September 8, 2007

Um . . . new from Blind Melon?

Yesterday Stereogum highlighted the fact that Blind Melon‘s MySpace page has some new tracks on it. This is odd, to me, considering that lead singer Shannon Hoon died back when I was in high school.

After disbanding for a time, they’ve now replaced Hoon with a new singer, one Travis Warren. Am I being too narrow minded, or myopically lead-singer focused, in doing a bit of a double-take? When the frontman –the distinctive voice of your band– dies, it seems weird to replace them and go on as the same band. First Alice in Chains, now Blind Melon? Take a listen to the new song:

Wishing Well – “Blind Melon”

I really cherish some of the older stuff from Blind Melon. I can do without the No Rain because I have heard it so many times (even though it’s still catchy with those snaps), but these tracks are absolute essential favorites. If you’ve never heard Blind Melon beyond the radio hit, you should probably seriously really take a listen to these, I promise:

Tones of Home – Blind Melon
(a fantastic, flirty, bluesy opening and sublime harmonies)
Paper Scratcher – Blind Melon
Soup – Blind Melon
(this one takes a blessed long time to build, but I love that meandering, like a stream, and then the break like a waterfall)

Out On The Tiles (Led Zeppelin) – Blind Melon
Three Is A Magic Number (Bob Dorough) – Blind Melon

And on a loosely related note (I’m telling you it really does all come back to PJ), here are Jeff Ament and Eddie Vedder in Denver last summer performing “Bee Girl,” the salute and warning to the dancing bee girl in the Blind Melon music video and on their 1992 album cover:


February 2, 2006

Hookin’ up words and phrases and clauses

I am so ridiculously excited about this post. If you are roughly in my age bracket, or if you are younger and have *exceptionally* cool tastes, then you know what I am talkin’ about when I say, “I’m just a bill. Yes, I’m only a bill. And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill….”

Schoolhouse Rock! was instrumental in my academic formation, and contributed extensively to my mad verbal skills today. As their website says so eloquently; “Every Saturday morning between 1973 and 1985, a classroom of imagination defying enormity was assembled on ABC, run by a small cadre of renegade Madison Avenue ad men. Class sessions were short but intense – squeezed between episodes of Scooby Doo and LaffOlympics, and Underoos met the dress code. No one assigned homework, no one slapped your knuckles with a yardstick, no one beat you up for your milk money. The institution of learning was called Schoolhouse Rock, and if you can recite the Preamble of the Constitution by rote and know the function of a conjunction, you probably attended faithfully.”

Don’t you feel smarter just remembering all this stuff? Three times six is … eighteen! School House Rock was great at breaking down complex issues into easily understood (and damn catchy) rhymes. In 1996 a bunch of their songs were re-done by good people so now you can rock a little as you learn (from the CD Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks). Please enjoy these as much as I do. And all good English majors should remember:
“I get my thing in action (Verb!)
To be, to sing, to feel, to live (Verb!)”


Conjunction Junction – Better Than Ezra

Three Is A Magic Number – Blind Melon

I’m Just A Bill – Deluxx Folk Implosion

No More Kings – Pavement

My Hero, Zero – The Lemonheads

The Energy Blues – Biz Markie

Verb: That’s What Happening – Moby

Also, today is my sister’s birthday – my childhood companion on the couch in our jammies, watching and learning all this stuff, filing away all the tunes into our encyclopedic musical memories. Happy birthday, big sis! Love you!

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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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