New Mavis Staples video: We Get By

Video: Mavis Staples – “We Get By” (ft. Ben Harper)

Mavis Staples – "We Get By" (feat. Ben Harper)

From We Get By, due May 24 on Anti.

Mavis Staples is a great American hero. I want her to adopt me so she can be my kid’s grandma. She is the absolute best.

“We Get By” is the title track from her new album featuring songs written and produced by musician and skater Ben Harper.

Mavis’ optimism is inspiring. If Mavis Staples can still believe that things are going to get better, who the fuck am I to sit around moping and grumping about the sorry state of the world? “It’s what I love to do,” she says in the intro to this video. “To sing a song that’s going to help somebody, to sing a song that’s going to bring somebody closer.”

Thank you, Mavis. Your songs do help. And your Vans are super dope, too!

Mavis Staples: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

“Don’t Take The Brown Acid”

At the Woodstock Festival that occurred 50 years ago this coming July the performers included Creedence Clearwater Revival; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Jefferson Airplane; the Grateful Dead.

For reasons that probably have more to do with lucre than love, there is Woodstock 50 planned for this summer. There has been a considerable amount of more notoriety of this event as regards the financing than the acts, but the roster is nothing if not robust.

If we go back to the opening paragraph of this, know that among the performers are John Fogerty; David Crosby; Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady (a.k.a., Hot Tuna); and Dead & Company.

Fogerty is 73. Crosby, 77. Jorma, 78. Casady 75. And just to pick one still there and still alive, Bob Weir 71.

At this point you might expect one of my typical rants about old musicians hanging it up.

But I’m not going to do that.

Rather, it simply strikes me that back in 1969 there was an event that had a certain music-changing magnitude (I’d argue that all of the variants of the “Star Spangled Banner” that are now heard at NASCAR races and sporting events go back to Hendrix taking what had theretofore been something of an untouchable icon and molding it into something completely different) that has never been equaled. It was a phenomenon. While it certainly wasn’t the first music festival, nor will it be the last, it was something that had far more cultural resonance than anything that was there before or after, and much of this has to do with the spontaneity of the events on the ground as they transpired and changed the entire dynamic of what was to be into something that was more representative of the age: a whiff of anarchy.

Yes, there are music festivals. Yes, there should continue to be music festivals.

But what are the organizers thinking is going to happen? Are they going to catch lightning in a bottle, or are they going to be working out—as seems to be the case right now—how much they’re going to be able to capture in terms of monetary value? Is this a music festival or a payday?

Continue reading “Don’t Take The Brown Acid”

New Phosphorescent video: C’est La Vie No. 2

Video: Phosphorescent – “C’est La Vie No. 2”

Phosphorescent – C'est La Vie No. 2 (Official Video)

Directed by Jordan Halland. From C’est La Vie, out now on Dead Oceans.

I wrote all night
Like the fire of my words could burn a hole up to heaven
I don’t write all night burning holes up to heaven no more

As you get older you mellow out. Life has a way of tamping down the passion of youth. When you’re young it’s easy to feel destined to make a huge impact on the world. But grownups tend to eventually figure out that it’s hard enough to get out of bed in the morning. So it goes.

Matthew Houck gets this. “C’est La Vie No. 2” is a song that explores this loss of faith. It’s heartbreaking but it’s also liberating. When you accept the fact that God is never going to answer you, you don’t feel compelled to stand out all night in empty fields waiting to hear his voice. You just live. And that’s all there is.

That’s life.

Phosphorescent: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 33

Rolling Stone issue #33 had a cover date of May 17, 1969. 40 pages (20 pages with a seemingly unnecessary 20 page “insert”). 35 cents. Cover photo of Joni Mitchell by Baron Wolman.

Features: “Jackie Gleason is Really a Great Man” by John Burks; “The Band” by Ralph J. Gleason; “The Swan Song of Folk Music” by Happy Traum; “Joni Mitchell”; “Judy Collins” by Jim Bickhart; “Berkeley Drives Demons from the Churches” by Charles Perry; “Larry Coryell” by Philip Elwood; “Fuzz Against Junk: The Saga of the Narcotics Brigade” by Akbar Del Piombo; “Oh Happy Day: A Pop Godsend” by Ben Fong-Torres.

News: “Elektra Records Kicks Out MC5” by Paul Nelson; Mother Shot Down In Houston, Texas; Flatt Files Suit Against Scruggs; Mud Removed From Sky River; Hendrix’ One-Year Retirement Plan; “Outside Agitators Prop Up L.A.” by Jerry Hopkins; Southside Fuzz Volunteer for Duty; “Nicky Hopkins – Session Man” by Paul Nelson; “A Complete Movie Of Germany And Japan” by Richard Brautigan; LPs Outpace Singles In Great Britain; “Freaks Move to Take Over City” by Elizabeth Campbell; John Lennon: Ineligible Alien; Fertilizer Freddy & Flip Cartridge; “Monterey Pop: A Festive Film” by Adele Novelli. And Random Notes.

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 33

New ShitKid video: Romance

Video: ShitKid – “RoMaNcE”

ShitKid – "RoMaNcE" (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

Directed by Åsa Söderqvist. From [DETENTION], out now on PNKSLM.

How great is this? I don’t know anything about this band other than what I have gathered from their label’s bio which says they’re “one of the Sweden’s biggest underground success stories of recent years.” Well alright.

This little fella
This little guy I met at school
I’m in a rock band
And he plays the…flute

You cannot argue with a song that starts like that. What’s going to happen to our hero and her little flute-playing boy? Who knows? But the video features main ShitKid Åsa Söderqvist and her new bandmate Lina Molarin Ericsson posing provocatively with classic American cliches like chickens and guns and American flag bikinis. Yeehaw.

[DETENTION] is a scintillating eight-track pop-punk blast of teen angst that pays tribute to the bands Söderqvist loved in her formative years, whilst also resurrecting a very specific wave of emo that’s died a death in the years since. “I started listening to the bands that I loved in school again, and I felt inspired by it,” she explains. “It’s a genre that’s quite embarrassing to go back to, and I knew that would make it really fun. I used to be emo in 2008, and now nobody plays that music any more! There’s nothing about being kids and nobody understanding you. It felt like time to bring it back.”

Is this what emo sounds like? Who knew! It’s awesome.

ShitKid: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Kacey Musgraves video: Oh, What A World

Video: Kacey Musgraves – “Oh, What A World”

Kacey Musgraves – Oh, What A World // OFFICIAL VISUAL VIDEO

From Golden Hour, out now on MCA Nashville.

It’s good to see the young people are doing acid again. (There was a drought in the early oughts.)

Musgraves talked to Rolling Stone last year about the effect that hallucinogens have had on her: “It made me more compassionate as a daughter, as a granddaughter, as a partner. It put me in my place in the universe, gave me perspective that I think everyone should have. Yes, we’re all special, but we’re also nothing, just a fraction of a grain of sand in the book of time, and make what you have count and make the relationships around you mean something. And care for the Earth because we only have one. Whenever you are affected by hallucinogenics, especially mushrooms, you care for the Earth. When you’re, like, tripping, it just floods out.”

What a world…

Kacey Musgraves: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Lauran Hibberd video: Hoochie

Video: Lauran Hibberd – “Hoochie”

Lauran Hibberd – Hoochie

Single out now.

Oh wow, what a great song. I was first tipped off to it by Jeremy at Fingertips who included it in his newsletter with a description that seemed to be written expressly to appeal to my personal sensibilities:

With satisfying, old-school crunch, “Hoochie” is the kind of song that reacquaints the ear with how simple and vital a rock song can yet be, here in our beleaguered 21st century: guitars still excite, catchy and uncomplicated melodies still delight, and can still be put in service of sardonic young folks, especially those possessed of the right combination of charisma and purpose, as young Isle of Wight singer/songwriter Lauran Hibberd surely is.

And now Hibberd has released a video that perfectly matches the tone of the song. The video is silly but charming with an undertone of sadness that belies the punchy fun of the delivery.

And if she was cool
She would probably dig me too
You’re gonna have to marry her in June
I guess that you lose

Can’t wait to hear what’s next.

Lauran Hibberd: web, sc, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Via fingertips.

Continue reading New Lauran Hibberd video: Hoochie

New Cat Power video: Horizon

Video: Cat Power – “Horizon”

Cat Power – Horizon (Official Video)

Directed by Greg Hunt. From Wanderer, out now on Domino.

Chan Marshall is back with another single from Wanderer. “Horizon” can be seen as something of a Mother’s Day message, all about the power of the close family unit. Even when — or maybe especially when — you’re not all together.

Mother, I wanna hold your hand
Father, I need you to be a man
Sister, if there’s any help in me, I’m always on my way

Take care of your family, everybody. Even when — or maybe especially when — they’re driving you crazy. They’re not going to be around forever.

Cat Power: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Cat Power video: Horizon

Old Michael Nesmith video: Propinquity

Video: Michael Nesmith – “Propinquity (I’ve Just Begun To Care)” (live in 1971)

Michael Nesmith (Monkees)- "Propinquity (I've Just Begun To Care)" LIVE 1971 [RITY Archives]

From Nevada Fighter (RCA, 1971).

“Propinquity” means being close to someone, and as is typical, Nez never says the title in his song. This was written before he joined the Monkees and he recorded a demo in 1966 and then a full band version during the famous 1968 Nashville sessions. That version remained unreleased until The Monkees Missing Links, Volume 3 came out in the 1996.

The first officially released version of “Propinquity” was by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on their 1970 album Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy. Nez finally released his own version a year later with his First National Band on their third album, Nevada Fighter. That album flopped despite Mike promoting it with this solo television performance. The First National Band disbanded shortly thereafter.

Michael Nesmith: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Laura Jane Grace video: I Hate Chicago

Video: Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers – “I Hate Chicago”

Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers "I Hate Chicago" (Official Music Video)

Directed by Hannah Welever. From Bought to Rot, out now on Bloodshot.

Oh come on, lighten up, people. It’s funny. The video’s kind of dumb but the song is hilarious.

I hate the Cubs, the Sox, the Blackhawks and the Bulls
I couldn’t give a shit about the Pumpkins, Slint or Wilco

Meow!

Grace told Greg Kot, “While the song is meant in jest, Chicago prides itself in being a mean, nasty city — we’re jerks — and it’s a hard place to live. There is terrifying gun violence, government corruption, brutal winters. It’s strange being in a place you’re at odds with, but yet you live there. It’s also strange being a writer who’s identified with being from Florida. But I can’t write songs from Florida anymore, because I live in Chicago now. I finally wrapped my head around that idea. […] It speaks to what Chicago is about. People get it. It’s a hard city to live in, but we’re all in it together.”

And If I die in this shithole
Float my corpse down the Calumet
‘Cause I’d rather rot in Gary

Now that’s just crazy talk.

Laura Jane Grace: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Rock and roll can change your life.