Sunday, January 19, 2014

Houndmouth

What a name for a band... Story goes they were recording on the cheap in their garage and had a take they really liked.  Problem was the neighbor's dog would not shut up.  Lead singer says "I like it but there is just too much houndmouth"... 

Love this record.  Four piece country-rock outfit with great harmonies and really good use of all of their pieces.  Check it out. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thank you, Dave Grohl


"Sound City was the place real men went to make records". 

I recently watched Sound City: Real to Reel and could not have enjoyed it more.  If you listen to rock music made between 1970 and 1995 you know more than one song recorded at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA by heart.  I won’t rehash the details of the film, but YOU NEED TO SEE IT. The centerpiece of the story is their legendary (non-digital) soundboard and the music it captured. It is an amazing glimpse into how songs that you know and love got from someone’s head into your ears. As Tom Petty so eloquently puts it in the film;  “You’re trying to catch lightning in a bottle.  Music really isn’t supposed to be perfect; it’s all about people relating to each other and doing something that comes from the soul.”

So Thank You Dave Grohl,

For reminding me that just because I don’t care for a particular song or style of music doesn’t mean there is not a lot of thought and effort put into it.

For showing me that even hair bands and punk rockers also take their art seriously.

For caring about the history and story of your industry; not just the songs but how they come to the audience.

For buying the Sound City Studios Soundboard so it didn’t end up in a landfill.

For making this film so we music junkies could have yet another fix.

Real to Reel is about great music, a great story and great insights into an industry a lot of us couldn’t live without.

-KJB
 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

High Hopes

So we’ve been on a bit of a (lengthy) hiatus. Let’s call it a sabbatical in search of new music and inspiration. Along with lots of exciting new music, the last year has brought a myriad of changes to my professional life that have drastically changed the way I discover and consume music.

 In the lab I was a jukebox unto myself.  Armed with tons of independent work and an ipod, I could spend 8 hours a day with headphones in my ears. I listened to what I wanted, when I wanted, as many times in a row as I wanted. Obsession was easy and encouraged; discovery slower, perhaps, but it was not uncommon to fall down the ‘rabbit hole’ of a new band. 

Exit headphones, enter people.   

 
Now life is a hospital pharmacy filled with great people who also (thankfully) love and appreciate music.  Our tastes are common but also very divergent. Days are a constant cycle of personal favorites and Pandora shuffles, everyone trying to turn people on to their artists and tastes. It’s wonderful. And fun. And inspiring.

 
So we are going to try The Fabled Automatic again. I know we have both been very excited about what we have been discovering and listening to in the last year. Hopefully we have a lot to say.

 
I’ll start, naturally, with Springsteen. New album ‘High Hopes’ due out 1/14/14. Rather than the overt political statements or attempts to capture a particular sound that have characterized his work since 'The Rising',  this record looks like no more than a collection of known and new songs that Bruce thought deserved to get a full studio workup. And that's a good thing. The muse for this album was apparently guitar virtuoso Tom Morello, best known for his band ‘Rage Against the Machine’. Morello has made several guest appearances with EStreet in the past decade and filled in for Steve VanZant during the most recent tour when his acting obligations conflicted with the tour schedule.  With EStreet, Morello is known for his amazing live guitar workup of ‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’, which appears on the new record.  Morello’s style is different but striking. A perfect example is the first single from the record, title track ‘High Hopes’.  This song was originally released on the ‘Blood Brothers’ EP, and (to me) has always had the feel of a great song that lacked something in presentation. Here, Morello delivers the missing piece, creating a fantastic centerpiece for a new record.  As usual, Bruce does a great job of capturing how we feel and what we want, asking for love, strength, peace.  Looking into our kids' eyes and knowing that they 'stand a chance'.  We hope you enjoy and have ‘High Hopes’ for The Fabled Automatic. 




Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Morning Music

Usually on Friday morning at this time I am stuck in lab meeting wondering 'dear lord, when will this end?' The last two weeks have been lab meeting free, and I'll take advantage today to post for the 2nd time this week, who knew? Amazing!

Picked up a new band through my 'Gaslight Anthem' channel on Pandora yesterday.  The Weeks hail from Jackson, Mississippi, and remind me a lot of Kings of Leon.  In fact lead singer Cyle Barnes sometimes sounds so much like KOL frontman Kaleb Followell, I had to check that The Weeks were not a side-project.  

Two songs that came up on Pandora grabbed my attention and I decided to pick up their debut record "Comeback Cadillac" this morning.  Two spins in and I really dig it.  Mostly unique, straight ahead rock with some slower songs arranged around the acoustic guitar that really stand out.  Here's what I heard on Pandora, illustrating this pretty well.  Love the hook in  'Buttons', and 'Sailor Song' is just gorgeous. 
"If love is all you had, then baby that's not bad. 
-And if love is all you got, that's a hell of a lot."  

 


 
 If you haven't noticed, I've been loving NPR lately as a source for lots of cool music stuff.  Dad tuned me into a really cool series they have going right now called "Mom and Dad's record collection" in which they interview musicians and listeners about one record they listened to at home that helped shaped their art and lives.  I really love this one, and can so see myself in that picture, even kind of looks like me! I could name a few of these from Dad's collection, but if I had to pick one that sticks out it would have to be "The Stranger" by Billy Joel.  I remember it on the Silver Record Player or on the tape deck and still love it to this day.  I marveled, and still do, at what a phenomenal lyricist he was during this period. Dad's dubbed copy of Born to Run could also certainly be considered, maybe one day this cutie will say the same thing.  Would love to hear about one album from YOUR Mom and Dad's record collection in the comments!   

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Avett Brothers - Live and Die

 

I have really fallen in love with The Avett Brothers over the past couple of years, and am excited for their upcoming album The Carpenter out September 11.  I'll see the tour at the Fabulous Fox here in St Louis about two weeks later.  A great preview of the new record from NPR in this field recording of the first single "Live and Die".  Love, love this song.  Seth Avett's voice is just amazing, so distinct.  Scott's voice goes perfectly with it, and the harmonies on this one are great.  Check it out!
 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

First Listen of New Gaslight Anthem

Courtesy of NPR.  Posted about this a while back, but I am very excited about the new album from The Gaslight Anthem entitled 'Handwritten'.  As they often do NPR has a 'First Listen'.  This things are usually up for a limited time, so check it out while its hot!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The E-Street Shuffle

Bruce and the Band are out on the road, and though I have yet to catch the show, all of the video I have seen shows them at the top of their game.  www.brucespringsteen.net has posted lots of very good "pro shot" videos from the tour.  A couple of recent uploads stand out.

The E-Street Shuffle was an early "holy shit" song for me when I was really getting into Springsteen. Heard it for the first time my junior year in college in Pat's car which had a great stereo, and was blown away by the ending.  It was 25 years old then, is almost 40 years old now, but sounded as fresh as ever last night with the Roots sitting in.


Bruce played Paris for the 4th of July and, fittingly, did a beautiful solo-piano version of Independence Day, one of my favorite songs off of The River.  Check it out at http://brucespringsteen.net/.  Scroll down just a bit and you will spot it.  Enjoy!