Country legend Charlie Louvin died this past week after a battle with cancer. He was 83. He was one half of the Louvin Brothers with brother Ira, who died in 1965. In the 1950s and early ’60s, the brothers played honest-to-God, old-school country music that influenced generations of other artists from Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris to Will Oldham.
The Louvin Brothers also influenced Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar, who covered Great Atomic Power with their band Uncle Tupelo. Charlie Louvin was enjoying a bit of a comeback in recent years. In fact, Tweedy joined Louvin on an updated version of Atomic Power on the 2007 album, Charlie Louvin.
Charlie released his last album, The Battles Rage On, in November. Check out the Daytrotter session he did last June.
Here’s Charlie doing Great Atomic Power in ’07:
And here’s Uncle Tupelo covering the song in 1994:
Check out Louvin Brothers videos after the jump.
The reunited Jayhawks played the first of two nights at the Vic Thursday, performing all of the classic ’90s album Hollywood Town Hall. The band then played a series of outtakes, new songs, a cover and even dipped into Tomorrow the Green Grass. (The Jayhawks play that album in its entirety tonight.)
The Hollywood portion of the show was amazing. Hearing Gary Louris and Mark Olson harmonize on those songs (not a bad one in the bunch) was worth the pricey admission. Once the band ran through the album’s 10 songs, the rest of the show was a bit of letdown. To be fair, how do you top your best album?
Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass were just reissued. Both include tracks that weren’t on the originals. I’m not a big fan of Tomorrow but I can see why the title track was left off the orginal release. That was one of the outtakes played last night.
The video below is the only footage from last night I can find on YouTube (I’m sure there will be more). The song Tampa to Tulsa is actually from the last Jayhawks album, Rainy Day Music, which was recorded eight years after Olson left the band. A couple years after Rainy Day, Louris and the rest of the band called it quits.
UPDATE: Here’s another video from Thursday night:
The reunited Jayhawks party like its 1992 Thursday night. Gary Louris and Mark Olson join up with other band mates for a two-night stand at the Vic.
Thursday night, the band plays the classic Hollywood Town Hall in its entirety. On Friday, the band plays the not-as-great Tomorrow the Green Grass.
Check out this fan video for Deerhoof’s Behold a Marvel in the Darkness, off the band’s new album, Deerhoof vs Evil. The LP was released today.
The album isn’t a big departure from past offerings and includes an almost 16 minute song, Revisiting (check it out below). Disappears plays Empty Bottle February 4.
Here’s the band playing Union Pool in Brooklyn:
Chicago’s Smith Westerns released its second album today. Dye It Blonde was rated a best new album by Pitchfork (and we all know what that means). It’s a real polished diversion from the band’s 2009 debut.
The five-day festival at Lincoln Hall, Schubas and Metro opens tonight. Check here for the full schedule.
Other fest highlights: Jaill, Screaming Females, Frankie Rose & the Outs, Cloud Nothings, Twin Shadow and Handsome Furs.
If you haven’t checked out Ty Segall’s Daytrotter session, you should. It even includes a GG Allin cover.
Go here to download the five-song session.
Here he is doing one of the songs from the session, I Wear Black, at Permanent Records, in fall 2009:
Vivian Girl Katy Goodman is preparing to release the first album by her new band, La Sera, next month. Check out the song, Devils Hearts Grow Gold, which will be on the album and also released as a 7-inch on January 18.
La Sera’s self-titled album (out February 15) also features the song Never Come Around. The video for this little number is below.
Kurt Vile is sharing a new single off his next album, Smoke Ring for My Halo, out March 8. Check out the song Jesus Fever below.
Chicago’s Secret Colours bring their jangly pop back to Subterranean on Saturday for an early show. It’s worth a trek out in the cold to hear it. The band, which makes periodic jaunts around the midwest, have a nice ’60, psychedelic flavor that may be similar to Brian Jonestown Massacre.
It’s good reverb-heavy stuff. According to their own website: “Secret Colours at their most beautiful help you to turn on, tune in, and drop out.” Hilarious.
Here is Secret Colours at Lincoln Hall in June: .
Here is their video for Popstar:
The songs are in no particular order.
It’s always a challenge to narrow your favorite albums at the end of the year. I just published my list.
Picking the best songs of the year is hard as well. In addition to the tracks I included in my best-of list, here are some of the other songs I liked (and posted) in 2010. (There’s no order.)