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4 June 2012

Sometimes simple is the most beautiful

Yeah, so, sorry, this is one of those Youtube videos with the random picture that I don’t quite connect with the song in any deep way, even though, yes, it’s a song about horsies (or, rather, ponies). Anyway, this song is by the Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers aka the Rolling Creekdippers aka just plain Creekdippers. The project was started by Mark Olson after he left the Jayhawks, and was done in close partnership with his then wife Victoria Williams, and some guy named Mike Russell about whom I know nothing. What I loved so much about it was the informality — you could hear the lack of trying in this music, the casualness as causality to closeness. The way things sometimes sound better when they just happen instead of being part of some plot.

As these things go, Mark and Victoria divorced in 2005 and several beautiful records of theirs, records that are great treasures to me, now seem to be out-of-print and unavailable in any reliable fashion in formats both physical and digital. (Ok, well it looks like you can get one of their compact discs either used for about $4.00 or new(ish) for about $40. I suggest their worth is closer to the latter figure than the former.)

Apparently their initial albums, self-released in the late 90s, an era when artists just didn’t do that kind of thing, seem to have, well, what’s the standard term, oh yeah, I got it: languished. (There are some later records Olson did using variations on the Creekdipper name as his backing band — as in Mark Olson And The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers — and really I’ve only dipped into those, but even on a casual listen they don’t have the same lovely sense of ease.)

So: it’s a fucking shame.

But don’t sweat it, sometimes even miracles happen, and things and people I once thought disappeared, reappear, like magic.

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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16 May 2011

Jai Paul’s “BTSTU” still sounds like the future


Jai Paul’s debut single has been floating around the internet for well over a year now, and the internet claims that it was originally a demo he cut in 2007 — but I wonder how long it will take for this to not sound like the future? Let’s try it out one more time.

Yep, only a few minutes later and it’s still working!

For some direct information try this and this.

For some second hand information this and this and this might suffice.

Best of all you can dance to it! And the internet shows a few ways how.
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Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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17 August 2010

Crass & Mary Margaret O’Hara de-recluse themselves


In the overmediated age we find ourselves in, I have a kind of kneejerk negative reaction to the entire notion of the recluse. Especially when the semifamous are accused of such behavior, it strikes me less as a desire for obscurity, than an assertion of self-respect, a meek demand for privacy, and/or a slide into a more decent sort of existence. Viz Salinger, admittedly a tad more famous than some of the “obscure” musicians whose work I admire.

In any case, there’s no denying two of my favorite icons of ’80s music have been accused of reclusive behavior. But today I woke up, fired up the internets, and bumped into two fine examples of them speaking loud and clear. So, without further adieu:

CRASS in VICE MAGAZINE
MARY MARGARET O’HARA on Q TV

One of the great archival photographs that appears alongside the great Crass interview appears above. Another right below.

And here is the Mary Margaret O’Hara interview in its entirety.

If you click on the tags to this post you can find a fair bit more of my internet ramblings about these two folks. And, because I’ll always appeal to prurient interests when given the chance, there’s one last image of Crass — a nudie shot! — after the jump.
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28 September 2009

Addendum: Mary Margaret O’Hara > Mike Bloomberg, U2, BlackBerries

marymargaretohara2
Credit: Nigel Scott via Luminato

I don’t want my permanent record to reflect that my favorite things are BlackBerries, Mike Bloomberg & U2. So, to clarify some confusions that have arisen in the real world since posting last week about Bono’s Bloomberg shout out I need to make three points.
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Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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