Spoon – Written In Reverse

One of my favorite tracks from probably the most consistent band of the ’00s. I see them as having followed a Beatles-esque trajectory – they released a few poppy albums that were solid but didn’t break any molds, then Gimme Fiction was their Rubber Soul (moving in a new, more complex direction, but retaining some old qualities), Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga was their Revolver (getting weirder while remaining amazing pop-rock), and Transference their Sgt. Pepper (embracing full-blown weirdness, doing things few, if any, people have done before with the genre). This version of “Written In Reverse” isn’t quite as smoothly mixed as the studio version, and lacks some of the flourishes like the weird background piano at parts, but it’s very cool to see the band at work together like this, something that I feel has declined recently in the music world.

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Kid Sam – Mirror Drawings

I was recently shown this by a person I met on the internet, whose name I don’t know. But you know who you are, so thanks. Kid Sam are an Australian band, and the two members are cousins. Other than that, I know nothing about them. Anyway, this song is an interesting take on the guitar-driven indie ballad. The lyrics achieve what I find to be the best indie-lyrics can do – semi-mystic and romantic, melancholy and hopeful at once. My favorite part of this song, though, is the guitar, which within a very simple riff and solo manages to switch between melodic and tuneless to great effect. I’ll have to acquire their album and see what I think.

Your Serious Moonlighters Christmas Mixtape – with James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Queen, The Pogues, and more.

Since tomorrow is some type of holiday, I decided to compile my favorite songs regarding that holiday into a playlist for you guys to enjoy, as a way to get away from the typical xmas radio trash but still stay in the musical spirit. Enjoy.

Oscar Peterson Piano Lesson

Thisis one of the most impressive videos I’ve seen. In an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, Oscar showcases his talent and intelligence by doing some off-the-cuff demonstrations of different jazz piano styles. All Dick has to do is name the style, and Oscar gives a clear explanation and plays a short example. It’s fascinating. He shows us the styles of Art Tatum, Nat King Cole, Earl Garner, and George Shearing, as well as several other techniques. Mind-blowing.

Blank on Blank – Tupac

PBS took an old interview with Pac and animated it. There’s some really enlightening stuff in here about Pac’s mindstate and philosophies. It’s easy to say that Kanye, for example, is complaining, and saying these crazy things in the vacuum of celebrity and riches, but this video should be a testament that it’s not all bullshit, and that even at the highest levels of celebrity black men are still demonized, and it’s because of people like Pac bringing attention to it that Kanye only has to deal with Hedi Slimane and not the vice-president. It’s also always good to have a reminder that “Thug Life” once actually meant something, and wasn’t always just a thing white kids said ironically.