Monday, September 25, 2017

Goldfinger - Don't Let Me Go

After nearly 10 years, punk rockers Goldfinger are back with a new release called *The Knife*. These days, the only remaining original is John Feldman, but he really carries off the entire album with aplomb. Lots of different styles here, from a straight out rocker like Am I Deaf, a speed rocker like the opener A Million Miles, all the way to my favorites, several reggae tinged songs, the highlight of which is Don’t Let Me Go :

Friday, September 8, 2017

Katie Herzig - Strangers

A favorite artist from way back, Katie Herzig has a new album coming out in early 2018 called Moment of Bliss and has released the first single from it called Strangers. In many ways, it is a typical Herzig song, with her voice and lyrics giving it a combination of hope and melancholy, optimism and discontent, happiness and realism. I can’t wait to hear more.
Here’s Strangers:

As an added bonus, here is my favorite Herzig song, Wish You Well from her 2008 album, Apple Tree:

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - My Only

Brooklyn shoegaze group The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have an album coming out next month and have released a few singles in advance. This one, My Only, I really enjoy - nice wall of sound guitars (very shoegazy :) and lovely harmonies. Can’t wait to hear some more from the upcoming The Echo Of Pleasure album.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Carl Craig - Sandstorm (Versus Version)

Carl Craig is an electronica wizard that has been putting out sounds for a long long time (debut album came  out in 1992!). His 2017 release, Versus, is pretty great. I guess him and bunch of other musicians (like a pianist and a French orchestra!) put on this fantastically well received live show and, rather than just create a live recording, they went into the studio and refined the sound for almost 10 years before releasing this. And it is well worth it. My electronica album of the year so far. This is the song Sandstorms which you can immediately tell features the orchestra, with some intense horns and some great synthesizer mixed in.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Dollyrots - I Do

Well, looks like Courtneys II could have some competition for album of the year. The Dollyrots, a duo out of LA, has a power pop/punk sound that just demands playing on repeat. On their fifth album, Whiplash Splash, this duo of singer/guitarist Kelly Ogden and bassist/sometimes drummer Luis Cabezas pounds out a great sound, keeping the pedal to the metal and not letting up for the entire album. Just love it.
I Do is the album opener and will give you a great idea of their sound:

And the ending song is my cover of the year this far. What a smashing job they do with Walking On Sunshine:

Friday, August 4, 2017

Anathema - Ghosts

I finally got my Google Music playlist finished for the June(!) 2017 AllMusic Editors' Choices. It is over 13 hours of music, with nearly 200 songs from the Alt, Rock, Pop, Country, Folk, Blues and Electronic genres. Well worth a listen!
One of my favorite tunes so far (done listening to about half the songs so far) is the song Ghost by the veteran Liverpool rockers Anathema. I guess they have changed their sound quite a bit over the past 30(!) years, from death/doom metal to the current introspective prog rock. And it is right up my alley. I immediately listened to the entire album, The Optimist and I think it will end up on my Top 10 album list. I guess it tells the tale of the unnamed protagonist from their 2001 release, A Fine Day To Exit, but each of the songs is a whole story unto itself. Ghost has Lee Douglas’ vocals hovering over a sad beat and dark piano, singing of, I think, a glimpse of the character:
Take after light
Start from the night
Tired and confused
Saw you. Saw you
Give it a listen:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

LP - Lost On You

LP (born as Laura Pergolizzi) is a “genderfluid” singer / songwriter out of LA who prefers to be known as “they”. The title track from their fourth album is a real winner, combining heartbreak and beats, with a little ukulele over everything. I liked all three songs from my AllMusic May playlist and can’t wait to a listen to the whole album.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ozomatli - Eres

Nearly done with my Google Play Music Editors’ Choice May 2017 playlist and I’ve enjoyed a bunch of song. This one, Eres by the LA sextet Ozomatli, really makes a hot afternoon dance. The whole album marries Mexican tunes with Jamaican rhythms and seems like it will be the perfect summer sound track.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Flashback Friday: Nick Lowe - Labour Of Lust

One of my favorite albums of all time is Nick Lowe’s 1979 masterpiece, Labour Of Lust. Every song is a touch of indie pop magic. And I used to play this for my daughters incessantly, as he writes hooks that can entertain any age. I’ll bet I can play any of these songs and my girls would be able to sing along.
We used to play Cracking Up when my youngest used to do the same:

And I just adore the quick rhythm of Switchboard Susan:

And, of course, the fantastic album opener, the New Wave classic Cruel To Be Kind:

Interestingly enough, Nick’s backing band these days (he does “slower” stuff now), Los Straitjackets, has just released an album of Nick Lowe cover instrumentals called What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Los Straightjackets?, with a languid yet powerful version of Cruel To Be Kind:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Wire - Forever & a Day

Wire is a seminal British band who just released an album celebrating their 40th year making music together - incredible! And it is actually a long lived band that I have followed for quite a while. I really enjoyed their 2015 release Wire and their 2016 release Nocturnal Koreans. My favorite cut from that album was the soft, brooding, and mysterious Forward Position:

The 2017 release is called Silver / Lead and is equally brooding and mysterious, albeit with a slightly more upbeat tone. My favorite cuts are Diamond In Cups and Forever & a Day:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Angelus - The Other Side Of The Mountain

The Angelus is a Texas-based trio that shows up with a pretty impressive and dark sweeping epic of a release with There Will Be No Peace. Dark, brooding and intense, yet rhythmic and intricate. They tie together a set of songs that arc across a dark sky, filled with a pounding drum beat and colored by the lonesome cry of vocalist Emil Rapstine. Each song carefully segues in to the next, completing the cycle.
Here’s a song of reaching the bottom and seeing…. something…
The Other Side Of The Mountain :

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Gregg Allman - Floating Bridge

Well, there have been far too many R.I.P. postings these days, haven’t there? This time, it is Gregg Allman, one of the driving creative forces behind the Allman Brothers Band. They certainly had more than their own share of misfortune, heartache and tragedy, incredibly well documented in After The Crash. I have always been a fan of his, but especially when he really got down and dirty blues. His 2011 release, Low Country Blues, was one of my favorites from that year and the lead single, Floating Bridge, is an amazingly heart felt and bluesy song that I still can’t get enough of!
Gregg Allman - Floating Bridge (Savannah Rehearsal Sessions) from Rounder Records on Vimeo.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Flashback Friday - The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Today, a spectacular new collection was released - a special Anniversary edition celebrating 50 years of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. You can get it in various flavors, but they all have specially remastered versions of the album and they can include outtakes, practices, rehearsals and the like, showing the creative process of these Fab Four geniuses. I know what I'm asking for Father's Day!

Here's the trailer (there's trailers for everything these days!) for the release:

And here's a couple "Takes" from it:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sera Cahoone - Always Turn Around

Lovely guitar and a lovely voice make for a lovely track. This is Sera Cahoone, formerly of Band Of Horses, who just came out with her third solo album, a slower more introspective sound now that she has moved off of Sub Pop Records. Each song on this album, From Where I Started, is a deep, introspective look at life. She has surrounded herself with some solid musicians and really digs down into her folk roots.
This is Always Turn Around:

As a bonus track, I really find the even slower, deeper and perhaps sadder song Not Like I even more haunting:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Chris Cornell - Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart

Sad news today in the music biz - Chris Cornell died last night after a concert. No word on the cause yet. He was best known as the leader of the Seattle grunge band Soundgarden, as well as a later group Audioslave. But I really liked his solo work best. His 2015 album Higher Truth was excellent, with the highlight being the album opener, Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart. Great song backed by an even better video, complete with Eric Roberts as the guy in the middle. Give it a listen:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lekky - Driving Ahound

Some days. Some weeks. Some months. The world just needs more twee. If this video by Lekky doesn't make you smile, you had better check your pulse.

Driving ahound from Films In A Bag on Vimeo.
Pun intended.

Elliott and me driving around, having our adventures!

All footage has been recorded with a GoPro Hero 3 White on board our car.
"Driving ahound" song Written by Ilektra Poirazoglou | Orchestrated and Produced by Ilias Pantoleon

You can listen to the song here:

and you can get it on itunes and apple music as well!

all video & audio © films in a bag 2016

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Fujiya & Miyagi - Ankle Injuries

I’m working on my Editors’ Choice April Playlist and I see that the latest album by Fujiya & Miyagi is on there. Despite being their fourth album, it is self-titled - odd. 
I'll probably posting lots more from this list, but in the meantime, it brought to mind a favorite song of theirs which has an amazing video. Check out Ankle Injuries, from 2006’s Transparent Things:

Monday, May 1, 2017

More from The Courtneys II

Sorry, I have to repeat myself but I just can’t stop playing The Courtneys second album, The Courtneys II. I love pretty much every song on it and I wake up with a new earworm from it every morning these days. So I am going to throw a few more songs out there for you to join my my very ear-wormy-ness.
The second song on the album is Country Song and it has my favorite chorus, and it wraps up with some lovely sounding fuzzy guitars backed by a steady beat.
It is followed by the slithery guitar rhythms of Minnesota, but it is the drum beats get into my head and won’t go away.

Then the bass guitar and the drums get it all started in Tour, which reminds of The Motels for some reason.

Finally we have the magnum opus of the album, the nearly 7 minute long Lost Boys, an ode to the 80s flick of the same name, where Jen Twynne Payne sings about her vampire teenage boyfriend who hasn’t aged since 1986. The video is pretty good, even if it is a slightly abridged version of the song on the album.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Mavericks - Damned (If You Do)

The Mavericks are one of my favorite old timey sounding bands around today, bringing in music from all kinds of genres, but especially the Cuban rhythms of their native Miami. They are unabashedly fans of the jumping jive sound and they can really get you moving. Their song What You Do To Me from 2015’s Mono was one of my favorite singles from that year.

They have a new album out called Brand New Day and it is even better than Mono. While Easy as it Seems is a typical Cuban rhythm toe tapper, I am really in love with the slower, more sensuous burner Damned (If You Do). Check it out.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Lydia Ainsworth - Wicked Game

This is, so far, my "Cover Of The Year". From Lydia Ainsworth's March 2017 release Darling of the Afterglow, here she is covering Chris Isaak's Wicked Game. Here it is slowed way down and made even more creepy. The rest of the album is pretty solid too.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Flashback - Flash and the Pan

One of the my favorite bands in late 70s and early 80s was the Australian duo known as Flash And The Pan. They had a unique sound and probably can be one of the early originators of my love for all things Australian, which culminated in a 3 week vacation Down Under. That’s me on the edge of a cliff in King’s Canyon (you may recognize it from the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert :

Anyway, their eponymous debut album from 1978 contained 3 gems.
Down Among The Dead Men

Hey St. Peter

And my favorite, Walking In The Rain

Monday, April 17, 2017

Goldfrapp - Systemagic

I have really been enjoying Goldfrapp’s seventh full length release, Silver Eye. It starts of with a bang with Anymore, but I think the highlight for me is the energetic Systemagic. Other standouts include Tigerman and Everything Is Never Enough. I have loved Alison Goldfrapp’s grooves ever since stumbling across this live performance on television and being mesmerized by a number of the songs from her Supernature album, especially Fly Me Away:

And here’s Systemagic :

Friday, April 14, 2017

Flashback Friday - 80s New Wave earworms

Got to thinking about some of my favorite 80s New Wave earworms and figured I throw some out there for you. Reply if you got more ideas!

Human League - Don't You Want Me

One of the best videos of the 80s, really:

The Vapors - Turning Japanese

The Motels - Suddenly Last Summer

Dead or Alive - Spin Me Right Round

Flock Of Seagulls - I Ran

Men Without Hats - Safety Dance

Soft Cell - Tainted Love
Actually prefer the reallllly long dance club version, but I won't inflict that one on you...

Missing Persons - Destination Unknown

Berlin - The Metro

Til Tuesday - Voices Carry

Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now

Modern English - I'll Melt With You

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Porcelain Raft - Big Sur

Not generally a huge Porcelain Raft fan but I love the etherealness of this song from their (or rather his - this is mostly Los Angeles-based, Italian-born bedroom pop auteur Mauro Remiddi) February 2017 release Microclimate. This song, Big Sur, has just enough punch to make it interesting, with the soft tenor of Remiddi’s voice carrying it to new heights not found (for me) on the rest of the album.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Bats - Antlers

The Bats. Their bassist Robert Scott brought together 4 other friends and they have been rocking together ever since. Their newest release, The Deep Set propels itself forward with a typical beat, keeping it entertaining, bass-y and jangly. Really liking it, not surprisingly!
Here’s Antlers :

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Rhiannon Giddens - At The Purchaser's Option

Rhiannon Giddens, formerly leader of The Carolina Chocolate Drops, has a sophomore effort called Freedom Highway and it is a solid genre crosser, from blues to folk to some indie rock even. Her voice is remarkably strong and her original songs heartfelt and intense. At The Purchaser’s Option, the album’s opener is a downbeat, soulful song of a slave trying to come to grips with not having any control over her life. Beautiful and haunting, it is a killer song.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spoon - Hot Thoughts

An early contender for album of the year, right up there with the aforementioned The Courtneys: II is the latest from the Texas based indie rockers Spoon, Hot Thoughts. While their 2014 release They Want My Soul didn’t quite make my top albums list, it did have a number of great cuts, including this one called Do You that made my Top Singles of 2014 :

But Hot Thoughts really seems to knock it out of the park. It’s a great one for playing while on the road, as its intensity starts off high with the title track and rarely lets up after that. I also highly recommend any of the first 6 tracks, but especially First Caress and Do I Have To Talk You Into It.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Courtneys - Silver Velvet

There were some great songs on my Feb 2017 AllMusic Editors’ Choice playlist but easily my favorite were the 3 songs from The Courtneys’ second album, imaginatively titled II. And listening to the rest of the album meant is has been on continuous play for the past couple days. I just love their brand of melodic indie fuzz rock, which just keeps my feet tapping and my ears happy. Reminds me of my obsession with the similar sounding Chastity Belt, from 2015. Sadly, I just missed them when they came through Boston the other day. I think I would have definitely dropped everything to check them out live.
Anyway, here’s the opening cut from the album Silver Velvet:

But I highly recommend you check out the whole album:
As a bonus, here they are in 2015 for a KEXP show, 3 of the songs are from this album, while Nu Sundae is from their debut album:

Friday, March 31, 2017

Dia Frampton - Lights

I find it hard to believe that Dia Frampton doesn’t have anything to do with rock immortal Peter Frampton, but I haven’t uncovered anything yet. Be that as it may, this is some really good stuff. A nice ethereal voice, with sorrowful piano followup up by some booming drums. I loved all 3 songs on my Feb 2017 AllMusic Editors’ Choice playlist (you should listen - 130 songs almost 9 hours!) and so I can’t wait to listen to the rest of her album Bruises. This is her second album, after a 5 year hiatus full of disappointment and heartbreak, which she channels into her music.
This is Lights :