With soft vocals and a playful theatrical style, The Ditty Bops (Abby DeWald and Amanda Barret), play the perfect musical blend of bluegrass, folk, blues, and western swing. A fan since hearing “Short Stacks” years ago, I find myself in awe of this humble duo. Besides being amazing musicians, DeWald and Barret are environmental pioneers and friends to farm animals far and wide. Touring only on bicycle, they performed with the likes of Neil Young, The Allman Brothers Band, and Willie Nelson at last year’s Farm Aid and are behind the nonprofit organization You And I Save The World and the Plastic Reduction Petition.
The Ditty Bops were gracious enough to answer to some last minute questions before their sold out performances Saturday and Sunday night at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. They promise to play in LA again soon though for those who didn’t get tickets!
The Ditty Bops- Wishful Thinking
Lead singer/guitarist Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper sat down and gave us his Top Ten Songs To Herald In The Apocalypse. He noted that these songs might make for an “extremely, unpleasantly bizarre mixtape”, adding that “perhaps that’s appropriate.” I agree. How else would you herald in hell and fury? With Josh Groban? I think not. Gimme some Iggy Pop, MIA, Metallica and bring it on! Blitzen Trapper have just started a big two month tour that will take them all across the US and Canada with the likes of Fleet Foxes, Menomena, Beach House and even Dr. Dog! They will be playing at the Troubadour this Friday with Fleet Foxes and you can bet on seeing us there.
Tonight we will be heading over to the Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater Village for karaoke! They have a huge selection of tracks including a number of country classics. Check out their song list after the jump and come out and join us if you live in LA. Let’s dominate the bar and turn it into Country Night! For those of you who don’t live in LA, or who just want to get a little practice in before the evening, check out these karaoke videos below. And I ask you, what’s karaoke without ‘Free Bird’?
Lynyrd Skynryd- Free Bird
Roy Orbison- Crying
Bonnie Raitt- Something To Talk About
I have an assignment for all you country fans out there. It’s something you ought to know for the sake of all that is good and country in the world. I’m talking about Gram Parsons and his record with the International Submarine Band.
When it comes to Gram Parsons, most people know about his influence in the Byrds, the groundbreaking work with Flying Burrito Brothers, his duets with protege Emmylou Harris, and so on. Now that’s all good and gravy, but I’ve spoken to a surprising number of people recently who, while singing his praises in these other groups, are unfamiliar about his time with The International Submarine Band. So, I would say it’s about time we go about changing that.
International Submarine Band- Blue Eyes (A Gram Parson’s Original)
In 1968, the The International Submarine Band (formed while Gram was a student at Harvard University) released an album called ‘Safe at Home’. This is the earliest Gram Parson’s venture that we have on record and also his most straight-forward country album (mainly due to the fact that it contains more covers of country classics than originals). However, as he sings ” I go get myself stoned” in the opening song “Blue Eyes” , you know that this is going to be anything but a mainstream country album. From his covers of Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash songs to his four original tracks, you can really hear him laying the groundwork for his future sound, as the songs ramble on with more of a kick then most other country groups would dare to have at the time. Click here to check out Chris Goes Rock’s indepth coverage of the album and some very special links that go along with it by clicking here.
ISB- I Must Be Somebody Else You’ve Known (Merle Haggard Cover)
01. “Blue Eyes” (G. Parsons) – 2:50
02. “I Must Be Somebody Else You’ve Known” (M. Haggard) – 2:18
03. “A Satisfied Mind” (R. Hayes-J. Rhodes) – 2:31
04. “Medley: Folsom Prison Blues/That’s All Right, Mama” (J. Cash-A. Crudup) – 4:25
05. “Miller’s Cave” (J. Clement) – 2:49
06. “I Still Miss Someone” (J. Cash-R. Cash) – 2:47
07. “Luxury Liner” (G. Parsons) – 2:55
08. “Strong Boy” (G. Parsons) – 2:04
09.”Do You Know How It Feels to Be Lonesome” (G. Parsons-B. Goldberg) – 3:36
10. “Knee Deep in the Blues” (M. Endsley) – 1:55 [Bonus]
We went by the Little Joy last night for a little post-Lunar Eclipse celebration. The place was jumping and DJ Dan C spun an excellent mix of countrified tunes (including Willie Nelson’s ‘Uncloudy Day’, Morning Pages ‘With the Lord’ and Brooks and Dunn’s ‘My Maria’ (!!)). Check out the photos below to see some of our style finds!
A Lunar Eclipse only happens once every couple of years and we have provided you with the ingredients to make it the perfect experience! First, we are offering a special edition When You Awake Mixtape with songs about the Moon. And then to make tonight “out of this world”, pair the mixtape, which features music by Van Morrison, Hank Williams and Wilco among others, with our Whiskey Moon Cake recipe and let the moon gazing begin!
When we asked Isle of Wight band the Bees (or The Band of Bees for those in America) to do a mixtape for us, we knew we would get something really interesting and eclectic considering that their own music is an intricate blend of country, sixties psychedelic pop, soul, reggae and funk. And that’s just what we got on their “Top 10 Tunes to Make Your Supper To” Mixtape. Where else would you hear the Flying Burrito Brothers paired with Meatloaf? So pick out one of our Shakin’ and Bakin’ Recipes, download this mixtape, and get a-cookin’!
Justin Vernon, known to many as Bon Iver, has a voice that is like an icy breeze against your warm skin, which I suppose is appropriate considering that his name translates as “good winter.” His new album, For Emma, Forever Ago, which is being rereleased tomorrow on Jagjaguwar (he had previously self released it), is a stunning debut.
Bon Iver- Flume
From the beginning of “Flume” to the end of the 9-song album he carries a powerful falsetto that is instantly compelling. Even if I couldn’t quite make out all the lyrics, Vernon’s simple acoustic and haunting vocals alone depict both a serene and lethargic man drifting off in his thoughts, while drowning out the noise from the world around him, which is quite appropriate considering that most of the album was recorded in a remote cabin in Northernwestern Wisconsin, where he lived alone for three months. Horns and additional instruments eventually come into the mix for songs such as “For Emma”, but they keep within the mood and structure of the album. In fact, the instrumentation strengthens the sense of solitude and enhances the feelings Vernon professes.
Bon Iver- Skinny Love
The stand out track on the record is the song Skinny Love, which was immediately placed into heavy rotation on my itunes playlist when I first heard it a couple of months back. The unhinged double tracked vocals paired with an Iron and Wine-esque guitar based accompaniment is the perfect off kilter mix for a song that pleads “Who will love you? Who will fight? Who will fall far behind?” Well, we definitely won’t fall far behind and neither should you. Go out and get this brilliant record tomorrow, find some place where you can lay down your head and then prepare to lose yourself in thought. Then go see him live as his North American tour begins today and takes him across the US and Canada with the likes of Black Mountain and Phosphorescent.
02/18/08 Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506 w/ Megafaun
02/19/08 Washington, DC – The Rock and Roll Hotel w/ Black Mountain
02/20/08 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s w/ Black Mountain
02/22/08 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom w/ Black Mountain
02/23/08 Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands w/ Black Mountain
02/24/08 Boston, MA – Middle East Upstairs w/ Black Mountain
02/25/08 Portland, ME – The Space Gallery w/ Black Mountain
02/26/08 Muncton, NB – The Manhattan w/ Black Mountain + Nordic Nomadic
02/27/08 Halifax, NS – The Marquee Club w/ Black Mountain + Nordic Nomadic
02/29/08 Montreal, QC – La Sala Rosa w/ Black Mountain + Quest for Fire
03/05/08 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace w/ Black Mountain + Quest for Fire
03/06/08 Cleveland, OH – The Grog Shop w/ Black Mountain + Nordic Nomadic
03/07/08 Louisville, KY – Headliners w/ Black Mountain
03/08/08 Newport, KY – Southgate House w/ Black Mountain + Nordic Nomadic
03/09/08 Knoxville, TN – The Pilot Light w/ Black Mountain + Nordic Nomadic
03/10/08 Nashville, TN – Exit/In w/ Black Mountain + Nordic Nomadic
03/11/08 Little Rock, AR – Sticky Fingerz Chicken Shack w/ Black Mountain + Nordic Nomadic
03/18/08 Tucson, AZ – Plush w/ Phosphorescent + N. Lannon
03/19/08 San Diego, CA – Che Cafe w/ Phosphorescent
03/20/08 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo w/ Phosphorescent
03/21/08 Santa Barbara, CA – Muddy Waters w/ Phosphorescent
03/22/08 Visalia, CA – Cellar Door w/ Phosphorescent
03/23/08 San Francisco, CA – The Independent w/ Phosphorescent
03/24/08 Portland, OR – Holocene w/ Phosphorescent
03/25/08 Vancouver, BC – Media Club
03/26/08 Seattle, WA – Nectar w/ Phosphorescent
04/04/08 Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue w/ Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s
04/07/08 Columbia, MO – Mojo’s
04/09/08 Urbana, IL – Canopy Club
04/10/08 Chicago, IL – Lakeshore Theater
04/11/08 Madison, WI – Orpheum Theatre – Stage Door
04/12/08 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
04/14/08 Fargo, ND – Aquarium
04/15/08 Duluth, MN – Kirby Rafters
I headed over to the Silverlake Lounge last night to catch the 2nd show of Entrance’s month long residency. They have one more show at the Lounge before heading up to Fernwood in Big Sur on February 23rd and Noisepop Festival in San Francisco on February 27th. With their mystifying blend of psychedelic blues rock, these guys are gonna get big so catch them in an intimate venue while you still can!
The days have been sunny, but the nights have been freeeeezing here in Los Angeles! Should you decide to spend your Friday evening bundled up at home, I would completely understand. Let me offer you a hot whiskey beverage to make and enjoy in the comfort of your warmest pajamas.
Drink to Merle Haggard’s “Stay Here and Drink”, and you’ll find yourself nodding your head, tapping your fingers on your glass, and with the help of this recipe, singing the praises of old Merle. Yeah, I think I will stay here and drink!