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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#1045: prince far-i - throw away our gun (1979)

we’re all allowed to take our advice from whomever we chose, and the world is sure full of sages. but i myself think it’s worth paying attention whenever one of the world’s best princes talks — especially when he’s backed by musicians with names like errol flabba holt, crucial bunny, bingy bunny, sowell, congo ashanti roy, noel scully simms and gladstone anderson. 

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what is a “bam bam”? i do not know. but i’ve done a rigorous study and can reveal that the general subject of bam bam is the third most fruitful overall source of good music, right on the heels of love and lovelessness and god and godlessness. see:
(1) sister nancy’s bam bam (1982)
(2) the congos’ la la bam-bam (1977)
(3) toots and the maytals’ bam bam (1966)

what is a “bam bam”? i do not know. but i’ve done a rigorous study and can reveal that the general subject of bam bam is the third most fruitful overall source of good music, right on the heels of love and lovelessness and god and godlessness. see:

(1) sister nancy’s bam bam (1982)

(2) the congos’ la la bam-bam (1977)

(3) toots and the maytals’ bam bam (1966)

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#987: bob marley & the wailers - rastaman chant (1973, rehearsals)

bob marley’s rastaman chant has regained its position as the world’s best chant now that fireman ed, leader of the nfl’s famous “j-e-t-s jets jets jets,” has publicly resigned from his position via a metro op-ed.

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sometimes when no one’s around and i’m feeling optimistic i whisper, “you can get an original you can get it if you really want trojan pressing if you really want” over and over.

sometimes when no one’s around and i’m feeling optimistic i whisper, “you can get an original you can get it if you really want trojan pressing if you really want” over and over.

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this week i spent $4 on desmond dekker’s very aptly named trojan records two-lp double dekker. not only is the first track 007 shanty town, which is incredibly not about james bond, but the second is israelites, history’s best song about israel—except for that “light one candle for the maccabee children” hanukkah song, which is the greatest! i got double dekker at my favorite store in new york city, good records. i almost hesitate to mention that name because it’s so nice and quiet, and the owner johnny is such a sweet guy, with $1 rolling stones albums and $80 west african ’60s albums that i like to ogle with my mouth open. bless desmond dekker and bless good records.

this week i spent $4 on desmond dekker’s very aptly named trojan records two-lp double dekker. not only is the first track 007 shanty town, which is incredibly not about james bond, but the second is israelites, history’s best song about israel—except for that “light one candle for the maccabee children” hanukkah song, which is the greatest! i got double dekker at my favorite store in new york city, good records. i almost hesitate to mention that name because it’s so nice and quiet, and the owner johnny is such a sweet guy, with $1 rolling stones albums and $80 west african ’60s albums that i like to ogle with my mouth open. bless desmond dekker and bless good records.

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#894: u-roy - natty rebel (1978)

when u-roy does that walk at 2:45, halfway between a glide and a wiggle and a wade, wearing his spotless orange suit, what he’s doing is apologizing for the relatively light posting recently on this blog. it’s a magical walk, readers, and it can mean whatever you need it to mean.

but i can change. and you can change, too, if you in your arrogant blindness have somehow conducted your lifelong affairs without at least once enjoying u-roy's perfect orange-suited shuffle. enjoy it, friends.

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i would never under any circumstances get a tattoo, but if i did it’d be this. or “mom!”. thank you, u-roy.

i would never under any circumstances get a tattoo, but if i did it’d be this. or “mom!”. thank you, u-roy.

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even though these are partisan times filled with divisions and prejudices, i think we can all maturely agree that the best use of melodica was not actually on an augustus pablo album, despite his ferocious playing, but at the end of u-roy’s dread in a babylon. another inarguable thing is that those pictures of u-roy on the back cover are reggae’s only use of drug photographs that’s both glamorizing and also a caricature of an ad council warning not to get lost in a metaphoric (or literal!) cloud of smoke.

even though these are partisan times filled with divisions and prejudices, i think we can all maturely agree that the best use of melodica was not actually on an augustus pablo album, despite his ferocious playing, but at the end of u-roy’s dread in a babylon. another inarguable thing is that those pictures of u-roy on the back cover are reggae’s only use of drug photographs that’s both glamorizing and also a caricature of an ad council warning not to get lost in a metaphoric (or literal!) cloud of smoke.

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#861: bob marley & the wailers - african herbsman (criteria studio rehearsal, miami fl, 1980)

i just wrote a novella-length dissertation on the wailers’ african herbsman as seen through the lens of randy newman’s sail away in mid-70s america. feeling pretty good about it.

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#829: the clash - this is radio clash (the tomorrow show, 1981)

who would win if mick jones’ drum synthesizer solo had a fight to the death with joe strummer’s bicepts, paul simonon’s royal crown pomade, and topper headon’s beret? topper headon’s beret.

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#775: byron lee & the dragonaires - jamaican ska (and more from this is ska!) (1964)

if you need me i’ll just be thinking quietly about feverishly celebrating this avalanche of new york springtime by sprinting shirtlessly down park avenue waving my arms to and fro in what this very early reggae documentary describes as “a regular ska session.” you know the one—it’s a throbbing, pulsating dance craze! you keep the beat with the upper half of the body, bowing forward with a straight back and slight bend in both knees, the arms extending at the first bow to the sides, then crossing in front at the second bow, with the body straightening up in between the change of arms from one position to the other. and don’t forget the added side step! first to the right by moving the right leg on the extension of the arms, then bringing up the left leg on the arms’ closing—right, then left, swinging up and down in front of the body, finishing with a body beat when the right arm is in the air. that’s exactly what i’ll be doing out in the sun, in my mind, as i sit here.

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#704: robyn (ft. diplo) - dancehall queen (2010)

dancehall queen's chorus is the world's greatest miley cyrus cover. robyn and diplo must have been listening to a lot of the young lady's party in the u.s.a. chorus (“so i put my hands up!”), or maybe they just happened to hear a lot of it on their respective radio stations in stockholm and philadelphia, because they’ve inadvertently recreated its pulpy melody (“now what! your jaw has dropped!”) awfully well. still, to robyn and diplo’s credit, their song is richer and prettier and weirder than the late-2009 hit it briefly rips off, and plus their video has lots of nylon and cosmetics and also a helpful karaoke crawl. maybe miley will sing along.

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#681: gregory isaacs - slave master (1977, from rockers)

gregory isaacs can’t really be dead, because men who make music so honeyed, clothy and confident can’t really expire. they only hibernate.

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gregory isaacs is in person in heaven, if it exists. you know what i mean? he really is—the cool ruler, the smooth shooter, the lonely lover, the sweet singer—in the clouds.
listen to mr. isaacs’ extra classic tonight in your red car in his honor.

gregory isaacs is in person in heaven, if it exists. you know what i mean? he really is—the cool ruler, the smooth shooter, the lonely lover, the sweet singer—in the clouds.

listen to mr. isaacs’ extra classic tonight in your red car in his honor.

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gregory isaacs - mr. cop (1977)

truly the let’s get it on of jamaican police enforcement anthems, and maybe this very mellow man’s mellowest song. goodnightcool ruler.

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