May 15, 2011

brighten my northern sky

Northern Sky (Nick Drake) – Denison Witmer

been a long time that I’ve waited
been a long that I’ve known
been a long time that I’ve wondered through the people I have known

would you love me for my money? could you love me for my head?
would you love me through the winter?
would you love me till I’m dead?

oh, if you would and you could, come blow your horn on high


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]

May 7, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

I promise I am really not obsessed with moustaches (far from it, although I do think I had a dream with Tom Selleck in it after last week’s post) but I feel obligated to share the results of the competition I mentioned previously over at Cinco de Moustache. The results are in and the photos alone are some of the most fun you can have at work without getting fired or the clap. Check them out.

I saw evidence with my own eyes of this new holiday, if you will, on Saturday night at Sancho’s after the KOL show. An entourage of (fake) moustachioed dudes were getting down in the middle of the bar to the irresistible pull of “(I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine,” which was my selection from the jukebox. When combined with the absurdity of the facial growth, their limber grooves were wholeheartedly the best thing I’ve seen in a long time, and made me hope for the continued “growth” of the Cinco de Mustache movement.

It makes any face just a little more special.

New music for this week:

Goodnight Rose (live on Henry Rollins Show) [pic]
Ryan Adams
A friend of mine feels that this is the best thing Ryan Adams has written in 5 years, and I gotta admit that there are moments here where I want to agree with that bold statement. This version of new tune “Goodnight Rose” is long and winding, jammy and filled with noodling and clocking in at 8+ minutes, which sometimes with Ryan can be a red flag for me. But something about the combination of the chord progression and the lyrics on, “If you get scared, hold my hand. Get out of that dress . . .” just pokes a blunt stick at my heart (and yeeeah, I can see how that suggestion would work to make me feel better, Ry). I would love to hear this song reinvented as quietly haunting, like the different versions I’ve heard of “Hard Way To Fall.” I’m crossing my fingers for how Easy Tiger pans out as a whole (note: Sheryl Crow adds vocals to two songs, which could be cool) and where he goes with it after all the quick-change versions of Ryan Adams we’ve gotten over the past decade.

I smile at the the charming addition here of the four-part acapella harmonies that Ryan and band add at the beginning, middle interval, and end – “Henry Rollins Show, Henry Rollins show, Henry Rollins Show….” If this rock-country musician thing doesn’t work out for Ryan, he could always join a barbershop quartet.

They’re Leaving Me Behind
Nick Drake
The folks over at Tsunami Records were much appreciated ’round these parts when they dropped this mp3 into my inbox last week, another sample track off the upcoming Family Tree album, a collection of early rarities and home recordings left unreleased by Nick Drake before his untimely death in 1974 (at the age of 26). What I’ve heard of the album so far isn’t going to radically shake-up what we already know about Drake and his lovely folksy fingerpicking output, but it’s great to hear some “fresh” sounds. Nick Drake always sounds to me like that gauzy, hazy layer of fog that burns off right before sunrise; there’s something so ephemeral and perfect in his music.

Roll On (feat Jenny Lewis)
The new Dntel (aka Jimmy Tamborello, of The Postal Service acclaim) album Dumb Luck (Sub Pop) is a collage of densely fascinating electronica with a host of guest vocalists helping out along the way. Jenny Lewis’ contribution has a surprising bluegrass twist (with lyrics like “son of a gun”), with the subtle electronic layers adding interest to the song construction. It reminds me of the welcome breeze through an open window. The album also features Conor Oberst, Mystic Chords of Memory, and Grizzly Bear, among others. Up next (someday) for Tamborello is a new Postal Service album with Ben Gibbard that’s been in the works since last Spring.

Hold It In
Jukebox The Ghost
I’ve been hearing a bit of a buzz building behind Washington D.C.’s Jukebox The Ghost, whose herky jerky sound is a perfect complement to the warmer weather that I know in my heart of hearts will someday come to Colorado to stay for a spell. This reminds of stuff like The Futureheads or The Caesars, that is to say, it’s perfect for a future iPod commercial.

Rusty Cage (Soundgarden cover)
Johnny Cash
Although I still prefer the bloodcurdling ferocity of the original version of this Soundgarden song, which unforgettably opens their 1991 album Badmotorfinger, I have to appreciate Johnny Cash’s masterful take on it as well. Cash could take anything and loan it that dusty, apocalyptic, country-preacher feel, bringing up shaded nuances that you missed the first time it was done. And I have to say that as many times as I’ve listened to the original in the past 13 years, this cover was the first time I understand a good deal of the lyrics. This was originally released on 2005′s The Legend of Johnny Cash (the same album that gave us his cover of NIN’s Hurt).

And in case you need some paint stripping done today (Heather’s moment of specific interest in this song lies at 2:52, unreal):
Rusty Cage – Soundgarden

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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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