How Old Am I?

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Carole King - Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Chances are that nobody will ever accuse Carole King of having a wonderful voice just the same way that no one will ever accuse Conor Oberst of having a beautiful voice, but the fact of the matter is that both of them get the job done. I have heard many renditions of this song, some by artists with beautiful voices, but no version has been able to touch this original version. Carole's voice carries every bit of emotion in this section of pure pop bliss. James Taylor's backing vocals and guitar add a wonderful touch to this 4 minute piece of romanticism of insecurity. This is one of those songs that should be required listening to be considered a member of the human race.
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

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ELO - Living Thing
No, this song was not written for a jingle. Kids today are gonna hear this song and think of insurance or job finders or some ridiculous corporation now. Instead they should be thinking of Jeff's sweet voice, the crazy string section and the bouncing feel good rhythms. Pop music can be a great thing.
Livin' Thing

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The Meters - Cissy Strut
A pure New Orleans classic. One of the greatest instrumental songs of the modern era, Cissy Strut is one of those songs that EVERYONE has done a version of. Its a rite of passage for young jambands and guitar players of all genres. If you can stand still during this song, you have no heart and no soul. I would hate to be your doctor.
Cissy Strut

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Tim Buckley - Morning Glory (Peel Sessions '68)
Justin Furstenfeld once said "Where did all my idols end up? They've all passed away." Unfortunately, Tim Buckley fits in that category, but man, did he leave us some great music or what? He could weave some incredibly beautifully slow and meloncholy songs without ever making them boring, as is the case with this live rendition of "Morning Glory".
Morning Glory

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War - The World is A Ghetto
When I was a kid, my family went on road trips to Denver at least once a year, if not 2 or 3 times. We'd load all of us kids in the car and head out to cross the barreness of western Kansas. Needless to say, none of us were to excited to make the journey. However, we always had our music we took with us to make it better. And our main roadtrip staple was "The Best of War...and More!" by...well...War. THe strong harmonies, the organ, the horn parts, the upbeat lyrics, we loved everything about it. Low Rider is one of my all-time favorite songs and to this day, I can't take a roadtrip without a War cd in my cd case. Here's one of their best. Check out those vocal harmonies!
The World Is A Ghetto


Mary Fahl - From the Dark Side of the Moon

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I have never heard of Mary Fahl before her current project, but just the sound of it had me intrigued. She does a song-by-song cover of the Pink floyd album "Dark Side of the Moon".

I don't think that I have ever confessed my love of Pink Floyd on this site before, but I have spent many a hour listening to "Animals". Music doesn't get much better than Pink Floyd.

That being said, I think this project is a general success. She has a large, full voice that actually suits this project well. The arrangements are less ambient and more electronic but somewhat faithful to the originals. Sometimes they are a bit too faithful, as the sound effects don't quite cut it. The alarms and glass breaking and such are a bit hard to stomach. As could be expected, a track or two go astray and are hard to listen to, especially "The Great Gig in the Sky". Mary doesn't have near the range that Claire Torry had on the original and thus the track suffers.

However, this record is worth a spin for any Pink Floyd fan and its quite interesting to see how Mary's voice stands in comparison to the originals. Here's a couple of examples:

(Note that the tracks bleed into each other on the record so these tracks start and end kinda funny...)
On the Run
Brain Damage

You may notice that I am trying a different filehost. I'm not quite satisfied with it so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know if you know of any filehosting services that accept paypal that are good.


Death Cab - Live and Acoustic

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Here's a Ben And Chris acoustic set performed around the time of Transatlantacism. I think I just botched the spelling of that but I'm too lazy to check the proper spelling.


01 The Dream Is Over
02 The New Year
03 Lightness
04 The Sound Of Settling

Also, congratulations to the good people in Anvil Chorus on their win for "Best New Act" in the Pitch Music Awards. I voted for you and you bloody deserve it!


New Music: In The Pines

I was recently browsing thru the nominees of The Pitch Music Awards and have found some really great music. One of the best I've found is In The Pines. In The Pines makes great old timey country/folk music. Frankly their profile on their Myspace page says far more than I ever could:
"In the late 1800's the music of the mountains of Appalachia somehow managed to evoke emotion so powerful it was like a freight train straight to the hearts of the poor people for which it was written. The same can be said about the early bluegrass, blues, country, and rock and roll after the beginning of the 20th century. Our songs tend to be inspired by lost love, poverty, trains, the mountains, the civil war, and various other themes from that particular period of American history. It is dark, it is dirty, it is sometimes drunken. It is what we call In The Pines."

Here's a few excellent demos from their upcoming record later this year via their official site:
The Second Hymn
Dress On Fire
On The Table
Never Say

Congratulations to In The Pines for their win for Best Folk/Roots Act! You guys deserve it!


Back to the Music...With Covers!

So I'm a cover whore...

BUT FIRST - just know that I may take off again of a while...we'll just have to wait and see, but I am doing much better. I've been getting out of my house again and I may have a large change coming up very soon that I think will help.

And now on to the music!

Glen Phillips - Hyperballad (Live) (Bjork Cover) HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
I'm not a fan of Bjork. Not at all. I hate how being strange is sometimes confused with being original. I never listened to this particular song until I heard this version and through Glen's plaintive call I finally noticed the depth of emotion present in the lyrics. Glen's version finally made the melody and lyrics shine through. This is a must hear for anyone.

Pete Kuzma with Bilal - High and Dry (Radiohead Cover)
Everyone was wicked hard in their reviews of the Radiohead tribute album "Music for Radio Heads". Sure, the title was dumb but there were a few great renditions in there. Who knew that Radiohead could write such an amazing soul song? It replaces the bitter feel of the original version with a smooth groove and is perfect for a backyard barbeque with your special friend.

Trey Anastasio with Stewart Copeland - Can't Stand Losing You (Police Cover)
OK, OK...this one is kind of a mess. Trey can't hit the notes that Sting could and the jam in the middle sounds like everyone was playing random things all at once...but it's still Stewart Freakin' Copeland playing an old Police classic.

Thrice - Eleanor Rigby (Beatles Cover)
Don't judge this cover before you hear it..well...at least the first half of it. I get shivers when I hear the lead singer hit that insasne falsetto the first time. I could have done without the hardcore ending tho...but the beginning is fantastic.

Barenaked Ladies - Close to You (Carpenters/Burt Bacarach Cover)
Pure pop goodness. What else is there to say?

Also, thank you to everyone who sent kind emails, left kind comments and other correspondance. I appreciate every bit of it.


I Went to Bleeding Kansas and You Didn't!

Well, I've been dying to post lately but I wouldn't let myself. This seems like as good of a reason to come back as ever.

I had never seen any of the bands who played Saturday before, so I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Here's the rundown:

First off, Burcham Park in Lawrence Kansas is beautiful. Right on the Wakarusa River, the location is grassy and shaded by lots of trees - a perfect place for a festival show in Kansas in the heat of August.

The first band to take the stage was one of the number of local bands, The Legendary Terrordactyls. I had never heard of them before but I checked it out because they were the only band on at the time - and they were fantastic. It was the most pleasant surprise of the day. They rocked pretty hard somewhere landing between "Rather Ripped"-Sonic Youth and older, noisier Sonic Youth. Unfortunately, they didn't have any cd's for sale that I could find, but I'll be checking around.

After that I wandered over to the Main Stage to see Aberdeen City, another local act, but they sucked. Hard.

So I wandered into the Ad Astra Tent to see Ad Astra Per Aspra, but apparently the lead singer had his jaw wired shut at the moment, so instead 4th of July took the stage early. They obviously had to be awesome since they started out with a Townes Van Zandt cover. I didn't recognize everyone upfront, but according to the almight lawrence.com, the band features former members of The Anniversary, and current Members of Ghosty and Free All Beats. They pumped out great dancable music, even if we all were sitting down to enjoy it.

So this started to throw off the stage times. I don't know if Boy Kill Boy was there or not, but Murder By Death's set started awfully early so I missed the beginning. I've never been a fan of theirs before, but I'm checking them out again. The cello player is one heck of a performer (and one heck of a fox too...) and made the show worth watching, instead of just worth listening to.

Inbetween I caught a bit of Conner, which is very much like any horrible dance-rock band on the radio so I cautiously waked away, making sure no one saw that I observed the tragedy that happened on that stage.

Next up was Mates of State. Just like everyone else, I'm not quite sure how such a full sound can come out of only two people and my friend wondered how similar two voices can be. This was a a bit of homecoming for the Mates, seeing as they met and formed the band while attending Kansas U., and they drew a major crowd because of it. I even stood about 5 feet from Adrianne from The Anniversary during this set! Poor Kori looked like she was going to pass out and mentioned that the heat was a bit much for her, but you sure couldn't tell from listening. They killed it.

Next was Broken Social Scene. I have been listening to boots of their live shows for a while so I knew fully well what they were capable of - but they didn't get there. Kevin Drew was wicked drunk and upset at the sound guy, telling Lisa to come on stage before she was ready, rambling about Kansas having heart (which it doesn't) and confusing his band mates. He tried to do a countdown into Ibi but apparently had drank enough that he lost his ability to count. The rest of the band held up their end of the bargain, but Kevin really brought down the mood.

I spent the majority of Keane's set making fun of the lead singer's posing and screaming out requests for Coldplay and Lynyrd Skynyrd songs. He pranced around like Jon Bon Jovi in a dress. Eeeew.

And then finally was the big headliner, Death Cab for Cutie, and they were in rare form. Pretty much everyone at the fest was crammed in front of the stage and for good reason. For an hour and a half, Ben Gibbard was the king of Kansas. He crooned, he yelled, he thrashed, he tore the crap out a drum set and cast the coolest shadows ever. Unfortunately, every time they played any track from "Plans", the show seemed to stop for four minutes, but those songs were spaced out enough that it didn't bring the whole set down. As a matter of fact, when I requested "The Face That Launched 1000..." a teenage girl gave a disgusted "Oh god, I hope not..." Kids today!

All in all, I had a blast and was honored on the way out to be cut off by Chris from Appleseed Cast. I think he was the only person there who had a crappier car than me.

I'll try to be back with some music later today. In the meantime, check out this fascinating article about independant music stores. It makes me wanna drive to Lawrence more often.