Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Blunder, Keg and Purse

My two favorite new releases of this spring were the Duke Spirit's Neptune and the Colour Revolt's Plunder, Beg and Curse. The Colour Revolt have been widely compared to the Pixies, mainly due to singer Jesse Coppenbarger's ragged howl on their 2006 debut EP. In their more unhinged moments, the Colour Revolt remind me of the Australian band the Drones.

Plunder, Beg and Curse was released on Fat Possum Records. The members of the Colour Revolt share more than a Mississippi home base with other Fat Possum artists. There is a blues influence, as well as the religious influence of a Southern upbringing, in their songs. In this respect, the Colour Revolt are more similar to the Toadies than the Pixies (whose music had little blues in it, although "Vamos" was influenced by the Gun Club's "Preaching the Blues"). The Toadies sounded like preachers' kids, squirming to get out from under the thumb of authority and guilt. The Pixies were teachers' kids, smart-assed and privileged.

Plunder, Beg and Curse abounds with references to God and Eden, Heaven and Hell, devils and witches. On the mellower songs, like Moses of the South, Jesse Coppenbarger's voice sounds like a more tuneful Stephen Malkmus. Buy the LP or CD here.

Last month, I saw the Duke Spirit open for the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the 40 Watt Club in Athens. The Duke Spirit's set was brief but exciting. Leila Moss is a compelling singer (and a credible harmonica player!) The setlist was similar to this one, posted at the blog You Ain't No Picasso.

I am no fan of BRMC, so I left after a few songs. I was surprised that they were so much louder than the Duke Spirit. And it wasn't just the volume: BRMC had greater clarity in the vocals and guitar, punchy bass tones that rattled the ribcage, plus flashy lights and swirly fog. I didn't realize that "alternative" bands did that kind of crap to outshine their openers.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the Colour Revolt next week. They are playing in Athens on June 11 (at the 40 Watt), and Atlanta on the 12th (at Vinyl). Then they head for the Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits festivals. Hopefully, the live sound of the Colour Revolt will be loud, clear and crisp. There is some exciting guitar interplay on their album.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Nice to see Wire getting some attention online lately. A new album, Object 47, has been announced for release next month.

Wire songs have been covered by REM, MBV, Big Black and many others. Here are a few lesser known Wire covers. One each from the albums Pink Flag, Chairs Missing, and 154, all of which are essential to own.

A little known fact about Wire is that their song "Ex Lion Tamer" is based on the true story of a lion tamer who had to retire due to work-related injuries. His name? Claude Balls.

Scrawl: Reuters (buy Bloodsucker)
Band of Susans: Too Late (buy The Peel Sessions)
Monks of Doom: The 15th (buy What's Left for Kicks)