June 19, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

We went to the coolest Italian-themed outdoor festival in Denver yesterday afternoon – La Piazza dell’Arte. Chalk drawings on the sidewalk & some authentic gelato in Larimer Square; it doesn’t get much better than that.

The artwork ranged from original compositions to copies of some gorgeous masterpieces such as Bouguereau and Jacques Louis David, reproduced large-scale.

The tagline was “Just like the Sistine Chapel, only upside down.” I was in heaven.

(Note about the songs: 4 out of the 5 this week are YouSendIt, EZArchive is down again today. I’ll fix it when I can, been trying all morning.) 10:57pm – FIXED!

Magic Blues
The Ronelles
One might think (as I did) that this is an all-girl R&B doo-wop band, judging from the name. But then you’d be wrong. This is swaggering, pleasing garage rock with a heavy dose of retro sound from up-and-coming Glaswegian quartet The Ronelles. “Magic Blues” is the opening track, a fantastic loose bluesy number that makes me think of early Stones or a playful outtake from Oasis. The recently-released debut album Motel (on Neon Tetra Records) is excellent, full of rough guitar riffs & crunchy harmonies with an edge that pays homage to ole’ school folks like Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry. The Ronelles are slowly building a passionate fanbase with opening slots for bands such as Kings of Leon and The Zutons. If I were in a band, this is the kind of music I think I would find most cathartic to make. Buy this CD – 36 minutes of furious goodness.

Powers
Blackalicious
Yep, seriously. This track makes me jump up and dance in my stripey socks like nobody’s business. The ultimate summer party song, droning deep lead vocals, a sick backbeat, teasing electric guitar licks, and a gospel-y chorus. Uh huh. Shake it. This song ROCKS. Oh, and even better — it was FREE for a short time from eMusic, on the Anti Records sampler. Originally from Blackalicious’ 2005 album The Craft.

String of Blinking Lights
Paper Moon
I think I found this Paper Moon song over on Chromewaves, and clicked to download because of the description which likened this Canadian band to Ivy or The Cardigans, but with a “denser, meatier sound and lyricism and without the Euro angle.” Sounds good to me. Pleasing pop from their new album Broken Hearts Break Faster Every Day (on Endearing Records). Sample some of their other sounds on eMusic on the Intercontinental Pop Exchange No. 2 album.

Got To Have It
Soul President
Way back in the beginnings of this blog, I linked up to the Salon Magazine Audiofile page. It definitely pays to check here regularly, as they have a whole string of great, free mp3s from a wide range of styles (this week it’s Juana Molina, The Stills, recent songs include Sonic Youth, Ray Davies, and Ane Brun). A few days ago they posted this old-school gem, and it’s been rockin’ through my earbuds all weekend — echoey vocals, rat-a-tat opening and some good “unh” and “hah” business all throughout. This is from the newest compilation in the Eccentric Soul series (from Numero Group): The Big Mack Label, which is a fascinating resurrection of some obscure Detroit soul & doo-wop that slipped through the cracks.

When The Night Turns Cold
Tobias Fröberg
More Swedes, please. I swear, they are infiltrating! This is a quirky song, yes, from (UK label Poptones‘ newest signee) Tobias Fröberg. Starts out with fascinating bongo percussion line and sports a sort-of odd singalong chorus, but it’s clean and bright and I like it. From Somewhere In The City, coming late this August (on Cheap Lullaby Records in the US, Poptones in the UK).

Oh, and my computer’s hard drive got filled this weekend. Yikes. Didn’t see that one coming. I have to do some serious spring cleaning in order to keep you livin’ in the freewheeling new-music lifestyle to which you have become accustomed from me & this blog.

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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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