Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Thank you Jesus!

Merry Christmas everyone! Many moons ago I promised a collection of some of my favorite Jesus secular songs. He's inspired tons of great music over the years and these four songs are an example of them. Jesus might not endorse them, but, collectively, all four songs comment on faith in the post-9/11 era, personal faith, and even the darker side of organized religion. In the least, these are well crafted songs with thoughtful lyrics accompanied with great instrumentation!

Even this guy wants to be a deity -- check out Joy of Sect on Season 9!

The Drive-By Trucke
rs: Too Much Sex, Too Little Jesus

Wilco: Jesus, Etc.

Slobberbone: Trust Jesus

The Hollies: Jesus Was a Crossmaker

That's all for tonight. My two month old computer decided to crash, thus delaying the premier of our webcast. Look for it soon -- it will highlight some of my favorites from 2006, a great year for music! Peace, I'm outta here!


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sounds of the Season

While Bryan's astute observation that jolly ol' Saint Nick seems to command the secular as well as religious airwaves this time of year is far from false, I'm here to argue that that's not all bad. Secular and religious songs or hymns may inspire pious thoughts, but such songs may also have the potential to inspire at least kind or warm emotions in anyone. Many of these songs, especially early hymns, are exceptionally well crafted pieces of music. Personally, I divide my favorite Christmas songs into two areas: choral and jazz.

First, there is choral. You know, many of these hymns were composed in European churches in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries, or earlier. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", for example, was composed in 1840 by Felix Mendelssohn. In the toil of those desperate times, gorgeous, rich, warm songs coming from the church doors may have provided some temporary relief. As Everett in O Brother Where Art Thou would say, "songs of salvation to salve the soul". There are numerous other examples. Admittedly, choral music is not something I listen to on a daily basis - but the holiday season provides the motivation.

Then, there is jazz. I think jazz lends tremendously well to Christmas music. Tons of these songs have been remade in a smooth or snazzy swing style. Its hard to argue with that. I, of course, would recommend Elle Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, or Dianne Reeves. Verve Records has a Very Best of Christmas Jazz that I would love to check out.

John Coltrane playing Greensleeves has to be good

So, there you have it. I'm more than happy to pop the Kooks or Cale/Clapton (which is pretty freakin good) out of the car stereo and drive to the sounds of New Orleans Christmas or even John Denver Christmas.

Have a Happy Holiday, folks. Your Christmas wish of a webcast may yet come true.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Fantasy football blues....

Howwwwwdy ho dedicated readers. I know you've been waiting anxiously to hear about my latest music exploits, so I will not keep you waiting any longer. Plus, this will help me forget about my fantasy football teams forgettable performances today.

Craig Finn and The Hold Steady were in action on Friday night at the Southgate House in Newport. I do not feel like rehashing all the ins-and-outs and the what-have-you's of the show, but it was enjoyable. THS is not heavy on rock improv, but their songs are impeccable and that is why I am interested in them. Based on my experience, their live show doesn't vary much from show to show, but it was very much worth checking them out when they were in my backyard. And for those of you wondering, I did not walk home, despite the presence of the sweet, sweet PBR.

Tonight kicks off a new era for the Top 5 list that I like to do. Instead of just telling you about my favorite songs, I will start posting them for you to sample. Makes sense, eh? So, here are my current favorites:

1. Bonnie "Prince" Billy -- Love Comes to Me

This is mellow but beautiful. Off of the 2006 release, The Letting Go, Will Oldham keeps it simple with a gentle, folky acoustic backed by strings and the angelic voice of Dawn McCarthy. Some might describe it as ethereal, I would if I knew what the word meant. Nonetheless, the words and vocal harmonies create a place I don't mind entering and staying in.

2. Neko Case -- Star Witness

I <3>
Neko Case's release Fox Confessor Brings The Flood might be my favorite album of 2006. Neko's voice is incomparable and she writes some pretty damn good songs to boot. Although a departure from her more alt-countryish roots, the album features plenty of great songs. In fact, songs like Margaret vs. Pauline, Hold On, Hold On, and The Needle Has Landed, have all been in my personal Top 5 at some point during the year. Star Witness is currently in that rotation.

3. Ox -- Sugar Cane

The final 2006 release I'm currently in love with. These guys play Americana music yet hail from America Junior, or Canada to the non-Simpsons' fans (shame on you). From the album American Lo-Fi, this is my kind of love song.

4. Anders Parker -- So It Goes

I've been into this guy for a while now, but I only recently rediscovered his music thanks to his collaboration with Jay Farrar on the Gob Iron record Death Songs For the Living (you can bet some of this album will be featured very soon). A singer songwriter in the truest sense of the word, he has also released a new self titled album that I have not had the chance to listen to yet. This song, however, is from his 2004 release, Tell It To the Dust.

5. Wilco -- I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

Originally from their magnum opus
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, this version is culled from the Kicking Television live set the band released last spring. The power of the song is not lost in the live setting. Unfortunately for me, I don't foresee a time when this song will become irrelevant. Arrrgh!

For the love of God, get this album, yo!

That's it for now. Look for a special treat next week -- a tribute to Jesus. It seems Santa Claus gets all the secular songs at this time of the year. I mean to change that! Until then, adios.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Music, eh?

I hear music is good and no band sounds as good to these wax inundated ears as The Hold Steady. A mix of power pop meets punk and rock, these guys will throw you catchy hooks one moment yet give you a headache the next minute from the freebird-esque "rocking out" you'll do. These guys won't blast any 10 minute solos, but they know how to rock out while keeping it concise and telling some interesting stories.

Off the heels of their third and critically acclaimed album, Boys and Girls In America, the band will be making their way to my backyard this Friday at Newport's Southgate House. These guys say they're the best bar band in the country -- we'll see if they live up to that billing this Friday night. Another great looking band, Catfish Haven, is supporting, so get there early and throw back a beer or ten with me. Doh! It might be another evening of walking home from downtown Cincinnati to Camp Washington. As you ponder that, check out the first two tracks from the album below.

Stuck Between Stations
Chips Ahoy!

I know it's hard to believe, but we plan to incorporate more music into our music blog very soon. Actually, we're just waiting on Noog to get his lazy ass in gear and hook us up with server space. Unfortunately, Noog is a little busy these days with his starring role on South Park and all. Now that they are in repeats, we expect to have this trainwreck steaming ahead in no time.

Even pixelated, you will
respect his authority!

Concert review to follow on Saturday if I can remember anything. Peace out.


Saturday, December 2, 2006

Before the Music Dies

There's an interesting documentary playing at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, TN next weekend that I thought I should bring to our global audience's attention. I'm not sure about the touring schedule of this documentary, but I can only hope that it makes it to your local theatre or place of rental in the near future. All I know about the movie comes from the posting on the Belcourt website and the trailer you'll see below.

It sounds very interesting to me in terms of the relationship between music and commerce/business. Obviously, there are some really important and controversial events and discussions taking place in the music industry today. The showing of this documentary at the Belcourt is in part sponsered by the local organization
Radio Free Nashville and the national movement Stop Big Media. I don't want to turn this into a political posting or blogsite, but I thought you should be aware of the sponsors and their missions.

Anyway, it looks like a pretty cool film with a lot of musician perspectives and interviews. Unfortunately, its only playing one night in Nashville and I have previous obligations. I sure hope to see it in some other form and I hope you do the same.

By the way, our first web cast is on the way!


Monday, November 27, 2006

Road to Escondido

This being my first post on the KGB blog site, I'd like to thank Bryan for setting so much of this up and thank Noog for getting his server back online to host our impending webcast. I'm glad that Bryan has begun to almost daily post on this site. I resolve to similarly up my posting quota though I also intend to avoid posting the the kind of mindless drivel he seems to be fond of (seriously, what do politics have to do with burritos?).

Instead I'll focus on the issues. And here's the current issue - the incomprable JJ Cale has recently released an album of new songs with his protege, Eric Clapton (go ahead, voice your complaints). This disc is called Road to Escondido and I anticipate it greatly. It was released on November 7th, though when I went to Borders on Nov 21st in Nashville, TN I was pleasantly surprised to find the album sold out. I have thus made my purchase on a favorite internet site and eagerly await its arrival. Until then here's what I've found on the subject:

A fine article examining this collaboration.

An interesting interview (long and short versions) involving both artists and a few of the new songs.

I don't know if they plan to do any touring together, but, damn, wouldn't that be the day. I'm looking forward to enjoying this album and I hope you're able to do the same.

I'll catch ya further on down the trail.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

This is state of emergency....bitches!

Oh, those silly Russians. The guys in the Kremlin are dishing out tons of free publicity for us here at KGB. Anyone see the news concerning the former KGB spy poisoned in London (http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/11/23/obit.spy.ap/index.html)? Of course, he accused Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation and a former KGB operative himself, as behind the dastardly deed. What I find compelling about the situation is its timing. Just when we relaunch KGB, the other KGB guys start getting back into the news. WTF?!? I am calling you out, Mr. Putin, for trying to wrestle the limelight away from us. It will not work. I suggest you continue consolidating your power and re-constituting the bloc in more subtle means and stop stealing our thunder, mmmkay.

P0wn'd: Vladimir Putin Chuck Norrising all who oppose him.

Assuming I do not end up getting eliminated by some highly toxic chemical or a gunshot wound to the head, our first podcast should be available within a couple of weeks. Until then, you'll have to put up with our incessant ramblings.

One of the things we support here at KGB, unlike Russia, is freedom of expression (unless you say something stupid, like you enjoy the Pink song introducing NBC Sunday Night Football -- seriously, I'll Putin your ass so fast....). Over at my Myspace page, I liked to periodically list my Top 5 favorite songs a la High Fidelity and The World Cafe and solicit my readers to contribute their favorites as well. It's a good way to hear about music I've overlooked.

So, without further delay, here is my current Top 5, in no particular order:

1. The Sundays -- Wild Horses :: This Rolling Stones' cover is a classic and I am sure you're familiar with it. I really enjoy this cover because of Harriet Wheeler's voice. This song was meant for great female vocals and I currently cannot stop listening to it.

2. The Drive-By Truckers -- Bulldozers and Dirt :: Old school Truckers song from the album Pizza Deliverance. More alt-country than what the Truckers do these days, this cut is heavy on pedal steel and actually features some sweet vocals. In fact, check out this video over at YouTube featuring Patterson Hood and Friends playing the song from the recently held Musickfest Benefit Concert.

3. Jay Z -- Show Me What You Got :: Ok, ok, I know it's Jay Z.

Wreckx-N-Effect might say: "All I want to do is a zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom."

I don't know shit about Jay Z and apparently this song is not even considered one of his better songs. Yet, I cannot stop listening to it. I am actually hypnotized by the sample Jay Z uses from Johnny Pate's song, "Shaft in Africa," that you hear throughout the song.

The only lyrics I've noticed are the eloquently phrased opening words: "This is state of emergency, bitches!" Not to mention, the video features Danica Patrick and samples of Wreckx-N-Effect's classic, "Rump Shaker." Please see obligatory Danica photo.

4. The Hold Steady -- You Can Make Him Like You :: I've been digging these guys for the last two months since their critically acclaimed album, Boys and Girls in America, was released. This song has grown on me and become one of my favorites from the album because it deals with the hard hitting issues for teenage girls of our day. Seriously, how the hell would you propose to deal with the dealers when you want to get high alone? As the song indicates, a very troubling inconvenience with no clear answer for a teenage girl. Like oh my god! That's why it's so important to make the guys like you. Seriously though, I like this song.

5. Ryan Adams -- Chin Up, Cheer Up :: This song was originally recorded on Adams' 2002 Demolition album. There are some great October 2006 recordings (soundboards!) over at the Live Music Archive with Adams and his band The Cardinals. The following link should allow you to listen to Chin Up, Cheer Up from the 10/16 show in Ludwigshafen, Germany.


There ya have it. I know millions of you are reading this, so post some comments with some of the music my ears need to be embracing. Mr. Putin, I would very much love to hear some of your favorite Russian artists and songs. It better include at least one T.A.T.U. song (let's not kid ourselves, it's probably your entire top 5).

-- BK

Thursday, November 23, 2006


What up everybody? A man smarter than myself once said "If you will it, it is no dream." Although Theodor Herzl was referring to the creation of the Israeli state, I can't help but think he was also predicting the return of Gerdon and I and KGB.

Theodor Herzl, probably pondering the ramifications of KGB on the world.

Yes, your ears are not deceiving you, KGB is back motherfuckers! What began as the two of us getting drunk and spinning tunes at Hanover has now evolved into a full blown revolution. We are taking this shit international folks as we intend to use this blog to spread our good taste in music. Look for podcasts, reviews, and anything else on our mind musically. We hope all three of you will come back often to check us out or at least berate us with insults.

<--- Drunk Kendall

<--- Drunk Gerdon

To get this party started, I want to post a video from You Tube taken from an old PBS show called Sessions at West 54th Street. This is Emmylou Harris and Ryan Adams covering an old Gram Parsons song "Return of the Grievous Angel." Although he died in 1973, GP's music continues to resonate and I suggest you check him out, first with The Byrds and then with The Flying Burrito Brothers (mmmm...burrito, although, dare I say, is the burrito below a disgusting burrito? I would normally think there's no such thing, but look at that thing. I'll let you judge for yourself.)


(Fucker won't embed so you'll have to go there yourself -- believe me it's worth it!)

For those of you who hate videos, I'm including a link to Ryan Adams and Gillian Welch covering Grievous Angel from a 1999 show at the Exit/Inn in Nashvegas Tennessee. This is brought to you from the good people at the Live Music Archive.

(Go ahead, right click and save that sonofabitch. You know you want to.)

Ryan Adams: I double dog dare you to go to his show and request Summer of 69! He loves it when you do that.

Until the next huge embarrassing failure, Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

-- BK

Monday, November 13, 2006

возвращения революции

The Revolution Returns.....soon