Monday, May 19, 2008

Back online in a couple of weeks

The title says it all. In the meantime, one of my top-20 favorite songs ever (and definitely my favorite guitar intro ever):

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Breeders in Houston

The Breeders play The Meridian tomorrow night at 8:00pm (with opening act Colour Revolt), and I'm still on the fence about going. On the one hand, I'm not that familiar with their new album Mountain Battles (2008); on the other hand, I'm not that big a fan of The Meridian (the acoustics always sound shrill to me); and on the other hand, I'm feeling very lazy. But on the one hand, I've never seen The Breeders play live before (I've seen The Pixies, though), and on the other hand I really like Kim Deal. But on the other hand, Kelley Deal kind of sucks. But on the one hand, "Divine Hammer" is a great song. You see my predicament.

Monday, May 5, 2008

May I be weaved in your hair

One of my favorite songs of the last few years: Iron & Wine's "Love and Some Verses" (from one of my favorite albums of the last few years, Our Endless Numbered Days (2004)). I especially like the lyrics, which feature lines like: "Love is a dress that you made long to hide your knees" and "For your days and excitement, what would you keep for to wear? / Someday drawing you different, may I be weaved in your hair?" No idea what any of that means, but I like it. Here is the song accompanied by some dude's random video footage of his hands and feet and such. 

In addition to a pretty melody and a warm voice, I'm always a sucker for a nice, rolling kind of rhythm, which this song definitely has. You know what else I'm a sucker for? If you said "cats," give yourself a gold star!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

And the sky turns to fire, against the telephone wire

No two ways about it, this song by the excellent Patty Griffin is totally rad. A live version recorded from somebody's camera phone:

Davíd Garza is a cool dude

(David Garza at ACL Festival--photo by Steve Hopson)

About two years ago, in Rolling Stone's 1000th issue, Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament declared David Garza "one of the great unknown singer-songwriters out there."
David's obscurity is not universal, however. To those who went to college in Texas in the '90s,
David was a regular on the college party/club scene, touring relentlessly and pumping out album after album of extremely catchy pop melodies laced with an exuberant latin/world music rhythm. As proof of David's popularity in his hometown of Austin, in 1999 David was voted in the Austin Chronicle as the No. 2 Austin Musician of the Decade, behind only Stevie Ray Vaughn.

It was therefore always expected that David would one day take the radio charts by storm and become a national household name. But pop superstardom never happened for David. What occurred instead was a music career that evolved at its own steady pace, with brushes of fame here and there, but marked by a consistent output of great albums supported by constant touring. Along the way, David signed with Atlantic Records in 1998, had a single (the reggae-ish "Slave") on the soundtrack to the Gwyneth Paltrow-Ethan Hawke snoozer Great Expectations (1998), toured with various national acts such as Damien Rice and Fiona Apple, and regularly played the ACL Festival and SXSW. Although such moments never became turning points to superstardom for David, they also never seemed calculated to be such. Rather, it was always just David doing his thing: playing pop songs that make people bounce, regardless of the size of the venue.
This is true even when the show is in my living room. When I turned 30 a few years ago, David and his band played at my house, and it was completely boss. A couple pictures from that night:

One of the songs he played that night was "Discoball World," from 1998's This Euphoria. Here is the video for the song.

And here is a spotlight on David from HBO's music show Reverb, from roughly the same time: