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Showing posts from May, 2012

As The Dark Wave Swells - The Bambi Molesters

from the album As The Dark Wave Swells (2011)

I love this song.  It begins with two guitars offering spaghetti western voicing accented by a few cymbal rolls.  Enter the beat and groove with 60's movie theme orchestration.  The beat transitions to some great floor toms ... a few cymbal crashes, and ... WHAM ... here come the horns.  Next, guitar and horns join forces to celebrate the hook with majestic orchestration lifting it to higher heights.  Finally, we return to the floor toms for a beautifully subdued close.

The Bambi Molesters are from Croatia, but you'll swear they are from Laguna Beach.  This is most likely the best surf recording 2011.  There is little doubt we will here this song on a future movie soundtrack.  Goosebump Good.

Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down - Robert Plant

from the album Band Of Joy (2010)

So we're chilling at my place watching the opening credits of Boss.  Suddenly, like a Tasmanian She-Devil, my lady friend reaches across the nightstand, grabs her iPhone, clicks on Shazam, and watches the display spin until the title and artist appear.  Robert Plant.  I was familiar with the song from the Uncle Tupelo version from 20 years ago.  I had later found an older version on High Atmosphere, an album of Appalachian ballad and banjo tunes from the mid '70's.  I really like when Robert Plant goes the bluegrass route.  His vocals blend well with the instruments while the lower volume and space in the music allow you to really appreciate his fantastic voice.  Good stuff.

Girl - Sea of Bees

from the album Orangefarben (2012)

Caught a Sea of Bees show (with The Loom) at the Mercury Lounge in NYC last week.  Great time.  If you have a chance, definitely check them out.  Julie Baenziger sings with an infectious enthusiasm and quirkiness that won my heart.  Of the night's set, Girl was a real stand out.  An effortless power pop ditty with a beat and warmth that resonate.  The show ended with a great rendition of Leaving (On A Jet Plane) that is also on this record.  Cool stuff.

One More Cup Of Coffee - Frazey Ford

from the album Obadiah (2011)

Dylan covers are a unique sub-genre that has spanned nearly 50 years.  There are the classics:  Jimi.  Eric.  Johnny & June.  So here is a cover of a lesser known song (side two of Desire) by a lesser known artist.  Has anyone recorded a better Dylan cover this millennium?  Nothin' fancy... bass, guitar, drums, a little organ.  It is played tenderly and patiently.  Over this Frazey Ford sings.  Her vibrato absorbs me.  Screw the coffee, I want to follow her "to the valley below" right now.  Even if we die.

Lulu's Back In Town - Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Michel Gondry

from the album Be Kind Rewind (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2008)

Duck Dunn died today.  He is my favorite bass player.  I saw him play with Booker T. & the MGs at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta, Georgia in the mid 90's.  It was a summer afternoon show on hot Georgia asphalt and there was no shade to be had.  I stood there dripping sweat... mesmerized... listening and watching as he took me to school.  Or was it church?

Then there were those crazy nights, watching Bar Fly with my friends, groovin' to Hip Hug Her.  Fun times.  The corn was green.

I still listen to Booker T. & The MGs all the time.  Their sound stirs my soul.  Duck Dunn's bass lines and tone are legendary.  Take a listen to Albert King's Born Under A Bad Sign, Sam & Dave's Hold On, I'm Coming,  Otis Redding's Respect, and Wilson Pickett's In The Midnight Hour.  Was anybody better?

Lulu's Back In Town is an obscure soul jam.  It is the last recording I have from …

One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley's Boyfriend) - Wilco

from the album The Whole Love (2011)

This is a truly beautiful 12 minute 4 second song.  I wish it were longer.  Both simple and complex, every listen uncovers something new to lose myself in.

>  The way the brushes land on the snare
>  The interplay between the piano and acoustic guitar
>  The groove set by an almost invisible bass that delights you with perfectly chosen variations
>  Jeff Tweedy's vocal
>  The twangy riffs that dance across the last 6 minutes like shooting stars
>  The restrained feedback that simultaneously holds you in the song while letting your mind roam
>  The couple of times when the strum of the acoustic guitar rings into the frets
>  The space that exists in spite of all the music that envelopes you
>  The melody and hooks that stay with you long after the music ends

For me, this is musical ecstasy.

Broken Promise Land - Linda Chorney

from the album Emotional Jukebox (2011)

Emotional Jukebox got a lot of press when Linda Chorney used a social media campaign to lobby Grammy voters and managed to get a nomination in the American category (I would not classify the record as such).  Good for her.  Viva the individual.  Screw the machine.  The song's hushed lead vocals mix with Great Gig In The Sky background singing, groovin' organ, and tasty sax to create a vibe that works in many environments.  Nice.

Lord Tell Me Why - Ry Cooder

from the album Pull Up Some Dust And Sit Down (2011)

Figure this out, Ry Cooder channels an R.L. Burnside I Got Messed Up vibe and chants a lyric that goes "Lord tell me why, the white man ain't worth nothin' in this world no more" and the internet mobocracy pigeon holes the entire album as "Woody Guthrie-inspired".  Am I listening to the same record?  I love the vibe, the backing "church" vocals, and the way Ry Cooder morphs his voice to perfectly suit the song.  Masterfully crafted.  I dig it.