Monday, November 30, 2015

Your Monday Moment of Words Fail Me

From 2012, please enjoy Brooklyn's alt-indie bluegrass phenoms The Punch Brothers...

...and their absolutely astounding live take on The Cars' classic hit "Just What I Needed."

The musicianship here is astounding, obviously, but I had forgotten that (as the lead singer says in the video) "Just What I Needed" is such an absolutely awesome song.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Pining for the Fjords

And speaking of the not dead Procol Harum, as we were yesterday, from somewhere in Denmark in 2006, here's the group in concert -- with their orchestra and chorus(!!!) -- with perhaps the most extraordinary performance of "A Salty Dog" ever heard by sentient mammalian ears.

Words, as I am wont to say, fail me, and especially over that chorus ensemble; I don't know what they're singing exactly, perhaps Keith Reid's lyrics in Danish, but whatever it is, it kicks the song into a whole new galaxy. And somewhere, I suspect, the ghost of Carl Nielsen is smiling.

[h/t Peter Spencer]

Thursday, November 26, 2015

It's Turkey Day!!!

From 1969, here's the original classic lineup of Procol Harum...

...and their utterly gorgeous "Pilgrim's Progress."

Pilgrim -- get it? It's not rocket science, kids. Actually, if memory serves (and if it does, I hope it washes its hands) I think this is something of a Thanksgiving tradition around here by now.

In any case, enjoy the cranberry sauce and stuffing, kids.

Also -- Matthew Fisher is god.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

From the Land Down Under

A new song -- "Good Advices" -- by You Am I. Who in case you didn't know are quite literally considered gods in their Australian homeland.

I've been a fan of these guys since I first heard "Mr. Milk"...

...blasting from behind the counter at NYCD, the world's greatest record store, courtesy of friend of PowerPop Sal Nunziato, who now does business over at Burning Wood.

In any event, this new You Am I album was actually recorded in Bushwick, which for some reason tickles my fancy. And if it's as good as "Good Advices" it should be a hot one.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hey -- These Guys Are Good!!!

Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson, the late Allen Toussaint and the later Levon Helm have some live fun with Toussaint's "A Certain Girl."

As reader Matt Mitchell, who passed this along to me, said in his e-mail:
Great version, even with botched vocal by Elvis. Great RT solo.
Of course Toussaint is without peer.

I think that pretty much sums it up.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Last Time I Saw Paris

Caught the incomparable Willie Nile (and band) at the Highline Ballroom in NYC last Friday night.

Apart from the best live version of "Sweet Jane" ever heard by sentient mammalian ears, the high point of the show (for me, anyway) was, alas, a newly relevant rendition of "Holy War," from the great 2013 album American Ride.


Sending this out as a prayer for humanity. God Bless France.

Posted by Willie Nile on Saturday, November 14, 2015

I shot some video at the show on Friday, but it didn't turn out to be watchable -- the live version of "Holy War" above, done under more professional conditions, makes the point, however.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi -- You're My Only Hope

Paul "The Shrill One" Krugman, in the NY Times today:

Erick Erickson, the editor in chief of the website, is a serious power in right-wing circles. Speechifying at RedState’s annual gathering is a rite of passage for aspiring Republican politicians, and Mr. Erickson made headlines this year when he disinvited Donald Trump from the festivities.

So it’s worth paying attention to what Mr. Erickson says. And as you might guess, he doesn’t think highly of President Obama’s antiterrorism policies.

Still, his response to the attack in Paris was a bit startling. The French themselves are making a point of staying calm, indeed of going out to cafes to show that they refuse to be intimidated. But Mr. Erickson declared on his website that he won’t be going to see the new “Star Wars” movie on opening day, because “there are no metal detectors at American theaters.”

It’s a bizarre reaction — but when you think about it, it’s part of a larger pattern. These days, panic attacks after something bad happens are the rule rather than the exception, at least on one side of the political divide.

Consider first the reaction to the Paris attacks. Lightsabers aside, are Mr. Erickson’s fears any sillier than those of the dozens of governors — almost all Republicans — who want to ban Syrian refugees from their states?

You know, I'm getting really fucking tired of pant-wetting right-wing cowardly assholes and the Democratic jerkoffs who enable them. Just saying.

By the way, that version of the Star Wars theme -- done a la The Ventures, the way it was always meant to be done -- is from the great What Really Happened to the Band of '59 album by Big Daddy.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Closed for Monkey Business

Regular posting, including a killer new tune by an artist previously unknown to me, resumes tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Steve Deaton is Not Fucking Around

From their eponymous and just-released (yesterday, in fact) album, please enjoy Mississipi's finest, The Steve Deaton Three, and the killer lead-off track "Duke of High School."

What a great song -- wonderful harmonies, a witty lyric about a guy everybody knows, big ringing guitars and a cowbell (heh) on the solo. This should be blasting out of every car radio in America, frankly, and the rest of the album (which is one of ny top five faves for the year) is just as terrific, including an obviously heartfelt ode to the former frontman of The McCoys (from whence I cribbed the title of today's post) and a blistering cover of Steve's cousin Jumpin Gene Simmons' "Peroxide Blonde."

You can -- and very definitely should -- order the album (in physical or download forms) from any of the fine musical delivery systems listed below.

Apple Music:
Amazon MP3:

You're welcome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

P.F. Sloan 1945 -- 2015

If he had done nothing more than co-write this gorgeous folk-rock anthem, he would deserve to be immortal.

And don't even get me started about "Secret Agent Man."