Que Viva El Rocanroll, Que Viva El Spider Bags

Wonderfully twisted rock and roll with a twist. This reminds me most favorably of the records Joe Strummer made with the Mescaleros in his later life. And a bit of the inside of David Lynch’s brain. And, believe it or not, some of the work of 80’s German minimalist art rock sensations, Trio. But comparisons aside, this stands on its own just fine. A trashy yet sophisticated rock and roll waltz? Si.

Spider Bags
“Que Viva El Rocanroll” (download mp3)
from “Goodbye Cruel World, Hello Crueler World”
(Birdman Records)
“Que Viva El Rocanroll” (play)
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What in Tarnation is a Bitter Rose?

Paula Frazer and Tarnation – “Bitter Rose” mp3

Here’s another Stellar track from Paula Frazer and Tarnation. I don’t know of another artist who brings such a fresh take on American country roots music, making a contemporary sound while quoting freely from any period or region of their choosing. Singer Frazer also happens to be a superb lyricist, a modern urban poet with old school songwriting chops, making them a potent creative force. I recently posted “Sleeping Dreams”, also from this  record, which has this Superfan’s highest recommendation. “Now It’s Time” is the first full length from this beloved San Francisco band in a decade, and it is a major, beautiful work. Enjoy.

Paula Frazer and Tarnation
“Bitter Rose” (mp3)
from “Now It’s Time”
(Birdman Records)

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Paula Frazer and Tarnation’s magnificent “Sleeping Dreams”

Paula Frazer and Tarnation – “Sleeping Dreams” mp3

This song is oober moving.  Simple.  Sometimes less is more. This sounds like something you’d hear at a good open mic.  You know.  That girl who walks onstage in a long dress and seems quite shy.  Maybe too shy to introduce herself… and all of a sudden she’s got a killer voice, and a great story to tell. If you’re wondering where the gr8 contemporary Americana is hiding, here it is. From their new album on Birdman Records, San Francisco’s Paula Frazer and Tarnation, with their shimmering, breathtaking, and redemptive original, “Sleeping Dreams.”

Paula Frazer and Tarnation
“Sleeping Dreams” (mp3)
from “Now It’s Time”
(Birdman Records)

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Bishop Perry Tillis’ Transcendent Gospel Blues

Bring it back! Bishop Perry Tillis lays it down for all the preachers out there who may talk the talk but not so much walk the walk. Recorded at his church in Samson, Alabama in 1972, here is a lesser known American blues great, who played Chicago blues circuit in the 1940s alongside Muddy Waters and Furry Lewis. When a revelation convinced him it was the devil’s music, he went back home to preach the gospel. All I know is, wherever the inspiration came from, his music is gr8. This whole CD is a joy. You can read more about it or order a hard copy at the Birdman Records website, or click here to buy the mp3s. Good ol’ soulful music.

Bishop Perry Tillis
“God don’t like it” (download mp3)
from “Too Close”
(Birdman Records)
God Don’t Like It (play)

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Apache – “Crystal Clear” (mp3)

Apache – “Crystal Clear” (mp3)

Texas/Bay Area band Apache‘s sound is pushing upstream in a time when many bands are trying to tattoo a new sonic marker in the rock n’ roll landscape. They write catchy garage rock gems in the 70s glam-rock tradition. You won’t find any traces of grad-school ideology in “Crystal Clear” as Apache celebrates teenage angst through the power of lo-fi rock n’ roll.

Find out more about Apache. Visit their artist page on their label, Birdman Records.

Beta Band Men Morphed To Magic Aliens

The Aliens – “Magic Man” mp3

The Aliens want to take you away. And from the sound of it, you prolly wanna go! Here’s some o’ their lovely psychedelic pop, to spring clean the stuff between your ears. Mmm, tastes like Beatles from their “Revolver” or “Magical Mystery Tour” era, with a blip-tronic drum twist and modern Brit-pop vocal treatments. Alumni of The Beta Band make up this playfully inventive crew, and they manage to bring everything plus the kitchen sink into this single, yet the composition still holds together beautifully. It sounds very much like their pretty flowery album cover looks. Run in the park barefoot and be happy.

The Aliens
“Magic Man” (mp3)
from “Luna”
(Birdman Records)

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Que viva el Spider Bags!

Excellent, trashy indie rock with a waltz beat from North Carolina’s own Spider Bags. This recording sounds as unpretentious and natural as a few guys bursting into song at a bar, but it’s also meticulously arranged and well performed. I love the talky-singy approach here, and the lyrics are superb. It’s a perfect marriage of professionalism and reckless abandon. And the chorus is glorious.

Spider Bags
“Que viva el rocanroll” (download mp3)
from “Goodbye Cruel World, Hello Crueler World”
(Birdman Records)
Que viva el Rocanroll (play)

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