Monday, January 30, 2012

Coping Mechanisms

The cutest little birdie in the world put me onto today's magical tunescape.  After last week's foray into Alabama, this week we're off to graceland: Memphis, Tennessee.

A solo multi-instrumentalist, Citizen Cope (aka Clarence Greenwood) has been in the game a long time. He's been writing and recording for almost 20 years, yet for the longest time, was composing for other artists and neglecting his own gifts. In 2002, he finally released his first album, followed by releases in 2004 and 2006, bouncing around between 3 different labels during the time.  Fed up with major labels, he finally broke out on his own, starting Rainwater Recordings and in 2010, releasing his most recent, The Rainwater. His sound is a blend of blues, soul and slow rock that conjures thoughts of Mofro, Jaime Cullum and Fink.  In short, this is the kind of music that's perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon (or a Monday morning if you're unemployed).

-One day, you'll heed my words

Monday, January 23, 2012

Athens is Shaking to the Ground

It's bands like this that make me think that there is hope for rock n roll yet.  Wading through all the over-produced crap and fickle bullshit, every now and then, your eyes will open to a gem.

The Alabama Shakes are from, you guessed it, Alabama.  Specifically, they call Athens home. This band has blown up almost overnight with their old school feel, high energy shows and, while trying to not be too rude to the bandmates, frontwoman Brittany Howard's presence, voice and all-outness could carry a backing band on Xanax. You want a band to watch in 2012? Watch the Shake's meteoric rise... just watch.

-So hard not to be what I need to right now

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What a Massive Mess

At this point... I should really just stop being surprised.  The past week has seen so many reunions, that I feel like I'm an awkward teenager again, quietly listening to music in my parents basement and dreaming of bigger things to come in the future.

Still, today is a big one.  Of all my 90's vices, few were as strong as the whirlwind force led by Ian Thornley: Big Wreck. After the much overdue reunion between Thornley and guitarist Brian Doherty, the inevitable was bound to happen.  Now, we can sit in excited anticipation of the new album, Albatross (only the 3rd album in the band's sparse 15 year history).  In short, rejoice... one of Canada's greatest rock arrangements is coming back.

-Death is just another way of living

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sweet, Sour and Rockalicious

After sinking my teeth into the Band of Skulls debut album and blabbing all about it, I was rightly excited and curious to see if lightening would strike twice for this UK tour de rock.
Without dragging this one out, I'll satiate my own curiosity: the album sounds like its going to be incredible.  I've only heard 3 tracks off the new album, but so far I like all 3 and am unhealthily obsessed with 2.

-Who do you call when you can't have it all?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Positive Charge

And... as though the news of I Mother Earth, Refused and At the Drive-In reuniting wasn't 90s enough...
That's right... Treble Charger is back!  They'll be playing CMW 2012. Lord only knows what their plans are following the show, or whether this will only be a one-off... but with Self=Title being one of my most spun discs of my teens, I'm a touch excited.

-Give me everything you've got or give me more

Friday, January 13, 2012

Swedish Corpses

Oh Sweden... how I love your music. It's Friday, and you know what that means?  You're RIGHT! Friday DOES mean it's time for psychedelic doom rock!

Graveyard sounds like a name that should be given to a death metal band, however, I'm perfectly comfortable with it being donned on a 70's hard rock revival from Sweden... particularly when its done well. Through a tumultous history (seriously, just read their wiki page), Graveyard was forged out of the ashes of a handful of projects from folk metal (what?) to grungy blues. The result is a fantastically true to form classic rock sound. Picture Black Sabbath with a lot more acid.

-Even if I'm miles away and I feel like a fool

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Everything in 3's?


No Longer Dead

Ok... today is officially getting ridiculous.

Double Feature

You can't fault a band for taking a hiatus, effectively for rocking too hard for 6 years.  Still, its a bit more strange for said band to return from said hiatus after more than 10 years in the dark.

But, for any of you Mars Volta, Sparta, El Grupo Nuevo, Fall on Deaf Ears... holy crap the list goes one... fans; the mothership is coming home.  At the Drive-In will reunite to play at least 2 shows at Coachella in April.

-If you know your own reply, why utter words of useless purpose

Monday, January 9, 2012

Uganda's Soul

First one of the year... better make it good, no?

The holidays have been very good to me.  In addition to catching up on nearly 2 months of releases from when I was traveling Asia, I had the opportunity to pilfer friends and other musicians top 10 lists and discover a whole new swath of wonderful tunes.  Today, I'm going to draw on a nod from The Coppertone.

Michael Kiwanuka is a British soul man of Ugandan descent who, after only releasing his first EP last summer, is making quick work of the music industry.  He was just announced at the top of BBC's Sound of 2012 poll, so don't think he'll be going unknown and unheard for much longer.

His style is a throwback to the 60s-70s soul feel a la Bill Withers (Kiwanuka has actually played with Withers' former drummer). He takes the style to heart with most of his videos, photos and releases trying to replicate the late 60s, free love feel. With not yet an LP under his belt, he's already received massive kudos from MTV, BBC and fellow Brit soul-crooner, Adele. However, you need but wait only a couple of months before his debut, Home Again, drops.

-I've done everything wrong before so now it's time to do something right.