Wednesday, July 30, 2008

if you're in town august 12, consider checking out baltimore duo wye oak at the 7th street entry. their melancholy and lovely debut album "if children..." was re-released by merge this year (it was originally issued last year by a smaller label under the name monarch). equal parts folk and fuzz, wye oak's music is so modest it can take a few listens to realize just how pretty the songs really are:

wye oak--"please concrete"
(how awesome is what happens at 2:02?)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

one of the many endearing things about thurston moore--who is a big nerd--is how he likes to act like he's really tough, and might actually believe that he is. i guess no one wants to hurt his feelings by telling him otherwise, because he was doing it during the 80s and was still doing it last year on that pretty decent solo album. here's proof he was just as deluded in the 90s;

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This past weekend was the National Folk Festival in Butte, Montana, and me and the family traveled down from Helena for the music on Saturday. It was a great time, not the least because Butte is a wonderful town, whose historic uptown was the site of the festival’s seven stages. (Note to readers: Butte will be host to the festival for the next two summers, and it’s not just for locals. It’s worth traveling for, and it’s free!) Despite not being very familiar with any of the featured acts, I caught four really good ones.

The Quebe Sisters:

Three young ladies with fiddles, and voices that can make you believe you’re listening to a vintage 1940s recording.

Wylie and the Wild West:

Fairly well known country rockers, led by yodeling maestro Wylie (fun fact: he is the voice of the Yahoo! soundbyte). Food purchasing kept me far from the stage, but I got close for the finale, during which Wylie announced the show wouldn’t be complete without a great cowboy song, and then launched into a bit of “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”

The Seldom Scene:

Apparently they are legendary within the bluegrass scene, if that is your thing, and for good reason: these four guys have beautiful voices and are fantastic harmonizers, and have a good wide-ranging repertory of songs. They got their start in Washington D.C. in the 1960s, so unsurprisingly they know what they’re doing.

Le Vent du Nord:

The crowd loved these guys, partly because they are the types of handsome young men that middle-aged women find enormously attractive. They are also exotic but not too exotic, hailing from French-speaking Canada (hence the name). Good earthy time.


Also, has anyone seen the recently released tracklist for Rock Band 2? I played the original Rock Band for the first time this summer, but I might have to make a habit of it now that I can jam out to the likes of Dinosaur Jr, Bikini Kill and The Replacements.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

another year, another sebadoh reissue, and this year it's the excellent "bubble and scrape". some wisdom from the liner notes:

eric: "In 1992 I hadn't worked in a year...and was living in a tent."
lou: "Eric Gaffney would not become the Brian Wilson of sebadoh."
jason: "Wow...THC is not a memory enhancing drug, is it?"

eric gaffney seems like a terror of a human being--his contribution to the liner notes is basically a list of things he accomplished between 1992 and 1993, and this album was his last with the group--but he wrote some classics, including this favorite:

sebadoh--"telecosmic alchemy"

Monday, July 07, 2008

who's the boss?

It was a particularly nice day in the liberal arts mecca that is Portland, Oregon a few weeks back and so my dad and I decided to make an impromptu drive to Mount Hood. Most drives with my dad are the same: driving in a mid-life crisis sports car, we speed a little more than we need to and always listen to the same music, which my dad claims makes you drive faster.

And you know what? He's right. Springsteen is just pretty damn good driving music. So I've been blasting this in my Camry whenever I get the chance for the last week, and all of a sudden I remembered a record that I bought back in January: Casiotone For The Painfully Alone and his brother Concern's collaborative 7" covering Born In The U.S.A. and Streets of Philadelphia. A friend of mine conveniently has one of those newfangled vinyl-to-USB decks so I was able to rip it to MP3.

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - Born In The U.S.A. (mp3)

You can hear Streets of Philadelphia on CFTPA's MySpace.