Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Shuffle #409

We haven't seen the sun in a while here in NW Indiana; the last time I saw the sun was when we flew into Louisville on our first leg home from Baltimore Monday night. So, please, sun, come and visit!

Speaking of Baltimore, we had a wonderful time not only at my cousin Lauren's wedding to Nick, but also throughout the whole weekend with all the family. A week ago today six of us walked out to Fell's Point, a really cool section of the city, and sat outside for brunch, shopped for records, ate ice cream, and more. We hung with the family at our great rental place in the afternoon and I finished off playing lots of euchre with my brother, cousin, and father. So much fun.

Last night was prom, which went very well. I didn't get to bed until 2:00, but I got up and had a great 3 mile run this morning. I need to get a lot of schoolwork done while my brain is still functioning well, so I'm going to shut up now and get to today's ten...

1. Right Back Where We Started From/Army Navy (8) - last played on 8/9/15
2. I Will Be There When You Die/My Morning Jacket (9) - last played on 9/27/15
3. To Be Completely Honest/Dawes (4) - last played on 3/23/16
4. Commercial Alternative/Teenage Fanclub (8) - last played on 2/2/16
5. Everything You've Done Wrong/Sloan (16) - last played on 4/9/16
6. White Shadow Waltz/Okkervil River (14) - last played on 11/15/15
7. Red Flag Diver/Aimee Mann (19) - last played on 3/24/16
8. Changes (Live)/Sugar (1) - debut
9. Pedestrian At Best/Courtney Barnett (14) - last played on 12/26/15
10. Bad Man Coming (6) - last played on 11/4/12

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Sweet (Sunday Shuffle #408)

I still can't wrap my head around the news that Matthew Sweet is playing the Popcorn Festival this year. I have been a fan for almost 25 years, ever since Girlfriend came out in October 1991. That album is in my top ten, for sure, and could even be my all-time favorite. His 1995 album 100% Fun is also a favorite and I never take a road trip with the CD in the car. Heck, his music is probably what fueled my love of power pop. So, this news is pretty darn exciting.

I decided to load his CDs into iTunes last night, so I could do a shuffle with his music today. I had a couple albums in already, but the play counts are going to be extremely low today. Oh well. I've listened to all these songs many many times. I'm sure that by the time the concert comes around (and I most likely do another Sunday Sweet) the play counts will be higher.

If you're not familiar with his music (or forgot about him since in the mid-90s), check out the Spotify playlist that I'll link to later today. Let's get to it!

1. Dead Smile (1) - from Kimi Ga Suki
2. Tonight We Ride (1) - from Kimi Ga Suki
3. Warning (1) - from Kimi Ga Suki
4. What Do You Know? (1) - from Altered Beast
5. Devil With The Green Eyes (2) - from Altered Beast
6. Ultrasuede (2) - from The Ugly Truth
7. Split Personality (1) - from In Reverse
8. Come To Love (1) - from 100% Fun
9. Giving It Back (1) - from 100% Fun
10. I Almost Forgot (1) - from 100% Fun

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday Shuffle #407

Life is very busy right now, so my Saturday Song idea is on hold for a while. I'll get back to it when I can. Meanwhile, I have quite a bit of schoolwork to do today, so let's get right to today's ten...

1. Ill Wills/Shout Out Louds (7) - last played on 3/14/15
2. Sunken Union Boat/John Vanderslice (5) - last played on 1/18/15
3. The Great Unknown/The Damnwells (9) - last played on 4/4/15
4. Sean/Foo Fighters (9) - last played on 3/22/16
5. Blankest Year/Nada Surf (5) - last played on 4/6/16
6. Flaming Heart/M. Ward (6) - last played on 3/20/15
7. Satanic Messiah/The Mountain Goats (6) - last played on 4/24/15
8. You Can't Help Me Now/The Both (11) - last played on 7/21/15
9. Calculating Bimbo/Belle & Sebastian (15) - last played on 1/13/15
10. Give It Time/Old 97s (15) - last played on 3/26/16

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday Sloan #2 (Sunday Shuffle #406)

I've been slacking on my music posts over the past two weekends, skipping two potential Saturday Songs and a Sunday Shuffle. It can be blamed on my spring break or on the fact I've been listening to a whole bunch of new music or that I've been trying to catch up on TV. I used to get annoyed with myself when I missed weeks, but these days I'm okay with it.

I know my last Shuffle was dedicated to one artist, but I couldn't help myself today. Last night I was listening to One Chord To Another, which Sloan just put out in a deluxe vinyl version (these are times when I wish I had a record player), and went on YouTube to find the b-sides. From there, I rewatched their KEXP performance from when Commonwealth had come out...and then I watched a show they did at Massey Hall that was just put up in December. So, the Sloan addiction is full on this morning. If you don't know this band, please listen to the Spotify playlist that I'll put up later. You won't regret it.

1. Money City Maniacs (16) - from Navy Blues
2. Sensory Deprivation (13) - from Between the Bridges
3. Who You Talkin' To? (10) - from Pretty Together
4. Bells On (17) - from Twice Removed
5. If It Feels Good Do It (9) - from Pretty Together
6. Keep On Thinkin' (16) - from Navy Blues
7. Something's Wrong (23) - from Never Hear the End of It
8. She's Slowin' Down Again (26) - from The Double Cross
9. Who Loves Life More? (18) - from Action Pact
10. Witch's Wand (9) - from Parallel Play

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday Surf (Sunday Shuffle #405)

Nada Surf released their seventh studio album, You Know Who You Are, two weeks ago. I've been a fan of the band since Let Go in 2002 and was really looking forward to the new one so much so that I listened to their music a lot in the days before that release. As part of that process, I ripped their CDs into iTunes so I could play everything I owned; I only had their last album, 2012's The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, as a digital release. That all goes to explaining the play count disparity between songs from different albums and why play counts are so low for an album like The Weight Is A Gift (from 2005), which is one of my favorite albums. I might as well mention their other two albums that might appear on today's shuffle - Lucky from 2008 and If I Had A Hi-Fi from 2010, which is a covers record. If you don't know the band, you owe it to yourself to listen along at some point this week via my Spotify playlist, or just start with Let Go and work your way forward (their first two albums aren't really the same band). Oh, and don't forget to go back in the feed and check out yesterday's Saturday Song, which was "Four Leaf Clover" by Old 97s.

Okay, let's get to today's ten from Nada Surf...

1. Armies Walk (3) - from The Weight Is A Gift
2. Bye Bye Beaute (3) - from If I Had A Hi-Fi
3. Là Pour Ça (3) - from Let Go
4. Comes A Time (2) - from The Weight Is A Gift
5. Here Goes Something (4) - from Lucky
6. Teenage Dreams (25) - from The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
7. The Future (20) - from The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
8. Bright Side (3) - from If I Had A Hi-Fi
9. You Know Who You Are (9) - from You Know Who You Are
10. Gold Sounds (9) - from You Know Who You Are

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday Song #3

This song came to mind this week for two reasons:

1. This band, one of my favorites, has been posting pictures and video of themselves in the studio working on their 11th album this week.

2. Thursday was St. Patrick's Day and the first graders were all about hunting for leprechauns and four leaf clovers at recess.

That means this week's song can be nothing other than...

"Four Leaf Clover" by Old 97s

Too Far To Care was not my first Old 97s album, but it was my second. I started with Fight Songs in 1999, loved it, and immediately went back to pick up TFTC, which had come out in 1997. Turned out I loved TFTC even more, to the point where it's one of my all-time favorite albums. "Four Leaf Clover" is the last song on the album and takes it out on a great note.

It starts with a bit of feedback and then Philip Peeples brings in a pounding drum attack. After a strum of an electric guitar, Murry Hammond comes in with a fantastic bass line. The song builds from there, of course, but without that combination of the drums and bass working in concert and giving the song an anchor, the rest of it wouldn't be as effective or as great. There's a further element that makes the song great, and it also elevates this version over the original version of the song, which was on their debut album, Hitchhike To Rhome, in 1994: it's a duet. Rhett Miller and Exene Cervenka (from X) give the song a sexy update and sing the hell out of it to boot.

The first verse is Rhett's...

I've got a four leaf clover
And it ain't done one single lick of good
I'm still a drunk, I'm still a loser
Living in a lousy neighborhood

The second verse is Exene's...

I've got a real live horseshoe
And I hung it upside down above my door
But it don't do nothing to attract you
So I don't know what the hell it's for

Then together...

Why don't you come over
I'll show you my four leaf clover
(Rhett) Who am I trying to kid
I'm not the kind of guy you go for
(Both again) I've got a four leaf clover
I ain't got no home to give to you

There's a little scream from Rhett and then Ken Bethea starts wailing away on the guitar, underscored by Peeples bashing the drums with a one-two-three and Hammond's bass still holding everything down. You want to simultaneously air guitar and air drum and groove to the bass. It's a freight train of a rock song already. And then we go back to Rhett...

I got a lucky silver dollar
My grandaddy gave it to me, now he's dead
Times like this I wish that I could join him
Might just stop this pounding in my head

We get a little pause in the music here, mostly just the bass bouncing up and down with a little bit of hit-hat so you can feel the beat and the interplay between the bass and beat. It's so important to get moments like these in songs, because it makes the band crashing back into the chorus that much sweeter. Here comes that freight train again - Ken's screaming guitar mixing with Rhett's wordless screams while the rhythm section just plows on ahead. They finish strong and led the song fade out on feedback for the last 20 seconds, punctuating it with a couple finishing notes on the guitar.

It's a song of longing and desperation and frustration played by a band that knows how to rock. What more do you need from music?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday Shuffle #404

I hope everyone remembered to move their clocks ahead last night (and checked out my second Saturday Song post!). I thought I would get into the spirit of springing forward with today's shuffle, so I'm going to post the second 10 songs that come up...springing past the normal "today's ten." Why not?

11. Punch of Love/Jay Gonzalez (12) - last played on 9/27/15
12. The Government Darling/Spoon (9) - last played on 2/18/16
13. Love To A Monster/Okkervil River (13) - last played on 12/13/15
14. I Should Have Known/Foo Fighters (34) - last played on 2/19/16
15. Miss Teen Wordpower/The New Pornographers (3) - last played on 6/14/15
16. In Line/Sharon Van Etten (8) - last played on 9/1/13
17. Said The People/Dinosaur Jr. (16) - last played on 2/12/16
18. Mansions of Los Feliz/Eels (6) - last played on 1/10/16
19. Drop Me Off/Pela (5) - last played on 8/26/12
20. Just Because/Earlimart (10) - last played on 2/28/16