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

"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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#1036: fela kuti - teacher don’t teach me nonsense (live, 1986) 

yesterday i was minding my own in housing works books on crosby street, one of the best places in new york, when i got a call from my girlfriend annie. because she’s a very kind and excellent woman and because the universe can sometimes act just like her, she was calling to say that she was at a yard sale with her mother that had some cheap records — in fact, unopened boxes of lps that the yardseller had shown annie — and would i be interested in hearing the names of them? i would. and then she started reading: fela anikulapo kuti’s teacher don’t teach me nonsense, the even finer african musician dollar brand, tom waits’ small change and blue valentine, even franks wild years, and also my favorite miles davis album, and not only international hero brian eno but an eno with byrne album named after a book my dad likes. thank you albums, thank you yards, thank you sweet annie.

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#998: tom waits - strange weather (1988, big time)

you listen to the frozen tom waits songs if you’re alone at christmastime in minneapolis dreaming about used car lots, the warm ones when the world turns green, wet songs when you’re waltzing in soggy shoes, the dewy ballads if the arms that held you are gone, and autumn hymnals when you know you’ve been changed. but the air heaves, treetops sigh, the subway wheezes, summer hail threats and ozone gets its own radio warnings and it’s strange weather from noon to night.

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#981: bob dylan - a hard rain’s a gonna fall (1975, rolling thunder revue)

a very special super groovy spectacular mix: 20 serious storm songs for sandy

(1) james carr’s these ain’t raindrops (2) charlie patton’s devil sent the rain (3) billie holiday’s come rain or come shine (4) ann peebles’ i can’t stand the rain (5) irma thomas’ it’s raining (6) dr. john’s blow wind blow (7) neko case’s fox confessor brings the flood (8) jerry garcia & david grisman’s dreadful wind and rain (9) the temptations’ i wish it would rain (10) the meters’ stormy (11) randy newman’s i think it’s going to rain today (12) tom waits on rain: rain dogs & more than rain & rains on me (13) karen dalton’s little bit of rain (14) r.e.m.’s so. central rain (15) bonnie ‘prince’ billy raining in darling (16) neil young’s see the sky about to rain (17) brian eno’s fullness of wind (18)the velvet underground’s hey mister rain (19) the sensational nightingales’ the storm is passing over (20) bob dylan’s a hard rain’s a gonna fall 

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#934: tom waits - telephone call from istanbul (1987, big time)

narrowly the world’s finest song on the subject of telephonics, by the skin of a tooth on a hair hanging from a blue trenchcoat. 

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Tom Waits "Silent Night / Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis" from Austin City Limits on Vimeo.

#886: tom waits - silent night & christmas card from a hooker in minneapolis (1978)

the trick to happy holidays is remembering that one december tom waits met a nun from johnsburg illinois whose convent let her out to celebrate new year’s eve. he found a wedding chapel for them in the yellow pages next to “massage,” and a registrar named watermelon called them mr. tom and ms. kathleen watts. they spent their honeymoon in william blake’s old irish house, where the radio was broken. the man at the front desk they called for assistance had gone out, looking for radio parts, and came back four days later. it was that or they met at a hollywood party while roy brown played. but friends, either way, may a little bit of some kind of heavenly peace be yours, too, this holiday season. see you in 2012.

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#808: tom waits - rain dogs (big time, 1987)

children who are forced into clarinet lessons by cruel parents, and also by a westchester elementary-school band instructor, but also by her husband the westchester middle-school band teacher, even when they really don’t want to play the fucking clarient—and if it sounds like things are getting personal here it’s because they are—these children should just cool their jets. don’t they know that one day they’ll be in their 20s and want to establish sidney bechet appreciation societies? surely they’ll listen to that sweet woodwind opening up trashy but adorable francophile woody allen movies, and sigh heavy sighs?

and will they not watch live tom waits clips from the 1980s and realize that their old instrument is cremating the accordion, embarrassing the electric guitar, pounding the percussionist on the floor, mangling the man in the fez, tantalizing tom waits himself?

of course they will. fools.

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#783: nina simone - i loves you, porgy (1962)

for some weird reason, though maybe i could put my finger on if i tried hard, people don’t own nearly enough nina simone albums. here are ten that you’ll profoundly love if you have a heart that beats blood up to your brains and down to your feet:

1. nina simone in concert: songs about mississippi, smoking in bed, limpness, gold, jim crow and porgy.

2. broadway blues ballads: zeke turner gave me this, and it’s got laziest gal in town and something wonderful, which i heard are both about him.

3. wild is the windwoozier than tom waits, and prettier, and meatier, and sadder.

4. little girl blue: her first album, also called jazz as played in an exclusive side street club, which i like because of the “as.”

5. nina simone sings the blues: it’s said that all of new york city collectively wept on the 1967 night this album was released—i made that up, but i might not have.

6. nina simone at town hall: “how do you tell somebody how it feels to be in love? you cannot do it to save your life. you can describe things, but you can’t tell them, but you know it when it happens. that’s what i mean by free. i had a couple of times on the stage when i really felt free, and that’s something else. that’s something else!”

7. nina simone and piano: her and a piano, just like ella fitzgerald’s let no man write my epitaph. both are really simple and terrifying.

8. 'nuff said: i like it mostly for these earrings.

9. a portrait of nina: a 2-lp bootleg that i bought for $3 a while ago, with lung-collapsing versions of four women and sinnerman. (i’d love to rip it into mp3s—if someone out there can help me with that, give me a ring, ok?).

10. live at montreaux 1976: actually i’m not sure if this was ever released as a proper album. why is that?

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#730: tom waits - tom traubert’s blues (1999, bridge school benefit)

even under completely normal conditions tom waits’ music makes me weep, so imagine all all the teeth gnashing and floor beating and private apologies for all the wrongs i’ve done when he plays songs to help the bridge school for disabled children, or, like today, when he writes a book of poetry to raise money for his local homeless services. and it’s really beautiful: “maybe we are all members/ of an orchestra that is merely/ tuning up/ and our curious trails/ are random scales/ for a music that has/ yet to begin.”

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#729: tom waits - innocent when you dream (1999, bridge school benefit)

"this is a song my dad taught me when i was a kid—that’s a lie, this is a song i learned from some kids in the alley behind the theater—that’s a lie, too, i learned this from gregory peck—that, too, is a lie, they’re all lies, the whole song’s a lie."

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#717: tom waits - jesus gonna be here (2000, live in warsaw)

what kris kringle is listening to at this very moment. 

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#712: tom waits - heartattack and vine & jersey girl (1980)

come for the endearingly awkward john candy introduction, stay for the gin-drenched, wobbly-footed, sunken-eyed, stained-shirt performance of heartattack and vine, and then sit and enjoy as the accumbens nucleus section of your brain and then your heart’s little ventricles are incinerated by the love song tom waits wrote for the woman he’d married three months earlier at the always forever wedding chapel. true to their chapel’s name, he and kathleen brennan, born in johnsburg, illinois but then a resident of the garden state, are still together.

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what jersey girl is to love songs, down by law is to jailbreak films. it includes not only tom waits in a hairnet, but the sweetest husband-and-wife slow dance to irma thomas known to man.

what jersey girl is to love songs, down by law is to jailbreak films. it includes not only tom waits in a hairnet, but the sweetest husband-and-wife slow dance to irma thomas known to man.

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#652: tom waits - lord i’ve been changed (2006)

oh is this sudden and unmistakable onslaught of autumn a beautiful thing. the mercury collapsed, the skies darkened, and fall is here: it makes a man thinks of cobwebs, firewood, flannel-colored leaves on the merritt parkway, and the word musk. what this sudden september season shift means is it’s time to put away early/mid-career tom waits and trade up for mid/late.

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"all i want to do is ride around shining" - the clipse, 2006
"i’m shining like a new dime" - tom waits, 1985
spending my free time this labor day weekend listening to tom waits and the clipse. they make music about the same exact three things: brags, pleas, and misplaced souls.

"all i want to do is ride around shining" - the clipse, 2006

"i’m shining like a new dime" - tom waits, 1985

spending my free time this labor day weekend listening to tom waits and the clipse. they make music about the same exact three things: brags, pleas, and misplaced souls.

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