Thursday, March 29, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Stream "Yellow Roses"
Monday, March 26, 2007
Stream "Each Day is a Lifetime"
Thursday, March 15, 2007
The 2006 album Springfield collects previously unreleased work, as well as early versions of songs already available on other Russell releases. This album highlights Russell's electro-dub dance music persona, and finds the title track in three versions, one of which is an awesomely appropriate remix by the DFA (James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem). Musically, there is a discernible 80's synth-drum sound to much of the percussion, as well as synth-horns, ominous cello basslines, and Russell's fragile vocals. It is an oftentimes beautiful mix, with Russell's muffled voice floating over the churning, electronic rhythms. This music is timeless and highly enjoyable, and definitely some of the most interesting stuff released this past year. Hopefully this will inspire you to pick up some other Russell releases. Good places to start: Calling Out Of Context, World of Echo.
Stream "Springfield (Detail)"
Arthur Russell Links:
The New Yorker
Monday, March 12, 2007
Stream "Woodland Bop"
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
|ALLMUSIC.com Review||by Tim DiGravina|
Collecting most of the singles the Pastels released on Fire, A Truckload of Trouble: 1986-1993 is a fine introduction to any newcomer and a vital piece of any fan's collection. These songs see the Pastels at their shambolic best, whining guitars blazing and ringing, alternating slurred and dreamy vocals punctuating the finest ever C-86 tunes, and blending pop and punk in the most aesthetically sublime way. Throughout the album's running time, one can't help but marvel about the sheer number of bands these songs inspired, and repeat listens make it obvious that the Pastels were a stepping stone between so many great bands and styles. In bottling up and mixing potent influences like the Fall, the Ramones, the Smiths, and the Velvet Underground, they opened the door for further experimentation by offspring such as Yo La Tengo, My Bloody Valentine, Magnetic Fields, Built to Spill, Beat Happening, and Belle & Sebastian. As steeped in the classics and as inspirational as these songs are, their most glaring attribute is just how catchy, raw, and invigorating they are. Though it covers periods of major lineup changes and rampant stylistic shifts, Truckload of Trouble is a cohesive listen from start to finish and a vital portrait of a band marching to the beat of different drum.
Stream "Nothing To Be Done"
Monday, March 5, 2007
|ALLMUSIC.com Review||by Jason Ankeny|
Unreleased for over 15 years, I Am the Cosmos is nevertheless an enduring testament to the brilliance of Chris Bell; lyrically poignant and melodically stunning, this lone solo album is proof positive of his underappreciated pop mastery. While cuts like "Get Away," "I Got Kinda Lost," and "Fight at the Table" recall the glowing, energetic power pop of Bell's earlier work, the majority of the songs on I Am the Cosmos are more reflective and deeply personal; the title track is a harrowingly schizophrenic tale of romantic despair, while other cuts like the lurching "Better Save Yourself" and the lovely "Look Up" are infused with a spiritual power largely missing from his Big Star material. The album's highlight, "You and Your Sister" -- which features backing vocals from none other than Bell's Big Star mate Alex Chilton -- is simply one of the great unknown love songs in the pop canon, a luminous and fragile ballad almost otherworldly in its beauty.
Stream "I Am The Cosmos"
|ALLMUSIC.com Review||by Mark Deming|
A lot had happened with the Flamin' Groovies in the nearly five years that separated the epochal Teenage Head album and their return to American record racks with Shake Some Action. The Groovies lost their record deal with Buddah, lead singer Roy Loney had quit the band leaving Cyril Jordan as uncontested leader, and they had spent a lot of time in Europe, building a significant following in the United Kingdom. As a result, the Flamin' Groovies on Shake Some Action almost sound like a different band, albeit one driven by a similar obsession with the utter coolness of pre-hippie rock & roll. (The fact that Jordan and bassist George Alexander were the only holdovers from the Teenage Head lineup probably had a lot to do with the different approach as well.) The rawer blues and rockabilly accents were gone from the Groovies' sound, with the guitar-fueled cool of the British Invasion era taking their place. While this version of the Flamin' Groovies didn't rock out with the same manic fervor as they did on Flamingo or Teenage Head, they could indeed rock when they felt so inclined, as demonstrated by the glorious "Please Please Girl," "I Can't Hide," and "Let the Boy Rock and Roll," while the Brit-flavored take on "St. Louis Blues" showed that some shades of the old band were still visible. And the title cut was a stunner -- a brilliant evocation of the adventurous side of British rock circa 1966, "Shake Some Action" was tough, moody, wounded, and gloriously melodic all at once, and by its lonesome served as a superb justification for the Groovies' new creative direction. If Shake Some Action was the first salvo from the new and improved Flamin' Groovies, it also demonstrated that this edition of the band had as much promise as the Loney-fronted group.
Stream "Shake Some Action"
Stream "You Tore me Down"
DOWNLOAD PART 2 here
Stream "Waves Wash Over Me"
|ALLMUSIC.com Review||by Peter J. D'Angelo|
The final studio record from the Archers of Loaf is a far cry from their early days of fast, dirty, and unrelenting indie rock anthems, but it is also a phenomenally progressive album for the band as well as a fitting swansong. The opening, "Fashion Bleeds," is the closest the band comes to its days of yore, with a chugging drumbeat and vocalist Eric Bachman's strained vocals leading the way. The presence of a keyboard that soon starts to drift in sets the tone for the rest of the record, a dark and moody venture with some unexpected styles emanating from the group. They still get raucous and loud on occasion, but sometimes they mask it under a wave of distorted sounds or in the guise of a slowed-down dirge. The closing title track is also of note, in that its sinister keyboard and drum machine sounds, along with Bachmann's oddly throaty and melodic vocals, are exactly what the singer went on to do with his next group, Crooked Fingers. In fact, White Trash Heroes sounds more like a mix of the two groups than an actual Archers record, a fact that anyone familiar with the latter group will certainly realize to be a good thing. This is certainly not the simple and sloppy indie rock outfit that churned out short poppy hits in the mid-'90s, but the band clearly developed into something equally astounding and, with a few listens, the emotion and craftsmanship of these songs prove to be a truly impressive feat.
Stream "White Trash heroes"
Saturday, March 3, 2007
| Bring on the REVERB! This is a great, rare album I discovered recently. Check out the cover of the Supremes "Keep Me Hanging On", here known only as "Keep Me".|
A haunting psychedelic oddity that's sort of a timewarp meeting place between the Byrds, Dick Dale, Hendrix, and the Velvet Underground. With their raw garage attack and over-the-top enthusiasm for feedback and wah-wah, the Index were very much of their time; with their brooding minimalism and savage, almost experimental electric guitar electronics, they sound oddly contemporary. Highlighted by the greatest cover of "Eight Miles High" ever attempted, and the closing instrumental bash of "Feedback," which is fierce psychedelic guitar distortion pushed to its white-noise limit. Look for the 1984 Voxx reissue, which, although itself hard to find these days, is still much easier to locate than the rarer-than-rare original (only two copies of which are known to exist).
Stream "You Keep Me"