Archive for the Random Life Category

8 Ball: A Winter’s Mixtape For A Groundhog

Posted in Music, Random Life with tags , , , , , , , on February 3, 2012 by C54

Photo by Awake My Soul

Woodstock Willie is Illinois’ most famous rodent next to Rod B. As groundhogs go, he seems nice enough. February 2nd is his big day and he says we’re getting an early spring. A year ago, Snowpocalypse happened. Sorry if I’m not biting. If spring happens I’ll salute it then. In the meantime, here’s a return to smearin’ — after a mid-winter hiatus — with Beck’s adventurous remix of Feist’s latest single,

How Come You Never Go There.” (Interscope/Cherrytree)

The War On Drugs, “Don’t Fear The Ghost” (Secretly Canadian)

Lambchop, “Gone Tomorrow” (Merge)

Chairlift, “Sidewalk Safari” (Young Turks/Columbia)

Pariah, “Left Unsaid” (R&S)

Mazzy Star, “Common Burn” (Rhymes Of An Hour)

M83, “Midnight City” (Mute)

Sayonara, “Mothership” (Lilypad)


Year End List Avalanche

Posted in Music, Random Life with tags , , on December 9, 2011 by C54

It’s that time of year again… You want to buy your favorite stocking-stuffer a musical token. Unfortunately, you haven’t bought an album since that Sting solo début. Fret not, from hipster to broken hips, you’ll find something helpful here. I singled out a few, but Album Of The Year beat me to this compilation effort. Well done, AOTY.

Record Store Day 2011 For The Rest Of Us

Posted in band performance, Exclusives, History, Music, Padcasts, Random Life, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2011 by C54

As an indie label, Lilypad Records never tried to sell ANYTHING for this occasion. Whatever sold, it was for sale all the other days of the year as well. And when it was clear that SOME Mom & Pops were not interested in having the brick & mortar indie community include internet operations, I was a tad disheartened. After all, there’s more vinyl here than a lot of the elitist stores glomming on to a music-centric day equal to Black Friday in a Wal-Mart. (Well, maybe more in spirit than financially?) Never mind the cassettes, dats, 45s and compact discs piled high in the archives. A private collection lent to interested parties when I’m asked. More like an indie music library, perhaps? OK.

So for the third year running, Lilypad is poised to crash the RSD’11 party with another podcasting day of music from our label’s family and friends. Please join the streaming goodness when I present a live interview and acoustic performance début on The Pad from Texas upstarts, Sayonara.

I’ll also be streaming a mix tape collection from acts such as Sarah Records’ only American artist — Aberdeen (Los Angeles), purveyors of midwestern rawk — Nomad Planets (Indiana), ambient-experimentalists — Young Jackies (Chicago), electronica newbie — Bisoux Bisoux (Beirut) and many more.

I hope you’ll join me at The Pad for another celebration of all things music with my friends that make it, with or without the blessing of Ozzy Osbourne & company…

Stuff It! My Suggestions For Your Holidaze Stocking.

Posted in Music, Random Life with tags , , , , , , on December 19, 2010 by C54

Happy Holidaze!

Well it’s that time again…

And, depending on what commercialized holiday celebration you embrace, you’re probably looking for something for a loved one, friend or co-worker. Apparently, everyone likes music, or, at least claims to like it. Maybe these suggestions might do you a favor if you’re stumped? It was a good year for music and these releases offer something for just about every imaginable type of music lover that seeks out the rock-indie-folk-dream pop-blues-punk-twee-soul bins at your local music emporium.

Trembling Blue Stars

Fast Trains And Telegraph Wires (Elefant 2010)

Fast Trains And Telegraph Wires

Fast Trains And Telegraph Wires


Billed as the last album by indie legends, Trembling Blue Stars, Bobby, Beth, Ian and the rest of the gang cooked up a wonderful package that fans of dream pop are certain to enjoy. And weep over, too. Not for those prone to tears, “Fast Trains” is a journey through the rich and sad fields of Bobby Wratten. Mr. W is known for commanding a tear or two and this nineteen-song collection is certain to conjure up a few.

This really is an album plus an EP titled, “Cicely Tonight Volume One” and this bonus lets the ambient world seep in on a slightly grander scale. “Correspondance Volume Two” EP is due out in 2011 on Elefant and will be the last of it all.

I know, you think I’m biased because Cath Carroll sings a guest lead on The Imperfection Of Memory and I recorded her vocals and used the power of ProTools to make it in time to get it across the pond to Ian Catt’s studio in London. But, I’m only biased if liking good music makes me biased. I’d buy this for many, many reasons. Like that guitar solo on “No More Sad Songs” for starters…


Part One ( 2010)

Part One


A six-song watershed moment for the Chicago natives known as Hollus. I’ve had the pleasure of working with this band since January 2007. Throughout lineup changes and musical soul-searching, Hollus remained a solid writing partnership. Guitarist Michael Lux and singer Jamison Acker have crafted their first collection that blends all the earlier Hollus incarnations into an excellent pastiche of rock, blues, soul, singer-songwriter and brit-pop.

Again, is my bias showing? For full disclosure, I freely admit I mastered this collection back in July. And yes, I’ve also heard “Part Two” which should be out in Spring 2011. But if I’m not sick of this by now, what’s my bias? I freely admit to liking good music.

The National

High Violet (4AD 2010)

High Violet


If this album only had “Bloodbuzz Ohio” on it, I’d still buy it. I do think that song might get my vote for song of the year. Singing along to, “I still owe money, to the money, to the money I owe” doesn’t feel inappropriate as we head into the new year. And the vocals are certain to get Ian Curtis fans twitching if you’re new to The National’s brand of indie. Hah! Try pinning bias on me with this one. OK, it’s on my iPod. Guilty!


Grinderman 2 (Anti 2010)

Grinderman 2


This is Nick Cave’s other project. Now into his second collection, Mr. Cave makes you remember that sometimes we need to extol the virtues of suffering. Or at least crank up the volume. Another one of those all-things-coming-together releases. Of course, this is probably Cave’s third go-round under that banner. He’s something to behold when you consider he may be hitting his stride in his 50s. Go Nick, GO!


The Lady Killer (Elektra/Asylum 2010)

The Lady Killer


If you’re short on cash but long on statements, try Cee-lo Green’s single “Fuck You”. How many songs can you name that can’t be sung on the radio without causing a censor’s head to explode, make you dance like mad — and laugh out loud — all the while you’re thinking, “Can I put this on a holiday mixtape?”

Of course the answer is, “Sure you can!” But, I’d buy the album, too.

Bonus Stuffer For Your Extra Stocking:

John Martyn

Solid Air (Island 1973)

Solid Air


Hello????? 1973!!!! What am I saying here? For starters, ’73 was a great year for music. But, John Martyn died in 2009 and it still bums me out. People who know and love the music of Nick Drake need to know Martyn’s folk-jazz work, too. Start here.


Merry Holidaze everyone! And only the best for 2011…

Lilypad’s Busy Bees

Posted in Random Life with tags , , , on August 6, 2010 by C54

LRC's summer facelift. Hey, we're not getting any younger you know.


Lilypad’s summer facelift adopts the image of a busy employee molesting a Globe Thistle (aka, Equinox) for its new logo. It’s the bee days of summer… *pa-dum*

Photo taken in the garden two weeks ago. I sure wish I’d used a tripod.

Please visit Lilypad for music by folks I’ve worked with when I’m not snapping pictures in the flowers. Thanks for looking.

The Sound Strike

Posted in Music, Random Life with tags , , , on May 28, 2010 by C54

Arizona has gone too far. Zach is leading music against the outrageousness. I thought I’d help spread the word from my tiny universe.

Los Angeles, California, May 25, 2010

We are reaching out to get your ear for a minute about this critical situation in Arizona.

If you haven’t heard, the Arizona state legislature passed a bill (SB 1070) that was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer that legalizes and sanctions racial profiling. Straight up.

It forces the cops to hunt down and target anyone they “reasonably suspect” that may be undocumented. And if the people they harass don’t have proof that they were born in the U.S., they can be detained and arrested. This must be stopped.

Fans of our music, our stories, our films and our words can be pulled over and harassed every day because they are brown or black, or for the way they speak, or for the music they listen to. People who are poor like some of us used to be could be forced to live in a constant state of fear while just doing what they can to find work and survive. This law opens the door for them to be shaked down, or even worse, detained and deported while just trying to travel home from school, from home to work, or when they just roll out with their friends.

Some of us grew up dealing with racial profiling, but this law (SB 1070) takes it to a whole new low. If other states follow the direction of the Arizona government, we could be headed towards a pre-civil rights era reality. This unjust law was set into motion by the same Arizona government that refused to acknowledge Martin Luther King Jr. day as a national holiday.

When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, they arrested her. As a result, people got together and said we are not going to ride the bus until they change the law. It was this courageous action that sparked the Montgomery bus boycott. What if we got together, signed a collective letter saying, “we’re not going to ride the bus”, saying we are not going to comply. We are not going to play in Arizona. We are going to boycott Arizona!


Zack de la Rocha

Here’s a list of the courageous artists who have taken a stand for civil and human rights in this collective decision to boycott Arizona:

Cypress Hill
Conor Oberst
Los Tigres del Norte
Rage Against the Machine
Cafe Tacvba
Micheal Moore
Kanye West
Calle 13
Joe Satriani
Serj Tankian
Rise Against
Sabertooth Tiger
Massive Attack
One Day as a Lion
Street Sweeper Social Club
Spank Rock
Sonic Youth
Tenacious D

We are asking artists the world over to stand with us, and not allow our collective economic power to be used to aid and abet civil and human rights violations that will be caused by Arizona’s odious law.

Viral Payback: Pickleback

Posted in Band Biz, Random Life, Real-Time with tags , , , , on February 19, 2010 by C54


In 16 Days A Pickle Earned 1.44 Million Facebook Fans topping Nick*lback’s Facebook fan base.

Can we say Chad K and his mates in 5¢-back might be the most despised rock stars in net history? I have not fact checked other backlash campaigns. Maybe Creed or Jonas Brothers have manged to focus more contempt? I don’t want to know.

I hopped on the pickle express at 49K+ fans, way back in the day, or early  last week. Apparently, the admin has received official Facebook notice he’s losing his administration privilege in two weeks. Suggestions have been fast and furious. Will there be a new target of anti-fan wrath? There may be too many choices.

So as you moaned about your band’s inability to break through the bottomless pit of internet music marketing, a pickle got busy. What was your excuse again?

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