Thursday, March 28, 2013

Billy Bragg - No One Knows Nothing Anymore

Billy and me at Ram's Head On Stage
I've had the good fortune of seeing Billy Bragg perform twice over the years. The first time was in the 90s opening for the Barenaked Ladies (that was kind of a strange pairing) and then again headlining a couple years ago at the Ram's Head On Stage (see the photo to the right). He's playing there again next month, but unfortunately, I can't attend.

Personal history aside, he's got a new album out and I've been hearing a ton of good things about it. But that really doesn't surprise me as he always brings the goodness whether he's singing about the political or the personal (word is Tooth & Nail is more of the latter). Here's the video for the fantastic first single from the record.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Depeche Mode - Heaven

Depeche Mode released their 13th studio album this week. Sounds kind of ominous to me. Regardless, here's the video for Delta Machine's first single.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Ocean Blue - Blow My Mind (and a flash from the past)

Well here's a band a lot of you probably haven't though of in a LONG time. I certainly hadn't. Hell, their last record came out almost 14 years ago and didn't exactly tear up the alternative record charts (truth be told, their album prior to that wasn't all that hot either). But last week, Hershey, PA's finest jangle dream poppers The Ocean Blue released Ultramarine. I've heard a couple tracks off it (including today's video...duh) and I have to say it's refreshing to once again hear their Echo and the Bunnyment meets The Smiths influenced songs.

Crap, how is this video almost 24 years old? The Ocean Blue's first single - Between Something and Nothing off their self-titled debut.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Strokes - All The Time

The Strokes' fifth album Comedown Machine comes out tomorrow. All I have been reading lately is that it's a return to their Is This It sound (man, that was a killer debut album). Well, after hearing the first single All The Time, I have to say those writers may be on to something. Hope the rest of the record sounds just as good.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Tift Merritt - Feeling of Beauty

A couple days ago I was asked the "deserted island" music question. This time though, I wasn't allowed 10 or even five records. Just one. Surprisingly, it didn't really take me too long to come up with an answer -- Another Country by Tift Merritt. That record just makes my world a better place. But I do love them all, including Traveling Alone which was released last fall. Here's a fine front porch video from that record.

It would be wrong for me not to mention that Tift has a new record (Nights) out this week. It's a collaboration with pianist Simone Dinnerstein. I've only heard some samples so far, but it sounds amazing and I'm sure I'll be talking about it here sooner than later.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Clutch - Earth Rocker

Hell yeah! Here's a live version of the title track from the new Clutch record! I know I keep saying this about every new release lately, but I REALLY have to get this one soon because these guys from Maryland know how to bring the rock.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Suede - It Starts and Ends with You

One of my favorite Britpop bands of the 90s was Suede (I refuse to call them The London Suede, even if that is their "official" name here in the U.S.). Their first record is one of my favorites of the 90s (I still go a little nutso when I listen to it). Now after a decade-long break, Suede released their follow-up to A New Morning this week. I'm really looking forward to checking out Bloodsports, especially after hearing the first single. Here's the video.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kacey Musgraves - Silver Lining

I've been waiting to hear Kacey Musgraves' new record Same Trailer Different Park since the first time I heard her jaw-droppingly amazing debut single Merry Go Round (which of course I already featured on YNFS). Well, I've listened to about half of the record so far and I'm not surprised to say that we have another album of the year contender. Here's a live video of Kacey playing the album's first track.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Shane MacGowan - That Woman's Got Me Drinking

Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend! I thought we'd go back in time to 1994 to get the celebration started. Gosh, imagine a world where Johnny Depp is the hopeless drunk and Shane MacGowan is the level headed bartender who gets the girl in the end. Imagine no more...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Alkaline Trio - I Wanna Be A Warhol

There's a new Alkaline Trio album coming out on April 2nd. I for one am freaking psyched, because if the songs are half as cool as this first single, My Shame Is True is going to be one of the year's finest punk albums.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Little Big Town - Tornado

Cheers to Little Big Town for scoring their second consecutive No. 1 with the title track from their fifth record Tornado (lead single and summer hit Pontoon was their first No. 1). I'm really excited that I'm going to get to see them perform again this summer (opening for Keith Urban), because while hearing those killer harmonies on record is awesome, it's even better hearing them in a live setting.

And now here's the hauntingly cool Tornado video for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shooter Jennings - The Other Life

Shooter Jennings' new record The Other Life comes out today. You know I'll be picking that one up as soon as I can. Here's the record's first video. I'm certainly diggin' what I hear so far.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Carrie Rodriguez - I Cry For Love

I really need to see Carrie Rodriguez play live. Every time she comes anywhere near my town I seem to already have tickets to another show that night or I'm on vacation. In fact, I was in Jamaica this past February when she played in Easton, MD. It's really frustrating because I hear her live sets are off-the-charts good. It'll happen -- some day. Until then, I'll have to "settle" for her fantastic records with Chip Taylor and her five solo records, the latest of which, Give Me All You Got, was released in January. Here's a video for the record's first single.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Miranda Lambert - Mama's Broken Heart

Here's the brand spanking new video for Miranda Lambert's latest single Mama's Broken Heart. The song was written by Kacey Musgraves (along with Shane McAnally and Brandi Clark). Word is that Kacey was initially reluctant to let her old songwriting friend have it, but eventually she relented and let Miranda record it with the stipulation that she sing the song's awesome harmonies. Works for me. Anyway, I love this video. Miranda does crazy real well. Blake better watch himself.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Kat Edmonson - Lucky

This supposed snow storm (all I see is rain) has shut down the easily freaked out schools and local governments in Maryland. Hell, even the federal government shut down (wait, is that one weather related?). Sissies. Hopefully my local concert venue doesn't wimp out too (even if "God forbid" there are 3 inches of snow) because I'm really looking forward to seeing Austin singer/songwriter Kat Edmonson tonight. Here's a video from her dreamy Way Down Low record.

Who wants to bet that within an hour of posting this I'm outside shoveling?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ashley Monroe - Like A Rose

I've been waiting for this day to arrive for months. Ashley Monroe's new CD Like A Rose comes out today. Needless to say, I'll be stalking my mailbox all day (God help that mailman if the CD isn't delivered today). I'm already anticipating that Like A Rose will be in my top 10 of 2013 (oh who am I kidding, it'll be in my top 3). Here's the video for the album's fantastic first single.

As you may already know, Hippie Annie (Ashley) sangs with some friends of hers as well. Here's the fun Takin' Pills video by the Pistol Annies.

While I'm at it, I wrote about her recently at Wicked Guilty Pleasures for a song she did with Train. You can see that right here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlight - Sugar Lime Blue

Fans of classic rock, blues, and traditional country can all find commonality in Nashville's Sugar Lime Blue. Pulling from staple R&B artists like Otis Redding, Al Green and Bill Withers, classic jam style bands like Little Feat and the Grateful Dead, and current rockers like Sheryl Crow, and the Black Crowes, Sugar Lime Blue pulls off a retro type of vibe with a sound that you probably won't be able to compare immediately to any one artist. The band is made up of Ashley Beth (vocals), David Beth (guitar/vocals), John Simpson (steel/guitar), Russ Dean (bass/vocals) and Steven Brooks (drums/vocals).


Your New Favorite Song: It’s time to get the party started, what can I get you to drink?

Sugar Lime Blue (Ashley): Just plain water for me, or if you happen to have a chia tea latte hanging around, I like that too!

YNFS: Describe your band’s music in a single Haiku.

SLB(A):  each one is music
music is a family
family is one

YNFS: What are five bands/performers that the band HAS to listen to on roadtrips to shows (or just artists/bands that the band collectively likes)?

SLB(A): We all enjoy a healthy mix of music. We don't have anything "set in stone, have to hear or else we can't play our own music" playlist or bands. We do enjoy a great deal of Grateful Dead, Neil Young, any band with Warren Haynes, the Band and Otis Redding.

YNFS: Every band has one of those gigs where nothing seems to go right and it seems like a disaster at the moment, but given time everyone can look back and laugh. Do you have any good stories that you can share involving the band?

SLB(A): Oh yes! We drove out to Charlotte, NC in January of last year, it was one of the first trips we took our band trailer on with all of the equipment in it, so we were excited to all ride together and actually have room. As we were going over the mountains the temperature dropped rapidly and this storm came up out of nowhere! There was crazy rain, hail, and wind. As we came down off of the mountain there was the most amazing rainbow and the crazy storm let up. When we arrived at the venue we found out that we had just driven through a tornado on a mountain, in January! There were more storms that night and all of Charlotte closed the shutters and called it a day, so we ended up playing to the sound man and bartender, who were both very pleasant people (though not the sold out crowd we had hoped for). We had another gig the next night about an hour away, and it was a blast. There was a great turnout and we got to meet some amazing people. On the way home (again over the mountain) it began to snow on least it wasn't a tornado!  Then one of the tires blew on the trailer! So at 3 in the morning, in the snow, on a mountain the amazing gentlemen in this little family of musicians got out and changed a trailer tire. Then, we limped back home.

YNFS: What are the band’s goals for 2013?

SLB(A): We are working on our second album right now. Anyone who has ever made a record knows all that it requires. It isn't just songs, you have to write, arrange, record, record, record, record, and record. Then there is the physical end product. It needs artwork, photos, and the hardest thing -- band approval of everything! So that will be pretty consuming. We are also excited to continue playing out, making new friends/fans and making music. There is such a good feeling we all get from just making music together...we just want to keep doing that.

YNFS: While any gig for a band is always a good one, are there any in particular that you are looking forward to playing this year whether it be a festival, headlining or opening for well-known artist/band?

SLB(A): We have had the opportunity over the last year and the early part of this year to play on a few TV shows as well as several radio shows. Those have been so much fun for us and kind of a step in the direction of "getting the music out there." But for the last few years we have played a little festival here in Adams, TN called the "Tie Dye Festival" that has been such a blast! We go and camp out and play music, make cool tie dye shirts, and hang out with some really amazing people. So for me personally that is one gig that I always look forward to year after year.

YNFS: To go along with the last question, has the band had the opportunity to open for or play with any “established name acts” (for lack of a better term)? If so, how was it? If not, who would the band like to play with (within reason of course)?

SLB(A): Of course there are so many musicians that I would love the opportunity to open for or play with that will not ever happen no matter what (Elvis for example). But if we are talking people who are... well, still alive...I would love to make some music with Warren Haynes, Tedeschi/Trucks band, Joan Osborne, maybe a little Grace Potter. What a blast that would be!

YNFS: Finally, if you could say one more thing to potential and current fans about your music what would it be? Sell us on your awesomeness.

SLB(A) Music is very personal. Our music, to me is very personal. We want it to be personal to you as well. We have worked really hard to create a band whose members really care about each other and the music.  Sugar Lime Blue is a band in the true sense of the word. The reason why it was so important for us to create a community of people on stage, is because we want that to spill out onto people who hear our music. One thing we really want, is to give people a reason to experience life together. Music naturally gives people power, courage, dreams and hope. We want to help folks tap into that. Sugar Lime Blue is its music and the music is tied to the people. We are working really hard to create something amazing, that people don't want to just listen to, but that they want to participate in.


Sugar Lime Blue has a website with some music and videos (among other things). Y'all can check it out here. They are of course on Twitter and Facebook. Click here if you'd like a free download. Click here to see what's available on iTunes.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Bad Books - Petite Mort

I first heard Kevin Devine about nine years ago after he opened up for Bob Mould in Annapolis. I've been a fan of his (and his old band Miracle of '86) ever since. In 2010, Devine joined forces with Atlanta indie rockers Manchester Orchestra to form Bad Books (Devine and Andy Hull share vocal duties). Their second album -- aptly titled "II" -- was released this past October and I can attest for its greatness. Here's a live acoustic version of Petite Mort (Devine takes the lead vocals on this one).