The Perm & The Skullet is a non-profit music blog devoted to bringing you music of all kinds.

Although we prefer that rustic, acoustic, unusual, whiskey soaked sound, we do like music of all styles and genres. If you have something you think we should listen to, by all mean, let us know.

All Links and MP3s are for sampling, evaluation, and introduction purposes only and are intended to provide exposure to said artist / film / site etc... If you like it, please go buy it.

Online, we recommend Insound, emusic or directly from the artist or their label. Locally, we recommend Schoolkids Records or Bull City Records.

Most Mp3 samples are only available for a limited time, usually a week or two. If there is something you missed, and it is currently unavailable or out of print, please let us know and we can see what we can do.

MP3s, Links, and Images can easily be taken down, so if you are the owner or their representation, and would like said link or file removed, just let us know and we'€™ll be happy to do so. You can E-mail me directly here for any questions or concerns or submissions.

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On the Turntable

Rolling Stones: Get Your Leeds Lungs Out Hank Williams, Jr.'s Greatest Hits, Vol.1 Bonnie Prince Billy - Lie Down in the Light Dio - Holy Diver Metallica - Death Magnetic The Gunshy - I Gave Too Much Time to the Wine Iron & Wine and Calexico - In the Reins Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Radiohead

Quote by:
Will Oldham

“As soon as it becomes your profession to critique a book, or movie, or record then, not only do you lose your passion for it, but it loses validity for whoever you’re trying to turn it onto because they’re going to be approaching it from a consumer’s point of view, not from a professional writer’s point of view.”


You can mail any materials to me electronically here or hard copy at:

The Perm & The Skullet
9100 Cub Trail
Raleigh, NC 27615

I promise to listen to everything, but due to the large amount of material I receive, I can not guarantee review. Thanks!






UPDATE from other site
New Site
Can't Stop Watching
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds
E - Bird Interview
Neil Young: Time Fades Away
Midtown Dickens: Oh Yell!


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Friday, October 24, 2008


Podcasts are still up. Check them out below...

Subscribe through iTunes by clicking the above logo.

The goal of the Collective Podcast is to provide you with some new tracks, some old tracks, and maybe some material you’re not familiar with. It’s also something we hope you will enjoy from start to finish. If you’d like to appear on the podcast let us know! Make sure to click the above iTunes logo to subscribe today.

11/7/07 New Podcast!


Belle and Sebastian - Your Cover’s Blown
Castanets - Sway
Phosphorescent - Cocaine Lights
The Shins - Sailor Girl (Live iTunes Session)
Yeasayer - 2080
R.E.M. - I’ve Been High

10/10/07 New Podcast!


Squidbillies Open - Billy Joe Shaver
Destroyer - Stormy
Transatlantique - Beirut
Just What I Needed - The Cars
Midnight Confessions - The Grass Roots
I Got A Letter - Half-Handed Cloud
Wizard - Mariee Sioux
Knives Out (radiohead cover)- The Flaming Lips
Turn Up The Faders - Nathan Asher & the Infantry
Queen of Hearts - Juice Newton

10/2/07 New Podcast!


Beck- Time Bomb
Jens Lekman - Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo
Obadiah Parker - Hey Ya
Doc and Merle Watson - Little Maggie
David and the Citizens - Now She sleeps in a Box in the Good Soil of Denmark
Summer Hymns - Mr. Brewer (cackle, cackle)
Animal Collective - Peacebone

Here are the Collective Podcasts from the past. More to come in the future as we get things revving back up here.


My Brother the Native - Octopodidae
Clarence Carter - Patches
Frog Eyes - Idle Songs
Grizzly Bear - Owner of a Lonely Heart
Midtown Dickens - Airplane (demo)
Beirut - Postcards From Italy
Charles Latham - Nite Man
Rosie Thomas - Much Farther to Go

.: PODCAST 13 (Best of 06 pt. 2)

Joanna Newsom - Cosmia
Midlake - Young Bride
Swan Lake - All Fires
Cat Power - Lived in Bars
J Dilla - Workinonit
Sunset Rubdown - Stadiums and Shrines II
Danielson - Did I Step on your Trumpet

.: PODCAST 12 (Best of 06 pt. 1)

Sufjan Stevens - I Saw Three Ships
Drakkar Sauna - Om, John Surratt
Xiu Xiu - The fox and the Rabbit
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy - Strange Form of Life
Metallic Falcons - Disparu
Thom Yorke - The Clock
Johnny Cash - God’s Gonna Cut You Down
Band of Horses - The Funeral


The Choir of All Saints, Honiara - God Yu Tekkem Laef Blong Mi
Danielson - Five Stars And Two Thumbs Up
Dr. Octagon - Earth People
Millie Jackson - (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right
Beck - Black Tambourine
Anna Oxygen - Fake Pajamas
Swan Lake - All Fires
Joanna Newsom - Cosmia

.: PODCAST 9.1

Beck and Willie Nelson - Drivin’ Nails In My Coffin
Old Time Relijun - Wolves and Wolverines
MC5 - Kick Out the Jams
Johnny Cash and the Original Tennessee Two - Rock Island Line
Midtown Dickens - AM Dial
Cat Power - Werewolf (live @ Nacht-Mix Lounge)
Midlake - The Jungler (alt. version)
+/- - Leap Year


Marvin Gaye - The World Is Rated X (Alternative Mix)
Xiu Xiu - Vulture Piano
Brian Wilson - 11 (from Paley Sessions)
Alec Ounsworth - Telling the Truth
Tyrone Evans - Let Them Say
Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys - John Henry
Washington Phillips - What Are They Doing In Heaven Today
The Lamb Called Light - Lead Thou Me


Jealous Guy - Donny Hathaway
The Chills - Peter Bjorn & John
Don’t Cha - Xiu Xiu
Wildcat - Ratatat
The Friendly Beasts - Sufjan Stevens
Dirty City Blues - Jennifer O’Connor
Winged/Wicked Things - Sunset Rubdown
I’ll Fly Away - Reverend Gary Davis


James Brown - Down and Out in New York City
Magnolia Electric Company - Lonesome Valley
The Mountain Goats - See America Right (excerpt)
Kris Kristofferson - This Old Road
George Jones - Hello Darlin’
Tender Forever - Then If I’m Weird I Want To (Planet Claire Sessions)
Seabear - Singing Arc
Tapes n’ Tapes - The Illiad
Midlake - Young Bride
Syd Barrett - If It’s In You


Lindsey Buckingham - Holiday Road
Xiu Xiu - The Fox & The Rabbit
Sunset Rubdown - Stadiums and Shrines II
The Beatles - Sun King/Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Through The Bathroom Window Melody
The Flaming Lips - War Pigs (Live Stockholm 5/06)
Weezer - Lullaby For Wayne
MSTRKRFT - Work On You
Girl Talk - Warm It Up


Lady and Bird - Stephanie Says
Bonnie Prince Billy - Cursed Sleep
Johnny Cash - God’s Gonna Cut You Down
Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks
Pablo Moses - Pave The Way
Modern Skirts - N.Y. Song
DJ Shadow - This Time (I’m Gonna Try It My Way)
Lily Allen - Smile


Goblin - Suspiria (Celesta & Bells)
Witch - Seer
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - In This Home On Ice
Gene Moore - Church Organ #2
The Animal Collective - Grass
Afrika Bambaataa - Planet Rock
Viktor Vaughn - Saliva
Gnarls Barkley - Crazy (Instrumental)
The Rance Allen Singers - Lying On The Truth


Metallic Falcons - Disparu
Espers - Rosmary Lane
The Animal Collective = Must Be Treeman
Nobody & Mystic Chords of Memory - Feed Upon the Sand (Dntel Remix)
Shugo Tokumaru - Mist
Ben Gibbard - Recycled Air (Acoustic)
Sufjan Stevens - For The Widowers In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypisilanti
Spider - Midnight on the Nile


Stuart A. Staples - That Leaving Feeling
Sunset Rubdown - Stadiums And Shrines II
Sufjan Stevens - Dear Mr. Supercomputer
Dr. Octagon - Ants
The Knife - Heartbeats
Camera Obscura - Come Back Margaret
The Mountain Goats - Woke Up Now
Paleo - Pelican, Pelican
Peaches - Slippery Dick

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 12:54 PM


Friday, December 21, 2007

UPDATE from other site

Below are a few of the posts from when we had a brief time over at Wordpress. We're back here at our original site, but you can get here by

Phosphorescent (Matthew Houck) succeeds like never before with his latest release Pride on the Secretly Canadian / Dead Oceans label. Whether it was moving to Brooklyn or just growth as an artist, Pride is all that I had hope Phosphorescent would be. A fan ever since A Hundred Times Or More, I’ve always wanted a song like Cocaine Lights or My Dove, My Lamb... and now we have it. With hints of Dennis Wilson’s ghost on a Will Oldham island during camp town races backed by the angelic choir you heard the day your grandma died, Pride rises near the top of 2007 releases, and as mentioned, Phosphorescent’s best. If you are in the area, Phosphorescent will be playing this years Troika Music Festival in Durham on November 3rd and Bull City Headquarters. Below is a track, but this is a must own album.

(mp3) A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise

Castanets have been a staple here at TPATS from the beginning and with the release of the latest, In The Vines, we are excited! After reading the below snippets from AK we feel kind of bad, but this album really harnesses a raw emotion that allows the listener to tap into, and really relate, or should I say, an almost palpable feeling. like blood in the mouth. You can taste it and with this release you can not only hear it, but you can feel it. A rustic journey that was there as soon as I opened the door.

Asthmatic Kitty wrote, “Ray Raposa of Castanets had almost finished his follow-up to First Light’s Freeze (2005) when three men in strange masks mugged him at gunpoint in front of his home in Bedstuy, Brooklyn. Stealing Raposa’s rent money, iPod and security, the three thieves climaxed a year of depression and nomadic, nocturnal dislocation. Not long after the mugging, Raposa completed In The Vines.

They go on to say, “If the Castanets’ debut, Cathedral (2004) was a road narrative and First Light’s Freeze a malaise of longing, In The Vines is an attempt to reconcile the fear of the spaces between the journeys. Says Raposa, “There is a definite rootlessness. Not so much pursuit as just waking up somewhere else, then somewhere else again. I have had to halt production and/or writing and/or thinking about this album repeatedly due to actual, incapacitating depressions. Totally crippling. The bad kind. Off of the road, it’s been a pretty bad year.

One man’s horror is another man’s pleasure and Castanets, and the release In The Vines, rise to the occasion and deliver an amazing LP. Below are two tracks from the release and links to acquire. Enjoy.

(mp3) Sway
(mp3) This is the Early Game

| Myspace | Purchase | Download |

Over at Planet Claire Aligre FM 93.1 they have mp3’s of Rio en Medio (aka Danielle Stech Homsy ) live in-studio performance. All the tracks of this intimate set are worth downloading. Below is one of the tracks, but if you want all three check it out here.

(mp3) Everyone is Someone’s

Run Around, Run Around is the latest release from Shelby Sifers on Oh! Map Records. I wrote about Shelby and her release Yeah and I’m In Love Too last year and was thrilled to hear about this latest release. Her soft, delicate, child-like vocals are back and it’s music to my ears on this rain soaked morning. Below is a track that hopefully will be spinning in your head all day.

(mp3) Blackberry

| Myspace w/ link to purchase |

Surfing around the internet a few weeks ago and came across a great recording of Joanna Newsom’s show from 11-25- 06 at the Bottletree in Birmingham, AL.

I’ve yet to see her perform live and I’m dying to. She has the most beautiful voice and her comments between songs are so endearing it’s hard not to fall instantly in love with her spirit. Love the traditional Scottish song as well…a real treat.

The track listing is as follows and if you’re interested in the show, just grab the zip file. Have a great weekend!

Bridges and Balloons
The Book of Right On
Traditional Scottish Song
Monkey & Bear
Sawdust & Diamonds
Only Skin
Peach, Plum, Pear

ZIP file

What does it mean to be human? That’s a good question…and a question posed by the track below from Old Time Relijun’s latest release, Catharsis In Crisis.

The panting, the hollering horns, the strained liquor soaked vocal chords vibrate the relijun into my headphones and take total control. If you have not experienced the old time relijun, then it’s a must you download the track below, followed by a download of the album, and prior efforts, from emusic, and then if you are in the area, an upcoming concert. OTR will be preforming with, TPATS favorite Midtown Dickens of all people, at the Local 506 on November 2nd.

Below is a track from the current releae that will give you nightmares you’ll come to embrace. Enjoy.

(mp3) Daemon Meeting

I remember when Seabear was a solo act and I posted about Sindri and his music back in 2005. Well Seabear is now a collective of seven and they have recently released the album The Ghost That Carried Us Away on the Morr Music label.

Gone are the rustic acoustic nights and now a magical multi-instrumental dream like room where the performers are on a circular rotating stage playing for children with light reflecting from prisms twinkling upon the walls as the room tilts. Bears and beavers, trees and birds join in the swaying and listening of the soft alluring vocals and a smile fills the room as the walls break away to a meadow that allows all to hear what Seabear has become.

Thoughts, and you know I like thoughts, but these are the thoughts that come through as I listen to this amazing lp. It’s wonderful to see the transformation from what was once a darker Icelandic solo act, to a group that’s filled with light hearted, rich instrumentation that cry out for headphones as Sindri intertwines his delightful voices with each note. Below is a track from the release with links to acquire.

(mp3) I Sing I Swim

| Website | Myspace | purchase | 1994’s Singing Arc EP (free) |

I’ve posted this before, but due to it no longer being available on Big O at this time, I thought I would repost it here in honor of Neil Young’s upcoming release Chrome Dreams II. You can pre-order that release from iTunes HERE and get the song Dirty Old Man immediately. The below 6 tracks are different from the “official releases” and the descriptions and information is quoted from the info that was made available on Big O at the time these tracks were available:

“Chrome Dreams was planned for release in 1977 then abandoned. Instead Neil Young released American Stars & Bars that year. Four songs on Chrome Dreams were included in American Stars & Bars. A fifth, Hold Back The Tears, was rerecorded with a band and added to American Stars & Bars. The version on Chrome Dreams is a solo recording.One song, Captain Kennedy, was later released on Hawks & Doves in 1980. The remaining six songs were all eventually released but in rerecorded versions…”

“In the early 1990s, an acetate of Chrome Dreams emerged in the collector’s market in Germany, finally putting to rest rumours of the album’s existence. On the acetate bore a date and year, March 16, 1977 and all the songs.”

“…the tracklist below is the exact album submitted to Reprise as Chrome Dreams.” - Big O

Songs discription from Big O

1. Pochahontas 3.24m
Neil Young and instruments. Recorded Sept 1975. Released Rust Never Sleeps 1979 but this is “naked mix” with the vocals up front.

2. Will To Love 7.11m
Neil Young and instruments. Recorded May 1976. Released American Stars & Bars 1977. SAME

3. Star Of Bethlehem 2.42m
Neil Young, Emmylou Harris [vocals]; Ben Keith [dobro, vocals]; Tim Drummond [bs]. Recorded November 1974. Released American Stars & Bars 1977. SAME

4. Like A Hurricane 8.14m
Neil Young, Frank Sampedro [gtr]; Billy Talbot [bs]; Ralph Molina [drms]. Recorded November 1975. Released American Stars & Bars 1977. SAME. Note the version of the 2005 reissue of AS&B is 8.20m. Longer fade?

5. Too Far Gone 2.41m
Neil Young, Frank Sampedro [mandolin]. Recorded November 1976. Diff version found on Freedom released in 1989.

6. Hold Back The Tears 5.16m
Neil Young and instruments. Released American Stars & Bars 1977 but this is the solo version and not the same.

7. Homegrown 2.20m
Neil Young, Frank Sampedro [gtr]; Billy Talbot [bs, vcls]; Ralph Molina [drms, vcls]. Recorded November 1975. Released American Stars & Bars 1977. SAME

8. Captain Kennedy 2.55m
Neil Young and instruments. Recorded September 1975. Released Hawks & Doves 1980. SAME

9. Stringman 3.32m
Neil Young and instruments. Recorded live in concert March 1976. Diff version found on Unplugged 1993.

10. Sedan Delivery 5.22m
Neil Young, Frank Sampedro [gtr]; Billy Talbot [bs, vcls]; Ralph Molina [drms, vcls]. Recorded November 1976. Diff version found on Rust Never Sleeps 1979, this is longer and sounds like “grunge”.

11. Powderfinger 3.23m
Neil Young and instruments. Recorded September 1975. Diff version found on Rust Never Sleeps 1979. This is shorter and without Crazy Horse.

12. Look Out For My Love 4.06m
Neil Young, Frank Sampedro [gtr]; Billy Talbot [bs]; Ralph Molina [drms]. Recorded November 1976. Released on Comes A Time 1978. SAME

A big thanks to Big O for the great live and unreleased shows they make available each week and make sure to pre-order Neil Young’s latest release Chrome Dreams II from iTunes HERE.

Look who’s on Emusic… It’s our friend Sean from Daytrotter. This is a perfect way for them to get their site and their excellent musical recordings out to the masses. As one downloader said, “Really an excellent selection of music. Had never heard of daytrotter before either, and wish I had earlier.”

If you are unfamilar with then you are missing out…seriously. What better way to describe their site than to use their own words… two featured bands, eight Daytrotter Session songs each week.

There are so many music/entertainment websites that copy one another, scrambling so fast to “discover” or present something new to the world. And just because you get there first, it doesn’t really make you an explorer. We did poke a stars and stripes into the moon, but we could always see it. We knew it was there. It wasn’t new. We can always come along and say we did, saw, heard something first, but we’re never right. What Daytrotter is attempting to do is to not kid around with you and tell you that we found something that you never knew existed. We are going to contribute to the musical landscape, not just toss it around like a used book or a stolen pick-up line. We’re going to give you something that you truly have never heard. We are not giving you songs from someone you love’s record album, thereby stealing from someone you love. We’re giving you exclusive, re-worked, alternate versions of old songs and unreleased tracks by some of your favorite bands and by a lot of your next favorite bands.

Daytrotter Sessions

These fine people – as they’re traveling through America’s heartland – take two hours out of their travels between shows to stop in for a Daytrotter Session at Futureappletree Studio One in downtown Rock Island, Ill. The name of the city is not ironic. They use borrowed instruments, play with their touring mates, utilize a often unkempt toilet, eat some food and then cram back into their vans for the last half of the drive. What they leave behind is a pile of ashes, sometimes a forgotten stocking hat and four absolutely collectible songs that often impart on whomever listens to them the true intensity that these musicians put into their art, sometimes with more clarity than they do when they have months to tinker with overdubs and experiments. These songs are them as they are on that particular day, on that particular tour – dirty and alive. We want you to make this your new home as it is ours. We promise that you will love it here.” - Sean at Daytrotter

Go download Vol. 1…for free of course, HERE. The track listing is below along with my favorite from the release.

The Days and Nights of Lust and Presumption - 31 Knots
The Future Pt. 1 - Voxtrot
Suffer For Fashion - Of Montreal
Ain’t It Strange - Dr. Dog
Untitled 1 - O’Death
Jut Jut/Lazer Wahnsinn - Jason Forrest
Slow Show - The National

(mp3) Untitled 1 (Daytrotter Sessions) - O Death

Jens Lekman has been a staple here at TPATS for quite some time so you can imagine our excitement that on October 9th, Lekman and Secretly Canadian will be releasing Night Falls Over Kortedala stateside. If you liked his prior work then I really think you will love this latest release. Bringing what’s great from the 50’s/ 60’s, what’s great about Swedish pop musicians, what’s great about pianos, horns, ukes, and a voice that everyone, boys and girls, should swoon for, is just the tip of the iceburg of why Night Falls Over Kortedala will be on most top ten lists by the end of the year. Highly recommended!

Below is a statement from the Secretly Canadian website about the release:

“Jens arduously labored over the songs on Night Falls Over Kortedala over the last three years between relentless tours (which ranged from full blown 8-piece ensembles to just Jens alone with a ukelele at the mic). Kortedala refers to a neighborhood in Jens’ hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, where his studio Koredala Beauty Center is located. It also refers to a vague musical pop sound with hints of tropicalia that has been coming out of Gothenburg’s clubs over the last few years. Having more in common with Paul Simon’s Graceland, Jens’ latest is a response to more than an engagement in today’s Kortedala music of his Swedish peers. An exercise in insularity, Night Falls Over Kortedala has achieved its specific sound not from going out but from Jens staying in and coming to grips with the sounds he had in his head, or as he said, “from the sound of my own voice reverberating off my home’s old ’50s brick walls, from the ghosts of everyone who’s lived here before me clapping along with their little ecto-plasm hands.” - SC

Below is the track list and two songs from the upcoming release.

And I Remember Every Kiss
Sipping On the Sweet Nectar
The Opposite of Hallelujah
A Postcard to Nina
Into Eternity
I’m Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You
If I Could Cry (it would feel like this)
Your Arms Around Me
It Was a Strange Time in My Life
Kanske Ar Jag Kar I Dig
Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo

(mp3) The Opposite of Hallelujah
(mp3) Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo

| Website | Purchase |

There is something real familiar about the music of Siberian. Listening to their new album, With Me, (released October 23rd) has brought on thoughts, not exact parallels mind you, but thoughts of such artists as mid-nineties Radiohead on Wolf and Crane , Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Interpol, and REM via the UP moments. Now I know that is a tall order to fill, but like I said, they aren’t those bands, but there are moments on the album that make me recall those bands. Maybe it’s the way Finn Parnell’s vocals ring out, maybe it’s the guitars, or the excellent instrumentation, maybe it’s my state of mind, but I assure you that With Me will be a solid release and a solid acquisition.

Immediate stand out tracks are Belgian Beer and Catholic Girl, Paper Birds, the above mentioned Wolf and Crane, and Islands Forever, but you can stream the entire album here and get a great feel of what Siberian has to offer. Recommended for those late nights alone on the road, the office, florescent lighting, and anywhere else you have time to think. Each song on With Me has the potential to be a soundtrack unto itself…and I guess what I mean is, that the songs Siberian create remind me of songs that are made for moments. The songs recall that feeling of chapters, those thoughts that you look back on, thoughts you have when you walked in the rain after a year long relationship ended, the moment you met that perfect someone on the subway, defining moments that Siberian could have been a part of and now, hopefully will be.

Below is a track from With Me, which will be released on October 23rd, and links to acquire.

(mp3) Belgian Beer and Catholic Girl

| Website | Myspace | Purchase |

Soul Is My Music: The Best of Bobby Patterson

Bobby Patterson’s 1966-1970 work for the Jetstar and Abnak labels culminates in this excellent two disc compilation. Not only does it feature some of the Dallas based soul/bluesman’s best work, but it also includes nine previously unreleased tracks (including a few alternate versions of songs that came out on singles).

Patterson resides somewhere in the soul/blues genre that Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding live in and this release has further solidified his place in it. He floats between a Motown and Stax feel, but sounding so much like similar artists of that day, unfortunately Patterson sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. That’s why this release, on the excellent Sundazzed label, is so important. It provides the listener with a chance to hear and experience the one and only, electric Bobby Patterson.

Over the years, Patterson has succeeded in promoting, producing, and writing for other artists, including working promotion at Malaco Records for 28 years. He currently does a weekday morning show on Dallas’ KKDA-AM and recently headlined SXSW’s Ponderosa Stomp. So he’s still belting those notes, and if you are in the Dallas area, I would only assume, that Bobby Patterson would be a must see show.

Below is an unreleased track from the collection with links to acquire. Hope you enjoy.

(mp3) Then You’ll Know (previously unreleased)

| Download | Purchase |

Quick post about the upcoming Child Bite release Gold Thriller. I really dug their last release Wild Feasts and from what I’ve heard from this one, they have succedded in producing a superior album. With thoughts of mid-ninties hardcore, but with todays technologies, blips, and ADD, mixed with experimental flare and surprisingly dancable songs, at least foot pounding..come on, and an energy that seems to be lacking in some facets of modern music, Gold Thriller succeeds to TPATS. The Wake County Fair is on it’s way and trust me, as I ride The Gravitron or The Himalayan reverse style, Child Bite will be the ones pushing me to the edge. Below are two tracks to give you an example of what we mean. Ape Along was my initial favorite, but it’s up in the air now. Enjoy.

(mp3) Don’t Do What Your Body Tells You To Do
(mp3) Ape Along

| Website | Myspace | Purchase |

Long awaited by myself, and probably half the world, is Radiohead’s 7 Lp entitled In Rainbows. The band has been giving glimpses into the album through concerts for a while now and finally on October 10th we all have a chance to hear the completed work through digital download, oh and it’s practically free considering their own “make your own price for the digital download” feature. Now I know I will pay quite a bit more because this has to be the absolutely greatest and coolest idea I’ve ever heard for a band to release their material. And not just any band, but one of the most popular bands on the planet.

Since they are no longer tied to a record contract, they pretty much have the right to do what they want, and apparently they want to please their fans. Also available in December, and I have already pre-ordered this, is a box set that for £40 you receive a cd version, a vinyl version, outtakes cd, photos, lyrics, and a free digital download (available Oct. 10th). This has to be hands down the most genius way to release an album yet. Shaking up the man are we…leave it to Radiohead.

Below is the tracklist for the album:

CD 1


CD 2

MK 1
MK 2

Below are two tracks of live material that will appear on this release. They are both from the June 5, 2006 concert in Boston.

(mp3) 15 Step (live)
(mp3) Videotape (live)


For you loyal readers we do have a treat. “From The Basement is a music series that features the most intimate live performances from the finest musicians on the planet”. Well below is the track Videotape from these performances. It is Thom solo with piano and it’s absolutely amazing. You can download all the performances (Thom Yorke, White Stripes, and Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid) in glorious high definition video through iTunes HERE.

(mp3) Videotape (From the Basement)

| Digital Download here | Radiohead Website |

Billy Joe Shaver is a true classic Country & Western troubadour. That’s a fact. Unfortunately he never became a house hold name, but among other musicians he is an inspiration. Others who have recorded Shaver’s material include a who’ who list; Kris Kristofferson, Tom T. Hall, Bare, The Allman Brothers, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash to name a few.

Shaver’s real breakthrough came in 1973 when Waylon Jennings released Honky Tonk Heroes, an album composed almost entirely of Shaver penned songs. With that success, Shaver’s debut album, Old Five and Dimers Like Me, followed and was produced by Kris Kristofferson and released by Monument (Kristofferson’s label) in 1973.

That’s just a bit of history, but the album I wanted to focus on is 2004’s Billy and the Kid from Compadre Records. Maybe not a “classic” in the sense of the word, but a moving and touching album none the less. The basis for this release seems more therapeutic than anything else as we have Shaver and producer Tony Colton collecting and finishing songs by Shaver’s late son Eddy Shaver. The emotional struggles on this release are overwhelming and tear at your heart when you realize that within a matter of a year, Shaver lost his mother, wife, son, and moter-in-law. That’s a year no man should have to endure.

Shaver succeeds on all accounts with Billy and the Kid as an album. He lays out his broken heart for all to hear and makes a musically pleasing album considering the events that took place prior to this release. My favorite song on the album, and it’s listed below, is the song Fame. It is a stripped down song, just Shaver’s raw and warbled voice and his guitar. He’s thankful for what he has become and addresses his fame, his loss, and allows a glimpse of faith and love in the purest form. Shaver’s work is Highly recommended.

(mp3) Fame

| Download | Purchase |

Tokyo Albums

Emusic has done it again with making available a true classic in Johnny Hartman’s The Tokyo Albums. This release is comprised of 2 rare Japanese only albums: Trane’s Favorites and Johnny Hartman Meets Terumasa Hino.

Trane’s Favorites was originally released only in Japan, later being released in the US as For Trane. This seriously has to be one of Hartman’s greatest recordings, and certainly one of his greatest jazz sessions. “Trane” clearly is in reference to John Coltrane, in which Hartman work with and released one of my all time favorite records, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.

The second album that appears on this collection is another Japanese session from 1972, featuring trumpeter Terumasa Hino. This album was never released here in the US. The album is more laid back and allows for Hartman’s own interpretations of these songs to shine through. A real highlight for me with this part of the release is Hino’s solo pieces. I was not familiar with Hino, and his solos seem to really compliment Hartman’s gorgeous rich baritone voice.

The Tokyo Albums tracklisting is as follows:

1. Greensleeves
2. On a Clear Day
3. My Favorite Things
4. Violets for Your Furs
5. Nature Boy
6. Summertime
7. Why Did I Choose You
8. Shadow of Your Smile
9. Fly Me to the Moon
10. Nearness of You
11. I’m Glad There Is You
12. On Green Dolphin Street
13. My Funny Valentine
14. Sometimes I’m Happy
15. S’posin’

I highly recommend you download the album. The below track is from the Johnny Hartman Meets Terumasa Hino part of the album and is Hartman’s own interpretation of the classic My Funny Valentine. Enjoy.

(mp3) My Funny Valentine

| download |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 11:08 AM


Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Site

Please update your links:
We have moved to: will no longer be updated.

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 6:50 PM


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Can't Stop Watching

unofficial video for the new Kanye West single “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” which stars comedian Zach Galifianakis and Will Oldham

From Claw Productions:

Director: Michael Blieden
Producers: Zach Galifianakis, Inman Young
Director of Photgraphy: Michael Blieden
Editor: Michael Blieden
Blieden's notes:
On June 1, 2007 I got a one line email from Zach that said, "this sounds like a joke but it is true. kayne west wants me to lip sync his new video. can you fly to nc to shoot it? " There was very little discussion in advance other than that. Hiring the cloggers was Zach's idea, and Inman was able to track them down. For all the ridiculousness you see here, I have to say we took the song very seriously. We asked ourselves, "What if two farmers from North Carolina set out to make their own Kanye West video...and succeeded?" Special thanks to WIll Oldham for his inspired turn as the inbred cousin. This was my first real use of slow motion and lip syncing, which is a common trope in music videos. The cloggers needed something very fast to clog to, so we played the song back at 150% speed. That was good clogging tempo, but challenging for Zach to lip sync to. Special thanks to the rowdy group of 12 year olds hanging out in front of the library in downtown Sparta who started yelling "Whacha filming NERD!" while I was all alone with the production gear.

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 11:46 PM


Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

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I just received Live at Radio City: Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds in the mail today and I'm floored! You won't find me writing about many "main stream" bands on this site, but when something like this hits the shelves, it would be a disservice not to mention it.

Before this release I had my old copy of Under The Table and Dreaming and Dave's last double cd with Tim Reynolds. That was it. I really love Dave's sound, but sometimes the band gets in the way. That stripped down "blue" cd is an amazing record that always finds it's way into the cd player, and when I listened to Live at Radio City for the first time I immediately knew this was going to be in the same category.

First off it's a lot of the newer material, Lilywhite era and beyond, some of it I wasn't fond of on the proper releases, but after hearing these songs in the intimate acoustic setting, they are new and instant favorites. This cd really lets, not only dave and tim's guitar skills shine, but dave's talents as a songwriter are brought to the fore front and it's like hearing some of these songs for the first time.

There is a wonderful cover of Neil Young's Down By The River, and a few staples such as Crash, Dancing Nancies, and Two Step throughout the 2 disc set. The release is truly a remarkable effort and for $15.99, it's worth every penny. This is a must own album, not just for DMB fans, but for fans of acoustic music at it's best.


Disc 1
1. Bartender
2. When the World Ends
3. Stay or Leave
4. Save Me
5. Crush
6. So Damn Lucky
7. Gravedigger
8. The Maker
9. Old Dirt Hill (Bring That Beat Back)
10. Eh Hee
11. Betrayal
12. Out of My Hands
13. Still Water
14. Don't Drink the Water

Disc 2
1. Oh
2. Corn Bread
3. Crash Into Me
4. Down By The River
5. You Are My Sanity
6. Sister
7. Lie In Our Graves
8. Some Devil
9. Grace Is Gone
10. Dancing Nancies
11. #41
12. Two Step

Pre-order Live at Radio City: Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 12:22 PM


Tuesday, June 26, 2007


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From the moment I heard the name of the North Carolina based Megafaun, I knew I was in for a backwoods treat. Sometimes, just by a name you can conjure up an idea, sometimes this disappoints, but in this case, Megafaun succeeds on all accounts.

This band and their cd Bury the Square was one of the reasons, for not only my hiatus, but for renewing my desire to just touch on music that touches me. I can't write about mindless pop that just passes by on other sites, but have an investment in what I'm hearing. When I heard Bury the Square the first time I was blown away. Enough so, that I had to stop what I was doing to re listen to the amazing music that is created by Brad Cook, Joe Westerlund, and Phil Cook.

It made me realize that I needed to stop and just listen. I feel like I'm a better person because of it and I owe that to Megafaun.

I know that I just put alot on them there, but music speaks differently to everyone and for me and that moment, it said stop and just I listened. Of course numerous albums, songs, musicians, artists were listened to during the past month, but only Bury the Square can say it caused it, and the track Where We Belong specifically.

Below is an interview with Brad Cook about the band, where they've been and where they are going. Also below is the track Lazy Suicide from Bury the Square...enjoy.

Interview with Brad Cook of Megafaun...

PS: I read somewhere that you moved to North Carolina in 2005 (same as me). Is that correct? Where did you move here from?

BC: Yeah! We came here from a college town in northwest Wisconsin called Eau Claire. It is roughly an hour and a half east of Minneapolis.

PS: Before Megafaun, you where in the band DeYarmond Edison. Tell me about DeYarmond Edison briefly and about the transformation into Megafaun?

BC: DeYarmond Edison was a band that was initially centered around the songwriting of Justin Vernon, a friend that we had all grown up with. My brother, Phil, also in Megafaun, and I had been performing with Justin for about three years prior to moving to North Carolina. We had two other drummers and then enlisted Joe with the move. We spent our first year here redefining our creative process and group dynamic, mainly through an outlet at the Bickett Gallery here in Raleigh. I think we really exhausted our possibilities within that time frame and felt like last August was a good time to move on. Part of that transition was that Phil, Joe and I really discovered a great working relationship during that time. Justin decided to pursue other interests (solo recordings and bands Ticonderoga and The Rosebuds) and we started writing songs together.

PS: Who writes most of the material?

BC: We all do, it is pretty collaborative. Someone usually brings in the majority of an idea and then we put it through the edit process, which for us has really been recording.

PS: I know how you sound to me, and it's stated above, but how would you describe your sound?

BC: I guess I would say we are folk reconstructionalists. We really subscribe to the idea of reconstructing folk songs and folk ideology. We have collectively and individually spent a lot of time studying pre war string bands and depression era folk, simultaneously immersed in 20th century avant-garde composers and a lot of 60’s free jazz. Finding that balance between improvisation and structure. I guess it sounds pretty common these days, but we really try to take it’s understanding serious beyond trend.

PS: Your music seems to be laden with folk and Appalachian influences.
Who/What are some of your / the bands influences?

BC: First and foremost, The Band. I can’t tell you what that group has done for us. We all grew up in Band households and the older we get, the more that takes effect. Older folks like Fred McDowell, Roscoe Holcomb, Reverend Gary Davis and James Booker from New Orleans have been huge. David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Anthony Braxton, Milford Graves, Albert Ayler and Xenakis from the classical/jazz school. Modern folks like Gastr Del Sol and the Akron/Family have been inspiring as well.

PS: Do you feel music should inspire the listener and/or the performer?
Do you think it can be transformational?

BC: God, yes. I don’t think I could tell you how important that is to us. We like pop music and what not, but I just prefer the energy of spontaneity and I love the auditory tradition of folk music. I love feeling like I am learning and involved and Inspired and that has happened to us many times! So it can happen. We try to search it out in artists/performers and we try to reflect that in our music as well.

PS: I want to say once again, if I haven't already that "Bury the
Square" is an outstanding album and tracks like "Where We Belong" are so amazing it's scary. How did you approach that song? It's over 11 minutes and just about in the middle, 5:28 in or so, it switches gears and becomes an intense, yet beautiful journey. I guess what I'm asking is tell me more about this song and how it came about.

BC: I actually wrote that particular piece about a week before DeYarmond Edison parted ways. It is lyrically and musically very much about that transitional process. We really tried to reflect the element of hope in change and moving forward.

PS: Just to lighten it back up a bit, can you name me a band or musician, past or present, who you flat-out love and think more people should be listening to. What's one of your all-time favorite recordings by this band/musician?

BC: Collections of Colonies of Bees. They are flat out incredible! Their last record came out on Polyvinyl, which is awfully surprising on an aesthetic level since they are a heavily improvisational electro-acoutstic quartet! The album is called Customer and it is just plain incredible. Their live show rivals any of the post-rock luminaries as well.

PS: As I was listening to the cd, when I got to Tired and Troubled, I was taken to a strange place. Where did I go?

BC: Joey’s brain! Joey wrote this song that was initially inspired by a cut from the Harry Smith anthology. He spent a lot of time finding the rhythmic identity of the song, than completely recontextualized it as a tape piece ala musique concrete.

PS: I know you just co-founded Burly Time Records with Grayson Currin. How is it running a label?

BC: I love it! It really taps into an energy that isn’t being consumed with trying to promote you own band, which after eight years, can be quite frustrating. Gray and I have very similar approach, yet our differences really keep us from getting lazy. We couldn’t be more excited about the two records we released and the feedback has been very positive!

PS: I think Grayson told me there was a limited run of "Bury the Square".
Will we have a full out re-release on Burly Time? Is there new material that we have to look forward too?

BC: Well, I kind of eluded to this in the last response, but I am reluctant about using Burly Time to release Megafaun at this time. Right now I can put all of my business/cheerleader energy into Bowerbirds and Horseback, which is really nice. Having to share that energy with Megafaun would feel unfair to everyone involved. We would love to find a home for Megafaun most definitely, but I want to keep the two separate for now. I would love to get our own thing going and retire to BTR! As for new material, we are well underway!

PS: What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, projects, etc).

BC: Megafaun is putting together a fall tour at the moment, which we are really excited for! Joey and I are also doing the long distance recording thing with our other group, Emotional Joystick. EJ is the mastermind of a Minneapolis artist named Tom Wincek. We have been working with him for almost four years. His new record is heavily based on recontextualizing 70’s German minimalism. It is really fun and challenging material!

PS: And finally for some fun, if you could `redeem'' any piece of music,
what song do you feel needs redemption, whether it's by Megafaun or someone else?

BC: Man, good question. Probably a Phish song. We love 80’s Phish and not for irony’s sake!

PS: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us and we wish you all
the success.

BC: Man, thank you!

Thanks again to Brad Cook for taking the time to talk with us. You can visit Megafaun online and make sure to check out Lazy Suicide below.

Lazy Suicide

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 9:10 AM


Monday, June 25, 2007

E - Bird Interview

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Tue Ebert, lead singer and founder of the Copenhagen band E Bird, took the time to sit down with us to talk about their latest effort. Below is a track from the release and mark my words, this is a band to watch. Enjoy.

PS: First off, let me say thanks for sitting down to talk with us about the band and your recent EP, Real Tigers Made of Paper. I know you already told me in the initial email, but how did E Bird form and where does the name of your band come from?

TE: Well, E Bird started out as a solo project. I had recorded some songs of mine, but didn't really know what to do with them. Shortly after I was invited to perform a show at a club in Copenhagen, and within a week I had to pull a band together. So we had to make the songs work and arrange them really fast, but I think that was a good thing.

PS: You are a relatively new band. How would you describe your sound and who are some of your key influences?

TE: I don't like the term indie, I guess, you could say, that it's been worn out, but still if I had to I would probably call the music a kind of indie folk. It's melodious but at the same time there are always elements that's trying to play "against" the melody and leave some sort of tension to the song, and I think it's that tension in music that excites me, combined with other things like the lyrics and melody, of course, but I don't like music that's to clean in the sound.

PS: What aspect of making music excites you the most right now?

TE: Right now I am in the process of writing new songs. That excites me, but of course it's not exciting all of the time. I guess I always like the feeling when you finish something, like recording or writing a new song, and you can move on to something new.

PS: Do you feel music should inspire the listener and/or the performer, or just be made as entertainment?

TE: I think music should be inspiring, challenging and entertaining. Music as merely entertainment doesn't interest me.

PS: What is the music scene like in Copenhagen, and how are you guys being received?

TE: I think there are a lot of good things happening right now. You see a lot of new bands and independent labels coming up and it seems like the possibilities to do things your own way, without a major label in your back, is getting much better. We are still quite unknown in Copenhagen. I am living in Berlin at the moment and we have just finished our first EP, and before that we had only played a few shows, so naturally we're still an upcoming band.

PS: How was the recording process for the REAL TIGERS MADE OF PAPER EP?

TE: Well, I think it was a good process, a bit tough, though. We have a small basement studio where we did all the recordings and mixing. We did everything our self and none us had done much recording before so we had to try a lot of things to see what worked and what didn't work. It was both exciting and tiring. But in the end, I am really happy about the final result and there is of course a great deal of freedom in doing everything yourself, which I really enjoy.

PS: Morten Bue did the mastering for the EP and I know he has produced Figurines' LP, "Skeleton" and has mastered such artists like Arab Strap and Junior Senior. How was it working with Morten Bue on the mastering of the EP?

TE: It was really cool. When you have spent so much time on something it's very difficult, almost impossible, to remain objective about it, so it's really nice to have someone seeing things from another point of view. Morten Bue was easy to work with and he is really good at what does.

PS: Name a band or musician, past or present, who you flat-out LOVE and think more people should be listening to. What's one of your all-time favorite recordings by this band/musician?

TE: At the moment I am listening to a lot of Canadian stuff, and especially the three bands Destroyer, Sunset Rubdown and Frog Eyes. They most definitely have something in common, but I also think that each one of them have something that makes them quite unique. They are still rather unknown here in Europe and I don't really know why, I mean, they're making pretty amazing music! Besides that I like a lot of the things Will Oldham has done, and especially the "I See A Darkness" LP.

PS: With an EP under your belt, what's next? What are you up to right now, music-wise? (Current or upcoming recordings, tours, projects, etc).

TE: At the moment we're not playing together, because I moved to Berlin after we finished the EP, while the rest of the band is still living in Copenhagen. Right now I am in the process of writing new songs, as I said before, but in the beginning of the fall I will return to Copenhagen and we'll play a couple of shows. Recently, a couple of small labels have shown some interest in the band. Hopefully, we'll be recording our debut album in the beginning of next year.

PS: Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us and we wish you all the success.

TE: My pleasure.

Thanks again to Tue for taking the time out to speak with us. Check them out online and enjoy an outstanding track from the Real Tigers Made of Paper EP.

Empty Avenues

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 2:04 PM



One month to the day of a month long vacation from here. Sometimes, and I hope some of you will understand, but sometimes, you get burnt out on music. What I mean by that is you are getting so much feed to you that sometimes you don't know what's good anymore and you don't listen to albums with the passion you once did. Hell, you're lucky to be able to listen to a full album period. With a full time job in tv production, a wife and home,... I never thought I would get to that point, but that's what happened. Almost forcing myself to come back with a slew of material only to be taking four steps back.

During this hiatus I had the time to sip some whiskey and listen to albums again. Listen to music that mattered to me, listen because I wanted to not because I had to or because I told someone I would. To be honest I thought I was going to walk away from here in the night, just call it quits, and enjoy my music, but after sitting down with music from Doug Wallin and Ralph Stanley, music from the Apps and south, modern marvels such as the ever inspiring Will Oldham and Mariee Sioux, and a whole cast of other characters, I've returned. Better, more refreshed, I don't know, but certainly more passionate about taking the time to write when I want. My suggestion is to rss the blog and when something new comes out, you'll know it. If you stopped reading that's fine, I enjoyed you reading in the first place, and I don't know the reason for writing this, cathartic I guess, but...

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 1:39 PM


Friday, May 25, 2007

Neil Young: Time Fades Away

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I'm taking Memorial Day Weekend off so here's a treat in my absence. I made this available back in 2005 and it seems only fitting to make it available here again for a limited time. Make sure you sign the petition to get this released onto cd. It seems to be working with Massey Hall and Fillmore finally being officially released, maybe we can get this one next. Enjoy the holidy.

"Anyone who has followed Neil Young's career knows enough not to expect a simple evening of mellow good times when they see him in concert, but in 1973, when Young hit the road after Harvest had confirmed his status as a first-echelon rock star, that knowledge wasn't nearly as common as it is today. Young's natural inclinations to travel against the current of audience expectations were amplified by a stormy relationship between himself and his touring band, as well as the devastating death of guitarist Danny Whitten, who died of a drug overdose shortly after being given his pink slip during the first phase of tour rehearsals. The shows that followed turned into a nightly exorcism of Young's rage and guilt, as well as a battle between himself and an audience who, expecting to hear "Old Man" and "Heart of Gold," didn't know what to make of the electric assault they witnessed.

All the more remarkably, Young brought along a mobile recording truck to capture the tour on tape for a live album and the result, Time Fades Away, was a ragged musical parade of bad karma and road craziness, opening with Young bellowing "14 junkies, too weak to work" on the title cut, and closing with "Last Dance," in which he tells his fans "you can live your own life" with all the optimism of a man on the deck of a sinking ship. While critics and fans were not kind to Time Fades Away upon first release, decades later it sounds very much of a piece with Tonight's the Night and On the Beach, albums that explored the troubled zeitgeist of America in the mid-'70s in a way few rockers had the courage to face. If the performances are often loose and ragged, they're also brimming with emotional force, and despite the dashed hopes of "Yonder Stands the Sinner" and "Last Dance," "Don't Be Denied" is a moving remembrance of Young's childhood and what music has meant to him, and it's one of the most powerful performances Young ever committed to vinyl. Few rockers have been as willing as Young to lay themselves bare before their audience, and Time Fades Away ranks with the bravest and most painfully honest albums of his career -- like the tequila Young was drinking on that tour, it isn't for everyone, but you may be surprised by its powerful effects."AMG

An outstanding live album and a must for any Neil Young fan. Enjoy Time Fades Away...

.: Time Fades Away
.: Journey Through the Past
.: Yonder Stands the Sinner
.: L.A.
.: Love in Mind
.: Don't Be Denied
.: The Bridge
.: Last Dance

.: ZIP File of Time Fades Away

Sign the petition to get the album released on cd

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 8:14 AM


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Midtown Dickens: Oh Yell!

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Released May 15th, on Durham's 307 Knox Records, Oh Yell! is not only one of my favorite releases of the year, but one of the best Spring/Summer albums to be released in a long while. Road trip thoughts with star lit dreams, Midtown Dickens' Oh Yell! has been a long time coming.

Midtown Dickens are the lovable, laughable, and musically talented Catherine Edgerton and Kym Register. They play a hybrid brand of "Anti-folk / Naturalismo", that is more about having fun and singing from the heart than anything else. Their man-made tools of choice include banjos, accordions, guitars, and basically anything else that's laying around, but it's their god given gifts, their hands, their hearts, and their vocals that are what really shine.

On their debut, Oh Yell!, Edgerton and Register create songs that we can relate to wrapped in beautifully instrumented packages. They sing about visiting their mothers, love life, jobs, and even eating hot dogs at a Bulls game. But that's life, not just for them but for all of us. And that's what I think I like most about Midtown Dickens...Their real.

The cd features 16 songs, if you include the secret track, and, minus the Christmas material released last December, it seems to be in large part their repertoire. What I like about the lineup on Oh Yell!, and this might not mean much to some of you, but I like seeing the progression of a band. Because they have included not only their newest tracks, but some of the older fan favorites as well. You can definitely tell they have grown as musicians and lyricists, on the new material, it just sounds fuller and more alive, but it's nice to hear songs like AM Dial and Tetris be included here as well. I think it sets up a time line, and this is just me talking here, I could totally be wrong, but I think bands sometimes ignore where they came from and only look forward and I'm really happy that instead of releasing an 8 or 10 track cd like most bands do today, that we get 16 songs, the past and the present, all of pure folk delight.

They may remind some of you with hints of Kimya Dawson, (mentioned here yesterday, and that graced Durham for Midtown Dicken's cd release party), or a stripped down folk version of the nineties girl cuddlecore / punk band, and I use the term punk so loosely and in tongue and cheek it's not even funny, Cub. They take elements of what those two examples have done for music, and whether they are influences or not, take what they have learned and have only improve upon it.

My favorite tracks on the cd are the first three tracks, Eggs and Toast, Guitars, and Airplane. They possess a feeling that really encompasses what it is to see MD live. Whether it's the harmony that you fall in love with, the banjos and guitars that make me jealous, or the way Edgerton tells a tale, Midtown Dickens will be your new favorite band and if you listen just right, you can here them crack a smile.

On a youtube clip of the girls performing Tetris, we see them sharing a mic, laughing , and having fun, and I want you to remember that. When they perform, live or on cd, they seem to be one unit. One person, one heart, once voice. A lot is to be said about this, because in a world of a "me" mentality, it's inspiring to see someone who is thinking of "you" first.

Now I keep referring to sweet, and cute, but on a few tracks, including What A Bore, also one of my favorites, we hear something at the center of this sweeten shell that almost resembles, along with the instrumentation, a crashing wave... building it's musical crest as it gets closer and closer to the shore line where it's forced to break by end. A song that stands out in the field like a rock where nothing will grow and this is where I think most people start in life, a barren space and as we stroll further and further away we encounter grass, bushes, Man it's a great song!

I know, it kind of seems like I've gone off in a tangent from the "review", take what you will from it, but I think to enjoy listening to any band really, to get the full picture, it's nice for someone to be able to tell you how they feel when hearing the band. You get a real sense, or worth, rather then to churn out clinched lines and.10 cent words. So that's my piece and I figure that's why you read in the first place.

Below are three tracks for you to enjoy and links to acquire. They will be performing at Bull City Head Quarters on June 17th with Kaia Wilson and later in the month on June 23rd with The Future Kings of Nowhere. The local scene here is blossoming more and more every time I look around and Midtown Dickens is near the front leading the pack.

.: What A Bore
.: Eggs and Toast
.: AM Dial

| Myspace | Download | purchase from 307 Knox |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 8:40 AM


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The National: Boxer

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I've heard way too much about The National creating "grower" albums. If you can't hear great music from the start then...I really don't know what to say. From day one Alligator was a top album from last year, and I know Boxer will remain in the top ten of this year by the end. My two cents on an album that will be covered to death from now until Fall.

I've listened to the album from start to finish more than once and it succeeds on all accounts. I'm no way comparing them, but Arcade Fire's Neon Bible (which I never choose to talk about here, but which is another exciting album from this year, better than Funeral imo just so you know) is torn from the same sacramental cloth as Boxer. Orchestrated more beautifully than you realize and Berninger is remarkable as our troubadour on this journey within the shadowed walls and shallow canals of our genesis. Below is the keys to the Fake Empire.

.: Fake Empire

| website | myspace | download | purchase cd or vinyl |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 7:23 PM


Kimya Dawson

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Hopefully you had a chance to see Kimya Dawson at the Midtown Dickens cd Release party on May 12th. My wife's graduation from Duke and family and friends being in town prevented me from going to the event, but hey how often do you get a chance to see your wife graduate from Duke and how often now a days can you actually spend Mother's Day with your mom, so the trade off was fair.

Honestly I wasn't familiar with Kimya Dawson. I mean I knew she was in Moldy Peaches and I knew of her solo endeavors, but I never listen to them and that was by far my first mistake. Have you heard Kimya Dawson? Simply amazing!

I downloaded two albums, one entitled Knock-Knock Who?, and the other, My Cute Fiend Sweet Princess, and I downloaded them with no questions asked. I came away with two releases that have not only been on constant rotation here for the past few weeks, but are essential to my continued fascination with female "folk" singers.

The songs in these collections are raw stripped down acoustic numbers that lay bare boned on the cold cement floor of an abandoned cinder block home with tattered Strawberry Shortcake wallpaper. Plain and simple, her music is pure lo-fi, pop cultured laden, child-like anti-folk. And we like it!

Below are two tracks (one from 2004's My Cute Fiend Sweet Princess and two from 2006's Remember That I Love You) to sample and links to acquire. Enjoy.

.: The Beer
.: Underground
.: I Like Giants

| website | myspace | download |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 9:47 AM


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

J. Tillman: Cancer and Delirium

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It's truly unbelievable how good J. Tillman really is. I could just leave it at that and the songs would speak louder than anything I have to say, but I'll try.

Morgan King, Yer Bird Records, (and congratulations to him for this amazing release) gave me a copy of J. Tillman's Cancer and Delirium recently and this has been near hands down a cd that has not left my side.

Gone are the overly striking comparisons to Neil Young and through his own abilities as a musician, took what was to be learned from Jason Molina, drunken nights with Ryan Adams (I'm imagining now), and has even surpassed, which I thought could not be done, Long May You Run J. Tillman, and has created the emensly rich and dark masterpiece that is Cancer and Delirium.

Banjos abound, guitars corralled, organs bellowing, and Tillman's broken cries make Cancer and Delirium one of the best winter albums I've ever heard. I know it's not winter, but some albums, Tonight's the Night for example, is a winter album to me. One that needs to be experienced in the dark, preferably cold, room alone with a bottle and your thoughts. Like a night alone in a cabin amidst the woods with Jeremiah Johnson ideas and a candlelight ceremony of epic proportions, J. Tillman is everything that is right with music today.

From the absolutely gorgeous Ribbons of Glass, to the somber, church like devotion of How Much Mystery, to the thoughts of the rusitc Tim Buckley dream I had when listening to A Fine Suit, J. Tillman's Cancer and Delirium must be placed in, not only "best album of the year" praise, but possibly, one of the top 25 albums of the past 5 years. It's just that good.

Below are two tracks from the release with links to purchase. I know I say "must own" alot, I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it, but if you don't buy another album all year, buy this one, you won't be sorry.

.: Ribbons of Glass
.: Evans and Falls

| myspace| purchase | Yer Bird |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 8:27 AM


Monday, May 21, 2007

Gannon: Luck or Fate

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Beach Boy harmonies flood your earphones as Room 40 opens with organ keys and lyrics asking you to "Step into the room, everyone's waiting" This is the opening track, appropriately placed on Gannon's 2006 release, on Hot Rod Porta Records, Luck or Fate. With Shins thoughts and a Jim Noir cadence, only better, Room 40 is one of the most overlooked songs from last year...and this includes by me as well.

You see Gannon (AJ Pyatak) sent his cd along with numerous videos (for The Collective) last year and while the videos have been thrusted into the music scene here by way of the tv show, a proper review of the album was never given. Fast forward through an office move and misplacement, and luck would have it that Luck or Fate would fall back into my lap.

I will briefly mention some highlights from this release in preparation for the review of his latest release, The Company Pays and an interview with Mr. "Gannon" himself.

Besides Room 40, my favorite track on the release, a few other tracks standout as must listens. From the bluesy feel without being harnessed by the Blues / and instrumentation that conjures up thoughts of that background track from the Gorillaz on SM Skatepark, to the 60's rhythm pattern that makes me want to listen to Under the Boardwalk or Sam Cooke's Another Saturday Night again on Send it Back, to the excellent uke and vocal stylings that are so good you can't place them on Shipmates. Luck or Fate provides a song for everyone, and is an album that needs to be in every car for that road trip you've always dreamt of taking.

Throughout the album you will notice the layers of sound and music on almost all of the tracks. It's the intricate background instrumentation that allows for the catchy guitars, ukes and, more importantly Gannon's vocals to hover off the page into the forefront. One of the qualities I like most about Gannon is his unique sound that sits with you like a long lost friend. You might not think so at first, but wait, next week you'll be saying who was that --- And I'll be here to tell you it's AJ Pyatak of Gannon.

I keep going back and being bothered by the above paragraph in which I name a few of the excellent tracks as standouts, because as I listen more and more as I write this, it really occurs to me that this album as a whole, not just tracks, but from start to finish, is a true gem in the sea of lost albums. I implore you to visit Gannon, enjoy Room 40 below, and stay tuned here for The Company Pays review, and an interview with Gannon himself.

.: Room 40

| website | myspace | purchase | download |

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 10:01 AM


Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Bowerbirds / Summer Hymns at Bickett Gallery

Had a great time last night at one of the final shows at Raleigh's Bickett Gallery. The night opened with the Deleted Scenes, followed by Pittsboro's The Never, and then a real highlight of the evening was when Billie Karel and Roger Gupton sat down for an impromptu acoustic performance.

I think this was, in some part, in honor of what Molly Miller, Bickett's founder, has done for this community. Karel's gorgeous vocals intertwined with Roger's acoustic guitar and harmonies made for a truly beautiful experience. Their cover of Emmylou Harris' Wrecking Ball was one of the best renditions of the song I've ever heard. I was floored and I'm still thinking about it today. Below is a photo and I hope to see them perform again sometime soon.

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After the first three acts, I was thinking what a great night, but nothing could prepare me for Summer Hymns' Zachary Gresham. This was an acoustic solo set that was just mind blowing. I don't think people liked it as much as I did as the room began to clear after only a few songs in, but the small group, who were nestled on the floor, got an amazing show. His solo renditions of (the set closer) Pity and Envy, Mr. Brewer (Cackle, Cackle), and Bombay Brown Indian Ink, were just a few of the highlights for me. It was as if time stood still as we watched and listend in awe. Gresham's intense and genius like lyrics where nothing short of inspiring. Below are a few pictures, but they really don't do this justice.

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Download Summer Hymns covering Neil Young's Mr. Soul live at the 40 Watt Club 2/7/7.

.: Mr. Soul

The reason I went out last night was for the show's headline event. A chance to see The Bowerbirds in an intimate space before they go out on tour with The Rosebuds. I had this feeling that if I didn't go and see them now, it might be the last time I would be able to witness them with a small crowd. Not because they won't play small venues, no, I don't get that feeling at all, but, as I wrote in the review, the band is about to explode...and with the release of Hymns for a Dark Horse, and after the tour with The Rosebuds, I have this feeling alot of things are going to change...and by change I mean for the better.

Once you hear them live, once you listen to their cd, you have no choice but to become a fan. It becomes second nature like taking a breath, only this breath is full of earth, life, and desire. I hope everyone has a chance to experience the absolutely beautiful song of The Bowerbirds. Below are a few photos from the experience.

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Download two tracks from The Bowerbird's Hymns for a Dark Horse.

.: Dark Horse
.: In Our Talons

posted by Matt Hayhurst @ 3:13 PM