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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#967: gillian welch and david rawlings with ricky skaggs - by the mark (1997, bbc)

ricky skaggs’ red jacket to infinity. where, if you’re ricky skaggs, do you go to get a jacket like that? and why is he so good at singing his high, sad harmonies while playing his sad, high mandolin? even though ricky is ancient and good (he says, “thank you gillian i appreciate you asking me on this song i love this one” almost exactly like tim heidecker) david rawlings and gillian welch, the queen of them all, the sad-eyed lady of the lowlands, are better. halfway through this they sound like angels french kissing in the sun.

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#735: the walker brothers - the sun ain’t gonna shine anymore (1966)

late january is just the right time to listen to songs so wintry they’ve got the season’s name in the title. scott walker’s winter night, which i’ve always thought of as a sort of weather-focused sequel to the sun ain’t gonna shine anymore, toes the line between heavenliness and the ice-rink music that plays on those sunday afternoon nbc figure skating tv programs i like to watch alone in my torn pajamas, with the volume turned way up, sobbing quietly.

i also appreciate winters love from animal collective’s sung tongs, but not winter wonder land from strawberry jam, mostly because i’m disappointed it’s not the same song darlene love sings on phil spector’s a christmas gift for you from philles records. the belle and sebastian b-side winter wooskie is only manageable if you’re in the mood to listen to a belle and sebastian b-side called winter wooskie. gillian welch’s winter’s come and gone is the best song about blackbirds that isn’t blackbird, but it’s still too early in the year to listen to it.

and as it happens, gillian reagan at capital new york put together a list of 37 other wintery songs by asking locals for some good low-fahrenheit music to diagnose and cure january doldrums. there are former observer writers like me and zachary woolfe, joe pompeo, jonathan liu and tom mcgeveran (hi guys!), but also my new bloomberg colleague devin leonard, plus real all-around swell gents like nick sylvester and joe “shots” coscarelli. read it and not weep.

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#697: gillian welch (with john hartford, david rawlings & mike compton) - dear someone (2000)

if you had a very large gun pointed to my head and demanded to know my favorite song of the last 25 years, i just might say this one. there are rivals—several—but this version from d.a. pennebaker’s down from the mountain does have the late fiddler (and steamboat captain!) john hartford playing along only a few months before his death. plus, there are some of the sweetest brief inter-band smiles i can remember. it probably wins the gun-against-head competition.

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#696: gillian welch (with david rawlings) - elvis presley blues (2007, bbc)

who am i to complain, because when she opens her mouth poppies and the confederacy and rainbows come out, and when i open mine it’s not particularly excellent insights into old music videos and new york city financiers, but what’s been happening with gillian welch? she should not be singing back-up for mediocre decemberists songs on conan o’brien’s tbs show, she should get back to making albums about murderers, mephistopheles, morphine, mornings, and miners, which are the subjects of five of the first six songs on hell among the yearlings—the other being good ‘til now, the prettiest song of them all. and that album was a matchstick next to the candelabra of time (the revelator), which, start to finish, would have made hank williams moan like a baby, especially dear someone. the only thing she’s made since then is soul journey, which is okay, and has the world’s finest song about ohio beauty queens, but is now seven years old. bring it all back home, gillian.

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#416: gillian welch - look at miss ohio (2007)

i was perusing the fox news website, as i so often do, when i saw that former miss usa carrie prejean had made an appearance at this week’s del mar racetrack  anniversary celebration, where, in a very large hat, she opted to perform bing crosby’s where the turf meets the surf. she held the mic cord like a pro and even did some toot-toot gesticulation during the “take a plane/ take a train/ take a car” verse, which caused fox news to ask: “will there be a record deal in the works along with her newly-inked book deal?”

if she gets one, it would be nice to see ms. prejean sing this wildly heartbreaking gillian welch song about a bright-eyed beauty queen whose life is not going end up very well. in ten years ms. prejean will be our generation’s orval faubus (only with fading looks), gay americans will be able to marry, and gillian welch will have made an album as good as music from big pink.

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#148: gillian welch & david rawlings - caleb meyer (1998)

my sister, brother and i saw emmylou harris play town hall last night, which was heavenly, but not as absurdly, cosmically, heavily heavenly as when we saw emmylou play with gillian welch and david rawlings four years ago.

second to shooting smack with a band of guitar/troubadour prison escapees in a tuscaloosa barroom during the herbert hoover administration, they’re the closest you’ll get to pure old time glory. the observer once said they have “a meditative stream of yearning and heartache one might have thought impossible in the era of frappuccinos and instant messaging.” amen.

come to think of it, the observer also once said that if you could through the first four songs on a particular emmylou harris album without getting bowled over by feeling and “without being a total emotional wreck, i envy you. i congratulate you on your cold-bloodedness. you are immune to emotion. welcome to the sociopaths’ hall of fame.”

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