Songs

You are currently browsing the archive for the Songs category.

14321

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Babe the Blue Ox”

From the first we met them we were in love with the White Whales, who played one of their first shows here at Hymie’s a couple years ago and will be playing their last on Saturday at our block party. They were fantastic from the beginning, and only got better as time went on. Coincidentally, their album release show at 7th Street Entry last summer was the same day Saturday’s headline act, Black Diet, played here in the shop for the first time — we had to rush out after the dust settled from their great set to get downtown in time to see the Whales.

We wrote about their full-length album Lakestate a couple times, so you can read a little about it and hear some more tracks here and here. All we’ll say today is that we’re sad Saturday is going to be this band’s last show. We’ve enjoyed Matthew Shuffman and Michael Wojtalewicz’s new project, Graveyard Club, but we’ll miss the White Whales. Lakestate is one of our favorite local albums of the past several years.

We are just five short days away from our Record Store Day block party — all our favorite bands in town are going to be here, and Black Diet will be releasing their highly-anticipated debut album, Find Your Tambourine. A couple of the other bands on the bill are also set to have a new release out in the coming months, or have told us they’re in the process of recording.

poor nobodysOne band with a new album out is the Poor Nobodys, whose record release show for Ink no Ink, their third album, is May 31st at the Cedar Cultural Center (details here). They will be performing here at noon on Record Store Day, and are sure to include some songs from the new record. They were also kind enough to loan us a test pressing of the album so we could give you a little sample.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Thousand, Thousand”

If it seems like you’re listening to a movie soundtrack when you hear these songs from Ink no Ink, it’s because the Poor Nobodys have spent much of the past couple years working on film and theater projects, which lends an exciting, dramatic quality to their music. We have written before that their in-store performances here at Hymie’s have been some of the most memorable performances we’ve ever had.

Poor_Nobodys_Capitol_Theater_pic

Although it is a single LP, Ink no Ink has an epic quality, the kind of album you could find yourself getting lost in — we are particularly fond of the quieter passages, where the interplay between instruments you don’t hear together as often in bands around town (cello, banjo, accordion, electric keyboards, and so on) is almost hypnotic. We have listened to it a couple of times here in the shop since they dropped off this copy, and each time people have come up to the counter curious about what they were hearing.

Ink No Ink Art

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Ink No Ink”

The Poor Nobodys will be touring Europe next month before their release show at the Cedar, but you’ll have a chance to see them on Saturday.

Cease practice based
on intellectual understanding,
Pursuing words and following after speech.
Learn the backward step that turns
Your light inward to illuminate within.
Body and mind of themselves will drop away
And your original face will be manifest.

So says the first place we recall seeing the phrase “original face” — the words of Eihei Dōgen, born in Kyoto, Japan in or around the year 1200. The world in which he lived cast him more a character in a Kurosawa film than the monk we may picture — something that led him to travel and study. The Japan of Dōgen’s time was ruled by a foolish aristocracy, willing to purchase prayers, and monasteries which fought one another with soldiers.

After studying in China Dōgen returned with revolutionary views which survive in the Sōtō school of Zen, and which are founded, in part, on the concept on nonduality, an idea expressed in the deceptively simple passage quoted above. The easiest approach to understand is to recognize and confront the comfort we find in familiar conflicts: Good and evil, dark and light, and ultimately self and other.

Before my role here at Hymie’s I spent many years as a dishwasher in a diner. It was during the time I first read Dōgen, and wrote my own mantra on the wall above the sink:

The dishes are clean, the dishes are dirty
It is all the same
You do not wash the dishes, the dishes wash you
To wash one dish is to wash all dishes.

While largely inspired by Dishwasher Pete‘s incredible fanzine my sudsy mantra was my own way of relating to what I had read. Totally unable to meditate (and still totally unable to sit still) menial work became my gateway to understanding nonduality. Perhaps for you it is building birdhouses, or whatever task allows you to remove yourself from yourself long enough to see yourself — one does not have to be a Buddhist to enjoy this feeling in the act of work.

How does this relate to this new local release, Original Face by Little Man? Are we taking some enormous leap, based simply on its title — are we also placing upon it the weight of everything one will feel when confronted with Dōgen’s often frustratingly obfuscated directions to the path to enlightenment.

I don’t know. At this point I simply concede I’m only a guy who in a record store who has no idea — If I were a better writer I would be working for Pitchfork and I would simply give this album some stars and compare it to Dinosaur Jr. End of story, please click again next week as our advertisers are counting on you.

Little Man OFCoverHiRezFortunately for its listeners, Original Face is also a solid rock and roll romp — fun enough that we can listen to it, talk about T Rex and deal with the heavy shit later. Its title track might be giving a nod towards sixties mod as readily as eight hundred year old Japanese poetry. You know, Small Faces, Little Man — all in the same jam. In the British scene the mod-est of the mods were a ‘face’ — what we might call a fancy lad, or a man about town (think “David Watts”). Hence the Small Faces, all (originally) men of literally small stature. Put Little Man’s lead singer and guitarists, Chris Pericelli, next to his behemoth bandmates and you’ll see the humor in the name.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Flip You Over”

And underneath its glam-y veneer, Original Face feels like an extension of the fuzzy psych experiments that scene made before it collapsed into itself. “Face” feels like a metaphysical take on the Who’s “Disguises” (if it had been covered by Montrose) and the album’s opener, “Flip You Over,” has the jingle-jangle Brits met Buddy Holly charm that defined the ‘British invasion.’

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“The Builder”

The success of Original Face is how Pericelli’s lyrics stand in contract to their presentation. “Face” features metaphysical lyrics in what could have been a track from Aerosmith’s Get Your Wings — bassist Brian Herb and drummer Sean Gilchrist make this work. The next track (“The Builder”) shifts into heavy romp T Rex mode and the trio romps through one of the best retro rock performances the Twin Cities has produced in recent years. Of course Marc Bolan, Mick Ronson and all those other glam heroes cut their teeth in that mod scene — they had original faces just as you and I do.

For all its hints to heavy glam, like the sublime rhythm guitar accents in “The Builder,” this album is at heart clean cut pop. Original Face has the stark honesty of Big Star in its occasionally naive lyrics as much as in its inventive arrangements. It also has the hedonistic energy of Van Halen on its last song (“I Know Who You Are”) in spite of its burdensome heft.

“Flip You Over” captures nearly all these things: the Big Star-yness, the (we know its not cool anymore) Aerosmith-yness, the meditative, and something else…something newer, something closer to home…

Yep, On Original Face Little Man sounds like one of our favorite local bands, Story of the Sea. At times, Pericelli sounds so remarkably like Adam Prince it seems like our wish came true: Story of the Sea announced its breakup in January and all us fans wanted was a few more songs. Something to say ‘so long.’

Little Man teases us with that — Dōgen wrote that a foolish man sees himself as another, while the wise man sees others as himself. We spend so much time thinking about where an album came from, who it was influenced by, that we forget to enjoy it for what it is. Original Face is a riotously fun rock and roll album. It has air guitar qualities (if no one’s watching), and I’m probably going to know all the words by the time its released next Friday night. “I know who you are,” sings Pericelli. “Don’t have to look too far. Stay right here with me.” And that’s just what we’re gonna do.

Little Man will release their new album Original Face at the Amsterdam Bar on April 18th. Fury Things and Pink Mink will play opening sets. Details here.

Walk a Mile

Last week we passed the twentieth anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide — The Twin Cities’ largest music blog ran a shockingly callous story about it, which set us to thinking a lot this past weekend about our dear friend who took his own life in the same way just a few weeks over six years ago. We can’t in good conscience link to the story, considering that a steady stream of clicks and comments (even if negative) are just what they’d like to provide for their advertisers. We’re sure you’ll find it if that’s what you want to read.

No one here is a particularly enthusiastic fan of Nirvana, but it seems a stretch for anyone writing about pop music to deny the enormous impact Cobain had in the short time he was a star. For better or worse the fingerprints of his music are more indelible than the author of this piece seems willing to concede, as is the memory of his death.

It was not the denial of a popular and influential band that set us to soul searching — after all each of us is entitled to their own opinion and that’s supposed to be the fun of the sort of pop music conversations we have around the record store. We were offended by the author’s malicious dismissal of Cobain, crippled by addiction and depression, as a “coward.”

Not so long ago we posted a track from Joe South’s last album, Midnight Rainbows. South meteoric career came to a screeching halt when his brother, Tommy, took his life in 1971. His final album struggles with the anguishes of loss and guilt with aching sincerity, ultimately silencing an otherwise extraordinary career.

It seems unlikely South’s sentiments would have an impact on a person so quick to dismiss the deceased as a “coward,” so we won’t offer to loan him our copy. Neither will we offer End the Rain, the album Brenda Weiler recorded in 2007 after losing her sister, Jennifer. It’s eleven songs are presented in the order in which they were written and performed with arresting intimacy — the result is a small encapsulation of the suffering of a survivor of suicide.

end the rain

And its a funny thing how over time the grief in us, wracked as it may be with guilt, grows into compassion. There’s no absolutes in a subject so intimate, but the survivors left behind by suicide do not see their lost loved ones as cowards. We miss them and struggle with the feeling we could have done more. Our friend was sick, he felt he had become a burden, he had isolated himself and could not overcome his depression. Whether one could have saved them with something so simple as a phone call is never far from mind. Nor is the fact he was an extraordinary person — the type you will meet only a few of in your entire life.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 statistics (the most recent available) count more than 38,000 Americans took their own lives, making it the tenth leading cause of death — that is a person lost and a family grieving every 13.7 minutes. We believe, and we are not alone in this, that those deaths are entirely preventable. The first step is recognizing mental illness and addiction as the primary causes of such tragedies, and removing the stigma applied by persons like this author of this shameful piece of poor writing.

May he continue to be blessed by a life free from a grief such as ours, but may he also come to one day understand what its like to…

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Walk a Mile in my Shoes” by Joe South

We told you 2014 was going to be the year of Piñata Records, and it’s all starting to come together — Black Diet were the darlings of First Avenue’s “best new bands” showcase in January and once again two months later captivated the main room for the Star Tribune’s Vitamn “best new band” show, which confusingly was totally not the same thing. Black Diet has developed a loyal following, and we’re all looking forward to their album release show next week here at Hymie’s as part of our Record Store Day block party!

And the folks who would be our house band if we were a nightclub instead of a record store, Southside Desire, are mixing a new album right now, as are those wild garage rock revivalists, Narco States. Yep, you’re going to be hearing more and more about what we think is the best new label in the Twin Cities.

Saturday’s show at the Hexagon Bar will add a new group to the roster: Mystery Date, whose hardly-heard cassette release is being reissued by the Piñata gang as a 7-inch EP. It’s a good thing too, because rock and roll this good should be heard — we think it should be heard by everyone who has a radio and the windows down on a sunny day like this, everyone who’s hanging out in the back yard with some pals drinking a couple beers and goofing around, and everyone whose sitting in the basement digging through a crate of records that includes the New York Dolls, the Other Ones or Nick Lowe’s endlessly fun Pure Pop for Now People.

Mystery Date’s first single, “Dreaming in Black and White” (in stock at Hymie’s if you’re inclined), was a knockout power pop gem and this new EP is even better, if you ask us. “You And Your Sister” was recorded by Neil Weir in his (dare we say) legendary Old Blackberry Way studio, and its got just enough fuzz to feel fresh and enough tidy riffs to feel like a lost Titan Records track. These three songs are our favorite straight-ahead, fun rock and roll songs to come out of the local scene since that joyful Juvie single.

Mystery Date’s record release show for “You And Your Sister” is at the Hexagon Bar right here in the best neighborhood in Minneapolis on Saturday night — Also playing are Hot Rash, Teenage Moods and that irresistible band, Southside Desire.

The fact that these two records ended up in the same crate by the time they got here is one of those things that makes this job so interesting.

husbands frustrated housewife

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Selection from Husbands, Love your Wives by Gene Jakubek, S.J.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Frustrated Houswife” by Ava Aldridge

homecoming

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Homecoming”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Everything from Jesus to Jack Daniels”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“No New Friends Please”

no new friends

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“I Hope it Rains at my Funeral”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“It Rained in Every Town but Paducah”

it rained in every town

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“A Week in a Country Jail”

tth

humphrey

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Humphrey the Camel” by Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan

Benny K

Benny K made this fun video last week to help his fans find Hymie’s, but of course if you’re reading this you have probably already visited us here.

Benny’s a local folk singer whose first disc, 10,000 Saints, earned him a reputation as bright, insightful songwriter. He’ll be releasing a new EP, Four Years, this weekend, and we were surprised when he approached us about hosting the release celebration show with a performance here in the shop on Saturday.

Four Years takes on the subject of Wisconsin’s controversial conservative governor, Scott Walker, who progressives hope will have an uphill battle for re-election this fall. Benny K plans to tour the Badger State between now and election day. Have a listen to the title song — you might, like us, feel Benny sounds like a younger Larry Long
(one of our favorite Minnesota folk singers). He’s joined on the new EP by keyboardist Lightnin’ Joe Peterson.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Four Years” by Benny K

Here’s another video, for a track from 10,000 Saints. Gus and Nova really liked this one, but we had to read all the text to them. Benny’s got a good sense of humor that’s really missing in a lot of music these days. Sometimes a little bit of that makes a sad story a little easier on the soul, a spoonful of sugar and all…

Benny’s CD release show for Four Years will be here at Hymie’s on Saturdady at 5pm. Self-described “garage folk singer” Nate Houge will be providing a foot-stompin’ opening set. Hope to see you here!

Everyone from Bill Cosby to the Art Ensemble of Chicago has performed “Purple Haze” since it first appeared on Jimi Hendrix’s classic first album. He always claimed it was a love song, not a song about drugs.

One of our favorite versions is this one by Dion.

purple haze

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Purple Haze” by Dion

« Older entries

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.