Home / Music / Radio Free MP3: The Dead Trees, Mean Creek, Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, And Clare & The Reasons

Radio Free MP3: The Dead Trees, Mean Creek, Fast ‘N’ Bulbous, And Clare & The Reasons

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"Rayna" – The Dead Trees
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Sometimes a piece of music takes its own time to be found out. Often an album or a song will have to be listened too numerous times before I find myself praising it. Sometimes an album I initially hated becomes one of my favorites after revisiting it. Music has a way of changing in our own perspectives. Sometimes this takes years.

Or sometimes I just love a song from the moment I first hear it. "Rayna" is one of those songs." It explodes out of the speakers with a ripping old-style country rock jam-band groove. Six straight listens in and I can't stop playing it. Take note lovers of excellent song-writing, groovers of the jam, and fans of the rock-and-roll freakout, The Dead Trees are ready knock the hairs off your chin, and the pants off of your shakin' booty.

Be sure to check out their website, MySpace and their tour.

"Strange Man" – Mean Creek
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A quiet growl of guitar, the slow mists of percussion settle in like a fog. More guitars begin a jangly beat. Then the voice. "Strange Man" starts like a group of strangers humming their own tune only to join on the street, creating a rock song as solid as the ground they walk upon.

Hailing from Boston, Mean Creek formed in 2006 and started a valiant attempt to resurrect that cities prominence from the 1990s with alternative rock from bands like the Pixies, the Lemonheads, and Buffalo Tom. You can certainly hear those influences here with the lush, jangled pop melodies mixed with a darker, harder edge.

 You can stream more of their most recent album, The Sky (Or The Underground) on their MySpace page.

"Woe is Me Bop" – Fast 'N' Bulbous
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I fully admit I don't understand jazz. People who love it tend to speak in two tones 1) hushed as to represent its utter holiness 2) with exuberant excited noises to prove how utterly better than everything else out there the genre is. Both tend to act like if you don't get it, you should stop bothering them and go back to McDonalds and Toby Keith. Maybe that's a little prejudiced, but a lot of jazz fans do seem to get all elitists about it.

For the uninitiated and uneducated jazz can be a hard nut to crack. There's a whole language of jazz both instrumentally and descriptive. It's like nothing else on the planet. So while I don't pretend to fully understand it, I can tell when I dig it.

Take this for example. I couldn't begin to explain in technical terms what Fast 'N' Bulbous is doing, but what I can say that I completely love it. The way the sounds layer and layer upon each other, the way the groove changes from slinky to lighthearted and back again, the way the horns move my hips to freedom makes everything alright in my book.

Jazz is an enormous genre, and one that can be difficult to get into, but with songs like "Woe is Me Bop" its one surely worth checking out.

You can check out streams from their two albums (both full of Captain Beefheart covers) on their MySpace page.

"That's All" – Clare And The Reasons
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Speaking of weird cover songs, Clare and the Reasons covers the classic piece of 80s cheese that is Genesis' "That's All" and makes it something wonderful. With its collection of understated horns and stringed instruments it is transformed from its schlocky past into something utterly chamber. With the lead vocal's crisp delivery this performance wouldn't be out of place in a hall full of tuxedos and evening dresses.

That's not to say it's all stuffy and unremarkable, rather the knowledge of the songs origins makes it something of an ironic gold mine. It is both hilariously wonderful, and gorgeously fun. Catch more of Clare and the Reasons glorious wonderment at their MySpace page and website.

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About Mat Brewster

  • Not in public, but I bet you have terrible things to say in your secret snob jazz meetings.

  • i have never ONCE looked down my nose at you.