...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, June 18, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

I got to see the fantastic Jesse Malin on Friday night at a criminally under-attended show (perhaps due to the borderline negligent website for the venue/promoter, which didn't even mention the show). After the show I thanked Malin for the sheer joy in the music that comes out through him when he performs. He is a musician full of heart, who knows how to rock. With an engaging stage presence, the new material sounded tight (balanced with his older songs) and he connected well with most of the crowd. The notable exception being the drunkie heckler in the front row with two bendy, feisty, lady-companions who kept interrupting Jesse during a very promising sounding story about moving a bed with a van in NYC and getting a phone call from Barbra Streisand's "people." Jesse utilized his NYC street-skillz with and told 'em to put a cork in it or leave (deservedly), and we never got to hear the rest of the tale.

Jesse hopped off the stage for his campfire moment where we all sat on the ground in a circle and helped him sing "Solitaire" and braid each others hair and make friendship bracelets. Actually, it had the air of effusive spontaneity (even though it was admittedly contrived for the Blender.com cameras that were filming the show) and made me feel happy inside. Especially when he sat down right next to me and we all belted, "I don't need any . . . I don't need any . . . I don't need anyONE!!" Go see him if you can this tour (oh and check the pics here and mini-video I was able to surreptitiously capture here).

Music for this week:

Long Forgotten Song
The Thrills
The two new songs posted on MySpace by Dublin's The Thrills are shimmering and lovely, making me look forward to the new album. Even though they are from Ireland, their songs sound like California. This tune, about "a long-forgotten song but everyone still sings along," sounds somehow like a song you once knew but forgot, and it feels weighty. It'll be on their upcoming album Teenager, due 7/23/07 with great cover art.

Vanilla Sky
Paul McCartney
I finally watched Vanilla Sky this weekend for the first time (thanks Tony!) and shame on me for it taking me so long. I was scared off by the mixed reviews when it first came out (and a general fatigue of Tom Cruise's smile) so I never took the plunge, even though it is a Cameron Crowe film and sweet bejesus I love him. Vanilla Sky blew me away -- it's my favorite kind of intelligent reality-bending/brain-messing movie with a marvelous soundtrack. For those who have seen it all the way through, think about the perfect placement of R.E.M.'s "Sweetness Follows" in light of what happens from that point forward in the film, even though you don't know it at the time. There's also priiiime placement of the eerie, icy, otherworldly sounds of Sigur Ros and some always-appreciated Jeff Buckley. The credits start rolling with this tune, penned by Paul for the film. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Head Like A Hole (NIN cover)
Giant Bear

Not to be confused with either Giant Drag or Grizzly Bear, Giant Bear is a Memphis five-piece that has decided to reinterpret Trent Reznor's seething defining moment as a fiddle-twinged bit of Americana-rock with shared male/female vocals. It's interesting, I'll give them that, and not unlikeable. Off their self-titled debut album due out August 14 on Red Wax music. Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars) and Rick Steff (Lucero) also play on the album.

Fujiya & Miyagi

The first time I heard this song by Fujiya & Miyagi, I pictured it as the perfect soundtrack theme song for the movie of my life when I doll up and head out into the sparkling nighttime streets to wreak some sort of imaginary unspecified havoc. It's a pimp song, sleek and funky and absolutely irresistible. I don't know why three guys from Brighton go by Japanese monikers (other than perhaps a partial tribute to Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid?) but I ain't complainin. From their 2006 album Transparent Things, which I definitely need to investigate further.

The Devil Never Sleeps
Iron & Wine

[let's try this new music stream thing? Let me know if it doesn't work]
There are some songs from Iron & Wine that just devastate me in the best way possible; I think Sam Beam is an amazing songwriter. I thought I knew him, kinda had his sound pegged as the perfect soundtrack to activities like moping, looking out a window at the grey clouds, or falling asleep. So get ready for the sounds on the new album Shepherd's Dog (due Sept 25 on Sub Pop) -- the songs are just as wonderful, but with a heck of a lot more spitfire and pluck. This one sounds like something from another time, floating out the window of a neighbor's house into the humid summer night. The devil never sleeps because he went down to Georgia and is dancing to this.

Also, a final P.S. on Father's Day - after an immense father-feteing BBQ at my parents' house, I dozed off on the couch yesterday afternoon while my dad watched sports on TV. The sports channels are rarely on in my house (unless it's the Giants), so I had forgotten how comforting and nice it is to weave in and out of sleep on a full belly listening to my dad comment on the game to no one in particular.

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At June 18, 2007 12:50 PM, Blogger David said...

jesse sat pow-wow style at his show a few years ago in Buffalo. We all came together under "Helpless" (the Young tune). I rubbed his head and I think he was upset I mussied up his hair. No worries, though, as he was very kind and autographed a shirt for my lady, who was smitten. (This show was also disappointing with the attendance, but more of a treat for those of us who did show!)

At June 18, 2007 2:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think he does it every show now - certainly at the last three or four I've been at. It never gets old though.

At June 18, 2007 3:32 PM, Blogger MJS said...

Here's a video for Fujiya & Miyagi's song "Ankle Injury". It's similar to the White Stripes Video for "Fell In Love With a Girl", but they've used dice for this.


At June 18, 2007 5:01 PM, Blogger The Rules said...

When I read your recent post on Jeff Buckley, I pulled him up in my library. Sadly, the only song I had was Last Goodbye from the Vanilla Sky soundtrack. Good news was that it got me listening to the soundtrack again, and you're right about it's splendor. My fave track has got to be Radiohead's Everything In Its Right Place.

If you aren't averse to subtitles, I highly recommend the Spanish-language Abre los ojos, of which Vanilla Sky is a remake (and near-facsimile). I don't remember much about the soundtrack, other than that it was more trip-hop, with tracks from Massive Attack, Sneaker Pimps, and the like.

At June 18, 2007 5:14 PM, Blogger heather said...

The rules, funny you should supply me with that vital information about the soundtrack for the original. I am absolutely NOT averse to subtitles (exactly the opposite, I love foreign films) and Abre Los Ojos was already in my Queue (but I just moved it to the top), but I was wondering if I'd miss the awesome soundtrack, which, on the Crowe version, really truly MAKES the film for me. Sounds like the orig is pretty awesome sounding too. Yay!

At June 18, 2007 8:47 PM, Blogger Dainon. said...

I'm glad you dig the Fujiya and Miyagi. I've been digging their scene for months now. Investigate fully!

At June 19, 2007 2:06 AM, Blogger Bill said...

That I&W song is the greatest bit of gin-juke awesome I have heard in a while... thanks for making my day, yet again!

At June 19, 2007 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the awesomeness from Iron and Wine. I'm greatly anticipating that new album.


At June 19, 2007 12:57 PM, Blogger Jake said...

vanilla sky also has a picture of eddie vedder flipping off the camera...it's on the fridge when tom and penelope (I think )are just chatting in the kitchen. I haven't seen it in a long time, so my memory could be deceiving me.
But he's there, and he's GLORIOUS!

At June 20, 2007 11:01 AM, Blogger chawkc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At June 20, 2007 11:03 AM, Blogger chawkc said...

Jesse sits with the audience in pretty much every show he does in venues that allow him to come down. Ususally he sings Bastards Of Young, but I guess he's beginning to change it up. It's always been a crime how underappreciated he is. Here, check out two performances I recorded at the Mercury Lounge in NYC in April.



Thanks Heather, always enjoy reading your blog.

At June 21, 2007 5:02 AM, Blogger isthisgraham? said...

How awesome is that Iron and Wine?! Thanks =)

So I can finish Jesse's story for you (he told it in Glasgow a couple of years ago) albeit without the accent or the joy of the tellin' that makes it funny -

Basically him and the other bloke rock up and Barbara's not home so they are just standing in her room figuring out how to move the mattress and then the other guy starts rooting around her bedside table and stuff and Jesse says "what the fuck are you doing, man!?" and he says he's looking to see if she has a dildo!! Eventually, having found no dildo, they load the mattress into their van, and (I think, memory is a bit sketchy here) they parked it up somewhere without realising the van had a hole in the roof, and while they were gone it rained and her mattress got completely soaked, so they just pretty much did a runner and pretended it never happened :D

Stupid hecklers. Next time you see Jesse ask him to finish the story for you! He loves that one and so do I. And tell him to get his arse to Australia.

At June 21, 2007 9:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you ever hear the song, "'Til the Tide Creeps In" from The Thrills' 2003 album, So Much For the City? Tis an epic, sweet pop tune.

They're a great band, though somewhat plagued by inconsistency.

At June 21, 2007 10:44 AM, Blogger heather said...

Graham thanks for finishing the story, and thanks for the love. :)

At June 21, 2007 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love those Damnwells Heather. They woo me. "Ordinary" is still making me cry for honest reasons.

I must have my "Paranoia in Bb Major" by the Avett Brothers. You have to check out their myspace performance of this on Conan. It will be an "Emotionalism" summer.

Come to NY, I want to buy you a Brooklyn vanilla egg cream. We have paper umbrella's here.

At June 21, 2007 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pardon my apostrophes.

At June 23, 2007 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abres los ojos blows vanilla sky away!! Watch the original!!

At June 24, 2007 4:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Know how you feel with sparsely attended Jesse Malin shows. We saw him last year here in Århus Denmark, there can't have been more than 35 there. But it was superb and he had us all doing the all sitting around in a circle thing too. And he was back again this year (we couldn't make it) so they must have thought there was/is a demand.

At June 25, 2007 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am LOVING the new I&W song you posted. September 25 is too long to have to wait.

I... can't... stop... listen... ing... to... it.



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