R.I.P. Uriel Jones

Uriel Jones, one of the legendary Funk Brothers, has passed away. My love of Motown has been documented here before. My love of the Motown drummers and bassists is also pretty well known amongst my fellow music nerd friends. I think the Temptations song below will tell you everything you need to know about Uriel's drumming style. The perfect pick-up, not too busy, but putting every hit in the perfect place. He could hang back and let the song breathe which is more difficult than overplaying. Every time one of these guys dies we lose an important piece of American musical history. Thank the heavens we have the recordings.
Ain't Too Proud To Beg


reasons to be pretty

If you live in the NYC area or will be here visiting and would like some culture that isn't music related I would like to recommend Neil LaBute's reasons to be pretty which is now playing at the Lyceum Theatre. Went with a friend and saw it Friday night. Very funny and well written. I was surprised because I have not previously enjoyed his work. The cast was fantastic and really kept the audience engaged.

This marks the third play I've seen Marin Ireland in (the others being The Beebo Brinker Chronicles and more recently Blasted) and I must admit that I never thought I'd have a favorite stage actress but can now say solidly that I do. She is excellent and has been in all of the roles I've seen her in. The entire cast was wonderful but Marin is the one to keep your eyes on.


National Beekeepers Society

I was recently sent a few tracks by National Beekeepers Society and have to tell you that Look at Me grabbed me and shook me right out of whatever bad mood I was in. I was nodding my head and tapping my toes which is about as animated as I get. A fun, snotty, blink and you'll miss it sort of song. In other words, it says and does everything it needs to to get you hooked in less that 2 minutes. Sort of reminds me of The Buzzcocks, take that as you will.
Surprisingly, their other stuff did not sound like this so much. They seem to cover a lot of territory for one band. Admirable since a lot of bands these days just find one thing and do it to death. Why not check some of their other songs out as well?


Projekt A-ko

I received a very nice e-mail from Darren who runs Filthy Little Angels in the UK. He not only wrote to me regarding his own label but also mentioned a band that I might like. It's like this guy knows me! He gave me a heads up about Projekt A-ko featuring three former members of Urusei Yatsura who happen to be a band I enjoyed quite a bit in their day. Now I have a new band to enjoy! Frankly, I think we all need new bands to enjoy.

I was sent three songs and it was incredibly difficult for me to choose which to post. I love all three! It came down to putting the music on shuffle and posting the first one that got played. With that I give you Molten Hearts. This is for the best as it is probably the catchiest of the three though they're all stuck in my head now. I hear the poppy aspects of Pavement and Sonic Youth in this song. Who can argue with that? If you direct yourself to their myspace page (linked above) you will find information on their upcoming debut release. I will have to get my hands on it for sure! May I suggest you do the same.


My Teenage Stride

I realized that I've never posted about My Teenage Stride (though I have mentioned them) and now is as good of time as any. They are playing a really fantastic show this Saturday at Cake Shop that has an incredibly strong line up. I definitely recommend getting there early at 8 pm for the first band, The Human Hearts. I've never seen Knight School or A Classic Education but based on their myspace pages I am looking forward to a pretty damn solid night of music!

Back to the band at hand. I first heard MTS in 2001, I believe. Both of us were on a compilation that launched a record label that we both ended up being on. I first met Jed in 2002 on a visit to nyc a few years before I ended up moving here. I've been a fan of ever record he's put out and I'm happy to report that the music is as catchy as ever. Not only is it as catchy as ever, it is also better than ever.

One thing I find interesting is the fact that his songs will often change from the demo version to the final version. He has a studio set up which gives him the luxury of doing this, I suppose. Before Ears Like Golden Bats was recorded he gave me a cdr of some demos of the songs that ended up being on the record. Some of them changed slightly from the demo version to the final version and some more drastically. I still prefer some of the earlier versions to the album versions but that just may be because I got so used to hearing them. Overall, the third record is by far the strongest and I totally recognize that! When he went into the studio to make that record he recorded more than enough songs to choose from and my favorite song didn't make the record. Here is the earlier previously unreleased version of easily one of my favorite songs ever. The Loud Confessor (alternate version) (A note, it's tagged "demo" but really this is more than a demo. It's a studio recording that truly is an alternate version of the song.)

Before posting the above I e-mailed Jed to ask him if it would be alright. He responded that it was and apparently the song was re-recorded so the band had a chance to play on it. I'm thinking that the band at the time consisted of Jed, Brett, Mat, Jeff, and Dak but I'm not positive about that. MTS released the ep Lesser Demons which was another very strong release. I was surprised to hear a new version of my favorite song! I think that it's very interesting to hear a song change over time. Hopefully you will feel the same.
The Loud Confessor

If you go to the My Teenage Stride myspace page you can learn more about their song a month series for eMusic that they are doing. I will leave you with the song that started my love for My Teenage Stride all of those years ago. It was released on a 7" single but I don't have that. In fact, that may be a different version! This is the compilation version. Can anyone tell me if they're the same? I'm curious now!
I'm Sorry


Todd Urick

A friend I've known longer than most is having some health issues. His insurance isn't covering some treatments that he needs quite badly. This should matter to you because Mr. Todd Urick is a saint of college and community radio. If you live on the west coast you may very well have him to thank for having great radio. He's a longtime DJ at KDVS in Davis and also the broadcast consultant at Common Frequency. He's also been in some fantastic bands over the years, including one with yours truly. You can read more about his health issues and what he needs here. Anything you can donate would be greatly appreciated.