A list of all the cool discoveries I made so far this week:

1. I didn’t know that they found evidence that the mark of the beast might actually be 616 and not 666. They’re even going to notate it in new versions of the Bible. It’s going to cost a fortune to revise all the incorrect tattoos and heavy metal album covers.

2. Spotify. I know I am late to the party on this one. Amazing service – makes Pandora look old. I am on the free trial and I discovered so many new bands I love already (see #3). Awesome. Awesome. Double Awesome.

3. How did I not know about the band: be your own PET? Also I found Operator Please, Rival Schools, and the Wavves song “I Wanna Meet Dave Groehl” (again, late to the party on that one).

4. The Lose It! iPhone app (It’s free!). Late to the party one last time. How cool is it to scan a bar-code and then it captures all the data about what you just ate and have it track it for the whole week? I am eating waaaay too much sodium. Found this via Quantified Self. Which is a cool website, and I also discovered it this week.

5. Found an envelope of old letters written from my Dad to his sister from an aircraft carrier where he was a crewman during WWII in the Pacific Islands. They are dated from 1945 and 1946 and they are such a window into my dad. He passed away in 1995 and I hear his voice when I read the letters. I am not through all of them yet. I might post snippets of them on here – it’s so weird looking back at that time in history through your own father. Very cool.


Egyptian Lover

It’s not adequate for me to say “This person is much cooler than me.” I need other, bigger, and more complicated words to describe it and the person in this picture. OFWGKTA brought him to my attention in their Nardwuar interview, which I suggest watching if you like them. Not safe for work, or anywhere where you don’t want people hearing a lot of obscenities, foul language, and viewing crazy hats.
image source: Kava Lounge

“Hey Mr. Light Man! You gotta turn those lights way down, man.”

“Ah whatta we care?”
I studied this song “The End” while I was in high school, to the point of just deconstructing it down until it meant nothing – like when you repeat a word over and over and it loses its meaning. “The End” is all about creating a mood, and the mood of this song is darkness, which really also defines a lot of what The Doors were about, as well. Someone wrote that what was different about The Doors from the other bands that were popular at the time was the darkness that they brought with them. They put an end to all the peace and love songs that preceded them. Jim Morrison came along with all his Nietzsche teachings and trippy, scary lyrics and people were completely freaked out. I still am.

“Great Gig in the Sky” is still brilliant

Goosebumps every time I watch this about Dark Side of the Moon. I love studio stuff about great albums. I love “The Making of…” shows because there are so many easter eggs you don’t know about these albums and it uncovers a whole new love for them. Like when you have a child and they taste ice cream for the first time. They remind you why you love ice cream and sometimes they make you look at ice cream in a whole new way.
I had no idea what the woman’s name was who sang those amazing ethereal vocals. It’s Clare Torry, Alan Parsons had suggested her. She sued the band over credit for the song, which was a little sad for me to learn. I know its just business and all, but I don’t like that I know that now. Not on this song. I think the best quote was from Roger Waters:

I think she only did one take. And we all said, “Wow, that’s that done. Here’s your sixty quid.”

So cool when Alan Parsons adds the piano on the board in this video. Enjoy.

(Go to 6:53 for the stuff about “Great Gig in the Sky”)

RE: Your Brains

“All we wanna do is eat your brains. We’re not unreasonable. I mean, no ones gonna eat your eyes…”

Was thinking about this awesome song because of this interesting podcast I listened to about how Jonathan Coulton made over $500,000 last year selling his songs only via the internet, word of mouth, and hustling. No label or anything. Then one of the commentators in the story said he was just music’s version of a Snuggie. The way she said it was just not cool. His rebuttal is here. I first read about this on Waxy’s links page.

Extra Man

It’s fun to say “recover from the trouble”. I can’t put my finger on why exactly, but it just rolls off the tongue. If you never listened to these guys before I think this is a great first song to hear. There are lyrics, they just start in the middle of the song, so hang in there. I’m not big on instrumentals either, but there are exceptions – and these guys just kick a*s 100%. Pure drive. Love it.

EDIT: I found a better youtube clip from an actual concert they did in Atlanta at place called the Star Bar. This bar looks like it would have been a fun place to be that night. Boy is this a juxtaposition from the Genesis clip two clips ago from the 80’s. I don’t think there are any stockbrokers in this crowd, motherf*cker.

Waiting for my Real Life to Begin

Colin Hay was at the Keswick Theater Saturday night and we went to see him. His opening act, Paul Dempsey, was really talented and did a nice set of music. We decided World Cafe Live is a better venue for Colin Hay, though. He’s more interactive that way and it’s more intimate. I mean, the Keswick is a nice enough place. It’s old, which I like, and it can be small and cozy – but it just seems like Colin Hay should be in a smaller room with people sitting down and having drinks and him talking to them (us) and playing his guitar. Not in what amounts to a movie theater-style situation. The back rows were all empty, which depressed me, because his voice is so great and he deserves for people to hear him. His website is not my favorite – but Paul Dempsey’s is actually pretty awesome – weird how that worked. Below is Peter’s own interpretation of a Colin Hay song from when he was with Men at Work, to which I am agreeable. You might recognize the tune.

Carpet Crawl

Okay, I found what I was looking for here. Before I got obsessed with “Blood on the Rooftops” I was switching around channels one night and there was a concert on VH1. It was Genesis, and I think it was 1976, and I am pretty sure this youtube video is of the same concert. The little title across the bottom came up “Carpet Crawl” the same way when I saw it on VH1. I watched it that night and I got a little choked up at how beautiful it was. Had to jump right on the internet and figure out how I never knew about this song. Of course I figured out it was from the Lamb Lies Down on Broadway album, one I totally skipped in my youth, and then I was hooked into the whole story of that album and what happened to the band.
So I started listening to “Carpet Crawlers” (the name changed somewhere) on a loop. The only other song I really liked on that album was “Back in NYC”. I got so obsessed with “Carpet Crawlers” that I seriously decided I needed to make a stop motion animation of it (I have no artistic talent and never did this before in my life. I can’t even play with Play-do correctly). I bought books on stop motion and researched it and went on all the websites to learn how. The difficulty of doing it, along with the fact they have no Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel puppets for sale on the internet, killed this dream for me. Bastards. I do still think about what could have been (maybe one day will be) when I hear this song.
Anyway, this to me redeems Phil a little from the video I posted below. It’s not a Phil with hair vs. Phil with no hair thing at all. It is a little bit of a 70’s vs. 80’s thing, though, I must admit. This crowd is not shorting pork-bellies, that’s the vibe I get here, and Phil is so into the song. He hits the right spots for me and the way he has his head tilted is neat. The song, and this video, grabs my heart and smooshes it. Awesome job.
EDIT: Sorry – this video won’t embed and you have to follow it to youtube.

Blood on the Rooftops

I’ve been listening to “Blood on the Rooftops” over and over again ever since I followed a Merlin Mann link about “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight” by Genesis (sorry for bringing Merlin up again – I have been checking out his site a lot and listening to the Back to Work Podcast – so it’s been coming up) and I stumbled on this song again. Like a lot of Genesis songs it’s a little silly to worry about what “Blood on the Rooftops” is actually about, but like a lot of Genesis songs, it makes me really sad, and it’s a melancholy masterpiece, and I love it.

Peter Gabriel is great. He really is. I love his solo albums. Carpet Crawlers is such a great song, especially when Phil kicks in, it’s like two talented brothers making genius music – but I have to be honest about something. This is very American Psycho, I know, but here goes: Phil Collins Genesis songs just wind up being more powerful to me. EARLY Phil Collins Genesis, not Invisible Touch Genesis. Trick of the Tail and Wind and the Wuthering Genesis. I don’t think songs from Supper’s Ready or The Knife are in the same realm as “Ripples” or “Blood on the Rooftops”. Those are just great songs to me. I know sometimes Phil gets cheesy. He really does. “Robbery, Assault and Battery” is a dumb song. Catchy, but dumb. I totally agree. But I don’t get all the backlash now. Poor Mr. Collins is holed up pouring over relics of the Alamo and he’s convinced we all hate him now. I can’t speak for anyone else, but it breaks my heart a little. I’m being serious here, I feel bad for him, and I feel bad for us. Because I think we are pretending we didn’t love “Mama” and “Illegal Alien” now, even though we did at the time. We can look back now and not like it, I am okay with that. Sometimes age gives perspective. I don’t like “Illegal Alien” now either. It embarrasses me – but at the time I DID LIKE IT. I admit it. It embarrasses me like a high school yearbook picture or anything else that’s dated and kind of like “What was I thinking?”. We feel like Phil manipulated us a little, but it doesn’t matter at the end of the day, because “Blood on the Rooftops” – no matter how much influence Steve Hackett had on it, is sung brilliantly and sounds great with Phil. Period.

I can’t embed a live version of it, I’d love to, but apparently, from what I’ve read – Genesis never did it live. There are videos of Steve Hackett playing it with his band, but when the vocals come in it’s just not the same. The guy has a nice voice, just not.what.I.wanted.

So this one’s interesting, it’s “Afterglow” from the same album, but it’s 1984 “Mama Tour” Genesis. I want you all to play nice with Phil right now and give him his due. I have dibs on the website leavephilalone.com by the way. So don’t even bother…

EDIT: Okay, I actually watched the video and here’s what I see:

1. Phil is wearing the suspenders. People are not going to like it if you do that. You might come off bad. -1

2. I hate the stupid double-necked guitar without and pegs on the end that Mike Rutherford is playing. He might be a problem here. -1

3. It’s 1984 – and I feel that the crowd is like maybe all coked up stock brokers with brick cell phones and I am not loving them. I have no reason for thinking this. There is actually no visible evidence. -1

I need to find a better video I think – as I might have killed my early good feelings for Phil. I still say leave him alone though – and we’re all being too hard on him. I am going to back it up with something better than this though.