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


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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"


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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.


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#982: furry lewis - furry lewis’ blues and other songs (1/2) (1968)

when furry lewis says at the beginning of this mysterious and wildly beautiful film, “i’m going to give you furry lewis’ blues tonight,” it’s true for two reasons. the first is that the first song of the twelve wildly beautiful ones he plays is called furry lewis’ blues, not mr. furry’s blues or even furry’s blues from the late-1920s recordings that you know and love. instead it is filthy and sly, like early chuck berry songs—and like chuck berry furry plays furiously: when he really gets going, with four fingers and a slide pulsing on the fifth, the guitar sounds like awestruck. 

"i’ve got a new way of spelling memphis tennessee: double-m double-e great god a y nor z," he says twice, and both times it’s thrilling. and then he starts hitting his guitar as beautifully as anything that’s ever been hit. 

it’s also funny because “furry lewis’ blues” also means furry lewis is playing his own music, which is as true as joni mitchell played hers. and joni mitchell singing jazz-rock choruses about furry lewis singing the blues isn’t close to furry lewis actually singing it. 

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#920: chuck berry - memphis, tennessee (live, 1963)

don’t let any friends, loose acquaintances, literature professors, film critics, classicists, historians or religious leaders tell you that in the history of mankind, from homer to the bible and the sixth sense, that there’s ever been a better trick ending than the “marie” revelation in the second to last line of the last verse of chuck berry’s memphis, tennessee, the most important song about long-distance telephoning and six-year-olds we’ll ever know.

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charles in charge.

charles in charge.

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#716: pavement - major leagues (1999)

any common genius can include christmas-in-the-title christmas songs on his or her christmas mix (i.e. child’s christmas in wales by john cale, remember (christmas) by harry nilsson, in the hot sun of a christmas day by caetano veloso, merry christmas baby by chuck berry, christmas party by the walkmen, et al).

but it takes a special someone to include major leagues—the pretty song pavement made just as it was dying—on account of the line “magic christians chew the rind,” which really sounds like “magic christmas so sublime” if you’re not paying attention.

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how many holes it takes to fill the albert hall: beatles manager brian epstein with seats torn up during a chuck berry concert, february 1967

how many holes it takes to fill the albert hall: beatles manager brian epstein with seats torn up during a chuck berry concert, february 1967

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chuck berry’s chuck berry is on top is the tops. it tastes as good as it looks.

chuck berry’s chuck berry is on top is the tops. it tastes as good as it looks.

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#656: chuck berry - you can’t catch me (1956)

"but 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 altogether… like whitman, berry is excessive because he is totally immersed in america—the america of melville and the edsel, burlesque and installment-plan funerals, pemmican and pomade. unlike whitman, though, he doesn’t quite permit you to take him seriously—he can’t really think it’s pronounced a la carty, can he? he is a little surreal.”

- robert christgau going hogwild in 1976, marking the u.s. bicentennial with class.

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#20: chuck berry - the things that i used to do (1965)

i found an even better introductory speech. it’s godly but it’s sad: “i shall do for you at the moment a little taste of what we call blues. and when i say blues i say it with two lips: bl-u-es. and this is a music that has a feeling, a feeling of hardships, and things that one goes through when he doesn’t have any money—you know, francs and what have you. this is the blues.”

goddamn.

but why is this song so sad? maybe because ray charles, a year before he made it big, wrote the arrangements, and produced eddie “guitar slim" jones’ original version.

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#19: chuck berry - roll over beethoven (1965)

the constitution of this website dictates that monday have a 60s video, tuesday have 70s, up until the 00s on friday. recently i’ve been straying from that scheme, and for that i’m sorry.

it’s back—although, technically, roll over beethoven was released in 1956. still, this mid-60s chuck berry performance on french television (which always has good music) is entirely, completely, amazingly perfect.

isn’t it odd that clean-cut old rock and roll can look and sound so much more punkish than mohawk-and-nose-ring punk? “this is a song about a man who had a lot to do with music,” chuck berry snarls, “as a matter of fact, a relished memory in my mind he was. and a good musician, might i say so. this man was named beethoven. ladies and gentlemen, i ask him to forgive us. roll over! and listen to a little of this…”

the only thing better than that introduction is his homocidal solo, especially considering that he’s hopping on one leg while he plays. chuck berry invented that dance move—the duck walk—the year this song was written, during a show in new york, to hide the wrinkles in his rayon suit.

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