Posts Tagged ‘Felice Brothers’

 

And here we have the final part of our favourite tunes of 2019… Discover and enjoy.

25 UV Race – Mr Blame
A brash, unapologetic race through proto-punk stomp and malodorous glam-punk aesthetics.

 

24 Lonesome Shack – The City is a Desert
Anchored by an insistent country blues refrain that has a touch of something primal about it, and sounds like it could almost be a lost take from the Doors’ LA Woman.

 

 

23 Sudakistan – Automaton
A storming, irresistible slab of psych infused garage rock. Prepare to be pounded into submission.

 

22 Siskiyou – Nothing Disease
Hushed, twilight folk matched with a macabre, ironic pathos. Gorgeous stuff.

 

21 Ezra Furman – Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone
Vicious. A fast and furious thrash. Like an amphetamine fuelled Lou Reed for our own desperate times.

 

20 The Felice Brothers – Special Announcement
I’m saving up my money / To be president / I can promise more berries / On Blueberry Hill / I can promise you this / Charlie Parker on the ten dollar bill
Classic Felice Brothers ramshackle Americana and our favourite lyrics of the year – mobsters eating lobsters in dim-lit rooms!

 

19 The Lumineers – Gloria
A song about addiction and love. The catchy uptempo folky strum is perfectly juxtaposed with the resigned sadness of the lyrics.

 

18 DIIV – Blankenship
Capitalist greed, climate destruction. Explosive riffs and distortion sets off the condemnation perfectly.

 

17 Lightning Dust – Led Astray
A haunting reflective ballad set to cosmic synths.

 

16 The Tallest Man On Earth – I’m A Stranger Now
A poetic, heartbreaking rumination on growing apart. A little drop of poison in the rain / a little drop of madness in my heart

 

15 FEWS – More Than Ever
More Than Ever takes FEWS’ propulsive menace and aligns it once more to themes of estrangement and alienation. It is a song about apathy and pointlessness, and is a brilliant, unrelenting anthem for the disenfranchised.

 

14 Water Music – It Ain’t Over Yet…
Outsider folk of the very best kind. Dark, melancholic and lyrical.

 

13 Fontaines DC – Big
Dogrel was album of the year for many, and a host of Fontaines DC’s tunes from it featured in our round up last year. However, Big was one of the new tracks, and it was another crackerjack of short, snappy, irresistibly catchy punk rock.

 

12 Baxter Dury – Slumlord
Slumlord is a tale of the unpleasant, the tainted and the grotesque, whilst still retaining a sense of something despairingly romantic about it. It is the musical equivalent of a bare lightbulb swinging in a dingy bedsit, casting sickly light on things you might not want to see, and then suddenly illuminating something that might break your heart. Musically there are echoes of The Clash, of Straight to Hell perhaps, and some Nile Rodgers style funk that just settles into a groove that quickly becomes irresistible.

 

11 She Keeps Bees – Kinship
Drum heavy, hypnotic folk. A meditative hymn to mother nature.

 

10 Hideous Sun Demon – Cheap Association
Savage, scuzzy slab of punk rock that is so good it would give Buddha a migraine.

 

9 Ohtis- Runnin
Beautifully dark country-Americana taking us through songwriter Sam Swinson’s autobiographical journey of indoctrination and addiction. Has a touch of Lord Huron about it.

 

8 Ian Noe – Meth Head
Stark, brutal and unforgettable folk. A despairing, unflinching story of prowling junkies that are way beyond hope or redemption. I just kept pacing by / Swattin’ through the flies / And her stench, rancid and stout / While she stood there cryin’ “Please!” / With her fist between her knees / And the sores drainin’ ’round her mouth

 

7 Dry Cleaning – Magic of Meghan
A sparkling, effervescent joy of shimmering guitars and indie jangle. And prophetic to boot…

 

6 Party Hardly – Rats in the Kitchen
A rousing indie anthem that is the musical equivalent of waking a guard dog – a bit woozy in places, but equally likely to suddenly tear your ears off with no warning and no apology! 

 

5 WIVES – Servants
Like the Rolling Stones seen through the prism of New York’s seediest underside, a perfect bass-driven combination of menacing modern blues and post-punk rumble.

 

4 Deliluh – Lickspittle A Nut In The Paste
By equal measure propulsive and laconic, it hums along at a fair old pace with something of classic era Sonic Youth about it.

 

3 The Murder Capital – Feeling Fades
Intense, brooding post-punk par excellence, a song with menace aforethought…

 

2 Guru – Ltd
Reminiscent  of the best of Traams, Brighton punks Guru deliver a brilliantly tense, propulsive anthem that builds to a frenzied crescendo.

 

1 hd hausmann – A Modern Weight
Taking in elements of folk and Americana but ultimately producing a kind of outsider pop, hd hausmann recall the early works of The National or David Kitt crossed with Leonard Cohen’s poetic charms. Anchored by a deep, velvety vocal the gently hypnotic A Modern Weight surreptitiously wormed its way into our consciousness and would not be dislodged. A slow burner that creeps up and grips like a vice.

 

 

The Felice Brothers have shared Special Announcement from their upcoming long player Undress.

From the opening bars and lyrics “I’m saving up my money to be President, I can promise more berries on Blueberry Hill, I can promise you this, Charlie Parker on a ten dollar bill”,  it is a classic Felice Brothers tune – a rolling folk shuffle, a singalong chorus and those acerbic, surreal lyrics that express all the frustration and exasperation with our crooked financial ways just keep coming throughout, “all the Corporate goons, all the mobsters eating lobsters in dim lit rooms“.

Brilliant stuff – have a listen.

 

We never quite finished off our regular weekend post and already we have had new songs from the wonderful Felice Brothers, Mountain Goats and Mac DeMarco amongst others this week. So what the heck, why not mash ’em all into one (lazy) post of some great new tunes from the last 10 days.

So we have.

  1. Cabbage – Torture
  2. Felice Brothers – Poor Blind Birds
  3. Big Thief – UFOF
  4. Mac DeMarco – Nobody
  5. Stella Donnelly – Tricks
  6. The Mountain Goats – Cadaver Sniffing Dog
  7. Mountain Man – Take Me Home, Country Roads  (John Denver cover)
  8. Kevin Morby – No Halo
  9. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – In The Capital
  10. Strand Of Oaks – Keys
  11. The Tough Shits – Late Bloomer
  12. Sam Evian – Cherry Tree
  13. Wand – Thin Air
  14. Frog – God Once Loved A Woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy days!

After three long years, we have an announcement of a new album from the Felice Brothers.

Undress was recorded in the late summer of 2018 in Germantown, New York. “Many of the songs on the new album are motivated by a shift from private to public concerns,” says songwriter Ian Felice. “It isn’t hard to find worthwhile things to write about these days, there are a lot of storms blooming on the horizon and a lot of chaos that permeates our lives. The hard part is finding simple and direct ways to address them.

Undress follows the band’s 2016 album Life In The Dark, and finds the group in a very different place three years later. Between personnel changes, families growing and the political landscape, the result is a tighter, more-paired down release. “Every song is a story,” said James Felice. “On this album everything was a bit more thoughtful, including the arrangements, the sonic quality and the harmonies.”

The Felice Brothers are long standing MM faves. Their wonderful blend of storytelling, lyrical genius and ramshackle Americana began in 2006, playing subway platforms and sidewalks in NYC and they have gone on to release nine albums of original songs and to tour extensively throughout the world. The new album is out on Yep Roc Records on the 3rd May.

For now, listen to the fabulous title track below.

 

 

 

Mad Mackerel is ten years old. Who would have believed it.

So, thanks to everyone who has ever visited the blog, listened, commented, submitted music, sent e-mails, sent CDs, t-shirts and even vinyl, and given us a guest list pass. We really do appreciate it.

Thanks too to our regular contributors over the years – too numerous to mention all, but extra special thanks to the sprats (of course), Barry-Sean, Polly Pocket, Dr Roddy, The Italian Job, Chris T Popper and the fishily fabulous Mrs Mackerel.

And most of all thanks for letting us discover some truly great tunes. Here are ten of them – our favourites of the past ten years of Mad Mackerel.

Cheers!

 

10 The Felice Brothers – Frankie’s Gun (2008)

 

Untarnished, unpolished, unadorned. Heavy on rhythm, accordion and piano. Frankie’s Gun is a stomping, beer-swilling square dance with the grim reaper hovering in attendance. This brilliantly evocative song packs enough into three verses and a beer-hall singalong chorus to create its own Netflix series.

 

9 Grinderman – Palaces Of Montezuma (2010)

Unhinged list of over-the-top romantic promises set to a loose, funky bassline and with a subtle, gospel style shuffle that is simply sublime.

 

8 Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer (2008)

 

A darkly pensive tale of multiple murder that emerges from Dylan’s shadow to tramp from the bright lights of LA to the desolation of the prairies and the desert in search of more victims. Black River Killer drips with the authentic haunted quality of an old, gothic murder ballad and we can’t give it higher praise than that.

 

7 Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson – Buriedfed (2008)

Eerily reminiscent of the drugged up haze of a Johnny Thunders with possibly the bleakest lyrics we’ve ever come across. “Friend of mine drank something fine, choked to death before his time last night / He said, “Found that thing you really need, cough it on down ’til you can’t breathe alright / Everyone’ll be there at the burial in your head, and a tear or two they’ll shed / Then they’re gonna go digging in your hole and find: someone else instead” or “Oh, he didn’t like people much at all, tasted better with alcohol, you know how that one goes / Realized he’d missed his whole life; kissed his dog, and shot his wife last night.

Buriedfed is anguished circular verses of regret, dependency and death, slowly building up from the twang of a lone acoustic guitar to soundtrack a rollicking daydream of Robinson’s own death and ensuing funeral.

 

6 The Quiet Hollers – Côte d’Azur (2015)

 

The unbearably poignant and dark tale of Côte d’Azur – about those memory markers that resurface in the depths of your dreams and the half way stage when the sun warms your face, and what’s real and what’s not – the journey and the destination – merges into one; always searching. This song breaks my heart at every single listen, so I turn up the white noise.

 

5 The Roadside Graves – Far And Wide (2009)

 

A seamless fusion of country and classic rock, with just a hint of punk’s reckless abandon. Kicking off with a great riff and whiskey raw vocals, this wonderfully ramshackle Americana is like musical heroin.

 

4 Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’ (2015)

So, it takes Kurt a little while to recognise himself as the “man in the mee-rah”. Wakey, wakey son. But after a minor identity crisis and a bit of a teeth mix-up, everything’s pretty pimpin. It is a fingerpicked earworm where a sprawl of twangy guitar and surreal, laconic lyrics combine to create the perfect ode to stoned self-reflection, and a very well-loved tune amongst Team Mackerel.

 

3 Willy Mason – Restless Fugitive (2012)

 

With rumbling percussion, echoing guitars and an almost reggae-like rhythm, Willy Mason announced his return after a five year hiatus with this outstanding tune, a dusty, world-weary hymn to moving on. Swaying along to this beauty in a large field clasping an overpriced (but comfortingly strong) cider is what summer should be all about.

 

2 Middle Brother – Portland (2011)

Shared a cigarette for breakfast? More than one I reckon. John McCauley of Deer Tick has a voice that was made for this song. One for the road, sung in chorus, gives me the warmest, fuzzy feeling all over. Stick me on a greyhound bus with Middle Brother playing to the open road and I reckon I’d be a happy girl. Just about the best darned cover (yes, I know but don’t care) I ever heard. Pure magic.

 

1 PHOSPHORESCENT – SONG FOR ZULA (2013)

 

It is Matthew Houck’s ragged, yet fragile vocals that stitch together Zula’s imagery, which cuts far and deep. Intensely poignant lyrics, sweeping strings, pulsing drum machine: it all weaves together to form an emotional testament to the end of a relationship. Ever had your heart broken? This is what it feels like.

 

So there we have it, 200 of our favourite songs since 2008. Everyone a gem, everyone a memory. Enjoy!

 

Check out the full countdown here: 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121, 120-101, 100-9190-8180-7170-6160-5150-4140-3130-21 and 20-11.

We’re celebrating ten years of MM. Today we’ve reached the top 50 of our favourite songs of the past decade.

50 Discount Guns – I Heard (2012)

 

Ass kicking blend of blues rock and country and western with big riffs, plenty of fuzz and loads of reverb. Like the Black Keys with balls.

 

49 Thee Oh Sees – Toe Cutter/Thumb Buster (2013)

 

A bass line and guitar riff that are simple genius, massively addictive and unwavering in ferocity as the song crescendos during the chorus. It was the one song that year that whenever anyone heard it for the first time they sat there quietly, and then at the end, would say without fail “That was awesome, Who was that?

 

48 Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny – Lilliput (2011)

 

Experimental freak-folk, pop song writing, and a slyly humorous outlook all combine in a stunning fashion. Lilliput’s gentle opening soon gives way to cantering drums, gilded strings and some marvellously versatile falsetto vocals.

 

47 Parquet Courts – Stoned And Starving (2012)

 

Two irresistibly hypnotic chords carry a song of deadpan delivery, like Wire doing slacker rock (which obviously would be a very good thing indeed).

 

46 Blitzen Trapper – The Man Who Would Speak True (2010)

Like a companion piece to Black River Killer (still to come folks, still to come), a surreal, dark fairytale with tumbling rhymes over minimal percussion and a splash of lovely harmonica and always remember “You better guard your tongue like your enemy

 

45 Water Liars – Linens (2013)

 

Gorgeous heartbroken country ballad, “And what I would give to be quiet beside you / with the window open, a record playing low / to feel your skin between the clean bed linens / inside a room where sadness never goes”

 

44 Port O’Brien – My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg) (2010)

Amongst other things Port O’Brien were a fabulous covers band. This is the sweetest Ramones cover ever.

 

43 Felice Brothers – Fire At The Pageant (2011)

Voodoo, zombies, sinister nursery rhyme chants, classic Felice Brothers lyrics and a woozy, old-timey, back porch rhythm means this song should have been an utter mess. That it was the complete opposite stands tribute to this bunch of ramshackle mavericks of increasingly experimental Americana.

 

42 The Decemberists – June Hymn (2011)

June Hymn crafts pastoral and emotional imaginery into exquisite, literate, and ultimately hopeful indie rock.

 

41 Magnetic Fields – Drive On Driver (2008)

A serpentine melody couched in woozy, soft-focus feedback. The ultimate distorted road trip.

 

Check out numbers 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121, 120-101, 100-9190-8180-7170-61 and 60-51.

Time for tunes 80 thru 71 in our Top 200 of the past ten years.

80 Dr. Dog – It (2010)

Criminally tucked away on the expanded edition of Shame Shame, It is perfect Dr. Dog – nostalgic, feel-good, laid back folk inflected Americana that cries out for the back porch.

 

79 Chaika – The Mirror (2015)

 

Compulsive, hazy garage-psych to sear the soul.

 

78 Blitzen Trapper – Furr (2008)

 

At their best when they evoke their inner Bob Dylan and major on the rhyme heavy folk, Furr is a surreal, harmonica-flecked Jungle Book style tale set to a toe-tapping, bluesy rhythm.

 

77 Withered Hand – Hard On (2009)

 

With his creaky, fragile voice Dan Wilson (aka Withered Hand) might be an acquired taste. But for the connoisseur his awkward, funny and often brilliant bedroom-folk is a pure joy. A beard don’t make you a man / No, it takes something else / Something I’ll never have

 

76 The Felice Brothers – Whiskey In My Whiskey (2008)

The Felice Brothers are all the R words. Ramshackle, rollicking, raucous, rambunctious, rowdy and never more so than with this song. They are a carnival band in the best sense of the word taking in everything and spitting it back out with humour, irony, pathos and a gritty realism. This should be heard live, preferably at a party on a riverboat steamer or in a backwoods bar with old bullet holes scarring the walls.

 

75 Spector – Chevy Thunder (2012)

 

Sing-a-long indie anthem par excellence.

 

74 Snakes – Young American (2016)

 

Marvellous twangy Americana driven by a chugging, Johnny Cash style rhythm and Hank style vocals.

 

73 Natural Child – Rock Bottom (2012)

 

Whiskey soaked, doobie smoked Southern-fried blues-rock in the vein of Beggars Banquet-era Rolling Stones, played with a sloppy grit and sleazy charm.

 

72 Pete and the Pirates – Winter 1 (2010)

 

Like a 96 Tears for the modern world, Pete and the Pirates always had an ear for a catchy pop hook and this is one of their biggest. Irresistible.

 

71 Girl Band – Pears For Lunch (2015)

Unfiltered, freaked-out noise punk that perfectly marries the nervous, twitching energy of the guitars with deadpan vocal apathy. Ate eight bananas and I thought about a jog / Legged it around the gaff and took my top off / I look crap with my top off / Spend my time watching Top Gear with my trousers down.

 

Our favourite 200 songs of the past ten years… numbers 90 – 81.

90 Great American Canyon Band – Undertow (2016)

 

An epic of yearning Americana and cinematic, shoegazing guitars that combine to stunning effect.

 

89 Henry’s Funeral Shoe – Stranger Dig (2009)

 

Raucous mix of heavy rock and psychedelic blues. Heavy drumming – check, big riff – check – rough vocals – check. Turn up to 11…

 

88 The Felice Brothers – Cherry Licorice (2014)

 

Classic Felice Brothers. A ragged, uptempo rocker that is sure to become a guaranteed live sing-a-long as couplets like “all the lady and gents, are covered in excrement”, and “the teacher slit my wrists, for every class I missed” are destined for a roaring crowd encore.

 

87 Jamie T – Limits Lie (2014)

 

A stoned reggae rhythm and easy going vocals can’t disguise the bleakness of content, yet somehow the downcast crescendo is a triumph.

 

86 Fews – La Guardia (2017)

 

Relentless, anxious, powerful and unsettling. A few lyrics down the line – a short, unequivocal statement and then.. screams! Distant and desperate screams. Guaranteed post-punk goosebumps every time – what else would you want from a track?

 

85 Alt-J – Breezeblocks (2012)

Catchy, eclectic slice of lush folk-tronica.

 

84 Forest Fire – Fortune Teller (2008)

 

Tonight I’m gonna melt some faces / with Gatling gun social skills, oh so charming mix of weirded out country, folk and blues that delivers just over two minutes of musical perfection.

 

83 The Pines – Cry Cry Crow (2012)

 

An eerie meditation on the rural and the urban, haunting lyrics and an insistently mournful groove. Dark Americana at it’s finest.

 

82 Mummy Short Arms – Cigarette Smuggling (2011)

 

Seriously warped slice of woozy, off-kilter indie that defies description, but flat out demands your attention. Imagine Captain Beefheart fighting with Salvador Dali with a full set of musical instruments and a goodly pile of magic mushrooms…

 

81 Damien Jurado – Museum Of Flight (2012)

A big song with big meaning and a wide expansive sound that splits right open about a minute and half in. Always the moment I wish for really expensive speakers that can do its majesty justice. Sigh.

 

Halfway through. Here are tracks 100-91

100 Cabbage – Celebration Of A Disease (2017)

Simply the ultimate mix of mutated groove and indie rock. With a lineage that stretches back to the Fall and takes in The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses, it is the latest addition to a long line of infectious, sing-along Manchester anthems.

 

99 Felice Brothers – Lincoln Continental (2012)

The school run anthem of 2012: a fine country drawl, a fine country band. Learn the words, sing it loud; altogether now: I been missing you so listen / I liked to ask you can we drive through town.

 

98 Man Of Moon – The Road (2015)

 

Brilliantly insistent, pulsating psychedelia that ebbs and flows and mesmerises.

 

97 Naked Giants – Ya Ya (2016)

 

Slightly distorted but mighty catchy riff, heightened by a pounding backbeat and a relentlessly repetitive chorus.

 

96 The National – Think You Can Wait (2011)

With echoing strings and piano, it is the sparingly used backing vocal of Sharon Van Etten (whose shared harmonies with Matt Berninger sound as if they were always meant to be together), that elevates this track into solemn, understated brilliance.

 

95 Phosphorescent – Ride On / Right On (2013)

A little bit of funky rhythm and a whole lot of country grit combined to make one of the the most compelling and enduring songs of 2013.

 

94 The Bones Of J.R Jones – Hammer And Nails (2016)

 

An infectious blues stomp telling ancient tales from the deep south, ritualistic dance routines around bonfires (well, in our head at least) and unnerving dark secrets.

 

93 Wooden Wand – DNR Waltz (2011)

 

 

Simmering, southern-fried country rocker complete with Toth’s wry and wonderfully weary vocal drawl.

 

92 Elijah Ocean  Ride It Out (2014)

 

The melody is simple enough, gently building throughout with the message of just getting through it, which is fairly universal. It actually becomes quite inspirational by the end with its catchy chorus infecting your brain. Life can sometimes feel like it’s on a continual loop of making you ride something or other out – good to have Elijah there to sing the soundtrack.

 

91 The Decemberists – Carolina Low (2015)

Spare, simple, and undeniably menacing song. Something dark and intriguing accompanied by a sound which is evocative of American tales from old times.

 

Remember to check out tracks 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121 and 120-101.

US Americana singer-songwriter Marie Danielle has released her debut UK single Soldier.

The track is taken from her recent album Hustler (which features long standing MM faves The Felice Brothers and Fleet Foxes’ Christian Wargo on backing band duties).

She had always played her songs in private until a brush with death in a violent domestic relationship lent her the courage to reach out to an artist she greatly admired, Simone Felice. Impressed by her track Tinseltown, Felice began a cross country collaboration that eventually led to recording sessions with his production partner David Baron in Woodstock. NY.

What started out as an EP soon grew into a full-length record of timeless country and folk-influenced Americana songs shot through with a naked honesty about love, loss and addiction.

Have a listen to the single and to Tinseltown below.