March 24, 2010


A weekly sampler of what we're listening to (new and old), and what we think you might like, too.


DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS -- "Get Downtown"
I was unsure just what song I was going to use until I received all the submissions and it sealed it. This Drive-By song marriages the Springsteen "down and out" lyrical mentality with the Hold Steady's character sketches that may or may not be autobiographical. Throw in that Stones-ey Southern blues-rock groove and lyrics that put a face on the recession ("Get downtown, see what you can find/ Put your face in someone's that ain't mine/ Looks like the unemployment blues are wearing out your house shoes")— we've got a winner.

HANDSOME FURS -- "Radio's Hot Sun"
I specifically like this version of "Radio's Hot Sun."

MUMFORD & SONS -- "The Cave"
I listened to this teaser to their just-released first album a few months ago and forgot about them. But I flipped on the radio this week and heard their voices sing a different song. I had to sit for a moment, parked, to place them.

I'd like to listen to the rest of their album. Not sure how different they are from the Avett Brothers...but I liked them well enough this week.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN -- "Cadillac Ranch"
This one's for Glenn Beck, who was aghast to discover on closer examination of the lyrics that "Born in the U.S.A." isn't the jingoistic anthem he thought it was. I also have to admit that in the few times I'd listened to The River, I rarely paid close attention to the words—the lyricism is more opaque than that of Greetings from Asbury Park or Born to Run. Here, crowd favorites like "Hungry Heart" and "Cadillac Ranch" betray the heartland jam veneer. The latter evokes the image of a hearse, a metaphor made even more concrete by Daniel Johnston, who wrote "Funeral Home" after hearing "Cadillac Ranch" in 1985. But in any event, I don't think the realization makes the song any less fun to drive to.

No BS here, just rock n' roll.

I like Marc Ribot. He's a cool cat. It's sort of like fucked up avant-garde Cuban jazz rock.

THE VIOLENT FEMMES -- "Country Death Song" and "It's Gonna Rain"
I've been listening to Violent Femmes's album Hallowed Ground a lot recently. Maggie has been in town; we listened to this album three or four times on the way to the nearby gorge, which we hiked through one afternoon. I don't know if there's a weak song on the album, and these are two of my favorites.

Seth is a drummer who hails from Grand Blanc, Michigan. He is Chief Funk Evangelist at Hillsdale, where he is earning a music degree. He posts on Tumblr.

THE HOLD STEADY -- "Chips Ahoy"
On the first sunny day this year I put on Separation Sunday, and I knew it was getting to be the time of year when all I want to do is grill, drink, and listen to The Hold Steady. They're a really great mix of meaty, Led Zeppelin guitar and the playfulness of Elvis Costello, making for fun summertime music.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chase, I enjoyed listening to Mumford & Sons. Compared to the Avett Bros., at least that don't have southern accents.

-- J. Dunn

March 24, 2010 at 6:19 PM 
Blogger Naomi said...

I like Mumford & Sons, too. His voice at times reminds me of Michael Stipe's mixed with that guy from Our Lady of Peace, so that's kind of weird. Jon was blasting them last night when I got home. Thanks, Chase.

March 26, 2010 at 9:43 AM 
Blogger Naomi said...

Also, please excuse Jon's aversion to all things southern.

March 26, 2010 at 9:54 AM 
Blogger Chase said...

Haha, thanks Jon & Naomi.

Tony - I like that version of "Radio's Hot Sun," but wasn't aware of it 'til now. I love them...and they're a lot of fun live, too (though a lot more gritty looking on stage).

March 27, 2010 at 4:30 PM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

I (predictably) like this Mumford & Sons business quite a lot.

I don't like Drive-by Truckers, though I couldn't tell you why exactly.

March 29, 2010 at 9:45 PM 
Blogger JHitts said...

Mark, do you like Neil Young? Because if not, that explains lots (about why you do not like DBT, and also why we can never be friends....)


March 29, 2010 at 11:37 PM 
Blogger M. Perkins said...

There was a time (they call it high school) when the only Neil Young song I knew was "Rockin in the Free World." I didn't like Neil Young.

I would say, yes, I like Neil Young, but I couldn't claim to be a fan because I haven't spent a lot of time listening to him. I'm a little overwhelmed by the discography, I guess--which is the same reason I've kept my distance from Dylan, more or less (though I'm getting into the Basement Tapes).

I am a fan of Jimmy Fallon doing Neil Young.

March 30, 2010 at 12:04 AM 
Blogger JHitts said...

That's acceptable. There are some who just hate him despite knowing his catalog. Just had to make sure you weren't one of them. (The same type of people dislike Uncle Tupelo but love for the same reason).

March 30, 2010 at 12:10 AM 
Blogger Chase said...

Yeah, I'm not sold on DBT yet, to be honest.

I like some of the stuff I've heard...but I think it's tough to get over their twang.

I do like Neil Young though...

March 30, 2010 at 9:05 AM 

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