"Goin’ Back" - The Byrds, 1967

Another RIP! This one goes out to Gerry Goffin, who, in collaboration with his then-wife Carole King, wrote some of the best pop songs of the 1960s. Here are the Byrds miming their recording of Goffin-King’s beautiful ode to lost innocence on The Smothers Brothers. Kind of a weird, short-lived lineup for the band, with Crosby gone (I think “Goin’ Back” might’ve had something to do with his departure, actually) and Gene Clark back in the nest.

"Señor Blues" - Horace Silver Quintet, 1959

RIP to a true jazz legend, Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver. His 6 Pieces of Silver on Blue Note from 1957 (from whence the studio version of this tune comes) was one of the first jazz albums that really grabbed me. You really can’t go wrong with any of the music he made, either as sideman or leader, in the 50s and 60s. A perfect blend of earthiness, sophistication and style. 

"The Obedient Atom" - The Feelies, 1985

"Though man may reach for the moon and the planets, he has found the richest of all new worlds behind the familiar face of his everyday environment. Here, deep in the mysterious cosmos of inner space, lies that world within a world, the powerful, obedient atom." - "You And The Obedient Atom,” National Geographic, 1958

Thanks yet again to Janice, the Feelies’ tireless archivist, for unearthing another great set of videos of the band circa 1985. “The Obedient Atom” is particularly nice to see, as it’s a rare “lost” tune, which never made it onto any official release, despite being a mainstay of Willies/Feelies sets from 1980 to about 1986. You can hear various versions of it on the Willies comp, including a hazy demo. Is there a proper studio recording? According to Feelies percussionist Dave Weckerman, there is!

DAVE WECKERMAN: We spent three days recording “The Obedient Atom” in Carla Bley’s studio. It was an instrumental with some chanting at the end. When Stiff heard that, their hair started falling out. “Is this what the next album is going to sound like?” [via Perfect Sound Forever]

Stiff’s loss! “The Obedient Atom” is an unstoppable, powerful thing indeed — I’d be curious to know why the Feelies dropped it in the mid 1980s. 

Forces At Work with Web of Sunsets and Nevayda Gunn
Due to overwhelming popular demand, my band, Forces At Work, is returning to the stage in a couple of weeks! We’re playing on Sunday, June 22 at Denver’s venerable Hi-Dive with Web of Sunsets and Nevayda Gunn. If you’re anywhere in the world, this is the place you want to be. I believe we go on first. This spectacular poster was designed by FAW’s talented drummer, Chris Gregori. 

Forces At Work with Web of Sunsets and Nevayda Gunn

Due to overwhelming popular demand, my band, Forces At Work, is returning to the stage in a couple of weeks! We’re playing on Sunday, June 22 at Denver’s venerable Hi-Dive with Web of Sunsets and Nevayda Gunn. If you’re anywhere in the world, this is the place you want to be. I believe we go on first. This spectacular poster was designed by FAW’s talented drummer, Chris Gregori

"Time After Time" - Jimmy Scott

RIP to an American original, the amazing singer Jimmy Scott. To call him “one-of-a-kind” doesn’t even begin to get at the magic of this guy.

"Here is the singer’s singer, if labels mean anything. Listening to Jimmy is like having a performing heart. The experience of life and the art of expression sing through Jimmy and make us partners in his incredible passion. I love him and I never want to say goodbye. When the song stops with Jimmy’s last note we’re back in the world as it was. Not quite so pretty, not quite so passionate. And we can only wait for Jimmy to sing again and take us that little bit higher." - Lou Reed

Neil Young :: Homefires – Live, 1974
Keep those homefires burnin’! Head over to Aquarium Drunkard to check out another Neil Young lost classic from back in the summer of ‘74. “Homefires” was supposed to be on Homegrown, but we all know how that turned out. [If you don’t know how that turned out, click here.] Also worth pondering is the essential awesomeness of Neil’s overall style in 1974. How many fucks can one man not give?! 

Neil Young :: Homefires – Live, 1974

Keep those homefires burnin’! Head over to Aquarium Drunkard to check out another Neil Young lost classic from back in the summer of ‘74. “Homefires” was supposed to be on Homegrown, but we all know how that turned out. [If you don’t know how that turned out, click here.] Also worth pondering is the essential awesomeness of Neil’s overall style in 1974. How many fucks can one man not give?! 

Robbie Basho - Broadway United Methodist Church, Chicago, Illinois, June 11, 1982
Best $4 you’ll spend today — a previously unheard Basho performance (a preview for Grass-Top / Gnome Life’s reissue of the guitarist’s Art of the Acoustic Steel String, coming later this year). 
"Taped on reel-to-reel by Radiance Recordings of Elgin, IL, the goal of these recordings was to capture Robbie’s natural sound in open air, and in an environment with naturally rich reverberation. The result: Some of the highest fidelity live recordings of Basho ever made. The splendor of his music and rich array of guitar tones are on full display — a feast for the ears." 

Robbie Basho - Broadway United Methodist Church, Chicago, Illinois, June 11, 1982

Best $4 you’ll spend today — a previously unheard Basho performance (a preview for Grass-Top / Gnome Life’s reissue of the guitarist’s Art of the Acoustic Steel String, coming later this year). 

"Taped on reel-to-reel by Radiance Recordings of Elgin, IL, the goal of these recordings was to capture Robbie’s natural sound in open air, and in an environment with naturally rich reverberation. The result: Some of the highest fidelity live recordings of Basho ever made. The splendor of his music and rich array of guitar tones are on full display — a feast for the ears." 

Grateful Dead - Greg Davis Mixes
The Summer of Dead is almost upon us. I’ll be accepting submissions all summer long — get the details! The Summer of Dead needs YOU. There’s already some great stuff turned in. Here’s something to get you inspired: two excellent mixes that musician Greg Davis put together a few years back (and which were hosted for a while by Arthur Magazine). They’re extremely well-done, mixing avant-garde strangeness with tasty jams, old favorites with obscurities, live with studio. Listening to these back in the 00s, I remember thinking: “Goddammit, I need to listen to more Grateful Dead.” And, um, here we are. 

Grateful Dead - Greg Davis Mixes

The Summer of Dead is almost upon us. I’ll be accepting submissions all summer long — get the details! The Summer of Dead needs YOU. There’s already some great stuff turned in. Here’s something to get you inspired: two excellent mixes that musician Greg Davis put together a few years back (and which were hosted for a while by Arthur Magazine). They’re extremely well-done, mixing avant-garde strangeness with tasty jams, old favorites with obscurities, live with studio. Listening to these back in the 00s, I remember thinking: “Goddammit, I need to listen to more Grateful Dead.” And, um, here we are. 

"First and Last" - Jerry David DeCicca (with Will Oldham)

Take a listen to one of my favorite songs from this year, the downright perfect closer on Jerry David DeCicca’s highly recommended solo debut, Understanding Land. The video is pretty much perfect, too. You may know the name from his work with Black Swans or his production work with guys like Jerry Jeff Walker and Ed Askew. But even if you’ve never heard of the dude, you’re going to like this record. It’s a dusky, understated country-folk gem, with an all-star cast of supporting musicians, including two legendary Oldhams (Spooner and Will) and the Breeders’ Kelley Deal. Understanding Land will definitely appeal to fans of Bill Callahan’s recent work, but DeCicca has his own thing going here — I think what I like most about it (aside from the gorgeous, intimate sound) is that it feels positive and life-affirming without sinking into anything remotely cornball. A lovely mix of mellowness, melancholy and beauty. Check it out, you won’t regret it. 

JONATHAN RICHMAN: IN LOVE WITH THE MODERN WORLD
You should head over to Vice now to read original Modern Lovers’ bassist Ernie Brooks’ remembrance (as told to Legs McNeil) of the band’s rise and fall. Lots of good details and anecdotes! I really feel like there should be a comprehensive Modern Lovers box set that pulls together all the various sessions and live material. I’d buy it. Until then, you can check out some rarities here and a totally excellent live recording here. Radio on!  

JONATHAN RICHMAN: IN LOVE WITH THE MODERN WORLD

You should head over to Vice now to read original Modern Lovers’ bassist Ernie Brooks’ remembrance (as told to Legs McNeil) of the band’s rise and fall. Lots of good details and anecdotes! I really feel like there should be a comprehensive Modern Lovers box set that pulls together all the various sessions and live material. I’d buy it. Until then, you can check out some rarities here and a totally excellent live recording here. Radio on!