307: “March of the Dirty Razors” by Big Ass Truck

Memphis mingling.

BAT and Rufus Thomas

A young American talks with his grandfather, a veteran of the second World War, a self-made man, a leader in his community. They have a somber exchange, after a hearty meal of meat, potatoes, and maize on the cob. The grandfather says to his progeny,

“Grandson, there are two wolves living inside the heart of every man.

“One of the wolves is sustained by feelings of joy, peace, love, hope, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, and compassion.

“The second wolf thrives on fear, jealousy, anger, bitterness, and basically the second wolf is a huge d-bag. Like a Totes-McGoats-Gertrude-Huffernuffer. For izzies, dropping major slog right on the trail where all the other metaphor wolves walk, and this sack of fur won’t even fight the good wolf directly, because this second wolf claims ‘the situation is much more nuanced than good and evil’ and that it ‘just has bouts of depression’ and ‘doesn’t want to be the bad wolf, anymore’ and all types of such nonsense.

“These two wolves continuously fight a battle every day inside each of us.”

The young American stares wide-eyed at his grandfather, “Grandpa? Which wolf wins?”

Grandpa looks his descendant in the face, and says “March of the Dirty Razors” by Big Ass Truck, from Who Let You In Here? (1998). It was a band formed in Memphis in the 19 and 90’s and its members continue to create new music to this day.

The boy says, “I don’t get it. Is that a song? There is a band called Big Gas Truck? The quotes weren’t proper and your words became unfastened. Grandpa, are you all right?”

Grandpa starts to dissolve and swirl like an expensive video editing plug-in effect, and says, as he spins into a syrup of 10 million fading pixels, “Just enjoy the music, kid. I’m off…

Song: March of the Dirty Razors
Artist: Big Ass Truck
Album: Who Let You In Here?
Label: Terminus Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify

283: “Every Ghetto, Every City” by Lauryn Hill

Damn, she fine.Lauryn Hill is aging backward. She’s a tiny baby now, shrinking to a reverse-potential fetus.

The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998) is her classic, sitting outside the persuasions of chronological time.

Baby Lauryn is cooing at the sky right now, and children all over the world are repeating the patterns woven into the songs of her past future.

She’s eating mooshed up pears and ham, and dreaming of her next album.

We’re all trying to break into a new timeline.

Do enjoy.

Song: Every Ghetto, Every City
Artist: Lauryn Hill
Album: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

267: “Cat O’Nine Tails” by Combustible Edison

Smell my finger. Or pull it. Either way. That's how us future loungers roll.“Future Lounge” music was a trend in the mid-nineties, like soaking your hands in Palmolive, and electric cars.

Combustible Edison was the absolute rowdiest future lounge act around back then. They would wear white pants off-season, and put anchovies in their martinis, and pass gas in each other’s faces without even asking. The future lounge circuit was CRA-ZAY-ZY!!

Here’s “Cat O’Nine Tails” which shows off the funkier side of the Edison. From The Impossible World (1998).


Song: Cat O’Nine Tails
Artist: Combustible Edison
Album: The Impossible World
Label: Sub Pop Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG  | Spotify

187: “Aurora En Pekin” by Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos

Marc Ribot - Sexy Rock Star PhotoMarc Ribot, American guitarist, along with his prosthetic Cubans, aims to tear your heart out.

If you’re drinking Red Bull, do not watch this. If you were raped in a Cuban prison, do not watch this. If you kill, and don’t chill, then don’t watch this. No good can come of it.

It’s a live video of the band in action, performing a tune from their 1998 self-titled debut, “Aurora en Pekin.”  Your mom likes it.


Song: Aurora En Pekin
Artist: Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos
Album:  Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos
Label: Atlantic / Wea
Buy from: Amazon
Watch: YouTube

130: “Photosynthesis” by Sean Lennon

Who's Your Daddy?There has been a bunch of press recently about John Lennon’s death and birth anniversaries.

Well, John Lennon had two sons who make some music of their own.  Sean Lennon, only son of John and Yoko Ono, made some really interesting music in the late 90’s that I’ve been revisiting lately.  He’s still doing his thing if you want to check that out.

Here’s “Photosynthesis” from Into The Sun (1998) by Sean Lennon.

It is worth noting that Lennon plays every instrument on this track… with his feet.  He knew there were tall expectations.


Song: Photosynthesis
Artist: Sean Lennon
Album: Into The Sun
Label: Capitol Catalog
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

116: “Cry” by Money Mark (Dust Brothers Remix)

I like the way people look at me when there's a bunch of candy behind me.Get some fried pickles.  Get some coldbeers.  Then queue this one up, and let the juices flow.

Money Mark‘s original tune from 1995 is the bottom video.  A remix by The Dust Brothers on top.

Get hit in your soul.  Enjoy.

Song: Cry
Artist: Money Mark (Dust Brothers Remix)
Album: Got My Hand In Your Head
Label: Pid
Buy from: Amazon (CD Only)

66: “Blue Green Olga” by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

He's always this way. They carry him in a crate like a boxing kangaroo.This is the best of all songs dedicated to a blue green person.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is as good as they are noisy.


Song: Blue Green Olga
Artist: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Album: ACME
Label: Matador
Buy from: Amazon

29: “Jack Gets Up” by Leo Kottke

Leo Kottke, honkey with skills.Leo Kottke (born September 11, 1945, Athens, Georgia, U.S.) is a guitar master (6 and 12 string) and a poet with a bent pair of glasses.  He’s described his own voice as sounding like “geese farts on a muggy day.”

A lot of Leo’s work is instrumental, and it’s all over the spectrum from folk to blues to jazz to bluegrass.  I enjoy his goose-fart voice, and I’ve picked below one of the few songs of Leo’s that doesn’t showcase his incredible skills on the guitar.  Instead, it’s a track that shows you what kind of poet he is, with outlandish but moving lyrics spoken over a slow-moving and beautiful melody.

I love this song deeply, and despite its absurdity, or perhaps because of it, it’s made me cry more than a couple of times.  Hey, I’m man enough to admit when I’m more like a little girl.  And I can still kick your ass, or at least your sister’s.

It’s called “Jack Gets Up.”


Song: Jack Gets Up
Artist: Leo Kottke
Album: My Father’s Face
Label: BMG Music
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: iLike.com
Watch: YouTube (live)

28: “Way Up” by Gustavo A Santaolalla

Santaolalla. Santaolalla. Santaolalla.Gustavo A. Santaolalla is an interesting figure in both South and North American music (worth the Wikipedia read).  I recently discovered his 1998 recording entitled Ronroco in which Santaolalla created an ethereal sound that includes traditional stringed instruments from his Argentine homeland, mixed with the varied musical styles he’s used throughout his career.

He’s done quite a bit of soundtrack work for films including Motorcycle Diaries and 21 Grams, in addition to a few I’ve never heard of.

The track I’d like to share from Ronroco is “Way Up” and it sounds like just that…  like music that was conceived on a mountaintop.  Take a listen and see if you don’t hear it yourself.

This is chillin’ music.  To be enjoyed while:
-in a hot bath
-makin’ sweet love
-falling asleep
-pondering the mystery of existence itself
-eating cheese

There may be other applications, but these alone are sanctioned by the author.

Enjoy, whilst doing something listed above.

Song: Way Up
Artist: Gustavo A. Santaolalla
Album: Ronroco
Label: Nonesuch Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

Listen to another track from Ronroco, “Iguazu” on YouTube:

21: “The Suspension Bridge At Iguazú Falls” by Tortoise

Tortoise in a swamp.  Get it?  Wait, that's turtles.Tortoise is a “post-rock”(?) instrumental band that formed in Chicago in 1990.  I saw them live around 1994 at a tiny little club on Madison St in Midtown Memphis (Barrister’s, it might have been called at the time?).  The band members kept switching instruments between songs with no reduction in the quality of the music, which I thought was very cool.

The vibraphone plays an important part in their music which helps piece together the puzzle of why they are a “post-rock” band instead of, say, “wealthy pop stars.”

This song, “The Suspension Bridge At Iguazú Falls,” is from TNT (1998).  It has about a minute long intro before it gets to the meat of the song, which is what the samples on Amazon and iTunes play for you.


Song: The Suspension Bridge At Iguazú Falls
: Tortoise
: Thrill Jockey
Buy from
: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: YouTube