Local Music #2 - Splitlip Rayfield

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Splitlip Rayfield is responsible for some of the fastest, most furious bluegrass music you've ever heard before. Having some punk influences to, these guys are tattoo-ed and beer drinkers by the pitcher. As their bio says, its "Bluegrass worthy of being blasted out of the windows of a Plymouth Barracuda with 451 Hemi engine." And frankly, there's nothing cooler than Jeff Eaton's "gas tank bass."

However, don't expect to see them touring any time soon. Guitar player Kirk Rundstrom has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and they have canceled all dates upcoming. Since he has no health insurance (most "local" bands don't) they're asking for donations and all-around encouragement and love so please, if you can, stop by their official page and see how you can help. But also make sure you check out the mp3's while you're here:

Splitlip Rayfield - The Day the Train Jumped the Tracks
Splitlip Rayfield - Hundred Dollar Bill
Splitlip Rayfield - Never Make it Home

Check out their Myspace page too. Read the bio - it's great.


Local Music #1 - Anvil Chorus

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I just recently ran into a treasure trove of Kansas City-area artists and their mp3's so I'll be running thru the archive of nearly 1000 mp3's and bringing you some of the best as I go. One that I'd already been watching a bit was Anvil Chorus. They create this atmospheric blend of piano, guitar, bass and drums that just kinda floats around beautifully. Their Myspace page lists them as having evoked "shades of Blonde Redhead, Mogwai, Portishead, My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth among numerous other influences." Other comparisons include Bjork, Mazzy Star and "Hail to the Theif"-era Radiohead.
A review called their debut EP "dark, dire and drop-dead sexy, an immediately ensnaring chemistry of obsessive, paranoiac instrumental layers and maddeningly sensual rhythms and vocals."
If they ever end up playing a Saturday night show around here, you can be sure that I will be there.
They are worth checking out. Here's the mp3's:

Anvil Chorus - Lust And Vice (Highly Recommended)
Anvil Chorus - Bright White (Live)
Anvil Chorus - Broken Hands


Blue October!

Unfortunately, I have not been able to post any files from one of my favorite bands in the world, Blue October, who have a new album coming out next month. I have heard several songs from it, including a few on their MySpace page, and all have been fantastic.
Their music is highly emotional and very powerful. Many people look at their music as therapy in a box. It's helped me thru some hard times.
I did discover a fan site, Argue With A Tree, that features a few tracks for download from various online sessions.

Here's links to a few of those tracks:
Blue October - Calling You
Blue October - Clumsy Card House
Blue October - Schizophrenia
Blue October - Calling You
Blue October - Inner Glow
Blue October - Ugly Side

Also, go buy an album or two...or all of 'em. They're worth it.

Covers Day! (With an explanation...)

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Sorry for another unexpected hiatus - but this time I had a really good reason. Last week a tornado landed two blocks from my house and tore up my neighborhood really bad. It knocked out my cable line so I had no internet access for a bit. So I thought that today I would just empty out my "covers day" folder and then get some good writing done later. Enjoy the covers!

Rage Against the Machine - Beautiful World (Devo Cover)
At first I really didn't think this was Rage, but listening really close I finally decided it was indeed Zach and the boys. This cover defies the labels applied to Rage and Devo both and is a really interesting listen.

Get Up Kids - Never Tear Us Apart (INXS Cover)
This performance from just Matt and James comes from a KEXP performance from a few years back. Matt and James still appear at each other's shows and maybe one day they'll start doing some GUK songs again. I hope. But until then, this great cover with a wicked solo is a lot of fun.

Deftones - No Ordinary Love (Sade Cover)
I will admit to really hating the Deftones and really loving Sade. However, this one sounds so unlike the Deftones that I can dig it.

Finch - Karma Police (Radiohead Cover)
Standard acoustic based Radiohead cover. Nothing special but nice to have.

Gonzales, Feist and Dani - Boomerang 2005 (Serge Gainsbourg Cover)
As you all know, Feist has my everlasting devotion. And due to her and several other very cool artists appearing on a Serge Gainsbourg tribute, I gave it a spin and loved it - even the bands on there that I normally don't like put out really good performances. It's definitely worth going out and picking up. And this track is funky as all get out...

John Mayer - Kid A (Radiohead Cover)
Apparently John is a huge fan of Radiohead. I've heard him tease "Paranoid Android" and "Karma Police" in live shows. And then there's this studio recording of and interesting interpretation of one of Radiohead's more...interesting songs. Interesting.

Manic Street Preachers - Train In Vain (Clash Cover)
Gotta dig this song. I don't care who you are.

Rosie Thomas - Love (John Lennon Cover)
One of John's best covered by one of Sub Pop's most overlooked. Her sweet voice curls around the lovely lyrics like a blanket around a pair of sweethearts.

Watkins Family Hour - Ain't Misbehavin' (Live) (Fats Waller Cover)
2/3 of Nickel Creek perform at Largo, Jon Brion's residence, under the name Watkins Family Hour with constant guests. Sara really belts out this cover of the classic song that's been covered by anybody who's anybody.

Keep an eye on the good folks over at Lullabyes because they should have some soundboards from SXSW coming up soon. I'll be watching out since I didn't get a chance to go. Did anyone catch Blue October there? I'm curious as to how the new songs perform live. Drop me a comment and let me know!


Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet

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I was, as usual, quite confused and concerned when I heard Heather talking about a covers album by Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs doind covers of many of my favorite songs. Velvet Underground? The Beach Boys? The Zombies? Hmm. But I've gotten ahold of the album and listened to some of it and have been plesantly impressed. Take a listen to two of my favorite songs of all time and see if you agree:

Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs - Warmth Of The Sun
Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs - Care of Cell 44


Reverie Sound Revue

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This band is darn hard to get info on. I first heard of them due to lead singer Lisa Lobsinger's trysts with Broken Social Scene, and I'll give anything associated with the BSS crew a shot. Lisa's vocals are wonderful with a powerful voice, kinda like a less country-fied Neko Case (Don't lynch me if you disagree!) and the drums are really a huge part of the show here. The persistant rhythms over the sublte guitar work really keep the music moving. None of the websites I've checked know for sure whether or not RSR even exsists anymore but if so, it'd be a good thing to groove the beat a bit more.
Check 'em out:

Reverie Sound Revue - Rip the Universe
Reverie Sound Revue - Walking Around Waiting Downtown

BYTHEWAY, I was browsing my own site yesterday and noticed that quite a few of the old links are dead by now, so if you see anything you're interested in, just shoot me an email and I'll get em to you...probably pretty quickly too.
Peace and love.


Covers on Monday?

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Since I haven't been posting near as often as I would like to lately, I thought it to be a great time for a covers post.

Mark Ronson and Alex Greenwald - Just (Radiohead Cover)
I got this off a promo for an upcoming Radiohead tribute album with a major hip-hop flair. This track bumps and could probably even be spun on the dancefloor. I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not but I am really diggin' it. Nod your head a bit - it's ok.

Tilly and the Wall - Kiss Off (Violent Femmes Cover)
To the memebers of Tilly and the Wall - I hope you know this is going on your permanant record...as a really good cover. They didn't stray TOO far from the original (mainly just the tap-dancing) but still it sounds like a definite TatW song. Good job.

Shirley Bassey - Light My Fire (The Doors Cover)
I must admit - I really like Shirley Bassey and this cover is the main reason why. I have heard literally about 25 or 30 covers of this genius song, but this one is by far the best cover. The horns swirling at the beginning, the voice, the rhythm section - the whole thing works and is one fantastic listen.

Phantom Planet - Paranoid Android (Radiohead Cover)
Frankly, this is exactly what I would have expected from a Phantom Planet cover of Radiohead. If you like Phantom Planet, you'll dig this acoustic version. If you don't, then you probably won't.

Rose Hill Drive - Shakin' All Over
I know I said that I had posted this one already, but it turns out that I didn't...and I have no clue who did the original but notable versions were done by The Who and The Guess Who. That has to stand for something. Major shredding goin' on here.


John Fogerty - Centerfield

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When I was a kid, my parents submitted me to all kinds of music. My dad loved the Beach Boys and my mom loved Santana. Me and my sisters could sing along to anything that came on the radio from Sir Mix-a-lot to Bryan Adams. We had a few tapes that we kept in the car that we listened to a lot and I had my personal favorite. I loved John Fogerty's Centerfield. I dug the voice, I dug the vibe. I loved everything about it. One day the tape just kinda disappeared. I was devastated. It turns out that my sister got tired of it so she destroyed it. Gotta love older sisters, huh? So then last week I was able to get ahold of a copy on CD. I hadn't heard it in about 15 years so I jumped at the chance to hear it again. I still love it - not quite like I did back then, but I do still love it.

John Fogerty - The Old Man Down the Road
John Fogerty - Big Train (From Memphis)