Welcome to Powderfingerspeaks. Here you will find my thoughts on the things which interest me. That will mainly be music, but will likely include beer, whisky, film and anything else that takes my fancy. Opinions are all my own. Your mileage may differ. If it does, then enjoy your own journey. This is mine, please join me for the ride.
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Power by Seratones- Album Review
Taking in a broad swathe of influences that include classic soul, Motown, pop, garage rock and funk the second album from Louisiana natives Seratones arrives packing a fearsome punch.
From the opening fat bass line and Spector-esque drum pattern of "Fear" it is clear we are in retro territory, although the themes and sonic embellishments are entirely modern. The band consistently play hard with great tunes and solid performance. The not so secret weapon of this band is vocalist AJ Haynes. Much like "Lux Prima" from Karen O, (and Dangermouse), earlier this year, she has all the power but also the ability to pull it right back in. She doesn't over sing, but totally owns the songs. Impressive stuff, even if the album as a whole doesn't consistently reach the heights of "Lux Prima".
Other than "Heart Attack", which leaves me a little cold with the sing-song Japanese style melody and the overly processed vocal on "Sad Boi" the rest of the album is top notch.
Highlights are the title track, (for more from me on this go here), the hard-rocking "Gotta Get To Know Ya", and the album closer, "Crossfire",which is just beautiful.
If you're not familiar with this band, do yourself a favour and check them out, you'll not regret it. "Everyone's a winner when the satisfaction is guaranteed...."
A new album from Tim Showalter which, barring a final misstep, hits all the Americana, (and more), marks. This album is heartfelt, sleazy, uplifting, classic and referential all at the same time whilst still pointing forwards.
The beginning is inauspicious. "Weird Ways" starts out like a standard Ryan Adams ballad, but takes off halfway through in a way that reveals the pedigree of the other musicians on the album. After hearing this track I thought it sounded like the aforementioned Mr Adams playing with My Morning Jacket(MMJ). The reverb drenched sound kept rearing its head and a little research revealed that, minus main man Jim James, they were the backing musicians on the album . No wonder I kept hearing them! As a band who has produced much that I like this was a good thing.
After "Weird Ways" heads for the stars we stay there with "Hyperspace Blues" which is one for fans of Jason Pierce's Spiritualized, and sounds just as a song with that title s…
Continuing a series about songs death and dying. These are not necessarily songs that talk about the process of dying, rather as the title suggests, songs that I could imagine listening to on my death bed, or taking as consolation during or after a funeral.
Morbid? I think not, as death is part of life. If we all talked about it a little more, maybe we'd cope with it better.
No 1: featuring "Land Of Hope & Dreams" by Bruce Springsteen here
No 2: featuring "Look On Down From The Bridge" by Mazzy Star here
With that said here's my next choice.
No 3: Gonna Be A Darkness - The Jayhawks
From their superb collection of songs that main man Gary Louris wrote with other artists, (full review here), comes this gem co-written with Jakob Dylan.
I love the extended musical introduction, starting with the mandolin, building with the bass and piano.It sets a lovely relaxed groove that hints at the sadness to come. Louris and drummer Tim O'Reagan blend their voices beauti…
Shakey's live archive releases continue apace, coming after the excellent "Songs For Judy", (full review here) and the even better "Roxy: Tonight's The Night Live", (full review here).
This time Neil treats us to excerpts from an Alabama show, (hence the title), from the 1973 tour previously documented on "Time Fades Away". Whilst a commercial success, the tour was fraught due to Young's grief over the drug-induced death of Danny Whitten that led to his masterpieces "Tonight's The Night" and "On The Beach", and his discomfort in translating his sound to the big arenas his success now found him playing. Neil has previously stated that "Time Fades Away" is his worst album. Those of us who have endured "Everybody's Rockin'" or "Landing On Water" might beg to differ....
Anyway another snapshot of that tour emerges here, and an altogether more lighter mood prevails. The autobiographical &…
Arriving with positive notices and an all-star supporting cast that includes a former Beatle in Ringo Starr, a former Heartbreaker in Benmont Tench along with renowned players like Jim Keltner, Don Was and produced by Ryan Adams it would be easy to dismiss such a description as too good to be true. However, sometimes it is okay to believe the hype.. The 4th solo album from Jenny Lewis is an example of the old adage that misery makes for great art, and is another entry into the canon of great break-up albums. It is crammed with catchy melodies, expert playing and excellent, if sometimes just a little too cool for school, songwriting. Right from the very start with "Heads Gonna Roll" the sweetness of the melodies is leavened with a perfectly judged dose of underlying menace and bitterness. Mention has to be given to the Hammond solo from Benmont Tench on this track. The tone is deliciously fat and filthy in the best possible way. "Wasted Youth" continues with a ridiculous…
After the Broadway experience comes a new song, and my initial thoughts upon hearing it were not about this track specifically, but what it means for the upcoming "Western Stars" album in June. As Bruce has said, this is a different type of album, not a rocker but a 'return to sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements'.
My hope is that we are going to get Bruce's version of "Nashville Skyline", as the track has a laid back, country feel, with a rhythm that immediately evokes "Everybody's Talkin' ".
Another one of his early influences, the great Roy Orbison, also shines through, and as a defender of "Outlaw Pete" from "Magic", (more on that here), this can only be a good thing. His vocal has a country tinge and the pedal steel and strings complete the image.
Given his battles with depression, documented in his autobiography, the lines about "being too fond of the blues" and "loving the lonely place&q…
For my fifteenth time seeings Bellshill's finest live, a different venue. The restored Victorian bandstand in Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow. Given that any outdoor event in the
West of Scotland is at risk of rain, it was unsurprising that the heavens opened
as the support act, (one Nile Marr, son of Johnny, who was pretty good) and it
was proper rods bouncing off the floor. Fortunately it dried up for when the
Fannies took to the stage. Starting off with "I Can't Find My Home" from "Howdy!" before a welcome deep cut in early single "God Knows It's True", it was quite sedate for the first seven songs, the crowd all being pretty wet no doubt contributing to that. However once they launched into "Alcoholiday" the crowd surged forward and from then until the end it was business as usual for Teenage Fanclub in Glasgow; that being bouncing. We got a few new songs including the pretty decent new single "Everything Is Falling Apart", but…
Be sure to listen to the latest episode, 736, of Rockin' The Suburbs podcast to hear me talk about some of the new songs I enjoyed in October. You can listen here or via your usual podcast provider.
The songs I talk about, along with a little cricket, NFL & rugby are:
"Run Away" by Lightning Dust "In Good Faith" by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy "Hard Times" by Whyte Horses featuring John Grant "Favourite Boy" by Half Moon Run "In The Air Tonight" by Lucy Dacus Be sure to listen every day...........