Yesterday, we saw that Martin Van Buren really didn't have a good campaign song. Instead, his song ham-handedly called anyone who'd vote against him a drunk. His opponent, William Henry Harrison understood the value of a good campaign song. He had two classics of the form, the first of which we'll talk about today.
"The Harrison Yankee Doodle" is notable for two reasons. First: It riffs on "Yankee Doodle Dandy," one of the most popular American songs of all time. And second:
With Harrison, our country's won No treachery can divide her Thy will be done with Harrison, Log Cabin, and Hard Cider.
Taking cues from the campaign, the song openly endorses drinking. Seems in some ways, Harrison was a prototypical Teabagger, running on old fashioned American values like log cabins and drinking hard cider. (This is why Van Buren's song tried to appeal to the temperance freaks, but it inarguably could have handled the drinking bit in a classier way.) Who doesn't love singing a catchy little ditty about booze? I'm surprised Shane MacGowen hasn't covered "Harrison Yankee Doodle" at some point in his career. This isn't Harrison's main campaign song, but it's a good one, setting the stage for a candidate who can bring the good times back.
Lyrics: 9 Enthusiasm: 9 Infectiousness: 9 Total Score: 9
by Dave Segal
on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 3:09 PM
Last night at Living Room bar, I participated in the bimonthly DJ night Prog!, in which I and some other locals with a lot of music on our shelves and hard drives spin various strains of prog rock (it's the only event in Seattle devoted to such music). We invited Pat Thomas, the drummer of the SF band Mushroom (he's living in Seattle while working on projects for Light in the Attic* and Fantagraphics**), to play some gems from his collection. One highlight was "Pensamientos, Parte 1 & 2" by Eduardo Bort. Somehow I've gone my whole life without even seeing Bort's name in print. Clearly, I have to reassess the way I live. Anyway, check the video below and explore the album on Mutant Sounds, if you get the urge.
Does anyone else catch some fragrant Mighty Boosh fumes off of the cover art and the music? I mean that in the nicest way possible.
* Volume two of a Wheedle's Groove vinyl comp. ** A photo-laden history of the music inspired by the Black Power movement titled Listen, Whitey!, due for publication in October.
I'm not trying to be a prick for posting this, buyer beware and capitalism and free markets and all that bullshit...whatever, but when I scrolled past this listing (see below) on the ebay™ I fucking did a spit take. Really!! All over my keyboard...coffee and Hostess Ding Dong™ bits EVERYWHERE okay, FINE, no spit take, not really, but I do see this all the time and I think, "THIS DON'T MAKE NO SENSE!!!" Dealers/sellers are listing major pop stars, stars which sold MILLIONS of record, common/hit records for premium bucks!! The prices are sometimes a bit gouging (see below), even by hopeful record dealer standards, for instance (see below) Kenny Rogers' pop singles are at BEST dollar records...if they're even SELLABLE!!! Yet, here (see below), they're listed for more than a dollar...
SERIOUSLY!!! $12 for a Kenny Rogers' Pic Sleeve?!?! And $10 for a REISSUE 45?!
WEAK. Um...Popsike has him rated tho...still if you're in the market for some Kenny 45s don't get em off'a ebay, wait till you find 'em for a dollar, or LESS, as they should be. And if you CAN'T find 'em its 'cause they're not sellable and the store/dealer has TRASHED 'em. Hmmm, maybe these dealers/sellers price this gear high hoping for ignorant or foreign buyers, or maybe they're just trying to cover all those ebay™ fees.
This is how I wanna remember Kenny Rogers..."I was just peein' on 'em and they're dead."
The Fader has the scoop on Tomboy's cover art (see below), and they guesstimate that "the cover will be printed on paper towels or some type of cottony surface, a clever customizable design that allows fans to dab ensuing tears of joy directly onto their physical copy."
Tears of joy? That girl looks pretty bummed out to me. Why so glum, chum?
Tomboy is due out April 12th, just in time for springtime rain to ruin your tissue-cloth LP cover.
Seems like lately, there has been more and more pee on the floor in the men’s room. The other night at a show, I went to the bathroom, and it was clear that some dude had pee’d, and had completely missed the toilet for the duration of his pee. Maybe he was texting, maybe he was concentrating on his beer, maybe his eyes were closed, because not a single drop of his pee could have made it into the toilet. Maybe he was seeing triple, and thought he was peeing into a toilet.
Sometimes, it’s hard. There are challenges. Sometimes pee surges out. Slight misses happen, a drop here or there is OK. Alcohol transforms the urinal or toilet into a moving target. Taller guys have farther to aim. Sometimes, aiming is simply too difficult.
Sometimes (subconsciously), the male species misses toilets and urinals on purpose, as a marking of the territory. When there are potential mates in the vicinity, the male animalistic brain feels a need to spread scent.
When guys pee at a bar, club, or venue, what percentage of their urine actually makes it into the toilet or urinal?
Tonight's Healthy Times Fun Club line-up is a solid one. Not only are crass local favorites Butts playing, but the Terrordactyls and Consignment are also in on the, uh, "fun." Portland band Besties round out the roster, and while they may not be too well-known this side of the state line (Mercury readers might know better), they certainly deserve to be.
Besties is the side-project of Orca Team's Leif Anders, and trades in a similarly retro-soaked sound (in Orca Team, Anders shreds on bass; in Besties, he plays guitar). Anders, along with cohorts Cody Seals (drums) and Sarah Proctor (bass), doles out beguiling pop ditties with a much surfier bent than Orca Team's demure jams. At times, Besties sound like the lovestruck musings of an ambrosia-drunk Joe Meek, and the liner notes to their No Friends cassette crack wise about the band's sonic proximity to pop and surf greats of yore ("thanks to everyone who comes to shows and tells us we sound like another band").
If you're not yet sold on Besties, have a listen to this live recording from a 2010 set they played at all-ages venue the Artistery, which was, unfortunately, recently shuttered:
Show tonight starts at 8 PM, donations (probably $5) accepted at the door.
This weirdo clip went up on Everything is Terrible awhile back under the header "Dreams of a Truckasauras." I don't even know how to describe it—"Quasi-racist Australian TV movie about robotic size-changing dinosaur"? Something like that.
(Electric Tea Garden) Brooklyn DJ/producer Gadi Mizrahi—co-boss of the burgeoning Wolf + Lamb label—has fostered a suave strain of tech-house that's as stripped down as it is elegant. At his much-loved "Marcy Hotel" underground dance parties (which he's transported to club meccas like London's Fabric and Berlin's Watergate), Mizrahi's championed excellent like-minded artists such as Seth Troxler, Lee Curtiss, and Nicolas Jaar. "The idea behind these parties... is intimacy," Mizrahi told Miami New Times. "The music that's played there is usually deeper than you'll hear in a club." Locals Pezzner and Deepvibez should ideally complement Mizrahi's set with their own sleek, sensual takes on tech-house. The promoters for this show should hand out prophylactics at the door. DAVE SEGAL
Fatal Lucciauno, the Absolute Monarchs, NighTraiN, Ripynt
(Comet) I try my best to catch everything that deserves attention and words of praise, but always something, somehow, someway manages to pass through the holes of my net. One such thing was Ripynt's 2009 album RIP: Re-Inventing Poetics, a full, direct, and charged work of Everett hiphop. Indeed, the album contains much of the same raw energy, at the level of the beats and raps, that made Framework's 2005 album Hello Worlda local classic. How in the world did I miss RIP? Maybe it was eclipsed by the year it appeared, 2009, the incredible year of Go! Machine and Shabazz Palaces. Whatever the case, I will not let Ripynt's next album pass me in silence. CHARLES MUDEDE
Say Hi, the Globes, Cataldo
(Neumos) Of course, tonight is all about Say Hi, who are celebrating the release of their seventh full-length, Um, Uh Oh (which is great). But this evening's show is also a chance to congratulate opening local band the Globes, who signed to Barsuk Records last October. It's easy to see why Barsuk scooped them up—their most recent EP, Sinter Songs, would impress fans of Menomena with its layers of wiry, haunting guitar work and echoing, dark vocals. But the Globes have proved in the past, on their self-titled EP, that they can also write striking indie-pop songs with big guitar riffs and memorable choruses. It's hard to decide which they do better, though, so let's hope they'll showcase both sides of their music repertoire on their debut full-length, due out this spring. MEGAN SELING See also album review.
Interpol, School of Seven Bells
(Showbox Sodo) I can distinctly remember the first time I heard Interpol. There was no outcry of Joy Division plagiarism (sorry, dudes, aside from the voice, I'm still not hearing it), no visual component to the band (the suits, the hair, DUDES, WHY THE HAIR?), just the bold, alluring cover of Turn on the Bright Lights and the hypnotic spin of "Untitled" and me at a listening station in the otherwise lifeless University District Cellophane Square (RIP). Musically, it's still a great album, even if it's marred by subsequent revelations of the band's other-than-musical missteps, including what colleague Michaelangelo Matos rightly noted as "the worst lyrics in rock music." Live, Interpol are competent if a little lackluster—or at least they were before Carlos Dengler left. Proceed at your own risk. GRANT BRISSEY
We're skipping ahead a couple of elections to 1840, now—I can't seem to find anything about the music of the 1832 or 1836 elections—and we find ourselves in the middle of a huge clusterfuck of an election. The Anti-Masonic Party was slowly dying and all the parties were in flux. Incumbent Martin Van Buren was running against William Henry Harrison and his vice presidential pick, John Tyler.
Harrison had a couple campaign songs, but Van Buren apparently just had one. But what a campaign song! It's incredibly weird, and it's sung to the tune of "Rockabye Baby." Here are the lyrics:
Rockabye, baby, Daddy's a Whig When he comes home, hard cider he'll swig When he has swug He'll fall in a stew And down will come Tyler and Tippecanoe. Rockabye, baby, when you awake You will discover Tip is a fake. Far from the battle, war cry and drum He sits in his cabin a'drinking bad rum. Rockabye, baby, never you cry You need not fear OF Tip and his Ty. What they would ruin, Van Buren will fix. Van's a magician, they are but tricks.
Crazy! It calls the opposing party a bunch of drunks, and their candidate a scaredy-cat alcoholic who can't even drink alcohol that is uncontaminated. At the end, they say "Vote for our guy, because he's a wizard." You've got to admire the pluck and playfulness of these lyrics—that past tense of "swig" is genius—but it's kind of an off-putting campaign song, in that it insults half the population of the United States. Points for gusto—not even Sarah Palin would have a campaign song like this one—but major points off for sheer aggression.
Lyrics: 8.5 Enthusiasm: 3 Infectiousness: 1 Total Score: 4.17
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 5:35 PM
Jive Time Records' blog has a brief survey of the highly respected German jazz label ECM's top releases. It's a solid list, for sure—especially Julian Priester's Love, Love and John Abercrombie's Timeless. And the honorable mention of Terje Rypdal's self-titled 1971 full-length—a magnificently taut, Nordic take on Miles Davis' On the Corner—is on point, too.
But there are some titles that I think also deserve prominence. For example, Wolfgang Dauner's Output, a wild, brainy foray into jazz fusion, and Marion Brown's Afternoon of a Georgia Faun and Robin Kenyatta's Girl from Martinique are two more low-key, amorphously beautiful gems from ECM's vast catalog of understated greatness. I know there are others (some Don Cherry/Derek Colin Walcott collabs, maybe?), but I have a headache and am spacing out big time. I'll dig for more later.
Last night Cafe Society hosted "I'm Coming Out", a night of emerging soul with Fly Moon Royalty and Shaprece (it was in fact Shaprece's debut performance). The turnout was proper, there was much dancing, the ladies were definitely running the motherfucker. All photos by Kaitlin Swezey.
I was listening to an episode of the Nerdist podcast today that featured voice actor Billy West (Ren & Stimpy, Futurama, Space Jam, etc.), and in it, he recounted a story from the halcyon days of the early '90s that sounds like horseshit:
"One day this scraggly kid came in [to the Spümcø offices] and said he wanted to write a song for Ren & Stimpy, and they said, 'Yeah, that's great,' and they threw it in the waste basket, and it was Kurt Cobain."
The Spümcø-produced episodes of Ren & Stimpy ran from 1991-1993, and premiered in August of '91. In order for West's story to be legit, the cartoon had to have been on the air long enough for Kurt to have seen it and liked it, so at the earliest, this tall-seeming tale takes place in late '91. Nevermind was recorded in California in the Spring and early Summer of '91, and it follows that afterward, Cobain would ostensibly have been something of an itinerant soul, spending more time outside the Northwest on tours and what-have-you, so theoretically, Cobain very could have poked his head in to the Spümcø offices during an LA visit at some point in the very early '90s. I dunno. West tells some other dubious stories (e.g. that he toured with Jonathan Richman), but it turns out his claim that he played lead guitar for Brian Wilson—and even appeared with him on Letterman—is actually totally true, so who knows.
Can anyone confirm or debunk? Is this a widely known anecdote or urban legend that I am just hearing for the first time?
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 1:51 PM
In a new feature on Dusted called Face the Musician, Dan "Destroyer" Bejar discusses his new album, Kaputt, in the context of his career. It's an interesting read, but my eyes really perked up when I saw Bejar mention that he'd been listening to a lot of British music right before the recording of Kaputt. Among his list of favorites was Pale Saints' Half Life, Remembered, which was a favorite of mine in 1990, but which I've not listened to in over a decade. So, let's plunge ourselves into a mini nostalgia wallow for classic UK dream pop, shall we? This is the best song from Half Life, Remembered, although the title track is swoonworthy, too.
One of the architects of the Oldominion sound, a local sound that ruled the first half of the 00s, a sound that's dark and goth, and a sound that still has currency (listen to Onry Ozzborn's new albums), Mr. Hill, has released a beat tape of chopped up and reprocessed 60s pop tunes. The tape, which is called Smirk, can be downloaded for nothing over here.