I caught of the Cold War Kids backstage after their blistering inaugural Bonnaroo set. They were tired and exhausted, but paused really quick for this shot.
While we’ve largely resisted the youth, hipster push behind Cage The Elephant, this garage-y song bomb is hitting the spot. If the rest of their new album, Thank You Happy Birthday (released January 11), is this fun we’ll need to play catch-up.
In this edition: Manchester Orchestra, The Phoenix Foundation, Boris and The Vaccines.
Though Rory Gallagher thought fit to shelve the recordings he captured in the Bay Area in December 1977, it’s likely that Notes From San Francisco (released May 17 on Eagle Records) would have been regarded as one of his strongest, liveliest studio efforts. It takes only a couple tracks before one picks up on the musicians catching the mythical “pocket,” swinging spontaneously and collectively, chugging tough behind their mercurial, hard pounding leader’s big bear growl and relentless guitar invention. For blues-based rock, particularly in the waning hours of that decade, this represents as good as it gets, and though 33 years too late, we’re fortunate to finally be able to hear this lot.
While not a far cry from the albums that would have sat on either side of it – 1976’s Calling Card and 1978’s Photo-Finish – Notes From San Francisco hits the mark more often from start-to-finish than anything else in the 70s for Rory besides 1973’s landmark Tatoo. Gallagher is at his barstool philosopher best here, a gruffer cousin to fellow Irishman and bittersweet tragedian Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy). Much of this rattles and grinds, but “Wheels Within Wheels” is one of his finest slow numbers and even had the potential to puncture American FM-radio in the era alongside the tailored ennui of Fleetwood Mac and Gerry Rafferty. Elsewhere, there’s the Latin horns meet slide licks of “Brute Force & Ignorance,” the gypsy musician’s lament “Overnight Bag,” and electric violin perforated “Mississippi Sheiks,” strings courtesy of Joe O’Donnell (East of Eden, Mushroom) – the late, great, very missed Martin Fiero also contributes sax to two cuts. Yes, there are plenty of electric guitar workouts but unlike a lot of shredders, particularly of his generation, there’s not a lot of fat and more than a dollop of light-fingered delicacy and eloquent, carefully chosen sting, these last two traits displayed beautifully on the “Little Wing”-esque album closer “Fuel To The Fire.”
This posthumous release is bettered still by a second disc containing a live trio show captured at The Old Waldorf in San Francisco in December 1979. Gallagher had dropped his keyboard player after seeing the Sex Pistols burn down Winterland and attacks staples like “Shinkicker” and “Tattoo’d Lady” with feral energy. The rhythm section of Gerry McAvoy (bass) and Ted McKenna stay close to Gallagher’s wild movements from blazing opener “Follow Me” to the closing frenetic, lighthearted cover of Huey P. Smith’s “Sea Cruise.” There’s a lot of reasons many ardent Rory aficionados consider true Gallagher to be live Gallagher, and this set adds more heft to their argument, though I think he’s nearly equally lethal and sometimes more visibly tender in his studio work. Whichever setting you prefer, there’s much to enjoy on Notes From San Francisco, a rare archival gem that holds its own with the official catalog.
While we haven’t heard the entirety of their new album, Dig Down Deep (released April 26 on Supply And Demand), based on this rockin’ clip and the tuneful goodness of their earlier records, we’re confident Vandaveer has delivered up another addictive, heart-wise long-player. Redolent of solo 70s Paul Simon mingled with the quirks and callouses of modern indie rock, Vandaveer – the shell for singer-songwriter Mark Charles Heidinger (ex-These United States) – is a subtle business, skirting one’s defenses to touch them where others get brushed away and managing to make us sing along at the same time. Can’t wait to hear all of Dig Down Deep, and the band takes to the road again on June 14 in Louisville, KY, heading westward until tour closer June 30 in Los Angeles. Full tour dates can be found here.
And check out the audio on another new track below.
Can you freakin’ believe this is the 40th Pounding? We’re a little surprised ourselves, and at how mix tapes have become part of the fabric of Dirty Impound. Folks seem to dig ‘em, and thus far we’ve offered up over 60 mixes in our inaugural year. In honor of our 40th and our anniversary week festivities, we’re giving you a double dose.
We continue to poke around the “Box of Intrigue” to offer you mostly new names to the Impound. Part One is almost entirely fresh artists alongside a taste of Dennis’ Albums of the Week (Manchester Orchestra and The Phoenix Foundation). Part Two swings easier with the “Box” holding a core of a new fave (Kiyoshi Foster) and some bittersweet pub rock.
And for those wondering why we keep the majority of the mixes to 13 tracks, it’s because we have a vague obsession with prime numbers AND because 13 feels just long enough to take little trip without having to pack anything or bust out a passport. Now press play and away we go…
If you experience playback problems, pop over to the 8tracks mix page and it should play fine.
The Stone Foxes emanate a hungry aura that recalls The Black Crowes circa 1992-1995, i.e. a rock gang ready to take a nasty chunk out of the world’s behind. The band recently announced their summer tour plans. Something raw and very, very good is happening with this Bay Area mover. The time to check them out is now before they start moving into bigger halls and there’s still a chance to trade a little impassioned flop sweat with the boys. And do go out of your way to check out their latest album, 2010′s Bears & Bulls, which is kickass, blue jean ready gold (pick it up here). Here’s their tour schedule and below an example of them leaving a lil’ blood on the stage.
As Prince, Robert Palmer and Half Baked‘s Samson Simpson know, it’s a blast to be backed by an all-female gang. Cee Lo Green knows it, too. Since releasing his baby-making, modern soul gem The Lady Killer, the smooth domed crooner has been making live appearances with a group he’s dubbed Scarlet Fever, consisting of Sharon Aguilar (lead guitar, violin), Brittany Brooks (drums), Theresa Flaminio (keyboards, background vocals) and Regina Zernay Roberts (bass guitar, Moog synthesizer). So, even though you know he’s gonna show up late for his set, once the music starts there’s the added bonus of his estrogen rich company, who also seem to be pretty damn competent musicians to boot. The pairing of Cee Lo and the ladies has odd chemistry, and we like to imagine that every time they play “Fuck You” live spontaneous revenge sex breaks out in the crowd. L. Paul Mann caught the band at UC Santa Barbara’s 2011 Extravaganza and brought us some snaps to share.