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City, Music

2005 Music Overview - Shawn Petsche

Posted by MP / January 2, 2006

Shawn Petsche, who is found on his back or on his knees when playing with local future heros the Adam Brown, and otherwise at his keyboard as nerdy grad student and glue that holds the local indie rock community together (or, at least, provides a place for said community to bicker), provides us with his favourites of the year gone by, plus a quick look ahead.

Top Five Albums

dexateens.jpg5. Dexateens, Red Dust Rising (Estrus)
This one surprised me, and is a fairly recent discovery of mine. The Dexateens are known for being a sort of punked-up Skynyrd. With this, their sophomore release, however, they seem to be digging a little deeper (folk, gospel, blues), or reaching a little farther (the occasional psych jam), hitting their stride as songwriters and as a band -- knowing exactly when to scale things back. A certain patience creeps into their sound, allowing for a nice Stones-y swagger, some great so-off-that-they're-on vocal harmonies ala Mick & Keith, and just a bit of much-needed breathing room in general. The real gems come with "Red Dust Rising," a tune built around a great banjo lick, "Devoted to Lonesome," a genuine soul tune, and the absolutely devastating "Coal Mine Lungs." Of course the band let the triple-guitar heroics fly on a few tunes -- most notably the opener. Really, really solid album from start to finish by a band who seem to just get it. I bet they smoke live.

billy.jpg4. Billy Childish & The Chatham Singers, Heaven's Journey (Damaged Goods)
This album, and the writer of it, is an anachronism through and through, though with an album sounding this good, one can't help but wonder if Mr. Childish has the right idea afterall. Childish has always been a bit of a love-him-or-hate-him figure, but this is likely to widen that gap (just as his show/poetry reading at POP Montreal did). Half of the LP is raw, uncompromising blues, including a great take on the traditional "Western Plains." The other half is comprised of sixteen poems read by the wild one. I can't figure out which side I prefer, though I'm tending to lean toward the blues right now, due to the inclusion of some fantastic back-up vocals by Childish's wife, Julie ("I Cheated My Own Heart"). It was also tough choosing between this one and The Buff Medways' latest.

dap.jpg3. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Naturally (Daptone)
Every single one of these songs sounds like an absolute classic -- you'd almost have to check the back of the sleeve to make sure that they weren't "just" a cover band. That said, with a band this strong, knowing exactly how to compliment and play off each other, with production this warm, and with a voice this arresting, the songwriting credit almost doesn't matter. But yeah, the band wrote all of these songs with the exception of a great take on Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land." This one is that special breed that tickles an inherited nostalgia while still sounding fresh. It's pretty damn far out if you ask me. Which, if you're Midnight Poutine 'staff,' you did.

snakes.jpg2. Deadly Snakes, Porcella (In the Red)
The Snakes surprised a lot of people with this one, though you could really see it coming if you've followed their path thus far. That said, considering the chances they *do* take, its a surprise that the only mis-step seems to be the Tom Waits-ish "Work." Everyone seems to focus on "Gore Veil," with good reason, I suppose -- its as infectious a pop tune as I've heard this entire year. To me though, "High Prices Going Down," "Oh Lord My Heart," and "Let It All Go" (with incredible guest vocals by my number one) are the real standouts. An experimental album for them, for sure, but its still all delivered with that real raw, lay-it-all-out intensity that have always put the Snakes above the bands they're lumped in with: they make whatever they play sound as if its the most important song ever written.

bbq.jpg1. (Tie) BBQ, Tie Your Noose (BOMP!), The King Khan & BBQ Show, ST (Goner)
Mark Sultan is pretty much the best voice in rock 'n' roll today, and with these releases, he proves it. If there were any justice in rock 'n' roll, this man would have had 5 top 10 singles this year alone: "Shake Real Low," "Waddlin' Around," "Love You So," "Justify," and "Bimbo's Theme." Three chords, one bass drum, a handful of songs that sound like they were picked from the best tunes that the world's best jukebox has to offer, all sung with a howlin' voice that rivals Gerry Roslie's. Add in King Khan's Chuck Berry-isms and you get rock 'n' roll perfection served up on a nice hot piece of wax.

Honorourable mentions:

Black Mountain - Black Mountain
Dirtbombs - If You Don't Already Have a Look
John Hiatt - Master of Disaster
King Khan & His Shrines - their side of the split w/ Dirtbombs
Townes Van Zandt - Be Here to Love Me Soundtrack:
Tricky Woo - First Blush
Turbonegro - Party Animals

Looking forward to new albums from:

Sunday Sinners
Crackpot
Fake Blood
Drive-by Truckers/Patterson Hood/Jason Isbell
Mind Controls
The Donkeys

Top 5 Shows:

1 - Billy Childish @ La Sala Rossa
2 - Steve Earle @ Cabaret
3 - King Khan & BBQ Show @ El Salon
4 - Sunday Sinners, Deadly Snakes, Dirtbombs @ Cabaret
5 - Zoobombs @ Divan Orange

Discussion

5 Comments

Sjon Petsche / January 3, 2006 at 10:16 am
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Uhmm, it's 'Sjon' not 'Shawn.'
Mechelle Zalusky / November 22, 2013 at 11:59 am
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It's impressive that you are getting thoughts from this article
as well as from our argument made here.
cat glasses / November 30, 2013 at 02:39 pm
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Very good article. I definitely appreciate this site. Keep it up!

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