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299: “Holland” by Brad Mehldau Trio

A new idea for a band photo: a WOODEN WALL. Brilliant!!Are you missing that special something keeping you from happiness?

Perhaps you see life as a dismal march toward oblivion? Perhaps you feel an emptiness wrapped around your center of gravity? Perhaps simply existing is a rodeo ride and your life is a universe-sized bull?

I have the answer to your problems, or I should say that you have the answer. Because the answer is inside you and it has been all along.

You are already free.

Shackled, worn, beaten, extorted, tortured, trodden upon, and yet still… you are free.

What I hold in the bottle in my hand is the key to discovering the freedom that lies within you. The liquid in this bottle can unlock the shackles in your mind preventing you from filling the emptiness that consumes you.

It’s pickle juice.

Really, I thought it would be a psychedelic or maybe even a thoroughly scientific breakthrough regarding brain function. It’s amazing, though. Pickle juice is what fills my emptiness. It’s the bee’s knees. Like, “Wow!”

I thought you guys would appreciate the tip.

And speaking of brimming spaces formerly empty, Brad Mehldau Trio make tunes that fill silence like sweet, sweet pickle juice for my ears. This one is “Holland,” a Sufjan Stevens cover, and it engages any vacuum it encounters.

Brad’s Trio (Brad + Larry Grenadier/Bass and Jeff Ballard/Drums) done gone and released two albums this year, Ode (2012) and Where Do You Start (2012). These three hate a vacuum as well. Go getcha some. Sit back, sip some pickle juice, and enjoy.

Song: Holland
Artist: Brad Mehldau Trio
Album: Where Do You Start
Label: Nonesuch
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

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297: “Who” by David Byrne & St. Vincent

Album cover done wrong/right.David Byrne never brings weak sauce. He brings sauce that is consistently robust, and he’s mixed it with St. Vincent as a protein this time.

This is music for people who suspect everyone else is a robot. If you’re not a robot, you will at least raise an eyebrow. It’s… robot test music.

I could tippity-type some more words about Love This Giant (2012), but it’s straw.

Enjoy.

Song: Who
Artist: David Byrne & St. Vincent
Album: Love This Giant
Label: 4AD
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

292: “Offspring Are Blank” by Dirty Projectors

Totally conventional band photo. Totally normal band.This song affects me.

I usually type a lot of “original copy,” stuff my future grandkids won’t access with their Internet goggles, in the space that these words occupy.

But today, I’m cutting to the quick. Because… Dirty Projectors, I push play on this one, Swing Lo Magellan (2012), and I crap sideways.

Words are stupid. My doo-doo is sideways. Yet I can’t stop listening. Forget that you’re even reading this, and look away from me.

Enjoy the song before I stupid anymore. Grandkids, I love you. Make more of us.

Song: Offspring Are Blank
Artist: Dirty Projectors
Album: Swing Lo Magellan
Label: Domino Recording Co
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

285: “Deep In A Fried Pickle” by Billy Martin & Wil Blades

Ok, guys, give me your best I'll-kick-your-ass face.If you’re doing it right, every once in a while, you look at an amazing sunset or a beautiful person’s rear end and think to yourself, “Holy Hunks of Inter-Dimensional Is-ness, it is amazing that I am alive and that I am able to witness THIS. THIS RIGHT HERE… High five, Universe. Thanks for having me.”

And if you’re picking your music well, you might wind up listening to Shimmy (2012) by Billy Martin on skins (of Medeski, Martin & Wood) and Wil Blades on the keys. And you might just think… THIS RIGHT HERE.

The album just dropped, and it’s worth earhole insertion. Word on the street: Billy Martin wasn’t getting his quota of funky keyboard licks from bandmate John Medeski, and stepped out to two-time with Blades, who is on a less astral plane than Medeski and dispenses funky licks freely. That is how I would write the movie version, anyway.

There are a few smoking tracks on Shimmy, but I humbly submit “Deep In A Fried Pickle” as the single greatest trizzle on the bizzle.

You don’t need to understizzle. Just enjizzle.

Song: Deep In A Fried Pickle
Artist: Billy Martin & Wil Blades
Album: Shimmy
Label: The Royal Potato Family
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

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

275: “Eleggua” by Dr. John

Paul Simon is wearing a funny hat.Dude.

Dan Auerbach is like a slice of watermelon. Just pure goodness. And he’s peak ripe.

Dan got Dr. John* (Mac Renneback) to step off his porch and mix sauces with a hand-picked team of badass musicians. Because he could, and because he’s not lazy.

The output of their combined forces, Locked Down (2012), is as good as you should hope it’d be. A perfect, juicy slice.

And it is a fact that if you were to construct a time machine out of your shorn body hair and spare flotsam, and travel back to 1971 in order to kidnap Dr. John and bring him back to the present in an AquaNet, you would be only one step closer to obtaining the gold you can have if you listen to this album. And you’d have burned way more calories. It’d be wasteful tactics.

Listen, instead.

“Eleggua” will fuse a few musical compartments together in your mind.

If I keep typing, I gotta stop listening. So I’m out. Enjoy.

* Incredulous eyebrows.

Song: Eleggua
Artist: Dr. John
Album: Locked Down
Label: Nonesuch
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG

272: “Ray Charles” by Chiddy Bang

Yo.I’m Ray Charles. I’m also Babe Ruth and Balky from Perfect Strangers.

And my spirit animal is either a tapeworm or something that looks like one.

People do not get to choose their mystic visions.

This track is by the hip-hop duo Chiddy Bang. Straight outta Philly, yo. These catz got mad stylez. They’re Ray Charles, after all.

Have some Breakfast (2012). And enjoy.

Song: Ray Charles (Explicit)
Artist: Chiddy Bang
Album: Breakfast
Label: EMI UK
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube