Dave's Not Here

October 15, 2016

Here’s our continued look at “What We’re Listening To”……….

neilNeil Cowley Trio: “Spacebound Apes”. One of the best jazz albums of the year and the kind of album that should appeal to anyone who simply loves music. They venture in to “rock” territory (Cowley has worked with Adele, Zero 7 and Brand New Heavies) just as The Bad Plus has done, though their music is a bit “richer” in content. The closest I can come to a comparison is e.s.t. (if you haven’t heard their albums you are missing out). A record you need to hear. Cowley and company are visual artists as well. (click here).

untitledLuke Winslow-King: “I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Last Always”. I am a recent addition to Luke’s fan club. He isn’t an artist that you can easily pigeonhole. See our notes on the free sampler at NoiseTrade (Oct.2 edition) and give it a listen. The album is even better (click here). We also recommend his 2012 album “The Coming Tide”; here’s a video (click here).

slothrustSlothrust: “Everyone Else”. An impressive album and a band I have to admit I was totally unfamiliar with (this is their third album). It is extremely difficult in many cases to get a real sense of bands today. It’s too easy to correct recording mistakes; too easy to hide the flaws. And that can make it hard to connect on any level, so it’s no wonder that fans move on. Slothrust grabs your attention with music that is engaging and fun to listen to; the kind of music that makes you wish you could see the band “live”. Here’s a sample; (click here)

teethTeeth & Tongue: “Give Up On Your Health”. The New Zealand by way of Melbourne artist/band serves up a batch of songs that some might categorize as 70s electronica, with hints of the B52s. Rolling Stone listed them in their “10 New Artists You Need To Know”. (click here)

lisaLisa Hannigan: “At Swim”. MetaCritic gave this an 80 so you know the critics liked it. What I found impressive (besides the album itself) were the 17 reviews from individuals at Amazon who bought the album (this is Lisa’s third long-player). There wasn’t one review that was less than 5 stars: “impressive”, “unique”, her gorgeous voice”, “haunting”, “rich” and the lists goes on. (click here)


Flock Of Dimes: “If You See Me, Say Yes”. One of the more interesting full-length debuts of the year. Jenn Wasner is half of Baltimore’s Wye Oak, but if you’re expecting something comparable be prepared. Flock of Dimes is a side project that has released the occasional single or two over the past four years. It’s indie-pop loaded with remarkable melodies and more hooks than a tackle box. Here’s a streaming video. (click here)

And Finally………………….


Junior Parker: “Tomorrow Never Knows” from “Love Ain’t Nothin’ But A Business Goin’ On”. I came across this free download at Aquarium Drunkard. It’s from the late bluesman’s 1971 album and featured 3 more Beatles’ covers. Download it here.

We’re on vacation for the next three weeks……..

“The true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message, and we, the musicians, are the messengers.” Roy Ayers




October 2, 2016

givemeyourmoneyHere is what’s in store for October including some new Christmas albums….

October 7:
Glen Phillips: “Wallowed By The New”
Green Day: “Revolution Radio”
Hiss Golden Messenger: “Heart Like A Levee”
Kate Tempest: “Let Them Eat Chaos”
Loretta Lynn: “White Christmas Blue”
Meshuggah: “The Violent Sleep Of Reason”
NOFX: “First Ditch Effort”
Norah Jones: “Day Breaks”
One Republic: “Oh My My”
Phish: “Big Boat”
Pitbull: “Climate Change”
Sum 41: “13 Voices”

October 14:
Benoit Pioulard: “The Benoit Pioulard Listening Matter”
Conor Orbest: “Ruminations”
Frankie Valli: “Tis The Season”
Gucci Mane: “Woptober”
Jamie Lidell: “Building A Beginning”
Kings Of Leon: “Walls”
Mike Mills: “Concerto For Violin, Rock Band And String Orchestra” (ex-REM)
Mono: “Requiem For Hell”
The Dillinger Escape Plan: “Dissociation”
The Mavericks: “All Night Live Volume 1”
The Orb: “COW/Chill Out, World!”
Two Door Cinema: “Gameshow”

October 21:
Beck: no title at this time
Crocodiles: “Dreamless”
David Crosby: “Lighthouse”
Jimmy Eat World: “Integrity Blues”
Korn: “The Serenity Of Suffering”
Lady Gaga: “Joanne”
Leonard Cohen: “You Want It Darker”
Sarah McLachlan: “Wonderland”
Syd Arthur: “Apricity”
The Pretenders: “Alone”
Various Artists: “Lazarus: Original Cast Recording” (contains 3 unreleased David Bowie songs)

October 28:
Crowbar: “The Serpent Only Lies”
Helmet: “Dead To The World”
Kenny Chesney: “Cosmic Hallelujah”
Neil Diamond: “Acoustic Christmas”
She & Him: “Christmas Party”
The Pop Group: “Honeymoon On Mars”

Coming In November:
Bon Jovi: “This House Is Not For Sale”
Common: “Black America Again”
CRX: “New Skin” (the Strokes’ Nick Valensi)
Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions: “Until The Hunter”
Jim James: “Eternally Even”
Lambchop: “FLOTUS” (not that one)
Ryan Adams: To Be Announced
The Darcys: “Centerfold”
Enigma: “The Fall Of A Rebel Angel”
Luke Temple: “A Hand Through The Cellar Door”
Martha Wainwright: “Goodnight City”
Simian Mobile Disco: “Welcome To Sideways”
Sleigh Bells: “Jessica Rabbit”
Sting: “57th & 9th”
The Rolling Stones: “Havana Moon” (live album)
Bruno Mars: “24K Magic”
Metallica: “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct”
Miranda Lambert: “The Weight of These Wings”
Thee Oh Sees: “An Odd Entrance”
The Whores: “Gold”

chair_76412What We’re Reading…….

From The Austin Chronicle: Austin Author Ed Ward Revisits Rock’s First Guitar Hero……a commentary on the author’s newly revised and expanded biography “Michael Bloomfield: The Rise & Fall of an American Guitar Hero”. (click here)

From The Guardian: From Dave Grohl to Ringo Starr: The Secrets Of Star Drummers…must reading for anyone who’s played, fantasized about playing or thought “I can do that”. (click here)

From Recode.net: It Took A Couple Of Decades But The Music Business Looks Like It’s Okay Again……not sure I totally agree but maybe/hopefully. (click here)

From POWERevolution: Why Are SO Many Millennials SO Uncool? From last year and sent by a friend who called it “satirical”…….hmmmmmm. (click here)

and finally from BBC News: Playlists ‘more popular than albums’….not exactly a revelation but interesting. (click here)

4944908_f496What We’re Listening To…………………

From NoiseTrade: Here are some wonderful “free” downloads that we heartily recommend. The first is the hard to find 1974 self-titled album by G.T. Moore and The Reggae Guitars (click here). They were more than just another “white-boy reggae band” as you can hear on their stellar 1975 live album “Reggae Blue” (if you can find it). They were doing reggae versions of Bob Dylan songs before Clapton. I am a big fan of Luke Winslow-King. The New Orleans-based slide guitarist/singer-songwriter plays everything from blues to jazz and country swing to rock ‘n’ roll. Every album is an adventure. His latest album “I’m Glad Trouble Don’t Always Last” is superb and you can sample it here. We also recommend new samplers by two of our favorites: Trampled By Turtles “Burn For Free” (click here) and Aoife O’Donovan “Selections From ‘Man In A Neon Coat: Live” (click here).

If you’re a jazz fan, here is a link to one of my favorite labels Motema Music, a “label that specializes in jazz and other creative music that spans genres, cultures and generations”. Download their 2016 sampler; it’s free (click here).

Now for the albums……….


De La Soul: “and the Anonymous Nobody”. As you have probably guessed, I am not a big rap fan. Having made that concession, if all rap albums were as good as this I’d have a really really large collection. Here’s a YouTube audio (click here).


Nashville Opera/ Dean Williamson: “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat”. You are probably wondering why I am leading this edition with music I am not particularly fond of? Rap is one of them; opera is another. Sorry. However I am a huge Michael Nyman fan. His music for The Piano soundtrack is one of my favorites. His chamber opera is adapted from the neurological study in the book by the same name by Oliver Sacks (just finished Sack’s autobiography “On The Move” and it is well worth the read). Here’s an audio clip (click here)

loamlandsLoamlands: “Sweet High Rise”. Kym Register has forged a reputation as a member of the folk-punk scene in Raleigh, N.C. and as a LGBTQ activist. But when she fell in love all over again with the music of Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt and Kim Deal, Loamlands was born (with the assistance of her friend Will Hackney). The results are impressive to say the least (click here).


Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: “Skeleton Tree”. Nick Cave’s 16th album just might be his best. It’s raw and emotional though some might be surprised to learn it was written prior to the untimely death of his son. It’s the kind of music that would be a welcome companion to a new season of “True Detective” and worked so well as the soundtrack to “Hell Or High Water”. It also has one of the highest scores of the year from MetaCritic (94). (click here)


Ian Hunter & The Rant Band: “Fingers Crossed”. I wonder if Ian Hunter has ever made a bad, even mediocre record? With 23 albums (not counting Mott The Hoople), you’d think he’d have slipped at least once. Not yet anyway. The album is worth the price for his tribute to David Bowie. Here’s “Dandy”. (click here). You also might want to hear his 2012 ode to a Presidential election (I wonder if Bernie Sanders used it). (click here)



September 1, 2016


September looks interesting (August didn’t turn out so bad after all). Here’s what’s on tap………

September 2:
Angel Olsen: “My Woman”
Eluvium: “False Readings On”
The Divine Comedy: “Foreverland”
The Fleshtones: “The Band Drinks For Free”
The Moles: “Tonight’s Music”
Zomby: “Ultra”

September 9:
Billy Ray Cyrus: “Thin Line”
Daniel Lanois: “Goodbye To Language”
Gavin DeGraw: “Something Worth Saving”
Jack White: “Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016”
Jason Aldean: “They Don’t Know”
Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau: “Nearness”
KT Tunstall: “KIN”
M.I.A.: “A.I.M.”
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds: “Skeleton Tree”
Okkervil River: “Away”
Snowblink: “Returning Current”
Tennage Fanclub: “Here”
The Head and The Heart: “Signs of Light”
The Minders: “Into The River”
Wilco: “Schmilco”

September 16:
Aaron Lewis: “sinner”
AlunaGeorge: “I Remember”
Chivalrous Amoekon: “Fanatic Voyage” (Will Oldham and Angel Olsen)
Cymbals Eat Guitars: “Pretty Years”
Elephant Stone: “Ship Of Fools”
Kool Keith: “Feature Magnetic”
Meatloaf: “Braver Than We Are”
Still Corners: “Dead Blue”
Taking Back Sunday: “Tidal Wave”
The Handsome Family: “Unseen”
Touche Amore: “Stage Four”
Trentemoller: “Fixion”

September 23:
Bruce Springsteen: “Chapter And Verse”
Devendra Banhart: “Ape In Pink Marble”
Dwight Yoakam: “Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars..”
Idina Menzel: “Idina”
Kristin Chenoweth: “The Art Of Elegance”
Marillion: “F.E.A.R.” (their 18th album)
Neurosis: “Fires Within Fires”
Vangelis: “Rosetta”

September 30:
Banks: “Altar”
Bob Weir: “Blue Mountain”
Bon Iver: “22, A Million”
Craig David: “Following My Intuition”
Danny Brown: “Atrocity Exhibition”
Drive-By Truckers: “American Band”
Jenny Hval: “Blood Bitch”
Phil Rudd: “Head Job” (ex-AC/DC drummer)
Pixies: “Head Carrier”
Regina Spektor: “Remember Us To Life”
The Wytches: “All Your Happy Life”
Van Morrison: “Keep Me Singing”
Yellowcard: “Yellowcard”

ramble onHere are links to some articles we’ve come across lately that the staff feels we should share:

“How The World Plugged Into The Electric Guitar”: a fascinating article from The Guardian (I didn’t realize it was developed back in the 40s by country music legend Merle Travis and instrument maker Paul Bigsby). Here’s the link.

“World’s Highest-Paid DJs: Electronic Cash Kings 2016”: If I had only known. This is from Forbes. Here’s the link.

“I Can’t Believe I’m Saying This, But I Miss My CDs: This from Wired with the following explanation, “these are not real real problems, especially not in 2016, aka Our Year Of Perpetual Suck”. Here’s the link.

We’ve also found a couple of wonderful mixtapes at Aquarium Drunkard you need to check out. “The Now Generation” (click here) features songs by The Seeds, Ten Years After, Captain Beefheart and Fat Mattress (Noel Redding from The Jimi Hendrix Experience was a member). The other mixtape is called “Vox Scapo” (click here) and features music by Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, Passport and Deodato. Good stuff.

And finally word that Lifetime is preparing a Britney Spears bio-pic for release sometime in 2017. To quote Hughie (Billy Connolly) from “Still Crazy”, “We wait with bated breath”.


27ea2a48db533ec284b362709bf49e8aWhat We’re Listening To:

untitledAaron Neville: “Apache”. At 75 Aaron still “sings like an angel who’s swallowed a wah-wah pedal” (according to NPR). And “Apache” is the best thing he has done in years. He wrote most of the music and leaned heavily on the gospel-infused funk that has come to define The Neville Brothers. A great album. Here is a YouTube video of “Stompin’ Ground” live (click here).

untitledMaya Beiser: “TranceClassical”. Maya is a master of the avant-garde cello though the title of the album is a bit misleading…..Bach’s “Orchestral Suite No.3 in D Major” doesn’t exactly fit the profile. Nevertheless this is an album for people who appreciate a sense of adventure; her use of electronics is inspired. By the way the scratches you hear on the Bach cut are intentional; just the way she heard it as a child. Here is a link to a YouTube video. click here.

untitledJD Souther: “Black Rose”. I am a huge fan and still wondering WHY this uniquely talented singer-songwriter isn’t as popular as he should be. “Black Rose” was supposed to be the album that would make him a household name. The critics loved it, everyone (and I mean everyone) at the label was 110% behind it, and every promotion man/woman worked the record harder then I had ever seen before. It didn’t happen. The album was full of hits and even after 40 years, it still sounds as fantastic as the first time I played it. Here is Bob Lefsetz’s take on the album: click here.

imagesHaley Bonar: “Impossible Dream”. I can be excused for being a Haley fan, after all she was raised In Rapid City, South Dakota. Fortunately she has also become a fascinating artist to follow as she has migrated from indie-folk heroine to indie-rock stalwart. The power-pop, dream pop and hints of alt-country and punk that populates “Impossible Dream” make for a exceptional album. Here is a YouTube video for “Kismet Kill” (click here)

untitled“Calentura: Global Bassment”: Found this on NPR’s list of the “30 Favorite Albums Of 2016 (so far)”. These are remixes of classic 70s salsa from the Fania Records catalog and like the Verve Remixed series, it’s totally fun. It’s the ultimate dance-floor experience and one I highly recommend. Here is a link to a YouTube streaming video (click here).

images1t3lh61tSnoh Aalegra: “Don’t Explain” (A Mini Album). Snoh is a Swedish neo-soul singer-songwriter of Persian descent who has drawn comparisons to Amy Winehouse and Lana Del Ray. I think she’s better; a lot better. She describes her music as “cinematic soul”…..not sure what that means but okay. Here is a link to a YouTube video (click here)

untitledCarrie Rodriguez: “Lola”. Carrie is the kind of artist that generates a lot of press; she’s been called “the hardest-working woman in American roots music”. We got to see her perform at the Austin Music Awards this year, so we were looking forward to the new album. It doesn’t disappoint. Even after 8 solo albums and another 5 with Chip Taylor, this is her best yet. A bicultural extravaganza of what one reviewer called “Texas fusion music”. Here is a YouTube video (click here).

And Finally: Some great new music from the NoiseTrade web site. First up is Luke Brindley’s latest “Invitation To Joy”. Too often acoustic guitar albums are more flash than substance; not so here (click here). Next up is Charlie Faye & The Fayettes :”A Modern-Day 60s Girl Group on the Rise”……talk about truth in advertising (click here). And finally the latest from Lauren Mann, “Dearestly”. Another singer-songwriter who begs the question, “why isn’t she/he famous?” (click here). A reminder: you can listen to the albums at the site and pay what you want.


“The true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message, and we, the musicians, are the messengers.” Roy Ayers


August 10, 2016

gymnasticsI’m sure anyone who has watched the incredible gold medal performance of the US gymnastics team has asked the same musical question as yours truly. This morning I came across the following article. It should answer a lot of questions and perhaps provoke a few new ones………..click here.


buffalo-chip-2016I am sure you have heard about the accident at the Chip a few nights ago when a bike went off the stage and into the crowd. I wasn’t there but as with Steven Tyler’s fall a few years ago, I’m sure tens of thousands of people were within 50 feet of the accident. Luckily no one was seriously hurt….here is a YouTube video. click here.




August 3, 2016

ramble onAs we enter the first days of the Sturgis Rally (76th) and the ensuing insanity we are also preparing for some interesting musical events. We’ll have Willie Nelson, Cheap Trick, Miranda Lambert, Elle King, Ted Nugent (ugh), Foghat, Kid Rock, Sturgis’ official band Lynyrd Skynyrd and lots lots more. It isn’t SXSW, Lollapalooza, or The Pitchfork Music Festival but we’ll take what we can get…

If James Taylor and His All-Star Band are ANYWHERE near you, go! I hadn’t seen James since my days In Chicago and that was nearly 40 years ago. It was an absolutely incredible evening. The All Star Band was no exaggeration: Steve Gadd, “Blue” Lou Marini, Michael Landau, Luis Conte, and more. And James was wonderful; I believe Kathy (my wife) said it best……”he was gracious”. In the extreme. The crowd loved every minute.

I don’t usually reference other web sites, but Fluxblog (one of the oldest and best music sites) has been compiling the best songs of the 80s by year for download. If you are interested (and you should be) here is a link. click here.

One of the benefits of attending SXSW is being on their email list. They compile loads of interesting articles from publications and sites around the world. Here is one from The Guardian that asks the question: “Where have country music’s women gone?” click here.

I have a bunch of new albums to listen to and lots of down-time (because of the Rally) this week to do it. All come highly recommended: Haley Bonar, Carrie Rodriguez, Owen, Maya Beiser, Pylon Live, Mitski (had this for awhile), and lots more. Stay tuned.

August 2, 2016

givemeyourmoneyJuly wasn’t exactly exciting (okay I haven’t listened to Jeff Beck yet) and August doesn’t look all that interesting though I am looking forward to hearing the new Ryley Walker:

August 5:
Angie Stone: “Covered In Soul”
Dinosaur Jr.: Give A Glimpse Of What You’re Not”
Nels Cline: “Lovers”
Wye Oak: “Tween”

August 12:
Atmosphere: “Fishing Blues”
Of Montreal: “Innocence Reaches”
Savoir Adore: “The Love That Remains”
Thee Oh Sees: “A Weird Exits”

August 19:
Amos Lee: “Spirit”
Chris Staples: “Golden Age”
Crystal Castles: “AMNESTY”
Dolly Parton: “Pure & Simple”
Ed Harcourt: “Furnaces”
Lydia Loveless: “Real”
the Minus 5: “Of Monkees And Men”
Ryley Walker: “Golden Sings That Have Been Sung”
JEFF The Brotherhood: “Zone”

August 26:
Barbara Streisand: “Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway” (not another “duets” album)
Butch Walker: “Stay Gold”
Cass McCombs: “Mangy Love”
Celine Dion: “Encore un soir”
De La Soul: “And The Anonymous Nobody”
Florida Georgia Line: “Dig Your Roots”
Ingrid Michaelson: “It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense”
The Album Leaf: “Between Waves”
The Beach Boys: “Becoming The Beach Boys: The Complete Hite & Dorinda Morgan Sessions” (62 tracks)
The Fabulous Thunderbirds: “Strong Like That”
The Monkees: “Monkees 50” and “Forever” (50th anniversary releases)
The Veils: “Total Depravity”
Twist: “Spectral”

July 21, 2016




The 2016 Mid-Year Report

Seems that all of my favorite music blogs are doing a mid-year assessment of the best albums of the year (so far). So as not to be out done, we have come up with our own list of the best (so far). Eight of the albums have gotten at least one/possibly two or more mentions so we’ll skip them:

School of Seven Bells: “SVIIB”
Field Music: “Commontime”
The I Don’t Cares: “Wild Stab”
Sturgill Simpson: “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth”
Esperanza Spalding: “Emily’s D+Evolution”
Shearwater: “Jet Plane and Oxbow”
Radiohead: “A Moon Shaped Pool”
Japancakes: “Japancakes”

As for the rest:

Garbage: “Strange Little Birds”. I wasn’t impressed the first time I listened to this. However, the second and third time through revealed a album that has to rate with their best work.

Aubrie Sellers: “New City Blues”. Country music played by a punk band? In a year with superb albums from the likes of Maren Morris, Keith Urban and Brandy Clark, standing out in the crowd is hard.

Bonnie Raitt: “Dig In Deep”. As the song goes, “no one does it better”.

David Bowie: “Blackstar”. His last album and one of his very best.

Anderson. Paak: “Malibu”. An album everyone is (still) talking about and for good reason. This year’s “To Pimp A Butterfly”.

Lucinda Williams: “The Ghost of Highway 20”. Has she ever made a bad album…so far the answer is “NO”.

Paul Simon: “Stranger To Stranger”. Paul is hinting that he may stop touring. I only hope he doesn’t stop writing and recording. “Wristband” is a great song.

The Accidentals: “Parking Lot” (ep). The Traverse City, Michigan trio fronted by Savannah Buist and Katie Larson were one of the most talked about bands at SXSW this year (I missed them….damn). Eclectic is overused but in this case it is so appropriate. Here is a link to a free download at NoiseTrade. Click here.

case/lang/viers: “case/lang/viers”. I haven’t heard the term “supergroup” used in years, but these ladies just may qualify. Nothing extraordinary here: just good songs, well done.

Kongos: “Egomaniac”. The brothers Kongos’ third album is even better than their sophomore release which was one of the year’s best (2012). Two of the songs are on my Spotify playlist of 2016’s best.

Please note that I could only come up with 18 albums for the list. That is not a misprint. Trying to find albums that are consistently good from the first song to the last is hard these days…..and I thought the 50s were bad!

July 4, 2016


July 1, 2016



It doesn’t appear there is a lot of great new music for July (numbers wise), but there are some interesting new releases we are watching……..

July 1:
Bat For Lashes: “The Bride” (already getting great reviews)
Blink 182: “California”
Snoop Dog: “Cool Aid”
Thee Oh Sees: “Live In San Francisco”

July 8:
Aphex Twin: “Cheetah”
Biffy Clyro: “Ellipsis”
Heart: “Beautiful Broken”
Kenny Chesney: “Some Town Somewhere”
Switchfoot: “Where The Light Shines Through”
The Avalanches: “Wildflower”

July 15:
Clams Casino: “32 Levels”
Good Charlotte: “Youth Authority”
Jeff Beck: “Loud Hailer”
Need To Breathe: “Hard Love”
William S. Burroughs: “Let Me Hang On You” (the author reading from “Naked Lunch” with accompaniment by Bill Frisell, King Khan, Wayne Horvitz, and more)

July 22:
MSTRKRFT: “Operator”
Relient K: Air For Free”

July 29:
Billy Talent: “Afraid Of Heights”
Ringworm: “Snake Church”
Steve Adamyk Band: “Graceland”
The Ramones: “The Ramones” (40th anniversary limited edition)





June 26, 2016


ramble on

There are a number of websites we visit each month in search of “free” music: Indie Rock Café, Fluxblog, Aquarium Drunkard, Faronheit, Mad Mackerel, etc. There are also new sites to discover while a few older ones “close” when the editor decides to move on, loses interest or simply gets tired. Blogs take a lot of work, obviously. Some of the more esoteric sites (“Awesome Tapes From Africa” for example) don’t follow a specific calendar and may go weeks/months without a post before there is a flurry of activity. Which brings us to one of the more interesting sites we’ve discovered: “Never Enough Rhodes”

neverenoughrhodesThe blog is dedicated to jazz/funk/r&b/soul; just about anything utilizing the Fender Rhodes piano. There isn’t a lot of history on the site but I’m told the instrument dates back to WW II when it was used as part of the rehabilitation efforts for soldiers. It’s also the inspiration for the term “keyboard”. What is important is the effect it had on music beginning in the late 60s. The site has a lot of free music you can download. I heartily recommend the numerous samplers, particularly “Herbie Hancock-Man With A Suitcase” and the Latin/Brazil Rhodes compilations. click here.

Came across an interesting story on “BuzzFeed” entitled: “The True Story Of The Fake Zombies, The Strangest Con In Rock History”. It is fascinating with this bit of history: how Frank Beard and Dusty Hill of ZZ Top came to be in a 4 piece band that toured as “The Original Zombies”. click here.



June 15, 2016

Soundproof listening booth at a London music store 1955

What We’re Listening To (or “What’s Still On My iPod”)…………….

School of Seven Bells: “SVIIB”. The band’s swansong is a sad affair, but also full of wonderful melodies. Still one of the year’s best.

Field Music: “Commontime”. The comparisons to Steely Dan’s “Aja” are well-deserved. “Unusual song structures and unconventional instrumentation”.

The I Don’t Cares: “Wild Stab”. Juliana Hatfield and Paul Westerberg provide the almost perfect rock & roll collaboration.

Sturgill Simpson: “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth”. THE “American Music” album of the year: rock, blues, soul, gospel, folk AND country.

Esperanza Spalding: “Emily’s D+Evolution”. One reviewer called it a “Joni Mitchell and Charles Mingus collaboration”. Produced by Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T.Rex).

Shearwater: “Jet Plane and Oxbow”. As one reviewer (me) put it, “you’d think after 8 albums that everyone would be a Shearwater fan”.

Ray LaMontagne: “Ourboros”. If this had come out in the early 70s it would have been one of the biggest albums of the year. It isn’t too bad in 2016 either.


the best of their recent releases:

Mary Chapin Carpenter: “The Things That We Are Made Of” sampler. click here.

John Prine: “Live in Ashville ’86”. 24 songs from an American classic. click here.

Forecastle Festival: “2016 Artist Mixtape”. Featuring Brandi Carlile, Gary Clark Jr., Dr. Dog and 17 others. click here.

Bonnaroo: “Bonnaroo Mixtape 2016”. Features 43 artists. click here.

Gabe Dixon: “Turns To Gold-Solo Acoustic”. Better than the studio album. click here.

Cowboy Junkies: “Live At The Belly Up”. Recorded in 2014 and features “Sweet Jane”, “Misguided Angel” and a stellar version of “3rd Crusade” plus 9 others. click here.


 Listen To This (new stuff)………….

Radiohead: “A Moon Shaped Pool”. The reviews have been exceptional and I would agree wholeheartedly. Their best album since “KId A”.   

Japancakes: “Japancakes”. Their 8th album, their first since 2007 and now with vocals. Sounds like Kate Bush fronting Depeche Mode at times. Here’s a link to a free download at Soundcloud. click here.

Ryley Walker: “THe Halfwit In Me”. One of our favorite artists. This is from “Golden Sings That Have Been Sung”, his third album due in August. The free download is courtesy of Aquarium Drunkard. click here. 

Los Colognes: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. Yes that “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. The band is from Nashville and reminds me at times of Dire Straits with echoes of The Allman Brothers. Here is the video. click here. 

Bill Charlap: “Notes From New York”. I am a huge fan of piano jazz. Charlap, the Grammy award winner has a new album with his trio and it’s stellar; as the great Johnny Mandel so aptly put it, “it don’t get no better than that”. Here is a link to a YouTube streaming video. click here.

Wendy Waldman: “How Do I”. About the only thing I have in common with Bob Lefsetz (musically speaking) is our enduring appreciation for Wendy Waldman. One of my biggest disappointments was not seeing her “break through” during my years at WEA. She is a major talent. Here is something new and a YouTube video. click here.


And finally……some classical:

Les Violons Du Roy/ Mathieu Lussier: “Vivaldi Concertos. I must admit that I like just about every Vivaldi recording I have ever heard, but this has become one of my favorites. I am not sure how you pick from the 500 or so concertos he wrote, but kudos to the people who chose these. Here is a sample from a YouTube video. click here.

Cor Madrigal/Barcelona Symphony Orchestra/Pablo Gonzalez: “Enrique Granados: Orchestral Works, Vol.1″. I have to confess to knowing absolutely nothing about the Spanish composer and I don’t remember ever hearing any of his music.That’s a shame because Granados is a truly gifted composer and an exceptional pianist (or so I’ve read). The music is in the romantic style and is supposed to be representative of “musical nationalism”….and people wonder why I listen to the music AND then read the liner notes. Whatever the case I will be finding more of Granados’ music. I couldn’t find anything from the album on YouTube, so here is something from his “Suite Elisenda”. click here.


June 5, 2016


Here are the new releases we’re listening/watching in June:

June 3:
Paul Simon: “Stranger To Stranger”
Tegan and Sara: “Love You To Death”
The Claypool Lennon Delirium: “Monolith Of Phobos”
The Kills: “Ash & Ice”
The Strokes: “Future Present Past”

June 10:
Band of Horses: “Why Are You OK”
Brandy Clark: “Big Day In A Small Town”
Diarrhea Planet: “Turn To Gold”
Fitz & the Tantrums: “Fitz & the Tantrums”
Garbage: “Strange Little Birds”
Little Big Town: “Wanderlust”
The Monkees: “Good Times”
Motorhead: “Clean Your Clock” (a live album of one of their final shows)
Nick Jonas: “Last Year Was Complicated”
Peter Bjorn and John: “Breakin’ Point”
Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle: “Colvin & Earle”

June 17:
Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers: “Rehab Reunion”
case/lang/viers: “case/lang/viers”
Caveman: “Otero War”
Let’s Eat Grandma: “I,Gemini”
Mogwai: “Atomic”
Neil Young: “Earth” (new takes on older songs)
Red Hot Chili Peppers: “The Getaway”
Swans: “The Glowing Man”

June 24:
The Avett Brothers: “True Sadness” (produced by Rick Rubin)
Deerhoof: “The Magic”
DJ Shadow: The Mountain Will Fall”
The Felice Brothers: “Life In The Dark”
Hot Hot Heat: “Hot Hot Heat”
Iggy Azalea: “Digital Distortion”

Of Special Interest: Pink Floyd Records will begin releasing vinyl copies of the Pink Floyd catalog starting in June (“Piper At The Gates Of Dawn”, “A Saucerful Of Secrets”, “More” and “Ummagumma”)



April 18, 2016

givemeyourmoneyI have been a bit tardy with the April new release schedules:

April so far:
Andrew Bird: “Are You Serious”
Bibio: “A Mineral Love”
Black Stone Cherry: “Kentucky”
Charles Bradley: “Changes”
Cheap Trick: “Bang Zoom Crazy…Hello”
Mogwai: “Atomic”
Pet Shop Boys: “Super”
Shonen Knife: “Adventure”
Sam Beam/Jessica Hoop: “Love Letters For Fire”
Weezer: “The White Album” (not that one)
Yeasayer: “Amen & Goodbye”
Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals: “Call It What It Is”
Colin Stetson: “Sorrow”
Deftones: “Gore”
Janiva Magness: “Love Wins Again”
M83: “Junk”
Mayer Hawthorne: “Man About Town”
Cate LeBon: “Crab Day”
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros: “PersonA”
Graham Nash: “This Path Tonight”
Lita Ford: “Time Capsule”
PJ Harvey: “The Hope Six Demolition Project”
Santana: “Santana IV”
Sturgill Simpson: “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth”
The Coathangers: “Nosebleed Weekend”

April 22:
Guided By Voices: “Please Be Honest”
Rufus Wainwright: “Take All My Loves”
We Are Scientists: “Helter Seltzer”
Wire: “Nocturnal Koreans”

April 26:
Aesop Rock: “The Impossible Kid”
Brian Eno: “The Ship”
Britta Phillips: “Luck Or Magic”
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: “Nonagon Infinity”
Plants and Animals: “Waltzed In From The Rumbling”
Rob Zombie: “The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser”
Rogue Wave: “Deluisions Of Grand Fur


ramble on

First some comments about the April new releases as I had the opportunity to listen to a few of them: The Santana album isn’t bad but I was expecting more from the reunited 70’s version; Colin Stetson’s album is subtitled “Reimaging of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony”…I would add “for a 12 piece band”; Bob Mould’s album is one of his best ever (I put a song up on my Spotify playlist); The Lumineers” 2nd is already #1 on the charts: Cheap Trick’s latest is their first on a major label in 22 years (too long in the wasteland): the Sturgill Simpson album is eliciting a lot of positive comments and a few negative ones as well (I get the feeling some people are upset he didn’t remake “Metamodern Sounds”)……sorry; Mogwai is celebrating 20 years with their soundtrack for the BBC documentary series “Atomic” (another song on my Spotify playlist): Peter Wolf’s “A Cure For Loneliness” is a lot more laid back than I ever expected…love his rendition of Thomas Wayne’s “Tragedy” and finally other April artists with songs I’ve added to our Spotify playlist: Britta Phillips, Willie Nile, Andrew Bird, Curtis Salgado and others. Enjoy.


A quick note before signing off. Our book club just finished the latest version of Greil Marcus’ “Mystery Train”. If you love music and have a club, it is well worth reading. Great conversation. My friend Rowdy sent me the following a couple of days later. It’s entitled “Incredible History Of Rock In One Song”….so what if it’s 15 minutes long.
Click here for the link.

March 21, 2016

sxswimagesREFLECTIONS ON SXSW 2016:

For starters SXSW is the biggest musical (etc.) event of its kind in the world. For a first-time-attendee it can be quite daunting and requires a substantial amount of flexibility and perseverance. You can’t see/hear everything, and as you talk with other attendees you WILL hear stories of artists you missed (like not staying at the Austin Music Awards long enough to see Robert Plant). With that in mind here are our award winners from the 30th anniversary of SXSW:

sxsjuntitledBest Non-Sanctioned Venue: South By San Jose. Without a doubt the most diverse line-up, the best atmosphere and hands down the best people watching. The “hotel” is possibly the most unique in Austin


Best Emcee (Friday): Rebecca Havemeyer (above) at SXSJ.

Best Award Ceremony To Miss: MTV’s Woddie Awards.

Best Award Ceremony To Attend. The Austin Music Awards Wednesday night at the Hilton.


Artist Most In Need Of A Clothing Allowance: Iggy Pop


Best Back-up Band: Josh Homme and Co. with Iggy.

solarimagesEE1ION78Best Band Uniforms and Stage Presence: Systema Solar from Columbia. Here is a link to a YouTube video sans uniforms. Click here. Over 1 million views on this.

Best EDM Band For People Who Don’t Like EDM: see above.

Best Band Name (seriously): Chicano Batman.

Best Film At SXSW: “Bang! The Bert Berns Story”. And I quote, “Music meets the Mob in this biographical documentary about the meteoric career and tragic life of Bert Berns, the most important 60s songwriter (and producer) that you never heard of”. And way more interesting than “Vinyl”. Click here for the trailer.

Best Sanctioned Event: The International Day Stage. Not every act was a classic, but even if you didn’t particularly like the act they were worth hearing.

Worst Presentation At The Austin Music Awards: Renee Zellweger. Embarrassing.

lulacruzauntitledBest Artist You’ve Never Heard Of: Lulacruza from Argentina/Colombia. I haven’t heard an album yet, but she has a voice that will make you wish you could sing and songs that will make you wish you could compose music. Here is a link to a YouTube video. Click here.

Worst Non-Sanctioned Event: Rachel Ray’s “Turkey Fest” (my description) at Stubbs. People started lining up for this about 4:30 am to get in when the doors opened at 10:30. Like a Led Zeppelin concert in a phone booth.

Best Reason Not To Leave Austin Saturday:
Music at Threadgills. Got to see Kinky Friedman (“Jesus loves you” is beautiful unless you’re in a Mexican prison) (click here) and James McMurtry (if you aren’t a fan you should be) (click here).

Most Unexpected Pleasure and Classiest Venue: Dion at The Driskill Hotel. Who knew that “Runaround Sue” was a “cleverly disguised blues song”.

Best Rock Band: Rayland Baxter. You need to see this band live…..killer. I can’t find a video that does them justice.


The “Where Do I Find Their Albums” Award: Warren Hood. The young man won “Best String Player” at the Austin Music Awards and then played a song that I hope is on an album.

Who We Missed: The Heavy, Ra Ra Riot, Caveman, Anderson .Paak, George Clinton, Aubrie Sellers, Waco Brothers and The Woggles.

The Best Way To End SXSW: Dim Sum at Wu Chow Sunday morning. You need a reservation. Then head over to the “original” Whole Foods grocery store a couple of blocks away. The best one we’ve ever seen.

The Award For The Most Underappreciated People at SXSW: A tie between the sound system people, the security personnel (always helpful) and the restaurant staffs (always smiling).

And to answer your question, “are we going back next year?” YES!



March 1, 2015


Here are the new releases we’re following for March:

March 4:
Glitterbust: “Glitterbust” (Kim Gordon’s new band)
La Sera: “Music For Listening To Music To”
Loretta Lynn: “Full Circle” (hope to see her at SXSW)
Nada Surf: “You Know Who You Are”
Polica: “United Crushers”
Ray LaMontagne: “Ourboros”
Violent Femmes: “We Can Do Anything”

March 11:
Jeff Buckley: “You And I” (recently discovered studio session)
Jeremy Gara: “Limn” (of Arcade Fire)

March 18:
Damien Jurado: “Visions Of Us On The Land”
Gwen Stefani: “This Is What The Truth Feels Like”
Iggy Pop: “Post Pop Depression” (also at SXSW)
Lima: “iii”
Lust For Youth: “Compassion”
Pere Ubu: “Architecture of Language 1979-1982”
Primal Scream: “Chaosmosis”
Soul Asylum: “Change Of Fortune”
Underworld: “Barbara Barbara”
James: “Girl At The End Of The World”
“Elvis Presley: The Album Collection” (60 disc limited edition “crate” w/ rarities)

March 25:
The Joy Formidable: “Hitch”
The Thermals: “We Disappear”
White Denim: “Stiff”
Bob Mould: “Patch The Sky”



David Leisner/Zuill Bailey: “Arpeggione”. First you take music by Schubert, Saint-Saens, Paganini, and Villa-Lobos and transcribe it for cello and guitar. Then you get two world-class musicians to play it. The result is my favorite classical album of the year (so far); make that one of my favorite “albums” of the year. Click here for a sample.

School Of Seven Bells: “SVIIB”. The final album for the duo and as one reviewer so aptly put it, “the perfect goodbye” (Benjamin Curtis died in 2013). Wonderful synth pop tunes. The band’s name comes from a South American school for pickpockets. Here is video of one my favorite songs on the album “Open Your Eyes”. Click here.

DTCV: “Confusion Moderne”. I always feel a bit guilty when I hear a good album by a band I’ve never heard of and then find out it’s their 4th album, not counting 2 EPs. DTCV is short for “Detective”. The album is mix of classic French pop songs (Lola G. is French but I won’t hold that against her) and garage rock. Their bio describes their music as “Francoise Hardy fronting Buzzcocks”. Here is a video from the album; the song kicks in at about the 2 minute mark. Click here.

Field Music: “Commontime”: This is the band’s 5th long player and easily their best. Field Music isn’t for everyone. Their instrumentation and song styles can be a bit confounding at times, something I find fascinating. And the lyrics! One Amazon reviewer compared the album to Steely Dan’s “Aja”. Here’s a YouTube video. Click here.

Bonnie Raitt: “Dig In Deep”. It’s hard to believe that this is Bonnie’s 20th album. Picking out a “best” is damn near impossible but this is right up there. It follows the pattern of her classic albums: deeply personal songs, covers that don’t sound like covers, funky/bluesy numbers and a record that you wish wouldn’t end. Here is a YouTube video (in the studio) of “Gypsy In Me”. Click here.

Relick: “Twin House” EP. I’m not sure why critics compare the band to Rilo Kiley and Neko Case and then invoke 60’s British and 90’s alternative rock band comparisons. The Denton, Texas foursome quite simply make good music, strong on melody with hooks that are engaging and lasting. For a debut it is impressive. Here is a link to a YouTube streaming of “Offering”. Click here.

Bayonne: “Primitives”. Another significant debut, this from Austin’s Roger Sellers. His music is all about melody over intricate layers of sound (musical and otherwise). It’s at once hypnotic and also thoroughly enjoyable. Here is a link to a YouTube video of “Appeals”. Click here.

Mothertapes: “Mothertapes”. First an apology for totally missing this wonderful album which came out in October of last year. The Portland duo makes unique music that I’ve seen described as “avant-pop” and “rhythmic rock electronica”…..I’ve requested a ruling on the last one. My favorite is “a smorgasbord of sound”. Here’s a link to a streaming YouTube video. Click here.

The Blue Stones: “Black Holes”. Another 2-man band, this time from Canada. The music is blues-rock with a pop component that makes it all the more interesting. Their music has been featured on “Parks & Recreation” “Suits” and “Monday Night Football” so it’s not like they are complete unknowns. The album comes out in April so I don’t have a video, but here is a stream of the first single at YouTube. Click here.

Ana Caprix: “M6 Ultra” EP.  When you start using words like “reclusive” and “mysterious” to describe an artist and when I can’t find a lot of information, I get interested. And when the music is called “tropical trance” (whatever that is), the last album in 2014 made some year-end “best of ” lists, and the music is available as a “free” download………click here.

till next time……………………………




February 20, 2016

30edb83d96ddf17ade3e450d44cdc271WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO…………

Shearwater: “Jet Plane And Oxbow”. You’d think after 8 albums that everyone would be a Shearwater fan….I’m a little late to the party myself. MetaCritic scored the album an 82, perhaps because there isn’t a bad cut on the album. Here’s a link to a YouTube video from the album, click here.

Luther Dickinson: “Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger’s Songbook, Volume I & II)” (selections from). The lead guitarist of The North Mississippi Allstars releases what he describes as a project celebrating “the American oral tradition of blues and folksongs”. Luther will be at SXSW and on my list of must-sees! Here’s a link to a NoiseTrade sampler. Click here.

Dumptruck: “Live at CBGB’s ’86 & ’88”. A band that should have made it big but didn’t (there but for fortune). Their albums were critically acclaimed but didn’t have the commercial impact they so richly deserved. The band broke up in 1991. NoiseTrade has the album available for a free download. Click here.

The I Don’t Cares: “Wild Stab”. The “band” is Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield. The 16 tracks consist of demos and songs that Westerberg didn’t get around to recording plus 2 remakes. It’ s not a classic but it is a lot of fun; and after slogging through Rihanna’s latest, I needed something to soothe my nerves. Here is a link to a couple of free downloads at Aquarium Drunkard. Click here.

Michael Rische: C.P.E. Bach: Piano Concertos. I love Bach (C.P.E. that is). At one time he was more popular than his father. Rische gives a magnificent performance on this 2014 release and I highly recommend it. I couldn’t find a YouTube video from the album but here is another version of Part III from the Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, Wq. 22, H 425. Click here.

Elton John: “Wonderful Crazy Night”. Not every song is a classic but definitely worth buying (a mediocre Elton John album is better than 90% of what I listen to these days).

Wire: “Wire”. Formed in the mid-70s, they’ve gone through punk, post-punk, art-punk, alternative rock, electronic, etc., etc. phases….whatever direction the music took them. Their 2015 self-titled release is one of their best. Here are links to YouTube videos of “Blogging” off the new album (click here) and my favorite Wire song from their 1988 album “A Bell Is A Cup…Until It Is Struck” (click here).








February 11, 2016

ramble on

Time for another edition and as we’re just hours away from Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be appropriate to put together a playlist from our library. These are actual songs (you can’t make this stuff up)…..

th2GPV5UP71. Big Black Delta: “If—ingloveyou”
2. Chris Stowe: “I MIss Her When I’m Drinking”
3. Foxygen: “Why Did I Get Married?”
4. The Goodbye Radio: “I Don’t Mean A Thing I’m Saying”
5. I’m In You: “Call Me When You’re Drunk”
6. Jon Schande: “I Really Like Sonic Youth And I Really Want To Have Sex With You”
7. The Lovely Bad Things: “I Just Want You To Go Away”
8. The Martinets: “She Scares The Shit Out Of Me”
9. May McDonough & Company: “Hell Is For Lovers”
10. Partly Faithful: “Partly Faithful”
11. Standard Fare: “The Look Of Lust”
12. Time Travels: “You’re No Cary Grant…She Said”
13. Weepikes: “Bad Valentine”
14. Halestorm: “What Were You Expecting?”
and finally J.Geils Band: “Love Stinks”


Here are the new releases for February that we are following:

So Far:
Bert Jansch: “Avocet” (reissue complete with set of lithograph prints)
The Cult: “Hidden City”
Freakwater: “Scheherazade”
Dr. Dog: “The Psychedelic Swamp”
Elton John: “Wonderful Crazy Night”

February 11-12
Kanye West: “T.L.O.P.”
Wynonna & The Big Noise: “Wynonna & The Big Noise”

February 19
Animal Collective: “Painting With”
Yoko Ono: “Yes, I’m A Witch Too”
Wolfmother: “Victorious”
The Cave Singers: “Banshee”
Ra Ra Riot: “Need Your Light”
Mavis Staples: “Livin’ On A High Note”
Matmos: “Ultimate Care II”
Lake Street Dive: “Side Pony”
Jesu/Sun Kill Moon: “Jesu/Sun Kill Moon”
Cavern of Anti-Matter: “Void Beats/Invocation Trex” (ex-Stereo Lab)

February 26
Anthrax: “For All Kings”
Bonnie Raitt: “Dig In Deep”
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis: “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made”
Sarah Neufeld: “The Ridge”
School of Seven Bells: “SVIIB”
Yuck: “Stranger Things”
Peter Frampton: “Acoustic Classics”
Willie Nelson: “Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin”
Waco Brothers: “Going Down In History”
Emitt Rhodes: “Rainbow Ends” (his first new album in 43 years)
Lily & Madeline: “Keep It Together”

imagesOur 2016 playlist is now at Spotify. We will be adding a bunch of new music in the next few days so check it out. I get asked constantly why we are using Spotify. Personally I would prefer my iTunes downloads and cds but the reality is that streaming sites like Spotify are the wave of the future. I came to that realization when I discovered that certain Chevrolet vehicles like the Sonic and Spark don’t have a cd player and manufacturers like Hyundai are eliminating the player from every vehicle they make……

Here is a link to my 2016 playlist (there are a few others available as well). It includes new music from David Bowie, Sia and Elton John plus artists like Field Music, School of Seven Bells and Wire (one of my favorite bands; don’t know how I missed their 2015 album) https://open.spotify.com/user/daa.com/playlist/5NNqBtJNKeuF4aVAlGC8dd.




January 1, 2016


Happy New Year. We made it through another year. We thought we would kick off the festivities with a list of what new music to expect during the month of January. But first we will start with a list of what you may have missed in December; after all maybe you have a gift card or two to use.

Bruce Springsteen: “The Ties That Bind (The River Collection)”.
Coldplay: “A Head Full Of Dreams”
Kid Cudi: “Speedin’ Bullet To Heaven”
Rick Ross: “Black Market”
Sunn O))): “Kannon”
Grimes: “Art Angel”  (it would have been on my “best of” list)
Baroness: “Purple”
Cage The Elephant: “Tell Me I’m Pretty”

January 1
Rachel Platten: “Wildfire”

January 8
David Bowie: “Blackstar” (we will review this)
Official Soundtrack for “Straight Outta Compton” (featuring N.W.A., Eazy-E and Ice Cube)

January 15
Panic At The Disco: “Death Of A Bachelor”

January 22
Eleanor Friedberger: “New View” (you can hear a cut at our Spotify playlist)
Half Japanese: “Perfect”
Megadeath: “Dystopia”
Savages: “Adore Life”
Shearwater: “Jet Plane And Oxbow” (one of our favorite bands)
The London Suede: “Night Thoughts”
The Besnard Lakes: “A Coliseum Complex Museum”
Tindersticks: “The Waiting Room”
Tortoise: “The Catastrophist”
Ty Segall: “Emotional Mugger”
Black Sabbath: deluxe editions of “Black Sabbath”, “Paranoid” and “Master Of Reality”
Santigold: “99c”

January 29
Basement: “Promise Everything”
Bloc Party: “Hymns”
Nevermen: “Nevermen” (TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Mike Patton of Faith     No More and Adam “Doesone” Drucker)
Sia: “This Is Acting” (Her last album made our “best of list”)
Tedeschi Trucks Band: “Let Me Get By”


December 18, 2015



We close out 2015 with music…what else. We found this at one of our favorite sites (Aquarium Drunkard); and who better to provide music for a festive holiday than Mae West, Tom Waits and Buck Owens. Click here for the downloads. Happy Holidays. Enjoy.

December 16, 2015

navidad images

Well it is the season to be jolly, right? And in keeping with the holiday spirit, the staff at “Dave’s Not Here” wanted to share some time-honored traditional thoughts like “brotherhood”. And who better to express those sentiments than Tom Lehrer……..thanks Jeff. Click here.

December 15, 2015

music store untitled The Best Of 2015?

Another year (musically) is over. And where I had trouble finding 30 albums to choose from last year; this year I had trouble finding 20. Seriously. In case you are wondering, my criteria is really quite simple…..is this an album I will be listening to 5 years from now? Sorry Adele. So here we go and in no particular order:

bjork untitled

Bjork: “Vulnicura Strings”. Bjork is an acquired taste and not for the faint of heart (musically). Her 2015 album “Vulnicura” was a mix of highs and lows and required repeated listenings to fully appreciate. She followed it with a companion project using her original vocals and only string accompaniment. It’s an album made even more intense by the sparse arrangements; but if anything it’s even better than the original. Of note the album features the Viola Organista, an instrument designed by Leonardo da Vinci, but only built centuries later. Click here.

patty untitled

Patty Griffin: “Servant Of Love”. This is her 10th album and easily her best. The country and gospel influences are less evident with more folk, rock and blues in the mix. As one publication put it, “Youngsters have their pop hits; this is songwriting for grown-ups”. Click here.

husky untitled

Husky Rescue: “The Long Lost Friend (Special Edition)”.  The Finnish indie electro-pop band’s latest is a double disc featuring music that came out in Finland in 2013; the second disc features more of the band’s current work. Included on the discs are remixes, instrumentals composed for a New York exhibition by designer Kustaa Saksi and music that was part of a series of seven-inch releases in Finland. This is not an album that I would call a classic by any means and like Bjork, it takes a few times through to really appreciate the music. But The highs so outweigh the low points that it made my list. Click here.

kendrick untitled

Kendrick Lamar: “To Pimp A Butterfly”. Hands down the best rap album of the year and destined to be one of the all-time classics. Kendrick may be to rap what Bob Marley was to reggae. Click here.

laura untitled

Laura Marling: “Short Movie”. Laura’s albums are so good that I fear people are starting to take her for granted. After all this is her 5th album in 7 years. The initial comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Fiona Apple have long since passed. Since she went electric (for now) it’s Chrissie Hynde. Here is a link to some free downloads (at Aquarium Drunkard) of an in-studio radio show she did for Sirius that included songs from the new album. Click here.

jason untitledJason Isbell: “Something More Than Free”. Jason isn’t rock, he isn’t country, he isn’t a folk singer and he isn’t indie/alternative even though this album has been #1 or #2 on each of those charts. He’s a songwriter, a musician and a major talent. I wouldn’t trust a “best of ” list that doesn’t include this album. Click here.

courtney untitledCourtney Barnett: “Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit”. This is the debut full-length album from the Australian indie/alternative rock singer and it’s superb. It also appears to have made just about every “best of” list this year….including mine. Click here.

faith untitled

Faith No More: “Sol Invictus”. FNM released their first album in 18 years to glowing reviews. I’m no fan of alternative metal especially when it’s mixed with hip-hop, funk and punk. But Faith No More has never been a band that was easy to define. As lead singer Mike Patton told Billboard magazine, “Sol Invictus” is “like ELO or The Beach Boys going through a gothic laundry cycle”. If you’re interested in the band’s older albums “The Real Thing” and “Angel Dust” are out on expanded double-disc reissues. Click here.

reina untitled

Reina del Cid: “The Cooling”. If you search you’ll find her listed as a singer-songwriter, but that misses the point, especially now that she has a full-time band. One Amazon reviewer called “The Cooling” an “engaging folk, funk, rock fusion straight out of Minneapolis”. More people need to hear this record. Click here.

kasami untitledKasami Washington: “The Epic”. An album that appeals to hard core jazz fans and the rap/hip-hop audience is hard to find. But Kasami’s work with Kendrick Lamar gave him instant credibility and jazz fans were sure to follow. This ambitious 3-disc set makes a statement that few jazz albums have even attempted. Click here.

ryley untitledRyley Walker: “Primrose Green”. Walker is a talent who seems to invoke Van Morrison, Nick Drake and John Martyn all at the same time. Some reviewers have complained that Ryley seems stuck in the 60s, which doesn’t seem like much of a criticism when you’re trying to figure out what decade Justin Bieber is stuck in. Click here.

&untitled Best Reissue: Amare Toure/Ensemble Black & White: “Amare Toure (1973-1980)”. From our September 20 post: “There are many musical mysteries out there and this African percussionist-singer is one of the most intriguing. He had an affinity for Latin music, particularly Cuban; and this retrospective covers his most productive period. He was “the toast of Senegal”; now no one is sure if he is even alive.” If you’re interested you’ll other examples of the Senegal/Cuban connection at Amazon and eMusic. Click here.

Best Album From 2014 That I Missed: Mr. Twin Sister: “Mr. Twin Sister”. The Long Island band uniquely blends dream and indie pop in a hypnotic “electronic-tinged pop cocktail”. The songwriting is stellar which makes for an album you won’t tire of, and that’s saying a lot these days. Click here.

Best New Artist of 2015: Sasha Siem. The British-Norwegian singer, songwriter and classically trained composer draws comparisons to Laurie Anderson, Bjork and Kate Bush. Her 2015 album “Most Of The Boys” deserved more exposure than it got. She’s a major talent….stay tuned. Click here.

Best Song Of The Year: James McMurtry: “Forgotten Coast”. One of my all-time favorite artists channels JJ Cale and Jimmy Buffett. Click here.






October 18, 2015


ramble on

Lots of interesting “stuff” going on (musically) that we’d like to pass along. We’ll start off with some absolutely fantastic samplers from the folks over at NoiseTrade:

Harvest Records Mixtape No.2. Harvest was the original home to Pink Floyd, ELO, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Dave Mason, Kate Bush, etc. It was pretty much out of business by 1983 but was relaunched in 2013. The sampler contains tracks by new signings Banks, Best Coast, Glass Animals AND a song off “The True Detective” soundtrack by Lera Lynn (the girl playing in the bar). click here.

Warren Haynes: Ashes & Dust Tour Sampler. Songs from Warren’s current tour. I love the versions of Little Feat’s “Skin It Back” and The Allman’s “Jessica”. If you’ve ever wondered why he plays (sometimes) with The Dead and The Allman Brothers, here are 9 great reasons. click here.

True North Essentials. The label has been around since 1969 when they signed a young Canadian named Bruce Cockburn and the rest is history. The sampler has songs by Buffy Saint-Marie, Bruce and gems by Ruth Moody and Catherine MacLellan. click here.

Paper Bag Records 2015 Fall Sampler. Another excellent Canadian label, even though it’s only been around 13 years. Songs by Teen Daze, Young Galaxy, Elliott Brood, Frog Eyes and Alana Yorke. click here.

Dine Alone Summer Sampler 2015. Ever hear of a record label with a food division? Apparently they do things a little differently north of the border and yes they do have a rock ‘n’ roll hot sauce. The label is home to Yukon Blonde, Vanessa Carlton, k-os, and Lieutenant. click here. Now if you want an expanded version of the sampler with tracks by Langhorne Slim, JEFF The Brotherhood, Elliot Moss, Marilyn Manson and more then go to the label’s website. It will cost you an email address, but you can always cancel. click here.

other album downloads that might interest you:

HalloweeN Returns (Music Inspired By The Film). If you need some Halloween music, you can download this for free at Amazon.com. Go to the digital music store, click “deals” at the top of the page, click “free” on the left side of the page under “albums by price”.

2 Stereogum “free” albums at SoundCloud: “Enjoyed: A Tribute To Bjork’s Post” featuring Xiu Xiu, Dirty Projectors, Bell, Atlas Sound and others. click here. “OKX: A Tribute To Radiohead’s OK Computer” featuring Vampire Weekend, Cold War Kids, Marissa Nadler, Chris Walla and more. click here. You’ll have to download each track individually. Sorry.

Nokuwazi: “Thula”. This free download comes courtesy of Awesome Tapes From Africa. As they put it, “it’s the sound of really good Zulu soul melodies over tight mellow beats”. click here.

Midday Veil. They are one of the most interesting bands I have ever heard; they are also one of the most infuriating. This Seattle experimental rock ensemble truly defies classification. On the one hand if they wanted to make a “hit” record I’m sure they could; on the other hand why bother. I found their SoundCloud site which contains downloads going back at least 6 years; you can also listen to songs from their new album “This Wilderness”.  click here.

And finally, I have added a bunch of new songs to our Spotify playlist. Enjoy.




October 5, 2015


A new month (October) and what appears to be some good music on the way…..I hope, I hope, I hope:

October 2:
Collective Soul: “See What You Started By Continuing”
Eagles Of Death Metal: “Zipper Down”
Girls Names: “Arms Around A Vision”
Janet Jackson: “Unbreakable”. Not sure what I was expecting but the reviews have been generally favorable.
Queensryche: “Condition Human”
Wavves: “V”
Joe Jackson: “Fast Forward”
Kinky Friedman: “The Loneliest Man I Ever Met”. It’s been 40 years since his last album
The Bottle Rockets: “South Broadway Athletic Club”

October 9:
Coheed and Cambria: “The Color Before The Sun”. Prog rock is alive and well
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: “In No Particular Order (2009-2014). A live album
Johnny Marr: “Adrenalin Baby”. The former Smiths’ guitarist’s live album
Protomartyr: “The Agent Intellect”
Selena Gomez: “Revival”
Toby Keith: “35 MPH Town”
The Zombies: “Still Got The Hunger”

October 16:
!!!: “As If”
Deerhunter: “Fading Frontier”
Demi Lovato: “Confident”
Keep Shelly In Athens: “Now I’m Ready” Greece that is.
Neon Indian: “VEGA INTL. Night School”
Yacht: “I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler”

October 23:
Carrie Underwood: “Storyteller”
Joanna Newsom: “Divers”. Her first new album in 5 years
Pure Bathing Culture: “Pray For Rain”
Rod Stewart: “Another Country”. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
Tracy Thorn: “SOLO. Songs and Collaborations 1982-2015”
Vanessa Carlton: “Liberman”. Not Joe

October 30:
Elvis Presley: “If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra”
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings: “It’s A Holiday Soul Party”
Wolf Eyes: “I Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces”
Young Galaxy: “Falsework”
Frank Zappa: “Roxy: The Movie”. a never-before-released concert film.
Van Morrison: “Astral Weeks” and “His Band And The Street Choir”. expanded and remastered.
Trey Anastasio: “Paper Wheels”
The Jam: “Fire And Skill: The Jam Live”. A 6 cd set.


September 29, 2015

old men

Compliments of Charlie Springer….is this really what I have to look forward to?

September 24, 2015


New additions to our Spotify playlist, “The Best of 2015 so far……..”

James Taylor: “Montana”. From “Before This World”. There is a degree of tranquility that just seems to wash over you whenever you listen to a James Taylor song/album. His new album carries on the tradition.

Omar Souleyman: “Bahdeni Nani”. From “Bahdeni Nani”. Souleyman is a Syrian musician who has appeared at Bonnaroo and a host of international music festivals over the years.. For this album he asked electronic artists and producers like Four Tet and Gilles Peterson to lend a hand. An interesting album to say the least.

Patty Griffin: “Rider of Days”. This is the first single from her new album “Servant of Love” and if it’s any indication of what’s on the rest of the album, it’ll be one of her best.

Have Gun Will Travel: “Good Old Shakespeare”. From “Science From An Easy Chair”. This Tampa-area quartet used the fabled 1914 Antarctic Expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton as inspiration. Really?

Merry Ellen Kirk: Lovers & Liars”. This is from her upcoming album “We Are The Dreamers” which comes out in October. Don’t let the first bars confuse you. She draws favorable comparisons to Imogen Heap and Florence & The Machine.

September 23, 2015


Maybe I’m just getting older, but I find myself getting a bit “fried” by things that never seemed to phase me in the past. Everyone is an expert these days. Maintaining one’s perspective is often difficult. I try to keep reminding myself of my mother’s favorite saying, “if nothing else you can always serve as a bad example”. So here’s what’s on my musical s— list this week:

1. EDM aficionados who don’t like the term “disco”. Okay, I promise I won’t call broccoli a vegetable ever again.
2. Only getting 30 seconds of a song sample at iTunes and Amazon. It’s like a movie studio putting all the jokes for a new comedy in the previews.
3. Musicians who put all their energies into the production and forget to include an actual musical component.
4. The term “neo-classical” music. Please explain that.
5. Music reviews that leave you wondering if the album was actually any good.
6. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s set list. It’s so old it’s actually yellowed.
7. People who believe everything Miley Cyrus does is spontaneous.
8. The song [seven seconds] on the new Titus Andronicus album. It’s 7 seconds of dead air. On the other hand they labeled the song “Into The Void” (appropriately enough) as “Filler”.
9. People who believe the current “singles” phase is destroying popular music. Anyone remember the 45?
10. Criticizing The Rolling Stones for touring again and charging “outrageous” ticket prices. The day the first 10 rows charge the stage in their walkers they’ll have a point…..maybe.

I feel better already.



September 20, 2015


Here is the final installment and info on the last 17 songs added to our Spotify “Best of 2015” playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/daa.com/playlist/2wOXJwY47EcPKNspyA1VzB

51. Datura4: “Demon Blues”. This is from the debut of this Australian power blues-rock band. If you like Humble Pie and Foghat. Even if you don’t.

52. Reina del Cid: “Sweet Annie”. Another gem from “The Cooling”.

53. James McMurtry: “Forgotten Coast”. From “Complicated Game”. One of my all-time favorites channels JJ Cale and Jimmy Buffett.

54. Twin Within: “Bernie”. From “Horizontal Lines”, the debut for the Canadian duo.

55. Leon Bridges: “River”. Another reason to buy one of the year’s best albums.

56/57. Jason Isbell: “Hudson Commodore” and “How To Forget”. From “Something More Than Free”. Jason’s 5th album is full of catchy melodies and fascinating lyrics. MetaCritic scored it an 87 and like 2013’s “Southeastern” it will grace a lot of “best of” lists for 2015. That includes mine.

58. Mbongwana Star: “Nganshe”. From “From Kinsasha”. I can’t figure out how this album has gotten such rave reviews, like “a classic record for the ages”. A decent album of psychedelic dub music best taken one song at a time. I do like this song however.

59. Kurt Vile: “Pretty Pimpin”. From “b’lieve i’m goin’ (deep) down…”. This is Kurt’s 4th album and while his 2011 long player “Smoke” drew comparisons to Bob Seger and Tom Petty, this is the first song I’ve actually liked.

60. Sasha Siem: “My Friend”. From “Most Of The Boys”. One of the most interesting artists I have heard in years. The British-Norwegian singer, songwriter and classically trained composer draws comparisons to Bjork, Laurie Anderson, Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom. She’s challenging to say the least and incredibly talented.

61. The Rolling Stones: “Let It Rock”. A cut from the “Super Deluxe” version of the re-mastered/expanded version of “Sticky Fingers”.

62. Yukon Blonde: “Saturday Night”. From “On Blonde”. The musical progeny of Tears For Fears, Depeche Mode, Human League and The Pet Shop Boys.

63. Misfits: “London Dungeon”. From “12 Hits From Hell”. I came across this at one of my favorite sites “Albums That Never Were” (click here). “This is a reconstruction of their unreleased 1980 debut album”.

64. Amare Toure/ Ensemble Black & White: “Lamento Cubano”. From “Amare Toure (1973-1980)”. There are many musical mysteries out there and this African percussionist-singer is one of the most intriguing. He had an affinity for Latin music, particularly Cuban and this retrospective covers his most productive period. He was the “toast of Senegal”; now no one is sure if he is even alive.

65. Mr.Twin Sister: “Blush”. This self-titled album came out in late 2014 and made some “best of” lists. They produced the album themselves and put it out on their own label…..gutsy to say the least. It’s hypnotic, dreamy pop music.

66. Wolf Alice: “Giant Peach”. From “My Love Is Cool”. The debut from this north London band has generated a lot of critical praise. It’s called grunge-pop (“fiery”). This may be one of those times when all the hype is justified.

67. The Legal Immigrants: “Billy Goat”. From “Drugs To Roses”.  The Donald’s favorite band (I’m kidding of course) though I doubt they’ll be playing at any inauguration festivities. They’re from Grand Rapids, Michigan and supposedly invoke musical images of The Black Keys and The White Stripes. Makes sense.

From here on we’ll include the music info WHEN we add songs to our 2015 playlist.

September 16, 2015


more from our Spotify playlist:

31. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors: “Shine Like Lightning”. From Drew’s 2014 album “Medicine”. With close to 500,000 plays on Spotify, Drew and Co. obviously have a following. The Nashville band tours a lot.

32. Brandi Carlisle: “Wherever Is Your Heart”. “The Firewatcher’s Daughter” is Brandi’s 6th album and easily her best. If you’re a Prairie Home Companion listener you know her. One of the year’s best albums.

33. Courtney Barnett: “An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)”. From “Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit”. This is the debut full-length album from the Australian indie, alternative rock singer-songwriter and it’s a gem. One of my favorite new artists of 2015.

34. Kate Tucker & The Sons of Sweden: “The State I’m In”. From “The Shape The Color The Feel”. This Nashville indie rock band started out in Seattle in 2007.

35. Vetiver: “Current Carry”. From “Complete Strangers”, the 6th album from the Bay Area band. The perfect record for just kicking back and enjoying the day.

36. The Helio Sequence: “Upward Mobility”. Their 6th long player. They’re labeled alternative rock, but they remind me of early Coldplay. Go figure.

37. Colleen Green: “Deeper Than Love”. From “I Want To Grow Up”. The simplicity of her songs is refreshing and while her delivery seems blasé at times, it’s also very enjoyable.

38. Samba Toure: “Su Wilile”. From “Gandadiko”. Not as intense as his last album but the hypnotic rhythms keep a steady pace throughout. The intro sounds like a Bo Diddley record.

39. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Bird: “Riverman”. From “Chasing Yesterday”. I was expecting more from the former Oasis singer/guitarist. It’s not a bad album, but where’s the rock ‘n’ roll?

40. The Vaccines: “Dream Lover”. This isn’t a Bobby Darin or Mariah Carey cover. This UK indie-rock band reminds me of Duran Duran at times. Their third album.

41. This Way To The Egress: “We Won’t Go”. From “Great Balancing Act”. If you like a band that mixes gypsy jazz with flashes of Tom Waits, Queen and Flaming Lips. Obviously I do.

42. Bianca Caruso: “Don’t Lose Your Head”. From “Bravado”. The debut from the L.A. (by way of Austin, Texas) singer-songwriter who mixes soul, pop, folk and a bit of jazz. Here’s a link to a free download at NoiseTrade. click here.

43. Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad: “Mr. Cop”. From “Steady”. I found this on a free Rarebreed Records sampler. click here. The album from this Rochester, NY jam/reggae band reached #1 on the Reggae charts.

44. Claws: “Set Me Free”. From “Feel It All”. This alternative-pop duo’s debut reminds me of Portishead but with a harder edge.

45. Reina del Cid: “The Cooling”. From “The Cooling”. She is classified as folk-rock but on the band’s second album they have moved way beyond that. Where the last album was a showcase for Reina, this is more of a collaborative effort sonically and lyrically. One of the year’s best.

46. Laura Marling: “Howl”. From “Short Movie”. It’s hard to believe that Laura has made 5 albums in 7 years. The initial comparison was to Joni Mitchell but since she went electric (for now) it’s Chrissie Hynde. I came across some free downloads (at Aquarium Drunkard) of an in-studio radio show she did for Sirius that included songs from the new album. click here.

47. Rachel Grimes: “And Today Was Her Birthday”. From “The Clearing”. This is Rachel’s second album, and while it probably belongs in our “Different” playlist, people need to hear this. Call it “neo-classical” if you like, but with hints of Radiohead.

48. Here Come The Mummies: “Bring That Down”. From “Muertodiesel”. They have to be one of the best party bands EVER. Here’s a YouTube video of the song live in Wisconsin (cheeseheads love it). Click here.

49. Snarky Puppy/Metropole Orkest: “The Curtain”. From “Sylvia”. This album has probably surprised and disappointed a lot of longtime Snarky Puppy fans. Where’s the funk? This is more jazz-fusion. Miles would love it.

50. Kamasi Washington: “Re Run Home”. From “The Epic”. Kamasi is part of Kendrick Lamar’s studio crew. While it is not a great jazz album, it is a very good one. Hopefully it will encourage hip-hop devotees to check out John Coltrane and Miles Davis.


September 11, 2015


I love the Fall (season that is); football, leaves turning and lots of good new music (hopefully). It usually starts in September.

Already Out:
The Libertines: “Anthems For Doomed Youth”
Low: “Ones And Sixes”
Holly Golightly: “Slowtown Now” (the first full band album in over 10 years)
The Arcs: “Yours, Dreamily” (the band includes The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach)
“True Detective: Music From The HBO Series” (the album includes the opening tracks from both seasons and songs from Lera Lynn (“the bar girl”) like “My Least Favorite Life”
Gary Clark Jr.: “The Story of Sonny Boy Slim”

September 18:
Keith Richards: “Crosseyed Heart” (I haven’t heard a Stones solo album I really liked, but we’ll keep an open mind)
David Gilmour: “Rattle That Lock” (The Pink Floyd guitarist will also tour next year)
Chris Cornell: “Higher Truth” (The Soundgarden frontman’s fifth solo album)
Duran Duran: “Paper Gods” (some bands never die)
Judy Collins: “Strangers Again” ( a weird title for an album that includes “old friends” like Willie Nelson, Don McLean, Jimmy Buffett and Jeff Bridges)
Darlene Love: “Introducing Darlene Love” (produced by Little Steven with a few songs by Bruce Springsteen; she needs no introduction as she was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2011)
Lana Del Ray: “Honeymoon”
Glen Hansard: “Didn’t He Ramble”

September 25:
New Order: “Music Complete”
Patty Griffin: “Servant of Love” (for a sample see/hear our Spotify playlist)
Los Lobos: “Gates of Gold”
Silversun Pickups: “Better Nature”
Don Henley: “Cass County” (his first solo album in 15 years)
Chvrches: “Every Open Eye”
Kurt Vile: “b’lieve I’m going down”
Widespread Panic: “Street Dogs”
Youth Lagoon: “Savage Hills Ballroom”
Peaches: “Rub”


August 29, 2015


Continuing the song-by-song breakdown of our “Best of 2015” playlist:

21. Built To Spill: “Never Be The Same”. From “Untethered Moon”. This is the 8th studio album from one of the consummate indie rock bands. The critics love them for their seemingly “effortless diversity”, whatever that means.

22. Jon Cleary: “Pump It Up”. From “GoGo Juice”. The English funk/R&B pianist and multi-instrumentalist landed in New Orleans in 1979 and never left. He played for years with Bonnie Raitt before going solo on a full-time basis. Think The Meters, Dr. John and Fats Domino.

23. Kotomi: “Swimming”. From “Swimming”. Kotomi is LA pop composer Lauren Hillman. I read the music described as the perfect soundtrack for “wandering a coastal town in a far away place”.

24. Fort Romeau: “Insides”. From “Insides”. It’s called house music (minimalist electronic dance music with 4/4 beats and drum machines) and yes it is repetitive. So.

25. Ryley Walker: “Sweet Satisfaction”. From “Primitive Green”. The Chicago singer/songwriter/guitarist’s second album is one of the year’s best. The MetaCritic score was 83.

26. Songhoy Blues: “Soubour”. From “Music In Exile”. The band left Timbuktu, Mali after their music was banned by Islamic extremists. It’s desert blues music with rock ‘n’ roll influences; in other words it’s truly world music. The MetaCritic score was 83.

27. Island Apollo: “Miracle”. From “Island Apollo”. I couldn’t find much information on the California band or their debut EP which is unfortunate. They are talented.

28. Crocodiles: “Crybaby Demon”. From “Boys”. This is the San Diego band’s 5th album. I’ve seen their music described as “noise-pop”, “salsa-punk”, “psychedelic”, etc. You decide.

29. Hot Chip: “Need You Now”. From “Why Make Sense”. This is the UK electronic act’s 6th album. Call it R&B dance grooves with a little hip-hop thrown in.

30. A Winged Victory For The Sullen: “Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears”. I came across this on a 2014 sampler and really liked it. It’s neoclassic ambient music in the same vein as Brian Eno and Mike Oldfield though it’s much more interesting. I tend to get sarcastic about this kind of music (“musical medication”, “did they forget to add the melody”, etc.), but not so here. I heartily recommend their 2014 album “Atomos”.

August 25, 2015


If you haven’t checked our Spotify playlist “The Best of 2015 so far and a few I missed from 2014” here is the link again:


We are also starting a rundown of the posted songs and their information. It may take us a few weeks to get everything current, so stay tuned:

1. Blur: “Lonesome Street”. From the “The Magic Whip”. My daughter turned me on to Blur years ago (1994 to be exact) and I’ve been a fan ever since. “The Magic Whip” isn’t a great album but there are a few good tunes and a few great ones.

2. The Sonics: “Bad Betty”. From “This Is The Sonics”. This is authentic “garage rock” (see the 1998 version of “The Nuggets” album) from a band that originally formed in 1960 in Tacoma, Washington. Nirvana and Bruce Springsteen have listed them as inspirations. This 2015 release is their first new album in over 40 years. It was worth the wait.

3. Joshua Hyslop: “Living & Dying”. This is from the Canadian singer-songwriter’s latest EP of the same name.

4. Stiff Little Fingers: “When We Were Young”. From the album “No Going Back”. One of my favorite Irish bands and their first album in 13 years.

5. Prima Donna: “Deathless”. From “Nine Lives and Forty-Fives”. The latest from the LA quartet.

6. D’Angelo: “Sugah Daddy”. From “Black Messiah”. It’s hard to believe that this is only his third album and the first since 2000’s “Voodoo”. I just hope we don’t have to wait 14 years for another album.

7. The Church: “Pride Before A Fall”. From “Further Deeper”. This Australian band has been around since the early 80s. The album may disappoint a few die-hard fans with its lush almost psychedelic dynamics. Then again that is why I don’t look at the artist’s name until AFTER I’ve listened to the music.

8. The Kentucky Headhunters with Johnnie Johnson: “Mr. Blues”. From “Meet Me In Bluesland”. Southern blues-rock meets “the greatest sideman in rock and roll”. The album sessions were recorded in 2003 (Johnson died in 2005) but only released this year.

9. Lake Street Dive: “What Am I Doing Here”. This is from a Signature Sounds 2015 sampler album that you can download for free at NoiseTrade. click here.

10. Chris Smither: “Another Way To Find You”. Also on the Signature Sounds sampler and from Chris’ 2014 album “Still On The Levee”. This blues/folk singer-guitarist is one of my all-time favorites. You’ll find his classic “Can’t Shake These Blues” on my “Missed Hits” playlist.

11. Blue Water Highway Band: “John Henry”. From “Things We Carry”. Another wonderful Texas band, musically diverse and hard to pigeonhole.

12. Tree Machines: “Fucking Off Today”. From “Tree Machines”. The indie pop-rock duo’s debut EP came out in March. They have talent. I just wish the lyrics were a little more “tongue-in-cheek”; it would have made a great addition to “The Big Lebowski” soundtrack.

13. Leon Bridges: “Lisa Sawyer”. From “Coming Home”. You won’t find an artist or album that has gotten more press in 2015 and deservedly so. If you yearn for some classic soul music……

14/15. Faith No More: “Superheroes” and “Rise Of The Fall”. From “Sol Invictus”. Even after 18 years, FNM are still the best alternative/metal band in the universe. I love the description “bizarrely humorous”.

16. PALO!: “Fumando”. From “PALO! Live”. I heard this on NPR and went out and bought it immediately. I’m glad I did. They were nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2014 and a Grammy in 2015. A mix of Afro/Cuban/Funk/Jazz/Salsa that will get you dancing.

17. Passafire: “Out of Sight”. From “Internal”. A reggae/rock band from Savannah, Georgia. They’re not well known, but should be.

18. Mariachi El Bronx: “Everything Twice”. From the band’s self-titled 2014 album; also included on an ATO sampler you need to grab. Click here. They aren’t from New York and they aren’t a mariachi band. They started out as a LA punk band that took an unexpected musical detour….happily.

19. Alabama Shakes: “Gimme All Your Love”. From their sophomore album “Sounds & Color”. A great song.

20. Astronauts, Etc.: “No Justice”. From “Mind Out Wandering”. Every once in awhile I get the urge to hear something melodic and mellow. Like now. The album comes out in September.

August 17, 2015


We are back after a time-out to get ready for and enjoy the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Don’t know the exact number of attendees; some say close to a million people. In a community of 6700 people? And if you think it was crazy see the photo below:

11233340_10153495184949573_1490671538467255264_nand the picture was NOT photo-shopped. That is an Air Force B1 flying down the main street of Sturgis.

I also came across this posted by an attendee:

I know the month of August is at least half over but if you are wondering what new music is/will be available……

There have been numerous glowing reviews for the Brian Wilson biopic “Music From Love & Mercy”; the soundtrack came out the 14th. Rhino releases newly remastered versions of all 4 Faces albums “You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything (1970-1975)” August 28th. I am a huge DJ Spooky fan and on August 28th his score “Rebirth Of A Nation” for the infamous D.W. Griffith silent 1915 film performed by The Kronos Quartet drops. That same day Beach House releases their 5th album “Depression Cherry” and The Foals make their new album “What Went Down” available. Grace Potter’s debut solo album “Midnight” was released on the 14th. Yo La Tengo hits the road in September after the August 28th release of “Stuff Like That There”. The second album from the Reatards “Grown Up Fucked Up” is out the 21st and finally the new Destroyer album “Poison” is due the 28th.



July 7, 2015

thZGDG92Z0Progress? Everything I read and hear tells me that downloading is slowly being replaced by streaming: Pandora, Spotify and now Apple. Personally I like having a little more control over what I listen to. And no algorithm can tell me exactly what I like even with 52,000 plus songs in my iTunes folder as a guide. However, I’ve also moved from 78s to 45s to LPs to 8-tracks to cassettes to cds to mp3s so adding streaming to the list shouldn’t be so hard. Should it? And if that’s the future who am I to bitch.

So dear readers I have now put up a Spotify playlist, “The Best of 2015 so far and a few I missed from 2014”. I am also in the process of filling out another that I call “Missed Hits” (that one may take awhile). The one thing I like about streaming playlists is the ability to add to them on a daily basis. By the way I picked Spotify because there is a “free” element if you don’t mind the occasional ad. Personally I prefer the $9.99 per month package that is ad-free. Here’s a link to my playlists:



July 4, 2015

untitledThe 4th of July in Western South Dakota is wonderful. And after returning from two weeks in Israel plus 4 days in Zurich (we went to Heidiland…Clara sends her best), I intend to enjoy every second of it. We’ll start with the 96th annual Belle Fourche parade. Just show up and get an entry form; make sure you have plenty of candy to throw.

untitledimagesWe’ll skip the rodeo, as usual, for a big picnic with good friends and good food and eagerly await sundown. That is when we trek to Beulah, Wyoming (popultion 73) where Kathy will unload her “weapons of mass destruction” and along with others start shooting fireworks in the middle of the main street (which also happens to be a state highway). You drive through Beulah at your peril. If we’re lucky we’ll be home by 11:00 and able to give the neighbors a taste of what they missed. It’s a great day; one I wouldn’t miss for anything. And through it all one song will provide the soundtrack…..here.

givemeyourmoneyPromising New Releases For July: The ever-popular Cradle of Filth releases “Hammer Of The Witches” on the 10th, the same day Four Tet releases “Morning/Evening”. Veruca Salt’s first album of new material in 19 years “Ghost Notes” also drops the 10th. July 17th will be busy with new music from Alan Jackson (“Angels And Alcohol”), The Chemical Brothers (“Born In The Echoes”), Galactic (“Into The Deep”), Pitbull (“Dale” …Spanish for “let’s go” if you’re wondering), Tame Impala (“Currents”) and Jason Isbell (“Something More Than Free”). And on the 31st we’ll get Buddy Guy (“Born To Play Guitar”), Titus Andronicus (“The Most Lamentable Tragedy”), Albert Hammond (“Momentary Masters”) and CFCF (“Radiance And Submission”).

For those of you who don’t have enough box sets you’ll have “Live At The Fillmore East October 4th & 5th 1968”  a 4-disc set from Sly & The Family Stone; “The Band: The Capitol Albums 1968-1977” a nine-LP set; Alice Cooper’s “The Studio Albums 1969-1983”  a 15-disc collection; “America: The Warner Brothers Years” which covers everything from 1971 to 1977 in seven remastered studio albums and one live performance. And finally as a public service to our readers, you need to start saving your shekels because on September 18, The Grateful Dead is releasing an 80-disc box (I’m thinking “crate” is a better description) set of unreleased concert recordings spanning the band’s career. It’s called “30 Trips Around The Sun” and will take at least that long to listen to it all.

stay tuned. In the next few days we’ll have news about our inaugural Spotify Playlist, an edition of “What We’re Listening To” and links to some very good samplers.

June 2, 2015


Promising New Releases For June: The 31st new studio album from the Fall  “Sub-Lingual Tablet” is due June 9…..Third Blind Eye returns with “Dopamine” June 16….Jazz fans will want a copy of “Let The Bells Ring On” by Charlie Hunter, Curtis Fowlkes And Bobby Previte which comes out June 9…. Eyelids (featuring members of The Decemberists, Guided By Voices and more) is due June 23rd….Jeff Tweedy produced Richard Thompson’s latest “Still” coming June 23rd….. Freedy Johnston hasn’t released a new album in 5 years; “Neon Repairman” is out the 25th….The Barenaked Ladies “Silverball” is out now….Sharon Van Etten has a new EP (“I Don’t Want To Let You Down”) and world tour starting this month….. James Taylor’s first album of new songs in 13 years (has it really been that long?) “Before This World” is out the 16th

Classical Gas
:I am one of those individuals who likes to “ease” into the day. Why my favorite coffee stop is playing Iron Maiden at 6:30 AM is beyond me. And “no” it isn’t an age thing. The morning is for Mozart, Grieg, Chopin and even some Dvorak (I’ll pass on Mahler). With that in mind, I have heard some interesting music lately; hopefully something that will appeal to any musical taste (even my Iron Maiden friends). The first is “Great Comedy  Overtures”. With the exception of “The Merry Wives of Windsor”, I didn’t recognize a single one….”The Barber of Baghdad”? Whatever the case these comic opera classics are exceptional though unfortunately not often heard even in pop concerts anymore. My second entry this week is Csilla Gulyas’ superb “Classical Sonatas For Harp”. Now this is the way to start your day (or end it) especially with a great cup of coffee. I haven’t been able to find much info on the young lady other than being quite famous in her native Hungary. It’s a great album made even better by her inclusion of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Sonata in G Major Wq 139. And the latest from the Czech based Pavel Haas Quartet, “Bedrich Smetana: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2”. I have heard a little of Smetana’s works over the years but usually as part of an album including other composers. After listening to this I will be finding more. Here is a link to a YouTube video. You can also find the quartet featured on their 2011 Gramophone award winning Dvorak string quartets album and 6 other albums. Latte anyone?

We’ve come across some interesting new samplers lately that you need to grab while they are still available:

ATO Spring Sampler 2015: always a great mix of music, this time featuring Mariachi El Bronx, Midlake, Rayland Baxter, SOJA, Rhett Miller and more. Here is the link to NoiseTrade.

Bonnaroo Mixtape 2015: 85,000 happy campers, 700 acres of Tennessee countryside, 10 stages, 4 days and 150 acts. Here’s a sampler of 38 of them (acts that is). Here’s the link.

Noble Women: Celebrating Noble Women In Music: This is the soundtrack to the movie “Noble” and while I haven’t seen the movie, if the soundtrack is any indication. Here’s the link.

Cloud Cult: Singles-2015: Cloud Cult (according to Wikipedia) is “an experimental indie-rock band from Duluth, Minnesota”. I’m not going to say more; but as band samplers go, this is one of the best. Here is the link.

till next time……….



May 26, 2015

and now for

One of the joys of the internet is “stumbling” (literally) upon a blog that a fan has put together with meticulous care and thought. One of the best and certainly one of the most interesting is “Albums That Never Were”. (link)  As soniclovenoize puts it, “because i have too much time on my hands, i waste it by reconstructing famous unreleased albums”. Oh to be so fortunate; then again maybe he/she is retired. To date there are 43 albums on the site including:

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” Soundtrack: it’s hard to believe but there wasn’t one released.
“Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg”: the double album that became The Clash’s 1972 single disc “Combat Rock”.
“Who’s For Tennis”: The proposed and promptly withdrawn album that would have filled the void between “The Who Sell Out” and “Tommy”.
“Human Highway”: The aborted third album by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
“Get Back”: The link betwwen The Beatles’ “White Album” and “Abbey Road”.

plus there’s “reimagined” albums by The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Captain Beefheart, Jimi Hendrix, Blur, The Turtles, Frank Zappa, The Smashing Pumpkins and more Beatles and The Who. There are other “reimagined” sites out there, but this is the best. Enjoy!

and finally………………………

untitledThere are few pictures from the “Woodstock Generation” that are as memorable as the one above. As the cover to the musical narrative of the festival, it is as famous as the event itself. You’ve probably seen the picture of the couple as they posed for their wedding anniversary 45 plus years later. If you haven’t………



May 13, 2015

ramble on

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I can’t believe the controversy over this year’s selections; more specifically “this year’s omissions”. It appears that people are finally paying attention to the inductees and asking serious questions: Green Day is there but not Jethro Tull; Abba but not Deep Purple; Guns N’ Roses but not Yes. And where is Todd Rundgren, Chicago, Spirit, Kraftwerk, The Moody Blues and Steve Miller?  If you want better rationales, here are links to columns by Bob Lefsetz on Jethro Tull and the state of the Hall.


Promising New Releases For May: May 26 is the release date for the soundtrack to Aloha, featuring Fleetwood Mac, Daryl Hall & John Oates, David Crosby, Kurt Vile, Beck and Vancouver Sleep Clinic…..Faith No More is back with Sol Invictus on May 19 and I hear it’s really good…..Sammy Hagar And The Circle’s At Your Service comes out May 19 and features Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson…..The Traveler, the latest from Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller is out now…..

free stuffand here’s a “free” sampler from the folks at Rare Breed Records. If you like Ska, Reggae and Punk (even if you don’t), grab the download and get ready for summer. Here’s the link to the download; if you want to stream it first here’s a link to SoundCloud.


And finally as another sign that we are fast approaching “The End Of Days”, The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” is now being used in a new commercial for Choice Hotels. I’m was surprised to find out that the band was interested in catering, free breakfasts, fresh design elements and “the perks of hotel living”. Who knew.

May 5, 2015


I have been listening to a lot of blues lately (my listening habits tend to run in streaks). It started with an Amazon suggestion; anytime I’m offered 167 songs for 4.99, I will check it out. The album is “The Complete Blues Anthology (Doxy Collection Remastered)”. Now before you close this out and open Amazon, a few comments: first the music is mostly from the 40s and 50s; second the album is heavy on Wynonie Harris, Brownie McGhee, Jimmy Witherspoon and a few others; and there are no liner notes. You will however find classic tracks by John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and more. At .03 per song you can’t go wrong. As a footnote, the reason the album is so cheap is because the label is European and after 50 years all music copyrights expire over there.


I came across this sampler at NoiseTrade in February and loaded all 11 songs into my various playlists. It’s from The Music Maker Relief Foundation, a 501c3 dedicated to preserving “the musical traditions of the South by directly supporting the musicians who make it”. A noble endeavor and even better music…..the John Dee Holeman, Etta Baker, Cotie Stark, and Captain Luke and Cool John Ferguson cuts are superb. Here is a link to the Music Maker site and the NoiseTrade sampler.

What’s New On My iPod

untitledI know a few people will disagree with me, but I really haven’t heard a lot of great new music since the first of the year. As proof I offer a link to Indie Rock Cafe (a favorite site) and downloads from the “Best New Album Releases, April 2015”. If you’re interested you can also check out similar posts for March and February. Fortunately a few “bright spots” have helped tide me over and I remain ever optimistic. Here’s what we’re listening to at the office:

untitledBen Salisbury and Geoff Barrow: “Ex Machina”. Composer Ben Salisbury and Portishead’s Geoff Barrow have come up with a superb soundtrack, if you like ambient music that’s a bit eerie. The movie itself has gotten rave reviews with a 78 at MetaCritic, so I’m hoping it will open here…..eventually. One reviewer described it as “Frankenstein meets Blade Runner”. What makes the album so unique is that the soundtrack has actual songs; most sci-fi soundtracks offer nothing more than 2 maybe 3 minute snippets. Barely enough time to enjoy the music. Here’s a link to the soundtrack.

untitledRyley Walker: “Primrose Green”. This is the second album from the singer-songwriter and it’s excellent. As with most Chicago artists, he covers a lot of musical territory: there’s some jazz influences, a bit of English folk (think Nick Drake), a hint of rock and Walker’s own unique guitar stylings. He’s a talent and “Primrose Green” is one of the year’s best. Here’s a link to a video of “Sweet Satisfaction”.


Laura Marling: “Short Movie”. This is Laura’s 5th album in 7 years; not bad for a 25 year old whose debut was skewered by some critics who considered her just another English singer-songwriter. “Short Movie” proves that she is anything but. Her music has always been intensely personal and musically focused, but she upped the ante by going electric for the new album. Here is a link to a free 5 song preview that she recorded in December for SIRIUS. One of the comments drew a comparison to Chrissie Hynde, “which can never be a bad thing”.

untitledDwight Yoakam: “Second Hand Heart”. I am trying to figure out how some 30 years later, Dwight Yoakam is still making some of the best country music you will hear anywhere. He hasn’t changed his style, his sound or his devotion to the music that inspired him. “Second Hand Heart” doesn’t have a “knockout” hit like “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” but it’s solid from first song to the last. And these days that’s rare indeed. Here’s a link to a YouTube stream of “Second Hand Heart”.


James McMurtry: “Complicated Game”. Like Dwight Yoakam, James McMurtry can be a bit predictable, but so what. The album is worth purchasing for the song “Forgotten Coast” alone…think a JJ Cale and Jimmy Buffett collaboration. The song “South Dakota” is a just as good even if I am justifiably prejudiced. Here’s a link to a streaming of “Forgotten Coast” at YouTube.

untitledPALO!: “Live”. I’m not sure where I heard this, but I downloaded it the next day. They call it Afro-Cuban Funk, though I would add there’s a hint of jazz that weaves it’s way through the music. The band was nominated for a Grammy in 2015 and a Latin Grammy in 2014. If you can put this on and stay seated (as in dancing) you need  therapy. Here’s a link to a YouTube video of “Fumando”.


February 8, 2015


As I sit here in Western South Dakota looking at barren ground….our snow has melted after days of 60 degree weather to the point that we are considering raking the yard today (I did). February? And I’m seeing headlines “Another Winter Storm Set To Hit Northeast, Promises Days of Pain”. Fortunately whatever pain I will feel later today should be alleviated by a few Tylenol. So for our readers out East (and those who believe we are still a long way from spring) here is a link to some postings at Indie Rock Cafe. The January 31 post “Best New Releases” for January has new music from Dr. Dog, Sleater-Kinney, Belle and Sebastian, The Decemberists, Mark Ronson and more. Just below that is the “Blizzard of 2015 Playlist Mix” (January 26 post) with classics like “The New Ice Age”, “Mrs. Cold”, “Cold Hands” and “Breaking The Ice”. Here’s the link.


If you want to keep those “warm thoughts” (that is if you have any) here is a link to the 2015 “Hangout Music Fest Mixtape” at NoiseTrade. The festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama is set for May 15-17 and will feature tons of talent like The Lone Bellow (a great new album), Drive-By Truckers, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Father John Misty, Trampled By Turtles, Foo Fighters, Beck and more. Not every artist is featured on the mixtape; 24 of them are. Here’s a link to the free sampler.


And finally a wonderful mixtape at Aquarium Drunkard. It’s called “Solstice-A Mixtape” and features “late 60s and early 70s sounds assembled to compliment those long winter nights descending upon us all”. The artists include Spirit, The Kinks, Shuggie Otis, Funkadelic and Little Richard; it clocks in at over 2 hours. Enjoy. click here.

January 10, 2015

The Best of 2014?

2014 was a strange year, musically that is. Usually when I start to put my “best of” list together I whittle it down from 50 to 60 albums. Not this year. I was lucky to come up with 30 titles. As a result I waited until most blogs/publications had released their lists so I could make sure I hadn’t missed anything. I didn’t. Maybe we didn’t get our “quantity quota” filled for 2014, but if you were listening you could still find plenty of quality albums to fill your cd changer or to download.

Here’s my list for 2014…in no particular order!

untitledAC/DC: “Rock or Bust”. Thought I’d get this out of the way at the outset. The album is too short and the music doesn’t stray far from the standard AC/DC formula, this at a time when Angus should be remastering the catalog and Brian concentrating on putting together a Las Vegas revue. But as Carly Simon so aptly put it, “nobody does it better”. Click here for a YouTube video of the title track


untitledTerry Waldo: “The Soul of Ragtime”.
Waldo is a teacher, historian, author and host of the NPR series “This Is Ragtime”, and a protégé of Eubie Blake. His latest album contains some classics, hymns, originals and an adaptation of “The Pilgrim’s March” from Wagner’s “Tannhauser”. Click here for a YouTube video of Terry performing “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” in 2010.


untitledU2: “Song of Innocence”.
There was so much press (most of it bad) about the free album download that the music seemed to get lost in the shuffle. It’s not as good as “The Joshua Tree” but close enough to make it one of their best. If you somehow missed a song or two, click here for a YouTube video of “The Miracle”.



untitledEx-Hex: “Rips”. I was happy to see this make quite a few “Best of” lists. One publication even named it “Album Of The Year”. The all-women, power-punk trio packs 12 songs in a little over 34 minutes and nothing is wasted. One reviewer said, “listen to this instead of drinking that third cup of coffee”. Here’s a YouTube video of “Waterfall”. Click here



untitledMedeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood: “Juice”.
Jazz Rock has always seemed more of a marketing concept than a true musical genre. But the 4 albums MSM&W have recorded beginning with the 1997 classic “A Go Go” redefined the term at least for me. The dub reggae version of “Sunshine Of Your Love” is a classic. Click here for a live YouTube video of the song.



untitledKeb Mo: “Bluesamericana”.
I’m not sure if Kevin Moore has ever released a bad album; much less a mediocre one. “The Worst Is Yet To Come” made my top ten list of the Best Songs of The Year. Click here for a YouTube video from The Craig Ferguson show; sorry the sync is bad.




untitledVarious Artists: “I Saved Latin: A Tribute to Wes Anderson”. Most tribute albums aren’t worth the effort or the price, regardless of the sentiment. However if you’re paying tribute to filmmaker Wes Anderson (“Moonrise Kingdom”, “The Royal Tenenbaums” , “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, etc.) you would expect what has been described as “literary geek chic”……in short something fun. It definitely delivers. Click here for a YouTube video of “Margaret Yang’s Theme”.


untitledPhox: “Phox”. This full length debut didn’t exactly overwhelm the first time through; even a second time. But the more you listen the more you like it. I’ve heard it described as “chamber pop” but even that doesn’t fully describe everything that’s happening with instrumentation that includes violin, clarinet, banjo, more horns and on and on. They also recorded a song for the “I Saved Latin” album. Click here for a YouTube video.



untitledVarious Artists: “Chef”. A wonderful movie and an even more enjoyable soundtrack. Blues, jazz, latin, reggae, funk; a little something for everyone. Here’s a YouTube video of Gary Clark Jr. doing “When My Train Pulls In”; this is from a “Live Room” performance. Click here



untitledThe Bad Plus: “Inevitable Western”.
I am not a fan of so-called “free jazz” (I’m sure there’s a melody in there somewhere), however, I love the trio’s “avant-garde populism (their description). I can’t think of another band with the talent or ambition to tackle Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and then wow the crowd at Bonnaroo. Click here for a YouTube video.


untitledSylvan Esso: “Sylvan Esso”.
The electro-pop duo’s debut album came out in May and I’m still listening to it. Like Phox it’s an album that grows on you though it might be a bit too left field for the pop purists. Click here for a YouTube video of “Coffee”. 1.5 million views so far.



untitledSia: “1000 Forms of Fear”.
The Australian tunesmith has written with and for Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Madonna, Maroon 5 and more. This is her 6th album and easily her best. You can call it pop music but unlike a lot of the dribble that seems to be clogging the airwaves and the web, there’s more substance here than one might expect. The lady is a major talent and if you aren’t a fan you should be. Click here for a YouTube video.



untitled“Finding Fela”; Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. This made my “Best of” list simply because it’s probably the best representation of the “Bob Marley of Africa” you’ll find. Some may quibble with the edits (Kuti’s “endless grooves” lasted 20 to 30 minutes or more), but if you’re interested in exploring the world of Afrobeat this is a great place to start. I once heard Kuti’s music described as “politics you can dance to”. Click here for the movie trailer


St. Vincent: “St.Vincent” and Beck: “Morning Phase”. It isn’t necessary to spend a lot of time commenting on two of the most acclaimed albums of the year. Annie Clark (St. Vincent) is one of the most fascinating and unpredictable artists around. Beck on the other hand can be a bit unpredictable though he tends to be a little more mainstream. I’ll pass on the long-form descriptions if you don’t mind and let their music say it all:
St. Vincent: “Digital Witness” from the “St. Vincent”. Click here.
Beck: “Heart Is A Drum” from “Morning Phase”. Click here.


Sam Llanas: “The Whole Night Thru”. The voice of The BoDeans with a stellar solo album. Here’s a full album stream at YouTube. Click here.

sleepmakeswaves: “Love of Cartography”. This Australian instrumental “crescendo-core” quartet (their term) are developing into one of the most interesting bands you’ll hear. Click here for a video at YouTube.

Hank Harris: “Peace”. Hank is a local legend in these parts. He has a talent for melody, insightful lyrics and the determination to go wherever the music takes him. Click here for a YouTube video.



November 28, 2014

Had some problems with our site that we have now corrected so I am reposting our previous (November 28) blog entry in case you didn’t receive it.

One of my favorite download sites is NoiseTrade. I like being able to download an album/sampler for free, and go back and make a donation if I like it.

Here are some of my favorite download s from 2014:

Carly’s IPod Vol. 2: A sampler with 16 songs including favorites from Andrea Nardello, Love Crushed Velvet and Mac MacKelcan. click here.

Motema Fall Sampler: Motema Music’s roster includes everything from jazz to reggae and includes Ginger Baker’s latest jazz venture. Be sure to listen to the cut from Nilson Matta. click here.

Nashville Fringe Festival Sampler Fall 2014: Another sample of the diverse music of Nashville. The Markey Blue cut is worth the download. click here.

Lost Ark Studio Compilation, Vol.8: Southern California artists like The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash (my favorite) and The Palominos. And while you’re there you can download the previous samplers as well. click here.

Africa by Wiyaala: The Ghanaian artist was nominated 4 times in 2014 for the All African Music Awards so this 4 song ep is definitely worth hearing. Her new single “Africa” is included. click here.

Field Division: “Hollow Body Weather”. Another Nashville band, and “no” you are not seeing a trend here. Besides their bio says this is music for fans of Fleet Foxes and Fleetwood Mac. click here.

Jim White vs The Packway Handle Band: “The Sawyer Sessions EP”.  Jim White is one of the most original and interesting artists around. His bio references his “hallucinatory blend of country, folk and rock”; one of my favorites songs is “Handcuffed To A Fence In Mississippi”. His collaboration with The Packway Handle Band, a roots rock-bluegrass outfit, seems to be a match made in ……….! Their debut album will be out in January. Here’s a taste of what to expect. click here.

Shaky Knees: “7 Years”. A blues-rock musician from Brazil living in Canada? Click here for 4 songs from his debut album.

Deer Head Music Presents Indie Mixtape Nashville. I repeat, “You are not…….”. 20 songs that I heartily recommend particularly from Goodbye June, Heyrocco, Modoc and Kyle Andrews. click here.

An Introduction To Joe Pug. Joe has drawn comparisons to Steve Earle, with whom he has toured, and John Prine. Heady company but the kid is a genuine talent. click here.

Sturgill Simpson. Rolling Stone asked “Is Sturgill Simpson Country Music’s Savior?”. I”m not sure if he is, but Mr. Simpson is definitely worth a listen. Click here for a 4 song sampler, then find a copy of “Metamodern Sounds In Country Music”. It should be on a lot of “Best of” lists for 2014.

My Brightest Diamond: “Until Now”. Shara Worden is one of those unique artists that almost defy description. Wikipedia says she “mixes elements of opera, cabaret, chamber music and rock”. You need to hear this lady. The sampler includes songs from her first 3 albums. click here.

The Dollyrots. I’ve read descriptions that call the band “bubblegum punk”, “The Ramones with a sense of humor”, energetic pop-punk”, etc. Needless to say I like them….a lot. They have released 4 albums so far, and here’s a link to a page with a bunch of their downloads. click here.

Asthmatic Kitty Digital Sampler, Fall 2014. One of my favorite labels (just across the border in Lander, Wyoming) with a roster that includes My Brightest Diamond, Lily and Madeleine, Sufjan Stevens, Mozart’s Sister, etc. click here.








September 1, 2014

This will be our last edition of Dancing About Architecture. We are changing the title to “Dave’s Not Here” for obvious reasons. We will also change our site address, but not our email. In the meantime enjoy some great music……..

You’ve probably heard by now that Pink Floyd will have a new album in October (possibly). In truth it’s (supposedly) an album of ambient and instrumental music based on the 1993/1994 “Division Bell” sessions. Depending on which publication you read, there may or may not be vocals.

AC/DC have completed work on a new album. No release date has been set.

Dave and Ray Davies have not played together since 1996, but are reportedly discussing plans to do so….again. And now the 2cd remastered/bonus track version of “Lola Versus Powerman” is out. I’m not sure how many times Kinks albums have been reissued but one blog said it best….”you will need both a banker and an accountant to keep score of Ray Davies’ appetite for reissues”.

What’s this about a NBC developing a TV drama based on the Beatles’ career? And this after word that Ron Howard is planning a documentary on the Fab Four’s early touring years.

Have Dire Straits been working on a new album?

Sound therapists have determined (after careful and exhaustive research) that “Weightless” by the English band Marconi Union is the most relaxing song ever recorded. “The continuous rhythm of 60 BPM, an ideal tempo for synchronization with heart and brainwaves, make it an ideal audio accompaniment for a good night’s rest”. Here is a link to a YouTube video. There’s even a 10 hour version available.

After 8 years, Bob Seger is ready to release a new album called “Ride Out”. The first single is a cover of John Hiatt’s “Detroit Made”. The question everyone is asking (at least around here), will Bob play the 75th Sturgis Rally? Stay tuned.

BBC2 listeners just finished voting for the greatest guitar riff of all time. The winner…..Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. The Kink’s “You Really Got Me” was number 9, but Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” at number 2 makes no sense. Anyone think “Satisfaction”, “Cocaine” and “LaGrange” should have been included?


August is an interesting month (musically). With the Rally I find that I am more inclined to listen to classical, world and jazz…..there is only so much ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd I can stand. Seeing John Mayall at the Buffalo Chip was a treat though; can’t believe John is 81. Here’s what got my attention recently:

“Finding Fela, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”. Described as a “compelling look at the Nigerian musician and activist”, the documentary soundtrack is wonderful introduction to people who may not be familiar with the father of “afro-beat”. Selecting the songs from the 45-odd albums that he recorded must have been quite an undertaking. I love the album and can hardly wait to see the film, which had it’s premier at the Sundance Festival this year. Here is the movie’s trailer. click here

Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd: “Jazz Samba”. Still one of my all-time favorites. listen here

Kungsbacka Piano Trio, Richard Hosford, Philip Dukes: “Gabriel Faure Chamber Music (Piano Quartet No.2, Piano Trio, etc.)”. If you aren’t familiar with Faure, start here. If you don’t have this, buy it. Click here to find out why.

Sandoval-Corea-Sanchez-Escovedo: “Jam Miami: A Celebration of Latin Jazz”. Since I got the soundtrack to “Chef”, i have downloaded a lot of Latin music and this is one of the best. The “I Love Lucy” theme song is a reat treat (listen here).

Tim Hugh w/ Bournemouth Sinfonietta: “CPE Bach Cello Concertos”. We tend to forget that in his day Carl Philipp was more popular than his father. This 1996 Naxos recording is a favorite (listen here).

Sia: “1000 Forms of Fear”. The Australian singer-songwriter is a virtual music factory: writer (Beyonce, Rihanna, Britney Spears), producer, recording artist (“Elastic Heart” from The Hunger Games soundtrack), etc. This, her 6th album, will make a lot of “best of ” lists at the end of the year and for good reason. Here is the video for “Chandelier” which has already had 147 million views on YouTube. click here

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers: “Hypnotic Eye”. Not a classic by any means, but still better than most of the new stuff I’m hearing.

Johnny Winter. Johnny was one-of-a-kind and not just as a musician. One website lists over 132 Johnny Winter albums; unfortunately the majority are not legitimate. For the record there are 19 studio albums, 8 “live” recordings and 13 compilations according to Wikipedia. Over the past weeks I’ve spent a lot of time listening to “Guitar Slinger”, “Raisin’ Cain” and “The Progressive Blues Experiment” not to mention “Hard Again”, the classic Muddy Waters album that Winter produced in 1977. His final album “Step Back” featuring Eric Clapton, Joe Perry and Billy Gibbons is just out.

which brings us to the new releases for September. Remember that release dates are always fluid, but here is what we have so far:

The Bad Plus: “Inevitable Western”. Haven’t heard this yet but it came out last week. My favorite jazz trio.

Counting Crows: “Somewhere Under Wonderland”
James Taylor: “The Letter”
Maroon 5: “V”
Sinkane: “Mean Love”
Esben and the Witch: “A New Nature”
Ryan Adams: “Ryan Adams”
Tricky: “Adrian Thaws”
Banks: “Goddess”
Duologue: “Never Get Lost”
Interpol: “El Pintor”
Justin Townes Earl: “Single Mothers”
Loudon Wainwright III: “Haven’t Got The Blues (Yet)”
Robert Plant: “Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar”
Isabel Rose: “Trouble In Paradise”
Jesse Winchester: “A Reasonable Amount Of Trouble”
My Brightest Diamond: “This Is My Hand”
Tweedy: “Sukierae”
Alt-J: “This Is All Yours”
Aphex Twin: “Syro”
Imelda May: “Tribal”
John Mellencamp: “Plain Spoken”
Kenny Chesney: “The Big Revival”
Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett: “Something Shines”
Leonard Cohen: “Popular Problems”
Perfume Genius” Too Bright”
SBTRKT: “Wonder Where We Land”
sleepmakeswaves: “Love of Cartography”
Ani DiFranco: “Allergic To Water”
Lucinda Williams: “Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone”
Prince: “Art Official Age” and “Plectrumelectrum”
Ry Cooder: “Soundtracks” (7cd collection of his movie soundtracks)

and now on to the “free stuff”

Nicole Atkins: “Girl You Look Amazing”. This is from her latest “Slow Phaser”. Writing catchy melodies with lyrical depth isn’t easy, but Nicole has the talent. This is from the folks at WXRT. click here.

Manchester Orchestra/ Paul Thomas Saunders/Sweet Apple/ Black Label Society: One of our favorite sites is Indie Rock Cafe and their April recap had some great mp3s for your collection. These are four of the best. click here and scroll down.

Ikebe Shakedown/Rodney Crowell/The Menzingers: More from the second installment of IRC’s April recap. DO NOT miss the Rodney and Ikebe downloads, and how could you possibly live without The Menzinger’s “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore”. Download it for a friend. click here and scroll down.

New Pornographers: “Dancehall Domine” (8/26)
Arcade Fire: “Here Comes The Night Time” (8/25)
Weezer: “Back To The Shack” (8/6)
Lana Del Rey: “Shades of Cool” (6/12)
Phish: “Wingsuit” (7/14)
Sam Smith: “Money On My Mind” (5/28)
Brian Eno & Karl Hyde: “Time To Waste It” (7/7)
Owen Pallett: “The Riverbed” (5/5)
Tune-Yards: “Find A New Way” (5/6)
If you read entertainment or music publications you’ve probably heard about these artists and their new albums….Smith and Del Rey particularly. The downloads are at another of our favorite sites Fluxblog. You’ll have to scroll back to the dates, but along the way you’ll find other downloads from the new albums by Jack White, Michael Jackson and more. click here.

Sassparilla: “Cool Thing” and “What The Devil Don’t Know”. The songs are from two different records released as a double album in June. The band is from Portland and is described as a mix of punk, rockabilly, folk and bluegrass. Here is a link to the downloads at another favorite site LargeHeartedBoy. click here.

Bob Dylan: “Hero Blues”. An outtake from “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” compliments of Aquarium Drunkard. click here.

Alexis Zoumbas: “Alimbeis”. Another gem from AQ, this from a reissue of the famous Greek violinist recorded between 1926 and 1926. “Lament For Epirus” has a cover by R. Crumb. click here.

Kip Anderson: “Without A Woman”. I love Aquarium Drunkard for introducing me to artists I have never heard of much less listened to. Kip Anderson is one of those. His big hit was “A Knife And A Fork” which came out in 1967; “Without A Woman” was released the year before. Wonderful southern soul. There’s also a Clarence Carter song on the site. click here.

The River Monks: “I Am A Lake”. This from the Iowa band’s sophomore album “Home Is The House” which came out in late May. Americana is such an overused term these days…yes I’m being picky. Download it anyway compliments of Magnet magazine. click here.

Armand Margjeka: “Hummingbird”. According to SoundCloud, “Hummingbird’s sonic aesthetics blends the abstract and the organic”. If you have any idea what the hell that means, please let me know.  click here.

Chris Devotion & The Expectations: “Don’t You Call On Me”. This is from the Glasgow, Scotland band’s second album “Break Out”. Play it loud! click here.

And The Professors: “Turn of The Century Recycling Blues. A lot more upbeat than the title would indicate. Another link through LargeHeartedBoy. click here.

and finally a couple of samplers that should not be missed:

“Not of Silver Nor of Coral”: This is Volume 8 of Hidden Shoal’s label samplers covering music released over the last 18 months. I don’t like everything they put out but it is always, always, always interesting. My favorites are Markus Mehr, Circus Devils and Slow Dancing Society. click here.

Partisan Records Summer Sampler 2014. Good music from Phox, Eagulls and Chris Denny. “Coffee” by Sylvan Esso is my favorite and the best reason to download it all. The link is to NoiseTrade. click here.

And here are 5 additional “free” albums/EPs from Noisetrade that you need to check out:

My Brightest Diamond: “Until Now”. Highlights from her last three albums; her new one comes out on the 16th. click here

Ginger Baker: “Why? Sampler”. Ginger’s first album in 16 years is definitely worth hearing. click here

They Might Be Giants: “First Album Live”. Need we say more? click here

Umphrey’s McGee: “UM Covers It// Live From Wanee//04.12.14”. A set played at the Wanee Music Festival with covers of The Who, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan and more….love “Life During Exodus”. click here

The Features: “Old Familiar Melodies-2008-2013”. A compilation/best of from their last 3 albums. “Whatever Gets You By” is worth the download. click here

That’s it for this edition………enjoy.










June 20, 2014

We’re overdue for a new edition of DAA and lots to cover:


 First of all, someone invariably asks what I’m listening to. Aside from the 100 or so mp3s I download each week, the free samplers and album submissions…….not much. Then again if you walk into my office at the dealership it is rare that you won’t hear music (I’ve worn out one ipod already). So aside from the new stuff, here’s some of what you’ll hear:

“Chef” (The Soundtrack): One of the years best movies and a fun soundtrack. “Hung Over” by the Martinis should have been on the “Animal House” soundtrack, and the live version of “When My Train Pulls In” by Gary Clark Jr. is further proof of just what a phenomenal musician this kid is. It also got me to pull out his stellar 2012 release “Blak and Blue”. Here’s a live video of “Train”, not from the movie. Click here.

“I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson” (music from his movies): Another “fun” album; and while you won’t recognize many of the artists, did you really think that you would. This is a video of “Alone Again Or” by Sara Lov from “Bottle Rocket”. Click here.

“Tarpaper Sky” by Rodney Crowell and “The River & The Thread” by Rosanne Cash: My kind of country.

“Bluesamericana” by Keb Mo: Of the 88 reviews at amazon.com, 72 were 5 stars and 14 were 4 stars. One reviewer said, “this guy isn’t a good blues musician….he’s a GREAT blues musician”. Enough said.

“My Aim Is True” by Elvis Costello. Every few years or so I get this overwhelming urge to pull out some early Elvis. This is still my favorite. Here’s a 1978 live performance of “Watching The Detectives”. Click here.

“Paul Butterfield’s Better Days”. Paul’s version of “New Walkin’ Blues” is a bonafide classic and still sounds as good as it did in 1973. Great blues music is timeless. Listen to it here.

Here’s what’s coming (or already here) in July that sounds interesting:

Yes: “Heaven and Earth”
Robin Thicke: “Paula”
Judas Priest: “Redeemer of Souls”
John Hiatt: “For Terms Of My Surrender”
Trampled By Turtles: “Wild Animals”
Eric Clapton & Friends: “The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale)
Jenny Lewis: “The Voyager”
Jason Mraz: “Yes!”
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: “Hypnotic Eye”
The Allman Brothers: “At Fillmore East” (expanded to to 6 discs)
Beth Orton: “Central Reservations” (expanded to 2 discs)

And saving the best for last, here some of my favorite mp3s and albums…….all free.

Katie Herzig: “Summer”. An appropriate way to start. This is from Katie’s latest “Walk Through Walls”. Here’s a link to SoundCloud; Click here.

Kinetics: “The Ocean”. This is from the 4 piece Swedish indie pop band’s latest ep. At SoundCloud; click here.

Jupe Jupe: “Vicariously”. The bio says they play “mournful pop music that moves”….whatever that means. The 4 members are veterans of the Seattle/Austin music scene. At SoundCloud; click here.

Great Good Fine Ok: “Not Going Home”: This electro-pop anthem has been downloaded over 320,000 times already. At SoundCloud; click here.

The Funkees: “Now I’m A Man”. From the folks at Aquarium Drunkard and the 1976 afro-rock album of the same name. There’s another song for download on the post. Grab them both. Click here for AQ.

Graeme Allwright; “Je Perds Ou Bien Je Gagne”. Again from Aquarium Drunkard (no wonder they are one of my favorite sites). This is the French version of Jackson C. Frank’s classic “Blues Run The Game” from Graeme’s 1968 album. Click here for the link. I’m also including a link to Frank’s version and a short history….sad. Click here.

The Los Angeles Gospel Choir: “The Times They Are A Changin”. It’s Sunday morning so some gospel seems appropriate. Here are 2 songs from the 1969 album “Dylan’s Gospel” (and “I Shall Be Released”). Click here for the link to AQ.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: “Californication”. As readers know, I am not a big fan of remixes, but this Gamper & Dadoni remix is a lot of fun and stays true to the original. Click here for the link to thissongissick.

Sohn: “Artifice (live)”. The Swedish DJ/producer with a live version of a song from his debut album “Tremors”. Click here for SoundCloud.
Here are some free mp3s/eps/samplers/albums/etc. from NoiseTrade:

Jeremy Mage & The Magi: “Mage Trade”. a 4 song ep. click

The Dollyrots: “Da Doo Ron Ron/I Wanna Be Sedated”. The last song
from their new album “Barefoot and Pregnant”. Play It loud. click

John Dragonetti: “The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz”
The original soundtrack. click

Alligator Records Sampler: 16 tracks from recent Alligator albums.

Lauren Mann And The Fairly Odd Folk: “Over Land and Sea”. The
band’s name makes it worth a listen. click

My Brightest Diamond: “Until Now”. Music from her three albums. click

Highasakite: “Since Last Wednesday”.  Gotta love those Norwegians. click
Here are some great mixtapes we’ve found at Aquarium Drunkard over the past few months. They come highly recommended:

Fais Do-Do: A Swamp Pop Honky Tonk. click here
featuring Rockin’ Sidney, Bobby Charles and Clint West

Maison Dufrene. click
featuring Joe Tex, Lonnie Mack, Bobby Bland, Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, Ben E. King

Sound of NOLA. click
featuring Irma Thomas and Bobby Parker

Country Soul Sisters. click
featuring Linda Ronstadt, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Kitty Wells

We aren’t finished but wanted to get this posted. Will start on the next edition this weekend with a lot more free mp3s and a review of Hank Harris’ latest album. Till then……………….



May 18, 2014


Coming up with a name for a new record label is a frustrating often fascinating process. Sometimes it’s obvious that a lot of thought and consideration went into the decision. Other times…….. Midget, KKK, Odd Socks, Burping Turds, Mine’s Bigger Than Yours, Rectal Track, Scared Hitless, etc. However, I just came across a new label based in Geneva, Switzerland that is destined to be a classic (name that is). You would think that a Swiss label would have a somewhat cultured, almost esoteric name. Instead the founders chose “We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records”. Perhaps it was too obvious.



“For Rock and vinyl lovers, Record Store Day is like Christmas in April”. So begins a May 5 post from one of our favorite blogs Indie Rock Cafe (5/4/14). I won’t bother you with the specifics, but there are some wonderful downloads here. From Green Day to The Yardbirds (featuring Jimmy Page), The Grateful Dead to Cake, The Joy Division to Chvrches and much much more. Here’s a link.


Over the past few months, Bob Lefsetz has produced a series of primers; what he considers to be the essential songs/recordings of artists like Jethro Tull, Little Feat, Ry Cooder,Todd Rundgren, etc. I’m not going to say that I agree with all of Bob’s selections; I’m sure he wouldn’t agree with mine. But it’s a fun exercise and a great place to start. Here are the links:

Todd Rundgren
Janis Joplin
Jethro Tull
Rod Stewart
Frank Zappa
Ry Cooder
Little Feat
Roxy Music

Ramble On

With new albums by Neil Young, Coldplay, The Black Keys, tUnE-yArDs, Michael Jackson, Tori Amos, Rodney Crowell, Gregg Allman, and a tribute to Wes Anderson (songs from his films) entitled “I Save Latin!”, there’s a lot of wonderful music already out or on the way. But before you close out your emusic or Amazon shopping experience, here are some lesser known albums you need to add to your cart:

Hedvig Mollestad Trio: “Enfant Terrible”.

I’m not a big fan of instrumental-only power trios, but this is…….different. First of all the Norwegian guitarist is considered primarily a jazz musician. So while you hear echoes of Hendrix, Satriani, Iommi, etc; you’ll also hear major influences like the freeplay of John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola. Here’s a link to a sample at YouTube.

Old 97s: “Most Messed Up”.

Rolling Stone describes the album as a “hard-partying twang punk quartet” throwing “a 20th birthday bash for themselves”. That doesn’t do it justice. Blender rated their 1999 single “Murder (or A Heart Attack)” as the 176th greatest song “since you were born”. “Most Messed Up!” has some songs that would have made the list as well. There isn’t a bad song on the album which is why the MetaCritic score was 81. Here’s a link to an epk on the album at YouTube.

Challenger: “Back To Bellvue”.

I haven’t figured out the significance of the title yet. My initial reaction was a reference to the famous New York hospital known for it’s psychiatric services (amongst others). And after my first listen I was sure of it. The album appears to be a bit schizophrenic with music that ranges from acoustic-driven songs to summer-time electro pop to new wave and more. I’m told it’s called electro-indie (an explanation please). Whatever the case John Ross, who leads the band, is a producer-songwriter and does a lot of work in television so the variety is understandable. And considering some of the current music offerings I listen to, it’s quite welcome. Here’s a link to a 30 second “teaser” at YouTube.

and finally some free albums from our friends at NoiseTrade:

Dualtone Summer Sampler 2014: It features The Lumineers, Guy Clark, The Felice Brothers and Fort Atlantic for starters. link

Hangout Music Fest Mixtape 2014. 23 tracks from artists who appeared at this year’s festival: The Avett Brothers, Los Lobos, Balkan Beat Box, Jack Johnson, SOJA and lots lots more. link.

Roo & The Howl: “ME/WE”. Their bio says they find “a sweet spot between Fleetwood Mac and early Rollling Stones, with a little Cat Power thrown in”. link.

Mike Doughty: “The Furthermost of Mike Doughty”. This is a retrospective of Mike’s 14 years as a solo artist (he was originally in Soul Coughing). Be sure to check out his version of John Denver’s “Sunshine” and “Holiday” featuring Rosanne Cash. link.

Rodrigo y Gabriela: “The Soundmaker EP”. Now this is some guitar playing. If you haven’t heard them, you are missing out. link.

Happy Trails…………………….



April 28, 2014



                    Yes We Are Back!!!!!!


We are back after a wonderful trip to Australia, some family time, some sickness and just about everything else you can think of….including figuring out the latest edition of WordPress. We didn’t bring back a lot of mementos from down under, though I purchased a cool flyswatter (came in quite handy in the outback). I also had the opportunity to listen to a lot of music (14 hour plane flights and all); and most of it is still on my ipod. Here’s a list of what we like so far:


Rosanne Cash: “The River & The Thread” (scroll down for our review)

Little Feat: “Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971-1990”
This 13 disc clamshell box set for one of the greatest rock bands of ALL time is long overdue. The expanded version of their classic live album “Waiting For Columbus” and the disc of outtakes and rarities is much appreciated. At less than $60.00 this is definitely worth buying.

Elton John: “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. I passed on the “Deluxe Editions” and opted for just the remastered album. It’s worth the price and sounds as good as it did in 1973.

Imogen Heap: “Ellipse”.  A recommendation from Al Kooper’s blog “New Music For Old People”. “Eclectic” is overused these days, but I can’t think of another term that adequately describes her music. This 2009 release is great listening. Here’s a YouTube video of “Canvas” from the album. Click here.

Beck: “Morning Phase”. All of the rave reviews (MetaCritic gave it an 81) are well deserved. His 12th album is one of his best.

Kongos: “Lunatic”. The four brothers are sons of John Kongos, the South African musician best known in the US for his 1971 hit “He’s Gonna Step On You Again”. Let’s just say the fruit/apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Here’s a link to “I’m Only Joking” from the album and a link to John Kongos’ “He’s Gonna Step On You Again”.

Handsome Family: “Singing Bones”. The song “Far From Any Road” is the opening for the HBO series “True Detective ” (the best television series in years). I went looking for the song and discovered I had the 2003 album it came from. Here’s a link to the song at YouTube.

John The Conqueror: “The Good Life”. There are times when some soulful, blues-guitar rock is just what the doctor ordered. Nothing fancy here just some classic music. Scroll down to our last post for a free download of “Waking Up To You”.

Victorian Opera Orchestra: “British Opera Overtures”. This covers the early to late Victorian era, and music/composers who are all but forgotten. You won’t hear Wagner or Berlioz comparisons or anything that seems even vaguely pretentious. The music has a definite British quality, which makes it all the more fun.

and finally 65daysofstatic: “The Fall of Math”. When this 10th anniversary edition (expanded here to 20 tracks) was first released, it left many shaking their heads while others proclaimed “a new era in rock’n’roll”. Ten years later and we still haven’t heard another band that can write songs like “Install A Break In The Heart That Clucks Time In Arabic” or “I Swallowed Hard, Like I Understood”. “The Fall of Math” is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re the adventurous type you won’t be disappointed. Here is a link to “Retreat! Retreat!” from the album at YouTube.
Before we sign-off here are some great “free” sampler albums we’ve come across in the past month or so. We’ve heard quite a few recently, but these are the best of the best:

“Find My Blood” New West/Normaltown Records Spring 2014 Music Sampler. New West is home to artist like John Hiatt, Delbert McClinton, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Tom Morello, etc.; while Normaltown focuses on emerging artists. Some really good music here though most of the artists were new to me. Be sure to check out Nikki Lane, The Whigs, Luther Dickinson and Devil Makes Three. Here is the link to the free download at NoiseTrade.

“Lake Street Dive-Sampler Album”. Rolling Stone calls them the “hardest swinging pop quartet since Manhattan Transfer”. I haven’t seen them so I can’t attest to the comment, but if it’s even partially true they are something special. Here is a link to a free 4 song sampler at NoiseTrade.

kill rock stars

“CRAZED MP3 FANS, Vol. 1”. A mix of music from current Kill Rock Stars releases, KRS classics and rarities with songs by Xiu Xiu, Deerhoof, Marnie Stern, The Corin Tucker Band, etc. Here’s the link to the album at Bandcamp.

Picture for category Music

Here Come The Mummies: “A La Mode”. You won’t hear the term “show band” used very often these days (think James Brown) so you might say The Mummies are a bit of a throwback. Whatever you call them, they are just too much fun to pass up. Here is a link to a YouTube video, and a link to their website and a bunch of free music (including “A La Mode”).

And finally………………………………………….

“2014 SXSW Showcasing Artists”. Another year, another missed opportunity to attend SXSW. Maybe next year. This is a sampler of just some of the artists/bands (London Grammar, Kongos, The Strypes, Belle Brigade, etc.) who performed at the 2014 festival in March. Here is a link to the download page. Please note: this 80 song sampler may take a few minutes to complete; in addition you may not be able to use Internet Explorer to download (I used Google Chrome).

February 28, 2014

I received an email this week from Luaka Bop (David Byrne’s label, he of Talking Heads) about a 30 minute documentary on William Onyeabor, the Nigerian musician. It’s called “Fantastic Man-A Film About William Onyeabor”. Onyeabor, who recorded 8 albums between 1978 and 1985 and then stopped has become a cult hero of sorts after compilation albums were released in Britain (on Rough Trade) and the US (on Luaka Bop) last year. The documentary doesn’t paint a complete picture of the elusive musician who refuses to discuss his music or himself, but it does answer some questions. Here’s a link to the documentary. It’s fascinating. Click here. And for a free download of a song from the compilation for giving your email address, click here.
A couple of free sampler albums you need to grab:

The End Records Free Sampler 2014: Download this at Amazon.com. “Animal Heart”, the title song from Nina Persson’s new album (she was the lead singer of the Swedish band The Cardigans) is worth it. Click here.

Hangout Music Fest Mixtape 2014: The festival May 16-18 in Gulf Shores, Alabama is fast becoming one of the major music events of the year (even Chevrolet is a sponsor). This 23 song free download includes music by jack johnson, Dugas, Bad Suns, Soja, Los Lobos, and The Avett Brothers for starters. It’s available at NoiseTrade. Click here.
And here are some free mp3s to tide you over until we return from vacation:

David Bronson: “One Simple Myth”. Don’t know much about the guy, but do like his music. A talented singer-songwriter. Here is a SoundCloud link.

The Appleseed Collective: “Pumpkin Pie”. The Ann Arbor collective plays a “blend of Americana, folk and gypsy jazz”. Here’s a link to the download at Magnet.

John The Conqueror: “Waking Up To You”. One of my favorite new albums of 2014. Nothing fancy here, just a Philadelphia-by-way-of-Memphis-and-the-Delta trio. This is from “The Good Life”. Call it “garage-blues”. Here’s the download link at Rolling Stone.

Drowners: “Luv, Hold Me Down”. This from a New York foursome with a great sense of what makes good pop music. Grab the download at Sound Cloud. Here’s the link.

The Mirror Trap: “Future Lionheart”. The Dundee, England 5 piece collective plays it loud and you should too. The spoken word intro is a nice touch. Here’s the link at SoundCloud.

Amy Ray: “Duane Allman”. This is from Amy’s (Indigo Girls) new album “Goodnight Tender” and it’s fantastic. A beautiful tribute to one of the greatest guitar players of all time. Just a quick note, this is more of a country record than you might expect. Here’s the download at Rolling Stone. Click here.

Mezzanine: “King of the Ring”. Pop meets grunge. Great hooks. From their debut album “Strange Paradise”. Click here for the download at SoundCloud.

Bright Light Bright Light featuring Ana Matronic: “West End Girls”. An updated version of the Pet Shop Boys’ 1984 classic from Welsh producer Rod Thomas and Ana Matronic of Scissor Sister. Click here for the download at SoundCloud.

Hayley Reardon: “Numb & Blue”.  The 17 year old singer-songwriter has a lot going for her, including being named “Bostonian of the Year” in 2012. This is from her new EP “Wayfindings”. This winter gives the song title a whole new meaning. Click here for the download at SoundCloud.

Penny Penny: “Dance Khomela”. This from the folks at Awesome Tapes From Africa. The song is from the 1994 album “Shaka Bundu”. It’s described as “South African house music”. Click here for the download at XLR8R.

New Electric Ride: “Lovers”. This is from the UK band’s just released full-length debut album. The influences are obvious. Love the album cover. Click here for the download at SoundCloud.

Solander: “All Opportunities”. From the Swedish duo’s new album “Monochromatic Melodies”. Magnet says it has a “fleeting industrial-rock vibe”, whatever that means. Click here.

Federico Aubele: “Laberinto del Ayer”. This is from his 5th album which came out In Argentina last fall. The link is to Indie Rock Cafe. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and while you’re at it download free mp3s from Paul McCartney, Gary Numan, The Chills and The Avett Brothers. Click here.

Gang of Brothers: “Get Up On Ya Feet n Testify”. You probably wouldn’t expect to find a funk/rock band in Australia. Guess again. Here’s another offering from Indie Rock Cafe. Click here.

Bing Ji Ling: “Every 1’s A Winner”. Another remake, this time a Hot Chocolate classic. If you missed it the first time around, get acquainted. Click here for the download from Rolling Stone.

Ben Fuller: “Love Song For The People”. This is one of my favorite songs from 2013 and the kind of music one might expect from a kid from Newport Beach. Love the reggae vibe. Click here for the download at Largehearted Boy; second song down the page.

and finally some comments about 2 superb albums you need to hear and buy. The first is “The Outsiders”, the latest from Eric Church. I could go into a lengthy explanation about why I like it, but the Rolling Stone review probably said it best (click here to read the piece). And if you think some of his fans hate the album: his mega-hit album “Chief” had less than 3% of Amazon reviewers give it 3 stars or less. For “The Outsiders” it’s over 18%. That alone is reason enough to buy it. Another album you need to purchase is the latest from Rosanne Cash, “The River & The Thread”. Of the new albums reviewed this year at MetaCritic, only 5 have scored higher and 3 of those were reissues. This is an album that will be on my list of the “best of 2014”.

till I return from vacation………



February 15, 2014

Greetings to my fellow musical travelers. Sorry for the delay in getting our next edition published, but we have been “experimenting” with the format for the past couple of months. Doing a monthly (or so) post was getting to be a job rather than what I had originally intended “DAA” to be. And then it hit me last month as I saw the news releases and stories about The Beatles and the 50th anniversary of their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. If you hear something you like, you don’t want to wait a month to tell people. I know we live in an “instant gratification” society, but if you are passionate about music (even mildly enthusiastic) you want to spread the word……now. So we have a new layout and the ability to tell the world when we hear something worth downloading or buying on a daily even hourly basis. Again this is new and we may tweek the layout and the format over the next weeks and months, so stay tuned; and if you have any ideas or suggestions please let us know.

I had planned to do my “End Of The Year” list of the best albums of 2013 in January, however, getting the new format defined took longer than expected. I’m glad. After reading articles about The “timeless” quality of The Beatles’ music, I went back to my list and asked the question……when I go to “the home” will I take any of these albums with me? My list changed. Not drastically, but enough that I dropped a few and added others. I know this is late, but I like it better. So in no particular order, here’s my “Best of 2013”:

1. Neko Case: “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You”. An album that gets better everytime I listen to it.

2. Laura Marling: “Once I Was An Eagle”. The comparisons to Joni Mitchell are hard to ignore, though I much prefer Laura’s voice. And like Joni she is a unique artist. Not every song is a classic, but those that are……

3. Mark Knopfler: “Privateering”. This gem is finally available in the states. There’s a ittle something here for everyone: blues, celtic, country, rock and more. Mark has made some great albums with Dire Straits and as a solo artist; but this is one of, if not the best.

4. Kacey Musgraves: “Same Trailer Different Park”. Kacey’s major label debut won two well-earned Grammys: Best Country Album and Best Country Song. She is a talented songwriter and a gifted singer. You don’t hear “intelligent” used very often these days, but it’s appropriate here.

5. Queens Of The Stone Age: “…..Like Clockwork”. An album that sparked a lot of discussion and dissension. “Where is the rock” seemed to be a common complaint. It’s a bit dark and takes some listening to fully appreciate, but I love it when an artist is willing to take chances.

6. Willie Nile: “American Ride”. It is hard to believe that Willie’s first album came out in 1980 and that he’s been part of the New York music scene since the early 70s. Yet here he is almost 35 years later producing what may be his best work. Some car or motorcycle company should be using the title track.

7. Bombino: “Nomad”. The back-story alone makes this worth buying. It isn’t just the best “world music” album of the year; it’s one of the best albums period.

8. Boz Scaggs: “Memphis”. Nobody does it better.

Best Reissues of the Year: “Delbert & Glen Sessions 1972-1973” and “Performance-Rockin’ The Fillmore: The Complete Recordings”

Best Classical Albums of the Year: “Atterberg: Orchestral Works, Vol.1” and Patrick Dupre Quigley and Seraphic Fire: “Ave Maria”. Atterberg is a Swedish composer whose music will have you wondering why every major orchestra isn’t playing his symphonies on a regular basis. Seraphic Fire’s “Ave Maria” is superb.

Best New Artists: Lorde: “Pure Heroine” and Savages: “Silence Yourself”.

Albums We Won’t Be Listening To in 5 Years (maybe less): Imagine Dragons: “Night Visions”, Daft Punk: “Random Access Memories” and Vampire Weekend: “Modern Vampires of the City”.

Best Free Album of the Year: Caro Emerald: “The Shocking Miss Emerald”. This is an acoustic version of some of the songs from her current album of the same name. And if that wasn’t enough you can download it for free at her web site. Click here and go to her music tab.

Songs of the Year: “Super 8” by Jason Isbell from “Southeastern”. A great song from a great album (anyone who duets with Kim Richey gets my vote); and Will Lee: “Get Out Of My Life Woman” (duet with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top with Allen Toussaint on keyboards). Check out the YouTube videos: Will Lee and Jason Isbell.

I have a batch of mp3s to share before we head overseas next week. Stay tuned.

October 27, 2013

We’re back with lots of good stuff. Unfortunately we’re a little tardy with this installment, but circumstances beyond our control and all that (see the last bit of “What’s In A Name” for more of a rundown). Besides I’ve come to the conclusion that being a blogger means never having to say you’re sorry. Still………….

Johnny Hallyday: “Hey Joe”

The French singer/actor’s is called “the biggest rock star you’ve never heard of”. This 1967 cover (Jimi Hendrix, The Leaves, Deep Purple, The Byrds, etc.) is a bit cheesy but fun. The download is at Aquarium Drunkard. Here’s the link.
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue: “Fire and Brimstone”

Troy Andrews is (obviously) from New Orleans and the grandson of singer Jessie Hill. He’s appeared in six episodes of the HBO series “Treme” and released 9 albums with his latest “Say That To Say This” just out. Right click on the Fire & Brimstone link to download. Here’s the YouTube video.
The Royal Concept: “Radio”

The Swedish band is often compared to Phoenix (but then every band is compared to someone), though I think they are a lot more interesting. This is from their “Royal” EP. Here’s a link to the SoundCloud download and a YouTube stream
Cameron McGill: “American Health Insurance”

This is from Cameron’s latest “Gallows Etiquette”, an album filled with memorable songs and lyric content that is guaranteed to make you stop and listen……”I’ve got health insurance that only works if I die”. Love those Chicago boys,. Here’s the link at Largehearted Boy.
Bob Dylan: “Copper Kettle”

Another gem from Dylan’s “Another Self Portrait” double cd. The link is to Aquarium Drunkard…again.
America: “Horse With No Name”

I don’t understand the fascination with remixing, though every once in a great while I stumble across a reimaging that is so out in left field I just have to pass it along. Here’s the link at SoundCloud. The remix is by Joman.
The Parson Red Heads: “To The Sky”

The Portland band’s third album “Orb Weaver” is out now. It’s americana/ folk-rock that is reminiscent of CSNY and Fleetwood Mac at times. I’m told the band’s earlier albums had more of an indie-rock flavor to them. Here’s a link to the download at SoundCloud.
Jeff Simmons: “I’m In The Music Business”

Jeff was part of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention cast during the 70s, and is one of the few musicians to share a songwriting credit with Frank. This is from his solo album “Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up”. The link is to Raven Sings The Blues where you will find the download and his version of “Wonderful Wino”. Scroll down to 6.15.2010. Here’s the link.
Caro Emerald: “Coming Back As A Man”

The Dutch jazz/pop singer has yet to crack the American market though I believe it’s just a matter of time. Her second album “The Shocking Miss Emerald” went to #1 on the UK album charts. You can download “Coming Back” and five other acoustic versions of songs from the new album at her website. Here’s the link. There are also some videos.
The Belle Sounds: “Starry Eyed”

This is from the band’s debut EP which came out earlier this year. They’re from Austin, Texas and as you might expect they easily access music as diverse as country, folk and indie rock. The link is to Magnet magazine for the download.
Lily Kershaw: “Bathed In Blue”

This is from Lily’s debut album “Midnight In The Garden”. Three songs are available at NoiseTrade (here’s the link). One of her songs (unfortunately not on the sampler) “As It Seems” was used in an episode of “Criminal Minds” last year.
We Used To Make Things: “We’re All Fucked Up”

We featured this in our last edition. Unfortunately we got a few emails that the link was bad, so I’m running it again. And considering the way things have been going in Washington, posting it seemed appropriate. If you’re making an “indie soul party” playlist, you need to include this. Here’s the SoundCloud link and the YouTube video.
Tal National: “Wongharey”

Another party band, this time from Niger. Their marathon stage shows are said to be legendary. This is from their new album “Kaani”, their first world-wide release. Here’s a download link to SoundCloud and a video at YouTube.
Boy George: “Play Me”

In case you’ve been wondering what the “Boy” has been up to lately, here is a song from his new album “This Is What I Do”. The free download is at amazon.com (here’s the link); the live video is at YouTube.
The Suburbs: “Turn The Radio On”

This Minneapolis band has been around since the late 70s playng a mix of punk rock, funk and new wave. This is from their new album “Si Sauvage”, their first new album in 27 years. A great song but I wonder if we’ll reach a time when we have to explain to young people what a radio is or was much less how to turn one on. Just a thought. The link is to one of my favorite blogs indierockcafe. The download is about 3/4 of the way down the page and there is a lot of good music to download along the way. Here’s a video performed live at YouTube.

September 1, 2013

We’re back with another edition and some great new (and in many cases “free”) music. A reminder again that we use SoundCloud for most of our free downloads and you may have to register. However, your info is secure and they don’t send annoying solicitations. And you can troll for more free music.

We Used To Make Things: “We’re All Fucked Up”

The band’s SoundCloud page says they “are a sixteen legged alternative pop band who hail from London. With a penchant for three part harmonies, fiery brass and melodic pop hooks”. Here is a link to the mp3 and a YouTube video.
Underground Lovers: “Au Pair”

They’re from Australia and have eleven albums to their credit. Their latest is called “Weekend”. They excel at mixing blues-based rock ‘n’ roll with electronica….think New Order. Here is a link to the mp3 at Rolling Stone and a YouTube video.
Kirin J. Callinan: “Embracisim”

The Australians obviously love artists that are a bit different and Callinan is much-loved (or so I’m told). One publication described him as “a very strange man making very strange music”. Here is a link to the mp3 at Fader and a YouTube streaming video.
Keep Shelly In Athens: “Recollection” (Selebrities remix)

I’m not a fan of remixes; I want the original. This new wave remix by the Brooklyn trio Selebrities is an exception. Keep Shelly’s debut album comes out on the 17th. I am not sure why I assumed the band was from Georgia. Here is a link to the mp3 at SoundCloud.
Big Gigantic X Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: “Can’t Hold Us”

Another remix. This is by the Boulder, Colorado duo Big Gigantic, who have taken “Can’t Hold Us” in a whole new direction…one I think you’ll like. By the way the cover story in the August 29th issue of Rolling Stone on Macklemore and Lewis is worth a read. Here is a link to the mp3 at SoundCloud and a YouTube video of Gigantic performing the song live.
Bob Dylan: “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”

Here’s an outtake from the “New Morning” sessions that was left off the just released “Another Self Portrait” set. The mp3 download is at Aquarium Drunkard.
Mike Doughty: “The Idiot Kings”

As a long-time Soul Coughing fan I was surprised and happy to hear that Doughty was putting out an album of reimagined SC tracks. “Circles Super Bon Bon….” is due September 17. According to Doughty, these are the songs “as I meant them to be”. Here is a link to the mp3 at WXRT.
The Very Best & Seye: “Maso Luso”

A very interesting cover of Mumford & Sons’ “Below My Feet” by the Swedish/African duo and the London-based, Nigerian-born Seye. Here is the link to the mp3 at Stereogum
Classix: “Holdin On”

Everyone could use a little dance music from time to time. Here is the link to the free mp3 at SoundCloud
Hooverphonic: “Unfinished Symphony”

This Belgian pop/rock band covers one of Massive Attack’s best known songs. Hooverphonic started out as a trip-hop band so it wasn’t a big leap for them. Here is a link to the free mp3 at Diffuser and a live video at YouTube.
Have Gun Will Travel: “Standing At The End Of The World”

Is it country? Is it Americana/pop? Is it roots-rock? The band is from Bradenton, Florida and their new album (their fourth) “Fiction, Fact or Folktale?” is due September 10. Here is a free mp3 at SoundCloud and a video at YouTube. And I just came across a free sampler at NoiseTrade with “Standing” plus six songs from the band’s three previous albums. Here’s the link.
We’ll close this section with links to more free music. First is Amazon’s September edition of Artists On The Rise, a sampler from the folks at Red called “Afropunk 2013” and a fun free album of covers by little hurricane. I wasn’t familiar with the band but I am now officially a fan.

Artists On The Rise
Afropunk 2013
little hurricane

July 28, 2013

We’re back with our July edition. Some good music, but first a question from some folks who have indicated they have problems downloading free mp3s from SoundCloud. You may have to register, however, your info is secure and they do not send junk email messages. I can remember getting just one in all the time I have been registered and that was for an enhancement to the site. I like SoundCloud as it is easy to navigate and if you want to explore for even more free music, it is the place to go. So let’s get started:

The Jim Jones Revue: “Where Da Money Go?”.

This is from the UK band’s debut album “The Savage Heart”. I’m not a big fan of the lead singer, but there’s no denying the band’s ability to kick out the jams. Call it “The Stooges Meet Little Richard”. Here’s a link to the mp3 at Rolling Stone and a YouTube video.
The Dead Daisies featuring Slash: “Lock ‘n’ Load”.

The title says it all. And with Slash participating you know you’re getting some late 70s/early 80s heavy duty rock ‘n’ roll. This is off the band’s debut which comes out August 13. Here’s a link to the mp3 at Rolling Stone and a YouTube video.
Steel Pulse: “Put Your Hoodie On (4 Trayvon)”

We need to remember that reggae had a political element to it and that social criticism came naturally. You may have an argument with the lyrics, but the music is infectuous. Steel Pulse are still one of the best reggae bands ever…..and that’s saying something. Here’s a link to the mp3 download at SoundCloud and a YouTube video.
Matt Pond: “Hole In My Heart”

This is from his 10th album. And while Matt is considered part of the indie-rock “old guard”, his music continues to impress. Here’s a link to the SoundCloud mp3 download and the YouTube video.
Dirty Streets: “Stay Thirsty”

This Memphis based power trio has a great future, reminding me of early Black Crowes. The song is off their debut album “Blades of Grass”. Definitely a band to watch. Grab the mp3 at SoundCloud and watch the video at YouTube.
Stargill Simpson: “Life Ain’t Fair”

I don’t know much about this gentleman, but anyone who draws comparisons to Waylon Jennings gets my attention. I love the lyrics. The mp3 download is from Amazon and the video is at YouTube.
Micky Dolenz: “Randy Scouse Git”

This is from Micky’s 2012 album “Remember” and was originally on The Monkees’ “Headquarters” LP. Here’s the current mp3 version from AM, Then FM and the current video and The Monkees video version from YouTube.
Astrud Gilberto: “Take It Easy My Brother Charles”

I was never a big fan of Astrud’s 1972 album “Now”, but this song made the whole album worthwhile. I came across it, along with nine more free Brazilian favorites at Aquarium Drunkard. Grab them all. Here’s the link to Aquarium Drunkard.
Bobby “Blue” Bland: “Lovin’ Blues”

I didn’t get around to commenting about the passing of the “The Sinatra of The Blues” or posting this free mp3 that I came across at Said the Gramophone. If you aren’t/weren’t a fan of Bobby hopefully you’ll do some exploring. He was one of the greats and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. “Lovin’ Blues” was recorded in 1952. Here’s the link to the mp3 at Gramophone and a YouTube video of The Memphis Kings (Bobby and BB King) on Soul Train in 1975.
Caitlin Rose: “Only A Clown”

From Caitlin’s second album “The Stand-In”. She’s just one of a talented new group of Nashville female singer-songwriters that includes Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe. Caitlin is a bit more eclectic, and more than willing to push the limits of the country genre. Here’s a link to the mp3 at SoundCloud and a YouTube video.
CFCF: “Camera”

The latest from the Canadian DJ and electronic artist. One publication called the music “hypnotic”……I agree. Here’s a link to the mp3 download at Magnet Magazine and a YouTube video.
Katie Noonan: “Breathe In Now”

Katie is one of those rare artists who can sing opera, jazz, folk and rock with ease. She’s not well known outside her native Australia and that’s unfortunate. This is from “Songbook”, which is a “reinvention” of her catalog of songs recorded with just strings and piano. Grab Breathe In Now and listen to the YouTube video streaming of the song. I think you will be impressed. If you want more info go to katienoonan.com
Great Zeus’ Beard: “Alone”

This North Carolina rock trio was featured on Indie Rock Cafe (a favorite site of ours) in April. You can hear a lot of influences, but the band still manages to sound completely original. I love the album cover. I am including a link to the complete post as there are some other equally interesting bands for you to check out. Here is the link to Indie Rock Cafe; sorry no video.
The Burning Hell: “Grown Ups”

Any song that begins with the line, “You were a Nazi hunter” piques my interest and definitely deserves a serious listen. The song is described as being about “remembering old friends, avoiding high school reunions and possibly faking your own death”. Interesting. Here is a link to the mp3 download at SoundCloud and a wonderful DIY video.


June 23, 2013

I apologize for not  submitting a new edition of the blog sooner, afterall summer is THE music season. Alas medical and family issues took precedent. We’ll attempt to make it up to you with some great music and lots of it……enjoy!

Beach: “Ibuprofen”.

A fitting song to start the blog, as I have consumed enough of it’s medicinal relatives of late. This is from the album “In Us We Trust” which drops July 16. It’s hip-hop mixed with electro-rock, though I have a feeling the album draws on a lot of different influences. Here’s a SoundClound download link and a YouTube video.
Deafheaven: “Dream House”

This is from the just released “Sunbather” album which got a MetaCritic score of 97!!!!! The San Francisco trio plays a mix of black metal, post-rock and emo (not my description). Here’s the YouTube streaming video and a link to the download at SoundCloud. Just play it loud!
Herbie Hancock: “The Spook Who Sat By The Door”

A cut from the 1973 politically charged movie soundtrack that featured Herbie’s score and his band that included Eddie Henderson and Bennie Maupin. You will find the download plus two others at Destination Out, one of our favorite sites for jazz. Here is the link.
Bomboclat: A Vintage Reggae/Dub Mixtape

This is a download from Aquarium Drunkard featuring Black Uhuru, Wailing Souls, Burning Spear and lots more. There are two Rocksteady mixtapes also available. Here’s the link. Good stuff.
The Wake Up Suzzys: “Wake Up Suzzy”

The band is from Tel Aviv and “love playing fast rock and roll influenced by old American movies, Fender guitar and big money; it’s all about fun, fun, fun”. I’m impressed and will be looking for more from this band. The downloads are from the June 5 post of Indie Rock Cafe. While on the post I’d recommend also downloading My Empire of Sound’s “For The Lovers You Left Behind” and Ka Tet’s “Bob ‘n’ Charlie”. Here’s the link.
James Hunter: “Don’t Come Back” and “No Smoke Without Fire”

Another gem from Aquarium Drunkard. James is from the UK and plays music reminiscent of 50s and 60s R&B. Van Morrison has had James open for him. His latest album “People Gonna Talk” came out in February. Here’s the link.
La Santa Cecilia: “La Negra”

A friend sent me the link to this LA based Mex-Am band. They got a Latin Grammy nomination for the song. If you like Quetzal and Ozomatli check them out…..even if you don’t. Here’s the link to the KCRW download.
The Flame: “See The Light” and “Get Your Mind Made Up”

The Flame were a South African rock band and the first non-Beach Boy album for Brother Records. It was produced by Carl Wilson and had a Beatles influence that was almost too obvious. The album came out in 1970 to critical acclaim but poor sales. By 1972 the band was over with Blondie Chaplin and Ricky Fataar joining the Beach Boys (they played on the 1973 live album). Here’s the link to Raven Sings The Blues.
Shad+Skratch Bastid: “Outta My Head”

I am not a big rap fan but every once in a while I have to amend my opinion. This samples Shuggie Otis’ “Outta My Head” from his “Inspiration Information” album. It’s a great song with a great sample and “thank you” to the group for letting us post it. Here’s Outta My Head and a streaming video at YouTube. And check out their 5-track “Spring Up” album at Bandcamp.

Ora Cogan: “Black Swells”

Ora is a Canadian “folk singer”. I have that in quotes because she doesn’t really fit the profile. She plays guitar, violin, piano and dulcimer; and (according to a bio) likes Neil Young and David Bowie. She is not for the casual listener. The song is from her latest album “Ribbon Vine”. You need to hear this. Here’s Black Swells.
Sensual Harassment: “Make Me Human Again”

This seems like a good spot for some high-energy, “put on your dancin’ shoes” music. This comes from the disco-pop duo’s latest “Escape From Alpha Draconis”. Believe it or not their backgrounds are in punk-rock and metal. Then again, as they put it, “it’s all about the energy”. Here’s the download link to SoundCloud.
Andreas Kummert: “Autism”

I have no idea what this is about or the background. I do know that Andreas is a German singer-songwriter with a bright future if this song is any indication. Here is the download link to SoundCloud.
Picture Day: “Madoline”

This St. Louis foursome has new ep “Every Day Is A Picture Day”. They say the chorus was inspired by Frankie Valli and Del Shannon….whatever. Here is the download link and their “homemade” video at YouTube.
Stone Temple Pilots: “Out Of Time”

I have never been a huge fan so the fact that Chester Bennington of Linkin Park has replaced the ever-(un)dependable Scott Weiland as lead singer is no big deal. The only thing I care about is the quality of the music and this song I like. The link is to the band’s website and you will have to give them an email address (you can opt out at anytime). Here’s a link to a stream of the song at YouTube and a link to the band’s website
The Beastles: “ILL SUBMARINE”

And finally for this edition, something I came across the other day and haven’t had time to really explore. However, any “mashup project” of the Beatles and The Beastie Boys is definitely worth exploring. There are a number of free albums to download on the site, the brainchild of dj BC. Here’s the link to the site and a Vimeo video

March 24, 2013

No mp3 downloads this week, but we do have a bunch of FREE albums.

From NoiseTrade:

Caro Emerald: “Caro Emerald Sampler”
Her real name is Caroline Esmeralda van der Leuuw (you’d have a “stage name ” too) and she’s a Dutch jazz singer with obvious pop influences. Her debut album spent 30 weeks at number one on the Dutch album charts and has sold over a million copies worldwide. Her songs have been featured in television shows like the short-lived “Playboy Club” and “The Vampire Diaries” and a number of movies. Here’s a link to the NoiseTrade sampler and a YouTube video.

Elle Macho: “!”
A veteran Nashville trio consisting of guitarist David Mead, drummer Lindsey Jamieson and bassist Butterfly Boucher (see more from her below). They are hard to categorize; NoiseTrade says they appeal to fans of The Pretenders, XTC and P.J. Harvey. Their cover of “Click Click” from The Beat’s 1980 classic album “I Just Can’t Stop It” is not to be missed. Here’s the link to the NoiseTrade album and a YouTube video.

Fol Chen: “A Timely Introduction To The Sounds of Fol Chen”
Fol Chen is an eclectic, electronic pop band from LA that has just released their third album “The False Alarms”. The group describes their music as “beat driven electronica with grand operatic gestures and lyrically-dense storytelling”. They are signed to Asthmatic Kitty of Lander, Wyoming (home to Sufjan Stevens), so expect something different. The sampler includes songs from their first two albums, a cover of Sufjan’s “I Walked” and “200 Words” off the new album. Here’s the NoiseTrade link and a YouTube video.

Brooke Waggoner: “The NoiseTrade Sessions”
Brooke is a singer-somgwriter from Nashville with a new album “Originator” just out. Her music has drawn comparisons to Kate Bush, Cat Power, and David Bowie. Here’s the NoiseTrade link and YouTube videos of “Fresh Pair of Eyes” from her 2007 debut ep and “Ink Slinger” off the new album.

Kim Richey: “An Introduction To Kim Richey”
It’s unfortunate that Kim needs an “introduction” as she has been making great music for almost 20 years. Her music is described as “progressive country” and  “alternative americana” while she draws comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Her new album “Thorn In My Heart” comes out April 16. Here’s a link to the NoiseTrade sampler and a YouTube video of “Those Words We Said” from “The Collection” a compilation of songs from her first 4 albums……..get a copy.

Butterfly Boucher: “Butterfly Boucher”
She hails from Adelaide, Australia by way of Nashville and plays pop-rock that is at once accessible and challenging all at the same time. She’s talented enough to have played every instrument on her second album “Scary Fragile” with a voice strong enough to sustain a duet with David Bowie (“Changes”) for the soundtrack to “Shrek 2”. Here’s the Noisetrade link and a YouTube video of “5678!”.

and if you couldn’t make it to SXSW, here are links to 4 free sampler albums featuring some of the more than 1300 bands and artists that appeared at the event. By the way, my sources tell me that Prince closed the festival with an absolutely amazing performance that the L.A. Times called “a party to end all parties”.

Don’t Mess With Texas: SXSW 2013 New Music Sampler” from Amazon.com
HGTV/Paste SXSW 2013 Sampler” from Noisetrade
Little Brother SXSW 2013 Sampler” from Little Brother Music
Amazon SXSW 2013 Sampler” from Polyvinyl Records

and last but certainly not least, 3 more Amazon samplers worth a download especially if you forgot that March was Metal Madness month (it’s never too late you know). There’s also a wonderful classical sampler from Allegro that I particularly like:

Armoury Records March Metal Madness 2013 Sampler
Artery Recordings March Metal Madness ’13
Allegro Classical Winter 2013 Sampler

Ramble On

I know it’s early but Concord Records just released “Mad Men Christmas” . The album features music from and inspired by the series including songs by Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Otis Redding, RJD2 and more.

And if that wasn’t enough, we hear the LA hardcore punks Bad Religion will release a Christmas album at the end of the month called “Christmas Songs”. I’m eagerly awaiting the opportunity to hear their take on “Angels We Have Heard On High”. Here’s a stream at YouTube of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”. Click here.

I hadn’t heard about “The Muscle Shoals Movie” until I read about it in Bob Lefsetz’s blog recently. Here’s a link. As he so aptly put it, “what you’ve got here is a renegade bunch of crackers who made some of the most legendary music of all time”. There’s also a companion soundtrack album featuring early recordings like Arthur Alexander’s classic “You Better Move On”, Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved A Man”, and proof that the studio attracted and continues to attract an incredible range of talent: Jimmy Cliff’s “Sitting In Limbo”, Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” and Alicia Keys’ “Pressing On”.

I will have to admit that I was underwhelmed when the labels started releasing “mega box sets”. I believe I referred to them as “the musical equivalent of a coffee table book”. Well, they must be selling because they just keep coming. There’s a Harry Nilsson set (see below); a 34 disc box set containing the complete catalog of Herbie Hancock (“Herbie Hancock: The Complete Columbia Records Collection 1972-1988”) due in November with 3 titles that have never been released on cd; “Bob Dylan: The Complete Album Collection Vol. One” also in November and containing the “complete’ Dylan discography from the past 50 years (so what will volume two contain?). For those who are space challenged, there’s a harmonica shaped USB containing the entire “collection”. In additon there is a 15 disc career-spanning set “Paul Simon:The Complete Albums Collection” and last but not least  “The Original Mono Album Collection”, nine of Miles Davis’ earliest Columbia recordings together on cd for the first time.

And speaking of movies (a video actually), I recently came across a piece about the first punk band. According to the writer the band didn’t hail from Detroit, New York, London or anywhere else in the northern hemisphere. The band was called Los Saicos and they were from Peru. Seriously. The band had a mercurial two year existence and then the members simply walked away. The short 13 minute documentary is worth a view. Click here. I also found two songs available for free download at Raven Sings The Blues. The link is to the June 2010 edition (scroll down to 6.22).

Flaming Lips has a six-song EP coming out in a few days called “Peace Swords”. It’s “music for and inspired by” the film “Ender’s Game”.

The Record Store Day organization has announced a new event “Back To Black Friday” set for November 29. There will be limited edition vinyl releases, box sets, and something we’ve all been wanting……musical trading cards. I wonder if bubble gum will be included in the packages.

One of the “great” live albums of all time gets the extended version treatment. Humble Pie’s “Rockin’ The Fillmore” will be out at the end of the month. “The Complete Recordings” is a four cd set and I just got a download….more next issue.

I love Leo Sayer, but a 14-disc box set?

There is a “Volume 2” of The Beatles’ “On Air: Live At The BBC” coming in early November. The two cd set contains 63 tracks, conversations with radio hosts and some previously unreleased recordings.

One of the more interesting labels (and one of my favorites) is ZZT, formed in 1983 and widely considered to be the brainchild of producer/musician Trevor Horn. Over the years the label has been home to acts as diverse as Tom Jones, Roy Orbison, Art of Noise, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Seal and Grace Jones. Apart from his label, Horn is best known for co-writing, producing and playing on Yes’ “Drama” and “90125”. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the label, there’s a double-disc set entitled “The Organization of Pop” out now. Check it out.

By the time you read this “Magpie And The Dandelion” will be out. The eighth studio album by the Avett Brothers was once again produced by Rick Rubin.

From the folks at “The Big O” comes word (according to My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields) that the success of 90’s Britpop was orchestrated by the British government. No wonder Blur and Oasis were so popular.

And finally one last blog item from Bob Lefsetz entitled “The Rascals At The Greek”. The Rascals are one of the more “underappreciated” bands in the rock’n’roll lexicon. They were so good you took them for granted, until they weren’t there any more. Thanks to Steve Van Zandt for making the revival happen and reminding us of all that wonderful music. Here’s the link.






Rock’n’Roll Never Forgets

Someone needs to make a movie; maybe a mini-series (there is a documentary if you’re interested). It’s all here: the early years as a struggling songwriter (working the night shift at a bank while his songs were being recorded by Glen Campbell; Blood, Sweat and Tears and The Yardbirds); his big break that resulted in a major label deal with RCA; artists who championed his work (in 1968 John Lennon and Paul McCartney named Nilsson as their favorite American artist); chart success with songs he didn’t write (“Everybody’s Talkin” and “Without You”); promoting unknown composers  (his 1970 album of Randy Newman songs); the inevitable disregard for commercial success (RCA considered dropping him but relented after his friend and drinking buddy John Lennon accompanied him to the negotiations); his flat in London where Mama Cass and Keith Moon died; “the retired musician phase” (1980 on); the financial debacle (his advisor left him virtually penniless); the heart attack in 1993 and his death less than a year later.

Harry Nilsson was one-of-a-kind (the cover photo of Harry in his bathrobe was taken in his kitchen by Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean fame). The album “Nilsson Schmilsson” would be certified gold, yield two top ten and one top thirty single and spend 46 weeks on the album charts. And some 42 years later, the music still impresses fans and first-time-listeners. One reviewer called the album “entertaining” (apparently Harry liked that discription), but producer Richard Perry perhaps said it best, “there’s something in the album for everyone”. Here’s a link to a stream of the entire album at YouTube.

P.S.  Sony/Legacy just released “The RCA Album Collection”, a set of all 14 albums Nilsson recorded for the label, plus 3 additional discs.

What’s In A Name?

I tried to come up with some songs/bands that were “relevant” to the past two weeks here in Western South Dakota. After spending 4 days without power, 6 days without a landline or computer (it would have been worse but we were out of town for the first 3 fun-filled days) I have given up. Besides I hauled the last of 15 pick-up loads (an estimate) of tree limbs, branches and leaves to the refuse site today. So we’ll look ahead to Halloween…..it’s more fun anyway. And remember, we don’t make these up.


Ali Ingle: “Jekyll and Hyde”
Anchoress: “Zombies On A Plane”
Bauhaus: “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”
Bloodgroup: “Cut Out Your Tongue”
The Casket Girls: “Universal Language”
Dead When I Found Her: “Rain Machine”
The Dead Heads: “When I’m Dead”
Ensemble Pearl: “Painting On A Corpse”
Los Saicos: “Cementerio” (see Random Notes)
Tom Waits: “Cemetary Polka”
Gretel’s Revenge: “Kill The Bride”
R.L. Kelly: “You’re Not The Only Monster From Hell”
Supreme Dicks: “Jack-O-Lantern”
Vampyros Lesbos: “Sanxion”
Zombina And The Skeletones: “Zombie Hop”

Cliff Notes

A lot of good music for this issue, and the best part…..most of it is free.

Original Soundtrack: “Solaris”

“Solaris” is one of the more mystifying and intriguing science fiction movies of all time, surpassing even “2001, A Space Odyssey”. The 1972 original and the 2002 remake received mixed reviews which was understandable; The book’s author stated that he “wanted to create a vision of a human encounter with something that…cannot be reduced to human concepts”. The soundtrack to the remake was interesting but the original is another story. The music revolved around variations on Bach’s “Chorale Prelude in F-Minor”, but it was the electronic soundscapes that grab your attention. The Russian composer Eduard Artemiev used the massive ANS synthesizer (described as being as large as a refrigerator) to achieve what can only be described as a remarkable musical achievement. And to add to the mystique, the only prototype was destroyed shortly after the recording was completed. Here is a link to Aquarium Drunkard for a taste of the Bach portion of the soundtrack, and a link to a video on the photo-optic ANS synthesizer at Synthtopia

Tom Waits: “San Diego Folk Festival 1974”

As you have probably already surmised, I’m a Tom Waits fan… particularly his early stuff. I’ve found some interesting concert downloads over the years, but one of the best is from an appearance at the San Diego Folk Festival in 1974 (his hometown). The download is at captainsdead.com. And while you’re at it check out the other Waits downloads on the site. The 1975 KQRS-FM broadcast is worth a listen. Here’s the link.

Mazzy Star: “Seasons of Your Day” and Goldfrapp: “Tales of Us”

I have no idea who coined the term “dream pop”; probably a psychology major. Wikipedia says it “relies on sonic textures as much as melody”. Personally I don’t like music that is passive, which may also explain why most of the genre’s most notable bands (1980 to 2000) are all but forgotten. Been to a Kitchens of Distinction concert lately? Having said all that, I will confess to liking Mazzy Star (their 1993 album featured the classic “Fade Into You”; here’s a YouTube link). Unfortunately it’s been 17 years since their last album so “Seasons of Your Day” was much anticipated. It doesn’t disappoint, in fact it is one of those rare albums that gets better with repeated listening. Here is a video link to “California” from the album. Goldfrapp’s “Tales of Us” fits the “dream pop” mold, but may surprise casual fans who are more familiar with the group’s forays into trip-hop, electro-glam, synthpop, etc. The music is haunting (Halloween analogy) and almost cinematic in its orchestrations. It’s an album that requires a few listening trips, but it is worth the drive. Here’s a video link to “Annabel” from the album (the song starts about 3 minutes into the video).

There are a bunch of free sampler albums available now at Amazon.com Here’s the list and links:

“Nettwerk Fall Music Sampler 2013”. It includes songs by Lily Kershaw, Ladytron, Boy and Savoir Adore. link

“Mexican Summer: Five Years”. Includes tracks from Ariel Pink, The Fresh & Onlys and Happy Jawbone Family Band. link

“2013 Relapse Records-Fall Sampler”. A mix of Death Metal, Alternative Rock and Alternative Metal (whatever that is); featuring Ulcerate, Baroness, Primitive Man, Weekend Nachos, Coffins and lots more. It’s a more varied than you might think. link

“Partisan Records Summer/Fall Sampler 2013”. Alternative rock with Deer Tick, Eagulls, Heartless Bastards, The Dismemberment Plan, etc. link

“Now Hear This-The Winners of the 12th Independent Music Awards”. There’s everything from Americana, Bluegrass, Alternative Rock, Contemporary Classical, New Age, Blues, to Christian. Something for everyone. link

“Green Hill-One Hour of Spa Music”. no comment. link

and finally a mention that Seraphic Fire’s “Ave Maria” (reviewed here last time) was recently highlighted by emusic as a “recommended” classical music selection for the month.





For Iver and Judd