Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sam Cooke - Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964

Listening to Sam Cooke's Portrait of a Legend brought back some great memories. I'm sure everyone's parents listened to whatever their local "oldies" station was in the car when you were growing up. Those were my first memories of music at all, and some of my favorite songs from then are still some of my favorite songs now.

In particular, I can remember a handful of songs from Sam Cooke. "(What) A Wonderful World," "Chain Gang," and "Twistin' the Night Away" all stand out, though the entire collection on this album is great. So please, go back to your childhood with me and remember these "oldie" classics from Sam Cooke.

Sam Cooke - (What) A Wonderful World
Sam Cooke - Chain Gang
Sam Cooke - Twistin' the Night Away

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Neutral Milk Hotel - Two-Headed Boy pts. 1 & 2

Unlike the rest of Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over The Sea," parts 1 & 2 of "Two-Headed Boy" basically feature frontman Jaff Mangum and an acoustic guitar. That said, they are probably my two favorite songs on the album. The songs are placed on opposite ends of one another on the album, but they do go hand in hand in terms of theme. I could go on and on about these songs or the album itself, but just trust me on this one. You really should own the album anyways, but if you need a sample in order to sway your interests then check out Two-Headed Boy pts. 1 & 2 below.

Neutral Milk Hotel - Two-Headed Boy
Neutral Milk Hotel - Two-Headed Boy pt. 2

The 300

In March of 2007, The 300, based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, and filmed entirely in HD, will hit theatres. The movie is about the Battle of Thermopylae. From wikipedia:

"In the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian army in the pass of Thermopylae. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks delayed the enemy in one of the most famous last stands of history. A small force led by King Leonidas of Sparta blocked the only road through which the massive army of Xerxes I could pass. The Persians succeeded in defeating the Greeks but sustained heavy losses, disproportionate to those of the Greeks. A local resident named Ephialtes betrayed the Greeks, revealing a mountain path that led behind the Greek lines. Dismissing the rest of the army, King Leonidas stayed behind with 300 Spartans and 700 Thespian volunteers. Though they knew it meant their own deaths, they secured the retreat of the other Greek forces."

The trailer looks completely awesome. There's rhinoceros warfare, a frighteningly badass kid, and some intense looking battle scenes. Check out the trailer in HD here.

Ryan Adams - Walls

In June of 2001, before the release of his album "Demolition," Ryan Adams hit the studio with a band of Sheldon Gromberg, Ethan Johns, Greg Leisz, Chris Stills, and Julianne Raye to records some tracks. Over the next 48 hours the group cut 11 full tracks. While only a couple of them would make the cut for the Demolition album, the entire recording session would be made available, unofficially, to the public and be known as the 48 Hour Sessions.

From these sessions comes possibly my favorite Adams tune of all, "Walls." A country tune, with organs, harmonies, extended pedal steel solos and lyrics about smoking, drinking, failure to remember one's roots, and taking out your anger on a wall. I played this song for a friend this past weekend and he summed up his feelings on the song by saying, "That's badass." Badass indeed. Please enjoy "Walls" by Ryan Adams.

Ryan Adams - Walls

I need more posts..

According to the syllabus for my Concepts in New Media course, I am to have sixty, yes sixty posts on this blog by semester's end. That means i have roughly two weeks to post almost fifty more times on here. So what's that, like four or so a day? Yeah. I wanted to include a picture of some guy looking like a complete slacker, but none could really do my laziness of late any justice.

Maybe I'll start posting single tracks at a time as opposed to full albums or 3-4 tracks. Might save some time on the uploading. Who knows. Regardless, for the two people who actually read this blog, expect an influx of posts with single track download links starting later this evening.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ryan Adams is Sad Dracula

For those of you that haven't been keeping up, Ryan Adams appears to have a lot of free time. Over the past few weeks he has been uploading tracks on his official website under various psuedonyms including: The Shit, DJ Reggie, Werewolph, Warren Peace, and Sad Dracula. Sadly, some of the so-called "albums" have since been removed, but a handful of them still remain. On these "albums" Ryan and friends cover an array of genres from hip hop to thrash punk, and metal to really twangy country music and anything in between. It's hard to tell really how serious most of this stuff is, and most all of it is sure to make you laugh, but you can stream it, along with his entire catlogue from Heartbreaker to 29 here.

A couple of days ago, the most serious of these "albums," two to be exact, under the name "Sad Dracula" were up on his site. Serious in the sense that they seem to consist of actual songs, rather than some guy who's really trying to fight boredom so he starts mashing buttons on a casio or throwing things at an electric guitar to see what kind of noises he can make. There is speculation that these could be sessions for an album that Adams alluded to earlier this year as "Rock n' Roll 2," and one listen to them would tell you why. Adams reportedly had enough material to release upwards of three more albums this year, but it was said that his label saw things differently. So here are Sad Dracula's "Fasterpiece" and "Let it B-Minus," Rock n' Roll 2 with a little alt-country tune mixed in for good measure. Enjoy.

Sad Dracula - Fasterpiece & Let it B-Minus

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More My Morning Jacket pictures

Just some more pictures of myself from the My Morning Jacket show in Nashville, so you can see what a good time I had.

My Morning Jacket in Nashville, and update on posting of 2006 albums

I went to see My Morning Jacket at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville this past Monday. It was probably the best time I've had at show this year. We were 5th row and it was so loud. I will admit, I was pretty far gone so that surely enhanced my enjoyment of the show, but regardless, it was just a really awesome rock show. The above picture was apparently taken post-show outside of the Ryman. The guy on the far right is my friend George; the guy with the colored beard and his lady friend, well I don't know who they are. And yes, I'm wearing a ladies scarf and I'm not entirely sure how I came about that. But, here is the setlist from the show:

November 13- Ryman Auditorium, Nasville, TN
1. Nashville To Kentucky
2. Lowdown
3. Gideon
4. What A Wonderful Man
5. Off The Record
6. The Way That He Sings
7. It Beats 4 U
8. Wordless Chorus
9. Phone Went West
10. Lay Low
11. Dondante
12. Xmas Curtain
13. One Big Holiday
14. Run Thru
15. They Ran
16. Tonight I Want To Celebrate With You
17. The Bear
18. Golden
19. Anytime
20. Mahgeetah
21. At Dawn
22. Bermuda Highway

Also, I just surveyed the scene, as they say, and realize that there is far too much 2006 music that I won't have time to post about all that I enjoyed before it comes time to make my year end top 10 list. Fear not, I'll still post about and share a lot of music, probably not all from '06, but I simply do not have the time with class and work to post about everything from '06 before years end. Either way, keep checking in to hopefully discover some new tunes.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Brightblack Morning Light - Self-titled

The cardboard paper, rainbow-lensed, marijuana leaf printed glasses that come with Brightblack Morning Lights self titled album pretty much tell you all you need to know about the laid-back duo of Nathan Shineywater and Rachael Hughes. While their first album, ala.cali.tucky, under the shortened name of "Brightblack" was as equally heavy on the pedal steel as it was on the "cave music"(credit to Hunter T.), 2006's release is all about the drugs, man.

This album is probably best enjoyed sitting in the dark, after mutiple bong rips, or something a bit more psychedelic if that's your thing. Rainbow lensed-pot leaf glasses optional. While I can't vouch for this album being any better under the influence, I can attest that it's really awesome late at night, in complete darkness. The music conjures up mental images of nature, or space, or some other unknown dimension of complete relaxation. So turn the lights off, smoke a bowl if you feel so inclined, and enjoy these tracks from Brightblack Morning Light.

  • Brightblack Morning Light - Everybody Daylight

  • Brightblack Morning Light - Friend of Time
  • Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go

    Taking one look at Will Oldham of Bonnie "Prince" Billy, possibly the creepiest looking dude in the music business, and you'd never think he could churn out such peaceful music. But 2006's "The Letting Go" is just that. Oldham has been consistently great throughout his career, and this album is no different. The album is full of really great folk tunes, with beautiful female harmonies, and some occasional string arrangements.

    Sample "Cursed Sleep," "Cold & Wet," and "The Seedling" from The Letting Go below.

  • Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Cursed Sleep

  • Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Cold & Wet

  • Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Seedling
  • Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Bobby Bare Jr's Young Criminals Starvation League - The Longest Meow

    With help from memebers of My Morning Jacket, Lambchop, and Clem Snide, Bobby Bare Jr's Young Criminals Starvation League recorded The Longest Meow in just 11 hours. This album combines an array of styles, and some completely ridiculous lyrics, but features some excellent steel guitar work on a number of tracks. All in all, its a pretty damn good alt-country album. Check out a few tracks below.

  • Bobby Bare Jr - The Bionic Heart

  • Bobby Bare Jr - Gun Show

  • Bobby Bare Jr - Demon Valley
  • The Black Keys - Magic Potion

    The Black Keys are a two-piece rock group from Akron, OH. They draw comparisons to The White Stripes in that their only instrumentation is the guitar of Dan Auerbach and the drums of Patrick Carney. With their third album, 2004's Rubber Factory finally putting the band on the map, the duo hold true to their bluesy-rock vibe with their 2006 release, Magic Potion.

    The album is extremely raw, and Aurbach's voice immediately reminds you of the blues, albeit a nasty blues. But the Keys strength is in its infectiously gritty guitar riffs, to which it's nearly impossible not to play your air axe along with. Album highlights include "Your Touch" and "Just a Little Heat" along with "Strange Desire", "Moder Times" and "Goodbye Babylon." But quite honestly, there isn't a single bad song on this album. With the Black Keys, you know you're consistently going to get a purely fun, foot-tapping, head-banging, air-guitaring blues-rock album.

  • The Black Keys - Just A Little Heat

  • The Black Keys - Modern Times
  • Albert Hammond Jr. - Yours to Keep

    Most of you may know Albert Hammond Jr. as the guy who plays rhythm and occasional lead guitar for The Strokes, but in the fall of 2006 he released his debut solo album titled "Yours To Keep" on Rough Trade. I'll admit, I know absolutely nothing of the Strokes aside from whatever singles from their albums received assloads of air play, but none of those songs ever piqued my interest enough for me to care what more they had to offer. I would have to say the complete opposite for Hammond Jr.

    While he didn't break any ground with Yours To Keep, what he did do was release a really good rock/pop album. As I mentioned before, I'm not familiar with the Strokes' catalogue, but I'm told that a few of these tracks here sound very Strokes-esque, particularly "In Transit" and "Holiday," among others. The album is a nice blend of somber love songs and catchy guitar riffs and melodies, so there's something here for everyone. With a core backing band of bassist Josh Lattanzie and drummer Matt Romano, guests for the album include Strokes' frontman Julian Casablancas, Sean Lennon, Ben Kweller, and even Strokes' manager, Ryan Gentles.

    Surely this little endeavor of Hammond Jr.'s doesn't mean that this days in the Strokes are behind him, but I do hope it means that he will feel inclined to continue extending his solo catalogue with more albums in the future. Unfortunately this album is an import only for us American folk, but if you enjoy the tracks posted then you'll surely enjoy the album in it's entirety. I've included below a few favorites from the album. More potential top 10 of 2006 albums to come.

  • Albert Hammond Jr. - In Transit

  • Albert Hammond Jr. - Blue Skies

  • Albert Hammond Jr. - Holiday
  • Wednesday, November 08, 2006

    Top 10 List

    Over the next week or two I'm going to be posting about various albums that have a chance to end up on my top 10 albums of 2006 list. I'll basically just post a review about the album and then a track or two for you to check out and perhaps pique your interest.

    This has been a pretty good year for music, and I discovered a lot of new bands that I had never even heard of before. In fact, it's probably a safe bet that my entire top 10 will be comprised of bands that I just discovered this year. So keep an eye out, and I'll be posting some (hopefully) new music for you folks to check out.

    UPDATE: Just thought I would throw this out there, but there won't really be any format for me posting potential list-worthy albums. I'm just going to start at "A" in my iTunes and work down from there, and at the end of December I imagine I'll post my official top 10 of '06. I'll have the first album or two up tonight.

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    A Song For You

    I have absolutely no reservation in saying that Gram Parsons is arguably one of the greatest and most influential musicians of all time. The man helped start an entire movement know as "country rock" by singing songs of heartbreak, involving himself with drugs and alcohol, and wearing nudie suits(see pic). While he made music not only as a solo artist, but with The Flying Burrito Brothers, and the International Submarine Band, perhaps his greatest musical endeavors come from his work with The Byrds. Their album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo is universially recognized as the greatest country rock album of all time.

    But with that, I wanted to share with you a song from his 1972 solo effort, G.P. The song that is the inspiration for the title of this blog, and arguably one of the greatest songs of all-time. Gram Parson's "A Song For You" along with a very soulful rendition of the song by Ryan Adams' former band, Whiskeytown, recorded for a Gram Parsons tribute album. Enjoy.

  • Gram Parsons - A Song For You

  • Whiskeytown - A Song For You
  • my first post..

    Well, I finally started a blog. I have to admit, that my only motivation for doing this is that it will earn me extra credit in my "Concepts in New Media" class, but I like to think that I'll become addicted to and keep up with it long after the course is completed.

    The general basis for this blog will be to post about music that I am currently enjoying or have recently discovered. I titled the blog "a song for you" after the name of the song by the late Gram Parsons. Also the url for this blog is "blowin the coug" which is an unreleased Ryan Adams song. I apologize in advance if I post about him too much, but it's what I know. I may post some general thoughts from time to time in addition to posting about music.

    Finally, I can't promise I'll keep up with the capitalizing of the first letters of sentences; I don't like doing it unless it's for school work, so cut me some slack. I hope you'll find some things of interest on here from time to time, so please keep checking in.

    And with that, my first post on my new blog.