Ajax Diner Book Club 4/27/15 KRFC Ft. Collins CO

Jon Dee Graham “Beautifully Broken” from Not As Bad As It Looks

J. Roddy Walston & The Business “Marigold” from Essential Tremors

Blue Blood “This Is The Life” from This Is The Life

Cafeteria “Gorgeous Friend” from Knee Deep

James McMurtry “These Things I’ve Come to Know” from Complicated Game

Spirit Family Reunion “All the Way Back Home” from Hands Together

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club “No doubt about it” from Unentitled

Low Anthem “Cage The Songbird” from Oh My God Charlie Darwin

Mississippi John Hurt “I Shall Not Moved” from Best of Mississippi John Hurt

John Moreland “Cherokee” from High On Tulsa Heat

Kris Kristofferson “Me And Bobbie McGhee” from Live From Austin TX

Scott H. Biram “I’m Troubled” from Nothin’ But Blood

Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound “Just Like The Rest” from Arlo McKinley & The Lonesome Sound

Townes Van Zandt “No Place To Fall” from Be Here To Love Me

Drag the River “Here’s to the Losers” from Drag The River

Big Mama Thornton “Cotton Picking Blues”

Supremes “Having A Party” from Sings Sam Cooke

Howlin’ Wolf “spoonful” from His Best

Patti Smith “break It Up” from Horses

Courtney Barnett “An Illustration Of Loneliness” from Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Sour Boy Bitter Girl “Flowers” from The Days After The Fire

Meat Puppets “Good Golly Miss Molly” from Out My Way

Brown Bird “Sackcloth and Ash” from Axis Mundi

Elmore James “Ice Cream Man” from Blues Masters: The Best of Elmore James

Two Cow Garage “Soundtrack to My Summer” from Sweet Saint Me

Replacements “Shooting Dirty Pool” from Pleased to Meet Me

 

Playlist – Ajax Diner Book Club 7/28/14 KRFC Ft. Collins CO

I took last week off from the podcast but I tried to come back with a strong and diverse mix of songs that will make you think, dance, smile and cry. Let me know if it worked.

Iron & Wine “Upward Over The Mountains” from The Creek Drank the Cradle

The Low Anthem “Apothecary Love” from Smart Flesh

Townes Van Zandt “My Proud Mountains” from Our Mother The Mountain

Hooten Hallers “One More Heavy Mile” from Chillicothe Fireball

Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings “100 Days 100 Nights” from 100 Days 100 Nights

Black Joe Lewis  “Come To My Party” from Electric Slave

Alabama Shakes “Hold On” from Alabama Shakes EP

Cory Branan “Meantime Blues” from No Hit Wonder

Blue Mountain “Mountain Girl” from Dog Days

Kierston White “Alcohol” from Don’t Write Love Songs

Uncle Tupelo “I Got Drunk” from 89/93 An Anthology

Billy Joe Shaver “The Git Go” from Long In the Tooth

Caleb Caudle “Missing Holidays” from Paint Another Layer On My Heart

CHARLES HALE'S 10 RECORDS THAT MADE 2011 TOLERABLE, ETC.

11. William Elliot Whitmore-Field Songs:  Songs about working and struggling and grasping to the only piece of fucking dirt that yours and some SOB trying to cheat you out of it.  Thanks WEW.  I’m taking bullshit handyman work over the winter just so I can afford to eat Burger King and drink a couple of Miller High Lifes every once in a while, so I’m a disciple of these songs.  I wonder what the farmers in Iowa do in the wintertime to survive.  Is the suicide rate higher then?  He’s singing about surviving here, that’s what you sing about when you know it’s not a guaranteed kind of thing.

10.  David Wax Museum-Everything Is Saved:  I’m writing this two and a half days before Christmas and I’m 2000 miles away from anyone I share blood with.  That and other real life bullshit is why “The Least That I Can Do” is my favorite song of the year.

9.  Hayes Carll-KMAG YO-YO: Hayes Carll is a goddamn wiseass but he’s my kind of wiseass.  I’d bet we drink for the same reasons.  It’s safe to say his year’s gone better than mine because this record isn’t as full of downtrodden and broken spirit as much of his earlier work.  Good for him.

8.  Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Here We Rest:  It’s entirely possible that two years from now this will be my favorite album from 2011.  It’s cozy, like snuggling up with an old dog cozy.  My dog is only two and a half so I’m not talking about snuggling with him.  I’m talking about breaking into your house while you’re away and snuggling with your dog.  I’ve done it.  If you don’t believe me ask your dog.

7.  Lauderdale-Moving On:  I’m probably the same age as the fellas in Lauderdale but they kinda feel like a little brother.  Like I’ve been away from home for a while and when I got back my little brother was drinking beer, not in an obnoxious drooling all over yourself and pissing people off kind of drunk, but the let’s go wander around kind of drunk.  I can tell my little brother’s been introduced to whiskey and I wish I’d been the one to pour his first.

6.  The Head & The Heart-Self Titled:  My favorite debut of the year.  This is a good mood, riding down the road with the windows down kind of record.  It’s 9 degrees outside right now and I would call my mood good so if you’re one of those well-off fucks with a fancy phone pull it out and make some notation to listen to this record on your Spring Break trip with all your friends.  It’ll sound amazing then.

5.  The Low Anthem-Smart Flesh:  I’d like to be all snarky and smug in this paragraph but the truth is I basically fell in love with Josie Adams when I saw The Low Anthem earlier this year in Denver.  She’s the band’s secret weapon.  If you read this Josie please don’t write, I don’t want to find out you’re not as badass as I imagine you to be.  There’s a blog about one of the band members making some kind of giant moth sculpture.  I wish they would hurry up and finish with that project so they can make another record.

4.  Drive-By Truckers-Go Go Boots:  You ready to fight?  This is the best truckers record in a long time and some folks have gotten so used to sub-par outputs that they don’t notice when a great fucking album shows up.  They finally found the sound they were looking for since they wrapped The Dirty South.  Stop your bitching about it not being Decoration Day.  It’s their 9th studio album and when the cannon of DBT songs is complied “I Do Believe,” “Used To Me A Cop,” “Everybody Needs Love,” “Pulaski,” and “Mercy Buckets” will all be included.  MB being one of the five best songs Hood has ever written.  Disagree?  I’d be ok with punching you in the mouth.

3.  Brown Bird-Salt For Salt:  Everything that needs to be said can be understood by noticing that dude is wearing a Mastodon T-shirt in this video.

2.  Cave Singers-No Witch:  This record still freaks me the fuck out.  There was something about procreating to it in my review and I’m still not sure where that notion comes from but maybe The Cave Singers are aliens or ancient warriors from the Garden of Eden.  Seriously, what are the sounds on this record that spook me, how did they make them?  Why does he have to howl while he sings?  Is there possession involved?

1. Glossary-Long Live All Of Us: Has any band in our little neck of the music landscape released three successive records as badass as Glossary’s last three since the SRO, DD, TDS trilogy?  I think not.  There are literary quality lyrics about sinning and quests for redemption.  Buy the damn record and help the little band that could move from the bars to the clubs.  This record makes me wanna dance.  Do you wanna dance? 

Most Disapointing Record:  My Morning Jacket-Circutial

Favorite Book: Donald Ray Pollack-The Devil All The Time (but I read a bunch of books, here’s the whole list)

Favorite Shows: Langhorne Slim/Pineross, Proud Larrys.  The Low Anthem, Larimer Lounge.

Favorite UFC fight:  Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua 

THE LOW ANTHEM – SMART FLESH

I’ve been trying to decide if I should review this album for months. I love it but I wasn’t sure how it would mesh with some of the other stuff on Nine Bullets. Then I saw them live and decided I didn’t give a damn if Smart Flesh was too artsy, experimental, or abstract. The Low Anthem has more talent than any band I’ve ever seen.

The melodies on Smart Flesh and Ben’s vocal delivery are so infectious and unique I have no idea who to compare it too. Then there are the sounds. At times the music slides into the soundscape area but for the most part The Low Anthem use guitar, bass, drums, organs, clarinets, trumpets, saws, and several instruments I’d have look up on wikipedia to find out what they were, to create some really kick ass music.

Am I gushing enough? Smart Flesh is Essential Listening. Check out the tracks below, play them again. The music The Low Anthem makes is intelligent and heartfelt and it’s the kind of music people shut up in a bar for. And I’m all for getting sloppy and rocking my fist and hollering along to the band but sometimes it’s good to just listen and have your mind blown and be totally freaking out but not moving. Listen to Smart Flesh in the car, listen to it with headphones.

Enjoy this Essential Listening.

The Low Anthem – Apothecary Love
The Low Anthem – Hey, All You Hippies!
The Low Anthem – Golden Cattle

The Low Anthem’s Official Site, The Low Anthem on Facebook, The Low Anthem on Spotify, Buy Smart Flesh

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: THE LOW ANTHEM


Remember when bands made records? Not ten-song collections of iTunes downloads, but complete, thematic bodies of work meant to be analyzed and appreciated as such? It is worth noting that, while the “single” as a concept has been around since long before Steve Jobs revolutionized portable and digital music, many of the most enduring songs of the last half-century were elements of larger artistic statements (“Like a Rolling Stone,” “London Calling,” and “Purple Rain,” to name a few).

With Oh My God, Charlie Darwin, The Low Anthem have crafted a collection of sparse, dynamic songs which, lo and behold compliment one another sonically and thematically. Imagine that. OMGCD deals, in large part, with the terrifying spectre of the American cultural landscape, where prayers are cast into the stratosphere via text message and photographs are “processed,” not developed. At its core, OMGCD is a collection of hymns sung to Dylan, Jack Kerouac and Woody Guthrie, to a country plowed under and built over. As stark as that image may be, The Low Anthem delivers these twelve songs beautifully, the tension palpable but not overwhelming, the fear and anger brimming but not boiling over.

OMGCD was initially released in 2008 as a limited-edition, hand-painted CD and subsequently released when The Low Anthem – Ben Knox Miller, Jeff Prystowsky and Jocie Miller, the three of whom met while students at Brown – signed with Nonesuch. The re-release garnered The Low Anthem glowing reviews from Uncut, Rolling Stone and a number of other publications, and recognition from Bruce Springsteen and Ray Lamontagne. That’s all fine and good – who doesn’t enjoy the occasional accolade – but the fact is The Low Anthem were going to get recognized at some point. Songs this good will always have an audience.

In the interest of full disclosure, it’s worth mentioning that I just spent a week on tour in support of The Low Anthem, but that run of shows only served to support my opinion that somebody – or, rather, many people – ought to be championing this band. As good as OMGCD is – and make no mistake, it is a very, very good album – the songs are so vital when performed, they take on an almost primal quality. There’s a gravity there that isn’t nearly as evident on the record. Likewise, Miller’s vocals are at once searing and tender live, while the treatment of vocals on the album borrows slightly from Iron and Wine, treading the line between atmospheric and over-processed. The discrepancy between performances on the album and in a live setting is not great – great musicians tend to sound good in any format – but it’s enough that in order to really appreciate The Low Anthem, you’ve got to see the show. Think of the performance as a companion piece to the album, or vice versa.

Some recommendations come with a caveat, “before you pick up this record, you should know…” This is not one. The Low Anthem is a band you need to hear.

The Low Anthem – To The Ghosts Who Write History Books
The Low Anthem – Don’t Let Nobody Turn You Around

The Low Anthem’s Official Site, The Low Anthem on myspace, Buy Oh My God, Charles Darwin