Monday, February 28, 2011

Song of the Day: Fleetwood Mac - Silver Springs

I've been on a Fleetwood Mac kick lately, listening to a lot of Tusk in particular. So when the Sports Guy tweeted a link to this video, I was completely mesmerized (note he also originally brought this video into my life). First off, I had to immediately find the song, as I wasn't familiar with it. As it turns out, it's actually a track that was recorded for Rumours and released on a reissue years ago. The first half is great, but when the second half kicks in with "time casts a spell..." the song really takes off. Watch the video and how Stevie and Lindsey are looking at each other during certain lyrics - it must still sting.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Song of the Day: Quasi - It's Raining

Last night's Sebadoh show was all I had hoped it would be - almost exclusively tracks from Bakesale, Harmacy and Bubble & Scrape. The bigger surprise was a band I once listened to but had more or less forgotten about - Quasi, who opened the show. While never a huge fan, I enjoyed The Sword of God record, though I can only name one song on it, and it's appropriate for today in LA - "It's Raining."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Song of the Day: Sebadoh - Not a Friend

I don't understand why Sebadoh's reunion isn't getting anywhere near the hype of that of Pavement. Or Pixies. Or Dinosaur Jr (of which Sebadoh's head honcho, Lou Barlow, is also a part of). OK - they weren't as influential as those bands. But still, for '90s indie rock, it really doesn't get much better than Sebadoh.

Yet somehow, tonight's show at the Troubadour, in which they're celebrating the reissue of the iconic Bakesale, isn't even sold out. This, dear readers, is a travesty. To do my small, small part in getting my two loyal readers (hi Mom! hi me!) excited about the show, I'm posting one of my favorite tracks off of Bakesale. That album, Harmacy, Bubble & Scrape and III - all classics.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Song of the Day: The Black Keys - Busted

Tomorrow I'm heading to Vegas for the weekend and going to see one of my favorite bands of the last decade, The Black Keys. I first saw the band when they were touring for their debut album, The Big Come Up, at a tiny place in Carrboro, NC whose name eludes me (it wasn't the legendary Cradle). There were probably only about 50-60 people there, but they tore the roof off the (sucker) place. I've since seen them a couple more times since then, and each time the venue gets bigger, and now they're off winning Grammys and fighting Vampire Weekend in a sellout-off.

In honor of the occasion, here's the first song off that first album.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Song of the Day: Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks

I'm going to see Beach House tonight at the Fonda or whatever it's called now, but rather than share another song off of Teen Dream, I figured it's time for another Grizzly Bear track. Why Grizzly Bear? Listen closely to the backing vocals, and you'll hear Victoria Legrand, lead singer of Beach House, off of this Veckatimest track.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Song of the Day: Buffalo Tom - Soda Jerk

You wouldn't know it from this song, but earlier in their career, Buffalo Tom apparently earned the name Dinosaur Jr Jr. If this song sounds familiar to you, it may be due to its use in a Nike commercial years and years ago. I don't remember the commercial, but I recall being surprised that this unknown band had a song in a commercial (now, of course, it happens all the time). But it's quite a rocking tune, and I'd highly recommend checking out the album on which it appears, Big Red Letter Day, or their earlier Let Me Come Over.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Song of the Day: Urge Overkill - Emmaline

Yesterday in my post I mentioned my cheesy choice of song - well, here's a band that embraces the cheese.  I've posted an Urge Overkill song before, but it was more of a rocking, Cheap Trick kind of track. Today's song, "Emmaline," after about a minute and a half of rocking out, is more of a power ballad. Allegedly this is a cover song, but an internet search for who performed the original came up empty. But it's a genius choice of cover, as it seems to fit with the overall UO aesthetic - melodrama.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Song of the Day: My Bloody Valentine - Only Shallow

Yes, it's incredibly cheesy to post a My Bloody Valentine song on Valentine's Day, but what's more romantic than making your eardrums bleed? Loveless is often mentioned as one of the '90s best albums, and while I like it, I guess I'm just more of a melody guy than an ambiance guy. That said, the layers of guitars are impressive and evidently took years to create, and the album gets off to a riotous start with "Only Shallow."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Song of the Day: Mike Watt (w/ Mark Lanegan) - Max and Wells

I planned on ending Mark Lanegan week with the Gutter Twins, the partnership of Lanegan and Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs. But truth be told, despite my love of both dudes, I'm not a huge fan of this collaboration, at least as they exist on record (in person, they're a whole different animal).

Instead, I'm one-upping the Gutter Twins and going with a triumvirate of three musical gods - Lanegan, Mike Watt of Minutemen and fIREHOSE, and J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr - for a song from Watt's first "solo" album, Ball-hog or Tugboat.

And thus concludes Mark Lanegan week. Next week: more random stuff!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Song of the Day: Queens of the Stone Age - Hanging Tree

Alright, day 4 of Mark Lanegan week, and I'm tired and a bit hungover. So what better way to wake up than with Queens of the Stone Age? I've sung the praises of the band before, posting "Auto Pilot" off of Rated R. But Songs for the Deaf kicks it up a notch, due mostly to Dave Grohl obliterating his drum kit on this record and the two Lanegan cameos. My favorite of those is definitely "Hanging Tree," which features one of the heavier riffs I've heard from Queens.

Bonus! Here's video of an "acoustic" version, featuring an especially gravelly sounding Lanegan, looking pissed off, as usual.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Song of the Day: Mad Season - Long Gone Day

Day 3 of Mark Lanegan week finds us at one of many Lanegan side projects. In fact, he was basically a sideman in the "supergroup" Mad Season, singing lead on "Long Gone Day" and sharing lead with Layne Staley (Alice in Chains) on another. The band also included Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) on guitar, Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) on drums and some guy whose name I'm too lazy to look up on bass. No offense to that guy, but he's the reason "supergroup" is in quotes.

Unfortunately this group was a supergroup of heroin and ex-users, which may be why they only released one album, which was of varying quality. When it works, as it does on this song, it's fantastic, but when it doesn't, it's merely boring. That said, it's still a pretty underrated album, and if you like any of the group members' primary bands, you'd probably at least dig a few of these songs. But Lanegan's involvement in this one, combined with his Trees' mate Martin on percussion and a Layne on the chorus and second verse, puts "Long Gone Day" at the top of the heap.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Song of the Day: Mark Lanegan - Wheels

Continuing with Mark Lanegan week, today's song is from his third solo album, Scraps at Midnight. All of Lanegan's solo albums are worth owning, and the first three are particularly fantastic, in part because of how different they are from his Screaming Trees output. And while I'm especially partial to his second album, Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, this track off Scraps encapsulates why I'm obsessed with this guy - his voice on this song is nothing short of amazing. He starts off with the smokey, deep voice that dominates his solo work but ends the song with a higher register part that always gives me chills - the last time he sings, "whichever way they fall."

Today's Lanegan anecdote: My Cat's Cradle story from yesterday wasn't the first time I saw the Screaming Trees - it was actually at the Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh, NC. They shared a bill with Soul Asylum and Spin Doctors. And yes, that makes no sense.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Song of the Day: Screaming Trees - Ivy

I'm kicking off Mark Lanegan week with one of my favorite bands, Screaming Trees. Like a lot of people my age, my first exposure to the band was their contribution to the Singles soundtrack. This led to a purchase of Sweet Oblivion, which begat an appreciation of their entire catalog. While their SST catalog can be hit or miss, Invisible Lantern is the most consistent of the bunch, and it features one of my favorite Trees' songs, "Ivy."

In fact, my friend and I got a chance to see the band at the Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill when they were promoting Dust, their final album. The band started late, as the Seattle Supersonics (RIP) were playing in the NBA Finals and they were watching it backstage. They came out and Lanegan looked pissed - it wasn't until later that I realized he always looks pissed - but they tore through the set. We were at the front of the stage and yelling for them to play "Ivy." They finally played it, and when it was over, Lanegan threw down the mic stand and walked off, and the bassist threw his pick into the crowd and I caught it. One of my favorite concert memories by far.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Song of the Day: Bloc Party - Banquet

These guys took the Gang of Four sound and went in a dancier direction, and while I can't say I'm a huge fan of the band, this song was one of my favorites of 2005.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Song of the Day: Echo & the Bunnymen - The Killing Moon

I've mentioned this song before yet somehow have neglected to share it...until now. I didn't care much for the first Echo song I heard - it was a cover of "People Are Strange" for The Lost Boys, the 1987 double-Corey extravaganza that perhaps pre-dated the teenage thirst for blood...I mean vampires. At any rate, I was a huge Doors fan as a kid and thought any cover to be sacrilege, and this was no different. I enjoy the cover nowadays (and the movie remains strangely rewatchable, at least from a semi-ironic distance), but Echo & the Bunnymen's originals are much, much better. "The Killing Moon" is by far my favorite song of theirs, and, speaking of covers, Pavement fans would be wise to check out their cover of the song, which is a b-side on the "Major Leagues" single.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Song of the Day: Yuck - Get Away

I've only had the chance to really dig into two 2011 albums so far - Smith Westerns' Dye It Blonde and Yuck's Yuck, and I'm pretty excited that I'll be seeing both bands on the same bill next week at the Echo. Yuck's album reminds me a little of Archers of Loaf, Dinosaur Jr and other mid '90s bands, mainly due to the guitar sound and vocal effects of songs like "Get Away."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Song of the Day: Funkadelic - One Nation Under a Groove

Let's start off Black History Month with one of the best black bands that ever was - Funkadelic. I'm partial to George Clinton's rock-oriented Funkadelic over the more R&B sound of Parliament, but if you're putting together a playlist for a party, you definitely want to have a little of both.

This song, from the 1977 album of the same name, engenders more of a disco feel than anything else, and while this could potentially be for the worst, in Funkadelic's hands it's a complete jam. It's also quite a headphone song - the bassline, the handclaps, the guitars coming at you in stereo - they sound unreal on good headphones. If you're a vinyl junkie, I highly recommend finding the 12" single, featuring about a 12-minute version of the song. It's the whole funk (and nothing but the funk).