10.28.2008

OH, HELL. (Massive Halloween Playlist)

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Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, if only because it gives me an excuse to sit down with a bowl of candy and watch Horror movies all month. I like to spend Halloween night proper taking in as many flicks as possible, but since I have the displeasure of having to work Halloween night, I'm going to try and pass along some of the fun to you, with a massive 26 song Halloween pile-up.

They aren't in any particular order -- that's for you to decide -- but I think you'll find some new stuff amidst the old stand-byes.

BUT FIRST... I've got one bit of business to get out of the way:

TUESDAYS WITH LIZZY!

"Suicide" by THIN LIZZY: Somewhat sticking to the Halloween theme (death, hell, etc), I have uploaded a live version of Lizzy's rocker "Suicide," taken from the recently released (on eMusic, at least) UK Tour '75 album. I was going to throw up the studio version of this track, but the live version just blows it out of the water in my opinion.


... okay, let's get to the blood and guts:

Halloween 2008: Pimps of Gore, Gore, Gore

"Black Sabbath"
"N.I.B." by BLACK SABBATH: Do I even need to explain the absolute necessity of having Ozzy and Co. on your Halloween playlist? Especially the dark gloom of "Black Sabbath" and the kick ass "N.I.B." (as far as song titles go, it doesn't get much better than "Nativity in Black").

"Death Valley" by BORIS: This ought to freak those Trick Or Treaters right the fuck out. I guess I should just warn you going forward that this playlist goes heavy on the Heavy. Halloween is no place for Sufjan Stevens; he can have Christmas if he wants it. Halloween is for screaming feedback, like the crazy high pitched bug noises that punctuate the Sabbath-y riffs presented here.

"Please Mr. Gravedigger" by DAVID BOWIE: Okay, this one isn't heavy, but it sure is creepy. From a compilation of some of Bowie's earliest works, "Please Mr. Gravedigger" is a warbly-voiced "tune" about an old man who digs graves for "the dead and the maimed" and steals jewelry from the corpses. Bowie sings from the point of view of a man who killed a woman whom Mr. Graves is helping bury. Bizarre, yet perfect for the holiday.

"I am Stretched on Your Grave" by DEAD CAN DANCE: Sometimes you can't beat a traditional public domain tune to show you that groups like the PMRC were way off in going after Heavy Metal for their dark, death-obsessed lyrics. Sinead O'Connor made a semi-hit out of this number, but Dead Can Dance's live, mournful take would sound perfect over one of George Romero's zombie uprising gore flicks.

"Ghost Dance" by DEATH CULT: Not sure if I've posted this one before, but the combination of Ghosts, Death Cults and dead Native Americans was just too good to pass up.

"Born in a Haunted Barn" by THE DIRTBOMBS vs KING KAHN: The garage rock of Detroit's The Dirtbombs mixes nicely with King Kahn's psychedelic folk rock, and the ghostly chorus is the cherry on top.

"Chase the Devil" by EAGLES OF DEATH METAL: Dubbed "the pigeons of shit metal" by Axl Rose after the band pissed him off and got thrown off of a recent GnR tour. This fact makes me love them that much more. If you're going to make all of these songs into a free-flowing mix, I highly rec' keeping this Cramps-esque romp as the follow-up to the Dirtbombs/King Kahn track. They're perfect together.


"Suspiria"
"Profondo Rosso (Main Titles)"
"Witch"
"Suspiria (Narration)" by GOBLIN: I'll avoid going ape about Goblin once again, but you can't make a Halloween mix without grabbing a few songs from Dario Argento's go-to band for the soundtracks to his twisted visions. Three of these tracks come from Suspiria, while the other is the theme to his fantastic Profondo Rosso (Deep Red). Not to tell you how to do things, but if I were making a mix, I'd start it with the full length "Suspiria" and end the CD with "Suspiria (Narration)." Pepper the other tracks somewhere in the middle and you're guaranteed to have your listener ask at least two to three times, "Who the hell is this?!"

"Devil's Den" by JAMES BROWN: Okay, after all that Goblin, you're going to have the whole neighborhood crapping their costumes. Give 'em a little break with this scorching (mostly) instrumental from the Godfather of Soul. Even the Devil needs a coctail break every once in a while.

"Ripper" by JUDAS PRIEST: Spinal Tap's "Saucy Jack" wasn't the first hard rock song about England's notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Unintentionally hilarious, and yet still totally badass.

"Last Caress / Green Hell" by METALLICA: Okay, time to remind your neighborhood that it's Hell Night, with a little medley from Metallica as they cover The Misfits' "Last Caress" and "Green Hell." Nothing screams Halloween like, "I've got something to say! / I killed your baby today!"

"Horror Hotel" by THE MISFITS: Really, just go ahead and pick any Misfits, Samhain, or Danzig tracks you want. They're all custom made for this shit.

"The Devil's Work Day" by MODEST MOUSE: A Pimps staple, Isaac Brock brings the scary with this grunting, growling piece of swampy goodness. People floating in the river, blood pouring out of kneecaps, hangings and demented laughter... yeah.

"Ghost" by NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL: If only because it's the best indie rock ghost song pretty much ever. Put some step into that skeleton.

"11" by NINE INCH NAILS
"Ghostwriter" by RJD2: You're going to need some atmosphere to back up that smoke machine, dad, and here are a couple of loopable tracks for just that purpose. The former is for that graveyard scene you've got going outside, while the latter is for the party indoors.

"Death Rides a Horse" by RUSSIAN CIRCLES: Sorry, we lost the plot - and the rock - there for a minute.

"Feast of the Mau Mau" by SCREAMIN' JAY HAWKINS: Much like The Misfits, you could pretty much just take any Hawkins track and be set. This is one of those recipe tracks, like "Alligator Wine," where Jay howls out disgusting ingredients, like "Brush your teeth / with a piece / of a goose toenail!" Dude was just insane.

"Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell" by THE STOOGES: Just the sound of the guitar on Raw Power alone is enough to wake the dead.

"To Take the Black" by THE SWORD: I've been meaning to give these guys some love here for a long time, but in case you hadn't noticed, I'm never around anymore. For now, this massive slab of classic cock rock will have to be my treat to you. These guys are opening for Metallica on their current American tour, and I'm sure lameass metalheads all over will be booing them off the stage.

"The Black Angel's Death Song" by THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: The only band so off their rockers that they could make that Bowie song I posted earlier sound like Simon & Garfunkel, The Velvet Underground check in tonight with a song that sounds like beat poetry over the soundtrack to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Unsettling!

"Do the Ghost" by X-MEN: Closing things out, we've got the X-Men with their own "Ghost" dance, sounding like Screamin' Jay Hawkins meets the Dead Kennedys.


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8.28.2008

From Soundgarden to Sinatra! (WTF?)

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I know, it has been a while. I can't say it won't be a while before I'm back, so tonight I'm packing this post with music... and total fucking randomness! If you're the kind of person who doesn't mind mixing his Sinatra with his Pearl Jam and his AC/DC, this one is for you.


"Shake a Leg" by AC/DC:
I must have heard this song dozens of times over the years, but it never grabbed me by the throat until it popped up on my iPod shuffle a few weeks ago. I was embarrassed to find out that it wasn't some obscure b-side, but rather just one of the many blistering rockers on the band's classic Back in Black album. This song easily climbs to the top of my favorite post-Bon Scott AC/DC numbers, and belongs on your next highway road trip soundtrack. I'm sure ol' Frank would have been a big fan. (Revisiting Back in Black takes me back to one of my strangest AC/DC-associated memories: a friend of mine hired a terrible team of DJs for her wedding, and at one point I had left the reception to catch a phone call. Upon my return, they were playing "Hell's Bells." Here's a tip to DJs everywhere: if you want to clear a dancefloor, play "Hell's Bells." I've never seen so many horrified grey-hairs in my life.)

"Flower"
"Hands All Over"
"Stray Cat Blues"
"Girl U Want"
"Mind Riot"
"Burden in My Hand"by SOUNDGARDEN
"Seasons" by CHRIS CORNELL:
Chris Cornell, former lead singer of hard rock bands like Soundgarden and Audioslave, has some new solo material out, and if you haven't yet heard it, it is FUCKING BRUTAL. And I don't mean "brutal" in the sense that thrash metal is brutal. Brutal as in virtually impossible to listen to, and cringe-inducing. I'm not even going to waste time trying to find links to his new music; doing so would be like actively finding someone to kick me in the balls.

Cornell was the next Robert Plant, a stunningly good looking and charismatic frontman with a wicked set of pipes that could evoke Rhythm & Blues one minute and then shatter your windows the next. His work in Soundgarden (and the one-off side project with Pearl Jam known as Temple of the Dog) proved that. Then... dude went solo. And not the good solo, like his "Seasons" from the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe's Singles, which made me hope for the day he would put out an acoustic album. Instead, Cornell released a couple of boring, plodding singer-songwriter-y records. His newest album, Scream, looks like a step in an even more misguided direction, with Cornell seeking to hip himself up to the kids like he's Justin Timberlake by leaning on producer Timbaland. Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing but respect for Timbaland. This misstep is all Cornell's.

Dude: stick to rock. You're in your mid 40s now, so who are you trying to appeal to with this crap? Teenagers aren't going to be fooled by a middle aged man trying to make singer-songwriter dance music. Ask Jewel how that shit went when she tried it. Even your Audioslave stuff kinda sucked, but at least you were back at the front of a muscular rock band.

Sorry about the tirade, but I just wanted to give you guys a handful of tracks that at least represented what was great about Cornell before this shit hits the airwaves (if it hits at all). The above tracks are presented chronologically, for the most part, with "Seasons" the exception. "Stray Cat Blues" and "Girl U Want" are, respectively, covers of Rolling Stones and DEVO songs. "Mind Riot" is a bit of an obscure choice on my part, from Soundgarden's (in my opinion) best album, Badmotorfinger. I've always thought "I was slipping through the cracks of a stolen jewel / I was tightrope walking in two-ton shoes" was one of the best opening couplets in any rock song.

"Reach Down" (live) by PEARL JAM (feat. Chris Cornell)
"Crown of Thorns" (live) by PEARL JAM:
As a sort of extension of the Cornell theme, here's the man joining Pearl Jam for a live performance of "Reach Down" from the aforementioned Temple of the Dog album. In addition, I've included a really rare performance,, Pearl Jam covering the Mother Love Bone song "Crown of Thorns." Mother Love Bone was lead by one of Cornell's best friends, vocalist Andrew Wood, who died prior to the release of the band's first full length album. Cornell joined most of the members of Wood's band (who had begun working with a new singer named Eddie Vedder, for Temple of the Dog. Circle closed. (The performance of "Crown of Thorns" comes from Pearl Jam's 2001 10th anniversary show in Las Vegas, and was released as one of the band's Christmas singles.)

"Hung Up on My Baby"
"Never Can Say Goodbye" by ISAAC HAYES:
It's too late for me to eulogize Isaac Hayes, so I'm just going to let the man speak for himself. Though I must add: listen to the fucking groove on "Hung Up on My Baby." Unbelievable.

"When the Wind Was Green" by FRANK SINATRA:
This has always been one of my all-time favorite Sinatra tunes, but I've only owned it on vinyl until last week when I finally hunted down a digital copy of the brilliant September of My Years. Frank's deep voice is buttery as hell here, and the way ends some of these stanzas (the way he sings "tumbling, stumbling down" or "in a brown wind, dying" for example) can just break your heart. What a voice.

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8.25.2008

Records for sale - update

Like I mentioned before:

Anyone wanna buy some vinyl?

Here's the full list of what's goin' bye bye. I'm going to try and update it on a daily basis, since there are a few things I haven't added and some things that I will take down as they sell.

If there's anything on this .doc file that tickles your fancy, please feel free to contact me with questions. Shipping is 1.50 per LP, or free with any order over $30.

Thanks for any help you can provide:

THE LIST

And, since I'm not a completely self-serving douche, here's an a couple more numbers:

"Spin the Black Circle"(live, from Self Pollution Radio) by PEARL JAM

"Making Plans for Vinyl" by GO HOME PRODUCTIONS

8.21.2008

Records for sale pt. 1

Just a brief note here for now, but I've got some songs to post in the coming couple of days, so stay tuned.

Anyone wanna buy some vinyl? I've got bills to pay and records to sell (and miles to go before I sleep).

For now, I've compiled a list of 7" and 10" records I need to get rid of. I will follow up with a list of 12" LPs in the next week or so. I will try to keep this file updated as stuff sells.

If there's anything on this .doc file that tickles your fancy, please feel free to contact me with questions. Shipping is 1.50 per LP, or free with any order over $30.

Thanks for any help you can provide:

THE LIST, FOR NOW

And, what the hell, here's an .mp3 to tide you over:

CHER, covering Bob Dylan's "Tonight, I'll be Staying Here With You"

I know, you're probably thinking Cher?!!. Just click it and see.

7.15.2008

"You've had bad breaks? Well that's tough luck."

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"The Ghost of Tom Joad" (featuring Tom Morello) by BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND:
Today sees the release of Bruce Springsteen's Magic Tour Highlights digital EP, featuring collaborations with Alejandro Escovedo, Byrds' guitarist Roger McGuinn and this duet with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello on Bruce's "The Ghost of Tom Joad" (which RATM covered nearly a decade ago).

The EP features the final performance of E Street keyboardist Danny Federici. Royalties and profits from the EP (iTunes also has videos of each performance for sale at 1.99 a piece) will go to The Danny Federici Melanoma Fund, in honor of Federici, who died shortly after the March 20 Indianapolis concert where "Sandy" was recorded. The EP also features Springsteen covering Escovedo's "Always a Friend" and The Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn!" For more information, check out your iTunes store or head over to Amazon.

"My Daily Food" by TOOTS & THE MAYTALS:
This track came on my iPod Shuffle and pretty much plastered a gigantic smile onto my face. An explosion of happy, a party in a pill bottle, "My Daily Food" is over almost as quickly as it begins. What makes someone create such a great song and then decide, "Okay, if we make this thing longer than 2 minutes, we're really wasting everyones time"? A question only Robert Pollard might be able to answer.

"Laissez Briller Le Soleil" by LES BOOTS:
I don't know a damn thing about Les Boots. I can't even tell you how I stumbled onto this song, or where it came from. I most certainly can't tell you what they're singing about (though I'm pretty sure it's in French). All I know is that Garage Rock, in any language, is pretty much the best shit in the world.

Tuesdays with LIZZY!
"Bad Reputation":
Fans of Guitar Hero will recognize tonight's tune as one of the most fun tracks from the second volume in the game franchise. It is completely beyond me why this is the only Lizzy track to ever appear in either the GH or Rock Band series of games, since there are easily dozens of Lizzy tracks that would be perfect. No "Jailbreak," "Emerald" or "The Boys are Back in Town"? Come on, assholes.

(As a side note/afterthought: is every song with the title of "Bad Reputation" pretty kick ass? I can't think of an example where the song is lame, from Lizzy to Joan Jett. . . even Freedy Johnston.)

Bad Reputation, as rendered in Guitar Hero 2 (this version is a pretty spot-on cover):

6.27.2008

Our MORNING JACKET

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"It Makes No Difference"
"Black Sabbath"
"Rocket Man"
"Where to Begin" by MY MORNING JACKET:
Louisville, KY's My Morning Jacket have a new album out. If you've come here with the expectation that you're going to hear about it, I'm sorry to disappoint you. Other than a couple of tracks, I haven't heard it yet. I'm sure there are dozens of places where you can find all the latest breaking news, anyway.

Tonight, I'd rather give you a few rarities and live tracks. My Morning Jacket have slowly been earning the reputation as one of the best live bands working today, and judging from what I've seen and heard from dozens of bootlegs and televised performances, that reputation is solid. The band recently appeared on Saturday Night Live and absolutely killed on "I'm Amazed" and the strangely Prince-ian "Evil Urges," a track that has been dividing MMJ fans down the middle. Decide for yourself HERE.

My Morning Jacket have fantastic taste in covers, as represented by the inclusion in this post of their live rendition of Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath," and their studio recording of The Band's classic "It Makes No Difference." Even when covering a song that has been driven into the ground by classic rock radio, like Elton John's "Rocket Man," lead singer Jim James manages to breathe new life into the tune.

The band were one of the few highlights of Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown, and also (depending on your opinion of the rest of the movie) Todd Haynes' meditation on Bob Dylan, I'm Not There. "Where to Begin" comes from the former film; I previously posted MMJ's take on Dylan's "Going to Acapulco" a few months back.

For Omaha area readers, My Morning Jacket will be performing outdoors at the Stir Concert Cove in August. I highly recommend checking them out, and I hope to see you there.

Songs my iPod shuffle re-introduced me to this week:

"Big Love" by KEVIN DREW & BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE

"Conquest" by TAPES N TAPES

Don't forget to check out Dylan and the Movies to see if watching 365 movies in 365 days takes its toll on my psyche.

6.25.2008

With the quickness.

Okay, no time right now, but I do have a couple of housecleaning issues to deal with:

"The Pusher" by NINA SIMONE

First and foremost, I'm starting a new blog. "What the fuck, Dylan?" you might be saying. "You can't even keep up with this one."

I know, I know. This one isn't a music blog, though. For no exceptional reason I decided to try and watch 365 movies in the next 365 days and write about the movies whenever possible. Since I didn't want to clog up this site or my MySpace blog writing about movies on an almost daily basis, I started Dylan & the Movies. If you ever find yourself bored. . . incredibly bored, please stop by and check out what I've been watching.

In other news, a reader posted a comment in my last post about the old GUIDED BY VOICES 100 I did a few years back. They specifically asked if I could post the entire Jellyfish Reflector album, along with the vinyl-only bonus tracks. Unfortunately for all of us, I can't post the album. I only own it on vinyl, and was lucky enough to find someone long ago who could send me an .mp3 of "Pantherz," one of my all time favorite GBV tracks. I'm reposting that song tonight for that reader. I'm sorry I couldn't do more for you, friend:

"Pantherz" by GUIDED BY VOICES

6.16.2008

"I've got a lump in my throat about the note you wrote."

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"Contact"
"Nothing Achieving"
"Canary in a Coalmine"
"I Burn for You"
"Synchronicity II" by THE POLICE:
On a whim, I caught The Police a few weeks ago on the Omaha stop of their reunion tour. I couldn't decide if I was excited to see the show. Something about it felt. . . obligatory. It didn't help matters that I had caught a post-Police Sting show in one of my earliest concert memories (he was touring for The Soul Cages), and little about that show sticks out for me today. At that point, his pretentiousness was rank, a victim of the classic "once cool guy who ages into complete douchebag" / Rod Stewart syndrome.

It doesn't hurt that Sting was backed by two dudes far more electrifying than he: drummer Stewart Copeland and guiartist Andy Summers (or Somers, if you prefer the true spelling). In Omaha a few weeks ago, these two guys proved why Sting's ego couldn't fit within these confines anymore; it was because he was the least talented guy in the band. I'm pretty sure it's a fact at this point that Copeland is one of the best drummers ever, and after seeing Summers play guitar in person, I'm fairly certain he should be considered among the best to play that instrument as well.

As the show neared I stared to listen to my Police albums. I remembered how many classic songs lay hidden away on those records. Weird numbers like "Contact," with it's droning bassline and spidery guitar. Certainly, they weren't going to play these songs at the show, but it was still a cool reminder that these guys were a lot weirder and cooler than their legacy might seem. I'm almost positive I've posted "Nothing Achieving" here before, but I had to drag it back out to prove to the kids that, at one time, Sting rocked. I held out hopes for hearing "Canary in a Coalmine," or even something slow like "I Burn for You" at the show, but neither made its way into the setlist.

I was most bummed by the omission of "Synchronicity II," a song I had noticed they'd been playing on this tour, and one of my favorite Police songs. Listening to it now reminded me of just how dark and bleak the majority of The Police's material is, especially the songs they somehow turned into hits. If anyone is truly the forebear for bands like Radiohead, a massively popular band without a sunny song to its name, it's The Police. "Roxanne" is about a guy who loves a prostitute begging her not to go out anymore. "Every Breath You Take" is about a stalker. Even the seemingly bubbly "Don't Stand So Close to Me" is the story of a teacher trying not to lust after one of his student's. Christ, these guys had a hit called "King of Pain"!

"Synchronicity II" is pretty much the ultimate bummer of a hit song. Full of family strife, suburban malaise, chemical destruction, suicide, the soul crushing nature of work. . . all thematically linked somehow to a creature crawling from a lake to destroy all in its path. It kind of baffles my mind to this day that a lyric like, "And every single meeting with his so-called superior IS A HUMILIATING KICK IN THE CROTCH!" is played daily on radio stations around the country. To go back to my Radiohead comparison, "Synchronicity II" was the "No Surprises" of it's day.

Ultimately, I was definitely glad I went to the show. Hell, the ticket price (approx. $58 with fees) alone was worth seeing Stewart Copeland work his madness. Having the incredible Elvis Costello as the opener didn't hurt one bit, either.


TUESDAYS WITH LIZZY!

"Just the Two of Us" by THIN LIZZY:
Another Tuesday, another Lizzy jam, as promised. This one is a b-side from the Black Rose album. That's all you need to know.


In other news tonight. . .

"S.F. Sorrow" by S.F. SEALS
"S.F. Sorrow is Born" by THE PRETTY THINGS:
Those paying close attention will know that I posted the original version of The Pretty Things' "S.F. Sorrow is Born" (presented again here tonight) a long time ago. I was pleased to have someone forward me the S.F. Seals' take on the track a few nights ago, as it's one of my favorite songs and has always seemed to me to be shamefully ignored. I really like the Seals' take on it, though they don't surpass the chugging psych-rock of the original. I have to give them points for taste, and credit for leaving no detail unexamined in their version.


"I Can Only Give You Everything" by THEM:
Man, Van Morrison had some pipes.


"D├ęcollage" by BALAYEURS DU DESERT:
I've had this one going on repeat for days now. Hypnotic.

6.03.2008

"Crackers!", Thin Lizzy Tuesday, etc.

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(Image nabbed from Post Punk Kitchen)


"Do Do Wap is Strong in Here"
"Little Child Runnin' Wild"
"Get Down"
"(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below We're All Going to Go" by CURTIS MAYFIELD:
Say what you will about Curtis Mayfield, but what you're sayin' better be good. Mayfield's intoning and screaming at the opening of "...Hell Below" is pretty much as in-your-face as Soul gets. Hearing "Do Do Wap" again after not hearing it for a year reminds me how much I miss my old DJ gig sometimes.

"Sarah"
"Sarah"
"Cowboy Song (live)" by THIN LIZZY:
That's right, adventures of Phil Lynott and Company continue here at Pimps of Gore, in what will pop up regularly (okay, more likely to be occasional) as Thin Lizzy Tuesday. Back when I used to frequent a blog called Kittytext, my love for the Lizzy blossomed because of that blogger's weekly posts on the band. I hope to convert a few of you on a semi-weekly basis as well. The two "Sarah" tracks posted here today are vastly different; the former is a mostly acoustic piano ballad, while the latter is bubbly, somewhat dated, and impossible not to enjoy. Lynott wrote the latter version with guitarist Gary Moore as an ode to Lynott's newborn daughter. Can you imagine your parents writing a song like this for/about you? Can you imagine having this to listen to after your dad is gone? Sometimes I'm a sentimental bastard. As a bonus, and as a tribute to my friend Brian who performed this song in live band karaoke the other night, I've added a live take of "Cowboy Song" from a concert in Philadelphia circa 1977.

"Goner"
"Keep a Friend" by DR. DOG:
I figure since I'm already bringing up Thin Lizzy for the 400th time, I might as well keep being a repeating piece of shit and post a couple more Dr. Dog favorites. "Goner" is a mindblower, a goosebump inducing masterpiece that evokes (but never apes) everyone from Bowie to Queen to The Beatles. Both of tonight's songs are as good as anything Wilco has ever recorded. Dr. Dog deserve to be big. They've got a new album coming out next month, so keep your eyes peeled around these Internets for previews, etc. Check out Dr. Dog's site for half a dozen more downloads, news, etc.

"Title and Registration"
"Title and Registration (alt. version)" by DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE:
Since we're kind of rocking that mainstream radio "2 for Tuesday" vibe this evening, here are two versions of Death Cab for Cutie's "Title and Registration." The first version comes directly from the Transatlanticism album. I don't know much about the alternate take, but I can only guess it was an early mix of the song before some of the studio tinkering went into effect, and frankly did the song a disservice. I thought of posting a song from Death Cab's new album, but figured WebSheriff would come a knockin'. Hell with that.

5.30.2008

There's only one girl in the world for you, and she probably lives in Tahiti.

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Minimal chatter tonight. I've been staring at my screen for hours now. I just want to get this stuff out there to you.

"Whole Wide World"
"Veronica" by WRECKLESS ERIC: "Whole Wide World" is easily in the running for Top 100 Songs of All Time. Recorded for Stiff Records with Ian Dury and Nick Lowe as the backing band, it was pretty much the only hit for Wreckless Eric (Eric Goulden). It also acts as the backbone for one of the only memorable scenes in the quite boring Will Ferrell movie Stranger Than Fiction.

"Gobbledigook" by SIGUR ROS: Sigur Ros are playing, like, 3 shows in America on their upcoming tour. One of those shows is in my town, Omaha, NE, at a beautiful theater with great acoustics. Naturally, I will not be in town for this historic show. Fuckin' figures. Here's the first release off their upcoming album.

"Anna" by THE BEATLES: The other day I pretty much sealed up the remaining holes in my Beatles catalogue, and in doing so stumbled upon this fantastic Arthur Alexander cover (music geeks will recognize that name as the same man who wrote "Soldier of Love") from Please Please Me.

"Love Loves to Love Love" by LULU: The number of songs I swear I've posted before, and then discover I never have, is epic, and this track is from that list. A mix tape staple for me from the early 2000's, this one was sampled by Fatboy Slim on an early single.

"The World Has Turned and Left Me Here"
"Holiday" by WEEZER: I'm closing things out tonight with a couple of favorites from Weezer's debut "Blue" album, as a sort of response to my lack of desire to hear what the band might bring on their upcoming "Red" album. Of course, even back when this album came out and "Undone (The Sweater Song)" was becoming a massive hit, I was uninterested in hearing them until I won their album in a music trivia contest. It was "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here" and "My Name is Jonas" that endeared me to them. Their songwriting took a leap forward with the darker, more personal follow-up Pinkerton, but Rivers Cuomo has retracted that sort of confessional writing and the band's music has, in my opinion, been in decline ever since.

5.28.2008

Back upon the mended road, I pause. . .

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"Ooo Baby Baby"
"Savoy Truffle" by ELLA FITZGERALD: It's pretty much indisputable that Ella was possibly the greatest jazz vocalist of all time. I like to imagine alien civilizations coming to Earth long after we've extinguished the human race and stumbling upon her rendtions of The Great American Songbook. If this is the only evidence they find of our existence, they will be rightfully fooled into thinking our culture was deep, luscious, delicate and advanced beyond words. Hell, I'd be happy to know they stumbled upon her 1969 album Ella, which features Fitzgerald covers of pop classics by the likes of Burt Bacharach, Harry Nilsson, The Beatles and Smokey Robinson.

"O Mexico" by DOSH: Martin Luther King Chavez Dosh (is that not one of the greatest fucking names EVER?) is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist who is probably best known, for now, as Andrew Bird's percussionist of choice. "O Mexico" is from his 2006 album The Lost Take, and is pretty representative of the awesomeness to be found within its folds. Dosh's latest release, Wolves and Wishes came out a few weeks ago. While I haven't heard it yet, I just discovered its release on eMusic, so by the time I finish writing this post, it will be in my possession. Highly recommended. Learn more at Dosh's site.

"Lilywhite" by CAT STEVENS: Goddamn. How do I listen to Cat Stevens for decades and not stumble on a brilliant, beautiful song like "Lilywhite" until now? I guess that's the great thing about being a music fan. . . even the stuff you love can resurface and surprise you all over again.

"Still in Love With You" by THIN LIZZY: The more I listen to Thin Lizzy, the more I think they're going to have to become a monthly, if not weekly, feature here. So many good songs. So underrated. Beat me to the punch and go buy all their albums, or at least the Vagabonds boxed set. You will not be disappointed. Phil Lynott shares vocal duties here with Scottish singer/songwriter Frankie Miller.

"Straberry Fields Forever" by NOEL HARRISON: Re-Pimped from the Iron Leg blog.

4.02.2008

"100 million people have been wrong before."

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"Thirty One Today" by AIMEE MANN: Just added! Had to toss this one into tonight's post after discovering an email from one of Mann's publicists announcing the release of this new track from Aimee's hilariously titled June album, @#%&! SMILERS (any guesses on the cuss word? "Motherfucking?"). While still mining somber subject matter on "Thirty One Today," Mann sounds absolutely bubbly this time around. Smilers is Mann's first album of original material since 2005's boxing themed The Forgotten Arm (I'm not counting her holiday album, obviously). I've already addressed both my crush on Mann (she was even in The Big Lebowski, for fuck's sake!) and her songwriting genius here before, so I'll just leave you with this, a link to her website, where you'll find all kinds of bio info, an extensive discography, and links to listen to some of her work.

"Heart it Races" by DR. DOG: Yeah, almost every post I've made this year references Dr. Dog. What of it, punk? Here's their oft-blogged cover or Architecture in Helsinki's "Heart it Races." I'm probably in the minority, but I think this version blows the original right off the map.

"Elevator Love Letter" by STARS: Music has just been piling up on my hard drive for years now, and I have had little time to hear most of it, which leads to awesome moments like the other day when this song came on in my car. Hearing it spurred me to get back to posting here, and it took me three posts to finally get this one onlnine.

"One Slight Wrong Move" by ARCHERS OF LOAF: Speaking of random songs in my car, this Archers classic (from White Trash Heroes, their final hurrah) crept up from the depths on me this afternoon and kicked my entire boring day in the ass. So funky, so dissonant. It was also the perfect lead-in for what followed. . .

"Editions of You" by ROXY MUSIC: I can attribute an entire decade delay in my love of Roxy Music to the father of a childhood friend, who constanly played "Love is the Drug" in his car when he was driving us anywhere. Since this guy's record collection consisted of a lot of Don Henley and Jimmy Buffett, I chalked RM up to being just another group of coked up assholes with no talent. I guess I was right about them probably being coked up, and probably being assholes, but 66% is still a failing grade in my book. (A few years ago, I had my brother in stitches when we pulled up next to a car blaring Jimmy Buffett and I leaned out to their open window and screamed, "BUFFETT CAN STUFF IT!" Fuck that guy.)

"Sport" by LIGHTNIN ROD
"Superfly" by CURITS MAYFIELD
"Egg Man (demo)"
"Egg Man" by BEASTIE BOYS: The deconstruction/reconstruction of a hip-hop masterpiece. Of course, the Beastie Boys' classic "Egg Man" probably features dozens of other samples (including music from "Jaws"), but Lightnin Rod's "Sport" and Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly" are the two pillars the rest of the song stands upon. The last book I read for recreation, before this semester got a grip on me, was the 33 1/3 series entry about the making of the B Boys' Paul's Boutique. I highly recommend it, even though it was dying for a footnote section listing as many possible samples used on the record as possible. If you're looking for more, do a Google search on The Beastie Collection compilation, which is packed with original songs sampled for that and a few other B Boys records.

"There's a Wrinkle in Our Time" by 1984: Sweet mother of fuck! There's a wrinkle in my duodenum, and it got there through the 1984-sized boot in my ass.


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4.01.2008

Ship of fools. . .

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Get it? 'Cause it was April Fools Day?

Is this thing on?

"Like a Fool" by SUPERCHUNK

"I'm a Fool" by ETTA JAMES

"Foolin'" by DEF LEPPARD

"Foolish Fool" by DEE DEE WARWICK

"What a Fool Believes (Intro)" from YACHT ROCK
"What a Fool Believes" by THE DOOBIE BROTHERS
"What a Fool Believes" by SELF

"You Were the Fool" by WEEN

"Old Fools" by THE MAGNETIC FIELDS

"Fool's Life" by DR. DOG


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3.28.2008

Coming up for air. . .

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While I may be barely living, I assure you. . . I'm alive.

Just a few more weeks until I get a break. I have to admit, a small part of me so dearly wants to put this blog to bed. Just a bullet to the back of the head, and then watch it drop into a watery grave. A larger part of me, unfortunately, can't deal with that ending.

Thanks to anyone who still comes by here every once in a while to see if I'm still kicking. I know I'll never win a blog award behaving like this, but I hope you'll still think of me when you're jamming out to shit like this:

"Consolers of the Lonely"
"Five On the Five" by THE RACONTEURS: Every Spring I search for -- NEED -- some kind of rock gem to help dig me out of the snow and the cold. The Raconteurs' Consolers of the Lonely is that very record. Even the acoustic numbers wind up packing a punch. Nothing groundbreaking, but another stellar album from Jack White, Brendan Benson and company.

UPDATE!!! Raconteurs links removed by request of "Web Sheriff". Wow, for the first time in the history of Pimps of Gore, I've pissed off a record label. Although, I have to admit, they were pretty nice about it all. See Comments section for their note. Sorry folks, getcher Raconteurs tracks elsewhere!

"Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?"
"Change Is Hard" by SHE & HIM: While I confess to an insane crush on Zooey Deschanel that dates as far back to her turn as the smart ass cosmetics clerk in The Good Girl (and of course, the sister in Almost Famous, I have to admit that this album, a collaboration with M. Ward, sideswiped me a bit. I tried to resist it, and then one afternoon a few days ago, that resistance was busted apart by the two songs presented here today. Ward and Deschanel cover a ton of ground in just over 36 minutes, including classic girl group pop, old school country and even a couple of decent covers of The Beatles and Smokey Robinson classics.

"Lost Verses" by SUN KIL MOON: From the newly released April, the first proper record from Mark Kozelek's post-Red House Painters band since the absolutely classic Ghosts of the Great Highway (really, that Modest Mouse covers album should have been considered a Kozelek joint, since it was so dominated by him and an acoustic guitar). There are so many songs from this album I wanted to share with you. . . the crushingly dark "Heron Blue," the Crazy Horse-ian "Tonight the Sky," the Will Oldham-backed "Unlit Hallway." It's a breezy, delicate and yet sometimes heavy work of art. "Lost Verses" pretty much captures it all, and I think you're gonna love that moment that comes at the 8 minute mark, when the fuzzy electric guitars butt in and make themselves known.

In closing, here are a couple other favorite Kozelek tracks from a number of different projects throughout the years. I've posted about the dude a few times before, so I'll try to keep from repeating previous tracks:

"All Mixed Up" (Cars cover, live in San Francisco, 2004)
"Dramamine" (Modest Mouse cover)
"Around and Around" (John Denver cover, which I'm dedicating to my best friend Sarah P.)
"Michigan" (live)
"Rock 'n Roll Singer" (AC/DC cover)
"Wop A Din Din" (7-inch version)
"Drop"

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1.07.2008

2007: Favorites (plus, some ill Bill)

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It's strange, what sometimes inspires me to get my shit together and write on this blog.

I've had my "Best of 2007" list of 10 made for well over a month now. Thing is, I'm not really a fan of "best of" lists. I'm especially not fond of -- if making such a list -- ranking a bunch of albums against each other. I think the old cliche of "it's like comparing apples and oranges" truly applies here, when you're talking about things like art, which should ideally be dealt with in as subjective a manner as possible.

Who am I to say the ten albums on my list are the absolute "best" that came out in 2007?

When I do make up such lists, I typically only do so by being prodded by some outside influence. I've written a couple for magazines over the years. I did one last year for a foreign website collecting Top Ten lists from as many music bloggers as possible. That turned out to be a decent read, actually.

I did one this year because of a music newsgroup to which I'm subscribed. The guy who has taken over the duty of compiling the stats for the group's top 100 choices uses a point system to rank every member's submitted list. First place gets the most points, with a decreasing amount going from 2nd to 10th.

This year, I wanted Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings' 100 Days, 100 Nights to earn as many points as possible. Such a fantastic, timeless album. So, I submitted my list, which I intended to mirror here.

Then, I got really lazy. I went home to visit the family. I took many naps. I drifted off for a while.

What snapped me back, at least as far as this place is concerned, was what always snaps me back: hearing (or, in this case re-hearing) something magnificent. On that aforementioned music newsgroup, the subject of Bill Withers arose, and I got to once again spout off about how much I love the man and his music. As a bonus to my rant, I added links to four Withers songs, two of which I've posted before on Pimps, and two that I hadn't been struck by until a few nights ago.

Those two songs:

"Hope She'll be Happier": Wow. Just. . . crushing. This like soul music made by Radiohead or something.

"Don't You Want to Stay": "Hi, I'm Bill Withers, and I'm a fucking stone pimp." Much in the same way Wes Anderson initially wanted to use only music from The Kinks for the soundtrack to Rushmore, I want to make a dark indie comedy using only Bill Withers.

With those two new favorites showing up in my headphones, I finally felt the inclination to complete that post on my favorite records of 2007. Not even including the dozens of great records I never even got to hear this year, the dozens of records I bought were virtually impossible to narrow down to ten. Just look at some of the stuff I had to leave out: Arcade Fire's Neon Bible! Aesop Rock's None Shall Pass! Andrew Bird's Armchair Apocrypha! Dethklok's Dethalbum! Feist's The Reminder! Plus, tons of others from the likes of Modest Mouse, The White Stripes, Matt Pond PA, Les Savy Fav, the Shout Out Louds, Pinback. . . even the soundtrack to I'm Not There. In any other year, all of these would be in contention for the top spots.

Damn it all. Here's the ten I went with, no longer in any particular order:

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings 100 Days, 100 Nights
Sharon Jones is for real. 100%. I made a mention of 100 Days a couple of months ago (along with posting a couple of tracks), but it's probably a record I should have championed more at the time of its release. I've never prided myself on posting about the most currently released music. That's not what this site is for, and there are thousands of places to go if you're waiting to see what's next. This place is more reserved for the stuff that may have slipped through the cracks, or that just doesn't get discussed enough. Hopefully, 2008 will be Sharon Jones' year and I won't have to blog about her anymore because she'll be more popular than R Kelly.

Since I already posted two tracks from this record, here's a bonus track from the digital version:
"The Collection Song"


Kings of Leon Because of the Times
Maybe I didn't read enough music rags this past year, but this record seemed to get totally slept on. There seems to be an undercurrent of hipster hatred for these guys, which is funny, because a lot of the hatred seems to be aimed at the fact that they come off as hipsters. Why cut off your nose to spite your face? Me, I think it's pretty much the best thing they've done yet. "McFearless" (posted here previously) is absolutely one of the best songs of the year. (What, now I'm speaking in absolutes?)

"McFearless"
"True Love Way"


Band of Horses Cease to Begin
You get it at this point, I'm sure: I love Band of Horses. I practically dedicated an entire month to them here, so I'm not going to carry on too much more about this record. While I'm doing you the favor of brevity, let me also be sure to include a link to "Detlef Schrempf," the song I posted about but did not include in my rave review of Cease not so long ago.

"Detlef Schrempf"
"Islands on the Coast"


Eddie Vedder Into the Wild
Another album I've covered here already. The perfect soundtrack for the subject at hand, and an incredibly humane film by Sean Penn. The track I'm including tonight, "Guaranteed," which just last night won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song, is actually two versions of the same song (the second take is instrumental, and comes after a chunk of silence following the vocal version).

"Guaranteed"


Wilco Sky Blue Sky
While nowhere near my favorite Wilco album, Sky is still pretty stellar, and would probably be a career best for any other band besides Wilco. Hell, just writing something as delicate and poignant as "Either Way," "What Light," or "Impossible Germany" would be enough to get by.

"Either Way"
"Hate it Here" (from bonus live DVD)


Rogue Wave Asleep at Heaven's Gate
I didn't see a lot of shows last year (school and work are pretty much devouring the hours of my life at a wicked pace), but one of the best times I had was at Rogue Wave's show at Omaha's Waiting Room on a quiet sunday night. While the turnout was disappointingly small, the band and the crowd were appreciative of each other's company. It felt really good to see drummer Pat Spurgeon smiling and playing his heart out after going through a second kidney transplant not long ago. It felt good to support a band full of obviously decent guys who came armed with an endless bag of hooks and harmony. Asleep at Heaven's Gate is, in my eyes, their third flawless record in a row.

"Harmonium"


Dr. Dog We All Belong
I think to truly appreciate Philadelphia's Dr. Dog, you have to trick yourself into forgetting these guys are around right now. Imagine you're listening to a record that was made 35 to 40 years ago. It isn't hard to do, especially when the opening song on the record sounds like a mixture of The Band, Roxy Music and Village Green-era Kinks. Further exploration in the grooves of this album will net comparisons to Mercury Rev, The Beach Boys, Of Montreal, The Beatles. . . you know, all the best shit ever.

"Alaska"
"I Hope There's Love"


Radiohead In Rainbows
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone has this in his or her Top 10 this year. Well, there's a reason for that, sucka. Somehow, they made an organic record that sounds every bit as electronic and trippy as their past couple of albums. Radiohead allowed fans to pay whatever price they wished for the music (I paid about $8), but no matter what the cost, it was worth every penny. ("Bangers & Mash," included here, comes from the bonus disc, released with the deluxe version of In Rainbows.)

"Jigsaw Falling Into Place"
"Bangers & Mash"


Dinosaur Jr. Beyond
The only thing more amazing than Lou Barlow and J. Mascis kissing and making up was the fact that they got the old Dinosaur Jr. back together and made an album that actually rocks just as much as any of their earliest stuff! Do you honestly think when Led Zeppelin finally get around to recording the expected "reunion album" that all reunited bands are expected to record, it's going to kick as much ass as anything on the first Zep album? Not bloodly likely, friend.

"Crumble"
"This is All I Came to Do" (J, in a live solo acoustic radio performance)


The Shins Wincing the Night Away
The album that time forgot. I almost left this on my list because it came out so near the start of 2007, but I spent a good chunk of the beginning of the year hypnotized by this record. I listened to it so much that I found an undeniable correlation between the ending guitar drone of "Turn on Me" and the post-extraneous-solo guitar of Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper." Now that winter has struck Omaha, I've returned to this melancholy little gem. So many good songs on this record. The Smiths-ian "Australia." The Sea Change-era Beck sound of "Sea Legs." Any album that kicks off with something as uplifting as "Sleeping Lessons" can count on my vote.

"Sea Legs"
"Nothing At All" (bonus track)



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