Friday, February 29, 2008

End of eMusic Month and updates in general; WILCO ON SNL

Tons of great stuff out there on eMusic (most on iTunes too) this month. If you haven't downloaded all of your credits, here are some ideas.

Los Campesinos - Hold On Now, Youngster (ADVANCE - ALBUM AVAILABLE!!)
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (a classic)
Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride (strange voice but awesome album)
Beach House - Devotion (the latest P4k buzz band, haven't really checked it out)
Cat Power - Jukebox (finally got it, I really like it)
Atlas Sound - Let the Blind Lead... (P4k buzz band, samples did not impress me)
Andy Palacio - Watina (Blythe endorsed afro-pop)
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova - The Swell Season (see what the Once buzz is all about; won Oscar for Best Original Song)
Jason Collett - Here's to Being Here (loved Idols in Exile, have not checked this out)
British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music? (some buzz around this album, have not really checked it out).

Also, Don't Forget WILCO is playing on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Set your Tivo's.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Spring Concert Wishlist

Yet again, the venues in my hometown of B'ham are cranking up some good shows for the spring months. My "wishlist" of what I hope to get away for in the next few months in the area:

2/25 - Bill Callahan (of Smog) @ Bottletree
3/02 - Wilco @ Ryman Aud. (Nashville)
3/09 - The Black Crowes @ Tabernacle (Atlanta)
3/10 - Vampire Weekend/The Walkmen @ Bottletree
3/11 - Blitzen Trapper/Dr. Dog/Fleet Foxes @ Bottletree
3/11 - Giant Bear/Hoots & Hellmouth @ Workplay
3/24 - Stars @ Workplay
3/25 - The Bravery @ The Nick
3/27 - The Gourds @ Zydeco
4/1 - Kelley Stoltz @ Bottletree
4/4 - Felice Brothers @ Bottletree
4/13 - Son Volt/Bobby Bare Jr. @ Workplay
4/14 - Iron & Wine @ Variety Playhouse (Atlanta)
4/18 - Spoon @ Vanderbilt Univ. (Nashville)
4/18 - The New Pornographers/Okkervil River @ Cannery Ballroom (Nashville)
4/22 - British Sea Power @ Bottletree
4/30 - Tapes 'N Tapes @ Bottletree
5/2 - Yeasayer/Man Man @ Bottletree

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bon Iver: an eclectic miracle

Nothing made me happier this week than escaping studying for the Bama bar and listening to Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago. I mean if you listen to that sample over there and are not impressed, to quote Blythe, "You ain't livin' right." As I told a buddy today, you might as well break your Jose Gonzalez cd over your knee. Recorded in the solitude of a cabin in the Wisconsin wilderness, Justin Vernon hibernated and recorded this blissfully overwhelming masterpiece. (no I am not being dramatic). Obviously, one thinks of Iron and Wine, but I must say it is a notch above ole' Sam. Something deeper and more complex blasts through my 9inch woofers. At times, I hear TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, however, on songs like "Wolves", the gushing crescendo reminds me of the first time I was severely moved by Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek." Justin's voice and echoing overdubs reflect vibrations as though they were bellowed in a acoustically sound church. Dude's a deerhunter too check out this Great article on Stereogum Also, he has his own blog. Go buy the album folks.
Best Song: No reason to pick favorites, I love em all. But if I had a gun to my head, I would say "Blindsided" and "Skinny Love."
Hails from: Wisconsin
Sounds like: Iron & Wine, acoustic TV on the Radio, Jose Gonzalez
Available on: eMusic, iTunes, Amazon.
Websites: Myspace, Blog, Virb
Tour in South:
03-07 Louisville, KY - Headliners
03-09 Knoxville, TN - The Pilot Light
03-10 Nashville, TN - Exit/In
03-11 Little Rock, AR - Sticky Fingerz

MP3: Skinny Love

Homemade video of "Re: Stacks" below.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wilco Live Tonight

Live wilco webcast tonight for the last night of the five day chicago shows on their website at 7:00. HERE

In the News:

Uncle Tupelo named magazine No Depression is shutting down. Read about it here.

The National release a live digital EP on Rhapsody
01 Mistaken for Strangers
02 Brainy
03 Slow Show
04 Fake Empire

The Whigs are playing tonight on Conan following a 7.0 from P4k.

John McCain's daughter is a music blogger.

I have a mole at all five Wilco shows in Chicago...Yeah, the one where they are supposed to be playing their entire catalog. Stay tuned for full review.

The Thermals played Daytrotter (mp3's available).

DVD out today: Kurt Cobain: About a Son.

The new Mountain Goats album is really good. Its up there with Sunset Tree.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pick Your Afro-Pop

Purchased the Vampire Weekend CD a few weeks ago and it is good stuff. A little shorter in time than I had hoped for, but I believe with their style of music less is more. Pouring over countless reviews and blogs on this release and the band’s meteoric rise, I continuously saw the same term lined up as either a perceived influence on their style: Afro-pop. I guess this is one genre, sub-genre, whatever, that appears pretty self-explanatory, but I honestly don’t have many miles in this area. But here are a few artists which probably fall in line:

Youssou N’ Dour: One of Africa’s most famous singer-percussionists, Youssou recently released Rokku Mi Rokka, which received much critical acclaim last year (#30 on Rolling Stone’s 2007 Albums of the Year), but largely got overlooked in the 4th quarter blitz of releases last year. Click here for a track from the album courtesy of All Songs Considered (you'll also find a track from Extra Golden--see below).

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi: I first heard this Zimbabwe musician’s “Hear Me Lord” on a Laser’s Edge (R.I.P.) sampler a few years back. This song has stuck on my Ipod ever since. Makes me think of Rusted Root. I have downloaded a few more of his songs and he is definitely worth a listen--very upbeat.

Andy Palacio: Unfortunately, I first found out about Palacio this past weekend on an NPR podcast. He passed away of an apparent stroke on January 19th. Although he did not call Africa home, this Belizean musician turned out years of Carribean music with significant African influences.

Extra Golden: One of my favorite late –’07 finds. This DC--Nairobi collaboration has the perfect mix of stateside and abroad. The beats never falter though—no way they could originate from anywhere else than the motherland. My favorite is "It's Not Easy" from OK-Oyot System (stream it here).

These artists are quite different from VW, which probably hearkens more to Graceland, but you can see some similar components here and there. Anyway, always good to have a new artist/release open doors into a whole new style—or continent—of music. If you have any Afro-Pop or other world music-influenced bands to recommend, please do so in the comments.

By the way, I'll be seeing Vampire Weekend open up for The Walkmen at Bottletree in early March, so look forward to a review of the show.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tuesday's New Releases and Streams

Tuesday is a pretty good day for music.

The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride
P4k gave it an 8.0. I am hoping for a more upbeat album than the last Get Lonely.
Available: eMusic, iTunes, Amazon
Stream whole album HERE

Also, Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

Blog-savvy Bon Iver is for fans of more mellow artists such as Iron and Wine or Jose Gonzales. I am a big fan of what I have heard thus far.
Available: eMusic, Amazon, (should be on iTunes)
Stream whole album Here

ALSO, and possibly most importantly, if you pre-order The Felice Brothers new cd at their label HERE for a whopping $11.00 then, your shiny new phenom will be shipped TOMORROW.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Review: The Whigs - Mission Control

Finally getting around to reviewing few week old Mission Control by The Whigs. I am very impressed with this tight, guitar-fueled album. Without a doubt, The Whigs echo the lo-fi-garage 90's glory bands such as Dinosaur Jr. Packed with catchy choral hooks, Mission Control is really a first-listen nod. Pretty much grabbing me with the opening track "Like a Vibration", MC begins strong with heavy distortion and continues to please. "Production City" has a definite INXS feel. "Sleep Sunshine" is one of the finer tracks that is accompanied by a eerie yet gliding slide guitar that really works. The strongest track is "I Never Want to Go Home" which is an instantly classic indie ballad showing a much softer side. Parker Gispert's voice shines with his gravel road, husky tone almost The Boss-esque. Its worth forking over ten measly bucks for this fella. Go grab it.

Best Track: "I Never Want to Go Home"
They Hail From: Athens, Georgia
Sound Like: Dinosaur Jr., Pavement, but have a notable indie rock sound.
Available on: eMusic, Amazon, and iTunes.
Websites: Myspace; Homesite
Tour in South: 2/23 Nashville

"Right Hand on My Heart"
Right Hand On My Heart

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Dent May and His Magnificant Ukelele

Oxford, MS's own Dent May and his Maginificant Ukulele. Dude got a shout out in Paste magazine. Download his free EP on his website.
Great video and catchy tune. Kind of Beirut-ish. Part of it shot at Sardis Lake outside of Oxford. The end of the vid is hilarious. Check it out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Just updated on the side bar --->

What I am listening to,
Upcoming Releases
Upcoming Live Shows.

Check it out.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Felice Brothers at Hi Tone in Memphis: A Live Review

The Opening Act:
Justin Townes Earl - Steve Earl's son was a fitting way to start off a perfect 10 musical evening. Earl was very entertaining the entire set, and was accompanied by his mandolin/harmonica player who was equally as talented and entertaining. I recommend his music.

The Crowd:
Although not that packed, the crowd was amazing. Everyone sang and danced right along with each song. There was one creepy guy in the crowd, if you were there you know who I am talking about.

The Band:
The Brothers were shock full of energy. Although rough around the edges at times, the band sounded superb. All three of the singers' whiskey growls are quite pleasing to the ears. After hearing them sing live, it is no doubt they are of the same blood. The new songs sounded raging redic, while the old ones were fantastic live. Some of the slower ones were up tempo-ed up such as "Hey, Hey Revolver," and "Whiskey." With accordions blasting, washboard clacking, and guitar bouncing, its no wonder Bonnaroo decided to give these guys the nod. Their live presence is second to none.

The larger brother seems to be the brains of the operations walking the other ones through what key songs are in and such. The drummer, the oldest brother, is one of the most sensual musicians I have ever seen, basically making love to his snare drum and symbol each time he hammered down a beat. Then, as he sang Radio Song, Christmas Song, and The Devil Is Real, he looked as though he was singing with every drop of blood that pumped through his bare-chested heart, very, very passionate singer.
Ian is the no brainer most amazing voice. The solo "San Antonio" proved his reign. At times, the Brothers looked as though they were thinking "I can't believe people know the words to our songs." But, I have a feeling this feeling will soon become redundant at each show. They are still not one-hundred percent comfortable on stage, but that will come with time. I could go on and on, but I won't. These guys are going somewhere and if I am wrong, it is a dang travesty to the industry. With that much talent on one ticket stub, they are destined to become the next buzz band.

The greatest news I heard all night was there is a new self-titled album coming out March 4th with a mostly new tracks and a couple of old ones. Buy and Check out the new album here

Download free and legal, two amazing tracks:
Frankie's Gun
Wonderful Life

The Setlist:

Send Me an Angel (not the one from the movie "Rad.")
Hey, Hey Revolver
Whiskey in my Whiskey
Helen Fry
Where'd You Get Your Liquor
Ruby Mae
White Freightliner Blues (traditional)
Radio Song
Thirteen (Big Star cover)
Unknown song
Cincinnati Queen (?)
Frankie's Gun
The Ballad of Lou Welterweight
Two Hands (Townes Van Zandt cover)
The Devil is Real

Greatest Show on Earth
Lie and Cheat
San Antonio (Ian solo)
Christmas Song
Glory, Glory > Wu-Tang Clan Tune> Glory, Glory > Wu-Tang Tune

New Album Tracklist

1. Little Ann
2. Greatest Show On Earth
3. Frankie’s Gun!
4. Goddamn You, Jim
5. Wonderful Life
6. Don’t Wake The Scarecrow
7. Take This Bread
8. Saint Stephen’s End
9. Love Me Tenderly
10. Ruby Mae
11. Murder By Mistletoe
12. Whiskey In My Whiskey
13. Helen Fry
14. Radio Song
15. Tip Your Way

And by the way, Win Butler from Arcade Fire's stunt double was in the crowd.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Tonight: The Brothers of Felice

The Felice Brothers are playing in Memphis tonight at Hi Tone. I shall be in attendance. All tour dates below, including in Birmingham on Friday, April 4 at Bottletree.

The Felice Brothers

Thu 02/07/08 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone Cafe
Fri 02/08/08 Austin, TX The Mohawk

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

The Felice Brothers

Thu 02/14/08 Eureka, CA The Red Fox

appearing with Drive-By Truckers

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 Salt Lake City, UT Club Paladium
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

The Felice Brothers

Mon 03/03/08 Whitesburg, KY The Summit City
Tue 03/04/08 Winston-Salem, NC The Garage
Wed 03/05/08 Wilmington, NC Soapbox

appearing with Man Man

Thu 03/06/08 Asheville, NC Grey Eagle
Fri 03/07/08 Mount Pleasant, SC Village Tavern

appearing at "Langerado Music Festival"

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

appearing with McCarthy Trenching

Mon 03/17/08 Pioneertown, CA Pappy And Harriet's Pioneertown Palace
Fri 03/28/08 Minneapolis, MN The 400 Bar
Sat 03/29/08 Madison, WI University Of Wisconsin
Mon 03/31/08 Grinnell, IA Grinnell College

The Felice Brothers

Tue 04/01/08 Chicago, IL Schubas Tavern
Wed 04/02/08 Louisville, KY St. Francis Of Assisi

appearing with McCarthy Trenching

Thu 04/03/08 Nashville, TN The Mercy Lounge
Fri 04/04/08 Birmingham, AL Bottletree
Sat 04/05/08 Knoxville, TN Barley's Taproom
Sun 04/06/08 Decatur, GA Eddie's Attic
Mon 04/07/08 Raleigh, NC Berkeley Cafe

The Felice Brothers

Tue 04/08/08 Norfolk, VA The Boot

appearing with McCarthy Trenching

Thu 04/10/08 Arlington, VA IOTA Club & Cafe
Fri 04/11/08 Pittsburgh, PA First Unitarian Church
Sat 04/12/08 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Roo 08

Bonnaroo has announced lineup with greats including my personal favs:

Vampire Weekend
Drive-By Truckers
Avett Brothers
Felice Brothers
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
Death Cab
Sigur Ros
Iron & Wine
Broken Social Scene

The Headliners don't really float my boat though. Nothing that impressive.

Don't Piss Off the Boys from Alabama

Finally getting around to reviewing some of these new phenomenal albums that have been released lately. I will start in chronological order with the new Drive-By Truckers.

Brighter than Creation's Dark
begins with the boys from Alabama's finest tune on the album. "Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife" combines Hood's rough-around-the-edges vocals accompanied with a divine selection of instruments including a gritty plucking banjo.

Numero Dos continues my grin with a Stroker Ace tune, "Three Dimes Down." Cooley's redneck baritone shines throughout this whole album. He somehow inserts the quote, "chicken wing puke" without the song becoming too silly.

The next tune is a Hoodrocker called "The Righteous Path," where Hood attempts to "hold steady" on the righteous path while ratcheting up his 6-string ax about 9 notches.

"I'm Sorry Huston" is a decent Shonna tune.

"Perfect Timing" is another feather in Cooley's cap, of good ole' country songs.

"Daddy Needs a Drink" is a Hood swayer exhibiting Patterson's brutally honest lyrics.

Cooley and his back-pocket hanky continue to highlight Brighter with "Self Destructive Zone" which will tattoo in your brain the catchy line, "dead fat or rich, nobody's left to b*** about the goings on in the self-destructive zones."

The middle of the album somewhat weighs it down with mediocrity with Ocres like "Bob," "Home Field Advantage," and "The Opening Act."

Dr. Adam's Apple resuscitates the album with twangy "Lisa's Birthday" which would make even the most Nashville-est country legend smile.

"That Man I Shot" intros with a devilishly evil guitar riff that seems to cackle at the man that was shot. Although seemingly a protest song, I can't help but find myself wandering through the still-filled backwoods of "Where the Devils Don't Stay."

Shonna's "Purgatory Line" is actually her strongest number, and quite a nice tune, possibly questioning where Hood will go after aforementioned track.

"The Home Front" is a Hood tune that leans more toward indie than alt-country(although it does have a mind gripping steel guitar.)

"Checkout Time in Vegas" is a decent Cooley addition, but aside from "Bob" his weakest on the album.

I have a hard time taking seriously the gut checking track "You and Your Crystal Meth," just kind of weird, I guess. I mean I hate Meth like the next guy but should it really be sung about.

"Goode's Field Road" is pretty good attempt at a Blues Rocker. Not a bad tune.

Stroker does it again with "A Ghost to Most." Intertwined with catchy hooks and snags, "Ghost" is just staple Truckers, and, once again, somehow Cooley makes using the word "britches" in a song okay.

Honestly, "The Monument Valley" could be a good song if Hood did not have this weird, jerky singing style in this tune (hard to describe). Its almost horrid. I am not sure why but it drives me crazy.

In sum, the addition of keys and steel guitars almost have a natural feel in this DBT album. They strayed away from the over-produced Blessing, and delivered a gritty yet cohesive album. Cooley undoubtedly shines on Brighter with his pool-stick-breaking, backroad-riding gems. The 19-track shotgun approach worked for the Truckers Robinhooding the bullseye on about 11 tracks.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hot Chip's New Album

I am sure all of you have had your stages of music. Probably my most inexplicable musical rite of passage was my venture into techno music in the late 90’s. I think it all stems from my trip to Cream in Liverpool my first year out of high school. Don’t have many CDs left to show for this era of my life, but to date I still from time to time find some electronic groups that peak my interests again.

One example is Hot Chip. Today they release Made in the Dark, and I recently streamed the entire album on After the opening tracks of this album, I was ready to dish it as another less than impressive sequel to a trailblazing electronic album (see Basement Jaxx). But this is a respectable follow up to The Warning. Not as danceable, but just as creative. “Ready for the Floor” and “We are Looking for a Lot of Love” are great tracks. “Looking”, “In the Privacy of Our Love” and the title track show off the “soulfulness” that some reviewers are crooning about on this album (foreshadowed in their “Sexual Healing” cover from last year), yet the album can sound like a maddening toy factory assembly line at times. “Touch Too Much” hearkens back to “Over and Over” with what sounds like some odd cowbell as a main beat for the track. “One Pure Though” and “Hold On” may be the exceptions to the less-danceable comment, providing a background melody that is definitely club-worthy. The kicker of the album for me is “Wrestler” which shows off HC’s wit with lyrics like “I’ve got a roll of coins and I am aiming for your loins and will never stop” set to a background of handclaps and a gentle piano line. The contrast is refreshing and remniscent of The Warning’s title track. All in all an enjoyable album.