Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Little Something for your Sunday

Hey there internet, it's me, the Philosopher. This is my first blog post on this here illustrious blog and I wanted to share an artist that many of you may not have heard of.

I first saw Portland's Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside open for the Avett Brothers in Asheville, NC (Ford's hometown) on New Year's Eve 2009. I was pretty impressed by the upbeat, folksy sound they have but that was nothing compared to how enthralled I was by Ms. Ford's pipes. The first comparison that jumped to mind was Joanna Newsom, but I don't know how apt a comparison that is. Both women have a way of fiddling with pronunciation just enough to make you cock your head oh so slightly, but Sallie Ford's huskier tone might make her just a little more accessible, at least initially. The band is building themselves quite a reputation in the Northwest and it was awesome to see her performing in her home state.

I ended up seeing the band again about five days later at the Visulite in Charlotte, NC, opening for Sam Quinn (formerly of the Everybodyfields) and was further impressed. They also brought a great, unconventional Tom Waits cover to that show, turning "God's Away on Business" into nearly a gypsy-jazz groover. It was pretty great.

Embedding's disabled on this one, but here's the link:

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Together At Last

I don't know who this Tom Caruana character, is but he puts Danger Mouse's "Grey Album" to shame.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Don't forget! Local bands! Proceeds to Doctors Without Borders Haiti Emergency Fund!

At the Gargoyle, doors at 8, show at 8:30, 5 dollars w/o Wash U ID, suggested donation w/ Wash U ID.

-The Livers
-Dear Vincent

And possibly...ABBA?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King day

Don't forget the reason for the season...

Remember, Local Showcase on Friday
Doors at 8, show at 8:30, 5 dollars for non-wash U folks, free with Wash U ID. All proceeds to go to the Doctors Without Borders emergency relief fund.
Exercise, Dear Vincent, The Livers

Friday, January 15, 2010

Local Showcase Update

I think we've all seen the horrific images and heard the awful stories coming out of Haiti. It is an especially bitter tragedy that once again, a country that by all rights should be a symbol of human freedom has become a symbol of human suffering. With that in mind, we've decided to give all the proceeds from this concert to the Doctors Without Borders emergency relief fund. Doctors Without Borders has done good work in Haiti for almost two decades, and is already on the ground and mobilized for relief efforts there. We were never really planning to make much money off this concert; the whole point was just to get people out to see some great local bands. But so long as we are charging, we think it's best to channel the money to folks who really need it right now.

Hope to see you guys there, and if you can't make it, please try and help those suffering in any way you can.

The info again:
The Gargoyle (Directions Here)
Friday the 22nd, Doors at 8, show at 8:30
Dear Vincent
The Livers

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Saturday, January 09, 2010

My 2010 album

I haven't heard the album yet, but Spoon's new album is going to at least be in the top 10 for 2010, right? Other than Animal Collective to DB, is there any surer thing in music than Spoon?

Friday, January 08, 2010


KWUR does a lot of fun things. We put records on the radio, we laugh, we sometimes cry. Once we gave away Domo dolls. But we also put on shows, like the one we're putting on January 22nd at the Gargoyle (Directions here. This show will feature all local acts. Exercise, who were kind enough to do a stacks session, will be headlining. Terrific local acts The Livers and Dear Vincent will also be playing. I say, come out, have fun, it'll be a good chance to see what St. Louis has to offer. Also, I keep hearing this crazy rumor that ABBA is going to reunite just to play this show. I honestly don't know where that's coming from, but I can neither confirm nor deny...

The important details:
18+ (sorry guys, gargoyle rules)
5 bucks for non wash-u folk, free with wash-u ID
Doors at 8, Show at 8:30
Facebook event here:


My album of 2009

My Album of 2009, by Daniel Burton (age 21).

The one album that has been pretty-much ignored by these best-of posts has been Merriweather Post Pavilion, other than Dylan's weird little comment. Yes, I have heard their other albums. But this one is entirely different. I have written this entry several times over in my head while driving around my hometown with this album playing very loud, but now it's all mushed together (fitting, considering the very Wet sound of MPP)... so here it goes.

I was going to say, this album is Accessible. But as much as that has been said, I don't know that it's true. If I played this album for my mom, she would not understand what was going on. Electronic beats? Weird bleated yells? It is kind of overwhelming. Maybe, say, a frat-bro would understand it a little more... oh yeah, there are some beats there, but then some f***** is yelling over it. Whatever, shit's gay.

The thing that I think grabs people about this album is that it feels universal. What does that mean? It's the feeling I get when I hear, forgive me, the Replacements. I think, "why isn't this on the radio? why doesn't every person in America know this band?" I don't understand on any level how a song like "Unsatisfied" isn't part of the set of American Classic Rock Standards that every 8th-grade-boy knows. MPP is obviously a little more out there, but it's so perfectly BEAUTIFUL. There's so much of what people love about, say, the Beatles or the Beach Boys in there. There was a point when Americans accepted a little more experimentation (or, a tame, pop version of Experimentation) in their music.

A lot of people have talked about how "mature" this album is. I hate this. I hate when people refer to a sound as "maturing," because this almost always means, in my experience, "more boring." I hate the hierarchy calling a new album "mature" creates between the new sound and the old sound. In the case of an album like I and Love and You by the Avett Brothers, which broke my fucking heart this year, or the later Replacements albums, it was definitely the case that something really was lost when they "matured." What is going on on MPP, though, is a move away from a certain impulse that older AC albums have had... an impulse that maybe has to do with being a little younger. So maybe the word is "matured," but I still hate it for the implication of "getting better."

Anyway, the urge I mean to describe is the urge that makes you like, say, hardcore punk. At least in my case, when I listen to "Pay to Cum," or James Chance, or "European Son," I don't really think "oh, my Dad would love this." And I don't fucking WANT him to like it! That isn't the point. In the case of MPP, this impulse, which was present in the willfully weird earlier AC albums, just isn't there anymore. This is beyond "I'm so fucking weird, deal with it, it's who I am" and moved into "I'm weird, sure, but look at how awesome it is to be weird. everyone is a little weird. and weird people are people, who have kids and houses and walk around in the rain and stuff." This is the moment when you realize, hey, that weirdo kid who wears an Indian head-dress to school is a really nice guy, and he writes pretty songs, and maybe we should be friends. Maybe as much as I want my mom to love him he's just a little too weird for her, but he's great. And this is what a lot of the transition from punk to "indie" is about... it's what grabbed me when I first heard bands like the Replacements and early REM and the Violent Femmes. Why doesn't everyone love this? Why hasn't everyone heard this?

Furthermore, I enjoy this album more than any of their other albums. The first 6 songs are so perfect that I can't stop listening to them. Right at the point where I thought I was "over the buzz" a few months ago, and started thinking things like "maybe only My Girls and Brothersport are any good," I listened to the album again and was blown away. Wait, this is the album with Summertime Clothes!? This is the album with "Also Frightened?" (why don't more people talk about these two songs?) "No More Runnin?" Every time I hear these songs, I smile and turn it up. Some of the later songs are not my favorites, but it is very possible that this is because I can't stop listening to the first 6.

On another level, this album was huge. I remember the first time I listened to it, and ran into my friends' apartment (KWUR DJ's Invisible Cola and Jackson Jive) to make them listen to it with me. I remember hearing "My Girls" in someone's DJ set at a party and feeling like everyone on earth was listening to this album. Were they? Obviously not. But that feeling, of this being "The Album" with a capital The (as in "Winnie The Pooh," as my latin teacher used to say) made a big impact on me... I don't know that I've ever had that feeling before. It's a feeling that I think used to happen more often in college radio... books like Our Band Could Be Your Life have interviews where people talk about remembering where they were the first time they heard certain albums, or walking down the halls of their dorm and hearing people blasting "You're Living All Over Me."

But seriously, it's really really good. Come on.

Thursday, January 07, 2010


Because I find this hilarious. Greg Ginn tries to give a KWUR station ID back in '86 (I think). Almost, dude. Audio is here.

PS: this was tacked on to the end of a larger interview, which was just finally edited and transcribed, to be made available SOON. We're such teases.

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