Tuesday, May 29, 2012

me=blogging FAIL

So... yeah. I haven't updated this blog in over a year. Since then I've graduated and received my Master's in Library and Information Science, and gotten REALLY into Instagram (follow me @mcquake01). And I've realized that I'm not a blogger. I'm not even really a microblogger, because I'm not that into Twitter, either. I like Facebook--sue me, haters. It just works in my social media flow, what can I say? Oh, you can check out my stuff and even buy one of my images from my Instacanvas gallery HERE
See you next year!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

didn't they tell you no cameras?

Here is a live Prince mix that I made for my friend Sharon, she's a huge fan but would probably never seek this shit out for herself. It's all soundboard recordings from various club and other smaller gigs. The tightness of his band in all the different eras is spectacular--would love to have been present for some of these epic jams!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

a little bit of soul

so lately I've been in the mood for a little Northern Soul. maybe I think it's going to encourage the weather to finally warm up, the sun to come out--it's just got that energy, you know? anyway, just in case you want to get a little soul into your life, THIS MIX ought to help you scratch that itch.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

goodbye, hometown

The town I was born in--Cairo, Illinois--has, over the years and despite its decline in the 30 years since I left, continued to pop up on the radar here and there. Referenced in works like Twain's Huck Finn, Vonnegut's Deadeye Dick and Neil Gaiman's American Gods, this little town of which I have such fond childhood memories may finally be on the verge of total collapse due to the recent Midwest flooding. I haven't been there in years, but I'm still a little sad to see it facing disaster.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Briette's back this evening, but as her flight doesn't get in for several hours I find myself killing time. Making mixes, badges, watching old-time country music documentaries where the audio track doesn't *quite* match up with the video (so annoying). Oh and it's Easter Sunday.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

two weeks down, one to go

So I'm sitting here, hiding from the shitty April weather--which just got shittier, as it started to snow on top of the freezing wind, low temps and gray skies--thinking about my girlfriend Briette. She's been gone for two weeks, working a temp gig as a wardrobe stitcher on Norwegian Cruise Line's Spirit. I know, not a bad gig, right?

Three weeks is the longest we've been apart since we met almost three years ago, and I'm not gonna lie--it's been a little tough. Obviously, even by mentioning it (or writing this blog post), I'm being a big whiny baby. I know this. I know that there are far worse problems in the world, and being separated from your loved one for a measly three weeks is not necessarily something worthy of complaint. I know it's a perfect time for me at the end of the semester to focus on getting all my final projects finished and wrap things up.

But still... I miss my baby. So I made this mix.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

procrastinating but what am I gonna do?

Should be finishing up my reference class homework, or trying to start writing the introduction for my group's research paper, but instead I'm making a new spring mix out of all the new music I just got recently, and uploading it so you can have it too :-)

that spring 2011 vibe

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ahoy, matey!

photo by Jennifer Esperanza

Forget the elephant in the room, look for the Whale
By Joe Collier (former Music Editor, Flagstaff LIVE!; Lumpen)

If you’re thinking about drawing comparisons between Santa Fe male/female rockers Hidden Whale and the now-defunct former poster children of power duos the White Stripes—shut the fuck up right now. Pack up your earbuds, turn off your iPod nano, turn down your collar, finish your fro-yo and GET THE FUCK OUT! Not that there aren’t any to be drawn, of course. It’s just so, well… gauche.

Hidden Whale is Jim Goulden and Angela Gabriel. Like all the truly great Rockers, they are, of course, married. There’s something about that level of conjugal bliss that invents its own communication; it doesn’t take a musical genius—even the casual listener who generally considers whatever music’s playing as a form of audible wallpaper is perfectly able to feel the spooky syncopation of Hidden Whale’s particular style. It’s like marrying each other wasn’t enough for these two fun-loving musical oddballs; they had to marry a predilection for sweet beats to a potent vocal/guitar mix, too. Thank fuck for that.

Those familiar with Goulden’s other band The Gluey Brothers will be pleased to discover that much of the sarcastic sharpness and off-kilter wit he injected there also shows up in HW tracks like “Cell Phone” and “I’m With the Band.” Vocally the two trade off, Goulden’s slightly nasal twang contrasting pleasantly with Gabriel’s sweeter tone (showcased nicely on “Hidden Truth”). Dirty guitar licks sometimes recall an almost Weezer-like fuzziness, but anchored by Gabriel’s solid, concise drumming it tends to go more towards funkiness than indie shoe-gazing territory. Infusing the sound on a basic level is both Goulden’s and Gabriel’s Afro-Pop interest/influence. The bouncy slickness of tracks like “Medication Time” really shows this off, and helps lend the Hidden Whale live experience a (not unexpected) penchant for heavy grooves.

Check them out HERE

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Notable to Me In 2010 pt. 2

Gonna pick right up where we left off last time (snowy day, still on break, no reason to even leave the flat):

14. That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings
Snagged this from my girlfriend, catchy tune. Sometime toward the end of the year i discovered a Dizzee rascal live cover of this, brilliant.

15. Welfare Breed - King Khan & the Shrines
I'd first heard of KK a couple of years ago from my buddy Gooch. He had some albums from KK's BBQ Show project, and we saw them on Halloween 2008--kick ass show, haven't seen a band out of the blue having so much fun and sounding so good in a looooong time. In August Gooch calls me up out of the blue and says he's at their show, come on down. We did, and this song was one of the standouts. If you like 60s soul and groove, check this band out.

16. Erase Me (feat. Kanye West) - Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi is hard to pin down, style-wise. That's usually a good sign someone has managed to come up with a new twist, and so it is with this track. Power through summer with this one.

17. Hard Times - John Legend w/ The Roots
On one level I was kind of disappointed in the collaboration of one of R&B's sexiest voices with hip-hop's most phenomenal live band--expectations WERE a bit high. But repeated listenings has revealed how special this album really is, and this track shows off the spirit of the project. Dig the message along with the chops.

18. Bright Lights Bigger City - Cee-Lo Green
That other track Cee-Lo dropped got most of the attention (deservedly), but this driving 80s throwback track fro the Ladykiller is almost as infectious, and that groove is hard to ignore :D

19. Bed Intruder Song - Observation
The original Bed Intruder song is a classic, and naturally spawned a boatload of covers. Out of about 40, I liked this one the best. Good autotuning, tweaks.

20. The Story of Hip-Hop - The Books
Love this band. Wish I were part of this band. Songs crafted from original intent and music, and samples of other media.

21. Boys Outside - Steve Mason
How many things written about Steve start off with "former Beta Band" something or other? Quality, sincere songwriting crafted with a hip-hop and soul sensibility. Check out the entire album, this title track is just a smidge of the tastiness contained within.

22. Lovely Day (Full Phatt Remix) - Bill Withers
Reminded about this tune when I saw it used in 127 Hours, came home and Briette downloaded a ton of Bill Withers. Wow, had sort of forgotten how amazing he was! Always interested in a good remix, I found this one on some greatest hits collection as an extra track.

23. If You Want To Leave Our Party Just Go - Jonathan Richman
JR is in my Hall of Fame. Browsing iTunes with a gift card I got for xmas, I saw this new album from him. The title of this track was enough to convince me. If you like Jonathan live and wish you could see him in your living room, you will love this.

24. Where Was My Brain - Ted Leo and The  Pharmacists
From Ted's most recent, the Brutalist Bricks. He's back in top form, even more of a Joe Jackson Look Sharp tinge than usual. Sharp, fast and loud.

25. Bad Communication - Sufjan Stevens
Plaintive and forlorn, but still managing to sound lush--typical from this guy, but it still works. This track has some glitchy, trippy electronic vibes reminiscent of Stereolab.

Well, that's it for now. I'll give you time to digest that before blasting you with something else. Comments or suggestions for new music welcome!

 Notable To Me In 2010 pt. 2

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011, the year AFTER the Year We Make Contact

Happy new year to any of the random folks who might find stumble across this wee "gem" of a blog!

I don't know why I find it so hard to keep this thing updated. Even when I wasn't in grad school (which I'm not sure I even took the time to write up on here, now that I think about it... yeah, I'm really committed to this. Straight A's first semester, btw), I just could never really be arsed to type in all the thoughts racing through my head--I mean, it's not like I don't have anything to say... I'm just lazy :D

However, I started this blog not because I ever gave a shit about blathering on about my spectacular existence, but because I wanted to share music, and maybe even comment on it. So in 2011, I am going to try and steer back toward that original intent and bring back the music.

To wit, I present my Notable To Me In 2010 Mix. For the sake of the one or possibly two people who have made it this far (clearly bent on seeing it through to the point of possible OCD, maybe check into that?)--I hope I don't run out of steam halfway through, and sincerely apologize in advance for both it and/or unmet expectations regarding quality of comments or selected tunes. FYI--I'm going in a rough chronological order, not ranked in any way.

1. Who Makes Your Money - Spoon
In January this was one of my jams, loved the whole album. But when I went to make this list a year later I realized that I hadn't switched this one into the playlist for a while.

2. Shelter - The XX
Saw these guys open for Hot Chip in April at The Riviera, fantastic. So great when the support act is also someone you like, made the show twice as good as I expected. This album has a great atmosphere, instant buzzword: noirish.

3. Keep It Goin' Louder - Major Lazer
A friend tweeted about this band so I checked them out--retro 90s big techno beats-style, but you can't deny it, even if you don't dance.

4. One Life Stand - Hot Chip
One of my favorite bands from the 2000s, Hot Chip delivers the wit, the melodies, the energy and the fun on every album. This title track from their most recent release is pure hot Chip goodness.

5. Sara Smile - The Bird and the Bee
The easy pop sounds of B&B made Fucking Girlfriend one of my favorites songs of all time, so checking out their tribute album of Hall and Oats classics was a no-brainer. If you like this tune, you will need this version.

6. Let's Dance (live) - Ween
This cover is from the show I saw at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on June 25 (happy birthday, mom!) this year. The sound quality is not fabulous, but the performance itself was stellar.

7. White Dove - Levon Helm
My friend took me to see Levon Helm and his band at Ravinia this summer. I was vaguely familiar with him, but I was never a huge The Band fan. Boy, was I missing out all these years! a 14-pc band blew my mind, and the tracks on Electric Dirt are a good jumping off point. Country tinges make it just that little bit sweeter.

8. Alyo - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Can't even remember how I found these guys, but the down and dirty brass is the hotness.

9. Me and the Devil - Gil Scott-Heron
Good to see GSH back in action. He's still got it, I was worried that his album would sound out of touch but it is, instead, a very well crafted integration of his trademark style with modern sensibilities.

10. When Your Mind's Made Up - Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová
From the soundtrack of Once, the Irish film about a busker who falls in love with a flower girl and the album they record. magic film, brilliant soundtrack.

11. Tightrope (feat. Big Boi) - Janelle Monáe
My girlfriend's sister turned me onto this lady. Interesting melange of hip-hop/soul styles with a classical flavor.

12. Kids - Sleigh Bells
You can hear M.I.A.'s production all over this shit, but it doesn't matter because it brings the serious nod AND rocks out at the same time :D

13. Come On Over (Turn Me On) - Isobel Campbell And Mark Lanegan
Saw these two at Lincoln Hall in September. She's from Belle and Sebastian, and he's from Screaming Trees--what? It's true! Their music is low, slow and sultry; sometimes melancholy and fragile, sometimes heating up. Check out all their albums if you like twee blues.

OK, that's the halfway point so I'll call it Part 1 and leave you hanging.

Notable To Me In 2010 pt. 1