Archive for August, 2008

The new boss is demanding!

Unfortunately, champing at the bit and being prepared aren’t mutually exclusive. But now I’m about ready to get this blogging thing going…

First, a big thanks to djeddieo for allowing me to crash his space. I hope this will be a win-win, not only for Edward and myself, but for the loyal readers… even more bands and tunes for you to check out and hopefully enjoy.

Love as Laughter

Love as Laughter

The band Love as Laughter have already put in some blogosphere miles this year (and years past for sure, having formed in 1994!), but are still seemingly unheralded. Their new album Holy is quickly warming on me as a real contender. The lead single, All Parts of Me, which you’ll hear immediately on going to their MySpace page is one of the catchiest songs I’ve heard in a while. Don’t let the Talking Heads and world music rhythms completely set your expectations. The rest of the album is a bit more straight-forward, but in a good way. Crosseyed Beautiful Youngunz and Konny and Jimmy (if you can find it) are two more keepers.

Catfish Haven

Catfish Haven

The newest entry on my list of eagerly anticipated releases is Devastator by Catfish Haven (out October 7). I had never heard of these guys until last week, but the single Set in Stone has set my expectations high. Download it from their site or just listen to it at MySpace. Grizzly looking indie-rockers from Chicago playing with R&B/Soul can never be a bad mix… can it?

Carried to Dust

Carried to Dust

Far from being new or undiscovered, but still a little off the main radar, Calexico have a new Mexicali/folk/rock album coming out on September 9 called Carried to Dust. The first single is Two Silver Trees. Incredible musicians, these guys continue to put out music that’s sincere to the roots they honor, but still make it feel fresh by throwing in some dub or electronics when least expected.

I hadn’t realized until now how heavily they contributed to the I’m Not There soundtrack. They back up various folks on 5 separate tracks. Goin’ to Acapulco, featuring Jim James from My Morning Jacket on vocals, is the one showcased on Calexico’s MySpace.

posted by: Buzz Biscuits

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Switches, Lily Allen

Well, I thought that Rick “Buzz Biscuits” Corson was champing at the bit to start blogging, but it looks like I’m squeezing one more in before he takes the baton.

Flipping thru a 3 month old Spin Magazine, I see Switches listed among editor Doug Brod’s faves. (odd that it would interest me, as his other faves – Cheap Trick, XTC, Fountains of Wayne – didn’t have me running for Limewire). Anyway, a quick trip to their MySpace page hooked me. (warning: this is one of those MySpace pages where a video way down the page starts automatically, then the audio player starts, resulting in sonic trainwreck….pause the audio player before it starts, and enjoy the video to Drama Queen, whether you look at the images or not, then listen to the equally great Inferior Interior on the audio player). Check the website too; obviously this stuff has been out for a while (released 7/17/07!), so some the hipper visitors to this blog are already over it, but my core audience of reluctant middle-aged suburbanites should eat it up. I found a free download at Sideload.com, a site I check frequently; search “switches” and grab Drama Queen before it’s gone.

I thought I was all done with Lily Allen, to be honest. Once she gave us Kate Nash (possible big mistake on her part), her stuff seemed a bit trite by comparison. A few songs on her MySpace page, however are nicely Kate-Nash-ish, about falling in love, breaking up, despising each other, and other touching topics. As easy on the eyes as ever with the blonde ‘do, Lily shines in “Who’d Of Known” [grammar police: shouldn’t that be “…have known”?] , “I Don’t Know”, and “I Could Say”. “Guess Who Batman” is fun too, though be careful not to play for the kiddies, lest they learn fun new phrases! Also see what a “good sport” she is in this video clip:

Alright, NOW maybe the next voice you read will be Rick’s…..ciao!

introducing….guest blogger!

Hey, I just got a genius suggestion from occasional contributer Rick, sometimes known as “Buzz Biscuits”: Let him do some djeddieo.com blogging while I’m so busy. Genius! I always wanted the blog to be somewhat interactive anyway, and I love Rick’s taste in music. He does tend to find things I like, but might not have found myself. His may be the next voice you read! Stay tuned………..

Back from vacation, Volume 12, Lykke Li, etc…..

Still very busy with that dreaded day job, I’m giving myself 20 minutes to make this post!

Howland Beach, Westport, MA

Howland Beach, Westport, MA

Before we headed off to Westport (shhhh! well-kept secret perfect summer vacation destination), I hurried together a CD compilation, as is my custom, to serve as a soundtrack for the trip. Since I’d be with the family, I tried to relax my “new, new, new” obsession, so old faves like Aimee Mann and Beck get mixed in with recent “discoveries” like Duffy, Estelle, The Ting Tings, and more. While this “final” version differs somewhat from the CD we actually had with us, they share a couple of the new discoveries that got the thumbs-up from the family.

Some highlights follow……

First up, Lykke Li:

She’s someone I discovered after our return. New York magazine raved about her, so I immediately played a bunch of her YouTube videos on my cellphone, and she satisfies that craving I have for Swedish girl-pop. Expect “Little Bit” and “I’m Good, I’m Gone” to be big radio hits in the months to come, and enjoy “Dance Dance Dance” on my compilation. (MySpace; Website)

Next is Gabriella Cilmi:

I Googled the phrase “new Amy Winehouse” to see if I could find the latest neo soul star (or latest train wreck, I guess), and, while the post I found was about Adelle (who I already love), one poster on that blog urged us to check out Gabriella, who was characterized as a “16 year old from New Zealand”. Never one to care about (or check) the details, I found the song, “Sweet About Me”, and I and the family love it. Alas, it’s not like anything else on her Myspace page or Website, but I’m a singles kind of guy.

Next, The Singhs:

I had read a Boston Globe article about Brother Cleve, a member of this band, and his mysterious illness. While my heart goes out to Brother Cleve, I was equally intrigued about the band, formerly known as Dragonfly. My rip of “Supersaturated” has some noise, as I had to use audio capture. Maybe a bunch of you will go out and pay real $$$ for it, then I can get their label to justify a promo copy for me! (MySpace/Website)

Listen to, or download the whole thing HERE. Or, 15 of the 18 tracks are available as an iMix at the iTunes Store, as djeddieo.com #12.

In short, the remainder:

Aimee Mann’s been a fave of mine since she fronted the punk band Young Snakes and sang “I Wanna Be Like You”, a paean to Nina Hagen! I once made her a cup of tea backstage at an Elvis Costello show (get your own blog and you can name-drop too). Estelle was a big hit with the fam on the St Martin CD, which featured “American Boy” with Kanye. This one’s a slow reggae groove. M.I.A. is someone I felt I had missed the boat on, as she was huge among the hipper bloggers a couple of years ago. Again, the vacation CDs give me a little relaxed attitude, and wife and daughter like her. The Ting Tings have been on these pages before, but Steve Jobs scooped me with the better song, so it’s on this set. Beck? I remember when I saw kids with his first CD; I thought it was Jeff Beck! He has continued to amaze me, mostly with his choice of samples, all from unheard sources. Duffy, we’ve covered here…what’s not to love? Jens Lekman…another missed boat, I recently heard his “I Met Her At The Antiwar Demonstration” from 2005 or something and was hooked. He’s like Jonathan Richman crossed with Morrissey! Albert Hammond Jr? I read somewhere that maybe we’ve be watching the wrong Stroke! I concur (hey, did you realize that Albert’s dad —minus the Jr—gave us the classic “It Never Rains In Southern California”? I hadn’t made that connection till this week)

The Airborne Toxic Event, who I’ve mentioned before, have a great promo person. She read my post about them and has since been very communicative about a number of other acts, like Chemical Brothers, The Silent Years, and….wait for it: Glen Campbell! By now, you may have heard of this CD, “Meet Glen Campbell”, a collection of newish songs, covered by the rhinestone cowboy himself. It might bring to mind the Johnny Cash CD, from which Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” was the big hit, but I’m reminded more of a Dwight Yoakam album, “Under The Covers”, from 1997. When I heard Dwight’s version of “Train in Vain” while wandering through Tower Records, I thought, “I knew that The Clash weren’t the original artists!” I was (momentarily) convinced Dwight’s straight country version was some long lost original. While I’m not quite so easily deceived nowadays (at least by recording artists), Glen Campbell’s version of Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” has that same air of sincerity, legitimacy, and originality. I love a good cover; one that takes a song in a newish direction, a la Talking Heads “Take Me To The River” or Amy Winehouse/Mark Ronson’s “Valerie”, and I have high hopes, believe it or not, for this Glen Campbell CD!

Streams for “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)”

PS: 20 minutes has turned into 2+ hours!