Monday, July 31, 2006

iPod Squad Part 4, 3:00-3:59

Christy makes fun of me because every time I get done making a new mix I say "This is the greatest mix ever!" But here you go...this is the greatest mix ever. Colby's "Grown" is an amazing song, and I love the production of this one, with the ressonant (harmonica?) filling the background. Kris Kristofferson's latest album, This Old Road, is fantastic--every time I hear him I think of his frail artistic character, "Bud" in the film Chelsea Walls. The piano in the chorus to "On The Table" is exhilirating. Christy and I think Feist sings like an angel--the females on this mix represent! I love the line in this Pavement tune, "You kiss like a rock but you know I need it anyway." Malkmus has always had a quirky way with words. The vocals for CYHSY is very David Byrne-ish for me, which is not a bad thing. My brother-in-law Jeremy introduced me to Bright Eyes, and this is a great track from last year's double release. Is it weird that I included ABBA in this mix? No way Jose. This one is for my sister-in-law Alicen, the true Mamma. Enjoy the music folks!

1. A.C. Newman - On The Table
2. Brian Eno - St. Elmo's Fire
3. Colby Stead - Grown
4. Regina Spektor - Fidelity
5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - In This Home On Ice
6. Bright Eyes - Take it Easy (Love Nothing)
7. The Clash - Train In Vain (Stand By Me)
8. Kris Kristofferson - This Old Road
9. Richard Buckner - Six Years
10. Fiest - Secret Heart
11. Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken
12. Pavement - Major Leagues
13. ABBA - Mamma Mia
14. Brendan Benson - Spit It Out
15. The Knife - Heartbeats

Friday, July 28, 2006

iPod Squad Part 3, 2:00-2:59

What more can I say about the musical genius of Elliott Smith? It doesn't get much better than Oh Well, Okay when he sings "If you get a feeling next time you see me, do me a favor and let me know cause it's hard to tell, its hard to say...". An old college roommate, Bruce Jensen, got me into Uncle Tupelo, which in turn led to Son Volt. I bought Ron Sexsmith's album "Blueboy" based on two things 1) the cover artwork and 2) the fact that it was produced by Steve Earle. It's turned out to be one of my best blind purchases. I know Robert Skoro, from when he was bassist for Mason Jennings. I preordered the first album when it came out and he had written "Hey Les!" on the package. SSLYBY has a great album, "Broom" which is full of snappy pop music, and this track sounds a bit like the second coming of (old) Weezer. Chan Marshall, moniker "Cat Power", has released one of my favorite albums of this year, aptly titled "The Greatest."

1. Elliott Smith - Oh Well, Okay
2. Jose Gonzalez - Crosses
3. Cat Power - Where Is My Love?
4. The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
5. Ron Sexsmith - Miracle In Itself
6. John Vanderslice - Gruesome Details
7. Robert Skoro - Two-Part Harmony
8. Beulah - Burned By the Sun
9. Hank Williams - Lovesick Blues
10. Field Music - You Can Decide
11. The Rosebuds - Hold Hands and Fight
12. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Oregon Girl
13. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
14. Son Volt - Windfall
15. M. Ward - I'll Be Yr Bird

Thursday, July 27, 2006

iPod Squad Part 2, 1:00-1:59

This is a fun playlist that has selections from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and 00's. My brother-in-law, Jeremy, introduced me to Hayden a few years back, and I love his music. Colby loaned me a book on the life of Nick Drake which I almost finished...he is a wonderful musician (Nick or Colby, or both?). Christy's friend, Michelle Buhler, introduced us to Spoon years ago, and I first heard Cat Stevens through my lifelong friend Faren. I have a strange fixation with Blind Melon's "Soup" album, so I had to include one of those tracks. The rest of the artists I've come to know and enjoy on my own. I've linked to a few more selections this time, but they're only availible for 7 days, so enjoy!

1. Aimee Mann - Just Like Anyone
2. Page France - Finders
3. Neko Case - At Last
4. Nick Drake - Horn
5. Spoon - You Gotta Feel It
6. Cat Stevens - Tea For the Tillerman
7. Hayden - Stem
8. Johnny Cash - Country Trash
9. Mississippi John Hurt - The Chicken
10. Innocence Mission - Medjugorje
11. Randy Newman - He Gives Us All His Love
12. Caribou - Lord Leopard
13. The Smiths - Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
14. Loretta Lynn - This Old House
15. Blind Melon - Skinned

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

iPod Squad Part 1, 0:00-0:59

One thing I love to do with my iTunes/iPod is filter and sort its contents in various ways to create playlists. For instance, I'll create a group of songs with “California” in the title, or everything that came out in the year 1972, or songs I haven’t listened to in six months. Because iPods are so slick and clever, and because the likelihood of me getting a “Celebrity Playlist” is somewhat low, I am going to use mine to deliver to you all, my faithful readership (ignore the curious lack of comments in previous posts), with a 10 part series highlighting my favorite fifteen songs that fall within certain lengths of time.

This first playlist consists of the extra shorties. Click on the name of the linked songs to sample them.

1. The Beatles: Her Majesty
2. Coldplay: Parachutes
3. The Boy Least Likely To: Warm Panda Cola
4. Half-Handed Cloud – Tongues That Possess the Earth Instead
5. Jenny Lewis – Happy (reprise)
6. Gladys Knight and the Pips – Over My Head
7. Animal Collective – College
8. Brian Wilson – Barnyard
9. Sufjan Stevens – In This Temple, as in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth
10. The Polyphonic Spree – The Crush
11. Pearl Jam – Wasted (reprise)
12. Pete Yorn – Intro
13. John Lennon – Woman Is the Nigger of the World
14. My Bloody Valentine: Touched
15. Devendra Banhart: Dragonflies

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


A poem by A.R. Ammons

I found a
that had a

mirror in it
and that

looked in at
a mirror

me that
had a
weed in it

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gus Franklin Blake

On June 25, 2006 my wife Christy gave birth to our first child, Gus Franklin Blake. No other event in my life has effected me quite so much. To describe those feelings requires words I don’t have.

Meet Gus:

He likes to be held.
He eats every two hours.
He loves to look at lights.
He sleeps with his arms raised a la Moses parting the Red Sea.
He’s a night owl and rarely turns in before 2 AM.
He has a good strong neck.
He has funny looking toes, and spreads them like a monkey.
He burns through a dozen diapers a day.
He likes to stretch his legs.
He has projectile poo, pee, and throw up…pretty much everything leaving the body.
He likes it when Mom sings.
He’s a noisy eater.
He enjoys riding in the car.
He likes to sleep diagonal in the bed.
He's coordinated enough to hold in or take out his own binky (“soother” for Canadians).
He startles easily (except during certain naps).
He is constantly wearing a concerned look.
He has very fortunate parents.