My friend Tim Foley sent me this answering the question: If you we're asked to do a poster for the Devo show in San Antonio, what would it look like?
Check out Tim's other talents at his newly launched monkey-men-in-business-suits venture as a partner of the soon to be famous (really!) GoFullContact!
Thanks Tim - now get back to work you freak!
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Pitchfork: How a tiny web outfit became the most influential tastemaker on the music scene.
If you enjoy, have an interest in, play, hate, like, dance, record or listen to music, this is an awesome must read from kids over at Wired.
Go to: Pitchfork Media.
Do you remember?
It was wonderful...
Make it louder,
Posted by HMK at 11:02 AM
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Lost my voice at the Devo show last night.
And my legs and feet hurt from jumping up and down.
Shane and John drove down from Austin and we had a micro pre-game session over a couple of beers in the Tiki Room. The brewskis Shane brought had a shark on the lable. Not a bad brew.
We decide to blow off the opening band. - When in Rome. When in Rome? I must have been sick the week they were famous.
There was an awesome refreshing breeze last night. The crowd was cool but the beer lines (Swiller Lite, uh, got any water?) were way too long. Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs sounded great. Shane and I were hanging in the beer line talking to Langly and Justine. The sun was just setting, the Furs were about to go on so Shane and I, trusting our rock & roll instincts, decided to cruise to the front and join John. Next thing you know, the lights drop and they kick straight into Love My Way! Perfect.
And yeah Tim, they did play some stuff off of Duty Now For The Future - Wiggly World rocked and Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA was some good old fashioned frenzied punk! But golly, us Spuds got not real Satisfaction cause they for some reason forgot to start the meeting with our Devo Corporate Anthem. Must have been the heat.
When all our bones and muscles hurt, what's so funny about that?
Still, it makes me wanna move!
Deathray Davies Tonight @ The Limelight on North St. Mary's Street in beautiful down town San Antonio.
A Man Is Real - Not Made Of Steel!
Posted by HMK at 8:16 AM
Friday, August 25, 2006
Devo! At The Sunken Garden Theatre, an awesome outdoor venue that's just a 10 minute walk from my house!
This will be my 6th time to see the bad boys from Akron Ohio. And like alot of things in life, the first time was the best!
I've got a Gut Feeling tonight's gonna be hot!
The Psychodelic Furs are opening up - sounds like a Slap Your Mammy blast of fun.
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah!
(These opening lyrics from Uncontrolable Urge explian exactly how I'm feeling about tonights show!)
Dude - no shit - I just ran into Mark Mothersbaugh at Central Market across the street from my office and he totally frosted me! Really!
I was leaving Joe Barfield a message regarding my 2 free tickets (That's Right!) and I jokingly said I was wandering around CM with the first Devo album under my arm hoping for an autograph. As I was fixin' to head down the stairs outside he was walking up.
He was all dapper in a white fedora and starched out duds and I said excuse me.
Uh Excuse, me. (He walks past me going faster) Oh man c'mon.
I finally said I'll see you tonight and he turned around barely smiling and walked away. Shit!
Anyway, it's still gonna rock.
UPDATE II: It most certainly did! Rock That is...
Posted by HMK at 9:05 AM
The kids over at A Bunch of Beatniks Riding a Rocket (a MP3 label disguised as a blog) are offering an entire CD of really cool low-fi indie pop from the likes of The World Record, Kincaid, The Smittens, and one of my all time favorites - Masters Of The Hemisphere.
As if the title of this freebie doesn't make it clear enough, this is a compilation of songs that never quite made it on to an official release. And after a listen or two you'll understand why.
But don't let that stop you! There are a few gems - including Stay In Your Shoes from The Mendoza Line, Colin Clary's Absinthe Minded, the hilarious Pierre Pierce from The Poison Control Center, Hey Jacques Le Brain by The World Record and Canal Styles Masters Of The Hemisphere.
You can click here for the Recycling The Throwaways zip file now!
Enjoy and have a great weekend!
Posted by HMK at 7:21 AM
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
As a rock producer, Daniel Levitin worked with Stevie Wonder, the Grateful Dead and Chris Isaak. But the music business began to change, and a disillusioned Levitin turned to academia, where a career in neuroscience beckoned.
Sixteen years after he made the switch, Levitin is an associate professor at McGill University in Montreal and one of the world's leading experts in cognitive music perception.
In his new book, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, Levitin explores research into how our brains process the works of artists as varied as Beethoven, the Beatles and Britney Spears, and why they make us feel so good. Wired News picks his brain about how it all works.
Wired News: Are there any myths about music that neuroscientists have exposed?
Daniel Levitin: I think we've debunked the myth of talent. It doesn't appear that there's anything like a music gene or center in the brain that Stevie Wonder has that nobody else has.
There's no evidence that (talented people) have a different brain structure or different wiring than the rest of us initially, although we do know that becoming an expert in anything -- like chess or race-car driving or journalism -- does change the brain and creates circuitry that's more efficient at doing what you're an expert at.
What there might be is a genetic or neural predisposition toward things like patience and eye-hand coordination. (On the other hand), you can be born with a physiology that gives you a pleasant-sounding voice, but that doesn't guarantee you'll have a career as a singer.
WN: What does music tell us about the brain?
Levitin: Through studies of music and the brain, we've learned to map out specific areas involved in emotion, timing and perception -- and production of sequences. They've told us how the brain deals with patterns and how it completes them when there's misinformation.
What we're learning about the part in the frontal lobe called BA47 is the most exciting. Music suggests that it's a region that helps us predict what comes next in a sequence.
WN: What have we learned about music perception from people with brain disorders or injuries?
Levitin: We've learned that musical ability is actually not one ability but a set of abilities, a dozen or more. Through brain damage, you can lose one component and not necessarily lose the others. You can lose rhythm and retain pitch, for example, that kind of thing. We see equivalents in the visual domain: People lose color perception or shape perception.
I think of the brain as a computational device: It has a bunch of little components that perform calculations on some small aspect of the problem, and another part of the brain has to stitch it all together, like a tapestry or a quilt.
WN: You write that you're more interested in the mind than the brain. What's the difference?
Levitin: The brain is a bunch of neurons, chemicals, water and blood.... The mind is the thoughts that arise from the brain. Anatomists and neuroanatomists are particularly interested in understanding how the brain is formed and how cells communicate. They're really looking at the architecture and geography of the brain....
What we're trying to do is figure out (which) parts of the brain do what and how they communicate with each other. But not simply on a level of description that discusses only neuron and cells, but one that also talks about real ideas, thoughts and memories.
WN: From an evolutionary perspective, why have humans developed music?
Levitin: There are a number of different theories. One theory is that music is an evolutionary accident, piggybacking on language: We exploited language to create music just for our own pleasure. A competing view, one that Darwin held, is that music was selected by evolution because it signals certain kinds of intellectual, physical and sexual fitness to a potential mate.
WN: How does that play out in rock 'n' roll, for example?
Levitin: (Research has shown that) if women could choose who they'd like to be impregnated by, they'd choose a rock star. There's something about the rock star's genes that is signaling creativity, flexibility of thinking, flexibility of mind and body, an ability to express and process emotions -- not to mention that (musical talent) signals that if you can waste your time on something that has no immediate impact on food-gathering and shelter, you've got your food-gathering and shelter taken care of.
WN: Do any animals show an appreciation for music?
Levitin: There's no evidence they do -- that birdsong is used in the same way we (use it, for instance, or) that animals use it for recreation. And some of the fundamental things we take for granted about music don't exist in the animal kingdom.
WN: What are we learning about the link between music and emotion in the brain?
Levitin: Music activates the same parts of the brain and causes the same neurochemical cocktail as a lot of other pleasurable activities like orgasms or eating chocolate -- or if you're a gambler winning a bet or using drugs if you're a drug user. Serotonin and dopamine are both involved.
WN: Could music be an antidepressant?
Levitin: It is already -- most people in Western society use music to regulate moods, whether it's playing something peppy in the morning or something soothing at the end of a hard day, or something that will motivate them to exercise. Joni Mitchell told me that someone once said before there was Prozac, there was her.
WN: What is an earworm, and what doctor do I see if I get one?
Levitin: It's the name the Germans give to these songs that get stuck in your head that you can't get rid of. If they're really bothersome, you can do what Neil Young told me: Become a professional songwriter. He writes songs to get them out of his head.
Failing that, the second thing you can do is go to a doctor and have them prescribe an antidepressant or anti-anxiety drug like Prozac or Ativan. Or the most common option, find an equally annoying song that's not bothering you right now, and it will replace the earworm with another one.
Thanks to Randy Dotinga at Wired
Posted by HMK at 9:09 AM
There are genius funny lyrics in Steely Dan songs, but they also often come off as dudes who take themselves really, really seriously. But maybe it's just their special sense of humor that makes it all work.
Check out this open letter to Luke Wilson asking for his help in getting his brother to apologize for making a terrible movie out of one of their songs.
It's totally worth reading start to finish.
Big thanks to Mac at portastatic.
Posted by HMK at 8:58 AM
Monday, August 21, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Allright, it's Saturday Night. Thanks for stopping by.
You're soooo lucky! Today I've got some groovy, mid 60's, French, get-up-n-move vibes for you that'll remind you that yes - it's still summer! I'm thinking these will work nicely with just about anything you might have going on after the sun goes down today. Come to think of it, and although I haven't tested them sitting around the pool (yet!) these would go absolutely perfect with a nice poolside cold one.
Either way, here's hoping at least one of these French gems make it on to your permanent Saturday night mix. I've got this twistin' trio in both my Bohemian Mai Tai Jet Set playlist and the Official A Night at The Fabulous Tiki Room playlist.
First up, from 1966, the happy-go-lucky Twist A Go Go from Eddie Warner & les Nelson Boys (256 kbps 3.7MB)
Next, a sweet little finger snappin' vibes and keyboard combo circa 1964 that's really anything but what you might expect with a title like Ah! Quel Surf!, dig if you will Ah! Quel Surf! This is from Orchestre Jean Tordo off of the C'est Si Bon 45 (256 kbps 3.8MB)
"You gotta live like you're on vacation." Sir Diamond David Lee Roth
And finally, for my buddy Jackie, (and perhaps you or anyone else that just might need a song to make 'em smile and thank their lucky stars for everything they've got) a hip shakin' 1965 ditty called Forgeron Twist by Les Star Twisters. This is a single from The Dansons avec Les Star Twisters et Viviane Chantel LP. (256 kbps 4.1MB)
And, remember - Summer's not over yet!
C'est Si Tiki Bongo!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
Sunday, August 13, 2006
This is pretty sweet. Man in Space with Sounds was composed by Arthur Attilio Mineo in the early 50s and was played through the sound system in "The Bubbleator", an exhibit that was part of the 1962 Seattle Space Age World's Fair.
"The Bubbleator" was a 150-passenger spherical clear plastic elevator that moved 2.5 million people through the "World of Tomorrow" displays that promised an easier life ahead and a glimpse of life in the future!
To accompany their journey, the sound system piped in the evocative orchestral and electronic music of Man in Space with Sounds that helped to create a futurist experience for the passengers. How cool is that?
According to Amazon, once the producers of the CD version managed to track down Attilio Mineo to arrange the licensing, it was discovered that the master tapes for Man in Space with Sounds were lost forever. An original 1962 LP, like this one, was used for the recording on the CD.
This, the original LP, was released in limited quantities on the World's Fair record label around 1962 in two versions; one with a short peice of spoken word introduction before each track and one without the introductions. Neither LP was in stereo.
So what are you waiting for? Transport yourself by listening to this spoken word version, ripped directly from the original vinyl. All in glorious Mono! Grab Man In Space now!
(By the way, this is a 45.3 MB zip file of the entire album, painstakingly ripped from vinyl, just for you plus the original album cover art. As always, these audio files are for research purposes only.)
Enjoy your journey!
Posted by HMK at 12:13 PM
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Dig this nice little 1947 ditty from Jump Blues King Jo Jo Adams. After just one listen to When I'm In My Tea I think you'll agree that this should be a permanent addition to your official Saturday night mix.
Here's a little Jo Jo history:
Born circa 1918, Alabama
Died 27 Februay, 1988, Chicago, Illinois
"I started playing the blues when I saw a man standing on the stage and he was getting big money. He had a red pocket hand'chief around his neck and coveralls and I said, 'That's not the way it's supposed to go'. I introduced color to the stage. My tailor-made tails that were 55 inches long - when I spun around you could shoot dice on them!"
Seldom remembered today among the greats of jump blues, Jo Jo Adams was once quite a celebrity in the 1940s and 1950s Chicago music and entertainment circle. A comedian/singer/dancer/emcee and leader of a successful revue, the few remaining images and film clips we have of the man (for example, his performances from the 1949 William Alexander short "Burlesque In Harlem"), shows a slim, dapper, Cab Calloway-like performer, an impression borne out by his jazzy recordings such as When I'm In My Tea.
Once billed as "The Sepia Frank Sinatra" (more for his build and sartorial elegance than his vocal style), Jo Jo Adams was born in Alabama around 1918. Little is known of his early life, except that he sang with a quartet called the Big Four Jubilee singers, and that he was on Chicago's South Side by 1945, playing venues such as the Ritz Show Lounge, and first recorded in early 1946 with guitarist Freddie Williams' band for Williams' own Melody Lane Record Shop label.
Within a few weeks, Melody Lane had become Hy-Tone Records and the two Adams releases were reissued on the new label. During the summer of 1946, Adams was in Los Angeles, recording for Aladdin Records with the Maxwell Davis All Stars and appearing with Clifford Scott at the Hideaway Club, however, by the end of the year, he was back in Chicago recording for Hy-Tone, this time with veteran guitarist Floyd Smith's Combo (Smith had been famous for his influential 1939 hit Floyd's Guitar Blues recorded with Andy Kirk's Orchestra and had only just left the Kirk band at the time of his Hy-Tone session).
In July 1947, "Doctor Jo Jo" as he was sometimes billed, recorded a four track session for Aristocrat Records with Tom Archia's All Stars, and in early 1948 he was recalled by Archia to sing the wonderful, two-part Cabbage Head - an updating of the ancient British ballad "Our Gudeman"(aka Seven Nights Drunk). Apart from his welcome appearance in the aforementioned musical short "Burlesque In Harlem" - in which he performs the risqué I Like To Hucklebuck before displaying his terpsichorean skill with an exotic dancer - Adams appears to have disappeared from the recording scene for a full four years (he is known to have joined Memphis Slim's Houserockers as a singer briefly in 1950), returning in November 1952 to cut six sides for Art Sheridan's Chance Records with trumpeter Melvin Moore's Orchestra.
His last known release was issued the following year on Al Benson's Parrot label, backed by a small unit headed by drummer Red Saunders and arranged by Sun Ra. Although the recordings were sparse, Adams appeared often in the early 1950s at the Flame Show Bar with his own revue "The Jo Jo Show".
He is listed as being part of a couple of rock 'n' roll revues at the Trianon Ballroom and the Regal Theatre in 1955 and also at a club called Budland in late 1958, and then seems to have vanished into obscurity for the last 30 years of his life (Living Blues reported that he would still occasionally play in his neighbourhood of 64th and Maryland).
He died in Chicago on 27th February 1988.
Thanks to Dave Penny and his Living Blues interview with Jo Jo.
Posted by HMK at 12:49 PM
Friday, August 11, 2006
Now where were we...
I understand that you were in need of some fresh background music for this weekend. Do yourself a favor - trash your Bon Jovi, Kenny G and Michael Bolton. This 1957 classic from Pedro Garcia and his Del Prado Orchestra: A Tropical Affair will have you makin' Martinis and doin' something like the Cha Cha in no time flat. (By the way, this is a 33.8 MB zip file of the entire album, painstakingly ripped from vinyl, just for you plus the original album cover art. As always, these audio files are for research purposes only.)
And Yeah, it sounds as good as it looks.
Cheers and have a great weekend,
Posted by HMK at 7:13 AM