July 24, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

I have been finding a lot of interesting reading on the always-packed-with-goodness Largehearted Boy blog/music news conglomerate. I recommend you browse it yourself, but the link that I thought was the most amusing recently was this description of a new game, iPod War. It’s like the old card game you played when you were seven because it was the only game you could understand (“War! My eight beats your two!”), but with iPods set to shuffle. Sounds lame a little, yes, but the way she explains it made me laugh.

You and a friend each set your iPod on shuffle, then listen to and compare what pops up. Whoever has ‘The Better Song’ gets one point. The author illustrates several vagaries to consider in judging:

-Older doesn’t always mean better. (“Yes, music was exceptionally rad from 1964-1982. Doesn’t mean a song from 1995 can’t be better.”)
-Don’t demand a win on principle. (You say: “But the Rolling Stones kick Prince’s ass!”) Each song should be evaluated on its own merit. (I say: “While The Stones are an important part of music history, there are lots of Stones songs that are mediocre/sucky and some Prince songs that fucking rule.”).
-Counting Crows never wins.
-If neither person will concede the win, “Vietnam” is declared (both sides claim a win, but nobody really won).

Even though, clearly, sometimes the Counting Crows DO win, I applaud her creativity. A simple little game for the music nerds out there, to entertain yourself for a trip on the tube or a really boring homeroom class.

Onto my random musical selection for this week, for your enjoyment.

Michael Stipe & Rain Phoenix
I’ve been on a bit of an R.E.M. kick lately after making a mix up for a friend who was severely lacking in the Athens, Georgia college band department. Amidst my sifting, I rediscovered this poppy little song from the soundtrack of the 1998 film of the same name by Welcome to the Dollhouse director Todd Solondz. The song is written by Eytan Mirsky, and it plays over the ending credits. Who knew Rain Phoenix could sing? Those multi-talented Phoenixes.

Bounce That
Girl Talk
This looks horrifying, but I cannot defy the inexorable and unexpected party power of this fantastic song. If you are able to listen to this guilty pleasure without moving some piece of yourself (be it a tapped toe, a bouncing chin, a shakin’ rear end) then I will personally salute you in disbelief. The inexplicably awful-named Girl Talk (aka Greg Gillis) has made “the ADD-afflicted’s album of the year” with Night Ripper, which throws together literally hundreds of recognizable hooks from popular songs of the past 40 years in an extremely pleasurable blend. It has been burning up the blogs (especially after Pitchfork gave it an 8.4). I hear everything from the Breeders to Elastica to Van Halen, Smashing Pumpkins, Temptations — come on. It looks like a really bad idea, but I swear it’s not. Download it immediately.

Mine Ain’t Yours
Lions In The Street
Magnet Magazine said of these guys, “What the Stones were, what the Dandy Warhols should’ve been” — and they are spot-on. Lions In The Street (who borrow their name from a Doors lyric) have released a sloppy & bluesy free EP on their website, I recommend snagging these five songs and adding them to your collection. They’ re embarking on their first US tour this summer/fall – in the past they’ve opened for Kings of Leon, JET, Ambulance LTD, and The Zutons. Swaggering & rollicking stuff.

Tell Me
This new one from L.A.-based retro-rock outfit Rooney was posted on their website last week as a little sample of their sophomore album, due out Fall 2006. We’ve got some serious ’70s arena rock goin’ on here – sounds like the kid from The Redwalls fronting Queen. Anthemic and fun, and I do like it, but I’m still trying to assimilate the fact that they’re touring with Kelly Clarkson this summer. What?

Atlantic City/Murray
Pete Yorn
This one is a nod to the fact that mere hours from now I will be heading to see Mr. Yorn himself — first to the in-store at the Twist ‘N’ Shout, then off to the sold-out show at the Walnut Room.I am uber looking forward to it, it will be the first time I’ve seen him live. This track is a standout from his excellent double-disc Live From New Jersey (2004), blending together some Springsteen with a Yorn original. The subject matter fits, the transition is seamless. If you don’t have any other Yorn stuff and want a good introduction, I recommend the live CD, and remember his new disc Nightcrawler comes out August 29.


  • Graet choice for an REM song. “Happiness” and “Welcome…” are two great movies. BTW, maybe you saw one of the other sites had REM doing “Witchita Lineman” (Glen Campbell); great tune. Thanks for the Pete Yorn and enjoy his ‘crunk’ show tonight. Can’t wait to read your post on this show.


    mickeyitaliano — July 24, 2006 @ 2:18 pm

  • I saw Pete Yorn in Austin, and it was an amazing show. You are really going to enjoy it. I have a few pictures from the performance, if you would like to seem them. email me at Machavelli@gmail.com


    Huntre — July 24, 2006 @ 3:29 pm

  • I wish there was a way to erase all traces of that movie “Happiness” from my memory.

    Phil — July 25, 2006 @ 1:57 am

  • For all fans of Yorn, i just posted Jersey Boogie nights up on my podcast which features some jersey flavor. This live PT track reminds me of summer and how talented he is. thanks!

    daviso — July 25, 2006 @ 1:44 pm

  • love that girl talk record. nice meeting you in denver.

    Anonymous — July 25, 2006 @ 5:40 pm

  • happiness is such a twisted movie. awesomely, skeevsihly so.

    i’d have to agree that the counting crows would never win, but i’m pretty sure they’d never be on my ipod…..aah, subjectivity is a bitch, though ;)

    c — July 25, 2006 @ 8:28 pm

  • hey, i was at the twist and shout performance…what did you think? i got some decent photos, too dark and not able to get close enough…

    Julio Enriquez — July 25, 2006 @ 11:59 pm

  • Hey just discovered your blog…I think by way of SomeVelvetBlog…which I just discovered, also.

    I’m loving your blog. I’ve wasted far too much time at work today thanks to you.

    And, oddly enough, I’m in the Springs, too.

    Good stuff.

    JJ Courtright — July 26, 2006 @ 1:54 pm

  • Don’t mean to be a downer but iPod wars have going on for quite some time new, at least over a year. They were quite a fad on the L Train (NYC) awhile ago.

    Anonymous — July 29, 2006 @ 11:02 am

  • I meant “quite some time now” not “new

    Anonymous — July 29, 2006 @ 11:04 am

  • I am Japanese.I arrived your blog through “the hype machine”.I like Michael Stype’s voice very much.I tried to download “Happiness”,but couldn’t do that.So I hope that you upload this song again.I beg a favor of you.

    mas07 — August 19, 2006 @ 2:38 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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