Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mmm, Dustbowly...

Now that I'm a dab hand at this whole filesharing malarky, I thought I'd start adding a couple of links to my favourite tracks discovered in the course of putting together Dustbowl Diner shows. So here's my picks for the August 31 show:

Dinah Shore - Buttons and Bows
So materialistic! But so cute!

The Band - Out of the Blue
This was the Band's last ever studio recording, and it's all sad and poignant and right purdy.

Also, Jolie Holland has a new album coming out in October. The advance single to The Living & the Dead is "Mexico City," available at here at Stereogum. When I interviewed Steve Abel about his new album Flax Happy I was delighted to discover that the tracks he recorded with Jolie Holland were recorded in the Wairarapa, my old stomping ground. That means I'm totally famous! Or something. Although I must confess, I didn't find the tracks in question overly inspiring.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Can Has Musics: Lost in Tyme

Tonight's featured blog on I Can Has Musics? was freak-fest Lost In Tyme, a site that specialises in posting out-of-print records that aren't otherwise available unless you happen to get your grubby paws on a secondhand vinyl copy. They've got over 2000 records up, which is totally amazing (and potentially very tme consuming). My selections from the goodies on offer were Jeremy & the Satyrs' self-titled 1968 album and a CD re-release of mid-sixties albums from the Bad Seeds and the Liberty Bell.

The Satyrs serve up a dose of psychedelic rock that is the sound of 1968 (the producer also worked with the Electric Flag and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band).

Jeremy & the Satyrs - In the World of Glass Teardrops
Jeremy & the Satyrs - The Do It

I was particularly excited to find the Bad Seeds album, as I've been dying to check the first Bad Seeds out since I saw them on a DVD of TV appearances/proto-music videos of mid-sixties garage groups. I still like Mr. Cave's group better, but this is hella awesome too.

The Bad Seeds - Taste of the Same
The Bad Seeds - I'm a King Bee

Let me know if I've got these postings wrong - it's my first time!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I Can Has Musics omnibus!

One of the main reasons I decided I could justify adding yet another weblog to the ridiculously crowded weblogosphere was that I thought it made sense to provide handy clickable 'hyper' links to the music blogs I feature on my Radio One Wednesday Drive feature 'I Can Has Musics'. However, since establishing the Honkytonk Lagoon I've actually been unable to host my Wednesday show for one reason after another. To celebrate getting back into it tonight (4-7pm, 91fm in Dunners or elsewhere) I'm posting the best of the blogs I've already featured:

Soul Sides: Crate-digging awesomeness from Oliver Wang. Soul, latin, boogaloo, funk, etc. Links up for a limited time, and it's all gold, so check in regularly or subscribe through a reader. Who can argue with posts like "JIMMY MCGRIFF: GIANT OF THE ORGAN" or "DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE PLEASURES"?

Waxidermy: More crate-digging delights. Perhaps a wider range, with great categories like 'Field Recordings', 'Garage/Freakbeat', 'Incredibly Strange' 'Instructional/Educational', and perhaps my favourite, 'Kids/School Bands'. I think the way that this blog works is that the most recent entry includes downloadable tracks, all other posts have streaming versions, so you have to be on the ball.

Dr Forrest's Cheeze Factory: In these days of ever rising cheeze prices, it's reassuring to know it exists in such vast quantities on teh internetz for FREE! One of my best I Can Has Musics finds: a whole swag of different versions of "St. James Infirmary". Score! The site is appropriately kitschy and quite busy - looks similar to a lot of personal websites circa 1998. It took me a while to work out how to actually download stuff from here (hint: click the cheeze).

If It Rotates We Can Control It: More funky souly stuff, with a 'world' focus. While there's a handful of links to individual tracks you can download, it mainly provides downloads of host Alex Panther's radio shows. Unfortunately, while the music selections are amazing, his radio voice doesn't really live up to his hep selections or groovy name...

Mutant Sounds: Entire albums of obscure weirdness. Fantastic music accompanied by pix of brilliant album art.

Said the Gramophone: Generally speaking, lighter lovelier stuff with rather floral blurbs that you could call poetic or precious. I just picked up a new Jolie Holland track from here, which makes me very, very happy.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Follow the fun Fox farce!

This post is a little less delightful than the last one, but just as breathtaking. Everything I'm about to post is a little oldish, originally appearing over the end of June/beginning of July. But it's still an amazing look at the rigorous journalism provided by the good fair 'n' balanced folk at Fox News.

The story starts at The New York Times, where Jacques Steinberg wrote this piece about the ratings of various cable news outlets over the past few months (you need to sign up to the Times to read it, but it's free and you really should do it anyways). Steinberg's conclusion was that, while Fox was still the top-rated news channel, but it is now growing its audience at a significantly slower rate than CNN and MSNBC. Part of this, he acknowledges, is down to the protracted Democratic candidate race compared to the much shorter Republican race (Fox's primetime clearly swings Republican, and they hosted no Democratic debates) - and also that the other channels have been adopting Fox's "emphasis on sharp opinions, glitzy graphics and big personalities."

Steinberg also closes by saying, "Still, no one is ready to count out [Fox News' founder and chairman, Roger] Ailes, or Fox News. 'The proof is going to be once the political season is over,' [senior vice president of research at ad buying agency Horizon Media, Brad] Adgate said. “Can CNN sustain the momentum they have?' Or, to put it in political terms, he added, 'Is this going to have coattails?'”

In response, Fox News latched on to a short piece posted back in April by Radar Online, in which they pointed out rumours circulating about bad blood between Times television editor Steve Reddicliffe and News Corp, which owns Fox News, and at the time owned Reddicliffe's former employer TV Guide: "[I]t's got nothing to do with the supposed ideological differences between the liberal Times and conservative Fox; this grudge, say the blogs, is personal. 'It seems like [Reddicliffe] is still bitter about losing his gig at News Corp ... owned TV Guide,' says FTVLive. Circulation fell 40 percent at TV Guide while Reddicliffe was there and he was let go, only to be scooped up by the Times in 2004, the site recalls."

However, in their April posting, Radar took the rumours with a healthy dose of salt: "The suggestion that an editor has acted out a three-year-old grudge against an arm of the parent corporation which fired him seems like a bit of a stretch, but if you consider that he's probably yet to earn at the Times what he made in a single year at TV Guide, you've got yourself a neat little conspiracy theory. Although he could have just hated News Corp. all along, like the rest of us," they concluded.

Fox used this story to attack Steinberg's ratings piece on their always amazing morning show Fox & Friends (you can watch it here in New Zealand in the wee smalls on Prime TV, if you find yelling at your television an effective cure for insomnia). Watch this:

So, for one thing, they took the Radar piece on Reddicliffe completely out of context in order to attack a piece written by a different journalist altogether (Radar responds here). But wait, there's more - Media Matters looked into it, and found these interesting examples of obvious photo manipulation, embiggening noses, embaldening hairlines, yellowing teeth, etc:

A later New York Times piece reported that, "A spokeswoman said the executive in charge of “Fox and Friends” is on vacation and not available for comment but added that altering photos for humorous effect is a common practice on cable news stations."