max abelson's super groovy music video spectacular

awfully fine videos from the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s & 00s


and the website for my journalism is right this way...


my email & twitter


ft. the beatles, aretha franklin, neil young, dr. dre, serge gainsbourg, duke ellington, the kinks, jimi hendrix, pavement, the clash, smog, the smiths, al green, the rolling stones, cat power, dusty springfield, yo la tengo, antony, wilco, elvis, talking heads, elliott smith, r.e.m., ray charles, otis redding, the monochrome set, randy newman, the cure, gillian welch, queen, stevie wonder & more


"mtv makes me want to smoke crack." -beck


see the archives & a random post


"i just happen to be here, and it's okay." -caetano veloso


"sing a simple song but keep the swing strong." -de la soul


"think straight, keep a clean plate." -joanna newsom


"keep a clean nose, watch the plain-clothes." -bob dylan


"keep your feet warm, but keep your clothes on." -harry nilsson


"it took me about three or four weeks to toilet train my cat, nightlife. most of the time is spent moving the box very gradually to the bathroom." -charles mingus


"think about something else. was art tatum talented?" - shoot the piano player


"she had a chihuahua named carlos that had some kind of skin disease and was totally blind." -tom waits


"he had a huge room with nothing in it except this huge vast hammond organ, right next door to the police." -david bowie


"he's got a mind like a sewer, and a heart like a fridge" -elvis costello


"you can't hold the hand of a rock 'n' roll man." -joni mitchell


"lou's jukebox spun for love and many other things, too – beauty, pain, history, courage, mystery" - laurie anderson


"hey there, hey now, well, you can make a pacemaker blink, easy thing, make a man's heart go bibbity bom. -john cale


"i’ve still got things inside me, sad things, happy things, that people don’t know about." -loretta lynn


"to try to maximize the relationship of listening to a record through promotion is like experiencing driving a car by reading about stimulus programs." -bonnie 'prince' billy


"after cheesecake with all of your friends and family, who's gonna front the bill? me... say you want to take first-class trips, well i want to work those first-class hips. yes i do." -r. kelly


"too much cheesecake too soon! old money's better than new" -roxy music


"my mother used to tell me about vibrations. to think that invisible feelings, invisible vibrations existed scared me to death." -brian wilson


"i'm a lunatic, and you are so super cool." - george jones


"i'm an idiot for you." -iggy pop


"i mean every letter in the words in the sentences of my quotes." -lil' wayne


"lyrics choochoo from my mouth like locomotion." - pato banton


"i'm going to boogie my scruples away." -lowell george


"i drive a rolls-royce, cause it's good for my voice." -t.rex


"i'm dealing in rock and roll. i'm not a bonafide human being." -phil spector


"phil approached me with a bottle of kosher red wine in one hand and a .45 in the other, put his arm around my shoulder and shoved the revolver into my neck and said, 'leonard, i love you.' i said, 'i hope you do, phil.'" -leonard cohen


"they’d whisper at each other and look at phil and whisper at each other. finally this lady, tanked, comes over to phil and says, 'alright, sonny, what’s your problem?' and he said, 'premature ejaculation, what’s yours?'" -tom wolfe


"i bite my nails and if that fails i go get myself stoned, but when i do i think of you and head myself back home." -gram parsons


"i would say groucho marx, to name one thing, and willie mays, and the second movement of the jupiter symphony, and louis armstrong’s recording of potatohead blues, swedish movies, naturally. sentimental education by flaubert, marlon brando, frank sinatra, those incredible apples and pears by cézanne, the crabs at sam wo’s, tracy’s face." -woody allen


"where have you been all my life?" -emmylou harris, to my brother tommy


brian eno songs that will make good book titles for my 10-volume memoir, in order: here he comes, baby's on fire, golden hours, brutal ardour, taking tiger mountain, events in dense fog, through hollow lands, some of them are old, everything merges with the night, dead finks don’t talk


ry cooder albums that every man should own: into the purple valley, boomer's story, paradise and lunch


"really, we don't want people twiddling their goatees over our stuff." -radiohead


thelonious monk's middle name: sphere


#1 song on the white album (tie): long long long, happiness is a warm gun


"the only word is love." -john lennon


"i love songs about horses, railroads, land, judgment day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. and mother. and god." -johnny cash


"i could even find it in my heart to love mike love." -belle & sebastian


"the moon is clear, the sky is bright, i'm happy as the horse's shite." -the pogues


"i hope that you all out there, young, old, tall, short, fat or thin, quick or slow, no matter what kind or color or shape or person you are, if you like to make music, why, go ahead.” -pete seeger


"chuck berry isn't merely the greatest of the rock and rollers, or rather, there's nothing mere about it. say rather that unless we can somehow recycle the concept of the great artist so that it supports chuck berry as well as it does marcel proust, we might as well trash it." -robert christgau


mashable says about us: "expect the unexpected with this awesome gem. groovy." and 33 1/3: "nice to have someone steer me in a worthwhile direction"


download albums, see album covers, photos, posters, quotes & 'staches


the olden days: 2008 j. f. m. a. m. j. j. a. s. o. n. d. 2009 j. f. m. a. m. j. j. a. s. o. n. d. 2010 j. f. m. a. m. j. j. a. s. o. n. d. 2011 j. f. m. a. m. j. j. a. s. o. n. d. 2012 j. f. m. a. m. j. j. a. s. o. n. d. 2013 j. f. m. a. m. j. j. a. s. o. n. d. 2014 j. f.


make a tumblr!

Creative Commons License

#1052: brian eno - seven deadly finns (dutch tv, 1974)

listen all day long to brian eno’s glistening, weird, faraway, irreplaceable mid-1970s rock albums, sleep to his ambient music, wake up to his mascara-soaked hits with roxy music, follow each of his oblique strategies at work, read his cat cartoons on the train, wonder during dinner about the heavenly atmosphere in the studios where he helped david byrne and talking heads record their masterpieces, internalize his tea invitations, then read this excellent new profile of his life and times and pens and lamps in the new yorker by sasha frere-jones. 

Comments (View)

#1036: fela kuti - teacher don’t teach me nonsense (live, 1986) 

yesterday i was minding my own in housing works books on crosby street, one of the best places in new york, when i got a call from my girlfriend annie. because she’s a very kind and excellent woman and because the universe can sometimes act just like her, she was calling to say that she was at a yard sale with her mother that had some cheap records — in fact, unopened boxes of lps that the yardseller had shown annie — and would i be interested in hearing the names of them? i would. and then she started reading: fela anikulapo kuti’s teacher don’t teach me nonsense, the even finer african musician dollar brand, tom waits’ small change and blue valentine, even franks wild years, and also my favorite miles davis album, and not only international hero brian eno but an eno with byrne album named after a book my dad likes. thank you albums, thank you yards, thank you sweet annie.

Comments (View)

#943: roxy music - editions of you (1973)

a lot of people have read john milton’s paradise lost, which is excellent, but fewer have continued on to the even better sequel, paradise regained. so they don’t know the part where brian eno floats down and plays a synthesizer solo with feathers rising up from his shoulders. and then just when you think it’s all over, he sings harmony for bryan ferry: “don’t play yourself for a fool, too much cheesecake too soon,” he says, and stands. “old money’s better than new! no mention in the latest tribune! don’t let this happen to you!”

Comments (View)

#906: joy division - she’s lost control (1978)

in our first installment of real-life global gourmet post-punk mystery adventures, charming young english chef jamie oliver is excavating a former bank branch when he finds guns, gold, jewelry, and “rare joy division and new order master tapes.” quietly humming leaders of men under his minty breath, oliver turns in the £1.1 million find to the english treasury. “another job well done, j.o.” he says, dusting his hands.

in future r.-l.g.g.p.-p.m.a. episodes!: paula deen is snorkeling alone when she spots a pink flag flapping in the wind on a spooky desert island. she washes onshore, digs through the night, and finds a buried case containing alternate lyrics to wire’s map ref. 41°n 93°w, whose new verse contains directions to a discotheque in centerville, iowa, where she meets colin newman and his three girls. together they rhumba, cook, and learn a lesson about friendship they won’t forget. 

tune in next time, when alice waters eats brian eno’s shoe to encourage john peel to finish his first documentary—but will he?

Comments (View)
five anagrams for “max abelson” that i hope no one ever suggests, based on ten alternate anagrams for “talking heads” besides brian eno’s kings lead hat:
1. samba en lox
2. no lab exams
3. ox nabs male (alternately: blames an ox)
4. blame sax? no.
5. male ax snob

five anagrams for “max abelson” that i hope no one ever suggests, based on ten alternate anagrams for “talking heads” besides brian eno’s kings lead hat:

1. samba en lox

2. no lab exams

3. ox nabs male (alternately: blames an ox)

4. blame sax? no.

5. male ax snob

Comments (View)

#834: talking heads - crosseyed and painless (1980, rome)

ten anagrams for “talking heads” that brian eno could have used instead of king’s lead hat, the song on before and after science that scrambled the name of his friend david byrne’s band, in decreasing order of liklihood:

1. a naked slight

2. dealt shaking

3. a snaked light

4. ska night deal

5. a gnashed kilt

6. knighted? alas.

7. data! elks! nigh!

8. a gash tinkled

9. sandal keg hit

10. gal asked, “hint?”

Comments (View)

#736: roxy music - editions of you (1973)

there is rock music, glam music, glamorous music, sax music, which can be sex music, which is like naval music, which is different than naval-gazing music, which isn’t shoe-gazing music, which can be nod music, plus there’s knob music and nob music, tit music, cleaved music, cleavage music, moron music and maraca music and mustache music, vulgar music, vulva music and velvet music, but roxy music is better than all of them combined.

Comments (View)

#689: roxy music - remake/remodel (live, 1972)

the only important things to remember about the 1970s were brian eno’s vests, bryan ferry’s mustaches, phil manzanera’s spectacles, and andy mackay’s oboe solos, plus, depending on your perspective and surname, my dad’s hair.

Comments (View)
speaking of brian eno, did you know that pennie smith photographed him snapping pictures of a brazilian model—and a house cat!—for a cartoon strip in 1973? it was called eros with eno, and it’s the type of thing that should really be in the funny pages every single sunday. ms. smith, by the way, is the lady who took the photograph of paul simonon’s about-to-be-smashed bass guitar that’s on the cover of london calling. i had a poster of it in my dorm senior year, although it’s only the clash’s second best album cover.

speaking of brian eno, did you know that pennie smith photographed him snapping pictures of a brazilian model—and a house cat!—for a cartoon strip in 1973? it was called eros with eno, and it’s the type of thing that should really be in the funny pages every single sunday. ms. smith, by the way, is the lady who took the photograph of paul simonon’s about-to-be-smashed bass guitar that’s on the cover of london calling. i had a poster of it in my dorm senior year, although it’s only the clash’s second best album cover.

Comments (View)

#682: james - laid (1993)

is there any fine chunk of 20th century popular music that brian eno didn’t have a direct hand in? i don’t know too much about the british pop band james, except that they have a pretty lousy name and made pretty excellent music that was halfway between the smiths and pulp, but i’ve liked laid since i saw it on mtv as at age 8 and wasn’t entirely sure what it was about. and i like it even more now that i know brian eno produced it. he could have rested after that one 1972 roxy music show on the bbc with the leopard print and gold gloves, but then he produced david bowie’s best non-ziggy albums, sold some records for u2, made some orchestral manoeuvres in the dark, and recorded one of the world’s best trilogies with talking heads, though that’s leaving out things like his tectonic mid-70s island rock albums (especially another green world), or, you know, the fact that he invented ambient music.

but none of those triumphs feature the line “this bed is on fire with passionate love.” good job, james.

Comments (View)

#660: coldplay - yellow (2000)

did you know that coldplay’s debut recently turned ten? time flies. i very clearly remember hearing parachutes for the first time, in the mamaroneck hockey rink’s administrative office, which for some reason was where you would go to work safe rides. my really good friend, who was british, popular, a real mamaroneck high school lady killer, and also secretly gay, which i knew because he’d told me and one other person, played me the best song on a really pretty cd he’d burned from his brother on the ice-rink boombox. and with all due respect to coldplay, whose members now get to hang with out with brian eno in expensive manhattan condominium units while atrociously named children fiddle around, nothing they ever do will ever be as good as that evening’s yellow. sorry to get all ice stormy, but it’s true.

Comments (View)

#601: willie nelson, emmylou harris, and daniel lanois - the maker (1998)

after daniel lanois was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident this week, he called up a pal and said calmly, “look, i got a lot of broken bones.” god bless that man. for me, what makes the music daniel lanois produces so special is that it’s sooty, smoky, crunched and chewed, and yet every note is perfect and clean. it’s easy to light songs on fire, but not easy to make them smell like charcoal, which is what he does on bob dylan’s time out of mind, brian eno’s apollo atmospheres & soundtracks, u2’s joshua tree, emmylou harris’ wrecking ball (her best album, if you ask me), and willie nelson’s teatro, which the above is from.

besides producing, he also happens to have written songs that are as good as anything those bands have done. the maker is one of them! it’s a religious song that’s heavenly because it’s black and blue. speaking of angels, wim wenders directed the video, and this one, too.

Comments (View)
the reason that john cale’s 1974 album fear sounds like jumpsuits, fistfights at the lions club, ex-wives, fish, lou reed’s aftershave, coal mines in wales, patti smith’s perspiration, police station basements and 23rd street at nighttime is that it is really, really good. his holiness richard thompson from fairport convention plays guitar, and so does phil manzanera, whose roxy music companion sir brian eno is credited as playing “eno.” and the backup singing on thigh-slapper the man who couldn’t afford to orgy is credited to certain girls named “i & d chantler and l strike,” about whom very little seems to be known. but to be fair, vintage violence is almost as perfect for a late-winter sunday afternoon, and so is looking at pictures of john cale.

the reason that john cale’s 1974 album fear sounds like jumpsuits, fistfights at the lions club, ex-wives, fish, lou reed’s aftershave, coal mines in wales, patti smith’s perspiration, police station basements and 23rd street at nighttime is that it is really, really good. his holiness richard thompson from fairport convention plays guitar, and so does phil manzanera, whose roxy music companion sir brian eno is credited as playing “eno.” and the backup singing on thigh-slapper the man who couldn’t afford to orgy is credited to certain girls named “i & d chantler and l strike,” about whom very little seems to be known. but to be fair, vintage violence is almost as perfect for a late-winter sunday afternoon, and so is looking at pictures of john cale.

Comments (View)

#507: u2 - i still haven’t found what i’m looking for (1987)

there are only two standouts in the short and indecorous history of dance circles in non-rap music videos: spike jonze and the torrance community group in fatboy slim’s praise you (a torrence public film production) and u2’s nevada-based i still haven’t found what i’m looking for, in which bono does some impressive jigs, twirls, and pre-pulp fiction twisting while the edge looks genuinely unamused.

Comments (View)

#503: orchestral manoeuvres in the dark - genetic engineering (1983)

surely if radiohead made the best album of the 1990s and the best album of the 2000s (ok computer and kid a) then radiohead’s probably going to make the best album of the 2010s. and i predict, based on a close study of the victorian fin de siecle, brian eno’s oblique strategies, rhett davies’ discography, the genealogical history of the greenwood brothers, and phrenological curvature of phil selway’s skull, that it will sound like the more danceable songs on orchestral manoeuvres in the dark’s underrated album dazzle ships. it’s available here—see for yourself.

Comments (View)