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The Streets – The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living

29 07 2010

Listened: Friday July 16

The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living is the album when the Streets started talking about his “famous person” problems versus everyguy problems. But he is talented enough at storytelling that the details aren’t important – I still get exactly where his emotions are coming from.

Also, his everyman work ethic is still clear – his raps are well written and perfectionist. When You Wasn’t Famous is a brilliant observation – dating another famous person puts him on the same level as they are, and therefore it’s just as hard to impress the girl as when he was a nobody. Never Went to Church is a touching eulogy for his late father. And after all this, he still takes a lot of drugs. He’s still the same old Mikee Streets.

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The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night

29 07 2010

Listened: Thursday July 15

A Hard Day’s Night is the Beatles album that started it all for me. When I saw the film and got this album from the library at age 16, it was all over. I’ve listened to it more times than I can count. I’ve woken up to it. I’ve gone to bed to it. I’ve driven too fast while playing it. The songs are all eminently singable and a song can be found to suit every occasion.

The 2 oldest Beatles were only 24 when this came out, and I’m sure at that age they had no grasp of how special their situation was, because really, who does then?





Radiohead – Hail to The Thief

29 07 2010

Listened: Thursday July 15

I love the art on Hail to The Thief;  it reminds me of a scavenger-hunt-type game that Radiohead did when this album came out. There was a flash version of the album with links to each puzzle on certain rectangles. I specifically remember there was one on the “ANTI” square and the “24HR” square. However, I don’t remember at all why my friends and I were playing – there might have been a prize, or it might have just been for cred. Back in those days, I probably did superfan things just for cred, even  my own cred that no one knew about.

This album still sounds at the very least modern, if not still ahead of its time. Like Amnesiac, these songs remind me of being young (early 20s) and stupid and having nothing more important in my life to worry about than music and going to shows. And maybe also not vomiting.





Talvin Singh – Ha

29 07 2010

Listened: Thursday July 15

Ha is pretty, mellow, Indian-flavored chillout music. It would be great in the more active portions of a yoga class. It’s just energetic enough that it can be listened to at work without danger of the listener melting into a puddle of chillout.





Beirut – Gulag Orkestar

29 07 2010

Listened: Wednesday July 14

I loved Gulag Orkestar as soon as it came out, since I was getting swept away in the gypsy music tide of the day. The horns, accordions, and tambourines are so pretty and catchy. Beirut has the distinction of being one of the only bands of American origin doing this sort of gypsy mashup. All the others (Balkan Beat Box, Gogol Bordello, etc) have members who were born outside of America.

It was also impressive that Zach (the bandleader) was so young when this came out – about 22 or so. An American kid immersing himself in another country’s style of music and reinventing it as his own like this is inspiring.





ballboy – Guide For the Daylight Hours

29 07 2010

Listened: Wednesday July 14

We can all learn from ballboy; they give good advice.

“You can’t spend your whole life hanging ’round with arseholes.”

“All the records on the radio are shite.”

“Nobody really knows anything.”

“The girl who works in the record shop, she says that I am not avant-garde enough. But, so what, she only works in a record shop and I don’t give a fuck what she says or she thinks about me.”

That is all.





Black Uhuru – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

29 07 2010

Listened: Wednesday July 14

When I hear Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner I go right back to my very first job ever – Great Harvest Bread in San Carlos, a store which sadly is no more.

The store had a really old multi-cd changer (the kind that had the CDs balanced on their side in a side-loading tray) that didn’t work all that well. But it was stocked with a bunch of good music. I remember bobbing my head to Shine Eye Gal as I cleaned up the sandwich components or shelved loaves of bread. I also discovered Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Elvis, and the dub remixes of The Clash (“Daddy was a bank robba, but he never hurt nobody… hip… hip…”) during my time there. For a first job, you really couldn’t ask for much better.