Recently I was surprised by how much I liked The Byrds. I always thought of them as a clean cut, British invasion-y, Bob Dylan obsessed rock band, but after hearing This song and 8 Miles High I’m really digging their psychedelic twang.
The Ill-Fated Voyage of Mermaid Blonde is an absolutely magical album home recorded by Austinite, Paul Brinkely. I saw them at a chance house show (cruelly cut short by the FUZZ) and unfortunately I can’t find where to buy it anywhere. So beautfully melancholic.
I just found out about Lester Brown’s music through his collaboration project with Mickey Mickey Rourke aka Mickey Brown. All three projects are absolutely fantastic and worth your time but I thought I’d give Lester a shout out since I haven’t seen as much posted about his stuff.
These songs have a really exciting quality about them that is hard to put my finger on. I definitely felt it on early Black Moth Super Rainbow albums and perhaps elements of the first Small Black album. Perhaps it is organic dance music? The music is warm and enveloping instead of using the cold, calculated sounds that kids and computers seem to be spitting out this day and age. Is it the sound of SOUL POWER?!
Sometimes It is hard for me to get excited about new music but I love these guys.
download Lester Brown’s EP from his last.fm page (for free)
R. Crumb and his “Keep on Truckin’ Orchestra” - River Blues
I finally got a chance to listen to the R. Crumb Music Sampler that Seedy posted. Knowing Crumb’s work I was sure it was going to be entertaining but I was not expecting the musicians to be so talented. This is a legitimately great old-timey country album.
Also of note, R. Crumb’s Heroes of Bluesseries is not only visually awesome but also a great way to learn about a lot of the early delta blues guys that no one really knows about.
If you spend as much time on music sites as I do you were probably really surprised and saddened by the news that Delicious Scopitone as we know it is no more. I felt a strangely powerful sense of loss when I heard the news so I thought I’d write some words.
I was enjoying D/S long before I was making music under the name mutual benefit. When they first started they were putting up really beautiful songs that no one else was covering. Also the descriptions (even through google translate) were often just as poetic and unpredictable as the music. I think they really turned a lot of people on to the idea that writing about and sharing music can be a form of art too.
The Yellow Elephant song above (posted about a year ago I think) is probably my favorite song they posted. It is so fragmented and vulnerable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this band mentioned anywhere else.
When I did start making music (that I liked) I sent the EP to D/S as a long shot. I was sure they were too big to listen to a record from a nobody. I remember literally jumping for joy when I saw they posted it. It was in big part because of them that a lot of people heard my songs. Since then I have had the privilege of getting to know Emmanuel personally and seeing his goofy side. He seems very warm and eager to support artists.
Altered Zones posted a really fantastic interview with Emmanuel that really hit on a variety of things that I have been feeling a lot this year. He spoke of getting enough readers and attention that “the blog didn’t feel like his own anymore”. As a writer or musician or whatever I think it is very difficult to seperate what you want to create versus what your audience expects of you. The more people listening and commenting the harder it is to find who you are, I think.
Another thing he mentions is leaving the virtual world temporarily to reconnect with “what’s real” so he can return to it with pleasure instead of obligation. I think that is a very powerful and important thought. In fact, over the summer I went through a very similar struggle.
On my bandcamp it says Spider Heaven was “written in the midst of an existential crisis” that idea was one of the very things that was driving me crazy. I definitely don’t think the internet is a bad thing but I had to relearn to take walks instead of just looking at flickr and listen to records with friends instead of just reading music blogs and reading books instead of just scanning articles. Not to sound cliche but I really think there is a difference between fulfillment and distraction. It seems the web can help achieve both depending on how its used but it has a bias towards distraction if you’re not careful.
The more I ponder the important matters of life the more I come to the conclusion that it is all about keeping things in balance. It sounds like perhaps that is also the thing Emmanuel is hoping to find too. Maybe I am totally wrong in my analyzing but regardless of what his inner struggle is I wish him and the whole D/S crew the best of luck in finding what they are looking for. They worked very hard, went against the grain, and made an important and beautiful site that highly influenced me and surely countless other young’uns.