East Nashville’s Aaron Lee Tasjan takes over this month, selecting fellow Nashvillian Elizabeth Cook’s deep and resolute 2016 release, Exodus of Venus.
“We’re going from Little Feat to REM, then put Appalachian harmonies on it. It’s all funky grooves with dark guitars, burning guitars. People were tweeting me, ‘Are you keeping it country?’ And the truth is: No, I’m keeping it real. Not to a genre, but to what these songs are.” – Elizabeth Cook
Curator: Aaron Lee Tasjan
Record: Elizabeth Cook – Exodus of Venus
- Exodus of Venus
- Dharma Gate
- Slow Pain
- Straightjacket Love
- Broke Down in London on the M25
- Methadone Blues
- Cutting Diamonds
- Orange Blossom Trail
- Tabitha Tuder’s Mama
For January we stay embedded in the Georgia music scene, the heart and soul of which is perfectly embodied in the music of T. Hardy Morris. When he isn’t fronting Hardy & The Hardknocks or Dead Confederate, Morris preaches the gospel of Neil Young’s mid-70s discography. And for January he honors us with his words on 1974’s On The Beach.
- Walk On
- See The Sky About To Rain
- Revolution Blues
- For The Turnstiles
- Vampire Blues
- On The Beach
- Motion Pictures
- Ambulance Blues
Join Today to receive the 2016 reissue of Neil Young’s On The Beach along with exclusive liner notes by T. Hardy Morris.
Add on T. Hardy Morris’ latest, Drownin’ On A Mountaintop to your January box.
About T. Hardy Morris
From Drownin’ On A Mountaintop Album Notes By Patterson Hood, April 2015
Like ideas, the best songs are the simple ones. And like most simple ideas, they’re usually far more complex upon further examination than they seem at first.
So many young songwriters start off looking for the most complex way possible to examine a simple truth. Perhaps to seem smarter, or more “mature”. The better songwriters learn – hopefully before too much embarrassment – that the complex thought simply put is the key to a great song. Distilling that subtle truth down to its very essence and expressing it in a way that cuts through the bullshit and takes the listener by the heart into the depths of the intended emotion.
I caught the line on about my third listen, busy as I was doing things around the house while the new album played loud in the next room. I’ve known Hardy a while. His long running band Dead Confederate played some of their earliest shows opening for Drive-By Truckers several years ago. I always liked them but probably didn’t delve deep enough into what they were doing to listen closely to the songs. That all changed when Hardy was about to release his debut solo album (2013’s fantastic Audition Tapes) and I saw him play a couple of times around Athens. I was immediately blown away. Every time I’d see or hear him, I’d hear something new. Great songs keep getting better the more you listen to them.
Which leads us to the new one, Hardy & The Hardknocks: Drownin’ On A Mountaintop. If Hardy’s solo debut was a high and lonesome mellow-roast with musical touchstones like Harvest-era Neil Young and driving down a windy back road alone, the new one blasts out of the garage like some high-octane muscle car full of friends, blasting Mott The Hoople on the way to the last-call dive bar. It has it’s very own sound, but hits me in the same places as my favorite Replacements albums – stripped down and raw, yet sonically thrilling.
The music is propelled by The Hardknocks. Vaughan Lamb and Nick Sterchi are a rock solid rhythm section, pushing it forward while never over-playing or detracting. That rare thing known as A songwriter’s rhythm section. Serious praise has to go to Hardy’s long time pedal steel player. Matt “Pistol” Stoessel, a veteran of Athens GA’s incredible music scene for many years. Pistol really shines in this band, providing both a melodic counter-point to Hardy’s formidable melodies and serving as the glue that holds all the elements together. The album all manages to be stripped down and raw yet sonically thrilling.
All of which leads me back to where I started, the wonderful last song on the album where the beat drops down to a slow waltz and the pedal steel swirls and the leading man sings…Read More
Closing out the year with an individual who is a constant beacon for the Athens Georgia music scene: David Barbe. For December Barbe has chosen a record that had a deeply profound effect on him both as a musician and an engineer. From early listens to Brian Paulson’s rough mixes up through 2014’s excellent remaster, Barbe hold’s Slint’s Spiderland as truly one of the best recordings he has ever heard. This month he tells us why.
About David Barbe
Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, engineer, producer and director of the Music Business program at the University of Georgia, Barbe has been a non-stop force in the music scene for the last 30 years.
Barbe’s musical resumé includes heading up Mercyland, Bar-B-Que Killers, Buzz Hungry, Sugar (yes, that Sugar) as well as countless production credits including projects from Son Volt, Deerhunter, New Madrid and the Drive-By Truckers. Arguably some of the best recordings to ever come out of the southeast have been tracked at his studio, Chase Park Transduction.
Slint’s Spiderland changed Barbe’s way of thinking about recording, the way he thought about the music and the genres of the day. He writes on the records importance, its personal influence and its impact on the last 25 years of music.
Included in the box:
- Slint’s 1991 album, Spiderland, remastered from the original analog master tapes by Bob Weston
- Keepers exclusive liner essay by David Barbe
- “Breadcrumb Trail”, the 90 minute DVD documentary about Slint before, during, and after the making of Spiderland, directed by Lance Bangs.
- Download coupon for 14 bonus outtakes and demos personally selected by Slint and mastered by Bob Weston, as well as downloads of the entire Spiderland (remastered) album itself .
- Gatefold LP jacket, including a large format, 12 page book of photos including a foreword by Will Oldham
Sign up today to receive a deluxe copy of the 2014 Spiderland remaster, coupled with Barbe’s exclusive essay
Slint began in 1986. Before that, drummer Britt Walford, guitarist David Pajo, guitarist/vocalist Brian McMahan, and original bassist Ethan Buckler had played together in various bands within the tight-knit Louisville Punk scene. Brian and Britt formed their first band Languid and Flaccid in middle school, when Britt was just eleven. The older punks collapsed in fits of laughter when Britt and Brian’s dads carried in their amps and set them up on stage. Languid and Flaccid also featured Ned Oldham, later of the Anomoanon and older brother to Will Oldham a.k.a. Bonnie Prince Billy. Everyone in the band traded instruments from song to song. Brian and Britt also played in the beloved melodic hardcore band Squirrel Bait.
Slint’s first show was during a service at the Unitarian Universalist church that Ethan’s parents attended. Even the people who held their ears told the band afterward how much they enjoyed it. In 1987, Slint recorded their first album, Tweez, in Chicago with Steve Albini, who also produced albums for the Pixies, PJ Harvey, and Nirvana. Tweez was released on the minuscule Jennifer Hartman Records and Tapes label in 1989 and later reissued by Touch and Go Records in 1993. Ethan Buckler left the band after Tweez to pursue his own vision with his band King Kong and was replaced by Todd Brashear. In the fall of 1989, the members of Slint scattered to various colleges throughout the Midwest. Britt and Brian wound up at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Before the school year was out, both were invited not to return. Then, over four days in August of 1990, Slint recorded their second album, Spiderland, and the world would never again sound the same.
Produced by Brian Paulson at River North Recorders in Chicago and released by Touch and Go Records in April of 1991, the six songs on Spiderland methodically map a shadowy new continent of sound. The music is taut, menacing, and haunting its structure built largely on absence and restraint, on the echoing space between the notes, but punctuated by sudden thrilling blasts of unfettered fury. It is a sound that no one had heard before and that no one will ever forget. The eerie, now-iconic black and white cover photo of the four band member’s heads breaking the surface of the water was taken by their friend Will Oldham. PJ Harvey was among the respondents to the band’s call for interested female vocalists on the back cover.
Spiderland spawned a whole new genre, frequently called Post-Rock, and came to be regarded as one of the most important and influential records of the past thirty years. The album was introduced to a wider audience when the song “Good Morning, Captain” appeared on the soundtrack for Larry Clark’s controversial 1995 film Kids. In 2010, Spiderland was enthroned in the popular and acclaimed 33 1/3 series of books about seminal record albums. Slint broke up shortly before Spiderland was released. Band members went on to play in Tortoise, the Breeders, Palace, The For Carnation, Papa M, Evergreen, Interpol, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.Read More
John “Jojo” Hermann had the goal of making it to New Orleans. Hopping on a plane from New York City to Memphis, the keyboardist was in search of the worlds of Professor Longhair and Dr. John. His initial intention was to stay in Oxford, MS for a few weeks with friend and writer Robert Palmer before continuing on to New Orleans. But Oxford grew on him.
And it was there in the late 80s and early 90s that Jojo not only began making music with other Oxford locals, but also made new friends in Matthew Johnson and Bruce Watson, future founders of Fat Possum Records. And it was in this circle of musicians and enthusiasts that Jojo found himself visiting Junior Kimbrough’s juke joint near Holly Springs to see Junior and R.L. Burnside perform.
“It’s really hard to describe the feeling one got at Junior’s. It was just a tiny little cement structure. When you walked inside there was a ratty old pool table to the right of the front door and an old jukebox in the back where you could buy beer. And behind this railing and a few wooden beams was Junior sitting and playing next to an old Fender amp with the reverb set high.”
Jojo shares the story of how he found himself a part of Junior’s history, present for the recording sessions of All Night Long and eventually raiding Junior’s closet for old demos that would eventually make up Junior’s third record Most Things Haven’t Worked Out. It’s an incredible “right place at the right time” story with a whole lot of happy happenstance and rare insight into the making of these three seminal blues records.
This month members will receive a vinyl of Junior Kimbrough’s All Night Long with John “Jojo” Hermann’s liner essay detailing his experience.
PLUS! Add on Sad Days, Lonely Nights and Most Things Haven’t Worked Out. Three vinyl for the price of two months!
For Current Members:Add-on 2 Junior vinyl to your November Shipment here.
New to Keepers?Grab the Junior Kimbrough Vinyl 3-Pack
I SPOT the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.
– “Theme in Yellow” by Carl Sandberg
As easy as it is nowadays to pull up just about any piece of music on the planet, it’s the tried and true personal recommendations that still have the strongest pull for all of us.
The goal of Keepers is to give musicians a platform to endorse the records they love and in the process help you build an eclectic record collection.
Expand your vinyl collection with tried and true records recommended by today's most inspired artists.