February 25, 2008


I've recently discovered what the possible 'best song of 2007' was. I'll put it up soon enough, until then here's a video of one of my favorite songs by Ultramagnetic MCs.

February 14, 2008

Overrated, underrated [Ikara Colt]

Definitely not art school grads


Hot Chip


Ikara Colt

Yeah there's not really any comparison between them musically. One is a dance-pop band, the other is a noisy punk band. One is in fine form, the other broke up a few years ago. I still want to call attention to Ikara Colt, in particular their album Chat and Business. Why this album isn't viewed as a classic release of 2002 I can't say. I'm not sure how many other bands at that time were following the hallowed (joke) lineage of Wire et al any better. England's had such a great tradition of producing punk bands from universities, what high school did Hot Chip escape from? Look at how cool Ikara Colt looks. They are so ready to rock. If they were still around they'd totally beat Hot Chip up, ideologically of course. Most of the dudes in Hot Chip are actually OK but this guy in the green glasses really bugs the shit out of me, sorry guy:

Listen to some real rawk:

Ikara Colt - Sink Venice [Chat and Business LP, 2002]

Ikara Colt - After This [Chat and Business LP, 2002]

February 10, 2008

Lost weekend [Jorge Ben]

Summer came to San Francisco this weekend. I'm not holding my breath for it to last long, but I'll gladly take a few days of sunshine. If it's summer, then it can only be Jorge Ben... This song is just two minutes of "the more I see you, love/the more I want you." Can you resist the handclaps at the end? I can't.

Jorge Ben - Quanto Mais Te Vejo [O bidu - Silencio no Brooklin LP, 1967]

February 8, 2008

Album in my head: Bob Dylan, John Wesley Harding

Supplanting Beach House as my “must listen every day” music is Bob Dylan's album John Wesley Harding. I came across this album when I heard the song “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest” on XM radio, driving across the country with my dad. This song really struck me when I first heard it, because it sounds just like a Fall song – it’s just one simple measure played over and over from beginning to end. This is a song I’ll never skip. If only it were longer!

Bob Dylan - The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest [John Wesley Harding LP, 1967]

This album came after Dylan’s most electric ones (Highway 61, Bringing It All Back Home, Blonde on Blonde), but it has a comparatively stripped down sound. On most of the songs he’s backed only by a drummer and a bassist. It works really well for me, as this setup places his voice high in the mix. He gets away with a lot of Yoda-like phrasing in the lyrics, and even though this medieval speak is a little affected at times (“I spied the fairest damsel/that ever did walk in chains”) I still find it compelling.

The album ends with “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” a slow jam if Bob Dylan ever knew how to kick one out. “Do not fear/bring that bottle over here,” he sings in his best lecherous voice. Not quite Gainsbourg, but close enough.

Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding LP, 1967

Track listing:

1. John Wesley Harding

2. As I Went Out One Morning

3. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine

4. All Along the Watchtower

5. The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest

6. Drifter's Escape

7. Dear Landlord

8. I Am a Lonesome Hobo

9. I Pity the Poor Immigrant

10. The Wicked Messenger

11. Down Along the Cove

12. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight

February 4, 2008

Mystery RISD music [Mystery RISD Group]

Did I mention that Hey! Student accepts submissions? Oh yes. Today we present a demo from starving design students at Rhode Island School of Design, a school well famed for its musical output. Talking Heads, Lightning Bolt and Black Dice all emerged from the Providence cool kid factory, and now here are some sounds of budding RISD rock stars.

Well, this group doesn't actually have a name, but I think they've gotten off on the right foot. It's a good idea to write songs about what you know, in this case wine-swilling design professors. I'll hope to see some more developed songs from them in the future. "Maybe they'll record a song in stereo, too," comes a cry from the rafters. Thank you sir, settle down now!!

??? (Mystery RISD group) - Gareth Jones