January 1, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

I don’t know about you, but I’ve often pondered the existential question that all of us, if we’re honest, must someday answer: If you attended Bayside High, which Saved By The Bell character would you be? Finally there is a quiz to help you make that all-important determination with great questions like:

Everybody’s got a dark side. What’s yours?
a) I’ve moved a lot because my dad’s in the military, so it’s difficult for me to make friends.
b) I was addicted to caffeine pills.
c) I’m a complete nerd…how much more dark can you get?!
d) I went on a date with Screech. Eww!
e) My family isn’t very wealthy, despite what people might think.
f) I’ve been struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, depression and mild anxiety… Syke! Ha ha, I had you fooled there, didn’t I? You really believed I was that messed up! Ha ha! What a moron!

Bonus points if you can match each option with the appropriate character. It’s somewhat comforting to have such clear-cut roles in life. By the way, it tells me that I am Kelly Kapowski. I’m not really seein’ it; I think I’m more of a Screech (nerd), or maybe Slater? I’ve always so admired his fashion sense.

Happy new year and happy new music!

Sunday Morning
This one’s just fun and fresh and feels like something you should dance around to (if you, unlike me, have any feisty left in you after last night and especially -ugh- this morning). A slaptastic backbeat and repetitive lyrics that sound like they are droning at you from very far away, this is infectiously catchy. It’s got the class of an old soul deal remixed with modern hip hop beats, from Trinidad-Canadian k-os (stands for knowledge of self, pronounced like “chaos”) to help you start your year off right. From the upcoming release Atlantis: Hymns For Disco (EMI International).

Rob Crow
I was prompted to finally listen to this new song that I downloaded a few weeks ago by seeing and (magnabbit!) liking the freaking Clorox Wipes commercial that Rob Crow (of San Diego band Pinback, not to be confused with Nickelback) penned and is, sadly, only available to tug at your heartstrings and make you feel all oozy as a snippet in the ad, as you watch a dad dance around with his daughter standing on his feet (as he stops, inexplicably, to wipe the table with a Clorox wipe, which is the logical move at that time in fuzzy technicolor-memory moments with your kids). Sorry. Back to this song, it’s from Crow’s forthcoming (Jan 23) album Living Well (Temporary Residence Ltd) and it reminds me a little of early Beck in its lo-fi acoustic/electronica-hybrid goodness.

Everybody’s Talking
(written by Fred Neil, popularized by Harry Nilsson)
Dreamy (now defunct) indie ’90s band Luna put out a covers-only album this summer on Rhino Records (called Lunafied) that I just adore. You all know that I love the creative energies present in the best reinterpretations, and this album presents an always-interesting journey through songs by artists from the New York new-wave of Blondie and the Talking Heads to the Sixties goodness of Serge Gainsbourg and Donovan.

I Am A Leaver
The Damnwells
The second studio album from Brooklyn’s The Damnwells, Air Stereo (Zoe Records) made it onto the best-of 2006 lists of several friends I respect, so I decided to take it for a spin. Their sounds is warm and full, a golden pop-alt-country vibe that for me draws up memories of Gin Blossoms and the handful of Goo Goo Dolls songs that I like. It’s robust and thoroughly enjoyable, damn good.

War No More (link below)
Tommy Guerrero
San Francisco musician/ex-skateboarding legend Tommy Guerrero has a laid back, earthy sound that would be right at home on the front porch of one of the city’s lovely old houses, or perhaps a beach somewhere in the Pacific. This instrumental track has a global vibe to it with African-feeling drums and a shimmery Latin melody. Guerrero contributed to some of my favorite tracks on the Sprout surf movie soundtrack, and the aptly-named From The Soil To The Soul is an album that I could definitely see myself playing on repeat.

Trying something new, this is a free download of the song through an independent music promotor, IODA. They do all the linky work for me:

Download “War No More” (mp3)
from “From the Soil To the Soul” by Tommy Guerrero
Quannum Projects

Buy at iTunes Music Store

Buy at eMusic


  • i LOVE LOVE LOVE this new k-os record. every song on the record is this catchy and fun. i cant wait until this gets a release in the states. ill be buying it right away.

    Don't Need Anything — January 2, 2007 @ 4:06 pm

  • Yeah, the new k-os record is just plain fun.

    Love it!

    Anonymous — January 2, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

  • not Harry Nilsson; that’s been written and sung by Fred Neil :-)

    pellizza — January 3, 2007 @ 3:42 pm

  • hey there…
    That LUNA covers cd is only avail as the 2nd cd of the best of import
    Just an FYI…
    Luna have / had a cool sound.

    SINEDDIE — January 3, 2007 @ 5:46 pm

  • Thanks SINEDDIE. It’s available as a digital download on both the Rhino Records site I linked to in the post, or on iTunes. As a physical disc, maybe just bundled with the best-of as you say. I couldn’t find the physical disc available separately anywhere.

    heather — January 3, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

  • great call on the damnwells…they’re my absolute favorite.

    Lizzy — January 5, 2007 @ 5:10 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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