music clip of the day


Month: October, 2009

Saturday, 10/31/09

If you’re looking for something to listen to while checking your email, don’t bother with these clips. Once you start watching them, you won’t be able to stop.

Janelle Monae, “Sincerely, Jane”

Take 1: Philadelphia, 2008


Take 2: Los Angeles, 2008

Friday, 10/30/09

The first time I stood before a judge at Chicago’s Criminal Courts Building at 26th and California—this was back in the ’70s (when I was working at Alligator Records)—it was to speak on behalf of this man, Hound Dog Taylor. The day before, during a drunken argument at his apartment, he’d shot his longtime guitarist Brewer Phillips (who survived). In his own way, Hound Dog was a pretty canny guy. When he told me about this incident over the phone, shortly after it happened, he put it this way: “Richard, they say I shot Phillip . . .”

(No, don’t touch that dial; these stills are way out of focus—which, for Hound Dog, seems just right.)


Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers, live, Ann Arbor Blues Festival, 1973

“Wild About You Baby”


“Taylor’s Rock”


“I Held My Baby”



Hound Dog . . . . [would] play things that are technically wrong, and [he’d] . . . make people like it. . . . [He’d] just get up there and go for it.—Elvin Bishop


When I saw Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers as a three-piece, I said, ‘There it is. There’s your future right there.’—George Thorogood


Hound Dog Taylor is one of my favorites. He used this raw dog blues, you know.—Vernon Reid


A Facebook page devoted to Hound Dog, who died over 30 years ago (1975), currently lists 434 “Fans” who come from, let’s see, Orlando and Indonesia and Cedar Rapids and Sweden and Austin and Australia and . . .


When I die, they’ll say ‘he couldn’t play shit, but he sure made it sound good!’—Hound Dog Taylor

Thursday, 10/29/09

With some music, it’s the particular sound a musician coaxes out of his instrument that gets under your skin. Here’s one of the dirtiest, snakiest electric guitar sounds around.

Group Doueh (featuring Baamar Salmou AKA Doueh on electric guitar), live, Western Sahara

Wednesday, 10/28/09

The world became a less interesting place the day Lester Bowie died.

Digable Planets (with Lester Bowie [trumpet], Joe Sample [keyboard], Melvin “Wah-Wah Watson” Ragin [guitar]), “Flying High in the Brooklyn Sky,” live

Want to hear more of Lester? Here.



Part of the job of a musician is that of a messenger. If you ain’t ready to be a messenger, forget it. You need to get a job in the post office or somewhere. If you ain’t ready to travel, pack up your family, or pack up yourself and hit the road, you’re in the wrong business. Because that’s what music is about. It’s about spreading knowledge and education, and re-education. It’s about spreading. You have got to travel with it to spread the word. Like all the people in the past that have had to travel to spread the music.


It’s life itself that this [music] is about.

—Lester Bowie (in George E. Lewis, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music [2008])

Tuesday, 10/27/09

Good taste is timeless.

Girl Talk, “Play Your Part (Pt. 1)”

Wanna see what’s sampled? Here.

Monday, 10/26/09

My younger son Luke first played me this track a few months ago—and, yeah, I’m still diggin’ it (to use an expression favored by members, such as myself, of HAH [hopelessly antiquated hepcats]).

Asher Roth (just your average young white hip-hop artist “straight from the Philly ’burbs”), “Fallin'”



The reason I got into hip-hop was because it was edgy and my parents really didn’t want me listening to it. They didn’t see rap as music, but I saw it as self-expression. That’s what I loved about it.—Asher Roth


I was always from the outside looking in. Hip-hop has always been very influential in the ’burbs, [but] it’s just a matter of where we could relate to it. You find a lot of kids that are really confused. You look at them and they’re dressed out of character. They don’t look right. I figured out, I don’t have to dress this way, but I can still love hip-hop.—Asher Roth


Rebirth Brass Band snare drummer Derrick Tabb, whose playing can be heard here and here, has been nominated for “CNN Hero of the Year” for his Roots of Music program, which offers free tutoring, instruments, and music education to more than 100 students in the Crescent City. “I don’t say that I’m saving lives,” Tabb says of his program. “I say I’m giving life—a whole different life of music.” More on this (including a chance to vote for him) can be found here, here, and here.

Sunday, 10/25/09

When someone sounds as good as Aretha did last Sunday, only one word seems to fit: more.

Aretha Franklin (joined on the second number by Billy Preston and Little Richard), “Surely God Is Able,” “Packin’ Up,” live (Tribute to Marion Williams), Washington, D.C., 1993



My heart is still there in gospel music. It never left.—Aretha Franklin

Saturday, 10/24/09

So much of our exposure to music is a matter of serendipity. In college, I had a roommate who was an accomplished violinist. But for that, would I have heard (and grown to love) Bach’s music for solo violin? This is a piece he often practiced.

Bach, Chaconne in D minor for solo violin (Partita for Violin No. 2 [BWV 1004])/Nathan Milstein (violin), live (TV show)



To prepare for . . . [a friend’s funeral] service, I had been practicing the Chaconne every day—fussing over individual phrases, searching for better ways to string them together, and wondering about the very nature of the piece, at its core an old dance form that had been around for centuries. After the many times I had heard and played the Chaconne, I had hoped it would fall relatively easily into place by now, but it appeared to be taunting me. The more I worked, the more I saw; the more I saw, the further away it drifted from my grasp. Perhaps that is in the nature of every masterpiece. But more than that, the Chaconne seemed to exude shadows over its grandeur and artful design. Exactly what was hidden there I could not say, but I would lose myself for long stretches of time exploring the work’s repeating four-bar phrases, which rose and fell and marched solemnly forward in ever-changing patterns.

—Arnold Steinhardt, Violin Dreams (2006)

Friday, 10/23/09

Here’s more from the city where concert halls are made of asphalt.

Rebirth Brass Band, live, New Orleans, 2008

Thursday, 10/22/09

With a name like this, who could resist?

Slavic Soul Party, live, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 2007


who could argue?

“New York’s Official #1 Brass Band For BalkanSoulGypsyFunk.”

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