In The Pines New Record!

So over the weekend I got in my copy of the debut cd from Kansas City's own In The Pines. I've heard from a lot of people who really enjoyed the demos from my previous post on them, so I couldn't pass up the chance to share a couple of the final products.

I've been trying to figure just who I could rightly compare them to, since that's what we bloggers love to do for some reason unbeknownst to me, so here's the best I can do - Damien Rice meets Wilco. Despite having such...uh...RURAL backgrounds, they manage to veer off into lovely jams that sometimes feel even a bit ambient. I very rarely ever am able to sit down and do nothing but listen to an album straight thru, but I MADE the time to finish this one out.

The guys and gals even won a coveted "Best of Kansas City" award for Best Local Song.

So enjoy these mp3's of the finished product, courtesy of Second Nature Recordings:
Dress On Fire (HIGHEST Recommendation!)
Never Say Too Much (Highly Recommended)

And go order the record HERE.

Myspace Page
In The Pines Official Page

By the way, I'll probably be heading out to see them live on Nov. 18th at Davey's Uptown with American Catastrophe so if I'm able to make it I'll try to do some sort of write up for ya.


Glen Hansard vs...Himself?

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To me, it's insane that Irish band The Frames haven't achieved greater fame yet. In 2003 they released one of the single greatest live albums in recent memory with their record, "Setlist". Lead singer Glen Hansard has an amazingly clear and versatile voice that soars above the layers of guitars and violins but he can still muster up a great holler (see "Revelate").

Earlier this year, Glen's side project with Czech pianist Marketa Irglova, a record called "The Swell Season" was released and is fantastic. Marketa's voice is able to twist itself around Glen's and really make you feel every bit of blood, sweat and tears that are evident in the lyrics.

This is best showcased in the track "Falling Slowly". These lyrics catch me every time:

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We've still got time, raise your hopeful voice
You had the choice, you've made it now

As if that weren't enough, the new Frames album, "The Cost", has a different version of the same song.

Check out the two tracks and see which one you dig most and let me know. I still can't decide...

Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova - Falling Slowly
The Frames - Falling Slowly

Also, Glen has made a contribution to a project called "The Cake Sale". The profits from the record, which features great acts such as Glen's friends and fellow Irish Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan, Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol, Josh Ritter and The Thrills, will be going to the Oxfams Make Trade Fair campaign. I haven't procured any mp3's yet, but several of the tracks can be listened to at the project's Myspace Page.

Swell Season Myspace Page
The Frames Homepage


#100 - Elliott Smith Saved D.N.A.

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I'm gonna be frank. I've been considering ending this blog. Almost everyday I log into blogger and begin to type an entry only to stop and close the page before I am done. My life has been a constant series of ups and downs lately and I just couldn't manage to place blogging into the rollercoaster. I even start to write emails constantly but never finish any of them. I had planned to use my 99th post to let you all know that I was going to walk away.


Then on Saturday I started to read all the blog posts about Elliott Smith. It's amazing to see how Elliott managed to touch so many people from so many completely different backgrounds. Many people talked about how one simple Elliott Smith moment changed their perspectives on things. And then it hit me - I had made an enormous mistake. In my process of listening to all the Elliott Smith I could get my hands on a few years ago I had somehow managed to miss out on "Figure 8". I knew most of the songs from the live performances I had heard but heard none of the album versions. I instantly ran out and got a copy and listned to it last night straight thru for the first time.

This was my Elliott Smith moment.

Much of the record felt as if Elliott had written it from my point of view. My exact thoughts and emotions and sentiments. This probably means that I'm more than a little messed up, but that's the way that life goes...and Elliott understood. Life is hard but you have to keep trudging on. That's why the moment that was marked on Saturday still makes no sense to me. Did that much change in Elliott's life between the writing of "Figure 8" and his final demise? I can't imagine that much had changed...but I know I've been wrong before.

I had originally planned on a lavish 2-disc mix for my 100th post, and that will later see the light of day, but this is more important. So, instead I wish to bring to you one of my personal favorite Elliott Smith live recordings from the brilliant 2000 tour. I hope it leaves you with the same feelings that it leaves me.

Elliott Smith - Live 11.10.00 Roseland Theatre - Portland, Or. via Archive.org

01 - Needle In The Hay
02 - Son Of Sam
03 - Clementine
04 - LA
05 - Cupid's Trick
06 - Division Day
07 - Waltz #2 (XO)
08 - Bled White
09 - Stupidity Tries
10 - In The Lost and Found (Honky Bach)
11 - Junk Bond Trader
12 - Happiness
13 - Ballad of Big Nothing
14 - Independence Day
15 - Can't Make A Sound
16 - Everything Means Nothing To Me
17 - Color Bars
18 - Say Yes
19 - A Fond Farewell
20 - Speed Trials
21 - Yer Blues

Also, I want to take this moment to tell everyone, especially my personal friends, that I love all of you. This song, the song that my blog is named after, is for you:
Glen Phillips - Don't Need Anything (Demo Version)


Brandi Carlile - Live and Rare...uh...Mostly...

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Here's my hasty post no. 99. Expect no. 100 either later today or tomorrow.

Check out these wicked rarities from the wonderful Brandi Carlile. Darn you, Heather, now I'm flippin' obsessed with Brandi...but not in a creepy way. I swear.

Brandi Carlile - Burn (Ray Lamontagne Cover)
Brandi Carlile - Downpour (Live at MPR)
Brandi Carlile - My Song (Live)
Brandi Carlile - Seven Bridges Road/Fall (Eagles Cover)
Brandi Carlile - The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Cover by godknowswho...)
Brandi Carlile - Boys Don't Cry (Live)

And go pay your dang respects at Rbally.



There are several great releases coming out today, and this evening I will be swinging by the store to pick up "The Crane Wife" by the Decemberists, as it is the best thing I've heard this year. However, in the weekly glut of new releases a few great ones always go unnoticed and this is one I hate to see go missed.

The band Toothfairy release their new record, "Hard Drugs Made Me A Better Person", today and it is insane. The story behind the record, according to their Myspace Page, is that they found some old records to accompany slideshows from the 60's to inform youths about the dangers of drugs. So the band laid some psychadelic jams over top of the records, slide-change bells and all, and put the four 10+ minute jams on record. It's highly unnerving yet still wicked fun at the same time. The band has put low-quality mp3's of all four tracks on said Myspace page, so take a listen and then go order the record.

I Killed Death
I Hanf Around With...
Do You Wish You Did Do...
The Gates Have Closed

Fully unrelated, this Tom Waits bootleg from Rbally is quite possibly the greatest thing I've ever downloaded on the internet.