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[Staff Picks of the Week] Mavis Staples + Jeff Tweedy, Florence and the Machine/

Huey Lewis & The News - Soulsville

This week I received a CD that excited me for 2 reasons. One, it’s the first album in 9 years released by Huey Lewis and the News, one of rocks great party bands, and second, it’s a tribute to Memphis Soul! Recorded at historic Ardent Studio’s in Memphis, “ Soulsville” has 14 songs from the vaults of Stax Records including “Respect Yourself” and “Got to get You Off My Mind”. I can’t stop listening to it, and you can too when it’s released November 2.

You Are Not Alone by Mavis Staples

When I heard that soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples was teaming up with Jeff Tweedy, I wasn't sure what to expect. It seemed an odd pairing..the guy from Wilco producing an album by the same woman who belted out "I'll Take You There" with the Staple Singers. What we ended up getting with “You Are Not Alone” is a soulful album, filled with great song choices. Staples says the songs Tweedy chose showed that he really knew what she was all about, and you can tell she’s really into what she’s singing. Check out this acoustic version of the title song, featuring Mavis and Tweedy.

Ezra Furman and the Harpoons + Free Download

A few weeks ago The Nod came in to play for us during the morning show.  These guys are great, but today's post isn't about them.  It's about a band they've turned me on to called Ezra Furman and the Harpoons. Brett from The Nod says the lead singer really does a lot for his fans including writing personalized songs for fans that send him their interests/feelings.  The group seems to have a good sense of humor too. Here's the bio on the bass players: "Bassist Job Mukkada is a singer-songwriter in his own right, but staunchly avoids the limelight because of his citrus allergy." Check out the video for their single: "Take Off Your Sunglasses". Plus you can download "Take Off Your Sunglasses" for free!

String Quartets and such

I've been hooked on instrumental covers of music for a long time.  And highest on the list of musicians in that field is the Vitamin String Quartet who have carved a successful career out of hard rock and all kinds of different music, ranging from Lady Gaga to Coldplay to Rise Against. You can catch a lot of their music on Youtube and I believe it's available on iTunes as well.  Check out this song below where they have covered "Snow (Hey Oh)" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Awesome stuff.

Florence & the Machine Covers Bruce Springsteen

I am a HUGE fan of Florence & the Machine and I also love Bruce Springsteen and Kid Harpoon.  So there is really one way to describe a Springsteen cover by Florence and Kid Harpoon: Magic. The pair did a cover of the song I'm Going Down. If you're worried these artists have ruined Bruce, don't be.  They respect the original while still putting themselves into it.  Both of these artists have amazing voices and the power of their harmonies mixed with the simple acoustic guitar is perfection. Check out a fan made video below or click here for the .mp3!

Silversun Pickups "Lazy Eye"

It seems I am developing somewhat of a theme each week - I keep discovering bands that are already "old news" to some - but like television re-runs, if you haven't seen it, it's "new to you!" I've been hearing a lot of buzz about Silversun Pickups for the last year or two, and upon finally hearing the music myself I can see what the buzz is about. Silversun Pickups is a four piece, Grammy Award-nominated indie alternative rock band from LA. It's got a minimalist sound, with repeated chords. It's dense and layered, making heavy use of guitars for rhythms. It's all very trance-like without being electronica. It has emotive highs and lows, but it's not angry. There's distortion, but it's not dissonant. The whole song sounds like it's rolling, if that makes sense. The band released their debut EP, Pikul, in July 2005, and their debut full-length album, Carnavas, on July 26, 2006. Their second full length album, Swoon, was released on April 14, 2009. Check out this acoustic performance of "Lazy Eye" at KNDD in Seattle


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10/26/2010 7:25AM
[Staff Picks of the Week] Mavis Staples + Jeff Tweedy, Florence and the Machine/Bruce Springsteen Co
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