This is the video for Got It, by Mumblr, from Full of Snakes, and it contains: Philadelphia, wet, gray and grimy and somehow more dear for it; inexplicable pantslessness; joyous headbanging and moshing; and a chorus that will probably get lodged in your head. Also, while I have only attended one of their shows so far, I can tell you those crowd shots are not the product of artful editing or careful staging, that is what it’s actually like, them going full throttle while the room winds up into an explosion of punk rock joy. That moment where everyone bangs their head at once? That is the sweet spot, and they know how to hit it.
Faithful Brave & Honest is the second full-length from The Honorable South, and while a little bit more mellow than I Love My Tribe, it is no less delightful. Their funky soul vibe is very much intact; if anything the slightly slower pace gives one more space to appreciate their complex jams and Charm Taylor’s beautiful voice. Here are a few of my favorites: Overdue, which has trippy alternating tones floating over a slow, hypnotic beat: Faithful Brave & Honest by The Honorable South Champagne, which is built around a heavy, aggressive rock and roll guitar: Faithful Brave & Honest by The Honorable South And finally The Sun Dance, which is fluid and mellow and a call to try harder and shine brighter: Faithful Brave & Honest by The Honorable South
Earlier this week I was, once again, noodling around Soundcloud looking for one thing when I found something else: Dogs in the Daylight by Jeffrey Martin. Old Good Friend was the first song I heard, and I’ve been sitting with it these last few days, letting it simmer. Thinking about some of my old good friends, and olive branches, and whether I want to extend them. Whether I can extend them. I still haven’t decided. Dogs in the Daylight is the title track. It’s less of a gut punch than Old Good Friend but really that’s like saying aged whiskey is smoother than new. Most of the rest of the record is available for test-listening at Soundcloud; I say “most” because it was recently re-issued with four additional songs. It’s excellent, and all y’all should go and listen to it.
I always appreciate a good stop-motion video, and this one, for Winter Heart by Bethany Weimers, is especially delicious. The best part: she and her artist partner Merlin Porter created it with sets they built themselves, in their living room, and a borrowed camera. The final result is wistful, whimsical, and really quite lovely. I’ve watched it twice and I already feel a little less Grinchy about both snow and Valentine’s Day.
After many years playing drums and producing with Boukman Eksperyans, the Haitian roots music group founded by his family, T’dòz (Ted G. Beaubrun) is striking out on his own. This is the video for Ogou from Lâcher Prise (“Letting Go”), his first solo record. The song is a call to Ogou, the spirit of fire and strength, and both it and the video are beautiful.
I Believe, by We Were Strangers: This one is easy to sink into and get lost in. I made it through twice before I paused to wonder what, exactly, was going on here – were the rich piano tones and lush strings disguising a dark tale of love and kidnapping? Or being kidnapped by love? The answer, as it turns out, is somewhere between “maybe” and “kind of,” depending on how you feel about settling on one person; per singer and chief lyricist Stefan Melbourne, it’s about “letting yourself commit to someone, and sustaining that.” Also appearing on this track: James Kenosha (drums and piano) and Lins Wilson (cello). Kenosha, who initially heard the songs when Melbourne posted them under the name The Works of Isaac, also acted as producer. The band is from Manchester, but their first show will be at the Bedroom Bar in London on February 25th; check it out if you’re in town.
Ok kids, let’s start this weekend off right, with Maybe Tonight I’ll Find You, a jaunty noir-inflected romp about looking for true love in mildly unsavory places by Smoking Ghosts, featuring Liana Lewis Agredo. It’s from their new EP, Flores De los Muertos, which is, on the whole, quite good. Refreshing is probably the best word for it; I heartily recommend it
Sundowner is the second record from HT Heartache (Mary Roth), of Los Angeles, CA. And, for a record named after a biker gang, it’s surprising mellow. It’s also awesome: there isn’t a single song that’s filler, not even one note out of place. I like to put it on in the evening and sink into it like a warm bath. Ok, a warm bath with strong noir undertones that – just to totally mix metaphors here – if it was a person, very likely wear red lipstick and would regularly be asked to surrender all of her knives. She wouldn’t, of course, she’d just hand over the ones people can see. But they’d try. The first song is Trenton, and it sets the tone for the whole record: meditative, melancholy, sharp and lovely: These next two are just my favorites. Soft Rain, for the velvety texture of the interplay of her voice and the melody: And Darkside, because it’s the most up-tempo tune on the record, and fun to sing along to:
For My Own is the first release from New London Fire‘s upcoming record Echoes in the Dark. Stylistically it picks up where The Dirt The Blood The Faith left off – Americana leavened with an indie rock sensibility – though tonally it’s a little darker. The first two times I listened to it I thought it was a mournful meditation on a lost relationship, the third time through I was like . . . hold on, is this a murder two-step? Not a lot happens in the video, and I mean that literally, it’s a little under three and a half minutes of home-movie style footage of what appears to be the back of a dude sitting on a wooded hill and staring at a lake. I spent a little bit of time wondering which lake – Central Park? one in Jersey? Upstate? – before deciding that ultimately it doesn’t matter. The anonymous lake is a metaphor, for the time the lovelorn spend with their attention turned inwards. Or else it’s where the narrator dumped the body. Well, whatever the lake means, or doesn’t, I definitely want to hear the rest of the record, and the story.
A year of rock n’ roll, in pictures, including two shows from late December 2013, which I shot after I posted last years’ Year in Pictures. Tonight I’m headed out to dance the New Year in with Erasure (!); have fun and be safe, y’all, and I’ll see you on the other side. The Districts, Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY, Dec. 30, 2013 The Felice Brothers, Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY, Dec. 30, 2013 Team Spirit, Irving Plaza, New York, NY, Dec. 31, 2013 Andrew W.K., Irving Plaza, New York, NY, Dec. 31, 2013 Fadeaway Friends Benefit 001, NGHBRS, Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, Jan. 10, 2014 Fadeaway Friends Benefit 001, States and Kingdoms, Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, Jan. 10, 2014 Fadeaway Friends Benefit 001, Frank Iero, Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, Jan. 10, 2014 Fadeaway Friends Benefit 001, The Gay Blades, Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, Jan. 10, 2014 Fadeaway Friends Benefit 002, Fred Mascharino, St. Vitus, Brooklyn, NY, Jan. 18, 2014 Fadeaway Friends Benefit 002, States and Kingdoms, St. Vitus, Brooklyn, NY, Jan. 18, 2014 Fadeaway Friends Benefit 002, Geoff Rickley, St. Vitus, Brooklyn, NY, Jan. 18, 2014 Fadeaway Friends Benefit 002, Frank Iero, St. Vitus, Brooklyn, NY, Jan. 18, 2014 Fadeaway Friends Benefit 002, I Hate … Continue reading