Romeo here. Despite rumors to the contrary I have not shuffled off this mortal coil. I will forgo any explanation of my absence and just make with the Top 5!
So this Top 5 is all about you, our faithful readers, and my curiosity. I want to know what songs make you think about us or the site with the caveat that you can’t use Nine Bullets by Drive By Truckers because it’s so easy it’s pretty much cheating.
For me the songs that make me think about the site are a mix that goes way back to when I first encountered AIV on the Lucero message board, which is sadly only a shadow of what it used to be, and stuff AIV posted that stuck with me or was really bad ass. AIV has turned me on to some damn amazing music over the years, much like the Lucero board did back in the day, and writing for 9b has turned me on to some damn cool people so this one was a lot of fun. I picked mostly songs that make me think about when I met AIV or stuff he posted rather than songs that remind me of the site because I write here about everything I listen to so I could claim just anything reminds me of 9B. But enough of my jabbering, here’s my Top 5:
Whitey Morgan and the 78s – Goodbye Dixie | This band will forever remind of AIV after his response to my never having heard of them while we were hanging out together at SXSW 2010. They are a great band and I hope they are working on something new so we can write about them even more.
Two Cow Garage – Swingset Assassin | This is one band I probably would have overlooked had it not been for AIV’s stellar write ups on them. A lot of people were talking about them back when and as usual I ignored the crowd to my own detriment but AIV kept pushing them and this track is one he posted that always sticks out in my mind. They are now one of my “can’t live without” bands thanks to AIV and 9B.
Drag The River – Me & Joe Drove Out To California | I can’t say that AIV or 9B turned me on to this song or band but for some reason I have fond memories of Lucero Message Board Compilations, 9B, and some amazing times attached to this particular track. Maybe I was just overplaying it at the time who knows.
The Takers – St. John’s Son | This is one that is all 9B for me. AIV is a Florida boy as are these boys and his write up got me to listening to them. I know they are a Suburban Home band and I generally like anything from Suburban Home but the Florida connection makes me want to road trip to FL and visit AIV whenever this song comes on.
Those Darlins – Wild One | Last but certainly not least comes Those Darlins. Maybe my favorite discovery that I wouldn’t have heard about if it hadn’t been for 9B. Wild One is a song that could be about me to my wife or about certain of my ex-girlfriends to me so it stands out a bit.
Well that’s it for me. Some of that list may be cheesy but it’s my list dammit! Now it’s your turn.
Autopsy IV says: Before you ask. No, I didn’t put Romeo up to this. Next, I don’t have a list since there is no song called, “I’m so fucking awesome people shit their pants when I walk by…..TWICE!” but rest assured, if there was….it and 4 remixes of it would be mine. As it is, I’ll make do with this little ditty:
ICLASOB’s new album may be entitled The Sounds Of Dying, but one can only hope that their first studio album in some six years is actually the sounds of rebirth.
Many people who’ve followed Micheal Dean Damron’s solo career are probably gonna point at this and think it’s mostly just an ICLASOB version of Mike’s album Bad Days Ahead. Going by actual release date timeline they’d be accurate, but the reality is that Bad Days Ahead was essentially Mike’s efforts to re-record the last ICLASOB album which (at the time) wasn’t gonna ever see the light of day. That was, until now.
The bulk of The Sounds of Dying was written and recorded before ICLASOB called it quits years ago and the fact that it’s getting released is a testament to the sheer inability of good music to stay silenced forever. I’d like to think that I played a role in seeing this album get a proper release, since after hearing the recordings late last year I asked Mike if he’d be interested in releasing it digitally via ninebullets. Which, again, I’d like to think, was the spark the band needed to get this album out and into our grubby little hands some 4 years later.
The time on the shelf might have done The Sounds of Dying some favors. While I was a huge ICLASOB fan before they split, this album, in it’s current form, really isn’t an album they could have released back then. I mean, they could have, but I’m not sure it would have been as well received as it’ll be now. The album has the perfect mix of ICLASOB bravado and Micheal Den Damron’s sensitivity that pushes the whole band to a different level. Unknowingly, I said as much when I reviewed Damron’s Bad Days Ahead a few years ago when I wrote, “Bad Days Ahead doesn’t have the, ‘crank it to 11′ breakneck rock and roll feel of any of the ICLASOB releases and and it isn’t as tortured and personal as Michael’s solo cd, A Perfect Day For A Funeral, opting instead to play up against and in the wide gap between the two”
This cd is a must for any ninebullets reader and Essential Listening for any reader who also happens to be a fan of Two Cow Garage. The cd can currently be preordered over at Suburban Home and all preorders are given an immediate digital download. Check it out and thank me later.
Virgil and Co. released their latest mixtape earlier this week. This volume was inspired by the upcoming release of the NEW I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House album, The Sounds Of Dying. This album (hopefully) marks the triumphant return of ICLASOB as a band after a couple of years on hiatus. The album was officially released for preorder today and if you preorder it you get an immediate mp3 download of the complete album. Trust me, I’ve had the album for a few months now….it’s fucking fantastic and you should stop reading this post right now, open a new tab and buy it. Regrets, you’ll have none. Anyhow, the compilation features selected tracks from the Suburban Home roster, including a new demo from one Mr. Austin Lucas. They also accepted submissions from outside sources for this album which accounts for seven of the tracks.
The album is available for free and legal download here. The folks over at SH only ask that if you download it you send the link to 4 of your friends (or tweet about it or spread the word in some manner) which I think is a fair trade off.
If you want to print them out the covers are available here: Cover / Back
I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In the House – Swear To God
I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In the House – Postcards And Apologies (Two Cow Garage)
Well, I guess it’s my turn. Kasey and RSV have already dropped their faves of the year (here and here) on y’all, so there’s just no avoiding it for me now. This year was particularly difficult due to the sheer amount of great music that came out, and had I made this list tomorrow it would certainly change. That said, you can edit forever but eventually you have to settle on something and call it your list. So, with out further ado I am gonna steal RSV’s formatting and get this show on the road:
I’ve probably written about Mat D. & The Profane Saints as much as anyone that isn’t named Lucero, Drive-By Truckers or who resides under the Suburban Home umbrella. They come out of Sioux City, Iowa with a brand of blues-fueled rock and roll that celebrates the decaying underbelly of the American Dream. There is a quote from Hunter S. Thompson’s book Fear and Loathing that comes to mind when listening to Mat’s songs. “We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” Dive bars, dead lovers, drag queens, and liquor-fueled nights rode that wave out and The Profane Saints aim to document it, and they do so with a Southern-fried rock-meets-blues style, adding in a combination of rockabilly & country to spice it up.
Dirt Town City Limits was recorded over the course of two years and has a decidedly rawer, rustier edge to it than their previous album, Small Town Burning. When the band did Small Town Burning, they were splitting their time between various other projects. Now the side projects have fallen by the wayside and the result is a more clearly defined focus and direction. Keep these guys on your radar folks, they could be going places.
Two Cow Garage frontman Micah Schnabel has quietly self-released a solo album entitled When The Stage Lights Go Dim. The plan is for Suburban Home to release it later this year (or early next) with new artwork, but currently it is only available by emailing Micah’s father.
I’ve always felt like Two Cow is akin to Lucero five years ago, busting their ass on the road and building a rabid following one show at a time. Where Ben (Lucero) writes about the one that got away, Micah likes to write about the misery that the life of building the aforementioned following can produce. Personally, I am constantly surprised at how good Micah is at writing about the struggles of life on the road without ever coming off as whining. Rather, he does it with an eloquence and flair many songwriters can only aspire to.
When The Stage Lights Dim features another 10 tracks of tales from the road and of life in small town Ohio. Musically, the songs are stripped down affairs dominated by Micah and an acoustic guitar, with the occasional piano or backing vocal chiming in. It also features some of the finest songs Micah has ever written in “American Static” and “Cut Me, Mick”. Which brings me to my only complaint (whine?) about the album. I wish so badly some of the tracks like “God and Money” and “Throwing Rocks At The Sun” could have gotten the full Two Cow treatment, but I suppose there’s still hope. I first heard “Swingset Assassin” on a cd-r Micah and his father did together a few years ago.
This album is perfect for winding down in the middle of the night with a whiskey while you wait for the amplifier ring to subside a little. While it might not be a very easy cd to get right now, it’s easy to put it on the Essential Listening list, and I suggest you put the effort into acquiring it.
A Passing Thought: As time goes by and new music comes from Micah, it’s obvious he’s becoming one of the best pure songwriters in this genre. Can you imagine how good the next Two Cow album is gonna be?
Drag The River/All singer Chad Price’s solo debut is in the running for album of the year and as far as I am concerned it’s there without a doubt. I’ve had this album for a few days now and I have been trying to put how I felt about into words and failing. To start with I love the album from start to finish but I haven’t been able to find the words to impart how Smile Sweet Face makes me feel. I can’t review this album by just telling you how cool Chad’s lyrics are or how the understated acoustic accompaniment sounds amazing. There is something more to this album than just sounding good and having the right hook at the right place. It makes me feel something and last night I was finally able to put my finger on what that thing is. It feels like coming down…
I don’t mean it feels like crashing after a weekend of doing blow like a Wall Street trader in the nineties. I mean that Chad Price has created a mood across this album that feels like the sweat filled moment after sex where you fall back on the bed exhausted but more than satisfied. The slow chords and Chad’s heartfelt vocals slow everything around you down just a little bit. The opening line in The Cross is “It feels good when the sun’s out, feels good with my arms outstretched on this cross” and only gets better from there. With the mood waxing and waning across these ten tracks I suppose this album won’t be one that everyone likes. Actually I know it won’t because my brother just didn’t get it and all I could do is stare at him dumbfounded and confused. I guess if you are anything like him then you probably won’t feel any empathy when Chad belts out “Between church and a meth lab / can’t go on living without her laugh”. If you fall into that crowd then I truly feel sorry for you.
But you already knew I would like Chad’s solo effort considering how much I dig Drag The River didn’t you? What surprised me is how much this wasn’t a Drag The River album. I expected more Caleb’s Grave and what I got was something completely different. This is a different baring of the soul than the stuff Chad has done with DTR and rightfully so. This isn’t DTR minus Jon Snodgrass it is a powerful and moving collection of stripped down, soul baring, sometimes keening tracks that shouldn’t be missed.
You can pick this up over at Suburban Home in just about any format you like. I recommend grabbing the deal, I don’t know how long they’ll offer it for, where you get access to everything they release for life starting with this very record…