...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Fuel/Friends has a rad new look and a new location for 2009!

As you wake up in this brand new year, changes are afoot. As of right now, Fuel/Friends is rocking over at www.fuelfriendsblog.com! Please check it out, update your bookmarks, and let me know how the new site works for you. We've got a few little things yet to work out but it is up and running! This blogger site will no longer be updated.

Immeasurable thanks to Luke Flowers for designing the new Fuel/Friends illustration, and to the guys at Dayjob for the wonderfully fresh new design and layout.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm inside your radio

Thanks to the great folks over at NPR's World Cafe, I get the distinct pleasure again this year of joining David Dye to talk about (and spin) some of my favorite albums of 2008! It all goes down tomorrow, January 1st, and you can listen online.

If you want to also hear last year's jaunt, you can do it below. I was nervous both years, but we have fun:

Heather Browne on World Cafe 2007

I'm boarding a plane in San Jose to fly back to Colorado, and I wish all y'all a safe and happy New Year's!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Gaslight Anthem finally announce headlining U.S. tour dates, cover The Band

Mar 18 La Tulipe - Montreal, Quebec %
Mar 20 The Opera House - Toronto, Ontario %
Mar 21 Call The Office - London, Ontario %
Mar 27 Webster Hall - New York, NY
Mar 28 The Trocadero - Philadelphia, PA #
Mar 29 Mr. Small’s - Pittsburgh, PA #
Apr 2 Turner Hall - Milwaukee, WI #
Apr 3 The Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL #
Apr 4 Varsity Theater - Minneapolis, MN #
Apr 7 The Warehouse - Calgary, Alberta #
Apr 8 The Starlite Room - Edmonton, Alberta #
Apr 10 The Plaza - Vancouver, British Columbia #
Apr 15 The Boardwalk - Orangevale, CA #
Apr 16 Slim’s - San Francisco, CA #
Apr 21 The Clubhouse - Tempe, AZ #
Apr 24 Gothic Theatre - Englewood, CO #

% - with Saint Alvia Cartel from Ontario
# - with Heartless Bastards from Cincinnati

Only about half of the dates from the tour have been posted so far. Stay tuned.

LISTEN: Q101 Acoustic Set
The '59 Sound (acoustic) - The Gaslight Anthem
Here's Looking At You Kid (acoustic) - The Gaslight Anthem
The Weight (The Band cover) - The Gaslight Anthem

[photo credit Daniel Ackerly]

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Friday, December 26, 2008

New from Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys): "I Want Some More"

In between producing the new albums from Hacienda and Jessica Lea Mayfield in 2008, while continuing to be a member of the Black Keys, Akron's filthiest bluesman Dan Auerbach is fixin' to release his solo debut album on February 10th.

Keep It Hid will be out on Nonesuch Records, and first listens sound like fuzzed-out, skwonky rock and roll. I love his yowl. He'll be touring in support of it in the coming months, with those Hacienda fellas opening.

I Want Some More - Dan Auerbach

Listen to two other new tracks over on the Nonesuch Records site. And if you (ahem) right click the song titles you might be able to save the mp3s. Just sayin.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

...and a new Christmas one from Sufjan

In keeping with his prolific holiday tradition (he makes music like some folks make garlic prime rib), Sufjan Stevens has recorded a new home EP of Christmas songs for 2008.

As he's apparently "Astral Interplanet Space Captain" this year, many of the songs are of the synth-Casio variety, and I'm kinda finding the mood a bit off-putting, compared to the way I love his banjo with my whole backwoods heart. I mean, "Wonderful Christmastime" should have never happened. Have we learned nothing from the past! Christmas means no synthesizers.

But in any case, there is one sweet piano-based tune on the new EP that has risen above the interplanetary action to warm my heart. I do hope your day was happy.

Christmas In The Room - Sufjan Stevens

Get the whole EP over on So That's What The Volume Knob Is For.

And . . . I'm off to California for a few days of sun and fun and friends (well, maybe not the first one. It is December.)

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A very merry christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

he sings his song with his heart on his tongue

This unassuming tune was introduced to me a few weeks ago as "a perfect song." Homemade and unvarnished, it resonates with me both in the way it speaks to the creative process of artistry, and also the ups and downs of love. What more do you need in music?

Bird (demo) - Scott Brabson

lovesick bird bears his burden to the mass
sings his song to anyone who will listen back

he sings his song with his heart on his tongue
with a faded photograph in his sock
they'll walk by with x's on their eyes
greenback tethers beckon them to walk

when did you get your wings clipped bird?

(could you) love someone new?
one who'll hold you through the night
and forget the past
forward-motion puts history behind

she sings her song with her heart on her tongue
she's waiting in hope of a response
he stands by with his arm tucked by his sides
cause a ghost has claimed a place in his thoughts
and a ghost says "ooo"

So he sings his song with his heart on his tongue
pulls a faded photograph from his sock
he lets love walk by a hundred thousand times
and a memory will never let him stop

Scott Brabson is a Denver artist, and this was recorded in his studio (apartment, that is).


Friday, December 19, 2008

Your Naughty/Nice Christmas mix

Christmas is coming and kids are having fun (so said the chorus of my fifth grade play "Shaping Up Santa," for which I still know all the words and thankfully no longer have to wear the green elf costume).

I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year because of the overabundance of really bad, synthy, jingly, repetitive Christmas music that bombards me at every pass. But tonight I was listening to my friend Dainon's superb radio show out of Salt Lake City and he filled two and a half hours with the kind of Christmas music that reminds me why I do love it.

I tend towards the melancholy, the meaningful, the achingly pretty at this time of year, and tonight's show inspired me to finally put the finishing touches on my own mix of music for the season. Twenty-five songs to get at the goodness under the busy surface this time of year. Enjoy.

No Christmas For Me - Zee Avi (new Malaysian artist I'm excited about)
Joy To The World - Clem Snide
Christmas Is Coming Soon - Blitzen Trapper
Egg Nog - Luna
It's Christmas So We'll Stop - Frightened Rabbit
It Won't Seem Like Christmas Without You (alternate take 6) - Elvis Presley
Christmas TV - Slow Club
Sweet Secret Peace - Neil Finn
Xmas Time Is Here Again - My Morning Jacket
Gift X-Change - Calexico
This Christmastime - Mascott & Gramercy Arms
The Secret of Christmas - Ella Fitzgerald
Christmas - Leona Naess
Just Like Christmas - Low
Song For A Winter's Night (Gordon Lightfoot) - Erica Wheeler
Icicles - Let's Go Sailing [from the Plastic Snow compilation]
Goin Home For Christmas - Nicolai Dunger
Goin Home For Christmas - Merle Haggard
Snowfall - Josh Rouse
The First Noel - Pedro The Lion
Please Come Home For Christmas - Willie Nelson
The Gift of Grace - Denison Witmer
New Year's Resolution - Otis Redding & Carla Thomas
Winter Wonderland - Radiohead
Silent Night - Evan Dando


If you want even more Christmas music, the excellent WXPN out in Philly is hosting 12 Days Of Christmas with local bands and free mp3s each day. Ten down, two to go, check it out.

Merry Christmas.

[image from the fabulous Anne Taintor]


News from our little Young Coyotes

It's been a few months since we checked in with Fuel/Friends' favorite little wild canines, the Young Coyotes. Just back from two months of touring with The Gay Blades and Asobi Seksu, they posted cryptic images today (like the one above) that would lead a reasonable person to assume that they are, in fact, in the studio! I've been waiting since the hot days of summer for a proper full-length from these boys.

I'll see you at their show tonight (Friday) at the Bluebird in Denver (with the Hot IQs and Chain Gang of 1974), and they also recently recorded a Daytrotter session which will be up in the new year. Hurrah!

Momentary Drowning - Young Coyotes


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dan Le Sac makes a free mixtape for you

In the holly jolly spirit of giving (note to self: start Christmas shopping), the first half of Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip has posted a third installment of his popular, hip-shaking mixtapes over on his blog. You might also call them remixtapes. Check these samples:

Joy Division - Leaders of Men (dan le sac RFL 2002 mix)
Elastica - Connection (dan le sac not connected mix)

I especially like what he did to the Joy Division, and really darling -- it's been too long since you've gutturally "OOOOOOh"d along with Elastica. See the full tracklist and get the download link here.

[pic from Monolith 2008]


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh, that we could all be so Pretty & Nice

My friend Julio asked me for some Top Fives of the year (leaving it open to interpretation) and I gave him things like 5 shows I loved, 5 books I enjoyed, and 5 memorable Halloween costumes I saw. My friends were more creative. The wonderful John Wenzel (who knows dangerously funny stuff) caught my attention with this write-up of his "favorite neon spazz-rock trio":

Pretty & Nice hail from Boston, but they may as well be from southern Ohio circa 1996, as much as they incorporate elements of Dayton-bred acts like Brainiac and Guided by Voices into their squiggling synths, monaural guitars and insanely catchy vocal melodies. There's also bits of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe (and latter day post-punk/pop whores the New Pornographers) out in front, and somehow this mash of old and new makes perfect, danceable sense.

Big words like that are why he works for a newspaper, people.

I love short lists of bests at the end of the year from people with tastes so different than mine, so I took a listen and yeah, pretty much haven't stopped all day. Everything Wenzel says (in this instance) is true. You can stream the aptly-titled new album Get Young over on the Pretty & Nice website, and here's one ridiculously danceable tune you can take with you.

Tora Tora Tora - Pretty & Nice

Fuel/Friends was also comfortably ranked above naughtynicegay.com on the list of "Colorado music websites that are taking over the world," by one hiply-monikered Ricardo Baca. Whew. That site has really, really good music, so it was a close finish. Thanks!


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