Too Drunk To Dream

…ain’t no drinking when the bottle’s dry…

Guided By Voices – Bee Thousand, a album that makes my ears sing

Have you ever had a conversation about the best album ever? Any serious musicophile has. Sure there’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Sure there’s Pet Sounds. I’d vote for Kind Of Blue, personally. And I’ll agree with having those near or at the top of the list. They deserve to be. But no serious discussion exists without Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices’ Bee Thousand being thrown into the mix. The 1994 Lo-Fi gem was recorded by GBV on 4 track recorders in the basement of Pollard’s house and is a beehive (forgive the semi-pun) of guitars and distant vocals. Some songs are complete and some sound simply like ideas for songs, never completely realized. And that’s OK, those fragments bring the whole thing together. Each track here is a great mess of a masterpiece, and for me, exists in the same pocket as Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea as one of the greatest lo-fi albums ever made. Back me up on this??

Tractor Rape Chain

why is it every time i think about you
something that you have said or implied makes
me doubt you
then i look into your cynical eyes and i know it
as if it never meant anything to me

in the first place it’s probably just paranoia
but there’s a ghost in my room
and he says i better run
it’s a thing i know – it’s a thing i believe in
won’t you tell it to go away?

January 27, 2010 Posted by | toodrunktodream | Leave a comment

Jolene, I’m Begging Of You, Please Don’t Take My Man.

Your beauty is beyond compare, with flaming locks of auburn hair. I cannot compete with you, Jolene.

Here’s some proof positive why I need the White Stripes to hit the road in 2010. their last concert DVD, Under Blackpool Lights is one of the key components to my live music collection. I can’t wait for the release of their new DVD project, Under Great Northern Lights, filmed on tour in 2007.

January 25, 2010 Posted by | toodrunktodream | Leave a comment

The White Stripes offer up a preview of their “Under Great Northern Lights” DVD.

…and I go gaga, of course. As I wipe the drool off of my candy-striped tshirt, I offer up the preview, from The package is now available for preorder, and is shipping for March 16th.

January 25, 2010 Posted by | toodrunktodream | Leave a comment

New Neutral Milk Hotel footage sees light of day

Neutral Milk Hotel burned quick and bright. After making a few albums in the mid-Nineties, including the now-legendary In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, Jeff Mangum and the band decided to walk away from it all. Well, what happens when you make an album like ITAOTS and then promptly drop off the face of the earth? People like me try and scavenge what we can of the material that’s been left behind. This week, Merge Records made us all warm inside by unleashing a handful of videos of Jeff Mangum performing at the Knitting Factory in Philadelphia in early 1998. They are just too good NOT to post here. And if you so desire, Merge has released the videos to coincided with issuing Neutral Milk Hotel’s albums on 180gm vinyl for the first time ever. Check them out.

January 25, 2010 Posted by | toodrunktodream | Leave a comment

Poised for a groundswell? Providence’s Brown Bird prep new album [mp3]

A few things have gone well for David Lamb recently.  His Providence-by-way-of-Maine-by-way-of-Seattle pet project Brown Bird seems to be hitting a lot of right notes of late. After releasing an impressive album last year (2008’s The Bottom Of The Sea), Brown Bird have been playing and touring relentlessly and solidifying their sound, developing into a miniature orchestra of harmonized voices and instruments.  In a music industry where americana music is groundswelling, Brown Bird might be poising themselves for a breakthrough. If timing and location have anything to do with it, then it appears that this might be a banner year for the group.

You see, 2009 has been a big year for Providence, RI.  Fellow Providence-based band The Low Anthem came out of the ether with a smoky, gutteral and downright beautiful album that gained instant praise and worldwide attention. Add to that the success of John McCauley’s Deer Tick, who scorched audiences across the country in 2009 with a fresh, aggressive bar-blues-and-whiskey sound and a monster new album. And in this climate, with Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Phosporescent, Bowerbirds, Blind Pilot, Lucero, The Avetts, and The Felice Brothers all having big years, I can’t help but wonder, might it  be Brown Bird’s time?

The new Brown Bird album is set to be released on CD and LP in November.  “The Devil Dancing” is Brown Bird’s second full-length album on Peapod Recordings. It was recorded in two separate multi day sessions. The first session took place at Hogfarm Studios in Biddeford, ME and included the upright bass work of Micah Blue Smaldone (Death Vessel, Fire on Fire). The second session took place at the Peapod Recording Studio in Portland, ME.

Brown Bird – Danger and Dread [from the forthcoming LP, The Devil Dancing]

Brown Bird – Down To The River [from the forthcoming LP, The Devil Dancing]

Brown Bird – By The Reins [from the forthcoming LP, The Devil Dancing]

Band members:

David Lamb: vocals, guitar, banjo, percussion
MorganEve Swain: vocals, violin, viola, cello, ukelele
Mike Samos: dobro, lap steel, elec. guitar
Jeremy Robinson: vocals, accordion, banjo
Jerusha Robinson: vocals, cello

Buy their music, and see them live. Support local music.  Support GOOD music.

MYSPACE / FACEBOOK / iTunes / Emusic / Peapod Recordings

October 27, 2009 Posted by | toodrunktodream | Leave a comment

My Body Is, Indeed, A Zombie For You. Just thought I’d tell you that…

Now here’s something borderline kitchy that I can wrap my head around this time of year. I’d advise that you grab the nearest Butterfinger or “fun size” Snickers**, sit back and enjoy the show….

Everything I imagine writing further about Dead Man’s Bones can be said a bit more eloquently by Heather Phares @

It’s a blessing and a curse that one half of Dead Man’s Bones is Academy Award-nominated actor Ryan Gosling. It’s a blessing because Gosling and his partner, Zach Shields, undoubtedly got more attention for their self-titled debut album than they would have otherwise, and something of a curse because it may not be seen for as genuine a project as it is. Shields and Gosling originally conceived of Dead Man’s Bones as a horror-themed musical, but kept the songs they had written when they realized putting on a stage production would be too expensive. Despite the high concept, Dead Man’s Bones are pretty far from a vanity project — if anything, they’re the opposite, with Gosling and Shields stretching far from their comfort zones at almost every turn. They played instruments they’d never touched before making the album, and brought in the Silverlake Conservatory of Music Children’s Choir to add young voices to their virtually untrained ones. They also set rules for themselves while recording: no electric guitars or click tracks were allowed, and they could only do three takes for any given part. All of this gives Dead Man’s Bones the feeling — in the best possible way — of a bootleg recording of an elaborate grade-school Halloween pageant. By embracing their amateurism so completely, Gosling and Shields turn any weaknesses into strengths, and while influences ranging from the Arcade Fire and Beirut to Roy Orbison to the Langley Schools Music Project to Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride can be heard, the way Dead Man’s Bones combine them is unique. Over the course of the album, the duo covers an array of moods and sounds that more experienced musicians would be glad to express. These songs range from gentle (“Dead Hearts”‘ spectral folk) to dark and driving (“Lose Your Soul”) to fiery (the Nick Cave-esque “Dead Man’s Bones”), and sometimes all at once. Some of the most striking tracks mix jubilant music with images of death — or undeath, in the case of “My Body’s a Zombie for You,” where the kids can’t help but shout out the chorus as Gosling croons like a zombie-fied ’50s teen idol. Dead Man’s Bones also do a fine job of balancing the campy and spiritual aspects of a concept album about love, death, and undeath. “In the Room Where You Sleep” is gleefully terrifying; “Young & Tragic,” the only song the Silverlake Conservatory kids sing on their own, uses their delicate, flawed voices to express something deeper. Throughout it all, there is a “hey, kids, let’s put on a show!” exuberance that makes the album all the more winning. Dead Man’s Bones isn’t perfect, but it’s often fascinating and nearly always charming — and Shields and Gosling wouldn’t have it any other way.

At any rate, I need to “embrace” my “amateurism” more and do something besides blogging around here! Check out a couple of my favorites from Dead Man’s Bones here:

My Body’s A Zombie For You

Lose Your Soul

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October 22, 2009 Posted by | toodrunktodream | , | Leave a comment

Houston, We Have A Mixtape

Today’s latest from the pleasure-centers deeply embedded in my brain. The rest is clogged malted hops and bong resin…

June 15, 2009 Posted by | toodrunktodream | Leave a comment

Dan Auerbach – KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic 2009

As evidenced by several posts in the last couple months, there are very few things floating in the blogosphere that have hit my ears quite like Dan Auerbach’s album Keep It Hid.  In fact, “When The Night Comes”, the centerpiece of the set that follows, will be featured prominently at my wedding reception later this month.  Here’s his set on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic from earlier this year.  I love it when the people in charge are also big fans.  Take a listen. Enjoy!!!

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June 5, 2009 Posted by | americana, blues | , | Leave a comment

Sad,Sad,Sad,Sad,Sad day R.I.P. Jay Bennett

Excerpted from Jim Derogatis’s article in the Chicago Sun Times :

Jay Bennett, a rock musician with deep ties to Chicago best known as a former member of Wilco, died early Sunday morning in downstate Urbana, where he had been running a recording studio, according to a spokesman for his family.

The singer and multi-instrumentalist was 45 years old.

“Early this morning, Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed,” said Edward Burch, a friend and musician who collaborated with Bennett on the 2005 album “The Palace at 4 a.m.” “The family is in mourning and is unavailable for comment at this time.”

Born in the Chicago suburb of Rolling Meadows, Bennett began playing in bands as a teenager. He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned multiple degrees in secondary education, math and political science. In between, he co-founded the Replacements-like power-pop band Titanic Love Affair, which released three albums during the alternative-rock heyday between 1991 and 1996, when it was dropped from its label.

Bennett was working at a VCR repair shop in Champaign when he was tapped to join Wilco as it toured in support of its first album, “A.M.” A talented arranger and versatile musician who could play virtually any instrument he picked up, from mandolin to Mellotron, Bennett formed a fruitful partnership with Wilco bandleader Jeff Tweedy. His contributions over a seven-year period were key to the albums that resulted in the band’s national breakthrough, including “Being There” (1996), “Summerteeth” (1999) and “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” (2002).

Relations between Bennett and Tweedy, both painstaking perfectionists, soured during the latter recording, as documented in the film “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart,” and Bennett left the band. Earlier this month, Bennett filed a lawsuit against Tweedy for breach of contract and unpaid artist’s royalties, stemming in part from his role in the film.

In late April, Bennett wrote on his MySpace blog about dealing with intense pain from a hip injury suffered during a dive from the stage while playing with Titanic Love Affair. He was….

cont. at

May 25, 2009 Posted by | alt country, music, R.I.P. | , | Leave a comment

Blind Pilot…lack of pun needed for title of blog post

Ever since their earth-shattering performance at SXSW (see NPR link below), Blind Pilot have been basking in the glow of indie-stardom. They really deserve it. The Portland, Oregon duo were ‘green-fabulous’ (is that in the same vein as, say…ghetto-fabulous? but for hipsters?) on their previous tour for biking between venues up and down the Pacific Northwest.  Now, with updated van-esque transportation and a lineup that has swelled to nonet status, Blind Pilot have veered ON-course, selling out venues across the U.S. (I made it that far without a pun….sigh).

In other awesome news…Blind Pilot have been announced as the opening act for the Decemberists this summer.  Watch out, your hyper-literates……

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May 21, 2009 Posted by | indie, live, music | , , , , | Leave a comment