Regina Spektor: BBC Radio 3 Mixing It Session, 29 June 2006.

A few weeks ago I wrote with much love about Regina Spektor's new single "Fidelity". At that time, I had high hopes for the forthcoming Begin To Hope, and true to expectations, it was tight on delivery. So I am very much in a Specktorian mood these days, and I turned to her today to help me beat back the emotions from England losing to Portugal in the World Cup quarter finals. Bollocks.

Enjoy this recent BBC set.

On The Radio
Interview Pt1
Twenty Years of Snow
Interview Pt2
Field Below
Interview Pt3

If France loses today, I am chewing through a chicken bone.

Update: Brazil is gone! Brazil is gone!! Brazil is gone!!! Happiness becomes me.


Songs that MAKE the Movie

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This post is inspired from a suggestion I recevied in my last entry. As you may know, my last entry focused on movie songs from 80's flicks. This entry is a bit different, but follows a similar theme. The idea is still songs from movies, but this time its songs that cannot be separated in the mind from the movie itself. In other words, everytime I hear "Canned Heat" by Jamaraquoi, I'm gonna evision Napolean Dynamite gettin' down with his geeky self in front of the school, in his moon boots nontheless. Also, I featured songs that help greatly enhance the entire movie in mood, story, and character development. And I'm sorry, I know its cheesy of me to include "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel...but I will never get over that boombox scene in Say Anything. Never I tell you. Just look at John Cusack's eyes in that scene, pair it with the incredibly moving song, and how can your knees not turn to jello? Guys included on the jello thing too *wink*.

Canned Heat by Jamraquoi (Napolean Dynamite)
Featured in Napolean's famous dance scene where his moves win Pedro a spot as class president. Who knew his best "skill" was to move like Billie Jean era Michael Jackson?

Misrilou by Dick Dale and His Deltones (Pulp Fiction)
(Warning: an explicit soundbyte from the movie opens this track)
Love or hate Quentin Tarrentino, you have to admit he makes amazing soundtracks for his films. What a genius choice to open up Pulp Fiction with "Misirlou" by famous surf guitarist Dick Dale? There is no way you cannot associate this song with this film.

King Cry Baby by James Intveld (Cry Baby)
Was anyone as sad as me when they realized Johnny Depp DID NOT do the vocals in John Water's campy classic, Cry Baby? Oh well, who cares when the songs are so damn catchy, raunchy, and fun. Also, gotta love any movie that includes Iggy Pop in its cast.

I Would Walk (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers (Benny and Joon)
Obviously, I have a thing for Johnny Depp 'cause this is the second cut in a row I've included from one of his films. Anyway, this song opens up the film and sets up the quirky love story of Benny and Joon right off the bat. Of course their love would be represented by two goofy nerdy Scottish Brothers. I don't envision Benny or Joon getting lovey dovey eyed over a song by Celine Dion, do you?

I Want It Now/Oompa Loompa by Julie Dawn Cole (Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
I think Julie Dawn Cole's role as Veruca Salt should have been nominated for some kind of awesome villian award. I mean, don't get me wrong...Charlie Bucket is sweet and all, but for me Veruca Salt MADE the movie. Her bitchiness, and downright naughtiness were delightful to behold. Also, her song is probably the best cut from the movie.

Mein Herr by Liza Minelli (Caberet)
The obvious favorite from this movie, would be the title song "Caberet." But to me, no song better sums up the vagrant sexuality of Liza Minelli's tawdry Sally Bowles than the overtly sexual tune, "Mein Herr".

Canticle/Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkel (The Graduate)
Sure, I suppose I could have put up "Mrs. Robinson" as the song that defines this movie. But if you want my honest opinion, nothing is more poignant to me as an appreciator of cinema than the scene when Benjamin Braddick follows Elaine Robinson to her college...even though he knows he has next to no chance of winning her back. The song is just so gorgeous and sad that it will forever be linked to this movie in my mind.

Needle In the Hay by Elliott Smith (The Royal Tennenbaums)
Wes Anderson sure picked a prophetic choice when he underscored Richie's suicide scene with this song by the late great Elliott Smith. Only a few short months after this film was released, Elliott Smith took his own life by stabbing his heart with a knife.

Goodbye Horses by Q-Lazarus (Silence of the Lambs)
(Edit: I got the wrong information about the song. So when you download this, change the tag to Q Lazarus as the artist, not Psyche. Psyche COVERED this song after the movie came out. Q Lazarus released this in 1988)
Yes, Buffalo Bill is a psycho who takes overweight women and skins them to make himself a flesh suit. But did you know he also had excellent music taste? I don't think many of us can get that creepy scene out of our heads when he dances to this tune, while examining his um...manipluated man-parts in the mirror. I also decided to include this song because it is hard to find and is not featured on the movie's soundtrack.

The Crying Game by Boy George (The Crying Game)
The Crying Game is one of those movies I can't really discuss much because I don't want to give away any plot points to those who haven't seen it. Just let me say, its no coincidence that the soundtrack producers chose gender challenged Boy George to sing this tune.

Goin' Out West by Tom Waits (Fight Club)
This great tune, featured on Tom Wait's 1992 album Bone Machine, plays in Fight Club and really complements the rough and tumble attitudes of the two main characters (or should I say one main character?) Sadly, it is not featured on the movie's soundtrack, so I thought I should rectify the situation and put it on this mix for you all to enjoy.

Don't Let It Bring You Down by Annie Lennox (American Beauty)
I went to amazon.com to see about possibly buying this soundtrack for my own enjoyment because the movie featured such great songs by The Who, Elliott Smith, and I thought Annie Lennox. Too bad the soundtrack excludes many pivotal tracks, including Annie Lennox's Neil Young cover of "Don't Let It Bring You Down." I was appalled because that song comes at the climax of the movie when Kevin Spacey's character finally gets the chance to bed his daughter's friend played by Mena Suvari. So again, here you all go. Enjoy this haunting cover.

Moon River by Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast At Tiffany's)
While many famous people have gone on to cover this tune, I think Audrey's version from the film is the most moving. Who can forget the scene where we get to see Holly Golightly's vulnerable side as she sits on the fire-escape, drying her hair and strumming this tune on her guitar. You won't find her version on the soundtrack to the movie. And though it is worthwhile to pick up Henry Mancini's score, I thought I should upload Audrey's version out of respect for her beauty and grace in this film and in real life.

In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel (Say Anything)
Three words: Lloyd Dobler, boom-box, the rest is history. If you have not seen Say Anything, please, dear God...don't rent it. Buy it! You will not regret it. Then you will understand why this song, still, to this day sends John Cusack' fan's hearts a-fluttering. *sigh* Aren't we all still holding out for our own Lloyd Dobler? I did have a guy try to play this for me one time, but I barely knew him and it ended up being really creepy instead of romantic. So guys, I know you think you're special if you do this for the girl you love...but leave this song to Lloyd Dobler. Women everywhere will thank you.

Wilco: Live, Petrillo Music Shell, Grant Park, Chicago, IL. 4th of July, 2001.

Saw Wilco live for the first time ever yesterday at the Jub, thus striking one off my list of gigs to see before I die. It was everything I expected it to be, and I have to say it is by far one of the finest performances I have ever seen in my life. Tweedy played with a cast on his leg, which he explained was not a fashion statement, but evidence that he actually had a broken leg. Didn't say how he broke his leg, but he expressed his regrets at not being able to jiggle his bottoms for our entertainment. Wilco was amazing life, and the jam sessions on some of the songs (especially the new ones, about 4 of them of the setlist) drove shivers done my spine. I have to say that Nels Cline is a genius-it was glorious to witness him produce pure musical delight from his jazzmaster. And that Glenn Kotche!

Here's an amateurish video shot by me during the rendition of "At Least That's What You Said". It's pretty noisy, since this was shot with my digicam, but good enough to make out the band and a good part of the song.

I will have the entire set up on this blog sometime in the future, but for now, enjoy this set performed at a free 4th of July gig in 2001. This was Jay Bennett's last gig with the band.

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
War on War
Shot in the Arm
She's a Jar
I'm Always in Love
Airline to Heaven
Feed of Man
Remember the Mountain Bed
California Stars
Ashes of American Flags
Red-Eyed and Blue
I Got You (At the End of the Century)


I'm the Man Who Loves You
Sunken Treasure
Outta Mind (Outta Site)


The Arcade Fire: The So-Called 2001 Demos

"Win Butler has expressed displeasure at the popularity of internet-distributed MP3s labeled 2001 Demos...[as] the demos do not represent the work of the current band" - Wikipedia trivia.

True or not, you can hear Win on all the songs, and RĂ©gine on some. Musically, it is The Arcade Fire. Since the band formed sometime in 2003, chances are these are the early compositions of Win, Regine and unidentified friends. That's about all the history I have on this one, but if you know better, leave a comment.

Winter For A Year
My Mind Is A Freeway
Goodnight Boy
Asleep At The Wheel
In The Attic
Can't Let Go Of You
You Tried To Turn Away My Fears
The Great Arcade Fire


Gnarly 80's Movie Mix

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I may as well come right out and say it: I ADORE the 80's. I know, it was the decade of excess, keytars, and WHAM! but I can't help but profess love for the pure cheese factor of it all. After watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off for the 50th time, I came up with a great concept for a mix: A "Gnarly 80's Movie Mix." The 80's produced some of the most campy and fun music soundtracks. I know that 80's movie mixes are a dime a dozen with the usual "Ghostbusters Theme Song" and "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds. So I decided to use the lesser known tracks that will still sound incredibly familar to you once you give them a listen. I put some really great tracks musically on there (the ultra rare, "March of the Swivelheads" by the incredible ska band, The English Beat). I also wasn't afraid to let out the inner dork in me by putting on a song from The Cherry Bombs off the Howard the Duck soundtrack. Who knows, after listening to this mix you may want to pull those leg warmers out of your closet and start wearing your "Choose Life" t-shirts again. I certainly hope so, cause I'd hate to be the only one.

Trivia: Did you know Tori Amos was up for the role Lea Thompson eventually got in the career destroyingly bad 80's flick, Howard the Duck?

Revenge of the Nerds by The Rubinoos (Revenge of the Nerds)
March of the Swivelheads by The English Beat (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
Desire by Gang of Four (The Karate Kid)
Hairspray by Rachel Sweet(Hairspray)
Cool Rider by Michelle Pfeiffer (Grease 2)
On the Dark Side by Eddie and the Cruisers (Eddie and the Cruisers)
If You Were Here by Thompson Twins (Sixteen Candles)
Never Ending Story by Limahl (The Never Ending Story)
Weird Science by Oingo Boingo (Weird Science)
Cry Little Sister by Gerard McMann (The Lost Boys)
A Storybook Love by Willie Deville (The Princess Bride)
Love My Way by Psychedelic Furs (Valley Girl)
Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen (Dirty Dancing)
Maniac by Michael Sembello (Flashdance)
The Goonies R Good Enough by Cyndi Lauper (The Goonies)
Suddenly Seymour by Rick Moranis and Ellen Green (Little Shop of Horrors)
Hunger City by The Cherry Bombs (Howard the Duck)

Point Juncture, WA: A Thesis On How To Self-Release A Really Good Album.

The lyrics set to "Duodecimo", track #1 on Mama Auto Boss, the 2005 self-release by Portland, Oregon indie rockers, Point Juncture, WA, could have been "shake Jake awake/forest fires are coming/overdrive despair/oesophagus" or some shit like that. And it would have worked, totally. Instead, this semi-instrumental number opens with musical instruments waking from sleep, stretching and yawning, and the distorted, barely audible whisper of some guy talking in amplitude modulation. In the three or so minutes that follow, this "how the hell did I just not know about them" quintet coax their rhythm section to full alert, and without much ado, begin an odyssey into the most exacting quiet rock I have heard in the past few months. I fall in love completely on the third track "Cardboard Box", where the lo-fi feel of the entire album becomes apparent, and you suddenly discover the sweet singing voice of Amanda (I assume this is the lady's name, since other band members' names are Victor, Wilson, Jesse & Skyler). "Autopilot", a song about the role of eyes in a sinking relationship, is another standout, and showcases the vocal talents of some other band members (I counted two or three vocals besides Amanda on the album) as they chant the ending refrain, "do you feel cross-eyed too, do you?" Not very often does a good cd show up in your mail, but when one does, you don't mind waking up at 5.30am to talk about it, because you think it's a great way to start your busy day. Point Juncture, WA are currently top on my list of 5.30am bands. Exciting.

Cardboard Box

Play other tracks from the band's website. Go the flash option.

Buy Mama Auto Boss here or here or here. If you are in Seattle, WA on June 30th, go see them play a free show at the Sunset Tavern with KNK favorites, The High Violets (doors at 7pm).


Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris: Live at the Ahoy, Rotterdam, June 5 2006.

Coming back from a weekend of full blast involvement in a baby dedication (the lovely Nnenna!), this is the most interesting thing I found in my inbox. As always, the highlights for me are the Emmylou solos, but I'm very partial to her voice, so judge for yourselves. This is Part 1 of the set, Part 2 later.

Right Now
Red Staggerwing
Michelangelo (Emmylou Harris solo)
I Dug Up A Diamond
Born To Run
Red Dirt Girl (Emmylou Harris solo)
Band Introduction
Done With Bonaparte
Romeo & Juliet (Mark Knopfler solo)
Song For Sonny Liston (Mark Knopfler solo)
Belle Starr
This Is Us

Buy All The Roadrunning.