Listen: Beat Connection – “The Palace Garden, 4am”

I saw the original Footloose movie in the ’80s. Letting kids dance is bad … BAD … it leads to fornication and the destruction of American values … or something like that. If that’s the case, then Beat Connection might as well be Satan.

There’s a lot to love in this track – the chirpy keyboards, the shakers, the Vampire Weekend-ish-like vocals (which, are sort of like Paul Simon-ish vocals), the shaky-shaky-shimmer-shimmer guitars. If you turned the (sort of) title track from The Palace Gardens into candy, you’d have a bag of Pop Rocks ready to jump around in your mouth.

Beat Connection will be on the road the rest of June and most of July.

6/18 – Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room*
6/20 – Dallas, TX – La Grange
6/21 – Austin, TX – Red 7
6/22 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
6/23 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
6/26 – Tampa, FL – The Orpheum
6/27 – Miami, FL – Bardot
6/28 – Orlando, FL – Will’s Pub
6/29 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade – Hell
6/30 – Raleigh, NC – Kings Barcade
7/01 – Washington DC – DC9
7/03 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
7/04 – New Haven, CT – Bar Night Club
7/05 – Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory
7/06 – Cambridge, MA – TT the Bears
7/07 – Montreal, QC – Il Motore
7/08 – Toronto, ON – Drake Hotel
7/10 – Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox
7/11 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
7/12 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
7/13 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Cafe
7/14 – Milwaukee, WI – The Cactus Club
7/15 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
7/17 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive
7/18 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
7/19 – Boise, ID – Reef Boise
7/22 – Vancouver, BC – Media Club

* w/ MMOTHS & White Arrows

Listen: Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, Yim Yames record songs based on Woody Guthrie lyrics

Did you know about this? I just read a 3-star review of the New Multitudes CD – a collection of songs built upon unrecorded Woody Guthrie lyrics by Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Will Johnson (Centro-matic), Anders Parker (Varnaline), Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket) – in the new issue (Paul McCartney-cover) of Rolling Stone. The magazine’s website did a feature on the release which one person commented, probably rightfully so, “Wasn’t this album called Mermaid Avenue?”

I’m snagging this from Facebook because it explains the project better than I can:

New Multitudes is an intimate interpretation of American icon and musical legend Woody Guthrie’s previously unrecorded lyrics from a dream team of Americana torchbearers: Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Will Johnson (Centro-matic), Anders Parker (Varnaline), and Yim Yames (My Morning Jacket). What makes this album such a rarity in today’s music world is the allowance of the songs’ infectious simplicity to stand alone in all their glory. In doing so, Farrar, Johnson, Parker, and Yames have paid the greatest compliment to Woody Guthrie and the collaborative spirit he so greatly embodied. This is an album which seamlessly converges the sepia-toned essence of the time honored past with the risks needed to forge the future.

There’s a small handful of tour dates scheduled to promote the release of New Multitudes.

Listen: Electric Flower (Imaad Wasif, Josh Garza)

New discovery, for me anyway, is Electric Flower, a trippy, sun-drenched psychedelic duo comprised of solo artist (and sometime Yeah Yeah Yeahs member) Imaad Wasif and drummer Josh Garza who YOU might recognize from The Secret Machines but who I’LL always refer to as “the drummer from the best Texas Brit-rock/shoegaze-inspired band you’ve never heard of, Comet“.

The duo’s self-titled EP, which you can listen to below, is available on iTunes and on Amazon (and probably a bunch of other places – pretty much wherever you buy digital music from). The EP opens with the bombast of Garza’s drums though, having seen him play live many, many years ago, I can promise you that as loud as the recorded drums are, they are nothing compared to the Bonham-like punishment Garza inflicts on his instrument! The track, “Four”, is a pretty spooky, desert-flavored rocker with cult-ish like lyrics and vocals (like something the Manson family may have had in rotation as they plotted evil).

ELECTRIC FLOWER EP by Electric Flower

Here’s my guess … Electric Flower will play some of the festivals (SXSW, Coachella, Pitchfork, etc.) that lead to thousands of blog posts by writers such as myself saying, “You’ve GOT to hear this stuff, it’s amazing!”