...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 03, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

1) Go see Lars And The Real Girl

2) Christmas trees are freakin expensive. We bought the retarded one on the lot with a broken-off top. They wired a fake top on the tree so we'd have somewhere to put the angel from grade school. It looks majestic and the house smells heavenly, but even being the lame one, it still cost 50 smackers. Ouch.

3) This blogger wrote a really funny commentary on a 1977 JC Penney catalog, and you've probably had it forwarded to you at least six times, as I have. He's being ripped off all over the internet -- heck the community paper I read when I was in California even reprinted it with no attribution. Go read Johnny Virgil's original and laugh.

The picture to the right is captioned, "nothing showcases your everlasting love more than the commitment of matching bathing suits. That, and an appreciative blonde with a look on her face that says 'I love the way your junk fights against that fabric.'" With fashion like that, it's a miracle that anyone from our generation was ever even conceived.

Tunes for the week:

Even The Stars (live)
I Am Kloot
Who are Kloot, and why? I read about these guys over on Torr's site, and the band name was unfamiliar but I agree with him that this new live tune is brilliant. Hailing from Manchester, I Am Kloot has an expansive melodic Britpop feel --circa 1995 in the best way-- and remind me of folks like Ash or James. This feels swirling and important, earnest and memorable. Their 4th album is expected in early 2008 and will be called I Am Kloot Play Moolah Rouge. Looks like you can preview most of the tracks from it on their website.

Sweet Sophia
Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers

When I finally popped in the CD from Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers that had been staring at me for months, this opening track made me stop what I was doing and take notice to those sparkling piano cadences and burnished alt-country vocals. My curiosity had initially been piqued when I saw that the album Glassjaw Boxer was produced by Mike Daly (Whiskeytown) and mixed by Dave Bryson (Counting Crows), plus Ryan Adams' Whiskeytown companion Caitlin Cary lends harmonies.

All The Night Without Love (Dearland Sessions)
Elvis Perkins in Dearland
I've heard rumblings about Elvis Perkins and his band Dearland because of friends who caught their act on tour opening for My Morning Jacket and Okkervil River, but had not listened much to him until this re-worked tune surfaced in my iTunes this week. The original appears on his 2007 album Ash Wednesday; this cut was recorded in LA with producer Chris Shaw (Bob Dylan, Weezer) and it adds a compelling, almost old-time Western feel to the original song. The comparisons in my mind run both to The Decemberists and even daring desert escapades, Apostle of Hustle style.

Aly, Walk With Me
The Raveonettes

From their newly released album Lust Lust Lust (Vice Records), Danish duo The Raveonettes have crafted a collection of songs that feel like a blend of Garbage, Sonic Youth, Jesus & Mary Chain, and Buddy Holly all at once. This should be in a David Lynch flick, absolutely. It's all sexy and melodic with dark undertones. Also check out the new video that just came out for "Dead Sound" off the same album. Watch it here.

All My Life (version 2)
Jeff Tweedy

Here's a little forgotten piece of television history ripped from cassette thanks to the Good/Bad/Unknown blog. Back in 1998, Jeff Tweedy was asked to pen a theme song for the Christina Applegate sitcom, then-titled All My Life. The show title was eventually changed to be called Jesse and these tunes were left on the cutting room floor. But Tweedy wrote two versions, short and sweet, and you can get the other one on that blog. Wow, better than the Full House theme song, even.

. . . And, heh, dig my cameo appearance in this short music video recap of my 10-year high school reunion. Yeah, superb.

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At December 03, 2007 4:17 PM, Anonymous kel said...

Bianca forever!

At December 03, 2007 4:19 PM, Anonymous kel said...

and PS. another movie must-see is Wristcutters

At December 03, 2007 5:00 PM, Blogger Chad said...

Lars and the Real Girl was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. It might be the best movie I saw all year.

At December 03, 2007 5:14 PM, Blogger jeffro said...

such a good movie...

At December 03, 2007 5:23 PM, Blogger ezrabetter said...

cannot get "Sweet Sophia" out of my head now.

At December 03, 2007 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" ... a look on her face ..."
still laughing!

At December 03, 2007 6:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

" ... a look on her face ..."
still laughing!

At December 03, 2007 7:31 PM, Blogger mel... said...

If this is the first you've listened to Stephen Kellogg, you really ought to delve into the back catalog some. Also, see these guys live when you can.

At December 03, 2007 9:03 PM, Anonymous Magic Johnson said...

I didn't think Lars was that good. The beginning and end were great, but the middle felt as arduous as a Wisconsin winter in real time.

Just how a mix CD theme is sometimes best expressed in 50 minutes, rather than 79 minutes and 55 seconds, I thought Lars,despite being a very well-acted and clever film, suffered from the time requirements of a feature film.

Last year's Old Joy, featuring Will Oldham, said everything it had to say in a concise 70 minutes. Lars could have done the same.

At December 04, 2007 4:29 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Been a while since I left a comment on here, mainly cos it's been a while since I visited but perfect timing...Jeff Tweedy, Elvis Perkins & I Am Kloot!

I Am Kloot / Johnny Bramwell have provided me with some of my favourite memories over the last 7 years, brilliant! Got loads I can send over worth checking out - their second album is a masterpiece! Finally, just to finish my brief eulogy, go to youtube and search I Am Kloot Proof, Christopher Ecclestone in the video. Strangely compelling, beautifully moving, a credit to both song (my fave!) and video I'd say. Just my opinion mind but hope you like!

At December 04, 2007 6:51 AM, Anonymous Vitaminado said...

I am Kloot sounds like Mike Scott's Waterboys...but I prefer Waterboys.

At December 04, 2007 9:04 AM, Blogger Ted said...

Heather - Elvis Perkins has some great material. One of my favorites is 'while you were sleeping'. He performed this song for LaBlogoteque's Take Away shows in October in the streets of Paris. Truly beautiful...

An make sure to browse around the Take Away shows - some truly AMAZING stuff there... The Arcade Fire clips are very well known but many of the other performances are outstanding!


At December 04, 2007 9:05 AM, Blogger Ted said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At December 04, 2007 9:19 AM, Blogger Some Dude said...

Ash Wednesday is definitely one of my favorite albums of the year - definitely worth picking up.

Plus Elvis Perkins has quite an amazing and sad life story. His dad the actor Anthony Perkins died of AIDS and his mom sadly died on one of the planes that crashed into the WTC. Sorry to be a downer with that.

Love the Tweedy thing too!!! That is fantastic.

At December 04, 2007 9:44 AM, Blogger Joe said...

Agreed on Perkins great stuff - and the take away shows...National, Beirut & Menomena are all amazing! Especially the kids dancing to menomena, love it!

At December 04, 2007 8:41 PM, Blogger Johnny Virgil said...

Hey, thanks for the shout out! Awesome blog, btw.

At December 04, 2007 10:37 PM, Anonymous Michon said...

I saw Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers for the first time live on Halloween night. I went to the concert to see their opening act, but I'd taken a listen to the Sixers music before the show and I liked some of it so I stuck around to hear their set. It was a very fun show--one of the most entertaining I've been to. The band exudes mischievous joy in performing. I just bought Glassjaw Boxer last week!

At December 05, 2007 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heather that video of you singing is classic -- I am glad to see you had a good time, my ten year is coming up this summer and I hope it will be as awesome. What were you singing?


At December 05, 2007 3:49 PM, Blogger torr.typepad.com said...

thanks for making an mp3 of the I Am Kloot song!

At December 06, 2007 7:50 PM, Anonymous jay said...

lars and the real girl is definately my film of the year..utterly masterful from beginning to end....there were so many traps this movie could have fallen into but not once did it do that....i loved it


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