Saturday, March 17, 2012

Whiskey Pie's 1st Annual Baddest Motherfucker Ever Award

I'm pleased to announce the first installment in an award series for Whiskey Pie, the Baddest Motherfucker Ever Award. The BMEA will be awarded every year on St. Patrick's Day shortly before I have my first drink, and it will be given to whomever I consider the Baddest Motherfucker Ever.

This year's recipient, and possible contender for all future years this award is given, is the legendary Keith David, he of badass look, imposing physical size, and incredibly badass voice. You may know him as the black guy from more than a couple John Carpenter movies...or possibly as the "ass to ass!" evil guy from Requiem For A Dream...or possibly as a character in any number of voiceover roles in videogames and animation, such as Captain Anderson in the Mass Effect games and Goliath in the Gargoyle cartoon from the 90s.

What clinches it for him this year, and possibly every year in the future, is that he is a badass with an intellectual side, a creative side; a soft spot, if you will. I knew he had an amazing voice but it never occurred to me he'd be a great singer, too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Weekly Whiskey Episode 47

This week is a very distracted, scatterbrained one due to the lovely Spring in Ohio right now. Just watch it ya schmucks, I got nature to oggle.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Captain Beefheart On David Letterman

This is one of those bizarre video clips you find online while looking for live videos on YouTube. This isn't as much of a trainwreck as some other infamous Letterman interview videos, taking its time for the sheer surreal-ness to catch up to you.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Modest Mouse- This Is A Long Drive For Someone With Nothing To Think About

Like a strange parallel to Billy Corgan, Isaac Brock's creative stock keeps falling to new lows with each successive album and news item. Thus it's refreshing to return to the man's earlier days, when he made music that sounds good in record stores, instead of now, when he makes music that sounds good in Hot Topic and Starbucks.

The band's debut, This Is A Long Title Which Is Annoying To Repeatedly Type Out, is still arguably their best album, based solely on how perfectly it demonstrates everything great about what this band used to be, as well as a perfect entry in the great road/travel album pantheon. It's hard to imagine a band like Cymbals Eat Guitars existing if not for this record, since it more or less laid down the blueprint for expansive, almost-jammy indie rock. Interestingly enough, Isaac Brock produced the first Wolf Parade album but not their third, Expo 86, which is that band's most expansive, almost-jammy sounding.

 This Is A Long Drive... also marks one of the last times Brock screamed instead of just yelling in that affected voice like he does now. Hip music fans know that going from screaming to mere yelling typically marks the point where an artist is mellowing in a lame way. See also the way Frank Black/Black Francis didn't scream for years until the Pixies reunited. How this will bode for Animal Collective will depend on their next album, I suppose. But I digress.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lizzy Mercier Descloux- Press Colour & Mambo Nassau

I've been meaning to write something about this awesome chick for a good month now, shortly after my friend Richard discovered her and hooked me up. There is certainly music that sounds similar to the two albums from which these videos come, Press Colour and Mambo Nassau, yet at the same time, nothing else in music history sounds like her. She's a unique specimen, like Captain Beefheart or Richard D. James, very much of their respective times and musical eras and yet timeless, too.

While it's true that Press Colour could be classified as no wave/post-punk/new wave, in varying degrees depending on the song, I can't say I know of anything from any of those scenes that sounds like 'Hard-Boiled Babe' (which I think might actually be from another project she did, though it's included as a bonus track on Press Colour, so nyah!).

On a side note, I don't have a single critical thing to say about either album. They're brilliant, endlessly listenable, and seem to appeal to damn near everyone I (or Richard!) know.

Similarly, her cover of 'Funky Stuff', as well as most of Mambo Nassau are right out of the funky music being made by nearly everyone in the early 80s, bringing to mind Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, and even Parliament/Funkadelic....and yet, they sound very little like those, either. On 'Funky Stuff', Lizzy sounds like a bouncing cheerleader, or maybe a French version of Deborah Harry of Blondie on uppers and pixie sticks. Then there's a track like 'Milk Sheik', a sort of fairground/carnival/festival ditty, the sort you might hear in some place like Frankenmuth, Michigan or at your local German-American oktoberfest-style event.

Now, I know 'Funky Stuff' is a cover, but I can't help but feel it's a fine title. I admire and appreciate songs that tell you exactly what they are before you hear them, like 'Feedback' by the Grateful Dead (consisting of the band making feedback and noise), Daniel Johnston's 'Chord Organ Blues' (a blues song played on and about a chord organ) or even 'Billy's Tool Box' by Medeski, Martin, & Wood, in which drummer Billy Wood toys around with his available drums/percussion for about half a minute.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Grateful Dead

You'd be hard pressed to name a more cult-like, divisive band than The Grateful Dead. I feel like, whether or not you're a fan, it's one of those ways you know you have a true musical connection with someone if their opinion lines up with your's.

I happen to be a sort of recovering closet Grateful Dead fan. I suppose Animal Collective talking about them in the press and using the first ever authorized Dead sample on the song 'What Would I Want? Sky' gave me courage to finally admit it, though I think I had long since accepted and embraced my love for the band. It was round about the time my manager at my current job said he loved his parents' vintage vinyl copy of one of their weird 60s/70s albums (Blues For Allah or maybe Aoxomoxoa based on his description).

Still, their live shows are definitely where it's at when it comes to Deadhead-dom, even as fine as Workingman's Dead and American Beauty are. You'll rarely come across a fan who doesn't think the band's best material was during their first decade-or-so, spanning from roughly 1966 to their 1975 'hiatus' year. Not that all Dead post-'75 is dreadful, but it certainly gets less compelling as it goes, at least in my opinion.

This live show, I'm about to link below, is only the second set of this night's concert, and demonstrates only about half of the band's variety, missing some of the bluegrass and country/folk influences of releases like the live-with-studio-over-dubs Europe '72. Hmm perhaps versatility is a better word than variety, then. Anyway, this set opens with 'They Love Each Other', which I'm more familiar with in a slower, funkier setting from the legendary show on May 8, 1977. I like this leaner, cleaner, R&B-ier version even better...reminds me of what Credence Clearwater Revival or even 1969/1970 era Velvet Underground might do with it. And as for this insanely long performance of 'Dark Star', well, there's a part around the 28 minute mark which is as experimental and abrasive as anything you've heard before. As anyone who's cool enough to listen to Live/Dead knows, this band actually had some noisy shit going on from time to time--by which I refer to the aptly titled seven minute track 'Feedback', every bit as dissonant and groundbreaking as anything off White Light/White Heat. Or Animal Collective's first few albums.

Oh, anyway, here's the link to show, man. Just remember you owe me a dimebag and some rolling papers next time I see you: