Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our 100th Post!!!

Wow. I seriously cannot believe that we have made it to a hundred posts. I did not think I would have the patience to keep this thing going, but due to your support and readership it has pushed me to expose new bands and classic artists on a pretty regular basis. Here's to another hundred posts and many more to come!

As a result of this milestone in this site's history I am here to introduce to you a new on-going segment here on the site. In addition to "Needs to Stop" and "Late Discoveries" we are now going to add "Hall of Fame" in which each post will be an expose on albums that matter to us, they may or may not not be considered classics in the eyes of the critics but in our hearts they are extremely important.

Kicking off this series is Paul McCartney's 1971 sophomore solo album Ram.

Commercially, this album did very well, it reached #1 on the U.K. Charts and #2 on the U.S. Billboard as well. However, over the long ongoing solo career that Macca has had this album has sadly been tucked towards the rear of his immense and diverse catalogue. 

First off, The Beatles of course were and still are one of the the most influential artists in history. They have literally effected every single form of art. There are very few people who can say they have done that. So, when The Beatles broke up and began their own respective solo careers the public began choosing sides as to who was the best Beatle. I am of the belief that it is impossible to determine the definite Beatle because each Paul George John and Ringo brought their own unique aspects and originality to the table, and are completely irreplaceable. 

However, when they broke up and began to create their own records, it was interesting to see just what aspect of the Beatles they each represented. After carefully listening to all of their catalogues, I find myself a bigger McCartney fan than the rest. Ram is the perfect example of my reasoning for liking Paul, because it sounds like a lost Beatles album. More than any of the other members I believe that McCartney represented the sound of The Beatles, that diverse yet fairly simple pop sound that they invented. Granted some of the tracks on this album are in a sense Beatles songs."Backseat of My Car" was in fact a leftover from the Let It Be sessions. Take for example the track "Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey," the way McCartney is able to add distinct characterization to his vocals seems like it would have perfectly fit into Sgt. Pepper or Magical Mystery Tour.

I am in no way trying to discredit the other members work, Lennon's Imagine and Harrison's All Things Must Pass are absolute staples in Rock and Roll. However, if you are trying to get into the post Beatles solo careers, and are looking for an album that has that familiar Beatlesque sound to it, try Ram first. Even though some critics might suggest that Paul McCartney & Wings' Band On The Run is more essential, I respectfully disagree.  Every single track on this classic album is solid memorable and distinct. Its integrity, in my book, places it up in the ranks of The White Album or Rubber Soul, which for any other artist would be a huge achievement, but Paul McCartney he makes it look easy. For further proof of my claims check out "Monkberry Moon Delight" a song that almost became the title of this blog, and a true underrated gem in Paul's vast discography.  

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Friday, January 29, 2010

New Drive-By Truckers & Tour!


Rejoice! For the saviors of southern rock have returned! Drive-By Truckers have just released new tour dates including a Los Angeles stop on May 7th to The Avalon, and another one of our favorites The Henry Clay People are going to be opening! This is an absolute must not miss concert that we are extremely excited for. This tour is in support of The Big to Do our #3 highly anticipated album of 2010 (following LCD Soundsystem and Panda Bear) which will be released in March. Patterson Hood said in an interview that this album was going to be a lot more Rock & Roll. He certainly came through with his promise because a new track off it has just been released online, which is titled "This Fucking Job." This song has a simple guitar riff that lays the ground for Hood's politically tinged lyrics that are incredibly relevant to the times we are living in. This song give me high hopes that The Big to Do will be a worthy followup to Brighter Than Creation's Dark, one of our favorite albums of the decade.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Tallest Man On Earth

2008's Shallow Grave was one of my favorite albums of the year. It was simplistic folk, just a man from Norway and his guitar. The Tallest Man On Earth was able to conjure an early Dylan sound while adding his own unique traits to his music. I had no idea he was planning on releasing a followup album this year until I saw his new song "King of Spain" splash onto the interwebs. "King of Spain" has all the ambiance of he previous work, that simplistic acoustic sound, yet he seems to have focused and fine-tuned his writing which has resulted in this beautiful song that makes me all the more excited for The Wild Hunt when it comes out in April.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beach House - Teen Dream

Beach House's 2010 release Teen Dream came out on Sub Pop this past Tuesday. I have been listening to it a few times, though it is a very pretty album that is very emotional, I am afraid that this might be a fairly forgettable album. None of the songs except for "Norway" and "Zebra" really stick with me. Though who knows, this album may grow on me over this year, Sup Pop albums tend to have that effect on me.

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Monday, January 25, 2010


Garage rock group Harlem have a new album out in April titled Hippies. "Friendly Ghost," a track off of it, is short and catchy. That's about it, and that's fine by me. Sometimes songs don't need to be filled with layers of meaning and depth, sometimes a fun song with a catchy hook will suffice.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cat Mother and The All Night Newsboys

Produced in 1968 by Jimi Hendrix, Cat Mother and The All Night Newsboys' The Street Giveth and The Street Taketh Away is an underrated gem. Every member of the band were multi-instrumentalists as well as vocalists. This album needs to be reissued and quick, because it is too great of an album to have only a few collectors copies floating around. One thing that keeps me coming back to this record is the range. From the drummer-boy march of "Boston Burglar" to the baroque "Marie" this band shows a tremendous amount of variance in their sound.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

The Gun Club

The Gun Club, an immensly underrated 80's punk band were one of the first groups to mold punk and blues together. By mixing the delta howl of Son House with the punk fury of X they were able to produce an original sounding blast of energy. Fire of Love released in 1981 recieved rave reviews but the sales were not very high. This may not sound very out of the ordinary nowadays but back then The Gun Club's raw sound was very ahead of its time.

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For The Love of Ivy

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Shout Out Louds

Swedish band, Shout Out Louds prep for their 2010 release, this is the lead off single from it.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Concert Alert: Music Go Music @ The Echo 1/21/2010

Tomorrow night, Music Go Music will bring their Scandinavian styled over the top pop to The Echo here in Los Angeles. Tickets are $10 at the door and the thing starts around 8:30. If you like music in the style of ABBA or Electric Light Orchestra I highly recommend you check this out.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reg King

Reg King is the perfect example of what a lost album is. Reg King was mostly known for being the singer of The Action, however in 1971 he released a self titled solo album that has remained out of sight ever since then. Quite simply, this album is a treasure. It is completely out of print both in CD and on vinyl. The vinyl alone is worth hundreds if in mint condition. Why is this unknown album of an unknown singer such a sought out record? Because not only is it a great blue-eyed soul album, but Traffic's Steve Winwood and The Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor also guest on it.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Album Review: Spoon - Transference

Spoon strip down a little bit with Transference, keeping only the bare essentials that make up their appealing sound. This results in a great album that continues to define them as one of the sexiest bands around. The way that Britt Daniel articulates certain words in connection to the crisp guitar work is one of the many aspects that make Spoon unique. Transference is certainly not their best work, I would place Kill The Moonlight and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga above it. However while this record is not a huge step forward it is in no way a step back. This record shows more than anything the band's consistency. Their ability to produce one solid record after another authenticates Spoon's talent. Of course there are some tracks that particularly stand above others. Whether it be the trail-blazing rocker "Got Nuffin" or the piano banging "Written in Reverse" This album has an array of subtly different tracks that will please your earbuds. One track in particular that I love is "Who Makes Your Money." This song has a different pace to it that I don't believe this band has explored before. The slow but solid drum beat with the rolling muted bass tones is the perfect accompaniment Daniel's reverb-tinged voice. I've listened to this disc several times now, and for some reason that is the track I revisit most. Quite simply, Transference is another exemplary release by Spoon that will fit nicely in their already dignified catalogue.

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Who Makes Your Money (Link removed as per request of the Web Nazi, er I mean Sheriff) Just buy the record.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Missed Opportunities: White Denim - Fits

I first became aware of White Denim with their debut EP Let's Talk About It, it was loud raucous and a hell of a lot of fun. They sounded like a ramshackle Arthur Lee and Jimi Hendrix all slammed together. Then came their first LP Exposion which was a total mess, lacked focus and was all in all a letdown. However with 2009's Fits they have regained a more cohesive sound while still being able to experiment. Fits is a huge step forward to this Texas band and was overlooked by many last year.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Missed Opportunities: Future of the Left

***Missed Opportunities is a chance for us to showcase albums of the previous year that somehow went by our radar***

These guys are angry. That's probably the best word to sum up Future of the Left. This was another on my list of "Albums I Wish I Heard About Last Year." And who said punk was dead?

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

R.I.P. Jay Reatard

Wow. When I got home and read the news of the passing of 29 year old Jay Reatard I was truly shocked. Being a fan of his work and having seen him live, I can say this is huge loss to the music world. Jay was a swirling Tasmanian devil that breathed life into the garage/punk scene. His show was bare-boned. No special lights, no chatter, just an hour of nonstop tenacious noise. Every time a young person in the music industry passes away I automatically assume it was a result of drugs. Since the official report has yet to come out I shall keep my tongue bit in the meantime. However, if it turns out his death was a result of overdose that would be a damn shame. He was a spark of genius who had only begun to make his mark on the industry and had a lot more to offer to the world. Jay you will be missed.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Sade

For not putting an album out for an entire decade Sade Adu sure hasn't lost touch. I guess that comes with being an absolute legend. On February 9th she will release Soldier of Love, and if this song is any hint as to what the album is going to be like, 2010 is going to be a huge year for Sade.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Vic Chesnutt / Dick Cheney

This post times out very nicely actually. I have just finished reading the book Angler, a investigative report on the inner workings of the Cheney Administration, an extremely captivating read that I recommend to all who are interested in that subject. At the same time I have been wanting to post an homage to the late Vic Chesnutt who died on Christmas Day in a coma after a suicide attempt. While I have not followed his music closely over the years, I can still admit that we have lost a truly gifted songwriter. Therefore I have decided to tie the two together by posting the Vic Chesnutt song "Dick Cheney" off of the Skitter On Take-Off album.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Missed Opportunities: The Mumlers

***Missed Opportunities is a chance for us to showcase albums of the previous year that somehow went by our radar***

 Completely unbeknownst to me in 2009 were the lesser known indie group The Mumlers. These guys have a very boozy playful sound to them, and I wish had been aware of them last year.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010


I have to be completely honest here, I enjoy Midlake purely because of the track titled "Roscoe" It is one of the best folk-rock songs of the past five years. It's rambling historically tinged lyrics are infectious which makes it the kind of song that people tend to memorize. In 2010 they will release their followup to that album. Their lead off single "Acts of Man" is pretty good, they have chosen to explore and incorporate 1970's English Folk into their sound. But does it pay off as big as "Roscoe" did? Not so much for me, but you can be your own judge. I have posted both "Roscoe" and the new "Acts of Man" for comparison.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Portishead

This song came out in mid-December so it's been out for a few weeks, which means it's a golden oldie in the blog world, but since we were gone during that time this song is new for us. So yeah, it's Portishead, it's Beth Gibbons in all her glory. With their previous release Third they started venturing into this kind of sound, however with "Chase The Tear" they fully commit to this Krautrock sounding jam, and it sure as hell pays off. Look forward to a full release from Portishead in 2010

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Looking Ahead: Field Music

Field Music made a promising debut in 2007, but then shortly after disappeared. Luckily for us, their downtime was not spent in vain. On February 16th the English group will return with a monster double-LP entitled Measure. I have been currently spinning their single "Them That Do Nothing" and I can't quite place my finger on what it sounds like, although I am leaning towards Steely Dan circa Pretzel Logic. Check it.

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Them That Do Nothing

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Missed Opportunities: Dave Rawlings Machine

***Missed Opportunities is a chance for us to showcase albums of the previous year that somehow went by our radar***

You might not know Dave Rawlings but you may know some of the artists he has collaborated with such as Gillian Welch, Old Crow Medicine Show and Ryan Adams. This longtime producer/songwriter/ and background singer finally put out an album under his own name in 2009. A Friend of a Friend may be primarily made up of covers, yet is it a cover when he was the original writer of most of these songs? Dave Rawlings Machine is currently touring the west coast now, and will be making a stop at The Troubadour in LA on Feb 4th. I will be there for sure, will you?

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Good Morning 2010

It's a new year! Filled with brand new exciting possibilities! One of my many New Year's resolutions is to make this blog even better than before. First, I want to acknowledge and thank a few things. This blog was born on 9/9/09 and for not even being around for half of a year we have already accumulated thousands of readers! So, to you the viewer, you make this worthwhile and I thank you for it. ST&SP proudly has readers in every single continent (excluding Antarctica) and here in the U.S. we have almost every single state represented (c'mon AK, HI, MT, ND, SD, ID, and WY!). While it is not a surprise to me that our largest quantity of hits comes from our two target states California and Arizona, there are a few states have surprised me. States like Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois have all shocked me with the amount of views they're giving this site. To all of you wherever you are, I am grateful and humbled that you are here. So now, let's make 2010 even better!

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