Got some choice nuggets for everyone this time, but since there’s been a bit of confusion about the name of this blog, let me just clarify something. This blog is not called “No Mainstream Fridays” because it’s against the music that we call “mainstream.” The title refers to the idea that the “mainstream” is a mutable construct, not a permanent, immutable feature of our culture; and as such, these sounds could (and maybe should) ALSO be mainstream.
anyhoo – check em out!
Nudes by Rites of Spring. My brother and I listened to this record “end on end” (danger: nerdy insider rites of spring reference) back in the early 80’s. Guy Piccioto’s band before Fugazi. Absolutely essential.

Gotta Have You by Weepies. This is a (borderline) guilty pleasure, but it’s really SUCH A GOOD POP SONG. I fully expect to hear this song in 30 tv commercials before the year is out, and as the title music for a major motion picture. There’s something really brilliant about the marriage of the phrasing and the melody that elevates the fairly familiar chord progressions. I love this one. I confess.
Night Riders by Mahavishnu Orchestra. wow, some 80’s synth fusion. Let’s go there. This stuff has NOT aged well, but I still like it. Kind of like U2 (oh, SNAP!) relax, everybody, I’m just kidding.
Lila’s Dance by Mahavishnu Orchestra. OK, here’s some redemption for Mahavishnu. Although this one’s also a little saccharine, it’s also total brilliance. I used to listen to this before getting on the bus to go to high school. And no, I was not smoking anything! (I was a super clean kid!) It took me a while to figure out how to play that guitar riff, which is in 5/4, or in 10/4 (good buddy), depending on your mood. strictly speaking it’s 5.
Odessa (City On The Black Sea) by Bee Gees. Believe it or not, this song was one of the central initial inspirations for the record my new band just finished. Don’t knock the early Bee Gees. Even though this record (it’s called “Odessa”) is like a thrift store that’s full of really fun junk, none of which you really want to buy; the singing is perfect, and the arrangements and general doofy scope is adorable (although Maurice’s vibrato is almost in joan baez territory…).
Naima by John Coltrane. ok, here’s one that’s just impeccable (since some of my other picks this week are all dangerously cheese-tastic). Is there a lovelier melody than this? As they say in France: “non.”
Blue Lake by Don Cherry. with a charming spoken word intro, this is a spare piece don cherry plays on a borrowed native american holy flute. You can hear the lovely purity that is at the core of don cherry’s appeal. Good stuff.
Take it So Hard by Keith Richards. We’re all thinking about Keith these days, hoping he’s ok. Here’s a recorded version of one of the songs that usually signals a trip to the loo at most stones shows. Get well soon, Keith!
Matte Kudasai by King Crimson. King Crimson fans are going to hate me for picking this softy instead of one of the great epics from court of the crimson king or red, but I think this is an under-represented one. It’s so 80’s! but adrian belew manages to transform his guitar into seagulls, and the way the melody works in the chorus is just cool.
Words of Advice by Material. William Burroughs dropping science over a Bill Laswell – curated funk groove, including a perfectly placed sample of Ornette Coleman’s “The Blessing.” I have taken these words to heart: “If, after having been exposed to someone’s presence, you feel as if you’ve lost a quart of plasma, avoid that presence. You need it like you need pernicious anemia….” SO true. [this sample contains profanity]
Ravishing Grimness by Darkthrone. This is black metal, a genre in which bands are criticized for being “not as evil as they used to be.” sweet! This is the real thing, from Norway via you know where. Part of the fun of metal is not knowing whether it’s evil for evil’s sake, or if it’s just “Fun-evil.” horns up!
Look Back and Laugh by Minor Threat. Full circle from Rites of Spring back to the source, here’s Ian Mackaye’s classic DC punk band Minor Threat. I recently ordered everything we didn’t already have from Dischord, but this is where it all began. The Dischord label has consistently put out excellent music while remaining true to principles that become more important to fight for every day. Ian went on to form Fugazi weith Guy, and now has a great new band called The Evens. [this sample contains profanity]
see you next week!


  1. Emma
    May 12, 2006 at 7:59pm
    Well, I understand the whole law/copywrite thing can be, I am writing in reguards to the fact thqat is I want hear a specific song, I've had a very difficult time doing that. So, I don't know if thereis anyway to go about changing this rule of not being able to download the exact song you want, or do you have any suggestions on how I might pinpoint a specific song. This website is awsome a nd great idea! Thank you so much!!
  2. Jeff Boldt
    May 13, 2006 at 1:12pm
    Hey this site is a fantastic idea, it has totally made my week. I'm able to sit at my job and listen all day and I've already found a lot of band's I've never heard of before. One suggestion; it must be a pretty new idea, and African dance/funk is probobly not high on the popularity list, but Fela Kuti seems to be lumped together with a bunch of Latin dance and pop bands instead of other African stuff of which I'm interested in finding more of. Thanks.
  3. kristina davidson
    May 14, 2006 at 9:41am
    hey this thing is awsome i love that i can find all the music i want . and i would like to know if u have a news letter of some thing. ok well when u get this type back signed kristina davidson "babygirlkrissy14@hoitmail.com"
  4. Ken
    May 15, 2006 at 8:33am
    Some real gems in there, for sure. I've got Coltrain on now! I guess we've all laughed at Keith Richards from time to time. I for one surely do hope he is doing well.
  5. baroque1980
    May 16, 2006 at 12:41am
    really exciting and amazing. i like this radio station very much. but if lyrics also can be seen on the pandora players, that will be perfect!
  6. Larry-bob
    May 16, 2006 at 11:33am
    Good call on the Rites of Spring, and glad you're including the Dischord catalog.

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