La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Friday, July 30, 2010

Better Bootleg Bob Ballads Ballyhooed By Bloggers

The ever prolific Bob Dylan will release the next instalment of his bootleg series in October. A veritable treasure trove of rarities this time featuring the infamous Witmark and Leeds demos. Forty seven tracks will make up Bootleg Series Volume 9, according to Isis, a Dylan magazine; most of the songs recorded between 1962 to 1964.

The songs from these infamous demo sessions were originally meant to present Dylan’s songs to other musicians for possible performance or re-recording. Some of the songs, such as Leeds’s “Rambling Gambling Willie” and Witmark’s “Tambourine Man” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” were later released by Dylan, but as different versions.

Full tracklisting of Bootleg Series Volume 9 below.

The Bootleg Series Vol. 9:

Leeds Music Demos,
 New York City, New York, 
February 1962

1. “Hard Times In New York Town”

2. “Poor Boy Blues”

3. “Ballad For A Friend”

4. “Rambling, Gambling Willie”
5. “Man On The Street”

6. “Talking Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues”

7. “Standing On The Highway”

Witmark and Sons Demos,
 New York City, New York,
 December 1962

1. “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”

2. “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”

3. “The Death Of Emmett Till”

4. “Let Me Die In My Footsteps”

5. “Ballad Of Hollis Brown”

6. “Quit Your Low Down Ways”

7. “Baby, I’m In The Mood For You”

Witmark Studio, 
New York City, New York,
 Winter 1963

1. “Bound To Lose, Bound To Win”

2. “All Over You”

3. “I’d Hate To Be You On That Dreadful Day”
4. “Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues”

Witmark Studio,
 New York City, New York, 
March 1963

1. “Long Time Gone”

2. “Masters Of War”

3. “Farewell”

4. “Oxford Town”

5. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
6. “Walkin’ Down The Line”

Witmark Studio, 
New York City, New York,
April 1963

1. “I Shall Be Free”

2. “Bob Dylan’s Blues”

3. “Bob Dylan’s Dream”

4. “Boots Of Spanish Leather”

Witmark Studio, 
New York City, New York, 
May 1963

1. “Girl From The North Country”

2. “Seven Curses”

3. “Hero Blues”

Witmark Studio,
 New York City, New York, 
August 1963

1. “Whatcha Gonna Do”

2. “Gypsy Lou”

3. “Ain’t Gonna Grieve”
4. “John Brown”

5. “Only A Hobo”

6. “When The Ship Comes In”

Witmark Studio,
 New York City, New York, 
October 1963

1. “The Times They Are A-Changin’”

Witmark Studio,
 New York City, New York,
 December 1963

1. Paths Of Victory

Witmark Studio, 
New York City, New York, 
January 1964

1. “Guess I’m Doing Fine”

2. “Baby Let Me Follow You Down (Eric von Schmidt)”

Unidentified Recording Studio, 
New York City, New York,
 Mid to late June 1964

1. “Mr. Tambourine Man”

2. “Mama, You Been On My Mind”
3. “I’ll Keep It With Mine”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

“With money in your pocket, you are wise, and you are handsome, and you sing well too”

Handsome Dan and His Gallimaufry Set to Release Their New EP

Over the past year you'd be hard-pressed to find a band as affecting, and as unassuming as London Ontario’s own Handsome Dan and His Gallimaufry. The band, comprised of a handful of capable local musicians (Kevin Brasier, Andrew James, Daniel Mancini, Sam Shelstad, Jake Szuminski, Blair Whatmore) have quietly worked their way into our musical hearts with their distinctive blend of rootsy stylings and earnest lyricism. Their performances always joyous sing-along affairs punctuated with playful shout outs and always, without fail, wall to wall smiles. Alas, the Forest City’s best kept musical secret might not be a secret much longer. To borrow a phrase, “you just can’t keep a good band down”. And this is definitely a band on the way up.

Their latest release Provincial Parks and Breaking Hearts (Oh! Records), an EP due out this Friday (July 30th) may only be six songs long but is bound to expand the horizons of this talented sextet. This is a recording that wears its influences on its vintage t-shirt sleeve and yet manages to blaze plenty of new trails as well. Fresh, confident and bursting at the seams this is music that commands your attentions from the start and by the time the first single “Loyal She Began” comes to an end you’re sold. Those bristling guitars and heartbreaking harmonies the perfect soundtrack for the cool August nights nipping around the corner.

It would seem that Provincial Parks and Breaking Hearts is a record that manages to both impress from the get go and yet continues to reveal hidden charms well into frequent plays. Whether it be a subtle organ flourish, a splash of feedback or an airy percussive element; With every listen a new layer is revealed. The production values on this one are top-notch and really take the songs to another level. The result being a record that feels immediate and personal. "Together we Ain’t" ably underscores these palpable qualities. Daniel Mancini’s eloquently burnished delivery and lyrical style reminiscent of Will Oldham. The stalwart Gallimaufry delivering stellar Wilco or even the Band style accompaniment on every track.

Sure I wish it was longer but perhaps that is just being selfish. Considering what lies around the corner for these guys Provincial Parks and Breaking Hearts is a brilliant statement that leaves us wanting more. If ever there was a recording that begged for vinyl release it would be this one. One look at the cover art (slightly reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes) will pull you in exactly the same way the music does. Heartening stuff.   The place in that photo looks kinda familiar.  They got it right this time and it’s thrilling as hell.


Handsome Dan and His Gallimaufry will be releasing the new brand new disc on Friday July 30th at Call the Office. $7 Plan to attend. The Woody Allens and Olenka and the Autumn Lovers are also on the bill.  The CD will be available at the show.  I'll update when other options are available.

Handsome Dan and His Gallimaufry are:

Kevin Braiser | Organ/Piano
Andrew James | Drums
Daniel Mancini | Guitar/Vocals
Sam Shelstad | Guitar
Jake Szuminksi | Bass
Blair Whatmore | Guitar/ Lap Steel
The first single, "Loyal She Began" is streaming here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010 Barclaycard Mercury Prize Announced

Celebrating the best of UK music, the Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2010 Albums of the Year have just been announced. This year’s diverse selections are all worthy of the coveted honour. For the record my money is riding on Laura Marling or Paul Weller.

Biffy Clyro | Only Revolutions
Villagers | Becoming A Jackal
Corinne Bailey Rae | The Sea
Mumford and Sons | Sigh No More
Paul Weller | Wake Up The Nation
Wild Beasts | Two Dancers
Kit Downes Trio | Golden
Laura Marling | I Speak Because I Can
Dizzee Rascal | Tongue N’ Cheek
Foals | Total Life Forever
I Am Kloot | Sky At Night
The xx | xx

The overall winner of the 2010 Prize will be decided and announced at the Barclaycard Mercury Prize Awards Show on September 7th.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Danger Mouse and David Lynch Become Eclectic

The long awaited Danger Mouse | Sparklehorse | David Lynch collaboration Dark Night of the Soul has finally seen legitimate release this week.  Danger Mouse and David Lynch stopped by KCRW's always fantastic Morning Becomes Eclectic to talk with Jason Bentley.

Have a look at the Dark Night of the Soul website too.  Fascinating and disturbing stuff.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Explicitly Laid Out Like a Fruitcake"

Well Hot Freaks and non-dairy creamers the internetz are abuzz with news of a Guided By Voices reunion tour this fall.   But not just any reunion tour; this one features the classic lineup.

Never experienced the sudsy splendour of a full on GBV show?  This is your chance...


(all on sale times are local)

9/30 - East Side Drive, Austin, TX
On Sale 7/16 at 12pm
with Times New Viking

10/3 - Pearl Theatre @ Palms Hotel, Las Vegas NV
Matador at Twenty-One Las Vegas

10/4 - Wiltern, Los Angeles CA
On Sale TBA
with Times New Viking

10/5 - Warfield, San Francisco CA
Pre-sale FRI 7/23 10am-10pm password "bee thousand"
Regular On Sale SAT 7/25 at 10am
with Times New Viking

10/7 - Crystal Ballroom, Portland OR
On Sale 7/20 at 10am
with Times New Viking

10/9 - Showbox So Do, Seattle WA
On Sale 7/26 at 10am
with Times New Viking

10/12 - First Avenue, Minneapolis MN
On Sale 7/16 at 12pm
with Times New Viking

10/13 - The Vic, Chicago IL
On Sale 7/24 at 10am
with Times New Viking

10/15 - Southgate House, Newport KY (Cincinnati)
On Sale 7/16 at 10am

10/16 - Outlands Live, Columbus OH
On Sale 7/15

10/21 - 9:30 Club, Washington D.C.
On Sale 7/17 at 10am

10/22 - Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC
On Sale 7/16 at 10am

10/23 - Buckhead Theater, Atlanta GA
On Sale 7/24 at 10am

11/4 - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
On NBC at 12:35/11:45C

11/5 - Paradise, Boston MA
On Sale 7/17 at 12pm
with Blitzen Trapper

11/6 - Trocadero, Philadelphia PA
On Sale 7/17 at 12pm
with Blitzen Trapper

11/7 - Terminal 5, NYC
On Sale 7/23 at 12pm
with Blitzen Trapper

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

“The few remaining truths are graffiti, suicide notes, shopping lists.”

Ever since I was young I have been a prolific list maker. Those crumpled bits of inky paper lining my pockets and overcrowding my desk. I’ve surmised its just the way my mind works. Their presence stemming from a subconscious desire for some sort of ordered rationality.  Tidbits of ephemera reflecting my range of interests and jumbled musings. In simpler terms it might actually be tangible proof of my pop OCD- My myriad lists chronicling everything from upcoming work tasks, themed music playlists, future book titles to lists of list ideas… You get the picture.

Further related to that innate sense of order though is my love for charts and graphs. Colourful little bars and pies explaining overspent monthly budgets or my stagnant stock portfolio. But the charts that are of most interest to me are those generated by my scrobbles that reveal, in great detail my music listening habits. Only in the parallel universe of my mind and my psychic iPod could Arthur Russell, King Crimson, Miles Davis, Electrelane and the Clash make it to my list of monthly listening favourites.

Curious indeed, iTunes now providing the automated soundtrack that is my life.  (Think of HAL with a penchant for melody.)   I’ll leave the psycho iAnalysis to the armchair psychologists out there. Must be something about it though… I would so listen to that radio station.

Friday, July 9, 2010

David Byrne to Score New Paolo Sorrentino Film

Musician, author, PowerPoint User, bicycle aficionado, TED lecturer and ex-Talking Head David Byrne has announced he will score This Must Be the Place, the English-language debut of Italian auteur Paolo Sorrentino.

The film presumably takes its name after the Talking Heads' song, "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)," and will star Sean Penn as a wealthy, middle-aged rock star whose retirement ennui leads him to track down his father’s executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal taking refuge in the U.S. The film will also star Frances McDormand as Penn’s wife and Toni Servillo (who starred in Sorrentino’s Prix du Jury-winning Il Divo at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival) as the Nazi Sean Penn was out to off.

From the Playlist: The film reportedly has a budget of $28 million, and has been described by Sorrentino as multi-faceted: “On the one hand, it's about a father-and-son relationship. On the other, it delves into the theme of the Holocaust, which is a lot riskier, but also something I've been thinking about a lot.”

Byrne has done all kinds of score work accompanying work by the likes of Jonathan Demme, Bernardo Bertolucci and David Mackenzie. Byrne recently worked on HBO's Big Love, and the 2003 David Mackenzie film, Young Adam.

The film is set to shoot in Dublin, Ireland and the U.S. for 10 weeks starting in August.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Under the Influence – Part VI

1986 was a huge year for musical discovery for me. A slew of great releases from the Smiths to Husker Du and so many in between broadened my musical horizons in the best of ways. But the one that really stuck out and still remains a favourite record to this day was XTC’s Skylarking. The Todd Rundgren produced song cycle still a record that really must be listened to in its entirety to be enjoyed thoroughly and properly. Described as a "life-in-a-day" semi-concept album the record displayed songwriting and arranging heavily influenced by The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Kinks.

The sessions that produced Skylarking though were apparently fraught with tension, due to creative differences between Rundgren and Andy Partridge. In the book XTC: Song Stories by Neville Farmer, Partridge says:

"(Rundgren) was so bloody sarcastic, which is rare with Americans. He's got it down to an extremely cruel art. He'd ask how you were going to do the vocals and you would stand in front of the mic and do one run through to clear your throat and he'd say, 'That was crap. I'll come down and I'll record me singing it and you can have me in your headphones to sing along to.' I just thought it was so insulting."

Production notes aside, news today though from Andy Partridge’s website- Ape House that all this time we’ve been listening to it “all wrong.”

XTC Skylarking Better Than You've Ever Heard It

In the course of world renowned mastering engineer John Dents work on preparing the new double vinyl set of XTC's Skylarking for release, an interesting and wonderful thing has been discovered. John has informed us that that somewhere in the chain from Todd Rundgrens Utopia sound studio and Londons Master room studio, way back in 1986, a fault has occurred that means all of the versions of Skylarking you've ever heard, on CD or vinyl, have shall we put this?... wrong.

How can this be I hear you think, sounds fine to me?

The band themselves always had a nagging doubt that the album sounded a little too thin and bass light, not like they remembered it sounding from the recording process. Well, what John has identified is that the previous vinyl and CD's {including the flashy US Fidelity version unfortunately} have been manufactured with their sound polarity reversed. In laymans terms this mix up means that sound waves that should be pushing out from your speakers are actually pulling them back and projecting from the rear. Something as simple as a wrongly wired XLR plug in Todd’s studio or the Master room would have resulted in this sound mishap. Making the record sound distant and thinner. He has identified that the original tapes appear in very good condition and with this problem now rectified APE will be able to present to you shortly a splendid double deep vinyl cut of this classic XTC album as it was intended to sound, but never has done due to human error.

We are all VERY excited by this prospect and will give you more info shortly. Stay tuned.

Like Little Blue Sparks

Over the past month I’ve had the tremendous fortune of experiencing great music in its purest form. Not just once either, but on two occasions. Now it must be stated both were very different artists stylistically but the end results were gut-wrenchingly good and even spiritually affirming in some ways- (One should after all, always place music high in one’s life convictions.) The first was by seminal L.A. punk rockers X at NXNE in Toronto and the other rockabilly legend, Wanda Jackson at the Music Club in London last Sunday night.

I first saw X in concert nearly twenty five years ago and the effect on me then was huge. Their music powerfully rooted in every gritty and unwholesome theme rock n’ roll espouses. The bodies and beer bottles flew that hot night so many years ago. It was sweaty, hot and perfect. John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom and D.J. Bonebrake so much younger then and full of icy cool. Bristling with energy and louder than fuck, the atmosphere that night was electric. The show established a musical marker for me with which many more could only pale in comparison. It was one of those 'important shows' and even then I knew it.

Flash forward so many years later and that whole night came back to me. Their music like little blue sparks of melodic purity; this was the stuff that made me the music fan I am today and for seventy five minutes I felt half my age. Sure the beer bottles weren’t sailing (probably a good thing) and the band, a little longer in the tooth. But the music was the same. Perhaps even a little more polished but no less powerful and vital as the time before. The band chugging through hit after hit, (Jonny Hit and Run Pauline, Motel Room in My Bed, How I Learned My Lesson, Soul Kitchen.) It was a virtual soundtrack of my young adolescence. They were all there, one after in another in only a little more than an hour, and I couldn’t be happier. Nor could they apparently… Billy Zoom’s trademark smile casting a wide spell on fans new and old alike. John Doe playing like a man on fire. Exene and D.J. Bonebrake the counter balance to their iconic stage mates. It felt good to hear them like this again. Enjoying themselves like it was 1984 again. Fingers crossed they are still this fierce in the next twenty five years.

Don’t scoff. Musical longetivity is indeed alive and well- Ironically extending even to X’s influences. The concert I witnessed on Sunday night was a brilliant testimony to that tenet. Just like the X show everyone in attendance seemed to recognize they were about to see something special. The undisputed queen of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson, turned out to be just that and much, much more. Now 72, the regal rocker didn’t disappoint anyone in attendance. In fact she might have even earned a few new fans. Never have I attended a show that crossed age barriers quite like that. From six to ninety six she kept us all riveted.

Opening with Mean, Mean Man, the one-time squeeze of Elvis Presley, (she “wore his ring around her neck”) had the audience in the palm of her hand even before uttering a note. Of course her local backup band that night was local favourites, the Rizdales.

So for ninety minutes on Sunday night, it felt like 1957 again. Or at least what I would imagine 1957 to feel like. Like an old time rock n' roll talent revue.  From Hard Headed Woman to Heartbreak Hotel to Fujiyama Mama the singer waxed in between with anecdotes that left us in awe of a legendary career. When she broke out her latest Jack White produced single, You Know I’m No Good, Miss Jackson proved she might just have room to write another chapter in her storied career. (That record due in September.)

In all of her fringed splendor Wanda Jackson proved she’s still got it and more. The trademark growl was still there, her voice still unlike any other. Like the X show did a couple weeks prior Jackson proved that with age comes class and recognition that music can still move an audience. Whether that be on the dance floor, in the mosh pit or deep within the musical soul.  Chalk up another couple 'important ones' for me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Polaris Prize Shortlist Announced

This just in...

At a press conference in Toronto today, the ten finalists for this year’s Polaris Music Prize , were announced. The Polaris Prize list celebrating the critic’s picks for best Canadian music of the year.

The ten acts/albums who will vie for the prize on September 20th are:

The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
Caribou – Swim
Karkwa – Les Chemins De Verre
Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice
Owen Pallett – Heartland
Radio Radio – Belmundo Regal
The Sadies – Darker Circles
Shad – TSOL
Tegan And Sara – Sainthood

Early picks anyone? I’m going with the Besnard Lakes, my heart with Caribou and my head with Dan Mangan. We’ll just let them battle it out ‘til then.

Sharon Van Etten’s Epic Future

Sharon Van Etten’s Because I Was in Love continues to astound me every time I listen to it. Revealing it's myriad layers and little secrets a little more every time. This is a record I will discover for years on end. Thrilling and beautiful... But aren’t those always the best kind?  For those unfamiliar with that recording she is also the singer responsible for so many of those haunting vocals on the Antlers’ masterpiece Hospice.

Good news then, the hugely talented Brooklynite, will be putting out her second record, a seven-song collection called Epic, on October 5th through Ba Da Bing. (Home of Beirut, Damon Naomi, Comets on Fire and the U.S. home of Hawksley Workman.) The new record was recorded in Philadelphia at the Miner Street Studios and features vocal assists by Meg Baird (Espers), Cat Martino and Jessica Larrabee (She Keeps Bees). A seven-inch is also due this summer on Polyvinyl. (Full tracklisting below.)

Additionally, she contributes “I Couldn’t Save You” to the soundtrack for the forthcoming Rick Alverson DVD, The Builder, due later this month on Jagjaguwar. Watch the trailer for the film here.

If you’re reading this LOLA organizers, you need to bring this woman to London in the Fall for LOLA 2010!

Sharon van Etten / Secret Garden #2 from hoovesontheturf (sarahana) on Vimeo.

Epic Tracklist:

01. A Crime
02. Peace Sign
03. Save Yourself
04. DsharpG
05. Don’t Do It
06. One Day
07. Love More

Sharon Van Etten 2010 Tour Dates:

07/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Zebulon for The Builder
07/16 – Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival
07/17 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s *
08/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Bushwick Starr %
09/10 – Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Festival

* = w/ Here We Go Magic
% = w/ Mike Visser