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.