Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012



Juan and Only now broadcasts from Beirut.

You're Gonna Miss Me

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back Streets of Bessarabia

Guest Post | Will Oldham

So much music was shown to me by David Grubbs during the 1980s, music that made strong changes to my headspace. Principal among these musics is the work of Phil Ochs. Grubbs first played 'I Ain't A-Marching Anymore', and I got a copy of the record and listened to it a lot.

His records were not easy to find in the local used or new record shops, and my mail-order music catalog had only one Ochs record, 'Phil Ochs ‎Greatest Hits', which has cover art based on an Elvis hits compilation (which I owned). I loved and love both of those Ochs records; the 'Greatest Hits' is not a hits record, but instead a record of all-new (at the time) songs.

The edition I got was on a reissue label called Pickwick, and I guess in their licensing deals they agreed to cut a couple of songs off of the original track listing. Later I found a copy of the original A&M pressing, and the missing tracks were awesome.

Back in those days, it took years to find some records. I remember so well the disbelief/elation I felt when I found a copy of 'Rehearsals For Retirement' in a milk crate at a 2nd-floor used record shop in Providence. Just amazing. And I had never heard any of the songs, and the record blew me away.

Timebreak: trouble got in the way of writing, now I am returned, but the mind-thread will maybe differ.  

In 1989 I moved to Los Angeles, and soon met a certain Meegan Lee Ochs. I knew of her as Phil Ochs daughter; we became friends. She shared with me many things. Some things are so engrained in me that I forgot to bring the internet to bear upon them. For example, Meegan gave me a VHS compilation of Ochs TV appearances; maybe these are all on YouTube now? I don’t know, I watched them so many times that they are a part of me.

Last year we played a show in Calgary with Dick Gaughan, and he played Ochs’ song 'When I’m Gone'. That got me thinking about Ochs again, and then that very good recent documentary about Ochs came into my possession.

In January of this year, there was a performance with Nuala Kennedy’s 'Astar' piece, and she asked about other songs we could do. I suggested 'Pleasures of the Harbor'. One day when we were rehearsing, in Glasgow, Dana Lyn came in and said that Gauaghan was across the hall rehearsing. I went out and peered through the keyhole, watching him practice 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down'. These memories are fragmentary. Phil Ochs, I love him.

Thank you for reading these, and thanks Señor Juan, for inviting me in.

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And hearty thanks to Guillermo Oldham for his wonderful posts over the last months, which are archived here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Guest Post | Will Oldham

The first time or two that I flew as a passenger in a small propeller-driven plane, I was very scared. The plane seemed too light and flimsy, and it’s sensitivity to the idiosyncrasies of the air through which it passed only increased my awareness of what an unlikely phenomenon (powered flight) I was apparently experiencing. Then some film buffs got together and restored Frank Capra’s 'Lost Horizon' for theatrical re-release.

The movie played at my local, The Vogue Theater (which has been almost completely torn down and replaced with new shops, keeping the old marquee). In this movie, the characters fly on a small propeller-drive plane through the Himalayas. They crash, get lost, and ultimately find themselves in Shangri-La. Since I saw that movie, I have cherished flying in those planes, in hopes that one day…

Last year I got around to reading Frank Capra’s autobiography. At one point in the book, he explains how he persuaded Ronald Colman and Colman’s wife that marital rape might be the best way to overcome the fertility issues they were experiencing. It’s a wonderful life.

The book also turned me on to Capra movies I had never seen before, including the film from which this clip is extracted. Like Michael Tully’s 'Septien', this movie has these scenes that thrill due to that fact that we get to SEE the actor-characters DO the things they are supposed to be doing. Meaning: Bing Crosby and co. are singing and performing and having a good time, REALLY.

When I first got interested in acting, it was because I thought that an actor had a short-cut to the wildest and best that life had to offer. I thought that Michael York got to BE Tybalt, or a musketeer. It took me a long time to realize that actors act, 99.9999% of the time, and that all of our heaviest and best experiences will ultimately be congruent to the experiences of others, and not identical. In the end, acting is often pretending to do something awesome, where singing is actually getting the awesomeness done.

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Will Oldham will be writing from Louisville every Wednesday about loved and significant music.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Guest Post | Will Oldham


Li'l Radood - "Unknown"

Another motion picture that I saw many times on the big screen when I was little is 'Harold and Maude'. Now I am thinking that 'Japón' is the same storyline, just less fun. In H&M, there’s all of this Cat Stevens music, and so began a long affection for Cat Stevens, and later for his new existence as Yusuf Islam, later for his recording artist embodiment Yusuf.

I learned at some point that there are some rules or beliefs among certain Muslims that music as many of us know it is not welcome; that something exists that resembles music, though, that features voices and drums. I think it was on the hotel clock radio in my room at the Tolarno in Melbourne that I first remember hearing this great noise.

I kept a-listening and a-listening whenever I had moments in my room. But when I would ask people about it, usually eyes glazed over and lips got sealed. My best guess is that Muslims may view these ventures as truly unmusical, or possibly embarrassing the way some of us hear devotional music from our own traditions, or maybe they just don’t want this infidel to lay his ears on it.

After 9/11, I went to visit some friends in Fez, in Morocco, and started asking around about where I could get cassettes of the drum/voice deal. No luck. In a small town in the south, a man (who may have been trying to get into my pants?) led me to a bookstore where I asked again about this. The shopkeeper tried to figure out what I wanted. American man, interested in Islam, via audio cassette. So he sold me a tape, and I took it to my room and pressed play… it was Cat Stevens.

It was actually Yusuf/Yusuf Islam, singing a selection of songs I had read about but never heard. 'A is For Allah' and others. Then there was something curiouser, which was a recording of Yusuf giving a speech in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, speaking out in favor of Jihad.

Years later, Emmett Kelly suggested that we cover Yusuf’s 'One Day At a Time'. It was so exciting that the man had started making records again! This video here shows the voice/rhythm I’m trying to write about; it also shows the excitement we can share over the energy that those younger than us will continue to bring to the earth.

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Will Oldham will be writing from Louisville every Wednesday about loved and significant music.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Guest Post | Will Oldham


Unknown - "So Bad"

We used to see movies in the theater multiple times. Two movies I remember seeing more than once on the big screen are 'The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings' and 'The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh'. My friend Todd identifies a sub-genre of movies as 'assemble-the-team' movies, and these are two perfect examples of this sub-genre.

I idealized the identification of a community made of diverse individuals who could only fulfill their respective destinies by working as one, not at all by diminishing their individualities. My interest continued with 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'The Dirty Dozen', among many other movies.

In real life, it was a rare experience to witness or participate in such joinings. However, I met a real-life Lee Marvin about a decade or so ago in the person of David Tibet, and sat at times at the 50-yard line of some of his recent manifestations. And through Tibet, I became aware of Baby Dee.

This video is of a young girl singing a stand-out song of Dee's, 'So Bad', from 'Love's Small Song' (later collected on 'The Robin's Tiny Throat'). Dee asked Matt Sweeney, another in Tibet's crack platoon for a while, to lend a hand in making her 'Safe Inside The Day' record, and together they invited me in to work as well.

Every night during the session, after a long day of hard work, I listened to Susanna & The Magical Orchestra's recording of Leonard Bernstein's 'Who Am I?', I think because the confluence of wonders had my self-awareness spinning madly out of control and the song helped to ground me through its voicing of the common question.

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Will Oldham will be writing from Louisville every Wednesday about loved and significant music.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Songs To Bobby

Dirty Beaches - "Lord Knows Best"

Van Morrison - "Wild Night"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Guest Post | Will Oldham


Lyrikkal - "Pink & Purple"

The first Triple-X motion picture I saw was 'Debbie Does Dallas II'. There was a slumber party hosted by upperclassmen, and we all lounged, co-ed, across the living room floor into the night. That was porn for us, that was kind of the filthiest that sex got for a regular kid of 14. I think.

A few years ago, a friend of mine in the public education system told me about a trend among 13- and 14-year olds called doing a 'rainbow connection', where multiple girls would put different color lipsticks on and then go down on a young boy, all of them, leaving a fruit-stripe rainbow pattern along the shaft of his penis. And so the kids are lost? No. The kids in this video are firing full-on, with confidence and guts and charisma and bad-assness.

What is realistic to hope for is that the rainbow connectors will ultimately find sex so gross and desolate that they'll end up not having children, and the Pink-and-Purples will populate our earth (for the time she has left) with a truly chosen people. Being old and watching Lyrikkal is going to make being old pretty good.

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Will Oldham will be writing from Louisville every Wednesday about loved and significant music.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Indian Whistlers' Association

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Will Oldham, who has been writing here of a Wednesday, is currently on the road. Hopefully he will return sometime soon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Onra - "Hope"

Destiny's Child - "Feel The Same Way I Do"

Sorry for the hiatus - I was on my jollies (see above).

She Left You Bloody, On The Hotel Lobby Floor

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Guest Post | Will Oldham

Scout Niblett - "Nevada"

Emma Niblett is something magic. I'd heard and heard of her, and then I saw a picture of her in a magazine! A mutual friend, Steve Gullick, introduced us. It isn't much to meet someone. I have met heroes in my dreams, and heroes in my waking life. Often the dreams are more instructive. Meeting Emma was an absolute blur of the two. At times I felt like Wendy in Peter Pan, with Emma as Peter.

She asked me to come to sing with her on a session at Electrical Audio. We sang a number of songs together. I didn't sing on 'Nevada', but it is my favorite song from that record. SILVER BELLS. Maybe a year after the recording, there was a Scout Niblett show in the woods above Santa Cruz, California. I was living not far away, in Sausalito. I went to the show, and Emma and I agreed to perform a song that we had sung together on her record, 'Kiss'.

The show was in the hills, in the redwood woods, and I was already disconnected and free from much of my understood existence, staying for a time in parklands on the Pacific ocean. Getting on the stage there in Brookdale and singing 'Kiss' was completely disembodying. Finally I was in a world of song, and not alone. The chord structure brought me back to the first records I had spent money on, music of the 1950s and 1960s. And then a duet, it's living in one's life-of-the-heart/mind but there is another there to establish that it is real and not (fully) insane.

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Will Oldham will be writing from Louisville every Wednesday about loved and significant music.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Guest Post | Will Oldham

Bo Diddley - "Hey, Bo Diddley"

It isn't easy or all too necessary to write much to accompany this. For a while I was thinking to connect Bo Diddley to Harpo Marx, in the unabashed goodness shared in each man's presentation. Then I tried to think of others who shared this, and thought of Roger Miller and Black Sabbath. The work of these people makes me feel clean and powerful, grateful and useful.

Bo Diddley shares something awesome with Merle Haggard insofar as each man kept giving their live audiences the effort and respect that those audiences had earned, all the while never ceasing private labor on themselves and their music. The evidence of Bo Diddley's live concerts show a man who gets the audience agitated and exuberant; his records are deep and wild and different as the years went on. Bo Diddley doesn't (just) deliver happiness, he elicits it. Pow!

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Will Oldham will be writing from Louisville every Wednesday about loved and significant music.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Guest Post | Will Oldham

Merle Haggard - "If I Could Only Fly"

Merle Haggard is a channeler who has paid ample tribute to those that came before him. He has demonstrated explicitly and implicitly his standing on the shoulders of Tommy Duncan/Bob Wills, Jimmie Rodgers, Floyd Tillman, Lefty Frizzell and many others.

There are songs in his catalogue that seep solidly into the headscape of Kentuckians who grew up when I did, and beyond through his vast influence on the George Straits, Dwight Yoakams, Alan Jacksons, John Andersons, Toby Keiths, and too many others. He is not the original, but he may be the most significant junction.

Beyond secondhand hearings, I got to know Merle's music and influence specifically through the live Phil Ochs record 'Gunfight at Carnegie Hall' and through my brother's copy of Merle's greatest hits. One of the first songs I ever played live was Haggard's 'It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)' during an open mic at Uncle Pleasant's here in Louisville, KY.

One fantastic impression I have of Merle is that he comes up with his songs as a form of continuance; that he tries to create songs worthy of the space they occupy in the world; valuable to the tradition exemplified by those specific people that came before him and work parallel with him. It's my opinion that I see a humble reverence in his attention to this song 'If I Could Only Fly' by Blaze Foley.

He recorded it twice, once with Willie Nelson and once for a record that shared the title of the song. There are more than a couple of Merle's renditions of the song circulating out there that are not specifically associated with those records. He just seems to be in awe of that song.

There's a nice piece of writing by Nicholas Dawidoff about Merle Haggard that includes an episode of Merle playing the song over and over on his turntable at home (if I remember right). Anyway. Hag's done a lot of gospel, but Hag singing 'If I Could Only Fly' comes as close to a devotional as anything I have heard.

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Will Oldham will be writing from Louisville every Wednesday about loved and significant music.

Monday, April 2, 2012

River Children

Bry Webb - "Rivers of Gold"

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - "Bats in the Attic"

Photograph of the Morningstar Commune, San Francisco, circa 1966. Songs via Said the Gramophone, at some point.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Guest Post | Will Oldham

Will Oldham, a man who needs no introduction, will be writing from Louisville every Wednesday about loved and significant music.

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The Clark Sisters - "Is My Living In Vain"

A couple of years ago I was contracted to play the part of a fundamentalist Christian in a film that was to be titled 'The American'. I was given about six months to prepare, and in the course of that time I went to many different churches, looking for a congregation for my character.

Many times I returned to the church called St. Stephens here in Louisville, KY. Initially I was invited to a service by my friend Mark Hamilton who plays guitar in the church band. After a couple of visits, I told the film director about my experiences at St. Stephens. He encouraged me to look elsewhere, which I did... but I kept going back to St Stephens because the music was so good and the energy so strong.

One day, the youth choir performed a song called 'That Shall He Reap'. The song struck a deep chord with me. The writer/composer is a man named James Hall. I kept returning to the words, which of course had long been familiar to me for many reasons, not the least of which being the way that Lou Reed used a key section of the verse in his song 'Perfect Day'.

I ended up writing a song called 'Not Mocked' which contains parts of the verse. During my obsession with these ideas, I came across another song by Mattie Moss Clark called 'That Shall He Also Reap' which moved me quite a bit. I looked for more from Clark, and found that her daughters were also great performers. This is one of their great songs.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sister, they are outside.

Les Petits Chanteurs de Kenge - "Mwana Nkento"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kitchen Sink


François Couperin - Keyboard Music 1
Performed by Angela Hewitt

AN INQUEST heard how a Middlesbrough man choked and died after stuffing bread and pâté into his mouth.

Craig Raymond Short, 52, was drinking with friends when his partner Jacqueline Boyd hid a bottle of vodka - saying he had already had too much to drink.

Mr Short became “angry” and made himself a sandwich out of a french baguette and pâté, which he began to cram down his throat.

Teesside Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Short’s friends tried to discourage him from eating so fast, but within seconds he had slipped from his chair onto the floor.

Ms Boyd, 56, of Ash Hill, Coulby Newham, told the court: “All I can remember is a big carving knife with some bread and some pâté.

“He was just stuffing it into his mouth. People passed comment and said ‘what are you doing?’

“But with it being a crusty roll it just got lodged. He hadn’t chewed any of it. He was quite angry because he couldn’t have another drink.

“He didn’t actually choke. He was sat on the chair and he just suddenly slipped forward.”

Friends frantically slapped Mr Short’s back and tried to remove the un-chewed bread from his throat, but he never regained consciousness.

Ambulance paramedic Trevor Bullen managed to remove the bread using forceps, and attempted to resucitate Mr Short for 30 minutes.

When police arrived shortly after 9.30pm, the court was told officers had to clear the living room where friends had continued to drink around the dead body.

Mr Short’s friend David Fleet, of Longhirst, Coulby Newham, said: “He started cramming sandwiches into his mouth.

“I was surprised how quickly he shoved them in his mouth. I even said ‘Come on, behave yourself’.

“I’ve never seen anyone eat this way. He did not stop to chew the food. He was like a caveman.”

He later added: “I think Craig was deliberately stuffing food into his mouth to wind Jackie up.”

Ms Boyd, who was in an on-off relationship with Mr Short for six years, said: “I was just hysterical. I was holding his hand and he was getting colder and colder. I knew that there was no chance.

“I just couldn’t believe he’d died all over a piece of bread.”

Mr Short who was off work due to long term sickness, had been drinking with friends in the Parkway Social Club on Wednesday, April 15, when he returned to his partner’s house at around 6pm.

Consultant pathologist Jan Lowe told the court that Mr Short was three times the maximum drink driving limit after consuming the equivalent of at least seven pints or 10 shorts.

He added: “It’s likely therefore that the alcohol perhaps led to some disinhibited behaviour on the part of Mr Short causing him to eat a sandwich in the manner that you have heard.

“And the alcohol perhaps caused in-coordination which could have influenced his ability to swallow.”

Dr Lowe, who carried out a post-mortem, gave the cause of death as asphyxia due to inhalation of food.

He added: “A simple first aid procedure by those in the vicinity can prevent a fatal outcome in situations such as this. The process known as the Heimlich manoeuvre can clear a blocked air passage when done quickly and effectively.”

The court heard how Mr Short had been alcohol dependant since 1984 and had suffered with depression and anxiety problems since 1994. He also had a history of overdoses.

Assistant Deputy Coroner Sam Foulks said: “I am satisfied on the evidence I have heard that he intended to eat the bread and pâté in an exaggerated fashion.

“I find that it was intentional, but it had an unintentional consequence which was for him to choke and not be able to breathe.”

Mr Foulks recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nannie Sharpe

The Gospel Supremes - "Sinner Man"

Penny & The Quarters - "It's Time"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Kunstmutter

Unspecified Russian Choir - "The Gusli Serenade"

Hildur Guðnadóttir - "Ascent"

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mundane Nostalgia

ARP & Anthony Moore - "Wild Grass I (For Arthur Russel)"

ARP & Anthony Moore - "Wild Grass II (For Robert Wyatt)"

(From Frkwys Vol 3 - thanks Josie. Painting is by George Shaw, who really ought to have won the Turner Prize last year but didn't.)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Marcia Griffiths - "Mark My Word"

Monday, February 13, 2012

High Priestess

Active Child - "High Priestess"

Beach House - "Master of None"

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I Hear A Timpani

Jamie xx & Yasmin - "Touch Me"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guest Post | Galen Disston

We all have been collectively astonished by this version. We all love Sail Away and Nilsson Sings Newman but whatever, this song is the king of our world right now. It is so fierce in the Project Runway sense; vocal delay, guitars with claws, such an amazing band. Even the countrified breakdown is dreamy enough to covet. This song is what we want to be.

Ty Segall - "You Make The Sun Fry"

Holy God, this guy is a fire like Lee Scratch Perry. Insanely hooky, heavy in the spaciest sense. And this melody will live on forever.

Radiation City - "Find It Of Use"

Female fronted Bossa Nova Grizzly Bear from Portland. This upcoming EP will RULE ALL.

Sun Ra - "Space Is The Place"

Recommended to us by Damien Jurado, I listed this song as the last thing I want to hear before I die. Because it will ease the transition into the afterlife.

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Galen Disston sings in Pickwick. There are five other members. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ngifuna Wena

Happy Saturday Night

Tuesday, January 10, 2012



Monday, January 9, 2012

Skyway Motel

The Walker Brothers - "Stay With Me Baby"

Still from "Alice in the Cities" by Wim Wenders, in which Sibylle Baier plays "a woman".

Saturday, January 7, 2012

House Party

James Brown - "Please Please Please"

Janis Joplin - "Maybe"

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Open Late

Aaliyah - "Got To Give It Up"

Another still from Paris is Burning. Props to Josie for the Teengirl Fantasy song.


Sunday, January 1, 2012


Germano Rocha - "Os Meus Olhos"

Césaria Évora - "Desilusão Dum Amdjer"