What I Got For My B-Day….

October 3, 2007 at 3:20 pm (Uncategorized)

So, what’d you get for your birthday this year? In addition to some other cool stuff (yeah, this is gonna cause me trouble later today….) the day before I turned 29 again (12 years running now!)the recording industry gifted me with 3 amazing new records.

First up is The Blakes.

I’ve already posted about how wonderful they are, but now thanks to their new label deal with Light In The Attic records, the rest of the world can find out, too.

For this reissue for the masses, the band added 2 songs, “Magoo” and “Run”. Rather than just tack them to the end of the disc, they sequenced them into the original running order of the songs, so “Magoo” is the third cut and “Run” the fifth, and it works wonderfully, giving the whole disc a new feel and new rush. I feel pretty confident in saying that no band on the planet this year has managed a run of gritty rock godheadness for 7 songs to match the opening 7 tracks of The Blakes self-titled album. Record of the year? Yep.

Next up, Richard Hawley.

Last year, Hawley’s staggeringly beautiful album Coles Corner was in my top 5 records of the year. Imagine my surprise when (so far anyway) his new disc Lady’s Bridge might be even better! For one thing, Hawley has dispatched with his sound culled from influences past, and instead embraced a pulsing electrobeat with hints of metal and punk. Not. (Just seeing who’s paying attention; it’s noon and yeah, I’ve had a beer already.) Actually, Hawley sound is what we’re used to, a mix of Orbison, with echo-drenched Duane Eddy guitars and Sinatra-esque orchestral overtones. Topping them off is the most heart-rending baritone voice since Scott Walker went weird, a glorious expressive instrument that renders it truly curious that until he started a solo career, Hawley hadn’t sung in previous bands he’d been in. What makes Lady’s Bridge Hawley’s best yet isn’t that it’s different. A more critical critic would instead say that it’s more of the same, in fact. No, what makes this whole thing his best disc yet is that the Sheffield guitar whiz has written an even stronger roster of songs than those appearing on Coles Corner, which is no mean feat. This is out in the States now, with a bonus DVD. Grab it.

Finally, Glossary.

Even though they’ve been kicking around Murfreesboro Tennessee for 10 years now, I will confess that until about March of this year, I had never heard of these folks. I’d have missed them completely except for the guys in Grand Champeen who were touring with Glossary. I love me the Champeen, and reading some blog posts from the guys in that band, they kept going on and on about how awesome Glossary was. I checked out these folks’ 2006 album, For What I Don’t Become, and was blown away. Everything I love about twangy, country-influenced rock was there in spades. For one of the few times in my experience with post-1994 “No Depression” rock, Glossary took me back to the wonderful discovery of chilling at a cookout in college, eating Dan-O’s chili and drinking cheap beer and listening to Uncle Tupelo; I’d go so far as to say these two things: if I’d heard For What I Don’t Become in 2006 it woulda been my #2 disc of that year, and that that disc is possibly the best country-influenced rock record since Anodyne or Hollywood Town Hall. So let’s talk about the new disc a sec. First off, that album cover kicks ass. Second of all, your eyes aren’t lying–Glossary has made their new disc, The Better Angels Of Our Nature available for free download from their website at http://www.glossary.us. They’ve even been kind enough to give you options–you can grab individual songs or just snag the whole thing as a .zip file in either .mp3 or AAC (ipod) formats. I really, really recommend you grab the full disc, because the songs are sequenced the way they are for a reason, and when the band gets to the anthemic “Blood On The Knobs”, it’s almost like the climax to a great, emotionally invested movie (a whole lot of that emotion comes from the incredible “Gasoline Soaked Heart”). The final verse of “Knobs” is why I love bands like Glossary, and why grouchy old fart like me still can’t get enough of that Devil’s Music.

“Maybe I’ve wasted all my time like a fool
But I’ve heard pain tear itself out of a piece of wood
So wake me up when we get to where we’re playing tonight
So i can call my family and tell them I’m still alive

We’ll walk on that stage and play like it’s the last time
‘Cause it might be
It might be
Turn the amps on and count it out
Close your eyes
Take a breath
This is what it’s like to live without doubt”

3 Comments

  1. Beth C said,

    Ran into Glenn Booth this weekend — he says hi! Also, much love from Dan and Betsy Lehr, Jennie and Roberta…

  2. Anonymous said,

    THERE you are!And the first post I read of yours even gives me a name check!You should try my chili THESE days, pal.And lo & behold, you even turn me on to a band literally in MY backyard.Can’t wait to hear this album in detail.. and maybe even see them soon (up until just now I thought the only artist Murfreesboro, Tennessee produced was Uncle Dave Macon…)Kudos to Beth to helping me finally locate where you are.. I just KNEW you had a great blog out there somewhere. I’ve done a few podcasts recently that I can’t wait for you to hear. Your blog, as I fully expected, is great. More later.=dan=

  3. Chris H. said,

    Hey hey!What are y’all up to? I moved last week (just across town, nicer digs, closer to work) and finally have internet access configured properly and stuff.Anyway, what’s shakin’ out there? Podcasts? Do tell?Miss the shit out of you guys.

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