Sunday, May 31, 2009

Aesop Rock Part. 1

You're going to want to turn up the base. Either that or procure a higher quality recording. My man always has great production.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

stevie wonder

Have you seen Stevie Wonder's new car?

Neither has Stevie.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Meet the biggest Latin rock band on the planet. Maná's albums and touring schedule rival that of Springsteen or U2 in popularity and scope. Their music has a little more a of soft rock feel than either of those acts, but they can also rock it. As you'll see below, their shows attract massive crowds, even in the U.S. Check out this supergroup and discover what millions the world over already know. Their live releases, Arde el Cielo and En Vivo, are a good place to start.

06 ¿Dónde Jugaran Los Niños_.mp3

Maná's website

Maná's albums on

Thursday, May 28, 2009


vroom vroom party starter
Meet Couch, Experimental Electronica Rock from Deutschland. Their disc Figur 5 is the cure for what ails ya. Have a listen, rock out in your cubicle, drink some Jagermeister, punch somebody, hell, punch yourself, hug it out, here we go...

...and for more fun, click and play with this: the music lab.

see you in half a fortnight

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Old Crow Medicine Show

Their Website

For over ten years now Old Crow Medicine Show (OCMS) have been together touring relentlessly and projecting their unique mix of old-timey string music with a rock n’ roll attitude. The band met in New York in 1998 and, to use words from their website, “hit the road, traveling city to city in a van busking (playing for money) in the streets.” The band eventually ended up in NC where they were fortunate enough to be playing in front of a local pharmacy when legend Doc Watson walked by and immediately recognized their talent. While the band attributes this as their big break, I’d like to think that talent like theirs would have found its way to the top one way or another. Today, three studio albums and hundreds of live shows later, OCMS is headlining their own shows at respectively sized venues. They are frequent visitors of Bonnaroo, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and have played the Grand Ole Opry.

I often have a hard time gauging the stretch of how far a folk/Americana/string band’s music has spread into American mainstream. I think that OCMS is probably one of the bands at the forefront. For those of you who are into this sort of music, I think you will probably have been lucky enough to have had their tunes grace your eardrums. For those of you who aren’t into the stringband/Americana end of things, I think OCMS is a band that that really transcends the label of the genre. Their youthful and almost punk-like attitudes allow them to reach a larger listening demographic.

Looking at their touring schedule for the summer I see that they are opening for Dave Matthews Band. This adds them to a growing list of musicians that I really like who have opened for DMB. So if you are into DMB, then you’ve got an added incentive to attend a show. To those of you asking yourselves, “Are they good enough to go see despite DMB”....well that’s a tough question. I have seen them once at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison and was blown away, that’s the best I can do for you.


- Ben

***Thanks to Jake Stroup for this one, I still remember you telling me about these guys. Must have been @ least 5 or 6 years ago.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Nostalgia makes me feel good. I was recently recruited to make a mix for a Memorial Day party and in my searches for music I came upon a host of artists and songs that used to get a lot of play in my rotation years ago. Rediscovering these tracks ended up being a big distraction from my original duty but it was definitely rewarding.

The group that is the focus of this weeks post, however, succeeds in bringing out that big time nostalgia but with newly created music. Anamanaguchi, according to their website, "makes loud, fast music with a hacked NES from 1985". There really is no better way to describe it. Being a 26 year old kid who still remembers unwrapping his Nintendo on Christmas Eve, this music hits a sweet spot.

It started back in high school with the Minibosses who recreated songs from NES games like Contra and Castlevania with a full band ensemble. Anamanaguchi takes it one step further by literally playing a Nintendo but as an instrument rather than a gaming console. And unlike the Minibosses, Anamanaguchi's songs are all original compositions.

They recently released their second full length album "Dawn Metropolis". You can use the handy little tool below to check out some tracks from the album with 8-bit video accompaniment (definitely listen to Blackout City).

This stuff falls nicely into the guilty pleasure niche for me. I'm not going to blast it at parties or fire it up on a road trip, but, if I ever need to get out of a bad mood or just want to grin and bob my head a bit, Anananaguchi are the perfect medicine.

Here is a some unfortunately sub par video that will give you an idea of what the setup looks like.

If you didn't grow up playing Nintendo for hours on end then this stuff may not be your thing, but, if you're interested in more from Anamanaguchi check out these links:

Anamanaguchi's official Web site
Anamanaguchi on MySpace

Crystal Method (Mixed by DJML)

LOS ANGELES, CA -- The Crystal Method just released 'Divided By Night' to much fanfare as their first release in some time. I don't claim to be a Crystal Method expert by any means, but this album came recommended for investigation by devout TSAD reader Adam Blaisdell and TSAD contributor Keefe Miller. Upon review, I found some solid beats in the 110 beats per minute range, dropped the album on the turntables, and the result is the following 'Methods Mix.' Should be a convenient sampling of 4 tracks from the album, remixed by one late-nite Nashville DJML (biography to follow in future posts.)

DJML Bonus Track: Love is Gone v. Love Lockdown (Remixed by DJML)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

She's Not a Girl Who Misses Much

For Memorial Day I'm drinking, singing along with my speakers, and reflecting on some of the finer thangs. Booze, kicks, and televised sporting events. RIP Blackhawks and Brewers. These trifles often pale in comparison to the finest jams.

Sorry Mr. Dylan, I'll get to you some week. No rush. My ears were busy digesting (or being digested by) the White Album. It's been years since my first listen and the revival has been a mind-bending pleasure. Dopeness. Do do do do do do, oh yeah.

Dank nugget of wisdom from Wikipedia/Rolling Stone:

According to Lennon, the title came from the cover of a gun magazine that producer George Martin showed him: "I think he showed me a cover of a magazine that said 'Happiness Is a Warm Gun.' It was a gun magazine. I just thought it was a fantastic, insane thing to say. A warm gun means you just shot something."

Saturday, May 23, 2009

the avalanches

Hailing from the land down under comes the Avalanches
A mix up band bringing pleasure to your ears. Often the music reminds me of sitting around in the Carribean enjoying the sunlight.

more songs & info click here

Here is a ten minute example of how they sample other songs and transition all kinds of music in an outstanding way

i discovered this band in 2004 and did not like them at first, but once i heard a few more songs i could not get enough. I hope you like.

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Music Friday - Passion Pit, Eminem and more

I've written reviews of new releases a few times on TSAD (here, here, and here), but today I'm upping the ante. A bunch of great/interesting music has been released since last Friday, so let's begin.

Passion Pit - Manners
Say hello to 2009's version of MGMT. We may be the last music blog on earth to write about these guys, even though their album just came out on Tuesday. Passion Pit's deeply textured electro-pop first caught the industry's attention with their release of the EP Chunk of Change last year. Manners features fast paced beats, solid bass lines, high pitched vocals, and hooks that will have your head bobbing within seconds (sound familiar?). But this is not a retread of MGMT's Oracular Spectacular. It's more focused, sticking to the electro-pop and not descending into weird psychadelia. Sure it's a little goofy, but I can't get enough of it. And at the end of the day, wouldn't you rather listen to catchy electro stuff instead of hookless stuff from Animal Collective and TV on the Radio? I know I would. Listen to the first two tracks and I think you'll agree. If you only check out one album that I write about today, make sure this is it.

Manners - Passion Pit

Eminem - Relapse
Eminem is back with his first new release in nearly five years (disclaimer: I am huge fan of Eminem's first three albums, I think they are as good as rap gets). The title of this release gives you an idea of what's to come. Em spends a lot of time discussing his valium addiction while still staying true to his ro
ots: violence, crazy stories, and celebrity bashing. The beats are great (dre never disappoints), the flow is still tremendous, but I just can't get past his delivery on this album. WTF is he doing with his voice on so many of these tracks? That weird Jamaican wannabe voice sucks. Eminem's regular delivery is second to none, he has no need to do this weird shit. What happened to this guy? There are some highlights: Crack a Bottle is a great party song and will be on my next playlist, and Bagpipes From Baghdad, Stay Wide Awake and a couple others are listenable. But Stay Wide Awake is a perfect example of his delivery problems: the parts where he raps with his normal delivery are great, the other parts, not so much. At the end of the day, Relapse is better than Encore but not even in the same ballpark as Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers, and Eminem Show.

Relapse on Lala

Iron & Wine - Around the Well
Around the Well is a double disc release of rarities, b-sides, and songs that got cut from Sam Beam's albums to date. More Iron & Wine is never a bad thing. The album has a nice symmetry: the first disc is comprised of older Iron & Wine tracks from their lo-fi days, and the second disc features their more recent work. Serious Iron & Wine fans (and I'm one of those) will recognize a few tracks. Hickory is a classic track from their lo-fi days, Such Great Heights is a Postal Service cover that appeared on the Garden State soundtrack, and The Trapeze Singer is often the pinnacle of Iron & Wine's live shows (and my favorite song by them, it's great to see this song make it onto an official release). Some guitar riffs on the album are very similar to other songs that actually made the previous releases, which is probably why these tracks were left off. That doesn't make the songs bad though. Sam Beam never disappoints. If you like Iron & Wine, this is a must have.

Around the Well on Lala

Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood - Live at Madison Square Garden
The Blind Faith band mates reunite at MSG to play tracks from their 1969 self-titled release as well as tracks from both artists' extensive libraries. Putting one of the great rock guitarists on stage with one of the great rock keyboardists (and my personal favorite singer) can't be bad, right? It isn't.

Clapton and Winwood live at MSG on Lala

Green Day - 21st Century Breakdown
Green Day's latest release following the widely beloved American Idiot. I personally am not a big Green Day fan, but I can tell that this is an album that will be well liked by people who are into their stuff. Not as strong as American Idiot, but good stuff nonetheless.

21st Century Breakdown on Lala

I hope all this new music helps make your Memorial Day weekend great!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Antoine Dufour

If only views were dollars...

A shorter post this week to get you to the long weekend that seemingly will never come. Meet Antoine Dufour, an artist on Candyrat Records, and arguably one of the best guitarists I've come across, and most talented that I've had the pleasure of seeing live.

Thanks to YouTube, you can see him live too. Here are some stellar videos to enjoy this Thursday:

And what I believe to be his most technically difficult song:

Hope ya dig. Til next week.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Hackensaw Boys

The Hackensaw Boys

Their Website

A wonderful music vid....

Hey All –

I’d like to keep the bluegrass train rollin’ right along this week with one of my favorite small-time bluegrass bands. I’ve seen the Hackensaw Boys several times in concert, and from what I can tell they are six young guys who really love the music they play and have a lot of fun playing it. They’re a lot of fun to watch and I think their nicknames give good insight into the type of fellas they are (Cousin Spits, Baby J, Salvage, Mahlon, Four, and Plang Tang). Last time I saw them they all jumped down off of stage and finished off the set playing amongst the crowd, even letting audience members help out a bit. They are all very talented, and put on a very high energy set. It doesn’t take them long to get the whole crowd dancing. They have been around for a while and have put out a number of albums. I’ve only got two of then, but enjoy them both.

...This is a great recording from one of their live shows, absolutely love it!

Enjoy, Ben.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Monsoon

Festival campsites and concert parking lots are prime locations for finding new music. The sheer volume of like minded people you are bound to run into means that your odds of hearing something new and interesting are extremely good. It is also very likely that there will be a handful of diligent promoters, artists and street teamers at these places handing out samples of their band's music.

An encounter with one of these folks at my second 10,000 Lakes Festival in the summer of 2004 facilitated the discovery of a band called New Monsoon. The disc was a recording of their performance earlier that year at Last Concert Cafe in Houston, TX. After plugging it into the CD player right then and there it didn't take long for us to realize that these guys had something special going.

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a big fan of jam bands and New Monsoon fits that niche extremely well. But that's not all they have going for them. I also really enjoy bluegrass and occasionally play some banjo. My favorite New Monsoon songs are mostly banjo driven and adopt the best elements of bluegrass to create upbeat, extremely danceable music.

A great example of that fusion is the song "Daddy Longlegs", which also happens to be the first New Monsoon song I ever heard. Here is a two part video of them performing it.

Like any good jam band, however, New Monsoon also like to groove. Here is an older performance (2003) of an excellent song "Double Clutch".

My favorite commercial release of theirs is their "Live at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival" recording and is definitely a good introduction to the energy and versatility of the band. The opening track, "Mountain Air" definitely rips and can be heard by clicking below.

Next would have to be their most recent studio album "V" which is their best in studio work to date. One of my favorites from that album is "Romp" another high energy instrumental that you can hear by clicking below.

For more songs these guys, check out the plethora of tracks that are available at below.

Here are some other good resources:
Official New Monsoon Web page
New Monsoon at the Live Music Archive
New Monsoon on MySpace
New Monsoon's YouTube channel

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pink Floyd - Animals

Some albums get you every time, no matter how many times you've heard it. For me, that moment happens each time I rediscover Pink Floyd's 'Animals.' I rediscovered 'Animals' last week and needed to take the chance with my Monday spot to either help others rediscover or discover, depending on your level of Floyd experience, what is my favorite Floyd album.

Comprised of only five tracks total, I have included all of them with this post. Exceptional work in my opinion work on this 1977 release, as this is their final release pre-Wall.

Have a listen to the album in it's entirety below, although Dogs is split due to length. If you only have time for one, go with Pigs (Three Different Ones)

1 - Pigs on the Wing Part 1

2 - Dogs (Part 1)

3 - Dogs (Part 2)

4 - Pigs (Three Different Ones)

5 - Sheep

6 - Pigs on the Wing Part 2

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Favorite Dylan Album?

Another shorty this week. Next Sunday I will attempt to form a proper review of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Twas a spirited competition between Freewheelin' and Highway 61 Revisited.

For now, sit back and relax to one of my favorite songs. My father plays a fine rendition of this tune on his old guitar. For a number of years in my boyhood, he actually led me to believe he'd composed it himself. I believe it goes without saying that our relationship has never fully recovered.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


rumba calle ocho

"The director must have put a lot of thought into the direction of this video"
Kat Williams

another one you might have heard

jump up lets get crazy, this post would have been better if it were on time for a weekend

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Dead - Shoreline Ampitheater, Mountain View, CA

As we continue our series "Grateful Dead: Band Beyond Description," here's a guest post from Luke Muellerleile, who I was lucky enough to attend the 5/10 Dead show with along with two other friends. Put on your reading glasses.

Ah Mother American Night (The Dead Live @ Shoreline 5-10-09)
Link to setlist and recording: click here

Happy belated Mother's Day to all, especially you moms of "Dead" fans. It should be noted that Stew, Tyler, Adam (Witt) and I allotted adequate time to call up our mom's amid the din at the Shoreline Amphitheater parking lot in Mountain View, CA last Sunday as we prepared to see the Dead for the first time on the 2009 tour. As Stew pointed out last week this was just two days after May 8th, which marked the 32nd year anniversary of perhaps their most heralded show (or at least recording) at Cornell. Needless to say they rose to the occasion, as the jazzy/funky opener of Help on the Way seamlessly melting into a Slipknot! teaser then "rolling away the dew" into Franklin's Tower definitely set the tone. We proceeded to groove the first set in "AARP land", according to Stew, as we found ourselves in reserved seating. It happened that after a late start over to the show (we were unavoidably detained), Stew's skinny ass somehow navigated through the entrance without having his ticket torn off. So I says to him, I says, "You need to push that luck as far as you can..." and we (all 4 of us) proceeded to part the proverbial red sea of ticket-examiners to an open patch of orange seats in what could only be the 32nd row (no idea actually). It definitely brought back memories of jumping the fence to the reserved section at Float-Rite for Dylan and The Dead!

Here's a good version of the Help/Slipknot from 1990:

And Franklin's Tower from a decade earlier:

Stew and I decided (or rather I forced him) to be totally unoriginal and play the "Pick 5" game as well. The process of selecting the "5" took place sporadically throughout the weekend and I took great strides to ensure Stew was caught completely off-guard every time I solicited him for a "Pick". Not surprisingly, he came out swinging with an early pick, Good Lovin' - unfortunately I had already nabbed Franklin's Tower and also selected Bird Song from the first set. It seemed that our lists morphed into wishful thinking about songs we love that we hadn't seen live yet. For me, Bob Hunter's tribute to Janis Joplin was way up there:

All I know is something like a bird
within her sang
All I know she sang a little while
and then flew on

Unfortunately, as of 5/15, Bird Song was left off the archive recording - so was the killer "Drums" segment with the flying and the magic, but here it is on you tube:

Uncle John's Band closed off the first set in sing-along style, but it was becoming increasingly clear that our stay in the lush seats was coming to an end. By then opening of the second set, we'd relocated to more familiar territory on the lawn, and were witnessing the emergence of the best version of the band I've heard since the days of Jerry (in my humble opinion). The core 4 were clicking, with exceptional Phil-bombing on the second set opener 'Unbroken Chain' (another pick of mine), Bobby rockin' out on 'The Other One', and the 'Rhythm Devils' completely stealing the show - no fault of the barely clad, fire-dancing females in accompaniment. Jeff took over nicely on the keyboards in 'The Other One' and 'Sugaree' and had Witt face-melting on more than one occasion. Warren's licks were appropriately sentimental in the twangy 'Sugaree' out of Space, but promptly upped the anty with a second rendition of the 'Gimme Shelter' cover on the tour (perhaps you'll recall where the first occurred). The second set closed with further anticipation, as if Sugar Magnolia was preheated the oven for something grander - Mickey did suggest before the show that the "curfew" was lifted due to the late start, so perhaps we were about to see...

A triple encore! After a heartfelt Phil rap, they jumped right into St. Stephen. This was a special moment where you could really sense the collective vibe coming together - and I'm not just talking about getting my fourth song right. The crowd was serendipitously synchronized and so was the band. About 10 minutes into St. Stephen they broke out a Foxy Lady-esque interlude, then in the subsequent The Eleven jam there were definite signs of the Allman Bros style in Warren around 7:45 minutes...perhaps and ode to Blue Sky? I totally missed the soloing sample of Foxy Lady (someone pointed it out to me since) and I didn't catch the Allman Bros riff until a second listen - but I do recall Bobby starting a little too early in one of the St. Stephen verses. Ahem...and to close off the show properly if not popularly, the "Dead" chimed out their all-but-sanctioned national anthem, Touch of Grey. It was a fitting send-off to the "apocalyptic scene" (according to Witt) that awaited us in the parking lot. And it went on to comfort me the little time I was awake during my 6:20AM flight back the next morning...

Its a lesson to me, the devils and the east and the free
The abcs we all must face, try to save a little grace

Good times - I hope we will survive to see many more.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Scott Hansen, ISO50 and Tycho

The Definition of 'Talent'

Sometimes you have to just sit back and appreciate the breadth of someone’s talent. Scott Hansen is one of these people. Splitting time between ISO50 – his visual work, and Tycho – his electronic/ambient music project, he is in the business of creating, and is rather good at it.

Explore the above links and support local music AND art.

And now for your listening and viewing pleasure:

Dictaphones Lament

Red Bridge

A Circular Reeducation


Unrelated Musical Editorial:
So I recently read an interesting article. A study just found that people who download music illegally, aka pirates, are 10x more likely to buy music than those who don’t (read it here).

And in all honesty this doesn’t surprise me. What I do wonder about though, is what will the music industry’s response be? Essentially they just found out that the people that steal from them are actually their best customers. That’s like bank robbers who rob a bank, and then deposit said stolen money into the very same bank.

And on the whole, music sales are down, so what then? Does the bank run advertising imploring robbers to rob them? Is this analogy even working anymore?


But many questions come to mind:

Does this mean that when people download more music, they get into more music, and therefore end up buying more music? Or is this simply an extremely accurate way to tell between those who are very into music and those who aren’t?

Do record labels offer more free downloads or relax their special interest politicking and prosecuting?

Will this be all the evidence record labels need to convince their artists to follow in the footsteps of Radiohead and NIN? Are their approaches even similar to this?

Does this mean that the stupid fucking drummer from Metallica will finally shut up?

I think there are answers to all these questions, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nalepa - Flatlands

Click play for some mood music.

You may have noticed that in recent years that some artists have started to go all out with their album releases. Additional content above and beyond the album has become the norm as a reaction to slumping album sales as internet downloading (both legal and illegal) has increased its foothold. Bands are now faced with the choice of either taking the risk on an album only release or offering bundled incentives that will entice listeners and fans to buy a hard copy rather than download.

One recent example of this phenomenon are the three recent "Flatlands" releases from West Coast electronic artist Nalepa. The original album was released earlier this Spring on the 1320 Records label (STS9, Pnuma Trio, Eliot Lipp, JFJO) and features the gorgeous and cerebral ambient music of Steve Nalepa. Self described as "glitch-dub", Nalepa's style of music seems initially understated and relaxed but after only a short time of listening the atmospheres he creates become unique and engrossing.

Around the same time, another album was released entitled "Flatlands: Remixes" which, as you may have guessed, contains remixed versions of tracks from the original album. This round of songs feature a host of artists and a much wider variety of styles ranging from downtempo to dub to dance. Here is a side by side example of an original Nalepa track "Monday" compared to its remix by the Glitch Mob.

Third in the trilogy of Flatlands releases is "Flatlands: Video", a stunning compilation of visual interpretations of Nalepa tracks. Having not only been an influential musician, Steve Nalepa is also heavily involved in the visual end of artistic expression often combining both in his performances. This video is a nod to that cooperative creativity and showcases some truly amazing talent from a handful of visual artists. Here is a taste of what "Flatlands: Video" has to offer (watch full screen in High Quality mode):

All three of these releases are available on their own but can also be bought as a bundle at a discounted price giving listeners (and watchers) a chance to try one or two or to go the distance and get all three. The full package is definitely worth it.

For more tracks from "Flatlands" and "Flatlands: Remixes" check out Nalepa's page on MySpace Music.

To purchase any of the "Flatlands" releases click here

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thunderball Radio


Use this next time you need some music to set the mood when you are making a montage for your epic crime movie, taking a pretty girl home in the car from a wine tasting, or sliding around downtown in your best hipster getup. Trust me ....

If you dig that, check this out:
Embed was disable so you have to go to youtube ... do it you lazy bastard

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

Random Party Song. I had to look this up after noting the funkiness in the Pineapple Express trailer. Dance bitches.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Ben Harper and The Day of the Dead

White Lies for Dark Times and a commemoration of a magical day in Grateful Dead history (see end of post). Two posts in one! Sorry Nate.

Ben Harper's latest album dropped this week. Harper is a prolific guy who generally releases an album a year. Does this dilute his work? Maybe. Hell I didn't even know he had released another album after Both Sides of the Gun. But Lynyrd Skynyrd released an album a year in their heyday and things worked out alright for them. Well, sorta.

Anyway, I've come to the decision that I don't like Harper's voice as much as I thought I did. However, he's still a gifted songwriter and guitarist. And his new band is DIRTY. The Innocent Criminals were given a break for this album, and Relentless7 offers a new rootsy sound that is powerful and old school. Guitarist Jason Mozersky in particular really adds a new layer to the Ben Harper sound, and that layer coupled with some stellar slide guitar work by Harper himself makes this release particularly fresh, especially when compared to his recent work. These are not the guys who did Burn One Down, and I mean that in a good way. Harper has always been a rocker who was best known for his softer stuff; with White Lies for Dark Times his rocker abilities are on full display, and true fans are sure to take note. Check it out:

I'm off to San Fran for not one, but two shows this weekend, including the third Dead show of the tour to appear on TSAD (I'm seeing Keane as well). I really can't describe in words how excited I am to see The Dead in their hometown, but the link below might give you an idea. Thirty-two years ago today something incredible happened, and it is captured in tremendous quality below. Deadheads know it simply as 5/8/77 or Barton Hall.

In a stroke of luck that literally changed my life, the very first Dead song I downloaded off of Kazaa and listened to was Scarlett Begonias>Fire on the Mountain from this show (track 13 below). At the time I had no idea what I had stumbled upon. Many regard 5/8/77 as the finest show the Grateful Dead ever played. While I'm not sure I can go that far, I can tell you that Scarlett>Fire was never played any better than it was that night (I get chills at the 17:00 mark every time). You could argue that Dancin' in the Streets and Morning Dew are played to perfection as well. And if a show has the all-time best versions of those three Dead classics, it has to be in the top 10 at least, right? Decide for yourself. Honestly, you can skip the first seven or even ten songs. The beauty begins with Dancin' (track 11). If you haven't listened to much (or any) Grateful Dead, this is the place and the time to begin:

Click here to go to the full Internet Archive page for 5/8/77

The fact that I'm flying out to San Francisco to see the Dead on the anniversary of perhaps their greatest performance is Providence at its finest. Til next week, enjoy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ghostland Observatory

Two Guys and Some Lasers

At the outset of this blog I mentioned dance music and the major renaissance it was enjoying. Today it is my distinct pleasure to introduce those unfamiliar to Ghostland Observatory, an electro-rock funk duo from Austin, TX. I’ll keep this week’s post short as I think some of these posts have been getting a little preachy cough gabe cough. Just kidding, but not really, or am I? No, no I’m not.

On to the music…

Below are 5 of my absolute favorite tracks from GO’s 3-album discography. Upon listening and breaking out into uncontrollable dance, you can check them out here.

These guys rock. And as you can tell by their YouTube videos (below), you apparently leave their concerts deaf AND blind, which is cool, stage presence is definitely something these guys have plenty of.

Enjoy the tunes for this most excellent Thursday, and next week we’ll explore the true meaning of ‘TALENT.’

Until then, adios.

Ps. Big thanks to laportapottie. Photo cred: Chad Wadsworth.

for a live taste (@the metro in chicago):

yes, lasers:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Whiskeytown: Stranger's Almanac

Whiskeytown – Strangers Almanac.

Track One: Inn Town

Hey All. My musical offering to you this week is not a new one. I’d like to bring to light one of my most frequently played albums. The album, Stranger’s Almanac, was the second offering from the band Whiskeytown. Whiskeytown’s history is a brief (1994-1999) and tumultuous one.

Despite only being together for five years the band, lead by a very young Ryan Adams, is widely considered to be one of the most successful bands in the history of Alt-country music. That being said, I find that not too many people have heard them.

Stranger’s Almanac is one of the few albums that I find completely bulletproof. It is rock solid the entire way through; regardless of how many times I’ve listened to it I seldom skip past any tracks.

- ben.

Here are some live videos of a couple tracks from the album. Although the videos aren't the finest of quality (they are from 15 years ago), I found them enjoyable; hopefully they'll spark your interest enough to check out the album if you haven't already.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Raymond (Ramón) Ayala Rodríguez (n. San Juan, Puerto Rico, 3 de febrero de 1977), conocido artísticamente como Daddy Yankee, cantante de reggaeton, actor, productor cinematográfico, locutor radial[1] y empresario puertorriqueño. Uno de sus mayores logros es haber popularizado el reagueton a nivel mundial ,logrando vender mas de 50 millones de copias aleredor del orbe Daddy Yankee triunfa con su 'barrio fino'

Puerto Rico, oficialmente Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico (inglés: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico), es un territorio no incorporado de los Estados Unidos con estatus de autogobierno, situado al noreste del Caribe, al este de la República Dominicana y al oeste de las Islas Vírgenes. Su costa oeste se sitúa, además, a aproximadamente 2.000 kilómetros (1.280 millas) de la costa de Florida, la más cercana del continente. El archipiélago de Puerto Rico incluye la isla principal de Puerto Rico, la más pequeña de las Antillas Mayores, y un número de islas y cayos más pequeñas, de las cuales las más grandes son: Mona, Vieques y Culebra.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Guitar Heroics

When I began scheming for my post this week, I wanted to do something abrasive to provoke responses. I thought that maybe I'd challenge people to name better guitar solos than the ones I could name (take that suckas!). Terrible idea. My rock knowledge is limited. I am not a guitar aficionado. I like cool music, but the expertise ends there. In a similar vein, I don't want to have to defend my own selections against you jackals. I wouldn't presume to guess where you might rate them on some arbitrary scale of difficulty or importance.

What I really want is some new tunes to groove to. This is pretty standard music chatter, but what makes it interesting is the fact that some of you have a taste for rock and roll music that far surpasses my own. Another interesting factor is that some of you have musical abilities that are far beyond my current and future proficiency for anything (seduction being the notable exception). I've randomly chosen three songs in which I particularly enjoy the guitar work. I'm looking forward to hearing some of your favorites.
  • Little Wing ~ Jimi Hendrix. I love the open and the solo later in the song. Beautiful. There's not much more that needs to be said about Mr. Hendrix. Shout out to Stevie Ray Vaughn for his amazing version.
  • Settle For Nothing ~ Rage Against the Machine. This track is about as hard as it gets from Rage. Be prepared. Before you listen, you'll need to meditate on a time in your life when you were truly irritated with The Man. The harshness of the song actually complements the solo. It's the eye of the storm. Short, and absurdly sweet. Tom Morello definitely earns his money. Behold what marvels shall emerge when Zack sees fit to silence himself.
  • Californication ~ Red Hot Chili Peppers. Good solo. Good song. Good album. Great band.
Bonus Video: RIP Ricky Hatton (Warning! This video contains extremely violent, non-musical subject matter)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ralph stanley

Ralph Stanley black & white

here's an instructional vid that breaks down some good banjo pickin. about two thirds into the video has a part that slows it down to take a look a the pickin

yall enjoy

Friday, May 1, 2009

Into the Presence

Found this new album on Lala yesterday. Into the Presence (the name of the band and the album) is established studio musician Luis Maldonado's first album doing his own thing. He got some help from Primus and Perfect Circle drummer Tim Alexander. The album is mostly just the two of them, with the occasional bass or cello thrown in. Unlike other acts that involve only a drummer and a guitarist, this stuff is not grungy or rootsy. It's slick and smooth and efficient, kind of a throwback to late 70s and early 80s rock. Check it out:

Follow up to last week's post
Two other Chicago rap acts were brought to my attention. Cole Hardy mentioned Serengeti, an excellent act. And Dan Jacobsen mentioned his own group, Shytown. Check em out.