Friday, February 27, 2009

Gone Skiing.

Taking a week off...

I won't leave you hanging though. If you need another blog to add to your list to quench your music happy hour, don't hesitate to go over to My Old Kentucky Blog. See you when I get back!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Peter Gabriel and Hot Chip make a Vampire Weekend

I was surprised when bringing up the news this weekend that many of my friends did not know about Peter Gabriel and Hot Chip covering The Group to Know of 2008, Vampire Weekend. Though it almost sounds odd for such a pairing to come together to cover this song, let's not forget the diversity of Vampire Weekend's music. Full of worldly influences circa Paul Simon's Graceland backed with strong indie JCrew beats sounding as if they were conjured up in a backyard sailboat garage, it's almost comforting to know that such an experimental musical icon like Gabriel teamed up with indie staples like Hot Chip.

Hot Chip & Peter Gabriel - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa

"Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" was the 4th single released from Columbia University's Vampire Weekend back in 2008. According to their Wiki, lead singer Ezra Koenig drew inspiration for the song when traveling to India and was "thinking a lot about colonialism and the aesthetic connections between preppy culture and the native cultures of places like Africa and India." He named the song ("Kwassa Kwassa")after a dance rhythm in Congo. XL Recordings introduced the song to Gabriel who accepted the offer from both the label and the band to cover the song with Hot Chip. He ended up changing the original lines in the song that referenced his name from
"This feels so unnatural, Peter Gabriel, too"
"And it feels so unnatural to sing your own name"

Enjoy your Monday back at work!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Little Latin Lupe Lu

Dick: "Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels?"
Barry: "No! The Righteous Brothers!"

My life parallels to High Fidelity is not a secret. My comparisons of heart-wrenching fictitious music meant for someone else, to my life is scary. Or rather, somewhat absurd. But it's Friday and let's leave all that at the door and concentrate on my favorite scene from my favorite music comedy. All Dick asked was a simple question to Barry and what resulted was war. Who's version of Little Latin Lupe Lu is better and why? Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels or The Righteous Brothers? For that matter, where does Bruce Springsteen, The Kingsmen or The Chancellors lie in this roundup?

Written by Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers (you know, Maverick singing You've Lost That Loving Feeling), "Little Latin Lupe Lu" peaked at #49 in 1963. Three years later, Mitch Ryder & Co. took it to #28 and there it hid for decades until Jack Black (Barry) placed it as Track Number 2 on his Monday-Morning Mix Tape.

Who's version is the best? Careful folks...your answer could dictate whether or not you are part of a fascist regime.

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels - Little Latin Lupe Lu

And The Righteous Brothers...sorry, it won't let me embed it! Listen here

Hear the Boss' version here or The Kingsmen's take here

And for those of you that needed the full scene to complete this gorgeous Friday of yours...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dawes. Say no more.

This specific post turned out to be harder than I thought...and thus, actually easier. It all started when a group of friends and I went to see Delta Spirit at the Hi-Dive in Denver last week. There I am, next door living the high life, this time with a Budweiser in hand. Whitney (we'll get to her later) pulls herself away from the opening act, grabs me and makes me listen to the opening band that is rocking her face off. Dawes. Now if you recall my history on this blog, I have a history with opening bands I aim to miss. Delta Spirit was such an example - a band I once aimed to miss, who have now been on my top-played list for quite some time. Here I go again...and have not learned my lesson yet. I get next door for one final song where I witness some yahoo on stage belting out similarly to Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses. Nonetheless, the rompin' drums and the echo-filled voice of Dawes treated me well. I came to find out their last song was the worst of the night...which is good news for them.

Dawes - When My time Comes

Dawes. That's it. That's really all there is about them. Ok, I'll give you a bit more, but don't try and dig up the information yourself. You'll either be disappointed or on a self-acknowledged goose chase. All I can really summarize is that Dawes, the BOH spin-off is from Malibu/Northridge, played in Denver the other night and if it wasn't for Whitney mandating my cameo, I would have dis/missed them completely. They MAY have started off as the band, Simon Dawes, a fictitious name that is "named after no one." After reforming under the name Dawes and dropping a few members and adding a few others, they have released their self-titled album from the label, Record Collection. That's about it. No public bio that my sleuth-like ability could sniff out. Oh yeah...word to a band...if you're getting started in this biz...maybe you should post your bio, or band info or, ummm, ever think of a building a site or something of that nature? Bueller? I do know their songs are growing on me, but treat me much better in a live performance setting. They have released a fun video which seems like it pulled some inspiration from The Wonder Years, Nirvana's Nevermind and an American Apparel catalog.

Dawes "Love is All I am"

Is it ironic that they also cover this tune too?

Wonder Years Troubadour

Moral of the story: don't miss the opening band. And when Whitney tells you to get your ass over to the venue "like, now," well then, get over to the venue.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dark Was The Night

Best compilation ever. Sorry Cera and Braff...but it's even better than the Juno and Garden State soundtracks 40-fold. I know, I know, many of you thought the only good things this February are the release of the 3-D Jonas Brothers concert coming to an IMAX in your neighborhood and Miley Cyrus & Taylor Swift performing at the Grammys. But to soothe your soul the folks at the Red Hot Organization, an international charity dedicated to raising money and awareness for HIV and AIDS through popular culture, have released a token indie dream mix for the ages.

Dark Was The Night (4AD/Beggars)is available as a triple vinyl, double disc or download purchase. Loaded with 31 tracks recorded exclusively for the project, Dark Was The Night is a "who's who" of today's staple indie artists. Below I've posted a rundown of the tracks and fear not...when you run across a name you don't recognize it...don't go to your local record store and ask them who it is. Those smug bastards wearing cowboy flannel and black-rimmed glasses will only feel more mighty. Chances are, you DO know them from their full-time projects - take a look-see here.

As always, I won't leave you hanging. Below, are two tracks that are just the tip of the ice berg for the compilation. Plus, you'd feel like a schmuck downloading the entire compilation illegally from the numerous blog sites that have been hailing this project. As I briefly mentioned above, the The Red Hot Organization is the leading international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture. So, if you want to do your part and get rewarded with a slew of "must-haves," head here for the complete download or to get your hands on the disc or vinyl set.


1 Knotty Pine – Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
2 Cello Song (Nick Drake) – The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
3 Train Song (Vashti Bunyan recorded, written by Alasdair Clayre) – Feist + Ben Gibbard
4 Brackett, WI – Bon Iver
5 Deep Blue Sea – Grizzly Bear
6 So Far Around the Bend – The National (arrangement by Nico Muhly)
7 Tightrope – Yeasayer
8 Feeling Good (popularized by Nina Simone) – My Brightest Diamond
9 Dark Was the Night (Blind Willie Johnson) – Kronos Quartet
10 I Was Young When I Left Home (Bob Dylan) – Antony + Bryce Dessner
11 Big Red Machine – Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner
12 Sleepless – The Decemberists
13 Stolen Houses (Die) – Iron and Wine
14 Service Bell – Grizzly Bear + Feist
15 You Are The Blood – Sufjan Stevens

1 Well-Alright – Spoon
2 Lenin – Arcade Fire
3 Mimizan – Beirut
4 El Caporal – My Morning Jacket
5 Inspiration Information (Shuggie Otis) – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
6 With A Girl Like You (The Troggs) – Dave Sitek
7 Blood Pt 2 (based on original song “You are the Blood” by the Castanets) – Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
8 Hey, Snow White (Destroyer) – The New Pornographers
9 Gentle Hour (Snapper) – Yo La Tengo
10 Another Saturday (traditional song) – Stuart Murdoch
11 Happiness – Riceboy Sleeps
12 Amazing Grace (traditional song) – Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
13 The Giant Of Illinois (Handsome Family) – Andrew Bird
14 Lua – Conor Oberst + Gillian Welch
15 When the Road Runs Out – Blonde Redhead + Devastations
16 Love vs. Porn – Kevin Drew

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Chevy Chase songlist

For the past few, I donate some time to my local Boulder International Film Festival. This year, in addition to the stellar film in the line-up, Chevy Chase was wrangled up and is receiving a deserved tribute for putting smiles on faces for the past decades. Do I get to meet him? Not sure and I really don't care as I'm not one who gets star-struck. But, should I get an opportunity to do the Amigo Salute, I will not shy down. So, as I depart from the blogging for a few days in order to concentrate on the film festival, I'll leave you with a few songs that I associate Chevy with as well as a few clips that stand out in my mind. Enjoy!

Three Amigos


Lindsey Buckingham - Holiday Road


Kenny Loggins - I'm Alright

You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon and Chevy

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

...she's so hot, Boom

The Grammy's are over and thank God. Yikes. Whew. Youch. OK, really quick...let me vent. If I ever run into the Jonas Brothers on the street...please protect them. Kanye, Kanye, Kanye. Ok, you're still cool, but shut the fuck up FOR ONCE. Robert Plant and Krauss, I adore your smile and be happy you just put a royal flush on the Grammy comp! And again, Jonas Brothers. Imagine how embarrassed Stevie Wonder would've been if he could see what you do alongside him. I still have some dignity left after finding out they did not win Best New Artist.

Ok, moving on...

Should I now be embarrassed after that rant on the Jbros? I mean this new artist that I'm digging is on MTV's The Hills. She's sorta like a teenie bop version of M.I.A. with a skim of soul and gospel hidden in there. Not as mature as Winehouse, but then again, this girl looks healthy. If that's not enough, she's on the already-cliche record label owned by Starbucks (that did back McCartney), Hear Music. Anjulie is from Toronto. Yes, you heard me. Toronto. The youngest of four, Anjulie was raised by her immigrant parents from Guyana, who filled her childhood with "Afro-Caribbean calypso, reggae, and South American Latin music." I'm digging her. Her self-titled album from Hear Music is set to arrive on our doorsteps on March 31...we'll see what the blogging and entertainment industry can do with her career before then. Yes, I hear some soul, Top 40 Leona Lewis, Simon Cowell infused "hit" ingredients. But, I like it. This video from her EPK isn't a bad teaser for what's to come:

"The Heat"

And the single is rumored to be...
Anjulie - Boom

Friday, February 6, 2009

Off to the orchestra. Speaking of...

I'm off to see the Colorado Symphony Orchestra perform this weekend. This post is spawned from a few thoughts that I'll try and tie it together. Knowing I was going to see the symphony this weekend, I started thinking of memorable symphony performances within the rock world. It got me thinking about kick ass hybrids of current rock/performers that have had some heightened help with a slew of backing strings, timpani and conducting...a full on orchestra. Am I talking about the Electric Light Orchestra, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra or the patchouli wearing Animal Liberation Orchestra? Negative Ghostrider. I'm talking the real deal. I'm talking G-N-R's "November Rain." I'm talking about the supposedly first instance this happened - a 1969 "Concerto for Group and Orchestra" by Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Hell, I'm even stretching this as far to say Josh Ritter's performances with a 24-piece orchestra, the Boston Pops, or with young-gunner extraordinaire, Hillary Hahn.

After that, I remembered a question I ask a handful of music-savvy friends that I'll now ask you: What one concert/performer would you see if you could go back in time? I usually get Elvis, Beethoven, The Beatles, or even the Bob Marley or Zeppelin as common answers. None are wrong, it's your choice. So, what is the one performance you'd want to see? I think mine would be Led Zeppelin performing "Kashmir" with a fully symphony in the background adding some pepper and jalapeno to the earth-moving vocals and soul-ripping strumming of Page and Plant. I'd sit in the front row of the balcony during their full sound check rehearsal of "Kashmir" soaking in every vibration. Note: I WOULD post the song here but I'm timid as Led Zepplin's pockets are pretty deep for a tiny blog like this. So, if you don't know what song I'm talking about you have two options. 1.) where the hell have you been that you don't know "Kashmir"??? 2.) Buy it now and pretend you misplaced the album or your computer accidentally erased it.

Yes, Mozart would be a tough answer to beat. But what if I used my one chance to travel back in time and found out that Beethoven's 5th or Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's concertos debut involved 8 wretched villagers who just learned to play the violin instead of the imagined polished orchestra hired by the king? I have heard from reliable sources that Zeppelin's concerts are as I might picture them. So they are my answer. Anywhoo...happy Friday.

Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Josh Ritter & 24-piece Orchestra - Girl In The War

Led Zeppelin - Kashmir

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Gomez single and tour announced!

After a an extended halftime break, the Gomez boys are back with a new single, a Bonnaroo slot and a tour. They were my "concert of the year" back in 2005 when they kicked the hell out of Boulder's Fox Theater and the rambunctious crowd. The Southport ragamuffins have been blogging a bit to hype up their new album and just announced a North American tour that kicks off in March. Better yet, a few lucky venues get to see Gomez co-headlining with Mountain Tempo favorite, Josh Ritter. I swear to everything holy that if Gomez co-headlines with Josh Ritter in Colorado, my middle name will "Lucky Day."

And as mentioned above, Gomez is giving us a taste of their ATO Records release, A New Tide, available in late March. Here's some lobe tickling for you.
Gomez - Airstream Driver

Monday, February 2, 2009

Steve Martin's SNL banjo:
was that for real?

Yes. So if you're...let's say 30 years or older, forgive me...but not many people under the age of 30ish really know the true Steve Martin. I was perusing this weekends Saturday Night Live clips on (surely you know about this site from the Super Bowl commercial by now) and there were many comments throughout the web debating whether this act was a fingerpicking karaoke SNL joke or a serious song:

Most of my friends, and maybe you, thought his start was circa "Lucky Day" in The Three Amigos! or maybe in Roxanne. Few my age remember his stints on Johnny Carson, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, The Smothers Brothers or "King Tut". Little did I know until a bit ago, he not only performed, but was a writer for those shows (and many more) too. (Thanks mom and dad for taping many of those!) But, yes indeed...Steve Martin is a musician and his fingers really can pluck the fuck out of that banjo. And, he's been plucking with the best for years now, winning a Grammy with bluegrass grandaddy Earl Scruggs on this little ditty (how many legends can you fit on a small stage?)...

Steve Martin has a newish album available via 40 Productions, titled The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo. The 2009 album features 15 songs all penned by Martin and has a few cameos of note: Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Tim O'Brien, Earl Scruggs, Pete Wernick and Tony Trischka. It was even produced by Nitty Gritty's John McEuen. Not bad eh?