Lean Down Your Ear Upon The Earth, And Listen.

December 12, 2010 at 8:16 am (Uncategorized)

You can’t go home again. Until you realize that home is wherever your love is. And your love is you.

Namaste. Winter is coming to an end.


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@#*! anticipation. Let’s Dance.

December 10, 2010 at 6:17 pm (Fun Friday, JJ) (, , , , , , )

Well, it’s that time of week again… Fun Friday! Oh, don’t act like you’re not excited…

I bring you not one, but TWO videos for your consumption. Some like to rock, others like to roll. Let’s do a little of both, shall we?

First, I bring down the Hammer of the Gods. That’s right, it’s Led Zeppelin. According to an old studio story of theirs from the recording of Led Zeppelin IV, the guys ran out of the studio after the recording of “Black Dog” and danced around the field in front of the recording studio. The next album they released, Houses of the Holy, featured the following song. Enjoy “Dancing Days”.

Now, for you fans of hip hop, a throwback to the 90s, which I still firmly believe had some of THE best dance music ever. And the weirdest. That’s hardly the point, though.

Blackstreet came to prominence after they formed in 1991. Their star really turned, though, when they released their number 1 smash, “No Diggity”, in 1996. They won a Grammy for that record in 1998. Fun fact: the song is actually sampled from an old Bill Withers recording. If you don’t know who he is, look him up. The Roots and John Legend just covered his song “I Can’t Write Left Handed”, on their phenomenal covers record, “Wake Up!”. Safe to say, guys, we’re awake now. Enjoy Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”.

Be safe out there tonight, and please: don’t overthink it.

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It’s Hump Day Time.

December 8, 2010 at 8:47 am (Clip of the Day, JJ) (, , , , )

“I was in love, with a place
in my mind, in my mind…”

I like where Jesse’s head is right now. It is cold outside. I don’t know about you guys, but it has been one hell of a long semester and I’m ready for it to be over, myself. Let’s keep it fresh and light. Break is right around the corner (or already here, for some lucky souls).

Today, I bring out one of my favorite late discoveries, Sufjan Stevens. I had known of him for years and just never got around to listening to him, until a good friend pointed me in the right direction and I finally checked him out. Most of you know him, and that’s great. Sufjan is like comfort food for the soul. I know I need it right now. How about you?

This one is a live performance, in studio. Very intimate, and a very cool take on an otherwise epic, and positively symphonic song. The video may be a bit out of sync with the audio, but that’s fine. It’s a great performance nonetheless.

“You came to take us,
all things go, all things go,
to recreate us,
all things grow, all things grow,
we had our mindset,
all things know, all things know,
You had to find it,
all things go, all things go.”

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Fighting Smiles.

December 8, 2010 at 3:56 am (Album Review, Clip of the Day, Jmarsh) (, , , )

I have a preconceived notion of what something is going to sound like before I listen to it. When I was sent the latest work from Jonquil, I had an idea of what I was getting myself into.

I was completely incorrect.

Perhaps it was the nature of the person that had directed me to this fantastic, falsetto-laden group that blurred my view, or simply the name of the group itself; whatever the case, color me surprised.

Behold the single from their latest release, One Hundred Suns.

It’s cold outside. I promise this will warm your bones.

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Throwback Tuesday: Soundgarden

December 7, 2010 at 10:20 am (JJ, Throwback Tuesday) (, , , , , , , )

“I caught the moon today,
Pick it up,
and throw it away all right.
I got the perfect steal,
A cleaner love,
A dirty feel, alright.”

I recently read an interview with Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, where he hinted that Soundgarden is closer than not to getting into a studio and doing some recording on new material. This will happen after they release a B-sides compilation and master a live record, but still, that’s damn exciting news from one of my favorite popular bands of the grunge period.

To celebrate, today’s Throwback Tuesday features the music video for “Pretty Noose” off of Down on the Upside, their last studio effort before the band went their separate ways. I’ve always seen a healthy amount of hate for the record from fans of their early, pre-major label efforts, which is understandable. Taken for what it is, however, Down on the Upside is just plain good rock and roll.

As an added bonus, check out a special cover of one of their older jams, “Rusty Cage”, by one of the greatest musicians who ever lived, after “Pretty Noose”. Rest in peace, Man in Black.

Enjoy your Tuesday. Namaste.

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It’s Business Time.

December 6, 2010 at 2:25 pm (Clip of the Day, JJ) (, , , )

You know, I hear a lot of naysaying about how America has fallen off. How we’re a society of lazy, apathetic, overly-stimulated sheep.

I won’t lie and say that this isn’t true for a good percentage of our population. However, all I need to do is to take a walk down Cary Street after 10am on a Monday morning to see that the spirit of business, cooperation, and hard work never really left. To be honest, most of the people doing the complaining are talking about themselves without realizing it.

So, this one goes out to all of you heading out today to take care of business. It isn’t always fun, but we do it because we have to. And because the weekend makes it all worth it.

Take care of each other out there. Enjoy some laughs to start the week with Flight of the Conchords performing one of my favorite songs of theirs.

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Good Morning!

December 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm (Album Review, JJ) (, , , , )

“I’m floating down the river…”

After watching the movie Inception a few weeks ago, I started to think about the origins of an idea. The concept that something as small as a thought or an experience could become something capable of either completely changing or destroying lives fascinates me. Ideas have tended to not get as much credit as they should for the biggest triumphs and greatest tragedies of our times.

The idea, specifically, that fascinates me the most is the idea of love. How, if someone never, or rarely, hears it his or her whole life, can one learn to love unconditionally? Where would it happen? When? Why?

I realized recently that music has been my personal connection to love. Everyone has a “trigger” of their own, artistically, that gives them a window to both express and understand their emotions. That is, if they have the courage to act on it and the bravery to pay attention. You may hate to admit it, but Vanilla Ice didn’t just appear on TV in 1990 with his act completely intact, out of thin air. He worked on it. He had the guts to stick with it, even though the world laughed. Even though the world laughs still.

If I retrace my musical steps, then, I realize that there actually was an “inception” point when I experienced something profound enough that it set me on the path to balance, even though I obviously didn’t know it at the time. Love is best when it grows unattended. Try watching a tree grow. Eventually, you just have to walk away and know that in time, it’ll be a tree. Nature never stops. The process will continue whether you are watching it or not.

The band Incubus’ release, Morning View, was that inception point. Now that I look back on the timing, it scares the living $%!@ out of me. Morning View was released about a month and a half after the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001. The overall theme of the record, of course, is love. This means they had recorded, produced, and mixed the final version before the attacks on America even occurred. I’m sure their tune would have been considerably different had they been witness to the horrors of that day BEFORE they got to work.

Do you remember where you were? I do. I was sitting in my Freshman symphonic band class. That was really the year I fell out of love with band. My teacher, Christopher McCarney, cared way more about supporting the marching band program and anything that would increase his visibility as he earned his Masters degree. I hated marching band, and I couldn’t stand to be in an environment that cared more for images (fear) than music (love). That was the last year I performed an instrument live, right up until this day.

I don’t regret that decision, because a few weeks after 9/11, my lovely sister bought me my first real rock and roll record, Morning View. It was a seminal experience. I fell in love, hard, with that damn CD. I can still listen to it, cover to cover, and not skip a single song. We all know that can be difficult to say about all but a few records we own.

Unfortunately, Incubus got lumped into a lot of negative stereotypes, due to their popularity. Caucasian fraternity “bros”, especially, took to Incubus like white on rice. Here was a clearly talented band, and all anyone could do was dismiss them because of a very small, very visible cross section of their fanbase. That’s a tragedy.

I could go on and on about the virtues of the record, the technicality of the musicians involved, and the obvious care and love that went into the creation of the record. Ultimately, it is much easier to show you than tell you.

“I’m floating down a river
Oars freed from their holds long ago
Lying face up on the floor of my vessel
I marvel at the stars
And feel my heart overflow

Further down the river
Further down the river
Further down the river
Further down the river

Two weeks without my lover
I’m in this boat alone
Floating down a river named emotion
Will I make it back to shore
Or drift into the unknown

Further down the river
Further down the river
Further down the river
Further down the river

I’m building an antenna
Transmissions will be sent when I am through
Maybe we could meet again further down the river
And share what we both discovered…
Then revel in the view

Further down the river
Further down the river
Further down the river
Further down the river

I’m floating down a river
I’m floating down a river
I’m floating down a river
I’m floating down a river.”


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A Static Saturday

December 5, 2010 at 12:42 am (Clip of the Day, JJ) (, , , , , )

“He finds himself,
He’s lost in,
The breath between life and drowning.”

In high school, my good friend John turned me on to a prominent “screamo” band at the time, A Static Lullaby. Don’t get me wrong. These guys were, and still are, complete tools. We were supposed to see them live at Alley Catz at the time, and they didn’t show because of a fun detour to Disneyland down in Florida. I’ll never buy their music again, and I certainly wouldn’t waste my time going to see them live again.

However, douchebags can still make a great song or two. Love always brings out the best in people, and these guys are still talented musicians, at the end of the day.

So, I have two clips for you today. Both songs were put out as singles ahead of the album. There are maybe two other decent songs on the LP, and the rest, frankly, suck.

First, we have “Hang Em’ High”.

“And it’s more than just a loss,
but it’s over.
We’re not singing mournful thoughts,
and it’s over.
And I can’t wait,
until we give it all away.”

Finally, we have “The Art of Sharing Lovers”.

“I’m not afraid,
I’ve loved something once.
Are we fighting for something?
We can’t save them all.
I can’t believe,
we let this one go.
Let go.”

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Flashback Friday.

December 4, 2010 at 3:11 am (Clip of the Day, Jmarsh)

And fun, to play off of what my counterpart posted.

No work for two days. It’s time to get your mind right.

Archie Bell & The Drell’s 1968 monster “Tighten Up.”

Tighten up conveyed a dual meaning, get the song together in tempo and tune, and get emotionally invested in what was happening.

James Brown understood this idea so much that this became a live favorite of his.

In essence, this song is just badass. These guys were pro. The ironic version of this story is that once this song hit it big, Archie Bell had just been shot in the leg having been drafted to Vietnam.

His line of “We can dance just as good as we walk.” seemed a little funny after that.

Enjoy Archie Bell & The Drells. C’mon now, reader. I want you to tighten it up for the weekend.

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Fun Friday!

December 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm (Clip of the Day, JJ) (, , , , , , , )

You know, it’s not all existentialism and artistic merit around these parts. In fact, here at Our Lady of Perpetual Tone, we love to party. Let me kick off your weekend, then, with a little Rock.

The year is 1999. You’ll remember this year from two perspectives: one, 9/11 hadn’t happened yet, and two, we were pretty sure the world was going to end in the year 2000.

I’ve always enjoyed Chris Rock as one of the outstanding comedians of our time. When I heard he was coming out with a song, though, I was pretty skeptical. Then again, I was also 13.

This was a time when MTV/MTV2/FUSE were still some of the best options for hearing new music. I used to wake up before school every morning and run late watching videos. This one in particular gave me a good laugh anytime I was having a bad day. I hope it kicks off your Friday the right way. Kiddies, cover your ears. There be mature content in these waters.

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