Bury the Bell: Jeff’s first 2020 Covers Songpile

What it says on the label.

part 1:

  1. Hal Ketchum “Five O’Clock World” (The Vogues cover, 1991) 0.00
  2. Whyte Horses & Badly Drawn Boy “Satellite of Love” (Lou Reed cover, 2019) 2.59
  3. Elvis Presley “Too Much Monkey Business” (Chuck Berry cover, 1969) 6.05
  4. Mikey Erg “Mother Nature’s Son” (Beatles cover, 2020) 8.35
  5. Wren Kitz “Cortez the Killer” (Neil Young & Crazy Horse cover, 2020) 10.58
  6. Beauty Pill “JTS Study No. 1” (David Bowie “Jump They Say” cover, 2020) 18.43
  7. Keziah Jones “Golden Brown” (The Stranglers cover, 2017) 24.08
  8. Fusion Farm “Hollis Brown” (Bob Dylan cover, 1971) 27.29
  9. Fuck You, Tammy! “True Love’s Flame” (David Lynch/Dean Hurley cover, 2020) 34.40
  10. The Speed of Sound “I See You” (The Byrds cover, 2020) 39.17
  11. Peggy Sue “Point of No Return” (Gene McDaniels cover, 2012) 42.03
  12. Jawbox “It’s Expected I’m Gone” (Minutemen cover, 1984) 44.01
  13. Tennis “Guiding Light” (Television cover, 2012) 46.27

part 2:

  1. Parks & Recreation “All My Love” (Led Zeppelin cover, 2010) 0.00
  2. Eastern Lane “Fa Cé-La” (Feelies cover, 2003) 4.54
  3. Zeus Springsteen “Madman Across the Water” (Elton John cover, 2020) 7.13
  4. Nilüfer Yanya “Hey” (Pixies cover, 2016) 13.09
  5. Molly Tuttle “Standing on the Moon” (Grateful Dead cover, 2020) 15.51
  6. Ty Segall “Gotta Get Up” (Harry Nilsson cover, 2020) 20.17
  7. Kelsey Lu “I’m Not in Love” (10cc cover, 2019) 22.41
  8. The GOASTT “Long Gone” (Syd Barrett cover, 2014) 29.24
  9. Fu Manchu “Takin’ It to the Streets” (Doobie Brothers cover, 2020) 33.18
  10. Spotlights “All I Need” (Radiohead cover, 2020) 38.10
  11. Tanya Donelly & Gail Greenwood “Sweet Ghost of Light” (Robyn Hitchcock cover, 2020) 43.22
  12. The Spires “Exit Flagger” (Guided by Voices cover, rlsd. 2020, recorded 5-10 years earlier) 46.39
  13. + 49.05
  14. ++ 51.40


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Sophocles’ Monocles (Jeff’s Summer 2020 Songpile)

Once again, a pile of (mostly) new(ish) songs that came my way and caught my ears over the past few months, carefully segued into an audio extravaganza. Or something like that.

(Note: for some reason, the links do not open properly in Mac Safari. Please right-click and select copy link, then open in a different browser.)

part 1:

1. Spygenius “Heaven Is Blue” (b-side, “Spite” single, 2020) 0.00

2. Jorge Elbrecht “Tuesday Morning” (single, 2020) 4.13

3. Cass McCombs “The Wine of Lebanon” (single, 2020) 7.14

4. Laura Mvula “Green Garden” (Green Garden, 2013) 10.55

5. Agony Aunts “Countless Psalms” (split single with The Corner Laughers, 2020) 14.32

6. Cornershop “St Marie Under Canon” (England Is a Garden, 2020) 16.48

7. Lucille Furs “Paint Euphrosyne Blue” (Another Land, 2019) 20.56

8. The Beths “Dying to Believe” (single, 2020) 24.12

9. The Lickerish Quartet “Lighthouse Spaceship” (single, 2020) 27.40

10. Vinyl Williams “Soft Soul” (Azure, 2020) 33.57

11. Beauty Pill “The Damndest Thing” (Please Advise, 2020) 37.57

12. Lafawndah “Uniform” (Ancestor Boy, 2020) 43.01

part 2:

1. The Asteroid No. 4 “Under My Umbrella” (single, 2020) 0.00

2. Paula Carino “Door” (single, 2020) 3.38

3. Wilco “Tell Your Friends” (single, 2020) 7.18

4. Swervedriver “Winter Depths” (single, 2020) 12.41

5. El Goodo “I Sit and Wonder” (By Order of the Moose, 2017) 18.24

6. Hayley Williams “Roses Lotus Violet Iris” (Petals for Armor, 2020) 21.16

7. FKA Twigs “Mary Magdalene” (Magdalene, 2020) 26.29

8. Blesson Roy “In Tune with the Moon” (single, 2020) 31.47

9. Albert Hammond Jr. “Had to Try” (Etchings from Francis Trouble, 2018) 35.38

10. Chicano Batman “Pink Elephant” (Invisible People, 2020) 39.20

11. Samantha Crain “Garden Dove” (single, 2020) 42.30

12. Dolph Chaney “Automatic Caution Door” (b-side, “The Handling” single, 2020) 46.17

13. Jade Hairpins “J Terrapin” (Harmony Avenue, 2020) 48.16

+ 50.18


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Senseless Destruction

For no good reason, every line from every Monkey Typing Pool song I’ve written (including many never recorded and which probably won’t ever be), broken up in alphabetical order:

  • A catalog of dust with a spotless index
  • A charred memory improves a bent wheel
  • A dubious sleuth loose in black cotton shoes*
  • A flight of stairs, a broken clock,
  • A hero to cabbies…engineered rhythm power.
  • A pen erasing, tracing lines,
  • A piece of driftwood floating in a stream
  • a rhyming dictionary, and an old brown coat.
  • a silhouetted window strung
  • A statue of a man on horseback
  • a switchblade ego, a turnpike mind,
  • a ukulele on the wall, a strand of rope.
  • Administer the brooch beneath the rose
  • Air to blur and settle
  • Alchemic
  • All anxious dreams festering, sprung in skyward trajectory
  • All entries sequestered in the Pelican Directory.
  • All maps and plans gesture, legends murmur his treachery
  • Almanac cracker!
  • An apple’s only still when falling,
  • an appled oranger
  • An empty glass, an ashtray full…
  • and all my moments were second-hand,
  • And aspirin, and anomie, and Judas Priest, and possibly alcohol
  • and combs and insolent hygiene.
  • And dressed in shadow, half-light, and in gray
  • And I pull another moon, false promises sent*
  • and it also ends.
  • and loaded us in a truck
  • And my Daddy’d come home achin’
  • And my hopes are surely sinkin’
  • and prepare
  • and sent us out of Beverly.
  • and slate removed
  • and smells of burning matches—
  • And the smell of sizzlin’ bacon in a pan
  • And then one day we was stirrin’ up the crude
  • And they’ve got just anything in life they need
  • And when you google your name in the future,
  • And yesterday’s news is covered up with rotting food
  • Annotate the capstone
  • another hundred songs…
  • another jukebox echo lost in smoke and haze.
  • Another match is burnt to ash, another weakened cocktail drunk,
  • Answers fall as the wind dies down
  • As Enophile connoisseur voices pile on as your…
  • as something as your something else.
  • As spirits are raised, drained, and
  • As the father of traffic laws, the eminent William Phelps Eno:
  • As their ghost pixels fade away, like a turned-off TV,
  • Ask which
  • At home we find it best to try to keep them in line
  • At least he not dare for him to take to the wing*
  • At night she glistens like a sword baffled by syllable
  • banjo fence
  • barrel a peck and
  • be all he can be
  • be team player
  • be wherever you belong
  • be zestfully clean!
  • beat the drum?
  • Been there fifty or a hundred years
  • belong wherever you are missing
  • Bits flame if you name the Wrong Eno!
  • Black pooling wax, undying stain
  • blue becalmed confine
  • Bronzed faith dwarfs margins of error
  • build a tower underground
  • Bury armies
  • But don’t mind Jim, so secretive and grim
  • but he can’t make us eat it.
  • But I ain’t much good at thinkin’
  • But which
  • But you can protect yourself from supervision
  • But you can’t swallow a cage (can you).
  • calving ice shelf
  • Camo snuggie on the couch, no heat, chipped plaster on the wall
  • Captioned in emaciated numbers
  • Cars all around.
  • Cart before
  • Caught a cold laid me up for a week, popping Ricola and zinc
  • ’cause his knees aren’t so pretty—
  • Chimney-pots
  • circumpolar
  • cite artistic difference
  • Civil twilight
  • Clandestine
  • Clipped wings and a nice little perch will be fine
  • coding a website for you.
  • cold-war border, white night spring light
  • Counterfeit cretin bootlegger
  • Daddy’d drain ’em one by one
  • Dark candles burning in my brain
  • Dark minister
  • delegate authority
  • Depth and volume define
  • desert and skies blue
  • Dim moon in crescent
  • discard bad data
  • Don’t leverage souls till they’re hatched
  • dressed Wattenburg delinquent
  • Drink ’em down, God’ll bless you when the day is done
  • Each compass point and knotting
  • Each curse, each spell, each pleading
  • Each prayer, each hope, each bleating Each trace, each line, each plotting
  • eat low on food chain
  • Edsger rabbits parceling puzzled missive
  • engraved, laid paper memorial,
  • evaporated
  • Even where it’s night, some lovers long to shout for June—
  • Expressed in codes and graphs that chart the way
  • Feel like a castle upside-down
  • flow and thaw clear sky
  • form focus group
  • frozen solstice moments by
  • Fur hats, a soft leather suit, promise of spring*
  • give one-hundred-ten percent
  • going vague in a Vegas casino
  • Goldstine exhaled rainiest turkeys
  • goodies slept coons adhere crunches
  • Gravity says.
  • Hard-riding man hardly filling his breeches*
  • Harry Houdini is cut down at last*
  • Harvest fountains
  • He carries compasses
  • He hasn’t moved at all.
  • He led us to a fork in the road
  • He left a burnin’ cigarette
  • He nails up his gallows and swings from the mast.*
  • He rides a donkey
  • he smashed all the windows.
  • He wears trousers
  • He worked so hard but knew to take it like a man
  • He’s anointed the bank vaults in his castles in the sky
  • hears the cypress shiver,
  • Here’s one I bet you wouldn’t want to meet in the wild
  • Heuristic matrices drawn tight around the throat
  • His tired old back was surely breakin’
  • Hotel Aramon
  • Hurry up, fleecy perverts
  • I can study rain
  • I could never fall.
  • I filled a man with sand
  • I fucked the chief of police—it was my birthday
  • I remember Mama’s apron
  • I remember what he’d always do to drive away his frown…
  • I saw Montgomery wince
  • I’ll drop out to pose all my scatterbrained clues*
  • I’ve got an infinite number of monkeys
  • If I look at you long enough,
  • If I never stood up,
  • In another bedraggled and toothless*
  • in canvas, curduroy…
  • in leather satchels,
  • In one act polite and spotless*
  • In quicksand and answers he silently preaches*
  • in swerving traffic
  • Indifferent to seeing his major bewitchéd*
  • into the light
  • It begins with itself.
  • It never bothered to call.
  • It was the worst band I ever heard, so maybe it was their fault,
  • Just an island in the middle of the flow
  • kangaroo cites baselines
  • Kermit Tarrytown climbers
  • know in his heart
  • knows the stones, coast to coast
  • Lance Crocker
  • Leaves fall
  • Leavin’ me and Mama all alone.
  • Leaving there, it’s light, and others throng about too soon—
  • like ghosts in Victorian photographs,
  • longitudes converge to rhyme
  • Loose data sprouts wings but squats
  • Lord, they always tell the truth
  • Makes them forget they’re already dying
  • Mama ‘n’ me got out just fine
  • March to grotto
  • Maybe the battle went on,
  • Mercy is sadism in dress clothes
  • milk scattered cows
  • mis-sing the anthem
  • Monkey typing pool
  • My heart untethered and unmoored
  • Nail the wind to the water
  • Neurotic
  • never bleeds—angel seeds
  • No light, no sound, no atmosphere, no word or reply
  • No sin to serve the coachman’s guide, the crows!
  • No something could be one thing
  • note to no one, signed, someone’s sincerely…
  • October 19
  • ocean static
  • of one glove clapping.
  • Of puzzlement will quiz all
  • of still streets.
  • Oh Mr. Perkins, you’ve such a glaring white smile
  • on a pad of hotel stationery,
  • On an island in the middle of the road,
  • On that farm outside of Macon
  • on the shattered
  • Or could be God, or the rain, or the zodiac, or the tarot, too.
  • or stay here, now?
  • or time had stopped instead,
  • Oslo also, arctic time zone
  • our shit was getting tossed
  • Pain carried out to raw decimals
  • past oil derricks,
  • Perfumes and strategies, and systems of bells
  • Plays based on nothing, magnets thrown down a well
  • Please reform your poor form before we know
  • Poor Daddy, musta been his time
  • Praise the vectors of vapor chased through the dimming sky.
  • Pray name them correctly…or prove you a naïve bambino!
  • Present and still, this is it:
  • Psychotic!
  • random code set in bold Palatino
  • Rat for bassinet sonata
  • Read HOW
  • reads the words the keen wind writes
  • Ready to charge
  • replayed, rewound:
  • resent the shadows
  • residence vetoer grandpa
  • Retracing names of prior occupants
  • Room 121
  • rooted sneakers managing
  • Roped precision hung from dullest knife
  • say, “I do”
  • Sea mist ice floe
  • Semiconductors, mixing, Wurlitzer, too—
  • Set fire to the sheets, the bed, our home
  • She is the icing on my crown
  • She’s an…alchemic
  • Sheila pondering rawer porcupines
  • Sibling assembling random tones by the hour
  • Sign your name
  • signify to the water
  • sings a Geiger counter
  • Sinister
  • Sirenic
  • Slavering over a shivering child
  • slip on the peel
  • Slower midnight, polar daylight
  • Smoked dope with a cabbie from Albuquerque
  • So he boarded ’em up
  • So he’d sit right at the table and he’d rest his body down
  • so much better than the truth
  • So you ask me what I’m drinkin’—yes, indeed…
  • Some jingling coins and some velvety loins
  • spilling coffee grounds and rinds.
  • sprout from dusty cowboy sounds
  • steam whistles, rainfall pelts—
  • Stephin Merritt writes another song about the moon.
  • Strapped in, we must have faith in airplanes.
  • Stubby brown bottles
  • Summoned in praise, strains
  • super placid in acid amino
  • Sure do hope God’ll bless me—my day’s surely done.
  • swept behind
  • take ice, just add time
  • take me back to my youth
  • teacups, Chinese gongs,
  • test hypothesis
  • Testified to the puma
  • testify to the ground
  • The dead Bob Dylan
  • the dictionary
  • The game of the curious surname of Eno.
  • The kitchen clock had stopped again—
  • the ransom bought?
  • the results will be nothing but links back to you.
  • The same evokes ghosts, a view lingers.
  • The scent of raw meat between the politician’s teeth
  • the sugar of lead technology refines
  • The times are unchanging now
  • The weather started getting rough,
  • Then one night I can’t forget
  • There was a band on the lawn, covering Marley and Hüsker Dü
  • There’s Brian and Roger, and Will, and Jim, plus the ghost we know
  • They take to the air like a light intent*
  • they won’t give me back my youth
  • This monkey
  • This name
  • three days’ walk through the city—
  • Tie the flame to the ground
  • tilt ecliptic line
  • Time flowing out a shattered tun
  • Title and deed, indeed a season of flu…
  • to his Uncle Eric’s.
  • Too late, it’s already begun
  • Too much smoke for the snake to pass*
  • Tumbling around.
  • Unable to escape our evasive past*
  • under bridges
  • under the old
  • under the old state
  • under the old state who?
  • Underneath a setting sun
  • understate
  • understate the frequency
  • undraw a sanded line
  • Unembarrassed to work with that harmonica dude…
  • Used to blow the euphonium…could not drive but still you’d
  • visibility Sargent
  • watch me drain ’em one by one
  • Watched kettles, bought umbrellas
  • We amortize the sun and depreciate the dirt
  • We got put on trial for selling mouthwash
  • We just told him to beat it.
  • We sold off our tails and bought us some designer jeans.
  • We swam in the pool without a lifeguard,
  • We’re booked on a slow-moving creature*
  • Well, some men they drive a Lincoln
  • What a thriller! Hear the sound
  • what monkey?
  • When God slammed the door
  • when up popped a monkey singin’ “Hey Jude.”
  • Where those neon lights are blinkin’
  • Who needs calamine?
  • who will beat who?
  • Whose face on the coin
  • whose slow peaks graph falling night
  • With a sleight of wrist and the invisible fist
  • with lights from outside; blocks away a stray dog bays.
  • Won’t switch at the transfer of fingers?
  • wooded redneck grandeur insurance
  • Words written in blood are rarely legible
  • Would I restart,
  • You can cage a swallow (can’t you?)
  • You sent me recipes for water:
  • you will disappear
  • You won’t smell it if you just keep on buying
  • You’ll have alligator shoes in a while
  • You’re a poseur who chose the Wrong Eno!
  • You’re a scam at your amateur plea, no…
  • You’re in DANGER now!
  • Your computer has been watched!
  • Your email was taken from FBl email database!

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The Infinite Scroll: Spring 2020 Songpile

The usual collection of new-to-me tracks for the first three months of 2020, arranged in aurally pleasing sequence and cunningly segued.

Part the First:

  1. Robert Harrison “Great Auk Stories (New Year’s Eve 2019)” 0:00
  2. Nilüfer Yanya “In Your Head” 3:30
  3. The Heliocentrics “Burning Wooden Ship” 6:55
  4. Trolley “I’ll Never Tell” 12:28
  5. Beach Bunny “April” 15:42
  6. Jay Som “A Thousand Words” 19:00
  7. Lilys “Unheard Of Curiosities” 21:32
  8. Toy “The Willo” [Sonic Boom remix] 26:04
  9. Bark “Chimneyville” 33:58
  10. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever “Cars in Space” 40:34
  11. Wand “Airplane” 45:28
  12. Billy Gewin “Open Letter to Andy Partridge” 54:33
  13. Julia Jacklin “Head Alone” 57:12

Part the Second:

  1. Disq “Daily Routine” 0:00
  2. The Black Watch “Brilliant Failures” 4:22
  3. Boy Scouts “Momentary Love” 8:33
  4. Hypnotic Kingdom “As I Go (Out the Door)” 11:50
  5. Julian Cope “A Flick of the ‘V’s” 15:56
  6. Mitski “Cop Car” 20:26
  7. The Paranoyds “Carnage Bargain” 23:25
  8. Sharon Van Etten “Beaten Down” 25:56
  9. The Mutton Birds “No Telling When” 30:36
  10. Lake Ruth “Sad Song” 36:07
  11. Wye Oak “Walk Soft” 39:33
  12. Activity “Calls Your Name” 43:26
  13. + 47:26

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Songpiles Compiled

I thought I’d make a complete list of every track in my “songpiles” playlists for 2019, alphabetized by artist, title, album, year of release/recording… (Apologies: there was no easy way to construct and copy this list properly alphabetized by last names…)


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Past Life Regression Analysis: a selection of songs from Jeff’s top 2019 albums

As I did last year, I couldn’t be arsed to actually choose particular tracks…and since the whole point of these selections is that the albums they’re drawn from are solid, it shouldn’t make that much difference which track I choose. So, indeed, using a secret, super-scientific selection method (and then using different tracks when I felt like it), here is a selection of songs from my favorite records. As always, I exclude from this list EPs, live albums, reissues, albums consisting entirely of cover songs, etc. The song sequence is musically determined and does not reflect any attempt at ranking the albums the songs are drawn from (because: no.) So here we go! Afterwards, some comments on these and other 2019 releases.

Part 1:

  1. Pernice Brothers “Mint Condition” Spread the Feeling 0.00
  2. The Paranoid Style “A Goddamn Impossible Way of Life” A Goddamn Impossible Way of Life 3.05
  3. The Armoires “Alesandra 619” Zibaldone 6.19
  4. Cass McCombs “I Followed the River South to What” Tip of the Sphere 9.51
  5. Omni “Flat Earth” Networker 17.25
  6. Pixies “St. Nazaire” Beneath the Eyrie 20.16
  7. The Dream Syndicate “Space Age” These Times 22.40
  8. Salt “Some Strange Vision” The Loneliness of Clouds 25.45
  9. Clinic “Laughing Cavalier” Wheeltappers and Shunters 28.40
  10. Chris Cohen “Heavy Weather Sailing” Chris Cohen 31.10
  11. Alex Lilly “Hypothetical” 2% Milk 33.29
  12. Barry Andrews “Lollipop Bomb” Contaminated Pop 36.14
  13. John Vanderslice “Henry Ford Gymnasium” The Cedars 39.57
  14. Thom Yorke “Runwayaway” Anima 44.09
  15. The Black Watch “Oh Mary” Magic Johnson 50.01

Part 2:

  1. Wreckless Eric “Creepy People (In the Middle of the Night) Transience 0.00
  2. The Mekons “After the Rain” Deserted 4.45
  3. Sharon Van Etten “Hands” Remind Me Tomorrow 9.36
  4. Angel Olsen “Summer” All Mirrors 13.34
  5. Joyero “Time” Release the Dogs 17.33
  6. The New Pornographers “Higher Beams” In the Morse Code of Brake Lights 20.16
  7. Piroshka “What’s Next?” Brickbat 24.19
  8. Guided by Voices “The Hearing Department” Zeppelin Over China 28.58
  9. Pixx “Hysterical” Small Mercies 32.15
  10. Robert Forster “Life Has Turned a Page” Inferno 35.32
  11. The Verlaines “I Am” Dunedin Spleen 40.12
  12. The Minus 5 “My Master Bull” Stroke Manor 43.26
  13. Swervedriver “Good Times” Future Ruins 45.54
  14. DIIV “Blankenship” Deceiver 49.01
  15. Toy “You Make Me Forget Myself” Happy in the Hollow 52.51

First…the Pollard Problem: as is seemingly always the case, Robert Pollard and company released several records…and honestly, I never have time to actually weigh them against one another and determine favorites. I just know that I like them, even though this year’s trio of GbV records are quite distinct (Zeppelin Over China is epic, their “White Album”; Warp and Woof is a toybox sculpture of diverse, mostly very short songs; and Sweating the Plague is the most “normal,” rock record of the three). I just put all the tracks longer than two minutes from all three records in alphabetical order, and chose the 9th one.

Welcome returns: the Pernice Brothers, the Dream Syndicate, Clinic (the scattered cover songs of the past few years were mostly pretty dire, so I was concerned…), the Verlaines… and of course, Scott McCaughey from the Minus 5, back after a near-final stroke (which informs the title and subject matter of his record: he took notes during his recovery, some of which were rather disjointed, and adopted lyrics from them). Joyero is Andy Stack, the half of Wye Oak who’s not Jenn Wasner (this track is a bit atypical, being less electronic…).

Some other fine releases that didn’t quite make my top tier: Jenny Lewis On the Line, Jason Morgan (the Spires) Voices in My Head Add Atmosphere, Kim Gordon No Home Record, Kendra Amalie Intuition (local release…which I only heard about in a British music magazine), Sparrow Steeple Tin Top Sorcerer, Jorge Elbrecht (ex-Violens) Coral Cross 02Gloss Coma 02, the Mike Benign Compulsion Bygones, Pere Ubu The Long Goodbye (CD included a live recording of the entire album, which is much better than the rather staid studio versions), You Tell Me (self-titled; Field Music spinoff), The Rallies Upside Down, Stephen Malkmus Groove Denied, Cherry Glazerr Stuffed & Ready, Vampire Weekend Father of the Bride, Momus Akkordion, Big Thief Two Hands (their second of 2019: haven’t heard the first yet), Filthy Friends Emerald Valley, and Ex Hex It’s Real. I kinda liked Western Stars by Bruce Springsteen and appreciate that he’s willing to do something different. Both Wilco’s Ode to Joy and Jeff Tweedy’s Warmer suffered a bit from a lack of energy…maybe I’ll enjoy them more upon repeated listens. I also enjoyed listening on Spotify to California Son…but I really did not want to buy any Morrissey product since he’s become such a repugnant tool. I was a bit disappointed in releases by Sleater-Kinney (The Center Cannot Hold: I like S-K and I like St. Vincent, but the blend didn’t work that well for me), Beck (Hyperspace: a bit samey), Bob Mould (Sunshine Rock never quite gelled for me) and the Figgs (Shady Grove: too long). Two releases I just bought, from opposite ends of the old/new spectrum: Nashville’s Faux Ferocious’s Pretty Groovy is exactly that, based on first listen…and the Who’s Who is surprisingly, well, Who-like, especially its first half. The second half is a bit more diverse if not slightly experimental…but it doesn’t sound phoned in.

By far the best EP of the year was the Andy Partridge/Robyn Hitchcock collaboration Planet England: the two are working on a full-length, and the positive response to the EP seems to have spurred them on to try to complete the album quickly. I also liked Ohio River from Caroline Says, Cate Le Bon’s Reward, and Fitted’s First Fits…which is Graham Lewis and Matt Sims of Wire, with Mike Watt (?!) guesting on a few tracks. It’s an odd mix…I’m guessing that Lewis and Watt found one another’s (very different) lyrical approaches equally amusing…

I enjoyed Medicine’s Scarred for Life, Chrissie Hynde’s Valve Bone Woe, and Gretchen’s Wheel’s Moth to Lamplight: A Tribute to Nada Surf among the dozen or so all-covers releases I listened to this year. The Hynde is worthy of special note: it’s a jazz album with electronic touches, or maybe it’s an electronic album with jazz touches…interesting, if nothing else!

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The Guilty Inclusion (second covers songpile of 2019)

Second of three year-end “songpiles” that have become traditional around these parts…this one being favorite covers that came my way or otherwise reminded me of themselves in the second half of the year. (The third one, next week, will be songs from my favorite albums, for those incurably nostalgic for what everyone wants you to believe to be an outmoded format.)

Part 1

  1. Sinkane “Come Together” (The Beatles) 0.00
  2. Redd Kross “When Do I Get to Sing ‘My Way’?” (Sparks) 6.10
  3. Medicine “Listen to the Band” (The Monkees) 10.07
  4. The GOASTT “You’re Gonna Miss Me” (Roky Erickson/13th Floor Elevators) 13.12
  5. Gretchen’s Wheel “Stuck on You” (Failure) 16.50
  6. Thurston Moore “Leave Me Alone” (New Order) 21.18
  7. Jamestown Revival “California Dreamin’” (The Mamas & the Papas) 25.54
  8. Johno “Country Road” (John Denver) 29.24
  9. Nouvelle Vague “In a Manner of Speaking” (Tuxedomoon) 34.00
  10. The Bad Shepherds “The Model” (Kraftwerk) 37.54
  11. Chop “She’s as Beautiful as a Foot” (Blue Öyster Cult) 42.10
  12. Jim James “Why Can’t We Live Together?” (Timmy Thomas) 45.07
  13. David Fonseca with Ana Moura “The Man Who Sold the World” (David Bowie) 48.31

Part 2

  1. My Darling Clementine “Stranger in the House” (Elvis Costello) 0.00
  2. RVG “Dying on the Vine” (John Cale) 3.35
  3. Everything But the Girl “Kid” (Pretenders) 8.26
  4. Angie McMahon “Knowing Me, Knowing You” (ABBA) 12.08
  5. Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies “When It Hits My Blood” (John Vanderslice) 16.07
  6. Swervedriver “Reflections” (Diana Ross & the Supremes) 19.25
  7. Yes “Everydays” (Buffalo Springfield) 23.12
  8. Fairport Convention “Chelsea Morning” (Joni Mitchell) 29.19
  9. Arc Iris “Friends” (Led Zeppelin) 32.21
  10. Lana Del Rey “Season of the Witch” (Donovan) 36.12
  11. Hem “So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)” (R.E.M.) 40.07
  12. Nine Inch Nails “Dead Souls” (Joy Division) 43.10

+ 48.09

A few comments: the Sinkane track is from the estimable Aquarium Drunkard Lagniappe Sessions…the Medicine song is from one of those increasingly common single-artist, all-covers records…Johno turns Mr. Denver’s somewhat sentimental ode into a rapid romp in 7/8 time, while the Bad Shepherds relocate the Kraftwerk tune from a Düsseldorf factory to an Irish farmstead…My Darling Clementine makes Elvis’s country song even more country and recasts it as a duet…Arc Iris thinks Led Zeppelin is a sort of jazz-inflected prog (well, why not?)…and somewhere in northern Africa, Beethoven is reincarnated…

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Ground Control to Mao Zedong: Winter 2019 songpile

Once again, here’s a collection of interesting stuff that’s come my way over the past three months or so (primarily stray tracks rather than selections from entire albums), painstakingly segued for the most effective listening experience, yadda-yadda-yadda.

Part 1:

  1. The Cush “The Vigilant Ones” 0.00
  2. R.E.M. “Revolution” [live from ‘Road Movie’] 4.00
  3. The Walker Brigade “Tower” 7.05
  4. The Golden Palominos w/T-Bone Burnett “Strong, Simple Silences” 9.40
  5. The Black Watch “Much of a Muchness” 13.46
  6. DIIV “Between Tides” 17.13
  7. Kim Gordon “Hungry Baby” 21.49
  8. Fitted “Training Pit Bulls for the Navy” 25.24
  9. Lake Ruth “Extended Leave” 30.30
  10. Lucy Dacus “My Mother & I” 34.09
  11. Wye Oak “Fortune” 38.42
  12. 3D Blackboard “Ask Her” 42.29
  13. The Rallies “All Over Town” 47.29

Part 2:

  1. The Gravel Pit “Favorite” 0.00
  2. Ford Pier “Boyfriend” 3.00
  3. Kendra Amalie “Breathe Underwater” 7.27
  4. Fountain “Cataclysmic Fusion” 10.16
  5. Seun Kuti w/M1 from Dead Prez “IMF” 14.11
  6. Girl Ray “Girl” 17.12
  7. The John Faye Power Trip “Whisper at the Top of My Lungs” 20.43
  8. The GoAllTheWays “Silly Girl” 25.27
  9. Echo & the Bunnymen “Ocean Rain” [acoustic Peel Session] 28.09
  10. Light FM “Tourist” 31.54
  11. My Drug Hell “Girl at the Bus Stop” 35.20
  12. Big Thief “Not” 38.43

I liked this version of “Revolution” better than the studio or the version on the live CD in the recent Monster box… That Walker Brigade track in moments reminds me of a more power-pop-leaning Self… I’m imagining the Kim Gordon backing track as secretly stolen from a late Fall recording session… Fitted features Graham Lewis and Matt Sims from Wire… The 3D Blackboard is a thus-far unreleased track with guest Guy Kyser from Thin White Rope on lead guitar.

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Threading Water: Jeff’s Fall 2019 Songpile

It’s the usual collection of the last three months’ (in this case, July, August, and September) interesting material that came my way. A lot of it’s new, but much of it is not.

As always, the links are to a carefully segued and balanced set of playlists – much better than just Spotifying it, especially since this time I did a few segues that I’m quite proud of (notably, the ones after the Mutton Birds, Lost Lander, Hitchcock/Partridge, Yorke, Spoon, and Q-Tip tracks).

Part 1:

  1. Ex Hex “What Kind of Monster Are You?” 0.00
  2. Johnny Marr “The Bright Parade” 1:59
  3. The Mutton Birds “Straight to Your Head” 4:46
  4. Joyero “Dogs” 10:22
  5. The Heads with Andy Partridge “Papersnow” 14:24
  6. Lost Lander “Wonderful World” 19:17
  7. Molly Burch “Only One” 22:46
  8. Linda Smith “I So Liked Spring” 27:35
  9. Robyn Hitchcock and Andy Partridge “Turn Me On, Deadman” 32:57
  10. Thom Yorke “Not the News” 36:23
  11. Sam Fender “Will We Talk in the Morning?” 40:15
  12. Spoon “No Bullets Spent” 42:53
  13. Ether Feather “Cayenne” 46:30

Part 2:

  1. The Starfolk “The Great Unknown” 0:00
  2. Ghost Funk Orchestra “Modern Scene” 4:00
  3. Hatchie “Unwanted Guest” 6:51
  4. Lighterthief with Barry Andrews “Running with the Mothmen” 11:44
  5. Out “Unreal Cities” 14:58
  6. Cary Grace “Vanishing” 17:03
  7. King Crimson “Breathless” 23:16
  8. Boy “Skin” 27:56
  9. Q-Tip “Barely in Love” 31:56
  10. Django Django “High Moon” 35:55
  11. Cold Specks “New Moon” 40:35
  12. Bob Dylan “Crash on the Levee (Down in the Flood)” 43:35


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Sparkling Monster: Jeff’s first covers mix of 2019

The semi-annual roundup of various and sundry fab covers that have made their way pleasingly past my eardrums over the past six months…

Part One:

  1. Pete Shelley “Think for Yourself” (Beatles cover, Yellow Submarine Resurfaces ‘Mojo’ compilation, 2012) 0:00
  2. Bob Mould “I Don’t Mind” (Buzzcocks cover, single, 2019) 2:34
  3. The Rain Parade “When You Smile” (The Dream Syndicate cover, 3 x 4 compilation, 2019) 4:51
  4. The Changelings “Riverman” (Nick Drake cover, Brittle Days: A Tribute to Nick Drake, 1992) 11:13
  5. Cary Grace “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” (Bob Dylan cover, Covers Volume I, 2018) 15:34
  6. The Kariannes “Every Word Means No” (Let’s Active cover, “This Song Is a Cure” single b-side, 2019) 21:58
  7. Ohmme “Give Me Back My Man” (The B-52’s cover, single, 2019) 24:48
  8. The Hot Rats “The Lovecats” (The Cure cover, Turn Ons, 2016) 29:01
  9. Human Sexual Response “A Question of Temperature” (Balloon Farm cover, In a Roman Mood, 1981) 31:58
  10. Channels “Always Winter, Never Christmas” (XTC cover, single, 2016) 34:45
  11. Astral Drive “A Dream Goes On Forever” (Todd Rundgren cover, Love Is Real, 2018) 37:33
  12. Beck with Feist “Tarantula” (Colourbox/This Mortal Coil cover, Roma (soundtrack), 2019) 39:53
  13. Tanya Donelly “The Law” (Leonard Cohen cover, Swan Song Series Bonus Tracks, 2016) 43:36

Part Two:

  1. Mavis Piggott “Out of the Blue” (Roxy Music cover, Dream Home Heartaches…: Remaking/Remodeling Roxy Music compilation, 1997) 0:00
  2. Stephen Malkmus “Death and the Maiden” (The Verlaines cover, Under the Influence: 21 Years of Flying Nun Records compilation, 2002) 4:28
  3. Fanny “Ain’t That Peculiar” (Marvin Gaye cover, single, 1972) 8:52
  4. Gary Lucas & Nona Hendryx “Tropical Hot Dog Night” (Captain Beefheart cover, The World of Captain Beefheart, 2017) 12:51
  5. The Fernweh “Sunrise” (The Who/Pete Townshend cover, Sunsighs [single], 2019) 17:10
  6. Chrissie Hynde “Caroline, No” (Beach Boys cover, Valve Bane Woe, 2019) 20:22
  7. LCD Soundsystem “Seconds” (The Human League cover, Electric Lady Sessions, 2019) 25:06
  8. Spiraling “Bye Bye Love” (The Cars cover, Substitution Mass Confusion: A Tribute to The Cars compilation, 2005) 30:12
  9. The Associates “Boys Keep Swinging” (David Bowie cover, The Affectionate Punch, 1979) 34:01
  10. The Sour Notes “Cuttooth” (Radiohead cover, This Is Not Our Music (Covers LP), 2018) 37:40
  11. Johnny Cash “Heart of Gold” (Neil Young cover, Unearthed, 2003) 43:04
  12. Richard Thompson “Woodstock” (Joni Mitchell/Crosby, Stills & Nash cover, An All-Star Tribute to Joni Mitchell concert, 2000) 45:52

+ 49:37

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