Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year, Y'all!

It's been one heck of a year for us here at LET, and we wanna give a big ole thank you and big sloppy kisses to show our appreciation. 2010 was our Best Year Ever, and we're gonna make sure we keep you even more entertained in 2011.

Not only is tomorrow New Year's Day, but it also just happens to be our 3rd Birthday. Happy Birthday to us! We'll be home celebrating and probably not blogging. Keep your eyes peeled for a special celebratory contest coming soon, as well as our massive Best Of 2010 missives, and my recap of the 100 Shows of 2010.

Best Wishes for a Bonne Annee to you all! xoxo

mp3: Auld Lang Syne (Wooden Shjips - Buy Stuff!) (many thanks to the glorious Mad Mackerel for this here gem)

Video Vixens: Roll Tide

As a University of Alabama alum, I would be seriously remiss if I didn't post this here little video for your viewing pleasure, in honor of the Crimson Tide's appearance against Michigan State tomorrow in the Capital One Bowl (Roll Tide).

Now, as regards ESPN, I've long been of the opinion that, aside from the whip-smart SportsNation (we heart Colin and Michelle), the best thing about ESPN is their series of hilarious promo spots. This one is without question one of their best (though the Albert Pujols as a robot one is also daggum hysterical). Perhaps a smidge unrealistic (in my four years in Tuscaloosa I think the only times I said "Roll Tide" to anyone was during football games/during pre- or post-game drinking), but it's pretty rad all the same. And now, without further ado, Roll Tide, y'all.

mp3: Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd Cover) (The Dream Syndicate live in Rotterdam - Buy This and Be Happy)

Singles Club: A.R.E. Weapons

Sometimes I run across songs that, for reasons I'm not totally sure of, I end up falling totally in love with. While going through my inbox for buried treasure, I stumbled across one such song.

"Mr. Creature," by those NYC musical eccentrics A.R.E. Weapons, is kooky and spooky and a whole lotta daggum awesome. "Am I livin' in a madman's dream," asks the band with vocals somewhere between "Goody Two Shoes" Adam Ant and Billy Idol, as they traverse wacky sonic landscapes of spaghetti dance rockishness. It's a fantastic piece of aural disorientation, and it might could get you groovin' at your New Year's Eve party, too.

mp3: Mr. Creature (A.R.E. Weapons from Darker Blue)

Video Vixens: The So So Glos

The So So Glos are definitely among the ranks of the favorites around these parts. That foursome of young rabble rousers is quite enough to give anyone a fit of teenage kicks. But danged if it hasn't been a heck of a long time since I talked about these boys. Time to right that particular ship right this very minute.

The video for "Fred Astaire" features the guys dappering it up in some snazzy suits as they unleash some of their infectious, brashly frenzied NYC rockadoo as a dancer paying homage to Astaire taps and twirls his way around New York, top hat and all. Quality.

mp3: Fred Astaire (The So So Glos from the Low Back Chain Shift EP)

"Fred Astaire" - The So So Glos from Matthew Greeley on Vimeo.

100 Shows of 2010 - #100: Hoots & Hellmouth @ Iota, 12/23/10

This, my little woolly lambs, was one heck of a bittersweet evening. Oh, sure, I was thrilled to pieces to finally be seeing those feisty Philadelphians Hoots & Hellmouth in the fleshy liveness, but there was a big part of me that felt more than a little bummed out that this big bad mamma jamma of a showstravaganza had (finally) come to a close. However, there appears to be no better cure for the End of Big Ole Feature Blues than those Hoots & Hellmouth gents. They sure do know how to show a gal a good time, and then some.

MINI RECAP: Hoots & Hellmouth = Honkin' & A-tonkin'! Overall Score: B+

I've wanted to see Hoots & Hellmouth for many a moon, yet somehow those pesky stars had never managed to align. Finally, though, I got to see this self-proclaimed "new music for old souls," and I'll tell y'all what, it was a mighty fine time. They were the perfect band to finish off with, infectious from the start and full of goodness gracious good times. I dug the clear, warmly enveloping vocals, the captivatingly kicky stomp, and of course, that hearty dose of sass they brought down from Philly. "You and All of Us," for example, was nigh on rollicking, full of rootsy twangy fierceness, getting the bodies moving with their appealing and unavoidable throwdown.

My toe kept (involuntarily) tapping all night as the band played song after glorious song. My frown quickly vanished, thanks to this seriously solid band with both musical chops and endearing personlities in spades. Bless their hearts, they sure did play with some exuberance, too. "Root of the Industry" kept the kids a-dancin', and kept my foot a-tappin'. "Returning In Pieces," a newish song they're tweaking, was maybe my favorite of the night, with a misty, almost delicate intro and vocals nearing gentleness. The song got bigger and better, and it really was just lovely. I can't wait to hear that on a record. The firecracker that is "Watch Your Mouth" got some hootin' and hollerin' from the crowd, and was full of swagger. Talk about a romper stomper.

Having seem them and enjoyed them, friends, I can say with no small modicum of confidence that for a good time, you need only to call Hoots & Hellmouth.

mp3: Known For Possession (Hoots & Hellmouth from The Holy Open Secret) (Muchas gracias to the mucho awesome The Wheel's Still In Spin for the songage)

Singles Club: Foxes In Fiction

For the record, I used to loathe the song "Teenage Dream". As sung by one of that cadre of annoying pop stars, that is. It's amazing what a killer cover by someone to keep an eye on can do to one's opinion of a song.

Foxes In Fiction, the solo workings of 21 year-old art school dropout Warren Hildebrand, takes on a piece of drivel and turns it into a really freaking good song. You can hear the Deerhunter and Brian Eno influences all over the place, from the insolationist vocals to the mish mash of noise running rampant. Hildebrand retains the pop feel of the song, but gives it one heck of a facelift. Warning: This song will get stuck in your head, but you can feel perfectly ok about it.

mp3: Teenage Dream (Foxes In Fiction - Buy Stuff)

Stone Coldest Fox of 2010: Peter Hayes

Let the End of 2010 insanity begin.

I could think of no better way to get things going than with my choice for the oh-so coveted (and sure, a little silly) title of Stone Coldest Fox of 2010. As we're pro-objectification here at LET, we like to celebrate the foxiness of some of our favorite music folks every now and again. Now, I'm sure some of you, and perhaps myself included for most of the year, were prepared to see Mister Trent Reznor wearing the crown for the third year in a row. Well, friends, as stone cold foxy as Trent is, it was time to pass the torch.

As a member of one of my favorite bands (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), Peter Hayes has been on my radar for many years now. BRMC is exciting and terrifying and powerful and lovely, both live and on record. I've watched with interest as he and the band have grown and evolved, and it's been a beautiful thing to behold. As can be said about Mister Hayes.

To be Stone Coldest Fox, a dude's got to have a few key ingredients working for him all at once: He's got to be knee-weakeningly sexy (check), give off kind of a dangerous, bad in such a very good way vibe (check), and play whatever instrument he happens to call home with such passionate abandon that you can't help but be irrevocably drawn in while he's playing (check). Bonus points for the casual droop of a ciggie in the mouth whilst playing. Bearing all that in mind, this choice seems rather easy to me. And so it is that Peter Hayes joins the ranks of Stone Coldest Foxdom.

mp3: Dirty Old Town (Pogues Cover) (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Buy Stuff) (song courtesy the tres jolie Le Choix)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Singles Club: Pujol

Seeing as the University of Tennessee is playing some football right this very minute, it seems kinda appropriate to talk a little bit about Pujol. And I hate UT (what can I say, I'm a Bama girl, but I can make an exception).

Having seen Daniel Pujol and his band not too long ago, I can say for sure that Pujol's got the goods. Another Nashville-type coming to show everyone else how it's done, for new song 'Too Safe" Pujol enlisted Jack White for production help. "Too Safe" has all the feisty guitar and snarling vocals you could want, and then some. It's a nifty little humdinger, and it sure does put the cherry on my sundae, I don't know about y'all. Enjoy.

Video Vixens: SOARS

I don't know about y'all, but I find something hard to resist about creepy videos. Who needs a boring pop video when you can gaze at your screen in horror or confusion? And I tell you what, SOARS have made them one heck of a creepy (awesome) video.

It's a bizarre, yet beautiful, post-apocalyptic-esque clip featuring director Jamie Harley's splicing of Japanese movie Jigoku, and it's somehow the perfect backdrop for their song "Throw Yourself Apart". I mean, it's got flames aplenty, wacky dancing, and dozens of body parts sticking up out of the ground. It's befuddling, but totally works with the bands' brand of dark, brooding sexy shoegaze plus synths noise. You'll probably be seeing more of this band here, so keep your eyes peeled.

mp3: Throw Yourself Apart (SOARS from SOARS)

Soars - "Throw Yourself Apart" from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

100 Shows of 2010 - #99: Vandaveer/Jonathan Vassar & The Speckled Bird @ Iota, 12/19/10

There are nights when one has no idea what to expect. Other nights, you're pretty sure you're on the pulse of what might could very well happen. But on rare instances, my beloveds, you know what you're in for. And the very knowing makes you excited from your head to your toes. I was pretty dang excited the night of this here show, because if there is one thing I know, it's that Vandaveer cannot and will not disappoint (and neither, for that matter, will Jonathan Vassar & The Speckled Bird). I won't beat around the bush here, my friends. This was one of my favorite shows of the whole entire 100 Shows project, and gather round as I tell you why.

MINI RECAP: Jonathan Vassar & The Speckled Bird = Down Home Darlins! Vandaveer = Singing in Heavenly Peace! Overall Score: A

Y'all know how it goes, right? You live in a city and keep hearing about a certain band yet you never manage to get your shit together enough to make the acquaintance of said band. Thus is the sad tale of my stint in Richmond and Jonathan Vassar & The Speckled Bird. Boatloads of my Richmond friends raved about 'em, and I left the city without even listening. Friends, I was a fool. This band has a flat-out gorgeous sound, rich with the timbre of the beautiful Virginia countryside and awash with twists and turns of folksy delights. They've got all the banjo, all the accordian, and all the fantastic folksiness you could possibly needs. Vassar's voice is as pure as a starry country evening sky, and I dare say I now love this band to bits.

Another band I love to bits also happened to be playing, that being the one-two vocal knockout punch of Mark and Rose, better known as Vandaveer (ok, so on many songs they were a one-two-three punch, courtesy of Tom from These United States pulling some guitar duty). Now listen up, y'all. I've heard a lot of singers in a whole lot of bands, but there are naught but a handful who can hold a candle to either Mark or Rose, let alone the two of them together. Rose's sweet, rich breathiness plays a wonderful foil to Mark's warm, quite possibly destined for greatness tones. I didn't let that festive kelly green sweater and red shirt fool me for a second: these two mean serious musical business. They had me good and mesmerized all night, be it the two of them by their lonesomes with an acoustic guitar, or joined by Tom with the electric or the slide. Charming and instantly likeable, the band bantered throughout the night, Mark zinging Tom at one point by proclaiming, "This song is absolutely not about you, Tom, though it is called 'Lost Cause,'" a dig which caused much chuckling amongst the audience.

But above all, it was the songs that made the night. I seriously had chills, y'all. This is one heck of a band, let me just tell you. The inclusion of some Christmas classics ("Silver Bells", "Silent Night", "Blue Christmas" and "Little Drummer Boy") added to the special vibe of the show, which already felt as warm and cozy as if it was in somebody's family room instead of Iota. Suffice it to say, Vandaveer is nigh on the cream of the crop, not just locally, but worlddangwide.

Both of these bands deserve your immediate attention. Go forth and prepare to be wowed, my lovelies.

mp3: Auld Lang Syne (Vandaveer from the FREE Xmas EP)

Singles Club: The Concretes

Fact: we love love love us some sassy Scandinavian music here at LET (Chris especially so when there are lovely lasses to be had, and yours truly when there are the lovely lads). So it can be said that both of us were rather pleased about this whole new music thing from the wonderful folks of The Concretes.

Featuring the chilly yet come-hither vocals of Lisa Milberg, "All Day" is a slinky little kinda sorta dance number that purrs like the cat that got all the cream and that delicious canary to boot. "We wanna stay in bed/all day all day all day" goes the song, and who can resist that sentiment?

mp3: All Day (The Concretes from WYWH)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Singles Club: Pete & The Pirates

My love for Pete & The Pirates is one of our worst-kept secrets here at LET. Those impish, naughty little scamps represent the absolute best of the best when it comes to English exports, in my humble opinion.

To appease those folks (including yours truly) who wait impatiently and almost choke on baited breath, the lads have released a new song, which'll be featured on their better-be-coming-out-soon new record. "Winter 1" is remarkably, well, wintry, sleek and yet just a touch gritty, with a bit of shimmy to the usual Pete-ian rock jangle. In short, it's a winter wonderland of a delight.

mp3: Winter 1 (Pete & The Pirates from their forthcoming record TBA)

Pete and the Pirates - Winter 1 from Stolen Recordings on Vimeo.

100 Shows of 2010 - #98: Coasting @ Comet Ping Pong, 12/15/10

You know what happens when you assume, no? You make an ass of you and me. Well, friends, this is doubly true when it comes to going to shows. Don't ever, ever assume that you're right about the timing of a show, because sometimes you might just be wrong. Why the lecture on timeliness, you might wonder? It's because, sadly, yours truly had an unfortunate incident with timing lately. And I can say now with certainty that working late is sometimes not the best way to make timeliness happen for a show. I missed a whole lotta Coasting because of this itty bitty timing debacle, and I'm still bummed about it. However, what I saw was pretty daggum awesome. I suppose that serves as some small modicum of solace.

MINI RECAP: Coasting = Super Swell! Overall Score: B+

So like I said, I kinda missed a hefty portion of the Coasting set. Which is really too bad, because what I was hearing was totally making my night. They rock somethin' fierce, and it only takes two of 'em to make that killer noise of theirs. Fiona and Madison definitely have some skills. I was way digging on their smoky, sexy brand of surf rock meets film noir meets big bastard rock and roll. The vocals can be girl group sweet or bitchingly biting, and the guitars and drums follow suit. This, my little sweethearts, is one badass band. It was a whole lotta glorious noise, and I was black and blue from kicking myself about not witnessing the whole set. I shall clear my schedule for the next time, dangit.

Here's hoping the New Year sees Coasting getting back out there on the road. Once they've dug out from under all that snow, that is.

mp3: What You Want (Coasting - buy Coasting music HERE) (thanks to the radness of Neu Magazine for the songness)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Singles Club: Hot Sugar

One more, y'all, and then I'm unplugging for a few days to enjoy some quality holiday time. If you're feeling a little sluggish, a little lacking in the dancefloor department, well have I got a song for you. Hot damn.

Hot Sugar (AKA cutiepie Nick Koenig) has cooked up quite a groove to help you work off all that fruitcake. "Don't Cut Down My Tree" is a doozy, filled with dirty, dirty beats and all sorts of slink. It's like the sonic equivalent of the suggestive one-eyebrow raise. It's a little bit wicked, and Santa probably won't be checking it off his list because this is one naughty song. But it's oh-so nice.

mp3: Don't Cut Down My Tree (Hot Sugar from the forthcoming Muscle Milk EP)

100 Shows of 2010 - #97: S. Carey/White Hinterland @ Rock'n'Roll Hotel, 12/14/10

We've all got countless choices to make, each and every day. Some are pretty dang hard, while others are no-brainers. I made one of the latter decisions not long ago, when faced with the terribly sad news of the postponement of the Steve Mason show. I had two options: stay home and mope, or go out into the Baltic chill and see some pretty daggum good live music. Fear not, friends, common sense prevailed, and I was soon out and about enjoying an evening filled with good tunes by S. Carey and White Hinterland. Sometimes those changes of plan turn out to be a little bit of alright.

MINI RECAP: White Hinterland = Winsomely Haunting! S. Carey = Somberly Cuddly! Overall Score: B

Despite the slap-in-the-face cold of the evening, all was warm and cozy at the Rock'n'Roll Hotel when I arrived. I'd like to think White Hinterland had something to do with this. I must confess, when I first walked in I had to sort of test myself as to what year it was, because coming from the stage seemed to be a nouveau trip-hop sound (a trend repeated in several songs during the set). The beats were slow and hypnotic, trancelike and sultry and a perfect backdrop for the majorly haunting voice of Casey Dienel. Dienel's voice proved breathy, playful, come-hither, and forlorn all at once, sometimes even during the course of one song. An unexpected and awesome cover of Monica's "Don't Take It Personal" was given a smooth, silky treatment, and made for a great choice for the set. The music of White Hinterland is rather atmospheric, perfect for trying to warm up on such a bloody cold December evening.

Given the Bon Iver association, you'd expect Sean Carey (AKA S. Carey) and his band of friends to have a little bit of a rustic, woodsy sadness to them. Well, they definitely did. There was more to the band than that, though, which surprised and cheered me. Full of pretty gentleness, S. Carey could just as quickly build hulking, noisy crescendos with more than a little aggression. For his part, Carey's voice is nothing short of lovely, honey-thick and very magnetic. After a couple songs I felt much better about not seeing Steve Mason, and really began to enjoy their set. "Mothers" showed off the pervasive sweetness in the songs, as well as some glorious harmonizing. Their pitch, my friends, is pretty much perfect. And the sudden rocking out at the end of the song was quite a pleasant surprise. Sentimentality coursed through their songs, with no short supply of nostalgia and wistfulness. Forays into random instrumental meanderings were much appreciated. There was something rather charming about them, very honest.

Though I was (and still am) bummed not to see Mr. Mason, these two bands definitely helped ease the pain. From the almost stark beauty of White Hinterland to the lushness of S. Carey, it was a night well spent.

mp3: In The Dirt (S. Carey from All We Grow)

mp3: In The Stream (S. Carey from All We Grow)

Singles Club: The Crookes

I suspect, dearhearts, that you'll be hearing more from me as regards a little band called The Crookes. These Sheffieldians hit all the right notes when it comes to the whole rockin' and rollin' thing, taking cues from bands like The Jam to make a nifty little jingle jangle that definitely ruffles my feathers.

Not ones to let the holiday song craze pass them by, The Crookes are giving away not one but two holiday songs, bless their hearts. I love the slightly Smiths-ian feel to "It's Just Not Christmas Without You", melancholy yet grand in scale. I suspect you just might enjoy it.

mp3: It's Just Not Christmas Without You (The Crookes from the free It's Just Not Christmas Without You EP - buy The Crookes stuff here)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Singles Club: Sex Beet/Jerry Tropicano

Y'all, we're gonna keep giving til there's nothin left to give, let me just tell you. Keeping it in the Christmas spirit, here's a little ditty from one of my new favorite bands, Sex Beet. These miscreants know how to do it; they'll shimmy and they'll shake and they'll pretty much blow your house down. Obviously, you should probably start loving them now, that is if you don't already.

According to Luke Sex Beet, the band is now decamping in Copenhagen, thanks to a rather scandalous legal issue that I'd have to kill anyone I told, so in lieu of that, here's a little holiday jam courtesy of Sex Beet and their amigo and current tour companion Jerry Tropicano.

mp3: Christmas Line (Sex Beet & Jerry Tropicano)

Singles Club: Robbers On High Street

I don't know about y'all, but my Christmas just hasn't really ever had enough disco. In between all those holiday standards, repeat listens of The Nutcracker, and those swinging sounds of Christmas With The Rat Pack, I really do feel a gaping hole. Thankfully, this year there's help for all of us who suffer from the disco-less Christmas conundrum.

Robbers On High Street, those adorable scamps from NYC, have put their spin on one heck of a Christmas carol. With the sweeping, over-the-topness of it all, I'd say it is, most assuredly, required holiday listening. It's sure to get all your eggnog-swilling relatives in full holiday spirit.

mp3: The Rocking Disco Santa Claus (Robbers On High Street - buy stuff here!)

Singles Club: Parlovr

As I'm sure you're all well aware, we're in the midst of the biggest commercial consumption season of the year. December brings out the shopaholic in us all, under the guise of showing those loved ones just how much you care. Well, why not show some strangers you care, too, by doing a little something good with some of that cash money?

Parlovr, that superfantasticamazing band hailing from Montreal, has recorded two holiday songs they're releasing and sharing on a pay-what-you-want basis. Every single cent of the proceeds goes to, an organization working to narrow the gap between the Haves and the Have-Nots. Sounds like a pretty noble mission to me. Go here to hear the tracks and make your donation. In the meantime, here's more Parlovr to make your decision that much easier.

mp3: Hell, Heaven (Parlovr from Hell/Heaven/Big/Love)

Singles Club: Sleepy Rebels

I like the trappings of cold climes (brightly-colored tights, cozy sweaters, fabulous vintage tweed coats) a whole lot more than I like actual cold weather itself. Wind chill makes me very, very unhappy. As I sit here and pout at the idea of a for real White Christmas, I can't help but let my mind wander to sunnier (well, perhaps not at the moment), warmer, and snow-less places. Places like...California (Southern).

New York's Sleepy Rebels seems to have been on the same wavelength, as they're sharing the gift of their song "California Christmas" with us. It's cutesy, it's adorable, and it's fluffy: all things to help take one's mind off the threat of blizzards and shoveling and other fun wintery things.

mp3: California Christmas (Sleepy Rebels from Bah, Humbug!)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Singles Club: Domino Records 2010 Sampler

We all know how it goes, ‘tis better to give than to receive. The jury’s still out on that one, depending on what you're talking about, but the fact that our friends at Domino are certainly raising the bar with the giving this year, that’s for dang sure and daggum indisputable.

We at LET love us some Domino Records (as in LOVE), and we love love love that they’re giving away this little holiday present of free songs. Yes, 14 awesomely splendid songs (including a track from one of my favorite records of the year!), free free free! Now how’s that for a stocking stuffer? Play the songs to your heart's content, or click the mp3 icon in the bottom left to get the mp3s. Eat, drink, and rock out merrily, y'all!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Keith

Ok, this blessed event was actually yesterday, but y'all know I couldn't let this here birthday go by without wishing the birthday boy well.

Mister Keith Richards belongs to the best rock&roll band that ever will be. He'll probably go down as one of the finest guitarists that ever have shredded, to boot. As he should. His lifestyle is unmatchable, the stuff of rock&roll legend. Richards is truly in a class of his own, a giant among boys. He also composed, too, for the excellent Aranbee Pop Symphony Orchestra. And to him I say, Happy Fucking Birthday, sir.

mp3: Happy (The Rolling Stones from Exile On Main Street) (thanks to the most excellent Giant Panther for the tune)

Singles Club: Banjo Or Freakout (Xmas Edition)

When it gets this close to Christmas, I start to really dig on some holiday tunes. As much as I love the classics (read: Christmas With The Rat Pack is one of my favorite albums EVER, and I'm not just talking Xmas music either), I can definitely appreciate a fine reworking of an old gem. I also appreciate an entire record of holiday music being offered up gratis. So rarely do the two coincide, but Banjo Or Freakout has done both of these things, my friends. That's right, once again you can get ten seasonally sensational songs for a whopping zero dollars courtesy of BOF to help get you in the holiday mood. One of my faves is this chilly yet wonderful rendition of "Frosty The Snowman".

mp3: Frosty The Snowman (Banjo Or Freakout from XA2010)

100 Shows of 2010 - #96: Stornoway @ Black Cat, 12/5/10

I must confess it to be true, darlings, that my little heart goes all aflutter for those folksy bands that strum so very tenderly and sing so very sweetly (let's call it my Fanfarlo syndrome). So, naturally, I was deliriously delighted to venture out and see what Stornoway, the latest of such Brit folk exports, could do live and in person. As it happens, this group of Oxfordians and South Africans managed to warm the cockles of my cold, black heart. Well, maybe not totally. But they sure did manage to give it quite a thaw.

MINI RECAP: Stornoway = Splendidly Sweet! Overall Score: B+

The set began with a mournful, chilling intro courtesy one violin, precluding what was to come in a beautiful, yet rather sad way. Stornoway claims to be influenced by the sea, and you can definitely hear it in their music. Their moody, passionate folksiness conjured up images of small, coastal towns stark and lovely under endless drizzling grey skies, dark waves crashing along the craggy coastline for miles with churning relentlessness. "Boats and Trains" was a favorite, aching as it was, and for some reason reminding me of Van Morrison. I got a kick out of the fact that, like Elbow and their great song/album "Asleep In The Back", the jaunty, grand strut of "Beachcomber's Windowsill" wasn't on the debut record, though the record is in fact called Beachcomber's Windowsill. I loved the almost violent instrumentation, though of course the band was never anything but pretty.

"Fuel Up" was full of thos earnest, folktastic vocals that I suspect Stornoway will become known for. It struck me that there's something rather pure and unsullied about this band. And oh my, those harmonies were magic. During "I Saw You Blink" I had the thought that there seems to be something rather traditional about their songs, but given a trendy folk twist. But not in a put-on kinda way or anything. Even the way singer Brian Briggs addressed the crowd was endearing, a sort of hesitant shyness that was adorable and enchanting. After charmingly relaying a yarn about some Yorkshire folks that were stuck in a pub for 8 days and drank the place dry, the band launched into "On The Rocks", "a wintry song for you," quoth Briggs. And indeed, 'twas very wintry indeed, the chill of their seaside-inspired tales comign across all gorgeousness. "November Song" was probably my favorite song of the night, Briggs and his acoustic calling to mind trad folk of days of yore. It was quite a captivating moment in time.

They came, they saw, they folked it up. If you, like me, get the yen for some folktastic brilliance every now and then, friends, you might just want to check out the boys of Stornoway.

mp3: Fuel Up (Stornoway from Beachcomber's Windowsill)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

100 Shows of 2010 - #95: The Antlers/The Luyas @ Black Cat, 12/4/10

I'm gonna operate under the assumption that everyone knows what an antler is. But a luya? Let alone multiple luyas? Kudos to you if you knew the answer without looking it up. But I digress, as I so often do. All you really need know about The Luyas is that they, like The Antlers with whom they played this here show, are splendid. Delightful. And downright fabulous. It is a lucky girl indeed who can go to a show and experience one great band. But two? I consider myself unfairly lucky on this one, friends. Yessiree.

MINI RECAP: The Luyas = Lovely Loves! The Antlers = Astounding Astounders! Overall Score: A

The Luyas was already raring to go by the time I got parked and got myself out of the cold. To have been greeted by such a glowing, ethereal noise was a beautiful thing indeed. I found them both captivating and extremely interesting, these Luyas. They managed to call to mind my love of British bands of yore with the jangle of the guitar, while maintaining a lovely innocence and naïveté with pretty, sweetly childlike lady vocals. Their songs were complex in arrangement and beautiful to hear. They charmed with banter, too, relaying a hilarious story about hearing a "lucky couple" through the wall of a hotel while on the road who, when finished, put on some post-coital gangsta rap. After brief interludes like that it was back to the enchantment of their dreamlike, haunting tunes. Throwing in the odd dash of funk and fuzz just made me like them even more. Their set was such a delight, full of music with a twinkle in its eye and a skip in its step. It was like listening to a fairytale. As written, perhaps, by Sophia Coppola, perhaps.

When last I saw The Antlers, it was the end of February and they were opening for Editors over there at the 9:30 Club. It was a mighty fine show, and I was mighty looking forward to seeing them headline at the mighty fine Black Cat. And yes, it was just as mighty fine as I had hoped. I loved their set immediately, with the slightly sinister fringes building into one heck of a swell of lovely noise. They strike me as very theatric, this band, with their gloomy, brooding tendencies (in addition to their collective proclivity for making serious noise). I'm thinking I must have kinda forgotten just how very good they were when I saw them with Editors, because they about knocked me over, so fantastic were they. At times, they chased epicness, and it was glorious. Even the songs that weren't quite as sturm und drang felt solemn, but with a little bit of sunshine peeking through the clouds. But really, the bite of intensity this band gets when breaking into a spasm of extra serious rocking out? Sublime, darlings. Sublime.

In conclusion, I can say but this, friends. Goodness gracious me.

mp3: Tiny Head (The Luyas [newish song] - buy debut Faker Death)

mp3: VCR (The xx Cover) (The Antlers - buy shit here) (thanks to Captain Obvious for a mighty fine covers mixtape!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Singles Club: The Babies

It's a pretty dreary day here in the greater DC metro megalopolis. This means that I require some anti-glum listening material. Happily, after poking around in my inbox I came across an email about The Babies, a delightful little side project of Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls) and Kevin Morby (Woods).

The band, which also features the talents of Justin Sullivan and Nathan Stark, will be hitting the road for a few dates out west with LET favorite White Fence early in 2011 (lucky Left Coasters). To get you in the mood, here's "Run Me Over", a scuzzy fuzzy messy fabulous frenetic little gem of a dirty pop ditty. I love it to bits, and I'm pretty sure you'll do the same.

mp3: Run Me Over (The Babies from the forthcoming The Babies)

Happy Birthday, Frank

Few people could, or could ever hope to, croon like Ole Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.

To paraphrase The Big Lebowski, he was definitely a man for his time and place, so much does he idealize and typify gentlemen of a certain era. He was the penultimate Guy's Guy, while also managing to be the penultimate Ladies' Man. Those suits, those moves, those drinks, those women...Sinatra, one could argue, had it all and then some during his lifetime.

Personally, I like him best during those wild and crazy Rat Pack years. When Vegas was a glamourous, sizzling hot place to be for reasons other than the weather. When showgirls were classy (ish) and you had to wear a suit to dinner. So raise a martini to one of the finest voices that ever did sing, Mister Frank Sinatra.

mp3: The Christmas Waltz (Frank Sinatra from The Frank Sinatra Christmas Collection) (song from the excellent A Free Man)

LP Lust: Hello Stranger Edition

Good gosh almighty.

It's been quite some time since I last posted about my record-buying exploits. Entirely too long, methinks. As you probably might have thought, I've been stockpiling quite a nice little new stash, though I have yet to find a place in the DC environs with the wealth of killer $1 records I was fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough, if you ask my bank account) to have close at hand when I lived in Richmond. These records have come from all sorts of places: proper record stores, thrift stores, antique stores, gigs...all over the dang place.

Amusingly enough, the more I write about records, the more I want to go buy even more. Curses. But here's what I've brought home with me over the past few months.

*Darker My Love - Alive As You Are
*Nancy Sinatra - Nancy In London
*Merle Haggard - Okie From Muskogee
*Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty - Lead Me On
*Liturgy - Renihilation
*Them - The Story Of Them
*The Velvet Underground - Loaded
*Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
*Blondie - Eat To The Beat
*The Hollies - Words And Music By Bob Dylan
*The Byrds - Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde
*Gary Numan - Telekon
*Leon Russell - Stop All That Jazz
*A Place To Bury Strangers - A Place To Bury Strangers
*Spacemen 3 - The Perfect Prescription
*The Black Angels - Phosphene Dream
*Phil Spector - Echoes Of The 60s

mp3: Ecstatic Rite (live on WFMU) (Liturgy from Renihilation)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Singles Club: Lower Dens

So remember how I said I sometimes forget about Baltimore venues? Well, I'm occasionally guilty of overlooking Baltimore bands, too. Sorry, Charm City. I've got me a serious case of Chocolate City blinders. Which is really too bad, because there's a whole lotta glorious, mighty fine noise being made an hour up the road.

Today's example: Lower Dens. I'm currently head over heels with their song "Blue & Silver", off this summer's Twin-Hand Movement record. There's more than a subtle nod to the era when interestingly-coiffed skinny Brits ruled the airwaves and MTV, with a spare, stark quality to the recording and a hearty dose of shimmy, joined by breathy, daydreaming vocals. Basically, it's a gorgeous song and I can't stop listening to it.

It's got me in the mood to see this Baltimoreans in the flesh, and thankfully, the band is gearing up for a New Year's hangover tour (starting 1/3 at the Kennedy Center. Swanky!). Dates below the song. I'm sure I'll see some of you at one or both of those DC dates.

mp3: Blue & Silver (Lower Dens from Twin-Hand Movement)

01/03 - Washington DC - The Kennedy Center
01/12 - Carrboro NC - Cat's Cradle $
01/13 - Atlanta GA - Variety Playhouse $
01/14 - Asheville NC - Grey Eagle Tavern $
01/15 - Nashville TN - Exit In $
03/11 - Washington DC - Black Cat !
03/12 - Chapel Hill NC - Local 506 !
03/13 - Atlanta GA - The EARL !
03/15 - Norman OK - The Opolis !

$ = w/ The Walkmen
! = w/ Wye Oak

Friday, December 10, 2010

Singles Club: Common Prayer (Xmas Edition)

Lest you forget, my darling little sugarplums, I'm rather enamored of Common Prayer. The solo-ish project of Hopewell's Jason Russo leads one into a tempting confection of out there, pie-in-the-sky prettiness. You can bet your bottom dollar There Is A Mountain will be rearing it's lovely head in my Best Of 2010 listage (whenever I get around to making said lists). In the meantime, you should just go and buy it so you can see for yourself what all the gushing is about.

To inspire you, I'd like to present the too cute Xmas treat from Common Prayer. Russo and his adorable partner in Common Prayer crime, Alexandra Marvar, put their own enchanting turn on one of my favorite Xmasy tunes, "Winter Wonderland". It's sweeter than your grandmama's fruitcake.

mp3: Winter Wonderland (Common Prayer)

mp3: commonprayer (Common Prayer from There Is A Mountain)

Newsflash!: A Place To Bury Strangers Robbed In Rome!

Y'all, this makes me really sad. Sure, I love A Place To Bury Strangers to bits and pieces and think they're one of the best live bands on the face of the Earth, but any which way you slice it this just sucks, regardless of who the victim is. Here's the official word on what happened to APTBS and their stuff in Roma.

"A Place To Bury Strangers were midway through a three week long, 18 show tour across Europe when on Friday 12/3 their van, a Mercedes Sprinter Splitter van with British plates R965HSG, was stolen in Rome, Italy outside the BlackoutClub from the venue’s parking lot.

The band’s gear was safe in the venue, but 1000 Euros in merchandise money, plus a lot of merchandise, all of their suitcases and clothes, bassist Dion Lunadon’s New Zealand Passport & Green Card, the band’s Macbook Pro laptop and numerous personal items and various other gear were in the van at the time of the theft.

The items stolen from the van were worth over $15K, not including the excess van rental charges, plane fare, Passport fees, cancelled shows, etc. They have set up a
paypal link for donations. Any donation, no matter how small, will be of great help. Their friends/former tour-mates in Holy Fuck were kind enough to donate a download of the APTBS remix of their track “Red Lights”to thank fans who donate. Each person who donates will be e-mailed a link to download the remix. You may donate here.

A list of stolen items can be found here, please contact Manager
Steven Matrick if you have any information that could be of help recovering any of the band’s items. Thank you in advance. The band will be finishing out the remaining dates of the tour and all dates can be found here."

I mean...their clothes?! What is this world coming to? If you can help, please do.

mp3: Suffragette City (David Bowie cover) (A Place To Bury Strangers from We Were So Turned On: A Tribute to David Bowie)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ramble On #2: Hammer No More The Fingers

Which is more difficult: writing a song or writing a poem? Beats the heck out of me, I don't write either. But I'll tell you who does. The trio of dudes that's rapidly turning into some of my favorite Carolinians, otherwise known as Hammer No More The Fingers. The 90s college rock-esque rockers Duncan, Jeff, and Joe came up with a mighty fine group effort with the below piece of poetry, all inspired by their latest tour across this great land. So read on, and if you're in the DC metro, I suggest you consider heading to the Rock'n'Roll Hotel tomorrow night for what will surely be a rollicking good rock'n'roll time with the aforementioned Hammer. As you can see from this here poem, they're not too shabby with the poetical stuff, either.

sweet arcade games
mr basketball you have
great mustaches
hair cuts les savy fav
girl drummers play sex cymbals
cheesewhiz meat and bread
cigarette smoke machine
clouds up your head
in sky or on land
its birds, fox japan
blew a superwadzilla in a basement insaneo
the grass is always greener at the foot of a volcano
machete confetti
invisible host
anybody need a beer
chad the bro ghost

mp3: Nobody Knows (Hammer No More The Fingers from Looking For Bruce) (courtesy Sunset In The Rearview Mirror)

100 Shows of 2010 - #94: The Delta Spirit/Darker My Love @ The Ottobar, 11/29/10

I must confess, y'all, I sometimes don't pay Baltimore all that much attention when it comes to shows. Yes, it's only an hour or so away, and yes they have some fine venues up there...but sometimes it just slips my mind. What can I say. Obviously, I'll have to change my evil ways, cuz I almost missed the boat on one heck of a show. If it hadn't been for my partner in crime, the lovely Laura, I would have remained painfully unaware of the amazingness Baltimore had in store at the Ottobar, featuring the one and only Delta Spirit and the one and only (and LET faves!) Darker My Love. To say shame on me just doesn't quite resonate loudly enough. But it all worked out in the end. I came, I saw, I sonically swooned.

MINI RECAP: Darker My Love = Full of Awesome Surprises! The Delta Spirit = Full of Expected Awesome! Overall Score: B++

Darker My Love. What more can I say about this band? For a little while now they've been one of my favorite bands, and some of my favorite band people. Their brand of crazy California psych revival revelry puts me on Cloud 9. So naturally, I was thrilled when they took the stage. And, ladies and gentlemen, they proceeded to rock my world once more. Obviously, while recording new record Alive As You Are, the band locked themselves in the California desert with their collection of Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, and Crosby, Still, Nash & Young records. I say this because the sounds that came from that stage were quite a departure from records numbers 1 and 2. They strutted their bad sonic selves all over the place, heavy on the hot damn twang and purty harmonies. It was a direction I never would have expected, but then again, isn't it awesome when bands can throw you for a loop? It's one heck of a magical mystery tour, but I'm telling you now that Darker My Love might just be better than ever.

After catching my breath and washing it down with another beer, it was time for The Delta Spirit. When last I saw TDS, they were sassing it up on an opening slot for the beloved Nada Surf a couple years back. I was impressed back then, and was excited to see them do it all over again headlining their own show. And I tell you what. I wasn't disappointed. From the get-go they were saucing it up on that there stage, throwing out beaty, meaty riffs and tight drumming and entirely excellent little ditties galore. The crowd absolutely loved 'em, and I second the mob's opinion. Here's a band that can take you to real lovely, gentle places just as easily as they can get you dancing around without a care in the world. Let it not be said that The Delta Spirit can't get their rocks off, friends. Their jumbly, big sound was ever so delightful. And the way they fed off the crowd was so nice to see, the band seemed blissed out playing for the lively Baltimoreans. "This has been a really fun show for us," they said, and there's no doubt it was the truth. The crowd was attentive to each and every note. "People C'mon" was a crowd favorite, ragged and rough and hot diggity dog fantastic. Their set was so rowdy it was almost exhausting.

All in all, friends, this was one of the best shows I almost forgot about all year long. These two bands are great in their own right, but stick 'em together and you've got quite the golden ticket. But hey now. Don't take my word for it. Go see 'em for yourself, and just try to tell me I'm wrong.

mp3: Dear Author (Darker My Love from Alive As You Are)

mp3: Salt In The Wound (The Delta Spirit from History From Below) (courtesy Untitled Records)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

100 Shows of 2010 - #93: The Ferocious Few @ 9:30 Club, 11/27/10

Sometimes I find myself way, way, way more excited about an opening band than a headliner. Either a band I'm totally digging or curious about gets added to a random major act's bill, or a band I'm totally digging or curious about is opening for some other indie band. It's not an everyday occurance, but it does happen quite a bit. And it happened recently, when I went to witness the live fury of those two dear San Franciscans Daniel and Francisco known to one and all as The Ferocious Few. Most of the packed house was quite possibly there specifically for the main event, Miss Cyndi Lauper (who Chris reviewed a few days ago), but yours truly was there for naught but the Few. And my friends, do they ever put on one heck of a rock&roll show.

MINI RECAP: The Ferocious Few = Wolfishly Fierce! Overall Score: B+

Sometimes touring with a major musical force must be a little bit of a challenge. After all, you've got to deal with the hordes of people who are attending this show solely for the purpose of seeing their beloved headliner, and have no interest whatsoever in whatsoever opening band is warming up on whatsoever evening. In such cases, the bands have to work terribly hard to turn heads and open ears. Luckily, I think The Ferocious Few was up to the challenge of winning over all of those 80s nostalgists (and their kids!), and I saw quite a few bobbing heads and attentive eyes directed their way during their (not nearly long enough!) set.

Many of you will know how much I loved (i.e. LOVED) the record Juices, the fine, fine filthy rock outing by these Ferocious Few. That raw, predatory straight-up rock of theirs sends shivers up my spine and then some. And mercy me, it did the same dang thing to me in the flesh. And then some. "Me And The Devil", one of my most favorite tracks off Juices, was rampantly on-edge, showing off the Few's (un)holy trinity of Francisco's impossibly perfect vocals, razor-sharp guitars, and Daniel's skin-lashing drumming. It's simple, but classic. Sometimes it does only take two to make a thing go very, very right. I was also particularly fond of "The San Francisco Song", just Francisco and his guitar, prettily-strummed and provoking of thought ("I got no desire to be a fly-by-night radio sensation").

I got one heck of a kick out of Francisco's introduction to the snarling "Gasoline & Cocaine", as he smirkingly called it a "song about sustainability." Daniel's arms and legs were furiously akimbo during this song in particular, giving him an almost Gumby-ian presence behind his kit as he smashed the drums with animalistic strikes. They closed it down with "Crazy Love", the perfect song for those ragged tinges in Francisco's tremendous yet tender voice, fierce and lonely all at once.

As good as they were, and believe you me little loves they were very good indeed, I can't wait to see these two live in a smaller venue, headlining in their own right. I can't even imagine the levels of awesome that might be reached.

mp3: Porcelain Doll (The Ferocious Few from Juices) (song from the most excellent Bay Bridged)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Otherwise Engaged: Rewards

It is an unfortunate reality for the serious concertgoer that on occasion, there will be more than one show on any given night that you really, really, REALLY wanna go to. Since the vast majority of us don't own a time machine, nor have the ability to either clone ourselves or split ourselves in half (or thirds or quarters, depending on the night in question), this tends to present a problem. Difficult decisions are made based on a multitude of variables (perhaps some of you even make lists of pros and cons), and ultimately, a show is chosen. But those other shows are still gonna be killer, and I'd like to give a little face time to the shows that, while I can't go myself, are highly recommended all the same.

Tonight was one of those oh-so hard decisions, friends, and I'd encourage those of you who haven't yet made up your mind for your DC weekend plans to give serious consideration to going to see Rewards along with Warpaint and Family Band over at the Rock&Roll Hotel. Rewards is the one-man, 80s-inspired juggernaut helmed by Chairlift's Aaron Pfenning. Based on what I've heard thus far, I predict many a chill will be experienced as Pfenning churns out his lovely, haunting sonic gems. But don't take my word for it. Go see for yourself.

mp3: Two Cardinals (Rewards from the forthcoming Rewards album)

100 Shows of 2010 - #92: Leon Russell @ The State Theatre, 11/24/10

Thanks to a series of unfortunate events and cruel happenstance, I was convinced I would never ever get to see the legendary Leon Russell in the bearded flesh. Even in the days and weeks leading up to his show at The State, I was convinced some freaky fluke would keep me away from the show. Thankfully, however, the third-ish time (or maybe the fourth) was the charm. And in the Falls Church venue, I found myself a part of a lusty, appreciative, good-time crowd, eating up every note that Russell and his band laid down. The wait, though long, was worth it.

MINI RECAP: Leon Russell = Snow White Hot! Overall Score: B+

A fondness for Leon Russell (among other glorious music of the 60s and 70s) is one thing I can attribute to a former paramour of mine, and for that I'll be forever thankful. Russell's website, modest though it isn't, says it best: "Leon Russell is a legend and perhaps the most accomplished and versatile musician in the history of rock'n'roll." Truth. Oh, and let's not forget that beard. I'd say that's legendary in its own right. The crowd at The State was impatient, hootin' and hollerin' and chanting "Leon, Leon" in attempts to lure their favorite heavily-whiskered gentleman to the stage. It eventually worked, and the good times started as soon as Leon took his spot behind his keyboard.

Along with his four-man backing band, including the rather noteworthy guitarist Chris Simmons (who rocked a mean guitar and an even meaner retro-styled suit of either velour or corduroy), Russell showed his adoring public one heck of a time, starting with a combo pairing of crucial covers, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". Both were tight and rambunctious, adding Russell's own soulful, twangy Oklahoma spin to the Stones and Motown classics. I was pretty much standing there like an awe-struck bump on a log, so impressed was I by the golden glory that was emanating from the stage. And that voice...that silken, bell-loud, honeyed rumble of a voice that is Leon Russell's alone. The band's take on "Wild Horses", sped up, jaunty, but still bursting at the heartstrings with emotion was nothing short of amazing.

"How y'all doin," Russell asked at one point, taking a breather from getting the crowd all riled up and dancing, and was greeted with the reply from somewhere deep in the audience of "Elton doesn't deserve you!" Truth.

It took a whole lot longer than I ever thought, but seeing Leon Russell was a treat. He's still on tour, so I recommend getting out there to see him wherever you can. He truly is a legend. Go pay homage.

mp3: This Masquerade (Leon Russell from Carney) (song courtesy the most excellent Noise Narcs)

Mixtape Love: Violens Summer Mixtape

Ok, so technically it's not summer (unless of course you're in the Southern Hemisphere in which case it is almost summer) here in DC, but seeing as it's getting a whole lot on the brrr chilly side, I thought today was the perfect day to get all loved up on warmer climes.

Happily, I stumbled across this mixtape so thoughtfully and lovingly put together by LET faves Violens. Simply enter in your email address in the appropriate blanks and get not one but two mixtape links in return, full of goodies to help you retain some summer warmth featuring Dead Can Dance, Nite Jewel, and others. Oh, and Violens, of course.

mp3: Violent Sensation Descends (Violens from Amoral)

Singles Club: Kisses

Who doesn't love kisses? Or for that matter, Kisses? The LA duo behind Kisses have a great sonic philosophy. According to Jesse Kisses, "Great pop music is about escape. Kisses is about entering into another world." Now, I don't know about you, but escapism through pop music sounds pretty dang good to me.

So, what could possibly make this whole Kisses thing even better, you might be wondering? Hows about a little remix of their song "Kisses" as seen through the ever-awesome eyes of Hot Chip's Joe Goddard? Goddard gives the song an even more exaggerated 70s French disco treatment, slinky and sleek with an almost Daft Punk is playing at my discotheque kinda vibe. It's all very shimmery and pretty, and I like it quite a bit. You might just like it quite a bit yourself.

mp3: Kisses (Joe Goddard Remix) (Kisses from The Heart Of The Nightlife)

100 Shows of 2010 - #91: Spindrift @ Strange Matter, 11/21/10

Sometimes, friends, it is indeed funny how things work out. You might find yourself a little bummed out because your trip out of town to NYC fell through. But then, lo and behold, you discover that a band you've wanted to see for years will be playing not far from you. And all will be right with the universe. Lest you think this is all theoretical rambling, I assure you it's not. It happened not long ago, wouldn't you know. Yours truly was mourning the loss of a trek to New York City, when onto my radar blipped a band I think is nothing short of amazing: Spindrift. And not even a drive to and from Richmond on a work night was going to keep me from this show (also featuring pretty fine sets from Boney Loner, The Young Sinclairs, and The Diamond Center).

MINI RECAP: Spindrift = Sunbaked Bliss! Overall Score: A

I listen to Spindrift quite a bit. The Legend Of God's Gun to me is nouveau (spaghetti) Westernism at its absolute best. Much like what might happen should Ennio Morricone find himself strung out on various peyote-like subtances in the middle of the Joshua Tree National Forest. And so, as Spindrift took the stage, under a backdrop of a bleached blue Western sky and fog machine eminating just a touch of spooky atmosphere, I knew good things were in store. Singer/guitarist KP (Kirpatrick) Thomas looked the part, sporting a hat and an embroidered jacket that made me think of a dark side of the moon Gram Parsons. They began with "Girlz Booze Gunz", a slow rolling song filled with dusty deserts and faded mining towns. "Speak To The Wind", with its almost eerie jangle, had visions of jangling spurs, trails of sweat creeping down weathered faces, and itchy trigger fingers dancing through my head. I began to equate Spindrift as being the musical equivalent of Pioneer Town, in the deserts of California (if you've never been, go). Both more than a little quirky, unexpected, and yet breathtaking in their own ways. This song, and so many others, are spaghetti psych at its finest.

New song "Hellbound" came across like a train going full tilt towards the River Styx, a furious barn burner that made me imagine some down on his luck card shark selling his soul to Lucifer while this very tune was taking a turn on the player piano. It's as though this band has managed to capture the very essence of Western nostalgia and turn it on its ear into something nigh on magical. Some of the newer songs toned down the Western revivalism, but of course I loved them still. "Red Reflection" had a slink to it, but also a crazy sense of time slowed down as tumbleweeds roll by and the clouds float aimlessly, endlessly. This is the music you want playing when your car breaks down on some lonely desert highway, mirages shimmering on the baking blacktop. They ended with my most favorite Spindriftian nugget, the unfathomably awesome "Indian Run". The chanting and insanely frenzied pace of this song translates even better live than on record.

Spindrift, you sasparilla sweet cowboys and cowgirls, is a band that absolutely unquestionably without a doubt shouldn't be missed. They're incredibly talented, they play with something akin to an unholy possession, and the music they make might just blow your mind.

mp3: Speak To The Wind (Spindrift from The Legend Of God's Gun)