'Round Halloween I went to Busch Garden's Howl-O-Scream and caught the musical show at the Desert Inn (what used to be the FestHaus--where is the German love gone anymore?) and, oddly enough, was impressed enough by one of the songs (all covers) that I sought it out the next day. The song was Ludo's "Love me Dead," and its great, but after finding it and finding Ludo, I found "Lake Pontchartrain."
A couple things I like about Ludo in general: interesting and horror movie material subject matter, and an amazingly strong and striking lead voice. Stuff I love about "Lake Pontchartrain:" its a story, it has crayfish, it has epic sounding multivoiced chorus sequences, its a story, and I swear its an unreliable narrator (one of my favorite literary devices). I'm an almost total sucker for story songs, and since I've said that I cannot currently think of a single other example. It will probably come to me somewhere around midnight or when I am otherwise far from the computer or a piece of paper. Here is Ludo live:
Over a decade ago, I bought a t-shirt from Juan Montoya, guitarist of Ft. Lauderdale's Ed Matus' Struggle at a show (can't remember the venue) and I was taken aback by how grateful and friendly Mr. Montoya was for my contribution to the band's gas money for a tour they were planning. So yeah, I wore the shirt with pride for over ten friggin' years! I would sometimes wash it and wear other band's shirts but this was a staple of my wardrobe for a long ass time. I just recently retired the now paper thin and hole-ridden thing but not without a twinge of nostalgia.
In 1997, Ed Matus' Struggle were playing music I had never heard before. I was coming off of a 4 year ska bender and I needed something different. Their fabulous sonic immersion knocked my dang socks off and it was a joy to have seen them live on 4 or 5 different occasions. They were a mountain of sound but were always breathtakingly beautiful to me and my friends.
The band has 2 myspace pages so you can hear some tracks:
In 9th grade English class they taught me never to assume your readers know what you take for granted in any paper. I'm going to throw all that out the window and assume you already know about Danny Kaye's awesomeness. I have many movies, and as I was watching one the other night and thoroughly enjoying a musical number that always gets stuck in my head, it dawned on me that I could share it with you beautiful people.
I didn't have any luck finding the number by itself on YouTube, but I did find that the entire movie is up there and the song is contained in parts 7 and 8. Here's the first bit--the song itself starts around 2:40 but it gets to the meat of it at 4:45. What is the meat of it, you ask? This number seemed specifically designed to allow Danny Kaye to showcase his accents, personas, and funny faces. He sings with three alternate personalities.
The second part winds up his arguing with himself. It's really sweet how he comforts the other him.
In case you didn't catch them, or didn't realize how shiny the pearls of wisdom really are, this song has two lines which I find applicable to many situations, especially at work: "talk and you show your ignorance, laugh and you show your teeth," and "if you casually cover up your mouth with your hand, you will never put your foot in it." It is the best kind of self help song.
I've also assumed here that you know about my affair with musicals. If you don't, you can check me out talking them up on the Bean:
My friend Richie introduced me to Tera Melos, a marvelous band from California that completely wrecks me. I'd call them "hard chargers" if I knew what that meant. On the band's blog there are live sets you can download.
Today, I am all about guitarist of the century: Nels Cline. This prolific and super-talented player is currently part of Wilco. He provides the mountain of sound, wicked riffing, and sonic tomfoolery that makes my blood evaporate. The video below with Nels and his brother Alex Cline on drums is fucking excellent! And I just noticed that Mr. Cline has been kind enough to provide lots of free music downloads on his site so you should go and check them out.