Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"The Dresses Song" by Lisa Germano

Lisa Germano played fiddle on "The Lonesome Jubilee" by John Mellencamp. That's why I bought her second LP "Happiness" (during the brief phase when I bought a bunch of cassettes (including Juliana Hatfield and PJ Harvey). I know I put "The Dresses Song" on a mixed tape, and it was one of the memorable hits of the Calabash days.

Apparently, this second album was released by both Capitol and 4AD, and each version had different remixes. I don't know which version I had, but I'm not familiar with the one above. However, it's the superior video (indeed the video below is just a still shot). But that's the better recording. More ominous, which I felt lent the song its alluring strength.

Enjoy them both. Then go listen to "Paper in Fire."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Laura Nyro: Gonna Take a Miracle

Laura Nyro: Gonna Take a Miracle, originally uploaded by Stepale.

My favorite album cover. Look at that face. The woman was a genius. When I'm not listening to Laura Nyro every day (as I have been recently), I'm at least listening once a week. She's my favorite early Thursday morning music, hovering over the wet ink of the day's papers, sipping a warm coffee from home.

The image was taken by Stephen Paley, of whom I admittedly know very little, but that's only because of my recent discovery of his work. Shane MacGowan mentions this cover in his autobiography, which somehow gave a curious depth to the music of the Pogues.

And in this case, you can indeed judge an album by its cover. I can hear that look on her face in the music. Speaking of covers, this album, "Gonna Take a Miracle" (with backing vocals by Labelle) is a cover album of old soul and Motown tunes.

An essential album, unless you're crazy like Mackey and don't like the sound of her voice (is that because Marilyn McCoo sang so many Nyro songs with the 5th Dimension?).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Do It Yourself -The Story of Rough Trade

If you have 80+ minutes, watch this. The story of Rough Trade, the label, the icon.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Happy Monkey Day!

Today is the 14th Anniversary of Monkey Day! Celebrate as you will. This is an editorial from legendary lit zine Report to Hell ("where the worm dieth not and the fires are not quenched") helmed by PSaur and myself back in the mid-90's. Why Monkey Day? I don't remember, except we loved monkeys, even named our dog Monkey. Why April 7? Why, it's Jeff's birthday! Oh, so Happy 40th, Jeff!