Archive for August, 2009
This is not a country music blog, trust me here. However, I found myself listening to a recording of Lucero’s show at the Bluebird, from back in May, and I got a chance to really appreciate the set. Toward the end of the night Ben Nichols played a Townes Van Zandt cover called “Colorado Girl.” It’s probably one of my new favorite songs, you can find the original version in the playlist widget.
We’ve got an exciting bit of news for you this afternoon. This post combines my 2 favorite things: local music and vinyl records. Gregory Alan Isakov’s This Empty Northern Hemisphere (which we reviewed right here), is being printed up on limited edition brown vinyl. Our friends over at Suburban Home Records / Vinyl Collective are offering a pre-order, and copies will also be available at the release show on October 17 at the Bluebird. As an added bonus (once again), listen to the entire record right here (via Suburban Home’s embeddable player).
Edit: Please note that this no longer works, but do still spend your $5 to get some of these great releases
Credit for this one goes to my good friend Ian (who’s new game Eduardo The Samurai Toaster is out now on WiiWare).
Amazon currently has a promotion going where you can get $5 for MP3 downloads in their store (with the purchase of a video game that costs $0). So lets do the math:
$0 + Promotion = $5 in your account for MP3s.
Then you can use that to purchase some great local music, here are my suggestions:
In 2007, while his parents were away for the weekend, shy, only child Adam Young, of Owatonna, Minnesota, sat down and wrote a few songs. Under the moniker Owl City, Young later released the songs as his debut EP Of June. Two years and over 25 million MySpace plays later, Owl City is now signed with Universal Republic and is selling out their latest tour.
Ocean Eyes, the band’s first major-label release, peaked on iTunes at #2 and on #27 the Billboard 100. That’s a long way from Adam’s parent’s basement. Starting of with an overview of this albums electronic driven sound, “Cave In” introduces you to Young’s subtle vocal effects, wide variety of instrumental voices, and his endearing story telling.
Though it’s heart may be electronic, the human soul of this album escapes through Young’s playful, heartfelt, and imaginative lyrics, such as “With prawns like these well/ Who needs anemones?” (on “The Bird and The Worm”). With an ode to Washington’s largest city (“Hello Seattle”), the album hits a high point only to regain energy with a former iTunes single of the Week (“Fireflies”). In addition to a few backing vocals by Relient K’s Matt Thiessen (on “Cave In,” “The Bird and the Worm,” “Fireflies,” and “Tidal Wave”), Breanne Duren joins Young in a hopeful lover’s duet, “Saltwater Room.”
Given roughly five minutes, the LP’s longest song, “On The Wing,” is my choice for ‘Song to Listen’ on this album. Overall, Ocean Eyes, offers the listener a view through the hopeful, creative mind of Adam Young, at points, he’ll have you laughing, crying, and maybe even dancing.
Watch the video for “Fireflies” here (via Yahoo Music)
Editor’s Note: This is the first article from our newest writer Keith Stevens. Keep an eye out for more of his stuff in the coming days and months.
I will be the first to admit that things around here have gotten a little more country over the last week, but in my defense it has been a great week for such things. Drag The River, for those of you who don’t know, is a rock-country band from Fort Collins with a no-nonsense approach to the genre.
This record is a must-download for 2 reasons. 1: It’s free, seriously. 2: It’s a bit of musical history (The Starlight closed down a few years ago, and while it was reincarnated as Hodi’s Half Note, veterans of the Fort Collins scene know about the importance of the original venue).
Listen to “Get Drunk” from Live At The Starlight right here:
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post about punk/folk singer Chuck Ragan, we’ve got a local group along the same vein. Arliss Nancy is a Fort Collins-based band with a hard-hitting guitar section and raw vocals that have drawn comparisons to groups like Lucero. Furthermore, they’ve got just enough residual “twang” to earn some country cred, while still keeping things very rock-oriented.
Dance To Forget follows the age-old formula for punk-rock-country records. Start out a few hot burner (“Wrong or Right”) and slowly mellow things out. Along the way throw in some vaguely Springsteen-esque lyrics and delivery (“With a rusted Chevy and a broken heart” are literally some of the lyrics on “Blessings I Ain’t Never Had”). What country album would be complete without a slow-dance number? Fortunately “The Shootout” does a good job of balancing sheer blues with a marching beat that conjures up images of a bar before closing time.
Overall this is a pretty good record. Although some of the lyrics, especially the references to the Tennessee River, would definitely make you think you’re listening to a group from Memphis, not a band from Colorado. All of that said, don’t expect anything too original, but do expect a decent listen.
I got to chat with 1090 Club about a month ago concerning their new video for “ITSON” and they were certainly excited about the project. Now it’s finally out, so be sure to watch that business right here.
I have often expressed my appreciation for music-session-blog Daytrotter. They’ve done what I could only imagine doing: recording the best up-and-coming artists from a wide swath of the modern independent music using old-fashioned full-band recording techniques.
Yesterday’s session features 6 songs (available for free download, just click on the photo above) from former Hot Water Music singer Chuck Ragan. Earlier this summer we had the chance to see Chuck open for Lucero at the Bluebird, and as I remember Chuck gave one of the most intense folk performances I’ve ever seen.
I thought I’d also take the time to share some of my other favorite Daytrotter sessions here too. Click on the images to go the respective sessions.
So this is a bit of old news (I meant to blog about it back in July when it was fresh, but never got around to it). Rabbit Is A Sphere is a local group that has gone on an indefinite hiatus. I was fortunate enough to get to see them twice (opening for The Appleseed Cast, and at the DPUMS), and back in late June they made their entire discography available for free via this website. Just within the last couple days they also added a nice boot to the download options, which was recorded at the Walnut Room last December. Hopefully we’ll see these guys again, but in the meantime we’ve got their recordings.
Listen to “The Bees Survived The Fall” right here:
Photos by Tim Weilert, taken during the DPUMS.
So life has gotten a bit more hectic with classes starting tomorrow, so I haven’t had any time to get much done. As a way of saying “sorry for the lack of interesting’ness” here’s the newest video from Danielle Ate The Sandwich… it’s “Ooh Child” a soulful Five Stairsteps cover.