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Tag Archives: Folk

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At the end of O Brother, Where Art Thou? the beloved protagonists are faced with quite a dilemma: let the lawman get to hangin’ or take a quick bum rush for a hopefully painless suicide-by-cop. You never expect what’s coming.

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You’re goddamn right, a flood right out of nowhere! Not the kind that ruins cities and drowns old women but the kind that rescues a lovable group of good-natured convicts from certain death! It’s also the kind of flood that was built right here in America by God-fearing Americans. Yep, that’s right…this flood was brought to you by the electric hands of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

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Let me step back here for a minute. You see, back during the 30′s when this movie takes place we in America had this thing called a Depression. That means nobody had  good-paying job with which to raise a family. Many men, like Ulysses, Delmar, and Pete, turned to crime just to make ends meet. And then there were those who joined government-sponsored work programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps, Works Progress Administration, and Tennessee Valley Authority–or TVA for short.

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The role of the TVA was to develop the rural areas of Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, North Carolina, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Georgia. This was a good thing for most of men from this area, as they were either flat broke or skimming by on profits from a measly moonshine operation. Of course, this is a blatantly stereotypical generalization of a proud and diverse people. However, it is also true.

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Moonshine still in Knox County, Tennessee. Photographed by TVA in 1936 as part of its Fort Loudoun Dam surveys. See, I told you so.

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In any case, almost all of the hydroelectric dams that are still operating in the area were built or planned during the period of the late 30′s by the TVA. This construction program, which was government-funded, was a big reason that thousands Appalachian people didn’t starve during those trying times. It also still powers the Daytona 500 into the living rooms and outhouses of millions of hillbillies.

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Today Americans are faced with a similar situation of those folks in the Great Depression. We have millions of able-bodied men and women who are receiving unemployment support from the federal and state governments. Without this help many would be forced out onto the streets, where they very well might end up like Ulysses, Delmar, and Pete–hunting for a hidden treasure that simply doesn’t exist.

But the big difference today is that these men and women on unemployment aren’t expected to offer anything in return. They don’t build dams, don’t blaze concrete trails through inhospitable lands, and last time I went camping I didn’t see anybody planting trees.

I’m all for helping people get on their feet during times of need. It’s an American responsibility to take care of other tax-paying, anthem singing ‘Mericans. But I also feel that the folks on unemployment should give something back to the community that’s paying their mortgage.

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So down what avenues of the public sector can we send these brave men and women. Let’s not set them to building environmentally harmful hydroelectric dams. It seems there are plenty of roads already built throughout this Great Nation, many of which I haven’t even driven on. And last time I went camping it seemed there were just about the amount of trees, give or take.

Here’s what I propose: enlist these fine people as a sort of police for modern social tact. We’ll call them the Silicone Valley Authority, simply because it works for the intents and purposes of this blog. Here’s a list of the SVA’s 10 most pressing duties.

Duty 1) Patrol vigilantly for people listening to standup comedy on their iPod. Arrest at sight.

Seriously, I hate the way you laugh.

Duty 2) Prevent everyone from posting cool videos on Facebook before I do.

At least give me a chance, jerk.

Duty 3) Discourage, violently, all German tourists from flaunting their good times on our weak American dollar.

Hey Hans, those glasses don’t look smart at all.

4) Commandeer and destroy any iPad that is operated by a user who is in motion under his or her own power.

If you don’t get off the sidewalk I will smack that thing right out of your hand.

5) Ban Twitter

I’m not going to lie, I still don’t get it.

6) Execute a successful viral marketing campaign to make old flip phones cool again.

My cell is so vintage.

7) End self-satisfying, rambling blog posts that have absolutely nothing to do with the post’s original subject matter.

Fine, be that way.

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Click here to download the 10-year anniversary clear vinyl-to-MP3

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I’d never heard of Josh White until I bought this album. This only snuck into my collection because the cover jumped out at me and, at a single dollar, I couldn’t resist.  After reading the gatefold I feel that painting did a terrific job at capturing the man’s prodigious swagger.

Josh always had a great style, as a man and as a performer. He had a kind of imperiousness that used to make audiences shut up and listen. God, how he could stare an audience down! He was there to sing, and if people at the tables were talking, he’d hold a post, cigarette behind the ear, foot on the chair, guitar at the ready, and wait until his silence reached out like a living force and whammied the people to attention. Then he’d begin. He was a black man making his way in a white man’s world, he knew he had something everybody out to hear, and he was to be heard, on his own terms.

-Lee Hays & Don McClean

I’m going to do something I don’t know normally do and compose this post almost entirely of Wikipedia excerpts. Now, don’t click away just yet. This man’s story is immensely interesting and a true portrait of the (mostly losing) struggle for free speech in America. In these excerpts you’ll find Josh leading blind guitarists across the U.S. as a barefoot child, portraying Blind Lemon in the story of John Henry on Broadway, serenading the Roosevelts at the White House, and ultimately being blacklisted during the Red Scare.

Of course, in true blues fashion, the story ends with Josh White broken down, both in career and health, and in the grave before his time. He lived a hard life, made beautiful music, and is up there with Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, or any other musician who’s had his life turned into a feature-length film.

So, get comfortable, sit back, and breeze through the beautifully tragic life of Josh White and his sad, sad guitar.

Sorry, no song previews as of yet. Posting previews is getting more and more of a bitch because of electronic copy”right” protection.

Joshua Daniel White (February 11, 1914 – September 5, 1969), better known as Josh White, was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter, actor, and civil rights activist. He also recorded under the names “Pinewood Tom” and “Tippy Barton” in the 1930s.

White also became the closest African-American friend and confidant to president Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, White’s anti-segregationist and international human rights political stance presented in many of his recordings and in his speeches at rallies resulted in the right-wing McCarthyites assuming him a Communist. Accordingly, from 1947 through the mid 1960s, White became caught up in the anti-Communist Red Scare, and combined with the resulting attempt to clear his name, his career was damaged. White’s playing style influenced many future generations of guitarists, including Blind Boy Fuller, Brownie McGhee, Pete Seeger, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte, Lonnie Donegan, Eartha Kitt, Alexis Korner, Odetta, Elvis Presley, The Kingston Trio, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Merle Travis, Dave Van Ronk, Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Eric Weissberg, Judy Collins, Mike Bloomfield, Danny Kalb, Roger McGuinn, David Crosby, Richie Havens, Don McLean, Roy Harper, Ry Cooder, John Fogerty, Eva Cassidy and Jack White.

Two months after his father’s death, Joshua left home with a blind, black street singer named Blind Man Arnold, who he had agreed to lead across the South to collect coins after performances. Arnold would then send White’s mother two dollars a week. Arnold soon realized that he could profit from this gifted boy who quickly learned to dance, sing, and play the tambourine. Over the next eight years, he rented the boy’s services out to 66 different blind street singers, including Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Blake, and Blind Joe Taggart, and in time young Joshua quickly mastered the varied guitar stylings all his blind masters. In order to appear sympathetic to the onlookers tossing coins, the old men kept Joshua shoeless and in ragged short pants till he was sixteen years old. At night he would have to sleep in the cotton fields or in the horse stables, often on an empty stomach, while his master slept in a black hotel.

In February of 1936, he punched his left hand through a glass door during a bar fight, and the hand became infected with gangrene. White was advised by doctors to amputate the hand, and White repeatedly refused. Amputation was averted, but his chording hand was left immobile. Afterwords, he retreated from his recording career to become a dock worker, an elevator operator, and a building superintendent. During the time when his hand was lame, he squeezed a small rubber ball to try and revive it.

One night during a card game, White’s left hand was revived completely; and he immediately began practicing his guitar, and soon put together a group called “Josh White & His Carolinians” with his brother Billy and close friends Carrington Lewis, Sam Gary, and Bayard Rustin. They soon began playing private parties in Harlem. At one of these parties, on New Year’s Eve 1938, Leonard DePaur, a Broadway choral director, was intrigued by Josh’s singing. For the past six months, DePaur and the producers of the Broadway musical in development, John Henry, had been searching America for an actor/singer/guitarist to play the lead role of Blind Lemon, a street minstrel who would wander back and forth across the stage narrating the story in song. Their initial auditions with native New York singers proved to be unsuccessful, so they looked through previous race record releases to find a suitable artist. They eventually narrowed their search down to two people, “Pinewood Tom” and “The Singing Christian”, both used as pseudonyms by White.

After months of rehearsals and out-of-town productions in Philadelphia and Boston, John Henry opened on Broadway on January 10, 1940, with Paul Robeson as John Henry and Joshua White as Blind Lemon. Although the musical did not have long run, it helped jumpstart his career. Soon thereafter, Josh began working with Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Burl Ives, and The Golden Gate Quartet in a CBS radio series Back Where I Come From, written by folk song collector Alan Lomax and directed by Nicholas Ray.

Josh and Libby frequently requested the War Department to send them overseas during World War II to give USO concert performances for the troops. However, despite a Letter of Recommendation from Eleanor Roosevelt, they were constantly rejected as “too controversial”, considering that the U.S. Armed Forces were still segregated throughout World War II.

Throughout the 1940s, as a major matinée idol with magnetic sexual charisma and a commanding stage presence, White not only was an international star of recordings, concerts, nightclubs, radio, film, and Broadway, he also achieved a unique position for an African-American of the segregated era by becoming accepted and befriended by white society, aristocracy, European royalty, and America’s ruling family, The Roosevelts.

In January 1941, Josh performed at the President’s Inauguration. Upon completing that first White House Command Performance, the Roosevelts invited White up to their private chambers, where they spent more than three hours talking about Josh’s life story of growing up in Jim Crow South, listening to his songs written about those experiences, and drinking Café Royale (coffee and brandy).

At one point during that evening, the President said to Josh, “You know Josh, when I first heard your song `Uncle Sam Says,’ I thought you were referring to me as Uncle Sam….Am I right?” White responded, “Yes Mr. President, I wrote that song to you after seeing how my brother was treated in the segregated section of Fort Dix army camp. . . However that wasn’t the first song I wrote to you. . . In 1933, I wrote and recorded a song called `Low Cotton,’ about the plight of Negro cotton pickers down South, and in the lyrics I made an appeal directly to you to help their situation.”

The President, interested and impressed at the candor of his response, then asked Josh to sing those songs to him again. A friendship developed, five more Command Performances would follow, in addition to two appearances at the Inaugurations of 1941 and 1945; and the Josh White family would spend many Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with the Roosevelts at their Hyde Park, New York mansion .

Josh White had reached the zenith of his career when touring with Eleanor Roosevelt on a celebrated and triumphant Goodwill tour of Europe. He had been hosted by the continent’s prime ministers and royal families, and had just performed before 50,000 cheering fans at Stockholm’s soccer stadium. Amidst this tour, while in Paris in June, 1950, White received a call from Mary Chase, his manager in New York, telling him that Red Channels (who had been sending newsletters to the media since 1947 about White and other artists who they warned as being subversive), had just released and distributed a thick magazine with subversive details regarding 151 artists from the entertainment and media industries who they labeled as Communist Sympathizers. White’s name was prominent on this list. There never had been an official blacklist—until now. White immediately went to discuss the situation with Mrs. Roosevelt—to ask her advice and help. With great empathy, she told him that her voice on his behalf would hinder his efforts to clear his name. She explained that if she wasn’t the widow of the president they would also be crucifying her. She continued that the Right Wing press had been calling her a “pinko”, citing her social activism and friendships with non-whites. That night, White called his manager back and alerted her that he would be flying back to America the next day so that he could clear his name. Upon arriving at New York’s Idlewild Airport, the FBI met him, took him into a Customs holding room, began interrogating him, and held him for hours while waiting word from Washington as to whether Josh White, who was born in America, would be deported back to Europe.

In 1961, White’s health began a sharp decline as he experienced the first of the three heart attacks and the progressive heart disease that would plague him over his final eight years. As a lifelong smoker he also had progressive emphysema, in addition to ulcers, and severe psoriasis in his hands and calcium deficiency in his body that would cause the skin to peel off of his fingers and leave his fingernails broken and bleeding with every concert. During the last two years of his life, as his heart weakened dramatically, his wife Carol would put him in the hospital for four weeks after he completed each two-week concert tour. Finally, the doctors felt his only survival option was to attempt a new procedure to replace heart valves. The surgery failed.

He died on the operating table on September 6, 1969 at the North Shore Hospital in Manhasset, New York.

-Wikipedia

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>>>Click here to download Disc 1

>>>Click here to download Disc 2

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Tracklist

A1. Free and Equal Blues

A2. Where Were You, Baby

A3. You Don’t Know My Mind

A4. Sam Hall

A5. Run, Mona, Run

A6. Timber

A7. Takin’ Names

A8. St. James Infirmary

B1. One Meat Ball

B2. Peter

B3. Jelly, Jelly

B4. Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin’ Bed

B5.  Halleleu

B6. Prison Bound Blues

C1. Midnight Special

C2. Told My Captain

C3. Going Home, Boys

C4. Trouble

C5. Silicosis Blues

C6. Southern Exposure

C7. Empty Bed Blues

D1. The Story of John Henry

On Monday I’m hopping in my Mazdaspeed Protege, pointing west, and making an incredible journey to San Francisco via Route 66. AAA couldn’t provide a continuous map via digiweb, so my boo and I are going old school and finding tee pee motels, giant blue whales of the open plains, and the real Cadillac Ranch using some type of paper guide that folds in the most disgusting fashion. During this dangerous trip we’ll need some good thinking music and I couldn’t think of a better album to copilot than Yo La Tengo’s Fakebook. Its pining vocals and floating guitars scream open roads and unreconciled Midwestern emotion.

See, I’m leaving Cincinnati for good. I’ve lived here for 20 years and have a lot of stored-up memories. Over the four or five days we’ll spend driving across this great country my mind will roll the footage of a life spent cradled in the Midwest’s overly-warm bosom. I’m hoping that Fakebook will enhance the picture clarity and contrast of these toasty times, both good and bad, as they flicker across my Brain-O-Vision.

I can’t afford LCD.

Here’s a list of the 15 things, in no particular order, that I’ll be missing most from in and around the Queen City.

1. Penn Station

Yes, Penn Station is an East Coast Sub shop founded in Cincinnati. And yes, my favorite sub is a Philly Cheesesteak. But there’s something about Penn Station that’s just SO freakin’ good. I’ll take mushrooms, onions, banana peppers, mayo AND pizza sauce over the real deal cheese whiz sammich any day.

*Make sure you get it wrapped up to go so the meaty juices fully saturate the criminally addictive french bread. MMMM.

2. Contemporary Arts Center

The CAC is the coolest 6 floors I’ll ever climb.  It plays host to internationally-acclaimed contemporary art in a city known for little more than a now-forgotten show called WKRP In Cincinnati. The curators also change the exhibits in a timely pace so the work never gets old. AND THE BUILDING IS JUST SO FUCKING COOL.

*The top floor is all interactive art. It’s meant for kids but hey, I’m a grown-ass man and no 3rd-grader is going to remove me from the rocking trailer against my will.

1st Floor at the CAC

CAC, on the corner of 6th and Walnut

3. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal

One of the best Art Deco buildings in the entire nation. It was originally a train station built in the 30s and almost demolished during the 70s but now plays host to three attractions: the Cincinnati History Museum with its very cool scale model of WWII-era Cincy, the Museum of Natural History has a spooky man-made cave with a strange, musty smell I’ll never forget, and the OMNIMAX Theater uses an encapsulating dome screen to keep moviegoers on the verge of puking.

*Check it out on a Saturday and get the free Rotunda Tour. This will take you through the President’s Office, which is a circular Art Deco dream of inlaid wood and stainless steel.

The Rotunda: The world’s largest half dome filled with absolutely incredible mosaics of the American Dream.

I want to live in this room.

4. Cyclones Hockey Games

Cincinnati has two major league sports teams, but the most exciting sporting organization is a Minor League Hockey Team. The Cyclones have won the ECHL’s Kelly Cup two out of the three past seasons, which also makes them the most successful professional sports team in Cincinnati. The games and the fans are always raucous. If you’re lucky, like I once was, you’ll get picked to play musical chairs out on the ice between periods.

*Cyclones games are always the most lively on Big Beer or Dollar Beer Nights. You can imagine why.

#1 Fan

5. The Southgate House

The best mansion-cum-music venue in Cincinnati is right across the river in Newport, Kentucky. The Southgate House has three stages: a big ballroom (which features the best sound system within 300 miles) complete with wraparound balcony, a large music parlour upstairs with all sorts of creepy paintings from knock-off old world masters, and Junie’s Lounge featuring open mic acts, local flavors and portraits of dead presidents. The whole place oozes character.

*The Southgate House is a great place during the summer to catch a drink because of its large porch, which rocks older country-western/folk music and affords patrons a limited view of Great American Ballpark.

Birthplace of the Thompson Submachine Gun, aka “Tommy Gun”

6. Lenhardt’s and Christy’s Goetta Grilled Cheese

Goetta is a Cincinnati delicacy that’s somewhat like breakfast sausage and all about preparation. I’ve tried so many times to recreate Christy’s Goetta Grilled Cheese at home but just can’t. Even the multiple variations I’ve tried at Goettafest don’t come close. You have to try Christy’s heavenly toasted treat at least once.

*Visit Christy’s in the summertime during the day to avoid a crowd and enjoy your Goetta Grilled Cheese with a cold Franziskaner Hefeweizen and a free round of bocceball on their outdoor biergarten. You can also enjoy their wood-slathered rathskeller (basement bar) in the winter.

Better than it looks.

7. Quatman Cafe

One of the most unassuming little joints you’ll ever visit has some the best burgers around. No fancy toppings, just a big slab of onion and thin slices of sweet pickles. Most times I’ve been there they’ve taken money off the bill at checkout for no reason other then they’re nice people. It’s the perfect example of what Midwestern dining should be: no nonsense deliciousness blended with honest-to-goodness hospitality.

*Don’t miss out on Hudepohl Beer on tap with frosty mugs.

Minus the can.

8. Cincinnati’s Surprisingly Good Vinyl Shops

Not one, not two, not three, but four good vinyl shops in Cincinnati. There are a few other small players as well. But be sure to check out Everybody’s Records, Shake-It Records, Moles CD & Record Exchange, and Another Part Of The Forest.

*You can find links to all of these fine vinyl establishments at the bottom of this page.

Mole’s small but succulent front room collection.

9. Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Munich’s sister city throws one hell of an Oktoberfest with over 1,000,000 visitors each year. Stick to the pork schnitzel and a refillable stein for one killer weekend. Just make sure you’re careful when the Chicken Dance kicks in.

*Sometimes things can get pretty crazy at this rowdy beer festival. Click here to see what I mean.

10. Mother’s Day Steamboat Cruises On The Ohio River

The best way to take your beautiful mom out for a view of Cincinnati’s beautiful skyline is on the Belle of Cincinnati, an honest-to-god pirate steamboat.  The river is nice (as long as you’re not swimming in it) but the best part is the piano-playing dude in a straw boater hat who performs on the Belle. He’ll sing the hokey-pokey while a bunch of drunk middle-aged women shake their goods on a floating dance floor. If you’re lucky, and the weather’s nice, you’ll get to hear this Ragtime Rambler jam on the calliope poised upon the top deck.

*The following video is of the Delta Queen’s calliope in action, not the Belle of Cincinnati , but it’s the same deal.

11. Mainstrasse and Its Many Festivals

I used to live off of Mainstrasse in Covington, KY, which is immediately across the river from Cincinnati and walking distance to Paul Brown Stadium. It’s the perfect place for those who love hoofin’ it to their social rendezvous. There are over 20 bars and restaurants within 5 minutes walking distance and each establishment plays host to a kaleidoscope of folks.

Plus, Mainstrasse is home to a whole slew of festivals throughout the year. This includes Maifest, Oktoberfest, Goettafest, The World’s Longest Garage Sale and also hosts a farmers’ market every Saturday throughout the summer. Good times.

*Check out Village Pub and get their Russian beer special. It’s $3 for a 25 oz. bottle of 9% alcohol beer from St.Petersburg. It’s like a Soviet Four Loko, but tasty.

It’s really long.

12. Bitching About The Bengals

Every year Bengals fans say, “This is going to be the year. Carson’s knee hasn’t rejected the alpaca knee joint transplant. Ochocinco’s cut down his mirror collection from 2,000 to 1,000 units. Anthony Muñoz has a bitchin’ new Furniture Fair commercial.” And every year the Bengals take a dump in our hearts.

Yet, somehow, we always stick with them even though we’ve viciously sworn them off. It’s not because we really think they have a chance of winning a new season. It’s because we love having our dreams crushed. We want the Bengals to be just good enough to muster dreams of the playoffs so they can lose in a hilariously inept fashion.

After all, Cincinnatians are sports masochists by heart.

>>>Click here for some vintage Bengals tunes.

13. Red River Gorge in Daniel Boone National Forest

Combine some of the oldest woods in the world, miles upon miles of challenging trails and rock climbing paths, unique geological structures like rock houses and natural bridges with a hands-off approach to park policing and you get one of the best camping areas in the Eastern United States.

*There are all sorts of hidden campsites in the Gorge. The best are located under the ampitheatre-like rock houses and rock walls. Many have big stone bonfire pits and stone seats where you can relax and investigate the weird cave wildlife overhead. These sites are technically off limits for camping but enforcement is relaxed.

God’s Country. Not the vengeful one.

14. Fall

I’m excited to leave behind the sticky summers and indecisive winters but will definitely miss fall. I love the changing of the leaves, getting pumpkins from the patch and mixing fresh cider with spiced rum. But I think I’ll miss the smell of fall more than anything…the smell of burning foliage emanating from the mysterious woodland house near my parents’ place.

Yes, I’m going to miss that smell. And the smell of gunpowder from that mystery homeowner as he shoots his shotgun into a pile of chopped wood during a whiskey bender.

15. Jack Atherton’s Bedroom Eyes

Bonjour, mon cheri.

>>>Click here download Yo La Tengo’s Fakebook, the album that made these memories possible, at 320 kbps

Tracklist

1 Can’t Forget 2:13
2 Griselda 1:54
Written By – Antonia Apodeca
3 Here Comes My Baby 2:26
Written By – Cat Stevens
4 Barnaby, Hardly Working 4:12
5 Yellow Sarong 1:37
Written By – Scene Is Now, The
6 You Tore Me Down 2:48
Written By – Chris Wilson , Cyril Jordan
7 Emulsified 2:46
Vocals – Pussywillows, The
Written By – Rex Garvin
8 Speeding Motorcycle 3:16
Guitar – Georgia Hubley
Written By – Daniel Johnston
9 Tried So Hard 2:13
Written By – Michael Clarke
10 The Summer 2:40
Bass – Gene Holder
11 Oklahoma, U.S.A. 2:18
Organ – Georgia Hubley
Written By – Ray Davies
12 What Comes Next 3:11
13 The One To Cry 1:47
Double Bass [Fiddle], Vocals – Peter Sampfel
Written By – Escorts, The
14 Andalucia 3:33
Organ – Georgia Hubley
Written By – John Cale
15 Did I Tell You 3:21
16 What Can I Say 2:03
Written By – Joey Spampinato

There’s a 1993 Deep Jewel Green Pearl Metallic Mercury Grand Marquis that parks on my quiet Covington, KY street. On the back of that Grand Marquis there’s a bumper sticker. It isn’t very big; only about 2/3 the size of your normal tail treatment. In red font on a black background it says “REINSTATE HANK” on the top and “THE OPRY HAS SINNED” on the bottom.

That Grand Marquis is my spirit animal.

>>>Click here to download the cornerstone of Country & Western.

Tracklist

 

A1 Your Cheatin’ Heart 2:38
A2 Jambalaya 2:47
A3 Lovesick Blues 2:42
Written-By – Cliff Friend , Irving Mills
A4 Half As Much 2:39
Written-By – Curley Williams
A5 Cold, Cold Heart 2:42
A6 Hey, Good Lookin’ 2:35
B1 Why Don’t You Love Me 2:23
B2 Wedding Bells 2:52
Written-By – Claude Boone
B3 Kaw-Liga 2:33
Written-By – Fred Rose
B4 So Lonesome I Could Cry 2:43
B5 Ramblin’ Man 3:00
B6 Honky Tonkin’ 2:40

There are now over 100 albums on Rebuilt Tranny’s Rat Rod Record Exchange. Instead of celebrating I’m going to hand over a sad album to the internet community. I’ve lost so many hours uploading the Rainbow Goblins Story, countless Daft Punk records, cacophonous machinery, and too – many – remixes.

I could have spent all of that LP-twirling doing something worthwhile: watching Red Dwarf episodes on Netflix.

British Sci-Fi: The only reason to live?

But before I digress, let’s get back to the actual subject of this post for just a second. Nick Drake, English folk rock extraordinaire, also felt like he was in a life filled with waste. Despite albums filled with tonally rich yum-yums, he continually failed to sell more than a few thousand albums for each release.

No one really knows why he couldn’t push units. Some say it was because he hated performing. Others say it’s because he avoided interviews at all costs. And then there are those who point to the fact that he was never, EVER captured on video.

But I know the real truth.

Nick hugged the electric cactus by overdosing on antidepressants 14 years before Red Dwarf even hit the air. He never got to see the pinnacle of British television. He never got to see how cats would evolve 3 million years in the future (they turn into humans with sharp canines, James Brown dance moves, and impeccable taste in Nudie-style suites.) He only had Dr. Who…and his suicide-enducing scarf.

Seriously, kill me now.

So, I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad about my lot. I do feel fortunate I had the opportunity to see that episode where Lister became impregnated by the female-alternate-universe-version of himself. That was bloody hilarious!

Maybe if Nick had witnessed the comedic gold presented in the following clip we’d still have him with us today.

I’m just be glad I’m still kickin’, my record player is still spinnin’, and I haven’t fried my new hard drive during the hours of conducting the vinyl-to-MP3 train. All aboard. Or something.

I hope to bring another 100 albums online in the next year and then 100 more after that.

This album is a reminder that you should always be thankful for what you have and remember, there are always lots more juicy tunes just a click away.

>>Click to download Bryter Layter

Tracklist

A1 Introduction 1:33
A2 Hazey Jane II 3:41
A3 At The Chime Of A City Clock 4:42
A4 One Of These Things First 4:46
A5 Hazey Jane I 4:24
B1 Bryter Layter 3:16
B2 Fly 2:56
B3 Poor Boy 6:30
B4 Northern Sky 3:42
B5 Sunday

Does anyone else envision hobos doing all sorts of hobo things when they listen to this album? I mean this is a great album but I just imagine…

A hobo blowing his nose into a used diaper.

A hobo promising to pay a cobbler with three questionable cans of sardines.

A hobo inexplicably sweeping a lonely stretch of train track.

A hobo drowning his sorrows in a bottle of gin because of his messy divorce from a mongrel dog named Scraps.

A hobo sneezing one of those really gross snot bubbles, complete with just a hint of blood.

A hobo who takes credit for unsuccessfully aborting César Chávez.

A hobo wearing suspenders…funny ones.

A hobo using coal dust to polish his shoes in anticipation of the Frogtown Ball.

A hobo with unquenchable dry mouth, brought on by worry that Halfpint Jim discovered he peed in the local swimming hole again.

A hobo who continually waxes nostalgic about his time as rig foreman for Standard Oil…but everyone knows he’s full of shit.

A hobo with a set of disturbingly pearly whites.

A hobo who toured as roadie for Bob Dylan until he mistakingly asked what foreign tongue Dylan used.

A hobo with a life-threatening urinary tract infection.

A hobo with soft hands and deliciously hot breath.

A hobo who stole The Golden Spike and sold it for 10 tickets to a 5 cent peep show.

A hobo midget with a Kings Island Gold Pass.

A hobo with a heart of fool’s gold.

Download The Best of The Band at 320 kbps

Click here to download barrels of fun at 320 kbps!

Festival season once again reared its drunken head in Covington this past weekend. I figured I’d share a little sweet treat to celebrate the upcoming months of Hudy Delight, Goetta Balls and common-law love in the Commonwealth. Here’s a collection of traditional Dutch carnival music to creep your balls off. The album features the following jolly time instruments:

The Carillon

Introducing Willem, the star attraction for ladies’ night at the Amsterdam public library.

The Music Box

Kiss your 808 goodbye!

The Barrel Organ

There are also a lot of other instruments on here that don’t seem to exist anymore in a functional capacity, at least on the first 3 pages of any YouTube or Google Image search. These include but are not limited to the canary organ, the tongue organ, and the belly organ. The weenis organ is featured on the rare 7″ epidermis-colored bonus disc for this album that, unfortunately, isn’t in my collection.

It’s my hope that someone will take this album and sample a bit of it in the worst way possible. That, of course, would be in the same vein as the following song by Mark Mothersbaugh:

Please, I need it…so badly.

Ok, so I installed Windows 7 and it’s been a mess getting all of my previous settings back in order for record ripping. I think it’s all sorted out but if you encounter any problems please let me know so that I can get the fixed ASAP.

One curious thing I did notice about this disc is how off-center the hole is on the record. This caused the needle to sway back and forth like an Alaskan crab fishing vessel while the record spun, which was quite a sight to see. Luckily, my Technics SL-10 is a zero tracking error champion so it didn’t affect the playback. However, I wonder how it would fare on a more rudimentary turntable.

Despite this I recommend picking up a hard copy from Drag City at this linkJust make sure you have your tonearm set up right.

But while you wait for your box set to arrive via Karl “The Mailman” Malone check out disc two of Have One On Me.

Download

My laptop crashed so I’m attempting the near impossible: posting this through my Wii. It’s giving me motion sickness. I’ll be attending Joanna’s Cincy tour stop at Memorial Hall on the 30th so check back for a review and the next two discs of “Have One On Me”.

*download below*

I’m really bad at paying attention to lyrics in songs. Most of the time I’ll get into a track just because I like the beat or its sound brings up a long-lost memory. But sometimes I’ll catch just a little snippet of the lyrics and think I know understand the song. Take, for example, the first song of this album: “Wop-A-Din-Din.” For the longest time I thought it was written about a sexy, exotic lover because of the first few verses:

She’s got big green eyes
And a long Egyptian face
She moves across the floor
At her own pace
When I’m here in bed
She’ll jump up on my chest
And when we lock eyes there’s so much love
I wanna cry

Wow, I thought, that’s a pretty intense. Big green eyes, long Egyptian face…this chick must be quite a looker. Yeah it’s a little weird that she jumps up on his chest but she’s probably just primed for some lovins. Those crazy kids.

And that’s how my perception stood for a long time until one day I just happened to catch the wording in the song’s next chunk and it left me scratching my head.

She comes in near
When I scratch under her ear
And she lifts her head
When I kiss around her neck

Won’t go to sleep
When she falls along my side
And two green eyes fade
To a porcelain marble white
And somehow when I sleep
She’ll end up at my feet
And if I roll and kick her out
I might knock her to the ground
But she’ll come back anyhow

Why is he scratching his lover behind the ear and making her sleep at his feet? The song took a total 180 and I actually felt pissed that he was treating her so crudely.

Then I looked over at my cat, Piano Little, as she took a stretch break from her 22 hour nap in a pile of laundry and it all became clear. The big green eyes, Egyptian face, jumping on his chest, scratching of the ear. This wasn’t some sultry Mediterranean fling. Wop-a-din-din is his kitty and I am a fool.

It was really quite obvious after taking n the time to listen to what’s right out in the open. After this I told myself I’d never listen to a song again without understanding its true meaning. And for a while I did listen to the lyrics and found that most of the songs that I liked now really bothered me. They were either too repetitive, too trite or too confusing. Sometimes I just don’t get things.

So I’m back to merely absorbing the tones of the human voice instead of comprehending the underlying message. Yes perhaps that makes me a philistine but maybe if I wanted to read a poem I’d go to the library. Asshole.

Click here to download Old Ramon