April 3, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

So I greet the week with my first black eye.
Oh yeah, it’s hot. How did I get it?

a) huge bar-room brawl
b) “fell down the stairs”
c) the first rule of fight club is that you do not talk about fight club
d) head-butted by the huge cranium of a two-year-old

Hmmm. Let’s ponder that.

Some songs for your musical consumption this week. As always, thoughts, objections, accolades, and any other feedback are welcomed in the comments section:

Sacred Heart
Deadstring Brothers
Okay, I am in love with this song, which is not about Catholic churches nor prep schools, although the title sounds like it. It’s sloppy, driving, rollicking rock ‘n’ roll. I read about Deadstring Brothers in the slew of SXSW concert reviews and the description of these Detriot fellas compared them to “Exile-era Rolling Stones,” which is an obvious and apt comparison and soon as you hear the swaggering opening riff of this song & the rough harmonizing vocals. Their whole album Starving Winter Report is available on eMusic; I picked it up and very much enjoy the Americana vibe.

Turning Japanese
The Blank Pages
Aahhh, the ’80s. My sister would live in the ’80s if she could, while they still kind of give me the shivers. Speaking as a child of the ’70s (by 4 months, but whatever), they were waaaay better. I mean, compare Dazed & Confused to something like Pretty in Pink and then you tell me which seems more fun. All that aside, American Laundromat Records has released a CD (High School Reunion) with all the music that you guiltily remember from those ’80s movies, redone by different artists. Folks like Kirsten Hersh, Matthew Sweet, Frank Black and The Blank Pages (South Jersey’s power pop kings) all lend a hand. Side note: what the heck is this song all about, and do you Japanese folks mind? Still catchy as all get out and makes me want to dance like that kid in Can’t Buy Me Love. Yeah, you know the one.

Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love?
The Zutons
Thanks to the amigos at iGIF for posting this new one, which I am liking. The Zutons are out of Liverpool and have a catchy, rhythmic sound (which they call “blues grass rootsy stompy”). I listened to “Hello Conscience” all last summer on an NME mix I found somewhere, off their 2004 hit release Who Killed The Zutons?. These younguns cut their touring chops opening for the likes of U2, Oasis and REM. I like their saxophone usage in their music which hints at the skankin’ ska bands of the ’80s and early ’90s. That and handclappy beats. You can’t go wrong. Oh, and you can watch the fun video for this song on their MySpace page.

Soldier of Love
(Lay Down Your Arms)

Pearl Jam
Covering the Beatles/Arthur Alexander

I have had Pearl Jam on the mind lately, what with the new album and all, but moreso because I am wondering when the HECK I am going to get my Christmas fanclub single in the mail. Any other Ten Club members out there who can tell me whether I am abnormally late in receiving my copy? I know they are always late in sending it out, but I’d like to point out that it is now April. Thank you. This poppy gem was the b-side to the Last Kiss smash hit cover, as well as being on the 1998 Fan Club single. Cha cha cha indeed. This one always makes me smile.

Down Home Girl
Nic Armstrong & The Thieves
Speaking of the Beatles in passing, here’s another band whose performance at SXSW that I recently read about with this description: “More like John Lennon’s ugly stepbrother, and all the rough-edged rock that he brought to [the Beatles].” Nic Armstrong and his mates (who hail from Nottingham) will hereby be known as the IV Thieves, if you want to look for their future releases. This Alvin Robinson cover is off their messy, vintage, rocking, confident 2005 release Greatest White Liar (also on eMusic). It has great lines like “every time you mooooove like that I gotta go to Sunday class,” and borrows the stick-in-your-head riff from Donovan’s Sunshine Superman. The album also has some other great tracks like the rough-and-tumble “Broken Mouth Blues,” the pleasant ’60s pop harmonies of “Too Long for Her” and the rockabilly “I Want To Be Your Driver” (Chuck Berry cover). Their music is nothing new, in fact it sounds like something your (very cool) parents would have listened to 40 years ago. But it is good stuff.

Wow, so looking that over it is a really retro-rocking lineup this week, but that’s what I am listening to. I’m off to roll my hair into a bouffant, dance the twist, and maybe take my sweet Mustang out for a spin, apparently. Or maybe do something a little less clean-cut, and more rocking (I just can’t think what. Nice girls in the ’60s didn’t rock out on a white vintage Strat, as far as I know).


  • i hate to bring this up in mixed company, but i always heard ‘Turning Japanese’ was referencing masturbation. To explain, you’ll have to imagine some furious squinting on the part of the song’s narrator…

    Good post.

    chris — April 3, 2006 @ 12:46 pm

  • well, shucks, chris, if that’s the case. thanks for the mental image. sheesh. ;P

    heather — April 3, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

  • yeah sorry… Kinda takes the innocent touristy vibe of the song away, doesn’t it? Sometimes its best not to wonder what was really happening in the ’80s.

    chris — April 3, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

  • someone had told me that about turning japanese and i didnt believe it…until i listned back again. yeah…they were right.

    and i guess d.
    gotta watch kid domes. they’re dangerous.

    Don't Need Anything — April 3, 2006 @ 2:00 pm

  • “i want a doctor
    to take your picture
    so i can look at you
    from inside as well.”


    thanks guys. thanks a lot.

    heather — April 3, 2006 @ 6:36 pm

  • I heard April 12th on the Christmas single but that you will also get the 1992 DVD you get when you pre-order the album

    Jason — April 3, 2006 @ 10:21 pm

  • I was actually dancing TURNING JAPANESE last friday at a wedding. If I had known then what I do know now…
    By the way, I found this blog by means of a link from a link from a link from a link that was linked in My Old Kentucky or so, and I must declare myself very grateful for all those old PJ zips. Your collection seems amazing enough, but just in case let me try to quidproquoate you with this:
    And, just in case, with this:
    Best regards from Barcelona!

    mjk — April 4, 2006 @ 6:40 am

  • Did you miss the new ‘Deep’ magazine from the PJ fan club?

    Tama — April 5, 2006 @ 11:06 pm

  • I am pretty sure I received my xmas single quite awhile ago. (At least a month?)

    szg — April 6, 2006 @ 9:36 am

  • dah!!!!

    heather — April 6, 2006 @ 10:09 am

  • Turning Japanese (by the Vapors) came out in response to (or riding on the coattails of) all the frenzy that accompanied the TV mini series Shogun back in 1980.

    (Just found this site the other week, working my way though it. Really enjoying it Great stuff Heather!)

    moof — June 7, 2006 @ 8:38 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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