Bottle Rockin’

So have you ever seen the movie Bottle Rocket? It came out in 1996, was written by Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson, and stars Owen and his brother Luke. Excellent movie. It featured a song called “Alone Again Or” performed my a band called Love. Well, Calexico did their own version of the tune, adding their southwestern zest to it. Suffice it to say, it has seen plenty of rotation in my morning and afternoon commute.

Arriba! Buy Calexico’s musica aqui.

Calexico: Alone Again Or (mp3)

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A LITTLE MO’ PRINE

See the picture of that fella down below? John Prine? Here’s a classic from the man.

John Prine: That’s the Way that the World Goes ‘Round (mp3) from Bruised Orange (1978)

Prine Time – Long Monday

I don’t mean to bring everyone down with a song called “Long Monday” at the very end of the weekend, but since I’m experiencing a Springsteen hangover from last night’s great show, and I’ve been wanting to showcase a tune off of John Prine’s brand new release, ‘Fair & Square’ [Buy it Here], well, it’s just right.

Though nothing in John Prine’s catalog has ever matched ‘The Missing Years‘ for me, this is a great CD, full of John’s witty & and often hilarious lyrics (e.g. “I felt about as welcome as a Wal-Mart superstore”), and laid back acoustic tunes.

‘Long Monday’ includes harmony from Mindy Smith, who I know little about, but I’m about to jump into her web site. In a nutshell, she’s a country-folk songstress from Nashville whose debut album came out last year. Anyhow, yep, another week begins, take it away, John.

John Prine: Long Monday (mp3)

Getting Shivaree in Here

For this post, I hand the reins over to my buddy Richard, who has introduced me to some cool music, including this band fronted by a talented woman. Yes, another female post! Hot damn, soon I’ll have to rename this blog Chickmusic! Take it away Richard.

Just a word of warning, this writing is somewhat sexist, but I can’t help it. This is the lead-off track from the latest Shivaree release, ‘Who’s Got Trouble?’ [Buy it Here]. Shivaree is basically singer/songwriter Ambrosia Parsley and whoever is in her band at the time. I was first turned on to her from a note on KCRW’s web site. I sampled some of her tunes and was immediately blown away.

That voice just immediately warped itself around my being in a way that can only be described as, well, sensual. She sounds like some lost-soul beat writer/poet from the fifties has been channeled through her to create this sensual, late-night, chain-smoking, druggy aura that is truly intoxicating. If I had to make a comparison, I would say she reminds me of the early Ricki Lee Jones, but with a lot more promise and more depth. Her voice just tumbles out so easily and catches your ear like some sweet vixen you’d like to know but can’t because she is too ethereal to really exist.

She mixes influences from jazz, blues, soul, and some tin-pan alley kitche and Tom Waits off-centeredness all thrown into a stew that sounds totally new yet totally familiar…all at the same time. And listen to the lyrics closely; she tells tales of love lost and forlorn, but not in a sad, woe-is-me kind of way, but more of an experienced girl/woman who knows “what’s really goin’ on”, at least in her head.

But, really, she could sing the phone book and I’d probably get goose bumps listening to it, or maybe the shivers, or hey, the “Shivarees.” I’ll be her “handsome buckaroo” anytime she wanted to curl-up next to a campfire somewhere in the open West that her sound seems to evoke in my brain. “Get lost in her dream.” It’s well worth the trip. There are currently 3 CDs available, 1 in Europe only (where she is very popular), and one EP. Plus, check out the live taping at the KCRW studio if you want to see her live. Get the “Shivers.”

Shivaree: New Casablanca (mp3)

Quiet time with Townes

So it was my turn to put my little one to sleep tonight. Usually an
ambient/space music internet station does the trick. Tonight, it was
random shuffle on Winamp. So with my daughter laying across my lap in the
dark, the sweet sounds of “Lover’s Lullaby” showed up and did its trick.

Townes Van Zandt released this tune on 1995’s ‘No
Deeper Blue’ (Buy it here on Amazon], two years before his untimely passing on New
Year’s Day, 1997. I was introduced to Townes through his association with
Steve Earle. Steve once said that Townes was the “best songwriter in the
whole world, and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy
boots and say that.”

“Lover’s Lullaby” is bittersweet, beautiful, and raw; you can just hear
all the years of Townes’ hard living in it. Townes is missed. By
the way, for the best tribute to Townes that I’ve ever heard, check out
Earle’s “Fort Worth Blues” from 97’s ‘El Corazon’.

Townes Van Zandt: Lover’s Lullaby (mp3)

When you’re chewing life’s gristle

No disrespect intended, but for some reason, since the passing of the Pope yesterday at the age of 84, this Monty Python classic from ‘The Life of Brian’ has been swirling in my head. I am not very religious by nature. I grew up going to an Episcopal church, which is sort of like Diet Catholic. But, whatever your opinions of the Catholic church, the Pope was a always a champion of Peace in this world, something sorely missing.

So in the spirit of good nature, don’t forget to “Always Looks on the Bright Side of Life” (as interpreted by Mr. Bruce Cockburn).

Bruce Cockburn: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (mp3)
From The Life of Brian.

K-K-K-Kaki

Has anyone checked out Kaki King? Kaki is a young guitar vituouso, who counts Michael Hedges and Alex de Grassi among her biggest influences. I saw her video last night (“Playing with Pink Noise”), and was impressed. She plays guitar in an unconventional over the fret style, and taps the fret like a percussive instrument. She has a laid back and cool demeanor that’s just fun to watch. She kicks back while her fingers are flying all up and down her fret. Check out her web site to see the full video for “Playing with Pink Noise”…

Check this tune out. Starts off innocent enough, but she achieves lift-off soon enough. Cool stuff.

Listen: Kaki King – Close Your Eyes and You’ll Burst Into Flames (mp3)
Buy: Legs to Make Us Longer

I’ve Stood on the Street Corner

It’s a dreary, rainy holiday weekend here in the Arizona desert, so I’ll kick it off with something on the mellow side. For some reason or another, Bruce Cockburn – who is well known up north in his home country of Canada – has always remained somewhat of a cult figure here in the U.S. (which is fine by me). The man has been going strong for over three decades, for crying out loud.

These selections come from a Columbia Radio Hour broadcast of Christmas with Cockburn that I taped off the radio back in 1994 (eleven years ago – gasp). “One Day I Walk” has always been one of my BC favorites because of its beauty and hope. The mp3 ends with the introduction of the next song, the “Huron Carol”, so I feel obligated to include that as well. The “Huron Carol” was written by a Jesuit missionary to the Huron Indians in the 1600’s, and is sung in the Huron language. Bruce elaborates on it in the intro… I recommend downloading both of these songs, and listening to them in succession. Enjoy…

Bruce Cockburn – One Day I Walk (mp3)
Bruce Cockburn – Huron Carol (mp3)

From the 1994 Columbia Radio Hour broadcast of ‘Christmas with Cockburn’.

See Bruce’s Official Web Site.
Buy Bruce’s Music on Amazon.

Let there be chicks

Ok, so the ladies have not been represented as yet on this here mp3 music blog called IckMusic. Truth be told, my music collection leans far heavier towards male artists. Don’t know why, I fancy the ladies and all. Hmm, I’ll ponder that for a while. One of the ladies who I thoroughly enjoy listening to though is Patty Griffin. And one of my favorite albums of all time is Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The River‘ (3rd and 4th LP sides particularly). So if you marry up Patty Griffin’s flawless voice with Bruce’s “Stolen Car”, this is what you get…

Patty Griffin – Stolen Car (mp3) – from ‘1,000 Kisses’, 2002, Ato Records – {Amazon}