Sunday, June 28, 2015

59 – “Tenuous Connections”

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The Rolling Stones – “Gimme Shelter”
The Cramps – “T.V. Set”
Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus – “Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run)”
Slaughter and the Dogs – “Come On Back”
Camper Van Beethoven – “Take the Skinheads Bowling”
The Modern Lovers – “Roadrunner (Alternate Version)”
Coast to Coast – “(Do) the Hucklebuck”
The Settlers – “The Lightning Tree”
Melle Mel – “White Lines (Don’t Do It)”
Culture Club – “Karma Chameleon”
The Fratellis – “Solid Gold Easy Action”
Department S – “Is Vic There?”
Sweeney Todd – “Roxy Roller”
Slade – “Far Far Away”
Electric Guest – “Waves”

Sunday, June 21, 2015

58 – “Oh Man the Future”

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Bhi Bhiman – “Moving to Brussels”
Alabama Shakes – “Don’t Wanna Fight”
Hippo Campus – “Suicide Saturdays”
Solvents – “Reeling Out”
Hey Rosetta – “Soft Offering (for the Oft Suffering)”
Kevin Garrett – “Control”
Young Fathers – “Shame”
De Lux – “Oh Man the Future”
Lord Huron – “Fool for Love”
Tracey Thorn – “It Was Always Me”
Greg Holden – “Hold on Tight”
Rocky Votolato – “The Hereafter”
Torres – “Sprinter”
Charlie Parr – “Over the Red Cedar”
Mac McCaughan – “Lost Again”

Spring 2015

JD McPherson - "Let the Good Times Roll"
Made Violent - "Two Tone Hair"
Courtney Barnett - "Pedestrian at Best"
'The Mountain Goats - "The Legend of Chavo Guerrero"
Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars - "Uptown Funk!"
Nick Jonas - "Jealous"
Father John Misty - "Bored in the USA"
Alabama Shakes - "Don't Wanna Fight"
Maroon 5 - "Sugar"
Bh Bhiman - "Moving to Brussels"
Hippo Campus - "Suicide Saturdays"
Brandi Carlile - "Mainstream Kid"
De Lux - "Oh Man the Future"
Springtime Carnivore - "Sun Went Black"
Tracey Thorn - "It Was Always Me"
Waxahatchee - "Under a Rock"
Greg Holden - "Hold on Tight"
Rocky Votolato -  "The Hereafter"
Hey Rosetta - "Soft Offering (for the Oft Suffering)"
Kevin Garret - "Control"
The Weather - "1983"
Rose Windows - "Glory, Glory"
Redtenbacher's Funkestra - "Baby Fat"
Young Fathers - "Shame"
Heartless Bastards - "Gates of Dawn"
Meg Mac - "Roll Up Your Sleeves"
Two Gallants - "Incidental"
Solvents - "Reeling Out"
Will Butler - "Take My Side"
Rocky Dawuni - "Shine a Light"
Jeff Rosenstock - "Nausea"
The 4ontheFloor - "All My Friends"
Joe Pug - "Brilliant Beginnings"
Hanni El Khatib - "Melt Me"
Duke Evers - "Lions"
Tallest Man on Earth - "Sagres"
Ivan & Alyosha - "All This Wandering Around"
The Go! Team - "The Scene Between"
Danny Kroha - "Angels Watching Over Me"
Dreamsalon - "Soft Stab"
Warm Soda - "Cryin' for a Love"
Step Rockets - "Turning Tides (By Your Side)"
Kristin Diable - "Time Will Wait"
Holly Miranda - "All I Want is to be Your Girl"
Colleen Green - "TV"
JEFF the Brotherhood - "Black Cherry Pie"
Mommy Long Legs - "Life Rips"
US Elevator - "Dangerous Love"
Pokey LaFarge - "Something in the Water"
Hop Along - "Waitress"
The Deslondes - "The Real Deal"
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis - "Whenever You See Me"
The Helio Sequence - "Stoic Resemblance"
Sarah Bethe Nelson - "Start Somewhere"
DMA's - "Laced"
POW! - "Liquid Daydream"
Iron and Wine - "Everyone's Summer of '95"
Lord Huron - "Fool for Love"
George Ezra - "Budapest"
San Fermin - "Emily"
Twin Danger - "Pointless Satisfaction"
Django Django - "Shake & Tremble"
Miami Horror - "Real Slow"
Torres - "Sprinter"
Dan Deacon - "Feel the Lightning"
Saun and Starr - "Look Closer (Can't You See the Signs)"
The Barr Brothers - "Never Been a Captain"
Surfer Blood - "Island"
Lady Lamb - "Billions of Eyes"
Sam Cassidy - "Hard Road"
Phases - "I'm in Love with My Life"

Ivan & Alyosha - It's All Just Pretend
Downtown Boys - Full Communism
The Vaccines - English Graffiti
Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

Sunday, June 14, 2015

57 – “Bloomsday 2015”

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Listen to all the episodes by clicking on this sentence.

Talking Heads – “Once in a Lifetime”
Lou Reed – “There is No Time”
Zvuki Mu – “Grubiy Zakat”
The National – “Brainy”
Jim Reeves – “Drinking Tequila”
The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Do the Get Down”
Warren Zevon – “Mr. Bad Example”
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “Higgs Boson Blues”
Devo – “Sloppy (I Saw My Baby Gettin’)”
Ivan & Alyosha – “Bury Me Deep”
Bessie Smith – “Eavesdropper’s Blues”
Tenneesee Ernie Ford – “Kissin’ Bug Boogie”
Ian Dury & the Blockheads – “Common as Muck”
Cock Sparrer – “We’re Coming Back”
Tom Waits – “Starving in the Belly of a Whale”

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ex Hex @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Ex Hex; Spider Bags; Slothrust
@ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Brooklyn, NY - June 12, 2015

The giddy, unmitigated joy one feels not just from watching Ex Hex but even just thinking about Ex Hex as a band right now has to be on the list of Top 5 Best Feelings of the Last Couple Years. Though comprised of veterans, notably band leader Mary Timony, Ex Hex is going through the old time motions of a young new punk band putting it out there. A single/ep (digital) in 2013 and a short, sweet, snappy killer of a full length record in 2014, and a live show that, due to brevity and good taste, includes some wise covers (The Real Kids' "All Kindsa Girls" and one that was new to this ignorant hack - Sweeney Todd's/Nick Gilder's "Roxy Roller").

With efficiency and a stunning level of grace and elegance that one would not really find elsewhere for this kind of music, the Ex Hex trio cut through the static of a music festival bill. The crowd had a high number of zombies with passes from this Northside Fest (a concept with each passing year frightens me more and more) but they were won over by the warm power of the band. Crunchy riffs, 100% precision rhythm, and then a Timony shred (fairly certain that is an ode to "My Sharona"'s wailing solo during "Hot and Cold") to put the goosebumps on your flesh.

Spider Bags first woke up the crowd from its slumber with borderline insane pounding riffs that recall a little roadhouse hellbilly with their punk. I was conjuring up Texas but it turns out I had the wrong BBQ - they're out of Chapel Hill, fitting with their spot (along with Ex Hex) on Superchunk's Merge label, THEE label of US - the true believers, the lovers of the pure, etc, etc. And it turns out (and I think I knew this once upon a time but old age resets things), Spider Bags come out of DC Snipers, the poorly named band that was red hot trendy in NYC garage rock for all of 6 months in 2005 before their lead singer didn't show up one day for recording an actual record and that was suddenly the end of that. It's good to know some ten years on, good things can still come out of bitter endings.

It should also be noted that together, Ex Hex and Spider Bags reminded us that the Gibson guitar company is still the greatest private company in the history of capitalistic civilization. With SG's and Les Paul's respectively, the bands proved that old truism - rock songs are written better with Gibsons in mind.

Slothrust have a vibe of "like? I dislike...everything?". Maybe blame the crowd. Maybe not.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Vaccines; Drowners @ Warsaw

The Vaccines; Drowners
@ Warsaw
Brooklyn, NY - June 9, 2015

If the Greenpoint, Brooklyn Gentrification Fest that is the television program Girls has been good for at least one thing, it was a scene at the end of an episode in Season 1 that ends with "Wreckin' Bar (Ra-Ra-Ra)" by the Vaccines, which is how I come to know the song and the band. So fitting it be that these years later, I finally see the Vaccines and see them where else but in Greenpoint, Brooklyn Gentrification Fest, but not at a newer posh spot but rather one of the great institutions left from a time gone by - the Warsaw at the Polish National Home. Rock n roll in the big room. Perogies and kielbasa in the little room for a working fella's price. Heaven.

So it is for at least one fan (though evidence indicating more is to follow), that the punk and pop rock sounds of the first album, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? holds a lot more water than the more contemporary and landscape wandering sounds of Come of Age and now English Graffiti (though each have a few humdingers to be sure and "Teenage Icon", the best of the whole bunch, could have been the showstopper). But this may have led to a disconnection: The unfiltered, pristine glory of the first album was met by many (but not all) in the crowd with a fervor of handclaps, dancing, and maybe a little more than dancing, especially upfront. The more subdued songs of the later records were met by a more unified feminine chorus singing along to every word (and one song I am not even sure I recognized really had them going, which shows there is a huge gap between who thinks which songs are the band's signatures). Catch the drift? Also, could it be that Justin Young has already tired of the first album's musical demand as he took "Wreckin' Bar" and later "Norgaard" and sang them in a disposable almost Dylanesque lounge act sort of way? Occasionally, he wasn't even in synch with the band when they went fast.

Despite these questions, no one got hurt, and all that is good and great about the Vaccines shone.

Drowners were an excellent fit for an opener. They had one of my favorites from last year, "Luv, Hold Me Down" and while I call every other band for the last 10 years "oh they sound like a mix of the Smiths and the Cure", this band really does sound like that, and all done well. Here's to British expats in New York making good music. But only now if they could recommend a good pub...

Sunday, June 07, 2015

56 – “Something in the Water”

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Listen to all the episodes by clicking on this sentence.

The Vaccines – “20/20”
POW! – “Liquid Daydream”
Jeff Rosenstock – “Nausea”
Rocku Dawuni – “Shine a Light”
Surf City – “Spec City”
Jack Ladder and the Dreamlanders – “To Keep and to be Kept”
Pokey LaFarge – “Something in the Water”
Mommy Long Legs – “Life Rips”
American Wrestlers – “Kelly”
Sarah Bethe Nelson – “Start Somewhere”
DMA’s – “Laced”
Joe Pug – “Bright Beginnings”
Maroon 5 – “Sugar”
Ryan Adams - "New York, New York (Live at Carnegie Hall)"