MAXABELSON'S SUPERGROOVY MUSIC VIDEO SPECTACULAR

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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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"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


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#1065: smiths - panic (1986)

"no odio a la gente," says the subhead of an interview this morning in spain’s el mundo. “soy un hombre amable y sensible.” above that is the article’s headline, another quote from the same interview: “ya descansaré cuando esté muerto.” who is the amiable and sensible misanthrope who will rest when he’s dead? of course, who else, it’s morrissey. and in the same interview with the spanish newspaper — between its corrupt royalty and ebola panic, how could he have picked another country’s media? — he announces that he has cancer.

"si me muero, pues me muero," he says. "y si no, pues no." i hope he pronounced those words, just like that, in lancashire-accented spanish. and not its english translation: "if i die, i die; and if i don’t, i don’t." 

one of history’s most gifted, heroic, tragic, interesting, loathsome, melodic, inspired narcissists is ill. if he won’t panic, then we shouldn’t. here are some smiths covers to look at to distract you. and if that doesn’t work, there are the world-historic videos for this charming mansister i’m a poet, askbigmouth strikes again, i’ve changed my plea to guilty, i started something i couldn’t finish and sheila take a bow.

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seven smiths covers from seven years of the super groovy music video extravaganza, ranked: (7) bigmouth strikes again (6) the boy with the thorn in his side (5) meat is murder (4) i started something i couldn’t finish (3) this charming man (2) what difference does it make? (1) there is a light that never goes out

seven smiths covers from seven years of the super groovy music video extravaganza, ranked: (7) bigmouth strikes again (6) the boy with the thorn in his side (5) meat is murder (4) i started something i couldn’t finish (3) this charming man (2) what difference does it make? (1) there is a light that never goes out

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#857: the smiths - i started something i couldn’t finish (1987)

last month i went to a shabbat party with the entire smiths videography playing on a t.v., exactly as adonai commanded.

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#747: morrisey - i’ve changed my plea to guilty (1990, jonathan ross show)

in honor of the seven hundred and forty seventh video is an airplane-sized song from a man whose pompadour is the only thing better than the way he closes his eyes whenever he sings the word me. and then the only thing better than that is his knack for writing a chorus that makes the very idea of sincerity sound sinister. his foot-to-foot sway is good, too.

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#690: orange juice - rip it up (1982)

there’s something wonderfully and just impossibly cool about the music that was made right before i was born in november 1984. the guitars don’t only have sheen, they preen; the bass lines are pelvic; the drums cuff and snap; and the vocals, of course, were all recorded in denim jackets on chaise longues.

i’m talking about orange juice, the smiths, the monochrome set, and orchestral manoeuvres in the dark. plus lots of elvis costello and lots and lots of early r.e.m.. and some public image ltd. and talking heads/tom tom club, certain cure hits, a dabble of kraftwerk, the jonzun crew, even the late malcolm mclaren. they’re songs that make me nostalgic for something that i know deep down i never had in the first place.

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one weekday afternoon this month, a man walked into the ace hotel’s breslin bar & dining room and ordered a guinness with a patrón silver, chilled. they didn’t have that. would a partida blanco do? it would.
jeffrey rabhan, 40, the new chair of new york university’s clive davis department of recorded music, was there to do business with the restaurant’s owner, ken friedman. they’re both music managers who’ve moved on to other things. mr. friedman asked for an iced coffee, but once mr. rabhan’s beer and tequila came, the restaurateur ordered that instead. why not? in his beautiful booth in his beautiful restaurant, he showed off hidden phone chargers. “i’m the artist here,” he said. “in a way, the chef’s really the artist, but i’m the producer, i guess.”
they drank the tequila. “i would love,” mr. rabhan said, “i would love to have you on the board.” the department’s advisory board now has about a dozen people.
"great," mr. friedman said before he finished. "i would love it."
"at the risk of sounding crass, i’m trying to fill roles: advice, money, contacts. you’re all of the above," he said. mr. rabhan, enthusiastic and well groomed, has the air of a man who is going to be doing something interesting with interesting people later in the hour. but mr. friedman, relaxed and mussed, looks like he just came from somewhere. before restaurants, he managed the smiths. jay-z is one of his investors, and a friend.
mr. rabhan discovered hanson and michelle branch, and managed kelly clarkson. “and you give us some street cred, some new york city cred,” he continued. “if you want to make a donation, that’s great.” mr. friedman nodded. “what i would ask you for is introductions,” mr. rabhan concluded. “i wouldn’t ask for help with jay.”
"i’d be honored to do that," he said. he suggested he could host a party for the department in the hotel. "see, if i did something like that? i could get jay," he said. "here’s the thing, we control all the spaces." lady starlight, lady gaga’s dj, happens to be doing punk rock brunches there, for example. "it was her idea. we can just do it. what the fuck."
mr. rabhan wondered about a recorded music fund-raiser. “instead of rubber chicken at a midtown hotel—”
"do good food at a hip hotel," mr. friedman interrupted.
"i’m jumping up and down," mr. rabhan said.
mr. friedman hinted there could even be some sort of weekly clive davis school of music night.
"does that fit the brand?" mr. rabhan asked, meaning that the breslin would maybe be too awesome for that. he was being modest. his program, which he took over in january, and was inaugurated only seven years ago, is basically the most interesting business school in the city right now—except, instead of teaching economics, swizz beatz will be giving production lessons next semester.
it’s also one of the most singular music programs, although its new chair would not know the minor scale from the mixolydian mode if it bit him on his strong nose. in fact, he cannot read music at all. at the clive davis department of recorded music, that is not a problem. “in short,” its web site says, “we are the premier training ground for future music moguls.”
read more, please, at the new york observer's website (or in this morning's paper)
(and afterward you can try this brief follow-up, if you’re interested)

one weekday afternoon this month, a man walked into the ace hotel’s breslin bar & dining room and ordered a guinness with a patrón silver, chilled. they didn’t have that. would a partida blanco do? it would.

jeffrey rabhan, 40, the new chair of new york university’s clive davis department of recorded music, was there to do business with the restaurant’s owner, ken friedman. they’re both music managers who’ve moved on to other things. mr. friedman asked for an iced coffee, but once mr. rabhan’s beer and tequila came, the restaurateur ordered that instead. why not? in his beautiful booth in his beautiful restaurant, he showed off hidden phone chargers. “i’m the artist here,” he said. “in a way, the chef’s really the artist, but i’m the producer, i guess.”

they drank the tequila. “i would love,” mr. rabhan said, “i would love to have you on the board.” the department’s advisory board now has about a dozen people.

"great," mr. friedman said before he finished. "i would love it."

"at the risk of sounding crass, i’m trying to fill roles: advice, money, contacts. you’re all of the above," he said. mr. rabhan, enthusiastic and well groomed, has the air of a man who is going to be doing something interesting with interesting people later in the hour. but mr. friedman, relaxed and mussed, looks like he just came from somewhere. before restaurants, he managed the smiths. jay-z is one of his investors, and a friend.

mr. rabhan discovered hanson and michelle branch, and managed kelly clarkson. “and you give us some street cred, some new york city cred,” he continued. “if you want to make a donation, that’s great.” mr. friedman nodded. “what i would ask you for is introductions,” mr. rabhan concluded. “i wouldn’t ask for help with jay.”

"i’d be honored to do that," he said. he suggested he could host a party for the department in the hotel. "see, if i did something like that? i could get jay," he said. "here’s the thing, we control all the spaces." lady starlight, lady gaga’s dj, happens to be doing punk rock brunches there, for example. "it was her idea. we can just do it. what the fuck."

mr. rabhan wondered about a recorded music fund-raiser. “instead of rubber chicken at a midtown hotel—”

"do good food at a hip hotel," mr. friedman interrupted.

"i’m jumping up and down," mr. rabhan said.

mr. friedman hinted there could even be some sort of weekly clive davis school of music night.

"does that fit the brand?" mr. rabhan asked, meaning that the breslin would maybe be too awesome for that. he was being modest. his program, which he took over in january, and was inaugurated only seven years ago, is basically the most interesting business school in the city right now—except, instead of teaching economics, swizz beatz will be giving production lessons next semester.

it’s also one of the most singular music programs, although its new chair would not know the minor scale from the mixolydian mode if it bit him on his strong nose. in fact, he cannot read music at all. at the clive davis department of recorded music, that is not a problem. “in short,” its web site says, “we are the premier training ground for future music moguls.”

read more, please, at the new york observer's website (or in this morning's paper)

(and afterward you can try this brief follow-up, if you’re interested)

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happy thoughts about belle and sebastian’s upcoming nyc show aside, i wonder what would happen if their perfect album covers had a bloody battle to the death with the smiths’ very extraordinary cover art (and posters). who would win? no one can say for sure, although certainly there would be a lot of very well art-directed carnage.

happy thoughts about belle and sebastian’s upcoming nyc show aside, i wonder what would happen if their perfect album covers had a bloody battle to the death with the smiths’ very extraordinary cover art (and posters). who would win? no one can say for sure, although certainly there would be a lot of very well art-directed carnage.

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#573: the smiths - bigmouth strikes again (1986)

birds were chirping and the sky over washington was the color of blueberry taffy before tuesday’s long-awaited goldman sachs hearing. it was a pretty, harmless morning. the first floor of the dirksen senate office building was quiet while rows of reporters set up. a handsome couple from the financial times kept an upside-down bottle of hand sanitizer between them. the times’ louise story had a mini-bottle of diet coke by her laptop. “i’m sure some people have excitement, but not me. i do war,” an editor for the army times said in the press office.

cameramen swarmed around the empty table where the goldmen executives would sit, then just stood there. a very pretty bulgarian-born bbc producer ran her hands through her hair. the little-known goldman sachs major-domo john rogers stood quietly by himself. he is said to resemble john le carré’s george smiley, trench coat and all, but looked like another slightly rumpled reporter. a senate staff member stood a few feet away. “frankly, i’m a little afraid of them,” the staffer said. “they’re going to try to school the u.s. senate, and make them look silly.”

if you please, read more of this week’s charming n.y. observer cover story here!

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just realized, stupid me, that of course bigmouth strikes again is the smiths song that needed the joan of arc album cover. “as the flames rose, to her roman nose” is the best schnoz-related smiths lyric, better even than “there’s always someone, somewhere, with a big nose, who knows.”

just realized, stupid me, that of course bigmouth strikes again is the smiths song that needed the joan of arc album cover. “as the flames rose, to her roman nose” is the best schnoz-related smiths lyric, better even than “there’s always someone, somewhere, with a big nose, who knows.”

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why a close-up from joan of arc was never put on the cover of a smiths album (or single!) is anyone’s guess. this charming man got jean marais and what difference does it make got terrence stamp, so morissey could have at the very least considered renee falconetti for pretty girls make graves and/or cemetery gates.

why a close-up from joan of arc was never put on the cover of a smiths album (or single!) is anyone’s guess. this charming man got jean marais and what difference does it make got terrence stamp, so morissey could have at the very least considered renee falconetti for pretty girls make graves and/or cemetery gates.

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last night i was in a living room in upstate new york seeing jean cocteau’s wildly, hilariously, mind-bogglingly beautiful orpheus for the first time—a few hours later, across the ocean, in a town in northwest england, morrissey got on stage in front of a sold-out crowd, said “good evening, probably,” started singing this charming man, whose cover is a still from orpheus' second best moment, winced, sagged to his knees, collapsed, and was sent to the hospital. he stayed overnight.
i hope the charming man collapse was not somehow my fault, and that morrissey’s recuperation is swift and full of jean cocteau movies.

last night i was in a living room in upstate new york seeing jean cocteau’s wildly, hilariously, mind-bogglingly beautiful orpheus for the first time—a few hours later, across the ocean, in a town in northwest england, morrissey got on stage in front of a sold-out crowd, said “good evening, probably,” started singing this charming man, whose cover is a still from orpheus' second best moment, winced, sagged to his knees, collapsed, and was sent to the hospital. he stayed overnight.

i hope the charming man collapse was not somehow my fault, and that morrissey’s recuperation is swift and full of jean cocteau movies.

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#327: morrissey - sister i’m a poet (1988)

hugs are better than slugs and bugs, which are both better than thugs, and thugs do drugs, and sometimes if you’re in the right mood drugs can be better than hugs, except for when hyper-obsessive smiths fans are hugging semi-shirtless morrisey and getting gently pulled off by a mulleted bodyguard. (somebody should give johnny marr a hug too.)

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morrissey on the cover of a smiths single, pretending to be terrence stamp pretending to be freddie clegg on the cover of a smiths single.

morrissey on the cover of a smiths single, pretending to be terrence stamp pretending to be freddie clegg on the cover of a smiths single.

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#219: the smiths - ask (1986)

this always reminds me of spending warm summer days indoors writing frightening verse to a bucktoothed girl in luxembourg. we weren’t in love, but the bomb kept us together.

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