February 12, 2009

Explosively fun soul from Miss Fairchild


A few years back, I met Miss Fairchild from Nantucket (that sounds like the opening to a great limerick) with this outrageous track off their Ooh La La Sha Sha EP. It sounds like it just shuffled from another decade, with half-steps and then a little side lunge:

Number One – Miss Fairchild

I wore that song out on long runs that summer. In fact, hearing it now makes my pulse race. Lead singer Daddy Wrall has this slyly-knowing croon that’s custom built for songs that make you wanna get up and dance. They aren’t exactly reinventing a genre, they’re rolling around in the good classic stuff and having an immense amount of fun.

To celebrate the release of their new Won’t Be Your Kept Woman EP, Miss Fairchild is back with more free music in the form of an hour-long mp3 mixtape that is just ridiculous, all stomps and claps and hip shakes:

Won’t Be Your Kept Woman Mixtape – Miss Fairchild

The mixtape seamlessly layers their original compositions with everyone from Arrested Development to Bob Dylan, to Dr. John to En Vogue (Free your mind….) to Michael Jackson telling us to “blame it on the boogie.”

Which I do.

kept-woman-coverBUY THE NEW EP:

2/26 BOSTON: Oliver’s Nightclub at Cask ‘n Flagon
2/27 BROWN UNIV: Brown Underground (students only)
2/28 PORTLAND, MAINE: Empire Dine & Dance

(top photo credit Jodi Goodnough)

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December 31, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

Ah, the last day of 2007. We have about four different options for this evening and no one can decide anything. Both my brother and sister are still in town, which adds to the fun myriad of possibilities. Right now I think the frontrunners are either going to Heidi’s to drink hot German wine (she just got back from a trip to the Paterland), doing something in Denver with my little brother, or perhaps just the usual NYE tradition of sitting on my porch with that bottle of vodka and a shotgun.

Also, in related holiday news, my sister is the best present buyer ever — look what finally arrived:Courtesy of Uncommon Goods. Now I just have to figure out what to put in a bowl with a hole in the center (it was, after all, a real record in its past life).

My last five offerings of 2007!

My Own Worst Enemy
George Stanford

With a crisp piano melody that sticks in your head like a Billy Joel or Ben Folds tune, this song just feels like cold January and fresh starts. A couple of trusted ears recommended that I check out this artist from Philadelphia (George Stanford is formerly of the band Townhall). This first track I listened to is rumored to have a dual-meaning about either a girl or his love/hate relationship with his music and songwriting. Either way, it’s charming and heartfelt and I’ve found myself humming it all day. Stanford has an EP currently out on Smash Records.

Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Vampire Weekend

I’ve mentioned before that I worked in a rad international education job for five years, and during that time I got to help dozens of students study abroad in African countries. Two students that I remember took the time to share some African music when they came back, feeding a primal love that runs hot in my veins for the ebullient, earthy percussion common to much of their music. So it’s a bit inexplicable that I’ve resisted listening to hot blog-buzz band Vampire Weekend, which has an oft-cited African undercurrent reminiscent of both Graceland-era Paul Simon (an album I unabashedly love) and mid-80s Peter Gabriel. I finally took a spin, and of course, I find their album absolutely delightful.

[Sean’s in the same late-arriving boat as me, but as usual, he’s a heck of a lot more eloquent]

Electric Bird

With swankily gorgeous vocals that boast a hint of ’40s glamour mixed with Fiona Apple’s dramatic range, Sia is an Australian artist that I have heard a a few scattered places and always enjoyed. This track is from her forthcoming January release, Some People Have Real Problems. I have no idea what is going on with the U.S. album cover so I just close my eyes and listen to the sultry brassiness of this tune instead of pondering the magic marker on the face. It could be the hot trend of 2008.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

Old pal rbally blog is sneakily back after taking too many months on hiatus, and this elates me. Jenning’s fifth or sixth post since returning is a screaming live show from former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus, with his new band The Jicks (causing me to wonder what a jick is). Rbally also points me to this new mp3 from the Matador website, a first listen off of Malkmus’ forthcoming album Real Emotional Trash, due in March. Still all crunch and fuzz but with elegant melodies and flourishes throughout, and laced with Malkmus’ literate lyrics and endearing warble.

Number One
Miss Fairchild

Finally, if you have no idea what to play tonight for your New Year’s festivites, and don’t have time to make up a mix (like moi), then the fine trio of gents from New England funk/soul band Miss Fairchild still have that 2-part mixtape up for free download on their website. Their mix blends together a wide range of old-school and modern songs (funk, hip hop, soul) with a few get-up-shake-it tracks of their own making, like this dancetastic groove from the Ooh La La Sha Sha EP. Their MySpace says they sound “like Sly Stone remixed by Beck” — it is thoroughly fresh and modern, but also a lot like something Prince would put on a mix for you. It’s a free party in 2 clicks, just waiting to happen. And a bonus for those who snag it: In January when you hit the gym with all the other resolvers, you’ll have the best soundtrack on Treadmill Row.

Oh, and this image ran in the paper today in their retrospective article on 2007. It’s still my favorite picture of the year, and when I am old, I will think back on the pure joy of The Rockies’ amazing 2007 run, and smile.

July 9, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

If you’re a guy thinking of cutting off those luscious Shannon Hoon locks you’ve been growing since your sophomore year of high school, what better way to go out than in a blaze of glorious mulletry?

That’s definitely what this guy did in a wonderful bit of photo-chronicling (what did we do before the Internet?). Also check his endeavor to consume locally and scramble up a pigeon egg instead of his normal chicken fare. Not to give away the story, but he writes, “All in all, pigeons, I was let down by your egging skills. The yolk was no different than a chicken yolk. I was hoping for some kind of natural spice or kick given all the wacky, awesome stuff you guys eat.”

Here are five (no, six!) new songs for you this week, to support your musical habits in the manner to which you’ve become accustomed:

Number One
Miss Fairchild
I think I’ve asserted this opinion before, but each of us inherently has a certain Required Daily Allowance of funk — something that makes you wanna stand up from your desk and shake it while you grimace slightly, something that makes you wanna walk down the street like Shaft. You might not know that you have this requirement, you may eschew it – but Miss Fairchild wants to help you stay happy and healthy. Miss Fairchild is a New England band who brings you “fun with a capital K.” Although their name conjures up images of a proper British Mary-Poppins-trainee, their velvety funk conjures up visions of a young Prince meets James Brown (and maybe a little of that “Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Puff” song if we can name-check embarassing ’80s pleasures). And I love it. From their Ooh La La Sha Sha EP.

ALSO, they love you so much, they made you a mixtape for free download. You have to register (I just did it, nothing scary happened) but then you get an instant party with 4 of their new songs mixed with pop-funk classics, all in a sleek zip package.

Off Work
Thurston Moore

So many years in Sonic Youth may have in fact driven Thurston Moore a little bonkers. All you need do is listen to the closing track on his new solo CD Trees Outside The Academy, where he repeats this line,”What you are about to hear is…” me opening a can of Lysol, me dropping a penny, me snapping the scissoors away at random, etc. And YET, he still sounds cool even just wasting time. Such is the life of a rock legend. Take a listen to this fantastic cut, which sounds like the scuzzy, harmonic art-rock of Rather Ripped meets the likeable melodies of The Archies. The album is his first solo effort since 1995′s Psychic Hearts, and will be out in September on (his label) Ecstatic Peace.

Temptation By Your Side
Formed from the ashes of Sub Pop-signees Vue (who opened for everyone from BRMC, The Faint, and Franz Ferdinand to . . . The Rolling Stones), Bellavista is a San Francisco trio of childhood friends who grew up in the picturesque Half Moon Bay area. Fitting with the foggy splendor of those parts, this music is formidable and sounds bigger than a trio — like it could stand up a dark and brooding Pacific storm. Other tracks on their 2007 self-titled album (Take Root Records) feel like some of the swirl and haze of early Verve, but this song pounds and wails with a slightly off-kilter warble that Julian Casablancas made okay to let loose with. They’ve got a handful of shows in very cool SF venues coming up.

Tomorrow Is A Long Time
(demo, Bob Dylan cover)
Nick Drake

The posthumous collection of unreleased material from British hushed-folk troubadour Nick Drake will finally see release this week. Family Tree (Tsunami Records) is a warm and elemental view of a pensively troubled man, but one who nonetheless loved his music. Drake died in 1974 of an overdose of antidepressants at the green age of 26, leaving behind reels of demo tapes and home recordings. We hear his own sketches, his unfinished vignettes, his duets with family members. He covers artists as varied as Jackson C. Frank, Bert Jansch, and Blind Boy Fuller as well as traditional arrangements. Listen for the lyrical misstep in this Dylan cover at the beginning of the second line (when he starts to say “tomorrow” instead of “tonight”) and the clinking of a glass in the background. Intimate and surprisingly lovely.

Hawaii Mud Bombers
Finally – summer’s here and the time is right for . . . lots of surf music. I’ve added four or five surf albums to my collection this past week, including this fun “surf-meets-The-Ramones” blend of Sweden’s Hawaii Mud Bombers. Yes, they’re from the dappled sunkissed swells (right) of Falun, Sweden, and their album Mondo Primo just saw U.S. release on Wicked Cool Records (the label run by Little Steven Van Zandt, of The Sopranos, the radio show, and the E Street Band — and trivia answer here, also the writer of the awesome song “Patriot” that Pearl Jam deftly covers in concert). This song’s instrumental, but they usually sing along.

BONUS TUNE! This cover is just completely . . . unnecessary and I think you should hear it. A whole new generation of concertgoing ladies (not me) wanted to take their panties off and toss them with wild abandon across his golden stage.
I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor – Tom Jones
(Arctic Monkeys cover, live at that Princess Diana shebang)

Something about hearing the aging bronzed-Welsh-sexbomb Tom Jones sing that line about “dreams of naughtiness” with such gusto definitely makes me want to go take ten very hot showers, maybe pour bleach in my ears.

[via my favorite guys who beat me to the rip]

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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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