Sunday, August 21, 2011
I'm a sucker for bands from Philadelphia, and this is one of the best ones touring right now. They're latest record, Slave Ambient, has been playing through my headphones a lot lately and keeps reminding me how great their debut record was. The lineup in the group has changed quite a lot between Wagonwheel Blues and Slave Ambient. The most notable change being the departure of Kurt Vile who went on to pursue his stuff with The Violators. He figures prominently on this album though and while Adam Granduciel's atmospheric sonic arrangements on Slave Ambient are mind bogglingly good, I think Wagonwheel Blues will get more play on my various electronic devices. With songwriting and vocal style that's been compared to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen played by a bunch of guys who grew up listening to Spacemen 3, Neu!, Suicide, and My Bloody Valentine, this is road music with deeply layered, drug-addled, space rock ambience. Listening to both records my mind flashes back and forth between images of convertible '59 Chevys driving along the California coast, horses galloping across the desert, sports cars flying down the autobahn and rocket ships blasting through outer space. These records are about moving quickly through space and time without putting down too many roots down in any one place. Oh hell, I should just post both records...
Jeff Mangum's first tour in 1o years sounds like it's off to a good start. He'll be in New York and New Jersey pretty soon. I can't wait for November 6. Here are the links to a few songs to the August 13th show in Toronto. These songs sound even better than they did 10 years ago. It's like he never took a break.
Just click on each link and it should automatically download right to your computer.
Just for comparison's sake, I'm also including a link to the "final NMH concert." This is mainly just Jeff Mangum though. The last time they performed together as a band was probably 2 years before this recording. This was a show Chris Knox convinced him to play shortly after his breakdown that they called The World of Wild Beards. Apart from a few guest spots here and there, this was the last time Mangum has performed before this month. I just can't get over the growth that occurred over this hiatus. Not that this 2001 show isn't amazing, but I think he's a much better singer today than he was when the this was recorded.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Love-->Building on Fire--Talking Heads
Nice Weather for Ducks--Lemon Jelly
Battered Old Bird--Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Details of the War--Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
More Yellow Birds--Sparklehorse
Up on Your Leopard, Upon the End of Your Feral Days--Sunset Rubdown
Birdie Hop--Sid Barrett
Surfin' Bird--The Trashmen
Blue Bird--The Rosebuds
Guess I'm Doin' Fine--Beck
Story of Isaac--Leonard Cohen
Blackbird--Magnolia Electric Co.
His Eye Is On The Sparrow--Fred Lowery
Chicken Yiamas--Von Sudenfed
Chin Chin & Muck Muck--Devendra Banhart
You're A Big Girl Now--Bob Dylan
Old Black Crow--Michael Hurley
Get Together--The Youngbloods
When Doves Cry--Prince
Big Bird In A Small Cage--Patrick Watson
Pigeon--Maps & Atlases
Lonesome Hunter--Timber Timbre
Journey of the Featherless--Cloud Cult
Doves--The Black Angels
Blue Bird--Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions
Leaving The Nest (It's A long Way Down)--Benjy Ferree
Jockey Full Of Bourbon--Tom Waits
April 13th, 2007--Paleo
Flamingo Baby--Violent Femmes
Gather, Form and Fly--Megafaun
Swan, Swan, H--R.E.M.
If You Want To Be A Bird (Bird Song)--Holy Modal Rounders
I had my urethra swabbed today. It was about 1000 times more painful and traumatic than it sounds. Just awful. This record's been helping me through the day a bit. The band describes the LP as "Captain Beefheart, Sly Stone, and RZA jamming on some kids' TV theme too dark to ever be broadcast."
Friday, August 12, 2011
I just read Beck produced the new Stephen Malkmus record that's coming out in a couple of weeks. This got me thinking about some of the other records Beck has contributed to as a producer lately (the new Thurston Moore is especially good by the way) which got me thinking about Gainsbourg's IRM which reminded me of this amazing video I had completely forgotten about.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Rowland S. Howard figured prominently in my last post, the video mix tape. There was a video of him performing "She Cried," A Horrors video that quotes the same song, and then a video of, probably, his best known song song "Shivers" sung by his pal Nick Cave with their band The Boys Next Door. Since he's been so deep in my subconscious lately by directing the progress of my mixes and popping up repeatedly every time I hit shuffle on my phone lately, I thought it would be cool to post one of his records to share his genius with anyone out there who isn't as familiar with him as they should be. The problem is, Howard has had such a long career of putting out incredible music with some of the most innovative artists in the music industry that I had a really hard time picking just one record to post. What follows is, by no means, a comprehensive list of all of his work, but this post includes some of my favorite records that feature Howard in a prominent role, including his two solo albums, Teenage Snuff Film and Pop Crimes which are, in my opinion, his finest works. Best known as the discordant guitarist in The Birthday Party, and highly influential as such, Rowland S. Howard has played guitar, sung, and wrote songs with numerous bands and has had a pretty brilliant career as a solo artist as well. Starting out in The Boys Next Door, the band he started with Nick Cave and later transforming into The Birthday Party, Howard and Cave have had a long, albeit tumultuous relationship. Howard occasionally recorded as a Bad Seed (some backing vocals, namely on Let Love In), but by then I don't think they were speaking much. I'm not really sure about their personal history, to be honest. Anyway, they also worked together on the Lydia Lunch album, Honeymoon in Red which was later re-worked with some contributions from Thurston Moore. I'm gonna let the music speak for itself here. Rowland S. Howard died in 2009.
The Boys Next Door--Door, Door (1979)
The Birthday Party--Junkyard (1982)
The Birthday Party--Live, 1981-1982
Honeymoon in Red--Honeymoon in Red (1983)
Crime and The City Solution--Room of Lights (1986)
These Immortal Souls--Get Lost (Don't Lie) (1987)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds--Let Love In (1994)
Rowland S. Howard--Teenage Snuff Film (2000)
Rowland S. Howard--Pop Crimes (2009)
Sunday, August 7, 2011
I should me doing homework, so of course I'm wandering around on an endless chain of related (and not quite related) YouTube videos. Here are some of the highlights of my trip. It starts with a top hat and a harmonica and it ends with a top hat, a harmonica, and a gun.
Friday, August 5, 2011
This album's been kicking my ass lately so thought I'd share it here. In case you haven't come across this band yet, WU LYF is an acronym that stands for World Unite! Lucifer Youth Foundation. Believe it or not, the music is even better than that name. This might be my favorite album of the year, so far. I can't stop listening to it. They are a "Heavy Pop" outfit (see Track 10), whatever that means. The vocalist has a kind of a gruff voice, so I've been seeing a lot of the obligatory Tom Waits references, but that and their propensity to evade the media are really the only similarities to that particular genius. They sound a bit more like a more interesting Modest Mouse or a more serious Man Man, two other bands that are constantly (though not quite accurately) compared to Tom Waits. I think if I had to compare them to anyone though, I'd say they remind me a lot of a ballsier, catchier Future Islands with even a little bit of Porno for Pyros and Wolf Parade mixed in...and it might just be the bandanas and acronyms but there's something about them that keeps reminding me of Odd Future, Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWKTA). This record is entirely self produced, the band does not deal with record labels. I highly encourage you to purchase the record at the "Buy" link below. I'm having trouble picking stand out tracks. They're all incredible.
If Richie Havens adopted Marvin Gaye's love child, he might grow up sounding like Michael Kiwanuka. He's still recording his full length LP on the Isle of Wight, but you can buy this single at iTunes if you just can't wait.