Hey timid program directors of radio and music television, here’s a perfect fit between the endless plays of Kings of Leon and The Strokes tunes. Bryan Elijah Smith has the same knack for hook-laden, energizing, populist wooing pop-rock as these established brands, and frankly this one is catchier than a lot of their songs. DI’s love of Smith is well established – check out our recent questionnaire where Smith gets philosophical and we gush about his latest album, Turn It Up, from whence “Run Around” comes – but we’re increasingly impressed with the kid’s video wrangling skills. This is fun to watch and builds on the music in a nice way. The scenes of a scruffy Bryan lustily mangling his guitar remind us of those filthy Calvin Klein ads in the 90s that got pulled – not a bad thing, just an observation to point out that Smith is cute in a way that could go Twitter mad, which seems to be something PR stooges and label folks notice more than music now. So, with this artist you get both Teen Beat potential and a tune you can dig. What’s not to like?
By the way, Smith can handle a Kings of Leon tune pretty darn well, too.
“If you don’t think about the things you love you’re gonna lose them someday. If you think too much about the things you love you’re gonna lose them in another way. So you must think just enough about the things you love.”
Ark Life. With just two words the mind wanders into flood and floating reality. When DI’s Grand Poobah was a Catholic Sunday School going lad he once asked, “What did they eat on the ark?” It’s an innocent, logical question, and one to this day no one has ever answered with any satisfaction BUT now we know what the band playing the 40 day, 40 night voyage would sound like with this new Colorado-based outfit spearheaded by These United States singer-songwriter and bohemian gadabout Jesse Elliott. The Impound loves the way these cats ‘n’ kittens watch each other, bodies rolling on some shared wave as they find their musical sea legs, ideas and emotions sloshing around their feet and kick into the crowd with a loose-limb kick spray. Elliott sounds delightful with female songbirds sighing along with his melodically delivered big ideas, and just based on this widdle taste, this band – Elliott, Lindsay Giles, Anna Morsett, Natalie Tate, Ben Desoto & Friends- already gives off the air of a family thang, where the meals and miles are readily shared with any fellow travelers they might encounter. They’ve done a spot of touring in 2013 with a whole lot more ahead including a visit out West in July. Go “like” ‘em on the Facebooks, give a listen to their swell Daytrotter Session, and surely catch a show and break bread – figurative and/or literal – with them when they ramble through your town.
Things this clip reminds us of: The Slits, Akron/Family and especially inspired super freak Exuma – all positives in DI’s book. Once again, our man in Philly Jake Krolick has dropped coolness on our doorstep to share with y’all. This pithy introduction to Sweden’s Goat, captured at a recent show at Philadelphia’s Johnny Brenda’s, marks them as an animal worth tracking. An air of ritual and abandon permeates this performance, a heady reminder that Freak Flag Nation truly knows no borders or the constraints of time when liquid light patriots like Goat wave the banner.
Headed for the open door, tell me what you’re waiting for…
It’s hard to get folks to notice you these days. Fine first albums without a huge label and video push can be missed in the clatter and distraction. Dirty Impound recognizes that and tries to go out of our way to make sure that new artists have a place at our lil’ rock ‘n’ roll water cooler. To wit, the charming, flowing full-length debut from Los Angeles’ Youngblood Hawke arrived this week, and if you’re sweet on catchy songs delivered by a folks very eager to please then Wake Up is gonna tickle your earhole ’til you smile. It’s a nifty slice of California dappled pop-rock with sturdy songwriting and easy to like singers. DI is pleased to premiere this stripped down performance of one of the album’s best tracks, filmed for the excellent Look Sessions series.
Dig Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain or Nitty Gritty Dirt Band? Then, New England’s Hot Day At The Zoo is pouring your cup o’ tea. While less well known than these other national acts, HDATZ plays roots music with dead solid foundations and a whole lotta charm. As DI has pointed out a few times, there are plenty of blazing pickers out there, but it’s when things slow down and one can hear what’s rattling around in the bones of the songs that the real deals separate themselves from the pack. HDATZ pens tunes that ease up to one real easy and then stick around by invitation once one’s gotten to know them. Oh, these guys play and sing as well as just about any outfit working mandolins and acoustic guitars, but it’s ultimately their damn fine, workingman’s songwriting, right from the beginning, that’s endeared them to DI.
Hot Day At The Zoo is in the final days of a Kickstarter campaign for their next album, which finds them adding drums, keys and other elements that will move the band on from their string band beginnings into Sir Douglas Quintet/Flying Burrito Brothers territory – and frankly the Impound is stoked to hear this bad boy. This clip is a sneak peek of what’s ahead, a breezy, bittersweet slice of life dappled with lovely slide accents. If it tickles your fancy consider dropping some coins towards the cause here. You can check out their Kickstarter video below, too. These guys are only a few hundred short of this project being funded, and they’ve got six days to make it happen. Spare what you can for a great regional band that’s bound for bigger things.
Baby, whatcha gonna do when she steps in in front of you?/ I’m on call and if I talk I gotta stand up tall/ And I’m just counting all the days ’til everything will fall apart.
There’s a preternatural confidence and smoothness to Los Angeles-based Raheem Cohen, whose swagger doesn’t belie guys who just finished high school. In fact, listen to their winning Bandcamp EP and one picks up something akin to pre-Purple Rain Prince with pinches of Talking Heads and polished 80s stylists like Spandau Ballet. But click over to “Wind’s Lonely Heart” and they’re plying reggae-tinged lover’s blues. This young group likes to mix things up, right down to their moniker which mingles distinctly Muslim and Jewish names. In some ways, Raheem Cohen is shaping up to be the West Coast answer to guerilla party animals Reptar – and some enterprising tour booker needs to put those Athens, GA kids together with these L.A. boys toot sweet to aid the cause of one nation under a groove.
Dirty Impound is pleased to premiere this smoking new track from Raheem Cohen. It’s the kind of tune that gets lodged in your brain and begs to be played loud on the car stereo as you sing along and don’t give a damn about who sees you belting it out like you wanna impress a TV singing contest judge. Watch them as they work into the song, their faces and bodies leaning into it, after it in a focused, openly passionate way. Real funky stuff only happens with this type of steely-eyed dedication, and already in their early gestation Raheem Cohen shows better instincts for soulful rock than most of what’s crowding the airwaves.
Based on this nasty funk-rock grenade, DI is starting to think we should’ve broken open our piggy bank to scrape together the $250-plus ticket price for Prince‘s debut tour with his new backing band 3rd Eye Girl, who come across as very nice and starry-eyed in the tour promo clip below as well as the record shopping rehearsal jam we’ve also included here. One thing His Purple Mounted Majesty can be counted on for is quality players, and frankly, the Impound thinks Wendy & Lisa in The Revolution were the best creative foils the Minneapolis wonder ever had so this latest estrogen rich combo seems promising, especially if one has a sweet tooth for his Funkadelic licking rock side – and we most certainly do. Most stops are already sold out, even with the steep ticket price, but y’all can check out dates & details here. We’re catching up on the recent new music downloads from Prince & 3rd Eye Girl and will be reporting on them soon. In the meantime, you should dive into this bump ‘n’ grind strut forthwith.
I’ve been through magic and defied reality. I’ve lived a thousand years and it never bothered me.
We love a good cover at DI and this is a REALLY good cover. Lots of folks tackle Black Sabbath wrong – they’re lots tougher to figure out than many reckon – but Brother Dege nails it with this swampy, slippery take on a Vol. 4 standout. In fact, Dege kinda amps up the mystical vibe, taking the original on a misty mountain hop. Satisfying stuff, and there’s more to be had on 2010′s damn fine Folk Songs of the American Longhair and elsewhere in his catalog. Apparently Tarantino digs him, too, and say what you will about Quentin but the man knows how to pick ‘em with soundtrack choices.
Oh, you can download this sweet cover for FREE over here.