Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Bella Ciao (Goodbye Beautiful)” by Marc Ribot featuring Tom Waits:

I’m not sure I really have favorite guitar players, exactly, but Marc Ribot might be my favorite guitar player. His show at Cafe Oto a few years back remains one of the most thrilling live music experiences I’ve had. His work on Tom Waits’s Rain Dogs album is probably most people’s introduction to Marc Ribot (mine, too), so I was pretty excited to see this news that Tom Waits and Marc Ribot have collaborated on something new. Tom Waits’s voice sounds great on this recording, and the film that Jem Cohen has made to go with the song is really effective. I’m looking forward to hearing the whole of Songs of Resistance 1942-2018, which has a whole list of wonderful singers on it, not to mention one superb guitarist.

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Song of the Week: “Hopeless” by Screaming Females

by Douglas Cowie on 7 September 2018

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Hopeless” by Screaming Females:

I heard a lot of really terrific music at the End of the Road festival last weekend, and one of my highlights was an afternoon set by Screaming Females. I more or less went because I figured a band called Screaming Females would probably kick ass in some kind of way, and it turns out I was right. Screaming Females kicks ass in a big riff, guitar hero (heroine), big voice kind of way. They don’t waste songs on single riffs, either; they chunder and bellow through a few sounds and ideas every three to five minutes. It’s easy to get lazy and kind of thing that big hard rock is a played out form, but Screaming Females, without particularly reinventing anything, and wearing their influences lightly, have managed to give it a real shot into the arm.

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Song of the Week: “Take It Outside” by Shopping

by Douglas Cowie on 31 August 2018

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Take It Outside” by Shopping:

I saw Shopping at a free festival at Smithfield Market in London last Sunday, and boy were they fun fun fun (’til Daddy took the T-bird away, or something). They’ve got a great, 80s-ish, post-punkish sound, and they use it super well to make short, sharp, melodic songs. On stage, they just look and perform like three people who really enjoy what they’re doing, and the guitarist, Rachel Aggs, is sooooooper. I highly recommend catching them if you can, when you can.

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Song of the Week: “Well” by Belleville

by Douglas Cowie on 24 August 2018

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Well” by Belleville:

I first encountered Belleville several years ago when I saw them play at the now-called-something-else Barfly in Camden. It’s been a long wait for a new record from them, and their Bandcamp page explains why. Belleville mix their jangly guitar and country influences with a pinch of punk swagger where they need it, and they leave the swagger out where it isn’t called for on the slower prettier numbers. With “Well,” you get a little bit of everything in less than three minutes. You can listen to the full album on Bandcamp and Spotify. It’s called Sometimes I Exaggerate.

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