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Ward in SC

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  1. Aired this last weekend, that was a great broadcast. Isbell is on an amazing streak right now.
  2. Figured I could dispense with a ranked count of my top ten, but I'm intentionally starting with this one: American Twilight, by Crime and the City Solution I really had no expectations for the first album in 23 years for Simon Bonney's Crime + the City Solution. To be perfectly honest I knew this band, and liked them pretty well, knowing them as "that band' from Wings of Desire and as contemporaries of Nick Cave/The Birthday Party; but my interest was piqued mostly by the fact the one David Eugene Edwards had been invited to join this re-formed unit. That's one way to get me on board. But what. a. record. That's two decades to build up a good head of steam and bile. Then convene in Detroit of all places (American twilight, see?) and create a soundtrack to fading greatness and holding on to a glimmer of hope. Here comes the rain, folks. [And, yes, it is lovely to hear David Edward's Gretsch draped all over this record] and for the rest of the best: Avery County I'm Bound To You, by Barton Carroll I ask only that you consider listening to this song to hear one of the better lines delivered last year (last verse). Rabbit Runs A Destiny, by Duquette Johnston Day of the Dog, by Ezra Furman Could have had his other 2013 album here, too. What a busy young man. Push Any Button, by Sam Phillips Ruby Red, by The Love Language Anger, Hunger, Love, and the Fear of Death, by Dorado The Messenger, by Johnny Marr Push The Sky Away, by Nick Cave & Bad Seeds
  3. "I find them [love songs] odious" - Michael Stipe. Oh, he was just being contrary I think, REM eventually began offering up sentimentality with the best of them, right? Who doesn't love a good love song? I was a child in the seventies and we owned a radio, so...yeah. So after three or so decades of top 40, heavy metal, new wave, punk, "indie rock", r&b, hip-hop, country, folk, and now whatever it is I listen to now - I am not surprised how easily the soft rock love songs of the 70's worm through my head, I started compiling a list of them and realized hey! I can still tolerate some of these. What's more, some more of them I genuinely still love. Midnight Rocks, Air Supply, Juice Newton, Just When I Needed You Most. Please Don't Go to Islands In The Stream. Eventually this list made it out of my head and onto the internet: http://open.spotify.com/user/wardcrittendon/playlist/4RhwnDaajsdtAGrBbOWQCd
  4. Rest, Jason. This has been simply heartbreaking. Not unexpected to hear from some circles, but certainly unexpected by me. I hesitated to call my friend (who I referenced above) as I did not want to be the person who told him. He and Molina had exchanged letters and packages over the last couple of years. Of course, he'd already heard. I am much more familiar with the man's works nowadays, and continued to hold out hope we would see more of Mr. Jason Molina. But it was not to be. There is a lot out there for anyone who wants to know. I'm not eloquent enough to convince anyone to listen, so I'm going to quote another friend's post in reaction to today's news: "Songs of myth and darkness and sadness that felt like a comfort." And then he shared this. I'm going to suggest listening to Hold On Magnolia (spotify link). Or, watching it. Or to catch a glimpse of how majestic a band that wears it's Rolling Thunder Revue & Crazy Horse influences can be - see the last 9 minutes of this video: https://vimeo.com/4494800
  5. The younger me would have hated him, just because he wasn't Robert Smith. Or Lou Reed, or Johnny Cash. Whatever. The adult, parent me - well, I'll admit I became a fan after The Social Network. Now I'll watch - or listen- to anything he does. Not bad at all for a kid from Tennessee via the Mickey Mouse Club.
  6. When I chance upon a band with a new album that I begin to like right away, and upon further investigation discover that they've been around for a while and have something like 3 or 5 or 10 albums that came out before this one; I have to fight a feeling of mild panic and anxiety. Does anyone else experience this? Because I'm already pressed for time to listen to the music I know and love. And I've found time to discover this new thing and that's always good. . But now I learn, it's not new. There's a lot more listening to do, and when am I going to that? Hm? I know, not a real problem as problems go. But I'm experiencing it (again) with a new record by Radar Bros. I'd seen the name before because I always am checking out releases from Merge Records. But not until a strong recommendation from a friend did I listen to their new album Eight. It turns out to be a rather bracing record of Left Coast indie pop in the vein Grandaddy or Earlimart, but with an edge of Sparklehorse. And the occasional melody that Elliot Smith may have not gotten around to. Making a very strong impression on me early in the year. [And despite the title, it appears I only have six previous releases to check out]
  7. I bought it yesterday after hearing one track at the local record store. Okay, I was inclined to get it anyway but the song (Upstarts) just hit me in the right places. At first blush, one listen in the car, and I love it. A meaty sound and well-crafted songs. Some reviews suggest it lacks a distinct personality. Maybe so, have to suss that out after more listens. But we're talking about a guy who was joined at the hip with one of the great outsized personalities of all-time in rock music, Steven Patrick Morrissey. Why try to out-personality that? He's always let his musicianship do his speaking for him.
  8. Ward in SC

    The Wrens

    Coincidentally, a Facebook update today from The Wrens (and they have been fairly regular - and usually quite funny - on Facebook lately so it's not out of the blue): "shy some lyrics, some vocals & some final mixing, Three Types of Reading Ambiguity.Logic done (no, will not be the real title)" I like that they don't seem to put much pressure on themselves to get the next record out. That's healthy, ha! Not that that the long periods of time should lead anyone to think they lack for purpose or intensity. The records alone should prove that is not the case. Also, although I have been to SXSW only once, it happened to be a year that The Wrens were in attendance. I didn't see anyone else on that weekend that brought the same levels of joy and energy and pure rock'n'roll as that band of middle-aged rock lifers did.
  9. Welcome back! I always look forward to your music-related posts. The last Lanegan album I'd heard was Bubblegum, and I didn't even realize he had a new one. Must check it out. (I did really like his work in The Gutter Twins, too.) Thank you, Jason! One can expect a Lanegan's record to live in the same neighborhoods as those of his friends and collaborators; so fans of Greg Dulli, PJ Harvey, even Nick Cave are probably going to enjoy them. But there are tracks on Blues Funeral that could be New Order or Pet Shop Boys lost tracks...and yet they fit right in beautifully.
  10. Released at the beginning of '12, and for me, was never topped. Not even by my beloved David Eugene Edwards. Lanegan's first record since 2004, Blues Funeral was almost summary of the man's career, from the psych and stoner rock of the Screaming Trees and Queens Of The Stone Age to the electronic treatments of his collaborations with The Soulsavers; and long-carried influences of blues and folk. As good as this record was, in 2012 he still managed to keep a near-perfect record of quality collaborations and one-off projects, including a lovely Karen Dalton cover and three tracks on the Nick Cave/Warren Ellis soundtrack to Lawless. [And still improbably managed to not play a show in the Southern U.S.] Despite a two-decade record of excellence in rock music, the man seems almost criminally under-recognized, even in circles of people who love music. For a taste, consider the ground covered in 16 minutes of thehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCa9BBVeTjo. Or link to a Spotify playlist of Lanegan collaborations and contributions. My list: 1. Mark Lanegan - Blues Funeral. 2. WovenHand - The Laughing Stock 3. Father John Misty - Fear Fun 4. Calexico - Algiers 5. Frida Hyvonen - To The Soul 6. Alejandro Escovedo - Big Station 7. Explorers Club - Grand Hotel 8. Chuck Prophet - Beautiful Temple 9. Big Dipper - Big Dipper Crashes on the Platinum Planet 10. Lawless soundtrack - Nick Cave/Warren Ellis/The Bootleggers + various artists And- hello all - it's been a while.
  11. If this is truly the only Van Halen thread on this forum, it really shouldn't go any further without a from Running With the Devil.
  12. It might have been a little more major 10, 15, or 20 years ago. But I think it's still pretty cool. <snort> Yes, my refined tastes! VH circa 1978 to 1984 - best rock band in America (as in, rawk). [i would like to maybe put Cheap Trick in that slot; but the Trick simply did not lay down a 6-album streak of gold to start their career in the way that Van Halen did.] They were the essence of everything good about rock music. First of all, they had the blues and the boogie. They were not-always-clean fun with a capital F. Sometimes unsettling and sometimes threatening. Melodies, harmonies, and, well, Eddie Van Halen. And David Lee Roth? Not fair. They were larger than life. And they did Kinks covers, and did them well. So I certainly won't begrudge them this reunion, and I'll probably be picking up the new record at some point. I'm just curious about what happened to them between 1984 and now. Anyone?
  13. dropping in to add my list. Happy New Year, everyone! 1. Dolorean "The Unfazed" 2. Wilco "The Whole Love" 3. Alela Diane& Wild Divine "AD + WD" 4. Feelies "Here Before" 5. Dengue Fever "Cannibal Courtship" 6. Wild Flag "Wild Flag" 7. David Kilgour + The Heavy Eights "Left By Soft" 8. Daniel Martin Moore "In The Cool Of The Day" 9. REM "Collapse Into Now" 10. Screaming Trees "Last Words" And a few others: Richard Buckner 'Our Blood' Ezra Furman 'Mysterious Power" Centro-matic 'Candidate Waltz" Glossary 'Long Live All of Us" Wooden Wand + the Briarwood Virgins Wussy 'Strawberry' Jesse Sykes + Sweet Hereafter 'Marble Son' Wooden Shijips Reigning Sound 'Abdication' a few of my favorite songs: British Sea Power "Who's in Control?" Centro-matic "Only In My Double Mind' Wilco "One Sunday Morning" Yellow Ostrich "WHALE"
  14. Ward in SC


    All of that is true. Which is why I really have no nostalgia about them despite the tone of my last post. The ones I have, I'll keep until I one day have the means to convert to digital. But their impact on music beyond the realm of nostalgia cannot be denied. If in the 80's you were an underground/DIY musician with no real connections or means of otherwise recording and distributing your music... you probably trafficked in cassettes. Punk, experimental, hip-hop. If I remember correctly Option magazine had a section devoted entirely to cassette-only releases. Then there is C-86, yeah? So hats off to the cassette tape. There was a lot to love about Hustle & Flow, but the best part of the movie is when DJay slides that cassette across the table to Skinny Black.
  15. So far in this thread I have to say that Bandwagonesque is the single best record mentioned. Sounds as glorious today as it did then. Granted, back then it had to fight with Nevermind for time in the tape deck of my Corolla, but it held it's own in every way. ..and a few more also-rans from '91: Screaming Trees, Uncle Anesthesia - still a couple of years out from their biggest commercial success on the Singles soundtrack...UA was their first major label release and although they were on the way to doing so, they hadn't yet stripped out the swirling psychedelic edge that permeated their first few records. So it's a transitional record of sorts, from what I considered then (and pretty much still do) to be the finest non-grunge rock band of the grunge era. Chickasaw Mud Puppies 8-track Stomp - Last (of two) records by the Athens,Ga based duo that had close associations with the REM camp. Performed an extremely lof-i greasy Southern blues on many home-made intruments. Recently took back up and have been performing here and there for most of this year. The Feelies, Time For A Witness - The one album they recorded that sounded like they did when they played live. In short, it rocked. They were at the peak of their powers as a band. But The Feelies never did fit in any movement or scene and once again their record was ignored, even among "music" people who were looking to Seattle and to hip-hop for all their music (and I include myself in the category).
  16. Ward in SC


    Yes! Making mixtapes was an experience that cannot be duplicated digitally and truly was a labor of love. They could be banged out on a twin-deck boom box, or - if one had access - on a "real" stereo using the levels knobs to fade in/out in the right places and pull all sorts of little tricks. I still have a copy of a mixtape I made in 1991, sourced from other cassettes, vinyl,and CD..and VHS-recorded snippets from the Wayans' In Living Color ("Clutch the pearls! What a sneaky thing to do!"). I occupied a friends living room (and his superior stereo componentry) for 3 straight nights... Also - I still have two milk crates of cassettes, commercial and home-recorded, dating back to the early eighties, of things I just can't bring myself to throw out.
  17. Great stories, thank you! This sounds a lot like a place in Greenville called the Silver Fox that used to host shows that in no way reflected the tastes of it's regular patrons. I'm wondering if a band called The Beef People was on the bill on that night you describe... Again, great stories.
  18. Greg, you're definitely on to some of the things that made REM special. My feelings about REM all read like your's above; tied to some particular stage in life, some person or persons, some meaningful events. And like you, for better or for worse, the band's impact on me was deep and happened so naturally. It was a part of life, I didn't go seeking it out like I would later with musicians like Dylan. My first REM show (boy am I regretting now all the shows I've actively decided not to see in the last 10 years) was in 1986 in Columbia, SC. It was exactly a week after seeing Journey in the same town on their last tour with Steve Perry (I won tickets on the radio for that one). The experiences were day and night. The Township Auditorium came under siege from a small army of ragamuffins in combat boots and thrift store clothing and homespun haircuts. Young people seemingly under self-exile from society as I knew it, kids I had never seen at the malls or youth groups or my small Southern Baptist college. I was in awe before I even got in the doors. As was their wont, REM started with the first song of their latest album and Begin The Begin started playing in the dark. When the lights came on, Stipe was facing the rear of the stage, wearing top hat and coat. After the first verse, he doffed the hat, turned around and held out his hand over the packed orchestra pit, and I was picked up off my feet as the entire building surged toward him. I looked up at the balcony as a young man leaned over the stage, knees against the railing the only thing saving him from a nasty fall. The rest of the night was like that, a heaving congregation that just wanted to be in the presence of a band that was somehow more than a band to all of us. I get a little chill just reading that. Makes me remember jumping into my little Corolla, leaving my grandmother's home with one or another REM cassette blaring, and considering driving the 40 miles down hwy 72 directly into Athens to - do what, exactly? Find REM and hang out with them? Fortunately even at age 19 I could recognize how preposterous that sounded. Although in those days I know that a lot of people would show up in that litte college town to do just that. The urge, it was strong. It was REM. I miss them already. (btw Greg if you don't mind - what band?) I haven't read too too much in the wake of the announcement.. but so far this is hands down the best tribute: REM RIP: Thanks For Running It Into The Ground
  19. An acquaintance summarized Candidate Waltz as "what Spoon might sound like if it was Will Johnson's band." I thought it both an apt description, and a fine endorsement. Only In My Double Mind is certainly one of the best songs I'll hear this year.
  20. Ward in SC

    Wild Flag

    I am very much looking forward to this coming out. Saw one of their post-SXSW shows before the retreated to record the album. They are the best of unbridled enthusiasm coupled to grizzled rock veteran smarts.
  21. Ward in SC


    I've made only one playlist exclusively to share on spotify, using exclusively music available on spotify (it seems that if I use songs on my hard drive they're not available to other users). It was - and this is possibly the dull part - a tribute to the first Australian winner of the Tour de France cycling race, 2011 champion Cadel Evans. So it follows that the playlist consists of Aussie pop & rock artists from the last several decades. I tried to use songs that fed into - either by title, content, rhythm, or some combo of those - the overall themes of cycling, racing or competition. Dream On, White Boy: Songs for Cadel The Triffids – Wide Open Road The Sleepy Jackson – Vampire Racecourse Cut Copy – Where I'm Going The Vines – Outtathaway INXS – Original Sin Men At Work – Catch A Star Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Hammer Song Mental As Anything – If You Leave Me Can I Come Too? The Church – Grind The Saints – (I'm) Stranded Hoodoo Gurus – I Was A Kamikaze Pilot The Lucksmiths – Motorscooter The Easybeats – River Deep, Mountain High Kylie Minogue – Breathe - Radio Edit Crowded House – Don't Dream It's Over The Go Betweens – The Clock Midnight Oil – Sometimes Hunters & Collectors – You Can Have It All
  22. I was idly thinking last week "is there not an existing Buckner thread?..." Our Blood is turning out to be a fine installment in the Rick Buckner chronicles. For a guy who has flown pretty much under radar for 15+ years he has released some stunning records (a couple nearing desert-island status, for me), worked with a broad range of artists (from country-legend/father-of-Dixie-Chick Lloyd Maines to The Mekon's Jon Langford to Convertino&Burns of Calexico, with plenty in-between), and likely saw his public profile peak with, of all things, the Volkswagen ad that featured "Ariel Ramirez" from the album Since. It was, naturally, one of the most beautiful 60 seconds of televison you'll ever see. He released an album (The Hill) based on the Spoon River Anthology. Seek it out. And yes, seeing him live when he really opens up that voice, it's great. And though I don't listen with a musician's ear I think he's a fascinating picker. I saw him last fall in a set in which he has three guitars on-stage with him. He played a mini-set on each instrument, each one distinct in song selection and tone. I plan to see him next week, as he's now touring with label-mate David Kilgour (of the legendary The Clean).
  23. Ward in SC

    Laura Cantrell

    I have all the full-length records save the Kitty Wells, I like them all. Though Not The Tremblin' Kind is still my favorite of hers. It was the first I'd ever heard of her and I bought it solely on the recommendation of a record store owner who saw what I browsing (in 2000 so it was probably the likes of Wilco/Son Volt and other "alt.country" stuff). Her voice on that record was somewhat unusual, no? She managed to somehow sound young and tentative while evoking a sort of pathos that gave the songs (many of them covers, like most of her records) plenty of credence. There would no mistaking her for the Dixie Chicks.
  24. Ward in SC

    Woven Hand

    ...and I'm chiming in to recommend Consider The Birds as a starting point. It's Edwards at his most beautiful with Sparrow Falls, Chest Of Drawers, Speaking Hands, and Oil On Panel. Then a hint of his intensity with To Make A Ring. And an adaptation of a 14th century hymn in Don In Yon Forest. Goodness. Although, Mosaic does feature Whistling Girl, Swedish Purse, Truly Golden and Dirty Blue (an absolute beauty). *sigh* I should stop if I am going to maintain any pretense of actually being helpful. (Threshingfloor is just wonderful as an album, too)
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