All My Rowdy Friends

R.I.P. The King of Rock ‘N’ Soul
October 10, 2010, 6:23 pm
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Solomon Burke was a giant. His presence and his voice were on par with singers that achieved a level of fame that far surpassed his own, yet he still wrote some of the most influential songs of the soul generation.
Down in the Valley appeared on Redding’s 1965 album Otis Blue, and Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (written in 1964) was covered by Wilson Pickett and featured prominently in the movie the Blues Brothers.
Before entering the music business, Burke was a preacher and hosted a gospel radio show. While not on tour Burke owned and operated a funeral parlor in Los Angeles, a business he had learned from his uncle. In the 2000s Burke experienced a revival after recording the Grammy award-winning album for Fat Possum Records-produced by Joe Henry-entitled Don’t Give Up On Me. The album featured songs written by artists such as Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. He went on to record four more albums with a fifth album to now be released posthumously, including the acclaimed Nashville and Like a Fire.
My first introduction to Solomon Burke came from the song Cry to Me. This classic song is a bridge between early doowop and later R&B music. It features doowop backing vocals but Solomon Burke climbs far above that style with the raw emotion that is such a staple of his music. His voice always felt to me to combine a level of melancholy and optimism that has not been matched. It was more than just being a soul singer. Burke’s style combined a command of dynamics and tempo with a strong range and a smoky voice to create a unique and unparalleled power. He was an artist who masterfully found and inhabited the proverbial “pocket”. Not too fast, not too slow and neither too loud or too subdued. He made music that was just right.
Solomon Burke died today of natural causes en route to Amsterdam at the age of 70. He will be missed.
Enjoy a few of my favorite tracks and raise a glass to the one, the only, Solomon Burke.
Don’t Give Up On Me
10 None Of Us Are Free
Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
Cry to Me


Karen O is a little bit country and a whole lotta rock n roll
October 10, 2010, 9:06 am
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Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs fame is taking on the Jackass theme for the all new Jackass 3D, coming out October 15. She twangs it up a little bit and definitely kills this song. Check it.
Karen O. (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) – “If You’re Gonna Be Dumb, You Gotta Be Tough” by Some Kind of Awesome


Weapons for War
October 9, 2010, 10:00 am
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So, A Lull are a sweet little outfit from the Windy City who are all set to release their first full-length Confetti. They have recently released the video for the first single Weapons for War and it is weird and compelling and kind of creepy. Its about two mansized animal things. IGIF definitely got the description right by calling them manbearpigs. Anyways, check out the video for yourself, see what you think.


Bar-Bar-Barbara Streisand
October 7, 2010, 9:21 am
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Duck Sauce is a brand new collaboration between A-Trak and Armand Van Helden. This is their latest single and the video is great. If everything else they release is as good as this I know what I’m dancing to for the rest of the year.


First 5
September 30, 2010, 6:19 pm
Filed under: Music

Finally! Finally I have reliable internet and to commemorate this joyous occasion, I’m posting!
So, once upon a time the Onion A.V. Club did a little bit where they asked the interviewee to hit shuffle on their iPod and talk about the first 5 tracks that came up. Well, I really liked it and so here I bring it to you, except instead of my iPod its my iTunes, enjoy.

1.Passion PitLittle Secrets (Amplifya Remix)
I really dig this remix, its one that kinda surprised me when it came on but hey that’s the beauty of having a digital library, sometimes things come up that you listened to once or not at all and you’re like damn that’s good.

2. Rachmaninoff – Polichinelle, Op. 3, No. 4
Just check it.

3. Ola PodridaSink Or Swim
This is a nice little lesson in simplicity from a guy who scores films as a day job. He’s got such a sad voice to top it off, just a fine track in general.

4. Boris – Electric
Could you rock harder and louder than Boris at the same time!? Really, I want to know because god this track kicks so much ass its not even funny.
5. Bruno Colais – L’arrivée À L’école
This is a little piece from the score to the film Les Choristes. Its a wonderfully heartwrenching tale of a man who sets out to start a choir at a school for troubled boys. The soundtrack is wonderful, the film is great.


Land of Talk Redux
September 2, 2010, 10:15 am
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So Charlie’s all about the new Land of Talk and I am too. A little more background on the release. The reason it took so long between this release and Some are Lakes is that lead singer Elizabeth Powell was diagnosed with a vocal polyp (if you don’t know, this is a diagnosis that can mean the end of a career) and spent months in silence and speech therapy. I think my favorite song after an initial listen to the record is definitely Blangee Blee. It lets the band really show just how big and how sparse they can sound in the same song.

Check it out:

Finally, here’s a Takeaway Show that they did for La Blogotheque


This morning, in my brain.
September 1, 2010, 2:55 pm
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Ever wake up with a song on the brain? Well I did and here it is.
Har Mar SuperstarAlone Again Or

Bonus and a half!
HD version of Tall Boy from Dark Touches. Pop this one out and watch it full screen…soooooooo worth it. Also. Maybe a bit NSFW.


And it goes
August 13, 2010, 9:44 am
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Well hello all, Hope this finds you all in a state of enjoyment.
Here’s what I’ve been listening to:
VillagersBecoming a Jackal
Villagers hail from Dublin, Ireland. According to frontman Conor J. O’Brien, this album began as a collection of poems. The album is an exquisitely written set of songs that bounce around through their influences and yet make for a strong cohesive album. My one complaint is that it feels like it is over too soon. But hey, that’s what a repeat button is for.
Check out the single Ship of Promises

Born RuffiansSay It
This is the second full length that Born Ruffians have released and man is it catchy. A headnoddingly good time, with songs that will definitely get stuck in your brain for days.They’ve got a great sound that’s at times reminiscent of Talking Heads, which I don’t think you can really go wrong with. I can’t wait to see these guys when they come through town in October. Check out the track Oh Man.
Born Ruffians – Oh Man

The MynabirdsWhat we Lost in the Fire, we Gained in the Flood
I heard this band thanks to MFR posting up a video of theirs. Of course there was a reason I liked this band so much immediately, Laura Burhenn was the female lead for Georgie James, one of my favorite one-off indie pop bands. This new record has some darkness. I mean, look at the title of it. It also is playful and powerful. The title track is a builder, with a powerful chorus with strong bar chords from the piano driving it forward. This album is soulful and strong and it makes me really wish that the Mynabirds had a date scheduled in the Twin Cities.
Check out the video for Let The Record Go

Maps and AtlasesPerch Patchwork
I’m still not sure how I feel about this album. It has a few choice tracks but the Chicago band kind of feels like its getting stuck in the same melting pot of world indie that a lot of other bands are these days. This isn’t to say that they don’t do it well but I feel that they’re going to get lost in a world with too many Vampire Weekend and Animal Collective type bands. Solid Ground is possibly the best song on this album. Its a track that layers itself really well. It starts out with a little bit of a Beatles synth line, vocals and a little bit of percussion before moving into a full blown rocking number.
Check it out here:
Solid Ground

As always, if you like it buy it.


p.s. New things afoot, keep an eye out

Tonight @ First Ave. Rogue Valley, Communist Daughter and Total Babe
August 13, 2010, 9:01 am
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Rogue Valley Show Poster

Come down to First Ave. tonight and support some local music. Rogue Valley is playing a CD release for their second album. The summer album in their four part installation is called The Bookseller’s House and sounds great. Check out the vid they did for’s rooftop series, its the first single from The Bookseller’s House.

Rogue Valley – Rockaway

Doors at 8:00 PM, $9 advance/ $12 at the door.


Check out Communist Daughter’s rooftop installment. The band played the track Oceans off their debut album.


Back in action
July 4, 2010, 10:44 am
Filed under: Music

I’m back, for no reason other than I want to start blogging again. So first things first, here’s a quick what I’m listening to:
Rogue ValleyCrater Lake
While this album came out a couple months ago I just picked it up on eMusic and I must say I’m really happy with it. Rogue Valley is the newest project from Minneapolis native Chris Koza. This is the first of a set of four albums to be released (the albums revolve around the seasons) that will be released through 2011 and its a great start. Check it out.
Rogue Valley – The Warming Moon

Peter Wolf CrierInter-Be
Peter Wolf Crier are a local duo. They got picked up by Jagjaguwar Records after independently releasing Inter-Be and a good thing too, this is a great record and I definitely have not been able to stop listening to it.
Peter Wolf Crier – Crutch & Cane

Jeremy EnigkOK Bear
Sunny Day Real Estate frontman Jeremy Enigk released this album, his fourth solo effort in 2009. I’ve been a huge Sunny Day Real Estate fan for years and I appreciate the music that Jeremy Enigk has been making since they went on hiatus (they got back together for a 2009-2010 tour). This album is not quite as big of a production as the previous ones but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have merit. Take a listen.
Jeremy Enigk – Sandwich Time

Mates of StateCrushes (The Covers Mixtape)
I love indie pop, and this album just does it for me. I think the choice of covers is good (Mars Volta, Belle and Sebastian, Nick Cave). Some cuts are a little deeper than others but they reflect a good diverse range of influences.All in all I think they did a pretty good job with all of them. My favorite is definitely the first track, a cover of ‘Laura’ by Girls. They definitely highlight the yearning that’s in the original. Its a great little break up song that Mates of State really do well, especially with two vocalists, it changes it enough and puts their stamp on it.
Mates of State – Laura (Girls Cover)

StarsThe Five Ghosts
The newest effort from Arts & Crafts members Stars was definitely worth the three year wait. There are some real gems on this album. I think the thing I really like is that while there are stand out tracks like the super poppy ‘We Don’t Want Your Body’ there are also tracks that quietly capture you as you listen. Especially the track Changes, check it out.
Stars – Changes

As always, please support the artists by buying their music. All these albums are available on eMusic or Amazon.


Check out the awesome new Peter Wolf Crier video by Northern Outpost featuring Margaret Lane of Hildur Victoria.