Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Get Well, Will...

Just found out through The Everybodyfields' MySpace that Will Hoge was in a serious car accident. i caught Will opening up for The Avett Brothers in Austin a few months ago. He has a real soulful, jazzy sound. Here's to a successful recovery.

Will Hoge - Dirty Little War ~ from Draw The Curtains
Will Hoge - Ain't No Sunshine ~ from During The Before and After

"Pass it to me me, baby. Pass it to me slow..."

Jonathan Edwards - Shanty

Over at SMM, i've already expressed my love of Jonathan Edwards and his 1971 debut. Really underrated record. This song was the second single behind the famous Sunshine.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Tell me anything you want, any old lie will do..."

Fleet Foxes - Ragged Wood

More Seattle Sub Pop for you. This is one many great songs that make up the Fleet Foxes self-titler - which presently sits very high up on my best of '08 list. Somehow, we are 3/4 of the way through this year. Crazy.
Get it on Vinyl and not only will you get download codes, but also The Sun Giant - their Sub Pop debut EP.

"I'd like to think I'm the mess you'd wear with pride..."

Band of Horses - I Go to the Barn Because I Like The

So this title has nothing to do with the lyrics - nor does it make sense. But i like this picture. And this song. It perfectly captures the band's cosmic sound.

Buy The Band of Horses' first album.

"You can go down by the water...."

The Everybodyfields - Down By The Water

Here's a fun little song for your Monday.
It was placed as a hidden track on The Everbodyfields' sophomore album, Nothing Is Okay.
Now it's been spliced just for you.

"Gonna find me one and ring its neck..."

Hayes Carll - Chickens

Gotta love a cheerful blues song.
Hayes co-wrote this one with his pal Ray Wylie. RWH's influence is unmistakeably present, down to the unusual percussion - drumstick inside a tin can?
Hayes defends his love of fried chicken and explains his apathy toward the weather. Meanwhile, there's a chicken playin' a solo.

Get yourself a gift today.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where Have You Gone, David Ryan?

get back to work...

Throughout this whole artist spotlight thing, i haven't mentioned anything about what Ryan is presently up to. That's mainly because since Follow The Lights dropped in October of '07, nothing else has surfaced. That is, if you don't count the off-the-wall videos and ramblings posted to his retired, then resurrected blog, Foggy. There have been rumors, though. Among them:
  • The Cardinals III/IV is the tentative name for the next full band album. Ryan said in January that the vocal/writing duties will be split between him and Neal Casal - very interesting.
  • he has a solo project entitled Magik that is supposedly rooted in soul (as of April).
  • NME reported in July that Ryan signed a book deal to release a collection of his prose. The article also stated that he was to have some of his art displayed at a showcase.

Judging from his track-record and fondness for the outlandish, these rumors are most likely not true. But one confirmed story is that, beginning next week, Ryan and The Cardinals (now composed of Neal, Chris Feinstein, Jon Graboff, and Brad Pemberton) will accompany Oasis for a short tour:

8/26/08: Seattle, WA - WaMu Theater
8/27/08: Vancouver, BC - GM Place
8/29/08: Edmonton, AB - Rexall Place
8/30/08: Calgary, AB - Pengrowth Saddledome
9/01/08: Winnipeg, MB - MTS Center

9/04/08: Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Palace
9/05/08: Montreal, QC - Bell Centre
9/09/08: London, ON - John LaBatt Center

And then there's that story that was vomited up from the bowels of Courtney Love.
Ryan's response.

For most folks, a year with no new material is standard, but Ryan has set the bar so high that it's hard to overlook. We'll try not to hold it against you, Ryan.

that either.

check out the new ryan adams dot com
attempt to make some sense out of foggy - the cardinal cave

Ryan Adams - My Blog Foggy
Neal Casal - Delaware Station

Ryan Adams: The Suicide Handbook....

The next catch-up installment of the Ryan Adams Spotlight (as i posted my Gold Edition much too soon and skipped the many unreleased pearls) comes in a mostly acoustic, double-disc set of stunning ballads. Recorded in January of 2001 in Nashville, The Suicide Handbook is sprinkled with songs that will make subsequent albums, but the genius of these versions comes in the subtle nuances he uses to differentiate them between the album cuts. Off Broadway makes an early appearance here (officially released later on Easy Tiger) in a stripped-down, gorgeous version with slightly altered phrasing in the chorus. In my opinion, the Suicide version is far superior. Much of Gold was first showcased on this session, as well as a few from Demolition. This version of Firecracker features a re-arranged first verse, and the cut of Answering Bell is gloriously groovy. The set is capped off with Dear Chicago - in which Ryan callously mentions that he's "been thinkin' some of suicide."

As the title might imply, this is Ryan at his sadbastardest (i like to make up words). The material toes the line between whiny and sheer beauty – most fall quite easily on the side of the latter. Another blatant demonstration of his prolificacy, The Suicide Handbook consists largely of songs that were ultimately scrapped. The songs that appear on this set only are lyrical and melodic wonders. Check out some of my favorites while you download the whole thing:

Disc 1

1 Wild Flowers
2 Perfect And True

3 Tell It To My Heart

4 She Wants To Play Hearts
5 Pretenders
6 Famous Eyes
7 Touch Feel And Lose
8 Firecracker
9 La Cienega Just Smiled
10 For No One

Disc 2
1 You Don't Know Me
2 Bow To The Sad Lady (Mara Lisa)
3 Off Broadway
4 Cracks In A Photograph
5 I'm Waiting
6 Cry On Demand
7 Miss Sunflower
8 Just Saying Hi (Answering Bell)
9 My California Love
10 Idiots Rule The World
11 Dear Chicago


Check out the rest of my Ryan Adams Spotlight:
Took Me Long Enough: Whiskeytown
Exile on Franklin Street
The Destroyer Sessions
Whiskeytown: The Missing Bridge
The Pinkheart sessions (1)
show all

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"It's Strange How Hard It Rains Now"

After enduring near drought conditions here in central Texas for a couple months, the skies have finally opened up.
And they let it all go.
Neither Dolly nor Edouard earlier this year had enough left by the time they reached me. But a simple northern front showed up just in time to stifle the heat and quench the earth. The last 2 days of constant rainfall have not only held the dust down, but instantly turned the brown fields to green and lifted burn bans.

Rain, as well as many of mother nature's offerings, have been the subject of (or influence for) a plethora of songs. Dark clouds, thunder, lightning, and being forced to remain indoors can bring out the sadness in some and helps to create those somber songs.

Patty Griffin - Rain
buy 1000 Kisses (2005)
Willie Nelson - Rainy Day Blues
buy Songbird (2006)
Ryan Adams - Rainy Days
from The Destroyer Sessions (2000)
Walt Wilkins - 18 Days of Rain
buy Hopewell (2007)

Often used as a metaphor for the cleansing of the soul, rain songs can also be uplifting, despite the gloominess the rain might bring. You can find some hope in a storm if you look forward to the fresh skies that will follow.

The Jayhawks - Save it for a Rainy Day
buy Rainy Day Music (2003)
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
buy Pendulum (1970)
James McMurtry - Walk Between the Raindrops
buy Walk Between the Raindrops (1998)
Jerry Jeff Walker - Hill Country Rain
buy Hill Country Rain (1992)

i've got an even better of mix of storm songs that i created as a mixtape when a hurricane was on its way here a few years ago. The next time one rolls through i'll try to post it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Digs: Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers....

Focusing on one artist today for New Digs.
This one deserves a full post.

Samantha Crain is the newest addition to the stellar lineup that Ramseur Records is amassing. Ramseur reached even farther West this time - all the way to rustic Shawnee, OK. Samantha is just 21, but writes and sings with the conviction of an old-soul. Maybe it's the Choctaw heritage or maybe it's that long line of Oklahoma folkies that precede her, but Samantha's tales of sorrow, tinged with lighthearted spunk, feel as dust-worn as any Woody Guthrie or Bob Childers song.

Along with her band, The Midnight Shivers, Samantha self-produced and self-released The Confiscation EP. Ramseur stumbled upon the burgeoning folk band and decided to re-release the EP on July 22nd of this year. Buy it.

i found Samantha and her music on Hear Ya Indie Music Blog. Much like Daytrotter, they feature exclusive live-in-studio tracks from indie artists. The sound is great and, especially in the case of The Midnight Shivers, the cuts seem as polished as album tracks. Check out Samantha's session.

Traipsin' Through The Aisles (HearYa Live Session)
From Where Come You Division? (HearYa Live Session)

In Smithereens, the Search for Affinity (Confiscation EP)
Beloved, We Have Expired (Confiscation EP)

great titles, huh?
check out Introducing Samantha Crain (YouTube)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And then another hehe-hehehe.......

A movie can instantly become a hit, sometimes a cult favorite, simply because of it's soundtrack. Often one song, well placed and well chosen, can help you connect to the movie in a way that wouldn't have been possible without the musical selection. i've found that, even if you notice only one perfect soundtrack choice, chances are - the rest of it will be good.

There are the obvious favorites - Dazed & Confused, Blow, Almost Famous, and most of what Scorsese does - set in the time of real Rock N Roll, that use songs from the era portrayed. The Coen Brothers have always kept their soundtracks interesting (often integral to the movie itself). Judd Apatow, aside from completely redefining comedy, has consistently bolstered his films with great music. His newest, Pineapple Express, is permanently connected to this tune:

M.I.A. - Paper Planes
Although Hip-Hop is not my cup of tea, you gotta admit this song is fun.

Lately, indie films are not only supplying exposure for independent writers, directors, and hip actors, but their soundtracks are essentially an indie music sampler. Zach Braff did this with Garden State - but that soundtrack (and film) deserve it's own post. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - Michael Cera's new one - sports a soundtrack filled by Devendra Banhart, Modest Mouse, and Band of Horses, among others.
check the trailer.....

i started rootin' around looking for soundtrack stuff and found this. It's got all kinds of movie theme songs as well as a few memorable soundtrack picks. In the post, she mentions how she'd like to get a gig making soundtracks for movies. For a while now, that has been my Dream Job - to score movies. Not like Danny Elfman style, but carefully choosing GOOD songs that fit the movie, splicing them, and working with the editor for seamless timing. i guess it would be a Music Supervisor credit for the film. i'd probably have to go to film school for that - i'm done with school. So if any of you out there have a screenplay sittin' around - hit me up....

she posted this one: Axel F
and immediately, i thought of this:

But back to the Coen Brothers......
In only about an hour of looking for great soundtrack selections, i came across half-a-dozen Big Lebowski specific soundtrack posts. A landmark cult-film with an excellent soundtrack:

Bob Dylan - The Man In Me
Kenny Rogers and the First Addition - Just Dropped In
Gipsy Kings - Hotel California

"...and pull the trigger 'til it goes click"

By the way, stroll on over to Rollo & Grady for not only good soundtrack tunes, but clips of some classic movie lines.....
Hopefully, this will turn into a recurring feature post on superb soundtracks. Hold down your excitement, please. For now, just see it as an introduction to a new venture here at This Mornin'.... a change of pace that is much-needed to spur a continuous flow of ideas that has recently run dry.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Evolution of a Song: These Girls....

Been slow to post once again. i shouldn't feel bad – i mean, this IS the one thing in my life that has absolutely no deadlines, no consequences, and no requirements – but with each day that i don’t post, i can statistically see my hits-per-day declining. And somewhere inside me, i feel it. Truth is, i have sat down at the computer a couple times this week intent on posting, but felt absolutely uninspired. Sure, I have a few ideas, but if i start to force a post, the apathy shows – if only to me.

There’s one solution:

Mr. Adams.....

Admittedly, this blog is becoming a Ryan Adams fan page with the occasional sidetrack – but with good reason:
The guy’s got enough material to warrant it. i have just short of 600 tracks from Ryan, some of which, i have heard maybe once.

If any other band/artist considered a This Mornin’…. favorite were to supply me with comparable aural goodness, they may see equal attention – but none do.

With the quantity of tunes this guy spits out, some are sure to be completely scrapped soon after their birth – if they’re lucky, they’ll get played live once or twice.
But some of Ryan’s songs are so good, they simply won’t go away. My Heart is Broken was penned at the advice of Caitlin Cary (who wanted Ryan to write the saddest fuckin’ song he could think of – mission accomplished) back in the Whiskeytown days. It showed up on a 7” vinyl along with Theme for a Trucker, Houses on the Hill, and The Strip (Dancing With the Women at the Bar) – which i have. That bare, somber version of the tune lay dormant for 6 years until Ryan and The Cardinals resurrected it for JCN – giving it the full-on steel-guitar, string-section, honky-tonk work up.

Another Adams tune that saw an even longer shelving before getting a complete overhaul is what this particular post is all about.


Hey There, Mrs. Lovely/These Girls

1999: Hey There, Mrs. Lovely
Live at the Exit/In – Nashville, TN - 10/28/1999
“This is a new song that I wrote that I absolutely fucking hate.”
He mustn’t have hated it too much, because the song got quite a bit of live play from ’99-’00 and was included in The Destroyer Sessions.

2000: Hey There, Mrs. Lovely
Live at Stubb’s – Austin, TX – 3/16/2000 – Kim Richey on harmony vocals.

2000: Hey There, Mrs. Lovely
The Destroyer Sessions – Fall 2000

“Well girl sometimes I feel just like a boy
Put here on this earth for you to toy around with
I'm the plastic three inch armies you destroyed
I'm the monster underneath your bed
You ain't afraid of yet

But you let me in
And I feel alright
Yeah I feel alright

Hey there, Mrs. Lovely are you coming out to play?
I've been stranded on your doorstep every night and day
And I want you so bad
But when you cry I get scared
Wanna dry your eyes with cinnamon and pears

You used to only want your two front teeth
Yeah Christmas time came and went
And you ended up with me
And we started playing twister with our tongues
We probably should have scrapped the game
And gave ourselves some hugs

And I toy with you
And you toy with me
Won't you stop this please?

Hey there, Mrs. Lovely are you coming out to play?
I've been stranded on your doorstep every night and day
And I want you so bad
And when you cry I get scared
I wanna dry your eyes with cinnamon pears

And pears
And pills
And pills”

Hey There, Mrs. Lovely could possibly have fit somewhere on Heartbreaker, but had no place on any of Ryan’s next 3 albums. Although it is a song of love-lost, it’s not quite sad-bastard enough to have been included on Love Is Hell. Ryan’s next 3 album batch in 2005 didn’t have a spot for the song either.

2006 saw Ryan doing some solo touring once again, possibly to prepare material for Easy Tiger. At a couple shows in the UK, he pulls out the old number:

2006: Hey There, Mrs. Lovely
Live at the Sage Center Gateshead, UK – 2/14/2006

But somewhere before the recording of Easy Tiger took place, Ryan gave the song a new spin.

A small line change in the first verse, 3rd line:
“Like matchbox cars you buy and burn in your backyard”

The extra 7 years the song had to marinate changed Ryan’s perspective. A song about one girl in particular morphed into a tune about every girl and every failed relationship Ryan had been through. The new (pluralized) chorus:

“God bless all the late night girls and they're coming out to play
I've been stranded in their doorstep for every night and day
I only want them more, how sad
But when they smile, how can anybody feel bad
It makes me tired and I wanna go to bed”

The 2nd verse turned to a deeply introspective stanza. Where he originally laid the blame on the two of them, Ryan now admits his own faults (and drops a bombshell of a line):
“I used to pickup shells cast off the reef
One Christmas I got a funeral and they handed me the receipt
How many lies I'd tell without my tongue
Get twisted into memories till I believe 'em some”

He cleverly keeps key words like Christmas and twisted in the mix as an homage to the original lyrics...

2007: These Girls

Just to keep things interesting, Ryan and gang recorded all of Easy Tiger in alternate versions live-in-studio style. You can find them floating around somewhere, and i will post the whole set when i get caught up to the present in my Ryan Adams Spotlight.

These Girls receives the most outlandish alternate style in the set. It's turned into a grungy, scream-o style rocker. The lyrics are a mash-up of both versions mentioned above.

2007: These Girls
The Alternate Easy Tiger

alternate'd out...

Monday, August 4, 2008


i'd stare too.

Head on over to the Daytrotter website and pick up the songs from The Everybodyfields' session. One from Nothing Is Okay and three new ones. Good stuff.

In other linked news, i've been made a 'regular' over at SMM, so go check some of my posts out - i plan on getting one or two up later tonight.

ps - my posts are unintentionally becoming longer and much more writing intensive, so i'm gonna attempt to put more simple ones like this up in the next few weeks.

Friday, August 1, 2008

New Digs.....


Steeldrivers - If It Hadn't Been For Love
The Steeldrivers are good. Five musicians who have all seen too many Nashville sidewalks, they play 'original' bluegrass music. Much more disciplined than OCMS for sure, still they have enough moments that surprise you. Female fiddlers are also good.
The Steeldrivers - Blue Side of the Mountain


The Avett Brothers - The Greatest Sum
buy The Second Gleam (2008) - with options
The stand out from the brothers' second installment of an EP series that highlights their toned down, contemplative songs.

Allison Francis - Massapequa
Allison commented here a couple times, and then i found out she also plays music. It's sparse, but somehow joyful folk music.... think female hipster-dylan circa '61 (complete with mouth harp).
She also writes a music blog.
Get this song, then go here and get the rest.

Bon Iver - Skinny Love
buy For Emma, Forever Ago (2008) - on CD or Vinyl
i can't tell you how many times i've played this song in the last week or so.... but my iTunes can. 59.

Panning for Gold.....


It's the little pleasures in life that keep me trudging along. Lately those things have been finding new places (and ways) to take pictures, receiving paychecks, acquiring internet access, and finding new and interesting music blogs. Today (while i was supposed to be working) i fell onto 2 0r 3 new well-influenced blogs out there in the vast expanses of the www. Of course, posting about Ryan Adams will always catch my attention - but his fan base is just as varied as his sound. On some pages, mentions of Ryan are the only areas in which they step into my preferred music realm.

Rollo & Grady is one of the new blogs i came across today while perusing The Hype. Based in LA, their musical contributions understandably span many-a-genre (rooted in soul/funk), but they maintain enough Ryan Adams, Stones, and other rock n roll/americana mentions to keep my attention. Earlier this month, they posted an eclectic mixtape that included songs from Band of Horses, Felice Bros, Avett Bros, Cat Power, all the way to Kanye, Bob Marley, Widespread, and Nirvana. Somewhere on Side A, a song caught my attention......

Ryan Adams - Fool's Gold

This is one of the greatest unreleased songs from Mr. Adams that exists. More importantly, it has also been one of the most elusive. For the last year or so, i have been in possession of a corrupted file of the track that ends at 2:49 - just after the first chorus. Thanks to Rollo & Grady, i now have the whole thing, and can cross one more tune off my coveted-song wishlist.

According to Answering Bell dot com, the song was part of a collection of Gold B-sides of the same name. This track, however, is the only one that has remained unreleased in any other form. The others were all part of either Gold's Side 4, or as b-sides included with singles from the album. The song fits well with the other material from Ryan's sophomore album, citing that curious Mara Lisa who boasts a song of her own on the collection. Fool's Gold, much like Tina Toledo and Rosalie, reveals Ryan's heavy Stones (specifically Keith Richards) influence.