Saturday, December 31, 2005

Last Days

It's the last day of 2005, and it's currently overcast here at Casa de NoWork. Thought I'd post some songs from one of my new favorite artists, to beat the blues that the weather has brought on. Liz Durrett is an Athens, Georgia-based singer/songwriter that seems to be poised for great things in the coming year. She's already got the musical pedigree that critics will pick up on, being Vic Chestnutt's niece and all, but her style is unique enough to allow her to stand on her own two feet. Having shared stages with Crooked Fingers, Calexico and Band of Horses, and bringing to mind fellow Georgians Cat Power and Azure Ray, Liz Durrett seems to have mastered the whole "breathy quiet vocal/quiet guitar" genre, while putting a fresh spin on it. Her songs have a sense of hope in their lyrics, and leave you with good feelings after listening. Her new album Mezzanine, will be released by Warm Recordings in January of 2006. Hope you enjoy these, and have a happy new year.

Liz Durrett - Husk
Liz Durrett - Perfect Day
Liz Durrett - Captive

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

History Lesson, Part II

I’ll never forget the feeling I got when I heard that you’d got home.
An’ I’ll never forget the smile on my face, ’cos I knew where you would be.
An’ if you’re in the crown tonight, have a drink on me.
But go easy...step lightly...stay free.

The 101ers - Sweet Revenge
The Clash - Janie Jones
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - Coma Girl

The Reactionaries - Getting Existential On The Beach
D. Boon - Themselves
The Minutemen - It's Expected I'm Gone

My Gift To You

Happy Holidays, everyone! Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Mele Kalikimaka, Buon Natale - however you say it, I hope you all have a wonderful time with your families and loved ones. In keeping with the season, I'd like to offer up some of my favorite holiday tunes. More than a few of these come from the amazing Sympathy For The Record Industry compilation, Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus. Seriously, go support Long Gone John and pick this up for yourself. So many great songs on there. I hope you enjoy the following, and have a great holiday!

DEVIL DOGS - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
I AM THE WORLD TRADE CENTER - The Rockefeller Tree
JUNKYARD DOGS - Brand New Bike
MURDER CITY DEVILS - Dead By Christmas
ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT - Cancel Christmas
THE RONETTES - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
RUN DMC - Christmas In Hollis
SHITBIRDS - Christmas Is A Comin' (May God Bless You)
THE SONICS - Santa Claus
SUFJAN STEVENS - Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Living for His Glory

Whoa! Has it really been three months since I updated this? Well, winter break just started, so expect more frequent writing and updates, at least for the next four weeks or so. Now that Christmas-time is upon us, I'm featuring a new voice in the Christian praise and worship genre, one that I hope you enjoy as much as I do. Paige Marie is a Northwest-based artist, now finishing up her studies at my alma mater in Kirkland, Washington. That's actually how I came to know her, and I'm so glad I've had that opportunity. Paige is one of those people who has such a kind, "old" soul; someone who seems wise beyond her young years. Her words have a certain lyrical maturity, while still retaining that childhood wonder that some of us are trying so desperately to hold onto. Paige's vocal abilities bring to mind such artists as Nina Simone, Jen Wood, and Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis. Her take on the Tim Hughes-penned "Here I Am To Worship" literally brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it. The one original composition featured here, "Summer Love Song", as well as her version of Hillsong United's "Evermore" really showcase Paige's amazing voice and guitar work. The quiet percussion in both arrangements adds a haunting element to them. As a young person still trying to find her voice in all that this world throws at people her age, I have complete confidence that Paige will figure out who and what she wants to be, if she hasn't already.

Paige Marie - Here I Am To Worship
Paige Marie - Summer Love Song
Paige Marie - Evermore

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Living Off Sound and Light

It's the weekend, and here's a few songs to get you started, or to continue whatever buzz you've got going. Portland based Last of The Juanitas blend equal parts freak-out jazz and dense, sludgy rawk into a cacophonous stew that's all their own. The Juanitas spent a good amount of time in San Diego before heading north, and that shows in how the band takes some aural clues from such legendary bands as Drive Like Jehu and The Melvins. Slow-prodding guitar work, pummeling bass, and howitzer-style drumming make up the brunt of the Juanitas sound. As comfortable as they are with that, there are moments when their arrangements speed so fast by you, you've got to make sure your head is still screwed on afterwards. The tracks featured today are both from the band's 2002 release Time's Up, on Missoula's own purveyors of sonic sounds, WantageUSA. For an added dose of awesomeness, check out Juanita bassist Lana Rebel's sad-core country outfit, Juanita Family & Friends. You won't be disappointed.

Last of The Juanitas - Make You Cry
Last of The Juanitas - Look Bolt The Door

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Perfect Sound Forever

They say that all good things must come to an end, and late last week came news from the Rocket From The Crypt camp that they were hanging it up after 16 years of bringing the rock to the masses, with a final show set for Halloween in their hometown of San Diego. Largely responsible for the "San Diego sound" that was so prevalent in the mid-90's, Rocket From The Crypt (RFTC) were masters of making the audience realise that they were part of an event, not just attending a random rock show. Taking on stage names such as Speedo, JC 2000, Apollo 9, ND, Petey X, and Ruby Mars, they really made you feel that you were part of something special. I remember one show I saw was called "Tiger Feet Tonite", where they had jugglers, fire breathers, as well as a "wheel of requests"; quite literally they would spin a wheel and play whatever song it landed on. Rocket also understood that music has an inherent visual element, and to that effect, were kings of merchandising. Everything from including pogs with their records, belt buckles, and the idea of releasing a different single with different independent record labels (thus making them collectible), made up the whole "Rocket experience". There was even a time that a tattoo of the band's logo would get you in free to any club they were performing in. I was fortunate enough to live in San Diego when all of this was at it's apex, so members of the band were in my social circle, and I was able to see the band's progression. The songs I've chosen to feature today really capture that raw sense of emotion Rocket was so deft at putting forth. "Normal Carpet Ride" from their 1992 Sub Pop single, "Lorna Doom" from 1995's self-released vinyl-only Hot Charity album, and their 1996 take on the Real Kids garage rock anthem "Who Needs You?", showcase the band's immediacy, and punk-rock aesthetic. Hope you enjoy these.

Rocket From The Crypt - Normal Carpet Ride
Rocket From The Crypt - Lorna Doom
Rocket From The Crypt - Who Needs You?

Friday, September 02, 2005

R.L. Burnside 1926-2005

I'm speechless. I really don't know what to say, other than raise your glasses, folks. We've lost one of the masters.

R.L. Burnside - Shake 'Em On Down
R.L. Burnside - Rollin' & Tumblin'