Damn, it was a good week. There’s a ton we’re proud of from the many posts of last week on Daytrotter. Here are our absolute favorites.
The men that Charlie Parr writes about are the kinds of guys who fit nowhere specifically and everywhere awkwardly. They are off-balance and still completely grounded, even when they’re in a continuous loop of feeling like everything’s shorting out and then calming down only long enough to conserve the needed energy to go haywire once again. They question exactly how the blood in their body is spending its time, which parts it’s traveling to and making work harder than others. You can feel these frantic fits in his appropriately maniacal playing and in the sometimes-harsh and other times hearty and sweet vocals. Parr is a man who appreciates failures even more than he appreciates successes. A person can learn so much more from those failures—and the more dramatic they are, the better. The people that he writes about have been burned so many times that they can never separate that smell of hot flesh from their nostrils. They feel like the burnings might not even be over, just continuing on, one rolling slip-up. They are bewildered by simple things, like why they can’t take the Batmobile that they see on display at a Las Vegas casino for a spin. The man at the casino has to tell them that the car’s just for show, that it couldn’t run or go anywhere even if it wanted to. It’s hard to understand such a thing, and it casts an interesting sentiment of sadness onto that car, the same kind of sadness that Robert Redford feels for a drugged-up race horse, also at a Las Vegas casino, in The Electric Horseman. It probably won’t ever go away completely, but there are worse things. Not feeling anything at all would be worse, but Parr and his characters are never in jeopardy of that happening. They are slammed with feelings. Even if most of them are sour and tattered, those are the assets they were blessed with so they tend to see them as beautiful raw materials to mull over during an all-morning breakfast of a couple pots of coffee, some bacon, some eggs in the skillet and a good, contemplative sit with the quiet, with the steam and with the cooked fat in the air. Parr is mesmerizing (and I know I’ve expounded on his virtues in this column a few times already, but he’s pure magic). Check out Charlie Parr’s session here.
There are two best things that a great song can do. It can either make you happy, or it can change your mood and make you want to dance when you don’t dance. You never think about dancing. It’s not really anything you want to do, but it takes over. The other thing it can do—and I would argue, the best thing it can do—is it can make you forget about your own troubles as you take in the sadness and troubles that someone else is dealing with. This is what we get from Justin Osborne, the lead singer from the South Carolina band SUSTO. Here in a solo session from this winter, Osborne turns us onto a sadness that takes us to bed with it. It’s breathtaking. It’s hard. It’s right. Listen to SUSTO’s session here.
This session with one of Jack White’s newest black-haired protégées is just white hot. Listen to Olivia Jean’s session here.
It’s wonderful when someone like Courtney Barnett comes around and, while not being a reinvention of anything, is just a slap in the face that there are people like her out there, doing what she is doing and doing it so well that everyone takes notice. Mitski is not new to this. This songwriter from Brooklyn has been doing wonderful things for years, and she deserves more of that C. Barnett light shining on her. Check out Mitski’s session here.
Funeral For A Friend
What Funeral For A Friend reminds you is that you should never be okay with something if it hurts. There should be a ripping off of the bandages and people should get to just run out of the hospital or out of a conversation and take things into their own hands. They should be able to find better friends and lovers. They should be able to surround themselves with much more positivity than they currently have around them. These are blistering songs of one crisis after another and I think they are self-help-ish. Listen to Funeral for a Friend’s session here.
The Saturday Night Live alum and Iowa Hawkeye stopped by for a live set and we posted some of his drug-enhanced stories from his visit to Bonnaroo. While horribly underutilized on SNL, Wheelan, with this session and his new album, “This Is Cool, Right?” he shows how great of a stand-up he is. Hear Brooks’ session here.
Just listen to “Harvest of Gold” and you’ll get everything you need to know. Check out her session here.
There are great reasons why this band, which came of age during the heyday of the great MTV show “120 Minutes,” is still so relevant and fantastic. Listen to Local H’s session here.
Fraser A. Gorman
These are the songs of a gentle guy, a working man. They are wonderful references to simple living. There is a lonely temper to these songs of soft-eyed love and getting to the happy hours that we all need and possibly even deserve. Hear Gorman’s session here.
Had the distinct pleasure of seeing Nick Hakim perform live last night and if he’s coming to your town, you should get out there and see this young soul singer. He won’t stay unheard of for long. There wasn’t a ton of hunting being done last week, but here are a few new discoveries that popped up for me: Du Blonde, Andreya Triana, Oh Wonder, Phil Ajjarapu, Johnny Sands, Ben Talmi, Black Coast, Reporters, Life In Film and The Dead Ships. Now get out there and have yourself a week!