The Pack A.D. (After Death, I’m told) are a couple of hard-hitting gals from Vancouver who have been doin’ the White Stripes guitar/drum thang for a few years and have picked up a pretty impressive following along the way. That might have something to do with their playing a mind-numbing 157 live shows in one year, or it could just be that people finally wanna hear real music again instead of whatever chart-topping crap Rihanna trotted out this week! Their fourth album, Unpersons, is gonna drop September 13th and they just leaked this fuzzy, gritty, sweaty little gem. This is prototypical garage-rock, so comparisons to the White Stripes are kinda obvious, but when they veer off into a more bluesy zone, drummer Maya Miller and guitarist/vocalist Becky Black have a lot of folks also thinking of Black Keys, Soledad Brothers, and even the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion! I just know I’m gonna give a listen on September 13th when that album comes out! Check out The Pack A.D. on their website
Normally, when you start comparing a singer to anyone who came before him you’ll typically get shot a look of disgust and a response along the lines of, “Hey Dude, I just want to be judged on my own merits!”, but Bay-area based, neo-psych, garage-grunge, fuzzy-guitar-playin’ Ty Segall so embraces the obvious similarities to Marc Bolan that he actually released an EP of classic T. Rex covers called Ty-Rex a few months back! And now he’s out with a full-length album, Goodbye Bread, where alongside the obvious Bolan touches, he’s mixed in a little bit of John Lennon vocalizing and some dirty Neil Young & Crazy Horse garage guitar licks. Goodbye Bread is his first album with Drag City and you can pick it up on iTunes. And then check out what he’s up to over on his website.
We had a Beck cover yesterday…how about a Nirvana cover today?!!
Brooklyn’s own Charles Bradley…the Screaming Eagle of Soul…cranks up the James Brown and makes Nirvana’s ‘Stay Away’ sound like a Motown standard! Backing him up are The Menahan Street Band, an ensemble featuring musicians from Antibalas, El Michels Affair, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and the Budos Band, who took their name from Menahan Street in Bushwick. The 63 year-old Bradley only began his singing career in his 50’s when he began performing in local Brooklyn clubs performing his James Brown routines under the alter ego “Black Velvet”. Gabriel Roth of Daptone Records, recognizing raw talent when he saw it, convinced Bradley to drop the “Black Velvet” act and signed him to Daptone where he has performed ever since.
SPIN is offering ‘NEWERMIND’…a Tribute to Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’…free for a couple of days, and since free don’t cost much, I hit the ‘DOWNLOAD’ button. Honestly, I was surprised at how most of it is unlistenable shit, especially an absurd version of ‘Come As You Are’ by some ridiculous Aussie outfit going by the name Midnight Juggernauts, who turned a Rock & Roll classic into a 4 minute Discofied atrocity on helium! But again…it is free and your taste might be different from mine (doubt it!), so head on over to SPIN, enter your e-mail address and you can make up your own mind, but for my money, I’d also make a bee-line to Daptone Records and pick up a couple of Charles Bradley records!
Late last year, Nadia Ackerman kept telling me about a singer/songwriter friend of hers with the most amazing and soulful voice that would immediately have me thinking of a female Tom Waits, and that I simply must meet her. Well, since then I’ve gotten to be very good friends with Chiara Angelicola…..Bird Call as she’s known on stage…..and while her vocals can go to the dark, bluesy place that Tom calls home, on her latest EP, Other Creatures, she’s recorded covers of songs from Fleetwood Mac, Nick Cave, Man Man, Kate Bush and Beck that don’t simply parrot the originals, but instead her unique voice gives a heartfelt interpretation to each one in her own style. I remember when Beck released Sea Change…his melancholy country-blues masterpiece…and how ‘Lost Cause’ quickly became my favorite song on the album, so hearing Chiara throw a sitar in the mix really caught me off guard. This from Chiara…..
“Lost Cause is one of my favorite Beck tunes. I think the Sea Change record influenced a lot of people my age at the time it came out. It signaled a major shift in the music world. I knew that it would be a challenge to recreate, but I was working with some really talented people and we found a way to diverge from it in a spiritual and organic way and stay true to it at the same time. I think the sitar really expresses the spiritual and emotional aspects of the song alone. I’m really glad we went that route.”
You can follow Bird Call on her website, then go pick up a copy of the Other Creatures EP on iTunes for only 7 bucks!
Finally…I was gonna drop the video for ‘Lost Cause’, but Chiara tells me that apparently Deli Magazine is getting a temporary exclusive on that one, so you’re all gonna hafta do with Beck’s original version and I’ll drop Chiara’s version when it clears Customs…..