Archive for September 30th, 2008

Chairlift, Lenka, Mike McCann, my aching hand….

Let’s start with the hand…raking up some mulch as a start to digging a hole to for a hydrangea, I inadvertently disturbed some wasps that, unbeknownst to me, were nested in a nearby juniper (didn’t know I’m so green-thumby, didja?). They were all over me before I realized it was more than one, but I suppose I was lucky to escape with only four or five stings (and that counts the one I got an hour later, when I took another crack at it, assuming they had settled down….. I was mistaken about that). Anyway, it’s only now becoming a problem, nearly 48 hours later.

Okay, back to work….Steve Jobs has done it again, yet another sweet, simple female vocal barely accompanied with sparse melody, a la Feist and Yael Naim. Now it’s Caroline Polachek of Chairlift with “Bruises” (“I could do handstands for you….”).

Formed in Colorado, now based in the coolest of the boroughs, Brooklyn, Chairlift is a trio including Aaron Pfenning and Patrick Wimberly. Check their website for the food orgy video of “Planet Health” and their MySpace page for “Earwig Town” and “Territory”, from their forthcoming CD “Does You Inspire You”, in stores today, September 30, 2008. But “Bruises” is the track you gotta have, and I found it as a free download HERE.

Here’s one I think I’ve beaten Steve Jobs to, though it seems her music has been featured on Ugly Betty, which I don’t watch. Say hello to Lenka:

I first read of her in the October Vanity Fair, which gave a little shoutout to her acoustic cover of Modest Mouse’s “Gravity Rides Everything”. Her website features the obligatory cutesy video for “The Show”, and her MySpace page serves up more of the same (I especially like “Don’t Let Me Fall”)….admittedly, this is aimed more at my 14 year old daughter’s crowd than mine (and yours), but so is a lot of the stuff I like by cute young females. Harmless in small doses, and tasty too. I did find “The Show” as a free download HERE.

That same Vanity Fair column (Hot Tracks by Lisa Robinson….worth reading every month, IMHO) also cites Marc Broussard, directing Justin T. to “take note” of “the real blue-eyed, blonde, Southern soul singer”. While Marc might certainly be worth a listen (check his MySpace for a taste), I like a less slick practitioner of the blue-eyed soul, that you can catch for free right here in Boston, while enjoying a delicious pizza and well poured Guinness, as he plays the Dogwood Cafe in JP on Fridays: Mike McCann.

Any musician playing the Dogwood has to keep it easy and accessible, virtually guaranteeing set after set of well-worn folk and rock chestnuts, and Mike certainly got that memo, but his covers tend to have that fresh twist that make them more enjoyable than a straight impersonation attempt. His “Wait In Vain” seems to cover Annie Lenox as much as Marley, and his “Get Up, Stand Up” shows more joy than defiance. Check his MySpace page for some samples, including the “Wait In Vain” and really good original titled “Almost Home”, but you’ll have to go to the Dogwood to hear his absolutely awesome version of Huey Lewis and The News’s “Power Of Love” (trust me on that one).

Now, to see if my doctor has yet phoned in that prescription for my hand…….