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...


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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"


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.


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#1032: dwight yoakam - wheels (live, 2005)

of course the world sometimes feels like a vast wasteland of chaos and misery that’s spiraling ever quicker toward the infinite nothingness we all will one day call home. and yet there are such beautiful things too! here’s a video with so many of them in one place: dwight yoakam's perfect pikeville kentucky pipes, a nudie cohn nudie suit, the worthy nonprofit map international, and gram parson’s palatial, gilded, sinful songwriting. keep it in your heart for a while. 

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burrito brother gram, the man, at a taco stand.

burrito brother gram, the man, at a taco stand.

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#774: the bad news step team - step! clap! go! ad (2011)

whenever i think of the word fashion, i think of that terrifying fake bunny hop that david bowie does in the beginning of you-know-what, plus also the flying burrito brothers tune high fashion queen (the one with the very sad gram parsons line “there’s nothing new that can be said about dirt”), and what iggy pop says in that speech about the phrase punk rock: “it’s a term that’s based in fashion! style! elitism!” but if fashionable people can put together this tremendous video with the the bad news steppers, how bad can fashion be? i guess pretty bad, but still.

(video via julia, who also went to camp laurel south—if you’d like to see me explaining at age 9 why “being with girls just makes it funner and a more enjoyable summer,” please enjoy.)

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in a free box in a corner that i only noticed on my way out of academy records on east 12th street, this maxell expitaxial xl ii 90 cassette tape was sitting on sunday afternoon with a typewritten label telling me that it had not one but two of the slinkiest country albums ever recorded, gram parsons' return of the grievous angel and bob dylan’s nashville skyline. it even had my name on it, in a way. plus underneath there was a copy of red headed stranger (willie! nelson!) and a mix made by the same typewriter owner featuring the smiths, the jam and joy division, which i’ll try to remember to post in a few.

in a free box in a corner that i only noticed on my way out of academy records on east 12th street, this maxell expitaxial xl ii 90 cassette tape was sitting on sunday afternoon with a typewritten label telling me that it had not one but two of the slinkiest country albums ever recorded, gram parsons' return of the grievous angel and bob dylan’s nashville skyline. it even had my name on it, in a way. plus underneath there was a copy of red headed stranger (willienelson!) and a mix made by the same typewriter owner featuring the smiths, the jam and joy division, which i’ll try to remember to post in a few.

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#722: gram parsons & the flying burrito brothers - older guys (1969)

"hey look, john, it’s coming straight at us!"

"it’s not a train—can’t be. it’s not a motorcycle—impossible. it’s not a car—you know it isn’t. it’s got to be another boat, right?"

"yeah!"

"square boat?"

"uh huh!"

"guys sitting out there singing?"

"yeah!"

"it’s just the flying burrito brothers."

"burritos? hey that reminds me, i’m hungry!"

hurumph.”

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#642: gram parsons and emmylou harris - streets of baltimore (live, 1973)

first came a bookstore-bathroom run in with ultra rare hipster runoff graffiti. and this afternoon, in the middle of a very stressful observer deadline, i got to have an actual back and forth with pitchfork founder ryan schreiber, who, let’s face it, is a true indie-and-internet god. if you’re interested, and who could blame you if you’re not, it was a gentlemanly twitter disagreement over his site’s top-videos-of-the-90s list, which ends with aphex twin’s dementedly dark come to daddy.

not the decade’s single best video, i said.

agree to disagree, he proposed.

and what, he wanted to know, would i have chosen?

no surprises, wow and flutter, c.r.e.a.m., or even windowlicker, i said.

the finale came with his excellent point that anthony kiedis’ ocean rap should have been number one. and just like that our conversation had ended! the irony is that i started the day by spending 90 minutes compiling my list of the top 10 videos of grainy live versions of beautiful country rock songs about major maryland metropolitan areas. this one ended up on top, and it goes out to you-know-who.

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#448: tracy nelson and mother earth - wait, wait, wait/you win again (1968)

if it’s true that janis joplin really did sleep with leonard cohen at the chelsea hotel, then it’s not clear why tracy nelson, who was slightly better, couldn’t have known hank williams carnally in the middle of some desert—or, considering that he died when she was in the third grade, gram parsons. “country music is so pretty and clean and simple,” she says here, “and yet it says something that’s relative to the average young person’s life.”

she means that her band mother earth’s weird version of a barnyard gospel blues is so cosmically good that anyone who’s anyone will want to sing along. in other words, this is 60s nashville music by san fransisco stoners for 00s sweet sentimental fools.

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#63: the byrds (with earl scruggs) - you ain’t going nowhere (1971)

druggy country music is the best thing that ever happened to me. gram parsons, the harvard drop-out who took gobs of morphine and lcd and then basically invented the idea that grungy rock and roll could be be played with a honky rural twang.

and before he died in 1973 at age 26, he introduced the byrds, the rolling stones, and emmylou harris to the sound of what he called “cosmic american music.”

here the byrds play the opening song from their only album with gram parsons, sweetheart of the rodeom, written by bob dylan while he was holed up in woodstock after his famous motorcycle crash.

gram parsons had fallen out with the band, mostly because leadsinger roger mcguinn was annoyed with his scene-stealing. mcguinn even wiped some of parsons’ vocals from songs—he rerecorded them himself and “fucked it up,” the album’s producer later admitted.

to make up for gram parsons’ absence, the byrds have north carolina banjo godfather earl scruggs playing with them here. i think mr. scruggs looks slightly discomforted by all those darned shaggy mops and long facial hair.

meanwhile, mcguinn is still alive today, looking terrible and with a bad case of glaucoma. serves him right for fucking with gram parsons.

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