So last Sunday in San Francisco I picked up this random $1 pin at the Noise Pop Expo (in addition to a cool business card holder for my forthcoming cool business cards, and I waited too long to buy this gorgeous necklace and it was gone when I came with cash. Sad).
Anyways. The pin on my bag strap now, which you can sort of make out over there in a bad cell phone snap, is a sensitive graphite rendering of Patrick Swayze circa Roadhouse. He beams at me, which made me feel good for about three days, and then I read that he’s got pancreatic cancer and now I want to mutter things like “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” and giggle when he touches the back of my arm. I will admit a huge weakness for Dirty Dancing, I cannot explain it. Who can. I hope Patrick gets well soon.
Tunes I am listening to this week:
New from Ike Reilly — an artist that we are big fans of ’round these parts (top ten!)– comes an album called Poison The Hit Parade (April 8). The label says it is a collection of outtakes, demos, and alternate versions from his last three albums, and Ike adds that “it isn’t so much of where I’m going but more like the places I’ve been that people don’t know about.” One of the things that Ike verily exceeds at are songs that feel rebellious and triumphant at the same time, with intelligent lyrics that penetrate deeper than your standard radio fare. This previously unreleased tune shimmers and pushes over an urgently pounding piano cadence, while Ike sings to someone ravaged by cancer but whose skin still shines.
Into The Ground
Philadelphia band The Brakes just signed to Hyena Records and their full length debut Tale of Two Cities is out on May 6. None of these guys are over 23, but they’ve opened for acts like The Hold Steady and Robert Randolph, and have some shows coming up with Jackie Greene. They seem to have a vocal fanbase in Philly and beyond. This catchy tune is a simple ode to being “in her bed, and in her arms” with a toe-tapping lush spaciousness to it, and subtle hints of a modern jazz vocals that echo a bit of Jamie Cullum. And a trumpet solo, even!
Chances Are (Jim Eno of Spoon remix)
Apostle of Hustle
“Drunk, drunk in the Taco Bell,” is where we first meet our protagonist of this song, and down to the clattery unsteady rhythm and the shiny brass backing notes, that’s exactly what it feels like. Jim Eno is the drummer of fair Spoon, whose percussive sense can get me moving any day of the week. Combine that with the always well-constructed rhythmic backbone in songs from latin-indie-gypsy folk Canadian prophets Apostle of Hustle, and you have this very winning combination. The original version of this song was on last year’s National Anthem of Nowhere (Arts & Crafts).
Paisley Pattern Ground
The Black Hollies
You’d probably think this was released in the ’60s, from the name of the band, to the ode to the paisley, and the rockin sounds of psychedelica, guitars, and bells here echoing through the misty morning. But actually, The Black Hollies are from Jersey and bring “a mash up of British Invasion blues, guitar heroics and psychedelia that would bring a smile to Brian Jones’ face” according to Rolling Stone. Plus they’re apparently in a new Dell commercial which I should pimp because my new (pink) Dell laptop is scheduled to arrive Thursday and right now that makes me happy. The Black Hollies sophomore full-length album Casting Shadows is out today.
Hold onto your Docs, The Breeders are back. With tones of surf guitar and rubber-ball bouncing beats that could fit easily in at a club, Kim and Kelley Deal come back with new sounds here that really surprised me; a hundred miles from the snarly-harmonic girl rock that I so loved in the early Nineties. The Steve-Albini-produced Mountain Battles is out on 4AD April 8, and they’ve got a ton of tour dates coming up, including one at Coachella (yay!).