April 16, 2011

it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Wake up kids: today is the Christmas, birthday, and Valentine’s Day of the indie music world all rolled into one. Record Store Day is in its fourth year today, and you would be smart to head down to your local independent record store to celebrate the vibrant role they all play in keeping good music alive. There are also a slew of Record Store Day exclusives being offered today, so maybe break that piggy bank to take with you as well.

In the spirit of celebrating everything that’s right about Record Store Day today, Fuel/Friends has a special giveaway pack for one lucky reader.

To note all the excellent new releases that will be available today for the first time, the first item in the pack is the debut record from The Head and The Heart on vinyl. Sub Pop is releasing their album today, now remastered and with “Rivers and Roads” on it, with expanded liner notes / sweet art. You know by now why I like them; or you can read what I wrote for Sub Pop. Can’t wait to hear the record on warm, crackly vinyl.

The second item in the gift pack is to note all the re-releases coming out on vinyl today. For the first time, Matt Costa‘s 2006 debut record Songs We Sing is coming out on vinyl through the good folks at Brushfire Records. This is a sunny acoustic gem of an album that will serve you well all summer long, also one that will sound great on vinyl.

And finally, Fingerprints Records in Long Beach –a terrific independent record store– is contributing a signed poster from the in-store they are doing today with Brett Dennen. I bet your local record store is having musicians play amidst the stacks today as well.

Fingerprints is doing their part to keep music vibrant with excellent in-store performances (that sometimes spill out onto the street) and a top-notch selection of music.

To enter to win the Fuel/Friends RSD 2011 prize pack, leave me a comment telling me what you are doing today and why. I’ll pick one winner at the end of the weekend. I am in Chicago, so a whole new city beckons. I have my Reckless Records tshirt to guide me.

April 3, 2007

Okay, okay, I’ll listen: Brett Dennen

“He’s timeless — he’s probably twenty-five, but he seems like he’s twenty-five in 1972.”
- Rolling Stone

I am happily on the music advisory panel for KBCO Radio up out of Boulder and was just taking their April survey of 4 songs they are thinking of adding. The last one was completely new to my ears (the other three I knew right away and liked) and so I Googled a bit of the lyrics to see who I was enjoying.

The name that came back to me was California singer-songwriter Brett Dennen. He’s from Oakdale, which is a tiny town I know in California whose greatest feature is either their rodeo I went to once (for real) or the Hershey factory on the way to Yosemite that makes the air smell really, really edible.

The funny thing is that when I also did a search on my gmail for Brett Dennen (because I knew I’d heard the name before), I got multiple results of emails from you readerfolk ranging back to last October telling me to take a listen to this guy. So okay, I give, and I should’ve given sooner. I can be stubborn sometimes. Kid has talent, music has verve, there is a unique voice here that I enjoy. It’s a expressive tenor that cracks and wavers, and makes your ears perk up and stop to take a closer listen. The music is generally acoustic guitar finger-picking-based but with underlying elements of understated funk and reggae that elevates these songs beyond sad-sap fare to something pretty catchy. I’ll admit I hear influence as widely ranging as Paul Simon, Ben Harper, Paolo Nutini, and Jack Johnson.

My only regret (petty, selfish woman) is that he just got tapped to open for John Mayer and I am now even farther from liking John Mayer than I was before, after reading Weiss’ slamdunk lampoon on him (“Yo, J, y’all“). But it’s definitely good for Brett to get the exposure. He’s got a slew of tour dates coming up, some with folks like Suzanne Vega and Damien Rice, and I hear very positive things about his live shows.

She’s Mine – Brett Dennen
(this is the laid-back sunshiney tune that first piqued my attention)

When You Feel It – Brett Dennen
(wonderful echoes of Graceland/Paul Simon in those opening notes)

Both of the above from the 2006 record So Much More, wherein he looks like a red-headed Roy Orbison.
Tagged with .
Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

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.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →