March 27, 2006

Monday Music Roundup


So this is totally the week I qualify for Jeopardy in a shimmering haze of glory. Well, I mean, I’m gonna try with this online screening on Wednesday. Can’t promise anything, but I do routinely impress the figurative pants off anyone watching it with me. Just ask my sister; it borders on abnormal. It’s like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (“What are the Finger Lakes?”) – I love that movie. Now I’ve gone and set myself up, haven’t I?

Okay…on with the music!

The Rakes
This song is from The Rakes‘ first EP released state-side back in October, and also on their Capture/Release full-length album. I hear that they rocked SXSW, and are getting a lot of buzz for their (albeit becoming familiar) jittery Brit-pop sound. Nothing revolutionary, but quite fun. One gal who saw them in Austin said, “Equal parts updated Blur-pop and JCrew’s autumn pullover collection, these savvy Brit rockers got the floor moving with their exuberant performances, and frontman Alan Donohoe has the best angular, nerdy dance moves since Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club.”

My Doorbell
(White Stripes cover)
KT Tunstall
Scottish folk chanteuse/rootsy rocker KT Tunstall takes on Jack & Meg with really good results. Her thumping acoustic handclap-type guitar rock sound lends itself well to the bluesy groove of this track.

Cold On Me
I have been meaning to write about these chaps for months now, ever since their self-titled debut album was the unofficial soundtrack of my summer. Now, I find it hard to wrap my mind around this, but half of this duo is actually Balthazar Getty (actor, currently playing reticent, mysterious new special agent on ALIAS). Whoa. Celebrity side-project or no, I like the clean sound and the melding of the electronica beats with an appealing guitar sound – the whole debut album is eminently fresh & listenable. Their sound may remind you of the band Phoenix, and the vocals remind me a bit of E from Eels. I did hear their excellent song “Struggle” in a car commercial, but let’s ignore that. Get the album.

It’s Just A Thought
Creedence Clearwater Revival
I found this lesser-known Creedence track on someone’s celebrity playlist on iTunes and it’s quickly become one of my favorites. It’s honest and takes the classic Creedence sound to a bit slower, poppier level. I remember laughing when I first found it because whoever’s playlist it was on (memory failing) said “This is more ‘emo’ than anything out there today.” Ha. Fogerty as emo. It is a great song that I have listened to a hundred times since last year – it was part of my “May” playlist and it just evokes springtime for me. There’s just something deeply good about CCR. From their 1986 album Chronicle Vol. 2.

Storm-Broken Tree
The White Birch
One of my lovely Italian readers, Fabio, sent me a bunch of good music, and said that this track by Norwegian trio White Birch reminded him of falling snow. The first thing I thought of when I listened to this hypnotic & relaxing piece was that it also reminded me of Sigur Ros, and a little of Radiohead. The restrained ambient disc Come Up For Air is their fifth release, and if you like it they have three other mp3s for free download on their website.

MOODY MONDAY BONUS (you are starting to expect these, aren’t you?!) – great Elliott Smith video (“Say Yes“) from what sadly was his last concert ever. Such a pretty song; he seems so introspective and inaccessible while he is singing it. Affecting. Thanks pal Chad!


  • Hello! Just wanted to say that I like your blog, and also, thanks for the KT download. And, I really like the Ringside cd, but I’m always going to be partial to “Struggle” because it’s thumping and fun. I also got the chance to meet Brandi Carlile this weekend (when she opened for Jamie Cullum) and she was nice. I can see why you like her. I’m not a big fan of her twang necessarily, but her voice is strong. Take care.

    Honey — March 27, 2006 @ 11:57 am

  • Oh make sure you take anal bum cover for $200 :)

    Mike — March 27, 2006 @ 2:21 pm

  • heather…
    so you’re a smarty pants huh? good luck on the screening… LOVE groundhog day.. i had a thing for andie mcdowell once… And the trivia quote i remember is a Seinfeld episode, george costanza when he gave up sex and became smarter, watching jeopardy..”what is boron?”

    funny stuff.

    Anonymous — March 27, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

  • You’re finally auditioning for Jeopardy, huh? Just you and cousin Sally and we’ll be rich. You DO seem to always know the answers to obscure questions and you routinely PISS me off when we watch it together because you always answer first and so even if I KNEW the answer, I don’t get a chance to shout it out. So you look smarter. :P

    Kristy — March 27, 2006 @ 2:49 pm

  • brillaint as usually heather :) you’ve become one of my 3 most favourite blogs!

    grabbed the KT cover and might check out some of the others


    supergurg — March 27, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

  • Phil: “When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter”.

    The last three posts were really awesome!!!… and thank you very much for the UNCUT Springsteen covers CD.

    Take care of you

    mario — March 27, 2006 @ 6:16 pm

  • Wow, thanks for introducing me to Ringside, I love this cd.

    John — March 27, 2006 @ 7:51 pm

  • that white stripes cover sucks

    Anonymous — March 29, 2006 @ 1:05 pm

  • wow, good luck at the screening :)

    Anonymous — March 29, 2006 @ 4:16 pm


    Anonymous — April 1, 2006 @ 11:40 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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