Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Magnolia Electric Co. - "Josephine"

Somewhere along my musical journey, my Neil Young phase went from cool to perhaps cliche'. When Pearl Jam and Nirvana reigned during my college years, listening to Neil Young was another way to showcase to your friends a prowess of all things grunge. However, the coolness faded and his music became part of your typical playlist that can be heard on any Classic Rock radio station. Listening to Neil Young will never have the same impact on my ears as it did in the early 90's.

I mention this because Jason Molina, singer-songwriter and frontman of Magnolia Electric Co, has a voice and musical style which is eerily similar to Neil Young's. Before you assume that this would negatively affect my thoughts of Jason Molina, realize that it works in the exact opposite way. Jason Molina has always remained a very unique and ever-evolving artist. Yet, like with any good artist, the sound is always clearly identifiable as Jason Molina. Whether recording as Magnolia Electric Co. or formerly as Songs:Ohia, the fact remains that Jason Molina is a prolific songwriter who has a first-rate ability to blend the styles of lo-fi, folk, and alt-country. It is music that continues to provide the listener with added details on each successive listen. In 15 years, I foresee my ears still craving Jason Molina's music.

The new Magnolia Electric Co. album comes out in July and is titled Josephine. Here is the title track.

Magnolia Electric Co. - Josephine

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Wooden Birds

So I am driving home the other day and I hear this song on SiriXM U. The acoustic rhythm is laid back and the singer has a very subtle but cool voice. The steady beat is in no hurry to get anywhere and I don't mind. Part of the chorus is one of those "oh ohhh-oh ohhhh ohhhhhh" that always seem to get me. Right away this song has me hooked. When it was over I was immediately petitioning my brain to remember the band name. OK, I admit, this happens often for me with new music. But with this song my curiosity was very much rapt and I wanted some more. Here is the more:

The band is The Wooden Birds. They are led by singer-songwriter and former frontman of American Analog Set (aka AmAnSet), Andrew Kenny. The song is "Sugar" from their debut album, Magnolia. From The Wooden Birds website, "The arrangements on Magnolia are more vocal and percussion heavy than anything he's done before." This album is a keeper!

The Wooden Birds - Sugar

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Wilco - "Bull Black Nova"

Wilco. Wilco. Wilco. No, I am not singing the chorus to "Wilco (The Song)". Yes, Wilco is back with a new album, Wilco (The Album) due to release on June 30th and due to leak on...Well, maybe you should just find out for yourself.

Suffice it to say, Wilco's new song, "Bull Black Nova" is outstanding. Let's hope this points to Jeff Tweedy and the crew returning to the Wilco we (I) grew to love (e.g. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, A Ghost Is Born) rather than the somewhat predictable Wilco that all the 'critics' loved (Sky Blue Sky). Time will tell. Or perhaps, my ears are already letting me know.

For the time being, listen to Wilco's "Bull Black Nova" and let your ears provide you with your first clue.

I almost forgot this important tidbit! You can stream Wilco (The Album) for free at

Share your thoughts if you feel so led. Now.

Wilco - Bull Black Nova

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Grizzly Bear - "Two Weeks"

One band that continues to impress me more and more is Grizzly Bear. Their last album, Yellow House was an amazing listen and continues to reward to this day. For this reason, I am really anticipating the release of their third full-length album Vectamist.

The atmospheric nature of the songs is truly something to behold. I would highly recommend a nice set of cans (aka headphones) when listening to Grizzly Bear. Your ears will certainly thank you. Grizzly Bear's genre has been classified as many including lo-fi, anti-folk, and freak-folk. After now hearing three of the songs from Veckatimest, I anticipate this to be high on my list come the end of 2009. Oh by the way, one of the members of Grizzly Bear, Daniel Rossen (songwriting/guitar), is also a member of the excellent band Department of Eagles.

Veckatimest will be released on May 26th. Here is track number two from Veckatimest, "Two Weeks".

Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Woods - Rain on (Live Video)

Fresh out of hiatus, I am back with a strong recommendation for the band Woods. Woods is a lo-fi group I just discovered. I cannot say enough about their new album Songs of Shame...It is that good. I anticipate it will be in my top 3 of 2009.

The album really ingrains itself to you and you will find yourself wanting to hear it over and over again. I cannot sum up Woods sounds any better than this quote from Pitchfork: Woods created a distinctive blend of spooky campfire folk, lo-fi rock, homemade tape collages, and other noisy interludes, all anchored by deceptively sturdy melodies.

Seriously now, I am trying to figure out how I am now just hearing about these guys. Their two other albums are amazing too. Well have a listen. Also, check out the new lala player on the right side of the blog. In there you can check out some more songs by Woods. Lots of lo-fi ear candy!

Here is their song 'Rain On', performed live: