Monday, November 12, 2012

#MusicMonday, Vol. 79: Little Richard, Waxahatchee, and more

What the CL music team is jamming this week, with audio & video

Posted By , , , , and on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Find out what the CL Music Team is jamming to rocket launch the work week. Click here to check out previous entries.

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Gabe - Little Richard, Here's Little Richard [Expanded Edition] (Original release, 1957; new edition 2012)
Getting my Monday off to a rocking start with, undoubtedly, one of the finest slabs of rock 'n' roll architecture ever committed to wax. Little Richard Penniman's outrageousness in his rise to stardom in the mid-1950's was matched by his charisma, his dynamic performances, his screaming, urging vocals and unmistakable boogie-woogie pounding of his piano keys. Little Richard paved the way for so many artists in his wake ... I can't imagine other over-the-top performers like David Bowie, Freddie Mercury or Prince ever finding the courage to strut, tease and emote if Little Richard hadn't already blazed the trail for them. At first glance, the album cover begs the listener to immediately rip this record out of the sleeve and slap it on the turntable. Richard looks particularly happy and sassy as he poses mouth agape while hinting at the promise of the electricity buried in the grooves. Balls-out rockers like "Tutti Frutti," "Rip It Up," "Ready Teddy" and "Slippin' and Slidin'" are all part of the indelible fabric of rock n' roll and they're all featured in this masterpiece. A superb re-mastered edition of this classic has just been issued and the music sounds hotter and more exciting as ever on the pristine new version. Warning: this record will cause spontaneous and involuntary fits of unabashed dance moves. Make sure you have on comfortable shoes and plenty of open space nearby before cranking this one up.

Leilani - Holobody, Riverhood (2012)
Young Saskatchewan, Canadian siblings Sea Oleena and Felix Green make up Holobody and their debut, Riverhood, is a scattering of stripped-down electronically-propelled folk and dreamy experimental pop with a whole lot of bounce and hints of gospel-soul, Felix's fresh sweet tenor a nice complement to his sister's high piping harmonies and drone-toned rhymes. Vibrant and inviting and the sort of album that creeps up on you with its charm; I've been jamming it on and off since it came out in May, and it only recently reeled me in. Check out the really cool video for the track "Riverbed" after the jump along with the rest of this week's entries.

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Shae - Waxahatchee, American Weekend (2012)
Since I've stumbled across multiple raves for Waxahatchee online in the past year or so, I figured it was finally time to take a listen. While American Weekend doesn't inspire me to sing its praises (as it seems to have inspired others to do), I've played it through thrice now, and find it to be a decent enough album just not amazing. Lo-fi and recorded in Katie Crutchfield's Alabama bedroom, this record could be considered a type of sonic personal 'zine, with the lyrics lifted straight from Katie's coffee-stained journal. The guitar (and piano, when it comes into play) is simple and heavily plated with reverb, and Katie's voice has the gain of a person just figuring out all the nifty things her recording equipment can do. American Weekend is an album for those who enjoy listening to artists wear their bleeding hearts on their sleeves and then sing about those drippy, messy experiences, so I could see myself enjoying this album more at a different time, say, lying supine on my bedroom floor at 2 a.m., slightly tipsy and crushingly lonely...

Shanna - First Aid Kit, "Emmylou" (2012)
I think I've listened to this song ten times in the last week. I just love their Brandi Carlile-meets-Johnny Cash-meets-Emmy Lou-meets-hipster vibe. This song just calms the soul...

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Nicole (elawgrrl) - Tigers Jaw/Tiny Empires Split 7" (Run For Cover Records, 2011)
This great 7" pairing features Tigers Jaw my FEST find in 2011 and the debut song from Tiny Empires, newly emerged from a collision of O'Pioneers and Tampa's New Bruises. Tigers Jaw has two sweet songs on the 7", "My Friend Morrissey" and "No Mask/Haze Coffin," both of which will appeal to those of us who loved the '90s version of emo (i.e. before eyeliner, skinny jeans and dyed black hair). Both songs are toe-tappers and you'll find yourself quickly following along until you learn the words so you can lead a sing-a-long. The Tiny Empires track was initially surprising because in the punk world, songs are usually short and fast; theirs is an epic eight-minute track that transitions through three distinct stages with a name for each one: (1) "Check Out My Boneyard," (2) "Interview With A Jampire," and (3) "The Dream Is Still Dead." The track kicks off the sonic ride slowly, picking up speed as singer/guitarist Eric Solomon asks, "Where are you going? We're not finished with you yet." The song moves forward alternately pausing and punching with an extremely catchy guitar line punctuated repeatedly with the lyric "Sometimes things change...," making you feel just a bit better about not fully knowing the answer to the initial question. Clearly the dream is very much alive for Tiny Empires and I can't wait to hear where their full-length goes from here... it's bound to break some more new ground. Click here to listen.

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Ray - Denny & The Jets, Denny & The Jets EP (2012)
It's fitting that opening bars of "Fun Girls" the opening track on Denny and the Jets' new self-titled EP conjure up sonic images of the Alabama Shakes. The five-track effort from frontman Chris Denny & Co. was produced by Andrijia Tokic, who also helmed the Shakes' breakthrough debut Boys & Girls at the tiny Bomb Shelter Studios in Nashville, Tenn.

At just under 20 minutes, The Jets EP isn't lengthy enough to satiate the thirst for good ol' rock n' roll the way the Shakes' record does, but sometimes really good things come in small packages. The band packs a heavy punch on tracks like "Lovin' Days" with its rollicking guitar and sing-along chorus, and even goes for some brutally honest storytelling on the country-licked "Paranoid," where Denny sings, "Honey, we used to fuck / now all you wanna do is make love / but I don't like it that way."

Closing tracks "Blow Whistle Blow" and "Close The Blinds" both recall the energy of a young Rolling Stones, and the overall jolly, carefree tone of the EP should please fans of honest, rock music a la Chuck Berry or Dr. Dog. The band also plays this Thurs., Nov. 15, at New World Brewery alongside Tristen and The Florida Kilos. The EP is available digitally via Miami's Limited Fanfare Records and on cassette via Burger Records (The Growlers, Thee Oh Sees). It sees a CD release later this year. Listen to "Fun Girls" below.

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