This edition of our “Mixin’ With” series features one of our very favorite bands, New York’s the Morning Pages. We caught them just before heading back into the studio to record their first full length record. Their EP was released last year on Zealous Records and featured the standout track “It Makes Me Cry” with guest vocals from the finest sister pair in music today, The Pierces. The Tripwire described the Morning Pages with such accuracy that I dare not attempt to top them. They said “the sound that these guys got onto tape comes from the mighty heavens. It’s like American Beauty fucked Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris while cheating on The Band’s version of ‘I Shall Be Released’.” Check out their mixtape and a video featuring “It Makes Me Cry” below.
Merle Haggard- The Bottle Let Me Down
Maybe the bottle let Merle Haggard down, but this meaty, peppery dish is guaranteed to take his mind off his woman troubles. With its hearty mix of sausage, peppers, onions and 2 full bottles of beer, I think Merle just might have found another true love!
Jukebox is the much-anticipated, gutsy, new collection of covers from Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall), ranging from reinterpretations of her own original songs to covers of old standards and country favorites. Marshall’s take on these well-known tunes is both disarming and soulful – the album evokes a dim lit lounge near the end of closing hours, and the opening cover of Sinatra’s “New York, New York” indicates right away that these will not be faithful replicas of the old classics.
I moved to Nashville, Tennessee when I was seven years old and I must admit that there were a number of years that I actually detested country music. Top 40 country music was everywhere there. It was on every billboard, blasting out of every radio, in every department store. I couldn’t get away from the likes of Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Faith Hill and so on. To my teenage self…this was torture. I wanted to listen to the Violent Femmes, the Kinks, the Buzzcocks… NOT drippy, redneck country music (which to my ignorant self was anything with a twang). But in those dark years, I must admit that there was one song that I was secretly in love with. Everytime I heard it come on the radio, I wouldn’t cringe and cover my ears and complain about my family moving me to the deep south but I would actually sing along! This song was “Strawberry Wine” by Deanna Carter.
Deana Carter- Strawberry Wine
That song still gets to me, even to this day. And tonight, Deana Carter will be performing at the Roxy on Sunset. I honestly don’t know what she’s been up to since the album “Did I Shave My Legs For This”, but it would kind of be worth it just to hear that song and relive my childhood.
To hear the other mainstream country songs that I secretly liked but would never admit to when I lived in Nashville, click more
Coniko (check out top friends) challenged everyone to post pictures of their room as is. I had a walk through with the landlord yesterday so everything is a bit cleaner than usual…but here goes.
After the devastating announcement yesterday of Heath Ledger’s death, I prepared myself for the onslaught of invasive news stories that would come. Stories that dove way to deeply into the private lives of people at the moment that they most need privacy. Numerous news sources painstakingly covered the moment that Naomi Watts, Ledger’s ex girlfriend, heard of his death and broke down in tears. Well of course she did! Do we really need a news article telling us that? And how about all of the “Oh! look at this video of him two months ago! Isn’t it obvious what would happen?”
However, of all the places buying into the trivialization of this very talented actor’s death, I never expected that Pitchfork would be one of them. The article, which appeared today on Pitchfork’s main page, is called “The Heath Ledger/Nick Drake Connection” and it basically says that Heath Ledger had an obsession with Nick Drake and isn’t that interesting because they both died young and Heath once did a video to a Nick Drake song where he drowned himself. Wow. VERY insightful, wouldn’t you say? Come on Pitchfork. For a website that is so high and mighty about everything else- can’t you see how demeaning this is? He liked Nick Drake….so what! We all like Nick Drake. Why is this news “startling” ? While it is interesting that he made a video for a Nick Drake exhibit, it just seems like you are exploiting the little scrap of something that is in any way music related and using it to sensationalize his death.
Anyways, I just want to say: Shame on you Pitchfork.
To see the Pitchfork Article, Click More.
Released January 22 on Jagjaguwar Records
Led Zeppelin returns! Oh wait a sec. My mistake. Although it comes off as a lost album from 1975, what I’m headbanging to here is actually Black Mountain’s sophomore album “In the Future”. I can only assume that the band’s concept of “Future” is just another version of the past as the album is full of 70’s rock bits, especially Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, (well okay, the track “Angels” actually reminded me of a little Oasis as well). Not to say Led Zeppelin was completely original; “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” is just one example of their partial blues rip-offs, but the infamous Robert Plant and co brought a whole lotta extra to the table while Black Mountain simply pays tribute without adding much else. Some songs, such as the sixteen-plus minute “Bright Lights,” go a little excessive in their quest for epic, and don’t succeed as far as say Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” or Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” Regardless, the album is by no means a failure and any similarities to rock’s greatest are highly enjoyable. The rolling riffs of “Stormy High” are sure to be a hit on the next Guitar Hero, and the ominous beats in “Tyrants” are fantastically catchy. The ambiance of mellower tracks like “Wild Wind” are mesmerizing, and Doors enthusiasts may enjoy “Queens Will Play” and the wicked psychedelic synthesizing of “Wucan”.
In a Nutshell: Not necessarily original, but great and rock-out worthy nevertheless.
Tom Waits- Jockey Full of Bourbon
Down in the dumps over a few black clouds? Or maybe you’re just looking to warm up a little on this chilly winter day? Put some rose in them cheeks with this fiery snack, and groove along to Tom Waits “Jockey Full of Bourbon”, a fine song that plays well against the rhythm of the rain.
Rip Torn stars as a country singer goin’ to hell in a hand basket. Everyone from Filmtracker to RottenTomatoes says it’s awesome, so we can’t wait to watch it! PAYDAY came out right before Robert Altman’s NASHVILLE, which completely overshadowed it…until last week, when it was released on DVD! Check out the NY Times piece on it for more info: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/movies/homevideo/15dvds.html
PAYDAY is at the top of our Netflix queue, so look for more commentary soon as it arrives in the mail!