Immediate things for the headphones and speakers.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Here are some tips on unearthing great new music and overlooked classics from the annals of the Internet. Go to www.montereycountyweekly.com/music to view the video clip of the week.CLIP OF THE WEEK | “Ceremony,” Radiohead
Known for their majestic albums and frequently dark lyrics, it’s a kick to see Radiohead cut loose on a cover of New Order’s first single “Ceremony,” which was written when the group was still Joy Division. Frontman Thom Yorke moves the upper part of his body like a bobblehead as he lays into the song’s most driving guitar parts, while guitarist Johnny Greenwood, who is decked out in a pink t-shirt, moves like a punk rocker as he digs into the 1981 song. When the number comes to a close after four minutes and 26 seconds, Yorke, who is smiling uncharacteristically, asks, “Now what?”
www.youtube.com/watch?v=08_2eTj3wsABest New Music | Haymaker!, The Gourds
Some think of The Gourds simply as that wacky band that did the countrified take of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice,” but the Austin outfit has been consistently putting out great CDs for over a decade. On their 2002 Cow Fish Fowl or Pig, the guys came on like a roots music band with Ween’s twisted sensibilities, while 2006’s Heavy Ornamentals found the group adding balladry (“Our Patriarch”) to the mix.
Their ninth CD, Haymaker!, comes out of the gates strong with the accordion fueled stomper “Country Love,” featuring hillbilly poetry like “we watch the stars dancing with the satellites.” They also do some lean Rolling Stones-ish rock on “Fossil Contender” and craft a ballad custom made for slow dancing at a barn dance with “Valentine.” One of the best new tracks is “Bridgett,” where the narrator of the song discusses politics with a Che Guevara t-shirt wearing hitchhiker as ribbons of fiddle weave in and out of the catchy rock song.
Available for download at iTunes, Amazon, etc.FLASHBACK CD OF THE WEEK | Nashville Skyline, Bob Dylan
After groundbreaking albums including 1965’s Highway 61 Revisited and 1966’s Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan went in a more straight-forward country tinged direction with 1967’s John Wesley Harding and 1969’s Nashville Skyline. In particular, Nashville Skyline is one of Dylan’s most relaxed and easiest releases to take in.
With a voice as smooth as aged whiskey – Dylan said it could be attributed to stopping smoking for a time – the revered rock and folk legend was joined by a stable of the best country and bluegrass players on Nashville Skyline including future country star Charlie Daniels and banjo picker Earl Scruggs. Even the famed Johnny Cash appears on the stately duet “Girl From the North Country.”
While “Lay Lady Lay,” which features Dylan crooning over what sounds like tin can percussion, was the album’s hit, the instrumental “Nashville Skyline Rag” with its controlled but impressive soloing could make modern day jam band fans slobber. Another highlight is “I Threw It All Away,” one of Dylan’s most affecting love songs that includes lines like “Love is all there is/ It makes the world go ’round” sung without venom or irony.