Monday, November 13, 2006

The Winter Blanket

The Winter Blanket is a pop band from Minnesota. They make beautiful pop music. What else do you need to know?

Sleepy Eyes

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Mix

Today is Election Day. In celebration, here's an election-themed mix:

Derek Webb - A King and a Kingdom
Derek Webb - A New Law
Derek Webb - My Enemies Are Men Like Me
Dar Williams - Empire
Bad Religion - American Jesus
Eric Idle - The FCC Song
Daniel Roop - This Poem Is Not the Revolution
The Legendary K.O. - George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People
Pedro the Lion - Backwoods Nation
Sage Francis - Makeshift Patriot
Sage Francis - Slow Down Gandhi (Reanimator remix)
James McMurtry - God Bless America
Bright Eyes - When the President Talks to God

You can find plenty more similarly-themed songs here, here and here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

They Say It's Your Birthday

It's folk singer Denison Witmer's birthday. In celebration, he's giving away 30 free songs:
As of today (November 4, 2006), I am 30 years old. I'm throwing my own birthday party. You are all invited. I have decided to give you a gift: 30 new recordings of songs from my entire catalog, a few covers, a few unreleased songs, and a some podcasts of stories from my touring and my life in general. This is my gift to you free of charge. However, the purpose of Happy Birthday Denison is to serve as a fund-raiser for my favorite charities. Every year, I will be adding content to this site on my birthday. In exchange for the content (songs, etc), I am asking that you donate money to the charities I have chosen. Please donate whatever amount wish. The content on this site will always remain free of charge. All donations are received as a goodwill exchange.
Are You A Dreamer?
Are You Lonely?
East From West
Grandma Mary

Lot's more...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Free Album Friday: Bob McCluskey

Bob McCluskey was the main singer and songwriter for the Taoist Cowboys. After that band broke up, he concentrated on recording some songs that he had been working on previously, and some that were inspired by personal experiences he was going through at the time.youngbob.jpg (14432 bytes) Recording only on four track, he played all the instruments and did all the vocals, capturing the songs exactly the way he heard them. He even took the photograph and did the cover art, using white out to write the letters. Entitled Emergency Lunchbox after a childhood artifact he still had in his apartment, it was released to hardly any fanfare and only a few people actually got one. But those that did were hardcore about it and a small cult of fans grew up around it. Emergency Lunchbox is a very personal record of equal parts darkness and beauty. It is available for the first time on cd and for the first time has been digitally mastered. Below is a review of the record from Metropulse featured in their issue of "The Greatest Knoxville Records of All Time".

"Out of the ashes of the Taoist Cowboys and the Estradas came this 1994 solo project from their lead writer. Perhaps the most intimate and honest release ever recorded in Knoxville, it was all taped at home on a four track and captures Bob at his best: relaxed, and his mind drenched in self examination and beer. It's songwriting minus any bullshit or pretension whatsoever. Like Nick Drake if Nick had a sense of humor and adventure, and could formulate his ideas clearly. In other words, it ain't like Nick Drake at all except it forces you into THAT mood. Almost flawless in its risk of exposing the writer's flaws. Bob takes the everyday and makes it art and makes it interesting." Metropulse July 9, 1999.

Get Emergency Lunchbox free here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

God Bless America

AUSTIN, TX - Fresh off winning 2006 Americana Song of the Year and Album of the Year accolades, James McMurtry has recorded a new political tune. Just in time for election season, "God Bless America", showcases more of the social commentary that made McMurtry's "We Can't Make It Here" an anthem for people unhappy with the current state of the union. "God Bless America" skewers the governmental powers that be with razor-sharp barbs that take the current administration to task for hiding its actual motives for war. "Gonna turn up the heat till it comes to a boil. So we can go get that Arab oil," McMurtry sings.

McMurtry is making the rough mix of "God Bless America" available for free on his website,, and at the link below. "I had meant to wait until I was finished overdubbing before putting this song out, but our brave legislators have once again outdone themselves in their acquiescence to the executive by passing the detainee bill," said McMurtry. "We refer to foreign governments that employ all-powerful executive branches as dictatorships, but we're still supposed to think of our own government as democratic. I'm appalled at the spinelessness of Republican legislators. I guess they still think they'll be invited to the feast. They will be, but only if they continue to watch their mouths."

Described by Steven King as "the truest, fiercest songwriter of his generation," James McMurtry is the son of acclaimed author Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment). His first album, released in 1989, was produced by John Mellencamp and marked the beginning of a series of critically acclaimed projects for Columbia and Sugar Hill. In 2003, McMurtry joined forces with Houston's Compadre Records and together they released the universally lauded Live in Aught-Three. His next Compadre album, Childish Things, garnered some of the highest critical praise of McMurtry's career and spent eight weeks at number one on R&R's Americana Music Radio Chart in 2005 and 2006. McMurtry won the Song of the Year and Album of the Year awards for "We Can't Make It Here" and Childish Things respectively at the 2006 Americana Music Associan Honors and Awards.

"God Bless America" will appear on James McMurtry's as yet untitled new album, which he's currently recording in Austin. McMurtry and his band, The Heartless Bastards, will continue to tour the U.S. for the remainder of 2006.They play in Hollywood this Saturday, October 7 at Safari Sam's.

God Bless America

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Deck The Halls

Stream the entire Sufjan Stevens Christmas CD box set, right here.

Then buy it for only $20!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Deck The Oakley Halls

Brooklyn sextet Oakley Hall is an American acid cowboy folk rock band. The group prominently features male-female vocal harmonies and its group's melodies closely recall old American folk songs and ballads, though often supported by a driving rock beat. This is what country might sound like if Nashville didn't suck.

Lazy Susan
Living in Sin in the USA
Eyes, Lock & Steel