Born to Nashville music royalty
. Grew up next to George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Had a #2 record on the country charts at age eight
. Had a minor alt-rock hit
for the same major label as Korn and Incubus in his 30's. His mentor was Shel Silverstein
. One of his bands, The Young Criminals Starvation League has featured members of My Morning Jacket, Lambchop, ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, Clem Snide, and myriad others. His other band Is She Weird? Is She White? plays Pixies and Breeders covers
on weekends in Nashville. Unless he's opening for Guided by Voices
or playing someone's living room
. Or delivering lost luggage to pay the bills.
It's a hell of a life singer-songwriter Bobby Bare, Jr. has had. It's only makes sense that someone went and made a movie about him
: Don't Follow Me (I'm Lost)
. Sample the trailer
. [more inside]
The Perfect Beat
is an article by The New Yorker's music critic Sasha Frere Jones where he lays out the reasoning behind his "Perfect Recordings" project, essentially a list of 200 songs that fit his personal criteria for perfection. The lists are available as Twitter timelines (volumes 1
), Spotify playlists (volumes 1
) or as one 200 song Rdio playlist
. Frere-Jones answered some questions about the project
and spoke about a few individual songs in The Guardian.
Here's a look back at sounds of summers past, with a review of EMI's series of Balearic compilations
, and for a bit more mystery and diversity, mixes that focus and include Balearic styles from Test Pressing
. If the whole "Balearic" thing is confusing, Boiler Room TV has a nice write-up
with photos from the period to set the mood, where the music was a mix of mixture of soul, reggae, rock, pop, and Latin, mixed with chill out, lounge and dance music. [more inside]
According to the Daptone Gold
compilation liner notes
(auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk
, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records
. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
Unlike most murder ballads, The Long Black Veil
doesn't retell the story of an actual murder. Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin borrowed bits of stories about Valentino and a murdered priest and a Red Foley chorus and crafted their own story in 1959 to create what he hoped would be a folk song for the ages. [more inside]
Without You I'm Nothing
: The Believer looks at the memoirs of the wives and girlfriends of rock stars.
are a band from Richmond, Virginia that play fun, fast, lo-fi, riff-heavy upbeat rock songs with lyrics like "My friends are your friends but your friends are bullshit!" and "Waaa-ohhhh-ohhh-wa-oh-OH-oh-oh!" It's the summer party music you didn't know you needed, and because their one album and two EPs can be downloaded for free from Bandcamp: Cassette
, Tyler Perry's Sports Bar
, and I Want To Waste Away With You
is Ben Sharp and he releases his instrumental rock/prog-metal project at ‘name your own price’ through the website Bandcamp. [more inside]
“That was the type of feeling you had - you were *in danger* at one of their shows.” The legendary X-rated Butthole Surfers show at Danceteria
. (Video is NSFW due to strobelighted, confusing Butthole Surfers fornication.) For a glimpse of the band at their peak — markedly clothed, but no less extreme and noizy — see this full 1986 CBGB's set
. If all this is too much, kick back with the comedy stylings of their 1988 Bar-B-Que Movie
Each year for the past seven years, Billboard Magazine's Rich Appel
has surveyed a group of classic pop aficianados to create his IRS chart
--It Really Should have been a Top 10 hit. This list of more than a thousand records largely from the 60s and 70s runs the gamut from classics that somehow never cracked the Top 10 during their heyday to the unjustly overlooked and obscure. Via the best radio show in America, Crap From the Past.
1. NOTHING BUT A HEARTACHE
2. CAN'T FIND THE TIME (to Tell You)
3. WILL YOU BE STAYING AFTER SUNDAY
The Peppermint Rainbow
4. SHAME, SHAME
The Magic Lanterns
5. MORNING GIRL
The Neon Philharmonic
6. MR. DIEINGLY SAD
7. GOD ONLY KNOWS
The Beach Boys
8. THINGS I'D LIKE TO SAY
The New Colony Six
9. PRETTY LADY
10. YELLOW RIVER
And so much more!
The Old 97's
are a country rock band formed in 1993. A part of the country-punk genre designated as No Depression
in the early 90s (named after Uncle Tupelo
's first album), they later added a more brit pop feel to their songs. In twenty good years of about twenty-five
they've made their mark on the American landscape.
Their newest album, Most Messed Up
, is a return to their country-punk roots, where raw feelings overpower courtesy. Their lead singer, Rhett Miller, did an AMA on reddit
to talk about it.
The new album can be streamed here
. It debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at #30, the highest debut in their history.
90's Southern Gothic rockers The Rock*a*Teens
have reunited and are going on tour
. Their unique mixture of dark, swampy rock influences
have been praised by Dan Bejar
as "the most underrated American rock ’n roll band of the ’90s," and Will Sheff of Okkervil River
as, "masterpieces buried in muck
." The band features Chris Lopez, who you may know from aughties band Tenement Halls
, and Kelly Hogan
, who's worked with Neko Case. Playlist after the jump. [more inside]
the Ben Miller Band...is one of the best. Treat yourself on this friday night. (SLYT)
Roots rock is rock music that looks back to rock's origins in folk, blues and country music. It is particularly associated with the creation of hybrid sub-genres from the later 1960s including country rock and Southern rock, which have been seen as responses to the perceived excesses of dominant psychedelic and developing progressive rock. Because roots music (Americana) is often used to mean folk and world musical forms, roots rock is sometimes used in a broad sense to describe any rock music that incorporates elements of this music. (WiKi) Americana
is "contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw. While acoustic instruments are often present and vital, Americana also often uses a full electric band. [more inside]
Queen's 1982 dance funk single "Body Language" represented a rare move away from their glam stadium anthems into a more spare, disco-driven beat inter-cut with a moaning Freddie Mercury. The accompanying video, full of exposed flesh and suggestive lyrics, was deemed inappropriate for US TV and was one of the first music videos barred from MTV.
Grindcore fan that happened to be a goat passes away.
Star of an unlikely web meme
dies young due to leading a metal lifestyle.
Pavement's album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
was released twenty years ago next month. Stereogum has the oral history
Super Trouper: 30 Years Of ABBA
[1h30m] is a 2004 documentary about Sweden's biggest export, containing (then) current and historical footage and interviews, giving a generous, broad picture of the history of the band. Includes much never-before-seen performance and backstage footage.
"Puerto Rican rappers/rockers Calle 13
continue their fierce criticism of government systems and oppression in their latest track Multi_Viral
... [more inside]
"Last week, Arcade Fire
swooped in and took a Canadian-sized shit all over this year’s CMJ
. They totally ruined it.
- "singer, writer, composer, punk rocker, poet, Radiator, Pogue"
- passed away from esophageal cancer on October 8th, far too young at only 56. He was most widely known as the Pogues’ rhythm guitarist, who penned
"Thousands Are Sailing
", a haunting ballad about Irish immigration to the USA that quickly became a live favourite (in later shows usually sung by Phil himself
). [more inside]
One day in February several years ago, William D. Drake – a distant cousin of famous folk musician Nick Drake
– released two very different albums at once. There was Yew's Paw
, a collection of strange and lovely piano music, such as the bouncy, joyful Pipistrelle
, the sometimes-misty, sometimes-urgent At the End of the Harbour Wall
. (Not to mention the aptly-named Short & Sweet Like A Donkey's Gallop
, which is 17 satisfying seconds long.) Then there was Briny Hooves
, a set of rock/folk/pop songs which are all confounding and fantastic. Wolves
is an angry elegy that's nonetheless incredibly catchy; equally catchy is Serendipity Doodah
. Ugly Fortress
is a softer, Beatlesy sort of tune, The Fountains Smoke
is a lovely folk duet, and Requiem for a Snail
is exactly what it claims to be. Perhaps its two most affecting moments are Sweet Peace
, a gently dark number that grows and grows, and Seahorse
, which is very reminiscent of Robert Wyatt's (also wonderful) Rock Bottom
. Both albums are worth a listen, and both can be streamed freely from Bandcamp—Yew's Paw
, Briny Hooves
, and Drake's more recent album The Rising of the Lights
I can't hear what you say because THIS OTTER CAN JUGGLE!
(via Laughing Squid
is a cool, beautifully curated music gizmo with new songs almost every day. Dazed electronica, sunny pop, arty rock, stained-glass hip-hop - from John Hopkins
to Belle & Sebastian
to Pusha T
, and lots
of unknown gems. Sometimes you just want to sit back and let good songs play. [more inside]
The proliferation of dashcam videos have given us some amazing material, here's another one to add to the pile
Literate indie rock band Okkervil River
have put together an adventure game
to celebrate their new album, The Silver Gymnasium. It's the best Okkervil River game since Saints Row 2
Iggy & The Stooges tour rider
begins with "First of all, can I say what a pleasure it will be to work with you all. Probably." And keeps going.
New Policy on Drones. Black Rock City Drones that is.
And a very cheery and relaxation-inducing 5-minute video
shot with such an UAV (Unmanned aerial Vehicle). Floating around the Burning Man
playa. [more inside]
Leaving the UK shadow-cabinet earlier this year, Labour MP Tom Watson confused many
by unexpectedly tipping a two-piece garage rock band from the Peak District called Drenge
in his resignation letter. Drenge (rhymes with grunge), comprising Eion (b. 1991) and Rory Loveless (b. 1993), a band who cite
England's heartbreaking loss on penalties
to Argentina in 1998 and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders
among their influences, were "not totally overjoyed"
about this. Their response has been a series of feral
, vaguely disturbing
videos that highlight the oddly crap
aspects of modern British life
, some festival appearances
, and a number of droll interviews
. Is British music finally climbing out of what Dorian Lynskey
calls its deadeningly conservative, R&B-goes-to-Ibiza
period? Probably not, but Drenge's debut album, released today and currently streaming on the Guardian
, at least provides something loud to play at the neighbours.
is a song with a curious history. Inspired by (and/or partially copied from) El Loco Cha Cha by Rene Touzet and Havana Moon by Chuck Berry
(YouTube), the original song by Richard Berry and The Pharaohs
(YT) is a mix of calypso, cha-cha, and rhythm & blues. The next version was by Rockin' Robin Roberts & The Wailers
(YT), which added a certain rock and roll swagger that will sound more familiar to most folks. But the vocals are all wrong, as they're too sharp, too easy to understand. The Kingsmen made the version
everyone was talking about, with concerns of obscene lyrics getting the FBI involved
(choice excerpts on The Smoking Gun
). [more inside]
Give The Anarchist A Cigarette: Counterculture legend Mick Farren dies with his boots on
Mick Farren, rabble rouser, musician, and writer, collapsed last night on stage at the The Borderline, in London. He died soon after.
Hmm, sorry, I seem to be crap at this. Here's some more links to the story:
Mick Farren 1943 - 2013
From Vintage Vinyl News: Passings: Mick Farren of the Deviants (1943 - 2013)
and from Ultimate Calssic Rock:
Mick Farren Dies After Collapsing On Stage In London
That last has a pretty good version of "Let's Loot The Super Market".
Pink Floyd's The Division Bell
tour in 1994 was the highest-grossing tour in rock music history to that date, and featured spectacular special effects. For the first time since 1975, the band played the entirety of The Dark Side of the Moon
in many of the tour's shows. On October 20, 1994 the concert at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London was filmed, and the subsequent documentary P•U•L•S•E: Live at Earls Court
was released in 1995. Fullscreen
. [more inside]
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.
With drummer Jody Stephens as their sole surviving original member, "the definitive story of the greatest band that never made it" is finally in theaters around the U.S.
and on iTunes
. One of rock's most mythic acts, the music fanatic's secret handshake, and (in the words of Robyn Hitchcock) a letter written in 1971 that didn't arrive till 1985 -- whatever metaphor best conjures up the mixture of beauty
, and tragedy
that defines the band, newcomers and long-standing members of the cult also shouldn't miss Don’t Lie to Me: An Oral History of Big Star
. [more inside]
It's a damn tough song to sing, that one we often hear on July 4th, but that didn't stop 'em from designating Francis Scott Key's clunky and tortuous little tune
as the US national anthem. People have struggled with it ever since. There was one guy, though, who, back in 1969, performed a soaring, acid-drenched, whammy-barred and noise-punctuated version of it that still stands as one of the most daringly adventurous and poignant moments in American musical history: Mr Jimi Hendrix and his amazing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner
Meet Holly Maniatty
, the sign language interpreter who has brought the words of Wu-Tang Clan, Marilyn Manson, Killer Mike, Bruce Springsteen and the Beastie Boys to the deaf.
Belgian designer Kristof Luyckx
recently made six short videos as interstitials between lectures at the Beyonderground graphic festival
. They are covers of famous songs, as sung by a cast of bizarre, colorful and very calm monsters. You can see all six at his site
, or on Vimeo: [more inside]
Steve Reich's 3-movement (Fast, Slow, Fast) somewhat jazzy, somewhat rock-ish 2x5
was composed for 5 musicians and prerecorded tape, or two groups of five musicians. Here is Bang On A Can All-Stars (6 of them, no idea why) performing the piece
. [20m] Here is a large group of BOACA-S performing it as a 10-piece ensemble
. [21m] [more inside]