I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS

...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, May 05, 2008

Monday Music Roundup

I had a full day interview here on Friday. Now that's eight hours straight of me talking about myself coherently and winningly. This is a draining endeavor, no matter how exciting the job or how good of a fit. I did mostly okay except for one specific question where I recall clearly starting to veer into Miss Teen USA territory ("such as"). Hey! Turns out if you don't know the answer, continuing to talk is not going to help you find it, oddly enough.


In between the real-life stuff going on, I've been listening to these songs:

Strange Vine
Delta Spirit

I just got news today from Rounder Records that they've signed Delta Spirit, who I allegedly saw with Port O'Brien at Noise Pop in March but regrettably actually missed due to sensory overload at the time. But I remember reading a review a few days after the festival that Amrit from Stereogum had penned that completely intrigued me: "Matthew Vasquez's vocals are powerhouse stuff, and his Dylanistic harmonica and melodies worked well over Delta's roots-rock roots. 'Strange Vine' was a standout, riding the sway of old mid-tempo, '50s-styled r&b rock, with vocal lines ala Alec Ounsworth or Julian Casablancas depending on how the light caught it." I want to listen more to these guys - they've got a great sound and a lot of promise. Their 2007 release was aptly named Ode to Sunshine, and will be re-released by Rounder.

I'm Glad
The Black Keys

If you're the grizzled, bluesy force of nature known as The Black Keys, and you're just sitting around Dan's house on a Thursday, why not record a Captain Beefheart cover and post it on your MySpace for free download? Why not indeed. Just a few days old, this cover is fuzzy and dirty like it's being sung through a dusty microphone someone dug up in the garage, then looped back through a decades-old set of crackly speakers. But you know, it's also just about perfect for some really late-night drunk slow dancing - sad and regretful but with some heat behind it too. Attack & Release is out now, The Black Keys are playing Red Rocks with My Morning Jacket in August, and then next day will be out in San Francisco for Outside Lands.


Never So Strange
Morning State
The harmonies and vocals on this particular song evoke straight-up '50s power pop, but there's also a tenser undercurrent of that good '90s rock running through it that you know I'm a sucker for. Atlanta's Morning State cooks up a jubilant blend with a kick to it. They've played shows with Dr. Dog, Peter Bjorn & John, and White Rabbits, all of whom are fun bands that we like round these parts. This is a fun band. Their new album You Know People I Know People is out tomorrow on Indie Outlaw.

Time Can Be Overcome
The Constantines
Said The Gramophone intrigued me (as they always do) with a fictional vignette Sean constructed around this song, involving a South Korean man in an isolated high-rise apartment: "[He] bought an electric guitar thirteen years ago and every night since then he has spent learning a single song. He does not feel this is slow or fast; it is just right. One day he will play the song, play the whole thing. Meteorites will hammer the city and tsunamis will rise and his heart will come to life in his chest." Really, I couldn't ask for more than that. This is a terrific, terrific slowburn of a song. From the Constantines' recent release Kensington Heights (Arts & Crafts).


Measure Of The Same
Birds of Avalon
Kids heading out and paying the big black-market bucks to see The Raconteurs recently on their tiny-club tour were greeted by the psychedelic retro-tinged sounds of Birds of Avalon as openers. A five-piece band from Raleigh, North Carolina, BofA formed from the ashes of previous '70s garage rock incarnation The Cherry Valence. They actually have a guitar player named Cheetie Kumar, which frankly is reason enough to go see them -- also the way she shreds that thing ain't bad. Their new The Outer Upper Inner EP is out now on Volcom.

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7 Comments:

At May 05, 2008 10:13 PM, Anonymous Richard said...

Heather, saw the Black Keys at the Ogden and Birds of Avalon with the Raconteurs at the Fillmore. Both great shows! Looking forward to Wilco in the Springs later this week. Good choices today.

 
At May 05, 2008 11:38 PM, Blogger Tawriffic said...

Good luck with the job - If it is what you are looking for then I hope you are successful. I also hope they continue to give you enough free time to continue with your mighty fine blog. Your Coachella coverage was excellent. I assume that the people that read your blog also share similar tastes in music so reading your personal view on the event was compelling. Rather than making me wish I was there, you made me feel as if I was there. Thanks...

 
At May 06, 2008 3:14 AM, Anonymous liveon35mm.com said...

Not convinced about Black Keys latest release, overproduced by danger mouse they lost the dirtyness of the fat possum releases.
I am going to double check them live in London on the 19th.

No need to say if everything goes as planned (i.e. I have a photopass) they will be on liveon35mm.com

 
At May 06, 2008 9:23 PM, Anonymous greg said...

yeah, what richard said. Great bands rolling through Denver.

 
At May 06, 2008 10:16 PM, Blogger Marc said...

Woo! Thanks for the heads-up on the Black Keys download!

 
At May 07, 2008 1:00 PM, Blogger Josh Jenkins said...

great post!

 
At May 12, 2008 1:57 PM, Anonymous jeff topping said...

heatha,
i saw "the cons" open up for tragically hip last spring. I was very impressed. they came out swinging. the songs have addictive under your skin qualities. However, the most charming part of them was watching the keyboard player who was closest to us. I have never seen anyone soooo into their instrument. He was caressing his organ, eyes closed, facial expressions that revealed his soul. He would stand a few feet from his stool and keyboard, just thinking, anticipating, and yearning to jump in at the right time to attack it. all of us near him were completely entertained by his intensity.

 

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