Between Pineapples and Summer Sounds

Over a week ago I bought three pineapples. The store had them on sale at 99 cents and I got excited, so I got some good-looking green pineapples. I get easily excited about things like that… you know, delicious and juicy. But now they are all ripe. All at once. And I have been making pineapple smoothies, made my first pineapple upside down cake, grilled pineapple for a burger, have had it with yogurt, alone, and with bananas. I still have one more pineapple to go. I can do this!

But talking about delicious and juicy, this Summer has been so good when it comes to music. I have seen more shows than I can afford and have been blessed with a great amount of new music. There are some that have been on heavy repeat for me, so I’m going to share some with you.

“Midnight Lorry” by Dispatch
My Sandy Beats partner in music @DocMurda posted Dispatch’s “Painted Yellow Lines”posted Dispatch’s “Painted Yellow Lines” before I could get to it, so I am posting “Midnight Lorry,” another song of theirs that made it to my Summer list. I first fell in love with State Radio, the other band that Chadwick Stokes had put together, at my first Wakarusa in 2010. It was such a memorable performance. I didn’t know any of the songs, but the passion of the fans at the front row and the energy of the band was so contagious. I left that festival a bit obsessed with them (and with John Butler Trio, who played later that same night.) So even though my first love was State Radio, I came to love Chadwick Stokes’ solo work and then Dispatch.
Ugh, ya’ll, I want to see them live. But they haven’t made it anywhere close to me since that State Radio show at Wakarusa.

“Sedona” by Houndmouth
Hey Lil Hollywood, I am super excited to see Houndmouth at Loufest this year. I have, allegedly, already seen them live, but I don’t remember. Maybe I was too overwhelmed with the beauty of Red Rocks and excited about seeing The Head and The Heart and I didn’t really pay attention to the first opener, OK? Or maybe I was busy watching someone hit on a nurse from Ohio or whatever, or enjoying the piece of chocolate that the nurse’s friend had just given me. Anyway, I will enjoy Houndmouth at Loufest like it’s the first time I see them. Also, this song has been on repeat one a lot in the last couple of weeks.

“Staring” by Tipling Rock
This song came up in one of the last couple of my Spotify discover playlists and it got me. It’s so catchy! I added it to my Summer 2017 playlist and it’s been on repeat-one this afternoon.
Tipling Rock is a Boston-based Indie Rock band that just sounds like Summer to me.

“Where’d All The Time Go?” by Dr. Dog
There are two Dr. Dog songs that I’ve had on heavy rotation the last few weeks of intense Southern Nevada heat, “Heart It Races (Dr. Dog Version)” and “Where’d All The Time Go?”
The first one that caught my attention was “Heart it Races,” which sounds like some kind of mix of a lot of music I like. I checked out the original song by Architecture in Helsinki, and while I also liked it and it sounds like I could paint with it on repeat, I like the Dr. Dog version better. The fact that I was so drawn to this song was surprising and amusing, because I’ve own a TON of Dr. Dog music since around 2010, but I never really liked it. I think I never gave it a fair change, but I remember listening to a few songs and just not wanting anything to do with them. And then I found “Where’d All The Time Go?” which I played over and over during a night of painting two weeks ago. I was feeling all the feelings that night and leaving it on a big canvas that I finally finished.

I have a few other songs on my Summer list, but I think four are enough for now. I have to shower to go to dinner, so there.

Songs of Summer

I know the summer just technically started, but here are a few songs I think will help define my summer. While it is true that my recent Repeat One post highlights some of the songs that say Summer of 2017 for me, but there are more (always more).

First up is Margo Price who is bringing us back to the country music of Patsy Cline (with a bit more sass and a lot of weed). I am late to the game with Price who has been a Nashville staple for a while. Her Midwest Farmer’s Daughter is an instant classic.

Here is “Hurtin’ on the Bottle”:

 

If you could pick a new song that is the other side of the spectrum from Margo Price, that song would probably be the first single off of Arcade Fire’s forthcoming release. “Everything Now” is a disco jam made for summer. The video, like all of their videos, is a work of art and to me is reminiscent of one of my favorite podcasts, Welcome to Night Vale. 

 

Let us mess with genres some more, okay? I was not a fan of Dispatch until LouFest 2013 when @begutierrez introduced me to State Radio and Dispatch. Now I cannot get enough of Dispatch, State Radio or Chadwick Stoke’s solo stuff. Their newest record America, Location 12 has been a pleasant summer surprise for me. My favorite song off the record is a great road trip song, “Painted Yellow Lines”. This version was filmed at the Paste studio.

 

Finally, and on a slightly more somber note, Nahko & Medicine for The People has been one of my favorite live bands since seeing them at Life is Beautiful a few years ago. I had the pleasure of seeing them earlier this summer with a few more mainstream reggae acts. Nahko, always the activist, put on an incredible show. The live version of “Love Letters to God” from the most recent release Hoka both destroyed and inspired me. This incredibly emotional video captures that feeling.

Repeat One

My Spotify Discovery lists have been a bit different this year. They have been a lot more stomp-and-holler-y than ever before (the exception would be maybe around the time of last year’s Fayetteville Roots Festival… they got very folky for a couple of weeks, then.)

Anyway, this week’s list was weaksauce. It was a list for someone I didn’t know (perhaps me, but in an alternate desert that is definitely not this desert.) I think I liked about two songs, but this one really stuck. I had it on repeat for a couple of hours.

Tom West
“Easy Love”

PS. I almost didn’t write this post, because I didn’t like the video. I don’t want to take away from the artistry of the video, but I feel like this song deserved a video that went a completely different direction. Something more meaningful. But since the song is still playing on repeat through my speaker, I decided to post this anyway.

Late Nights & Music Videos

Music videos are one of my most favorite things. No, I am not just talking about videos from my youth that changed the way I “saw” music. I still see “Black Hole Sun” from Soundgarden or “Today” from Smashing Pumpkins when I dream at night and the KLF videos still live with me everyday the strangeness that they exuded. I know this may be shocking, but artists and bands still make music videos. I know they are not played on MTV anymore, but there is still a market. And its not just Americans (rather it is probably mostly not Americans) who watch these videos. Now some of them are straightforward and boring. But others are works of art. Maybe because they are no longer being shown on MTV and VH1, artists (and directors) can be free to experiment with their story telling. The quality of some of these by relatively unknown bands is exceptional because we all have high tech cameras and editing software. However, the fancy equipment is not the only thing great about these videos. The emotions that a video can evoke, the changed meaning of a song, these and other visuals can completely make or break a song (in my opinion).  I often watch videos late into the night when I am already open to feeling and sometimes I come across a video that just blows me away.

Earlier this week I was listening to new music from some of the bands that have releases in the next few months. I had previously been familiar with Atlanta based Manchester Orchestra partially through a friend and through their relationship with Frightened Rabbit. They have been around for a while and have a pretty deep catalog. Their style is not easily defined ranging from harder indie rock to straight folk. If the first single, “The Alien”, off their upcoming record A Black Mile to the Surface is any indication, this album may be a bit more folky. When I first heard “The Alien” I liked the song and it really got me excited for the new record. When I watched the video for “The Alien”, I was blown away. It struck me as very different, very beautiful and it added an entire new layer to the song (see it below).