Friday Music

I know, I know. Late today.

First off — storms rolled through Kansas yesterday, marking the light-switch-flicking changeover from Summer to Fall. Upper 80s and low 90s with high humidity has given way to low humidity and mid-70s. In honor of the coming of my favorite season (and for those who might only be familiar with the singer’s more famous “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone”): Bill Withers – “Lovely Day.”
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Tour de Bond: Diamonds Are Forever (1956)

As I mentioned back in my entry on Live and Let Die, this week’s Bond is, unfortunately, one of the three that I don’t like that much (all of which, interestingly, take place in America). However, this novel is also one of Fleming’s best-researched.

Fleming threw himself into research on diamond smuggling, so much so that he didn’t leave it at background for this novel. He ended up taking that research and publishing it in the following year (1957), as The Diamond Smugglers, one of Fleming’s two non-fiction efforts (the other being the 1950s travelogue Thrilling Cities.
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Friday Music

Here we go again, another mixtape for you.

Here’s a track that was used as the closing credits music for HBO’s True Blood a couple of episodes back. The season was hit-and-miss (although, I’ve gotta tell ya, the over-the-top camp of the King of Mississippi was its saving grace), but the music was usually pretty solid. This particular track is by Eels, from the album Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire: Eels – “Fresh Blood.”

For me, the sign of a great remix is one where you can take a great song, completely change the overall sound and feel of the track, and have it still be great. This remix of the brilliant Janelle Monae definitely qualifies, transforming retro-60s James Brown soul into an electronic dance track: Janelle Monae (ft. Big Boi): “Tightrope (Mr. Nice Guy remix).”

A brief message for the Tea Party types who are making electoral gains in this country, courtesy of Woody Guthrie via Billy Bragg and Wilco: Billy Bragg and Wilco – “All You Fascists.” And no, I’m not Godwinning here. I don’t use that term lightly — if you’re at all intellectually curious, you should look into what these people actually believe, what they say, and how the label applies. Elections have consequences, Progressives. Get off your asses.

Saw Scott Pilgrim and liked it (not perhaps as “OMG AWESOME” as some are making it out to be, but fun). The music was good — especially this track, used in the film as the concert opener performed by Envy Adams and her band, The Clash At Demonhead. In reality, it’s by Metric — who are equally awesome, but lacking a bassist with Vegan superpowers. Metric – “Black Sheep.”

This was a free track given away earlier this month by the Americana Music Association on Amazon, as part of their Americana Music Awards Sampler. A great bit Western balladeering by a Canadian with the best name for a backing band EVER: Corb Lund & the Hurtin’ Albertans – “The Devil’s Best Dress.”

Staying on the border-town angle for a bit, here’s a great piece of music by Robert Rodriguez’ band, used in Grindhouse. The band’s debut release, Mexican Spaghetti Western, has been re-released on iTunes, adding this track as well as several the band did for the latest film, Machete. Well worth picking up. Chingon – “Cherry’s Dance of Death.”

And lastly, a nice bit of blues/country/rock that forms the theme for FX’s Suns of Anarchy, my favorite Hamlet-on-motorcycles family crime drama. Curt Stigers – “This Life (Theme from “Sons of Anarchy”).”

There you go, kids. Enjoy!