Commercial Appeal….

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 01-31-2008

Tagged Under : , , ,

Radio Sucks!
But you already now that, that’s why you’re here.

So in this age of crappy, mainstream radio and low record sales, artists are finding new ways to get their music out to the people. Only a select few of us have the privilege of knowing about the world of music blogs (judging from my number of page hits, i’ve got about 3 loyal readers out of those select few).
Many of these relatively smaller artists are using TV commercial spots as a gateway. Here are some of my favorite songs used in recent commercials:

mp3: Pete Droge – Going Whichever Way The Wind Blows
Used in a Toyota Sequoia commercial that shows a family going camping and looking at the stars from the back of their SUV. Pete’s smooth acoustic song is a perfect fit.

mp3: Yael Naim – New Soul
The people behind Apple’s advertising department are geniuses. Especially in the music department. Like i said ealier, that’s how i came across Feist. They almost always use relatively unknown artists and super-catchy songs – but that’s the point of a commercial, right? (remember those first iPod commercials with the dancing silhouettes…) For their newest over-priced device/fashion accessory, they used a happy little tune from Yael Naim. I really dig the melody and the trumpet/trombone/tuba/whatever it is.


mp3: Joe Purdy – Can’t Get It Right Today
Joe Purdy’s Can’t Get it Right Today plays over a Kia Spectra ad where people keep forgetting which side of the car the gas tank is on – due to rarely having to fill up. Not Bad…

—————————————————————————————–
**sidetrack**
Joe Purdy first hit my ears while i was watching LOST. Wash Away is a beachy song that plays in the credits of one of the first episodes of the show. Cool little optimistic song; plus its got a ukelele.
Also, i’m pretty pumped cuz LOST returns in T-minus 30 minutes…

mp3: Joe Purdy – Wash Away
—————————————————————————————–

mp3: Band of Horses – The Funeral
A pretty cool commercial for the Ford Edge. Some kids drivin’ around while The Funeral is playin’, and one of ‘em gets a little lost in the moment. The song is off of Band of Horses’ debut album, and is sort of a cosmic-sounding tune that breaks wide open after a peaceful intro.

the horses are also mentioned in a Sync ad for Ford – “play artist: band of horses”

mp3: Ryan Adams – Gonna Make You Love Me
Even my boy Ryan is gettin in on the commercial action.

————————————————————————————-

**sidetrack**

Ryan’s also had quite a few songs featured in movies/tv shows. I had the glorious privilege of watching Must Love Dogs with my (almost entirely female) family over Christmas. i was utterly bored until the credits started rolling and i heard this gem from Cold Roses:

mp3: Ryan Adams – Dance All Night

————————————————————————————-

One more thing (on a related note)……..
If you watch Friday Night Lights on ABC, keep an eye, er… uh, ear out for The Avett Brothers’ song If It’s The Beaches on tomorrow’s (Friday Night, of course) show.

Cover/Uncovered…

Posted by Payton | Posted in cover/uncovered | Posted on 01-28-2008

Tagged Under : , , ,

So for this post, which will hopefully become a recurring topic, i will compare and contrast a well-done cover song with the original.
and to get things started, i’ll give you two installments…..

Too Long In The Wasteland (James McMurtry)
James McMurtry, the son of novelist Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove), is almost as good a storyteller as his dad. He’s had a very successful musical career spanning almost 20 years. Somehow, though he has never broken into large popularity. He has, however been a song bank for a lot of artists, including: Robert Earl Keen, Shawn Mullins, Kasey Chambers, and even the oft-covered himself – Ray Wylie Hubbard. Here we have the gourgeous Aussie Kasey Chambers covering the title track from McMurtry’s debut album on Columbia Records:

mp3: Kasey Chambers – Too Long In The Wasteland

From her EP, Am I Not Pretty Enough, Kasey Chambers shows, once again, that she digs the American Alt-country scene (She’s also covered some Fred Eaglesmith and Son Volt). Kasey adds a little electric flare and attitude to make this a somewhat scornful song. As always, her ‘makes-me-weak-in-the-knees’ voice cuts through every guitar riff and symbol crash.**

Check Her Out: [iTunes] [MySpace] [Official Page] and buy her stuff….

mp3: James McMurtry – Too Long In The Wasteland

—————————————————–

Down Home Girl (The Rolling Stones)
Written by Jerry Leiber (Hound Dog, Yakety Yak, Jailhouse Rock, etc.) and first recorded by New Orleans bluesman Alvin Robinson, Down Home Girl is dirty, southern blues with a little levity: “every time i kiss you, girl, it tastes like pork-and-beans”. Appearing on The Stones’ Now! (1965), Mick showed us, early on, the versatility of their sound.

mp3: Old Crow Medicine Show – Down Home Girl

i actually heard Old Crow’s version first on their latest effort, Big Iron World, and it wasn’t until, watchin’ the video, i noticed the writing credits. Looked it up, and…… The Stones?!? How did i miss that? Old Crow takes this electic blues song to another level with their acoustic groove (they aren’t technically bluesgrass since they don’t employ a mandolin. They call what they play ‘Old Time Music’, which pre-dates bluegrass). Ketch Secor bumps along on the harmonica, while Willie Watson’s wails in his high tenor.

mp3: The Rolling Stones – Down Home Girl

—————————————————————

**If you couldn’t tell, i’m kinda sweet on Kasey Chambers (see below and decide for yourself…). And just like Slaid Cleaves, Mike McClure, and some more of my favorites, no one is blogging about her. So stay tuned for some more artist spotlights…….

Bluegrass Instrumental Interlude

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, bluegrass, instrumental interlude | Posted on 01-26-2008

For a little relaxation and foot-tappin’, here’s a selection of some good instrumental bluegrass ditties….
mp3: Unlce Tupelo – Sandusky ~ from March 16-20, 1992 (Amazon.com)
mp3: Abigail Washburn – Backstep Cindy/Purple Bamboo ~ from Songs of the Traveling Daughter (iTunes)
mp3: Chris Thile – The Beekeeper ~ from How To Grow a Woman From The Ground (iTunes)
mp3: Lou Wamp & Swing Shift – Red-Haired Boy ~ from Wizards of Swing (iTunes)
This song is by far my favorite traditional fiddle tune, one day i’ll be able to play it….
mp3: The Greencards – Mucky the Duck ~ from Viridian (iTunes)
mp3: Jay Ungar – Ashoken Farewell ~ from Harvest Home (iTunes)
Definately my favorite contemporary fiddle tune. The amount of emotion expressed here with just one instrument is truly amazing

The Wood Brothers – New Album in the Works

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, artist spotlight | Posted on 01-24-2008

The Wood Brothers was one of the first bands outside of ‘Texas Music’ that i really enjoyed hearing. They are Oliver and Chris Wood, two brothers that bring together two different styles to create some of the most soulful blues/folk music. They grew up in Boulder, CO but split ways to follow their own musical tastes. Oliver took his jazzy guitar to Atlanta and helped form King Johnson, a relatively successful southern rock band. Chris headed north to Manhattan playing stand-up bass in Medeski Martin & Wood, an internationally acclaimed instrumental trio.

The brothers decided in 2006 to reunite for Ways Not To Lose. They blend bluesy, southern vocal and guitar with a big bass that often carries the song along. Their sound is one of the most unique styles i’ve heard.


mp3: The Luckiest Man

mp3: Atlas

I was afraid that maybe Oliver and Chris had decided on just a one-time-only collaboration, but just yesterday, through the wires came news of Loaded, the sophomore effort from the brothers.

Due out April 1st, we won’t have to wait long. And look, they gave us a couple samples…….

mp3: Loaded

mp3: Lovin’ Arms

"This Mornin’ I Am Born Again…

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 01-23-2008

Tagged Under : ,

and a light shines on my land
i no longer look for heaven in your deathly, distant land
i do not want your pearly gates don’t want your streets of gold
This mornin’ i was born again and a light shines on my soul

This mornin’ i was born again, i was born again complete
i stood up above my troubles and i stand on my two feet
My hand it feels unlimited, my body feels like the sky
i feel at home in the universe where yonder planets fly

This mornin’ i was born again, my past is dead and gone
This great eternal moment is my great eternal dawn
Each drop of blood within me, each breath of life i breathe
Is united with these mountains and the mountains with the seas

i feel the sun upon me, it’s rays crawl through my skin
i breathe the life of Jesus and old John Henry in
i give myself, my heart, my soul to give some friend a hand
This mornin’ i was born again, i am in the promised land

This mornin’ i was born again and a light shines on my land
i no longer look for heaven in your deathly distant land
i do not want your pearly gates don’t want your streets of gold
And i do not want your mansion for my heart is never cold”
–Woody Guthrie

———————————————————————-

As an extra bonus today, the namesake for my newly established blog:
mp3: Slaid Cleaves – This Morning I Am Born Again
mp3: Ray Wylie Hubbard – This Mornin’ I Am Born Again

From what i can find, this was a poem/lyrics from Woody Guthrie that Slaid Cleaves put music to and recorded for Broke Down.

Ray Wylie’s version is one the most hauting songs i’ve ever heard. No instruments, just odd percussion (some of which sounds something like someone sitting in a creaky rocking chair bangin’ on a bag of feed). It begins with a smoky cough, then just Hubbard’s growl, and by the end there are six or seven vocalists (Slaid Cleaves, Eliza Gilkyson, Gurf Morlix, Patty Griffin, and Bob Schneider…) adding harmony. The first time i heard this song was on a long drive on the back end of a road trip from New Braunfels, TX, and everyone in the car was in a hypnotic trance for the entire three minutes.
Truly great traditional folk music written by the original folk singer himself.

Artist Spotlight: Slaid Cleaves

Posted by Payton | Posted in album review, artist spotlight, texas music | Posted on 01-22-2008

Tagged Under : , ,

As i mentioned in a previous post, i use the Hype Machine (http://www.hypem.com/) to find, and listen to, a lot of music. It’s an amazing site, but you can’t find everything on there. It seems that a few a my favorite artists cannot be found in the blog world. But now that i have my own blog, i can change all that. And maybe in the process – turn some people on to some great musicians they may not know about.

First order of business……….

Slaid Cleaves

Slaid Cleaves. Grew up in Maine. Lives in Texas. Writes songs. Makes records. Travels around. Tries to be good. (courtesey slaidcleaves.com)

Maybe it’s beacause he’s not heavy into the MySpace thing (until a few days ago, he hadn’t updated his page since his early ‘06 album release), maybe it’s because he isn’t the most prolific guy around (only 7 albums in 18 years, and nothing in the works), or maybe it’s because he doesn’t tour like a madman (although he does cross the pond occasionally), but whatever the reason no one is blogging about Slaid Cleaves is beyond me. This guy is, in my opinion, the best troubadour in the folk scene alive today.
He is a singer, a songwriter, a guitar player, but you only need one word to describe Slaid best:
Storyteller.

He tells sorrowful stories of love gone wrong, depression era depictions of a dying towns, mythic adventures of Canadian Lumberjacks, and action-packed laments from the perspective of an aging horse jockey. Oh, and he can Yodel like a sonofabitch.

But i’m not here to give artist bio’s, so i’ll just give you a chronologic song sampling, highlighting some of those captivating stories….

don’t be a jackass – go here and buy these straight from Slaid himself. Or iTunes, if that’s your thing. But all songs are right-click, save as.

mp3: Smitten ~ from The Promise (1990)
This is one of only two songs i have from this out-of-print album. It’s obviously early Slaid, but it still has that true singer-songwriter feel.

mp3: Tell Me ~ from Life’s Other Side (1992)

Another album i can’t seem to get may hands on, but this heartfelt song will keep me trying.
mp3: No Angel Knows ~ from No Angel Knows (1997)

Here, we find Slaid Cleaves coming into that sound of his i love so much. Some sorta mix between bluegrass and blues thats sounds like an old jug band sittin in a swamp somewhere. Complete with fiddle and a thumpin’ stand-up bass.

mp3: Lydia ~ from Broke Down (2000)

Broke Down was released not long before i came across Mr. Cleaves, and has become his career-making album. Although this isn’t Slaid’s song (Karen Poston wrote it – check her out) it shook me to the core the first time i heard it and still does. He delivers a despairing tune of a woman twice-scarred by coal mine tragedy.

mp3: Below ~ from Wishbones (2004)

My favorite album of his, Wishbones shows Slaid in his best storytelling effort. It took me a while to narrow it down to just one song to show off these amazing accounts, but Below is a story of a small town doomed to be flooded when the dam is built. BUY THIS RECORD!
**sidetrack**
a similar story and a great song here about the Tennessee Valley Authority:
mp3: The Everybodyfields – T.V.A. [MySpace] [iTunes]

mp3: Fairest of Them All ~ from Unsung (2006)

Unsung is one of the coolest concept albums i’ve heard. It’s a covers album, but not of overdone, well-known covers. Instead, Slaid carefully picked songs from his peers (some virtually unknown) that perfectly fit his style. Just from listening, you would never know these weren’t his songs. Fairest of Them All is a song by Ana Egge.

———————————————————

Ok, so i couldn’t help myself. Here are a couple more good stories from Wishbones.

mp3: Quick as Dreams

mp3: New Year’s Day

Top 10 Songs of 2007

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, best of 2007, lists | Posted on 01-22-2008

Tagged Under : , , , , , , ,

Here is the second post from my myspace blog.
—————————————————–
originally posted on January 13th, 2008 @ 3:42pm

Top 10 Songs of 2007

we will continue without too much rambling…..
you’ll notice a lot of these songs of the year come from my albums of the year, but i planned it so i wouldn’t duplicate any of the songs……..you’re welcome for the free music – but do yourself (and the artists) a favor and go out and pick em up.

10. The Kooks – She Moves in Her Own Way
Inside In/Inside Out – Astralwerks

This was the first song i heard off of Inside In/Inside Out, and i coulnd’t get enough of Luke Pritchard’s super British accent. Once i figured out what he was even saying, it made it all that much better.

9. The Everybodyfields – Aeroplane
Nothing is Okay – Ramseur Records

From the time i first popped Nothing is Okay in the cd player and that fiddle came screamin’ in on the track 1, i was sold The Everybodyfields.

8. Ryan Adams – Goodnight Rose
Easy Tiger – Lost Highway

What a way to kick off an album. No foreplay – just straight into what Ryan does best: a rockin’, memorable guitar riff and powerful lyrics delivered like only he can.

7. Deer Tick – Diamond Rings 2007
War Elephant – Feow Records

Don’t know why he put that 2007 on the end of the title, but it kinda makes sense now doesn’t it? John McCauley gives a jangly, tamborine filled song with enough echoey reverb to make Jack White happy.

6. Feist – 1234
The Reminder – Interscope Records

Most of us first heard this on the iPod nano commercial, and (consequently or not) i soon after starting getting into more indie rock like this. This song starts pretty simply – a little acoustic guitar and Feist’s voice – but turns into one huge party as her vocals soar. Horn sections, dozens of backup vocals, jazzy piano, and lays back down with just a plunky banjo. The video’s pretty cool, too.

5.Spoon – The Underdog
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga – Merge Records

i consider myself to like pretty tradtional music and always enjoy stripped down acoustic stuff, but the crazy amount of shit goin’ on in The Underdog is what drew me in. There’s a horn section, a booming bass drum, and about a dozen different noise makers (maracas, shakers, tambourines, hand claps, some sort of stick bangin’ on a bottle, and probably much more) that all culminate into a crash landing at the end. And not one bit is unnecesary.

4. The Kooks – Naive
Inside In/Inside Out – Astralwerks

The second gem i came across from the album is a little more rockin’ than She Moves…. but again it’s that accent that makes the song. Somehow i don’t think anyone without a British accent could cover this and do it justice.

3. Josh Ritter – The Temptation of Adam
The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter – Sony USA

Normally a song that mentions the inevitability of WWIII would immediately get skipped on my playlist, but Josh does this futuristic look at Adam and Eve controlling the fate of the world too cleverly not to enjoy.

2. The Avett Brothers – Paranoia in Bb Major
Emotionalism – Ramseur Records

From the first ring of the Scott’s banjo, to Seth’s guttural “yeah’s”, to every single plunk of Bob Crawford’s bass, this song is pure energy manifested into one of the best folk-rock songs ever.

1.Bright Eyes – Four Winds
Cassadaga – Saddle Creek Records

Some the best fiddle solos i’ve ever heard mixed with Conor’s philosopher-like lyrics on top a driving rhythm combine to make my number one song of 2007. Just check out the lyrics:

Your class, your caste, your country, sect, your name or your tribe
There’s people always dying trying to keep them alive
There’s bodies decomposing in containers tonight
In an abandoned building where…

The squatters made a mural of a Mexican girl
With fifteen cans of spray paint in a chemical swirl
She’s standing in the ashes at the end of the world
Four Winds blowing through her hair

But when Great Satan’s gone…
the Whore of Babylon…
She just can’t sustain the pressure where it’s placed
She caves

The Bible’s blind. The Torah’s deaf. The Qu’ran is mute.
If you burned them all together you’d get close to the truth
Still they’re pouring over Sanskrit under Ivy League moons
While shadows lengthen the sun

Cast on a school and meditation built to soften the times
And hold us at the center while the spiral unwinds
It’s knocking over fences, crossing property lines
Four Winds cry until it comes

It’s the Sum of Man slouching towards Bethlehem
A heart just can’t contain all of that empty space
It breaks. It breaks. It breaks.

Well I went back by rented Cadillac and company jet
Like a newly orphaned refugee retracing my steps
All the way to Cassadaga to commune with the dead
They said, “You’d better look alive”
And now it’s off to old Dakota where a genocide sleeps
In the Black Hills, the Badlands, the calloused East
I buried my ballast. I made my peace.
Heard Four Winds leveling the pines

But when Great Satan’s gone
The Whore of Babylon
She just can’t remain with all that outer space
She breaks. She breaks. She caves. She caves.

Givin’ It A Go….

Posted by Payton | Posted in best of 2007, lists | Posted on 01-22-2008

Tagged Under : , , , , , , , , ,

Ok, so first post…….

i started blogging on my myspace page to try it out. i made a couple of ‘Best Of 2007′ posts and really enjoyed it, so i decided to move it over to this site. Here are the original posts.
__________________________________________________

-originally posted on January 12th, 2008 @ 11:57pm

so i’ve been thinkin a lot lately about starting a music blog since i spend about 90 percent of my time on the internet reading them. for those that may not know these are blogs where people post best of/worst of lists of music, highlight artists they like, or simply talk about music. the best part however, is that these bloggers post links to mp3’s of songs mentioned. as far as i know this is legal music sharing, as there is always a link to buy the albums/songs, a disclaimer saying the songs are for sampling purposes only, and artists/labels can request that their music be removed. also, the links normally expire within a few months, so you gotta move fast.
if you’re interested in this, try starting out at hypem.com. The Hype Machine tracks a variety of MP3 blogs. If a post contains MP3 links, it adds those links to its database and displays them on the front page.
2007 was a big year for me musically:
- i bought a fiddle; two actually (still workin on that tho)
- i finally took off my ‘texas music’ blinders and have since found some of the best artists around and redefined what i think good music is (i won’t even try to explain what that is).
- i gave in and starting using iTunes as my music library program, and consequently…
- i bought a 160gb iPod to store all this newfound musical goodness (plus, i outgrew my 20gb iRiver).
Because 2007 was good to me, i’ll return the favor my starting my blogging career with some best of 2007 lists.
stay tuned for those…….
——————————————————————————–
-originally posted on January 13th, 2008 @ 8:28pm (**these mp3’s are linked to other blogs that i found through hypem.com**)

so, as i said, i will commence my music blogging with a look back at the best of 2007.
but first, i’m gonna attempt to explain the music i like:
you can read my interests in music on my page to see a loooong list of artists i like, but i’ll try to explain it a little more.
almost everything i listen to is rooted in country in some way. Texas/Red Dirt is still a huge part of what i like, although removing the aforementioned blinders made me realize that some of the artists in this so-called genre that i used to dig on basically blow. i won’t give any specific names, but i will say that the mention of things like… uh, beer, bait, and maybe ammo in front of a steel guitar used to do it for me. not so much anymore. but i’m glad for all the music i’ve gone through on my way to what i now like. (i’ll probably look back at these lists in five years and think i was an idiot for listening to this music. right now, i find that nearly impossible, but then again, i would’ve said the same thing in my rebel-flag flying, mudding high school days). ok back to the task at hand….
so, over the last year, i’ve gotten into bluegrass music. mainly due to Old Crow Medicine Show (which isn’t technically bluegrass, but that’s for another day). i dig the sound of a mandolin, a stand up bass, and of course a screamin’ fiddle.
i listen to a lot of folk music, which isn’t a very good description of genre, but simplified it means country-tinged, traditionally born music. by getting into folk, i, in a sense, rediscovered some artists that i had previously come across and took for granted: Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard, etc.
through folk, i found some ‘indie folk’, artists such as Iron & Wine and The Everybodyfields, and blog-hunting led me to discover some artists that could be described as ‘indie rock’: The Kooks, Spoon, Band of Horses, etc.
i’ll stop wastin your time with words and show some results:

My Top 10 Albums of 2007


10. Band of Horses – Cease to Begin

This album, as well as number 9, i don’t actually own, but from the sampling of songs i’ve gotten my hands on, i’m sold (and i’ll pick them up as soon as possible **edit 1/14/08** i picked this one up today**). The sophomore effort from Band of Horses is killer indie rock highlighted with echoey guitars and sweet harmony.
Band of Horses – The General Specific [MySpace] [iTunes]

9. Patty Griffin – Children Running Through

Patty Griffin, in addition to sharing a name with a good buddy of mine, is the current queen of folk. She’s been covered more than waffle house hash browns and her voice sends chills through me (so does waffle house – both in a good way).
Patty Griffin – Heavenly Day [MySpace] [iTunes]

8. Josh Ritter – The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
There is way too much music out there for me to check it all out, so i try to at least remember the names of artists i come across. If i see the same name show up numerous times across different blogs, i’ll check them out. Earlier last year, i saw Josh Ritter’s name just about everywhere, including the cover of No Depression Magazine. Wow. What this guy can do with words is kinda like pringles does with chips: there’s a bunch in there and they’re all good.
Josh Ritter – To The Dogs or Whoever [MySpace] [iTunes]

7. The Everybodyfields – Nothing Is Okay

You know how it seems weird to mix thick, black, licorice-flavored Jagermeister with bright, bubbly Red Bull, but where you do, it’s oh-so-glorious? That’s kinda like what you get when mix the voices of Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews to form the Everybodyfields. This folk duo (with a fiddle and dobro thrown in for good measure) from Johnson City, TN sings powerful tunes so sad you’ll want to forget the Red Bull and just take a pull (or fifteen).
The Everybodyfields – Lonely Anywhere [MySpace] [iTunes]

6. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

I visited my sister in NYC last summer before i had really gotten into the whole ‘indie rock’ thing. i remember seeing this damn album cover on every light pole, subway station, and covered walkway in the city. Then i kept seeing it on all kinda music blogs. Okay, Spoon, you win. Checked it out and here we are. Theses guys from Austin rock hard with more random percussion than a dishwasher. **edit 1/14/08** so, today, i was movin some cd’s around and a bonus cd fell out of the back on the Ga Ga Ga… case. how sweet is that? and not just like a 2 track cd, but 12 friggin’ songs! i’ll report back on what i think of them later**
Spoon – Eddie’s Ragga [MySpace] [iTunes]

ok, i’m tired – top 5 tomorrow……

——————————————————————–

-originally posted on January 13th, 2008 @ 11:32am


5. Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger

Ryan Adams released an album in 2007. It’s gonna be on my list.
Ryan Adams – Halloweenhead [MySpace] [iTunes]


4. Bright Eyes – Cassadaga

Conor Oberst, or Bright Eyes, is only like 27 and has almost 20 releases (including EP’s) since ‘98. Some of them are a little obscure for me, but Cassadaga is pure lyrical and musical goodness. Plus, he gets a little help from Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings (kind of a recurring theme in my favorite artists).
Bright Eyes – Classic Cars [MySpace] [iTunes]


3. Deer Tick – War Elephant
John McCauley is only 21 and is the mastermind behind Deer Tick. He sings lyrics as real as Townes or Dylan with groovy guitar licks behind them and unusual arrangements. Hell, i even hear a little Hank in there. i’m anxious to see if his debut effort breaks Deer Tick into popularity, but the fact that his own record label (Feow Records) is sold of of the album and you can only download it on iTunes is a positve sign.
Deer Tick – Art Isn’t Real (City of Sin) [MySpace] [iTunes]


2. The Kooks – Inside In/Inside Out

This is my first real taste of the so-called ‘Brit Pop’, but if it were all like this i think i would’ve found it a long time ago. The Kooks are huge overseas and fastly getting that way here. The only reason this album isn’t 1, is that i just got it at Christmas, but this is one of the best peices of music i’ve heard. Hook writing masters, the Kooks bring just enough acoustic riffs out in the middle of hardcore reggae rock. Yeah that’s right. (Thanks, Ashley, for turning me on to them)
The Kooks – Ooh La [MySpace] [iTunes]
p.s. i know this album was released in late ‘06, but you can lick me, it’s that good.

1. The Avett Brothers – Emotionalism

Scott(banjo) and Seth(guitar) Avett, along with Bob Crawford(stand-up bass) form the Avett Brothers and they are probably the most talented group of guys around. Everyone knows when brothers get together to sing harmony, amazing things happen, but add to that harmony – unique instrumentation (try Seth stomping on a high-hat pedal and Scott stomping on a bass drum pedal all while rockin’ hard on their respective instruments) – profound and flowing lyrics (“when you run, make sure you run – to something and not away from – ’cause lies don’t need and aeroplane – to chase you down”) – mix in a little punk rock (the brothers were previously in a hard rock band, and have retatined a little of their screamo attitude) – and you get my favorite album of 2007. Emotionalism. (By the way, both brothers play the drums and Scott is a painter)
The Avett Brothers – Die Die Die [MySpace] [iTunes]

fin.
stay tuned for my Top 10 Songs of 2007……