“Home” – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – “Up From Below” (2009)

Aug 31
Posted by admin Filed in Pacific Northwest

I’ve been whistling this all night. Guess I’d better post it.

If you’re in the Puget Sound area this weekend but not partaking in Bumbershoot, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones with tickets to the DMB Caravan at The Gorge. What an absolutely stellar line up? My personal highlights, if I were going would be: De La Soul, Blind Pilot, and Lemolo on Friday, The Roots, Devotchka, Linsay Fuller, and The Cave Singers (what a totally stacked day) on Saturday, and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, and Low Anthem on Sunday. Then of course, Dave and the gang fire it up all three days.

Me? I’ll be at home.

Man, oh man, you’re my best friend
I scream it to the nothingness
There ain’t nothing that I need

Well, hot and heavy, pumpkin pie
Chocolate candy, Jesus Christ
Ain’t nothing please me more than you

Ah, home
Let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Ah, home
Let me go home
Home is wherever I’m with you

– DAVE

“The Tourist” – Sarah Jarosz – “Follow Me Down” (2011)

Aug 30
Posted by admin Filed in Bluegrass

Last spring, I made a comment in a post about a cover of a Radiohead song that I heard by a young and talented, Grammy nominated performer. About a month later, Sarah Jarosz’s sophomore album was released, and there it was, track # 8 “The Tourist” which was originally part of Radiohead’s “OK Computer.” I guess it’s kind of shifting too much attention to the cover as the rest of Jarosz’s album lives up to the expectations that I’m sure many people had, but apparently I’ve got a soft spot for Radiohead covers. First, it was Duncan Sheik, then Gillian Welch, and now this.

The songs are vintage, cloudy, unsettled, unfit for mass consumption Radiohead songs. Each of the performers can genuinely play from the same murky, human places that most Radiohead songs come from which gives everything a good mesh. It’s not too late to play the two Sarah Jarosz albums front to back and engrave them into your memory, catch a show or two and say you’ve been there from the beginning. If you like your twang a little more pointed towards alt-bluegrass, give Ms. Jarosz a shot. Those Radiohead guys aren’t too bad either.

– DAVE

“Marionettes” – Kore Ionz – “World War Free” (2011)

Aug 29
Posted by admin Filed in Hawaiian, Pacific Northwest

Bumbershoot’s less than a week away. The Kore Ionz set will be a good one to get the day going. This Pacific Northwest based reggae collective just turned out their first full length album. They’re led by Daniel Pak, a transplant from Hawaii, and you can feel that Pacific Island flavor throughout the album, especially on “Morning Son.” If you’re up and ready for a fun, long day of music, head over to the Fisher Green Stage, just to the southwest of the Space Needle for Kore Ionz on Sunday morning. And just a reminder, if you like what you hear, the best way to get money directly into their pockets is to buy a CD from the merch table.

Marionettes by Kore Ionz

– DAVE

Yeah, but what’s your second favorite?

Aug 28
Posted by admin Filed in Rock and Roll Heaven, Singer Songwriter

So, practically everyone has the same favorite song off of “Live at Sin-é.” Even if you have absolutely no idea what it is that I’m referring to, you most likely have a favorite song off of this album. Of course, I’m referring to the stellar double live album by the late Jeff Buckley. And the song which there’s a very good chance that you love is Buckley’s epic version of the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah.” But, what’s your second favorite song from that album?

There’s a lot to choose from here so this is no easy question. I love “Be Your Husband.” It’s just Buckley’s voice, foot stomps, and clapped out rhythm section. The cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Night Flight” is a contender, as is his version of Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released.” But, I think that I’m going to have to go with his take on “Twelfth of Never.” Most of of us that have been around for parts of the last four or five decades associate this song with the Donny Osmond rendition which I also really enjoy. Buckley’s version has a lot of the same sweetness that Mr. Osmond teen idol lent to the song but in every other way it is a different kind of beast. Osmond’s elaborate orchestrated studio version is countered with Buckley’s voice, his satiny guitar stylings, and what I’m sure had to have been a live captivated audience.

Check out the double album when you get a chance and let me know what your second favorite song is. Who knows, maybe you have a different favorite song.

“Twelfth of Never” – Jeff Buckley – “Live at Sin-é” (2003)

– DAVE

“On Broadway” – George Benson – “Weekend in L.A.” (1977)

Aug 25
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Of course, there was no way that I was going to move on without posting some of Jerry Leiber’s work. With his partner Mike Stoller, Leiber wrote classics such as “Hound Dog”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Stand by Me”, and “Love Potion No. 9.” Did these guys just possess otherworldly talent, or did they have a lot of blank canvas to work with since they were kind of helping to create genres and pop music as we now know it to be? Handing over a tune like “On Broadway” to a guy like George Benson – he of the scintillating R & B guitar skills and fluid scat – is to almost cause a flammable incident.

RIP – Jerry Leiber

– DAVE

“Solid” – Ashford & Simpson – “Solid” (1984)

Aug 24
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Songwriters Nick Ashford and Jerry Leiber have both passed away this week. NPR had nice piece on each of them, yesterday afternoon on All Things Considered.

I have always associated Nick Ashford as half of the performing R & B duo Ashford and Simpson with his wife Ashley, and kind of lost track of what a phenomenally successful songwriting team they were. They penned (Ashford was the lyricist while Simpson wrote the music) eternal and iconic Motown hits such as: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, and “You’re All I Need to Get By.” I don’t think that I’m going out on much of a limb when I say that these songs and others that they produced were not only Motown classics but also American classics.

In my mid-80’s college days, when pretty much all I wanted to do was listen to Bruce Springsteen, metal, AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Depeche Mode, and was force fed heaping doses of Allan Parsons, ELP, and The Who by my carpool mate on the way to class every day, it was songs like “Solid” that made me turn the channel once in awhile.

– DAVE

“Word Play” – A Tribe Called Quest – “Beats, Rhymes, and Life” (1996)

Aug 23
Posted by admin Filed in Hip Hop

I kind of foretold this one as it seems that I’ve been mentioning A Tribe Called Quest a couple of times a week lately. I really love these guys. I love ’em because the flow is so fresh and clear and isn’t smothered in neighborhood shaking bass, and over done samples. I love ’em because they devote so many words to telling us their deep thoughts and not what they just bought. They definitely throw down, and cut other crews down to size but it never sounds like disrespect just for the sake of disrespect. I mean if somebody’s earned the shit talk that’s aimed in his or her direction, that’s one thing but A Tribe Called Quest never comes off like they’re ripping into somebody just because they don’t have anything better to do.

The top of the hip hop heap for me has always belonged to Public Enemy but the more I wear out my Tribe Called Quest albums (can you wear out downloads), the more I think that I’m settling for co-favorites… for now.

– DAVE

“Snakeface” – Throwing Muses – “University” (1995)

Aug 22
Posted by admin Filed in Indie

Rumor has it that Throwing Muses is in the process of compiling a double album anthology due for release next month. In the meantime, if it’s been awhile since you’ve listened to “University” or if you’ve never heard it, give it a spin. Unfamiliar with Throwing Muses? If you dig Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nirvana, The Breeders, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Cult, or Beach House, I guarantee you that Throwing Muses has something good waiting for you. Admittedly, the bands that I mentioned kind of live within the same part of the musical universe (except for maybe Beach House) but Throwing Muses pulls a little something from all of them not in some kind of copy cat attempt but because of the intense creative force of co-founders and step sisters: Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donnelly. The robust , propulsive drum fills of David Narcizo are the perfect companion to Hersh’s vocal performance throughout this album.

This is one of those albums that I could throw a dart at and be happy posting any song but “Snakeface” is one that most embodies everything that I love about this band. The stretched out bass line, the sexy vocals, the crazy drum fills (did I already mention that), and tempo change make this one a pretty artful creation.

– DAVE

Two Years Old

Aug 21
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

I’ve been adding to the Play On Daily playlist for two years as of today. For the two year anniversary of this blog I’ve been thinking that I need something kind of at the core of what I like, and what is liked by a lot of other people. Of course that’s pretty hard to zero in on since I’ve got a pretty varied bunch of music in here. If I did have some sort of yard stick to pick something that is Play On Daily middle of the road, I’m guessing that it would be something from the UK by some rock band that enjoyed moderate levels of commercial and critical success, and/or is no longer open for business (think: The Smiths, Elbow, or The The). Or, it could be a hip hop outfit that meets a good portion of the criteria above (Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest). Or, it could be some old or new kids from the Pacific Northwest and who got their career going in Seattle (Pearl Jam, The Head and the Heart). Or, it could be something very Top 40, and sing along from Michael Jackson or Journey.

The last group is kind of the dirty little secret for a lot of bloggers and music fans, and might be the only thing that set me apart from a lot of other individual’s blogs. A lot of people hyping artists like: The Joy Formidable, Cat Power, The Stills, Pickwick, Ministry, The Kills, The Dears, and Gerald Collier have got no time for any bands on a major label and making music for the masses. Or, should I say, they’ve got no time to admit in public that they listen to Top 40 late at night with the curtains drawn, when no one can hear them. Embrace what you like, and don’t be shy about it. What you think is below you, or low brow might come back into favor one day with the cool kids, and wouldn’t it be cool to say that you’ve been backing them this whole time.

I still couldn’t figure out what to post today, and now it’s getting late. I was 90% sure that it was going to be a cut from A Tribe Called Quest but then I realized that I’d already posted the song that I had in my head, so I decided not to go there again. A Cat Power song got strong consideration, and even one by Jason Mraz but neither seemed to be close enough to that center that I was looking for.

Finally, it came to me. Play something that pretty much everyone who I’ve mentioned above respects. And, don’t go searching for any deep cuts that only a handful of people know. Play something timeless and classic. Now it seems so obvious.

“My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) – Neil Young and Crazy Horse – “Rust Never Sleeps” (1979)

– DAVE

“What I Have to Offer” – Eels – “Tomorrow Morning” (2010)

Aug 19
Posted by admin Filed in Indie

Well, to be totally honest, there are one maybe two things that Mr. E doesn’t care about that I care about…. I care a lot about the things that E doesn’t care about. Still, it makes no difference. I really love this little, melancholy number. Nothing too fancy, it’s just kind of sweet, simple, and really, kind of mushy but in a steel cut kind of way.

– DAVE