Thursday, October 30, 2008

Haunt You Every Day (Day 156)

The Wrens - "6"
The Wrens - "Crawling"
A couple a days ago I was pointing out some microtrends on the list. Well, check this out. Two songs
back-to-back, by the same artist - - from the same album. Yet, another WILTOMWTWTT first. Now isn't that why the handful of you keep coming back? It's either that or you're looking for a sleep aid, right?
Bright Eyes - "From A Balance Beam"
Bill Evans - "All Of Your" (take 2)
Weezer - "Haunt You Every Day"
Kind of an appropriate Song With The Most Previous Plays the day before Halloween, no? Actually I'm taking off tomorrow to enjoy the day with my little girl (turning 3 next week) and her littler brother. So now that she's fully aware of the holiday, we've obviously been talking about it for a while. When we first started asking her what she wanted to be for Halloween a few weeks ago she would answer, "A scary mask." Now, it's not that we're raising some sort of future fan of Fangoria (although you never know), it was just that she happened to be reading this really weird, and very random, book before bed called Rafi & Rosi: Carnival! It's about frog siblings in Puerto Rico and their adventures during the annual Carnival. But in one story the brother dresses up like a vejigante, which apparently is a clown-like figure that's supposed to scare off evil spirits. Here's what they look like (source):

Kinda cool, but kinda freaky, right? Not only that, but she said she wanted to dress up like a scary mask, AND SCARE HER FRIENDS. Gee, thanks Rafi and Rosi. This didn't seem like such a good idea. So we took that book back to the library and tried to gently suggest other costumes. Like a ladybug (she's already got that costume and often wears it around the house just for kicks) or a princess (plenty of that gear lying around too). Finally she settled on a cat - - probably not looking much further than our cat, Henry, who was likely knocking stuff off of the shelves in her room. (Yes, he could be the devil - - sans costume.) It will be simple. Tail. Ears. A little face paint. But, I'm worried. These things are always a gametime decision, and even getting her to try on the pants with the tail safety pinned to them the other night was almost impossible. They came right off and she declared she wasn't wearing them. Hmm. One thing I am pretty sure of will happen on Halloween, she's going to have a lollipop. She told me that this morning as we were leaving for school...and on the walk...and on the bus...and at school.
Gnarls Barkley - "Transformer"

The Replacements - "Merry Go Round"
The Rolling Stones - "Happy"
Josh Ritter - "Bone Of Song"
The New Year - "Gasoline"
Neutral Milk Hotel - "You've Passed"
The New Pornographers - "The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism"
Husker Du - "Whatever"
The Go-Betweens - "Black Mule"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 14
Total minutes of music (approx.): 55
Song with the most previous plays: "Haunt You Every Day" - 9
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 8
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: Fourteen songs says it all - - sucky commute. The trains were ridiculously slow and everyone was packed in like sardines. By the way, that's my ass, buddy. Yeah, you know who you are.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just Drums (Day 155)

Modest Mouse - "Satin In A Coffin"
Stars - "The Night Starts Here"
The Decemberists - "Odalisque"
Tapes 'n Tapes - "Just Drums"
The Fall - "New Puritan"
I think I just found the coolest new website. For those of us who grew up on MTV - - when they actually played videos - - the demise of that once great source of music left a void. Sure, blogs are cool but couch surfing and coming across the video for "Fish Heads" was waaay cooler. So who among us hasn't wished there was an archive of all those great videos? Well, sometimes dreams really do come true. MTV, with little to no fanfare apparently, has created a new site that does just that. And, it's as good as you'd hope. At MTV Music you can watch all the classics like "Thriller" (long version!), "Hot For Teacher," "We're Not Gonna Take It," et al, but there's also tons of stuff that you know never really ran on MTV. Pavement's "Gold Soundz"? No way! The Pixies' "Monkey Gone To Heaven"? Okay, maybe once on 120 Minutes. Now you can find it all. The site also works really well with easy searches and x-referencing, etc. I was using today's playlist to really test just how much cool shit might be hidden on there and sure enough, there's a video of The Fall's cover of The Kinks' classic "Victoria." Not random enough for you? See what you can find. (Look, you can embed the stuff too.)

Beck - "Missing"
Elliott Smith - "A Fond Farewell"
Pavement - "It's A Hectic World"
Her Space Holiday - "The Luxury Of Loneliness"
Damien Rice - "The Blower's Daughter"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 10
Total minutes of music (approx.): 40
Song with the most previous plays: "Just Drums," "The Blower's Daughter" (tie) - 12
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 7
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: Forget to get my "coffee card" punched. There goes another $0.19, right out the window.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'll Do The Driving (Day 153 & 154)

Day 153:

Guided By Voices - "Alien Lanes"
David Bowie - "Life On Mars"
Flight Of The Conchords - "Think About It, Think Think About It"
R.E.M. - "Until The Day Is Done"
Seu Jorge - "Starman"
Jack Johnson - "Broken"
Ben Kweller - "Living Life"
Radiohead - "Optimistic"
The National - "Squalor Victoria"
Tindersticks - "Nectar"
Here it is, the first-ever WILTOMWTWT double post. Since a busy Monday at work left me with no time for blogging, I could have just skipped the day altogether. But I figured I have the playlist so why not put it up anyway. Plus, it was a pretty good one and I specifically made a mental note right here about what I wanted to mention. This is an interesting 2-song block for me because for the longest time The National reminded me of another band - - but I couldn't remember their name! It was always on the tip of my tongue and I could even picture 2 of their album covers. You know how you can't remember something obvious and it drives you crazy. This was happening, big time. I even started Googling things like "The National sound like..." Funnily enough I found this on their own bio: "The National sound like no one so much as themselves: a meditative rumble that starts in the heart, gets caught in the brain, and resonates outward." But I was undaunted. Finally I had a spare minute and I thumbed through some CDs at home with the sole purpose of figuring this out. Voila! There in the 5th or 6th bin of CDs was The Tindersticks. I uploaded a few of their albums and upon review I can say that now I feel....they really do sound remarkably similar. Anyone else know both bands? It's uncanny. The low, baritone vocals. The dark, moody music punctuated by acoustic bass and violins. If you were just a casual fan of both, I'm telling you may not be able to tell them apart. So I figured I'd mention this on the blog at some point, but I never figured iPod would force the issue by playing them back-to-back. And, yes, a quick search on the web reveals The National is often mentioned as contemporaries of the Tindersticks. So I'm not crazy. (One commenter on The National's Take-Away Show even wrote: "I liked these guys better when they were called The Tindersticks." The comment is funny, but not nearly as funny as the commenter's name:
Bucky Wunderlick.) All of this does not take away from my enjoyment of either of these bands. And The National's Alligator remains one of my favorite albums of 2005.
The Beatles - "It's All Too Much"
Sloan "Money City Maniacs"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 11
Total minutes of music (approx.): 45
Song with the most previous plays: "Think About It, Think Think About It" - 8
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 7
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: That was yesterday. Who can remember anything from yesterday?

Day 154:

Los Campesinos! - "Drop It Doe Eyes"
David Bowie - "Fill Your Heart"
Any observant readers notice why I pause here? Well, for the second straight day, a David Bowie song is the second song on the playlist. Weird. It kinda makes me wonder what other microtrends there could be on these "random" lists...
Fountains Of Wayne - "I'll Do The Driving"
Jim O'Rourke - "Through The Night Softly"
Pixies - "La La Love You"
John Doe - "Worried Brow"
Eleventh Dream Day - "Exit Right"
Radiohead - "Exit Music (For A Film)"
Speaking of micro trends, how about this little two-some: exit songs. Has the iPod gotten lazy? Has shuffling been replaced by simply playing the songs alphabetically. Actually, no. In fact, if you sort all the songs on my iPod alphabetically (a fun little exercise), the Fugazi song "Exit Only" actually appears sandwiched in between these two songs. And while I'm on the subject of My Music A to Z (I'll think of a snappier title when this becomes a book), what is the first song alphabetically on the iPod, you (ok, I) ask? Well, you'll be dissapointed because symbols come before letters so the Final Fantasy song emoticonically (did I just make up a word?) named "->" is first, and Pavement's "Zurich Is Stained" is last. Now you know.
Led Zeppelin - "How Many More Times"
The Dodos - "Fools"
Rilo Kiley - "Close Call"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 11
Total minutes of music (approx.): 53
Song with the most previous plays: "I'll Do The Driving" - 11
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 7
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: Well, it freaking poured today in NYC. After dropping off G, I made my way to the gym only to get drenched. (Some day I'll be adult enough to remember to bring an umbrella when it is so obviously going to rain.) I decided not to shuffle at the gym today, but instead listened to Perfect From Now On (I'm still obsessing over it), which actually made for decent workout music. I get so absorbed in that record it helps take the mind off the task at hand.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Waitin' For A Superman (Day 152)

Jack Johnson - "Wrong Turn"
The Clash - "Koka Kola"
Death Cab For Cutie - "The New Year"
Jeff Tweedy - "A Magazine Called Sunset" (live)
Kings Of Convenience - "Leaning Against The Wall"
The Killers - Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine"
Mose Allison - "Stand By"
I pause here to highlight two artists on today's playlist that have a connection that you probably didn't realize. Yes, Mose Allison and...(anyone?)...The Clash! Like two peas in a pod: The literate jazz pianist with the honey-flecked voice and the seminal British punk rock band. Well, not exactly. But The Clash did cover a Mose Allison tune on Sandanista! - - "Look Here." Mose actually gets a lot of love from the rockers. Elvis Costello and The Who have also covered him...and Frank Black actually claims the Pixies' "Allison" is about Mose. And you thought it was about a chick...
The Flaming Lips - "Waiting For A Superman" (remix)
Belle & Sebastian - "I Fought In A War"
Coleman Hawkins - "In A Mellow Tone" (mono)
Holly Golightly - "Snake Eyed"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 11
Total minutes of music (approx.): 41
Song with the most previous plays: "Waitin' For A Superman" - 8
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 7
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: Talk about strange bedfellows: An intersting Op-Ed piece in the Times is authored by Billy Beane, Newt Gingrich and John Kerry! It actually proposes that we use the small-market team model, and its reliance on stats, Beane and his A's have perfected to help deal with health care costs.

And then there was this. Word.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Put Me On Top (Day 151)

Neil Young - "Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)"
I consider myself a pretty big Neil Young fan. And I always knew this song was about Neil's feelings of becoming obsolete in the era of punk and New Wave, but I never knew the specific story. It's pretty interesting, so allow me to crib it from Wikipedia.

The song "Hey, Hey, My, My..." and the title phrase of the album, "rust never sleeps" on which it was featured sprang from Young's encounters with Devo and in particular Mark Mothersbaugh. Devo was asked by Young in 1977 to participate in the creating of his film Human Highway. A scene in the film shows Young playing the song in its entirety with Devo, who clearly want little to do with anything "radio-friendly". ( Of note is Mothersbaugh changing "Johnny Rotten" to "Johnny Spud" ) Also, the famous line, "It's better to burn out than it is to rust" is credited to Young's friend Jeff Blackburn of The Ducks.

Some reviewers viewed Young's career as skidding after the release of American Stars 'N Bars and Comes a Time. With the explosion of punk in 1977, some punks felt that Young and his contemporaries were dinosaurs, and that such artists now seemed too content to rest on their laurels and release halfhearted material. Young worried that these punks were right. The death of Elvis Presley that same year seemed to sound a death knell for rock, as The Clash gleefully cried, "No Elvis, Beatles or The Rolling Stones in 1977!," in the song 1977.

From Young's fear of becoming obsolete sprang an appreciation of the punk ethic, and the song was born, initially an acoustic lament that became "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)". Upon embarking on a tour with his backing band Crazy Horse, the song took on new life in a rock arrangement, punctuated by Young's guitar solos that would go on to inspire players of the proto-grunge scene, including Sonic Youth, The Meat Puppets, Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. - who in turn begat Nirvana.

It's a pretty interesting irony that his fear of obsolescence led to him becoming a progenitor of a new new movement. Incidentally I saw Young on the tour that on which Social Distortion and Sonic Youth opened up for him and, well, let's just say most of his fans didn't exactly embrace the lineage.
The Beatles - "Your Mother Should Know"
Willie Nelson - "When I Was Young And Grandma Wasn't Old"
Kings Of Leon - "My Party" (live)
Beirut - "St. Apollonia"
Joy Division - "Passover"
The Flying Burrito Brothers - "High Fashion Queen"
Aimee Mann - "Put Me On Top"
Uncle Tupelo - "Graveyard Shift"
The Beatles - "Good Day Sunshine"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 10
Total minutes of music (approx.): 34
Song with the most previous plays: "Put Me On Top" - 7
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 7
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: The coffee cake muffin obsession continues.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunshine And Clouds (And Everything Proud) [Day 150]

Radiohead - "The Amazing Sounds Of Orgy"
Ry Cooder - "Cardboard Avenue"

My Bloody Valentine - "Soon"

Talking Heads - "Tentative Decisions"
A real grab bag today with songs and artists (Holly Golightly?) that I don't think have ever shown up here before. But the one song that stands out for me is this one right here. What a cool freaking band the Talking Heads were. (Can I get a witness?) All that nervous energy, disjointed temp, and later, Afro-Caribbean beats. All in a nerdy, new wave package. The only one of their albums I happen to have on my iPod is their first (Talking Heads '77), which is cool because it is such an original debut (right, Tapes 'n Tapes?). And this is one of the songs that is a bit lost on the album with "Uh - Oh, Love Comes To Town" and "Psycho Killer," but I really like it. David Byrne in his best robotic voice starts off by sing-talking the lyrics: "Now that I can release my tension, let me make clear my best intention. Girls ask can I define decision. Boys ask can I describe their function." And then there's a march like drum roll and then the song is off in another direction completely. It works so well because the song is as indecisive as the lyrics ("Decide! Decide! Make up your mind!") The Talking Heads were also the first band that made me fully realize the intersection of music and fine art. Part of the reason was their art house sensibilities and the other was this book that I had called "What The Songs Look Like," that featured artists' interpretations of their songs (drawings, puppets, you name it). It was very cool, and to be honest I have no idea where that book went. Too bad. I would love to see the artist's interpretation of this song. In the meantime, how about a picture of the band? I found it on a very cool website that I came across recently which features a lot of great images and ephemera from years gone by. Check it out.

Sleater-Kinney - "Steep Air"
Holly Golightly - "A Length Of Pipe"

Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah - "Sunshine And Clouds (And Everything Proud)"

Jim O'Rourke - "Eureka"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 8
Total minutes of music (approx.): 35
Song with the most previous plays: "Sunshine And Clouds (And Everything Proud)" - 15
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 6
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: I'm getting pumped for the World Series. Not nearly as pumped as fans in Tampa Bay, however.

My predcition (hope): Rays in 7.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Will Dream (Day 149)

Wilco - "Magazine Called Sunset"
She & Him - "I Was Made For You"
Son Volt - "Methamphetamine"
Emmylou Harris - "I Will Dream"
Hüsker Dü - "Reoccurring Dreams"
Here's one that tested the "rules" of this blog. Really there's one "rule" - - shuffle and don't skip. Well, after a great start to today's playist (special nod by the way to the She & Him song "I Was Made For You," what a cool little tune that approximates a 50s-era girl group song), here comes "Reoccurring Dreams." Now, I appreciate Zen Arcade on many levels. It really is the missing link between punk and alternative rock. You can almost hear where music is going in the next 10 years and picture Paul Westerberg rising from the primordial ooze. I mean any album with "Never Talking To You Again" and "Indecision Time" is a special record. But, that doesn't mean I really want to hear all 14 minutes of "Reoccurring Dreams" on my way to work. I mean intellectually it's very cool: an epic instrumental, almost space-age jam, that closes a sprawling concept album - - by a punk band! (I bet this song made Wayne Coyen, hanging out somewhere in Oklahoma, sit up and take notice.) But by minute 6 of the song, I have to confess, I was fingering the iPod ever so lightly. What if I just pressed skip? I could even blog that I listened to the song. Maybe I would blog about how annoying it was.
No one would ever know!
Elliott Smith - "Between The Bars"
Maritime - "Human Beings"
The Velvet Underground - "The Gift"
The Elected - "Not Going Home"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 9
Total minutes of music (approx.): 48
Song with the most previous plays: "I Will Dream" - 10
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 5
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: Just, ya know, making my way through the "ground zero of anti-America."

Monday, October 20, 2008

No Juice (Day 148)

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 0
Total minutes of music (approx.): 0
Song with the most previous plays: n/a
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): n/a
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: Um, you can probably guess it - - the iPod battery was dead. And the ambient sounds of my commute were not helping the situation. Mostly I listened to the train conductor announce further delays due to a "stuck door on the train ahead of us." Happy Monday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Long Legs (Day 147)

*It's Friday, and I'm in the mood for something different. So, here's today's little Internet art project/experiment. I'm going to let the vast Intrawebs comment on today's songs - - visually. I will simply type each song name, word for word, into the Yahoo! Image Search engine and post the very first photo that comes up. This may be my big shot at meme-dom? We'll see...

Elvis Costello - "Go Away"

This one is awesome. (

The Magic Numbers - "Long Legs"

Literal, but fortunately not too dirty. (Source.)

Karl Blau - "The Dark, Magic Sea"

Evocative. (Source.)

Spoon - "Eddie's Ragga"

The only real dud here. It was bound to happen, but I'm glad the actual cover of the album one of the songs is from only came up once. (Source.)

Billy Bragg & Wilco - "Joe Dimaggio Done It Again"

Again, very literal. But oh-so-sweet. (Source.)

Yo La Tengo - "Story Of Jazz"

Not what I would have expected. The caption reads: "After dessert, we went to a nearby place called Jazz Story. It's not quite a jazz club, because they play more 1960s classic rock than jazz, but the mood is mellow and the decor is interesting. These things were mounted on the walls -- I guess they are metal dies for casting plastic things like cassette tapes and shampoo bottles.They have styrofoam packaging cushions on the ceiling too." (Source.)

Kings Of Leon - "Razz"

Thirsty? (Source.)

The Mountain Goats - "First Few Desperate Hours"

Amazing. The best image and somehow perfect for the song too. Cheers, Flickr user c300! (Source.)

Travis - "Luv"

I was worried that one of these would lead to a less-than-PG image - - and I had a right to be. This is the 2nd photo that came up after searching for "Luv." The first was indeed NSFW, but actually kinda tasteful. See for yourself here. In the meantime, this works - - in a Duran Duran album cover kind of way. (Source.)

Final Fantasy - "I'm Afraid Of Japan"

This doesn't look like anything to be afraid of. (Source.)

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 10
Total minutes of music (approx.): 40
Song with the most previous plays: "Long Legs" - 14
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 6
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: The weather is gloriously seasonally appropriate.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Center Of The World (Day 146)

Pavement - "Reagan's Dead""Box Elder" (live)
This one is a bit of a mystery. Today's first song starts out as a messy jam and I can clearly identify Stephen Malkmus' voice over the noodling. No problem, it's clearly a live Pavement tune, probably from one of the recent reissues. In a few minutes, after saying "ready to freak out" over and over, Malkmus calls out "Box Elder" and the band launches into that very song. (A cool rendition, by the way.) So what's so mysterious you ask. Well, I'll tell you: When I get to work and go over the playlist, iTunes says this song is called...wait for it..."Reagan's Dead." Huh? Was that the name of the jam before the song proper? I look at the track listing for Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition (the album that this mystery track is from) and there's no such thing as "Reagan's Dead," but there is a live version of "Box Elder" (recorded live on Australian radio in July 1994). So how did this song come to be called "Reagan's Dead" on my iPod? Did I mix it up with another Pavement song. (As much as I love them, so many of the band's song titles, even some of my favorite songs, are still unknown to me.) I search. Nope. There is no song called "Reagan's Dead" by Pavement. In fact the only "Reagan's Dead" I can find in the universe is by punk noisemakers the Primma Donnas off their only album, Drugs, Sex & Discotheques. I don't even own this album. Seriously, WTF. Time to get Robert Stack on the case. I have a theory, and it's political. It's the day after the last presidential debate of 2008 and this song mysteriously comes up on the playlist with this mysterious name. I hope it means what I think it means and Reagan is just a proper noun that can also be spelled G.O.P.

Lucinda Williams - "Still I Long For Your Kiss"
Jeff Tweedy - "Not For The Season" (live)
Rilo Kiley - "Smoke Detector"
My Morning Jacket - "Xmas Curtain"
Sufjan Stevens - "Holland"
The Lemonheads - "Poughkeepsie"
Bright Eyes - "Center Of The World"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 8
Total minutes of music (approx.): 33
Song with the most previous plays: "The Center Of The World," "Holland" (tie) - 10
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 7
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: This is what I learned before work today. You can't take a nearly 3-year-old girl who was ravaged by mosquitoes at the playground and has about 15 bites on her face and hands to pre-school. They turn you right around and make you go to the doctor for a note that reads: "Not contagious." Sure I got to work an hour late, but on the bright side, she's not contagious.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Miss Patsy (Day 145)

Thelonious Monk - "Off Minor" (take 5)
The Arcade Fire - "Intervention"
The Beastie Boys - "High Plains Drifter"
Aimee Mann - "I Could Hurt You Now"
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - "Come Rain Or Come Shine"
Richard Thomspon - "Miss Patsy"
The Beatles - "Baby You're A Rich Man"
Lee Morgan - "Gary's Notebook"
It's jazz day at WILTOMWTWT! Funny how weeks will go by and I won't hear a single jazz tune and then - - voila - - three very solid ones. I spent a little time trying to figure out exactly what percentage of the 11,298 songs on my iPod are jazz. Unfortunately the 'genre' label is the only one I don't really stay on top of. I'm pretty anal about having the right track name, artist and album and keeping things organized but the genre label seems superfluous. I mean it's pretty meaningless in real life let alone in the iTunes library. BUT, right about now it would help me get some idea of the rock/jazz ratio. I soldiered on anyway and spent a few minutes moving all the songs with a jazz genre tag (for the record, this includes jazz, bop, hard bop, cool/West Coast jazz, big band swing and jazz vocals), as well as any other I could quickly ID into a "JAZZ" playlist. The total? Only 390 songs! I'm shocked. I actually thought there were more. That's just 3.45% of all the music. Which makes the odds of today's 3-play, well, even greater. (Be happy I figured out this percentage, beyond that I'll need math back-up.) Conclusion? Must add more jazz. (If you have suggestions, please leave 'em. Clearly, I like most bop...) Meanwhile, it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly crazy the lives of most of these 50s and 60s era jazz artists are. I was really digging this Lee Morgan tune so I headed over to Wikipedia to find out a litte more about his background. Lo and behold, it could be a freaking movie-of-the-week. Check it out.

By 1965, Morgan's addiction had returned, and (according to Nat Hentoff's book, Jazz Masters of the 50s) Blakey felt he was unable to use him anymore. Billy Hart says that things deteriorated to the point where Morgan was sleeping on pool tables, and didn't even have a horn, let alone a working band. He borrowed a horn for the recording of Night of the Cookers, in which he sat in with Freddie Hubbard's band at a live gig in New York. The recording captures some of Morgan's weakest playing. Helen More, who became his girlfriend and later his common-law wife, helped Morgan clean up his act. He eventually put together a working band and re-established himself.


Lee Morgan was shot by Helen More following an argument between sets at Slug's, a popular New York City jazz club. According to an interview with drummer Billy Hart, Morgan had gotten into a dispute with a drug dealer, after buying a large amount of cocaine. He called More and asked her to bring his gun to him at the club. More showed up, and spotted him with another woman, who Morgan was planning to leave More for. An argument erupted, and Morgan kicked More out of the club. When she returned to retrieve her coat (which she had forgotten), Morgan got into a scuffle with her, and the gun went off. An ambulance was late in showing up, and Morgan bled to death. More was judged to be insane at the time of the shooting.

There are conflicting reports of the shooting. According to the biography "DelightfuLee: The Life and Music of Lee Morgan" by Jeffery McMillan, More -- who had nursed Morgan back from heroin addiction and was a stabilizing force for Lee for the previous five or so years -- was a very jealous woman. Morgan had wanted to start a relationship with another woman and was trying to leave Helen More. Helen went down to Slugs on that fateful night and argued with Morgan because the woman was at the club. Lee forcefully removed More from Slugs. She returned to the club shortly after and pulled her gun. Morgan taunted her to shoot him. As he approached the bandstand for the third set, Helen More delivered a single fatal shot to Morgan's chest. He bled to death en route to the hospital.

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 8
Total minutes of music (approx.): 37
Song with the most previous plays: "Miss Patsy" - 10
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 7
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: The tanking economy is ruining my commute. Okay, not exactly, but allow me to be shallow and unfeeling for a moment. Due to budget cuts, naturally, the New York Times has folded the Sports section into the Business section. How annoying! Gone is the glorious color on the front page of the section. And now the combined Business/Sports is cumbersome and unwieldy. Uggh.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ragged Wood (Day 144)

Radiohead - "Nude"
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "The Kindness Of Strangers"
The Jayhawks - "Madman"
New Radiant Storm King - "Phonecall II"
Steve Earle - "Down Here Below"
Joe Henry - "King's Highway"
Fleet Foxes - "Ragged Wood"
If it was earlier in the day, I might write 15,000 words about my love for Fleet Foxes. But it's late, so just I'll let the number of previous plays speak for me (see below). I definitely haven't tired of the best album of 2008 yet. On a very related note, here is a clip of two Swedish girls performing "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" in the woods. It's pretty great.

The Mountain Goats - "Song For Dennis Brown"
Stereolab - "Captain Easychord"
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - "Dark Wave"
The Hold Steady - "Stevie Nix"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 11
Total minutes of music (approx.): 47
Song with the most previous plays: "Ragged Wood" - 20
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 8
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: Time for an admission: I'm addicted to Rachel Maddow. I don't think I'll be able to quit her until the election is over. Even then, who knows? A choice clip from last night.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Blower's Daughter (Day 143)

Tom Waits - "Lord I've Been Changed"
Bright Eyes - "Road To Joy"
I'm back. Miss me? Took off Friday for family obligations, but all is well. So today's topic of the day: The Big Break. You know what I'm talking about - - that moment in a good song when the music switches direction 180 degrees for maximum effect. Am I describing this correctly (sorry, I'm no musicologist)? In this particular song there is a very cool Big Break. It's extra special because it's alluded to by the singer - - in this case, Conor Oberst. (Think Bruce Springsteen counting down before the band switches gear mid-song.) The music builds and about 2/3 of the way through the song, Oberst sings these very autobiographical words: "Well, I could have been a famous singer if I had someone else's voice // But failures always sounded better // Let's fuck it up boys, make some noise!" And then the band goes on to, in fact, fuck it up, launching a cacophonous jam - - ergo, The Big Break. I really like this moment. Now, I want to list five other Big Breaks, but I'm having a bit of a brain freeze right now. One that I did come up with is sort of the exact opposite of the "Road To Joy." On
Steppenwolf's rock classic, "Magic Carpet Ride," the band slides into a jam towards the end of the song and just as they seem to lose all focus and the whole thing will just peter out, there's a Big Break and the vocals and melody come crashing back. It's like this tiny, triumphant moment that can't help but get you pumped up. Anyone else out there have any idea what I'm talking about or should I adjust my meds? Please, tell me your favorite Big Break(s), if you have one. In the meantime, I'll try to come up with some other examples.
The Wrens - "It's Not Getting Any Good"
Damien Rice - "The Blower's Daughter"
Superchunk - "Watery Hands"
Pixies - "Bone Machine" (live)
Illinois - "What Can I Do For You?"
Miles Davis & John Coltrane - "Sid's Ahead"
Air - "One Hell Of A Party"
The Postal Service - "We Will Become Silhouettes"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 10
Total minutes of music (approx.): 47
Song with the most previous plays: "The Blower's Daughter" - 11
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 6
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: It dawned on me that most people have the day off. Lucky bastards.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy (Day 142)

The Replacements - "Skyway"
Midlake - "Some Of Them Are Superstitious"
Today's thought comes from the "He Said / She Said" file. In other words, interesting observations about men and women that probably are so cliched they belong on a sitcom, but yet still seem to ring true. Specifically, how does your lady friend or guy friend listen to music? It is my experience that women seem to have what I will call a "singles approach," while guys are more AOR or "album oriented." For example, when ipodwidow likes a song, she plays death! We will listen to that song and only that song, on repeat, until she no longer wants to listen to anything. It's not that she doesn't have good taste, because she does, but it's very focused. I bring this up here, not because "Some Of Them Are Superstitious" is one of those songs, but rather because this song reminds me of another thing about ipodwidow's consumption of music. (This one I think may be particular to her.) Whenever she hears a piece of music it almost always reminds her of something else. We'll be listening to a song and she'll say, for example, "Oh, that sounds exactly like Sufjan Stevens." Now there may be similarities, but I don't always make such an immediate connection the way she does. This song made me think of this because this time I did actually think that the melody of this song sounded a lot like "Neon Bible" by The Arcade Fire. Anyone else want to chime in on the differences between the ways men and women listen to music? While your thinking about it, I'll go make up the couch for sleeping tonight...
DJ Shadow - "What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1-Blue Sky Revisit) / Transmission 3"
The Frames - "Happy"
David Bowie - "Fame"
The Olivia Tremor Control - "King Of Claws"
Bob Marley & The Wailers - "The Heathen"
Teenage Fanclub - "Don't Need A Drum"
Bob Dylan - "Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again" (alternate take)
Bishop Allen - "Penitentiary Bound"
Joao Gilberto & Stan Getz - "Girl From Impanema"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 11
Total minutes of music (approx.): 45
Song with the most previous plays: "Happy" - 13
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 7
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: No school today.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Business Time (Day 141)

The Wedding Present - "Model, Actress, Whatever..."
The Fiery Furnaces - "I'm In No Mood"
Coleman Hawkins - "Like Someone In Love"
Flight Of The Conchords - "Business Time"
Back with another short, but solid playlist today. A little too much, err, business to attend to today at work, so I'm going to have to leave the commentary to my 2 readers. (Hey, where are my 2 readers!?) By the way you know when I'm down to my socks it's business time, that's why they call them business socks...

Wilco - "I'm A Wheel"
Belle & Sebastian - "A Century Of Fakers"
Johnny Cash - "Two Timing Woman"
Pavement - "We Dance"
Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs - "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 9
Total minutes of music (approx.): 32
Song with the most previous plays: "Business Time" - 8
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 8
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: Am I the only one that keeps replaying the "That One" moment over in their head and thinking WTF!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood (Day 140)

The Decembrists - "Apology Song"
Neil Young - "Cortez The Killer" (live)
Earlimart - "Bloody Nose"
Jeff Tweedy - "The Ruling Class" (live)
Bruce Springsteen - "Mansion On The Hill"
Josh Rouse - "God, Please Let Me Go Back"
The Beatles - "Your Mother Should Know"
Okay, you happy now? It's a nice long playlist to chew over. So, what happened? Did aliens abduct me on the way to work and double my commute. Nope, but something just as unlikely - - I went to the gym! Schedule permitting, this could become a Tuesday thing. It's a win-win for all of us. More songs on the blog... and rock hard abs. I think I mentioned this the one other time I went to the gym in the past 140 weekdays, but here it goes again: it's tough to shuffle while you work out. Not all music makes you want to do that extra set. And, of course, this group of songs started in a very mellow fashion. In fact every song leading up to this Beatles tune would make much more sense in a coffee house than a house of pain like the gym. But, I was into it. I was able to focus on the job at hand, and the music, and it was a pretty nice run of songs that seemed to go particularly well together. The highlights? Well, Earlimart was a very pleasant surprise. Haven't spent a ton of time with this lush California pop band, and at first I was pretty convinced it was actually Mojave 3. But in addition to the male vocals, there's also some fine female pipes harmonizing along with him. I'm gonna have to dig in at a later date. Then there was this really good Jeff Tweedy song recorded at the Letters To Santa Barbara benefit. "Ruling Class" imagines that Jesus Christ as a drug and surfing addict. Very funny. And the whole thing culminated in this jaunty little Beatles tune from Magical Mystery Tour - - an album I realized during my cool down stretching that I don't know very well, minus the hits "Penny Lane," "All You Need Is Love," etc. It's also just then that I realized, who needs breakneck beats and wailing vocals? I was actually sweating to the oldies.

The Clash - "Rockers Galore" (live)
Outkast - "Slum Beautiful"
Sonny Rollins - "Funky Hotel Blues"
Clap Your Hands And Say Yeah - "Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood"
Pixies - "The Holiday Song" (live)
Cat Power - "Willie"
Gomez - "How We Operate"
Modest Mouse - "Steam Engenius"
Death Cab For Cutie - "Company Calls (Epilogue)"
Destroyer - "Canadian Lover/Falcon's Escape"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 17
Total minutes of music (approx.): 71
Song with the most previous plays: "Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood" - 9
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 8
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: My daughter and I ran into one of her classmates on the bus. I suggested we should rechristen it the "party bus" and they ran with it. Two kids began to yell "party bus, party bus" at the top of their lungs. I bet the other commuters really enjoyed that.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Bunker (Day 139)

Money Mark - "Radiate Nothing"
The Velvet Underground - "Lady Godiva's Operation"
Nirvana - "Blew"
Bob Dylan - "Ballad Of A Think Man" (live)
TV On The Radio - "Dancing Choose"
I'm on record as saying that I just don't get TV On The Radio. Well, I might be flip-flopping. The new CD Dear Science has recently been uploaded to my iPod. (Yes, this begs the question: Why would a CD by a band you don't like be on your iPod, ass? First of all, be nice. Secondly - - true story - - I found it in the "break room" at work in a pile where people leave junk they're trying to get rid of. What was I suppose to do? Not take it?) So it's on there, but I've actually never listened to it. But today, this song pops up on the shuffle. Me like. I've scanned a few reviews, so I'm aware that the album is a) being well received, and b) something of a departure for the band, sound-wise. Well, if this song is any indication, they've definitely lightened up. "Dancing Choose" has a funky electronic back beat and is kinda reminiscent of R.E.M's "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." And here's the other thing, I think it's speaking directly to the current shitstorm of a world we're living in. It's a bit vague, but what do you think?

though he expresses some confusion
bout his part in the plan,
and he can't understand
that he's not in command;
the decisions underwritten
by the cash in his hand
bought a sweater for
his weimaraner too
My take is that the problems are mostly beyond our control... and yet we continue to spend and consume like there's nothing going on. Not true in my household - - I still don't have the HD TV I've craved for over a year. Fiscal responsibility, people! And, finally, since I've gone a tad political here, I have to share this: The coolest Obama endorsement ever.
Beirut - "The Bunker"
Tortoise & Bonnie "Prince" Billy - "It's Expected I'm Gone"
Beck - "Cellphone's Dead"
Silkworm - "White Lightning"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 9
Total minutes of music (approx.): 38
Song with the most previous plays: "Beirut"- 9
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 7
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: When I dropped my not-quite-three-year-old at school this morning the usual "Please stay 5 minutes, daddy" was replaced by "You can go to work now, daddy." That hurts.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Day 138)

M Ward & My Morning Jacket - "Rollercoaster" (live)
Weezer - "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations On A Shaker Hymn)"
A song from the newest Weezer
album has popped up two days in a row. So they've gone ahead and titled another record anonymously- - again. This time it's subtitled [Red Album] so as not to be confused with [Blue Album] of "Buddy Holly" fame or [Green Album] with "Hash Pipe." But I'm not going to talk about their lazy album naming. (Although, damn, that IS lazy.) More importantly: Do I still like Weezer? Good question. I think I put this on here out of reflex, not really thinking about how much I like or even dislike what the band has done over the past few years. I think the logic goes as such: these guys are usually good for some good, fun pop hooks which, no matter what, are new to me. So, why not? Well, that blank check may have just been cashed. What is up with this piece of junk song? If it were Flight of the Conchords or Tenacious D, it may be funny. But I don't see the irony of this "Bohemian Rhapsody" meets Bloodhound Gang thing they have going on. It's pretty annoying - - and I even like goofy Weezer. (In fact, I was known to play "Beverly Hills" from the last album waaay too much.) Am I just the last person to be over Weezer? Are they already so uncool, that even writing this blog entry shows just how tragically uncool I am? Not that I'm trying to be cool or not cool, I mean, I'm a dad. I'm just wondering what the real taste-makers out there think. I won't dare consult Pitchfork on this one. I think I can guess what they think.
Arctic Monkeys - "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor"
Funny that this would follow Weezer, because Arctic Monkeys may be a younger, British version. Good-time, hook-laden rock. I fell for this song whenever it came out (2006?). And I still like it.
Modest Mouse - "Ocean Breathes Salty"
Tom Petty - "The Golden Rose"
Rufus Wainwright - "Grey Gardens"
Eleventh Dream Day - "The Blindside"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 7
Total minutes of music (approx.): 38
Song with the most previous plays: "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor"- 16
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 6
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: Well, it's over. And the New York Times editorial board basically summed up exactly how I feel. Here is their opinion of last night's "debate." It's two big excerpts, but I believe it's worth reading in it's entirety.

We cannot recall when there were lower expectations for a candidate than the ones that preceded Sarah Palin’s appearance in Thursday night’s vice-presidential debate with Joseph Biden. After a series of stumbling interviews that raised serious doubts even among conservatives about her fitness to serve as vice president, Ms. Palin had to do little more than say one or two sensible things and avoid an election-defining gaffe.

By that standard, but only by that standard, the governor of Alaska did well. But Ms. Palin never really got beyond her talking points in 90 minutes, mostly repeating clichés and tired attack lines and energetically refusing to answer far too many questions.

Senator Biden did well, avoiding one of his own infamous gaffes, while showing a clear grasp of the big picture and the details. He left Ms. Palin way behind on most issues, especially foreign policy and national security, where she just seemed lost. It was in those moments that her lack of experience — two terms as mayor of a tiny Anchorage suburb and less than two years as governor — was most painfully evident.


Ms. Palin’s primary tactic was simply to repeat the same thing over and over: John McCain is a maverick. So is she. To stay on that course, she had to indulge in some wildly circular logic: America does not want another Washington insider. They want Mr. McCain (who has been in Congress for nearly 26 years). Ms. Palin condemned Wall Street greed and said she and Mr. McCain would “demand” strict oversight. In virtually the next breath, she said government should “get out of the way” of American business.

There were occasional, disturbing flashes of the old, pre-campaign Sarah Palin. Asked about the causes of global warming, Ms. Palin suggested that man had some role — but she wasn’t saying how much.

In the end, the debate did not change the essential truth of Ms. Palin’s candidacy: Mr. McCain made a wildly irresponsible choice that shattered the image he created for himself as the honest, seasoned, experienced man of principle and judgment. It was either an act of incredible cynicism or appallingly bad judgment.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mariposa Ole (Day 137)

Interpol - "Pace Is The Trick"
Del McCourty & Steve Earle - "Long, Lonesome Highway Blues"
Dan Zanes - "Mariposa Ole"
Dolorean - "Still Here With Me"
The New Year - "Alter Ego"
Galaxie 500 - "Ceremony"
R.E.M. - "Finest Worksong" (live)
Weezer - "The Spider"
Man, the day flew by today. Sorry no commentary to augment this already meager playlist. More tomorrow...I hope.

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 8
Total minutes of music (approx.): 35
Song with the most previous plays: "Mariposa Ole"- 11
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 5
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: Why does the "back of the bus" have some sort of inherit appeal? My daughter is loving it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This Is Not What You Had Planned (Day 136)

The Thermals - "Back To The Sea"
Nirvana - "Here She Comes Now"
Red House Painters - "Long Distance Runaround"
Wow. What a couple of great covers back-to-back. I know it's on the With The Lights Out compilation, but I don't know much more about the Nirvana cover of the Velvet Underground classic. I'll be back... Okay, so it's from a 1991 split-single that they put out with The Melvins (who did "Venus in Furs"). The opening guitar riff is vey un-Kurt. In fact, at first, I thought it was Dean Wareham and that this was Luna. Not surprising, I suppose, since Luna is often described as VU-sounding. The vocals gave it away, naturally. And then right on the heels of that tune, a very cool Yes cover by Mark Kozelek's slowcore band. Love it. As a rule, I think the world needs more Yes covers. For all their self-indulgent bullshit, I always get excited when I hear the occasional
Yes tune. Even songs off Tormato. (Did I write that?)
My Morning Jacket - "Gideon" (live)
Pavement - "Box Elder"
The Wrens - "This Is Not What You Had Planned"
The Starlight Mints - "Brass Digger"
Stars - "My Favourite Book"
Nada Serf - "Ice Box"
My Morning Jacket - "The Bear"
Regina Spector - "Begin To Hope"
Paul Westerber - "Anyway's All Right"
Palace Music - "Old Jerusalem"

And then I got to work.

Today's Stats
Total songs listened to: 13
Total minutes of music (approx.): 52
Song with the most previous plays: "This Is Not What You Had Planned"- 8
How I Rate Today's Playlist (1-10): 7
Miscellaneous factoid about my trip to work today: No school today. Bummer, I miss my tiny commute-mate.