296: “When The Levee Breaks” and “Jungle Boogie” by Dread Zeppelin

Dread Zeppelin. Professional band band photo.In addition to being the single best reggae Led Zeppelin cover band with an Elvis-impersonator frontman ever, Dread Zeppelin invented the emergency poncho, which has served millions in times of emergencies requiring ponchos.

Dread Zeppelin is also the physical manifestation of a mathematical theorem striving to prove that life outside your head is even weirder than life inside your own head no matter how weird your head is. Look your ears in the eye and consider.

These guys were a great show way back in the 90’s when I was young enough to eat fried chicken right before strenuous exercise, and they’re still touring now… as though they haven’t eaten any fried chicken at all. Mathematical.

Enjoy. Especially if you’ve never Dread Zeppelin’d.

Song: When The Levee Breaks
Artist: Dread Zeppelin
Album: The I.R.S. Years
Label: Capitol Catalog
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify

Song: Jungle Boogie
Artist: Dread Zeppelin
Album: The I.R.S. Years
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

293: “Kandi” by One Eskimo

Bay bee. Heh low. Ess Kimo.[Russian Accent, Reflective Sunglasses]
Perhaps you want to know how to charm ze ladies? You call zem “bay… bee baybee” repeatedly. All night if posseebol. Zey love dis.
[/Russian Accent, Reflective Sunglasses]

As you know, Eskimo and Russian cultures are related in that they both have dozens of euphemisms for the effects of cold temperature on nipples. All this is related. Keep reading.

One EskimO is the band. Like those before and after, they were formed from clay, fired in an oven, and animated by the explosive strike of a lightning bolt. Their music has been written over the past 6 billion years by monkeys typing randomly on typewriters. They have penned some jewels. None of Shakespeare’s works, mind you, but plenty of solid pop music among the infinite monkey noise.

Enjoy, comrade.

Song: Kandi
Artist: One Eskimo
Album: One Eskimo
Label: Shangri-La
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG
Watch: Vimeo

263: “Clear Blue Skies (Instrumental)” by Georgia Anne Muldrow

Tune in Tokyo... Tune in Tokyo...It ain’t got no words. Ain’t got no jellybeans or goobers, neither. It’s just a song.

But it’s a song that I picture myself playing some radical basketball to, circa 1987. My hair is thick and my lateral movement is especially swift.

Georgia Anne Muldrow is responsible for the tune. Muldrow is one of those gifted, utility musicians who can do it all. She plays most of the instruments on her recordings. But most importantly, she has something more than technical skills… She gots SOUL. Like Stevie Wonder or Lenny Kravitz or Whistling Pete, the Whistling Welshman.

Getcha some of this instrumental track, “Clear Blue Skies,” from Eagle Nebula’s Cosmic Headphones Instrumentals (2011) (sans the rap artistry of Eagle Nebula). Or, check out Muldrow’s beautiful voice on the track “Child of the Sun” on her album Early (2009).


Song: Clear Blue Skies (Instrumental)
Artist: Georgia Anne Muldrow
Album: Eagle Nebula’s Cosmic Headphones Instrumentals
Label: Epistrophik Peach
Buy from: Amazon
Listen: MOG


245: “Brother’s Keeper (Parts 1 and 2)” by Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

Karl can kick your ass, but totally won't.“I’m just trying to do for you what I hope you would do for me.” That’s wisdom from Brother’s Keeper (2009). Karl Denson and his Tiny Universe have done something for you. Listen and enjoy.

The answer is always pretty simple. Karl knows it.

Happy Newness!!

Song: Brother’s Keeper (Part 1 and 2)
Artist: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Album: Brother’s Keeper
Label: Shanachie Entertainment
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

242: “Where The Hell Is Henry?” by Chuck Prophet

Photo shoot. Grandma's House.If you mix Tom Petty juice with Alex Chilton juice and reduce, it might taste something like Chuck Prophet sauce.

I suspect Chuck Prophet may be tired of Tom Petty references, but I’m going to compound his potential suffering by saying he even sort of looks like Tom Petty. Sorry, dude.

Chuck was in Green on Red back in the 80’s for you fossils out there. I’m linking below to “Where the Hell Is Henry?” from ¡Let Freedom Ring! (2009). But I’ve also posted a YouTube video of a song from Chuck’s impending album, Temple Beautiful.

Chuck’s music is straight ahead and fairly radio-ready, but it’s also slightly off kilter, with attitude to spare. I think you may dig it.

Suck down some sauce, and enjoy.

Song: Where The Hell Is Henry?
Artist: Chuck Prophet
Album: ¡Let Freedom Ring!
Label: Yep Roc Records
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG

Song: Temple Beautiful
Artist: Chuck Prophet
Album: Temple Beautiful (Unreleased as of Dec 14, 2011)
Watch: YouTube

209: “Song Up In Her Head” by Sarah Jarosz

The weeds always inspire me to my best picture-readyness.17 when she recorded her debut album Song Up In Her Head (2009), Sarah Jarosz is young, and fresh as the dew on a newly blossomed lily, glistening in the enchanted moonlight of a sweetly-scented Texas mid-summer night… and so on.

Here’s the title track of that debut, from a live recording from the 2010 Americana Music Festival in Nashville.


Song: Song Up In Her Head
Artist: Sarah Jarosz
Album: Song Up In Her Head
Label: Sugar Hill
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Watch: YouTube

146: “Throw Down Your Heart” by Béla Fleck and Friends (DVD)

Banjo. At least it's not an accordion. (TM)There is a lot of music in this non-song recommendation.  In the documentary, Béla Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart, Béla Fleck takes his banjo back to Africa to explore the instrument’s roots and just to try to make some good music along the way.

It’s a fun ride, and this excerpt captures one of the magical moments when music transcends everything else we think is so important when we’re not singing or playing or dancing.

So pull out your thumb piano, your banjo, sing, or just hambone.  And enjoy.

DVD: Béla Fleck: Throw Down Your Heart
Artist: Béla Fleck
Buy from: Amazon

144: “False Jesii Part 2” by Pissed Jeans


Pissed Jeans. Clever as the wind.One of the greatest videos I’ve seen in a while.  This song is a departure for the site.  I doubt I would listen to this music without watching the video.  It is funny, but it requires a certain type of energy, a certain frequency at which I rarely vibrate.  And no, this is not funk music.  It’s funky like a rotting banana, but in a good way(?).

It’s another Subpop artist, Pissed Jeans.  They’re punk, but they have a Wikipedia entry, so they’re not THAT punk.  By the way, Subpop doesn’t pay me, despite this being the third post of a Subpop artist lately.  Everything on this site is a labor of love, at least until someone offers to pay me, then I might just whore the site out.  But for now it’s totally pure.  Pure as the driven snow.

So put on your most blasé face and enjoy.

Song: False Jesii Part 2
Artist: Pissed Jeans
Album: King of Jeans
Label: Subpop
Buy from: Subpop

128: “Think” by Bill Frisell

This is not your standard band photo. Bill should be wearing a Bill Cosby sweater, though.Here’s a spooky tune from a guy who has played as wide a range of styles as any musician.  “Think” is by guitarist Bill Frisell, from Disfarmer (2009).

And here is a good poem to read whilst you listen, presented completely without permission, but with good intention. It was written by Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate.


“Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser from Flying at Night: Poems 1965-1985.
© University of Pittsburgh Press.

Abandoned Farmhouse

He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm-a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

Song: Think
Artist: Bill Frisell
Album: Disfarmer
Label: Nonesuch
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

102: “Periodically Double or Triple” by Yo La Tengo


"Speeding Motorcycle" changed my life.Funky Friday doesn’t have to be a funk song, I don’t guess.

Here’s a juicy video.

Yo La Tengo is all over the place, and shape-shifty.  There’s no formula.  No equations.  Just some crazy personalities flowing.  They’re in Europe now, but back touring the US in December.

Here’s a video from their 2009 album, Popular Songs.

Sink your teeth in, and enjoy.

Song: Periodically Double or Triple
Artist: Yo La Tengo
Album: Popular Songs
Label: Matador Records Limited
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes