Drunken Prayer - Heigh-HO Nobody Home

Drunken Prayer – Heigh-Ho Nobody Home

My original forays into freak folk started with Hasil Adkins, who defies genre assignment but personifies the spirit of this strangest of musical styles and really put me on a path of weirdness. Charles Manson’s famous demos ended up on mix tapes and further piqued my curiosity. Charlie’s a wicked man, make no mistake. But there’s something very tender about his demos and “Look at Your Game Girl” is a bona fide cult classic.

Enter: Morgan Geer and his ongoing odyssey, Drunken Prayer. I’ve seen various incarnations of this project from the solo crooner to the neo-Vegas stage show to the psycho freakout mountain holler. Geer covers a lot of ground, and most of it via the ditch.

“Heigh-Ho Nobody Home” is a tasty sampling of his home-style witch’s brew. Geer is DYI all day long and his House of Morgan video series applies his own warped sense to sound and vision. Dig in and sop it up.

Drunken Prayer on Fluff and Gravy Records

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The Growlers – Good Advice

Some friends in the know have been trying to turn me onto The Growlers for a while. And really, why have I not been listening? I trust my friends, especially when it comes to music recommendations. Well, I finally got around to it and because I consider you, our readers, friends I implore you to not repeat my mistakes.

This is our music. It’s a bit druggy, a bit psych, a lot cool.

Listen now. Get your shit together. It’s good advice.

And then dig this awesome video:

North American Tour Dates:
09/05 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive
09/06 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive
09/08 – Lawrence, KS – Bottleneck
09/09 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
09/10 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
09/11 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig
09/12 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
09/13 – Montreal, QC – Il Motore
09/14 – Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
09/17 – Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
09/18 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
09/19 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
09/20 – Washington, DC – Black Cat Mainstage
09/22 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
09/23 – Nashville, TN – Exit In
09/24 – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone Cafe
09/25 – Dallas, TX – Dada
09/26 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s Upstairs
09/27 – Austin, TX – Scoot Inn
10/10 – Victoria, BC – Upstairs Cabaret
10/11 – Vancouver, BC – The Rickshaw
10/15 – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
10/16 – Spokane, WA – The Bartlett
10/17 – Portland, OR – Alhambra Theatre
10/18-19 – San Francisco, CA – Treasure Island Festival
10/25 – Orange County, CA – BEACH GOTH III at The Observatory

War on Drugs - Under The Pressure

Spend 9 minutes tripping out with the War On Drugs

Video: The War on Drugs – “Under The Pressure”

My pal Jeff busts my chops because I like short songs. Pop songs. I don’t like extraneous filler. Get in and get out.

But I also like Funkadelic. Sometimes a song needs to stretch out to get its point across. I wouldn’t cut a minute out of “Sister Ray,” for example. Same with “Like a Hurricane.”

This song, I’m not so sure. When I suggested that the last three minutes don’t add anything to this song except length, good old Jeff pointed out that “They give you time to reflect.” Which is fair enough. Reflect away.

Overall Album Sales Watch: New Low of 4.05 Million

Bill boredI usually keep an eye on Billboard‘s Chart Beat, but I must have missed it a few weeks ago because the week ending July 13 set a new record for the fewest overall album sales with just 4.05 million. Things are rough for the album:

Weekly album sales volume has been below 5 million for the past 12 consecutive weeks. The 5 million mark has only been surpassed in five weeks this year. To compare, a year ago at this point, there were 21 weeks where sales were above 5 million. Weekly volume didn’t fall below 5 million in the SoundScan era until 2010, when, in the week ending May 30, album sales dropped to 4.98 million.

We remember that.

Sales have bounced back a little in the weeks following the new record low, but now they have gone back down to 4.1 million for the week ending August 17. I wonder if 2014 will see them dip below 4 million for the first time ever.

Do streaming services offer “album play” data? Not that anybody streams entire albums, but if they do I suppose it should be counted. Or maybe not.

Iggy Azalea at Lollapalooza

More Lollapalooza 2014 Photos

We finally sorted through our Lolla pics (taken by the unsinkable Jolie Brown) and just uploaded a bunch of them to Flickr. In case you missed it, here’s our Lolla 2014 wrap up. Enjoy the photos.

Iggy Azalea (Flickr album)

Outkast (Flickr album)

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Lollapalooza 2005 map (click for full size)

Lollapalooza 2005 Map and Schedule

While I was researching my Lolla 2014 piece I was surprised and disappointed that I could not find the original 2005 Lollapalooza map online anywhere. I stumbled across Jim DeRogatis’ 2006 news item about the fest’s expansion for its second year, which reminded me that in 2005 everything had been crammed south of Buckingham Fountain. I had completely forgotten that.

So I dug through my personal archives and discovered my original program and scanned it. You’re welcome. It’s a little wrinkly and messed up because it lived in my pocket for a couple days as I stumbled around getting loaded and eating smuggled KFC.

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Lollapalooza 2014

Lollapalooza 2014: Drives You Crazy Getting Old

Ten years. Ten Lollas in Grant Park. I had a cutting edge mobile phone in 2005 — the Motorola RAZR — but I didn’t know how to text properly. There were no iPhones, no Twitter, YouTube hadn’t officially launched yet, and Facebook was still exclusive to college students.

Lollapalooza 2005 seems quaint in retrospect. It was only two days long, there were less than 60 bands, the whole thing took place south of Buckingham Fountain, all four main stages were crammed onto Hutchinson Field… And yet this year’s event would hardly seem unrecognizable to a time traveler from 2005. It’s still, as I said back at the time, “an event as corporate and branded and manipulative as anything any marketing genius could ever devise.” And despite that, with the right attitude, it can still be a lot of fun.

Over the years I have seen so many memorable performances at Lollapalooza. Would most of these have been better suited to a dark club as opposed to a big, sweaty field in the middle of the day? Absolutely. But let’s be honest. I cram more bands into three days at Lolla than I go out and see for the rest of the year combined. Is that pathetic? Maybe so, but I’m busy. I’m a grown up. And a big festival provides me with the opportunity to stumble across something unexpectedly great that I never would have sought out on my own. So I return to Lolla every year in spite of the weak lineups that — looking back — I’ve publicly bitched about almost every year.

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Rock and roll can change your life.