March 26, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

Language changes its meaning over the years, and things that were completely kosher 50 years ago now make me drop my head into my arm and laugh silently. The website YesButNoButYes has has collected the “Top 15 Unintentionally Funny Comic Book Panels” with some choice examples. Whether it’s Robin “exposing himself” to Batman or wives being kissed and not heard, take a look and have a good chuckle. [thx Yeti!]

While you’re over there, check out their list of Top Ten Female Streakers, which uses words like “dangly bits” and chastens one 19 year-old streaker for “breaking the two cardinal rules of female stripping – 1) trim well, and 2) never cartwheel.” Oh, heavens.

Edge Of The Night
The Redwalls
I was a bit saddened yesterday to read that rad-retro Chicago band The Redwalls (previous rave) have broken up with Capitol Records. Even after parting ways, The Redwalls call their former label “honorable” because “the record which we wrote in the early months of 2006 and recorded in 42 days in a small town in Sweden, is now solely in the possession of the band (If you don’t understand the significance of this than you’ll have to trust us). A record is a statement that stands permanent, it is the culmination of where a bands been and where they are at . . . Look forward to the new record and to an EP that will precede it, as we look forward to sharing it with all of you.”

This looks to be a sample of the sounds recorded last year, and me gusta mucho. It reflects a fuller and more mature sound from these guys, with some interesting experimentation (maracas?) that still captures that ’60s pop harmony goodness. Kind of a ‘Beatles Take Paraguay’ vibe. Also check the big U2 sounding track called “Song 1″ on their MySpace. I hope they are snatched up quickly by a label with a good ear for talent, because these brothers have it.

Yeah Alright
The Richmond Sluts
Yell-out-loud dirty ’70s rock with a double punk/surf edge from San Francisco band the Richmond Sluts, who now appear to be defunct (but you try Googling richmond sluts for information on the band, without getting links to bendy women from Virginia). This delightfully crunchy song screams of driving too fast, playing music too loud, and maybe even dancing too close to leave room for the Holy Spirit. It’s off their self-titled 2001 album, and the Bono-riffic album cover has a girl that can stand alongside the Superdrag chick from Head Trip In Every Key in badass rocker chick irresistibility.

Screen Door

This kind of reminds me of the stomp of The 22-20s and the zip of that great Benjy Ferree track I posted recently, all rolled up into something fresh. New from paradoxically-Pennsylvanian band Illinois, from their EP What The Hell Do I Know? (out now). Clocking in at only 2 minutes long, this will nonetheless definitely get you tapping your toes and rolling down the windows, singing along with the sympathetic-for-the-devil “whoo-whoo” bits.

Hot Girls In Good Moods
Butch Walker & The Let’s Go Out Tonites
This song is an explosively soaring glam-rock party in a box. Butch Walker (chameleon-like musician/producer) checks T. Rex, echoes David Bowie, and wraps up all that swagger into a package that’s just plain fun. Even if you think you don’t like stuff like this, it’s kind of like the Eagles of Death Metal effect — I just can’t help myself. Check the lyric about music-geek love at its finest: “Straddles me lovely while she’s scratchin my back, while she’s singin all the words to my hidden track…” Absolutely calls for being the leadoff track on your next “going out” mix, from the aptly titled The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and The Lets-Go-Out-Tonites (2006).

Music (featuring Lauryn Hill)
Joss Stone
I’ve not previously been swayed by Joss Stone‘s rowly yowly charms, but this is one fine track off her newest effort, which pal Bruce is raving about as “so damn funky it’s like one of those classic Chaka Khan or Rufus records and has the velvetspeakers on full blast.” I always take his word for things, and you should too. From the new (oddly titled) Introducing Joss Stone. Anything that gets Lauryn out of hiding is a-okay in my book.

January 11, 2007

Ryan Adams –> Jesse Malin –> Butch Walker –> Ben Kweller

I have a couple of odds & ends to share, and the only obvious connection that I see is a version of Six Degrees of Ryan Adams:

1. Jesse Malin (pal) kicks off 2007 with an exuberant & rocking version of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” – cannot help but feel happy inside seeing this kind of visceral concert experience, Jesse throwing the glittery confetti at the stroke of midnight:

Direct link here if that embed isn’t working (veoh? what’s veoh?)

Oh, and speaking of glitter: prepare to be floored by Jesse Malin’s new album, Glitter In The Gutter (which Ryan Adams guests on, as well as Bruce Springsteen and Jakob Dylan, and more). It is hands down the best thing I’ve heard in a good while – comes out in late February and start planning now how you are going to buy it as soon as it is available.

2. Butch Walker covering “Come Pick Me Up” (Ryan Adams song) with some girl I don’t know at a recent Hotel Cafe show. I’ve been enjoying the party-hearty sounds of several tracks on his The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and The Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites album, so the sensitive strummy take on this video surprised me. Also, the crowd seems titillated by the self-destructive nature of the lyrics; perhaps they’ve never heard the song before?

3. Ryan Adams and Ben Kweller are going to be appearing together January 16th (Tuesday) on Letterman with America (the band) to perform a version of the revamped “Ride On” from the new America CD.

Stream “Ride On” featuring Ryan Adams, Ben Kweller and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne):
Windows Media * Real * Quicktime

Also stream America’s take on the My Morning Jacket song “Golden”, featuring Ben Kweller and MMJ’s Jim James & Patrick Hallahan.
Windows Media * Real * Quicktime

4. Finally, two great Ryan Adams shows that I’ve been listening to via the Live Music Archive:

The full first night at Town Hall (NYC) on December 4, 2006

An ace 2001 show from the legendary Fillmore (San Francisco) on 11/14/01

July 10, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

Oh, I could talk about the World Cup all day today, but you know already from the last post.

So instead I will chat about the cinema. Last weekend I saw The Break-Up with my sister (I know, I KNOW). I told her that she is the only one I would see it with and enjoy the experience. The movie itself was an odd combination of really FUNNY moments (mostly due to Vince Vaughn), melded with supremely nasty fighting that made me feel a bit uncomfortable and sad because they were being so mean to each other. I did, however, think I was going to die of laughter during this scene: “Come, come GARY on the kickdrum! That’s GARY! On the kickdrum. Come, come on the kickdrum!” Just watching it again gives me immeasurable joy.

Slip Away” (Cars cover)
Sparkle*Jets UK
This collection of smaller indie bands covering Cars songs sought me out on MySpace, and I am glad they did! The disc, entitled Substitution Mass Confusion, slipped by me when it was released in 2004 (Not Lame Records). There’s a splendid variety of bands: Jon Auer, Butch Walker, Owsley, The Bravery, Gigolo Aunts and more – all covering those great Cars songs that you didn’t realize you knew until you start singing along.


This cued up at the college radio station when I was visiting the other week, prompting me to ask “Do you guys play Beatles songs here?” One listen and I think you will see why – a winning combinations of rich woodwinds and a swanky female voice. From Sia‘s lovely Colour The Small One album (2006 in the US, Astralwerks). She is currently on tour with Zero 7 in Europe.

Crash and Burn
Gran Bel Fisher
I wasn’t sure about this song when it first started, it’s got sort of an early-’90s brit-pop/mature folk sound to the vocals and a rhythmic piano backing, but it blends into a supreme and uplifting pop song. Gran Bel Fisher has recently been opening some shows for Brandi Carlile, who you know I love, and I have heard he is magnetic live. From his mellifluous album Full Moon Cigarette; give it a listen.

Brimful of Asha” (Cornershop)
Fatboy Slim
This song instantly transports me to my senior year of high school, with its catchy riff and Indian feel – one I had largely forgotten about. This remix from Brighton’s favorite son Fatboy Slim is from his new greatest hits collection, Why Try Harder (Astralwerks, June 2006). It’s nothing that will change the world, but it’s fun and great for a summer playlist.

World Surrounded
Sam Powers

Yep, I was apparently smoking crack when I posted earlier what I said was a Mic Harrison track. Because it SO wasn’t. I mislabeled. Let’s listen to “World Surrounded” by Sam Powers – that’s what I posted earlier today under a different title. So fix your labels if you already snagged it.

Three members of Superdrag — Sam Powers, John Davis, and Mic Harrison have all done the solo thing, and this lovely fuzzy pop song demo from Powers has the rough hallmarks of the unique, classy sound that made Superdrag great. I agree with this little blurb that says “the solo echoes what it might sound like if Jimmy Page was in The Replacements.” Sam played bass on Last Call For Vitriol, however, since this demo was posted in 2004, I cannot find ANYTHING online about what album this ended up on (hence no corresponding picture), or even Google “Sam Powers” without getting an Australian magician. Anyone know anything about what the actual Sam Powers in question has been up to?

This is one of the many ace related songs you can find in the downloads section of the Superdrag site. There’s also a good variety on eMusic. Superdrag’s a band I’ve been revisiting lately, and one that always makes my friends ask, “Hey, who IS that?”

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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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