Wednesday, February 09, 2005

2 + 2 = 5.

1) Petra Haden and Bill Frisell.

Wherein that dog.'s vocalist/violinist joins forces with the premiere American avant-jazz-guitarist and crafts an album that sounds like a rootsy/Americana version of those Julee Cruise/David Lynch/Angeleo Badalamenti records. Features dreamy/abstract covers of Coldplay, Elliott Smith and Foo Fighters. Stand out: their version of "Moon River." Somnibutastic. (I'd also like to point out that in a couple of weeks, Ms. Haden is releasing her version of The Who's The Who Sell Out. I've yet to hear it, but she's covered the entire album and did it entirely a capella [!]. Medullatastic.)

2) Orson Welles' Touch of Evil.
I've been over it already, so I won't go there again. But if you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor. It's the effing bee's knees.

3) "E-Pro" by Beck.
Sure, it sounds a little rote, like Beck isn't pushing himself artistically at all. It's still better than anything you're going to hear on KROQ-- that monster guitar riff, the "na na na" chorus, and those Dust Brother beats. Kill the headlights and put it in neutral.

4) Geraldo interviewing Michael Jackson.
Where to begin... I think my favorite bit was when Geraldo (proving how in tune he is with pop culture) asked if Michael would try to reconnect with "the kids" by doing a duets album-- with the Bee Gees. Or when Michael insisted that media scrutiny doesn't bother him because he has "rhinoceros skin." Or when we got a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Michael recording his new "Tsunami benefit song," complete with Geraldo sitting in a chair in the corner of the studio, thick Black Ray-Bans on, bobbing his head to the horrifyingly syrupy playback. Geraldo: fair and balanced and entertaining as fuck.

5) The Magnetic Fields' "All My Little Words" (from 69 Love Songs).
The song popped up on my iPod just as I was contemplating what the fifth item should be. I love the song (1) because it's perfect and (2) it's the first Magnetic Fields song I ever heard. Upon that initial listen I was convinced that it was actually an old standard. The songwriting is just so literate and witty and melodic. You just can't beat the "tea in China"/"North Carolina" couplet.

5 Comments:

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Joshua said...

I would like to point out that Ms. Haden is now in the Decemberists. Your failure to mention this makes me so not happy.

 
At 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. 1: Petra Haden is rad. This goes without saying.
No. 2: Damn straight The Magnetic effing Fields!
No. 3: I want an ├ęclair.

 
At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. 4: xo Nayiri.

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Joshua, I avoided mentioning Ms. Haden's gig in the Decemberists as her new job probably entails engaging in unspeakable acts of carnality with Mr. Meloy (formerly Colin Meloy-Gibson).

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger girish said...

Hey Ben, did you later pick up or hear the Petra/Who Sell Out disc? Is it worth picking up?

I like the Frisell disc a lot. I bought it for him (didn't know her work) but ended up loving her singing.

 

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