New Roky Erickson

News filtered out a few months ago of a new Roky album backed by Okkervil River, a band from his native Austin, Texas. Today we can hear the first fruit of this union and thankfully its a winner. Pitchfork have posted an MP3 of a song “Goodbye Sweet Dreams” from the forthcoming album which will be called “True Love cast Out All Evil.” From the opening it’s vintage Erickson and the band play a wonderfully sinister off kilter beat with squalling guitars while his vocals which include references to Pentagrams are almost as good as they have ever been.
The album will come out in the UK on Chemikal Underground. Hopefully its all as good as this offering. Head on over to Pitchfork and grab a listen.

An alternative Christmas

Well its that time of year again and the cash registers are ringing and the shops are full of the usual Xmas musical suspects. It seems that Christmas and music have been entwined for years with the race to have the number one chart topper and everyone and his uncle putting sleigh bells on their songs.

If, like most sensible folk, you’re fed up with chestnuts roasting and reindeer prancing then there is some respite. The good old internet has a way of finding odd, alternative, rude and occasionally brilliant Christmas songs with various blogs leading the way. In addition various  artists and labels  toss off a few seasonal titbits for one’s delectation.

So here’s a few. Why not  google” Christmas blog” or somesuch  for more and make your own “Now That’s What I Call Christmas” compilation to accompany the turkey.

Some of the downloads require an email address as a sign up to newsletters etc , for example Jason Lytle , ex of Grandaddy has a mini Xmas album for download, but the blogs wrap it up. Big Rock Candy Mountain are posting several mp3s of excellent old country, jazz and rock Xmas songs. For two bespoke compilations head over to A Truer Sound , much better than you can buy in the shops.

In the meantime here’s one of my favourites.

Culturcide – Depressed Christmas

Pokey LaFarge

Pokey

This diminutive chap with a big voice created a bit of a stir when he rambled around Scotland earlier in the year culminating in a sensational gig I caught on the Edinburgh fringe programme. His album, “Beat, Move and Shake” is an excellent mix of old time Americana music, folk and hillbilly tunes (all written by Pokey) and sung with verve and at times a wistfulness that reminded one of the likes of Michael Hurley.

He’s got a new album ready for release (Riverboat Soul) and is returning to these shores in the New Year taking in Celtic Connections. There’s a preview of three songs from the album at his website but here’s one to whet your whistle

la-la-blues

Richmond Fontaine

We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded Like a River

With their latest album “We Used To Think The Freeway Sounded Like A River” Willie Vlautin and chums seem sure to be in the top album of the year lists so beloved by us bloggers. On their tour to promote the album they pulled into the local BBC studios to record a session. You can catch it on the Radio Scotland website at Another Country but here’s one of the songs they played,  “The Boyfriends.”

The Boyfriends