Sunday, November 21, 2010

Carol Hahn - Do Your Best

Our buddy Steve from Sharegroove put us on to this a few months ago.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Somehow Daniel and Quinn found time to make this record amid PHB touring and general band nonsense. Bart Davenport was part of the project too. Really nice work.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Los Canarios - Free Yourself

Our good friend Bart Davenport turned us on to this track on our recent trip through Spain. We weren't prepared for this unreal live performance, though.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Roundtree- Get On Up

Probably not the intended take home message, but come on.

Rockers Takeover

One of our favorite scenes from one of our favorite movies. It's kinda true, though: You can't say that...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Drake's Cakes

We were just working over at Vacation Island Studio in Brooklyn and Steve Greenberg, while eating a fruit pie, put us on to this clip.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Olsen Twins Pizza Party

It's October, our favorite --and possibly the scariest-- month, and there is nothing more terrifying than this clip.
Even worse might be the stage parents who were super excited about their daughter booking this gig with the Olsens. Let it rise like a soufflé indeed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Adriano Celentano - L'unica Chance

the song actually starts at like 1:20, but if you want to sit through Adriano and Lola Falana hamming it up, that's cool, too.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dom Salvador with Elis Regina

Dom Salvador plays at the River Cafe in NY and we were able to interview him about a year back. Ivan Tiririca from União Black told us that when he was a teenager, he would hang out at Dom Salvador rehearsals and watch their drummer, Luiz Carlos.

El Chicano - Viva Tirado (LIVE!)

We can't believe this exists, but so glad it does. Rare live footage from El Chicano, featuring the late Bobby Espinosa on the Hammond organ

El Chicano - Más Zacate

One of our favorite tracks by one of our favorite bands. Expect to hear this on Friday when Daniel and Sean spin at the Commodore.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Neon Indian "Psychic Chasms (Phenomenal Handclap Band Remix)"

New remix by yours truly on RCRD LBL. Press play somewhere in the middle of all the Weezer ads.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Brian Protheroe - "Pinball"

Our guitar player, Luke, brought this record home a couple years ago, and it always reminds us of autumn.

Robert Lester Folsom --"April Suzanne"

The reissue of this album's coming out on Mexican Summer.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Opie's a Little Too Cool Now

Ron Howard's come a long way. Check him out in J. Foxx's funkstrapiece.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Gomma Records just posted our Heavy Breathing DJ mix on their homepage. Please listen.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

La Bionda - I Wanna Be Your Lover

Quinn found this record on our recent trip to Turkey. This video is something else, too.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Courier of Death OST

The Glasgow duo Den Haan did one of our favorite remixes of "15 to 20" and their dj sets and original music are fantastic as well. They champion the film Courier of Death and its soundtrack. Here's a clip and a description of the film/soundtrack:

This is the first ever release of The Courier Of Death soundtrack - the music from Tom Shaw's obscure cult movie from 1984 - one of the best worst films ever made.

Having been stored away in various formats and locations across America for the past 25 years, The Courier Of Death soundtrack, which would have otherwise have fallen in to the depths of degradation, has been laboriously tracked down and pieced together in some sort of epic b-movie jigsaw puzzle crusade by producer/songwriter Matthew Aldworth.

The album is comprised of nineteen tracks that flow chronologically from swirling Minimoog bass lines, numanesque robotic pop, intense arppegiated cues, hints of country and western, sleazy lo-fi disco, mysterious dark synth pads and acoustic piano pieces. Overall the album tells the story of the journey that JD Blackman (The Courier) takes while seeking revenge for the brutal murder of his beloved wife.

Musically, the soundtrack is comprised of instrumental music, both synthesized and electroacoustic. Synthesizers used on the album include: Minimoog, ARP 2600, Oberheim 8 Voice, Roland Opus, as well as Roland, Oberheim and Sequential sequencers. Electroacoustic instruments included acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, flute, drums and percusion.

The title of film composer goes to Daniel Fiebiger, as he composed and performed the majority of original music for the film. However, also appearing on the soundtrack is one recording taken from Paul Nelson's album 'Vortex'. It was originally titled: 'Vortex 4', but appears on the soundtrack (courtesy of Optiman Systems Inc) as: 'Flight to Rio'.

Another feature on the soundtrack is an excerpt from the original recording titled: 'Slave boat to hell'. This track was written and produced by the band Jungle Nausea and appears on the soundtrack (courtesy of Inner mystique records) as: 'Rape'. There were some other recordings written and performed by musician Daniel Snodgrass that were also used in the film. These include the title sequence and a couple of synthesized atmospheric cues. Unfortunately these have been lost forever. So the only surviving recordings are on the VHS copies of the film that still circulate.

This is an alternative soundtrack to say the least. It has taken over 4 years of continual research, correspondence, restoration and design to get to this point.

Anyone who has grown up loving a badly made film will appreciate the project and effort taken, by a loyal fan, which has resulted in The Courier Of Death original soundtrack finally becoming a reality after 25 years of silence!

Packaging & Liner Notes

Track List
1. The Courier
2. The Chase
3. Take A Vacation
4. Flight To Rio
5. Advice From Tom
6. Julie
7. The Strip Club
8. Rape
9. Consoling Nancy
10. Sutters Mill
11. Confronting Hayden
12. Flight To Ocean City
13. Things Get Thick
14. Forrest Fight
15. Kidnaped
16. Break In
17. Bigelow
18. The Last Stand
19. The Courier Of Death

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rhythm Device - Acid Rock

There Was a Time When Rock and Roll Was Easy

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


As producers, arrangers, and musicians, Nard and Nile are about as good as it gets. The above videos are a few points of interest in their incredible careers. I spoke with Fred Schneider of the B-52's about working with Nile and he says that he's the best producer he's ever worked with. Daryl Easlea's book Chic: Everybody Dance: The Politics of Disco is a solid account of their brilliance.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thin Lizzy -- Cold Sweat

Looks like he's winking right at you.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baris Manco - Gibi Gibi

We found this record today in Istanbul.

Monday, April 19, 2010

American Visionary Art Museum

I recently played keyboards at a benefit for this museum in Baltimore. This place is the most viscerally appealing art space I've ever been to.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dexys Midnight Runners - Dance Stance

their first single, re-recorded and included on their first album as "burn it down".

A few words from Jerry Dammers

We just found out we're opening up for his new band at Glastonbury this summer.

Dexys Midnight Runners - There, There My Dear

"...the only way to change things is to shoot men who arrange things..."
If you look closely, you'll see Mick Talbot, formerly of Merton Parkas but not yet in Style Council, on the organ.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Big 3 - "Banjo Song"

I just found this among my records today. Mama Cass's band before the Mamas and Papas, and also a big inspiration for Robbie van Leeuwen, I guess.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tinto Brass

An article on Attraction can be found here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tim Maia -- "Let's Have A Ball Tonight"

Tim Maia recorded a fair amount of songs in English. Here's one of the lesser known ones on his own label.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tropicalia in Furs

Our man Joel has a great record store near our studio. You can read about it here. He has a new compilation album with some jackets in 3-D and there's a short movie about it here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grunge Speak in the New York Times

I'm surprised how many people don't know this story. It's one of my favorites.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tim Lawrence -- Love Saves The Day

This is the book to read if you're interested in The Loft, The Sanctuary, The Continental Baths, or the Paradise Garage. This is the book to read if you're interested in Francis Grasso, Nicky Siano, Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan, and David Mancuso. This is the book to read if you're interested in Tom Moulton and Walter Gibbons. And this is the book to read if you're interested in the dance records of Gamble and Huff, Norman Whitfield, Loleatta Holloway, Georgio Moroder, and Eddie Kendricks.

Also, it lays the context and meaning of the "Disco Sucks" movement and calls it out for its homophobic motivations. Besides, The Stones, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney all made disco records. I assume that people in the "Disco Sucks" movement were fans of those artists.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Wu Tang Manual

I love this book. RZA's approach to music includes just about every one of his interests combined. The melding of philosophy, numerology, martial arts, comics, cinema, and soul music is, in their best moments, seamless. This book got me a little closer to understanding his process and vision.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gil Scott-Heron

I used to work at a night club in lower Manhattan that would book Gil. He'd come in sometimes to get an advance on his next show and he was really friendly. He'd give the in-house publicist a hard time for calling him the "Godfather of Hip Hop" in the print ads. She'd argue with him about it for a minute which I liked.

The liner notes in his new album are great. The following makes me want to wait until I have a free moment at home to really listen to his new album:

There is a proper procedure for taking advantage of any investment.
Music, for example. Buying music is an investment.
To get the maximum you must


Not in your car or on a portable player through a headset.
Take it home.
Get rid of all distractions, (even her or him).
Turn off your cell phone.
Turn off everything that rings or beeps or rattles or whistles.
Make yourself comfortable.
Play your LP.
**LISTEN** all the way through.
Think about what you got.
Think about who would appreciate this investment.
Decide if there is someone to share this with.
Turn it on again.
Enjoy yourself.

-Gil Scott-Heron

This song is so solid:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Woody's Band Names

Handclap's drummer, Patrick Wood has a list of facetious band names. Here they are:

PHB/BJL/Q&A/COHAGEN/Shoot First, Ask Christian Slater/Shit-talking Teddie Bear and the T9 Function/Sir Lawrence Olivia Newton John Cougar Melloncamper Van Beethoven's 5th Dimension/Golden Black Super Crystal Canyons/Buttsweat and Tears/Peter, Ponch, and John/Hot CHiPs Patrol/Red Foxx Chili Peppers/The Pains of Being Neil Young at Heart/Christian Breath/Crash Test Dummies For Dummies/Vampire Spring Break/The HeeBeeGeeBeeGees/Not So Little Feat/Emerson, Lake, and Dauber from TV's 'Coach'/Dude, Uncool And The Gang/Widespread Hispanic/Rage Against Rage Against The Machine/Kate's Bush/MecHanic! At The Citgo/The Skrotes/Animal Cooperative/The Rolling Scones/The Traveling Dingleberries/Mercury Rev Jesse Jackson/Rites of Springsteen/Loggins and Messiah/Wall of Doodoo/The Sugarpubes/Patsy Kleinstuerzende Neubauten/The Regis and Maury Chain/Taco Bell and Sebastian/Steel Pulse Bath Tub/Iron and Wine Coolers/My Morning Jackoff/Bow Wow Wowhaus/Wall Of Voodoobie Brothers/Hot O'Clock/Fuck Material/VADGE/Cockwash/Steel Pole Math Club/Dragons Of Synth/Brown Sabbath/No Country For Old Man Balls/Manhattan Branch Transfer/Turkey Shirt/The Condolences/Al Hammond III/Screens Of The Home Page/Crack Mountain/The 1916's/Nipple Pimple/Crotchpuncher/Crystal Math/Black Crystal Antlers Mother/Burnt Blackarach/The Traveling Blues Travelers (traveling with a case of the blues)/Funbag/The Debbie Harry Connick Junior Senior Discount Band/Jimmy Buffet's Desert Dessert Buffet (Jimmy)/Jack Jackofferson/Gene Schortzen/Wall With Blood On It/TV On The HAM Radio/Sun City Girls Against Boys II Men At Work/Pussy Shrinker/Dogfriend/30 Seconds to SARS/ATOMIC WINGS/VietMom/the Choads/Warm Warm Warmth/Schloc Party/the Tropical Eskimos/Hanz and Dennis Franz Ferdinand/Bel Biv DEVO/Fabreeze/Nad Wizard/Aberdeen Shitty/Buttpiss/Hank Williams Junior Mints/Shlongwave/The Jefferson's Airplane/Happy Accident/Elton Jaundice/Psychic TV Dinner/Creedance Clearwater, Florida/Belle and Sebastian Bach/PantyBollocks Gastro-Beef Whorchestra/Stainless Steely Dan/David Hasselrod/I Love You But I've Chosen Hartnett/Ambulance STD/Hunan Television on the Gay Beach Radio/The Art of Noice/The Gaze/The Grateful Dead Can Dance/Within Shouting Distance Of Reality/New Found Gloryhole/Gastro-Intestinal Fortitude/Enterprises Incorporated/Boss Fetus/I Know USSR But What Am I?/It's A Shame About Gay/Marrianne and Gingervitus/Rat-tat-tarded/Husker Don't/IraQ/HOSS/Stint/Public Enema/Endless Bummer/Sanford and Sun Ra/EMINEMERIL/I Am The Kennedy Space Center/Hawaii 5-Oprah/Crouching Tiger, Hidden Valley Ranch/Magnum P.I.L./The Tex-Mex Pistols/Dead Can Dance Fever/Glam Chowder/The New York Balls/Hemorrhoid Clit/Jars Of Gay/Nick Cage and His Bad Knees/Death From A Shove '89/Devendra Bran Fart/Pretty Girls Make Slaves/Table Pennis/Brainpuke/Insane Frown Posse/The Looney Suzuki/Goldcrapp/Antony and My Johnson/Pomp and Circumstaunch Republican/Dr. Fill/The Food Fighters/Extra Baio/The Haim/The Asshole Boogieboarders/The Lollygaggers/Papa Zit/Wackjob/Gay Not Gay/Orange Drink/RIG/The Tits/The Prish/The Choad/Foodeater/The Way/The Lame/The Fitnesses/The Delicious Sandwich/Beaver School/The Dentist/Macchio/The Line Crossers/Lickity Split/No Shit/Fiber/Plaid Lib/The Raisinettes/The Trots/Crap Your Pants Say Yeah/Dylan McDermott Mulroney/Kenny G-Unit/Rad Lib/Operation: Procedure/Le Balloon Sportif/Shitty Fantastic/The Walking Farts/The Douchebags/Ginger Bread Baker/Sad Lib/Dennehy/After Your Shower/Bad Lib/Hot Sausage/Grannypack/Fake Tan/The Slavery/The Yada Yada Yadas/INTERPOLIO/The iPOD/Gonorrhea Perlman/Herpes Handcock/Mary Lou Retna/Iron Butter/Fad Lib/The Mix/Peter, Paul, and Harry/The Creators/The One And Only Dominators/Chips And Sips/Mr. Wallet/The Fracture/The Pope John Paul Jonestown Massacre/Syndrome Of A Down/Clit Spritzer/Woodrow Wilson Phillips/Dad Lib/Thomas Jefferson Airplane/The Bridget Jones Diary Of Anne Frankenstein/Dinah Shore Jr./Militia Etheridge/Chad Lib/Big Deal/Jon Benet Rammstein/The Randy Warhols/Redick/Mark Griffey and The Strang Peas/Limp Bisquick/Cat Power Naps/Amityville Holla/Doppelgangbanger/The Perfectly Awful/The Work For A Living/Human Reality Television/Testies with a Z/Sternum Rub/The Bridget Jonestown Massacre/Glad Lib/Bunny Brains/Kind Of Gay/Sour Cream and Jive/We're Right, We're Bloody Well Right, We've Got A Bloody Right To Say/Jesus Of God/...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Mix Of Dead/Son Of The Bitch/Grad Lib/Big Trouble In Little Richard/Slim Whitman's Sampler/MIDGETFACE/Onion Breff/Rhymin' All The Timin' Hyman/DON STAHL/Dungen Donuts/REIGNSTICK!/The Shit/Ted Nougat/The Queefs/Flowbee One Kenobi/Flabby Habby Bobby and The Bingbongs/Big Rock In My Way/The Wishdancers/DUDE SQUAD/Palmolive Loaf/The Baker Act/Bad Rap/Brad Lib/Emotion Lotion/The Goods/FrontButtSociety/The Other White Pat featuring Ben/Larry Truman and Pubeaway Army/Non-stick Pandimonium/Tragic Magic/Bob Barker's Brass Balls Blues Band/Sloppycock/James and The Giant Stacey Keach/Fronton Soup/Unpainted Huffhines/Junkey Monkey/Farterstarter/Brill Cream/The Chicken Cow Allstars/Chocolate Titties/Los Guys/Stony Danza/Tony Danzig/Wholly Crap/Steak and The Fat Ham/The Sneaky Licks/The Runs/Bedlam and Steve/Michael Landon/The Surf Bored/Projection Reflection Breakdown/Smurfabout/The Hell You Say/James Earls' Jones/Procrastination Station/The Full Tilt Boogars/Apple Pandowty/Frozen Vomit/The Ultimate Tomatoes/Anal Babies/Smashing Bumpkins/Smurf's Up/Brillo Talk/Orson Welk/DAVEWORLD/Don and The City-Its/The Dutch Ovens/Guy Smiley/Dextrose Ambulatorres/Milk and Bookies/Haulin' Oats/Flame Thrower/Bowel Chowder/Nad Lib/Summer Bungalow/Anthony Michael Hall Pass/Harrison Fjord/Sissy Space Egg/Batman and Asshole/Hal Linden/Duran Duran Duran/Earth, Wind and Spencer For Hire/The Mr. Belvedere Hunter/Jaleel Whiteout/Burger King Crimson/The Mocha Trolls/The Smurfin' Smurfaris/Thirstin' More/The Rad Dudes/The Crunchists/DEATH CHEETAH/The Albuquerque Turkeys/ZimBob Wayne/The Get Hunchy/Radial Thugz/Rod Torkleson's Armada featuring Herman Menderchuck/Gunch/The Refreshists/The Fat Kids/Dickdick/The Rampage/Though/The Butterfaces/Life Taxi For Ugly/Strudel/Christopher Columbus and The Broken Dreams/Lunch/Fag Factory/Banana Command/Smurf Nation/The You-Suck/The Reconcilable Differences/The Taste Tasters/Nad Huffer and The Ass Balls/Edward James Almost/Vapid Johnson/Bain Damage/Maybe Not Debit Card/The Pat Wood You Ever Have Ben Experience/Totally Sweet Ninjas/The Space Wasters/The Shut-Up/Jimmy Jammy Mayhem/Wyatt The Strattus/Corey Haim/Beaver (especially their hit, 'Exploding Bitch')/Mixed Doubles and Raquet Club Soda/Had Lib/The How/Cramden/The Krinkles/Brewtime With Mitch/Space Nuptules and The Engagement Rings Of Saturn/Corn On The Job/Stovetime With Bricks/Bitchface/The Government/The Love Handlers/Rowdy Roddy Piper At The Gates Of Dawn/JFKFC/The Forget-It/Drizzly Addams and so much more...

Vertigo Opening Sequence

Hitchcock's movie scored by Bernard Herman and designed by Saul Bass.

Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996) was an American graphic designer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker, but he is best known for his design on animated motion picture title sequences.

During his 40-year career he worked for some of Hollywood's greatest filmmakers, including most notably Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese. Amongst his most famous title sequences are the animated paper cut-out of a heroin addict's arm for Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm, the text racing up and down what eventually becomes a high-angle shot of the United Nations building in Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest, and the disjointed text that raced together and was pulled apart for Psycho (1960).

Arizonans Aren't Bigots-- Just 50%

I grew up in Arizona amid the furor over the fight to remove the MLK holiday from our state by our governor, Evan Mecham. I was a little too young to understand how terrible his crusade was. My dad went around our neighborhood looking for signatures to remove Mecham from office.

Wikipedia collects the following gems about some of his reign in my home-state:

Besides the uproar caused by the MLK Day cancellation, Mecham committed other political faux pas. Claims of prejudice were made against Mecham after he defended the use of the word "pickaninny" to describe black children, claimed that high divorce rates were caused by working women, claimed America is a Christian nation to a Jewish audience, and said a group of visiting Japanese businessmen got "round eyes" after being told of the number of golf courses in Arizona. In response to claims that he was a racist, Mecham said, "I've got black friends. I employ black people. I don't employ them because they are black; I employ them because they are the best people who applied for the cotton-picking job."[26] These and other statements only strengthened the allegations of racism made against the governor following the MLK day cancellation.

Mecham made an issue of his relationship with the press. Claiming that many of his problems were caused by media enemies he had made during previous runs for political office, the governor stated, "The Phoenix newspaper monopoly has had my political destruction as its goal for many years."[24][33] The governor also claimed, "Every daily newspaper in the state endorsed a different candidate besides me. It's taking them a little time to get used to the idea that I was the people's choice."[30] In response to his perceived mistreatment by the press, Mecham attempted to ban a journalist from his press conferences. John Kolbe, a political columnist for the Phoenix Gazette and brother of Congressman Jim Kolbe, was declared a "non-person" after a February 25, 1987, column critical of Mecham's performance at the National Governors Association. The Governor then refused to acknowledge the presence of the columnist or answer his questions at a press conference. Mecham left the conference after other reporters repeated Kolbe's questions.[30] Another incident occurred during a televised event in which a reporter questioned the governor's integrity, prompting Mecham to reply, "Don't you ever ask me for a true statement again."[26]

In September 1987, Mecham received further national attention when Doonesbury began a six strip series of comics lampooning the governor. The first strip depicted Mecham saying, "My! What a cute little pickaninny!" while patting the head of a black child. Other strips satirized Mecham's tolerance of others, political appointments, and the state's loss of tourism business. For a short time, Mecham considered suing the strip's creator, but later said he had decided to leave the dispute "where it belongs—the funny pages."[17][24]

Throughout his administration, Mecham expressed concern about possible eavesdropping on his private communications. A senior member of Mecham's staff broke his leg after falling through a false ceiling he had been crawling over, looking for covert listening devices. A private investigator was hired to sweep the governor's offices looking for bugs. The Governor was quoted as saying, "Whenever I'm in my house or my office, I always have a radio on. It keeps the lasers out." After this was reported, a political cartoon by Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Steve Benson appeared in the Arizona Republic depicting the governor leaving his house outfitted for laser tag. When asked about this by reporters, Attorney General Bob Corbin replied in amusement, "We don't have any ray gun pointed at him."[26]

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bearable by Lilian Ross from The New Yorker

Of the recent glut of articles on J.D. Salinger, this one is the one I most want to remember.

Bearable by Lilian Ross

At one point during the more than half century of our friendship, J. D. Salinger told me he had an idea that someday, when “all the fiction had run out,” he might try to do something straight, “really factual, formally distinguishing myself from the Glass boys and Holden Caulfield and the other first-person narrators I’ve used.” It might be readable, maybe funny, he said, and “not just smell like a regular autobiography.” The main thing was that he would use straight facts and “thereby put off or stymie one or two vultures—freelancers or English-department scavengers—who might come around and bother the children and the family before the body is even cold.”

A single straight fact is that Salinger was one of a kind. His writing was his and his alone, and his way of life was only what he chose to follow. He never gave an inch to anything that came to him with what he called a “smell.” The older and crankier he got, the more convinced he was that in the end all writers get pretty much what’s coming to them: the destructive praise and flattery, the killing attention and appreciation. The trouble with all of us, he believed, is that when we were young we never knew anybody who could or would tell us any of the penalties of making it in the world on the usual terms: “I don’t mean just the pretty obvious penalties, I mean the ones that are just about unnoticeable and that do really lasting damage, the kind the world doesn’t even think of as damage.” He talked about how easily writers could become vain, complaining that they got puffed up by the same “authorities” who approved putting monosodium glutamate in baby food.

When he had young children, and was living in Cornish, New Hampshire, he did the usual things. But he was always watching. Once, he showed me a program for the Cornish Fair. It’s innocent enough, and that’s something, he said, but even the fair was guilty of its own style of hustling. He took his children to ride on the flying swings. “I stand around and talk about schools with the other crummy parents, the summer parents,” he wrote in a letter to me. Getting back to work, he said, was “the only way I’ve ever been able to take the awful conventional world. I think I despise every school and college in the world, but the ones with the best reputation first.”

He loved children with no holds barred, but never with the sentimental fakery of admiring their “purity.” After watching his son, Matthew, playing one day, he said, “If your child likes—loves—you, the very love he bears you tears your heart out about once a day or once every other day.” He said, “I started writing and making up characters in the first place because nothing or not much away from the typewriter was reaching my heart at all.”

* from the issue
* cartoon bank
* e-mail this

When I adopted my son, Erik, Jerry was almost as exuberant as I was. Unbelievable, stupendous, he said of one picture I sent: “He’s roaring with laughter. Oh, if he can only hold on to it.”

When he read a story of mine about kids skipping around a Maypole in Central Park, he wrote to me, “The first and last thing you’ve done is to redeem everything, not just make everything bearable.” He liked the way the bystanders were described, noting that they’d been given “their true and everlasting unimportance.”

Salinger was generous with writers he admired, but he was unsparing about those who had what he called “disguises.” He was hard on Kenneth Tynan. “No matter how he stuffs his readers with verbiage, it never amounts to a core of truth,” he said. Tynan bent too much to current hip opinion, he thought. “A community of seriously hip observers is a scary and depressing thing,” he said. “It takes me at least an hour to warm up when I sit down to work. . . . Just taking off my own disguises takes an hour or more.” He said he’d never “had the annoyance” of meeting Truman Capote, who apparently sicced various “crazy people” on him, people who all closed their letters by saying that Truman sent his best regards.

Emerson was a touchstone, and Salinger often quoted him in letters. For instance, “A man must have aunts and cousins, must buy carrots and turnips, must have barn and woodshed, must go to market and to the blacksmith’s shop, must saunter and sleep and be inferior and silly.” Writers, he thought, had trouble abiding by that, and he referred to Flaubert and Kafka as “two other born non-buyers of carrots and turnips.”

Over the years, Salinger told me about working “long and crazy hours” at his writing and trying to stay away from everything that was written about him. He didn’t care about reviews, he said, but “the side effects” bothered him. “There are no writers anymore,” he said once. “Only book-selling louts and big mouths.”

He liked living in New Hampshire, but he often found fun and relief by coming down to New York to have supper with me and Bill Shawn, this magazine’s editor for many years. In a note he sent after the three of us got together for the last time, he wrote, “It will set me up for months. I was at peace.” Another time he described the fun he’d had on a trip to London with his children, where he took them to see Engelbert Humperdinck in a stage version of “Robinson Crusoe”: “Awful, but we all sort of enjoyed it, and the main idea was to see the Palladium itself, because that’s where the last scene of ‘The 39 Steps’ was set.”

Salinger loved movies, and he was more fun than anyone to discuss them with. He enjoyed watching actors work, and he enjoyed knowing them. (He loved Anne Bancroft, hated Audrey Hepburn, and said that he had seen “Grand Illusion” ten times.) Brigitte Bardot once wanted to buy the rights to “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” and he said that it was uplifting news. “I mean it,” he told me. “She’s a cute, talented, lost enfante, and I’m tempted to accommodate her, pour le sport.”

He was original even in the way he found his pleasures. He told me that one day he went out and bought an iron, and had his housekeeper iron his shirts. “How it cheered me up,” he said. After he bought a Maytag washer and dryer, he was tickled that the salesman quoted Ruskin to him—something about where quality counts, price doesn’t. He was sure that the line wasn’t part of the man’s spiel. “God, how I still love private readers,” he wrote. “It’s what we all used to be.” ♦

Read more:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Doc Ellis & The L.S.D.No-No

This has been posted a bunch already, but it's still really incredible. We know Chris from No Mas and love their clothing line. They've been threatening to do a Handclap shirt for us.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Özdemir Erdogan Ve Orkestrasi - Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim

Please excuse the poor sound quality on this sublime reworking of an ancient Turkish folk song.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Three Dog Night - "Easy To Be Hard"

Fresh off of reading Chuck Negron's "Three Dog Nightmare", we find this youtube gemsterpiece.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Linda Ronstadt - "You're No Good"

Joe Bataan - "Call My Name"

Daniel wrote and produced the first song on this b boy video.

Magazine 60 - Don Quichotte

Saturn 3

Rose Royce - Illusions

After our most recent tour, some time was well spent with our main man Tony "Tyrone" Johnson, who pulled our coat to this incredible track. Thanks, T.