Best Song I’ve Heard All Day: Jicks Edition

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

(part 124 in a 1001 part series)

Ah yes.. Good ‘ol Stephen Malkmus has a new record out: Real Emotional Trash. It’s a much ‘jammier’ rock record than previous solo albums. While Pavement is long gone, Malkmus has put out some great things since then. This song “Out of Reaches” might be one of the more concise on the album, but it’s pretty strong and easily one of my favorites.

You can also hear another song off the album that I reviewed this year here.

“Out Of Reaches” by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Teo Macero’s Lasting Impact

With little fanfare, the legendary jazz producer Teo Macero pass away this week. Jazz producers typically do not get recognized for their work and compared to the giants he worked with, Macero was sort of an afterthought when it came to famous jazz records. At least for casual jazz listeners who didn’t pay that much attention.

Perhaps most well known for his work on the late Miles Davis albums like In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew, Macero was sort of jazz’s George Martin, bringing an artistic element into jazz production. This might seem common place now, but in many ways the early days of recording jazz was intended to mirror the live gig performance: the band recording live in the studio in single takes and usually countless songs in a day’s work.

Macero changed much of that by incorporating emerging technologies in multitracking, overdubs, splices and so on, most commonly found in pop records and experimental classical and electronic composers of the 50s and 60s. Despite all the studio trickery though, he still maintained the spirit of jazz to allow the musicians to feel free and spontaneous to create and improvise.

Prior to producers taking this approach, recording sessions weren’t much more than just a chance to package a bunch of new songs together while they were still fresh and hope to move some units in sales. Macero helped to make the concept of an album as a complete and purposeful package.

His legacy is still alive in projects today such as Floratone, in which producers Tucker Martine and Lee Townsend reworked improvisations by Bill Frisell and Matt Chamberlain into a completely different entity.

Check out this clip below of Macero discussing his work with Miles:


Also be sure to check out this great post on the AllMusic blog that showcase’s Macero’s fantastic discography and the year of 1959 when he helped produce some of the best albums of all time: Miles\Gil Evans’ Sketches of Spain, Charles Mingus’ Mingus Ah Um, Dave Brubeck’s Time Out and a few more. Wow.

Director Vincent Moon and REM Collaborate

The popularity of the upstart music video series “The Take Away Shows” (hosted by la Blogotheque) has been surprisingly influential in the world of web video.

With artists such as Arcade Fire, St. Vincent, Andrew Bird, The National and so many more, series creator and filmmaker Vincent Moon stages lo-fi, yet fantastically shot portraits of bands singing and playing on the streets, on roofs and in quiet cozy spaces.

The series’ signature hand-held documentary style has allowed an openness and spontaneity not typically found in traditional performance videos. The camera wanders around the room, often taking tangential peaks at the setting and landscape the music inhabits. At times the intimacy of the moment all feels a bit voyeuristic, as if we are witnessing something we shouldn’t be seeing.

This bare bones and simple approach to capturing quiet and improvised musical performances has spawned quite a few imitators and as well as the likes of R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe. According to an article on CNN, Stipe, who’s a fan of the site, asked Moon to collaborate on a few projects for their upcoming new record Accelerate including a concert film “6 Days.”

You can find an amazing collage\mosaic film work on the album’s promotional site ( and another 90 Nights. Check out one of the video segments for 90 Nights below and the full “Supernatural Superserious” video on YouTube.

For the hell of it, I thought I’d post the National’s video of “Start A War,” probably one of my favourite sessions.

NPR Song Of The Day: Beach House, ‘D.A.R.L.I.N.G.’

Beach House's Devotion is out now.
Beach House’s Devotion is out now.

Here’s a short piece on Beach House’s song “D.A.R.L.I.N.G.” from Devotion for NPR’s Song of the Day. To read the full review and hear the song go here.

Continue reading NPR Song Of The Day: Beach House, ‘D.A.R.L.I.N.G.’

Best Song I’ve Heard All Day: Bedroom Musician Edition

Throw Me The Statue

(part 91 in a 1001 part series)

Today’s nomination for ‘best song i’ve heard all day’ goes to the one-man bedroom musician, Scott Reitherman — who records under the name of Throw Me the Statue.

A mix of electronic pop and garage rock, this song “Lolita” from the new album Moonbeams, has been on repeat all day on the ol’ headphones. Probably not the best song I’ll hear this week, but a new one I happen to like today.

“Lolita” by Throw Me The Statue

Old Things That Are New To Me — Dieter

SprocketsSomehow today I was reminded of one of the weirdest characters on SNL — Dieter. You might remember those “Sprockets” sketches Mike Myers did where he played the late 70s, early 80s Kraftwerk-inspired, monkey touching, post-industrial German tv host.

There was something about that character that was always hilarious to me, even when I had no idea what it was spoofing. Thinking back, it’s odd how popular that character was for a time, mostly because that early Euro-electronic movement was always relatively unknown to the mainstream… especially in the States during the early ’90s when the sketches aired on SNL.

Anyway, I came across this video on the ol’ YouTubes, one I hadn’t seen, which looks to be the first appearance of Dieter, before the Sprockets sketches. It might be my new favourite because of all the strange references to art college in Stuttgart, S&M\monkey touching culture and the duo’s ambiguous relationship. The whole thing seems really ahead of its time.

Take a look here. (Apparently you cannot embed this video b\c NBC or whomever think that embedding videos is stealing. In this case it is more like unearthing a long forgotten classic for people…it’s free advertising people!)

Best Song I’ve Heard All Day: Second Hand Edition

Shocking Pinks

(part 63 in a 1001 part series)

This song is by a guy named Nick Harte who records under the name Shocking Pinks. He is also the drummer for the New Zealand band The Brunettes, who I saw a long time ago opened for the Shins (2005) and whom I wrote about last year.

“Second Hand Girl” by Shocking Pinks