Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

Top Ten Songs of the Week 3/30/09

We do this every Tuesday, in the spirit of Kasey Kasem. Each of the links here will take you to the individual song, a mix of stuff we’ve either stumbled upon or have playing in heavy rotation here in Lucid Culture-land. Some of these songs will end up on our Best Songs of 2009 list the last week of December, stay tuned…

 

1. Elisa Flynn – Timber

Big, towering, haunting yet blackly amusing anthem, first cut on her absolutely killer new cd Songs About Birds and Ghosts. She’s at Sidewalk on 4/8 at 9. This is the video.

 

2. La Sovietika – Aladino

Completely unique: “the Caribbean Dance Rock Sound,” as the band puts it, funk meets 1970s Fania meets soukous, like what Vampire Weekend might sound like if they could swing and had soul.  

 

3. Jah Roots – Spliff and My Lady

In case you didn’t already guess, this is reggae. Great tune, similar to Payday by Israel Vibration.

 

4. Jessie Kilguss – Gristmill

Menacing, brooding noir cabaret. She’s at Trash on 4/22

 

5. The Hsu-nami – Snake Skin Shuffle

Artsy metal instrumental like Iron Maiden with an erhu (Chinese fiddle)! They’re at the Passport to Taiwan Festival at Union Square on 5/24.

 

6. The Parkington Sisters – Let Go

Minimalist countrypolitan chamber pop with sweet harmonies – absolutely unique.  

 

7. Des Roar – Not Over for Me

Oldschool R&B song like the Pretty Things except with powerful modern amps.

 

8. The Moody Blues – Driftwood

Live version, early 80s vintage. In case you weren’t aware how good a guitarist Justin Hayward is.

 

9. No More Tears – Keep It Real

Hip-hop from the Dirty Jerz: “Keep it real girl, what do you want, I got liquor, I got blunts.” The least subtle pickup lines ever rapped. Beyond funny.

 

10. Cudzoo & the Faggettes – 14K Fetus

Completely sick faux oldtimey harmony from the self-styled “prettiest girls with the filthiest mouths.”

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March 31, 2009 Posted by | lists, Lists - Best of 2008 etc., Music, music, concert | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concert Review: Three Legged Fox at Arlene’s, NYC 3/13/09

The band went on an hour late due to the unexpected arrival of an ambulance (a morbidly obese woman had passed out during the previous band’s set). Finally, at practically the stroke of midnight, Three Legged Fox took the stage, stopping the buzzkill in its tracks. This made-for-Coachella quartet from Philadelphia imaginatively bridge the gap between upbeat rock and roots reggae, delivering a fun set that completely energized the packed Friday night crowd.

 

Is what they do rock? Is it reggae? Whatever it is, it’s good. Their rhythm section is pretty straight up, without the one-drop on the drums or the busy basslines of, say, Bob Marley. Although they did a pleasantly catchy update on the No Woman, No Cry theme simply called Away. Frontman Kyle Wareham’s casual, low-key delivery made a nice contrast with his frequently stinging guitar work. Lead guitarist Mike Brody concentrated on adding tasty accents or doubling the rhythm, delivering smartly terse, bluesy solos in the few instances when he got the chance. They opened with Slow Down, a friendly, hook-driven command to loosen up. The title track from their just-released second cd Not As Far built to a big, beautiful, dramatic crescendo. Soul Thief was straight-up Badfinger powerpop; another slow, Marleyesque song called I Am brought the music down for a brief stab at a sort of dub interlude. The obligatory herb-smoking anthem came toward the end of the set, in this case a high-spirited cover of Ganja Weed by Springfield, Missouri band Jah Roots. Finally, about seven songs into the set, we got a minor key. Since roots reggae has always been socially conscious music, it would be interesting to see what these guys could do if they decided to get serious and tackle a deeper topic than, say, legalizing herb. 

 

But no matter – Three Legged Fox have an extraordinarily high ceiling. It’s hard to imagine them going anywhere but up. There’ll always be a market for party music, especially stuff this good and this tasteful: no fonkeh wotbo Dave Matthews blackface fakeness, no interminably wanky soloing, just good vibes and one catchy song after another. Give them a couple more years on the road, and see them now, before it costs you an arm and a leg at Reggae on the River or some other jampacked outdoor festival.

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Live Events, Music, music, concert, New York City, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments