Archive for March, 2009


Birth of a track

Totally fun episode below from  XLR8R TV.  Two founding members of local avante-hip-hop record label/collective Anticon, Jel & Odd Nosdam,  get $40 worth of records from  a  junk shop in West Berkeley and create some down temp deliciousness in a single afternoon. So THAT’S how they do it…

Here’s the whole track:

Tune In An Afternoon

Jel’s Myspace

Odd Nosdam’s Myspace


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

box-coverCan’t believe it’s taken me this long to post about this amazing five disc Pogues box set lovingly compiled by their own Phil Chevron.  After all, it made my best of 2008 list. What better time to rectify the situation than today? This is no mere odds n’ sods set. It includes gleaming gems like “Maggie May” (which I had the good fortune of seeing at The Filmore in 1986), a couple of tracks from Joe Strummer’s stint replacing Shane McGowan (criminally not the haunting version of “Straight To Hell”), and demos galore (including what the band feels is the best song never to make it onto a Pogues record, “NW3,” which would appear as “Mother Mó Chrói” on a Shane solo record. Another favorite of mine is the Sexy Bongo track “Johnny Was.” This comes from a legendary episode in Pogues history where Andrew Ranken, Darryl Hunt, Jem Finer, James Fernly and Phil Chevron formed their own opening act for just one show in Sweden. They wrote all the material at the sound check and performed it that evening, never to be repeated. Phil swears the majority of the crowd had no idea who they were. So here are some of the live highlights for you on this fine Paddy’s day:

From the BBC’s David “Kid” Jensen show, 6/21/84

Boys From The County Hell

From the BBC’s Janice Long show, 10/10/86

The Rake At The Gates Of Hell

Turkish Song Of The Damned

If I Should Fall From Grace With God

From The Barrowlands, Glasgow, 12/17-19/87

Sally MacLennane

A Pair Of Brown Eyes


Maggie May

Dirty Old Town

The Sickbed Of Cuchulainn

With Joe Strummer from The Forum, London, 12/12/91

London Calling

I Fought The Law


Elvis Perkins benfit CD release for Seeger’s Clearwater Organization

From Elvis Perkins’ website:

Hi Friends,

We’re excited to announce a special early release of our new album, Elvis Perkins In Dearland!
With the help of our friends at Amie Street, we are releasing the album a week early for only $8.
When you purchase the album, $2 will be donated to Clearwater, an organization founded by Pete Seeger that’s dedicated to protecting, restoring and celebrating the Hudson River. Clearwater is one of the very best environmental education and advocacy organizations in the country.

Click here to purchase the new album. We hope you enjoy it and thank you for supporting this excellent organization!

Elvis, Brigham, Nick and Wyndham

You gotta at least head over there and grab the free download of “Shampoo,” probably my favorite track off Elvis Perkins In Dearland. But don’t take my word for it, check out the video:

Elvis Perkins In Dearland plays the Cafe Du Nord tomorrow night


Alela Diane CD giveaway

Alela Diane

After Pirate’s Gospel, Alela Diane’s mesmerizing debut record, made my Top 20 of 2007 I had pretty high expectations for her follow up. Believe me, To Be Still met ‘em in spades.  Recorded in various locales over 2008 (including a return to her father’s studio), her sophomore effort is a folk fireside dream; haunting compelling gorgeousness. Now Hear This has a copy to send to you, kind reader. Just email me with the name of Diane’s old home town (she now resides in Portland). Here’s a hint: she used to pal around with Joanna Newsom.

To Be Still

Here’s one of my favorite tracks off the new record to get you in the mood:

White As Diamonds

A beautiful meditation on the silence of snow.

To hear more check out her myspace pageTo Be Still is available now on Rough Trade Records. Buy it here.


Win Dan Auerbach Tickets on KALX tomorrow night


Dan Auerbach’s solo tour pulls into Bimbo’s on Friday the 13th. Tune into the Cuppa Joe Show tomorrow night at 6 PM for a chance to win a pair of tickets courtesy of me and the mighty 90.7. We’ll also be celebrating the birthdays of Miraim Makeba, Billy Gibbons, Jason Newsted, Evan Dando and Modest Mouse drummer Jeremiah Green. We’ll also be checking out the new Neko Case record as well as new music from Jason Isbell (former Drive By Trucker), Great Lake Swimmers and the reissue of Pearl Jam’s debut. And as always there’s the regular Music Picked By My Kids segment at 8 sharp. Click the picture above to get the stream if the station sounds a little fuzzy!

Catch me on KALX in Berkeley

I host the Cuppa Joe show on KALX in Berkeley every other Wednesday from 6 to 9 PM. You can tune at 90.7 or online by clicking HERE ------------------------------------------- NEXT SHOW: October 28 FUNDRAISER SHOW!! ------------------------------------------- Check out past playlists HERE
Got something I HAVE TO HEAR? Wanna send me free stuff? Email me at


Quick note about the tunes

The mp3s on this blog are to give folks a little taste. Imagine they're those little pouches on the bag your Sunday paper comes in. You know, the one's with a packet containing just enough toothpaste to brush your teeth once or twice. They are left up for a limited time. If you find something you like support the artists by dragging your friends to their shows and/or buying their CDs/records/schwag. If you are the artist (or their label/representative) and don't want an mp3 on here, please email me ( and I'll remove it posthaste.
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