Monthly Archives: February 2013

Take ‘Er Easy Thursday: Nashville Pussy

A fist-pumping anthem for Dudeists

A fist-pumping anthem for Dudeists

I know that generally Friday is the weekday to celebrate. (Just count how many times you hear “It’s Friday” when you ask someone how he or she is doing on the last day of the work week.) But we like to celebrate Thursdays because those are the days we pay tribute to the ethos of The Dude.

Now, maybe when you think about takin’ er easy, you don’t immediately think of Nashville Pussy. After all, this band rocks pretty hard. Still, the song “Lazy White Boy” is a pretty good (if intense) take ‘er easy tune. I mean, the song is called “Lazy White Boy” and The Dude himself (the model of taking ‘er easy) is described as “most certainly a lazy man.” That’s not all though. Blaine Cartwright sings,

“Sit around getting high all day

Don’t let work get in my way.”

Whether you condone that sort of thing or not, the truth is if that isn’t following The Dude’s lethargic lead, I don’t know what is. The Dude doesn’t let much of anything (let alone work) get in his way of abiding. So yeah, this is an unusual take ‘er easy tune, but it is a fist-pumping (if they can be troubled to expend that sort of energy) anthem for Dudeists everywhere.

 

“We’re just looking ahead to the next…”

You know when you watch sports and the sideline reporter interviews the winning coach after a big game. It usually goes something like this:

“How much are you going to enjoy this one, Coach?”

The coach answers, “Well, it’s a nice win, but we can’t sit back and enjoy it. We already need to start preparing for our next opponent.”

Doesn't it look like I'm enjoying our victory?

Doesn’t it look like I’m enjoying our victory?

It’s predictable. It’s boring. But you know something? I get it. I do something very similar in my writing. Say for instance I have an article due on a deadline as I did tonight. With Examiner, I get one per week with six weeks lead time.  Once I finish one of those articles, I don’t really think about it again unless my editor tells me I need to change something. Am I happy with the accomplishment? Sure. Am I proud of my work? Of course. That being said, I probably never see the article again unless I link another article to it. I’m not going to compare myself to Bill Belichick or Mike Krzyzewski. They’ve certainly accomplished way more than me. Still, I get it. It’s not just coachspeak when they say they’re not going to dwell on a win. It’s the way you have to do things when you always have work to do.

Incognito pick of the week: Lionize

Fist-pumping reggae? Yup.

Fist-pumping reggae? Yup.

Yes, loyal reader, I know what you’re thinking. Normally for our pick of the week, I will feature a an album that has been out a couple months at most. But by now you shouldn’t be surprised when I do something different than usual. And by the way, if you don’t like me featuring a band whose most recent album was released in 2011, then maybe you can reach out to us and let us know about your (or your friend’s) new release that we absolutely must hear.

So, maybe you’re asking yourself why I’m featuring Lionize now. Well, the reason is simple. I am preparing to see Clutch in about a month and Lionize is also on the bill.

Now with a name like Lionize, it’s not surprising that this band has some reggae influences. That being said, this isn’t like any reggae you’ve heard before. This is more like if a reggae guitarist and keyboard player joined Clutch. (Didn’t I tell you that this probably isn’t like any reggae you’ve heard before?) It’s unusual to be sure: music that gets you grooving and pumping your fist simultaneously. Don’t believe it’s possible? Just check out that video for “Saviour of Fontana.” Sure, this post isn’t about a new release, but it’s a fine band. I will tell you this: I am excited to check this band out next month.

Trashy Tuesday: The Wife Beaters

Delightfully trashy

Delightfully trashy

Loyal reader, I recently received the best band introduction I’ve ever seen from The Wife Beaters. It went like this, “Damn cool website! We boys was getting loaded on cheap liquor and thought you might like to check out our tunes. Hit up our website or bandcamp page at thewifebeaters.bandcamp.com.” All I can say to whomever wrote those words is “It’s like you know us.” (Oh, and let that be a lesson to all you bands out there when you reach out to us.)

Naturally after an introduction like that, I had to check out the band. The first track I heard is “Boozin down the Bar” and this song is tremendously trashy. It sounds like it was recorded in a basement and the subject matter is awesome. His girl doesn’t want him to go to the bar so naturally he goes there to “get so drunk [he] can hardly see.”

I’ve mentioned how cool I think it is that American music spreads as far and wide as it does. another interesting thing to see is how other countries look at the U.S. in song. The Wife Beaters take a particularly funny (maybe funny isn’t exactly the right word) look at the U.S. in “Phil Spector Gun Club.” Rather than describe the song to you, I’ll just invite you to listen to it yourself.

What is not to like about this band? They sing about boozing, being trailer trash, stumping the doctor with the color of your urine sample, and peanut butter. And they do it all in a wonderfully trashy style that brings Ramones to mind.

 

5 songs to never play on the jukebox

Yes, I know, loyal reader. Who am I to say what songs should never be played on a jukebox? Granted there are a lot of songs I would never play on a jukebox…like any electronic dance music song. I’m not even talking about that. Here’s the thing. A jukebox is generally in a place where people want to feel good and there are some songs that are sure to bring down the mood of the place. That is why these songs should never be played on a jukebox.

  • “Creep” by Radiohead – There is a time and place for everything. The time for this song is 1993 when you’re a college freshman and your fourth girlfriend of the year has just broken up with you.
  • Anything by Morrissey or The Smiths – I’m pretty sure no explanation is necessary here. People want to reach for a drink at a bar, not a razor blade.
  • “True” by Spandau Ballet – The fact that I have to explain this one is mind-boggling. And, yes, I have been in a place where someone played this song on the jukebox. More than once. My question is: what are you trying to accomplish if you play this on the jukebox? Are you going to start dancing awkwardly with another patron like you’re back at you’re junior high school dance in 1983?
  • “A Day in the Life” by The Beatles – Yes, I know just about everybody loves The Beatles. But seriously, if you’re going to play The Fab Four, play something that doesn’t make people want to drown themselves.
  • “Hurt” by Johnny Cash – I know this is a cover song. Still, while I love Johnny Cash tunes as much as the next guy, the only reason to play this song on a jukebox is if you are tending bar and you want to clear the place at last call. The only problem is that guys might break their beer bottles and cut themselves before they head to the door.

Loyal reader, that is enough to get you started. Certainly you have your own songs that should never be played on a jukebox. Let us know what song you would remove from the jukebox if you could.

‘Billy Monday: Lucky Dados

Swingin' psychobilly from Spain

Swingin’ psychobilly from Spain

I’ve mentioned before how intrigued I am by the breadth of influence of American music. What can I say? I think it’s cool to find a rockabilly band from Madrid. Particularly one that nails it as well as Lucky Dados. Seriously, this band is legitimate.

And to be fair, this isn’t a band that just plays straight rockabilly. It has an EP called Missin’ Revolution that is more psychobilly than the rockabilly. This EP has kind of a dirty sound in the guitar to go with the rumbling bass and the uptempo drums. Even the slower song “Born to Cry” feels more psychobilly…if you can imagine a psychobilly ballad.

Struck the Nerve is a full-length album that also leans pretty hard toward psychobilly but also has more of a swingin’ rockabilly sound to it. In the first track “Let’s Swing,” you’ll hear a riff from “Sing Sing Sing” as well as some scatting at the very end. The album closes with a very brief a capella version of “Get a Kick.” I’m willing to bet that you’ve never heard a rockabilly song quite like this one that is closer to barbershop than any rockabilly artist you can think of. In between, you get songs like “Rebel Kat Swing.” This is the kind of song that makes you want to get on a dance floor and start twirling some rockabetty around.

If you’re looking for some good stuff that straddles the line between psychobilly and rockabilly, check out Lucky Dados.

 

Surf Music Sunday: Legato Vipers

The Quick Slug EP is available this week.

The Quick Slug EP is available this week.

Recently, it seems like we have had a run of surf bands whose music would easily fit into a spy movie. Legato Vipers (from Guelph, Ontario) is one of those bands. This isn’t music for catching tasty waves. This is music to accompany some guy in a dark suit and a skinny black tie as he prowls around looking for whatever villain he wants to take down.

Sure there is some reverb in the guitar, but really there is more emphasis on the 60s-style mod fuzz. The only song that doesn’t really fit the prowling theme is “Sweet 16.” Here is the best way I can think to describe this song. If this album were the soundtrack for a spy movie, this would be the song where the super-spy seduces the beautiful vixen (or vice versa).

The Quick Slug EP will be available on Tuesday 26 February. If you’re a fan of instrumental surf, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with this album even though it’s not the beach kind of surf music. If you’re interested in surf music that sounds like it could be the soundtrack for mod a 60s movie, this is definitely something you need in your collection.

 

Ska Saturday: The Uptones

"Ridiculous" as in ridiculously catchy

“Ridiculous” as in ridiculously catchy

One of the best things about ska is just how infectiously upbeat and catchy it is. Let me tell you, loyal reader: you’d be hard-pressed to find a catchier song than “Ridiculous,” the first song I heard from two-tone ska band The Uptones. There is nothing about this song that is not catchy: the bass, the horns, the guitar, the vocals. This song is the real deal.

“Ridiculous” is also a good introduction to this band. It is pretty clear what this band is all about: getting you moving. You’ve got your work cut out for you if you try to keep up with this band. If fitness instructors really wanted you to get moving (in a spin class for instance), they would play “Get Out of My Way” by The Uptones. Even the slower-tempo songs like “Physical High” have a rhythm that get you moving your head. If dancehall is more your style, The Uptones have you covered there too with the song “Rude Boy” about a guy who has a little too much to drink and needs to get home.

This is real simple. If you like music that gets you moving, The Uptones is a band you should get to know.

This song is not about Oscar Pistorius

Loyal reader, you know we celebrate the unusual here at Incognito HQ. This particular tune was sent to me by Jambone of the band Janitors (from Toronto). It is called “This Song Is Not about Oscar Pistorius.” The only introduction written by Jambone about this song was “it’s pretty topical.” And so I will do the same and let you decide what you think of this very topical tune.

Related:

10 most shocking things about the Pistorius case

Funk Friday: The Snitch Sessions

Get your groove on...and dance too

Get your groove on…and dance too

A search of Twitter for the hashtag #Funk led me to this band whose Twitter tagline is: “Bringing crappy sounding funk to the people.” Let me tell you something, loyal reader. There is nothing crappy about this band’s sound. Don’t just take my word for it though. Check out “Robert Rubberman.” If this song doesn’t get you moving, check for a pulse.

Oh, and after you listen to that, listen to “Filthy Red Dress.” This is a tune that will get people sweaty on a dance floor.

I should mention that this band is (not surprisingly) from London. There seems to be a ton of good funk in the U.K. which leads me as a citizen of the U.S. to ask, “Where is all the good American funk?’ OK, so that’s going a little overboard. There is some good American funk to be sure, but there seems to be a real concentration of good funk in the U.K.

This is just good instrumental funk. I’d love to write more about this, but frankly, the sound on my laptop is terrible. It keeps blinking in and out and makes everything sound like a terrible techno remix. Enjoy The Snitch Sessions.