Nick sits down with Rick Kushman to talk tracks by Nor Cal musicians Lee Bannon and ALAK, the unexpected makeover of an Alt. Rock staple and how the next big thing in pop, may be a 47 year old farmer from Syria.
Today’s Sound Advice had a ton going on and even more you didn’t get to hear about. For instance, I briefly mentioned the significant contributions to country music made by Jocelyn Noir’s (aka ALAK) aunt and cousin, and only briefly touched on the music of Seasick Steve. So let’s go a little deeper, starting with:
This Week’s Tracklist: 1). "Wenu Wenu" by Omar Souleyman 2). "216" by Lee Bannon 3). "Pass" by ALAK 4). "Circles" (1998) by Soul Coughing 5). "Circles" (2013) by Mike Doughty 6). "Stuck On You" by Failure 7). "The Way I Do" by Seasick Steve
ALAK's Country Roots Placerville, CA musician Jocelyn Noir records under the name ALAK. Her latest record Guardian Petted isn’t a record at all; it’s a cassette and available as a free download. It’s also part of Kaleidoscope’s LIMITED DUBS series which has a very specific philosophy. Each song is recorded in one take, straight to tape. The recordings on the physical cassettes are unique to that copy (i.e. no two cassettes contain the same performance of the songs). Neat, right?
Breathy vocals, guitar, keyboards and an incorporated loop all contribute to the sound of ALAK though it's hard to confuse it for traditional pop music.
Noir grew up in a musical family. Her aunt, Liz Anderson, penned Merle Haggard’s first hit "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers." Her cousin, Lynn Anderson, won a Grammy for “(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden.”
...which Canadian rapper Shad sampled for his track “Rose Garden”
Mike Doughty Takes On An Established Sound The former front man for Soul Coughing has released an album of re-recorded songs from his previous band.
Soul Coughing had its share of creative differences and Doughty isn't shy about discussing them. He released Circles Super Bon Bon… as a way to show how he would have produced some of his previous band's music were the decisions entirely up to him.
Here’s his reimagining of “The Idiot Kings.”
On his website, Doughty calls the revisions “…bigger, heavier, cleaner, funkier, more streamlined than the originals.” Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.
Gutbucket Blues from Seasick Steve It doesn’t take a musicologist to tell you that The White Stripes were heavily influenced by blues music. For my money, since Jack White founded Third Man Records, the purest representation of the blues on the roster comes from Seasick Steve.
Where his Write Me A Few Lines seven inch release featured a pair of songs by Mississippi Fred McDowell, his latest record, Hubcap Music, is a collection of originals.