Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Life Behind the Microphone

Not only do Bryan and I get to use this blog to say what we will about the music we listen to, we can also use it to promote our alma mater, Hanover College. Well, ol HC has a fantastic organization called the Center for Free Inquiry that happens to be hosting a little panel discussion on success in the broadcast industry. I'm sure that the fact that Bryan and I are not on the panel is a simple oversight. Regardless, it sounds like it could be an interesting hour and a half. If you love music and happen to be in the Hanover, IN area (unlikely as that may be), stop by and check it out. Here's the story.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kendall's podcast

On the heels of Gerdon's fantastic podcast, I figured I better get my shit together. Do not worry -- no more sleepless nights for all those waiting -- my shit is together and thus, I present my first podcast. In "honor" of the Cincinnati Bengals, who enjoyed their 9th arrest in 9 months on Sunday night, I selected some of my favorite criminal songs covering topics such as DUI, domestic violence, and the Reggie McNeil offense: creating a disturbance because he couldn't get into a club after it had already closed. Here is the setlist (sorry to Van for cutting off some of And It Stoned Me - no disrespect, just a rookie mistake).

--> Podcast 1: My Tribute to the Cincinnati Bengals <--

1. Van Morrison - And It Stoned Me from Moondance
2. Uncle Tupelo - Criminals from March 16-20, 1992
3. The National - Lit Up from Alligator
4. THe Little Willies - Night Life from The Little Willies
5. Yo La Tengo - Mr. Tough from I Am Not Afraid of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
6. National Grain - Whiskey, Wine & Beer from National Grain
7. The Byrds - Life In Prison from Sweetheart of the Rodeo
8. Drive-By Truckers - Wife Beater from Gangstabilly
9. Merle Haggard - Mama Tried from Mama Tried
10. Iron & Wine and Calexico - Prison on Route 41 from In The Reins
11. Jackie Green - About Cell Block #9 from Sweet Somewhere Bound
12. Bob Marley & The Wailers - I Shot the Sheriff (live) from Songs of Freedom
13. The Silver Jews - Right to Remain Silent from The Natural Bridge

- BK

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Son Volt tour dates....

Jay Farrar and Son Volt will be hitting the road this spring in support of their new album The Search due out on March 6th. I'm hoping to catch them in Louisville on April 20th, unless I can convince them to head up to the Southgate House!

Until then, here are two great songs from some of Farrar's previous albums with Son Volt. If you haven't already, check out Trace, one of my favorite albums ever.


Son Volt -- Tear Stained Eye from Trace
Son Volt -- 6 String Belief from Okemah and the Melody of Riot

March 26th, 2007 Nightlight Lounge Bellingham, WA
March 26th, 2007 Nightlight Lounge Bellingham, WA
March 27th, 2007 The Showbox Seattle, WA
March 28th, 2007 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR
March 30th, 2007 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
March 31st, 2007 Mystic Theatre Petaluma, CA
April 3rd, 2007 El Rey Theatre Los Angeles, CA
April 4th, 2007 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA
April 7th, 2007 Fox Theatre Boulder, CO
April 9th, 2007 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
April 10th, 2007 Vic Theatre Chicago, IL
April 12th, 2007 Mod Club Toronto, ONT
April 13th, 2007 Higher Ground Burlington, VT
April 14th, 2007 Pearl Street Northampton, MA
April 15th, 2007 Paradise Boston, MA
April 18th, 2007 Irving Plaza New York, NY
April 19th, 2007 Mr. Small's Pittsburgh, PA
April 20th, 2007 Headliners Louisville, KY
April 21st, 2007 The Pageant St. Louis, MO

- BK

Monday, January 22, 2007

Last FM in the news...

Today's Chicago Tribune features an article on one of my favorite websites. Last FM is a music website that allows people with similar musical interests to interact and socialize. In addition, it's a great resource for discovering new music and charting what you're listening to -- in fact the charts on this website are generated through Last FM. Anyhoo, check out the article here.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Where Gerdon and I converge....

This YouTube video of Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, along with Old Crow Medicine Show, performing The Band's The Weight.

In other news, I have tracked down the needed computer accessory to get my podcast started so look out for that in the next week!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

_ G B - Inaugeral Webcast

Well friends, as usual, an endeavor involving K and G comes off without a hitch. Wait a minute...due to technical concerns Mr. Kendall will be shortly delayed in posting his first webcast, but kindly insisted that I proceed with my own posting. I am happy to oblige and am sure that one day Bryan will get his shit together - I mean, this glitch will get worked out and the more impressive and entertaining webcast will be shortly on its way. Just consider mine a little warm up for the main event. And, without further ado:

>>>>> Gerdon Webcast Episode 1 <<<<<
(left click on the link to stream or right click to download)

Four Years of New Music (2003-2006)

1. Ben Folds – Sunny 16 (2004) – Rockstar
This song comes off one of three EPs that Ben Folds recorded in his home studio and released for sale on iTunes with the full expectation that these songs would be passed around and shared. Here’s Ben using the internet to bypass the record industry and get the music straight to the audience. Check out this interview where Ben talks about these songs and the music industry.
2. The Kooks – Inside In/Inside Out (2006) – Matchbox
3. Widespread Panic with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band – Night of Joy (2004) – Old Neighborhood
4. Drive-by Truckers – Blessing and a Curse (2004) – Goodbye
5. Jack Johnson – Curious George Soundtrack (2006) – We’re Going to Be Friends
Jack put this whole soundtrack together and it worked pretty well. This is a song written by the White Stripes. I first heard it played by Joe Ferguson.
6. David Mead – Indiana (2004) – Nashville
7. Gillian Welch – Soul Journey (2003) – Wayside/Back In Time
8. Old Crow Medicine Show – OCMS (2004) – Hard to Tell
9. JJ Cale – To Tulsa and Back (2004) – Another Song
This was JJs first album release in 8 years, when it came out in 2004. I was sure glad to hear some new Cale tunes and really enjoy the banjo on this one. Check out this story on the CD.
10. Iron and Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days (2004) – Sunset Soon Forgotten
Nice and laid-back music here. I think they gained some popularity and exposure from being on the Garden State Soundtrack, though the song on that disc wasn’t even their own.
11. Little Willies – The Little Willies (2005) – I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive
Here’s a great Americana “bar band” feature some great vocals, great pickin, and great choice of songs to cover. This is a Hank Williams, Jr song sung superbly by Richard Jullian. Check out this NPR World CafĂ© interview and performance.
12. Derek Trucks Band – Soul Serenade (2003) – Drown In My Own Tears (with Greg Allman)
Written by Henry Glover and popularized by Ray Charles, this song is perfect with Greg Allman’s gritty voice and Derek’s slide guitar.

Albums of Honorable Mention: Widespread Panic – Ball (2003), The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow (2003), Galactic – Ruckus (2003), Allman Brothers Band – One Way Out (2004), Ray Charles – Genius Love Company (2004), Micah Hinson – And the Gospel of Progress (2004), Drive-By Truckers – Dirty South (2004), Drive-By Truckers – Decoration Day (2004), Ben Folds – Song for Silverman (2005), Amos Lee – Amos Lee (2005), David Mead – Wherever You Are (2005), David Mead – Tangerine (2006), Little Barrie – We Are Little Barrie (2005)

**Post your comments - tell me I'm awesome or make fun of my music!

Bands of yesteryear still relevant today: Uncle Tupelo

Now that I've bested Gerdon's challenge, I've decided to delve into the past to highlight kick ass bands that may have been forgotten. The initial entry is Uncle Tupelo, widely credited as the purveyors of the music genre loosely called alt-country.

I discovered UT very late in the game. As many my age do, interests in Son Volt and Wilco pushed them to investigate this Uncle Tupelo, a band they'd heard about but didn't really know about. I quickly discovered that UT was equivalent to that uncle who let you have a beer while playing cards when you were 13: they kicked ass! UT took elements of punk and garage rock and blended it with country -- fiddles, pedal steel guitars, mandolins and songs of hard luck, love, and alcohol blended perfectly with raging electric guitars, resulting in AWESOME!

The following tracks are from UT's latter shows: April 29, 1994 from Columbia, Missouri. Originally cut on UT's second studio album, Still Feel Gone, these are some of Tweedy's and Farrar's finest songs. Farrar's Postcard, in particular, illustrates both the country and hard rocking side of Uncle Tupelo, especially on the studio cut. Tweedy's Gun is no quiet ballad as he dwells on lost love. While you're sampling these gems, also check out the following YouTube video from way back in the day. Look at how young Tweedy looks here.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I Bite My Thumb!

(*gasp* - did he just bite his thumb?). Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I bite my thumb in the general direction of Mr. Bryan Kendall. That can only mean one thing - a challenge. Bryan, marginally to his credit, has provided you fine folks with his Top 5 songs on a given day. While this is admirable, I don't think my cohort will disagree that the true spirit of a Top 5, in the parlience of High Fidelity, revolves around a well-defined duel. The Top 5 must have a topic. I, therefore, propose to keep Mr. Kendall on his proverbial pedals by periodically peppering him with Top 5 topics for his response at his leisure. I'll be happy to subsequently submit my reply and encourage all of our following friends to do the same. Just leave a comment with your Top 5 songs.

So, what will the topic be for January? In High Fidelity, many of the Top 5s seem to revolve around some emotion. While I think that's appropriate, as songs certainly connect with our emotions, we'll take it a little easy this month. January is the month of football, beginning preparations for spring marathons, and we've recently seen the release of Rocky. So, how about:

Top 5 Running/Working Out/Achiever Songs

That's the challenge Bryan (and our viewing audience). The clock is ticking.


Monday, January 8, 2007

2006 Hangover!

Many years of boozing have enlightened me to one undeniable truth: the best way to overcome a splitting hangover is to pony up and drink some more. When it comes to the great year of music that was 2006, I say the same principle is applicable -- might as well get back on the horse and enjoy some of the great stuff from 2006 while we wait for the new gems due out in 2007. Without further adieu, here are some additional songs from 2006 that were not in my Top 10 albums but were still great nonetheless.

Lucero -- She's Just That Kind of Girl from Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers

M Ward -- Chinese Translation from Post-War

<-- Consumption of 30 may cause hangover, or alcohol poisoning.

Glossary -- These City Lights Shine from How We Handle Our Midnights

TV on the Radio -- Province (this version is from an AOL Live Music session) from Return to Cookie Mountain

Yo La Tengo -- The Race Is On Again from I Am Not Afraid of You And I Will Beat Your Ass (best album title of 2006!)

As for 2007, lots of good music is slated for release. Among the bands scheduled to release a new album includes Son Volt, Wilco, The National, The Shins, Richmond Fontaine, Lucinda Williams, Two Cow Garage and many other great ones that I'm probably overlooking. The first release I am looking forward to comes from a band called Dolorean hailing from Portland, Oregon. The two sample tracks listed below are from their upcoming album You Can't Win due out in February. Check it out below!

Dolorean -- Heather Remind Me How This Ends

Dolorean -- Beachcomber Blues

Enjoy the tunes!

-- BK

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Bonnaroo Buys the Farm

Literally, folks, Bonnaroo is in deals to buy the 500 acre farm that plays host to their 4 day music festival every June. Sounds like this will allow them to improve the infrastructure, maybe take care of some car and foot traffic problems, and hold more than one event per year. Check out the article in the


Monday, January 1, 2007

2006: Great Success!

Now that we've entered 2007, I thought it would be appropriate to take a minute (or an hour) to look back on 2006. Overall, 2006 produced tons of great music and lots of new stuff for me as I've slowly drifted from jam band music into alt-country and indie rock. As always, it's difficult to settle on just ten albums and after lots of late jockeying among the contestants, I reckon I've got a list I can accept. The result: this is the year of the female vocalist for me. Three of my top four are females with female backing vocals figuring prominently in two others on the list. Another trend is also apparent: I am a certified junkie for alt-country, sad bastard, whatever you want to call it, music!

1. The Hold Steady: Boys And Girls In America

I've listened to this album every day since its release in October and it's clearly my favorite album of the year. These guys do a lot of what interests me right now: drop crunchy guitar riffs and tell interesting stories with something more underneath the surface. These songs drip with nostalgia for me, reminding me of my own personal conflicts I fought while in high school with faith, playing by the rules, and knowing when to say fuck it. All told, I connected with this album more than any other in 2006 and that's why it's my favorite of the year.

Check it out --> Hot Soft Light

2. Cat Power: The Greatest

This is indeed the greatest of the incredible female artists doing their thing in 2006. Creating imagery plays big for me and with her sultry voice and the Memphis style her band explores throughout the record (heavy on the organ and horns), Cat Power takes me to that smokey bar or lounge where a sexy siren commands the room with her voice. In other words, she kicks ass!

Check it out --> Living Proof

3. Neko Case: The Fox Confessor Brings the Flood

When I picked this album up in April, quite frankly, I considered it highly overrated from all the fluffing it was receiving. After a few token listens, I filed it away and didn't pay attention to it over the summer. I revisited it in the fall and fell in love. Looking back, I was initially disappointed by her desire to distance herself from the alt-country genre, but after giving it a fair chance, there's no denying the strength of these songs. The voice is still one of the best in the business too!

Check it out --> Hold On, Hold On

4. Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins: Rabbit Fur Coat

I was late to the Jenny Lewis party but I am glad I got there because it's worth it. The Rilo Kiley singer and former child star ventured on her own for the first time in this debut album and hopefully it'll lead to many more records. Because I didn't spend as much time as I would've liked with the record, I'm putting it here. I can already tell from the political and personal undertones she's kicking around that this will be a record I return to often as we enter 2007. The not one but three talented female voices kicked my ass and explains why I rate this album so high! Rise Up With Fists is probably my favorite song of the year and its video, starring a Loretta Lynnish Jenny and Sarah Silverman, ain't too shabby either:

5. National Grain: National Grain

This is country music as it was originally conceived. These cats, hailing from the ATL, bring the goods with a shit ton of twang, plentiful pedal steel, and songs of heartache, lost loves, and of course, boozing it up. If you like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, or other country legends, you'll likely dig these guys. I want to see these dudes badly in 2007.

Check it out --> Pretty Women Won't Give Me The Time Of Day

6. Ox: American Lo Fi

These guys make Americana music -- in Canada. Increasingly, America Junior and the Canucks are creating the best Americana music and these guys are no exception. Hailing from Vancouver, Ox is led by singer/songwriter Mark Browning. In American Lo Fi, they turn out a great record with things to say about politics, life on the road, and society in general. It doesn't hurt that the guitar tones and pedal steel whine present in this record is what I'm loving so much right now.

Check it out --> Country Music Promoter

7. Centro-matic: Fort Recovery

Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers hailed this record the best of 2006...back in 2005 when he received an advanced copy. Although I don't put it at the top, this album is stellar as Will Johnson and company prove they can do it all. These guys will get you stumbling with raucious rockers like Patience for the Ride and then knock you the fuck out with a slow contemplative number, such as Nothin' I Ever Seen, that pulls an emotional string. I've included a rocker below.

Check it out --> For New Starts

8. Belle and Sebastian: The Life Pursuit

This is a guilty pleasure for me because this is pop music and I don't like pop music dammit. Doh! This is my first taste of B&S yet I can understand why they have a large following and extensive catalogue: they are masters of making catchy pop songs. Consider me hooked. Song for Sunshine was probably spun more than any other song during the summer.

9. Drive-By Truckers: Blessing And A Curse

I consider DBT my favorite band these days and although I think it's a big down from their last release, The Dirty South, this is still a great fucking record and better than most anything else released in 2006. Patterson and Cooley are on their game with songs like Aftermath USA, Space City, and World of Hurt but it's the absence of a noteworthy Jason Isbell contribution that lowers this album a bit. Nonetheless, the Truckers still write some of the best songs out today and their live act is top notch. After this album and seeing them multiple times, I still have no problem saying they're the best band out there today.

Check it out --> Gravity's Gone

10. Bonnie "Prince" Billy: The Letting Go

This is the chill record that I throw on when I want to escape reality. The combination of Will Oldham's and Dawn McCarthy's vocals are simple yet stunningly beautiful. Combined with the instrumentation -- ranging from bluesy electric guitar licks to a strings section -- all the elements blend harminously to create a record I like to visit often.

Check it out --> Cursed Sleep

Other records that could be on the list tomorrow or next week (in no particular order):

Gob Iron: Death Songs For The Living
Glossary: How We Handle Our Midnights
TV on the Radio: Return to Cookie Mountain
Built to Spill: You In Reverse
Richard Buckner: Meadow

Other great successes of 2006:

Best flick:

Champion: Little Miss Sunshine
Runner-up (in a photo finish): Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (damn, I love that title)

Best Chicago Cubs suck moment:
Champion: The St. Louis Cardinals winning their first World Series in 24 years!
Runner-up: The Cubs giving Jason Marquis and his 6.02 ERA a $21 million dollar contract. Laughable!

Best TV show:
Champion: The Office -- in a landslide.
Runner-up: Friday Night Lights -- in a bit of a surprise.

Best Oat Sodas:
Champion: Young's Double Chocolate Stout -- another landslide
Runner-up: Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

Overall, it was a great 2006 yet 2007 might beat it! As for resolutions, here's a few:

1. Explore more of Cincinnati's underrated local music scene
2. Find more stellar porters and stout beers
3. Watch the Chicago Cubs continue to suck
4. Save money for my summer trip to Italy
5. Discover more kick ass music!