The Short Lists #4: Pleased to Make Your Acquaintance

Short List #4: Favourite Band Who I Hadn’t Heard of Before 2010

1. Swanton Bombs – two youngsters from somewhere in England, yer basic guitar and drums combo, I like to imagine because they can’t get along well enough with anyone else.

If you’re listening to this one, it’s Who’s Asking from their album Mumbo Jumbo and Murder.

This one, on the other hand, is Crowbar from the same album.

Short List #3, about Ennio Morricone composing for smartphones, is over at the Paltry Sapien.


This is the songlist for the December 23, 2010, otherwise known as the Coal in Yer Stocking edition of the 68Comeback Special.

Roky Erikson – Two Headed Dog

Facecrime – Cable TV

Avalon – Shadowcaster

Off! – Jeffrey Lee Pierce

Bob McFadden – Beat Generation

Teddy Hotbody – I’m the Coolest

Ben Disaster – Last Night

Ernie K Doe  – Mother In Law

Eyehategod – Dixie Whiskey

James Brown – Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto

Bram Tchaikovsky – Russians Are Coming

Bush Tetras – Too Many Creeps/Cowboys in Africa

Richard Pinhas – Bi Polarity

the Superions  –  Santa Je T’aime

Freakwater  –  Good For Nothing

Ox  –  the Little Drummer Boy

the Stooges  –  I Wanna Be Your Dog

the Upsetters  –  Baby Baby Baby

Extra Happy Ghost  –  1990’s Brain Damage

Vince Guaraldi Trio  –  Skating

John Wesley Coleman  –  Something in My Brain Wants Something

Suuns  –  Gaze

Richard & Linda Thompson  –  For Shame of Doing Wrong

Sleeping in the Aviary  –  Last Kiss on a Sinking Ship

the Establishment  –  Mechanistic

Okkervil River  –  Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas

The Short Lists: A Brief Explanation, List #2

This is the first time I’ve said anything about it in so many words around here, but I’ve taken up with another blog. It’s called the Paltry Sapien and it’s pretty great, but even though I’m blogging there now, I’m still also blogging here.

How will that work exactly? Easy? Some things, I’ll post over there. Other things, I’ll post here. So check it: last week at the P.S., I posted an explanation of The Short Lists and the first of the series. Today, here, I post the same explanation and the second list. Ready?

I stopped making end-of-year lists a few years ago, due more to personal laziness than any overriding principle (though I did manage to rationalize out a reason or two after the fact; one should never be too lazy to rationalize).

Relenting slightly last year, I decided that I could compose a list or two, provided they were short – maximum one item – and of barely any consequence.

Thus, having established sufficiently low standards and recognizing the need to engage in the act of blogging in order to be considered one who blogs, I would like to take this opportunity to announce The Short Lists as my own year-end tradition. So…

Short List #2: Definitely Headlining At My Imaginary Bar-B-Q

Oh, there were a few records that came out in 2010 that I gave a few more listens to than Sucker, by one Harlan T. Bobo. But here’s one thing: I found out most of what I know about Harlan T. Bobo – from Memphis right now but a bit of a mysterious travellin’ man, a couple of (pretty great) albums before this one in my mind – after Sucker had so completely piqued my curiosity and made me go crawling around in the mud to discover more. He strikes a number of precarious balances, between loud/coarse and quiet/sensitive, between subtle humourousness and dead seriousness, between well-worn and shop window. If ‘charming’ is a word used by losers who don’t have any better words, then I’m a loser with no better words.

Now here’s another thing: there’s a bar-b-q in my mind that is the Platonic ideal of a bar-b-qs. The day is beautiful, with cold drinks and delicious food enough for everybody who’s been invited, which is everybody (even people that wouldn’t normally get invited to such excellent imaginary bar-b-q’s like this). The kids are well-behaved and play well together, same goes for the grownups. And Jesus H. Plato, would you look at that, up on the stage! It’s Harlan T. Bobo!

Blogging the Commercial I Just Watched: The Heineken Closet

The lady is just finishing giving the other ladies a tour of her ostentatious new house, finishing with none other than her closet. It’s so nice! It’s so full! Full of all the stuff that we’re meant to believe reduces the behaviour of ladies to that of little girls: footwear that’s undoubtably been hand-stitched by nameless, faceless little Third World girls, racks of clothes that will all be replaced when the styles change next season, purses and jewelry and other assorted bric-a-brac that’s meant to complement all that other shit, et cetera.

The ladies start screaming and crying, but wait – they can’t make a proper scene the way they’d like! There’s something – another, greater noise from elsewhere in the ostentatious new house – that is interfering with their carrying-on.

It is men. Men are interfering with the ladies’ nonsense with nonsense of their own! It seems the woman has pair-bonded, and her “other half” as they are sometimes described, also has a closet in this house that is full of all that he cares about in this world. Which is beer. Heineken beer. And it is making the men scream and cry and carry on even more loudly and awfully than the women were. They are bugging their eyes and pulling on their faces, elongating and distorting them. They are doing pee-pee dances. Oh, look! LOOK!

But maybe it’s not exactly all that beer that is exciting them so. Maybe it is this walk-in beer closet’s overall aesthetics, with fog rolling around on the floor and overbright white light, the likes of which we have come to expect to find on alien spaceships. The way it makes the shelves of green Heineken bottles glow, like so many rows of cold, clinical anal probes, intended for those men and those men alone…

Kickin’ It Live from 3 to 5

Tom was unexpectedly called in to save the day on this, December 16, 2010, and this exact list of songs, played in this exact order, was the exact soundtrack tool he required in order to prevail. Funny how things work out, eh?

Monks  –  Complications

Say Hi  –  November Was White, December Was Grey

Lab Coast  –  For Now

Sister  –  Wishbone

the Replacements  –  Customer

les Tabernacles  –  Ten Most Wanted

Ohama  –  Julie is a TV Set

Bauer  –  I’m Starting a War With Dolphins

Hank Mobley  –  Greasin’ Easy

Ox  –  Good King Wenceslas

Memphis Complaints Choir  –  Can You Hear Me Now

the Kinks  –  People Take Pictures of Each Other

Suuns  –  Sweet Nothing

Thelonious Monster  –  Sammy Hagar Weekend

Iron & Wine  –  Peng!33/Sacred Vision

Shooting Guns  –  Dopestrings

Pissed Jeans  –  Sam Kinison Woman

Sugar Hill Gang  –  Kick it Live from 9 to 5

Peaches  –  Relax

Spoon  –  Everything Hits At Once

Miniature Tigers  –  Japanese Woman Living in My Closet

Hellogoodbye  –  Something You Misplaced

Phono D’Enfant  –  The Night is Wrapping Its Wings Around Us



Burying the Lede, 68 Comeback Style.

I’ll allow right up front that this qualifies as neither bleeding edge nor breaking news. You and I are both going to have to accept that until they either release another David Lee Roth soundboard vocal or make some headway with their rumoured uranium enrichment program (or simultaneously come out of the closet, but lotsa luck with that), Van Halen posts are just…not… There, see? I can’t even maintain my own interest long enough to finish that sentence.

But hey, you want bleeding edge breaking news from the depths of the internet? Go ‘friend’ Tom on Facebook. Just go.

Are you still here? GO. Leave me alone with my black and white photographs and my revisionist history.

You’ll be sorry, but I won’t.

While out for a stroll the other day during a break from work, I found myself in need of some crossing-the-street theme music. The ol’ memory banks had the following to offer…

Unfortunately, it’s also overstayed its welcome, so I blog it in the hopes that it lodges itself in somebody else’s head, thus vacating my own. Sorry about that (but not that sorry).


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