weekly playlist #6.


here it is, a week late, the 6th installment of my weekly playlists. i think the average blog reader will like roughly 10 out of the 20 songs. 50% is pretty damn good. the music player is at the bottom of the page. this one is kinda country centric, and here’s why…not last weekend, but the weekend before, maddy stayed in los angeles with her auntie deb while brooke and i headed to the palm springs area for a short getaway before my life gets turned upside down by the release of my book. anyway, we did a little hiking in joshua tree, and a lot of driving. here are some songs that we listened to, along with a little writing by me. oh. and some tiny photos i took during the trip.

01. “woman, when i’ve raised hell” by josh t. pearson – from the album, “last of the country gentlemen – i’ve listened to this record several time over the past week and can’t get it out of my head. then i read this review and it all made sense.


02. “before the flood” by swearing at motorists – from the album, postcards from a drinking town” – was surprised by the release of this digital-only release by one of my favorite bands. it’s a collection of tracks found on 7″ records and other hard to find albums, and this one is my favorite of the bunch.


03. “adoration” by glen campbell – from the album, “the capitol years 65/77 – a lot of really awful country music was made in the 70s. actually, not just country music. anyway, a lot of people will tell you that glen campbell was at the forefront of that shitty period of music. but i can’t help but think they’re deaf. i mean, just listen to this song. it starts off with the kind of suck you’d expect from the era, but then about 1:06 into the song, it becomes so damn intense you’ll find yourself crying for no apparent reason. that is, if you have a heart.


04. “bottles & bones (shade & sympathy)” by califone – from the album, roomsound – an old favorite of mine, that seems to get a lot of plays when i’m driving through the desert, which is exactly what i found myself doing this past weekend.

joshua tree sign.

05. “for an hour with you” by j. tillman – from the album, minor works – it may not seem to be nearly as intense as that josh t. pearson song above, but it is. minor works is without a doubt the best record i’ve bought in the past three years (and i’ve bought a shit ton of records in that time). every song carries with it the emotional weight of something really, really painful. i don’t know what it is for mr. tillman, but i can tell you that this record came to me a time when i needed to feel something other than my pain, and to have his to walk me through mine, well, nothing could have been me more valuable.


06. “hot burrito #1″ by the flying burrito brothers – from the album, hot burritos! anthology 1969-1972 – this is the worst song title by the band with the worst name off of the record with the worst title. yet somehow it’s an awesome song. every time i make my way to joshua tree, it pisses me off that most of the world associates the place with u2 instead of gram parsons (the guys singing this song). read about his death and you will never again have to think about u2 when you hear someone mention joshua tree. you can thank me next time we meet.


07. “wipe the clock” by uncle tupelo – from the album, march 16-20, 1992 – i spent the last of my high school years listening to these guys, and this song as always stuck with me as one of the best. and saddest.


08. “mykonos” by fleet foxes – from the ep, sun giant – you’ll hear this and be like, i swear my dad used to listen to this song when he picked me up from school back in the 70s. you’d be wrong. this song came out in 2008. but someday, i hope maddy will hear it and remember when i used to play it for her in the car on the way back from her daycare.


09. “death of an heir of sorrows” by silver jews – from the album, bright flight – my love of this band has been well documented, and this is one of my favorite songs. in my wildest dreams i couldn’t write something 1/8 as beautiful as the worst thing he has ever written. not that he’s ever written anything bad. i just mean that if he wrote a letter to the fedex delivery person telling him/her to leave the package on his doorstep, it would still be more beautiful and more poetic than anything i could dream of doing myself.


10. “you are not needed now” by townes van zandt – from the album, high, low and in between – this guy wrote a lot of songs you know, but you don’t know he wrote them. i love this one.


11. “he lays in the reins” by iron & wine with calexico – from the album, in the reins – for some reason i’d never been a big fan of calexico (the band, not the city, but come to think of it i’ve never been to the city so maybe i wouldn’t like that either), but for some reason pairing them up with iron & wine back in 2005 made me change my mind. when i lived in india in 2006 i used to go to this british pub just off of mahatma gandhi road (a place called, the tavern), and as soon as the dj saw me in the crowd, he’d point to me. that meant that the next song he’d be playing would be for me, and that it would be an iron & wine song. now, the job of a dj is to make the crowd happy, and he always had the crowd going with ac/dc, metallica and other shit i didn’t like, but i thought he was the best dj in the world because each and every time he played this song for me he risked alienating the other patrons. and their scorn meant that they would be buying beer for him. but he did it every single time. i appreciated the risks he took for me and always made sure he had a beer in his hand. wait a second. was he only playing this song for me because he knew i’d buy him beer? fuck. i bet that’s what was going on.


12. “always on my mind” by ryan adams & the cardinals from the album, jacksonville city nights [vinyl] – this song was included on the vinyl version of the record when it came out, and of course it’s was made famous by willie nelson. i’m a sucker for a great cover song, and this one is nothing if not that. i know this is sacrilege, but it’s better than the original.

cactus flower.

13. “how can i send tonight (there to tell you)” by the original harmony ridge creek dippers – from the album, december’s child – the two primary members of this band lived in joshua tree for awhile. they seemed like the perfect couple and i imagined them living in the desert together forever. sadly, their relationship ended as a result of a divorce in 2006. their demise first was one of my first clues that nothing lasts forever.


14. “sure as shit” by kathleen edwards – from the album, asking for flowers a woman with a beautiful voice singing a song called, “sure as shit” – what’s not to love?


15. “love is not a game” by glen campbell – from the album, “the capitol years 65/77 – okay. you may have thought i was joking when i mentioned glen campbell above, but listen to this song and believe me when i tell that this is the greatest song of all time. i mean, it’s 2 minutes and 14 seconds of pop perfection. his voice is about as gentle as a man’s voice should be. listen to those strings. they will sweep you away. the song. it’s a song about love. it’s a song about lost love. it’s the song every single person wishes they could write after a break up. in fact, people break up hoping to write songs just like this. and guess what? every single one of those songs sucks because it’s compared to “love is not a game.”


16. “talk on drinking still mash” by hamper mcbee – fromt he album, good old-fashioned way – drag city has been rereleasing these really rad obscure country albums by people you’ve never heard of. one of them is a record by a guy named hamper mcbee. the songs are great, but the short snippets of conversation on the record are the real treasure. i’ve never met a guy like hamper mcbee, and i’m kinda glad i haven’t because i’m not nearly man enough to hang out with a dude like this.


17. “shoulders” by larry jon wilson – from the album, larry jon wilson – another one of those drag city releases. this song sounds so damn sad. like, i wonder what the hell happened to this guy for him to write a something like this? a break up…yeah. that what all these country singers sing about. women and booze. but this one sounds so damn personal. i don’t think it’s the words so much as the way he sings them.


18. “pissing in the wind” by papa m – from the album, papa m sings this song always reminds me of my grandpa. he used to had this sign hanging up in his workshop that said, “never whittle toward yourself or piss into the wind.” words to live be, i always thought.


19. “poor fools” by the lonely wild – from the ep, dead end – this was on a wall at origami vinyl in echo park when i last stopped in. the very lightly sepia-toned cover image of a couples of horse out to pasture sold me for some reason and i bought it. this song came on while brooke was napping in the passenger seat of the car while i drove out of joshua tree and toward the salton sea. when it got really loud i was worried that it was going to wake her up. instead of turning it down, i grabbed the ipod to see who the artist was, just so i would know which band to blame if she suddenly woke up and yelled at me for having the music on too loud. with about 52 seconds left in the song, it suddenly sounds like every western song you’ve ever imagined, and that’s not a bad thing.


20. “the cold hard truth” by george jones – from the album, the cold hard truth – back in college my friends and i used to watch cmt all day just to see the video for this song. george jones is a goddamned legend, yes, but damn it if the video for this song isn’t one of the cheesiest fucking things of all time. we loved to make fun of the video so much, i actually went out and bought the album so i could randomly insert this song into mix cd of songs that are actually good, just to piss people off. and now i’ve just done it to you.


weekly playlist #5.


it’s a day late (what can i say, i was traveling) and time for the fifth installment of my weekly playslist. this time around, i bet the majority of the people who actually listen to the playlist will like about 9 out of the 20 songs. that’s 45%, and 15% less than last week. as always, leave a comment telling me what you like/don’t like, or what you’re listening to. you’ll find the playlist widget at the bottom of the post, just before the comments section. also as always, if you like the tracks, i encourage you to support the artist and buy the music via your favorite method (because musicians need money to buy new equipment and stuff).

(if you want a small understanding of how this playlist creation process goes, this music post is for you. quick explanation…i have a song or album or band that i can associate with almost everything i remember or experience. as i sat down to write this post, i plugged my ipod into my computer and sorted by “last played” in itunes to recall what i’d been listening to that day, and to try to make sense of how i settled on each song).

you’ll find weekly playlist #5 after the jump…

maddy and i were in puerto vallarta last week…i was doing my best to distract myself from the memories of the worst day of my life and to outlast march 25th (i won). as maddy napped, i sat in a chair under a palapa trying to keep a few inches ahead of the encroaching sun. i had a book in my hands. as i read, i decided to listen to some music.

01. “ascension -(edition i)” by john coltrane from the album, the major works of john coltrane – i love this song. it is one of the most incredible examples of free jazz that has, or will ever be produced. and if you think it’s not “music” well, then you should hear the next song i listened to…

02. “ascension, part 1″ by rova orkestrova – from the album ascension – the same song above, reproduced in 13 parts. it proves that structure can be found in things that seem structureless. like that book i was reading. one sentence. spread over 517 pages. seemingly impossible to read when described. in actuality it propels the reader forward with an almost stream of consciousness feel. i got to a part in the book that mentioned the city of thebes, which sent me to…

03. “thebes” by om – from the album, god is good – this is not what i typically listen to (it’s sort of a very, very serious album that sounds a little like what spinal tap was making fun of with their stonehenge bit), but this song popped into my head when i read the word “thebes” in the book. before the song ended, the band’s name helped me decide that the next song i’d listen to would be…

04. “om” by john coltrane from the album, major works of john coltrane – a stream of unconsciousness. an incantation. a prayer. all followed by an seemingly unstructured burst of screaming horns, and propulsive drums. but once again, there is structure where you least expect it. as i listened to this song, i got to thinking about the fact that i like the other song on this album so much more. that song? “ascension.” then i remembered the song…

05. “the ascension” by glenn branca – from the album, the ascension – i hadn’t heard this song in years, but i suddenly had to hear it. and after a bunch of instrumentals, i decided i wanted to hear something else. which brought me to the other song that came to mind when i thought of the word ascension…

06. “ascension (don’t ever wonder)” by maxwell from the album, maxwell’s urban hang suite – this song brought me back to the time i lent this record to a friend of mine in college to help him fulfill his stated goal of sleeping with the most recent girl for whom he’d fallen. a couple of days later, i got the record back with a post-it note inside. the message? “maxwell is a GOD!” (yes, that means he fulfilled his goal, and this record helped facilitate it). which led me to the memory of singing the first few words of…

07. “dance of the seven veils” by liz phair – from the album, exile in guyville to my friend johnny k. (aka johnny utah, aka the roommate of the maxwell guy mentioned above, which explains how i got here). this song led me to the memory of loading up the jukebox of the biker/hipster bar in my college town with the rest of exile in guyville and knowing it was time to leave when…

08. “strange loop” by liz phair – from the album, exile in guyville finished playing. it was the last song on the album, and by the time it had finished we were sure we’d worn out our welcome in the bar. and that day on the beach, as i listened to this song i read a passage about paris, which reminded me of sitting in a hotel room with maddy and brooke, listening to…

09. “sheep” by gonjasufi – from the album, a sufi and a killer – more than any other, this song reminds me of where i was and what i was doing in paris one year ago to the day i was on the beach. thoughts of paris led me to…

10. “paris is burning” by st. vincent – from the album, marry me and then on to…

11. “paris train” by beth orton – from the album, daybreaker. i like this song a lot, but about a quarter of the way through it i decided i wanted to hear a different song by her…

12. “conceived” by beth orton – from the album, comfort of strangers – i love this song like few others. i listened to it almost constantly during the first few weeks of a 6 month stay during my first trip to india in 2006. i have a ton of memories associated with that time, but at that moment on the beach, i thought about a song by the guy who produced this album…

13. “memory lame” by jim o’rourke – from the album, insignificance – one of the most evil, downright hateful songs you’ll ever hear, but only if you listen to the lyrics. one time liz said, “i really like this song” to which i replied, “have you been listening to the lyrics? it’s actually quite awful. i mean, i think it’s great, but he just said, “these things i say might seem to offend, but not half as much as i’d like to intend, ’cause listening to you reminds me of a motor’s endless drone and how the deaf are so damn lucky.”” she said, “yeah, it really is awful.” as the song was within about 20 seconds of ending, the author of the book i was reading mentioned tunisia, which made me think of the song…

14. “a night in tunisia” by dexter gordon – from the album, our man in paris – one of the most instantly recognizable jazz songs ever and it doesn’t suck at all. the title of the album brought me back to paris and for some reason reminded me of my hatred for jim morrison (who’s buried in paris) when suddenly i searched out the song…

15. “i’m jim morrison, i’m dead” by mogwai – from the album, the hawk is howling – yeah. this is exactly what i wanted to hear. the name of the book i was reading on the beach was called zone, and the author mentioned “the zone” which made me think of…

16. “interzone” by joy division – from the album, unknown pleasures – such a great song. but a short one, so i was soon in search of something else…

17. “quien?” by juana molina – from the album, segundo – she was the next artist on my ipod after joy division so i found my favorite song of hers and listened to it while i stared out at the ocean. the rest of the album played on while i napped in my chair. i woke up when the silence started and then went back to reading my book. i read in silence for awhile, until the author of the book mentioned drinking pear brandy which got me to thinking about the one and only time in my life i had ever had pear brandy. it was the second time i’d seen joe henry live, which made me want to hear one of his songs…

18. “richard pryor addresses a tearful nation” by joe henry – from the album, scar – in the summer of 2009 my literary agent invited me to see a show during the week i was in nyc trying to sell my book. not one to turn down live music, i said yes without hesitation. when the night of the concert arrived, she told me to meet her at some restaurant “and from there we’ll head over to the village vanguard to see allen toussaint.” i was pretty fucking excited. i mean, the chance to see a jazz legend at one of the greatest venues of all time? what luck…then she told me that we’d be dining with her friend joe and some of his friends. “fine,” i said, again, not one to turn down dinner with strangers. then she said, “they won’t be able to stay the entire time because they have to get back to the vanguard for soundcheck.” “oh. this should be interesting,” is what i thought. as we sat at our table, in walks her friend joe and some of his companions. joe, was joe henry (the guy singing this song, incase you forgot) i recognized him instantly. i’d been listening to him since i was in high school, and had been waiting to meet him for years after realizing it to be an actual possibility because he was the neighbor of one of my coworkers. anyway, he sat down at the table, and after a short time my agent told him a little bit about me. we had a nice conversation during which he seemed genuinely interested in hearing my story. i talked to one of his friends about music, not realizing at the time who he was…marc i think he said. after the guys quickly finished eating their meals, they said goodbye and headed to the venue. we weren’t far behind them and when we arrived we found the last couple of seats in the place, at the bar, about as far away from the stage as one could possibly get. well, i didn’t give a shit i was happy just to be in the place. when the bartender asked me what i wanted, i scanned the shelves behind the bar. pointing at a random bottle i said, “that.” without a word, he pulled the bottle from the bar and poured me a glass. pear brandy. i drank it as the band played. during the show, the guy who i sat next to at dinner was introduced along with the rest of the band…marc ribot. “damn,” i thought, “i have some of his records at home.” anyway, a few more pear brandies into the evening, the show was over and we were ready to leave. as we walked to the door, my agent stops to say hi to joe and joe says, “wait just a second…i want to introduce you to elvis.” now, there are only two, and one of them is dead. so elvis costello walks up. joe introduces him to my agent then turns to me and says, “matt, this is elvis. elvis, this is matt. he’s going to be writing a book.” one of the highlights of my life. now, i never, ever imagined a night like this could happen to me. and you might think i imagined all of this after a few too many pear brandies, but i swear to you that everything i just wrote is true (besides, i couldn’t make up something that awesome). oh. the joe henry song on the playlist was not played that night, but a guy named ornette coleman plays the sax on the song and so i suddenly wanted to hear…

19. “the good old days” by ornette coleman – from the album, “the empty foxhole” – this man is a national treasure. and this song is incredible. i know many of you hate jazz, but if you just spent a few minutes of your life listening to this song, you’d probably be a lot happier. and finally…

20. “ole man trouble” by otis reading – from the album, otis blue/otis redding sings soul – after that ornette coleman aond, i just wanted to hear something different. the next artist on my ipod was otis redding, so i went straight to my favorite of his songs.

(i listened to several more songs that day on the beach as i finished up that book and started another one, but i’m keeping these playlists to 20 tracks a week so i’m stopping here).

weekly playlist #3.


put on your headphones, it’s monday and time for another weekly playlist. this time around, i bet the majority of you, my blog readers, will like roughly 10 songs on this playlist. that’s 50% and that’s not too bad. as always, leave a comment telling me what you’re listening to. you’ll find the playlist widget at the bottom of the post, just before the comments section. also as always, if you like the tracks, i encourage you to support the artist and buy the music via your favorite method.

you’ll find weekly playlist #3 after the jump…

01. “chinatown” by destroyer – from the album kaputt this one starts off like a james taylor song from the 80s (compliment) and only gets better from there. los angeles has about the worst chinatown in the world, but there’s this rad restaurant/bar called hop louie where i’ve hung out with my friends several times. i remember once watching the mlb playoffs in this place while johnny cash played on the jukebox. i think it was the year the red sox won their first world series in like, forever.

02. “the ghost” by alpine decline – from the album, alpine decline – i know nothing about this band, and i have no clue why i bought the record (probably on an endcap at amoeba or something). anyway, this song started playing the other day. i was in kitchen making frosting for some cupcakes that brooke was building and i was like, “can you keep an eye on the mixer for a second? i need to figure out what this song is.” i like songs about ghosts. and this one is really great.

03. “life of love” by callers – from the album, life of love – let’s slow things down a bit here…you will love this woman’s voice. it’s one of those voices that sounds so lovely that you don’t give a shit what she’s singing about, which is good because i don’t understand a word of this song after the first line. i kinda want this lady sitting in my passenger seat at all times, just in case i ever get pulled over for speeding. i’d roll down the window, she’d start singing to the cop and the cop would be like, “now that’s a siren. on your way, sir.”

04. “bitter beauty” by jason collett from the album, pony tricks – i love when an artist reimagines their own work and somehow manages to make the subsequent attempt even better than the original. i suppose it’s a bit like continuously revising one’s writing, but it seems so rare with music (at least outside of the live setting). like this song. i really loved the first version of the song, but to hear the second one slowed down and all pretty like this? well, it warmed up the leftover indian food i’m eating for lunch (no microwave necessary).

05. “crash deconstructed” by eluvium – from the ep, the motion makes me last – do you like piano music? yeah. so do i. you can’t go wrong with this song.

06. “you girls smoke cigarettes?” by no joy – from the album, ghost blonde – the title reminds me of when i used to walk to school in junior high. i’d cut through a bunch of backyards to shave 5 minutes off my walk. well, there was a line of really tall arborvitae trees that could hide many secrets, and in between them was the place where most of the neighborhood kids smoked their first cigarette. well one day i was on my way to school and i saw this girl i had a major crush on, standing with the bad boys in the neighborhood, smoking away. i was scared that they were going to beat me up or something (when you’re a junior high kid, your peers seem rather menacing when they’re holding a cigarette), so i pretended that i suddenly remembered that i’d forgotten something. you know, like i put my index finger up in the air and had a look of surprise on my face that clearly indicated to them that i had a reason to turn around. so i ran back to the street and took the long way to school. i was late for class that day. oh. about the song. i bet molly would have loved a song like this back then. now she probably loves pop music.

07. “electroconvulsive shock” by peter broderick – from the album falling from trees – this song is much more pleasant than the title implies. i use this record to help visiting babies get to sleep. that’s not to imply that it’s boring or anything. it just means that it appeals to everyone.

08. “a leaving song” by broken records – from the album, let me come home – i think if these guys had their songs played on the radio, they’d be way famous. then the lead singer would end up marrying some actress with a name we all recognize, his songs would suffer and i’d be like, “i remember when that guy wrote great songs.” let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

09. soup by chicago odense ensemble – from the album, chicago odense ensemble – this group is made up of some of my all-time favorite modern jazz musicians. the cornet player, rob mazurek is one of the best horn blowers around (he’s also one hell of a visual artist) and jeff parker? he plays the guitar better than just about anyone. one time i did a phone interview with jeff for this music magazine and when i went back to transcribe the thing, the tape was blank. it was an awful moment. i had to call the editor and tell him what happened. he didn’t yell at me or even seem that pissed, but i’m sure he wanted me dead afterward. the magazine had previously published three record reviews i’d written, but after fucking up that interview, well, that was the end of my “writing career.” i wasn’t getting paid or anything, so i only felt bad that i’d wasted mr. parker’s time. it was a great interview though. deep, thought-provoking questions that i’m sure he’d never been asked before (that should be read with a sarcastic sneer).

10. “wake up your saints” by the national – from the album, “high violet (expanded edition) – you may have heard of this band. i wish i could sing like this guy. one time i went to see them at the troubadour here in los angeles with my friend, peter. they were opening for another band that we were both really into at the time. i had been listening the national for a few years and tried to convince peter to get there in time to see the opener (something he is loathe to do). somehow i got him there early and we took a seat at the bar (the backside so we could see the stage) and listened in amazement to how awesome these guys were live. we had a fair number of beers in us when the band we were there to see actually arrived on stage. they weren’t even half way through their set when we got up and left. that band? we don’t even listen to them anymore. but the national…a favorite for both peter and me.

11. “bad time” by the jayhawks – from the album, tomorrow the green grass (legacy edition) – a cover of a grand funk railroad song. i used to love the jayhawks back in high school. my friend, rachel got me into them during a party at her house. she was like, “these guys are from minneapolis. you will love them.” she was right. i will forever be indebted to her for that. this record just got expanded and rereleased in the early part of 2011, which is why it’s back on my radar. it should be on yours, too.

12. “commercial potential” by phil manley – from the album, life coach – this guy’s in a band called trans am. this song is way different than most of his stuff with that other band. but listen to that guitar work and you’ll swoon.

13. “all i want” by lcd soundsystem – from the album, this is happening – who knew james murphy had such a beautiful voice? i did. but i’d kinda forgotten until i heard this song when it came out last year. the ultimate hipster band, they’re set to end their run sometime this year. if i was a hipster i’d be like, “good” but i’m not, so when i heard the news i was like, “damn, that sucks.”

14. “truth” by balmorhea – from the album, all is wild, all is silent – lots of piano-driven music on this playlist. this song sounds so ominous. i think this should be playing over a video of a bunch of trees being clearcut or something. you would hear this and immediately give money to stop the destruction of those trees. and we’d have balmorhea to thank for that.

15. “chinatown” by wild nothing – from the album, gemini – i guess i should have a whole playlist for songs called chinatown. it got me wondering…how many songs in my library include the word, “chinatown” in the title? the answer to that question is 6. that sounds like a lot, but i currently have 56,402 songs in my itunes library, so 6 is almost insignificant. this song though, is far from insignificant.

16. “yesterdays tomorrows” by tindersticks – from the album, the hungry saw – a long time favorite of mine. i hadn’t listened to them in a few months, then on friday i was at this going away/st. patrick’s day party at a loft on skid row and i ran into my friend, joe. we got to talking about the time we saw tindersticks at the music box theater in hollywood, and how awesome the show was. and he was like, “do you remember that guy who was causing a scene?” and i was like, “yeah, but he was causing a scene because he took some drunk lady’s seat and she was pissed at him so they started screaming at each other and then one of her boobs came out of her shirt and they both got kicked out by security, only to be let back in, and fight some more. then the dude threatened to fight some guy by the bar and that was the end.” we just shook our heads. i mean, this band is so wonderful…the music they play has the kind of sophistication that was so lacking in those two morons. in fact, the band is so sophisticated that chairs were brought in and lined up on the ground level of the venue (a place that is usually an open area for people to stand/pogo/dance/nod their heads) joe and i both agreed that show was only slightly marred by the stupid behavior of the drunkards, and that it was still one of the best shows we’d ever seen.

17. “portland” by middle brother – from the album, middle brother – i got this record by accident (i ordered something else and the label accidentally shipped me this) and was pleasantly surprised when i heard this song, a cover of a b-side by the replacements. this version is pretty great, except middle brother missed the most important part of the song…the line, “portland, we’re sorry” that ends the song as it fades out.

18. “portland” by the replacements – from the album, nothing for all (disc 1) – so i had to include the original. apparently this song was an apology to the city of portland because of a particularly bad live show that the the notoriously drunk and belligerent replacements had performed in the city (so the story goes), so leaving out that last line is critical, no matter how beautiful you make the song sound. side note #1 – if those two drunkards from the tindersticks show had pulled that shit at a replacements show, no one would have cared because it would have been the tamest thing going on. side note #2 – the lead singer, paul westerberg, is one of brooke’s favorites.

19. “runner ups” by kurt vile – from the album, smoke ring for my halo – my friend, sara jensen lives on an island, makes pretty things and has had the strangest life of anyone i know. she also knows some stuff about music. she told me about this guy a couple of years ago. this song is off of his new album, and it’s really great. i love that the guitar dominates the song.

20. “infra 3″ by max richter – from the album, infra – one last piano song for you.

weekly playlist #2.


okay, so i got a couple of emails from people asking me not to hide the playlists, so i’ve acquiesced…they’ll show up on the main page and will be available in an rss feed. blog reader danielle alerted me to a site that will (legally) allow me to post the entire playlist. there are a few limitations to the service (like advertisements and the fact that the playlist will not retain the same play order during after the first play), but it’s better than nothing. you’ll find the playlist widget at the bottom of the post, just before the comments section (i also posted the playlist for the first week here). as always, if you like the tracks, i encourage you to support the artist and buy the music via your favorite method. and as i mentioned last week, i encourage you to discuss the songs that have been posted, and to let me know what you’re listening to in the comments section below or via email.

so…below is weekly playlist #2.

01. “crazy for you” by best coast – from the album, crazy for you – not the madonna song. this one is 1 minute & 50 seconds of pop perfection. there are soooo many bands out there right now trying to recreate the sounds of 60s girl groups (there are at least three others in this playlist alone), but no one does it like best coast. so good even your grandparents would love it. trust me.

02. “don’t cry” by deerhunter – from the album, halcyon digest – the perfect companion piece to the best coast song above. similar in sound and tone, but this is far slower than than “crazy for you.”

03. “there is a light that never goes out”” by the dum dum girls – from the ep, he gets me high – a cover of a song by the smiths. i’ve never heard the original. in fact, up until 2008 i had never heard a smiths song in my life, but one day the woman who cuts my hair was like, “you need to hear a smiths record” so she took me to amoeba and she bought me a copy of one of their greatest hits records (i think there are at least two). now i don’t hate the smiths, but they’re still not my favorite band, either. side note: the fixie-riding hipster kids in my neighborhood all look and dress like morrissey, which makes me want to dislike the smiths.

04. “light of the light”” by six organs of admittance – from the album, asleep on the floodplain – sort of a one-man-band kinda thing, this guy and some of his friends once soundtracked a novel. there was a vinyl version (now sold out) and a cd version (still available here) that came included with the book. the book, empty the sun by joseph mattson, happens to be about the best novel i’ve read in years. i often spend my days daydreaming that someday i will be cool enough to have a band soundtrack my book. oh. about the song. beautiful and soft guitar with hushed vocals. you’ll feel haunted. in a good way.

05. “little by little” by radiohead – from the album, king of limbs – i know, i know…another band you’ve never heard of. wait. you have heard of them? nevermind then. this song is from the new album. you might like it.

06. “my cloud” by gil scott-heron & jamie xx – from the album, we’re new here – okay. i usually hate remixes about as much as i hate nickleback, and a whole album of remixes is about as appealing to me as a thousand paper cuts, but i just couldn’t pass this one up. it’s basically gil scott-heron’s 2010 record, i’m new here remixed by the dude from the xx. the original version of my cloud was on the bonus disc that came with the vinyl version of i’m new here, and to be honest with you, the song didn’t make a big impression on my until i heard it remixed. the softness of the song is preserved and and enhanced by the pounding bass. i know that doesn’t seem possible, but it’s true. just listen to the song. it’s really good. oh. and if you have no idea who gil scott-heron is, then you should read this. now.

07. “tree by the river” by iron & wine – from the album, kiss each other clean – i’ve heard a lot of people bitching about the “strange new direction” iron & wine has taken with this new album. well. i guess you could say that if you’ve only heard sam beam’s first record, but if you’ve been paying attention, he’s been heading in this direction for awhile. really, the only reason anyone is complaining is because he jumped to a major label and provided at least one (maybe more?) songs for the twilight soundtrack. anyway. yes, it’s weird to hear flutes in his songs, but it’s weird to hear flutes in any song, so just be quiet and enjoy everything else. this song in particular is really wonderful. it sounds like what the 70s should have sounded like if the 70s had actually been awesome. if you insist on only supporting the old sam beam, go to daytrotter and download the same song (for free!) done in an acoustic fashion more suited to your old fashioned sensibilities. (btw, daydrotter is one of the greatest music sites out there).

08. “the heron and the fox” by little scream – from the album, the golden record – if you listened to this song through headphones on your ipod as you were walking down the street and suddenly turned to see who was following you (because you could just feel that you were being followed) you’d see song birds, squirrels, raccoons and other non-threatening woodland creatures smiling and walking instep behind you.

09. “cold canada” by the luyas – from the album, too beautiful to work – sometimes all it takes is a good album title for me to buy a record. i made a good decision this time.

10. “southern decline” by apex manor – from the album, the year of magical drinking – see above. it’s only march and this is the best album title of the year. no doubt about it.

11. “badaboom” by tapes n tapes – from the album, outside – these guys were like, “not only do we not need a major label to release our music, we don’t even need a major indie label to release this shit. fuck it. we’re going to start our own record label and release it without anyone’s help.” they were that confident in it’s awesomeness. i sort of imagine them as the charlie sheen of indie rock (but i doubt they are because they’re from minneapolis and that automatically means they’re nice). but what band would put a song called, “outro” in the middle of a record? these guys, that’s who. so maybe they truly do think they’re the charlie sheen of the indie rock world. either way, you should hear this record.

12. “everybody’s sick” by puro instinct – from the album, “headbangers in ecstasy” – i hope that this is the kind of song that soundtracks madeline’s adolescence, but i kinda think it’ll be some shitty music i don’t like. why do children like to torture their parents?

13. “you’re going to cry” by la sera – from the album, la sera 320 – “matt…why are there so many songs about crying in this playlist?” well, there are only two, so that’s 10%, but come to think of it, 10% is an awful lot. but i bet you didn’t notice that 10% of the songs on this playlist also have the word, “light” in them, did you? anyway, this is a happy-sounding song about crying.

14. “what did he say” by nite jewel – from the album, good evening – nite jewel doesn’t give a damn about the 60s. she thinks that the 80s is the decade we should all be stuck in. i’m fine with that. plus i heard she lives in my neighborhood. she seems cool. i wonder if she wants to hang out with me?

15. “the righteous wrath of an honorable man” by colin stetson – from the album, new history warfare vol. 2 – and this is where i lose you. a guy blows a horn in a way you’ve never heard and you wonder whether or not i’ve lost my mind for including this song. the answer? no, i have not. love it or hate it, no one, and i mean no one else in the world can play music like this.

16. “uncut diamond” by warm ghost – from the ep, uncut diamond – this guy used to call himself paul duncan, but now he goes by warm ghost. warm ghost sounds almost nothing like paul duncan. paul duncan’s music was characterized by vocals surrounded by some lush atmospheric sounds. warm ghost’s music is characterized by not-as-lush atmospheric sounds completely enveloping the vocals. i’m not sure which i like better, but they’re both nice.

17. “i stole the lime” by andrew graham & swarming branch – from the album, andrew graham’s good word – the mexican summer record label releases consistently great records. i’ve bought a lot of them, and only one or two have totally sucked. they put this record out recently and i can’t stop listening to it. the guy singing sounds like he thinks he’s lou reed. to some that’s a sin, but i kinda like it. lou reed hasn’t done shit in a long while (except deny susan boyle the ability to sing one of his songs on tv) so it’s kinda nice to have someone else filling the void.

18. “electric eliminator” by beans – from the album, end it all his guys sings fast, but i caught something about dana plato and mark david chapman.

19. “seeing black” by lucinda williams – from the album, blessed – a song expressing her anger about her friend’s decision to commit suicide. her friend was a musician named vic chestnutt. he wrote great songs. i was sad when he died.

20. “mermaid” by okkervil river – from the ep, mermaid. thanks to the little mermaid, madeline is obsessed with mermaids. wait until i tell her i have a song called “mermaid” on my ipod. i imagine it will be the only thing we listen to for the next few months.

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