August 28, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

Well I am glad everyone is enjoying my Sub Pop Singles Club collection. I had more fun compiling it than any other post I can recall, so I share in your joy. One of you commented “What a tremendous act of public service” and (ha!) that is kind of exactly what I was aiming for. It’s almost like getting to create a living musical museum exhibit, isn’t it? That’s part of why this is such a cool forum.

Moving on from all that goodness of the ’90s to a few new sounds from more recent times which I think you’ll dig:

When I Laugh
The Glands
I greatly enjoy our local college radio station here (KEPC), and one of my favorite “games” to play is trying to figure out the artists responsible for the songs they play. Their playlist is so varied that they often throw in things that I haven’t heard, like this song. When I listened to it in my car, I was like, “Is this Westerberg? Or Jesse Malin?” Kind of has that same rockin’ warbly quality to it. I like it a lot. It’s actually The Glands, a little five-piece out of Athens, Georgia, and this is from their favorably reviewed self-titled 2000 album, out on Velocette Records.

O Dear
The Honey Brothers
This is the side project of the really ridiculously good-looking Adrian Grenier, of the wickedly addictive HBO series Entourage (he drums here under the alias “Fluffer Honey”). The Honey Brothers are self-described as being a “New York based country-glamrock-ukulele band.” They are being featured here because
a) the song is lovely and has a nice banjo/electronica/piano thing going with a chorus that seriously channels some of the Jack Johnson that I can stand, and
b) you must hear the description of their band from their website:

The Honey Brothers formed about one dog year ago at ukulele fantasy camp in Requiem, Mass. They learned to harmonize by listening attentatively to the usual: Bill Munroe, gospel, early Wings recordings. They experimented lots: e.g. mastered the art of fa-so-la singing, advanced human beatbox technique in ways that have gone underappreciated to this day.” Sounds good to me. This version is off their Winter Tour EP, and a live version is available on their eclectic 2006 CD Songs For Your Sister. (thx Clea!)

Sympathize
Amos Lee
The self-titled debut album from Amos Lee was easily one of my top musical finds last year (check out “Colors,” “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight,” and especially “Seen It All Before”). His tenor voice just slices right through me, penetrating to my core. It’s sweet and sad, lovely and literate all at once. His highly anticipated sophomore album Supply and Demand is due out October 3 on the superb Blue Note label. This is my favorite track out of the handful I’ve heard so far, with a warm soul feel and gospel undertones. His new album reflects the richness of his life on the road of the last two years, as he’s travelled relentlessly in support of his music. With the new disc, I am looking forward to hearing his “Night Train,” a rhythmic lonesome tune that I once heard him do live in concert, with lyrics that channel Johnny Cash: “I been workin’ on the night train, drinkin’ coffee, takin’ cocaine. . .” An interesting departure from his other work; the overall feel of that song is the perfect embodiment of riding on a train through the darkness.

Top Of The World
Patty Griffin
This song from from Boston-based songwriter Patty Griffin is not new, but it is one I was discussing this week and needs to be listened to intently if you haven’t heard it before. My first introduction to this — one of the saddest songs ever recorded — was the cover done by the Dixie Chicks on their 2001 Home album. It is an example of fine storytelling through songwriting; saturated with broken dreams, unfulfilled promises, and these images that just make you ache in the way that the best lyricists can do. The line, “I pretend to be sleeping when you come in in the morning, to whisper goodbye, go to work in the rain. I don’t know why, don’t know why. . . ” emanates a quiet sadness that is almost tangible. Now perhaps you don’t want to walk around on a lovely Monday morning feeling sad, but you can save this for a time when you can handle that and want to appreciate a truly excellent songwriter. This is from her 2004 album Impossible Dream.

No Backbone
The Lemonheads
I know this has been posted on a few other biggie sites, but I couldn’t resist also adding it here because I like it very very much. There is something inherently good and enjoyable in Evan Dando’s golden voice. This is a cover of a Smudge song from their album Mo Poontang (seriously) and it fits Dando like a glove. Lovely, rocking, cannot wait for the new “Lemonheads” disc (out 9/26 on Vagrant). It’s been too long.

15 Comments »

  • I’m surprised that you still listen to KEPC regularly. I gave up on it about six months ago, as even it seemed to be too repetitive to my variety-needing mind. I largely listen to KRCC when at work now. They’ve got mad vari-e-tey.

    JJ Courtright — August 28, 2006 @ 11:26 am

  • Patty Griffin has written some of the saddest, most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. She’s great live, too.

    Kelli — August 28, 2006 @ 1:39 pm

  • Kelli’s right..Patty is simply amazing live. Great write-ups Heather!

    Natsthename — August 28, 2006 @ 1:44 pm

  • Love the Sumdge reference. They are soooooooo good.

    Eric — August 28, 2006 @ 7:44 pm

  • The new Lemonheads cd is Evan and the band ALL.
    All is one of my all-time favorites….

    SINEDDIE — August 28, 2006 @ 8:36 pm

  • There’s a live video of Amos Lee “Nigh Train” if you want it I’ll send you the link for it.

    Trini — August 28, 2006 @ 8:50 pm

  • Man, (head bowed)
    I feel so insugniffigEnt (sp) based on everyone else.

    “We got Mountains
    We got beaches…”

    I effin dig this guy.

    So glad he cleaned up.
    BTW Heather—another LARGO-ITE

    “We walk the line…”

    mickeyitaliano — August 28, 2006 @ 9:48 pm

  • Glad you posted about Patty. She’s amazing. I actually got into her after hearing Martina McBride cover of Goodbye. Funnily, Patty’s is more country but just as desperate. Top of the World takes the cake when it comes to heartache though. She did a version of Austin City Limits with Emmylou and Dave Matthews there and that got her the record deal on Dave’s ATO label. The hardest for me to listen to though are Sweet Lorraine and Poor Man’s House on Living With Ghosts her debut. Check ‘em out…

    Matthias — August 29, 2006 @ 8:04 am

  • Thanks for the Amos Lee. His CD is amazing, and I can’t wait for the new one. Thanks again for such wonderful music.

    Aggressively Stupid — August 29, 2006 @ 8:13 am

  • http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=695346617

    …btw I’m so hooked on Patti right now. I went out and got all her albums. She’s amazing.

    Trini — August 29, 2006 @ 9:51 am

  • http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=amos+lee&hl=en

    The entire Hotel Cafe Show, it’s kinda dark but you can here the music.

    Trini — August 29, 2006 @ 10:07 am

  • Austin. Austin, Austin, Austin. Patty Griffin’s based in Austin.

    Michael A. — September 1, 2006 @ 7:45 pm

  • She must be living in Austin now, but several articles I read said that she is originally from Boston. Allmusic.com says “Patty Griffin is one of the most promising singer-songwriters to come out of the Boston/Cambridge folk music scene in the past few years.”

    ????

    heather — September 1, 2006 @ 9:26 pm

  • Just purchased the Amos Lee CD…AMAZING. Night Train is one of my favorites so is Carless, actually there really isn’t one track that i don’t love. But then again Amos Lee is the best! Thanks for honoring his new cd.

    pinkchic — October 3, 2006 @ 7:17 pm

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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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