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

Monday, December 26, 2005

Monday Music Roundup (is it Monday already? )

Good gluttonous morning. I think I have eaten about a thousand Christmas cookies and other equally sweet items in the last 24 hours - ugh! Christmas was splendid overall, filled with family and friends and thoughtful gifts (new Dr. Martens!) and, my favorite: lame, loud board games with lots of yelling about rules. As good as it gets. I hope yours was equally nice.

Here are five songs for your listening pleasure. Please let me know what you think, I am very excited about several of these tunes lately.

When U Find Someone
Ken Stringfellow
Wait a sec, am I listening to The Beach Boys? The gorgeous layered vocal harmonies on the chorus of this song from ex-Posies frontman Ken Stringfellow have the timbre of the Wilsons all over it, a successful homage. This is a sunny, shimmering piece - you've got to smile when the chorus breaks. Check out Stringfellow's 2004 album Soft Commands.

Over My Head (Cable Car)
The Fray
A local band straight outta Denver, The Fray has been getting a lot of airplay over at KFOG in San Francisco (say it with me again, "KFOG is possibly the best radio station in the world"). This is an understated song from 2005's How To Save a Life which has been really growing on me. Piano crashes into a driving drum beat, while the vocals by Isaac Slade draw obvious comparison to Coldplay, but are distinct. Rolling Stone cites this as "elegantly wasted twentysomething angst."

Your Love
The Butchies
North Carolina's The Butchies completely reinvent the glitzy, cheesy, synth-laced ‘80s power ballad “Your Love” (originally by British band The Outfield), turning it in to something sultry and lolling. Singer/guitarist Kaia Wilson breathes the sad lyrics of longing over a simple, slowdancing beat. The final cut on 2004’s Make Yr Life.

Elizabeth, You Were Born To Play That Part
Ryan Adams
This song absolutely rips me in two. I listened to this for this first time last night in the dark. Starting with the opening two words - Adams them lays out with what I perceive as stunning beauty, and I can't explain why. Something about the fragility of the way he floats the words, "For you..." and the drop in the melody.

The local newspaper today reviewed 29 and said this song is about a romantic interest, but Adams has said in concert that it is about a friend who experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth, and that's the interpretation that resonates and gouges. One of the many lushly gorgeous tracks from Adams' new album 29.

Break The Night with Colour
Richard Ashcroft
Ashcroft (former lead singer of The Verve, for those of you playing along at home) has a new album called Keys To The World, coming out stateside on February 7, and this is the first single. Ashcroft was recently called "the best singer in the world" by Chris Martin during his high-profile appearance with Coldplay at Live 8, and this track shows off his distinctive and heartfelt sound. It will be interesting to see what 2006 holds for Ashcroft, with some tour dates coming, both solo and opening for Coldplay. BONUS: You can listen to some new interviews with Ashcroft on his website.

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At December 26, 2005 11:09 PM, Blogger Styeiles said...

hey heather I downloaded the Richard Ashcroft song and its not bad actually...I`m looking forward to seeing him open up for Coldplay.

At December 27, 2005 8:37 AM, Blogger Don't Need Anything said...

you know heather, i have never been a big ryan adams fan. but after hearing this song, i think im gonna have to go find this album.


At December 27, 2005 1:59 PM, Blogger heather said...

don't need anything, i am thrilled. 29 is a bit uneven, i think, with varying kinds of songs from rough & tunble honky tonk to lush piano, but there is enough good stuff on it to make it worthwhile. if you like the piano sound, check out Love is Hell, my favorite Adams ever.

At December 28, 2005 11:35 AM, Blogger swizzle-stick said...

The Fray are playing some dates with the Damnwells - unfortunately nothing in my neck of the woods. - Chip (aka Atomic Ned)

At December 28, 2005 1:35 PM, Blogger heather said...

hey, thanks chip! I'd love to see the damnwells too, heard some good stuff about them, but it looks like the local Fray shows are with Cary Brothers & Mat Kearney.


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