Okay, so we’re moving the Scoop to Sunday. I have decreed it.
(And, normally it will be earlier on Sunday, but I have company this weekend, and Liam’s first Pee Wee soccer game was this morning, and now I have to get ready to make shish kabob to grill for dinner…so I’m late. Eh – I’m living up to my blog name, only this weekend, the MOM part comes first. 😉 )
Track 1: Wisdom by The Guggenheim Grotto
We have Ash to thank for this tasty nugget, which I think got a unanimous “Yes, yes! More, please!” (‘cept for maybe DiPM…I couldn’t tell. 😉 )
These boys are from Dublin, Ireland, and have firmly made their mark on Folk Rock in the UK. The love is spreading here in the US now, as some of their songs have been used in “One Tree Hill” and “Brothers and Sisters”.
They’ve been described in sentences also referencing Radiohead, The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, but…my favorite quote has to be from the San Diego Tribune, to wit:
Thanks to Ash for this one! ————————————————————-
“…what the first Crosby, Stills & Nash album might have sounded like if all its members were from Dublin.” – San Diego Union Tribune
Track 2: Becoming a Jackal by Villagers
So, most of you were decidedly “meh” on this one, eh? Well, PFFFFFFFT to you, I say! HARRUMMPH! I am firmly and unabashedly a fan, and shall remain so regardless of your collective disdain. I FLOVE me some Conor O’Brien!
These boys are from Dublin, too, and Conor is the driving force behind them. His lyrics are often dark, and in a strange way he reminds me of Elliott Smith. (Not musically…just, I dunno. Ethereally.) I love his voice. And, re: my first listen to “Becoming a Jackal”: I liked it, but then for two days couldn’t get it out of my head. Went back and listened again, and was hooked.
(And yeah, Claudine. The video is a tad freaky. LOL.)
You can head over to the website for a free download of “On a Sunlit Stage” if you want to give them another shot. Great song – so soothing – perfect for drifting off to sleep.This tune: First heard about it oh…maybe four or five months ago when my buddy Gavin (who lives in Dublin) posted the video on his Facebook wall. Then, coincidentally just last week, a PR bud whose firm reps them sent over the download. ‘Twas fate, I tell you! 😉 ——————————————————————
Track 3: Do Right by Megan McCormick
Mixed reviews on this too, eh?
Well, I’ll tell you. I’d likely not change the station if it came on, but I’m not sure I’d seek it out to buy for myself either. I like her voice, liked the lyrics, but for some reason the song structure itself sounded a bit formulaic and even predictable.
But, you know me – little Mary Sunshine. I’d be willing to hear more from here to see if this is a trend. She really does have a great voice, huh?This track sent over by Megan’s PR firm, gratis. ———————————————————————
Track 4: Written in Reverse by Spoon
Have I mentioned before that I enjoy my own version of “Mystery Music” quite often? Yep – periodically I’ll shoot over to Amazon.mp3 and download a couple free albums, or in websurfing band sites I’ll grab a free track if they offer it.
My rule though, is that I don’t pay attention to the song names, and if I can get away with it – the artists, either. I just download them all free and legal-like, they sail happily into my iTunes folder and wait to come up on a random shuffle. When they do, I like to play Caesar and give my own “thumbs up/thumbs down” verdict as to whether they shall continue to occupy space on my hard drive. This one did.
Now, I’d heard of Spoon before, but for some reason had the totally unfounded idea that they were annoying. Evidently I’m psychic, because now I find that they are – at least to me. In fact, I didn’t even link you to their official site, because it’s the most annoying, affected, pseudo-artsy bunch of crap I’ve ever seen on a band site. Sweet cheeses, people – would it KILL you to put a bio up so that I don’t have to go to Wikipedia to find out about you? What, are you the Rolling Stones, that we should all already HAVE this information in our collective subconscious? pppfffft.
(But, I do like the song.)This tune: Downloaded it on the Merge Records 2010 Sampler free from Amazon.mp3. ————————————————————————–
Track 5: Pimps and Preachers by Paul Thorn (aka “the Springsteen of Mississippi”. oh_pook! You hit it first, so you win a copy of his new CD when it comes out in a few weeks, courtesy of ShoreFire Media! Wooooo!)
Now, this WAS unanimous – we all love us some Paul Thorn!
(And, may I just pause a moment to hold up his website as an example of what TO do. TONS of great information there, easy to navigate, entertaining, lots of Freebies including a song download. Kudos to the Thorn Webmaster!)
This guy is just a ginormous chunk of wonderful dipped in pure awesomesauce. I’ve just spent 45 minutes that I should have spent getting the marinade ready for tonight’s shish kabobs immersing myself in all that is Thorny. Reading his online bio, then his pictorial “autobiography”, then listening to more music (each song better than the last)…man. This guy is talented. This guy is funny! This guy is REAL.
What you hear in his gritty voice and soulful music are life experiences. No ripping off from the blues and funk masters going on here – he’s earned each one of these licks, beats and chords. Dude is the son of a Pentecostal Preacher, was a professional boxer who nearly beat the crap out of Roberto Duran and is a champion of the Deep South downtrodden. He’s better than a big ol’ mess of barbeque washed down with icy beers on a sultry Delta day, and I for one am now a whole-hearted fan.
(You may be hearing more about him when his CD drops – fair warning. I’m going to find a way to get his iPod Shuffle – I bet it’s fabulous. 😉 )This tune: sent over gratis by Paul’s PR firm, bless ’em! ———————————————————————
Track 6: Thieves by She and Him
‘Member Zooey Deschanel, who played William Miller’s big sister the airline Stewardess in Almost Famous? (Well, she played Jovie in Elf, too…and I’m sure other stuff.)
She’s the “she”. And M. Ward is the “him”. They met while he was scoring a film she was in, and whammo – a musical collaboration was born. See, evidently Zooey had a crap-ton of songs she’s been writing over the years just squirreled away somewhere, and finally decided that she’d found the right partner to work with. Ain’t life funny?
Now, they’re getting pretty damn good reviews for their unusual, throwback folksy sound, and I for one really like it! (But then, I really like the kind of music that this hearkens back to, so it’s not unusual.) She has a good voice, and his guitar work is beautiful.
The folks on my blip stream play alot of She and Him, so I was aware of them before I downloaded this track on some free Amazon Sampler album. I get how some folks would absolutely hate this sound – it’s fairly polarizing. But I guess unique is good, right? Well…at least better than boring. 😉
This next one doesn’t count for this week…I’m just adding it in for Ash to up the “Rocking Required” quotient. 😉
Electric Worry by Clutch
(Clutch will be getting their own feature soon. I’ve FINALLY ripped into their current CD and am L-O-V-I-N-G it. And, notfornothin’, the bass player just happens to be married to our buddy Rock and Roll Mama. 😉 )