Happy Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2008

I hope you have a great day with your family or friends or however you choose to celebrate.

I’m going to be traveling to be with my family and friends, so we’ll have a few days off here. See you back here on Monday.

Flobots @ the Warfield

November 26th, 2008

On Sunday I saw the Flobots (myspace) at the Warfield.

I’m going to be upfront about this: while I love old old Flobots , I’m not particularly a fan of their current violin funk music direction. And as I’ve stated many times that I dislike the Warfield. In fact this was my first show there in over 3 years. And, while I’m being upfront, I was pretty annoyed by the people behind me who were yelling “Nice!” “Fuck yeah!” and (during a song) “I can’t believe people are talking through this!”

So why am I even writing about this show? Because the Flobots put on a good show. It was engaging despite the above.

In the live setting I found the vocals more central on the Flobots newer recordings (even though they were mixed too low at the venue). That allowed me to put aside the music to an extent. Not only are Jonny 5 and Brer Rabbit good MCs–Jonny 5 is, in fact, tremendously talented–but they’re good showmen as well. They got the crowd going while getting across what they wanted to get across, mostly centered around the group’s progressive politics.

One thing I found unfortunate is that though the crowd responded well overall and especially to the more anthemic choruses and songs, they didn’t respond as well to Jonny 5’s headier raps, which is something I appreciate about his songs. For example, on one song, Brer Rabbit held up a sign with “IRAQ” written on it and Jonny 5 went through a huge chunk of the song rhyming through words that began with I R A and Q fluidly like he did with DARE on “Onomatopoeia” (“Drugs Are Really Expensive Drug Availability Reflects Extensive Dependence And Real Educated Descendants….”). I feel like in the long run, if these audience reactions are consistent, they’ll be encouraged by that to not to do songs like that and to stick to the more anthemic stuff.

I’m not the sort of person to get particularly worked by politics, but after their set and the closer “Rise”, I was walking out of the venue emboldened to an extent. That’s a testament to the group’s presence and showmanship.

today’s “I once was Canadian” radio show is my Thanksgiving special!

November 25th, 2008

cred: me

My “I once was Canadian Thanksgiving Special” is on the air starting at 3pm PST. In something of a tradition, I’ll be playing oldies music and sharing my family’s Thanksgiving recipes over the air.

My radio show airs on KZSU every Tuesday from 3-5pm Pacific on KZSU 90.1 FM in the Bay Area or you can listen online.

During my show you’ll be able to follow along online with my playlist.

This is the first of a series of specials in this time of year. The other ones and their tentative dates:

  • Best Albums of the Year (Dec 9, 3-5pm)
  • Christmas Extravaganza (Dec 17, 5-7pm, special Wednesday show)
  • Top Song Obsessions (Dec 30, 3-5pm)

Tune in for those. It’s an exciting time of year for me and my radio show.

Update: Here’s my playlist:

  • Miriam Makeba – Pata Pata
  • Booker T. & the Mgs – Mo’ Onions
  • Sam Cooke – Chain Gang
  • Ruby Andrews – You Made a Believer Out of Me
  • Jean Knight – Mr. Big Stuff
  • the Wright Specials – Ninety-Nine and a Half Won’t Do
  • Sam Cooke – Were You There?
  • Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Oh How I’d Miss You
  • Dusty Springfield – Son of a Preacher Man
  • The Miracles – Tears of a Clown
  • Sam and Dave – Hold On I’m Comin’
  • The Exciters – He’s Got the Power
  • Del Shannon – (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame
  • Wanda Jackson – Funnel of Love
  • Elvis Presley – Flaming Star
  • Herman’s Hermits – (What a) Wonderful World
  • James Hunter – Hand It Over
  • Raphael Saadiq Seven
  • Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t no Mountain High Enough
  • the Supremes – Run, Run, Run
  • The Shirelles – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
  • Ben E. King – Spanish Harlem
  • Curtis Lee – Pretty Little Angel Eyes
  • Dorothy Berry – You’re so Fine
  • The Crystals – Uptown
  • Fontella Bass Hold On This Time
  • L. Hollis & The Mackadoos – Bui Bui
  • Morocco Musik Makers – Pig Knuckles
  • The Eigens – When a Man Loves a Woman
  • The Miracles – Tracks of My Tears

noise pop announces dates, first acts

November 25th, 2008

Noise Pop 2009 (aka Noise Pop 17) will be February 24-March 1, 2009. The first acts have been announced: Antony and the Johnsons, A.C. Newman, No Age, Goblin Cock, and Clues.

Compared to last year’s early announcements (Mountain Goats, Magnetic Fields), this year’s field is looking a bit weak. I’ll hold off judgment, though, as a lot of the best Noise Pop shows aren’t the big ones.

or, the whale and joe pug @ cafe du nord (photos, review, etc)

November 25th, 2008

Friday night I saw Or, the Whale (myspace) and Joe Pug (myspace) at Cafe du Nord. It was one day after Joe Pug at KZSU and two months after I last saw Or, the Whale. Harbours and Silent Comedy were also on the bill.

Joe Pug was up first. He came on to a small (and growing) crowd, stating, “We’ve got a great night of music for you.” He played a set that included “Hymn #101”, “I Do My Father’s Drugs” and “Bury Me Far From My Uniform”.

Particularly important for a one man band, the sound was good (except for the reverb being a little heavy on his vocals). He played and sang beautifully and the crowd was definitely appreciative.

Harbours were up next. I found their set to be a bit hit or miss.

Silent Comedy got the crowd riled up with their energy but I didn’t quite love their roots/ Americana bar band sound.

Or, the Whale was the headliner for the night. They played a set mixed with old tunes (“Fixin’ to Leave”, “Fight Song”, “Crack a Smile”) and new songs (“Rusty Gold”, “Black Rabbit”).

They’d just been in the studio for two weeks and it seemed they were raring to get out and play. It was one of the highest energy sets I’ve seen from them. The encore ended with a raucous all-hands-on-stage, crowd-sing-a-long version of “Call and Response” that resembled less a concert than a party.

All in all a good night of music.

monday music trivia

November 24th, 2008

What almost-six minute single reached #2 on the US Charts upon rerelease in 1992 after originally only managing a #9 peak position in 1976?

Guess in the comments or highlight the bottom of this post if you give up.

Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” hit #2 on the US Charts after being rereleased in 1992 following it’s prominent use in Wayne’s World

announcing! october-november 2008 mixtape

November 24th, 2008

My monthly mixtapes were not quite monthly there. However I did want to get this up so you could put it on your ipod for your Thanksgiving travels if you wanted.

You can download the zip file with the following:
1. mp3s of the songs
2. liner notes (pdf)
3. playlist files (iTunes txt file and an m3u file)

(for the iTunes file, simply import all the songs to your library and then go to File->import and then select the song list (the txt file). you should now have the 2008oct-nov playlist in your iTunes with all the songs in the correct order).

Go ahead and check out the playlist (below) or the liner notes. It’s pretty folksy but with some soul and things thrown in.

Adrian’s October November 2008 mixtape (rapidshare link [1])

If you like the artists or songs, I suggest supporting them by buying their music, going to a show, buying merchandise from them or at least telling other people about them.

The playlist:

  1. Horse Feathers Curs in the Weeds
  2. The Acorn Darcy
  3. David Bazan Please Baby Please
  4. Lewis & Clarke Be the Air We Breathe
  5. Laura Marling Ghosts
  6. Theresa Andersson Na Na Na
  7. Frightened Rabbit Poke (live)
  8. American Analog Set Born on the Cusp (demo)
  9. Ben Gibbard Farmer Chords
  10. Raphael Saadiq Seven
  11. The Supremes Run, Run, Run
  12. Ruby Andrews You Made a Believer Out of Me
  13. Dorothy Berry You’re So Fine
  14. Miriam Makeba Pata Pata
  15. Crooked Fingers Solitary Man
  16. Joe Pug Bury Me Far From My Uniform
  17. Low Sunflower
  18. Peasant Impeccable Manners
  19. Deer Tick Ashamed
  20. the Twilight Sad Some Things Last a Long Time

[1] If you’re having trouble with the rapidshare link, here’s what you do, step-by-step. 1) Click on the link. 2) scroll down and click “FREE” 3) wait till the counter gets to zero 4) enter the letters in their graphic into the box 5) click “download”

joe pug @ KZSU (photos, exclusive mp3s, setlist)

November 23rd, 2008

Joe Pug (myspace) was on KZSU on Thursday night. We pre-recorded the session earlier in the evening and then aired it at 9:15pm. Joe played a great set of old and new songs and was really nice and professional throughout.

Setlist and exclusive mp3s:

He also did a really nice version of “Not So Sure” during a (failed) test recording.

He’s got tour dates in Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado and the east coast coming up. Check out dates on his myspace page.

song obsession friday! (for the week ending November 21)

November 21st, 2008

Song obsessions are those songs that we listen to on repeat. I noticed that my obsessions are often a week long. I also thought that other people might have similar obsessions. I’ve collected a panel of a few like-minded individuals and gotten their “song obsessions of the week.” Quite often it’s easy to explain why the song is good; it’s much hard to explain why we’re obsessed. Maybe you’ll become obsessed with one of these.

Adrian (me):
David Bazan – I Never Wanted You (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I’ve gotten used to David Bazan’s stunning songs, but this song caught me off guard. It’s a pretty amazing version of the Headphones’ fairly detached original.

Check out the video below.

Girlfrendo – Delicatessen (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Girlfrendo were a progenitor of the current Swedish pop surge, placing incredibly catchy songs in the minds of those paying attention to the scene back in the late 90’s. This song is endemic of their work, with off-kilter traded male/female vocals, a heaping helping of “dat-dat-dat-da’s” and crush-worthy lyrics. One of the members went on to the also exciting Love Is All while others seemingly disappeared into lives of obscure responsibility. Here is a salute!

Horse Feathers – Curs in the Weeds (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I think I watched the video for this song on Pitchfork.tv about a dozen times. It’s really a beautiful tune, and so far, I’ve found it to be the best track on the album. I have the feeling that this track is going to be much like “Promising Light” was, on Iron and Wine’s The Creek Drank the Cradle. At first listen, I didn’t find a lot to love on tCDtC, except for “Promising Light.” After a few more listens,
though, that track drew me into the rest of the album, and it’s since become one of my favorites. I’m excited to see if, and how, House with no Name does the same.

[ed: see video below]

Joe Pug – I Do My Father’s Drugs (mp3) (buy)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

I had heard a few of Joe’s songs before and really liked them, but after Adrian posted this one on Tuesday I immediately had it on repeat. It’s great that a modern musician can do such timeless stuff but still be original.

[David Bazan’s “I Never Wanted You” to go along with Adrian’s song obsession:]

[Horse Feathers’ “Curs in the Weeds” to go along with Andy’s song obsession:]

joe pug on KZSU! tonight! 9:15pm!

November 20th, 2008

After my post about Joe Pug on Tuesday I’m happy to announce that I’ll be hosting him for an in-studio performance at 9:15 PST tonight on KZSU 90.1 FM or online.

I’m pretty excited about this. Please tune in. (But if you can’t, I’ll put some of the tunes up here in the next few days.)