Tag Archives: Clem Snide

Superchunk – In Beween Days

Video: Superchunk – “In Beween Days”

This is just as good as you’d imagine it would be. Everybody loves Superchunk; everybody loves this song; the whole is just as good as the sum of its parts. So glad this band is back together and doing new stuff.

That AV Club Undercover series is pretty cool. Clem Snide‘s Eef Barzelay covered Journey‘s “Faithfully” and it’s really touching.

Superchunk: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Continue reading Superchunk – In Beween Days

Album Streams: Newsom, BJM, Eazy-E, more

Tune in!NPR is streaming Joanna Newsom’s Have One On Me through March 2.

And AOL/Spinner is streaming the following new releases through Sunday, February 28:

Clem Snide, ‘The Meat of Life’ (429; MP3)

The Brian Jonestown Massacre, ‘Who Killed Sgt. Pepper’ (A Recordings; MP3)

Shearwater, 'The Golden' (Matador; MP3, MP3)

Quasi, ‘American Gong (Dig)’ (Kill Rock Stars; MP3, MP3)

Shout Out Louds, ‘Work’ (Merge; MP3)

Eazy-E, 'Eazy-duz-it'

EPMD, 'Strictly Business'

More streams below. Let us know if you hear anything good.

Continue reading Album Streams: Newsom, BJM, Eazy-E, more

Alessi’s Ark – Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)

A lovely cover of the Skynyrd classic by British folky Alessi’s Ark. This song lends itself particularly well to being covered. We saw Clem Snide do it years ago in Chicago and it kicked ass. This is a decidedly more subdued, but just as tasty, version.

MP3: Alessi’s Ark – “Simple Man” (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)

Stream it on SoundCloud.

Alessi’s Ark: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Lynyrd Skynyrd: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

Eef Barzelay – Lose Big

Eef BarzelayAt the end of the year, we’re offering up some MP3s that we never got around to posting for one reason or another. Here’s one from Clem Snide frontman Eef Barzelay.

MP3: Eef Barzelay – “Lose Big” from Lose Big on 429.

I’ve been meaning to write about this album since I first heard it this summer. As you can hear, it’s more of a return to the full-band sound of the his Clem Snide stuff than the home-made acoustic demo vibe of his previous solo effort, Bitter Honey. In fact, this album contains two Clem Snide songs as bonus tracks: “I Love the Unknown” from Your Favorite Music, and “Me No” from Clem Snide’s final aborted Hungry Bird sessions. Recommended.

Clem Snide – Soft Spot

Clem SnideSoft Spot (SpinART)

Sometimes it can be a big drag when a band’s singer falls in love. As song after song on the latest cd pours out, detailing the ineffable greatness of the new flame and the sense of newfound contentment and everyday happiness, listening to it can be about as much fun as watching couples make out in a park where you’re trying to read a book or just think about your miserable lonely life.

But not Soft Spot by Clem Snide. It’s too pretty to complain about, and besides, I kind of like the singer’s new girlfriend. She looks critically at herself in the mirror; she gets colds and chapped lips; she seems to worry about aging—it’s hard to feel anything but warmth toward someone so human. Throughout the album, Eef Barzelay showers this vulnerable, anonymous person with songs of wholehearted love and devotion. “Summer will come, with Al Green and sweetened ice tea,” he sings emotionally on “All Green.” “Summer will come and be all green with the sweetness of thee.” “You’re the flower of my heart,” he sings on “Find Love,” somehow not sounding like a total idiot. “That my thoughts can’t tear apart. We have love, we have love/ strong enough to doubt.” There, in the last clause, is the skeptical, sometimes sarcastic note touched in so many other Clem Snide songs. But here, it’s consistently overridden by the singer’s brave embrace of emotion.

Mutual love, for some reason, isn’t a great subject for rock songs. “Gee, you’re swell,” as a feeling, just isn’t that interesting—aching regret, helpless addiction, yearning from afar, and bitter denunciation all seem to lend themselves more naturally to songwriting than the happiness that comes with genuine love. But Eef Barzelay turns that on its head. He’s exuberant in his expressions of affection, but the songs are also irresistible—effortlessly melodic and catchy. A swooping, romantic violin noodles around the melody in some, making them so liltingly memorable that they seem like future favorite dance tunes for contemporary couples to celebrate anniversaries to. (See, I’m hopelessly won over by this album, and I’m really bitter!) “There is nothing in this world if I can’t share my love with you,” goes the refrain on “There is Nothing,” a simple country ballad. “All the riches of this world, can’t compare to your smile/ and if only for a kiss, I would walk a thousand miles.” I could endlessly quote Barzelay’s mature, well expressed acceptance of love in its totality and the change that brings to one’s general outlook. The singer’s trademark cleverness is evident in many lines, but this time on the side of niceness, not meanness: “You could be coming down with something/ so I’ll come down, with you,” he sings to his chilled, sneezing love.

It’s not all gentle mellowness. There’s the fast, Elvis C. and the Attractions-ish rave-up, “Where There’s Love There’s Action,” a harmonica-driven rocker that’s about just really liking to be with somebody. And there’s the equally engaging “Happy Birthday,” a likable song for the band’s drummer. “Half-Jewish boys make kick-ass drummers,” Barzelay sings warmly, “but if you need lessons I’ll have to pay.” He seems full of real, open-hearted feeling for everyone on this record. Near the end he sings a quiet, finger-picked “Forever Young”-esque song (“Fontanelle”) which, like a benediction, hopes for the listener: “May God hold you in his hand.”

This cd didn’t leave my player for weeks after I got it. It’s uplifting, fun to sing along with, melodically beautiful, and love-soaked but not in a clichĂ©d way.

You can download “All Green” from SpinART, and there are other Clem Snide mp3s at mp3.com.