September 12, 2008

Rosewood Thieves :: Rise & Shine

Although I’ve been a fan of the rootsy folk-rock throwback sounds of New York’s Rosewood Thieves for some time now, I’ve been completely remiss in mentioning their new LP Rise & Shine until I was reminded of it just now while pondering my schedule for the Monolith Festival this weekend.

Released back in May, their first full-length album touches on the same well-crafted, rollicking pop songs hazed with a golden psychedelica that made me love their EPs in the first place. Rosewood Thieves were previously signed to V2 Records, but that didn’t fare so well for them when the label folded. They are currently unsigned and bursting with talent.

Of the trippy album art, they write:

Rummaging around a used book store, Erick found a copy of Psychedelic Art by Robert E.L. Masters and Jean Houston and bought it specially because of the cover. On it was the painting All Things Are One Thing, 1967 by Isaac Abrams, and he decided that it had to be the cover for their album. “I researched him and found out that he was a part of the New York City acid tests in the 60′s and now lived in Woodstock,” says Erick. They called him up and found him to be very kind, and when they sent him mixes of the record, he agreed to let them use his painting on the cover.

“It fit well with the title of the album,” says Erick, “Most of the songs came from dreams and nightmares, so we wanted the title to be about waking up.”

Silver Gun – Rosewood Thieves [from Rise & Shine]
(bang bang bang, yeah!)

After missing them at the great little 3 Kings Tavern in Denver in May, I’m looking forward to seeing them this weekend. If you’re in for the fest (and can weather one more trip down the billion stairs) they are playing 2pm Sunday on the main stage.

October 5, 2007

Bored in (not) Brooklyn tonight?

Yeah hey, me neither. Give me three weeks, then I’ll be there — but if I were in New York tonight, I’d head over to Pianos to check out The Rosewood Thieves with Ambulance LTD in a special “Concert For Peace.”

The Rosewood Thieves will be playing lots of stuff from their new EP (called Lonesome, out Tuesday, finally!) and also their album The Rosewood Thieves Rise and Shine. The fun starts at 9pm.

Head over to their MySpace (or to Bag of Songs) to check the new song “Honey, Stay Awhile,” and check the video of them getting all ready to rock you tonight.


July 29, 2007

Rosewood Thieves: Folk Music In The Back Room

My friend Dr. Mooney has been instrumental in turning me on to the fine burnished sounds of New York’s Rosewood Thieves [initial post], and keeping me informed on their musical progression. I’d like to thank him for this most recent bonanza: A complete live set from their residency at Pianos, showcasing material both new and old. These kids have two EPs out now: From The Decker House (V2) and their latest independent EP release, Lonesome (just out June 6 but I can’t find it anywhere yet). They are in the final stages of mixing their full-length album expected out sometime later this year. Watch the live performance video here and snag the mp3s below. I really like the rich retro sounds coming from these guys (plus gal).

[video direct link]

Folk Music In The Back Room
June 13, 2007 @ Pianos
Untitled #2
Murder Ballad In G Minor
Demo Film #1 (I think this goes with a video short on their MySpace)
Back Home To Harlem
Untitled #3
California Moon
Mad Man

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).

November 29, 2006

Odds & ends

I love you, Colorado. But I’ve decided you are a wuss.

There is (a beautiful and powdery) 3 inches of snow on the ground this morning, tops. And it’s a snow day. I say everyone should get some snowshoes and 4-wheel-drive, and life should continue as normal. Thank you.

In the shutdown interim, here are a few odds & ends that are entertaining me this morning:

Ûž A reader pointed me in the direction of mp3s from the KEXP session with The Rosewood Thieves (my previous post here, definitely check them out). They performed 5 songs, including a Dylan cover. I am strongly digging their bluesy rocker sound.

Ûž My new friend Adam wrote about his new supercool fancy tracker thing for runners that goes in your shoe, wirelessly connects with your iPod, and tracks your running stats, even TALKING TO YOU while you run. I need that (it should say pugilistic things like, “Frickin wuss! DO NOT WALK UP THIS HILL!” Maybe yell obscenities at me to keep me moving). It appears to be reasonably priced at $29, but then you also need the special Nike shoes with a pocket to hold the sensor (can I do it myself with an x-acto knife?) and an iPod Nano (mine’s a 60). Drat. (wait, or not).

Ûž A couple of interesting “from the studio” news bits:

-Shirley Manson (Garbage) goes solo, Jack White and Billy Corgan are involved

-Norah Jones finishes third album, M. Ward guests

-Mike Watt plays bass on Kelly Clarkson’s new album (for real)

-!!! Sign to Warp Records (same label as my new love Jamie Lidell), new LP Myth Takes coming in 2007. If you haven’t heard their unique disco-funk sound (and I think you say their UnGooglable name Chk Chk Chk), here’s an mp3 of their song Take Ecstasy With Me from 2004′s Louden Up Now. You wanna dance around, don’t you?!

Ûž There’s a new Contrast Podcast you should listen to, this one on the fun ornithological theme of Chickens and Other Birds. I was going to contribute either Cake’s wonderful song that I can hear playing in my head just typing it: “Comfort Eagle” (but someone else submitted it, yay!) or the fantastic boogie “Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens.”

But coulda woulda shoulda I’m lazy.

Ûž There’s a new documentary out called American Hardcore; maybe I want to punch someone after just watching the preview. It’s open now in selected theatres, and it features folks like Henry Rollins, Jesse Malin, Ian MacKaye, Flea, Mike Watt, Moby, and Tommy Stinson. Like a microcosm of the Punk: Attitude documentary from last year, this one focuses on the specific aspects of the American punk-rock scene within a 6 year period from 1980-1986. Looks interesting.

Ûž Here’s the perfect Christmas gift for that world-renowned air guitarist on your list. Now they just need to make the corresponding sensor pants for us air drummers and I will be one happy camper.

Ûž I am liking this new song from distinctive Liverpool band Clinic, off their upcoming 4th album Visitations (January ’07, or on iTunes now).
Listen to Harvest.

Ûž Finally, one more reason to love the (gratuitious and borderline creepy) internet: A MySpace group for those who love it when everyone’s favorite prolific alt-country rocker turns around: Who Wants To Look At Ryan Adams’ Ass?

August 18, 2006

I’m likin’ the Rosewood Thieves

So what’s with all these 20-somethings that sound like the Beatles or Bob Dylan? A veritable renaissance among the younguns. I am enjoying the resurgence of older sounds in the new bands of today (The Redwalls, Nic Armstrong, etc) because good music never goes out of style, does it?

The Rosewood Thieves are a five-piece rock/blues/alt-country band (bio) that have a raw, straightforward six-song debut EP out on V2 Records: From The Decker House. It was recorded at said Decker House, which is a decrepit old clapboard farmhouse in the boonies of New York where the tunes were laid down with artists such as Mike Daly (Whiskeytown) and -get this- Bob Dorough, who you love but don’t even know it because he wrote most of the Schoolhouse Rock songs. Here’s a visual, old cars and all:

Their sound is nostalgic & rocking — not simply a rehashing of those old sounds, but a fresh spin that combines the best of late-era Beatles and Johnny Cash with some Americana/alt-country spice and bluesy pathos. The ragged vocals of lead singer Erick Jordan crack beautifully in all the right places, lending this nice ‘lil collection of songs a Lennonesque, burnished feel that belies the modern age. They have several shows coming up in the NJ/NY/PA region, and hopefully a larger tour is in the works for later this year.

If this is just a taste of what these boys are capable of, I think we should all stay tuned to hear a lot more buzz about them when they drop a full-length album. Airtight listening.

Los Angeles – The Rosewood Thieves (*highly* recommended)

Diamond Ring – The Rosewood Thieves

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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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