Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mix: Arusha Hotel

My good friend is going to Ghana for two years, so I made him this mix of African music to send him off.  Download Arusha Hotel.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Were We In The Clouds?

We soar thousands of miles above
Through flecks of ice
It ripples
Into dense haze
Our heads up, arms lifting
The sun below, we scrape the heavens.
Download Mix

Sunday, July 31, 2011

7" Sundays: Thomas Wayne - Tragedy

The brother of Johnny Cash's guitarist, Thomas Wayne was a one hit-wonder, with the poignant tearjerker "Tragedy", which was also covered by The Fleetwoods.  The 1958 single was cut on Mempis label Fernwood records with the help of three high school girls taking care of backup duties.  Even though this song was a hit at the time, Thomas Wayne never made an LP, and ironically ended up dying in a car accident.  After the vocal bell is rung: "bungggg", we flip to a much less serious, typical 50s date song "Saturday Date".

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mix: Heat Wave

Made this mix a couple years ago for a heat wave, but that was not even in the same ballpark as this heatwave!  Right now hell is saying "Fuck this, you win!" to Earth.  Try not to die out there and let this melt across your lobes instead. Download

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Live Review: Jonathan Richman @ The Make-Out Room, SF - July 14th, 2011

I remember dance moves. My god! were there dance moves!

Going to see Jonathan Richman perform is to be reminded of those times when you just LOVE music. I'm talking unbridled, child-like joy culled purely from the experience of sound. Armed only with a classical guitar and Tommy Larkins on drums, Johnathan Richman is out to entertain, plain and simple. And only a soulless person would be able to wipe the smile off their face for more than half a song during The Jonathan Richman Show.

Even in the thrall of this spectacle, I like to imagine Jonathan Richman "writing" songs in his bedroom. It's a fun game because I'm pretty sure it looks exactly like what we get to see on stage, but with him standing on his bed. His performance style is so infectiously unselfconscious, it seems pulled directly from a private moment you wouldn't dare let your friends see. Dancing, mid-song breaks to reason through the song's premise, guitar twirls, passionate singing, and a great big smile when the music stops.

Confession time: I haven't picked up Richman's last few releases. But that doesn't matter, I wouldn't have known the songs tonight even if I had. We're not supposed to know them, that's part of the deal with Jonathan Richman. He managed to tell the crowd "I'm not going to play any of your favorite songs tonight" and sound like he really knew what was best for us. Nobody even looked upset. He's just too pure in his intentions to feel slighted. New songs every time you see him, but you still get exactly what you were expecting. There was a song about hair product (no 's'), another about Italian parties, or maybe just a song about parties in Italian (there were romance languages in spades), and countless other peculiar, doe-eyed observations about life, love and music.

As Mr. Richman put it while explaining the lack of hits in his set list, "It's got to be spontaneous. It's got to be spontaneous, or we don't want it!" Damn straight.

New Contributer!

Parallaxatives welcomes new contributer Alpineswindle!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sample Spotting: Washed Out

I think it's safe to say that the Gary Low original is of equal or greater quality than Mr. Greene's hijacking.  Oh, and that lip-syncing is to die for!  No one can lip-sync like that anymore.  And kids these days call themselves musicians...  They couldn't lip-synced for their life!

Feel It All Around  :::  Gary Low - "I Want You"
Get Up  :::  Change - "Got To Get Up"
Hold Out  :::  V.I.P. Connection - "West Coast Drive"

Hear 'em after the jump.

How To Truly Play The Guitar

Monday, July 4, 2011

7" Sundays: Little Willie John - Dinner Date

Poor Little Willie recorded some great music, was covered by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, and Peggy Lee, and then got convicted for manslaughter.  He had a short a fuse and decided to knife someone after a show in Seattle in 1966.  But did that stop Little Willie from making music?  Hell no!  He appealed against his conviction, and while the case was being reconsidered, he went into the studio and recorded what was to be his comeback album.  The thing is, it's hard to launch a comeback from jail.  That album wasn't released until 2008 and Little Willie John died in jail, two years after his conviction.  Some say he had a heart attack, others say he was asphyxiated... but I guess we'll never know what really happened.

These are two of his lesser known songs from 1957.  "Uh Uh Baby" on the A-side kicks things off with an energetic R&B stomper.  Dinner Date on the flip is the intriguing side to me, as it credits vocal duties to "Little Willie John and His Girl Friend."  His "girl friend" managed to squeak out this voice that sounds like a pissed off mouse, and it's just enough to set the track apart.

Friday, July 1, 2011

John Maus - We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

The glistening pop sheen filters tunnels of light into a feedback loop, smearing across your retinas and blurring your vision for a short while. When your eyes adjust you think you recognize an old acquaintance, but this figure dodges around and fades into a cloud of smoke. This light is the beacon of John Maus’ pop aspirations within the stormy world where “dead zones are a sign of times”. With trite choruses such as “and the rain came down… down, down, down”, and simple song structures, Maus toys with the dumbness of pop music, but also taps into its pleasure center and universal nature. These melodies are pure pop gold and fit pretty well into what many would deem hypnagogic. Songs like “Hey Moon” approach the feelings conjured by fellow hypnogogician Memory Tapes, while “Keep Pushing On” lies closer to the musings of Ariel Pink.

Dusty Trails

Made specifically for the road trip down south: all country, southern blues & roots, and rockabilly.  For all of those who say they like everything except for country, take a little harder look, you will find that there is soul in good country music.  Tape tape tape.

Monday, June 27, 2011

7" Sundays: Safaris - Image of a Girl

Two sides of love here.  LA group The Safaris released these two songs in 1960, and "Image of a Girl" was a moderate hit.  My favorite aspect in this slow burning doo-wop is that clip-clopping woodblock.  The B-side is a winner as well (better in my opinion), counting out the simple 4 steps to love.  Ahh... if only it were really that easy.....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Eric Copeland - Waco Taco Combo

The robotic alien wakes up on earth in the not too distant past and falls in love with pop culture garbage after toking up with some local hoodrat.  It is having such a good time, high as shit, with a Crunchwrap Supreme in one tentacle and a jumbo cup of Surge in the other, that it never wants to go back to where it came from.  But all this mass culture intake is starting to jumble its brain circuits.  Nevertheless, it manages to stagger from party to party, flip from channel to channel, and as the strange dubby bass and hip hop beats penetrate into its outer casing, the bolts start to loosen and it clangs and tumbles apart.  Lost in blissful video game scenes, cut up and anachronistic, it dies smiling wide, extremely disoriented in a pile of White Castle boxes, with iridescent shades shielding the bleating sun from its alien sensory receptors.  Only 500 copies pressed, so grip this enchanting alien soon before the CIA tries to cover up the mess.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

7" Sundays: Barbara Mason - Yes, I'm Ready

Some 60's Philly Soul for you this week... Barbara Mason was Arctic Records' best selling artist and this is arguably her biggest hit, hitting #5 on the pop charts, and #2 on the R&B charts.  She wrote and sang this at the tender age of 17!  She may be ready to learn a thing of two about love, but she's already learned everything she needs about writing a damn fine soul song.  The B-side "Keep Him" is just as good, so ladies... listen up.  Your man is AMAZING, hold on to him, treat him well... otherwise, Barbara Mason WILL swoop in and steal your man!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sample Spotting: Panda Bear Person Pitch

Someone put together this nice little video on Youtube illustrating some of the samples that Panda Bear used on the great Person Pitch.  I was a little surprised to learn some of these... I always thought that Kraftwerk sample was actually an ice cream truck field recording that had been cut up.  Anyways, this video doesn't quite hit all the samples, so I've included some more after the jump.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Junkyard Hump

There's is far too little humping in modern live music. All bands playing shows need to take some cues from this performance... and be sure to stay till the end, that cowboy is my hero.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

7" Sundays: Jason Molina - No Moon / Human World

Double feature this Sunday!  Two rare cuts from Jason Molina (Songs: Ohia), this single came with a 2004 issue of Chunklet Magazine.  Full band versions of these songs were later released in the Sojourner Box Set.  Side A: "No Moon On The Water", Side B: "In The Human World".

7" Sundays: Songs: Ohia/Scout Niblett

Lions prowl and break hearts.  Secretly Canadian released this split single in 2001 to serve as an introduction to Scout Niblett and they couldn't have a picked a better way to do it.  Songs: Ohia (Jason Molina) offers up a translated version of "Lioness", the titular track from his most recent album at the time, featuring guest vocals from Jennie Benford of Jim and Jennie and the Pine Tops and was recorded during the Didn't It Rain sessions.  Choosing a death in his lovers jaws rather than face her absence, the crushing fragility of a man in love is portrayed with a tenuous quaver and wonderfully spacious, sparse instrumentation.  Scout is also hurting from lost love here with "Miss My Lion".  Pounding down with fuzzbox choruses, her sentiment has a primal emotion to it, a mix of longing and anger.  Listen-->

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We Shave - In The Flesh

Free download available from We Shave's website or Buy it from Night People.

This tape from Viva L'American Death Ray man Brendan L Spengler and the White Lady is all over the place, which makes it perfect for cassette release, in that it feels like a mix tape, but also ill-suited, because it doesn't flow that well. From the start the Memphis duo gives us an under the breath Velvet Underground inspired groove over some vintage Rhythm King analogue drum machine (absolutely no complaints here). Next up, a Faust cover which is nice to see and wisely shorter than the original. Then things start to get interesting... I mean, yes... we all know that Sgt. Chowder is a bitch... but why are we singing about it?

Immodest Maus

Damn this is too good.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

John Peel's Favorite Song

7" Sundays: Spoonbread

Dammit, how can you mend a broken heart?  That's a good fuckin question.  The BeeGees wanted answers, and that's why they wrote this song.  But it's doubtful that this mysterious juvenile group (supposedly from Germany??) knows anything about broken hearts, though this kid tries pretty hard to convince "the grownups" that he feels the sting of love just as badly as them.  Even at such a young age, they pull off a nice rendition, up there with the Reverend Al Green's version.  The flip side is a more energetic bouncer that could easily be mistaken for a Jackson 5 song.  Good stuff here, though not very original.

There is very little information out there about this group, no pictures or backstory, they only released one other song (also on Stang)... I'm guessing that they probably went back to school after the summer was over and never heard from Sylvia and Joe Robinson of NJ's Stang Records ever again.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sample Spotting: Rjd2's Ghostwriter

I did a little crate digging today to pick up a new 45 for 7" Sundays, and stumbled upon Betty Wright's 1974 song "Secretary" and gave it a listen.  Something about it sounded vaguely familiar and I came to the conclusion that it must have been sampled by someone at somepoint.  Sure enough, with a little reasearch I found that the opening section was used in Rjd2's fantastic "Ghostwriter".  I had always recognized the Elliott Smith sample throughout the song, but never knew any of the other samples origins.  With a little more research, I have dissected the song a bit more.  Keep reading for the full breakdown and audio clips...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Great Marble

Tectonic plates shift and massive slabs of rusted steel scrape by like barges in the river valley.  A dense fog rolls down from the mountains and engulfs the behemoths, they disappear from sight.  A brief moment of grandeur gone far too soon.  We can only hope that this video is indication of great things to come from Calgary's Great Marble.  For a taste of their upcoming release on Silent Farm, check out "Old Friends" and "Louiston", which share the same artery as Women, only slightly sunnier. Last year's "A Cast" veered more into the hushed vocal territory, with cues from Sufjan.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

7" Sundays - The Tassels

7" Sundays is a new weekly feature where I pick up random 45s and post these discoveries with a little research.  To kick this off I'll start with an appropriate pick for Memorial Day weekend, "To A Soldier Boy" by The Tassels.  Recorded in 1959, this song was written by Mary Glen Gaudet, mother of John Gaudet and Rochelle Gaudet Alessi, the siblings who fronted the New Jersey group.  Apparently, both siblings were born on patriotic days: Memorial Day and Flag Day.  While patriotism may run thick in their blood, it does not so much in mine.  The real gem for me here is the flip side "The Boy For Me".  This upbeat "let's make up" plea is the kind of song The Vivian girls wish they could have penned.  Definitive doo-wop backing vocals here with some beachy melodies.  As far as I can tell, The Tassels only released one other single.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Standard Bitter Love Songs

This is a mix of songs by The Mountain Goats.  Being ridiculously prolific, it can be a hard to wade through their vast catalogue, so I've collected some of my favorites in this set.  This collection casts a wide net, from John's early days shouting into his Panasonic RX-FT500 boombox to his current full studio productions, and hopefully serves as a good entry point for those of you out there that have never dived into this ocean.  I consider John Darnielle to be one of the greatest lyricist currently making music and surely one of the most venomous.  This tape weighs a little heavier on the bitter/desperate side of the Bitter-Tender spectrum, but there are some incredibly touching moments represented here as well (see the beautiful tribute to the death of a loved one on "Bluejays and Cardinals"; the profound uncertainty of life for the inexperienced parent in "Pink and Blue"; the spot-on feelings of change after a break up in "Woke Up New").  But as the title suggests, there are plenty of classic songs of spite that can't help but turn a vicious little evil smirk in the corner of your mouth like the Grinch Who Stole Your Relationship.  Sink your teeth into this and you won't be sorry.  Tracklist after the jump.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Victims of Poison

Mostly newish jams, made last December.  Victims

Drinking Cup
1. Out, Don't... - Gauntlet Hair
2. Calrissian - Millionyoung
3. A Little Lost - Arthur Russell
4. Big Nothing - Sans AIDS
5. I'm Gonna Try - Shimmering Stars
6. Death Mouth - Wild Eyes
7. In The New Year - The Walkmen
8. Water Parker - Botany
9. To Catch A Thief - Sports
10. The Ledge - Fleetwood Mac

1. Video Rock - Big Troubles
2. Local Forecast - Casino Vs. Japan
3. Stoned Alone - Coma Cinema
4. Ready For The World - How To Dress Well
5. New Drink For The Old Drunk - Crooked Fingers
6. Better Water - Power Animal
7. Wasting Our Time - James Leroy
8. Eraser - Golden Eye
9. Sleeping Bag - Heavy Hawaii
10. Endless Fascination - Psychedelic Horseshit
11. Cold Blooded Old Times - Smog
12. See Birds (sun) - Balam Acab

Ivory Hearts, Golden Haze

This is a mix I made back in the year of chillwave, so there are a couple songs on this that may be a little old hat by now, but you know what, they are still good songs, regardless of their association with a fad. Still a great listen with a couple favorites of mine - Two Blue Lights & You Can't Blame Me.  I've put You Can't Blame Me on way too many mixes, because everyone needs to hear that song.

Grab it here

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sunset Visions

Late nights, fading away through the mists of summer's expanding horizons.  Synth explorations, Kosmische, Krautrock, Ambient.  Transportation device for astral messages, massages, and mystical visions.  As the sunlight fades, this tape navigates the dark passages of spectral highways.


Side A:
Alien Observer - Grouper
Beat and the Pulse (Vondelpark Remix) - Austra
Synthesist (Blondes Remix) - Harald Grosskopf
Double Helix - Emeralds
Wind on Water - Fripp & Eno
Notre Dame - Harmonia
Harmonics - Fridge
Canyon Meadows - Kyle Bobby Dunn
Wrong Ride - Growing
Lammicken - Braids
Meditation #1 - Brian Eno

Side B:
Lick Mountain Ramble - Jack Rose
Vessels That Float out of Metals That Sink (Part 4) - Casino Versus Japan
Sowiesoso - Cluster
Gemini Early - Hrvatski
Glorious Flight - Manuel Gottsching
New Homes - Lucky Dragons
Soul Oscillations - Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid
Stained Glass Body - Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
Banana Jam Pt. 1 - Julian Lynch
Flowers Of Congo - High Wolf
A Manhã Na Praia - The Alps
Shiva-Loka - Alice Coltrane

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ask For The Butt

This is a tape I made back in 2009 for a friend.  Side A is mostly an indie affair, while Side B is comprised only of 45s, mostly older rockers, soul and doo wop, with one newish exception.  Take a wild guess which one...

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Fun time shake ya butt tape with some white-boy dance floor moves.

1. Mbgate - Max Tundra
2. My Time - Ann Steel
3. Danse Pop - Greatest Hits
4. I Wish - Skee-Lo
5. Vibrationz - Javelin
6. B.I.G. E.G.O. - Wise Blood
7. What Up Man - The Cool Kids
8. Girlfriend Is Better - Talking Heads
9. Poison - Bel Biv Devoe
10. Michael Jordan - Baby Jazz
11. Double Dutch - Inflatable Mattress
12. D.A.N.C.E. - Justice
13. P.Y.T. - Michael Jackson
14. Animal - Landlord
15. Juicy/Intro - Notorious B.I.G./The XX

1. Stay Close - Delorean
2. It's A Kid's World - Disco Inferno
3. The Last Dance - The Tough Alliance
4. Let's Go Swimming (Arthur Gibbons Mix) - Arthur Russell
5. Lina - Les Sins
6. Not In Love - Crystal Castles (feat Robert Smith)
7. Lucky Star - Madonna
8. Since I Left You - The Avalanches
9. Stawberry Skies - Games
10. Round & Round - Ariel Pink