Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shearwater: Rooks

Shearwater is not only a medium-sized seabird, it is also the name of an Austin-based band that began as a bit of side project for Okkervil River's Jonathan Meiburg and Will Shreff (Shreff is now a former member of Shearwater). Meiburg recently quit Okkervil River to pursue Shearwater full time. This June, they released the band's fifth album Rook on Matador Records (Meiburg actually had the opportunity to travel to the Falkland Islands in search of the Johnny Rook). Rook comes on the heels of last year's well received album Palo Santo (orignally on Misra Records and re-released by Matador in an extended format). Rook was recorded by Matthew Barnhart at the Echo Lab. Other band members include Meiburg's ex-wife Kim Burke on upright bass as well as drummer/vibraphonist Thor Harris.

Listen/download mp3 of "Rooks"

Video performance of Title Track "Rooks":

Shearwater on WYNC Soundcheck

Monday, July 21, 2008

Black Crowes: Warpaint Unplugged

I was glad to see the Black Crowes get back together and put out the album Warpaint early this year. I just spent a little time figuring out the song Locust Street (below). Here's an NPR link to some performance they did in the NPR studio and this web-only outtake.

Locust Street (Robinson/Robinson - Black Crowes)

Dry bread on the table Em
Burn the mill salt the paper - G (riff)

And its easy pick-ins on Locust Street D
There's no place to hide C G
And you can't find love on Locust Street
But you can hear the sunrise crying
Can't you hear the sunrise crying C G
A song for you alone C G
riff E-D-C-D-C (Em G Em)
Sad eyes, weeping willow
Black cat blues, blacked out window

And its easy pick-ins on Locust Street
There's no place to hide
And you can't find love on Locust Street
But you can hear the sunrise crying
Can't you hear the sunrise crying
A song for you alone

Just a glimpse of what love could be Am F
Once a dream that I owned C G x3
What of many lonely longing souls
At least I'm not alone
Well at least I'm not alone
Am F C -
Em G Em (RIFF)
Ripe off the vine now lay rotten Em G
Like a dead end street forever forgotten

And its easy pick-ins on Locust Street D
There's no place to hide C G
And you can't find love on Locust Street
But you can hear the sunrise crying
Can't you hear the sunrise crying
A song for you alone

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fleet Foxes

It's official - my favorite album of 2008 so far is by Fleet Foxes. Take a listen to the a cappella opening of White Winter Hymnal to see what they are all about.

Here's a Paste Magazine interview with the acoustically-oriented Seattle-based folksy band.

From NPR Music:
Robin Pecknold and Skye Skyelset are backed by some of Seattle's best musicians, formerly and currently in bands such as Pedro the Lion, Seldom, and Crystal Skulls. Through the support of friends, families, and credit cards, material for both the Sun Giant EP and Fleet Foxes' self-titled debut were recorded. On both, the band draws from the baroque, psychedelic pop of the '60s, sacred harp singing, gospel, and folk music.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Interview with Edward Droste of Grizzly Bear

I was a big fan of the 2006 (year of the Bear bands) indie retro low-fi Grizzly Bear album, "Yellow House" and look forward to the band's joining Radiohead as opener for six dates on its second North American tour leg as well as the new album they are currently working on, currently set for an April 2009 release.

Singer/guitarist Edward Droste tells Billboard.com the new material is sounding more optimistic and poppy than 2006's "Yellow House" (Warp). "I think we're all in a really poppy place for sure," Droste says. "There are dark lyrics in play, and it's not like the whole album is going to be an up-tempo radio pop thing at all. We'll probably never get played on the radio, but [on] just a couple of the songs the mood is perhaps a bit sunnier than 'Yellow House.'"

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Lilywhite Sessions: She and Him

The Lillywhite Sessions at Avatar Studios is a new aspect of The World Cafe Radio Show on National Public Radio. Featuring Record Producer Steve Lillywhite, the shows are taped live at the legendary Avatar Recording Studios in New York City.

The first session, featuring She & Him (the duo featuring M.Ward and Zooey Deschanel), aired Wednesday June 11, 2008. In the second hour of this first installment, World Cafe host David Dye interviewed Lillywhite, focusing on the U2 album War, one of the producer's many notable achievements. The second installment, a session with UK electronic duo Goldfrapp, will air July 9.

Here's the NPR Music World Cafe piece on the She & Him sessions with a 3-song 17 minute streaming set list.

Owen Temple: Two Thousand Miles

A startling fine country-folk-rock re-debut

I've been grooving on the this recent CD from Own Temple.

From redtunictroll on MOG, the music blogging network:
This Texas-based singer-songwriter has released four albums over the past decade, with a five year work-and-school hiatus between 2002’s “Right Here and Now” and the local release of this disc back in 2007. Like many who travel within the self-contained universe that is Texas country music, he emerges into the national spotlight with a lot more depth and polish than listeners expect to hear in their first brush with an artist. But four albums into his career, Temple’s a memorable songwriter with a country-folk-rock sound that has the sort of sing-a-long middle-American earthiness of John Mellancamp’s hits and Steve Earle’s Guitar Town. Lloyd Maines’ production keeps Temple’s lyrics and voice as the central motor, but guitarist David Grissom is given space to add some hot-shot electric licks.

This album is a real treat for anyone seeking honest country music with folk and rock sides, unaffected by both Nashville’s commercial intentions and alt.country’s anti-Nashville response.

[©2008 redtunictroll at hotmail dot com]


Wikipedia Entry for Two Thousand Miles
Wikipedia Entry for Owen Temple

Owen Temple Discography