Thursday, January 31, 2008

classick viddyo: 1982 Detroit Dance Party

People Don't Dance No More

Instead of Souljaboy and his oh-so-lame choreographed dance moves, we need to be exposing our youth to real videos, like the one above. In this circa 1982 clip from the Detroit-based show The Scene, couples work their way through the dance gauntlet while strutting their funkiest moves to the classic beat "I'm Ready" by Kano. "I'm Ready" is one of my all-time favorite disco/funk cuts, and was heavily sampled by the middle shool dance anthem "Whoomp! There It Is" by Tag Team. But for some reason, I don't remember my middle school dances being nearly as funky as The Scene.

Monday, January 28, 2008

we saw: Vampire Weekend

"Who Gives A Fuck About An Oxford Comma?

...5 minutes ago.

Sent via iPhone


So, yes, we saw Vampire Weekend play a CD release show at the Virgin Mega-Store in Union Square last night. Yes, it was alot of fun and the kidz were out in droves. Needless to say, the hype is off the charts and everyone I know seems to be humming "Oxford Comma." While the short set made up of VW staples like "Mansard Roof", "A-Punk", "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa", the aforementioned "Oxford Comma" and new jam "M-79", was fun and had Union Square grooving, we couldn't help but register the absurd amount of hype the evening seemed fueled by. Fortunately, VW stands the test of time, as I'm in month 7 or 8 of shacking up with the Blue Cd-R and the songs are still fresh. Maybe not heady, organic fresh anymore, but still fresh. Pretty soon your parents will be jamming out to "CCKK" on the morning commute. Which raises a good question, should Feist be worried?

we saw: MGMT

"Baby Girl, Shock Me Like An Electric Eel"

Although we won't be attending February's sold-out Yeasayer/MGMT double bill, we were lucky enough to catch a secret MGMT show last week at The Mercury Lounge thanks to Other Music and a heads-up from McG.

Despite pre-show problems with one of their keyboards (they ended up having a brand new one brought in; the perks of being on a major label) the set began at 10:45 and lasted only an hour, just long enough for our minds to be blown.

Their set covered most of their debut album, Oracular Spectacular, with the exception of 'Youth' and 'Kids.' Highlights included '4th Dimensional Transitional,' 'Of Moons, Birds & Monsters,' and a killer 'Electric Feel.' They also played a few tracks unknown to us, either from their debut EP or possibly b-sides. Overall MGMT was able to harness the strengths from their infectious debut and build on them until the whole place was gripping their proverbial seats, begging for more.

Next time MGMT comes to your there.

Below: MGMT's funkiest number, 'Electric Feel' [off 2008's Oracular Spectacular]:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

sunday brunch: The Tony-B Machine

Make Your Own Techno

Bored at work? Want to create some techno music to kill time? Then check out the Tony-B Machine, a highly interactive loop station that is controlled by your computer keyboard. With Tony-B, you can adjust bass, drums, and synth levels; modify the key of the given track; and even record your work so that you too can feel like the hottest European techno producer while slaving away for the man.

Tony-B Machine

Friday, January 25, 2008

lost & found: Pacific Ocean Blue

"Let It Shine On You"

I've been a major proponent of reissueing Dennis Wilson's out-of-print classic Pacific Ocean Blue since it found it's way into my psyche a few years ago. Lately I've been yearning for more than my digital copy which I found on the royal pink OINK. While OINK was totally illegal, it's celebrated archives were so vast that it made it near essential for music obsessives scouring for obscure tracks and forgotten gems. If it weren't for OINK I never would have found Pacific Ocean Blue.

Dennis' first solo effort, the first by any Beach Boy, is a golden slice of '70s Angelino extravagance. Released in 1977, the record plays well alongside the Beach Boy's Holland and Fleetwood Mac's self-titled. This makes sense as Dennis had a long, tumultuous love affair with Fleetwood songstress Christine McVie. A sailor at heart, Pacific Ocean Blue invokes Wilson's love of the sea in song and in tone. Ironically, Dennis hated Pacific Ocean Blue, claiming it had no substance.

Besides making music, Dennis led a rather bizarre existence.Full of heart and love, Dennis's vulnerability often got the best of him. His innocence is what solidified his relationship to Charles Manson, who frequently stayed at Wilson's home. The two also played music together. Charlies really wanted to be a pop star. In a magazine interview, Dennis once referred to Manson as "The Wizard." After the murders, Wilson rarely spoke on the Manson connection, although he hinted that he knew what provoked the murders and said one day he would publish it in a book. However, addiction took its toll on Wilson, who lived a remarkably self-destructive lifestyle in late '70s Los Angeles (He was said to have crashed Christine McVie's Rolls Royce twelve times!). In a a stroke of tragedy, Denny drowned while drunkenly swimming in Marina Del Ray in 1983. He was quoted earlier that day as saying "I'm lonesome. I'm lonesome all the time."

But we shall Rejoice! Rejoice! because Wilson's masterpiece is finally getting the remastered, re-issued treatment it deserves. Out of print since 1991, copies of the album on record go for up to $300, while CD's are at upwards of $120. Now thanks to Legacy Recordings and Sundazed, who will release a 180-gram vinyl mini-box re-issue, the public will finally be able to bask in the light of the Dreamer.

If you would like to know more about the fascinating life of Dennis Wilson, check out this great documentary, Dennis Wilson Forever on Flasher. It's free.

Pacific Ocean Blue hits stores again on 4/18/2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

hidden gemz: Youssou N'Dour

In 2004, Rolling Stone labeled Senegalese musician Youssou N'Dour as "perhaps the most famous singer alive." "How could that be?" you ask. "I've never heard of him." Let's put this into perspective: Africa is the second most populated continent after Asia, with a total population estimated at about 1 billion. And for more than 20 years this musical demographic has belonged to Youssou N'Dour.

Africa's musical history is both rich and complex. In essence, music seeped out of Africa beginning with the slave trade and eventually led to the creation of rock and roll via the blues. Starting in the 60's, American music began making its way back to Africa, and eventually clashing with both Soukous (African rumba) and the introduction of Cuban music (first in the Congo, then everywhere else).

I couldn't even begin to illustrate how popular / important Youssou is in Africa. (Wikipedia does a pretty good job at hitting the important points). But even outside Africa, Youssou is considered a major force. Some of his Western collaborations have included Paul Simon, Dido, Wyclef Jean, Branford Marsalis, and a co-headlining gig in 1988 with Tracy Chapman, Peter Gabriel, Sting, and BRUUUUUCE on the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! tour.

In 2007 Youssou released Rokku Mi Rokka, his first album in three years (his third on Nonesuch). The album had a very quiet American release, yet somehow Rolling Stone actually got something right and voted it #30 on their Top 50 Albums of 2007 list.

Check out "4-4-44" (a reference to Senegal's 44 years of independence) the opening track to Rokku Mi Rokka, below, as well as Youssou and his boy Peter Gabriel doing a nearly 10 minute rendition of "In Your Eyes."

Youssou N'Dour - 4-4-44 [from 2007's Rokku Mi Rokka]

Monday, January 21, 2008

The New York Football Giants

"We Fly High, No Lie, You Know This...Ballin'"

What a game. I'll let Eddie Murphy handle the rest. Onto Phoenix.

rewind: Nada Surf

That's right kids, Nada Surf. Yep, the same band that sang the mid-nineties teenage anthem "Popular" (whose video was filmed at Bayonne High School). Nope, we're not talking about '90's alt, although we probably should, this Delorean is set on traveling back to '02/'03 when Nada Surf came out of nowhere to release a power pop gem in the vein of Big Star's #1 Record.

One of the things that always struck me about Let Go is it's relative lack of innovation. Don't get me wrong I'm all for innovative thinking of all sorts, but this is something different. Nada Surf aren't inventing a genre, or experimenting with studio theatrics or piling on Phil Spector layers of sound, no none of that is present on Let Go. What you'll find here are catchy, hook laden pop songs thrown over mildly distorted power chords and glowing harmonies. Sound familiar, it should, as this is what was played on the radio when we were kids, when terrestrial radio still mattered. Let Go is pop music for kids who hate pop music, kids raised on Tripping Daisy and Veruca Salt, kids who used to rent Sonic Youth albums from their public libraries and kids who still rock out to the Smashing Pumpkin's "Cherub Rock." It's oddly nostalgic for years not so far gone, yet still representative of post-millenial shifts in the musical landscape. The record kicks off with the "Blizzard of '77", a short story documenting the neurotic boredom of one stuck in a figurative blizzard, a place your just not sure how to get out of. Not to mention the lyrics which reflect on a youthful drug experience ("In the blizzard of 77 the cars were just lumps on the snow/ and then later, tripping in 7-11 the shelves were stretching out of control"). "Happy Kid" could've been sandwiched between Pavement's "Cut Your Hair" and Chavez's "Unreal is Here" on a mythical Maxell XL-II mix tape from your youth. Personally, I think that's a damn good thing.

While many have hailed Let Go as an under rated masterpiece from a band almost everyone had written off, I was stunned to see that the rating mongers at Pitchfork(3.8) chose to exercise their critical backwash by urinating on a record that 5 years later is as catchy and bouncy and exciting as it was when I was a fresh faced 18 year old bound for college. Any review that spends more than half it's time shit talking a band's efforts from 7 years prior, and limits the album under review to a few worthless bullet points isn't really worth reading anyway. Another reason why you shouldn't always listen to P4K.

On a positive note, peep a few tracks from Let Go and judge for yourself.

Nada Surf- Blizzard of '77
Nada Surf- Blonde on Blonde
Nada Surf- Happy Kid

Sunday, January 20, 2008

we saw: The Rosebuds

"I'm Not Crazy I'm Just A Little Boy"

Our love affair with The Rosebuds is quite complex. You see, besides being major fans of The Rosebuds Make Out, Birds Make Good Neighbors & Night of the Furies, we also sweat the backing vocals they laid down on the Shout Out Louds Cure-conjuring Our Ill Wills, not to mention they are good buds with our Fall obsession Bon Iver, who used to play second guitar in the Rosebuds and whom we were introduced to the last time we saw Ivan and Kelly during CMJ at the Bowery Ballroom. So yeah, we like the Rosebuds and all their friends and their various incarnations, alot.

Last night we had a chance to catch Ivan and Kelly at Maxwell's on the last stop of a 4 show January tour. Surprisingly, Hoboken's itsy bitsy rock club never really filled in, which was great as we were able to pogo bounce with the rowdy kids up front all night long. And bounce we did as The Rosebuds brought a swinging '60s dance party to the best club in the Tri-State area. Culling from all three albums, with an extensive foray into their debut The Rosebuds Make Out, Ivan & Kelly, accompanied by drummer Matt McCaughn, played one of the most invigorating sets of live pop music I've seen in a while. This shouldn't come as a surprise as their CMJ show at the Bowery was a ton of fun, however the lack of a restricted set time and the coziness of Maxwell's made it feel like one of the best house party we've ever been too. Yeah, it was that kind of intimate goodness (Ivan even laughed at a few of our jokes). All in all a great night, unfortunately they won't be coming North again until the Fall. So until then, we leave you with this, The Rosebuds covering Salt N Pepa's "Push It" with their dog.

"This is for the sexy people"

Saturday, January 19, 2008

under rated: Holland

"Have You Ever Been Up Salinas Way?"

It's hard to deny that the Beach Boys hit their stride on masterful Pet Sounds, but I'd like to argue that that peak merely plateaued around Pet Sounds, breeding the lovely Sunflower & Surfs Up and the majestic Holland, which was recorded in Baambrugge, The Netherlands. In a classic case of the record industry making ludicrous financial decisions, Warner Brothers allowed the Beach Boys to build a new "Clover Systems custom quadrophonic console: 30 input channels, 1000 position patch bay, 20 Dolby noise reduction units," a wide variety of microphones, custom monitoring system and a boat load of custom JBL speakers. "All equipment was designed specifically for this project by Brother Records (The Beach Boys label) in Los Angeles, then flown to Holland for this recording." Must've been sweet to be a rockstar in the '70s, when rock stars still existed.

Technically, Holland is one and a half long playing records, as Brian Wilson's bewildered "Mount Vernon and Fairway: A Fairy Tale" is included as a 7" record separate from the 12" LP. Why? Probably because Warner Bros. was freaked out by Brian's monotone spoken word about a magical transistor radio that comes alive at night and awakens teenage rock fans. The 7" is weird, and I say this as someone who eats weird for breakfast, and comes with instructions: "Please listen in the dark." Needless to say, it's a stoner's delight and one of the most fascinating, albeit bizarre, Wilson compositions.

Holland kicks off with the funky, piano driven "Sail On Sailor", a Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks collaboration with lyrics by Jack Rieley and Ray Kennedy, a bit of a departure from the usual BB's penned tunes. (You may know the song from Martin Scorcese's "The Departed".) While "Sail On Sailor" is all harmonies and pop and everything you've come to love and respect about the Boys, the real highlight here is Mike Love's mini-opera "The California Saga" made up of "Big Sur", "The Beak of Eages" and "California." It's the type of mini-epic you can't really explain, so take a listen below and enjoy the wonder that is post-Pet Sounds Beach Boys.

The Beach Boys- Big Sur (Part 1 of The California Saga)
The Beach Boys- The Beak of Eagles (Part 2 of The California Saga)
The Beach Boys- California (Part 3 of The California Saga)

Friday, January 18, 2008

we miss: The Boy Least Likely To

"Trying to Retrace Our Footsteps in the Snow"
It's been such a long time since we've heard anything about The Boy Least Likely To that I was worried we'd forget about them. Lucky for me when I was looking for a CD to take a shower to this morning the bright yellow spine of The Best Party Ever jumped out at me. Technically, TBLLT hasn't released a record since 2005 but we can cut them some slack for the rash of killer b-side singles and the precious cover of George Michael (and Limp Bizkit's) "Faith." We don't really have any Boy Least Likely To news or info to offer, but they did just have a great post on their blog which quotes from an article that Laura Barton in The Guardian regarding the difference between listening to music in the car and listening on a bus or train.
"sitting behind the wheel you are filled with the exhilarating sense of possibility, the feeling that you could go anywhere", whereas on bus journeys "your destination is always limited by the bus route, and your music is, by and large, confined to your headphones rather than billowing out of a car speaker system." and so, she writes, "the best music for bus journeys always seems characteristically introspective, the kind of music made for dreamers and loners.
Here is a list of songs that X from The Boy Least Likely To enjoys listening to on the Bus:

Saint Etienne- Hobart Paving
Kenickie- Lights Out in a Provincial Town
Isobel Campbell & Eugene Kelly- Time is Just the Same
Glen Campbell- Gentle on My Mind
Bright Eyes- First Day of My Life
Lambchop- The New Cobweb Summer
The Tindersticks- Tiny Tears
The Field Mice – Willow
The Smiths – Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want
Felt- There's No Such Thing as Victory

Below is a ridiculous video of TBLLT performing on a British morning show, complete with lip synching, a backing track and dancing furry animals (which totally makes up for the lip synching and shitty backing track). And to hold you over until whenever TBLLT drops some new shit, here's some old B-sides.

The Boy Least Likely To- Faith (George Michael cover)
The Boy Least Likely To- Rock Upon A Porch With You

"I won't ever be happy unless I'm unhappy and hugging my grudge"

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

next: dubstep

The new sound of UK urban music

It is difficult to describe the dubstep sound, but a few words immediately come to mind: heavy, dark, bass-driven. Visually, dubstep evokes images of a dimly lit, grimy underground club with cavernous sub-woofers, or a late-night walk on deserted city streets with headphones on and hoodie pulled up.

Because of the genre's newness, it is difficult to say exactly what makes something "dubstep" as opposed to some other genre. But at the very least, dubstep is a heavily modified version of UK Garage (aka 2-step) infused with dub-reggae elements. Sparse yet intricate rhythms and deep sub-bass lines are two major aesthetics of the genre.

Burial is ironically the poster-child of the genre (nobody knows his true identity), but Skream and Rusko are two rising producers that are expanding the palette and reach of the genre. Stream two tracks and watch a short documentary below. [Quality headphones most definitely recommended.]

Skream- "Midnight Request Line"

Rusko- "Cockney Thug" from Fabriclive.37

Dubstep doc, from the BBC

Monday, January 14, 2008

classick: The Commodores

If I had a time machine I would set it to 1970s Soul Train

Funk legends The Commodores are playing a short, four show run in the NJ area in mid-February, which gives me the perfect excuse to post the video above: a 1974 performance of the dance-floor slayer "Machine Gun" in front of the perpetually-funky Soul Train audience. I'm not sure which I like best about this video (besides the music): the ridiculous costumes on the band, the flashing "Soul Train" lights behind the stage, or the dude in the front row with his back to the stage gettin' DOWN. Decide for yourself.

The Commodores Tour Dates

Sunday, January 13, 2008

we saw: Allen Toussaint

This past week, Blue Note Jazz Club hosted Nawlins R&B legend Allen Toussaint for a string of ten sold out shows in the heart of Greenwich Village. We were lucky enough to catch the final performance last night, and were enraptured by his funky set of soulful pop that had us grooving in our seats. Toussaint has worn many different hats over his career, including producer, songwriter, arranger, session pianist, solo artist, and entertainer. And last night's show was entertaining to say the least, as he mixed together originals and covers while weaving in humorous and heartfelt stories about his life and music. We only wished that he could have played longer, but he did mention that he will likely be back next year. Not to be missed.

Allen Toussaint- Brickyard Blues (live)
Allen Toussaint- Southern Nights (live)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bobkast #9: <*))PHiSH><

"What is the central theme to this everlasting spoof?"
Without Phish, there would be no Bobka. You see, it was a shared love of all things Phish that initially brought the Bobka crew together, and our passion for the music and community has slowly evolved over the years into what you see today. And so, to honor the recently-past 10 year anniversary of (one of) our favorite Phish era(s), we have assembled a few choice cuts from the Fall/Winter 1997 tour for your dancing and listening pleasure. This segment of dirrty Cow Phunk mixed with spacey transcendental improv will remind even the most jaded of phans why they liked the band so much in the first place, and it is also a great starting point for newbies who want to get an idea of what the fuss was all about. Check out LivePhish for more information.

Bobkast #9: Phish - Fall/Winter '97 Gems
Halley's Comet (11/22/97)
Tube > Dayton Jam (12/7/97)
Theme From the Bottom (12/29/97)
Ghost > Fire (11/17/97)

TOTAL RUN TIME.......74:33
Bobkast #9: Phish - Fall/Winter '97 Gems (direct link; right-click to download)

Phish earned a reputation as one of the best live bands in the biz not only for their music but also for their dazzling light shows. Their lighting designer, Chris Kuroda, transformed a Phish "concert" into an "experience" by way of his mindblowingly synchronized lighting displays. Check the video below to understand why Kuroda was considered to be a member of the band, and why this particular jam had those in attendance thinking the Mothership was touching down for a visit.

Twist (from the Island Tour)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

classick: G N' R vs. Metallica

"That Didn't Happen"

Big thanks to Arthur Fischer-Zernin for sending this our way.

In one of the greatest bits of Behind the Music history, Metallica Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett tag team in one of the most unintentionally funny moments in the history of rock and roll. Metallica and Guns N' Roses were playing a co-headline show in Montreal, when James Hetfield was severely burned by a "twelve foot high, 3,200 degree tower of flame." The commentary from lead Metallica mouth Lars Ulrich is guaranteed to make you giggle, especially if you love Napster and think Axl is a douche.

At 3:05 in:
Lars: Guns N Roses could've come out and saved the day by going on and playing a three hour blistering set.
Kirk: That didn't happen.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

nu mix: Space Talk

"I Want Your Love"

Occassionally cool people send us emails containing encrypted codes that when un-crypted transform from random numbers and letters into real music! I know, what a great world we live in. Recently we got an email from a dude called Jase from Outer Space from Los Angeles who sent us a copy of his new mix Space Talk. The subject of the email said "new mix featuring italians do it better" so I knew I'd love it. And I do. Not to mention how bad ass that Kano track is.

Jasefrmoutrspace- Space Talk

The Bee's/Blog Fresh/Bobka

"Do Yourself Some Right"

The crew at Blog Fresh Radio is back from their winter vacation and decided to kick off 2008 with final dose of 2k7. We'd like to send a big shout out to Bill at Blog Fresh corporate headquarters for including Bobka pick "Left Foot Stepdown" by The Bee's as part of 2008's inaugural edition, as well as raising a really good question as to why I only made a Top 9 list (Idiot, oh well). This mix is really a great summary of 2007 and includes a ton of our favorite songs by the likes of Jens Lekman, Escort, LCD, Of Montreal, Roison Murphy, basically everyone that made 2007 an aural thanksgiving feast. Also, I've never heard The Builders and The Butchers before, but their "Spanish Death Song" is f'ing badass. Big ups to Song by Todd for the intro.

Listen to Blog Fresh Radio.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

classick: Axel Rose

Who hates camera's? Me

This has been a favorite in the Bobka world since before the Bobka world even existed. If someone has a video of Lars Ulrich talking about Axel after James Hetfield's skin burning incident, plllllease send it our way. Chinese Democracy 2022??

Monday, January 7, 2008

viddyo: King Missile


I woke up this morning with a bad hangover
And my penis was missing again
This happens all the time
It's detachable

Sunday, January 6, 2008

sunday brunch: John and Peter's

Authentic, original music; No Cover Bands allowed
John and Peter's looks more like a converted basement/pizza parlor than a concert venue, yet it has been an integral part of the local music scene for the past 32 years. Located immediately over the border in New Hope, PA, John and Peter's is best known for serving as the home-base and launching pad of the original indie-band, Ween.

And Dean Ween certainly looked at home last night while sitting in with local legend Chris Harford and his Band of Changes, which also featured Bobka-friend Scott Metzger on guitar and the incredible Joe Russo on the drums, among others. The vibe was mellow and the standing-room-only crowd of roughly 50 people was attentive as Harford led his band through an array of songs and musical styles; sometimes light and introspective, other times powerful and rocking, but always sincere and captivating.

What I love most about John and Peter's is the automatic sense of intimacy one gets as soon as they walk in the door. It is impossible to be more than 10 feet away from the stage, and the low ceilings effectively capture every sound that is produced (including cell phone ringtones). Just be sure your phone is on 'vibrate'.

John and Peter's official site
Chris Harford MySpace

Friday, January 4, 2008

nu musick: Cat Power

I love me some Cat Power. With that said, I couldn't be more excited about her upcoming release of covers, a follow up of sorts to 2000's The Covers Record. This time Chan's calling it Jukebox and her jukebox consists of her covers of Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, James Brown and Janis Joplin. Your gonna want to buy this one on January 22nd as the official release comes with a limited edition bonus disc that has Chan covering Cash Money's Hot Boys and Nick Cave. Thanks to the Matador Blog we have a lil taste of the recording sessions. Pre-order the deluxe edition with the Lil Wayne cover from Insound (here).

Part 1

Part 2

go now: There Will Be Blood


I had given Johnny Greenwood's score to There Will Be Blood a few digital spins and knew it was good, but it wasn't until tonight when I saw the film that it truly hit me. While the movie left 2/3 of the Bobka speechless, literally, Greenwood's score had us sneering some sinister "I've struck it big and will destroy anyone or anything that gets in my way" smile all the way back to Jersey. Entertainment Weekly recently had an interview with the film's director, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Greenwood, where Anderson noted that "The whole opening 20 minutes was meant to be silent." Without Greenwood's unsettling, often nihilistic, string arrangements the opening scenes of this incredible film would be lost in a haze of dirty desert sage. With the score you are transported into the menacing mind of a broke down prospector traversing the wicked desert in search of the unattainable American dream, to strike it rich.

Fans of Radiohead and Anderson's work (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love) may want to check out the above mentioned interview HERE. I know it's not playing in many theaters yet but if you are in the New York area you can catch a showing at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square or at the BAM theater in Brooklyn. Buy the Soundtrack HERE. If you haven't seen it yet, the theatrical trailer is below. No doubt about it, if this film doesn't win best score, best picture, best actor (Daniel Day- Lewis), best supporting actor (Paul Dano) and best screen adaptation than something is seriously wrong with the world.

There Will Be Blood

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bobkast #8: A Lil Something Something

"I Hate California Girls"

Just a lil something something to keep you warm as the new year settles. A lil funk, a lil soul, a lil country, a lil retro rock, some reggae and a new Magnetic Fields song. Yee-haw. Warm wishes from the Bobka crew

Bobkast #8: A Lil Something Something
1. Lee Dorsey- Yes, We Can
2. Friends & Lover- Reach Out of the Darkness
3. Allen Toussaint- Night People
4. Herman's Hermits- I'm Into Something Good
5. The Magnetic Fields- California Girls
6. The Limes- Beyond Blue
7. Madlib- Mystic Bounce
8. Lord Rhaburn- More Love Reggae
9. Jacob Miller- Curly Locks
10. The Kinks- Waterloo Sunset
11. Bob Dylan & The Band- Ain't No More Cane
12. Emmylou Harris & Ricky Skaggs- Darkest Hour is Right Before Dawn
13. Jenny Lewis & the Watson Twins- Rise Up with Fists!!!
14. Dr. Dog- Mystery to Me
15. The Clientele- Bookshop Casanova
16. Belle & Sebastian- Asleep on a Sunbeam
17. John Phillips- Holland Tunnel
18. Neil Young- Cripple Creek Ferry
19. Grizzly Bear- Deep Blue Sea (Daniel Rossen home recording re-edit)

Bobkast #8: A Lil Something Something {direct link; right click to download}

under rated: The Boy with the Arab Strap

"Say Cheerio to Books Now/ The Only Thing to Read are Faces"

There aren't many things I can remember from when I was 14. Buying
Belle & Sebastian's The Boy with the Arab Strap is one of them. The band, formed by Stuart Murdoch and Stuart David while at Stow College in Glasgow, Scotland, had already released two beloved records across the pond on Jeepster Records. Matador had already re-issued the wickedly kick ass If You're Feeling Sinister, but The Boy with the Arab Strap was the first time my insanely young ears heard the groups ravishing harmonies and melancholic melodies. I remember this because the first time I listened to the record was on a disc man during the famed Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show starring the world renowned Rockettes. If you'd heard "Ease Your Feet in the Sea" while a hundred leggy women in sequined leotards did the can-can you'd probably remember too. Needless to say I didn't become a lifelong fan of the Rockettes that night, but I did start a ten year love affair with the best thing to come from Scotland since tartan and single malt Scotch Whiskey.

Not everyone felt the same way about The Boy with the Arab Strap. In fact, most wrote it off as another case of a band's third record being mediocre at best. Those loons at Pitchfork even went as far as saying the album was a parody of itself and compared it to the man juice that hangs from Ben Stiller's ear in There's Something About Mary. Then they went and gave it a 0.8.

While the record is by no means a masterpiece in the sense that If You're Feeling Sinister is, it is an artistic statement more concerned with experimental growth than regurgitating the same old hooks and harmonies that catapulted them to precious indie stardom in 1996. The album, which is divided into two sides even on CD, is centered by the spacey spoken word of "A Space Boy Dream", which is easily the worst song on the record. But that's ok, it's song number 7 on a record where songs 1 through 6 are charming and hummable and with fun little poetics like "Soberly without regret/ I make another sandwich." For some reason when Stuart Murdoch coo's those words I feel as if I'm listening to Kerouac, or one of his absurdist beat cronies. "A Summer Wasting" has justified every lackluster summer evening I've spent drinking and playing and waiting for the sun to rise before going to sleep, while "Seymour Stein" plays like a Dear John letter to the famous record exec, an apology for missing a dinner meeting ("I heard dinner went well/ You liked Chris' jacket/It reminded you of Johnny/Before he went electronic"). "TBWTAS" contains the best recorder solo in recorded history. Oh yeah, and an ass load of hand claps to keep you happy even when the songs are oh-so sad.

If you're still not convinced, then peep this video below and chew on this line for a bit: "We all know your soft cause we've all seen you dancing/ We all know your hard cause we've all seen you drinking from noon until noon again."

P.S.- In case you were wondering, an Arab Strap is a sexual device for retaining an erection.

Belle & Sebastian- Dirty Dream Number Two
Belle & Sebastian- A Summer Wasting

"The Boy with the Arab Strap" Live on the Jools Holland Show