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Month: August 2011

The Friday Five: August 26, 2011

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

It’s been a long time since the “Home Edition!” banner has flown. As you read this I’ll either be signing checks with too many zeroes, or hauling my families life into a new domicile. Either way, I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to hit shuffle and drop a five for you all this week, so I’m turning the spotlight to Jeff Giles, Editor in Chief of Popdose, Dadnabbit, bourbon drinker, and all around swell guy. I’m sure you’ll be in good hands. – Michael Parr

1. “It,” by Prince (from Sign o’ the Times, 1987)
This is one of probably 75,000 songs in my library that I’ve never listened to. Well, not until now, anyway. I have the Prince library because I know I’m supposed to, but I avoided the little purple wonder when he was at his commercial peak, and I think even his most ardent fans have to admit that the post-symbol years have been pretty bumpy. Anyway, I like this. And given Michael’s intense Princelove (or is that Princelovesexy?), it makes for a fitting leadoff.

2. “Have I Told You Lately,” by Van Morrison (from The Best of Van Morrison, 1990)
Fuck you, MediaMonkey. I mean, yeah, I know it isn’t Van’s fault that Rod Stewart put his greasy fingerprints all over this song a few years later. But still. Fuck you.

3. “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah,” by The Pogues (from Rest of the Best, 1994)
It’s as dumb as a bag of rocks with Paris Hilton’s face painted on it — and it’s also one of my favorite Pogues songs. Every night, a cover band should be playing this in a sweaty, over-crowded bar somewhere. It makes life feel like a montage from The Commitments.

4. “You’re the Only One,” by J. Geils Band (from Monkey Island, 1977)
An understated gem from one of the band’s less-remembered records, “You’re the Only One” blends Magic Dick’s trademark harmonica with a sad, soulful Peter Wolf vocal and some lovely Mellow Gold harmonies. If this had been a hit instead of “Centerfold,” who knows what might have happened?

5. “Naked Girl,” by Jeremy Fisher (from Flood, 2010)
The first time Michael heard this track, he did the IM equivalent of grabbing me by the lapels and screaming in my face, “WHY ISN’T THIS A HIT?!?” I didn’t have any idea then, and I don’t now. Just a perfect pop song, from the impeccably crafted arrangement to the sun-kissed vocals. And really, who hasn’t done something stupid to see a naked girl? That’s universal truth right there.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: August 19, 2011

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“Look Sharp!” by Joe Jackson (from Look Sharp!, 1979)

Why are you yelling at me, Joe Jackson?

“Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” by Bob Dylan (from MTV Unplugged, 1995)

Indeed.

“Wake Up Everybody (live in studio performance)” by John Legend & The Roots (from Wake Up!, 2010)

Why do these album titles keep yelling at me? Look Sharp! Wake Up!

“Team” by Bon Iver (from For Emma, Forever Ago, 2008)

I still fail to see what everyone loves about Bon Iver.

“Girl” by The Beatles (from Rubber Soul, 1965)

Sweet finish to summer’s penultimate Friday Five.

What’s on your shuffle today?

New Deer Tick – “Miss K”

It’s brand new. It’s catchy. I can dance to it. And it’s DEER TICK!

come on miss k
wrap your lovin arms around me
talk dirty
turn me on
let’s get goin

“Miss K” is the newly released first single from Deer Tick’s forthcoming album Divine Providence, due October 25th on Partisan Records.

Loooving this.

You can get a free download of the song here on deertick.viinyl.com. The boys have been having a great time in the studio – this week they’ve been visited by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate. Their album will feature plenty of other special guests I’m sure. New Deer Tick!! Wahoo!!

Listen to “Miss K”:

[audio:missk.mp3]

♠ Free Download on deertick.viinyl.com.

♠ Deer Tick’s very active Facebook page and Twitter.

♠ Last but not least, a cool post from Teenage Kicks with a plethora of Deer Tick covers (Stones, John Prine, the Boss, and even Sean Kingston).

Grace Potter stops into Live From Daryl’s House

Grace Potter and Daryl Hall

I’ve had the opportunity to check out the sexy & sultry (and immensely talented) Grace Potter live a number of times over the past years. So I’m excited to see that she’s stopped into Daryl Hall’s Amenia, NY home for the latest installment of the great web series Live From Daryl’s House.

Observations…

  • I didn’t know it until I heard it from Daryl, but the drummer for the Nocturnals, Matt Burr, is Grace’s boyfriend. I always wondered who the target of Grace’s amorous and lustful ways was. Well played, Matt.
  • The dinner scene is probably my favorite non-music portion. Laid back dinner conversation among musicians. For the viewers, it’s like being a fly on the wall – getting to eavesdrop on intimate musician talk. I’d watch an entire show made up musicians sitting around a dinner table swapping stories. Now there’s an idea.
  • Of Grace’s songs, “Things I Never Needed” is my favorite of this episode. Great harmonies with Daryl, nice mellow vibe. Pretty song.
  • Grace and Matt chose “Room to Breathe” from Hall & Oates’ 1976 album Bigger Than Both Of Us. Not only did they get me to check out the entertaining album cover (which they talk about), but I’ve queued it up on Rdio. “Rich Girl” was the big hit from the record, actually their very first #1 single on Billboard’s Hot 100 (their first of six).
  • I am now in the mood for some gazpacho.

Widescreen Music

As the dog days of summer wind on, my thoughts have turned to the disc that I have been obsessed with since its release last May. Pala by St Albans, Hertfordshire band Friendly Fires is an astounding record that achieves what I continually look for in good music: creating nostalgia for a time that never was.

Their first offering (the self titled Friendly Fires) is still played heavily in my house, in my car, and on my iPod even three years after its release. Whether it’s a long run (inside or out), a van ride with the kiddos, or 2AM at the club, Friendly Fires fits any mood or setting. I tried my best to curtail my expectations for their second album but it didn’t matter. Pala is fucking stunning and it has become the soundtrack for my summer, taking its place along their debut in continued rotation.

“If we had an manifesto for this album” says Friendly Fires’ singer and bass-player Ed Macfarlane, “it was a simple one; make an exciting, colorful pop record”

“Our goal is to make vibrant, widescreen songs” adds guitarist Edd Gibson. “but they must retain a spontaneity, have an energy and mysticism around them.”

Achieved, lads. Very well done.

Here is live version of my favorite track from the record which will likely be my Track of the Year. I’m not ashamed to admit I well up a little every time I hear it simply from how amazing this song is in both theme and style.

The Friday Five: August 12, 2011

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“After the Love Has Gone” by Earth, Wind & Fire (from The Essential Earth, Wind & Fire, 2002)

My favorite example of The David Foster Key Change™. Truthfully, while this may be quiet storm pap at its sappiest, its still one of my favorites.

“Pop-Eye Stroll” by The Mar-Keys (from The Complete Stax-Volt Singles: 1959-1968, 1991)

The Complete Stax-Volt Singles is probably the most intimidating box set in my library. A staggering collection of classic funk and soul, the box is a basically the encyclopedia of great music.

“All Hell’s Breaking Loose” by KISS (from Box Set, 2001)

I never really cared for Lick It Up era KISS.

“Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear (from Veckatimest, 2009)

I still don’t know how to pronounce the title of this record, but I love it.

“Feel So Good” by Mase (from Bad Boy’s 10th Anniversary… The Hits, 2004)

Today’s Friday Five is sort of akin to MXC’s “Sinkers and Floaters.” This right here is what they call a sinker.

What’s on your shuffle today?

It’s Good to Leave Home

If you find yourself with an extra half hour today, you should really listen to the Ramones 2nd album, 1977’s Leave Home. I’ve been getting back in the swing of things after more than two weeks of vacation, and yesterday, in the midst of catching up with my backed up work email, I stepped back, took a deep breath, turned up the speakers, and cranked Leave Home.

“Glad To See You Go”, “Suzy Is A Headbanger”, “California Sun”, “Pinhead”, “You’re Gonna Kill That Girl”, and my album favorite – “Gimmie Gimmie Shock Treatment”… a therapeutic tour de force of headbanging rock n’ roll NY punk.

It does the body good.


Leave Home on Rdio / Amazon / Spotify

If you can’t spare half an hour, surely you can spare a minute and 35 seconds?

“I was feeling SICK, losing my mind, heard about this treatment by a friend of mine…”

A North Woods Blessing

The debut album from a new band is always something special. When it is a band from my hometown, it’s even more exciting. If that disc completely blows away all my expectations, it’s shovel to the head stunning.

Having listened to The Worst Is Over Now by the Twin Cities’ American Revival several times over the course of the last week, I must admit that the above description massively understates the wonder and beauty of this disc. Maybe it’s my new found love for alt-country or the soulful, widescreen voice of lead singer Thomas Pendarvis but the 11 tracks on this record have overwhelmed me with a blessed North Woods melancholy that I am praying endures forever.

During the second track on the disc, “Boogabear,” Pendarvis croons, “I make the couch into a bed so I can rest…I’m so tired…fighting the battle of who could care less,” and I can smell the 25 year old fabric that has heard far too many arguments. The John Bonhamesque drumming of Jeremy Krueth snaps us immediately into this world during the intro of the song and we are instantly propelled down a dusty road filled with broken hearts.

Of course, the opening track, “King Kong,” sets the stage for all of this.

You can always do what you want to do
Hell, you can always say what you want to say
You can always lie if you wanted to
Turn yourself into somebody new

It’s every girl or every boy…everywhere…that has fallen in love for the first time or out of love for the last…

The characters that make up the tapestry of The Worst is Over Now are woven with great clarity and detail by the band. The themes of the heartache and loneliness that results from failing or failed relationships resonates throughout the entire album. Instead of making me wallow in the muck of it all, I feel comforted…just as I do when I listen to the blues…in knowing that the gutting that I have felt in my life is shared by a universal connection of far too many people slump shouldered over a bottle of beer.

Yet, heartache is not the only theme prevalent on the album. In many ways, “Virginia,” “Singapore Blues,” and “Poza” all intimate the sacred journey that each of us takes during our lives. This all comes to a zenith during the best track on the record, “Austin,” a personal saga that relates a Homeric quest for the one that got away. But this festival anthem (if there ever was one) begs the question: is the lamentation over a girl or a city? It’s not clear and that’s what is so magnificent about it.

It’s the mystery of the journey…

For those of you who live in the Twin Cities, American Revival’s CD release party is Saturday, August 20th at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis. Information about this event can be found by clicking on this link.

For outside the Twin Cities, friend American Revival on Facebook and download music from there.  

Check out this video of “Poza” from a recent concert performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_P3zC1W7JI

Triple D Playlist (more Deer Tick, Dawes and Delta Spirit)

To make sure I leave no stone unturned in my music geekitude, I’m now a premium subscriber to both Spotify and Rdio. You’d think I’d have all the bases covered for any song or album I’d like to hear, and for the most part, that’s true. There are still some holes though. Spotify, surprisingly, has no Delta Spirit and none of the three Deer Tick full lenghts. So I turned to Rdio to craft a special “Triple D Attack” playlist.

This playlist features Dawes, Delta Spirit, Deer Tick, with a healthy smattering of Middle Brother songs. Let’s just say I’m knee deep in a Triple D phase.

Song numero uno on the playlist below is “Dirty Dishes”, a song that is so beautiful and tortured and perfect that I just can’t stop listening – and it’s been months.

In Dawes news, many of you have probably heard about the recently announced tour with Blitzen Trapper. If you’re here with me in Arizona, they’ll be stopping in at the newest music venue in town, the Crescent Ballroom in downtown Phoenix. It’s a much needed mid-size venue that hopefully will attract a lot of talent. Dawes & Blitzen Trapper will be there Monday, October 10th. My ticket is secured, and I can’t wait.

Delta Spirit just helped kick off the opening day of Lollapalooza on Friday. The good folks at the Audio Perv already have the webcast up (all tunes I saw live last week in Newport).

So here’s the Rdio playlist. Always worth the 7 day free trial to check it out…

The Friday Five: August 5, 2011

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“A Boat Like Gideon Brown” by Great Big Sea (from Sea of No Cares, 2002)
“One Slip” by Pink Floyd (from A Momentary Lapse of Reason, 1987)
“Enemies With Benefits (feat. Tonedeff)” by CunninLynguists (from Oneirology, 2011)
“Spanish Eyes” by Madonna (from Like a Prayer, 1989)
“Shame” by Depeche Mode (from Construction Time Again, 1983)

What’s on your shuffle today?