Friday, July 28, 2006

Quick Note...

I thought I'd post a quick note for all you loyal readers.

Sorry that it's been so long between updates, but you all may have to wait a bit longer.

I'm about 8 days away from getting married right now, so I've been a little busy with that (thus the lack of updates). I'll try to get an update in either today or tomorrow, but between this next update and August 11th, don't expect a whole lot. I'm looking at having a few friends handle the blog over the next few weeks, let me know if you're interested.

Again, sorry about the lack of updates - I'm just a bit busy with this marriage business ;).


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tom Petty - Highway Companion

Tom Petty has a new solo CD out in about 2 weeks (July 25th), Highway Companion. Check out the streams below, sounds like good ol' classic Petty.

[audio stream] Big Weekend
[video stream] Saving Grace

Visit Tom Petty's website.
Pre-order the new album.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Band of Annuals

I was going to post about this band right when I started but lizzy over at Come Pick Me Up beat me to the punch. I feel like they deserve some more hype, here's my take on them...

I first heard the Band of Annuals (then known simply as The Annuals) in the fall of '05. I met a friend at a Limbeck show in Salt Lake for old times sake and thankfully it turned out to be more than your average 10 dollar show. The first opener was bland enough that I've forgotten their name, some pop-punk trio, but I still remember seeing The Annuals start setting up - I knew from the moment I saw the lap steel guitar that this band was going to give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

To make a long story short, the performance was amazing enough for me to warrant coming out of my wallflower shell and actually talk to the band members after the show. One thing led to another and eventually I talked them into playing a show with my band in Logan. Since the scene here in my hometown is pretty shitty (just your average hardcore and punk bands for the most part) the crowd didn't really take much away from a 5 piece alt-country act, but there were at least a few who really recognized the talent the was playing for them.

I'd like to share my favorite tracks from their 2005 debut, Repondez. It's the kind of alt-country that I'd assume Ryan Adams would be making every other year if he had a touch more self-control.

By the way, this band comes with my highest of recommendations - if you like anything resembling alt-country, you'll love them!!

[mp3] San Francisco Take Me Back
[mp3] A Brief Moment of Hapiness

Check them out on myspace
for tour dates and purchase information.

In case you haven't checked it out yet, check out the new MP3 player on the sidebar! I'll try to keep this updated with the latest songs I post!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Halftime Awards

We just passed the halfway point a week ago so I’ve
decided to put up my thoughts about the year so far. Who knows how much of this will survive until the end of the year, here goes!

m=download an mp3, w=visit the artist's website, b=buy their albums

Best New Band:

Wolfmother (m,w,b)

Rock is back. What else needs to be said?

Runners Up: Arizona (m,w), The Raconteurs (m,w,b), Band of Horses (m,w,b)

Best New Solo Artist:

Gran Bel Fisher (m,w,b)

It's always nice to hear a new voice that can mix up the old with the new. Fisher does an excellent job from start to finish on the forthcoming release...

Runner Up: Imaad Wasif (m,w,b)

Record of the Year (by a Solo Artist):

Donovan Frankenreiter: Move By Yourself (m,w,b)

I flip flopped a lot on this. The Believer was solid, but Donovan is just so funky on this release. Definetly a must have for the summer, with windows down.

Runners Up: Rhett Miller: The Believer (m,w,b), Mason Jennings: Bonecoulds (m,w,b)
Upcoming: Sufjan Stevens: The Avalanche (m,w,b), Pete Yorn: Nightcrawler (m,w,b), Ray Lamontagne: ‘Till The Sun Goes Black (m,w,b)

Record of the Year (by a Band):

Secret Machines: Ten Silver Drops (m,w,b)

Being a huge Pearl Jam fan, it was hard to admit this one. The Secret Machines got it done though, this album is a masterpiece.

Runners Up: Pearl Jam (self titled) (m,w,b), Wolfmother (self titled) (m,w,b)
Upcoming: The Damnwells: Air Stereo (m,w,b), Arizona: Welcome Back Dear Children (m,w)

I know that this list doesn’t have a lot of straight up indie acts (Sound Team, Danielson, Islands etc) but I just didn’t feel like much in the indie scene was worth putting on this list right now. We’ll see if my opinion changes by the end of the year...

Jets Overhead

Here's the best kept secret from America Jr.

Jets Overhead released their first full-length LP, Bridges, last year and have been building a following up north. There hasn't been much about them on the blog scene and next to nothing in the US which is truly a shame. Bridges is an outstanding album from front to finish, oftentimes sounding like a more polished version of The Stills. A good blend of psychedelic-altpop is hard to find, but these guys pull it off very well.

This band is certainly worth a listen, I've been through the whole album over 20 times now.

[mp3] This Way
[mp3] Killing Time (highly recommended!)

Visit their website here
Buy there album here.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Weekly 6 Pack

Since I was late last week, here’s helping number 2 (and all new stuff this time!):

Gin Blossoms - Learning The Hard Way

It’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything new from the Gin Blossoms but this track makes it seem like it’s been worth the wait. I listened to Congratulations, I’m Sorry hundreds of times through my adolescent years and it’s good to hear something fresh - but still familiar. Major Lodge Victory, a full Gin Blossoms LP, is due out August 8th. It keeps shaping up to be a great month!

Visit their website.
Buy some Gin Blossoms.

Flickerstick - Clocks Run Backwards

I always take a lot of shit for saying that Flickerstick is one of my favorite bands and I don’t think this track will help me. Tarantula was everything the band was capable of, but now with Cory (lead guitar/keys) and Dominic (drums) out it seems like Flickerstick has taken a step backwards. I like parts of this song, and I know it’s a demo, but it doesn’t feel nearly as well-written as anything off of Tarantula. Still, it’s good to hear from the boys.

Visit their website.
Buy some Flickerstick.

Gran Bel Fisher - Crash and Burn

I recently got my hands on a pre-release of Fisher’s debut album Full Moon Cigarette and it has done nothing but impress. The album itself does something that most debuts just can’t do - it shows us the artists influences (in this case 70’s rock like The Doors, Zeppelin mixed with a bit o' jazz) while still making it sound new and fresh. Crash and Burn is the first single off the album and it’s starting to get some buzz. I’ll be doing my part to create more buzz (review and feature are both forthcoming) but do yourself a favor - get this track and tell a friend about it.

Visit his website
Pre-order the album.

The Damnwells: Heartbreaklist

I’m making a promise now - this is the last Damnwells track I’ll post off of the new album. You’ll have to keep checking their myspace for more tracks. August 15th is the date for Air Stereo and I’m having trouble sleeping as is...

Visit their website.
Buy some Damnwells.

Augustana - Heart Shaped Gun

Stars and Boulevards was a fantastic debut album and Augustana seems set to follow if this track has anything in common with what else is coming. Sunday Best was always a favorite of mine off he last album, this one has the same alt-country feel, but kicks it up a notch towards the end.

Visit their website.
Buy some Augustana.

Ray Lamontagne - Can I Stay

Last but not least is Ray with yet another August release (29th). Till The Sun Turns Black is said to be different than his debut, Trouble. This track stays close to Ray’s previous release, but the strings give a more polished feel than the simple reliance on the single guitar found in most places on Trouble. I’m really diggin' this song right now, to me it looks like the chances of a sophomore slump are slim to none if the rest of the album follows suit.

Visit Ray's website.
Buy some Ray Lamontagne.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

More Damnwells...

Sorry if it seems like I'm just recycling the same bands I've been posting about - I'm just really excited about the new Damnwells and Pete Yorn LPs coming out!

The Damnwells posted some more tracks over at myspace. I've got them here for download, just promise you'll buy Air Stereo when it comes out.

[mp3] You Don't Have To Like Me To Love Me
[mp3] God Bless America

The first track really feels like good ol' Damnwells, just classic alt-country. The second is a good closer for the album - trippy in parts and well done. By the way, it's not your papa's God Bless America, this ain't no cover.

I also found this article about the new release, it contains the tracklisting that I've posted below:

"I've Got You"
"Accidental Man"
"You Don't Have to Like Me to Love Me"
"Golden Days"
"Sell the Lie"
"Shiny Bruise"
"Kung Fu Grip Kiss"
"I Am a Leaver"
"Keep a Little Organ"
"God Bless America"

Visit their website.
Buy some Damnwells.

Let me know if these downloads are cutting off or if they just plain aren't working. I wanted to get these up before I sleep tonight and that means I didn't have time to make sure my ripping worked to perfection...if it doesn't work I'll repost tomorrow.

Weekly 6 Pack

I know this one is a little late, but you'll probably get 2 this week because of it...

Mother Love Bone: Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns

Lets start with a classic. I'm not sure if many of you know the history of this band, but if you don't you will now. Mother Love Bone was one of the huge "buzz bands" of Seattle in the late 80's/early 90's. They weren't quite grunge and they weren't quite hair metal, they blended a bit of each that ended up sounding a lot like Zepp. Unfortunately the lead singer (surprise!) ODed.

Luckily a few key members (Jeff Ament & Stone Gossard) decided to keep on truckin', eventually forming Pearl Jam. This song is still played by PJ at a few live shows, it really caught my attention on the (fantastic) Singles soundtrack.

Buy some Mother Love Bone

The You: I'm Going To Kill Myself

I was sent this track the other day and I'm absolutely loving it. I plan on doing a bigger feature of these guys but this is all I have for now. Nothing too out of the ordinary, sounds a little like The Shins to me.

Visit their website

The Mars Volta: Asilos Magdalena

Here's another new track, this one off the forthcoming album Amputechture by The Mars Volta. It comes out on my birthday - August 22nd - Hooray!

Visit their website.
Buy some Mars Volta.

Neil Young: After The Gold Rush

Neil's what started my songwriting engine back in my pre-teen years. I've always loved this song, it can really bring a tear to the eye.

Visit Neil's website.
Buy some Neil Young.

Semisonic: Secret Smile

Although everyone thinks of these guys as "that band who sings Closing Time" I always hoped that this song would eventually overtake it. It never did it really should have. Semisonic was always able to find that perfect blend of pop and 90's alt-rock, this one really is the pinnacle.

Buy some Semisonic.

Pete Yorn: Lions

I know that I blog a ridiculous amount about Pete Yorn but you all just get to deal with it. If I would have started this blog a few years ago I probably wouldn't blog so much about him. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. This one is from his "released only at shows EP" Westerns. You can find the whole thing over at a fellow PJ lovin' blogger's site.

Visit Pete's website
Buy some Pete Yorn