Daaaaaaaaryl! Daaaaaaaaryl!

I can’t begin to describe how excited I am for baseball’s opening day this week. Do you have a favorite baseball-centric song that isn’t John Fogerty’s “Centerfield”? This is mine:

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Good causes

If you’ve got a spare $0.99 in your account, enjoy bombastic British rock, and want to aid the victims of the Japanese earthquakes, you’re in luck! Today, Feeder released a new single, “Side By Side,” both across the pond in their native UK and in the US iTunes store, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross. Check out the video below and then head to the iTunes store to purchase the single.

Belated Best of ’10: Tricky

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in February and March. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today we (partially) hear from Tricky.

Tricky, Mixed RaceIt’s been a long time since Tricky was any real kind of critical/commercial force or innovator, but because I love his Pre-Millennium Tension album so much, I feel obliged to give new releases of his a good listen or two. 2010’s Mixed Race is a mixed bag, but there are some highlights: the Peter-Gunn-sampling “Murder Weapon” is oddly bouncy fun, and “UK Jamaican” is a really interesting mix of British social politics and dancefloor funk. For my money, though, “Hakim” is where it’s at: instead of Tricky’s own gravelly rasp, we hear Algerian guitarist Hakim Hamadouche singing in his native Arabic over skittering beats and Eastern melodies. It’s haunting, compelling stuff. Unfortunately, Tricky’s label has made it impossible to track down via YouTube or any of the major free streaming services. I did find the song embedded in this page on a French-language music blog:

http://www.l-ecriture-sans-calmants.net/?p=3772

Do yourself a favor & click through to give it a listen — “Hakim” is well worth a listen. If you like what you hear, head to Amazon MP3 and download Mixed Race.

Belated Best of ’10: Cherry Ghost

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in February and March. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today, get to know Cherry Ghost.

Beneath This Burning ShorelineI’m a sucker for anthemic British rock, and with Elbow taking a breather in 2010, that void was filled by Cherry Ghost, whose Beneath This Burning Shoreline is loaded with drama, hooks, romance, and bombast. I almost left the epic “A Month of Mornings” off my list because singer Simon Aldred’s voice sometimes recalls Coldplay’s Chris Fucking Martin to my ear, but in the end I just couldn’t get past the insistent combination of rhythms and melody. It’s great stuff, and sadly unavailable in the US:

You can snag Beneath This Burning Shoreline at Amazon as a pricy import CD until Cherry Ghost’s management figures out how to get their excellent album at least a digital release in the USA.

Belated Best of ’10: The Sirens of Venice

I never got around to sharing my Best Songs You (Maybe) Didn’t Hear list for 2010 with the internets in general in December, so I’ve decided to mine it for fresh post material in February and March. I’m posting the songs in the order in which they would have appeared in the final playlist, so if you play along at home, you’ll have heard a tidy 80-ish minutes of great music when all is said and done. Today it’s all about The Sirens Of Venice.

The self-titled debut by The Sirens of Venice (who, by the way, are neither mythical bird women or from Venice [they’re an Australian husband-wife duo] — discuss.) isn’t available in the U.S., but is definitely worth tracking down as an import: their blend of atmospheric shoegaze rock and melancholic pop is generally subtle and intoxicating, but it absolutely soars when they ratchet up the pace on songs like “It’s In My Head” and “Do You Believe,” which quickly secured a place on my best-of list last year — check out the video below:

Amazon is selling The Sirens Of Venice as a highly overpriced import. Here’s hoping that it finds a digital release in the U.S. sometime soon…

Worth a listen: Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Noah & The Whale, The Chemical Brothers

If you’re looking for something new to listen to this week, definitely start with Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears’ Scandalous: it’s a vital collection of blues, dirty funk, and soul that’ll have your head bobbin’ in no time. I directed you to “Booty City” yesterday, and because for some reason the band is not in much of a sharing mood (only minute-long promos with tastes of songs released via their YouTube channel? hard to sell an album just on song samples anymore, guys), I re-embed it here. Loads of fun and Amazon MP3 is selling the deluxe version of Scandalous for a few bucks less than iTunes:

Also making a welcome return are Twickenham’s own Noah & The Whale. After the Eels-like promise of their debut Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down, I was severely disappointed by the mopey follow-up The First Days of Spring, fearing that songs as good as “5 Years Time” were the exception, not the rule. They’ve allayed my fears and rediscovered their knack for great indie pop songs with the buoyant Last Night on Earth. Here’s the lead single, “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.”:

If you like what you hear, grab Last Night on Earth at Amazon MP3.

Also of interest is the score to the upcoming film Hanna by The Chemical Brothers. Seems that pre-release hype is a bit more tempered than it was for Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy score, and that may serve it well. The trailer only features tiny bits of the score, but what I hear is electrifying. Check out a remix of “Container Park” that the Chems posted to their website:

Want to hear more? Head to iTunes, where it seems to be a digital exclusive right now. What’s rocking your headphones this week?

I’ll take one ticket to Booty City, please

I can’t even tell you how excited I am for the new Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears album Scandalous to drop tomorrow. After sharing a tune from their debut album with my friend Paul, he nicely summed up their sound as “Screaming Jay Hawkins meets Stax records.” They pack more funk, soul, and blues into one single than most bands squeeze into a whole album. Dig on their new single, “Booty City”:

Pre-order the deluxe version of Scandalous on iTunes and you’ll get 4 bonus tracks, including what I really really really hope is a cover of the Stones’ the Robert Johnson classic “Stop Breakin’ Down.”

Update (3/15): it is a cover of Johnson’s song, and it’s awesome!