Thursday, May 31, 2007

Music Helps

Hey everybody, I don't want to get too personal here, but I do want to share a few sweet songs that remind me of my girlfriend. She left town today and will soon be a continent away. She won't be gone for long, relatively speaking, but any time is too long. But, music always helps, right? Here are a few sweet tracks that help along the way.

Belle and Sebastian - If She Wants Me [buy]

Ox - Carolinah [buy]

Norah Jones - Rosie's Lullaby [buy]


Odds and Ends

Hello there, KGB-ites. Sorry for the lack of posts this week. Work's trying to keep me down again, and now I need reading glasses......Damn you, Grad school. I knew you'd get the best of me.

Fear not, though. A couple of new albums are expected in the coming weeks which are sure to keep our interests peaked for a good while. So, I figured I'd use a post to discuss some odds and ends (hence the title) i've been anticipating or thinking about recently.

The White Stripes: The countdown is now at 19 days until the Icky Thump CD comes out. Its currently available for pre-order, but I've always just preferred going to the damn store. But, to keep are curiosities at bay, they've released the video for the first single, Icky Thump. I posted a link a month or so ago to the single, but unfortunately it had to be removed, so for many of you, this may be the first time you've heard the song. The video is pretty crazy (typical Stripes). It feature Jack in a Mexican whorehouse getting robbed blind by a Mexican whore with one white eye. It also cuts back and forth to the Stripes playing their respective instruments, and I have to be honest, Meg is actually looking pretty hot playing the drums there. So, check out the video and let me know what you think.....

Smashing Pumpkins: Just over a month from now is the release of the first Smashing Pumpkins CD since I was a sophomore in college....a good 6 years ago or so. The album, entitled Zeitgeist, is now available for pre-order, or you can wait until July 10. However, the first single has been released. Its called Tarantula, and can be found on iTunes for $0.99. I bought it, and I love it. But I was kinda surprised that I loved it. The last Billy Corgan did that I loved was the aforementioned Machina album, over six years ago. Since then he's released a free Machina II over Napster (meh), an album with a new band, Zwan (also meh), and then quite possibly the most disappointing album of my lifetime, a solo jaunt entitled FutureEmbrace. So, after these past three releases, needless to say, I wasn't expecting much out of this one. But the song is actually good. It sounds like the Smashing Pumpkins....despite being comprised of only 50% of former pumpkins. So, check out the song, and report back with your findings. Especially if you grew up a Pumpkins fan....its a must-listen.

Calling all Aspiring Artists: I'm not quite sure what the scope of our readership is, necessarily, but if any of our readers are in a band, or make a habit of creating their own music, then this message is for you. If you are looking for an opportunity to find a media through which to present your music, then I would like to suggest RadioKGB as your outlet. If you're interested in having your music previewed, listened to, and presented to the masses (and I use that term in the loosest sense possible) then I'd like you to send us a sample mp3 (or mp3s) of your music. We'd be glad to take a listen, and if it doesn't suck, display it for the RadioKGB readership to enjoy. I realize we may not have quite the impact and some bigger blogs, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. So, i recommend, if you're interested, to send us an mp3 of your stuff to I promise we'll give it a listen, and like I said....if it doesn't suck, I'd say you've got a decent chance of making it up on our blog. I'll also keep a link to the left of our blog, that'll constantly be there, to give you a chance to email. We're looking forward to hearing from you.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's about damn time we mentioned Jeff Buckley

Damn, this shitty blog has been in existence for almost 8 months now and there hasn't been one mention of the late, great Jeff Buckley. Well, tonight, on the 10th anniversary of his tragic death, I think it's time to highlight the greatness that is Jeff Buckley. If you have not got Grace and experienced its range of emotions, exhibited as always by one of the most passionate voices in rock and roll music, you must hurry out to your local record store and pick it up. Seriously, I am not joking, go get it, now! While you're at it, also pick up Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk and the double live disc aptly titled Live at Sin-e. Both of the below were originally recorded on Grace, but this version of Eternal Life is from the live disc.

Jeff Buckley -- Lover, You Should've Come Over from Grace

Jeff Buckley -- Eternal Life from Live at Sin-e

[Buy Jeff Buckley here]


Monday, May 28, 2007

It's Decoration Day....

On this Memorial Day, I thought this song would be appropriate:

Drive By Truckers -- Decoration Day :: From the album of the same title, this is one of Jason Isbell's better contributions to DBT during his days with the band. If you didn't know, he's gone solo now and his debut record, Sirens of the Ditch, is due out on July 10th from New West Records. He's also touring extensively. Check out the tour dates and sample some of the songs at his myspace page.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Saturday Six Pack IV

Music inspired or somewhat loosely tied to my recent trip to California:

Wilco -- Is That The Thanks I Get? :: This song was recorded for Sky Blue Sky but did not make the final cut. That's too bad really because it'd likely be my favorite song on an otherwise ho-hum album. Luckily, Wilco is always flexible with the tunes and were kind enough to release the studio take of the song.
[Buy Wilco here]

Merle Haggard -- The Bottle Let Me Down :: Listened to Merle on my ride from Indy on Monday night. Damn, wish I would've sung his entire catalogue when we went karoaking on Friday night.
[Buy Merle Haggard here]

Centro-matic -- Patience For The Ride :: This is a tribute to LA and the traffic. We experienced this in all its glory on Monday morning.
[Buy Centro-matic here]

Jay Farrar -- California :: Hey, why the fuck not include this song? It's better than that OC song.
[Buy Jay Farrar here]

Sly and The Family Stone -- If You Want Me To Stay :: I've posted about this song before but I'll post it again because it's just plain awesome. Awesome bass line, awesome funk, awesome voice, just awesome. I tried to get people to sing this with me on Friday night but no one knew it. Now you have no excuse.
[Buy Sly here]

Robbie Fulks -- Believe :: Chalk this up under the Weird Covers file. Robbie Fulks, a country crooner, covering Cher's hit song Believe. Believe this bitches, it's better than Cher's.
[Buy Robbie Fulks here]

Taking the dog to dog obedience school. Maybe I'll learn something too.


The Not-So Midweek Shuffle

Shuffle's back, bitches. Time to open up the iTunes, spin the roulette wheel and see what we're listening to today. Here's hoping it finds my new Kelly Clarkson CD....

1. Radiohead - How to Disappear Completely: For some reason I've come to the realization that I've never posted about Radiohead. That would almost give you the indication that I don't care for them too much. Well, that couldn't be any further from the truth. If I was stranded on a non-Lost-esque island and could only have one bands CDs with me, it would be Radiohead's. This song ranks up there with Paranoid Android as one of my favorite songs of all-time. The string-arrangements are mesmerizing. Its easy to get lost in this song, so in that since, the song has the perfect title. And if you don't know what I mean, put your headphones on, turn the volume up, and just listen to this song. (buy the Kid A CD here).

2. Nick Drake - Which Will: Just did a thing on Nick in my last webcast. This is another song off the Pink Moon album (get it here). Its his plea for a girl to make up her mind. His voice is very soothing, and not nearly as melancholy as Kendall's impressions had led him to believe.

Editor's Note: So as not to tempt the iTunes shuffle god's, full disclosure is expected on my part. I am currently listening to Say Yes by Elliott Smith, but I believe I've already done a little ditty somewhere here on this glorious site, so I'll skip the write-up and we'll continue on. Thank you for your attention.

3. Jack Johnson - The News: This is off his first CD Brushfire Fairytales. (Want it? Yeah, I thought so. Try here.) Honestly not too much to say about this one. I ususally brush past this one. The only line I regularly hear is the one about "Why don't the newscasters cry when they read about people who die? At least they could be decent enough to put just a tear in their eye."

4. Wilco - Kicking Television (live): This is the live version off the 2CD live album (get it here) of the same name. It was recorded from a couple shows in Chicago. I love this freakin album. I had always loved Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but was sort of impartial to A Ghost is Born. This CD opened my eyes up to that album. I began to appreciate that album more. This song is off neither of those, whatever.

5. Ben Harper - Please Bleed: Speaking of live albums, this song is off the 2CD Live from Mars. (You should give it a try.) I've always liked Ben Harper. He's got like a bajillion cds though. I'm not sure how many I have. This is my favorite though. Its composed of a heavy first CD, followed by a more acoustic based second cd. If you couldn't guess, this is off the second one. I really like the "Good lovers make great enemies" line. Sounds like something out of a Modest Mouse song. It also sounds like he could use a glass of water in this one, though.

I'm happier with where fate has taken us this fine Saturday morning. Time to do some work and think about drinking some beer. Gotta love some extended weekends. Have great Memorial Weekend everybody.


Friday, May 25, 2007

The National

Not only a great album but also a hella cool cover.

Wow, it's been a while. Between the craziness of trips, work, and *gasp* a social life, I haven't had much time for the posting. Fear not all, my schedule looks considerably less hectic over the next few months. Maybe I'll begin posting twice a day to make up for lost time? Do not fear, I would never do that to all 5 readers.

In all the craziness of the last week, I did have time to pick up the newest release from The National entitled Boxer. Here is my thing about The National: I feel like I'm one of the few who did not think Alligator was the shit of 2005. Don't get me wrong, it's not what I'd consider a bad record. It just didn't hit me as hard as it did many people. However, that did not stop me from trying this band again -- alot of people I respect really enjoy these guys and they do have Cincinnati roots. Well, while conducting my bizniz over the last week, Boxer was my background music. Funny thing happened though along the way -- the music was good and became more than just background noise -- it grabbed me, at least more than I expected. Ada, the second of the mp3s below, is maybe my favorite song of the year. I can completely relate to a frustrated narrator tired of hearing "reasons why you don't want to talk about reasons." Then again, I love the arrangements, from the well-placed trumpet and the strings. Anyway, check it out below:

The National -- Start A War
The National -- Ada

[Buy The National here and here]

In other news.

Lost Highway
and Ryan Adams have released two song previews from his upcoming album Easy Tiger, due out in June. Check out the links below to take a listen. I am just taking my first listen and although these two tracks are not produced in the country drenched stylings of Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights (although Two is getting there), it's hard to argue with how this guy writes songs. Count me as intrigued.

Ryan Adams -- Two
Ryan Adams -- Everybody Knows

[Buy Adams here]

Enough for now -- we'll come back with the Saturday Six in a few hours.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Top 5 Karaoke Songs

Bill Murray, pouring his heart out in the movie "Lost In Translation"

Friends, I'd love for this post to be a new webcast, but times are busy. Don't worry, that webcast is on the way. In the meantime, we can certainly keep the crowd busy by getting everyone involved in another Top 5. This topic is inspired by recent events out here on the left coast. Your very own blogger, Bryan Kendall, as well as Chuck Cochard, came out for a weekend of sight-seeing and wine tasting. To start the festivities off, and to celebrate other events, we found ourselves at the Old Town Tavern for some Friday night Karaoke. We wasted no time getting on stage and belting out our very own favorites. Most were not crowd-pleasers, for various reasons...

This debacle put the thought in my head that every one must have their favorite sing-along or karaoke songs. I'd like to hear what those songs might be. So, post em up - Top 5 Karaoke Songs.

To get you inspired here's one of my favorites to belt out:

Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire [buy]


Monday, May 21, 2007

My Obsession With A Song

Lost in the hubbub of the past two week's activity was the release of previous unreleased Elliott Smith songs. The 2-disc album New Moon (buy it here) was released two weeks ago, but I just got it sometime last week. There are a few gems, a few duds, but overall just two discs worth of good Elliott Smith tracks recorded in his early years around the time of Roman Candle and Either/Or (my favorite Smith album). To be honest, its probably difficult to truly appreciate this album unless you've been a fan of Elliott's for a long time now. Otherwise, its probably just some more good Elliott Smith songs.

However, I've been anticipating this CD since I first heard about its conception. And after purchasing it, there is one particularly stand out track for me. What's odd, though, is its not exactly a new song. The album contains a version of a song that would eventually become Miss Misery, Elliott's standout "hit" that earned him accolades and recognition (perhaps even unwanted, on his part) due to its inclusion of the soundtrack to Good Will Hunting.

Miss Misery was the first Elliott Smith song I had ever heard, and I was instantly a fan. I heard it in the movie, and rewound the credits like 10 times to keep listening to it (this was pre-Napster days), watched him perform at the Academy Awards, and went on to follow Elliott's work right up until this day. So, the inclusion of new version of this song immediately had my curiosity peaked.

So, before I talk anymore about the song, I suppose everyone needs to be on the same page. By that I mean, I need to make sure you've heard the song. Here is the final version, the first version I ever heard:

Elliott Smith - Miss Misery
Now, here's the early version of the song off the New Moon album. Its an 'Elliott and an acoustic guitar version' well before the song officially became Miss Misery.

Elliott Smith - Miss Misery (early version)

Very unpolished, but you can already see in this version, the foundation that would become the final. It probably wasn't even called Miss Misery at this point (that phrasing came later). Aside from the obvious melody, you can already hear the phrasings that make the final cut (including my favorite, the intro line about Johnny Walker Red). But there's a lot missing as well. Certain lines sound unfinished as if they were just fillers until he thought of a better idea (that's the way the line about the tarot cards sounds, this would become the line about the palm reader in the park).

But also, and I could be wrong about this, I think the tone of the song changes. The early version sounds depressing, but hopeful. He keeps anticipating this "enchanted night" he's with his girl. The final version sounds less hopeful. Whether they're together but can't bring themselves to break up, or whether they're not together with little hope of ever being together, or whether its actually a song about Elliott's depression (another theory). It comes across as less hopeful, despite the music sounding more upbeat.

So, I've loved this song for a very long time, but this new version helps me appreciate it that much more. I hope you all like it as well. I'll leave you with a couple other fun Miss Misery tidbits I have. One is a piano version of the song, and below you'll find a YouTube clip of Elliott's awkward performace at the Academy Awards when the song was nominated for an Oscar.

Elliott Smith - Miss Misery (piano version)

Take care.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Quickie from Cali

Yo all. I'm currently in the Golden State visiting Gerdon and Rose. I haven't updated much recently, but I am sure you know that Wilco released its new album Sky Blue Sky last Tuesday. Although I am a little meh toward the album, I will say that I really enjoy the album's first single, "What Light". Check out this video of the band doing a little practicing of their first single.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Mid-week Shuffle

So, I've been thinking a lot recently about the types of songs I've been posting on the blog here, and I realized that I basically only post and talk about my favorite songs by different artists. And as Gerdon said in one of his earlier posts, sometimes even so-so music needs discussing. Odds are at least 80% of my music collection will never get discussed on this site, let alone posted.......that is UNTIL NOW!!! (cue dramatic music)

I've decided that once every week and a half or so, I will leave my post up to chance. I'll open up itunes, hit shuffle, and I'll talk about the next five songs. The quality of the songs on the post will be left entirely up fate. I will then continue this trend until i'm posting too many shitty songs, or we're all bored.....whichever comes first. Now, there's one caveat to this foolproof plan.....all the CD's loaded into my playlist are usually from my favorite bands at the time....but let's view this as an opportunity to explore some of the lesser known songs on these albums. Plus, it'll force me to listen and think about some of the songs I otherwise might not have paid much attention to. So, let's get started with the inaugural edition of the Mid-Week Shuffle.

Wait a sec...I don't remember this being a CHANCE card.....

1. Ben Folds - Not the Same: This song is off his first solo album, Rockin' the Suburbs (you can, and should, buy it here). Its about a friend of his that took some acid at a party and starting acting (predictably) very weird.....and by weird I mean he started telling everyone about Jesus, which I suppose isn't necessarily weird, just different (most likely) from the way he used to act. That being said, its remarkable the ear for a melody that Ben Folds has. Listen back through the majority of his songs and find me a song with a crap melody. I'll mail you a dollar for each you find. Actually, no I won't, but I bet there's not many.

2. Death Cab for Cutie - We Looked Like Giants: This is off the first Death Cab CD I bought, Transatlanticism, and it made me fall in love with them. There's not a bad song on the album, but in my opinion its one of the weaker songs. Sounds to me like he's remembering a long-distance relationship driving to meet up with his lover. They'd experiment with a little sex and listen to Jesus and Mary Chain. Those crazy teenagers.... (Buy Death Cab here)

By the way, you can listen to a live solo Ben Gibbard concert that was broadcast on NPR here. Adding to the coolness is the fact that the NPR concert series is sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon. Enjoy.

3. Bright Eyes - Make a Plan to Love Me: This is off of my Cinco de Mayo Spectacular selection, Cassadaga. The beginning sounds like something from A Sound of Music or from the score to, but give it a second. You honestly never know what you're gonna get with Bright Eyes. He's very into BIG productions (as evidenced by this song). Still not sure what I think of this one. Its not bad, but I also can't ever imagine ever thinking to myself, "Hmm, I'd really like to listen to something that sounds like its from an animated Disney film." (Buy Bright Eyes here)

4. Thom Yorke - And It Rained All Night: Thom has always been very good at using his voice as an instrument. This whole album, Eraser, is a perfect example of that. Its very electronic, even more so that Kid A and Amnesiac were. I didn't like this CD to begin with, but the more I listened to it, the more I liked it. It kinda opened me up to electronic music. This one is essentially Thom singing over top of a laptop. This song is the one of the group that I think people will either love or hate. No in between with this one. (Here's where you should go to give it a try.)

5. Dave Matthews - Some Devil: Solo Dave. Some solo Dave sounds like DMB, but some definitely does not. This one does not. Electric guitar smother in echoey reverb. Its a nice, quiet song...nothing to write home about though. Despite being the title track, there are better songs on the album. As if you needed help finding a place to buy a Dave Matthews album, try here.

So, there you have it. There's probably zero chance in hell I would've posted some of these songs on my own. Not that they're necessarily bad song, because they aren't, but if I was going to post about these albums, there are definitely different songs I would've posted. Regardless, just because certain songs are my faves, doesn't mean you'll like them. So we'll share the wealth. Opinions are both welcomed and appreciated. Time to get back to work.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Grand Ole Opry

I was back in Nashville, Tennessee this weekend to deal with some unfinished business at my alma mater. Walking across the stage wearing layers of black robes in 90% humidity is something everyone should do. For me, graduation was a chance to get back to the beautiful south and see some family and friends. I'm enjoying my time on the west coast, but there's nothing like a sweltering day in the south and Nashville is a great place to enjoy the heat. The trip also gave me the opportunity to do something I had never done in Nashville while I lived there - check out the Grand Ole Opry.

It was quite a sight (and sound). I had been in the building once before (for an episode of Wheel of Fortune, of all things), but had never heard the music that made it so popular. It was two and a half hours of the old and young getting their chance to sing a song or two for the live, radio, and TV audience. It was cool to see everybody just wandering around stage - just like A Prarie Home Companion. It was very entertaining and I'd sure recommend it.

I'd say the highlight of the night was little old Charlie Louvin "sprinting" out on stage and singing "Lost All My Money". That dude is pretty amazing. He'll be at Bonnaroo soon.

Check out Charlie's Myspace page to hear a song off his new album!

While you're at it, check out a couple songs that put that southern music back in my head:

Alabama - Dixieland Delight

Drive-by Truckers - (sorry, don't know the name of this one, but I like it - can you help me out Bryan?)


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ryan's Webcast 3 - Third time's a charm???

In this fantastic installment of my webcast series, I've decided to take a look at some singer-songwriter's I've been paying attention to recently. But while we're partaking of this musical adventure together, I'd like us to ponder our own personal definition of the phrase "singer-songwriter". I guess, technically, all one has to do is write the music they sing. But if this is the case, then why isn't everyone this side of Eddie Vedder considered a singer-songwriter. As is turns out, in the past, I had typically considered a singer-songwriter to have a particular sound about them (i.e. they wrote, sang, and played their own music on an acoustic guitar). And I don't think I'm the only one that's ever felt like this. However, the technology associated with today's recording industry has rendered this definition essentially useless. Now, if a person was so inclined, they could play a number of instruments for one song and have these recorded over each other to produce the finished product, becoming a virtual one-man band. So, now an artist can played a myriad of instruments over the course of an album, and thus still be considered a singer-songwriter.

Not the kind of one-man band I'm talking about

I'm always fascinated when reading an album booklet and I see a particular artist played all the instruments. So, here is my tribute to the ever-changing definition of singer-songwriter. I hope you enjoy......

Also, a big shout out to whichever of my comrades discovered this wonderful StreamPad. Now, you KGB listeners can listen to the webcasts and single mp3 posts while browsing and reading the articles, without opening a new window. Anyways, onto the webcast:

Ryan KGB Webcast 3 - The Art of the One Man Band

1. Nick Drake - Pink Moon
2. Nick Drake - Place to Be
3. Alexi Murdoch - Wait
4. Alexi Murdoch - Breathe
5. Vandaveer - Marianne, You've Done it Now....
6. Vandaveer - However Many Takes it Takes
7. Andrew Bird - Heretics
8. Andrew Bird - Cataracts
9. Ola Podrida - The New Science
10. Ola Podrida - Day at the Beach
11. Damien Rice - Cannonball
12. Damien Rice - The Blower's Daughter
13. Jack Johnson - Better Together


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday Six Pack IV

These guys got me drunk.

It's Sunday, I apologize.

This week's Six Pack is a tribute to the Live Music Archive. This site is the tits and it includes many great bands. This is my first drunk post and it rules! Enjoy!

Drive-By Truckers -- Women Without Whiskey from 4.27.07
This is from the first night of the Dirt Underneath Tour that DBT is currently rocking. These shows are great. Another Cooley gem!
[Buy DBT here]

Ryan Adams -- Nobody Girl from 12.5.06
Great clip fuckers. Nobody Girl from Gold is sick. Live is almost always better, especially when a pedal steel is involved!
[Buy Ryan Adams here]

My Morning Jacket -- Oh What A Night from 3.7.2007
Something about MMJ covering this song makes it cool!
[Buy MMJ here]

Elliot Smith -- A Fond Farewell from 1.31.2003
A great fucking song. Much props to RR for his continued recs for this guy. Is he not the greatest singer-songwriter of the 1990s? I think you could make a compelling argument that he is.
[Buy Elliott Smith from here]

Toad The Wet Sprocket -- Something's Always Wrong
from 8.30.1997
I didn't realize Toad was on the LMA. Good stuff from Santa Barbara of all places.
[Buy Toad the Wet Sprocket here]

Cast Iron Filter -- Americana Hotel from 7.23.2004
Thanks to Gerdon for these guys. As he mentioned in another post, this is a great roadtripping song.
[Buy Cast Iron Filter here]


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dog Days of May

Hey everybody, I am back from my mini-vacation and I've got a new cohort in crime. Meet Mia, my new 2 month old Siberian Husky pup. She's a good dog; really smart and playful. She's got a mind of her own and is sometimes a challenge, but that's why Huskies are such great dogs. Here she is, about to poop probably:

In honor of my newest addition, I decided I would post some of my favorite dog songs. Check out these two dog songs, although they don't necessarily speak about dogs directly:

Uncle Tupelo -- I Wanna Be Your Dog (Longview Farm Acoustic) [The Stooges cover] from March 16-20, 1992 Reissued
Slobberbone -- Gimme Back My Dog from Everything You Thought Was Right Was Wrong Today

Give me some other great dog songs to listen to, fellow comrades.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Cinco de Buyo?!?!?

HA!! See what I did there.....I changed Mayo to Buyo!! And soon after hilarity ensued.

But Ryan, why did you change Mayo (pronounced Mye-Oh, for the Spanish impaired) to Buyo??

Well, this weekend I was fortunate to experience a sale of epic proportions....ok, epic might be overstating the fact, but it was a pretty damn good sale if you ask me.

Ever heard of Grimey's?? Its Nashville's premier indie record store, that Bryan even managed to both visit and write about after a recent visit to Nashvegas. (Read Bryan's Grimey's post here.)

Well, this past Saturday (May 5 for the calendar impaired) Grimey's had an "everything in the store is on sale" sale. All new CD's were 20% off, used CD's were 15%, or something like that, off, and they had a awe-inspiring number of CD's at the all-time fantastic price of $2. And when you consider how cheap everything is there on a normal day, all of those are pretty good deals.

Being on the Grimey's mailing list, I caught wind of this debauchery and decided to give the sale the ol' look-see, and boy am I glad I did. I came up outta that bitch with 4 CDs!! Reminded me of the BMG days where they'd send me like 8 CD's and I'd have no idea which to listen to first. Here was my catch:

Ola Podrida's self-titled debut (just came out last Tuesday)
the new Bright Eyes CD Cassadega
an old Pedro the Lion CD Achilles Heel
and The National's album Alligator for $2!!!

So, I haven't given these CD's thorough listens yet, due to my weekend spent ripping up our carpet and installing hardwood floors (hence the lack of post this weekend). But all four of these were basically playing on repeat from Saturday afternoon on whilst working. So, whereas I feel I'm in no position to offer up final opinions on any of these tasty morsals, i do feel up to handing out some first impressions. Here's what I think.

Ola Podrida - Ola Podrida: I played their song Cindy in my last webcast and have been excited about getting this CD since I first heard it. I've listened to this one more than the other four, and it certainly hasn't disappointed. You can actually hear the streaming of four of the songs (including Cindy) on their myspace page.

Bright Eyes - Cassadega: Not sure about this one yet. My initial response for this is the same as it was for every other Bright Eyes CDs...."Hmm, that was weird. I think I'm going to have to give it another listen." I've gone on to like the other Bright Eyes albums, so I'm sure I'll come around to this one too.

Pedro the Lion - Achilles Heel: I actually first heard about this band (which is really only one dude, David Bazan) a couple years ago when they opened for Death Cab, but I didn't pay too much attention to them, and therefore never thought to buy one of their albums. Now, I'm going to see a solo Ben Gibbard this Sunday and David Bazan is playing with him again, so I decided to adequately prepare myself, and give Pedro a listen. To be honest, his voice sounds a bit too monotonous for my personal tastes, but maybe after I see him this weekend I'll have more of an appreciation for his musical stylings.....we'll see.

The National - Alligator: They have a new CD coming out in a month or so from which I've heard one song, so I figured I'd give them a try....especially for only $2. I've listened to this the least so far, but methinks I like. I like the very "light" sounding guitars so far, but that's really all i remember from my first listen.

So, i'll give these a little more in depth attention this week. If you have these albums or any opinions on any of these bands, let me hear them.....i'm curious to know what you think.


Saturday, May 5, 2007

Saturday Six Pack III

This week's Six Pack is really a Mint Julip in honor of the 133rd running of The Kentucky Derby. The first weekend in May has always been a sort of unofficial holiday for me, many times with heavy doses of Maker's Mark thrown in for good measure. However, today I had to break with tradition and not drink at all because I idiotically signed up to run a marathon tomorrow. Songs about Kentucky, soul/motivation/drive, and thoughts of home make up this week's selections.

Lucero -- Poor Heartache
from The Coldwater Sessions
I find lots of great music via the many great blogs out there. This one comes from Captain's Dead and features a large collection of demos/unreleased tunes from Lucero's self titled album. I love the old timey music feel to this one.
[Buy Lucero here]

Guided By Voices -- It's Like Soul Man from Under The Bushes Under The Stars
The second track from this album for a second consecutive week. I bet you can guess which album has been getting a lot of play around here.
[Buy GBV here and here]

Loretta Lynn -- Family Tree from Van Lear Rose
Loretta is a Kentucky gem. With all of my reflection for home in the last week, it was natural to listen to her. She got lots of help from Jack White on this album, a dude discussed here lately.
[Buy Loretta Lynn here]

My Morning Jacket -- Evelyn Is Not Real from Tennessee Fire
Kentucky's finest as they like to call themselves. The nick name is appropriate and I can certainly say they're the most redeeming thing about Louisville.
[Buy MMJ here and here]

Yo La Tengo -- The Race Is On Again from I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
Duh, racing music. This song's been on the running playlist for months.
[Buy Yo La Tengo here and here]

Gram Parsons -- Sing Me Back Home from Sleepless Nights
Gram's the man!
[Buy GP here]


Thursday, May 3, 2007

Hornsby & Skaggs: 1+1=3?

In an almost inevitable coalition, Bruce Hornsby and Ricky Skaggs have joined forces on a new album (released March 2007). I have immense respect for these two artists individually - both are phenomenal musicians, songwriters, performers, and frontmen (in the sense that they each draw amazingly talented musicians to them) - and was intrigued to find them together on stage. Bruce has easily adapted his piano jazz to folk music over the years, playing with the likes of the Grateful Dead and Bele Fleck, and always plays traditional songs on stage. Ricky has bounced back and forth between country and bluegrass and has excelled at both. He is, of course, always known for his fine pickin and a singin. So, it was an easy match to put them together.

I've only heard a couple of songs off the new album (though I intend to pick it up soon), but have to wonder - will this album really be packed with great songs that we've come to expect from Bruce and Ricky individually or will it only be a novel collaboration between two independent artists? I worried in the same way when I heard about the JJ Cale/Eric Clapton project and was blown away by how good it was. I hope Bruce and Ricky can do the same thing. You can decide for yourself.

Check out some live cuts and interviews at AT&T's Blue Room

Here are two great songs of by duo disconnected:

Ricky Skaggs - Uncle Pen [buy it]
Bruce Horsby - Line In the Dust (live 6.30.02) [buy it]


Rage Against the Comeback??????

Please, oh pretty please make a CD

Rumor has it, and actually its more than just rumor, BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED, is that Rage Against the Machine reformed to play at Coachella this past week!!! That's right, everyone's favorite militant rap-rocker Zack de la Rocha got back together with Tom Morello and company and played a bunch of old hits at the Indio, California festival. Hey, Zack even went as far to compare this US administration to Nazi war criminals......ahhh, nice to have ya back, Rage.

Whereas I'm no one to comment on ultra-leftist politics, I do know a thing about music that kicks ass, and from where I sit, Rage always managed pretty well at that. So, here's to hoping they make a new record and that we never have to listen to Audioslave again.....
A couple of Rage faves of mine to close....Enjoy.

While we're at it, whaddya say we all go buy a Rage cd....ya game? Actually, I've already got them all, but if you don't I highly recommend them....try here and here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Best album of 2007?

Rachel McAdams rocking a Dinosaur Jr shirt. You can ignore Diane Keaton.

There have been lots of great albums already released in 2007, but in the end, it might be Dinosaur Jr's Beyond that ends up being the best of the best. The band's first with the original trio in 19 YEARS dropped today, on the day of Gerdon's birth, and is flat out sick. You want fuzzy guitars, you got it. You want some hot licks without the musical masterbation, you got it. You want catchy hooks, you got it. You want some solid songwriting, you got that too. Although we've hardly reached the home stretch for the year, this disc by J Mascis, Lou Barlow, and Murph is the early leader for me. Here are two of my favorites from Beyond:

Dinosaur Jr -- Been There All The Time

Dinosaur Jr -- Back To Your Heart

[Buy Dino Jr here and here]