Monday, November 30, 2009

DISCO VOLANTE - 2009 Devastator Jr. Awards!

Stuff these in your stocking!

To be honest, 2009 was such a great year for new music, I couldn't possibly choose just ten albums for a 'Best Of' list. So instead, this year I did something a little different. I made a mix featuring songs from some of my favorite albums, not necessarily in top ten order, only kinda sorta that way. So ultimately, YOU get to decide. Isn't that neat?

There's a lot of great stuff I had to leave out, like Raekwon's Only Built For Cuban Linx II, Dark Was The Night, and Shafiq En'a Free's Ka, and on and on, apologies to all, but I only have so much time to fool around making arbitrary lists.

To find out which albums these songs come from and see the whole durned list in all its glory, with album artwork and more goofy comments, jump to the 2009 Devastator Jr. Awards at Rate Your Music and go hog wild.

Happy New Year!

MP3: Disco Volante - The 2009 Devastator Jr. Awards (Right-Click-Save-As)

1. Black Joe Lewis & The Honey Bears - Sugarfoot (3:18)2. The Flaming Lips - Silver Trembling Hands (3:58)3. Dam-Funk - Brookside Park (9:49)4. Animal Collective - No More Runnin (4:23)5. St. Vincent - Dig A Pony (The Beatles) (4:09)6. Neko Case - People Got A Lotta Nerve (2:35)7. Camera Obscura - French Navy (3:19)8. Fever Ray - Triangle Walks (4:23)9. DOOM - Gazzillion Ear (4:11)10. The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away (2:27)11. Broadcast - Creation Day The Travel Flute Way (0:33)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Disco Volante - Convinced Of The Hex



For me, the bizarre career of The Flaming Lips is a perfect example of just how wrong you can be. As a music fan, I'd known about them for years, long before their seminal breakout album The Soft Bulletin, and I'd always considered them born losers. They were an ok band, pretty cool and interesting to noise fans actually, but far too weird for mainstream appeal. She Don't Use Jelly? Come on! But a friend mine was adamant that they were the best band in the world, he even bought Zaireeka, their baffling boombox experimental album that required you play its four discs in four separate players just to listen to the thing. Then in 1999 came The Soft Bulletin. Wow, that lumpy, ugly, punk rock caterpillar had somehow transformed into this gorgeous, multi-layered butterfly. And in 2002 they did it again with Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.


The 'Lips new album, Embryonic, is another instant classic. This time just dangling on the edge of accessibility, it's a masterpiece of fuzzed out psychedelia and propulsive krautrock rhythms. It's just shocking how good these guys are. I was wrong all along, and I couldn't be happier! So here's the first track off the album to start our playlist.


Also, this episode is dedicated to legendary Lower East Side poet Jim Carroll, who died this summer. His book The Basketball Diaries is the kind of thing you read as a mixed up kid in high school that changes your life forever. I know it did mine. Cheers Jim!


MP3: Disco Volante - Convinced Of The Hex (Right-Click-Save-As)

1. The Flaming Lips - Convinced Of The Hex (3:56)2. Deerhoof - Running Thoughts (3:47)3. Gang Starr - Manifest (4:56)4. William Onyeabor - Better Change Your Mind (8:23)5. Marianne Faithfull - Broken English (4:40)6. Ween - Back To Basom (3:46)7. Yo La Tengo - I'm On My Way (4:36)8. Nellie McKay - Gin Rummy (2:59)9. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career (4:19)10. Air - Tropical Disease (6:47)11. Joyce - Feminina (3:48)12. Jim Carroll - "A Peculiar-Looking Girl" (6:22)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Disco Volante - Mudra

Greetings True Believers, this week's playlist is very much a trip down memory lane, most of the music being stuff I was listening to back in the '90's, with a few exceptions. And who better to head such a list than one of our absolute favorites, those Gallic titans of indie-rock, the nearly perpetual Stereolab.

Though currently on "hiatus," the Groop, as they are affectionately known by rabid fans, remain our personal superheroes around here. After almost twenty years of live performance, touring, fourteen stuido albums, and endless b-sides, compilations and rarities, I can't think of a band more fearlessly experimental, effortlessly brilliant or more deserving of a vacation. Let's hope they enjoy the time off and get back to work quick.


The baffling Mudra is exceptionally weird, even for them, and comes from the cute-as-a-button and totally awesome Dimension Mix compilation from 2005.


Enjoy!

MP3: Disco Volante - Mudra (Right-Click-Save-As)

1. Stereolab - Mudra (6:44) 2. Yoko Ono - O'oh (1:31) 3. Yo La Tengo - Moby Octopad (5:47) 4. The Silver Jews - Smith & Jones Forever (3:18) 5. Lush - De-Luxe (3:31) 6. Vivian Girls - Where Do You Run To? (3:14) 7. Pavement - Shoot The Singer (1 Sick Verse) (3:15) 8. Swervedriver - Rave Down (5:06) 9. Cornelius - New Music Machine (3:52) 10. Cornershop - Free Love (5:37) 11. De La Soul - Long Island Degrees (3:29) 12. Wu-Tang Clan - Tearz (4:17) 13. Talking Heads - Sax and Violins (5:18) 14. Harry Nilsson - Put the Lime in the Coconut (3:51)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Disco Volante - If Not Now, When?



Welcome back, true believers! I hope you all had a wonderful summer full of trees, parks, picnics, skinny-dipping, beenie weenie, staring at your cousins cut-offs and lemonade. But now that it's back to school time, I hope to get back to a weekly schedule here, bringing you the newest in old music for your listening enjoyment, so stay tuned.
This week's headliners are those fun-loving gals from Brighton, England, formerly known as Electrelane. While not exactly jazz rock, their sound still reminds me, in some rudimentary way, of the music of Charles Mingus, the way it careens wildly from structured elegance to barley controlled chaos, often within the same song. Though originally an entirely instrumental band, the 2004, Steve Albini produced record The Power Out added vocals to varied and startling effect, especially on tracks like gorgeous gregorian chanted The Valleys. Sadly, for mysterious reasons known only to them, the band went on indefinite hiatus in 2007, after releasing the excellent No Shouts, No Calls record, from which we take our opening song...
MP3: Disco Volante - If Not Now, When? (Right-Click-Save-As)

1. Electrelane - If Not Now When? (5:47)2. The Kinks - Lazy Old Sun (2:48)3. Sun Ra - Friendly Galaxy (2:17)4. Boards of Canada - Aquarius (5:57)5. Mike Ladd - Off To Mars? (4:25)6. De La Soul - Transmitting Live From Mars (1:12)7. The Sexual Life of the Savages - Fellini - Zum Zum Zazoeira (5:35)8. Lambchop - I Can Hardly Spell My Name (3:24)9. Calexico - Alone Again or (3:25)10. The Free Design - Umbrellas (Peanut Butter Wolf Mix) (3:56)11. Stereolab & Brigitte Fontaine - Caliméro (6:25)12. The U.M.C's - It's Gonna Last (3:56)13. Ken Nordine - You're Getting Better (2:07)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Resume Writing With ESG


Hey gang - long - time - no - see!

And I don't even have a new mix ready for you! What a slacker! Well, as a consolation, here are a few musical helpful hints from Bronx punk funk legends ESG, for those of you waiting for the worm to turn, I certainly am.

Excelsior!

MP3: Resume Writing With ESG (right-click-save-as)


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Disco Volante - Kinky Afro



The hooligan exploits of the brothers Ryder, Shaun and Paul have already been documented in Michael Winterbottom's paean to all things rude and Mancuian, the 2002 film 24 Hour-Party People, and to hilarious effect, but what The Happy Mondays should most be remembered for, aside from Bez's dancing, is their music.


Like The Pixies or Joy Division, the Happy Mondays were always one of those bands that came just before my generation, something I was supposed to like, and could certainly name-drop like a speeding bullet, but never got around to actually listening to all that much. The film finally got me around to it, and now I see what all the fuss was about. The Happy Mondays were doing dancepunk when the members of !!! and The Rapture were still in diapers, and were a hell of a lot funkier too! So enjoy “Kinky Afro,” my favorite Happy Mondays song. Gichy gichy ya ya hey hey hey!


MP3: Disco Volante – Kinky Afro(Right-Click-Save-As)


1. Happy Mondays - Kinky Afro (3:59)2. Booker T & The MG's - Melting Pot (8:18)3. David Bowie - Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?) (5:07)4. The Flaming Lips - Unmade Bed/No Quarter (Sonic Youth/Led Zeppelin Cover Live Session Version) (6:49)5. Big Sir - lisa's theme (4:43)6. Grizzly Bear - Knife (5:14)7. Bill Callahan - The Wind And The Dove (4:34)8. Margot & The Nuclear So and So's - Dress Me Like A Clown (4:37)9. Gong - Love Is How U Make It (3:30)10. Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestr - Mondo Mondo (3:13)11. Juliana Hatfield and Frank Smith - If Only We Were Dogs (4:03)12. The Twilight Singers - Fat City (Slight Return) (3:25)13. Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man - Drake (3:54)14. Daryl Hall and John Oates - One on One (3:58)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Disco Volante - Counting Backwards


Isn't that just the coolest picture you've ever seen?

In 1981, at the grand age of 15, stepsisters Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly formed what would become one of the most influential bands in the Boston Alternative Rock scene, the Throwing Muses. Joined by bassist Leslie Langston and drummer Dave Narcizo, the group released a singles and an EP, before the mind shattering self-titled debut full length, also known as "The Green" album. With Hersh serving as primary song-writer, crafting brilliantly demented blue-grass tinged punk rock , with Donelly's angelic harmonies and pop hooks as a counterpoint, the band's music was as bold, chaotic and revelatory as anything being done by their Boston contemporaries like the Pixies or Dinosaur Jr.

The group went on to release a series of amazing albums, but after 1991's excellent The Real Ramona, Donelly split to co-found The Breeders with Pixie Kim Deal, and later went on to achieve MTV Buzz Clip success with a new band, Belly's and their hit single Feed The Tree. Hersh kept on trucking, reforming the Muses as a power trio for 1992's Red Heaven, with Bernard Georges replacing Leslie Langston on bass.

In 1994 Hersh launched a solo career featuring a gentler, acoustic side on the haunting Hips And Makers album. These days she continues to rock out with her new surf punk band, 50 Ft Wave, occasionally resurrecting Throwing Muses in trio form, and Donnelly also enjoys a critically acclaimed solo-career, (Robyn Hitchcock's a big fan.)

But Counting Backwards is the group at the height of their powers, so check out these criminally under-rated alt-rock giants on this week's Podcast.

MP3: Disco Volante – Counting Backwards (Right-click-Save-As)

1. Throwing Muses - Counting Backwards (3:15) 2. Al Stewart - Turn to Earth (2:53) 3. Stereolab - One Finger Symphony (2:05) 4. Funkadelic - Cosmic Slop (5:20) 5. Tortoise - A Simple Way to Go Faster Than Light That Does Not Work (3:34) 6. Peter Gabriel - Digging In The Dirt (5:16) 7. David Bowie - Right (4:21) 8. Ed Dorn - There's Only One Natural Death and Even That's Bedcide (2:59)9. Komeda - Focus (3:38) 10. Animal Collective - My Girls (5:40) 11. Caetano Veloso - Nine Out of Ten (4:57) 12. Interpol - The New (6:07) 13. The Sundays - Joy (4:10)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Disco Volante - Magpie/Laughing With A Mouthful Of Blood



Oh my gawsh, Disco Volante is back!

But first very briefly, I'd just like to thank all of you kind, kind people out there who asked me to keep posting these mixes. Unfortunately, a weekly schedule is just not realistic. But I'll try to put something up at least bi-weekly or so. It really warms my cold, clammy little heart to know that someone's listening out there. Thanks again! And now on to...

Death by Chocolate was the name of the almost sickeningly charming retro 60's project by English winderkind Angie Tillett. It's sort of an Austin Powers swinging London kitsch thing done right. The 2001 self-titled debut and 2002's Zap The World are well worth seeking out in your local used-cd bins, or even springing for the 5 bucks or so they'll charge you at Amazon.

But who I really wanted to talk about was a different Ann, or Annie, Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, whose new album Actor is just fantastic. A former Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens utility player, Clark released her 2007 debut, Marry Me to much critical acclaim, and I count myself a fan. She travels similar territory as bizarro Doris Day-alike Nellie McKay, a sort of fractured fairytale, demented Disney character, melding the sweet and sentimental with the dark and disturbing.
The new record takes her act to another level - the dilemmas are darker, the stakes higher. The noise experimentation is weirder. The characters here are more desperate and dangerous and more lost.

Like the wandering artist on the track, Laughing With A Mouthful Of Blood that follows Death By Chocolate’s Magpie on this week’s playlist. The song would fit right in with any of David Byrne’s at his most neurotic and twitchy, and that’s a compliment.
(And check out her awesome Beatles Cover, wow!)

MP3: Disco Volante – Magpie/Laughing With A Mouthful Of Blood (Right-click-Save-As)

1. Death By Chocolate - Magpie (2:31)2. St. Vincent - Laughing With A Mouthful Of Blood (3:01)3. The Beatles - Dig A Pony (4:18)4. Dinosaur Jr - Feel The Pain (4:19)5. LCD Soundsystem - No Love Lost (Joy Division Cover) (3:38)6. Chain Gang - Son Of Sam (3:12)7. The Death Killers - Rockin' Rally (0:38)8. Beach House - Childhood (3:35)9. Alice Notley - The Ten Best Issues of Comic Books (0:55)10. Elliott Smith - Son of Sam (3:04)11. Kevin Drew w/Feist - Safety Bricks (Live) (3:55)12. Doom featuring Empress Stahr The Femcee - Still Dope (2:39)13. Digable Planets - Blowing Down (3:51)14. Brazilian Girls - Talk To The Bomb (5:42)15. Mike Ladd - Housewives At Play (3:09)16. The Fiery Furnaces - Here Comes The Summer (3:30)17. Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up (8:54)

Bonus Playlist

And because I’ve been away so long, here’s a bonus podcast for you, something I really just made for my own listening pleasure but you may enjoy too. It's a sort of Best Of the “Viktor Vaughn,” MF Doom material, sandwiched between two versions of Fog’s “Pneumonia” and some other stuff besides.
Excelsior!

MP3: Disco Volante – Viktor Hung Up With Pneumonia (Right-click-Save-As)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Disco Volante - Born Under Punches


In many ways, 1980’s Remain In Light represents the Talking Heads at their creative apex. Band leader David Byrne, along with fellow Talking Heads Tina Weymouth, Chris Franz and Jerry Harrison, luminary utility players like Nona Hendryx and Robert Palmer, and visionary producer Brian Eno collectively gave birth to a masterpiece of experimental pop music.

Fusing such seemingly desperate source material as African poly-rhythms, Kraftwerky electronica, dour, Joy Division drone and Parliament/Funkadelic, Remain In Light is a vision of the world at once frightening and exhilarating, the sound of technological America colliding with the Third World.

The persona Byrne adopts to introduce us to this bizarre universe is something like a revivalist preacher, something like an ex-CIA agent, something like a circus clown. He is a thin man, a man so harried and uncertain, that the mere fact of breathing is even in question. He is dangling on the edge of a nervous breakdown, on the verge of achieving spiritual ecstasy. Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) is my favorite song on the album, and the first on this week’s playlist.

MP3: Disco Volante – Born Under Punches (right-click-save-as)

1. Talking Heads - Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) (5:49) 2. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - The Ballad of the Sin Eater (5:20) 3. MF DOOM - Curls (4:09) 4. Electrelane - The Valleys (5:20) 5. Caetano Veloso - It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (6:07) 6. Maria Muldaur - Midnight at the Oasis (3:46) 7. Piero Piccioni - Colpo Rovente (3:43) 8. Fela Kuti - Expensive Shit (13:14) 9. MC Lyte - Stop, Look, Listen (3:20) 10. The Emotions - I Like It (1:59) 11. Erykah Badu - The Cell (4:20) 12. Otis Brown - Boneless Chicken (1:45)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

DISCO VOLANTE - Body Rock


I have a friend who grew up in Brooklyn in the late 1990’s, back when Mos Def was just a neighborhood MC, and he remembers the hype being almost deafening. He was the next big thing, all anybody could talk about. And it would be hard for any hip hop fan to deny his talent after listening to his 1998 collaboration with Talib Kweli, Black Star, an instant classic. Whether or not he’s lived up to his potential is debatable. After that first (and so far only) Black Star album, he released an excellent solo LP, Black On Both Sides, but his subsequent releases, The New Danger and True Magic haven’t quite lived up to the standards of the first.

These days it seems like Mos is more interested in acting than rapping, after several appearances on The Chappelle Show, an Emmy nomination for Something The Lord Made Me, and co-starring as Ford Prefect in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. I even saw him on an episode of House on Monday!

But I’m really excited for his upcoming The Ecstatic, (mostly because of this Youtube video which shows Mos rattling off MF Doom rhymes, he’s a true hip hop fan!)

On this week’s opening track from the 1998 Lyricist Lounge compilation, Mos is joined by Q-tip and Tash from the Alkoholics for a really fun song, Body Rock, which features Mos at his early, laid back best.

Excelsior!

MP3: DISCO VOLANTE – Body Rock (right click "save as")

1. Mos Def - Body Rock [feat. Q-Tip & Tash] (5:11) 2. Tom Waits - Way Down in the Hole (1:44) 3. Animal Collective - Leaf House (2:42) 4. Savath & Savalas - Apnea Obstructiva (4:55) 5. Nouvelle Vague - This Is Not A Love Song (3:47) 6. Cornelius - Brazil (3:27) 7. Komeda - Focus (3:38) 8. Jack Logan - Shrunken Head (2:54) 9. Pavement - Black Out (2:10) 10. Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information (4:12) 11. Jaga Jazzist - Soumi Finland (7:28) 12. Jaga Jazzist - Real Racers Have Doors (3:32) 13. Majesticons - Parlour Party (3:18) 14. John Lennon - #9 Dream (4:48) 15. The Tragically Hip - Eldorado (3:47)

Monday, March 23, 2009

DISCO VOLANTE – CLOUD SONG



It’s 1968 at UCLA in California, the season of the hippy is in full swing, and teacher/ethnomusicologist Joseph Byrd wants him some of that free-wheelin’, free-lovin’, psychedelic hippy action. Leaving his teaching gig to play music full time, Byrd recruits students Dorothy Moskowitz (vocals,) Rand Forbes (bass,) Gordon Marron (electric violin,) and Craig Woodson (drums,) to form a band and record a truly groovy record, the self-titled United States of America, LP.

The album is a paisley tapestry of psychedelia, with swirling arrangements and ethereal vocals, and perhaps most notably, eschewed the use of the electric guitar completely, in favor of keyboards and early electronic synthesizers and processors. Perhaps that’s why, commercially, it didn’t fare very well – in the rock ‘n roll game you’ve gotta have a guitar hero. Members of the group were arrested for drug possession and Byrd, apparently, was a bit of a tyrant and very difficult to work with. And so, like most things rare and beautiful, the United States of America died and early death, disbanding shortly after their record’s release.

But we’ll always have the music, like the beautiful Cloud Song, which opens this week’s playlist.

Excelsior!

MP3: Disco Volante – Cloud Song

1. The United States of America - Cloud Song (3:20) 2. Corinne Bailey Rae - Munich (Editors Cover) (3:58) 3. Lambchop - Up With People (Zero 7 Reprise) (5:28) 4. Amon Düül 2 - Archangel Thunderbird (3:33) 5. The Go! Team - Bull in the Heather (Sonic Youth Cover) (2:59) 6. M.I.A. - Boyz (3:27) 7. Ladybug feat. Warrior Queen - Dem A Bomb We (3:21) 8. Kurtis Blow - The Breaks (7:47) 9. Breakout - Planet Rock Pt 1 (Afrika Bambaataa Cover) (4:33) 10. Apostle of Hustle - The Naked and Alone (4:36) 11. GZA/Genius - Swordsman (3:21) 12. Feist - Mushaboom (K-Os Mix) (4:01) 13. Steely Dan - Black Cow (5:08) 14. Anne Waldman - Musical Garden (3:38)

Friday, March 13, 2009

DISCO VOLANTE: Street Preacher


DISCO VOLANTE – Street Preacher

*Sorry I was so late this week everybody, but Disco Volante is now switching over to Sundays, beginning with today's installment. Enjoy...*

I must confess, I don’t know an awful lot about or opening act, the Troublemakers, and my research has born little fruit. DJ’s Fred Berthet, Arnaud Taillefer and Lionel Corsini aka DJ Oil hail from Marsailles, France, and have released three albums, the 2004 film score Express Way, the 2003 mix album Stereo Pictures, and their 2001 debut Doubts & Convictions, the only one I own and from which we take our opener.

I’m not even sure how I got the album. Did I get it from Greg? It has a Greg type of feel to it. Wherever I got it, I’m glad I did, Doubts & Convictions is a cinematic and utterly charming melange of acid jazz, instrumental hip-hop, funk, house, samba and god knows what else, peppered with some truly funny vocal samples, like the rant which begins our first song, Street Preacher. Bonus points to anyone who can name the early 90’s indie film it comes from.


Excelsior!

MP3: DISCO VOLANTE – Street Preacher

1. Troublemakers – Street Preacher (6:16) 2. Peter Bjorn And John – Young Folks (4:39) 3. Luna – California (All The Way) (4:15) 4. Edson Frederico – Bobeira (3:10) 5. Os Mutantes – A Minha Menina (4:42) 6. The Slits – In the Beginning, There Was Rhythm (5:35) 7. Pixies – No. 13 Baby (3:51) 8. Devo – Be Stiff (2:35) 9. The Afghan Whigs – Miles Is Dead (5:06) 10. Enon – Disposable Parts (1:52) 11. Barbara Morgenstern – Come To Berlin (Telefon Tel Aviv Mix) (5:14) 12. Bat For Lashes – Pearl’s Dream (4:45) 13. Portishead - Silence (5:06)


Thursday, March 5, 2009

DISCO VOLANTE: Alone Together



In the mid 1990's, dj/producer/instrumentalist Yuka Honda was one half of the Manhattan J-pop phenomena Cibo Matto, a more than slightly twisted but cute as a button hip hop band whose wildly eclectic debut album, Viva La Woman! was an instant classic, one of the best examples of layered sampling I can think of, and a used cd bin glittering gem (like Last Splash or Elastica.)

Since the band split up in 2001, Yuka has worked on remix projects with everyone from Yoko Ono to Medeski, Martin & Wood, and released two fantastic solo albums of elegant, organic-sounding electronica. I love her song titles, like "Why Are You Lying to Your Therapist?" and "Spooning with Jackknife".

Here she reunites with former bandmate, Miho Hatori, herself enjoying a promising solo career, and former that dog violinist/vocalist Petra Haden, whose acapella version of The Who Sell Out has to be heard to be believed.

Excelsior!


MP3: DISCO VOLANTE: Alone Together (right-click-save-as)

1. Yuka Honda - Humming Song (Alone Together) (3:44)2. M.I.A. - MIA's Thing (MIA vs Amerie-Carrasco! mash-up) (4:25)3. Public Image Ltd. - Seattle (3:41)4. Public Enemy - Don't Believe The Hype (5:19)5. The Sea and Cake - Sound & Vision (4:06)6. Joan As Police Woman - Eternal Flame (3:39)7. Devendra Banhart - Mama Wolf (3:54)8. Destroyer - The Sublimation Hour (4:12)9. Cornershop - Hong Kong Book of Kung Fu (3:23)10. The Fall - Arid Al's Dream (4:48)11. CAN - I'm So Green (3:07)12. Camp Lo - Luchini (This Is It) (3:59)13. Stereolab - Household Names (3:42)14. Kate Bush - There Goes A Tenner (3:26)

Friday, February 27, 2009

DISCO VOLANTE - Bird's Lament


Greetings, True Belivers.


How do you measure success? Is it by the size of the checks you cash? The number of gold records you sell or Grammy's you win? What constitutes a successful life? By all the usual standards, Louis Thomas Hardin wasn't much of a success, blind, living on the streets, toiling in obscurity for an often unappreciative and mocking public. But to many, the man who called himself Moondog was a rare, if eccentric genius, and lived a remarkable life.

For nearly 30 years, "The Viking of 6th Avenue," was a well known landmark of 53rd Street, Manhattan. Dressed in his handmade costume based on the Norse god Thor, complete with helmet, spear and flowing white beard, Moondog would recite poetry and play music for any and all who'd listen, often using strange instruments of his own design. He recorded many albums through the years, and was championed by no less personages than Artur Rodziński, the conductor of New York Philharmonic . But he refused to give up his life on the streets, until moving to Germany in the 70's.

The first song on this week's playlist, Bird's Lament, is Moondog's tribute to jazz musician Charlie Parker, and a great introduction to the music of Moondog, it's worth seeking out.

MP3: Disco Volante – Bird’s Lament (right-click-save-as)

1. Moondog - Lament I (Bird's Lament) (1:43)2. Pram - Silver Nitrate (4:30)3. Boogie Down Productions - Im Still Number 1 (5:13)4. Erykah Badu - Erykah's Creamy Shower (Bruce Wang Creamshower Mash Up) (3:42)5. Pete Rock & Cl Smooth - Wig Out (4:07)6. Fujiya & Miyagi - Transparent things (2:55)7. Dengue Fever - Sober Driver (4:05)8. White Hinterland - Dreaming of the Plum Trees (4:52)9. Stereolab - Pack Yr Romantic Mind (5:06)10. M83 - Kim & Jessie (5:23)11. R.E.M. - The One I Love (3:17)12. Cat Power - Ramblin' (Wo)Man (3:47)13. A Tribe Called Quest - Footprints (4:02)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm Late! I'm Late!


Sorry Sports fans! Due to technical difficulties our regularly scheduled Thursday podcast will be one day late. Can you stand it? Sorry to disappoint, but we'll be back tomorrow!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

DISCO VOLANTE - Uncorrected Personality Traits



Greetings True Believers,

This week I'm cheating a little bit. I made this playlist for an internet friend a couple of years ago, but I like it so much I'm posting it again here. I find it amazing that I have internet friends, people I’ve never met in real life, that I’ve known for ten years or more now. Wow! But, to be honest, I'm feeling more than a little bit of information fatigue, and am considering dropping Off-line and limiting my interweb activities to this blog and whatever is absolutely necessary. Sorry netpals, but there’s a whole world out there, full of trees and food and girls! Wish me luck!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens as some of the first generation of web-users, bleary-eyed and mind-boggled, start to drop off and step out into the real world.

As to the man who heads today's bill, what is there to say about the legendary Robyn Hitchcock? Is it enough to recall how his band The Soft Boys fused punk rock attitude with dark humor and swirling psychedelia to create one of pop music’s truly original sounds, influencing bands like R.E.M. and Pavement? Is it enough to say he is often called "The Fifth Beatle", not because he ever played with the Fab Four, but because of his seemingly effortless mastery of songcraft and irrepressible Britishness? Is it enough to say that the 1998 performance film directed by Jonathan Demme, Storefront Hitchcock, is a perfect introduction to the curious initiate to Hitchcock's wonderfully twisted world? Is it enough to say that Robyn Hitchcock is simply one of the pre-immanent living singer/song-writers of the rock and roll idiom on this or any other planet? Yes, I think it is, except to add that the little a cappella gem that heads our playlist this week, while not particularly representative of the rest of his catalog, certainly offers a healthy dose of his wit and charm.

Enjoy!

MP3: Disco Volante – Uncorrected Personality Traits

1. Robyn Hitchcock - Uncorrected Personality Traits (1:46) 2. The Spencer Davis Group - I'm A Man (2:51) 3. Gang Of Four - Call Me Up (3:33) 4. Broken Social Scene - Stars & Sons (5:09) 5. Cocteau Twins - Pitch The Baby (3:17) 6. Beck - Cold Ass Fashion (4:08) 7. Count Bass-D - Real Music Vs. Bull$#!+ (1:29) 8. MF Doom - Potholderz Feat. Count Bass D (3:20) 9. Common - Real People (2:48) 10. Erykah Badu - Appletree (4:25) 11. Gil Scott-Heron - I Think I'll Call It Morning (3:32) 12. The Jayhawks - Madman (4:04) 13. Stereolab - Velvet Water (4:25) 14. M.I.A. - Sunpowers (The Mophono Bruce Wang - Mash Up) (5:01) 15. Brazilian Girls - Don't Stop (3:51) 16. Ellen Allien & Apparat - Way Out (3:43) 17. The Zombies - Whenever You're Ready (2:46)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Disco Volante - Uptown Top Ranking


Greetings True Believers,

Welcome to our special Valentine’s Day show! Our opener, the delicious lollipop reggae classic, “Uptown Top Ranking” by teenaged duo Althea & Donna was a number one UK hit in 1978, championed by none other than BBC-1 hit maker John Peel. Their fantastic debut album of the same name, was produced by the legendary Karl Pitterson of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh fame and featured instrumentation by reggae giants Sly & Robbie. I must confess, it was the cover version by indie singer Scout Niblett that introduced me to the song, but after seeking out the original, there’s no doubt who is the real uptown top-ranking. And check out this awesome performance by Althea and Donna on Youtube. Outta sight!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

MP3: Disco Volante – Uptown Top Ranking

1. Althea and Donna - Uptown Top Ranking (3:52) 2. Cibo Matto - King of Silence (Dan The Automator Remix) (4:59) 3. Santogold vs Diplo - I'm a Lady (Diplo Mix ft Amanda Blank) (2:40) 4. Frank Zappa - How Could I Be Such a Fool (2:13) 5. Lily Allen - Straight To Hell (5:28) 6. Three Times Dope - Funky Dividends (4:19) 7. Charles Mingus - Duke Ellington's Sound of Love (4:15) 8. Electrelane - Birds (3:53) 9. Arab Strap - Here We Go (5:03) 10. The Bird and the Bee - Fucking Boyfriend (3:15) 11. AIR - Alpha Beta Gaga (4:41) 12. Dusty Trails - Dusty Trails Theme (3:19) 13. Kostars - French Kiss (2:47)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Disco Volante - Father Cannot Yell


Greetings True Believers!

This weekend at the Jacob Javitz Center commences the 2009 New York City Comic Con and I must say I am quite excited. The place will be jam-packed with costumed nerds and lovable geeks of all shapes and sizes, consuming snack foods, meeting professional creators, previewing upcoming blockbuster movies and tv shows and so much more I can hardly stand it.

I’ve been a comics fan all my life. I was introduced to comics by dear old Mom, who on her way home from work would diligently bring her latchkey kid a couple of slices of the world’s best pizza, (Dominics, downtown Waterbury, CT, without question,) and the latest issues of the Green Lantern, The Amazing Spider-Man and Uncanny X-Men, for which I shall be eternally grateful. For me, comics are more than adolescent male power fantasies, though that they surely are, but more importantly, they are also one of the purest forms of expression of the creative mind. Anyone can create comics, the special effects budget is pennies on the dollar; you are limited only by boundaries of your own imagination.

And speaking of the outskirts of the imagination, take a gander at the cover art to the 1969 album by Can, Monster Movie, a fantastically stylized portrayal of the Marvel Comics character Galactus, Eater of Worlds.

The album, "Made in a castle with better equipment", was the groundbreaking debut of Can, perhaps mightiest of all Krautrock musik groops. Founded by Germans Holger Czukay, Irmin Schmidt, Michael Karoli, Jaki Liebezeit, and African American ex-pat lunatic vocalist Malcom Mooney, the band’s name, it was retroactively decided, is an acronym for "communism, anarchism, nihilism", and that might be the best possible description of their sound. At once rhythmic and angular, tribal and futuristic, ambient and chaotic, it’s impossible to confine Can’s music into any neat categorical package.

Father Cannot Yell is the first track off the album and the first song on this week’s playlist.
Enjoy…

MP3: Disco Volante – Father Cannot Yell

1. Can - Father Cannot Yell (7:03) 2. Stereolab - Ticker-Tape Of The Unconscious (4:46) 3. KMD - Sorcerers (3:03) 4. Ronnie Foster - Mystic Bounce (Madlib Remix) (3:22) 5. Silver Jews - People (4:43) 6. Deerhoof - the perfect me (2:40) 7. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Satan Said Dance (5:32) 8. ESG - You Make No Sense (2:21) 9. 10,000 Maniacs - Pit Viper (3:51) 10. Modern Lovers - Pablo Picasso (4:21) 11. The Fall - Cab It Up! (4:54) 12. The Fiery Furnaces - Benton Harbor Blues (Live) (2:53) 13. The Jam - Town Called Malice (2:57)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Disco Volante, Seasons Reverse


Greetings True Believers!

Welcome to my new weekly music post, Disco Volante! Every Thursday I’ll be posting a new mp3 podcast mix, featuring pop music from a wide variety of genres and sources – jazz, funk, underground hip hop, indie rock, and whatever else I can throw in there, you’ll have to listen to find out.

In the spirit of transitions and new things, we’re starting off our first podcast with The Seasons Reverse by Gastr Del Sol.

Founded in 1991 by Chicago luminaries David Grubbs and Jim O’Rourke, Gastr Del Sol produced seven albums of wonderfully weird indie rock, ranging from utter noise to glitchy electronica to genteel chamber pop, and featured a rotating cast of semi-famous back up musicians, including Markus Pop of Oval and John McIntire of Tortoise.

The Seasons Reverse is a great example of the group at its most melodic and comes from their last album, Camoufleur (Drag City 1998).

Thanks to David Von Shmavid and Orange Zest for being our gracious hosts and remember to tune in next Thursday for another edition of Disco Volante.

Excelsior!

MP3:
Disco Volante – Seasons Reverse

1. Gastr Del Sol - The Seasons Reverse (5:51)

2. Sonic Youth - Schizophrenia (4:38)

3. Biz Markie - Nobody Beats The Biz (5:04)

4. Fannypack - You Gotta Know (3:46)

5. White Rabbits - Kid On My Shoulders (4:33)

6. Evangelicals - Skeleton Man (4:24)

7. The Stone Roses - I Wanna Be Adored (4:51)

8. MF Doom - Red And Gold f. King Ghidra (4:42)

9. The Sea And Cake - Parasol (5:30)

10. Goldfrapp - Happiness (4:16)

11. The High Llamas - Didball (4:03)

12. J Dilla - Anti-American Graffiti (1:53)

13. Broadcast - Daves Dream (4:01)




Monday, January 26, 2009