Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Music Tuesday September 9th, baby!

“Lost Coastlines” from Okkervil River releases The Stand Ins tomorrow, yet another lyrical masterpiece from Will Sheff and crew. I downloaded their song “Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe”… and it’s a catchy one. Also, I’ve been by Ringlers lately and noticed they were playing there last weekend. So when I saw they released a new album , I was intrigued… and I really ‘get pleasure’ from what I hear. I’m delighted to recommend “Lost Coastlines” to you. The band brings the sex appeal of Jarvis Cocker from Pulp, and that makes me oh so happy.

“Louie” from Kimya Dawson's long-awaited children's album, Alphabutt… It’s a children’s album. This makes total sense that Kimya Dawson made a whole record dedicated to kids. Their songs on ‘Juno’ seemed to be stolen from Baby Genius or the like. (oh shut up, I am in tune with what the kids like these days, whether or not I am having them or not!) The song ‘Alphabutt’ would never have been kosher with the parents I remember dealing with during my time as a nanny. It goes through the whole alphabet and sings about how each letter stands for something having to do with your butt, whether it be ‘doo doo’ or ‘elephant doo doo’ or ‘farts’ or ‘gorilla farts’. Cuuuute, but parents aren’t going to be happy. This is why I love it. Those adults that complained about Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland and changed the ‘Whore’ sign, protesting that it wasn’t appropriate, can go suck doo doo. This song “Louie” is pretty silly, about a doggie named Louie. Awwwwww.

“Suicide and Redemption” from Metallica releases its latest album, Death Magnetic. You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, like Metallica did here in this album, you get what you need: classic Metallica. There is a time and a place for this band for sure for sure. Of course the title of this song isn’t exactly ‘upbeat’, but who REALLY wants that from hardcore rockers? I enjoyed the tracks I sampled from this new album… true fans will love it I’m sure. My neck hurts just thinking about listening to the whole album…

“Helen” from Horse Feathers new album “House With No Home” This band is really unusual … and are from Portland!!! The violin and soft vocals are soothing but they trip out with their electronic devices. I’m guessing they use a module. This is a personal inside joke for my benefit only. I can’t pin down whether they are trying to be psychedelic or more like Enya… They claim to be folk / indie. Personally, the violin is an underrated instrument that should be played more often. All in all, I would love to drive during sunset with this album playing, like say towards the friggen beach. Lets go. Well you can go see them October 3rd at Holocene for the cd release party… Please don’t cry, I have plans that night and won’t be there. You are on your own.

“The Other Side” from Angela Desveaux's The Mighty Ship, This is the only song that doesn’t sound like a Sheryl Crow cover… and even with that said I am not excited about this track I was forced to pick out of desperation. Angela is totally unoriginal, even if her hero’s are Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris. She doesn’t have the balls or creativity to pull off either influence. Sorry Angela… you have a lovely voice, its just all been done before. Try something else.

“Sarabande In Pencil Form” from Calexico's new album “Carried to Dust”, . Love their song “Corona” from their album Feast of Wire. IT sounds like a mariachi band, in the best way possible!!!!! This Carried to Dust album is carried in the same vein. Perfect album for an Indian Summer, which is basically what Portland is going through this month (83 degrees today, Sept 17th!). Their use of percussions, steel guitar, trumpet, and accordion stops me in my tracks. They could be the theme band for the Alamo… a fantastic mix of Texan, Mexican, and Americana rock, clearly incluence by the great Ennio Morricone. These boys are from Tuscan, and they have embraced it. Thank you Calexico for the lovely album! One for my collection for sure. And for the record, I had a really hard time picking out one track of the 16 on the album. AND they will be playing at the Crystal Ballroom on September 27th!

“Paper Kite” from Damien Jurado's “Caught in the Trees” who played a the Doug Fir last Friday. (September 12th) Oh well I was too busy that night running round town with my lovely lady friends. Ahh Damien. Not sure what I think of his music, honestly. I think his music is something that has to grow on you. Each song has a different feel – but I don’t feel passion from his voice. Like someone said “Hey Damien, you have a nice voice. Give this a try”. Like having a model become an actress. There is no feeling, just a one dimensional character. I have been wrong before (well -maybe?!) so I haven’t completely closed the door on him. He just isn’t the next M Ward for me, just yet… Still, the instrumentals in this song Paper Kite are breathtaking.

“Oh My Sweet Carolina” from the band Portastatic's new release “Some Small History” which is a b-side and rarities compilation. Never having heard of this band before, all their songs were rare to me! Yes, I picked this track because of “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Sue me. I like this band! They are story tellers from the Carolinas, mixing alternative rock (whatever that is) with Brazilian themes (WTF?!), apparently have been playing since 1992! Huh. I enjoy the sound and the rock style, like CSNY or Steve Miller, part country. I feel like there were situations a d people that inspired these songs, and they weren’t simply written. Sometimes the lead singer gets a bit nasally for my taste, but not everyone can sing like me.

Also, Fall Out Boy, Of Montreal, Plain White T’s, Robin Thicke, and the Pussycat Dolls have all released singles this week as well. None were great, and since they are singles, I can’t exactly pick another song from the album, can I. So of all five, Of Montreals single “Id Engager” is the only one I’d consider listening to again. But I bet we will be hearing the Pussycats and Fall Out Boy’s singles the most. Yay…

Lastly, I kinda like Jessica Simpson’s duet with Dolly Parton on Ms. Simpsons new album released this week. Shhhh…..


Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Music Tuesday August 26th

August 26th

Having NO internet for 2 weeks. Count that, TWO, I had started this and then POOF the net was down. So I finished it today, and will do Sept 2 and 9ths new music Tuesdays hopefully before the 16th comes around. That’s the goal. Enjoy… some good ones and not so good ones…

“B Movie Saga” from Fratellis new EP “Look Out Sunshine! (imported B sides). The Fratellis are a fun band, no doubt about it. Are they the best out there? Not really. Their high energy and eccentric songs appeal to me, nonetheless… makes me smile when they randomly pop up on the pod shuffle. I don’t really expect to hear from them in 10 years…but I do enjoy their peppy music. I must say I was reviewing their June 9th album (thanks to Anne for giving it to me) and its fun but sometimes repetitive… I was pleasantly surprised from this B side release, though. Fun lil pop band to have in rotation with some happy music for the road… likes Apples in Stereo and the Ditty Bops. Compilation in the works perhaps? Nahhh to upbeat for my taste currently. I might kill someone if all that was playing at once.

“Room to Rock” from Matthew Sweet’s latest Sunshine Lies”. Fun fact you didn’t know about Matthew? He played with Susanna Hoffs and Mike Meyers in ‘Ming Tea’, the trio that jams between scenes during the first Austin Powers flick. Remember? “BBC 1! BBC 2! “ No? Well I do. Matthew seems like a fun person – do you ever get that vibe from someone you don’t know? I really love the lyrics to this song. He needs a room to rock in. I do too. It’s a bit Tom Petty, but I like Tom Petty – so this flies. Matthew has been in the music scene for a long time, and is a great song writer. 

“Love is Noise” from the album “Forth” by the band The Verve. Yes this is the band who sang ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ back in the mid ninties… which I was never a fan of. The success of that bitter song temporarily broke up the band(3 years-ish) but all is well now a days. This song is so much less whiney and a bit like Pretty in Pink soundtrack worthy. Shit I might actually like the Verve. Hmm. Funny I hated that song they are so famous for though. The song “Columbo” on this album is downloadable as well, if you turn on your strobe light and glo-in-the dark paint your ceiling the constellations….

“Love in our hearts?” from Electric Touch's self-titled album. I must say, this really gets under my skin, in the best way possible. Sinatra under my skin style. This song my not catch everyones interest, but please be my guest and check them out for yourselves. I’m a bit perturbed they are skipping Portland on their tour… but I will forgive them. I might have to toy with the idea of buying this album. For some reason, they aren’t constistant with their energy on the album, like they had only so much time and/or money and stuck songs like “Don’t be afraid “ which sounds like it should be part of the Wonders setlist from the movie “That thing you do!”… which is great if it was 1957. But it isn’t.

“Dissapear” from Gabe Dixon Band's self-titled release. Ok I really only chose this track because it reminds me of a today’s version of Richard Marx… is that wrong? Not all the tracks are Richard-esque. I kinda like the “Sirens” song with the lead scanting and the electronic sounds mixed with the beautiful piano… I do love the piano. Gabe’s from Nashville, and is trying to make it big. Well he did something right. He collaborated with the guy who co-wrote that Grammy winning song “Not Ready to Make Nice” for the Dixie Chicks. Good one, Gabe. He has a clear voice, too. Satisfying to listen to.

“You Oughta be Satisfied Now” from Jonatha Brooke's album “The Works”. Put in the genre of pop, but I disagreeeeeeee. She is so country its not even funny. Ok, so now that I’m over the mis-categorization, I will review Miss Jonatha. This song is sassy and kina boring at the same time. I guess I’m over songs titled “Little Bird”, “My Flowers Grown Green”, or – hold the phone! She has a song called “There’s More True Loves than One”!!!! Too bad I don’t care for the all around feel of it, or I would probably buy it. Cute. Not clever enough like Ms Wainwright, who blows Jonatha off her rocking chair. Zzzzzzzzzzz. Please check her out at the Aladin Theater on November 6th.

All 150 songs from the The Motown Collection (11-disc box set). Holy Crap an 11 disc box set?? Chances are I own quite a lot of these tracks, but the compilation would be so rad at a party. Perhaps I will borrow the list and make my own… BUT I may be introduced to new R&B artists (not the Brian McKnight R&B, the ORIGINAL rhythm and blues artists…) so therefore I will definitely be looking into this in the near future. Classic American music that hasn’t been duplicated anywhere, especially anything released lately! (I think the Brits may always have a one up on the Rock and Roll genre tho…)

Speaking of Rock and Roll titans from across the pond, Led Zeppelin’s album “Mothership” has been remastered into 4-disc box set. Rather than describe word for word what has been done to the sound for your pleasure, please check out the link provided… Amazon will help you out. I’m sure buying an album, that isn’t exactly new, all remastered doesn’t sound appealing – I can assure you that a band like Led Zeppelin would love for their work to pay off to the listener in rare clarity form. I love how Amazon says they can’t believe the sound came out of four guys. I gave that exact review recently … does this mean I am starting to know what I am talking about here?! Probably not. Ha!!! Plus, my favorite song is on disc 2…. “Since I’ve been loving You”.

“Get these Blues off Me” BB King: One Kind Favor. Having been to BB Kings Blues Club & Grill in NY, I know how the big man rolls. He wasn’t there, unfortunately, but extreme maverick George Clinton was performing when I walked in … in full force at 11:30 on a Thursday night … (one doesn’t forget the details when seeing George and his Rastafarians on stage during my first experience in the great NYC). Back to BB King, he is very high on my list of artists to see live. I don’t really care what he produces; it will always be in his bluesy style that just simply kicks ass. I haven’t heard a word condemning the King, and I absolutely love that he won’t go into hibernation. If you still got it, flaunt it. FLAUNT away, BB! Did I mention I am totally downloading this song so I can strip tease to it sometime in the near future???

“What Remains” from Blues Traveler: “North Hollywood Shootout”. I don’t apologize for liking the Blues Travelers. I don’t apologize for being enormously jazzed to see them last December. Lastly, I don’t apologize for not listening to them on a regular basis. Recently (like a year or two ago!) I purchased their albums again… cuz I gotten rid of them in the past. I missed their asses, damn it. Popper has made a name for himself in the house of blues (not THE house, but a house I’m sure!). I think this song is really pretty, by the way. Always be a spot on my shelf for these guys…

All of Johnny Cash & George Jones: Live at the Louisiana Hayride: Johnny Cash & George Jones. Who wouldn’t love to have been there?!!! George Jones?!!!! Hells yeah! Not a self proclaimed country lover, but I can’t deny celebrated American idols like Johnny Cash and George Jones. Makes me want to go to Nashville and become a star… in my red cowboy boots. They are getting their run in on the cat walk these days, all prepared for stardom.

“Summertime” from the album “Somewhere” by the lovely Eva Cassidy. I don’t know if Eva will ever make a real name for herself, but she seems to pop up every now and again and I am reminded of her talents. I am not head over heals for her, but she is underrated all the same. She seems sweet, but am I the only one who thinks she has a bitchy name? Maybe that’s Eva Longoria’s fault… you know that girls a tramp! I’m soooo catty. This song is so sexy and I may have to karaoke it sometime soon. I want to see her make it.

All of Live at the Isle of Wight 1970 by The Moody Blues. Please tell me that the Moody Blues gets you hard like they do me… especially on a Tuesday Afternoon… (sorry I couldn’t help it). Anyway, someone makes serious bank releasing these old concerts to gullible fans like myself all eager beaver to check out what they were like that night. There is always something different, something new, (something borrowed, something blue… etc) that is fresh about a live album. Or better yet – seeing a band live in general! I have been fortunate to attend many concerts in my life, and there is nothing more thrilling than hearing your favorite track played live in front of your face. I mean can you even imaging “Nights in White Satin” at the Isle of Wight in 1970? You just know people were stoned out of their gourd swaying and holding onto each other telling strangers they loved you. Side note: apparently this Isle of Wight festival broke the record attendance at the time, beating out Woodstock (which, incase you actually didn’t know, was the year before, 1969).

“Lick it Up” from KISS’s “Kiss Best – Kissology” …. Had the pleasure of walking into a new bar recently (new for me, maybe not for you) and they consistently play Kiss videos. The bartenders succumb to the Jedi mind trick on getting free drinks. I’m not telling you where this place is – its my new secret. You can KISS my ass! And lick it…!!!