Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer Drive (Part 1)

Just back from exploring the Columbia River Gorge, Crater Lake and most of the Oregon Coast. The photo above is from the tiny town of Bandon. The rock formations, sea caves and largely undeveloped beach made this one of my favorite stops, but let's get to some music. Logging approximately 1,400 miles on the road afforded me many hours of listening time, and I tried to spend much of it taking in new releases, but here are two from a couple of years back I found myself listening to over and over again:

I'm not at all sure if these Carrots are still a bunch, but I really dug their throwback girl-group sound, particularly on album opener "Baby, You Don't Know." They were out of Austin, as I recall, and I remember there being quite a buzz around the band after some killer hometown appearances at SXSW a few years ago. While we wait patiently for the good word, fingers crossed, at least 'New Romance' is still ripe for the picking.





Upon The Swede's, recommendation, I picked up 'Broken Heart Surgery' from Pete Fij & Terry Bickers back in the spring. This is an understated album, full of melancholy and razor-sharp lyrics and one I really took to while wearing headphones and walking on the sand as the sun was setting. The Swede nailed this one from 2014, and now I'm passionate about passing on this one. I'll have a few thoughts on a couple of new releases I enjoyed during the trip later in the week.





8 comments:

charity chic said...

I'm not sure if the Carrots are still a bunch ........... superb!

kevinpat said...

Well, I'm a sucker for claps. Just get some folks to clap in a song I'm there. Shirley Ellis knows that. I sware I might even like Lou Reed's Metal Music double album if he would have just clapped around on it. Clapping is listener participation. Probably because I can't play an instrument and I sing like ship. So I'm immediately fell into The Carrots, although I just wish Phil Spector hadn't murdered that woman so he could wall these tracks up. Girl group need wall to add power to the sometime innocuous lyrics. But I like the Ellie Greenwich nods, I do, I do. (That was supposed to sound girl groupy). Anyhow good Carrot. I'll have to revisit the other tracks. very somber. Love the titles though! "Betty Ford".. hahahahaha. Listening to The Carrots before the others was like eating ice-cream before broccoli…never a good idea. So I'll come back for that. But on first listen I thought "….hmmm.. if they only clapped along they wouldn't be so bummed out…"

kevinpat said...

WELCOME BACK!!!!!!!!! Yay for us!!!

kevinpat said...

Oh no. Now I'm hearing "Home from...Bet-tee Ford clapclapclapclap clapclapclapclap clap. But I still need more clapclapclapclap clap…" I better go cut the grass or sumptin……..

Ian Balentine said...

Beautiful area. Dad's from Klamath Falls, OR, so we used to go to Crater Lake (the bluest water I have ever seen), and down the coastline, usually choosing to stay in some cabin near Gold Beach. Nice.

Anonymous said...

The Pete Fij and Terry Bickers stuff is very good
Swiss Adam

Brian said...

Good to hear from you, Kevipat, Adam and E. Great trip, but nice to be back. E, we fell just short of Klamath Falls because we spent far too much time at Crater Lake when we were over in that direction (beautiful! fascinating!), but we did make a note to stop there the next time we are heading down I-5. It's not too far off the beaten path when we head down to California... which we do once or twice a year.

The Swede said...

Needless to say, I've not come across The Carrots before today, but these tunes are mighty fine - what a great sound. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the Fij & Bickers LP. 'Downsizing' gets me every time, funny, sad and beautiful in equal measures.
The photo is awesome.