Category Archives: Shorties

New Lauran Hibberd video: Sweat Patch

Video: Lauran Hibberd – “Sweat Patch”

Lauran Hibberd – Sweat Patch

Single out now.

Lauran Hibberd already released one of the catchiest singles of the year with “Hootchie” and now she’s closing out the year with a new one. The “Sweat Patch” video sees the Isle of Wight singer pumping iron and getting swoll.

I never asked if you were
Down for one more
What the hell are you waiting for?

When I was a youngster my mom’s sister briefly dated a guy from the Isle of Wight. He visited the States once and got introduced to our whole extended family. He was super charming and spoke with the most elegant accent I had ever heard. You’ve heard the myth that British people drink warm beer? I think this guy might have started that. He would take a six pack out of the fridge and set it on the counter.

Several years later, I spent a semester in Scotland and was shocked that the pubs served cold beer. My mom visited and we actually met up with this guy down in London. And he totally hit on my mom, his ex-girlfriend’s sister! My mom rebuffed him, of course.

By then, I had spent enough time with the natives that I could differentiate between all the regional accents and the class statuses they implied, and I realized that this guy wasn’t quite as sophisticated as he seemed to a bunch of American rubes. Or as chivalrous. He was basically a dirty old sailor. But hey, he gave us a great tour of some cool spots and barely got a kiss on the cheek out of the deal. So I’ll raise a glass to him. But whatever’s in it, it’ll be cold.

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

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 47

Rolling Stone issue #47 had a cover date of November 29, 1969. 56 pages. 35 cents. Cover illustration of Bob Dylan.

This was the “Second Anniversary Issue” and instead of any album reviews it features a five-page overview of Bob Dylan’s discography by Greil Marcus.

Jann Wenner pens a justifiably self-congratulatory column in which he celebrates the magazine’s coups and achievements and especially focuses on the February “groupie” issue (#27) which pushed them onto the national radar. He ends with a prescription and a prediction:

Rock and roll is a thing with great potential and power. In the last year this enerfy has flashed with power at Woodstock, but in so many other areas has diffused and scattered.

Rolling Stone is wailing along at a nice little clip. This country is also wailing along at a nice little clip on the road to destruction. If there is any hop left, I think that before the next two years are out, the culture we represent will make a serious effort at and succeed in taking for itself the political power it represents.

If there happens to be a third anniversary letter from the editor, I hope much of it is about that.

Spoiler alert: the third anniversary letter from the editor (#72) was not about that.

Features: “Allen Klein: I Cured all their Problems” by Our Staff; “New Beatles Film: Let It Be”; “The Rolling Stone Interview: Bob Dylan” by Jann Wenner; “Bob Dylan: Breaking Down The Incomplete Discography” by Greil Marcus.

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 47

New Wilco video: Before Us

Video: Wilco – “Before Us”

Wilco "Before Us" (Ode to Joy session)

Directed by Zoran Orlic. From Ode to Joy, out now on dBpm.

I saw Wilco in concert a few weeks ago and they still put on a great show. I am a solid member of the old school Wilco fan camp who believes they made their best stuff in their first ten years of existence, but I’m not such a hater as to dismiss everything they’ve done since Jay Bennett was given the boot.

I’ll admit that the last album I really loved all the way through was Wilco (The Album), but that was also–perhaps not coincidentally–the last Wilco album I purchased in a physical format. I can accept the possibility that I just haven’t dedicated the time to fully appreciate the four studio albums they released since then.

My overall impression of their recent releases is that they each have a few songs I like, a few songs I don’t, and a bunch of songs I immediately forget. That’s not so bad. They’ve been doing this a long time. What do you expect?

“Before Us” falls into the latter category. It’s pretty but boring. Pleasant but…is that it?

While I realize it would be cost prohibitive for a band that pays for and releases its own recordings, at this point in their lifespan it might be interesting for them to get out of the Loft, where they’ve recorded everything since 2007’s Sky Blue Sky, and work with an outside producer. For all the current lineup’s artrock bonafides, when’s the last time they did anything that surprised you? I’m sure the Loft is super comfortable, but maybe Tweedy needs somebody to kick his ass a little. Shake things up.

Or maybe not. I’m happy they continue to tour and release new music, and if they’ve found the formula that allows them to do this ad infinitum then good for them. Nothing they’ve released this decade is going to make my desert island list, but guess what: I’m not moving to a desert island anytime soon.

Streaming has rendered minimalism and careful curation obsolete. There was a time when people would sell back used CDs that they didn’t think they needed anymore, so that they could afford to buy new stuff. You didn’t want embarrassing shit clogging up your shelves, bringing down the legitimacy of your collection. There’s no need for that anymore.

Keep releasing music and I’ll keep listening. At least a few times before I go back to Being There.

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

New Eerie Wanda video: Cars and Parties (Edith Frost cover)

Video: Eerie Wanda – “Cars and Parties” [Edith Frost cover]

Eerie Wanda – Cars and Parties [Edith Frost cover] (Official Video)

Single out now on Joyful Noise.

Eerie Wanda is the project of Dutch/Croatian songwriter Marina Tadic. She has released two albums on Joyful Noise and now released a home recorded cover of this classic Edith Frost song of displacement from 2001’s Wonder Wonder.

Everyone I know reminds me
Of someone down in Texas
And every strip mall on the highway
Reminds me of my home

Tadic says, “I discovered her music earlier this year and fell in love with it. I made it together with Adam Harding and Kramer. We hope it brightens your days.”

It definitely does!

Any time someone brings up Edith Frost it brightens our day. It’s been almost 15 years since Frost released her last album, It’s a Game, on Chicago’s Drag City Records. Other than an annual holiday song she hasn’t released much music since then (except for a brief, ill-fated collaboration with noted douchebag David Obuchowski called Distant Correspondent).

Hopefully we won’t have to wait much longer. Back in July, Frost suggested that she would be “going to Chicago to record in about 2 months,” but then in October she admitted, “My Chicago plans are delayed, or rather still haven’t gelled, got too many busy people involved.” So cross your fingers and wish her luck in pulling it all together.

It’s very exciting to imagine actually getting a new Edith Frost album!

Eerie Wanda: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Eerie Wanda video: Cars and Parties (Edith Frost cover)

New Rentals video: Spaceships

Video: The Rentals – “Spaceships”

The Rentals – Spaceships (Official Lyric Video)

From Q36, due June 2020. Single out now.

New Rentals announcement from Matt Sharp: “Nick Zinner, Ronnie Vannucci, Dave Fridmann & I’ve made the Rentals’ 4th Official Album, together. It’s a 16 track Space-Western titled Q36.”

Sweet.

Sharp says the song is “a science fiction fable that imagines an overpopulated future where the spacefaring nations of the world decide to shoot their citizens dealing with mental health conditions into deep outer space for experimental purposes; essentially using them as laboratory specimens, testing their tolerance of extreme levels of radiation. But a funny thing happened on the way to Europa… the inmates commandeered this intergalactic psychiatric ward, taking control of the ships and ultimately, their lives. They flipped their mobile home, converting it into a Parliament Funkadelic-style flying party saucer and went looking to start a more tolerant new world.”

About the video, Sharp said, “I was talking with my friend Clark Duke about possibly making a shot for shot recreation of Falco’s Der Kommisarr video, together, went he sent me this amazing video, from 1980, for the song “Eisbaer” by the Swiss band Grauzone. About seven seconds in, I pressed play on Spaceships and it immediately sync’d up like Dark Side Of The Moon to The Wizard Of Oz.”

They’re apparently releasing a new song every two weeks. And in fact they just released the second single, “Forgotten Astronaut,” dedicated to Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 pilot who stayed aboard the Columbia command module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the Eagle lunar module on the moon.

Continue reading New Rentals video: Spaceships

New Soccer Mommy video: Yellow Is the Color of Her Eyes

Video: Soccer Mommy – “yellow is the color of her eyes”

Soccer Mommy – yellow is the color of her eyes (Official Music Video)

Directed by Alex Ross Perry. Single out now on Loma Vista.

Hey didn’t Coldplay already write this song? Are the contrarian kids giving Coldplay a critical re-evaluation already? Or am I just being an ass?

I’m probably being an ass, since Sophie Allison says the song “was inspired by a time when I was on the road constantly and I felt like I was losing time—specifically with my mother. It’s also a song that I feel really showcases my writing when it comes to instrumentation, so it’s one that makes me really proud.”

Aw jeez, listening more closely and the lyrics are clearly about losing her mom so now I’m definitely an ass.

The tiny lie I told to myself is making me hollow
I’ve been choking on truths that I couldn’t swallow

But at least we no longer have to worry about the kids starting to like Coldplay. It’s still okay to hate them, right?

Soccer Mommy: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Hallelujah The Hills video: Folk Music Is Insane

Video: Hallelujah The Hills – “Folk Music Is Insane”

Folk Music Is Insane – Hallelujah The Hills [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

From I’m You, out now on Discrete Pageantry.

Well if my effusive album review didn’t inspire you to check out the new Hallelujah The Hills, then maybe this new video will do the trick.

Back in 1997, like a lot of music geeks, I was excited to pick up the Smithsonian Folkways reissue of Harry Smith’s 1952 Anthology of American Folk Music, which had originally been compiled from Smith’s collection of 78s from the 1920s and 30s and ultimately inspired the 1960s folk music revival. So, you know, pretty important in the history of rock and roll.

It was originally released at the height of McCarthyism, when the United States government was trying to root out immorality and subversion and unamerican activity from the lives of private citizens. The Anthology dispels the notion that people were any more moral back in the day. Nope, the “old, weird America” (as Greil Marcus refers to it) was just as f-ed up a hundred years ago as it is today with all the sex, murder, and corruption that you could imagine. The world hasn’t gone to hell; it’s always been hell.

Harry Smith was something of an alchemist. Marcus describes the Anthology as “an occult document disguised as an academic treatise on stylistic shifts within an archaic musicology.” Smith himself said, “I thought social changes would result.” Indeed, if you make the connections from the folk music revival to the civil right movement and environmental awareness, etc., you can see that Smith wasn’t wrong about that. Social changes did result.

Which is pretty insane.

Hallelujah the Hills: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Raconteurs video: Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)

Video: The Raconteurs – “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)”

The Raconteurs – “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)” [Official Music Video]

Directed by Ben Chappell. From Help Us Stranger, out now on Third Man.

Brendan Benson writes his own “Tuesday’s Gone” while he and his fellow Raconteurs visit the House On The Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin, which looks a lot cooler than Uranus, Missouri. Last spring we took a family road trip on what’s left of Route 66 from Chicago to the Grand Canyon and I had purchased a little guidebook to make sure we didn’t miss out on any of the cool stuff along the way. One of the spots was a place called Uranus, which had a fudge shop, and since one of my travel companions was a 12 year old boy, I figured we had to stop at least to get a “I love Uranus” t-shirt. They claimed, after all, that the best fudge comes from Uranus.

Guess what: Uranus stinks.

As soon as we got out of the car we were hit by a dank cloud of cigarette smoke. It was so disappointing. I went in thinking that there had been a town in Missouri that was called Uranus and some hilarious person decided to open a fudge shop there. Nope. There is no town named Uranus. The closest town is St. Robert. It’s just a tourist attraction that a former strip club operator started in 2002. That’s way less funny than doing it in a historical place with an unfortunate name. And it certainly doesn’t belong in a “things to do along Route 66” book. It was just gross. The idea that somebody developed a whole fake town just so his employees would have to greet their customers with “Thanks for picking Uranus!” is a little creepy.

I enjoy scatological humor as much as the next guy, even if the next guy is 12, but Uranus is a poorly executed shithole. Maybe that’s part of the joke. If so, that’s some next level meta action.

The House On The Rock, on the other hand, looks amazing.

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

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 46

Rolling Stone issue #45 had a cover date of November 15, 1969. 48 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of the Beatles by Camera Press-Pix.

Features: “The Beatles: You Never give me your Money” by Our Staff; “The Stones Tour: Is That A Lot?” by Jerry Hopkins; “Keith Richards” by Ritchie Yorke; “San Quentin” by Jon Carroll; “Memories of an Apple Girl” by Francie Schwartz; “Jimi Hendrix: I don’t want to be a Clown any More…” by Sheila Weller.

News: One and One and One Is Three?; “Music Scene Ain’t Got No Balls” by Ben Fong-Torres; Delaney & Bonnie: No Hard Feelings?; “Blunt Music from A Black Panther” by Eliot Tiegel; White Panther On the Lam; Moratorium: The Beat Went On; “Early Blues Artist Skip James Dies”; “Chess Records’ Co-Founder Dies”; Janis Joplin Story–Minus Janis; “Creedence: Show Biz in Denver” by Richard Kreck; “Redding On Jimi: I Said Stuff It” by Ritchie Yorke; James Taylor Crash: Breaks Both Hands; New Underground Blast Reported; Two More Men Rolling Stoned; In the Next Issue; Owsley Guilty: 67 1/2 Righteous Grams; US, Mexico Resume Peaceful Trade; Donovan’s Trippy Anti-Trip Trip; Nixon Going Soft On Dope Smokers; Hawaiian Plant for Jefferson Airplane. And Random Notes on Bob Dylan, May Hopkin, Buddy Miles, Small Faces, Steve Miller Band, Flying Burrito Brothers, Dewey Martin, Moody Blues, Led Zeppelin, Star Club, Plastic Ono Band, Bee Gees, Jack Bruce, Richie Havens, Popcorn, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Dion, Willie Dixon, Mac Davies, Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Chicago, Doors, Love, Fleetwood Mac, Hair.

Reviews: Abbey Road, The Beatles (by John Mendelsohn); Abbey Road, The Beatles (by Ed Ward); In a Silent Way, Miles Davis (by Lester Bangs); Emergency, The Tony Williams Lifeline (by Lester Bangs); The Hunter, Ike and Tina Turner (by Pete Welding); Boz Scaggs (by Ed Leimbacher); What This Is!, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (by John Morthland); Ready to Ride, Southwind (by Gary Von Tersch); Whatever’s Right, Lonnie Mack (by John Morthland); Just Good Old Rock and Roll, The Electric Prunes/Rock and Roll, Vanilla Fudge (by Lester Bangs); It’s Not Killing Me, Michael Bloomfield/My Labors, Nick Gravenites/Live at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West, Mike Bloomfield and Friends (by David Gancher); The Cajun Way, Doug Kershaw (by Ed Leimbacher); Early Days, The Zombies (by John Mendelsohn); He’s a Friend of Mine, The Edwin Hawkins Singers; Love Is All We Have to Give, The Checkmates Ltd. (by Greil Marcus); Songs for a Tailor, Jack Bruce (by Ed Leimbacher); Terry Reid (by John Mendelsohn); You Never Know Who Your Friends Are, Al Kooper (by John Burks); Make a Joyful Noise, Mother Earth (by Patrick Thomas).

Columns: “Perspectives: Believe in the Magic” by Ralph J. Gleason; “Astrology” by Ambrose Hollingsworth; “Putney Swope” by Hendrik Hertzberg; “Books” by Ed Leimbacher (on Rock from the Beginning by Nik Cohn); “Books” by Jon Carroll (on Jim Morrison and the Doors by Mike Jahn).

Poetry: “Low Tide” by William Witherup.

Subscription offer: Fathers and Songs by Muddy Waters and friends, free with 50 cents shipping. $6 for 26 issues; $10 for 52.

Previously: Issue 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45.

New Jenny Lewis video: Rabbit Hole

Video: Jenny Lewis – “Rabbit Hole”

Jenny Lewis | Rabbit Hole (Official Music Video)

Directed by Eric Notarnicola. From On the Line, out now on Warner Bros.

Another video compiled from the footage of Jenny Lewis’s bonkers 3-hour livestreamed listening party/charity fundraiser, “Rabbit Hole” is a highlight of On the Line with Beck singing background vocals, Benmont Tench playing the Hammond, Smokey Hormel on guitar, and classic rock session god Jim Keltner on drums.

This might be the most cheerful breakup song ever recorded with Lewis joyfully comparing ditching a boyfriend to kicking a drug habit (“Seven days off the dope and I’ll be as good as new”).

I’d like to imagine it’s a kiss off to Ryan Adams who is credited with producing eight of the songs on this album (Beck produced the other three), but that’s probably not the case.

Jenny Lewis: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Jenny Lewis video: Rabbit Hole