San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano proposed a bill this week that would decriminalize and legalize the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and over in California. The tax revenues would generate more than a billion dollars annually for our cashed-starved state. A perfectly plausible and sensible solution really, but sure to be met with resistance from the federal government’s prohibition policy on cannabis. However, Ammiano said federal officials may be receptive to such changes under the administration of President Barack Obama.
Imagine the boon to tourism in our state if this happens too. Buy a ticket to Disneyland and a bag of weed. The Magic Kingdom awaits.
Listen to the psych rock sounds of Arbouretum’s“False Spring”. Their new album Song of the Pearl will be out on Thrill Jockey records March 10. They will be touring heavily this summer opening for Band of Horses.
Artist:Blitzen Trapper Album: Furr File Under: Americana Recommended if You Like: Dr. Dog, Pavement, Band of Horses, Bob Dylan Featured Track: Furr
Portland’s Blitzen Trapper has been stirring up quite the buzz for the past year. Their last album, Wild Mountain Nation, made my ‘Best of’ list last year and was a darling in the indie music blogosphere. While some people didn’t take to that album’s lack of focus, I adored their schizophrenic romp through musical genres. It was very reminiscent of Pavement to me – weird and whimsical, which is a good thing.
The sound from their fourth album, Furr, is much more refined, honed in and mature. They seem to have grown up and figured out what works for them. And it works very well. Furr is like Bob Dylan meets Dr. Dog. They’ve taken the folk/Americana genre and played it out beautifully. No longer does the group sound like a bunch of teenagers trying every passing trend on for size. This album is cohesive and exudes a kind of confidence and talent that comes with maturity. It’s the real deal.
From the Basement is a UK-based music TV show that has launched a series of live performances from an impeccable collection of indie artists – like Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, The Kills, Andrew Bird, Beck and lots, lots more. The program is featured on the Sky Arts channel in the UK, Rave in the US and, starting in January 2009, the IFC channel.
Until then, you can catch sneak previews of some performances. Like this one from my current obsession White Denim.Click here to check out this blistering rendition of ‘All You Really Have to Do/ Mess Up Your Hair’. Oh yeah, these guys rock! Well worth the jump, I promise.
A long time ago, I posted some great clips from the beta site of this project, Digforfire.tv. It’s like a compilation of little music documentaries from all of your favorite indie rock bands. The production quality is stunning. And it’s finally live. Go check it out and get lost in their library of great videos. Like this one from Band of Horses.
Artist: The Helio Sequence Album: Keep Your Eyes Ahead File Under: Dream Rock Recommended if You Like: Early U2, Band of Horses Featured Tracks: Lately
The Portland-based duo, The Helio Sequence, released their third album ‘Keep Your Eyes Ahead’ in January of this year; but it’s one of those records I just keep coming back to again and again. While this post may be long overdue, the relevance of this recommendation is right on. It’s a great summer album. Perhaps it’s because there are moments on the record that sound so early U2/Joshua Tree I can’t help but feel nostalgic.
To see them live gives you an even greater appreciation of their range and talent. Drummer Benjamin Weikel is mesmerizing to watch on stage with his visceral drumming technique, as if he’s in some altered state of ecstasy. Combined with Brandon Summers refined vocals and radiant layers of reverb guitar, the duo produces a lot of good sound. It’s certainly high on my list for Best of 2008; maybe even claiming title to ‘Sleeper Album of the Year’. So go get it already. Hurry, before the summer’s up.
Artist: Fleet Foxes Album: Fleet Foxes File Under: Indie Folk Rock Recommended if You Like: Iron & Wine, Bon Iver, Band of Horses, The Dodos, My Morning Jacket Featured Track: White Winter Hymnal
For those of you who follow music, this is probably not a new band for you; but those of you who don’t, you must add this one to your collection. The reaction I had to this Seattle-based quintet the first time I heard them was similar to my first experience with Bon Iver – wow!
I had to the good fortune to see them at SXSW this year while killing time before the Helio Sequence show. (I just love serendipity.) I remember being overwhelmed by the myriad of instruments they had on stage – acoustic and electric guitars, tom drums, mandolins, bass pedals, organs, dulcimers- all overlaid with the most beautiful, harmonious vocals I’ve ever heard. The band clearly pays homage to their folk rock influences, but they do not get lost in it. They synthesize a broad spectrum of styles and sounds into their own. A classic for sure.