A Real Rhapsody playlist blog of questionable quality

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Anita O'Day Three

Today the Anita O'Day investigaion draws to its inevitable conclusion. Ms. O'Day recorded for many decades. By the time we get to the 1978 release Mello'day, there's a little mush but no less passion in her tone. The last track, "When the World Was Young" is an especially strong, apt song to end on...

Anita O'Day Three

Get Out Of Town
Love For Sale
Night And Day
Why Shouldn't I
Old Devil Moon
Lost In The Stars
When The World Was Young

Friday, May 27, 2005

Eight Get Over Excited

(Today we preempt the Anita O'Day investigation again. Why mess with tradition?)

Certainly a prime benefit of starting Ribaldry & Schmaltz has been the many novel songs I've heard thanks to the refined tastes of the other Rhapsody bloggers. My ears thank you all.

Case in point: A few weeks ago I posted about the fine Architecture in Helsinki song Spring 2008. I first heard this band on a Current Australian music playlist Amanda put up around that time.

Well, the new Architecture in Helsinki album "In Case We Die" is finally Rhapvailable, and has cemented itself into the Play tab here at R&S HQ.

It's a peppy, freaky, rich tub of musical bouillabaisse. Processed layers of urgent call and response co-ed vocals walk the beach with gunshots, galloping horses, fireworks, and bird sounds. There's herky jerky orchestration of an everything-AND-the-kitchen-sink collection of instruments. Appearances are made by percussion instruments I haven't heard since third grade music class: sandpaper, wooden blocks, that hollow ridged wooden fish you rub with a dowel. Despite all this, it doesn't sound at all muddled or over-the-top. Here's a detail I think really helps this album avoid disaster: real drums throughout, usually sparse but always aptly and tastefully applied.

The whole album is worth a listen, but here's a snack-size sampler for the time-pressed or indecisive:

In Case We Die Sampler

Tiny Paintings
Do The Whirlwind
Frenchy, I'm Faking

Of note, Architecture in Helsinki appear to be on tour in the USA right now.

Addendum: In related news, Covalent Bond turned me on to the Apes a couple weeks ago. I see that a "virtual" two-song single of songs from their new album Baba's Mountain is up on Rhapsody. Another delicious rare bird, for sure.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Anita O'Day Two

Today the editorial we resume my investigation of musicians I wasn't familiar with who appear in the movie "Jazz On A Summer's Day." On day three I present day two of some music by singer Anita O'Day.

What stood out for me this day was how Ms. O'Day's delivery comes out as simultaneously dry and juicy. I''ll leave it to the jazz enologists to explain that one to me.

It looks like I've got a few more studio records and a later live record to investigate. I'm going in.

Anita O'Day Two Playlist

A Woman Alone With The Blues
Peanut Vendor (El Manisero)
Easy Living
Can't We Be Friends
Boogie Blues
Up State
Four Brothers
Blue Champagne
Don't Be That Way
Peel Me A Grape

(photo from tonyspage.com)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

My Coma Revival Plylist

We interrupt our regularly-scheduled Anita O'Day investigation for this coma revival playlist.

On Saturday Mark at MusicRocker posted a playlist designed to be played in the event he ever slips into a coma. A fantastic idea. In a previous life, I was a clinical dietitian who covered the ICU for a few years. I was suggesting tube feedings and IV nutrition details, but also observed hundreds of people go through several levels of consciousness day in and day out. I'd say that any little thing you can do to make such a micro-controlled, out-of-your-control environment a little more reflective of your own world the way you like it can only help your chances of recovery. The same recommendation would also apply to a long-term coma in a rehab facility or nursing home.

For practicality purposes, I'd settle for ten or twelve hours a day of whatever AM station broadcasts the Red Sox games. But, if technology allows and it doesn't interfere with any wireless equipment, regular doses of this playlist should help bring me back. It's a smorgasbord of rock, defiance, reflection, humor, and a little psychedelia for the morphine drip. Feel free to wave some warm peanut butter cookies under my nose every now and then, too.

Of note: Until now I've had an aversion to playlists over about ten songs long. This one tops off at thirty three. But hey, it's my coma and I'll stretch out if I want to!

My Coma Revival Playlist

Complete playlist in comments...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Anita O'day One

Today is day two of my investigation of musicians I wasn't familiar with who appear in the movie "Jazz On A Summer's Day." On day two I present day one of some music by singer Anita O'Day.

In the movie Ms. O'day started off solo singing a version of Sweet Georgia Brown so slow as to be almost unrecognizable. It was gripping and somehow swinging, despite moving along at about forty beats per minute. Her delightfully off-kilter phrasing and teeth are what stood out most for me. But seriously folks, I loved every minute Anita O'Day appeared on that screen on that stage in that movie. Research for this playlist was a joy. Yesterday I was only able to sift through four of the eighteen O'Day releases that are Rhapvailable. More to come as my research continues...

Anita O'day One

Sweet Georgia Brown
I've Got The World On A String
Watch Out!
Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
Man With A Horn
Harlem On Parade
Stompin' At The Savoy

Monday, May 23, 2005

Jazz On A Midspring's Monday

Watched "Jazz On A Summer's Day" over the weekend, the 1960 film documenting chunks of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. I've been happy with the hints of spring we've gotten so far, but this movie made me want to quit work, head to where the real sun is, lounge on my yacht, and just groove all summer. Then I remembered I don't have a yacht, a mansion, or even a full wardrobe of dandy clothes.

I guess I'll have to settle for opening a window and crafting up a few playlists featuring some of the musicians from the movie I wasn't familiar with.

Today I'm serving up a playlist of Big Maybelle.

Big Maybelle Playlist

Ain't To Be Played With
Don't Pass Me By
I've Got A Feelin'
Ocean of Tears
Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
Send For Me
You'll Never Know
Hair Dressin' Women
Don't Leave Poor Me

(photo by Ernest Withers, gleaned from counterpunch.org)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Jumpin' With Symphony Sid

Sid Torrin, AKA Symphony Sid, hosted a live jazz radio show in the 1940's and 50's from Birdland in New York. The show aired nationally on the ABC radio network, and introduced jazz to previously unhip areas of the country. Sid moved from New York to Boston in 1951, where some [dirtywater.com] credit him with introducing R&B and early rock and roll to the Boston airwaves. He later returned to New York for a time before 'retiring' to Florida.

His theme, "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid" was written by Lester Young (King Pleasure later added lyrics).

Opinions vary widely [forums.allaboutjazz.com] on his role in jazz history. However, his humorous style and legacy of great recordings he was MC for are undeniable.

Truly unusual factoid: Ben Stern (Howard's father) was an engineer for Symphony Sid's radio show in New York for some time.

Here's a playlist of Sid introducing various bands and some fine versions of his theme song. Including nine versions of one song may sound a bit silly and tedious, but the variety of style and instrumentation on these tracks is anything but.

Symphony Sid Playlist

Sid Introducing Miles Davis
Theme by Lester Young
Theme by Poncho Sanchez
Sid Introducing Mongo Santamaria
Theme by Herbie Mann
Theme by King Pleasure
Theme by George Shearing
Theme by Willis Jackson
Theme by Dizzy Gillespie
Theme by Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff
Sid Introducing Charlie Parker
Theme by Charlie Parker

(photo from dirtywater.com)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Double Bass Drum Love

Silly me. I thought the perfect antidote to an all a cappella playlist would be a celebration of that iron-fisted king of sounds, the double bass drum attack. As it turns out, the research for this playlist was almost as painful as hours of a cappella music.

Sure, Slayer was a given. And Deicide was the first show I saw where we weren't dropped off by someone's parents. Death and Sodom aren't Rhapvailable. Beyond that, so many bands employing the double bass attack were cookie cutter copies of the speed-mosh-speed song structure with vocals by someone's grandfather sitting on the bowl grunting out yesterday's bowl of prunes.

But I persevered, and came out the other side with a short list of golden hits employing the double bass drum attack. Here, presented for your edification, and guaranteed to make your steaming entrails stand up and salute the dark lord, is the...

Double Bass Drum Attack Playlist

Sarcastic Existence - Sepultura
Sickness - Obituary
Lunatic of God's Creation - Deicide
Kraf Dinner - Annihilator
Raining Blood - Slayer
Heavy Metal Drummer - Wilco

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Won't Somebody Please Think About the Children?!

Today on R&S we climb to new highs of schmaltz-itude previously undreamt by mere mortals. For today we dish up a playlist entirely a cappella. The songs by Ookla the Mok in yesterday's Fantastic Four playlist stirred up a maelstrom of a cappella memories I thought I'd pushed into the dankest remotes of my subconscious. My only recourse was to exorcise the beast by assembling this playlist and unleashing its full fury upon the Rhapsody blogosphere.

I lived a life blissfully unaware of the seedy a cappella underbelly of America until I was a senior in high school. One of my friends fell in with a Wheaton Whim, and duped me into going to a "concert." Let me just say that the things I witnessed that day were seared into that place in the mind usually reserved for horrible car accidents or walking in on your parents having sex. And yet, that version of "Santa Catalina (Island of Romance)" was so sublime and catchy. My appetite for harmony and the ridiculous said I couldn't just discount a cappella totally. I've been doomed to a life of ribaldry and schmaltz ever since. But who's complaining?

Let this playlist be a cautionary tale to America's youth.

Schmaltz A Pella Playlist

Happy Together - Stanford University Mendicants
Because - The Nylons
Study War No More - Sweet Honey In the Rock
I'm Your Baby Tonight - Tufts University Amalgamates
Rainbow Connection - Utah State That One
Truck Drivin' Man - The Edlos

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Fantastic Four Playlist

Here's a little playlist inspired by the Fantastic Four, who get the Hollywood treatment this summer. I'm a huge fan of the Horatio Hornblower movies starring Ioan Gruffudd, so it should be disturbing and hilarious to see him onscreen as Reed Richards.

Unfortunately, both songs titled "Invisible Woman" on Rhapsody were decidedly subpar. Of special note, there's a song (not Rhapvailable) by jazz outfit the Vandermark Quartet called "Jack Kirby Was Ripped Off." It's so true. It makes me a little ill to see Stan Lee make so many pop culture appearances and pretty much take full credit for creation of the Marvel universe.

For high marks, the songs by Ookla the Mok and DOA contain actual Fantastic Four lore.

Fantastic Four Playlist

Theme From Super Skrull - Ookla the Mok
Clobberin' Time - Sick Of It All
Mr Fantastic - Three 4 Tens
Human Torch - Mix Master Mike
Flame On - The Iguanas
The Thing - Fuck
Phantom Zone - DOA
Stop Talking About Comic Books Or I'll Kill You - Ookla the Mok

Monday, May 16, 2005

Fresh Catch Playlist

Today, just a little playlist of good songs. I keep going back to the these tracks the last few weeks, and that's a good enough playlist theme for me.

Fresh Catch

Windfall - Son Volt
Ca Plane Pour Moi - Plastic Bertrand
Candy Girl - New Edition
Traction In The Rain - David Crosby
Jeepster - T REx
Bar-X The Rocking M - Melvins
That's Entertainment - The Jam
Better Things - The Kinks

Friday, May 13, 2005

Custom Radio Station Alchemy

OK, so mere hours after my faux research post on Pavement filler distillation, I did in fact make a Rhapsody research breakthrough. Call me a philistine, but I had no idea that tracks that are forbidden on-demand may be available via a radio station, and that by creative selection you can make a custom radio station to open up whole new vistas of superior listening.

The story: This afternoon, for kicks, I created my first custom radio station with ten oddball artists. The first track that came up on this custom radio station was the song "Message Understood" from the Sandie Shaw album Nothing Less Than Brilliant. Now, according to the Music Guide, not only is this track not available on Rhapsody, but not a single recorded moment of Sandie Shaw is available. Something's up here.

I decided to create a new custom radio station with five bands glaringly absent from the on-demand aspect of Rhapsody.

Within minutes I was listening to all the bands I'd been missing: Minutemen, Black Flag, Mick Ronson, Crass, Suzi Quatro, AC-Fucking-DC, Minor Threat, the Housemartins, and previously unhearable deep cuts from Prince Far I. Why is this strategy not made obvious in every single help file on Rhapsody?

I gotta say it's made it a whole new service for me, and I personally prescribe an SST custom station consisting of Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minutemen, and Husker Du for anyone who actually bothers to read this. In addition to those four bands you may be forced to listen to songs by the Descendents, Mission of Burma, or the Pixies. If that's the worst thing that happens to you today, believe me you're doing alright.

One side note: despite these glorious machinations, I still can't get Rhapsody to play a single Nina Hagen song. Even on a dedicated Nina Hagen Radio station. Come on RealPeoples. You know as well as I that New York City is the hottest place for a honeymoon, in a hotel room...

Another side note: Via radio, the Built to Spill record "There's Nothing Wrong With Love" is available. I think I've waited long enough to be able to hear Big Dipper whenever the mood strikes. Once again, come on, RealPeoples. Give it up. Make it happen.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Novel Method for the Removal of Extraneous Tracks from Pavement Reissue CDs

Introduction: Matador has reissued the first two Pavement records under the names Slanted & Enchanted: Luxe and Reduxe and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins . These new editions contain second CDs brimming with unreleased studio and live tracks. Unfortunately, many of these tracks are distracting ear contaminants. The purpose of the current study was to develop a method of distilling out the rockingest and most satisfying tracks from these reissues. If successful, the method would be extended to the Rhapsody-available Pavement EPs as well.

Materials and Methods: Pavement reissue filler and EP bonus tracks were passed through a fine aural sieve. The larger sounds were captured and arrayed pleasantly in a playlist for closer observation. Of note, Slanted & Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe contains a full live show from Brixton Academy in London on December 14, 1992. This entire show is excellent and was excluded from the current study (however, it merits thorough repeated investigation by anyone with an interest in the subject).


Heaven Is A Truck (Egg Shell)
Unseen Power of the Picket Fence
Circa 1762
Coolin' By Sound
Harness Your Hopes
Pueblo (Beach Boys)
Baptist Blacktick
My First Mine
Roll With the Wind
Shoot the Singer (1 Sick Verse)
Ed Ames
Tartar Martyr
The Sutcliffe Catering Song

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

R&S Taqueria Playlist

Today, a two course hot lunch of a playlist from the R&S Taqueria. Help yourself to the salsa.

R&S Taqueria

Johnny Bush - Dos Tacos
Ween - Pollo Asado

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Indestructible Beat of Cleveland

On this fine day, we pay tribute to the many fine musicians and bands spawned by the city of Cleveland, Ohio.

As it turns out New Orleans, New York City, Seattle, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, Kansas City, and Boise could all fall into the sea and the fate of great music would be fine. Cleveland does, in fact, rock. I started putting this playlist together as a joke. It turns out to be the hottest amalgamation of unique rockers, funkmeisters, and freaks anyone could ask for.

The Indestructible Beat of Cleveland

James Gang - Walk Away
Pere Ubu - Final Solution
Dazz Band - Let It Whip
Dead Boys - Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth
Benjamin Orr - Just What I Needed
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - Don't Hate On Me
Albert Ayler - Omega
Nine Inch Nails - Piggy
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Frenzy
Henry Mancini - Lujon

Monday, May 09, 2005

Misty Monday Haiku

A playlist haiku for emerging out the other side of a cool, misty week.

Misty Monday Haiku

coldwater morning
just my imagination
full moon in my soul

(Source: Neil Diamond, Lloyd Charmers, Robyn Hitchcock)

Friday, May 06, 2005

One For the Mothers

Hi, Mom!

One from and for the Mothers on this finest of Fridays:

Mothers - One For the Mothers

The Voice of Cheese
Motherly Love
Big Leg Emma
Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance
Son of Suzy Creamcheese

(photo from hollywoodhangover.com)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

TJ Kirk - If Four Was One Source Playlist

I was so edified and entertained by making last week's TJ Kirk source material playlist, today I've assembled a source playlist for the second record.

The second TJ Kirk album, If Four Was One, was released in 1996. It featured the same interweaving of source tracks the band was founded on, but added some surf and flagrant psychedelia to the mix. It was also light on the Roland Kirk (only two tracks represented).

I was able to find Rhapsody source versions of all the tracks on If Four Was One except "Rockhard In A Funky Place." This song is a little bit of an enigma. My research shows it's actually a Prince song on the Black Album. Oddly, the Black Album does contain a song written with James Brown, but that song is called "2 Nigs United 4 West Compton." This will have to remain a mystery until Rhapsody adds the Black Album or Charlie Hunter shows up on my doorstep with a personal explanation.

TJ Kirk - If Four Was One

Damn Right I'm Somebody - Brown
Get On The Good Foot/Rockhard In A Funky Place - Brown/Brown
Stomping Grounds/Untitled Intstrumental/Green Chimneys - Kirk/Brown/Monk
The Payback/I Mean You - Brown/Monk
Brake's Sake - Monk
Ruby,(It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World) My Dear - Monk/Brown
Meeting At Termini's Corner/I Got A Bag Of My Own/Brilliant Corners - Monk/Brown/Monk
Cross the Track/Thelonious - Brown/Monk
Four In One - Monk

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

My Little Ipecac Dance

There was a portentous event on the Rhapsody Just Added list for me last week:

Melvins/Lustmord - Pigs of the Roman Empire

This 2004 collaboration between one of America's most enduring and original rock bands and an evil ambient overlord is certainly an interesting enough listen. The greater significance of its addition for me, though, is the hope that there will be many more Ipecac records forthcoming on Rhapsody. The current Rhapsody Melvins selection is tasty, but a mere snack. I'd love to see their entire Ipecac catalog go up, along with that of Fantomas.

Hmm, it looks like there are other positive signs. As Covalent Bond pointed out recently, Ipecac recording artists Isis are available on Rhapsody. Looks like there's a Tomahawk album up there, too.

So come on, Rhapsodists. Once you're done adding all these pay-only albums let's get cracking.

Here's a playlist featuring a few superlative tracks from Pigs of the Roman Empire:

My Little Ipecac Dance

Melvins/Lustmord: The Bloated Pope, Toadi Acceleratio, Pink Bat, Safety Third

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Jay Berliner, Guitar: El Fin

Well, we've reached the final installment of this Rhapsody retrospective of the work of guitarist Jay Berliner. I know I mentioned that Jay Berliner's credits on allmusic spread over three long pages. But, as it turns out alot of those albums aren't available on Rhapsody. And, I couldn't pick out his guitar on some of the albums I did find (That, and I got tired of listening to whole Carly Simon and George Benson records trying to pick out the groovy guitar playing). Even a schmaltz-monger such as I can only take so much!

Jay Berliner played on several recordings by the ubiquitous jazz bass don Ron Carter. Mister Carter has quite literally played with every significant jazz musician of the last sixty years, and continues to play and record today.

Today's featured Berliner track is El Ojo De Dios from Carter's 1978 release Songs For You. As the title suggests it's a Spanish-inflected spiritual stroll. Berliner riffs, Carter leads with a gaseous bass melody, and Kenny Barron stabs out a piano sermon. There's also a delightfully anxious bowed bass solo that belies the track's otherwise sedate delivery.

Ron Carter - El Ojo De Dios

Here is a playlist collecting all five tracks from this Jay Berliner guitar Rhapsody retrospective:

Jay Berliner - Guitar

Milt Jackson - For Someone I Love
Deodato - Spirit of Summer
Charles Mingus - Medley: Trio and Group Dancers
Van Morrison - Beside You
Ron Carter - El Ojo De Dios

Monday, May 02, 2005

Jay Berliner, Guitar: Misty Monday Edition

The third installment of the unearthing of Rhapsody-available tracks featuring guitarist Jay Berliner.

Though I didn't know his name until two weeks ago, Jay Berliner appears on some very significant recordings from the past four decades. (OK, so "The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" may be slightly more enduring than Deodato's first album, but our investigation is ongoing.)

Today's offering is a case in point. Van Morrison's 1968 release Astral Weeks is a unique, potent, and dreamy blend of musical styles. Jay Berliner's guitar makes its most evocative contribution on track #2, Beside You. This song's a shambling acoustic parade that has something to do with a baby, a truck, a woman, a railroad, and a countryside overhung with wet, windy weather. It sounds lovely, but is it really "one of the best albums in pop music history"? I don't think so, but judge for yourself:

Van Morrison - Beside You