Archive for the ‘Music’ category

A brief survey of dancing cops in pop music.

October 14, 2008

2008: (at 1:03)

1996: (at 3:35)

1983: (at 1:50 and 2:50)

1967: (at 1:03)

I’m sure there are some classics I’ve missed. Any suggestions?

And no, I’m not talking about this:


In my defense, Bruce Campbell does not hang out in my studio.

August 1, 2008

What I intended to do with my free time this week: Work on my recording of “Fresh Born” (see

What I actually did with my free time this week: Watched season 1 of Burn Notice.

Thomas Dolby’s houseboat studio.

December 16, 2007

Today I briefly contemplated selling my Roland MKS-70 rackmount synthesizer. But I reconsidered when I realized how many albums in my current rotation evoke the 1980s Roland sound: Talk Talk, Prefab Sprout, the new Twin Peaks Season Two soundtrack… I can’t sell my only 80s synth; I need to fire up the MKS-70 again, geek out and get comfortable with it.

Twin Peaks composer Angelo Badalamenti is a known user of the Roland JX/MKS-series, but I wasn’t sure about Talk Talk and Prefab Sprout. Googling around, I saw a couple of references to “Roland strings” in articles about Sprout, but nothing definite. Hang on, Thomas Dolby produced their recently-reissued classic ‘Steve McQueen’? Didn’t know that. Here’s a post on his blog about remastering the reissue. Hang on, Thomas Dolby has a blog?

Yes he does. And it’s got some great stuff, too, especially about his love of boats and the ongoing tale of his efforts to buy a boat, park it in his garden, and build a studio in it. Awesome.

Thomas Dolby – About Boats
Thomas Dolby – Offer accepted!
Thomas Dolby – Hurdles
Thomas Dolby – Great day for a lifeboat delivery
Thomas Dolby – Convoi Exceptionnel

Might as well settle down, and buy the house another round.

October 9, 2007

He’s got a million dollar bill, but they can’t change it:

The likeness of Grover Cleveland is on this fake $1 million bill. Cleveland’s portrait is on the genuine $1,000 bill, which has been out of circulation since 1969.

If you’re going to spend counterfeit money, it might help to use a denomination that actually exists.

An unidentified man who asked a Giant Eagle cashier to make change for his $1 million bill learned that lesson the hard way, Pittsburgh police said Monday.

Unfortunately, it was on a cool Pennsylvania evening, not a hot dry dime-a-dozen Mexicali day. He may have had (slightly) better luck at the Rosarita Beach Café.

(Story via Obscure Store & Reading Room.)

Note to prospective girlfriends:

September 25, 2007

For better or worse, this is pretty much what I’m going to be like at 70. Knock on wood.

Some will want to poke fun, or read it as unintentional comedy, and a few cold-hearted people on the Analogue Heaven mailing list did. But Jim knows what he’s doing. Rock on, man.

Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo (Weekend iPhone diary.)

July 1, 2007


Just realized it’s 5:30 and I don’t have any plans. I was busy all morning, and Andy’s coming into town tomorrow, so Saturday night slipped through the cracks.
Send SMS to Kim: Hey, what are you up to tonight?
Flip to Safari, read Deadspin.

SMS from Kim pops up: Party at Melissa’s, you’re welcome to come along.
Me: I could go for some partying. What time?
Kim: Starts at 8 but I’m thinking 9. Will forward you the evite.
iPhone dings. Flip to Mail, see invitation. Click on link to open Evite web page. See address: Wow, that’s just a couple of blocks from here.
Flip to Maps and enter address. Plan walking route to party. Touch pushpin on map, click “Create New Contact”. Add Melissa’s name and phone number.


‘Never Since I’ve Been Losing My Mind’

June 1, 2007

Led Zeppelin pops up on Plain or Pan? when Simple Kid samples the Zep cover of the Robert Johnson classic ‘Travelling Riverside Blues’:

“Pretty good I thought. And pretty cheeky. Cos it’s not like Led Zeppelin are going to sue him. After all, they’ve made a career out of ripping off the old blues guys and crediting everything to Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones. Even their version of ‘Travelling Riverside Blues’ is credited to Page, Plant and Johnson. But I’ve never been able to hear where they enhanced the original. Unless you count the drums. “

Hit Plain or Pan to listen to the two songs in question. Good stuff.

I was a huuuge Led Zeppelin fan growing up. One of my best Christmas presents ever was the ten-CD Zeppelin box set. I dubbed both halves of Physical Graffiti onto one of those 140-minute tapes and wore it out in my Walkman.

Graffiti was my favorite Zep album, but my favorite song was ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’, off of III. Senior year, when they came around to gather song requests for the prom — no guarantees that it would get played — what was my one pick?

My senior prom was in May ’96. 1996. Think about the juicy potential choices recorded during the years I spent in high school and junior high — some of which actually might have made it to the dance floor. But no, I requested 1970’s ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’. (It was not played.)

Many years later, I hear another blues-rock song, ‘Are You Losing Your Mind?’ by the legendary Buddy Guy. I was floored — it’s the same song.

Now, Buddy Guy’s sole recording of ‘Are You Losing Your Mind?’, as best I can tell, is from a concert in 1979, wheras Zep debuted ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ in 1970. In his liner notes, Ol’ Buddy has the songwriting credit. Maybe Buddy was performing this tune live for a decade and Zeppelin borrowed it (unlikely), or maybe Mr. Guy woke up one day in the late 70’s and decided to bite from Jimmy Page (also unlikely, right?) Could a third, common source be at work?

Allmusic has the scoop — it was… obscure San Francisco psychedelia band Moby Grape?

The debt that ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ owes to Moby Grape’s ‘Never’ is apparently well-documented. But I can’t find a mention of Buddy Guy’s version anywhere. This doesn’t answer the question, it just replaces Zep with Grape.

Never is the first song on Grape Jam, which was recorded over a long lazy session of improvisation. I’m no expert on jammin’, but my understanding is that it’s not at all unusual to start out with a standard that everyone knows to warm things up. Could that be what happened here? Could there be a fourth, original, version of this song, performed tracelessly at blues clubs in Chicago or Fillmore — or passed around the campfire — years before 1968, an underground standard that all three of these songs pulled from?

Or did Buddy Guy, like Simple Kid, just rip the tune off in turn from some English plagiarizers, as some sort of karmic payback for their prior appropriations?

I will continue to look into this. How, I’m not quite sure. Anyone have Mr. Guy’s phone number?