Don’t let anybody fool you. There are fresh notes being threaded into songs everyday. This week, they come from as far away as Sweden with The Amazing, to Bob Dylan re-imagining Frank Sinatra (verdict: gorgeous, late night listening, and more on that later), to inventive sounds continuing to be offered on the platter by our Northwest corner of the world.
I don’t play favorites (well, actually we ONLY play favorites here) but I wanted to alert you to Balto. They just really blew my mind this week. Just confirms, music is good in this little town. Take a look/see at the new single, “Saints & Crows”, and you will agree. The galloping rhythms, the casual cool (especially agreeable), and that piano!
Rob Rainwater is representing with another finally-crafted song in the library! Don’t miss Rob’s show on Monday mornings (PST) on PRP.fm. (By the way, shout out to to our newest musical show-off, Michele Van Kleef. She brings a world of knowledge and compassion of the scene to you. Tune in to the stream Mondays from 10a-noon).
You will also be hearing a new Death Cab for Cutie. Sure. They are from Bellingham, but am sort of following the paradigm of being in the region, so you’re in. Not Portland, but out of the Northwest.
Still staying in Portland, an LA band that got brought to my attention via the Super Groovy Cosmic Bus’ Heather. She was a guest in with Robert and Olya this past week. The Electric West got in touch with me and you will hear a song called “Portland”. They love it here more than anywhere though LA is home. Think, Robert Smith’s The Cure sound. Very 80’s. I make them honorary “locals to Portland”.
More Portland. Jack White is heavy in the news now and one of THE most creative and entertaining artists out there. He’s done huge Madison Square Garden shows in NY that have been mind-blowing earlier this month. And he just had a reunion with Loretta Lynn in Nashville. The song “Portland, Oregon” was on a 2004 album produced for her by Jack. Here’s an elucidating piece from Willamette Week on it.
And they redid it the other day when Loretta opened for Jack in Nashville. THAT is Jack White all over. From hip hop like Run the Jewels to Loretta. No fear. I put in the original song to our playlist. Jack is shredding all over it.
Other Points of Interest
- Royale is an amazing prog-rockish outfit from Chicago. It might make you wish you have a Jeb Bush-type as your dorm mate at Andover or wherever.
- The Amazing is from Sweden. The Scandinavians are doing some crazy stuff these days in music. A lot of it is in the metal genre. This group is more like an indie thoughtful sort. Listen for their song “Picture You”.
- And finally Sam Smith. He, including Hozier, are among the big names to watch at Grammys. I knew from the minute I heard Sam last year, he has IT. Apparently he also had some of the structural bits of Tom Petty’s I WON’T BACK DOWN. Here’s a very chill comment from TP. Check out a fun mashup of both songs.
- On “stealing bits” my personal feeling is, even George Harrison had to answer to a classic: “He’s So Fine vs his “Sweet Lord”… While George was actually familiar with that song, Sam says he had never heard Tom’s. But check this out, right?
In closing, there are only so many notes and and only so many ways to bend them, in this world. Some of our favored-status artists continue to explore new roads, among them is mos def, Bob Dylan and his Frank Sinatra “cover album”. It is NOT a cover album, but a deep dive into notes and moods and words. More on that next week. In the meantime, HERE is a Rolling Stone review to check out on the just -released “Shadows in the Night”.