Essential Records: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Murder Ballads

Posted by Amoebite, July 9, 2015 12:55pm | Post a Comment

Essential Records Nick Cave Murder Ballads

Mute Records just wrapped their recent run of Nick Cave reissues, including the first-ever North American release of eleven classic albums on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl, dating back to 1984’s From Her To Eternity. Remastered by founding member of the Bad Seeds Mick Harvey, the rereleases started coming in December 2014 and continued on into spring 2015.

Nick Cave Vinyl Reissues

When you’ve spent years working in record stores, it’s almost impossible to answer the perennial question, “So, what’s your favorite band?” For a while I had about five bands I would answer this question with, then slowly (probably after finally realizing most people asking this had no idea who I was talking about) I refined my answer to, “I guess Nick Cave.” I “guess” this is because his songwriting is literate, dark, sometimes slyly humorous, and always fiery and unabashed. I “guess” it’s because his aesthetic concerns include haunted Southern Gothic imagery and brutal Revisionist Western stories—basically it’s like someone started writing music, films and books tailored entirely towards my interests. (According to the internet, he also shares my less intense beliefs in the importance of cat art and telling people to “just Google it.”) So in the mid ‘90s when the song “Red Right Hand” gradually lurked its way into my teenage consciousness through repeated exposure via The X-Files movie soundtrack and the approximately two dozen crappy teen horror flicks it was used in (ok, a quick internet search reveals that it was pretty much only Scream), my curiosity was piqued.

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Weekly Roundup: New Videos from Crown Plaza, So Many Wizards, IO Echo, Line & Circle

Posted by Billy Gil, November 8, 2012 02:02pm | Post a Comment

A whole batch of awesome videos from LA-based artists were released this week. Check ’em all out like it’s 1994 and you’re home watching MTV.

Nima So Many WizardsCrown Plaza – “Reactor” video; So Many Wizards’ “Lose Your Mind” video

The solo project of So Many Wizards’ Nima Kazerouni, Crown Plaza, is dreamier and lo-fier than his band’s indie power-pop. “Reactor” is lonely and lightly melancholic bedroom pop of the finest order, while the video calls to mind visiting your hometown and feeling like a stranger. Chem Waves Volume 1 is out now on tape on LA’s Vanity Projects, while So Many Wizards’ fine Warm Nothing was released earlier this year. That album’s “Lose Your Mind” video was also released this week. Crown Plaza play a free show at the Bootleg Theater Nov. 12. So Many Wizards will be all over LA this month and next, starting with a show at USC with the Allah-Las tonight; see all their dates here.



IO EchoIO Echo – “Berlin, It’s All a Mess” video

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Happy Missouri Day, Frankie & Johnny!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 20, 2010 10:47pm | Post a Comment
Frankie Baker
In recognition of Missouri Day, here's a brief breakdown on Missouri's second most famous couple (after the fictional Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher), a real-life couple usually referred to as Frankie and Johnny. After Frankie caught her man in flagrante delicto with another woman, Alice Pryor, and shot him dead, it was commemorated in numerous songs and films.

Frankie Baker was a 22-year-old St. Louisan dancer who was dating 17-year-old Allen "Al" Britt. Britt had another girlfriend on the side. Britt's friend Richard J. Clay warned Britt about dating two women at the same time but Britt carried on. Then, on October 15th, 1899, around 3:30 in the morning, Baker headed home to her apartment at 212 Targee Street in Chestnut Valley and caught Britt in bed with Pryor. An argument ensued with Baker's roommate, Pansy Marvin, testifying that Britt threw a lamp at Baker and cut her with a knife. In return, Frankie shot him once with her Harrington & Richardson .38. Britt died of his wounds two days later. Baker claimed in her trial that she'd acted in self-defense. She was acquitted but didn't escape notoriety.

Britt Allen's Grave
Al Britt's grave

Happy Missouri Day, Stagger Lee!

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 20, 2010 05:35pm | Post a Comment
Stagger Lee

Stagger Lee
is one of Missouri's most celebrated characters in song. Loads of people have sung about the seemingly amoral anti-hero, but here are the facts, ma'am.

Chestnut Valley, St. Louis

Lee "Stag" Shelton
was born on March 16, 1865. As a young man he drove a carriage cab and pimped. He also operated a "sporting club," the Modern Horseshoe Club in St. Louis's "Bloody Third" Ward, in an area known as Chestnut Valley. Chestnut Valley and the sporting clubs located there were instrumental in the development of ragtime. Shelton was part of a pimp clique called The Macks. His trademarks included a high roller stetson, rings, an ebony cane, spats and St. Louis flats -- mirrored shoes with pointy, upturned toes. Oh yeah, and a .44 Smith & Wesson.

On St. Stephens Day, 1895, Shelton and Billy Lyons were at a the Bill Curtis Saloon (described by the paper as "the envy of all its competitors and the terror of the police") together, in the "Deep Morgan" neighborhood. Initially they were cordial, but after more drinks, began smacking each others' hats after the conversation turned to politics. First, Shelton grabbed Lyons' derby. Lyons then removed Shelton's stetson. According to witnesses, Shelton demanded either the hat be returned or Lyons pay with his life. Lyons pulled out a knife he'd borrowed in advance from his friend and companion at the bar, Henry Crump. Shelton then shot Billy Lyons.

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