The Better Beatles

Over the weekend, we picked up a little stuffed IKEA octopus (technically a pentapus) for C. On the drive back, I remembered of working the strawberry fields listening to the Beatles on a cassette Walkman over and over and over again (an irony I only now see). Discovering and rediscovering each album.

As I tried to recall the lyrics to Octopus’s Garden, Jen and I started talking about the best Beatles ablum. I agree with Mr. Slusher, it’s not St. Pepper.

While St. Pepper was also one of my first CDs, I think any album on either side of the Beatles discography has aged better. Off the top of my head, better albums are;

  1. Revolver (Good Day Sunshine, Got to Get You into My Life)
  2. Abbey Road (Here Comes the Sun, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window)
  3. White Album (Happiness is a Warm Gun, Dear Prudence)

In St. Pepper’s defense – it’s a concept album and if memory serves, everyone in the band has a different name in the liner notes. So, it could be argued that it’s not even a proper Beatles album. 😉

Elsewhere Aug 05, 2008

“Revolver is by far the Beatles strongest and most impressive album.” – Emily Wilson

A Middle Man’s a Middle Man

“Apple is no different than Best Buy, Wal-Mart, or RIAA….No modern consumer is going to stop listening to their favorite band because Circuit City doesn’t carry their CD.” – Benn Jordan

Benn’s post is one of the many articles online showing how little compensation musicians receive from the business organizations that are said to be supporting them. While, it’s unfortunate that he mistakes piracy for lack of compensation, he highlights the need for an easy way to give money directly to musicians, and others who’s creative work you enjoy.

In the end, Benn admits:

“I make most of my living from licensing and composition.”


As you know, as much as I love writing this blog, I don’t make my living from it directly. I could….if you showered me with piles of PayPal donations.

Update 26 Jun 2007:
On the flip side, Dave Slusher describes an much needed aggregation and subscription service. Swap out mini-comics for local musicians or filmmakers and the same need exists.

Side note, as I read Dave’s post, I had a little deja vu. Always a good thing in my book.

First Crack 103. Lunch with Minneapoliscast, How Was The Show, LocalTone and

I bought Tony Thomas from Minneapoliscast, Andrea Meyers from, and Justin Grammens from, and Brian McDonough from lunch to talk about the Minneapolis music scene.

We cover the goal of each of their sites, the challenges of finding good independent music, and Brian makes some band recommendations.

Listen to Lunch with Minneapoliscast, How Was The Show, LocalTone, and [35 min].

Drive 105 Repo’d. Replaced with Love

The last hold-out in the Twin Cities commercial ‘alternative’ radio dial succumbed to Love today.

“Every mini-van driving soccer mom with a 15 year old will be pleased as punch when she turns on her radio and hears this festival of shit pouring forth from her speakers.” – Sornie

Two choices remain; The Current, or some mythical online service.

My first experience with a format change:
Back around 1986 104.1 FM changed from something boring to heavy metal. I thought the world had split apart.

But, I stuck with the format change and had the hair to prove it. Then had the same reaction when they mellowed out four years later and switched to “college” or “alternative” or “modern” or “progressive” rock.

Again, I stuck with them. And still have a cassette recording of their live broadcast of Too Much Joy in concert.

I stopped there. Not following them into Country or beyond.

10 minutes from now, I expect the FM dial to resemble the current AM dial, with AM completely abandon. Like suburbanites migrating to newer construction further out. All while iPod capacities grow exponentially.

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Fear of Chicago

I’ve got two trips to Chicagoland already queued up for this summer.

The first one is Saturday, May 19. When, of this writing, I’ll be spending some time on a go-cart in Buffalo Grove.

The last time I attended one of these events, I was trapped on a permanetly-docked gambling boat near Aurora after dining at a suburban Hooters.

I’m betting on a more enjoyable trip this time around.

Wonderlick – Fear of Chicago

Anyone know a good source for downloadin…

Anyone know a good source for downloading, local, independent music. Specifically, I’m looking for Minnesota-based or MN, WI, NoDak, SoDak, IA music. Thanks

Update 27 April 2007:
I’ve Googled for answer to this question and come up with a number of local music directory projects – some clearly abandon, others just useless. All of these projects (alive or zombie) assume I know who all the musicians are.

I don’t…that’s why I’m looking.

At minimum, I’m looking for a Last.FM search or Pandora stream filtered by geography. A steady stream of recommendations – like AmigoFish for local music, not an alphabetical directory of meaningless artists names.

This Song is a Commerical

“This Song is a Commercial” by Wonderlick

“The future is ad-supported music. Not that the idea is new idea but it is reality.” – NVTS, Evolving Trends

The future is music as ad and the future is already here. Recorded music is an ad for the live performance (always has been). Recorded music is an ad for a musicians expertise – a marketing tool to get ever more interesting projects, gigs, whatchamacallits. Same as blogging and podcasting and book writing.

Aside from that, if advertisers aren’t excited about supporting podcasts and video blogs, I can’t see them excited about supporting individual tracks.

Elsewhere: 23 April 2007

“The trick to making money in these spaces isn’t to saddle the content with some annoyance no one wants — but to make it more valuable in a way that people are willing to pay.” – Mike, Techdirt

Follow My iTunes via Twitter

Thanks to Doug Adams’ script, Current Track to Twitter v1.5, if you follow me via Twitter you’ll get continual updates on what I’m listening to.

I’m digging Twitter as way to automatically publish in the background. I can keep my flow and we can stay connected.

I see this quality that’ll keep Twitter from being Pet Rock 2.0. If more and more people can ‘tweet’ without thinking about it (via the API, not the browser) Twitter fades into the background, like the internet itself.

Garrick’s 80 SXSW 2007 Showcasing Artist Picks

When I started listening exactly 3 weeks ago, I was tossing out so many songs, I started wondering if there was anything fun and interesting in the 739 tracks. In fact, true to Sturgeon’s Law, 89% of the tracks didn’t do anything for me. Follows are the 80 tracks that, listen after listen, both pulled me in and let me keep working. According to this list, a few artists only made the BitTorrent – not the SXSW website, hence no direct mp3 links.
Streaming Playlist of 76 tracks
[qt: 200 16]

  1. ‘Paradise’ from Ana Laan.
    World – 5 stars. You know that super hip party you imagine when you say, “Yes, we entertain a lot” to a real estate agent? This song is playing in the background at that party.

  2. ‘Origin of Species’ from Chris Smither.
    Singer-Songwriter – 5 stars. A fun, folky, finger-picking song covering a number of stories in the book of Genesis. Also, this is one of two songs referencing Katrina in the list.

  3. ‘Modern Love’ from The Last Town Chorus.
    Pop – 5 stars. An amazingly dark and somber cover of the David Bowie classic.

  4. ‘What Else Would You Have Me Be?’ from Lucero.
    Alt Country – 5 stars. Lucero made the cut last year as well. As soon as I heard the vocals, they made the cut – imagine Bruce Springsteen singing country.

  5. ‘Crush Me’ from Prisonshake.
    Rock – 5 stars. It starts out a kinda slow, but gets going after the first chorus. Oh, and I’m a sucker for the scratchy, bootlegged-sounding vocals.

  6. ‘Jugglin Justin’ from Skratch Bastid.
    Hip Hop – 5 stars. This is the best skratch-based song I’ve ever heard.

  7. ‘Energy’ from The Apples in Stereo.
    Rock – 4 stars.
    It sounds like lead singer Robert Schneider is doing a completely different song than the rest of the band. The two songs just happen to mash-up great. I like that.

  8. ‘Tokyo East End Rockers’ from Asakusa Jinta.
    World – 4 stars. If the Squirrel Nut Zippers were’ from Japan.

  9. ‘Mystic Song’ from The Berg Sans Nipple.
    Experimental – 4 stars. Light, floaty, – uh – mystic, track. It sounds very hip. Like there’s a million bands out there with this sound, and I’m completely out of the loop. Or there will be – and I’m so cool.

  10. ‘Don’t Bother Me’ from The Blakes.
    Rock – 4 stars. This song acknowledges the ’90s Seattle sound, throws in some Iggy Pop, and then rocks steady.

  11. ‘Between the Moon and the Ocean’ from Bon Savants.
    Rock – 4 stars. You had me at “You kiss like a Russian.”

  12. ‘Who Are You’ from Deaf in the Family.
    Hip Hop – 4 stars. Heavy Who sampling with some harsh rhymes on top.

  13. ‘Mr. Milk’ from Errors.
    Electronic – 4 stars. Electronica, like all music genres, has a push-pull relationship with its stereotype and interestingness. Mr. Milk is both.

  14. ‘Left Hand’ from The Gaskets.
    Pop – 4 stars. “Sell me something I haven’t bought before” – damn straight. Isn’t that what we’re all asking for.

  15. ‘Eight Arms To Hold You’ from The Gear.
    Rock – 4 stars. ‘That Thing You Do’ – sung by a spider.

  16. ‘Beautiful Mystery’ from Harris Tweed.
    Pop – 4 stars. Yes, there’s some Jewel in this track. If Jewel could seduce by rhyming ‘float’ and ‘boat’.

  17. ‘War’ from Ladyhawk.
    Rock – 4 stars. Come on, everyone sing along, “Don’t just go along – start a war if you want to.”

  18. ‘Tout va pour le mieux dans le pire des mondes’ from Les Breastfeeders.
    Rock – 4 stars. I have no idea what they’re saying, but it sure sounds cool.

  19. ‘closer’ from Melissa Ferrick.
    Rock – 4 stars. Melissa made last year’s cut as well.

  20. ‘Hardcore Hornography’ from Michelle Shocked.
    Jazz – 4 stars. A sweet New Orleans jazz tune’ from Michelle Shocked – hitting all bases; Katrina, Gumbo, and Mardi Gras.

  21. ‘Touch Up’ from Mother Mother.
    Pop – 4 stars. Coolest underwater song since Ringo’s Octopus’ Garden.

  22. ‘River of Daughters’ from The Old Soul.
    Rock – 4 stars. This is a nice enough track, comfortable and listenable. I couldn’t remember why it made the cut, until….2:44 in. That little bit makes this a pretty cool song.

  23. ‘In The City’ from Peel.
    Rock – 4 stars. In the vein of Trans Am, Peel’s vocals aren’t the highlight – just another instrument, equal to all the others.

  24. ‘Grain of salt…and a shot of tequila’ from Ray Herndon.
    Country – 4 stars. Probably the best chorus in all stereotypical Country music. First time I heard it, I couldn’t stop laughing.

  25. ‘Lay Em Down’ from Rico Pabon.
    Hip Hop – 4 stars. Sure, the beat is Rico Suave, but the rapping is far better.

  26. ‘The Girl’s Distracted’ from Saturday Looks Good To Me.
    Pop – 4 stars. I vote this song for Target’s next commercial.

  27. ‘Self Inflicted Wounds’ from Sole.
    Hip Hop – 4 stars. This track is so timely, I’m not sure how well it’ll age. Hopefully, in a year if I can’t get past the rhymes, I can still dig the clapping.

  28. ‘Oregon Girl’ from Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.
    Pop – 4 stars. Special award for coolest name. Think Fountains of Wayne…from Missouri.

  29. ‘Ten Years Pass’ from Sunny Sweeney.
    Country – 4 stars. Sunny’s captured the feelings of revisiting a small town for a class reunion, down to the smell.

  30. ‘Moving to New York’ from The WOMBATS.
    Rock – 4 stars. This song has clapping in it too. I think that’s why it made the list. Oh, and Matthew Murphy’s really cool voice.

  31. ‘Hummer In My Hummer’ from Yuppie Pricks.
    Punk – 4 stars. This is an updated version of the Dead Kennedy’s classic ‘California Über Alles‘. The similarities between these two songs is amusing enough to make this list. The Yuppie Pricks are even on Alternative Tentacles.

  32. ‘Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here’ from 65daysofstatic.
    Experimental – 3 stars. Consider this as the alternative background music in Blade Runner or Ghost in the Shell.

  33. ‘Bring The Good Boys Home’ from The 1900s.
    Pop – 3 stars. The echoing background vocals and synthesizer grabbed me on this one.

  34. ‘Figure Out’ from A Cursive Memory.
    Pop – 3 stars. I kept trying to figure out who they remind me of…turns out, it’s themselves. They made the list last year as well.

  35. ‘Think Niles Drink’ from About.
    Electronic – 3 stars. Like being trapped inside a broken hard drive. In a good way.

  36. ‘Gonna Be Alright’ from Abram Wilson.
    Jazz – 3 stars. Trumpet as lead vocals. Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

  37. ‘The Rifle’ from Alela Diane.
    Singer-Songwriter – 3 stars. There’s something unsettling about impending death being sung about so calmly.

  38. ‘Heaven Is For Easy Girls ‘ from The Awkward Stage.
    Rock – 3 stars. I’m trying not to listen too carefully about the lyrics. Just bounce to the beat and clap along.

  39. ‘Shine In Exile’ from Beat the Devil.
    Experimental – 3 stars. If a Bond movie was ever placed in the future – this is the background song to the first martini.

  40. ‘HeavyMetal’ from Bisc1.
    Hip Hop – 3 stars. Feels more like Rhymesayers, MN than Brooklyn, NYC.

  41. ‘Must You Throw Dirt In My Face’ from Charlie Louvin.
    Country – 3 stars. By the second line, you’ll either bust out laughing or give this song a big hug. Hopefully, by the end you’ll do both.

  42. ‘Patience’ from Damien Dempsey.
    Hip Hop – 3 stars. Pissed-off Irish hip hop mixed up with gentle, affectionate R&B.

  43. ‘Fa-Fa-Fa’ from DATAROCK.
    Rock – 3 stars. I always liked MC 900 FT Jesus’ lyrics, but never his beats. He shoulda had DATAROCK to the beats.

  44. ‘Story Never Gets Old’ from Death Ships.
    Rock – 3 stars. A rather fortune combination of Elvis Costello, TMBG, and the Decemberists.

  45. ‘will to doubt’ from Delicious Food.
    Experimental – 3 stars. Yes, there is such a thing as ‘New Classical’ music.

  46. ‘Everything’ from Dolly Varden.
    Alt Country – 3 stars. Good, solid, Chicago rock. Ok, I admit, it made the list for the clapping.

  47. ‘KeMo Thera-P’ from E>K>U>K.
    Pop – 3 stars. Dinosaur Jr.-esque guitar work with just the right amount of screaming.

  48. ‘Not Giving Up’ from The Femurs.
    Punk – 3 stars. This track is far more 80’s British punk than ’06 Seattle, and Ramones influence is obvious.

  49. ‘Act 7, Scene 8’ from Going Home.
    Rock – 3 stars. If Sum81 sang catchy pop tunes’ from the 60s.

  50. ‘Dead Fish on the Banks’ from The Goodnight Loving.
    Alt Country – 3 stars. Wisconsin’s answer to Uncle Tupelo. Probably the best thing outta Milwaukee since I-94.

  51. ‘TV’ from Headlights.
    Rock – 3 stars. Erin Fein is a siren. Her singing on this track are so faint, so elusive, the closer I listen, the further away she drifts.

  52. ‘Don’t Play this’ from Hera.
    Singer-Songwriter – 3 stars. I dig really bad break up songs like this. So many love songs are.

  53. ‘Rattling My Tin Cup’ from Honeydogs.
    Pop – 3 stars. Finally, the Minneapolis sound, with a hint of Elvis Constello. This song sounds as solid and experienced as the band themselves.

  54. ‘Westboro Baptist Church’ from I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House.
    Rock – 3 stars. This curse-filled song has a real simple message and a real catchy chorus. This is one of a bunch of songs in the list offering insightful critique of our current admistration.

  55. ‘Breakfast by the Mattress’ from Kristoffer Ragnstam.
    Pop – 3 stars. This is a silly song. How Kristoffer says the title makes me giggle.

  56. ‘Where I Live’ from Leeroy Stagger.
    Country – 3 stars. Another portrait of a town paved with broken hopes.

  57. ‘Pissing on the Mainframe’ from Live Fast Die.
    Punk – 3 stars. If you were introduced to punk with badly-copied cassette bootlegs, this song was probably on those tapes.

  58. ‘Passenger 24’ from Melissa McClelland.
    Singer-Songwriter – 3 stars. Noir. Bad trouble. As persistent, poetic, and pesismistic as Sin City.

  59. ‘Batterie’ from Omni.
    Hip Hop – 3 stars. A modern day version of early Hip Hop, back when sampling wasn’t such an issue. There’s hints of early Beastie Boys and NWA in here.

  60. ‘Far Side of Nowhere’ from Onion Creek Crawdaddies.
    Alt Country – 3 stars. The line, “don’t miss me while I’m here”, makes this one of the great good bye songs.

  61. ‘Miss Idaho’ from Ox (Canada).
    Alt Country – 3 stars. This track is a classic, up there with Son Volt’s ‘Out of the Picture’.

  62. ‘Turning Colours Into Greys’ from Paper Moon.
    Pop – 3 stars. This song played after the last fight with your best friend. If you starred in a very popular television sitcom.

  63. ‘Red Eagle’ from Paul Duncan.
    Country – 3 stars. Non-stereotypical country mixed with classical.

  64. ‘Moving Forward’ from Protokoll.
    Rock – 3 stars. Trans Am with less geekiness.

  65. ‘Much Farther To Go’ from Rosie Thomas.
    Singer-Songwriter – 3 stars. If Simon and Garfunkel weren’t two guys, but one woman in-between hometowns.

  66. ‘Psalm 102’ from San Saba County.
    Alt Country – 3 stars. This to me, is what a country song should sound like. Very audible finger picking and a weary, tired voice.

  67. ‘Don’t Believe Everything’ from Shane Bartell.
    Rock – 3 stars. A great track for a Sunday brunch, or spring cleaning with the windows wide open.

  68. ‘let it go’ from Shannon Moore.
    Pop – 3 stars. Shannon Moore’s voice, and this song especially, reminds me of my favorite Aimee Mann tracks.

  69. ‘Weather Machine’ from Signal To Noise.
    Rock – 3 stars. Stiff Little Fingers mixed with Blink 182 and a tinge of New Jersey Bon Jovi. Good rocking beat, scratchy lead vocals, and comfortable backup vocals sounds.

  70. ‘Love Show’ from Skye.
    Singer-Songwriter – 3 stars. Come on, I liked Dido.

  71. ‘Try’ from Sparkle Motion.
    Punk – 3 stars. Garrick’s a sucker for all-girl punk bands. It’s as simple as that. Even if one of the girls is named Pete.

  72. ‘Mega Lamb’ from Tammany Hall Machine.
    Rock – 3 stars. Cousteau without his morning coffee.
  73. ‘What We Have Is Now’ from To Live And Die In LA.
    Rock – 3 stars. They used to call this ‘College Rock’.

  74. ‘Shattered’ from The Trucks.
    Pop – 3 stars. This is a cute track. The lead voice is cute, the nostalgic 4-4 techno is cute, the angry attitude is cute. There are a couple of interesting bits in the song, but really, I included this song cause it’s cute.

  75. ‘Yeah Right’ from Unbusted.
    Rock – 3 stars. The essence of rock and roll: three guys, a mic, a guitar, 3 chords, and a drum kit. Singing ‘Yeah Right’.

  76. ‘Trouble’ from Voxtrot.
    Rock – 3 stars. 40 seconds in and Voxtrot had me quietly floating down the river. Sure, there’s a few rocks to dodge and in some places, you need to paddle. Totally worth it.

  77. ‘Jarvis Cocker’ from Washington Social Club.
    Rock – 3 stars. A great dance tune about dance floor drama. Plus clapping. I dig the clapping.

  78. ‘Better Off This Way’ from We Are the Fury.
    Rock – 3 stars. Solid Midwest rock (Toledo) with two shots of espresso.

  79. ‘Catching & Killing’ from Youth Group.
    Rock – 3 stars. This is a real simple, comfortable track. Something I could listen to a hundred times (the goal of this culling). I quite like the lead voice.

  80. ‘Wipeout (Try Waking Up!)’ from Zykos.
    Rock – 3 stars. How many instruments and sounds are in this track? Lots. That’s what makes it a fun listen.

May 4th: Too Much Joy’s First Show in 10 Years

True to their word, Too Much Joy never broke up – they just stopped having gigs. Until now.

Friday, May 4th
The Knitting Factory
74 Leonard Street
New York, NY

“It’s all ages. TMJ will be playing as a 5-piece, as both Sandy Smallens and William Wittman will be joining the celebration of drummer Tommy Vinton’s retirement from the NYPD after 20 years on the beat.”

Congrats to Sandy, William, Tim, Jay and especially Tommy.