Crooked Tree

Crooked Tree – Darek M.

The Crooked Tree (A story)Tom Waits

Tom Waits told us, the audience at his show in late 2000 at the Orpheum in Vancouver, a story about the unpopular crooked tree in a forest full perfect, straight trees who triumphs when Bob the logger is instructed to cut all the straight trees. Waits has retold this story many times I’m sure. I’ve included a bootleg of him telling this story during the show he did in Seattle a couple days later. In essence the story celebrates the beauty of the strange. I love that which grabs your soul and says “I am fabulous” while simultaneously telling your brain “Look at me! I’m terribly odd!”. The combination is tireless. This post is a tribute to those special tracks that lighten the soul in unconventional ways, those crooked trees.

Fender BenderKid Koala

From Vancouver, Kid Koala is a favourite at The Biltmore. He had long been on the Ninja Tune record label, and unveiled the new Kid Koala website about a month ago, which is worth checking out. Fender Bender is likely his best known song, with it’s funny little scratches seemingly having a conversation amongst the city traffic and cool rhythms of Kid Koala’s unique genius. The video for Fender Bender, below, is both strange and interesting, just like the song.

Sleepy HeadPassion Pit

There is a quite a debate going on over at Wikipedia about whether or not Passion Pit is worth of ‘Band’ entry, or any entry for that matter. They are most definitely a band! A group of 5 guys from Boston that have very recently released their first album Chunk of Change on Frenchkiss Records.  Their debut track Sleepy Head hit the blogosphere with quite a bang in the early summer. Since then they have been signed to a proper label and have been getting regular airplay on Radio 1.  Sleepy Head starts with a thumping, thick beat, clapping and an extremely high pitched voice, that is almost annoying but is some how doesn’t quite reach that level. The tune is quite catchy with a unique complicated layering of odd sounds that comes together like some kind of modern symphony.

Radio The Avalanches

Since I Left You (2004)

I have long loved this track! It’s opening gets me every time. A friend busts in on another who is transfixed by a test pattern on the television. The first friend takes his deeply plagued compadre to doctor, who’s response is:

Well, there are two things to be done
First of all, we put him in the hospital
And withdraw all television
And then, we give him this… Radio

The Avalanches are sample masters! Using diverse samples in such creative ways. Their best known album, Since I Left You,  which Radio is from, reportedly used over 3,500 different vinyl samples. There is much speculation on what the Avalanches are up to these days. They’re website promises and upcoming release, but has remained unchanged since 2006, so really only time will tell.

For good measure, here’s The Avalanches video for Frontier Psychiatrist, because it’s really too delectably silly to miss!