January Mixtape

MP3 :: Oh Suzanne / French Kissing (original post)
MP3 :: Black Eyes / Shearwater (original post)
MP3 :: Liv Tyler / The Roadside Graves (original post)
MP3 :: King of Spain / The Tallest Man On Earth (original post)
MP3 :: How Come That Blood / Sam Amidon (original post)
MP3 :: Homewrecker / Grant Gilman (original post)
MP3 :: This Fucking Job / Drive-By Truckers (original post)
MP3 :: Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands / Phoenix (Bob Dylan cover)
MP3 :: Let Go / jj (original post)
MP3 :: Odessa / Caribou
MP3 :: Yellow Wings / Keepaway
MP3 :: On Giving Up / High Places
MP3 :: Laura / Girls
MP3 :: Albatross / The Besnard Lakes (original post)
MP3 :: Jail La La / Dum Dum Girls
MP3 :: Kungen / Love Is All (original post)
MP3 :: Numbers Don’t Lie / The Mynabirds (original post)
MP3 :: Well Alright / Peasant
MP3 :: Coloring of Pigeons / The Knife
MP3 :: Gold Soundz / Pavement (original post)

[videos] The Replacements live in Minneapolis, 1981

“Kids Don’t Follow”

The other day I promised a rash of Replacements bootlegs/rarities over the coming weeks, and I intend on following through with that. The show I posted the other day (from L.A.’s Roxy Theatre, 1985) had a song missing from the ZIP, so if you happened to download it you might want to go back and pick up the missing song. Looking forward, I thought I’d point you towards a series of live videos recorded in 1981 for a Twin Tone Records showcase in Minneapolis. The show was recorded right around the time of their first album, Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash, and, perhaps surprisingly, finds the notoriously sloppy Mats in top notch form. I mean, it’s practically professional, which if you‘re familiar with their reputation, is really saying something.

Of note, besides the cracking performances, is the age of bassist Tommy Stinson at the time. If it’s true (and by all accounts it is) that he was 12 when the band started, then he’d be about 14 or 15 here. Imagine that. The guy literally grew up in the most dysfunctional band of that generation, had an older brother who was eventually kicked out of The Replacements for his own substance abuse issues (later to pass away from said demons), and lived to tell the tale. And join Guns n’ Roses. Crazy.

There are a bunch of other videos on Youtube from these shows that Twin Tone has graciously left alone for your viewing pleasure. They are also on the Twin Tone site, but I can’t get them to play there. Anyway, this is my favorite band, in their infancy (I almost mean that literally), tearing through their early garage/punk/thrash classics. Enjoy.

One last thing - if anyone out there has a copy of the infamous 2/4/86 show at Maxwells, can you please send me a link? I have the show, but am missing track 1 for some reason. I’d love to share that one, it’s one of my favorites. Also, if you have the The Shit Hits the Fan bootleg, I’ve never heard that one. Ah, screw it, if you have any Mats bootlegs I’d love to hear them. Check back next week for a show nicknamed “Puttin’ On The Ritz” from 1987’s Pleased To Meet Me Tour, the “Shit, Shower, & Shave” compilation from the 1989 tour supporting Tom Petty, as well as other goodies. Thanks. Peace.


[stream] Wakey!Wakey! - "Twenty-Two"

Pop Headwound and Wakey!Wakey! go way back, so it’s extremely satisfying to see this talented local artist, songwriter/pianist Mike Grubbs, getting more and more national recognition. Over the past few years his band has released a pair of live albums through Family Records, an EP, a digital only single, and a free album of covers that featured, among others, reimagined versions of songs by Neutral Milk Hotel, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Alicia Keys. You may even recognize Grubbs from his recurring role as bartender “Grubbs” from One Tree Hill, a show that tapped his song “War Sweater” for their season finale last year.

Well, Wakey!Wakey! And Family Records are now gearing up for the release of the first full length studio album from the band. Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You is available now on the Family Records site, where you can also stream the first single, “Twenty-Two”, as well as the propulsive near title track, “Almost Everything”. For long time fans, “Twenty-Two” is kind of a stunner. When Grubbs described the album for Spinner earlier this week he said, “With the new album, people can expect a whole new sound from W!W!. We'll still have dark haunting tracks ... but we're also giving you some more danceable and open sounding songs”. “Twenty-Two” is an immediately catchy pop song that downplays Grubbs’ usual hard hitting piano for whistling, backing vocals, and guitars that resemble a less esoteric Dirty Projectors. 2010 is going to be a big year for Wakey!Wakey! - here’s the proof:

(from Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You. Buy here)

[Live/Bootleg] The Replacements at The Roxy Theatre, L.A. 12.17.85

Photo via The Skyway

The reputation of The Replacements, as a live act during the ’80s, was that they were notoriously unpredictable - on any given night they could sound like the best rock & roll band in the world or a bunch of drunken, unprofessional misfits sloshing their way through aborted covers and other various screw ups. Fortunately (or not, if that‘s the way you prefer your Mats), I have no proof of the latter - all the bootlegs I own sound incredible. And lately I’ve been sorting through and organizing a few of them and feel like sharing. If you’re a Mats fan you’ll want to check back a few times over the coming weeks - I’ve got 5 or 6 excellent sounding shows to share as well as a handful of other rarities that have never before been officially released.

To get it started, here’s a thrashing show from L.A.’s Roxy Theatre from December, 1985. The sound quality is better than good, and the set features a healthy mix of early-to-mid period classics interspersed with some choice covers. Enjoy:

ZIP :: The Replacements / Live @ The Roxy - 12.85 FIXED (117 MB)
(cover art below)


MP3 :: Little Mascara (live)

1. Love You ‘Til Friday
2. Bastards of Young
3. Color Me Impressed
4. Hayday
5. Little Mascara
6. Left of the Dial
7. Nowhere Man
8. Can’t Hardly Wait
9. Swinging Party
10. I’m In Trouble
11. We’re Coming Out
12. I Will Dare
13. Favorite Thing
14. Kiss Me On The Bus
15. Baby Strange
16. Rock Around The Clock
17. Be My Lover
18. Don’t Ask Why
19. Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out
20. All By Myself
21. Johnny’s Gonna Die (end is cut)
22. Go
23. Answering Machine
24. Waitress In The Sky
25. Kids Don’t Follow
26. Takin’ Care Of Business
27. Black Diamond
28. Unsatisfied
29. Hitchin’ A Ride
30. Take Me Down To The Hospital
31. Run It
32. Borstol Breakout


[video] A.A. Bondy performs on Hear Ya

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A.A. Bondy - "Slow Parade" - HearYa Live Session 11/21/09 from HearYa.com on Vimeo.

It wasn’t long ago that I shared a pair of intimate solo acoustic video performances from long time PHW fave A.A. Bondy that were recorded by Hard To Find A Friend and The Tripwire. On the strength of videos such as these, as well as his excellent sophomore album, When The Devil’s Loose, and endless touring, Bondy has been making quite the name for himself since the album’s release last summer. Well, Hear Ya (who recently did the same for The Roadside Graves) has tapped the songwriter yet again, but this time Bondy has been recorded with his backing band. Though a one of a kind performer when armed with just a harmonica and acoustic guitar, the band arrangements offer a welcome perspective to Bondy’s haunting, meditative folk songs (as evidenced by the surprising electric guitar eruption that acts as a coda to “Slow Parade”). Listen up, and head over to Hear Ya to download mp3s of the session.

MP3 :: Slow Parade (live via Hear Ya)
(originally from When The Devil’s Loose. Buy here)

Additional Hear Ya Videos :: The Mightiest of Guns / When The Devil’s Loose / I Can See The Pines Are Dancing

MP3 :: When The Devil’s Loose
MP3 :: I Can See The Pines Are Dancing
(from When The Devil’s Loose. Buy here)

MP3 :: There’s A Reason
(from American Hearts. Buy here)

[stream] Joanna Newsom - "81"

Drag City have made a song called “81” from Joanna Newsom’s forthcoming triple album, Have One On Me, available as a stream this morning. Ah, the mystique grows. Unsurprisingly, it’s a beautiful harp-and-vocal only song. Perhaps a bit more surprising, the vocal performance from the typically divisive singer sounds quite a bit more immediate than either of her two previous albums. The song is also streaming at Gorilla vs. Bear and Stereogum. Have a listen:

Stream :: 81 (via Drag City)
Stream :: 81 (via GvsB)
Stream :: 81 (via Stereogum)
(from Have One On Me. Pre-order here)

[mp3] The Tallest Man On Earth - "King of Spain"

PHW favorite The Tallest Man On Earth (aka Sweden's Kristian Matsson) has signed to Dead Oceans (home of Phosphorescent, Califone, Bowerbirds, etc.) and is prepping the release of his follow up to 2008’s excellent Shallow Grave. The Wild Hunt will drop on April 13, and, as “King Of Spain” suggests, picks up pretty much where Shallow Grave left off. I’ve said it before, but I can’t think of anyone working today who can be as exciting with just vocals and an acoustic guitar as this dude. Keep an eye out for this one.

MP3 :: King of Spain
(from The Wild Hunt. Info here)

[mp3] Drive-By Truckers - "This Fucking Job"

Stereogum premiered the first new song to surface from the upcoming Drive-By Truckers album, The Big To-Do (ATO, 3/16) late last week. Primary Trucker Patterson Hood described The Big To-Do as “very much a rock album. Very melodic and more rocking than anything since disc 2 of Southern Rock Opera.” I didn’t know the DBTs made anything but rock albums, but I guess we can expect the amps turned up even higher than usual on this one. With it’s obvious blue collar discontent and raspy venom, “This Fucking Job” might just be a sequel to Decoration Day’s “Hell No, I Ain’t Happy”. Turn it up and learn the words.

MP3 :: This Fucking Job
(from The Big To-Do. Info here)

And for the hell of it:

MP3 :: Zip City
(from Southern Rock Opera. Buy here)

Spoon plays KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic

Spoon did an interview and played some songs at KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic program recently, bringing out a batch of new tunes from Transference, including “Got Nuffin’” & “Written In Reverse”, as well as classics like “Chicago At Night” and “My Mathematical Mind”.

[video] Beach House - "Silver Soul" / Teen Dream

Beach House "Silver Soul" from Sub Pop Records on Vimeo.

This morning Gorilla vs. Bear premiered the official video (which is also downloadable) for “Silver Soul”, the second track from Beach House’s upcoming third album, Teen Dream. By now you’ve no doubt heard the buoyant “Norway” (if not the whole album), which was an internet gift from Sub Pop back when everyone was still debating the best albums of 2009. “Silver Soul” is the second song to be officially released - and the video is one of ten that will come on a bonus DVD with the CD or vinyl purchase.

I was going to put together a proper album review this weekend for posting early next week, but that seems unnecessary now since I’m sharing the video tonight (which was, incidentally, directed by lead singer/organist Victoria Legrand). Instead, I’ll just say that come Monday you’ll no doubt start seeing an endless stream of overwhelmingly positive reviews for Teen Dream from every worthwhile website/blog/magazine/message board/etc. out there. The praise will be well deserved - the record is an absolute stunner.

In short, Teen Dream is an extension of the hazy, dreamy drone-pop of their first two records, but finds the duo (Legrand and multi-instrumentalist Alex Scally) at the height of their creative powers. Their self-titled debut and 2008’s Devotion are both excellent albums, but everything here is a more illuminated - the melodies are sturdier, the arrangements fuller, and the whole thing hangs together perfectly because there isn’t a weak moment among the ten songs. I’d love to say that “Silver Soul” is a highlight, but can’t in good conscience - every song is as elegant, haunting, and memorable.

So then, favorite moments….those first breathy melodies about 15 seconds into “Norway”, the confidence in Legrand’s “it’s a vision, a neat illusion, yeeeaaah” about a minute into “Silver Soul”, the way “10 Mile Stereo” opens up and soars, sounding like Portishead covering something from The Joshua Tree (maybe that‘s the “we carry on” lyric as well), the most understated anthem ever in “Zebra”, the chiming electric guitar that lifts up the chorus on the gorgeous “Walk In The Park”, the cracked vocals of “Real Love”, or the way the “Take Care” coda sounds like it could carry the world on its shoulders. Teen Dream is made up of a seemingly endless series of moments as heartbreakingly beautiful as all of these - adding up to something truly special. Yeah, I’m the biggest Spoon fan I know, but Teen Dream is 2010’s first must hear album.

MP3 :: Norway
Video :: Silver Soul
(from Teen Dream. Buy here)

[mp3] The Mynabirds - "Numbers Don't Lie"

Laura Burnhenn, formerly of Saddle Creek indie-pop outfit Georgie James, now has a new recording project called The Mynabirds and a new album in the works. The band’s debut, What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood, was produced by Richard Swift and will see release in late April, but for now you can hear the first free and legally released mp3 - the promising, gospel/soul-tinged “Numbers Don’t Lie”.

MP3 :: Numbers Don’t Lie
(from What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood. Info here)

[video] Phosphorescent - "A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise" (live @ American Songwriter)

Phosphorescent "A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise" from American Songwriter on Vimeo.

Not only does Willie Nelson count himself as a fan, but apparently Matthew Houck of Phosphorescent is greatly admired by David Gray as well. In a press release today from Dead Oceans it said, “Last fall, Phosphorescent bassist Jeff Bailey is watching a primetime news show when British songwriter David Gray appears for an interview. The interviewer inquires as to what Gray is listening to on his iPod and he responds, “Frank Sinatra, and an album called Pride by Phosphorescent.” Not sure how those two would play off each other on shuffle, but interesting, no? Houck was invited to join the British singer/songwriter on tour (see dates below).

In other Phosphorescent news, the band is putting the finishing touches on a new studio album, the first of all new material since Pride wowed me back in late 2007. Look for more info about that one in the upcoming months.

MP3 :: Reasons To Quit
(from To Willie. Buy here)

MP3 :: A Picture Of Our Torn Up Praise
MP3 :: Wolves
Video :: At Death, A Proclamation
(from Pride. Buy here)

MP3 :: I Am A Full Grown Man (I Will Lay In The Grass All Day)
MP3 :: Joe Tex, These Taming Blues
(from Aw Come Aw Wry. Buy here)


01/30/10 Oslo, NO- Sentrum Scene
01/31/10 Stockholm, SE- Cirkus
02/01/10 Copenhagen, DK- Falconer Theatre
02/03/10 Utrecht, NL- Vredenburg
02/04/10 Brussels, BE- Ancienne Belgique
02/05/10 Luxembourg- Den Atelier
02/07/10 Zurich, CH- X-tra Limmathaus
02/08/10 Cologne, GER- Theatre am Tanzbrunnen
02/09/10 Hamburg, GER- Grosse Freiheit
02/10/10 Berlin, GER- Huxley's Neue Welt
03/11/10 Houston, TX- Verizon Wireless Theatre
03/12/10 New Orleans, LA- Mahalia Jackson Theatre for the Performing Arts
03/13/10 Austin, TX- Hogg Memorial Auditorium
03/14/10 Austin, TX- Hogg Memorial Auditorium
03/16/10 Grand Prairie, TX- Nokia Theatre Grand Prairie
03/17/10 Kansas City, MO- Uptown Theatre
03/19/10 St. Louis, MO- Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center
03/20/10 Milwaukee, WI- Riverside Theatre
03/21/10 Cleveland, OH- Playhouse Square at State Theatre
03/23/10 Cincinnati, OH- Taft Theatre
03/24/10 Indianapolis, IN- Murat Theatre
03/26/10 Louisville, KY- Louisville Palace Theatre
03/27/10 Columbus, OH- Ohio Theatre
03/29/10 Buffalo, NY- UB Center for the Arts
03/30/10 Pittsburgh, PA- Benedum Center
03/31/10 Baltimore, MD- Lyric Opera House
04/01/10 Montclair, NJ- Wellmont Theatre
04/03/10 Providence, RI- Providence Performing Arts Center
04/05/10 Albany, NY- The Egg at Hart Theatre
04/06/10 Wallingford, CT- Oakdale Theatre
04/07/10 Portland, ME- Merrill Auditorium at City Hall
04/09/10 Durham, NC- Durham Performing Arts Center
04/10/10 Atlanta, GA- Atlanta Civic Center Theatre
04/11/10 Nashville, TN- Ryman Auditorium
04/13/10 Clearwater, FL- Ruth Eckerd Hall
04/14/10 Miami Beach, FL- Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theatre
04/15/10 Orlando, FL- Hard Rock Live

[mp3] The Roadside Graves - "Liv Tyler"

It was just last week that I pointed you towards a Daytrotter session featuring New Jersey roots rockers The Roadside Graves performing a handful of the highlights from last year’s remarkable My Son’s Home. Also included was a brand new track called “Liv Tyler” that they said would be appearing on an upcoming EP of new material. Well, yesterday Stereogum premiered the studio version of “Liv Tyler” along with news that it will appear on said EP, called You Won’t Be Happy With Me. The studio cut is far better than the live take - it moves through several different sections, building to a Springsteen-worthy climax and featuring one of the boys’ most anthemic choruses yet - If we didn’t have to worry about money we’d be alright. In all those regards it reminds me of “Radio”, a true highlight from their overlooked 2007 album No One Will Know Where You’ve Been, moreso than anything on the grittier My Son's Home.

In addition to the 3/16 EP release date, Autumn Tone will be digitally re-releasing the Graves’ debut, If Shacking Up Is All You Want To Do on 2/8 with six bonus songs. Check out the Stereogum post for lead singer John Gleason’s explanation of the single’s vintage cover art. Check out PHW’s 2009 Year In Review guest post from Gleason right here.

MP3 :: Liv Tyler (via Stereogum)
(from You Won’t Be Happy With Me. Info here)

[mp3] Shearwater - "Black Eyes"

Matador has released another song from The Golden Archipelago, the upcoming Shearwater album. Unlike the slow-building, gorgeous “Castaways”, “Black Eyes” wastes no time getting to the drama - electric guitar feedback and terse piano quickly give way to Jonathon Meiburg’s huge choir-boy vocals and the thunderous drums from Thor (yup, Thor). The Golden Archipelago is one of my most anticipated releases of the year’s first few months, and you only need listen to these two tracks to hear why. Check out the Matablog for more info on Shearwater’s future tour dates, background about the song and album, and a special edition of The Golden Archipelago that will be available in addition to the standard CD/vinyl/mp3 versions.

MP3 :: Black Eyes
MP3 :: Castaways
(from The Golden Archipelago. Pre-order here)

[mp3] French Kissing - "Oh Suzanne"

Nothing like a little summertime music for the dog days of winter. “Oh Suzanne” is the debut single from London’s French Kissing. It’s a blissful lo-fi garage/surf jam that’s recalls Brian Wilson’s sun-streaked melodies as filtered through The Black Lips. The 7” vinyl, to be released through Sleep All Day Records as a super-limited run of just 200, will be available as of February 8th. You should get on that fast - this one’s gonna go.

MP3 :: Oh Suzanne
(from the Oh Suzanne 7”. Pre-order here)

Spoon - Transference

Since 1998’s wiry A Series Of Sneaks, Spoon has attained a level of consistency that is unparalleled among their modern rock contemporaries. Especially from 2001’s swinging Girls Can Tell to the glossy pop-rock perfection of 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Spoon produced a quartet of albums that are all drop dead classics (three of which were among my 50 favorite albums of the decade). It’s an almost mechanical, inhuman run of music - so good that, to me, there’s no one else that even comes close to matching them over the past ten years. So it’s with great anticipation that I’ve awaited the release of Transference, which finally arrives this Tuesday, January 19.

Unsurprisingly for a band that has stayed close to the boundaries of a very particular sonic aesthetic (but what a fucking sound) for the majority of their career, Transference doesn’t stray too far from the comfort zone. Spoon is what it is, and at this point they probably won’t ever attempt a grand departure from the skin and bones mentality that‘s long been the foundation of their songcraft. The difference here is that, for the first time, the band is working without an outside producer, choosing to shape the songs themselves. The results are, fittingly, even more stripped-down and raw than ever - in other words, the most “Spoon” Spoon album to date.

As always, the differences between Transference and earlier recordings are subtle. The warm, inviting organ and a simply strummed (though still helplessly rhythmic) acoustic guitar of “Before Destruction” gives the song a more organic feel than usual. The oddly beautiful “Who Makes Your Money”, perhaps one of only two songs here that don’t have easy points of reference from their back catalog, toys with a dub influence and features mildly distorted, layered vocal effects on the chorus. The other unfamiliar tune is a surprisingly straightlaced piano ballad, “Goodnight Laura”. With its “hang in there” sentiments and reassuringly pretty humming, the song introduces a previously untapped element of heartfelt feelings into Britt Daniel’s songwriting repertoire.

In other places it’s business as usual, if only a bit rougher around the edges. “Written In Reverse” is a manic rocker with Daniel sounding nearly unhinged over pounded piano keys and piercing guitar work. The shimmering “Trouble Comes Running” recalls the 60s garage/pop/Motown vibe heard previously on “Sister Jack” and “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb”, while the sly “Out Go The Lights” has a almost 80s new wave feel reminiscent of “They Never Got You” (though slowed down and fully realized). And both “The Mystery Zone” and “Nobody Gets Me But You” feature the bass heavy, serpentine grooves previously perfected on “I Turn My Camera On” and “Don’t You Evah”.

If most of Transference sounds familiar, it’s very likely meant to. That fact is perhaps the record’s greatest strength, as the patented rhythms and repetitions the band has long championed are still, at times, undeniably exciting. But familiarity is also, in a way, its biggest weakness, as a handful of songs here drift into monotony, lacking the memorable melodies and sharp hooks of Spoon at their very best (and may have benefited from a pair of outside ears producing to bring them to fuller life). With a fan base built from six prior albums and years of touring, Spoon have become a “career” band - one that’s now moved into their third decade and up into hallowed venues like Radio City Music Hall. Though many bands at a comparable career stage lose their bite and are content to coast, Spoon are above such clichés, delivering a very good record that’s worthy of a place in their esteemed catalog. That Transference falls just short of the spark and immediacy, in other words - the greatness, of their best material can’t be surprising at this point. They are, after all, human. Aren’t they?

Stream :: Transference
(Buy here)

[mp3] JJ - "Let Go"

As mentioned, the druggy indie-pop sounds of Sweden’s JJ have found a new home at Secretly Canadian. The band will be releasing the follow up to 2009’s critically acclaimed jj nº 2 on March 9. Sincerely Yours has the first single as a free and legal download - the dreamy, harmonica-spiced “Let Go”, as well as its bumpier, Lil’ Wayne-aided b-side, “My Way”.

MP3 :: Let Go
(from jj nº 3. Info here)

[video] M.I.A. - "Space Odyssey"

Yeah, I know this is everywhere this week, but it needs to be here too. Mainly because the song is addictive and I want it right at my fingertips. By the sounds of this new jam, called “Space Odyssey” and appearing on the forthcoming, as-yet-untitled follow up to Kala (home fo “Paper Planes“, my 9th favorite song of the decade), Maya's got something good brewing. More news on that when it’s comes.

Introducing: Grant Gilman

Though much of what I share on PHW is certainly rooted in folk and Americana traditions, I don’t post a whole lot of pure “alt. country” music. This isn’t so much by choice as it is the result of a once exciting genre growing up and getting, well, kind of boring. I still love listening to the classics of the genre’s mid-to-late 90’s heyday, but most of what I hear these days just doesn’t do it for me. That is until I heard Terre Haute, IN’s Grant Gilman the other day. Gilman's a young singer-songwriter/home wrecker whose hard luck vocals and twangy arrangements hit the nail on the head. Listening to “Homewrecker”, the title track to Gilman’s brand new self-recorded album, is like hearing someone who’s soaked in the beer-haze country-punk attitude of Stranger’s Almanac-era Whiskeytown and the ragged, fiddle-driven “Give Back The Key To My Heart” from Uncle Tupelo’s Anodyne and spit them back out with comparable vigor. The album continues in the same vein - hard living, poor choices, drunken apologies, empty promises, the works. It's a promising debut from an artist who sports his influences with aplomb, recorded in the late, great Jay Bennett's Pieholden Suite Sounds studio.

Homewrecker is available as a free download if you follow the link at his myspace below. Certainly worth a listen if you’re, like me, one of those curmudgeonly, old-guard insurgent country fans who goes around saying they don’t make ’em like they usta.

MP3 :: Homewrecker
MP3 :: Don’t Want You Gone
(from Homewrecker. Free album download here)

[stream] Spoon - Transference

For a major release, Merge did a great job of keeping Transference from leaking early. Get your first listen now, legally, over at NPR. Tour dates (with Deerhunter) via Pitchfork. Pre-order Transference right here. Read the New York Times feature here.

[mp3] Dirty Projectors - "Ascending Melody"

Dirty Projectors are giving away the two non-Bitte Orca tracks recorded during that album’s sessions that appeared on the Temecula Sunrise EP last year. Enter your email address over at the DP’s home page (or below) and the two tracks are yours to keep. You can also buy the 7” (containing “Ascending Melody” as the A with “Emblem Of The World as the B side) from Domino.

MP3 :: Ascending Melody
(from Ascending Melody 7”. Buy here)


[mp3] The Roadside Graves - "Liv Tyler" (live via Daytrotter)

Long time PHW faves The Roadside Graves stopped by Daytrotter recently for a 5-song session, including 4 from the 2009 Top 10 worthy My Son’s Home. “Ruby”, “To The Sea”, and “Far And Wide” remain fairly faithful to their studio counterparts, but “Valley” trades in the twinkling piano from the album for an acoustic guitar based arrangement that suits the song just fine. The highlight though, for fans, is a brand new song called “Liv Tyler”. Did you know that she doesn’t know who her real father is? Or at least there was a point in her life when it was unclear - could be Steven Tyler (seems likely now) or Todd Rundgren. Guess mommy liked 70’s rock stars who looked more like ugly women than dudes. Anyway, the song is top notch.

The Graves have an upcoming EP/mini-record coming out this year, but info on that is non-existent right now except for what lead singer John Gleason told me via email before he contributed a lengthy Year In Review guest post last month. I’ll let you know when there’s more info on that one. Stay tuned. Head over to Daytrotter and download away:

MP3 :: Liv Tyler
(from Daytrotter. Session here)

[video] Animal Collective - "Brother Sport"

In which Animal Collective make me wish I still did recreational drugs. From Merriweather Post Pavilion, duh.

Clem Snide to release The Meat of Life on 2/23

After 2005’s End Of Love, Clem Snide front man Eef Barzelay released a pair of solo albums - Bitter Honey and Lose Big - over the ensuing years. He also started a rumor that Clem Snide was no more, only to release Hungry Bird (an album recorded back in 2006) early last year on 429 Records. It seems now as though the return was no vault-emptying one-off, as Clem Snide recently recorded a Daytrotter session featuring reworked versions of older tunes as well as a brand new song from an upcoming album called The Meat Of Life, which is due on 2/23. “Walmart Parking Lot” is the leadoff track and is available for download over at Daytrotter. 429 Records is streaming The Meat Of Life, follow the link below:

MP3 :: Walmart Parking Lot (live)
(recorded for Daytrotter)

Stream :: The Meat of Life

[mp3] The Besnard Lakes - "Albatross"

The Besnard Lakes left little doubt on 2007’s Are The Dark Horse that they know their way around the whole loud/slow/ominous aesthetic. “Albatross”, the first single from the forthcoming follow up, Are The Roaring Night, finds the Montreal collective once again nailing it, though it’s sweetened somewhat with Olga Goreas on lead vocals instead of her husband (and usual lead singer) Jace Lesak and the horns that pop in towards the end. The album drops on March 9 from Jagjaguwar. If this song is any indication of what to expect, then I’m looking forward to hearing more of it.

MP3 :: Albatross
(from Are The Roaring Night. Info here)

[mp3] Love Is All - "Kungen"

Here’s a new one from Sweden’s Love Is All. Their upcoming third album, Two Thousand And Ten Injuries, will be released by Polyvinyl on March 23.

MP3 :: Kungen
(from Two Thousand And Ten Injuries. Pre-order here)

Pavement to issue Best-Of Comp - Quarantine The Past

There’s a lot going on in the Pavement camp these days what with reissues, a reunion, an ever-expanding tour, a Best-Of, and now a whopper of a contest. Long story short - it’s a really exciting time to be a fan of the band. Full details about all sorts of Pavement-related things are at the Matablog. The contest is intriguing, and features some pretty great rewards if you can simply guess the 23 tracks to be found on Quarantine The Past and put them in the right order. Should be easy enough, right? It leaves the question though - how do you choose from the 4 amazing songs on the Watery, Domestic EP? Ponder that while you take a listen to a newly-remastered “Gold Soundz”, as well as the classic “Rattled By The Rush”.

MP3 :: Gold Soundz
(from Quarantine The Past. Pre-order here)

MP3 :: Rattled By The Rush
(from Wowee Zowee. Buy here)

[video] Japandroids - "Wet Hair"

Yelling about wet hair, Bikini Island, and French kissing French girls for 3 and a half glorious minutes, here’s Japandroids performing “Wet Hair” on Jimmy Fallon last night. Seems like Jimmy digs it something fierce, so we‘ve got that in common - Post Nothing was my 6th favorite album of 2009.

MP3 :: Young Hearts Spark Fire
MP3 :: Wet Hair
(from Post Nothing. Buy here)

London Calling (U.S. Edition) Turns 30!

If Tuesday, January 5 happens to be your 30th birthday, then congratulations - you share a birthday with the U.S. release of The Clash’s epochal London Calling. Released in the U.K. in mid-December of ‘79, the double album reached these shores a few weeks thereafter, at the dawn of a brand new decade. Hopefully you don't need me to expound on its many virtues - but if you do, London Calling is a milestone in the annals of rock history. It's an undeniable classic that propelled the "only band that mattered" from notoriety to worldwide acclaim.

After two albums of searing punk rock, London Calling represented a definitive break from the confines of being a “punk” band - no longer did the term apply to The Clash. Suddenly the most revolutionary, most important, band of its generation was not only toying with but assimilating a wide array of non-punk influences into its politically and socially charged songs. The quartet of Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and Topper Headon had taken a great leap forward by the time of their third album, which included perfectly executed moves into rockabilly, ska, soul, reggae, pop, dub, classic rock, and more. Despite the band's continued disregard for some of their originators ("phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust"), the rock & roll traditions and mythologies alluded to throughout the 19 songs were indeed in good hands. In London Calling, The Clash produced one of the most ambitious albums in rock history. It’s also one of the very best. If ever there was an album's anniversary to be celebrated, this is it.

Here they are making their U.S. television debut, performing “London Calling” & “Train In Vain” on 4/25/80:


London Calling has been remastered and reissued several times over the past ten years or so, but the definitive version seems to be the 2004 edition, which includes 3 discs - the remastered album on disc 1, “The Vanilla Tapes” (a collection of demos and outtakes) on disc 2, and a third disc (DVD) with a documentary and live clips. Most relevant editions are available right here.

[mp3] Sam Amidon - "How Come That Blood"

Starting off 2010 with something nice. On March 1 Sam Amidon will release the follow up to his terrific 2008 album All Is Well. His new record, I See The Sign, will be released through Bedroom Community and features contributions from Beth Orton & Nico Muhly, among others. As on All Is Well, the new material is comprised mostly of re-workings of folk songs from the public domain. “How Come That Blood”, with its gently buzzing electronic undercurrents and pitter-patter percussion, is a fine synthesis of both Amidon‘s experimental and traditional tendencies. The song is downloadable for the low low price of an email address at the link below.

MP3 :: How Come That Blood
(from I See The Sign. Info here)