Friday, December 28, 2007

End of the eMusic month

Update at 11:20AM : added a few more gems.
I actually enjoy when the end of the month rolls around, and I have nothing to download on eMusic. It gives me an opportunity to update my collection with old favorites or try out some new artists. This month I went with the former. If you aren't in eMusic, head over to iTunes or your local music store. Here are a few diamonds in the rough I found.

Arcade Fire - "Surf City Eastern Bloc" Nice little ditty packed with powerful almost militant brass.

Old Crow Medicine Show - "Wagon Wheel" - Heard so much about these guys and from the sounds of this tune, I am hooked. Anyone know which cd I should get?

Rusted Root - Cruel Sun - The Godfathers of worldly tribal hippie-ish music. They made flautists cool again. Notables are "Send Me on My Way," "Martyr," and "Artificial Winter."

John Prine - The Missing Years and German Afternoons - Speaking of Godfathers. I can't get enough of Prine. Sheer genius.

Robert Earl Keen - Best - Texas alt-country at its finest.

Dan Bern - New American Language (plus others)
Sam Baker - Mercy
Josh Ritter - Animal Years
The Felice Brothers - Tonight at the Arizona
Avett Brothers
Backyard Tire Fire

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Take:

Will someone please set up a soapbox for me?

Okay, I am starting to severely doubt the taste of Pitchfork. While originality in music is a wonderful thing, P4k has taken it entirely too far with their reviews and Top 50 lists. P4k, you are unoriginal, and lack variety, almost all of your top ten is psych, freak, music that is basically mostly dance music. Bear with me while we go through their Top 10.

Let's start with

10. Burial - Untrue - I have sampled and sampled this cd and I don't get it. It's too weird. Psych-trance/dance music -

9. The Field - See above.

8. Battles - Mirrored
Okay, Psych dance music, anyone see a pattern yet?

7. Spoon - No complaints here

6. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam - AC is kind of interesting, but still just too weird to last. Basically, psych, freak rock.

5. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna - Not really many complaints, but no top five album, but it is still in the psych rock category.

4. Radiohead - No complaints - It's good music.

3. MIA - Kala. More dance music, I now officially see the pattern.

2. LCD Soundsystem - Sounds of Silver. Another dance music cd with two wonderful songs on it, the others are boring. But still, dance music.

1. Panda Bear - Person Pitch. Sure its original, but it gets old after a couple of listens, and you guessed it, it is freak, psych rock.

Look at 2006: Scott Walker, Boris, Liars, Grizzly Bear, Joanna Newsom and number 1 was The Knife.

So all tolled, 6 weird dance cd's and a couple of freak, psych rock cd's. Why do we give so much weight to these guys? I am not jumping on this bandwagon anymore.

I am not saying all of these artists suck or are not talented, I am just saying that I really can't imagine really listening to these artists many more times than one. Compare this to the musical talent of the greats of the past: Springsteen, Dylan, Cash, Prine, Jerry, the Beatles, etc. Come on guys. You are trying too hard.


The Felice Brothers coming to Memphis

The Felice Brothers are coming to Memphis on Thursday, February 7!!! They are opening Drive By Truckers for their tour. Here is the full list.
The Felice Brothers

Fri 02/01/08 New York, NY Mercury Lounge

Thu 02/07/08 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone

appearing with Drive-By Truckers

Mon 02/11/08 Anaheim, CA House Of Blues

Tue 02/12/08 Los Angeles, CA The Avalon

Wed 02/13/08 San Francisco, CA Mezzanine

Fri 02/15/08 Portland, OR Roseland Theater

Sat 02/16/08 Seattle, WA Showbox At The Market

Sun 02/17/08 Seattle, WA Showbox At The Market

Tue 02/19/08 Boise, ID Big Easy Concert House

Wed 02/20/08 Park City, UT Suede

Thu 02/21/08 Aspen, CO Belly Up Aspen

Fri 02/22/08 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre

Sat 02/23/08 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre

Mon 02/25/08 Omaha, NE Slowdown

Tue 02/26/08 Columbia, MO Blue Note

Wed 02/27/08 Urbana, IL Canopy Club

Thu 02/28/08 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater

Fri 02/29/08 Saint Louis, MO The Pageant

Sat 03/01/08 Louisville, KY Headliners Music Hall

appearing with "Langerado Music Festival"

Sun 03/09/08 Big Cypress, FL Big Cypress Seminole Reservation

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another new find

Photo cred: Judd Irish Bradley
My second find of the week is New Mexico's Dan Bern. The first strikes of his vocal chords immeditely ring the voices of Dylan and Petty. While a few of his songs are silly, (such as his song about Charles Manson's real last name - which is Krautmeyer, by the way) most of them are quite well written and very impressive. Gems such as "Thanksgiving Day Parade," "Sweetness," and "God Said No," will no doubt please. So far, my favorite cd is New American Language, which has just a teaspoon of Americana influcence. Check out his Myspace.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Find

Photo Cred: Terry Tamadge

After discovering two new artists, I would have to say it has been a good week. These things do not happen too often. Texas singer/songwriter Sam Baker is, no doubt, one of those "like on the first listen" artists. Baker's influences strongly favor John Prine and Dylan. Packed with clever lyrics, Mercy, his debut, is a gem. Baker's smoky, unpolished voice is a no-brainer purchase in my book.
Lyrics such as "So he’s driving to work, With his head split open, From last nights drinking and last nights smoking, And he never got home, And now there will be hell to pay," in the song "Iron" leave you thirsty for more.

Or "Came back and turned 30, Her and the girls, Never said why she left, But she wore country pearls, Says to her father, 'No questions, no lies,' She drove a t-bird with the top down, Cold beer between her thighs" (from "Truale")immediately places me on the backroads of the South or the Midwest cruising around before sunset.

I am itching to purchase his new cd Pretty World. I must give credit where credit is due, Thank you Paste for mentioning this fine artist. P.S. Mercy is on eMusic.
Sample him at Sam Baker Myspace

That second artist I mentioned coming soon.......

Monday, December 10, 2007

News of 2008.

Although we are by no means finished with 2007, we must inform you some bright bulbs flickering already in 2008.

Drive By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark
out January 22.
DBT (minus Jason Isbell)releases a new album in January as the whole alt-country world holds their breath. Patterson Hood contributes 9 songs, 7 songs from Mike Cooley and 3 songs from Shonna Tucker. Also musical contributions from Spooner Oldham. Sample all 19 songs SAMPLE If 30 seconds can gauge it, I'm in. Yep, I hear banjo too.

Cat Power - Jukebox due out January 22.
Another covers album by Chan Marshall. Tracklist below:
1. New York (Frank Sinatra)
2. Ramblin’ (Wo)man (Hank Williams)
3. Metal Heart (Cat Power *)
4. Silver Stallion (The Highwaymen)
5. Aretha, Sing One For Me (George Jackson)
6. Lost Someone (James Brown)
7. Lord, Help The Poor And Needy (Jessie Mae Hemphill)
8. I Believe In You (Bob Dylan)
9. Song To Bobby (Cat Power **)
10. Don’t Explain (Billie Holiday)
11. Woman Left Lonely (Janis Joplin)
12. Blue (Joni Mitchell)

* original version on the ‘Moon Pix’ album
** first appearance of this song

In addition, there will be a limited-edition silver foil deluxe package with a bonus disc containing the following 5 songs:

1. I Feel (Hot Boys)
2. Naked, If I Want To (Moby Grape)
3. Breathless (Nick Cave)
4. Angelitos Negros (Roberta Flack)
5. She’s Got You (Patsy Cline)

Destroyer - Trouble in Dreams due March 18, 2008.
RC's album of the yearsters 2006 Destroyer will undoubtedly release another solid album.

Track Listing:
Blue Flower/Blue Flame
Dark Leaves From A Thread
The State
Foam Hands
My Favorite Year
Shooting Rockets (From The Desk Of Night's Ape)
Introducing Angles
Leopard Of Honor
Plaza Trinidad
Libby's First Sunrise

Also, If you are interested in old lists (Best of 2006, 2005) See links just above downloadable mp3 section.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

News and more Top Albums of 2007

Top Lists of 2007

Muzzle of Bees

Largehearted Boy

Aquarium Drunkard

Gorilla vs. Bear


Band O' Horses Tourdates, including stops in Nashville, Birmingham, Memphis.
Fri 12/28/07 Atlanta, GA The EARL
Sat 12/29/07 Atlanta, GA The EARL
Mon 12/31/07 Atlanta, GA The EARL
Sun 01/20/08 Charleston, SC Music Farm
Mon 01/21/08 Norfolk, VA NorVa
Tue 01/22/08 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore - TLA
Wed 01/23/08 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
Thu 01/24/08 State College, PA State Theatre
Fri 01/25/08 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
Sat 01/26/08 Louisville, KY Headliners Music Hall
Sun 01/27/08 Newport, KY Southgate House
Tue 01/29/08 Nashville, TN Exit / In
Wed 01/30/08 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone

Thu 01/31/08 Saint Louis, MO Gargoyle @ Washington Univ.
Fri 02/01/08 Norman, OK Meecham Auditorium
Sat 02/02/08 Dallas, TX Palladium Ballroom
Sun 02/03/08 Austin, TX La Zona Rosa
Mon 02/04/08 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
Wed 02/06/08 Birmingham, AL Bottletree
Thu 02/07/08 Tallahassee, FL The Beta Bar
Sat 02/09/08 Orlando, FL The Social
Sun 02/10/08 Orlando, FL The Social
Tue 02/12/08 Mount Pleasant, SC Village Tavern
Wed 02/20/08 Dublin, IRE Button Factory
Thu 02/21/08 Glasgow, UK ABC1
Sat 02/23/08 Birmingham, UK Carling Academy Birmingham
Sun 02/24/08 Manchester, UK Manchester Academy
Mon 02/25/08 Bristol, UK Thekla

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Top Albums of 2007

50 The Go! Team - Proof of Youth
Pretty disappointing follow up to a classic, but it has a few notable tunes.

49 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Some Loud Thunder
Almost an utter failure, huge disappointment, Underwater and Emily Jean Stock saved the cd.

48 Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond
Impressive straightforward indie rock cd from the old school. PLEASE PAVEMENT GET BACK TOGETHER!

47 The White Stripes - Icky Thump
Although not fully for me, a very rocking cd nonetheless. It does lack cohesion though.

46 Explosions in the Sky - All of the Sudden I Miss Everyone
Gotta love instrumental meats. Explosions can do no wrong. Not as good as The Earth is Not a Cold, Dead Place though.

45 Dr. Dog - We All Belong
70's rock at its finest. One of Tweedy's favorites. Somehow, Dr. Dog recreates the days of old.

44 Panda Bear - Person Pitch
One of the most original things I have heard. Not as good as people proclaim, but interesting at the least. Reminds me of Beach Boys with a tablespoon of psychedelia.

43 LCD Soundsystem - Sounds of Silver
Two songs on this cd are good enough to carry the weight of the whole cd. Is that legal?

42 Youth Group - Casino Twilight Dogs
Cripsy indie power pop that echoes sounds of the 80's. Excellent cover of "Forever Young"

41 Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
Tony Bennett for hipsters. Very original. Gorgeous instrumentation which accompany his solid baritone.

40 Blonde Redhead - 23
BR brings the ambient sounds of Sigur ros' and Bjork together for this little ditty.

39 The Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills
Pretty much a let down compared to Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, but still has some great indie pop tunes.

38 Besnard Lakes - Are the Dark Horse
Original award yet again. At times reminds of, you guessed it, pshychedelic Beach Boys.

37 Iron & Wine - The Shepard's Dog
Great effort by Sam Beam to switch it up a bit, but something is still missing.

36 Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Probably Ryan Adams' best since Gold, love that he brought back some twang. However, when he says, "Guitar Solo," I suddenly and involuntarily throw up.

35 Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
A dash of DBT and a dash of Led Zep and wa-lah, BT emerges with this solid Southern rock record.

34 Menomena - Friend and Foe
At times sounding like none other than Ozzy, Friend and Foe hides a few masterpieces within.

33 Son Volt - The Search
Not a bad effort for the Godfather of Alt-country. Jay, please bring back the banjo, fiddle, and lap steel. The Boquist brothers are bored stiff.

32 The Clientele - God Save the Clientele
Mellow indie rockers, The Clientele, release another mediocre yet capturing record.

31 Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
I just see so much potential in this band, and I feel this record is a step in the wrong direction. "The Beginning After the End" starts the record out strongly but then I'm asleep by number 4. It is still a pretty good attempt; I just see so much potential. Oh, well.

30 John Vanderslice - Emerald City
I hate to be negative but every cd after Cellar Door should be called Not Cellar Door, because that is what they are. I love John V though, and this cd has some wonderful songs. Once again, I just expect more.

29 Radiohead - In Rainbows
What an amazing marketing release. This is standard Radiohead, good album.

28 Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
Spencer Krug is a stud. Do I need to continue?

27 Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
Surprisingly wonderful debut by Brooklyn's Yeasayer. Almost has a Genesis feel, with a dash of freak rock. Very interesting indeed.

26 Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
The Southern Strokes do it again with BoT. Little more mainstream, but I still dig it.

25 Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Never cared for Of Montreal until this album. The 80's are not dead.

24 Feist - The Reminder
Feist blasted her way into the spolight with TR. Very impressive cd, she capitalized her potential.

23 Backyard Tire Fire - Vagabonds and Hooligans
Drive By Who? BTF elbows their way into the Southern Alt-country spectrum with this fine cd.

22 Great Lake Swimmers - Oneida
Give me banjo or give me death. With strong vocals and beautiful instrumentation, these mellow hipsters struck gold with Oneida.

21 Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
Solid album, possibly his finest. I love Andrew Bird, but for some reason it just doesn't stick like other artists do. See other artists below.

20 Interpol - Our Love to Admire
Critics hated it, I actually liked it. I really just don't know how they can "change it up." Interpol is Interpol. Awesome cd.

19 The Felice Brothers - Tonight at the Arizona
Honestly, I could write three paragraphs about this band. Freshest, most original thing I heard all year, I can't believe they have not blown up yet. Get ready, it will happen.

18 The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Pretty disappointing release from The Shins. I expected more once again. Over half of the cd is better than average.

17 Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
Interesting release by the eccentric Patrick Wolf. Almost orchestral backing and his David Byrnesque vocals combine for a powerful one-two punch.

16 The Twilight Sad -Fourteen Autumns, Fifteen Winters
Put words to Explosions in the Sky and you will have this band. Laced with a thick scottish accent, TTS are a unique talent.

15 Jason Isbell - Sirens in the Ditch
Ex-trucker Jason Isbell releases his first solo leaving us thirsty for more. Packed with instant classics, Sirens is a huge stand for Jason as he implants flag in the alt-country soil.

14 BSS presents: Kevin Drew - Spirit If...
Might as well be a Broken Social Scene album. Wonderful album. Its hard to find a bad song it. The first nine blow me away.

13 Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Potential, Potential, I am beginning to see a theme. Not a bad cd Jeff, we just expect more.

12 Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Britt and the Spooners create yet another classic, and somehow maintain originality on every track and album.

11 Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
Love this guy. Finally got Animal Years this year, and was blown away. Conquests picks up where it left off and adds about six more dimensions.

THE TOP TEN of 2007

10 The New Pornographers - Challengers
Neko Case shines in this wonderful release by the League of Extraordinary Hipsters. These guys just master indie power pop. No more needs to be said.

9 Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
This is a "grower." I am loving the direction Conor is going. Then again, I love me some fiddle and steel guitar. Fine, fine album. The lyrics are superb. I just kicked my own self in the crotch for not going to Memphis.

8 Pela - Anytown Graffiti
This came out of nowhere. No one really paid attention, but my ears were rewarded with sticking with this one. Wonderful album, from start to finish.

7 Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
I mean will there ever be another Funeral, Nope! Will this do, Yep. Great follow-up to a perfect debut.

6 Avett
Brothers - Emotionalism
Just discovered these guys this year. Where have I been? This album, as well as their back catalog, is just as fine. Slamgrass is the new black. As original as it gets.

5 Modest Mouse - We Were Dead....
The mouse brings the thunder again. These guys can do no wrong. Dr. Marr is fabulous, and Brock continues to pump our adrenaline, while blowing our minds altogether.

4 Okkervil River - Stage Names
Jeez, didn't know you had it in you. What a release! Find me a bad song on here, please, because I cannot find one.

3 Band of Horses
- Cease to Begin
Speaking of bad songs, has Band of Horses ever made one. Ben throws a little Southern hospitality in this gem. Cease is an album of hope and utopia, and man, is it good. If we can miraculously get an album a year from the Horses, I won't even be bitter anymore about Uncle Tupelo breaking up. Someone wake up Jim James from his cozy slumber and get him in a studio, Benjamin B is showing him up.

2 The Felice Brothers - The Adventures of the Felice Brothers Vol 1.
Mother of Pearl, this hidden jewel almost tripped my favorite band in the world (see below) and leap frogged to numero uno. I cannot pry this Disc out of my player. My ipod loves it too; it freezes up if I try to listen to something else. Every song is a phenom. If Dylan married Boudreaux's ex-wife, this would be that illegitimate little dude. BUY THIS THING. 15 American dollars in a greeting card to: Felice Brothers P.O Box Palenville NY 12463....... or to our paypal: we'll mail the music right out to you.

1 The National
- Boxer
Surely you knew this was coming. Boxer slows Alligator's sprint to a trot. While I will concede it is no Alligator, who cares? Ten out of twelve of the songs are five stars, and two of the tracks are four stars. Here are a few words to describe: original, beautiful, smart, lyrically fascinating, well placed vocals, astounding drum pieces, dark yet light, crisp, on and on and on. Near perfect album.

Honorable Mentions:
Giant Bear - Giant Bear
Aaron Schroeder - Black & Gold
The Rosebuds - Night of the Furies
White Rabbits - Fort Nightly

I would love to see your top ten in the comments!!!!!!!