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.


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.

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)