October 23, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

Sleepless greetings from somewhere in limbo between California leaving and Colorado arriving. True story: I am supposed to be catching a few slim hours of shut-eye before my superbly early flight in the wee hours of Monday morning, but the couple in the hotel/motel room next to me are going at it so loudly that I (and surely several neighbors in either direction up and down the hall) can’t sleep. Gotta love priceline.com motel finds for the best buck. On the bright side, I now have the gift of knowing that my neighbor is a “bad girl” as I keep hearing over and over, and that’s something special that I can cherish. Room 526 at the Pacific Inn, I’m talkin’ to you.

I’m up late and fairly glowing following a rich and fantastic afternoon spent at the Bridge School Benefit concert today, which had some fine, fine moments (and some not so fine, but that’s to be expected with a grand festival bacchanalia). Scintillating reflections on that shortly. But first, here’s a handful of new tunes that I’ve found noteworthy this week. I really wanted to post something from the new Shins album, but apparently SubPop would then be all over me like white on rice (every blogger that posted it seems to have been contacted now to take it down. Fair enough, but it is quite a fine sounding disc I will say.)

The Rat Within The Grain
Damien Rice
I cannot remember where I found this (maybe here) but it is one of my favorite Damien Rice songs to come down the pike in a long time. From his upcoming release 9 (Heffa Records, Nov 14), there is almost a nostalgic folksy sound to this tune that makes me think of riding along on a train, looking out the window. I would deem this a definite travelling song, and highly recommend it. Update: Not on the new album, but I think a b-side on the single for “9 Crimes”.

Here Comes Ruby
Daniel Hutchens
My friend Justin over at Aquarium Drunkard is currently living the blogger’s dream (well, my blogger dream, anyways) by creating his own music label, Autumn Tone, and releasing his first album from Athens, Georgia alt-roots-rocker Daniel Hutchens. I have yet to give the entire album (Lovesongs for Losers) a thorough and proper listening, but I liked this song the first time I heard it. Hutchens is well-respected in the American South, yet largely unknown outside those circles — but maybe not for much longer. This song is simultaneously playful and rootsy, a warm blend of Americana and Southern rock. Justin says, “This guy is a national treasure, and I’ll stand on Steve Earle’s coffeetable in my Jack Purcells and say just that.” I’d like to see that. Check out his site for lots more from Hutchens.

Bad Girl
Ben Taylor
This find was courtesy of Scatter O Light, which recently pointed out some free downloads of demos and unreleased Ben Taylor songs (including some interesting covers). This song’s newly penned, about how Ben needs a bad girl to help him stop dreaming of someone else. Although I picked this song out days ago, I have to chuckle a bit now. Ben, I have a suggestion for a special someone for you. Check out the new Ben Taylor EP available on iTunes called Deeper Than Gravity (October 3, Iris Records) which includes a lovely acoustic version of one of my favorite songs of his ever, “Nothing I Can Do.”

Josh Rouse & Kurt Wagner
And speaking of EPs, I have been spending some quality time lately with the forgotten 1999 Chester EP from Josh Rouse and Kurt Wagner (of Nashville rock/country/soul band Lambchop). A joint effort from two fine musicians on 5 little songs which follows-up nicely to Rouse’s debut album Dressed Up Like Nebraska, but with a slightly darker edge to them. I think it is an essential collection for the Josh Rouse fan, showing an interesting facet of his musical development.

The Only Place I Can Look Is Down
The Bishops
Twin brothers from London (paired with a Scottish drummer — collectively they average about 21 years), The Bishops are yet another buzz band from the UK (NME darlings) with a straight-up Kinks/Clash influenced sound. Their debut EP is becoming available in the States this week from California-based indie label I Am Sound Records. It’s more fun retro-goodness circa 1966. Listen to a few more from them here.

(Funny – United Airlines just called my cell, flight is rescheduled for noon. Neighbors have fallen into a seemingly exhausted slumber. So, goodnight!)


  • i love the ‘rat within a grain’ track too, but it’s actually NOT on his latest record, sadly.

    i listened to the whole thing today (you can stream it online at AOL currently) and it’s good stuff for the most part, but the addition of this song would have made it much better. :(

    Chad — October 23, 2006 @ 12:26 pm

  • Great tunes – thanks.
    “In other news”…our bog buddy Jennings over at rbally is giving up the proverbial ghost. Y’all should pop by and wish him good fortunes. Another blog bites the dust…

    Witchnose — October 23, 2006 @ 12:54 pm

  • wow, i was scared for a second there, but i was in room 525. wasn’t me.

    c — October 23, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

  • A suggestion for next time: The SFO Airport Marriott can’t be beat.

    It might be a bit more expensive, but it’s about as close to the airport as you can get.

    And the walls… solid walls.

    Pete — October 23, 2006 @ 8:59 pm

  • H

    It is quite clear to me that Ben Taylor was in the next room to you. He was driven to write a song to his ‘bad girl’ Another gift you can cherish.

    Chris J Tottington near Mcr UK

    Anonymous — October 23, 2006 @ 11:40 pm

  • i enjoyed the sun and the music at Bridge School. despite the reviews of trents acoustic attempts, i was impressed. i am sure with some more work and practice he could pull off an amazing symphonic performance. i was a little disheartend by the spotty sound engineers. overall, i had a blast the veterans of bridges past made my evening. too bad i missed ya, i would have had to introduce you to some “factory sealed” water bottles. i am sure that would have helped you sleep.

    paco — October 24, 2006 @ 12:51 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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