Leo Sayer: Live at Paul's Mall, Boston, March 9 1975.

If like me, you grew up outside the West, you probably know Leo Sayer as that guy who sang the highly ubiquitous 70s hit song, "When I Need You". And if it freaked you out to have a song your mum, renegade Aunt, and dog liked to hum along to, you probably gave up on Sayer in the 70s and swore off hit radio around the same time. This set might just change your mind and make you seek out those early Sayer records still lying in your parent's basement. I'm not sure what the collective call on Sayer is out there, but this guy was more than just a studio-polished pop hack - this live set shows him to be a consummate performer backed by a solid band. Very clean sound, delivered by a charming musician.

Giving It All Away
Oh Wot A Life
The Bells Of St.Marys
In My Life
One Man Band
Another Time
Drop Back
Long Tall Glasses
The Show Must Go On


The Shins: Now and Then

If there's any justice in this cruel world, The Shins will cement their status as indie pop icons with the forthcoming Wincing the Night Away (release date: Jan 23, 2007) and finally eke their way into our collective consciousness, and love. Now, if you have an internet connection and know your way around the interweb, you probably already heard the album in full, and you know it's great. I have my copy on pre-order as we speak, and I bid you do the same, if only for how these lads have consistently given us those songs we love to listen to with our grandparents and hubbies. Speaking of consistently, here are some tunes from when The Shins used to be known as Flake Music, from the album When You Land Here, It's Time To Return.

Spanway Hits
The Shins (yes, a song titled "The Shins")

Preorder Wincing The Night Away.
Order When You Land Here, It's Time To Return.

In other news, a Regina Spektor song I found on the interweb.
Dust to Dust


Wilco: Summerteeth Demos

Been having the most satisfying holiday so far...ordered myself a TiVo to compensate for all the hardwork this year, got the Sennheiser PXC 250 noise canceling headphones to save myself from hearing loss, and finally found time to revisit some of my classic rock albums, including Pink Floyd's Animals, The Velvet Underground's The Velvet Underground, Wire's Pink Flag, and Grateful Dead's American Beauty. As I worked my way up to the present, encountering Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, R.E.M's Murmur, Pavement's Slanted and Enchanted, and Buzzcock's Operator's Manual amongst others on the way, I stumbled on this favored Wilco boot, which surprisingly, I had not posted before, so here it goes. These are semi-finished demos, close to the finished product with subtle differences here and there e.g. no backing vocals and harmonica solos present on the demo version of "She's a Jar" (making the demo a more harrowing listen). Also, the unique orchestral feel of the finished product is not yet fully realized on the demos (compare the two versions of "A Shot in the Arm"). Sounds great, and definitely worth the listen.

Next project: Seriously, I have to get myself a vintage turntable. It's the only way to take a rock history lesson.
Shot in the Arm
We're Just Friends
I'm Always in Love
How to Fight Loneliness
Tried & True
She's a Jar
Pieholden Suite
Via Chicago
In a Future Age
My Darling

Get Wilco's Summerteeth here.