MAXABELSON'S SUPERGROOVY 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 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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#1038: leonard cohen - first we take manhattan (1988)

there are three things i like about the feb. 21 2014 new york times story “brooklyn on the spree.” the first is that it was beautifully reported and written by my friend zeke turner, who writes with clarity and detail and just the right-sized dollop of tenderness about american expatriates flourishing in the cheap basements of after-hours german night clubs. the second is that one of the story’s main characters is michael ladner, who apparently still looks exactly like he did at age 16, when we went to mamaroneck high school and he was friends with my first girlfriend and we would hang out at his house just off weaver street, where i got into my teenage car accident. but the third and probably most important thing i like about the story is that it note-for-note follows the plot, melody and spirit of my hero leonard cohen's first we take manhattan. to match zeke, my next piece will be a recreation of tower of song, the masterpiece of masterpieces. 

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#915: leonard cohen - the partisan (france, 1969)

leonard cohen in black and white, with just his organs, and an organ somewhere in the back, sings in french on french t.v. about wind, shadows, frontiers, and dying without whispers. then he grimaces. good luck to the next guy who tries it! here’s more from the saint of widowers and warriors.

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if all jews are the sons of abraham, then leonard cohen and i are related.

if all jews are the sons of abraham, then leonard cohen and i are related.

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#756: leonard cohen - take this waltz (1988)

a surefire way, but not the only one, to be sure that a music video is one of the best music videos in history is when it’s the crowning video of someone godly. by godly i mean the few people whose five best albums every man should own, like harry nilsson or randy newman—whose five i described earlier, then the awl added a helpful 41-song guide. and come to think of it the list of “ry cooder albums that every man should own” has been posted three-quarters of the way through the right column of this page for two years.

leonard cohen had five just between 1967 and 1973 (being songs of leonard cohen, songs from a room, songs of lond and hate, live songs—which i just got on vinyl for $.99 and goddamn it’s tremendous—and new skin for the old ceremony). and then of course there’s what’s come since then, like maybe his finest album, phil spector’s very charming death of a ladies man.

so he easily qualifies as godly, although if you looked at the man you’d have known that already. and this is clearly his video career’s crowning achievement: it has leonard cohen in slow motion, it has leonard cohen smoking, it has leonard cohen in front of a red sunset singing, “i want you on a chair with a dead magazine,” which i think might be a lorca line. and being that one way to be sure that a music video is one of the greatest in history is if it’s someone godly’s crowning achievement, take this waltz is one of the greatest music videos ever. quod erat demo, right?

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i know no mathematical formula to prove that this is one of the best book covers ever made, but i feel it in my gut. at the very least we all can agree it’s one of the best poetry covers—or one of the three best covers for books by leonard cohen. along with this one. and this!

i know no mathematical formula to prove that this is one of the best book covers ever made, but i feel it in my gut. at the very least we all can agree it’s one of the best poetry covers—or one of the three best covers for books by leonard cohen. along with this one. and this!

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a detail from a photograph that should probably be called hydra or hello, marianne or probably have house stop all i need is my woman and her son

a detail from a photograph that should probably be called hydra or hello, marianne or probably have house stop all i need is my woman and her son

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leonard cohen with marianne ihlen, on the shore of hydra in 1960, which is where he met her, just before her husband left for another woman, which is when leonard cohen drove her to oslo, then sent a telegram from montreal that said, “have house. all i need is my woman and her son.” see more of saint leonard cohen here, and more old photographs are right this way.
james burke for life (and big beautiful copy from of my friend joe, who works there)

leonard cohen with marianne ihlen, on the shore of hydra in 1960, which is where he met her, just before her husband left for another woman, which is when leonard cohen drove her to oslo, then sent a telegram from montreal that said, “have house. all i need is my woman and her son.” see more of saint leonard cohen here, and more old photographs are right this way.

james burke for life (and big beautiful copy from of my friend joe, who works there)

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#671: leonard cohen - suzanne (1970, isle of wight)

if i had to generalize, i would say that so far the big difference between my early-20s and mid-20s is that my love for the eternal truths of leonard cohen outshined my believe in the eternal truths of randy newman (see them go head-to-head on one homonymous song here), until one day i woke up and realized that all of a sudden it was vice versa. of course the late-20s may have some surprises up its sleeve, but who can really say?

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#670: the hollies - sorry suzanne (1969, top of the pops)

the other day i was thinking very hard about how weezer’s suzanne, with its references to not one or two but three members of guns n’ roses, stacks up to leonard cohen’s suzanne, which is perfect, basically. as if it weren’t complicated enough already, i just remembered randy newman’s suzanne, a song that not only begins “i saw your name, baby, in a telephone booth, and it told all about you, i hope it was the truth,” but has what i believe is ry cooder’s slide guitar moaning lasciviously the whole way through. and then, amazingly, there’s also the hollies, singing to a fourth suzanne, in white suits, holding silly microphones, and with a very nice guitar solo, too. plus also lou reed’s mid-8s i love you, suzanne, last and very much least, thanks especially to a video that begins with 32 seconds of a phone ringing loudly.

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canyons, cocktails, penthouses, and aging go-go dancers is what leonard cohen’s  phil spector-produced 1977 masterpiece death of a ladies’ man smells like. it’s a woozy, brassy, oiled-up, wild-eyed, california king-sized album from a poet who otherwise sleeps on hardwood floors. and its cover is nearly as good as the poster for the 1961 jerry lewis film.
its songs haven’t gotten what they deserved. rolling stone called fingerprints “wrongheaded country music,” as if country music was meant to be right-headed, and sighed that the hugely catchy don’t go home with your hard-on was a “rather pointless wallow in raunch,” like pointless leonard cohen raunchiness (with bob dylan and allen ginsberg yowling back-up!) could possibly be a bad thing.
the magazine was wrong. even a minute with the album is a minute of bliss. download the album here—the password, if you need it, is power.

canyons, cocktails, penthouses, and aging go-go dancers is what leonard cohen’s  phil spector-produced 1977 masterpiece death of a ladies’ man smells like. it’s a woozy, brassy, oiled-up, wild-eyed, california king-sized album from a poet who otherwise sleeps on hardwood floors. and its cover is nearly as good as the poster for the 1961 jerry lewis film.

its songs haven’t gotten what they deserved. rolling stone called fingerprints “wrongheaded country music,” as if country music was meant to be right-headed, and sighed that the hugely catchy don’t go home with your hard-on was a “rather pointless wallow in raunch,” like pointless leonard cohen raunchiness (with bob dylan and allen ginsberg yowling back-up!) could possibly be a bad thing.

the magazine was wrong. even a minute with the album is a minute of bliss. download the album here—the password, if you need it, is power.

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#535: leonard cohen - memories (excerpt from a tour bus, 1979)

if you watch just one minute of a somber jewish mystic singing doo-wop about nudity on a moving bus, make it this one.

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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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#402: lou reed & john cale - style it takes (from songs for drella, 1990)

if this sounds like hallelujah, only with no allusions to the old testament and a lot to pop art, it’s because john cale was a year or so away from making leonard cohen’s song famous when he and lou reed recorded songs for drella, their warhol eulogy. style it takes isn’t just soft and sweet, it gets nostalgic and furious—it’s downy but a downer, the combination that makes hallelujah so good. but leonard cohen’s song is probably better, what with its references to biblical coitus and all.

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leonard cohen’s mustache is the mustache that launched 1,000 mustaches.

leonard cohen’s mustache is the mustache that launched 1,000 mustaches.

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"i heard of a man who says words so beautifully that if he only speaks their name women give themselves to him." (from let us compare mythologies)

"i heard of a man who says words so beautifully that if he only speaks their name women give themselves to him." (from let us compare mythologies)

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