I need to get back to work, but I really wanted to post this too. I will have to let it speak for itself and just say it's great music to chill out to while riding alone in the back of a NYC cab on a cold, dark autumn night.
Friday, October 7, 2011
I've also been listening to a lot of Paisley Underground (The Dream Syndicate, Green on Red, etc.) records to help me cope with the stress of school. If Girls were the downer to help me unwind at the end of each long day then The Rain Parade are the stuff that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning. In case you've forgotten about this group, they were the best of the shimmering, jangly pop-psych that came out of the LA music scene in the early 80s. They didn't sell as many records as The Bangles (the most popular Paisley Undergound group), but I'd say they had the most talent and stand up better today than any of the other groups including The Dream Syndicate. If you haven't heard of The Rain Parade, think Nuggets, Seeds, Byrds, Syd Barrett-era Floyd, Revolver-era Beatles inspired "neo-psych" of the early 80s. I think this is a fitting description the Paisley Underground movement in general, but The Rain Parade were the best example of this sound. I couldn't decide which of their albums to post, because they're all so good, but frankly, I really like the cover of this one so that's how I decided. I highly recommend tracking down Explosions in the Glass Palace if you're into this record. Especially if you like the darker, VU inspired "No Easy Way Down" video below. Stand outs include "I Look Around", the "She Said She Said" inspired song that was probably their only hit. I'd say I wish these guys were still together, but Steve Roback left the band to form Opal which eventually morphed into Mazzy Star and what would the world be without Mazzy Star? This may be weird to hear, but Hope Sandoval is probably one of my top 5 favorite vocalists, songwriters, frontmen/women of all time. I don't think I've gone two days without hearing her voice for at least 3 minutes in years. If you don't agree, you should track down some of her solo records or some Mazzy Star records and give her a second chance. Or just wait...I'm sure some of them will pop up here eventually. Anyway, Rain Parade is quite good too. Enjoy.
The first time I heard Girls' debut record, Album I was driving, alone, from my gravely ill grandmother's house to the wedding of one of the best friends I've ever had. I was really anxious about going solo to this wedding attended mainly by strangers and a few people I knew well, but who I haven't seen in a really long. Plus, I had to drive back to my grandmother's house after the reception, so I even couldn't drink to take the edge off. I don't often get overwhelmed by both depression and anxiety simultaneously, but between the awkardness of the wedding and the imminent loss of someone I loved very much, I was having a pretty strange night. I happened to put on Album on the ride over to the wedding, because I had just gotten it and I wanted to listen to something I didn't care about or know very well so I could just fade out and get numb on the drive. I didn't want to arrive at this wedding a complete basket-case. From the first note of Album, though, I started to feel a lot better. It was just this cool, laid back, sunny music that moves with the highway underneath you. This was early fall, about the same time of year as it is now, but last year. It was perfect music for the weather. Well, I got to the wedding, and I was a total basket case. But every time things got be too overwhelming I would go back to the car and listen to "Lauren Marie" or "Summertime." So, it's fall again. And I'm a basket case again. And there's a a fairly new Girls record out--Father, Son, Holy Ghost. And it's great. And it totally calms me down. It's so wonderful when a band you like comes out with a new record and it's a hundred times better than their last one. To see that these kids are for real and they are gonna be around for a while to keep making you feel that way they make you feel. This group makes me feel grounded. They're feet on the ground music. They're take a deep breath, the day is finally finished music. This record is perfect for getting on the bus (or, if you're luckier than me, behind the wheel of an automobile), pressing play and decompressing for a while. Its deep, chilled-out, soulful gospel and early rock inspired psych/space rock that gets your breathing back in rhythm. Like just about everything I seem to post here, there's a little Spiritualized in the ancestry of these songs (see "Vomit" and "Forgiveness" especially for examples of this). You may also notice reflections of Jellyfish, Elvis Costello, Deep Purple, Sinead O'Connor, Elliott Smith, and on and on...Other stand out tracks include, "My Ma," "Honey Bunny," "Saying I Love You," "Magic," and "Jamie Marie."
Try. Link removed by request.
It's one of those beautiful Fall mornings that makes me want to be a kid playing hookie. I've been way to busy with school these past few weeks to keep up with this blog so I'm gonna take advantage of this feeling and blow of my work for an hour and post some records here. Maybe I'll even go for a walk and break some laws. Tip a porta potty or something.
By the way, Tom Waits' new record drops in exactly 18 days.