Category Archives: Shorties

New Anna Burch video: With You Every Day

Video: Anna Burch – “With You Every Day”

Anna Burch – With You Every Day [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]

From Quit the Curse, out now on Polyvinyl.

I’ve loved Anna Burch ever since I saw her hula hooping in the video for “2 Cool 2 Care.” I recently sent that song to a friend of mine with two daughters who play guitar and drums. Her kids are awesome so I try to forward good new music to her. She wrote back, “If I heard her voice on the radio I would think ‘Jake Brown would love this.’ Immediately. It’s so you.” So I guess I have a type. Cool, smart, conversational, unaffected, deadpan. Anna Burch is all this and more. Pure Michigan.

Anyway, Quit the Curse is my favorite album of the year so far, so check it out if you haven’t heard it. And if you’re not already convinced, “With You Every Day” ought to win you over. It’s an exploration of what happens in a relationship after the giddy honeymoon period wears off.

There’s nothing you want to say
I’m just with you every day
I know it’s better than before
So why, why do I need more?

I know some people who think a chorus consisting of “ahhh ahhh ahhh” is a lazy songwriting move, but I dunno. I think it works sometimes. What else can you do, after all, when there’s nothing more to say?

Anna Burch: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 8

Issue #8 saw a price hike as it jumped from 25 cents to a whopping 35 cents. Still only 24 pages though. And subscriptions remained at $5 for 26 issues ($10 for 52).

Issue #8 also tweaked the layout with a 90-degree shift of the area above the fold. The first seven issues were laid out like a regular newspaper. This issue features the first “cover of the Rolling Stone” as we know it with a single image and a headline or two. Open it up and flip it sideways for page 1, which somewhat confusingly repeated the nameplate. (See below for what this looks like…)

This is the layout that Rolling Stone would maintain until issue #142 in 1973 when it expanded into a larger magazine format without the fold at all.

My favorite part of this issue is a letter to the editor from the drummer of a rather famous rock and roll combo whose new album had been panned in issue #5.

The idea that this little underground newspaper was being seen, read, and acknowledged by the very rock royalty it was covering must have thrilled the 22-year-old Jann Wenner. Then again, according to Joe Hagan’s Sticky Fingers, by this time Wenner had already received a cease-and-desist letter from the Rolling Stones’ manager, Allen Klein, claiming misappropriation of their name as well as violation of their copyright. But at least Charlie had a sense of humor about it!

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New Jack White video: Over and Over and Over

Video: Jack White – “Over and Over and Over”

Jack White – Over and Over and Over

From Boarding House Reach, out now on Third Man.

The media narrative for Jack White’s new album is that this is where Mr. Analog ditches the primitive gear and embraces 21st century technology. That involves drum machines, Pro Tools, and — apparently — an Eddie Van Halen “Wolfgang Special” guitar. Alright, so he no longer cares about doing things “the right way, the hard way, the difficult way,” but how does it sound?

It sounds good! It still sounds like Jack White. It’s just a little glitchy, as my videogame-obsessed kid would say. It appears that he’s not utilizing the tech to simplify or “fix” things but rather to fuck it up a bit. Sounds weird but cool. Which has pretty much been his thing all along.

My hunch is that Third Man will immediately follow this up with a live album, recorded direct to tape with no overdubs, not only to satisfy the purists but also to prove that these new songs don’t need the fancy gimmickry of modernity to stand on their own.

Jack White: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Frankie Cosmos video: Jesse

Video: Frankie Cosmos – “Jesse”

Frankie Cosmos – Jesse [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

From Vessel, out now on Sub Pop.

Me and Jesse stayed up ’til two
We talked about dreams, about things, about you
It felt like anything could be real or fake
Like our love is my world, but so is my heartache

Holy mackerel, Wikipedia just taught me that Frankie Cosmos’s Greta Kline is the daughter of Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates. That’s wild! A Fish Called Wanda and Fast Times at Ridgemont High were extremely influential on my adolescent mind.

Anyway, here’s another great new Frankie Cosmos song.

Frankie Cosmos: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Del The Funky Homosapien video: Wheel Of Fortune

Video: Del + Amp Live – “Wheel of Fortune”

Del & Amp Live – Wheel of Fortune (Official Music Video)

From Gate 13, due April 20. Single out now.

Del’s the best. Back in college I was super into Ice Cube and George Clinton, digging into the wide diaspora of everything those guys had anything to do with. Reading liner notes to figure out sample sources, scouring dollar bins for beat up copies of Parlet and Bootsy’s Rubber Band, and all that.

I picked up I Wish My Brother George Was Here when it was released in 1991 strictly because Cube produced it and Del was his cousin. At the time I had no idea that the album would represent the apex of P-Funk sampling. Nobody could possibly top it, although some might think The Chronic — released a whole year later — came closest. (I would argue that since Dre preferred to interpolate with live musicians rather than sample records, The Chronic doesn’t count. But that’s just be me being pedantic.)

After My Brother George, Del (and everybody else) stepped away from using brother George Clinton’s beats. Of course, the chilling effect of the Biz Markie v. Gilbert O’Sullivan decision, which effectively prohibited the creative use of sampling, probably had a lot to do with that as well. But Del moved on, focusing on his intricate rapping.

Ten years later his verses were the highlight of “Clint Eastwood,” the breakthrough single by Damon Albarn’s cartoon band, the Gorillaz. At the time I was disappointed that Del wasn’t featured on every Gorillaz jam, but nope. It’d be a lot cooler if he was.

Del has continued doing his thing. Keeping his head down and moving forward. Collaborating with a wide variety of freaks and heads from Dinosaur Jr and Sean Lennon to MF Doom and the Wu-Tang Clan. And now he’s teamed up with producer Amp Live on a full length album called Gate 13, due (when else?) 4/20.

Del + Amp Live: web.

Del the Funky Homosapien: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Amp Live: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Soccer Mommy video: Cool

Video: Soccer Mommy – “Cool”

Soccer Mommy – Cool

Directed by Ambar Navarro. From Clean, out now on Fat Possum.

It comes as no surprise to learn that Liz Phair has tapped Soccer Mommy as the opener on her “Girly Sound to Guyville” tour. They both started out as bedroom recording artists embodying the persona of a badass young woman who’s comfortable exposing her vulnerability.

Phair wanted to be mesmerizing. Soccer Mommy’s Sophie Allison wants to be cool.

Allison told Consequence of Sound that the song “creates this figure of everything I want to be. It’s fun and upbeat because it’s like a hopeful moment where I’m thinking about how I’m going to be moving forward in my life. However, it’s idealizing things that won’t necessarily make me happy.”

But whenever I hear about a young person wanting to be cool I think back to my friend Jim Fordyce who recorded a song called “World Revolves Around Me” in 1996 after his band the Port Wine Lads split up. It’s a pretty, acoustic song with a punch line that knocks me on my ass every time I think about it: “It’s easy to be cool…when you’re cool.” That lyric conjures up all the feelings of insecurity that plagued way too much of my youth. When you’re dorky and self-conscious, it’s mystifying that some people can be so confident.

Thankfully, when you get older you stop caring…as much…

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

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New Okkervil River video: Pulled Up The Ribbon

Video: Okkervil River – “Pulled Up The Ribbon”

Okkervil River – Pulled Up The Ribbon (Official Video)

Directed by Christopher Good. From In The Rainbow Rain, out April 27 on ATO.

And the hot heart healer
Is a sweet street feeler
And a wild wet wheeler
The pink prince of failures
Is a spoiled sea sailor
With terns and whalers

I don’t know what’s going on in this song with its oceanic imagery and references to anchors and shipwrecks, but it sounds massive. It’s no secret that Will Scheff digs that Phil Spector/Brian Wilson wall of sound, and his interpolation of “Sloop John B” (“John Allyn Smith Sails”) is my all-time favorite Okkervil River song.

The video’s cool too.

Okkervil River: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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New Speedy Ortiz video: Lean In When I Suffer

Video: Speedy Ortiz – “Lean In When I Suffer”

Speedy Ortiz – "Lean In When I Suffer" (official music video)

Direced by Ari Ratner. From Twerp Verse, out April 27 on Carpark.

“Another panic attack as I was browsing the stacks…”

This is a crunchy little jam with a fun video showcasing the best way to resolve depression: just choose to be happy!

Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis says:

“Lean In When I Suffer” is about that fun breed of “ally” who wears out their already exhausted friends by relying on us for excessive emotional labor. They want props for their wokeness, but don’t want to put in any actual work or divest themselves of power. They just taaaake uuuup spaaaace, and shut down when you try to talk them through their problematic tendencies. Because #selfcare? So you’re stuck in a toxic vampiric loop trying to maintain a relationship–Lean In AND Suffer, why don’t you! […]

Ultimately, playing angry rock songs is our favorite form of therapy.

(And also, real therapy. That shit works)

Speedy Ortiz: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Speedy Ortiz video: Lean In When I Suffer

New Belle and Sebastian video: Poor Boy

Video: Belle and Sebastian – “Poor Boy”

Belle and Sebastian – Poor Boy

From How to Solve Our Human Problems, out on Matador.

It’s been almost twenty years since I first heard Belle and Sebastian. A good friend of mine had picked up The Boy with the Arab Strap. We would have house parties every weekend back then. There would be a cooler in a back yard with a case of Pabst buried in ice with a six pack of craft beer on top. This was how we rolled. Everybody brought their own beer anyway, so you’d always end up with plenty. In the late 90s my friends all lived within walking distance, or at least close enough. Dogs but no kids yet. There was music as loud as the neighbors and wives would tolerate, played on CDs in boomboxes.

A party like this is where I was introduced to these Scottish introverts, probably with a disclaimer that they were lispy and effeminate. I was totally into sixties garage punk and Neil Young and fifties rockabilly and Wilco back then, so I’m sure it was a hard sell.

There’s still nothing like a warm autumn night in Michigan. When being young and having your own place and a little bit of money and getting loaded with your friends was all you needed in life. Laughing until you cried, dancing until you were sore, arguing about stupid stuff. So fun.

This was the same friend who introduced me to the Lucksmiths a couple years later and really opened up my musical tastes to gentler sounds with clever lyrics. A lot has changed since then. Life goes in all sorts of unexpected directions. People drift apart, change. Divorces, new jobs, kids, death in the family, moves across the country. We no longer have those kinds of back yard parties.

But maybe we should. Maybe it’s time to bust out the coolers and fill them up with Pabst. Throw some good beer on top. Invite some friends over and see what happens.

We had a time
If we could have it back over again
I’d be a force…

Belle and Sebastian: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Courtney Marie Andrews video: Kindness of Strangers

Video: Courtney Marie Andrews – “Kindness of Strangers”

Courtney Marie Andrews – Kindness of Strangers

From May Your Kindness Remain, out now on Fat Possum.

I can’t remember the last time I got an album based entirely on the record sleeve. But last Friday when Courtney Marie Andrews’ May Your Kindness Remain was released I happened to see the cover image. I immediately went to Apple Music and added it to my collection despite the fact that I had never heard of her.

It sounds as good as it looks. Cosmic American music. Country soul. Dusty, hazy, hurt. If you’re a fan of young Linda Ronstadt (and if you aren’t, you should be), you should definitely check this out.

I will buy this on vinyl the next time I’m at my local record store. Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover?

Courtney Marie Andrews: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.