Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sleep Apnea?

Well, I'm posting from inside the St. Thomas Sleep Center in Nashville getting ready to find out if I have sleep apnea. Since I'm on my notebook, I don't have access to my library so the best I've got tonight is the first single off The Cave Singers' (MySpace) folkish debut album, Invitation Songs.

Seeds of Night

The Cave Singers
|The Cave Singers

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Twilight Singers Live

Now this is how to start the work week. This is an outstanding sounding Twilight Singers (MySpace) show recorded on November 26, 2006 in Brussels, Belgium. Duli fans know how amazing his shows are, and this one includes Mark Lanegan. There are a few songs missing, but what I've got is seriously good shit. The montages of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (The Band) and Candy Cane Crawl as well as Lovestoned, The Killer, & Wolf Like Me (TV on the Radio) are both amazing. If anyone has the full show, I would love to fill it out.

November 26th, 2006
Twilight Singers: Brussels, Belgium - A.B.

Teenage Wristband
Im Ready
Bonnie Brae
Too Tough To Die
Live With Me (feat. Mark Lanegan)
Where Did You Sleep Last Night? (feat. Mark Lanegan)
I'll Take Care Of You (feat. Mark Lanegan)
Sideways in Reverse (feat. Mark Lanegan)
Amazing Grace / King Only
Fat City
Esta Noche
Theres Been an Accident
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down / Candy Cane Crawl / The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Papillon / The Joker / The Killing Moon
Martin Eden
Forty Dollars

Lovestoned / The Killer / Wolf Like Me
Boogie Boogie (feat. Mark Lanegan)
Flashback (feat. Mark Lanegan)
Black is the Color of my True Loves Hair (feat. Mark Lanegan)
Underneath the Waves

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mucklewain - A Southern American Rock Festival

The 2nd annual Mucklewain Southern Music Festival (MySpace)will be held on Friday and Saturday, September 28 & 29 in Pinewood, TN, about 45 miles west of Nashville. Click here for map to see just where in the hell Pinewood is. Mucklewain was started to help showcase the vast array of talent in the South and to get past the tired stereotypes associated with the South. As with any region there are plenty of things to celebrate and that includes the differences that make each of us who we are. Southern artists will feature their creations in the art tent and vendors including Nashville's own Yazoo Brewing Company will be on site. There is limited camping on site on a first-come-first-serve basis, but there are a couple of other nearby camping sites that can be used as well. And if you don't want to rough it, there are plenty on hotels from the Dickson area on into Nashville.

In it's second year, the festival has culled a pretty impressive lineup of more than 50 artists or all renown and bloodlines on two separate stages. Artists include East Nashville modern-day folk icon Todd Snider, the reunited Blue Mountain, two former V-Roys in Scott Miller & the Commonealth and Mic Harrison & the High Score, former Drive By Trucker, Jason Isbell with his new band the 400 Unit, Lucero, Will Hoge, Driving n Cryin and Bobby Bare Jr just to name more than a few. Enjoy the samples below and as always, if you like what you hear, support the artists and buy their records or at the very least the songs. Click for the full lineup and schedule.

Todd Snider - Official Website | MySpace
Nashville - East Nashville Skyline
Thin Wild Mercury - Live With The Devil You Know, At Grimey's, Nashville, 10-20-06
Missing You - Happy To Be Here
If Tomorrow Never Comes - The Devil You Know
The Devil You Know - The Devil You Know

Scott Miller - Official Website | MySpace
Daddy Raised a Boy - Are You With Me?
Bastard's Only Child - Laurel Theater, Knoxville, TN 04-29-2004
Drunk All Around This Town - Schubas Tavern, Chicago, Il 03-12-2004
Eight Miles Per Gallon - Reconstruction
On a Roll - Reconstruction

Jason Isbell - Official Website | MySpace
In a Razor Town - Sirens of the Ditch
Chicago Promenade - Sirens of the Ditch
The Devil is My Running Mate - Sirens of the Ditch

Lucero - Official Website | MySpace
She Wakes When She Dreams - Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers
Sweet Little Thing - Tennessee

Mic Harrison & the High Score - Official Website | MySpace
Over the Mountain - Schubas Tavern, Chicago, IL 03-17-2005
River City Bluff - Schubas Tavern, Chicago, IL 03-17-2005
Dishonest Jenny - Schubas Tavern, Chicago, IL 03-17-2005

Will Hoge - Official Website | MySpace
Dirty Little War - Draw the Curtains
Southern Belle - Live in Charleston

Bobby Bare Jr - Official Website | MySpace
Bashful Burnt - From the End of Your Leash
The Heart Bionic - The Longest Meow

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Long Saturday Afternoon

Its finally starting to feel like fall around here, which mean football season is kicking into full gear, and with that come the annual Tennessee-Florida tilt. With this game so goes my mood and the rest of my day. Pretty pathetic I know, but I've come to accept my for who I am. Part of who I am is a Tennessee Vol.

I firmly believe that there will soon be an entire religion in the state of Florida dedicated to Gator's QB Tim Tebow, complete with parables about his conquests. CBS will be the official broadcast network for the Church to Laud the Invincibility of Tebow, or CLIT for short.

I took the liberty of going ahead and creating an image for followers to pray to and worship.

The Gators jumped out to an early lead with a punt return against our atrocious kick coverage team which had me Seeing Red (Minor Threat). But even as the first half closed with my beloved Vols trailing 28-6, I said, So What (Ministry) and in true Vol form we closed to within 8 after a nine-play 64-yard touchdown drive followed by a 96-yard interception return for a touchdown by true freshman, and future All-American, Eric Berry.

The bottom fell out when Tennessee QB Eric Ainge and RB Arian Foster couldn't execute a simple handoff (to be fair Ainge is playing with a broken pinkie on his throwing hand and had been using his non-throwing had for handoffs) and the ball was scooped up and returned for a Florida touchdown, making the score 34-20 in favor of Florida. But it wasn't until Florida's next possession, which ironically began with a mishandled punt return that Florida was lucky to recover back at the one yard line. On the next play his greatness connected with Percy Harvin for a 49-yard gain to mid-field. It was at that time that I know we were Flat out Fucked (Mudhoney). Obviously they went on to score several more times, and once again the Vols start conference play with a loss (the first of at least 2 more to come).

Credit goes to the Gators. They are far more talented overall at the skill positions, and they have a bright and innovative head coach. The better team won (while running up the score). The Florida-LSU game coming up on October the 6th with a fun one to watch. It will also be another opportunity for CBS to recruit members for CLIT and remind us all of the greatness of Mr. Tim Tebow. Meanwhile, my Vols will trudge ahead to another mediocre season unless they can somehow find a way to win the rest of them.

Oh well, good luck to the Tennessee Titans tomorrow as the defending Superbowl Champion Colts visit Nashville for our home opener.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

PJ Harvey's White Chalk

Fans of the raucous works of Miss Polly Jean Harvey, might be initially put off by her new album, "White Chalk," slated to be released September 24 here in the States and a day later in the UK. To say her approach to the new record was different would be an understatement. Mostly gone is the vociferous rock parred with her impassioned and ferocious vocals; replaced instead by sparse sounding piano laden songs and Miss Harvey singing a great deal more in her higher register (sometimes even outside it). The subject matter is still as dark as ever, but this time, delivered in a frantic manner almost inspired, it seems, from dementia.

While my take may come off quite negative, it is not intended to at all. I will admit that it took me more than one listen to dispel my expectations and appreciate the songs for what they are and even for what they are not. I suggest that you do the same. Give the songs a few spins if you don't at first like the new direction. You just might be missing out on something good. When Under Ether is the first single and a good choice to initiate new as well as old fans. I'm throwing in a couple extra songs for good measure, including an old favorite taken from "The Peel Sessions 1991-2004," a collection of recordings over many sessions with the late great John Peel.

When Under Ether
Broken Harp
The Mountain

As always, sample and if you enjoy, buy the records using the links below or at your favorite local independent music store.

PJ Harvey
| Amazon

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

More From the New Band of Horses

I just can't help but post a couple more songs from what I think is an incredible follow-up to a great debut. Their first record, "Everything All the Time," reminded me of My Morning Jacket at times, but they firmly establish themselves as a band to be reckoned with on their own with "Cease to Begin," out October 9th. The first track, named for a 3-time NBA All-Star, absolutely rocks, while the second is a gorgeous southern-country tinged ballad. Enjoy.

The Marry Song
Detlef Schrempf

Band of Horses
| AmazonAmazon | Sub Pop

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Indie Pop from the UK

I always try to listen to new and/or suggested artists with an open mind in order to give them a blank canvas. More times than not, I come away with something even a parent would be embarrassed to hang on their fridge. Every now and then, I'll come across a band with a track of two that while having a nice sound, doesn't stay with me for more than a moment. Then there are those surprises. The one's like I received recently from a new band calling themselves Tournaments.

As Gevin Pearson told me, "i had written some tunes that i wanted to played in a big pop style. started recording and jamming with a few friends and we became 'tournaments'"

Tournaments have recorded a few demos and are currently playing gig around the UK while recording their debut record. Boldest of Colours is a spirited straight indie pop song. Lone Sailor is the real standout though, both musically and lyrically. A slow to mid-tempo heart-rending sincere plea for love. Both songs fit the indie/pop/folk mold of Bright Eyes and others without sounding contrived. Their MySpace page features a third track, Turn and Run, which is every bit as solid as the tracks listed here.

Boldest of Colours
Lone Sailor

Below is a live performance video followed by upcoming appearances (including dates opening for Memphis' own Lucero (MySpace).

Live Dates
Oct 2 2007 8:00P
Tired and Lonesome at The Social London, London and South East
Oct 10 2007 8:00P
Buffalo Cardiff
Oct 25 2007 8:00P
Moshi Moshi night @ Hoxton Square bar and kitchen London, London and South East
Oct 28 2007 8:00P
Swansea Uni Bar Swansea, Wales
Nov 2 2007 8:30P
The Doghouse (upstairs at the Royal Oak) Halifax
Dec 6 2007 7:00P
The Underworld w/Lucero London, London and South East
Dec 7 2007 8:00P
Le Pub w/Lucero Newport, Wales

Saturday, September 8, 2007

New Counting Crows

Counting Crows have been hard at work on their follow-up to 2002's "Hard Candy." The new record, tentatively titled, "Saturday Nights, Sunday Mornings," is expected to hit shelves sometime in November according to their label. Apparently, the record will be split into two parts, a primarily rock set and then an acoustic set. But being the nice guys they are, they've leaked a great new song, Cowboy, via a MySpace page appropriately called, "Saturday Nights And Sunday Mornings." This is definitely falls on the rock side and is not from any animated movie. Trust me, it doesn't disappoint.

Cowboy (mp3)

Counting Crows
| Amazon

Friday, September 7, 2007

Blind Melon Making Their Return

Blind Melon, was one of the most promising bands to emerge in the early 90's. Seattle bands and their imitators had dominated the first two years of the decade, but in 1992, along came a band from L.A. with members culled from Indiana, Pennsylvanian, and Mississippi. Unlike the sounds coming from Seattle, Blind Melon found their inspiration and influences in the classic rock of Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead & Lynyrd Skynyrd. Their short career was overshadowed by the happenings in the Pacific Northwest, but what little music they were able to leave behind is as solid a legacy as any of their peers. They are so much more than the "Bee Girl" and No Rain.

It is a shame that this band isn't mentioned more for their music and less for the tragic and untimely death of their charismatic lead singer, Shannon Hoon. An even bigger shame is that more people weren't able to see a truly great live band. I was lucky enough to see them a handfull of times in spaces varying from gyms and small town civic centers to open-air amphitheaters opening for a legend like Neil Young.

I've got much more to say, but before I lose the casual reader, let me make my point. The band has reformed with new lead singer Travis Warren. Two new songs, Sometimes and Wishing Well as well as a video of the boys talking and playing in the studio have been posted on the band's MySpace page and several tour dates have been booked. My initial reaction to the new tracks has been mixed. I can definitely hear the sounds of the band, but it is just odd not hearing Shannon's distinct vocals. I will definitely check out the new record when it is release, but no information what-so-ever is available at this time. The video is posted below, but you'll have to visit the band's page to listen to the songs since they aren't available for download, and thus far I haven't been able to track down any copies. I have posted a few tracks below for the fans, but especially for those who don't know the band very well.

Now if anyone is interested,a little personal story. We are quickly approaching the 15th anniversary, September 14, of the release of Blind Melon's self titled debut. On a personal note, I can remember it vividly. I had just started my long and illustrious college career at Mississippi State University in Starkville. I immediately sought out the local record stores. There was this buzz going around about this new band that I had never heard of. As it turned out, three of their members, guitarist Rogers Stevens, bassist Brad Smith, and drummer Glen Graham, were from Mississippi. Glen was from nearby Columbus and was attending Mississippi State when he got the call from the guys in L.A. Back to me though, having nothing better to do, I decided to attend the big record release party at on of the local stores so I could give the band a listen. I wasn't immediately hooked, but I picked the disc up anyway figuring I was helping support local musicians and it did have a nice range of songs.

It didn't take many listens to realize that these guys were one hell of a band. Not only were they tremendous musicians, but they could also write songs; some of which had a lazy peaceful groove while others were straight up rock, but still with that distinctive Blind Melon groove. Anyway, here is a sampling of their works. The band was only able to record two complete studio records, "Blind Melon" and "Soup" before Hoon's passing, and they later released an album of previously unfinished songs that Shannon had cut vocal tracks for named "Nico," for Shannon's baby daughter. The band donated a portion of the proceeds from that record to Musicians Assistants Program (MAP), an organization that helps artists recover from drug and alcohol addiction. Since then there have been several more compilation releases as well as a couple of video releases.

Anyway, here are some mp3 tracks, I hope you enjoy them as much as I still do.

Drive (Blind Melon)
Sleepyhouse (Blind Melon)
Candy Says (Velvet Underground Cover)
Deserted (Live) (Originally on "Blind Melon")
Paper Scratcher (Live) (Originally on "Blind Melon")
Soak the Sin (Live) (Original on Blind Melon)
Mouthful of Cavities (Soup)
Soup (Nico)
Wooh G.O.D. (Tones of Home Single)

If you like what you've heard, pick up the records or at least try and buy some individual tracks.

Blind Melon
| Amazon

More Kanye West (Japanese Bonus Tracks)

First things first, the image to the left if the official cover for the upcoming Kanye West "Graduation" record. Now for the real Sanrio Surprise, here are two bonus tracks from the Japanese edition of "Graduation"

Good Night
Bittersweet Poetry (Feat. John Mayer)

Pre-order now before the Sept. 11 release date

Kanye West
| Amazon

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More New Band of Horses

Confessions of a Dangerous Pig has posted more songs from the new Band of Horses' record. Thanks to Fetal Pig

I'm Kinda Diggin' This Cannonball Jane Chick

Nice pop beats and a sweet sounding voice reminiscent of Leslie Feist. Take it to Fantastic from Cannonball Jane is pretty much all over the music blogs right now. The song will officially be released on October 9 as part of a new 7 song EP, "Knees Up." The EP will also feature two remixes, one by the Beastie's Adrock. Pre-order it now directly on her website.

Strangely enough, her debut record, "Street Vernacular," officially drops two weeks prior on September 25. However, it is currently available from Amazon or directly on her website.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

For most, today is nothing more than a holiday, but like most holidays, we rarely actually consider the origins or meanings. Its unfortunate, but most people take the labor movement and the sacrifices made for granted. Labor day in most of the world is celebrated on May 1, or May Day, as it is commonly known. The actual origin of the celebration is based on the eight hour work movement. Various other countries have their own origins, but all honor the economic and social progresses made by labor movements worldwide. Today, at least in the U.S., what the members and organizers or labor parties have achieve go widely overlooked and unions have been villianized by corporatists and others more concerned with the market or the bottom line than the lives and well being of workers.

The economic hardships of the Great Depression fed into a growing form of protest folk music. Artists like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and Lee Hays began traveling around the country and performing. Woody was very nomadic, living the life of the songs he wrote. He often played at pro-union rallies and events. The themes of Woody's music changed with his life experiences and I urge everyone to read his autobiography, "Bound for Glory." PBS aired a documentary on the life of Woody last year that was pretty thorough and definitely work watching if you come across it sometime. Blood, sweat, & lives have been shed in the history of labor unions and it is sad to see the power and organization of labor unions in the U.S. continue to diminish.

Support of unions and the common workers were prevalent themes of these musicians. Many of today's musicians were heavily influenced by the active participation and themes of their predecessors, including the extremely outspoken, Billy Bragg. Even the work of commercial artists like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen are rooted in folk music, as actualized in last years, "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions."

I could write pages upon pages on this subject, but that would be counterproductive on a blog so I'll finish by saying, while the songs below may have been recorded as much as 70 years apart, the common themes of social and economic progress as well as solidarity of workers. I realize that this post probably won't be very popular, but these songs are important and a piece of this nation's history. Every single worker in this country who answers to another owes a serious debt of gratitude to the people who came before us and made countless sacrifices during labor negotiations and strikes. We also owe a debt to the early artists that would entertain and embolden the workers with their songs.

Woody Guthrie - Going Down That Road Feeling Bad
Woody Guthrie - This Land is Your Land
Pete Seeger - Talking Union
Pete Seeger - Joe Hill
Bob Dylan - Maggie's Farm
Phil Ochs - Bound for Glory
Phil Ochs - Links on the Chain
Uncle Tupelo - Coalminers
Billy Bragg - Which Side are You On
Billy Bragg - There is Power in a Union
Bruce Springsteen - The Ghost of Tom Joad
Bruce Springsteen - John Henry

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Kanye West Graduates September 11

That's the date people. September 11 is the day that Kanye West drops his latest masterpiece "Graduation." In a musical genre that, for me, has become incredibly stale, Kayne has continued to push the limits of creativity. Just two tracks into the new record and you are rewarded with fresh rhymes set to imaginative and fresher beats. The first track, Champion samples Steely Dan's Kid Charlemagne. Steely freakin' Dan! Then he follows with a song that has been to far reaches of the blogoshpere and back and is still a great listen, Stronger, sampling Daft Punk's Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. Still later in the album, Kanye teams up with Coldplay's Chris Martin on the song, Homecoming. He may be arrogant, and he may be brash, but I'll be damned if he's not one of the most talented hip-hop artists, and open to the use of unorthodox beats and samples.

Plus I'll always love and respect him for this moment.

And here are a few tracks to sample

Kanye West from "Graduation

Steely Dan - Kid Charlemagne
Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Killer B's to Invade the United States

In all actuality, Billboard reports that The Killers are gearing up to release an album of B-sides not easily found except on over-priced import singles in the States. The track list is being speculated all over the place, but there's a good chance that the following songs, listed with their original release, make the cut. The band has also not ruled out including some new recorded material.

Speculation aside, the tracks below include two Stuart Price aka Jacques Lu Cont aka Les Rythmes Digitales aka The Thin White Duke (this could go on forever) remixes and covers from Morrisey, Dire Straits, and Joy Division.

Under the Gun (Mr. Brightside Single)
Mr. Brightside (Thin White Duke Mix) (12" Remixes Single)
Smile Like You Mean It (Acoustic) (Believe Me Natalie Single)
Romeo & Juliet (For Reasons Unknown Single)
Shadowplay (Control Soundtrack - Ian Curtis/Joy Division biopic)
Glamorous Indie Rock 'n Roll (Change Your Mind Single)
The Ballad Of Michael Valentine (Somebody Told Me Single)
Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself (All These Things That I’ve Done Single)
Replaceable (Unreleased)
When We Were Young (Jacques Lu Cont Remix) (12” Remixes Single)

There are Good Days and then There are Yesterdays

Here are a few tunes in honor of my Saturday.

These Days - Nico
Dilaudid - The Mountain Goats
The Diamond Sea - Sonic Youth
My Curse - The Afghan Whigs
Grind - The Church
Dramamine - Modest Mouse
Lua - Bright Eyes
The Trapeze Swinger - Iron & Wine
She Fell Away - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
That's Just How That Bird Sings - The Twilight Singers
Hide and Seek - Imogen Heap
How to Disappear Completely - Radiohead
Misunderstood - Wilco
Long Goodnight - Scott Miller

Good night

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Take The Flaming Lips Road Show Home With You

The Flaming Lips have just released their first ever live concert DVD, "U.F.O.s at the Zoo," and this wasn't just any concert. First a little background for those who only know the group from their 1993 inexplicable surprise hit, She Don't Use Jelly. They are the modern day rock equivalent of Parliament Funkadelic, just possibly a little stranger.

The concert was filmed at the Zoo Amphitheater in the Lips hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on September 15, 2006. According to the liner notes, the band had been working on the concept of a U.F.O. light show for some time and hoped to debut it earlier in the summer at the famed Hollywood Bowl, but they had yet to work out the kinks. It became more of a coincidence that this spectacular took place in their hometown. As Wayne Coyne says, "So you see, "U.F.O.s at the Zoo" was not really a creation as much as it was a happening." This was also the Lips first show in Oklahoma City in three years. The theatrics of the band spilled over into the audience as they embraced the absurdity and joined it.

The DVD itself is awesome, but the band was gracious enough to offer free downloads of all the live songs with registration of the disc as well as the opportunity to create your own ringtones (though you are charged a fee from URTone), and remix The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song. You also get buddy icons, wallpapers, and the included liner notes booklet in PDF for free.

Sample the tracks below and run to your nearest outlet or your computer and buy the DVD.

Race for the Prize
My Cosmic RebellionWayne Coyne
Love Yer Brain

The Flaming Lips
| The Flaming Lips