Nov 8 '12

Jazz is Radiohead


Oct 23 '12

Jerry Garcia Meets Frankenstein

Jerry talks about how the movie Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein totally freaked him out. Sometimes I think I enjoy listening to him talk even more than hearing him play. 

Interview from the AMC show The Movie That Changed My Life.

Oct 21 '12

Rock & Roll Art Gallery

Rock and roll poster art at its finest. 


Coop: Green Day, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Devil Guy/Girls

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Oct 9 '12

Philip Glass Remixed

Beck does Glass

Oct 9 '12

The Bravest Man in the Universe

Bobby Womack is one of soul music’s all time bad assess and has the resume to back at it up. After getting his start as an understudy of R&B legend Sam Cooke, Womack went on to write songs covered by 60’s icons including Aretha Franklin, James Brown and The Rolling Stones. In the late 70’s he broke as a solo act with hits like Across 110th Street and his gritty, urban take on rhythm and blues made him a bona fide blaxploitation superstar. 

With The Bravest Man in the Universe, his first album of new material in 18 years, Womack has released a collection of songs that make up anything but your standard comeback record. On this album you won’t hear cheesy versions of People Get Ready or awkward duets with Joss Stone—instead what you’ll find is a sonic collage of apocalyptic soul.

Womack has been through some shit in his day. He’s battled drug addiction, illness, suffered loss—all of which come through in his beautifully frayed vocal performances. To accompany Womack, producers Richard Russell and Gorillaz mastermind Damon Albarn crafted a minimalist sounds-cape of vocal loops, drum-pads, string samples and synthesized bass lines held together by Albarn’s haunting piano chord-clusters.

Some of the coolest production comes on the song Dayglo Reflection, featuring Lana Del Ray, a ghostly track that sounds as vital as anything off the new Frank Ocean album.  Say what you will about Lana Del Rey, but her lingering vocal style adds an ethereal dimension to perhaps the highlight of the album. The album’s single, Please Forgive My Heart, features Womack’s yearning vocal over a heavy kick drum sample and a deep, pulsating triplet bass groove. Hearing Womack’s painfully earnest voice laid over this atmospheric trip-hop beat is reminiscent of Johnny Cash’s musical and spiritual redemption in his last recordings with hip-hop producer Rick Rubin.

It’s rare to hear a legend like Bobby Womack make music that sounds truly contemporary. With The Bravest Man in the Universe, Womack has succeeded not only in reintroducing himself to the music world, but also in creating a blueprint for how soul music can sound relevant in the 2010’s.

Sep 29 '12

Desert Raven

If Crosby Stills and Nash went to the Dark Side…

Sep 28 '12

A Note on Spotify

I plan on embedding a fair amount of Spotify code on this blog so I feel obligated to make it clear exactly what you are agreeing to when you register for Spotify and click play. I know you neglected to read the terms and conditions when creating the account (I’m guilty too), so I’ll give you the highlights:

“We (Spotify) may ask you for and collect certain information such as email address, postal address, age, gender residence and the URL of the website from which you are signing up…

we will also receive and store the following information from Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) your name, user name, password, profile picture, unique Facebook identifier and access token, gender, birthday and email address…

… In addition, when you use the Spotify Software Application, Spotify Service and Spotify Websites, we will automatically receive information about your use of the application, service and website including information such as media that you access, queries you make, the URL of the website from which you use or access the Spotify Service, date and time of your request, your Internet protocol address, performance of your network and computer, your browser type, language and identifying information, your operating system and application version…

we will only share your personal information for the purposes set forth under Section 1 (i) to (vii) above or as is necessary to…

vii. Allow us to share aggregated statistics about use of the Spotify Software Application and the Spotify Service with parties with whom we do business.

To sum it up, Spotify is harvesting our personal information to sell to online marketers. It is creepy and invasive to be sure, but the only way to sustain a business model in which you give away nearly every licensed piece of recorded music away for free.

Ever wonder why you’re required to link to Facebook when setting up your Spotify account?  It’s not so you can broadcast your hip and eclectic music taste with your friends, it’s because that’s where all of the good user data is. And although Facebook has promised that it does not (as of yet) sell user information, Zuckerburg and friends are happy to allow Spotify access to that info so that they can auction it off to the highest bidder.

It should be noted that if you register for the premium version of Spotify you’re not required to link to Facebook, but Spotify will still collect certain data listed above. (If enough people agreed to pay the modest $10.00 a month for the service, where you don’t have to listen to adds and can stream at a higher bitrate etc, then maybe Spotify wouldn’t feel compelled to spy on their users.)

To be fair, this is the standard model for many social media/Web 2.0 services. Sites like Pinterest, Digg as well as a long list of smartphone apps all generate revenue by selling data they collect from often unknowing users.

I still think Spotify is a cool service and a great way to discover music. The point of this post is not to urge you not to use Spotify of Facebook (obviously), but to help us understand how we use technology, and in this case, how technology uses us. Now you know, and in the immortal word of G.I. Joe, “knowing is half the battle.” 


Sep 27 '12

Miles in a White Sport Jacket

On August 25th, 1959 Miles Davis was beaten by three New York police officers outside of the Birdland nightclub. Davis was booked for disorderly conduct and assaulting an officer but was acquitted on all charges.