Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Thundercrack Playlist #6

6th edition of the playlist is available. As always please support these artists by buying their cds, attending their concerts or even simply spreading this album amongst your friends. Never pay for bootlegs.

Here's the link. Enjoy and feel free to leave feedback in the comments section.

1. Muck and the Mires - Don't Let Her Get Away

A band from Boston, Muck and the Mires have been playing since 2002 and have built up a reputation as one of the finest live bands in America. They won Little Steven's nationwide Underground Garage battle of the bands and have gone from strength to strength since, including touring around Europe. They've got a new album coming out, produced by Kim Fowley which should be great. They've already released a few albums and you can get them through their website. A fantastic band, 'Don't Let Her Get Away' song is a great lead off to this album.

2. Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running (Live)

Taken from a radio broadcast of their show in Australia earlier this year, 'Keep The Car Running' is high on my list of favourite Fire songs. If you haven't seen it yet, check Youtube for Win and Regine performing the song with Springsteen and the E Street Band late last year. They've recently finished the Neon Bible tour, cementing their reputation as one of the finest live performers in the world. Probably be a while until they're out on the road again so in the meantime you'll have to make do with recordings such as this one.

3. Bobby Bare Jr. - The Heart Bionic

Starting out in Bare Jr., who released two albums, Bobby Bare Jr has continued to expand his fanbase through his electric live shows and his excellent albums. He has released three albums and one ep since joining Bloodshot Records. 'The Heart Bionic' is taken from his extraordinary last album 'The Longest Meow' which was recorded in one major 11 hour session, with Carl Broemel (guitar) and Patrick Hallahan (drums) of My Morning Jacket forming the band for the session along with Mike Grimes. With further contributions from Jim James (MMJ), and also his current tour with Son Volt, it is easy to see the company Bobby Bare Jr is in standing with.

4. The Decemberists - O Valencia (Live)

This track is taken from a recording in WXPN Studios back in November 2006. My favourite song off their last record, 'The Crane Wife', this is a great acoustic version. Currently the band are on hiatus as lead singer Colin Meloy has released a solo album (Colin Meloy Sings Live!) and has announced a number of tour dates. Haven't heard the album myself yet but it's been getting good reviews from what I've read. It's a very varied release with songs from Meloy's first band, Tarkio, as well as cuts from every Decemberists full-length pre-The Crane Wife. There is also a tune from the 2006 EP Picaresqueties, two previously unreleased originals ("Dracula's Daughter" and "Wonder"), bits of covers of songs by the Smiths, R.E.M., Pink Floyd, and Fleetwood Mac, and a traditional folk song in debt to Shirley Collins' arrangement.

5. Feist - Lover's Spit (Live)

Here's a great version of Broken Social Scene's 'Lover's Spit' by Feist recorded in session from the radio. Feist, is of course a former member of Broken Social Scene (who isn't) and was with the band when they recorded 'Lover's Spit' for the album 'You Forgot It In People' back in 2002. There's been a lot written about Feist and there isn't much more to add except that if for some reason you haven't yet bought 'The Reminder' you are sorely missing out and also that she has a number of tour dates coming up which you can check out on her website.

6. Dennis Crommett - Some Kind Of Friend

Had the pleasure of meeting Dennis last week after his fantastic opening set here in Paris. Playing solo, the songs off his debut album shone through with his voice raising him above the bar that I usually expect from shows featuring just the singer and his guitar. The album continues along these lines with 'Some Kind Of Friend' being the stand out track for me from a very strong selection of songs. Dennis is also a member of the fantastic Winterpills, who I've featured before, and who have a new album due out this year. To pick up Dennis' album, head over to his website where it's easily available. If you like this track, I'd highly recommend getting the album.

7. Fanfarlo - Harold T Wilkins

A band I've only recently heard of, Fanfarlo come from London and have so far released some fantastic pop singles. All are available through their website and are definitely worth checking out. A band with a ridiculous amount of potential, these guys are going to be a definite one to watch. Fresh off fantastic performances at SXSW, their debut album will be highly anticipated in the music world.

8. The Makes Nice - November Girls

Coming out of San Francisco, California The Makes Nice have released two highly acclaimed albums already - 'Candy Wrapper and Twelve Other Songs' and 'This Time Tomorrow' both released last year. A garage-pop trio who take the best of past musicians and combine it with their own significant talents to make some fantastic music, The Makes Nice are one of the leading bands of the genre. Both of their albums are available through their website and are definitley worth getting if you like what you hear.

9. Queens Of The Stone Age - Little Sister (Live)

This track is from 2005 where Queens went unplugged in Berlin. An excellent session, it's a little strange at first to hear a restrained take on the song but it slowly grew on me and is definitely worth hearing. A nice accompaniment to the recorded version, this is a fine track which shows if Josh Homme decided to take the band in a more acoustic direction,(however unlikely that is) the songs still work. Check the site for tour dates.

10. The National - Slow Show (Live)

For me, the best band in the world today, The National here perform an acoustic Slow Show on French radio from back in 2007. 'Boxer' was the best album of last year and 'Slow Show' is taken from that album. Due to being in the wrong place at various times, I still haven't seen the band live yet but from what I've heard, the music loses none of it's power in a live setting, if anything it's taken up a few notches. For those lucky enough, the band is touring at the moment so check out the site for dates.

11. Kris Delmhorst - To The Wire

Saw her put on a great solo show last week, Kris is one of the most talented songwriters around and has released some great records, the latest of which 'Shotgun Singer' is where this track is taken from. 'Five Stories' and 'Strange Conversation' are my other favourites but she's one of those artists where there's always at least one song that makes the album unmissable. Was also part of the group who released the fantastic 'Redbird' back in 2005 which is essential listening. Check out her website where you can download some free mp3s and check out her other albums.

12. The Gougers - Everybody Knows

Anchored by the singing/writing team of Shane Walker and Jamie Wilson, The Gougers are one of the few bands able to effectively combine great lyrics with great music. Latest album is 'A Long Day for The Weathervane' , which this track is taken from. Some of the best lyrics I've heard in a while, I really enjoyed this album. They're far too talented to be defined by a particular genre, instead fusing several to make their own sound. Check out their website where you can stream the first forty seconds or so of every song off the album. Won't be long until you'll be wishing you had the full album to listen to the whole thing so you can get that through the website too.

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