Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Albert Hammond Jr. Covers Frank Black

I don't how long this has been on the Amoeba site, but in this clip from Hammond's in-store set, the first song is a very faithful cover of Frank Black's "Old Black Dawning" off of Black's first solo album. A great tune brought to you in that glorious Amoeba-vision! Why can't everyones' embedded video look as nice as this?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Foundry Field Recordings

Part of me likes to think that the members of The Foundry Field Recordings really spend their free time walking around in open spaces with vintage recording equipment collecting sounds like so many precious gems. And while I know that they probably just did it that day because there was a photographer there, I shut down that logic when I’m playing this album.

I heeded the enthusiastic losanjealous endorsement a while ago and still find myself reaching for this album pretty often. Prompts/Miscues is an amazing debut that is ridiculously solid throughout. I’m posting my two favorites from the album and I think you’ll find that these guys have an incredible amount of range. Enjoy!

“Broken Strings” is an inspired ballad that is performed with unfettered sincerity. If you’ve ever had your heart broken, prepare yourself to feel that way all over again for the next five minutes.

That said, these guys can also bring the heat. “Buried Beneath The Winter Frames” starts off as a likable and catchy pop song, but grows a serious set of fangs as it progresses. And it becomes a serious addiction thereafter. This diddy has popped up on just about every playlist in my iPod.

** Also as a side note, I just discovered while collecting links that they have a new album for sale, Fallout Stations. I’ve already ordered mine, if it’s anywhere as good as this stuff you’ll be hearing about it real soon.

The Nice

When I was in high school I was way into ELP, which led me to Keith Emmerson’s first band, The Nice. At the time I sort of tossed these guys aside because, (and I’m embarrassed to admit this) there wasn’t enough keyboard. But I’ve done a lot of growing since then. So when I saw this amazing double disc compilation, Hang On To A Dream, during the 70% off days at Tower (R.I.P.) a while back, I just had to have it. This comp strolls from psych to prog as Emmerson’s signature sound matures right before your ears. Here’s a couple of my favorite tracks from the band’s earlier days. And should you find yourself longing for more keyboards, you know where to go.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Finally The Punk Rockers Are Drinking Islands

These guys are cool! They call themselves Abe Vigoda and I stumbled upon them when looking up shows around town. They’ve got that whole Islands calypso rock thing going, only with way less precision and focus. It sounds like they just found their instruments on the beach, but in a good way. Maybe there’s a secret wave of Unicorns/Islands inspired bands on the way, we can only pray. This track is alright, but I liked the song ‘Animal Ghosts’ a lot more over at their myspace page.

Jerry Jeff Walker - London Homesick Blues

That's Jerry Jeff on the right, with Willie Nelson & Jack Rodgers.

From the first time I heard this whiskey soaked bar closer of a song, I instantly loved it. I just played it on repeat for a week solid and never grew sick of it. There’s just something about it’s laid back, off-the-cuff performance that draws you in completely and makes you long to be back home with the armadillos, (you’ll know what that means after you listen to it). Viva Terlingua is pretty much the perfect hang out album; it’s easy on the ears, not too demanding, but occasionally makes you sit up and take notice. And yes, I used a semi-colon. I’m not really sure if Walker is even doing the lead vocals on this cut, but I’m reasonably sure that if this song is playing through your car speakers, you’ll be fronting the band.