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All Hallows Eve Mix V. – Sounds of the Unknown

Yeah, I know, it’s late, but it’s been even more busy this Halloween. I’m not gonna write much, because I have to get to work on a new last minute costume idea, but here’s All Hallows Eve Mix V. Happy Halloween, ghouls.

All Hallows Eve Mix V. – Sounds from the Unknown  (zip file) (download)

1. Satan’s Pilgrims – Gravewalk

2. Reverend Horton Heat – Devil’s Chasing Me

3. Alice Cooper – Welcome To My Nightmare

4. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Satan Said Dance

5. The Legendary Invisible Men – Spooks Night Out

6. Round Robin – I’m The Wolf Man

7. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Put A Spell On You(Ball & Chain version)

8. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Red Right Hand

9. Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks On Me

10. 45 Grave – Phantoms

11. Deadbolt – Psychic Voodoo Doll

12. Jack And Jim – Midnight Monster Hop

13. Chuck Berry – Downbound Train

14. The Black Keys – Howlin’ For You

15. Fun Boy Three – The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)

16. Sam The Sham – Little Red Riding Hood

17. Gnarls Barkley – The Boogie Monster

18. Los Straitjackets – “The Munsters” Theme

19. The Nomads – Where The Wolf Bane Blooms


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The Avett Brothers live from SXSW 2009

The Avett Brothers in Cary, NC in 2008There was a hashtag going around twitter a while back, #lameclaimstofame, and I could have done that “I went to art school with Scott from The Avett Brothers.” Which is not to say that The Avett Brothers were lame, far from it, but that I’m sure it would seem like I was trying to make some kind of claim to fame because I knew someone in the band. Which is especially lame with a band that are so awesome because of their sincerity and authenticity. I am not saying that I was good friends with Scott or anything, but I did know him, and the point is that it’s really fun to see someone you once knew, even slightly, get better at what they do and become more, and more, well known for it, to the point of actual fame. You get to live a little more vicariously, and you get a feel for how a real person becomes known publicly. And now, The Avett Brothers seem close to the kind of serious mainstream fame where it can be almost disappointing to see a thing you have a personal connection with become popular and known to people who don’t really understand, respect, and/or care about it. But I think that wherever these guys end up, I will still love seeing them kick ass. Their new album, I & Love & You comes out Tuesday(September 29th), their first major label release, on Rick Rubin‘s American label, and is produced by the man himself. You would be doing yourself a favor by picking it up.

However, the point of this is to share some music. NPR’s All Songs Considered did a podcast a while back of their performance at South By Southwest last year and while it was, as always, a great show, the podcast was frustrating. It started while they were doing the soundcheck, so you had to listen to the commentators go on for 11 minutes before you could hear any music. And to make it worse, one of the commentators had such a hard on for The Decemberists(ok, maybe understandably) who were going on next, that they spent much of that time talking about them, instead of the Avetts. So, I used my computer to cut the audio up, and make the concert more listenable. So, here it is, and if you don’t know their music, here’s videos of two of the songs they played, “Murder in the City” and “Die, Die, Die.”

Download The Avett Brothers Live at SXSW 2009 from NPR All Songs Considered (zip)

I put the NPR commentary at the end on here, in case you want to hear it, but as just the songs themselves, the show is kind of short and comes out to about 26 minutes, which is because of technical difficulties according to the NPR commentators. But you can hear more, and buy the new album, here:


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How was the Dan Deacon show, you ask? WELL…

Dan Deacon at Backdor Skatepark Greenville NC 8-15-09Watch this video for an idea of what it was like in the crowd the other night.  You may not be able to see much at some points, but keep watching, the lighting will change…. and change, and change. Keep looking and you’ll see the trippy green skull later, then some crowd surfing at the end. My god, that’s the way to close out a summer.

(these look best when not playing choppily on youtube)

Maybe not the clearest video ever, but a great taste of what it was actually like at the performance. Earlier on, Dan Deacon had us separate into groups, and the guys and girls had a dance off. It was pretty fun watching everyone throw down:

(Ex-)Local heroes Future Islands & Lonnie Walker both played that night, too, but my perpetually late self did not make it in time to see the former, and Future Islands didn’t have the kind of light show going on to end up with a serviceable video from my little digital camera. I found a new love, though, in Javelin, who played second. They are signed to the record label of The Talking Head‘s David Byrne, and that’s really all you need to know. On record they kind of remind me of a looser Avalanches. A little research on my part, though, and I found an awesome remix Javelin did of a Future Island‘s song, “Flicker & Flutter”, that you can hear on Javelin‘s myspace, here.

and even though I missed them, you should check out:

And in case you missed it(’cause you should not miss):

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Why you should come to Backdoor TONIGHT. Like RIGHT NOW. (or “Dan Deacon everyone will like.”)

Last minute as hell, but that’s the fun of being spontaneous. I made a mix of Dan Deacon who’s playing tonight at Backdoor Skatepark. So, here’s ‘Dan Deacon everyone will like.” It’s like a soundtrack to a good day.

Disclaimer: These are not official Dan Deacon videos.

now to get a little more weird on you, but shortened a bit due to youtube:

& finally, now that you ‘re warmed up to the sometimes obliviously silly Dan Deacon sound:

“…Ooooh, Why won’t these bee’s leave me alone? These bee’s get me then I say Ooooohhhh…

I hate them bee’s.

….my Dad is so cool he is the coolest dad in dad school…”

About the show tonight->

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The Soul of Michael Jackson (part I)

There’s an old obscure album called “The Soul of Michael Jackson,” that was an attempt to capitalize on his popularity by re-releasing old Jackson 5 and early solo songs after he left Motown & became a superstar with Off the Wall & Thriller under the Epic label. But, it was almost hard to imagine Michael Jackson as soulful later in his life, and his weirdness even threatened to destroy any chance of his music being “cool,” at all. As much as I loved some of his music, it was always hard for me to enjoy his music without something reminding me that he was… well, such a freak. On top of that, the popular songs were so popular, it’s hard for them to sound fresh. About a year ago, though, a friend of mine, Jason, told me about an obscure old Michael Jackson song that he found called “Maria,” that was sampled on a Ghostface Killah song.

I mean, at first, in the sample in the Ghostface song, I thought it was a woman singing, but even with a child singing it, “Maria” just sounds pimp as hell, especially when the beat really kicks in about halfway through, and then picks up pace at the end. It’s so fun, I don’t even mind when Michael naively tries that throaty sexy voice, “I need you honey, you’re my sweet sunflower…(actually the part that is sampled on the Ghostface song)”

So, I started researching, and that is when I found out there were three solo albums Michael Jackson had before Off the Wall while he still was with Motown(& in the Jackson 5). Does that mean, more Michael Jackson stuff, with Motown production, and probably even using the criminally under-appreciated “Funk Brothers” Motown backing band? I was in. So, as meticulous as I am, I went through all the solo albums, and even found some non-album singles, and tried to make the guilt free, Michael Jackson album.

EDIT: As my good friend Jason pointed out in the comments section, there were actually FOUR solo Michael Jackson albums with Motown before he put out Off The Wall & Thriller. I just can’t count that high, apparently.

As I went through later stuff, I decided that some just didn’t feel right with the old, either they were more pop than soul at that point, or it was after he gained control over his career and his eccentricies became public. In other words, it was hard to see him as soulful, and he just wasn’t as cool anymore. So, the album became a mix to, hopefully, remember Michael Jackson with soul, and nothing else.

I know that the early solo stuff is sometimes not considered “solo”, since his brothers were still a big part, and of course he was just a kid. But, then Quincy Jones was probably a big part of his best work anyway, it was his performance that made him great. And these were officially released as “Michael Jackson” songs. I didn’t include Jackson 5(or The Jacksons) songs because that would make it even more complicated(they could be their own mix themselves), and really, we all know it’s Michael that needs redeeming.

So, here is the first part of my mix, it comes out to two CDs that splits best when he changed labels. I always wanted to share it, and it bothered me when he died, that most of this work seems to be lost in obscurity. I apologize in advance for any volume differences between different songs, but I just can’t figure out anyway to fix that problem.

1. Michael Jackson – I Wanna Be Where You Are (mp3)

Start off with that classic Motown Jackson 5 pop-soul sound. If you don’t already recognize this one, after that hook about a minute in, you’ll be sold.

2. Michael Jackson – Got To Be There (mp3)

3. Michael Jackson – Maria(You Were The Only One) (mp3)

<- You already heard that one.

4. Michael Jackson – With a Child’s Heart (mp3)

A wussy Michael Jackson song that, probably because of “the Funk Brothers“, doesn’t sound weak & pitiful, just damn pretty.

5. Michael Jackson – We’ve Got a Good Thing Going (single) (mp3)

<- Motown backup rocks this song. And finally…

6. Michael Jackson – Up Again (mp3)

So, that’s a start, hope you give them a chance. I’ll try to get to some more up soon in part II. Probably some of the coolest and most fun tracks, as well as probably the most unknown.


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Sick of Michael Jackson? Have some Prince… covered by The Twilight Singers.

If you prefer the OTHER pop/soul/rock giant of the 80’s, Prince, like I do, pick up the issue of SPIN out right now, cause they are doing a special issue for the 25th anniversary of Purple Rain, with a download link on their website for a tribute album of Purple Rain covers.

Purplish-Rain_coverSo the question is, of course, who gets chosen to cover “When Doves Cry?” Greg Dhulli and the Twilight Singers are one on a short list of those worthy… and they make a brooding, rocking version, too.

The Twilight Singers – When Doves Cry(mp3)

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Stripped down Ironsides & Nolan Smock show

I brought my digital camera to The Spazz Wednesday night hoping to get some video, or at the least some good audio, of an acoustic/stripped down/solo show. It was an EP release show for former local Arielle Bryant(unfortunately, what I recorded of her set, it didn’t come out too well, but you can listen and find the EP, I am Lemon here), with Nolan Smock of The Charming Youngsters and Josh(as Ironsides) of The Gospel Years both playing solo sets, too. Without their bands, they got to try out a few new or solo songs, and do a few covers. So, when I went through the footage I shot, I found enough good audio to make a pretty sweet EP.

The Ironsides videos are mainly just silhouette, but are still watch-able, and the sound is pretty good. It will give you an idea what it was like Wednesday night, even though it’s a little dark and can’t really capture the atmosphere of the show. Luckily, though, I caught a little bit of Josh describing the inspiration behind this song before he before he played it:

Ironsides – Pretty Don’t Make it Right(live @ the Spazz 5-27-09) (mp3)

He also did a stripped down version of a Gospel Years song, “Goodbye Figurines” by request, that wasn’t too “solo” with the whole crowd singing along with him:

Ironsides – Goodbye Figurines(live @ the Spazz 5-27-09) (mp3)

This song sounds GREAT fully fleshed out, too, on The Gospel Years ‘ myspace here.

Supposedly this next song was voted down by the band, so it may stay a solo Ironsides song, but I have to say I disagree with them on that one…

Ironsides – (unknown solo song) (live @ the Spazz 5-17-09) (mp3)

Sadly, the picture is even worse on the videos of Nolan Smock, but there still is some pretty good sound from them. I love the first few lines of this song…

“I was thinking about Ricardo Rooster trying to get laid/But what Hen is going to just give it up/ when her babies are all made/ into… sandwiches with eggs”

Nolan Smock – Explaining to Do(live @ the Spazz 5-27-09) (mp3)

And even though the video is no better here, I’m still glad I caught what was probably the prettiest moment of the night, when Arielle Bryant came up to duet with Nolan Smock on “What’s Coming to You.”

Nolan Smock – What’s Coming to You(live @ the Spazz feat. Arielle Bryant) (mp3)

(Nolan Smock &)The Charming Youngsters are so awesome that they got just about everything loaded up on their myspace, here, so you can go grab those right now.

edit:  These songs sound really great together as an EP, so I might work on a zip file of them all(who knows, maybe even a cover?). But either way, I’m glad I got to record what SADLY could be the last show at the Spazz…  That last song inadvertently sounds like an epitaph to one of the greatest things to happen to this town.

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