Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Back Pages for Everyone

Bob Dylan, Back Pages 1961-1995 (unlimited downloads)

I've gotten some background to the music I posted on Sunday, and wanted to update that post. Here is the link that was sent to me by a brilliant reader and Dylan fan, ML, and the relevant info behind this music:


Submitter: Anonymous
When Added: 12/8/2004

" Hi: I have it on good authority that this collection was not made from any existing CD, but was rather compiled from P2P downloads available prior to Aug. 2001 (the “Hoecake Records” attribution found in the ID3 tag of some files notwithstanding), and consists of studio outtakes and live material recorded between 1961 and 1996. It’s my understanding that the file was created largely as an experiment of sorts. First, to see how difficult it was to “clean up” the sound of bootleg MP3s (I hear that some proved more difficult than others—depending on the amount of noise and distortion present in the original source material—and that “I’m Not There (1957)” was especially challenging). Secondly, I’m told that the file was originally posted in late summer 2001 a) to see how fast an original file spread via P2P networks (the answer: very fast), and b) to share some excellent unreleased material with other Dylan fans. Evidently, each track was first converted to a WAV file and individually edited using Cool Edit Pro prior to being converted back to MP3 and combined into a single file. The complete track list on file I have is as follows: In the Evening Farewell Blowing in the Wind Bob Dylan's New Orleans Rag Lonesome Whistle Blues It's All Right Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) Like a Rolling Stone (Newport, 1965) Seems Like a Freeze-Out (early version of “Visions of Johanna” with the Band) Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues I'm Not There (1957) Sign on a Window Most Likely You'll Go Your Way (NYC, 1974) She Belongs to Me All Along the Watchtower Simple Twist of Fate Blind Willie McTell Desolation Row Hope y’all get the chance to enjoy it! "

That answers most of the questions I had, and gives me the go-ahead to post this up and share the music as much as possible. I must again recommend everyone download, even if you don't think you are the biggest Dylan fan ever. It's a beautiful document, an amazing retrospective of the man and some of his greatest songs.

Pure Dork Week will get rolling tomorrow, so stop by for some book talk.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Pure Dork Week


I was searching for a new focus for this upcoming week, something to provide the structure of these posts. It seeemed futile until a wonderful man by the name of Anonymous, the greatest of the Internet cowards, stopped by and put me in my place. He called me out as a "pure dork," which caused some real soul-searching. Was I a dork? Was I such a dork that this person felt that I was 100%, uncut dork?

The answer is a simple yes. I checked with MC and she concurred, noting my penchant for reading academic journals and underlining important passages, my excitement over nice leather on a pair of old Air Force 1s and my addiction to sudoku. My first reaction was denial, as I refused to admit that I was no better than, say, Louis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowell. I mentioned my love of boxing and my past sports-playing days, even making up some shit about how into cars and fishing I am.

However, when I got home and found myself watching Charlie Rose and reading Dissent magazine for fun, I moved beyond denial into acceptance. This week is dedicated to furthering that acceptance, to coming to terms with my nerdiness, my wackness, my pure dorkness if you will. We shall focus on various parts of my dork character this week, starting with books, touching on comic books, urban theory, architecture, graphic design, chess, and ending up on the cinema. I'm not going to hide anymore, I'm gonna let my geek flag fly this week. Yeah!

-Before we get into all of this nerdology, I do want to comment on the Mosley-Vargas fight from this past weekend. I am very happy to see Sugar Shane put a great fight together finally, after a few disappointing years. He has always been one of my favorite fighters to watch, an at- times breathtaking combination of speed and power. More importantly, he has always been a good citizen, a good guy who works hard and treats the sport with respect, a rare commodity indeed. I am looking forward to seeing Mosley get a shot at some of the big names out there, a last chance to claim the glory that so many predicted for him after he defeated Oscar de la Hoya. I wish him the best as he is one of the good guys in sport.

Sunday Listening

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Bob Dylan, Back Pages 1961-1996

Before we get a new focus going, I just wanted to post up this amazing CD's worth of music that I had hoped to upload back when we focused on the music of Bob Dylan. I really can't tell you much about this one, as I have searched the Internet for more info and come up empty. It's a mix of rarities and live versions of classics, covering at least the first 20 years of the man's career. It appears to be an unreleased album, perhaps a demo version of one of the boxed sets that has come out, such as Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 or Biograph.

If anyone knows what this is, or if there is any thought that I shouldn't be posting it up, please let me know. Otherwise, enjoy it, and make sure to listen to the songs that come in at the 50 minutes mark for two of the most beautiful songs that Dylan has ever sung imo, "I'm Not There" from The Basement Tape Sessions and "Sign on the Window." Be forewarned, this is a very long file, more than 90 MB. I think it's well worth some room on the hard drive, but didn't want anyone to be shocked.

-A huge welcome to all those coming to Pound for Pound via Expecting Rain and Steven T., a link site for Bob Dylan fans. I'm not sure that I am anywhere near qualified to talk about the man, nor that this site will be of much interest in general to readers of that site. But, I would love to hear from some of his fans, as I am sure that there are many opinions and thoughts on one of the most important artists of the 20th Century. Holler. For those who love Dylan, I can't think of a better resource for keeping up on the man, his music and his fans.

-Have you ever wished that you could hear Bob Dylan DJ? Thanks to XM Radio, you now can do just that, as Dylan hosts a weekly radio show with playlists he put together himself. There are commentaries and interviews as well, but I wouldn't tune in expecting a lot of chattiness or Fartman routines. [Via Althouse]

-R.I.P. Mr. Furley

-On the recent Dylan-Dead post, there's now a comment that is in the running for my all-time favorites. How could it not be with phrases "huge dork" and "corndog"? Good work, Anonymous, you've really set the bar high for future assholes writing in.

-Not sure where to go next, as I'm not sure what music is going to pop up next. Tune in, as it can be a surprise to all of us.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Boobs and Boxing Tonight

While I believe that these two should be a part of every day, tonight has its share of headliners. First up, the welterweight battle between "Sugar" Shane Mosley and "Ferocious" Fernando Vargas in Las Vegas. It should be a great fight, a last chance for both men to make it back to the mega-fights, big paydays and stardom. Each has had his taste of the glory, and each was considered a potential superstar, but ran into a better fighter. For Vargas, it was Felix Trinidad. For Mosley, it was Vernon Forrest. It's actually kinda hard to believe how little impact they had on the fight game in the long run, as both seemed like such rising stars, potential all-time greats just a few short years ago. In boxing though, that's a lifetime.

It looks like Oscar de la Hoya, a man who has fought both men, has picked Mosley to win tonight, according to Dan Rafael. I agree, as I think that Mosley will fight with the desperation that he has lacked in his losses. It should be a good fight, a near-given when Vargas steps in the ring.

If you are in Philly, you can get your busty thoughts for the weekend by heading to Club Oasis for Tera Patrick's appearance. She is dancing twice tonight, at 10:30 and 11:30, giving you two chances to confirm there is a G-d. Her official site is here and you can check out Club Oasis here.

The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan

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Grateful Dead, "When I Paint My Masterpiece"

Grateful Dead, "She Belongs To Me"

Grateful Dead, "Maggie's Farm"

Grateful Dead, "Desolation Row"

Grateful Dead, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"

We've reached the end of the road with this Grateful Dead excursion, on to bigger and better things next week. Since I mentioned Bob Dylan in the context of the Grateful Dead, it seems fitting to bring those two figures together in these posts to close this series out. Dylan and the Dead have always had a special place in my heart, and so I want to highlight the important place that Dylan's songs played in the life of the Grateful Dead.

Honestly, these songs are good, but they are missing something to my ears. They tend to lose Dylan's voice, his darkness and anger. The closest the Dead come is in their beautiful and rare version of "She Belongs To Me," which achieves all of the sense of heartbreak and loss and emotional turmoil that the original had. However, I think for many people these might sound perfect, easier on the ears than Dylan's versions. Let's be honest, Dylan's most popular songs are the ones that were covered by Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds and Peter, Paul and Mary. Listen for yourself and decide.

The Dead and Dylan toured once in 1987, for a much maligned tour and album. Dylan was not at his peak, struggling with addiction, a less-than-stellar backing band and a worsening voice. It was best forgotten, a lost opportunity. After that, there were a few opening dates for Dylan on Dead tours, but nothing major. No, the way to see the influence is in their use of each other's songbooks for live shows. Dylan still plays an occasional Dead song to this day, an enduring testament to the influence and respect he has for their music. Above are some examples of the Dead's.

-For those interested in further exploring the Grateful Dead and their music, I cannot recommend the Live Music Archive more highly. It is a database of nearly every recorded Grateful Dead concert in existence, available for your listening pleasure. It is an amazing resource, albeit a bit diminished.

As of today, you can only download audience recordings; soundboards can only be streamed. I'm not going to get into the controversy, but I will say that this was a terrible decision on the part of the band and a reverse in the open, sharing philosophy that has guided the band and its fans.

-Deadbase is another great resource, especially for guidance in exploring the band's history and the thousands of shows they played over the years. If you need to know how many times they played Philly in the 70s or how many times they played "Sugar Magnolia" as an encore, and I don't want to know what desperation lies behind such a need, this is the place to go.

-GD Radio is a streaming site bringing you nothing but the music of the Grateful Dead, a good option for those of us without Sirius.

-My first experience with the band's music came through David Gans' radio program, The Grateful Dead Hour, which ran weekly on WXPN in Philly. Well, it's still going strong years later after the band stopped existing, and I cannot recommend it more highly for those new to the band's music or unsure where to go for the best live stuff. David Gans even keep a blog detailing each episode the program.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Shout Outs

Shout out time here at Pound for Pound. First, I want to wish a happy birthday to one of the best, brightest, wonderful people in the world, ThA. She's halfway to 60, but I know that the best is yet to come. It should be an exciting weekend, and I am so happy to be a part of it all.

-To the place that has helped keep this blog going more than any of y'all can ever understand, Hausbrandt. It's an Italian cafe here in Philadelphia, on 15th Street between Walnut and Locust Sts. They have great coffee, amazing wireless and a friendly staff who doesn't mind my pathetic ass sitting here typing loud and listening to loud music for hours on end.

-To my NYC outlets, Cake Shop (152 Ludlow) and the Lotus Lounge (35 Clinton St.). Great places in the LES for blogging, drinking, seeing crazy people. They have been a refuge in the wasteland of NYC cafes. If anyone knows of other good cafes in Manhattan or Brooklyn, holler at your bol.

-To New Century Travel bus, which gets my ass back and forth between Philly and NYC with speed and a minimal amount of dollars. It has proven the fact that a human can become immune to the smell of urine over the long haul, which has to have some sort of scientific validity.

-To all of my readers, who I love dearly. It's been especially great to hear from more and more via the comments and email, as I can't tell how much I appreciate getting feedback and meeting people.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan


Jerry Garcia Band, "Simple Twist of Fate"

Jerry Garcia Band, "I Shall Be Released"

Jerry Garcia Band, "Forever Young"

Jerry Garcia Band, "Tangled Up In Blue"

Jerry Garcia Band, "Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)"

"There's no way to measure his greatness or magnitude as a person or as a player . . . He really had no equal . . . " - Bob Dylan (after Jerry Garcia's death in 1995)

We've come to the end of this look back at the music of the Grateful Dead, and it seems fitting to end with a look at two of my favorite artists to come out of the 60s revolution, whatever the hell that means: Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan.

I've already spoken about the connection I hear between their voices, but the connection runs much deeper than that. The two men were friends, tour-mates and 60s icons, even if they didn't want to be. More than anything though, they were inspirations for each other, men who took their music seriously and strove to constantly follow their heart.

These songs come off the recent 2 CD compilation, Garcia Plays Dylan, which brings together various versions of Dylan songs that Jerry Garcia did with his various bands, from the Grateful Dead to the Jerry Garcia Band to Garcia-Saunders. I've focused on the Jerry Garcia Band ones, as they make up the majority of the two discs and should give a different view of Garcia's music. It might be a bit of a shock to hear the sound of these covers, as the JGB were not a Dead replica. Quite the contrary, this side project was Jerry's chance to explore all of his influences, try out different songs, experiment with new sounds. As much as the Dead were constant improvisers and experimenters, with success came less and less opportunity to do crazy things. The more fans, the greater the expectation to play the tried-and-true favorites, to stick with what was popular.

Enjoy the tracks, which cover some of the most perfect songs ever written. Go here to buy the album, as it is worth the $20+. Tomorrow, I will put up some Grateful Dead covers of Dylan.

-For all of those who think I'm hipster on top of everything before it's been discussed, peep Elliot at The Simple Mission discussing this album in October of last year. That's 2005, people. I mean, can you even remember that year? I must concur with bol, as he is dead right about the inadequate version of "Positively 4th Street." This is one of Dylan's most acerbic, angry songs, and Jerry's soft voice and the jazzy sound don't cut it. Just the wrong choice for the boys, that's all. More to come on The Simple Mission.

-Speaking of reworking originals, Palm Sounds Out has a great collection of remixes up now on Remix Sunday 4. Personal favorite is the ratatat remix of Ghostface's sick "Run," which sounds so good right now. Oh, and of course, the Project Pat "Make That Azz Clap" remix with Juvenile is the best, but you already knew I'd say that.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Music Never Stopped

Time to take a little breather from all of the Grateful Dead stuff, focus on some great music and sites talking about that music. We will have a few more posts on the Dead front coming, taking a look at the connection between the Dead and one of Pound for Pound's earlier foci, Bob Dylan. Then, hopefully, by next week, this will become an official mp3 site with a server, unlimited access to the songs I upload, a nice look and a better, faster, harder, stronger me. No more yousendit! No more file expired! Yeah!

-First things first. Go and grab this month's installment from the amazing lemon-red mix series, featuring all 3 DJs behind The Rub. DJs Cosmo Baker, Ayres and Eleven each provide a mix; it's an amazing amount of music and a real high bar to clear from now on for Chris.

-Have you heard all the buzz about The Knife's new album Silent Shout, but you're pissed that there is no U.S. release planned yet? Well, you can put it all together if you look in the right places. [Via gorilla vs. bear]

-No Frontin', Just Music and blogs are for dogs has a leaked track from the upcoming Flaming Lips album, At War With the Mystics, one of the most anticipated of the year. rbally has an FM broadcast of a Flaming Lips concert from '96 (or possibly earlier). It's good stuff, coming from the period before Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi before I got down.

-The BM Rant has their the indispensable Philly concert list up. I'mma definitely be at the Jenny Lewis, Artic Monkeys and Silver Jews, which are all sell-outs and R5 Productions. I'll also be copping tickets to the Of Montreal, Animal Collective, Art Brut and Wolf Parade shows, as I continue to cement my hipster, music snob credentials. Any other shows people are hitting up? I'll have a brief review of The National Eye/Like Moving Insects/Spinto Band show from this past Friday at the Khyber, without pictures unfortunately.

-A new addition to the links list at the right, Yeti Don't Dance, has a nice listing of upcoming NYC shows of interest (Man Man, The Go! Team, ones listed above). Beyond that, it's a great source for indie music info, mp3s, tours, etc. Best of all, Jerry Yeti recommended the National Eye show in Philly, which I attended without any guidance.

-Grab new tracks from the upcoming Hot Chip album at Fluxblog and Palms Sound Out. You should also grab the new one from The Streets over at Fluxblog, along with some Talking Heads rarities.

-Thanks to the ever-grindin' MC, this amazing music resource called Pandora was brought to my attention, created by the people behind the Music Genome Project. Basically, you type in a favorite band or song, and they come back to you with other stuff you might like. Great for hearing a favorite's influences and contemporaries who you may not have heard or had the confidence to check out.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Jerry Garcia's Voice

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Grateful Dead, "Comes A Time" (from Hundred Year Hall April 26, 1972 Frankfurt, GR)

Grateful Dead, "Sing Me Back Home"
(August 27, 1972 Veneta County Fairgrounds)

Grateful Dead, "So Many Roads" (July 8, 1995 Soldier Field Chicago, IL)

Grateful Dead, "Stella Blue"
(March 21, 1993 Richboro Coliseum Richboro, OH)

Grateful Dead, "To Lay Me Down" (from Reckoning)

Grateful Dead, Wharf Rat (from Steppin' Out With the Grateful Dead: England '72)

Following up on yesterday's post, one of the defining aspects of the Grateful Dead's music, and possibly the least appreciated, was the ballad. As the years rolled by, and addiction and weariness took their toll on the Jerry's performance, the end-of-the-show ballad never suffered. In fact, in the last years, these songs were oftentimes the highlight of the show, sung with power and conviction by Jerry. It was the one time a show where Garcia seemed confident and in control, on top of the lyrics and music, a rare consistent highlight in those difficult last years of touring.

Do you remember that post I did about Bob Dylan's voice? About how its ugliness and imperfections were what made it so magnificent? Well, I'm about to do it again, as the same things can be said about Garcia. I know that many people listen to his voice, and are turned off immediately. It doesn't have the strength or perfection of the pop voices we have become used to, it cracks, it lacks range. But, so what? These aren't songs intended for the club on Friday night, they aren't songs about pretty people and happy times. They are songs about regret, beggars, death and loneliness. Garcia's fragile voice, withered by age, smoking and drugs, fits perfectly.

These songs are epic and heartbreaking, at times it seems that these songs took on tremendous personal meaning for Jerry. Above are some of the great songs that occupied that song out of "Drums and Space," and I cannot recommend these more highly.

-I would be remiss to not mention one of my favorite blogs on the Internets, Mudd Up! The work of dj/rupture, who I need to return to at some point, I will simply mention the description that Jace added after the title: "dirt, sound, lit, rupture." It's a wonderful site by someone looking into the noise, dirt and ugliness to find beauty, art and music.

-Speaking of ugly, you must check out a new daily column over at TPM Cafe. The Daily Muck is devoted to detailing and examining the corruption and scandal that so deeply infects the modern conservative movement and the Republican Party. Today's post looks at Rep. John Doolittle, Jack Abramoff, Rep. Don Young and enough shady dealings to make you cry yourself to sleep.

-The Man Who Loved Sharks. No, this is not an article on me, but rather a nice look at the work of Peter Benchley, the man who wrote Jaws. He passed away last week, another loss in a terrible year.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Grateful Dead and the City

Grateful Dead

Photo courtesy of Herb Greene Photography

Grateful Dead, September 21, 1972 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA

Bird Song

China Cat Sunflower---->I Know You Rider

Playing In The Band

He's Gone

Dark Star

Sugar Magnolia

I realize that this hasn't been the most popular music excursion I have attempted, as it definitely doesn't fit with the booty music theme and the songs are loooooonnnnnnggggg. I have felt a recent desire to explain my decision to post all of this up, because I am desperate person who needs to be told that he has done the right thing.

Anyway, the main reason was simply the fact that I had all of this great music that is nearly impossible for other people to get a hold of. I was trying spread the music for those who don't want to shell out the bucks or have a nice girlfriend.

However, I also see a connection (albeit a debatable one) to the heart of this blog. The music that strikes me the most is the stuff that doesn't have polish and neatness or a mistake-free existence. It is the defining attribute of the urban life and urban sounds, that acceptance of mistake, of noise, of dirt. It might be hard for you to imagine the Grateful Dead as urban music, but not for me. In fact, the Dead have come to define a city in this country, one of the great ones, in fact. Can you think of the Grateful Dead without thinking of San Francisco? I can't, as their music and spirit clearly influenced - and were influenced by - this California city that birthed them.

The San Francisco of that time, and to some extent that of today, represent a city par excellence in terms of openness and diversity and experimentation. It is synonymous as a place where anyone can go and find a home. I think of the exact same adjectives when it comes to the Grateful Dead. They started on Haight-Ashbury adhering to the communitarian principles of the time, an open and supportive community. Their music was open to all influences, from the folk of Garcia to the blues of Pigpen to world music of Mickey Hart to the avant garde of Phil Lesh. Their shows were without structure, open to improvisation and failure on a nightly basis.

Sorry to get all pretentious and pseudo-intellectual sounding, but I have been thinking about things like this and needed to get it out of my system. Now, back to your regularly scheduled program of big boobs, booty music and blogs. Yeah!

-Witold Rybczynski has a wonderful article in Slate magazine, looking at memorials and memory in the context of the new JFK memorial in Dallas. Also, he writes about the Washington Mall and what makes a good memorial.

-Lots of goings on in my favorite city, Philadelphia. The biggest and best news I have heard in a long time came 0ut this week to little fanfare. The Science Center, a business incubator and research center, has decided to expand and has set the goal of becoming the leading research park in the country. It has taken Cambridge, Mass. as its model, a brilliant choice. This is what I am talkin' about, a group reimagining the city and dreaming big. I may come back to this, I love this plan so much.

-Events-wise, a nice show at the Khyber this evening, as The National Eye are having a CD release party for their new album on Take the Van Records. They are joined by fellow Philly bands The Spinto Band, Like Moving Insects and Capitol Years. Tomorrow night, another label event, this time Julian S. Process' new one, The Pink Skull, and they are celebrating by taking over both floors of the Khyber. V.I.P., The Yah Mos Def and more downstairs, upstairs Optimo, the ones behind the How To Kill The DJ series, is spinning. Wow.

-More rock'n' roll goodness on the northside, as The Teeth headline a show at The Fire (4th and Girard) for the Northern Liberties Winter Music Festival. A little further east, in Fishtown, the legendary and unappreciated Philly punk/no wave legends, The Notekillers, are playing at the M Lounge with Oxford Collapse.

-Finally, the Rub is back, this time with all three members: Cosmo Baker, DJ Ayres and DJ Eleven. Epic party, epic weekend, let's get to work people.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

American Beauty

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Grateful Dead, Box of Rain

Grateful Dead, Friend of Devil

Grateful Dead, Candyman

Grateful Dead, Brokedown Palace

Grateful Dead, Attics of My Life

Okay, I do want to show a little more of the Grateful Dead, show a few other sides of their sound. I believe that their most underrated aspect is/was songwriting, as they have one of the greatest musical books of the past few decades. It's not hard to see why people wouldn't think highly of their songs, since they never really came up with a great album that hit the charts. In fact, lots of their albums sounded like throwaways, done to satisfy the label and work out some more songs for tour.

However, this post should put these criticisms to rest. I am going to focus on the Dead's greatest album and one of the best of the 70s, American Beauty. It's an amazing statement, and sounds nothing like the psychedelic excess that many fear. No, these are beautiful songs, showcasing the Dead's ear for rock, country and folk. Listen to the lyrics, the songs about death ("Box of Rain"), running from the law ("Friend of the Devil"), the beautiful harmonies, the relaxed, Americana sounds. All I can say is that Ryan Adams would give his right nut to put out something this perfect.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the man behind many of the lyrics on this album, Jerry Garcia's writing partner, Robert Hunter. Hunter was a Beat-style poet, but it was his collaboration with Garcia that brought out the best in him. Their lyrics tended more toward the poetic, darker side, less realism than the ones Bob Weir was coming up with. The songs that came up with over the years is an amazing list, some of my favorite songs ever came from their pen, such as "Terrapin Station", "Reuben and Cherise", and "Stella Blue" and on and on. I do not hesitate in saying that this is one of the greatest writing teams ever, on par with Lennon and McCartney. That's right, I said it, let the flaming begin, I can take it.

If you felt overwhelmed by the Fillmore West posts, I highly recommend downloading these songs above. It is a much easier way to get into the music, or at the very least, will expose you to one of the all-time underrated rock albums. Go here to buy the whole thing, which now has lots of extras like live and unreleased versions of the songs.

-This American Beauty radio promo is the funniest thing I have heard in a minute. You have to listen for the announcer's lines, classic 60s shit.

-Speaking of American beauty, have you seen the Scarlett Johanssen nude pictures for Vanity Fair? Yum. This is my girl, for really real, a beautiful actress who has style and looks like MC. Now, where's my Rosario Dawson cover, people? Ooooh, how about a Rosario/Scarlet cover? Yeah, yeah, yeah, get to work.

-disco-not-disco had some songs up to play for your American (or French or Swedish or Israeli or Brazilian or [insert country here]) beauty this past Valentine's Day. I hope that everyone had a nice V-Day and that you got to spend it with your loved one or loved ones.

-Another American Beauty? How about Hardly Art Hardly Garbage after its new look? This has always been one of my favorite blogs, as Sean Fennessy is one of the few writers able to discuss hip hop in an original and intelligent way. Most importantly, he is a fan of the disgracefully underlooked Nelly Furtado.

-Our final American Beauty? Everyone's favorite Vice President and marksman, Dick Cheney. I know that this story has been discussed and dissected beyond comprehension already, but I had to point out my favorite part (buried deep in the story). Cheney shoots a dude from less than 30 yards we can assume now, gets to the guy's side and sees him bleeding profusely. What's his response? He goes back, eats dinner and hangs out with friends and lobbyists. A ride in the ambulance, a visit to the hospital, a loss of appetite and enjoyment? Please, this man eats shits like you for breakfast. He ain't some pussy, crying and shit. No, he's a true American Beauty, a real piece of work. Thanks again, red states.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Fillmore West 3.2.69 We Bid You Goodnight

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Fillmore West, March 2, 1969 late show




Caution (Do Not Stop On The Tracks)


We Bid You Goodnight

It's the end of this long, strange trip here at Pound for Pound, as we bid this Grateful Dead week farewell. March 2, 1969 was the final day of the run at the Fillmore West for the Grateful Dead, although they would be back many more times in the next few years until Billy Graham's club closed forever. That timing vaguely corresponds with the rise and fall of the hippie movement or whatever you want to call it. By the early 70s, the scene had been infested with poseurs, addiction and death.

This set has dark overtones in the lyrics and sounds, a sorta of end-of-the-world feel, if you will. As much as I enjoy the Dead at their most psychedelic, it is the darkness that really drew me in. This is not hippie-dippy music, as I am sure most people imagine when they see pictures of the concerts, replete with girls in peasant dresses with flowers in their hair, the spinners dancing in the halls, and the unwashed masses sharing and camping on the road. The Dead came and thrived in this scene, but they always seemed drawn to ugliness, the darkness that exists on the other side. Their lyrics are about murder, death and loss, their sound often bordering on dissonant and ugly.

I hope that this helps explain why I am highlighting this band and this series of shows. I know that it might not seem to make much sense-- how could I constantly discuss booty music, and suddenly talk about Jerry Garcia? I'm not sure that it does make sense, but that's part of the fun of music, isn't it?

-In case you think I was overbearing and pretentious about the song "Dark Star", the good people at the Deadlists Project catalogued and listed every single one the band ever played in their 30 year history and which ones are circulating on tape. Simply awesome. Make sure to scroll to the bottom where the evolution of the song is detailed.

-Princeton, we bid you goodnight as well. Another Ivy League title in sight, another first round loss in the Tournament for the Quakers.

-Glenn Greenwald takes on one of the most troubling aspects of current times: the cult of George W. Bush. It's a great look at the times, where being a liberal requires only "a failure to pledge blind loyalty to George Bush."

-I may have a few more Dead-related posts through the weekend, as we are putting the finishing touches on moving this site off of blogger to a dedicated server. Yeah!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Fillmore West 3.1.69

Fillmore West March 1, 1969

Dupree's Diamond Blues

Mountains of the Moon

Dark Star----->

St. Stephen---->

The Eleven---->

Turn On Your Lovelight

Hey Jude

Buckle your seatbelts, kids, it's real serious now. These songs above are some of the darkest, heaviest shit the Grateful Dead ever played in their 30 year career. This is the quintessential song series for the boys in that period, the perfect vehicle for their psychedelic blues explorations.

I could write a thesis on "Dark Star", the song that the Dead might be most known for amongst both fans and detractors. It was a sparse song, with little in the way of lyrics or structure, other than a few mystical verses written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter and those familiar opening notes played by Garcia's lead guitar. No, this song was nothing more than a vehicle for exploration, a space shuttle for the band. Once Garcia sung those opening verses, the band took a leap each and every time into the unknown, like a jazz band working with a standard. Before I get even more pretentious and ridiculous, I will just say, listen to the whole song set. Listen to the way the band listens and reacts to each other, the way Garcia and Phil Lesh (the bassist) interact, the way the band rebels against the structure and predictability of the rock song, it's all there in the 20 minutes of magic here.

What's sorta amazing is the fact that the band played this exact same four-song sequence to open the next night. Yet, there is no sense that the band is going through the motions or even tired from these epic songs from the night before. Instead, each night with the Grateful Dead offers something new and these nights would be no exception. I hope that this series of posts helps illuminate this fact, giving you a chance to hear the way the Dead made each performance night and song unique, unafraid to go out on any musical limb that presented itself.

For the real nerds, this is the first version the Dead ever did of "Hey Jude", the Beatles' classic. The next version wouldn't come until 1990, when Brent Mydland would bring it back during the classic Spring '90 tour. Trainspotters stand up!

-Congrats to The BM Rant for being named as blog of the month at Philly Future. That's right, another great Philly blog, covering just about every topic imaginable under the sun, from music to TV to movies to funny. Here's my favorite post of all, a nice one on the Chicken Man, the Philly mob and George Anastasia's writing. I'm not capable of not recommending Howard Stern/Editors/American Idol fans, FYI. They are a permanent link on the right, so make them a daily read.

-A crazy story in the LA Weekly about filmmaker Eric Red, a sort of art-imitating-life-imitating-art jawn. Disturbing, to the say the least, but a good read. [Via firedoglake]

-Can this fucking dude do anything right?

-Sorry for the delays, but blogger and yousendit have been f'ed up all day and everyone in Philly is in survival of the fittest mode because of the blizzard, meaning lockdown, fistfights for bottled water and John Bolaris memories.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Fillmore West 2.28.69

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Fillmore West February 28, 1969 early set

Morning Dew

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl

Doin' That Rag

I'm A King Bee

Turn On Your Lovelight

We're gonna keep on truckin' here on the Grateful Dead Week, although ironically without the song from which I borrowed that phrase. Go figure. The above set is from the second night of the run at the Fillmore, February 28th. I uploaded the nice early set, a showcase for the Dead's wonderful B-3 Hammond organist Pigpen. Pigpen, a.k.a. Ron McKernan, was the heart and soul of the Grateful Dead during this period, the yang to Garcia's yin (did I really just say that?).

In fact, I kinda look at the period from the band's formation to Pigpen's tragic death in 1972 as a back and forth between the two men, a fight for the direction and sound of the band. Garcia drove the band further and further into the psychedelic, the jazzy, the bluegrass. Pigpen, on the other hand, was the quintessential bluesman, the ad-libbing vocal center, playing blues standards like "I'm A King Bee" and thriving in the slowed-down, bluesy instrumentals.

Listen to "Turn Your Lovelight" from above, a classic song from the Pigpen years (1965-1972). In the 19+ minutes, you can hear this battle play out. The verses are all Pigpen, he is the star of the show, exhorting the crowd, the call and response. But, then, suddenly the words fall away and the band goes off into the ether. Jerry's guitar drives the band faster and faster, away from the Lovelight theme. It's the contrast between structure and chaos, tradition and experimentation, and remains one of the intriguing features of this band.

-Like the Diplo remix that I linked to at disco-not-disco? Well, Badminton Stamps has the Yeah Yeah Yeah's original version up now. Looking forward to this album a lot, or at least for something on par with "Maps."

-Great political reading for the weekend: Dahlia Lithwick's brilliant coverage of the Kansas teen-sex cases going on now. Frightening stuff, a harbinger of the future and a reminder of why the Alito appointment was so disastrous for women, choice and the country.

-Busty weekend thoughts [via lemon-red](great minds think alike)(oh, and I realize that I lost all props and respect from the above link with this, I can't help myself)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Farewell Arrested Development


It is hard writing this post through the tears, but I must say something. I can't let this day go by without a few words of sadness. Tonight is the final four episodes of the best show on network television since Seinfeld, Arrested Development, and my favorite show that doesn't involve a wire tap (best drama since Homicide), Flava Flav picking a mate or the two seperate yet equally important sides who represent the people in the criminal justice system. Fox has dealt its final kick in the teeth to the Bluth family, scheduling their finale to coincide with the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. Good work, fuckers. What, couldn't you have gotten your boy Bush to start a war tonight in Iran or somewhere to guarantee that not one person in the world would see the end of this show? Fuck a Murdoch!

Anyway, I don't have much to say, other than this show deserved a lot better. It deserved a better network, a better audience, a better world. I hope that Showtime picks the show up and gives it the forum to realize its potential. I have little hope, though, as I tend to expect the worst.

Michael, George-Michael, Buster, Gob, Lindsay, Maeby, Lucille 1, Lucille 2, George Sr., Tobias, thanks for the good times, we will miss you. Buy Season 1 and Season 2 to relive the memories, as there are too few.

-No sense in avoiding the fake sadness now. I was upset to see Nick cut from the final 5 on Project Runway. Listen, his outfit was not good. (No pockets? What the hell were you thinking, bol?) However, it was not a fucking jumpsuit straight outta Boca Raton with a sleeve falling off. C'mon, judges, step your games up. I'm looking at you Michael Kors, you can do better. Santino should have been cut, no if's and's or buts. And no, I am not ashamed to admit I watch the show or that I have become invested in the contestants. That's how trill I am.

-In another example of just how trill I am, and how unafraid to acknowledge my softer side, might I recommend checking out the Brandi Carlile show tonight at the World Cafe Live. She is playing at 7:30 PM, bringing some of that singer-songwriter goodness that eases a troubled heart and mind. Click here and here for a few songs to check out. Her NYC show at Mercury Lounge has already sold out, so this is a real good chance to see her in a beautiful venue. [Late Update: Sorry, this show sold out, too. Blowing up.]

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Grateful Dead at the Fillmore West 2.27.69

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Grateful Dead, Fillmore West February 27, 1969 early set

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl

Doin' That Rag

That's It For The Other One

Okay, now we're going to get real serious in here. The next few days I am going to put up some of the complete sets from the Grateful Dead's run at the Fillmore West in early 1969. This is the legendary run that the Dead used for their Live/Dead release and that has been one of the holy grails for tape collectors over the years.

The Dead decided to put this entire run out in a limited edition, remastered 10 disc boxed set. How limited? There were only 10,000 made, no second pressing, one shot only. Lucky you for my dear reader, I am in possession of this wonderful piece of musical history and will spend the next few days sharing the music. Thanks to MC for this amazing gift, which has provided me with countless hours of listening over the last month or so.

I'll have much more to say about the music here, and I hope to put up some other Grateful Dead music, but for now I just wanted to get the ball rolling.

-disco-not disco is possibly my favorite new blog (by new, I mean new to my out-of-touch ass) and one of the best, most consistent around today. For real, Speedrail has an amazing site dedicated to all sorts of different music, from the Diplo Yeah Yeah Yeah's remix to the Knife to Killa, plus bol (or is it a gal?) seems to know what's good in NYC months before you or I realize it is. Highly recommend, if for no other reason than the fact that d-not-d is both a Judge Mathis and Air Max fan.

-The Phones have been putting out some of the best remixes for a few years now, reworking the best songs from the indie heavyweights like Bloc Party and The Rakes. callmeMICKEY has done us all a service and put together 6 of the finest for download.

-Philly people, Get In is in tonight at Silk City. This is the one of the only grime nights in the country, a rare chance to hear this music. Tonight is the domestic release of Run the Road 2, the key grime compilation that has spread grime beyond the pirate radio stations of East London and that Vice Recordings is distributing in the US.

-Must-read political story: Time Magazine's John Dickerson's two-part story in Slate about his involvement in the Valerie Plame case and the possible conspiracy to out her a covert agent. Firedoglake details the bombshells and significance of this article.

-The Mystery of Larry Wachowski

The Grateful Dead


The Grateful Dead, Turn On Your Lovelight

The Grateful Dead, Death Don't Have No Mercy

No, hell has not frozen over. The man who believes in a genre called booty music, who considers Luke Campbell as important as the Founding Fathers, and who believes "There's Some Whores In The House" would make a great wedding song loves the quintessential hippie band. The band that is the butt of jokes, the band that jams endlessly, the band that was followed from city to city by dirty, smelly druggies has been one of my secret loves for many years now.

I'm not really sure how it began. I went to a high school where Phish was the band of choice, a regular stoner's paradise. However, for me, the Grateful Dead seemed a more difficult pursuit. Sure, kids went to the concerts and got wasted, but the music was more difficult, the influences more elusive, the mood more dark and foreboding. That was intriguing. First, I listened to the band's studio albums, perhaps one of the most underrated canons in music. Their songs were great, on par with some of the great pop music ever. However, at this time, I was probably in the midst of a pretentious avant garde phase and so it was the Dead's jazzy roots and sound explorations that had the most impact.

Over the years, I have remained loyal to the band and the music they made, even as they and their fans became a punchline. My connection has only grown stronger since Jerry Garcia passed away, as the archival vaults have been opened and even more amazing music has been released. I never wore tie-dye, I don't think that white guys should have dreads and I don't like leaving city limits, let alone sleeping in my car while travelling around the country. However, I do like the Grateful Dead and the music they made for 25 years. I hope that my readers will give this a chance and listen to the music I put up over the course of the next week. Keep an open mind, and I assure you that you will hear music that is many things: dark, beautiful, experimental, catchy, heart-breakingly sad.

The songs above come from the first live album release by any rock band, Live/Dead. It is the album that brought many people into the fold, displaying the Dead's penchant for improvisation and solidified their reputation as a live act. I hope that they can serve the same purpose for those just coming to the music. Live/Dead compiled highlights from their legendary run at the Fillmore West in San Francisco in late February and early March of 1969. The next few posts will present a few of these sets, which were recently put out in a 10 CD boxed set.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Juan MacLean and Kudu at the Bowery Ballroom

kudu 1

Kudu saving the night of music at the Bowery (All Photos taken by MC)

MC and I made our weekly trek to a concert, as I attempt to be in-the-know and she looks for places so loud that she can't hear me talk. It was my first chance to see a show at the Bowery Ballroom, and I was impressed. It's not too big, but big enough to draw bigger name bands and have a really electric feeling. Unfortunately, this show never really panned out, a disappointing night musically.

The opener, Holy Fuck (as in, Holy Fuck these guys are terrible!) was just awful to these ears, a mixture of a jam band and noisy, avant artistes. It was all done with self-consciousness awareness, band as poseur or something. All it left me was counting the time down until it was done and rueing the fact that I thought the show would start on time and rushed up to see Kudu. Another good call by yours truly.

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The beautiful lead singer of Kudu, Sylvia Gordon

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Sylvia looking angelic

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Drummer Deantoni Parks

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Sampler/synth man Nick Kasper

Ahh, Kudu, how you saved the night! I am planning a post dedicated to this group in the near future, so I won't say too much right now. I will say that this trio from Brooklyn is my favorite thing going right now, and MC can attest to the fact that I have become a Kuduhead (tie-in to the Grateful Dead week, yea!), following them to all of their gigs in NYC. This is like the 6th time I have seen them, and each performance is better than the next. Best of all, MC has come around with each listen, and validates the fact that this music can appeal to everyone with good ears. Anyway, Kudu put on their best set yet, and even had an NYC crowd dancing. Yes, yes, I was shocked too. More to come on this group.

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The Juan MacLean working their machines

After a brief DJ set by Tim Sweeney, host of Beats in Space, the lights dimmed, the crowd got bigger (or so it seemed) and our jackets disappeared. In an inexplicable move by a member of the security staff who felt that our jackets on the wall next to the trash were "in the way" and had "tripped someone," he picked them up and put them in front of the stage in the midst of the crowd. Thanks dude, keep up the good work.

Unfortunately, that was the most exciting part of The Juan MacLean show. I liked their music on the DFA compilations, and love that DFA sound as much as everyone else does. Unfortunately, what I heard Saturday night was much more dance-y than punk, much more smooth and jammy than what I expected. The rest of the crowd clearly disagreed for the record, as the place was packed and dancing. The whole thing seemed like a sanitized house music for white, straight kids.

juan 2

Okay, we are going to get into the Grateful Dead tonight or early tomorrow. As for shows, not sure what lies ahead in the near future. Lots of great stuff here in the illadelph and in NYC, and I'm looking forward to continuing to get out and see as much as possible. Thanks again to MC for trusting my choices, even when they are dead wrong.

kudu 3

kudu 8

Friday, February 03, 2006

How Soon Is Now


The Smiths, How Soon Is Now?

TATU, How Soon Is Now?

How soon is now? Oh, Morrissey, you sensitive thug, you gloriously coiffed man, how you play with my head and my heart. One of the all-time great songs from one of the all-time great singers ever. No arguments, none at all.

I have spent the week with the Smiths' music, and really had to say something about them. I promise to get to the Grateful Dead over the weekend, and booty music once we move the site, but for now, let me be a fanboy, let me not pretend to be a thug or tough guy for one day. Let me admit that I cry when I listen to "I Know It's Over." Let me be.

Here is a cover version of "How Soon Is Now" by everyone's favorite teenage Russian lesbians (at least my favorite), TATU. This is a part of Pound for Pound's attempt to revel in the joys of pop detritus, those three-minute songs that burrow their way into our brains and make a home. I must thank EC for the recommendation, as this gem slipped past my music net a few years ago. She is also responsible for getting me back into a Smiths mindset, the greatest gift of all.

-How soon is the weekend? It's here, motherfuckers. Philly, tonight The Teeth are playing at the North Star Bar (Brewerytown, stand up!), and the Pop-off Shack pops off at the Metro Lounge with Low B and Brendan Bring'em. Brooklyn, the Rub is tonight at Southpaw. Manhattan, The Juan McLean is at the Bowery Ballroom with Tim Sweeney and Kudu.

-Another great Philly blog? You got it. Check out this newest addition to the links list on the right, Blackmail is My Life, which has a nice new non-blogger site and lots of mp3s and smart talk. Huge props for the Carl Stalling reference, although unfortunately he took down the mp3s of Stallings' brilliant music for the Looney Tunes cartoons. Again, another excellent blog covering all sorts of topics and musics (more music).

-Think good, busty thoughts this weekend.

-Or think disturbing, crazy, unbelievable ones. How about the middle daughter on Full House, Stephanie Tanner (real name Jodie Sweetin), and her meth addiction (!?!)? [Via the one and only MC]

Thursday, February 02, 2006


It's been a good time to be a fight fan of late, hasn't it? There's been quite a few good fights in this young year, as 2006 is shaping up to be a pretty great year. Especially if the fighters from the past two weekends make another appearance, as they are the rarest of commodities: guaranteed action fights.

First, the mega-fight of the year took place two weeks ago, when Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales met for the second time in Las Vegas. The first one was one of the fights of the year candidates, and a rematch has been much anticipated. It showed in the sell-out Vegas crowd at the Thomas & Mack Center, which was split between fans of both fighters, heroes in their home countries.

I'm not sure how well-known these two names are outside of the hardcore boxing fandom, but they should be well-known. They are two of the best fighters pound for pound in the world, warriors who have dominated the lower weight classes in boxing for years now. Morales is most famous for wonderful trilogy of fights he had against fellow Mexican, Marco Antonio Barrero a few years ago. Pacquiao is Filipino fighter and hero in his country, a small lefty with tremendous power.

Go here, here, here and here for a good description of the fight. I'll just say that the power of Manny is stunning, and makes him a candidate for the best pound for pound honors. He was dominant this fight, avenging his earlier loss. Morales is tough, so for him to get TKO'd is something. I think that Morales needs to consider calling it a career, as this fight should prove that he has been eclipsed in the fight game by a younger, more talented fighter. For Pacquiao, the sky's the limit. I really look forward to see what he does next, as he makes his claim to share the title of this blog.

It's a sign of what high regard I hold Arturo Gatti that I put these two fights on equal footing. He is a once in a lifetime fighter, a man who gives the fans their money's worth each and every time out. He had already achieved a special status before his legendary series of fights versus Mickey Ward. These three fights were epic in every sense of the word, fought by two warriors with skill and guts, unafraid of losing but dying to win. I still think back on those fights, especially when sitting through some talentless heavyweight fight or an unaction fight between two stars afraid to get hit or throw a punch.

Gatti was taking on a relatively unknown Danish fighter named Thomas Damgaard this past Saturday. It was everything I could have hoped for, as Gatti slowly but surely decimated Damgaard, exhibiting the skills that have raised his game a few notches since he took on Buddy McGirt as trainer. This wasn't a classic, but it was another must-see Gatti fight, lots of action, lots of punches. The arc of his career is amazing, in all honesty, as he went from being a brawler as a young man to a skilled, technical fighter as an older one. He looked great tonight, in spite of hurting his right hand in the third or fourth round. He hit Damgaard with power punch after power punch, bloodying and staggering the guy all night. He ended Damgaard's night with a nice flurry in the 11th round, winning the IBA welterweight title in the process.

LP talks about his favorite fighter, Arturo "Thunder" Gatti. No Holds Barred discusses Vince Lombardi in the context of Gatti. The Boxing Stop discussed its hero. Late Rounds looks at the fight and adds some thoughts.

Not sure what the future holds for Gatti, although I hope that he gets another big money fight and can hang'em up while he is still revered and healthy-ish.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Return of My Apple Store Idea

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Welcome to all of the Mac users out there visiting Pound for Pound for the first time, as it is good to have some fellow intelligent computer buyers checking in. I want to thank Apple For You for the link to my post last year about getting an Apple store here in Philadelphia from last year. Better than late than never, as it's very nice to find that someone thought this was a good idea.

I do want to expand on the idea, as it is a smaller battle in the larger war of making Philly a world city. While it isn't kosher for a progressive to revel in commerce, I do. I can't help it, I like to buy things. My socialist ideals and Marx books die on the grave of Nike Air Force 1s, Turntable Lab and Armand's vinyl shopping, and books about cities from amazon. I am weak. But, more than that, I believe that any great city must be the site for everything, from the good to the bad, from commerce to radical politics. It is what seperates it from the rest of the suburbs and towns, what seperates a great city from the homogeneized dreams of urban planners.

I want stores everywhere in Philly, and believe it to be just as important a sign as ethics reform for the city's future. It is a sign of a vibrant city, a city that appeals to the rich and middle class and entrepeneurs and big companies. In discussing the city with a friend EC, she mentioned the lack of stores here as a noticeable defect. It gives the sense that things don't happen here, that a person can't start a business and live out their vision. Yes, I understand that these problems don't rival the crime problem or hunger or homelessness, but that doesn't make it unimportant.

Finally, if you want to leave a comment, please either have the balls to leave your name or the brains to read what my post is saying. I'm sure that you can find a place to download these things at some site you visit. I have addressed one such dumbass in the comments below, please don't make me do it again. Go download as

-Following up on the comedy links, go here and check out the video archive for the new (or new to me) VH1's show, Web Junk 20. Some of the funniest shit I have ever seen, all taken off of the web it seems. There's not much funnier than people hurting themselves unintentionally, Kelsey Grammer falling off a stage while giving a speech, or kids in China lipsynching to the Backstreet Boys. Or at least, there's nothing funnier to me.

-Project Runway tonight, yeah! Oh, don't act like you don't watch it. Go here to read Tim's blog or ask him a question, and read his thoughts on each contest. Or if you really want to obsess over the show, read Blogging Project Runway, which takes it to the next level.

-Since we are discussing Philly here, let me take note of a new addition to the links list at the right. callmeMICKEY is another blog, dealing in a lot of the same topics that interest us here at Pound for Pound and dropping lots of mp3s. Best of all, they cover all sorts of genres, from rock to Dipset to emynd and Bo Bliz. Most amazingly, go here, here, here and here for Mickey's look at all (I mean, ALL) of the bands scheduled for the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, complete with mp3s for some of his favorites. Amazing, thanks for that work, mang. So, yeah, go here and check out another of Philly's finest.