169: “Dry The Rain” and “Monolith” by The Beta Band

Best. Band. Photo. Ever.The Beta Band was catapulted to a shoulder-height level of fame with the movie High Fidelity (2000), starring John Cusack and Jack Black.  Their song, “Dry The Rain,” was featured on the soundtrack and the band is actually mentioned in the film.

The Beta Band was a British group, and its members now live on in newer incarnations.

Another track from the same compilation album, “Monolith” (in two parts), reminiscent of Pink Floyd, is below “Dry The Rain.”  And hold your incontinence to a minimum, but I’m also throwing in Jack Black’s (partial) cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” from High Fidelity.  Classic stuff and a total spoiler if you’ve never seen the movie.

I’d pay money for a whole album of Jack Black covering soul classics… Yeah, and I’m a big fan of the entire Jackass franchise of artistic offerings…. And I often breathe through my mouth when I’m busy not thinking… And I like to eat off-brand beef sticks.  I’m comfortable with all this.

Clear your mind, and enjoy.

Song: Dry The Rain
Artist: The Beta Band
Album: The Three EP’s
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes


165: “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Barry Adamson

Barry Adamson doesn't always drink beer.Barry Adamson is a British musician who’s all over the board with his style.

Here’s a good one I first heard on Secret Agent Radio on iTunes in 1999.  “Something Wicked This Way Comes” from The Murky World of Barry Adamson (1999).

Happy Weekend, people.


Song: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Artist: Barry Adamson
Album: The Murky World of Barry Adamson
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

140: “Filipino Box Spring Hog” by Tom Waits


Tom Waits can hear your heart beat beat beat.A few Tom Waits quotes to go along with “Filipino Box Spring Hog” from Mule Variations (1999):

“There ain’t no devil, only God when he’s drunk.”
— Tom Waits

“Q: What’s hard for you?

A: Mostly I straddle reality and the imagination. My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane. Math is hard. Reading a map. Following orders. Carpentry. Electronics. Plumbing. Remembering things correctly. Straight lines. Sheet rock. Finding a safety pin. Patience with others. Ordering in Chinese. Stereo instructions in German.

— Tom Waits

“I’ve been riding on the crest of a slump lately.”
— Tom Waits

“I’ve always been a word guy, I like weird words and I like American slang and all that and words that are no longer being used… I like to drag them out of the box and wave them around… this is an interesting one, it’s amazing how in addition to punctuation just a little pause in the wrong place can just completely transform the meaning of something.”
— Tom Waits


Song: Filipino Box Spring Hog
Artist: Tom Waits
Album: Mule Variations
Label: Anti/Epitaph
Buy from: Tom Waits

136: “Pledge Drive” by Five Style

Record cover of miniature portraits.Here’s one from the unconventional instrumental group called Five Style.

From Miniature Portraits (1999) on the Subpop label, “Pledge Drive” comes with steel drum goodness.


Song: Pledge Drive
Artist: Five Style
Album: Miniature Portraits
Label: Subpop
Buy from: Subpop

78: “Seasons” by Bobby Hughes Experience

Espen Horne is high contrast.The Norwegian-born frontman of Bobby Hughes Experience, Espen Horne, time travels to the 60’s and smuggles grooves back into the future.

This one is called “Seasons” but I can’t give you a good discography, as I don’t have it, and it’s hard to find online.  I originally heard it on a cd called Eighteenth Street Lounge Soundtracks – Jet Society which was a soundtrack to something or other.

Hey, wake up.  And enjoy.

Song: Seasons
Artist: Bobby Hughes Experience
Album: Eighteenth Street Lounge Soundtracks – Jet Society [Soundtrack]
Label: Eighteenth Street
Buy from: Amazon (CD Only)

65: “Cradle of Light” by Child’s View (a.k.a. Nobukazu Takemura)

Nice ascot.Nobukazu Takemura is a Japanese musician who sheds genres like cardigans.

Enjoy this wild, amazing song.

Mental exercise:
Have you ever wondered what kind of music that great artists would create if they had no outside influences, no concept of what “music” should be?  If Mozart had been stranded on an island from birth and he was driven to compose, what would things have sounded like in his head?

Song: Cradle of Light
Artist: Nobukazu Takemura
Album: Funfair
Label: Bubble Core Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

40: “Where It’s At” by Beck (Lloyd Price Express Remix by John King)

L. Ron Hubbard dressed them psyonically from beyond the grave.This is a rocking remix of the 1996 Beck classic, “Where It’s At.”

I found out Beck is a scientologist a few years ago, and it’s tainted my experience of his music ever since.  Scientologists are as ridiculous as creationists and tiny dogs wearing clothes.

Before I found out about Beck’s relationship with The Church, I strongly admired his absurd style and sideways funk… as you can appreciate in the video below.  Beck’s a great entertainer, so I try to forgive him his irrationality while still appreciating it.  I have to remember that some of the best people the world has ever known have been completely irrational.  It takes all kinds, right?

So, for a few moments, drive out thoughts of shady, cult-like organizations, and enjoy.

Song: Where It’s At (Lloyd Price Express Remix by John King)
Artist: Beck
Album: Where It’s At
Label: Import (Generic)
Buy from: Amazon

33: “Durian” by The Cinematic Orchestra

Infinity x 6.The Cinematic Orchestra is but a handful of men, who use turntabulism, live instruments, and some special whatchamacallit to make music.  For some of their music they actually pre-record their own instruments to sample back in during live performances and recordings, which is a nice twist on how to use a DJ.  There are probably other historical examples of this, but I can’t think of any.  Lemme know.

I’ve always liked their debut album, Motion (1999), best.  Here is the opening track, “Durian.”

The song has two parts.  The first part could be the soundtrack of a seduction thriller.  The second part could be from a 70’s chase scene, funky and intense.  Crazy, I know.

But dig it.  Enjoy.

Song: Durian
Artist: The Cinematic Orchestra
Album: Motion
Label: Ninja Tune
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: YouTube

6: “You’ve Got A Booger Bear Under There” by Ollie Nightingale

Ollie Nightingale, Pimp As Purple ItselfI lived in Memphis for a while, and was introduced to the music of Ollie Nightingale, who was still alive at the time.  He was part of what was still called “The Chitlin’ Circuit” by folks I knew, and which I took to apply to a certain style of performers touring the Southeast US, namely, “off-color” (woefully under-descriptive!) African-American musicians/comedians playing to largely African-American audiences.  I saw Bobby Rush, another musician I’d considered part of that scene, at a great show at the New Daisy Theater.  Some consider the term “Chitlin’ Circuit” applied to modern musicians to be derogatory, but I certainly mean no offense by it.  I enjoyed several “Chitlin’ Circuit” artists very much, and spent money on them, so I care where it counts.

Here’s a quintessential example of the type of song that would be heard on the “Chitlin’ Circuit,” as we called it: “You’ve Got A Booger Bear Under There,” by Ollie Nightingale.  No matter how you might judge the poetic content of the lyrics, it’s a soundly-written song and was often covered by the illustrious Alex Chilton.


Song: You’ve Got A Booger Bear Under There
Artist: Ollie Nightingale
Album: The Best of Ollie Nightingale
Label: Ecko Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG

Watch Ollie performing “Are You Lonesome” at a place and time unknown…