Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gina Villalobos, Second Dan, and the Del-Lords: thank you, Eliot Wagner!

Eliot Wagner has a great music blog called Now I've Heard Everything. I had the pleasure of meeting him at last week's Brooklyn Blogfest. Eliot does a periodic (about five or six times a year) podcast, and he gave me a CD of the current edition. When I played it, my initial feeling that Eliot and I are musical soul mates was confirmed. There's not a single cut on it that I don't like, and some that I think are spectacular. There are cuts by artists I've long admired, such as John Hiatt, Graham Parker, Peter Wolf, and Neil Young. What I'm most grateful for, though, is being introduced to some singers and groups of which I had been ignorant.

Californian Gina Villalobos works in the tradition called "alternative country" or "Americana", a genre with roots that extend back into old time country, bluegrass, honky-tonk, blues, rhythm and blues, and rockabilly. Eliot's podcast includes two great cuts of hers: "Why" and "Fooling Around". The clip above is of "What I'd Do", from her 2005 U.K. tour, and courtesy of her ponyvilllalobos channel on YouTube.

Eliot found out about Second Dan while attending a party for bloggers, where he met their lead guitarist. Second Dan is exemplary of the introspective side of the New York indie scene. The cut on Eliot's podcast is "Today", from their new album, Angeline. The clip above is of "Running Out Of Feelings", and is accompanied by an animation that is unsubtly polemical, but nonetheless well done and effective. It's from their seconddan YouTube channel.

I'd heard of the Del-Lords before; they're a band that formed in 1984, founded by Scott Kempner, formerly with the Dictators (and thus a bandmate of my fellow Bells of Hell patron, Handsome Dick Manitoba). They enjoyed their greatest popularity in the late '80s, and broke up in the '90s. They recently re-formed, and have released an EP of new songs, Under Construction, which includes the track on Eliot's podcast, a steady rocker that could fit well in the soundtrack of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, "When the Drugs Kick In" (you can hear it by going to their website). Their style is simple, straight-ahead, loud rock and roll. The clip above shows them covering the Dead Boys' "Sonic Reducer" at Magasinet, Gothenberg, Sweden in 1990, courtesy of bsf006.

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