Thursday, January 22, 2015

Happy Fangs - Capricorn

You know those albums that you put on, knowing that you're going to be listening to the whole thing? That's the kind of record Capricorn is. It kicks off with "Raw Nights", a song that gets the listener dancing from the start, and then, just as Michael Cobra's buzzsaw guitar reaches a fever pitch in the middle of the song, everything drops out and lead singer Rebecca Bortman purrs, "Excuse me, sir. Do you have a minute to talk about rock 'n' roll?" and then the song kicks back into gear. It's a thrilling moment that shows no signs of getting old with repeated listens. I asked Rebecca if there was any story behind that section which seems almost like a manifesto for the rest of the album. Here's what she said.

The first time that Mr. Cobra and I played CMJ  when we were just a duo, we wanted to make the most of traveling all the way to the East Coast from San Francisco, so we tried to book gigs on our off-days of the festival in surrounding cities. One of the shows we ended up getting was on ye 'ol Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge on a Tuesday. There was a Red Sox play-off game and a Pearl Jam concert and Janelle Monae concert. Aka: we picked the WORST night of the year to play Boston. Mr. Cobra and I walked down Mass Ave with the sinking feeling that we might be playing for the bar staff and no one else, so I started walking up to people and asking them, "Excuse me, sir. Do you have a minute..." Every single person would look away, try to avoid eye contact " talk about rock & roll?" That got every single person's attention. And we talked to a dozen on our walk. We got to tell every single one of them about Happy Fangs.

And listening to the album, you feel the almost evangelical zeal that this band has for their craft. Look no further than the last minute of the blistering "Hiya Kaw Kaw," a song that led off the band's self-titled EP back in 2013 and which finds itself leaner and meaner with the addition of drummer Jess Gowrie (who is celebrating her one year anniversary as part of the band this month!).

The band is, as I'm writing this, filming a video for "Raw Nights" so I'm going to include the video that they submitted for NPR's Tiny Desk Contest for their song "Ton of Bricks." It's bathed in black and whites and shows that the band can destroy on a slower jam, too.

Capricorn comes out on 1/27. You can get it on iTunes and Bandcamp and Amazon. And remember: Pre-ordering helps the band just as much as waiting for the release date. More, probably.

Throwback Thursday: 1994

10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits
9. Reba McEntire - Greatest Hits Volume 2
8. Jodeci - Diary of a Mad Band
7. Bryan Adams - So Far So Good
6. Janet Jackson - janet.

     1. Interlude: Morning
     2. That's The Way Love Goes

     3. Interlude: You Know...
     4. You Want This
     5. Interlude: Be a Good Boy...
     6. If
     7. Interlude: Back
     8. This Time (featuring Kathleen Battle)
     9. Interlude: Go On Miss Janet
   10. Throb
   11. What'll I Do
   12. Interlude: The Lounge
   13. Funky Big Band
   14. Interlude: Racism
   15. New Agenda (featuring Chuck D)
   16. Interlude: Love Pt. 2
   17. Because of Love
   18. Interlude: Wind
   19. Again

   20. Interlude: Another Lover
   21. Where Are You Now
   22. Interlude: Hold On Baby
   23. The Body That Loves You
   24. Interlude: Rain
   25. Anytime, Anyplace

   26. Interlude: Are You Still Up
   27. Sweet Dreams/

Man, this album had a lot of interludes! I picked this one because I was surprised by how many songs I knew from it. And also Kendrick Lamar samples "Anytime, Anyplace" on his song "Poetic Justice" (which is a reference to a movie that starred Janet Jackson and had the song "Again" associated with it).

5. Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell
4. Snoop Doggy Dogg - Doggy Style
3. Michael Bolton - The One Thing
2. Pearl Jam - Vs.
1. Mariah Carey - Music Box

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Video: Dessa "Sound the Bells"

Well, Dessa has a new video out for her song "Sound the Bells" it's serene and peaceful, but also kind of dark, and I'm not sure where I get the darkness from, but it's there, I swear.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (UK Edition): Philip George "Wish You Were Mine"

"Uptown Funk" is Number 1 across the pond, as well, so this song is at #2. It's a fun little dance number. I feel like there are a lot more fun little dance numbers over in the UK. Maybe they tally their charts differently?

Oh also the foley work at the beginning is amazing.

Monday, January 19, 2015

New Countdown! Subscriptions available!

Vance Joy
First of all, you can now subscribe to my podcast! If you're using iTunes, go to File --> Subscribe to Podcast... and then paste this link ( ) into the blank. Then you don't have to download the file and add it to iTunes. It'll download as a podcast and the new episodes will download when they're available (I'm pretty sure)

Lots of bonus songs on this one, for reasons that I go into in the episode. Enjoy!

Countdown #230 

Arctic Monkeys
Big Data featuring Joywave
Cage the Elephant
Fall Out Boy
Foo Fighters
Imagine Dragons
Milky Chance
Vance Joy
Walk the Moon

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday: 1995

7 out of the 10 albums on the Top Ten for 1995 made me go "Whoa! And that one is on here too?!" So I figured we'd break from tradition and have a video from each album on the Top Ten. I think you'll agree it was a bumper crop.

10. The Cranberries - No Need to Argue

9. Tom Petty - Wildflowers

8. Aerosmith - Big Ones

7. Nirvana - MTV Unplugged in New York

6. The Offspring - Smash

5. Eagles - Hell Freezes Over

4. Green Day - Dookie

3. Boyz II Men - II

2. Pearl Jam - Vitalogy

1. Garth Brooks - The Hits

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Billboard Hot 100 Year-End Chart

And just like last year, on the second week where there wasn't a new song on the Top Ten, I played a video that showed clips of the Hot 100 Year-End Chart! This is how traditions start, people :)

Enjoy looking back at 2014 one more time!