By Tyler Hodg
If you’re an ignorant, regressive feminist-hater, the best course of action would probably be to skip “Ladies and Gentlemen.”
Holly Golightly has been particularly productive lately, releasing Slowtown Now! last month (review), and now reuniting with The Brokeoffs for Coulda Shoulda Woulda. Recorded on the Georgia farm Holly shares with Lawyer Dave (aka The Brokeoffs), Coulda Shoulda Woulda comes out swinging for the fences, and connects like mad. Songs of salvation for sale, dances to be learned, and an awfully sad Christmas are all here, along with some of the most delightful swearing ever laid to wax.
One might say that if it weren’t for the Carter family, country music as we know it (or knew it, rather) wouldn’t exist. Director Beth Harrington’s film, The Winding Stream: The Carters, The Cashes And The Course Of Country Music, explores that notion, starting with A.P Carter, his wife Sara and sister-in-law Maybelle, following that stream to the Carter Sisters, to June Carter and Johnny Cash, all the way to Rosanne Cash. The Carters’ influence was far-reaching, shaping ancient melodies into popular songs, and pushing the guitar into the forefront of American music.
There’s a line in Bruce McDonald’s Hard Core Logo in which Pipefitter, drummer savant says, (and I’m paraphrasing wildly here) “No one ever writes checks to the bands who influenced them.” Upon listening to Everything Is Roses 1985-1989, an anthology of Nashville’s Raging Fire, it seems like a whole lot of bands should have written some checks. The music of Raging Fire sounds familiar (though I’d not heard them) because so many bands aped their style. Strong front women with their own eclectic voices owe a debt to Melora Zaner. She doesn’t have a bombastic voice, but she makes you listen because of her nuance and passion. Without Raging Fire, a whole slew of bands wouldn’t exist.
By Tyler Hodg
The Chapin Sisters harness the sounds and feelings of folk music of the past, all while staying current with their latest release, Today’s Not Yesterday. It’s the follow-up to the duo’s 2013 Everly Brothers cover album (review), and their first album of original material in five years. While their style has remained fairly intact as the years have passed, the production now sounds more crisp than ever before.
Croydon Municipal, as I have mentioned frequently, is an amazing boutique label. An offshoot of Cherry Red Records, Croydon Municipal is run by Saint Etienne’s Bob Stanley, who culls his gargantuan record collection to curate brilliantly themed, thoughtful compilations (like his Popcorn Girls collections, or the current Songs For Swinging Ghosts). On All About The Girls, the theme is lost girl group gems, and it is a delight through and through.
The Final Girls (review) is a film about… what else? The hallowed halls of heroines in horror movies (how’s that for alliteration?) have many portraits hung on their walls. Here are a few fave Final Girls that you might not have yet considered, but who are still worthy women.
By Tyler Hodg
Patty Griffin is a musical treasure. There is no modern poet that can come close to the brilliance that she puts out, and her music stands high above almost everything else. But all that is great has to fall at some point, right? In the case of Patty Griffin, that theory has yet to be proven. Her latest album, Servant of Love, is yet another entry in her fantastic catalogue.
By Tim Murr
Patti Smith’s new memoir, M Train, is coming out on October 6. It will continue the journey through her life that she began with her previous book, Just Kids, which focused on her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Just Kids is a moving book that I couldn’t put it down. I encourage everyone to pick it up.
For me, Patti has been such a strong source of inspiration for so long. Every time I listen to her debut, Horses, I’m struck by how timeless it is. Released at the end of 1975, about two months before the Ramones released their debut album, there is a quality to its sound that doesn’t scream any era, but simply sounds like Patti Smith music. The build up to the chorus on “Gloria” still makes my hair stand on end. I’d call it one of the best moments of any rock song on any album ever produced.
So with Patti Smith’s new book around the corner and 2015 being the 40th anniversary of Horses, I thought I’d make a mix tape of her top 20 songs for the uninitiated to download right now. I chose from across all eras and offer them in particular order. For the bold, I’d say just buy Horses and then each album in order of release, but I recognize that people buy music differently these days. So, here’s the Patti Smith mix tape track listing I’d make for you, if ya know, we were friends or dating or something…
By Tyler Hodg
Angéline is the type of singer-songwriter that is impossible to not find inspiring. Her music is soulful and true, and her latest release, Back to Pike Place, is no exception. The EP compiles five beautifully-written songs (and one intro) that are all unique in their own ways. While the music may not necessarily make you want to jump up and dance, it will, however, make you want to cheer for its honesty.