23 April 2012

LOOK: Soft Rock Renegade on Bandcamp

Many of the albums from this blog have been posted on Bandcamp, where you can stream and/or download mp3s for free (or make a small donation, if you like). 

18 April 2012

DOWNLOAD: Watership Down - Dellicatessin

During this past South By Southwest, I got to reminisce about West Virginia bands with Robert McCutcheon (American Minor). It was Watership Down that Rob mentioned as his favorite band from the state. I remember hearing about this Charleston band, but it wasn't until Rob tracked down this album that I ever heard them. Before playing this album, I had no idea what Watership Down even sounded like. Being from Charleston in the mid-'90s, I presumed they played blend of pop punk and metal like most other bands from the area at that time. Instead what I heard was ramshackle pop rock in the vein of Pavement, Built To Spill or early Flaming Lips. "They were the first true 'indie rock band' I saw in Charleston," said Aaron Crothers (The Emergency), a self-described source close to the band. "It's just sloppy wonderfulness." This album, recorded at Cave Records in the mid-'90s, is truly wonderful and makes me want to hear more from the trio lead by Jeremy Brightbill. I believe it is the last recording by the band, who added female vocals from Jeremy's sister Jaimie on the record which adds a sweet poppy element to the otherwise angsty but melodic style driven messy instrumentation and Jeremy's laconic vocals. This record is really great, so if you're a fan of the aforementioned bands or anything from the '90s lo-fi indie movement, then this comes highly recommended.

Artist: Watership Down
Album: Dellicatessin
Year: mid-'90s
For fans of: Pavement, Built To Spill, Flaming Lips

17 April 2012

WATCH: Diamond Teeth Mary McClain

Born in Huntington, Diamond Teeth Mary McClain ran away from home at age 13, began singing at 15, but didn't receive recognition until she was in her mid-30s. She sang until her death in 2000 and had performed at the Appollo and the Cotton Club and has been billed with the likes of her half-sister Bessie Smith as well as Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington and other legendary musicians. Here are a couple videos of Diamond Teeth Mary including a short bio about her in the top video and footage of one of her later performances below.

12 April 2012

LOOK: J Marinelli/Samuel tour photo, 1995

J Marinelli posted this photo today. It was taken in Minneapolis in 1995 and is from the Samuel tour with Avail, Chamberlain, and Colossus of the Fall tour. Marinelli is the fourth from the left in the back row. On the far left is Avail singer Tim Barry who I recently saw play this show in Austin with my good friend Aaron (The Warriors), who gets a shout out from Tim in the video. Oh, punk rock.

09 April 2012

DOWNLOAD - Cave Record (Various Artists) - Songs For The Fruitbat

Songs for the Fruitbat is a 17-track compilation CD produced in 1995 for Elview-based label run by Brian Pauley and Scott Robinson. I've had plenty of posts about Dirt Bear, but the the comp also features four songs each from Charleston area groups Trout, Flood and Sevin (along with one bonus track from Lame). The compilation represents the diversity of music being made around Charleston in the mid-1990s. Fruitbat features a alt-punk-metal (Dirt Bear), heavy alternative in the vein of Helmet and Quicksand (Flood), snotty pop punk (Sevin) and fIREHOSE/Meat Puppets-esque alt rock (Trout). The comp is pretty well produced and features songs not featured on other records by the bands. Members of these bands went on to be in Westbygod, Shindig, Dead Ant Farm and others.

06 April 2012

WATCH: Down Goes Frazier live in Huntington, 2009

I recently traveled home to West Virginia. While there I got the opportunity to hang out with my good friend Ryan. That inspired me to listen to his old band Down Goes Frazier. If you're a fan of Hot Water Music or Planes Mistaken For Stars, be sure to download their discography. Here's a video of DGF playing in Huntington in 2009. They were a good band.

05 April 2012

DOWNLOAD: Complete Strangers - Complete Strangers

I originally posted this album in March 2010, but because I've been listening to it a lot lately, I am posting it again. Every time I listen to Complete Strangers, I am reminded of how amazing they were. If you like rock music along the lines of Talking Heads, Rolling Stones, T. Rex, Elvis Costello or The Stooges, download this. There is nothing I will ever post to this blog that I will recommend more highly.

Artist: Complete Strangers
Album: Complete Strangers
Year: 2002
For fans of: The Stooges, T. Rex, Elvis Costello

DOWNLOAD: Complete Strangers - Complete Strangers