Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meet Jake Bugg

He's 18, he's got melody and a knack for words, he's cute and right now, in the UK, Jake Bugg is receiving more scrutiny than Lindsey Lohan wandering around in a Harry Winston shop.

Depending on who you trust, he's either the second coming of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and Billy Bragg all rolled into one, or a wanky exercise for late 40-and-early-50-somethings you'd see at a Paul Weller show. That is, if you live in a city large enough to have enough Paul Weller fans to fill a room in the first place. Either way, when the Nottingham-raised Bugg's debut album knocked Mumford and Sons out of the #1 spot on the UK charts, people sat up.

Recently Nashville got a look at Bugg when he opened for Snow Patrol and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds at the Ryman, where an already impressed fan had the camera rolling.

The only US release available is his "Two Fingers" EP, but the full length is out there as an import. On Lightning 100 we're playing "Two Fingers," a minor anthem for anyone who's ever faced the choice of self-medication or flight. I'm pretty sure we were the first in the country to add it, a few weeks ago. And if you want to see why people are throwing in Johnny Cash comparisons, here you go ....

Friday, November 23, 2012

Best of 2012 Pt 5

Lambchop - Mr. M.
         This one is another entry from the start of 2012 — and it's a Nashville band to boot. Lambchop have been following their own muse for something like 15 years, evolving from the world's "most fucked up country band" to introspective chamber pop. A tribute to the late Vic Chesnutt, Mr. M's a melancholy affair that haunts, long after the strings come in and out.


Alt - J - An Awesome Wave 
      It's no surprise that England's 2012 Mercury Prize winner is a fascinating album that never bores. What is shocking is that this shimmering "folkstep" debut got picked up by a US major label and is actually being promoted.

Warning: the following video is considered highly unsettling by many.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Best of 2012 Pt 4

Oh, Japandroids, how do I love thee? It takes a surrender. When you've lived through 85% of the rock era, you hit a point (several, really) where you realize that just about everything that can be done with 3 chords has been done, and we should all move on, already. And then some little punk comes along and flogs the corpse until it sits up like a Black Plague victim in a Monty Python movie and yells, "I feel happy ..."


Django Django - Django Django This exciting UK electronic outfit was putting out singles for a couple of years and finally put them all in one place, on this Mercury Prize nominated album that gets a lot of mileage out of its minimalism. "Hale Bopp" contains one of the best lyrical metaphors I've encountered in ages.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Best of 2012 Pt 3

So here we are with more of the spring crop of 2012, of which there was much goodness. The third lp from San Diego/Brooklyn residents Delta Spirit made its online streaming debut on, of all places, the Wall Street Journal's website. We were happy to let our airwaves be occupied, anyway.

Here's one I forgot to throw in with the winter stuff. Lana Del Rey's controversial debut. 

Why controversial? Well ... that's a great question. Even before Lizzie Grant (her given name) first appeared, not quite ready for prime time, on Saturday Night Live she had detractors. The visually arresting videos she put up on YouTube took in millions of hits; anyone who saw the sheer number of people checking her out, months before her album even came out, could easily guess sales would be on the high side out of plain curiosity factor. So you had a group of self-appointed taste-makers dissing it purely because they didn't get to be the first ones to decide if it should be a hit or not, or if people who should like it or not. Some people get uptight when they have no control over things. And I get the idea our Lizzy likes making some people uptight.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Best of 2012 Pt II

Continuing with what I started yesterday. This next pair of albums both came out in the spring, and brought vastly different vibes and coastal mentalities to its soundtrack. From California, Father John Misty, the stage name of former Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tillman, carried a late '60s/early '70s psychedelic throwback to a modern conclusion on Fear Fun.

Meanwhile, in Baltimore, Beach House were cooking up their fourth, Bloom, with electronic landscapes that paid a nod to the 1980s.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Great Music to go under the tree.

Seems like 2012 is going to go down as a fantastic year for new music getting heard. Not just any kind of music (but every kind) but good music. Stuff that matters. Here's a brief rundown of the standouts, off the top of my head.

M83 - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

This is what the year started with .. and things only got better. ... 

Next up:

Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls


... more to come.