“Blackbelt” – John Grant (Live on KEXP)

Aug 23
Posted by Kala Filed in Alt. Rock, Folk, Indie, Singer Songwriter

Found this while cruising KEXP’s youtube channel.  I know he was raised in Parker CO, been in the Denver alt rock scene since the 90’s, cruised Europe for a while and landed in Iceland.  His music is deeply  personal and he sings about his past struggles with alcohol and drug addiction and coming to terms with being gay.   

What you got is a black belt in BS,
But you can’t hawk your pretty wares up in here anymore.
Hit your head on the playground at recess.
Etch-a-sketch your way out of this one, reject!

I dare you to listen and not bob your head, the groove is infectious.

“This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” – The Lumineers (2013)

Apr 15
Posted by admin Filed in Folk

What do you do when one of your favorite bands covers your favorite Talking Heads song? Duh, post it, pronto! They put a very Lumineeresque spin on it which is quite the inversion from the original considering that the Talking Heads probably fit somewhere into the anti-folk quasi-genre. I’ve definitely got more love for the original but the cover is pretty cool. The Lumineers were announced today as a headliner for one of the Marymoor concerts this summer in Redmond.


Down With the Shine – The Avett Brothers – “The Carpenter” (2012)

Oct 19
Posted by admin Filed in Folk

Stay the course. Change is good, I mean bad.


“Wrong Side of the Bed” – Sean Rowe – “Magic” (2011)

Aug 25
Posted by admin Filed in Folk, Singer Songwriter

I love the inspiration for Sean Rowe’s first song which he recounted in an interview for The Rumpus:

I first wrote an untitled song when I was seven or eight using a white plastic Fischer Price typewriter that my parents had bought me for Christmas. (At the time, my brother had told me that Santa was a joke and that mom and dad hid all of our Christmas shit in the attic!) I was inspired to type out my very own song lyrics when I first heard “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. My song started “Walkin’ down the street / and my feet were like meat…” Sorry that’s all I can remember!

This guy draws the Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen comparisons which fit quite nicely. I went back and listened to “Magic” which was released early last year, as sort of a remedial exercise in anticipation of his follow up, “The Salesman and the Shark” which will be released this week. I constantly had to remind myself that I was listening to Sean Rowe and not Gil Scott-Heron. I really love this guy (I’m talking Rowe but I find myself wanting to go on a Scott-Heron binge now) and would guess that he’ll tour non-stop for the next year and fill a couple hundred sized clubs all over the country and Europe, in the process locking down his fan base. I’ll be checking his site periodically to see at what point he takes turns the tour bus west.


“I Don’t Wanna Pray” – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – “Here” (2012)

Jun 30
Posted by admin Filed in Folk

A little subdued compared to their 2009 debut, nonetheless all of that organic, extended family hootenanny feel still comes through in the new Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros album. I can almost sense the unwashed, funkiness of a close quartered venue with this conglomerate grinding out a lathered up set, every time I put on my Audio-Technica headphones and listen to them. I made a slight error in concert ticket buying over zealousness when I put down money to see the Head and the Heart for the sixth time, not knowing that Alex Ebert and the gang would be in town on the same day. No worries though as I’m sure they’ll come around for another show sometime between now and next Labor Day.


“The Way We Move” – Langhorne Slim – “The Way We Move” (2012)

Jun 23
Posted by admin Filed in Folk, Indie, Pacific Northwest

Can I cram in shows at multiple venues on one night? First, there’s the free show at the Seattle Center that I mentioned last night with the night cap being Langhorne Slim at The Tractor. It’s not really much of a cram as the two places are only a couple of miles apart, and those Friday night parties at The Tractor usually don’t give you a glimpse of the headliner until something like 10:30 PM. Plus, there are plenty of places in Ballard for the intermission to grab a pint and a bite to sustain me through the night and early morning. Late July and early August are really rounding into shape as a fertile couple of weeks for concert going.

I’d never heard this Langhorne Slim song until John Richards did me the pleasure this morning. This is the kind of song that literally make my ears sit up at attention. This song is brimming with that boisterous, not too refined energy and touched by elements of a couple, three genres which make it feel like this living organism that you can feel, chest bump, hug, and high five.

It’s officially summer, Northern Hemisphereites, bask while the basking is plentiful.



“Small Bright Doses” – Winterpills – “All My Lovely Goners” (2012)

May 21
Posted by admin Filed in Blues, Folk, Indie

This is a beautiful song in the key of mourning. We only get so many chances and it sounds like the protagonists in the snapshot of time portrayed in this song are spending many a day recounting one of those chances, by all indications a lost opportunity.

It’s a new week. Make the most of your opportunities.


“Face This Disaster” – Tiny Messengers – EP (2011)

May 15
Posted by admin Filed in Folk, Indie, Pacific Northwest

I’m perusing the line up of bands that will be in Ballard this coming Friday night as I want to partake in the KEXP hosted activities which are part of the station’s Hood to Hood Challenge.

Tiny Messengers are kind of interesting, not sure that I love ’em, but there’s enough to like to make me want to go to Conor Byrne and check them out. Kind of interesting with a bunch of banjo, and then some steel coming in to add some texture. It’s kind of a honky tonk, blue grass thing, but then they swapped out the two or three other country fellas that would be pickin’ a guitar on a Nashville made album and replaced it with some synth. Capsulized, they sound like something that you can’t really typify which can be summed up as, typical Seattle.


“Ho Hey” – The Lumineers – “The Lumineers” (2012)

May 13
Posted by admin Filed in Folk, Indie

I’m counting on The Lumineers being one of my favorite shows of the year. They’ll be here in Seattle in late July to play the Capitol Hill Block Party and as things stand now with what I’m listening to the most, and who I can foresee visiting in the next seven months, I don’t want to see anyone in 2012 as much I want to see The Lumineers.

Although the Block Party schedule has not been set yet, it looks like The Lumineers will be walking on to the mainstage on Sunday night. I’m pretty much a weenie with festivals, and attending for multiple days, but the Block Party line up is pretty darned stacked, so maybe if I space it out, attend Friday night, rest up on Saturday, then come back down on Sunday I will get my fill without being too full. Yeah, the more I think about that, I should try and pull off a weekend double as I’m probably going to pass on Bumbershoot this year.

1,2,3 I belong with you, you belong with me you’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me you’re my sweet (Ho!)


“West End Blues” – The Carolina Chocolate Drops – “Leaving Eden” (2012)

Mar 31
Posted by admin Filed in Folk

Carolina Chocolate Drops tonight… I think… I can’t find my tickets, or proof that I bought them. I’m hoping for good news, and a hand stamp at the will call window. If by chance, I did manage to mess this up, it would be kind of fitting since I also was asleep at the wheel for tonight’s Lumineers show and didn’t get around to attempting to buy tickets until afte it was, SOLLLLLDDDDDDDD OUTTTTTTTTT!!!

Wish me luck.