Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gonzo news

What was previously sparse blogging has become practically non-existent. I shall try harder, friends.

One reason for inactivity is that I've been devoting my blogging energy to Popblerd, an excellent collaborative music/pop culture blog. Lots of content, kept up to date (which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for the Music-O-Rama as of late!). Check it out! For the time being, I'll continue to focus my blogging there, but will also try to revive this blog a bit.

I've also stopped posting my radio playlists, mostly out of pure laziness. On that note, dear readers I regret to inform you that my show on WIUP will cease at the end of July (exact date TBD). Time for a break, that's all. Keep on listening though, the station continues to improve - and I think this will continue in the coming academic year (we've already had some great show proposals).


-Dr. Gonzo

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dr. Gonzo's MJ tribute 6/26

So I've been bad about posting playlists lately. But I thought I'd share the set from hour 2 of this week's show, as it was devoted to MJ. I tried to steer away from too many obvious picks, which made it more fun. DAH.

J5-Feelin' Alright (live)
J5-Maybe Tomorrow
J5-Dancing Machine
Jacksons-Blame it on the Boogie
MJ-Off the Wall
Jacksons-Lovely One
MJ-Baby Be Mine
MJ-Another Part of Me
MJ-Who is It
MJ-They Don't Care About Us
MJ-Whatever Happens
MJ-This is It

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 5/15

INXS-Guns in the Sky
The Cure-Hot! Hot! Hot!
Deerhoof-I did Crimes for You
Alina Simone-Sun Kissed Slashes
The Beatles-Rain
Peter, Bjorn & John-Dig a Little Deeper
Smith Westerns-Fallen in Love
Kurt Vile-Smoke Ring for My Halo
Big Star-Battle of El Goodo
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti-Can't Hear My Eyes
Echo & The Bunnymen-Heaven Up Here
Jesus & Mary Chain-Taste of Cindy
The Vaselines-Son of a Gun
Vivian Girls-Trying to Pretend
Foo Fighters-Baker Street
Faith No More-Falling to Pieces
David Bowie-African Night Flight
Thao & Mirah-How Dare You
Tom Tom Club-The Man with the Four-Way Hips
Rainbow Arabia-Blind
Stereo MCs-Deep Down & Dirty
Poly Styrene-I Luv Ur Sneakers
Jamie Lidell-Little Bit of Feel Good
Alan Wilkis-It's Been Great
Raphael Saadiq-Stone Rollin'
Stevie Wonder-Another Star

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stone Rollin'

Caught this on VH1 Classic yesterday. I wasn't gaga over Saadiq's last disc, though I appreciated the retro soul vibe. His latest single hit the spot, however. Possible early contender for my summer jam.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 5/1

Pixies-Bone Machine
Arctic Monkeys-Don't sit Down 'Cause I Moved Your Chair
British Sea Power-Mongk II
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists-Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?
The Brutes-Last Man Left Hungry
Hot Hot Heat-Middle of Nowhere
Pains of Being Pure at Heaert-My Terrible Friend
Yeasayer-I Remember (request)
Bright Eyes-Shell Games (request)
Laura Jansen-Wicked World
The Cars-Since You're Gone
The Kinks-Where Have All the Good Times Gone?
Roxy Music-Editions of You (request)
Phantogram-Bloody Hands
Peter Gabriel-Shock the Monkey
Bat for Lashes-Trophy
Royksopp-Senior Living
AnaRobik-Communicate (Aquazoo Project remix)
Add N to X-Murmur One
Duran Duran-Notorious
UNKLE feat. Nick Cave-Money and Run
Nikka Costa-Can'tneverdidnothin'
Scissor Sisters-She's My Man

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 4/24

Queen-Play the Game
Brother-Darling Buds of May
Neon Legion-Wicker Men
Jookabox-The Eyes of the Fly
Florence + the Machine-Howl
Band of Horses-The Funeral
Explosions in the Sky-Last Known Surroundings
Jenny Lewis-Godspeed (request)
Iron & Wine-Tree By The River
Taj Mahal-Queen Bee
The Decemberists-Down by the Water
Local Natives-Wide Eyes
Puro Instinct-Slivers of You
Wild Nothing-The Witching Hour
The White Stripes-Death Letter
Sonic Youth-Is it My Body?
T. Rex-Solid Gold Easy Action
The Stooges-1969
Rainbow Arabia-Nothin' Gonnna Be Undone
New Order-Age of Consent
Cut Copy-Need You Now
Chromeo-Openin' Up
Justice-D.A.N.C.E. (request)
Kraak & Smack-Never Too Late

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 4/17

Foo Fighters-Band on the Run
New York Dolls-I'm So Fabulous
13th Floor Elevators-Wait for My Love
The Raveonettes-Recharge and Revolt
Pains of Being Pure at Heart-Even in Dreams
TV on the Radio-No Future Shock
Tapes n Tapes-Badabing
Pink Floyd-Arnold Lane
Raw Milk-Itchy Nose
Ladytron-I'm Not Scared
UNKLE (feat. Nick Cave)-Money and Run
Peter, Bjorn and John-Second Chance
Adele-Rolling in the Deep
Amy Winehouse-You Know I'm No Good
The Noisettes-Never Forget You
JR Walker and the All-Stars-Good Rockin'
Ray Charles-Leave My Woman Alone
Prince and the Revolution-Mountains (12" Mix)
Joker & Ginz-Re-Up
Kylie Minogue/New Order-Can't Get Blue Monday Out of My Head
Dizzee Rascal-Bubbles
Medeski, Martin and Wood-We Are Rolling

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"When Eye Lay My Hands On U "

Among the many unreleased Prince projects is the High album from 2000. The disc was complete and ready for production, but Prince pulled the plug and opted to release it via his then-burgeoning (and now defunct) online music club.

As Uptown writers note in the exhaustive chronology The Vault, the album is accessible and straightforward, likely another attempt at a commercial comeback (1999's Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic had a similar intent, but ultimately failed.

By and large, the music on High is far more compelling than anything on Rave, and with smart marketing and single selection, I believe it could have had significant commercial impact. Alas. Many of the songs were later repackaged in the second incarnation of Prince's online music club, but spread across a few releases, losing any sense of consistency as to what the High album may have sounded like in its initial configuration. [Note: many of the tracks were also initially released via 2-track singles sold on the 2000Hit N Run tour.]

To that end, here is the original tracklist:

1. U Make My Sun Shine
2. My Medallion
3. Supercute
4. Golden Parachute
5. High
6. When Eye Lay My Hands on U
7. When Will We B Paid
8. Gamillah
9. Underneath the Cream
10. The Daisy Chain

Standout tracks here are "My Medallion," "Supercute," "The Daisy Chain" and "When Eye Lay My Hands on U." All are accessible yet interesting enough that they could have seen some success in the musical climate of 2000. But I digress.

The main motivation behind this post is a recent late night spin of volume 5 from the mind-bogglingly comprehensive The Work set of unreleased material. I haven't heard the High tracks in a while, and I was quickly reminiscing about bumping these tracks in my Cavalier (via Discman with cassette adapter, naturally) that summer. Suddenly, it's July 2000.

More importantly, "When Eye Lay My Hands on U" is a track that blows me away. There are so many layers here, not to mention the blistering guitar work. Take a listen:

And here's a great live take from the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 2009:

Prince Montreux 2009 When I lay my hands on You by madonnacelebration

Monday, April 4, 2011

Kembrew McLeod and Ben Franzens' excellent documentary Copyright Criminals is now out on DVD. I made a brief post about it last year when it aired on PBS as part of the Independent Lens series. The doc is still getting some much deserved attention, most recently via a very cool performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In a one-off performance, we have ?uestlove, Black Thought, Chuck D,. Eclectic Method and Clyde Stubblefield, the man behind the kit for many of James Brown's best known jams. Ladies and gentlemen, the Copyright Criminals All-Star Band:

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 4/3

We Became Actors-Swimming Pools
The Clash-Tommy Gun
Sick of Sarah-Kick Back
Vivian Girls-Dance (If You Wanna)
Guards-I See it Coming
The Greenhornes-Shelter of Your Arms
Wanda Jackson-Shakin' All Over
The Black Keys-Tighten Up
Sonic Youth-Sugar Kane
Commerce-Need Heart Rate
The Byrds-My Back Pages
John Lennon-Nobody Told Me
Cut Copy-Take Me Over
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion-Do You Wanna Get Heavy?
French Soler-Demons (Alan Wilkis remix)
Funkadelic-Cosmic Slop
Holy Fuck-Red Lights
Crystal Castles vs. HEATH-Crimewave
Santogold-You'll Find a Way (remix)
Kid Sister-54321
Goldfrapp-Ooh La La
Stevie Wonder-He's Misstra Know-it-All

Monday, March 28, 2011

"You might think I'm crazy, but I'm serious."

If I look that good in a skin-tight bodysuit when I'm 44, life will be grand.

It's been a while since I've done any sort of writeup for a show. In fact, it appears that the last show I blogged about was when I saw The Ravonettes in October of 2009. Rest assured, there have been shows in the interim - Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Yeasayer, Beach House, Lady Gaga, Crystal Castles, Hall and Oates, and probably a few others that I can't recall at the moment. This is all to say that I've been a bad music blogger. So I'm here to remedy with a report on this weekend's Janet Jackson show at the Borgata in Atlantic City.

The Borgata Events Center is shockingly small. I expected an intimate venue, but we're talking about 2,000 seats, maybe less. That being the case, I imagine that there wasn't a bad seat in the house, but the 14th row was still a good place to be (albeit not in the center section). In reality, it could have been General Admission on the floor, but I digress.

At each show on this tour, Janet dedicates a song to that city. This seems to me a simple way of giving something distinctive to each performance, though I wonder what real value the gesture has. What this amounted to was being teased with the video for "The Pleasure Principle" just prior to Janet taking the stage.

Then the band launched into their live rendition of the track, one of my favorites from 1986's Control LP.

After that, it was pretty much hit after hit, which was to be expected given that the tour is promoting her Number Ones collection (I pointed out the punctuation error while we waited for the show to start). I can't find a full setlist but they were pretty much all there - "Control," "Miss You Much," "If," "That's the Way Love Goes," "What Have You Done for Me Lately," "Nasty," "Rhythm Nation," "Escapade," "Together Again," ""You Want This," "Alright," "Love Will Never Do (Without You)," and more that I can't remember. There was even a bit of "Scream." Good stuff. There was also a nice little segment of ballads including "Come Back to Me," "Let's Wait Awhile" and "Again," the latter of which never fails to remind me of eighth grade dances. The only jams I really wanted to hear but were absent were "Black Cat" and "Go Deep." Alas and alack (though they have popped up on other dates).

At these pop shows, I'm always critical of lip syncing. It was one of the things that most bothered me about the Lady Gaga show, though it was expected. I watched and listened closely to Miss Jackson ('cause I'm nasty), and had a difficult time distinguishing whether or not she was singing live. These leads me to believe that either a) she was singing live or b) is adept at masking the fact that she's lip syncing. My guess is that ultimately, it was a mix of both.

While some of her dancing duties were relegated to the troupe of backup dancers she had on stage, Janet really brought it at key moments with the iconic moves from her signature videos ("Miss You Much," "Rhythm Nation," "If," for example). I was a little saddened that "Miss You Much" was done sans chair routine, though.

In short, it was a great show, well worth the ticket and the trip.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 3/28

New York Dolls-Fool For You Baby
Iggy & The Stooges-Gimme Danger
Gogol Bordello-Wanderlust King
The Dead Kennedys-Let's Lynch the Landlord
British Sea Power-Stunde Null
Low Anthem-Smart Flesh
Billy Bragg-A New England
The Decembrists-Rox in the Box
Camera Obscura-My Maudlin Career
Sia-Clap Your Hands
Lily Allen-LDN
Dresden Dolls-Coin Operated Boy
Roxy Music-If There is Something
Rush-Spirit of Radio (request)
The Soft Pack-Down on Lovin'
Dirty Projectors-Stillness is the Move
MGMT-Electric Feel (immuzikation remix)
Groove Armada-Paper Romance
Rainbow Arabia-Without You
Fever Ray-If I Had a Heart
New Young Pony Club-The Get Go
Jamie Lidell-When I Come Back Around
Four Tet-Angel Echoes

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"We Don't Get No Sleep: A Janet Mix"

This weekend, my sis and I are heading to Atlantic City to see Janet Jackson. While I should have seen her on The Velvet Rope tour and recently drooled over the setlist for the Rhythm Nation tour, I'm still way excited. Doubly so, as she's playing smaller venues, which will be groovy.

Anyhow, after a few St. Patty's cocktails, my sister implored me to make a Janet mix for the drive. Never one to turn down the opportunity for a good mix, I got to work a few days later, and this is what I came up with.

It's 90 minutes. Maybe that's breaking some sort of commandment of mixmaking, but I couldn't get it down to 80. And you know what? Back in the day we always made 90 minute mixes, because that was the standard cassette length. So there.

It's a legit, continuous mix. Her early albums haven't been remastered (to my knowledge), and I wanted to include some of those iconic segues, which often meant mixing the album segues with the Design of a Decade remastered tracks.

Nothing from her last few records, simply because I'm not that familiar with them. The last album I bought was All for You, and the last album that knocked my socks off was The Velvet Rope. And while there are some more mid-tempo tracks, there are no slow jams. Not that Miss Jackson doesn't make some sexy slow jams, but I viewed this as a dance mix of sorts.

There are also a few mixing flourishes that I'm kind of proud of. Most importantly, I tried to vary it up a bit and include some alternate mixes.

Enough blathering. Here's what I came up with:

Control intro
Let's Dance (segue)
Miss You Much (Mama Mix)
All for You
Say You Do
What Have You Done for Me Lately
Black Cat
Go Deep
That's the Way Love Goes
Someone to Call My Lover
Together Again
Pleasure Principle (Ultimix)
Rhythm Nation
Escapade (Got it Made 7" mix)
Alright (12" R+B Mix feat. Heavy D)
When I Think of You (remix)

P-Funk Hall of Fame, 1997

As an institution, I think the Hall of Fame is bullshit, but those ceremonies do produce some interesting moments.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


"Hurry up and bring my space bass. I got to hurry up and play before I come on myself."

It's also worth noting that Bootzilla will be on Jimmy Fallon tonight. Bootsy jammin' with The Roots? Oh lawd....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 3/20

Arctic Monkeys-Brick by Brick
Grinderman-Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man
The Raconteurs-Broken Boy Soldiers
New Shouts-Kiss 4 Fun
The Easybeats-Friday on My Mind
Clinic-I'm Aware
Eric McKeown-Cinematic
Jessie Lee Mayfield-Grown Man
Koop-Koop Island Blues
Bird and the Bee-Again and Again (request)
The Brutes-yourspace
Lightspeed Champion-Marlene
XTC-Paper and Iron
Beach House-Used to Be
Pains of Being Pure at Heart-Heart in Your Heartbreak
Fleet Foxes-Tiger Mountain Peasant Song
Danielson-Grow Up
Soul Coughing-Casiotone Nation
Rufus Thomas-Do the Funky Chicken
Dr. Octagon-Earth People
El Michaels Affair-Bring the Ruckus
The Roots-Walk Alone
Anarobik-Is it Real?
Annie-Hey Annie

The Wisdom of Kool Keith

I finally received Kool Keith: Global Enlightenment Part I from Netflix. It's too damn short (35 min), but it's a stellar trio of interviews with Kool Keith - a sort of "day in the life" kind of document. At any rate, I promptly ordered a copy of the dvd for $1 via Amazon Marketplace. It has gems and life advice such as the 98 Year Old Fridgerator:

Kool Keith had a great run of albums in the late '90s, both under the Kool Keith name and a series of other monikers that he wove into a complex and ongoing storyline (Dr. Octagon, Dr. Doom, Black Elvis, etc.). Matthew was the last Kool Keith record that I really enjoyed. He resurrected Drs. Doom and Octagon in the last decade, but it seemed a little desperate to be honest.

For the funk of it, here's one of my favorites from the Black Elvis LP:

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Go Deep"

Absurdly underrated latter-day Janet jam, from her last great album (The Velvet Rope).

And for the hell of it, a nice mash with 2Pac:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 3/13

Spoon-The Way We Get By
Belle & Sebastian-Come On Sister
Elvis Costello and the Attractions-High Fidelity
The Decemberists-Don't Carry it All
British Sea Power-Living is So Easy
Rolling Stones-No Expectations
She & Him-This is Not a Test
Spinal Tap-Big Bottom (request)
Kiss-Do You Love Me?
Thin Lizzy-Jailbreak
The Misfits-Some Kind of Hate
Lykke Li-Youth Knows No Pain
The National-Bloodbuzz Ohio
Puro Instinct-Stillyagi
Steely Dan-Bably0n Sisters (request)
Tapes n' Tapes
Surfer Blood-Harmonik
Love is All-Wishing Well
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists-Ballad of Sin Eater
Rainbow Arabia-Without You
Cut Copy-Take Me Over
The Police-Man in a Suitcase
Men at Work-Underground
Prince and the Revolution-New Position (request)
Aceyalone-The Lonely Ones
Sleigh Bells-Rachel

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 3/6

pre-recorded this week, featuring 5 very long songs.

Frank Zappa-The Adventures of Gregory Peccary
Negativland-Helter Stupid
Morton Subotnik-Silver Apples of the Moon
The Blue Up?-h. sidakr of loops
Mogwai-The Singing Mountain

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 2/27

T. Rex-Jeepster
Wanda Jackson-Nervous Breakdown
The Detroit Cobras-My Baby Loves a Secret Agent
Clinic-Milk and Honey
Twin Sister-Lady Daydream
Sonnymoon-Soft Shoulders
The Beatles-It's Only a Northern Song
Deerhoof-The Merry Barracks
Florence + the Machine-Dog Days Are Over
Prince and the Revolution-Mountains (12" mix)
A Sunny Day in Glasgow-Fall in Love
Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith-Not in Love (request!)
Siouxsie and the Banshees-Dazzle
Twin Shadow-Shooting Holes at the Moon
Ween-The Stallion pt. 3
The Ting Tings-That's Not My Name
Nancy Sinatra-Bang, Bang
The Doors-Queen of the Highway
Tapes n' Tapes-Desert Plane
Faith No More-Last Cup of Sorrow
Mazzy Star-Fade into You
Portishead-Only You (live)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bang Bang

No really, I'm trying to be productive on a Friday night. But in doing so, I was listening to Nancy Sinatra's classic How Does That Grab You? LP, which ends with this favorite, put to good use in Kill Bill.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just because.

Poor video quality (due to the rip; this looks to be from the proshot Parade warmup gig at First Ave.), but what the hell. Still a jam.

Between the sudden urge to hear/see this and Pete's post about the excellent Makings of Rain dvd, I think it's time for me to dust off those Prince bootlegs.

Chromeo turns Conan into a Hot Mess

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 2/20

The Raveonettes-Aly, Walk with Me
Bright Eyes-Firewall
Mogwai-Mexican Grand Prix
LCD Soundsystem-I Can Change
Cut Copy-I Need You
Midnight Oil-Put Down that Weapon
Jessie Lea Mayfield-Blue Skies Again
Bird and the Bee-Polite Dance Song
Ducktails-The Razor's Edge
Thought Gang-A Real Indication
Was (Not Was)-I'm in Jail
Cee-Lo Green-Bright Lights, Bigger City
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti-Can't Hear My Eyes
Gary Numan/Tubeway Army-Are Friends Electric?
Time Hecker-The Piano Drop
Gap Band-I Don't Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops)
NWA-Express Yourself

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

breakin' up is hard to do

Hot on the heels of the White Stripes' recent breakup, indie dance crew LCD Soundsystem is also about to hang it up. After only three albums, it's a little sad to see them go. But kudos to James Murphy for going out on a high note. Last year's This is Happening was one of my favorite discs of 2010, and retains its replay value after nearly a year of incessant playing. I'd like to catch the last run of shows in NYC (a series at Terminal 5, leading up to the grand finale at MSG), but I doubt I'll make it. Alas.

Murphy and co. stopped by the Colbert Report recently to chat and perform one of This is Happening's standout tracks, "I Can Change."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gonzo on the Air, 2/13

Stone Roses-She Bangs all the Drums
Dinosaur Jr.-Out There
Grinderman-Heathen Child
Johnny Cash-Rusty Cage
My Bloody Valentine-Loomer (request)
Phantogram-Bloody Palms
Cage the Elephant-Right Before My Eyes
Paul Westerberg-Things
Iron & Wine-Free by the River
Tame Impala-It's Not Meant to Be
Patti Smith-Gloria
The Damned-New Rose
David Bowie-Oh! You Pretty Things
Cut Copy-Take Me Over
YACHT-Psychic City/Voodoo City
Sly and the Family Stone-Loose Booty
France Joli-Gonna Get Over You
Moloko-Party Weirdo
Yoko Ono-You're the One (Bimbo Jones remix)
Brian Eno-2 Forms of Anger
Autechre-Acroyear 2

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Fade into You"

There are two possible scenarios when I go the used cd store. 1) I have a list of specific titles to seek out; 2) I randomly poke around to find some treasures. I've noticed that each of these scenarios shapes what I walk out of the store with. In scenario 1, it tends to be more recent items. In scenario 2, I end up filling gaps in my collection. My most recent trip was the latter.

Among those discs that I should already have owned is Mazzy Star's breakthrough, So Tonight That I Might See. I always loved "Fade Into You" (their biggest hit, topping out at #44), and my college roommate hipped me to the rest of the album. At any rate, I finally got around to rectifying this album's absence in my collection.

"Fade Into You" is a sublimely beautiful song, undoubtedly one of my favorite singles of the 1990s. It also is one of those tunes that very quickly gets the memory machine churning out all of the personal and temporal associations you might have with the song. The album as a whole is quite good, and holds up very well in 2011. It was also the perfect aural driving companion on a rainy, gray Monday following a Super Bowl loss.

There were two versions of the video. Watching the black and white clip, my thought was "this is the one that I remember." Watching the color clip, I thought "Wait, I remember this one too." Hypothesis: both were in rotation on MTV that year, or at least on 120 Minutes.

And for good measure, here is a performance from 120 Minutes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So long, White Stripes.

As announced via the band's official website, The White Stripes are calling it quits. I don't find this new particularly surprising, and although they're one of my favorite bands of the last decade, I'm kind of glad they broke up before allowing the quality of their material to deteriorate. Get while the gettin's good, as they say. Plus, it's become increasingly clear that while the White Stripes were once Jack White's primary musical outlet, the band has in essence become a side project, or one of many side projects (the Dead Weather, the Raconteurs, the production work, the Third Man label/shop, etc.). As much as I love the White Stripes, in a way it seems like Jack is at the top of his game when his hands are in various creative pots. At the very least, it's a more interesting situation.

I admittedly came to the White Stripes party a little bit late. It wasn't until my time in Iowa that I got heavily into their music. Ergo, that time and place in my life will probably be my dominant memory association with their music. At any rate, I think it was my growing interest in garage rock (and devouring the Directors' Label Series of video compilations)that led me to look beyond the White Stripes' singles, digging into their first three albums in late 2004. The following summer they released what I still argue is their best album Get Behind Me Satan. Man, I listened to that album at least twice a day every day in the summer of 2005. I was even more stoked when I secured tickets to see them in action at Minneapolis' Orpheum Theater that fall. I remember being incredibly impressed by (mainly Jack's) ability to utilize effects and playing style to make up for the obvious lack of overdubs - and it worked.

I'm sure Jack White will continue to not sleep and compete with ?uestlove for busiest man in the music business, and I'm sure his work will continue to be interesting. End of an era for sure, though!

Someday the band will inevitably release a compilation of music videos, and they've had some great ones. Here's one of my favorites:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 1/30

The B-52s-Planet Claire
Candie Payne-I Wish I Could Have Loved You More
Wanda Jackson-You Know I'm No Good
Iron and Wine-Me and Lazarus
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros-40 Day Dream
David Lowery-Raise Up On Honey
Buffalo Springfield-Expecting to Fly
Simon and Garfunkel-America
Bat for Lashes-What's a Girl to Do
Yeasayer-Madder Red
Miike Snow-Burial
aTelecine-It's All Write
Throbbing Gristle-Convincing People
Coil-Tainted Love
Elastica-Line Up
Sleigh Bells-Rill Rill
Duran Duran-New Moon on Monday
Cee-Lo Green-Bright Lights, Bigger City
Thomas Dolby-Airwaves

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 1/23

Wiz Khalifa-Black and Yellow
Brazilian Girls-Jique
Twin Shadow-Tyrant Destroyed
Daft Punk-Armory
Robyn Hitchcock-So You Think You're In Love
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart-The Contender
New Shouts-Save Me
Belle & Sebastian-I Want the World to Stop
Tapes n' Tapes-One in the World
Loretta Lynn-Have Mercy
Ani Difranco-What How When Where (Why How)
Delorean-Real Love
Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith-Not in Love
Scissor Sisters-Kiss You Off
Chromeo-When the Night Falls
Dam Funk-Mirrors
ElectricType-Watt is it to Love Someone
Indeep-Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
Herbie Hancock-Rockit
Run DMC-Peter Piper
LL Cool J-Big Ole Butt
Sheila E-Holly Rock

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No Doubt salutes Macca

Their take on "All My Loving" is particularly tasty. As is Gwen, but hey - par for course.

These types of events always seem so incredibly awkward for the person being honored.

J'ai Claque La Porte

This song has become one of my favorites off of Chromeo's Business Casual LP from last year, and I just stumbled across an excellent stripped down version from a CBC broadcast:

And for good measure, here's the original:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 1/17

All soul show to round out the semester break:

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles-Mickey's Monkey
Otis Redding-Shake!
Wilson Pickett-Ninety Nine and a Half Just Won't Do
Percy Wiggins-It Didn't Take Much for Me
The Impressions-You Must Believe Me
Jay and the Techniques-Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie
The Shirelles-Sha La La
Martha and the Vandellas-Jimmy Mack
Bob and Earl-The Harlem Shuffle
Ray Charles-Don't You Know
The Delfonics-Trying to Make a Fool of Me
Aretha Franklin-Ain't No Way
Jimmy Radcliffe-Long After Tonight is Over
Sam Cooke-Good Times
The Staples Singers-Respect Yourself
The Velvettes-He Was Really Saying Something
Joe Tex-You Said a Bad Word
Clarence 'Frogman' Henry-I Ain't Got a Home
Chairmen of the Board-Give Me Just a Little More Time
Marvin Gaye-Wonderful One
The Stylistics-Betcha By Golly Wow!
Roberta Flack-To Love Somebody
Isaac Hayes-Soulsville
Jackson 5-2, 4, 6, 8
Shirley Ellis-The Hand Clapping Song
Troy Sams and the Lala Wilson Band-A Thousand Miles Apart
The Parliaments-Look at What I Almost Missed
Sam and Dave-You Got Me Hummin'
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings-The Dap Dip
Al Green-Love and Happiness
James Brown-Ain't That a Groove
Jo Ann Garrett-Goin' Man Huntin'
Stevie Wonder-Heaven Help Us All

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gonzo Reviews Michael Jackson's "Vision"

For years, I've bemoaned something that Prince, MJ and Madonna all have in common: Each has at least one video collection on the market, but none of the 1980s triple crown of pop has a definitive collection. That tide appears to be shifting. While it's still not "complete," Madonna's 2009 collection Celebration is a fairly comprehensive 2 dvd set covering 1983-2009 (still no "Gambler?" For shame). Prince's incredibly slim The Hits Video Collection remains his only career-spanning collection, and lacks many of the Purple One's promo films (too many to bother listing).

And then there's Michael Jackson. The artist who rather early on redefined music video as an art form and MTV as a cultural force. 1992's HIStory collection gathered the hits, some in truncated form (on the VHS release anyway). The companion volume repeated some of the hits from volume 1, along with videos from the HIStory album. 2001's Number Ones DVD rehashes the big hits, most in their edited forms.

So despite it being an obvious effort to cash in on posthumous Michael Mania, I was excited to get wind of Vision, a 3-DVD career spanning set of MJ's videos in original, unedited form.

The set chronicles Michael's career as a visual artist from Off the Wall through Invincible. And to have the full-length, unedited versions is a treat, as I hadn't seen many of these since their original MTV premieres. The 18+ minute version of "Bad," for example. Or the 9+ minute cut of "The Way You Make Me Feel." Or the 9+ minute version of "Smooth Criminal."

There is one censored cut, however. While the full 11 minutes of "Black or White" is here (zipper pulling, crotch grabbing, Simpsons' outro and all!), it is not the originally aired version, which included some graffiti-ed racial slurs in the dance segment. I believe that version is still available on Dangerous: The Short Films, however, so chalk one up for cashing in on those with completest tendencies (moi?).

It's also great to see the lesser known cuts, like "Another Part of Me," "Liberian Girl," "Give in to Me" and "They Don't Care About Us." It seems they were really going for a definitive collection here.

So much so that the bonus disc includes 7 videos that don't strictly fall under the banner of Michael Jackson - "Enjoy Yourself," "Blame it on the Boogie" and "Can You Feel It" (all by the post-Motown Jacksons), "Say Say Say" (the so-cheesy-it's-good duet with Sir Paul), Spike Lee's alternate "prison" cut of "They Don't Care About Us," "Why" (with nephews 3T, though none of them are Jermajesty) and the previously unreleased "One More Chance."

It wasn't until this bonus disc that I recalled a few cuts that are in fact absent. If we're talking Jacksons videos, absent here is "Torture" (which is in fact, a pretty torturous cut) and "2300 Jackson Street." If I recall my Pop-Up Video correctly, MJ didn't actually appear in the "Torture" clip, but they borrowed a wax figure from Madame Tusseaud's (!). Wikipedia also claims video clips for "Dreamer," "Goin' Places," "Even Though You're Gone," "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" and "Body," though this is all news to me. My guess is most of these were clips from Bandstand and the like that aired on outlets like The Box.

Oh wow...there is definitely a video for "Body!" (Though again, no MJ.)

Thank god for YouTube. And of course, I had to check all of the others. There is a video for "Dreamer" [embedding disabled by request. BOOOOOO]

"Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" -

"Even Though You're Gone" -

"Goin' Places" -

Of course, some of these may actually be pulled from the Jacksons Variety Show.

Despite the absence of some of the Jacksons cuts, the collection is quite comprehensive (though I believe the video for "Gone Too Soon" is different than what I remembered).

It's a good thing that I bought this set over a semester break, because I ended up watching the bulk of it in one sitting. It does suck you in, particularly on the first disc. Sure, there's a dropoff point on disc 2, but if even the lesser videos weren't included, people like me would be quick to point out the omissions.

All told, this is the Michael Jackson video collection we've been waiting for. Given that it only touts 7 cuts, the bonus disc could have been padded with a number of other clips (the aforementioned Jacksons material, "We Are the World," etc.") But I'm splitting hairs here. Vision may be a bit of a rush job, but as the estate floods the market, this is one of the items that most fans actually want.

The sad thing is, I don't think we'll see anything like this from Prince until he dies, but that's another story altogether.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gonzo Review Michael Jackson: The Experience

In the late 1980s, I pumped a lot of quarters into Moonwalker at the local arcade. You got to dance, hear midi-versions of MJ hits, turn into a robot and even Bubbles was in the game!
It was the one regret I had about choosing a Super Nintendo over Sega Genesis (although, I felt vindicated years later when I learned the Genesis version paled to the arcade game).

When Michael Jackson: The Experience was announced, I was both excited and skeptical. But as gameplay videos began to leak out in the fall, I knew I'd have to get it sooner or later. The game has met with mixed reviews. Personally, I think it's a hoot. Following on-screen guides, you use your Wii-mote to replicate MJ's on-screen moves. Greater accuracy garners higher point values. It's a great party game (especially after a few beverages), and you will work up a sweat. All tracks are the original masters, although a couple are edited for length.

I will say that the track collection could have been stronger. The most iconic cuts are here, but there are also a few very questionable choices. For example, "The Girl is Mine:"

Other headscratchers include "Dirty Diana," "Heal the World," "Will You Be There" and "Money." For a dance game based on an artist known for high octane pop, these ballads are neither challenging nor particularly interesting to play. I would gladly have foresaken these cuts for "Jam," "PYT" or "Scream," all of which are excluded from the game. The upcoming PS3/XBox versions will have two extra cuts however. The equally pointless "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" and "Blood on the Dance Floor," which could be interesting.

Ballads aside, the game is a blast. One edge the Wii version has over the PS3/Xbox versions (at least from the press material I've seen) is that the Wii game puts you inside of the iconic videos for MJ's hits, while the other versions put players on a concert stage. For an artist whose popularity rests largely on music video innovation, it seems odd to forgo drawing on that familiar imagery.

On the other hand, the Xbox version is likely to have the best control. I haven't used a Kinnect, but the with one hand held Wii-mote as your only measure of movement, you can bs the moves if you really care to. Hell, you could stand still and simply move your hand in the appropriate directions and get the points (similar to the vocal in Rock Band being based on pitch and rhythm rather than actual phonetics). But that defeats the purpose, no? Might as well go all out and burn a few calories.

In sum, the song collection could be better, but other than that, I think that most Michael Jackson fans will enjoy the game, and that cocktails will be spilt on many a living room rug as players dance the night away.

Up next: review of the Michael Jackson's Vision dvd box.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 1/9

The Creation-Making Time
Flash and the Casuals-Uptight Tonight
The Starlites-Everybody Needs Somebody
Gore Gore Girls-Astral Man
The Sonics-Do You Love Me
The Time Stoppers-I Need Love
The Eyes-I'm Rowed Out
Them-Half as Much
The Yo-Yo's-Leaning on You
Pink Floyd-See Emily Play
The Count Five-Psychotic Reaction
The Mourning Reign-Evil-Hearted You
The Detroit Cobras-Cha Cha Twist
The Brogues-I Ain't No Miracle Worker
The Animals-Baby Let Me Take You Home
The Monks-Oh How to Do Now
The Kinks-Louie Louie
The Chesterfield Kings-Baby Doll
The Fleshtones-The Girl from Baltimore
The Action-I'll Keep on Holding on
Dave Clark Five-Any Way You Want It
The Rolling Stones-I Wanna Be Your Man
The Balloon Farm-A Question of Temperature
Yankee Rebels-Hey Girl
Paul Revere & the Raiders-Kicks
Love-Seven and Seven Is
The Pretty Things-Rosalyn
The Swamp Rats-It's Not Easy
Davy Jones and the Lower Third-You've Got a Habit of Leaving
Lyres-Don't Give it Up Now
The Who-Lies
Les Fleur de Lys-Circles
The Standells-Dirty Water
The Nerves-One Way Ticket
The Golliwogs-Fight Fire
The Strangeloves-I Want Candy

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 1/2

Still on a Fela Kuti kick coming off of seeing Fela! The Musical a few nights ago. Ergo, this week was devoted entirely to Fela.

Monkey Banana
Sorrow, Tears and Blood
Water No Get Enemy
Fear Not for Man
2000 Blacks Got to be Free (w/ Roy Ayers)
Authority Stealing

Check out the Fela reissues from Knitting Factory Records