iko” – The Dixie Cups/Diplo (from Top Ranking Santogold mix)
13. “Left Behind” – CSS (from Donkey)
14. “September Gurls” – The Bangles (from Different Light)
15. “Halifax” – Hampton Grease Band (from Music To Eat)
16. “Up With People” – Oneida (from Happy New Year)
17. “New Year’s Eve” – Stephan Mathieu and Ekkehard Ehlers (from Heroin)
18. “A Manha Na Praia” – Alps (from III)
19. “Exotique” – Roland Bocquet (from Space Oddities: A Collection of Rare European Library Grooves, 1975-1984 comp)
20. “Free Music No. 1 (Percy Grainger)” – Lydia Kavina (from Spellbound! Original Works for Theremin)
21. “Coloris” – Cornelius (from Coloris OST)
22. “Amok! part 1” – Evan Ziporyn/Gamelan Galak Tika (from Amok!/Tire Fire)
23. “miNd / To Be…” – John Cage (from Mesostic IV)
24. “Hydrophone” – Max Eastley (from New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments)
25. “Love Henry” – Jolie Holland (from The Living and the Dead)
26. “Past Has Not Passed” – James Blackshaw (from Litany of Echoes)
27. “Mornings Made of Gold” – John Biz (from tXXXs demos)
28. “Silver Apples of the Moon (part A)” – Morton Subotnick (from Silver Apples of the Moon/The Wild Bull)
29. “Osorezan” (excerpt) – Geioh Yamashirogumi (from Osorezan/Do No Kembai)
30. “Maremaillette” – A Hawk and a Hacksaw (from A Hawk and a Hacksaw)
31. “Air” – Greg Davis (from Cruling Pond Woods)
32. “Waiting For the Dawn To Break” – The Leapyear (from AUX comp)
33. “Sunshine Superman” – Donovan (from Sunshine Superman)
34. “Nega (Phonograph Blues)” – Gilberto Gil (from Gilberto Gil (1971))
35. “Political Science” – Randy Newman (from Randy Newman Songbook. v. 1)
36. “No More Use To Me” – Sam and Simon (from Brudders)
37. “Think Small” – Tall Dwarfs (from Fork Songs)
38. “Green Rocky Road” – Karen Dalton (from Green Rocky Road)
39. “Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower” – Grateful Dead (from One From the Vault)
40. “Journey Through the Outer Darkness” – Sun Ra (from Concert For the Comet Kohoutek)
41. “Waiting For Life” – Ron Geesin (from As He Stands)
42. “Yes We Can, pt. 1” – Lee Dorsey (from Holy Cow! The Very Best of Lee Dorsey)
43. “Naval Milk Prison” – Lee Ranaldo (from Maelstrom From Drift)
44. “Le Grand Mouille” – Vincent Gemignani (from Modern Pop Percussion)
45. “No Ke Ano Ahiahi” – Medeski, Martin, and Wood (from Combustication)
46. “Blue Hawaii” – David Byrne (from Big Love: Hymnal OST)
47. “Noh-Miso 6” – Kunihara Akyama (from Obscure Tape Music of Japan, v. 2: Music for Puppet Theatre of HITOMI-ZA comp)
48. “Sea Song” – Robert Wyatt (from Rock Bottom)
49. “Unwound” – Ralph White (from Trash Fish)
50. “All For You” – E.T. Mensah and the Tempos (from All For You)
51. “All The Dirt” – Mike Doughty (from Skittish)
52. “Ragtime Nightingale” – David Boeddinghaus and Craig Ventresco (from Crumb OST)
53. “I Feel Like Going Home” – Yo La Tengo (from I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass)

ylt neumann leather tennant association benefit, 9/29

Yo La Tengo at Maxwell’s
29 September 2008
benefit for Neumann Leather Tenants Association
no keyboards

I Feel Like Going Home
Come On Up (The Young Rascals)
Drug Test
Tears Are In Your Eyes
Stockholm Syndrome
Mr. Tough
Big Day Coming
Time Fades Away (Neil Young)

You Tore Me Down (Flamin’ Groovies)