NP: “The American Metaphysical Circus” – The United States Of America. In 1968 White Noise were forming in London, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band were putting out their third album in 18 months in Los Angeles, and (sorta) NYC transplants Joseph Byrd and Dorothy Moskowitz released the debut (and only) LP by The United States Of America. Not as electronic as the former, and not as poppy as the latter, The United States Of America combined avant composition, performance art, and renegade recording techniques to delightful effect. This is the first song on the album.
NP: “Facing Up To The Facts” – Alternative TV. I recently bought this, the second LP from Alternative TV. I had heard it in the 80’s, but it hadn’t really stuck with me. I was shocked when I heard how experimental and weird it is from the vantage point of 2014. A stunning and creepy sophomore effort.
NP: “El Diluvio Y La Pasajera” – Invisible. Dungen didn’t exactly invent the “Dungen sound,” Argentina’s Invisible would like you to know. Released in 1974, this is a beauty.
NP: “So Slow” – Acetone. I got to see Acetone once around when this record came out, but I didn’t know the record as well as I wish I had. Essential for fans of Seam, Rex, Spain, etc..
NP: “The Rest Of The Day” – Bedhead. Explosions In The Sky didn’t exactly invent the “Explosions In The Sky sound,” Bedhead would like you to know. 1996 shows that the good emo wasn’t quite dead yet.
NP: “A Morning Excuse” – Amon Düül II. In 1973 Amon Düül II were already on their 6th or 7th record, depending on how you do the math. Crazy.
NP: “Memory Of A Free Festival” – David Bowie. You really wouldn’t even know this was David Bowie if you didn’t know it was David Bowie.
NP: “Sun And Someone” – Sophia Knapp. Unfortunately I can’t share any of the new Sophia Knapp record with any of ya’ll just yet (soon!), but here’s a track from last year’s Green Magic EP, recorded in Brazil.
NP: “Sundamental” – Michael Chapman. Michael Chapman played Union Pool to about 45 people a couple of months ago. It was maybe the best show I’ve seen all year, and I’ve seen some doozies this year. Here’s an old song, but check out the recent releases, too. They are really quite good.
NP: “White Girl” – X. Saw X four times this year, and they were great every time. I think this might be the best written punk song I’ve ever heard. Not the best one, mind you. And not the best written song ever. But… the best written punk song ever? It gets me every time. When John Doe steps up to the mic to sing, he looks like a man who remembers every single thing he’s ever done in his life. When Exene Cervenka steps up to the microphone, it seems as if the only real thing in the entire universe is that one 3-minute song. The world is lucky they found each other.
NP: “Chesterfield King” – Jawbreaker. And if that “sit in the parking lot and hold your hand” line doesn’t make you think of “held your hand and watched TV” and “parkas clinging on the lawn”, well… then I guess you probably think Dear You is the best Jawbreaker album, and I feel sorry for you.
NP: “Dead End Job” – The Police. Saw NYC’s premiere Police cover band A Humiliating Kick In The Crotch recently. They didn’t do this song, but they did (wisely) stick to the early rockers and it was a hell of a set.
NP: “Comin’ Up” – Bud Powell. I found a beat up original copy of this old Blue Note LP recently, and damn if it doesn’t play just fine. Sublime.
NP: “It Does Not Pay To Be Hip” – Shel Silverstein. I bought a copy of this first Shel Silverstein record recently, too. A fun listen.
NP: “Good Time Girl” – Hello People. Part 1 of two songs about the same thing.
NP: “Motel Blues” – Loudon Wainwright III. Part 2 of two songs about lecherous lonely rock n roll musicians. I’d say I should do a whole playlist of these kinds of songs one day, but isn’t that sorta what all rock n roll is about?
NP: “Trouble On The Western Survey” – Vehicle Flips. The missing link between Stone Roses and The Mountain Goats? Should there be one? Did you know there was a third Vehicle Flips CD in 2000? Did you know there was once a band called Vehicle Flips at all (not to be confused with The Vehicle Birth)? I knew the early material, but honestly had no idea that this album ever existed. I’ve got some catching up to do.
NP: “The Conductor” – Atoms & Void. Arlie Carstens has been working on this album for, oh, a decade or more. I could tell you the story, but it’s probably best for you to get it in their own words.
NP: “This Departing Landscape” – Atoms & Void. But about the record… you see I’m putting 2 songs on here. Any album that starts at Blue Oyster Cult and ends at Scott Walker, while taking turns through a town called Slint and a river called The Blue Nile… well that album is alright by me. They mention Talk Talk in the bio, and, well… they don’t hit that, but Laughing Stock may very well be the most beautiful record ever recorded, so how could they? But do Atoms & Void touch on Leonard Cohen, Terry Allen, Sunny Day Real Estate, Philip Glass, Richard Hawley, Explosions In The Sky, etc. on this full-length? Yup. Sure do.
NP: “From A Late Night Train” – The Blue Nile. What? You thought I was going to mention The Blue Nile, and then NOT put a song from their masterpiece “Hats?” Are you crazy?
NP: “Araçá Azul” – Caetano Veloso. From Caetano’s weird 1973 album of the same name. It’s such a beautiful song, and a lovely close to a difficult, yet rewarding, playlist, but I’d be truly remiss if I didn’t direct you to the cover art of this LP.
NP: ITUNES_STREAM – ITUNES USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: WINAMP_STREAM – WINAMP (and WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER and REALPLAYER) USERS – stream all of the above songs.
NP: SOUNDCLOUD – SOUNDCLOUD – stream the entire playlist on soundcloud.
NP: PODCAST – PODCAST of all of the above songs. [108.9 MB, 95:09 minutes]
NP: ZIP_FILE – .ZIP file of all of the above songs. [161.0 MB]
Some big announcements here in the land of 30 Milkshakes / Highway Wolf / The Self-Starter Foundation.
Some of you know and others may not, but 30 Milkshakes has been working with Sophia Knapp for a while now. She has completed her record, and while it will not be coming out until next year, she is beginning to play shows again. She will be performing many of the new songs at these two shows, including her first NYC show in over a year. Please come out to one of these special events marking the start of a new album cycle (and new era) for the talented Miss Knapp!
Saturday Nov. 29th @ El Cid – Los Angeles, CA
Mr. Pharmacist + AW
Here’s the Facebook event info.
Thursday December 4th @ Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn, NY
Non Human Persons
DJ set by Erika Spring
Here’s the Facebook event info.
Highway Wolf has been working with Parquet Courts for almost 2 years now, and they headline Webster Hall on December 11th. Tickets are almost sold out (really), so you should get yours today.
Before then, Highway Wolf’s other clients The Feelies have a few gigs, which is always worth noting:
Thu 12/04/14 New York, NY – Town Hall (w/ Yo La Tengo)
Fri 12/05/14 Asbury Park, NJ – Asbury Lanes
Sat 12/06/14 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
And since this *is* still The Self-Starter Foundation NYC mailing list, it’s about damn time to make an actual Self-Starter announcement: On January 13, 2015 The Self-Starter Foundation will release the debut LP from Mike Pace And The Child Actors. You may remember Mike from his former band Oxford Collapse, absolutely one of my favorite NYC bands of all time, and I couldn’t be more tickled to be typing this. It will be LP and digital only; information as to how to order will be disseminated in December. The first single “Fire Sale” gets released next week. Stay tuned for that!