Squirrel Stew, Mumford, Muscle Music

Well. I think a month has passed between these, which explains the length of the following. I'm slowly posting the archives here, but it's proceeding slowly -- too many other writing deadlines of late! Speaking of which, I had three new pieces published last month, with more to come this month.
A very busy weekend coming up, event-wise! Hardly Strictly runs Friday through Sunday, roughly the same schedule as Fleet Week. Litquake is Oct. 5-13. Don't miss the upcoming concert from Charlie Peacock at Hotel Utah! That should be a real treat.

Lastly, if you've been meaning to buy Andrew Bird's latest album Break It Yourself, and you're partial to mp3s, would you consider buying the download code that came with my ticket? I'd really prefer a CD, but it chaps my hide to buy the album twice. I'm happy to match the iTunes price ($9.99) and would even throw in some homemade granola or something. Money refunded if the download doesn't work, of course, but I promise I haven't used the code, and I'm not aware of an expiration.

:: film & video ::
  • I'm slow to share this trend, but the Korean music video for "Gangnum Style" has become something like this summer's "Macarena," the Wall Street Journal reports, though its originator, Psy, told Ellen DeGeneres the mindset of the song is "dress classy, dance cheesy."
  • In case you missed it, Old Spice returns with a "muscle music" video. Kind of creepy, but funny.
  • A new documentary on health care system follows several patients and the staff of Oakland's Highland Hospital. The New York Times reports on The Waiting Room.
:: visual art ::
:: tunes ::
  • Charlie Peacock has a new album out -- and a Bay Area show in October. You can catch him at Hotel Utah Oct. 18. Stream his new album on Paste.
  • This is the fascinating story of a violin the Nazi leader Goebbels gave to a Japanese violinist, an instrument that has always been followed by rumors about its origin. Now a Berkeley scholar is trying to research instruments stolen by the Nazis
  • I forget how I heard about Nick Waterhouse, he has a cool sound ... and he's coming to San Francisco later this month (playing Bimbo's on the 20th, if I'm not mistaken).
  • My friend Adjoa has a new album out called Songs for Tall Women and the Short Men Who Love Them. I first met her at Charlie's house (the gent from bullet #1), which will be no surprise once you've heard her sing.
  • Paste has a full-length stream of Bettye LaVette's new album, Thankful 'n Thoughtful, which includes a number of covers -- Bob Dylan and Gnarls Barkley among them. Not a bad album, if you like your songs bluesy and soulful.
  • Mumford and Sons' second album Babel debuted last week, and NPR has video of one song from it, "Whispers in the Dark." On a related note, this Ann Powers piece is an interesting look at the nature of rock-n-roll (must such musicians always be outsiders?) and why some critics have disliked the Brits' sound.
  • Jazz flute probably sounds like the basis of a solid SNL skit, but it also describes some decent tunes, as this NPR piece demonstrates. A standout is the track by Yusuf Lateef, whose transfixing song "The Plum Blossom" I heard on the radio recently.
  • File under fun music: nine-year-old banjo player and his brothers perform on Letterman
  • Two years into my time in New York, I switched which Redeemer Sunday service I attended, trading the classical-themed morning service for the jazz-themed evening one. Keller's repeated emphasis on grace was doing something to my heart, but the morning service felt too formal and sterile for me to really let go; I couldn't let my guard down. Once at the evening service, though, I wept frequently and freely. The band never got quite as close to true gospel-music territory as I wished they would, but sometimes they came mighty close. One song I particularly remember was Cannonball Adderley's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" -- a piece whose joyfulness this NPR feature says is typical.
  • The Wall Street Journal has a preview of Diana Krall's new album, Glad Rad Doll, due Oct. 2. I've not bought one of her CDs in more than a decade, but this one sounds intriguing.
  • Beck covers Brazilian Caetano Veloso as part of a new tribute album (Paste).
  • Bob Dylan's 35th album Tempest was released last month. Here's a round-up of reviews (funniest so far goes to the Guardian). On a related note, there's also a video for his new song "Duquesne Whistle," which the Brits got first. That video's offered on a blog I just heard about from Bryan, part of the Guardian's cultural coverage.
:: reading ::
:: food ::
  • Have you been drinking real buttermilk? Probably not, according to this New York Times story. I'm on the hunt for a local provider of the butter by-product, but I may just have to try making my own butter to get it.

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