November 5, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

This weekend was an unexpectedly gorgeous Indian summer weekend in Colorado, with temps in the 70s and me completely loving the feeling of the sunshine soaking into my skin for what could be the last time in a while. On Saturday I made it up to the top of Castle Rock which gave amazing panoramic views of the whole Front Range area. I’ve driven past it a million times (every time I see a show in Denver or Boulder) but never thought to see what it looked like from the top.

In order to tackle the easy hike up (2 miles or so) I had to face my icy-grip-of-death fear of mountain lions and other large carnivores with big teeth and claws that sometimes eat people. I despise being afraid of anything, really, so I get hotly mad at myself for flinching at underbrush crackles. But after seeing pawprints in the mud, it took some serious steeling of the will to overcome my natural inclination to go somewhere indoors. So as lame as it sounds to you rugged types, I was proud of my little mini-feat in overcoming fear — and the view from the top of the rock formation was worth it.

Delivery (demo) – Babyshambles
This song could have easily flowed from Ray Davies’ pen + guitar. Pete Doherty lays off the smack and blatant self-destruction long enough to record one of the catchiest tunes of recent memory. This is an ’06 demo version from the Stookie + Jim Bumfest sessions available on French Dog Blues (Doherty’s site), while the finished version is even snappier and out now on the new album Shotter’s Nation (Astralwerks). And as Pete says in the song, the vibe of this is your basic “make pretend it’s 1969 forever, find a girl, have a drink, have a dance and play.” Okay Pete. You convinced me. [photo]

I Just Want The Girl In The Blue Dress To Keep Dancing
Mike Doughty
This is my new favorite song. Mike Doughty was the lead singer for Soul Coughing, and his uniquely gravely voice and badass sense of killer rhythm always gets me. He’s announced a new album called Golden Delicious, out on ATO Records in 2008. This preview tune manages to combine indie-rock sensibilities with a retro feel, using some fun little vocal repetitions imitating the band that he wants this girl to keep dancing to — “Ba-rumpa-doh-bum-bum.” It’s like the little drummer Boy, but significantly less annoying. Love it.

Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
(Neil Young cover)
Lions In The Street

This scorching cover of Neil Young’s 1969 classic comes from fellow Canadians Lions In The Street when they visited the XM Radio studios recently. Here’s a band that has the crazy idea that music should be shared and loved freely, so to that effect, they give away quite a bit of it on their website, despite some disagreements with their label. When I wrote about these guys last summer, I cited the obvious swagger and strut of the Stones in the vocals and the boozy riffs, but in this song I can also hear a bit of the warm tone of some of my favorite Adam Duritz vocal moments. So if you like those bands, you should check out LITS, go download some free tunes on their site — my favorite is still probably “Mine Ain’t Yours.” New full-length from these guys is expected in 2008.

The Future Is Nothing New (the toolbox song)
The Alternate Routes
This was one of the coolest tunes that Connecticut’s Alternate Routes did when I saw them live in concert last month, using an amplified toolbox to provide the uniquely crashing hurrumph beats throughout. There’s also a Latin-tinged feisty feel to this that reminds me of Justin Timberlake’s “Senorita,” and so I am pleased to finally have an mp3 of this (courtesy Andrew). The Alternate Routes are finalists in this ‘lil Hennessey/Rolling Stone contest so you can go over and vote for them. Matt Nathanson is also listed and I felt guilty for not voting for him, but the Alternate Routes asked me to go out with them first.

My Favorite Mutiny
(feat. Talib Kweli)
The Coup

This past February when I saw Oakland, CA band The Coup as part of the Noise Pop Music Fest (now accepting apps for 2008) I was completely and totally blown away. It was one of the best and most thoroughly fun shows that I have seen in a long time. They made those dusty historic floorboards at the Fillmore shake up and down. Therefore, news of their 2002 live double album being available on eMusic is welcome (although, really, you just need to go see Boots Riley & Co in concert for yourself). So Much Silence has ripped an mp3 “Shipment” from that live album for your listening pleasure, but this particular song from their 2006 album Pick A Bigger Weapon still kills it as one of my favorite tunes I discovered in this past year; I am not yet weary of listening to it. I doubt I ever will be.

Check the video I took at the show in San Francisco, I’ll use any excuse to post this again:

THE COUP: Laugh/Love/F*ck (live 3/1/07)

March 2, 2007

Noise Pop: “Crank it to eleven, blow another speaker”

Any trip or musical stay in San Francisco would be sorely incomplete without seeing at least one show at The Fillmore, which has always been one of my favorite music venues. We have a modern ripoff in Denver that just ain’t the same, so there is nothing better than both seeing a show in this historic venue, and also wandering the halls looking at the framed portraits of all those who have played there over the last 40+ years:

Plus I love the artwork in all the framed show posters (although I noticed that the best ones are higher up, I guess to prevent the kleptos from making off with the booty):

Last night at the Fillmore (again, PACKED) I found a dose of something that I’ve been missing all these years. The show with The Coup was amazingly good; absolutely infectious thumping beats, sick soulful samples, lyrical flow, oh my gosh. The indie-rock part of my brain that I usually use for writing lacks the words.

I felt overwhelmed in a good way; my synapses were overloaded. The music is hip hop with a political/revolutionary bent, but the band has a rock-band configuration on stage: guitarist who looked like he should be in Rage Against The Machine, insane bassist who really lays down his lines with style, and dude wailing on the drums. An integral part of The Coup is their DJ (female!) and for the shows they also have a singer/strutter/emoter gal named Silk-E who seemed to be having a very good time (and sang this solo song called “BabyLet’sHaveABabyBeforeBushDoSomethingCrazy”).

Frontman Boots Riley danced with some fancy footwork and let his lyrics smoothly flow while he rocked the afro, the huge sideburns, and the velvet blazer. It was like Marvin Gaye fronting Rage with a little Parliament thrown in, and I was in love.

VIDEO: “5 Million Ways To Kill A CEO” – The Coup
This was up in the balcony when we first got there, and it’s an awesome bird’s-eye view of the crowd and the fabulousness of the evening. The guitar riff in this song has a distinct Led Zeppelin/Aerosmith vibe, yes?

VIDEO: “Laugh/Love/F*ck” – The Coup
According to The Coup, by doing the above (and also “drink liquor,” as you’ll hear in the song), we’ll help the damn revolution come quicker. And when it comes, we’ll all be too drunk, relaxed, and well-sexed to do anything to support it.

One of the best parts of their set was the female DJ Pam The Funkstress, who was getting soooo into her craft and thoroughly enjoying every single moment there on the stage and the reactions she garnered from the crowd. She also showed off her multi-talented self by scratching the records with her substantial breasts. Now that’s some kind of female empowerment . . .

Lyrics Born truthfully paled in comparison for me, and I just couldn’t get as into them after the marvelousness of The Coup. They were, however, FUN. I think in this video you can actually see the way the old Fillmore floor actually bounces up and down during really emphatic shows:

VIDEO: Lyrics Born workin’ the crowd

And I do believe that if the world outside were collapsing, a wise place to head would be the Fillmore, where we could subsist happily for a long time on free, ice-cold, crunchy apples from the big vat up front. I’ve missed those.

Listen to more Coup/download:

Listen to more Lyrics Born:

Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

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.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →