Category: music

Mile 2, Day 2: #MileofMusic

Posted by – August 8, 2014

Last year’s Mile of Music festival here in Appleton was such a huge success they’re doing it again and it started yesterday: I’ve already seen Charlie Parr (who knocked my socks off last year), Los Colognes (who reminded everyone of Dire Straits), Belle Adair (although I didn’t get to see their whole set) and some of Geri X, The Crowe Brothers, and Boom Forest.

Will be going to as much as I can today again: The Mutts most definitely, Swear and Shake (from Brooklyn!), Cereus Bright, Langhorne Slim, Bonesetters, Thriftones, Bruiser Queen, The Blakes, and maybe Pop Goes the Evil.

And no, I hadn’t heard of most of these bands, but I hadn’t heard of Those Darlins last year when I saw them and they became a permanent part of my music library.

“I Touch Myself” Becomes Breast Cancer PSA

Posted by – April 16, 2014

The Divynyls’ Chrissy Amphlett died of breast cancer last year and she wanted her best known song to do some good. The song of female desire is now a song of self-care:

= why women rock, pt. 8010.

Trans as Adjective (really)

Posted by – February 25, 2014

Really, a recent NPR music segment asked people to describe their life in 6 songs, and one of the people whose stories and choices they featured happens to be trans.

I love that there’s no other commentary besides the reflection on the part of the trans person who wrote, about the Beatles’ “Within You Without You” that “growing up transgender, it made me question my perception of reality (at age 12). And introduced me to Indian music.”

And that’s it, the only mention, with a lovely photo of her.

Journalists, this is how you do it, in case you’re wondering. A person’s trans identity should only be mentioned if it’s relevant to the trans person.

Pussy Riot Assaulted

Posted by – February 19, 2014

If I Had a Hammer…

Posted by – January 29, 2014

… I’d want to use it just like Pete Seeger used his. In response to questions from HUAC (The House Unamerican Activities Committee), he said this:

“I decline to discuss, under compulsion, where I have sung, and who has sung my songs, and who else has sung with me, and the people I have known. I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent this implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, or I might be a vegetarian, make me any less of an American. I will tell you about my songs, but I am not interested in telling you who wrote them, and I will tell you about my songs, and I am not interested in who listened to them.”

He didn’t even plead the 5th, which he had the legal right to do and which many did.

I’ve never been a fan of folk music – I’m just not. But I’m awed and inspired by the lives of some of the remarkable men and women like Seeger who didn’t just sing about it – they lived it.

music.alt.xmas.cheer

Posted by – December 24, 2013

Slicing Up Eyeballs Christmas Mix 2013 by Slicing Up Eyeballs on Mixcloud

Free Nelson Mandela

Posted by – December 9, 2013

I’ve waited a bit to post this song & video because it’s so celebratory it didn’t seem quite right on the day of Mr. Mandela’s death, but now, maybe it’s time.

This song & video were recorded in 1985 and charted in the UK & was played heavily in Africa. It was most definitely a favorite of any ska fans, recorded as it was by “The Special AKA” – a group of people from The Specials and other ska bands of the time, bands who were intent not just on mixing musical styles but in making sure the bands themselves were diverse.

& It was always such a happy, inspiring, determined song.

It’s hard to explain what it was like the day I turned on the radio to hear some of my favorite DJs crying on the air with the good news that he had, in fact, finally been freed. They played it over & over & over again.

Along with this song by Jesus Jones, it’s one of the very few that really do put me right back in that time & place, but the two times, in some ways, so distinct: 1985 still awash in Reagan/Thatcher, & music was still great. By 1990 you could feel it was all changing: in some ways, “Right Here, Right Now” was the end of optimism, and the stage would soon be set for Nirvana & a much more cynical time. But first, of course, Mandela was freed, we’d optimistically elect Bill Clinton, and the Wall fell.

So in some senses, Mandela’s death after his years as South Africa’s president and as a world ambassador at the age of 95 is really unexpected — because in 1985, it seemed far more likely he would die in jail far short of his 95th birthday. The world is so much better off that he didn’t.

Godspeed Mr. Mandela.

Two Tune Tuesday: Soft Cell

Posted by – December 3, 2013

They were one of my favorite bands:

I finally got to see them live, too, many, many, many years after I’d memorized all the lyrics to all their songs, & Marc gave me a hug after.

You can watch for about 15 minutes before you work out why I loved them: sleaze, eyeliner, & camp.

(via Dangerous Minds)

Happy Birthday Adam

Posted by – November 3, 2013

Happy 59th Birthday, Adam.

59, honestly, & he’s still the most beautiful man who ever lived.

Arctic Monkeys Play “Walk on the Wild Side”

Posted by – October 29, 2013

This made me cry. Wish I’d been there.

Thursday night I’d gone to see my new favorite band Those Darlins, who did a cover of White Light/White Heat – which is one of my favorite Velvet tunes – and I actually went & thanked them for it afterwards, specifically mentioning that it always does a NYC kid’s heart good to hear Lou. Such weird amazing timing: rock & roll magic.

Lou Reed: Sex and Gender Songs

Posted by – October 28, 2013

Lou Reed wrote a song about undergoing electroshock therapy because his parents thought he was gay. It was called “Kill Your Sons.”

He wrote “Candy Says” about Candy Darling, one of the Warhol Factory’s out trans women. (There were quite a few trans women involved in Warhol’s stuff, including – Ms. Darling, Holly Woodlawn, Jackie Curtis & Jayne County.)

He wrote “Walk on the Wild Side” which inspired a ton of trans people to say “Wait, what? That’s possible?” when it came to gender transformation.

He wrote “Coney Island Baby” – and the whole of that collection of songs – for a trans girlfriend of his named Rachel.

Then of course there’s “Venus in Furs”, too, which is a whole other thing altogether, but certainly of interest to a certain subset of y’all.

 

Goodbye, Lou Reed

Posted by – October 27, 2013

Thanks for everything.

Ramones + Regis

Posted by – October 1, 2013

How can you not love this? Surreal, and so 1988. I saw one of those gigs at The Ritz, too. I don’t even know how many times I saw them, but it was a lot.

Goldfrapp’s “Annabel”

Posted by – September 6, 2013

The scoop from Nowness:

A young, androgynous boy explores his femininity through a hoard of trinkets hidden in the undergrowth in the accompanying video to “Annabel,” a brand new track from Goldfrapp. For their sixth album Tales Of Us, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory have stepped back from the electronic synth pop with which they made their name. “I like electronic sounds because of the iciness, but I find them quite awkward,” says Goldfrapp. “Acoustic instruments have a warmth and sensuality about them.” Each song on Tales Of Us is named after a different person and the album sees Goldfrapp’s voice—at one moment rich, the next fragile—paired with understated guitar and strings. The intended effect is to allow the characters and narratives to breathe, which is most eloquently achieved in “Annabel,” inspired by Kathleen Winter’s 2010 novel of the same name which follows a hermaphrodite child who is forced into taking on a male identity in 1960s Canada.

Goldfrapp: Annabel on Nowness.com

There’s an interview about the song and the new music, too. It’s not my kind of song, to be honest, but I do love the clip and otherwise love Goldfrapp.

#notsoblurredlines

Posted by – September 3, 2013

I admit that I think the unrated version of the original is kinda hot. There, I’ve said it. Not all of it – there is way too much objectification of women in it, of course – really, a mini stop sign on her butt? – but naked women + clothed men, in my opinion, isn’t necessarily sexist. The lyrics are problematic, too, although there are no actual threats or even suggestions of assault. Theoretically, the narrator could hate “blurred lines” exactly because he’s respecting what the woman is saying when she’s saying no. BUT: I find it sexy because all the women are gorgeous and all the men are handsome, dress well, and can dance. There are parts that are playful and almost sweet.

My finding it personally sexy, in parts, doesn’t mean it’s not sexist bullshit, too. Just that sometimes politics & sexuality create blurred lines all their own.

Anyway, I love this, too, & it’s equally hot, in my opinion:

Also, this.

Adam Ant on Tour

Posted by – September 2, 2013

his current badass self rocking a skirt for London’s Fashion Week.

There are only a few US dates left, and I am pleased as punch I got to see him in Milwaukee. He still has so much stage charisma it’s ridiculous, and he’s doing a ton of the old punk songs – like “Zerox Machine”! – which makes antfans like me seriously happy.

If anyone out there wants to buy my round-trip airfare to the Pacific NW, I’d love to go see the Seattle & Portland shows which happen this upcoming weekend! Really. I’m not kidding. Even a little. I nearly drove to Minneapolis the day after the Milwaukee show to see him again.

Here he is doing a cool version of “Antmusic“, and for those of you who never saw him, this is the beauty that was Adam back in the day, doing “Physical (You’re So)” (which some of you may know from when NIN’s Trent Reznor covered it).

Here he is in the late 70s, back in the punk days, in the Derek Jarman film Jubilee, with the band that would eventually become Bow Wow Wow, playing “Plastic Surgery”.

& The best part of this clip is all the aging punk rockers doing the “Prince Charming”.

I can’t even begin to explain how or why this man saved my life, but he did.

First Listen: Franz Ferdinand

Posted by – August 24, 2013

I love Franz Ferdinand, if that’s unclear, and this new one sounds as good as the rest – check it out at NPR.

Two Tune Tuesday: Those Darlins

Posted by – August 13, 2013

I love them.

I first heard of them and saw this this weekend at Appleton’s music fest Mile of Music. The whole thing was amazing, with 10k people in attendance (!), and the event managed to cause a Wisconsin bar to run out of booze — after they placed a special order on Saturday and ran out of all *that* booze by Sunday.

But this band – oh, this band, I just fell in love with.

“I may have girly parts / but I have a boy’s heart…” is probably the standout lyric, but the one that first killed me was the “I just wanna play in the mud with you / you just wanna stick it in.” How great is that?

I honestly didn’t know what to make of them when they first came onstage, but I already knew I was going to go home & look them up. They started with a track from their newest, Blur the Line, called “Oh God”. The room went still and we all listened to every lyric, I think, rapt. Amazing stage presence, and they rocked. It surprised the hell out of me that they won over that crowd, and the lead singer told me later it surprised her, too. I’m hoping I’ll get to interview her/them at a later date. Check out “Optimist” – “I used to be an optimist / but it got too dangerous” – for the flip side of the sound of “Oh God”.

This is them playing the more straight-up country “Wild One” at Brooklyn’s (now defunct) Southpaw back in 2008. I wish I’d been there. They tour all over this fall. I will most definitely see them in Madison.

(This post is dedicate to Darya, who I predict is going to love them at least as much as I do.)

Ready for Appleton’s Music Fest: #mileofmusic

Posted by – August 9, 2013

I’ll be tweeting what I’m going to see today and tomorrow and Sunday – there are so, so many interesting bands playing, and at so many venues! It’s pretty incredible. Check for #mileofmusic on Twitter – there are already plenty of posts, photos, reviews & updates.

The full details are at the Mile of Music website & via the Post Crescent’s hub for the event.

Thanks, Cory Chisel! I’m personally hoping this will become an annual event. The whole thing is a little surreal, to be honest, since we now live in a house Chisel lived in when he lived in Appleton.

Free Music

Posted by – July 9, 2013

NPR has 10 cool tracks that are free to download today, including a cool one by Neko Case.