Rina Sawayama – This Hell
Lemon Twigs – Anytime of the Day
Arctic Monkeys – Body Paint
Blues Lawyer – Chance Encounters
Ethel Cain – American Teenager
Yo La Tengo – Aselestine
Horace Andy – Watch Over Them
Brad Mehldau – Your Mother Should Know
Pony – Très Jolie
Lemon Twigs – “Anytime of the Day” from the Everything Harmony being released on May 5th
This is the second Lemon Twigs number to have aired on the podcast. We played one from their previous album back in the Old Fellas “Jurassic” period. The band are principally Brian and Michael D’Addario. Their music and sartorial style seems frozen in about 1972 but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “Anytime of Day” could have been lifted off a Todd Rundgren or Carpenters album. Blogger Burning Wood elaborates:
Whenthehornblows concurs: https://whenthehornblows.com/content/2023/2/19/the-lemon-twigs-any-time-of-day
Blues Lawyer – “Chance Encounters” from All in Good Time
Although this podcast is about listening to new music and pithy penetrating conversation, sometimes we all learn something. I picked Blues Lawyer because of their intriguing name. Well… who knew there’s a whole story there?
https://killerguitarrigs.com/what-is-a-blues-lawyer/ As a semi-musician, I had never heard this term before. Oakland-based Blues Lawyer are anything but “Blues Lawyers”. Chance Encounters is wonderful punchy song with a great retro video
. Here’s the story behind the new album. https://rockandrollglobe.com/indie-rock/blues-lawyer-and-the-art-of-patience/
Yo La Tengo – “Aselestine” from This Stupid World,
Critics’ faves Yo La Tengo have been kicking around for almost 40 years now. They have released fifteen studio albums, six compilation albums, fifteen extended plays, twenty-two singles, two film score albums, four collaborative albums, and one album of cover songs. Hoboken’s finest (not counting Frank Sinatra) have just released This Stupid World. Drummer Georgia Hubley takes lead vocals on “Aselestine”
On their liveliest album in at least a decade, indie rock’s most steadfast institution squares up against ubiquitous darkness.
To fully dig the manifold charms of This Stupid World, it’s best to take a single step back into Yo La Tengo’s 38 years-and-counting catalog. In July 2020, amid that first summer of extreme pandemic disorientation, the trio surprised devotees not only with a new Bandcamp page but also with a fresh album, captured at their Hoboken practice space just weeks earlier and offered up like a timely postcard from a friend you’ve missed—we’re OK, and we hope you’re OK, too.
Yo La Tengo rocking out in 2013 at the Pitchfork Festival
Brad Mehldau – “Your Mother Should Know” from Your Mother Should Know: Brad Mehldau Plays the Beatles
Everybody artist at some point tackles a Beatles cover; it’s inevitable. Bradford is an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. As a jazz guy, he takes a fresh approach covering one of Paul McCartney’s minor songs. Mehldau doesn’t, like many jazz guys, stretch the original tune in length or go off on fancy tangents. The actual playing time is very close to the original track. Here he playing live.
Hey it’s the Burning Wood Blog again!
Tidal magazine provides insight.
Rina Sawayama – This Hell (Official Music Video)
Don’t know if I would call this a country song, but it certainly is a banger as the kids say. The lyrics are really interesting to, so I had no problem making this my first pick this week.
About the song – from Wikipedia
“This Hell” is a “glammy, country pop inspired” song which contains references to numerous country and western motifs such as cowboys and horseriding. It was produced by Paul Epworth and Clarence Clarity, and written by Sawayama alongside Vic Jamieson, Epworth, and Lauren Aquilina.
Sawayama has noted Dolly Parton and Kacey Musgraves as inspirations for “This Hell”, as well as Shania Twain, whom Sawayama has described as “The queen of country pop”.
Sawayama wrote “This Hell” while reflecting about attacks against LGBT people, which are often motivated by religious beliefs, stating: “When the world tells us we don’t deserve love and protection, we have no choice but to give love and protection to each other”. The song contains a guitar solo which was described as “over-the-top” by NPR. The singer makes references to some gay icons such as Britney Spears, Princess Diana, and Whitney Houston, and references Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” with the beginning line, “Let’s go, girls”, as well as Paris Hilton‘s signature catchphrase “that’s hot”. Sawayama stated: “I put in as many iconic pop culture moments as I can, but the song is more than that.”  Upon the song’s release, Sawayama posted to Twitter: “I wanted to write a western pop song that celebrated COMMUNITY and LOVE in a time where the world seemed hellish.”
Arctic Monkeys – Body Paint
Another band that has been around for a long time that I didn’t know about. Body Paint, like all the songs on their latest album is so interesting, certainly a cut above the music I was hearing on the Top Lists this week. The Car is Arctic Monkeys’ seventh album.
a bit about the song – interesting notes here.
Musically the song has been described as a “lounge-y piano ballad”, and Beatlesque, with “gorgeous string arrangements” reminiscent of Burt Bacharach and George Martin‘s work with said group. The band has been said as being “in introspective lounge lizard mode over sparkling piano and slowed-down drums.” Robin Murray of Clash, thought there was a “sense of Bowie‘s mid 70s peak in the arrangement”.
Ethel Cain – American Teenager
Grew up under yellow light on the street
Putting too much faith in the make-believe
And another high school football team
The neighbor’s brother came home in a box
But he wanted to go, so maybe it was his fault
Another red heart taken by the American dream
More and more I am choosing songs that I think we have played before, but I checked and we haven’t. We have (I forgot) played Arctic Monkeys beforte – different song.
I like everything about Ethel Cain. Bob thinks her last name comes from a Band Song – that is pretty interesting, but I couldn’t find anything on that.
A bit about Ethel Cain from Pitchfork.
“Growing up I was surrounded by visions of NASCAR, rock’n’roll, and being the one who would change everything,” Cain said in a statement. “They make you think it’s all achievable and that if nothing else, you should at least die trying. What they don’t tell you is that you need your neighbor more than your country needs you. I wrote this song as an expression of my frustration with all the things the ‘American Teenager’ is supposed to be but never had any real chance of becoming.”
Yet another long-time famous musician I hadn’t heard of before. Bob talks a lot about him during the podcast – I am adding a few notes, mainly for me so I can catch up. This for me would be a great album to pick up soon. I have included below an NPR episode featuring some discussion of his latest album. Plus I found – again from NPR – a great session including Horace Andy and a great group of musicians.
NPR’s favorite music of April, from broken-hearted R&B to paranoid post-punk
Horace Andy is a reggae legend and a beloved Massive Attack collaborator. On his new album Midnight Rocker, producer Adrian Sherwood sticks to the basics: a full band adorns Andy’s golden voice with rich arrangements, as he offers messages of care in an uncaring world. We open the best music of the month show with “Watch Over Them,” and it’s easy to get lost in Andy’s voice.
Today, right here, we get to peek into the decked-out living room of producer Adrian Sherwood’s home and watch masters of reggae playfully chill. We hear Horace Andy‘s gruff tenor tell stories with 55 years of experience, rasp and wear.
“You’ve got to live, live, live for today, for tomorrow might never come your way,” he pleads as he sings “Today Is Right Here,” a track on his 2022 album Midnight Rocker. And then the lines I love best, “My mama told me when I was a child, said all the best things take a little while. But mama was wrong, wrong, wrong, the best things in life come and they go in the blink of an eye.” All the while, a single snare drum and hi-hat keep the beat, and the band of bass, guitar, keyboard, sax, trumpet and cello warmly support the emotions pouring from Horace Andy.
Horace Andy: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
Pony – Très Jolie
a great way to finish off the show. One line from the reviews sets the song up nicely
“Spunky, sprightly, and positively infectious, ‘Très Jolie’ is basically the perfect song for a summer that hasn’t come yet.”
PONY – “Très Jolie”
From their album “Velveteen”
Out May 19th via Take This To Heart Records