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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

To the annoyance of my imaginary lover...



As previously noted here at KYCW, Tom Waits has a new three disc set called Orphans, Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards. That's nearly sixty tracks, y'all. He's definitely as great a storyteller in spoken interviews as he is in his songs, which can be witnessed in his appearance on Letterman here, followed by a live performance with Tom on guitar. Check out an additional Waits interview here from NPR.

Tom Waits- Lord I've Been Changed





Babyshambles has been raved about previously here with the fantastic debut LP Down In Albion (which finally received a domestic release this year in April) and now Mr. Doherty and company follow up with the just as fantastic, albeit shorter, EP The Blinding (out December 5.) It's easy to say if you liked the album that you'll like the EP, but it's just as true. There's not a clunker in the five-song bunch, ranging from the rocking, off-kilter title track to the gentle, moseying "Love You But You're Green" to the weary, bounce-along (?) "I Wish."

Babyshambles- I Wish

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

You used to hold my hand when the plane took off.



Here's one for the 'what was I thinking?' file. I was in college at the time that Am I Not Your Girl? came out and bought it soon after its release, having already been a fan of The Lion and the Cobra and I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. Of course I knew going into it that these were not Sinead originals, but an album full of pop standard covers- but being a fan I decided to buy it nonetheless. And give it a handful of listens... and then promptly sell it back at the used CD store. This was also the same album she was promoting when she appeared on Saturday Night Live and controversy erupted when she tore a picture of the Pope in half, but this had nothing to do with my feelings about the album for or against, really.

Interestingly enough, I also bought Universal Mother promptly after its release two years later... and sold it back. Neither of the albums did anything for me, really- but for some reason I've gone back to them in the last month or two and enjoyed them. Maybe it's partly for the fact that although the songs are pop standards, I wasn't familiar with them at the time but now I am. Many critics complained that the tunes were just that- too standard, and that Sinead's renditions did nothing to add to the originals. Perhaps that's true. But I sometimes enjoy the fact that songs can be simply about the songs themselves, and open for greater interpretation without the embellishments that some would give otherwise. And as I'm writing this, I'm thinking maybe I mean exactly the opposite of what I'm saying and I can't really explain. Suffice it to say that I'm glad I went back and gave these another listen.

















And here's one of my favorite Sinead songs, and a great rendition of it, too- dig when the full band kicks in...



And finally, Dresden Dolls covering the same tune...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Run on for a long time.



I'm not the most huge fan of the Shins, really- I do enjoy them for the most part but I found this video to be pretty excellent. Filmed entirely by fans on video cameras and phones (looking for the most part to be at just a couple of seconds in duration each) the results are compiled to make this clip for "Phantom Limb," the first single from the Shins' latest album. Rather neat concept which turned out surprisingly well, as you can tell for yourself from the footage...

"Phantom Limb" - Directed by Douglas Caballero & Alex Simmons

The Shins- Phantom Limb





Say what you want about the American series that Johnny Cash recorded during the last years of his life, some of the music simply can't be denied. Whether you tended to like Johnny's cover versions of the songs of NIN and Depeche Mode or not, he definitely was able to breath new life and his own emotion into many of the songs. One example (as previously posted here at KYCW) is his rendition of Cat Stevens' "Father and Son" which I greatly prefer over the original. Now here is what is essentially a Moby cover, but stripped of its dance and electronica sheen to a more foreboding, acoustic take. The diverse number of guest appearances made in the video are a real testament to the legend that Johnny Cash was and the influence he left behind.



Johnny Cash- God's Gonna Cut You Down





As a side note, if anyone knows where I could acquire an mp3 of the Gruff Rhys (SFA) song "Candylion" I would greatly appreciate the info. Here's the video...

Gruff Rhys and Lisa Jen- Candylion (windows media)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Slap me on the back and say 'now how do you do?'



I've been a fan of Brakes ever since first hearing "Heard About Your Band" and then later "All Night Disco Party." Sure, they're not the most deep or artsy band in the world- but they're catchy and fun with their own unique sound. Frenetic sounding guitars and a quirky, squelching voice that reminds me a tad of Hefner- and they haven't changed it much at all from their debut album here with their next single "Hold Me In The River." And best part of all (at least in my mind) is that they tend to keep the length of their songs right around the two minute mark- just enough time to pull you into the song and yet still leaving you wanting more. And with this British Sea Power offshoot's second album Beatific Visions, you might just find yourself satisfying that appetite.

And by the way- no, that's not a White Stripes cover.

Brakes- Hold Me In The River (video)

Beatific Visions album review at Drowned In Sound (9/10)

Brakes- Hold Me In The River (mp3)

Brakes- Heard About Your Band (mp3)

Brakes Official Website

Buy it on Amazon

Friday, November 10, 2006

Garbage delivery forthcoming...



Official announcement has now been made of an upcoming Garbage greatest hits compilation titled Absolute Garbage. No big surprise there, as it's pretty sure they're not working on new material at all- although there will be one new track. And of course we still have yet to find out if this is the end for Garbage or if they're truly just "on hiatus." The latest word as I heard it is that Shirley's currently recording solo...

According to NME:

Garbage are to release a Best Of compilation next year.

'Absolute Garbage' will be out on March 19, and rounds up all the band's big singles, as well as one new track, which is as yet untitled.

The tracklisting is:

'Vow'
'Queer'
'Only Happy When It Rains'
'Stupid Girl'
'Milk'
'#1 Crush'
'Push It'
'I Think I'm Paranoid'
'Special'
'When I Grow Up'
'You Look So Fine'
'The World Is Not Enough'
'Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go)'
'Shut Your Mouth'
'Why Do You Love Me'
'Bleed Like Me'
'It's All Over But The Crying'
'New track (untitled)'

The band are still on hiatus following their last tour of the US in 2005.


And here are some of my favorite lesser known Garbage tunes...

Garbage- Kick My Ass

Garbage- Butterfly Collector

Garbage- Candy Says

And just for the sake of that ultra-sexy accent:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

You make me see that line between me and time.



If you're looking for bad ass live rock, look no further than Black Angels. And you can stream (or even download) their November 5th show in Washington DC here. The psychedelic Houston, Texas band sounds fantastic on stage. I'm not particularly enthralled by the Black Keys at all, but their show is also available there.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I'll save my best for last and after that don't even ask.



So you know what? I'm not a big fan of Beck. Yeah yeah, I know he's still a critical darling and everyone loves him, but after Mellow Gold, I can really take it or leave it. I'm not saying it's bad music or anything, it's just not my thing and I'd rather listen to something other than mumble-mouthed electro-funk jams. Two turntables and a microphone, OK- I don't mind it if it's on but you won't find me turning it on.

That being said, I gave his latest effort a listen all the way through and was (as always) very so-so on it. But... a friend insisted I check out his performance on SNL and I was pretty impressed. While a band at the dinner table playing various forks and plates and dancing marionettes simultaneously reproducing that same scene on stage might seem gimmicky, it's actually a pretty neat idea and it's cool that they chose to do something different than most bands would do for a live national television performance. And heck- they let Borat rock out with them on stage, too! I'll "clap hands" for that one.



Beck- Clap Hands

Beck- Fax Machine Anthem (Dizzee Rascal remix)


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