CLEARING OUT THE 2009 CLOSET: SOME QUICK HITS: PETE BERNHARD, BETTY SOO, DIANE BIRCH, CAM PENNER, SEVEN MARY THREE & CAROLYN MARK W/NQ ARBUCKLE

Much like Kasey’s two sentence reviews, I thought I’d bang out a couple of pieces that have been floating around in my Google Docs account in various forms of incompletion and combine them into one post instead of just deleting them. Sometimes it’s hard to find something to say about every. single. cd you like, but I’ll usually at least give it a shot. These are those shots:

PETE BERNHARD – STRAIGHT LINE

Pete Bernhard is one third of the phenomenal ‘country meets punk in a ragtime bar’ trio, The Devil Makes Three. While the lineup is a little different, more of a traditional arrangement, the sound is pretty much the same. This begs the question: Why do this outside of the DM3 umbrella? Apparently Pete feels that these songs don’t fit with the DM3 sound/feel but I don’t hear why. That said, the cd (like the entire Devil Makes Three discography) is fantastic.

Pete Bernhard – Straight Line

BETTY SOO – HEAT SIN WATER SKIN

Coming out of Austin (and to my attention, thanks to A Truer Sound) this singer made what could have easily been the follow-up to Edie Brickell’s Picture Perfect Morning. The album was produced by Gurf Morlix and if that ain’t a seal of approval, then I don’t know what is.

Betty Soo – Never Knew No Love

DIANE BIRCH – BIBLE BELT

Her voice sounds like something my mother would like. Her music sounds like Carly Simon or something. This album is a rarity in that the more the role of “background” music it plays in my day, the more I like it so I’m unable to just discard the album all together. Perhaps it’s one of those cds that has to bounce in and out of your consciousness for a year or so before you decide you like it. Time will tell. I suppose.

Diane Birch – Don’t Wait Up

SEVEN MARY THREE – BACKBOOTH

Seven Mary Three is a largely forgotten (and unfortunately labeled) band from the late 90’s grunge era. Backbooth is a little venue in the band’s hometown of Orlando, Florida and Backbooth is a recording of an acoustic show the band did at the club. It serves as a fine companion to Day&NightDriving, but I would advise getting the latter first.

Seven Mary Three – Upside Down

CAM PENNER – TROUBLE AND MERCY

Cam Penner came out of Calgary to take the americana blogging community by storm last month. I had intended to be a part of said storm but managed to miss it all together. Cam wrote Trouble and Mercy while on the road searching through the underbelly of the American dream for something shiny. The process birthed two of my favorite songs of 2009, “13” and “Tired of This Town”. Please don’t let my failure to feature this album on ninebullets act as a commentary on it’s quality, ’cause I can assure you it’s about to pop up on my year end list.

Cam Penner – Tired Of This Town

CAROLYN MARK & NQ ARBUCKLE – LET’S JUST STAY HERE

Put two solo artists that I love together and the sum will be greater than the parts….right? With Carolyn Mark & NQ Arbuckle’s collaboration Let’s Just Stay Here, the answer at least for me is: not really. It’s a good cd mind you, but ultimately listening to it too closely just makes me wanna listen to their solo discs. That said, there are moments of sheer magic on this album that have never allowed me to just scratch it off my “to write about” list.

Carolyn Mark & NQ Arbuckle – All Time Low

NINEBULLETS.NET AUGUST PODCAST:

Here we are. Another month, another podcast. Can you believe it’s been 6 months? Traffic on these is improving a little and that’s raised my spirits about doing them…I know I’m supposed to be all about doing them regardless of the amount of people who listen….and I will be, just as soon as the podcast’s monthly traffic gets in the same neighborhood as ninebullets.net’s daily traffic. That said, let’s talk about this month’s podcast.

The moment I sat down and started mapping out what songs I wanted to play this month I started getting excited. It quickly became obvious that this month’s song selection was gonna be the bomb. We got unreleased tracks from The Fox Hunt, Left Lane Cruiser, Carolyn Mark, Malcolm Holcombe, Pete Bernhard (Devil Makes Three) and Chuck Ragan, as well as newborn songs from Chad Price (Drag The River), Mat d. and the Profane Saints, The Builders and The Butchers, The Takers and Lonesome Wyatt (Those Poor Bastards) w/Rachel Brooke.

In the middle of the show I decided to do a set featuring bands who will be performing at Suburban Home‘s 14 Anniversary Weekend Party, which I’ll be attending in 15 days. Hopefully I’ll come back from it with some good stories, good pictures and a few interviews.

And that does it. I’m really happy with this month’s podcast and I think y’all will like it. Do me a favor, though. If you listen and you enjoy the show, please tell other people about it.

Thanks, everyone. ~Autopsy IV (twitter: @autopsy4)

Tracklisting:

  1. Adams House Cat – Nine Bullets [00.00.00]
  2. Autopsy IV Commentary [04.00.00]
  3. The Fox Hunt – It Suits Me [05.11.00]
  4. Carolyn Mark w/N.Q. Arbuckle – All Time Low [08.03.00]
  5. Lonesome Wyatt & Rachel Brooke – This Painful Summer [11.56.50]
  6. Autopsy IV Commentary [15.48.00]
  7. Chad Price – Cursed [17.30.00]
  8. Jon Snodgrass – Brave With Strangers [21.08.00]
  9. The Takers – Diamond Ring [24.14.00]
  10. Two Cow Garage – Swingset Assassin [27.36.00]
  11. Autopsy IV Commentary [30.28.00]
  12. Chris Knight – Highway Junkie [31.50.00]
  13. Malcolm Holcombe – A Bigger Plan [36.20.00]
  14. Deadstring Brothers – Sao Palo [39.16.00]
  15. Chuck Ragan – Let It Rain [45.04.00]
  16. Autopsy IV Commentary [47.34.00]
  17. Pete Bernhard – Townes [49.48.00]
  18. The Builders and The Butchers – Down in the Hole [53.54.00]
  19. Autopsy IV Commentary [57.40.00]
  20. Left Lane Cruiser – Black Lung [59.30.00]
  21. Mat D & The Profane Saints – Mudflap Mamma [63.54.00]
  22. The Drive-By Truckers – Play It All Night Long [67.02.00]


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THE DEVIL MAKES THREE – DO WRONG RIGHT

I originally came to know of this Santa Cruz trio via a link in the .sig of an unrelated PR email a year ago, and I’ve been in love ever since. The band consists of Pete Bernhard (guitar/vocals), Lucia Turino (upright bass) and Cooper McBean (guitar). Their sound is largely based on loose around the edges music that’s pulled together by their vocal harmonizing. The first time I ever wrote them I described them as such:

[They’re] a vaudevillian mashup of country, punk with a little pirate, and ragtime tossed in for good measure. [Their] dusty old 78 feel will almost make you feel guilty about listening to it on your iPod.

And really, that summary does as good a job here on their fourth cd as it did on their first, so I feel no need to further expound on it.

The other day the wife and I were driving around car shopping and listening to Do Wrong Right when it dawned on me that one of DM3’s strength’s/gifts is their ability to make every song feel like a sing-a-long. I bet that really comes through in their highly praised live shows, Something I hope to experience some day. Till then, I’ll crank this in the car and add one part dissonance to their harmonies.  And despite my best efforts to ruin it by singing along, Do Wrong Right is still Essential Listening.

The Devil Makes Three – Working Man’s Blues
The Devil Makes Three – Gracefully Facedown
The Devil Makes Three – Do Wrong Right

The Devil Makes Three’s Official Site, The Devil Makes Three on myspace, Buy Do Wrong Right