music for you

NEW! Annie Hayden - THE RUB

Beat Happening | Beck | Built to Spill | William Burroughs | Gang of Four | Halo-Benders | KRS-ONE | The Ladybug Transistor | Timothy Leary | Pavement | Spent | Uz Jsme Doma

Tin-eared, graph paper-brained accountants instead of music fans
call all the shots at giant record companies now,
the lowest common denominator rules.
Forget honesty, forget creativity,
the dumbest buy the mostest, that's the name of the game.
But sales are slumping, and no one will say why.
Could it be they put out one too many lousy records?

Dead Kennedys
"MTV - Get Off the Air"

What are you sayin', what are are you playin',
who you obeyin' day after day?
"Baby, baby, baby, baby..."—that stuff is drivin' me crazy.
DJs communicate to the masses, sex and violence classes,
Now our children grow up prisoners,
All their life radio-listenin'

"Radio Song"

Can't find nothin' on the radio? Tired of heavy rotation fluff marketed down your throat? Don't despair, there's still plenty of genuine music being put out by real artists who despite this age of sell-outs and cookie-cutter bands manufactured surely as widgets remain true to their vision and manage to share it. Follow cover art links for complete discographies and audio samples at, cos any purchase you make there helps keep me and my ode to obsessive/compulsive behavior website alive.



This is one of those rare albums which changes the way you think about music. This is music that is so simple and assured it convinces you you could do it. So maybe you try it in the shower, or some other time when you think no one can hear, like maybe when you're driving and you think everybody else will think you're singing along with the radio. But the words and tune are all yours, wrung from the inside out and you're smiling because you realize there's no making but only revealing what is already there and has been in you since before you started remembering. Calvin Johnson has such a natural voice he convinces you of yours. He is also friends with Beck, Doug Martsch of Built to Spill, and many others too numerous to name.



This is the Beck most have not heard. Beck as his friends know him. Acoustic guitar in otherwise silent landscapes: the bed of a cinderblocked truck, a california viaduct, a fallen log. Here he proves he is the campfire guy who always gets the girls, the buddha child who has seen more of life since breakfast than most will see before they die. Please don't die without first hearing this record; it could prepare you for the afterlife. Recorded by Calvin. 


there's nothing wrong with love

Has there ever come a time in your life when a record has been your last tenuous handle on sanity? The first time for me was puberty when the Dead Kennedys' Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables got me through high school. Another episode saw There's Nothing Wrong with Love as my savior. Songs about sonograms, popping off, waking up, breaking up and faking it. Better than Cats.


"Word begets image
and image is virus."

The Elvis of Letters

"I got all the images any hick poet ever shit out," Burroughs drawls on track 3 of 4 on this slick black-packaged ep. And it's true, like Henry Miller, Burroughs never sat down to write "a poem," but his brand of psychic journalism is often poetic, as a variety of esteemed musicians (Kurt Cobain and the NBC Symphony Orchestra among them) who have set Burroughs' voice to music have heard. Here, Van Sant runs samples of Burroughs' powerful yet delicately inflected voice through the wringer, wedding aural cut-ups to elevator-smooth rhythms. I reviewed this b/c I wanted to hear something with techno overtones, but the best Burroughs album remains Spare-Ass Annie and Other Tales, his collaboration with the Disposable Heroes of HipHoprisy who realize (i.e., make real) the rap rhythms embedded in Burroughs' words. THAT is the Burroughs album to have, though The Elvis of Letters is a good way to burn 16:38.

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See the girl
on the TV
dressed in a Bikini

She doesn't think so
but she's dressed
for the H-bomb


Many of you out there no doubt recall dancing to "I Love A Man In Uniform" in some suburban nightclub after having downed a few in the parking lot, but that and subsequent Gang of Fours is not the Gang of Four I'm talking about here. This is the Gang of Four that said more in ten songs...Actually, they said it ALL in ten songs. It's the first rock album of a generation that was raised by television. Like any adults, Dave Allen, Hugo Burnham, Andy Gill, and Jon King turn and curse their parent: "You made me what I am--how could you!" The lp sleeve looks like a page from War and Peace in the Global Village, wrapping ironic captions around pictures of TV (collective plural) with completely legible lyrics on the other side, including the underlayed anti-lovesong manifesto that ends the album on the dual-channeled "Anthrax." This is the music that begat slam-dancing. It seeks to touch a raw nerve but admits that all real feeling has been completely insulated by Post-Industrial civilization. It's the album that would make me want to go out and do something if I weren't too busy with my screen. It's the best album ever. Better than the fab four: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. (WARNING! The CD rerelease contains four "bonus" tracks. So as not to besmirch the original, program your CD player to stop after Track 10.)


God Don't Make No Junk

The rubberstamp lettering of this album's sleeve is reminiscent of Beck's One Foot In The Grave, which isn't too surprising because Beat  Happening's Calvin Johnson is behind this project as well, this time in tandem with hip songster Doug Martsch of Built to Spill. Buy this CD if only for "Don't Touch My Bikini," a rollicking rockin' rap with a cartoonish broing! sample that has to be one of the great tunes of all time. The cover alone, with its twisted-halo infinity symbol insignia and hypnotic design, makes GDMNJ a  worthy  addition to any music collection. 


Return of the Boom Bap

One of the major poets of "The American Century" gets back to basics in his first post-BDP solo project. The acronym's his old graffiti tag: Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone. Among knowledge-givers he is very nearly supreme. His poetry is everything Ginsberg and Kerouac wanted theirs to be--hip, relevant, and boomin'.


Beverley Atonale

The Ladybug Transistor doesn't list any instruments on this 1997 release, because all the sounds are made of magic. You might hesitate to believe that real people are behind this record whose mesmerizing first track sounds like toys, but once Gary's almost subsonic vocals kick in, you'll know you're in the company of adults. Whether rocking you with grinding guitars or teasing you with barely audible found sounds, Beverley always wraps you in her loving arms.   --Molly Rouzie

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see pictures from Knitting Factory, feb98


You Can Be Anyone This Time Around

The Book of the Month Club billed this as "The musical equivalent of a full-blown LSD trip." That might be stretching it a bit, but then again, what exactly is an acid trip? This is Timothy Leary's elucidation of what was to be his 1968 CA gubernatorial campaign platform until then-guv Ronald Reagan had him imprisoned for marijuana possession, thereby nullifying Leary's eligibility for the candidacy. This record is what happens when one of the best minds of a generation gets together with Stephen Stills, Buddy Miles, and Jimi Hendrix (on bass!) for a little 21st century philosophy utilizing the cut and splice technology pioneered by the Beatles. The title track might just be the first example of wholesale sampling, incorporating bites of Allen Ginsberg, John Lennon, Indian cowmaid music and more. (Incidentally, I saw Leary speak in 1988. Armani suit and running shoes, he covered the whole stage, all wound up about the coming wave--that was my introduction to the Internet.)

read an interesting review of Timothy Leary's Dead


Slanted and Enchanted

Pavement albums are like Kurt Vonnegut books--they're all good but my favorite is invariably the one I've got open at the moment. Some people claim that Pavement has "a sound." I don't hear it. Each song is so dadblamed unique that I put one ("Black Out" from Wowee Zowee) back-to-back with itself on a mix tape and they still didn't sound alike. And like a Vonnegut book, each song reveals more each time you hear it; the song might remain the same but your ears are forever changed. You can't go wrong with Pavement, and they know it.


Songs of Drinking and Rebellion

Sensitive Jersey City quartet was a paragon of cooperation with bandmates sharing song-writing duties and switching instruments in concert to provide a shifting soundscape in which the common roots of their friendship could be discerned. All the rockin' rhythms of the cradle and sunshine in your eyes. Santa Claus to the Rescue makes you feel. Brewster Station reminds me. I'm transported outside every time I hear this album, the front door of my mind flung open, the screen door of my heart torn.

read more about Spent at Merge Record's website
lyrics from A Seat Beneath the Chairs


unloved world - nemilovany svet

Uz Jsme Doma (oosh smeh doe ma) means "we're there!," a reference to how the decision to form a band in then-Czechoslovakia in 1985 made the band itself a foregone conclusion. The line-up has changed over the years but the poet Miroslav Wanek has managed to keep consistently devoted musicians in his orbit through UJD's 700+ performances. One of the most inventive ensembles on this planet, they create incredible aural concoctions using guitars, keys, sax, bass and drums. Hearing is believing and even then you might not feel yourself deserving of such a gift. Influenced by jazz, beat, ska, punk, and Czech drinking water, this album  contains  variations of each song, with the parts sung in Czech and English  switched-out in complementary cuts.

Write for more info:
or visit an official UJD page

Have you seen the
Picture of the Day?