Thursday, January 28, 2010

Live Music Tonight: Parson Red Heads and Fruitbats

So.........I caught the Fruitbats on NPR/KCRW this morning and the set was pretty cool. I had first learned of this band in San Diego covering their tune "When you Love Somebody," with Ernie Garcia and StuntDouble. But, I had never really pursued checking the band out despite really enjoying the simple tune with its ups and downs in dynamics and intensity.....Then, yesterday I heard it on the radio and sure enough the DJ says that they're going to be on Morning Becomes Eclectic today so I gave a lis'. Well, they're in town because they are going to play at the Echoplex tonight and I am trying to roust some heads to go peep it out when I head over to the website to see about ticks and........I see that The Parson Red Heads are playing at the Echo tonight as well in a show promoted by my favorite local blog, Aquarium Drunkard. Well ho-lee-shit....what's a kid to do? I first heard about the Parsons from the Drunkard's Ram on L.A. a tribute to Paul and Linda McCartney's RAM album. The Parson Red Heads did one of the best re-makes on that album, which was awesome in spirit and benefitted charity, but in many cases failed to produce good renditions, in my opinion. Their version of "Ram On," stood out enough for me to remember their name and check out their myspace and eventually become a fan. So......this is a good problem to have if you are interested in going out to see some live music in Silverlake tonight, but it still presents a problem.....Parsons or Fruitbats......more to come on this tomorrow.....

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Concert Review: A.A. Bondy @ The Echo

A. A. Bondy just finished up at the Echo in Silverlake. First thing that stood out was his voice. Instantly recognizable as a great folk/pop timbre. Instantly. Nice little trio; drummer doubled on pedal steel and had a synth pad he used to trigger some samples (not too exciting, but noteworthy in terms of the electric sound they had on some tunes)...the pedal steel was quite nice, however. After three songs one might think that they were in for an insanely dynamic performance and they wouldn't be too far off, but for the lull in the center of the set. Somewhere in the middle of this lull the band went into a noise-rock/sound experiment of nob turning and feedback, but it just wasn't convincing. I was actually extremely relieved when they brought the intensity back up for the last couple of tunes because they executed it so much better. This was achieved by not solely raising volume and distortion, but doing so whilst maintaining the integrity of a very slow building 6/8 tumbler which they were able to climax beautifully before ending with a dissonant crash. A.A. also displayed some tasty travis-picking independence and the encore displayed the drummer's musicality and skill with a long set of extremely even and poignant double-stroke rolls within his compound metered groove. All in all this headlining set was very mellow, plenty eclectic, and overall, quite satisfying. Always nice to hear a band sound even better then their records.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

RVOW: Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

So, I suppose this isn't the most random vinyl, but whatever. They're all just great records that I feel like highlighting and spinning for a week and this is no exception. How does it fit in with the classics I've gone through? Emmylou Harris sings backups on it (shrug) good enough?....I didn't even realize it was actually her voice and not a just a younger female going for the same vibe until I read up for this entry. The songwriting is also pretty damn good and many claim that Oberst first claimed his place in the lineage with this record. I think it to be a fair statement. Conner Oberst is a fantastic and prolific songwriter and as good as any of his contemporaries if not right up there with the greats from the past in the genres of folk, rock, garage, psych folk, whatever.... I picked this baby up on Audiophile grade vinyl for 9.99 and it comes with a digital download code from Saddle Creek records. Lovin' it.....keep it greasy......

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Have You Dug Don Covay Yet?

Do you dig on The Rising Storm? If you are saying "Who the heck is Don Covay?" then the answer is undoubtedly no. Wait....should I back up? Do you dig classic funk/soul/rhythm and blues/rock and roll? Then peep The Rising Storm out. In their words: "The Rising Storm is an mp3 blog about fine forgotten albums. We focus on lost gems in the genres of garage, country rock, psych folk, psychedelic rock, and other overlooked classics." Need I say more???? Don Covay is a soulful brother whose "Mercy Mercy," which I first found on Aquarium Drunkard (through The Rising Storm) a few months back, was recorded with a young Jimi Hendrix on guitar. The difference between the record discussed in that original post, See Saw, which is a classic soul groover and "The House of  Blue Lights," which more closely resembles a gritty Taj Mahal record of the same era shows the range and roots of this forgotten talent. The mp3s from the older post have expired, but the new one has two downloadable tracks and if you see one of this cat's records in some dingy bin somewhere then buy it. If you don't want it hit me up and I promise to pay you twice what it cost you plus shipping or whateva. Grazie

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blogger Bollocks/Reflections of the Kerouac Kids

Keeping a blog is kind of a bit sometimes. It's like keeping a journal. It seems easy and fun for a minute, but it requires research and effort and time and narcissism. All of which I feel I have plenty of so.....I will continue to keep trying to post as much as possible. This post is a poem from my personal journal dated Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009.

Deeper than attempted before we dove....
Dove into the heart of Jack's skid-row San Frisco
Mad-Night Knife-Sharp San Francis
Upside Down Dive Doven Bars with real hobos-just a little to close to the square-yet down trodden and upended and red-eye listenin' to our juke jingles...

Everyone failed to meet their humanly responsibilities
the morning to come
Josh and I woke up in his bed
Clothed, yes, yet stripped of all dignity and manhood nevertheless
How? Why? Where? Who?
No one could tell all
It would take several phone calls to piece it all together....


He bought Craig a room and saved Josh from a
Solo cab ride to god knows where
And then he put Josh and I in a cab and sent us off...
Scott said he looked in and saw neither of us
Present before he went to work
One last piece of the puzzle we'll probably never find
Maybe we should stop looking for Jack......

Monday, January 4, 2010

RVOW: Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection

Welcome to the working week...Random Vinyl is back and this week the Newb-Log is spinning a classic, as always, Tumbleweed Connection. If you don't think you like Elton John then shut up and buy this record. Mine was $1.99 at Rasputin in Berkeley during my vacationing in the Bay last month and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the vinyl was in near perfect condition at this price (sigh of joy/an f-u to LA stores). I stumbled on this LP in a small stack preserved under the Hi-Fi at my lovely girlfriend's house on Christmas day. She had convinced her folks that I loved vinyl and that they should let me peruse the stacks and make a selection to back our lovely dinner (BTW if you have any friend's with Portuguese mothers or G-ma's invite yourself over for dinner, STAT!!!). Mr. Fedrick gave me the thumbs up and I quickly found some classic country including Cash, Haggard, Springsteen's Nebraska, and then this odd little storefront picture with Elton slumped in the corner. I knew I had heard of this record, but couldn't place it. Had I read about it on The Rising Storm? No, too popular for that, right? What about a reference on the Drunkard? I later remembered that I had heard the second half on 100.3 The Sound's Album sides Wednesday. So I queued the needle and trotted upstairs to where the system was set to play. I literally blurted out "Oh, Shit. This is rockin'." Well......we made it through that first tune and through the second, which is a fantastic ballad and arrangement entitled: "Come Down in Time." Then I was urged to put on one of the old Christmas LPs instead, which was fine because they had a classic compilation with Bing and Nat King Cole. It didn't even matter, though. I knew I needed this album and where to find it on my way back to Berkeley, San Frisco, and ultimately back home. I don't even want to get too technically deep on this record I just want to say thank you very much to Dee Fedrick for turning me on to it and say that I have rarely enjoyed a record's every single song this much on the first listen. The records they shove up your ass and down your throat these days are all designed to sound great on first listen, but they don't reward any further upon subsequent listens. They just sit there like stale bread and they taste much worse. Tumbleweed has lovely arrangements and hooky chorus' and flows like a classically structured work with movements. Happy New Year, kids, one of my resolutions is to post more/post music/study up on me ingles. Throw a brother a comment, talk shit, c'mon!!!