“Never Follow Suit” by The Radio Dept.

The Swedish band The Radio Dept. released Clinging to a Scheme on April 21, 2010 on Labrador. In his article titled “Indie Pop Band Deserves Play,” journalist Ben Muths of the Daily Cougar describes the album as “synth with class.” He goes on commending its “strong bass underlining lofty, light and layered guitar riffs.” The single “Never Follow Suit” is available for free download on Amazon.

Picture courtesy of Fader

[audio:Never Follow Suit.mp3]
“Never Follow Suit” by The Radio Dept.

“For His Old Branches” by The Republic of Wolves

On December 12, 2009 the debut EP from The Republic of Wolves entitled His Old Branches was released through AmazonMP3. The band from Eastern Long Island formed in August, 2009. They are part of Vintage Hustle Records.

[audio:For His Old Branches.mp3]
“For His Old Branches” by The Republic of Wolves

The Republic Of Wolves - His Old Branches - For His Old Branches

[audio:Done Haunting Houses.mp3]
“Done Haunting Houses” by The Republic of Wolves

“Cities Burning Down” by Howling Bells

Howling Bells are an indie rock band formed in Sydney, Australia by a few members of the broken up band, Waikiki. Their first album was released on Bella Union, the same label as my recently blogged about artist John Grant. Their sophomore album, Radio Wars, was put out in 2009 by Independiente Records. “Cities Burning Down” was the second single off this album.

Cities Burning Down

Howling Bells | MySpace Music Videos

Patti Smith at the University of Houston

Patti Smith presented several excerpts from her autobiography “Just Kids” last night, April 19 at the University of Houston’s Cullen Performance Hall. She also performed a few songs, fielded questions, and recited a poem.

She told us about her first encounter with Allen Ginsburg—he bought her a sandwich and a cup of coffee and mistook her for a “very pretty boy.” She liked Gilda Radner’s portrayal of her on SNL and said, “It’s true, I do brush my arm hair.” There were recounts of Jim Carroll, Jeff Buckley, and several of Robert Maplethorpe. “Greatful” was written after a vision she had of Jerry Garcia. “You know, like you would see Jesus in a potato chip,” she said. She recalled the first time she heard her Springsteen collaboration “Because the Night” playing to the public. She then sang it a cappella and we sang along.

“Oh, take their picture,” a woman who spotted them in Greenwich Village one afternoon urged her husband. “I think they’re artists.” “Oh, go on,” the husband said. “They’re just kids.”
~ Patti Smith: “Just Kids”

“The Film Club” by David Gilmour

I don’t usually write about books but I think that this is a place where I should share whatever it is that I have fallen in love with. That said, I am in love with a book by David Gilmour called The Film Club recommended by the SoGoPro book club.

I thought I would learn a little bit about old movies from a former film critic from the CBC news show, The Journal. I did. However, I was extra moved by something I’m not sure even Gilmour knows may be admired. That is, I think I was just given a manual in the form of a written memoir for the kind of parent I want to be. Gilmore was never nosey or invasive but always there when needed. It started when he allowed his son Jesse to drop out of high school so long as he agreed not to take drugs and to watch three movies a week with his father. For three years the two of them explored film in lesson units created by Gilmour (Buried Treasures, Overrated Films, Guilty Pleasures, etc., etc.).

Gilmour knew he was taking a risk. He knew that he could have been setting his son up for failure. I found the exact moment in the book when some of his worries were relieved and for the first time he thinks his son may be ok in the world. It is when Jesse corrects him on the cinematographer on a film called Stardust, and follows it up with an opinion on Fassbinder (a German movie director) flicks in general. Gilmour says, “I stared at him until he looked up. ‘What?’ he said. Knowing perfectly well ‘what’.”

Picture courtesy of BookDaily.

Trace Bundy at Taft Street Art Center

I saw the most amazing guitar player this evening! Trace Bundy a phenomenal finger tapper.

He played a medley of song snippets which included “La Bomba,” “Pretty Woman,” “Here Comes the Sun,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “YMCA,” “Celebration,” “Jack and Diane,” “Summer of 69,” and “Everybody Dance Now.” He then played a song he likes to call “Stairway to Sunday”—a combination of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

He also played “One” by Metallica on his iphone using the pocket guitar and violin applications.

The song below is called “Love Song” and was recorded at Taft Street Art Center in 2006.

One of my favorites of the night was “Canon”—his take on “Canon in D.” He told a story of how he found a young kid who had learned how to play his songs and was posting his versions on YouTube. So, Trace sought after this young talent named Sungha Jung and now they tour together often.

The last song was called “Retroverse.” Trace believes that any good song should sound just as good backwards. So, joking that songs backwards are not copy written, he played an entire song note for note bottom to top. When he was finished playing it, he reversed his loop and the melody to The Phantom of the Opera filled the room.

His latest album is called Missile Bell and it consists of a DVD filmed live at the Boulder Theater in November, 2007, and a studio CD.

Trace Bundy - Adapt (CD/DVD Combo) - Canon
“Canon” by Trace Bundy

“Hollywood” by Codeine Velvet Club

The Scottish Rock Duo Codeine Velvet Club is comprised of Lou Hickey and Jon Lawler (a.k.a. Jon Fratelli) of the band The Fratellis. Released today in the US is their debut, self-titled album. The single “Hollywood” was the KCRW “Today’s Top Tune” yesterday.

“Help Yourself” by Sad Brad Smith

I finally watched the Grammy nominated movie Up In The Air. Everybody told me it wasn’t good. I knew I shouldn’t have listened to “everybody.” I was anxious to see up-and-comer/ Broadway actress/ Twilight Saga star, Anna Kendrick. She did an excellent job! As for Vira Farmiga, I’ve loved her ever since The Departed.

The plot diverges from its initial storyline into an “importance of companionship” reflection. I was glad it did because I don’t think there would have been enough to go off of if all that was there was a man who happiness, by way of his career, was taken away.

From the soundtrack available on iTunes and Amazon, please have a listen to “Help Yourself” by Sad Brad Smith.

[audio:Help Yourself.mp3]
“Help Yourself” by Sad Brad Smith

Sad Brad Smith - Up In the Air (Music from the Motion Picture) - Help Yourself