Thursday, July 30, 2009

Viva la Vinyl: Ryan Adams' Rescue Blues 7"....

In 2004, Ryan Adams started up his own small record label, Pax Americana, in order to release demo recordings of some of his tunes that Lost Highway didn't deem worthy. He only released 3 sets - The Rescue Blues [EP], California [EP], and If I Am A Stranger [Single] - all on 7-inch vinyl. Just yesterday, I won an auction for the Stranger Single, completing my PAX-AM collection.

However, word on the street is that this label may soon be resurrected. Apparently, Ryan's art-guy (as seen alongside Ryan in his more recent YouTube vids) twittered about (re)designing "@ryanad_ms vinyl label art" and also posted the above pic.

If you check out Ryan's website, there's a suspicious message that may just corroborate this intel. Decide for yourself, but in the meantime, enjoy these vinyl rips of The Rescue Blues [EP].

A: The Rescue Blues (vinyl rip)
B: Come Pick Me Up (vinyl rip)
C: Enemy Blanks (vinyl rip)
D: Tell Me How You Want Me To Feel (vinyl rip)

These original 4-track versions are definitely demo-quality, but well worth the listen. Come Pick Me Up is especially interesting, recorded at a slower pace, much like his live version. Enemy Blanks (aka Enemy Fire) gets re-structured in this set, beginning with the chorus. Rescue Blues and the unreleased Tell Me are both gritty, heavy-electric takes that showcase Ryan's original intent for his songs.

If you've been keeping up with my Ryan Adams Spotlight, you may have noticed I've been at a standstill in the chronological album reviews. Waiting on deck is Love Is Hell - quite the review-task, if you ask me. That album definitely requires the right mood/mindset to listen to, much less review. But stay patient, I'll get to it. After LIH, Ryan joined up with The Cardinals, and in one year, put out 3 of his most amazing albums. To help bridge this gap, I've created a Ryan Adams (solo) Mixtape of his best unreleased tunes. I've spent a lot of time adding/removing tunes, deciding on a track-order, and cropping them to fit as many as possible. It may just be the next best thing to the elusive unreleased box-set, so keep an eye out for it.

Check out more Viva la Vinyl at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cover/Uncovered: The Weight....

It's been a while since I've done a Cover/Uncovered. I came across one of the following tunes earlier today and quickly realized this song should've been one of the first examined for this feature post.

Songwriting credits are a somewhat debated topic when it comes to The Band. I remember reading once that Robbie Robertson had the biggest part in constructing this one, but I like to think Levon and the rest of the gang did their fair share. The tune takes place in the town of Nazareth (in Pennsylvania) - the home of the Martin Guitar Company - and features a cast of interesting characters encountered around town. Robertson says of the song:
In "The Weight" it was this very simple thing. Someone says, "Listen, would you do me this favour? When you get there will you say 'hello' to somebody or will you give somebody this or will you pick up one of these for me? Oh? You’re going to Nazareth, that’s where the Martin guitar factory is. Do me a favour when you’re there." This is what it’s all about. So the guy goes and one thing leads to another and it’s like "Holy Shit, what’s this turned into? I’ve only come here to say 'hello' for somebody and I’ve got myself in this incredible predicament."

Live, 'The Weight' is absolutely epic. The ever-growing number of verses, multi-part harmonies, and irresistible crowd interaction combine to make the tune a live staple. And not only for The Band. Just check out the Wiki page to see an immense list of folks that have been known to include the The Weight in their sets. The song was a nightly standard at most of the 'Texas Music/Red Dirt' shows I attended throughout high school and college, nearly matching the encore-worthy popularity of Cross Canadian Ragweed's Boys From Oklahoma.

Cover: Cody Canada, et al - The Weight
Cody (of Cross Canadian Ragweed) is joined in an acoustic set by Mike McClure, Stoney LaRue, Jason Boland, and the then just sprouting Ryan Bingham. McClure adds a little comedy when he botches his verse, only to improvise a freestyle rhyme. The performance is highlighted by Stoney's chilling vocals.

The following song (and video) is one I've been studying up on lately, as in less than two weeks, I will head East to Tennessee to catch two performances of The Big Surprise Tour - Old Crow Medicine Show, The Felice Brothers, Justin Townes Earle, all joined on stage by Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings. You couldn't ask for a better folk lineup in today's music world (well maybe if you added The Avetts in there). But more on this later - I plan on doing some kind of pre-road trip post regarding the shows.

Cover: Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, OCMS - The Weight
I love that these guys take the song back to its roots, slowing it down and revealing the true beauty in the melody. These six folks can make any song sound like it was born out of bluegrass, but it really shines here.

As good as Stoney sounds when he says "and he caught me in the fog" or Willie does when he belts "if you take Jack, my dog," neither gives me the feeling I get when Levon Helm begins The Band's version.

Uncovered: The Band - The Weight
purchase Music From Big Pink (1968)
Uncovered: The Band - The Weight (live at The Palladium, 1976)

More C/U at This Mornin' I Am Born Again:

Cover/Uncovered: Obscure Covers - 10.22.2008
Cover/Uncovered: Slaid Cleaves - 9.30.2008
Cover/Uncovered: Dead Leaves - 9.10.2008
Cover/Uncovered: Mike McClure - 4.26.2008
Cover/Uncovered: II - 3.2.2008
Cover/Uncovered: I - 3.2.2008

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Viva la Vinyl: Deer Tick Goes Tejano....

A couple Thursdays ago, I shot over to Austin just in time to catch Deer Tick tear down Emo's. The Providence boys were obviously not accustomed to Texas heat, and thus were all shirtless by song number 2. That helped open the door for what would turn out to be a no-holds-barred, raucous evening complete with flying beer, John McCauley on the drums, and even a little crowd surfing (see below). I managed to keep my new camera safe and even snagged a few shots worth keeping.

I had a quick conversation with John after the show, in which he mentioned that he had been by This Mornin'... before. Pretty cool. So, John, if you're reading this, leave a shout out down below. I then saw someone walking by with a white cardboard sleeve just about 7 inches square. Checking with the merch table, my suspicions were confirmed. So here you are, folks, the newest Deer Tick track to hit the web. A seven-inch vinyl-only single, exclusively at

Deer Tick - La Bamba (vinyl rip)

Wikipedia says:
'La Bamba' is a Mexican folk song that was made popular in 1958 by the late Ritchie Valens. The la bamba is a traditional Mexican dance performed at weddings (along with the song). Valens' version infused rock 'n roll with traditional Mexican instruments and rhythms. 'La Bamba' is the only non-English song to make Rolling Stones' list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (#345).

The boys split this 7" with The Shivers - a NYC based rock/experimental group, and I have to say I rather enjoy the groove.

The Shivers - Shallow Water (vinyl rip)

In other Deer Tick news, a slew of live sets were linked from their twitter today. They recently did a 'LaundroMatinee' set for MyOldKentuckyBlog. The set features Houston, TX, These Old Shoes, The Dance of Love, Dirty Dishes, and Dead Flowers. You can download the mp3's here. My personal favorite from the collection:

Check out a brand new song John and Dennis debuted at their Waterloo Records in-store performance the day of their show at Emo's:

More Viva la Vinyl at This Mornin'....

Whiskeytown's Record Store Day 7" - 4.30.09
Viva la Vinyl: Ryan Adams Set - 4.15.09
Whiskeytown's Theme For A Trucker - 2.20.09

Trailer Tuesday.....

The other night, I was watching upcoming movie trailers on my phone and came across a handful of music-related films/ documentaries that really piqued my interest. So here they are:

'It Might Get Loud' is a documentary following a meeting between 3 generations of guitar virtuosos: Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White. Jimmy Page is a legend, but somewhat before my time, U2 just doesn't do it for me, but I'm excited to see Jack White in this film. And judging from this trailer alone, he seems to be the most interesting part of it.

'Taking Woodstock' is Ang Lee's (Brokeback, Crouching Tiger) inspired by a true story take on the events of August 1969 in Bethel, NY. Demitri Martin, Eugene Levy, and Emile Hirsch are among the stars of what looks to be like a pretty entertaining film.

'The Boat That Rocked' is another based on a true story film, directed by Richard Curtis. In The 1960's, before England's elite embraced the power of Rock 'n Roll, the only way to broadcast the music was from a soverign boat off the coast. Phillip Seymour Hoffman leads a cast of young British rebels who just want to rock.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mailbox Music: Digital Edition....

Lately I've really been trying to give a listen to more of the music that gets emailed to me. It's a rather astonishing amount, so to make the process feasible, I tend to skip (delete) anything with the words ambient pop, electro, new wave, or hip-hop. Still, that leaves a lot to sort through. Good thing for me, I've always been good at making quick, impulsive, and very rarely wrong musical approval decisions.

Here are some recent press-released songs to come through my inbox that made the grade.

The Duke and The King - The Morning I Get To Hell

First off, one that didn't take me long to download. I've mentioned Simone Felice and Robert Chicken Burke's new project The Duke and The King before. I was emailed this track along with some news on the band's album, Nothing Gold Can Stay. Ramseur Records will release the album August 4th.


The Medders - Gunslinger

Nashville bands that toe the line between country and rock are a dime-a-dozen, but The Medders stand out, if only from this one track I've gotten my hands on. No doubt more will follow. This band - 3 of them brothers - is made up of the musically-infused offspring of songwriter Jule Medders. Look for their self-titled debut September 1st.


The Do - Tammie

This French-Finnish band The Do (pronounced 'dough' as in do-re-mi) is nearly undeniably pop, but something about them is very alluring. Lately, I've seen their name show up all over the place, and I bet that trend will continue.


These next few tracks come courtesy of They sent me a link to a free folk-based playlist of new artists to check out, and these are the best surprises from it.

Dr. Dog - The Old Days

I caught wind of this band when this memorable album cover could be found on numerous 'best of the year' lists. Dr. Dog has been kicking around since '01, but are just recently gaining the notoriety they deserve. With it's catchy, constant piano riff, I'm surprised this song hasn't been snatched up for an Apple commercial.


Motel Motel - Coffee

I now have a couple tracks from Brooklyn indie-rockers Motel Motel. They sound a bit like a rootsy-er Kings of Leon, but for the simple fact that they're not, I like 'em more. After looking around the blogosphere for some more info on them, I realized I missed the bus on this band sometime last year. But, hey, it's never too late for music like this.


Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Shampoo

Folk music generally employs simple, traditional stringed instruments, but Elvis Perkins in Dearland doesn't follow any rules. They overlay these elements with huge horn sections and ramshackle flow. Elvis Perkins and his band have a slew of tour dates in the near future, including an appearance at the Newport Folk Festival.


You can still download the entire free playlist from AmieStreet here. While you're there, go 'head and load up some funds in your account - if you don't know, AmieStreet has a demand-based pricing system. That is, albums and songs are super-cheap when they're first added and the amount of downloads they receive drives the price up gradually. Songs cap out at 98 cents.

Most of these tunes, I checked out only while writing this post. As you probably are, I'm pleasantly surprised at what I just heard, so I'm off to use up my eMusic downloads (which by a glorious coincidence re-upped today) on more music from these folks. As always, I suggest you do the same.

More Mailbox Music on This Mornin' I Am Born Again...
Bomb, Bomb, Bomb - Bombadil II 6.2.09
Christmas Edition 12.14.08
Bomb, Bomb, Bomb - Bombadil I 4.15,08
Mailbox Music I 4.9.08

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mixtape III: American Mix

Here's a quick Mixtape for your 4th of July. These tunes just seem to evoke that American spirit, whether it be love for the open country, old-time values, or just simple patriotism.

Side A:
1. Union Maid ~ Old Crow Medicine Show
2. American Tune ~ Darrell Scott
3. Blue Ridge Mountains ~ Fleet Foxes
4. They Killed John Henry ~ Justin Townes Earle
5. Out Here In The Middle ~ Robert Earl Keen
6. New York, New York ~ Ryan Adams
7. Bob Dylan's 115th Dream ~ Bob Dylan
8. Scissor Tales ~ Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers

Side B:
1. Red Clay Halo ~ Gillian Welch
2. Long Way Home ~ Cross Canadian Ragweed
3. Fortunate Son (w/ Patty Griffin) ~ Todd Snider
4. Salina ~ The Avett Brothers
5. Dynamite ~ Son Volt
6. 4th of July ~ Sad Dracula (Ryan Adams)
7. T.V.A. ~ The Everybodyfields
8. Chimes of Freedom ~ Bob Dylan

Download American Mix (zip)

Friday, July 3, 2009

These United States: Everything Touches Everything

Reigning champions for Album of the Year here at This Mornin'... have released all the details (including a track) for their next album. These United States' Everything Touches Everything will be the band's 3 studio album in just two short years. I like the pace.

Everything Touches Everything (United Interests)
Release Date: Sept 1, 2009

1. I Want You to Keep Everything
2. Will It Ever
3. Everything Touches Everything
4. Night & the Revolution
5. The Secret Door
6. Conquest & Consequence
7. I'm Gonna Assemble a City
8. Good Bones
9. The Important Thing
10. End
11. Good Night Wish

Jesse Elliot and his band's unique brand of literate folk/rock/pop is truly some of the most exciting music being created today. With their ability to bring fresh melodies and evocative lyrics together with twisting and turning instrumental choices, These United States keep you on the edge of your seat. Couple that with their fast-paced productive output, and you've got a band to watch out for.

A few months ago, gave us a track of These United States doing their version of a traditional folk tune inspired by the Book of Revelations.

These United States - Twelve Gates To The City

TUS: [Website][MySpace][Store]
More These United States at This Mornin'...
Top Albums of 2008
New Digs: Crimes