Pimps of Protest: My 1st Podcast


When I was deciding how I wanted to use this silly little music blog I maintain here, one of the things I had an internal debate on was whether to speak out on topical issues. I saw a few positives in that idea, but the part of me that wanted this blog to exist outside of current events won out. I saw it as a way of separating church and state, so to speak. No one is coming here to get their news or editorial opinions, nor should they.

Because of that, I've always tried to stay away from using the songs I post on Pimps of Gore as commentary on current events. It's a fun little game to play with your friends, but it's kind of an easy way out when it comes to writing about music. Songs can certainly highlight themes in times of conflict or tragedy, but they should also be able to exist outside of those events. Plus, if you don't really understand the song, you run the danger of assigning it a totally inappropriate meaning. Remember when Ronald Reagan tried to use Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." as a campaign theme song? Hell, I just saw a Jack Daniel's ad on TV that used Jane's Addiction's "Jane Says." Nothing says "I'll have a double" like a song about a junkie.

Some time last week, after watching hours of depressing Katrina coverage and anticipating the worst from Rita (thanks, news media!), I started throwing together a mix of songs that seemed to echo the way I felt (there I go, assigning inappropriate meaning). A blogger out there had posted KANSAS JOE's "When the Levee Breaks," and the dread of that song kind of kickstarted my search.

I didn't want to just slap a few songs up here and make some sort of a storm-themed post, but I did want to share the idea with a few people. The first person I shared it with was my long time friend Matt, who helms This is a Pocket Protest. He started TiaPP a few months back, originally as a music blog and then eventually as a place to house his phenomenal podcasts (and I'm not just saying that because half of the music on his computer is mine). I know he puts a lot of thought into his mixes, so I basically sent him a half dozen songs and the instructions that I wanted this collaboration to have a sort of "after the storm" feel, with just a hint of New Orleans as a tribute to a city that may never fully recover from that storm. I wanted to make a concept album about disaster, recovery and the politics of tragedy.

Later that night, Matt sent me a link to our first collaborative podcast. All credit for the sequencing goes to him. It's about 43 minutes long, in one continuous file, so dial-up users just walk away now.


The Story of the Hurricane

1. Oceans in the Hall (THE LADYBUG TRANSISTOR)
2. When the Levee Breaks (KANSAS JOE)
3. Drowning Spider (BARRY BLACK)
4. Back Water Blues (BESSIE SMITH)
6. High Water (BOB DYLAN)
7. New Orleans (SILVER JEWS)
8. New Orleans Instrumental No. 1 (R.E.M.)
9. Hurricane Warning (Ignored) (PORTASTATIC)
10. I Walk on Guilded Splinters (JOHNNY JENKINS)
11. The Word 'Hurricane' (AIR)
12. Wish Someone Would Care (IRMA THOMAS)
13. Sea Above, Sky Below (DIRTY THREE)



DJ Kicks, v. 4


To make up for my continuing neglect here, tonight's post is going to include 12 songs, over 1/3rd of everything we played, from the continuing DJ exploits of myself and my friend Mike at Omaha's Goofy Foot Lodge.

The crowd has been a little strange as of late, and the bar seems to have a different personality every weekend. While I felt like our set two weeks ago was the best we'd come up with, it fell on a lot of indifferent ears (save for a few of our friends in attendance). I don't really mind, though. I'd rather have a great set that nobody hears over an awful set in front of a few hundred ears.

Friday September 9, 2005

-- This is the entire setlist, including both vinyl and digital tracks. --

1. "I Walk On Guilded Splinters" by DR. JOHN
2. "I Walk On Guilded Splinters" by JOHNNY JENKINS: Throughout the night, Mike and I did a couple of pairings where we would include a few variations on the same song. Usually, like on these two tracks, they'd vary enough in style that someone out in the bar might not know they were hearing a second version of the song they'd just heard. The Dr. John version is the original, and has been covered by everyone from Cher to Paul Weller. I found the Johnny Jenkins track over at a superb blog that I frequent called Diddy Wah.
3. "Watermelon Man" by HERBIE HANCOCK
4. "Watermelon Man" by BABA BROOKS: Mike played the Hancock record a little faster to match up with the tempo of this fantastic ska rendition of the oft-covered jazz classic.
5. "Dirty Harry" by GORILLAZ
6. "Dirty Harry" by RICHARD HALL: While this one has the same title as the Gorillaz track before it, it doesn't really sound much like it. Hall's "Harry" is, however, was produced by Glen Brown, and this instrumental version would later become the basis for...
7. "Rasta On Sunday" by I-ROY: I love the vocals on this track. Why don't people use reverb like this anymore?
8. "The Signs, Pt. 1" (instrumental) by DAVID AXELROD
9. "Be There" by UNKLE w/IAN BROWN
10. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" by THE ROLLING STONES
11. "Buckaroo" (live) by BUCK OWENS
12. "Little Sister" by ELVIS PRESLEY
13. "Human Instinct" by PINK DAWN
14. "Love Love Love" by PUGH
15. "Panda" by DUNGEN
16. "Dimension" by WOLFMOTHER: WOLFMOTHER are unopologetically Sabbath As Fuck. You can, and should, get their debut EP on the iTunes music store. And if you like this kind of ageless rock that sounds like it was recorded either yesterday or 40 years ago, check out DUNGEN as well.
17. "Don't Bring Me Down" by THE PRETTY THINGS: This probably isn't actually the version of this track that Mike played that night. His sounded like some sort of live radio performance, and was actually just tacked on at the end of this Joy Division bootleg he'd bought. A few parts of the song were bleeped out, making it seem like the singer for The Pretty Things was dropping "F"-bombs on the radio. Anyone out there know the origin of this track?
18. "Rave n' Rock" by DADDY MAXFIELD
19. "Wait for the Blackout" by THE DAMNED
20. "Afk" by PINBACK
21. "Song from Under the Floorboards" by MAGAZINE
22. "Box Elder Mo" by THE WEDDING PRESENT
23. "Bang the Drum" by RAIL ROAD JERK: That last uttered "Bang the drum!" bled perfectly into the maniacal drum intro on:
24. "Skunk (Sonically Speaking)" by MC5: Holy shit. The Mars Volta don't sound as original now that I've heard this track.
25. "The Trumpton Riots" by HALF MAN, HALF BISCUIT
26. "Scissor Man" by XTC
27. "It Makes No Sense at All" by HUSKER DU
28. "Why Can't I Touch It?" by THE BUZZCOCKS
29. "Uncontrollable Urge" by DEVO
30. "Queen Bitch" by DAVID BOWIE
31. "Soap Commercial" by PSYCHEDELIC FURS
32. "The Unguarded Moment" by THE CHURCH
33. "History Lesson, Pt. 2" by THE MINUTEMEN
34. "Epilogue" by J-LIVE
35. "Get Out of My Life, Woman" by LEE DORSEY





Before I write another word, I have a declaration to make. Until further notification, I have a definitive song to be played at my funeral. That song, which appears on the newly released collaboration between IRON AND WINE and CALEXICO, is "Dead Man's Will".

Don't even try taking it from me. I've got dibs.

It's a fucking stunner of a song... gorgeous vocals, beautiful instrumentation (like those delicately played vibes) and Sam Beam's heartbreaking lyrics:

"Give this stone to my brother
Because we found it playing in the barnyard
many years ago
Give this bone to my father
He'll remember hunting in the hills
when I was ten years old

May my love reach you all
I locked it in myself and buried it too long
Now that I've come to fall
Please say it's not too late now that I'm dead and gone

Give this string to my mother
It pulled the baby teeth she keeps
inside the drawer
Give this ring to my lover
I was scared and stupid not to ask
For her hand long before"

As my roommate handed the lyric booklet back to me tonight while we listened to this song, he said, "Jesus, that weighs a TON." I told him about the first time I saw Calexico - before I'd even really heard them on record - and how they were so perfect that I was literally teary-eyed as I watched them play. It was pure music. I can't really explain it any better than that.

It is an absolute travesty that the American public has bought over 60,000 copies of that Crazy Frog album (the one where an animated, cellphone ringtone peddling frog "sings" wacky songs) and these two bands, deserving of much more success, will never hope to see the chart position that little bastard got. What the hell is wrong with us?

The EP that "Dead Man's Will" comes from, "IN THE REIGNS," is perfect. The production is uncluttered with most of today's bells and whistles, and pretty much sounds like what instruments are supposed to sound like. Best of all is the fact that you can really see how these two artists feed off of each other on this record. I don't think either one of these bands could have come up with a song like "A History of Lovers" on their own. It's definitely the bounciest thing Beam has ever written, and the unexpected horn section that blasts out in the song's halfway point puts a twist on Calexico's usually Southwestern, desert-bare sound.

"IN THE REIGNS" is what collaboration is all about: putting your best elements together to create something not only new, but also stylistically progressive for everyone involved. If you like the songs posted here tonight, you simply must own this EP. Whether you catch it on iTunes or at your local indie, you'll be doing your part to help fight the Crazy Frogs of this world.


Iron & Wine: "Lion's Mane" (live)
Calexico: "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (Joy Division cover)

- I have to thank my friend John Holt for introducing me to the music of Calexico. This is their website. They have a bunch of mp3's available here, but I can't figure out how to download them just yet.
- Get a bunch of Calexico shows at archive.org.
- Another buttload of Calexico mp3's over at City Slang.
- The official homepage of Iron and Wine
- Iron and Wine over at Sub Pop. They have 5 downloadable songs there, so check 'em out.



CRITERIA: Preventing the World, Tour


Remember that awful Jell-o wrestling party I dj'ed a few weeks back? The one where the natives (mostly drunken females) werre getting restless and demanding I play Petey Pablo? At a few points in that evening, my friend Brian had to act as my head security officer/attorney and yell at the people surrounding my table. After a barrage of "Fuck you, man"'s from the final group, I decided to just play a 20 minute block of music that would ruin their party... shit like The Clash, old Weezer, AC/DC and Thin Lizzy.

The last song I played -- the real barn-clearer and the definitive end to my DJ stint that night -- was CRITERIA's "Prevent the World", from their new album "WHEN WE BREAK." Why? Because the lyric "You're preventing the world from hearing my songs" never seemed more poignant to me then after the moment the big-boned girl with the halter top demanded my laptop because she knew what everyone wanted to hear.

Brian and I both thought frontman/guitarist Steve Pedersen would be pleased to hear his song ruined that girl's party for 3 minutes. I know Steve through Brian, although I had previously cleaned an entire high school football stadium with him a decade ago, when we both worked for Omaha Public Schools and he was in a band named SLOWDOWN VIRGINIA. That band eventually became CURSIVE, one of the more successful Omaha bands on the Saddle Creek label. Cursive broke up in the late '90s and Steve went to Duke law school. Cursive got back together, added Ted Stevens and eventually went on to sell a bunch of records.

In the meantime, Steve had a few musical projects: his North Carolina band THE WHITE OCTAVE, and his current project Criteria (which he started after returning to Omaha a few years ago). Steve has had the good fortune of having his new album released on Saddle Creek, who will also be re-releasing Criteria's first album, "EN GARDE." He and his band are about to embark on a pretty impressive Fall tour that begins in Chicago on September 12th.

If you're a fan of good old mean n' potatos indie-riff-rock like Quicksand, Weezer, Fig Dish, and Seaweed (and obviously, Cursive), you should check them out while they're on tour with bands like Minus the Bear and the Headphones (David Bazan's side project away from Pedro the Lion). Steve's a hell of a nice guy, and his band is especially fun to see in concert. If you like that first single or the other two tracks I'm posting here, go buy his album or check out a few more songs on iTunes. I recommend "Ride the Snake."

I normally wouldn't post 3 songs from a new album, but all three of these songs are also hosted elsewhere on the Saddle Creek website and a site hosting a contest to make the band's next video (see Criteria's site for more info). I'm putting them up here to save those sites a little bandwidth.

"Run Together"
"Kiss the Wake"



DJ Kicks, in a late late style...

It's been a busy - and somewhat nutty - couple of weeks. I've had two sets at the Goofy Foot since I last posted, and I even had an absolutely horrible set which took place at a Jell-o wrestling party well outside of town. Believe me when I say the Jell-o wrestling was nowhere near as sexy or exciting as it sounds. I couldn't have felt more out of place... one girl even came up and said "Play some Prince" WHILE I WAS PLAYING PRINCE!

In addition to all of this, I wrote three articles for the local city weekly paper and managed to find about 7 spare hours to come visit one of my favorite bars in town and pick out over 300 songs for them to add to their digital jukebox. So, I apologize for the lack of posting, and I'll try to work a little harder this month to keep the music coming.

I have to go to work and, whenever I find a moment of free time, try to plan out tonight's "DJ" set with my friend Mike. Here's a look at most of last week's setlist (minus, of course, the songs Mike played on vinyl).

THE GOOFY FOOT - Digital set for 8.26.05

1. Opened with Mike playing a Ravi Shankar record over an UNKLE remix of CAN's "Vitamin C", which lead to:
2. "Turtles Have Short Legs" by CAN
3. "Ponta de Lanca" by JORGE BEN
4. "Tao Longe de Mim" by OS BRAZOES
5. "Autobahn 66" by PRIMAL SCREAM
6. "Smash it Up (Pts 1 and 2)" by THE DAMNED
7. "She Sells Sanctuary" by THE CULT
8. "It's a Curse" by WOLF PARADE
9. "Death Valley '69" by SONIC YOUTH
10. "Dirty Harry" by GORILLAZ
11. "Let the Music Play" by BILLY PRESTON
12. "Over, Under, Sideways, Down" by THE YARDBIRDS
14. "Shack Up" by BANBARRA
15. "Shack Up" by A CERTAIN RATIO
16. "The Magnificent Romeo" by SOULWAX
17. "The Thrill of it All" by ROXY MUSIC
18. "The Wizard" by BLACK SABBATH
19. "Brakes On" by AIR
20. "Old Fashioned Way" by KEN BOOTHE
21. "The Corner" by COMMON
22. "Right Place, Wrong Time" by DR. JOHN
23. "Stood Up" by RICK NELSON