Saturday, June 16, 2007

Good News

Hüsker Dü were, as I'm sure you astute little Aubadelings all know, one of the key bands of the 1980s, a herald of the "Alternative Revolution" of the 1990s (note the ironic quotation marks indicative of the era) (note also the self-conscious aside indicating that I'm aware that I am a product of my environment and that I somehow transcend the clichés even as I employ them) — where was I? Let's start again.

Hüsker Dü were, as I'm sure you astute little Aubadelings all know, one of the key bands of the 1980s, a herald of the "Alternative Revolution" of the 1990s and a strong influence on what came to be called "the Seattle Sound" — an admixture of sensitivity and brutality, pop and punk, art and commerce. They were the first "Alternative Rock" band to sign to a major label (though they never had anything like a hit — or even a decently produced album) and paved the way for hungrier bands with more testosterone to dominate radio airplay a few years after their breakup in 1988.

Drummer Grant Hart was Lennon to Bob Mould's McCartney, the latter writing all the songs your grandmother would like if she was kind of into hardcore, while Hart followed his drug-addled muse into oblique corners, sometimes bursting forth with a pop gem and sometimes wailing over a wall of noise.

While Bob Mould's solo output has received consistent attention from fans and critics, and his band Sugar nearly made waves on rock radio in the 1990s, Hart's career has been more haphazard; both solo and with Nova Mob, he has recorded with successively smaller and smaller record labels, nearly disappearing altogether in a kind of Alice in Wonderland trick. His last album was 1999's Good News for Modern Man. About 14 people noticed when it came out.

The thing is a fucking monster, easily one of my favourite albums of the past 10 years.

While searching for information on it (few and far between), I stumbled across this interview. Good reading.

How about a contest? First person to name the "three" that Hart refers to in the following song gets something nice.

•Grant Hart: Nobody Rides for Free (via RapidShare)

Grant Hart home

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Find: Yep Roc downloads

Besides being a very cool record label (hey, what else are you going to call Americans who dig Sloan?), the folks at Yep Roc are also very savvy when it comes to the world of internet promotion. They know that if they give you a little, you'll come back to buy more. So if you sign up at their website, they give you a "stash" — a bunch o' tracks, free as Willy!

Their roster includes the aforementioned Haligonians, plus Robyn Hitchcock, Jim Lauderdale, the sublime Go-Betweens, Robbie Fulks, Big Sandy, Marah, the Sadies ... the list goes on and on. Oh, and the new Nik Lowe will be out soon. *pant pant*

Then, when you buy records from them (right now they have a bunch of vinyl on sale for five bucks a pop!), they give you the digital version for free, too, and sometimes bonus tracks to go with it. Tres swell.

Tell 'em I sent you.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

50th post: a protest moment

Nowadays they'd call this an incitement to terrorism.

•Barbara Dane and the Chambers Brothers: It Isn't Nice (via RapidShare)

Barbara Dane home eMusic

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Notes from Banjo Underground

Here's a nice find: when Uncle Dave Macon died, he left a hole in the shape of John Hartford, which John Hartford nicely filled. When John Hartford died a few years ago, his hole was shaped like Chris "Old Man" Luedecke.

Old Man Luedecke's album Hinterland fills a void you might not have known existed – the need for you to own an album of solo singer-songwriter banjo tunes. Alternately tender and goofy, poignant and hilarious — and sometimes all that simultaneously — Luedecke's songs are surprisingly good. You're expecting novelty tunes, you get spicy rice and potatoes. These suckers are good for you, and tasty to boot. Dig it!

• Old Man Luedecke: I Quit My Job (via RapidShare)
• Old Man Luedecke: Joy of Cooking (via RapidShare)

Old Man Luedecke home radio 3 myspace

Hinterland available through eMusic's 25 free MP3 offer

Monday, June 04, 2007


Double ewe tea eph?!


[from the online etymological dictionary]

1896, Amer.Eng. from feist "small dog," from fice, fist Amer.Eng. 1805 "small dog," short for fysting curre "stinking cur," attested from 1529, from M.E. fysten "break wind" (1440), related to O.E. fisting "stink."
The 1811 slang dictionary defines
fice as "a small windy escape backwards, more obvious to the nose than ears; frequently by old ladies charged on their lap-dogs." Cf. also Dan. fise "to blow, to fart," and obs. Eng. askefise, lit. "fire-blower, ash-blower," from O.N., used in M.E. for a kind of bellows, but orig. "a term of reproach among northern nations for an unwarlike fellow who stayed at home in the chimney corner" [O.E.D.]


There are those of us gushing about the new Feist album &tc. – and if Justin says so, I'll take his word that it's a fine piece of work (his fondness for the less-than-1/2-baked Broken Social Scene notwithstanding) – but when it comes to the artist in question, there are also those of us for whom the present-day rhinestone-spangled shimmy-dancer will never wholly displace images of wee Leslie Feist in cargo pants and dreadlocks, howling, growling, and belting her lungs out with Calgary grunge sensation Placebo*. Ah, to be young, white, and disease-free in 1995!

•Placebo: Spike (via RapidShare)

Leslie Feist home myspace

*not to be confused with the British band of the same name

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The National: 4-song EP

Here they are, L&G'men, this week's buzz band, The National. Unlike last autumn's bande-du-jour, The Hold Steady, who not only jumped the shark with their cover of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" but began to grate after only about a week's exposure, The National actually get better with repeated listening. I wasn't all that impressed with them at first, but now every time one of their songs comes 'round on shuffle, I get all excited: "Hey, I love this song!"

That said, if you never liked Leonard Cohen, The Smiths, or The Afghan Whigs (to name three mope-rock artists from three previous decades), you probably won't dig The National.

But enough of this! Listen and love.

•The National: Murder Me Rachael (MP3) (from Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers)
•The National: Fake Empire (via RapidShare) (from Boxer)
•The National: Karen (via RapidShare) (from Alligator)

Special Super Bonus Action: The National 4-song live EP from Spinner dot com (thakns to Bradley for the link)

Every damn note The National ever recorded is available legitimately and super-cheap from eMusic -- try it out with 25 free no-strings-attached downloads!