Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Just discovered this hilarious raw footage of Faith No More leaving the Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie and strolling through the city of Poughkeepsie in search of something to eat. I wonder if they stopped by the sorely-missed Record City in the downtown area and saw that bootleg record I picked up from there about a year after this was filmed. Damn, why didn't I go to this show??

Monday, December 22, 2008


The IRT kicks off its year-end listing festivities with our five favorite soundtracks of this most crucial election year. 2008 may have been void of anything as outwardly amazing as '07, which saw such beautiful chemistry of sonics and celluloid as the masterful Dylan hawking of the I'm Not There soundtrack and that amazing imaginary Jungle Julia playlist that comprised the OST for Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof. But that is not to say there wasn't some tasty collections that helped keep the dying art of the motion picture soundtrack still relevant for at least one more year before the world-eating Golobulous that is iTunes kills that off right after its done feasting on the tattered bones of our nation's independent record store circuit. Here is the cream of this year's crop, at least in our humble opine.

1. THE WACKNESS Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Jive)

Next to The Dark Knight and Ironman, this classic coming-of-age tale about a teenage drug dealer, the psychologist he trades weed for couch time with and his daughter who said dealer falls in love with was one of the finest cinematic moments of the Summer of '08. And what made it even better was that it was set against the backdrop of New York City during the summer of 1994, which, as many of us thirtysomethings know, was the penultimate year for hip-hop, as this amazing flashback of a soundtrack testifies. Hearing these songs all together again, from Biggie and Method Man's "The What" to Craig Mack's "Flava In Ya Ear" to Nas' "The World Is Yours" to Raekwon's "Heaven and Hell" to even R. Kelly's "Bump N' Grind", brought me back to the days when me and my crew were drinking 40s and smoking El's in the undeveloped cul-de-sacs of our little hometown. Good times, good times. However, as good as the official Wackness soundtrack may be, it hardly holds a candle to the absolutely bananas promotional mixtape handed out at special screenings of the film and was made available as a free download, which, of course, you can cop right here:

Copy and paste link to download SIDE 1 of The Wackness Movie Mix:

Copy and paste link to dowload SIDE 2 of The Wackness Movie Mix:

1. The Notorious B.I.G. “Party And Bullshit”
2. Boogie Down Productions “Duck Down”
3. Brand Nubian “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down”
4. GZA & Method Man “Shadowboxin’”
5. Gangstarr “Take It Personal”
6. Diamond D “Fuck What U Heard”
7. Intro “Love Thang”
8. Mobb Deep “Give Up The Goods”
9. Redman “Can’t Wait”
10. Faith Evans “You Used Love Me (Remix)
11. UMCs “One To Grow On”
12. Eric B. & Rakim “Know The Ledge”
13. Ultramagnetic MCs “Raise It Up”
14. Keith Murray “The Most Beautifulest Thing In This World”
15. Mary J. Blige & Smif-N-Wessun “I Love You (Remix)”
16. Group Home “Suspended In Time (Remix)”

1. Onyx “Throw Your Gunz In The Air”
2. Black Moon “I Gotcha Open (Remix)”
3. Ol Dirty Bastard “Brooklyn Zoo (Remix)”
4. EPMD “Headbanger”
5. Das EFX “They Want EFX (Remix”
6. Nas “Represent”
7. Total & Keith Murray “Can’t You See (Remix)”
8. Main Source “Fakin’ The Funk”
9. Fu Schnickens “La Schmoove”
10. Nice & Smooth “Old To The New”
11. Wu-Tang Clan “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothin’ To F’ Wit”
12. Chef Raekwon “Glaciers Of Ice”
13. A Tribe Called Quest “Electric Relaxation”
14. Method Man “Bring The Pain (Remix)”
15. Pete Rock & CL Smooth “Good Life”
16. Jeru The Damaja “D. Original”
17. Lords Of The Underground “Chief Rocka (Remix)”
18. Jodecei & Raekwon and Ghostface Killah “Freekin’ U (Remix)”
19. Run DMC, Pete Rock & CL Smooth “Down With The King”

And best of all, this soundtrack, for many of us who have grown up in or around New York City, is a fond reminder of the days that used to be, back when gentrification was just another hard-ass vocabulary word we had to memorize for English class.

2. HALLAM FOE Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Domino)
Officially released in the US this year under the title Mister Foe, this charming Scottish indie about the young title character (Jamie Bell from the excellent Billy Elliott) and how he copes with the sudden death of his beloved mother is set to the sounds of the Domino Records catalog. Usually when a record label pads a soundtrack with their label roster, it usually puts your fast forward button on some major overtime. However, this is Domino we're talking about here, a label brimming with so many brilliant artists, including Juana Molina, Scotland's own new wave heroes Orange Juice, Psapp, Sons and Daughters, the vastly underrated Woodbine, James Yorkston and Hood among them, all of whom are present and accounted for on this set. Hell, even Franz Ferdinand, regardless of where you stand with them, turn out a decent low-key gem of a tune written exclusively for this soundtrack. Domino is one of the finest labels in modern music, and this Hallam Foe soundtrack gives you sixteen reasons why you need to take that as pure truth.

3. JON BRION Synecdoche, NY Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Lakeshore)
Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut about a haggard theater director from Schenectady, New York (get it?), who aspires to re-imagine his life from inside of a warehouse in Manhattan might not have wowed the critics as his screenwriting work on such films as Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind had (though Roger Ebert was totally 'bout it 'bout it in his review in the Chicago Sun-Times). But whether or not you can follow this thoughtful, challenging film, anyone who is a fan of Jon Brion's film scores can appreciate the truth that these lovely, Philip Glass-like compositions he has produced for Synecdoche belong right up there with the music of I Heart Huckabees and his mix of the last Fiona Apple record that rank up there as some of his best work to date.

4. SHAWN LEE Under The Sun: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Ubiquity)
The ever-prolific Lee, standard bearer in classic Ubiquity funk, helms this massive, two-disc soundtrack to Cyrus Sutton's outstanding documentary on Aussie surfers, recruiting such under-the-radar Australian groups Band Of Frequencies, Low Pressure Sound System and Afro Dizzi Act. Together, this disparate cross-section of talents combine a heady, stony brew of surf, psychedelia, Afro-beat and soul music as tidal as the ocean waves it pays homage to.

5. CADILLAC RECORDS Original Motion Picture Soundtrack(Columbia)

The inclusion of such contemporary filler as Solange, Mary Mary and Nas was a little unnecessary on the single disc version of this fascinating biopic chroncling the evolution of influential blues imprint Chess Records (though the Raphael Saadiq track fits right in with the times), especially when they had such great material from the film's stars--Beyonce, Mos Def and Jeffery Wright, who so brilliantly portrayed Etta James, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters respectively--to spare. Nevertheless, the chance to hear young "B" absolutely kill Etta's wedding song standard "At Last", Mos Def tear through Berry's "Nadine" and the surprisingly fine-voiced Wright take Muddy's "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" to task is worth cherry picking this soundtrack on iTunes. Why they didn't get the gruff-voiced Mississippi MC David Banner to play Howlin' Wolf, on the other hand, is beyond me. He would have killed "I'm Sittin' On Top Of The World", right?

Thursday, December 18, 2008


IRT's favorite 21st century West Coast psych band Wooden Shjips has released their sold-out holiday single as a free download on their website,
All money from sales of the cassingle went to the SF Food Bank.

States the band on their website: "If you enjoy these songs and have the means, please consider making a donation to your local food bank."

Now that, friends, is true Christmas spirit.

To download their versions of "O Tannenbaum" and "Auld Lang Syne", cut and paste this link to a new browser:

Merry Christmas movie house!

Wooden Shjips
"Dance, California" (Holy Mountain)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


As someone who is a huge fan of both Darren Aronofsky and the pre-millennium days of professional wrestling, I am very much looking forward to the release of The Wrestler. I never lost faith in Mickey Rourke. It's funny how all these critics who have talked shit about both wrestling and Mickey are now eating heaping piles of crow., and to the tune of Bruce Springsteen in classic Tom Joad mode. Chow down, mofos!


Just had to share this with you fine folks. Just when you think Andy Samberg is the wackest thing on SNL, he breaks out a nugget like this. Pure gold! Definitely my vote for SNL skit of the year. Sorry, Tina.

Monday, December 15, 2008





Album extras found across the four editions of Ten include:

Remaster of original Ten album + remix by producer Brendan O’Brien
DVD of previously unreleased 1992 Pearl Jam MTV Unplugged performance with 5.1 surround sound audio remix
LP of the band’s 1992 “Drop in the Park” concert
Replica of Pearl Jam three-song demo cassette with Eddie Vedder’s original vocal dubs
Recreation of Eddie Vedder composition notebook
Never before seen memorabilia
Bonus tracks and more.

SEATTLE – Ten, the debut album that sold 12 million copies and introduced the world to Pearl Jam in 1991, will be reissued in four (4) new and expanded editions. Pre-orders of the Super Deluxe Edition begin today, December 10, 2008, through the band’s Ten Club at, with all four editions available at retail on March 24, 2009. The reissue of Ten serves as the launch of a planned two-year catalogue re-release campaign leading up to the band’s 20th anniversary in 2011.

Each Ten package will include two versions of the album: the remastered version of the original album PLUS an accompanying remixed version done by the band’s long-time producer, Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Audioslave). Details on specific extras for each of the four packages are attached.

“The band loved the original mix of Ten, but were also interested in what it would sound like if I were to deconstruct and remix it,” says producer Brendan O’Brien. “The original Ten sound is what millions of people bought, dug and loved, so I was initially hesitant to mess around with that. After years of persistent nudging from the band, I was able to wrap my head around the idea of offering it as a companion piece to the original – giving a fresh take on it, a more direct sound.”


Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, who served as the art director for the original Ten packaging, reprised his role for the reissues collaborating with designer, Andy Fischer, of Cameron Crowe’s Vinyl Films (Into the Wild soundtrack LP, Vanilla Sky soundtrack LP, Harold and Maude anniversary edition soundtrack LP).

"The goal was to assemble the ultimate fan-piece,” explains Fischer. “Something Pearl Jam lovers could pore over as they experience an indelible record all over again, in an entirely new way."

“The original concept was about really being together as a group and entering into the world of music as a true band...a sort of all-for-one deal,” says Jeff Ament. “There were some elements of the original Ten artwork that didn't turn out the way we had hoped, due to time constraints. With this reissue, we’ve been able to take our time and invest resources into making the design the way we had originally intended.”


In the process of digging through his archives for this project, Ament came across an old cassette marked “Momma-Son” – the fabled original Pearl Jam demo tape featuring the first recorded versions of “Alive,” “Once” and “Footsteps.” Ament and guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready had recorded instrumental tracks of these songs to help solicit a singer for their newly formed band. Mutual friend - and then Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer - Jack Irons suggested they send the tape down to San Diego surfer and little-known singer Eddie Vedder.

Completely inspired by what he heard from these musicians that he then only knew by name, Vedder quickly wrote lyrics, put these vocals to the music tracks and shipped the tape back to Seattle . Upon hearing how Vedder had transformed the songs, Ament, Gossard and McCready asked him to come up to Seattle so they could meet and have an official “tryout” together. Shortly thereafter, Pearl Jam was born. (A replica of the “Momma-Son” cassette will be included in the Super Deluxe Edition of Ten.)

Jeff Ament describes the experience of re-visiting that tape with singer Eddie Vedder:

“I think the first time that Ed or I had opened any of those boxes was a few weeks ago. I knew that the original ‘Momma-Son’ cassette was somewhere, but I hadn’t listened to it in 17, 18, 19 years. It was cool to sit down and play it for the first time with Ed and see his reaction. And to find that 90% of it stayed exactly the same as what ended up on the record. A lot of elements were identical. There was some energy flying around at that point even from 1,300 miles away from Seattle to San Diego .”


Pearl Jam released Ten on August 27, 1991. The album reached #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, sold over 12 million copies and became one of the cultural touchstones of the 1990s. Songs such as “Alive,” “Black,” “Even Flow” and “Jeremy” became staples of rock radio, and still make frequent appearances on the band’s ever-changing concert setlists. The album was produced by Rick Parasher. Pearl Jam’s 1991 lineup was Jeff Ament (bass), Stone Gossard (guitar), Dave Krusen (drums), Mike McCready (guitar) and Eddie Vedder (vocals).



Even Flow


Why Go








Master/Slave (hidden track)


1. Legacy Edition (2-disc set in mini-LP style slipcase):

· Disc 1: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered (original mix)

· Disc 2: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered and remixed by Brendan O’Brien, plus six bonus tracks: “Brother,” “Just a Girl,” “State of Love and Trust,” “Breath and a Scream,” “2,000 Mile Blues” and “Evil Little Goat”

· Re-designed packaging

2. Deluxe Edition (2-disc set plus DVD specially designed hardbound package):

· Disc 1: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered (original mix)

· Disc 2: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered and remixed by Brendan O’Brien, plus six bonus tracks: “Brother,” “Just a Girl,” “State of Love and Trust,” “Breath and a Scream,” “2,000 Mile Blues” and “Evil Little Goat”

· DVD of Pearl Jam’s previously unreleased 1992 MTV Unplugged performance including never before seen bonus performance of “Oceans” with 5.1 surround sound audio remix

3. Vinyl Collection (2-LP set)

· LP 1: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl

· LP 2: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl and remixed by Brendan O’Brien

4. Super Deluxe Edition (2-disc set plus DVD, 4 LPs and replica cassette in linen-covered, slip-cased clamshell box):

· Disc 1: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered (original mix)

· Disc 2: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered and remixed by Brendan O’Brien, plus six bonus tracks: “Brother,” “Just a Girl,” “State of Love and Trust,” “Breath and a Scream,” “2,000 Mile Blues” and “Evil Little Goat”

· DVD of Pearl Jam’s previously unreleased 1992 MTV Unplugged performance including never before seen bonus performance of “Oceans” with 5.1 surround sound audio remix

· LP 1: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl

· LP 2: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl and remixed by Brendan O’Brien

· LP 3 & 4: Drop in the Park – Live at Magnuson Park in Seattle on September 20, 1992 (audio mixed by Brendan O’Brien)

· Cassette: replica of original “Momma-Son” Pearl Jam demo cassette featuring “Alive,” “Once” and “Footsteps”

· Package also includes an Eddie Vedder-style composition notebook filled with replica personal notes, images and mementos from the collections of Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament, a vellum envelope with replicated era-specific ephemera from Pearl Jam’s early work and a two-sided print commemorating the Drop in the Park concert.

Young Pearl Jam performing "Alive" in concert:

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Evolution of Katy Mae

Interview by Michele Zipp

Katy Mae, now a four-piece still from Brooklyn, is a band that knows how to evolve. Sure they haven’t gone from being called the Southern Strokes to sounding like an arena rock band like Kings of Leon (though I do like their new sound), but Katy Mae has found a way to make music with twangy guitars and stomp-your-feet sounds without feeling stale or expected. It’s great songwriting from four guys (Phil Doucet, Mark Levy, Hans Gutknecht and Brad Hill) with musical backgrounds and tastes that range from Motorhead to Hank Williams. But most will label them alt-country.

Alt-country has never been comfortable with its name. It’s a genre that I don’t even think Ryan Adams likes to be lumped into. So what do we call it? It’s all still rock and roll to me. I talked with Phil, singer and guitarist of Katy Mae, to find out how they found their winning sound.

Michele Zipp: You added a fourth member. How has that changed the band?
Phil Doucet: I always though having an additional guitarist would expand our sound and open up a range of musicality that three people cannot do live. The fact that Hans can sing as well is a bonus because I have always been a fan of harmonies. Adding this new element has already altered our sound -- initially just in the fullness of the band, but also the way we approach new songs. It’s still something I'm getting used to, but in a good way. We’re all happy with the sound of the band.

MZ: What prompted you to want to record an EP?
PD: The origin of our new EP, You May Already Be A Winner (Maggadee), was mainly to be a demo to listen how we sounded as a four piece. After we did the initial tracks, we realized that it sounded better than we expected, so our label agreed to release it. I think it serves as a bridge between where we've been and where we're going. For me, the title track and "Falls Down" are strong indicators of what is possible with Hans in the band. The fantastic lead work he does on "Winner" and the harmonizing on "Falls Down" wouldn't have been possible before.

MZ: How was the new EP received?
PD: So far the reviews of the new EP have been very good. It’s always a ratio thing -- a few bad reviews, but more good ones. I try to keep reviews in check -- they are opinions, so what does it mean if someone raves about you or if someone kills you? What is worth more? Naturally, you want the reviews to be all good, so I am glad the majority has been very favorable. Those people seem to get what we're doing and that makes me happy to know that some folks want to hear music that's not wrapped up in a haircut.

MZ: Is there a song that you think takes the band in a new direction because of the new addition?
PD: The songs on the new EP were written before Hans joined the band, some are older than last years full length, The Sweetheart Deal, and some were written after. One problem with Katy Mae is that there is never a shortage of songs, and selecting the ones to record is often difficult. So what happens is the ones that we don't record have the option to survive rehearsals and live shows and possibly make the next cut. We are in the process of writing new songs for a full length, which I am very excited about. As usual I'm sure most will be brand new, but there may be some older tunes that we never recorded. We are in the process of demoing and rehearsing now.

MZ: What bands have you opened for in the past year?
PD: After a national tour last year, we continued on to do a showcase at SXSW and for the most part we've been pretty busy playing and practicing. We've had the good fortune of playing some great places and opening for some great bands -- Mother Hips, The Drams, The Bottle Rockets, Jesse Malin, Heartless Bastards, Back Door Slam, and a bunch of others, too.

MZ: You're a dad now. How has that changed your music?
PD: About six weeks after my daughter was born I was thrown into the busiest period of the band; a six week tour, then home, followed by another week on the road, so it is more difficult, but it hasn't slowed me down. As far as writing, the only thing that's changed is the frequency of my "sit down in front of the TV and just play guitar until something sounds good" time. I'm at home with my child during the day so I have sneak in moments of inspiration…before my daughter eats my guitar.

MZ: Stanley, the band you were in before Katy Mae, was kind of similar to At The Drive In and that all ended just before ATDI got big. Do you think Stanley would still be around today if all that didn't happen with Profile records?
PD: That band, Mark (the drummer) and I played in, ran it's course. Things happened with the label that didn't help matters, but I think it all happened for a reason. The first Katy Mae songs were actually recorded before the end of Stanley. There is a problem with the music world, people want to figure you out and keep you inside that box forever. Toward the end of Stanley, we were writing some different types of songs and you could just tell that most people wouldn't give it a chance. I am very proud of what we did with Stanley, and I got to see this country many times over because of the band, but I think what I'm writing now was inevitable. I know that I don't have a protractor and a demographic chart of popular musical styles, so I guess what I write is just inside me...for better or worse.

MZ: Are you going out on tour?
PD: We will be doing some short tours -- Southeast, Midwest, and hopefully down to SXSW again. Touring is a little harder than it used to be -- the climate of music is different. The ascendancy of the iTunes world makes it tougher for working bands trying to build a fan base, a real live one, to get venues to give you a shot. But I think playing live is still the best way to hear a band, so we keep plugging away.

MZ: What bands are you listening to right now?
PD: I always listen to a pretty wide range of music -- Midlake, Centro-matic, Black Mountain, Band of Horses, and Fleet Foxes are some good ones. Some older essentials -- Hank Williams, Buck Owens’ Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2, Sweetheart of the Rodeo by the Byrds, anything by the Beatles (remastered catalog coming soon) Rolling Stones (from Beggars Banquet to Exile...essential), remastered Creedence sound amazing, as does the Replacements catalog…I'm gonna stop or I'll never shut up.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


To download the whole hour-long video of one of the oddest personalities of the 1970s, click here:

Child actor Mason Reese does commercials for Dressel's frozen ice cream cake and Tasty Bread, displaying his unique wit and love for food. To watch the entire 60-minute version, cut and paste this onto a new browser:



Tuesday, December 9, 2008


A belated tribute to the late, great Mitch Mitchell in the form of this excellent ROIO recording of the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Singer Bowl in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, NY.

Jimi Hendrix - Queens 1968
Jimi Hendrix - Singer Bowl
Flushing Meadow Park Queens, New York August 23rd, 1968
Good Audience Recording
Includes Artwork

Jimi Hendrix - Guitar, Vocals
Noel Redding - Bass, Vocals
Mitch Mitchell - Drums

1. Tune Up
2. Are You Experienced
3. Fire
4. Red House
5. I Don't Live Today
6. Like A Rolling Stone
7. Foxey Lady
8. Purple Haze
9. Hey Joe
10. Wild Thing/Star Spangled Banner



Amy Phillips at might refuse to be my friend on Facebook, but she dropped this interesting little nugget confirming the much-talked-about reunion of the original lineup of Blur on the Pitchfork site:

After much dilly-dallying, Blur have FINALLY confirmed that they are indeed reuniting, for real this time, on their website at Damon Albarn, Alex James, Dave Rowntree, and, yes, Graham Coxon will take the stage for a concert at London's Hyde Park on July 3, 2009. This will be their first full-lineup performance since 2000.

In a video interview on their site (email/mobile info necessary), the band says the reunion rehearsals have been like "putting the A-Team back together" and "like riding a bike."

No other future plans have been announced yet, but we wouldn't be surprised if a Coachella set was in the cards...

Coffee and TV:

Friday, December 5, 2008


Reflections of timeless struggle, self-fulfilling prophecy, and age-old triumph, with flashes of modern affectation. A fluid and evolving seven-act performance; an epic tale of angst, hunger, tragedy, failure, and ultimately, hope. The dramatic opening of this musical / avant-theatre piece begins with the young voice of our seven year old narrator. She describes in 2 short lines what we are about to witness: seven perspectives of one king’s war with himself. Moon & Moon provides the framework of a journey through an eternal human battle, borrowing from religious heritage and a colorful quilt of belief that draws upon the root myth of our collective humanity. Our story re-creates an archetypal battle that is not only historical fiction, but our own contemporary fact which exemplifies our self-destructive nature. Through the journey of witnessing a different character’s perspective in each act, our king comes to the realisation that he is not only the walls which he has built, but the walls that have been destroyed by his own hand and command.

Contributions by members of An Albatross, Lewis & Clarke, Barkus Born and Stephonik Youth with guest appearances by Devendra Banhart, Gibby Haynes, and Bat For Lashes.

In regards to the new album, William Lemon presented 7 original blockprints along with the 7 corresponding audio tracks for each Act of Seven Acts of the Iron King. This special installation was part of the And Who Are You? Saatchi group show in NYC, and invited the viewer/listener to preview a track of the album while taking in the imagery of the corresponding print.

Inserted into each album is one of Lemon’s original block prints on scented card stock. We hand-brushed the oil from the Indian Jasmine flower to create an olfactory association with the album, live show, and the nature of the scent. Jasmine traditionally helps reduce anxiety and apathy, and is uplifting and stimulating in times of hopelessness and nervous exhaustion.


12/14 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands

Moon & Moon
VII Acts of an Iron King
(La Société Expéditionnaire)
Street Date: Nov. 11, 2008

Act I: Into The Dust
Act II:Hands Of A Man
Act III: We Are The Lights
Act IV: Come Down Like A Man
Act V: There Can Be Only One
Act VI: This Is Our Celebration
Act VII: Together Alone, We Jump We Rise

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I hate to say it, as I am not her greatest fan, but this Neko Case cover is serious.

I only hope the music is as good as the imagery.

BTW, I wonder if that's Garth Hudson's old jalopy she's riding...

Also, wasn't she supposed to pose for Playboy? What happened with that?

Middle Cyclone comes out March 9, 2009.

God she is hot!



Here's a review of the amazing One Day As A Lion EP, the new duo featuring Zack de la Rocha and former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore, that was turned into but never ran. Enjoy!

One Day As A Lion EP (Anti-Epitaph)

A few years back, a friend of mine played guitar in a Rage Against The Machine tribute band called People of the Sun.

They were based out of the Hudson Valley area of New York, but played all over the Northeast, building up a strong following on the tribute circuit, packing bars everywhere they went. And while they were a success, the whole experience, according to my friend, turned him off to Rage Against The Machine. The reason being were the crowds, which were not, in fact, the legions of revolution-minded nonconformists and punk rockers who made up a grand portion of Rage’s fanbase, but in fact the unintended demographic of their listeners: white, upper middle-class fraternity guys who you’d expect to see at a Hootie and the Blowfish concert rather than anything that had to do with Rage Against The Machine. According to my friend, seeing a bunch of white baseball caps floating above the audience and screaming “Fuck you! I won’t do what you tell me!” in unison freaked him out some, wondering if they even got the point of the songs. In retrospect, the experience of listening to their music was never the same again for him.

The same goes for me as well. The amount of young Republicans and rich, white frat boys who cite Rage as one of their favorite bands is astonishing, especially considering the group stands for everything they are not (well, with the exception of guitarist Tom Morello’s tendency to drive around in a gas-guzzling SUV, from what the gossip mongers say). So much, in fact, that when were slated to play outside the Republican National Convention recently (which never happened after police prohibited them from performing after the band failed to obtain a permit, resulting in frontman Zack De La Rocha singing two Rage songs from a bullhorn into the crowd outside the State Capitol in St. Paul, MN on Tuesday Sept. 2), some were led to believe they were actually going to play on the same stage that graced the spiteful rhetoric of Sarah Palin and Rudy Guliani, who seemed to have delivered their speeches with the same tone of aggression that Rage reserved for their most visceral compositions.

I can almost guarantee you that for Zack de la Rocha, the only instance that frat boys and the Republicans had appeared in his mind when he was penning the lyrics to their three albums’ worth of songs was the ways by which he can deliver the messages that will help bring their imperialistic ways down. Yet instead of being the anti-establishment anthem Zack intended back in 1991, “Killing In The Name” can be heard at Yankee Stadium alongside “Y.M.C.A.” and “Cotton-Eyed Joe” blasted over the PA speakers in order to get the fans dancing between innings. The first Rage Against The Machine album has most likely provided the soundtrack to countless date rapes in college dormitories and frat houses all over the country throughout the last two decades. Not to mention the score to countless numbers of hateful, violent attacks on those deemed inferior to the aggressor from dimwitted troglodytes who failed to recognize the band’s mosh pit manifestos as attacks against them, not their victims. And, of course, seeing their music help give birth to such alpha-dog posers like Limp Bizkit and Crazytown, who used Rage’s rap-rock hybrid as a springboard for their sorry excuses for the once-mighty fusion of sounds, was surely played into account as well.

Certainly these observances and rhetorical back-firings of band’s initial intentions to be a sort of MC5 or Clash for a new generation ran through De La Rocha’s mind over the last ten years, prompting him to split from Rage initially and impose himself in the exile of a variety of recording studios, where he would work with everyone from El-P to DJ Shadow to Roni Size to DJ Premier on a solo album that still has yet to see the light of day, not to mention a near double-LP’s worth of material he recorded with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails that also remains on the shelf as well. All while seeing his former bandmates hook up with former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell to form Audioslave and release three albums of mediocre radio rock that made no bones about catering to the more pragmatic, horizontal dimension of Rage’s initial fanbase.

So when word got out that Rage Against The Machine reunited in 2007 to play a bunch of festivals, including Coachella and the New Orleans Voodoo Music Experience, and then tour that summer as part of the Rock The Bells Festival alongside the likes of the Wu-Tang Clan and Cypress Hill, fans were indeed in shock and awe to see the band bounce back from a near-decade long hiatus in such powerful form and continue to tour throughout 2008, playing Lollapalooza this summer in Chicago’s Grant Park and, of course, controversial stops outside both the 2008 Republican and Democratic National Conventions just recently. Regardless of how you feel about their population of fraternity-minded fans or the band members’ post-RATM activity (especially Morello’s dreadfully droll solo project, The Nightwatchman), there is no denying that hearing the raw power of a Rage Against The Machine show in these crucial times of political turmoil is most certainly welcoming to the ears of anyone who truly believes in their sonic manifesto. And the beauty of it all is, now that the hype has cleared away and the rap-metal genre has weeded out the meek of its lot, Rage stand along and appears stronger in its convictions than ever beforer. And regardless of if their classic tracks are played at keggers or sports arenas, they still don’t give a fuck, as they will convey their message by any means necessary no matter if you are educating yourself on their words or just dragging your knuckles along to their primal polyrhythms.

But perhaps even more so than seeing RATM grace the stage once again, it’s just great to have Zack back and the fiery passion he brings to the voice of national activism, pulling no punches during his spoken-word interludes between Rage classics like "Bulls on Parade" and "Bombtrack", regardless of who he offends in the process:

"A good friend of ours said that if the same laws were applied to U.S. presidents as were applied to the Nazis after World War II that every single one of them, every last rich white one of them from Truman on would have been hung to death and shot," he defiantly proclaimed at their first reunion show at Coachella, citing the writings of political philosopher Noam Chomsky. "And this current administration is no exception. They should be hung, and tried, and shot."

Hell, even the Democrats are not safe from de la Rocha's ire, as noted during his on-stage rant during the instrumental bridge for their song "Wake Up" at this year's Lollapalooza:

“[Democrats] were supposed to step up and be our voice in congress and they turned their backs on us. They turned their backs on the workers. They turned their backs on the soldiers. They got right behind Bush lock step and got this country into another sick war,” he announced that day in Grant Park, right in the backyard of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. “Now we know brother Obama. We know brother Obama. But I tell you what, if he comes to power come November and he doesn't start pulling troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, I know a lot of people who are gonna stand up and burn down every office of every Senator that doesn't do his job…there is a generation of young black and latino brothers and sisters that are gonna force everyone in this country to make a decision very soon about what side they're going to stand on. And they're a generation of kids who don't give a fuck about national politics. They care about bread. They care about water. They care about housing and they care about justice. And they ain't gonna fucking stand for any of that shit.”

And while the group itself has made no plans to return to the studio at press time, Rage fans were certainly in for a pleasant surprise in July of 2008, when Zack De La Rocha quietly released an EP of new material with his new two-man group with former Mars Volta drummer John Theodore under the moniker One Day As A Lion.

Named after the iconic 1970 black-and-white photograph by Chicano shutterbug George Rodriguez of a piece of graffiti reading “It’s better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb”, the duo’s debut EP is everything you would expect from Zack — radical poetics backed by dirty, colossal beats. And surprisingly, for a duo, de la Rocha and Theodore more than make up for a lack of guitarist and bassist, or even a DJ for that matter, in their sound. In fact, the lack of guitar heroics or any other unnecessary sonic pyrotechnics beyond the masterful drumming of Theodore (whose talent behind the kit is arguably far better than that of Rage drummer Brad Wilk’s), actually seems to come off as a freeing element for the music.

While Theodore supplies the beat, Zack takes cues from his time spent in the studio with Trent Reznor on the art of torturing a keyboard, hammering out fuzzed-out, guttural low-tone bass drones, dub-inspired echo blasts and electrified skronks and howls that cake the caustic rhythms with the urgency of an air raid siren.

Additionally, de la Rocha actually sings here, lending a melodic-yet-harsh toasting hybrid to tracks like “Ocean View” and “If You Fear Dying” on the choruses. It’s a little off-putting at first, considering the guy is certainly no singer. But the conviction by which he levies his attempts is purely respectable, like Woody Guthrie armed with a Molotov cocktail. Especially on “If You Fear Dying”, the EP’s strongest track that finds Zack leaving his heart in Venezuela while questioning why Americans “would ever let a few white Christians shape our tomorrow” and declaring himself a lyrical “roadside bomb” over an explosive ragga-inflected riddim on par with the most visceral Rage anthem.

Elsewhere, tracks like “Wild International” and “Last Letter” find de la Rocha flipping up his flow a bit with slight nods to the cadence and wordplay of such indie hip-hop heroes as El-P and Mos Def as he spits political rhetoric that warrants repeated listens, while “Ocean View” seems to make a call-to-arms nod to the plights of such victims of police violence as Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell with lines like, “The water main’s cut off/panic hit the manor of the mayor/who’s soft word hit the streets that the cops got off.” Meanwhile, “Wild International” calls it right out the gate, summing up the war in Iraq in one line: “They say that in war/The truth be the first casualty.”

The only disappointment about One Day As A Lion is that it clocks in at 20 minutes, leaving the listener hungry for more. But in its brief time frame and minimalistic means exists a roaring call to arms that blasts your skull louder than a thousand copies of Evil Empire played simultaneously. One thing is for sure, this outstanding EP will most certainly separate the true fans of Zack’s word from the ones who can’t hear past the rhythm. And if you ever hear one of these tracks blasting through the PA at your local baseball stadium, it means that shit got taken over by revolutionaries. This right here is the true definition of raging against the machine, something those frat boys and neo-cons who fake the funk in the mosh pit can never even begin to understand. –Ron Hart

YouTube video of One Day As A Lion’s “Wild International”

Thursday, November 20, 2008


So Michael Dorf, founder of the is-it-closing-is-it-not-closing Knitting Factory, is launching a haute taute new venue in TriBeCa. Why their opening show is Joan Osborne is beyond me, but in all honesty the place seems promising. But for my money, the Knit is still the best place in the city to see a show. After seeing Tonic, Sin-E, The Contintental and CBGB all close within two years of each other, the closure of the Knitting Factory would be a heartbreak beyond reproach for creative music in this city. Three spots in one, The Main Space, Tap Bar and Old Office, we will be losing the home to some of the best shows I have personally ever seen since taking in my first gig there in 1998 (the name of which completely escapes me at the present moment). The Melvins. Mike Patton and the X-Ecutioners. At the Drive-In. Sixteen Horsepower. Marc Ribot. Skull Snaps. Slick Rick. The late, great ODB. Mixmaster Mike. The list goes on and on, literally.

Though City Winery looks promising in theory, with shows ranging from Boz Scaggs to Phillip Glass and winemaking downstairs in the basement, it doesn't seem to be catering to those of us who were in the price range of shows at the Knit or any of the other non-profit places Dorf has opened throughout the country. But you can be damn sure I'll be there so see my Facebook pal Mike Doughty in January.

Fore more about the opening of City Winery, scroll down for today's news off the wire. -Ed.

November 20, 2008 , 2:00 PM ET
Michael D. Ayers, N.Y.
City Winery, a new New York venue being launched by Knitting Factory founder Michael Dorf, will open on New Year's Eve with a concert by Joan Osborne.

Located in the Tribeca section of Manhattan, City Winery is a 21,000-square foot venue that, as its name implies, also serves as a winery where patrons can enjoy private tastings and take wine-making classes.

Amid in influx of new venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Dorf tells Billboard he's hoping to tap into a higher-end clientele that prefers seated shows over general admission. The extensive wine list should help too.

"There's an audience that is missing the Bottom Line in Manhattan," he says. "I think there are people that want to sit. The overlap between wine and that singer/songwriter style of music became very evident to me."

City Winery will operate under a somewhat exclusive format. Show tickets are only available to members of the VinoFile program, which costs $50 annually. Customers will get a $15 credit for their first bar tab, plus $35 off tastings or classes.

Following that, for every $100 spent at the venue, a $10 credit is awarded. And for every show, members have the ability to select specific seats in the venue.

City Winery will cap at 300 for seated shows. "It's intimate, but you can achieve some scale. At $50 or $100 ticket, you can gross some money that can allow for a bigger-name artist to consider doing the gig," Dorf says. Prices vary as to whether a customer chooses to sit at two different levels of reserved tables, a bar stool or in a VIP tasting section.

Dorf has booked unique artist pairings in the weeks to come, including Lenny Kaye with Suzanne Vega, Calexico with Keren Ann and Jesse Malin with Rachael Yamagata.

In related news, Dorf has announced that R.E.M. will be honored in what has become an annual tribute to influential songwriters that he organizes. The Swell Season/Frames' Glen Hansard, Guster and Patti Smith will perform, with Calexico serving as the house band for the March 11 show at Carnegie Hall.

Here is the initial lineup for City Winery:

Dec. 31: Joan Osborne
Jan. 8: Steve Earle & Allison Moorer
Jan. 9: Raul Midon & Sonya Kitchell
Jan. 11: Boz Scaggs
Jan. 15: Suzanne Vega & Lenny Kaye
Jan. 22: Mike Doughty & Tony Scherr Trio
Jan. 29: Jill Sobule & Julia Sweeney
March 4: Rufus Wainwright
March 10: Calexico & Keren Ann
March 15: Philip Glass
March 22. Philip Glass
March 29: Philip Glass
April 5: Philip Glass
April 9: Jesse Malin & Rachael Yamagata

Mike Patton Live at the Knitting Factory: New Years Eve, 2004:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jeff Klein: From Gutter Twins to Jerusalem

Interview by Michele Zipp

Jeff Klein is really busy. He’s currently on tour with The Gutter Twins after playing some solo shows with Ani DiFranco, and he’s got another super-group called Jerusalem with an album coming out next year.

But one thing I know about Jeff is that he’s always got time for a friend. That is, if he has time. The first time I interviewed him was in 1998 for a long gone college ’zine called Legitimate Beef. There were references of candy being eaten from a mannequin leg, autoerotic asphyxiation, and Neil Diamond. This time we talked about flesh hoodies, Lemonparty, and bacon. My how things have changed!

Michele Zipp: Where are you right now?
Jeff Klein: I’m at gate A14 in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. To my left is Danny Bland from the Dwarves and to my right is an honest to god real life dwarf. It’s a pretty surreal moment.

MZ: If you could be anywhere in the world, where would that be?
JK: That’s hard because I feel like in the last two years I have been everywhere there is to be, so I’d have to say in NOLA sitting on the dock looking out into the Mississippi River with my lady.

MZ: You just got out of a tour bus that were you in for eight hours. What did you do?
JK: Let's see...first I watched The Jerk. Always a classic. Then I proceeded to prank everyone by putting either Lemonparty or Goatse [NSFW] as their laptop desktop picture while they weren't looking. Then I shot the shit with Mark for a while. Somewhere in there were a few sweet Flying J moments. Then I watched an episode of Lockup that was about turning gay in prison as a means of survival. Something us touring musicians know way too much about...err...I mean. Nevermind. And then I learned that Iron Maiden had a singer before Bruce Dickinson who looked like a fat Ray Liotta in a headband.

MZ: What happened with your pinky?
JK: I got into an accident in a venue, which I shall not name. One of the security guys accidentally caught my hand in a huge thick metal security door practically severing the tip of my finger off and crushing the bone to powder. It took eight hours to sew my finger back together. It looked like a flesh hoodie. Worst experience of all time.

MZ: Did you think you would have to cancel your spot on the tour because of the pinky incident?
JK: For the first 24 hours I thought my life was over. Three days later I was out supporting Ani DiFranco with nine fingers and a bloody mangled bandage. It hurt, but it had to be done.

MZ: What was most affected by not having use of all ten fingers?
JK: Everything. Eating, opening doors, showering, masturbating, foreplay, piano playing. Everything became difficult.

MZ: Let's play a game: Fuck/Kill/Marry. Out of you, Greg Dulli, and Mark Lanegan, how do you think that will play out?
JK: That’s a hard one on many levels. Is there any way you could do all three to each? Though they are two of the sweetest men I know, they are also two of the dudeliest men I know. Answering this question could get me killed.

MZ: How did you get involved with The Gutter Twins and Twilight Singers?
JK: By accident. I was friends with Greg for a few years and he invited me to open for the Twilight Singers. Halfway through the tour they needed a new keyboard player and since I was there already, it was a natural progression. Ever since, if I’m around and free and Mark or Greg need me for anything, it’s my pleasure to be involved.

MZ: What about Jeff Klein music? Will there be another album soon?
JK: I actually have like 30 songs recorded and mixed. I’ve sort of split my personalities in half. Jeff Klein being the brand name for more stripped down affairs. And the other half, well.... I started a band with some friends of mine. It’s called Jerusalem. It consists of myself, Ashley Dzerigian (Great Northern), Cully Symington (Bishop Allen, Gutter Twins), Rick Nelson (Polyphonic Spree, St. Vincent), and David Rosser (Twilight Singers). It’s fucking brilliant. We have a ton of songs done and will be releasing a record in the New Year and touring a lot as well. I can’t explain how much fun it is to have a band right now. The music is scarily inspirational in contrast to my solo efforts.

MZ: Do you find time to write your own stuff while on the road with others?
JK: I’m always writing no matter where I am. On napkins, in hotels, in my head. Actually, that’s a lie. I’m not as methodical as most people. It all is random, whether it’s on tour or at home or in an airplane lavatory. I’m either writing or I’m not. But it never takes a situational back seat. It just randomly chooses its attack moments.

MZ: In that old interview from 1998, when I asked you to complete the sentence “In the future I will” you said, “play your children's Bar Mitzvahs for under $500.” Still true?
JK: These days I’m sure I can command a crisp $1500. Unfortunately, due to the economy and inflation it’ll be more like $25,000, but I’ll do a Bris for the sheer excitement of it.

MZ: What music do you like right now?
I think the new Walkmen record is great. I’ve also been revisiting the first two Tindersticks albums a lot since finally seeing (and meeting!) them this summer. Also Jesu. Mostly I’ve been listening to 4500 mixes of my own new stuff or my friends’ albums. There’s a great band from Austin called Frank Smith.

MZ: You hadn’t eaten bacon in years, but when I saw you last, you caved. Are you still at it?
JK: Hell yes. I would wear bacon as a scent if I could. I am actually sporting a bacon band-aid as we speak. It is amazing. I went so long without it, I felt like a mother who had just had her kidnapped child returned to her after 15 years. All hail bacon.

Photo courtesy of Jerusalem.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Let it be known, courtesy of Immortal Technique, Mos Def and Eminem...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

RIP Rudy Ray Moore

No other film actor in Hollywood history had more of an influence on me during my college years than Rudy Ray Moore.

Dolemite, The Human Tornado, Petey Wheatstraw, Monkey Hustle...

We would watch these shits blazed as mofos on the riz-neg.

But Avenging Disco Godfather was the one we always would return to time and again: a movie that will either have you howling with laughter or curling up in a ball of fright, depending on who you are as a person.

This is better than Coppola's Godfather in my estimation.

"Put yo' weight on it!"

Rudy Ray Moore died on October 19 at age 81 from complications from diabetes. He will be missed.

Listen to one of RRM's best comedy albums on this great blog:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


From President-Elect Obama's recent interview with Rolling Stone publisher, Jann Wenner:

“If I had one musical hero, it would have to be Stevie Wonder,” says Obama, who grew up on Seventies R&B and rock staples including Earth, Wind and Fire, Elton John and the Rolling Stones. “When I was at that point where you start getting involved in music, Stevie had that run with Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Fulfillingness’ First Finale and Innervisions, and then Songs in the Key of Life. Those are as brilliant a set of five albums as we’ve ever seen.”


In celebration of President-Elect Obama's historic win last night, please enjoy this brilliant essay from my former Editor-in-Chief at the New Paltz Oracle, Mr. Richard F. Restaino, which will also appear in the final print issue of IRT, due out before the end of 2008.

The Audacity of Pragmatism: How Studs Terkel Helped Me Vote for Obama

By Richard F. Restaino

Election Day, 2008, Austin, TX—This day belongs to Barack Obama, but my thoughts cannot help but turn to another adopted Chicagoan, Louis “Studs” Terkel. Studs died on Halloween, four days before America elected its first black president, something I’m sure he would have liked to see. He held on as long as he could, of course. A man dying at 96 is far from a tragedy, especially when that man’s life was rich and full and never given over to despair.

Studs, best known as an oral historian chronicling the lives of the everyday heroes among us in books like The Good War, Hard Times, Division Street—America, and Working, lived through the “American Century” and got a glimpse of what seemed like the beginning of the end. A lifelong progressive, supporter of workers and civil rights, and a fearless opponent of arbitrary authority, Studs held fast his faith in the basic decency of people, even as he maintained his distrust of the institutions they served. As a child of the Great Depression, a victim of the McCarthy blacklists, and the prototypical man of the people, you could imagine that such recent turns of history like the Iraq War, the Patriot Act, and the recent financial implosion probably felt familiar to Studs. He had the long view, knew the context of what we’re now experiencing, and in his writing and speeches always seemed to strike the right balance of moral outrage and faith in humanity. Reading one of his oral histories—conversations with regular people put down on paper—never failed to lift me out of the most serious of funks. Yes, Studs probably would have enjoyed talking to people on a day like today.

So many of my heroes, the people whose work has helped shape my life, have died during the Bush administration: Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter Thompson, Joe Strummer, Warren Zevon, Molly Ivins, Johnny Cash, Joey Ramone, James Brown, George Carlin, and now Studs Terkel. These are people to whom I have turned to help make sense of the world, and when you start to look at this group in the aggregate, despite better judgment, it’s hard for me not to imagine that the brutish, oppressive, and corrupt climate under which we have lived since 2000 had something to do with it.

Not to say that I believe an Obama administration will prove the panacea for all that ails us—hardly. My own feelings for Obama soured when he distanced himself from his preacher, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom I thought was, well, right—at least most of the time. For Obama, it was the politically expedient thing to do; it made sense. Most folks don’t want to hear about this stuff, and still others deny the essential truths behind Wright’s passionate rhetoric. Still, sometimes I wonder if I’m living in the same world as the majority of people. I simply don’t think there is anything particularly radical about any of the following statements, all of which were deemed incendiary and seditious by the mainstream press:

• “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye.” (Sept. 2001)

• “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.” (Sept. 2001)

• “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” (2003)

• “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run…We [in the U.S.] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”

Whenever a voice like Wright’s finds its way into the public consciousness, it is held up to ridicule and scorn—to be feared or dismissed. The system is set up so that people find it difficult to process information that does not conform to the official doctrine of this nation’s history and what we stand for. This is the “national Alzheimer’s disease” that Studs Terkel spoke of—the blow to the head that would have us believe that mass movements of everyday Americans united against an oppressive state amounts to treason, while we elevate men like Ronald Reagan to the status of latter-day saints:

“He’s perhaps the worst President until now we’ve had,” Terkel said of Reagan in a 2004 interview with The Progressive, “a man who knocked the hell out of the very thing, the New Deal, that saved his ass and that of his father in Dixon, Illinois. His father got a job on the WPA during the Depression. Ronald Reagan was the first President I know who was an acknowledged fink. He was president of the Screen Actors Guild at the same time he was informing regularly to the FBI on his own members he considered un-American or subversive. He even had a code name. That’s a fink.”

So, when Obama said that Rev. Wright’s views do not represent his own (despite him having been an active member of Wright’s church for 20 years), it was hardly a surprise. Obama, like all who believe they are suited for high office, is first and foremost an ambitious man. Ambitious people will do what they need to in order to fulfill their ambitions. His speech on race, meant to clarify his position visa vie Wright, did help restore some faith in me that Obama’s “post-racial” rhetoric was not simply stump-speech gold—that he actually did acknowledge and understand that this nation is far from achieving equity for all.

So, I voted for Obama. But I pulled the lever with a similar trepidation and joyless resignation that I voted for John Kerry in ’04, and Bill Clinton in ’96. There was a different sensation in voting for Ralph Nader in 2000 (yes, I was one of those Lefties who abandoned Gore, but I lived in Texas—Gore had no chance here anyway). Voting for Nader (as well as my past primary votes for Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean) felt more like righteous futility. All this is to say that I have never really expected to have anyone who truly represented my views make it to the White House. In America, we take what we can get—a choice that often is not really much of a choice at all—but it’s still a whole lot more than most of world gets.

I suppose this is where Studs Terkel and Barack Obama find kinship in my mind. Studs knew the score—he watched for years as America swung far away from where he stood. Yet, he still found meaning in participating in the process. A protest vote—a vote against what one finds more objectionable—is just as important, and certainly more pragmatic, than a hearty vote of affirmation, which too often is clouded by the cult of personality. Studs was a realist, yes, but he never became cynical or demoralized. Studs’ life and work represent to me the real meat behind that line Obama borrowed from his pastor before throwing him under the bus: The audacity of hope. The repetitive drilling of this line into our national consciousness aside, there still remains truth in what I sincerely hope does not turn out to be just another empty campaign slogan. But even if Obama’s historic victory turns out to be no more than a symbolic one—if none of the real problems this nation faces are handled any differently than they would be in a Hillary Clinton or John McCain presidency—there remains cause for solemn celebration. Symbolism matters.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I'm just sayin'...

Check out Life On Mars. Great show. Not only do you got the most underrated hottie in America in the lead role of a female cop in 1973 who works with Spider from Goodfellas and Harvey Kietel working with this guy from 2008 who gets transported back in time to the cops' precinct in Brooklyn. And Gretchen Mol is disgustingly dope in it.


This is a true heartbreak to hear, as someone who has enjoyed going to this store for many, many years. Anyone who is a collector of anything from rare records to old toys to weird film posters to cereal box tops to old TV Guides, this is truly a sad piece of news. Below is the press release I just received from the store's owner, Ken Farrell. -Ed.


Just Kids to Close Huntington Store

Just Kids Nostalgia of Huntington, NY will soon close its doors. For more than 30 years, collectors have come to Long Island’s north shore to find that elusive collectible –whether it be a scarce TV character figure, a favorite LP from their youth, or a vintage movie poster. I have made the difficult decision to close the retail operation. Over the last ten years or so the collector's market has changed a lot, and it’s only natural that we change too. It’s important for our base of collectors to realize that we are not going out of business, but just changing the way we operate.

It’s said when one door closes, another opens, and this is certainly the case for collectors and dealers who want to take the opportunity to participate in the closing. Literally tens of thousands of vintage collectibles will be sold in the coming weeks, all at huge discounts. Anyone who has seen our store, knows that it’s bursting at the seams. We are going to start sorting through piles, boxes, shelves and drawers that are filled with material that has been stashed away for, in some cases, over a dozen years."

Items to be sold individually or in groups and lots include LP’s, movie posters, thousands of vintage comic books, miscellaneous paper, more than 200 drawers filled with an amazing selection of "smalls," autographs, rock promo posters (tons of Beatles!), movie books, pinbacks, political items, vintage clothing, cereal prizes, original illustration art, toys, games and much, much more.

This is not your every-day sale, and it is important that we clear the store of all items. There is no offer that we will not give serious consideration to. Whether an offer for one piece, for selections and groups, or for the entire store contents, we are ready to deal.

This sale will open to the public beginning at 10AM on Saturday, November 1st, and will continue until everything is sold. To start, all records and movie posters will be sold at half-price, everything else will be 25%-75% off. Dealers and collectors who want the best selection, should keep in mind that new material will be put out on a regular basis. What you don't see on a Monday may very well be there on Tuesday!

Thousands of Records and Movie Posters 50% off. Top grade collector's vinyl in all catagories. Rock, Jazz, Soundtracks, Soul, Reggae, Folk. Movie posters from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s plus recent releases. Vintage toys, lunch boxes, advertising, cereal boxes, rock promo posters. (Beatles, etc) Thousands of movie promo buttons, political buttons, bubble gum cards, sports memorabilia. 5,000 Silver Age comic books at $5.00 each, 1200 vintage movie books at $6.00 each. World's Fair, Autographs, Rock Memorabilia..We have a lot of Stuff.

After more than 30 years in Huntington, it’s going to be a bitter-sweet time for me, I've met literally hundreds, maybe thousands of collectors over the years and made many friends. But it’s time for a change, and I am looking forward to seeing some old faces in the coming weeks. Please stop in to say hello if you are in town.

Thank you for your support over the years,

Ken Farrell

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Acclaimed DJ Mick Boogie has provided this rather killer mixtape that puts the Jiggaman's words against beats constructed from Coldplay songs. Even if you are someone who fancies themselves as a hater of Chris Martin and co., you will feel this right here. Enjoy! -Ed.

Viva La Hova - IT'S HERE

At long last... weeks of work, lots of anticipation, and a few last minute Internet issues (sorry)... we proudly present...

Mick Boogie and Terry Urban present:

or our new host at

Frank 151

1) Intro (produced by Mick Boogie & Terry Urban)
2) Public Speeding (produced by Cookin' Soul)
3) Know My Place (produced by The Amps)
4) Never Changing (produced by nVMe)
5) Miss Trouble (produced by Judah)
6) Back At My Place (produced by Remot)
7) No Love Coming Home (produced by The Kickdrums)
8) Lost Part 1 (produced by Coldplay)
9) A Spy's Prayer (produced by nVMe)
10) Science Is Ignorant (produced by Gooch)
11) The Reverse Fix (produced by Mick Boogie & nVMe)
12) Hola Blanco (produced by Garbs Infinite)
13) Take The Hill (produced by nVMe)
14) Lost Part 2 (remixed by Mick Boogie)
15) Cold Success (produced by 9th Wonder)
16) What If We Cry? (produced by Remot)
17) Beach Chair (produced by Coldplay)
18) Falling In Shadows (produced by 6th Sense)
19) Life of Clocks (produced by Terry Urban)
20) X-Y-Z (produced by Hasan Insane)
All blends/mixes done by Mick Boogie and Terry Urban…

Thank you to our special guest producers for contributing…

Special thanks to Glen Infante, Oncue, Uncle Wes,, Frank 151 & Dan Solomito for their special assistance…

Extra special thanks to Jay-Z and Coldplay for their inspiration, and to Danger Mouse for making projects like this appreciated by the mainstream.

If you like this project, go buy the Jay-Z and Coldplay albums!

Support quality music!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Found this online somewhere, news about the possibility of a full-on Kinks reunion. Was talking to an old pal from high school who is the biggest Kinks fan I know and swore to him this would never happen considering guitarist Dave Davies' stroke and all. But it seems like he will be on the mend. There is talk of a new album too! Let's just hope the new material is more Percy than Phobia, shall we? -Ed.

Rock Legends The Kinks Moving Closer To Reunion

Legendary British rock band The Kinks have taken a step closer to a reunion - frontman Ray Davies' brother Dave is back on his feet after a long illness. The 60s rockers are keen to reunite for live gigs and to record new material, but Davies revealed last month that they were only "three quarters of the way" towards their dream because Dave Davies still feels the effects of a stroke he suffered in 2004.

But the "You Really Got Me" hitmakers are now eyeing up a series of gigs next year - because their ailing guitarist is on the mend.

Ray Davies says, "Dave seems very chipper and on good form. He's moving well and has made good progress. My thought is we'll do it (the reunion)."

The Kinks' "Sunny Afternoon"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

IRT no. 9.5 Fall 2008

Grab it here:

Hope you enjoy it.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Neil Young Historic 1968 Set To Be Released by Thanksgiving, Archives Set Delayed

From my man JA Cohen courtesy of

October 13, 2008 , 12:20 PM ET

Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
There's good news and bad news for long-suffering Neil Young fans. The good: highlights from a sought-after Nov. 9-10, 1968, run from the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, Mich., will be released as "Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968" Nov. 25 via Reprise.

The bad: Young's endlessly delayed "Archives Vol. 1 (1963-1972)" is officially pushed back to some point in 2009. Young has waffled about whether the project will only be available on Blu-ray and DVD or whether there will be CDs sold; the latest word from Reprise is that "Archives" will be Blu-ray only.

"Sugar Mountain," which will not be included in "Archives Vol. 1," was taped a few days shy of Young's 23rd birthday. Young had split from Buffalo Springfield six months earlier, and was testing out his solo material in front of audiences more accustomed to seeing him perform with a band.

The album features future young staples such as "Mr. Soul," "Expecting To Fly," the title track and "Broken Arrow," along with several snippets of between-song banter where Young discusses the menial jobs he held in Toronto and what he spent his first big royalty check on (an old Bentley).

Here is the track list for "Sugar Mountain":

(Emcee intro)
"On the Way Home"
Songwriting rap
"Mr. Soul"
Recording rap
"Expecting To Fly"
"The Last Trip To Tulsa"
Bookstore rap
"The Loner"
"I used to" rap
"Winterlong" (excerpt) and "Out of My Mind" (intro)
"Out of My Mind"
"If I Could Have Her Tonight"
Classical Gas rap
"Sugar Mountain" (intro)
"Sugar Mountain"
"I've Been Waiting for You"
Songs rap
"Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing"
"Tuning Rap & the Old Laughing Lady" (intro)
"The Old Laughing Lady"
"Broken Arrow"

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Talking Heads Live in Las Vegas 1979

Please enjoy this excellent Heads soundboard from the Stardust Room in Las Vegas on Sept. 29, 1979, courtesy of the fine anonymous fellows at Guitars 101.

Talking Heads - 1979-09-29 - Las Vegas (Sbd mp3@320)
Talking Heads - 1979-09-29 - Las Vegas
(Soundboard mp3@320)

01 - Artists Only
02 - Stay Hungry
03 - Cities
04 - Paper
05 - Mind
06 - Heaven
07 - Electric Guitar
08 - Air
09 - New Feeling
10 - Building On Fire
11 - Found A job
12 - Psycho Killer
13 - Life During Wartime
14 - Take Me To The River

mirror here:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


In honor of the Obama T-shirt I just received from, the same one homeboy from Sub Pop noise rockers No Age attempted to rock on the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, I found this interesting piece on the Sub Pop website about how CBS tried to pull some bullshit and forbid guitarist Randy Randall from wearing the shirt during the group's performance, scheduled to air later this month. Strange, I thought they were totally for the big O after Katie Couric's painful interview with Sarah Palin... Ed.

Late last week our friends in No Age taped a performance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, to air later this month, on October 27th. Between the band’s rehearsal and when this taping was to take place, No Age’s guitarist Randy Randall was asked to wear something other than the Obama t-shirt he had on (which you can see and admire in the associated photo here – he looks good, right??). The folks working at the show explained that due to the Equal Time Rule, allowing No Age to perform on TV in an Obama t-shirt would force them to allow similar, equal time for that other, elderly fellow who is running in the upcoming Presidential election. So, after a whole lot of wrestling with his conscience and conversation about the situation, Randy decided to go on with the show, and having hand-written the words “Free Health Care” on the inside of his t-shirt, performed wearing it inside-out.

We got an email from Randy last night and it’s clear that this experience is really not sitting well with him. You can and really should read his note below. And, below that, you can read a post from Arthur Magazine’s editor Jay Babcock about why it’s important for us all to pay attention to what the various artists in our lives have to say. Please take the time to do so!

As a brief side note, after reading through the info about this Equal Time Rule, it seems to cover actual appearances by political candidates (and has been broadened to include stuff like movies starring a political candidate – Reagan in Bedtime for Bonzo, for example). But, it’s tough to understand how that would apply to candidates’ likenesses on t-shirts as well. Had CBS allowed Randy to play a No Age song on TV in an Obama shirt, would they have then been obligated to book a band (or other guest?) who would agree to appear on national TV in a McCain shirt? If that’s the case, and while it’s totally fair and understandable for Randy to construe all of this as censorship, we can sympathize with CBS’s decision here. Think of the unbearably shitty bands they would be forced to book! And, Ted Nugent is SUPER BUSY these days.

More importantly, here’s Randy:

Hello All,

I apologize for mass email but I feel that it is important to get this out to as many people as possible. I have recently come under what can only be called extreme censorship. On Oct 2nd No Age was scheduled to perform on the Late Late show with Craig Ferguson, to be broadcast on CBS later this month. I felt it was important to voice my choice for presidential candidate, Barack Obama, seeing as the episode would air 8 days before election day. We rehearsed on the stage and were waiting to film our performance when I was told that I would not be able to wear my Barack Obama t shirt. I was shocked, it seemed like some kind of joke, especially coming from a show like the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, produced by David Letterman’s production company World Wide Pants. The representatives of CBS said that by wearing an Obama T-shirt I would be violating the FCC rule of equal time for all candidates. However there there is a doctrine of fairness that former President Ronald Reagan and current president George W Bush supported the repeal of in order to allow themselves more time in the media. Regardless, the Equal Time Rule clearly favors candidates with more financial support. Ralph Nader and Ron Paul are not seen nearly as much as Obama and McCain.

I had to look at what I was up against and with 5 minutes before we were supposed to shoot I had only a handful of options. I could either A) walk away from the show and decline from appearing on the show, or B) change my T-shirt. My first choice was A. However, after talking way past the 5 minute mark, Dean and I decided that it would be better to take advantage of the stage we had at our disposal. I decided to make an appeal for “Free Health Care” on my T-shirt seeing as I was unable to voice my support for Barack Obama. Access to affordable health care is an issue very near to my heart for many personal reasons and I am sure that many of you can relate. I have lost and stood by as many of my close family members have battled with terrible illnesses. I have myself gone through traumatic hospitalizations only to come out the other side alive but horribly in debt.

I encourage all of you to speak out about your political views and your feelings about the many issues that are up for discussion at this crucial time in American history. CBS and major media outlets DO NOT speak for me. I do not look to corporate media to inform my views on the issues. Together through our communities we can make a difference and make it a point to express our views in order to shape our world into a better place.

Thank you,
Randy Randall

And, here’s Arthur ed. Jay Babcock’s response:

Who Cares What Musicians Think About Politics? They're Not Experts, They're Artists--Which Is Exactly Why We Should Listen.
Posted Tue Oct 7, 2008 4:11pm PDT by Jay Babcock in The ARTHUR Blog

Last week I got a call from Randy Randall, guitarist for Los Angeles rock duo No Age, who are currently on the Sub Pop record label. Randy was flustered, talking a mile-a-minute, about what had just gone down. The band had just finished performing a song for some sort of Craig Ferguson/CBS TV thing that was to be broadcast October 27--just over a week before the presidential election. Cameras were about to roll when suddently they were told by an on-set CBS underling that something needed to go: Randy's Obama t-shirt.

This wasn't because CBS wanted No Age to go topless. They're keeping that for the spring break special. No, this was because, the CBS person said, the Obama shirt was on-air editorializing--a possible violation of some FCC edict which this person claimed called for equal time to be given to opposing political viewpoints.

One problem: the last remnant of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" was repealed in 1987; the repeal was upheld by court ruling in 1989.

Since then, corrollary rules of the Fairness Doctrine--the "personal attack" rule and the "political editorial" rule--have also been struck down in the courts, with the last court ruling (and subsequent FCC order) coming in 2000.

In short, there is no fairness rule. Randy's Obama shirt was perfectly broadcastable under every existing law.

But neither No Age nor their people at Sub Pop were aware of the Fairness Doctrine's long-ago demise, and took CBS at their word.

After much deliberation, Randy put on another shirt, which said "Free Health Care," the band played, and the show will, apparently, air.

Some of the slower folks out there may rejoin with, Well who the heck cares what rock musicians think about the election? They should just shut up and play their songs. Leave politics to the experts! On with the doggone show!

What experts are these people talking about? Experts on public policy like the Republican vice presidential candidate? Maybe Bill O'Reilly? Tom Friedman? Rush Limbaugh? Katie Couric? Whoopi Goldberg? All the other nattering goofheads on CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, CNN and PBS--all of which are underwritten by corporate America, wealthy advertisers, upper-class endowments and the government itself?


The political situation in this country--heck, on this planet--is far too serious to leave it to these so-called experts, useful idiots and outright bought-and-paid-for whores to debate on our public airwaves.

What we need are other voices, the voices that humanity has always listened to in times of trouble: the voices of the visionaries, the poets, the authors, the ones with a longer view and a deeper sense of what's at stake, who can tell us more about what's going on and why, and perhaps bring us new metaphors, new ways of thinking, new ways of seeing, the situation we face. This country desperately needs to better understand what is happening to itself, and to imagine a better future. Well, artists work with imagination and observation - that is their field. It's long past time we let them back in to the discussion. And it's time to listen to what they're saying--and yes, to look at what they're wearing, too. Time is running out.

Jay Babcock is editor and publisher of Arthur, the free all ages counterculture magazine.