This column is like the title says - its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the '60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.
I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don't miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD'VE been!
Below is a jukebox containing all the songs I picked this week. After you read about them below, go back and listen to whatever you like by just clicking on that title in the jukebox, or stream the whole playlist by clicking on the "play" icon at the top. It's free and it's the entire song. We're not selling anything. We're just in the business of hopefully making your days better by listening to great music.
We apologize to our readers/listeners who are trying to enjoy the playlists via mobile devices like iPhones/iPads and are finding that they can't; these are, unfortunately, circumstances beyond our control. At present, Grooveshark is not compatible with those operating systems, and in order to stream the playlist, you will need to use a PC or Mac.
1. "Good Life" — Andy Davis (3:32)
Andy Davis is a frequent flier in this column. I hope you have discovered him here previously, but if not, here is his fifth entry! As usual, a great song, arrangement, tasty keyboard-playing and singing constitute a well thought-out, original track. I have yet to meet him or see him play live but I have high hopes. It’s a good life, musically...
2. "All Alright" — Zac Brown Band (3:13)
Zac doesn’t need any help in the popularity polls. Here is some more lastin’ listenin’ from his latest opus, The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1. I think he’s a lifer and will be around for decades.
3. "Everything You're Breathing" — The Parlor Mob (3:13)
They started in 2004 in Red Bank, New Jersey and have two albums out: their debut from 2008, And You Were a Crow, from which this track is selected, and Dogs from 2011 which I just listened to. I like the fact that they used guitar concepts from the past and made them work perfectly in the present on their first album. They kinda went more '80s metal on the second album and lost the comparative originality from their debut. There’s still time to rethink. The talent is all there — they just need to pepper their next effort with more originality and everything will be breathing again. Only my opinion and, as Randy once admitted, I’ve been wrong before.
Yeah, we know... if he doesn't start growin' a 'stache by next week, he's outta the band!
4. "Clear Water" — Field Music (3:06)
More frequent column contributors here; these two English brothers kinda filled the gap when XTC called it quits and here is their seventh entry in these here parts. I guess I’m kinda guilty of playin' The Field (Music) a bit, huh? If you’re an XTC fan you’ll surely “get” this and wanna catch up on their recorded output.
5. "I See Through You" — Battleme (2:18)
This is Matt Drenik, the lead singer of Austin, Texas band LIONS drifting into the next phase of his career. He also emigrated away from Austin to Portland, Oregon and started turning out songs for the TV series Sons of Anarchy in his new home studio there. Using the house band for the show, The Forest Rangers, he has compiled over 40 new songs so far including a cover of Neil Young's “Hey Hey My My.” I think the seventh season of SOA starts any minute on the FX cable channel. I have a great deal of catching up to do this winter, it seems.
Judging by this photo I have no desire to battle Matt, especially volume-wise. I wish, however, I could still get my hair to do that at this age.
6. "Pulaski at Night" — Andrew Bird (3:09)
Andrew is a singer-songwriter-fiddler who has graced these pages before. I like his individuality in songwriting and arranging. This is a song title that wouldn’t have occurred to me in this lifetime. Next life, perhaps? Stay tuned.
7. "What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me" — Paul Thompson (2:37)
Here is a rare R&B Stax/Volt single from the ‘68-’70 period which was issued immediately after the unfriendly split with Atlantic Records. It’s from Muscle Shoals — produced by the late great keyboardist Barry Beckett (who should have been in the initial Hammond Organ Hall of Fame induction). I can’t find a thing about the singer as he unfortunately has the same name as musicians in Jefferson Starship, Roxy Music, etc. etc. etc. However, his voice bears a striking resemblance to ‘70s R&B singer Paul Kelly, so who knows? Just a great obscure soul single that deserved more attention than it initially got — but that’s what I do here now [smiling].
8. "Slip Kid" — Forest Rangers feat. Franky Perez (3:24)
I couldn’t resist sending this to Pete Townshend to see if he’d heard it as it’s his composition from the early ‘80s Who album, The Who By Numbers. He hadn’t, but he really liked it. So did I — and it's yet ANOTHER track from the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack. It seems Bob Thiele, Jr. is living up to his father’s name doing a bang-up job in charge of the music for this show. His father was a famous jazz producer when I was growing up. The family jewels got passed on in a good modern way. However, if that happened in my family, I’d be a lawyer now.
9. "Follow That Sound" — Sharon Little (2:35)
I heard a great album by Sharon a few years ago and downloaded a few songs. This was one of them. All research on her seems to drop off the edge of the world from 2011 onwards. She did an album on Columbia Records produced by Don Was back then and shortly thereafter disappeared off the face of Al’s world. Her recorded tracks are all over a buncha TV series: The Good Wife, NCIS, etc. This song was the theme song for the series The Cleaner. My editor Lisa McKay assures me that Sharon has resurfaced in Philadelphia, where she plays often on the live circuit and is attempting to fund a new album. If you’re like me and enjoy her previous singing then chip in and support someone who deserves it. ‘Nuff said.
10. "IHTST" — The Holdup (3:01)
Not wanting to be burdened with the lengthy title "I Hate the Summer Time," they dubbed it thusly. I would even venture to call this a pop record, which I mostly stay away from at this late date as opposed to the pop of the ‘60s and ‘70s. But it’s ringing some bells for me and holding my attention. This came out only in the last three months so it’s comparatively current. The band is from San Jose, California and has won a few awards in the reggae (?) category, which I guess they don’t exclusively play judging by this track. So what’s The Holdup, anyway? The more versatile, the better, as far as I’m concerned. Have a great week and we’ll be back next week with an Everly Brothers tribute.