Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A-side/B-side week continues

If I wasn't afraid of Frank's corpse ordering a hit on me I might have started this post with a comment on Nancy Sinatra's continuing sex appeal. Jessica Simpson doesn't even compare to Nance in her prime. Not even close.

While These Boots Were Made For Walking is undoubtedly her biggest hit, ask any of the indie kids and they'll rave to you about Some Velvet Morning. Both Boots and Some Velvet Morning were written by Lee Hazelwood, the ex disc jock turned songwriter, who would deliver Nancy the breakthrough she always desired. On Morning they teamed up, trading verses over an ethereal sound that was a departure from their traditional, though something Hazlewood would expand on in his solo albums.

The single would reach as high as #26 on the Billboard 100 charts in February 1968.

The b-side to the single was Oh Lonesome Me. Another duet for the pair, it's a charming country ditty sung from the perspective of two lovers, freshly broken up from each other, sitting in on a Friday night bemoaning their heartache and wishing they could be out tearing it up and finding someone new like they presume their ex to be doing. Like I said, it's a charmer.

Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Oh Lonesome Me mp3 (sendspace file)
Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood - Some Velvet Morning mp3

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The National

Continuing A-side/B-side week....

The National appeared on many people's radars after 2005's Alligator. Their new puppy, The Boxer comes out next Tuesday on Beggars Banquet. I'm a relatively new fan of the band, only really getting into them the past two months.

First single Mistaken for Strangers pleases my ears. I'm becoming a big fan of Matt Berninger's lyrics. Quite rich and introspective.

B-side Blank Slate is a re-working of Alligator b-side Keep It Upstairs, which figures prominently in the chorus.

If you pre-order the album from Insound you should receive the 7-inch single. (while supplies last I imagine)

They are also streaming the whole album on their myspace. Go there for a preview. The band stops by the Opera House June 5th.

The National - Mistaken For Strangers
The National - Blank Slate mp3

Out today is Wilco's Sky Blue Sky. It's been getting fair reviews across the board, as well as one of the less than enthusiastic variety.

Wilco streamed the album a few times a couple months back before streaming the whole thing on demand for the last few weeks. On the eve of its release they offered this missive, imploring the fans to recognize the generosity of the act and buy the album despite it's status as easily attainable for free by now. I chose not to listen to the album prior to the release and would have bought the album regardless (no judgement on those who did, that's just how I roll these days) . This is the most intelligent response to early album leaking I've seen yet. We'll see if the strategy works. I'm sure there will still be many who will choose to enjoy their free copies, myself, If I could I would but I think I'd miss that little kick in my step as I walk to the record store on Tuesday. Not a lot of things in this world can beat it.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hey you're back

It has been roughly three weeks since I posted last. I traded roommate Luke for roommate Hawker family. That's right, this dear soldier traded in Collegetown, USA (Canada really) for the balmy locale of Barrie, Ontario AKA "The Gateway to the North."

The move home is meant as a temporary summer residence and I must say that despite the cramped quarters and hectic move it feels good to be home. I'm finally settled in (or close to) and finally felt the urge to post again after a relaxing weekend spent conspiring with old friends. Yesterday of course was Mother's Day , lest we forget. It also happened to be my sister Bethany's birthday. It was a special one for both in my eyes as it was the first time in memory that both days have fallen on the same. Seventeen years ago yesterday my sister Bethany was born on Mother's day. A special one then and now.

To get back into the blogger swing of things I'm thinking of doing an A-side/B-side week. I've been on a huge vinyl kick as of late and started picking up 45's and 7 inches. Speed City Records in London had a massive assortment of these and I spent a few afternoons in my last days in the city leafing through. My jaw dropped at some of the stuff I picked up. Some great Stones and Beatles finds that were a steal at 3/$1.00. It makes me miss London that much more when considering Barrie's criminal lack of decent record stores.

Moving on.... Today's featured artist is Arcade Fire. We all remember the hoopla leading up to Neon Bible's release. While it lacks the immediate jaw dropping appeal of Funeral, the album is no slouch either.

My favourite track as of late is Keep The Cars Running. I found myself at wit's end this week. With both my summer jobs falling through, facing a dwindling bank account and the stress of unpacking getting to me (among others) I found myself running to my car and hitting the gas and play at the same time. How literal of me.

The Keep the Car Running single was released last week stateside. Broken Window is the B-side. The Fire are in Toronto this Tuesday and Wednesday for a pair of highly anticipated and oh so Sold Out shows at Massey Hall. While I won't be in attendance unfortunately I have my memories of their epic concerts past to keep me warm at night. Enjoy!

Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running
Arcade Fire - Broken Window mp3