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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Somewhere at the birth of punk is …Death.

I’m not gonna pretend to know everything about punk, but I’ve managed to learn a little as I slowly catch myself up on all the original architects of punk. And somewhere between Stooges/ MC5 protopunk and the big bang of Ramones, sits this obscure Detroit band, Death, who’s music finally found wide release a couple months ago (yeah, I’m probably a little late coming to this by internet standards).

Death (the band)

And they have a great story too. Three brothers, David, Dannis, and Bobby Hackney, ditch their R&B sound for rock after seeing an Alice Cooper show.  (David started playing guitar when he found one in the trash the day after he and his brothers saw The Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan show). Playing shows locally, they eventually caught the ear of the head of Columbia Records when they randomly set up studio time at a company owned by Stax producer Don Davis. They were ready to release an album in 1975, but it all fell apart when they were asked to change their name.

Of course, this would seem to be the perfect punk legend of not selling out, but supposedly part of the reason to stick with the name was that David planned to pen a (decidedly un-punk sounding) rock opera that looked at death in a positive light. Only 7 of the planned 12 songs got recorded. Their self-released  7″ of “Politicians in My Eyes/Keep on Knocking” became collector’s item among hard core audiophiles, but most of the work recorded for the album was not released until February 2009, by Drag City. There are some definitely great songs here, but they’re even more fun when you think about the fact that they were written in 1974.

Death – Keep on Knocking(mp3)

Death – Politicians in My Eyes(mp3)

Get the whole album from Drag City(support the label!) or here

Three of the sons of Bobby Hackney from Death now play in a punk band called Rough Francis, which cover a lot of their father’s songs.

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Sunday Morning Service

Something to soothe the head this morning:

“Sometimes the internet gets it right”

<-from a random blog I stumbled across, nedhepburn.tumblr.com/

and:

Bat for Lashes – Use Somebody(Kings of Leon cover)(Live Lounge BBC Radio 1) (mp3)

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Casper & the Cookies(feat. ex-Of Montreal member) @ the Spazz last night

I never got into Of Montreal too much, I think mostly because everybody else was so much up their ass when Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? came out… sometimes I just resist the big hype at the moment, other times I’m all about it. But they are great, and ‘The Past is Grotesque Animal’ did build on me, slowly, like the song itself. And just a snippet of the disco pulse of ‘Gronlandic Edit’ will immediately ingrain itself in your brain(& move yr butt).

(I figured I’d just post youtube videos of these, since I notice that most of the views of my blog don’t click the links to the other videos or downloads, and most anyone already familiar with Of Montreal probably already have these.)

(Criminally, youtube cuts off the last minute of this song’s epic 11 minutes…)->

So when I heard another ex-member of Of Montreal is playing through here at the Spazz, it catches my attention, but I’m not necessarily dying to see it right off the bat(Andy from Denver played through here with Keith John Adams months & months ago, and I believe he was ex-Of Montreal).

But Casper & the Cookies(w/ ex-Of Montreal Jason NeSmith) that played here last night, were an awesome surprise. Not that I didn’t think they’d be good, but just didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. But a few songs into the set during ‘You Love Me,’ it was clear that it was happening at the Spazz last night. How can you not love them with the bassist jumping into the crowd and onto her knees in high top boots & a dress for a wacked-out bass noise/solo, or the guitarist wiggling & dancing along with a lucky someone in the first row? 

Wish you could see that? Well, if you weren’t at the Spazz last night, then you are just shit out of luck(see how I tried to make YOU feel guilty for the fact the I forgot to bring my camera?).

But, you can check out Casper & the Cookies some here. Don’t remember this one from last night, but it reminds me a little of The Mamas & the Papas.

I love the description of this video from the person who posted it(from ‘Casper’ himself?)

“Psychedelic power pop from Athens, GA champs Casper and the Cookies. Two lead vocals and two videos fight it out in a war to over-stimulate your pleasure lobe in under two minutes.”

So, if you liked that one, click a little,  😉 and download ‘You Love Me.’ You’ll probably like it even better.

Casper & the Cookies – You Love Me (mp3)

Check out their myspace to hear more and support them. =>

http://www.myspace.com/casperthecookies

Upcoming shows:

May 15 2009 9:00P
Spazzatorium Greenville, North Carolina
May 17 2009 8:00P
The Cake Shop **NYC Popfest** New York, New York
May 30 2009 10:00P
Caledonia Lounge **CD RELEASE PARTY!!!*** Athens, Georgia
Jun 5 2009 10:00P
Prevue Charlotte, North Carolina
Jun 26 2009 8:00P
Cine **ATHFEST** Athens, Georgia
Jun 26 2009 8:00P
Cine Athens, Georgia
Jul 3 2009 10:00P
Caledonia Lounge Athens, Georgia
Jul 18 2009 10:00P
Brillobox Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jul 20 2009 8:00P
Middle East Boston, Massachusetts
Jul 21 2009 8:00P
Cake Shop New York, New York
Jul 22 2009 8:00P
Bruar Falls Brooklyn, New York
Jul 23 2009 10:00P
Danger Danger Gallery Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jul 24 2009 8:00P
Solly’s **EARLY SHOW** Washington, Washington DC
Jul 27 2009 8:00P
Twisted Branch Charlottesville, Virginia
Jul 29 2009 10:00P
Caledonia Lounge Athens, Georgia
Aug 5 2009 10:00P
Replay Lounge Lawrence, Kansas
Aug 10 2009 12:00P
Daytrotter Session Rock Island, Illinois
Aug 11 2009 8:00P
The Mill Iowa City, Iowa
Aug 29 2009 8:00P
Caledonia Lounge Athens, Georgia
Sep 10 2009 10:00P
Caledonia Lounge Athens, Georgia

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