Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wish We'd Gotten Drunk

I wish we'd gotten drunk,
And fallen down confused..
I wish we'd gotten drunk,
So the kiss had an excuse..
The wine was left unopened,
And the whiskey untouched too..
And now I'm wide awake and wonderin'
What am I to do?

I wish we'd gotten hammered,
And passed out in the dark..
And I wish I slurred my words
When I said you had my heart..
But we were walkin' straight
And I annunciated well..
And now there's no way for me to pardon myself

ambeR Rubarth - Wish We'd Gotten Drunk : Good Mystery

Visit her website and become her friend on MySpace.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Groupon Way

So I'll admit that I have purchased a few Groupon coupon deals here and there. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I dig a good deal on stuff that I don't really need. Usually it's an offer for 50% off whatever the original price was. This week though, there is something brand new happening at Groupon (so far as I can tell). The site has an exclusive deal on a live, digital album from David Gray, recorded this year in Dublin, for $6.

I'm a pretty big Gray fan, and have been for, I dunno, 18ish years since I saw him open for Radiohead in a solo acoustic performance. I'll admit though, I'm somewhat shocked at this novel approach at marketing this album. While obviously it's not the first time an artists has offered something up digitally, Groupon doesn't exactly strike me as a musical hotbed. It's an innovative way of reaching out to fans though, for sure, as there are (hundreds of?) thousands of people who get daily notices in their inbox (including yours truly) who I'm sure aren't scanning blogs wondering what the latest releases are.

As with all things Groupon, the deal doesn't last forever though, and as I type this, there is roughly 3 days, 11 hours, and 59 minutes left to give in and hit the "Buy!" button. You can go to the RCRDLBL website and download one track form the performance. The tour was in support of his last studio release, Foundling, and features many tracks from it.

Head over to the Groupon website

Visit his website and become his friend on MySpace and Facebook.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Soul - Sad Mood

"Every songwriter in their smallest song seems to possess some monumental grief clarified and dignified by melody, Bill thinks. His own sadnesses, on the other hand, slosh about in his life in a low-key way, formless and self-consuming."

-from Beautiful Grade in the collection of short stories Birds of America,
by Lorrie Moore

Sam Cooke - Sad Mood : Sad Mood 7"

Sam Cooke - Love Me : Sad Mood 7" B-side

Find them both on The Man Who Invented Soul.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Red Hot!

"Red Hot is a not for profit production company that has produced 20 albums and dedicated more than 10 million dollars to worthy organizations, causes and pro-social projects around the world. Our mission is to raise awareness and money to fight AIDS/HIV and related health and social issues.

Red Hot is more of a creative production company than a traditional charitable organization. We keep our overhead to a minimum and focus on making innovative projects that target hard to reach audiences by using popular culture and artful propaganda. Revenues from these projects are given to traditional charities, often in collaboration with the artists who have contributed their music or art."
-from the Red Hot website

When music meets charity, the results can be amazing, as evinced by the staggering amount and range of albums that the Red Hot Organization has put together in it's struggle to combat AIDS. From the Alt rock collection No Alternative in 1993 (a compilation that I can remember playing over and over and over) to the Red Hot + Riot album  paying tribute to Fela Anikulapo Kuti (who died as a result of AIDS) to Red Hot & Blue, an album of Cole Porter songs, and many more, the series has defied all musical boundaries.

Next week, the latest in the series arrives: Red Hot + Rio 2. This one is a follow-up to, you guessed it, Red Hot + Rio, an album of Bossa Nova and Brazilian inspired tracks from 1996. Much like the first compilation, this one amasses two discs worth of music from a diverse range of artists, Brazilian and otherwise, including such talent as Alice Smith, Aloe Blacc, Bebel Gilberto, Beck, Beirut, Ceu, John Legend, Madlib, Money Mark, Of Montreal, Os Mutantes, Phenomenal Handclap Band, Seu Jorge, Tom Ze, etc., etc., etc. (some of who appeared on the first volume), and pays tribute to the late 60's Brazilian Tropicalia movement. Put all those artists together and you get 30 original collaborations, some with a very Brazilian flavor, others indirectly inspired.

As with all Red Hot releases, proceeds will benefit AIDS charities. The first volume raised over $1 million dollars, and hopefully this one will do just as well. If you find that you like the flavor of Latin music, but are challenged by the language barrier, this is a great album to go with.

Visit the Red Hot website and become their friend on Facebook.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Love affairs

"We have raccoons sometimes in our chimney," explains Simone. "And once we tried to smoke them out. We lit a fire, knowing they were there, but we hoped that the smoke would cause them to scurry out the top and never come back. Instead, they caught on fire and came crashing down into our living room, all charred and in flames and running madly around until they dropped dead." Simone swallows some wine. "Love affairs are like that," she says. "They are all like that."

-from Dance in America in the collection of short stories Birds of America, by Lorrie Moore

Camera Obscura - Tears For Affairs : Live on KEXP 7-23-2006 (studio version appears on Let's Get Out Of This Country)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Soul - I Thank You

oh baby, my home was depressed
from the strain and strife
and i'm in gratitude for the
love she gave so tenderly

and like the love
she spread from day to day
i'd like to tell you
in my own sweet way
you really got a hold on me

i thank you baby (thank you)
you really got a hold on me
i thank you baby

Get the A-side on The Curtom Story.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bright's Passage

"They entered the War like men stepping out from beneath an awning into a torrential thunderstorm. The first man that Bright saw die fell back down into the very trench from which he'd just climbed. His uniform was still fresh and the tops of his boots had been shined. Only the soles looked muddy."

-from Bright's Passage

Muddy soles. And muddy souls.

I've long been a fan of Josh Ritter's art. He's always struck me as a musical story teller, a troubadour of sorts. A man able to sing tales that are both grounded in an earthy reality while encompassing a larger, more universal perspective. And with the release of the book Bright's Passage, Ritter expands his art into prose.

The book's protagonist is Henry Bright, a young World War I veteran newly returned to his home in West Virginia. Although he returns with his body intact, the same cannot be said for his mind and possibly his soul. The novel travels back and forth, between his time in the war and his present, as he struggles to make sense of the world around him and his place in it. To help along the way is an angel, a rather unorthodox one.

While Josh has an amazing ability to tell stories with his songs, obviously expanding those stories into book length is an entirely different story. In terms of setting, he does a wonderful job immersing us in the first World War and the time following it. He's clearly done his research, and his descriptions bring to life senseless scenes of carnage and destruction on one hand, and life in West Virginia in the 19teens on the other. While there are some threads and details that beg for elaboration and elucidation, the ending is satisfyingly rich.

The book comes out on the 28th, but you can download and read the first chapter from Josh's website. And of course, there is his latest album So Runs the World Away that you can listen to while reading.

Order your copy of Bright's Passage

Visit his website, his label Pytheas Recordings, and become his friend on MySpace and Facebook.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wild Rockers!

I've got an assortment of compilations culled by Scottish DJ Keb Darge, and as far as I'm concerned they're all top shelf stuff. I've written about a couple of them last year (Keb Darge & Little Edith's Legendary Rockin' R'n'B and Lost & Found: Real R'n'B & Soul), and when I first scoped Keb Darge & Little Edith's Legendary Wild Rockers, I didn't even think twice about expecting the same deep, high quality cuts that I've come to love from Darge.

While known as a purveyor of northern soul, Darge's knowledge don't rest there; he also takes a keen interest in rare rockabilly (he's previously released Keb Darge And Cut Chemist Present - Lost And Found: Rockabillly), and this latest release gathers together 20 rare rockabilly, surf and exotica tunes that would be good enough to tickle Martin Denny's fancy and are just as sharp as his soul finds. Indeed, one of my favorite rockabilly tracks of all time, The Jiants' song Tornado, is here, along with nineteen others that I probably would not have laid ears on if it weren't for Darge.

You'll hear a lot of parallels to early R&R as well as country (think Elvis and Johnny Cash rocking out in Sun Studios) in this collection there will be sure to get your pelvis moving. Like I said above, it's a solid collection of deep cuts that you probably would never be privy to unless you dug for 45's in some deep dark crates. It comes out next month, check out a preview below with Buzz Saw and one from another of Darge's comps.

Become his friend on MySpace, and visit the BBE Records site.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Soul - Parrty!

This one goes out for my man Mike who celebrated his 35th/40th birthday last night! Thanks for inviting me to the The Soul Train Drinking Game Party!

Maceo and the Macks - Parrty - Part I : Parrty 7"

Maceo and the Macks - Parrty - Part II : Parrty 7" B-side

Get the A-side on James Brown's Funky People.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Sunday Soul - Change

things just rearrange

makes you want to hustle

nothing stays the same

Donald Byrd - Change (Makes You Want to Hustle) Part 1 : Change (Makes You Want to Hustle) 7"

Donald Byrd - Change (Makes You Want to Hustle) Part 2 : Change (Makes You Want to Hustle) 7" B-side

Find it on Places and Spaces.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


You see i never thought enough of myself
To realize that losing me could mean
Something like the tears in your eyes
And i want to tell you i'm sorry
And it's too late to start
But i'm going to stop pretending
That i didn't break your heart

Visit their website and become their friend on MySpace and Facebook.



"For love to last, you had to have illusions or have no illusions at all. But you had to stick to one or the other. It was the switching back and forth that endangered things."

-from Like Life in the collection of short stories Like Life, by Lorrie Moore

The Bens - Just Pretend : The Bens