Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Weepies--Love Doesn't Last Too Long

by Hector Diego

Sounds a bit like something from the Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow.

Wild Sweet Orange--Ten Dead Dogs

by Jay Allbritton
This fine band made their network debut on Letterman last June.

Paul McCartney--Golden Slumbers

by Hector Diego

With George Martin, conductor.

The Rutles--Love Life

by Hector Diego

I am now a confirmed Rutles fan.

The Rutles--All You Need Is Cash

by Hector Diego

Where have the Rutles been all my life? The other night I was smiling the whole time I was watching their parody film of the Beatles, "All You Need Is Cash". Then I watched it again the next day.

John and George particularly liked the film. Ringo thought the comedic rendering of sad parts of the Beatles history hit a bit close to home, and Paul? Well, let's just say he didn't help his legacy by issuing no comment.

I heartily recommend "All You Need Is Cash" to Beatles people everywhere. That is, if they can laugh at themselves, too.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ted Leo and The Pharmacists--Bomb Repeat Bomb

by Jay Allbritton
Ted Leo takes up the slack. Protest music people. It's not over.

It's Time to Play--Is It Real or Is It Satire?

by Jay Allbritton
Is this video of freakishly tall young white boys droning out right wing blather an horrendous attempt at forging a rap anthem for disaffected rich kids OR is it a weak attempt at a joke that with a little production value and a little better writing could have been Colbert-worthy?

What do you think?

Remember, we've seen this before and frankly, I never got an answer back when this turd dropped:

Beatles Finally Are Number Two!

by Hector Diego

Amazing isn't it? Or perhaps not so amazing that the Beatles were second only to Eminem in album sales since 2000. No, for the Beatles, this does not surprise me.

Friday, May 29, 2009

W.H.O. Says Show Dangers Of Tobacco

by Hector Diego

The World Health Organization is trying to make it mandatory for tobacco companies to include graphic pictures of health problems on packs of cigarettes. You know, there is something interesting in this if the same standard were to be applied to packs of marijuana when (not if) it is legalized. Other than showing someone with glazed eyes or eating uncontrollably, what health problems would it show? Chronic bronchitis for heavy users, perhaps.

Not that The Walrus Speaks advocates any sort of recreational drug use, legal or otherwise. Just saying.

For a particularly nuanced view of research findings on marijuana use, read this. The article shows that the pro and con arguments are fairly balanced. You will not find a similar situation with tobacco.

So why is it legal?

Kimya Dawson--Happy Home

by Jay Allbritton
I enjoy watching Kimya Dawson be happy.

Phil Spector Goes To The Big House

by Hector Diego

Spector in Los Angeles courtroom

Phil Spector finally got sentenced. If he lives to be 88 years old, he may yet see the light of day as a free man. Spector produced the Beatles' last released album, among other notable accomplishments.


Josie Ovalle Covers Liz Phair

by Hector Diego

Here's Josie Ovalle doing Liz Phair's "Why Can't I", without sanitizing it, and with a good clear voice and guitar, in our never ending talent contest.

That's on your cyber radio dial.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Liz Phair--Why Can't I?

by Hector Diego

Liz Phair was a revelation to me.

She & Him--Change is Hard

by Jay Allbritton
From MTV Canada, last year. Have I mentioned I'm haunted by this woman's voice? Okay then.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

by Hector Diego

I'm a Union man, always have been. And the South did not have a good cause. But a lot of good folks down here suffered just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And because some unscrupulous Northerners smelled opportunity.

Beatles LP Countdown--I'm Only Sleeping

by Hector Diego

That strange guitar section, that sounds like a guitar being played backwards? That's because it is. George Harrison pioneered this innovation in recorded music. Remind me to list all of the Beatles innovations sometime, some of the many reasons that they are the greatest band ever. Timothy Leary called them avataras.

"I'm Only Sleeping" is the third track on the first side of the Beatles seventh British album, Revolver.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hana Pestle--First Day of My Life

by Jay Allbritton
Nice Bright Eyes cover for the never ending talent competition.

Rilo Kiley--Science Vs. Romance

by Hector Diego

Crash sites keep me up at night.

The Thermals--Here's Your Future

by Jay Allbritton

The Band--The Weight

by Hector Diego

From Wikipedia:

According to songwriter Robertson, "The Weight" was inspired by the films of Luis Buñuel, about which Robertson once said:

(Buñuel) did so many films on the impossibility of sainthood. People trying to be good in Viridiana and Nazarin, people trying to do their thing. In ‘The Weight’ it’s the same thing. People like Buñuel would make films that had these religious connotations to them but it wasn’t necessarily a religious meaning. In Buñuel there were these people trying to be good and it’s impossible to be good. In "The Weight" it was this very simple thing. Someone says, "Listen, would you do me this favour? When you get there will you say 'hello' to somebody or will you give somebody this or will you pick up one of these for me? Oh? You’re going to Nazareth, that’s where the Martin guitar factory is. Do me a favour when you’re there." This is what it’s all about. So the guy goes and one thing leads to another and it’s like "Holy Shit, what’s this turned into? I’ve only come here to say 'hello' for somebody and I’ve got myself in this incredible predicament." It was very Buñuelish to me at the time.


The White Stripes--My Doorbell

by Hector Diego

Elliot Smith--Thirteen

by Hector Diego

I didn't even know about Smith until about five years ago when the Station Agent turned me on to Rilo Kiley. Naturally I was interested in Rilo Kiley's influences, and that led to Smith. The members of Rilo Kiley were personal friends.

What a talent!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kina Grannis--Naked As We Came

by Hector Diego

Kina Grannis performs her version of Iron and Wine's "Naked As We Came". A beautiful person with a beautiful voice singing a beautiful song.

Beatles LP Countdown--Eleanor Rigby

by Hector Diego

St. Peter's Church, Liverpool, England.
Eleanor Rigby is buried here with her
husband John.

Five Beatles albums are commonly considered the Beatles' best--Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sargeant Peppers Lonely Hearts' Club Band, the White Album (named simply The Beatles), and Abbey Road.

My generation tends to endorse Sgt. Peppers or Abbey Road as the very best album, but younger Beatles people are more likely--statistically, so I have read--to favor Rubber Soul or Revolver. I do seem to remember at the time that the impression made by Rubber Soul was groundbreaking, and Revolver even more so. Sgt. Peppers was astounding, but by this time astounding work was only expected of the Beatles.

When I was 14 I didn't realize that the White Album was not that good of an album (I'm still not sure it isn't) because, as almost everyone likes to point out, it doesn't really work as an album, containing songs in no particular order without any relation to each other. I didn't care about that then, and I don't care about that now. In fact, I think that Ringo singing us the lullabye "Goodnight" after "Revolution Number Nine"--especially if one had chemically altered one's consciousness somehow--fit rather well. I didn't care about the order of the songs, I only cared about the songs.

But, back to "Eleanor Rigby" and the album Revolver. The first time I heard it I was completely electrified. I knew genius when I heard it. Here I am, ten years old, and I can picture the priest wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave-because no one was saved. Looking back on these times, I believe this was the moment that my apostasy from the Roman Catholic church began, at least subconsciously. And why?

This is hard to say, but I think it had something to do with comparison. Lennon had been demonized for saying the Beatles were more popular than Christ, and even a mere boy could understand that his detractors were square. By comparison, Eleanor Rigby was more fascinating to me than any experience I ever had in church. I think I perceived the Beatles as saving me from ignorant religion (not that I think that all religion is ignorant). Paul McCartney had saved me from Father McKenzie!

Revolver was an album that I did not hear until 1969, because I didn't have enough money to buy it. Same for Sgt. Peppers. Now you have to understand what it was like to hear these albums at 13 and 14, having been a Beatles' person through and through since the age of eight. It was a revelation from God. Not that the Beatles were God, but that the Beatles were (and remain) God's favorite band.

Isn't it obvious?

Frightened Rabbit--Head Rolls Off

by Jay Allbritton
Frightened Rabbit are so critically acclaimed that I didn't really rush to hear their stuff. My mistake.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jenny Lewis--The Next Messiah

by Hector Diego

From Ms. Lewis' critically acclaimed 2008 album Acid Tongue.

The Friendly Man

by Jay Allbritton
Episode 181 of NPR's This American Life is called "The Friendly Man". This show is composed of four stories from TAL contributor Scott Carrier. This guy's narratives are honest, entertaining and insightful look into the life of a radio professional.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lex Land--Sweet

by Jay Allbritton
Lex Land played this sweet number last June in Nashville.

Bee Gees--I Started A Joke

by Hector Diego

Saturday, May 23, 2009

J. Lynn Johnston--Times of Trouble

by Jay Allbritton
To close out my seven days of 90's music, here's a cover of Temple of the Dog's "Times of Trouble" by J. Lynn Johnston for our never ending talent contest.

This is one hell of a vocal performance for anyone, much less some dude rocking an acoustic guitar in his living room.

Crosby, Stills, Nash, And Young--A Long Time Gone

by Hector Diego

The Station Agent questioned in a recent post the wisdom of naming more current music festivals Woodstock. I agree.

Someday it is likely a band will try to name itself the Beatles, or perhaps facing a legal challenge, the Beetles. And this will be very stupid.

Friday, May 22, 2009

U.S. Court Of Appeals Finds Big Tobacco Guilty Of Fraud And Racketeering

by Hector Diego

NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court on Friday agreed with the major elements of a 2006 landmark ruling that found the nation's top tobacco companies guilty of racketeering and fraud for deceiving the public about the dangers of smoking.

How I love it. Now let's see how much the tobacco companies will actually pay. And here is another good thing--the more these companies lose money on tobacco, the more they will back marijuana legalization. While The Walrus Speaks would never advocate any unnecessary drug use, isn't it obvious which one should be legal and which should not, if such a choice should be made?

Read it.

Nine Inch Nails--Wish

by Jay Allbritton
By 1994, the band I was in finally grew to the point where we sucked, but in slightly new and creative ways. And we did not suck any where near as we had previously sucked. Songs were becoming discernible from one another. In 1994, edgy alt music was still massive. So massive, that it grew prideful and tempted the wrath of the gods by taking the name of the Woodstock festival for their own.

Here's a great performance by Nine Inch Nails of their excellent song "Wish" performed at Woodstock '94. It was the beginning of the end. By 1996, my band was covering this song at our shows and it was awesome.

Rilo Kiley--Always

by Hector Diego

The phantom is watching you.

Rumsfeld, Bush, And The Bible

by Hector Diego

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld brought President George W. Bush religion with his morning newspaper and coffee. Or something like that.

So much for the separation between church and state.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Woody Guthrie, Hard Travelin'

by Hector Diego

I've been having some hard travelin', Lord.

Alice in Chains--Would

by Jay Allbritton
With the big four Seattle bands only having made one record each (with the exception of Nirvana) the soundtrack to the 1992 film Singles served as a means of sustaining the scene's popularity until new records could be finished. The soundtrack turned out to be far more popular than the movie, which was kinda shitty.

Alice and Chains contribution to the project was the inspired "Would?" Here they are playing it on Jools Holland's show in 1993.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

by Hector Diego

Have you ever had a crazy day or a couple of days or a period in your life when everything is just upside down? Better jump down a manhole, light yourself a candle.

Pearl Jam--Porch (Lollapalooza '92)

by Jay Allbritton
In the summer of 1992, Lollapalooza '92 (appropriately enough) came to Miami. And what a line up! Consisting of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Ministry, Ice Cube, Red Hot Chili Peppers and more, the show lasted all day in the blistering heat. My friends and I completely lost ourselves in the music and the insane heat and the out of control water gouging. So much so that we didn't even know that the worst hurricane, Andrew, to ever hit South Florida would be there the next day.

Here's the epic version of "Porch" Pearl Jam played that day. In the breakdown, Eddie tells the crowd that if the Republicans win the election he's leaving the country and never coming back. That's right. Bill Clinton saved Pearl Jam.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beatles LP Countdown--Taxman

by Hector Diego

Rubber Soul was a sort of transitional album for the Beatles, and Revolver is squarely in the second half of their recording career. From Wikipedia:

Revolver is often cited as one of the greatest albums in rock music history. In 1997, it was named the 3rd greatest album of all time in a Music of the Millennium poll conducted in the United Kingdom by HMV Group, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM. In 2006, Q magazine readers placed it at number 4, while in 2000 the same magazine placed it at number 1 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2001 the TV network VH1 named it the number 1 greatest album of all time, a position it also achieved in the Virgin All Time Top 1,000 Albums. A PopMatters review described the album as "the individual members of the greatest band in the history of pop music peaking at the exact same time", while Ink Blot magazine claims it "stands at the summit of western pop music." In 2002, the readers of Rolling Stone ranked the album the greatest of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 3 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It placed behind only the Beatles' own Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. It was ranked 10th on Guitar World's (Readers Choice) Greatest 100 Guitar Albums Of All Time. In 2006, the album was chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 best albums of all time.

"Taxman" is the first track on the first side of the Beatles' seventh British album, Revolver.

Nirvana--Smells Like Teen Spirit

by Jay Allbritton
When I turned 18, it was a very good year. I was living in my parents house in South Florida still, a dorky senior in high school, working at Winn-Dixie and playing in a band that hadn't found itself yet. I was watching Bill Clinton completely change my idea of what a President could be. And every time MTV came back from commercial, they would play "Alive" by Pearl Jam, "Man in the Box" by Alice in Chains, "Outshined" by Soundgarden, or, most often, this sweet baby, accompanied by a little talk over by Beavis and Butthead, just for flavor:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mother Love Bone--Chloe Dancer, Crown of Thorns

by Jay Allbritton
I think I'm going to do a 90s theme this week. In the last post I wrote about the build-up to the Seattle moment. The death of Mother Love Bone frontman Andy Wood was the tragedy that set the tone for the music to come. The tribute band Cornell and members of MLB formed called Temple of the Dog did one classic record together before Cornell went back to Soundgarden and most of the rest went on to become Pearl Jam.

This song, from the Shine EP is so 1990s that it was written in 1989. It's an epic, and it lives on as the only MLB song in Pearl Jam's massive arsenal. The first part, "Chloe Dancer" with it's loopy, evocative piano and ultra-sensitive lyrics has made me shed a tear on more than one occasion.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

M.A.S.H. (Suicide Is Painless)

by Hector Diego

This concludes our TWS cyber broadcast of great film and television music. That's on your cyber radio dial.

It might take half a minute to load, but it's worth it.

Green Day--Time Of Your Life

by Hector Diego

The Weepies--The World Spins Madly On

by Hector Diego

From Scrubs.

"The World Spins Madly On"

Rilo Kiley--Papillon

by Hector Diego

We all have a butterfly within us.

Soundgarden--I Awake

by Jay Allbritton
After Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood died of a drug overdose in 1990 and Before MTV started playing Nirvana's song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in 1992, a small community of musicians in the Northwest we're playing music with a different feel that would soon come to replace the mainstream. It was earnest and dark, reflective of the mood of the place and time.

In this clip from 1990, Soundgarden plays a creepy song called "I Awake" from their brilliant "Louder Than Love" album. Chris Cornell, Wood's former roommate, dedicates the song to Wood in the strangest way possible. The quality of this clip is pretty amazing considering it was before history decided that these bands and their city would matter so much to so many people, then become unbearably cheesy and widely rejected less than half a decade later. Say what you will about the Seattle scene, music hasn't been a big deal in America since.

Rilo Kiley--With Arms Outstretched

by Hector Diego

"With Arms Outstretched"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beatles LP Countdown--Run For Your Life

by Hector Diego

Lennon said years after the release of "Run For Your Life" that it was the one song that he had written that he was not proud of. Given the lyrics, I can see why. Lennon had become very reflective about his relationships with women.

"Run For Your Life" is the last track on the second side of the Beatles' sixth British album, the truly seminal Rubber Soul.


by Jay Allbritton
Check out this breakthrough in pointless engineering. Nonsense, but cool nonsense.

Belgian City Of Ghent Has Vegetarian Day

by Hector Diego

Ghent, Belgium

This is what I love about Europe--it is truly progressive. The city of Ghent has officially made one day a week vegetarian. Read about it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rise Up With Fists

by Hector Diego
Great quality on this clip from Coachella 2009. From the 2006 album Rabbit Fur Coat, this is "Rise Up With Fists."

Twist And Shout

by Hector Diego

Today I defended my doctoral dissertation successfully with compliments from my professors. So I'm in a good mood.

Bruce Springsteen--Ghost of Tom Joad

by Jay Allbritton
Bruce Springsteen is joined on stage by Tom Morello, who's band Rage Against the Machine does a mean Tom Joad in their own right, to play the song at Pete Seeger's 90th birthday party last month.

Hector Diego's Theme Song

by Hector Diego

Hector Diego faces his dissertation committee today, and becomes Dr. Diego.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Kinks--A Well Respected Man

by Hector Diego

Time Magazine Talks to Louie CK

by Jay Allbritton
Comedian Louie CK goes into his process a little bit in this interesting interview with Time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Death Cab For Cutie--A Lack Of Color

by Hector Diego

Lost Season 5 Finale Initial Reaction

by Jay Allbritton

The explosive 2-hour finale of Lost's fifth season just aired. I am both impressed and unsatisfied. I am impressed that they were able to wrap up a sprawling 2-track epic story with many of the long-running questions posed by the mysterious series answered, or at least addressed to some extent. I am unsatisfied that they ended the season in such a way that I have absolutely no idea what the show is anymore.

[More at Off-Screen Explosion]

Rilo Kiley--Pictures Of Success

by Hector Diego

When you're dead.

Nouvelle Vaugue--Dance With Me

by Jay Allbritton
If you can get to New York on June 17, you can catch brilliant French cover band Nouvelle Vague at Irving Plaza. Looks like that's the band's only American stop on their whirlwind international tour.

Tom Petty--Don't Do Me Like That

by Hector Diego

Tom Petty is from Gainesville, Florida

The Station Agent's posting of Vampire Weekend's "Oxford Comma" reminded me, for some strange reason, of this song by Tom Petty.

And I just had to throw in "Refugee".

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Vampire Weekend--Oxford Comma

by Jay Allbritton
Emerging New York band Vampire Weekend give off a Paul Simon meets The Shins vibe on this tune.

White House Press Correspondents' Dinner

by Hector Diego

Obama kicks out the jams!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Doors--Touch Me

by Hector Diego

A great live performance. You can tell they rehearsed.

The Doors--Riders On The Storm

by Hector Diego

The Submarines--You, Me, and the Bourgeoisie

by Jay Allbritton
The Submarines' marvelous anti-materialism song "You, Me, and the Bourgeoisie" has actually turned out to be quite a little moneymaker for the band. Good for them.

Lime Spiders--The Other Side Of You

by Hector Diego

I don't care for the clip, but I love the song.

Beach Boys Summer

by Hector Diego

Pacific Beach, California


Antique walrus print courtesy of FineRarePrints.Com