Who am I? I am…

6 Feb













Lydia vs. Godzilla

19 Jan


“I want a mix” – Lydia
“Watch what you ask for, you just might get it” – Mojo

Girls on Film – Duran Duran

Toxic (cover) – Mark Ronson

Mashed Potato Popcorn – Freddie & The Kinfolk

Think – Aretha

Make it Reggae – Dynamics

La Vie en Rose – Anat Cohen

Axis: Bold As Love (cover) – Joan Osborne

Havenu Shalom Alechem – Gods of Fire

Bikini Girls with Machine Guns – The Cramps

After Hours – Velvet Underground

Songs for the Golden State

12 Sep

I made a preliminary version of this mix for a road trip down Rt. 1 to Santa Cruz with my friends Hal and Emily. Growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, I never thought that I would one day be a Californian. But, somewhere along the way, with the top down, the Ocean on my right, and some pesticide-free organic veggies in my bag, I realized that I’ll be out here for a very long time. (note, this is a re-post of a very old entry).

Going Back to Cali – LL Cool J
“Her bikini – small; heels – tall
She said, she liked, the ocean”

California Love – TuPac
My white version would have different shout outs at the end of the song…
“Mill Valley in tha house, uh yeah. Atherton, Atherton definately in tha house hahaha. Walnut Creek, The Creek. Hey, you know Humbolt is up in this. Humbolt, where you at? Yeah, La Jolla, La Jolla always Hoe Ya. Even Malibu tryin to get a piece baby. Rancho Cucamonga where ya at? yeah”

Goodbye California – Jolie Holland
As were driving down the coast, Hal asked “does she talk in that voice too?” I sure hope so.

California Uber Alles – Dead Kennedys
I doubt Jello Biafra would have guessed that Jerry Brown (his aura smiles and never frowns) would one day be Mayor of Oakland, not President of the United States, let alone Governor again years later.

California – Joni Mitchell

A friend once played me this song, quoting her collage friend who said “Everyone should listen to Joni Mitchell’s Blue before falling in love.”

That’s Why I Came to California – Leon Ware
A soulful tour of the major cities of California

Estimated Prophet – Grateful Dead
The song is actually about the tripped out folks hanging out by the stage door at Dead shows. Without the band to follow around, they are now scattered throughout California, talking to themselves.

California English – Vampire Weekend
You’ve got to read all the lyrics. Any band that references Toms of Maine toothpaste is OK in my book.

Do-Re-Mi – Woody Guthrie
California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see;
But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot
If you ain’t got the do re mi.
Seventy years later and the lyrics still apply

California Stars – Billy Bragg and Wilco
Also from Woodie Guthrie.


10 Aug

Click here for delicious stone fruit recipes from the good folks over at KQED’s “Bay Area Bites”.

Plumb Dumb – Dead Milkmen

Peach Tree Blues – Eddie Duncan

Dreaming of the Plum Trees – White Hinterland

Peach, Plum, Pear – Joanna Newsom

Cherry – Nostalgia 77

Quetzalcoatl Eats Plums – Mountain Goats

Plum Nellie – Booker T and the MGs

Peaches and Diesel – Eric Clapton

Peaches En Regalia – Frank Zappa

Peach – Prince

(Extra Special Bonus Song)
Shake Your Groove Thing – Peaches and Herb

Sausage and Legislation

8 Jun

As they say about sausage and legislation, “you don’t want to see how it’s made.” Many musicians feel the same way about their songs. Early demos of songs, somehow leaked from the studio were always traded among rock aficionados. The advent of CDs, with about 15 to 20 minutes longer playtime than LPs encouraged record labels to tack on early demos onto reissues to encourage listeners to buy more CDs. It almost goes without saying that the internet made early demos almost as accessible as the albums they eventually became part of. But, should you really listen to the discarded remains of a song? What can you learn from what was left on the cutting floor? I’ll leave that up to you to decided. Following are five songs and their earlier versions.

The first is a live version of “Wings for Wheels” which if you now Bruce Springsteen’s music, you’ll recognize as a line from “Thunder Road.” It’s actually an early version of the song with with different, more automobile-focused lyrics. Completely changes the song. Next is an acoustic demo of Radiohead’s “Good Morning Mr. Magpie.” Again, when stripped of the complex studio work, it shows the essence of the song and lyrics. Pink Floyd recently released a huge flood of demos with their “Experience” versions of “The Wall,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “Dark Side of the Moon.” I particularly like “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” stripped of its disco beat. I also include the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” without the horns and with a bit of tomfoolery between bandmates as well as the “honky tonk” demo of Elvis Costello’s “Blame it on Cain” which might show the value of The Attractions.

Thunder Road (Wings for Wheels live) – Bruce Springsteen

Good Morning Mr. Magpie (solo acoustic) – Radiohead

Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 (non-disco demo) – Pink Floyd

Got to Get You Into My Life (demo no. 2) – Beatles

Blame it On Cain (honky tonk solo demo) – Elvis Costello

Covering the Beatles

19 Apr

Everybody’s Got Something to Hide (Except for me and my Monkey) – The Feelies

Taxman – Little Junior Parker

Come Together – The Israelites

Across the Universe – Rufus Wainwright

Yesterday – Roosevelt Grier

Tomorrow Never Knows – Michael Hedges

Drive My Car – Diego Palaez

Two of Us – Aimee Mann and Michael Penn

Martha My Dear – Brad Mehldhau

Kon Togethy – Bugotak


4 Dec

When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You – Marvin Gaye

You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go – Bob Dylan

It Hurts Me Too (When Things Go Wrong) – Junior Wells

Love In Vain Blues – Robert Johnson

Got To Get You Off My Mind – Solomon Burke

You Don’t Miss Your Water – William Bell

It’s All Over Now – Valentinos

You Took It – Etta James

You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now – BB King

Pretend I never Happened – Willie Nelson