Weakness Wednesday: PJ Harvey “The Last Living Rose”

We can listen to the album, Let England Shake, over and over again. PJ Harvey made one of the finest albums over the past few years and “The Last Living Rose” was one of the great tracks from the stellar LP.

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Con Brio Live Album

Bay Is Burning Digital Cover 300x300 Con Brio Live Album live album independent con brio bay is burning

So tomorrow the SF based jazz / soul band, Con Brio, headed by the powerful vocals of Xandra Corpora is releasing their second album at The Independent in San Francisco. The album balks from the the text-book progression for a band and is unconventionally a live album. Let me address the thoughts that probably popped into your head when you read the preceding sentence

That’s ballsy and almost hubris for an emerging band to do a live album.

Yes, yes it is ballsy. But hubris it is not (so quit being such a pretentious asshole). If you’ve ever seen Con Brio live it becomes immediately evident that the stage is where that band is in it’s element. The energy is off the charts, and there’s a lock-step groove that emerges out of their deep arrangements that takes a very saturated genre of music and gives it a spin that is easy to recognize as one word: special.

Yeah, ok, but live recordings usually don’t translate onto record…

Damn, you’re a doubter. It was recorded at the legendary Great American Music Hall in SF with a ton of special guests, and was very carefully engineered, recorded and mixed. You can easily slip away into a song and not even realize that it’s a live album (the band is that dead-on most of the time) but the tracks capture just enough of the energy and crowd that you seriously start to believe you are there.

Alright, fine, so where do I get this album?

Thought you’d come around. Step 1) Go to the Independent tomorrow night (tix are going fast so get yours here). Step 2) Pick up the album at the show. Boom.

Here’s a sample of what you’d see there:

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Thursday Never Knows: “I Want to Tell You”

One of the most underrated songs in the Beatles catalog (which is a dumb thing to even write) is the George Harrison 1966 gem, “I Want to Tell You.” Revolver is full of special moments, jumping from feeling to feeling, and Harrison seems to more in-tune with Lennon on this album, taking pop to new levels.

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First Friday: Miles Davis “Blue Christmas: ‘Little Melonae’”

We are a little confused at the moment about where this fits in the Miles Davis canon, and if it actually on this album, and what the Blue Christmas album really was, but who cares, this “Little Melonae” recording is brilliant.

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New and Free Hello Evening album

2012 cover art 2 copy New and Free Hello Evening album rock music indie Hello Evening free download folk download album

Some brand new tunage from a SF band we know and like a fair amount. They’re giving their newest release away for free to download here (guess the holiday spirit got to them), so get over to their page and give it a download because it’s a pretty rad, moody at times, vintage-feeling, slightly pop-oriented at times, honest-sounding, fun-invoking indie album that we think you’ll like.

Listen/Download here:

hello evening by hello evening

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First Friday: Beach Fossils “Sometimes”

We have had a good couple of weeks with the band Beach Fossils, and ultimately can’t believe we missed them when this LP first came out in early 2010. If you like the beach and a little reverb, you are going to really enjoy your Indian Summer with this album…

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First and Final Fridays: The Shins “Oh, Inverted World”

the shins oh inverted world First and Final Fridays: The Shins Oh, Inverted World The Shins outside lands oh inverted world first and final fridays 2001

We agree with AllMusic’s assessment of The Shins’ debut LP, Oh, Inverted World: “a definitive indie rock album of the 2000s.” How could it not be? For what it represents in brilliant pop songwriting by James Mercer, to what it means culturally as a “indie” standard (from the way you dress, what you read, what else you listen to, shit, how you TALK has been relevant to this album, and it helps that Zach Braff liked it), there seems to be an aura around this album. From the beginning with “Caring Is Creepy,” to the closer, “The Past and Pending,” of all the bands to check out at Outside Lands this week… this is one of them, even 10 years on…

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Thom Yorke Tuesday: “No Surprises”

In 1997-98, there was not a band on earth that gained more attention than Radiohead, and their album Ok Computer, which seems to get undervalued as years go on, was a major pinnacle for guitar music, a swift kick in the ass to what grunge had left behind. “No Surprises” was a major part of that kick in the ass.

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Thom Yorke Tuesday: “Little By Little”

We think we have made each track on Radiohead’s 2011 album, The King of Limbs, a special on this site, and to be honest, it almost feels like this album came out years ago already. But this is one of the few songs on the album that featured a guitar as the main instrument. A great track.

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