Sometimes you just need to step away, recharge the batteries and find some inspiration to sit back down and knock out a new playlist. Some weeks music is in full abundance, other weeks, the fancy just isn’t there to be struck. This list is cobbled together by some new stuff which I have been enjoying lately, some older material I’m hoping to hear this Saturday at the Marquee and maybe a couple of mailbag cuts which were worth your time, so let’s get down to business and kick Tuesday up a notch, shall we?
1. “Do You Want to Rock?” – Danko Jones
Let’s be clear here, I am a unabashed longtime fan of Danko Jones. My first show was at the Marquee back in the early 2000s (might have even been during the late 1900s) when the band was touring its EP My Love is Bold. That show solidified my fandom, as the relatively unknown band hit the stage with a fervor and swagger which was far more developed than most bands their senior, and they proceeded to obliterate the ear drums of the crowd that evening with a fervent, percussive force that just left their tunes ringing in the ears of those in attendance. This is one of the lead singles from the band’s latest album Fire Music.
2. “Under The Gun” – Like A Motorcycle
Local lasses Like A Motorcycle have been a fixture of the Halifax music scene for the past number of years, and have been hard at work on their full length debut which is slated to drop this fall. “Under The Gun” is a cut off of the band’s 2013 EP #motorpool. Do yourself a favor and grab a ticket for the Danko Jones show this weekend and get there early to support LAM.
3. “For the Town” – SonReal
With a work ethic like SonReal, it’s inevitable that he blows up. He really came into prominence when he dropped this charming take on Napoleon Dynamite with his video for “Everywhere We Go” (which will appear on his EP aptly entitled For The Town which drops later this week). The lead single is as sharp as anything he’s released up to this point, but with the trajectory he is on, it’s only a matter of time before he blows up into a household name. This track has already become a mainstay on my Bluenose Training Mix.
4. “Blockbuster Night Pt.1” – Run The Jewels
Killer Mike tore the roof off of the Olympic Hall at HPX 2013, but since then he has gone on to team up with El-P and formed the potent hip-hop tag team otherwise known as Run The Jewels. This cut off of Run the Jewels 2 recently appeared on the closing credits for an episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley where it caught my ear, and should now be on your radar as well.
5. “Chicken Fried” – Zac Brown Band w/ Jimmy Buffett
With this dreadful, never ending Sprinter season that we’re currently enduring, it’s pretty easy to forget what Summer is all about. I know it’s hard to remember, as it feels like we may never get back to those warm sunny days again; but for me I find some tunes that for me sound like Summer, and one of the early hits of the Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried”, is one of those tunes. It’s warm, jangly and feels like a warm blast of sunshine on a patio someplace with a beer in your hand, it is a solid remedy for those Sprinter blahs. Hit play and enjoy!
6. “Life On A Chain” – Pete Yorn
For me, this was the single that officially kicked off my love of music writing and planted a seed that would eventually lead back to the current incarnation of HAFILAX. I wrote my first review for The Coast here in Halifax about musicforthemorningafter (Pete Yorn’s debut). The tracks which led me to write that review are literally someplace between Miramichi and Montreal. I was heading out of town for a few days and “Life On a Chain” was rattling around in my brain, which eventually spurred me to write an email to The Coast about how to become a freelancer. I was invited in to pick an album to review, and lo and behold there was Yorn’s debut, which I selected and went home to craft my first published review. Needless to say, it’s a song which still resonates strongly within me, and one that I recently revisited and felt should be included here, especially since he’s an artist who is criminally under-appreciated in these parts. Press play and enjoy.