Neko Case: "All Songs Considered" Live Set, Washington D.C.'s 9.30 Club, As Originally Webcast On The National Public Radio (npr.org), April 9, 2006

Well, it appears I am having a Neko Case moment this week...here's an April '06 live set played for "All Songs Considered", the National Public Radio's on-line music program. The full set, plus a Martha Wainwright set, is available for download (as one file) here. If you're like me, you'll prefer individual mp3 files of the songs, which I have provided below. Enjoy.

A Widow's Toast
If You Knew
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Set Out Running
Outro With Bees
Star Witness (With Martha Wainwright)
Dirty Knife
I Wish I Was the Moon
The Tigers Have Spoken
Maybe Sparrow
Margaret Vs. Pauline
Buckets of Rain (Bob Dylan Cover)
Deep Red Bells
That Teenage Feeling
Furnace Room Lullaby
Hold On, Hold On
Wayfaring Stranger
Look For Me (I'll Be Around)
John Saw That Number
Outro/Knock Loud

Of Miles Davis And The Vacuous Experience of Best Of Compilations

Some musicians should never be experienced through a "Best Of" compilation. Chief on my list: Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Woody Guthrie, Michael Jackson, and of course Miles Davis. Never. I can give you many reasons for this but it's too early in the morning to engage myself in a bout of intellectual hubris. Besides, I have got to get on my paper about the impact of commericialization pressures on translational research. However, the main reason for this is that only few artists have perfected the album delivery. Putting aside the existence of concept albums and its recent resurgence in the fight against filesharing, only very few artists (in my view) have the power to hold you spellbound on a release, from opening to closing note (this is not to say that every concept album is worth the listen from start to finish). For this few, each realease is an experience you either love or hate, but demands that you follow its trajectory of thought, storyline, beat, and lyricism. This is probably the reason why many fans never agree on the worthiness or unworthiness of songs that make it into a "Best Of" compilation.

The "Best Of" phenomenum is very common with musicians of yore, the same ones who brought us music through vinyl records and cassettes, those formats which made skipping songs less attractive. One could argue that part of the artistry of making music at that time was to convey a body of sound and thought that was best experienced from start to finish. One could also argue that I am on a vain rant here. However, now that the digital age is upon us, many label execs find that the best way to cash in on established artists is through the vehicle of the "Best Of" or even lamer "Singles" compilations. For moi, I favor "reissues" and the "remasterings". Now, that is how to use technology right, by bringing us the same sounds as originally released. Now folks, I have to end this here, cos I don't know if there's any harmony to my thought processes anymore. Maybe I am just reissuing my usual jive talk.

Lest I forget, this was also supposed to be about Miles Davis. Well, the story goes like this. I only just began to properly experience MD recently, when I decided that for the profound effect this prolific musician has had on jazz (I was also prompted by a colleague), my wife's "Best Of" collection just won't cut it. So to begin, I got myself Kind of Blue, Bitches Brew, and Sketches of Spain. Doing this led to this post.


Neko Case, CBC Studio 2 Session, Vancouver, 4 Nov. 2002

When Neko Case sings, she sings. She channels tremendous energy to her haunting voice - soulful, evocative, a wellspring of raspiness and clarity that draws you in, holds you there, and lets you down gently. These qualities you'll find on this amazing 3-song set she played for a CBC radio session in 2002.
Flaming Sword
Outro With Bees

Sufjan: Final Installment

More Sufjan Outtakes, Non-Album Tracks, Rarities

Part II

What Goes On (Beatles cover, from This Bird Has Flown: A 40th Anniversary Tribute to The Beatles’ Rubber Soul)
Women At The Well (from 8.21, a blue bunny compilation)
Zombies Walk!! (Sufjan Stevens + Kanye West mashup, not sure who did this but a supremely bad idea)
The First Full Moon (from the To Spirit Back The Mews compilation)
Damascus (from the Seen/Unseen compilation)

Sufjan Stevens - Outtakes, Non-Album Tracks, Rarities

To keep us primed for the upcoming for The Avalanche, throughout the day I'll be posting songs from my collection of Sufjan outtakes, non-album tracks and rarities. These songs will convince you of the massive talent that Sufjan has, and keep us all confident that he will complete the 50 states project, maybe even do Canada. Here's part 1, and stay tuned.

Borderline (B-side from The Dress Looks Nice On You 7")
She Is (Cover of Tim Buckley's "She Is" is included on the album Dream Brother: The Songs of Tim & Jeff Buckley)
The Lord God Bird (song written for the National Public Radio (NPR), celebrating the story of the ivory-billed woodpecker of the great Southern swamp forest, last undisputedly sighted in 1944, now rediscovered near Brinkley, Arkansas)
The Lord God Bird (Story, accompanied by the Sufjan song, as told by Brinkley folks, produced by independent radio producers Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister)
Variation on Commemorative Transfiguration and Communion at Magruder Park (from I Am The Resurrection – A Tribute to John Fahey).

Another Beatles EP

My fav of the Parlophone/EMI EP Collection.

Nowhere Man
Drive My Car
You Won't See Me

Buy the box set here.


Paging the Blogosphere: Daylight's For The Birds

By way of email earlier today, this:

"hey there,
we just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that we have three new
MP3s overflowing with swirly shoegaze goodness to download from
our myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/daylightsforthebirds, or
at www.daylightsforthebirds.com.
they are unmastered tracks but we were so excited about them we couldn't
wait to share! we'd love to hear any thoughts or comments! we're working on
releasing an album this fall. we're also playing a show at Tonic on April 18.

So I checked them out. First off, this 4-piece NY band features vocals from
Amanda Garett who reminds me a great deal of Dolores O'Riordan. All I know
about the other band members for now is that they are called Jay, Phillip
and Brad.
Now to the music: Shoegaze sensibilities, check. Dreamy vocals, check.
Tight rhythm section, check.
Perfect single for the upcoming release ("To No One"), check.

Hear, and send on to your friends. If you're in NY, go see their show.

To No One (recommended)
For Now
Worlds Away

Cover Of The Day: Oasis Do Bowie

Okay, so I lied about doing no more song+covers. But I could not resist this one. Heroes, the title track of the 1997 Bowie release Heroes, is arguably, one of his best known and most liked songs. In a case of bloody brilliance, Oasis' cover of the song appeared in the single D'You Know What I Mean in 1997. Listen in.

Heroes (Bowie)
Heroes (Oasis)


My Contribution To The "Bloggers Unite For Sufjan" Movement: A Tale Of Bliss And The Attempts Of A Banal Elder To Capture Death In A Timely Manner

Sufjan live at the Triple Door, Seattle, Washington on July 23, 2005, as broadcast on KEXP-FM.

Casimir Pulaski Day
The Tallest Man, The Broadest Shoulders
Prairie Fire That Wanders About
The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us!
The Man Of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
John Wayne Gacy, Jr.

For those of you who wonder about the title of this post, that is just my attempt at a Sufjan-style title. All rights reserved. It's things like this that made that angry visitor leave the following comment for me on this 'ere blog.
"I hate your blog, your writing sucks"
That guy has all the issues, not me. I'm just trying to be a better person.

If you don't own any Sufjan, then proceed here to buy at least 2 albums. Or get it with 50 FREE Downloads from eMusic.

Seacrest out (somehow he stopped saying that-imagine all the tvs that got punched in because of that miserable line).

Sleater-Kinney: Live At The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC, February 26, 2005

Super-freaking-terrific punk rockers breached the ruckus at the Commodore last year. Experience this.

Play the show in full here OR play individual songs below.

Get Up
Modern Girl
Steep Air
Let's Call It Love/Nightlight
One More Hour
You're No Rock And Roll Fun

Get The Woods.

Cover Of The Day: Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Johnny Cash

Dubious post title this is, since I have no plan to post another original song+cover tomorrow. Anyway, what follows is the beautiful, classic, dark and brooding "I See A Darkness" as written and sung originally by the great Bonnie "Prince" Billy a.k.a. Will Oldham, and a cover by the equally great Johnny Cash. The original appeared in I See A Darkness (1999), the brilliant epochal highlight of BPB's career, and the cover on Johnny Cash's American III: Solitary Man (2000).

I See A Darkness (original)
I See A Darkness (cover)

To check out which of your fav songs have been covered and by who, visit SecondHandSongs.com.

Buy I See A Darkness
Buy American III: Solitary Man


Still On The Prog-Rock Theme: Pink Floyd, Live Bootleg Of The Dark Side Of The Moon As Performed At The Rainbow Theatre, London, UK, Feb 20, 1972

The 1972 Rainbow Concert that preceded the momentous The Dark Side Of The Moon. The set featured the first public performance of the songs that later appeared on the Dark Side album. Bootlegs of the show sold an estimated 120,000 copies in the black market and helped fuel anticipation for the release of the legendary album. Alan Parsons engineered the album. But lest I digress, here's the live set.

Speak to me (incomplete, original song lenght is 1 min, but only 8 seconds recorded)
Travel Sequence (appeared on Dark Side as On The Run)
Home again (Breathe reprise)
Religious Theme (The Great Gig In The Sky replaced this sequence)
Us & Them
Dave's Scat Section (early version of Any Colour You Like)
The Lunatic Song (early version of Brain Damage)
Eclipse (incomplete)

On Blogging, Reading Blogs and Commenting on Them

Last night, another fancy comment on my blog. Reads thus:

"Get a life!"

The venom. The spite. The things that make this fellow, conveniently called anonymous, tick.

Now, let's examine this a little bit further. In his/her mind, I am probably this geek, confined to my thick big round glasses and computer chair, refusing sustenance, nursing my acne, the perfect stereotypical kid he/she used to bully in pre-school now grown up. And of course this hateful geek has nothing better to do on a Saturday night than to sit down at the said computer chair, listening to a Neko Case live set, and sharing it with the world. All after writing a really long post on Miles Davis and the non-neccesity of "Best of" compilations. Mr. or Ms. Anonymous wonders why anyone would spend his evening in these circumstances, exploring the things that make him happy, and then choosing to share them with the world. And finally, out of disgust for this blogger and his kind, and because he/she cannot throw actual punches electronically, he/she punches out "Get a life!" on his/her keyboard. Then he/she hits "Next Blog" and goes on to avail the next poor sod of his/her ill-tempered wisdom.

To Mr. or Ms. Anonymous, a few questions:

1) If blogging was not having a life, why are you reading them?
2) What is your life really like? Please leave a comment addressing that. It is okay if you just leave a plain "Fuck You" comment in your usual brief, felicitous style. I usually remove them anyway because of my respectful peace-loving readers and because I can.
2) Are the nightclubs in your area closed on the eve of Easter? Or perhaps you just decided to insult a blogger before leaving for your raunchy night at that swank "members only" club?

I leave the questions for you to answer. Here's a tune to help get your weak brain into gear.

I Know There's An Answer Sonic Youth

Alan Parsons Reissues A Valid Path

Immergent Records has just released a CD/DVD reissue of A Valid Path, the solid 2004 dance / electronic record by British prog-rock veteran, founding member of groundbreaking The Alan Parsons Project, and super-talented recording engineer, Alan Parsons. Laden with processed harmonies and looping dance beats, A Valid Path features guest contributions from David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Mexican electronic powerhouse The Nortec Collective, and dialogues rendered by John Cleese of Monty Python fame . Reissue details are as follows:

Release date: 04/04/06
Complete album in stereo
Entire album recorded in 5.1 surround sound
Track Commentary
Video Interviews with Alan Parsons, David Gilmour, Crystal Method, Nortec Collective, Uberzone and PJ Olsson
Complete Alan Parsons discography
Website links
DVDLauncher feature
Easter Eggs- “Turn it Up” video, “The Time Machine” video

Now kids, that's a reissue!

Here's some songs from the 2004 release:
Return to Tunguska (feat. Shpongle & David Gilmour)
More Lost Without You (feat P.J. Olsson)
Mammagamma '04 (feat. Jeremy Parsons)
Recurring Dream Within A Dream (feat. Jeremy Parsons)

And some classics from the Alan Parsons Project:
Eye in the Sky
I Robot
I Wouldn't Want To Be Like You
What Goes Up
The Eagle Will Rise Again

Get the original for free with 50 FREE Downloads from eMusic. Immergent Records has info on the reissue but no info on where to order from. I guess you have to mock around the www yourself to find it.


Of The Elected, Stolen Limelights, and How I Came Undone During the Metric Encore

Big surprise at the Shaw gig last week - LA's The Elected headlined the Metric show. Like most of you who frequent the metacritics and the pitchforkers, I had completely ignored their new Sun, Sun, Sun LP because of the weak reviews. So imagine my befuddlement (as I sat in the drunkards zone sipping a Molson and contemplating the parallels between a dog collar and the drinker's band taped on my hand) when the elected ones came on and proceeded to fill the room with throwback to the 80s pop harmonies. By the time they got to Not Going Home (beautifully rendered by Nate Greely (of LA indie band Arlo?)), they had me in tears.

I have atoned for my errors - I now have the new Elected record. Do yourself a favor and get it. Then go see them live, in your town or wherever you fancy. Sing along. Dance. Cry. Hug someone. Life is short.

Btw, Metric rocked, but frankly, the audience and adoring fans did not have to be put through that godawful encore. 10 minutes of senseless guitar strumming and an uppity Emily Haines asking "what do we do now?" "what do I sing?" or some shit like that. I almost slit my wrist. Next time Emily, sing anything, Bohemian Rhapsody or Oh! Canada will do. Damn.

Not Sure About the New Built to Spill

From what I have sampled so far, I can predict the new Built to Spill album, You In Reverse will not move many mountains. For an album that took this long coming, it sounds very hurried. Already garnering critical acclaim and "wtf" in equal measure, this may well be a case of okay, that's fine, let's move on, nothing to see here. However, I recommend Liar, my current fav song, that is, until tomorrow when I get meself the album.

The Lovely Neko Case Speaks Up

Pitchfork has an interview with the lovely Ms. Case...a recommended read.

Here's some tunes to enjoy while perusing.

Star Witness
Hold On, Hold On
That Teenage Feeling

Buy Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

The Tigers Have Spoken
Soulful Shade of Blue

Buy The Tigers Have Spoken.


Arctic Monkeys: Great In Small Doses

Make no mistake about it-the Arctic Monkeys deserve all the hype. The Sheffield boys seem to have a endless shitload of very impressive B-sides and non-LP material which appear on the EPs and Singles released so far. On When The Sun Goes Down, the second single from WPSI'mN,TWI'm released on cd and 7", the Monkeys continue their fabulous run with three new stompers including the delightful disco-reggae tinged Settle For A Draw.

Get some Monkeys with 50 FREE Downloads from eMusic.

The Second Coming Of The Dresden Dolls

"Brechtian Punk Cabaret" duo, Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione return April 18 with Yes Virginia, a strappy rocker laced with the usual scattered pop hooks, theatrics and intelligent melodrama. Don't ask me how I know this.

Listen to a full stream of the album with your amazon preorder.

Go here to listen to this really cool Dresden Dolls "sing and talk" session with Christopher Lydon of the amazing Radio Open Source podcast.

Finally, milk a cow.

Broken Social Scene: EP To Be You And Me

With the buzz that followed the release in '05 (UK/Australia '04) of the impressive eponymous album, many of us overlooked the accompanying bonus EP. Titled "EP To Be You And Me" and distributed via the limited edition LP, the EP features six new songs and a fast version of Major Label Debut.

Get BSS with 50 FREE Downloads from eMusic or Click here to get a 7-day FREE trial of Napster.