So, the new METZ video for “Get Off” rules pretty hard.
We are two long time friends and life long music listeners who co-curate a music blog. We post whatever the heck we want. New. Old. Rare. Pop. Open ears. Opine. Ears. You get it.
New - Treetop Flyers - Things Will Change
This one has been creating some cognitive dissonance in me for the last 24 hours or so. As a hard and steady rule, I’m officially fed up with the harmonized modern indie folk. Have been for awhile, I think most of us are.
But back in early May, “Things Will Change”, the lead single and opening track from Treetop Flyers full length debut, The Mountain Moves, came across the mega-playlist. I kind of loved it in spite of myself, the verse and intro reminded me of America’s “Ventura Highway”. (It’s not all quite this derivative). Of all those seventies folk rock groups, America is far and away my favorite. Unfortunately, it was the only song off the album available on Spotify in the states, an all-to-frequent problem with an internationally curated playlist. So periodically over the last couple of months, I’ve been checking to see if the rest of the album is available, it hasn’t been. It STILL isn’t, actually.
Yesterday, I happened to be checking Facebook, a bad habit I’ve been trying to break, and Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco page, of all places, had posted the full-length stateside premiere of the record. So my guess is this is going to blow up in due time, and it should be interesting to gauge whether I’m still into this record when exposure hits a saturation point. I’ve stuck by Macklemore, let’s see if I can hang with Treetop Flyers in a genre I have a little less patience for.
The story is familiar. Like many of today’s most popular indie folk/Americana acts, Treetop Flyers hail from overseas, well 80% overseas, the London five piece includes an American-born drummer. But their sound is distinctly that of a seventies band from California, where this album was recorded (California, not the 70’s, that would be nuts.) Rock music fueled by country and folk sounds, lead singer Reid Morrison brings a surprising amount of soul to the table, with the combination of a little more swagger to the songwriting, is what distinguishes this band from some of their more insufferable contemporaries.
I feel a little dirty endorsing this one, and feel even worse saying that. But the simple fact is, this album is inescapable for me right now, and if you have the courage, go to the Team Coco site and grab a listen for yourself. - MO
Missing Persons - Destination Unknown
Originally this post was going to be pretty self serving, as this song just popped into my head randomly and I thought to myself “who in the hell sang this song?” Destination Unknown is a stand out 80s track, it’s relatively simple, a little bit strange and only sort of what I would call new wave. What else did Missing Persons sing besides this song? Before I would’ve said, “does it even matter?” but after learning more about singer Dale Bozzio (yes, that’s right a gal named Dale) I’d say that Missing Persons, and furthermore singer Dale Bozzio DOES matter.
The first thing that I thought of was that Dale looks like Lady Gaga AGES before Lady Gaga was Lady Gaga. Her skin tight pleather outfit, accented with white fur and flecks of pink in her outrageously teased hair.
Clearly someone else thought so too.
Clearly Bozzio was ahead of the curve.
Then I discovered this awesome fact. Dale Bozzio met Frank Zappa sometime in the late 70s. Zappa hired her to voice the role of Mary for his rock opera Joe’s Garage, and she continued to contribute vocals on a few other tracks throughout the late 70s. Terry Bozzio was the long time drummer for Zappa, and Dale met Terry while she was working with Zappa. After their tenure with Zappa ended, they formed Missing Person’s together. And that, my friends, is history. As she states as she played Mary “Music is the Best.” -a
Imitation Lunch - Soundgarden - Big Bottom & Earache My Eye (Spinal Tap and Cheech & Chong covers, respectively)
Yesterday I felt the need to listen to Soundgarden’s Superunknown. This album was my first exposure to this band, as so many of us had heard their songs on alternative radio back in the 90s. As I drove to the grocery store, I wondered to myself why the hell hadn’t I ever karaoke’d to Black Hole Sun. I’d kill it.
So I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Soundgarden since then (as if it’s been so long it’s been about 15 hours). As I took to the internet this morning to figure out what I was going to post, I ventured to see who’s covered Soundgarden. Of note, Cibo Matto covers Black Hole Sun, it’s very unlike the original. Very dreamy, but not enough *umpfh* to dedicate a post to here. There’s also a loud as heck cover of Jesus Christ Pose done by Dillinger Escape Plan, but I know very little about them, and didn’t want to feel like some phony hack posting that one either.
I’m so happy though because I came across this incredible recording of Soundgarden covering two of my Dad’s favorite comedy acts of all time; fictitious rock band Spinal Tap and Cheech & Chong. Yes, my dad was super cool but also an unassuming hippie and this is why I am super cool. If only youtube was around in the early 90s, and I could play him this. He’d love it, though he’d probably complain that he’d prefer to hear Stonehenge and the whole accompanying charade. He’d probably suggest we put on some Zappa after this, of which I would happily oblige.
The Big Bottom cover is decidedly the best and most accurate cover of the two. But damn is Earache My Eye loud and awesome. Sure they omitted the horns and all that, but dude (Hiro Yamamoto?) is really sludging up that bass line to compensate.. And the way this hard edged comedic interlude of their set ends leaves you devastated. I can’t even imagine what it was like being in the audience for that show. Furthermore, I can’t imagine it because I was ten at the time. -a
New - Har Mar Superstar - Lady, You Shot Me
I’ve seen Har Mar Superstar’s name all over the place for years, but never really gave Sean Tillman a shot until very recently. Which is a stupid stupid shame, because Tillman has got some pipes and from what I can surmise, he’s an incredible performer too. He was the frontman for Sean Na Na, and he’s even got his own podcast on Earwolf called Nocturnal Emotions in which he interviews musicans and actors, with a focus on weird or embarassing stories from their lives. So why haven’t I listened to Har Mar Superstar before? I must be some kind of maroon.
Now I am not really in any position to draw comparisons of his latest release, Bye Bye 17,to his previous efforts. These are virgin ears he’s penetrating, but boy does it start off strong with the lead single, Lady, You Shot Me. It’s a modern hat tip to old school r&b, complete with a soulful horn section as suport. We Don’t Sleep sounds like it was ripped from the pages of a Tom Jones songbook, but with Ted Leo singing. It’s like a real cool funky Northern soul song, but you’re wearing a lot less clothes. Prisoner is in a similar vein, if not a little bit more on the funky disco tip; that bass is the sex. It features Fabrizio Moretti (drummer for the Strokes), second strongest song on the album for sure.
Moretti’s appearance is hardly a random guest spot, as Bye Bye 17 was released on Strokes signer Julian Casablancas’s label Cult Records. Don’t let all the Stroking put you off though, Bye Bye 17 is a total romp. I’ll be paying much more attention to Sean Tillman from here on out, that’s for sure. This album fell into my lap with precision timing for the summer. -a