Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Huckleberry Flynns

As promised a million years ago, I've found my version of The Huckleberry Flynn's A Lost Duet. This is not the version off of their EP Live in Rathmines, but rather off of a live bootleg set from 2006.

It's raw, but you can sense the burgeoning talent. Latest I've heard, the group added a Bristol, CT guitarist. They are currently giging in central Connecticut under their latest reincarnation, "The Bob Dylan Motorcycle Incident" but have plans to begin a recording effort dubbed the Red River Sessions before the end of the summer.

I will keep you posted as best I can as events develop.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Hold Steady - Stay Positive

I've got about six other posts that I'm three months late on, but I couldn't wait on this one. After anxiously awaiting The Hold Steady's new release, Stay Positive, for so long, I was finally able to buy it late last Tuesday night. Needless to say, I listened to it three times before lunch the next day.

The only thing that would do it justice is to say that it is good. Really freaking good. Like 'I want to dance around like I'm in convulsions because Craig Finn does it and I can hear it in his voice as he spills his tales of drunken debauchery and youthful mistakes in love and life' good.

"Sequestered in Memphis" is the lead single from this album, and while entertaining, it's not the standout track for me. "Lord, I'm Discouraged" brings me into a Cream-esque daze that I want to climb into and never come out. A soaring guitar solo that lasts a full minute and soulful lyrics combine to make this song a memorable one in my book.

"Both Crosses" is Craig Finn's closest attempt at making a Springsteen song. Dark and dreary, it delves into the emotions of Christ's crucifixion - not happy stuff. Then again, nothing on this album is overly joyful. While some of the songs sound decently upbeat, the album title serves more as a warning than anything.

If I were to pick one song, I'd say "Magazines" is the front runner for a back to basics Hold Steady track. Wry lyrics, piano, and hard guitar riffs cover all their usual bases on this uptempo tune that is sure to please.

Overall, I have to say I really like this album. I don't think it will have the same staying power as their previous releases, but I think it will give them greater exposure as a band. I needed a new Hold Steady fix and this fills the gap nicely for now. I don't know how many times I can listen to "Party Pit" but I was beginning to test the limits, so this comes at just the right time.

I think Finn is branching out just enough to keep things interesting. While not reinventing himself, he is working with different styles and I like that (check out the Frampton sounding guitar work on "Joke About Jamaica"). The Hold Steady know what their sound is and they know that it works. While they might never achieve Springsteen status - and I know the analogy is overused, though accurate - I don't think an artist like Springsteen could flourish in today's market. Cream would never score and Van Morrison could take his pipes and go home. However, I think in 20-30 years, we'll have an interesting discovery of great music that got lost in the mix and never was able to fully develop.

Here's to hoping The Hold Steady find their Miracle-Gro.

The Hold Steady -
*Lord, I'm Discouraged.mp3

*Both Crosses.mp3


Monday, July 21, 2008

Get On Board with Pela

Pela is an American rock band from Brooklyn, NY that represents all that's good about music and America. Please spend some time on their myspace
(listen to "Lost to the Lonesome" first), and then read their bio. If you don't love them, that's your choice, but it's the wrong one.

Remember when Little D. used to post seven times a day...those were the days.

Required Listening

Little Gun - Maybe in your letter to Ray, you really just wanted to ask him to be a bit more like Kreg Viesselman. - Jack the Rabbit

Well, Oh well, Jezebel
The friends that you made
They're headed for hell
Lazy old fools
The sheep and the mules,
For doing it just like you tell

The sailors come
Between the storms
And they use you like a tool
They make promises now
When they're hungry some how
Just to break them when they're full

Well, oh well, Jezebel
There's a bird in your hand
And there's two in the well
No one knows why
The sparrow won't fly
And nobody blames you he fell

He came to you like a newborn calf
And he left you like a bull
And you lost your hold
On your heartstrings, I'm told
Before you felt the pull

The Pull, The Pull
Out on the end
You'd think I'd have learned
But down I descend
The Pull, The Pull
Back on the mend
Breaking my spirit Again

Well, oh well, you ragged girl
I guess that you gave it a whirl
Squeezing so hard
On that broken old shard
It's like to turn into a pearl


Thursday, July 17, 2008

"She was just like Jesse James"

D., Little

G., Little

Hoping you guys can help me out. I'm looking to expand upon my iPod playlist which includes only songs that mention Jesse James.

So far I have:

Jesse James by Bruce Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band
Jesse James by The Pogues
Crazy Face by Van Morrison
Western Plain by Van Morrison
Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me by Warren Zevon


The Rabbit, Jack