this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Are You Calling Me Mate?

This video me nostalgic for my Dizzee Rascal superfan days. I missed him the last time he came to town and didn't ever really digest his latest record, but I used to be a pretty big nerd about his music and also wanted to be his best friend. The MP3 below is a fun recording from a short set he performed at KVRX in 2005. Unfortunately, the interview performed by the one and only Mixmaster E of the Late Night Young Gunz aka Vince Youngs of Radio aka Party Boyz at 1 isn't uploaded to the Local Live site, but it includes Dizzee making fun of Ethan's Texas accent.

Dizzee Rascal - Fix Up, Look Sharp (Live at KVRX)

Also, tomorrow I'll post a remix of the B.P.A.'s Dizzee/David Byrne collaboration that Bob King and I have been working on.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thomas Fawcett is the jam

Check out #6 baby! First proof someone who knows about good music and didnt record, mix or master the CD is into it. booyah! For those of you who don't know Thomas's a.k.a. is The Reverend Get Down and he hosts The Afro Bugaloo Soul Review on KVRX, which as anyone who has ever listened to that show can tell you is his musical credentials enough.

Austin Chronicle Texas Top 10s, 2008
1) Grupo Fantasma, Sonidos Gold (Aire Sol)

2) PPT, Denglish (Idol)

3) Ocote Soul Sounds & Adrian Quesada, The Alchemist Manifesto (ESL Music)

4) Rae Davis, Positive Thinking! (Exponential)

5) Dan Dyer (Fat Caddy)

6) Ethan Master of the Hawaiian Ukulele, So Real

7) James McMurtry, Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod)

8) Hayes Carll, Trouble in Mind (Lost Highway)

9) McPullish, Back to Mount Zion Riddim (Charlie's)

10) G-Christ, Damage Is Done EP

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday Night Conversation With A Local Musician

He said, "We're trying to be a blog-band, but we're not quite there yet."

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

how you know your vacation just went from "lazy" to "redonkulous"

...when you are pissed you have to take the 3 minutes to put on sunscreen.

things I am currently too lazy to do:
1. put on sunscreen without complaining in my internal monologue
2. cook
3. walk down the beach in either direction more than 20 feet
4. put a shirt on
5. read
6. listen to music/play guitar (this for some reason seems like an activity at this point...I can't really explain that...)

things I am currently not too lazy to do:
1. watch tv
2. blog
3. drink beer
4. eat food other people have made me
5. complain about the temperature in the hot tub
6. blatently stare at girls asses

I did play tennis today for the second straight day. We played doubles and lost 6-4, which was a major improvement over our 6-1 loss yesterday. Probably helped that our opponents got stoned before they played and I didn't. In other news, I am catching up on my cable. I saw Leave It To Beaver for the first time, which was fascinating. Also I watched a full episode of the Andy Griffith Show. That dude is sly! Also, there is a show on Cartoon Network during the day called "Johnny Test" which is pretty sweet. Its like Dexter's Lab, except the scientists are older sisters who test out their scientific concoctions on their younger brother (hence, "Johnny Test"). Also this show called "Hannah Montana" exists where (get this) there is this girl who is a regular girl by day, but a music star by night? Her family is from Tennessee, and her brothers name is Jackson. And her dad looks like Jeff Foxworthy. crazy. I think it has a chance to be a big hit, actually.

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2008 memorable music (not entirely of 2008)

completely inspired by ervin, someclouds, and edgar's combined 6 cents on the state of (pop) music at the cusp of a new year, i feel compelled to throw in my thoughts on memorable musical moments, not new albums, from the past year (i dont think i even listened to 10 new albums, much less 50...what can i say, im a crate digger). forgive me for coming in a bit from left field, but i dont even know what fee-pork is except in the context of this site and i think i looked at it once, and promptly looked away.

love / hate / two thousand / eight

hercules and love affair - blind
i was drinking a beer at a bar on the end of a pier in Genoa when i first heard this song, and its really one of the most memorable moments of that incredibly rushed trip to Italy that i have. Instantly fell in love with it, and with all the love its getting from so many diverse places, i suppose we ALL owe it to ourselves to listen to this album.

oasis - falling down (chemical brothers remix)
this one really surprised me. the original is pretty good too, but the chemicals are definitely the modern masters of psychedellia and they really make it work in addition to bringing the beats on this track. history proves that any chemicals / gallagher collaboration is going to render an original, energetic, and god damn catchy as HELL track (who dare deny 'setting sun'). anyway, this got me REALLY pumped for the new album, which then really didnt have any other tracks like this. go figure. there are some good tracks on the album though, notably get off your high horse lady and i'm outta time. the original falling down is probably my favorite.

the dream - i luv your girl
the falsetto + 808 bass in this track make it an instant winner. high melodic content, somewhat jazzy electric piano line (those chord modifications sound great), and pretty lol worthy lyrics at times come together to bring us r&b the way its supposed to be. bonus for all you track manipulators out there, play this one screwed out and barry white will walk the earth again. their album love/hate pretty much sticks to this formula so i aint complaining.

lil wayne
im really hesitant to mention this cause i dont really like to bitch (the internet makes it so easy)...but WHAT THE FUCK?!?! totally weak ass rhymes...i mean i appreciate it wayne that you realise 'a is LIKE b', but thats a pretty standard formula in rap music today and almost every other track on the radio has equally as blatant and mediocre musings. on second thought, i guess a lot of rap on the radio might NOT even be as clever as this, which is just a sad case in point as to why someone like this can tell everyone he is so great, and without a proper reference, people believe it. the beats on his album are at times completely ridiculous and amatuer. theres a huge difference between simple and banging (read mobb deep, daft punk), vs. lazy and crap. rap albums are generally the worst offenders of bullshit ass filler material just to get $18 for a single or 2, and what ive heard off this album is a good example.
now the caveats to my profound disbelief at waynes success...'mrs. officer' is fucking great. for once the 'a is like b' formula is pulled off with cleverness and bite (rodney king baby beat it like a cop). beats in this song are standard r&b fare too which is better than i'd ask of mainstream weez. 'lollipop' reminds us why we love autotune, but i have to say the best version of this was a totally raunchy electro version i heard on someone's xm radio once and have never been able to find again. also, the similarities to that 3-6 mafia song are pretty awesome and that song rules too...i wonder which came first because its pretty blatant they are copying / competing with each other.
grammy's though? really? multiple? just goes to show how much lil wayne is a product of the machine. pass. hey white people love it!

portishead - 3rd
all i can say about this is i havent listened to it at all. what is strange is that fact itself, as portishead have delivered pretty amazing records and im surprised / a bit let down that nothing on this one has drawn me to even give it the chance it deserves. i heard clips from one track that sounded ok...mediocre...and the single i guess i cant even remember. thats probably not good. sad.

ukuleles of halifax
this is from the 70s. its like a middle school or elementray school ensemble of, shit, sounds like 30+ ukuleles playing songs like 'country roads' in perfect choral unison, backed with, did i mention, A MILLION UKULELES. incredible...and i havent been able to find much asides from the few straggler mp3s my friend gave me.

nine inch nails - ghosts I-IV
all instrumental jam sessions from a guy who knows how to integrate technology perfectly. total bong-ripping material here...and 1000 times better than 'the slip' he released shortly after.

king tubby - essential dub
king tubby as the selector puts reminds us that johnny greenwood is only that AMONGST other things. what else can say about this other than it's solid, go listen to it. completely untainted.

autechre - quaristice
more music less math this time around. the most brilliant thing about this stellar album is that its actually, what, 5 albums? they came out with so many bonus / deluxe / alternate versions and they're all so completely different. not to mention, i throw this one out there just to express my love for one of the best live shows ive ever seen, which was when autechre brought the digital grime to the mezzanine in sf. KILLER sound system, ZERO lights, and gut pounding granular bass for 2 hours straight. why aren't all touring acts this professional?

lusine - emerald ep + push ep + serial hodgepodge
this has been a huge year for me and lusine...i keep finding his shit in the used bin and he keeps delivering. saw him live at Yuri's night which was a bit more ambient than i expected but really awesome nonetheless. technically i think i picked up emerald and push ep in 2007, but i dropped them in all my sets of 2008, so it fits here. really tight beats, an ear for melody, ambient when it needs to be, and just weird enough to keep it interesting.

miss kittin - radio calorline: vol 1
finally picked this deliciously eclectic and beautifully blended mix up this year. the best part about it, besides the really smooth tracks, is the internal dialogue from caroline herself as she muses on her life thus far, which lends itself to more subdued parts of the music and ties the album together as whole. casual, as well as more hardcore, fans of house will appreciate this as she really shows djing is 99% about programming, though her technical skills are up to par as well.

bill cosby - silver throat: bill cosby sings
i dont know if this should be called 'bill cosby sings' or 'bill cosby completely shits on songs you might have known'...most offensively 'i got a woman'. the great thing about this album (besides the cover), is that the whole sounds just like bill cosby singing. his voice is unmistakable, and well, while this is amusing, i much prefer his jokes. 'bright lights, big city' is the highlight.

couch - figur 5
my good friend turned me on to this german instrumental track 'sawei streifen im blau', and the album delivers more of the goods this track promised. some might call it post-rock but its too electronic for that, and definitely doesnt have the trendiness most of that stuff has. it stands on its' own and works both as 'hey check this shit out' album and a 'wow the ambiance of this room in regards to the frequencies bouncing around it really make me feel groovy' album.

emhu - so real
i dont care if it aint kosher to cream over a contributors' collection of criminally-awesome songs, but this is definitely one of my favorite and most listened to albums of 2008. and thats NOT counting the two months i spent listening to it over and over again. even AFTER that, it stuck. too tongue-in-cheek to be singer songwriter, and too indie to be country, this album finds it's own place and just plays on smiling for those lucky enough to hear it.

sam cooke - night beat
best sam cooke album, period. this is the sound of the cooke who might have gotten shot by a hooker within hours of church service. 'trouble blues' is one of thos songs that you can just loop the intro and be fine for years.

murcof - ulysses remixes
nobody else in my mind has come this close to crafting what i would call classical music in a modern framework than mexico (ensenada i believe, maybe tijuana) based murcof. this shit is DEEP. the remixes here definitely groove/glitch it up a bit, but the whining strings and pulsating bass in such a somber mood really work to deliver one of the most emotional pieces of work i've heard all year.

Here's to 2009, maybe i'll actually get some new music.


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Saturday, December 20, 2008

I dont know, I think its fun... fuck around with Pforks list. "love em or hate em" (JUST KIDDING), no but seriously, lets have a little fun. Last year (07) was almost painfully better for music than this one (as far as mainstream indie releases), and I think lists like these get way worse in down years, because you end up having to dig to fill your list with records that aren't totally awesome, giving music writers a chance to expose just how little they actually know about music ...

(also...and this could be a seperate post. I can't say I've listened to 50 albums that came out in 2008 yet. not in parts and certainly not the whole ones. Why would I? Who does that? Do musicians do that, or only music writers? And I had a job for 3 months where I was listening to music on headphones the whole time. Maybe I'm just more of a back cataloguer than most. On the plus side, all this music now exists for me to back cataloge later. But yeah, listening habits of musicians vs. critics. Something to think about.)

#1: Fleet Foxes- Having heard it once, I begrudgingly acknowledge that this record isn't as bad as having CBS show the Duke-Xavier basketball game on the West Coast and Hawaii instead of Texas-Michigan State. This is the record that made "My Morning Jacket" obsolete, as if that's what we really needed in 2008. Their video with the goats made me think of The Incredible String Band documentary I saw in Athens this year. I think at some point I will really dig the music of Fleet Foxes, but there is a certain amount of "I can't believe these goddamn hippies ever got away with this," that I can't unattach from them right now. In the wise words of Eric Cartman "Fuckin hippies."

#2 Portishead: I assume this is an awful record, but I don't really like Portishead

#3 No Age: I havent been there, but I am starting to assume that The Smell scene is the most overrated thing going on in American music. I saw these guys at SXSW a couple years ago at Long Branch and found them annoying, boring and too loud for the space. But thats cool over SXSW! Being too loud is rock and roll! Haven't heard the record, have no desire to, but maybe one day.

#5 Deerhunter: Been listening to this a lot. I think its awesome for the moment, but not as good as the last one. I have specific complaints with it which I think I am going to dedicate an entire post to later. Basically I think the production gets a little cutesy at times. A little too many cerebral touches. But there is a lot a lot to like about this record and this band right now IMO. I haven't really thoroughly listened to Weird Era Continued yet, but there are some good tracks on there, and the different production is welcome.

#6 TV on the Radio: Heard it briefly and thought it sounded ultra cool, which is the first time I've really thought that about TVotR since their very first EP. Still, haven't really had a chance to listen to it. Strongly dislike the album art.

#7 Vampire Weekend: Apparently there are no apologists at Pfork. I look forward to ripping into this band for months again when their next hugely successful album comes out.

#8 M83: tried to like em, never did. Baffled by this "pick"

#9 Hercules and Love Affair: cool dense!!! whoa this record is super dense. I feel like I had to listen to it a billion times before I started just enjoying it on a base level.

#16 Vivian Girls-still haven't heard the full length, but I'm pretty on board with this band. I've been listening to The Shop Assistants on the beach and I have some things to say about how Vivian Girls are way better, at least their best tracks.

#29 The Hold Steady: oh my god, get over it. This band has gotten worse with every record. I liked their first one.

#34 Arthur Russell: I like that they included this with "New Albums" because it basically is. Probably could have been higher as long as they are including it.

#36 Wale: We listened to this in Chicago when visiting Robert Liu. I'm sure other people listened to it other times. Cool record.

#46 Beach House: The context in which I first liked this record is too embarrassing to go into detail about. I don't even Gila on this record? Research says yes. That is an amazing song. Maybe my song of the year as far as "what was the best song of 2008". That song is unreal. I haven't even listened to this whole record, but I can tell you it is way underrated at #46

#48 High Places: That song that is like "I was floored, I was floored" is pretty cool. Pretty neat textures. That said, probably the most dissapointing live show I saw this year, as judged by band I thought was gonna be most awesome but then sucked.

#50 Ponytail: This was one of the best bands I saw this year (over SXSW). They are really coming together. It was my second time seeing them, and the first was marred by this feeling of "those guys are just ripping off Ecstatic Sunshine!!" Well, turns out they shared a member, and Ecstatic Sunshine no longer sounds like that, so its all them. The thing that bugged me the first time is Ponytail seemed like sort of all over the place, but with no glue holding the thing together. Like "whoa, that was a cool drumbeat" but then it would only go on for 8 measures and he would switch to something totally random and you would just think they hit the awesomeness by accident. But the second time I saw them there was way more of that "glue" with no sacrificing of the . Haven't heard the record.

Hon Mention: Why weren't The Dodos in the Top 50? Honestly I don't get it. That's the only record here I really have an opinion about

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Friday, December 19, 2008

A Milli

So A Milli was probably the most played song this year. I guess Lollipop might give it a run for it's money, but A Milli will probably be the single that people think of when they remember Tha Carter 3. Here's a sweet remix of it by Flying Lotus. I'm posting it because I thought I was really tired of A Milli, but this seems to breathe a little bit of new air into it. Even though the remix is probably three months old.

Flying Lotus - Robo Tussin (ft. Lil Wayne)


In other news, Tha Carter 3 placed #11 in Pitchfork's top albums of the year. I was pretty surprised not to see it in the top 10. I didn't want to write much about their list, but I am going to. Here's my quick rundown of the albums on their top 10 that are worth saying anything about.

#1. Fleet Foxes? Haven't listed to them, don't care.
#2. Portishead? Are you fucking kidding me? I laughed out loud once or twice while listening to this album.
#3. No Age? Haven't listened to them, don't care.
#4. Cut Copy. I listened to this album twice in a row when I first heard it. It's great, deserves it's spot.
#7. Vampire Weekend. Really?
#8. M83. Are you fucking kidding me? Again, this album is laughable. I feel like people who dig this album are just trying to prove that they like 80s pop music.
#9. Hercules and Love Affair. Deserve to be higher, although they did get the nod for best single of the year.

They put the Arthur Russell comp at 30 or so, which I don't agree with and also surprised me given the amount of love they have been sending his way lately. Another big surprise to me was the inclusion of The Dodos record as an honorable mention. I thought it would be top 10 for sure, at least top 20.

I totally sympathize with the Tiny Mix Tapes article that Chris posted a few days ago. I just don't give a shit about most of this "best new music".

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Antecedents and Opinions // Kill Rock Stars

Some of the piss and vinegar of this post has been taken out due to the fact that when I first got to the computer full of it (piss and vinegar...maybe something else, too, we'll let Chris decide...) I had to help my grandma print out a latke recepie because her printer wasn't working. Anyways I am in Hawaii! Fuck yeah! It's my second day here and my mind is still racing around in circles like "do this, do this" but I should be a much mellower person by the time I get back in the ATX. This trip could not have come at a better time for me, and its been a bit different than previous trips already. I saw a Hawaiian Monk Seal which is an endangered species. It was rad. It came up on the beach and the seal patrol came and put caution tape around it. I was like "wow, this is really amazing" and hung out watching the seal for a while. Eventually it went back out to sea, and I was like, "that was an amazing and finished experience," but then a few minutes later it came back on shore about 30 feet down the beach, and the seal patrol set up new caution tape around it and the same people who were watching it (minus me) set up shop behind the caution tape and continued to watch it. Also, some people up on the balcony of our hotel clapped the first time it went out to sea which seemed pretty fucking dumb to me, but hey, people are dumb.

Something awful happened that I didn't realize until this morning (day 2 of my trip). The night before I stayed up all night ripping CDs so I would have some choice tunes to listen to on the trip. I got a bunch of stuff I really wanted to listen to and a nice variety. No jazz this year. I can't listen to jazz on the beach. I've tried, and with a margin of sucess in the past, but the beach is not a place where really enjoy "challenging myself" with the music I am listening to. Not at this point, anyways.

So I ripped all this music, expecting that I would stay up all night and then sleep on the plane (didn't work) and then what did I do but leave this case with all the CDs on the plane! Fucked, right? Well, first off, like I said, I didn't even realize I had left all the CDs until this morning. Yesterday I was just saying what's up to people and playing my ukulele and a tiny bit of swimming. A couple asides before this story gets finished...I'm reading "A Confederacy of Dunces" which is like one of the best books I have ever read. It's truly amazing and I'm really enjoying it. Also, I did maybe the smartest thing I've done this year by bringing my 4 track to the beach with me. Unless you're my roommate I don't know how you would know how you would know this, but I've been having this problem with my writing solo songs lately. I gradually got stuck writing less and less musically interesting things until eventually I wrote this string of like 8 songs that were only 3 or maybe 4 chords and then I just stopped writing. I guess you would call that writers block, but fortunately it corrisponds with some new X-Rays songs, so I didn't feel totally lost.

But back to the topic, I left my (burned) CDs on the plane and I felt this horrible horrible feeling of loss. I was counting on listening to those CDs on the beach. I have my computer with me which has some stuff on it that I could rip onto CDs and listen to, but the good shit on there I have already listened to at work a billion times. The stuff I burned for the beach is stuff I haven't listened to much off my parents computer. They just got a bunch (80gigs?)of pretty good stuff on there from this one guy too, so its not like "all the shit my brother listens to" (which is not bad). The thing I am listening to right now is Elliot Smith. I had never heard any of his records besides Figure 8 before, and maybe some of XO, although I don't know why, becuase I really like what I'd heard of him. Anyways, I think I picked it out because there are great melodies and also chord changes, which is something I'm trying to get back to (I'm pretty sure its working, too). Ukulele is great for that too, because it limits you, and the part of your brain that wants to play root chords is subverted. Pretty sure I heard somewhere that Paul McCartney wrote all of his songs on ukulele.

But back to the topic. I felt horrible about these lost CD-Rs. Really awful. But about an hour after I figured out I had left them on the plane, my dad told me he had gotten a call and they had them at the airport! So I felt better, and I did have like 5 CDs, including Elliot Smith, in my backpack seperately, so I have some stuff to listen to today until we go to pick them up tomorrow.

Now, also up shit creek musically is my buddy who I see on the beach every year. He left his 160 gig Ipod on the plane. I don't think he's ever going to see it again, but he said something rather curious to me, which was "I don't care as long as I get it back for the plane ride home." Dude's got a 160 gig Ipod but only brought it to his 3 week Hawaiian vacation for the plane ride? I think it a) goes to show the value of having something that other people don't value and b) this guy was bent out of shape for sure, but I find it interesting that he didn't even want it back because it was worth money (I'm sure his family will just replace it, which I don't take issue with), and he didn't want it back so he had shit to listen to at the beach, he just wanted it back for the plane ride. It's just interesting how people interface with things I guess.

So that's my travelogue, now for some opinion. And I'll try and keep this short, being as though I'm burning daylight. I went and saw Ian McKaye speak a few weeks ago and it was very interesting his perspective, and his stories about his life were funny but he kept hammering home this "music is free" point that I take issue with. Ok, and we are going to ignore the blatent hypocracy that I listen to music that has been pirated, because this is more about "the state of the union" than "this is my ideological standpoint and everyone should follow it." His big piece of evidence that "music is free, hey everyone go download music!" was that he went and played in South America with his current band The Earlies and the kids in the big crowd there were all singing the words to his songs, despite the fact that he had no South American distribution, and I think the songs weren't available on ITunes or something (I'm assuming that for the purpose of the story making any sense at all.) So he was like "hey how do you guys know the words??" and they got sheepish and he said "hey you downloaded my songs didn't you!" and they were like "yeah," even more sheepishly, and Ian was like "Rock and Roll!!!" and played the show and everyone had a great time. Which is great if you are Ian MacKaye, right? And without knowing the details, I think the basic tenaments of what that guy does and is about is cool. But its hardly the whole story.

Let me tell you some things about music that aren't free, and I don't see a way they ever will be, short of government grants, which maybe everyone should collectively be pursuing. Recording a record is not free. Mixing and mastering is not free. Making physical copies of your record is not free. Vinyl right now costs about twice what it cost to make 5 years ago. If someone sells you a 7" with any artwork at all at $4, realize they are basically selling it to you at cost, which means if they put it out themselves, they have to sell out (min run 300) to recoup all their money. Legal venues (aka guaranteed no cop trouble) are not free to maintain. You want to book a place reasonably close to downtown where you wont get shut down over SXSW, one thing that has become clear the past few months is youd better either be a tricky motherfucker or have some real cash behind you. And even then there's only so many spots for the tricky motherfuckers.

All this is just to point out that, while you (or I) may be listening to music for free, and while the artist may or may not be personally comfortable with it, either because they think it is beneficial to their own career (Ian MacKaye? at least half of his explaination) or because they just accept it as how things are these days, it is in fact, how things are these days. And the other side of it is I've been working this data entry job the past few months that would be completely untenable if it weren't for all the external hard drives worth of free music I got from my friends. So I'm sympathetic....this is all just to make a point that is still forthcoming about what constitutes a sustainable model for artists at this point.

First another aside: I think if the major labels were really smart, and maybe its not too late for them to do this, (and this is certainly something I would hate to see happen), instead of going after publicity with these huge fines on certain individuals for downloading music, they would try and sue everyone who downloaded music for like $100, or something where it wasn't a figure so high that it was obviously unfair and being used as a scare tactic. Sort of like a reverse class action lawsuit. It would depend on being able to minimize litigation costs, which also may not (is hopefully not) possible.

But so ok, what is a record at this point? Its your "work of art," but professionally its more like your business card that the product you are selling. I read somewhere Bradford Cox trying to make the case that Deerhunter wasn't this huge band. "We are a cult band! Call me when we've sold 50,000 records." Or something like that. That's a paraphrase. But the idea of selling 50,000 records making you a big band is so completely outdated. I have a lot of respect for that band, which is its own post. I was blindsided recently by a friend who said he hated their guts and thought they were a fake band. But I disagree, even if I do agree that they are (or at this point it seems more accurate to say, were) total publicity hounds. For comparisons sake, I'm pretty sure that Blonde Redheads record after Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons (which was that?) sold about 50,000 copies, but that was like 2004 maybe? Totally different world now. But yeah, if you are an artist making money on your record (which can be very expensive to make) is a tricky motherfucking thing. And you might be able to get some stuff ($$) from Itunes, but it doesn't compare as a % to the money that you aren't making because someone is downloading it for free. I read somewhere Death Cab for Cutie talking about their first record, which I believe they put out themselves, saying to each other "dudes, you think we can sell 500 of these?" And they decided to give it a shot. Selling 500 records is astronomical at this point.

OK, I have to cut myself off, I guess there will probably (hopefully?) be a part 2 to this post, but like I said...burning daylight...

let me just say first...
I think there is good and bad that is coming out of this. Good: people who care about music are more educated about it than ever before. This means more people who know what they are doing are starting bands, I assume. Bad: There is no fucking money in music at all. Why is this bad? When did everything become about money all the sudden right? Making music costs money. Touring costs money. You want to booka tour by yourself, the first time you go out you may do everything right (I think RXR did a pretty good job) and you are going to lose money. Think about are you supposed to get more than $60 a night in a town where no one knows who you are? And you got 4 mouths to feed and a gas tank? That's not counting rent, which went at great lengths to get covered (also we went out in August so it was a little easier to do this.) And gas may be $1.50 right now, but I mean that's gotta be temporary don't you think? People want to tell you that bands don't make their money on records, but its OK, because they make it on the road, but show me those bands. Those bands are Deerhunter. Or not even Deerhunter, but look at it this way....if you want to save up your money and go on tour as your vacation for 3 weeks sleeping on floors and eating shit all the time, that's one thing and its a great experience, but if you want to do the DIY thing to the point where it's sustainable I'm just asking you to show me the model where that actually works.

And I do have a solution, which is that the bands have to themselves become the booking agents in order to setup shows for themselves out of town that actually pay something, but I'm skeptical about this too, because it assumes that the bands can play enough shows locally with payouts for out of town bands without killing their own draw. We will see if it works, or if you really do at this point need someone big to latch on to (please god no.)

Also, there is maybe nothing as fun on this planet as touring so please no one be discouraged for any reason by this from doing it just for fun, because it is and it makes you a better person too in a lot of different ways you would never even imagine without doing it first.

Anyways aloha!

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doing this does not make me a "better person"

nor does it mean that i don't think you are already doing something positive.

but posting this is still something i am going to do for the holidays. i have my own reasons for doing so. maybe you have your own reasons for doing the same.

what i do know is that, for me seeing this, saying this, doing this helps. maybe for you, reading that and seeing this helps too. if it doesn't, a) sorry b) i hope my self-consciousness was at least somewhat entertaining.

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10 Record Guaranteed to Rock a Party

This was originally posted on the Bladerunners blog.

It goes without saying, but this is a pretty legit list. It's also a fun "name who sampled it" exercise. One of the best sources for looking up sample sources is The Breaks.

Jimmy Castor Bunch - It's Just Begun (Larry Levan Mix)

Sample source for:
2 Live Crew - "Get Loose Now"
Antoinette - "Here She Comes"
Bush Babees - "The Love Song"
Busy Bee - "Jazzy on the Mix"
Caveman - "Troglodyte History"
Eric B and Rakim - "Musical Massacre"
Everlast - "Syndicate Soldier"
Grandmaster Flash - "She's Fresh"
Ice T - "Power"
Jungle Brothers - "On the Run"
Lisa Lisa - "Skip to My Lu"
Low Profile - "Funky Song"
Marky Mark - "The Last Song on Side B"
MARRS - "Pump up the Volume"
Nuyorican Soul - "Mind Trips"
Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock - "Check this Out"
Tony Touch - "I Wonder Why? (He's The Greatest DJ)"
Ultramagnetic MCs - "Make it Happen"
Ultramagnetic MCs - "Watch Me Now"

Magic Disco Machine - Scratchin'

Sample source for:
C + C Music Factory - "Things That Make You Go Hmm"
Eazy-E - "Eazi-Er Said Than Dunn"
Eric B and Rakim - "Put Your Hands Together"
Mantronix - "King of the Beats"
MC Shan - "The Bridge"
Original Concept - "Running Yo Mouth"
Run-DMC - "Jam Master Jay"
Wreckx-N-Effect - "Rump Shaker"

Freedom - Get Up and Dance

Sample source for:
Beck - "Where it's At"
Boogie Down Productions - "You Must Learn"
Disco Dave & the Cash Crew - "High Power Rap"
Grandmaster Flash - "Freedom"
Kool Moe Dee - "Don't Dance"
LL Cool J - "No Frontin' Allowed"
MC Shan - "Freedom"
Poison Clan - "Rough Nigga Gets Busy"
Positive K - "I Got a Man"
Redhead Kingpin - "It's a Love Thing"
Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock - "Get up and Have a Good Time"
SWV - "Anything"
(the-breaks didn't mention "Birthday Party" by Grandmaster Flash, but this is used for that too)

Herman Kelly & Life - Dance to the Drummer's Beat

Sample source for:
2 Live Crew - "Megamixx"
Beats International - "Dance to the Drummer's Beat"
Body & Soul - "Dance to the Drummer's Beat"
Brownstone - "Let's Get it Started"
Cut 'N' Move - "Get Serious"
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - "Live at Union Square"
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - "Magnificent Jazzy Jeff"
Kaos - "Let the People Dance"
Low Profile - "How Ya Livin'"
Masters at Work - "Jeep Bonus"
NWA - "Dopeman"
Original Concept - "Pump That Bass"
Richie Rich - "(My DJ) Pump it Up"
Rodney O & Joe Cooley - "Yeah Boy"
Two Kings in a Cipher - "Kemit-Cal Reaction"

The-breaks didn't list the song I most recognize Dance to the Drummer's Beat from. It's a great cut off the instrumental pressing of Stones Throw's Third Unheard compilation of Connecticut hip-hop.

Mr. Magic - Party Rap Instrumental

I bought the instrumental LP a few years ago during an epic record store tour of NYC. I wrote out a list of shops and had my cousin guide me all over the city. I found the record at Fat Beats, where I was bitched out for breaking the plastic seal on some record. It was funny, my visit to Fat Beats was right after I hit up Turntable Lab where I asked politely to open a sealed record and the guys looked at me like I was crazy for asking and told me of course I could open records. Partly as a consequence I have been a frequent Turntable Lab customer since, and have never shopped at Fat Beats again.


Third Unheard - Connecticut Hip-Hop 1979-1983

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

h town represent // irony is in the tv

Rancho is a clean environment.



And he didn't even have a Facebook page...

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tiny mix tapes is a big downer

the future is now and it kinda sucks:Brand New Low
exhaustion: The Year I Fell Out of the Loop

but i can't blame them

also too many bands are too many bands

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Monday, December 15, 2008

give me humor or give me death

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

this is it! funk y'all

nasty gal

(* = a favorite song)
this side
1. nasty gal*
2. talkin trash
3. dedicated to the press*
4. you and i
5. feelins

that side
6. f.u.n.k.*
7. gettin kicked off, havin fun*
8. shut off the light*
9. this is it!
10. the lone ranger*
- aka i will take that ride from the reissue of her self-titled 1973 release

let us thank the lord jesus for the fine arts library. and also kvrx (or even thomas fawcett). this is a vinyl rip of betty's 1975 release, nasty gal. as you can see (and hear), it's not in excellent condition but i would say the rip is really pretty good. although a little quieter than i would have liked. i hesitated a little to give you this, since you really should be listening to her prior two records which i like a lot better than this one. still, there are some out of this world tracks here. there is sadly very little information about betty on the web, or really anywhere to be found. she married miles davis for a brief period and introduced him to the music of jimi hendrix, who she sings about in f.u.n.k. i want to say more about her but i'll just post some links when i get around to making vinyl rips of her other records.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Year end top 10s post #1

This is a repost off the facebook group (codeword: rancho relaxo community), which you are encouraged to join and participate in.

My semi-chronological list of the best shows I saw and can remember off the top of my head this year.

Black Lips at Emos (only show to ever get kicked out of!! not even drunk! wtf???)
Sir Richard Bishop at Rancho
Nat Baldwin at Rancho
KVRXplosion at The Austin Children's Museum (favorite sets: Lucky Dragons, Knyfe Hyts)
Boris at Mohawk
Man Man at Emos
The Oh Cees (at Beerland and Club 1808) (** shows of the year**)
Quintron and Miss Pussycat/Golden Triangle at Emos
Monotonix at Mohawk
Rainbow Arabia at Rancho Halloween
Gang Gang Dance at Mohawk
Deerhunter at Emos

Non Complete List of Memorable Local Bills of 2008:
Bass Solo Contest at Beauty Bar
The Carrots/The Strange Boys at Beerland, right before the Carrots left
Belaire Italian Horror set at Emos
{{{Sunset}}} at Broken Neck
Brazos/Weird Weeds at Progress Coffee
Weird Weeds for free at Moose Lodge, like 6 times
Mellow Owl and solo sets at Rancho (last show ever...that was like 2 days ago!)

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RanchO is dead. Long live RanchO

yo! no more shows at the house! its not a big deal. still more shows elsewhere. plus hopefully we can find someone to move in in August who is into it. Reason? Neighbor concerns? Personal refocusing of energies? reasonable? Anyways, we will see what lies just. around. the. corner., but I think its a safe bet that this isn't the last you will hear from those "rancho relaxo dudes," nor do i hope this is the last heard from all the people who came to events at el casa del nosotros as far as radicalness is concerned.

you. are. radical. forrealz.

anyways, more on shit later....sort of a weird time of year, this December thing, I mean. Hope everyone in schools finals are going good!

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Listen to Criticism

Marathonpacks is a music criticism blog written by Eric Harvey. He writes a column for Pitchfork titled Silent Party, and also reviews records for them on occasion. Today he made an interesting post about his part in a new method of selling records online.

The record label Asthmatic Kitty has adopted a "post-In Rainbows" record pricing strategy based on Pitchfork's rating system. An album by Granmpall Jookabox just received a 5.4 from Mr. Harvey, and thusly Asthmatic Kitty will sell the album online with a pricetag of $5.40 for 54 hours.

In the past one could have said that a band's financial success would be very influenced by coverage on Pitchfork, but this is taking it way too far. Although the sale price is temporary, it is still abominable. With this marketing plan, Pitchfork's rating defines the value of the artifact for sale. I can't believe the band agreed to this, it's pretty nightmarish.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Pick Yr Version Fridays

Dear Casavista/Rancho Readers,

Which version of this song do you like better? I am having a hard time deciding.

Peter Gabriel makes the song sound really serious and personal. Apparently it's about him leaving Genesis. The stripped down acoustic arrangement really draws on the heart-strings. Imagine Peter atop a lonely hill somewhere in England, feeling his heart go boom-boom-boom and then deciding that he didn't want to be a party of Phil Collins's boom-boom-boom anymore. High drama.

But then again, Erasure's cover is revelatory. I don't think they could have found chessier synth tones. There are also those sweet airy sweep sounds that you hear in ultra-bad generic techno. The lasers and vocal distortion on the boom-boom-boom part really give Gabriel's passionate rendition a run for it's money. The whole song sounds like a cell phone ring. In fact, I wish this could be my cell phone ring. Speaking of cell phones, if you listen to the left side of the mix at about the 2:45 mark you can hear a a stuttering that is remarkably similar to the sound computer speakers make when your cell phone blows up nearby. The female vocals at the end are also a nice touch, but I think the weird scatting that Peter Gabriel does at the end of the song wins as far as unnecessary outro vocals go.

I think I'm going with the Peter Gabriel, but there's a good case to be made for the Erasure version as well.

Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill

Erasure - Solsbury Hill

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Thursday, December 4, 2008


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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Thing I Forgot About Emos Outside // Chicks in Bands Crush List of 2008

If you are on the front road the sound isn't bad. That room sounds like shit so many different places, but the front row is not one of those places. Also Deerhunter was awesome, and my chicks in bands crush list of 2008 has expanded from 1 to 2.

Ethan's Chicks In Bands Crush List of 2008:
chick from Thee Oh Cees
chick from Deerhunter

but which is the number one hottie and which the number two hottie? lets go in depth and see which of Ethan's turn-ons these lovely ladies managed to hit:

chick from Thee Oh Cees: tall but wearing boots anyways, long dark hair, simple clothing, tambourine, originally British so sort of has that nastiness, rockin body, awesome voice, member of Thee Oh Cees, clearly does not give a fuck

chick from Deerhunter: tall but wearing boots anyways, long dark hair, simple clothing, tambourine, hysterical Snake Pliskin vibe but still femenine, crooked but sexy teeth, was a keyboard stand for a song during Times New Viking, seemed ultra-psyched to be in Texas, rockin body, member of Deerhunter, clearly does not give a fuck

I'm going to give the nod to the the chick from Deerhunter (her name is Wendy (ed: her name is actually Whitney. oops!) by the shake of the rattlesnake rattle she was wearing as a necklace. So congrads Wendy, you are number 1! in my book at least...

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Special Post-Thanksgiving Favorite Song

I didn't post a song this last Wednesday. I was planning on it, then was released early from work and couldn't bring myself to blog. It's no excuse. That's why I'm bringing the fire this morning. A special edition.

Eddie Kendricks - Day by Day

Eddie Kendricks was in the original line-up of the Temptations and left the band in 1971 as they were hitting their peak. "Day by Day" was released in 1972 on the album "People... Hold on". If you like this track, the album is equally as stellar.

I usually don't like to throw out words like undeniable in relation to music but god-damn. I could not sleep last night because I had this song in my mind, it is seriously dangerous. You might lose sleep, be warned.

One of the first things to notice about the track is the ridiculous stereo isolation. Nearly everything is panned except the bass and vocals. In the verse the guitar is even panned halfway through each phrase. It's a bit gratuitous but highlights the differences in the two halves of the guitar line. Also I like the trumpet coming in out of left-field, especially with the drums panned right. The serious stereo stuff also helps you notice the weird ass synthesizer stabs right before the last chorus.

But the vocals are really the draw, as is nearly always the case. Serious sing-a-long potential here, Kendricks's falsetto rises and falls with such enthusiasm, the dude really does sound like he's in some type of ecstatic love. I'm looking for this on the playlist next time I stumble into a karaoki bar.


Lil Wayne - Let That Beat Build

A bonus track on Tha Carter 3, Kanye brings the soulful sampling you could have come to expect from him before he had a mid-life crisis about three months ago. He's probably been saving this sample since the College Dropout days. It's a lazy production in the sense that it's just a four bay loop, but Kendricks's joyous vocals and a simple 808 drum pattern (foreshadowing?) carry it for five whole minutes. If you road in my car towards the end of the summer, I probably played this song for you. Play it on a loud system for your first listen and just wait for those drums to drop at the two minute mark. I dig Weezy getting a bit meta with the hook, it speaks to his authority as a rapper. It's also sweet when the beat drops out and he says he will eat you alive.

Other notable lyrics:

"I told her toolbox, bitch it's hammer-time."
"Approving million dollar deals from my iPhone."
"I've got a lot of tattoos and I meant every tear."


Lil Wayne - Let that Beat Build (instrumental)

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