Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Holly Golightly and the Broke Offs - Dirt Don't Hurt (review)

Every now and again I dream of playing guitar for Holly Golightly. Some people that know me might find that funny. I mean there are some who know me more as a electronic music laptop playing geek. But part of me just wants to play some good ol' rock and roll, probably a part bigger than the part who makes geeky instrumental hip hop electronica.

I first heard Holly Golightly as part of the Headcoatees, I was longtime fan of Billy Childish and his various projects and offshoots,  but it was when I heard her voice on the Greenhorne's "There is an End" during the closing credits of Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers that I fell for her.  On this release she teams up with long time collaborator Lawyer Dave.  Here Golightly shows much more of her country and rockabilly side leaving only a hint of the rhythm and blues and garage influences that color her previous work. Most of the songs would not sound out of place on a Loretta Lynn album. 

Recorded in only five days in analog studio in Spain, the album keeps the raw sound one expects. Banjos play a prominent role on the album pushing the country feel. Percussion--various bells, rattles and such-- also sit up front in the mix. Perhaps to upfront at times verging dangerously close to giving the songs a sense of novelty rather than an air of authenticity.

I like this record. I like differently than I did previous Holly Golightly records. The track "Indeed You Do" is the album's standout track. Not surprising it sounds the most like the previous albums to me.

Yo Gabba Gabba's New Season

The new season of Nick Jr.'s Yo Gabba Gabba has started. Just in time. Several times a day my 16 month old daughter grabs the remote and yells out "GAH-BUH! GAH-BUH!" until I play one of the many episodes I have DVRed. I guess the new season is good thing for me, perhaps more than it is for her. We have seen all of the past season's episodes dozens of times each. Repetition is a good thing for toddlers, not so much for parents.

Now I know if you have read my previous posts (the last two), you are probably wondering what does this have to do with music. Yo Gabba Gabba is a musical show. But even when the characters sing their way through their daily morals and lessons, the music does not irritate the way "kids music" often does. For those of you have not seen Yo Gabba Gabba yet, it features a music segment with bands that many of the parents may be familiar with. This season opened with the Ting Tings, most famous for "Shut Up and Let Me  Go" used in one of the catchy iPod commercial, doing a cover of Altered Images "Happy Birthday." That was a great start for the new season and I don't even like the Ting Tings. Other musical guest have included Cornelius, the Shins, and Paul Williams.

Also celebrity cameos help to give parents to watch. Elijah Wood and Laila Ali have contributed a "dancey dance" for the kids at home to follow. Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh does a regular drawing segment. 

Anyhow, I don't work for Nickelodeon. I just watch this show more than once a day so it is always on my mind.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Opal "Happy Nightmare Baby"

Today I wrestled with Maya to get her dressed for our daily trip to the playground. By time we got about a half a block away, it began to rain hard enough for me to cancel the trip, despite the weather guy on the TV promising a nice fall day. Once we got back I found myself in the mood to listen to Opal.

I first heard Opal during my college days many years ago (my first attempt at college I might add). At the time I often shopped at the record shops near campus before, after and/or during classes. "Happy Nightmare Baby" came out on SST records at a time where I often bought stuff on SST without having to hear it first. It was a gamble that paid of off.  Years Decades later I still listen to it. I have long retired my scratchy LP for mp3s I downloaded a the height of the napster boom.

Opal is not as well known or loved as much Kendra Smith's previous band, Dream Syndicate, or it's much more commercially successful successor, Mazzy Star, which the band became after Smith's mid-performance departure. But I much prefer Opal to the latter and at times I like them more than I did Dream Syndicate. Listening to it today, I find myself comparing it to T. Rex's slower shuffles-- a thought which had not occurred to me when I first listened to it. Overall, this album had a raw bluesy feel that did not quite fit in with most of the California psychedelic revival that the band sprung from.

As far as I can tell this record has not been released in digital form. Thanks to Ariel at The Doledrums has an excellent rip of it.

by way of introduction...

So here I am starting a blog. In all likelihood I am bringing the signal to noise ratio down a little more. But I have some time to kill and some things to say. While I don't want to limit myself to any topics, I will spend most of my time here writing about music from the past and the present. Don't be surprised if you find a post or two on politics.

The title of this blog comes from the chorus of Black Flag's "Wound Up" (click for video). 

Anyhow that enough of an introduction for now.