Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Running On Empties

From contributing to DC9 at Night I've learned there really isn't purely original music that comes out. I'm not exactly sure what would come out that would be innovative, it would probably have to be a band that uses a hollow log as their drum... but, I digress.

Athens, GA band The Empties are a group that seemingly wear their influences firmly on their sleeves. Throughout their self-titled debut you can't help but hear the Brit Daniel-esqe vocal style in just about every song. That isn't to say that Spoon is there only influence or that the band is intentionally aping the bands style, because their not. "Reflect a Star" reminds me of The Monkees, while "Junkie" reminds me of The Helio Sequence and "Something's Wrong" reminds me of Rooney's first album.

By name-checking bands with that many different styles you would think the band's sound is all over the place. However, they wrangle their sound into one cohesive sound, with only subtle things to remind you of different bands. With all the comparisons aside, The Empties put together a pretty damn good album full of garage rock, piss and vinegar.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Run, Ronnie, Run!

I'm not sure what my attraction to sad songs is... but, they are always the songs I will latch onto first.  Even if they aren't sad, per se, just kind of lonely.  Once I heard local boy Ronnie Fauss' "The Saddest Love That's Ever Been Made," the hook was definitely set and the rest of his album New Songs For The Old Frontier Vol. 1 continued to reel me in.

His album runs from the tear-jerky opener "The Saddest Love That's Ever Been Made" to the had-one-too-many bar anthem "The Last" in americana fashion.  I think one of the things that automatically drew me in is the familiarity in his voice, his voice is very similar to former New Frontiers singer.  I dig Fauss' raspy, seemingly whiskey soaked voice, in my head it gives his music a bit of authority.  But, I think the biggest thing that really drew me into his music is the subtle hopeful quality that each song has underneath the sad, lonely veneer.  

School of Seven Bells "My Cabal" Video

The new video for School of Seven Bells shows me two things:  fish-eye lenses apparently are not only cool in the 90s and that sets from public access television shows are cool locations to film.  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Audrye Sessions Turn Me On

I'm not sure what it is about female bass players that I find so alluring, but, it is definitely a bug I have and can't seem to shake.  It's happened before with Stellastarr* and Silversun Pickups... and it's happened again with Audrye Sessions.

Their music runs along the lines of the Aussie band Youth Group, whom it seems the opening guitar was cribbed, and a little bit of a harder edged Toad The Wet Sprocket.  Good music that is only "alternative" because it's indie and not because of the way it sounds.  And, bass player Alicia Marie Campbell is a looker, yeow!  

Next week the band will come through The D with Manchester Orchestra at The Loft.  Should be a good show.

MP3:  Aubrye Sessions - Turn Me Off

Tour dates:

5/22 San Diego, CA - Voodoo Stage @ HOB
5/23/09 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
5/2409 Tempe, AZ @ Clubhouse
5/2609 Austin, TX @ Emo's
5/2709 Dallas, TX @ The Loft
5/2809 Houston, TX @ Walter's
5/2909 New Orleans, LA @ Spanish Moon
5/3009 Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry's
5/3109 Atlanta, GA @ Bottletree
6/0309 Orlando, FL @ The Social
6/0409 Orlando, FL @ The Social

Left Coast Folkies

I'm not really sure what happens to folk music once you go west of the Rocky Mountains that makes it sound so peaceful.  But, whatever those California liberals do to get that peaceful, easy feelin' is alright by me.

Reed KD is another in a long line of folkies to come out of the Terminator state that produces lush harmonies with intricate work on the ol' string instruments.  His harmonies a thick and lush like the work of The Mamas and The Papas and Simon and Garfunkel.  Like the name of the song, it actually sounds like a trip through the country and gazing on it's amazing beauty.

Reed's album In Case The Comet Comes is out on June 9.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Killer Crocs

I was recently turned on to the Crocodiles and found their sound familiar yet hard to pin down.  They have a smidge of the Black Angels drone, very much "Head On" era Jesus and Mary Chain and maybe even a little bit of Echo and The Bunnymen (only a little more rocky) to round everything out.  

Regardless, I've been listening to a helluva lot of them the last week or so.  And they are coming to Dallas as the support band for Holy Fuck.  

Tour dates:
5/20/09 Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls
5/21/09 Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs #
5/22/09 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg #
5/23/09 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom #
5/24/09 Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar #
5/25/09 Philadelphia, PA @ The Church #
5/27/09 Washington DC @ Rock N Roll Hotel #
5/28/09 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop #
5/29/09 Detroit, MI @ The Magic Stick #
5/30/09 Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle #
5/31/09 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry #
6/3/09 Bellingham, WA @ Highlight Lounge #
6/4/09 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir #
6/5/09 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill #
6/6/09 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour #
6/7/09 San Diego, CA @ Casbah #
6/8/09 Tuscon, AZ @ Plush #
6/10/09 Dallas, TX @ Lounge on Elm #
6/11/09 Austin, TX @ Mohawk #
6/12/09 Houston, TX @ Walter's #
6/13/09 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon #
6/14/09 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree #
6/15/09 Atlanta, GA @ Drunken Unicorn #
6/18/09 Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool
6/20/09 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
6/23/09 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
6/26/09 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
6/27/09 Phoenix, AZ @ The Trunkspace
# supporting Holy Fuck

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Under The Cover

It's not a big surprise when a Cat Power cover song hits the web, they are pretty much her bread-and-butter, man.  She usually does a pretty good job of reinterpreting other artists songs, but for her reimagining of Oasis' classic "Wonderwall" I have to give the win to Ryan Adams.  

MP3:  Cat Power - Wonderwall (Oasis Cover)

Musical Obsession

For the last week or so I've been doing my best to make myself deaf by playing the Deadmau5 Remix of Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger."  If I could make it any louder in my headphones I would gladly do so to the detriment of my hearing.  It's a nice big room house remix that I can only imagine sounds phenomenal coming out of a huge PA system.  My only complaint is that the song is not just a tad bit longer.

Christmas In May

Yesterday I got an unlikely surprise in the mail--my Pearl Jam 2008 Christmas single! Yeah, I know, Christmas was six months ago. But, after the first year or two in the fan club you realize that Christmas comes late every year. I also got the Summer issue of Deep which is a special edition focusing on the Ten 20th aniversary... which is next year. Man I feel old.

But, the single has an alternate take on John Doe's "Golden State." Ed's original version was featured on the Golden State EP, but this one is a stripped down version. Also included is a new song called "Santa Cruz," it sounds like Ed reminiscing about the good ol' days in California when he was working at a gas station and surfing.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Lights Are Much Brighter There...

I would say that I find it odd that the world of electro and hip-hop are slowly coming together, but I don't.  With Kanye and Will.I.Am sampling Daft Punk and the fact that Kraftwerk was the foundation for a lot of early hip-hops it's only a natural progression.

Colorado producer Pretty Lights, along with Dallas' LehtMoJoe, is one of the guys on that cutting edge of combining club music, hip-hop and electro together and he's pulling it off quite nicely.  "Hot Like Sauce" grabs you with the sped up sample at the beginning and the slow syrupy beat and doesn't let go.  

If you're a fan of DJ Shadow's album Entroducing..., I highly suggest you grab Pretty Light's album Filling Up The City Skies here for free.  

The Best And The Rest

I'll have to admit that I wasn't (and am still not) blown away by The Rest.  However, there is something there that doesn't make me want to quickly turn it off or skip to the next song.  I couldn't make myself turn their music off, I couldn't.  The music kept me engaged and listening... their album Everyone All At Once is definitely a grower, not a shower.  Their album plays out like Coldplay's dour little brother throwing a tantrum to get attention.  The Rest do ape the sound of Colplay just a little bit, only with a less pretentious twist.  Their music isn't necessarily uplifting, but, I don't think that's what the band is going for.  

Even though I said I wasn't blown away by them, I've listened to their album a couple of times now and it's completely mesmerizing.  By the end even though you know it may be Coldplay's dour little brother, you come to realize he's cooler than his older sibling.  

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Under The Cover

Imagine my surprise last night while I watched the most awesome episode of Lost ever when I heard a cover of my favorite songs of the 80's on a Lincoln MKS commercial.  Yeppers, it seems the kids originally from Shawnee, OK, Shiny Toy Guns have done gone off and cover Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)."  

It's not bad, definitely not as great as the original, but, not bad.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Droppin' The Dimes

For some reason the first thing I thought of when I heard the title for The Dimes EP New England was Reba McEntire's Whoever's In New England.  Why?  I really don't know why, it just kinda popped into my head.  However, The Dimes are nothing like the fiery Ada, OK redhead, they're more like America... the band.

More precisely they remind me of the now defunct Dallas band The New Frontiers for the alt-country vibe and Simon & Garfunkle for the harmonies.  The harmonies on their New England EP are superb, warm and somewhere near beer joint angelic.  Bottom line, good indie alt-country for the music fan in you!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Down By The Southern Sea

A friend of mine introduced me to The Southern Sea a couple of months ago and I was instantly smitten.  They have a sound that reminds me of folk versions of either A) The Flaming Lips or B) The Uglysuit.  So basically, if Wayne put down the crazy home made double neck guitar and picked up a banjo you would almost have the sound of The Southern Sea.

Their awesomely titled Theoretically, yes.  Honestly, no. is out now and I highly suggest you pick it up... here.

Gators Of The Northwest

Sunny and warm aren't two things you would use to describe Seattle, but that's what's come out of there with Alligators.  They have a rich pop sound that reminds me of the New Radicals a little bit... only more indie!  Their sound has been compared to the Beach Boys, The Zombies and even Radiohead.  So, with comparisons like that you'd better sound good--and the Alligators do.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Live @ The Landromat!

My Old Kentucky Blog continue to have one of the best web series around with "Landro Matinee."  This time they featured one of my fave bands Great Lake Swimmers.  You can watch the videos and download the mp3s from the sessions here.

Boston Americana Pa'ks The Ca' in The Ya'd

I admittedly don't know a lot about Boston's musical heritage.  I do put the following things with Boston:  NKOTB, Bob Ryan, The Sox, Celtics, racism, Aerosmith, Southies, Harvard, The Afleck brothers and apples.  However, what I don't identify with Boston is Americana music of any kind.  But, apparently I was wrong about that.

Session Americana have nice inflections of old-timey music and a bit of twang.  But, "I Can't Get Out" is a great song for a rainy day like today.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Old Crow Hootinanny

Yep, last night was another great performance by the boys of Old Crow Medicine Show.  The energy from the band was something to behold, the band was playing as hard as they could all night long.  It was also cool seeing a line go all the way around the building into the back parking lot.  The place was packed and it got really hot as the night went on.

Justin Townes Earle was fantastic.  Until last night I had only heard a few of his songs, but I was blown away with how great he was live.   He knows how to work a crowd and put on a show.  I've never seen his dad live, but I'm sure he could give him a run for his money.

I don't know how I can this any other way... Dallas, please shut the fuck up when the band is playing.  It's not an ice cream social and I (and a lot of other people) are there to see the band not listen to you talk to each other.  Thank you, that is all.

You can read my review for DC9 at Night here, and you can see pictures from the show here or here.

Ride An Horse To Town

Even though we've been under a cloud for the last two weeks doesn't mean we can't bring you sunny tunes here at BFD.  I received this one a week or so ago from Aussie band An Horse.  They have a sound that brings to mind sunnier post-grunge groups from the mid-90s. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I Need You To Lovestones Me

Imagine being in a band with Anton Newcombe and being able to come out of the experience alive and still in good condition.  That was the experience of one Matthew Tow.  Tow now fronts his own band, The Lovetones and you can tell why Newcombe asked to join up with Brian Jonestown Massacre... the man has excellent song writing abilities.  

The sound of The Lovetones range from sunny California folk-pop of the Mamas and The Papas to the Americana tinged rock of Tom Petty spiked with a little psychedelia.  If you're a fan of those bands or even the more countryfied songs of BJM them you will dig on The Lovetones.

Their new album Dimensions is out now, get it here.

Old Crow Tonight, Y'all!

Tonight them boys from Old Crow Medicine Show will hit 'em up at the Granada. It should be a good time. I'm really, really hoping it's as good as the last time I saw them there. But, that remains to be seen considering how ho-hum Tennessee Pusher was.

But, you can read my "B-Side" over the band here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Little Black Dress

Next month Little Black Dress will unleash their full fury on the world when they release their debut album Snow in June, on June 2.  Well, fury might be a little bit of a strong descriptor for their music.  Like local brethren Radiant*, the band music in a blend of pop and Brit pop, only LBD throws in a little bit of shoegaze into the mix.  

With a sound so similar to Radiant* it will be interesting to see if the guys in Little Black Dress will go beyond the local borders and make a name for themselves across the country.  

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Cool Kids Go Fishing

With the new era of the music industry in full swing a lot of artists have taken to releasing their singles, albums and mixtapes for free online.  It's a good way to get free publicity since most of their money is made from touring anyway.  No one has embraced this new model quite like The Cool Kids.  They only have one EP to their name and a slew of singles that have been released for free via blogs.  Today they release their newest mixtape Gone Fishing to keep their name out there.

It's what you would expect from The Cool Kids, hard 808 beats and off-kilter rhymes.

You can download Gone Fishing here.

Saturday Fun Times

Saturday night me and the Mrs. went out to see The Atoms/Eastwood/100 Damned Guns show at the City Tavern.  It was the first time I'd been to City Tavern and I like the place.

The Atoms were a pretty good band, they had the rock swagger with a bit o' Southern twang thrown in.  But, the night really belonged to Eastwood and 100 Damned Guns.  During the Eastwood set they busted out a sweet gem from my youth, they covered Eddie Rabbit's "Drivin' My Life Away."  I was super stoked to hear that one, hadn't heard it in a loooong time.

100 Damned Guns were great as always.  I think I overheard the manager telling one of the band members the owner really liked them and wanted them to come back and play.  Good for them.  The Guns closed out their set with a sweet Waylon cover of "Good Hearted Woman" which I always dedicate to my wife.

But, the most entertaining thing of the night was the guy in the above video.  I kinda feel sorry for him, but I kinda don't.  You see, he was obviously very intoxicated and just having a good time.  But, it was fun to see someone that drunk and having a good time.  But, it was also just really, really funny to see this guy doin' whatever he was doing.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Under The Cover

I know relatively few things about British chanteuse Adele, but here's what I do know:  killer voice, pretty face, she plays the bass and she's healthy.  But, she sings like a champ.  Here's what I know about Santigold:  she use to be called Santogold, she's engaged to a snowboarder, her music is fantastic.

So, all of that being said I came across a sweet ass cover of Santigold covering Adele's "Hometown Glory."  Good stuff.

MP3:  Santigold - Hometown Glory (Adele cover)

*Update*  Thanks to Travis Hopper and the wonders of social networking I could not go on today without posting this little gem... The Oak Ridge Boys covering The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army."  Genius.