Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I Just Wanna Be (Like Moi).

How deep do you feel that piano in this live cover of Hey, Jude, by Overton Berry Trio? Sooooo deep. And the title I Just Wanna Be (Like Myself) surely signals a song that is about as shallow as the singer's narcissism, right? Or does it?? Listen closely. And the way the drums roll out the red carpet for the other instruments to strut over in Cissy Strut, only to roll all of them up into a relentless drum solo, and then slowly let them squirm out again. Feel this.

Overton Berry Trio - Hey Jude (Live) (mp3)
Robbie Hill's Family Affair - I Just Wanna Be (Like Myself) (mp3)
Johnny Lewis Trio - Cissy Strut (Live) (mp3)

All from Wheedle's Groove: Seattles Finest in Funk & Soul 1965-75

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Pan in the Full Moon

Chorus of Night Voices

This is the night of revelation. This is the night the dolls wake. This is the night of the dreamer in the attic. This is the night of the piper in the woods.

From Enchanted Night, by Millhauser.

Ofelia: My name is Ofelia. Who are you?
Pan: Me? I've had so many names. Old names that only the wind and the trees can pronounce. I am the mountain, the forest and the earth. I am... I am a faun. Your most humble servant, Your Highness.

From Pan's Labyrinth.

Javier Navarrete - The Labyrinth
Javier Navarrete - Pan and the Full Moon
Javier Navarrete - Pan's Labyrinth Lullaby

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tom Brosseau - Live on KEXP, 1-19-2007

Singer-songwriter Tom Brosseau sang four songs for KEXP last month, his shimmering voice accompanied by his gently fingerpicked acoustic guitar and Grammy-winning classical violinist Hilary Hahn. I wish there were video of this.

Tom Brosseau - Live on KEXP, 1-19-2007 (mp3s):

Brass Ring Blues
Blue Part of the Windshield (with Hilary Hahn)
Jane & Lou
Fork In The Road (with Hilary Hahn)

Own Grand Forks.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sparklehorse - Live on MPR, 2-20-2007

Mark Linkous' Sparklehorse recently played three songs for Minnesota Public Radio's The Current. Linkous' lyrics dig into the hidden corridors of the brain, and his music is the slow drill that lets them in.

Sparklehorse - Live at MPR, 2-20-2007 (mp3s):

Return To Me
Spirit Ditch

Own Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Soul Searching

Here's a pick-me-up. If you don't catch some of the spirit in this rousing gospel music, at least you'll be standing up and moving.

Violinaires - What He Done For Me (mp3)
Troy Ramey and the Soul Searchers - By The Power Of God (mp3)

From the Hyena Records Compilation, Gospel Music.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Take Your Winterpills And Fall Into Your Nightmares Gently.

I would normally argue that words this tormented should be complemented with minor chord dissonance, scratchy vocals, and miscellaneous sounds from gutters, dark alleys, sinister labyrinths, and dungeons. Winterpills have convinced me that despair can be just as forceful when done sweetly, with lush vocal harmonies and tender melodies set in a dreamy pop backdrop. Listen to how gorgeous heartbreak can sound.

Winterpills - Angels Fall (mp3)
Winterpills - Broken Arm (mp3)

Order their new album, The Light Divides, out February 27th.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Grizzly Bear, Live on KEXP, 2-16-2007

Grizzly Bear's Yellow House made scores of best-of-year lists in 2006. My bet is that if you stashed those lists away for another year or two, and then pulled them out again, you'd find that Yellow House is one of the few albums you still listen to regularly. The songs resonate; they still hit me as hard as they did the first time I listened to them, especially when they perform them as powerfully as they do here. This version of Knife owns me.

Grizzly Bear (Live, KEXP, 2-16-2007) (mp3s):

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss) (The Crystals Cover)
On a Neck, On a Spit

Get the original version of He Hit Me... on the Grizzly Bear Blog.

Own Yellow House.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Dig My Taters and Face the Consequences.

I was going to go all Lilith with today's post, but then I had a change of heart and decided to go the other way. I feel like a better man for it.

Memphis Slim - Digging My Potatoes (mp3)
Memphis Slim - When I've Been Drinking (mp3)

From Memphis Slim: Favorite Blues Singers, available at Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Love The Way You Do Your Thing.

Simply stated, Neal Hemphill was a blue-collar worker with a deep passion for music. But peeling away the layers of his history reveals so much more. In a time when other studios focused solely on country, gospel or jingles, the Sound of Birmingham was the only with an open door policy, willing to record any type of music by anybody who happened to stop by.

Some called Neal an innovator – a man in constant search of a sound or "the sound", experimenting heavily with strange microphone placements, homemade echo chambers, and unique instrumentation like vacuum cleaners and 2x4"s. The downbeat on the gold record ‘I've Been Lonely for So Long’ was a 2x4" being hit on a drum stool.

Some simply knew him as a man with a heart and mind as open as the doors of his studio, which he built in the basement of his plumbing shop on Bessemer Super Highway in the working-class suburb of Midfield in the mid-60s.

-from Birmingham Record Collectors.

Folks, that's a perfect example of the healthy kind of obsessive love. Sweet soul sound, will you be my valentine? And this is how that passion, that spirit, and that energy reflects:

Cold Grits - Funky Soul (mp3)
Pat Peterman - I Love The Way You Do Your Thing (mp3)

Own Birmingham Sound: The Soul of Neal Hemphill, Vol. 1.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Bracing for the Storm.

Salt truck, salt truck, clear my path
All my dreams have frozen fast
I want roads that I can drive on
I want a love I can rely on.

Salt truck, salt truck, it’s a shame
Driving in the freezing rain
I want roads that I can drive on
I want a man I can rely on.

Salt truck, salt truck.

Salt truck, salt truck, after hours
Spinning in the snowflake showers
I want roads that I can drive on
I want a friend that I can rely on...

Eleni Mandell - Salt Truck (mp3)

Mandell conjured up the road song "Salt Truck" as she and her bandmates were trying to get from Detroit to New York on the I-80 during a treacherous winter storm. “It was just harrowing,” she remembers, “and any time a salt truck would appear to lay down the salt on the road, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief. So it became a kind of metaphor for life and love.”

- Starkult Promotion

Eleni Mandell's new album, The Miracle of Five, has the kind of smart, honest songwriting that makes records endure for decades. She articulates and bares insecurities like no one else.

Here's a video to an equally brilliant song from the same album:

I wonder how you look when you sleep
Do you still dream about girls from your street
Do you still dream about girls from high school
Do you still dream about girls girls girls?

And one more:

Singing like he could be crying, leaping or lying,
Looking for love to keep him from dying.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Standing On The Corner Watching The Foxes Walk By

Mighty Mike Lenaburg is the latest compilation in Numero's Eccentric Soul series, and it might be the most raw. Here we have Michael Liggins opening up a song with some falsetto whoo-hoo-hoos, ungracefully seguing into the subject matter of standing on an L.A. corner, watching foxes walk by. Then we've got Lon Rogers & the Soul Blenders, talking up his girl to his friends by telling them "she's full of soul/from head to toe" and "she's full of soul/from head to feet."

Michael Liggins - Standing On The Corner (mp3)

Lon Rogers & Soul Blenders - My Girl Is A Soul Girl (mp3)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

All You Need Is A Moment

Bebel Gilberto's latest album, Momento, will be out soon, but we need a good injection of hot neo-Bossa now more than ever, don't we. From her myspace:

On Momento Gilberto also comes into her own as a songwriter, writing or co-writing the majority of the songs, and delivers three impressive covers ­ “Ca├žada” (mp3) (written by her uncle and famed songwriter Chico Buarque); “Tranquilo” (mp3)(written by young Rio producer Kassin) and a heart-stopping Bossa-Jazz version of Cole Porter’s classic “Night And Day.” “I take total responsibility for this album,” Gilberto says of Momento. “I took a lot of risks: trying different approaches, experimenting with sounds and getting away from the perfectionism of the studio. This one is more about my feelings and views. It reflects who I am now, as a person and as an artist.”

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I know, I missed yesterday's post. I'm still alive, though maybe just a little seasonally affected. It's damn cold outside. All this calls for a counteractive force, hence the hot funk.

So the first little upper is this one, in which Lee Fields flaunts her funk sensibility and her wisdom simultaneously with the sage advice for modern times, Let A Man Do What He Wanna Do (mp3).

And the second one is a brainwash of sorts: Sharon Jones' Damn, It's Hot (mp3), who could convince me that it is if my bones were Bose condensate.

Both mp3s from the Spike's Choice, Vol. 1: Desco Funk 45 Collection.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Deerhoof, Live on KEXP, 1-31-2006

Deerhoof is more than a band. They're an unconventional adventure, constantly pushing and blurring musical boundaries. Around every corner, there's a guitar lick or some sort of yelp, or, or something that screams, "Hey, look at me!", and you look, because dammit, it's unpredictable, and you love that, don't you. Yesterday, they played these five songs for KEXP as though they were trapped in them and wouldn't rest until they tore their way to freedom.

Deerhoof, Live on KEXP, 1-31-2007 (mp3s):
Twin Killers
The Eyebright Bugler
81+/Wrong Time Capsule

Buy Friend Opportunity.