Thursday, September 23, 2010

5 Song Shuffle Vol. 4

My iTunes library, as of September 23, 2010, has 20,618 songs in it. Some are novelty downloads, some i have because i'm a completionist, some i rarely (if have ever) listened to. So, in this new blog segment, i will let shuffle pick out random songs (without personal editing to hide embarrasing and/or lame songs), and i will write about what i think of them, plus any details i an give about how it was procured. At current rate (and if my iTunes never repeats a song...) this will be the fourth in at least a 4,000 part series.

PS - Just upgraded to iTunes 10 and blech is it an ugly gray mess.

Song #1 -"51-7" - Camper Van Beethoven

The day i bought this album was a momentous day in my life. After years of long hair, i shaved my head on a Sunday afternoon in October 2004, and then headed out to see CVB at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck. It was a warm-up gig for their upcoming tour, and it was epic. They did a first set where they did most of this album, New Roman Times, and then did a second all-request set. An amazing show. I bought this CD that night, and still think it is one of the best post-reunion albums i can think of for any band. Granted, parts of it (like this song) sound more like Cracker songs than CVB songs, but there is plenty of Camper to go around. I'm not really sure what it means to be "51-7," but i do love this song.

Song 2 - "Old John Amos" - Frank Black

This is an old Arthur Alexander song, and it comes from an Alexander tribute record, Adios Amigo. Frank Black is my favorite non-Beatle musician, but the production on this song (courtesy of Jon Tiven) really drags it down - its just so flat sounding and uninspired - the performances are pretty solid, but the record sounds like it is sub-karaoke level, sonically. Bought the album for under $5 used on Amazon - i paid too much.

Song 3 - "Pacer" - the Amps

The first track off of the only Amps album, Pacer. The Amps = the mid/late 90s Breeders minus Kelley Deal who was in rehab at the time. I love this record a lot - inspired, brief, consistent and fun. I'm probably the only person who feels the Breeders peaked with Title TK in 2002, and i think this is probably my second favorite Kim Deal-led album. Got this for Christmas in the mid-00s after having a bootleg copy for years.

Song 4 - "Pure Denizen of the Citizen's Band (acoustic)" - Frank Black

I knew one of these (if not many) would be dominated by Frank Black/Pixies/Breeders stuff, and here we go. This is from an amazing acoustic gig at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica from 1996 - lots of great songs that are rarely still performed (and some that were rarely ever performed), well recorded, and FB is in a great mood on this recording. Sometimes in the solo acoustic format, he can stretch the songs a little too far, but here he stretches them just enough. A really great show, and pretty easy to track down online.

Song 5 - "She Cracked" - the Modern Lovers

Again, probably no one agrees with me, but i prefer Jonathan Richman for the first 5-10 years post-Modern Lovers. Not that i don't think this stuff (from The Modern Lovers) isn't great, because i'm not a moron. This is the missing link between the Stooges/Velvet Underground and punk, and more people should be aware of their only record. However, even more people should be aware of the first few Jojo albums post-this incarnation (Rock and Roll with the Modern Lovers and Back in Your Life especially). Richman is a fascinating dude and a really engaging performer. If you haven't seen him live, you're missing out. Who doesn't like songs in foreign languages, random dancing, a 2-man show (nylon string acoustic guitar and drums), and a speech pattern that is both child-like and Stallone-like? I have this song as part of a compilation, Home of the Hits! The Best of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers.

New podcast coming later today, and then a Pavement show tonight.

Vol. 1
Vol. 2
Vol. 3

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