Bleary eyed, I am emerging from a quickly-passed hour on MySpace to begin writing this post on Sunday night; I’ve been looking up people I went to high school with because my 10-year HS reunion is this Friday out in Campbell, California. Yes, our class (1997) was a little lazy and we didn’t get anything organized until now, about 5 months after the actual anniversary date of the blessed graduation day. We all vowed to K.I.T. and never change and stay sweet (S.W.A.K. of course); I am pleased to report that we have all, in fact, changed.
Looking at people’s profiles, sometimes it’s shocking to stare at a face and then suddenly like one of those 3-D pictures where the image jumps out at you, go “Oh my gosh! That’s ____!” All these far-flung jobs, babies, spouses, organizations, not to mention new haircolors, different sizes now, better fashion sense — all these things should make Friday night a total mind trip. I am looking forward to it.
Well, that and the karaoke.
I feel like I should go make a 1997 high-school memories playlist, but won’t subject you to it. New tunes:
Like a rough-edged Beatles track lost in the vaults, or something from a Sunday drive with Chuck Berry (who they also cover on their album) this pleasantly powerpopped-out track from Seattle’s The Tripwires features a lot of connections to bands we love ’round these parts. Members of the Minus 5, The Young Fresh Fellows, Screaming Trees and REM cooperate here to make some mightily pleasing sounds. Count me a fan of the crunchy guitar, the layers of harmonies, and the pitch-perfect ’60s rock sensibilities. Makes You Look Around is their current album, just out last week on Portland’s Paisley Pop label.
Like A Vibration
Stream the new plugged-in album version: Windows [Lo] [Hi]
Quicktime [Lo] [Hi]
or if you need an mp3
Like A Vibration (live on MOKB)
Oooh, these guys rock. I wrote about The Whigs last year with their fantastic song “Technology”, when they were a wee unsigned fledgling band. Now they’ve gone and hooked up with ATO and are prepping to release their first album with them, Mission Control, due January 22. Definitely stream the album version of this song — kinda like a Replacements-meets-Pavement yowly-howly vibe here, all fuzz and aggression, but with a strong melody. In order to stretch and include them in the mp3 roundup, I got the acoustic live version above too from Dodge’s awesome in-studio session with The Whigs earlier this year. The Whigs will be heading out on tour with Johnathan Rice and The Redwalls in the next few weeks.
We Don’t Talk Like We Used To
This dude opened for Roger Clyne at the formidably barn-like Slim’s this last weekend in San Francisco, and he’s also on the new KFOG Local Scene CD along with Fuel-favorite Ryan Auffenberg
[KFOG’s podcast on Elliot here]. My friend Brad Kava at the Mercury News said of Randall’s 2007 album Take The Fall that it “flies below the radar but could take off at any minute… A little bit country, a little bit Elliott Smith.” This cut is a slowburn little gem of bittersweet harmonies that reminds me of Ryan Adam’s duet tunes with Norah Jones like “Dear John.” In fact, whoever’s doing backing vocals here sounds a lot like her. Lovely and sad, tear in your beer stuff. Note: Elliot is definitely not the same grizzled guy with a similar name from Steely Dan; according to this Elliot’s MySpace, we share a birthday three years apart — he just turned a mere 25 on August 19. Sounds like he’s lived more than just those years, don’t it?
Wave of Mutilation (Pixies cover)
There’s a fantastic new Pixies covers jamboree out on the very cool, always vinyl-loving American Laundromat Records. These are the same folks that brought us the 7″ vinyl series and the High School Reunion soundtrack covers album. This new covers album Dig For Fire: A Tribute To The Pixies features artists well-known and otherwise, but the variety just serves to highlight how well the original songs were constructed. This version of “Wave of Mutilation” loves being done by a girl-fronted band, all loud and fuzzy like the Breeders’ second coming. Joy Zipper is a guy-girl duo from NYC and I dig em like The Raveonettes — absolutely go check out their song “Go Tell The World” on their MySpace. Yum. Other artists on the Pixies comp that I’ve written about before are OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mogwai and Dylan At The Movies. ALR also has an interesting-sounding album of female artists covering Neil Young due in early 2008. I am never let down by their offerings.
Changing Your Mind
Lest you think I gave ole Bob the short end of the nasty stick with my recent show review, allow me to suggest this soul-flaying unreleased tune from him. This just goes to show that when he’s good, he’s really good. This pure, achingly vulnerable track is one that he performed in Denver, and listening again to the full studio treatment of it just does something to my heart. I also located a live mp3 of that song I quoted at the end of the show review, I’ll be adding that up shortly. So worth delving into.