Iron & Wine, Walking Far From Home [single]

Posted by Greg , Friday, November 26, 2010 5:26 PM

As part of Record Store Day's Back to Black Friday event, Iron & Wine have released "Walking Far From Home," the leadoff single from the band's new album Kiss Each Other Clean (due on January 25, 2011).  Vinyl and CD versions are available exclusively at independent record stores starting today.  Digital downloads will be available on November 30, 2010.  My wife and I rushed off to a record store almost 20 miles away to luckily snatch up the last vinyl copy in stock.

"Walking Far From Home" track list:
1. Walking Far From Home
2. Summer in Savannah
3. Biting Your Tail

A quick look at the song titles for Kiss Each Other Clean reveals that Sam Beam is still preoccupied with religious metaphors, animals,and rivers.  However, if the new single is any indication of the upcoming album's sound, Kiss Each Other Clean is going to be an even bigger departure than The Shepherd's Dog was.  Structured a bit like "The Trapeze Swinger" (only in that neither song has a true chorus), the title track leads off with distorted vocals and guitars before breaking into gospel-tinged backing ooh-ooh-ahh's.  The single's b-sides veer into R&B territory, and Beam actually lets his voice elevate beyond a whisper.  "Summer in Savannah" employs saxophone and synths, while "Biting Your Tail" dabbles with electronica.  It's astonishing (my wife accidentally put side B on first, and our necks snapped in each other's direction as "Summer in Savannah" began), but somehow it all works.

Kiss Each Other Clean track list:
1. Walking Far From Home
2. Me And Lazarus
3. Tree By The River
4. Monkeys Uptown
5. Half Moon
6. Rabbit Will Run
7. Godless Brother In Love
8. Big Burned Hand
9. Glad Man Singing
10. Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me

Guster, "Do What You Want" [video]

Posted by Greg 8:15 AM

Do What You Want from Guster on Vimeo.

"Neil Young" and Bruce whip their hair

Posted by Greg , Tuesday, November 23, 2010 9:08 PM

Effin' brilliant!  For a moment I wasn't even sure if this was really Jimmy Fallon.

Ryan Adams & the Cardinals, III/IV [preview]

Posted by Greg , Tuesday, November 16, 2010 7:34 PM

The Cardinals' previously unreleased III/IV is almost here.  Head on over to the product page on for clips of the new songs.  From even this small preview, it's clear that this is going to be nothing like any other Cardinals release, but somehow sound exactly like it should.  That last sentence probably doesn't make any sense.  I'm sorry, I'm excited.

And don't misunderstand me, I love the old Cardinals albums.  Cold Roses is one of my favorite records.  Jacksonville City Nights got me to appreciate country music.  I continue to find hidden gems on Easy Tiger and Cardinology.

What I mean is that I always felt like the Cardinals were a rock band hiding in cowboy boots.  You heard it in songs like "Beautiful Sorta" or anything from the Sad Dracula demos (from which III/IV takes "The Sewers at the Bottom of the Wishing Well").  As much as Adams effortlessly plays the lonely country troubadour, it's no secret that the dude just wants to rock out.  III/IV sounds like it could be his legitimate rock masterpiece.

You can head on over to Adams' PAX-AM record label and sign up for the mailing list for more information as it becomes available.

Breakdown into the Resolve [live 7/22/2006]:

UPDATE: If you signed up for the mailing list you already know this, but the pre-order just went on sale today.

Secret Knives, Affection [2010]

Posted by Greg , Thursday, November 4, 2010 11:03 PM

I've been spending a lot of time listening to indietronic / shoegaze-revival bands lately.  In particular, the New Zealand band Secret Knives have really caught my attention in a big way.  Their album Affection is like a gorgeous, hazy daydream, heavy on effects and chiming guitars.  The vocals sound somewhere between Passion Pit and Elliott Smith, with touches of Connor Oberst's unpolished fragility.  Like any blissful daydream, Secret Knives have an uncanny ability to make the listener unaware of the passage of time.  "Wicker Park," one of the album's highlights, feels like it ends far too soon, despite being the standard 4 minute length.  The band could have dragged it out twice as long and I'd still be disappointed that it was ending.

Secret Knives' record label, A Low Hum, is offering a free download of Affection and the band's debut EP, The Wolves, from their website.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Wicker Park:

The Northwest States:

Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore, "Oh My Sweet Carolina" [rehearsal]

Posted by Greg , Monday, November 1, 2010 9:32 PM

Ryan Adams performed for the first time in over a year on 10/29/2010 at "I Found This Funny," a benefit for 826LA, an afterschool writing program founded by David Eggers.  This rehearsal was filmed by Farhad Parsa, photographer for the event.

Adams, along with new bandmates Marshall Vore (drums), Sebastian Steinberg (bass), and Jamie Candiloroo (piano), also performed a few new songs ("Ashes & Fire," "Dirty Rain," and "Shining Thru the Dark"), although it's not clear whether these are from his in-the-works new solo albums or songs from the hopefully soon-to-be released "old" (but unreleased) Cardinals III/IV or Black Hole.