City Sun Eater in the River of Light
As I watched Woods put on a stellar show at the Turf Club in St. Paul, Minnesota on Tuesday night, I had a strange image cross my mind during the performance of one of their latest tracks, “Can’t See It All”. As the song’s brooding bass line slink into my psyche, an image of a snake entered my mind. It seemed like a random vision, and I chuckled to myself at the weird places my brain can take me during a concert. But as I watched the band continue to play a set composed largely of material off of their latest, City Sun Eater in the River of Light, I began to think about how this band has been able to slither its way through the past decade, shedding skin with each album and returning with a fresh new take on psychedelic folk rock.
Despite my constant search for new music, there are times where I’ll buy an album simply because it’s being released on a great label. Names like Merge, Sacred Bones, and Dischord are a seal of quality and will rarely do you wrong. Such was the case when I decided to get Heron Oblivion’s debut album on Sub-Pop (another trustworthy entity) after only hearing a couple of songs on YouTube. I didn’t know where the band was from, how long they’d been together, or how many albums they’d released. The combination of the Sub-Pop name and the hints of early 2000s Comets On Fire psychedelic space rock were enough to sell me on them.
This week of new endeavors at BDWPS continues with the new episodic podcast series “Year of the Bowie”. For those that have listened to the BDWPS Podcast in the past year, you’ve heard me tell the story of Bob Dylan, month by month, at the end of each episode. My first intention was to do the same thing this year with the life story of David Bowie, but the more I thought about it, the five minutes of rambling at the end of each show just wouldn’t do justice to Bowie’s story.
As mentioned on the latest podcast (if you haven’t listened to it yet, get to it!), there are a couple of new BDWPS projects coming this week. I’m proud to announce the first development, a new ancillary blog entitled “Turntable Untapped”. Posts on the new blog, located at TurntableUntapped.wordpress.com, will be linked here on BDWPS. The new blog’s purpose is to combine my love of music with another passion of mine – craft beer. One of my favorite things to do on a lazy Sunday is to crack open a finely crafted micro-brew, put a classic album on the turntable, and lay down on the couch to enjoy the combination of the music and beer. Over the past few years, I’ve had fun trying to pair my beer choices with albums, and I’ve had the idea for a beer/music pairing blog series brewing for a while now.
In this episode, I discuss some of the highlights from my week at SXSW including performances from Thao Nguyen, MONEY, Big Ups, and Nap Eyes. We also check out new tracks from Little Simz and Lucinda Williams, and I discuss The Descendents documentary “Filmage”. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play (search: BDWPS).
Thao & the Get Down Stay Down “Fool Forever”
MONEY “You Look Like a Sad Painting on Both Sides of the Sky”
Big Ups “National Parks”
Nap Eyes “Lion in Chains”
Little Simz “Have I”
Lucinda Williams “The Ghosts of Highway 20”
The Descendents “Hope”
Bob Dylan “Blowin’ in the Wind”
[Memphis Industries; 2016]
Throughout the history of rock and roll, the arrival of parenthood has often marked a decline in an artist’s creativity and output. We sometimes get gems like Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” and David Bowie’s “Kooks” as a result, but the schmaltzy, lackluster content that most post-parenthood artists churn out far outweighs the memorable material.
Field Music have bucked this tradition with their recent release, Commontime. The band’s past five albums were overtly busy and bookish, often riddled by a case of having too many cooks in the kitchen. The two head chefs, brothers Peter and David Brewis, both recently entered parenthood, and based off of the songs on Commontime, the distraction that having a child brings has helped the band be more carefree with their songwriting approach.