2010 Season of Wither Mix

Yes. An Aerosmith song (perhaps the only thing besides It's a Shame About Ray and Ed O.G. and the Bulldogs I like from the city). Could not believe I hadn't heard "Season of Wither" before this seasonal shift, but it fits here. A epic '70s slow-burn, classic in every inch, moody and searing all the same (kinda like Autumn in Ohio). The rest of this culls from that mood - empty John Hughes hallways, roller-rinks in October (they always factor in), another Twin Sister song (cause they exemplify the Fleetwood Mac/Bjork hybrid of my dreams), pure lush and earth-tone warmth. There are a few on here that deserve explanation. International Feel is the closest I've heard of Agitation Free -- and they are native to Punta Del Este, Uruguay (a place to fall in love). There's Winwood and Collins cause my walkmen would've liked this on a paper route -- during the season. And Games? "Strawberry Skies" could be a contender for song of the year.

Please Enjoy. Make sure to download, lay to compact disc, and jam the fall foliage with this one. The Double River Rainbow Mix is no longer on the cloud. Left-click the link for that one. I promise I'll make a page where all of these can reside.

2010 Season of Wither Mix

(Download by right-clicking title and "saving file as.")

Balam Acab – “See Birds (Moon)”
Shannon – “Give Me Tonight”
Roxy Music – “Take a Chance With Me”
Twin Sister – “Meet the Frownies”
Steve Winwood – “Talking Back to the Night (Wumme Edit)”
International Feel – “The Coptic Sun”
Deerhunter – “Helicopter (Diplo and Luncie Mix)”
Games – “Strawberry Skies”
Philip Bailey and Phil Collins – “Easy Lover”
Ariel Pink – “Round and Round (Hood Internet Mix)”
Summer Camp – “Round the Moon”
Aerosmith – “Season of Wither”


(A World of Wumme Production, 2010)

"No Room to Live"

Not sure why, in the back of my mind, I imagine "No Room to Live" as a comeback. There are circumstances that could suggest such, but that can only be attributed to bad handling of their best album (on all fronts). And, on the blip-a-minute indie-ticker, a song as achieved as "No Room to Live" flies on by in a blink. Right now it just took its maiden voyage playing to fans awaiting Guided By Voices. How appropriate. While one classic takes a final bow, another awakens and arises. Though the kids have never really encountered a slump yet -- all work, all the time, even in smoking cigarettes. Work. This seven-inch, taken on that tour, was unsuspecting, a surprise to any GBV die-hards that may have bought it, and a boon to the kids who came just to see the kids (never lived through the "classic" line-up).

The single is wildly indifferent, but the melody is the most hopeful they've ever written. A white flag with a flower bomb in the back pocket. "No Room to Live" is the closest they've come to the Velvets-Pavement-Clean axis that is usually the unusual way they're usually defined -- that romantic nihilism defined really. You can hear feedback and fuzz sitting back on the bench, arms crossed. The once obfuscated crest of the trio is instead magnified and mellowed here.

"No Interest In Oil Spilling..." is a refrain in this defeated couple's clash, in between yawns of euphoria. If anything the single is a call to attention for those without the retroactive sense to return to Born Again Revisited before moving forward. It will all make sense. Here' to the sweet side.

The b-side, "Nite and Day" comes cut from the quilt of that studio expanse that will inform the upcoming album. The song's a quick punch of typewriter teeter-punk that fizzled enough in the end to be left off, but serves as the perfect foil to "No Room to Live." Evolved art, bristling in nervous energy when they choose to rattle off some thrash. Prepare for this album kids.


I Saw Best Coast (and Strapping Fieldhands)

Re-examining Crazy For You (perfect title, btw), my foot went directly in mouth. After seeing Bethany Cosentino and Best Coast live, a band crush developed -- foot has been yanked through skull and out the back of my head. It was likely a journalistic grudge that kept me from being smitten. There were weeks spent tracking down America's latest sweetheart too busy for an interview. Her songs are instant hummers, almost too simplistic to commend. Her story -- from mediocre noise troupe to Spector-spit Girl-Group pop, too easy to shoot holes through. So, an interview with America's latest Cali stoner tart would be comprised of questions about week and the Ronettes (or even baser, the Viv' Girls). Mind numbing gnawing you wouldn't want to read for the nth time.

An impromptu "interview" with Cosentino backstage at her recent Columbus show revealed an evolution I didn't expect. She's well aware of the simplicity of it all, how a set is composed in five minutes shuffling around the same 13 songs in a more pleasing manner than the last. I suggested "Bratty B" to lead things off. It's easily Cosentino's most simple ditty, the catchiest thing you don't want to catch yourself singing. It might result in an endless string of rhymes, over and over in your head the day long -- the sign of a wonderful piece of songwriting. Done before? A million times. But having kids in dorm rooms cop your stuff as bohemian acoustic fodder is another level these days.

Who wants to gamble, this song will end up on American Idol this year?

Best Coast's focus, or blurred vision of the classics, is a flawless design. She shimmies and smiles in time with the songs -- her co-writer, Bobb Bruno giving mammoth riff behind her light strumming -- and Ali K. (formerly of the Viv' Girls) plays the role of minimal, shamble-pop drummer to perfection (an indie mercenary/franchise kicker). It's evolution from two years ago -- and you either prefer both (the raucous and wild/the sparkle and sway) or sit cross-armed on one side of the fence. The amount of stranger sweat I was doused in gave me pause to think most kids prefer the sparkle and sway. I enjoy either if it's done right. She's right by me.

Unfortunately the hoopla got in the way of enjoying the revived Strapping Fieldhands. I'm thinking these guys should'a played an early set as well, but the lack of consumption might have dulled them? Stumbling in at their beginning was my end on a school night. I got to see about 10 songs, all pulled from the past, still as obtuse and toppling over with wonderfully antiquated pop. Thanks to the diligent efforts by one Speery, you can relive that entire set RIGHT HERE. They haven't seem to lost a beat, though a vacuum of years have gone by. Witness them doing a personal favorite, "Ben Franklin Airbath" in the year 2010.


Wearing Miguel Cairo

another sad day in Reds country.

Deep Into the Emerald Universe

Really. Noise has always been noise. A place where you pledge your allegiance to guys/girls/units you've seen in extremely intimate circumstances/in extremely transformative/transcendent conditions, wearing that badge. Here it's a band like Sword Heaven, or a guy like Ryan Jewell. It's evolved. I've forever heard ABOUT Emeralds, but never HEARD ENOUGH of them to truly make even a brief observation. Just noise from a lesser micro-metropolis (in reverse). I suppose that's how Emeralds have evolved, moving from the amorphous "noise" of old into intricate Kraut-excursion, scientifically/technologically modeling their heroes, but going beyond. INC. that "noise" through big sweeps. Well, even the solo stuff has INC. those sweeps. Mark McGuire (not the Card/A 'roider) just made a solo record that eclipses the brilliant neu Emeralds record. Not totally. Just a little thunderstorm under the weight of that mammoth piece of wax. Editions Mego is worth your money. Go Research.

Poolside with Roxy Music (and all of Avalon)

Ended the summer with this. Now it's Indian Summer, and instead of my usual descent into death metal obsessions, I've moved more towards autumnal sophito-pop. Elegant '80s excess (carved in svelte pop songs). Here's to ending the Poolside season with an end of the summer record, an album that plays when it can, poolside at the Country Club pool (thinkin' bout Ivy League, maybe Oxford/Oxfam) and the overhang has about 40% change, causing huge Oak leaves to litter the water. I'm sure if you want this feeling, a John Hughes film (seasonally 16 Candles or Breakfast Club works best) or maybe seeing any prep-school pulp (Never Let Me Go?) will satiate. Bryan Ferry, little did I ever noticed, perpetually this nostalgic aura post-Roxy-weird.

How did I not know about Avalon? I know "More Than This," but always thought it an '80s fluke, a la Godley and Creme's (of 10cc) "Why" -- somewhere among the Roxy Music biography I stopped reading. Perhaps, following ENO (even if I know better/worse). It's never occurred to me that Bryan Ferry was the direct inspiration of the "new romantic" and Avalon was his sincere mock of the whole lot. Avalon may even surpass ABC's Look of Love, except it's glaringly less pompous, not a speck of glitter in sight. Ferry commands it all with a superhuman cool, aware those that still followed him, Andy McKay/Phil Manzanera, survived thanks to telekinesis. There is a strand of this romanticism, sophisto-pop that may or may not be defined by Avalon. A colleague of mine tends to be the foremost scholar on the subject. Read it. Learn. "Oblivious." Jeez.

But on Avalon the horns aren't fake, Mckay implants a smoky/sultry sax in only the necessary folds. Ferry's synths are supreme, second only to his confident-yet-resigned, dramatic-yet-indifferent, croon. His voice invented Martin Fry, invented Spandau Ballet. "Gold" ? Love it. But it's Bryan Ferry turned up to 11. Correct?

Avalon's secret weapon is Manzanera's exquisite guitar playing. His co-writing credit on "Take a Chance With Me" is comparable to the candy-radio-pop of the era and big bright anthems of the decade before from ELO and Fleetwood Mac. When he's called on for airy, watered-in, or flimsy floss work, he performs in the same light as Ferry, like pro, like he invented the guitars that skitter "Perfect Way" and Go West.

I'm now on a search. Thank god Alfred Soto can school you on Roxy. This is some required listening. If you like saxaphones?

Poolside is closed until Spring. Look for Friday Jams.

I Saw Wooden Shjips

Dear Diary,

I know it's late on a Monday night, but I had to go see Wooden Shjips. I saw Wooden Shjips. I love Wooden Shjips. I often say things when I'm "out of mind" like "The Wooden Shjips are America's best psychedelic band" -- cuz they are, and there aren't many truly psychedelic bands anymore in America. Even fewer purely psychedelic bands in Columbus.

They played in CDR's basement. This was the perfect setting. It sounded amazing. But it should. They record a lot of amazing sounding records down there. I hope they burn me a copy of the show. They were recording it. I hope they make a vinyls of the show. They were recording it.

They also recorded the set by Times New Viking. Beer was a $1 and shots were only $2. Not a lot of "columbus" people were there. I've seen the TNV many o' time and I can't honestly say they've ever sounded better than that night. It's nothing "talking," it's not kool aid.

Pretty sure Matt Horseshit played too. Broken-hand blues, by himself, and it was equally as magical. Though the up-lights were on, and those few people were shufflin' in, so you couldn't really concentrate on what he wuz trying to do by him lonesome. I really loved it. It felt like an amazing night then.

I had to leave early Wooden Shjips. Your light show was boss. I wish they'd hung up blacklight posters (no I'm serious). But no one knew, and Columbus did you lousy (don't worry, they don't understand). Come back, and we'll put it in the same place, with the same people, and they'll probably record it again (but I'd love two live Wooden Shjips albums recorded in Columbus), and if it's the same intimate crowd it will persevere, but if we convince 100 more people to come (cause your the best psychedelic band in America) then it will transcend a happening. That's what this felt like. Achieved the mission. A happening. Just wish a lot more people came under the same spell.

Good night.

Herzog in a CAVE in 3-D

For myself, it's a reflex to call Werner Herzog the greatest living artistic mind. I would even base that solely on his work as a documentarian. Be it the language of auctioneers or a frozen pond in remote Siberia -- if the images are there, Herzog can make the story just as illuminating. It's always a portrait of a world you never knew existed. It was always there, but Herzog who brought it from the background. I can highly recommend every one of these you can obtain.

Who knew that the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc become the subject of Werner Herzog's first 3-D feature? I was practically giddy that Cave of Forgotten Dreams would be his first foray into the medium. For Herzog this seems to make perfect sense. His films are always very abstract pictures, wanting to draw you in to the myth/reality of what you're seeing, rather than spending time validating what you're seeing -- the mark of superior art? Herzog is always a mixed bag when brought up in conversation. You are converted or you aren't. Or you appreciate a handful of things -- Grizzly Man being the most noted. My goodness, Rescue Dawn is a film my parents still confer should have won Oscars when it was released, but I couldn't in good conscience ever tell them to rent My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done -- Herzog's latest flick. While it has the budget, (most of the) cast, and distribution of my favorite of last year, Bad Lieutenant, it moves like an episode of Law and Order hypnotized, much like the actors in Heart of Glass. Like it was made in a weekend. Like I like Herzog, but I'd still not brag about My Son as one of the greats. Still essential if you know the man.

Here's hoping Cave of Forgotten Dreams revolutionizes cinema. School kids will have to see this at Science Centers worldwide -- in 3-D. Teens will get high and watch this at former LazerDomes as Midnight Movies -- when 3-D makes it to those wastelands (do they exist?). You can sit yourself in a once inhabited cave-dwelling, tattooed in ancient diaries of line drawings while on your couch -- once I spring for a 3-D living room experience. In order for 3-D to survive (and I'm a wholehearted rah-rah for 3-D) there will have to be something beyond the gimmick. Movies you'll HAVE to see in 3-D. This should be one of them. All of that said, I fully believe Jackass 3-D will be nothing short of brilliant.