Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Righteous Kill.....

i don't normally talk about movies here at This Mornin'..... but why not shake things up a bit? i'm workin' on a new computer and just revamped some graphics and colors on my page (new comp has Photoshop, so expect me to go a little crazy getting to know how to use it).

Tonight i came across something that really interested me. For the first time since Heat (1995) Al Pacino and Robert De Niro will co-star in a movie.

"Righteous Kill"

The only other time the two appeared on the bill together was for The Godfather: Part II, but they didn't even share a scene. In Heat, they only had like... 2 scenes together. This time, in an indie film directed by Jon Avnet, these two cinematic badasses team up and share the screen for most of the film. Veteran NYC Detectives, Pacino and De Niro are after a vigilante killer who some say is doing their job for them. Just watch......

mp3: The Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil

It's due in theaters in September.

From that trailer, the theme of the movie seems to center around the power of the gun, so here are some fitting tunes:

mp3: Reckless Kelly - Sixgun

mp3: The Rosewood Thieves - Silver Gun
buy Rise and Shine (2008)

mp3: Cross Canadian Ragweed - Hammer Down
buy Soul Gravy (2004)

mp3: The Black Keys - Just a Little Heat
buy Magic Potion (2006)

mp3: The Felice Brothers - Hey Hey, Revolver
** interesting note about this song - Rumor has it that The Felice Brothers did some recording for this album in everything from school buses to leaky chicken coops and tried to get some real rain sounds and so on. i read that the pop you hear about 35 seconds in was a very near lightning strike. Seems plausible to to me, cause if you listen close you'll hear thunder just a few seconds afterwards.....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

i'm hungry.........

It's almost been a week since my last post. i've been back and forth between here and there. Mostly i've been back home letting my mother take care of me cause i just got my wisdom teeth yanked out of my face.

i'm really not in too much pain (i ain't skimpin' on the hydrocodone, though); the worst part is......... i'm hungry as shit. i'm tired of soup and jello.

So to end this blogging hiatus and to make me even hungrier, here are some good food-related tunes:

mp3: Stoney LaRue - Texas Cookin' (live - Guy Clark cover)

mp3: Cody Canada - Juicy Fruit (live - Jimmy Buffett cover)

mp3: Old Crow Medicine Show - Chicken Pie (unreleased)

mp3: The Band of Heathens - Cornbread
buy Band of Heathens (2008)

mp3: Ray Wylie Hubbard - Heartaches and Grease
buy Snake Farm (2006)

mp3: The Wood Brothers - Chocolate On My Tongue
buy Ways Not To Lose (2006)

mp3: Robert Johnson - Come On In My Kitchen
buy The Complete Recordings (1990)

mp3: Slaid Cleaves - Breakfast in Hell
buy Broke Down (2000)

mp3: The Felice Brothers - Take This Bread
buy The Felice Brothers (2008)

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Avett Brothers: New Release......

crazy hair/beards, fancy dress, and cattle

This isn't brand new news, but This Mornin'..... favorite The Avett Brothers are set to release a new disc soon. A second EP in their Gleam series is due out July 22nd.

i don't have too much info on the EP, but i know that for the first time, a Ramseur release will be available on Vinyl. Awesome.

Ramseur says:
"The record walks calmly and powerfully among fragile and hard-learned
themes of life and song, passing through loss, change, hope, death,
dedication to family, late nights in the hospital, love as always, and much more."

As far as what's gonna be on it, word on the street is it will include a couple new songs they've been playing live: If I Get Murdered In The City and My Heart Beats Like a Kick Drum

mp3: The Avett Brothers - If I Get Murdered In The City (live)
i got this track from a
Captain Obvious post of an interview with Scott Avett.

Here's another song of theirs that blows my mind. Love the intro:
mp3: The Avett Brothers - Pretty Girl At The Airport

buy Mignonette (2004)

Buy the first Gleam EP from the brothers here.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Artist Spotlight: Mike McClure (part 2)

Check out Part 1

Since leaving The Great Divide, Mike McClure has focused not only on his solo career, but also his work in the studio - as producer and engineer. In 2004, Mike teamed up with fellow Okie musician Travis Linville and invested in a recording studio in Norman, OK - Dirtybird Recording. (Travis, whom i've been meaning to mention here recently, fronted The Burtschi Brothers and is currently promoting his new solo acoustic album See You Around). Mike's reputation as a producer preceded him, and the studio was immediately booked solid. When the two finally found time to record some of their own stuff, they knew just how to go about it - a collaborative album. And McBurtschi was born:

The Burtschi Brothers & The Mike McClure Band
December 2004

mp3: Mike McClure Band - Queen of the Midnight
mp3: Mike McClure Band - Lost In The Dream

The two bands split time on this disc. Mike's selections for the album show his versatility - a couple acoustic laments, a couple rockers, a gospel tune, and then something new just to throw you off - Lost In The Dream. This groovy tune showcases his unique guitar stylings and is unlike anything i had heard from Mike before - i feel like putting on jazzy suit and struttin' down the sidewalk when i hear it.

Camelot Falling
September 2005

mp3: Mike McClure Band - Don't Fear To Tread
mp3: Mike McClure Band - Remain

Working with another artist who has his hands in all aspects of music, Keith Sykes, Mike took off to Memphis, TN to record Camelot Falling. i'm also currently reviewing the catalog of Ryan Adams, and in addition to having different styles, the two musicians also have differing approaches to making albums. While Ryan has a unique mode, or even genre, per album, Mike perfectly intertwines all of his muses for one album. On this record, Mike chose to pay homage to a couple of his musical heroes by doing some covers. i posted and talked about his cover of Van Morrison's Into the Mystic here, and his rendition of Neil Young's Roll Another Number is an album highlight. Mike's faith plays a huge role in his music, as he is always sure to include some sort of gospel tune. Traveler (posted here) tells of a battered soul asking for complete forgiveness by putting himself at the mercy of his Lord. The record is topped off with a resurrected Great Divide song. The title cut off his last record with the band, Remain is a hopeful song that... remains one of Mike's best works to date.


Continue on to part 3......

Get Mike's music straight from him:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Playlist Pulse: Acousti-goodness.....

This time i'm pulling from my playlist 'acousti-goodness'. I have a playlist for faster, drivin' songs as well as one for slow, mellow ones, so i needed one to catch those mid-tempo, (often, but not always) acoustic, thinkers.

Normally, i'll pull up the playlist, scroll through and pick a song i want to post. From there i let shuffle do the rest. There was no question which song was going first today. I've been playing this one over and over since i picked it up:
1. mp3: The Raconteurs - Steady, As She Goes (Acoustic Version)
i really can't get enough of this song for many reasons: i like how they ask if there's a dog in the room as if they can't begin if there isn't - it shows their 'real' talent - great harmonies - it uses that contrapuntal vocal technique i love. If The Raconteurs put out an entirely acoustic album like this, i might have to become a fan.

2. mp3: Colin Hay - Waiting For My Real Life To Begin
Colin is the former Men At Work lead singer - y'know "i come from a lan-down-unda". i first came across this Aussie as a solo artist thanks to the epic Garden State Soundtrack.

3. mp3: Brian Rung - For You
buy Brian Rung (2000)
I picked up this CD quite a while ago - in the heat of my Texas Music phase, and, to be completely honest, didn't like it. It wasn't until my musical tastes matured and i gave it another listen that it really hit me.

4. mp3: Dwight Yoakam - Buenos Noches From a Lonely Room
This is the only Dwight Yoakam album i own. A friend of mine recommended it during a conversation about digging artists' original intentions for songs portrayed through quiet acoustic recordings. Nail on the head.

5. mp3: Bright Eyes - First Day of My Life
Conor at his best.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Artist Spotlight: Mike McClure (part 1)

Sometimes the full breadth of a great artist's talent isn't recognized until their demise. Of course there are/were people along the way that fully understood the presence they were in. i'm here today to make sure that doesn't happen with Mike McClure. In my circle of friends, as well as in the right circles within the Texas Music/Red Dirt scene, Mike is considered a genre pioneer, a captivating songwriter, an inventive guitarist, and hopefully soon enough - a legend.

Mike honed his musical chops with the successful Stillwater, OK band The Great Divide. Formed in '93, Mike and band began releasing albums independently before signing with a couple major labels. Citing lack of effort and enthusiasm from the both Atlantic and Broken Bow, The Great Divide released their final album with Mike as the frontman independently.

Possibly a little bitter from label troubles (as well as bandmate problems), Mike decided to leave the band in '02 and embark on a solo career. Since releasing his solo debut, Twelve Pieces, in July of '02, Mike has formed a band (with a couple lineup changes along the way) that - just last week - released its 5th record. The Mike McClure Band has released all these albums independently - and this could help explain Mike's lack of exposure - but for now, i'm okay with that. i know how great he is and i don't have to fight the masses.....

You can add talented producer to Mike's list of accolades as well. Not only has he produced everything with his name on it, he holds the production credits on a number of Texas/Oklahoma band's discs as well. He began by helping to produce Cross Canadian Ragweed's second album, Highway 377, in '01 with fellow Great Divide member J.J. Lester. Ragweed has called on Mike's personal touch for all four of their subsequent albums. Some other names Mike has produced records for include: Stoney LaRue, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, and The Dedringers.

So, there's my attempt at a bio - i'll get a little more in-depth with each album as i get to it. This is lookin' like it'll end up being longer than i expected, so i'll break it up into a few parts.

don't be a jackass - go here and buy
these albums. iTunes
has a couple, too, if that's your thing.

To start off, here's a couple good songs from The Great Divide to show where he's coming from:

mp3: The Great Divide - Nowhere Woman ~ from Revolutions (1999)
mp3: The Great Divide - Fly On ~ from Remain (2002)
After Mike's departure, The Great Divide attempted to continue with a new lead singer - to no avail. When you lose your frontman, songwriter, and lead guitarist - you're pretty much done.

Twelve Pieces
July 2002

mp3: Mike McClure - Driftin'

My most prized album of his, this mainly acoustic disc (one song featuring Cody Canada of Cross Canadian Ragweed is a screamin' electric tune) shows that sometimes simple is the best way to go. Stripped down and bearing his soul like never before, Mike shows the world (ok, maybe just Oklahoma and Texas) that he has arrived as a solo artist. The majority of these songs were ones that Mike had floating around that either didn't fit with his former band, or he was unwilling to give up to them. Some about self-doubt, some about self-improvement, some gospel.....
all perfectly written.

if you're gonna start somewhere, start here.........

Everything Upside Down
April 2004

mp3: Mike McClure Band - Open My Door
mp3: Mike McClure Band - Just Not Good Enough

Never one to be pigeon-holed or genrized, Mike followed his acoustic debut with a full on, guitar soaked rock album - the debut of the MMB. At 19 tracks, he decided to put out three 4 song EP's in the months prior to the full album release. Fitting the rock & roll motif, these EP's were simply titled 'gun', 'brass knuckles', and 'throwing star', and helped to fund the entire recording process. Just Not Good Enough is a song written about the troubles that led to Mike leaving The Great Divide. If you saw my last Instrumental Interlude post, i posted another track from this album that's the intro to Open My Door. Get 'em both and listen to them together....

Perfectly spaced between the ROCK are few slower, ballad-ish songs. Check out She Gets To You, Lay Your Head Down, and Moon Is Almost Full - definitely one of Mike's most image-inducing writing efforts - but i'll talk more about that one later............

If you like what you've heard, check out
The Gospel According to Mike
a entirely Mike McClure gospel post.....

Go To Part 2 ---------------->

Ryan Adams: Exile on Franklin Street.....

First Visit to This Mornin' I Am Born Again...?
Hold The Phone. In my haste to get to some of the more exciting album reviews in Ryan Adams' collection (the cardinals), i have chronologically overlooked a few of the infamous unreleased albums floating around out there. My plan all along has been to completely review the Ryan Adams back-catalog - highlighting the best aspects of each album - while posting some alternate versions/unreleased/bonus material from each. The only thing is.... i jumped in without much of a plan at all. i knew i wanted to give all his work a fair chance, because i've ran across many a song of Ryan's that absolutely floors me - and some of those are hidden amongst music that is either very hard to find, or a little too obscure for me. As prolific as Ryan is - referring simply to his official releases - this endeavor would not be complete if i don't include these multiple albums-worth of studio recordings that Bloodshot/Lost Highway deemed un-worthy for release.
A couple Whiskeytown sessions have already seen the glory of a proper release: The Baseball Park Sessions that appeared on the re-issue of Faithless Street and, most recently, some extra material done during the Strangers Almanac recording session: The Deluxe Edition.
As we saw in 2005 (with the release of 3 studio albums - one of them a double-disc), Ryan's overwhelming writing outputs occur in over-inspired bursts. While i did briefly mention The Destroyer Sessions and Exile on Franklin Street in my Heartbreaker review, there are three additional 'so-called sessions' that took place in the time-frame from - just prior to Heartbreaker up to the recording of Gold: The Pinkheart Sessions, The Suicide Handbook, and 48 Hours.

You can read about all of Ryan's "sessions" here

With the release of the Ryan Adams Box-Set seeming more-and-more as likely as Chinese Democracy (both the political endeavor and the Guns N' Roses reunion album), i figured i better not hold my breath and go ahead and post some of what i have. I suspect that the box-set, if it ever sees the light of day, will be remasterd and possibly deepened, but these session recordings are often bare, and sometimes rough demos.

Exile on Franklin Street
Spring/Early Summer 2000

Van Alston helped with the production of this session and says it was intended to be part of a 4-disc Demolition series given over to Lost Highway. Obviously only one of the discs was released, and i'm not sure if the other two parts are some of the aforementioned sessions, but it sure makes you wonder how much goodness is still out there somewhere. Much of this session is made up of the random electric guitars and screaming that we sometimes see Ryan feel like he needs to excrete - reminiscent of some of the weird stuff he had streaming out of the Spaceship on DotComMuthaFucka. But as with all of his work, there are some hidden gems. The real songs on Exile show everything from his deep Stones influence to his very Whiskeytown-sounding stuff.

mp3: Ryan Adams - The Last Dance

mp3: Ryan Adams - Why You Wanna Lemme Down

Because i feel like being nice today, and because if the legal guys at Geffen/Interscope/whoever can't even figure out who has the rights to this material, i figure i can't get busted for posting this:
Download a Zip File of the complete Exile on Franklin Street session.


Continue on to my review of The Destroyer Sessions.

Be sure to check out the rest of my extra-large Ryan Adams Spotlight.
1. Whiskeytown
2. Heartbreaker
3. Gold
or, just click here for all of them on one page.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bonus Discs Make Me Smile.....

So, as i mentioned here, i got a bonus surprise when i picked up Konk from The Kooks a few weeks ago: Rak - a bonus disc packaged with limited edition releases of the Brighton band's second release. Also, i talked a little about the importance of this new album from The Kooks here.
Konk shows the rising band's slight shift from the more electric, rockin', sometimes reggae-like debut Inside In/Inside Out with a slightly calmer, lyrical record. While i find the hook writing far superior on the debut, there is no doubting the maturation in song writing and structure with Konk. i'm not initially blown away by the record - like i was with the first - but i'll give it time to grow on me. What we're here for today, however, is to talk about that bonus CD.

Rak takes that laid-back attitude and brings it to another level. It seems like it was a more candid recording session - with far less overdubing and track usage. It also shows the band experimenting with new things: many more co-writes from various band members, use of the piano, and Hugh Harris even takes the lead vocals on a couple tracks (Kinda like those sporadic Stones songs that Keith takes the reins on......).

mp3: The Kooks - No Longer (written and sung by Hugh Harris)
This is one of those experimental tracks. Groovy, well-written, and catchy - all the things that i like about The Kooks. It uses some amazing contrapuntal harmony techniques that always grab my attention (y'know kinda like the row, row, row your boat deal you did in music class). This one could have easily held its own on Konk. Hopefully this is just proof that is more than one budding talent in this band.

Another standout track on Rak is Eaten By Your Lover. The quirky lyrics, piano, and short length (only 1:06) sorta echo something off the bonus disc that came with Spoon's Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.
mp3: The Kooks - Eaten By Your Lover

One of the things that kept bothering me about Inside In/Inside Out was the fact that at the beginning of Time Awaits, they have this bluesy, acoustic - sitting around mics in the studio -feeling and then they tear it apart with electricity and borderline obnoxious guitars. So the shift into that more acoustic style is what pulls me into a lot of the tracks on Konk/Rak. If you've heard Konk, you've heard some of this styling on Tick of Time. It's the song where they start singing one, break into laughter, and start a completely different song. If you happened to like the groove of the inital try - your're in luck. It shows up on Rak:

mp3: The Kooks - Hatful of Love
It's full acoustic (just brushes on the drums) and live-in-studio style.

Another standout track is the opener, Watchin' The Ships Roll In, that kinda reminds of the opener on their debut, Seaside. They also have a beachy-sounding reggae, alternate version of See The Sun from Konk. The bonus disc ends with what could be considered Luke's most introspective tune with a solo piano ballad called Brooklyn.

i'd like to post these songs for those of you who weren't lucky enough to get the limited edition, but i'll probably have to take those that i did post down soon - i think the initial songs i posted from Konk a few weeks back were the ones that got my Album Release Forecast, Vol. 2 post deleted. Download while you can......

You can get the Limited Edition of Konk from Amazon here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Wood Brothers: Loaded

The Wood Brothers' sophomore effort, Loaded, is a soothing, groovy record much like their debut. Bluesy songs that bump along with the beat created by Chris Wood and his big bass. Oliver wood provides soulful vocals and resonator guitar. The main difference in the second album, however, is the additional help from some other great artists in the folk scene.

Amos Lee, whom i caught on ACL the other day, provides backup vocals on Pray Enough. He also shares the lead vocals with Oliver on Angel - a cover of the Hendrix tune. The choppy guitar in the song kinda gives it a reggae feel, of which i think Hendrix himself would approve.

mp3: The Wood Brothers - Angel

mp3: Amos Lee - Sweet Pea ~ from Supply and Demand (2006)
You might recognize this song from one of those AT&T more bars commercials.

The other guest appearnace on Loaded comes in the form of female backup vocals. Frazey Ford of The Be Good Tanyas beautifully adds to the soul in Oliver's voice on the track Don't Look Back.

mp3: The Wood Brothers - Don't Look Back

mp3: The Be Good Tanyas - Light Enough To Travel ~ from Blue Horse (2000)
From this inovative female folk trio from Canada's first album.

Other standouts on the album include Loaded (posted a while back), Postcards From Hell, Twisted, and an almost unrecognizable cover of Dylan's Buckets of Rain.

Buy Loaded here (iTunes) or here (Amazon).

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Instrumental Interlude.......

Ah, after a couple grueling weeks, i finally get to sit back and relax for a night. And there's no better way to do that than with some easy listening - not the genre - but the true definition of easy listening - pure instrumental music.

i haven't done one of these since my first week of blogging. i was listening to Cold Roses today, and thought to myself that i would dig that album just as much had it been completely instrumental. That's not to say that Ryan's lyrics aren't as impressive as a two-ton anvil - they are - but The Cardinals are simply as tight a band as i've ever heard. With Cold Roses, specifically, each and every song pops through the speakers with that inital lick from Ryan, J.P. Bowersock, or Cindy Cashdollar. An amazing album - i can't wait to get to it on my Ryan Adams Spotlight, but that's for another day.

So, i came home and dug through my instrumental tunes and came up with these for you today. i've got a strictly bluegrass instrumental playlist as well as a general one - there's a couple from both.

mp3: Cory Morrow - Sunday Drivin'

mp3: Adrienne Young - Happy Ending
buy Room To Grow (2007)

mp3: Reckless Kelly - Wicked Twisted Road (reprise)

mp3: South Austin Jug Band - Po Boys In The Glovebox

mp3: Mike McClure Band - Intro (Mis Llaves)
If this song feels like it leaves you hangin' - that's because it's an intro that leads straight into another song on Everything Upside Down. I promise not to make you wait for too long - i'll get that Mike McClure profile done soon - and that song will definately be on it. By the way, it's called 'Open My Door' - pretty clever intro title, if you ask me....... (**edit - Part 1 of the Mike McClure Artist Spotlight is up)

the song links are dead, but you can check out my first Instrumental Interlude here.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Takin' It Back......

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but the last round of tests carried on into finals. But the good news - i took my last college test ever on Friday. i have a project due Tuesday and an online class remaining, but i will never again sit in class and take a test. It hasn't really hit me yet - maybe it will when i'm completely done.

i don't know if it's because, at this turning point in my life, i've been reminiscing a little bit, but this week i've been digging some older tunes in my collection. So i'm gonna step out of my usual genre of music and post some tunes from the decade that was the 90's.

i think it may have started when i heard this one at the bar the other night:

mp3: Weezer - Say It Ain't So/span>
buy Weezer (1994)

So that got me in the mood to dig through the archives and make a new playlist of 90's rock songs - from Nirvana to to Matchbox with plenty of reverb-filled tunes that might just take you back to wherever you were back then. Some of these bands are still around kickin' it - some defunct. i can't say that i still like all of the artists that make up the playlist, but that doesn't mean i can't enjoy what i dug at one point in my life.

here's a small sampling of some of the standouts:

mp3: Blind Melon - No Rain
buy Blind Melon (1992)
A must-have on any 90's rock compilation.

mp3: Live - I Alone
buy Throwing Copper (1994)
From the album that is best known for Lightning Crashes.

mp3: The Toadies - Tyler
buy Rubberneck (1994)
This Texas band released the super-seccesful Rubberneck in '94 that had 4 smash singles: Tyler, Possum Kingdom, Away, and I Come From The Water. They reunited in 2006 and have played sporadic shows, but have yet to release anything new.

mp3: Seven Mary Three - Lucky
buy Rock Crown (1997)
These guys actually just released a new album. Read Heather's post about it here.

mp3: Our Lady Peace - 4 A.M.
buy Clumsy (1997)
This album was easily my favorite for about a 3 year span.

mp3: Cake - Never There
Cake - Cool personified.
They say smell triggers more memory receptors than any other sense, but i respectfully disagree. It's pretty amazing how music can transport you right back to the place you were when you first heard it. Leave me some feedback if any of these songs stir up some old memories.