Music Archives

September 27, 2002

Signature Song

I went with a couple of friends to watch Columbus hometown hero
Tim Easton last night. He's been playing Wednesdays all September at Andyman's Tree House.

I've seen Tim a couple of times now (twice lately, and several times in the early 90's with his old band the Haynes Boys) but somehow managed to never hear him perform what I would consider his signature song, "Bitters Past" (Which is weird considering - I'm told - he plays it at every show, hence the "signature" aspect I guess.)

It was a great, loose reading of the song -- Tim even gave a nod to the song's inspiration with an extended segue into "Norwegian Wood" (time to brush up on your Beatles lyric book, though, Tim.)

But a couple songs later, Tim did an eff-ing incredible performance of "Carry Me", off of his last album, The Truth About Us.

Tim Easton - The Truth About Us album cover

Robert and I agreed: Tim might have a new signature song on his hands...

October 4, 2002

No one to blame but myself

Sounds like I missed another great Tim Easton show at Andyman's Treebar. Victoria Williams in attendance, no less...

November 11, 2002

I've Found My Soldier Ant

Hi, I'm Robert Duffy. I run a website called I write about music. On SoliderAnt, though, I'm going to write about everything *but* music.

I'm friends with old man Bryce, and he's asked me to spew words into his journal. I'm excited about the whole opportunity, and I'd like to start off with a song. Yes, I said I wasn't going to write about music, but every good beginning should start with a song.

Replace the world GIRL with ANT and you'll get the whole idea.

Section 8 from The Polyphonic Spree

I found my...
She's so far...
She makes my head...
I found my soldier girl
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around
I found my soldier girl (my soldier girl)
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around
I found my soldier girl (my soldier girl)
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around
I found my soldier girl (my soldier girl)
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around
I found my soldier girl (my soldier girl)
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around
I found my soldier girl (my soldier girl)
She's so far away
She makes(makes) my(my) head(head) spin around

December 31, 2002

Even Jesus Hates Creed

This warms my heart, and send me out of 2002 with a small smile on my face. (Link courtesy Scott McCloud.)

January 29, 2003

Ripping Streams

File under 'Could be handy': StreamRipperX for OS X lets you save Internet radio streams, song by song as MP3 files.

February 1, 2003

Donewaiting Launch Party

We'll be there tonight.. Gettin' kinda excited.

February 8, 2003

Applescript Primers

Here are 2+ years of collected AppleScript Primer columns. Nice resource. And here's an XML Library for AppleScript.

February 13, 2003

Ukeleles are this year's mandolin

Ukes are hot, no doubt about it. Ukulelia: Your Passport to Four Stringed Paradise is an all-ukelele weblog, hosted by Illustrator and Writer Mark Fraunfelder.

Speaking of Ukeleles

I was at Andyman's Treehouse tonight with Charlie Tokyo, and the discussion went to me and him starting a two person ukelele band. Trust me, we've had this conversation 50 times, at least.

Possible Band Names (please dont steal them):

The Nuke-eleles
The Puke-eleles
Duke Uke and the Fluke-eleles
The Ukes of Hazard featuring Duke and Luke Uke
Uke Skywalker and George Ukes

There were more but I am drunk and it is late.

February 20, 2003

Charlie Tokyo takes the stage

Going by his stage name, our old friend will be grabbing a mic, pulling up a stool and entertaining the throngs at Andyman's Tree House this Saturday. (And everyone's favorite man-crush, Ken Gould, will be there too. Bonus.)

Brandon Whightsel Plays Andyman's Tree House

February 22, 2003

Green River to Riot Act features a gorgeous timeline of the band's career. It's not incredibly interactive, but it looks great, and you can tell that the content was gathered with a true fan's eye for detail.

March 2, 2003

Robinella & The CC String Band

My wife and I caught Robinella & the CC String Band on Conan last week and they have a great sound. Bluegrass/country roots music. Tuneful, heartfelt. It looks like they've got an album coming out on Columbia, but you can also pick up their prior recordings on their web site. (Which I just did -- "No Saint, No Prize" should be arriving soon.) I'll post a review once I've lived with it for a bit.

Take that, Rob Duffy.

June 11, 2003

Wish Lists without Frontiers

I caught Peter Gabriel live for the first time this past Saturday. I tell you what, that boy knows how to put on a show. Good music, well performed, actual engagement with the audience ... and eye candy. Videos, lighting, a giant (12' diameter) inflatible plastic ball he rolled around inside while performing and/or trying to crush his lead guitarist. And, not one but two Segways.

Which got me thinkin' ... what could possibly be on the Amazon wish list of a man who already owns two Segways? (OK, maybe one was his, and the other was his daughter's. Maybe.) So, I check it out.

Can the really Peter Gabriel step forward? Are you into Pokemon and Battlezone 64, or working on your Yu Gi Oh figure collection? Or perhaps you're too ashamed to walk into a Virgin Megastore and pick up Godsmack or Papa Roach, and expect a friend to do it instead? Do you secretly want to retire and do some serious gardening?

And, Peter, fill in a shipping address already! Jeez!

July 9, 2003

Wilco & Sonic Youth

Duffy's posted some pictures from a show a bunch of us attended a couple of weeks back: Sonic Youth and Wilco in Cleveland. Good times.

March 23, 2005

Thurston Moore's Sonic Youth

Thurston Moore reminisces about mix tapes (I like that he got the very idea of doing a 'mix-tape' from Robert Christgau.) This is kind of a touching essay, because it's not written by Thurston the musician - it's more about Thurston, the music fan.

Around 1980, there was a spontaneous scene of young bands recording singles of superfast hardcore punk - Minor Threat, Negative Approach, Necros, Battalion of Saints, Adolescents, Sin 34, the Meatmen, Urban Waste, Void, Crucifucks, Youth Brigade, the Mob, Gang Green. I was fanatical and bought them all as soon as they came out. I was just a dishwasher at a SoHo restaurant - not exactly raking in the dough - but I needed these sides!

March 25, 2005

The Walrus

This is all rather silly, and it's old old news. But if you haven't heard it, it's good for a laugh.

So the rumor goes that Paul McCartney has been dead for more than 30 years. Killed in a motorcycle accident (while distracted by the site of Lovely Rita Meter Maid) he was decapitated (and disfigured badly as well -- nobody was really sure if he was from the house of [Paul].) Conveniently, a man named William Campbell was available to take his place: Campbell has just finished first in a Beatles lookalike contest.

So there you have it. Paul is dead. I buried Paul.

(And if any of this were even remotely true, then I'm officially nominating this Campbell character for the 'New Job Rampup Award' for all time for learning to play bass left-handed, writing some of the finest songs of the 20th century (okay - so even if he just performed them -- even if he just pantomimed them -- it would still be an amazing performance.)

Like I said, this story is older than me (it really is) but it's fun to revisit from time to time.

Easton Freebies

Way back in 2002 I posted about Tim Easton and two classic songs: his old signature song, "Bitters Past", and my candidate for his new sig: "Carry Me." Fortunately for us, Tim has posted some great live performances of both songs, as well as some others. Go Grab 'Em.

(Thanks to the always-inspiring Donewaiting.)

April 16, 2005

Dan Baird's Potty Humor

I have no idea how Soldier Ant has become all poop, all the time. But here goes nothing. I've promised to tell you more about the friends and events of my life, so let's start on a winner.

My friend Gary is one of my longest-term, bestest adult friends. ('Adult' meaning that ours was not a friendship formed in childhood: we met in college. I don't mean to imply for a second that Gary ever behaves like an adult.) Gary is probably one of the world's last remaining die-hard Georgia Satellites fans. (Yes, those Georgia Satellites. This does a decent job of putting the 'sats in their proper historical perspective.)

Anyway, Gary loves the Satellites, I love the Satellites. We went to see the Yayhoos, a great band that just happens to feature Dan Baird, formerly of the Georgia Satellites. At this cool little roadhouse (no lie, says Gary as we pull off of St Route 33: "there's the road.. and there's the house") in Wapakoneta (pronounced 'WAW-pawk' by the locals.) Route 33 Rhythm and Brews is this perfect, cozy little juke-joint. Sitting by the door, Gary overheard an exchange that has forever since made him smile.

Before their set, Dan B. approaches the club owner, Ron. Like any good travellin' band man, Dan knows to take care of bidness before taking the stage. He inquires about the nearest non-public restroom.* "I gotta take the Browns to the Superbowl!" says our man Baird. Gary's night is made.

It should tell you something about Gary that this is one of his favorite anecdotes.

* Strangely enough, Gary and I were also at the same venue for Slobberbone's farewell tour, where a recurring theme for the night was guitarist Jess Bar's pained expression, resulting from a desperate need to take a healthy dump. (This according to Brent Best -- I'm not makin' this stuff up!) Which leads one to wonder what's in the water in Waupauk.

May 23, 2005

Bono on Art

Sez Bono

Our definition of art is putting your head above the parapet, and be ready for the custard pie. I happen to love the taste of it.

June 6, 2005

Beans and Biscuits

Whilst surfing around the iTunes music store today 2 loosely-related items caught my eye. (All links open in iTunes.)

1. Once upon a time, before the drugs (well, before the drugs got completely beyond his control), before the politics, before the yo-yo weight plan.. Steve Earle just made some kickass country music. (Live version.) Everybody told me you can't get far, on thirty-seven dollars and a jap guitar.

2. This song bought Hank and the Boys "quite a few beans and biscuits."

Nashville, why must you lie bloated and blotto in a pool of your own pusillanimous failings? Your heritage runs so much deeper than this current crop of tanktop urban metrosexuals would lead us to believe. In my Nashville, only Dwight survives.

November 2, 2005

Fingerpickin' Fun

A Sun colleague is coming to my neck-o-the-woods this week for a 4-day stay with Jorma Kaukonen at his Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp ("It's a fur piece from anywhere.") Kaukonen is in the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Jefferson Airplane, and his camp looks like an amazingly good time. And it's an hour-and-a-half from my home! (And the country around Athens, OH is an absolutely beautiful place.)

I don't write about it much, but I guess I've been playing guitar for.. geez, 15 years now?! And I'm constantly trying to think up ways to kickstart my flagging creativity in that endeavor. I joke that I kinda of plateau-ed 5 years in and have stayed there ever since. Maybe next year I'll treat myself to one of Fur Peace's workshops.

And jeebus! Lookit the lineup of instructors at the ranch! (Bob Margolin, Rory Block, Guy Davis, GE Smith, Bill Kirchen.)

March 16, 2006

That's the Way

Lester Bangs reviews Led Zeppelin III, about 11 days before I was born.

May 22, 2006

Beautiful Uke

Wow. An amazingly expressive ukelele cover of While my guitar gently weeps. Beautiful.

June 22, 2006

Where's LaBeef

Wow. I saw a legend perform tonight. And I discovered that I really like sauerkraut balls.

September 20, 2006

4 Summer Flings

Apropos of nothing, and partially to alleviate my guilt at having been such a non-blogging fool lately, here's a small taste of my pop-culture life over the summer.

photo of 'Ryan Adams
★★★★★ Awright, Adams has since proven himself to be a bit of a clown in the intervening years (Summer of '69 taunts and Message-board pissing matches with fake Jeff Tweedies haven't exactly bolstered his 'rock n roll bad boy' image.) But his work with Whiskeytown never fails to please me, so I sought out this, his first solo album, on eMusic. It's really great.. soulful when it should be, rockin' where it needs to be. And guest vocals from Emmylou on 'Oh My Sweet Carolina.' What more could you ask for? Sadly tho, I think this album may be Adams' high-water mark.

photo of 'The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap '

★★★★☆ I've somehow found myself spending a lot of time waiting this summer. Vet's office, doctor appointments (for reasons I'll disclose later.) So I've dug out my Gameboy Advance, which had been gathering some dust of late, and this is the game that convinced me to do it. I loved the old Zelda game for SNES (A Link to the Past, with its fun and engaging overhead perspective and cartoony 2D sprites.) I pretty much lost touch with the franchise since then, though. It's all looked too 3D "immersey" for my tastes. So the Minish Cap has been a pleasant surprise - the 2D style is back from LTTP, as well as referential nods to that game in many of the character designs and dungeon puzzles. But it's been updated in smart ways too (including a fun 'Kinstone Fusing' technique that reveals side-adventures and opens up areas of the map for further exploration.) I would've given this game 5 stars, but the bosses were a bit too easy and there weren't enough dungeons.

photo of 'eMusic'

★★★★☆ I realized a couple of months back that I'd somehow all but eliminated music from my daily life. Which was a painful revelation for me -- I've always enhoyed music. I met my wife when we were both working at a record store.

So eMusic has been my attempt to put myself back on a healthy track: listening to, loving, learning about and living with more music from day to day. I've been pretty pleased so far. The best thing, without a doubt, about emusic is the complete lack of DRM controls on the downloaded tracks. These are straight MP3s, baby. Play 'em anywhere, on anything (I found a nice little set of Applescripts synchronizing iTunes with my Sony Ericsson walkman phone, and the whole setup works like a charm.)

Of course, the whole eMusic catalog consists of small and indie labels, so you won't find your guilty-pleasure Justin Timberlake fix here, but you will find the whole White Stripes catalog, and the Replacements, and a buncha Willie Nelson, and Iron & Wine, and The Decemberists, and... they got a lotta stuff is all I'm sayin.

photo of 'Fables'

★★★★★ The premise is simple, but the series' creator Bill Willingham keeps finding new and deeply satisfying ways to twist it, tatter it and constantly break expectations. And the premise is this: all of our collective cultural Fables are real, across countless dimensions and worlds. And they've been driven from those worlds by a nameless, faceless bogeyman called The Adversary. Now Snow White, and the Big Bad Wolf, and Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the rest live in a quiet, ageless block of New York City where they try to stay hidden from our mundane ('mundy') world.

I'll admit it, this series started slow for me. Volume 1 "Legends in Exile" probably suffered from the same malady that befalls any origin story. A lot of the energy is expelled on just setting up the premise. But there's still enough thrill left in there for a pretty good whodunit, with Bigby ("The Big Bad") Wolf nicely wrapping up all the loose threads by the end. But you've really got to give the whole series a chance. With each successive issue (I've been buying 'em by the trade paperback) this world just gets better and better.

Around the time that Jack o'the Tales and Bigby Wolf blackmail a nosey reporter by staging some ... um, compromising photos of him with the eternally-young "real boy" Pinocchio, I knew this series was going someplace twisted and great. I'm only up to trade #5 right now (I'm trying to dole them out sparingly, cause once I'm all read up, the wait between releases will kill me) but it's been the best of the lot for me. I really admire the way that Willingham has been willing to take risks with his characters: some die; others disappear or move on; still others come to the fore, and grab the spotlight in ways that I wouldn't have imagined when the series began. Willingham even manages to craft something rare in comics today: a really sweet romance that's done just right between Snow White and Bigby Wolf. I can't wait to see how it all turns out, but my suspicion is that it won't be happily ever after.

These hReviews brought to you by the hReview Creator.

January 19, 2007


A couple years back, I blogged about the incident that inspired the well-covered blues song 'Stagger Lee.' And now you can hear Samuel L. Jackson's take, Stackolee (scroll down for it.)

October 18, 2007

What Light*

Wilco at Wexner Center 10/16/07, Photo by Kim Rottmayer.

Them's got ears let them hear
Them's got eyes let them see ~ Airline to Heaven

A night later, this show is still playing in my head. LeeAnn and I left the butterbean with his grandparents last night and took in Wilco (w/Andrew Bird) at the Wexner show at Mershon Auditorium. It was a great show. Even by Wilco standards.

We'd seen pretty much the same lineup on their last go-round through Columbus (also at Mershon) but in the intervening year or two, they've really gelled: the discussion over at Donewaiting is full of 'Nels Cline is God'-type arguments and—I gotta say—you'll get no argument from me. What a lush, layered texture his frequent fills provide. And Glenn Kotche? Wow. Just... wow. That guy can't phone nuthin in. From the El-train clatter of Via Chicago to the simplest beats off of A.M (Too Far Apart was particularly fine.)

Aw hell... the whole damn band is just spot-on. Believe it when the Aquarium Drunkard calls them "one of the tightest acts working today (at arguably the peak of their live powers.)"

The first treat of the night, for me? Tweedy was, literally, wearing his heart on his sleeve when he took the stage in a cardinals-n-roses Nudie Suit. It doesn't make me particularly clever to note the Gram Parsons association, but I'll do it anyway. Whatever—it made me smile, and combined with Jeff's shaggy caveman look it was awesome.

If you were at the show, yes, we all saw Nels take a stumbling, bumbling tripping fall right as the band took the stage. If you were my observant wife, as he lay there head over heels, you got a good, laughing look at his black-and-white striped "Hamburglar Socks" as she called them.

Also wonderful: Andrew Bird played violin with the band for one song, which gave them the excuse to play Jesus, Etc. in its original, album arrangement. I've seen 'em do that song... 6 times at least, and always to a faux-disco, keyboardy beat. Was really nice to finally get to hear "the real version" live. (Bird's opening set was nice—I wasn't moved to tears like Gus but only because of my post-LASIK dry eyes.)

To be honest, I've been semi-luke-warm on the new album (it's growing on me) but I know from past experience that the real love always comes after seeing the show. And, sure enough, I walked away with a new appreciation for a couple numbers: "Side With the Seeds" was a revelation ~ Tweedy's vocals really.. um... swaggered, if that's even close to the right word. And "Hate it Here" is such a great song. Sunny at first, ends on a down-note. Just like I like 'em.

Speaking of down-notes: Tweedy's extended guitar wankery on Spiders (Kidsmoke.) Yes, I have a long history of complaining about Tweedy's soloing. And he has a longer history of earning my complaints. Nuff said about that.

* Contrary to this entry title, the band (sadly) did not play what is probably my favorite song off of Sky Blue Sky. And if you're curious, I chose that title, and the accompanying picture, because this is pretty close to how I visually experienced the show: thru a haze of blurry-vision. Which wasn't that bad, cause the sound more than compensated.

About Music

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Soldier Ant in the Music category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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