i've got the best of interventions

Friday, July 15, 2005

From the Insound Newsletter

Continuing in my fondness for creating playlists from the barrage of email newsletters I receive in a feeble attempt to keep up with what's going on in music, here's a little something from the good folks at Insound. Their current claim to fame is that they're the only distributor who has freshly-repressed copies of as yet unsigned indie buzz-lords Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. (BTW, Clap Your Hands is a pretty good record, but I can't get past that the guy sounds like a mosquito.)

The Insound newsletter is always chock-full of bands that all the cool kids should know about. This playlist includes Nine Black Alps, Chin Up Chin Up and The Oranges Band.

Listen to Insound Newsletter, 7/13/05

* "I Mean, Come On." - 31knots
* "It's Movin' Day" - Charlie Poole
* "Two Worlds" - Daniel Lanois
* "Come See the Duck" - Deerhoof
* "Cash Machine (Album Version)" - Hard-fi
* "Cosmopolitan" - Nine Black Alps
* "Empty Fields" - Oxford Collapse
* "Eple" - Royksopp
* "Ride The Wild Wave" - The Oranges Band
* "I Love the Valley OH!" - Xiu Xiu
* "Collide The Tide" - Chin Up Chin Up
* "This Is the Way" - Devendra Banhart
* "Title And Registration" - Death Cab For Cutie

Can't even look at it

Following on the heels of the wildly successful(?) "Overrated Songs" community article, Robert picked a (somewhat) less controversial topic for his next list. This one's entitled "Worst Popular Music Album Covers," and below is the text of my submission.

Artist Name: Prince
Album Name: Prince (1979)

"Prince" was Prince Rogers Nelson's second solo album and a single from it ("I Wanna Be Your Lover") went on to become his first #1 R&B hit. The quality of the music notwithstanding, this album cover is clearly the creepiest, non-sexy photo of Prince I have ever seen. The long, flowing hair. The pervy mustache. I understand that it was 1979 and that overt sexuality in music was in full bloom. But really, would anyone ever be turned on by this? Maybe he was trying to be dramatic. Maybe he was trying to tell us that he is fully exposed as an artist, with no pretense. It's hard to say for sure. But one thing is true - it definitely belongs on this list.

I can't even post the album cover here. The very thought of having to look at it until it rolls off the bottom of the page is just too awful. You'll have to read the whole article at BlogCritics or FIQL.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Willie Nelson - Countryman

Ten years in the making, Willie Nelson's new release Countryman is his first reggae album. Yes, you read that right. It all started in 1995, when Willie approached Island Records with his idea for reggae versions of some of his songs. He began work on the project and recorded most of the songs, but when Island Records founder Chris Blackwell left the company, the album idea was shelved.

Fast forward to the present. Willie signed to Lost Highway Records, and the project was dusted off. Countryman was produced by Don Was. One of the standouts of the album is a Johnny/June Carter Cash-penned song called "I'm a Worried Man," recorded as a duet with Toots Hibbert (Toots and the Maytals).

As an interesting news aside, the cover art (featuring images of marijuana leaves) has been the source of some controversy. Retail giant Wal-Mart has refused to sell the album as originally designed, so an alternate version with palm trees instead of the offending cannabis will be offered at your local big box.

Another great summer, sit on the porch and have a beer record.

Listen to Willie Nelson - Countryman

Monday, July 11, 2005

"Gardens are not made by sitting in the shade." -- Rudyard Kipling

Few things in life are as basic or as satisfying as tending the earth in a garden. Be it herbs, vegetables, flowers or even rocks, having a garden is a singular pleasure. The benefits are many - exercise, food, pride in one's work, and the simple beauty of standing back at the end of the day to admire the view.

Get your hands dirty once in a while. Before you head out, listen to this collection of songs about dirt, flowers, and gardens.

Digging in the Dirt