i've got the best of interventions

Friday, April 01, 2005

Infestation of koalas

Mitch Hedberg Sampler

It was so disappointing to hear of the death of Mitch Hedberg, a talented but troubled comedian with a radical following. His style takes a little getting used to, but if you take the time to listen carefully, you'll find yourself alternately laughing hysterically and trying to keep up.

"Koalas" is my favorite bit.

From the Rhapsody newsletter

Indie Label Playlist

With how much the Rhapsody blogging community has been talking about these bands, this is probably old news, but in the latest Rhapsody newsletter they've put a nice playlist together of some new indie releases.

From the newsletter: "Rhapsody is not only a great source of popular music, but we've also got an extensive catalog of independent label releases in a huge variety of genres. This week, we're focusing on the world of indie rock, including exciting releases from London's Bloc Party, the blissful, melodic sound of Low, the slinky garage rock of the Kills and the baroque pop of the Decemberists. These bands are living proof that some of the best music exists below the radar."

"The Sporting Life" - The Decemberists
"Banquet" - Bloc Party
"Gwn Mi Wn" - Gruff Rhys
"Spit It Out" - Brendan Benson
"Black History Month" - Death From Above 1979
"California" - Low
"The Good Ones" - The Kills
"Galang" - M.I.A.
"Farewell/Goodbye" - M83
"Don't Run Our Hearts Around" - Black Mountain

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Song of the Day

Richard Thompson - Persuasion

The Radish already covered my current obsession, Josh Rouse's "Nashville," so here's a little ditty that's close to my heart. The song was originally written as an instrumental by Richard, then Tim Finn wrote some lyrics and used to sing it live. In this version, Richard takes it back and sings along with his son, Teddy. Now that is how a great song is born. Tim Finn is a killer songwriter, as is his brother Neil.

Hmm, I wonder how many father-son/sibling/family duets are out there. Sounds like a challenging playlist idea. Not one I can tackle today but I'll keep it in mind.

Music by Richard Thompson
Lyrics by Tim Finn

You and I
Tempted by the promise of a different life
Time has fled
There's a constant battle running through my head
I don't know what to do
'Cause I still believe
After all the foolish things that we've been through
I will always be a man who's open to

Blind romance
There'll be no half measures given half a chance
But we never learn
Trusting in the fire while the cruel flame burns
And we need to rebuild
What was never there
What got left behind
After all the foolish things that we've been through
I could always make a start on something new
And I'll always be a man who's open to

And it's written in the my heart
So that everybody could see it
And it's written in my soul
After all I still believe it
I still believe it
I still believe it
I still believe

I don't know what to do
'Cause I still believe
After all the foolish things you put me through
I could always make a start with something new
And I'll always be a man who's open to

Monday, March 28, 2005

While browsing the tour schedules of some favorite musicians tonight, I noticed that Mike Doughty from Soul Coughing is currently performing solo material. His album Skittish/Rockity Roll (click to listen) is made up of an EP from 2003, and solo tracks that he originally recorded in 1996.

Forget what you know about his music with Soul Coughing. I was pleasantly surprised at his songwriting chops. It's rough and a little edgy, but eminently listenable. Not to be missed is his cover of Jody Watley's "Real Love" (I know, right?).

Check out the Mike Doughty website for the latest info. He has a new album coming out on May 3, called "Haughty Melodic." It was produced by Dan Wilson from Semisonic. Neat-o. I'll be keeping an eye out.

Words + Music

Take a phrase. Turn it. Tweak it. Make it your own. The following songwriters have done so in a way that resonates and radiates with scores of people. People who are fans of the phrase; of the music that accompanies the words with just a simple guitar, bass and drumset, or with a swelling chorus of instruments. You hear it and feel it, not just in your ears, but in your heart as well. You might even sing along a little bit.

This playlist is fairly all-inclusive, with some that lean toward the mainstream and others that have always done their own thing. I realize that I left out so many worthy candidates, especially women, but I just like the sound of men singing. Other men I was considering were Richard Thompson, John Prine, Joseph Arthur and many, many others who laid the groundwork for this genre. If there's an obviously glaring omission please let me know. I tried to keep the playlist tight but I'd be willing to add something outstanding.

Lovely Words & Music

* "River Man" - Nick Drake
* "Collide" - Howie Day
* "Sodom, South Georgia" - Iron & Wine
* "Step Inside This House" - Lyle Lovett
* "Orange Sky (Album Version)" - Alexi Murdoch
* "Cry On Demand" - Ryan Adams
* "You Ain't Got A Hold On Me" - Mark Kozelek
* "Shelter" - Ray Lamontagne
* "The Blower's Daughter" - Damien Rice
* "Captain Kirk" - Bob Schneider
* "Lover, You Should've Come Over" - Jeff Buckley
* "You're Always Going Too Soon" - Matthew Jay
* "Love Untold" - Paul Westerberg
* "Streetlight" - Tom McRae
* "Seasons" - Neil Halstead