sab: (fg >> you might think we're in sync)
For [ profile] cincodemaygirl who asked for it, and [ profile] tzikeh who also and separately asked for it - the official Nellie McKay pimp post. You can check out her wikipedia entry, but the nuts and bolts are: here's a classically trained voice/opera singer/theater brat who at age 19, living as a hippie vegetarian with her mom in Brooklyn, decided to become a hard-core satirical rapper/artist.

She's been described as a cross between Doris Day and Eminem; I'd throw a little Jean Grae and a little Fiona Apple in there too. She's been in movies and starred on Broadway in the Threepenny Opera and her songs tell the story of a geeky, feminist, big-stage performer in her early 20s trying to figure out where the money is and how to make the world a better place.

Her first (and best) two-disc album, Get Away From Me won all sorts of awards, despite its giant PARENTAL GUIDANCE label, and is far and away one of my all-time favorite records. Her third album, Obligatory Villagers is less hip-hop and more big-band, but with Nellie's famed rapidfire lyrics and satire. For reasons unknown, her second album, Pretty Little Head somehow vanished from my computer, but I still have a couple tracks from it I'll throw in.

And so!

your guide to Nellie McKay, with downloads and whatnots )

I tried to provide a range of types, from hip-hop sounds to Broadway sounds to singer-songwriter sounds to 40's pop sounds... sample a few and see how you feel.

I ♥ Nellie hardcore and am happy to answer any questions and provide any info or squeeing that might be needed here. Squee!

(P.S. Feel free to look through my "foods that begin with q" [pimp posts] or "music" [music] tags, and if there's anything you want that's expired I'll be happy to reup. Most of my uploads from the last two years at least are on MU and should still be there, now and forever. THANKS MU!)

(*asterisk) This post is incomplete without the missing tracks "Sari" and "Identity Theft;" two of my favorite Nellie songs. If a kind passerby donates them I'll slap 'em up for completion's sake. If you find them on your own, enjoy!
sab: (fg >> you might think we're in sync)
Was time for an end-of-summer music compilation, a present from me to youse. You'll see my favorites showing at the seams, 18 tracks by 14 artists. *g* Even the title's from the Hold Steady's "Charlemagne in Sweatpants," though that track didn't make the cut; I think it was on my last mix; god forbid I should have repeats! Anyway, download, enjoy, if music be the food of love rock on, &c.

Tramps Like Us (And We Like Tramps)
1. Slung-Lo - Erin McKeown
2. Uh-Merica - Regina Spektor
3. Mystery and Crime - Joel Plaskett Emergency
4. Most People Are DJs - The Hold Steady
5. Lay Me Down - Glen Hansard, Live
6. Keep It There - The Weepies
7. Going Crazy - Jean Grae
8. Identity Theft - Nellie McKay
9. Lake Street Is For Lovers - Lifter Puller
10. Fogtown (Michelle Shocked Cover) - Glen Hansard & Mic Christopher, Live
11. Work Out Fine - Joel Plaskett Emergency
12. Certain Songs - The Hold Steady
13. Ride The Nuclear Wave - The Oranges Band
14. When Doves Cry (Prince Cover) - The Be Good Tanyas
15. We're Both So Sorry - Mirah
16. In Spite Of Me - Morphine
17. Me & My Microphone - Kano ft. Kate Nash
18. Bonus Tracks: Ask Her For Adderall, Cheyenne Sunrise, Two Handed Handshake - The Hold Steady

Tramps Like Us (And We Like Tramps) 83mb, rar file

Anything you like, ask me, I'll give ya more! Also you should buy cds from all of these artists, as each one is fantastic and worth knowing.
sab: (un >> hey remember that time)
Boys and girls in America (and Europe, and Canada, and Asia, and Oceania, and even the Pole, for [ profile] 30toseoul)! I promised a pimping post about The Hold Steady [wikipedia], and here she comes.

About... four years ago I got hooked on Regina Spektor and her entire songography was on repeat on my Zune for months. Now it's the Hold Steady, and I've actually become unable to listen to anything else without wishing it was Craig Finn's Jersey vibe and half-spoken lyrics against that 80s real-band-playing-real-instruments track. They've drawn comparisons to Springsteen and REM, the Tragically Hip and Sonic Youth, Ted Leo and even Billy Joel. They are all these things and more, people!

Here's their one single, though I don't even know if it got radio play; the opening track from "Boys and Girls in America," Stuck Between Stations. Take it as a taster; if you like it, just keep rocking the fuck on with the rest of their discography.

There are four albums so far, and while individually they're amazing, and while individual tracks on each album can also be isolated as a-fucking-mazing, there's an even better story happening across the four albums, starring the same set of characters (Hallelujah [call her Holly] the teenage burnout, Charlemagne, the struggling drug dealer/pimp, and Gideon, the gang member -- and a whole cast of other supporting characters who get drunk at music festivals, get fucked against dumpsters behind townie bars, get in knife fights, fall in love, party till it almost kills them, and wake up in Ybor City looking for a change).

The aesthetic is set up on the first record, "Almost Killed Me," with a growling lyric-rich Craig Finn and some old-school hair band/punk guitar licks.

Then "Separation Sunday" really got the narrative ball rolling; it's entirely a concept album based around Holly, Charlemagne and Gideon, slightly rawer than the other records and still totally lyric-based and groovy.

"Boys and Girls in America" is totally the most accessible record, and where lots of fans (including me!) got started. Three years ago or so, [ profile] pene and [ profile] unwinding came to town and played me "Citrus" and "Party Pit," and I fell into this band crush headlong. Later when I went back to hear the two earlier albums I started reading the narrative and character development (as well as musical development and shifting styles), but for the first few months all I listened to was BaGiA. It's where the single (above) is from, and it busted the Hold Steady into mainstream reviewers' consciousness. Read a review from Pitchfork Media, here.

The newest record, "Stay Positive," just came out a couple months ago, and while being an album totally addressed to summer '08, is also a bookend to "Almost Killed Me," which started with the song "Positive Jam" as a band intro. "Stay Positive," after four records of some killer highs and some crushing lows, reminds us, "it's one thing to start with a positive jam; it's another thing to see it all through." I can not stop listening to "Stay Positive," occasionally clicking back to tracks on the earlier albums just to remember how they pay off in the most recent record.

zip file full of songs, and commentary about them, under cut )
sab: (if I cover my eyes you can't see me)
Thick-Necked Man, Crash Test Dummies. Here's Brad Roberts again with a voice like an ancient steamship twanging his way through alt-country riddled with harmonicas, cowbells and a large vibrating egg. This a great down-with-the-man (any man!) anthem that's gotta be more resonant now, even, than it was when it was written fifteen years ago. He watches TV, all-star wrestling, slams a six of ale, hits his wife and wrecks the car and spends a long dark night in jail / preacher man he comes around, says does he know the mess he's in? He says he'll turn to Jesus if he'll bail him out and buy him gin

Mirrorframes, Summer Blanket. What's beautiful about this song is that you immediately feel like you've heard it before, like it's a campfire tune you grew up with. It turns out that's because this uses some very common folk riffs, and Keith Michaud, who is Summer Blanket, has the kind of rumbly, reassuring proto 30something folkboy voice that curls into the back of your brain like it was born there. Fans of Josh Ritter should check out Summer Blanket. So do I hold you down, do I keep you in place? Sometimes I can't tell by that look on your face so I'm putting mirrors into all our picture frames so you can see yourself right now.

Dragon Ships, Fruit Bats. One more step in my continued crusade to foist all of Fruit Bats' discography upon you people. This has the usual combination of weird lyrics that get even weirder upon investigation, set to a catchy, indie rock track. Another one that's fun to sing, especially the chorus. I wish I was a Viking in 1103, I'd fuck up shit on the high cold sea.


(+ 2 more, which were waiting for either Songs that begin with M or Songs that begin with T, but then I spent a favorite T and a favorite M already, above, so these are freebies)

Might As Well Dance, Patty Larkin. I defy you not to literally jig. Ohhhh, the boogeyman'll getcha! Ooooh, when you're lyin' in your bed! Pull the pillow off your head -- you might as well dance!

They'll Need A Crane, They Might Be Giants. You've all already heard this song but maybe you don't have it and it's SO plaintive and sad! Punk and I have big plans to write XF songfic to this, where Mulder and Scully get a divorce. Don't call me at work again, no, no the boss still hates me / I'm just tired and I don't love you anymore / and there's a restaurant we should check out where the other nightmare people like to go / I mean nice people, baby, wait, I didn't mean to say nightmare.
sab: (what? it's the love of a dog and his boy)
See the previous entry for songs that begin with B, lemme know if you need a re-up.

These are YSI links all, and mp3s most.

I was doing handstands on the bandstand at the shimmy-shimmy coco-pop bar )
sab: (what? it's the love of a dog and his boy)
Except it's songs that begin with B, today.

B Sides, get 'em while they're up )


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