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Monday, Mar 2, 2009

Justin Townes Earle’s tunes have more of an old-timey classic country feel than those of his father Steve. Blending Hank Williams style honky tonk with a little bit of ragtime, swing and bluegrass harmonies, Earle is on his way to becoming one of roots music’s young stars. Earle sings of being like his dad on “Mama’s Eyes” and twangs through a sweet country shuffle on “What I Mean to You”. Both of these songs appear on Midnight at the Movies, out this week on Bloodshot Records.


Justin Townes Earle
“Mama’s Eyes” [MP3]
“What I Mean to You” [MP3]


Justin Townes Earle - The Good Life


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Monday, Mar 2, 2009

In the work of British emcee/visual artist Kid Acne, two elements of hip-hop culture—emceeing and graffiti art—converge to calibrate and stimulate the eyes and ears of hip-hop heads, punk rockers and visual art lovers. And on his latest album Romance Ain’t Dead (2008) the evolution of his work is even more sly, personal and urgent.


Making full use of his skillful this-is-my-life reporter rapping, Kid Acne takes you through a sophisticated trip racing over a seamless production mix of old school hip-hop and punk rock riffs (Req One and Ross Orton). Front to back, the journey is just as fun, vivid and engaging as flipping through his portfolio of t-shirt designs and street art.


Song to song, he might be happy, sad or mad; but whatever the emotional undercurrent, Kid Acne’s sonic aesthetic celebrates the banging pleasure of old-school hip-hop drum machines while splicing in mangy guitars riffs that bleed the beautiful brevity of punk rock’s cut-to-the-chase credo. The production and careful study of his crafty comical rhymes demand repeat listens as he pokes fun at himself via “the two phones of drug dealer” on “Worst Luck”. The swift and sweet romance of Kid Acne’s idiosyncratic storytelling is clearly still in full effect since his first releases in 2001, and it’s also safe to say that this entry way into his perpetual world of visual and recorded art is wide open and demands jumping into.


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Monday, Mar 2, 2009

Aquarium Drunkard has just announced a very worthy benefit project for No More Landmines. The site has gathered a number of L.A. bands to record a tribute to Paul McCartney’s RAM (1971). The project is available for free download at Aquarium Drunkard, but you are heartily encouraged to make a donation to No More Landmines, a cause supported by Sir Paul, in exchange for the music.


download MP3s


TRACK LIST
1. Too Many People – Earlimart
2. 3 Legs – Frankel
3. Ram On - Parson Redheads
4. Dear Boy - Bodies of Water
5. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey – Radar Bros
6. Smile Away – Naptunes
7. Heart of the Country - Los Baby Fools
8. Monkberry Moon Delight - Le Switch
9. Eat at Home - The Broken West
10. Long Haired Lady – Amnion
11. Ram On (reprise) - Parson Redheads
12. The Back Seat of My Car – Travel by Sea


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Friday, Feb 27, 2009

These are all the video’s I can find for Sia’s surprise Billboard charting 2008 impulse item Some People Have Real Problems. There’s just something about this bizarre Australian that melts my jaded, critical heart. The best of her vids is her most recent, “Soon We’ll Be Found”. It’s undeniably beautiful, even if the music doesn’t do it for you. I often think she’s crazy, then I wonder why her music sounds so normal. She’s like a Bjork that doesn’t drag reporters down airport walkways and mentally explode on film sets. All that’s left is a nice voice, an endearing, impish personality, and a big effort. I can’t help rooting for her. She had me since Zero 7’s “Destiny”.


Sia - “Soon We’ll Be Found”


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Friday, Feb 27, 2009

Not being from Chicago, the Chic-a-go-go show is somewhat bewildering to me. It seems too good to be true that there’s a Public Access show where ? and the Mysterians, the Specials, and Nobunny would all play. This Nobunny clip from the end of 2005 is especially excellent—possibly because of the carrot as microphone or the gentle and awkward dancing/bobbing of the teens, adults and children. Also, the song is excellent. I’m posting this because I won’t be able to see Nobunny on his latest tour, so to make up for it I watch this YouTube clip over and over.



Tagged as: nobunny
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