Sunday, August 31, 2008

Taking a break this week

In the meantime, enjoy this 11 year old girl playing Rush's "YYZ".

On an organ.

By herself.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Madder Rose / "Margaret" / Panic On

Unfortunately, for those of you who are dying for the rock, you have to fall prey to one of my musical soft spots - alternative bands with chick singers.

This band was pretty much a one off back in the post Nirvana alternative band boom, I'll say 1994 or so. It's the only CD I've ever heard of theirs, and it may be the only one in existence.

I came about this in a curious way. Back in 1993 or so, I was watching an MTV report about some big festival, and they showed, literally, about five seconds of Madder Rose playing live (didn't see the band's name, though). Something about the song really struck me, and I was pretty obsessed with tracking it down (and let's remember, this is pre-internet, pre-DVR, pre-itunes days when that was a major focking chore).

Fast forward a bit, and I'm goofing off, reading or something, half listening to 120 Minutes (don't you miss that show?), and I hear it. The song was "Car Song", and it was (and is) still great. I will lay my soul bare here and let you know I included that song on more than one mix tape over the years.

Here's "Car Song", still a great 90's hit. (The hook that originally got me is from :4o-:49)

(Wow- one of the YouTube comments says : "The lead singer, Mary Lorson, is my english teacher"! Sounds like a lie, though.)
Kind of a Mazzy Star, Sundays, Velocity Girl,Lush kind of thing. Singer's easy on the eyes too. Good stuff.

Overall, this CD reminds me of 1994, from student teaching at Loganville High, to dating a fellow music loving Loganvillian. I still take it out for a spin every now and again, and always enjoy it.

As for "Margaret", this is the, ahem, "rocker" of the CD, clocking in at a quick 2:40. I'm not really sure that the singer's voice is good for this type of song. Kind of a monotone delivery, hers is more suited for the slower, more mellow songs. There are some nice harmonies on the "Margret" part of the song (1:01-1:14), and an interesting, tuneless little bridge from 1:21-1:41. Nice little bass / vocal interplay around 2:00 too.

As I mentioned, this really isn't indicative of what this CD sounds like. You may want to grab the MP3, but I'll also give you the "Car Song" MP3 if you care for it.

And, wow, I can't believe there's a video for this online, as it was never a single. At Glastonbury, too, no less! Now I'm beginning to wonder if the original footage I saw of them way back when was from that Glastonbury show. Hmmmm...

"Car Song"

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Thank U" / Alanis Morrissette / Supposed Former Infactuation Junkie


**hangs head, embarrassed**

Yes, this is technically my wife's CD, but I can't tell a lie; it's one I like too. Don't lie and say you weren't a little (a) intrigued or (b) turned on by her when you first heard about going down on the Full House dude during a movie ("You Oughta Know", of course).

Imagine his "O" face

Poor Alanis has fallen on hard times now from her 1990's heyday, but you have to like this song just a little bit, don't you? If nothing else, give her a little credit for making a pretty heavy stylistic shift from the music that made her a megastar on her former CD.

Plus, give the girl props for the great shot at Fergie when she covered "My Humps" last year. Funny stuff.

The keyboard chimes in the intro and chorus of this song, strangely enough, always reminded me of the Who's "Won't get Fooled Again" (that part right before Daltry's big scream), only much slower and not quite as awesome.

The real secret weapon to this song, though, is the bass. Just listen to a little bit of the song and focus on that - "WHOOM - pish/ WHOOMpish" bit in there. When you add those two parts together along with a nice melodic chorus (and again, the keyboards), you are starting to get something pretty good. Overall, I think it's her best song.

One thing I've noticed about Alanis, though (and I've heard most all of her CDs, as the wife has them all) that bothers me is her lyrics (1) They make no freggin' sense (2) they are way, WAY too wordy, she crams so many syllables in all over the place , and (3) her verses never rhyme! I can't listen to her music without this bothering me ever since I noticed it.

I mean, "Thank you India, thank you terror, thank you disillusionment / Thank you frailty, thank you consequence, thank you thank you silence"? What? What are you talking about? Just stop. Just stop, get nekkid, and um...walk around town. Wait, what?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Maybe Sparrow" / Neko Case / Fox Confessor Brings The Flood

The sublime, intoxicating Ms. Case. I alluded to her and her incredible voice back when I was posting about Kelly Hogan of the Jody Grind. These two ladies have the most beautiful voices in my collection, and I can't imagine any being lovelier.

Neko Case is one of the main cogs of Alt supergroup The New Pornographers, and some of my favorite songs of theirs prominently feature her (ie. "These Are The Fables"). I had the great fortune to catch them in Athens at the Georgia Theatre last April, and as you can see in the video, she was laid up from falling in DC a few days prior. I'm just happy that she made of a go of it, lame leg and all. Hearing that voice in's amazing. I don't know how to technically say it, but it's so pure. There's no warlbling, showoff running octaves or strings of notes, just a freaking laser beam that can cut diamonds and fill up a hall without a microphone.

Unfortunately, the evening was almost ruined by Mike (good buddy and commenter) continually making snide remarks about how terrible and old she looked. He's shallow like that. You watch, I guarantee he does it if he responds to this post. That show was capped by a killer cover of ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down"

I bought "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" in the summer of 2006. I figured if I liked TNP that much that I'd like her CD as well. It is, indeed, amazing. A bit different than TNP stuff, as it's more country / roots inspired, but in it's own way, it's as strong as anything I've heard. A curious thing about it, though, is the songs structure. She doesn't go for that traditional verse/ chorus /verse / bridge stuff. Her songs kind of meander, with no real "parts". The lyrics are really, really vague too. She challenges the listener just a bit I think, but the rewards are many. To be fair, she has had a few other solo records, and commenter Eric swears that her CD Blacklisted is the real shit.

I'll never forget the first few times I listened to it either. I bought it in preparation for a solo road trip I was making to South Georgia that summer. Playing this brief CD over (and over and over) in my car as I was driving through desolate stretches of peanut fields on sizzling blacktop - well, it was just one of those instances in which the music perfectly matched the environment and it all just fit. Everything was right with the world for about three hours.

Here's the video for "Maybe Sparrow". The best part is at 1:04 when she just unleashes her voice. I also like the minor key guitar fill that you keep hearing in there. It sounds a little bit jarring within the song, but it's cool. Plus: owls!