February 8, 2009

Our reflections flickering just like a Super 8 :: New from David Mead


Sometimes I forget how much I thoroughly enjoy the music of David Mead. He consistently writes some of the prettiest, catchiest, most thoughtful melodies out there today, yet he is chronically overlooked and underrated. Similar to Josh Rouse, both artists have an impeccable ear for the sublime and loan their smooth voices to a variety of styles of albums.

tangerineIf I can try to draw a few parallels here, 2006′s Tangerine was Mead’s 1972 (Josh Rouse’s album, full of toe-tapping organ riffs and danceable pop goodness).

For some reason, this song from Tangerine also reminds me of The White Stripes if they started hanging out with The Partridge Family:

Chatterbox – David Mead

SUCH a fantastic song, as is the whole album.

indianaMead’s 2004 album Indiana also knocked me flat. As the eponymous song would imply, parts of it are about driving through desolate miles of Midwestern landscape, but following a long stint living in New York many of his songs also sing about The City. I listened to this tune non-stop when I was in NYC in October of 2007, and it still makes me feel all wistful and bittersweet inside.

Well midnight has faded to morning, the city can’t keep you with me. ‘Cuz this is an island of vagabonds, a stop on your way to be free…. so take the Queensboro Bridge to the airport; I’ll stay and settle for less…”:

Queensboro Bridge – David Mead

david-meadWith that small primer fresh on your eardrums, let me tell you that David Mead just released a NEW 2-part EP called Almost and Always. His fifth full-length release, it’s a chronicle of  “life after marriage and the promise of things to come.”

The second part is now available as a free download when you tell 5 friends, or a pay-what-you-want type deal. I think this wonderful piano-based melody is my favorite so far, as it chugs along humbly and sweetly, like the train ride it details:

The Last Train Home – David Mead

….we spent the day remembering the city
mixing up our streets and avenues

but now you’re fast asleep and i am so alone
but we’re together on the last train
all the towns repeating
four more stops to go
we’re together on the last train home

catching our reflections
flickering just like a super 8
somerset and chatham
someone in an office working late

and you were softly singing in the kitchen
washing hands and saving him a plate

but now you’re fast asleep
and i am so alone
but we’re together on the last train
all the towns repeating
two more stops to go
we’re together on the last train home….”

GET IT: Almost and Always

[thanks to the formidable mcusa for the tip!]

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June 5, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

So, I think Kenny Rogers goes to my gym. I was watching this man (either him or like HIS TWIN) do extremely fast ninja squats yesterday while I mulled over the choices for the Monday Music Roundup with my iPod on the freaking Stairmaster. He had cat-like speed and reflexes. Who knew?

David Mead
This is pretty much the most ridiculously infectious and happy pop song I have heard in a while, from Nashville songwriter David Mead. I defy you to not be happy listening to this. I bought the whole Tangerine album on eMusic (click the banner on the right if you wanna sheck it out) and have been quite pleased. Interesting, intelligent instrumentation, catchy as all get out. I also love the completely different feel in the stripped vocal goodness of the track “Reminded #1.”

Golden Age” (Beck cover)
KT Tunstall
A lovely Beck cover from the KT Tunstall website-only release Acoustic Extravaganza, recorded over the holidays on the Scottish isle of Skye. One forgets that tiny Beck also has an introspective side to some of his songs, and here Tunstall takes it and suffuses the tune with the warm & rosy glow of sunrise.

The Chesterfield Kings
Well, folks, The Chesterfield Kings (oldies that I have never heretofore heard of, from Rochester NY) enter the running and there is now a three-way tie for “Best Rolling Stones Song In Recent Years NOT By The Rolling Stones” (tie with the Deadstring Brothers and the new Primal Scream). This is not a bad thing – I think there is ALWAYS room for a little sloppy bluesy harmonica rock ‘n’ roll, yes? Also on the album (The Mindbending Sounds of the Chesterfield Kings) notably enjoyable tracks are the delightfully Beatles-inspired “Somewhere Nowhere” and “Transparent Life.” Please IGNORE the horrific hairstyles – this is not Whitesnake, even if they look like it. Someone get a pair of clippers, I’ll cut their damn hair myself.

Landed (with strings)
Ben Folds
I like Ben Folds because of his quirky and honest voice (it’s not traditionally beautiful, but stirring and transparent in its ordinariness) and his absolutely lush & gorgeous piano orchestration. This version of Landed (a bonus track on some editions of Songs for Silverman) goes on and adds insult to beautiful injury by heaping on some delicately rich strings. Will make you ache.

Song No. 6
(featuring Ron Sexsmith)

Ane Brun
This American debut from Scandinavian songbird Ane Brun (A Temporary Dive, V2 Records) caught my eye initially because of this track, a collaboration with my newfound hero Ron Sexsmith. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by the entire disc (Pitchfork gave it a 7.7, if that means anything), even though it is driving me to the Cliffs of Insanity to not be able to peg who her voice is a dead ringer for in the opening lines of this song. HELP? Oh no, is it Norah Jones? I think it’s Norah Jones that she reminds me of. Oh dear. Well, her album is NOT a Norah Jones facsimile, she is in a totally different vein. Good smattering of stuff on eMusic for her too.

After my live Eels post last week, Jethro commented that the cover they do of Sophie B. Hawkins’ lusty slow jam “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” was hilarious. And indeed it is. For your listening pleasure (and worth it just to hear E sing “give you something sweet each time you come inside my jungle book”) -

Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” – Eels

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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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