Archive for the ‘MP3’ Category

“Thank the Lord for heroin, and thank him for your soul.” How did an album with a lyric like that get by me? And it’s not like that’s the only drug poetry on Spider Bags’ “A Celebration of Hunger,” a 2007 release from Birdman Records. Just about every tune is a tribute to excess. To wit: “Wakin’ up drunk makes me happy. Lately, you just bring me down.” And to a woman who wants to save the soul of a drunk: “I’ll gladly take your offer, now that I’m not so sick.” I could go on quoting this record for days.

A North Carolina six-piece punk country band, the Spider Bags are ostensibly Americana, but it’s the kind of reeling-in-sickness music you’d expect from Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Meat Puppets, or down-tempo Counting Crows. Every song is able to find beauty in pain and darkness, with lyrics (“She’s got a crooked face when she smiles”) that are as thoughtful as the music behind them. I’m gonna go so far as to call this album brilliant. That’s right, brilliant. There’s not a bad track on the entire record, and it’s a goddamn shame I didn’t hear about this album when it came out, because it easily would have made my top 10 for the year.

I hope to hell someone keeps me updated on their doings–and I hope even more that they don’t all die in a collective overdose before they record another album. As for this one, you can find it on emusic, and it’s well worth your time.

Blood for You

Waking Up Drunk

DIACON-PANTHERS-“Make It Feel Better”

Posted: February 12, 2008 by dillion in Alt Country, Americana, MP3, Music

So, a few weeks ago I get this e-mail:”Diacon-Panthers is endearing southern indie rock from Knoxville, TN.” They give me a link to hear their new record. Here it goes . . .

“Days of Wonder” starts out like grungy psychedelia, along the lines of Black Mountain, until, after a long and fascinating it descends into the sonic mess that characterizes the rest of the album: Indecipherable vocals, jangling guitars that seem to fight each other as often as they harmonize, and a drummer who apparently snorted all the speed in Knoxville. This is a group who seem to constantly battle any sense of melody or harmony. Even when they slow down, like on “Actress,” the vocals have a nasal, “Blind Melon” quality that’s jarring. In fact, jarring is probably the best word for this Americana Punk band. I’m on the fourth cut now, and I need to catch my breath. I never like to review a whole album in one sitting, lest my mood at the time color my perception. But in case you’re wondering . . . I fucking loved every minute of it so far.

I come back and start where I left off, with “St. Anthony,” which features a very off, faint and echoey distortion on Natan Diacon-Furtado’s already offbeat vocals. Oh my god. This is so unlike . . . Anything. There’s elements of lots of things here: Southern rock, indie rock, punk . . . There are moments where I hear snatches of something familiar . . . But every time I feel comfortable, the tune takes a right turn and leaves me behind, struggling to catch up.

The Diacon-Panthers need a big break. I hereby call upon all my fellow bloggers to write about this band. Write to me, I’ll send you their e-mail address. These guys have rocked me to my core, in a way few band submissions ever do. Truly.

St. Anthony

When It Comes To The Night

You can get their CD at CD Baby.

ACOUSTIC CLASH!

Posted: February 10, 2008 by dillion in Clash, MP3, Music, Uncategorized

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Y’all know I’m a huuuuuuuuuge fan of the Clash. And by huge, I don’t mean I’m fat. I mean I love the ornery fuckers. So, I try not to let more than a month go by without doing something to pay tribute to Joe, Mick, Paul, Topper, and the rest of the crew. This time, it’s an “acoustic” show (mostly percussion in the mix). I wish this were better quality, but you take what you can get. The cool thing about it is you can really hear all of the lyrics.

The songlist is above, on the jacket of the CD. If anyone out there has a crisper quality version of acoustic Clash material, I desperately want it. In fact, if you’ve got any rare Clash/Clash related stuff, please send it to me.

I have several more Clash posts planned over the next few months.

A few tastes, and a zip:

Cool Under Heat

White Riot

Bankrobber

Stepping Stone

THE AUTUMNS-“Fake Noise from a Box of Toys”

Posted: February 9, 2008 by dillion in MP3, Music

The Autumns claim as formative influences bands like the Smiths and Stone Roses, and both are obviously present here from the first cut, “Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers,” a swirling, sonic wall of wailing. Overall, the album follows that kind of soaring, “big” pattern—alternative rock intended for arenas. For example, Glass Jaw is a high energy tear that must be fantastic live. Like many ’90s alternative tunes–in the tradition of Nirvana, The Breeders, etc.–it moves tireless forward through its chorus, which is more guitar than lyrics, but instead of doing the standard slow/fast/slow/fast common to this style of music, the song simply plows forward until the last few seconds, where it brings the listener down gradually into a really sweet fade out.

A few other cuts, like “Clem” in particular, skate too close along the edge of the kind of ball-less whining some call twee, and the album lost me a few times because of that. But there’s enough variety here that they’d win me back soon enough. Especially since Matt Kelly’s vocals have to be heard to be believed.

Sadly, the tune they’re offering for free download is Boys. Big mistake. Glass Jaw should sell this record.

Boys

Glass Jaw

A to ZEVON (HAPPY BIRTHDAY WARREN!)

Posted: January 29, 2008 by dillion in MP3, Music

Warren Zevon is probably my favorite songwriter. I dig his classic hits, which always inject bitter humor, like “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” and “Werewolves,” but I also like his lesser known ironies, like “Something Bad Happened to a Clown” and “Rottweiler Blues.” I also appreciate his tender moments, like “The French Inhaler” and “Tenderness on the Block,” as well as his barnstorming blues cuts, like “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” and “Piano Fighter.” All of it is good.

But I rarely post on the man. So, today, it’s Zevon rarities day! His birthday was January 24, so I missed it by about a week, but whatever.

These are all live bootleg tracks, of various levels of quality, that I hope you’ll enjoy. All tracks below are by the WZ, unless otherwise noted.

A is for All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan). A bit long and rambling, but I really like what he does with it. It’s much more like a Bob Dylan cover than a cover of the Jimi Hendrix version, which is what most folks do.

B is for Warren’s long-time friend Jackson B. Mohammed’s Radio w/Jackson Browne

C is for Comes a Time (with Neil Young)

D is for Don’t Let Us Get Sick. An example of sensitive Warren, a beautiful song, and one of the first times it was ever performed.

F is for First We Take Manhattan.

G is for guns and gats. Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner. This isn’t a rare song, but I do love it.

H is for Purple Haze (Hendrix)

I is for I Can’t Tell You Why (The Eagles)-Vox by Timothy B. Schmit (of the Eagles)

J is for Stop Breaking Down (Robert Johnson)

K is for knives, son! Mack the Knife. Yeah, Warren likes show tunes, too.

L is for Lakes Of Pontchartrain. A true rarity, this is the only live performance of this song (that I’m aware of).

M is for masturbation. Dancing With Myself (Billy Idol cover).

N is for a Neil duet! Splendid Isolation (With Neil Young)

O is for old time rock and roll. Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran)

P is for Play it All Night Long (Zevon cover)-Drive By Truckers

R is for Ring Them Bells (Bob Dylan cover)

S is for Surfin’ USA (Beach Boys cover)

T is for The Boss! Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen). Not great quality, but it’s worth a listen.

U is for unpronouncable symbol. Rasberry Beret (Prince) (Actually, the little purple guy did this while he was Prince, which he is again, but whatever.)

V is for Why Can’t This Be Love? (Van Halen)

W is for Back in the Highlife (Steve Windwood)

XYZ is for W again. What’s New Pussycat?

Download these and play ’em all night long.

RIP Warren.

10 REASONS TO DIG TOM WAITS COVERS

Posted: January 25, 2008 by dillion in Covers, indie folk, Indie Pop, Indie rock, MP3, Music

1. Picture in a Frame-Pearl Jam.

2. I Don’t Wanna Grow Up-Cold War Kids. An illogical tune: Great song + Great band = Not so great cover. But cool for the curious or completist. For a great cover of this song, check out The Ramones version. Or . . .

3. I Don’t Wanna Grow Up-Petra Haden and Bill Frisell. From another great album, all duets, available on emusic.

4. Jesus Gonna Be Here-the EELs.

5. Way Down in the Hole-Blind Boys of Alabama. Also known as the theme to The Wire, the greatest TV show in history that nobody’s watching.

6. Johnsburg Illinois (Tom Waits cover)-Josh Ritter

7. Hold On-Redbird. If you can get your hands on a copy of Redbird’s (only) album, do it. It’s revelatory, one of my favorite albums of recent history.

8. Heart of a Saturday Night-Holly Cole. My absolute favorite TW song, from my absolute favorite TW album. Brilliant.

9. Jersey Girl-Holly Cole. A HC two-fer, and it ain’t even Tuesday!

10. Jersey Girl-Bruce Springsteen with Tom Waits. Last but not least, the man and the boss.

MARAH-“Angels of Destruction!”

Posted: January 17, 2008 by dillion in Americana, Indie rock, MP3, Music

Perhaps in the spirit of Lil’ Wayne’s admonishments to “please say the baby,” Marah’s latest record demands your attention by not just telling you its name—but exclaiming it! Still noticeably influenced by old-time rock and rollers like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, and, of course, Bruce Springsteen, Marah offers another collection of bluesy bar guitar barnburners. I’ve always liked about half a Marah album, but by the time I get to the midway point I’m often ready to change it. This latest release still suffers from a little of the awkward lyricism in that marks many of their songs, but on the whole it hangs together a lot better than any of their earliest efforts. The songs offer enough change from track to track to keep from descending into predictability and, although they’re still not breaking any new ground, this album is the best one so far to communicate the sheer joy of their live shows.

“Angels on a Passing Train” is almost, dare I say it, a beautiful song from a band not typically known for their sensitivity. “Old Time Tickin’ Away” successfully brings soul into the act without pretension.

But the best news is new-to-the-band keyboardist Christine Smith. She refreshes the band’s overall sound on songs like “Wild West Love Song” and “Jesus in the Temple.” She even manages to lead the band through a nice 10-minute experimental epic titled, “Wilderness”—the absolute opposite of this roadhouse band’s most successful songs. It seems Marah is willing to stop being so derivative and start making music of it’s very own. Often when a band tried to break new ground and change into something bigger than it was the results are spotty—but “Angels of Destruction!” is anything but that. It’s Marah’s most consistent and most enjoyable album yet.