Tag Archives: Fat Possum

New Al Green: Perfect Day

Video: Al Green – “Perfect Day” (Lou Reed cover)

Single out now on Fat Possum.

This is a little weird, right? I mean, it sounds perfect. But…

Have you heard those A.I. monstrosities that have Frank Sinatra singing Elliott Smith, or Hank Williams singing NWA, or Paul McCartney singing Badfinger (no, not that one)? This is like that, but it’s the real Al Green covering Lou Reed’s classic ode to nodding out. And it sounds good. But it’s a little weird.

I’m guessing a lot of folks were first exposed to the song, like I was, when it was used in the overdose scene in Trainspotting. Reed always denied that it was about heroin. “This guy’s vision of a perfect day was the girl, sangria in the park, and then you go home; a perfect day, real simple. I meant just what I said.” Then again, he’s never been the most reliable narrator.

Regardless, whether it was originally written as a love song to a woman or to narcotics doesn’t really matter. It’s a beautiful song. And songs outlive their author’s original intentions. And Al Green’s version is lovely.

But it’s a little weird.

Continue reading New Al Green: Perfect Day

New Courtney Marie Andrews video: These Are The Good Old Days

Video: Courtney Marie Andrews – “These Are The Good Old Days”

Directed by V Haddad. From Loose Future, out October 7 on Fat Possum.

I appreciate the sentiment of this song although lately it’s hard to imagine it’s true.

Andrews opened up for Wilco this summer but we arrived too late to catch her set. Pro tip: When Google Maps tells you the venue is 2.5 hours away, don’t think you can make it in two. We got stuck in traffic and it actually took three hours to get to Interlochen. Kresge Auditorium is an incredible venue though, so it’s worth the trip. It’s a gorgeous 4,000-capacity outdoor pavilion originally built in the 1940s as an orchestra shell on the shores of Green Lake. You can see the lake to the sides of the stage, and if you had a boat you could just pull up and listen. But it’s in the middle of nowhere, so give yourself plenty of time to get there.

For the record, Andrews came back out to sing with Wilco on “California Stars,” so I guess technically we did see her.

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

New Spiritualized video: Always Together With You

Video: Spiritualized – “Always Together With You”

Directed by J. Spaceman. From Everything Was Beautiful, due February 25 on Fat Possum.

Did I ever tell you the story about how I discovered Spacemen 3? I was in college and a pal and I drove to visit our friend Russ at the University of Chicago. This was before navigation systems and we got lost somewhere on the south side of Chicago. We found a payphone and asked Russ how to get there and when he found out where we were he told us to immediately get back in the car and drive. Looking back now that I’ve lived there, I wonder where we were exactly and whether or not we were in any danger at all, or if Russ was just messing with us. Anyway, we had a great time and he took us to a bunch of great record stores and I ended up buying the Frank Sinatra 4-CD Reprise box and — on Russ’ strong recommendation — The Perfect Prescription on vinyl.

Later, we went to a “funny hat” party with a bunch of University of Chicago smarties and drank enough Bacardi to level an elephant and then Russ introduced us to Harold’s Chicken where we each ordered a half-white with everything on everything and took it back to his dorm room. Harold’s is messy business so we took off our shirts and sat on his floor and ended up covered in barbecue sauce and hot sauce while Russ put on some records. The only song I remember is “Ghost Of Owls” by Starship Beer, but that left a lifelong impression.

When I eventually made it back home and busted out my new record I wasn’t sure what to expect. Thankfully, it didn’t sound anything like Starship Beer. Psychedelic, droney, zonked, dangerous, it sounded like nothing else I was aware of. I caught some Velvet Underground influences, but at that time all I knew was what was on The Best of: Words and Music of Lou Reed. So yeah The Perfect Prescription blew my mind.

And now here we are thirty years later and Jason Pierce is still making psychedelic music and it’s still blowing my mind. So thanks for the tip, Russ!

Spiritualized: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New X video: Goodbye Year, Goodbye

Video: X – “Goodbye Year, Goodbye”

Directed by Keith Ross. From Alphabetland, out now on Fat Possum.

How great is it that original L.A. punks X are still at it?

John Doe told Apple Music, “That was the last song we worked on. I took the lead, and Exene did some editing and additional lyrics. The music is just straight-up punk rock, because I thought the record needed a good old-fashioned punk rock song. Originally, it sounded too much like [1980’s] ‘Your Phone’s Off the Hook,’ so we added a few different things. I was inspired by reading the book Midnight Cowboy. Exene gave it to me for my birthday, and the lyric ‘Brother and sister pretend to be lovers’ is from a moment in the book where Joe Buck goes to an Andy Warhol-type party. The first verse, ‘Beats keep beating my brains in,’ means there’s just too much going on. Everybody is so overscheduled, and there’s so much noise.”

I think we’re all looking forward to saying goodbye to this year. Good riddance.

Continue reading New X video: Goodbye Year, Goodbye

New Courtney Marie Andrews video: It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault

Video: Courtney Marie Andrews – “It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault”

Directed by V Haddad. From Old Flowers, due July 24 on Fat Possum.

This is the happiest sounding Courtney Marie Andrews song to date. The video is uplifting as well. The lyrics, on the other hand, are as sad as usual.

Feels like I’ve gone crazy
Like the women in my family usually do
We can’t seem to keep our heads on
Long enough to make it through

Hang in there, Courtney Marie Andrews! You can make it.

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

New Courtney Marie Andrews video: Burlap String

Video: Courtney Marie Andrews – “Burlap String”

Directed by V Haddad. From Old Flowers, due June 5 on Fat Possum.

Courtney Marie Andrews has an amazing voice. I discovered her strictly on the strength of her 2018 album cover, which is still one of my all-time faves. That’s an admittedly goofy reason to check out a record, but in this case it totally worked out. May Your Kindness Remain is as great as its artwork.

Andrews has a new album coming out in June, and this one is all about heartbreak.

Some days are good, some are bad
Some days I want what we had
Some days I talk myself into a lie.

The video is a tribute to a community of musicians in Bisbee, Arizona, where Andrews would visit as a teenager, including a couple named Derrick and Amy Ross who performed as Nowhere Man And A Whiskey Girl. Andrews says they “became my DIY musician mentors, being fifteen years older than me, and showing me it was possible to pay rent off of playing music. I adored them, and we did lots of shows together throughout my early twenties.” Tragically, they both died in 2013. “Losing them was a devastating blow. They were a large part of the Arizonan community. I still go back to Bisbee often, as it’s where my heart belongs in many ways.”

Andrews shot her new video on Young Blood Hill, a place “littered with catholic influenced memorials, shrines and crosses,” including the memorial of her friends. “By the end of the video, I am placing flowers on Derrick and Amy’s memorial, as a way of reckoning with their loss and each loss we grieve throughout our lifetime. Though this song was written for one of the great loves of my own lifetime, I wish to place flowers on heartbreak’s memorial as well.”

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

Continue reading New Courtney Marie Andrews video: Burlap String

New A.A. Bondy video: Killers 3

Video: A.A. Bondy – “Killers 3”

From Enderness, due May 10 on Fat Possum.

Shit, another dude in a mask. This time we have a sad sack masked man sitting in a tub, sometimes with sparkles, sometimes with frame-in-frame videos of twerking booties and yawning lions. Go figure.

I reviewed Bondy’s live show in Portland a decade ago. I’m glad he’s still chugging along, but hope the road hasn’t beaten the creativity out of him. Cool song, dumb video.

A.A. Bondy: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Courtney Marie Andrews video: Heart and Mind

Video: Courtney Marie Andrews – “Heart and Mind”

Single out now on Fat Possum.

Dear sister, my tears are for you
I know this life can be so cruel and unkind
But when you’re feeling weak,
Know your power is in your heart and your mind

This is a previously unreleased song, written after the election in 2016 and performed live since at least February of 2017, but not included on her most recent album, May Your Kindness Remain. It’s powerful.

“Back in November, only two days or so after the election, this song hit me like a brick at a Love’s Truck Stop. I pulled over, and wrote it in 10 minutes. That’s how some songs are delivered, fully formed, and you must write them when they come. For the first time in my womanhood, I felt powerless, because the man who was supposed to rule our country made some very shocking and hurtful comments about women. It reminded me of all the times I, or someone close to me, had been harassed, sexually abused, cat-called, or body shamed. The song is intended to empower, and to conquer our demons. It is a statement, not a plead or a question. We ARE more than bodies. We are strong, intelligent, capable humans, with our own opinions and thoughts. It’s a song that I desperately needed as a reminder, and a song that I hope serves as a reminder to women who feel powerless.” – Courtney Marie Andrews

The video features old footage from home movies, and its effect is heartbreaking. To think that all of these smiling, innocent kids in these family videos will inevitably have their souls crushed by the cruel, cruel world is almost too much to bear.

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

Continue reading New Courtney Marie Andrews video: Heart and Mind

New Soccer Mommy video: Scorpio Rising

Video: Soccer Mommy – “Scorpio Rising”

Directed by Jonny Look. From Clean, out now on Fat Possum.

Sophie Allison told Consequence of Sound that “Scorpio Rising” is “the climax of the record. It’s this huge moment where I realize that while I’ve been trying to be cool and detached, I’ve become attached — and now I’m about to lose everything because I’m pretending to be something I’m not.”

Now you want to start
With someone not so far
Oh she’s bubbly and sweet like a Coca-Cola
I watch from my drink as you look her over

I like the way this song starts out quiet and atmospheric for the first verse before she realizes that her relationship has fallen apart. And then it gets more and more loud and dissonant as she sees what she’s lost.

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

New Courtney Marie Andrews video: Took You Up

Video: Courtney Marie Andrews – “Took You Up”

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

Is it the journey or the destination?
Is this love or is this addiction?
Circumstances are meant to be
What does that say about you and me?

Courtney Marie Andrews has a way of setting up a story, doesn’t she? Who is this couple? We immediately want to know more.

Andrews talked to the Independent about writing “Took You Up.”

Yeah there’s definitely vignettes of personal experiences – there are little snippets of imagery throughout the whole song. I think I’ve definitely experienced pieces of that especially the frozen dinners and laundry piles line. I’ve lived a lot with either people letting me stay on their couches and I’ve also rented hotels and lived on the road for a few years now – not really living this grand lifestyle but also trying to make ends meet. There’s also bits of depression in those lines but I think the hope and the light is that you have somebody you love surrounding that theme. It’s a song where you feel like the only thing you have is that person – everything else is suffering: your pocketbook, where you live…there’s nothing except for that person. But sometimes that person is sad and love is sad as well.

There’s a lot of sadness on May Your Kindness Remain. But sometimes sad songs just make you feel better.

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