289: “Midtown” by Calexico

Doctor 1: Doctor, what is that substance oozing out of the purple-feather chrysalis those groovy aliens left behind? [Doctor 1 stands her surfboard on the wall of the scienced-up set, revealing her microscopic bikini.]

Doctor 2: It’s Pimp Juice, Doctor. [Doctor 2 steps into scene for reveal of surgeon’s-cut bikini. She moves close to Doctor 1. Their eyes lock.]

Doctor 1: What should we do, Doctor? [Pause. Bikinis. Doctor 2 moves away, bikini bottom to audience. She turns dramatically…]

Doctor 2: It’s too late, Doctor. We’ve already been… pimped. [Doctors “jiggulate” as choreographed.]

Fisheye lens gets all the ladies.And so on…

I got lots of this stuff. Problem is the endings are never real good, or the beginnings.

Is this a music blog? I presume so, but I’m not the judge. So as evidence, I submit “Midtown” by Calexico, from Hot Rail (2000). Acclaimed, shuffled, filed, moved, uncovered, dusted, listened, cherished.

The song contains the appropriate juices. Give Calexico a squeeze right now and see what squirts out!


Song: Midtown
Artist: Calexico
Album: Hot Rail
Label: Quarterstick Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify

288: “Good Hope” by Ray Barbee

All right, let's get some promo shots of your right beard.A pre-historic man walks into a small cave he considers sacred. He uses a hunk of charred firewood he’s carried for several miles with which to draw a nearly photographic rendering of an IKEA living room suit on the cave wall. The IKEA living room suit will not have been designed for another 64 thousand years and change. The pre-historic man exits the cave and poops in the woods on the way to his home, a cave that isn’t very sacred. He eats roast mastadon for dinner on the cave porch and smiles in the firelight at the stanky cave children whose future he works so diligently for.

This vision has been brought to you by the song “Good Hope” by Ray Barbee, which creates fictional narratives in your head if you walk from east to west whilst you listen, from In Full View (2005). Ray Barbee starred with Julia Childs on several dramatic films directed by Clint Eastwood, and his musical career is as filled with wonder as those existentially provocative productions were.

I am a scientist with objective illumination emanating from my deepest core.

I implore you to enjoy the light.

Song: Good Hope
Artist: Ray Barbee
Album:  In Full View
Label: Galaxia
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify

287: “Mr. Clean” by Roy Hargrove

Roy Blowing.If I was an alien who was busy a-buildin’ races, I’d be jazzed if a race I created wound up getting all technological and started recording and documenting themselves, their world, and their experiences and putting them all on one giant Interweb that I could tap into and bask in the glow of.

It would be pretty cool, as a race-building alien, to do that. Because the longer this race can go without killing themselves… the more they can document, the more they can explore, and the more all of us in the universe can understand about how awesome butter is.

Roy Hargrove invented butter, before writing a novel in Klingon, and then moving on to a career in jazz horn.

Here is a cover of Freddie Hubbard’s “Mr. Clean” by Roy Hargrove, from Earfood (2008).

You are alive.

The continuation of the human reality show is a tightrope balance between wonder and war.

So. Please err on the side of wonder, and enjoy.

Song: Mr. Clean
Artist: Roy Hargrove
Album: Earfood
Label: Emarcy
Buy: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG
Watch: YouTube

286: “Back Back” by Archie Shepp

Think, man, think! Look at him go!Everything is rhythm.
You aren’t even a thing at all, really,
other than the amalgamation of the rhythms of the motions of sub-atomic particles
that compose your mind, your body, and your interactions.

In this infinite variety of rhythm, you exist.

And as part of the process in motion,
you lay down themes and patterns
on the skins of your life each day,
getting up, getting down,
with chaotic insertions, improvisations.
Trying to get in the groove.

Everything is rhythm.
Orbits, seasons, walking, economies, planet-killing asteroids, hide-and-seek, the way a bobblehead moves, the life and death of stars, biological reproduction, and check it, I think your head is bobbing to the tune you just started listening to.

The song is “Back Back” by Archie Shepp from Kwanza (1969)… What was it about 1968-69 that made so many amazing things all happen around the same time? Perhaps things like the rapid unfolding of the fate of the human race just go in cycles with peaks, valleys, apexes and nadirs like everything else. Artists, assassins and astronauts are all part of the rhythm.

Conjugate with the “Back Back” rhythm, and enjoy.

Song: Back Back
Artist: Archie Shepp
Album: Kwanza
Label: Impulse! Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube