Rave On!

The Raveonettes are undoubtedly one of my favorite bands of recent years. They incorporate elements of garage, girl groups, surf and wall of sound in ways that somehow manage not to sound passe. I’m also enamored with their harmonized vocals, which always seem to grab me. Last year, the band issued its fourth release, Lust Lust Lust, which just recently made it to U.S. shelves (with bonus tracks – score!).

The album continues the band’s trademark sound. Initially I didn’t feel it was too different from 2005’s Pretty in Black. But the more I listen to it (particularly since picking up the US version), I find myself reevaluating my take a bit. Granted, the band’s previous three releases each have a more distinct sound from each other. Lust Lust Lust seems to me a combination of Pretty in Black’s focus on girl group-style pop with the garage emphasis of 2003’s Chain Gang of Love. The result = a splendid rock album with pop sensibility and an awareness of its roots.

“Aly, Walk with Me” opens the album, and has been obsessing me for the last week following the band’s performance on Letterman. Check it:

The Raveonettes – Aly, Walk with Me (mp3)

And for good measure, here’s the video for “Dead Sound”:

The Raveonettes (Official Site)
The Raveonettes (MySpace)

Review: Citizen Cope with Alice Smith, Live at the Marquee Theater

While a mass of humanity took in Fergie’s (disappointing? gasp!) set across Town Lake at the Tempe Music Festival, we smart ones were filing into the Marquee Theater to take in D.C. / Brooklyn artist Citizen Cope. It was billed on the venue’s web site as “an evening with no support”. But I was pleasantly surprised when a tall, slender female figure took the stage at 8:10 and tore the roof of the joint with a short four song set…

Ickmusic’s Friday Five: March 27, 2008

Too Orangey for Shuffle.

Guess who just got back today? Them wild-eyed boys that had been away, haven’t changed, haven’t much to say but man, I still think them cats are crazy.

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but we’re back! When we last met the five revealed my affinity for German industrial racket, Miles Davis, and deep catalog soul records. I found out we’ve inspired a Wednesday version of the five over at Septenary and a Facebook group. Our ‘faithful fivers’ rallied before the storm knocked the lights out of the site for a few days. So for you first timer’s… I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and then show you my five with some words for each track.

Then it’s your turn!

Here are this week’s tracks:

1. Colin Hay – Overkill (acoustic version) (MP3) (from Man @ Work)

This has always been my favorite Men at Work tune. Long before Zack Braff turned it into a theme song for Generation Y, I regarded this as one of those seminal tunes. I got to see Colin last summer and was blown away at how alive and current this tune still sounds.

2. Joe Jackson – Is She Really Going Out With Him? (acoustic version) (from Live 1980/86)

I guess the shuffle is digging the acoustic versions today! In this case however, the original far exceeds this lifeless version. I’m an unapologetic supporter of all things Joe Jackson but every once in awhile his attempts at being clever fall just short of the mark.

3. Frank Zappa – A Token of My Extreme (from Joe’s Garage: Acts I, II & III)

This is the CENTRAL SCRUTINIZER…” from the record that every self-respecting music fan should own at least one copy of (if not multiple), this is one of the transitional tunes meant to further the story. Even in these tracks Frank displays a sense of musicality and composition that had not been see in rock music before and has not been seen since. To say I’m a Zappa fan would be an understatement.

4. Spinal Tap – Hell Hole (MP3) (from This is Spinal Tap)

It’s been said that “parody is the highest form of making fun of someone else’s shit” and no truer words have been spoken when referring to Spinal Tap so I won’t even try. So say us all… “Tap into America!”

5. Brand Nubian – Hold On (from Everything Is Everything)

Revolutionary Hip-Hop dropping knowledge over the tender hook of Simply Red’s “Holding Back the Years”. While I’m sure many aficionados will decry the overt commercialism of this track I’ll admit to it being the hook that reeled this suburban white boy in and expanded his mind.

Time to shuffle on and now it’s your turn, what comes up in your shuffle?

First Listen: Kensington Prairie

Hungry? Why Wait? Grab a Kensington Prairie.

The perfect compliment to a cold and rainy day in New England, the debut record from Canada’s Kensington Prairie is one of the finest slices of Dream Pop I’ve heard since The Sundays Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. The heart and soul of the group is Rebecca Rowan (singer/songwriter of Vancouver’s Maplewood Lane) whose voice drifts gently over the lush layers of guitars, mandolins and Rhodes pianos. Simple and emotional the songwriting is first rate with themes of life’s recollections, love, yearning, and lonesomeness. The record opens with the nostalgia of “Time on Our Side” and makes its way through nine thriving tracks fading with the closing track “Dissappear From View” leaving you wanting more.

The full length debut Captured in Still Life will be released April 22nd. For now check out the lead off single “Crooked Things Straight”. There are a few more tracks available for preview at the group’s official site (including my personal favorite “Letters That I Send”).

Kensington Prairie - Captured in Still Life

Kensington Prairie – Crooked Things Straight (MP3)

Links: Official Site | on MySpace

First Listen: Duffy

You Need A Duffy.

When you start seeing and hearing this young lady everywhere you can tell your friends that you heard it here first. And while there is an overwhelming urge to call Duffy ‘the next Amy Winehouse’ I’d rather like to think of her without the comparison. Sure, there is the whole 60’s inspired soul singer thing and the amazing voice but that’s where it ends. From the bluesy “Syrup & Honey” to the Motown rave-up “Mercy” this is finely crafted soul that exceeds the hype that is building around it.

If it’s any indication of the quality I’ve had her debut album Rockferry for less than 24 hours and I’ve listened to it at least three times. It won’t see it’s US release until May 13th, but you can pre-order the record via Amazon. In the meantime have a listen to the next single (and my favorite track on the record) “Warwick Avenue”.

Duffy - Rockferry

Duffy – Warwick Avenue (MP3)

Pre-Order Rockferry: Amazon

Links: Official Site | on Last.fm | on MySpace

Seeing George Michael

I’m going to see George Michael in concert. In June.

There, I said it! Say what you will, brothers and sisters, but George’s music has always connected with me. I’m a sucker for his voice, the great melodies he puts together, and dammit, I’m not afraid to share it with the world! Actually, that shouldn’t surprise any of you who have spent any amount of time here.

I count Faith and Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1 as two of my favorites. “Kissing a Fool“, “Father Figure“, “Freedom 90“, “Waiting for the Day“…. and as a Prince fan, “I Want Your Sex” has always ranked high in my Raunchy & Funky Hall of Fame.

But if I had to pick one George Michael song for my desert island iPod, I ‘d pick “A Different Corner”, from Wham’s third and final album, Music from the Edge of Heaven. Sublime, beautiful, filled with aching & longing. If you write ol’ George off for any reason, maybe you should take his advice, open your mind, and “listen without prejudice.”

Take some time and watch this great live performance of “A Different Corner”:

Boss: “Something” in Columbus

photo from Backstreets.com

The Boss made his Magic stop through Columbus on Monday night, and the crowd got treated to not one, not two, but three tour premieres:

Something in the Night (mp3, live from the show) – a killer rocker-ballad from Darkness on the Edge of Town. They shorten it up a bit, but no less powerful. The Boss can still belt out the wails in this one: “Waaaaaaaa-aaaaaaa!” Love it.

You’ll Be Comin’ Down (mp3, live from the show) – This is one of my favorites from Magic, and somehow it didn’t see its live debut until this week. Hopefully it becomes a set list staple, and I see it live in Anaheim in 12 days!

Sherry Darling (mp3, live from the show) – From Side1 of The River. Always elicits the party atmosphere

Bob and Tom on the 4th of July (Part Two)

As promised, here’s the second part of this nice collection of tunes from the July 4th, Dylan/Petty show way back in old ’86. An interesting note about “Rainy Day Women” – Howie Epstein plays slide guitar, and Mr. Tom moves over to bass. The last few songs of the night are missing from this collection for some reason (all Bob tunes) – I won’t torture you with what’s missing, I’ll focus on the positive – and that is, the rest of this killer set!

On a Petty side note, did you all hear about the Mudcrutch album and mini-tour? Mudcrutch was Petty’s pre-Heartbreakers band in the early-mid 70’s. They were the house band at Dub’s Diner in Gainesville, Florida before they moved out to Hollywood (into the great wide open). They only released one single, “Depot Street”, in 1975 (on Shelter Records). On April 12th, the original members (Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Danny Roberts, Benmont Tench and Randall Marsh) will kick off a tour in the non-pretentious little enclave of Malibu, California. An album will follow on April 29th. You can check out the tour dates here (all California, for now). You can check out and pre-order the new album by clicking on the cover…

Enjoy, and make sure to check out Part One if you haven’t already.

Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Buffalo, NY
July 4th, 1986

Part 2

1. I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know
2. Band Of The Hand
3. When The Night Comes Falling
4. Lonesome Town
5. Ballad Of A Thin Man
6. Bye Bye Johnny
7. Even the Losers
8. Spike
9. Refugee
10. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
11. Seeing The Real You At Last
12. Across The Borderline
13. Thank God (Mt. View, CA 8/05/86)