Friday, August 31, 2007

Five Best...Restless Albums

The last two nights, I've had some problems with getting to sleep. Maybe it's due to going back to New York City for college on Saturday or just a general restlessness, but I've either been up or all night or at least until 3 am.

I've been doing a lot of packing of stuff to bring with them and while doing so, listening to my iPod. These are the albums that have most helped me during the past two nights:

#5. The Clash by The Clash

#4. The Times They Are A-Changin' by Bob Dylan

#3. It's Too Late to Stop Now by Van Morrison

#2. The Name of This Band is Talking Heads by Talking Heads

#1. The Ultimate Collection by Hank Williams

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Five Best...Wes Anderson Films

#5. Due to his name only being attached to four movies, I'll add the American Express commercial that he and Jason Schwartzman appear in.

#4. Bottle Rocket

#3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

#2. Rushmore

#1. The Royal Tenenbaums

Wow, it's tough to choose between Rushmore and Tenenbaums...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Five Best...Songs from John Barleycorn Must Die

#5. "Empty Pages"

Found someone who can comfort me,
But there are always exceptions
And she's good at appearing sane,
But I just want you to know

She's the one makes me feel so good
When everything is against me
Picks me up when I'm feeling down,
So I've got something to show

#4. "Freedom Rider"

Like a hurricane around your heart,
When earth and sky are torn apart
He comes gathering up the bits,
While hoping that the puzzle fits
He leads you, he leads you
Freedom rider

#3. "Stranger to Himself"

Through his nightmare vision,
He sees nothing, only well
Blind with the beggar's mind,
He's but a stranger
He's but a stranger to himself

#2. "Every Mother's Son"

Once again I'm northward bound, on the edge of sea and sky
Together we will go and see what waits for us
A backdoor to the universe, that old moondust.

#1. "John Barleycorn Must Die"

There were three men came out of the west,
Their fortunes for to try
And these three men made a solemn vow
John Barleycorn must die

Monday, August 27, 2007

Five Best...Songs from Amnesia

#5. "I Still Dream"

On the killing floor I stand with a stun gun in my hand
Like a cowboy shooting badmen on the range
And nothing satisfies and the soul inside me dies
As I duck each punch and never risk the change
And now you look at me with that same old used-to-be
Oh but time winds down and I turned my back long ago

#4. "Gypsy Love Songs"

Oh stillborn love, passionate dreams, pitiful greed
And the silver tongues of the tinker girls
Who throw the book of life at you
But they don't know how to read

#3. "Can't Win"

Don't waken the dead as you sleepwalk around
If you have a dream, brother, hush, not a sound
Just stand there and rust, die if you must
But play the game

#2. "Turning of the Tide"

The boys all say "You look so fine"
They don't come back for a second time
Oh you can't hide from the turning of the tide

#1. "Yankee Go Home"

My girlfriend still won't talk to me
Since she met with a sailor from the land of the free
I'm tired of being alone
Yankee, go home!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Five Best...Sean Connery Films

As today is his 77th birthday, what better way to celebrate than by looking a list about him?

#5. Highlander

#4. The Untouchables

#3. The Longest Day

#2. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

#1. Dr. No

Friday, August 24, 2007

Five Best...Songs Mentioning "Spiders"

#5. “Save Ginny Weasley” by Harry and the Potters

Are you scared to walk through the hallways?
Are you worried that the spiders run away?
Are you petrified of being petrified?
Are we going to have to save the school again?

#4. “Safe as Milk” by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

Well, my cigarette died when I washed my face
Dropped some drops in an ashtray, hit a wrong place
Woman at my blinds to see spider’s spinning lines
It’s a-safe as milk, it's a-safe as milk

#3. “Apeman” by The Kinks

I'm an apeman,
I'm an ape, apeman,
Oh I'm an apeman
I'm a King Kong man,
I'm a voodo man,
Oh, I'm an apeman
‘Cause compared to the sun that sits in the sky,
Compared to the clouds as they roll by,
Compared to the bugs and the spiders and flies, I am an apeman.

#2. “Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie

Ziggy played guitar, jammin' good with Weird and Gilly,
The spiders from Mars, he played it left hand
But made it too far
Became the special man, then we were Ziggy's band

#1. “Spiders (Kidsmoke)” by Wilco

Spiders are singing in the salty breeze
Spiders are filling out tax returns
Spinning out webs of deductions and melodies
On a private beach in Michigan

Why can't they wish their kisses good
Why do they miss when their kisses should
Fly like winging birds fighting for the keys
On a private beach in Michigan

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ten Best...Songs Mentioning "Airplanes"

#10. "Crystal" by Husker Du

Avalanche looms overhead
Airplane flies overhead
Important man sits by the window
Sucked out of the first class window
Images run by, thousand miles an hour
But the time seems far away
Folding clothes in a folding closet
Folding money in a resume

#9. "Galileo" by Indigo Girls (That's For You, Ma)

And then I think about my fear of motion
Which I never could explain
Some other fool across the ocean years ago
Must have crashed his little airplane

#8. "Long Neck Bottle" by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

Well, one night she got to drinking
Got out and shot up the town
I'll be damned if she didn't,
Bring an airplane down
I don't like to talk about my woman
But this one sure could chug 'em down
I don't like to talk about my woman
But this one sure could chug 'em down

#7. "The Bends" by Radiohead

Where do we go from here?
The words are coming out all weird
Where are you now when I need you?
Alone on an airplane
Falling asleep beside my window pain
My blood will thicken

#6. "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits

See the little faggot with the earring and the makeup
Yeah buddy that's his own hair
That little faggot got his own jet airplane
That little faggot he's a millionaire

#5. "Power of Love" by Jimi Hendrix

Shoot down some of those airplanes you're flyin'
Especially the ones that are flyin' too low
Shoot down some of those airplanes
Especially the ones that you're flyin' too low

#4. "Earth Died Screaming" by Tom Waits

Rudy's on the midway
And Jacob's in the hole
The monkey's on the ladder
The devil shovels coal
With crows as big as airplanes
The lion has three heads
And someone will eat the skin the he sheds
And the earth died screaming

#3. "You Got the Silver" by The Rolling Stones

Hey babe, what's in your eyes?
I saw them flashing like airplane lights
You fill my cup, babe, that's for sure
I must come back for a little more

#2. "Thunder on the Mountain" by Bob Dylan

Thunder on the mountain heavy as can be
Mean old twister bearing down on me
All the ladies in Washington scrambling to get out of town
Looks like something bad gonna happen,
Better roll your airplane down

#1. "I'm a Little Airplane" by Modern Lovers

Well, I'm a little airplane now
I'm a little airplane now now
I'm a little airplane now
I'm a little airplane now now
And wangity-wang wangity-wang
I'm a little airplane now.

I fly in the dark,
Over the baseball park.
Well, I fly late at night.
I got my little red light.
And wangity-wang wangity-wang
I'm a little airplane now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Five Best...Ugly People in Music

#5. Wesley Willis

#4. Phil Spector

#3. Jack Casady of Hot Tuna

#2. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

#1. Shane MacGowan of the Pogues

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Once in a Lifetime, Vol. II

In yesterday’s posting, I wrote mainly about my friends who have made my transition from Worst College Ever to The New School that much easier. After writing it, I thought to myself: What about the professors who have helped?

Although college is the time to learn and gather as much knowledge as possible in a four-year span, all that sometimes gets overshadowed by the relationships you’re making with people from all around the globe. So, I guess that’s why I forgot to mention any educators.

But without the following people, my initial year wouldn’t have been as profitable as it was:

Robert Levinson
: The first professor that I ever wrote a story about for print and got into e-mail exchanges with. Part of that has to do with the class he taught, Discussing Dylan, but it’s also because he’s just a good guy who’s looking to make his way through the world. And although maybe people may mock our liking of Bob Dylan, if it makes this short life that much more enjoyable, I say to those people, “Screw you.”

Benjamin Hedin: This summer, I took a trio of classes and although I enjoyed all three, Hedin’s class, Watching the River Flow: Bob Dylan and the American Culture, was the most interesting. While Levinson’s class was focused around having guests come into the class and shoot the shit about Dylan, Hedin’s was more educational and included some music theory, something I wish I knew more of. Inside the class, he’d make ridiculous claims (U2’s War better than Revolver?!? Street Legal being a terrible album?!?) and outside, he was a good guy to get a beer with and talk about how much we hate our liking of Phish. If only he’d admit that New Morning has some value…

Robert Buchanan: The person many of us on the newspaper refer to as “The Manliest Man Ever” is also one of the most important teachers I’ve had in 15 years of being taught. When I graduate from college, I want to become a journalist, and that’s why I’m on The New School’s paper, Inprint. Although Rob’s official title is Senior Editor or something similar, he’s more of someone who will sit down with you and edit your story as much as possible. For instance, I remember during one closing, he stayed with one of the writers to work on her story for hours and hours. And this was on a Friday or Saturday night. There aren’t too many professors who would give up their free time to work on a school newspaper or, in another case, go out of their way to set up a rowing trip that included students. I’m, of course, referring to the Bruise Cruise and I’m pretty sure that I’m truthfully speaking for Peter and Nadia when I say that it was a blast. I could keep going on and on and on, but I’ll end by saying: Rob, you’re yatta.

I’ve also lucked out and gotten people like John Guinta in my Sociology of Popular Music class, who’s a Mets fan, so you know he’s a good guy; Adam Novy teaching First Year Writing and I still remember the day you came in talking about the Buffy Musical; and Ivan Raykoff for Music in Film, who is just one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

Without the work of six professors, especially the first three, my first year at The New School wouldn’t have been enjoyable as it was.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Once in a Lifetime

Every so often, you find a line by an artist that you listen to but not on a consistent basis. This morning, while doing research for a blog posting that didn't happen (Five Best..."Upstate" Songs), I found this line from Sufjan Stevens' "Pittsfield":

Since that time we meant to say much more
Unsaid things begin to take their toll
After school we shovel through the snow
Drive upstate in silence in the cold

The main reason I haven't posted in a few days is because two of my best friends, Kayley and Nadia, came to visit me. The three of us worked on The New School's newspaper, Inprint, and although Nadia graduated this past year, I still think of her as a New School student--whether she likes it or not.

On August 23rd, it'll be my one-year anniversary at the school because, although I'm going to be a junior, I spent my (disasterous) freshman year at SUNY Purchase. I mention the date because although it's only been 362 days since I've become a student in Manhattan, I can't really imagine another college I'd like to be at right now. I mean, of course, kickin' it with the kangaroo's in a college in the Outback or learning to speak Italian in Italy would be spectacular, but those aren't practical choices--not yet, at least. So, for now, I'm quite happy to be living in New York City, taking interesting classes, working on the newspaper, and having friends like Nadia, Kayley, Bruiser, Hannah, Liz, Ilana, Kayley F, Linh, Danielle, Rosalyn, Michelle, Kevin, Almie, Mari, and Sydney

And all this came from a single verse of a Sufjan Stevens song...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Five Best...Gary Songs

#5. "Gone Fishin'" by Louis Armstrong

Gone fishin'
There's a sign upon your door
(Pops, don't blab it around, will you?)
Gone fishin'
(keep it shady, I got me a big one staked out)
Mmm, you ain't workin' anymore
(I don't have to work, I got me a piece of Gary)

#4. "The Gary Song" by Olmstead White

"Gary, Gary, quite contrary"

#3. "Puttin' on the Ritz" by Fred Astaire

Dressed up like a million dollar trooper
Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper

#2. "Gary's Got a Boner" by The Replacements

Gary got a boner
'Cause Gary's got a boner
Gary got a boner
Gary's got a boner now

#1. "Clash City Rockers" by The Clash

You owe me a move say the bells of St. Groove
Come on and show me say the bells of Old Bowie
When I am fitter say the bells of Gary Glitter
No one but you and I say the bells of Prince Far-I
No one but you and I say the bells of Prince Far-I

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Five Best..."Uncle" Songs

#5. "Froggie Went A-Courtin'" by Bob Dylan (among others)

Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides, Uh-huh,
Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides, Uh-huh,
Uncle Rat laughed and he shook his fat sides,.
To think his niece would be a bride, Uh-huh.

#4. "Uncle Fucka" by Terrance and Philip (South Park)

Shut YOUR fucking face, Uncle Fucka
You're the one that fucked your uncle, Uncle Fucka
You don't eat or sleep or mow the lawn
Just fuck your uncle all day long

#3. "Long Tall Sally" by Little Richard

Well Long, Tall Sally
She's built for speed,
She got everything that Uncle John needs

#2. "Little Criminals" by Randy Newman"

Got a gun from Uncle Freddy
Got a station all picked out
Got a plan and now we're ready
Gonna take that station out

#1. "Uncle John's Band" by The Grateful Dead

God Damn I declare have you seen like
Their walls are built like cannon balls
Their motto is 'Don't Tread On Me'
Come hear Uncle John's band playing-to the tide
Come along or go alone
He's come to take his children home

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Five Best...Songs with "200" In It

#5. "200 Years" by Frank Zappa

She's two hundred years old
So mean she couldn't grow no lips
Boy, she'd be in trouble if she
Tried to grow a mustache

#4. "Batdance" by Prince

Who's gonna stop 200 balloons?

#3. "The Singer" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

All the truths I tried to tell you
Were as distant to you as the moon
Born 200 years too late
And 200 years too soon

#2. "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces" by Ben Folds Five

Jane, remember second grade
Said you couldn't stand my face
Rather than kiss me,
You said you'd rather die
Now I'm big and important
One angry dwarf
And 200 solemn faces

#1. "Road to Peace" by Tom Waits

There was a tall, thin boy with a whispy moustache disguised as an orthodox Jew
On a crowded bus in Jerusalem, some had survived World War Two
And the thunderous explosion blew out windows 200 yards away
With more retribution and seventeen dead along the road to peace

Monday, August 13, 2007

Five Best...Songs about Cleveland

#5. "Drunk on the Moon" by Tom Waits

Hearts flutter and race
The moon's on the wane
Tarts mutter their dream hopes
The night will ordain
Come schemers and dancers
Cherry delight
As a Cleveland-bound Greyhound
And it cuts throught the night

#4. "Oh My Sweet Carolina" by Ryan Adams

So I went on to Cleveland and ended up insane
Bought a borrowed suit and learned to dance
I was spending money like the way it likes to rain
And I ended up with pockets full of 'caine.

#3. "Cleveland Rocks" by Ian Hunter

I got some records from World War Two
I'll play 'em just like me Grand Dad do
He was a rocker and I am too
Oh, Cleveland Rocks,
Yeah, Cleveland Rocks!

#2. "Pancho and Lefty" by Townes Van Zandt

The poets tell how Pancho fell,
And Lefty's living in cheap hotels
The desert's quiet, Cleveland's cold,
And so the story ends we're told

#1. "Look Out Cleveland" by The Band

Look Out, Cleveland, the storm is comin' through,
And it's runnin' right up on you.
Look out, Houston, There'll be thunder on the hill;
Bye-bye, baby, don't cha lie so still.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Five Best...Songs about Burning

#5. "I'm on Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis

Help me mister fireman, please
You know I'm burning from my head to my knees
I'm aflame with such a burning desire
A little girl set my soul on fire
She's got me burning up like a paper cup
Hmmm, hmmm, I'm on fire

#4. "Beat the Retreat" by Richard Thompson

I'm beating my retreat
Back home to you
I'm beating my retreat
Back home to you
I'm burning all my bridges
I'm burning all my bridges
I'm burning all my bridges
I'm running back home to you

#3. "Burning Love" by Elvis Presley

Lord almighty, I feel my temperature risin'
Higher higher, it's burnin' through to my soul
Girl, girl, girl, you gonna set me on fire
My brain is flamin', I don't know which way to go
Your kisses lift me higher
Like a sweet song of a choir
You light my mornin' sky with burnin' love

#2. "London's Burning" by The Clash

London's burning with boredom now
London's burning dial 99999

#1. "Burning Down the House" by Talking Heads

Watch out, you might get what you're after
Cool baby strange but not a stranger
I'm an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

All Hail Huberman

I know I've often thought about what kind of music Adolf Hitler listened to. Well, according to recent finds and published in the NY Sun (and with a little help from my friend, Nadia), we now know he listened to Russian and Jewish artists including Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Rachmaninoff and, most interestingly, the violinist Bronislaw Huberman, a Polish Jew who would become an official enemy of the Third Reich.

This was found out by historian Lev Bezymensky many years ago, but had been kept private until he passed away and his daughter released the finds recently. Bezymensky was a leading authority on Hitler, and was present at his autopsy, which revealed Ol' Adolf to have only one testicle.

So, if Hitler were still alive, you think he'd listen to The Klezmatics?

I'll be away in Cleveland until Sunday, so posting while there will become very sparaditic, at best. But I'll definitely be back next Monday

Look out, Cleveland, the storm is comin' through
And it's runnin' right up on you

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy Birthday...To Me!

As today is my 20th birthday, I'm going to be selfish, think about myself and post birthday related videos:

-An SNL clip of a "new" Happy Birthday song with Jack Black

-A bunch of Simpsons birthday clips: Homer not blowing out his candles, The Ramones (Stones?) singing to Mr. Burns and a performance of "Lisa, It's Your Birthday" by Bart and Leon Kompowski.

-Bob Dylan singing "Happy Birthday" and sounding/looking horrible.

-And, of course, "Birthday" by The Beatles

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Five Best...Songs from Harvest

#5. "Needle and the Damage Done"

#4. "Harvest"

#3. "Old Man"

#2. "Alabama"

#1. "Heart of Gold"

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Come Back Home

There’s something quintessentially New York City about Bob Dylan’s 1965 masterpiece, Highway 61 Revisited. From it being recorded at Studio A in Manhattan and one of the songs actually mentioning NYC, I wanted it to be the last album I listen to in full before going back home for the remainder of the summer.

“Like a Rolling Stone” and “Ballad of a Thin Man”

-Fast forward an Edith Warton novel 30 years and you’ve pretty much got Miss Lonely and her boyfriend, Mr. Jones. She, the type of girl who “never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns,” and he, the kind of man who’s read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, are the perfect example of duality of NYC: you’ve got the very rich and the very poor. But when Miss Lonely drops from wealth or independence, she doesn’t know what to do, while in the case of Mr. Jones, the socialite in him looks past the scowling looks of the people who ask, “How does it feel to be such a freak?” Such is the world—and it intensifies in the city.

“Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”

-One of my all-time favorite Dylan lines: “I’m goin’ back to New York City/I do believe I’ve had enough.” Although the song begins in Juarez, Dylan ends it with pining for NYC—which is quite peculiar considering the song is about being strung out on drugs. And New York City ain’t where I would go to get clean. So, although maybe it doesn’t take place in the city throughout the whole song, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to hear a New Yorker sing the line “I started out on burgundy/But soon hit the harder stuff” and talk about Housing Project Hill.

“Queen Jane Approximately”

-Queen Jane, having been spurred by her family and friends for reasons that I’m not sure she even knows, is left without a friend, expect for Dylan who’s asking for her to come see him. In the hustle and bustle that is a New York City day, it’s essential that at the end of the day you have someone to turn to. If not, the big city seems unquestioningly more difficult than it has to be.

“Desolation Row”

-Hell’s Kitchen? Times Square? All of the Bronx? Harlem? Any of those I’d be happy to call Desolation Row—especially Times Square.

As I leave for a month and think about all the good times in New York Town, there was no better album to pick than Highway 61—especially because I was walking through the Village while doing so.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Early in the Morning, I'm Callin' YouTube, Vol. IV

One of the great two-hit wonders (thank you, reader) from the 1980s would have to be Rick Astley. While that name might not ring a bell, his picture probably will. His hit was "Never Gonna Give You Up" and the most striking thing about it is that...he sounds black. Yes, the pasty, ginger kid sounds like a black soul singer--one with a limited amount of rhythm, but it's still rather impressive. Family Guy did a funny mocking of him and his song with this clip.

Having just recently bought the Complete Arrested Development on DVD, I've been itching to watch them again but must wait until my friend, Kayley, comes back from London. Until then, I've been keeping myself quenched with AD clips on YouTube, especially this one with Tobias and another with Gob. Oh Tobias, you blowhard!

Ever wonder what Tiny Tim's "Living in the Sunlight, Loving in the Moonlight" looks like backed with Simpsons clip? Yeah, me neither but when you stumble upon it, the end result is actually pretty good.

Now that I've begun talking about him, here's a clip of Tiny Tim performing Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" with Eleanor Barooshian (of The Cake) with understandably interesting results. Notice that they switch roles from the original version.

Here's a clip of The Rolling Stones performing "Bitch" off of Sticky Fingers from their 1972 tour.

Last one: Bart and Lisa Simpson playing the Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Take Five."