Monday, March 21, 2011

New Music Monday - Feeling Like Spring . . .

It's starting to feel a bit like spring outside.  It seems as if winter has left the building and it's about time.  It's almost like March Madness drove winter into a whole somewhere.  This is probably the only time of the year that I will keep a television on constantly.  It doesn't matter that my team isn't in the tournament.  It's just the excitement of the "one and done" tournament atmosphere.  Win and keep playing.  Lose . . .and you're done, going home until next year.  You may like basketball and you may not, but you can't deny the built in excitement.  Anyway, enough about sports . . .

Do you ever get obsessed with a song, obsessed the point that you listen to it over and over and over?  Well, I have and I still do.  It doesn't even have to be a new song, just a random song in general.  For the last few days, I've really only listened to two songs.  For me, that's just crazy talk.  Two songs?  That's it?  Yep . . .just two.  Normally, I"m all over the musical map in the course of a single day.  I'll meander through an album, then jump to another, back and forth, covering a lot of ground genre-wise.  I may start the day with Pete Yorn then jump to Blackstar.  After that, it's on to The Black Keys, then Buddy Guy (if you're not familiar, check out the video and you'll see why both Hendrix and Clapton were such big fans. Check out Buddy's Blues (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) for the old school stuff, and Sweet Tea for more recent recordings) and maybe even ending up with Jamey Johnson or Shooter Jennings (true outlaw country that would make Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash proud ) and so on.  You get the picture.

I've been obsessed with these two songs:

I'm thoroughly convinced that The National can do no wrong . . .period.

For some odd reason, this song just popped in my head the other night.  Deftones happen to have done quite a few amazing covers and this is definitely one of them.

Ok . . .enough rambling.  This weeks band is pretty damn good, so let's get to it.

It's hard to imagine that California Wives basically began as a side project for Jayson Kramer (vocals, keys, guitar), Dan Zima (vocals, bass, guitar), Hans Michel (guitar, keys) and Joe O'Connor (drums), but they quickly realized they had something between them, something cohesive . . .something that just made perfect sense (none of the California Wives are actually wives . . .or even women for that matter).  Combining two things that I dearly love, music and Chicago, California Wives produce a sound that could easily be compared to The Police or New Order.  As a huge fan of The Police, I'M IN!!  There's also an element of their sound that could easily be compared to Nada Surf.  Somewhere in the melodies and the hooks are stirring, beautifully written songs that somehow just float through your ears long enough for you to get lost in them with an ease that's not seen in music much anymore.

Their EP, "Affair" is five songs that really capture the bands dynamic.  Sandwiched between the rousing beach worth opener, "Blook Red Youth" and the absolutely perfect bookend, "Photolights," are three additional songs that sound like they could provide the soundtrack to the changing of winter to spring.  Fitting, considering the weather, huh?  These songs are each perfect examples of how music an sound warm and inviting without being some sort of unbearably cheesy Don Ho version of what good music can be.  This band deserves to be heard, so buy their EP and let everyone you know who appreciates music have a listen.

You can find California Wives on Facebook, MySpace and on Twitter and on their Official website, where you can also stream the EP, "Affair."

Spread the word, boys and girls.


p.s. i've had the pleasure of posting some guest playlists on one word titles.  if you'd like to so one, let me know.  i always love knowing what others are listening to and this is the perfect opportunity.  email me HERE if you'd like more info!


Gabrielle said...

Been getting into some Buddy Guy recently. "I Gotta Try You Girl" (Kimbrough) has been on repeat since last week. Damn good.

Great recommendations.

Chris said...

buddy guy truly is a living legend. i had the chance to see him live last year and, at 75, he was still burning place down.

junior, in a lot of ways, truly embodies the delta blues. he's an icon and in constant rotation with me. i could go on for days and days when it comes to the blues.