max abelson's super groovy music video spectacular

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


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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


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#963: ray charles & the raelettes - drown in my own tears (1960, live)

do you know how miserable ray charles is when he tells you here that he’s literally drowning to death because of the secretions of his sadness, in this live version of drown in my own tears that he made while listening to a lot of late beethoven string quartets, duke ellington, and godspeed you black emperor?

he is as sad as i am about the quiet super groovy spectacular late-summer posting lately. it’ll be better in a week, and then maybe by the end of the year we ought to hit video no. 1000, and i’ll throw a party in new york with confetti.

it will take that length time for you to recover from this ray charles anyhow.

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not only was drown in my own tears backed by what’d i say and yes indeed but ray charles wore glasses that looked like the side of a 1957 chrysler on the single’s cover. 

not only was drown in my own tears backed by what’d i say and yes indeed but ray charles wore glasses that looked like the side of a 1957 chrysler on the single’s cover

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#929: lesley gore (prod. quincy jones) - it’s my party (1963)

even though quincy jones doesn’t turn 80 until next march, the gentleman’s impact on 20th-century u.s. ears is so vast and that it’s totally necessary to get next year’s appreciative juices flowing with an an all-quincy week. here is a person so extraordinary that his middle name is literally delightt, the extra t probably for terrific.

quincy jones, who grew up poor with a schizophrenic mother and semi-professional baseball player father, met ray charles at 14, toured as lionel hampton’s trumpeter by 20, and was arranging songs for duke ellington around the time he was dizzy gillespie’s musical director at 23. over the next few years, when he wasn’t fronting the suavest big band records of the decade or becoming the first black executive at a major record label, he put together such perfectly gleaming pop arrangements that he could yawn out it’s my party for a 16-year-old from long island, leslie gore, by 3 pm on a weekday before going to see charles aznavour at carnegie hall.

on his way there, a man in a purple shirt and cape and sunglasses stepped out of a car. “what’s up phil?” quincy jones said to phil spector—according to quincy, the only member of the pair you should trust. ”i,” said phil, “just cat a smash with the crystals, it’s called it’s my party.” what did quincy jones do? only this: walked backstage, said a “bonsoir" to charles aznavour (that’s a direct quote from a book), ran to the bell sounds studio, cut 100 acetates of his lesley gore party version, licked 100 stamps, sent his version to radio stations, and left for japan the next day toact in a one-hour japanese drama—whose music he did too, with marvin hamlisch.

three weeks later he got a call from his mercury records boss, irving b. green. “didn’t anybody call you?” he said. “quince, the record’s number one.” he won a grammy that year, the first of 27.

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it was very emo of ray charles to release a 1964 concept album about crying (featuring cry, you’ve got me crying again, after my laughter came tears, i cried for you and a tear fell), though later that same year he released have a smile with me featuring the man with the weird beard and the naughty lady of shady lane.

it was very emo of ray charles to release a 1964 concept album about crying (featuring cry, you’ve got me crying again, after my laughter came tears, i cried for you and a tear fell), though later that same year he released have a smile with me featuring the man with the weird beard and the naughty lady of shady lane.

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#403: ray charles - you don’t know me (1963, brazil)

goody-goody country crooner eddy arnold wrote you don’t know me, but his original recording is to ray charles’ version from modern sounds in country and western music as un-buttered toast is to cake. the only problems with the ray charles gem are slightly-gooey backup singers and a very gooey string section, but this willowy, throbbing live recording has neither. if eddy arnold’s original is in supermarkets, this gets played in the second circle of hell to keep the lovelorn weeping.

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it’s always good to see country ray shaking rhythm ray’s hand against a powder blue background.

it’s always good to see country ray shaking rhythm ray’s hand against a powder blue background.

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#217: ray charles - ring of fire (1970, johnny cash show)

i don’t mind schmaltzy horns when a song is being sung by a man in a powder blue suit—especially if it’s ray charles, and especially if he’s snapping his fingers and banging his legs and whispering the lyrics at points because he’s so into it, and then interupting himself to say, “i tell you baby, that thing went crazy.”

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if god is love and love is blind and ray charles was blind, then god is a man with a backup band whose best-of collection featured seven flight attendants on its cover. marinate on that for a while.

if god is love and love is blind and ray charles was blind, then god is a man with a backup band whose best-of collection featured seven flight attendants on its cover. marinate on that for a while.

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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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