New FIDLAR video: Are You High?

Video: FIDLAR – “Are You High?”

FIDLAR – Are You High? (ft. The 90s)

Presumably from their third album, hopefully out sometime soon, probably on Mom+Pop.

I love this band. They blew me away the first time I saw them at Lollapalooza in 2016, they were equally great at Riot Fest last year, and I’ve been following them ever since.

They’ve released a few covers (Beastie Boys, Nirvana since then, Pink Floyd) and a couple of originals, but I’m looking forward to the release of their third full length. Still no info on when that’s going to happen but “Are You High?” is a promising sign. It’s a little more melodic and less screamy than their previous original single, “Alcohol,” but it’s still rambunctious and obnoxious, just the way we like them.

And all my homies wanna know what I’ve been doing
I think that I knew better back when I was using

Stay strong, dog. Life’s a risk worth taking.

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

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New Beths video: You Wouldn’t Like Me

Video: The Beths – “You Wouldn’t Like Me”

The Beths – "You Wouldn't Like Me" (official music video)

Directed by Ezra Simons. From Future Me Hates Me, out now on Carpark Records.

Another catchy jam from New Zealand’s finest.

The Beths: bandcamp, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Moody Little Sister video: I Got Soul

Video: Moody Little Sister – “I Got Soul”

"I Got Soul" – Official Music Video – Moody Little Sister

Single out now on 8 Ball Records.

Full disclosure: I once washed dishes with Moody Little Sisters Rob Stroup and Naomi Hooley. We were up in Washington, at the foot of Mt. Adams where a group of musicians and friends would host an annual camping trip. The annual Hoot Family Campout was a welcomed wind down from what were usually busy summers in Oregon when everyone scrambles to soak up the sun before the rain returned. In the spirit of this communal event, everyone pitched in to help around the camp and I was pulling my shift in the kitchen with Moody Little Sister. We had a laugh and swapped some stories before taking our places in the breakfast buffet line. The Hoot Family is where you make fast friends and though I haven’t seen either since that morning (they moved to New Mexico and I moved to Michigan), I like to think we had a good time.

Moody Little Sister’s video for “I Got Soul” touches on community and estrangement and how, sometimes, you can pull yourself back to earth if you just stop to look around at who’s with you. Recorded with Pete Droge at Puzzle Tree Studio on Vashon Island, “I Got Soul” is the perfect blend of 70s smooth and…well…country soul. The single is the first for a planned 2019 full-length release.

Moody Little Sister: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Tomberlin video: Any Other Way

Video: Tomberlin – “Any Other Way”

Tomberlin – Any Other Way

Directed by Laura-Lynn Petrick. From At Weddings, out now on Saddle Creek.

The more I listen to Tomberlin’s previous single, “Seventeen,” the more I like it. A bit of a sleeper, it reveals its secrets on repeated listens. I expect that “Any Other Way” will be similar.

You said that I was brave
But I just feel insane
You said to look into your face each day
Can you tell I’d never look away?

If you haven’t checked her out yet be sure to read her interviews with the Fader and Stereogum for the back story.

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

New Stick Arounds Video: Get You Back

Video: Stick Arounds – “Get U Back”

From Ways to Hang On, due this fall on GTG Records. The single is available for free download from bandcamp.

Goddamn, marionettes are creepy. There’s something about how they kinda hover in between childhood memories and nightmares that ensure they always leave you looking for your mom.

The Stick Arounds have cobbled together some old footage of these spooky bastards in support of the first single from their upcoming album, Ways To Hang On, due in October. Hearty midwestern rock with big guitar hooks and desperate lyrics. It’s a simple story and one best told in a sweaty, loud bar with beer soaked floors.

The Stick Arounds: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Skating Polly video: Camelot

Video: Skating Polly – “Camelot”

Skating Polly – Camelot (Official Video)

Directed by Caz Daddy Mac. From The Make It All Show, out now on El Camino.

If Skating Polly shows are half as wild as they look in this video, we should all check them out when they come through our towns. My favorite part is a minute in when Arrow Dewilde from Starcrawler attacks and strangles poor Kelli Mayo while she’s trying to sing her grungy song about bad boyfriends.

Mayo told Louder: “I met one of the most horrible, intolerable, numb-nut, scum of the earth humans last year, who treats women like dog shit using his frat boy etiquette, and this song is dedicated to him. There’s three voices in the song: the voice telling Mr. Frat Boy Lancelot to fuck off, the voice narrating the sad story of who he preys on, and the voice mimicking Mr. Frat Boy Lancelot’s ideal gal and the lengths she would go to be his miserable, underfed, trophy Barbie wife.”

I want something
I want something better
I want something better than you
Of course I do!

100% badass.

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

New Greta Van Fleet video: When the Curtain Falls

Video: Greta Van Fleet – “When the Curtain Falls”

From the “When the Curtain Falls” single, out now on Republic Records.

Because I am a master of the new media, I also run a blog that’s focused on the cross sections of digital and culture. My partner Tom and I use it as a platform to highlight how digital media influences our real lives and how the platforms are often just an extension of who we are in the flesh. The best examples show how there are layers of meaning that go back and forth. Those things are Metastential. We host the blog, a twitter feed and even a sleeping podcast and I could have just as easily written about this video there as here.

We’ve kept an eye on the boys from Frankenmuth since their first single. They sometimes get bashed for wearing their influences a little too prominently on their frilly sleeves, but come on…who is gonna argue with some kids getting into Led Zeppelin?

Well they’ve gone all in now with the riffs and the screams and even the pants. But they’re not totally retro. Bucking the purists who mock their parents for uploading videos “wrong” and recognizing the importance portrait-oriented platforms like Instagram, Greta Van Fleet has posted their latest video the way your mom posts videos of fireworks. The boys are out there in the desert looking like the sequel to Almost Famous, fresh faced and manic in 12-megapixel glory fed through an 8mm film filter. When my eleven year old looked over my shoulder to see what I was watching he shrugged and said, “What year is that?” Mission accomplished, gang.  

Greta Van Fleet: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

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50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 15

Rolling Stone issue #15 had a cover date of August 10, 1968. 24 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of Mick Jagger by Dean Goodhill.

Features: The Rolling Stones Return With Beggars Banquet by Jann Wenner, featuring tons of great photos by by Dean Goodhill; “Cream Breaks Up”; “Merle Haggard: Home-Fried Humor and Cowboy Soul” by Al Aronowitz [misspelled “Arnowitz”]; “Eric Jacobson in Town with Hybridized Production Trip” by Ben Fong-Torres; “Fiddlin’ in Berkeley” by Charles Perry; “Electronic Roll” by Edmund O. Ward; “The Burning of Los Angeles,” a poem by David Gancher.

News: The Who Does a Full-Length Rock Opera; Fillmore Scene Moves to New Carousel Hall; Nice Not Nice To America; Beatles Declare National Apple Week; KMPX Scabs Pay Their Dues.

Columns: Visuals by Thomas Albright (“Top of the Underground: Reel Humor & Flashes”); “Soul Together” by Jon Landau on a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden for the Martin Luther King Memorial Fund featuring Joe Tex, King Curtis, Sonny and Cher, Sam and Dave, the Rascals, and Aretha Franklin; John J. Rock (aka Jann Wenner) on Jim Morrison’s “rather worn-out and self-conscious stage maneuvers,” Michael Nesmith’s instrumental Wichita Train Whistle (“awful”), and Life magazine’s rock and roll issue (“a disappointment”).

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 15

New Breeders video: Nervous Mary

Video: The Breeders – “Nervous Mary”

The Breeders – Nervous Mary (Homemade Video)

From All Nerve, out now on 4AD.

Kim and Kelley Deal are so cool. Check them out.

In the middle of a busy street in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, The Breeders took a brief break from touring to shoot a homemade video for ‘Nervous Mary’, from their 2018 album, All Nerve. Puppet versions of Kim and Kelley Deal – dressed in custom-knitted outfits made by Finnish fan and professional puppet-maker Milla Risku – go wild performing the song as their real-life counterparts sing live vocals off camera.

“Nervous Mary” is the story of an escaped farm animal.

Road goat
Run but she never got away
Hot road
Nervous Mary had a nervous day

Have you ever seen a wild animal running down a busy freeway? They look so terrified. These puppets, on the other hand, do not look scared at all.

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

New Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis: I Just Lived A Country Song

Video: Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis – “I Just Lived A Country Song”

Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis "I Just Lived A Country Song" (Lyric Video)

Lyric video by Nina Stiener. From Wild! Wild! Wild!, out August 10 on Bloodshot.

The thing I love about Robbie Fulks is that he doesn’t try to be alt- or insurgent- or Americana- but instead he is comfortable enough with his deal that he allows himself to be just plain country. I suppose his refusal to play down to the lowest common denominator is alternative to mainstream country but whatever. He’s traditional but he’s not stuck in the past. He just knows what sounds good.

And one thing that sounds good is Linda Gail Lewis.

She’s Jerry Lee Lewis’ little sister and she’s been playing piano and singing since she was a kid. She’s recorded for Sun, toured with her brother, and lived almost as hard as him. Her biography is insane.

Lewis isn’t featured as prominently on “I Just Lived A Country Song” as she is on many of the other songs on Wild! Wild! Wild!. (“Boogie Woogie Country Gal,” for example, features her pounding the keys like the Killer at his most feral). But her harmonies perfectly compliment Fulks’ regretful tale of a misspent life on the road.

I can’t recall the early nineties
These last ten I’d rather not

It’s hard to write a song like this without falling back on tired cliches but Fulks is smart and unpredictable enough to twist them up and keep you guessing. And laughing. Dude is funny.

Robbie Fulks: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Linda Gail Lewis: web, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis: I Just Lived A Country Song

Rock and roll can change your life.