Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Deer Tick today dropped "Miss K", which quite simply sounds like the best thing they've ever done, and it may only be the second best John McCauley song this year, # 1 still in lockdown by Middle Brother's "Daydreaming". Deer Tick has been steadily morphing with each release, from the spazzy punk folk of War Elephant, the country rock of Born on Flag Day and the moodier but bracing alt-soul-scuzz of The Black Dirt Sessions, where the volume was turned down while the intensity soared. And now we can get our drink on while we await what promises to be the greatest Deer Tick of all, Divine Providence, out October 25th on Partisan Records.
John McCauley is on fire, with Deer Tick tearing up clubs across the country, festive solo shows, the ridiculous greatness of Deervana and as the heart and soul (and breakout star) of Middle Brother. McCauley is forging a reputation as a monster songwriter, with a scabby, craggy voice that delivers songs with a white-hot intensity calling to mind Paul Westerberg, while Deer Tick's manic, booze-fueled live show is drawing comparisons to The Replacements.
Here's what main Tick McCauley has to say about the upcoming record:
"Man, you can practically smell the sweat and the beer! Shit, you may even hear a guitar or two break somewhere in there!. It's got a little Exile, it's got a little In Utero, it's got a little Nilsson Schmilsson, but it's 100% Deer-Fucking-Tick in our purest, and most carefree form."
Based on the above, I proclaim Divine Providence one of the best records of the year and I've only heard one song. Let the hype begin!
Deer Tick - "Miss K" (from the upcoming Divine Providence)
Middle Brother - "Daydreaming" (from Daytrotter)
Deer Tick - "Still Crazy After All These Years" (Paul Simon cover)
Deer Tick - "Nebraska" (Bruce Springsteen Cover)
Deer Tick - "Beautiful Girls" (Sean Kingston cover)
Deer Tick - "Mexican Home" (John Prine cover)
Deer Tick - "Unwed Fathers" (from Broken Hearts and Dirty Windows)
Deer Tick - "Dead Flowers" (Rolling Stones cover)
Deer Tick - "Summertime Blues
Deer Tick - "Waitress in The Sky" (Replacements cover)
Deervana - "All Apologies" (Nirvana cover)
Deer Tick - "Christmas All Summer Long"
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Double digit unemployment. Iraq. Afghanistan. Bailouts. Sex Scandals. Mind-numbingly bad reality TV. Every time you turn on the TV, open up the newspaper or fire up the latest app to keep you up on current events, it seems that only news can break your heart. Well saddle up losers, because it's time for the antithesis of all that with the return of The Red Button and their shimmering new release, As Far As Yesterday Goes.
Singer-songwriters Seth Swirsky and Mike Ruekberg's first Red Button disc, 2007's She's About to Cross My Mind, was one the finest debuts of the last decade. If names like The Beatles, The Zombies, The Left Banke and Big Star mean something to you, you can place your order here. If compilations like Poptopia and Yellow Pills ring your bell, you won't believe records like this still get made in 2011.
As Far As Yesterday Goes plays like an unwritten John Hughes movie, with looming heartbreak leavened by day-glo horns and impossibly sunny arrangements. Each chorus, each handclap and each strum screams pure pop. There are 60's nods everywhere - the "I Should Have Known Better" harmonica riff that powers opener "Caught in The Middle" to euphoric heights, the heavenly, Turtle-y "ba-ba-bas" of "You Do Something to Me" and album thesis "On A Summer Day" that plays like a full on celebration of Small Faces ultra-modness crossed with the elegance of Bachrach/David classic.
Fitting closer "Running Away" uses its Cat Steven cadence to posit that "it's never been harder to tune out the noise, the world just gets louder, can't hear my own voice", but ultimately the fight or flight is internal, everything else is just noise. And part of that loud world is The Red Button, whose timeless melodies cut through the noise to offer bite size bits of respite in the form of three minute paeans to help ease and understand the pain. They have my vote.