SOME STUFFS: Ben Folds releases album of acapella covers of his works

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Now this is a great idea, and the fact that Ben Folds has a heart and a sense of humor still gives me hope. His new album is a compilation album consisting of his songs performed by college acapella groups, called Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella! (Epic). It might sound like a joke, but Folds insists: “This is not a novelty. I consider this my new record… I’m incredibly proud of this. If this were Ben World, this would be my greatest hits album. I’d rather this be my greatest hits record than someone collecting my masters and slapping on a photo of me leaning against a piano. This is a better way. I’m a songwriter, and these are my songs.”

Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella! will be released on April 28th, and can be pre-ordered through CD Universe.

SOME STUFFS: Black Eyed Peas continue to suck with “Boom Boom Pow”

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Man, I used to like the Black Eyed Peas, but while the Fergie era has helepd them become rich, it really hasn’t contributed anything significant in the grand scheme of things. The instrumental of the new single, “Boom Boom Pow”, is really good but the song is pure shit, with Fergie continuing to prove how “down” she is when she’s anything but. But falsehood works, apparently, and people are going to flock to this like sheep. Take a listen:

Lame cover, lame song: what else can you expect from millionaires? They fear becoming Wal-Mart greeters, so they deliver us this shit. Thanks for nothing.

VIDEO: Home quality with Black Lips

“I’ll Be With You” looks like it was filmed in 1977, but it was filmed in 2009 as the new music video by The Black Lips. I really like it, as I am a fan of lo-fi 8mm home movies, and the group as you will say got into it as well.

Like the song? You can download it for free (courtesy of Vice Records). The track is from their 200 Million Thousand album, available now through CD Universe.

SOME STUFFS: Aceyalone no longer lonely with forthcoming tour package

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With the release of a new album from Aceyalone, Aceyalone And The Lonely Ones (Decon), he’s ready to go on tour and he’s bringing Haiku D’Etat along with him, joining Abstract Rude and Myka 9 for what will no doubt be a good tour. It begins on May 5th in Santa Cruz, California, check the poster graphic above for all confirmed dates.

Garage Sale Adventures: Richland, Washington (Queensgate area), March 28, 2009

Lately the thrift stores around here have been dry, not the kind of albums I’m looking for and/or want to listen to. However, a look at the local Craigslist showed that there was going to be a garage sale with boxes and boxes of records, 800+. The sale was going to be in the Queensgate area, a section of Richland, Washington that is relatively new but is very nice. I myself have never been to Queensgate so as I drove through looking for the house, I said to myself “damn, these are some nice homes.” That was a good sign, because generally if someone lives in a nice home, it will sometimes mean they’re tossing out their records because:

1) wife said so
2) he needs money
3) a combination of 1 and 2, which becomes “they need the money”

Again, like thrift stores it was a crap shoot. But I found the home, waited until it opened at 8am (no early birds) and at 7:59, as if by magic, all of the record collectors make themselves known. The door opens and it’s not like people at Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving jumping for Tickle Me Elmo, but it had that feel. Except record collectors are a slow bunch UNLESS there are good records.

I will say this, there was a lot of records, but I told you that, 800+ pieces. Lots and lots of common stuff, but I did see a good share of records I wanted to get. I didn’t want to go overboard, but I made it out with these:

The James Brown album, Sho Is Funky Down Here (Starday/King KS 1110) gave me hope to look for more after going through a few boxes and seeing nothing. I started on the third or fourth box because people were at the first two, and had I gone to the first one, I would have spotted some jazz albums. Not sure if anything else was taken, but Blowfly is someone whose records normally don’t pop up around here.

I didn’t get to talk to the guy selling the records, but each record was a dollar (which is why I went), and he has been collecting for awhile. He is selling all of these records so that he can, no surprise, buy more. A lot of people were talking about his Cadillac but I didn’t bother to look at it. As I was browsing, a few people were saying “wow, what are these?” The seller said “these are records”, leading to the inevitable “wow, people still buy these?” and the man replies “all of these gentleman are”. Another man was sharing his story on how he’s “new to records” and that he wants to get familiar with them. I thought it was cool, but it would be different to become familiar with records in 2009 than it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago when I started taking records more seriously.

I found myself wanting to be more choosy, because I know I have bought my share of crap. Fortunately if I need some vinyl crap, I can do a blog search. A few of these, like the Boz Scaggs album on Atlantic, I’ve always wanted to have on vinyl but never did. I know there’s a recent audiophile pressing of it but for the cost of that audiophile pressing, I was able to buy 20 records and head to McDonald’s for breakfast and still have change.

VIDEO: Soundgarden – Cornell + Tad Doyle & Tom Morello = TADGARDEN?!? Oh, and there’s Boots Riley!!!

People in Seattle are happy about the return of The Crocodile Cafe, and on Wednesday night fans were surprised to see a unique band bringing together Kim Thayil, Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd, plus Tom Morello and Tad Doyle. What song did they perform together? “Spoonman”. I’m a fan of Soundgarden, Tad, Rage Against The Machine, and Audioslave, so to see these elements together, plus a chance to hear what Tad would sound like fronting Soundgarden, is a trip. It reminds me of what the Seattle scene was/is like, where you could jam with whomever, whenever, and it still felt like family.

This show was a part of Morello’s Street Sweeper tour, and here he’s joined with Boots Riley of the hip-hop group The Coup performing M.I.A.‘s “Paper Planes”.

VIDEO: Ciara featuring Justin Timberlake’s “Love Sex Magic”

While MTV and BET get rid of their music videos, and the majority of cable subscribers not having access to the MTV subsidiary networks, videos like this will only be known by internet exposure, so here it is, a video that makes it worthy to watch it in high resolution.

Personally, the song is so-so, Ciara sings better but sounds more like someone else. Justin Timberlake always becomes the chameleon in any of the projects he participates in, and makes men wish they were him, especially in this video. If there are any ladies wondering if it’s worth working out for bathing suit weather, I suggest seeing the potential through some of Ciara’s techniques in this clip.

SOME STUFFS: Cache of unknown country recordings found… in a barn

In an article in The Boston Globe, an engineer known for extensive work in Nashville is transferring tapes digitally for archviing purposes. What are on those tapes are of interest, since it had been rumored for years that someone had documented countless country artists performing and recording in high schools, auditoriums, dances, and fairs. Not just local talent, but national artists who came through areas in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia. People were wondering if the rumors were true, and now it has been revealed that it is, with at least 1000 different recordings in existence.

The recordings were done by a Pennsylvania man named Ken Alexander, who did sound services for artists in his region, and apart from setting up the systems for live performances, he also recorded them with the technology of the time. He started out doing wire recordings in the 1940’s and eventually building up to tape in the 50’s, continuing through the 70’s. This is something that seems to be common throughout the country, in fact I interviewed a local man named Curtis Mohr who recorded many middle school and high school bands in the Pacific Northwest from the mid-60’s to the early 70’s for the Custom Recording Company, the label that you thrift store junkies will know as the people who make countless private press albums and church recordings, along with school records. I had been interested in speaking with him after enjoying an album by The Wa-Hi School Stage Band called Get It On, featuring covers of songs by Chicago and Don Ellis.

It seems like Mohr, Alexander was also a recording/sound enthusiast, and went out of his way to record anyone in the world of country music. Those recordings are now owned by Richard Pittman, who purchased all of the recordings and are having them transferred to digital. However, it seems Pittman will put them back on the auction block very soon, hoping for perhaps a bigger offer. Because of the amount of artists involved and all of the clearances it would take to properly release them, Pittman isn’t able to release anything at this time but hopefully the new owners will properly release some of it for the general public to hear for the first time.

SOME STUFFS: Unreleased Jimi Hendrix to be experienced again

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According to an article by The New Zealand Herald, a new tape discovered shows a more “gentle” side to the legendary guitarist. The tape, consisting of 14 songs recorded in a hotel room with accompaniment from a harmonica player, will be sold at an auction next month and is expected to lead to a final bid somewhere between $75,000 to $150,000. The tape is said to have been recorded in 1968 around the time he recorded his third album Electric Ladyland. Hendrix was someone who was very active in recording his music, be it in the studio, live, or even in his downtime, so it will be interesting to hear it if and when it is bought and released.

In the meantime, reports that Experience Hendrix has worked out a new five year publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing, for his music to be promoted/exploited heavily outside of the United States. This means you’ll be hearing a lot of his music in everything from television to movies, although they must be approved first by Experience Hendrix CEO, Janie Hendrix, before any of it comes to the surface.

What may be more of interest to fans is the announcement by Janie Hendrix that there is about ten years worth of music in the vaults, something she has hinted at since she became a part of Jimi’s musical legacy in the 1990’s. In the Billboard article she was quoted as saying Currently, I am in the studio transferring tapes of Band of Gypsys performances that have never been released before. No release date for this is known, but the 40th anniversary of those performances (they were done on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970) is not too far away so one hopes to have something new this year. Experience Hendrix will continue with their “bootleg” series of albums on their own Dagger label, and has plans on putting together a DVD documentary highlighting his stay in London for shows at the Royal Albert Hall in February 1969.