Friday, May 1, 2009

William Elliott Whitmore - Old Devils

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sonic Youth - What We Know

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Metric - Help I'm Alive

Sunset Rubdown - Idiot Heart

Taken from their new album Dragonslayer which is out in June. Looking forward to it.

MP3: Sunset Rubdown - Idiot Heart

Friday, April 17, 2009

Springsteen w/ Mike Ness - Bad Luck

Big Social Distortion fan so this is pretty cool from Springsteen's concert in LA last night.

A.C Newman - Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer

Bat For Lashes - Use Somebody

A great cover, her new album's really good too.

MP3: Bat For Lashes - Use Somebody

Friday, April 10, 2009

Neil Young - Get Around

The man is nothing if not an innovator. If you log on to you can watch a new film from 'Bernard Shakey' called 'Get Around'. Basically it's Neil driving around in his LincVolt, a 1959 Lincoln Continental converted to run on alternative, earth-friendly fuels, singing his new album 'Fork In The Road'. Here's the trailer

Get Around

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band

The new album is due out early next month but before that next week, Conor is releasing a documentary which you can watch and download for free on his website. Here's the trailer.

He's also made available for free a track from the new album. Download it below

MP3: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Nikorette .

Franz Nicolay - Jeff Penalty

Franz Nicolay is of course the Hold Steady keyboardist and he released a solo album at the start of the year which I still haven't heard. But this is one of the tracks off it and I like it, although it's like listening to the Hold Steady without Craig Finn which wouldn't be half as good. Still like this song though.

He also recently did a Daytrotter session which you can download from here .

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sometymes Why

Another great new release is the second album by Sometymes Why, who are Kristin Andreassen (Uncle Earl), Ruth Ungar Merenda (the Mammals), and Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still). It's a really great listen, with the harmonies of the three women particularly impressive. They've all got great voices and the songwriting by all three is excellent. It's out now from Signature Sounds .

Sometymes Why - The Stupid Kiss

Bill Callahan - Eid Ma Clack Shaw

One of my favourite songs of the year so far, released on one of the best albums of the year. Fantastic song and album.

MP3: Bill Callahan - Eid Ma Clack Shaw

Lucky Soul - Whoa Billy

One of the best bands around for a catchy pop song are back with a new single and it's as good as anything they've done so far. 'Whoa Billy' is a great song and the first single off their second album which I think is due out in the next couple of months. Definitely one to look forward to.

MP3: Lucky Soul - Whoa Billy

courtesy of the excellent Chromewaves

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Justin Townes Earle - What I Mean To You / Mama's Eyes

Been listening to Justin Townes Earle's new album this week and it's really good. There's a wide variety of styles present on the album, not just country which does form its base. The lyrics are great and the arrangements of the songs are brilliant at times. The cover of the Replacements' 'Can't Hardly Wait' works well and fits in with his own songs. Very enjoyable album. Here's two of the tracks off the record. Well worth picking up.

Justin Townes Earle - Mama's Eyes

Justin Townes Earle - What I Mean To You

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Delta Spirit - The Academy 2, 27 March 2009

Only about 15 people at the gig last night, probably due in part to Animal Collective playing across town but the band still put on a really good show. I thought there'd be more people at it but they seemed to be happy playing in Dublin for the first time and appreciated those who did come out. I really like their album and they're excellent live as well. The Academy 2 has fairly rubbish acoustics and it would have been an even better gig if it was in Whelans or somewhere similar but the songs still got through. A really good band who hopefully will be back again and a few more people will get out to see them. I'd certainly recommend people to go.

Delta Spirit - People C'mon

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Slowly (Oh So Slowly)

Much better news for fans of Bright Eyes than the Killers attempting to make him sound like the Killers, is Conor's new album which is due out soon. This is the first track I've heard from it and it's really good. Looking forward to the album.

The Killers Cover Bright Eyes - Four Winds

Four Winds turned into a dance hit? It's on the Spaceman single/EP. A really strange idea and one that doesn't really work

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bruce Springsteen - Rehearsal Show

Springsteen is gearing up for the start of his world tour next week and did two rehearsal shows this week to prepare. This is the start of the show from the first night

The Felice Brothers - Run Chicken Run

The Felice Brothers released a great album last year and they're following it up with Yonder Is The Clock which is out next month. This is the first track I've heard of it and it sounds really good. Should be a good one.

The Felice Brothers - Run Chicken Run

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Metric - Gimme Sympathy

They have a new album due out early next month. Should be a good one if this track is anything to go by.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Neil Young - Cough Up The Box

Big Neil Young fan but really not sure about this song. It's off his new album Fork In The Road which is out next month.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Modest Mouse - Satellite Skin

Josh Ritter - The River



Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Doug Burr - Should've Known

I missed the release of his newest album, which apparently came out last December but I'm definitely going to track it down. I really liked his last album On Promenade, especially this song , and the video below, so my hopes are high for The Shawl which has been getting some really good reviews.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Handsome Furs - Thy Will Be Done

From their brilliant new album Face Control

and the video for I'm Confused, the first single off the album.

Jeffrey Lewis & Laura Marling cover Eminem

Andy Wagner - Drivers Seat

Another new release from Rock Proper who released the Jay Bennett album I featured a while ago. This is a similar type of music and is again free to download. It's an interesting approach to release these albums without charge and I think it's an idea worth trying. These guys are getting an audience that may not have heard their music otherwise. They just want to get their music out to as many people as possible and that's an admirable aim. There's so much music these days that sometimes it takes something a bit more radical like giving your music away for free to get noticed.

The album itself isn't going to change the world but it's certainly a good strong album. I've listened to it a few times and will definitely keep an eye out for more stuff from Andy. Have a listen to the track below and if you like it head here to download the other 5 songs. It's a record label worth supporting, they put out some good music and it's free so you really can't lose.

Andy Wagner - Live In A Dream

Dark Was The Night

The recent Dark Was The Night album was really good, especially the first disc. And these two songs were amongst the best on the record.

Yeasayer - Tightrope

The National - So Far Around The Bend

The Dead Weather - Hang You Up From The Heavens

Yep, Jack White's got another new band. And it's another supergroup. And he's the drummer. The lineup is The Kills' Alison Mosshart as the lead vocalist/frontwoman, Jack White on drums and vocals, Raconteur Jack Lawrence plays bass, and Queens Of The Stone Age's Dean Fertita's on guitar. This is the first single off their album that's due out this summer. Cool song, Jack always puts out great stuff so I'm looking forward to the album.

Buddy & Julie Miller - Ellis County

Haven't heard the new album from Buddy & Julie Miller but I've been listening to this song a lot over the past few days so I'm looking forward to hearing the rest of it. Really interested to hear the song that Robert Plant guests on. Never really listened to the duo before but I really like this song, it's definitely worth a listen.

Buddy & Julie Miller - Ellis County

SXSW 2009 Preview Part 2

Christian Kiefer - In Hindsight (featuring Bill Callahan)

Frank Turner - Long Live The Queen

Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs - Gettin' High For Jesus

Horse Feathers - Curs In The Weeds

J. Tillman - Steel On Steel

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Seven-Mile Island

Gary Louris and Mark Olson - Turn Your Pretty Name Around

The Chesterfield Kings - Up And Down

The Cocktail Slippers - Give It To Me

The Handsome Family - Weightless Again

The Whispertown 2000 - Done With Love

Wintersleep - Weighty Ghost

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ben Weaver - Daytrotter Session

Great singer/songwriter, his last album The Ax In The Oak was really great. He recorded a Daytrotter session the other day and it's worth a listen. He did three songs from The Ax and one from the first album I heard of his, Stories Under Nails. Download the session here

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson - Buriedfed

I've written about this guy a few times before and his excellent self-titled debut album. Haven't seen this video before and its such a good song that it's worth highlighting again.

Wilco - Monday

Wilco have a live dvd coming out next month called Ashes of American Flags. Should be great and this is the first full song that I've seen from it. Always loved this song, great performance.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Neil Young - Light A Candle

Another DIY video from Neil's upcoming album Fork In The Road. Have a look here. It's apparently the quietest song on the record and was a regular on the last tour.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SXSW Preview Part 1

Every year the music industry heads to Texas for SXSW in the hope of discovering the next big thing. The festival can be a real springboard for bands, Bon Iver & Fleet Foxes were the big successes of the festival last year. Every year the organisers also put up a bunch of mp3s by some of the bands playing. There's probably around 2,000 musical acts, some brilliant, some rubbish and most I've never heard of. But I've put together a few of the ones I have heard of who have mp3s available and who I think are definitely worth a listen. I'll put up a part 2 in a few days.

Micah Dalton - Down, Down, Put It Down

Alela Diane - White As Diamonds

Girls - Lust For Life

Earlimart - Face Down In The Right Town

The Ettes - Crown Of Age

Danny Schmidt - This Too Shall Pass

Slow Club - Slow Club

Winterpills - Beesting

Lucero - What Else Would You Have Me Be

Tegan & Sara - Dancing In The Dark

Monday, March 9, 2009

M Ward - To Save Me

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Bonnie "Prince" Billy - I Am Goodbye

From his fantastic new album Beware

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Review: The Gaslight Anthem - The Academy 4 March 2009

It's only March but already the best gig I've seen this year and will definitely be up on any end of year lists. They exploded out of the blocks with an opening that not many bands could match including opener 'Great Expectations', and the simply huge 'The 59 Sound'. Over the course of the 80mins or so they played all(?) of The 59 Sound album and a few choice songs from their debut 'Sink Or Swim' and the ep 'Senor & The Queen.' 'Patient & The Ferris Wheel', 'Old White Lincoln', 'We Came To Dance' and 'Boomboxes and Dictionaries' were just a few of my favourites but really I could have picked most of the setlist as a highlight.

Having watched their performance on Letterman (see below) I wasn't too sure about their live prowess but last night they were really on form. It was the last night of their tour and they really seemed to be enjoying themselves with frontman Brian Fallon beaming throughout. One thing that really came across was the passion they have for their songs and performing and that's not all that common with a lot of artists these days.

The sound was great (as it always seems to be in the Academy) and the crowd were definitely up for it. The pace barely slackened throughout the whole show and it really was a great performance. Definitely one of the best bands around at the moment.

The 59 Sound - Live on Letterman

And a couple of covers that Brian Fallon has done solo

The Weight


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bruce Springsteen - The Wrestler

A song worthy of the fantastic film.

J. Tillman - Firstborn

I really liked J. Tillman's last album Vacilando Territory Blues, although I thought the songs were too similar for it to really make a mark. This was definitely one of my favourite tracks off it though.

Phosphorescent - To Willie

Can't say I'm all that familiar with either Phosphorescent or Willie Nelson's back catalogues but this album has made me want to explore both. It's a fantastic covers album, which is pretty rare and is out now. He's got a great voice and, if you didn't know better, you'd think they were his own songs, you really get the sense he cares about the songs and he's not just going through the motions. I think it's been a fairly strong opening of the year in terms of music and this is definitely one of the best releases so far.

Phosphorescent - Reasons To Quit

Phosphorescent - It's Not Supposed To Be That Way

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spectacle: Elvis Costello With...

I've enjoyed the couple of these episodes that I've seen with Elvis interviewing and performing with Smokey Robinson and James Taylor. The latest in the series featured Elvis with She & Him and Jenny Lewis. It was a really great show.

This video has Elvis doing "Show Biz Kids," followed by a Q&A with She & Him and Costello joining Matt and Zooey on "Change Is Hard."

Here Elvis welcomes Jenny to the stage for a quick interview, followed by Matt taking a solo on Jenny's "Pretty Bird."

Finally, Zooey comes out to sing with Elvis and Jenny on Acid Tongue's "Carpetbaggers," followed by "Go Away."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Springsteen - The Blogger

© 2009 Danny Clinch Photography

Great piece by Springsteen about his superbowl performance
here . He should do this more often, a tour diary or something would be fantastic.

Strand Of Oaks - Leave Ruin

I've been listening to this album non-stop for the past few days and probably will be for a while longer too. A really brilliant record, fans of Bon Iver, Iron & Wine would do well to get a copy of this album. The lyrics are great and really help the album stand out. This is one album that could definitely make a big impact this year. Download 'End In Flames' from the album below and have a look at a live performance of 'Two Kids', one of my favourite tracks.

Strand Of Oaks - End In Flames

Monday, February 9, 2009

Grammy Highlights

Album of the Year : Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raisin' Sand

Radiohead - 15 Step

Chris Martin (Feat Jay-Z)- "Lost+" / Coldplay - "Viva La Vida"

Paul McCartney & Dave Grohl - I Saw Her Standing There

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson - Rattlin' Bones

This album completely passed me by last year but I've been catching up with it recently. Records which effectively blend male and female vocals are quite hard to come by but this one definitely succeeds. Chambers and Nicholson are husband and wife and both have strong solo careers with Chambers, in particular, putting out some really great albums.

This is really top drawer alt-country with the songs veering from country, bluegrass, gospel, traditional singer-songwriter fare to anything else they can draw inspiration from. A really great album, it's well worth tracking down.

Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson - Rattlin' Bones

Friday, February 6, 2009

Eddie Vedder - Where The Streets Have No Name

Everybody loves a bit of karaoke. Even Eddie Vedder apparently.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

White Antelope (Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes) - False Knight On The Road

Apparently Fleet Foxes are bringing out a deluxe version of their album soon and this is one of the extra tracks featured on it. It's a traditional ballad and certainly fits in perfectly with the Fleet Foxes sound. Have a listen here

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Hold Steady - Atlantic City

Taken from the upcoming Heroes compilation, which looks great, out in a couple of weeks. Tracklist below

01. Beck (Bob Dylan: "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat")
02. The Kooks (The Kinks: "Victoria")
03. The Hold Steady (Bruce Springsteen: "Atlantic City")
04. Hot Chip (Joy Division: "Transmission")
05. Lily Allen (The Clash: "Straight To Hell")
06. Yeah Yeah Yeahs (The Ramones: "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker")
07. Franz Ferdinand (Blondie: "Call Me")
08. Duffy (Paul McCartney: "Live And Let Die")
09. Estelle (Stevie Wonder: "Superstition")
10. Rufus Wainwright (Brian Wilson: "Wonderful/ Song For Children")
11. Scissor Sisters (Roxy Music: "Do The Strand")
12. Peaches (Iggy Pop and The Stooges: "Search And Destroy")
13. Adam Cohen (Leonard Cohen: "Take This Waltz")
14. Elbow (U2: "Running To Stand Still")
15. The Like (Elvis Costello: "You Belong To Me")
16. TV On The Radio (David Bowie: "Heroes")

Springsteen Superbowl Performance

Great performance at the Superbowl last night by Bruce and the band. They really tried to fit as much as possible into the 12 minutes they were given. There was even room for a hilariously misjudged knee slide.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ryan Smith - A Few Hundred Miles

Ryan Smith is a singer-songwriter from Ohio in the US and he's giving away his newest 6 track record for free through his website. It's a good listen with a couple of real standout tracks, 'Santa Cruz' and in particular the excellent 'A Few Hundred Miles'. Nearly all of his stuff is available to download on his website so if you like what you hear, there's plenty more to explore.

Ryan Smith - A Few Hundred Miles

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Iron & Wine Alternate Takes - Free Download

I'm a bit late noticing this but better late than never. From

"As the year winds down, Iron & Wine is putting the bus in the garage for the season and shifting gears for more activities around the house. To kick things off, the archives were scoured and an amazing collection of alternate takes of songs from The Shepherd's Dog was discovered. We're excited to offer these eight songs to you, for free. Please click below for your download."

Iron & Wine - Alternate Versions

It's a really good collection of 8 songs from the excellent 'The Shepherd's Dog'. Well worth the download. It is free after all. Can't go wrong.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Handsome Furs - Face Control

Handsome Furs is Dan Boeckner (he of Wolf Parade) and his wife Alexei Perry. This is their second album after the rather disappointing Plague Park. This is not disappointing. It's a brilliant album right from the opening track 'Legal Tender' all the way through to the magnificent closer 'Radio Kaliningrad'.

I prefer Dan's songs in Wolf Parade (mostly, not always) so was delighted to have a full album of his that lives up to his Wolf Parade stuff. It's not out for a while but it'll be an essential purchase. Here's one of the tracks off it as a taster:

Handsome Furs - I'm Confused

My Morning Jacket - Live From Las Vegas

An iTunes exclusive, this is a 6-track ep of My Morning Jacket 'live' in a studio and its really good. There's one new track 'Dear Wife' while the others are older tracks, showing the quieter side of MMJ. There's a couple of songs from their debut album The Tennessee Fire, (They Ran & Nashville To Kentucky) a really great album, and one from their last offering Evil Urges (Thank You Too).

It's no more than a stop-gap and doesn't have the epic quality of MMJ live, like on the amazing Okonokos. But it's a good listen and well worth downloading for fans of the band.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New U2 single - Get On Your Boots

Fairly rubbish if you ask me. Have a listen here

Fleet Foxes on SNL

Fleet Foxes - Mykonos

Fleet Foxes - Blue Ridge Mountains

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Neal Casal - Roots & Wings

The publicity machine is not exactly in full swing for this record with no mention on Neal's official site of its release. But I'm fairly sure it's due out in the next couple of weeks and having heard it, I can certainly recommend it. I was really struck by Neal's voice at the Cardinals gig last year where he performed a couple of songs and it's just as strong on record.

The album is probably best described as folk-rock and is a strong collection of songs. There's 16 tracks which, for me, is too many, especially here where the songs are all quite similar. However there are a few really excellent tracks and Neal's great voice and guitar playing make it a very enjoyable listen all the way through.

Here's a performance from way back in 2001. Who would have thought Marty Whelan would be this far ahead of the game?

Road Records Closing

As you may have seen over the past few days, Road Records in Dublin are closing down in the next few weeks. It's a great pity as it was a brilliant shop run by two lovely people who have helped me track down a fair few cds over the last couple of years. There's been a lot of support shown in the last few days by bands and hopefully people will get down to the shop before they close and buy a few cds. It's been the best shop for young Irish bands looking to get their cds out there and will be sadly missed. If you get the chance, drop into the shop on Fade St. and pick up a couple of cds. Their reasons for closing were given in this message. Best of luck to them in the future.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What next for Ryan?

Ryan's stepping away from the band and from music for personal reasons. Very disappointing but he obviously feels he needs to and he's certainly been through a lot. Hopefully he'll work out whatever he has to and return someday.

From the Cardinals blog:

me- 34-a non smoker and happy, for the first time in my life.. i am excited to finish this wonderful time i have had with the cardinals and whatever new adventures may come after march. atlanta will be my last venture with the band and i am grateful for the time we have had and maybe someday we will have more stories to tell together. i am however ready for quieter times as i think it is very evident i am struggling with some balance and hearing issues.

also, no drama or anything but i am okay to step back from all of this right now and i think i did enough manic blogging when i felt alone and isolated during the last few years of travel. these last few years were the hardest i can remember and the most rewarding but i have loved ones to care for now and i am lucky i have been given a chance to turn around and see just what i am capable of as a friend and as someone who is not gone forever every year- it rendered me incapable of things i needed to be to myself and others- and my schedule sometimes never ended when the shows did- and some of that was my doing. and i lost someone i loved, and i lost myself.

that changed. i got to know just who i am in this little spell of time here recently. and change is the nature of the world and i naturally embrace that.

i won’t be blogging here anymore either- but not for effect- it just is not being kind to myself- i need a life that is mine- i need to grow up and grow in to who i have subtly been working back towards since i stopped all that nonsense and i know also no matter what i choose to do in the music world, because i chose to do things my way and never lie i will always be viewed as an “asshole” ( i hear and have seen things in the past) and i am not, and i know the truth and i know who i am.

also it is kind of ridiculous to blog as i am a musician and anything i say here just gets reprinted at some point out of context. i say NOT FAIR but it doesn’t matter what i say anymore or what is fair anymore really does it- the 21st century media has it’s own rules about what is true and what is not. it is not a life- not one i want to live anyway and i don’t really care to participate in narcissistic over-indulgent behavior anymore- that was never my intention- i just wanted to fight for my right to make music and to be given the benefit of the doubt. now, because i have stood up for myself and fought for myself i am labeled all kinds of awful things. well, i will walk away now and it will not matter what anyone say’s. there are other things i can do in this life, other ways to be creative and to try and help others and be expressive without being demonized for attempting to gain the same things any other human being desires- love- friendship- understanding- and being able to express yourself without constant fear of being mistreated for speaking up

i have friends to make, brand new books coming (two of em’ not counting that one already printed and on it’s way out there and i LOVE writing….yay!) and a whole lot of living and learning to do.

i am excited to step away. i lost more than anyone will ever know (hearing, someone i loved, my sense of dignity, a never ending losing battle with stage fright and now my hearing and balance due to an inner ear issue- people accusing me of not being sober when i am suffering tremendous pain and nausea from my inner ear symptoms- people accusing me of theft (THEFT- ….awful) and this is not much of a life, not glamorous like those ridiculous video’s a long time ago television played and no it is not monetarily as rewarding as people would like you to believe and yes, it is soul destroying. especially when you spend your life trying to write about the really difficult stuff and you stand there losing your way and people yell at you like you were in a circus. when it was your dream to matter and you realize one day, it never mattered- i mean, i am a punch-line and a footnote in what is worse to yell at someone besides “free-bird”. i mean, i lost. and it’s okay because i seriously snuck some pretty neat idea’s in there in the work when i was making those mistakes or they were being made by others. this business is no science.

andf you know, whatever this is- it’s not my dream. and it is a punishing thing to endure when you are getting worse and worse- it’s not my dream, my dream was to try and tap into that energy i saw watching Minutemen vcr tapes when i was just a little shit in NC of mike watt’s crazy shaking leg and his electric fingers- or how sonic youth droned into beautiful clouds those guitars shaking, kim and steve rattling the pulsing lines into feverish thudding imaginary subway cars racing through my heart- and how it felt to just let go and static up a riff and find the sweet spot- but getting yelled at for just being a songwriter- to be called so many horrid things because i chose to love music so much, and also to look for peace and balance in my life- that is not kindness and just not my thing. at least not now.

and i loved somebody. and i let others decided if that was okay and that was wrong and i was wrong and no one should deny themselves or others love or understanding because people don’t get it. that was an awful mistake. i always make big mistakes. it’s like i let myself learn that because that was a role, a niche’ i filled that make sense to a loud voice of strangers who would never really play a real part in my life.

never become that if you choose this path- if you go this route with your art. never listen to those loud dissatisfied bystanders who only want to see you fail because that will be entertaining for that moment. hold fast to your dreams, hold faster to your heart and never step out of the light of that love that made you whole. i did. and i know better now. and better late than never i suppose.

but i am okay now. i see a peaceful way to better days now. i am healing. and most importantly i feel loved and i have learned to treat myself with that same curiosity and lover that i have been lucky enough to feel and to learn to let guide my life. love is the great teacher and i am happy to be learning now. happy to be listening to that over this never ending painful ringing. this is the great lesson of my life. for once i want to be dignified in my study and in one place long enough to hear and understand without my pride or my lack of faith in myself leading me further away from things i need to know once and for all.

this is the real work now. the rest is something else entirely.

quitting smoking was a good step and i am happy i also am just now beginning to understand how important it is i take better care of myself in every way right now. hell i am even beginning to sleep a little and i can feel the things good and bad that i did not have time to feel when i was running towards a new oblivion of work, hoping somehow someday what i did would be accepted and maybe that would make me feel loved. how foolish.

that is not love. love is being accepted for who you are. love is taking care of yourself and caring for others and dreaming out loud when it matters. not chasing rainbows. not hoping for some eventual collective sigh of approval which will never come. how did i ever think in those terms? i always knew better. thank goodness i know now how to be honest with myself.

anyway, enjoy these shows ( i will enjoy them immensely and i will miss them just as much) and know that i am not abandoning anyone, not the cardinals and not the fans, this is just something i need to do now, and that i loved playing music in the cardinals and hell, even before i was in a place to try and learn to be well, music was my life source- and cardinals was such a heavy crush and a real dream…i honor it too much to have any regrets right now, i am just proud.

maybe we will play again sometime and maybe i will work my way back into some kind of music situation but this is the time for me to step back now, to reel it in and i wish everyone peace and happiness and if music is your dream, or if just dreaming is your dream, may you find your way through the rough patch with ease and i hope you let go and it takes you all the way there-

loving kindness to all.


Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream

As a massive Springsteen fan I was always going to like the new album but it's even better than I expected it to be. It doesn't have the laser precision political tone that Magic had, it's much more of a varied, fun record. 'Outlaw Pete' is an absolute classic, and 'My Lucky Day' is going to be a live highlight. Other favourites are 'What Love Can Do', 'Good Eye', 'Surprise, Surprise', 'The Last Carnival' and 'Queen Of The Supermarket'. 'Queen' is a strange one because initially I was put off by lyrics like "As the evening sky turns blue/ A dream awaits in aisle number 2" which is just bad. But the song really picks up in the second half and the whole song makes sense then. Really grows on you.

The album has a very 60s kind of sound with a lot of harmonies and some really great melodies. Unfortunately Clarence doesn't make too many appearances which is a bit disappointing. Special mention has to go to 'The Wrestler' which even though it's a bonus track, is still one of the best songs on the album. Out next week, it's going to be one of the albums of the year without a doubt.

How Bruce came to write The Wrestler

Bonnie 'Prince Billy' - You Can't Hurt Me Now

After releasing one of the best albums of last year, Will Oldham is returning with his new album 'Beware' due out in March. He was on the radio for an interview and a song from the new album recently. Have a listen below

New Neil Young - Fork In The Road

Apparently the title track to his new album. The man never stops

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bon Iver - Blood Bank

Bon Iver's new ep is coming out next week and he's made the title track available to download. Great song.

Bon Iver - Blood Bank

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New M. Ward - Hold Time

Here's the new song by M. Ward. Very atmospheric. His new album will be streaming here from Tuesday. (Springsteen's new one will be streaming on the same site from January 19)

Hold Time - M. Ward

Ryan Adams - Black Cab Sessions

New performance of 'Sinking Ships' by Ryan & Neal Casal for the excellent Black Cab Sessions site. Head over to the site where you can see wonderful performances by Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Badly Drawn Boy, Mumford & Sons and dozens of others, all in the back of a taxi.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Peasant - On The Ground

While everybody seems to be wetting themselves over the new Animal Collective album (Pitchfork gave it a 9.6, Uncut said " Merriweather Post Pavilion doesn't just seem like one of the first great records of 2009, it feels like one of the landmark American albums of the century so far". I'm not a fan) I've been listening to something on the complete other end of the spectrum.
Peasant is Damien DeRose from Philadelphia and 'On The Ground' is his second album. The music is simple, understated and allows his remarkable voice to really grab your attention.

His fragile voice brings to mind Elliott Smith while other tracks remind me of Paul Simon. Every song is under 4 minutes, with most under 3 and this ensures it never becomes boring as variation is not one of its assets. But this doesn't diminish the value of this record, it's simplicity is one of its major strengths. It's coming out in the next couple of weeks and is well worth a listen. Here's a couple of tracks from a Daytrotter session he recorded not so long ago and a video for the song 'Those Days'. The rest of the Daytrotter session is here.

We're Good

Raise Today

Monday, January 5, 2009

Andrew Bird - Noble Beast

And so a new year of music begins. First new album I've been listening to recently is the new release from the always excellent Andrew Bird. It's got a more acoustic sound than his last album 'Armchair Apocrypha' and while I don't think it's as good as that record it's still a great album. It starts off brilliantly with 'Oh No' and the standard keeps up throughout. Take a listen to the whole album over at NPR and buy it when it comes out towards the end of this month.