Friday, February 22, 2008

Grab this bag!

Friday means grab bag time in this neck of the woods. So here we go again with six great songs that caught my ear this week. Got some early punk, some pubrock, and some neo-country from Nashville. Also there´s room for roots reggae, an oldie from the Mountain Goats and Mr. Johnny Cash... What else could you possibly need?

Let´s start with Richard Hell & The Voidoids. Hell was one of the visionaries of New York´s CBGB´s scene. He played in the first line-ups of the Heartbreakers and Television, invented the ripped t-shirt look along the way and made a name for himself with the classic album Blank Generation. "And when I want to write a song that says it all at once..." That´s the late great Robert Quine on guitar btw. You can find it on the Time compilation (Matador records).
Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Time MP3

Here´s a brand new song for you. Spiritual Family Reunion have just released an album called Goodbye Ceremony on Tract Records, a label to watch. They operate out of Nashville, have former Calexico and Silver Jews members among them, and I think Coral Reef sounds mighty fine.
Spiritual Family Reunion - Coral Reef MP3

I´ve been a fan of the Mountain Goats ever since they released Beautiful Rat Sunset way back when on the wonderful Shrimper label. For my money head-Goat John Darnielle is among the most original songwriters working today. The new album Heretic Pride hasn´t reached me yet, so we´ll make do with an oldie. There Will Always Be An Ireland is from the Jack & Faye ep, which never came out as the label that was supposed to release it went belly-up just a little too soon. Shame.
Mountain Goats - There Will Always be An Ireland MP3

Roots reggae time. Max Romeo is best known for his Lee Perry produced War In A Babylon album, but he released many more amazing sides in the seventies. Check out Valley Of Jehosaphat/Version for example, from the excellent compilation Open The Iron Gate (Blood & Fire). Red hot indeed.
Max Romeo - Valley Of Jehosaphat/Version MP3

Dr. Feelgood was the archetypical pubrock band. They set any venue on fire in ten minutes flat with their no-nonsense mentality. Milk and alcohol: a great diet. You can find it on the Singles - The U.A. Years compilation. This one´s dedicated to my brother in law by the way, who has seen them live more times than I´d like to count.
Dr. Feelgood - Milk And Alcohol MP3

And last but not least here´s Mr. Johnny Cash. Need I say more? "For on the wall there appeared a hand..." He´s best when biblical. From the extremely nicely priced but excellent 3 cd box Walking The Line, The Legendary Sun Recordings (Union Square).
Johnny Cash - Belshazzar MP3

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