April 14, 2008

Monday Music Roundup

I’m back from my aforementioned 20-hour dash through Wyoming, Nebraska, and back into Colorado. It was a spur of the moment thing, leaving me at the ranch/hostel place on the remote Wyoming border with nary a toothbrush at 10pm on a Sunday night. It was exhilarating to get out and see a part of the country I’ve never seen, simply because I wanted to see where the freeway took me on a full tank of gas. While on the jaunt, I listened mostly to my two Fuel For The Open Road mixes, and the twangy overtones fit perfectly on the county highways and prairies.

Here’s what else I might have listened to if I hadn’t left my iPod on the charger at home.

Future Rock
The Muslims

I’d seen a flurry of short posts about The Muslims in the blog world a few weeks ago, but they truly won me over when I read this great quote from the band that Bruce cited over on Some Velvet Blog: “We don’t know what the fuck we’re doing. And that’s why it sounds like The Velvet Underground. Because it has chords and my guitar is trebly. We like the E chord. It’s simple. None of us listen to math-rock. We tried it, but it didn’t work out that well. We’re not bad, we’re just not really good.” And AMEN, ain’t that humbling. This song is young and dirty and fast — what more could you want? The Muslims play Denver’s Larimer Lounge on May 2, with lots of other shows coming up as well.

Silver Lining
Rilo Kiley

This song is in no way new music, but it has risen to the tip-top of my playlists in recent weeks. I somehow glossed unfairly over Rilo Kiley‘s 2007 release Under The Blacklight after reading a few lukewarm reviews, and never realized the genius of this track until recently. Lame! I know. Well, it finally hit me, all handclaps and disco beats, and I was instantly won over by the stark confessionals from Jenny Lewis and sentiments I can appreciate. If perchance you also missed it like I did, for the love of Pete, take a listen and try not to love it, all the way down to those mellifluous closing gospel chorus notes. My song of the month (a perfect video too).

Sun Giant
Fleet Foxes

As I crested hill after hill of winter-bleached prairie grassland early this morning as the rising sun splintered across it, I listened to a bit of My Morning Jacket. One of the things I enjoy the most about their music is the way it feels golden and expansive, all sundrenched reverb and eerie harmonies. It’s easy to see why that same vibe would draw me effortlessly into this opening album track from Seattle’s Fleet Foxes. As you delve into the rest of their songs you do hear a bit more of the classic rock influences, but gorgeous vocal tracks like this sound like a perfectly-crafted hymn (“Our Prayer” by the Beach Boys, anyone?). Their Sun Giant EP is out now on Sub Pop/Bella.

Tick of Time
The Kooks

I’m liking where the Kooks are going on their second album Konk, out tomorrow on Astralwerks. They’ve tuned down a bit of the herky-jerky swagger of their first album an lapsed a bit more into the acoustic harmony vibe, and they sound terrific. Konk was recorded at Ray Davies’ studio of the same name, and was produced by Tony Hoffer who has worked with The Thrills, Beck and Supergrass. This is the last track on the album and they sound like they’re having fun.

Glad It’s Over

I’m confused about this “musical companion album” to the excellent TV series Heroes, which is a show that messed with my brain. When watched in large doses, Heroes gave me the kind of vivid dreams I haven’t had since Alias when I dreamt that Rambaldi was trying to send me encrypted messages through run-of-the-mill neighborhood night noises. In any case, I don’t remember hearing Wilco on Heroes. Nor Bob Dylan, MMJ, or even Nada Surf. But look! Here’s a brand new Wilco track from that collection, catchy as all get out. The selections on this soundtrack are “inspired by the characters” in the show, and are pretty bulletproof in terms of the quality tunes & artists here.


  • i love your comment about my morning jacket

    Anonymous — April 14, 2008 @ 11:51 pm

  • “Silver Lining” is an AMAZING, AMAZING song. The rest of the album is still bollocks though.

    last year's girl — April 15, 2008 @ 2:45 am

  • I disagree with “Last Year’s Girl”. Not their best, but everyone was really quick to write off “Under the Black Light” unfairly. So excited to see Jenny Lewis at Austin City Limits this year!

    - Neil

    Anonymous — April 15, 2008 @ 7:37 am

  • “Sun Giant” is a great EP! I love it and can’t wait for their LP to come out.

    Bona Fide Darling — April 15, 2008 @ 8:59 am

  • Any chance of reposting your road mixes? Thanks!

    Dexter — April 15, 2008 @ 9:34 am

  • Fleet Foxes live is an experience that leaves you with chills all over. See them in your town if you have the chance.

    Anonymous — April 15, 2008 @ 11:05 am

  • Man, you’re listening to all kinds of good stuff this week, aren’t you? I echo your Fleet Foxes sentiments today (blogged about them as well, imagine that) and look forward to taking in their show tonight.

    Dainon. — April 15, 2008 @ 11:57 am

  • Silver Lining was on my road mix for the past weekend! I spread the Jenny Lewis gospel. I also can’t get enough of “Breakin’ Up” off the album.

    KT — April 15, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  • I’ve always wanted to be able to just jump in a car and drive and listen to great tunes. Sadly, though, I live in New York and therefore have no car. I am a bit jealous.
    New music blog: http://www.returnticketmusic.com

    Paul Z — April 15, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

  • woah – sun giant is awesome! thanks for the recommendation!

    carolyn — April 16, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

  • Yeah, what’s up with referencing your awesome looking “Road Mixes” and not having valid links? You can’t do that to your faithful readers / listeners! Please re post the mixes. :)

    Anonymous — April 16, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

  • Ooh! ooh! *jumping up and down and waving madly from Ottawa, Ontario* Ditto on the reposting of the road trip lists! I’m heading out on a Vermont road trip and would love to load up my playlists with that awesome mix. I just listened to rearviewmirror on my way home tonight. Great tune.

    Hellcat13 — April 16, 2008 @ 9:22 pm

  • The whole Rilo Kiley album is great – SIlver Lining is probably the best song, but every song on it is well written and performed. Ms. Lewis and Co. seem to be paying homage to a bunch of different musical styles. Check out the Fleetwood Mac-ish “Dreamworld” and the very Liz Phair-ish “Smoke Detector.”

    TCB Walsh — April 17, 2008 @ 8:53 am

  • Really can’t understand the hate going with Under The Black Light. So maybe RK isn’t doing Americana anymore and want to stretch things out artistically. The songs on the last record were still better than most of the other mediocre groups from last year. Their live version of Give A Little Love is even more ballsy than the record too. I also might just cave in and go see them play again when they come to town this Sunday.

    volume-addict — April 17, 2008 @ 12:07 pm

  • I’m ready to revisit Under The Black Light. At first listen it seemed so POLISHED, but “Silver Lining” does sound pretty good right now (Friday, 5pm).

    Enjoy your blog, BTW.

    gemmanuel — April 18, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

  • Great minds …. I just put Silver Lining on my ‘top mix’ for a long plane ride. It’s miles better than the rest of UTBL, imho. Thanks for all the great stuff.

    m1chael0 — April 18, 2008 @ 5:25 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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