November 6, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

Will Ferrell never fails to make me laugh, and there is nary a sketch I love him better in than the flabby-belly-baring, hip-shaking, oft-quoted “more cowbell” sketch. The folks over at Geek Speak Weekly have now started The Cowbell Project, where you can look up all the songs that utilize that sublime bit of percussionary goodness. After all, as they say, “these are the songs that took this dark, clanging demon and pounded the essence of rock into your veins and left imprints of the dark master in your subconscious.” Right.

They also name Christopher Walken the Patron Saint of Cowbell, and perhaps most importantly have the audio from the sketch downloadable as an mp3. Now that’s service.

On a slightly more credible musical note, here’s this week’s batch:

Nothing But The Wheel
(with Mick Jagger)

Peter Wolf
Warm and lovely backporch slide-guitar duet from former J. Geils Band frontman Peter Wolf with Mick Jagger, off Wolf’s 2002 solo album Sleepless (Artemis Records). I love this tune. The album also features Keith Richards, and is a bluesy, rootsy affair laced with harmonica and a visual of a dusty road stretching out before you.

You Could Have Both
The Long Blondes
Yes, you could have both: Both Blondie and Pulp in one sleek song. The UK hipsters are all abuzz about this Sheffield five-piece (which is neither long nor particularly blonde), recent recipients of the NME Philip Hall Radar Award (previously won by Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs). I have to admit, the opening 30 seconds of this have an addictive drumbeat, and that little “aaaa–aaaaa” vocal trill is straight up Debbie Harry. Interesting, alternating with a little over-the-top. But take a listen. Their debut album Someone To Drive Me Home is available for pre-order in the US.

Island Life
Ethan Elkind
This is a nice summery acoustic reggae-tinged song that makes me think of warmer days. Ethan Elkind is relocated from San Francisco to the land of perpetual sunshine in Santa Monica, California. This is from his 2006 CD Tales From California, and it makes the perfect soundtrack for those of you who live in places where you can still have an occasional November BBQ (thx jeffro).

Fill Me Up
Shawn Colvin
You know, for some reason I always kinda thought I didn’t like Shawn Colvin, but this new CD of hers These Four Walls (and the recent concert I attended) have made the think twice. This is the lead-off track to the album — it’s rich and melodic, showcasing her distinctively beautiful voice, and I must admit that I’ve been singing it all day. It sticks in your head unlike anything I’ve heard since Sunny finally came home. The album is her first in 5 years, as well as her first on Nonesuch Records, and it is getting some solidly good/deserved reviews.

Lovesick Misery
Sanders Bohlke
Hailing from Oxford, Mississippi, Sanders Bohlke (not the guy from Perfect Strangers, that’s Balki) has a relaxed soul sound that makes me think of lazing around in a hammock, perhaps dejectedly. I find this track especially reminiscent of the things I like best about Amos Lee (whose second album finally came in the mail, and I look forward to listening to). This song is a free download from Bohlke’s self-titled album on Ampere Records. There are a few other free mp3s over at his website if you like the sound (thx Bruce).

Links note: I went ahead and signed up with MidPhase this week (thanks for the contributions, you guys rock my socks off!) and hope to be up and running with that in a few days. I am trying FileDen today in the meantime. Please holler if it doesn’t work and I’ll put something else together.

And a PS note: Happy belated birthday (yesterday) to Mr. Ryan Adams. If you care to celebrate with me, you can check out the two killer Ryan & The Cardinals live sets from a few weeks ago that rbally has posted up as part of his alleged swansong (say it ain’t so) from the world of blogging: Part One & Part Two. And those in New York may pay special attention to the tix going on sale this Friday at noon for Ryan’s December shows at Town Hall.

[photo credit Bob Gruen]


  • I would have to say Cinammon Road is the best song on “These Four Walls” but with no cowbell…now a distant second.

    How was the concert? Did you go to see Brandi or Shawn?

    Bec — November 6, 2006 @ 4:11 pm

  • you didn’t happen to see my post about how i loath will f? just wondering

    Ledbelly — November 6, 2006 @ 9:14 pm

  • to be random: do you have the new ryan adams song on his site, the one that loads during the open.

    Ledbelly — November 7, 2006 @ 1:23 am

  • hope i’m not raning here, or talking to myself, but any where heather, sorry if i’m bugging you. here is the new ryan adams song streaming on his website, i ripped it myself


    Ledbelly — November 7, 2006 @ 3:40 am

  • the SNL MP3 is gone, oh well

    jim — November 7, 2006 @ 5:08 am

  • My favorite cowbell song is “Bad Reputation” by the dB’s.

    Love the cowbell skit and all, but I’d like to try to put a stop to “MORE COWBELL!” becoming the new “FREEBIRD!” at concerts. I’ve only heard it once so far, but I fear for its spread.

    JohnnyHank — November 7, 2006 @ 8:32 am

  • Oh, it’s said plenty.

    Dainon — November 7, 2006 @ 9:22 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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