New Prophets of Rage video: Living On The 110

Video: Prophets of Rage – “Living On The 110”

Prophets of Rage – Living On The 110 (Music Video)

From Prophets Of Rage, out September 15 on Concord Music.

This sounds so nineties, it’s almost painful. But I can never resist Chuck’s voice. And B-Real doesn’t sound as annoying here as he usually does. They take on poverty and homelessness on this jam and encourage you to make a contribution to WhyHunger, a leader in the movement to ending hunger and poverty.

Prophets of Rage play Riot Fest at 7:40 PM on Sunday, September 17.

Prophets of Rage: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Skating Polly video: Louder In Outer Space

Video: Skating Polly – “Louder In Outer Space”

Skating Polly – Louder In Outer Space (Official Video)

Featuring Nina Gordon and Louise Post of Veruca Salt. From the New Trick EP, out now on El Camino.

Can you hear that harmony?
I can hear it in my sleep.
I can hear it even louder in outer space.

Right on! This video’s been out for a few months, but I just stumbled across it. Not as spooky as their previous video, but I like it more. It’s definitely more Veruca Salty.

Skating Polly plays Riot Fest at noon on Friday, September 15.

Skating Polly: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Steve Earle video: Goodbye Michelangelo

Video: Steve Earle & The Dukes – “Goodbye Michelangelo”

Steve Earle & The Dukes – Goodbye Michelangelo [Official Music Video]

From So You Wannabe an Outlaw, out now on Warner Bros.

A tribute to Earle’s mentor, Guy Clark, who died last year.

I’m bound to follow you some day
You have always shown the way
So we knew where we had to go
Goodbye Michelangelo

I had never really listened to Guy Clark before. But since watching this video, I’ve been checking out Old No. 1, Clark’s 1975 debut. Dang, what have I been missing? Why have I not got into this guy before? I think maybe I was confusing him with Roy Clark from “Hee Haw,” who always seemed corny to me. I can now fully recommend Old No. 1 if you dig outlaw country or Cosmic American music or whatever you want to call stuff like Willis Alan Ramsey, Paul Siebel, Nashville Skyline, and Michael Nesmith’s First National Band. Now I feel like an idiot for waiting this long.

Steve Earle: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Guy Clark: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Wilco song: All Lives, You Say?

Bandcamp: Wilco – “All Lives, You Say?”

Proceeds will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in the memory of Jeff Tweedy’s father, Robert L. Tweedy (1933-2017).

“My dad was named after a Civil War general, and he voted for Barack Obama twice. He used to say ‘If you know better, you can do better.’ America – we know better. We can do better.” – Jeff Tweedy

This gesture, of course, takes on pointed connotations in light of the deplorable events in Charlottesville and our orange fuhrer’s tepid reaction.

Continue reading New Wilco song: All Lives, You Say?

Medical Music

When sitting in a chair in my dentist’s office—I mean the chair that brings Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man to mind—the ambient audio system is always playing a lite rock station. Most of the music is of a sufficient sweetness to engender even more cavities in one’s molars. But it is a temperate drone behind the whining of the drill that sounds like it is about to shatter that porcelain spit bowl to my immediate left. Over the years I have spent far too much time in such a chair. I am confident that I have helped put my dentist’s children through dental school. I have heard a lot of that music.

Which brings me back to Marathon Man and the scary things that can happen with sharp implements, as it leads to a recent study conducted on surgeons by Spotify.

Specifically, the research was on what music surgeons listen to while performing their work in operating rooms.

It isn’t soft rock.

The number-one genre among the surgeons for their OR time is rock.

Over 700 responses came from surgeons who are registered with Spotify.

And looking at the top 10 list makes me shutter and hope that I don’t need anyone slicing into me—not that I dispute, wholly, their taste in music, but just that it seems that the nature of the music that they prefer has beats that might make things go somewhat awry should the doctors become too deep into the sound.

Continue reading Medical Music

New Bombpops video: Be Sweet

Video: The Bombpops – “Be Sweet”

The Bombpops – Be Sweet (Official Video)

From Fear Of Missing Out, out now on Fat Wreck Chords.

Cute power pop from California. Sounds like mid-period Weezer. I like the chorus:

Sneaking off and making out
You’re around, I’m never down
Nights like this should never end
Getting rad with my boyfriend

The Bombpops’ Jen Razavi told Alternative Press: “We drew inspiration for the video from the line in the song: ‘The jukebox played our favorite song / You said you put it on for me.’ It made us think of two kids in the ’60s falling in love. From there, we thought it’d be fun to do the video like an old Ed Sullivan Show performance. While the concept had done before, we felt that it was a solid fit for the song. We really got into it too, channeling the excitement of what it might have felt like to perform on television back in the day.”

The lyrics were written by Teenage Bottlerocket’s Brandon Carlisle, who died in 2015. The title is a nod to Carlisle’s catchphrase, according to Brooklyn Vegan.

Via Punknews.

The Bombpops: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Big Bill Broonzy at Circle Pines Summer Camp

Video: Big Bill Broonzy – Live at Circle Pines in 1957

Big Bill Broonzy 1957: 3 Songs

Big Bill Broonzy was a legend of the blues from the 1920s, through the folk revival of the fifties. He was the mentor of Muddy Waters and an advocate for the younger generation of blues musicians including John Lee Hooker. He toured Europe throughout the 1950s where he convinced them that he was the last living bluesman. After his death in 1958 his music continued to inspire the early British rock scene via the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks, and Eric Clapton, who all cited Broonzy as a key influence.

But I had never really gotten into him. That is, until last summer when I dropped my nine year old off for summer camp and saw the following photo framed on the wall in the old farmhouse that serves as the main headquarters of Circle Pines Center:

Next to the photo there’s a handwritten note from Pete Seeger.

Dear Circle Pines–

I’m so glad you are still going strong. I’ll never forget my visit with you in ’57. Big Bill Broonzy was there. He said, “Pete, you better film me now. I’m going under the knife tomorrow.” He never sang again.

Keep on — all of you
Aug 1 ’98

I knew that Circle Pines had a long history of progressive activism, but I didn’t know anything about Big Bill Broonzy and Pete Seeger hanging out there!

I’ve since done a little research, and the story gets even better. Broonzy actually worked at Circle Pines as a cook in 1954! Cooler still, it was Chicago’s Pulitzer Prize winning oral historian Studs Terkel who hooked Broonzy up with the job!

Continue reading Big Bill Broonzy at Circle Pines Summer Camp

New Father John Misty video: Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution

Video: Father John Misty – “Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution”

Father John Misty – Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

From Pure Comedy, out now on Sub Pop.

While we’re all thinking about nuclear armageddon and waking up every morning to check to see if Guam still exists on the map, FJM treats us to a little glimpse of our post-apocalyptic future where the ravaged planet is littered with protest signs, skeletons, and abandoned iPhones. Good morning, beautiful!

“Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know” is a piano ballad with gorgeous strings and horn arrangements (by Jacob Cartwright and James King, respectively) that works as an effective background to Tillman’s snarky descriptions of an unplugged life. “My social life is now quite a bit less hectic / The nightlife and the protests are pretty scarce.” “The obscene injunction to enjoy life disappears as in a dream.” “We all get a bit restless with no one advertising to us constantly.”

This all reminds me of the great Hugh Brown Shu spoken word piece, “A Real Talk Show,” where the little girl with no arms and no legs confronts the narrator who has attempted to force Geraldo to dig beneath the surface. “If it’s so bad, Mister Hugh Brown Shu, why don’t you end it all right now, huh? You’ve got the gun. It’s all pain, it’s all anger, oh it’s so terrible! So why don’t you just shove that piece in your mouth and end it all? Do us all a favor: get rid of yourself! Do you think you’re helping us by walking in here? What are you, some maverick agent of truth?”

I think about that a lot in these days of constant commentary and outrage porn. Josh Tillman likes to point out how shallow our lives are. But as the little girl with no arms and no legs says, “To what ends? Yes, the show’s shallow. Of course it’s shallow. That’s why we watch it. Wow, what a fucking crusader you are!”

Father John Misty is the crusader we deserve.

Father John Misty: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

“Write a Catchy Chorus, HAL”

In NASCAR racing, which went into official existence in 1948, 1972 is identified as the start of the “Modern Era.” The series has yet to become postmodern, but that’s another argument for another digital venue.

The troubadour tradition, that of a musician who sang and played a stringed instrument, goes back at least to the 11th century. One could make the argument that the “Modern Era” for troubadours, or, more to the point of this, singer-songwriters, started in 1962, the year the first Bob Dylan album was released.

When it comes to much music since then, whether it is a Dylan or a Paul Simon or a Jackson Browne, individuals who write and perform their work, or a band, ranging from the Beatles to Wilco and some before and after, it is probably the case that when we hear the music performed, we think of that music, especially vocals, coming from an individual who, in some significant way, has something to do with those lyrics.

To go to the classic case of the Beatles, it was either a “John song” or a “Paul” song, and when it was George or Ringo. . .well, there really weren’t enough of them combined to have a significant effect.

Tweedy is trying to break our hearts.

Continue reading “Write a Catchy Chorus, HAL”

New Lillie Mae video: Wash Me Clean

Video: Lillie Mae – “Wash Me Clean”

Lillie Mae – Wash Me Clean (Official Video)

From Forever & Then Some, out now on Third Man Records.

The fiddler from Jack White’s band has released another video. We covered her background a few months ago, so check it out if you missed it. tl;dr: She’s legit.

This song is more traditional and less “Jack Whitey” than “Over The Hill and Through The Woods.” I.e., the drums don’t sound quite as heavy handed, and the production doesn’t sounds like it would fit on a Raconteurs b-side. There’s also a fine pedal steel solo and those glorious sibling harmonies. There’s also a dog in the video, so what’s not to love?

An earlier version of “Wash Me Clean” was released on 2015’s Rain On the Piano (Southern Shift Records). Hear that version.

Lillie Mae: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.