Thursday, September 21, 2006

We've Seen The Sunrise With New Eyes. We've Seen The Damage Of Gossip And True Lies.

I like Ben Kweller. He's like the little brother you ignore, until the day you discover he's raided your record collection and is now writing pretty fucking amazing pop songs. Bastard. On his new self titled release, Kweller once again puts together a nifty package of quirky love songs and contemplative ballads. Opting to play all the instruments himself, BK successfully pulls off a solo album that comes across sounding like a full band. Not insular in the least and 100% more mature than his previous efforts, BK is full of life, love, and raucousness. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Ben Kweller: Thirteen

Ben Kweller: Penny On The Train Track

Ben Kweller: Magic

Ben Kweller: Nothing Happening

Sunday, September 17, 2006

We Took 15 Steps, But 15 Wrong. Through Packs Of Wolves And Wild Dogs.

We're at Austin City Limts and boy, I gotta tell you: it's humid. Braving the swamp like condtions we've managed to check out a great sets by The Stills and KT Tunstall. Up next: Matisyahu and Ben Harper.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Attention I Can Hardly Stand. Move Up Real Close But Don't Hold My Hand. They Will Never Understand. You Be My Girl, I'll Be Your Man.

Oh, Simon Dawes. What a glorious pop mess you are. Imagine Donald Fagen of Steely Dan writing lyrics for Wilco instead of Jeff Tweedy and you're halfway to witnessing how SD's debut album Carnivore shimmies it's way through psychedelic folk cock rock. Sandwiched in between crackling melodies and razor tight hooks are four young men who proudly wear their influences on their sleeves; to great effect. Whether you're a fan of Spoon's more adventurous leanings or The Beatles Abbey Road period this album is a definite gem of an addition to your collection. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Simon Dawes: Save Your Ticket

Simon Dawes: Got A Light?

Simon Dawes: Behind The Bleachers

Simon Dawes: Salute The Institution

Thursday, September 07, 2006

So You Dodge The Lady Killer Who Came Creepin' `Cross The Floor. Then You're Caught Up In A Whirlwind. You Get Blown Right Out The Door.

Showcasing a countrified sound that would later resurface on Almost Blue, Elvis Costello's reissue of My Aim Is True includes some absolutely phenomenal cuts not included on the original release. Costello's stylistic approach to lyrics and his vocal emoting lend themselves well to the traditional sounds of Nashville country and remind us why he's the pre-eminent singer/songwriter of the last 25 years. Also included is a stellar acoustic version of Blame It On Cain. For your listening (dis)pleasure:

Elvis Costello: Imagination (Is A Powerful Deceiver)

Elvis Costello: Stranger In The House

Elvis Costello: Radio Sweetheart

Elvis Costello: Blame It On Cain (acoustic alternate)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What Do You Owe Me? The Price Of Your Piece Of Mind. You'd Love My Bed. You Took The Other Instead.

It's such a personal thing, isn't it? How one compiles a list of their favorite albums. Lyrics and melodies forever attached to a memory and filed away; only to be resurrected every time the first strains of sound reaches your ears. 13 by Blur is one such album for me. Taking a huge risk, Blur continued dessimation of their trade mark Brit pop sound; a journey initiated with their previous self titled masterpiece. But something about 13 struck a chord with me. Buried beneath the fuzzed out melodies and stunningly warped production courtesy of William Orbit were some strikingly personal lyrics about the loss of love. My favorite subject. Damon Albarn went through some fairly traumatic times during the recording of this album: the break up of his longtime relationship with Elastica's Justine Frischmann and, unbeknownst to the listener, his partnership with guitarist Graham Coxon. 13 would be the last time the two appeared on a Blur album together. For your listening (dis)pleasure, four tracks off of one of my favorite Blur albums:

Blur: 1992

Blur: Coffee & TV

Blur: Mellow Song

Blur: No Distance Left To Run