Monday, September 14, 2009

fear, French Mexicans, and funny people who died

Emanuel and the Fear - Emanuel and the Fear (listen) Smarty-pants, I-been-to-music-school chamber pop with just the right amount of disco (both actual disco and new order disco reduction) mixed in. My daughter and I listened to this all weekend until we could listen to it no more. It made a nice counterpoint to the medley of Eddie Rabbit's "I Love a Rainy Night", Billy Currington's "People are Crazy" and Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" that streamed out of the next tent over at tailgating. We are both unabashedly about this song.

The Iguanas - Plastic Silver 9-Volt Heart (listen) I have been reading up on the Barcelonettes, a group of textile merchants that moved from the Ubaye Valley in the French Alps to Mexico via a pit stop to marry some Cajun girls in Louisiana and found Arnaudville at the dawn of the 19th century. The first thought I had was: there needs to be a Mexi-Cajun band called the Barcelonettes that does Calexico-style culture-vulturing with ecstatic horn-and-accordion laden results, but then isn't that what the Iguanas do? On this album, er, no, not at all. here they do smart (if a little too safe) multi-culti pop that falls somewhere between Los Lobos and INXS. It's good stuff, but its no Barcelonettes as I imagine it. I'm thinking more in the tenor of a greatly expanded Zydepunks with matching suits. Accordions and mariachi horns at the ready, boys.

Here is a great clip of the Iguanas in Austin from Robert Mugge's film New Orleans Music in Exile.

One effect I have noticed with having Rhapsody on my phone is that my listening is less segmented; the same evolving playlist runs through work, a walk at lunch, the bus ride home, cleaning up the kitchen, grocery shopping, writing at night, etc. I like it. I think it put listening to music closer to the physicality of sound itself, making it all one big wave.

Jim Carroll - Praying Mantis - One quick thing about the dearly departed Jim Carroll: "People Who Died" is an undisputed classic as is "The Basketball Diaries" but one of my favorite things of his was a 1991 hilarious and heavy spoken word album Praying Mantis, particularly the epic length "The Loss of American Innocence" maybe one of the funniest monologues ever performed. Seek it out. Here is another bit from that same album about pretending to be a performance artist at St. Mark's Place, from the excellently titled blog Never Get Out of the Boat!

Tiny Tortures by NGOOTB

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