Friday, November 20, 2009

It's a grand day. IPod Now displays Spock's Beard album art. Vieve' le Prog!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009


That is all...

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Election Day

It being an odd year, there's nothing too exciting about that... So I'm voting for Arcadia...

That is all

Monday, November 2, 2009

Larry the Lycan joins my Angels SI plaque, my Chuck Finley HoF give away, and my department hat as an upper-desk accessory. Got to love after Halloween sales...

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Friday, October 30, 2009

An eve' most-hallowed

For all those out there who know of me beyond the circuits and lights that make up my online personage, you know I am a fan of the macabre... I enjoy true crime stories, horror flicks, and all manner of lurid media. As a result, Halloween is kind of a special faux holiday round The Dance. Mostly because it's an excuse to be creepy without ending up on any government funded watch lists.

I know, I know, Al Jourgensen would tell me that EVERYDAY is Halloween... Well, at least, 25-years-ago-Al-Jourgensen would have... Now he'd likely scream gibberish at me, do a darkly entertaining version of Dylan's 'Lay Lady Lay', and attempt to rip out by jugular vein with his bare hands.

Anyhoo... My point was that 'tis the season to rock out with your crazy out... Here are a few ways to do just that...

-Enjoy reading of murders most foul, and in some cases, bizarre over at the Crime Library. There's even a story about the Vampire of Sacramento... Yup, Sacramento had a vampire... Bet you didn't know...

- Arbogast is offering up brilliant send ups of classic horror flick screams, and mixing in some hauntingly good tunes over at his blog. But beware, my entries will look like they were banged out by a 4 year old chimp once you've read the elegant stylings of a true professional...

- Find yourself a party! I shall be attending a few, and *may* even post photos...

- Oh, and before I forget, wish a happy birthday to a woman who should be revered as an inspiration for rockin' lasses the world over, but now prefers a solitary existence in Montana... Grace Slick turns a mind-numbing 70 years old today. Reminding us all that time waits for no one. Even the plastic and fantastic...

If any of you ladies out there have yet to pin down a costume plan, you could do worse than the fabulous Ms. Slick... Just shoot for 1960's Cher and take off the headdress...

Here are the high flyin' San Franciscan's of Jefferson Airplane in their heyday on the Smothers Brother's comedy hour...

Have a delightfully chilling holiday with somebody YOU love...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ohio: How'd you get so cool?

If you were to envision a chunk of land nestled between Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia, you'd likely think of a very mid-western rooted, down-home wisdom, hard working blue collar kind of place. I'm sure Ohio IS in fact all those things, but it's also progressive in culture, music, and politics. It's home to some very large cities, is the disputed birthplace of the very 'American' past times of both baseball and football, and houses the Rock n' Roll hall of fame.

It was also the setting for the Spielberg classic Howard The Duck.

Seriously, Ohio, how did you get to be so damn cool?

Hold up a minute. I gotta say, I like the movie a whole lot more than most people do, but that duck is just WIERD lookin'. I blame the Cal Ripken Jr. eyes...

If we've learned anything from this process about the inherent coolness of a particular region of our fine nation, we have learned that people tend to help make things cool, and Ohio is no exception.

Despite being on the below-average side in total land area (34th out of the 50 states) Ohio cracks the top 10 in terms of population, coming in 7th over all. The mere law of averages dictates that when you've got that many people, there's a pretty darn good chance a bunch of them are going to be cool. Despite the high population currently within Ohio, the state is currently suffering from negative population migration, which while in general isn't good for the overall health of a state, it does make it far easier to get in to the Olive Garden.

That's called the power of positive thinking, Buckeyes!

Ohio owes much of it's present day status as the hub of the American experience to it's positioning in relation to the rest of the nation, and continent. The state's location makes it a weigh station between the eastern seaboard and the great plains of the midwest, falling within 1 days drive of 50% of the population of the entire continent of North America. So chin up other staters, none of us are every really that far from Cleveland!

It also stands to reason that great centers of thought and reason in this country would feature a high number of nationally known universities. Ohio scores a bolded check mark in this arena as well. As a matter of fact, the state's capital and largest city is really nothing more than a college town.

Columbus, Ohio is home to THE Ohio State University, Franklin University, Capital University, and Ohio Dominican University. Suffice it to say there are easier places to find a low key bar on a Friday night. However, if you're in the market for a beer-bong, you've likely found your shopping destination.

Cincinatti, Ohio gives us... The Begals... Ooh.. and WKRP!

Another thing one could garner from one's greater blog perusing experience is that I tend to give great credit to states that feature musicians or musical acts that I have a personal fondness toward. Again, Ohio is no exception. I'm currently in the beginning stages of researching the history of this great state, and I've already got my selections all wrapped up. Only time, and the next few paragraphs will tell if I mind is changed by my further research...

See, I've just gone and set myself up for failure here. Because while there may be a few moments of suspense in it for me, you don't HAVE to wait to see if my selections match my initial impressions. As a matter of fact, you're not even going to KNOW if I changed my mind until you've read where I ultimately ended up. This whole false sense of drama is nothing more than a sham... A ruse... A cunning moment of delay designed less to increase one's anticipation, and more just to further infuriate all of those who've taken the time to stop by and listen to my inane blather.

Why do I do this to myself? There's pretty much nothing I can do at this point to make these particular selections creative enough to fulfill the false starts I've force you to endure.

So here they are, suck on it.


This dude wants you to WAIT...

Before I go and do that, a nod to the absolute brilliance that Ohio has to offer. Artists that did NOT make the final cut. Please know that if any of you had bothered to be from North Dakota, or Montana, or West Virginia, you'd have yourselves a spot on the blogroll...

- Tracy Chapman
- Bootsy Collins
- The Breeders (Kim and Kelley Deal)
- Macy Gray
- Dave Grohl
- Screamin' Jay Hawkins
- Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle)
- Marilyn Manson (The guy, the BAND is from Florida)
- Dean Martin (ALMOST cracked the list)
- The O'Jays
- Johnny Paycheck (I love me some 'Take that Job and Shove It')
- The Raspberries
- Roy Rogers
- Boz Skaggs
- Joe Walsh
- Scott Weiland

Log ye protests as ye may...

Solo Artist: Trent Reznor
No one is indifferent when it comes to Nine Inch Nails. You either embrace the shrieking evil, or you label Trent et. all a bunch of tools and move on. I'm firmly in the former camp. True, there were some questionable moments in there (The Fragile) but all in all Reznor, along with a rapidly revolving backup cast, managed to release a pretty complete body of work. Besides, everybody gets one self indulgent art-album... Sometimes MORE than one... I'm looking at YOU, REM...

As I've established, there's not too many folks out there who're still on the fence about Reznor. I do however feels it's my duty as a fan and a self-important aficionado of whatever I choose to try and change a few minds, or cement a few opinions into the 'this guy is pretty cool' camp. Here's a list of pseudo-accomplishments with which one could give at least partial credit to Reznor, and his body of work.

- There's this genre called 'Industrial', yeah, that wouldn't have really happened without Nine Inch Nails. It would still be called 'Krautrock.'

- You know that Marilyn Manson dude? Trent says 'you're welcome'... or 'sorry'... depending on how that makes you feel...

- Eventually, you're going to run out of Peter Murphy, or Jesus & Mary Chain to listen to. Trent's there for you. No need to throw out your all black wardrobe.

- Dude invented his own revolving keyboard stand using a work bench and a lazy-susan. You don't have to like the guy's music, but it's not like K Fed can say that...

- He gave away an album for free. Everybody likes free stuff!

-He's an American, and David Bowie is afraid of him.

-My iPod just randomly started playing the above linked song out of a playlist of over 14,000 tunes... Creepy effing iPod... I don't think Reznor can be credited with this one though...

Reznor isn't all amount the screaming and hurting and chasing down Brit tourists... He's still got a soft side...

Group: The Pretenders
In all fairness, I should have made 'Nine Inch Nails' my group, and lead Pretender Chrissie Hynde my solo artist. After all, Reznor was 'technically' born in Pennsylvania, and The Pretenders 'technically' became a 'band' in Britain, but Chrissie, the only full-time Pretender, is a Buckeye, born and raised.

So you're probably wondering, instead of chastising myself for a poor placement of artists, why don't I just switch them? After all, it's MY blog, I don't have to ask permission or anything, and I've even mastered the 'cut' and extra-tricky 'paste' functionality of this computer... So what gives?

I'll tell you what gives... I don't really care where The Pretenders 'technically' became a band. If you listen through their catalog, you have to admit they rank amongst the top 'American' style bands of the 70's. Chrissie SINGS about America. They play like American contemporaries like The Cars, only with a slight Brit swagger.

You know what, America used to have a slight Brit swagger too... round about 1776...

Honestly, had I started this blog series with Ohio, I'd have a heck of a hard time figuring out what states I'd have left to do. I also likely would not have chosen The Pretenders. For some reason, for the longest time, they were always a band I 'liked', but never enough to actually own any albums, or actively chose to listen to them. I wouldn't turn the station when I heard them on the radio, but it was about a year ago that I finally broke down and bought the Pirate Radio box set. In my defense, there WAS no complete box set of The Pretenders prior to 2006, so it's not like I was THAT far behind the curve...

Anyhow, what I found really surprised me. I didn't just 'kinda like' The Pretenders, I really REALLY liked them. Like, I might want to ask them to go steady like them. Like, if I had a letterman jacket, I'd totally give it to them like them. Like, my heart would be broken if I saw The Pretenders kissing some other dude under the football bleachers like them...

OK, you get the point. Watch the video for Brass In Pocket and let me collect my thoughts.

Honorable Mention: Mark Mothersbaugh

Is he not man? He is Devo. But beyond that, and really isn't THAT enough? He is also the man behind the musical scores for all of Wes Anderson's movies, he used to be in a band with the above mentioned Chrissie Hynde, he scores countless cartoons and video games, and if you believe his Wiki page, is quite accomplished at Cricket and pickleball.

More interesting for those of us who are ocularly challenged, without the use of his well known specs, Mothersbaugh is legally blind. Nerds unite!!

Life is better with a little Whip It. Trust me.

For those curious, my initial Honorable Mention was going to be the sisters Deal, who brought us The Breeders, but I already gave Kim some love by selecting The Pixies for Massachusetts, and Kelley, well, sorry, but you've never worn a flower pot on your head...

Next on the old alphabetical end result of Manifest Destiny, Oklahoma! I hear they have wind that goes whistling through the plain...

Monday, October 26, 2009

North Dakota: Land of... well... Land I guess...

So we're going to do this one in the opposite order, because no one worth writing about musically is from North Dakota.

We'll start with the artists, give them pictures, and links to their Wikipedia pages, but I'm not going to try and convince anybody that I actually care about any of these folks, or that I consider them 'Artists'. Admittedly, I've actually found new artists I would not have previously listened to were it not for this set of posts, but as far as North Dakota is concerned however, I don't see that happening.

I'm also going to use the term 'band' loosely... And by loosely, I mean, I'm just going to name a person instead. If you have an issue with that decision, please feel free to send me some sort of fee so I can in turn send it back with my sincere apologies...

Solo: Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee sang a lot of standards, and even wrote a few songs. Most noteworthy, she penned the tunes from the Disney animated feature Lady and the Tramp, and provided vocals for four of the characters.

I believe that means there are more animated Disney characters voiced by North Dakotans then there are ACTUAL North Dakotans.

As Rock n' Roll began to dominate the airwaves in the 50's and 60's, Peggy Lee began to cover songs by the hit artists of the day like The Beatles, Randy Newman, Carole King, and James Taylor. If you've ever contemplated bulimia, but can't get past the whole 'finger down the throat' part, this may be a good place to start...

Honestly, I have no more to say about Ms. Lee. I simply wanted to fill enough space to make the artist pictures work well on the blog...

Band: Lawrence Welk
Polka your eyes out, folks! At least now you know which of the states in our great nation is to blame for the cultural experiment that is Lawrence Welk.

Most people who are in any way familiar with Welk, and specifically his odd speaking style, would likely be surprised to learn he was born in the United States.

The reason for his very eastern European sounding speech is that he was born to a family who spoke German, and first learned English in grade school from teachers with Russian accents. Apparently when you cross Russian-accented-English with a native German speaker, you get Lawrence Welk.

Welk was also married for 61 years. Good on you Mr. Welk! More impressively, great job Mrs. Welk... I can't fathom 61 years of accordion...

(Dis)Honorable Mention: Bobby Vee

I have nothing against Bobby Vee, but seriously, there's nothing honorable about his mention. He's mentioned because he's from North Dakota.

He had a #1 hit with 'Take Good Care of My Baby', and his career began in a morbid fashion, filling in for Buddy Holly at a concert in Moorhead, Minnesota the day after Holly died with The Big Bopper and Richie Valens in a plane crash.

Interesting? Most certainly. Influential, not so much.

Bobby still tours internationally, just going to show that one hit and a string of filler tunes can set you up with a career for life if you play your cards right. Add to that a life that began in North Dakota, and you'll even get a snark-filled write up in some random dude's blog. Way to go, Mr. Vee!

OK, now that we've dispensed with those useless pleasantries, I give you the great state of North Dakota, all 6th grade Social Studies style...

North Dakota is to the north of South Dakota and it's really, really, really, really, really, empty.

Is that 100 words yet?

Oh, wait... I'm writing this LIKE a 6th grade social studies report, not FOR a 6th grade social studies report... Let's try this again...

North Dakota is a land of bemusement and frigidity, where hopes and dreams hibernate under a perpetual blanket of snow. I'm sure there are two or three days a year where the temperature creeps above the freezing point, and round about mid-August, there's probably some light snow thaw. I'm guessing that's when the bugs arrive, and terrorize the scant community for two to three weeks before the winds start to blow in from the north, causing said bugs to freeze in mid air, and drop to the ground with no regard for the 7 or 8 state residents who may be standing under them.

Seriously. Why do people still live in North Dakota? DO people still live in North Dakota? Isn't that just the place where the 40 people in Montana dump their trash?

Man, from the vitriol, you'd think North Dakota killed my whole family, leaving me to fend for myself in a harsh world that doesn't like my circus acrobat kind... You'd be under the impression North Dakota led me to engaging in a fist fight in Acapulco with a famous cliff diver. You'd think North Dakota bore in me such great feelings of guilt that *I* in turn would have to cliff dive in place of the person I beat up...

Yes, from my great words of disdain, you'd think North Dakota was the villain in Elvis Presley's Fun in Acapulco...

Alas, North Dakota isn't that interesting. It's just a big hunk of land. A big hunk of land that could very easily be merged with South Dakota to make one big useless state of Dakota... Wait now, before you go all 'But then we'd have to change the flag!!' on me, we could totally split California instead. That sure would have made THAT post an easier one...

Wikipedia tells me that North Dakota is the 19th largest state by land mass, and the 3rd least populous. As a matter of fact, North Dakota has less people than Orange County, California.

The city of Los Angeles has more residents than North Dakota.

NINETEEN cities in this country have more residents than North Dakota...


Jacksonville, Florida...

Columbus Frickin' Ohio...

Memphis, Tennessee's mayor AC Wharton, influences more lives than does John Hoeven, governor of North Dakota, but the dude has a hell of a soup strainer...

Speaking of Memphis mayor AC Wharton, he just assumed the office TODAY (October 26th, 2009) after winning a special election on 10/15. Congrat's mayor Wharton, you are now more politically powerful than John Hoeven.

Sorry, Governor Hoeven, I just tell it like it is...

North Dakota has got to be a great place to get yourself some reasonably priced real estate. The state's population has been declining consistently since 1990, and even more surprising, has actually declined from it's highest point, which occurred in 1930...

Seriously. There are less people in North Dakota NOW then there was in NINETEEN-THIRTY.

In comparison, the population of the US has increased by 228% since 1930. The population of North Dakota has decreased by 6%.

North Dakota's largest city, Fargo, best known for having a Coen brothers film named after it, sports the motto 'Gateway to the West'.

Missouri's St. Louis, some 800 miles south along I29, disagrees. They've even got a big arch that says so.

May I suggest that Fargo change it's motto to 'The Gateway to 1,00 Miles of Nothing'.

Perhaps that's why I don't have a PR job...

You know, I think that'll just about do it. If you'd like to know more about the state of North Dakota, I encourage you to do so. Give it another 15 or 20 minutes of solid research, and you could even be the world's foremost scholar on North Dakota's history. Wouldn't THAT be something...

Next up, we'll visit the home of the GIGANTIC city of Columbus. Watch out for Ohio...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

North Carolina: Home of American Idols...

...but none are making THIS list...

I'll make mention of it, but only as an oddity. North Carolina is home to four American Idol finalists. That seems like an awful lot for one state. So much so in fact, I think the state of North Carolina MAY have found a way to rig American Idol voting. Just sayin'...

OK, now, on to many more interesting NC facts, and far less reality TV...

All hail scripted television!

First off, I'm returning to the old format, mostly because North Carolina is no New York, and while there is a lively history of jazz and a smattering of indie rock cred in the north half of Carolina Province, it doesn't have the level of talent New York does... Besides, I'm feeling punchy, so on with the Wiki-facts!!

- North Carolina is geographically located just to the north of South Carolina, and just to the east of No Kidding, Jackass.

- North Carolina was the site of the first successful, controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air flights. So those 'First In Flight' license plates aren't full of crap after all. But I'll have you know I STILL cant ski, Utah...

- North Carolina has a wide range of terrain, and climates. There are coastal beaches, mountainous passes, highland plains, and all sorts of weather conditions, so if you were wondering what to pack on your next visit to North Carolina, pack everything.

- North Carolina is also known for losing colonists. To this day, North Carolinians tend to get lost easily. So much so in fact that native son Andy Griffith once got lost in his own bathroom and was not heard from for three weeks. This tragic incident led to the premature cancellation of TV's Matlock.

- There was nothing premature about the cancellation of TV's Matlock. Leave 'em wanting more, that's what I always say...

- For the record, I don't want any more Matlock, I tend to think life as we know if would be far better with LESS Matlock gracing the subconscious minds of the elderly.

- From the dead-horse-beating I've given this gag, I obviously NEVER 'leave 'em wanting more'.

- The decade-over-decade growth of North Carolina makes it the fastest growing state east of the Mississippi River. At the current rate of growth, the population of North Carolina in the year 2050 will be 235 billion people... Really...

- I just made that up, but still, it's growing, like, fast...

- The lightly populated areas of North Carolina are crawling with Ninjas.

- I didn't make that up... It's totally true. Ninjas. EVERYWHERE.

- In the late 80's, a rag-tag bunch of North Carolinians, led by Ava Gardner and Ben Vereen went ninja hunting in the back woods of the blue ridge mountains. Of the 200 volunteers who entered the ninja laden forest, only a dozen lived to tell the tale.

- The events of the bloody three week standoff are recounted in the upcoming Ben Vereen film, Tapioca.

- Ava Gardner suffered wounds from a ninja attack that eventually led to her death in 1990. Medical reports claim her death was due to complications from multiple strokes, but in actuality, it was the thousand hand slap of a hidden ninja assassin that resulted in her ultimate demise.

- Those who survived the bloody melee unscathed are said to have a super-human survival instinct. Hence the continued livelihood of Soupy Sales.

Ok, this is getting out of hand. Let's just get on with the music, shall we?

Solo Artist: Thelonious Monk

I'm not one of those 'jazz fans.' I prefer rock, punk, prog, industrial, and folk to jazz, but I do make rare exceptions to delve into the birth-genre of all modern music. One of the most notable of those exceptions is the piano master Thelonious Monk.

Not being one of those 'jazz fans', I can't give you a technical schooling on why Monk is at the top of my jazz heap, I can't even tell you what tempo or meter he tends to live in. I can however tell you that listening to Thelonious Monk is like the first drag on a cigarette, the first sip of a whiskey on the rocks, and the first glimpse of a sultry dame all in one. His tunes sound like a dark jazz club on a Chicago city street, lit by a few bare bulbs and table top candles, muted by a perpetual fog of Marlboro's and dulled by the acute din of just-one-too-many.

It's not safe to listen to Monk in the car... You could get pulled over...

Not being one of those 'mood music' fans, I'm still at a loss that my only real love of Monk comes from the state of mind it puts me in, but I think that might be another reason for the appeal. I really CAN'T explain why I dig these tunes, but I do anyway. There's something transcendent about that. As if in a former life I WAS one of those 'jazz fans.'

Oh the horror...

Band: Ben Folds Five

I am certainly one of those 'indie rock fans'. True, I don't own any Birkenstocks or wear a beret, but I do own and routinely listen to every REM album, and I tend to immediately fall for 'unsigned' bands, even if they down right stink. I make no apologies, and recognize that I'm predispositioned to enjoy the music of Ben Folds.

I can be an automaton. I don't mind. As long as I'm my OWN automaton... Wait... Does that work? Maybe I should get a tribal arm band tattoo and start working from the Starbucks just to prove I'm an 'original'...

That being said, I'd like to think that had Ben Folds won season 1 of American Idol, which he would have had a great shot being from North Carolina and all, I would still enjoy his music. I'd likely be embarrassed by that, and roll up my windows every time my iPod started playing Army, but luckily that's a paradox I don't need to ponder. I can love my Ben Folds, AND continue to keep my finger on the pulse of underground-indie-rock-of-fifteen-years-ago.

Is there still a pulse?

Well, Ben still has one, and has recently released an album. I suggest you go buy it... But not TOO many of you, because then he'll be popular, and I'll have to hide my love away...

Here's a tune from Ben's latest, featuring the equally enjoyable Regina Spektor... If only Russia was a state...

Honorable Mention: John Coltrane

Don't let the consistent selection of jazz greats fool you. I'm REALLY not one of those 'jazz fans'. As a matter of fact, Coltrane is really more of a nod-to-the-legend pick, hence why he is the honorable mention and Thelonious is the solo artist. That's not to say that Coltrane doesn't put me in that same knock-back-a-drink-and-have-a-smoke mood that Monk does, but Coltrane also leaves me kind of paranoid and itchy. It's kind of like reading William S. Burroughs. If you're doing it right, you end up feeling strung out and hunted, and if you're doing it wrong, then there's really no point.

Unlike Burroughs, Coltrane fought his addictions, and even reputedly overcame his reliance on alcohol and heroin after a 1957 spiritual awakening that changed not only "Trane's" views on faith, but also radically changed his musical style.

Also unlike Burroughs, the years and years of hard living at an early age caught up with the saxophone virtuoso, taking him from us at the tender age of 40 years old. The official cause of death being liver cancer, though likely exacerbated by his alcohol and heroin use during the 40's and 50's.

Despite leaving us at an earlier than anticipated age, Coltrane was nothing if not prolific in his musical accomplishments, releasing over 50 recordings as a band leader, and sitting in on a number of other jazz works, especially those by Miles Davis and the above mentioned Thelonious Monk. All in just 21 years between 1946 and his death in 1967.

Trane's A Love Supreme is considered one of the masterworks of jazz, and a jumping off point for the prog and avant-garde rock genres. If that isn't reason enough for you to celebrate this man as one of the greats of North Carolina, then it's high time I called the ninjas...

Next up the hustle and bustle media Mecca of North Dakota... Woo Hoo...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New York: 'Bout Damn Time

So it's been months, like, lots of them, since I completed a best-of-state post, and I'd kind of figured it was never going to happen, then I flipped my rock-quote-o-the-day calendar, and discovered the birthday of my planned solo-artist from the great state of New York, so what better birthday gift than to finally get off my lazy ass and complete another post?

Bee Tee Dub, that's a trick question... There IS no better gift than a fresh steaming pile of blog from yours truly...

So if you've been reading the blasts from the past, you know how this jazz works. I write some junk about the state, make up some junk and pass it off as inane fact, I chuckle to myself, everyone else gets bored, and I move on to posting about the musicians.

The thing is, I started that whole deal because Alaska is boring as hell, and Alabama isn't a whole lot better. New York on the other hand is about as un-boring as it gets. You've got the nation's largest city, fiercely loyal residents, a progressive culture, giant deli sandwiches, some really big water falls, a border with Canada, and the whole joint was originally settled by the Dutch, which officially makes it awesome.

It's also got just about every American musician who wasn't born in California, so there's plenty to talk about musically. That, and I think the reason these posts stopped was because I got tired of my own long-winded approach to blogging.

That's right, I typed MYSELF to boredom... I can only assume how the rest of you were feeling...

So without further ado, let's move on to the selections...

Solo Artist: Paul Simon

He's so much more than a solo artist, but so much more than an honorable mention. I've spent many an hour in tormented contemplation. Should I chose Billy Joel, or Neil Diamond? Sammy Davis Jr., or Cyndi Lauper? Harry Belafonte, or Fats Waller? Then October 13th happened, and Paul Simon had a birthday.

So happy birthday, Paul. There's no right answer here, and you're a hell of a long way from the wrong one.

So before you start hitting the comment button, Paul Simon WAS born in New Jersey, but he was less than 3 months old when his family moved to Queens. In my book, that makes him a New Yorker... Of course, had he been born in Wisconsin, we wouldn't be having this debate..

In 1957, Paul and his mop-headed friend Art Garfunkel graduated from playing high school dances and local dive bars to have a record released on the regional label Big Records under the pseudonyms Tom & Jerry. The single was called 'Hey, Schoolgirl' and was followed by a handful of other 'Tom & Jerry' recordings, amid a smattering of other pen-named local faves with Simon using the monikers 'Jerry Landis', 'Paul Kane', and 'True Taylor'. A few of these tunes even cracked the Billboard hot 100, but 1964 was the year the magic happened.

It was early in '64 that Columbia Records signed Simon and his soon-to-be musical shadow, Art Garfunkel to a contract under their true names. A fact that Paul Simon credits as the first time artists true ethnic names were used for a major label release. That album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, was much more folk-driven and spiritual than any or the duo's later works. With a new arrangement of the traditionals 'Benedictus', and 'Go Tell It on the Mountain', a modern-hymnal in 'You Can Tell the World', and a peace anthem 'Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream'. It also only contained 5 original Simon songs, perhaps leading to it's bleak early sales, that only picked up after the release of their 2nd album, which more heavily featured original works.

That album, 1966's Sounds of Silence is a masterpiece. Ten of the eleven tunes on the original release are Simon originals, and highlight not only the inspired lyrical content of his entire career, but also lended itself perfectly to the patented Simon & Garfunkel harmony that has become synonymous with their combined works, and in some ways, with 60's folk music itself. The plugged-in version of the title track which originally appeared in acoustic on their first release, to the final refrains of 'I Am a Rock', single handedly made me a fan of the 60's folk genre. I have never really gotten in to The Mamas and the Papas, or Peter, Paul & Mary, and at the time, hadn't been exposed to much Bob Dylan. My folk education began with Simon and Garfunkel, and I appreciate the lessons...

Unfortunately, there was trouble in the duo paradise, and it wouldn't be long until Paul got tired of Art's crap, or vice-versa, and they split up. This was really, REALLY bad news for Art, who went on the clean windows, or mop floors, or something, but it wasn't such a bad deal for Paul, who moved on to a lucrative solo career.

I can keep going with the recap, but you can get all that info from Wikipedia. I'd rather explain why *I* chose Paul Simon, especially because if you were to peruse my music collection, you would find I own more Billy Joel.

The answer is simple, Billy was born in May, and in May I wasn't ready to release the New York post...

Moving on...

Band: The Ramones

Those who don't listen to punk tend to regard it as a sub genre of rock. A relatively obscure sub genre at that. A musical movement that lasted roughly as long as Grunge or Surf-Rock, but that is absolutely not true.

Punk is a genre unto itself, a genre that inspired the sub genres of heavy metal, new wave, goth, emo, proto-punk, and changed the face of rock itself. As a matter of fact, I think I'll dedicate a different post to the Punk Family Tree. A tree rooted in Iggy & The Stooges and the MC5, a tree who's biggest branches are supported by The Sex Pistols, Television, and The Clash, but the trunk from which these branches grow is The Ramones.

While the Pistols were putting angst and screaming before instruments and melodies, Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee Ramone were putting their own spin on the surf melodies they grew up on. That's the biggest difference between the gutter-punk sound of the London punk invasion, and the dance-punk sound coming out of New York. The Sex Pistols wanted to be famous, and figured guitars would help them get there. The Ramones wanted to play guitar, and figured being famous would let them do that.

The story of The Ramones is as much about their influence as it is their music. The Ramones have been credited with influencing The Clash, Black Flag, Social Distortion, The Descendents, Bad Religion, Bad Brains, Metallica, Foo Fighters, Lemon Heads, L7, Mojo Nixon, Green Day, and pretty much every other rock act that started playing after 1976. They were so much more than just Gabba Gabba Hey...

Honorable Mention: Lou Reed

When establishing the category of Honorable Mention, two names immediately came to mind. Brian Eno, and Lou Reed. Eno is a Brit, and therefore ineligible for a 50 state post, but Reed was born in Brooklyn, and has embodied the Rock n' Roll spirit, and New York 'Artiste' vibe since learning to play guitar by ear from listening to the radio as a kid.

Before mixing with John Cale, Sterling Morrison, and Maureen Tucker to form The Velvet Underground, or the foursome's fateful meeting with Andy Warhol that launched them into the New York club scene, Lou Reed was a session writer for Pickwick Records, churning out dance hits like 'The Ostrich' by implementing the chords and hooks he found in modern doo wop and jazz records. Thankfully for the world by and large, this was just a way to make a paycheck, and Lou soon found fellow artists who wanted to push the boundaries of rock art, helping him reach his ultimate goal, to "bring the sensitivities of the novel to rock music."

Personally, I first started listening to Lou Reed solo at about 16 years old, and didn't get into The Velvet Underground until about 10 years later. After a handful of casual listens, I couldn't understand what the fuss was about. There was nothing ground breaking about tracks like Walk on the Wild Side, Who Loves the Sun, or even a classic avant-garde tour de force like Heroin. It wasn't until I really took the time to think about the musical timeline of rock and roll that I understood the importance of this man and his music.

Basically, every rock album recorded in or after 1969 is just a compilation of the styles used on The Beatles' Sargent Pepper, and The Velvet Underground's Velvet Underground & Nico albums. The reason the music doesn't seem 'Revolutionary' now, is that the revolution is over, and Lou Reed was rock music's George Washington, commanding rock music's Continental Army against the tyranny of corporate record labels, churning out mindless dance numbers like those he used to pen.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there wasn't good music before Lou Reed, but thanks to Lou Reed, we now have a better scale with which to grade.

So that's it. New York in a nutshell. Feel free to post your own opinions in the comments and let me know why I made a drastic mistake by not selecting {fill in the blank}.

Now that I've finished the unenvyable task of reducing New York to just three selections, I'm hoping to knock out the rest of the nation with great haste. Next on the list, North Carolina... Stick around...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

From the inner sleeve of the Blood Sweat & Tears self titled 1969 debut.

If only this were as true today as it was in 1969. Although the bullet point telling folks to 'Just stack them up on your automatic changer and relax' makes me cringe. I can only assume it was someones automatic changer that was responsible for the skip in my new Tom Jones album...

By the way, this latest soiree with my vinyl mistress was made possible by the fine folks at TKO Records.

Just as Night Ranger reminds us You Can Still Rock in America, TKO reminds us you can still purchase vinyl in the OC. Specifically at 18948 Brookhurst St. Fountain Valley, CA. 92708 or Online at

Please pay them a visit so they stay in business and continue to feed my addiction.

The Haul:

Make Way for Dionne Warwick

Howard Jones- Dream Into Action

Howard Jones- Action Ready

Television- Adventure

Blood Sweat & Tears- self titled

Aztec Camera- Knife

Tom Jones- It's Not Unusual

Simple Minds- New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)

The Kingston Trio- Sunny Side

Elton John- Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player

Elton John- A Single Man

Randy Newman- The Natural (soundtrack)

Pet Shop Boys- Left to My Own Devices (12" Single)

Nick Lowe and his Cowboy Outfit- All New Material

Wayne Newton- Live Hollywood Concert

America- Greatest Hits

Eagles- Desperado

Big Country- The Crossing

Gordon Lightfoot- Summer Side of Life

Peter, Paul & Mary- In Concert

The Turtles- Golden Hits

While I don't want to be one of 'those' people, who apologizes for their absence after every post, I do feel a slight explanation is in order. Work is taking up an exorbitant amount of time right now, and I'm currently taking a week off to recoup. Henceforth, the postingness...

That, and I totally wanted to plug TKO so you'll go spend all your money there... And by 'You', I mean the 2 people who might occasionally still check this blog for updates...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The machines. They live!

Ipod is being creepy

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

An Irish Holiday? It SHOULD Be...

Whilst the most of us are celebrating all things motherly, we should all take a moment to raise a pint of Guiness, eat a potato, or express our righteous indegnation. Why you ask?

Because today a gentleman named Paul David Hewson turns fourty nine years old.

That's right, enigmatic U2 front man Bono is now just 364 days from being a fifty year old man. Just another reminder to all of us to gather ye rosebuds while ye... still have the ability to bend over comfortably.

For your celebrating pleasure, pick your favorite version of the One video:




Friday, April 24, 2009

That's all from Chicago.

So that will do it. 8 albums And half a continent. Thank goodness for business trips.

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Thelonious Monk: The Riverside Trios

This one isn't going to thrill the wife, but Monk, like Joe Jackson, is an artist I always find myself looking for when ever I go in to a record shop. Typically, I find some. Sorry honey...

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The Pixies: Doolittle

The album that inspired Kurt Cobain to pursue a career in music sounds like a great addition to a vinyl collection. Especially in a clean and new repressed version. Like dying and following a monkey to heaven...

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Joe Jackson: Night and Day

I am starting a tradition of sorts. Last time I was in New York, I bought a vinly copy of Joe Jackson's Look Sharp. I guess this means if I go looking for vynil in a big city, I best find Mr. Jackson whist there.

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Tom Verlaine: Flash Light

I went in looking for some 13th Floor Elevators. They had a section card, but alas no albums behind it. However, the next section was Television, and there in was this little sold solo work by leading man Tom Verlaine. A perfect example of the kind of thing I like to buy on vynil. Rare, but not over priced

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The Psychedelic Furs: Forever Now

I don't know much from this one, but it includes President Gas which is in the Furs top 5, and it was four bucks. In MY math, that equals SOLD.

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Fleet Foxes: self Titled w/ Sun Giant EP

I've blogged about them in a 'New Artists Whom I Enjoy' entry, and now had the pleasure of purchasing them on vinyl, complete with a digital download code, saving me the required time to rip it to MP3. Thanks for looking out for me, Foxes...

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Lou Reed: Berlin

I feel like I've neglected my music collection by not owning this album. The best way I could think of to make up for this injustice was to purchase it on brand new reissued Legacy Vinyl.

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Killing Joke: Revelations

Not too much to say about this one. An Irish guy I used to chat with back in the days of Napster used to send me their album tracks. It was cheap so I figured I'd give it a listen.

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The folowing were purchased from Dave's Records in Chicago

I will send pics of each individually with a short blurb that will fit in my text message thousand character limit. Oh, I know it's been a while since I posted, but I'm posting now so quit yer whinin'... :p

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's!

I'm on a business trip a few hundred miles from home, but thought I'd stop in and wish a Happy St. Patrick's Day to all the fine folks who stop by and take in the blog from time to time.

This time last year I was in New York, drinking too much Guinness and being overwhelmed by the ridiculous number of people who take to the streets for the parade. It's such a minor holiday in Southern California, so it was quite the shock to see how the 'other' coast lives...

Admittedly, I don't have a whole lot to say, but since I'm a good portion Irish, and tend to celebrate the music of the Emerald Isle, felt I shouldn't let the day pass without comment...

Here's a click from the rock doc 'Out of Ireland'

Oh, I'd also like a bit of commiseration... Here is how my hotel chose to commemorate this fine holiday...

That is all... Return to your lives...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Birthdays to a Rock Icon and an Overly-Famous Whiner

First and foremost, just to get it out of the way, James Taylor is sixty one today. If you’re not familiar with my opinion of James Taylor than you haven’t been paying attention… Suffice it to say he’s the SECOND person described in the title of this post.

That being said, Happy Birthday none the less. I appreciate Mr. Taylor’s musical accomplishments if for no reason other than it helps me better gauge good music when there is bad music to compare it to.

I surfed through Taylor’s ‘greatest hits’ to come up with something worth posting here, but what I actually came away with was surprise that a man synonymous with 1970’s singer/songwriters has multiple tracks on ‘HIS’ ‘greatest hits’ collection written by OTHER PEOPLE! Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware that artists share each other’s songs, record covers and standards to sell tunes, and generally do not write all or in some cases any of their own material. I was however under the impression that the man who defines singer/songwriter sensitivity would at least have only originals on a greatest hits recording…

BTW, Taylor’s biggest hit, You’ve Got a Friend? Written by Carole King

Sorry Sweet Baby James, I’ll give you the birthday shout out, but I can’t bring myself to post a song…

Secondly, and much, much more important, today is the sixty seventh birthday of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship co-founder Paul Kantner. Kantner, only responsible for recordings under the ‘Jefferson’ moniker, wrote and performed some of the best examples of the psychedelic rock era, rocked Journey-esque epic studio rock tunes through the 1970’s and played a show in Fountain Valley’s Mile Square Park in 1991 that was likely a shade of the former greatness of Airplane, but I got to see it live, so it was by far the best show ever… At least the best one performed for free in an Orange County public park…

Kantner’s involvement and over arching history of Jefferson Whatchamacalit now spans fourty four years, seven or eight separate band break offs, roughly thirty different members and something like three hundred and fifty thousand different albums… OK, that MAY be an exaggeration, but it’s a lot of music, by a lot of people, and out of all of it there’s about two dozen really REALLY good tunes.

No, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now isn’t one of them… It was also by STARSHIP, not JEFFERSON Starship. Happy Birthday, Paul, and congrats that you can go through life reminding people that you were NOT responsible for the theme song from Mannequin...

Rock out with your 'stache out!

... and with Jefferson AIRPLANE

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Installment: The Dance's Next Big Things

So admittedly I’ve been all U2’d out since the release of No Line on the Horizon earlier in the month, especially after I finally bought it and gave it a listen. It’s not only good, but it inspired a wave of U2 nostalgia that has dominated much of my listening for the last week or so.

That’s not to say I’ve ditched my quest to bring to light the newest of the new from both satellite radio and podcasts… It just means I’m spending even MORE time listening to tunes… Roughly all the time I’m not spending sleeping, or watching the Netherlands smoke Dominican ass in the WBC…

Anyhow, here are the nuggets of joy I’ve unearthed for you on this post. All are 100% guaranteed to make you enjoy life just a little bit more. If they do not, I’ll be happy to refund every cent of your entrance fee… Again, these are in no discernable order, so put away your betting cash…

This Atlanta four piece defines lack of pretention, playing local clubs from Helsinki, Finland to Auburn, Alabama for nothing more than the love of the craft, sporting a brand of indie garage rock reticent of the early days of fellow Georgians REM. The band’s earlier sound was harder edged, a characteristic that was mainly due to the death of their original bass player, Justin Bosworth who passed due to head trauma from a skateboarding accident in 2004. However, the more recent recordings found on the albums Microcastle and Weird Era Cont. display a slightly more grown up and polished sound without denying the indie roots.

The band also hosts their own blog site which features tunes and videos. Well worth the net surf…

Crystal Castles
Referring to their sound as ‘thrash’ this Canadian duo can better be described as what your Atari would listen to if it still worked… had ears… and LOVED to dance… Once again proving that Canada is the place to be. The bands self-titled debut Crystal Castles was released to a fury of positive indie reviews roughly a year ago, and the song I can’t seem to get out of my head is Crimewave, linked below.

Still not convinced? How about the fact that their song Magic Spells samples quotes for the iconic 80’s miniseries V? When did Canada get so outrageously cool??

Black Lips
Fellow Atlantites and friends of the above mentioned Deerhunter, The Black Lips have been kicking around the southern club scene for more than a few years having released their debut album way back in 2003. Also similar to their pals above, The Black Lips suffered the loss of a band member early in their playing days when original guitarist Ben Eberbaugh was involved in a car accident with a drunk driver going to wrong way on the highway. Despite this loss the band carried on, believing these would be Eberbaugh’s wishes.

The rest of us are lucky they did, mostly because of tunes like this one. Reminds me of a cross between Morphine and any tune from a 70’s exploitation flick with just the slightest tinge of Vanilla Ice mixed in… But don’t worry, not enough to ruin it…

On an only-slightly-related note, Vanilla Ice is FORTY ONE… That’s scary…

The Bird & The Bee
Already having crossed over the ‘indie’ plane with appearances on Ellen and Nickelodeon kid’s show Yo Gabba Gabba this jazz inspired Los Angeles duo is putting a brand new spin on an old classic sound. As prolific as they are talented, since joining forces in 2006 tB&tB’s Greg Kurstin and Inara George have amassd two studio LP’s and four EP’s ranging from traditionally released CD’s to digital downloads, and have scored a US #1 dance hit with a remix version of Fucking Boyfriend. Did I mention their appearance on a kid’s show?

The new album, Ray Guns are Not Just the Future has received mixed reviews, ranging from ‘really good’ to ‘really REALLY good.’ Certainly worth checking out for yourself. Here’s a tune from the latest. A tune I defy you to not groove to… Just you try it… You WILL fail…

Lykke Li
It wouldn’t be a new music post without a visit to Sweden. The EU’s third largest nation and the ONLY place to get yourself a custom made Volvo is certainly a hot bed of indie music activity. This week’s twenty two year old vocalist fits the mold established by The Knife and Fever Ray. Only Li replaces the creepiness of The Knife that could exist just as easily in a Kubrick flick or entrant of the Resident Evil video game franchise with a sweetness that makes one want to hug and squeeze a classic stuffed Hello Kitty

Did I lose you with that one? Well give her a listen and draw conclusions of your own…

Last Shadow Puppets
The British trio made up of Arctic Monkeys front man Alex Turner, Miles Kane of new outfit The Rascals and producer/drummer James Ford bucks the ‘more electronic is more better’ phenomena gripping the throat of the indie scene in recent years by recording tracks that sound less like Turner’s Monkeys, and more like 2nd tier 60’s brit-invasioneers the Moody Blues or Spanish beat band Los Bravos. It’s a pretty exciting sound when compared to the other stuff hitting the indie air waves right now, but a word of caution… Also once considered the new wave of the brit invasion, Oasis went from pop-rock princes to royal douchebags inside of one LP…

Still, if that’s the fate of these puppeteers, it should be an entertaining ride, just as it was with the brothers Gallagher.

Here’s the throwback track, Standing Next to Me

The Airborne Toxic Event
My musical tastes tend to range across five decades from the 1960’s through the 2000’s with specific emphasis on the 90’s as I consider that ‘my’ decade… I point this out because in each of these decades there is a band that I feel if *I* were writing and recording songs during that time period, I would wish and hope to sound like that particular band. In the 1960’s it’s The Grassroots. The 70’s it’s Nick Drake (except for the whole dying part), me in the 80’s would have sounded a lot like Howard Jones, the 90’s is easily Counting Crows, and while the 00’s have heretofore belonged to Josh Ritter, on the strength of just one tune, the Los Feliz quintet The Airborne Toxic Event is making a run at that spot.

Keep in mind, I know and accept that I have neither the talent, patience, or in some cases insanity to fill the shoes of any of these musical acts, but they all sound like I hope I could sound if I was just a little more talented, driven, and out of my mind. Here’s the track I will add to my long list of songs I dream I would have written and performed…

That’ll do it, another seven acts for you to sink your teeth into, share your musical dreams with, and spend your hard earned money on. I’ve got plenty more where these came from, and am adding more every day, even though I’m obsessing over the upcoming DM long play Sounds of the Universe. Frighteningly enough, April is just a few short weeks away…

New Mexico: You CAN drink the water...

Is there a more misunderstood state in our union than New Mexico? Sandwiched between Texas and Arizona, named after... well... MEXICO, one would expect a sweltering hot desert wasteland with nary a well-hydrated soul in site. Ask the folks in Las Cruses, and they'd probably agree with you, but find yourself in Albuquerque and you'll find people, and buildings, and merchants who accept cash money, not just beads... Head further north to Santa Fe and you may even encounter snow.

Yup. Effing SNOW in effing New Mexico. I know... Take a minute to recover from your now severely blown mind...

You know what else you can find in New Mexico? Not a whole hell of a lot of music, that's for sure...

That's not to say that the Land of Enchantment, so coined by native country cowboy Michael Martin Murphey, doesn't have some other interesting tidbits about it. Still don't believe me? Do I need to remind you that it EFFING SNOWS here? Let's see what else the Wiki can tell us...

- Geologists speculate that New Mexico is roughly the same age as the rest of the planet, including it's southern neighbor, regular Mexico... Not so NEW after all eh?

- At a population density of 15 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth most sparsely inhabited U.S. state. Meaning the spaces are far too confining for your average Montanian.

- New Mexico does not rank first or last in any ranking convention among the 50 US states. I guess this would make New Mexico the #1 most mediocre state in the union.

- Nope. That's South Dakota.

- The state flag of New Mexico looks surprisingly like an eye test.

- Apparently my vision is just fine. The horizontal and vertical stripes line up correctly.

- Residents of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, New Mexico's oldest town, likely don't get the irony.

- Albuquerque, New Mexico's largest city is located in Bernalillo County. I don't anticipate this information is all that interesting or entertaining, but the next time someone asks you what county houses New Mexico's largest city, you best give credit to how you know the answer...

- New Mexico is famous for chilies, cow skulls, and painting their buildings in pastel hues.

- New Mexico is not famous for their sports teams, which saddens The Isotopes.

- Yes, the Albuquerque Isotopes did get their name from a Simpsons episode.

- Doug Eddings, major league umpire and personal nemesis to Angels fans the world over is a New Mexico native who thinks he should be the central focus of baseball games rather than say, the game itself…

- Bitter? I’m not bitter… ‘The Call’ changed the tone of the entire series and the Angels never recovered from the screwing, but it’s in the past… Really it is…

- Fuckin’ Doug Eddings…

- Billy the Kid, Conrad Hilton, French Stewart, and Ralph Kiner have something in common. They all robbed banks, fought the law, and had unusually large wrists, but small hands.

- Actually, those facts are only true of Billy the Kid, but all four ARE from New Mexico…

- OK, the wrist thing is only true if you believe Emilio Estevez's soliloquy from Young Guns II. Call me crazy, but I think they MAY have just been making it up to further the story line...

OK, enough with the stalling… The list is sparse, but I managed to piece something together… My apologies to the snubbed Amelia Maciszewski, New Mexican sitarist…

Solo Artist: John Denver

Yes. Mr. 'Rocky Mountain High' is a native New Mexican... Now this will come as no surprise to you if you have read the entry on the one-tick-to-the-north land of Colorado, but if your new to The Dance, or only here to read about this entry, then I've now blown your mind... TWICE...

Also, if you have ventured into the great internet wide open in search of nothing more than a blog post about New Mexico's music, PLEASE drop me a comment and tell me what prompted such a random and seemingly futile quest...

I am not a die-hard Denverite... For the most part I find his tunes kind of hokey and trite like most 60's and 70's country-tinged singer songwriters. I'm not a big fan of Freddy Fender, or James Taylor, or Merle Haggard either, but I must admit that one of my favorite all time songs is the John Denver version of his own composition, Leaving on a Jet Plane. Although it was recorded by Peter. Paul and Mary first, and more famously, the words and music just fit better together with Denver's voice, lending a sense of pain and longing that's not even diminished by learning that the song was actually written in an airport waiting on a delayed flight...

Unfortunately, the tune would also become eerily prophetic when Denver left us, on a jet plane, the victim of a tragic accident over the California coast on October 12th, 1997. The Long-EZ aircraft he was piloting crashed at Pacific Grove, just off Monterey.

Honor the fallen New Mexican, even if he did prefer the company of OTHER states...

Band: Beirut

The great Southwest hasn't been an indie rock capital for very long, but they are starting to make a name for themselves. If you have read the Nevada post, you'll know the Silver State is jam packed with up and coming performers, and a few years before them, Arizona was blowing up the alternative airwaves. Who's next? Well I think New Mexico has as good a shot as anyplace, especially if Zach Condon, the voice behind Beirut has anything to say about it.

Way too new to get a shot in any heavily represented state, I can't really go on and on about Beirut's 'musical legacy', but I include them in hopes that if somebody digs this up ten years from now and sees I was high on this act WAY back in aught-nine that mysterious someone will also say to themselves 'Wow... This OC Kerouac really knows his shit!'

I love nothing so much as I love positive affirmations from total strangers... Here, listen to a song!

Honorable Mention: Neil Patrick Harris

So he hasn't put out any albums per se, but dude was in Rent on Broadway for a number of years, and he's NPH for god's sake... That's good enough for me...

That said, I kind of liked when everyone still called him 'that guy who played Doogie Howser' but schadenfreude aside, he's a great actor, funnier than hell, has a tremendous amount of talent and deserves all the pub he's currently receiving. For these reasons and the below, I felt I had no choice but to jump on the bandwagon...

BONUS!: THIS is the greatest song ever about New Mexico, despite the fact that it's singer is Welsh...

Next time, the stalling is over, and it's time to pull the trigger... The selections from New York will likely not anger anyone as much as they anger myself...