This video for My Love by The Franklys contains: a broad variety of horror movie set-ups; a mysterious and alarmingly life-like white ferret-shaped cake; a singing fish mounted on a door (you can’t hear it but I recognize it, trust me, it sings); and a great song. The overall effect is if someone had mashed American Horror Story: Coven and Downton Abbey together and given the result a bluesy psychedelic soundtrack.
Some years ago I lived in rural north-western Pennsylvania, and spent a lot of time driving back and forth between there and Central Jersey. Which meant a lot of time in I-80. If you’ve never ridden through that stretch of countryside, know this: it can be beautiful, especially when the leaves start to turn in the fall; but it can also be the desolate and post-apocalyptic monument to dead industries and rural isolation shown in this video for After Earth by AJ Suede (FREEMINDS COLLECTIVE) feat. Teck and Joey Shinobi and directed by Omar Jones. AJ Suede bandcamp
It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, the sixth record from Murder by Death, has pretty much everything I like: big roaring drums, delicate and occasionally super creepy string sections, and songs that double as good stories. Such as Lost River – in which a husband begs a wife to drown herself to join him in the afterlife … Continue reading
Jesus Sons began life in a motorcyle garage in San Francisco in 2011; the initial line-up was Brandon Wurtz and Shannon Dean with Rob Good and Ian McBrayer of Warm Soda. In 2013, Wurtz and Dean decamped for Los Angeles, and Chance Welton, Bert Hoover, and Erik Lake joined the band. Jesus Sons, their first, self-titled record starts with a burst of bluesy harmonica that expands into a supple country-blues guitar riff, all of which caused me to sit back in my chair and smile in hopeful anticipation. Ladies and gentlemen, I was not disappointed. If you like country-blues with ragged garage rock edges (all of them, but especially Ain’t Talkin’ Homesick) and the occasional burst of surfy shimmy (Out of Time) and/or suggestion someone may be conducting a punk rock exorcism (Melt/Going Down), you need this record in your life. Also, amid all the swagger, there’s a six minute instrumental – You Put a Spell on Me – which is, dare I say it, kind of sweet. Here, as an enticement, is the video for All These Furs, in which they play a show at Salvation Mountain. It passes my “could I watch this with the sound off and … Continue reading
True confession: I downloaded Lavender Diamond‘s Daytrotter session because I was intrigued by their name. I didn’t even read the description, just snagged it because it was there and I could and why not? That, as it turned out, was a A++ life decision, because Lavender Diamond is awesome. Halfway through the first song I was breathless and hungry for more. Happily there is more; the Daytrotter songs were excerpted from their most recent record, Incorruptible Heart, which you can listen to in full on Soundcloud. (And then go and buy it from them right away, so you can wrap it around yourself like a warm aural blanket.) The following are three of my favorite tunes: First: All The Stars, because every time I listen to it, I hold very still, so I don’t break the spell cast by Becky Stark’s voice: Second: Teach Me To Waken. The Daytrotter version is by necessity stripped down, and the piano dominates; on the record the drums roll and roar like the beating of a mighty heart: And finally: I Don’t Recall, which is spare, delicate and devastating. I seriously do not understand why this is not the #1 … Continue reading
It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. YRP (Young Rising Phenoms) is Klassik’s follow-up to In the Making, and it is a heady, ambitious mixture of hip-hop, jazz and soul. The first single, Boogie, is built around a sample of Blame it on the Boogie by the Jackson 5 and will definitely make you want to put your dancing shoes on. … Continue reading
Foy Vance is from Northern Ireland, but has spent a good deal of his life rattling around the American South. Last year he released Joy of Nothing, which won the very first Northern Ireland Music Prize. This year, he will, among other things, be appearing at the Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta. I’ve been listening to his Daytrotter session for the last couple of days, and while all of the songs are great, Regarding Your Lover is the one I really love. Want more? Head over to his Soundcloud.
Empires, scrappy little band of my heart (Chicago division), is getting ready to release a new record, to be called Orphan. As a preview, they’ve put out the video below, for How Good Does It Feel. The edges are a little less jagged than they usually are, but the propulsive energy is still there and Sean van Vleet’s voice is still the perfect seductive blend of silk and whiskey. In other Empires news, they will be headed out on tour of the Midwest starting in February: For further updates: see their Facebook and/or Twitter pages!
Apparently, this is my 600th post on Now This Sound Is Brave; it’s also my last post as owner. As the song goes, it’s better to burn out than to fade away, but I think I did both. I don’t have the fortitude to recount the whole thing in new words, so I’ll steal from a personal post I made yesterday: “My music blog is set to turn four years old around the end of this month… but I’m thinking about shutting it down. I took an official hiatus from posting when I started my current day job in early 2013, but I’d slowed way down on writing before that. I thought the seasonal layoff from the day job would give me time to get back into the spirit, but the spirit seems not to be there for me anymore. I haven’t even listened to much music in the last few months. And very little in the way of new music (I listened to an old A-ha album a few days ago, and those songs are still bouncing around my head because there’s been nothing in the meantime to replace them). I did go much longer with the blog … Continue reading