music clip of the day



Tuesday, March 4th


Never underestimate the power of unadulterated silliness.

BOB, “Thomas Edison” (1980)



random thoughts

Life story: young once; then a long middle period; now old.


*This I bumped into yesterday, listening to the radio—Liz Berg’s show on WFMU—while working on a murder case.

Sunday, February 9th

Silver Quintette, “Sinner’s Crossroads” (1956)


Bessemer Sunset Four, “I Feel Like My Time Ain’t Long” (1930)


Dixie Hummingbirds, “Every Knee Surely Must Bow” (1946)


Famous Davis Sisters, “I Want To Be More Like Jesus” (1957)


What do these tracks have in common? All were featured the other night on Sinner’s Crossroads, arguably (to these ears, anyway) the best show on radio. It airs Thursday night, from 8 to 9 p.m. (EST), on mighty WFMU-FM. Not only can you hear it live; every show is archived and remains available on-line. To my mind there’s no better gateway to gospel music.

Wednesday, June 19th


Last night, while I was doing some law work, these guys—I’d never heard of them before—jumped out of the radio.*

Los Pirañas, “Bambo Ha Muerto Devorado Por El Pecado (Version Alterna),” live, Colombia (Bogotá), 2011



reading table

I am not poor, I am not rich, nothing’s here but nothing’s lacking, I have little, I want nothing: all my treasure is in Minerva’s tower.

—Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621)


*Give the Drummer Some (WFMU-FM [Give the Drummer Radio StreamTues., 6-7 p.m.; Fri., 9 a.m.-noon [EST]).

Saturday, May 25th

sounds of Chicago

The Chosen Few Picnic, Jackson Park, 7/12




Beginning at 3 p.m. and going ’til midnight (EST), WFMU-FM will be featuring sounds from this weekend’s Primavera Sound Festival (Barcelona):

3:00 Swans
4:20 Orchestra Poly Rhythmo de Cotonou
4:50 Guardian Alien
5:30 Goat
6:00 Tinariwen
6:20 Mulatu Astatke
6:45 Death Grips
7:10 Thee Oh Sees
7:40 Meat Puppets
8:15 Dan Deacon
9:00 Jesus and Mary Chain
9:30 Dead Can Dance
10:00 Nurse With Wound
11:00 Omar Souleyman
11:30 Wu-Tang Clan


taking a break

I’m taking some time off—back in a while.

Sunday, March 10th

Too much dough? Here’s a solution: the annual marathon fundraiser for WFMU-FM, arguably the best radio station in the world (maybe the universe).

Kevin Nutt, Sinner’s Crossroads, WFMU-FM (Thurs., 8-9 p.m. [EST]); Marathon Broadcast, 2009

Tuesday, February 5th


This guy I stumbled upon yesterday afternoon, listening to the radio.* It had been a hard weekend; my 88-year-old mother-in-law died Saturday. These were just the sounds I needed, though I didn’t realize it—spare, precise, open.

Jesse Stacken Trio,** “Bagatelle No. 4,” recording session (Bagatelles for Trio, 2012)

*WFMU-FM (Give the Drummer Radio, webstream), Destination: Out.

**JS, piano; Eivind Opsvik, bass; Jeff Davis, drums.

Thursday, 10/25/12


Cyrus, “Inversion” (Basic Channel), 1994

Last night, making dinner, I bumped into this on the radio (WFMU-FM). Television I could live without in a heartbeat. Radio? Never.



found words

Better things will come or worse things, but they will come.

Ozzie Guillen (Twitter, 10/23/12, after being fired by the Marlins)

Sunday, 9/30/12

best show on radio?

Kevin Nutt, Sinner’s CrossroadsWFMU-FM*
Marathon Broadcast, 3/12/09

*Thursday nights, 8-9 p.m. (EST). Wanna hear last week’s show? Here.


taking a break

I’m taking some time off—back in a while.

Wednesday, 8/15/12


Umar (AKA Omar) Suleyman (AKA Suleeyman),* live, Ethiopia, c. 2010

This guy I bumped into the other day, as I do so many things, listening to the radio.**


*Not to be confused with Omar Souleyman.

**WFMU-FM (Kaminsky Kamoutsky with Jesse).

Sunday, 8/5/12

Who wouldn’t want to go to such a heaven?

Soul Stirrers (feat. Jimmy Outler), “Listen to the Angels Sing,” TV show, early 1960s



listening room: (some of) what’s playing

• The Dirtbombs, Ultraglide in Black (In the Red)

• Robert Glasper Experiment, Black Radio (Blue Note)

• Shabazz Palaces, Black Up (Sub Pop)

Terrie Ex, Paal Nilssen-Love, Hurgu! (PNL Records)

• Anthony Braxton Quintet (Basel) 1977 (hatOLOGY)

• Miles Davis, Live in Europe 1967 (Sony Legacy)

• ICP Orchestra Performs Herbie Nichols & Thelonious Monk (ICP)

• George Lewis & The NOW Orchestra, The Shadowgraph Series: Compositions for Creative Orchestra (Spool)

• Misha Mengelberg, Steve Lacy, Goerge Lewis, Harjen Gorter, Han Bennink, Change of Season (Soul Note)

• Pharaoh Sanders, Karma (Impulse!)

• Charles “Bobo” Shaw & Lester Bowie, Bugle Boy Bop (Muse)

• Reverend Claude Jeter, Yesterday and Today (Shanachie)

 This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel On 45 RPM (1957-1982) (Tompkins Square)

• J. Berg’s A Cappella Archives (Vol. 3)Royal Rarities (Vol. 3) (Rare Gospel)

Congotronics 2: Buzz ’n’ Rumble in the Urb n’ Jungle (Crammed Discs)

• Pandit Pran Nath, Midnight: Raga Malkauns (Just Dreams)

• Nikhil Banerjee, Afternoon Ragas  (Bhimpalasri, Multani) (Raga Records)

• John Luther Adams, Songbird Songs (Mode Records)

• John Luther Adams, Clouds of Forgetting, Clouds of Unknowing (New World Records)

• John Cage Edition—Vol. 23: The Works for Violin 4 (Irvine Arditti, violin; Stephen Drury, piano) (Mode Records)

• Morton Feldman, Trio  (Aki Takahashi, piano; Marc Sabat, violin; Rohan de Saram, cello) (Mode Records)

• Tristan Murail, Gondwana, Desintegrations, Time and Again (Disques Montaigne)

• Peter Serkin Plays the Music of Toru Takemitsu (RCA/BMG)

• The Incomparable Rudolf Serkin (Beethoven, Piano Sonatas Nos. 30, 31, 32) (Deutsche Grammophon)

• WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University)

Bird Flight (Phil Schaap, jazz [Charlie Parker])
Eastern Standard Time (Carter Van Pelt, Jamaican music)


Mudd Up! (DJ/Rupture“new bass and beats”)
Sinner’s Crossroads 
(Kevin Nutt, gospel)
Cherry Blossom Clinic (Terre T, rock, etc.)
Fool’s Paradise (Rex; “Vintage rockabilly, R & B, blues, vocal groups, garage, instrumentals, hillbilly, soul and surf”)
Downtown Soulville (Mr. Fine Wine, soul, etc.)

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