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Band of Horses to 'Begin' Again


Well, it is a good day. It's Tuesday, and that means a couple of things. Tomorrow is "According to Jim" night. That Jim Belushi, what will he do next?

Maybe more importantly, though, today is the day all kinds of new music gets released into your ear places. There are a few BPP personal faves in the mix. Mine would have to be Band of Horses. They've got a new record. It comes out today. And Ali unexpected excited about the latest from a Mr. Kid Rock.


I love Bob Richie.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: I was listening to Kid Rock as 6:06 this morning on my headphones.

BURBANK: Getting kind of - getting all pumped up for the show today.


BURBANK: Also, a release is from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Now, Sharon Jones - think Amy Winehouse, except black and not drunk.

STEWART: And so much better. How about that?

BURBANK: And from Brooklyn. And much older than Amy Winehouse, and actually having done it longer. Okay, you know what? Amy Winehouse is a terrible comparison. Just expunge that from your mind.

Andy Langer is a music critic for Esquire magazine, and he joins us now. Thank you, Andy, for coming on the show.

Mr. ANDY LANGER (Music Critic, Esquire): Good morning.

BURBANK: Good morning to you. Well, let's start out with Band of Horses. Their record is called "Cease to Begin." And I have been, like, beating everyone over the head here at this show with how much I love this band. Have you heard any of this new record? What do you make of it?

Mr. LANGER: The new record is a really solid sort of dreamlike record with lots of texture, lots of bitterness. It's not an easy…

BURBANK: Like me.

Mr. LANGER: …first listen, but it's a good first listen and it just keeps growing. It's a really strong record. You're right.

BURBANK: Let's hear a little track off that. This is called "Detlef Schrempf."

(Soundbite of song, "Detlef Schrempf")

Mr. BEN BRIDWELL (Vocalist, Band of Horses): (Singing) The town is gonna talk, but these people do not. See things through to the very minimal. But what it's gonna cost to be gone?

BURBANK: I'm, of course, a sucker for this song because it's named after Seattle Supersonics power forward Detlef Schrempf. Maybe the most random name ever for this kind of song.

Mr. LANGER: Yeah, I mean, they actually, you know, they're from Seattle, but then they moved to South Carolina for this record. And when they were in Seattle making that first record, they made a Southern rock record essentially. And this time, now that they're in the South, they have made, sort of a dreamy Beach Boys-meets-My Morning Jacket record.

So the geography doesn't necessarily jive with what they're doing, but what they're doing makes a lot of sense.

BURBANK: I think if you like Guided by Voices and if you like Wilco, you'll really like their first record because it was kind of the love child - those two bands. So this is definitely a different sound for them.

Let's move over to Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. This record is "100 Days, 100 Nights." Let's start up by just hearing some of this so people will know what we're talking about.

(Soundbite of song, "Let Them Knock")

Ms. SHARON JONES (Singer): (Singing) Let them knock upon my door until their hands are black and blue. I'm not answering for no one until my man and I are through. Then we're making love.

STEWART: Okay. You can thank us later for introducing you to Sharon Jones if you don't know (unintelligible).

BURBANK: Where has this been for the last 30 years?

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: Holy mackerel.

(Soundbite of song, "Let Them Knock")

Ms. JONES: (Singing) You know the words.

BURBANK: What do you make of this down there in Austin, Andy? Are you feeling this?

Mr. LANGER: Yeah. I mean, Sharon Jones, you know, born in Augusta, Georgia, and she ends up, you know, being raised in the church, then works as a Rikers Island Jail corrections officer for a long time. And then hooks up with these Dap-Kings who were the house band at Daptone Records. And it's a great story. It's a great record. You know, between this and the Charles Walker and the Dynamites from Nashville and Amy Winehouse, there's a revival for this kind of thing.

And why not? I mean, this an authentic revival. It's not somebody who is, you know, simply, you know, connecting the dots and using whatever, you know, sort of old blueprint she can find. This is the real thing. I mean, she's authentic, she's genuine, and it sounds that way, every note of it sounds genuine. And that's more than you can say about who you mentioned before - Amy Winehouse.


STEWART: Yeah, she got this really interesting thing on - she does onstage and explains wherever dance came from, how she dances, how came out of the church, and then she's got like - makes - God makes her feet move and then makes her legs move. It's so good.

BURBANK: And I know - I've been reading a lot about this supposed kind of beef between Amy Winehouse and Sharon Jones. Although, I also read that it's gotten way overblown in the media. The basic thing being that, you know, Amy Winehouse, a young girl from Britain just sort of came on to the scene and Sharon Jones has been doing this music for a long time. Amy Winehouse boosts Sharon Jones' backup band?

Mr. LANGER: Yeah. I mean the Dap-Kings are, you know, the backup band for both of these and she has said, you know, Sharon Jones have said, hey, they jumped our sound. And I, you know, I mean, jumping that sound, I'm not sure that that's much of a claim. I mean, you know, there are lots of people that were inspired by James Brown.

But that said, you know, these two records coming out close to each other and, you know, what she's been doing in New York and what Amy Winehouse has been doing over there are definitely similar things.

STEWART: It's a tale as old as time - a skinny Brit taking African-American music like that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. LANGER: Right. Right.

STEWART: And making a lot of more money.

BURBANK: Welcome to American pop music history. Well, speaking of skinny guys - sometimes skinny, sometimes it's a little…

STEWART: Loaded.

BURBANK: Depending on how many Miller Lites he's had.

STEWART: Exactly.

BURBANK: Bob Ritchie, a.k.a. Kid Rock, has a new record out. The, I think kind of, understatedly titled "Rock And Roll Jesus."

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: Let's hear something off of that.

(Soundbite of song, "Rock N Roll Jesus")

KID ROCK (Musician): (Singing) You gotta party like a devil in your soul like sex.

BURBANK: All right. That's about all we can play for this record. Thank you though for listening. This has been THE BRYANT PROJECT.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: Seriously, there's a note from the producer. There are like four words in that song that are allowed to be broadcast on NPR frequencies. What do you think about this record, though? Alison certainly likes it.

Mr. LANGER: This is where Alison and I go down different paths.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. LANGER: I mean, look, this is a collection of, you know, Larry the Cable Guy leftovers - every line.

(Soundbite of laughter)


Mr. LANGER: Yeah. It's jerked. You know, the media blitz he's done is definitely impressive. I mean, Larry King "Nightline," the cover of Rolling Stones. But that's all to hide the fact, to mask the fact that there's nothing here on this record.

STEWART: Bite your tongue.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. LANGER: But you know, it's Bob Seger revisionism when he's singing. It's just outright parody, when he's doing - and he's parodying Kid Rock when he's singing the rap rock stuff.

STEWART: Bob Seger revisionism, like there's something wrong with that?

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: What's the problem?

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: It's no "Against The Wind."

Mr. LANGER: You've got the new Ted Nugent.

BURBANK: Oh man.


BURBANK: "Wango Tango."

STEWART: Those might be fighting words. Continue, I'll leave you awhile. I'll let you be (unintelligible).

BURBANK: All right. Well you guys can agree - reasonable people can agree to disagree on Kid Rock. You know, he was supposed to be on our show this week and then the news about Pamela Anderson getting married over the weekend came out. And suddenly, he was not as available for this program.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. LANGER: Like he hasn't milked the Pamela Anderson thing long enough.

BURBANK: All right, Deana Carter. Some call her Dee-na, some call her Dee-ana. She has a new record out. It's called "The Chain" and it covers a bunch of classic country songs that her father played on. Let's hear "The Weight."

(Soundbite of song, "The Weight")

Ms. DEANA CARTER (Singer): (Singing) I pulled into Nazareth, I was feeling 'bout half past dead. I just need some place where I can lay my head. Hey mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed? He just grinned and shook my hand, and no was all he said. Take a load of Fannie. Take a load for free. Take a load off me.

BURBANK: Deana Carter kind of maybe known to people like me who don't follow country music as the woman who wrote that "I Shaved My Legs for This?!" song. But I like this song.

Mr. LANGER: Yeah, I mean, this record is, you know, evidence that she's got excellent taste and is an excellent interpreter. I'm not sure it's evidence that she's got a great voice. I mean, she's no Patty Griffin, but the songs and the fact that she's got this connect to these songs from her father who was a great session guitarist, you know, in the '60s and '70s and played with Paul Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer" and Bob Dylan's "Lay, Lady, Lay." I mean, the idea that she had…

BURNETT: Don't forget Neil Diamond's "Old Man."

Mr. LANGER: Yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. LANGER: And she - you know, she's got Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson and a bunch of folks - Dolly Parton - on this record. And, you know, for a bunch of songs we've heard, done a bunch of different ways over the years, it's a solid enough collection and should do good for her. And, you know, it's pretty much a middle of the road country covers record, but a good one.

BURBANK: I don't mean to put you on the spot, Andy, but we just heard a bunch of new releases. What are you playing incessantly on your iPod right now?

Mr. LANGER: What am I playing incessantly?

BURBANK: What was the last thing you listened to?

Mr. LANGER: The last thing I listened to, let's see.

STEWART: He forget.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. LANGER: I got it to here.

STEWART: On the spot journalism.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. LANGER: The last thing I listened to was this new Neil Young.

BURBANK: Ah, okay.

Mr. LANGER: "Chrome Dreams Two." And it's got a - literally an 18-minute song called "Ordinary People" that the first time I heard it, I thought was one of the most impressive things I've heard in a while and didn't know that it was taking 18 minutes to get through it. And now, I just keep finding new pieces of that 18 minutes that interest me.

BURBANK: My friend Kelly Minis(ph) would call that a slow soaker.

Mr. LANGER: Yes, and…

BURBANK: He's from Kentucky and calls those records slow soakers.

Mr. LANGER: Though, I think that's out at about next month some time - this new Neil Young record.

BURBANK: All right.

Mr. LANGER: And I'm not even a huge Neil Young fan. I mean, I don't want to sound like the guy who - disses Kid Rock and then it's like, well, let me tell you about Neil Young, you know.

BURBANK: Well, we'll look for it.

Andy Langer, music critic for Esquire Magazine and friend of THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT. Thanks, man.

Mr. LANGER: All right. Thank you.

STEWART: Was until today - the Kid Rock.

BURBANK: Yeah, no longer a friend of Alison Stewart.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: No, we love Andy. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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