Fionn Regan

Ah, there’s so much that could be said about Fionn Regan… but I don’t feel like saying any of it, so I took this from Last.fm:

“The Irish singer-songwriter who hails from Bray, Co Wicklow enjoyed a warm response from the media and general public alike with the release of his ‘Hotel Room’ EP in 2004, which highlighted the captivating rawness of both his songs and his performance in a way that was both refreshing and inspiring. Better still, Regan has repeatedly proved that he can better his records when he plays live.

Citing his musical influences as Leadbelly, Howling Wolf, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Neil Young, The Velvet Underground, The Pixies and Nirvana, Regan has drawn comparisons to Young, Woody Guthrie and John Lennon. He has supported the likes of American Music Club, John Prine, Turin Brakes and rising newcomers Joanna Newsom and Willy Mason, to name but a few. Turin Brakes’ Olly Knights has said that Regan’s “ability to paint weighty and sublime imagery with words is untouchable and very rare, yet it’s combined with a sweet charm that renders all cynicism impotent.”

With his debut album, “The End Of History”, Fionn has taken a DIY approach to the sessions, using analogue equipment and recording in houses, a shed and a barn to try and capture a live sound.

On February 15th, 2010 Fionn Regan swept all expectations with the release of his sophomore effort, the more rock influenced “The Shadow Of An Empire.”

The End Of History [2006]: DOWNLOAD

The Shadow of an Empire [2010]: DOWNLOAD

He’s one of my favorite artists — The End Of History is my most played album (according to Last.fm). Great songwriting, intricate guitar, and great music overall. Give him a shot, he deserves far more recognition than he gets (his newest album isn’t even being released in the US, for now). I’d say more, but I am le tired.

-Brennan

The King Khan & BBQ Show // King Khan & The Shrines

I love The Beach Boys. I love Otis Redding. I love Iggy Pop. Many a night I have laid in bed, dreaming of how glorious it would be if they had a threesome and miraculously produced one singular musical entity. My dream has come true. I give you: THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW aka KING KHAN & THE SHRINES.

Originally from Montréal, QC (and called ‘The King Khan & BBQ Show’) but currently based in Berlin and called ‘King Khan & The Shrines,’ — you know what, on second thought, I don’t really have anything to say about them or their history. I listened to these albums on vinyl at my friend’s house last weekend, and I just managed to get copies of them for myself today. Their music tells a completely different history than that of the musicians themselves. I don’t want them to be from Berlin or Montréal. I want them to be from a garage in 1962 Detroit.

I’m too excited about this right now to write anything poignant, but I also don’t think this music needs any great words to describe it. It’s low-fi, it’s full of soul, and it makes you feel good inside — that’s really all that needs to be said.


The King Khan & BBQ Show (2004)

DOWNLOAD

Invisible Girl (2009)

DOWNLOAD

The Supreme Genius of King Khan & The Shrines (2008)

DOWNLOAD

Long live soul.

-Brennan

Jeff Buckley – “Live at Sin-é”

Jeff Buckley. I honestly have no idea where to start – there’s so much you could say about his music, but it would be like describing food: you can tell someone in great detail how something tastes, but it doesn’t come close to capturing the experience of eating a perfectly seared filet mignon. Jeff Buckley is that filet mignon.

This is a genius who died young. He only released one studio album before his untimely death in 1997, at the age of 30 (he drowned while going for a swim in the Wolf River in Memphis, TN). Beyond a shadow of a doubt, 1994’s “Grace” is my pick for best album of that decade; it’s absolutely flawless. His distinct and incredible vocals soar on each track, his guitar work and composition is insanely original yet familiar, and he manages to go everywhere from a 1504 Middle English hymn to crushing grunge. His recording of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is one of the most iconic and emotional recordings of all time; you’ve heard it before, trust me. All in all, “Grace” is a perfect studio album in every single way.

This is not that album. I’ll write about that album some other time, but this is Jeff Buckley, the man, captured on two discs.

“Live at Sin-é” is a recording of a gig he played on July 19, 1993 at a café in New York’s East Village called Sin-é (Irish for “That’s It”). The most endearing thing about Jeff is the rawness and conviction of his voice, and there’s no better setting for it or recording of it than this album. No band here; just Jeff strumming a borrowed Telecaster in a small café. Most of the tracks from “Grace” are performed here in their early states, along with covers of everyone you’d never think of: Van Morrison, Nina Simone, Billie Holliday, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Led Zeppelin. His guitar playing is simple, emotional, and controlled, while his vocals will send shivers down your spine. He sings a traditional Pakistani Qawwali devotional, in Urdu, for God’s sakeI feel that Jeff Buckley was always at the peak of his short-lived career. This recording, then, captures him at the very top of that peak.

If this doesn’t give you goosebumps, I give up.

-Brennan

DOWNLOAD DISC 1

DOWNLOAD DISC2


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