Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Great mp3 blog concepts

Chris Ott wrote my two favorite Pitchfork features. One was a guide to the best alternative rock CD's commonly found in the cutout bins. The other was a list of the worst bands formed after the breakup of great bands (e.g., Big Audio Dynamite). Chris now writes a blog called Shallow Rewards that examines how online auctions have inflated the value of rare records and music memorabilia. It's well-written, funny, and interesting to the casual or rabid collector. Chris clearly loves music, so he's not someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. The articles I mentioned above are archived on his blog.

"Because no one should have to listen to the Wiggles, ever" is the subtitle of (Sm)all Ages, a new mp3 blog by Clea that features good children's music. As a father of two, I am painfully aware that a lot of the music produced expressly for children is tripe. (Sm)all Ages highlight the exceptions -- Dan Zanes, They Might Be Giants, Pancake Mountain -- as well as music that may not have been written for kids but still strikes a chord with little ears. "Hoodoo Voodoo" by Wilco is a classic example. Skip Spence's "Little Hands" (or the Robert Plant cover of same) is another good one.

I've successfully encouraged my 10 year old son to listen to the Ramones, Motorhead, and the Super Furry Animals. His own tastes now run toward punk-pop (Green Day, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Jimmy Eat World). My 4 year old son likes Arular, "Hong Kong Garden", and this song, from a wonderful album of Daniel Johnston covers.

K. McCarty: Rocketship (available at eMusic).

The following song is a sweet, blue-eyed soulful lullaby.

Will Kimbrough: Goodnight Moon. Buy Will Kimbrough records here.


At 2/21/2006 11:18 AM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

I should confess that my family and I have spent a good bit of cash on the Wiggles. My wife used to have a crush on Anthony the blue Wiggle, who is (or was) one of Australia's most eligible bachelors (assuming he swings that way). One of the writers at eMusic has a thing for Laurie Berkner. I myself prefer Kimmee from Hi-5.

At 2/21/2006 1:08 PM , Anonymous Paula said...

Amusingly enough, that Pitchfork article you mention was the subject of one of my first blog entries, cuz it irritated me!

At 2/21/2006 2:35 PM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

How about that! I hope I haven't lost your esteem because I liked it. I can't speak for the author, but the reason I didn't like Big Audio Dynamite wasn't because they didn't sound like the Clash; I just didn't like their sound.

I know your point wasn't to debate whether BAD was bad, it was about the negativity of some critics and how easy it is to take a cheap shot at someone else's creation. (Or am I putting words in your mouth?) I prefer music writers who have discovered something great (new or old) and want to share it with others. Writers like Fred Solinger (Vain, Selfish and Lazy), Alex Abramovich (Moistworks), or Sean at Said the Gramophone.

You might be interested in Chris Ott's best of 2005 list (at Shallow Rewards). There were more than a few things I've never heard and never will, but I was surprised by how highly he rates the Roy Owens Jr., an Atlanta band that I didn't think was getting much attention out of town.

At 2/22/2006 10:46 AM , Anonymous Paula said...

No, you certainly haven't lost my esteem! And, to be fair, it is really difficult to be positive all the time. I rake people over the coals sometimes, although a) my li'l blog readership is in the double-digits at most so the bile stays local and b) I really try to save that for an album or artist who truly befuddles or disappoints me for some reason...as opposed to the kiddles at Pitchfork, who I think are really blase about taking cheap shots based on nothing.

And for what it's worth, I wasn't crazy about B.A.D. either....but I have always loved Mick Jones.

Thanks for the other blog tips, too!

At 2/22/2006 5:45 PM , Anonymous Ann said...

I got out The Replacements' "Kids Don't Follow" for Sam and Caroline to listen to after we found out a friend was the guy yelling "fuck you" to the Mpls Police at the beginning.

They liked it a lot, but it, uh, agitated them a bit more than is optimal for daily consumption.

At 2/23/2006 8:46 PM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

Kids won't stand still!
Kids won't shut up!


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