I’m always glad I follow so many bands on Facebook, because it has helped target the site’s recommendations on my behalf. Case in point: this excellent Oakland band which I never would have discovered had I not seen a note advising me to check out their debut EP via a “pay what you can” promotion on Bandcamp. The music I found upon first listen is a perfect blend of Americana and hints of soulful southern-rock gospel, an excellent way to spend a Sunday morning listening.
“At the End of the Day,” the album’s opener, introduces the band in a subtle way, letting the song’s confident grooves speak for themselves. The Hammond B3 in the background brought to mind Counting Crows, though Erik Yates’ vocals don’t necessarily draw such easy comparisons. But the band really shines on “Let It Fall,” building their strongest groove around a hook which would have sounded at home on a seventies-era Neil Young album. This is just their debut EP, but the nucleus is there — with time spent developing their road show and additional material, this could be the genesis of 2013′s first great album.
Nope, nothing sleepy about it!
This isn’t your dad’s Neil Young, but if this teaser is a true hint of what’s to come with Gitar’s Seen As Unclean later this year, the results should be impressive. Toronto’s Gitar exists to bring eclectic beats into the world of rock and roll, which is certainly a worthy endeavor. On “Hippie Dream” we’re hit immediately by fuzzed out bass and popping synth percussion, as Mikhail Galkin layers his off-kilter vocals into the mix, the entire affair sounding as though it takes place in a world where we’re about half a minute away from succumbing to drowning — though that’s certainly not a terrible effect, once you’ve heard the whole thing and hit repeat a few times.
Hell, it’s a step up in pace from the lugubrious original by Young, which features slowed-down bass oppressive enough to fully suggest the death of the hippie aesthetic. According to the band’s press materials, this is the first time they’ve dared to take on the music of a Canadian legend. The finished product showcases their ability to live up to the challenge, and one hopes this won’t be the last time they throw caution to the wind and reach for something legendary. At the very least they don’t lack for balls.
Neil Young may have said it’s better to burn out than to fade away, but in the case of Amy Winehouse, the burnout and the long slow fade were simultaneous.
Now, dead at 27, she’ll be primarily remembered for her work with Mark Ronson as a 60s R&B, soul and jazz revivalist. Back To Black had moments of sheer raw power one wouldn’t have expected from something so many people either loved or hated. “You Know I’m No Good” and “Rehab” let us read between the lines as she dragged funky jazz-infused beats into the new millennium headfirst – “I cheated myself like I knew I would,” she sings, and now those words are more than painful. “I told you I was trouble. You know that I’m no good.”
But did she believe that? Did she believe she couldn’t survive without the sheen of alcohol between her and her audience? Was rehab truly worse than death?
Read the rest of this article at Stereo Subversion.
Willow Smith’s got nothing on this “classic” by Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen (well … Bruce Springsteen anyway, and Jimmy Fallon doing his best Neil Young). This was the highlight of New Years’ Eve after the family watched Willow Smith do her thing on ABC. Got to give the nine year old credit for digging up such a rare gem of Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen awesomeness. And who knew Young had such grasp of today’s lingo?