two radio shows today: Top Song Obsessions and the Bay Bridged’s Best of the Bay!

December 30th, 2008


cred: me

After a week off, I’ll be back on the air on KZSU today twice for two specials that I’ve been telling you about.

During either show you can listen online or at 90.1 FM.

3-5pm: My top song obsessions of 2008. A look back at the most obsession-worthy songs got stuck in my head this year.

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

10pm-midnight: Ben Van Houten, the co-founder of the great local podcast/ blog the Bay Bridged, will join me for the 2nd consecutive year to take a look at their selections for Best of the Bay.

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

Update Here are the playlists.

I once was Canadian (Top Song Obsessions of 2008)

  • Two Sheds – It’s Hard
  • Lymbyc Systym – Love Your Abuser
  • the Special Goodbye – Country Radio
  • Sufjan Stevens – Christmas in the Room
  • Fanfarlo – Harold T. Wilkins
  • Ohbijou – Darcy
  • Joe Pug – Hymn #101
  • the Rural Alberta Advantage – Don’t Haunt this Place
  • Alabama Sacred Harp Convention – David’s Lamentation
  • Koernag Namadlanga – Ngiyalila
  • Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Oh How I’d Miss You
  • Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band – Moving’ On Up/ I Can’t Turn You Loose (Reprise 3)
  • The Avett Brothers – Tear Down The House
  • Damien Jurado – Murderer
  • Johnny Flynn – Wayne Rooney
  • Sarah Siskind – Lovin’s For Fools
  • Bon Iver – Creature Fear
  • Bon Iver – Team
  • J Tillman – Jesse’s Not a Sleeper
  • Johnny Flynn – Ghost of O’Donahue
  • Fanfarlo – Your Are One of the Few Outsiders That Really Understands Us
  • Magnolia Electric Co – It’s Hard to Love a Man
  • David Bazan – I Never Wanted You
  • Bon Iver – Blood Bank

I once was Canadian (the Bay Bridged’s Best of the Bay 2008)

  • Silian Rail – Awake
  • Geographer – Leave
  • the Dodos – Jodi
  • Winter’s Fall – Muddy & White
  • Low Red Land – Goodnight, Moon
  • Morning Benders – Patient Patient
  • Maus Haus – Radio Dials Die
  • Why? – These Few Presidents
  • Michael Zapruder – Black Wine
  • Port O’Brien – Fisherman’s Son
  • 20 Minute Loop – Winsor McCay
  • Last of the Blacksmiths – Giving Up
  • the Mommyheads – Help Me
  • the Red Verse – Circles
  • Bart Davenport – Jon Jon
  • Birdmonster – the Iditarod
  • Man/ Miracle – Pushing and Shoving
  • Beatbeat Whisper – Mismanaged Sky
  • the Heavenly States – the Race
  • Photons – Something Left to Live For
  • Railcars – There is Ice: It is Blue
  • Two Sheds – To Be Alive
  • The Ian Fays – Saint Catherine of Sienna
  • French Miami – Multi Caliber Rifles

merry christmas, etc; also: traveling

December 25th, 2008

Merry Christmas[1]!

I’ll be traveling and spending time with family and friends, so I’ll see you next week sometime.

[1] or other religious or seasonal holiday, or day off of work or school

new Sufjan Stevens “Christmas in the Room” + more

December 24th, 2008

Sufjan Stevens make nice Christmas music including some of the best original Christmas music in recent memory. He’s made Christmas EPs for friends and family since 2000, skipping only 2004, I believe. In 2006, the first five volumes of this came out, as Songs for Christmas.

2008’s EP, volume 8, has made its way out there and “Christmas in the Room” is one of my favorites from it. It’s got some electronic twists, but mostly it’s classic Sufjan with his signature fragile vocals and great orchestration.

Sufjan Stevens – Christmas In the Room (mp3)

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From the previous Songs for Christmas, two of my favorite songs are below. “Sister Winter” is a song that’s so good I often listen to it in non-Christmas songs.

Sufjan Stevens – Sister Winter (mp3)

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Sufjan Stevens – That Was the Worst Christmas Ever (mp3)

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You can buy the first five volumes of the Sufjan Christmas EPs from Asthmatic Kitty.

nothing says Christmas like Darlene Love on Letterman (tonight!) (and SNL)

December 23rd, 2008

Tonight’s Letterman will continue one of my favorite Christmas traditions–and one that I missed last year when the writer’s strike was one–which is Darlene Love going on Letterman and singing her Phil Spector-produced classic, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)“. She’s gone on and done it on Letterman’s show every year sine 1986. As you can see in this version from 2006, she can still tear it up:

Youtube also has versions of the song on Letterman from 2005, 2004, 2000, and 1995. Also, here’s a a clip of her singing the song in 1981.

Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) (mp3)

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Another Darlene Love-voiced Christmas song that I love is the SNL Saturday TV Funhouse song, “Christmas for the Jews”:

Love, along with Melba Moore, will be at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco from December 27-Jan 4 if you want to see “Christmas” and a bunch of her other songs, I’m sure.

You can get “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” is on the unsurpassed Phil Spector: Back to Mono which you can get from amazon.

!RIAA drops suits!

December 22nd, 2008

I found the news that the RIAA will stop initiating new lawsuits against downloaders pretty surprising–instead they’ll work with ISPs to issue take down notices to the individuals.

After years of suing thousands of people for allegedly stealing music via the Internet, the recording industry is set to drop its legal assault as it searches for more effective ways to combat online music piracy.

The decision represents an abrupt shift of strategy for the industry, which has opened legal proceedings against about 35,000 people since 2003. Critics say the legal offensive ultimately did little to stem the tide of illegally downloaded music. And it created a public-relations disaster for the industry, whose lawsuits targeted, among others, several single mothers, a dead person and a 13-year-old girl.

It’s good news for that the industry that the biggest American music association is taking what appears to be a step in a reasonable direction here. We’ll see where this next step takes us.

a couple videos

December 21st, 2008

Who doesn’t miss a beat/ word when Prince walks on stage in an apparent surprise appearance? Q-tip it seems:

By the way, I’m digging Q-tip’s “Won’t Trade” off of his latest album. You can find it at Mainstream Isn’t So Bad.

Locals My First Earthquake put together a fun holiday video for their song “Fa La Freezing”.

bandloop makes cool google maps mash-up

December 21st, 2008


View Larger Map

Bandloop has made a pretty cool google maps mash-up (above or see the link) where each point represents a venue and when you click on the venue it brings up their upcoming band schedule. It doesn’t appear to be exhaustive but it’s pretty cool. There are also maps for Austin, Brooklyn and London if you’re in those cities.

song obsession friday! (for the week ending Dec 19)

December 19th, 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):
Bon Iver – Blood Bank (mp3) (pre-order)

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Amadou & Miriam – Ce N’est Pas Bon (mp3) (buy)

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It’s not often that I’m obsessed with two songs in a week, but both of these were requiring the ‘repeat’ button heavily.

I heard the new Bon Iver track and was hooked immediately. Not employing as much falsetto as most for of the track on the 2008 best album For Emma, Forever Ago, but otherwise pretty similar stylistically. It’s another gorgeous song from Bon Iver. This songs is consciously a winter song–snow and Christmas are in there–and that probably helps it have a little extra hook as the season’s strong in my mind.

I’m pretty ambivalent about Damon Albarn and I’m not a big fan of Western producers thinking they know what’s best for non-Western artists, but this song and especially it’s beginning–the off kilter tuned percussion and distorted guitar–were pretty intriguing to me.

Keith:
Saturday Looks Good to Me – Record Store (mp3) (not available)

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Saturday Looks Good To Me is one of those bands that sneaks up on me with appreciation. Upon first listen a song or two will appear to be the clear winners, but repeated exposure reveals subtler efforts that become obsession worthy. This one comes from a CD-R I purchased from the band, and contains a re-worked and rawer version of a previously released song that works so much better for me.

lost vinyl gem (christmas time edition): Pedro the Lion’s “Long Way Around the Sea” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

December 18th, 2008


David Bazan at Jovita’s during SxSW 2008

Do you have any Christmas/ holiday traditions? We have a number in my house, perhaps the oddest of which is singing Christmas carols around the tree or by the fireplace. This in itself isn’t all that odd, but while my brother can approximately carry a tune, my parents can’t…at all. I love ‘em but one of their skills is not singing. Not even close. I mean, if the melody goes up, they’ll probably sing higher, but by what interval may as well be determined by a random number generator. For a year or two there, I had some issues with this, but I’ve since come to peace with it. So in a week someone standing outside our window may hear a cacophony masquerading as “Silent Night” and I guess I’ll be alright with that.

David Bazan (and previously, Pedro the Lion) has a tradition of releasing a Christmas 7″. I think my two favorite songs from these are his cover of Low’s “Long Way the Sea” from the 2003 edition and his version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” from the 2005 edition.

“The Long Way Around the Sea” is a gorgeous, if slightly faster, version of Low’s already beautiful song. His voice works really well with it. I really like when the song switches to major key briefly there near the end. It gives the dark song a bit of hope.

His version of the traditional carol God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is transformed by his added lyrics about doubt and family history from a song that retells Christmas to a more personal narrative. The result is a gorgeous version.

Pedro the Lion – the Long Way Around the Sea (mp3)

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Pedro the Lion – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (mp3)

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I believe Suicide Squeeze is long since sold out of both of these. Please leave a comment if you know where to get them.

Like with many of these lost vinyl gems, thanks to my friend Andy for nice rips of the songs.

on sale soon (12.18.08 edition)

December 18th, 2008

Posted every Thursday, On Sale Soon is a weekly series of the tickets going on sale that weekend.

Where to get tickets: The Independent, Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, Fillmore, Shoreline, and other Livenation venues, the Warfield. Another Planet booked venues like Greek Theatre @ Berkeley, Palace of Fine Arts, etc. Bimbo’s.

On sale now/ Thursday Dec 18:
12/28 The Bob Hill Band, DMI @ Slim’s
2/15 The Murder City Devils, Silverghost @ Great American

On sale Friday Dec 19:
1/22 Pitbull @ the Warfield

On sale Sunday December 21:
1/3 The Federalists, Stef Burns Group, The Stone Foxes, The Trophy Fire @ Great American
1/16 Loretta Lynch, 77 el Deora, Gayle Lynn and the Hired Hands @ Slim’s
1/24 Thriving Ivory @ The Fillmore
1/30 Amon Tobin @ the Independent

2/2 Nickel Eye, Low vs Diamond @ The Independent
2/5 Eagles of Death Metal @ The Fillmore
2/9 The Bird and The Bee, Obi Best @ The Independent
2/10 Todd Snider @ Great American
2/11 Greg Dulli & Mark Lanegan, Happy Chichester @ The Independent
2/15 Thursday @ San Jose Civic Auditorium
2/15 NOFX @ Slim’s
2/15 Don Caballero, sBACH, DD/MM/YYYY @ The Independent
2/17 Joshua Radin, Meiko, Jesse Harris @ Great American
2/20 Andre Williams, The Flash Express @ Slim’s
2/21 Duncan Sheik, Lauren Pritchard @ Palace of Fine Arts
2/28 Matt Wertz, The Alternate Routes @ Slim’s

3/13 G Love & Special Sauce @ the Warfield
3/14 The Pretenders @ The Fillmore
3/17 Primal Scream @ The Fillmore
3/19 Cute is What We Aim For @ The Fillmore
3/25 OK Go @ Great American

Update: Added Great American and Slim’s shows which were announced late this week.

Double check all information as venues and promoters often change on-sale times and days up until the last minute.