I have not come across anyone who has heard the 1960s song Wooden Ships (written by David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Paul Kantner) and not liked it. I’m sure you remember the song.
Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Sometimes when you’re searching for new musicians you need look no further than the record label that publishes their work. Sub Pop is one such label. Set up in Seattle 25 years ago, it was a independent label that made a name when it signed up the vanguards of the Seattle grunge rock movement—Nirvana, of course, but also Mudhoney and Soundgarden. Those three bands may be legendary in rock music’s history but the list of great bands that have worked with the label is impressive—Sonic Youth, Death Cab for Cutie, White Stripes,  Modest Mouse, The Shins, Built to Spill, Foals, The Smashing Pumpkins…. It’s a long list of stellar musicians and bands. So, although Sub Pop is not really a kosher indie label any longer (Warner Brothers has a biggish stake in it now), many people trust the label so much as to blindly pick up albums by new artists that it signs on. I tried Wolf Parade, Vetiver, CSS (Cansei der Ser Sexy, a very agreeable Brazilian band) and many other bands that I’ve become a fan of now simply because they have worked with Sub Pop. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

I usually like my music to come with vocals and lyrics. I like to listen to the singers, their voices, the words they sing and what they mean. They could be joyous and exuberant or morose and melancholy, love struck or angry. It doesn’t matter. I like all of that and depending on my mood, I usually love to hear songs sung as much as I do the rest of it—the music, the beats, the rhythm and the solo riffs. But sometimes, words can become a distraction. Sometimes, like it was for me last week, words just don’t do it for you. You are too preoccupied with your own thoughts to need somebody else’s words and you just need instruments and nothing else. No pernicious interruptions by vocalists, no matter how great they are. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

There are some musicians that you want to kick yourself for not discovering earlier. And the desire to plant the sole of your shoe firmly on your own behind is intensified if the musician happened to have been right under your nose and yet you didn’t notice. Sugar Blue is one such musician that I wish I’d discovered much earlier than I did, which happened to be just a couple of weeks back. Sugar Blue plays the harmonica. In fact, he is dizzyingly good at it. But more about him in just a minute. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

I have had an album, When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog, by Sweden’s Jens Lekman for a number of years. But I never did really listen to it much. True, he is easily one of the more prominent members of a growing bunch of contemporary Swedish pop musicians (think of Peter Bjorn and John, The Radio Dept., Tallest Man on Earth and so on) and his songs are often romantic and have wit, self-deprecation and interesting lyrics, albeit with quirky twists, but for a while it was as if I’d rather listen to Scotland’s Belle & Sebastian or even Morrissey for that kind of stuff than the Lekman album. Read more

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...