Posts Tagged ‘Indiana’

Awesome Music Video Postings of 2009: #6

January 14, 2009

Damien Jurado’s most recent record, called Caught in the Trees, is arguably his finest set of material. The song “Caskets” is the soundtrack for this music video. It’s a solid film.


My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #18

December 23, 2008

Number 18

There’s only the most subtle of differences with each passing Damien Jurado album (minus the heavy electric avenue he went for a minute with the I Break Chairs record) but the somber, harrowing tales remain at the core of his songwriting. He’s been frequently labeled as the Raymond Carver of music, and there’s good reason for it, found all over his songs. The protagonists in the music that pours out of him are rustic lost souls, trudging through life and looking for any kind of sign to make existence a little easier to handle or understand. With his newest record, Caught in the Trees, the consistently terrific Seattle native has made an intriguing change in the choice to co-write each and every track with Jenna Conrad; save for “Best Dress”, which she takes sole credit for. Another key difference that will be noticed from the very beginning is a more musically upbeat Jurado, at least with the opening wallop of “Gillian Was A Horse”, declaring itself the closest thing to radio-friendly the artist has ever created. Lyrically, the album is full of the vintage landscapes we’re accustomed to, but what’s refreshing about the entire experience is the frequent sharing of vocals with the wonderful Conrad, who molds with Jurado’s deeply-pitched sounds beautifully. Boasting some of the best male/female harmonizing heard all year, especially on numbers like “Last Rights” and the aforementioned “Gillian Was A Horse”, this is another brilliant addition into the discography of one of the world’s most overlooked songwriters. On what had to be one of the very best trio of consectuive songs on a record in all of 2008, “Dimes”, “Everything Trying”, and “Sheets” make for an unbelievably powerful combination. It’s over a decade into his career and I still find myself wondering when he’ll ever get his due. Maybe someday soon. Caught in the Trees is another case-maker.

1.Gillian Was A Horse
4.Coats of Ice
5.Go First
6.Sorry Is For You
7.Last Rights
9.Everything Trying
11.Paper Kite
12.Best Dress
13.Predictive Living

My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #23

December 18, 2008

Number 23

After the brilliance of Okkervil River’s 2004 album, Black Sheep Boy, was released, it had started to be less of a secret that Will Sheff was one of the most fascinating storytellers in all of music. In the years since that record, the group have been on a relentless tear of touring and recording, assembling a body of work that is filled with some of the most original stuff that today’s indie rock has to offer. Last year saw the release of The Stage Names, a dark and skillful album that would eventually be understood as the first half of a concept project that had been brewing inside Sheff’s mind for some time. That record introduced a major step forward for the band, artistically putting them at the frontlines of all of the top groups of the decade, but it was still a bit too somber to give them a widespread breakthrough commercially. Less than a year later, enter The Stand Ins; a cleaner-sounding, more welcoming album that demolishes its predecessor as far as accessibility is concerned, and officially puts Okkervil River in more of a spotlight. The Stand Ins is very impressive – but being impressed is something we’re just accustomed to feeling when we’re listening to Sheff and Co. – but stacked up against The Stage Names, it doesn’t quite triumph as a whole. However, there are enough singular masterpieces on the album to highly praise it. “Calling And Not Calling My Ex” is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard that deals with the inexplicable ups and downs of learning to let go of someone. Plus, stabs at the ultra-egos in the music industry, like “Singer Songwriter” and “Pop Lie”, are amazingly catchy tunes that should usher in a parade of new fans to the dominance of a band that simply deserve their due after ten years of hard work. Although it is certainly not their finest hour, it seems like The Stand Ins will be the one responsible for the group financially benefiting (finally) for what they were born to do.

1.Stand Ins, One
2.Lost Coastlines
3.Singer Songwriter
4.Starry Stairs
5.Blue Tulip
6.Stands Ins, Two
7.Pop Lie
8.On Tour With Zykos
9.Calling And Not Calling My Ex
10.Stand Ins, Three
11.Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviews on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979

My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #31

December 14, 2008

Number 31

Entering his seventeenth year as the singular artist behind The Mountain Goats, John Darnielle has been quietly writing and recording music that can be compared to virtually nothing else but his own distinctive sound. At times there is a wild sense of humor to his songwriting, then at others a crushingly personal perspective, and Darnielle truly feels what he writes and sings, which makes it easy to place him alongside the most important artists of his generation. 20o4 marked the first time he would enlist John Vanderslice to produce one of his records. We Shall All Be Healed would be the beginning of a beautifully meshed working friendship between the two talents, and it also ushered in a confrontation to Darnielle’s bruising past, with the first song-reflected confessions of an abuse-filled era he experienced while growing up. On 2005’s The Sunset Tree, the aching reality of what he had been through was hammered home in full-album scope, but combined with a mostly upbeat structure it was a very rewarding experience, both emotionally and musically. Vanderslice’s production was the perfect combination for what Darnielle had in mind for that album. After a somber record produced entirely by Vanderslice-helmer, Scott Solter in 2006 called Get Lonely, he has returned for another effort, Heretic Pride, which is produced in equal parts by both Vanderslice and Solter. This one really comes together in full when the three individuals are all obviously reading from the same artistic page, and they are right from the beginning on Heretic Pride. The Bloomington-born songwriter just gets better with age – as all of the truly great songwriters do – and this is arguably his best set of music so far in his long career. There’s not a dull moment on this album, and the back-to-back duo of tracks 7 and 8 are enough to give it a place on any best-of list this year.

1.Sax Rohmer #1
2.San Bernadino
3.Heretic Pride
5.New Zion
6.So Desperate
7.In the Craters on the Moon
8.Lovecraft in Brooklyn
9.Tianchi Lake
10.How To Embrace A Swamp Creature
11.Marduk T-Shirt Men’s Room Incident
12.Sept 15, 1983
13.Michael Myers Resplendent

Spend Your Thursday Evenings With Neckbrace Substitute

November 18, 2008

Neckbrace Substitute Productions Presents

Thursday Night Therapy”
opening this Thursday, November 20th

an open art forum:
-spoken word
–performance art

heavy emphasis on original material. PA and a few mics provided. come out and express yourself. it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a shrink.

every Thursday night at 7 p.m. (excluding holidays)

Jesse’s Sports Grille
10 W. Jackson St.
Cicero, IN 46034

hosted by Tony Marshall
for details visit www. neckbracesubstitute. com
questions? reservations? ——–>