The Donnas + Real Gone Music

As many of you maybe waited in ridiculously long lines on Saturday for your Record Store Day gems and must haves, I thought it might be an appropriate time to focus on one of my favorite reissue focused labels who won’t gouge or pander to resellers. Of course I’m talking about the Orange, California based label Real Gone Music who have seen many features on these here pages over the years. They have been absolutely killing it recently with thoughtful reissues which won’t require 4am wake up times and certainly won’t drain your bank account. If you care to read on, hit the jump (I promise to keep it short).

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Show Review: Nick Cave @ Moody Theatre (10.23)

When one watches Nick Cave, it’s really difficult to spin words out of that experience. He’s got decades of writing under his belt, whether that’s with the Bad Seeds, Birthday Party or various other acts he’s worked with; on Tuesday in Austin, he treated us to a touch of it all, sprinkling his gothic fairy dust over those in attendance at Moody Theatre.

For starters, I love the presentation of the set (you can find the whole setlist HERE); we were offered Nick, clad in his suit, his piano, and a similarly dressed Colin Greenwood of Radiohead. In such a setting, one can easily see how Cave’s personality was the dominant spirit of the evening; his soulful presentation resonated throughout as he wavered between personal storytelling and dry humor. All evening the lighting was simple, merely working to keep Nick just barely out of the theatre’s shadows.

After opening up with tracks like “Girl in Amber” and “Jesus of the Moon,” we were treated to a rare glimpse inside the writing process, as we were given a short ballad that never quite made the cut, though clearly still leaving an impact on the songwriter; he titled the track “Euthanasia,” though I suppose we’ll never truly know until its recorded. From there, the set moved mostly through Bad Seeds catalog, then to some of his work with Warren Ellis. He used “Balcony Man” to create a fictional divide between those seated on the floor and those in the balcony, though sadly the mezzanine was left out of the conversation.

The staged encore also brought special moments, with a rendition of the Rowland Howard penned tune, “Shivers,” from the Boys Next Door catalog. It also gave us my personal favorite moment as Cave dropped a nice little cover of T. Rex’s “Cosmic Dancer.” I think that moment is when it sunk in, as Cave, like Bolan, is a true artist that has few contemporaries. His writing can be dark and absurd, then turn touching, and his voice can move anyone to tears. If you doubt that, just ask Colin Greenwood, a world-famous star in his own right, who often could be seen side-stage, immersed in the moving power we all witnessed, lost in the magic of the evening.

Couple of notes from bgray, Nick almost seemed restrained by his seat behind the piano. At the end of many of the songs, he would leap up to get closer to the crowd and entice the response that the consummate showman seemingly craves. The other entertaining aspect was the flick of the songsheet when readying for the next song, spinning it the ground. Hopefully, these found their way into fans’ hands.

I left grateful for the night, fortunate to have the option to witness Nick Cave present his gift to the world. But, in thinking upon the night, I was also left with a bit of sadness. I can’t really recall any current musicians who have pushed themselves to the degree Nick has, and for that, I think there will come a time when great art will be relegated to the streaming services in lieu of rolling out singles. And in that, very few will have the longevity of Cave; its a reminder of his artistry and our own humanity…and for that, I’ll sit with the closing track of the evening, “People Ain’t No Good.”

Telemarket – Ad Nauseam

Rating: ★★★½☆

If you don’t know Telemarket, you should check them out. I didn’t, and thanks to an email from Adam Wayton, lead singer and producer of the 5-piece band out of Athens, GA, I was turned on to their debut album, Ad Nauseam, released in late August for the first time on Science Project Records, an affiliate of Cloud Recordings. Sidenote: If you don’t know what ad nauseam means, go look it up, says your English teacher. Hit the jump for full review and tunes to stream.

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Holy Wave – Five of Cups

For the past however many years, Holy Wave has been working in the Austin music scene, often times as the sort of bastard step-child of heavy-hitters the Black Angels, and sadly overlooked more often than not. Careful ears will have seen that the group have been gradually moving away from similarities, and Five of Cups is the perfect statement album, making the group a powerful beast all their own. Broke it down into track by track for you all, with some trite final thoughts at the end.

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Owsley – Owsley

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Owsley. Now there’s a name I hadn’t heard in a while. I knew I knew them/him, but I couldn’t remember any songs off the top of my head. Then, I put the record on, the first pressing of his 1999 self-titled debut, and it all came back. Ahhhh, that’s right. I recognized track 1, “Oh No, The Radio” immediately, but the real banger (if you can have one on a late 90s pop/indie adjacent record from a guy named Owsley) is track 2, “I’m Alright,” which has now been stuck in my head ever since I first gave this a spin. Hit the jump to keep reading full review.

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Elder Jack Ward – The Storm

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Jesus is coming back soon, and Elder Jack Ward wants to make sure you’re ready. He sure was.

Perhaps he knew his time was coming soon, so it’s no surprise the veteran Memphis gospel-soul singer wanted to use his last breaths to continue spreading the Word through music to anyone with ears to hear. He went to visit the heavenly realms in April, just months before this posthumous album’s release, but if you’re not ready to be converted, this album may not be for you.

Hit the jump for more!

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Babe Rainbow – The Organic Band

Rating: ★★★★☆

Turn your gaze up. The naked stars are out. The boombox is cranked to 11, salty air on the fresh breeze, and cool sand squeezes between your toes. You enjoy friendly conversation at length and share some laughs. It is “Smile Time”…so much so that your jaws hurt. Find the cooler covered in wet sand and grab some cold beers. Time to wax up the Hobie longboard for tomorrow A.M.’s rally, and gather ’round a warm fire dug into the sand. After a long sunny Saturday in the surf, that sounds epic to me. Now picture this vibe in album form. That is the newest effort from Babe Rainbow, The Organic Band, wrapped in a tight wetsuit. It is Saturday Night.

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Elizabeth King – I Got A Love

Rating: ★★★½☆

As previously mentioned on this site, I’ve been taking a deep dive into blues, R&B, gospel and just about all things early Southern soul music over the last few years. This involved a trek to Memphis and the incredible Stax museum paired with hours digging through the blues and soul section of every Record shop and market I frequent during my travels. It has become an obsession to soak up everything I can about the genre, peoples and communities who created this music. After all that time absorbing the music and culture, I was a bit shocked when Elizabeth King came up in a press email and I was unfamiliar with her brand of sacred soul music. Her career is drenched in the very essence of Southern gospel soul music and I am beyond pleased to share my thoughts on her new album I Got a Love today. Hit the jump for my full thoughts and review.

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Film Review – Relic

Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis

After an elderly woman goes missing in the woods surrounding her home, a mother and daughter return home to find her but are haunted by her ever worsening, and all consuming, dementia.

Relic comes out this Friday, July 10th via all streaming platforms and I’ve got a review for you if you’re into the horror/thriller genre.

Please hit the jump for my thoughts on this upcoming film by Natalie Erika James.

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Ultimate Fakebook – The Preserving Machine

Rating: ★★★☆☆

When looking back on my early days of music discovery, the years when you found “the good stuff”, the late 90s and early 00s were likely the most important time for me. This was a time when I began to transition from the middle school days of mostly radio rock n roll towards a more indie, underground scene. Coming out of Kansas at the time were bands like The Get Up Kids, Appleseed Cast, The Anniversary, and of course, Ultimate Fakebook. Though maybe not as widely known as those other bands, the group was equally as important to me and to that scene. So it of course brings me great pleasure to review Ultimate Fakebook’s first album in over 10 years, The Preserving Machine. Hit the jump for my thoughts on this long awaited album.

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