Things a music lover should own part one…

Let this be the first in a series of posts that contain images of records you should own.
When I was a kid and I’d go to Waxie Maxies or eventually better record stores and I’d buy a record based on cover art alone. I think that’s how I bought “Back from Samoa” by the Angry Samoans.
Not sure how I feel about the roullette method of buying records now, aside from the fact that I think its cool to take a chance on art catching your eye.

Alex Chilton and Billy Cobham are both pretty cool.

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The Sadies

Dallas Good

I'm not sure if there is anything better in rock music than the Sadies. They first came into my ears in 1999 when they were still releasing music on Bloodshot Records. Their fierce take on surf and country was, at least to me, the best thing going. I don't like top 40. I'm over classic rock, and I've never been a fan of anything watered down and geared toward the masses. For someone that grew up listening to rock radio and all the ilk that comes with it, from Styx to the same handful of Rolling Stones songs that are shoved down your throat until the discovery of college rock and its wealth of wonderful 1980's obscurity, The Sadies were exactly what I needed to continue distancing myself from the crap that is such a major part of the worlds output of music.
50 second blasts of hyper tempo reverb drenched surf guitar, paired with psychedelic country music and garage laced noise were the bulk of their first three records. The move to Yep Roc Records in 2002 was, thankfully more of the same.
They remain capable of being a commanding headliner, or a respectful backing band for the indie circuit; Neko Case, Jon Langford, Jon Doe and even R and B senior citizen and ex-con Andre Williams have all claimed them as their own.
It took me years to finally see them. Shows in Denver always came at odd times; I was either out of the state, leaving the state, or just returning. November of 2011 finally gave me the opportunity to see them in Northern Virginia. I was filled with a hype from friends and acquaintances that they were worth whatever cheap ticket price came with their name, and after one song I was sold and decided that if The Sadies were ever going to be within a 500 mile distance of wherever on Earth I may be, I'd be there.
They've out-played and out-classed just about every other band I've seen. They carry a sense of grace found in modern country, from devil stitched nudie suits to the warm regard for the audience found in modern bluegrass, to the rowdy and recklesness put forth by modern day garage bands half their age. If they're playing an original they're leaving it all on stage; if they choose to play a cover it's something you've likely never heard by a cover band. Every studio release is as good as their last, and I count the days for when the next one is released.
I highly encourage you to support the Sadies, or if perhaps you like to continue to listen to that Blind Melon record over and over, well that's your choice. Big Mac's really aren't that good.
The photo of Dallas Good was taken by me at Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn New York in June 2012.

Purchase their 2010 release "Darker Circles" and other fine recordings by The Sadies by clicking the image below. You won't regret it.

Buy Sadies stuff here

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Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963

sam-cookeKDUR Radio in Durango Colorado featured this release this morning. I've owned this CD for about a decade, having purchased it after my friend Ted sold me on its brilliance about a decade ago. Many of you may have been turned onto Sam Cooke when his song "What a Wonderful World" was featured in the cafeteria scene in the film "Animal House." You remember, John Belushi as John "Bluto" Blutarsky was walking through the line of food stacking his tray to the gills while also helping himself to sandwiches and jello as if he hadn't eaten in at least an hour. He was eating like a drunken idiot at a Denny's at 3 a.m.
To me this remains in the top 5 of live releases ever. Its missing from Rolling Stones list of top live albums of all time, which in my opinion discredits RS even more now as a music magazine than it already is.
This release showcases Cooke as more than a pop crooner. He's a showman; a confident frontman and band leader, leaving just about everything he has where it belongs. On stage.
For those of you not in the know you'll give this a listen and realize you know more of Cookes music than you thought. For my money this ranks right up there with "Live at Leeds" and "The Last Waltz" as a must own live release.

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Happy New Year!


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Devin Davis Lonely People of the World Unite

“Lonely People of the World Unite” by Devin Davis will forever remain in my top 5 of favorite pieces of recorded music.

devin davis

It all began in 2005, when the world had a thing called “magazines.” These were booklets of varied length, that contained articles and advertisements that pertained to a particular subject, that one could either buy idividually at a store or news-stand, or you could subscribe to them. This meant you would pay a particular amount, and the United States Postal Service would deliver these “magazines” to you on a regular basis. Maybe once a month, or perhaps bi-monthly.

For the record, magazines in paper form are way cooler than magazines in web form. Flipping the pages, and jumping around from article to article for me is a much more entertaining and informative way of reading than pointing and clicking.

Back then my place of employment had a subscription to a magazine called The College Music Journal, or “CMJ” for short. This magazine is the periodical most great radio stations report to, sending in a weekly “most played” list that helps bands make the “most played” charts. Think American Top 40 but much cooler. It also contains loads of previews; if a band is written about in this rag it most likely is more than a release pushed toward the Jimmy Buffett crowd. One particular issue had a preview of something from a guy named Devin Davis. What struck me was the fact that is was this Chicago musicians debut, and it was recorded over a handful of years in the  studio where Davis worked. This labor intensive recording was put together mostly by the lone musician in the late hours, with Davis serving as band, producer and engineer. He’s credited with vocals, guitar, bass, drums, saxophone, organ, piano, percussion, theremin, trumpet, trombone, giant gong, writing, recording, and mixing between 2001 and 2003. That makes the record ten years old, although its release wouldn’t come until 2005.

Christ lets get to it. After reading about Davis in CMJ, the record came to KDUR. It instantly became a staff favorite. It’s combination of garage rock, stadium anthems, ballads, pop, and hook laden rock music playing like a rock opera has remained a staple in my collection. Two years after its release I found a copy of the CD on sale at Twist and Shout in Denver. The now out of print CD is priced anywhere between $30 and $70 on Amazon. I’d love to have it on vinyl. I don’t think that’s an option.

I can honestly say I listen to this record more than anything that has been on my year end favorites list since 2005.

Since its release Davis’s website has mentioned his sophomore effort due in 2007. Since 07 has come and gone that same website mentions his next release being done “by the holidays.” The ambiguous web presence leaves little information about Davis. No regular shows around Chicago, no appearances with other bands, and no mentions of when his next release will drop.

Many of you may say my review of this is nonsense, the record isn’t as good as “Rumours,” or I’m just some music snob with too much time on my hands. Fine. Dig on this if you want and if you’re over Mumford and Sons.

Click the image below to purchase and make your music collection WAY cooler.

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Favorite Records of the Year

My favorite albums of the year were printed in the Durango Herald last week. Here’s the link to read the details.

But they were this…..

10. The Shrine- Primitive Blast
9. Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires- There is a Bomb in Gilead
8. Bob Mould- Silver Age
7. Calexico- Algiers
6. The Men- Open Your Heart
5. Janis Martin- The Blanco Sessions
4. Gentlemen Jesse and His Men- Leaving Atlanta
3. JP Harris and the Tough Choices- I’ll Keep Calling
2. Shovels and Rope- Oh Be Joyfule
1. Bad Weather California- Sunkissed

Now get out there and support your local record store and newspaper.

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2013 truly will be a killer year for music. Releases from Farmington Hill, the new Beautiful Loser Society release (out now) and a load of other killer things should grace your ears in 2013. I am also excited for new Queens of the Stone Age, and the solo release from Mickey Melchiondo aka Dean Ween. There also will most likely be a bunch of crap too, but don’t let that BS bring you down.
I’m currently also knee deep in the Pete Townsend bio. OK, back to work.

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