Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hindu Love Gods

The short-lived Hindu Love Gods project between Warren Zevon and R.E.M. minus Michael Stipe is one of those bands that even fans often forget about. When they weren't respectively touring this group of friends would occasionally take over bar shows and small clubs and play a mix of covers from classic blues to Prince. They released one studio album of covers, it sold like the opposite of hot-cakes and remains a forgotten nugget for any R.E.M or Zevon fan. I think the fact that a recording of Warren Zevon and R.E.M covering "Raspberry Beret" exists proves Murphy's Law.

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Raspberry Beret

Monday, August 29, 2011

Nick Waterhouse

Nick Waterhouse makes music that your grandparents listen to, that fun loose swingin' R&B of the 50's and early 60's. Waterhouse in addition to be one of L.A's rising stars is an accomplished producer, he is able to create such a vintage sound that he even pulled one over me when I first heard "Some Place." I thought this song was some uncovered nugget, not some new single. I am eager to follow Mr. Waterhouse's career because he certainly seems to have what it takes. Download this and get dancing.

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Some Place

Friday, August 26, 2011

Van Morrison - T.B. Sheets

I was browsing through my collection of Van Morrison records the other day and stumbled upon the oft-forgotten track "T.B. Sheets" off of his debut LP Blowin' Your Mind. This song is a sprawling nine minute blues jam with a laid back swagger to it that reminds me of David Crosby's "Cowboy Movie." However, the tone of this song is starkly contrasted by the lyrical content of "T.B. Sheets." This is a song about that awkward moment when you're next do someone's deathbed and it's time for you to go. If you read the lyrics on their own the song is actually quite depressing, a dying person begging a friend to stay with them until the end without success. Yet Morrison hides this painful image behind a relaxed bluesy rock tune which makes it easier to handle. It's a brilliant song and if it weren't nine minutes long I could see "T.B. Sheets" be considered one of Van Morrison's many classics.

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T.B. Sheets

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Future Islands

Future Islands from Baltimore have a very distinct sound, a mix of Post-Wave meets Tom Waits due to the singer's uniquely garbled voice. I don't know enough about these guys as I'd like to, but they are definitely on my list of albums to pick up. If you're in Los Angeles and are going to the FYF festival next week get there early and check these guys out.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Late Discoveries: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Some Loud Thunder

** Late Discoveries is a periodical on ST&SP. because we're only human and can't possibly hear every band that comes along, sometimes we miss a truly great album or artist.**

This weekend I will have a chance to see one of my favorite bands from my high school years perform, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! After taking a few year hiatus these guys are back and have a new record coming out in September. CYHSY! is important because they were one of the first DIY success stories to come out of the internet age. They still remain completely unsigned by a label and have pretty much done everything themselves. This business model paved the way for so many artists to just put music out themselves not having to rely on the industry to promote their music. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! will always be remembered for their stellar self-titled debut record but many people tend to pass over their sophomore record Some Loud Thunder.
Many critics and fans alike have passed this album off as being inferior to their first release which I never understood why. Sure each of their albums had a few duds on them but Some Loud Thunder has some terrific tracks that rate right up with their best material. I wouldn't say this album surpasses their debut but is certainly on par with it.
Some Loud Thunder is certainly much darker than it's predecessor, for instance the devilish disco-rock of "Satan Said Dance" remains one of their biggest hits to date. However there are so many other overlooked tracks on this album like the eerie piano-driven "Love Song No. 7" or "Yankee Go Home" and "Underwater (You and Me)" are all songs that should have received much more attention than they have. Some of the tracks show inklings of singer Alec Ounsworth's solo career like the swampy bayou folk of "Arm and Hammer."
Some Loud Thunder is a record that took me a long time to appreciate its brilliance and I think fans and critics need to give it a second listen, because now it is my most played record of theirs. Though it is certainly harsher than their self-titled I would not call this record sub-par. I cannot wait to see what direction they take their third album with. Catch Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! at Sunset Junction Music Festival this Sunday it's $15 for one day.

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Love Song No. 7

Friday, August 19, 2011

On The Tube

This week saw the release of some awesome music related YouTube finds. The first we find Neil Young busking on the streets of Scotland with a Banjo, then there's Radiohead's entire performance of King of Limbs live From The Basement, and then we wrap things up with Bon Iver's perfectly executed Icelandic video for "Holoscene" So grab your favorite cozy chair and watch these nuggets.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wooden Shjips

This Friday at The Echo psychedelic rock quartet Wooden Shjips will be doing a free show sponsored by Sailor Jerry Rum for those of you who are 21+. You have to RSVP over at The Echo's website and I'm not sure if the list is full yet, but it's worth the shot. These guys have a new record that is coming out in September but until then I still play their impressive 2009 record Dos from time to time.

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Down by The Sea

Monday, August 15, 2011

Eleanor Friedberger

Last Summer, the solo debut from Fiery Furnaces frontwoman Eleanor Friedberger has been on pretty much constant rotation at my place for a good week and a half now. It's a solid straightforward pop album that is much more cohesive daresay than any Fiery Furnaces album. The album's opener "My Mistakes" starts the record off on a brilliant pace and Friedberger doesn't let up for the remainder of the ten tracks. I'm not sure if you'll see this atop of many critics end of the year lists, but it will certainly be on mine.

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My Mistakes

Friday, August 12, 2011

Roots Roadhouse at The Echo & Echoplex

Things might get a little twangy here for awhile since this weekend is The Roots Roadhouse festival here in LA featuring the best of underground roots, bluegrass and country music. Not only that but the lineup for this year's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival has been announced, which I am going to. So if you're free this weekend come down to Echo Park and check it out!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is a kooky sounding Portland trio that is part lo-fi funk and part Muppet/Sesame Street episode mash up. Needless to say their self-titled debut album is one of the more unique and satisfying indie records released this year.

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FFuny FFriends

Friday, August 5, 2011

Twin Sister

Twin Sister from Brooklyn are making their way up in the blogosphere of indieness. They apparently had a memorable set at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago last month and are set to play during the day at FYF here in LA. Their singer has a soft yet playful quality to her voice while the rest of the band seem to have this muted lo-fi Tom Tom Club thing going on. These guys fit very much in the direction that indie music is gravitating towards.

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All Around and Away We Go

Monday, August 1, 2011

The People Who Died

If I could pick one song I would want to cover if I had a band, it would have to be "The People Who Died" by the Jim Carroll Band. This highly unique ironic tale of friends who made irresponsible decisions with their lives is one of those fun tracks to sing along to and try and memorize the lyrics too. I have posted the original version as well as a much more raw version by the Drive-by Truckers who quite often close their shows with this tune.

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Jim Carroll Band - The People Who Died
Drive-by Truckers - The People Who Died (Live)