May 14, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

I know that I should try to be less of a punctuation stickler because, well, it annoys most everyone who is NOT as obsessed (same goes with my proper pronunciation of bruschetta, but don’t get me started). However, sometimes you just can’t turn a blind eye. I happened to have a camera in my bag this weekend while waiting at a red light, and wanted to comment on this sign I noticed a few weeks ago – one that taunts me every time I sit at this intersection:

If there’s one thing worse than incorrectly used apostrophes, it’s gotta be inconsistent application of your made-up rule for where they go. If you’re gonna be wrong, can you please have the gusto to do it consistently all the way through your sign? Thank you.

[end rant]

Onto this week’s batch of tunes to cheer up your ear’s (ouch).

Do The 45
Ryan Shaw
I’ve been meaning to get my hands on 26-year-old Ryan Shaw‘s debut album ever since I heard this former church-choirboy from Georgia tear it up at the Boulder AAA radio conference last August. Everyone was buzzing about him and his formidable voice that recalls the confident ’70s funk of Stevie Wonder and some of the fantastic retro doo-wop of guys like Sam Cooke from years past. This is the opening track off a fine, fun disc (This Is Ryan Shaw) that I am finally getting a chance to appreciate. No one makes ‘em like this anymore.

Dynomite Explosion
Mont de Sundua
You may have seen the little mention over on Pitchfork this past week about the unearthed sounds of Jim James‘ pre-My Morning Jacket racket in a band called Mont de Sundua. I am enjoying the off-kilter spacey thump of this track from their album that was recorded back in 1998 and never released. It’s going to be out this year and it sounds as if they were having a lot of fun when they made it. Even if they do look like they are livin’ the thug life in that picture from their MySpace.

To Sing For You (Donovan cover) –> Brand New Colony
Ben Gibbard
alternate link
NPR streamed the whole acoustic set from Death Cab For Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard at DC’s 930 Club on Thursday night and this was the nice little cover he opened with, sort of laying out the foundation for how he’s gonna be your folky troubadour for the evening. Seriously though, Donovan is an underrated songwriter, and this cover is suited to Gibbard’s voice and truly lovely. It seamlessly runs into the Postal Service song ‘Brand New Colony,’ so you get that as a bonus. My imaginary office boyfriend John Krasinski (Jim Halpert) showed up at some point in the night to play a Wilco cover (?!). First the Shins, now this. Right on John.

From (unreleased, live on Daytrotter)
Dr. Dog
I have been resisting the lazy, hazy sounds from Philadelphia’s Dr. Dog, mostly because I’ve read this book out loud a few too many times and it just struck me as a silly name. Which it is. However, I came across this unreleased track from their excellent Daytrotter set and decided to give them a chance, finally. Man, I am so stubborn. Dr. Dog just finished a tour with Cold War Kids and Elvis Perkins, and their new album We All Belong has been called “one of 2007′s strongest releases, combining tight arrangements with picturesque vocals and a lazy fall afternoon BBQ vibe.”
[bonus: great interview here]

From The Floorboards Up
Paul Weller
This last one is not a blazing hot new release, but this week I was listening to Paul Weller‘s 2005 solo album As Is Now and just marveling at how it sounds better than about 80 percent of the music I “screen” nowadays. Even after thirty years of making music (The Jam, Style Council, then solo), this is a fresh, tight, fantastic release that is “uncluttered and impassioned.” Listen to the ferocity with which Weller growls the lyric on ‘Come On/Let’s Go’: “Sing you little f*ckers, sing like you ain’t got no choice,” or enjoy how this song starts out with that unrelenting riff and ends with an abrupt yank that feels premature. Dude’s a master, and this whole album is worth some of your time.


  • can i get a badge?!

    heather — May 14, 2007 @ 7:16 am

  • I don’t know if they have them, but I suppose one could be made up for a paronmaniac.


    Anonymous — May 14, 2007 @ 8:04 am

  • Yo HB… I’m a member, too. I hate the mysterious “NO DOG’S” sign on the tree planter outside my apartment. No dog’s WHAT? Anyway, I threw “Grocer’s Apostrophe” (a name for apost-misuse) into Google and found this flickr page — kinda funny:
    marc c.

    Anonymous — May 14, 2007 @ 8:23 am

  • I too am a punctuation nazi, and proud of it! Nice post.

    nietoperz — May 14, 2007 @ 9:51 am

  • You know what my punctuation pet peeve is? When people put a decimal in front of something that is 99 cents and use the cent sign after, making it technically less than 1 penny.

    I’ve always wanted to try to only pay a penny for something priced incorrectly but then my OCD wears off.

    Andy — May 14, 2007 @ 10:18 am

  • Now I am extremely paranoid about all of my e-mails and posts to you. Have I been annoying you due to my poor punctuation? English is one of my stronger areas, but I’ve been known to screw up every now and again. Please don’t ban me! :)

    jakehutch — May 14, 2007 @ 11:03 am

  • My Morning Jacket has become my must have in the CD player disc!
    (how’s that for messed up punctuation?) Anyway a MMJ post would be awesome.Great Blog by the way

    Anonymous — May 14, 2007 @ 11:25 am

  • Way to squeeze in the Yield sign there. It’s almost like an outtake for the album booklet.

    Anonymous — May 14, 2007 @ 1:10 pm

  • I haven’t read it yet, but “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” is supposed to be humorous for the puncuationally inclined…

    jeffro — May 14, 2007 @ 1:59 pm

  • Oh, it is indeed a fine, fine novella.

    heather — May 14, 2007 @ 2:38 pm

  • I’d say the most popular louse-ups are: CD’s, DVD’s.

    The worst is where people just don’t care that it’s wrong.

    Oh and people who claim I’m being boring by pointing out their misuse of ‘they’re’, ‘their’ and ‘there’. That REALLY gets me.

    I’m English, btw.

    Steve — May 14, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

  • Crap. Now I feel like I have to type properly in here. Dangit.

    But I LOVE Donovan. He made some incredible music and he does not get the credit he deserves. I bet anyone can find a couple of songs they can sing along with on any of his “greatest hits” discs.

    And have you heard Ben do “All Apologies” yet? I was just curious as to what you thought of it.

    Don't Need Anything — May 14, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

  • I will love all my dear readers who comment, regardless of spelling or punctuation. :)

    heather — May 14, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

  • And Marc – re: that link you sent me?

    Dear heavens, that is exactly what the signs look like all across the landscape of MY OWN PERSONAL HELL.

    That is seriously depressing.


    heather — May 14, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

  • Hello Heather,

    I’m totally with you on the punctuation thing or indeed, more generally, the spelling thing or – enven more generally – the feeling that if nobody is taking any kind of rule seriously we’re pretty doomed. But, I do strongly object to your using the term “nazi” in that context. You are thus belittling (is that a word?) a historical phenomenon which still carries connotations of terror, utter humiliation and death for quite a few people alive today, or alternatively memories of loved ones killed.

    I mean, what your trying to say by using that term is, that you’re feeling your insistence on correct spelling may seem a little obnoxious to some – rather rigid, un-cool. But down at heart, you know you are right. So you are – abstractly put – voicing a truth, the voicing of which is just not very fashionable. Correct? Do you think the Nazis were kind of right, down at heart? Voicing truths, that were/ are just a trifle unfashionabel? I hope not. But that is what you’re actually saying. I suggest “nerd” or “stickler for” instead, and that’s just a foreigner’s idea of suitable English. I’m sure you can do better.


    Anonymous — May 14, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

  • Excellent point, Sheygetz, and I of course didn’t mean it to be objectionable. I think in modern parlance it alludes to fanatical adherence to an idea or ideal, often with militaristic seriousness and precision. That’s how I meant it. I would never want to belittle or minimize the seriousness of what that word still apparently conveys to some, nor infer that the Nazis were in any way right. I have edited my post out of respect for those.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    heather — May 14, 2007 @ 5:44 pm

  • Thats why it is the Apostrophe Posse!!!!!

    Anonymous — May 14, 2007 @ 6:00 pm

  • If I remember rightly the Nazi ideology invovled the burning of books and the denial of freedom of expression.Another interpretaion of this post could be one where the author is acknowledging their understanding that it is irrational(i.e.) like Nazi ideology, to INSIST on correctness but that the desire to correct is part of their love of langauge – of the power of words to signal meanings-clearly that tension is meant self reflexively and with an added touch of satirised punctuation rage – and look at the response here in this post just to what Blake might have called ‘marks of weakness, marks of woe’ – rather than the music of Monday – it suggests feelings running high over little more than one of Roger Moore’s raised eyebrows.

    I understand Sheygetz’s retrospective anger but respectfuly suggest that telling people how to write is just as fascist as insisting that punctuation has to stand in line.Regular readers of this blog could tell you that the views expressed here are benign and fuelled by a love of music not war.

    russell — May 14, 2007 @ 6:03 pm

  • I know that I should try AND be less of a punctuation stickler because……

    Actually, you should try TO be less of a punctuation stickler, darling.

    You know I love you, right? Don’t even get me started about how much I adore your blog!

    I couldn’t resist.

    Michael — May 14, 2007 @ 6:24 pm

  • Michael! Thanks for the love. I can’t win today.


    heather — May 14, 2007 @ 6:55 pm

  • Glad you’re checkin’ our Dr. Dog. They’re one my favorites this year.

    Dance Hall Hips — May 15, 2007 @ 5:17 pm

  • Heather, I love you! Do they not teach trival things like spelling, grammar, and punctuation in schools anymore?

    You have inspired me. I’m going to start actually using that bottle of Liquid Paper I have in my purse!

    Sybil — May 15, 2007 @ 6:50 pm

  • Heather, Thanks for the constant shout out to Mr. Weller. He truly is criminaly ignored in the states. Plus, yet the old fecker can still rock with the best of them. Doesn’t hurt to have one of the best live/studio bands behind him as well.

    Kevin — May 15, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

  • Actually, the signs are correct when taken as a pair. Clearly, these signs were put there by two people, Mr. Shrub and Mr. Tree. Mr. Tree is advertising his bushes, and Mr. Shrub is advertising his fine, fine rose bushes. It’s the only logical explanation. Feel better now?

    Anonymous — June 15, 2007 @ 12:35 pm

  • Thought I was the only one!!
    It’s not that hard…

    Katiegirlc — October 5, 2007 @ 11:17 pm

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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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