Jesse Jarnow

Archive for January, 2012

frow show, FMU-152

(Detailed playlist, with listening links.)

1. Twice As Much & Vashti – “Coldest Night of the Year” – Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind (DiChristina)
2. The Choir – “It’s Cold Outside” – Nuggets, v. 3 (Rhino)
3. Au Revoir Simone – “Fallen Snow” – The Bird of Music (Our Secret Record Company)
4. Lambchop – “Gone Tomorrow” – Mr. M (Merge)
5. Cardinal – “Northern Soul” – Hymns (Fire)
6. Eve – “Could You” – Take It and Smile (LHI)
7. Etta James – “I Got You Babe” – Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions (Geffen)
8. The Hippy Boys – “The Hippys Are Here” – Everybody Rude Now ((no label))
9. Rikki Ililonga & Musi-O-Tunya – “Working on the Wrong Thing” – Dark Sunrise (Now Again)
Set: for no reason other than itself: a tribute to clarence white!

10. Jerry Garcia – “introduction” – Livin’ in the Past (1961-1965) (MICRO WERKS/HEPCAT)
11. Kentucky Colonels feat. Scotty Stoneman – “Eighth of January” – Live In LA With the Kentucky Colonels (Rural Rhythm) [] 12. Clarence White – “Footprints In The Snow” – The Essential Clarence White – Bluegrass Guitar Leads (Diane and Roland Music)
13. Muleskinner – “Footprints In The Snow” – A Potpourri of Bluegrass Jam (DBK Works)
14. The Byrds & The Flying Burrito Brothers – “Wasn’t Born To Follow” – 19 September 1970 Whisky-A-Go-Go, Los Angeles, CA (late show) ((no label)) [] 15. Nashville West – “Louisiana Rains” – The Legendary Nashville West Album (Rev-Ola)
16. The Gosdin Brothers – “Sounds of Goodbye” – Sounds of Goodbye (Capitl)

17. Dustin Wong – “Pencildrove Hill Moon” – Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads (Thrill Jockey)
18. Starving Weirdos – “Periods” – Land Lines (Amish)
19. Guignol feat. Korena Pang – “Invisible Sports” – Angela, David & The Great Neopolitan Road Issue (Cenotaph)
20. Tom Lawrence – “Seven Springs” – Water Beetles of Pollardstown Fen (Greuenkorder)
21. Jeph Jerman & Greg Davis – “#3” – Jeph Jerman & Greg Davis cassette (Autumn)
22. Nancy – “Super Delicious”
23. Taj Mahal Travellers – “Side B” – Live at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, 1st July 1971 (Klimt)
24. – “Suikinkutsu” – Healing
25. Charles Lloyd feat. the Beach Boys – “TM” – Waves (A&M)

26. William Tyler – “A Portrait of Sarah” – Split EP (Grapefruit)
27. Maffitt/Davies – “Landscape Grown Cold” – The Rise and Fall of Honesty (Rev-Ola)
28. Karen Dalton – “Reason To Believe” – 1966 (Delmore)
29. John Villemonte – “Hours or Days” – People Like You (Sebastian Speaks)
30. Bonnie Prince Billy – “Cold & Wet” – The Letting Go (Drag City)
31. S.E. Rogie – “A Time In My Life” – Dead Men Don’t Smoke Marijuana (RealWorld)
32. Mark de Gli Antoni – “Alabama” – Horse Tricks (Tzadik)

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frow show, FMU-151

(Detailed playlist, with listening links.)

1. Jeannie Robertson – “The Deadly Wars are Blast and Blawn” – Whaur the Pig Gaed On the Spree: Scottish Recordings by Alan Lomax (Drag City / 2S & Fews)
2. Pimmon – “Yicco” – The Oansome Orbit (Room 40)
3. Ducktails – “Side B” – Mirror Image 7-inch (Shdwply)
4. Octopus Syng – “Midsummer’s Night Scene” – Keep Off the Grass (Fruits De Mer)
5. Pterodactyl – “The Hole Night” – Spills Out (Brah)
6. Tall Firs – “Crooked Smiles” – Crooked Smiles 7-inch (no label)
7. Ismael Lo – “Tajabone” – Greatest Hits (Mango)
8. Yair Yona – “It’s Not the Heat” – World Behind Curtains (Strange Attractors)
9. Twerps – “Who Are You” – Twerps (Chapter Music/Underwater Peoples)

10. Lee Ranaldo – “Off the Wall” – Between the Times and the Tides (Matador)
11. Wizzard – “Angel Fingers” – Black Cherries – Terre T’s 2008 WFMU Marathon Premium (no label)
12. Slug Guts – “Town Tied” – Howlin’ Gang (Sacred Bones)
13. The Flaming Lips/Plastic Ono Band – “Brain of Heaven” – The Flaming Lips/Plastic Ono Band EP (Lovely Sorts of Death)
14. Savaging Spires – “Trust” – Savaging Spires (Critical Heights)
15. Jad Fair + Hifiklub + Kptmichigan – “Blue Skies” – Bird House (Joyful Noise)
16. Demdike Stare – “Kommunion” – Elemental – Parts 1 & 2: Crysanthe (Modern Love)
17. Grant Beran – “Here at the Western World” – The Another Ones (Postmoderncore)
18. The Famous Boating Party – “Albion Moonlight” – Silvery Branches CD-R (Jeweled Antler)
19. These Trails – “Rapt Attention” – These Trails (Drag City)
20. John Cale – “Whaddya Mean By That?” – EP: Extra Playful (Double Six)

21. Daphne Oram – “Ascend and Descend” – Listen, Move & Dance Nos.1-3: Electronic Sound Patterns (HMV)
22. Radiohead – “Little By Little (Shed Rmx)” – Tkol Rmx 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (Tbd)
23. Francisco Lopez & Zan Hoffman – “Concert for 300 Magnetic Tapes” – Concert for 300 Magnetic Tapes cassette (The Tapeworm)
24. Moe! Staiano – “Tape Music No. 1: Collapse of Travel and Time” – Tape Music (Dephne Normal) [feat. The Complete Short Prose of Samuel Beckett] 25. G.I. Gurdjieff – “82C) No. 78 First Series — June 30, 1949” – Harmonic Development: The Complete Harmonium Recordings 1948-49 (Basta)
26. David Crosby and Jerry Garcia – “Kids & Dogs” – PERRO Sessions (no label)

27. The Pink Floyd – “Interstellar Overdrive” – 10 September 1967 Gyllene Circelen, Stockholm, Sweden (no label)
28. Early Hominids – “Bathz” – Bathz (La Station Radar)
29. Cave – “This Is The Best” – Neverendless (Drag City)
30. Human Switchboard – “Who’s Landing In My Hangar?” – Who’s Landing In My Hangar? (Bar/None)
31. Japanese Beetles – “Cook Out” – Cook Out 7-inch (Roadtrip)

The Frow Show with Jesse playlists:
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Generated by KenzoDB ( ), (C) 2000-2012 Ken Garson

quick thoughts on the failure of @SPINReviews to kill music criticism

It seems absurd to me that anybody who wasn’t just making link-bait would question the vitality or importance of music criticism. The magazines and websites that carry writing and sell advertising, sure, maybe they’re going to die, and especially the notion of consumer guide-style record reviews, which are now as ubiquitous as spam and will surely soon be composed like it. Those have been in peril for a while. The addition of Spin’s new Twitter feed, edited by Chris @1000TimesYes Weingarten, might seem to threaten somebody somewhere. But probably not. Sure, the bon mots are pithier, but Twitter makes thoughts only as “short” as a reader might perceive them, part of a much vaster conversation containing thousands, maybe millions, of threads — the real-life real-time conversation of music itself. And for those who care to participate, it’s a conversation that isn’t restricted to 140 characters or even a click-through.

In addition to the longer columns they will continue to publish (though, yikes, please don’t call 1000 words “longform”) @SPINReviews adds yet another voice to the jabber, albeit one shaped by some great writers with deep perspective on music. The latter is more important than ever, not necessarily to advise people on what is and isn’t worth listening to, but to illuminate bigger topics, to draw connections in the present, to participate, to sort through noise, to fight the ahistorical, to find musicians who don’t have publicists, to be curious, and to be amazed or infuriated by music and figure out why and how. Anybody can rate a record. Certainly, as a music writer, the fun has well been sucked out of having public opinions on things like Bon Iver or Animal Collective or any other artist that’s been covered by everybody with a social media feed. In that way, maybe we don’t need reviews, but that’s only because the conversation about music has moved to a deeper level with an infinite number of participants where hopefully “criticism” means something beyond saying if something was good or bad.

Looked at more clearly, I think it’s totally liberating. Music writers and fans are no longer forced to have opinions about music they find banal, but encouraged by the system (however passive-aggressively) to find the music that connects with them most, that creates the most narrative, the deepest portal to the hyperreal life around them, the most sustained meaning worth spending time reflecting on and writing about and listening to. Something that might last a while. Or maybe you have something awesome to say about Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby or the imminent death of music criticism. That’s totally cool, too.

what jon huntsman was talking about (u.s. blues ’12)

Jon Huntsman recently prescribed a “Grateful Dead tour of this country” as a cure-all for our national ills led by a candidate “who rallies the support of the American people in getting term limits and closing the revolving doors of lobbyists.” In this case, I think, “Dead tour” slipped out Huntsman’s mouth as shorthand for a populist/collectivist groundswell with its own obsessive following, something richer and more real than mere grassroots support. And if that’s what Huntsman meant, some freegan should flyer him with #ows propaganda ASAP, it being an heir to the anarchistic/countercultural momentum the Dead carried for some LSD-soaked stretch of the time-track. Either that or show Huntsman Bob Roberts, which is probably more what a Republican candidate-based Dead tour would look like.

Either way, the more interesting part to me is the deployment of the Dead as a symbol by a Republican presidential candidate who–despite claiming to be a Captain Beefheart fan–pretty much has to the definition of square. This goes beyond Al and Tipper Gore inviting the band to the White House. They were fans of the band who at least came out of the same cultural moment. For a Mormon son of a billionaire, this is an invocation of a wholly different kind. “Grateful Dead” once meant something in ye olde English folklore about paying the funeral bills of an anonymous stranger who died in debt. Now, it has a folkloric resonance now of an entirely different sort, a meaning in the American mother-tongue beyond the band itself. Jon Huntsman won’t be getting my vote in any reality, but he certainly has my ear. I wish him the best as he is devoured the traditional manner of the grimacing white man’s quadrennial blood orgy.

frow show, FMU-150

(Detailed 22. The Focus Group – “Albion Festival Report” – We Are All Pan’s People (Ghost Box)
23. Sally Smmit and Her Musicians – “Side B” – Soundtrack of the Film HANGAHAR (Drag City)
24. Vampire Belt – “For Losers” – Moth Lake (Hot Cars Warp Records)
25. Claus Haxholm & Kristian Poulsen – “Side A” – Elektriske Guitarer cassette (no label)
26. S. Ida & BGG – “#20” – Eat Show cassette (D.D. Records)
27. Roscoe Mitchell – “Bells For New Orleans” – Numbers (Rogue Art)
28. Fire! feat. Jim O’Rourke – “By Whom and Why Am I Previously Unreleased?” – Unreleased? (Rune Grammofon)
29. The New Outcast – “That’s What I Call A Woman” (no label)
30. The Scene Is Now – “Cities Are Over” – Magpie Alarm (Tongue Master)
31. Dandelions – “The Children of Sunshine” – Dandelions (KBK)

32. James Brown – “Love Me Tender” – The Singles, v. 10: 1975-1979 (Hip-O Select) [Happy b-day, King.] 33. Bad Weather California – “Let It Shine” – Sunkissed (Family Tree)
34. Tom Ardolino – “Bizmo 17” – Unknown Brain (Mystery Train) [Tom Ardolino, 1955-2012.] 35. Sonore – “Fragments For An Endgame” – Cafe Oto/London (Trost)
36. Six Organs of Admittance – “Warm Earth, Which I’ve Been Told” – RTZ (Drag City)
37. Syd Barrett – “Terrapin” – Radio One Sessions (Strange Fruit) [Happy b-day, Syd.] 38. Roy Harper – “I’ll See You Again” – Songs of Love and Loss (Science Friction)

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“sexy and i know it” – LMFAO

An occasional project, where I arbitrarily write about the #1 pop song du jour from the perspective of somebody who barely listens to that kind of music and has only a passing knowledge of current mega-stars. It doesn’t sound as strange to my ears as it did when I started doing this in 2003, but it still sounds like it’s from another planet.

“Sexy and I Know It” – LMFAO
released by Interscope

week of 14 January 2012
#1 this week, #1 last week, 18 weeks on chart

After a year of world travel and robust sleep research, my pal Vape Stiles recently observed to me that the two most dominant genres of global pop music are hip-hop and mutant techno-disco, both derivable back to fringe cultures of early ’70s NYC. Probably so. Not sure what it means that two are finally starting to bleed into each other, which probably happened during my last sojourn away from the pop charts. The bleed was the dominant force in the last song I listened to, Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” though that felt mostly like a production choice compared to LMFAO, whose “Sexy & I Know It” makes their second #1 and finds a gaudy new way to cross the proverbial club with the proverbial Thai beach rave.

I kind of like it. Don’t love it. But it seems properly stupid. It’s self-produced, too, which makes it easier to think of as less manufactured, even if these guys were assured at a major label contract. At least one them is Berry Gordy’s grandson. That is, this slab of ridiculous 21st century pop (the chorus: “girl, look at that body, I work out”) named after a piece of internet slang was made by a descendant of the man who founded Motown. If the song is still in my head in a few weeks, maybe I’ll think more about what that means. At the very least, I dig goofy dance-pop far more than Rihanna’s self-serious melodrama. “Wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle,” one of the Gordys (they’re both Gordys) chants, which is one of the many nooks available in the song for dance moves, cheers, sing-alongs. It’s fun and busy, but that seems about it, but a lot less has been done with a lot more.

frow show, FMU-149

(Detailed 20. They Might Be Giants – “Twisting” – Flood (Elektra)
21. Atlas Sound – “Amplifiers” – Parallax (4AD)
22. Music Machine – “This Should Make You Happy” – Ignition (Sundazed)
23. The Flowerz – “I Need Love Now” – Flyte (Arf! Arf!)
24. The Cryin’ Shames – “Nobody Waved Goodbye” – joe meek: portrait of a genius – the rgm legacy (Castle)
25. Mellow Candle – “Tea With the Sun” – Cooking Cherries: Terre T 2011 Premium
26. Lover! – “I’m Not A Gnome” – I’m Not a Gnome 7″ (Tic Tac Totally)
27. Del Shannon – “I Wish I Wasn’t Me Today” – Move It On Over (Norton)
28. Dawn Penn – “To Sir, With Love” – Trojan Rocksteady Rarities (Trojan)

29. The Necks – “Daylights” – Mindset (ReR)
30. Unitard – “Year To Be Hated” – Yes New York (Vice)

The Frow Show with Jesse playlists:
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Generated by KenzoDB ( ), (C) 2000-2011 Ken Garson