Monthly Archives: October 2010

Minute Music: Buddy Holly, "True Love Ways"

The other day, when I heard about these two artificially conceived pandas born in Spain last month, I became suddenly irritable and said, “Why should we care about pandas?  What’s so great about them?”

In response, my more level-headed girlfriend said “this is why” and showed me this series of commercials selling cheese in Egypt:

Since Noise Narcs is a music blog, here’s Buddy Holly’s “True Love Ways” in full:

Buddy Holly and the Crickets, “True Love Ways” [Buy 20th Century Masters: The Best of Buddy Holly]

Posted in It's the Weekend, Minutemusic | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

(Sorta) Sunday Church Music: RIP Solomon Burke (1940-2010)

The news has been all over the internet today.  We lost Patrick Swayze not much more than a year ago, and today we lost Solomon Burke, whose “Cry to Me” provided the soundtrack to some unforgettable (and un-embeddable) dirty dancing.  On the bright side, it looks like Baby’s still got it on Dancing with the Stars.  I dare say she will make it to the top three.

Burke was born in West Philadelphia and is survived by 21 children, 90 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.  He died of natural causes in an Amsterdam airport this morning.  His most recent album, Hold on Tight, which was produced with De Dijk, was released in Europe October 1.

I’m going to share two tracks with you.  The second is from that most recent album and is a fun track with strong horns, but the first, “Flesh and Blood,” will knock you for a bit of a loop.  It’s from the highly, highly recommended Don’t Give Up on Me (2002), the album that jump started his career for a new century and made this last decade of his life perhaps his most prolific one.

Solomon Burke, “Flesh and Blood” [Buy Don’t Give Up On Me]

Solomon Burke & De Dijk, “Text Me”

Posted in Random Noise | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Adding to our hate list: Big Z

At Noise Narcs, we hate 16-year-olds. They’re loud. They’re prone to flash mobs. They use words we don’t understand. They drive faster than the posted speed limit. They’re always hitting their balls on our lawn. In fact, there’s only one thing we hate more than 16-year-olds: 16-year-olds who disguise their age.

A few weeks ago, we got an email from Zach Caraher, who identified himself as a producer from Philadelphia with a new mixtape dropping on September 22nd. So hey: I like the music and things from Philadelphia, so I gave it a listen. And it’s pretty darn good, even had me toe tapping to a goddamn Jack Johnson song. Only one thing Zach forgot to mention: he’s sixteen. Damn kids, always thinking that old people don’t know how to use Google.

So, Zach aka Big Z Rap Remixes, keep your damn ball of our lawns. And the remixes coming.

Big Z Remixes, “No Good With Faces (ft. Jack Johnson and Too Short)”
Big Z Remixes, “Forever (ft. Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne)”

[Download the remix album Slow Down]

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No Blood on His Hands: D'Eon

Is “Kill a Man with a Joystick in Your Hand” by Montreal’s D’Eon the best danceable, Sufi-meets-Sega take on the use of drones in the US war in Afghanistan? Yes, yes, it is. Is this likely the only time I’ll post house music on Noise Narcs? Yes, yes, it is. [via Altered Zones]

D’Eon, “Kill a Man with a Joystick in Your Hand” [Pre-order Palinopsia]

Posted in Minutemusic | Tagged , | 2 Comments

RCJ&Y and an Earnest Plea (and a Devious Cash Grab)

Note about our sponsors: Music blogs exist in a weird gray area. Ultimately, we at Noise Narcs believe that we’re doing more good than harm. But it’s something I agonize about a little bit, and the number of clickthroughs on our buy links doesn’t sit well with me. The future of the music economy matters to me because music matters to me. We donate any proceeds beyond our nuts and bolts cost to music-based charities. But in my mind, the real future of the recorded music biz will be in recurring fees from streaming music. MOG.com, in my mind, is the best of the current bunch, although Material Lives swears by Rdio and their admittedly superior interface and gapless playback (please, MOG Gods, fix this last one). But MOG has truly superior sound (320 Kbps!) and a much larger library (9 million tracks) for $5 a month ($10 including Android or iPhone access).

Starting today, Noise Narcs is happy to offer a 14 day free trial to MOG. As a full disclosure, MOG is an advertising sponsor, but believe me when I say this: paying $5 a month for access to almost any song you can think of is a steal. A steal that actually supports the musicians.

Back to the music:

Since I posted on Tuesday about Neil Young’s “Peaceful Valley Boulevard” being a companion piece to his “Cortez the Killer,” I’ve been thinking a lot about “Cortez the Killer.” And since I’ve been listening a lot to No Age and Deerhunter’s amazing new albums (both candidates for Top Ten of 2010), it didn’t take much of a mental leap for me to think of this truly bizarre and awesome rendition of “Cortez the Killer” by No Age’s Randy Randall, Deerhunter/Atlas Sounds’s Bradford Cox, and director Jim Jarmusch (?!?). RCJ&Y, anybody?

Randy Randall, Bradford Cox, & Jim Jarmusch, “Cortez the Killer”
No Age, “Fever Dreaming” [Buy Everything in Between]
Deerhunter, “Desire Lines” [Buy Halcyon Digest]

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The Truth Is…

So its true that I haven’t posted in a while, but the truth is, while I’ve started a number of posts, there hasn’t been a monumental song to inspire me.  That is, until recently.

“Truth” by Alexander (or Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros) is that song. It’s yet to officially be released – word has it that the album will come out sometime this winter (though I’m yet to find a reputable source).  Until then, what follows is a fairly low-quality You-tube version.  There’s a strong Enrico Morricone influence, a trance-inducing cadence, and plenty of NoiseNarc approved whistling.  Enjoy, and be sure to buy the album once it comes out.

Posted in Random Noise | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Object Attachment

The last time +/- {plus/minus} updated their blog was on my birthday, Jan 3. The last time I saw some of the band members’ previous outfit, Versus, live was Jan 3 some years ago. Isn’t that a pointless, delightful little coincidence that absolutely no one cares about but me?

On the subject of object attachment, I recently read research that has found that people–duh–attach special significance to the number of their birthday. But I would argue that there’s no bias here; 3 is clearly the best number.

+/- {plus/minus} just released a CD of previously unreleased tracks, Pulled Punches. So far, so good. But, plus/minus: Could you have thought about the industry & bloggers when you constructed this stupid, stupid band name? FYI, you are pretty much unfindable on allmusic.com.

I’m posting the track “Pencil Me In.” Does anyone know if the track “All Dead, All Dead” is an Elliot Smith tribute? It certainly sounds like it is, in content and form.

I’m also posting a Versus track, one of my faves, “Shooting Star.” Anyone who makes an album titled Deep Red deserves our respect. Because deep red clearly is the best color, and not because my birthstone is garnet.

+/- {Plus/Minus}: “Pencil Me In”

Versus: “Shooting Star”

You can buy Pulled Punches on the band’s website or download the MP3 album here.

Posted in New Music Tuesdays, Where You're From | 1 Comment

How Weezer Made Their Millions from "I'm Your Daddy"

In an attempt to stop another “pile of crap like ‘Beverly Hills’ or ‘I’m Your Daddy,'” Weezer non-fan James Burns is attempting to raise $10 million to get Weezer to break up. Donate here. [via The Stranger via Pitchfork]

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Returning to Neil Young

I was on vacation last week, so I did my normal return to the working week rountine of catching up on music I’d missed. Because if a blogger doesn’t hear the album that many other people have listened to in a forest, does it make a sound? Yes.

In my absence, one of the other Noise Narc contributors (Chris, I’m thinking), added Neil Young’s Le Noise to our (Not So) Short List of Best Albums of 2010. I was more than a little incredulous. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mr. Young. His December ’08 concert at Philly’s Wachovia was a revelation, putting openers Wilco firmly in their place. And several of his recent albums have been pretty good. But not best of the year good. By a long shot. And teaming up with famed producer Daniel Lanois sounds like a stunt Paul McCartney would pull (and has).

But Chris’ nomination was sound. This is a killer album. Young’s guitar work and age-ripened voice pairs excellently with Lanois’ Waves of Noise. And unlike, say, some of Lou Reed’s left field albums, it doesn’t sound so much like a Neil Young experiment as a way for him to refract the essence of his music off another style, much like Dylan’s Nashville Skyline. Though this “Peaceful Valley Boulevard” is not the most representative track, its kinship with “Cortez the Killer” makes a tempting set piece.

Neil Young, “Peaceful Valley Boulevard” [Buy]

In the glow of having an old master surprise you, I poked around Mr. Young’s Wikipedia page, I found this gem: “In the 2006 film Heart of Gold Young relates how he used to spend time as a teenager at Falcon Lake, Manitoba where he would endlessly plug coins into the jukebox to hear Ian Tyson’s ‘Four Strong Winds.'” One of my favorite (probably apocryphal) musical anecdotes involves Django Reinhardt obsessively playing a Louis Armstrong record after his first exposure to jazz, so I loved this song before I heard it (or realized I’d heard it before on Young’s Comes a Time). My body may be back to the 9 to 5, but my mind is imagining a teenage Neil Young, a pile of Canadian dimes in front of him, the gears of his irreverent musical genius clicking into place.

Ian and Sylvia, “Four Strong Winds” [Buy]
Neil Young, “Four Strong Winds” [Buy]

Posted in Random Noise | Tagged | 9 Comments

…but a lot of nostalgia has hurt plenty of people.

After 12 years of solo projects, stints with other bands, and oblivion, the four original members of Soundgarden have finally reunited this summer to perform in Lollapalooza and record a brand new song, “Black Rain,” to top off the 2-disc retrospective compilation, Telephantasm, released last week.

Soundgarden’s catalog (particularly the last three albums: Badmotorfinger (1991), Superunknown (1994), and Down on the Upside (1996)) is quite likely the most foundational musical text of my life.  If you disagree with any of my musical opinions, it’s probably because your tastes were not also formed by listening to Soundgarden.

In highschool, if I was learning to play a snippet of a song on guitar, it was a snippet of a Soundgarden song.

The first website I ever put together was an aol-hosted Soundgarden fansite.

Chris Cornell has the same first name and the same birthday as me.

And it’s not just music.  When I first bought Down on the Upside, it was the summer before sophomore year of high school, and Homer’s The Odyssey was the assigned summer reading (we had been given a terrible, terrible, prose translation).  The album and the epic will forever be associated in my memory.  Any track off the album makes me think of Odysseus trying to return home, and any reference to Calypso, Scylla, Charybdis, Sirens, etc. has Chris Cornell’s vocal backing.

To fully excavate the influence Soundgarden has had on me would require a post longer than the one I’m willing to write or you to read.  But please allow Telephantasm‘s release to suffice as an excuse for me to share with you a representative sample of the soundtrack of my early teenage years.

Soundgarden, “Rusty Cage” [Buy Badmotorfinger]

Soundgarden, “Head Down” [Buy Superunknown]

Soundgarden, “Boot Camp” [Buy Down on the Upside]

Soundgarden, “Black Rain” [Buy Telephantasm]

Posted in Where You're From | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments