April 2, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

Spring is finally on the verge of … springing here in Colorado. There are new layers of green outside my front door everytime I look, and I think my tulips (which I didn’t plant myself, but remain an annual treat from the previous green-thumbed owner) are poised to bloom any day. There’s also a gorgeous bush covered in breathtaking yellow flowers right outside my kitchen window, so I don’t even mind doing the dishes lately. Hooray for Spring, I’ve been color-starved and sunshine-starved, even though I try to make the best of it.

Side note: there is a fantastic/rotten new entry over at ThingsMyBoyfriendSays.com that I ain’t gonna post here but just made laugh for a solid minute or so…

But let’s just move it along, people. Here’s the music, with an appropriate first track for the revelling in the Spring sunshine.

Laissez Briller Le Soleil (“Let the sun shine”?)
Les Boots
Every once in a while on the music blogs that I regularly read, someone throws out a curveball that just catches you offgaurd in the most marvelous way. Aquarium Drunkard has a “French Freakbeat” series up now (parts one and two) of fuzzy, garage harmonies from Gallic groups of the Sixties. Info is scant, but apparently this is “a rare bootleg collection that explores mid 1960s mod-influenced psychedelia of French bands that were paying strict attention to their British brethren, most notably The Small Faces.” I love the way this sounds — it’s as if your little transistor radio suddenly picks up a station across the Atlantic with sounds that are vaguely familiar but altogether fresh. Grab the whole set. Soooo good, right up my alley.

No Pussy Blues
Following my post referencing the great Nick Cave tune (and the Pearl Jam cover of) “The Ship Song,” reader Joe recommended that I check out Cave’s new band with 3 of his Bad Seeds — Grinderman, saying it was “raw, dirty, superb!” Any song titled No Pussy Blues definitely tends towards the raw and fairly dirty; it’s also humorous as he details his efforts in vain to get the unnamed female to acquiesce in his growling, pointed storytelling. This is off their forthcoming 2007 self-titled release on Anti Records (US). Blistering.

The National

Speaking of Nick Cave, the voice of Matt Berninger always reminds me a bit of Cave in its deep and dramatic resonation. The forthcoming 4th album from Brooklyn’s The National, Boxer (May 22, Beggars Banquet label) leaked its way onto the interwebby this weekend and I’ve been truly enjoying feeling my way through it. It’s a rich, melodic, gorgeous album with lyrics aching of romantic disillusionment and raw desire — I had a hard time picking just one track to share. This is an album that I really look forward to delving into and relishing on repeat; first impressions are very solid.

Never Learn Not To Love
Beach Boys/Charles Manson
So you all know that I enjoy enriching my brain with backstories and random little snippets of musical history that fall through the cracks. The Spinner blog has a fascinating little story on how the Golden State’s finest exports ended up recording the music of a psychotic murderer. Although the original writing credits of this song, which was first released as a b-side to cheery “Bluebirds Over The Mountain,” list only Dennis Wilson as the author, the truth would include a credit for the wild-eyed Chuck Manson as well for his earlier version — creepily entitled “Cease To Resist.” Who knew that underneath all that sunshine and chiming harmonies there was a secret more sinister.

Strawberry Street
Jeff Buckley
Oooh, and finally how about a b-side from my beloved Jeff Buckley? This is one that I’d never heard before, unearthed by the superb Sweet Oblivion blog and ripped directly from the vinyl single of the great song “Forget Her.” It was also a hidden track on the Australian edition of Grace. This song was written by Jeff before he moved to NYC in 1993, and it is Jeff at his most waily, electric, Led-Zeppelin-loving best.

And holy goodness (!!), I’ve been waiting for this news for a long time: The critically-acclaimed film festival favorite Jeff Buckley documentary Amazing Grace will finally be released by Columbia/Legacy on May 22 for purchase. I’ve heard nothing but revelatory raves about it but missed all screenings ever near me; add your name here to be updated on purchase information. I cannot wait to settle in to watch that one.


  • Aaaah, excellent. I’m downloading “Strawberry Street” as I type, and I just signed up for DVD info. I absolutely cannot wait for that. Thanks Heather.

    Lauren — April 2, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

  • In case you were unaware, Wilco is streaming their new cd on http://www.wilcoweb.com/ till midnight tonight. So far it sounds pretty decent (very mellow)

    Gomez — April 2, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

  • ah! ive been waiting for an excuse for the longest time to ask what you think of the fact that theyre putting out a Jeff Buckley greatest hits album!

    it seems awfully strange to put out a GH of a guy who only released one regular studio record…

    Don't Need Anything — April 2, 2007 @ 3:43 pm

  • Interesting post. As far as the Beach Boys and Charles Manson, I think Dennis Wilson was the only real link between them. I forget now how they hooked up (maybe something to do with the affinity both had for partying and young girls?).
    If you weren’t aware before of this connection, it is a pretty interesting story. If you poke around the internets a little, I’m sure you can find the whole story somewhere.

    aikin — April 2, 2007 @ 7:11 pm

  • For the record, the pretty yellow shrub is forsythia. Just ask Veruca Salt:

    Yellow baby,
    A yellow baby is a bad sign.
    But I dont mind, I dont mind,
    Ohhh, forsythia.

    Spider monkey,
    A spider monkey is a good lie.
    But I dont know why,
    Ohhh, forsythia, oh-ohhh.

    I dont mind sitting in the way way back.
    I dont mind, lying to my friends.

    One thing about forsythia,
    She comes around and I get lost
    Against her yellow, Im no longer me.

    Yellow daisy, a dandelion or a pussy willow,
    Its a different thing.
    Oh-oh, forsythia. forsythia. forsythia.
    One thing about forsythia,
    She comes around and I get lost
    Against her yellow Im no longer me.
    One thing about forsythia
    Theres one thing about forsythia

    JohnnyHank — April 3, 2007 @ 7:57 am

  • Look at you JohnnyHank! You win for comment of the day. I am plant-illiterate but will forever enjoy knowing that that is indeed forsythia every time I look out my window. Thanks for the lyrics too from such a great band. Hurrah on all counts.

    heather — April 3, 2007 @ 7:59 am

  • and don’t need anything, I do think it is odd odd odd to offer a Jeff Buckley greatest hits collections, I do think it’s more about the money than a genuine concern for the musical well-being of fans who previously could not find that precise lineup on CD….It’s kind of weird to see songs that I know by heart as progressing in a certain order from Grace all mixed up willy nilly (Hallelujah last? Mojo Pin as #9 instead of first?).

    HOWEVER, that being said, the lineup on the CD does look tempting even for a fan like me who has most of these tracks:

    1. Last Goodbye (Grace)
    2. Lover You Should Have Come Over (Grace)
    3. Forget Her (Grace Legacy Edition)
    4. Eternal Life (Road Version) (Grace Legacy Edition)
    5. Dream Brother (Alternate Take) (Grace Legacy Edition)
    6. The Sky Is A Landfill (Sketches)
    7. Everybody Here Wants You (Sketches)
    8. So Real *
    9. Mojo Pin (Live at Sin-e)
    10. Vancouver (Sketches)
    11. Je N’en Connais Pas La Fin (Live At Sine)
    12. Grace (Grace)
    13. Hallelujah (Grace)

    14. I Know It’s Over **

    There are two rare tracks included within this compilation.
    1.* So Real (Acoustic in Japan ). This beautiful song is a non album version and previously available only as a promotional single.
    2. ** I Know It’s Over – Buckley and his band playing live at Sony Studios in New York for broadcast on WNEW on April 6, 1995, spacewalking with elegance through the harrowing resignation of “I Know It’s Over” from the Smiths’ 1986 album, The Queen is Dead. It was not included on the radio broadcast “

    I’m interested in hearing the alternate takes, so I am pleased to see those, and “Everybody Here Wants You” is SUCH a mindblowing song (so vampy, so sexy) that I am glad it finally may get a wider recognition. It was on Sketches as far as I know, and i think only hardcore fans really slogged through everything there.

    Jeff’s haunting take on Satisfied Mind from Sketches is also one of my favorite chill-inducing moments from him, and it could’ve been on here too, but I guess it’s not one of his own and not a greatest hit, so maybe it is better to leave it off.

    They’re releasing it a week before the tenth anniversary of his death. I can’t articulate how I feel about ten years gone.

    heather — April 3, 2007 @ 8:10 am

  • i just randomly passed by your blog.
    i love that picture with yellow flowers. very beautiful!!! =)

    Quebie — April 3, 2007 @ 9:43 am

  • I hate to leave a note that may appear to be snide or snarky or whatever, but just so’s ya know, Florida is the Sunshine State, not CA

    LOVE YOUR BLOG, Heather!

    Lou — April 4, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

  • Thank you Lou! How embarassing, only being born and raised in California for 25 years…….

    Sheesh. Duly noted. I did know that, for the record. Sunshine state, Golden Sunshine state, state with lots of Golden Sun…..

    heather — April 4, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

  • Good grief, I so need to finally get around to moving to Colorado. Grrr. So pretty. Grrr.

    Matthew — April 4, 2007 @ 6:42 pm

  • posting that National track was a sure way to drive the stats up hey? Kind of bad since it is from a leaked source, just strikes me as cheap for some reason. You could have at least posted the track that was officially made available. Hope it doesn’t get you in trouble….

    steve — April 4, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

  • steve, i don’t post things to “drive up stats.” I post music that I like and that I am excited about.

    heather — April 5, 2007 @ 8:08 am

  • Hi! Been away for a while – plenty to catch up on, nice to see!

    Glad to see you’re enjoying Grinderman…have a copy of the album, some great mellower moments on it to, slow bluesy stuff..

    And that Jeff Buckley tune is ace! Thanks!!

    Joe — April 5, 2007 @ 10:17 am

  • Alex Chilton has a story about sharing a hot tub with Dennis Wilson and Charles Manson back in his Box Tops days.

    Mulberry Panda 96 — April 5, 2007 @ 11:02 am

  • Thanks for the Nick Cave update. The Grinderman, sounds very much like some of his Birthday Party stuff from the beginning of his career. He just needs to scream every once in a while. I’ll have to find the cd when it’s available.

    And thanks for Buckley.

    Yon — April 5, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

  • The ‘Strawberry Street’ links appears broken…

    Uzair — May 19, 2007 @ 7:27 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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