Bits: The Famous, Daytrotter show, Maximum Balloon, Alan Moore, Suckers, Flaming Lips, the Black Keys, Devo, Big Boi

Big Boi puts the boom-boom in your CPU with a video for “General Patton”.

Bits: free Jay Bennett album, Hell and Half of Georgia and The Famous shows, listen to Peter Wolf Crier, the Black Keys on late night

  • The Jay Bennett Foundation, an organization supporting music and education started by the late musician’s mother and brother, will be releasing Bennett’s final solo album, Kicking at the Perfumed Air, as a free download on July 10 (a portion of physical album sales will go to the foundation). You can take a listen to two of the songs from the album at Pitchfork.
  • NTSIB friends Hell and Half of Georgia and the Famous have shows coming up. HaHoG will be playing Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, California, on June 5, and the Famous will be playing at the first annual Brewfest, hosted by the San Francisco Giants, on May 29 at AT&T; Park in San Francisco.
  • Inter-Be, the debut album by Peter Wolf Crier, is up for free listening at They’ll be playing the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland on July 22 with the Builders and the Butchers and Heartless Bastards. There’s no way that show could be anything but killer.
  • Because you know we can’t help ourselves mentioning them right now, the Black Keys will be playing The Late Show with David Letterman tonight and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tomorrow. If you’ll be in NYC tomorrow, you can enter the Band Bench Sweepstakes for a chance to hang out in the bleachers on stage for the performance.

This sweet-ass video of the excellent “Too Afraid To Love You” from the new Black Keys’ album, Brothers, gives a glimpse into Dan and Pat’s time at the historic Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.

“Too Afraid To Love You” by The Black Keys from Jorge Ortiz on Vimeo.

The Famous: Really working to be happy

On first listen, the Famous’ new album, Come Home to Me, sounds like the soundtrack to a roadtrip* wherein Very Bad Things Happen. Can’t speak for your world, but in NTSIB’s world, that’s more than enough to merit a second listen.

The Famous has a birth story reminiscent of the birth story of the Rolling Stones, but instead of Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters albums, the chance meeting of Laurence Scott and Victor Barclay hinged on them both owning the same car: the ’65 model Ford Galaxie. The Rolling Stones comparison could be extended to the way the Famous take an old American songstyle (in their case, country & western) and mix it up with modern sensibilities… but that would be facile and trite, so we won’t do that. We could exaggerate the facts to make it seem that Laurence Scott left his life of farming for the life of a rock ‘n’ roller, but we’ll leave Scott’s 2nd place award in the 1983 Junior Farmers competition at the Dallas Farmer’s Market for excellence in radishes and swiss chard for the tabloids to uncover and twist when the band blows up big.

Though we can tell you that Scott and Barclay have secret identities, Barclay masquerading by day as a UI developer and Scott missing the whole “secret” part by being a reporter/anchor for the San Francisco Bay Area arm of NBC. And we can tell you that, both being veterans of the Bay Area music scene, they know their way around the phenomenon known as “rockin’ it”.

(We can also tell you that Barclay is the kind of noble man who will save sweet, innocent beer from being poured down the drain just because it happens to be a little past the expiration date.)

Come Home to Me is a follow-up to their 2005 debut, Light, Sweet Crude, and it is an all-around tighter and more focused album. Their penchant for down-and-dirty roadhouse country is brought to the forefront, and Scott’s voice is now strong and resonant in its timbre and twang. On closer inspection of their lyrics, there is a lot of love-gone-wrong here, but of the sort many can relate to, as evidenced in the succinct first lyric of the album opener, “Off My Mind”: This makes me sick. But I’ll make myself sicker. There are guts spilled all over this album, from the words to the guitars to Scott’s agonized howl midway through “Cold Tonight”.

But there is a lot of fun to be had in the listening. (Doubly so if you are a word nerd – “Perspicacious” had me laughing out loud the first time I listened to it.) So pop open a beer, no matter the expiration date, and have a listen.

Come Home to Me

Ain’t Much Wrong

The Famous Official Website

*NTSIB may be a little fixated on the idea of roadtrips at the moment.