When I think about David Stith the word “prodigy” comes to mind. DM’s father, mother, and grandfather were all talented musicians in their own right. This beautifully layered track starts off on a rather sad note, only to find redemption as the song builds and builds.
“Just Once“ (play/download mp3)
As a major cat person myself, there’s no way I could pass on this unusually beautiful pop fluffy toy. The Weakerthans are Strongerthan, I can assure you! Meow, purr, pad pad, circle, flop. Pounce, eat.
“Plea From A Cat Named Virtue“ (play/download mp3)
12:00 PM: Pleased to learn there is an artist called Kurt Vile.
I suppose I’ll have to listen to him now.
12:02 PM: Praise be, he has a song called Jesus Fever.
12:15 PM: Approval
Very purty lil’ song. I was half expecting something more outrageous for that title, but it’s a nice folky rocky toe tappin cat nappin ditty. Favorable echoes of early Smiths and REM and Catherine Wheel kinda bidniz. Sooooothing. Goes nicely with this early spring late winter weird schizophrenic foggy drizzly weather we’re having in Oaklandia. Band name intrigue leads to swell new music discovery. Life is good.
Kurt Vile – “Jesus Fever” mp3 (play/download)
Smoke Ring For My Halo album avail direct from Matador.
Here’s a fine track from Nashville’s Silver Jews. “Only you can make my lies come true.” I don’t think it gets more honest than that. “We’re gonna die til it doesn’t hurt.” This is just full of lyrical gems, the vocal is sweet and funny, and the accompaniment is superb. A love song, with actual love in it. Who woulda thunkit.
Room Games and Diamond Rain
This bass-less trio hailed from S.F. and melodically recalled a story in which there is a blanket – I think. Anyhow, they’re no longer together, but listen to a tune from their album “Little Pieces of Paper,” released in 2000.
Secadora-”Blanket“ (play/download mp3)
A veritable catnip toy of a song, from the very prolific and hilarious feline-human hybrid known as STD. Purrfect.
Schaffer The Darklord – “Cat People” (play/download mp3)
You can buy STD’s unique musical thought crimes at iTunes.
Ed Haynes is the master of the poignant song. This is the only song I’ve ever heard about cat beating. You can’t help but be appalled by the confessions of this tortured soul. Give this song a listen to the end if you want the full dose of Ed’s humor.
Ed Haynes – “Talking Cat Blues“ (play/download)
Logan Whitehurst and The Jr. Science Club – “Farkle New and Improved” mp3
Occupying a unique space of the imagination somewhere between Frank Zappa and Ren n’ Stimpy, a young Logan Whitehurst recorded a wealth of brilliant and unique works in his short but hugely creative life. Before succumbing to a brain tumor at the age of 29, he told his family that playing his music for people was one of the most important things to him. Among his many talents, Logan was also a cartoonist in a style that fits his songwriting humor like a glove. The guy was a treasure. His work lives on. It’s genius in both art and craft, original yet instantly familiar, with a rare levity the world could sure use more of. As such, his music is available for download and streaming from freemusicarchive.org, and this is truly something to celebrate. You can buy the CD’s direct from his site, too. Enjoy.
Sometime in the late 90′s I spoke to a friend of mine who owns a local club and explained that she must, absolutely must book The Negro Problem. She was aghast, told me should couldn’t book a band by that name, then she asked me if they were black. Well yes, Stew, the lead singer is, I replied, and he’s one of the more brilliant singer-songwriter dudes I’ve seen in ages, and his band is killer. I guess my friend changed her mind because they eventually played her club. The band’s reputation has since grown far and wide among discerning music lovers, even while the hulking indifferent music industry has ignored them with dull reliability. Of the many memorable songs that echoed in my head for years after seeing the NP perform live, the one that haunted me most was a piece called “Peter Jennings.” As I scour the Intergoogle today, I’m not finding any promotional mp3s of this fine band, but they do have some songs (including “Peter Jennings”) available on Mog All Access, which is worth joining, and you can also buy their mp3s from iTunes. Another standout from their superb “Joys and Concerns” album is “If You Would Have Traveled On The 93 North Today.” Heck it’s all good, “Mahnsanto” is stunning, “Bleed” is another – all heartbreaking, funny, intelligent, beautiful work. More recently Stew and his longtime collaborator Heidi Rodewald composed a musical theater production called Passing Strange, which Spike Lee made a movie of, which you can see on PBS. All highly recommended. That is all.
A political rant that seems to ripen with time. Originally released on the “Ed Haynes Sings Ed Haynes” LP, this is most recently getting attention as the lead off track on the first MP3 Jackpot Winners compilation on Fun Fun Fun Recordings.
Ed Haynes – I Want To Kill Everybody” (play/download)