June Tunes

A few bands I’ve been enjoying lately to drown out the jackhammers going berserk outside my window. More at muxtape.

Marco Benevento

Budos Band

Jackie Greene

MGMT

The Wood Brothers

Tocotronic

The KLF feat. Tammy Wynette

The Avett Brothers

and, for Bo Diddley, The Grateful Dead

The 7th Jammy Awards

OK, so Matisyahu covered the Flaming Lips, Rose Hill Drive and Leslie West raged Mountain‘s Mississippi Queen, Sheryl Jones and Booker T did Born Under a Bad Sign (“and that’s fine”), that “smokeshowGrace Potter got Warren Haynes to take her to the river, Big Head Todd and Squeeze‘s Glenn Tilbrook joined Tea Leaf Green for Pulling Mussles, Chevy Chase is buddies with jamclown Keller Williams, Joan Osborne belted Come Together, Stanton Moore dueled Doug E Fresh, and Page McConnell had the balls to lead jazz heavyweights Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, James Carter, and Roy Hanes through two Phish songs.

Not too shabby, but that’s to be expected from the Jammys, Relix Magazine‘s annual Theater at Madison Square Garden get-together that combines surprise collaborations with pleasant scene fluffing. Also, awards.

The only award that really mattered on Wednesday night, though, was Phish‘s Lifetime Achievement Jammy (it’s fun to say!) because it was supposed to lure Trey, Mike, Jon, and Page out of rehab, seclusion, or wherever else they’ve been hiding since the 2004 breakup. The rumor mill had been churning hard, and it sort of worked: all four members showed up, sharing the stage for the first time since Coventry — but they didn’t play together.

Instead, Fishman made a joke, Page was sincere, Gordo wore purple pants, and Trey gave one of those heartfelt, halting speeches that have brought many a Phish show to a screeching stop — except this time he sounded more humble, and more final, than ever: “It was an honor to watch you all dance.”

Then they walked off, and it would have been terribly depressing if Trey hadn’t just finished playing with deliciously cheesy yet surprisingly tight Beatles cover band The Fab Faux. Phish or no Phish, sick or sober, Big Red can still — what’s the technical term? — melt faces. Here’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

More on the Jammys:

Haus der Lüge

When I first visited Berlin (West) as a wide-eyed teenager, one of the highlights of the trip was running into Einstürzende Neubauten singer Blixa Bargeld in the back room of a shady Kreuzberg bar. Blixa, Alexander Hacke, and the rest of the Neubauten are still making beautiful noise, and watching their 2004 video Palast der Republik, I was happy to get reacquainted with Haus der Lüge, a catchy tune I’ve been singing on all the elevators in town.

Gott hat sich erschossen / ein Dachgeschoss wird ausgebaut!

Konsum: One More Saturday Night

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Fewer movies than usual because I’m working on several top secret plans for world domination, we’re still catching up with The Wire, and my obsession with Daniel Plainview shows no signs of abating. (Check out the new entries in the contest.) The notable exception was Etgar Keret’s Jellyfish, a sweet film that plays like minor-key Israeli version of Magnolia. I also tried to talk Marcy into watching Southland Tales, hoping that Richard Kelly’s sophomore disaster might improve upon second viewing. The answer was a resounding no — we didn’t make it past the 15-minute mark.

It’s been a good week for concerts, though. I never blogged about the March 19 benefit for Scotty Hard, a cause that brought all the champions of the downtown groove scene to the Highline Ballroom. My personal highlight was an outrageous and all-too-brief set by elusive dub god Bill Laswell, accompanied by Bernie Worrell. This weekend, Ratdog was back at the Beacon — unlike the Rolling Stones, they’re a band that actually belongs there. I missed Thursday’s sit-ins by Jimmy Herring, Warren Haynes, and Steve Molitz, but witnessed Friday’s ups (Tomorrow Never Knows! Hard Rain!) and downs (ridiculous sound problems during The Weight), as well as Saturday’s just-about perfect four hours of rock’n roll heaven. And now you’ll have to excuse me while I retire to my favorite secure undisclosed location.

The Wire. Season 3. ****
There Will Be Blood. Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007. *****
Jellyfish/Meduzot. Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen, 2007. ***
Southland Tales. Richard Kelly, 2007. *

Ratdog
4/4/08 Beacon Theatre, New York NY

I: Jam > Playin’ in the Band > Tomorrow Never Knows > Tennessee Jed, Sitting in Limbo > West L.A. Fadeaway, Even So > October Queen > The Deep End > Big Railroad Blues
II: K.C. Moan, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, The Weight, Eyes of the World, The River Song > Stuff > Dear Prudence > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
E: Casey Jones

4/5/08 Beacon Theatre, New York NY
I: Jam > Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Maggie’s Farm, Row Jimmy, Dark Star > Weather Report Suite > Let It Grow
II: You Win Again, City Girls, Victim or the Crime, Lazy River Road > Jack Straw > Dark Star > Stuff, Days Between > Two Djinn > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower
E: One More Saturday Night

Muck's Muxtape

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Like everybody else on the Internet, I made a muxtape. At the moment, it has a springtime feel to it, with a movie soundtrack subtheme. But the black arts of the mix tape are governed by arcane rules, and the order and selection of songs might change at any moment. (That’s what the feed is for.) Link your own tape in the comments if you’re so inclined.