November 19, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

Ah, MySpace, why do you sucketh my time so?

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:

Arm Twister
The Tripwires

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
The Whigs
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
Elliot Randall

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)
Joy Zipper

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
Bob Schneider

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.


  • C’mon, a 1997 mix would be fun! This is of course ignoring the fact that I was twelve years old at the time. Regardless, I was a music fiend then and not much has changed. I was with it! I was hip! For what it’s worth my five year high school reunion is next year, and I’m pretty sure there was at least one sex change. FUN!

    All my best,


    Steve — November 19, 2007 @ 6:45 pm

  • Well, now that you mention it, yes, I do think you gave him the short end of the stick.

    I listened to another new live show on the way into and out of work today, and heard “keep the stiffie rolling”. Sure, it’s crude. But then he followed the short tune with “Capt Kirk”. And that made it all clear to me. The chorus line there is “I just want to feel good, I don’t want to hurt nobody, I just want to get good times out of my life”. Nice.

    So he doesn’t walk down the moderate road. He lives in the extremes. It’s refreshing. Give me both. Poetic Bob. Crude and Rude Bob. Because at the end of the day, it leaves you smiling about the show and loving life.

    I’ll post more once I see him live in 2 weeks. I hope to hit Shank and at least one night at Schuba’s.

    eradicatore — November 19, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

  • There is no way you can tease us with a 1997 mix and not give it to us, we all may live semi-charmed lives, but we need a “Bittersweet Symphony” to get through life.



    ANTHONY KUZMINSKI — November 19, 2007 @ 8:39 pm

  • What is the name of that song you quoted? Been driving me crazy. Looking forward to hearing it.

    Anonymous — November 20, 2007 @ 9:42 am

  • Yes, I would actually love to see you 1997 memories mix.

    I think this is the first comment I’ve left on your blog, but I’m been reading it for a few monthes now. It’s introduced me to some great music.

    Colleen — November 20, 2007 @ 7:27 pm

  • I agree with Anthony. You can’t tease your readers with a 1997 mix and then not follow through, especially since I graduatd that year, too, and the only song I can think of off the top of my head from then is The Freshmen by The Verve Pipe.

    brian s. — November 20, 2007 @ 7:48 pm

  • That cover of “Wave of Mutilation” is excellent! Thank you for sharing.

    C.K. — November 24, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

  • heather — been reading you for months & finding many musical treasures here! i shared your 11/16/07 bob schneider review w/my sister, who is a big fan of his… we’re still watching for the song you quoted at the end of that post. any chance you would re-up the zip file of demos, live & unreleased stuff from 6/14/07? thanks & keep making great music…

    decemberboy62 — December 2, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

  • Hi Heather. Do you know the source of this version of Bob Schneider’s “Changing Your Mind”? Can you re-post the link? I love your blog and I appreciate all the work that you put into it. Thanks,

    rory — September 19, 2011 @ 11:42 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
"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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