294: “Ma” by Tom Zé

You will open your ears. OPEN THEM!!I’ve been coddling you. You need new musical fiber in your diet.

Eat this. It’s a compilation of Brazilian artist Tom Zé who is as radical as his name. He writes his signature with a sword on the chest of evil-doers if he writes it at all. He helped create the Tropicalia sound of 1960’s Brazil between swordplay. The word “stallion” belongs in this paragraph.

Brazil Classics 4: The Best of Tom Zé (2003) is from the Luaka Bop label, which is an active force in keeping music rich in fiber.

Make time to enjoy new kinds of high-fiber music, for a healthy, regular mental process.

Song: Ma
Artist: Tom Zé
Album: Brazil Classics 4: The Best Of Tom Zé
Label: Luaka Bop
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

291: “Southern Girls” by Cheap Trick

Guys, you're letting all the holy air out.This is a critical review of “Southern Girls” by Cheap Trick, from In Color (1977), written as a play-by-play listen-through:

The song begins with a banging drum intro, and the appropriate response is one/two raised eyebrows and a nodding head. You should probably look around (at your friends), like, “Oh yeah, this is a straight-ahead rock-n-roll jammer.”

The guitar comes in like a SCUD missile, which solidifies your estimation. This track is something worth moving your particles to.

The lyrics deftly rhyme… Cheap Trick is singing about Southern girls, who get out on the street and got nothing to lose. Don’t analyze that. No good can come of it. Pay attention to the way your body’s moving. Because if you’re paying attention with your reptile brain, by now you’re bobbing your head like you’re trying to trap a peanut on the back of your neck. That’s the important part.

The classic rock is loosening your firmament.

You should begin to truly emotionally connect in the first chorus, when Robin Zander sings “I feel crazy, and everyone says it.” You’re not sure what exactly this song is getting at, but you’ll make a hat out of hamster pelts if it’s not catchy as all get out.

And hold on a cotton-pickin’ second, what’s up with this bridge? Wow, a whole new high-intensity tune right in the middle of the song!!! My God, Southern Girls, what are you making Cheap Trick do?!?

Okay, we’re back to the first verse. Cheap Trick knows we like stability in a relationship. They stick to the format, which has been proven through several decades to effectively manifest recursive booty moving. Midwestern rock-n-roll so earthy it actually contains rocks and corn and cow hair.

Cheap Trick has achieved great success in the US, but nothing like they’ve seen in Japan. They’re bigger in Japan than decayed fermented squid bowels and panty vending machines put together, which would be awesome, btw.

I would listen to this song again. In fact, I have, and will. Many times.

That ends the official review. I am sweating.

Enjoy the music, if not my words.

Song: Southern Girls
Artist: Cheap Trick
Album: In Color
Label: EPIC/LEGACY
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

290: “Your Love Gets Sweeter” by Finley Quaye

No, I won't adjust my hat, you silly goose.Finley Quaye is the artist praising the daily confectionary improvement of your love, from Maverick A Strike (1997).

I want to blare this song, at jet engine volume, into the face of assholes.

Maybe that makes me an asshole.

But my consideration of the perception of myself is an indication of a lack of assholery.

So, being somewhat upstanding, maybe I’m the one who should tell other people what they should do.

Or, maybe I should stop while I’m ahead and just be self-righteous.

Let’s just enjoy the music, and try to strike an asshole/self-righteous balance in our lives.

Song: Your Love Gets Sweeter Every Day
Artist: Finley Quaye
Album: Maverick A Strike
Label: 550 Music / Epic
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

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

284: “Freedom At 21” by Jack White

Setting is everything when you're on a trip.Jack White dropped his first SOLO album this year.

I’ll just come straight out with my thought process… If I were a producer-man paid to get the most dollar signs out of Jack White, I’d concoct influential potions for his every thirst and whisper in his ear to make more songs like this one, from Blunderbuss (2012).

I’d say, “Listen here, Edward Scissorhands, write more songs like ‘Freedom at 21,’ dude. That’s where your third chakra will find balance.” And so on.

I would be persuasive, using mental judo to lever his philosophical center of gravity around the pivot of his strongest desires.

Then I’d flip his ass right onto a gas-drenched pile of Tenacious D and Foo Fighters and see what kind of sweet musical explosions might occur with all those cats in the studio together.

You feel me, Jacks? I’m talking Benjamins. Snap. Black-girl-head-shake. Walk away.

Enjoy.

Song: Freedom at 21
Artist: Jack White
Album: Blunderbuss
Label: Third Man Records / Columbia
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: Colbert Report | Later with Jools Holland

280: “Season of the Witch” by Stephen Stills, Al Kooper

Season of the TwitchAs a child, my grandparents’ and cousins’ houses were separated by a few fences and some pastureland. One of the fences was electrified.

The electric fence provided me, my brother, and my cousin with hours of entertainment. We experimented with all sorts of different conductive materials and creative dares. One day, we were simply rolling under the electric fence, in transit between houses (we were too small to jump it, around 9 and 10 years old). My cousin, Clay, was holding a golf club without its head that my Grandfather used to carry on walks, with which to whack aggressive dogs…

So, Clay rolled underneath the electric fence while holding the metal golf club. And he rolled in such a way that the club touched the fence while he was laying directly underneath it. It started shocking the crap out of him, but the golf club was SITTING ON HIS CHEST AND LEANING AGAINST the electric fence above him. He was shaking and gurgling as he writhed to try to get away from the electrified golf club. I wanted to help, but my stronger inclination was not to get shocked, so I yelled at him and the golf club. “AHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Clay shook and gurgled for what seemed like forever (it was probably 3 seconds). Eventually, he convulsed/wriggled until the club fell and lost contact with the fence.

When I realized he was okay I had a good laugh at his expense. Clay took a while to find his humor again.

Clay, I’m sorry I didn’t think to kick the club away. But you’ve had healthy kids and that twitch went away, so I guess no permanent damage was done.

This story has nothing at all to do with the music below, by Stephen Stills and Al Kooper from Super Session (1968).

Enjoy the energy in this track.

Song: Season of the Witch
Artist: Stephen Stills, Al Kooper & Mike Bloomfield
Album: Super Session
Label: Columbia / Legacy
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

277: “Conversation Heart” by The Six Parts Seven

Unaverage band photo win.The Six Parts Seven got started by the Karpinski Bro’s (Allen and Jay) as a rhythm-based massage-therapy outfit in Kent, Ohio. Their massage sessions were also jam sessions. They would rhythmically pound and rub their clients, creating slaps, thuds, and squishes that mesmerized. The vibe was very relaxing, but customers didn’t like the spinning hippies who would invariably show up to soak in the mellow.

So the Parts segued into traditional instrument-based music. Their sound is like a massage, if you can relax into it. Their M.O. is to find a melodic theme and ride it like a wave, until the wave lets them know it’s time to paddle back out. And spinning hippies are okay in that context.

Would any of this be written down on the Internet if it were not true??

In related news, I happen to be a profoundly expert belly-drummer. Sometimes I go to the park on sunny days and wail on my belly. A few very special times, ecstatic hippies have surrounded me, spinning and drumming. During those beautiful moments of peaking positive energy, I turned my face to the sky, still slapping on my pink gut, and gave thanks to (The Turtle Holding Up The Earth*), for the mysterious gift that is Life On This Planet.

Just. Enjoy.

* In your mind, please insert the entity here that you think I should have used.

Song: Conversation Heart
Artist: The Six Parts Seven
Album: Casually Smashed To Pieces
Label: Suicide Squeeze Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

273: “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” by Robert Randolph & The Family Band

Emotation.Robert Randolph & The Family Band have moments of such intense, unbridled enthusiasm on the stage that many audience members garden-hose-shart their underpants from the excitement. The band’s performances are a bonafide pudding factory.

Randolph’s personal and musical background is in the House of God Church, so he knows how to reach out and touch spirits.

Catch them live this spring and summer! And shart for yourself.

“Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” is off of Colorblind (2006) and there’s a great live performance below from Late Night with David Letterman.

Sit on a towel and enjoy.

Song: Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That
Artist: Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Album: Colorblind
Label: Warner Bros.
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

271: “Slave To The Traffic Light” by Phish

Hand signal for: put sounds in earhole.Time slows. You awaken… more alert than ever.

Gravity feels strange. Light has an unusual color.

If the future was going to happen at all, you must be in it now.

And it is still happening.

Light is heavy and gravity is off-color.

There is a song playing. Phish perform the clockwork’s charge. The song’s name is obvious.

It is “Slave to the Traffic Light,” and you sit in its yoke.

You eat your kind, organic, veggie burrito on your lunch break from your damn job working for The Man, sitting behind the steering wheel of your life, and you slurp up the Phishy comeback sauce dripping off your fingers and sopping into your hippie mouthbeard.

It ain’t right.

But you just go on and enjoy yourself. Because it’s still a beautiful life.

Your carbon footprint is small. And the solo is tight.

Now go. Someone is honking at you.

Song: Slave To The Traffic Light
Artist: Phish
Album: Live Phish, Vol 1: 12/14/95, Binghamton, NY
Label: JEMP Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify

266: “Shoofly Pie” by The Wood Brothers

I wonder which one would win in a fistfight?The Wood Brothers, Chris and Oliver, have provided you with a seriously fine playlist so far. They’re on tour now, and they are excellent live. In fact, I will spit a beverage out of my face if you tell me you didn’t enjoy their live show whilst I am in the act of drinking a beverage.

Chris Wood sings more prominently on quite a few tracks on their fourth studio album, Smoke Ring Halo (2011), and that’s a good thing for a lot of young swooners out there. Sniff out “The Shore” if you wanna hear C-Dawg croon.

This one is a classic about love and appetite, “Shoofly Pie.” Enjoy.

Song: Shoofly Pie
Artist: Wood Brothers
Album: Smoke Ring Halo
Label: Southern Ground Artists
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube