October 22, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

Oooh, I learned some rugby basics this weekend, moving me exponentially along the spectrum of familiarity from “why are they all locking arms and butting heads?” to “He was robbed of a try! Don’t miss the conversion!” What a crazy, visceral, fantastic sport. Like soccer, gone mad.

British friend Jamie invited me to his viewing party on Saturday to watch the Rugby World Cup which pitted England against South Africa (I know the history of Dutch colonization, but shouldn’t there be more than like two non-white people on that team?). Jamie’s house was festooned with with St. George’s cross flags, his whole family was in matching jersies. He took the time to explain the game to me — in between comically trying to squelch already-half-uttered profanities that wanted to be directed at the ref, under the watchful eye of his wife and two little boys. They even served curry and dark beer. So fun, even though England lost. I gained a miniature rugby education.

Up and Down
Chesterfield Kings
I wrote about these guys last year and they’re back with a fantastic new album that manages to summon the spirit of the Stones and the Ramones simultaneously. New York’s The Chesterfield Kings are enjoying a renaissance of sorts after being together for over a dozen years (I was reminded of their new album by a glowing mention in the newest Rolling Stone). This cut has gypsies screaming and acid rain in the lyrics, harmonicas wailing, and a huge street-strut swagger. Their new album Psychedelic Sunrise is championed by E Street guitarist/radio host/Soprano/”Patriot” songwriter Little Steven Van Zandt, so much so that he’s signed them to his own Wicked Cool label. Lead singer dude is still channeling the unfortunate “I slept on my mohawk/mullet” hairstyle, but I guess that’s just all the more rock ‘n’ roll.

Ramblin Man (Hank Williams)
Cat Power
A wistful version of this 1951 Hank Sr. song will be the third track on Cat Power‘s forthcoming 2nd album of covers, Jukebox (due Jan 22 on Matador). Absolutely every song that this woman touches is transformed into a smoky, sultry resurrection, often bearing little resemblance to the original. She rocks effortlessly and completely and I can’t wait to hear this collection. Plus I dig the Fleetwood-Mactastic cover, in triple-threat Technicolor. This particular recording comes from her grand little eMusic EP.

Selfish Jean
Travis

Scottish lads Travis have unleashed a new idea in collaborative viral marketing to promote this tune, about a selfish gal named Jean. The website www.selfishjean.com models itself a bit on Post-Secret, allowing random fans to contribute confessions of bad selfish behavior, pay penance, and view others in the Hall of Shame. Frontman Fran Healy smartly notes that “all confessions will be vetted by a panel of smug, righteous ex-priests.” And because I seriously dig the bright and brassy vibe of this song from their new album The Boy With No Name, and because the website is interesting, I am furthering their viral aspirations. Oh, plus I’m a tad voyeuristic. So it works out well for everyone.

I Want A New Drug (Huey Lewis)
Apostle of Hustle
Suddenly, Huey Lewis is hip again. Stereogum recently featured this inventive, swankily rich cover by Toronto indie musicians Apostle of Hustle to draw some props to the still-labelless compilation effort CD Are You Still With Me?!. I’d love to see Apostle of Hustle live again; check how fascinating they make this song, what with all the dialogue en español, slow-burn guitars, and the layers of fab percussion. The album also includes tunes from unlikely suspects such as Long Winters and Will Johnson of Centro-matic, and since you know that you can still sing the chorus of either “Stuck With You” or “Hip To Be Square,” you should probably get it.

The State of Massachusetts
Dropkick Murphys

You might remember hearing these guys very effectively used in The Departed to convey a textured and nuanced feeling of “I’m Irish and I’m going to kick your ass.” That’s pretty much what I get from this feisty Celtic punk tune by Boston’s Dropkick Murphys. Their new album The Meanest of Times is out now, and I am pretty sure that I heard this song used last night after the Red Sox clinched their spot in the World Series facing the Rockies. I remarked to my husband that it felt funny to be cheering the Red Sox last night, knowing full well that by Wednesday I’d be doing the exact opposite with great vigor. I just think it’s gonna make for an awesome Series.

8 Comments »

  • I haven’t heard any new material by Travis but I remember The Man Who and that was an exceptional piece of work.. and just recently discovered Fran actually credits God Jeff Buckley as one of his biggest influences specially in the track As You Are.. which actually does seem right.

    and rugby.. I still haven’t got anwhere with that nor has my national team but.. I sure do like to watch New Zealand do their I’m Gonna Feed You Your Own Balls dance before the match!

    Hugo — October 22, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

  • Go Sox!

    JMH — October 22, 2007 @ 7:31 pm

  • like that Chesterfield Kings song!

    jeffro — October 22, 2007 @ 8:42 pm

  • The Dropkicks song is a fun one – I’m hoping to see them later next month when they come up here.

    Andrew — October 23, 2007 @ 6:35 am

  • I think the song at the end of the game was Shipping Up to Boston

    p.s. – I love your blog

    Anonymous — October 23, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

  • The Dropkick Murphy song you heard at the end of Game 7 of the ALCS was either “Shipping Up to Boston” or “Tessie” or both.

    “Tessie”, and “Dirty Water” by the Standells, is a song played after every Red Sox win and the lyrics reference events from, I believe, the first World Series (the Red Sox at the time of the 1st WS were called the Boston Pilgrims).

    “Shipping Up to Boston” is now linked to Sox closer, and friend of the Dropkick Murphy’s, Jonathan Papelbon. The song announces his entrance into a game, playing while he walks in from the bullpen and warms-up on the mound. Papelbon also performed an impromptu jig to the song in Fenway Park after the Sox clinched the AL East.

    Like the blog; check it weekly.

    Sox in 5!

    Anonymous — October 27, 2007 @ 11:49 am

  • SOX IN 4!
    Just read a cool interview with the Dropkicks here

    http://musicnation.musicnation.com/view/blog

    Andrew — October 30, 2007 @ 12:57 pm

  • Boooooo Sox. Rub it in, why doncha.

    heather — October 30, 2007 @ 1:10 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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