September 6, 2007

Get into some heavy trash with Jon Spencer

Jon Spencer’s blues are not currently exploding, now he is into Heavy Trash. The frontman of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has a new gig –well, since 2005, I am just hearing about them– with former Madder Rose/Speedball Baby member Matt Verta-Ray (which totally sounds like a superhero name, or an aquarium animal). Heavy Trash released their self-titled debut in 2005, and this week followed up with their sophomore effort, Going Way Out With Heavy Trash.

Kissy Baby – Heavy Trash
Way Out – Heavy Trash

Currently signed to YepRoc Records, they have rough and tumble rockabilly punk sound that makes me want to drink, smoke, and fight. And I don’t even do two of those three things. Their website boasts, “As boozy and frantic as a trailer park stabbing,” and from the opening crunchy reverb surf riffs of “Double Gold” to the Sex-Pistols-thrash of “Into Oblivion,” or the traditional ’50s rockabilly structures of “Outside Chance” (not a Turtles cover, but just as retro), this album is stuffed with the genres and sounds I love. “That Ain’t Right” is straight up cash money, and by Cash I mean Johnny.

The first time I heard Heavy Trash, I found myself verbally egging on the song while I was listening to it; “COME on now!” This is one band I would absolutely, positively go see live. I mean, just listen to em. I think the ideal tour pairing would be with the Ike Reilly Assassination, but I kinda get the feeling Ike and Jon might beat each other up.

Here are their upcoming tour dates:
Sep 8 – Tompkins Square Park, New York, NY
Sep 11 – Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY
Sep 12 – Grog Shop at Coventry Yard, Cleveland Heights, OH
Sep 13 – Magic Stick, Detroit, MI
Sep 14 – Schubas, Chicago, IL
Sep 15 – Headliners, Louisville, KY
Sep 17 – Ravari Room, Columbus, OH
Sep 18 РClub Caf̩, Pittsburgh, PA
Sep 19 – The Rock and Roll Hotel, Washington, DC
Sep 20 – Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, PA
Sep 21 – Luna Lounge, Brooklyn, NY
Sep 22 – T.T. the Bear’s, Boston, MA
Sep 23 – Cafe Nine, New Haven, CT
Nov 7 – Modified, Phoenix, AZ
Nov 9 – The Casbah, San Diego, CA
Nov 10 – The Echo, Los Angeles, CA
Nov 13 – Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz, CA
Nov 14 – Cafe du Nord, San Francisco, CA
Nov 16 – Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
Nov 17 – Chop Suey, Seattle, WA

You should absolutely buy their new album, Going Way Out With Heavy Trash [stream the whole thing here].

To entice you to heights of devotion, here are three bonus tracks that didn’t make the main album.

Didja Hear My Name – Heavy Trash
Kloi – Heavy Trash
Wet Book – Heavy Trash

February 12, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

My pal Jeff Weiss (who runs the finely-wrought and utterly hilarious Passion Of The Weiss blog) also moonlights with the good folks at Stylus Magazine, and you should read his latest opus for them:
Back To The Future vs. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
. It’s just as awesome as it sounds.

Weiss pits two of the most excellent ’80s films against each other on several battles: Better Protagonist, Better Villain, Better Historical Time-Travel Interaction, Better Time-Traveling Helper, Better Time-Traveling Vehicle, Better Token Females, Better Musicians, and Better Sequel(s). Finally a serious discussion of these important qualifiers. The overall winner is my pick as well — although it is indeed a tough choice. Thanks to Weiss for navigating these rocky waters for us and helping us make an informed choice.

Here’s what else I am enjoying this week:

Hardcore Days and Softcore Nights
I completely missed this one when it came around on the 2005 album I Sold Gold (maybe because I don’t watch The O.C.) but when I heard it last week it hooked me instantaneously with its insane, thumping beats and I’ve listened to it since then on repeat. A lot. You will love it — and although the title sounds like it should be the definitive soundtrack to a porn flick, the lyrics are actually tame and a bit cryptic. Aqueduct is the nom-de-mike of David Terry, and he has a new album Or Give Me Death out on Barsuk February 20th. Stream some new tunes here.

Spencer Dickinson
This is a side project featuring Jon Spencer (o, he of the Blues Explosion) and some of the North Mississippi Allstars (Luther & Cody Dickinson). Recorded in 2000, released in Japan only in 2001, this finally made it to the rest of us last summer as the album The Man Who Lived For Love, on the Yep Roc label. One reviewer said this track sounds like “James Brown on a psychedelic bender,” and there’s enough dirty bluesy funk, electric guitars, Memphis horns, and rowling harmonica on this disc to make anyone do a little backporch jig.

Into The Mystic (live)
Van Morrison
This live cut is from the upcoming compilation Van Morrison At the Movies (out tomorrow), which features Van songs used on film soundtracks — and there are a lot. This one is cited as being in Patch Adams, not that anyone would remember the inclusion of most of these songs into the movies referenced (with the exception of the flawless use of “Comfortably Numb” in The Departed). This is a great collection with unreleased versions of Van songs, and a fine place to start if you haven’t previously added anything from the Irish Soulmaster into your collection. There’s something fine in the world when Van Morrison is playing on the radio.

Untitled Demo
Rosewood Thieves
Here’s a sweet little raw bit of material from burgeoning buzz-band The Rosewood Thieves. It’s not at all like the rollicking blues that I’ve previously loved from them, but instead this understated tune is bittersweet and melodic — all acoustic plucking and harmonica. The guys are working on demos right now for their first full-length LP. Unfortunately because of V2 going belly up, they no longer have a label. Once they finish the demos and find a label they’ll be recording at Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock. Can’t wait to hear the finished product – I think these guys are bursting with talent. [thx for the pic and mp3]

Gimme Shelter (Streetlab remix)
Rolling Stones
Stereogum pointed me in the direction of these Streetlab fellas from Brooklyn, who eloquently remix class songs like this without turning it into something too clubby or dancey. It’s as if your radio that you are listening to ‘Gimme Shelter’ on gets caught up in a tornado, and the music ebbs towards you and then flows back — in and out. Through all of this Mick’s voice comes weaving in. Fantastic. Several other free downloads of their wares are available on the Streetlab MySpace, including a remix of the Smashing Pumpkins song ‘Starla’ that must be experienced.

P.S. – The sun finally came out here this weekend! I went running outside and was going to die (either of sun-soaked happiness or muscular exhaustion, I couldn’t decide which).

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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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