Cinematic, spacious, and poetic, the songs of Laughingstock pull you in with layered textures while celebrating the victories, defeats, and spirituality of everyday life. “Like Texas” is a quiet little epic metaphor for America’s largest contradiction.
“Like Texas“ (play/download mp3)
Buy the album as CD or MP3s at Amazon
Allo, kittins. Your Superfan has been away. Absent. AWOL. Remiss. But I have returned, to make a few more posts to finish up another year of this labor of love. This is one for all you lo-fi dissonance lovers. Enjoy with crandberry sauce. Phoning it in from the ranch, amongst the relations. It’s good to be home.
“How to Test the Depth of a Well” (download mp3)
from “There’s Always Hope, There’s Always Cabernet”
“How To Test The Depth Of A Well” (play)
I favor song titles that make you have to listen. “Moan All Night” for example. Either a sexy all night sex song, or a doom-ridden introspective flu nightmare. It’s somewhere in between, as it turns out. Tom Waits meets a renegade troupe of gypsies on the outskirts of reality, where they drink absinthe and slowly suck each others’ fingers. I’m pretty sure.
Noah And The MegaFauna
“Moan All Night” (download mp3)
from “Anthems For A Stateless Nation”
“Moan All Night” (play)
Fred McDowell played the blues. He once famously stated, “I do not play no rock and roll.” And when the Rolling Stones covered his “You Got To Move,” they played it uncharacteristically straight up, hardly changing the feel of it. Before he was known as Mississippi Fred McDowell, Alan Lomax visited Fred McDowell and recorded him doing his thing. You want to talk about raw authenticity? This is a solo performance, caught in the location where it was conceived, in monophonic analog reel to reel tape with no effects. Recently mastered up and released to the Digiwebs by Global Jukebox. This is pure treasure.
“Fred McDowell’s Blues” (download mp3)
from “Fred McDowell: The Alan Lomax Recordings”
“Fred McDowell’s Blues” (play)
More On This Album
You’re not in Kansas anymore. You’re not even in the midwest. These Gnomes done hath crawled off the lawn. They are gone, baby, gone. Carried off by a Sea Of Bees. Fly, be free.
Sea of Bees
“Gnomes” (download mp3)
from “Gnomes b/w Don’t Fear the Reaper”
Trevor Childs has a “Deathwish” but it sounds like he’s enjoying it just fine. A comical and amusing jaunt through San Francisco, from this Berkeley troubadour, in which he ponders the exact method of his demise. A couple of approaches might earn him a Darwin Award! This is sort of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died” only in reverse.
“Deathwish” (download mp3)
(Fortune Records/Citrus 2 Citrus)
From the mossy woods of Oregon, descending on Portland with guitars, fiddles and banjos, I present for your enjoyment the Water Tower Bucket Boys. Comical yet foreboding lyrics dance like a care free fool atop a careening locomotive of acoustic roots Americana, with French love interest. Yes. Have a taste of folky “Fromage.”
Water Tower Bucket Boys
“Fromage” (download mp3)
from “Sole Kitchen”
More s’il vous plait!
Rock alert. Big rock alert. Big, fat late 70’s anthemic mid-tempo rock with giant ass hooks and soul-satisfying harmonies alert! The Madison Square Gardeners from Brooklyn, NY channel a sort of Tom Petty wide open skies sound through a more urban, post modern filter to produce a beast of a track. This is classic rock that sounds fresh and new, with a bittersweet and poignant lyric. The arrangement is perfect, the vocals are gr8, it’s all there – this is a hit in my book.
The Madison Square Gardeners
“Innocent” (download mp3)
from “Teeth Of Champions”
(First of Three Records)
Here’s another gr8 tune by Edinburgh, Scotland based visual artist Dan Willson, whose musical project is known as Withered Hand. A brilliant and original songwriter, Willson’s work is quickly gaining recognition among music-heads in the US and abroad. One sad detail, however – he may not make his scheduled gig at SXSW, as his visa has been delayed! Apparently, he has to prove that his talents are extraordinary, or they wont let him in. How silly. I signed this petition to ask that Mr. Willson’s visa be expedited, that he might bring his act to the US’s creme de la creme new music fest in Austin, TX. “No Cigarettes” is from the album “You’re Not Alone,” just released stateside this month.
“No Cigarettes” (download mp3)
from “You’re Not Alone”
Mississippi Fred McDowell‘s recording of “What’s The Matter Now?” is truly raw Delta Blues. Another piece of Alan Lomax’s massive contribution to recorded music history, this was recorded in 1959 at a gas station where McDowell worked at the time. No studio, no effects, no edits, no BS. A man, a microphone, and a moment, caught on tape, eventually transferred from vinyl to CD and then mp3. What a journey to our ears! For more on this influential artist, check out Kevin Swan’s tribute at Rubber City Review.
“What’s the Matter Now?” (download mp3)
from “I’ll Meet You On That Other Shore: Alan Lomaxs “Southern Journey,” 1959-1960″
“What’s The Matter Now” (play)