Missing Sleater-Kinney

That awful moment of the breakup when they last of the stuff is being moved out of the apartment. It's brutal. And Corin Tucker and company capture all of that angst in this killer track.

The song says the rest...cue the music


The road less traveled

The MAN doesn't want you to hear this song. But I do. And so does Low. I can't believe I have been amusing myself with this blog since October and I haven't yet given props to these guys. Their sound does more with less volume than almost any band I can think of, proving that slower doesn't mean boring.

'Death Of A Salesman' is a song that I put on my own personal 'sea change' mix when I moved from Ohio out here to Los Angeles. It's a simple, powerful song about forsaking comfort and security in the name of chasing your dreams. Music to my ears.


Bohemian Anthem

Boredom manifests its self in all sorts of ways. Today it took the shape of a 'office space' inspired video for the killer MGMT track 'Time To Pretend'...I just thought the sentiment of the song worked well with the hell that is the cubicled office...and this is coming from someone who spent too many years as a drone in cubicle purgatory...keep fighting the good fight, once you break free its like a brave new world.

Jesse Malin - Basement Home

This is what a dying relationship sounds like. Jesse Malin is one of my very favorite songwriters because of songs like this. Not much else to say really...this post brought to you by too much introspection and an ongoing bout with insomnia.


Jesus Protect Me From Your Followers

In the spirit of election season, I thought I would broadcast one of my favorite statement songs from recent years. J.P.M.F.Y.F. tackles the hypocrisy of organized religion and does so it perfect folk rock form. Simple, straight forward lyrics that don't pull any punches...which is the recipe for any great political song.

Tim Easton is an amazing singer/songwriter out of my hometown, Columbus,Ohio...this tune is on his 2006 release 'Ammunition'


Coachella artist o'the day...MGMT

I have been immersing myself in all of these bands that I wasn't very familiar with in preparation for my annual pilgrimage to Indio for Coachella this year. When I got to MGMT i stopped and lingered for awhile...soaking the sounds in.

I think the fact that these guys can pull off a lyric like "You shock me like an electric eel" says all you need to know. 'Electric Feel' is a killer track on a killer album...definitely check out Oracular Spectacular. It's a party on compact disc.


Carbon/Silicon....old punks learning new tricks

To me, Carbon/Silicon are one of the more intriguing Coachella acts. The curiosity factor is off the charts...and the nostalgia meter may get buried too.

C/S are Mick Jones of the Clash and Big Audio Dynamite, and Tony James of Generation X.

Here are a couple of songs..



'Love' is all you need

Love, love, love. I am talking about the west coast psychedelic/folk rock band from the late 60's...not the emotion. It's all about the music with me after all. I have always loved Arthur Lee's voice, but lately I have been getting into their entire catalog and I am loving Love more everyday.

The record 'Forever Changes' is an absolute classic. I had forgotten how golden it was until I played it last night. Songs like 'You Set The Scene' and 'Andmoreagain' and 'Alone Again Or' are just so finely crafted...and sonicaly speaking I think Lee and company were always a bit ahead of there time, much like their contemporaries in the Velvet Underground.

Here are a couple of my favorite Love songs...'Always See Your Face' was immortalized in the hipster Citizen Kane 'High Fidelity' you may remember...i do believe that was my introduction to the band. Thanks again John Cusak



Josh Ritter - 'Come And Find Me'

ritt_new_06This song introduced me to Josh Ritter, and my ears have been so much better of ever since. I think I actually have the dearly departed HBO show 'Six Feet Under' to thank for this. This played during and episode as the credits were rolling, and it was love at first listen...i can remember spending the better part of the next week trying to track it down.


It was time well spent. This track is available on the 'Golden Age Of Radio' LP...an excellent record.


My Morning Jacket - Covered

One of the highlights of last August's Lollapalooza in Chicago was stumbling across the Kids Stage and finding Jim James of My Morning Jacket, armed only with a banjo, covering the Muppets song 'Rainbow Connection'...a beautiful moment.

Here are a couple of my favorite MMJ covers that I have collected...I am convinced Jim could be singing the phone book and I would be enthralled.



Super Furry Animals - "Run Away"

The new Super Furry Animals album 'Hey Venus' is just grand, from top to bottom. If you asked me right this second, 'Run Away' is my favorite track. It has something in it that reminds me of Phil Spector and that golden age of rock, without sounding contrived or played out.

A few other tracks have this same quality, but the album doesn't sit still...it shifts gears flawlessly resulting in an effort you will find yourself spinning over and over again, and hearing something new to like with each listen.


All the albums I have loved before: "Moon Pix"

With the release of the latest Cat Power album recently, 'Jukebox'...i have found myself dusting off some of the older Chan Marshall releases and revisiting them.

Without a doubt, 1998's 'Moon Pix' is my favorite. I had forgotten just how devastating this record is. 'Moonshiner' still gives me chills every time I hear it.

Here's to another ten years and then some of new Cat Power material...



All the albums I have loved before: "Paul's Botique"

The Beastie Boys remarkable, albeit commercially unsuccessful follow up to 1986's blockbuster debut "License To Ill", is still some of the best hip hop in my collection. The B Boys left behind most of the heavy guitar licks and most of the beer references that made 'License' so much fun and turned to the Dust Brothers for the production of this LP.

What results is a watershed hip hop album, that set the gold standard in production for years to come...influencing several artists for YEARS to come...including Beck and countless others.

Here are two of my favorite tracks...'Shake Your Rump' and 'High Plains Drifter'...long live the Beasties!



Coachella aritst o'the day,,,Santogold

Here is another band I had not been hipped to until I got my eyes on the Coachella lineiup...Brookyln's 'Santogold' is rocketing up my 'must see list' for Indio this April...dig it.


Everyone is laughing at you Coachella

What...was Dave Matthews booked? Jack Johnson headlining a night at Coachella? When did the frat party pop in Indio? A horrible miscalculation by the Goldenvoice braintrust...check out the official "Fuck You Jack Johnson" thread here:


But I never leave Coachella talking about the headliners anyway...there is always some band in the middle of the day that blows me away out of nowhere...so here is a band called 120 days that I am really looking forward to checking out...very dark and synthy...way cool.


Coahcella artist o' the day...2008 edition

Coachella is squarely in my sites now...in an attempt to amuse myself and pass the time until my musical Mecca opens its doors, i will post a song or video from a band who will be playing in Indio...every day until that glorious weekend in April.

Lets start it off with a 'Bang,Bang;

The Heartbreak Scene

Great band name. Great band. Hearbreak Scene was formed by Vancouver Songwriter Mark Szabo and is comprised of several Canadian musicians, including prolific New Pornographer and Destroyer Dan Bejar. Marcy Emery takes on the lead vocals.

The record is a reworking of older Szabo songs, entitled 'The Szabo Songbook'...really worth your time to check it out. Here are two cuts, 'Alibi' and 'Love Outside Movies'

07 Love Outside Movies.mp3


Positively 4th Street

Quite possibly my favorite Dylan song, and one of the greatest 'falling out' songs ever written.

I am posting the Stereophonics version of the tune, keep on file for that day when you need it...although I hope you never do


All the albums I have loved before: "Mirrorball"

When two of the loves of my musical life converged on record in 1995, Neil Young and Pearl Jam for the collaborative LP 'Mirror Ball'...I was a happy young man. Seeing as how Pearl Jam are influenced SO heavily by Crazy Horse era Neil Young, the album was a natural fit. Young handled most of the songwriting and all of the vocals(save a brief cameo by Ed Vedder on one track.)

Here are two cuts. The antemic 'Act of Love', which Pearl Jam took to playing live frequently during tours during the mid 90's and the sprawling 'I'm The Ocean.'




Old home town anthem...Take 2

Howlin Maggie were the biggest band in Columbus during my formative years as a music lover. Great power pow with elemnts of funk and some more experimental stuff mixed in...signed to a major they released one great album, Honeysuckle Strange and were subsequently dropped...but will always have a special place in my heart. Here is a cut off of the Beautiful Girls soundtrack called 'Easy To Be Stupid'


Old home town anthem...Take 1

Mad props to a band from my hometown, Times New Viking. They recently signed with Matador records and are releasing an album early this year...spent MANY a night crammed inside little, horrible sounding rock clubs in C-bus listening to the beautifully distorted sound...fuzzy guitars, fuzzier vocals...great stuff!


Report from the front lines: First excursion to a wi fi coffee shop in Hollywood

Sitting here with my friend Libby as she sucks through cigarettes like they aren't making them any more, while enjoying an overpriced iced coffee drink. There is a hemp-clad girl in the corner, sitting Indian style doing some sort of meditation. There is a sleazy looking hipster guy conducting what appears to be an interview at the corner table with two REALLY young girls who may have just gotten off of the bus from middle America...the whole scene smacks of "...we were young and needed the money."

There is an angst-addled, man in black type furiously typing at his Mac while devouring an everything bagel...apparently he thinks the harder he types the better that screenplay will read.
The girl working at the counter looks like if she has to see this scene replayed one more time she is going to come in with an assault rifle and put EVERYONE out of their misery.

This ain't no Canoga Park...soundtrack provided by Aesop Rock w/John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats


Blind Melon - 'Candy Says'

Heard this for the first time in a long time today, and thought I would go ahead and post it in case anyone out here wanted it.

Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon covering Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground...enjoy 'Candy Says'


Patience, Babe

I've just moved into my new place in Hollywood. I FINALLY feel like I have arrived in soudthern California. I have been here since August, but was stuck in a less than desirable living situation in a less than desirable part of the San Fernando Valley.

But i stuck it out, and now I feel like I can really start living my life version 2.0...here's to patience and perseverance.

The soundtrack for today is provided by Tilly And The Wall...


All the albums I've loved before: "The Low End Theory"

Growing up in Columbus,Ohio I was awash in a sea of bad hair metal, overproduced pop, and hip hop. While bands like the Replacements and the Pixies were making incredible records, I had no idea they existed and kept on thinking Def Leperd were playing cutting edge rock music. So slowly I started to gravitate over towards the hip hop side of the musical party. It was in hip hop that i heard my first real hints of what good music should sound like.

A Tribe Called Quest became a fast favorite. Q-Tip's intelligent lyrics dropped over killer drum beats and jazz samples, I was all in. Even as my musical tastes have shifted gears as i have gotten older and not so much wiser, I keep coming back to 'The Low End Theory'...it never fails to raise my spirits and put a bounce in my step...my God, I can't believe this record is 17yrs old. Rumors of a Quest show at Coachella are all over the web, and I have my fingers crossed.



New Jason Collett - 'Here's To Being Here'

Here is a shocking revelation: Yet another great album from a member of the Broken Social Scene collective...man, they guys are on a roll!

Here are two tracks from the latest Jason Collett record, which I am in love with...i am
afterall a sucker for good singer/songwriter fare, which is served up over and over again on 'Here's To Being Here'



It's the end of the world as i know it, and i feel fine...

This is a musical dedication to...me! I took the plunge and sold my trusty companion, my chariot, my beat up Honda CRV. That car will always have a special place in my heart. When I decided rather impulsively to move from Columbus,Ohio to here in Los Angeles, I really wasn't sure if my car could even make the arduous journey...but she was more than up to the task.

So while I am a little sad about losing my old road warrior, I have to tell you that the freedom that comes with not having a car to worry about is a nice feeling to have.

Cue the music...

What 'Blood' sounds like

I will not pretend to be any sort of expert when it comes to movie scores, not even close, but I did want to take a second and pass along a couple of quick cuts off of the 'There Will Be Blood' soundtrack

What an incredible film. Paul Thomas Anderson sets his sites on Citizen Kane and gets awfully close. He manages to take down two American iconoclasts in one film, organized religion and capitalism...they can corrupt equally. Daniel Day Lewis is out of this world. A great centerpiece to a great movie. But the music plays such an integral part in building the tension and setting the scene in this film that I tracked down the original soundtrack, and I NEVER listen to instrumental music... this is that good. Kudos to Johnny Greenwood for the music on this record.



All the albums I have loved before: "To Bring You My Love"

PJ Harvey's 1995 LP "To Bring You My Love" is easily my favorite Polly Jean record. The follow up to her breakthrough, 92's "Dry"... it is dark, brooding, and beautiful.

Ethereal vocals layed over layer after dark layer of sound. Tracks like 'Cmon Billy', 'Down By The Water', and the title cut are standouts.



Bon Iver - "Skinny Love"

Bon Iver's record 'For Emma, Forever Ago' is just the kind of haunting folk rock that should serve as the soundtrack to every January. I know I have been unable to get it out of my head for weeks now.

The track 'Skinny Love' especially...just a gorgeous stream of understated, heartfelt sounds...a great song for a grey day.


The Be Good Tanyas

Apologies to anyone who surfed over during the last couple of weeks...due to some computer issues I was more or less out of commission...but now I am back and mobile...now stopping me now...i will be a blogging machine!

Thought I would usher in this new era with one of my favorite bands...Canada's 'The Be Good Tanyas'...they create some of the sweetest sounding folk/pop out there. With three incredible albums under their collective belts I am already wanting for more

Check back often...lots of good stuff coming in the near future...





I heard this on NPR's 'The Writer's Almanac' this morning and for whatever reason it really spoke to me...then like a second later this song game on via the shuffle...don't you love it when life and music just sort of click like that? It's a beautiful thing...
High Water Mark

It's hard to believe, but at one point the water rose to this level.
No one had seen anything like it.
People on rooftops.
Cows and coffins floating through the streets.
Prisoners carrying invalids from their rooms.
The barkeeper consoling the preacher.
A coon hound who showed up a month later forty miles downstream.
And all that mud it left behind.
You never forget times like those.
They become part of who you are.
You describe them to your grandchildren.
But they think it's just another tale in which animals talk and people live forever.
I know it's not the kind of thing you ought to say...
But I wouldn't mind seeing another good flood before I die.
It's been dry for decades.
Next time I think I'll just let go and drift downstream and see where I end up.

- David Shumate

Voices that break your heart...Pt 2

Mark Kozelek is the other voice that never fails to crush my soul! In both the Red House Painters and his current project, Sun Kil Moon, he has been responsible for MULTIPLE moments of unforeseen emotional response...all due to a song.

I submit 'Carry Me Ohio' off of the Sun Kil Moon record 'Ghosts Of The Great Highway' as my sole exhibit...gets to me every time...maybe because I am an Ohio ex-pat, but still...a gorgeous tune!


Voices that break your heart...Pt 1

There are a handful of artists who do it to me every time. Every time I hear a song of theirs it seems to shake me to my core...Mark Kozelek and Jason Molina come to mind.

Jason Molina and whatever band he is fronting...be it Songs:Ohia or Magnolia Eletcric Co just has that sort of vulnerable voice that hits me like a ton of bricks. Here is a song called "Leave The City" off of 'Trials And Errors'...it's a heartbreaker.

Anyone have this affect on you? Comments are always welcome...


New Mountain Goats - "Heretic Pride"

John Darnielle and The Mountain Goats new release 'Heretic Pride' is set for release Feb 19th I believe. Here are a couple of tracks off of that record...there are some bands that I am really appreciative of their prolificness, the Goats are one of them.




New Raveonettes - "Lust,Lust,Lust"

Denmark's Raveonettes are back early in 2008 with a brand new record, 'Lust, Lust, Lust'...after a couple of spins I say cool,cool,cool...enjoy these couple of tracks. "You Want The Candy" will be kicking around your head all day...i apologize in advance!