Video: Charly Bliss – “Westermarck”
From Guppy, out now on Barsuk Records.
I love power pop. And this is awesome.
Video: Dream Version – “Fight Fair”
From Fight Fair, out July 7.
I like this. These Chicago guys are geeky, you can tell. There were a lot of bands like this in the 80s, but it seems to have fallen out of favor. The Pursuit of Happiness, They Might Be Giants, and King Missile come to mind. Maybe Dream Version will trigger a resurgence of quirky, cerebral rock music. Or, as Steve Albini might refer to it: “wieners in suits.”
This song sounds a lot breezier than its subject matter would suggest. It’s an interesting contrast. “I prayed an angel would come but no angel came.”
At about the midway point on his month-long tour, we saw Joe Jackson at the Michigan Theater this past Saturday night. It was probably the fourth time we’ve seen him. Some middle-aged fanboys in the row behind us were trying to top one another with shows they’d seen. One said the last time he saw Jackson was in Royal Oak eight years ago, which is conceivably the last time we saw him.
Then, he was playing what was once a movie theater. And the Michigan Theater still shows movies when it doesn’t have live performances on its stage.
The Joe Jackson tour seems to be of places of approximately that size. Not small. Not large. The Michigan Theater seats 1,700 and it seemed as if most, if not all, of the seats were occupied. After the visit to Ann Arbor, it was off to the Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines and the Club Brady in Tulsa, OK, with a few stops in between.
No opening act. Just him solo for several numbers, then joined by bass, Graham Maby, guitar, Teddy Kumpel, and drums, Doug Yowell.
For the last encore number they did “A Slow Song” from Night and Day, which allowed the musicians to leave the stage one by one, which is a fine approach–and one used lo those years ago Royal Oak. Some things remain.
From A Deeper Understanding, due August 25 on Atlantic.
So what happens when an indie band signs with a major label? They get to make a big budget video starring Deputy Commissioner Ervin Burrell from “The Wire.” It’s a song about how you can’t go home again (or can you?), and the video is well acted and perfectly directed and touching as hell. There’s hope and sadness and nostalgia and friendship and longing, which fits just right with the music.
When you talk about the past
What are we talking of?
Did I let go too fast?
Was I holding on too long?
It’s a great video and well worth however much money that Atlantic spent on it.
Video: Diet Cig – “Barf Day”
This was the first song I heard by this awesome band and now it’s got an official video. “I just wanna have ice cream on my birthday / Blow the candles out and wish all of my pain away.”
When we first interviewed Carl Barat with Dirty Pretty Things in 2006, his first foray outside of The Libertines, he told us that he liked the idea of being in a gang. It was an idea that fellow Libertine Gary Powell also referenced and probably led him to join Barat in the new jam.
Fast forward eleven years and Dirty Pretty Things is no more, The Libertines are back to being a functional band, and Carlos seems to finally have his gang with side project The Jackals. The video for “Burning Cars” finds Barat and pals playing at being hooligans drinking, fighting and burning…well, not cars but pallets. There’s only so much budget.
From the Harder They Fall, out now on PledgeMusic.
From Beast Epic, due August 25 on Sub Pop.
Do you miss the old Iron & Wine? When it was pretty much just Sam Beam and a guitar? Before he got all into world music or whatever the hell he’s been doing for the past ten years? You’re in luck! Beam says, “I feel there’s a certain kinship between this new collection of songs and my earliest material.”
Well, this new song isn’t as stripped down as The Creek Drank the Cradle but it’s closer to Our Endless Numbered Days than anything since then. And that’s a good direction. With optimistic lyrics and acoustic instrumentation, it’s easily the best Iron & Wine song I’ve heard in a decade. Plus, I’m a sucker for the sentiment of reminding folks to let your loved ones know you care about them before they die.
And we get a chance to say
Before we ease away
For all the love you’ve left behind,
You can have mine
Video: The Regrettes – “Seashore”
From Feel Your Feelings, Fool! out now on Warner Bros. Records.
The kids are alright. The Regrettes range in age from 16 to 20 and they’re not taking any of your shit. “Seashore” is an anthem for young folks who are exhausted by the condescension of grownups. And I believe singer Lydia Night when she deadpans, “I’ll still kick your ass even in my skirt.” So watch out, fellow old people: the Regrettes have officially put us on notice.
You’re talkin’ to me like a child
Hey I’ve got news, I’m not a little girl
And no I won’t give you a little twirl.
You’re talkin’ to me like I’m sad
Hey I’ve got news, I’m not doin’ too bad
Even though sometimes I might get real mad.
Sock it to the MAN! I think I have a new favorite band.
Some jams of note for June. Or, really, it’s a mix about where do you put “Cut To The Feeling.” Is it first? Is it always? Is it just “Cut to the Feeling” for an entire Sound Design tape? Both sides? I got a tape once like that from a pen pal, years ago. Same story, only it was The Cure’s “Pictures of You.” And it was recorded onto a Maxell XLII-S 100.
Please enjoy the set. And maybe pop music might one day save the world. Or, at least, inspire one Rib Fest cover band to rave up a crowd somewhere with CRJ’s “Cut to the Feeling.” Because maybe that’s all we need in this crazy world.
We need more, though, so there are a bunch of other songs.
Spotify: Jams of Note, June 2017 (25 songs, 1 hr 19 min)