Impounded Inquiries

The Bye Bye Blackbirds

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The Bye Bye Blackbirds

The Bye Bye Blackbirds

With the Breaking Bad finale reintroducing a new generation to Badfinger this week, it seems timely to spotlight a contemporary torchbearer for the kind of gorgeously crafted, giddily passionate pop-rock that Pete Ham, Tom Evans, Joey Molland and the lads proffered. Oakland’s The Bye Bye Blackbirds are pro practitioners of finger-snap ditties with a classic rock ‘n’ roll rumble with ringing kinship to Cheap Trick, The Velvet Crush, Village Green-era Kinks, Buffalo Springfield, and early Nick Lowe.

The band’s forthcoming new long-player, We Need The Rain (arriving November 12 – listen and pre-order here) is a concisely carved treat that reminds us how far radio fare has fallen in recent decades and what a swaying treat it once was. Every tune practically shimmies out of the speakers, cool small details etched into ceaselessly ear-snagging melodies as sweet, gently yearning voices sing about love and the weather in ways that make both seem brand new. See, that’s what really good pop-minded music has always done, make the world sparkle in a fresh way through the minor miracle of relatable, smartly built songs. Every time the Impound puts this on we flash back to a time when folks spun 45s in their bedrooms and danced with mad joy because of the new sounds flooding the air around them.

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While many mining the past for their sound would settle for homage and imitation, The Bye Bye Blackbirds, anchored by chief songwriter-singer-guitarist Bradley Skaught, inject a bit of rattle and tempered noise that cements this as modern stuff, always walking that fine line between admirers of greats and aspirants to greatness, making them contemporaries to quality rockers like Kelly Stoltz, Dr. Dog and The Dirtbombs – i.e. circumventers of clichés that also grok the master strokes of classic pop. The growling, expansive spirit of Crazy Horse emerges in fab closer “Spin Your Stars,” and the Blackbirds show a pleasing willingness to muddy their guitar sound in general. Taken together, We Need The Rain is the sort of record that’s readily welcoming but built to last, where one gets a little something neat out of every spin, the richness and pleasure of the album steadily increasing as its words, tunes and performances slowly settle into the listener’s bones.

We invited Bradley to tackle DI’s quasi-philosophical round table, and here’s what he had to say.

now what?

Mix Tape

Classic Rock Orgy VI

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From time to time DI feels the need to pimp slap the lazy programming of commercial classic rock radio by using the same artist pool but carefully avoiding the same predictable tracks. Sure, we throw in a few obscure treats – once a record store clerk always a record store clerk – but this is exactly what the FM pioneers did back in the day, doing the legwork to bring the coolest sounds to the people.

ClassicRockOrgy6

This installment doesn’t spare the Rod with double shots from The Faces and Stewart’s 70s heyday. There’s a couple artists that should be staples on the format but aren’t (Goose Creek Symphony, The Flamin’ Groovies), a super bad Neil Young cover, Ted Nugent before he went nuts (with young Meatloaf singing!), a stealth reading of “Amazing Grace,” and even a Journey power ballad. Now, to borrow a line from the saucy James Taylor nugget here, it’s time to whisper sweet nothings in your filthy ears until you’re satisfied.

Listen to this mix HERE. Track listing below.

You can listen to 8tracks mixes on your iPhone (pick up the app here) and Android (pick up the app here).

track listing

Mix Tape

Snack Time V

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When we were young, radio was a blessing, something one turned on to find a smile, a comforting shoulder, or just a nifty tune that made the world shine a bit brighter for a few minutes. Those days – very sadly – are largely past with the commercial radio programming of today, but we at Dirty Impound like to conjecture what a better radio world might sound like. Our fifth installment in this daydream offers Beatles covers, Richard Thompson tackling a Squeeze hit, fresh new talent right at the top, and more with ample nods to the 70s AM radio magnificence of our youth.

Listen to this mix HERE. Track listing below.

You can listen to 8tracks mixes on your iPhone (pick up the app here) and Android (pick up the app here).

track listing

The Free Bird Project

Badfinger

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Their name would seem to make them a natural for this segment, but DI was still happily surprised when we came across this shot of Badfinger setting birds to flight. This is a band we love inordinately, a band whose members’ birthdays we’ve celebrated, a band whose losses we continue to mourn – the world really is a lesser place without Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins and Tom Evans. If the legend of their start as a handpicked group for The Beatles’ newly formed Apple Records isn’t enough to spark one’s interest (if you’re not already as smitten as us), then dive into No Dice (1970) and Straight Up (1971) and discover why this band has been such a blueprint for SO many others. But we also like that they weren’t too nice to raise a middle finger if the spirit took them.

Badfinger

Are you interested in giving Dirty Impound the finger? Are you in a band? Well, we wanna see whatcha you got, cowboys (and cowgirls)! Send us your birdie pics and we’ll add them to our archive and make sure folks know you cared enough to raise a middle finger for rock! Send pictures to freebird@dirtyimpound.com