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Archive for the tag “Honeychain”

The Big Show No. 6: 20 Of The Coolest Songs So Far This Year

The Big ShowThis edition of The Big Show spins 20 of the coolest songs released so far this year. Well, technically, one was released in mid-December 2013, but its a 2014 song nevertheless.

Most of the songs played from “20 of the coolest” have been discussed on these pages previously. They were great when I first heard them, and they’re still great. The complete tracklist appears below the embed, but I’ll first say a few words about the songs about which I have not previously written.

honeychain, “I’m On Fire”: This particularly rockin’ version of the Dwight Twilley classic begins the festivities propelled by slashing guitars, a non-stop, pounding beat and Hillary Burton’s cool vocals. It can be found on the quite tasty Dwight Twilley Band tribute album released recently by Zero Hour Records.

The Britannicas, “Got A Hold On Me”: The recently released High Tea by this truly international band is one of the best long-players of the year. True to its title, “Got A Hold On Me” is the kind of song that finds its way into your head when you first wake up in the morning. Its a relentlessly catchy piece of jangle pop marked perfectly by the interplay between Herb Eimerman’s lead vocals and the supporting harmonizing.

The Above, “Do You Have A Healthy Mind?”: The band’s recently released Waterbury Street LP is a wonderful romp through everything good and scared in the Nuggets box set. “Healthy Mind” is stomping and melodic garage rock circa 1964, complete with lyrics like “have you taken your medicine lately/I can’t comprehend you, baby.” Yeah, its stridently retro. And timeless.

The Paul & John, “Inner Sunset”:  The title track from the duo’s recent release is the feel-good song of the year. It also undoubtedly will place high on my list of the best of the year, as will the album. “Don’t let the darkness drag you down” and “let your inner sunset shine.” Words to live by.

Cliff Hillis, “Dashboard”: This is an immediately captivating song. Its three-and-a-half minutes of understated drama, and makes the case for Hillis as being one of the very best songwriters anywhere. “Put your feet up on the dashboard, I don’t mind/we can talk but if not, then that’s just fine,” it starts, setting the tone brilliantly for everything that follows.

Linus Of Hollywood, “Biography”: This is an understated piece of acoustic pop about memories lingering long after love vanishes and the protagonists go their separate ways. The key lyric delivers universal truth: “You can’t write me out of your biography/you can’t take me out of your memory.”

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That’s just 6 of 20 of the coolest songs released so far this year. You hear the show in its entirety by clicking below. The complete track list follows.


Track List

1.  honeychain, “I’m On Fire”

2.  The New Trocaderos, “The Kids”

3.  The Jellybricks, “About The Weekend”

4.  Sunrise Highway, “Windows”

5.  The Crush, “Around”

6.  The Britannicas, “Got A Hold On Me”

7.  phonograph, “Don’t Bring Me Down”

8.  The Above, “Do You Have A Healthy Mind?”

9.  The Legal Matters, “The Legend Of Walter Wright”

10. Nick Piunti, “Believe It”

11. The Paul & John, “Inner Sunset”

12. The Corner Laughers, “Midsommar”

13. Trip Wire, “Stay”

14. Propeller, “You Remind Me Of You”

15. Cliff Hillis, “Dashboard”

16. Linus of Hollywood, “Biography”

17. Phil Ajjarapu, “Sing Along Until You Feel Better”

18. Greg Ieronimo, “Roller Coaster Ride”

19. Dropkick, “Halfway Round Again”

20. Attic Lights, “Known Outsider”

 

The Big Show #4: Women Who Rock

Bonnie "Guitar" Buckingham

The Big Show #3 was called “Girls, Girls, Girls!”  This week’s edition is “Women Who Rock,” a show devoted entirely to songs fronted by — and sometimes consisting entirely of — women.

Some of the sets are “themed.”

There is a set of quintessentially American rockin’ pop songs fronted by females.

There is a set of quintessentially British rockin’ pop songs fronted by females.

There is a set of “sass,” starting with two old-school put-down tracks (Blondie’s “Rip Her To Shreds” and Holly & The Italians‘ “Tell That Girl To Shut-Up”) and concluding with a more recent sassy song of empowerment (The Dollyrots’ “Because I’m Awesome”).

There is a set of “Bay Area” songs, one by a band out of France (The Leeds), one by a band out of Australia (Jane vs. The World) and one by a Bay Area-based band (The Corner Laughers).

It all ends with a bit of West Coast Pop about summer, and dreaming of summer, by Laurie Biagini.

You can hear it below by clicking on the photo of a pioneering rockin’ woman, Bonnie “Guitar” Buckingham, which also appears at the top of this page. The complete track list follows.

 

Track List:

1.  The Masticators, “Pop Sound”

2.  The Go-Go’s, “Skidmarks On My Heart”

3.  The Bangs, “Getting Out Of Hand”

4.  The Primitives, “Crash”

5.  Lush, “Ladykillers”

6.  Spacemaid, “Taxi”

7.  The Launderettes, “Red River”

8.  The Pandoras, “In And Out Of My Life (In A Day)”

9.  honeychain, “Lucky One”

10. Blondie, “Rip Her To Shreds”

11.  Holly & The Italians, “Tell That Girl To Shut-Up”

12. The Dollyrots, “Because I’m Awesome”

13. The Shivers, “Teen Line”

14. The Zippers, “He’s A Rebel”

15. The Leeds, “Anything”

16. Jane vs. The World, “The Subterraneans”

17. The Corner Laughers, “Transamerica Pyramid”

18. Kostars, “Red Umbrella”

19. Sam Phillips, “Same Rain”

20. Laurie Biagini, “Run To The Sun”

 

Five More Top Notch 2013 Pop Releases From The Place Where Melody Is King

I’m still catching up on discussing recent releases that have been spinning my music devices of late. Here’s five more, proceeding in a linear fashion from “quiet” to “loud.”

Andy Klingensmith, Pictures Of: There are only two instruments here — voice and guitar. Or rather many “voices,” as each song with lyrics contains cascades of gorgeous, layered harmonies amid perfect guitar playing. It’s not at all “crunchy” pop, but acoustic pop with an occasional psychedelic sheen in the Simon & Garfunkel vein. Its also the best cool, late-night album you likely will hear for quite some time. Check out “Template Song,” in particular, and let your worries wash away:

Andrea Perry, Four: Perry’s fourth long-player should be played between Cotton Mather’s Kontiki and Emitt Rhodes’ The American Dream. It has the same handcrafted feel as do those two classics. It touches all of the right chamber pop notes with its use of strings, piano, xylophones, among others, alongside Perry’s dreamy yet substantive vocals. It features contributions from KC Bowman of Agony Aunts and The Corner Laughers, about whom you can read about in the post directly below this one. Four reveals its many virtues slowly but surely, and deserves repeat listens:

Laurie Biagini, Sanctuary of Sound: Dusty Springfield would have made records like this had she hailed from Southern California. Biagini creates the sunniest possible mid-60s Sunshine Pop up in Vancouver, playing most of the instruments and handling the lead and backing vocals herself. The Beach Boys run all through Sanctuary of Sound. The album is so unrelentingly upbeat that I couldn’t stop tapping my foot and bopping my head as it played in the background while doing work earlier this week. Feel the warm sand between your toes:

The Connection, Let It Rock: This is garage rock for now people. The Rolling Stones provide the basic template — The Connection cover “Connection” — and the band’s fingers are firmly planted in the kind of melodic rock that once ruled the airwaves. Let It Rock is not some mere retro project, however. It just, well, rocks, and it does so timelessly. The mid-tempo “Melinda” also features some of the coolest “la la la’s” put to wax or to “zeros” and “ones” in quite some time:

honeychain, Futura: This one takes a trip to 1979 and wraps Blondie, The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, The Go-Go’s and countless other kindred spirits from back in that day around Hillary Burton’s capable hands. The sound nevertheless always remains contemporary. The hooks on this five-song EP come at you non-stop, often launched by pummeling percussion, driving bass and equally hammering guitars:

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So there’s another five recent and somewhat recent releases worth checking out. Quiet or loud, slow or fast, they nevertheless come from the place where melody is king.

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