Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 8 - "The 90's I Knew, the 90's I Didn't"

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 8 – “The 90’s I Knew, The 90’s I Didn’t”


The 1990’s - on tomorrow’s Sonic Parthenon Show. It’s gonna be weird…whatever.

“Do the Bartman” by The Simpsons

Set 1
“Fast As You” by Dwight Yoakam
“Fell on Black Days” by Soundgarden
“Backwater” by Meatpuppets

Set 2
“The Way” by Fastball
“Hook” by Blues Traveler
“Dirt Road Blues” by Bob Dylan

Set 3
“Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage
“Walking on Broken Glass” by Annie Lennox
“Circle” by Sarah Mclachlan
“Stolen Car” by Beth Orton

Set 4
“Zoot Suit Riot” by Cherry Poppin Daddies
“It’s Martini Time” by Reverend Horton Heat
“Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” by Urge Overkill
“Somehow, Somewhere, Someway” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

Set 5
“Ultra Violet (Light my Way)” by U2
“Tripping Billies” by Dave Matthews Band
“Enid” by Barenaked Ladies
“Good” by Better Than Ezra
“In the Meantime” by Spacehog

Set 6
“The Professional” by Sleater-Kinney
“Velouria” by the Pixies
“Ball and Chain” by Social Distortion
“Fuzzy” by Grant Lee Buffalo

Set 7
“Nitroglycerine” by the Gories
“Only Shallow” by My Bloody Valentine
“Skip Steps 1 & 3” by Superchunk
“Never Said” by Liz Phair

Set 8
“Common People” by Pulp
“Stutter” by Elastica
“Nearly Lost You” by Screaming Trees
“Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star

“Let’s Shake Hands” by the White Stripes

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Playlist: Early 2011, Vol. 2

I See Hawks in LA - "Highway Down"
Every now and then, a classic, textbook country song - post-Hank and Johnny, pre-modern garbage, something in the Bakersfield vein - comes along and is just one big home run. I can't remember the last time I loved a pure country song like this one. I need to see these guys.

Jamaica - "Jericho"
I only first heard this song a couple of weeks ago but have played it so many times that it deserves mention in this first chapter of the year. A French duo calling themselves Jamaica, these croissant-eating, beret-wearing (they must, right?) wine-drinkers tap into the 80's nostalgia-wave but use the synths for the Forces of Good, combining them with a rock n roll riff that would make any blue jeans bandana lover proud.

Marina & The Diamonds
I actually really don't think I like this. I know I don't like the record. Her voice leaves a lot to be desired. But there's something about "Oh No!" and a couple of the other tracks on the self-titled record that work. Maybe it was the emotion of getting through an airplane ride on my maiden voyage to London and the "cool Britania" aspect of hearing this record on Virgin Airways. I don't know.

R.E.M. - "Mine Smells Like Honey"
Leave it to these guys to come up with an immediate Song of the Year contender.

Small Sins - Why Don't You Believe Me?
Nice-sound guys from the nice city of Toronto.

Stag - "These Times"
The first number 1 of 2011 on the weekly Top 25 Countdown on the Ipod, this is one for the lovers - the lovers of three chord, big solo in the middle rock n roll.

The Strokes - "Under Cover of Darkness"
It remains to be seen if Angles is the great return of the Strokes that this song promised it to be (see the next volume of the playlist). In the meantime, the New York kids (they ain't kids anymore) just made one hell of a stab at Single of the Year.They haven't sounded this good album one, track...oh...7.

TV Girl - "I Don't Care"
It's actually kind of nice that after all the zombie-like indifference to the world that Yuppie Hipsters invoke on a daily basis, someone wrote a song about it. Another one with the synths but to good's a New Wave song from Heck.

The Twilight Singers - "On the Corners"
The brain child of Greg Dulli returns with another dark, forceful serenade. But I wonder if he'll work with Mark Lanegan again? That was great.

Voxhaul Broadcast - Leaving on the 5th
This OC band reminds me of U2. Not 100% sure why. But they do.

Anna Waronker: I Don't Wanna
Is it a boogie woogie blues number? Is it a punk sparkplug? It's both!

War on Drugs - "Comin' Through"
The Philadelphia band returns with a long awaited (and probably forgotten about, to be honest) follow-up to their '08 success. Spending time with Daniel Johnston didn't fry their brains out thank goodness. They're even bigger fans of sharply spun 70's rock than before.

The trending band of the moment. Probably because of the one dude's hair. But everyone likes them right off. It's another case of demo to blogger stardom to more professionally paid buzz all in a matter of weeks. "Get Away" is the best of the bunch. A lot of it clicks, some of it does not.

Honorable Mentions:
Of Monsters And Men - Little Talks
British Sea Power - Who's in Control
The Goondas - Jackalope Jesus
Pert' Near Sandstone - Raleigh and Spencer
Fergus & Geronimo :: Powerful Lovin'
MADE IN HEIGHTS - All the Places

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The Sonic Parthenon Playlist: Early 2011, Vol. 1

The first installment of this year's series of playlists is accompanied of course this year by the development of the Sonic Parthenon Show over at Thor Radio. And much of this two-volume set was hear on the March 20th episode of that program so you can hear more details there on a lot of these songs. The year has once again begun singles-heavy (only two or three LP's merit any mention) but that may change. The next few months will witness an unbelievable array of full-length albums worth thinking about - and two are getting a taste in this list as well.

Arms Akimbo - "Skins Have More Hair Than Brains"
This is NOT Elvis Costello as much as it sounds like it is. It is most certainly inspired by Declan's early work and it is all the better for it.

Charles Bradly - "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)"
Another chapter in the Daptones story, another saga of a lost voice discovered anew for the world to hear in all that glorious soul. BUTTAH!

Exene Cervenka - "Already in Love"
Her Most Humble Highness of the Country Beatnik Hardcore Punks is rolling along with a new solo record that features this deceptively soft-spoken heart-felt pop song. Maybe it's a surprise, maybe it isn't. The X gang have always excelled at being able to mix it up.

Cowboy Junkies - "See You Around"
Go figure - the Canadian crew are still going strong, and covering Vic Chesnutt. This Soul-drenched dirge harkens back to the glory days of Muscle Shoals.

David Wax Museum - "Yes, Maria, Yes"
In the line of bands like DeVotchKa comes this eclectic ensemble with a sparkling song that goes well with Mexican food.

Deerhoof - "Super Duper Rescue Heads!"
If bear is the animal most overused in Indie band naming in the last decade, then Deer is running a healthy second. I don't think that has anything to do with the fact that few of the deer bands interest me - though Deer Tick sounds good. This is the first time Deerhoof has struck my fancy.

The Decemberists - The King is Dead
Hey the Decemberists are back! After going way deep into prog territory with their last opera, Colin and company have scaled it back, going in the other direction - IT'S A POP RECORD! "Down by the River" is one for the ages - up there with the best of the Boss and Neil and the band most cited in the write-ups on this record, R.E.M.

Gang of Four - "You'll Never Pay for the Farm"
Another seminal band back in the mix, the politically studious Gang of Four occasionally try to break through with something for the actual masses they sing for.

Girls - "Heartbreaker"
I hated this band name and hated their first single to get them buzz with their stupid NSFW video. But then came this song, a perfectly executed pop number. Now I can't hate them and anyone who knows Pennypacker knows he hates it when he can't hate something anymore.

Grouplove - "Don't Say Oh Well"
I'm still a little sketchy on this band's origins - I've read items about being a supergroup and being from Crete and I don't know what. I'm pretty sure it's just a band from LA. But a good band.

The Hold Steady - "Just Saying"
Oh look at this, it's the Hold Steady. Their contribution to the Dilemma soundtrack is an original one (if they're going to partake in this, they may as well make the most of it). And it's another tight one, definitely in the direction of the classic rock that people who would actually buy the soundtrack would care to hear.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 7 – Spring Forward

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 7 – Spring Forward


“Mine Smell Like Honey” by R.E.M. (from Collapse Into Now)

Set 1
“Digging for Something” by Superchunk (from Majesty Shredding)
“Tear the Club Up” by the Dirtbombs (from Party Store)
“Worm Tamer” by Grinderman (from Grinderman 2)
“Already in Love” by Exene Cervenka (from The Excitement of Maybe)
“The World (Is Going Up in Flames)” by Charles Bradley & The Menahan Street Band (from Daptone Gold)

Set 2
“Whirring” by the Joy Formidable (from The Big Roar)
“Belong” by the Pains of Being Pure at Heart (from Belong)
“Caffeinated Consciousness” by TV on the Radio (from Nine Types of Light)
“Boeing 737” by the Low Anthem (from Smart Flesh)

Set 3
“Jericho” by Jamaica (from No Problem)
“Get Away” by Yuck (from Yuck)
“Skins Have More Hair Than Brains” by the Arms Akimbo (from the Arms Akimbo)
“Why Don’t You Believe Me?” by the Small Sins (from Pot Calls Kettle Black)
“Something Else” by Diamond Rings (from Special Affections)

Set 4
“Skull Cakin’” by Pomegranates (from One of Us)
“These Times” by Stag (from These Times Are For All Of Us)
“Quiet Wars” by the Capstan Shafts (from Revelation Skirts)
“Comin’ Through” by the War on Drugs (from Future Weather)

Set 5
“Don’t Say Oh Well” by Grouplove (from Grouplove)
“Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People (from Foster the People)
“Oh Goodbye” by The Colourist (from The Colourist)

Set 6
“I Was Denied” by Thee Oh Sees (from Warm Slime)
“TAOS” by Menomena (from Mines)
“Book of James” by We are Augustines (from Rise Ye Sunken Ships)
“Swift Coin” by Land of Talk (from Cloak and Cipher)

Set 7
“Kill My Baby” by Nick Curran & The Lowlifes (from Reform School Girl)
“Leaving on the 5th” by Voxhaul Broadcast (from Timing is Everything)
“I Don’t Care” by TV Girl (from TV Girl)

“See You Around” by Cowboy Junkies (from Demons)

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Show Episode 6 – “The Novelty of It All”

The Sonic Parthenon Show Episode 6 – “The Novelty of It All”


“Take Off!” by Bob & Doug McKenzie

Set 1
“The Boo Boo Song” by King Coleman
“Rubber Biscuit” by the Chips

Set 2
“Cretin Hop” by the Ramones
“Bop-a-Hula” by Jimmy Newman
“I Can’t Dance (I Got Ants in My Pants)” by Valaida Snow
“The Time Warp” by the Cast of the Rocky Horror Picture Show
“Mean Green Mother from Outer Space” by the Cast of Little Shop of Horrors

Set 3
“Along Came Jones” by the Coasters
“If I Knew You Were Coming I’d Have Baked a Cake” by Eileen Barton & the New Yorkers
“Sly Cigarette” by Tiny Tim
“Constipation Blues” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Set 4
“Traditional Irish Folk Song” by Denis Leary
“Elmo’s Song: Johnny Paycheck” by George Carlin
“They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” by Napoleon XIV

Set 5
“Surfin’ Bird” by the Trashmen
“Rock Island Line” by the Knitters
“Vidalia” by Andrew Bird’s BonFire
“Red Hot” by Billy Lee Riley

Set 6
“Tony’s Got Hot Nuts” by Faye Richmond
“Animal Crackers” by the California Ramblers
“Hot Chocolate Crazy” by Eden Kane
“Mountain Dew” by Grandpa Jones
“We Love Bananas Because They Ain't Got No Bones” by Hoosier Hot Shots

Set 7
“Makin' Wicky-Wacky Down in Waikiki” by Sophie Tucker
“How to Catch a Man” by Minnie Pearl”
“Jo-Jo the Dog Faced Boy” by Marion Ryan
“Bloodshot Eyes” by Jimmy Justice
“You’re the Reason Our Kids are Ugly” by Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty

Set 8
“Tiny Pants” by the Aquabats
“Big Irons” by Phenomenauts
“Piccolo Pete” by Stan Greening & His Orchestra
“My Favorite Record” by Asylum Street Spankers

“The Bright Side of Life” by Monty Python

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The Blasters; Robert Gordon @ The Bell House

The Blasters; Robert Gordon
@ The Bell House
Brooklyn, NY - March 12, 2011

No one did it better than the Blasters - brothers Phil and Dave Alvin brought back pure, unadulterated, and original 1950's rock n roll in 1980's California. Phil Alvin continues to smile that big demented Bob's Big Boy-esque grin as he leads the Blasters in their latest go-round. Phil's voice is mostly unchanged from the glory days and the band is as crackin' as on those perfect records of old. Kicking off with a power chugging of "Dark Knight" and making their way through "Border Radio", "Marie, Marie", "So Long Baby Goodbye" (a few minutes of some of the greatest stuff ever made), and a batch of other boogie woogie bops before wrapping it up with "American Music", the Blasters prove to still be something of a lost treasure, a slice of Americana only known to a select few. The glorious pity of it all.

Robert Gordon's slick, veteran rockabilly voice was so classical that he almost made it seem too easy. Playing from the great rock n roll songbook, this old silvering fox crooned his way through his set backed by an able band.

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Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 5 - "The Opening Act"

The Sonic Parthenon Show: Episode 5 - "The Opening Act"


“Blood Vision” by Jay Reatard – opened for the Ponys, July 21 2007 at Bowery Ballroom

Set 1
“Throw a Boogie” by Scott H. Biram – opened for Hank Williams III, February 16, 2004 at CBGB
“Big Boat” by M. Ward – opened for the White Stripes, September 25, 2005 at Keyspan Park
“Satisfied Fool” by Nathaniel Mayer – opened for the Black Keys, November 10, 2005 at Warsaw
“Small Town Parade” by Laura Gibson – opened for 1900’s, January 10 2008 at Union Hall

Set 2
“Smoked” by Mark Selby – opened for Kenny Wayne Shepherd, October 24, 2000 at TLA
“Maybe Tomorrow” by Stereophonics – opened for U2, November 2, 2001 at First Union Center
“St. Rosa and the Swallows” by the Thermals – opened for Sleater-Kinney, April 26, 2004 at Irving Plaza
“Your Love is a Fine Thing” by Reigning Sound – opened for the Hives, July 22, 2004 at Irving Plaza
“Them Kids” by Sam Roberts – opened for the Jesus & Mary Chain, May 27, 2007 at Webster Hall

Set 3
“Damn Damn Leash” by Be Your Own Pet – opened for the Dirtbombs, February 17, 2006 at Maxwell’s
“Les Enfants Terribles” by Les Sans Culottes – opened for the Dirtbombs, February 18, 2006 at Southpaw
“Oh My!” by the Danesettes – opened for the Dirtbombs, July 29, 2006 at Maxwell’s
“Button Nose” by the A-Bones – opened for the Dirtbombs, February 17, 2007 at Southpaw

Set 4
“Go-Getter” by Ko & the Knockouts – opened for Holly Golightly, October 20, 2003 at Southpaw
“Mad Dog 20/20” by the Woggles – opened for Holly Golightly, July 15, 2005 at Maxwell’s
“Wicked and Weird” by Buck 65 – opened for Blanche, October 15, 2004 at Housing Works
“The Cactus That Found The Beat” by Missy Higgins – opened for Blanche, June 9, 2005 at Mercury Lounge

Set 5
“Shakin’ Around” by Mr. Airplane Man – opened for Reverend Horton Heat, May 28, 2004 at Bowery Ballroom
“Fall Hard” by Shout Out Louds – opened the CMJ show, October 14, 2004 at Mercury Lounge
“On a String” by the Changes – opened the CMJ show, November 4, 2006 at Rebel
“I’m So Sure” by Black Tie Revue – opened for Bamboo Kids and Mondo Topless, March 26, 2005 at Trash Bar

Set 6
“Reveille” by the Bamboo Kids – opened for the Star Spangles, April 10, 2004 at CBGB
“Not Getting Better” by the Hong Kong – opened for Sahara Hotnights, September 10, 2005 at Mercury Lounge
“The Mountain” by Heartless Bastards – opened for Soledad Brothers, April 8, 2006 at Mercury Lounge
“Buriedfied” by Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – opened for Langhorne Slim, April 30, 2008 at Mercury Lounge

Set 7
“Get Steady” by Jonny Lives! – opened for Mooney Suzuki, January 10, 2006 at Sin-é
“Arkansas” by Damien Jurado – opened for Okkvervil River, September 28, 2007 at Webster Hall
“Take Me Out” by Atomic Tom – opened Deli Magazine party, July 3, 2008 at Galapagos
“Easy Chair” by Suckers – opened a magazine party for Amazing Baby, August 16, 2008 at Union Pool

“Whole Lotta Rosie” by AC/DC – opened for the Dictators, August 24, 1977 at the Palladium (I wasn’t there).

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