All posts by Jake Brown

Skating Polly video: Louder In Outer Space

Video: Skating Polly – “Louder In Outer Space”

Skating Polly – Louder In Outer Space (Official Video)

Featuring Nina Gordon and Louise Post of Veruca Salt. From the New Trick EP, out now on El Camino.

Can you hear that harmony?
I can hear it in my sleep.
I can hear it even louder in outer space.

Right on! This video’s been out for a few months, but I just stumbled across it. Not as spooky as their previous video, but I like it more. It’s definitely more Veruca Salty.

Skating Polly plays Riot Fest at noon on Friday, September 15.

Skating Polly: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Steve Earle video: Goodbye Michelangelo

Video: Steve Earle & The Dukes – “Goodbye Michelangelo”

Steve Earle & The Dukes – Goodbye Michelangelo [Official Music Video]

From So You Wannabe an Outlaw, out now on Warner Bros.

A tribute to Earle’s mentor, Guy Clark, who died last year.

I’m bound to follow you some day
You have always shown the way
So we knew where we had to go
Goodbye Michelangelo

I had never really listened to Guy Clark before. But since watching this video, I’ve been checking out Old No. 1, Clark’s 1975 debut. Dang, what have I been missing? Why have I not got into this guy before? I think maybe I was confusing him with Roy Clark from “Hee Haw,” who always seemed corny to me. I can now fully recommend Old No. 1 if you dig outlaw country or Cosmic American music or whatever you want to call stuff like Willis Alan Ramsey, Paul Siebel, Nashville Skyline, and Michael Nesmith’s First National Band. Now I feel like an idiot for waiting this long.

Steve Earle: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Guy Clark: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Wilco song: All Lives, You Say?

Bandcamp: Wilco – “All Lives, You Say?”

Proceeds will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in the memory of Jeff Tweedy’s father, Robert L. Tweedy (1933-2017).

“My dad was named after a Civil War general, and he voted for Barack Obama twice. He used to say ‘If you know better, you can do better.’ America – we know better. We can do better.” – Jeff Tweedy

This gesture, of course, takes on pointed connotations in light of the deplorable events in Charlottesville and our orange fuhrer’s tepid reaction.

Continue reading New Wilco song: All Lives, You Say?

New Bombpops video: Be Sweet

Video: The Bombpops – “Be Sweet”

The Bombpops – Be Sweet (Official Video)

From Fear Of Missing Out, out now on Fat Wreck Chords.

Cute power pop from California. Sounds like mid-period Weezer. I like the chorus:

Sneaking off and making out
You’re around, I’m never down
Nights like this should never end
Getting rad with my boyfriend

The Bombpops’ Jen Razavi told Alternative Press: “We drew inspiration for the video from the line in the song: ‘The jukebox played our favorite song / You said you put it on for me.’ It made us think of two kids in the ’60s falling in love. From there, we thought it’d be fun to do the video like an old Ed Sullivan Show performance. While the concept had done before, we felt that it was a solid fit for the song. We really got into it too, channeling the excitement of what it might have felt like to perform on television back in the day.”

The lyrics were written by Teenage Bottlerocket’s Brandon Carlisle, who died in 2015. The title is a nod to Carlisle’s catchphrase, according to Brooklyn Vegan.

Via Punknews.

The Bombpops: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Big Bill Broonzy at Circle Pines Summer Camp

Video: Big Bill Broonzy – Live at Circle Pines in 1957

Big Bill Broonzy 1957: 3 Songs

Big Bill Broonzy was a legend of the blues from the 1920s, through the folk revival of the fifties. He was the mentor of Muddy Waters and an advocate for the younger generation of blues musicians including John Lee Hooker. He toured Europe throughout the 1950s where he convinced them that he was the last living bluesman. After his death in 1958 his music continued to inspire the early British rock scene via the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks, and Eric Clapton, who all cited Broonzy as a key influence.

But I had never really gotten into him. That is, until last summer when I dropped my nine year old off for summer camp and saw the following photo framed on the wall in the old farmhouse that serves as the main headquarters of Circle Pines Center:

Next to the photo there’s a handwritten note from Pete Seeger.

Dear Circle Pines–

I’m so glad you are still going strong. I’ll never forget my visit with you in ’57. Big Bill Broonzy was there. He said, “Pete, you better film me now. I’m going under the knife tomorrow.” He never sang again.

Keep on — all of you
Pete
Aug 1 ’98

I knew that Circle Pines had a long history of progressive activism, but I didn’t know anything about Big Bill Broonzy and Pete Seeger hanging out there!

I’ve since done a little research, and the story gets even better. Broonzy actually worked at Circle Pines as a cook in 1954! Cooler still, it was Chicago’s Pulitzer Prize winning oral historian Studs Terkel who hooked Broonzy up with the job!

Continue reading Big Bill Broonzy at Circle Pines Summer Camp

New Father John Misty video: Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution

Video: Father John Misty – “Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution”

Father John Misty – Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

From Pure Comedy, out now on Sub Pop.

While we’re all thinking about nuclear armageddon and waking up every morning to check to see if Guam still exists on the map, FJM treats us to a little glimpse of our post-apocalyptic future where the ravaged planet is littered with protest signs, skeletons, and abandoned iPhones. Good morning, beautiful!

“Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know” is a piano ballad with gorgeous strings and horn arrangements (by Jacob Cartwright and James King, respectively) that works as an effective background to Tillman’s snarky descriptions of an unplugged life. “My social life is now quite a bit less hectic / The nightlife and the protests are pretty scarce.” “The obscene injunction to enjoy life disappears as in a dream.” “We all get a bit restless with no one advertising to us constantly.”

This all reminds me of the great Hugh Brown Shu spoken word piece, “A Real Talk Show,” where the little girl with no arms and no legs confronts the narrator who has attempted to force Geraldo to dig beneath the surface. “If it’s so bad, Mister Hugh Brown Shu, why don’t you end it all right now, huh? You’ve got the gun. It’s all pain, it’s all anger, oh it’s so terrible! So why don’t you just shove that piece in your mouth and end it all? Do us all a favor: get rid of yourself! Do you think you’re helping us by walking in here? What are you, some maverick agent of truth?”

I think about that a lot in these days of constant commentary and outrage porn. Josh Tillman likes to point out how shallow our lives are. But as the little girl with no arms and no legs says, “To what ends? Yes, the show’s shallow. Of course it’s shallow. That’s why we watch it. Wow, what a fucking crusader you are!”

Father John Misty is the crusader we deserve.

Father John Misty: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Lillie Mae video: Wash Me Clean

Video: Lillie Mae – “Wash Me Clean”

Lillie Mae – Wash Me Clean (Official Video)

From Forever & Then Some, out now on Third Man Records.

The fiddler from Jack White’s band has released another video. We covered her background a few months ago, so check it out if you missed it. tl;dr: She’s legit.

This song is more traditional and less “Jack Whitey” than “Over The Hill and Through The Woods.” I.e., the drums don’t sound quite as heavy handed, and the production doesn’t sounds like it would fit on a Raconteurs b-side. There’s also a fine pedal steel solo and those glorious sibling harmonies. There’s also a dog in the video, so what’s not to love?

An earlier version of “Wash Me Clean” was released on 2015’s Rain On the Piano (Southern Shift Records). Hear that version.

Lillie Mae: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Descendents video: Without Love

Video: Descendents – “Without Love”

Descendents – "Without Love"

From Hypercaffium Spazzinate, out now on Epitaph.

I don’t know about you, but I am super happy the Descendents are back in action. Saw them last year at Riot Fest and they were awesome.

The lyrics of this one seem a little hippy dippy at first (“Another day goes by / We can’t live like this anymore / Can’t live without love”) until you realize that Milo’s singing about struggling with some serious mental situations (“Lock every door around us in self defense / We conceal this”). But of course nobody’s forcing you to listen too closely. Feel free to just jump around and bounce into stuff! That’s what I (want to) do when I listen to the Descendents.

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

Via Punknews.

Continue reading New Descendents video: Without Love

New Alex Lahey video: Every Day’s The Weekend

Video: Alex Lahey – “Every Day’s The Weekend”

Alex Lahey – Every Day's The Weekend (Official Video)

From I Love You Like A Brother, out October 6 on Dead Oceans.

Another cool Australian, Alex Lahey was born and raised in Melbourne. She made a funny video where she explorers a number of terrible career choices before ending up with the coolest job ever.

Alex Lahey: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New OMD video: The Punishment of Luxury

Video: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “The Punishment of Luxury”

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – The Punishment of Luxury

From The Punishment of Luxury, out September 1 on White Noise.

I loved OMD in high school. Specifically, I loved the album Crush. I also loved “If You Leave” from the Pretty in Pink soundtrack, but Crush was the soundtrack to my junior year. I remember finding the Crush – The Movie VHS tape at my local video rental place and thinking it was the coolest thing ever to watch those guys actually play those songs.

The other dishwashers at my job back then tried to convince me that their earlier stuff was more important and less poppy, but I didn’t care. I hadn’t been exposed to Kraftwerk yet, so it all sounded kind of pointless to me. (My tastes have evolved over the ensuing years.)

In college I got a chance to see OMD in concert in Aberdeen, Scotland while I was studying abroad for a semester, but that was after Paul Humphreys had left the group. It was still cool though. Andy McCluskey held his own.

They’re back together again and making music that would be a little too arty for 15-year-old me, but grownup me likes it plenty.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: web, twitter, Pledge, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.