The Limiñanas

The Limiñanas are a French garage pop duo I was recently turned on to by the fine folks at the always excellent Raven Sings The Blues. As RSTB mentions, this duo has certainly mastered a certain detached, cigarette smoking kind of cool (and I’m not just saying that because they’re French)–yet the music is also very warm and inviting because it is so damn catchy. From the fuzzed out, reverb heavy production to the guitar jangle to the tambourine tempos, everything about single “Je Suis Une Go-Go Girl” feels just right. This is the kind of music that grabs hold of you and begs to be heard on repeat.

I’m looking forward to the band’s self-titled debut, out October 12 via Trouble In Mind Records.

A earlier single from the band–“I’m Dead”–is available from Hozac Records.

Pine Leaf Boys. Back Home.

The Pine Leaf Boys have been raising the roof in dance halls and crowded bars across America and throughout the world with their lively brand of traditional Cajun music since forming in 2004. A young band (the youngest ever to sign to venerable roots music label Arhoolie), the Pine Leaf Boys are at the forefront of a Cajun and Creole music renaissance along with bands such as the Red Stick Ramblers, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, and Feufollet. As leaders of this renaissance, the Pine Leaf Boys bring their own energetic sound and style to traditional Cajun music. Across four albums–three of which have received Grammy nominations–and countless live shows, the band has revitalized Cajun and Creole music for a new generation, keeping the tradition alive and well–and shaking the dance floor.

The latest album by the Pine Leaf Boys, Back Home, is out October 5 on Valcour Records. Order it here.

The album is available digitally at iTunes now. Buy it here.

Check out some tunes from the band here.

And below is the Pine Leaf Boys performing a version of “Pine Grove Blues” by the great Cajun accordion player Nathan Abshire.

Torche. Songs For Singles.

In 2008, Torche released the pummeling Meanderthal, a rumbling monster that topped a number of critics’ year-end lists for best metal album. Now, with the release of a new ep, Songs For Singles, the band is going for a chart topper, if only with a knowing wink. Of the eight songs here, just two clock in above the four minute mark, and most come and go in radio ready, two minute metal attacks. With tight, arena-sized riffs and layered, soaring vocal melodies, Torche often is compared to an amped up Foo Fighters, and in the confines of these lean and mean head pounders the band certainly lives up to the best possible version of that comparison–this is heavy-ass, hook-laden metal with melody to spare.

Songs For Singles is out now on Hydra Head Records. Buy it here.

Torche is streaming the ep in its entirety at their Myspace page here.

And here’s the six minute album closer “Out Again”…

Torche is out on the road in support of Songs For Singles. Catch ’em live if you can…

9/27. Los Angeles, CA. Bootleg Theater w/ Mountains of Blow
9/29. San Francisco, CA. Great American Music Hall w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
9/30. Pomona, CA. Glasshouse w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/1. Flagstaff, AZ. Orpheum Theatre w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/2. Albuquerque, NM. The Launchpad w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/3. Denver, CO. Bluebird Theater w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/5. Minneapolis, MN. Varsity Theatre w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/6. Milwaukee, WI. Turner Hall Ballroom w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/8. Rock Island, IL. Rock Island Brewing Company w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/9. Urbana, IL. Canopy Club w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/10. Chicago, IL. Metro (Riot Festival) w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/11. Bloomington, IN. Bluebird w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/12. Columbus, OH. The Summit w/ Lo Pan
10/13. Newport, KY. Historic Southgate House w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/14. Detroit, MI. Majestic Theatre w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/15. Cleveland, OH. Grog Shop w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/16. Rochester, NY. Water Street Music Hall w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/17. Northampton, MA. Pearl Street w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/19. Halifax, NS. The Paragon Theatre (Halifax Pop Explosion) w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/21. Portland, ME. Port City Music Hall w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/22. Providence, RI. Club Hell w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/23. Cambridge, MA. Middle East w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/24. New York, NY. Webster Hall w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/26. Philadelphia, PA. Starlght Ballroom w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/27. Carrboro, NC. Cat’s Cradle w/ High On Fire, Kylesa
10/29. Gainesville, FL. Common Grounds (FEST 9)

Backtracks — Cody ChesnuTT’s Headphone Masterpiece

I first encountered Cody Chesnutt via The Roots when they covered his song “The Seed” on 2002’s Phrenology (their version, which features Cody Chesnutt, was called “The Seed (2.0)” to distinguish it from the original). Taken by the the infectious groove of The Roots’ version, I wanted to hear more from the dude behind it, so I picked up a copy of Chesnutt’s two-disc opus, The Headphone Masterpiece.

Upon spinning The Headphone Masterpiece, what I discovered was an album packed with lo-fi soul that plays a bit like Prince without the studio sheen. The entire thing was recorded on a 4-track in Chesnutt’s bedroom studio–a place he dubbed “The Sonic Promiseland”–and the stripped-down production perfectly suits the raw sexuality that dominates the album (a number of Chesnutt’s soulful jams are about sleeping with his woman, sleeping around behind his woman’s back, or both). I’ve always been a fan of lo-fi recordings and sometimes the high polish of comtemporary soul turns me off of an otherwise solid song; here, however, the production pulls the listener in, creating an intimate atmosphere as Chesnutt works his way through a wealth of ideas, idiosyncratic flourishes, and artistic eccentricities that manage to coalesce into a  singular, soulful statement that is, ultimately, a damn good time. For all of it’s intimacy this album will definitely rock the floor of your house party.

It sounds like these days Cody Chesnutt is focusing on different subject matter in his music while still retaining his knack for creating soulful tunes, and here’s to hoping he releases another album soon. Bands such as Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears are finding success with a similar brand of gritty soul, and it’d be nice to see Chesnutt ride that same wave of success.

In the meantime, Chesnutt has a single, “Come Back Like Spring,” available on his bandcamp page, and The Headphone Masterpiece is still out there in the online jungle. Grab yourself and copy and get your rock and soul on.

Here’s a couple of tunes to get you started…