With a new year unfolding I thought it would be a good time to present some more bands that released albums in 2018 that I enjoyed and got the gears in my brain turning.
First, Parquet Courts ‘Wide Awake’. The song reminds me of much of the ‘post-punk’ funk I enjoyed from the 1980’s, like Talking Heads first forays in to that style.
I’d recommend getting the full Wide Awake CD. They play a variety of styles on the album, all of them really well done. Also really enjoyed the song ‘Total Football’. I still buy full CD albums. First, I like hearing the songs in wav format as compared to MP3s. Second, support the bands you like.
Another great album from last year was Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs ‘Clippety Clop’. An album of stripped down covers and traditionals many of them with that old time ‘Southern Gothic’ feel. Like hand pluckin’ an acoustic guitar sittin’ on a tombstone in a cemetery at twilight (and yes, I already know I’m a bit odd). First song is ‘Horses In The Mines’.
They also do a cover of the traditional ‘Two White Horses’. You can find an early version of the song by The Two Poor Boys on YouTube. Here’s the Brokeoffs version:
As I listened to it, it seemed familiar from somewhere else. Beck did a wonderfully spooky rewrite version of it on his Guero album. He kept the basic tag line of the song and wrote his own chords and verses to come up with ‘Farewell Ride’. For years musicians have worked from old traditional songs. Wonderfully done shivers.
‘Till we meet again.
I stumbled across this song from a book I read called Stillhouse Lake, by Rachel Caine – good read and the music she lists at the end is awesome. So check it out.
This is one of the titles I particularly liked – and of course, the lyrics are way cool – the beat is catchy.
Lo Fidelity All Stars – Battleflag (came out around 2008, um, where have I been?)
So on to serious business… I have a great surprise coming out next week from the studio. Got to work with a really great guy and had a great time recording with him.
Until next week, hit play and turn it up!
One of the great things about music is the way it can generate emotions and trigger memories and feelings. I’m particularly drawn to songs that bring out feelings of melancholy. Although melancholy is usually defined as sadness, often with no obvious cause, I also consider the feeling as nostalgic, flooding back memories from days gone by. Do you have any songs you listen to that can bring you to tears? Or bring flashbacks from past experiences? If you really analyze a song that does that for you, is it the chords and notes played? the chord progression? the vocal style? the lyrics? I’ve included three songs I really enjoy that do this for me. Different styles, even different eras, but they wash over me like a river and do what music does best: bring out feelings and memories.
First a song from Kurt Vile, ‘Pretty Pimpin’, that has all the things I love, great finger picking chord progressions, lyrics that make you ponder about your day to day life and a nostalgic feeling of what is my life about and what could it be?
Next a song from Wolf Alice, ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’. Ever feel different, like an outcast? Personally I strove to be an ‘outcast’ in my younger years. I love the feeling of being part of something that most people don’t connect to. Being part of a tribe. Great shoegaze style guitar in the song. Also love the videos of the these songs. I think they do a great job of matching the visuals to the music.
Finally, a song by The Replacements, ‘Unsatisfied’. This song came out at a time my life was in turmoil and seemed to encapsulate everything I was feeling. If you’re not familiar with The Replacements and the album the song is on, ‘Let It Be’ I highly recommend taking a listen. The entire album is a gem. It was the soundtrack of my life for a few years. Listen to the lyrics and tell me you haven’t felt this way at some point in your life.
As a songwriter I live to compose songs that carry this kind of weight. Hope these songs strike a chord in you. Fell free to share any songs with us that do this for you.
I found these guys through a friend at work. I really wanted to review it because I think this is one of those situations where the genre may not be what your into per se, but you can appreciate what you are hearing.
Hatebeak, is out of Baltimore and their vocalist is an African Grey parrot. Yes, you read that right – a parrot. Not only is that unique, it’s certainly a testament to the idea that with music, just about anything goes – depending on how you do it. In the song (link provided below) the drummer literally sounds like a beat machine (in a good way). For all I know, there may be parts of this song that are. Either way, whoever did their editing and mixing knew what they were doing.
Just in case you are wondering, they don’t tour because it wouldn’t be optimal for Waldo (the parrot). I am not sure it’s optimal for people either, but such is life. Give ’em a listen and check out Reptilian Records other releases on SoundCloud. Have a good Easter, be happy, fluffy bunnies, jelly beans, etc.
Hatebeak, Number of the Beak, Seven Perches
Yes, as the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Well, time flies even when you’re not having fun. I’m not much of a winter person so it’s been a while between posts. So I think it’s time for another round of ‘what do these things have in common’. First let’s talk some music, old school style. When writing or recording you can get away with a lot if you concentrate first on the rhythm. I came across an article that deals with the pinnacle of old school rhythm. If you want to know how to construct a groove you can’t lose if you study James Brown. Here’s an interview article with Clyde Stubblefield the original ‘Funky Drummer’. It’s an interesting read (or listen):
How about a clip where Stubblefield gives a live demonstration of how the beat originates:
And now hearing the beat in a bigger context:
You could put a political speech on top of that and it would still be funky.
So what else is new? Velvet Wrinkle Wreckerds and ERP have new T-shirts!
What do these things have in common? Ummmmmm…..does it really matter? Not really!
– Happy Winter –
I stumbled across these guys on YouTube and I watched just about every cover video I could find. I love how these were taken and re-molded into another genre – and done well. I try to embrace many different musical influences and this one just fit the bill. I also loved the instrumentation and the harmonies are pretty darn tight.
In other news, we have a lot of music we are working on in the studio and are getting ready to throw some new stuff out on SoundCloud – when that happens, I will of course, shout it out here.
Without further ado:
If the previous didn’t do it for you, try this one:
OK so while sifting through my stream over at Soundcloud I found these guys… well, that and an article I saw on twitter mentioned them – er, something close to that (my memory is suffering this
week every week)? ANYWAY – I really liked their sound and I thought I’d provide two examples.
I really dig the video, but I also like the cover they did of this song; I like that it is live and imperfect. Yet somehow it still sounds cool to hear the song in a totally different light.
Below is an original of theirs – the song grabbed me, but the video was cool too. You gotta love a guy sporting a dress, wearing make up, and looking pretty darn vulnerable doing it. Why? Dunno – just go watch it.
Here is the SoundCloud track of the same song above, for those of you not interested in seeing the video.
I came across a few interesting 2013 videos in an article I was reading. I like the music, but it’s the videos that are hypnotic. Some pretty cool visual techniques.
Fell free to stare directly at this and end up with your mouth open drooling..
Or you can stare at this and turn 2D in to 3D….
OK – this is the creepiest rabbit I’ve ever seen……
And can’t forget a ‘what day is it’ shout out. No cake and candles but….
So what do I do on New Year’s Eve? Listen to music. And what music do I listen to that blasts me blissfully in to the new year? To set the proper tone for 2014?
Seriously, this cheers me up. A song that should be blasted at full volume to enjoy. Head banging is good on New Year’s eve. Not that I’m advising banging anyone else’s head – that would be BAD. Just your own.
Then watch a live performance video (not great quality video, but the sonics are pretty good). Compared to the albums, the live band was much more punk. Amazing amount of energy!! Which is, of course, what you want coming in to a new year – energy!! good grief!!! the logic is indisputable!!!! (no, we’re not a cult – sheesh – a few exclamation points and people start to worry).
See!! Happy New Year!!!