Monthly Archives: August 2005

Avec Aisance

So this guy sends me this message on Audioscrobbler (which is now last.fm for some reason) about his band Avec Aisance.

I get these all the time,”you like (insert band here), so you should like our band” kind of things. They are usually wrong… Well Alex was right, Avec A is a really good band.

Since there is scant info on them, and I haven’t really needed to know much more (they are a three-piece, have a hot bass player, and play loud, noisy, driving and rather dirty tunes, and are apparently Dutch) I’ll stick with the songs. They host an entire album as mp3s on their site, plus a video for this song (unfortunately it’s Windows Media tho) and are well worth checking out.

They certainly cut through the clutter of the new wave of identical and jejune bands, yeah you heard me Kasabian, I said jejune you common fuckers.

This is Not Like My Sister Behaves, by Avec Aisance from the album Vivre Dans L’aisance.

The Song
Not Like My Sister Behaves (6.4MB MP3)

The Site
Official Site

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Rainy Day

How to even begin….

I suppose it was 1986 or 87, and I was at college dating this rather nice girl who had a decent album collection. She was from East Lansing and had been pillaging the used record stores there for years.

She had this cassette called Rainy Day, the cover had a scribbled kids drawing on it, and the songs sounded vaguely familiar. The voice on the first track tho was immediately recognizable.

I’ve never really been a fan of the Bangles, but I’ve always loved Susanna Hoffs voice. Despite the fact that she sounded like she was smiling when she sang, it always seemed like she was singing to me.

Rainy Day was sort of a “paisley underground” supergroup, with Dave Roback, Kendra Smith, and Michael Quercio, among others. The entire album was comprised of cover songs by a who’s-who of their noted influences such as Lou Reed, Neil Young, Tim Buckley, Hendrix, Townsend, Chilton, and the writer of today’s song, Mr. Bobby Dylan.

Unfortunately, this album is long out of print and quite difficult to find. I managed to snag a CD copy a while back, but have not seen another. Gemm has a few LPs and the occassional 7″ at reasonable prices.

This is I’ll Keep it With Mine, by Rainy Day from the 1986 album Rainy Day.

The Song
I’ll Keep It With Mine (3.9MB MP3)

The Site
A notice on a Mazzy Star site is about the best I could find

The Album
Good luck on Gemm or Ebay

Steve Burns

Blue’s Clues has not been the same since he left. That imposter that’s on there now (“Fake Steve” as we call him) is a camera mugging fool and most certainly could not create an album as good as the one made by original host Steve Burns.

Apparently Steve always wanted to be a rock star, but fell into a job on a kid’s show whereby becoming a TV star. And I mean star, this guy had every MILF in existence wanting to get into those khakis and green striped shirt.

Steve somehow hooked up with the Flaming Lips fellas, which makes perfect sense when you give it a second, and started putting together an album.

It’s quirky, fun and full of great songs. The lead single “Mighty Little Man” is a recognized theme song of at least 3 of my friends. The album was on my 10 best for 2003, and deserves a listen.

This is What I Do On Saturdays by Steve Burns from the 2003 album Songs for Dustmites.

The Song
What I Do On Saturday (4.8MB MP3)

The Site
Steve’s Web Page

The Album
Songs for Dustmites

Chris Bell

As a member of Big Star (the Lennon to Alex Chilton’s McCartney) Chris Bell has earned his indie rock star status. His solo work, however, is often overlooked or unknown.

In 1992 Rykodisc released a compilation of Bell’s recorded work entitled I Am the Cosmos. It’s a magnificent album full of songs of heartbreak and veiled optimism. Recorded mostly in 1977, Chris Bell would only see this single released before his death the following year in a car crash.

Chris received a bit of a revival, and a new fanbase in the late eighties when 2 of his tracks were coved by the 4AD band This Mortal Coil and subsequently live staples for bands such as the Breeders.

This is possibly the best breakup song in existence.

This is I Am The Cosmos by Chris Bell from the 1992 album of the same name.

The Song
I Am The Cosmos (5.8MB MP3)

The Site
Allmusic Profile

The Album
I Am The Cosmos

Leatherface

Oh my, what a voice. If that is a voice, could be the dog on the cover of the cd singing.

Frankie Stubbs’ voice may take a minute to grow used to. Let’s say it has “character” and leave it at that.

Leatherface is one of a handful of punk bands who continually put out albums better than their previous. If you’re interested in this old-school runnysauce (I could never spell Renaissance in art history, so all my notes say runnysauce) be sure to also check out the latest from T.S.O.L., Bad Religion, Mission of Burma and Killing Joke.

But back to Leatherface, they are sometimes referred to as Oi! or street punk, but I feel they, like the best of the punk bands, are just a great band who play energized and meaningful music. This song is one of my favorites from their latest album since it deals with Frankie hanging out with his toddler. Any song with a line as good as “the Bear in the Big Blue House consumes me” is fine in my book. If you’ve got kids, you’ve been there.

This is Diddly Squat by Leatherface from the 2004 album Dog Disco.

The Song
Diddly Squat (5.3MB MP3)

The Site
Official band site (caution, it’s hideous!)

The Album
Dog Disco

Blue in Heaven

You remember the 80s…. most of it was crap. Despite the memories, and the new wave compilation CDs, and the flood of assy bands trying to ape the “80s Sound,” most of the music in the 80s was crap.

This is not to say the 80s were bad, most of the music in the 70s was crap, almost all the music in the 90s was crap, and apparently the majority of music so far in the 00s is crap.

But there was some great music in the 80s, most of it not appearing on Slammin new wave hit spectacular along with that “spin you right round baby right round” song and countless other tunes many of us were sick of 20 years ago.

Blue in Heaven are one of those bands that got overshadowed in their time by other Irish bretheren. I recall a review stating that the band was great, “but since we have U2, do we really need another Irish working-class band?”

Any similarity between this band and U2 consist of being Irish, and having guitars and drums.

This is Be Your Man by Blue in Heaven from the album Explicit Material. This is a vinyl rip as I don’t think this album was ever released on CD.

The Song
Be Your Man (2.6MB MP3)

The Site
Trouser Press Profile

The Album
Explicit Material

David Baerwald

As one of the best songwriters around, David Baerwald has not seen his share of attention. Despite 3 albums of inspired and literate music (as well as the sublime David and David album, Boomtown) his most well known songs are the ones he wrote for Sheryl Crow’s debut Tuesday Night Music Club.

You may remember those songs, they were the ones that were decent songs. This is long prior to her releasing other albums, and before you started thinking “Why does Sheryl Crow suck all of a sudden?”

Anyhoo, Baerwald is a fabulous writer and singer of songs, and I belive he has a similarity to a previous generations Steely Dan, crafting excellent songs about half-losers, shady characters and might-be, could’ve-been, wish-it-was situations.

This is a live version of Swallowed by the Cracks from the David and David album Boomtown. It was recorded at The Abbey Pub in Chicago on June 18th, 2002.

The Song
Swallowed By the Cracks (3.5MB MP3)

The Site
Allmusic.com Profile

The Album
Boomtown