Here’s the 2010 entry of my weeklong 5 year anniversary celebration wherein I revisit a batch of overlooked/underappreciated/very awesome songs from each of the years PHW has been operational. In case you missed out, here’s 2007,2008, & 2009. Enjoy…
French Kissing / Oh Suzanne
Pure summertime music for the dog days of winter. French Kissing’s “Oh Suzanne” is a blissful, lo-fi garage/surf jam that sounds like a classic Brain Wilson melody being resurrected by a band that spins The Black Lips as often as the Beach Boys.
Earl Pickens & Family / “True Too”
I have no doubt that if the right Nashville suit heard “True Too” Pennsylvania’s Earl Pickens would be laughing all the way to the bank. Seriously, this one could be sung at the Grammys or CMAs by some modern country megastar with good taste. And I mean that as a huge compliment, though I’m sure their version wouldn’t compare to Pickens’ rendition, aided by some gorgeous harmonies from Jessie Yamas. A stunning country/folk ballad, this song is the centerpiece of Gathering.
Botany / Feeling Today
The title track to Botany’s debut EP, this one’s got a dreamy, shimmering, found-sound ambience. We’re still waiting (hoping) for the full length almost two years later from Spencer Stephenson’s TX-based electro-pop project.
Weekend / Coma Summer
This imposing, VU-by-way-of-Slumberland Records psyche jam from San Francisco’s Weekend sort of raises the bar on the idea of intensity. There’s the definite potential to get yourself completely lost in the blizzard of chaotic, post-punk guitars offered here, but the whole thing is just so oddly beautiful. If ever a song deserved to be played LOUD….
Great Elk / Bow Echo
“Bow Echo” is from the self-titled debut EP of Brooklyn’s Great Elk. My friend Paul Basile is the singer and primary songwriter of the 5-piece band, but personal connections aside, this one’s just flat out great. Love the “the ratings are high” refrain and the line “the audience cries/static in their eyes/you want to love your lives/we’ll give it a try”, and the way it gradually builds to that escalating guitar solo, played with a fiery precision by (my favorite living guitarist :~) Patrick Hay.