Thursday, October 30, 2008

Presidential iPod playlists

John McCain and Barack Obama gave a list of their top 10 tracks for Blender this summer:

1. Ready or Not Fugees
2. What’s Going On Marvin Gaye
3. I’m On Fire Bruce Springsteen
4. Gimme Shelter Rolling Stones
5. Sinnerman Nina Simone
6. Touch the Sky Kanye West
7. You’d Be So Easy to Love Frank Sinatra
8. Think Aretha Franklin
9. City of Blinding Lights U2
10. Yes We Can

1. Dancing Queen ABBA
2. Blue Bayou Roy Orbison
3. Take a Chance On Me ABBA
4. If We Make It Through December Merle Haggard
5. As Time Goes By Dooley Wilson
6. Good Vibrations The Beach Boys
7. What A Wonderful World Louis Armstrong
8. I’ve Got You Under My Skin Frank Sinatra
9. Sweet Caroline Neil Diamond
10. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes The Platters

Free single download - Erin McCarley

"Pony", the first single off of Erin McCarley's January 6 Universal Republic debut 'Love, Save the Empty' is available for free download at her website.



Is your name Michelle? Do you know a Michelle? Local H wants you to show the world why "nobody's got it like Michelle." Submit your photo to be used in their new "Michelle (again)" video from the “12 Angry Months” LP out now on Shout! Factory. Contest ends 12/5/08. Click the link below for details on how to submit your photo.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Larry David on the election

AboutTheMusic's favourite comedian, Larry David, writes in the Huffington Post today about the suspense of waiting for the election, and taking out angst out on his ex-wife (which he quite enjoys). Poor Cheryl.

Read the post here

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Josh Rouse - The Best of the Rykodisc Years - Album Review


The first of this double disc anthology features 19 favourites from Rouse's first five albums and two EPs. They run chronologically and the the track list is no surprise - it opens with "Late Night Conversation" and "Dressed Up like Nebraska", easily the best songs from his debut record before moving through Chester, the Josh Rouse and Lambchop frontman (Kurt Wagner) EP, and onto "Home". Home contains the song "Directions", which helped him reach new audiences when it was featured by Cameron Crowe in his wonderfully sound-tracked movie "Vanilla Sky".

While these songs are good, the golden years of Josh Rouse came on his final three records for the label - "Under Cold Blue Stars", "1972" and "Nashville". "Under Cold Blue Stars" was the album which brought him attention in UK, being heavily promoted by Q magazine, amongst others. The concept album about a travelling mid-western musician adds four great tracks to disc 1. "1972" with its change of direction into white-boy soul on "Come Back" and "Love Vibration" (it really works) provides another 4 tracks and the remaining 4 are pulled from Nashville, his final record with the stand out "My Love Has Gone" before leaving Rykodisc, getting divorced, moving to Spain and setting up his own label.

Josh Rouse has the rare gift of effortlessly producing strong melodies, that, together with his warm, approachable voice, provides a strand of continuity throughout the anthology, despite his constant attempts to vary his musical style. With the possible exception of a couple of the earlier tracks, disc 1 makes a gem of an album and an absolute must for anyone who hasn't checked out Rouse before.

Disc 2 features demos and b-sides and the near obligatory unreleased tracks. it also features the limited edition bedroom classics EP, to provide it to a wider audience. The second disc is interesting for fans, and "Sunshine" and "Suburban Sweetheart" are good songs but it is the first disc that will linger in your CD player. When Rouse began there weren't many people making alt-country pop and he may come to be regarded as a bit of a pioneer. It has been a real pleasure to re-discover Josh Rouse through this best of, and hopefully through this release many more people will make his acquaintance.

Rating: 4/5
Download: My Love Has Gone, Feeling No Pain, Love Vibration

Listen to Josh Rouse live at the Shepherd's Bush Empire and other concerts at or here

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Horse Feathers - House With No Home (album review)

(Kill Rock Stars)
6 October 2008

House With No Home is Horse Feather's debut release on Kill Rock Stars and the follow up to their critically acclaimed "Words Are Dead".

Horse Feathers is lead by Justin Ringle and named after a phrase his Grandfather used. Horse Feathers share the same sparse sound and hushed, whispered vocals as Iron & Wine but aren't a derivative spin-off. They differ through the strong strings from multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick and his sister Heather on cello and backing vocals.

The first album's strength was found in its minimalism - the songs were stripped down to nothing but the bare minimum, the space between the notes was as important as the notes themselves. Justin's vocal style is not so much about lyrics as the sounds the words make. If you liked Words Are Dead, you'll like House With No Home.

Initially I felt disappointed that "House..." appeared to start right where "Words.." left off. The same techniques, similar songs and melodies. Yet after a few listens, when you become more acquainted with it, House... reveals a personality all of its own. This happens around the fourth track - "Albina"; it feels arresting and heightened from the beginning developing into a powerful crescendo. The songs are more complex, featuring more strings and harmony vocals, yet retaining what made Words.. a great album. "Helen" is another highlight, featuring perfect orchestration and gorgeous backing vocals and the line:

Helen if you called my name you know I'd go
In much the same way the sun steals the snow

With House With No Home Horse Feathers show that they are still producing some of the best Americana out there.

Rating; 4/5
For Fans Of: Iron & Wine, Damien Jurado, Peter and the Wolf