Alright, courtesy of the fine folks at Popfrenzy I’ve got a couple promo copies of albums by The Blow and Calvin Johnson and the Sons of the Soil to give away (they accidentally sent me two copies each!). They are just promo copies so you don’t get all the artwork, but it’s still better than boring mp3s.
I must say The Blow hadn’t really grabbed me in the past. I saw them opening for someone in Vancouver (The Hidden Cameras I think) and was totally underwhelmed. But that was back in 2004 or 2005 so it’s been ages. When I popped on Poor Aim: Love Songs I was actually surprised when a few of the tracks actually did stand out (Hey Boy has been in playing on repeat in my head this week). I’m not saying I’m completely sold on The Blow, but they’ve definitely erased my previous, perhaps rash, judgment.
Poor Aim: Love Songs is actually a collection of old recordings re-released on CD for, I believe, the first time. The first half of the album dates from 2004 while the second half features a bunch of more recent remixes. Pitchfork recently gave the album an 8.0.
Download: Hock It (***** remix)
A somewhat related release is Calvin Johnson and the Sons of the Soil. I had NO idea who Calvin Johnson was until his last tour here in Australia. Basically, he’s an indie/DIY/Olympia legend who’s been in about a thousand bands. I’d been meaning to check him out for some time and this album was my intro to the man. It’s definitely an odd sort of record…actually I’ll just let the press release explain:
This new release from Calvin came originated in 2003 when K recording artists Khaela Maricich (the Blow) and Jason Anderson had a vision. “What if Calvin Johnson played all his best songs from over the years, with a band of real music-making people?” This was their vision, and they decided to make it happen. Jason formed a band of other K music stalwarts that included Kyle Field (Little Wings) on bass with Adam Forkner (Yume Bitsu, Version) and Jason sharing the guitar and drum playing duties. Dubbed by Jason the Sons of the Soil, they set out to modernize the primitive. Songs were chosen that spanned the years and various combos, including songs originally recorded by Halo Benders (“Love Travels Faster”), Dub Narcotic Sound System (“Booty Run”) and the Go Team (“Sand”).
I’ve been listening to the album a fair bit the past couple weeks and I must say it is growing on me. I really dig Calvin’s voice (reminds me of Stephen Merritt from Magnetic Fields) which I think is a huge hurdle for some.
Both records are being released in Australia on Popfrenzy next week.
Anyway, if you want a copy of both albums send me an email (s e a n at a – reminder dot org) and tell me the name of Jona Becholt’s (of The Blow) ‘sideproject’ getting press all over the place these days. I’ve practically given it away in the post! Easy! Deadline for answers/emails is when I get home from work on Friday when I’ll randomly draw a name from the correctly answered emails. Cool? Cool.