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

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

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

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

"i'm good and i'm bad and i'm happy and i'm sad and i'm lazy" -willie nelson

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

"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 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

"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.

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#1057: the sir douglas quintet - at the crossroads (live in austin, 1975)

writing a country song called at the crossroads after robert johnson lived and died is like deciding today to name your new poem j. alfred prufrock or starting a yankees baseball team. but you can’t live in texas if you don’t have a lot of soul. doug sahm had soul.

he gave the aristocratic english name sir douglas quintet to the band he started with san antonio childhood friend augie meyers to trick mid-60s british invasion fans into buying their sleepy, beery, heartfelt texas music. thank the big and bright stars that it worked. even with a fake name, the quintet was as real as anything else i can think of. as real as willie nelson’s tax problems, as real as emmylou harris’ smile, as real as tammy wynette waking up at 1 am to find george jones gone and getting into the car, driving to the nearest bar, and seeing he’d driven their lawnmower there. “well fellas here she is now, my little wife,” he said. “i told you she’d come after me.”

doug sahm sang sad songs about drinkers and movers towns and love, and this is my favorite one of them all.

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#1014: neil young - comes a time (dutch top pop, 1978)

there comes a time in every person’s life for the slow mid-90s version of neil young’s comes a time, which begins with willie nelson’s ponytail, and there’s a time for the more beautiful rust never sleeps version, filmed somewhere called the cow palace.

both of those are solo, so then there’s the time for his version from the year i was born with a band named the international harvesters. they didn’t include national hero emmylou harris, like jonathan demme's heart of gold, where she sang the late nicolette larson’s harmony on that line about tall trees, which makes my knees go weak and will make yours go weak too, unless you’re stronger or colder.

less frequently, there comes a time for an unrelated grateful dead song with the same name. and rarest of all is when you need to watch the version of comes a time from a late-1970s dutch tv show that featured a troop of interpretive dancers spinning to lyrics about spins. i think top pop was a continental step-brother to the statelier english top of the popsthe time doesn’t come for it very often, but when it comes it really comes.

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#1007: emmylou harris & the hot band - luxury liner (live, 1978)

the no. 1 most world-historic country solo ever ripped on a yellow guitar by an angry looking man named frank according to his customized shiny warner brothers varsity jacket and wearing shades indoors.

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#965: loretta lynn - blue kentucky girl (1965)

as far as blue kentucky girls go she’s no emmylou harris, but she has those eyes with old mountain sadness, a banjo player in neon-colored plaid, a voice that sounds like pollen and pedal steel and tobacco, a husband named doolittle, and she swears this is her favorite song and she’ll love you by the moon above you. don’t leave her for the bright lights, friends. 

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#964: neil young - star of bethlehem (1974, live)

there are two song subjects: love that’s there and love that’s not. the first is sunshine in the month of may and babies and walking together and vibrations and excitationsrivers and rainbowsdawn and dew. the second is love that was taken away forever, or at least a little while, because of babies who said goodbye and left frying pans too wide.

i’m sorry to say there are songs that are even sadder, the ones about love that never started in the first place—less devastating but more unsettling than songs about real love lost. and then the most brutal of all, the songs that aren’t just about agony but can cause it, don’t care if a romance is lasting, or gone, or if it never even existed: these are the love songs that don’t believe in love at all, and have tried to and failed. 

their saving grace is that they usually have emmylou harris singing harmony. you may not believe in anything, friends, but you can believe in her.

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#954: emmylou harris - blue kentucky girl (1979)

how could you not be very fond of the nation that gave us emmylou harris? just think, who’re the first five terrific people who come to mind? they’re matt groening, janet malcolm, thomas jefferson, stanley kubrick and walt “clyde” frazier, aren’t they? and guess what, they’re all from the united states of america! happy birthday, beautiful.

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#903: emmylou harris - pancho & lefty (1977, old grey whistle test)

i was trying to think about what’s as pure and wonderful and romantic and impossibly sweet and tender as jeremy lin effortlessly sinking a game-winning three pointer on valentine’s day for his sixth knicks win out of six tries after waking up on a couch as a nobody, and finally it hit me: of course, it’s emmylou harris on my favorite 70s television show singing townes van zandt’s old song about a bandit who betrayed his best friend in mexico and then grew old alone in cleveland. jeremy lin is the emmylou harris of basketball. they are undeniable.

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is emmylou harris greater than justice, truth, love and freedom? no one knows for sure.

is emmylou harris greater than justice, truth, love and freedom? no one knows for sure.

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#866: emmylou harris - leaving louisiana in the broad daylight (live, 1978)

the way emmylou harris hops up and down in place while young ricky skaggs and his mustache play their fiddle solo would bring a tear to hank williams’ cold corpse on a cold night in the oakwood annex.

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#825: iris dement (with emmylou harris) - our town (1995)

five songs to immediately watch iris dement play after an extremely anxiety-inducing and overall-confidence-in-the-entire-world-sapping week, in order:

(1) our town: the most excruciatingly beautiful song written about one’s municipality by female folk geniuses in emmylou harris’ circle since kate & anna mcgarrigle’s my town. the sweet cosmic sorrow of listening to the way she says “kiss it goodbye” may make non-musical sorrows less sorrowful.

(2) in spite of ourselves: “iris dement, the fourteenth child born to her father in paragould, arkansas (but only the eighth child born to her mother, flora mae) has the voice of an eight-year-old that learned to read, talk and sing from sped-up johnny cash records. she’s a cherub, and so she looks supremely uncomfortable singing the ungodly lyrics of this dirty little ditty; meanwhile, john prine’s hay-farmer’s voice is more haggard than merle haggard.” also, this song is how joe weisenthal feels about america.

(3) let the mystery be: “a bouzouki? gadzooks!”

(4) sweet is the melody: “iris dement makes joni mitchell or joan baez or any other sweet voice look like a hideous, acidic pile of deformed, vicious vocal ugliness. plus, sweet is the melody is a beautiful song about beautiful songs, which means if someone wrote a song about it, the world would probably implode in a moment of sheer metaphysical ecstasy?”

(5) wheels of love: “if you had to spend every minute of every day in a non-unionized underground longwall coal mine, but you had emmylou and iris singing to you through a little transistor radio, life would be lovely, maybe.”

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#797: emmylou harris, dolly parton, linda ronstadt - calling my children home (1983, live)

if heaven has large-haired a capella country trios, the angels spend all day and night in the clouds gnashing their angelic teeth and kicking their cherubic bodies for never sounding as good this filmed segment for a televised award ceremony.

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dream woman.
(emmylou harris in her mr. sandman phase—the solo version, not the trio.)

dream woman.

(emmylou harris in her mr. sandman phase—the solo version, not the trio.)

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#759: neil young - thrasher (rust never sleeps, live 1979)

on weeks like this one, when everything’s covered in a thick fuzz and drenched in haze and the news is all bad and all ugly, i listen to mid-70s neil young loudly. and when the going gets really tough i turn to the best album he never made, 1977’s chrome dreams (you’ll find it here), especially the song he sings with emmylou harris about the star of bethlehem. because bob dylan is for the hour when the writing’s on the wall, but bob dylan listens to neil young when the handwriting’s illegible. 

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greatest people of all time (g.p.o.a.t.), entry no. 2: emmylou harris

greatest people of all time (g.p.o.a.t.), entry no. 2: emmylou harris

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