Something Old (Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers) & Something New (The Mad Caps & Triptides)

June 9, 2011

Happy Almost Friday my fellow music friends! Bruce from Some Velvet Blog here with another edition of Something Old & Something New. This week has been a great one on the interwebs with some fine new jams, so let’s get right to it:

Something New – Just in time for your summer mixtape, Indiana’s Triptides have a tasty new single out on Beachtapes that reminds me of the breezy AM pop of The Association, the earlier quaintness of Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers and – of course – the Beach Boys.

From Las Vegas come the garage rock/rockabilly/blues stylings of a duo called The Mad Caps. Their recent self-titled debut has been getting some mad spins around the Some Velvet Blog offices. Natch, they remind me a little of early Black Keys, but mostly I dig their Sun Records inspired Tav Falco/Jon Spencer Blues Explosion vibe.

Something Old – While we’re on the subject of Mr. Richman and the Modern Lovers, here’s a couple of my favorite early sides from an album that’s been long out of print and to this day remains one of my favorite by him.

Important In Your Life – Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Here Come The Martian Martians – Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers

Until next week…….

Something Old (Genesis) & Something New (Francis & The Lights)

June 3, 2011

Hey fellow music lovers. Bruce from Some Velvet Blog here. I am seriously late for my shift this week, but I think I got a good excuse. A couple months ago I decided it would be really cool for the radio station that I work at – WXPN to webcast the Roots Picnic tomorrow here in Philly. Crazy, right? With a main stage lineup that includes Little Dragon, The Dismemberment Plan, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Esperanza Spalding w/ the Roots, Wiz Khalifa and Nas w/ the Roots, I just had to lift this plane off the ground. So, needless to say, the week began and continued with hundreds of e-mails and logistics meetings and calls and ISDN line checks, and well, here it is, Friday nite. Now I am sure you haven’t all been waiting in front of your RSS readers waiting for this post to come through. That said though, I love to write this column each week and when I looked up from my computer today at work, to think for a moment about the shit I didn’t do this week, well, this was one of them. That said, here goes:

Something New: If you’re not familiar with Francis & The Lights you should be. Especially if you like any kind of soul music. Ever since I heard the first note of last year’s It’ll Be Better I’ve been a fan. Francis Farewell Starlight fronts the group of smooth operating electronic flavored blue-eyed soul men and as a producer he’s best known for the work he’s done with Drizzy Drake. Francis & The Lights recorded two new jams with Daniel and Andrew Aged of Inc. that are just great. You can download “Eiffel Tower” and watch the video below. And go here to grab “The Things That I Would Do.” You Weeknd fans are gonna love this.

Eiffel Tower – Francis & The Lights/Inc.

Something Old: I’ve been an ages long fan of Genesis both the Peter Gabriel era and the Phil Collins as lead singer era. While I’m fond of many of their albums, their 1977 live album, Seconds Out not only remains one of my favorite albums by them, but it’s one of my favorite all-time live records. Right up there with Little Feat’s Waiting For Columbus, Bob Marley, Live, Frampton Comes Alive, Europe 72 by the Dead, Skynyrd’s One More For The Road, The Who’s Live At Leeds, Ya-Ya’s by The Stones and the Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East. Here’s the Seconds Out version of “Dance On A Volcano,” followed by a video of a very young and beautiful Gabriel fronting Genesis on “The Musical Box.”

Dance On A Volcano – Genesis

Something Old (Lindsey Buckingham w/ Stevie Nicks) & Something New (Nightlands covers a Buckingham classic)

May 26, 2011

Greetings fellow music lovers. Bruce from Some Velvet Blog back with another edition of Something Old & Something New.

Time to rep a little for my hometown of Philly: Bassist and multi-instrumentalist Dave Hartley, AKA Nightlands has released two new cover songs that you can download here for free. On Covers Hartley recorded the Lindsey Buckingham ( of Fleetwood Mac) song “Trouble,” and Scott Walker’s “Big Louise,” originally on his album Scott 3. Dig into Nightland’s cover of “Trouble” below, then indulge yourself in some early Lindsey Buckingham from the album he did with Stevie Nicks, Buckingham Nicks, in 1973.

Don’t Let Me Down Again – Buckingham Nicks

Something Old (MC5, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Bobby Freeman) & Something New (Dawes)

May 19, 2011

Greetings fellow music lovers. Bruce from Some Velvet Blog back with another edition of Something Old & Something New. This time around, digging through the crates for the nuggets; some punk rock, some soul rock and some yacht rock. Bring it!

Something Old:
Looking At You – MC5
Four Piece Funky Nitty Gritty Junky Band – Bobby Freeman
So Into You – Atlanta Rhythm Section

Something New:

I know we got some Dawes fans out there so yeah, I’m psyched that they are releasing their sophomore album Nothing Is Wrong on June 7th. Check out these two live versions of new songs taken from this show they performed at Madison, Wisconsin’s Majestic Theatre.

Download: Fire Away – Dawes
Download: Little Bit Of Everything – Dawes

Something Old (The Isley Bros) & Something New (Mayer Hawthorne)

May 12, 2011

Hello music lovers and welcome to this week’s edition of Something Old & Something New. Bruce from Some Velvet Blog here; this week taking some inspiration from Mayer Hawthorne who just dropped a new free EP of six cover songs called Impressions. It features covers of songs by Chromeo, Electric Light Orchestra, Jon Brian, a couple of lesser known tunes and a classic from The Isley Brothers. Before we go any further though, make sure you download the EP here.

The song “Work To Do,” written by The Isley Bros was released in 1972 on their Brother, Brother, Brother. It almost reached Top 10 on the Billboard R&B charts and just missed the Top 50 Pop charts. While I was a fan of some of the early Isley’s singles, I came to the song when the Average White Band cut it for their incredible debut album – the record with their massive #1 hit song “Pick Up The Pieces” on it. Hawthorne came to the song, not through AWB, but The Isley Brothers. He says:

The song is originally by The Isley Brothers, and that’s the only version I was familiar with until we started playing it in our live shows and people would come up to us and say “hey, loved your cover of Average White Band!”.

Below, Hawthorne’s and The Isley Brothers versions of it, as well as a video of AWB from back in the day.

Work To Do – Mayer Hawthorne
Work To Do – The Isley Brothers

Something Old (Bay City Rollers, The Clash) & Something New (Shimmering Stars, Mount Moriah)

May 5, 2011

Hello music lovers and welcome to another edition of Something Old and Something New. Bruce from Some Velvet Blog here, your host for the post! Today, just some straight forward crate digging. Hope you enjoy some these jams.

Something Old
Rock And Roll Love Letter – Bay City Rollers
Last Gang In Town – The Clash

Something New

Lament – Mount Moriah

Something (somewhat slightly) Old (Sharon Van Etten) & Something New (Sharon Van Etten & Philly’s Hezekiah Jones)

April 28, 2011

Happy Day to you fellow music lovers! Bruce from Some Velvet Blog here with another edition of Something Old & Something New. Today I’m taking some editorial liberties and calling “Something Old” something that actually came out in January of 2010 by Sharon Van Etten. The Brooklyn songstress cut a session for a non-profit new music project I am involved with here in Philly with the radio station I work at (WXPN called Shaking Through. Shaking Through is a collaboration between XPN and Weathervane Music. Since January 2010 (like ten years ago in internet time) we launched the program as a way to showcase new and emerging musicians. Sharon was the perfect inaugural artist for the project and we all knew then – way before her album Epic was released – what the hype was going to be all about. In fact, Epic came out about 8 months after she cut this song at Miner Street Studios in Philly. It’s the song “Love More” that wound up being on Epic.

Of course I think that Sharon’s recording of this song and work with the project was a pivotal moment in her career which led to Epic and which begat the well deserved praise she so deserves particularly coming out of SXSW three months after she did this session. And then some. So, while we are all amazed and exciting by her continued success we look forward to hearing Something New from her work with Aaron Dessner of The National.

While we wait for that though, the last few days saw Sharon’s cover of the Glass Ghost song “Like A Diamond” from their Idol Omen album hit the interwebs.

Here ya go:
Download: Like A Diamond – Sharon Van Etten

Finally, speaking of Shaking Through, you can go here to listen to music recorded for the project from bands like Twin Sister, Reading Rainbow, Ben & Vesper, A Classic Education, La Big Vic, and more. Some of these sessions were curated by Scott McMicken of Dr. Dog, Mark from YVYNYL and Peter Silberman of the Antlers who curated a session with Port St. Willow. The latest episode of Shaking Through is from Philly’s Hezekiah Jones, the indie-folk-singer-songwriter collective fronted by Raphael Cutrufello that I (full disclosure here) had the pleasure of curating. Check out the song below, but make sure you watch the video of how Raph is working on the score to The Bride of Frankenstein, of which this song was written and recorded for.

Until next week, to quote the Geator With The Heator: remember to “keep on rockin’ cause you only rock once.”

Something Old (T Rex) & Something New (Ty Segall)

April 21, 2011

Hello Music Lovers! Bruce from Some Velvet Blog back again with another edition of Something Old & Something New.

Of the many cool special releases for this year’s Record Store Day was a 6 song EP by San Fran rockers Ty Segall called Ty Rex. The band didn’t go for the obvious T Rex classix on this; instead they opted for some lesser know jams including “Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart” (see below), “Buick Mackane,” “The Slider,” and “Elemental Child.” TS totally nail the T Rex vibe on their 12″ with some fuzzy and scuzzy readings of these Marc Bolan gems. Below, a couple of original T Rex tunes to make it complete.

Download: The Slider – Ty Segall

Ty Segall: “Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart” (T. Rex Cover) by alteredzones

Download: 20th Century Boy – T Rex
Download: Baby Boomerang – T Rex

Ty Rex is available for purchase here

Something Old (Neil Young) & Something New (Teen Daze, Foxes In Fiction & Vacation cover Neil Young)

April 14, 2011

Hello Music Lovers! Bruce from Some Velvet Blog here with another edition of Something Old & Something New. This week: It’s all about one of my favorite all time musicians, Neil Young. When it comes to covering Neil Young songs, you really can’t fuck around. In fact, you better not. And if you do, you better nail it. Yesterday the interwebs were all abuzz about this new collection of Neil Young covers called Headed For The Ditch: A Tribute To Neil Young that was posted on Universal Electricity. It’s available as a free download here and I have to say that it’s worth checking out. As big a Neil fan as I am, there’s nothing on this collection that will disappoint. In fact, there’s some stand out covers of some of Neil’s classics and lesser know tunes on it. Some of the songs, like Vacation’s cover of “Barstool Blues” (originally on Zuma), Teen Daze’s cover of the title track to “Harvest Moon,” Kind Spirit’s version of “Lotta Love,” (from Neil’s album Comes A Time) and Foxes In Fiction’s “Tell Me Why” (from the awesomely classic After The Goldrush album) are fantastic.

If you’re a Neil Young fan, you should absolutely check out this tribute. Even if you aren’t you should step in to the genius of the Neil Young songbook with these interpretations. Below, something old from the Master himself from an album still not available on CD (and one of favorite Neil albums – along with On The Beach), Time Fades Away, followed by a few covers from the tribute.

Hey hey my my. Rock and roll will never die.

Download: Time Fades Away – Neil Young

Download: Harvest Moon – Teen Daze
Download: Tell Me Why – Foxes In Fiction

Something Old (Booker T.) and Something New (Booker T.) from Some Velvet Blog

April 7, 2011

Hello fellow music lovers. Bruce from Some Velvet Blog here, this time reporting from Ireland where I’m currently traveling around the country. So in between kissing the Blarney Stone and taking in the Ring of Kerry on the Western coast of Ireland, I’m squeezing in a quick post this week – Something Old & Something New from the legendary soul music icon Booker T

The Road From Memphis is the new album from the legendary Booker T. It’s being released on May 10th on Anti Records and was produced by Jones with The Roots’ ?uestlove and Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliot Smith). The album was recorded by Daptone Records’ Gabriel Roth with backing by The Roots and guest vocals from Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Lou Reed and a special appearance by Detroit’s legendary guitarist Dennis Coffey. The song below “Representing Memphis” features Matt Berninger of the National and Sharon Jones on vocals.

“Representing Memphis”
Booker T. Jones – Representing Memphis (feat. Matt Berninger and Sharon Jones) by antirecords

With new music on the way from Booker T, we can’t forget his incredible contributions to soul and R&B and rock & roll music with the MG’s both on their own on classic songs like “Green Onions” & “Hip Hug Her,” as well as being the house band for Stax Records and playing on many of those massive timeless hits by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, the list goes on and on and on. Below – one of those classics, the original version of “Time Is Tight,” and the cover of it by the Clash.

Download: Time Is Tight – Booker T. & The MG’s

Something Old (The Monkees cereal box 45) and Something New (Vex Ruffin’s 45 postcard) from Some Velvet Blog

March 31, 2011

Hello rockers and rollers! Bruce from Some Velvet Blog back again with the weekly installment of Something Old & Something New.

Back in the days when I was a teenager, before I had status and before I had a pager, record companies used to put 45RPM singles on the back of cereal boxes. They were the precursor to the flexi-discs one would find on music fanzines back in the day. According to the The Internet Museum of Flexi/Cardboard/Oddity Records these cereal box records “you actually had to cut from the box. There are many others that were included inside the box or were sent away for with proofs of purchase as a special offer. These were manufactured first on Wheaties boxes in the 1950′s.”

What got me remembering some of these cereal 45′s was this new 45RPM postcard single of the song “I’m Losing Control” by Vex Ruffin on Stones Throw. It’s quite a novel idea. As the Stones Throw folks say about their 45RPM postcard: One side plays the song on any turntable. The other side uses a postage stamp.

Download: I’m Losing Control – Vex Ruffin

Back to the cereal boxes which I remember had 45′s by bands like The Archies, The Sugar Bears, The Banana Splits, the Dave Clark Five and 60′s teen heartthrob Bobby Sherman on them. The Monkees were cereal box favorites. This article offers a near complete history of The Monkees 45RPM cereal box records that their label Colgems put on Post cereal boxes. Below, one of those classic Monkees cereal box cuts.

Download: Mary Mary – The Monkees

Something Old (Guy, Jodeci & Boyz II Men) & Something New (The Weeknd) from Some Velvet Blog

March 24, 2011

Hey y’all. Welcome to another weekly edition of Something Old & Something New. I’m your host Bruce Warren from Some Velvet Blog. This week we connect the dots between new R&B and old R&B and we start off with Something New that I’ve had on repeat since I downloaded it a few days ago. The band are called The Weeknd, a Toronto R&B project featuring singer Abel Tesfaye who’ve been getting mad blog props for their debut, House Of Balloons which is available for download for free right here. This is some serious post-Drake shit; all moody and sexy and chocolate. From the first song to the last, the debut is an infectious beauty of soul and R&B that pays debts to the past yet sounds so tomorrow.

Download: Wicked Games – The Weeknd

For me, The Weeknd’s jams are so evocative cause they bring me back to Something Old – the now classic sides of Teddy Riley, Aaron Hall and Timmy Gatling of the late 80′s/early 90′s new jack Guy 90′s sexy bad boyz Jodeci and “I’ll Make Love To You,” by Boyz II Men. So, after you download The Weeknd’s debut album here, turn down the lights, grab your partner and kick out some of these jams. Time to sex it up.

Download: I Like – Guy

Some Old (The Flatlanders) & Something New (The Paperhead) from Some Velvet Blog

March 17, 2011

Welcome to the special SXSW edition of Something Old and Something New from Some Velvet Blog, coming to you live from Austin, Texas.

Photo by Steve Gullick

For Something Old this week, I’ve dug through the crates for this classic from The Flatlanders the legendary trio of Butch Hancock, Joe Ely and long time Austin resident Jimmie Dale Gilmore. The song comes from their classic roots record More A Legend Than A Band that was originally recorded in 1971 and properly released in 1992.

Download: Tonight I Think I’m Gonna Go Downtown – The Flatlanders

Something New this weeks from the psychedelic young-uns from Nashville who call themselves The Paperhead. Their self-titled debut album comes out next week (March 22nd) on Trouble In Mind Records. I’ll cut to the chase here: they treat Sixties psychedelia with respect. They draw on Nuggets, garagedelia, early Floyd, some Spacemen 3 and Incredible String Band with some great jams. Where Australia’s modern-day psychers Tame Impala throw down the rock, The Paperhead – barely out of their teens, create a complimentary mixed bag of indie-psych that you should add to your collection.

Download: Can’t Keep My Eyes Open – The Paperhead

Something Old (The Frost) & Something New (Still Corners) from Some Velvet Blog

March 10, 2011

Hello fellow music lovers from a rainy Philadelphia. Ah, but the rain is just a slight distraction from the business at hand – music discovery! And also the fact that I’m pretty freaking psyched to be heading down to SXSW next week. That said, on with the show, this is it.

For Something Old, we set the Wayback machine to 1969 for the garage rock Motor City classic “Rock And Roll Music” by The Frost a band from Alpena, Michigan led by guitarist, singer and songwriter Dick Wagner.

Wagner is still kicking strong and while you may not know his name or this band, you’ve definitely heard some of his co-writes and guitar playing on more than a handful of classic rock and roll records. You all know that song “Welcome To My Nightmare” by Alice Cooper? Wagner co-wrote it and played on and co-wrote many songs with Cooper. Wagner has recorded with many folks including Peter Gabriel, Etta James, Kiss (that’s Wagner on “Beth,”) and (gulp) Air Supply. You know that intro guitar intro to “Sweet Jane” on Lou Reed’s Rock And Roll Animal> (one of the greatest live rock albums EVAH) That’s Wagner with Steve Hunter dueling it out. Wagner also played on Reed’s Berlin. If there was a Motor City Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, Wagner would be in it.

This song below, “Rock And Roll Music” (not a cover of the Chuck Berry song) is the title song from The Frost’s second album, released on Vanguard Records in 1969. Hard to believe this crazy rock music was released by the same label who at the time were also putting out records by Joan Baez, John Fahey and Buddy Guy. Damn.

Download: Rock And Roll Music – The Frost

For Something New, I have to give a shout to one of my favorite “new” discoveries from the last six months or so, the London-based Still Corners featuring singer Tessa Murray, and main songwriter Greg Hughes. A couple of days ago I was excited to hear that the band have signed with Sub Pop. This past summer the band received a bit of that hipster blog buzz and when I first heard them, I fell in love (and am still in love) with their “Endless Summer” single. It’s exciting to hear they have joined the Sup Popster roster. File under: Dreampop w/ a cherry on the top. There’s a lot to like love about this band.

Download: Endless Summer – Still Corners

Something Old & Something New from Some Velvet Blog

March 3, 2011

Hello music loving citizens of the world. It’s an absolute privilege and pleasure to be a part of the PCC along with so many music bloggers whose passion for music is so infectious and inspiring. I’m absolutely ecstatic to be sharing something old and something new with you each week.

The quick intro: My name is Bruce Warren. I’ve been blogging since 2005 at Some Velvet Blog. I tumbl here and tweet here probably way too much than I should. When I’m not rocking the jams on the interwebs, my other full time job is at WXPN a public radio station in Philly that plays music, and lots of it. At the station I’m the dude in charge of all of the local and national programming (we produce an NPR show called World Cafe) and all the digital/social media stuff. I do have the greatest job in the world. With that out of the way we shall proceed with the music.

For Something Old this week, I turn to the canon of hip-hop and give you the original song that Wu-Tang sampled in the classic “C.R.E.A.M.”

Like many of you, I love to collect and track down the originals of songs and make mix tapes. Crate digging for original songs is an obsession for many. Many a music fan and musician base their lives on it and when you hear an original song it opens you up to new worlds of musical discovery. Case in point here is with the 1967 song R&B song called “As Long As I Got You” by The Charmels. The all-girl group recorded a handful of songs for Stax-Volt in the Sixties and this one is the total jam.

As Long As I’ve Got You – The Charmels

For my inaugural Something New post I’m gonna play the local card which I promise not to take advantage of too often. But all I can say is that for the last few years the Philly music scene has been on fire. Dr. Dog, Sun Airway, Free Energy, Creepoid, Hoots & Hellmouth, Amos Lee, Hezekiah Jones, Kurt Vile, War On Drugs, Reading Rainbow; this short list of bands are just the beginning of the radness going on here. Of course, we still got The Roots and Schoolly D and the Dead Milkmen and (even, yes) The Hooters.

For the new, I bring you Work Drugs, chill wave yacht rockers who tip their hats to Steely Dan, Christopher Cross and Michael McDonald with suave grooves. The duo of Thomas Crystal and Benjamin Louisiana (with smooth-fi vocals from Joan Wellfleet) have three singles out and in April they head out on tour opening up for Two Door Cinema Club. Go here to their SoundCloud to download a couple tunes. Right below, enjoy “Rad Racer” which plays a little bit more like Roxy Music and 10CC than Steely Dan, but I think you’ll get the point once you dig in.

Rad Racer – Work Drugs

Hope you enjoy the music. Once I figure out how to make one of those paper cranes, I’ll be representin’ the arts.