the rosebuds


This is the only new CD I've purchased since the Blue Dog closed in June.

Blue Bird from Birds Make Good Neighbors
Boxcar from Birds Make Good Neighbors
Hold Hands and Fight from Birds Make Good Neighbors

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"The Beatles are totally overrated"


I actually heard that at a bar last week. I was talking to some tattooed skeleton of a hardcore girl, feigning interest in her seven visible piercings and hoping to see more, when her male companion, mad about the ongoing flirtation, took drastic action. "Come Together" came on the jukebox; he looked up from his drink and stated defiantly, albeit out of nowhere, "The Beatles are totally overrated." I quickly went limp, stammered something about needing another drink, and stumbled off in shock.

Whoa, hey, King of Rock. You're out of your depth. So you don't like the late 60s hippie deal; that's fine. Neither do I, anymore. When someone says "The Beatles," everyone thinks peace, love & Apple Computers. Get over it. It's time you re-invented your perceptions.

Truth is, The Beatles were badass in the beginning. All-black, leather jacket-wearing, cigarette chain-smoking, savage rock & roll street punks. Okay, Paul was still a pussy. But John's early songs are pure pain. He's so jealous & bitter & angry at women for leaving and his mum for dying, it makes me want to cry. John doesn't want to hold your hand. John doesn't believe in yesterday. If you ever touch another man, John will hunt you down and kill you, bitch.

There's no way to counter the ignorance I met in the bar the other night. I can, however, rest easy knowing that that night was a fluke. It's the year 2005. The Beatles conversation is closed. I just had to show some Liverpool pride after that exchange. Here's four of John's early songs for your listening pain.

The Beatles - I'm A Loser | I'll Cry Instead | You Can't Do That | Run For Your Life

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Mudsugar Magazine


Hey everyone,

I'm going to be cutting back on my ryPod posts, for a number of reasons.

The first is that my server is dead, and until I can get it fixed or afford a new one, I have no way of easily hosting the mass amounts of pictures and mp3s that the ryPod requires.

The foremost is that I was hired Monday as a contributing writer for Mudsugar Magazine, a culture webzine based out of Washington, D.C. I'll be doing features & reviews of independent music, comix, and film. And whatever other crazy notions my editor lets me run with.

The ryPod was my first public experiment in telling the truth. I will continue to update with music I know you absolutely have to hear. And this is still a forum to host my more personal and creative writing.

But the fact of the matter is, Mudsugar is paying me to do what I do here for free.
And I'm okay with that.


HIPS Benefit & CD Release Show!


If you live within 50 miles of DC, I have your Saturday night plans. The HIPS Compilation Release show is going to be insane crazy, driving miss daisy. The album, including tracks from Mates of State, Pash, and Mirah among others, is a benefit for Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive, a DC-based organization dedicated to helping female, male and transgendered sex workers lead healthier lives.

The music starts at nine at the Warehouse Next Door. Here are tracks from a few artists on the comp, who will also be playing this Saturday night. So come on out, people. Rock stars & prostitutes.

Pash - Having A Ball
Bellafea - Thorn Bird

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death in the family


My long faithful PC died today at 4:41 p.m. It's been coughing and sputtering all week, hard disk spinning noisily out of control. Thankfully I backed up all my important files, though I may have just lost about 10 gigs of great rare music. I'm taking her to the doctor tomorrow, but not hoping for much. Without a dedicated server to host mp3s on, my posting will be sporadic at best until this is figured out. Many of my photo links are also broken, as they were hosted on the server. Sorry about that. You faithful listeners stay tuned.

Shuggie Otis

I spent two years of my youth with no access to American news, television or music. When I got back I found I'd missed a lot - Chocolate Cream Oreos, Bush in the White House, and a little album called Kid A. I spent a whole day in Amoeba Music, catching up.

I bought Inspiration Information that same day, my first day back. Originally released in 1974, the album and it's creator disappeared for decades, until being re-released with a mess of hype on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label. Some reviewers called Shuggie Otis a musical genius on par with Coltrane or Hendrix. I'd say he's more along the lines of Curtis or Marvin. Regardless, I'll let the music speak for itself.

Shuggie Otis - Strawberry Letters 23
Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information

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Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings


Working a new job at the green restaurant across the street means I'm getting re-educated in Ragga/Dub. I said my hippie days were over, and now I spend 30 hours a week cooking organic food next to a picture of Bob Marley. The next soccer mom to ask "Oh, is that you?" is getting a handful of habaneros in her fish taco. The best part of the job is picking the music. Being the newest of six employees, I'm easing my way into their raggamuffin hearts with a healthy mix of grime, dancehall, and baile funk. Give me another week to get settled, then stop by for a steady diet of shoegaze & soup, served loud.

I brought Sharon Jones to my first day at work, and she hasn't left the 5-CD changer since. I didn't know anyone since the Godfather of Soul even made this music anymore. I want to see this band live more than anyone playing today.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - How Do I Let A Good Man Down?
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - This Land Is Your Land

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Young ladies, in my Mercedes


I inherited a different taste in music from each of my older siblings. Ann and Paul in particular were two sides of a discoball. Ann gave me my guilty love for early 80s soul, cruising around town in her top-down convertible singing "Never too Much." Paul, on the other hand, considered my musical education strict business. His idea of babysitting was locking me in his room with two crates of records from the garage. The first time I saw the Sugar Hill logo, I was hooked. Then I dropped the needle on Superrappin'. Flash was on the beatbox.

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five- Superrappin'
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five- The Message

Bonus points to whomever can name everyone in the above picture. No googling.

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PASH - Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive


Pash is a computer program for efficient, parallel, all-against-all comparison of very long DNA sequences. Pash is also Australian slang for a long kiss & cuddle: eg, Most teenagers go to drive-in theatres just to pash on. Merideth Munoz (vox/guitar/style) named her band after one of these things.

Pash sound like that time in college when your friends dragged you to the overcrowded sports club. You are waiting drinklessly four bodies from the bar, cold sober and gagging in a cloud of cologne, when the jock jams stop suddenly and the lights go even dimmer. A beautiful thing forms in the void that very instant—a dirty wall of electric guitar. Then another, followed fast by a steady foundation of high-hat and thumping bass. Just as you are turning around to watch the band build an NYC dive-bar out of thin air, your friend from Seattle, whom you miss dearly though you never call him, walks up, grinning, and hands you a beer.

Here is an exclusive Pash download, from the upcoming Exotic Fever release This is a Care Package. The compilation, graphically designed by yours truly and featuring music from Mates of State, Mirah and Murder by Death, among others, is a benefit for HIPS, a DC-based organization dedicated to helping sex workers lead healthier lives.

"Down" was recorded by Jason Caddell of the late Dismemberment Plan, and sounds fresh as a cold-cracked PBR. "Four Straight Days" is from Pash's first full-length, available from Dischord Records.

Pash - Down
Pash - Four Straight Days

In related news, who remembers Pets or Meat? POM ONLINE!

right-click, save target as | pre-order This is a Care Package from Exotic Fever

Veruca Salt wants it now, daddy.


Did you forget about Veruca Salt? I sure did. Then I decided to make a mix for my niece, who was born in the 90s and thus missed them completely. So I got American Thighs, and wow. I forgot about Veruca Salt.

Only drugs can explain why I sold this album in middle school. It's everything I love about 90s rock. Slow-grinding, fuzzy guitars, pop-punk hooks and a girl driving the (unstoppable) bass. Please read the list that Stephen Walsh published over at McSweeney's.


You remember Veruca Salt.

Veruca Salt - Seether | Spiderman '79 | Forsythia

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Cassette Jam 2K5: Cat Stevens + Toots & the Maytals


I owe the inspiration for this post to Noz at Cocaine Blunts & Hip Hop Tapes, and Phillip at the MAKE: Blog. Noz said it the best, grammar or no:
In the mp3 blog press frenzy a lot of writers compared the phenomenon to making a mixtape and that's just not the case. As much as i love what technology has done for the dispersion of will never come close to the hand to hand distribution of a really good pause/mixtape. it pains me to think that the youth of this and future generations will never know what it felt like to have to tape new songs off the radio if the album hadn't drop and you either couldn't find or afford the cassingle. They'll never fret over getting everything perfect on a mixtape for or about a girl you had a crush on, they won't know third generation hiss or cross their fingers in hopes that the drop outs won't be that bad after rerecording over a tape for the sixth time. They'll never shove tissue in the top of a wack retail tape to record some good shit, or have a song cut off at the end of the side and have to rush to flip over the tape to get the rest of it. ipod playlists are heartless beasts in comparision.

You're damn right they are. I've had my free iPod mini for two months now, and have yet to prance oblivious down the street with it. This is downtown Fredericksburg, for Lee's sake. I would feel ashamed, ruining some nice White family's Civil War re-enactment with my little white earplugs and my groovy black silhouette. Truth be told, the ryPod is currently plugged into my stereo via Matt's tape adapter, and I have no idea where the little white earplugs are.

The cd deck in that same shitty combo has been broken all year, so we've been leaning hard on our tapes & vinyl. Imagine my delight when Phillip linked this crazy collection of nearly every cassette tape ever made. Thank you, anonymous Japanese archivist, for the trip down Memorex Lane. Here are a few favorites to wash this morning's soundtrack flashback down with.

Alisha made me a mix in high school, covering one of these with rainbows & butterflies & stars. My first thought was "Fuji DR-I? What a classless bitch." I've been considered an asshole for about as long as I can remember - that's just my style. But I'd feel really blue if I didn't think you were going to forgive me.

Uh-huh, this my shit. Now if Alisha had given me her "specially picked good songs mix" on an XLII, we'd probably be conceiving little brown babies while listening to her tape, which would have retained a very high fidelity over the last decade, matched only by that of our fruitful hippie love marriage.

This beast is from the Seventies. Deven's mom gave me a sweet Deadleg on one of these. Mrs. Karvelas was on tour cooking for the band, and sat on the edge of the stage while Jerry sang "It Must Have Been The Roses" to her. That show was later released as Reckoning. I can't believe I'm listening to the Dead again.

Man all I know is that I have this tape somewhere. I don't remember what's on it, or where I got it. But just look at that shit, would you? It's like a little Trapper-Keeper for all your Human League B-sides.

So I dug around a while and found Alisha's tape. Here's a few choice cuts. See 'lish, at least I kept it this long. There's hope for us yet. "Trouble" is one of my favorite Cat Stevens songs. "Pressure Drop," I'm ashamed to say, is the only Toots song I've ever heard, unless you count "54-46," which I don't. Bad hippie.

Cat Stevens - Trouble
Toots & the Maytals - Pressure Drop

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