Category Archives: Shorties

Cool Band: 1776

1776 I must admit: I got very, very drunk Saturday night. I went to see a couple of local bands who are somehow associated with the Dandy Warhols and ended up mostly incoherent in the back of a cab stinking of gin and Voodoo Donuts. But just before everything went south (and maybe because of it) I saw my new favorite local band: 1776.

Comprised of four young dudes with tasty vintage gear and excellent hair, 1776 enthusiastically pulls from their influences the best kind of psychedelic rock that is as much MC5 as the Buffalo Springfield. Guitarist and vocalist Nigel Legerwood bangs away on a Danelectro 12-string while bassist Zach Whitton keeps the entire troupe anchored with Rick Danko-inspired bass lines and (again) a fantastic mop of hair.

Portland is home to many-a-psyche rock wannabe band who have probably spent too much time watching Dig! And not enough time listening to The Notorious Bird Brothers (I’m talking to you, The Upsidedown), but 1776 has clearly dug deeper and I’m excited to see how they freak out over time.

MP3: 1776 – “Too Much” (via The Portland Mercury)

1776: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki, MySpace

Are the Major Labels starting to…get it?

A Vision from a Particular PositionA couple of recent articles have made me wonder if the major labels are finally starting to retract their heads from their asses when it comes to dealing with the internet. Last week, the New York Times reported that music labels are now striking more favorable terms with Web companies, and now we learn that Sony will sell songs that are more than two years old on eMusic. That’s a big deal.

Of course, we’ve seen deals like this before, and what can happen with them. And this statement shouldn’t sit well with potential eMusic customers: “As part of the deal, eMusic says it will slightly raise prices and reduce the number of downloads for some of its monthly plans.” I just logged into my account where I had been getting 40 songs per month for $11.99 (which was a non-standard plan, grandfathered in when they raised the prices on their basic plan from $9.99 to $11.99). Now I see a message saying, “Effective Jul 30, 2009, your plan will change to the new eMusic Basic plan which gives you 30 downloads for $11.99 every 30 days.”

Looks like brand new customers will only get 24 songs/month for $11.99. Which kinda sucks, actually. You can buy used CDs for that. We’ll see how it goes. Still cheaper than iTunes though.

Image by Warren Chappell for the Rockford Papers.

Most Popular GLONO Items: May 2009

Glorious Noise: a nicer place to be.Once a month we look back on the stuff we wrote that got the most attention. We don’t do any special weighting for items that appeared later in the month, or anything fancy like that. These are simply the things that received the most views last month, according to our stats. If an item carries over from last month’s chart, its prior rank appears in parentheses.

Current Chart

1. 21 Reasons Why Jay Bennett Should Be Back In Wilco (February)

2. Ex-Wilco Jay Bennett Dead at 45 (May)

3. Unreleased Wilco – I Wish I Were Ian Dury (May)

4. Kara DioGuardi writes worst song EVER (May)

5. Wilco (the leak) leads to Wilco (the stream) (May)

6. Photos: Jay Bennett In-Store, May 2002 (May)

7. Elliott Smith’s Archives: The GLONO Interview with Larry Crane (March)

8. Remembering Jay Bennett (May)

9. Fun with Forkcast, Round 14 (May)

10. John Lennon: New York exhibit shows bag of bloody clothes (May)

See the Catalog Chart after the jump…

Continue reading Most Popular GLONO Items: May 2009

Cool Band: Michael Dean Damron

 Michael Dean Damron I briefly met Michael Dean Damron when he opened for Two Car Garage at Dante’s in downtown Portland. He’s a great hairy beast of a man who leans into the mic as he belts out dusty ballads and scornful tales. He rides close to his heroes, including Steve Earle, Alejandro Escovedo, Townes Van Zant and Waylon Jennings. His voice is of the same timbre and abrasion as Two Cow’s Micah Schnabel’s, but Damron has clearly put more miles on.

His one sheet say Damron, “spent the first half of this decade cutting his teeth on the finer points of delivering sermon-like epithets and exposing his own personal demons that has resulted not only in an impressive body of work but the art of truth telling, for better or worse.” That truth certainly rings through on crushers like “Angels Fly Up.”

Michael Dean Damron served as the former frontman for I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House through four albums and several tours. While he may no longer carry that moniker, I don’t doubt he could still hold his own against most any SOB.

MP3:

Michael Dean Damron – Angels Fly Up

VIDEO:

Michael Dean Damron “By The Time I Get To Heaven”

Michael Dean Damron: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Message from Undertow Records Re: Jay Walter Bennett

Undertow just sent this email to fans:

Our good friend Jay Walter Bennett left us this weekend. As news hits the wires so instantaneously these days, we thought it was important to share some thoughts about our friend and brother before any rumors got out of hand.

First, let it be known that Jay was in a really good place these past few years. He had returned to the area he loved–the “Twin Cities,” Champaign-Urbana–and resurrected his studio, Pieholden Suite Sound, with the assistance of many dear friends and allies. Jay had been busy making music. He recently had released an intimate record entitled “Whatever Happened I Apologize,” and he was looking forward to wrapping up his new work, “Kicking at the Perfumed Air.” Proud of finishing a trilogy of records, including “Bigger Than Blue,” “The Beloved Enemy,” and “The Magnificent Defeat,” Jay loved the balanced yet ironic album titles. He was also looking forward to engineering and releasing Titanic Love Affair’s previously unreleased record, as well as starting work on “The Palace at 4 a.m. Part II,” the follow-up to his post-Wilco debut with Edward Burch. “Jay the Academic” had also reemerged, pursuing his umpteenth degree at the University of Illinois, and he was thrilled to be taking graduate classes again.

Read the full email after the jump…

We’ve been checking the various Wilco/Jay Bennett/Alt.country/Whatever bulletin boards and have been fascinated by how quickly and dramatically stories regarding Jay Bennett have developed and changed in the days since his death. It’s interesting to see how those who knew him are addressing it all.

Continue reading Message from Undertow Records Re: Jay Walter Bennett

Wilco Songs Co-Written by Jay Bennett

Jay Bennett, All Over the PlaceIn response to Jay Bennett‘s untimely death, Jeff Tweedy released a statement acknowledging his former bandmate’s “significant contributions to the band’s songs and evolution.” He wasn’t exaggerating. According to the two major music publishing organizations, Bennett received a co-writing credit on the bulk of the material Wilco released from the Mermaid Avenue material in 1998 through Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in 2002.

Of the 15 songs on 1999’s Summerteeth, for example, Bennett co-wrote 13 of them; and 8 of the 11 songs on YHF. It would be tough to argue that the following list doesn’t represent some of Wilco’s best material.

ASCAP lists the following compositions by songwriter/composer BENNETT JAY W:

1. AIRLINE TO HEAVEN (Mermaid Avenue)

2. ASHES OF AMERICAN FLAGS (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)

3. BLOOD OF THE LAMB (Mermaid Avenue)

4. CALIFORNIA STARS (Mermaid Avenue)

5. CAN’T STAND IT (Summerteeth)

6. CANDYFLOSS (Summerteeth)

7. CHRIST FOR PRESIDENT (Mermaid Avenue)

8. ELT (Summerteeth)

9. FEED OF MAN (Mermaid Avenue)

10. HOODOO VOODOO (Mermaid Avenue)

See the rest of the list after the jump…

Continue reading Wilco Songs Co-Written by Jay Bennett

Kara DioGuardi writes worst song EVER

Unjustifiably smug Kara DioGuardiI’m a big fan of American Idol. I’ve watched it from the beginning…and I vote. I sincerely enjoy the show and every season I find myself unironically drawn to at least a few of the performers. That said, the undeniably worst part of the show is the music.

Wait wait wait, isn’t this show all about music? No, it is not. It’s about singers: their personalities, their drama, their interpretive abilities, and their voices. In that order. But the music generally blows. It always amazes me that they select the worst songs in any given theme week, and how on the rare occasional that they choose something good that they can manage to cheese it up.

Continue reading Kara DioGuardi writes worst song EVER

The Lucksmiths Break Up

The Lucksmiths, back in the daySad news for fans of Australian pop group the Lucksmiths. In a message sent via their label, they’ve announced that “after sixteen years as The Lucksmiths, the band has decided to break up.”

They were a great band who deserved a lot more recognition than they ever received. Perhaps their lyrics were too clever or their sound too precious for their own good. While it would be difficult to argue that they weren’t the very embodiment of “twee,” if you ever got the opportunity to see them out live, your impression might changed a little.

In appearance, they actually reminded me of a young, mod Who. Tali White has the same, piercing eyes and undeniable charisma as Roger Daltrey, despite the fact that White’s subdued, gentle vocals are the complete opposite of Daltrey’s histrionics. And Marty Donald reminded me of more than a little of Pete Townshend. Donald wrote most of the songs, sang occasional harmonies, and strummed lovely chords. He even has a respectable honker like Pete! Mark Monnone isn’t really anything like the Ox, and there’s clearly no place for anyone resembling Keith Moon in the Lucksmiths. Regardless, my point is that they were far from puss-pop, especially live.

I’m mad at myself for not getting out there and seeing them the last (several) times they came through town. I always figured I’d catch them next time. Which you’d think I’d realize by now is a very shortsighted way of thinking about bands at this level. Hell, bands at any level. If you care, catch them when you can…you might not get another chance. They’ll be finishing up their European tour and some final dates in Australia, but then that’s it. They will be missed.

MP3s:

The Lucksmiths – “Up with the Sun”

The Lucksmiths – “A Sobering Thought (Just When One Was Needed)”

The Lucksmiths – “A Hiccup in Your Happiness”

The Lucksmiths – “Up With The Sun”

The Lucksmiths – “Pin Cushion”

Lucksmiths: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki.

Full announcement after the jump…

Continue reading The Lucksmiths Break Up

John Lennon: New York exhibit shows bag of bloody clothes

John Lennon's bloody clothes

BBC News reports that a new John Lennon exhibition in New York will feature a paper bag containing the bloody clothes from the night he was murdered.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex display also features the piano from his apartment and handwritten lyrics.

His widow Yoko Ono, who has created the display, said the clothes were “hard to include” and she feared she “might be criticised as well” for including them.

Ono apparently “received the items from the medical examiner after Lennon’s death.” I know a lot of people will give her shit about this, but she’s never tried to hide the graphic horror of her husband’s death. John Lennon was shot and killed, and if we try to shy away from that fact, how can we ever expect to honestly deal with issues of violence in our society? I applaud Yoko for her idealistic efforts toward working against gun violence. I don’t see much evidence that we’ve gotten any closer to that goal since 1980, but hey, more power to her.

John Lennon: The New York Years

Most Popular GLONO Items: April 2009

Glorious Noise: a nicer place to be.Once a month we look back on the stuff we wrote that got the most attention. We don’t do any special weighting for items that appeared later in the month, or anything fancy like that. These are simply the things that received the most views last month, according to our stats. If an item carries over from last month’s chart, its prior rank appears in parentheses.

Current Chart

1. Elliott Smith’s Archives: The GLONO Interview with Larry Crane (March)

2. 21 Free MP3 Label Samplers (April)

3. Fun with Forkcast, Round 12 (March)

4. Review: Chris Cornell – Scream (April)

5. Beatles Remasters Finally Coming (April)

6. Dammers Still Out of The Specials (March)

7. Brian Eno on Innovation (April)

8. Gonna Use My, My, My…Imagination (April)

9. The End Of It All: Acknowledging The Awfulness Of Jandek (April)

10. Neil Young Archives Volume 1 on CD (April)

See the Catalog Chart after the jump…

Continue reading Most Popular GLONO Items: April 2009