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. "All Hits" — The Night Marchers (2:52)
2012-13 celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones. Their influence has been quite obvious over most of those 50 years. This to me is an obvious one. This band of West Coast punk-sounders, founded in 2007, chose the original punks to emulate — and they are damn good at it. This is from their second album, Allez Allez from 2011.
2. "I Get Around" — Kate Earl (3:17)
Not a cover of the Beach Boys, but an Earl appropriation that's a bit more detailed than the Wilson Brothers'. This has a Stones start-you-up groove; much more relaxed than the jumping jack of the previous track. I spied Kate when her first album came out and I always listen to see what she’s up to. This is from her current album, Stronger. Kind of an early, mixed Linda Ronstadt-ian, Joni Mitchellesque look (see photo at top)...
3. "Sick Love" — The Scanners (2:54)
This is a four-piece UK band with two of each sex on board. Sounds to me, from this track at least, like '60s producer Shadow Morton popped up out of seclusion and brought The Shangri-La’s into the millennium with this great track. Good song, detailed production and vocal parts. I walk around singing this unconsciously now. This is from 2010 and is produced by Stephen Hague, known for his New Order work in the UK. I think this was just an album track and NOT a single. Maybe Kate Earl should cover it on HER next album?
4. "Everything's Gonna Be Undone" — Band of Horses (2:44)
Okay. Let’s calm down, head for the acoustic guitars, and fondly remember folk music. Ben Bridwell and Mat Brooke founded this puppy in Seattle in 2004. When Brooke departed to start yet another band, Bridwell moved the band to his native South Carolina, recording an album there that did quite well, topping the independent chart and reaching 35 on Billboard’s Top 200. They now have a strong foothold and hopefully will only get better and better.
5. "The Breakup" — Rural Alberta Advantage (2:59)
Another Canadian band. This one, from Toronto, is a good example of the little rock group who could. They formed in 2005, and from that year through 2008 they self-released a single, an EP, and an entire album entitled Hometowns. It was selected by online retailer eMusic as Album of the Month in November 2008. In 2009, they opened for Grizzly Bear at SXSW and they done good. Saddle Creek Records in Omaha bought distribution rights to Hometowns and released a spanking new RAA album in 2011. And here we are now. They are a trio led by Nils Edenloff and featuring Amy Cole and Paul Banwatt. There’s nothing like a self-made band. This is from their second album, Departing.
6. "Timed Exposure" — Rusty Anderson (3:03)
Rusty Anderson has the “Al Kooper Curse.” Needless to say, I TOTALLY understand. His instrument of note is the electric guitar. He was born in La Habra, California in 1959. Rusty has played either in the studio or on the road with Paul McCartney, The Bangles, Animal Logic, Ricky Martin, and Neil Diamond, to mention but a few. There are solo albums as well. This is from one of them. He will continue helping others and making good solo albums that too few eschew. Hopefully he will break the curse. But then again, I’m in his corner...
7. "Some Nights" — Fun. (3:38)
This group has the opposite situation as Rusty Anderson and myself. They were nominated for six Grammys THIS year and won at least half of them. This is the title song of their nominated Best Pop Vocal Album. I didn’t know ANY of this when I picked out three songs of theirs from iTunes. Their harmonies are stupendous and their records are produced handsomely. In spite of all that, they are being recognized publicly in a mighty big way. Now that they have gold statuettes I hope they STILL continue to make great records.
8. "Get Back" — The Rescues (3:16)
Four LA singer-songwriters band together to fuse all their talents. This is the result: two girls, two guys, mucho talent. Kyler England, Rob Giles, Gabriel Mann and Adrianne Gonzalez combined both singing and songwriting to become a Fleetwood Mac-level group. Kyler, Rob and Adrianne all attended Berklee in Boston. Kyler was in one of the classes I taught there all those years ago. Five of their songs were chosen for a Grey’s Anatomy season. This is from their latest album Blah Blah Love and War released in January of this year. I picked this track before I knew Kyler was in the band — a pleasant surprise!
9. "Let Me Down Easy" — Paloma Faith (2:16)
I’ve known this song for years and treasure the Spencer Davis Group’s version for Steve Winwood’s great vocal and guitar solo. Now here it comes again. This is a good vocal as well, doused in electronica backup to keep the version modern. Paloma is well-versed in early R&B singers such as Etta James and Betty Everett. She’s not yet broken in the States, but the publicity machine just needs a goose. Usually women who look like this don’t sing like this — but not Pretty Professional Paloma! Maybe this year she’ll decide if she’s a blonde or a redhead ... I have faith in Paloma.
10. "War" (Singles Version) — Edwin Starr (3:11)
We take you back a few decades to illustrate how strong the anti-war movement was and still is. Hopefully something can be done about it in the next four years. Like play it at a White House reception and see if Barack sings along. Stay tuned and see you next week.