David Byrne along with Fatboy Slim is releasing Here Lie Love next week. It’s the story of Imelda Marcos, former 1st Lady of the Philippines. As one our great living artists, David is more than a musician having produced and collaborated in theatre, dance, opera, film, photography, and other artistic media. I first met David in the bowels of MIT when I was in the process of establishing the first punk rock radio show in the country in the 70s. Talking Heads were only 3 at the time (Jerry Harrison was yet a member) and the band joined me for one of their earliest interviews. It may survive somewhere. These are David’s words lifted from Wired Magazine, 12/18/07. (more…)
Iceland’s other great import has been Sigur Rós. The sounds of falsetto Icelandic dialect enveloped in ethereal instrumentation provides a complimentary counterpoint to the fabulous Björk. With Sigur Rós on permanent hiatus, the lead singer and guitarist, Jónsi, is releasing his first solo album entitled Go. “Go Do” is the from this album.
One of the most mesmerizing performances that I have ever experienced was The White Stripes at the Roxy in Boston. This duo of guitar and drums plus vocals hypnotized the room with a sound so full and rich that it was hard to believe that there were just two people on stage. Jack White, the guitarist and singer, has proven to be one of the great futurists of rock, exploring territories yet uncovered. From The White Stripes to The Raconteurs to The Dead Weather, his music is always fascinating and frequently transcendent. The Dead Weather consisting of Jack, playing drums on this project, along with Alison Mosshart (of The Kills and Discount) on lead vocals, Jack Lawrence (of The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes) on bass, and Dean Fertita (of Queens of the Stone Age) on guitar have just released “Die By the Drop” from their forthcoming album Sea of Cowards.
“Die By the Drop”
Gorillaz-“On Melancholy Hill”
The National-“Bloodbuzz Ohio”
The Whigs-“Kill Me Carolyne”
TV Heart Attack-“Nowhere Fast”
Stone Temple Pilots-“Between the Lines”
Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders-“Way Down”
She & Him-“Gonna Get Along Without You Now”
Dead Country-“Euro Thrash”
Although a number of musicians have made the transition into film, rarely do movie stars succeed in their attempts to cross-over into the world of rock and popular music. Adequate or respectable at best (Billy Bob Thornton, Kevin Bacon, Russell Crowe, Keanu Reeves), occasionally embarrassing (Don Johnson), or satirically fun (Jack Black), these are not the songs that frequent our personal playlists. I can think of only two movie stars that can legitimately make claim to a dual career: Jared Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars and Zooey Deschanel of She & Him. She & Him, the duo of Zooey and M. Ward have just released their second album: Volume Two. “Thieves” written by Zooey is the Song of the Day.
So much new music, so little time. Just as I am ready to post, “Bloodbuzz Ohio” comes along. Cannot wait. An amazing new song from the Brooklyn via Ohio band The National. Play it over and over. And it’s a free download at The National site.
The French band Phoenix won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album. The song “1901” from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix has been ubiquitous over the past year as has the Song of the Day “Lisztomania”. It’s featured today as it continues to be wildly infectious and is contrasted with a clever remix by Alex Metric. (BTW, his remix of “Stylo” by Gorillaz is particularly intriguing and can be found on his website.)
Franz Liszt is a Hungarian composer and piano virtuoso who lived in the 19th century. Lisztomania was an actual phenomenon throughout Europe akin to Beatlemania. Equivalent to our modern day rock star, Liszt’s showmanship and mesmerizing stage presence lifted audiences into a near hysterical frenzy. Women particularly adored him and fought over pieces of his clothing that he would throw into the audience, and they shed theirs as well.
Phoenix-“Lisztomania (Alex Metric Remix)”
Broken Social Scene, the music collective from Canada will soon release their first album in over 5 years. “Forced To Love” is from the forthcoming Forgiveness Rock Record. The band is also offering a free download of “World Sick” from the same album on their website.
“Forced To Love”
Alex Chilton died a few days ago. A true iconoclast, he did it his way. Paul Westerberg, formerly of the Replacements, published this piece in the New York Times on Sunday, March 21, 2010. R.I.P. Alex…
HOW does one react to the death of one’s mentor? My mind instantly slammed down the inner trouble-door that guards against all thought, emotion, sadness. Survival mode. Rock guitar players are all dead men walking. It’s only a matter of time, I tell myself as I finger my calluses. Those who fail to click with the world and society at large find safe haven in music — to sing, write songs, create, perform. Each an active art in itself that offers no promise of success, let alone happiness.
Yet success shone early on Alex Chilton, as the 16-year-old soulful singer of the hit-making Box Tops. Possessing more talent than necessary, he tired as a very young man of playing the game — touring, performing at state fairs, etc. So he returned home to Memphis. Focusing on his pop writing and his rock guitar skills, he formed the group Big Star with Chris Bell. Now he had creative control, and his versatility shone bright. Beautiful melodies, heart-wrenching lyrics: “I’m in Love with a Girl,” “September Gurls.”
On Big Star’s masterpiece third album, Alex sang my favorite song of his, “Nighttime” — a haunting and gorgeous ballad that I will forever associate with my floor-sleeping days in New York. Strangely, the desperation in the line “I hate it here, get me out of here” made me, of all things, happy. He went on to produce more artistic, challenging records. One equipped with the take-it-or-leave-it — no, excuse me, with the take-it-like-I-make-it — title “Like Flies on Sherbert.” The man had a sense of humor, believe me.
It was some years back, the last time I saw Alex Chilton. We miraculously bumped into each other one autumn evening in New York, he in a Memphis Minnie T-shirt, with take-out Thai, en route to his hotel. He invited me along to watch the World Series on TV, and I immediately discarded whatever flimsy obligation I may have had. We watched baseball, talked and laughed, especially about his current residence — he was living in, get this, a tent in Tennessee.
Because we were musicians, our talk inevitably turned toward women, and Al, ever the Southern gentleman, was having a hard time between bites communicating to me the difficulty in … you see, the difficulty in (me taking my last swig that didn’t end up on the wall, as I boldly supplied the punch line) “… in asking a young lady if she’d like to come back to your tent?” We both darn near died there in a fit of laughter.
Yeah, December boys got it bad, as “September Gurls” notes. The great Alex Chilton is gone — folk troubadour, blues shouter, master singer, songwriter and guitarist. Someone should write a tune about him. Then again, nah, that would be impossible. Or just plain stupid.
The Box Tops-“The Letter”
Big Star-“September Gurls”
The Replacements-“Alex Chiton”
David Byrne/Fat Boy Slim w/Santigold-“Please Don’t”
Massive Attack w/ Horace Andy-“Girl I Love You”
Frightened Rabbit-“Swin Until You Can’t See Land”
Peter Gabriel-“The Book of Love”
Peter Wolf-“The Night Comes Down (for Willy DeVille)”
Mink DeVille“Venus of Avenue D”
Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley-“As We Enter”
Hot Chip-“Thieves in the Night”
Oedipus Podcast # 4 by Oedipus
In a world where many speak without communicating, a radio station CEO in Chicago has issued a memo to his news staff forbidding them to use the following words and phrases in their newscasts. “Newsspeak” has become the norm in our language, words that have little meaning or have lost their meaning, reducing our rich language to lazy cliché.
These 119 words and phrases are so common and used so often that much of our news and information has become one homogenized blob. They have become commonplace and we are all collectively responsible for cheapening our language. I have my own pet peeves of words that radio and television announcers frequently babble causing me to cringe every time that they are uttered, such as “to be honest”, “check it out” and the most egregious, “no question.”
We speak, we listen, but what do we hear?
■“Flee” meaning “run away”
■“Good” or “bad” news
■“Laud” meaning “praise”
■“Seek” meaning “look for”
■“Some” meaning “about”
■“Two to one margin” . . . “Two to one” is a ratio, not a margin. A margin is measured in points. It’s not a ratio.
■“Yesterday” in a lead sentence
■“Youth” meaning “child”
■5 a.m. in the morning
■After the break
■After these commercial messages
■All of you
■At this point in time
■Behind closed doors
■Behind the podium (you mean lectern)
■Best kept secret
■Clash with police
■Completely destroyed, completely abolished, completely finished or any other completely redundant use
■Down in (location)
■Dubbaya when you mean double you
■Everybody (when referring to the audience)
■Eye Rack or Eye Ran
■Fled on foot
■Gunman, especially lone gunman
■Hunnert when you mean hundred
■In a surprise move
■In harm’s way
■In other news
■In the wake of (unless it’s a boating story)
■Informed sources say . . .
■Lend a helping hand
■Lucky to be alive
■Mother of all (anything)
■Mute point. (It’s moot point, but don’t say that either)
■Our top story tonight
■Out in (location)
■Shots rang out
■Some (meaning about)
■Some of you
■Sources say . . .
■The fact of the matter
■Those of you
■Time for a break
■To be fair
■Up in (location)
■Utilize (you mean use)
■We’ll be right back
■Welcome back everybody
■We’ll be back
■Went terribly wrong
Randy Michaels, CEO of the Tribune Company, to his staff at WGN-AM in Chicago.
For anyone who heard Oedipus with the Clash, they weren’t all that fond of a certain Declan MacManus. In the spirit of fair play, an interview with Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Oedipus, and ‘BCN DJ Tracy Roach from 1978.
Note: this interview isn’t actually available here on this page. But you’ll soon be able to hear it on Oedipus’ mobile app, or you can view the interview here on The Oedipus Project’s YouTube channel. We’re spanning all platforms, media, and genres in order to share great music from people you know and people you’ll want to know.
To give you a little something, and remain slightly topical, here’s an Elvis Costello track that seems appropriate…
Radio, Radio by Elvis Costello and the Attractions (1978)
“Dog Days are Over” is the next single from Florence + the Machine. Their debut album Lungs, released last summer, grew in popularity over the year, reaching #1 on the British UK charts in January of 2010.
Led by London born Florence Welsh and backed by various musicians known as the Machine, Lungs won the British Album of the Year at the 2010 BRIT awards. Here are two versions of “Dog Days are Over”. The first from the album followed by the Breakage remix.
I first met Peter Wolf, lead singer of the J. Geils Band, in 1977. It was a Friday evening and this was to be my very first show as a DJ on WBCN. I had just returned from MCing a gig at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston for the Ramones, Talking Heads, and Eddie & the Hot Rods. From the stage I announced that punk rock would finally be heard on WBCN.
Wolf was hanging out with the great Little Walter who did an Oldies show on BCN in the day. As I wandered into the studio with my purple hair I looked at Peter and said “Joey Ramone?” He grinned and responded “Gabba Gabba Hey.”
“Tragedy” is from Peter’s new album Midnight Souvenirs and features Shelby Lynne.