October 26, 2008

Dust Me Off

Hello, and welcome to another installment of Do What I Tell You To Do At Whatever Point I Both Remember and Have Time to Do So. This week features a song by Tilly and the Wall, a band which I immediately became desperate to see live when I discovered that their percussionist is a tap dancer. Of course it also helps that I love their music -- catchy, happy, off-kilter. Unfortunately their next show is in Belfast. Anyway, here's a characteristically chipper number called "Dust Me Off".

Posted by Francis at 09:06 PM | Comments (1)

October 17, 2008

Odd Equilibrium

This week, Do What I Tell You To Do features a song from an online impulse purchase I made a while back. I'm on the mailing list of Not Lame, a record label that loves power pop. A lot of their stuff is a little generic as that genre goes, but they also have some brilliant stuff that's otherwise impossible to find. They did an amazing box set of Posies rarities, and every once in a while they dig up some obscure out-of-print nugget and reissue it. That's what they did in 1997 with the self-titled 1979 album by The Toms -- which wasn't really a band, just a guy named Tom Marolda who played all the instruments -- putting it on CD for the first time with seven bonus tracks. Luckily, I didn't buy it in 1997. After the 1997 version went out of print and became a slight collector's item, they put it out again in 2005 with a whole extra disc of 12 songs recorded by Tom Marolda over the many years since the album came out. My favorite of the set is one of the songs from the bonus disc; it has a symphony-of-samples sound that reminds me of Soul Coughing, except with proper singing. It's called "Odd Equilibrium" (as the savvy reader will have determined from the blog post title above), posted for your enjoyment for one week as usual. Thank you for your attention to my whims.

Posted by Francis at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2008

The Tie Project, days 249-257

I didn't even come close to catching up with the backlog of the Tie Project before my presentation this coming Tuesday at Adult Education (you'll be there, right?), but I do have some more photos for you, albeit with the comments not read aloud in my mellifluous radio-ready voice as they will be for Adult Ed attendees.

Day 249. Autumn (when this was taken) means corduroy, which in this case means pink and blue.


Day 250. An experimental combo that didn't really work, as a first attempt to find a tie for this shirt (which I had bought well before it was cool enough outside to wear it). Too much green in the tie for the utter lack of it in the shirt. This one won't be going in the Taschen coffee table book version of the Tie Project, believe you me.


Day 251. Beige with a little black on top of black with a little beige.


I actually wore that outfit with a sweater, but it was a crew neck, so you could barely see the shirt if I photographed the combo with the sweater on. Here's the full outfit.


Day 252. Not bad, but not great. I just felt bad for this tie, it doesn't get out much.


Day 253. And here's both a shirt and a tie I don't wear very often. The tie is a bit "business paisley" and the shirt isn't actually all that aesthetically appealing to me, but you know, I can't get rid of even halfway-decent shirts because what if I buy a tie that needs that shirt, and I got rid of it? I need Carrie Bradshaw's closet.


Day 253 1/2. A rare non-tie-wearing day.


Day 254. Now here's a good combo. Pretty sure this is a handmade tie; it has a weird, too-flat-and-thin feel to it. But I like the colors.


Day 255. Another good one. Yay, another tie for this shirt. It's sort of cool how different the color scheme of this shirt is from the other shirt I like with this tie.


Day 256. Very pleased with this one too. Seems like I got my act back together after a few so-so days. Have worn both of these before but this was their first time together.


Day 257. Kind of reminds me of Day 201 with less purple. This is the combination that makes me want to borrow one of Lorinne's skirts.


Next time: I help someone get something off his chest.

Posted by Francis at 03:20 PM in Ties | Comments (2)

October 11, 2008

Vanishing points

A cool little juxtaposition I spotted in Flickr's "Everyone's Uploads" area just now:


Posted by Francis at 08:01 PM | Comments (1)

The Jungle Line

Sorry to be running late on telling you what to do; has been a busy week. Last night and this morning I ripped a bunch of CDs for Soren, a friend-of-a-blog-friend who, at age 44, had a stroke and is currently in the hospital in Park Slope. He's a music nut like myself, and while he hasn't regained the ability to speak (he can understand what people say to him, though), he's been enjoying listening to music. But they've been giving him lots of mainstream stuff to listen to -- Simon & Garfunkel and that sort of thing -- and while there's nothing wrong with Simon & Garfunkel, his tastes are much more wide-ranging. Rose saw his list of his top 99 albums and saw many she recognized from my collection (including some true obscurities, like Peter Blegvad's "King Strut") and thought, well, I bet Francis can help him out with getting some listening material that's more to his liking. It wasn't hard to put myself in his place and imagine his frustration, so I made him two MP3 CDs with albums from his list and a few other things I already had on my hard drive that were in the same vein. Anyway, I thought I'd put up a song from one of the CDs I ripped for him.

Since we had a Joni Mitchell cover as a bonus track last week, I thought a proper Joni Mitchell song was a good choice this week. This is from one of my favorites of her albums, "The Hissing of Summer Lawns", when her writing really started to leave folk music behind to become experimental jazz-pop. This song incorporates a field recording of drummers from Burundi, long before David Byrne and Paul Simon went global in the service of songwriting. Check it on out people, it's "The Jungle Line". (I see I'm skating close to the edge of my download limit; let me know if it goes over and I'll re-upload elsewhere.)

Update with a further thing you can do because I tell you to: Soren (aka Scraps) is an insuranceless freelance journalist. If you'd like to donate to help cover his health care expenses, you may do so here.

Posted by Francis at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2008


I love cover songs. I love covers that take a brilliant song and put a new spin on it, I love covers that take a not-so-great song and camp it up, and I really love covers that take a song I used to like but then dismissed the band responsible for it as cheesy once I wasn't in high school anymore and slap on a new arrangement that makes me realize, no, holy shit, that actually was a good song, except now it's EVEN BETTER.

And maybe someday there will be a second example of that last type of cover song. But for now, that slot is held solely by Jason Falkner's cover of Def Leppard's "Photograph" (previously mentioned but for some stupid reason not made available for download here). And now is your opportunity to Do What I Tell You To Do and download it.

Perhaps, however, you would like an example of the first sort of cover song. Fortunately, Jason Falkner, power pop purveyor extraordinaire, can help you with that. Since D.W.I.T.Y.T.D. Friday is strictly a one-song-per-week project, downloading this song is entirely voluntary and in no way forced upon you by my considerable powers of suggestion, peer pressure, persuasion, and/or generally being someone who is usually right and who you should obey. That being said, reader and other reader, I now make available to you Mr. Falkner's tremendous cover of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now", a song so perfectly suited to my running pace that if I played it for four hours straight, I could probably complete a marathon. Or hallucinate that I had, after collapsing at about the eight-mile mark.

If you'd like to buy the album these songs are from, be prepared to cough up big time, because at some point Jason Falkner became the kind of cult artist whose albums are only released in Japan (and that one's not even in print anymore). This is, of course, totally bogus. The dude deserves to be all over the radio. On the bright side (for you), the two albums he recorded for Elektra in the '90s are dirt cheap if you buy them used.

Posted by Francis at 11:56 PM | Comments (6)