Friday, December 22, 2006

Xmas 06

Time for “Bob Longmore’s Xmas Spectacular 2006.” This is in no way a year-end best of list. It is a collection of songs that I put together for friends to enjoy. These are songs that I came to enjoy this year and I thought would sound good together. If you’re interested in last years list, check it out here.

  1. Draw Us Lines – The Constantines

A very powerful opening track with swirling feedback that yields only slightly to a thundering beat. I know nothing about this band. In fact, I am pretty sure this is the only song I’ve ever heard by The Constantines, but this one song is really good.

  1. De La Souls – P.O.S.

From the fantastic Audition record by P.O.S. this year. This is actually one of my top records from this year. I think this song, among others, showcases the sensibilities of P.O.S., a mixture of hip-hop and punk rock.

  1. Province – TV on the Radio

I liked TV on the Radio before this year and I liked their new album Return to Cookie Mountain, but it wasn’t until I saw them live at First Ave. that I really fell in love with them.

  1. New Resolution – Heartless Bastards

A hearty fuck you song from the throaty growl of lead bastard Erika Wennerstrom.

  1. To Go Home – M. Ward

The best song recorded in a basement in Memphis in 1962 that was actually recorded in a modern studio in the beginning of the 21st century.

  1. Junior High Smiles – Beight

This is such a beautiful song, anchored by Brad Senne’s aching voice floating in and out of falsetto. It captures like no other song, the feeling of the sweaty palms and fluttering hearts of teenage crushes.

  1. DuluthBrian Just

I saw this guy this past summer and was absolutely blown away. He plays intricate finger-picked melodies on his guitar so majestically, it pisses off every other musician in the room because they want what he has.

  1. Christmas Card From a Hooker in MinneapolisNeko Case

A Tom Waits cover, this is the pseudo-Christmas song of this year’s collection.

  1. On The Way Back Home – Lucero

Every day I fall a little more in love with Lucero. Ben Nichols’ gravelly, whiskey voice sounds like every hung-over morning where you’re unsure of how much remorse you should have for the night before. These guys put on a hell of a show too. I wish I would have seen them when they came through a month or two ago, but I did see them back in April, and it was legendary.

  1. Sister Jack – Spoon

One of those bands I “discovered” this year. I’m slow sometimes. I heard their album Gimme Fiction and said to myself, “Why the fuck haven’t I been listening to these guys?” I love this song because in my youth, I played in a dropped-D metal band (although the name was not requiem, but SoulSplitter, I’m not proud).

  1. Poor You – Bellwether

Another album that was indeed on my best local album list this year. Sometimes the term AltCountry gets thrown around as some sort of stuck-in-the-mud putdown, but these guys are AltCountry in the most flattering sense of the word. Brilliant songs beautifully played.

  1. Forest Whitiker – Brother Ali

Another one of those, “Why the fuck haven’t I listened to this before?” albums. Another kind of a fuck you song where Ali says you don’t have to like me, ‘cause I like myself.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Jim Walsh, You Magnificent Bastard

It pains me to think that I will never write something as kick-ass as this:
(From City Pages)

Tim O'Reagan
Tim O'Reagan
Lost Highway

The test of any classic album is if it plays as well in the morning with coffee as it does at night with whiskey; in the bedroom or car; in the loud or quiet hours. O'Reagan's debut has been with me in every moment imaginable since it was released on House of Mercy Recordings last year, and properly released by Lost Highway this year. His voice reminds me of something a friend of mine wrote about her aging face—"a wizened disaster"—which is to say that most things get more beautiful with age, but some things, like a drummer-turned-unleashed-crooner, get positively translucent. —Jim Walsh

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Death of Music and Cory Branan

Personally, I couldn't picture my life without record stores, but Chris R. in the Strib file the millionth report about record sales slowing. I love the smell of records stores. I love the rows of CDs sitting there ready to be taken. I love the vinyl stores, with that plastic smell mixed with the smell of your Grandma's attic. Please don't take that away from me!

And now I'm going to tell you to listen to music online. Cory Branan made a believer out of me last Sunday. This Memphis musician is a bad ass. Check out his streaming album, 12 songs, for yourself. Cory Branan

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Say What Now?

I finally broke down and bought a pair of earplugs.

I figured if I am going to keep seeing Ian Prince play drums, I need them. I saw Kid Dakota a few weeks ago and I was standing right in front of the stage and Ian was absolutely blowing me away. But really I should have got a good pair along time ago, hopefully this will cut down on the buzzing in my ears when I get home after a show.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Matthew Ryan Day

Matthew Ryan has been one of my favorite artists for years now. His new album, From a Late Night High Rise, holds loads of promise. Tom Hallett from Pulse has a great article this week about a few of the things Ryan has gone through in the industry and personally to get to this point in his career.

Ryan played a show here last winter at the 400, which I covered for HWTS. He also came through town with his side project Strays Don't Sleep, which HWTS also covered.

Ryan commented that he sure wasn't coming to Minneapolis in the winter again, I can't say I blame him, hopefully we'll see him in the spring.