Would You Get Down On Your Knees

Let’s ramble:

I have a long and storied history with Evan Dando. He is one of my original musical touchstones and one of the reasons why I got into this game in the first place. He sang songs full of slacker ennui about drugs and friendship while simultaneously alienating himself from everyone around him. He floated somewhere in between Kurt Cobain and Elliott Smith and he lived to tell about it. It’s crazy to say but I am sure that things would’ve worked out extremely differently for him had he experienced a similar fate. But instead he spent years gigging at T.T. the Bears Place playing country covers. And I loved every minute of it. He would show up announced and open for whomever and just ramble through a few tunes. This being Cambridge, everyone in the audience knew all the words anyway.

The funny thing is, Dando and his band the Lemonheads have always been popular in Australia. It was always someplace he could tour or release an Australia-only EP to keep things floating. Years later, we’re finally seeing the trickle down of his efforts. Here in the states, “Come On Feel” has experienced a bit of a critical revision in recent years, with the basic idea being that it was underrated at the time of release. As a teenager I loved the shit out of that, so I’m not really one to say. But I do know that Bein’ Around, even at the time, took on a life of its own. It was covered at many a coffee house, sung around many a campfire. It was goofy and childlike and absolutely 100% sincere. Maybe the most sincere song in his catalog and I really believe that Evan Dando is asking these things, all fucked up on drugs with Rick James in the studio.

So here is the young Courtney Barnett, who has been making a name for herself on her own merits for the last year or two. The cover is fully in her wheelhouse, showing both her influence and mastery of the material. It can only go up from here.

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I Gets High Off Your Love

Guy Ivory is the next in a long line of slender blue eye soulsters from the UK. I have no idea why this has continued to be a thing, and what the cultural and political ramifications of such a thing are. I’m sure there are entire graduate semesters dedicated to unpacking the problematic carpetbagging going on here. But that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to share with you a surprisingly pleasant cover of an old favorite of mine. D’Angelo, for myriad reasons, has basically entered the realm of the unfuckwithable. With only two proper albums under his belt and the occasional masterful live performance through the years, he has left enough mystery and sexual tension in our collective memories to elevate him to pedestal status. He is legend. So it takes a reasonable amount of chutzpah for this kid from England to attempt one of D’Angelo’s signature songs.

Now, there is a lot of minimal r’n'b going on these days, both all colors and creeds. My issue with a lot of it comes down to run time. These songs can drag on for what seems like dry desert days. The nice thing about Guy Ivory’s track here is that it doesn’t linger. It fills a necessary amount of space, shows off his pipes and his keys and then leaves before outstaying its welcome. This is a great calling card.

He also has original tunes, like the spry Any Day which is decidedly ’90s in flavor. It doesn’t work quite as well as the cover, but he’s on the right track and I think he’ll eventually get there.

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All of the Wildest Times

Look, I know this is everywhere. But if I’m being honest, the Haim record was on rotation last year more than any other. By a wide margin. And here we are with this disco remix that, while a little toothless, still updates the fun from the record and gives it new life — exactly what a remix should do.

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I Feel Bad For the Next One

Guys. Bird Tapes is just killing it lately. This is just a classic burn and it will become someone’s favorite song, played over and over until the cassette wears out. It’s funny but it’s well-crafted and pretty. And stick around for the breakdown!

The new tape from Thee AHs is out on Bird Tapes now and the sweet price of five dollars and fifty cents. It is worth every penny.

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You bury your hands in the dirt

When the analog thing is done right, it looks like this.

This video comes from the Brooklyn band Neighbors, brainchild of Noah Stitelman, a guy who got tired of his bands not taking off. He took matters into his own hands and made songs with swirling synths, percussion that sounds like a million ’80s drum fills, and a guy feverishly practicing guitar in his bedroom. Then he forced people to dance through electrodes. “Wild Enough” is on the Neighbors record Failure, out March 25.

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The unequivocal expression of pure joy


I’m constantly amazed at how many uses people have found for three chords and some loud guitars. The Rich Hands aren’t doing anything new with “Teenager,” but they’re doing it well, and with some goddamn passion. Here’s to the barnburners.

The Rich Hands hail from the garages of San Antonio, and you can find “Teenager” on their new record Out Of My Head, out May 6 on Fountain Records with a cassette release by Burger Records to follow.

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Another Hot Mess

I’ll be playing records at The Crying Wolf in East Nashville tonight from 10 p.m. til close. Come eat some burgers and talk about the weather!

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There I Go, Look Away

I first posted Death Vessel back in November of 2005. That was a lifetime ago. The post is all full of exclamation points and amateurisms and everything else that hasn’t changed about this site. The band, however, is decidedly different. Back then, it was just Joel and a ragtag group of whoevers playing a sinister form of broken folk (the Cave Singers would later totally stoke the vibe and run with it). Now he’s got Jonsi on guest vocals and the whole thing is thick and rich and frothy as the Horchata he sang about way back when. I’m inspired by the band’s slow evolution and I really want to hear the whole album, which comes out this month on Sub Pop.

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