June 22, 2006

Those other two Hope Sandoval songs

Just a quickie here – I’ve gotten several emails from people following my last big post on Mazzy Star, asking for the other two songs I referenced but didn’t include. Happy to share, they’re excellent:

Cherry Blossom Girl (Hope Sandoval version) – Air

Asleep From Day (with Hope Sandoval) – Chemical Brothers

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June 11, 2006

Mazzy Star: B-Sides, Rarities, and Live Stuff

Do you remember how wonderful Mazzy Star was? Hope Sandoval could be in my top trifecta of female voices with her sultry, lazy, laconic sound. I wrote about her a good while back on the Monday Music Roundup and I said of that song, “I picture a voice coming out of a black, black room – like you are sitting somewhere in the dark and suddenly you hear this lolling voice, like a slowly swirling river, out of nowhere.” A sound like no one else, a distinctive voice which I didn’t realize I missed until I came across this great collection.

You need to populate your newfangled iPod with the seductive mid-’90s sounds of Hope Sandoval & David Roback, and this fan-produced assemblage of live cuts, b-sides, and other rarities is a superb and painless way to do it.

01. Fade Into You (live)
02. Ride It On (live acoustic)
03. Sometimes Always (live)
04. I’m Gonna Bake My Biscuit (originally by “Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe,” b-side to “Fade Into You” single)
05. Under My Car (another b-side to “Fade Into You”)
06. Tell Me Now (from the Batman Forever soundtrack, b-side to U2′s “Hold Me, Thrill Me…”)
07. Hair and Skin (originally by Green on Red, b-side to “Flowers in December”)
08. Tell Your Honey (b-side to “Flowers in December”)
09. Had a Thought (b-side to “Flowers in December”)
10. Flowers in December (radio edit)
11. Sometimes Always (I’m pretty sure this is just the studio version with Jim Reid from Jesus & Mary Chain’s Stoned and Dethroned. Still gorgeous.)
12. Ride It On (live)
13. Ghost Highway (live)
14. Blue Light (live)
15. Into Dust (live)
16. Bells Ring (acoustic)

DOWNLOAD ALL THE MAZZY STAR GOODNESS AS A ZIP FILE, for the love of all things good & holy.

By the way, according to the Hope Sandoval website, Capitol will release The Mazzy Star Anthology and a deluxe CD/DVD in 2006. Wasn’t this supposed to be released in April 2005?

And this was VERY interesting, from an article in Los Angeles CityBeat about Massive Attack: “Perhaps the band’s next album, Weather Underground, due early next year, will break through. Marshall says the crew has already recorded 15 tracks, with TV on the Radio and Albarn contributing, and the possibility that David Bowie and Hope Sandoval will step in later.” I would think that would be a smashing collaboration.

Also highly worth checking out is the track she collaborated with The Chemical Brothers on, “Asleep From Day,” plus she contributed the vocals to a version of Air’s “Cherry Blossom Girl,” but I can’t find it. Can anyone send it to me? Got it now! Thanks!

PS – Everytime I talk about Air, I am compelled to say “AirFrenchBand” (all one word) like my dear friend Jenn always does. Just to clarify.

January 30, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

It’s Monday, new music for the week.
“We happy?”
“Yeah, we happy.”

Ol’ 55
Sarah McLachlan
There’s been some Tom Waits love goin’ around in the blogosphere lately (even Jesus loves him, but I guess Jesus loves everybody), which reminded me of one of my favorite covers ever, a Waits song from Sarah McLachlan’s Freedom Sessions. This track was recorded this very late one night/early one morning, after Sarah & her band had been imbibing large quantities of red wine. Not everyone knew the song, so those that did were mouthing chord changes to the others. She sounds better drunk than I do sober. (But oddly enough, not as good as I *think* I sound drunk. Ironic.)

Tiger Man (live)

On their 2003 tour, Eels often opened their show with this Elvis cover, a classic swaggering song of sexual bravado. I can picture Elvis The Pelvis making all the teenage girls scream with this one. With E, not so much, but with his unique sound he can pull it off. Rockin’ good fun from the Ancienne Belgique show. Thanks to Giacomo from www.eelsitalia.com!

These Things
Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions

You may remember Hope Sandoval as the dreamy-velvet voice of Mazzy Star. While Mazzy Star lies dormant, Hope has gone on to release some newer material with her band The Warm Inventions. This track is from her 2002 EP Suzanne. When I listen to this, I picture a voice coming out of a black, black room – like you are sitting somewhere in the dark and suddenly you hear this lolling voice, like a slowly swirling river, out of nowhere. It’s just her and a slow bluesy guitar for most of the song. Very evocative.

The Shins
Flake Music
As Chris puts it, “Way before The Shins were going around changing Natalie Portman’s life in overrated movies, they were Flake Music.” Matthew posted this track by Flake Music (from their 1997 CD When You Land Here, It’s Time To Return) and I have been enjoying its poppy vibe for the last month. Shimmery goodness, as one would expect from they-who-would-become-Shins. And yes, so you’re not confused (or, even worse, accuse me of a typo!) the song is in fact also called The Shins. Whoa.

Why Don’t You Do It For Me?
Big thumping drums and a retro-rockabilly/blues feel to this group distinguishes the 22-20s from the rest of the next-big-thing bands over in Britain today. The 22-20s took their name from a track by Delta bluesman James, and it’s clear from listening to them that these chaps have studied their musical roots. Liam Gallagher (Oasis) has been rumored to have said about music these days, “Everything’s sh*t. Except for the 22-20s.” So there you have it. That may or may not be an incentive for you, but (Liam or no) this is some good stuff in the Heather Browne book. From their self-titled 2005 debut album.

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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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