The Fourth volume of Trevor Peach’s one-song-a-week project (AKA “Squandered Promise of a Wasted Year”) has begun, and this one is a pretty awexome hum-dinger. In his previous volume he did remakes of some of his own “classic” songs. But in this volume he is going to be putting his own spin on other musicians’ songs with a series of cover songs! He’s released the track list, and it includes some delightfully surprising and bizarre choices. Here they all are (and you can listen to them all) right here:
1. Black Sparrow – J Hacha De Zola
2. Your Mother Doesn’t Love You – Jason Brunet
3. Long Way To Fall – The Electric NoNo
4. Jesus, Friend of Sinners – Joshua Stephens
5. First 48 – Chris Blount
6. Secret Squirrel – Robb Benson
7. Nightmares – Open Mike Eagle
8. Nightmares – The Hoot Hoots
9. Blueberries – Julia Massey
10. Shake – The Great UM
11. White Whale – Kid in the Attic
12. Mr. Boots – Incanus
13. Dada Pops – Chubby Mummy
Volume IV marks a musical departure from the previous three volumes as well, because they’re not being produced by Geoff B. Gibbs. They’re being produced by Vincent Fresco. That’s right: the Vincent Fresco who produced Trevor Peach’s very first EP back 12 years ago!
The first cover has already been released. You can take a wissen right here:
I’m particularly excited to see how Trevor and Vincent handle Open Mike Eagle’s hip-hop and Chubby Mummy’s general incompetence. Also, there are rumors that there might be a couple of bonus tracks that aren’t listed here. There’s some exciting things in the pipeline from Trevor Peach this summer FO SHO.
I actually went out last Friday night! Gasp! And to Seattle, no less. A big thanks to a couple lovely people who dragged old, tired, dad Chris up to Conor Byrne Pub in Ballard to help see off Electric NoNo as they start their latest tour.
A quick note on Sebastian and the Deep Blue (the opening act) first: they somehow managed to cram 10 people onto that tiny Conor Byrne Stage! I managed to get most of them in one photograph, take a look:
All the people, all the lovely people…
You had three different types of saxophones, a trombone, a violin, a drummer, a bassists, two guitars, and one vocalist-only. That’s P.C. (“Pretty Crazy”).
Then up came the Electric NoNo!
Jared+Dom = YesYes
Of course I managed to make a couple of animations…
Take off your shirt, Dom!
I already made a “YesYes” pun, didn’t I?
One thing became extremely evident whilst watching Electric NoNo: The really, really kick ass. And “Lickin’ My Wounds” is one of the best rock songs written in the past couple of decades, really. Take a wissen:
This was a tour kickoff show, right? To where are they touring? Why down to the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas! They’re going to be performing in a showcase of Seattle artists alongside some other extremely awexome peoples:
I know the guy in the middle front and the guy in the back right!
If I were a religious man I’d say I was “blessed” to have so many kickass musicians in my life.
Thanks for a great show, Electric NoNo, and much good fortune on your tour! If anyone else is going to SXSW, be sure to try to catch the Seattle X Southwest showcase on Friday and the G.O.L. on Saturday!
As a mental exercise recently I decided to see if I could figure out what are my favorite songs from my favorite musician. It took a while. Some of my choices might surprise you! But here is what I have:
10: Motorcycle Bong
An instrumental (a rarity for JM), this song is all funk and swagger and some great bombast. It’s like the Best 1970s Cop Action TV Theme Song Ever.
9: Here Is a Stone Wall
This is just lovely and heartfelt, with only Julia’s voice and a single guitar. The lyrics are meditative and celebratory, about small moments and well-lived lives. Just reading through the lyrics gets me all teary-eyed.
Ugh, so catchy. A very distinctive synth hook anchors this song and the added choir effect during the chorus really elevates it into something special. The lyrics are about passing time and death and the impermanence of all things, but are also super-uplifting (so, pretty much the usual Julia Massey lyrics :P). But even if I’m just some ash that kicks up in the wind, I know I’ll find my way to fields of wheat in Ireland.
This song is just pure pop goodness. It’s peppy, it’s upbeat, there’s some really cool bass stuff going on from Geoff. Sometimes I picture Julia Massey and the Five Finger Discount going on a late-night talk show to perform (usually Conan), and this is the song that they always play in my head. Also: you should listen to the previous song on the album (“#712” – an adaptation of poem 712 by Emily Dickinson) before listening to this one, because they blend seamlessly into each other and it makes “Spaceships” even better.
This one is just a masterpiece. It’s epic, it’s loud, it’s got awesome drums and bass and it just kicks ass. The intro and outro instrumental segments are some of the finest instrumental segments that JM+FFD have ever put out. And the lyrics are sweet and funny. It’s also more than five-and-a-half minutes long, but it’s so interesting a song that the time just flies by.
5: There Is a Song
This is an anthem. This is the most exquisitely-sung song on any of JM+FFD’s albums. Julia’s voice is full of power; she belts this song, and it is glorious. The swing tempo is delightful, and the sleigh-bell outro give it a magnificently gentle ending. The lyrics are very empowering; it’s like Julia is standing behind you and shouting, “You can do it!” while you’re trying to do something difficult. JM+FFD would often end their live sets with this song, and it is so complete and final a song that it’s sometimes hard to imagine anything else coming after it.
4: Montana Capri
This song is not high on this list just because it was written about my daughter. That’s right: we didn’t want to announce the baby’s name until she was born, so “Montana Capri” was the fake codename we used for the baby while my wife was still preggers with her. It’s not just because of that; It’s also just a great song. The first part of this song has such a strong, focused drive to it. It’s like a train speeding through a tunnel, chugging forward relentlessly. And then in the second part it completely opens up and becomes epic and spacey. It’s like the train comes out of the tunnel and bursts into a beautiful moonlight vista, all mountains and stars and valleys. It’s awesome.
3: Jenny Towner
A beautiful and funny portrait about a real-life person whom I’ve never met. My favorite lyrics are the adorable (and slightly creepy) “Got the goddamn cutest face / It’s already in my suitcase / She’s coming with me everywhere I go.” One time JM+FFD did a full-band, rockin’ version of this song for me on my birthday. “Jenny Towner” hasn’t ever been released on an album. There used to be a link to download it on Julia’s website, but I can’t find it anymore. Alls I can find is this YouTube video of a live version from a long time ago.
2: Don’t Worry ‘Bout Us
A loud, almost-bluesy, piano-banging romp with a fascinating time signature. It is nothing but unadulterated happiness for six full minutes. Gobs of solos show off each of the instruments, and the music is just so voluminous it’s hard to imagine that it was all made by just three people. This song is just joy, joy, joy.
This was no contest. Not even close. And it’s completely bizarre: I usually do not like repetitive songs at all, and “Catacombs” is basically just the same set of lyrics sung three times in a row. But this song pushes all of my musical buttons. From the opening drums to the opening piano riff, to the vocals coming in, then the strings and bass and backing vocals. It all just such a lovely build to the first time Julia belts out the chorus. I’m a sucker for songs that build like this. And the lyrics about “I know somehow you’re more than memory / ‘Cause I feel you in my bones, weaving caves in my marrow / Where I feel the echo of your memory / Where I feel the echo of your Earthly dream.” When Julia finally does belt out the chorus, “I’m not hollow” sounds almost like a statement of defiance. The world may take from us, but it cannot take our memories of each other. You fill me up. I’m not hollow. I would love this song to be played as a sing-along my funeral—I’m completely serious!—with everyone there belting out “I’m not hollow!” all together. Beautiful.
These are the songs that were all fighting to get the coveted #10 spot.
Turn It Into Everything
This song is a clever little pop ditty metaphor about games turning into something more. It’s just so catchy I can’t resist it.
Always Been There Anyway
An early song that was never put on any albums. Like “Jenny Towner” you used to be able to download it from Julia’s website, but I can’t find it anymore. It has a very different feel from any of her other songs due to a fascinatingly different choice of instruments like a sitar-sounding thing and some bongos. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.
Come Here, You
This one I can’t post any links to audio because it hasn’t been recorded yet! And I couldn’t find a video of it uploaded to the internets anywhere. But this song has a great part towards the end where the audience starts clapping along to the song, and then the song ends. And every time I’ve seen this song performed, the audience just keeps on a-clappin’ even after it ends! It’s very charming. If you go to a show nowadays it’s very likely that you’ll hear it!
And there you have it. What do you think? What songs would you add and/or remove from my list in order to make your own?
I’m very looking forward to Julia’s next album; there are some really good new songs happening in her live sets these days. If you’d like to experience more Julia Massey, you should come to her next show! It’s this Friday, November 20th at Columbia City Theater in Seattle!
JM+FFD are the 2nd band!
MoZo (CD Release) // Julia Massey // Richie Aldente (Facebook Event)
Friday, November 20th 9:00 PM
@ Columbia City Theater
4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118 (map)
$8 adv / $10 door
Also that episode were Smokey Brights, who were very good! I don’t think I’d seen them before, but they seemed familiar. I think that’s because most of the band members were also in other bands, and I’d seen some o’ those. An unusually cool thing about Smokey Brights is that it is a five-person band (which is unusual in itself these days), and four out of the five sing. There were many songs that featured full four-part harmonies!
I did not manage to take good enough photos to make an animated .GIF out of them. I did, however, make this cool little collage:
A collage both smokey and bright!
So here is probably the most-epic animated .GIF I’ve made yet. It’s of JM+FFD. It’s over 5 MB. And it features subtle camera movements and everything!
The Epicness of Animation!
There you have it. I’ll let you know when this episode of “Band in Seattle” airs.
Whelp, we’re off to Portland for the weekend. We’re gonna go to OMSI and the Oregon Zoo! I’ll try to take mucho de photos and tell y’all ALL about it, ‘kay? ‘Kay!
But tonight it is JM+FFD’s turn, along with Seattle stalwart band Smokey Brights. Wait a minute, you say. You just typed “Julia Massey & The Five Finger Discount.” Don’t you mean just Julia Massey and Dom on drums? NOT SO, my little friend. For you see, although bassist Geoff B. Gibbs has moved to the far beyond of Canada (and is currently on a whirlwind tour of the European Continent of Europe), it seems that he is not the only bassist in all the land. *GASP* I know! ‘Tis true! Julia and Dom have procured the services of another bassist, known only as the mysterious “Matt Deason.”
Who is this mysterious stranger?
This will be the first performance of a fully-fledged Five Finger Discount since November of last year, so that’s gotta be pretty exciting! I AM EXCITE! They promise to play “one of our throwbacks, a handful of our current favorites, and, as always, a new song or two”
Band in Seattle presents Julia Massey and Smokey Brights (Facebook Event)
Wednesday, April 8th 6:00 PM
@ Victory Studios:
2247 15th Ave West, Seattle, Washington 98119 (map)
All-Ages (I’m pretty sure)
$5 Studend, $10 Regular (tickets)
I will be there. I plan on leaving straight from work to get there on time. SO CAN YOU!
Did you miss last night’s music show in Tacoma? FOR SHAME!
‘Twas a great music show last night in Tacoma at Grit City Grindhouse! I’d never been there before, and it turns out to be a very cool venue. It’s kind of a warehouse space behind a skate shop. There’s a li’l skate pipe/ramp off to one side in there (a quarter-pipe maybe?) and everything! It was an all-ages show and kids under 10 got in free, so it turned out there were about half-a-dozen kids running around and going crazy in front of the stage for much of the show. It was like a mosh pit for kids. A moppet mosh pit?
There were three music acts. The first one was Pete Jordan and two other members of Cloud Person. The be-bearded Mr. Jordan sounded a bit like a cross between Mike Doughty and folky sea shanties. Sorry I didn’t snap any photos of them, but it was mostly because I was enjoying the music and also because I was distracted by the junior mosh pit in front of me.
Next was Kye Alfred Hillig, who mostly did depressingly-lyric’d, folky, guy-with-acoustic-guitar stuff. But his lyrics were intelligent and very clever and sometimes rather funny. One of my favorite lines was, “My young love was as blind as Ray Charles.” Mr. Hillig also had absolutely excellent between-song banter going on, where he would make an assertive declaration and then immediately say that it was a complete lie. He also made some jokes about how his songs weren’t really kid-friendly. Very funny, and a nice contrast to the mostly-depressing content of the songs.
Wait… you mean that song wasn’t about Clifford the Big Red Dog!?
Third was Julia Massey & half of the Five Finger Discount (only Dom on drums). The FFD is in-between bass players right now. Geoff left toward the beginning of 2015 and they have a new one, but they haven’t played live with him yet. He wasn’t there because he was on a cruise or something lame like that. Pfffft, excuses. Anyway, Julia + Dom is still a great show, and they played TWO songs Carrie & I had never heard before, both of which were excellent.
And, as is my nature, I made an animated .GIF of them for us all to enjoy:
This is one of the better animated .GIFs I’ve made. And check out that great lighting!
So in conclusion: Good show. And it started at 7:00 so it was pretty much wrapping up by 9:00, which was great for a couple of old people who have a baby and need to get up the next day to go to work.
Another conclusion: Good venue. It’s nice to know there is another place in Tacoma where good musics can happen now. Although I’m not entirely sure why there is a painting of Marvel Comics interdimensional supervillain Shuma-Gorath on one of the walls…