Archive for May, 2007


Posted: May 31, 2007 by dillion in Uncategorized

Coming this month to HBO will be Flight of the Conchords, a new comedy series that appears (to me) to be in the spirit of Extras, one of the best half-hour shows of this century. The show follows “New Zealand’s fourth most popular folk-parody duo”, who are Bret McKenzie of The Black Seeds and Figwit and Jemaine Clement of The Humourbeasts, as they try to make it big in The Big Apple. The show’s pedigree includes James Bobin, who wrote and directed on ‘Da Ali G Show’ — one of the funniest shows of last century — helping create the characters of ‘Ali G’, including Borat and Bruno.

The clips of Conchords that I’ve seen are pretty damn funny. Check out this Youtube clip.

If you’re too broke or too cheap to get HBO, you can win the first episode on DVD for free! In addition, Berkeley Place is giving away a Robot stress reliever, poster, T-shirt, and postcard of the show.

“What do I have to do to win?” you ask.

Just this: No later than June 8, drop me a comment or shoot me an e-mail with:

1. Your e-mail address.

2. The answer to this question: What is the funniest movie or TV show about musicians ever? (Like Spinal Tap, The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years, Run’s House . . . Even Amadeus. Whatever you think is funny.

Make sure to check your e-mail on June 8 because if you’re the winner and you don’t get back to me with your mailing address within 24 hours of being notified, I reserve the right to pick another person.



Posted: May 31, 2007 by dillion in Uncategorized

Modest Mouse–A few live cuts from November 2006

We’ve Got Everything-Modest Mouse

Dashboard-Modest Mouse

Invisible in Your Car-Modest Mouse

We Know . . . -Modest Mouse

. . . Plus the PICTURE OF THE DAY:


Posted: May 31, 2007 by dillion in Uncategorized

Thailand have begun getting the buzz around the blogs, so when they sent me their CD I was curious to see what it was like. I was very surprised. This is music that is uncategorizable, jumping from hard n’ heavy riffs to electronica, featuring both female and male vocal tracks, going from Wire-type punk, through Human League synth-driven pop, and ending at late ’80s-early ’90s britpop . . . It almost sounds like a mixtape. Which is perfect for me, since I let my iPod choose my music for me about half the time I listen. I guess overall they’d be called either synthpop or indie electronica, but who the heck cares. This is a fantastic album. There’s so many cuts that could and should easily become blogosphere and college-radio hits.

Their debut full length, Motorcade, was mastered by Dave (Silversun Pickups, JDilla, Long Distance Runner) Cooley, and is available on iTunes or direct from their website, which, although it’s a myspace music page, lets you download four free cuts.

For fans of: Old R.E.M., Talking Heads, and indie rock in general.

Strong Like Lightning-Thailand

Ocean of Fire-Thailand

SONGS: OHIA 11/16/01

Posted: May 30, 2007 by dillion in Uncategorized

Songs: Ohia, as far as I know, is dead. It was essentially singer-songwriter Jason Molina’s project from 1999-2003, when he established the Magnolia Electric Company. Jason posts lots of songs (and live shows in lossless format) at the Magnolia Electric Company website, so it’s not hard to find their stuff. I tend to go hot and cold with it, alternately blown away and bored. But lately, I’m more impressed than not, so I’m throwing up a post.

Songs: Ohia made an at times fascinating mix of indie rock, alt-country, and lo-fi folk. The album of “theirs” that moved me the most was the second, The Black Album, released on Secretly Canadian records. They also did great EPs, one with My Morning Jacket and another Will Oldham and Alasdair Roberts (billed as The Amalgamated Sons of Rest).

Without further ado, here’s Songs: Ohia, Nov. 16, 2001.


1. Jennie Blackbird’s Blues-Songs: Ohia.

2. Ring The Bell-Songs: Ohia.

3. Cross The Road, Molina-Songs: Ohia.

4. You Win Again (Hank Williams cover)-Songs: Ohia.

5. The Gray Tower-Songs: Ohia.

6. Two Blue Lights-Songs: Ohia

7. Didn’t It Rain-Songs: Ohia.

8. Division St. Girl / Capt. Badass-Songs: Ohia.


Posted: May 29, 2007 by dillion in Uncategorized

I’m not much of a reader. I read once a year, when I go to the beach. Other than that, I’m just too busy. But for a bio about one of my favorite musicians ever, Joe Strummer, I made an exception.

“Redemption Song” by Chris Salewicz is two-pounds of text, telling the tale of Strummer from top to tail. Although he was a journalist, and Joe was intensely private when it came to the media, Salewicz seems to have had incredible access to both Strummer and his mates, and as a result the author knows a wealth of intimate, revealing, and very entertaining information (both stories and pictures, including personal letters and drawings), which he imparts freely. For example, I had no idea Joe was born in Ankara, Turkey, and was the son of a diplomat (and not a bankrobber, as Joe later wrote in song).

Beginning the book with the end of the story, Joe’s untimely death, Salewicz takes us back slowly, peeling away the funeral and then recent events before Joe’s death and around the time of his resurgence, and then, gradually, through his whole life. Salewicz shows how The Clash drew important music from out of the protozoan, D.I.Y. punk movement that, while interesting, was generally producing a lot of noise but not making a lot of sense. But mostly, he tells how and why The Clash broke apart just as they were about to become superstars, with the individual members scattering to do solo projects (many of which as good as anything they did together).

The book’s main section is devoted to Strummer’s retreat from the public post-Clash, which according to Salewicz represented a crushing depression brought on by (or at least made more serious due to) Joe’s addiction to marijuana, his brother’s suicide, and other dark family problems. But the book is not depressing, and manages to pull out a degree of optimism in the final act, when Strummer returned with The Mescaleros (before dying of heart failure in 2002).

My sole quibble is that there’s not enough about the musical legacy of Joe Strummer—his incredibly deep influences on modern punk, alternative and ska-infused rock, and the general ethos of a rock star. We recently posted a whole truckload of covers of Clash songs, and still only barely scratched the surface of the complexity and variety of that phase of Joe’s life. But after ska punk, when he went solo, he created rootsier rock and blues, made great contributions for soundtracks, and even wrote for other musicians. This is discussed in the book, but the impace on the industry is barely touched on.

But that’s not a completely fair criticism, either, because it’s not really what the book is about. It’s more about the rocker-as-rebel, the icon, and the demons that tortured him. It’s a book about Strummer’s soul more than his work, which makes it different from all the other Clash books out there. And well worth your time.

Also worth your time: A few songs in tribute.

Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones cover)-Joe Strummer
Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones cover)-Joe Strummer (alternate link)

Road to Rock And Roll (Acoustic)-Joe Strummer
Road to Rock And Roll (Acoustic)-Joe Strummer (alternate link)

Oye Como Va (Santana cover)-Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros.
Oye Como Va (Santana cover)-Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros (alternate link).

Get Joe’s stuff for cheap at e music!