Open Your Ears and Say . . .

7 Apr

Gotta have something to look forward to, even when times are a bit tough. Here’s a few things, musically speaking, that have kept my hopes up in recent daze:

MAN AND BIRDMEN, like BRAINTICKET decades before them, are Swiss headcases who specialise in a particularly groovy form of psychedelic dislocation. They prefer to remain in the shadows, mumble lyrics rather than sing them, and let the keys do the talking in their rocking. This live video is a bit older, but they’ve just released their first 7″, freely downloadable here. “Stardust” in particular really sends me – methinks these guys might have a killer LP hidden in them deep down somewheres.

It’s taken too many years, but BEAT CARAVAN – the best NRBQ cover band on the planet – have finally gotten ’round to recording a full-length CD. Preview clips on their MySpace sound great; it’s the kind of gorgeous self-penned tuneage Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour might’ve come up with, had they honed their thing not in Tulsa, but in Tokyo’s Ginza district. Rootsy, J-powerpop may not be your bag, but dammit if I’m gonna let WHITE FLAG’s Bill Bartell beat me to raving about this thing. Heck I’m smiling already just thinking about how good this record could be.

WITCHCRAFT spin-off THE WAIT have only promised a release sometime soon, but the BANDesque beauty of this song damn near brings tears of joy to my eyes. And the visuals these Swedes have chosen to juxtapose here – from the great lost-and-found Canadian daredevil documentary Devil at your Heels – gets me hoping their future records might shoot for something as foolhearty as trying to jump the St. Lawrence River. Further proof that the past can still be an endless source of new inspiration for young ‘uns in the second decade of the new millennium.

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