Record Store Day

Posted by Payton | Posted in album release, music industry | Posted on 04-17-2010

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Today, Saturday April 17, 2010 is Record Store Day. Support your local independent record store and celebrate the vinyl record with some special RSD exclusive releases. Check out the full list of releases – and find your nearest participating store.

I started the day at Waterloo Records – easily the biggest selection of RSD releases in Austin. But I wasn’t the only one with that idea. By 11am the best grabs were already picked over. The early vinyl release of Josh Ritter’s So The World Runs Away was gone quickly, as were Rolling Stones and Neil Young 7″s. I did manage to find The Black Keys 12″ single, ‘Tighten Up’/'Howlin For You’ at Antone’s. Also picked up a Doors 7″ and an old Doc Watson re-issue.

Check out ‘Tighten Up’ from The Black Keys’ upcoming album Brothers (out 5.18) below:

Tighten Up

Now, off to catch The Happen-Ins in the Hill-Country…

John Prine Tribute Album LOADED With Great Artists

Posted by Payton | Posted in album release, videos | Posted on 04-12-2010

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John Prine is easily one of the most underrated songwriters alive today – or ever for that matter. And it seems that the folks who got together to pay tribute to Prine are in the same boat – super-talented yet overlooked in the spectrum of popular music.

With the release of Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, all this may change. The caliber of artists that contribute to this album not only shows the far-reaching appeal of John Prine, but also reveals an often obscured common thread between these artists – many of whom are considered favorites here at This Mornin’…

Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine
Oh Boy Records - 6.22.10

1 Justin Vernon - Bruised Orange (Chain of  Sorrow)
2 Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band - Wedding Day  in Funeralville
3 My Morning Jacket - All the Best
4 Josh  Ritter - Mexican Home
5 Lambchop - Six O’Clock News
6 Justin  Townes Earle - Far From Me
7 The Avett Brothers - Spanish  Pipedream
8 Old Crow Medicine Show - Angel From Montgomery
9  Sara Watkins - The Late John Garfield Blues
10 Drive-By Truckers - Daddy’s Little Pumpkin
11 Deer Tick - Unwed Fathers [ft. Liz  Isenberg]
12 Those Darlins - Let’s Talk Dirty in Hawaiian

Pre-Order available 4.27.10

 

As you can see, it’s a veritable Folk Music All Star Team. Some of the bigger names like Old Crow Medicine Show, Drive By Truckers, My Morning Jacket, and The Avett Brothers will hopefully introduce some listeners to folks like Deer Tick, Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver), and Those Darlins, all the while shedding some much-deserved light on the genius of John Prine.

I don’t have any tracks to offer up today, but check out this post for some links to streamable songs. Below, see a video of Conor Oberst (then as Bright Eyes) doing his version of Prine’s ‘Crazy As A Loon’:

My Name Is Payton, And I’m Addicted To Rock Band

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 04-07-2010

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I know, as a non-mainstream music blogger (are there mainstream music bloggers, anyway?) that’s something I probably shouldn’t admit. But I just don’t care. The game is ridiculously fun.

As someone who never learned much real guitar and fancied himself a sort of music snob, I was reluctant to get into the game. I always thought it would be ridiculous to have a generation full of kids who were experts at Rock Band when they could have put the time and effort into learning how to play actual guitars/drums. But thanks to an irresistible sale last Christmas, I gave in and started rocking – and I haven’t looked back. From the moment I began my psuedo-rock star career though, I noticed a severe lack of good music in the game. Every time I heard a great, rockin’ song from my library, I immediately thought how great it would be to play on Rock Band. I was officially addicted.

If you can look past the pages of Foo Fighters and god-awful death-metal, the game does have it’s fair share of good music. I can get by with decent 70’s rock mixed in with some Weezer, Beck, and other various ‘popular’ artists that are digestible.  With the ability to download additional songs from the Rock Band Music Store, your choices grow and, in some cases, fall more toward the indie side of things. Both smash singles from Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix are available, you can pick up a couple Raconteurs tracks, and of course Oasis is always a good pick. There are even a few tracks that I never knew before picking up that majestic plastic stratocaster:

Panic At The Disco - Nine In The Afternoon
Norman Greenbaum - Spirit In The Sky

 

The cascading flow of colored buttons has even reaffirmed my love for some mainstream rock from over a decade ago. Although Weezer’s ‘Say It Ain’t So’ isn’t part of Rock Band 2, I’ve played it on my Rock Band iPhone app as well as on a Wii Rock Band song pack. The killer guitar solo on the back end of the track makes it one of the best songs to live out your rock star fantasies. Naturally, I had and adored a copy of (What’s The Story) Morning Glory back in the day and couldn’t get enough of ‘Wonderwall’ and ‘Champagne Supernova’. But Rock Band has helped to reveal the forgotten greatness of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’.

Weezer - Say It Ain't So
Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger

And let’s not forget about that twisted corner of the rock world known as punk. These tunes tend to be higher on the difficulty scale, with more intricate drumming and faster guitar parts. Too bad the catalog in this genre is quite limited.


Social Distortion - I Was Wrong
The Replacements - Alex Chilton (RIP, sir)

 

Late last year, the people behind Rock Band released the Beatles Version of the game (complete with John, Paul, and George’s replica guitars). Just last month, news landed that a Jimi Hendrix edition of the game was nearing completion. But the most exciting news will likely revolutionize the game. With the recent advent of the Rock Band Network (currently only available to XBox users), the game’s song catalog will likely grow exponentially in the next few months. Now, bands have the ability to create and submit their music for sale in the Rock Band Store. This could possibly become the next powerful medium for new bands to get their music out to the people.

Sam Quinn + Japan Ten: The Fake That Sunk 1,000 Ships

Posted by Payton | Posted in album release | Posted on 04-06-2010

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I told you the new music was pouring in.

After months of waiting, Sam Quinn – formerly of The Everybodyfields – has released definite album details for his first solo album. The Fake That Sunk A Thousand Ships is set to hit shelves and inboxes May 11th through Ramseur Records.

Sam says that the album was written to help himself get through some recent personal stuff – “a real bad year in [his] life.” Knowing this, I expect the album to be a slower, melodic piece of folk music. Not unlike most Everybodyfields’ material, but there you had Jill Andrews’ voice to bring spirits back up.  Check out the first unleashed track below. And further down, you’ll find a video of Sam explaining some things about the record.

The Fake That Sunk 1,000 Ships (out 5.11.10)
 1. Hello
 2. Fanboy
 3. So Strong
 4. Suite  Motown
 5. Strange
 6. Gun
 7. Mardis Gras
 8. Help Me
 9. Late The Other Night
 10. River

Pre-Order through Amazon - $11.99

Sam Quinn from Ramseur Records on Vimeo.

New Digs, Vol. 27

Posted by Payton | Posted in album release, new digs | Posted on 04-06-2010

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Got a string of brand new tracks in the last couple of days. No time for words, as more brand new music is pouring in as we speak.

Enjoy the latest, greatest additions to my music library:


Deer Tick - Twenty Miles
from The Black Dirt Sessions (out 6.8.10)

 


Band of Horses - Compliments
from Infinite Arms (out 5.18.10)

 


Dr. Dog - Unbearable Why
from Shame, Shame (out Today)

 


Ben Kweller - It All Happened
from Esquire Exclusive Download

 


John Prine - She Is My Everything (live)
from In Person & On Stage (out 5.25.10)

 

“He Broke The Chains For Me and You”

Posted by Payton | Posted in gospel, holiday | Posted on 04-04-2010

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I think I post this every year, but it’s worth the attention. Such a moving song, such a moving story.  Happy Easter to all of you.

On the third day He had risen
Just like He said He’d do
Hell would not become His prison
He broke the chains for me and you

In a crown of thorns
They hung my Lord
They pierced his body
With a soldier’s sword
He forgave them and that spirit
Brings me to my knees
For the One that they hung
Between two thieves

Then He went to His disciples
They put their hands in the nail scarred hand
And to those who had been doubting
They felt the power of God’s plan

Mike McClure - Between Two Thieves
buy Twelve Pieces (2002) [CD][mp3]

Twelve Pieces is a truly great solo debut from Mike McClure. It was clear when this was released 8 years ago that Mike was not meant to front a ‘country’ band forever.  This album ushered in what has proven to be an impressive career from a gifted songwriter and musician. I began a Mike McClure Spotlight some time ago and now have two new albums that need to be appended to it. Here’s to hoping that Mike finds the time to record another mostly-acoustic album like this gem.

Overdue: Two Albums That Should’ve Made My List

Posted by Payton | Posted in album review, best of 2009 | Posted on 03-31-2010

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It’s now the end of March – one-quarter of the year down. Just three months ago, I made my picks for albums/songs of the year. I gave you a list of 20 albums I believed to be the best of the year 2009. Now, I listen to A LOT of music, but as much as I try, I simply can’t filter through all that comes my way. Through these 3 months, I’ve had time to digest the multitude of tracks that I downloaded at the end of year preparing my lists. Here are 2 albums that, if I were to go back, would’ve made my list:

The first sorely overlooked album is Vetiver’s Tight Knit. The band, now on their 4th album, has often been associated with ‘freak folk’ acts like Devandra Banhart and Joanna Newsom, but I find their brand of folk to be far from freak. I’ve sampled Vetiver’s back-catalog since picking up this disc, and much of it is quite pleasant. Their songs tend to be low-key but feature prominent bass lines that create an equally lazy and positive vibe. Nowhere better have they found this niche than on Tight Knit.

A single song from this album found its way to me by list-making time and made my Top 50. ‘Everyday’ is easily the most accessible song from the album, but as you may have guessed from me taking the time to write about Tight Knit, it’s definitely not the only good track. The album begins the way I like ‘em – with an easy-going acoustic number. They increase the groove throughout the next couple tracks, but for the most part, the first side of the album remains peaceful. Beginning with ‘On The Other Side’, things start to get more interesting. ‘More of This’ stands out as the liveliest track in the set with a soft-punk guitar leading the way. Tracks 8 and 9 takes the sound a little lower to the ground with a hint of jazz. The final track, ‘At Forest Edge’, brings things full circle, setting the album down softly. The interesting mix of tempos and overall mellow attitude make Tight Knit a completely listenable album best enjoyed from a turntable on a lazy Sunday. Try it out.

Vetiver - On The Other Side
Vetiver - More of This
buy Tight Knit: [CD][Vinyl][mp3]

 

Not only did I miss this album last year, I also missed a chance to catch Dawes live back in 2009. They played a string of shows opening for This Mornin’ favorite Deer Tick and made a stop in Austin (check out a review of DT’s show with photos). Not having heard of Dawes, we decided to skip the opener in lieu of cheaper drinks down the road. Poor decision.

I downloaded Dawes’ debut North Hills just before finalizing my year-end lists. Their impassioned, harmony-laden ‘Give Me Time’ caught my ears first and sneaked in to my Top 50 Songs list. But that song is simply one of eleven amazing tracks. North Hills is a very accessible sort of Americana. Frontman Taylor Goldsmith leads the band’s chill-inducing harmonies with a smooth, almost familiar voice. North Hills supplies just about every variant of the folk/Americana sound you could ask for. Songs like ‘Love Is All I Am’ and ‘Bedside Manner’ keep the instruments subdued, allowing Goldsmith’s tender lyrics to come through bare and personal. Electric guitars are turned up in ‘When You Call My Name’ and ‘When My Time Comes’ creating a full sound that come across as uniquely Dawes. The rhythm section ushers in ‘My Girl To Me’, an impressively busy bass line keeping the groove. Although the stellar harmonies are present throughout, they boys of Dawes are simply showing off on ‘Give Me Time’ and ‘Take Me Out of the City’. I could go on, but just know that had I given North Hills a proper listen last year, it would have easily been a Top 5 album.

Dawes - When My Time Comes
Dawes - Bedside Manner
buy North Hills: [CD][Vinyl][mp3]

 

Dawes deservedly found themselves abuzz earlier this month at SXSW. Playing shows alongside last year’s breakout act Deer Tick sure didn’t hurt their cause. Even more, Taylor Goldsmith joined forces with DT’s John McCauley and Matt Vasquez of Delta Spirit to create of supergroup of prodigies who call themselves, simply, MG&V. They debuted at SXSW and you can catch some videos here.

Dr. Dog Drops New Album (4.6.10)

Posted by Payton | Posted in album release | Posted on 03-20-2010

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While preparing for my SXSW jaunt this weekend, I caught up with some sadly overlooked bands in my music library that I’d have a chance to catch. On the way over, I listened to Dr. Dog’s 2008 release Fate – an album I downloaded sometime after it came out, but sadly never gave it a proper listen. Their sound is pleasingly all over the place, and it gets stuck in all the right corners, too.

Though I didn’t get to catch a Dr. Dog performance this weekend, I have been spinning Fate on repeat to and from Downtown Austin. With dual songwriters/lead vocalists, multiple part harmonies, and ample use of the tambourine, the Philly-based band’s sound is happily Beatles-reminiscent. Scott McMicken’s (lead guitar) songs feature more of that 60’s sound, while Toby Leaman (bass) offers a rougher, more current rock vibe.

Dr. Dog recently announced the release of their 2010 album – Shame, Shame (pre-order available). Dropping in just a few weeks, the band has also let loose a couple tracks from the album.

Shame, Shame (4.6.2010, ANTI- Records)
1 Stranger
2 Shadow People
3 Station
4 Unbearable Why
5 Where’d All The Time Go?
6 Later
7 I Only Wear Blue
8 Someday
9 Mirror, Mirror
10 Jackie Wants A Black Eye
11 Shame, Shame

And here, check out a track from Fate featuring that jangly, harmony-driven sound:

Dr. Dog - From
buy Fate (2008)

Dr. Dog: [Website][facebook][MySpace]

The Black Keys Ready Album for May (New Track)

Posted by Payton | Posted in album release | Posted on 03-20-2010

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Blues-Rock duo The Black Keys have been busy as of late. In addition to their many side projects (Black Roc – a Hip-Hop/Fuzzy Rock collaboration of TBK and Mos Def, et al; a debut album from Patrick Carney’s band Drummer; Dan Auerbach’s latest solo album, Keep It Hid), the band somehow found time to record their sixth album. Brothers will be released May 18th through Nonesuch Records.

**Update: reposting this with the first single from the album

Brothers

1. Everlasting Light
2. Next Girl
3. Tighten Up
4. Howlin’ For You
5. She’s Long Gone
6. Black Mud
7. The Only One
8. Too Afraid To Love You
9. Ten Cent Pistol
10. Sinister Kid
11. The Go Getter
12. I’m Not The One
13. Unknown Brother
14. Never Gonna Give You Up
15. These Days



Here’s a B-Side cover I found in my library:

The Black Keys - Funk #49 (Bonus Track)

Iron & Wine Download Code Giveaway!!

Posted by Payton | Posted in contest, free music | Posted on 03-18-2010

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Time for a change of pace here. Been working too much recently… wishing I was a few miles down the road in ATX for SXSW. I seriously think it’s tearing at my soul. But, alas, I will be there in less than 24 hours.

To get some new content up here for you guys, I decided to offer another vinyl download code giveaway. We change gears for this one, bringing you Iron & Wine’s mellow Sea & The Rhythm EP from 2003. Sam Beam was one of the first ‘indie’ artists I got into and remains my go-to musician for lazy, sunny days.  When Sam released his collection of B-sides and rarities, Around The Well, sometime last year, I went on a bit of an Iron & Wine vinyl shopping spree. So stay tuned here for more I&W download code giveaways in the future.

Just click below or on the album cover above, enter your email address, and that’s it. I’ll pick a random winner next week at this time.

Click here to enter the contest