Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Odds & Ends

I'm back from a short blogging absence there - I was helping the new roommate get moved in and situated. This is a friend I've known since I was 12, and we've pulled jackass stunts from time to time ever since. This should be an interesting ride.

Anyway, back to some music:

There's a new record on the way (Feb. 3) from the Heartless Bastards, a Dayton trio that I caught on their second record, 2006's All This Time.

The band has put out the first single as a free download, and it's hella good. "The Mountain" is pure rock 'n' roll, big power chords riding a stomp-stomp beat, with Erika Wennerstrom's raw, bluesy vocals right in the middle.

I listened to the song about 10 times yesterday, then in the car on the trip to return the U-Haul, I caught it again on KXCI, and had that momentary thrill that comes when a radio station unxpectedly plays one of your favorite songs. So, from that reaction alone, I'm already putting "The Mountain in the top slot for best song I've heard from 2009.

The Heartless Bastards have a tour booked with The Gaslight Anthem for the spring, and if there's no Tucson show, then this looks like one that's actually worth driving to Phoenix to catch. But with no dates listed in between the April 15 San Francisco show and the April 21 at the Clubhouse, I'm holding out some hope that a Tucson show is in the works.

Heartless Bastards - The Mountain
Heartless Bastards - All This Time


Magnet has been keeping close tabs on The Wrens, who are back to work on the follow-up to 2003's The Meadowlands. I came to that record a couple years late, but couldn't get "She Sends Kisses" out of my mind for at least that long afterwards. Magnet's Wrens Watch has a new song from the band, probably a demo, but I think it shows a ton of promise for the new record.

The Wrens - New Song


Back in November, Austin's Mother Truckers released a digital-only album, Let's All Go To Bed. I missed it at the time, but I clearly remember the band playing one hell of a show last January at Club Congress, with the Fourkiller Flats. The Mother Truckers get huge props in Tucson, which is no surprise because as the 2007-2008 winners of Best Roots Band in Austin, they fit right in with the country-folk-rock blend of the desert.

This is rowdy, bar-room rock 'n' roll, with white hot guitar leads plucked from Josh Zee's heavy metal past, and honey sweet vocals from Teal Collins, who smiles on stage more than any other performer I've ever seen.

Mother Truckers - When I Get My Wings
Mother Truckers - Dynamite
Mother Truckers - Streets of Atlanta

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