Saturday, July 16, 2011

Jim Neill’s Jukebox - A weekly radio show on 93.9 WRSI The River- Wednesday nights 7-10pm- Recent Song Obsessions circa July 16, 2011

Adam Faucett- “Saturday” and “T-Rex T-Shirt”
from More Like A Temple (Space Neck Collective)
(Adam plays The Basement on Friday August 19th)
Marissa Nadler- “The Sun Always Reminds Me Of You”
from her eponymous 5th album (Box of Cedar Records)
Active Child- “Hanging On” from You Are All I See (Vagrant out 8/23)
The Hundred in The Hands- “Pigeons” from epon. debut (Warp Records)
Eleanor Friedberger (of Fiery Furnaces)- “My Mistakes” 
from Last Summer (Merge Records)
The Belle Brigade- “Losers” from eponymus debut (Warner Bros,)
The Civil Wars- “To Whom It May Concern”
from Barton Hollow (Sensibility Music)
Little Scream- “The Lamb”  from The Golden Record (Secretly Canadian)
Foster The People- “Pumped Up Kicks” from Torches  (Columbia)
Sea of Bees- “Gnomes” from Songs for the Ravens (Crossbill Records)
Buffalo Daugther- “A11 A10ne” 
from Weapons of Math Destruction (label unknown)
tUnE-YarDs- “Bizness” from WHOKILL (4AD)
Joy Kills Sorrow- “When I Grow Up”
from Unknown Science (Signature Sounds out 9/13)
Motopony- “Euphoria” from eponynous debut (Insound)
Jed and Lucia - “The Park (Refix)” from Helium EP (Ubiquity Records)
High Highs- “Open Season” (Bandcamp only so far?)
Sun Airway- “Waiting On You”
from Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier  (Dead Oceans)
Damon and Naomi- “Shadow Boxing”
from False Beats and True Hearts (20/20/20 Records)
Ages and Ages - “Alright You Restless”
from Alright You Restless (Knitting Factory)
Elbow- “Lippy Kids” from Buy A Rocket Boys (Downtown/Cooperative Music)
Death Cab For Cutie- “Underneath the Sycamore”
from Codes and Keys (Atlantic Records)
Cass McCombs- “County Line” from Wit’s End (Domino)
(Cass plays the Iron Horse on Tue. July 19th)

Click here for Jim Neill's Jukebox page on

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Epic Pancakes

As with the word "awesome"  in the late 20th century, the ever more ubiquitous "dude-bro" demographic, within the last decade, has commandeered and eviscerated the once sacrosanct term "epic."  No longer is an epic merely the historical noun of choice for lengthy, heroic, poetic compositions like The Odyssey,  The Iliad, and various Bibles which, before the advent of printing, offered historical and cultural continuity from one generation to the next via ritual re-tellings of the epics, narrated in the grandiose style befitting its lofty subject matter.  No longer is epic in its adjective form limited to classifying these chronicles of great achievements and events, long wars and  harrowing voyages so vast, heroic, majestic, and impressive in stature as to transfix and strike awe in the listener and allow them to forget, if only for a moment, the Black Death, slavery, and the notoriously ruthless medieval meter maids.
"Dude, I know these sirens are, like, sweet tail with epic racks and all, and, like, they sing mighty righteous tunes but they are some mad crazy ho's! Row, bro, row!"
Where once the epic narrative poem Beowulf would be told aloud, often from memory around medieval campfires, in modern times, specifically this morning at the Green Bean in Northampton, I overheard this exchange: "Bro, these are epic pancakes."  "Dude, with maple syrup and bluebs they're mad epic." Indeed, in the ancient tradition of passing epic stories along to keep them alive, one of the apparently very satisfied diners fired off a text undoubtedly notifying another dude-bro from his posse of this very same superlative assessment of breakfast.

The English language is fluid. Meanings for words change all the time. (Though adding "ginormous" to the dictionary was irresponsible, redundant, and, well, cutesy.)  But is there really so little in the imagination and dreams of some people that they have to rob those of us with grander schemes of the long established terminology? They're using a sledgehammer to drive a brad into balsa.

In the big picture, one hopes, but it certainly isn't assured, that the classic epic poems will continue to be integral to the class syllabi of our secondary school and college English programs, serving up in history's earliest recorded incidents, the original dudes and bros, virgins and of hos,  to experience life's archetypal story arcs (also evidenced in most episodes of VH-1's Behind The Music): Life-Death-Rebirth. Or, if discussing over some tasty flapjacks; an epic win is usually followed by an epic fail and then a less epic (but still awesome in a mellower way) win, or  in the most epic of fails, death i.e Andy Gibb, Odysseus, et al.

One of the earliest known examples of a member of the phylum Homeyus-Dudebroticus from approx. 1982, native to Southern California but now prospering nationwide.

Even ghosts have to feed the meters.

Jaywalking (jayrunning) ghost races to beat the meter maid,  confident that any traffic will pass right through her.