Archive for August, 2007

Aug 03 2007

Song of the day: Tim Booth – “Redneck”

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“Redneck” is a track on Tim Booth’s album, Bone. I’ve liked the song for quite a while, but for whatever reason haven’t had a chance to post it, until now. The song has a great beat, and if the lyrics are supposed to be taken literally, the character in the song says, “I’m just ice-cream.” So that’s pretty cool, because I’ve never heard anyone describe themselves as ice cream before, and who doesn’t love ice cream? He also says he’s richer than Bill Gates, but we all know that can’t possibly be true, as Carlos Slim is the only man richer than Bill Gates. In reality, the song is about celebrity self-importance, which Booth says at one time he had. In an interview he stated, “I realised {sic, jk} it was just ice-cream – somebody wants strawberry one day and another flavour the next. It’s about being a disposable commodity. I’m interested in celebrity and fame because in this culture it’s the highest currency, the highest aim. It’s incredible that, if you’re a serial killer, as least you’re famous. That’s a strange state for a culture to be in.”

Booth is from Manchester, England, and is of the former band, James. His 2005 release, Bone, is considered to be his solo album, but as he states, “I can’t believe anyone really has true solo albums, except maybe Prince or Stevie Wonder. You need help and I had a lot of it from my collaborators.” A new album is currently in the works.

Bone (2005):

Tim Booth – “Redneck”

Booth’s Site

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Aug 02 2007

The Nobility – The Mezzanine

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Last Tuesday, The Nobility released their debut full-length album, The Mezzanine. If you like The Beatles, Fruit Bats, or Ron Sexsmith, you are going to like this album. So in other words, if you have a pulse, you are going to like this album. I really dig the arrangements of songs, and the variations of tempos from one song to the next. I also don’t come across many bands that change the tempo within a song as much as The Nobility does. The first time I heard “Let Me Hang Around,” I thought I wasn’t going to like the song, and was almost tempted to skip the track, but just then, the tempo slowed down, which completely changed the mood of the song. Usually, you get your bands that either rock out or play acoustic melodies, and I am personally a big fan of bands that can find a proper balance between the two. The Nobility experiments with a variety of instruments on The Mezzanine, including the cello, tuba, saxophone, flute, violin and French horn. The best songs on the album are by far the first two tracks, the first of which shares its name with the album, and the second, entitled “Hallelujah Chorus.” The beginning of the first track reminds me a lot of the Beatles song, “Blackbird.” The other songs I most recommend are “Angel’s Debut,” “Gold Blue Sky,” and “Worth Your While.” This is one of those albums that you will be hearing more about sooner or later, so I’d recommend you jump on the bandwagon now before it gets crowded.

The Nobility comes from Nashville, TN. Sean Williams is the lead singer, songwriter and guitarist, Stephen Jerkins dabbles in piano, organ, guitar and backing vocals, and Brian Fuzzell plays drums and percussion. David Dewese, who left the band to focus on other projects, played bass for the band in 2005 and 2006, and helped record the album. For now, a host of friends and enemies fill in bass duties. The band said they are inspired by The Beatles and The Kinks, and constantly listened to them while recording. The band was originally named Jetpack, but as they describe, “another band had the copyright or at least a better lawyer and so a name change occurred.”

The Mezzanine (2007):

The Nobility – “The Mezzanine”

The Nobility – “Hallelujah Chorus”

Site | Myspace | Store| Tour

 

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Aug 01 2007

John Vanderslice – Emerald City

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Last Friday & Saturday, I went to the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle, and while there were several artists I was looking forward to seeing, John Vanderslice unquestionably topped the list. His 2005 release “Pixel Revolt” is still one of my favorite albums, and having missed his tour through Chicago, this was a big show for me. Vanderslice’s new album, Emerald City, released last week and after listening to an advance copy for about 6 weeks, I must say the album doesn’t do as much for me as Pixel Revolt did, however, I haven’t been able to stop listening to several tracks including Kookaburra, The Parade, White Dove, and the last track on the album, Central Booking. I’ve also been listening to Tablespoon of Codeine and Numbered Lithograph. Given there are only nine tracks on the album, and I liked a good portion of them, I consider this to be a good album.

Vanderslice wrote most of Emerald City while dealing with legal issues trying to get his French girlfriend a visa to come to the states. The flawed systems of our country filled him with frustration, and therefore, his songs revolve around this anger and alienation, and at the same time, the loss and loneliness he’s had to go through. His feelings towards the visa situation are most notable on Central Booking, as he surrenders to the idea that “September has won once again,” alluding back to September 11th. Unfortunately, the problem with his girlfriend has yet to be resolved.

John Vanderslice is from San Francisco, and has been performing with his own band ever since breaking up with mk Utlra in 1999. He has his own record studio in San Francisco called Tiny Telephone, where he not only records his own albums, but produces albums for other artists, such as Spoon (Gimme Fiction). Some other bands that recorded there include: Beulah, Death Cab, Deerhoof, Mates of State, and the Mountain Goats, who John has done a lot of collaboration with. John Vanderslice is a great guy; he interacts with his fans more than any other artist you will find. He is one of those guys who feels like a music fan first, musician second. He reads music blogs (he’ll find this one soon), and offers mp3’s on his site, including a full-length of his 2000 release, “Mass Suicide Occult Figurines.” I highly recommend you watch an interview John did on the Merlin Show to get a better idea of just how cool he is. I just saw on his site that he told everyone he was going to be at the Sonic Boom General Store in Seattle last Sunday cashiering—I’m so sad I didn’t read that when I was there, because John Vanderslice is one of those guys who I would really love to shake hands with. Some day. If you’ve heard Emerald City, what are your thoughts?

Emerald City (2007) Click HERE to stream full-length album:

John Vanderslice – Kookaburra

John Vanderslice – White Dove

Pixel Revolt (2005):

John Vanderslice – Exodus Damage

John Vanderslice – Trance Manuel

Cellar Door (2004):

John Vanderslice – My Family Tree

Life and Death of An American Fourtracker (2002):

John Vanderslice – Underneath The Leaves

John Vanderslice – The Mansion

Store | JV’s site | Tiny Telephone| Myspace| Tour

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