I'm in the middle of writing a paper and studying for finals, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to meet my deadline here. Get ready for it, y'all, because I'm just going to be puking music all over you tonight.
Thanks to everyone who offered kind words, donations and bids on my Ebay auctions. I'm going to try and post a few more things next week after my tests are over. My auctions went incredibly well. . . just over $400 for about 18 items. That should definitely help.
Anyway, enough about me.
For those of you who don't like to read, tonight's going to be a treat for you. Sorry I don't have time to elaborate and pontificate. My mind is elsewhere. I'm going to be all over the map tonight. Folk. Punk. Hip-hop. All over the map. Let's get to it, eh?
"The Headmaster Ritual" by RADIOHEAD:
(Thanks to Stereogum.com for posting these a few weeks ago.) In case you missed it, Radiohead recently did a suprise online "gig" from their studio, apparently just for shits n' giggles. In between individual bandmembers DJing some of their favorite tracks and playing some nutty video footage, they performed a few new songs along with a couple of incredible covers as tributes to some classic British bands of old. The former track is a JOY DIVISION cover, while the latter is a classic by THE SMITHS. Oh, and in case you hadn't heard from just about every online media outlet under the digital sun, Radiohead's new album In Rainbows is awesome.
"Stop" by JOE HENRY:
Joe Henry is an amazing songwriter who has a new album out, Civilians. "Civil War" is from that album, and is a blueprint for his style of songwriting: well written, typically dark songs with incisive lyrics that cut to the bone, no matter the topic. Dude writes some of the best breakup songs out there, and "Trampoline" (from the album with the same name) is one of those songs. "You once kissed me not to hear me speak / and loved me just so you could leave / every bit of life wrung out of me." Dude is like Raymond Carver with a guitar instead of a typewriter. I could have sworn I'd posted that one before, and the follow-up track, "Stop." Oh, he also happens to be Madonna's cousin. "Stop" might sound familiar to some of you because she wound up covering it and making it into a big old hit (and a massive paycheck for him). Naturally, his version rules.
"It's Only Life"
"Paint It, Black" by by THE FEELIES:
Any loyal readers out there want to prove to me that I haven't posted these songs before? Because I could swear I had. Not having done so until this point is pretty criminal. What's also criminal is that The Feelies' records are out of print. Some awesome blogger out there posted their cover of PATTI SMITH's "Dancing Barefoot," which I bring you tonight, along with my two favorite original tracks and a second cover, THE ROLLING STONES' "Paint It, Black."
"Molly" by EUX AUTRES:
The Portland-via-Omaha brother/sister duo of Eux Autres have a new record, Cold City, coming out on Tuesday. I highly recommend it, especially to those of you who took a shining to their previous album or heard a couple of their tracks on Pimps of Gore last year. Out on Happy Birthday to Me Records, this album has the same great songwriting with more solid (but not too slick) production and a ton of great melodies. Plus, Nick and Heather are two of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, so rest assured your hard earned record dollars will be going into hands that deserve it, unlike Scott Stapp or Daughtry or some other lunkheaded dickweed. Not that your record dollars were headed there. . .
"God's Zoo (Live)"
"Big Neon Glitter (Live)" by THE CULT:
Consider yourselves lucky; I was going to devote an entire week to some of the great, overlooked music by real-life Spinal Tap rockers The Cult, the first band I was truly obsessed with. When I was growing up, my brother gave me a copy of their classic Love album, and a copy of his cassette of the Rick Rubin-produced Electric. Those albums ignited a spark in me, and I turned into a voracious collector. One of my prized posessions was a tape of the band's debut album, Dreamtime, which featured an early concert at London's Lyceum theater as the b-side. The live album was pretty much unavailable anywhere until a few years ago, when Beggar's Banquet finally reissued it on CD. Regardless of anyone's opinion of their later work (the band pretty much became a punchline as their career progressed, with lead singer Ian Astbury going so far as briefly becoming the lead singer of the fucking Doors), their early shit is pretty great. That live album (where the first two songs come from) features several songs from the first Death Cult EP, and even a song from Astbury's previous goth-rock band, Southern Death Cult. I'm also including a couple of b-sides, the wild but a little too long "The Snake," and a later track that popped up on a single from the pretty awful Ceremony album. Probably should have stuck "Red Jesus" on the album, boys. Closing things out is an early radio performance of "Big Neon Glitter."
"Mother Sky" by CAN:
If 15-minute psychedelic freak-outs aren't your thing, I definitely wouldn't rec' clicking this link. Also, if you're on heavy acid, you might want to avoid this, as it will make you think you can fly. If you like awesomeness, step right in. Plus, it's a great lead-in to. . .
"Reign (Anagram Mix)"
"Be There" by UNKLE with IAN BROWN:
Now, I'm positive I've posted "Be There" before, so don't be too quick to download if you've been a regulare here for a while. I'm merely re-posting it in conjunction with "Reign" to show just how badass it is when the former lead singer of the STONE ROSES gets together for a collaboration with James Lavelle's UNKLE project.
"Guns Blazing" by UNKLE with KOOL G. RAP
"Streets of New York" by KOOL G. RAP AND DJ POLO:
Since we're on the subject of UNKLE, here's the opening track to Psyence Fiction, back when the extraordinary DJ Shadow was manning the wheels of steel. The song features one of my favorite old school rappers, Kool G. Rap.
"Let's Start" by FELA KUTI with GINGER BAKER:
I could have sworn I'd downloaded this whole album from eMusic a few months back, but I don't see it anywhere on my external drive. Lamentable. . . looks like I'm going to have to DL it again, because it SMOKES. This is the concert opener, and if I'd seen this go down at a club, I probably would have fainted before it was over. Trust me, you'll probably be sweating -- or wishing you were doing something that would make you sweat (wink, wink) -- by the halfway point. Unreal.
"You Never Knew (Domino Remix)"
"The Who (DJ Kool EQ Mix)" by HIEROGLYPHICS:
How do I make a jump from The Feelies to these guys in the same post? I have no idea. That's just the way my mind is working tonight.
"Nobody" by HODGES, JAMES, SMITH and CRAWFORD:
Ripped from the vinyl-only 2 LP release of DAVID HOLMES' Come Get It I Got It, which features the unmixed versions of songs from his DJ-mix album of the same name. Sexy.
"Let Them Knock" by SHARON JONES & THE DAP KINGS:
If this were 40 years ago, I wouldn't have to tell anyone that Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings new album 100 Days, 100 Nights is a monster. You'd already know. You'd be all like, "No shit it's awesome. She's the queen of soul." Instead, it's 2007 and Sharon Jones is not (yet) a household name. Get this album. Get this album for your parents for Christmas. Just don't ask them what they do when they listen to it, cuz you do NOT want to know.
"Rock Your Body" by SHAWN LEE's PING PONG ORCHESTRA:
Trick your friends. Tell them that Justin Timberlake's hit is actually a cover of this track, and that it originally came out in the late 1970s.
"God Gave Rock N Roll To Us"
"So So Sick"
"So Sick" by UNREST:
I'm not quite sure whether Unrest is making fun of the KISS (who had a minor hit with their cover of this ARGENT song) version, paying tribute to the original, or taking themselves seriously here. I don't care. It's a great take on a pretty bad song. The latter track is an alternate version of "So Sick," which appeared on the B.P.M. compilation, and was my first exposure to these long lost indie darlings. Closing things out is the original version of the track, so you can decide for yourself which one you like better.
"One True Vine" by WILCO:
So, let's be honest: I may never get my "Tweedy 100" back in the air any time soon. Hell, I may not even be doing this blog in a month or two. Let's just enjoy the Wilco I can provide while we're all here to share it, okay? This one's off the Sky Blue Sky bonus EP.
"Follow if You Can" by WE ALL TOGETHER:
Yeah, I posted this about two years ago. I'm doing it again. Skip it, or enjoy it for the first time. I've got work to do.
"My Name is Jonas"
"Say It Ain't So" by WEEZER:
I'm just finishing things off tonight with these two tracks because Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band just recently reminded me of how awesome Weezer once were.
Well, the liquidation of my LP collection has begun. Putting shit up on Ebay is such a long, laborious process. I usually run out of steam after putting up about 3 or 4 items a night (and that's really all I have time for right now, anyway).
As of right now, I've got up the first three rare, early Cursive 7" singles, a super-rare Pearl Jam Christmas fan club 7" from 1994 (and the limited edition "Wishlist" 7"), a Weezer 10", a never-released-in-stores Beastie Boys jukebox single, an out-of-print Uncle Tupelo clear vinyl 7", and a British import 2 DVD Old Grey Whistle Test set. I'm going to try and add 2 to 4 items every day over the next couple of weeks. If you're looking for some cool Christmas gifts, or if you'd like to help me do cool stuff like pay my medical bills or fly to see my nephews for Christmas, any help would be appreciated. (Of course, straight donations to my Paypal account are always welcome, and I'd be sure to send you a care package full of all kinds of cool stuff.) Who knows, you might even keep this site from bankruptcy.
CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT I'M PEDDLING!
As for what I'm peddling on this site, here you go. Another short one tonight. . .
"I Got You" by ROGUE WAVE
"I Got You" by PEARL JAM
"I Got You" by SPLIT ENZ
Rogue Wave and Pearl Jam both doing drastically different live takes on one of my favorite '80s numbers from New Zealand brothers Neil and Tim Finn. The Pearl Jam one sticks closest to the original, with just a wee extra dose of testosterone, while the Rogue Wave number, performed just a few weeks ago at a radio station I can't at the moment recall, taps into the foreboding nature of the original single. All three are pretty choice, in my book.
"Too Many People"
"Dear Boy" by PAUL McCARTNEY:
I'm sure my love of Paul McCartney has been stressed enough to my readership at this point. I even wrote a recent column in the now defunct Philadelphia magazine PLAY about my favorite Macca solo albums, including the vastly underrated Ram. Of the two songs from that album featured here tonight, the first is a not-too-thinly veiled stab at former songwriter partner and friend John Lennon. I get chills at the part in "Too Many People" where McCartney intones, "That was your first mistake / You took your lucky break / and broke it in two. / Now what can be done for you?" The seemingly always friendly Beatle is pissed! The latter track, "Dear Boy," would be the most Beatle-esque non-Beatles song ever if Ram didn't already contain "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey." Lennon felt "Dear Boy" was also an attack on him, when, according to Wikipedia, it was really directed toward Linda McCartney's ex-husband.
Don't you want these poor kids to see their Uncle Dylan for Christmas?
Just a quick couple of songs tonight, both from the newly released DVD of Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. Those of you who bought the soundtrack way back when the movie, which was part of a brilliant double feature called Grindhouse that also featured director Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror (a note-perfect tribute to the horror films of George Romero and John Carpenter), probably wondered why these two songs appeared on the CD when they were not in the theatrical release of the film.
When Tarantino released Death Proof to international audiences (whom were robbed of the joyous experience of seeing two movies for the price of one), the excised scenes that featured tonight's tracks were restored. The first, "Down in Mexico" by THE COASTERS, plays over the teased but never revealed (in the U.S., at least) lap dance that Kurt Russell's Stuntman Mike character receives from one of the women he stalks at the beginning of the film. Tarantino's decision to cut this scene is lamentable, as it's one of the better directed and more electrifying scenes in the movie. Plus, the look on Russell's face is pretty priceless.
The second track, Willy DeVille's "It's So Easy," roars from Stuntman Mike's car at the beginning of the movie's second act, as Russell makes the mistake of sizing up a second group of females for his next kill. From the moment you hear the song in the movie, you want it blaring out of your own car stereo. While I can't promise you'll get a lap dance from Vanessa Ferlito with the first song, I can at least provide you with the same thrill on the DeVille number.
"Down in Mexico"
"It's So Easy"
MORE ON TONIGHT'S ARTISTS:
- Willy DeVille was the frontman for late 70s NYC punkers Mink DeVille. He has released a bunch of solo albums, and somewhere in there even wrote and recorded the theme song to The Princess Bride. This will be all the more bizarre when you listen to "It's So Easy." I can only imagine Tarantino first heard "Easy" on the soundtrack to the Al Paciono film, Cruising. Learn more at his official homepage, or at this informative Wikipedia entry on DeVille.
- The Coasters. . . well, they're just a bunch of fuckin' pimps. Try and tell me that "Down in Mexico," the R&B group's first single, sounds like it came out in 1956. If I hadn't looked it up myself (and known that the band didn't make it long into the 70's), I would have guessed it was far more contemporary. Among many other hits, The Coasters were responsible for "Charlie Brown," "Yakkity Yak," and "Poison Ivy." Learn more here.
Regular readers know the drill: November is the month where I strive to post 2 songs for every day in the month. That doesn't mean I'll be on here on a daily basis, but I will be holding to that rule, regardless of whether I post 2 times or 20 times this month (looking at my post history, let's just be honest and say it'll probably be closer to 2 than 20).
I might focus on one artist one day, and a whole assemblage of tracks the next. There's not really a lot of rhyme or reason to it, just a massive delgue of music for you to sort through.
I have to be honest: I'm a little unsure about the future of Pimps of Gore right now. I just got my renewal notice from my web host, and since I've been operating this site out of my own pocket for years (aside from the help of a couple of friends, and one reader who donated money once, way back when I tired to have a Paypal link here), the "returns" seem more and more diminishing each year. Between my doctor's bills, my school debt, my other debts, and my lack of free time these days, the idea of keeping this thing going has become a little illogical (and a lot counterproductive) lately.
With my debt mounting, I've been eyeballing my record collection and have considered a massive Ebay clearance in attempt to raise some money. I've also been considering creating a spreadsheet or document with everything I'm selling and maybe sending it along to interested parties. I'm going to start work on that in the coming weeks, so please feel free to let me know if you'd like to do some record shopping. I'll try to keep the prices fair, but if there's something rare that I might be able to auction on Ebay, I'm just going to be honest and price it at the "market value." Not a whole lot of CDs, probably a few hundred records, and some DVDs will be in the mix.
Anyway, the free tunes will keep coming for the next couple of months, at least. Enjoy!
"Society" by EDDIE VEDDER
"Hard Sun" by INDIO
"Sheraton Gibson" by EDDIE VEDDER
"Tonight You Belong to Me" by EDDIE VEDDER w/JANET WEISS
"Tonight You Belong to Me" by MEREDITH LOUISE MILLER:
To wear my heart on my sleeve for a moment, I have to say that I was profoundly moved by Into the Wild, Sean Penn's film adaptation of John Krakauer's incredible nonfiction book about a young man's tragic journey into -- well -- the wild, in Alaska. I'm not going to get into an entire movie review here, but I thought it was one of the most humane and beautiful films I've probably ever seen, and would highly recommend it, especially to anyone who may have entertained the thought, at any time in their life, of disappearing off of "the grid" and leaving everything they know behind them. I know, as a college kid, I pondered the idea myself more than a few times, and Krakauer's book was a monumental reminder to me that, as Christopher McCandless discovered, happiness is meaningless if you can't share it with anyone.
I think Penn made a pretty wise choice in peppering the film with music written especially for the film by Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. Even Vedder haters might agree, because he seems the perfect voice as the internal monologue -- and possibly the Greek chorus -- for this incredibly ernest and idealistic young man, who lived his life, and measured all others, by a strict moral code. "Society" is from the soundtrack to Into the Wild, and sums up better than any other song the character and motivation of McCandless. I would not be surprised if we see Vedder performing this song at the Oscars this year.
One of the highlights from that soundtrack is Vedder's cover (paired with backing vocals from SLEATER KINNEY's Corin Tucker) of INDIO's "Hard Sun." I'm posting the original, which reportedly features backing vocals from Joni Mitchell, here this afternoon. Vedder and Pearl Jam's history with Sleater Kinney goes way back (I've even theorized that SK's bombastic, stadium-rock-sized The Woods may have been influenced by their long tour as openers for PJ in the year or two prior to the making of that record), and it's only appropriate that Vedder popped in at SK's final show on August 12 of last year, performing "Tonight You Belong to Me" with drummer Janet Weiss.
I've always loved "Tonight You Belong to Me," a song which I first heard in the Steve Martin film The Jerk, in one of that movie's most quiet and sweet moments, performed on beach between Martin and the adoreable Bernadette Peters. While I couldn't locate that version, I'm including another take of it from Meredith Louise Miller.
The two other Vedder solo tracks, "Bee Girl" and "Sheraton Gibson," are alternately a rare Pearl Jam track about the little girl who appeared in the BLIND MELON "No Rain" video, and a Pete Townsend cover from a 1994 tribute concert. While the latter isn't the best live recording, it still makes for a fun listen.
"Goin' to Acapulco" by JIM JAMES AND CALEXICO
"Simple Twist of Fate" by JEFF TWEEDY
"Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" by CAT POWER
"Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again"
"Simple Twist of Fate" by BOB DYLAN:
Speaking of movie soundtracks, the FUCKING STELLAR soundtrack to I'm Not There, Todd Haynes nutty Dylan semi-biopic featuring a handful of actors playing Dylan at different stages in his career, was just released last week. It's a bargain at any price, but I got my copy of it from iTunes for less than $15. . . not too shabby for 37 songs (the iTunes version includes 3 bonus tracks) by an incredible list of artists that includes the likes of Eddie Vedder, Willie Nelson, Sonic Youth, Stephen Malkmus, Tom Verlaine, John Doe, Yo La Tengo, Sufjan Stevens, and tonight's three artists, who all contribute incredible covers of classic and somewhat obscure Dylan songs.
I'm just going to say it right here: Chan Marshall, I love you. Call me.
"Just Keep Walking" by INXS:
I know I've posted on here many times before that I think even some of the most wack artists can pull out a great song (which is why I think it's important to reserve the word "sucks" for bands that truly, truly suck, like Creed). This INXS song, from the band's self-titled debut (although this comes from an early compilation called INXSive) is further proof of my theory. A nice rip of that whole Adam Ant/Gang of Four postpunk sound, and not something you'd expect from a band that would go on to become so corny that they'd replace their dead lead singer with an Elvis impersonator.
"Castles in the Air"
"Till Tomorrow" by DON McLEAN
"Crying" by WAYLON JENNINGS:
Speaking of artists considered corny, Don McLean has been done no favors by being know as that "American Pie"/"Vincent" dude. He inspired the poem that inspired Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly," so he can't be all bad, right? "Magdalene Lane" is, in my eyes, his true masterpiece, a harsh indictment on Los Angeles, Hollywood, and the movie industry's tendency to chew up and spit out young stars. More specifically, McLean tackles the tragic story of Judy Garland ("The Wizard brought benzadrine smiles / and he never let Dorothy doze"), who abused pills and alcohol and died at age 47 from an overrdose of barbituates. McLean's song is absolutely scathing.
I once won a Delaware radio station contest where entrants were asked to rewrite the lyrics to "American Pie" and update them to speak to today's music industry. McLean picked the winner, and I was truly honored, but was going to be out of town for the concert and wound up calling the station to ask them to give my prize of going to the show and meeting McLean backstage to the second place entrant. A truly regretful loss on my part, because I would have begged him to perform "Magdalene Lane," or, at the very least, "Till Tomorrow," one of my other favorite songs of his, and one that broke my heart at such an early age that, like The Beatles' "Yesterday," it was a revalation to my young mind that a song could make me so sad. I remember being in love with a girl in elementary school and making her a tape by the time we were "graduating" from junior high that included this song.
Another of those songs that made me aware of music's power to break my heart at an early age was Roy Orbison's "Crying," covered here by McClean, and alternately by country legend Waylon Jennings.
"Zaratozom" by GOBLIN:
I finally had the pleasure of sitting down before Halloween and watching the Dawn of the Dead DVD boxed set I purchased a while back, which features several different versions of the movie and includes the Dario Argento edited European version. Trimmed down from Romero's longer version, Argento's cuts to the chase and works more like an action/horror movie. It also features the entire Goblin-recorded soundtrack (Romero's used a couple of the band's songs). "Zaratozom" is a charging little rocker that really sets a fire under the scenes where the biker gang stroms their way into the mall. Good stuff.
"Danelectro 2" by YO LA TENGO:
A gorgeous, simple and sleepy instrumental from one of my favorite bands, and a fine tribute to the guitar(s) for which the song is named. And a nice way to close things out this afternoon. See you around.