Thursday, April 30, 2009

Viva la Vinyl: Whiskeytown's Record Store Day 7"

Since the completion of my Ryan Adams Vinyl Collection, I've been hard at work building my stash of Singles/EP's/7-inchers. So far, I've gotten my grubby little hands on these:

So Alive 7-inch Single (2004)Wonderwall 7-inch Single (2004)

Nuclear 7-inch Single (2002)Hey Parker, It's Christmas 7-inch Single (2003)

On average, each disc cost me $30 bucks on eBay. So you can imagine my elation when, in the midst of this hunt, I find that some amazing person decided to (re)release an old Whiskeytown Single for Record Store Day. In the spirit of the celebration of the independent, locally-owned vinyl shops, the Whiskeytown disc was offered at under 10 bucks!

It's a limited edition new pressing produced exclusively for Record Store Day '09. The 2 tracks are from The Baseball Park Sessions - the same session that produced the bonus tracks included with the Faithless Street re-issue. They were originally recorded in 1996 and previously unreleased.

Whiskeytown - San Antone (vinyl rip)
Whiskeytown - The Great Divide (vinyl rip)

Previously Posted in Viva la Vinyl:

Whiskeytown's Theme For A Trucker
~tracks re-upped for a couple extra days~

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Digs.........


I know, remember these? The feature that was supposed to be a weekly update on music new to my inbox has been shelved for quite some time now. Through much of the winter, I simply wasn't finding anything new - at least nothing post-worthy. But now, I have way too many new jams to choose from - so lets get right to it.

Slaid Cleaves - Beautiful Thing

Slaid's first set of original material in 5 years was quite the anticipated release for me. Don't expect Slaid to surprise you with anything new or groundbreaking, but the troubadour proves he's still the foremost American Folksinger with 2009's Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away.

buy Everything You Love...

Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers - The Dam Song

Just as I suspected, Sam Crain's first full-length album is nothing short of amazing. If you've heard the band's HearYa Live Session, many of the songs here won't be brand-new to you, but they sound even better with proper studio treatment. The handful of brand new songs are even more inspiring. BUY THIS ONE!

buy Songs In The Night

Steve Earle - To Live Is To Fly

Mr. Earle's tribute to lifelong friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt is set for release in May. A few tracks have been previewed here and there, and it sounds like Steve will bring a new vibe to the songwriting legend's work, while still staying true to his legacy.

Check out the 4-song EP (iTunes) and stay tuned to for a forthcoming pre-order.

Iron & Wine - Peace Beneath The City (acoustic version)

Sam Beam has been generous enough to offer up a FREE DOWNLOAD of 8 acoustic versions of tunes from 2007's The Shepherd's Dog. Think old-school, mellow I&W treatment to his new, fuller sound. The songster will also soon release Around The Well - a 3LP collection of rarities and never-before-released tracks.

Check his dot com for more info and the full download.

Frightened Rabbit - Last Tango In Brooklyn

Scottish folk-rock outfit Frightened Rabbit was a late, yet still warranted addition to my Best of 2008 Album list. The band has recently contributed a tune for Lifted Brow's latest compilation album. It echoes the softer side of the band's material. Good stuff.

Frightened Rabbit MySpace/Website
Buy The Lifted Brow IV

Sam Quinn & Japan Ten - Hello

I posted a video of this recording back here. I can't stop watching/listening, so I ripped the audio for you fine folks. The sound quality is as good as a proper recording.

Sam Quinn & Japan Ten MySpace

Jill Andrews - Rehearsal

The other half of The Everybodyfields has been at work on new material as well. On her site, she's giving away the first taste of said work. The recording is a little rough, but her vocals help to put some shine on it.

Jill Andrews MySpace/Website

Ryan Adams - Like A Fool (Superchunk Cover)

While waiting to see just how long Ryan's sabbatical will last, I came across a link to a Merge Records compilation disc featuring non-Merge artists covering Merge's greatest. The album helped in celebrating the label's 20th birthday. I bet you can guess just how excited I was to see 'ol Ryan on the set. The tune sounds like a polished Pinkheart song. Others taking part include: The Shins, Bright Eyes, Okkervil River, and The Mountain Goats.

buy SCORE! 20 years of Merge Records

Also, my wandering mouse has recently run across leaks for the new albums from both Dylan and Son Volt. Don't worry, I'm gonna be a good music fan and purchase both of the quite impressive discs upon their release. Sorry, for fear of my life and this blog's, I'm not gonna offer up any tracks from them just yet.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Viva La Vinyl: Ryan Adams Set

Thanks to the power of eBay, I recently completed my Ryan Adams full-album collection on Vinyl.

Love Is Hell was the final missing piece; I won an auction for it a week or two ago. I coughed up a pretty penny, but it was worth it for completion's sake. Love Is Hell was the only Lost Highway Adams album that didn't see a vinyl reissue a couple years ago. I don't know the exact reason for this, but Ryan may have made the decision himself to keep things interesting. When his label offered this reissue,, a great source for records, put together a Ryan Adams vinyl package - Gold, Demolition, R N R, Cold Roses, 29, JCN - for a mere $75. Sweet deal.

I ordered the newest releases as they came out, save for Follow The Lights. I was about to pick one up at Cactus Music last month until I found this:

The Cardinals' Everybody Knows [EP] was a UK-only release. The 12" is essentially Follow The Lights, but with 'Everybody Knows' from ET leading off, thus pushing each track back one spot. I figured why not pay a little more for that extra track and get the bonus of having a far more rare disc.

Sometime last year, Bloodshot Records got with the picture and reissued Heartbreaker on a 12" gatefold double vinyl. I only learned of this while browsing the site with the intention of purchasing Midnight At The Movies earlier this year. So I snagged Ryan's debut LP about a month before the elusive LIH 10" gatefold showed up on eBay.

As you probably know, Love Is Hell was originally issued as two EPs - parts 1 & 2 - in late 2003. The collections were later combined and released as a double 10" containing 15 tracks. Five months later, the album was released in CD form and an alternate version of 'Anybody Wanna Take Me Home' was added. The extra track, clocking in at nearly a full minute longer than the original form, was a strange addition, but being one of the softer tracks on Rock N Roll, it does feel in place here.

In my ongoing Ryan Adams spotlight, I try to approach each album/session with open mind and ears. We all know the best way to get the feel of an album is to hear it in its intented form - high fidelity analog. So the aquisition of this last disc comes at a perfect time as Love Is Hell is next in line. Until then, I'll wet your ears with that mysterious extended track added to the LIH CD.

Anybody Wanna Take Me Home (extended version)

My quest will continue for as many 7" Vinyl Singles as I can get my hands on. I already own this Whiskeytown EP and the bonus 7" from Cardinology. En route via eBay is the 'Hey Parker It's Christmas' 7" and the 'Wonderwall' 7" single.

If anyone wants to begin a collection of their own, check out this eBay auction for a great start. You get:
  • Demolition
  • Cold Roses
  • Jacksonville City Nights
  • Easy Tiger (orange vinyl)
  • Cardinology (with 7" single)
  • Hey Parker It's Christmas 7" Single
With under 4 days left, the bidding is only up to $10.49!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Links, News, and Videos for April...

The beginning of the year is generally a slow time for music news. Bands are working to prepare the year's album, keeping much of the details in-house. But with spring comes new beginnings. Summer releases are beginning to take shape, festivals are gearing up, and tours are being booked. I've recently shared news on a new Deer Tick album, Samantha Crain's new one, and I've reviewed The Felice Brothers' 2009 effort.

Leftover are some news snippets that didn't warrant a full post, so here goes:

First, Band Breakups:
  • Simone Felice came forward on a MySpace bulletin to announce that he will be leaving the fraternal group to form another band, The Duke & The King. The new group has been signed to Loose Records and put out their debut single 'If You Ever Get Famous' in the UK in March. They plan to release an 7" EP here in The States in May.
  • Austin electric-folk group The Dedringers have taken a mutual hiatus to form two new bands. Sean Faires recorded a few songs as a solo-show (here) before he began playing with some new folks in a band called The Happen-Ins. Jonny Burke, the other half of The Dedringers, has a solo MySpace page with a couple songs up as well. Both groups have been playing in and around the Austin area - often together.

    Sean Faires - The Kids Don't Dance
  • The Everybodyfields' Sam Quinn has started a side-project entitled Sam Quinn & Japan Ten. Check out their MySpce page for a couple tracks. Here's a sweet video:

    Not to be outdone, the stunningly gorgeous Jill Andrews of the Everybodyfields has created a solo MySpace and Website. No Songs posted yet, but in an update she says she has been recording and plans for a 2009 solo release.

New Album News:

  • Our old friends Bombadil released the details on their new album. The North Carolina folk group have put together another stunning album of inventive, albeit very busy, folk-pop. Here's a small doc on the making of the new one, Tarpits and Canyonlands, due out July 7, 2009. The song playing, 'Honeymoon,' is available for download beneath. With more than five distinctive melodies in this one song, I don't know how they're gonna have any left over for the rest of the album, but I have faith.

    Bombadil - Honeymoon
  • Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band have finished recording their second album together. Outer South (Merge Records) is due out May 5th, but on Wednesday (April 15th), the band will release "One of My Kind" - a documentary of the complete history of this young band. Check out Conor and band performing 'Nikorette' on Conan a while back and then download another tune from the upcoming album.

    Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band - Ten Women

    Pre-order Outer South on either CD or Vinyl.

And last, but certainly not least:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Deer Tick Finding Bigger Spotlight (+Brand New Track)

Things are falling into place for John McCauley and his cohorts. With the band's nonchalant attitude toward fame and success, I can quite tell you things are falling into the exact place that they had planned - or even imagined. Deer Tick, the Providence, Rhode Island grunge-country band, has seen a dramatic ascension in notoriety since John's first recorded guitar strum.

Deer Tick's debut War Elephant was originally released on the small Houston label Feow Records back in 2007. By the time I first heard of the band, the small label had been sold out of the record for some time. Luckily, iTunes held a digital copy. War Elephant was immediately impressive - in fact, I named it my #3 album of 2007 in my first post ever here at This Mornin'...

That small feat is just a grain of sand on the beach that has been made out of notable accomplishments for Deer Tick. A simple google search will yield countless press snippets of praise for War Elephant and their live show, many from much more reputable sources than this (check this and this out for even more).

Recently, the attention focused on Deer Tick has become harder to ignore. I learned that in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, Deer Tick was named the #1 Breaking band at SXSW 2009. If that didn't impact you enough, let me try to put it in perspective. SXSW is THE largest gathering of unsigned, new artists in one place IN THE WORLD. So, according to Rolling Stone - a fairly well-regarded music voice - Deer Tick was the best out of 1900 new-ish bands from 46 different countries. Yeah.

Just a few days after that news broke, I found this:

Watch Brian Williams talk about his favorite new bar band.

Also, John sent us a link to a video of Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks) buying a copy of War Elephant. Pretty cool.

I have a strong suspicion that before the end of 2009, Dave Letterman and SNL will be making a few calls to the band. Especially after this drops in June:

The hip new label Partisan Records had the great idea to not only sign Deer Tick, but to re-release War Elephant late last year. The first effort with the band, Born on Flag Day, will hit shelves and ears on June 23rd, 2009.

Pre-order: Vinyl/CD.

1. Easy
2. Little White Lies

3. Smith Hill
4. Song About A Man
5. Houston, TX
6. Straight Into A Storm
7. Friday XIII
8. The Ghost
9. Hell On Earth
10. Stung

More Deer Tick at This Mornin...

"For the One they hung bewtween two thieves"

Mike McClure - Between Two Thieves
purchase Twelve Pieces (2002) - iTunes $7.99

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Track from Sam Crain & The Shivers....

My inbox held a special little treat this morning. Another preview track from Samantha Crain's upcoming Songs In The Night (4.28.09 Ramseur). This time it's the title track that I distinctly remember from her show I caught in Houston a while back. Sounds like Sam and her Shivers are gonna deliver a stellar debut full-length of fetching melodies set to her unique style of folk-rock.

Songs In The Night

No pre-order link yet, but I'll send one your way when I find it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Yonder Is The Clock....

I said at some point in the past that 2008 was the breakout year for The Felice Brothers. Now, I can't quite say that they have broken into nationwide stardom by any account, but within the circle of the music world I run in, they've jumped quite a few rungs. The biggest test of a new(ish) band recently elevated in notoriety is keeping up with the Joneses. Can they match, or better yet surpass, the clout of their 'breakout album?' Long story short - The Felices are way cooler than the Joneses.

I've been spinning an early copy of Yonder Is The Clock (2009, Team Love) for the last few weeks and the simple fact that I've continued to listen is testament enough. The Felice Brothers' new disc (which, by my count, is their fifth album) delivers on all levels. Sure, the album contains as many skippable tracks (they can become rather stagnant at times) as any of their previous efforts, but that has yet to make a single one any less enjoyable. The new one borrows equally from each of their earlier collections but matures in all the categories that really count.

The songwriting - and vocals for that matter - falls mainly on the shoulders of Ian Felice. His ability to create characters that perfectly fit his whiskey-graveled, heart-broken yet optimistic howl is the band's strongest attribute. Here, Ian shows progress in his lyrics as well as his melodic awareness. Also showing much improvement on Yonder... is the instrumentation of the rest of the gang. Simone's unorthodox percussion is sharper than ever, helping to push the songs through unique arrangements and single-handedly driving the handful of groovy breakdowns present on the new album. James' tasteful accordion brings more of a zydeco ambiance, rather than the polka-feel it previously added.

'Big Surprise' is a one of the boys' slower tunes that works well. Whether it's the sporadic yet commanding rhythm of the drum kit or Ian's foreboding lyrics, the song serves as a perfect intro. It pleads the listener to sit and thoughtfully take the album in. The brothers used this same ploy at the show I caught in Austin, opening with the song on an unlit stage.

To come through on his lyrical and emotional promise, Ian leads track two to the other side of the tempo spectrum. 'Penn Station' is easily one of the standout tracks, recalling the allure of 'Frankie's Gun.' The song sounds like an impromptu performance played at the party celebrating the narrator's resurrection. Never a writer to shy away from the theme of death, Ian also brings us 'Chicken Wire,' a lively blues progression with an infectious melody. He seems to almost enjoy the inevitability of his eventual resting place on the ocean floor.

To be honest, much of the middle of the disc borders on sappy, 'Ambulance Man' taking the elevator to the basement and 'Sailor Song' finding a dark closet once there. The love ballad 'Katie Dear' offers light solace, aided by a well-chosen horn solo. But things are thrown back in the fast lane with 'Run Chicken Run.' Barn-stomping fiddle, zydeco accordion, and chorale backups paint a picture of the dreadful fate of a low-man in the underbelly of NYC boroughs. Simone Felice takes the lead for a surprisingly peaceful ditty in 'All When We Were Young.' 'Boy From Lawrence County,' dripping with desperation, reminds me of 'Rockefeller Druglaw Blues' - simple acoustic guitar overlayed with accordion. This is where The Felice Brothers shine, albeit not overly obvious.

If you had any question as to how the band plays live, 'Memphis Flu' is your ticket to a packed barroom with The Felice Brothers. It may not always stay under control, or even be coherent, but it sure is fun. Track 12 of 13 is the ultimate treasure on the album. 'Cooperstown' is simple, elegant, and perfectly written. A Neal Young-esque upper-range acoustic lick intercedes verses that effortlessly tie the lessons the great American pastime into life experiences.

The Felice Brothers have created yet another essential element to any Americana collection - even if it's a portrait of a dusky, backwoods America.

The Big Surprise

Purchase Yonder Is The Clock - CD/Vinyl/MP3