Monthly Archives: October 2008

“Everything is banal and jejune”


Nick Cave Superstar

Nick Cave Superstar

 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – “We Call Upon The Author” from Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!! [2008]

I saw Nick Cave and Co. live a few weeks ago, and they really tore it up onstage.  The band is a severn-piece ensemble, featuring (among others), Warren Ellis, who is also 1/3 of the Dirty Three.  I single out Mr. Ellis because, aside from Mr. Cave himself, Mr. Ellis was the most interesting to watch.  When he wasn’t playing his Fender Mandocaster or strumming his viola like a guitar, he was on the floor, coaxing all manner of sounds from his effects pedals, looking like a hobo all the while, with long hair an and unkempt beard.

At any rate, this is a standout track from the Bad Seeds’ latest effort.

Dig the Bad Seeds

Posted by Adam


Filed under 2000s, Rock

“And we’re following the will of the one”

Blind Guardian – “Into the Storm” from Nightfall in Middle Earth [1998]
Blind Guardian – “Mirror Mirror” from Nightfall in Middle Earth [1998]

My coworker and I were singing metal to each other today and I remembered how much ass this album kicks.  I haven’t listened to this album in probably two years, so it was hard for me to pick just one song.  Thus, you get your face melted twice.

Blind Guardian is a German power-metal band.  This album is based on Tolkein’s The Silmarillion.  What else do you need to know?

Buy Blind Guardian/Melt your face

Posted by Phil


Filed under 1990s, Prog Rock, Rock

I went to New Orleans and all I got was this awesome song (and the chance to drink some excellent absinthe)

Darondo – “Didn’t I” from Let My People Go (1973)

My pal Ben introduced me to this incredible soul classic when I was down in the Crescent City recently. Darondo sounds like Al Green except somehow…better. Apparently John Mayer likes it, but so will you.

Here’s a bitchin’ video of some dude dancing to this song:

Learn more about Darondo

Buy it here

Posted by Glenn


Filed under 1970s, Soul

“And the feeling remains”

Ester Drang – “How Good Is Good Enough” from Goldenwest [2001]

The funny thing about Oklahoma’s Ester Drang is that they get progressively less interesting and ambitious with every release.  This, however, is a standout track from their standout album, a shoegaze/space-rock inferno.  One of my favorites, good for weird weather days, great for summer driving, best for giant gray clouds.

Even if you want to, some days you can’t start over.  I listen to this song on these days.

Buy Ester Drang’s spacerock

Posted by Phil

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Filed under 2000s, Rock, Space rock

“There’s one in every crowd/for cryin’ out loud”

Waylon Jennings – “Honky Tonk Heroes” from Honky Tonk Heroes (1973)

The exploration of country music has been a recurring theme on this blog (as well as on some of our favorite brother-blogs such as Setting the Woods on Fire and The Rising Storm).  For me, this exploration has been largely defined by seeing past the stigmatization of the faux, good-ole-bro sentiment of modern country to a rich tradition of creativity and rebellion embodied in artists like Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt, and Steve Earle.

During this time, I have particularly identified with Waylon Jennings’ Honky Tonk Heroes.  It is the ideal crossover album for country-curious rock and rollers.  But this is no mere cosmic American hybrid.  Billy Joe Shaver’s songs are braced firmly in the country genre while Waylon and the band plow through them with the ferocity of any contemporary rock band minus the extensive, wanker guitar solos of the era.

Good times.

Buy it here

Posted by Jordy


Filed under 1970s, Country, Rock

Moses come ridin’ up on a quasar: A Somewhat Brief Primer To ’70s Live Dead

The Grateful Dead – “Greatest Story Ever Told” from Steppin’ Out With The Grateful Dead: England 1972
The Grateful Dead – “Not Fade Away > Playing In The Band” from Dick’s Picks Vol 10: Winterland, 12/29/1977
The Grateful Dead – “Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain” from Barton Hall, Cornell University, 5/8/1977
The Grateful Dead – “Friend of the Devil” from American Beauty (1972)

A few weeks back, my pal (and excellent poet) Ryland burned me two discs of the very best of the Grateful Dead, live in the ’70s. As my brother says, “It’s good to have a Deadhead friend, to seperate the wheat from the chaff.” Or the leaves from the stems and seeds, as it were. Here are a few excerpts for all SWR-heads.

“Greatest Story” is good-time boogie rock. “Not Fade Away” is a frantic Buddy Holly cover that segues into (the separate mp3) “Playing in the Band,” in this iteration an ambient groove. (A glance at that night’s setlist shows that versions of “Playing” were scattered throughout the set.) “Scarlet > Fire” is (I’m told) the classic version from a classic show. And “Friend of the Devil” for all y’all who don’t like 20 minute noodle-fests. There’s certainly more Dead to be heard (just trying googling, good god), but these tracks represent the pinnacle of what I’ve listened to, so far.

Buy the Dead

Download the Dead

Or check out setlists here

Posted by Glenn


Filed under 1970s, Americana, Folk, Live, Psychedelic, Rock, Space rock

Harriet Beecher Stowe – The May EP

Jeff always played sideways.

Harriet Beecher Stowe – “Waltz” from The May EP [2004]
Harriet Beecher Stowe – “Firebird One” from The May EP [2004]
Harriet Beecher Stowe – “Oceansandsky” from The May EP [2004]

Under the advisement of other SWR personnel, I am making available to the world the unreleased three-song EP by Harriet Beecher Stowe, my band from college.  Featuring the inimitable Jeff Wheeler on the Bass git-box, the irrepressible Mike Kopchick on the drum boxes, and the incontovertible myself on the git-fiddle, these songs are a decent representation of where the band might have gone if we hadn’t split up to do whatever people do after college.  Many thanks due to Ryan Wert for being awesome at putting sounds onto computers.

“Firebird One” also contains the most lyrics HBS ever had in a song, sung through a telephone.

Hope you enjoy.

It’s free you don’t have to buy it.

Posted by Phil


Filed under 2000s, Instrumental, Post-rock, Rock