341: High Five from Uncle Funk

S4_E21_High_Five!Uncle Funk made a YouTube playlist for you to slap a big high five with.

Click these words, friend. (Sorry for the ads, but they need not enslave your mind.)

1) “Sweet Salvation” by The Stepkids

2) “Peace” by Radio Citizen (N E W – R E L E A S E!)

3) “Triple Helix” by Jimi Tenor, KABU KABU

4) “Back Pocket” by Vulfpeck (N E W – R E L E A S E!)

5) “Too Fine” by Bosley

Savor & repeat.

333: “1612” by Vulfpeck featuring Antwaun Stanley

Play it so good you want to get down and crawl.I had this 333 post all ready before today, with a story about the future, wherein President Matthew McConaughey, who is also a mad scientist, invents a thing the world has always needed, called the Empathy Cannon. It is a gun about the size of a doberman, and with it, one can bestow instant and absolute empathy for one’s condition upon the victim of the aptly named (I named it) Empathy Cannon.

But this morning I was overtaken by the Vulfpeck. Jack Stratton on everything, Theo Katzman on guitar and drums, Joe Dart on the bass, and Woody Goss on keys. This one features the astounding voice and emotive gesturing of Antwaun Stanley, riffing with righteous soul on the PIN code to his heart and Ford Motor products. I love this song so much I think I will just invent the Empathy Cannon myself, so I can show people what it does to me.

And as the Empathy Cannon fires its last, and falls from his dying grasp, President McConaughey mutters, “1612.” And EVERYONE GETS IT.

Enjoy.

Song: 1612
Artist: Vulfpeck, Featuring Antwaun Stanley
Album: Fugue State
Label: Vulf Records
Buy from: Vulfpeck.com
Watch: YouTube

330: Mashups…

Pass the wizards, please.Salt and pepper shakers have been used since the dawn of space-time as a never-ending opportunity to artistically re-create pairs of other, non-salt-and-pepper-related items (shoes, sensory organs, vegetables, tiny people, left-handedness, etc.).‬

‪Flowering plants have DNA many times more complex than human DNA, yet flowering plants do not make salt and pepper shaker pairs of anything. Which begs the question.‬

‪What?‬

‪Yes, that is true. Salt and pepper shakers have been created in the likenesses of saints, serial killers, saints, and Bonanza characters. Even those.‬

‪If your life was a poem, and that poem was inside your DNA, written in pairs like salt and pepper, then it would be of a tolerable length and not like Ulysses as a flowering plant’s DNA would be.‬

‪And the poem itself might very well speak of the river of DNA that we recursive creatures compose and ride upon, as we churn out our shakers, impersonating our makers.‬

‪I am right now, sculpting salt and pepper shakers of my favorite bands. Which got me in the mind of mash-ups. Turns out there are some buttes out there.‬

‪I’ve selected a couple you can put into at least two pairs of sensory organs, at least while they last on YouTube…

‪Enjoee.‬

‪Led Zeppelin vs The Beatles – Whole Lotta Helter Skelter (Soundhog)‬

~

‪Rock in Black – Queen vs. AC/DC feat. Robert Plant & Friends‬

Mashup by Go Home Productions

326: “Pretty Green” by White Denim

I received this fan music review today, written in cuneiform on plastic tablets, delivered emphatically in a padded envelope by a brown-clad bi-athlete, to my very own attention…

~~

Hot boxcar ass.Dearest Uncle Funk,

I have been a GINORMOUS fan of yours since I first started reading your blog in 1080 BCE. No one knows more about you! You haven’t posted much stuff lately. I thought maybe you needed a nudge, so here’s a quick note about how much I appreciate you!

Anyhoo, I just find the most amazing things in myself when I imagine the world through your eyes! I step outside of my own humdrum vision of things and try to see my life from a CRAZY person’s point of view!! It’s so refreshing! (Winky smiley face)

And I wanted to let you know that since I’ve been reading your “work” and listening to the music you’ve selected for me to suffer through, a few important things have happened to me. I will summarize in a bulleted list, in no particular order of importance or alphabeticity:

  • Armpit hair is coming in strong. More than before. Not like a beard, though.
  • Two goats and one duck. Incidente armadillos.
  • Syrian conflict worsens.
  • Drum solo. Never ends. Finally ends.
  • Gnawed tip of pen off. Inkmouth.
  • Things keep on happening. No. Matter. What.
  • Bought White Denim‘s Corsicana Lemonade
  • PUKED RAINBOWS!!
  • Please enjoy “Pretty Green” below because it’s the single, but listen to “Come Back” because it’s in a bulleted list.

Did you write this, or did I?

-Secret Admirer

~~

Song: Pretty Green
Artist: White Denim
Album: Corsicana Lemonade
Label: Downtown Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify | YouTube

322: “Your Lady, She’s Shady” by JJ Grey & Mofro

it's pointing left.I was 27 years old and poppin and lockin down the frozen desserts aisle of a central Florida grocery store when I first became self-aware. Up until that point I had been living in some type of sleep state. I can still remember my past like a dream, but it hardly seems like my own life.

I’ve retained all the knowledge and skills I acquired in my dream past, and my wife says I have changed very little from the person I was when I was not self-aware… that I was always a weirdo. But I know the difference.

The biggest change is that when I’m poppin, lockin, or whatever, it’s like I’m standing in between two parallel mirrors and the poppin, lockin, or whatever is outlined by a receding infinity that powerfully hints at the recursive iteration machine that keeps moving this self forward in endless destruction and rebirth.

In fact, maybe it wasn’t this me that was in that grocery store in the first place. Maybe it was someone else, until they popped and locked just right, at which point this self, the one who is now aware, was zapped into this body and took over its historical data. And might another self take over later, perhaps whilst I am buttering my chest? Would my wife even notice?

Regardless, I have found solace in a deep awareness of the beauty of music, which seems to enable recursive iteration for the power of good. JJ Grey & Mofro have been with “me” since before my awakening, and their sauce is worthy of standing in front of a mirror to watch yourself lick off a spoon. Their brand new one just dropped, This River (2013), and I’m amazed at these guys’ ability to bring it strong and consistent through the years. Like nothing’s changed but the spoon. They’re on tour now!

Enjoy the lead track, “Your Lady, She’s Shady,” as the righteous swamp rock excites your inner awareness and your booty muscles all at once. Pop and lock if you must.

Song: Your Lady, She’s Shady
Artist: JJ Grey & Mofro
Album: This River
Label: Alligator Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Rdio | Spotify
Watch: YouTube (Live, Exit/In, Nashville, 4/13/13)

318: “Rust Belt” by Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola

Just the tip, Scott.Practice makes unconscious memory. Not perfection, but astounding results can certainly come with enough practice.

Charlie Hunter perfectly displays virtuosic talent, arrived at through copious amounts of brain conditioning (practice). Charlie’s most recent album, composed of duos with drummer Scott Amendola, showcases his ability to play bass and lead guitar simultaneously about as well as you could expect two separate professional musician brains to accomplish. The album is called Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead (2012). The Wizard uses a custom-built 8-string guitar, and the entire album was recorded with Charlie and Scott sitting in a room together, sans headphones. Check out “Rust Belt” to see what I mean about astounding results.

Other examples of the results of diligent practice include:

-Buddhist monks’ ability to regulate their body temperature with great control
-breathing Parkourists
-the ability to spin a pen around your fingers
-finding the slowest line at the grocery store
-getting your cat to poop in the toilet
-butter without crumbs on it
-men looking ladies in the eyes while talking to them

Remember to practice patience, love, and keeping the damn crumbs out of the butter. Enjoy.

Song: Rust Belt
Artist: Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola
Album: Not Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead
Label: Charlie Hunter Music
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: Rdio | Spotify | YouTube

313: “I’ll Be Around” by Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo is not a sand dune.A movie premise: a young boy can see farts. His dedicated mentor, played by a computer-generated Walter Matthau, helps the boy along the strange paths life takes in a world where farts are visible. And as the boy discovers his true passion, handmade dutch oven pottery, he also comes to realize that his mentor had himself been a fart all along, an amalgam of gases, animated by some unknown power, to help guide him toward the potter’s wheel and True Happiness.

Epilogue: the boy has grown into an old man, stooped over his workbench, considering the twists and turns of his life. He watches a kid crop dust his pottery studio, grins, and looks toward the sky, where a translucent Matthau hovers, silent but benevolent.

~

That’s a wicked introduction for “I’ll Be Around” by Yo La Tengo, from their brand new album Fade (2013). Enjoy!

Song: I’ll Be Around
ArtistYo La Tengo
Album: Fade
LabelMATADOR
Buy fromAmazon | iTunes
ListenMOG | Spotify
Watch: on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

310: “Voice Of The Lobster” by Clothesline Revival

The shirts say California.There is a pond, under a sliver of moon, with croaking frogs in numbers verging on the fantastic lining its edges. The sound is profoundly noisy. But the pond (inwardly) smiles. For the pond sits in delightful anticipation of a disturbance in the night, perhaps a swooping owl or ambling possum, to shut off the cacophony in an instant and send all the frogs jumping into itself. The pond relishes this experience each and every time.

Clothesline Revival (Conrad Praetzel along with Robert Powell and others) splash together in synchrony primarily in and around Santa Rosa, CA. “Voice of the Lobster” is on They Came From Somewhere (2010), and it sounds more like swamp music than Californey music.

The pond is not enthusiastic about cows, by the way. It is all too keenly aware that it is indeed partially composed of the beasts’ fluids. The pond has not lived an unexamined life. It deals with the nuanced psychology of pond life in stoic, gravitational surrender. Rippling when there’s cause, but mostly listening and watching, trying to match and readjust its own inner account of Reality against the stream of experiential data it collects on its existential transit.

Lobsters and stars and frogs and rain. Music.

Enjoy.

Song: Voice of the Lobster
Artist: Clothesline Revival
Album: They Came From Somewhere
Label: Paleo Music
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

304: “Tutwiler” by Rick Holmstrom

Feelin' groovy!Sometimes I like to roll words around in my mouth. Words like…

Adjudicate. Glockenspiel. Belly button. Chutzpah. Pupu platter. Homunculus. Burrrrrito. Herpes. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton. Swizzlesticks. Konnichiwa. (You can keep going on your own…)

Gnome sane, homes?

Words are fun and useful. “Words” sits alongside “Music” in the Pro’s column of my Being Alive Pro’s & Con’s T-chart, which I will publish on my gravestone. ‘Ell oh ‘ell.

~

Roll this song around in your head. It’s from Rick Holmstrom, a straight ahead blues guitar man with a name that rolls off only the most well-exercised American tongue. The song is “Tutwiler” from Late in the Night (2007).

Rick also has a brand new album, Cruel Sunrise (2012), that is very good (includes his old friend and co-worker Mavis Staples on a few tracks). But I was just totally getting down in the car the other day, slapping my steering wheel and nodding my head like a durn fool, while listening to this tune and felt a deep, strong desire, in the most existential reaches of my jiggling gut, to share this song with you, alongside a ridiculous arrangement of words.

Thank-you, and enjoy.

Song: Tutwiler
Artist: Rick Holmstrom
Album: Late In The Night
Label: M.C. Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

301: “Lost In The Light” by Bahamas

Handsome is as handsome does.This one is gorgeous. And sad.

Nothing beautiful is perfect.

Bahamas is the moniker of Afie Jurvanen, a Canadian singer-songwriter, and his latest album is Barchords (2012). It contains some marvelously cracked jewels like “Lost in the Light.” And the picture to the right does not capture the illustrative depth of character and emotion rendered by Afie in the aforementioned tune. I just thought the moustache was 110% black angus solid beef-out style and ought to be shared.

In the same spirit, here is a beautiful and nearly perfect poem, from Braided Creek by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser (Copper Canyon Press, 2003):

Straining on the toilet
we learn how
the lightning bug feels.

Don’t strain too hard. Just relax, and enjoy the light.

Song: Lost In The Light
Artist: Bahamas
Album: Barchords
Label: Brushfire Records/Universal
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube