Jul 6 2011

Currently Digging: Rave On Buddy Holly

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows where I spent my undergrad years (Lubbock) that, when a compilation celebrating the late great Buddy Holly came around, I would be all over it.  Especially if that collection of tunes were by modern indie greats like She & Him, the Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, and Modest Mouse.  There was much ado leading up to this album, and now that it’s out, the results, while sometimes not as interesting, are wholehearted and endearing.

As with most compilations, the listener is encouraged not to take the album in as a whole, but rather pick and choose from their favorites, as there is a lot of diverse talent here (with the exception of Kid Rock.)  Julian Casablancas does a slacker take on “Rave On,” while Karen Elson’s “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” is a stripped-down, beautiful affair true to the original.  Paul McCartney throws a curveball with the dirty-sounding “It’s So Easy,” and Patti Smith will turn heads with her ambitious cover of “Words of Love.”  Legends of many genres sing alongside current hit-makers for an impressive tribute to a talent lost too soon.

Modest Mouse – That’ll Be the Day

Karen Elson – Crying, Waiting, Hoping

The Detroit Cobras – Heartbeat

Mar 24 2010

Currently Digging: Free Energy

Free Energy are a five-piece band from Philadelphia, PA, who specialize in kicking your ass with feel-good 70’s-lifted rock and roll.  Their new album, Stuck On Nothing, is ten tracks of pure easy-going fun.  If you don’t like having fun, you won’t like Free Energy.

I first saw the band live in New York during my CMJ escapades back in October 2009, and I saw them again last week at SXSW 2010.  Needless to say, they put on a hell of a good show.  The lead singer has a Julian Casablancas-like swagger, while the backing band delivers punchy, catchy bass lines and squealing guitar solos the Knack wish they wrote.

A sampling of rocking tunes from the group can be found after the jump.  Crank ’em up, pump your fist, and shake your ass.

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