So Good: Lester Young and Billie Holiday

I’ve been reading “But Beautiful” by Geoff Dyer, an amazing book about jazz lives. I’m listening along to the chapters, using Spotify and YouTube. Hearing all kinds of amazing musicianship. Chapter One: I’ve fallen deep into Lester Young. But check out the expression in Billie’s face. Treat yourself to this. “Fine and Mellow” More video accompaniment to the jazz artists in Geoff Dyer’s “But Beautiful”: http://www.errico.com/tag/but-beautiful/ More So Good:...
Dear Mike: What are Holiday Omens?

Dear Mike: What are Holiday Omens?

What are Holiday Omens? The Holiday Omens are “gifts” for each member of the audience. They portend some aspect of their New Year. How does it work? Audience members are given the opportunity to reach into the Omen Bag, pull out one Omen, and pass the bag. At that point, it is up to the recipient to interpret why it picked them. Do YOU know why it picked them? I do not. Does it work? Oh yes. Are the Omens always “good”? Is anything? How would you define your role in distributing the Holiday Omens? They have come to me, looking for directions elsewhere. Does this go against any religions? Technically, yes. To some it equals idolatry, false witness, or a nod to other, darker arts. Audience members do not need to reach in. Have people ever returned an Omen? A large plastic eggplant was thrown at me on stage at New York City’s Mercury Lounge. It was revelatory, for those of a certain mind. Have you ever been given an Omen? Yes. I have been given Omens a couple of times by incredibly generous people. I was deeply moved. When did this tradition start? Long ago. Are tickets still available? Maybe. Maybe not. I’d check.   Where? Here:...

My Favorite Releases of 2011

A few caveats: A) The music industry, now in shambles, has made conversation about music fragmented, confusing and weird. B) A true Best Of list, liberated from genres, agendas and mission statements, reads like Spotify just threw up on your keyboard. C) Spotify did, in fact, throw up on my keyboard, sending me to the farthest reaches of recorded music, only a sliver of which was recorded in 2011. I was lucky to find these gems, and to see some of the bands live. Otherwise I hang on to so-called “common knowledge” only through limited familiarity with the Kardashians. (There are three, one more atrocious than the other.) Battles – Gloss Drop It seems perfectly normal to start an album review with praise for a video, especially when the (literally) trippy “My Machines” (feat. Gary Numan) provides all the gateway drugs required to hook into Battles catalog, live show and angular, restless aesthetic. Drummer John Stanier (ex-Helmet) is a force of nature, and on his foundation hangs a menagerie of Moogs and Marshalls that continue to blur the line between high-minded electronica and knuckle-dragging rock. Vocalists are guests (live, they are relegated to video wall projections), and the choice of ’80s synth pioneer Gary Numan speaks volumes. His disembodied delivery still sends chills, and the rhythm section brings heat. Radiohead – The King of Limbs Thom got…romantic. Or at least this is what I think it sounds like when androids get romantic. It’s lovely, really. All the emotion you’ve come to expect from human interaction, set to the stuttering digitalia you’ve come to expect from alien abduction. Boring choice?...
So Good: Drinkify

So Good: Drinkify

This new Web-toy “automatically generates the perfect* cocktail recipe to accompany any music. * May not actually be perfect.” Hm. 12 oz of vodka and “1000 Miles”… I’m not going to say it hasn’t been done. And I’m not going to say it was wrong. OK. I’m off to have a “The Misfits.”...
So Good: Show Her You Love Her…and LSU Football

So Good: Show Her You Love Her…and LSU Football

Two loves. One fragrance. Do the math. LSU Tigers Women’s Perfume “A signature scent inspired by the majestic spirit of the Fighting Tigers. LSU for Women opens with Juicy Plum and Golden Bourbon, symbolizing the time honored school colors of Purple and Gold, pumped up with a splash of Sparkling Mandarin. Dewey Evening Jasmine, Egyptian Tuberose and Turkish Rose Petals dance throughout the heart inviting you to boost and invigorate your school spirit while Warm Honey, Black Agar, Deep Patchouli and Soft Oak lend strength to the base creating a fragrance that is as fierce and confident as the Tigers themselves. A sensual, golden, woody fragrance for the LSU woman.” …all that, plus NCAA approval, for sixty stinkin’ dollars. SOLD. More So Good: CLICK...