February 15, 2007

New Damnwells documentary: Golden Days

They’ve toured the country, opened for rock legends, and you can’t find their album anywhere.”

And thus begins the journey in the new movie about Brooklyn band The Damnwells, their rise to Epic fame and fall from major label grace, and current creative successes as independent artists. Golden Days just got its first screening lined up — it’s one of 10 films picked for the Feature Film Competition at the 2007 Phoenix Film Festival (April 12-19 at the Harkins Theatre in Scottsdale).

Now I just recently found out about The Damnwells and have been listening to their Air Stereo record from 2006 (Zoe/Rounder Records) on heavy rotation. It is a damn fine record, one that you definitely should pick up if you liked the warm pop-alternative harmony and chiming guitars of Gin Blossoms or (my beloved) Toad The Wet Sprocket. There’s also a distinct alt-country vibe, perhaping emanating from the sticks of drummer Steven Terry, who was in Whiskeytown.

Here’s the trailer for the film:

Here are a few more Damnwells songs for your enjoyment and sampling. Get all their stuff — seriously. Plus, doesn’t lead singer Alex Dezen look (and sound nothing) like Jeff Buckley?

Golden Days
You’ll hear this in the trailer (for obvious reasons) — a warm tune off Air Stereo, full of “oooooh” backing vocals and wonderful lyrics of musical allusions: “I can’t hear much but the melody coming from you / Baby please don’t rush, keep the tempo slow and blue, let me hear the words you say / Let’s go and get tangled in chains of golden days.” This is a great song.

You Don’t Have To Like Me (To Love Me Tonight)
This one rolls right out of your speakers like that cocky guy walking into a bar and kicking the jukebox. And this comes out. “Nobody at school can tease me like you. Should we never be ours, leave it all to skies and the scars. Please don’t love me alone tonight.” [Air Stereo]

Untitled Demo (from Dec 2005)
Thanks to the Damnwells’ MySpace page over a year ago, and the Songs:Illinois blog way back then for snagging it.

I Will Keep The Bad Things From You
A sentimental song rife with little inside communications between guy and girl, promises like “You can keep your last name if you want to,” and “You keep the band names coming, I’ll make the jokes real funny.” From their 2004 album Bastards of the Beat.

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  • I really loved these songs thank you!

    Swedegirl — February 15, 2007 @ 10:30 am

  • The Damnwells are one of those bands I keep thinking I need to get to know more about. I found their song “Louisville” on a blog somewhere a few months ago, and it seems to find its way into practically every playlist I make. It’s such a pretty song. Thanks for reminding me that I need to check out more from these guys.

    Maggie — February 15, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

  • This band is amazing. I heard about them sometime last year and immediately went to iTunes to find their stuff. It’s funny because all the songs you posted I had already bought. Nice taste! The lead singer definitely has a voice like no other. Good post!

    Natalie — February 15, 2007 @ 4:39 pm

  • w/o Downloading it, I think the “untitled” song may have a name now. “You’re Gonna Love Me Again” is what it came up as on a UK single for “Golden Days” and since it’s the only “out there” “Untitled” song I know from them, I’m guessin’ it’s the same…

    Gilly — February 15, 2007 @ 9:39 pm

  • Wow it’s so wierd i was just listening to that record last night…and even weirder b/c as I was watching the trailer for the film on your blog, and I was halfway through reading your line about who Alex looks but sounds nothing like, I said to myself “pretty much like Jeff Buckley” before I had scrolled down to finish…it’s funny how keen & observant musical minds think alike…great post though, looking forward to the film.

    Frank — February 15, 2007 @ 10:07 pm

  • I have seen the Damnwells a handful of times now.

    The first time I saw them, they were the middle act opening for the Sam Roberts Band at TT’s in Cambridge, MA. I thought they were really good and bought their cd that night.

    I saw them again a few months later when they opened for Blue Rodeo at the Paradise in Alston, MA. They were a stripped down to just 2 guys that night. I couldn’t get over how well their songs held up.

    I have seen a couple of their headlining shows since and I think they just keep getting better.

    Anonymous — February 16, 2007 @ 2:40 pm

  • This just in. “Golden Days” won best documentary at the Phoenix Film Festival this past weekend.

    Anonymous — April 17, 2007 @ 10:52 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
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