Monthly Archives: May 2010

I Was Born This Way: A Proud Democrat

In honor of Friday being a great day for disco, Dimitri from Paris upcoming release of the comp Get Down with the Philly Sound, and the House voting to add an amendment to a bill for the eventual (and at the discretion of the Armed Forces brass) end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, here is Carl Bean’s “I Was Born This Way.”

Carl Bean, “I Was Born This Way”

Proud as a Democrat that no Democrat Reps voted against. Ashamed as an American that 194 Republicans did (only five voted for, including Ron “This guy is a queer!” Paul).

And a reminder, Mr. President, they answer to our laws, not their own:

Therefore, in May 1949 the Fahy Committee [a civilian board created by Truman] proposed opening all army jobs and schools to qualified personnel without regard to race or color, assigning all Army personnel according to ability and need, and abolishing the racial quota. In contrast, the Chamberlin Board [an Armed Forces commissioned board] … concluded that increased opportunities for colored soldiers would adversely affect the fighting spirit and morale of the Army in general.

[The Integration of Negro and White Troops, 1956]

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Pardon Our Appearance / Arcade Fire songs leaked

Noise Narcs has been a bit very slow of late due to massive traffic crappy WordPress configuration and crappy hosting. We’ll be experimenting with a few changes so excuse our motley appearance. In the mean time, do check out the new Arcade Fire songs that leaked over at One Thirty BMP; they’re quite good.

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Even Outer-Space has a Glass Ceiling

James Mercer (from the Shins) and Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) will soon release a video for “The Ghost Inside,” a track from their recent collaboration, Broken Bells (which Cydney wrote positively about way back at the beginning of march).  EW reports that starring in the video alongside Mercer and Burton will be none other than Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks.

Hendricks plays a hard-working android who wants to retire to an outer-space resort community. The voyage brings Hendricks’ character into contact with Mercer and Danger Mouse, a.k.a. Brian Burton. On that meeting, Mercer remains mum. When it comes to her spaceship trip, he only offers, ”Things happen along the way that make it difficult.”

Poor Joan.  So savvy and competent, yet nothing ever seems to work out in reality the way we imagine it will…even in space.   Especially in space.

Anyway, sounds pretty fun to me.  If it has androids, chances are I’ll like it.  And if there’s one thing that Noise Narcs might like even more than Twin Peaks, it’s Mad Men.

Broken Bells, “The Ghost Inside”

Completely Tangential Update: Remember MTV’s Undressed? Yeah you do.  Turns out you can watch all six seasons for free online.  You’re welcome.  In the last four episodes of the first season, Hendricks stars as “Rhiannon,” a high-school senior staying with an older girlfriend in LA so she can visit college campuses (and get a head start on being free from her parents and their no-boys-allowed policies).

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Noise Narcs promise: Songs featuring Kool Keith and Tom Waits

I hereby promise to post all songs featuring both Kool Keith and Tom Waits, irregardless of quality. Why? Don’t ask stupid questions.

N.A.S.A. (ft. Kool Keith & Tom Waits), “Spacious Thoughts”

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Letter to the Owners of Shot-and-a-Beer Corner Bars

Dear owners of shot-and-a-beer corner bars,

Every Tuesday night, at midnight or so, after the regulars have returned home to their neglected families, after the slumming hipsters and self-denying yuppies have shuffled on, after the cackling jokes have silenced, after the young- and old-in-love have linked arms and left, after the merely glum have mumbled their hesitant “Well, I guess I should…,” when all that’s left are men with their elbows on the bar and their head in their hands, nodding imperceptibly to your offer of “Another?”, walk around the bar, your pockets jangling, and put quarter after quarter into the jukebox.

And play this:
Booker T. and the MGs, “Ode To Billie Joe”

Sincerely,

Noise Narcs

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Pie’s So Good, It Is a Crime

If there’s on thing we at Noise Narcs like, it’s Twin Peaks. If there’s one thing we’re pretty indifferent to, it’s novelty rap. Therefore, without comment:

[Via Videogum]

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New Music… Tuesday, Wednesday… Old Music?

Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record

Somehow, although both Cydney and I talked about posting on it, Broken Social Scene’s new record never got a mention. I always was a lukewarm BSS fan, although “I’m Still Your Fag” has definitely made my drive platter spin on repeat a few times. But this album is something special. Add more structure to your songs AND bring in John McEntire from Tortoise to handle production and drums? Oh boy.

Many of you have heard the knockout single “World Sick” (do click if you haven’t), but “Sentimental X’s” is probably my favorite track.

Broken Social Scene, “Sentimental X’s”

Janelle Monáe, The ArchAndroid
I have no idea what to make of this record. Pitchfork describes it as a “a futuristic story starring a messianic android” that zips “gleefully from genre to genre, mostly grounded in R&B and funk, but spinning out into rap, pastoral British folk, psychedelic rock, disco, cabaret, cinematic scores, and whatever else strikes her fancy.” It’s the type of album that both shouldn’t be made in this iTunes age. Either great or middling, and I’m leaning towards the former. Since no track is representative of the album, I’m throwing my hands up and posting the very Outkast-y “Tightrope.”

Janelle Monáe, “Tightrope ft. Big Boi”

Others in brief
The previously mentioned LCD Soundsystem’s This Is Happening is great. As is the previously mentioned Black Keys’ Brothers. The previously mentioned Band of Horses’ Infinite Arms is not. And we’re not friends if you haven’t listened to Phosphorescent.

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Noise Narcs Sells Out

As our three readers may have noticed, Noise Narcs now features a banner advertisement and badging from MOG. A few words about this.

  1. “I’m not only the Hair Club president, I’m also a client”: If you haven’t checked out MOG, I highly recommend you do. After the fall of Lala, Cydney and I both signed up for MOG and are loving it. For $5 month, you can stream any album or song in their exhaustive catalog as many times as you like. And there’s a Pandora/Last.FM-like radio. And they’re building a Boxee app. And, if you have an iPhone or Android phone, they’ll soon be offering an app for that for an additional $5/month: pretty amazing. And their sound quality? 320kbps of stunning audio glory. Honestly, we at Noise Narcs ❤ MOG. They offer a free three day trial, so check it out.
  2. This is no way an attempt to make money. Which is good, because we definitely won’t. The only goal of this advertisement is to defray the server and domain costs. If we ever gain more in ad revenue than our fixed costs, I’ll donate any and all proceeds to Weathervane Music, a Philly-based independent music support organization. And because MOG offers a free account to any member site, I’ll also commit to an additional annual $20 donation.
  3. At a Fleet Foxes concert a few years back, someone yelled at them to not “sell out like “Band of Horses” (who had recently been featured in a car commercial). Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Screw that guy. That said, Band of Horses’ new album sucks it, so maybe this portends the start of Noise Narcs sucking even more. To prove that, here are three songs about selling out.
  4. Yellow Hand, “Sell Out” [written by Neil Young and Stephen Stills, via Raven Sings the Blues]

    The Clash, “Complete Control”

    Reel Big Fish, “Sell Out”

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noisenarcheology: Harry Partch

Have you got your dancing shoes on?  Well, take them off and have a seat because this isn’t that kind of music.  If you happen to own a monocle or a pair of opera glasses, then you might want to dig them out and dust them off.

Ron Silliman is Philadelphia’s resident L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet [Update: see comment thread] Chester County’s resident language poet, and his highly-trafficked blog is just one of the many delicious things that Google Reader feeds me.  In a recent post, Silliman, without comment, links to a few segments of a documentary on Harry Partch (1901-1974).  Turns out Partch was a pretty important figure in 20th century music.  He invented a 43-tone scale (a “microtonal” scale with 43 pitches in each octave) and custom-built a bunch of weird instruments that used it.

As you can probably guess, Partch’s music isn’t much in the way of top 40 material, but in 1971, Columbia Records released the operatic Delusions of the Fury, from which the following track is taken.

Harry Partch, “Arrest, Trial And Judgment (Joy In The Marketplace!)”

If you think that Sun Ra, Philip Glass, and Euripides all smashed together sounds like a good thing and not some kind of parade of abominations, then you should really check out the whole album.

Bonus! Back in November, Beck recorded a tribute to Harry Partch.  Stereogum said:

…it sounds like a demented mashup revue of the last century’s popular, classical, and avant garde music forms, with a little outer space thrown in for good measure…

which sounds to me like “free beer.”  I’m so there.

Beck, “Harry Partch”

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Minute Music: The Black Keys, "Never Give You Up"

From soon-to-be-released Brothers (2010), which you can stream for free from npr.

The Black Keys, “Never Give You Up”

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