01 April 2007


April 1 - I'm Moving

And that ain't no joke.

We were going to move for real, but now we're not, so I'm doing a virtual move. Psalm a Day will be canned in favor of my new Mog (that's a music blog) located at http://www.mog.com/meSteve

Sorry Clarence, I don't know how to add a contributor, but you should start a Mog as well.

See you there.

07 March 2007


March 7, 2007

"Procession" by New Order
Listen fo' Free

My first post since October. Left for dead, but the blog survives - neglected, but breathing. Anyway, I like the idea of a hit and run post AND I got out of work early.

The path goes like this - reading The Onion, flip to the AV Club, pull up an article on "Songs About Years", read the entry about "1963" by New Order, launch the Yahoo! Music Jukebox for the flashback listen, start pulling up some more New Order songs, hear "Procession" for the first time in a few years, open up allmusic.com to brush up on New Order and Joy Division trivia, and finally decide to write something down to commemorate the not so sordid affair.

Why "Procession"? Why else - it's the bass line. And the moodiness is also a real hook. The early New Order stuff / late Joy Division really captures a mood; a dark brooding mood. I read the lyrics for Procession and they're oblique, but you could easily infer a connection to Ian Curtis's (the lead singer of Joy Division) suicide - so that REALLY sets a mood.

Funny thing is, I've been listening to almost nothing but the Grateful Dead for the last three or four weeks.

11 December 2006


Clarence Rosario: December 11, 2006 -- "Poncho and Lefty"

"Poncho and Lefty", by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

Curiously enough, I just couldn't get this song outta my head this morning. A definite blast from the past, and it reminds me of living in Texas when I was in gradeschool. My father was the GM of a country music radio station at the time. And while I can't recall my father ever actually being interested in music that much, I do remember this song from my youth, playing on the radio. Along with David Allen Coe, "Wildfire", Johnny Cash and Hank Williams, Jr.

Hard to tell what the song is about. Sure, a couple of desperados named Poncho and Lefty, one of which appears to double-cross the other and then have to live with it. The chorus was the kicker:

All the Federales, they say
They could have had him any day
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness I suppose

Anyway, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard do an amazing duet on this tune, and it's kind of haunting.

Oh, and the reason it even came up? I lost this weekend's Yahoo! fantasy football matchup to a team in my fantasy league called Poncho & Lefty. I didn't get it until this morning.

08 December 2006


Clarence Rosario: December 5, 2006 -- "Mass Destruction"

"Mass Destruction" by Faithless

With the release of the the
Iraq Study Group's report about how badly the current administration is fucking up in Iraq, I thought it was appropriate to dig up this cool Faithless tune. Especially the lyrics of the chorus, which sum up the last 6 years kinda nicely:

Whether long range weapon or suicide bomber
Wicked mind is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether you're soaraway Sun or BBC 1
Misinformation is a weapon of mass destruction
You could be a Caucasian or a poor Asian
Racism is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether inflation or globalization
Fear is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether Halliburton, Enron or anyone
Greed is a weapon of mass destruction
We need to find courage, overcome

Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction
Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction
Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

I've also got a killer Party Ben mashup of this track in which George W. Bush is heard justifying the pretext for war in Iraq, claiming "Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths to build and keep weapons of mass destruction". Chillingly, there's also an excerpt where Bush extolls "the war goes on, and we are winning."

Cheery stuff for a long run in Central Park, eh?

29 November 2006


Clarence Rosario: November 29, 2006 -- "The Comeback"

"The Comeback" by Shout Out Louds
Yahoo! Music

So, this is kind of a bittersweet one. Was listening to Howl Howl Gaff Gaff by Sweden's Shout Out Louds, who my brother turned me onto recently. "The Comeback" is a great pop song with retro-60s stylings, with gems like:

and the past three weeks were the saddest weeks
and the words you said oh, made me weak
i'm out of my mind
i'm about to crack, so
let's call this the comeback

My brother just went through a painful divorce, so the Shout Out Louds' brand of melancholy, yet somehow upbeat, pop allows you to simultaneously wallow and pick yourself up. I'd also check out the aptly-titled "Go Sadness" for a beautifully sad and empowering track. These would definitely make my Top Playlist of Breakup Songs (let's hope I don't have to trot that list out...ever...again...).

28 October 2006


October 28, 2006

"Jumping Someone Else's Train" by The Cure
Yahoo Music Engine
Guitar PowerTab

I've known this song for literally 24 years, and I still like it enough to have it creep into my consciousness from time to time. The lyrics aren't terribly profound - telling someone (probably an ex) that they're unoriginal, a scenester, a follower, etc., but it's a pretty good phrase for the trendy affliction. Should we try to reintroduce it into the popular vernacular? Screaming at passing hipsters: "hey you unoriginal posers, aren't you happy, you're finally all the same, you're always jumping someone else's train!!!!" In New York, you could just wait for the L train subway to pull up in the morning and spew forth it's trendy contents. Sounds like an amusing weekday diversion - coffee and hipster harassment.

P.S. Listen to the bass line.

27 October 2006


Clarence Rosario: October 27, 2006 -- "Shake That Ass"

[taps mike] Is this thing on?

Well, since Stephen left the keys in the ignition, I might as well go for a joyride. When the cat's away, and all that.

"Shake That Ass" by The Lovemakers

Ever since I heard this Oakland 4-piece, I've been evangelically trying to spread their word. Fits with the theme of this site. I've seen them live 3 times -- at Slim's, The Bottom of the Hill, and Bimbo's -- and they are in my top 4* bands to see live. Why?
  1. Musically, they're tight as Hell. They've been described as "sexually energized dance rock". Their first single, "Prepare For The Fight", made me worry that they were just a little gimmicky. Not so. They can bring it. Lisa's a killer on the violin, and their drummer wails. While a lot of their lyrics are fanciful, "Falling Apart" shows their serious side.
  2. They're performers. Their live show is awesome, and they get into it with a sincere form of theatricality that is infectious. The crowd at Slim's chanted "Let's Go Oakland!" to get the band out for an encore. Not bad for a San Francisco crowd.
  3. They're smart. They've already done two solid club remixes of "Prepare For The Fight" (I own one on vinyl). They took it upon themselves to get in on the mashup craze with an awesome, self-produced mashup of them with 50 Cent. They have one of the best band merch t-shirts I've seen.
  4. Lisa Light is hot. I can almost overlook the fact that she went to Stanfurd.
Besides, you've gotta love a band that sings:

You can't have my love
Take my body
You can have anything you want
If you shake that ass for me.

* The other 4? The Beastie Boys, Stereolab, Superchunk.

17 October 2006


Clarence Rosario: October 17, 2006 -- "Boyz In The Hood"

"Boyz In The Hood" by Dynamite Hack

Crap, I'm on a roll. I couldn't resist this one, since it came up on my ShuffleLog last night while I was running in Central Park.

Usually, when I'm running, I dig the more upbeat songs to keep my mind off of the fact that, inexplicably, I'm voluntarily running in Central Park. But the notion of two white guys -- who sound like they should be doing Nelson covers on MTV Unplugged -- doing an acoustic rendition of NWA's "Boyz In The Hood" is just too awesome to pass up. Especially when two white guys with acoustic guitars reprazent:

Cruisin' down the street in my 6-fo'
Jockin' the bitches, slappin' the ho's

Don't hate the playah. Hate the game.

By the way, what sort of funky misanthrope does the lyrics at lyricsdepot.com? "Butt ass hell and I wanna get ill"? Damn, my dogs could probably do better.

16 October 2006


Clarence Rosario: October 16, 2006 -- "New Moon On Monday"

"New Moon On Monday" by Duran Duran

Damn, it's been a month since I contributed. A thousand pardons, perhaps I've been pre-occupied with this bit of business.

But I'm back, with a doozy. No idea how this one popped up. Last week, I had "Just a Thought" by Gnarls Barkley going through my head, which includes the disturbing lines "And I've tried / Everything but suicide / But it's crossed my mind". Nothing could be further from my mind, of course, but the song does have a sweet break beat in the middle of the verse. Anyhooo...

At first, you'd think that there would be a correlation with this song and it being Monday and all. Or that it's a new moon today (it's not, it was on the 11th). No idea. But it certainly belies my deep-rooted past interest in Duran Duran: it was the first "real" concert I ever saw, at the Fabulous Forum in LA no less. I don't count seeing Melvin and the Meateaters -- the band my 6th grade math teacher was a roadie for in Texas -- as my first real concert. Go figure.

14 October 2006


October 14, 2006

"Flying" by Chris Isaak
Yahoo Music Jukebox

If fIREHOSE is the band I think I might have become, Chris Isaak is the guy I've never been and will never be. But that doesn't mean I don't like any of his music. In fact, I like about 15% of it, and this song just got stuck in my head.

It's a pretty little ditty about a short affair in Paris. We can all identify with the main sentiment: met her on Monday, on Tuesday I was flying. But then when she leaves on Wednesday, Friday finds him crying. That's where he kind of loses me. First, what happened on Thursday? Maybe he didn't notice she was gone, or thought she was coming back. Maybe Thursday just isn't as lyrical? Then the tearful Friday... what can you say? The guy is a wuss. Sure, it's nice that he's tender and he fell for the girl and all, but he's gonna get all teary about some little Frenchy he just met on Monday?? That's just not right.

Thus further proving, I'm no Chris Isaak.

12 October 2006


October 12, 2006

"Funky Liza" by New Orleans Nightcrawlers
Yahoo Music Jukebox

Well this is just a four star song by a four star band on a four star album (all from a four star city). Funky, funky, fun, swinging, get up and move kind of music. The kind of music that makes it look to the outsider that I may suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (but it's just the rhythm).

Apparently the song is based on an old traditional brass band tune called "Little Liza Jane". I wasn't familiar with the title, but when I listened to a few versions I was familiar with the tune. So that's either because of the similarity with "Funky Liza" or because at some point I heard the song around New Orleans and Mardi Gras and such. But then, if you dig a little deeper, you find that this song is a real traditional number and there are all kinds of bluegrass, jazz, and country renditions. And that's even more interesting to me because I read about the history of a song called St. James Infirmary, which ties back throught the history of New Orleans music, to traditional country, all the way to England - the old country - under some other names. Who'd have thought that modern funky brass band music comes from such traditional sources

Now if you search the internet for this kind of stuff, it turns out there are lots of people who spend a good amount of time making these connections and documenting them for posterity, and it's not so uncommon knowledge, but it's new knowledge for me and that's all right.

07 October 2006


October 7, 2006

"Down With The Bass" by fIREHOSE
Yahoo Music Jukebox

That's down with the bass, as in "I'm down with the bass, yo", not as in "the musical revolutionaries chanted repeatedly 'down with the bass, down with the bass'". And it's bass guitar, not bass the fish, in which case the counter example might have been "the trout revolutionaries chanted repeatedly 'down with the bass, down with the bass'".

I think if I were a musician I would have ended up playing music like this. And I would have been proud, but not very rich. fIREHOSE are always original.


Who Am I, Really?

Shane MacGowan... unconsciously brilliant.
You can intelligently debate any topic from theology, history, literature and philosphy...
though only while you're out of your skull on booze.
Take this quiz!

01 October 2006


October 1, 2006

"Sunnyside of the Street" by The Pogues
Yahoo Music Jukebox
Lyrics Freak

I've been meaning to write this post for at least a week. Every time we get in the car young Walker pipes up from his car seat in the back and says "Sunnyside of the Street daddy!, I want to hear Sunnyside of the Street". I usually don't mind. The CD is always in the car, the Pogues are great, and this seems like just another one of their slightly sarcastic odes to immigration and USA. I even figured that the name was a reference to Sunnyside, Queens - a very common destination for Irish immigrants. But then I looked up the lyrics.

The actual words don't help with understanding what the song is about, but among the choicest nuggets are:

"So I saw that train
And I got on it
With a heartful of hate
And a lust for vomit."


"As my mother wept it was then I swore
To take my life as I would a whore."

So the dilemma is, do I continue to play the song for Walker, or get all puritan and stick to the Clancy Brothers? Not really a dilemma - I couldn't understand Shane McGowan's slurred growl and I've been listening to that song for 15 years. Maybe in another 15 Walker will be able to explain it to me.

26 September 2006


September 25, 2006

"Story of My Life" by Social Distortion
Yahoo Music Jukebox
Lyrics Freak

I didn't like Social Distortion in the 80's and 90's. They seemed boring - all their songs sounded alike. But recently, I've taken a real shine to their stuff, especially the eponymous album and it's finest track, "Story of My Life". It's everything that used to bug me about Social Distortion, slow pace, straightforward rock'n'roll, predictable lyrics. But that doesn't matter. It's catchy as hell, the lyrics are strike a chord, and Mike Ness sings with feeling and power.

"So I sit at the edge of my bed, I strum my guitar and I sing an outlaw love song." Is it really necessary to point out the genius here?

23 September 2006


September 23, 2006

"Texan Book of the Dead" by Clutch
Yahoo Music Jukebox

Weird song,unequivocally hard rock, Maryland band (Germantown), I like it.

20 September 2006


Clarence Rosario: September 20, 2006 -- "Shadrach"

"Shadrach" by The Beastie Boys

Yahoo! Music

Had to get this one out there, and it's damned late, since this is from Sunday for Pete's sake.

But since I was headed to the Atlantic Antic in Brooklyn for the first time on Sunday, it's no surprise that "Shadrach" was going through my head all day. Specifically:

"So I'm out pickin pockets at the atlantic antic
And nobody wants to hear you cause your rhymes are so frantic
I mix business with pleasure way too much
I mean wine and women and song and such"

And besides, really, how long could I go without posting a B-Boys song, y'all?

18 September 2006


September 18, 2006

Bo's Veranda by Morphine
Yahoo Music Jukebox

This is just a wonderful instrumental number with a bit of melancholy. Looks like I took the weekend off for no reason in particular. Life's hard?

Please note that another member has been added to the team, and made his first post. Clarence, also known as John, was part of my first computer / music project back in the late '90s. Alas, that one produced no fruit, or music for that matter, but we exchanged some great emails and came up with some great stage names. Perhaps those names can be located and included in a future post.

Finally for today: Arnold, you are slacking and we are still waiting for your first post.

15 September 2006


Clarence Rosario: September 15, 2006 -- "500"

Thanks for letting me barge in, Stephen. Never thought I'd go this deep in the well for my first post here, but nothing like a mid-90s atmospheric to start a rainy day...

"500" by Lush
Amazon Sample Clip

This is actually from yesterday, when I was walking my dogs in Central Park at 7am in the rain. Usually, mid-90s shoe-gazing chanteuse artists don't spring into my consciousness these days (cf. Belly, Velocity Girl, The Breeders, Golden Palominos, Single Gun Theory, One Dove...sheesh, what a phase that was...).

But it was raining, the dogs were soaked, and I just wanted them to shake before going inside. "500" lyrics begin: "Shake, baby, shake, you know I can fit you in my arms". That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


September 15, 2006

"Fire on the Mountain" by The Grateful Dead
Internet Archive

Easily my favorite song by the Dead. It's one of those songs that gets under my skin and just won't get out unless I moooooooooooove a little bit. I also hope the Internet Archive link get's you to exploring. The website has a plethora of free live music, and a bunch of other stuff that I haven't been curious enough to explore.


September 14, 2006

What I Got (Reprise) by Sublime
Yahoo Music Engine
Lyrics Freak

I prefer the reprise version because of the acoustic guitar jam that follows the line "I can play the guitar like a motherfucking riot". Which is, by the by, a hell of a line.

To tell the truth it was Santeria that was running through my head when I woke up Thursday, but I'd rather share the other.

13 September 2006


September 13, 2006

"Jennifer's Body" by Hole
Yahoo Music Jukebox

I've been getting soft in my old age - not that the tracks listed so far have been watered down, but nothing particularly controversial. So, today, a little Hole, because Courtney Love is nothing if not controversial. It doesn't hurt that this is a great song on a great album. By the way, DON'T READ THE LYRICS. I wish I hadn't.

12 September 2006


Editorial Note

You might notice that there is a new contributor listed in the margin - Bayson22. That's the alias for my good friend from work Arnold Sanchez. He and I toss tracks back and forth and don't always agree, so it seemed like it would be fun to have him add an occasional contribution from his warped mind. I'll be sure to light up the comments with serious flames if he tries to push any hair metal here though!


September 12, 2006

"See See Rider" by Lightnin' Hopkins
Yahoo Music Jukebox

I was trying to learn to play this song last night, so it's natural enough that it was running through my head this morning. Tons of versions of this old classic exist, even different spellings of the title: C.C. Rider, CC Rider, and See See Rider. If you've got Rhapsody or Yahoo Music, listen to the versions by Lightnin, then Mississippi John Hurt, then Big Bill Broonzy. Pretty cool to hear three guys, with nothing more than their guitars and voices, give such different treatments to the same song. Brother Ray Charles has a real well known take, and there's a live Elvis recording that just cooks!

As for the lyrics, pretty straightforward blues - woman messing with a man's heart and head. John Hurt sums it up best with the line "The blues ain't nothin' but a good woman on your mind."

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