Happy Monday. After taking one Monday off from the weekly Fuel music roundup, I am back in full effect. Unh.
As usual, some varied tracks for your enjoyment and for expanding your ears (I hope). Let me know what you think.
“Somebody Ease My Troublin’ Mind”
Les Paul (w/ Eric Clapton & Sam Cooke)
Les Paul is best known for creating the first solid-body electric guitar for Gibson. Les Paul is a demigod, and is now almost 90 years old. This track is from his first new recording in 27 years. American Made, World Playedwas released August 2005 and is more or less a celebration of the electric guitar sound. This cut pairs Les Paul with Eric Clapton on guitars, and Sam Cooke on vocals. Although Cooke died in 1967, they’ve revived some old vocal tracks of his, stripped out the backing instrumentation, and laid down new material here. Sam Cooke always makes me want to slow dance barefoot in the kitchen.
“Grey Away” (right click, save target as)
Songs:Illinois describes David Schulz as an artist who “pairs some of Jeff Buckley’s vocal range with a bit of Nick Drake fingerpicking melancholy.” This description instantly intrigued me and I was pleased to listen to this track off of his eponymous 2005 album on Triple Stamp Records. For some reason the lyric “You were music personified when everyone else was just sound” makes my heart ache.
“I Want You Back (Z-Trip Remix)”
I absolutely love this remix because it simplifies out all the glitter and noise and starts just with a lovely guitar part and then, one by one, introduces all the funky elements, the bass, the drums, then the vocals. Deconstructed and fabulous. I think it is even better than the original, which is pretty dang good. From the 2005 collection Motown Remixed.
“Since U Been Gone/Maps”
Okay, so I got a few readers disgruntled for mildly ripping on Kelly Clarkson in my New Year’s resolution post. So I thought I’d appease the masses by with something that maybe we can agree on. Here is a somewhat snarky, possibly heartfelt cover of her big hit by Mr. Ted Leo, courtesy of Underground Online. Leo even throws in a little bit of “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. As one Stereogum reader put it, this cover is slightly guiltilicious.
“Love Is Stronger Than Witchcraft”
So, after having a conversation about Guided by Voices this a few weeks ago, I come home to read about the new forthcoming solo effort from Robert Pollard, releasing this month from Merge Records. From A Compound Eye is due out January 24, and in true Pollard/GBV style (why release 12 songs when you can release 26?) it is a double disc. This track is a nice jangly piece with an echo-back (not to be confused with hollaback) chorus that is quite catchy. The new album has been called “smart, accessible, and experimental,” and also “luminous.” Pollard is also doing a solo tour in 2006. Details can be found on his website.
BONUS NEWS BIT – Ryan Adams in Newsweek: Look, he’s all grown up with Depression-era quilts and tapestry rugs. Article contains the excellent quote from Ryan, in talking about why he released 3 albums in 2005: “I love [records], and that’s why I like to make them so much. I mean, I really, really, really love music. I love playing it. I love listening to it, and it feels good to be included in that process, having that be my gig, too.” Amen, brother.
Adams on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco with Phil Lesh (surprise!)