Sunday, November 27, 2011

Come to Mary : Jesse Sykes and the Sweethereafter

Here's a recent discovery of mine. If you're digging bands like Dawes, this will suit you well. It's "Come to Mary" by Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter, a Seattle group comprised primarily of Sykes and guitarist Phil Wandscher. If you're looking for street cred, Wandscher co-founded Whiskeytown with Ryan Adams, so no, these aren't kids knocking around a basement.

I like "Come to Mary"'s spooky alt-country vibe and Sykes's unpolished voice. The song's got a really interesting feel and character, like something from the early/mid 70s. Take it for a spin.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 2011 Musical Guests

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and that's extra exciting for many reasons. For one, it means lots of food. It also means the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the three-hour long prelude to the Christmas season, because my holidays don't start until Santa rides across Harold Square. It's a rule.

Since this is a music blog, after all, here's a rundown of the musical acts schedules for tomorrow. Sadly, Kanye will not be there.

Avril Lavigne
Cee Lo Green
Far East Movement
Fresh Beat Band
Mannheim Steamroller
Mary J. Blige
Rodney Atkins
Scotty McCreery
Shelby Lynne

I know. The star power is overwhelming. Just don't wet your adult-size footie pajamas. 

A Year to Live: The Demise of the CD

Bye bye love.
We knew it was going to happen at some point.

Side-Line music magazine reported recently that major record labels plan to abandon the CD by the end of 2012.  (Maybe that's what the Mayas saw, not the end of the world, but the end of CDs.)

I expected to freak out, battle the compulsion to go out and buy as many CDs as I could carry, and then come back the next day for more, but it's been such a long time coming, that it's hard to get worked up.

I do regret that the next generation won't have a physical music collection. I wonder what this will do to their music owning habits when they won't really be able to have a library until they have a computer. I wonder what I'd be doing with my life if I hadn't been able to run my fingers over the records in my dad's collection.

So, what comes next for the record store owners? The future of liner notes? Album art?

I imagine one day there will be a weathered little old man who lives on a mountain, who is the only person who can tell you what year Pet Sounds came out without Googling it. He'll be the lone living repository for musical knowledge that stems from love and obsession for music.

That's a bit dramatic, but it does feel like a painfully slow death– slower and more painful than it was because now there's a date off in the future, even if CDs won't mysteriously vaporize on one day.

I also wonder how many people will miss CDs. With programs like Spotify, who could miss being confined to the same 100 or so albums? It's hard to figure. In the past when an old format has died out, it was still being replaced by something physical.

Anyway, CDs will be floating around out there for a while. TMI doesn't really have any golden advice. I'm sticking it out for as long as I can.

In the meantime, if you want to continue to support your local record stores, which you should, here's a list courtesy of special Black Friday releases courtesy of the folks at Record Store Day.

The Shrine/An Argument : Fleet Foxes

The Shrine / An Argument from Sean Pecknold on Vimeo.

It's not exactly a "Happy Thanksgiving" type video, but the new Fleet Foxes video for "The Shrine/An Argument"is out and it is way weird. Think: animals' heads on pikes, some freaky indigenous tribe, and a buck on a doomed mission. I'm not sure what's going on half the time, but the animation is striking (read: hellish) Apparently frontman Robin Pecknold's brother Sean directed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You're the One That I Want : The Lennings (Yes, from Parenthood)

Man, have I got one for you this evening. Whilst watching Parenthood on NBC, I heard a song that was sort of familiar.

"'Cause the power you're supplying, it's electrifying."

I'm sitting there thinking, "what is that?" And then BOOM. John Travolta is dancing across my brain in tight black clothing and inexplicably white socks.

Grease! "You're the One That I Want!" But it sounds like Bon Iver. Or Iron and Wine. Or some whispery indie band that's decidedly not broadway.

Let me introduce you to The Lennings, a band from Austin, TX (respect) who "blur the line between the Americana and indie pop scenes," according to their Facebook. It looks like they've got their third album slated for the winter of 2012, and if you want to read about how stoked they were to get their song on Parenthood, you can check out their blog.

This maybe the most exciting acoustic cover I've heard since discovering Obadiah Parker's soulful take on "Hey Ya" (life-changing) or Travis's version of "Hit Me Baby One More Time" (very moving).

That last one was (sort of) a joke. In all seriousness, give The Lennings a listen. Ooo ooo ooo. Honey.

*I am inspired to put together a set list of bizarre acoustic covers and take it on the road.
**I have no idea why the video features boiling water. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let Foster the People Pump You Up

I am way late to the party on Foster the People, but fortunately Spotify is letting me make up lost time. Here's a tune that's probably (maybe?) their best known so far, and understandably so, because it's hooky as hell. Plus, it sounds like an Instagram photo is singing to me. Check out "Pumped Up Kicks." It just might make it on The Musically Inclined's Top Discoveries of 2011 list.

No joke. Enjoy.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Brushfire Records Heats Up December

There's something I've always loved about Brushfire Records. They've just got this feel that makes me want to head West to warm climates, palm trees and sun. If you don't know, it's not only Jack Johnson's label, but the home of Rogue Wave, Matt Costa and G. Love. Happily, I saw on Rolling Stone the other day that Brushfire's releasing This Warm December - A Brushfire Holiday, Volume 2. It's an album full of  easy flowing Christmas tunes and it plays like the perfect cool Christmas music mix that you've always wanted to make.

Some of the songs are covers (Rogue Wave tackles "Jingle Bell Rock") and others are originals (Zach Gill's "Party Hard"might unseat "Christmas with You is the Best" by the Long Winters as my favorite tribute to holiday rowdiness.) Zee Avi's quirky Eastern European spin on "Frosty the Snowman" is multiple kinds of cool.

Either way, if you pick it up you won't be disappointed and proceeds go to charities benefiting children's music education. 

This Warm December hits stores on the Nov. 15. Until then, stream it courtesy of Rolling Stone. And if you're curious, Volume 1 came out in '08. Here's the Amazon link. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lost in My Mind : The Head and the Heart

I wrote about a sweet band called The Head and the Heart a few months ago when I first heard their killer song "Rivers and Roads." Tonight, I heard another song of theirs, "Lost in My Mind" on NBC's Parenthood, and thought I'd pass it along. I've been meaning to since the video came out a while back. It's great stuff. Gorgeous harmonies as usual. And I think one of the things about this song that I love the most is how effortless the melody is. Enjoy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Amos Lee at the Westcott

Meant to post this last week. It's another show review I did for the Newshouse. This time around, I got to see the ever soulful Amos Lee wade against the most obnoxious bunch of middle aged people I've ever witnessed.