Category Archives: Rhiannon Giddens

A.M.O.P. PRESENTS: OPEN BOXES (VOL. 2)

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Hello All! Hello World!

This here mix features two songs from Walter Martin‘s two fantastic records of children’s music (2014’s We’re All Young Together and 2017’s My Kinda Music). Martin was the multi-instrumentalist from what just might be my favorite “NY” band, The Walkmen (I’ve seen them live at least a dozen times) and these “family albums” of his are a real joy to listen to.

You’ll also hear two from the newest and likely last record by Richard Swift, as sadly he died this past July 3rd from complications due to alcohol addiction. This stunning album was released on September 20th, a date that would have marked his and his wife’s 21st wedding anniversary.

Richard Swift was only 41 but he had already amassed an incredible and diverse body of work; sadly he leaves behind as well a wife and three daughters.

I paid tribute to his genius with a mix of his songs in August.

I believe the two songs featured here–the title track “The Hex” and “Dirty Jim“–are more fine examples of what made so much of his art so brilliant: it could be both incredibly playful and yet devastatingly heartbreaking, simultaneously. Take “Dirty Jim” with it’s lovely, jaunty bounce, but despite this ebullient ragtime melody it can twist your guts and that jaunt turns to substance-abused jitters with lines like: “Every daughter in my home, every one I’ve left alone/ Sorry for the tears I gave to you.”

I’ve always admired a man that can take pathos and mutate it into POP.

Somewhat in the same dolorous mode, the closing track “Lullaby” by Rhiannon Giddens backed by the Kronos Quartet seems so sweet and easy until you begin to understand the heartsore and shameful relationships being presented to you. I really believe Rhiannon Giddens is one of the best things American music has going for it these days.

In addition to its hints of slavery and more modern racial tensions this berceuse also brought to my mind how the poet Oliver Wendell Holmes suggested in 1872 that the cuckoo bird replace the bald eagle as the emblem of the United States of America, writing:

“We Americans are all cuckoos. We make our homes in the nests of other birds,”

In his 2011 book The Old, Weird America (originally released with the title, Invisible Republic) music journalist and cultural critic Greil Marcus expanded upon Holmes’ thought:

“We Americans are all cuckoos,” Oliver Wendell Holmes said in 1872. “We make our homes in the nests of other birds.” This is the starting point.
As long as seven hundred years ago,the English were singing that the cuckoo heralded the coming of summer, and yet the bird was hated. Its cry was reviled through the centuries as oppressive, repetitious, maniacally boring, a cry to drive you crazy, a cry that was already crazy, benefiting a bird that was insane. The cuckoo–the true, “parasitic” cuckoo, which despite Holmes’ choice of it for national bird is not found in the United States–lays its eggs in the nests of other birds. It is a kind of scavenger in reverse: violating the natural order of things, it is by its own nature an outsider, a creature that cannot belong. Depositing its orphans, leaving its progeny to be raised by others, to grow up as impostors in another’s house–as America filled itself up with slaves, indentured servants, convicts, hustlers, adventurers, the ambitious and the greedy, the fleeing and the hated, who took or were given new, impostors’ names–the cuckoo becomes the other and sees all other creatures as other. If the host bird removes a cuckoo’s egg from its nest, the cuckoo may take revenge, killing all of the host’s eggs or chicks; in the same manner, as new Americans drove out or exterminated the Indians, when the cuckoo egg hatches the newborn may drive out any other nestlings or destroy any other eggs. As a creature alienated from its own nature,the cuckoo serves as the specter of the alienation of each from all.
[…]
Here is a mystical body of the republic, a kind of public secret: a declaration of what sort of wishes and fears lie behind any public act, a declaration of a weird but clearly recognizable America within the America of the exercise of institutional majoritarian power. […] Here everyone calls upon the will and everyone believes in fate. It is a democracy of manners–a democracy, finally, of how people carry themselves, of how they appear in public. The ruling question of public life is not that of the distribution of material goods or the governance of moral affairs, but that of how people plumb their souls and then present their discoveries, their true selves, to others–unless, as happens here often enough, the fear of not belonging, or the wish for true proof that one does belong, takes over, and people assume the mask that makes them indistinguishable from anyone else. But [here] that mask never stays on for long.
God reigns here, but his rule can be refused. His gaze cannot be escaped; his hand, maybe. You can bet: you can stake a probably real exile on a probably imaginary homecoming. Or you can take yourself out of the game, and wait for a death God will ignore; then you, like so many others, already dead but still speaking, will take your place in the bend of a note in “The Coo Coo Bird.” It’s limbo, but it’s not bad: on the fourth day of July you get to holler.

OK, I assure you it’s not all sadness on the mix nor a visit to Norton Juster’s The Doldrums.

[some of the landscape of The Doldrums, inhabited by the Lethargarians, as depicted in animation legend Chuck Jones’ 1968 adaption of Juster’s 1961 children’s book The Phantom Tollbooth.

 No, not at all. There’s Jack White with a song that sounds like it could have been assembled by Malcolm McLaren in the 80s.
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There’s Judee Sill with one of her sweet sounding folk-tunes soaked in and thirsty for Christian mysticism; she categorized her own style of music as “country cult baroque.” 
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There’s a pretty diddy off of Uruguayan singer-songwriter Juan Wauters‘ 2014 record North American Poetry. I recall reading somewhere Wauters’ music described as alegría melancólica (melancholy joy) and that is an apt description of the mood that colors a good deal of his songs, which are delivered in silly little knots. Just as in modern times “silly” is a mode or attribute of this bizarre, aggregate thing we are that is often all too easily denigrated and dismissed, in my world “silly” is one of the highest compliments I can give. As a culture we really need to relearn how to truly be at play beside the tower.

You’ll hear something fun from Bobby Charles‘ eponymous 1972 record. Charles first made a name for himself back in the mid-1950s  when he wrote the songs “See You Later, Alligator” (becoming a hit for Bill Haley and His Comets), and “Walking to New Orleans” (becoming a hit for Fats Domino).

There’s something from the sole album by P, a short lived project involving Johnny Depp, front-man of the band Butthole Surfers Gibby Haynes, and others like Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers. This album is in fact the first CD I ever purchased through the miraculous finding machine known as the “internets.”

There’s something from Canadian composer Doug Randle off his 1971 LP Songs For The New Industrial State. This whole bizarre, jingle-like record seems like something that would have been released in the world set-up in Robert Downey Sr.‘s cinematic masterpiece Putney Swope.

Oh and despite the opening title in the sequence of “Mexican Loneliness” to “March Of The Swivelheads,” this is a segue I first committed to cassette tape back in 1997 and 21 years later it still makes me both give a smug chuckle at my own cleverness and want to play hookie.

so please press play and…

 

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A.M.O.P. Presents: __Open Boxes (Vol. 2)
  • Child, the Man Said – Walter Martin
  • The Hex – Richard Swift 
  • The Lamb Ran Away With The Crown – Judee Sill
  • Mexican Loneliness – written by Jack Kerouac; performed by Matt Dillon with Joey Altruda, Joe Gonzalez & Pablo Calogero
  • March Of The Swivelheads – The English Beat
  • Street People – Bobby Charles
  • What Was It You Wanted – Bettye LaVette (Bob Dylan cover)
  • Make Love On The Wing II – Nico Fidenco
  • Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando And I – R.E.M.
  • Michael Stipe – P (Gibby Haynes, Johnny Depp, Sal Jenco, Bill Carter, Flea)
  • Living Well Is The Best Revenge – R.E.M.
  • Escucho Mucho – Juan Wauters
  • That’s Life – James Brown (written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon)
  • Who Scared You – The Doors
  • Shut Paranoia – The Fine Machine (Oscar Lindok, aka Giacomo Dell’Orso; Proluton, aka Gianni Dell’Orso; Peter Donimak, aka Nico Fidenco; and Edda Dell’Orso)
  • Dirty Jim – Richard Swift 
  • Steam Heat – Barbara Moore
  • Vive la Company – Doug Randle
  • Corporation – Jack White
  • What We Gained In The Fire – The Mynabirds (produced by Richard Swift)
  • If I Were a Tiger – Walter Martin feat. Milan McAlevey, Nina Dhongia
  • Lullaby – Kronos Quartet & Rhiannon Giddens

 

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Child, the Man Said – Walter Martin

The Hex – Richard Swift

The Lamb Ran Away With The Crown – Judee Sill

Mexican Lonelieness – written by Jack Kerouac; performed by Matt Dillon With Joey Altruda, Joe Gonzalez & Pablo Calogero [photo by Michael Muller]

March Of The Swivelheads – The English Beat

Street People – Bobby Charles [photo by Michael Ochs, 1972]

What Was It You Wanted – Bettye LaVette (Bob Dylan cover)

Make Love On The Wing II – Nico Fidenco

Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando And I – R.E.M. [Marlon Brando, 1948, photo by Ronny Jaques]

Michael Stipe – P (Gibby Haynes, Johnny Depp, Sal Jenco, Bill Carter, Flea)

Living Well Is The Best Revenge – R.E.M.

Escucho Mucho – Juan Wauters

That’s Life – James Brown (written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon)

Who Scared You – The Doors [Morrison in the closet of his room at LA’s Chateau Marmont hotel, May 1968, (photo by Art Kane).]

Shut Paranoia – The Fine Machine (Oscar Lindok, aka Giacomo Dell’Orso; Proluton, aka Gianni Dell’Orso; Peter Donimak, aka Nico Fidenco; and Edda Dell’Orso)

Dirty Jim – Richard Swift [photo by Richard Swift, Sept 5 2016]

Steam Heat – Barbara Moore

Vive la Company – Doug Randle

What We Gained In The Fire – The Mynabirds (produced by Richard Swift)

If I Were a Tiger – Walter Martin feat. Milan McAlevey, Nina Dhongia

Lullaby – Kronos Quartet & Rhiannon Giddens

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All the best to you and yours!—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom.

A.M.O.P. PRESENTS: WALLOP (VOL. 1)

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If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom

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Hello All! Hello World!

I said well hello there. When I was in high-school one of my all-time favorite bands was one almost no one ever heard of. At the time I didn’t know nor cared about the cultural, hipster cachet that could be angled from that fact; I just thought they made amazing music! I remember spending hours dancing and singing along to their records alone in my bedroom. Mazarine Street were from Stockholm, Sweden and my best friend’s uncle, Gene Kraut, was their manager and as their 3 records would come out (in 1996; 1997; and 2001) he would mail them over to the U.S. for him. (Gene would also come to manage Arthur Lee of the amazing sixties, Los Angeles based band Love, which is how I discovered them as well, and even saw Lee & Love perform for his Forever Changes Concerts at Warsaw in Brooklyn, on October 23, 2003…incredible!). If I had to describe Mazarine Street as akin to another sound I guess I would say they were something like nineties Beck tackling the thick rock & roll and rough blues of The Rolling Stones. There was something incredibly playful to their blues bravado and alcohol swagger. This good-humored gusto I think can be heard clearly on one of the two songs featured here and taken from their second record, Thirteen Reasons to Believe. With “One More Day” they present a traditional-sounding field holler blues but tweak it with the odd trill and wobble of a theremin.

On this mix you’ll also hear Beastie Boys‘ sonic tribute to Miles Davis‘ record On The Corner, with their very own “Bobo On The Corner,” which features percussionist Eric “Bobo” Correa (the son of famed Latin and jazz percussionist Willie Bobo, who is also featured elsewhere on the mix). This rolls right into the Beastie Boys’ oh-so-fun single of 1995 “Root Down,” which utilizes a sample from Jimmy Smith‘s “Root Down (And Get It)” (a song that was featured in these pages way back on April 11th 2014 on my triptych party-mix On The Good Blood).

This MixTape also features a Blind Melon tune I mentioned a few posts back, the hopped-up banjo and kazoo jam “Skinned” written from the perspective of serial killer Ed Gein (and what I always took as lead singer and lyricist Shannon Hoon‘s somewhat demented, metaphorical commentary on his own issues with addiction and substance abuse). Elswhere you’ll hear Blind Melon’s “Dumptruck,” where Hoon sings with more than a hint of anxiety: “New York City soothing my itchy itchy month of May.”

Oh and I can’t go without making mention of a song that has been a favorite of mine for decades: “Manifold de Amour” by Latin Playboys. Latin Playboys was an experimental group comprising David Hidalgo, Louie Pérez (from the band Los Lobos) ,along with the production partners of Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake. Taken from their 1994, self-titled debut album, I translate the hypnotic lyrics of “Manifold de Amour” as:

I’m going to sail
To the port of the soul
Crossing the sea,
Until I arrive

 

Well, there’s all this and a whole lot more! So…

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A.M.O.P. Presents: __Wallop (Vol. 1)
  • Satisfied – Prince
  • All Your Goodies Are Gone – Parliament
  • One More Day – Mazarine Street
  • “Desire” – David Lynch
  • Good God’s:// Urge! – Porno For Pyros
  • Suena Blanca Espuma – El Kinto
  • To Come Of Age / Black Polished Chrome / Latino Chrome – Jim Morrison & The Doors
  • Power – Ray Barretto (w/ Bass – Andy Gonzales; Bongos – Tony Fuentes; Piano – Louis Cruz; Timbales – Orestes Vilato; Trumpets – Papy Roman, Rene Lopez, Roberto Rodriguez)
  • Bobo On The Corner / Root Down – Beastie Boys (ft. Eric Bobo & Money Mark Nishita; Produced by Mario Caldato Jr.)
  • Broasted Or Fried  – Willie Bobo & The Bo Gents (w/ Bass – Ernie McDaniel; Congas – Victor Pantoja; Drums – Jimmy Smith; Electric Piano – Reggie Andrews; Flute, Tenor Saxophone – Ron Starr; Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Steve Huffsteter)
  • Dumptruck – Blind Melon
  • Manifold de Amour – Latin Playboys (David Hidalgo, Louie Pérez, Mitchell Froom, Tchad Blake)
  • Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down – Scott Weiland (ft. Accordion – Sheryl Crow; Bass – Martyn LeNoble; Cello – Susie Katayama; Viola – Novi Novog; Violin – Joel Derouin, Robin Lorentz; Piano, Guitar, Drums, Vocals, String Arrangements – Victor Indrizzo)
  • Violets For Your Furs – Billie Holiday With Ray Ellis And His Orchestra (written by Tom Adair & Matt Dennis)
  • Rocks In My Bed – Allen Toussaint With Rhiannon Giddens (written by Duke Ellington)
  • Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple (Produced with Jon Brion)
  • Nightschool – Mazarine Street
  • Sweet Virginia – The Rolling Stones
  • Skinned – Blind Melon
  • I Got A Woman – Elvis Presley (Written by Ray Charles)
  • Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’ – Ray Charles (Written by Joe Greene)
  • Deadweight – Beck (produced with The Dust Brothers)

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Satisfied – Prince [photo by Randee St Nicholas 2007]

All Your Goodies Are Gone – Parliament

One More Day – Mazarine Street

“Desire” – David Lynch [art; Plume Of Desire by David Lynch]

Good God’s:// Urge! – Porno For Pyros

Suena Blanca Espuma – El Kinto

To Come Of Age / Black Polished Chrome / Latino Chrome – Jim Morrison & The Doors

Power – Ray Barretto (w/ Bass – Andy Gonzales; Bongos – Tony Fuentes; Piano – Louis Cruz; Timbales – Orestes Vilato; Trumpets – Papy Roman, Rene Lopez, Roberto Rodriguez)

Bobo On The Corner / Root Down – Beastie Boys (ft. Eric Bobo & Mark Nishita; Produced by Mario Caldato Jr.)

Broasted Or Fried – Willie Bobo & The Bo Gents (w/ Bass – Ernie McDaniel; Congas – Victor Pantoja; Drums – Jimmy Smith; Electric Piano – Reggie Andrews; Flute, Tenor Saxophone – Ron Starr; Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Steve Huffsteter)

Dumptruck – Blind Melon [photo by Chris Cuffaro, 05.25.95]

Manifold de Amour – Latin Playboys (David Hidalgo, Louie Pérez, Mitchell Froom, Tchad Blake)

Lady, Your Roof Brings Me Down – Scott Weiland (ft. Accordion – Sheryl Crow; Bass – Martyn LeNoble; Cello – Susie Katayama; Viola – Novi Novog; Violin – Joel Derouin, Robin Lorentz; Piano, Guitar, Drums, Vocals, String Arrangements – Victor Indrizzo)

Violets For Your Furs – Billie Holiday With Ray Ellis And His Orchestra (written by Tom Adair & Matt Dennis)

Rocks In My Bed – Allen Toussaint With Rhiannon Giddens (written by Duke Ellington)

Extraordinary Machine – Fiona Apple (Produced with Jon Brion)

Nightschool – Mazarine Street [art by JAKOB KRAJCIK]

Sweet Virginia – The Rolling Stones

Skinned – Blind Melon [photo by Danny Clinch, 1995]

I Got A Woman – Elvis Presley (Written by Ray Charles)

Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’ – Ray Charles (Written by Joe Greene)

Deadweight – Beck (produced with The Dust Brothers) [photo by Andrea Giacobbe, 1997]

___________________))))))))))))))))

All the best to you and yours!—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom.

THE DEMISE OF THE MASK (VOL 10)__NAPHTHALENE MAGNOLIAS #28___

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If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom

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Hello All.

Welcome to Volume Ten of the MixTape series: The Demise Of The Mask. –(Volume One here)__(Volume Two here)__(Volume Three here)__(Volume Four here)__(Volume Five here)__(Volume Six here)__(Volume Seven here)__(Volume Eight here)__(Volume Nine here)-

This here MixTape features some fine, fine music! There’s both Madeleine Peyroux and Al Green, each covering a Hank Williams original. In addition to Bob Dylan performing “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” live in 1975, there’s Elvis Presley‘s fantastic 1966 cover of Dylan’s unreleased gem, “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” and then there’s the stunning supergroup known as The New Basement Tapes who collaborated to complete songs based upon newly uncovered lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1967 when he was recording with The Band what would come to be known as The Basement Tapes. The New Basement Tapes performance of “Down On The Bottom” features vocals by Jim James (of the band My Morning Jacket), which are incredibly Dylanesque.

You’ll get to hear Bessie Smith‘s  May 26, 1925 recording of “Careless Love” featuring Louis Armstrong (cornet), Fred Longshaw (piano), and Charlie Green (trombone). (I’ve still yet to see the 2015 Dee Rees directed and Queen Latifah starring biopic Bessie, but I did hear it was pretty great.)

I do know that Bessie Smith died in 1937 from injuries in a car accident and was buried in an unmarked grave. In August of 1970 Janis Joplin paid tribute to one of her greatest influences by purchasing a proper tombstone to be erected on Smith’s grave-site. This act of respect and Joplin’s own young demise are the subject of the next tune you’ll hear: Dory Previn’s A Stone for Bessie Smith.” This is followed by Janis Joplin’s lovely take on Richard Rodgers‘ and Lorenz Hart‘s 1935 song “Little Girl Blue.” Joplin’s version appears on my favorite of her albums,  I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! released on September 11, 1969. I did watch Amy J. Berg’s great (if saddening) 2015 documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue and that I can definitely recommend!

You’ll also hear here on this MixTape two by Bowie, and one of my favorite songs by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, “Sebastian.” Self-described by Harley as “possibly a sort of Gothic love song, possibly not: I’m not really sure to be honest,” “Sebastian” is certainly dramatic glam rock, featuring a 50-plus piece orchestra and choir, with orchestral arrangements by Andrew Powell. In 2008 Harley would go on to say:

“It’s poetry. It means what you want it to mean. ‘Sebastian’ is the conduit, the tubes through which I took myself on that journey to write the story. I can’t say for sure, but I wouldn’t have been far away from tripping when I wrote ‘Sebastian.’ LSD, certainly, created so many incidents in your life, so many images, so much madness and mayhem, as well as great tranquility if you were lucky. I can’t define its meaning. It’s like most poetry, it’s a lovely word.”

Yes there’s all this and a whole bunch of other good stuff so go on down and press play !

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A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS:
__The Demise Of The Mask (Vol 10)__Naphthalene Magnolias #28___
  • It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Bob Dylan (live Montreal Forum, Canada, December 4, 1975)
  • Down On The Bottom – The New Basement Tapes (ft. Rhiannon Giddens, Elvis Costello, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James, Marcus Mumford, produced by T Bone Burnett) [lyrics by Bob Dylan]
  • Weary Blues – Madeleine Peyroux (Hank Williams cover)
  • Careless Love – Bessie Smith
  • Stone For Bessie Smith – Dory Previn
  • Little Girl Blue – Janis Joplin (written by Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)
  • Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide – David Bowie (live July 1974)
  • Wild Is The Wind – David Bowie (Nina Simone cover, written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington)
  • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Al Green (Hank Williams cover)
  • The Gentle Hum Of Anxiety – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
  • Feminine Effects – of Montreal (ft. Rebecca Cash)
  • Sebastian – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
  • The Rough With The Smooth – Geoff Bastow
  • Miley Tibetan BowlzzzEvil is but a Shadow – Miley Cyrus (ft. The Flaming Lips)
  • Tomorrow Is A Long Time – Elvis Presley (Bob Dylan cover)
  • The Priest – Joni Mitchell
  • As The Orchard Is With RainEarth Has Doors, Let Them Open – Wymond Miles
  • A Reflection (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

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[It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Bob Dylan (live Montreal Forum, Canada, December 4, 1975) (photo by Ken Regan)]

[Down On The Bottom – The New Basement Tapes ]

[Weary Blues – Madeleine Peyroux (hank Williams cover)]

[Careless Love – Bessie Smith]

[Stone For Bessie Smith – Dory Previn]

[Little Girl Blue – Janis Joplin (written by Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)]

[Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide – David Bowie (live July 1974)]

[Wild Is The Wind – David Bowie (photo by Michael Ochs, 1976)]

[I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Al Green (Hank Williams cover)]

[The Gentle Hum Of Anxiety – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (artwork by Rob Sheridan. 2010)]

[Feminine Effects – of Montreal (ft. Rebecca Cash) (photo by Trompe L’oeil Photomagique, 2012)]

[Sebastian – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel]

[The Rough With The Smooth – Geoff Bastow]

[Miley Tibetan Bowlzzz / Evil is but a Shadow – Miley Cyrus (ft. The Flaming Lips)]

[Tomorrow Is A Long Time – Elvis Presley (Bob Dylan cover)]

[The Priest – Joni Mitchell]

[As The Orchard Is With Rain / Earth Has Doors, Let Them Open – Wymond Miles]

[A Reflection (edit) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross]

___________________))))))))))))))))

All the best to you and yours!—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig an artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom.

_           _________________   _  ___   _ _________ __________->

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: DENDRITES (VOL. 14)

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig a particular artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.

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_           _________________   _  ___   _ _________ __________

Being the most up-front pop-oriented of them, if any representatives from the last of the commercial sub-genres listed above were ever to land a hit to temporarily dominate the charts for a season or two then it was likely penned, recorded (and often digitally assembled note-for-note, syllable-by-syllable) by a cabal of nine middle-aged Nordic men. Although their birth certificates stated names that would likely bring to the average American mind images of Vikings or monks, they were typically credited under monikers that were easily forgettable despite their frequent use of the letters Z and X and honorary titles, such as Dr. Cztarlab, Sir LapLux, Mr. Mixus, and Professor JaMeZ. Almost no one would really ever recall these writers’ professional pseudonyms or note the central role they played in the hits that were so pervasive in their lives. These facts of anonymity were by design, as they did not want to interfere with the ascendency and celebrity of the “artist” that was to sell their work to the masses.

Through focus-group brand testing and weeks-long song-writing “cook-outz” where the annual trajectory of a (largely absent) performer’s career could be plotted by the continuity of tunes assigned to them, this committee had perfected a formula for pop familiarity—and thus, top ten hits. Not to oversimplify their equation, but it could be described as so: the forward swirl and bright texture of say, ABBA’s “SOS” but manufactured in a manner that ensured it could effortlessly and cyclically give way to the emphatic gush and catch of an arena-sized shout-along, something akin to the big-rock, chest-thump chorus in Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer.” With these elements married and laid atop a plush bed of programmed beats (or beatz) borrowed from the latest fashions in re-heated Hip Hop and R&B, all that was needed to complete the job was the appropriate vehicle to deliver the song. Sold to a Star-Creation division operating in-house under one of the various record-label executives, the likely hit-song could then be allocated either to a veteran presence or one of the newer recruits from the pop-celebrity academies.

The sound was always bigger & brighter & brighter & bigger. The sound should have little trouble in filling a stadium. Yet, it rarely needed to fill a stadium, but the sound must fill a shopping complex daily. Yes, the genuine smash hit was truly achieved when it facilitated an easy browse along the aisles of capitalism—interrupting consumption only long enough for an involuntary duet between pop star and shopper, a reflex response from the teaser tinsel of the pre-chorus build and the persistent bass and treble hook of the chorus returning again and returning again. At times the production could be so seamless, so unremarkable, so successful that one could pause and ask themselves: How do I know this song? Have I always known it? Has this song always been here?

With these narrow options before her, what was a girl to listen to? There was the feminine powerhouses of the Divas; at least they were aggressively advertised as such. These “Queens” and “Ladies” were always presented in context to the objects in their orbits: the relationships new or sour; the clothes; the hair; the promotional tie-Ins; the prop outrage performed on an award ceremony stage; the boyfriends and husbands; their current positions on the charts; their current positions in the rotating feuds between the other Divas. Watching music videos one day after school with her best friend since ninth grade, Rebecca turned to her and said: “Ugh, these role-model bitches are always either selling church or snatch.” Mireille laughed until she snorted. It was true, those who were not peddling their brand with the accompanying image of Clean American could be found rolling their eyes, spreading their legs, and retailing their lives under a banner that read Liberated & Nasty. Purchased from the Nordic committee, they all currently had the pull of a melody that was so easy to babble-along to. The Divas’ singles could be fun, but listening to them, Mireille reasoned, would make her feel like merely some consequence of a premise.

___           – –      _________________       _         _________________ ___

dendrites_cvr_14

 —  –   ————-______________\
——————————-(Click to Listen or Right-Click-Save-As to Download)—————–================__^__===================  ===  _ ===== == =   = =  __  _

Water or Bread (Raining) – Madlib

Metamorphosis – Miles Okazaki (w/ Dan Weiss, Christof Knoche, Jon Flaugher, Miguel Zenon, David Binney, and Chris Potter)

To Sheila – Smashing Pumpkins [photo by Yelena Yemchuk]

Sonic Armada – Air

Morning Fog – Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi

Green Belly – Ty Segall

Hidee Hidee Ho #16 – The New Basement Tapes (ft. Rhiannon Giddens, Elvis Costello, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James, Marcus Mumford, produced by T Bone Burnett) [lyrics by Bob Dylan]

Shaman’s Blues – The Doors (Jim Morrison in the closet of his room at LA’s Chateau Marmont hotel, by Art Kane, May 1968.) 

Paint a Lady – Susan Christie

Strawberry Wine – Ryan Adams [photo by Mark Seliger]

Crystals – Bennie Maupin

Synthesizer – Outkast (ft. George Clinton)

What I saw – Broadcast & The Focus Group

Twinkle/Master Teacher – Erykah Badu [photo by Timothy Saccenti, 2008]

Polly – Duke Ellington

The Silent Orchestra – Hamilton Leithauser

sinatra

I See Your Face Before Me – Frank Sinatra

Hidee Hidee Ho #11 – The New Basement Tapes (ft. Jim James, Rhiannon Giddens, Elvis Costello, Taylor Goldsmith, Marcus Mumford, Bo Koster, produced by T Bone Burnett) [lyrics by Bob Dylan]

Stay (Faraway, So Close!) – U2

Homme Lune – Air

Black Noise – Rotary Connection

______________———-___=========================================  __=

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: DENDRITES (VOL. 14)

  • Water or Bread (Raining) – Madlib
  • Metamorphosis – Miles Okazaki (w/ Dan Weiss, Christof Knoche, Jon Flaugher, Miguel Zenon, David Binney, and Chris Potter)
  • To Sheila – Smashing Pumpkins
  • Sonic Armada – Air
  • Morning Fog – Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi
  • Green Belly – Ty Segall
  • Hidee Hidee Ho #16 – The New Basement Tapes (ft. Rhiannon Giddens, Elvis Costello, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James, Marcus Mumford, produced by T Bone Burnett) [lyrics by Bob Dylan]
  • Shaman’s Blues – The Doors
  • Paint a Lady – Susan Christie
  • Strawberry Wine – Ryan Adams 
  • Crystals – Bennie Maupin
  • Synthesizer – Outkast (ft. George Clinton)
  • What I saw – Broadcast & The Focus Group
  • Twinkle/Master Teacher – Erykah Badu 
  • Polly – Duke Ellington
  • The Silent Orchestra – Hamilton Leithauser
  • I See Your Face Before Me – Frank Sinatra
  • Hidee Hidee Ho #11 – The New Basement Tapes (ft. Jim James, Rhiannon Giddens, Elvis Costello, Taylor Goldsmith,  Marcus Mumford, Bo Koster, produced by T Bone Burnett) [lyrics by Bob Dylan]
  • Stay (Faraway, So Close!) – U2
  • Homme Lune – Air
  • Black Noise – Rotary Connection

<^>_ _ _ __=========================================     ______BOBBY CALERO

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig a particular artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: NUPTIALS

Hello all,

and welcome to what will be the last post for the summer! I’ve got a special triptych-mixtape for you all today! About a week back a good friend of mine asked that I produce a few mixes for a gathering the night before his wedding. Unfortunately (like, whatever, y’know) due to technical difficulties they could not be played that evening (the entire wedding weekend, however, was absolutely fantastic!). Anyway, not one to let a good MixTape go to waste, I present them to you here. I do believe them to be real nice & easy, and tons of fun, with some great tunes that have been featured here in these pages before and some that I was planning on getting to someday.

May these serve you well here at the tail-end of the summer! So sit back, roll forward, and enjoy!

But above all–ENJOY YOURSELF!__

Nuptials-cvr___________________

Volume I—Click here to listen & Download——-

_____________________

Volume II—Click here to listen & Download——-

_________________________________

Volume III—Click here to listen & Download——-

_________________________________________________

__

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: NUPTIALS

VOLUME ONE:

  1. Pre-Nump – Outkast
  2. When You’re Smiling and Astride Me – Father John Misty
  3. Here I Am (Come And Take Me) – Al Green
  4. Happy – The Rolling Stones
  5. Alright, Okay, You Win – Peggy Lee
  6. You Make Loving Fun – Fleetwood Mac
  7. Baby It’s You – The Beatles
  8. Let Me Be Good To You – Carla Thomas
  9. Try (Just A Little Bit Harder) – Janis Joplin
  10. River Deep – Mountain High – Harry Nilsson
  11. Beautiful Girl – INXS
  12. Over The Hills And Far Away – Led Zeppelin
  13. The Brides Have Hit Glass – Guided By Voices
  14. What A Woman – Howlin’ Wolf
  15. The Spy – The Doors
  16. Light My Fire – Al Green
  17. Shake Your Hips – The Rolling Stones
  18. We Can Work It Out – Stevie Wonder
  19. CREEP – Afghan Whigs
  20. Tenement Lady – T.Rex
  21. John, I’m Only Dancing – David Bowie
  22. Fool I Am – Pat Ferguson
  23. I Just Want To Make Love To You – Etta James
  24. Let Me Roll It – Paul McCartney & Wings

VOLUME TWO:

  1. Your Southern Can is Mine – The White Stripes
  2. When I Look In Your Eyes – André 3000
  3. Lady Madonna – Fats Domino
  4. Loving Cup – The Rolling Stones
  5. Ring Of Fire – Ray Charles
  6. Rag Mama Rag – The Band
  7. Pretty Thing – Bo Diddley
  8. Tee Pees 1-12 – Father John Misty
  9. Would You – Richard Swift
  10. Andy’s Chest – Lou Reed
  11. Milkcow Blues Boogie – Elvis Presley
  12. Slow Down – Backbeat Band
  13. Rip It Up/ Ready Teddy – John Lennon
  14. Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox) – John Lennon
  15. Live with Me – The Rolling Stones
  16. Planet Queen – T.Rex
  17. She Belongs To Me – Bob Dylan
  18. Black Is the Color – Rhiannon Giddens
  19. I Gotta Know – Wanda Jackson
  20. Love Having You Around – Stevie Wonder
  21. Right – David Bowie
  22. Oh! Darling – The Beatles
  23. Call On Me – Big Brother And The Holding Company (feat. Janis Joplin)
  24. Candy – Iggy Pop

VOLUME THREE:

  1. Mystify – INXS
  2. Be Kind – Devendra Banhart
  3. Didn’t I – Darondo
  4. Mind Games – George Clinton
  5. Dear Prudence – The Beatles
  6. Little Red Rooster – Sam Cooke
  7. Sweet Feeling – Candi Staton
  8. Idlewild Blue (Don’t Chu Worry ‘Bout Me) – André 3000
  9. Rusty Cage – Johnny Cash
  10. Can You Get To That? – Funkadelic
  11. Yazoo Street Scandal – The Band
  12. Police & Thieves – The Clash
  13. Do Unto Others – Pee Wee Crayton
  14. Goin’ To Acapulco – Jim James & Calexico
  15. Candela – Buena Vista Social Club
  16. Momma Miss America – Paul McCartney
  17. Got To Get You Into My Life – Chris Clark
  18. Wah-Wah – George Harrison
  19. Mean To Me – Dean Martin
  20. This Magic Moment – Lou Reed
  21. Be My Baby – John Lennon

______________________________________

It’s Good to Feel you are Close to Me

It’s good to feel you are close to me in the night, love,
invisible in your sleep, intently nocturnal,
while I untangle my worries
as if they were twisted nets.

Withdrawn, your heart sails through dream,
but your body, relinquished so, breathes
seeking me without seeing me perfecting my dream
like a plant that seeds itself in the dark.

Rising, you will be that other, alive in the dawn,
but from the frontiers lost in the night,
from the presence and the absence where we meet ourselves,

something remains, drawing us into the light of life
as if the sign of the shadows had sealed
its secret creatures with flame.

__________

Pablo Neruda, from Cien Sonetos de Amor (1959).

______________

All the best to you & yours,

(Oh, and J2 & Dana, despite this entry in Ambrose Bierce’s The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary, “Love, noun. A temporary insanity curable by marriage;” I love you guys, wish you well, and know you will make and remain a fine union in the light of life),

Bobby Calero

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: DENDRITES (VOL. 10)

—       __                –   ————-______________

_           _________________   _  ___   _ _________ __________

Directly from the sewer at the center of this cacophony comes crawling the next number, “Our Seventh Sister (Ceremony of The Empty Space).”

It advances with a weave of rusty mandolin, banjos fingerpicked and teased out from a central processing unit. The bass squirms about the mulch of bucket drums, simulating the moist thump-thump-thump of an excited heartbeat. Architecturally compact guitars hack forward like hatchets through the foliage of factory handclaps and a thicket of battered cymbals. Sometimes they burst with succinct solos: vivid squiggles like the last of acrylic paint squeezed from a rolled up aluminum tube. They then oh-so-briefly bivouac and recoup with a strum and chime before they’re back out to their chop and hew.

With ludicrous bark and bite added to the singer’s dulcet voice, the lyrics pour and plod ahead like a mule with a syncopated beat—whip-driven through citrus peels boiled in sugar and hot ash. He sounds like a tourist demented with delight at the novelty of it all. The whole production is a buzz of gusto before the song swoons down to mud-churning violins for its farewell lines, which the listener hits as if an epitaph on a tombstone.

Followed a trail of black flags littered across the barren white.

As I entered town, searched my pockets for my zippo lighter.

.

I’ve got thirty-three leaves and forty grams of fresh tobacco;

Tips of my thumb and middle finger are stained dark yellow ochre.

.

Nicotine resin from smoke!

                                      Or,

Smoke from nicotine resin!

.

I gave a greeting to the big black nothing with a small nod,

My gut felt like mosquito larvae in an acrid puddle.

I took me a slumber outside The House of Chosen Women,

Where merchants trade slaves for tourmaline beads under the banyan tree.

Took me a slumber beneath the banyan tree,

Yes I,

Took me a slumber beneath the banyan tree.

.

Slept to lullaby laments as black llamas keen with famine;

They’re tethered on Main Street—dry throats beg for October raindrops.

.

When I awoke!,

When I awoke!,

Awoke to a wet-sand tongue rubbing the stubble on my cheek;

When I opened my eyes there standing was a little black dog.

.

Misery ships pulled into port, Ornament Men home from war;

In the furnace they burned textiles in effigy or worship.

.

South, rot and lust choked their brains; in the West they slept with slaughter;

East, madness chewed roots; now they lament their seventh sister, gone.

.

The Ornament Men ring-danced and lollopped in the House of Knives;

Costumes of Tanager feathers, dead reptiles, which their wives made.

Swinging semaphore genitals pierced with ore, no one saw me,

As they all performed this ceremony of the empty space—

.

Spinning, spirals, territory spheres and stairs, jaguars and rain,

Pain comes, goes, behind walls of adobe, powdered quartz, pain laughs.

.

The little black dog loped down a narrow path flanked by fruit trees,

I pursued, left this harbor to its fevers, piety games.

.

I followed that black dog through those old fruit trees,

Yes I!,

I followed that black dog through those old fruit trees.

                                                                        …      …        …

Some men search for the Holy Grail, or,

Others, the Holy Ghost,

But most men are only lookin’ for

Some butter on their toast

.

I never learned the odds,

I never learned to gamble,

Still I followed my God

And that little black dog down—

Down that long, long black trail.

___         _        _________________       _         _________________    ————-______

dendrites cvr 10

_______________________________   ——  —  ——–  _______________ –  __

 —  –   ————-______________

——————————-(Click to Listen or Right-Click-Save-As to Download)—————–================___^_===================  ===  _ ===== == =    ==    =   __ – _

Something’s Gone Awry – Alela Diane [photo by Jaclyn Campanaro]

Peace Frog/Newborn Awakening – The Doors [photographed in New York City by LIFE‘s Yale Joel in 1968]

Re-Make/Re-Model – Roxy Music [cover model Kari-Ann Muller photographed by Karl Stoecker ,1972]

Hybrid Moments – The Misfits

T.V. Eye – The Stooges

Watching T.V. (Daytrotter version 8/31/2010) – The Beets

Religion I/Public Image – Public Image Ltd.

Ducking And Dodging – Parquet Courts

Ice Age – How To Destroy Angels

The Four Of Us Are Dying – Nine Inch Nails

Mr Raffles/It Wasn’t Me – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel

Ladytron – The Venus In Furs

El Show De Los Meurtos – Juan Wauters

She’s Got You – Rhiannon Giddens

Finally Back – Souls Of Mischief & Adrian Younge [Animated by Unjust” and “Paintings by Mildred Friedman,]

The Last Act – Adrian Younge

Dr-Octagon-Blue-Flowers-464649

Blue Flowers – Dr. Octagon (aka Kool Keith)

See No Evil – Television

Evil – Stevie Wonder

Can You Hear Me? – Elvis Costello & The Roots

We Have Been Metamorphosized– Jim Morrison (read by Johnny Depp)

(problem) – Eat the document Soundtrack

______________———-___=========^^^================================  __=

A MOUTHFUL OF PENNIES PRESENTS: DENDRITES (VOL. 10)

  • Something’s Gone Awry – Alela Diane 
  • Peace Frog/Newborn Awakening – The Doors 
  • Re-Make/Re-Model – Roxy Music   
  • Hybrid Moments – The Misfits
  • T.V. Eye – The Stooges
  • Watching T.V. (Daytrotter version  8/31/2010) – The Beets
  • Religion I/Public Image – Public Image Ltd.
  • Ducking And Dodging – Parquet Courts
  • Ice Age – How To Destroy Angels
  • The Four Of Us Are Dying – Nine Inch Nails
  • Mr Raffles/It Wasn’t Me – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
  • Ladytron – The Venus In Furs (Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, David Gray, Bernard Butler, Andy Mackay) (Roxy Music Cover)
  • El Show De Los Meurtos – Juan Wauters
  • She’s Got You – Rhiannon Giddens
  • Finally Back – Souls Of Mischief & Adrian Younge  
  • The Last Act  – Adrian Younge
  • Blue Flowers – Dr. Octagon (aka Kool Keith)
  • See No Evil – Television
  • Evil – Stevie Wonder
  • Can You Hear Me? – Elvis Costello & The Roots
  • We Have Been Metamorphosized– Jim Morrison (read by Johnny Depp)
  • (problem)  – Eat the document Soundtrack

_ _ _ __=========================================     ______BOBBY CALERO

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig a particular artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff.