Central Snark

Saturday, 9 February 2008, 10:33am
Filed under: Lampsha Spins

the cloudmanIt’s only fitting that since TheSnark started out as a communal venture, so it should end – at least for my last Spin here. Today’s artist has become one of our contributors in TheSnark fairly recently, but is about as affable and fun a guy as roams the Blogosphere. I’ve been trying to get together a little spin over the past few weeks of his band’s music, so today’s the day.

I’m speaking about Jeff, the Harmonica Man of View from the Cloud. Jeff plays music with a band called The Receders (we over 30, okay over 40 gotta love that name) and is himself, as his moniker would indicate, quite adept on the harmonica as well as the keyboard (oh and vocals). But Jeff’s hairline wasn’t always receding and he wasn’t always married with children (quite bright ones at that). No, Jeff was a rock star! Go muck through his musical archives HERE. Trust me, the pics of Jeff in eyeliner and other 80’s garb alone are worth the price of admission. Anyway, to get some idea of Jeff’s background, I fired off a few questions:

When did you start playing music?
I actually began playing the piano when I was about 5 years old. My mom was an accomplished pianist and I used to sit on the bench with her while she played and “help” her. I guess she thought I would be more help if I actually took lessons. My next big milestone came in high school when I started playing piano for the choir. A guitar player approached me and asked me if I wanted to start a band and so we spent the next 3 years playing for every dance, talent show and assembly the school had to offer. Following that a local “professional” band asked me to join them when I was a senior and while I was still only 17, began playing in local and area nightclubs on weekends. Please don’t ask me if I behaved myself.

Have you made a living doing so?
Yes. I spent the entire decade of the ’80s on the road, full time, living in hotels and playing in nightclubs and showrooms. At one point I even toured with the USO, where we played military bases over in Asia and the South Pacific for 3 months. It was the experience of a lifetime – which I unfortunately used up when I was only 19.

How often do The Receders get together and play?
We play about once a month. Then the guitar player and I get together and do an acoustic duet thing about once a month as well. So on average I’m playing somewhere about every 2 weeks.

Who writes your original material?
So far all of us except our drummer, although the majority of the original songs we’re doing have been written by our guitar player.

Major influences?
Growing up when I did, I was heavily influenced by Elton John and Billy Joel. Then later I became a huge Springsteen fan, in part because of his orchestral use of keyboards and because of his amazing storytelling capability. More recently I’ve started collecting all the Tom Waits material I can find. I know he’s an acquired taste, but he blows my mind.

Anything else you’d like to throw in?
The Receders are very close to recording our first CD. We have the material, the studio and the money, but for us the hardest part is finding the time to commit to the studio and recording process. The four of us have very diverse careers and personal schedules so it’s extremely difficult to find time to get together.

What would a spin be without a little visual entertainment and so here we have TheReceders rocking the joint with, The Blues Don’t Get Off at Night with our man, Jeff, rocking one of his own songs on the harp:

Thanks so much Jeff – it’s great getting to hear some of our own “local” talent. The Receders rock!!! Whaddya say folks? Let’s give them a big round of applause!!!

In the spirit of the Grammys, I’d like to say it’s been a blast doing these spins over the past year or so and also thank everyone for dropping in and listening to some tunes with me. Since I am a bit of a music junkie, I’ll probably continue the spins in some form in my own little corner of the world, Simply Said. Saturdays work fine by me, so drop by and say hi.

Don’t forget to tip your bartenders and waitresses over at Humor-blogs.com who’ve been calling out for Freebird since my first spin.

Have a great weekend.


Poor Leno by Snuppy
Saturday, 2 February 2008, 10:50am
Filed under: funny..., Lampsha Spins

poor lenoTHINKING we should call this post “Poor Lampsha”. Why? Because our dear and delightful friend is under the weather today, suffering from a Horrible, Awful, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Ailment we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy. In case you hadn’t heard, check out her LATEST POST. Then, for the love of a wonderful person and beloved blogger, offer up a few words of support.

ALL this to say, we figured we’d take over today’s Saturday Spin, in hopes our NBFF might have one less thing to do before schlepping her youngsters to their various music lessons. Or, even better — and as DIESEL so eloquently put it in an e-mail to us after we whined about our own copious schlepping — “schleep in”. Yep, we love that term, and plan to use it, often. Naturally, schlepping and/or schleeping are beside the point. The point, which is becoming more dazed and confused by the minute, is that we’ve been wanting to share the following song/video for a while now, and figure this is as good a time as any to do so.

POOR LENO is a nicely groovy, yet somewhat haunting tune by a “techno-trip-hop” Norwegian duo, who call themselves ROYKSOPP. According to their website, they’ve been around since 1998, but started to gain popularity around 2001*. Our son first heard one of their tunes (Poor Leno, in fact) on one of his video games (Snowboards from Hell, or some such thing). Actually, we couldn’t help but wonder whether the video game didn’t influence some of the imagery featured in this wonderfully animated (tho’ kind of sad) little video. Or vice versa. Whichever visual came first, trust us, once you see this creative clip, you’ll NEVER look at captured critters in quite the same way.

GUESSING “trapped” is how Lampsha is feeling, what with her Horrible Awful No Good Ailment, and all. Feel better soon, dearest Lampsha… as you can surely see — and ALL will surely attest — Saturday Spins aren’t the same without you, Shirley. (seriously, get well SOON)

*Whether you know it or not, you’ve actually heard other songs by this duo, at least you have if you’ve ever seen this Geico commercial. In case you liked that song (Remind Me) — and why wouldn’t you, it’s awesome — you can hear it in its entirety on Royksopp’s “unofficial” MYSPACE PAGE, along with a few of their other “hits”.

~ snuppy, aka DJ Fauxer (like “poser”, only more fake)

Poor Leno never read Humor-blogs.com.

Editor’s Note: we wrote this post last week, when our dear friend was in the pits of hell, seemingly saddled with the aforementioned ailment. As luck (and a new doctor) would have it, LAMPSHA is better than she and/or Dr. Magoo (the name we’ve awarded her original dermatologist) initially believed. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, believing we were going to post today, our favorite DJ did, in fact, schleep in. She promises to check in later, and maybe, just maybe, do a new and significantly improved post for everyone’s perusal. Stay tuned…

Saturday, 26 January 2008, 11:02am
Filed under: Lampsha Spins

I’ll be brief because you try searching (with limited time to allot) for information on a band named Stars and scroll through every constellation, country band, any song title with stars in it. I think I even saw the Starland Vocal Band in there. Even narrowing the search, bah — on to the music, I say!

Stars is an indie band which I believe was originally formed in Toronto, moved on over to New York for a bit and settled in Montreal. Or the reverse. Is it really important actually? What is important is the music which I have enjoyed any of their songs that I have heard from their latest release of this year, In Our Bedroom After the War. I believe this is also on my list to download and perhaps will be on yours as well…or not.

Listen to some tunes on their MySpace and then take a look at the video for Take Me To The Riot (which should be played as I awaken each morning to what my young son has in store as we get ready for work/school):

Have a great weekend.


Psst: There’s a laugh riot going on over at Humor-blogs.com.

Saturday, 19 January 2008, 10:44am
Filed under: Lampsha Spins

No time to panic! I overslept, there’s no post in the queueue prepared and uh, I need to take child #2 to music school as child #1 has already been dispatched with Parental Unit #1.

So based solely on hearing this song on the radio and loving it, I bring it to you today. Well, actually also based on this glowing review for the movie that this clip is from, Once, written up here on More Ways to Waste Time, another design blog favorite.

They are an Irish band, The Frames and you can listen to some more of their music over on MySpace.

So now that I’ve given you both a little music to listen to and a possible movie recommendation, I’m out of here.

But first, a scene from the movie with the song, Falling Slowly,  that caught my ear:

Have a great weekend.


PS: If you overslept too, go get yourself a new alarm clock at Humor-blogs.com.

Saturday, 12 January 2008, 9:03am
Filed under: Lampsha Spins

I’m really not suited for this “job.” In other words, I’m not a music reviewer from the technical standpoint. I only know what I like and when I hear it, I jot it down or make a mental note; or in the case of today’s spin, can’t get it out of my head. It was raining today and as I drove along, wipers slapping, on comes Joe Henry singing “Our Song” a dirge-like paean to America as told from the perspective of Willie Mayes. I was transfixed. It was a perfect soundtrack for the weather.

Joe Henry is an amazing songwriter, musician, producer and brother-in-law to Madonna (married to her sister). He’s a crack producer who was behind Solomon Burke’s 2003 Grammy Award Winning, Don’t Give Up On Me. He’s worked with Ornette Coleman (as you hear the brush drums on these songs, you can imagine how that would work nicely), his “hero”, Loudon Wainwright III, and done production work for Elvis Costello and Aimee Mann, to name a few. His latest album is “Civilian” released this past year.

You can listen to some of his music, most notably above mentioned Our Song and Time is a Lion at his fan-run MySpace or better still on his own site, Joe Henry Loves You Madly which has some nice links/videos.

And of course, a little immediate visual in the form of Kings Highway from one of his earlier albums:

So that’s all for now folks. I’m off to bed because the rooster crows a little early in Queens, NYC for music school tomorrow which is actually today.

Have a great weekend.


PS: I hear they’re saying Diesel is the Dylan of comedy over at Humor-blogs.com.

Saturday, 5 January 2008, 10:41am
Filed under: Lampsha Spins

This is not the first time (and I suspect not the last) I’ve updated a post and the saving of it took forever…and then didn’t take.  Grrrrr. 

Damn this overthinking or more accurately, distractibility. I have a bunch of possible spins in a folder, and a few others up my sleeve. Then I cast a net and start thinking about who to spin. Of course, one listen leads to the next and the group they used to be with and who they produced. I wish that I could just do a live spin here all day, but….time sure does fly and I get tired and flip a coin:

Where last we left off in the Spin cycle –  before the Holiday Hullabaloo of posts hit, we were listening to Dan Wilson. We liked Dan, didn’t we? Well our artist today produced his latest album. I thought a segueueueue’s a segue and so, here we have Mike Doughty. I’m not sure how updated Mike’s site is as it doesn’t list his current album, Golden Delicious.*  But he does have a blog which is accessible from his site.  It’s mostly gig photos with some commentary and banter sprinkled in, which was cool.

Mike Doughty (like Dan) spent the 90’s in a cult fave band. He fronted Soul Coughing until their breakup in 2000. Since then, he’s been out on his own and sounds like he’s making some good music which you can check out at his MySpace.

This video is for the song, Looking, which is from his 2005 album, Haughty Melodic. The live version from Letterman is on MySpace.

Now I’m off to get my life in order which goes something like how I seek out a spin.  Who’s sock is this, oh and that’s his sister’s violin book – where is that cd and shouldn’t this be downstairs?  Maybe, I’d better have some coffee first, but let me listen to the Mike Doughty song again…

Have a great weekend all!


* Probably because it won’t be released until February – oops.

ps:  You may not get your life in order, but you’ll laugh thinking you ever had a shot over at Humor-blogs.com!

pps:  Hot on the trails of our own LBP’s post yesterday, I dedicate the song 27 Jennifers to her. 

Saturday, 29 December 2007, 9:33am
Filed under: Lampsha Spins

I really do wish I had the time to devote to a proper year end post.  You know, expertly toss off my TopTen and point out a few faves from this past year right here in our own little corner of the Blogosphere.  But that would require being prepared for class today. 

I will however just jump on NPR’s band-wagon and feature some of their year end best-ofs.  Some music I have featured, some I’ve been meaning to and some that I eventually will.  So let’s roll em: 

 Listeners’ Picks from All Songs Considered:  The People Have Voted

The Year in Review from All Songs Considered:  According to the reviewers at All Songs Considered – a review of music from the past year (not all glowing).

Songs of the Year/2007 Best Music:  Their picks for Best

It is the end of the year and I feel that I should have something profound to wrap up the year, or should I?

CHUCK PROPHET really deserves a proper spin of his own as he is fast becoming one of my faves of 2007.  But since we’re priming up for New Years (which is oh so rockin – not, in the Lampsha Household), I thought something to kick it off would be nice and so here’s Chuck:

Above song is Freckle Song from Chuck’s release Soap and Water.  You can hear a few more tunes over on his MySpace and check out more about him at Chuck Prophet.com

So a year’s gone by in the blink of an eye, and a few spins later here I am wishing you all a Happy New Year.  I hope it brings good health, success and happiness to all.  If those things elude you, meet me here next Saturday.  Happy New Year!


PS:  Somebody’s balls are dropping at Humor-blogs.com

Saturday, 22 December 2007, 9:14am
Filed under: holidays, Lampsha Spins

It’s not that I’m lazy and the thought of a post just writing itself isn’t ever so appealing.  Not at all.   It’s just that some traditions are worth preserving – sort of like Fruitcake, right Frogster?  So it is with this in mind that I reprise an old Christmas Chestnut played here last December in the following post.  

Fade in… 

Here’s my Christmas Carol offering, bringing Joyem to the Goyem if you will (Billy, you’ll forgive my swiping that one). This is a fine Christmas song and I’m sure the lyrics “You drunkard, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot” have nothing to do with my partiality. Makes you want to curl up in front of the Yule Log — that or pogo ’round the Christmas tree, or throw the yule log through a window.

Either way, tighten your seatbelts for as fine a Christmas song as I can recall from the band THE POGUES and the late Kirsty MacColl — in Fairytale of New York,  deemed THE BEST CHRISTMAS SONG EVER in a VH1 UK poll. I think I may just have to agree. But you know, call someone an “old slut on junk” over the sweet sounds of a penny whistle and I tend to wax poetic.

Warning: listening to this song may bring a subliminal desire to hoist pints at the pub.  We do not endorse or want that to be the outcome of this (unless you’d like to), but damn if they don’t make you recall a time when it wouldn’t be so far fetched. Is that so wrong?  At the very least, you may just tap a toe.

Listen up mates and enjoy. And, should the spirit move ye in true Irish tradition, feel free to join in on the singing at the pub:

~DJ O’Lampsha

fade out…

Have yourselves a wonderful weekend.  I hope it is not spent shopping for last minute gifts unless of course, you choose to spend your free time being crammed in with less than perfect strangers fighting over cashmere sweaters.  But truly have yourselves a Merry Christmas and may peace and good health be yours in the New Year. 

PS:  Peace, good health and drunkards (not necessarily in that order) can all be found at Humor-blogs.com!

Saturday, 15 December 2007, 9:41am
Filed under: Lampsha Spins

It’s late (and when it’s not late, it’s early and I’m late) – so let’s see if I can get this chronology of music leading up to the featured artist correct. He started out with a band named Trip Shakespeare which had a bit of a cult following in the early 90’s (the MySpace link is fan run). How can you not love a band with an album titled, Are You Shakespearienced? Moving on, after Trip Shakespeare fell, two of the members Dan Wilson and John Munson formed Semisonic, joined by drummer, Jacob Slichter.

Today we’re featuring Dan Wilson solo, who is just a melodic beautiful (and Harvard educated) songwriter who was the lead singer/songwriter in the above mentioned groups (actually Semisonic is a semi-active group). Dan just released his first solo album, Free Life in October 2007. He avoids the inevitable “when he was with…” comparisons by me as I am not as familiar with his music with the other groups. What I do know is that every time I hear a song of his on the radio, I turn up the radio and sing along. You can do the same at his MySpace.

So maybe you’ve never heard of Dan (or maybe you have), you can listen to an interview with some live tunes here on Acoustic Cafe (worth a listen). He penned about six songs for the Dixie Chicks’ “return” album including the Grammy winner, Not Ready To Make Nice.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this tapestry of a Spin today. Wha? No video? Bah, of course – it’s Dan with Semisonic in their 1999 Grammy nominated Song of the Year, Closing Time:

Have a great weekend~


Psst: There’s no closing time over at Humor-blogs.com. Tell ’em Central Snark, that’s C-E-N-T-R-A-L S-N-A-R-K, sent ya.

Saturday, 8 December 2007, 9:26am
Filed under: Lampsha Spins

Guster album coverSo I hope that you got a kick out of the LeeVees earlier in the week. As you can imagine, doing solely Channukkah songs might limit a group. Actually the LeeVees were formed by Adam Gardner of Guster and Dave Schneider of the Zambonis. Something about these guys just spells F-U-N-N (oops)!

I had Guster thrown into the mixed bag of future Saturday Spins so what better time to trot them out and spotlight them? Plus it’s still Chanukah and if you wanted to do something ironicah, you could get somebody the Guster cd instead of the LeeVees. Or you could get both. Or not. Plus, plenty of time until Christmas, so add it to your list.

The boys met at Tufts University in 1991 and Guster (or Gus as they were then known) were off to a good start. As befits a college band, they put on a fun good time show and gained a cult following. I can see that. Here’s a video for the song Amsterdam from their fourth album, Keep It Together.

I had a hard time choosing which video to pop in today — a few catchy numbers. A few catchy numbers can also be heard at their MySpace or at Humor-blogs.com (heh).

Have a great weekend! What are you all up to this weekend anyway? If you’re in the neighborhood, drop by.


Psssst: If those little weasels had actually lit any candles, tonight they’d be lighting #5 at Humor-blogs.com. Instead they just took the gelt and ran – not a candle lit. Santa’s watching.