Steve Wynn recommends for Tame Impala

Steve Wynn of Dream Syndicate and Tame Impala

Steve Wynn and Tame Impala

Steve Wynn’s recommendation: “I’m currently listening to Inner Speaker by Tame Impala. It’s a record that sounds both classic and brand new at the same time. Most of all it reminds me of The Nazz, Todd Rundgren’s band from the 60′s. And that’s a comparison you don’t hear everyday. Good, trippy late night music.”

Note: Tame Impala are touring! Check the official Tame Impala web site for tour dates and more info about the band.

Steve WynnAbout the guest author, Steve Wynn: Steve Wynn started off as a sportswriter and has also recorded songs about baseball with Peter Buck (of R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey, so it is only appropriate to learn about Wynn through few of his major stats. First off, he’s recorded 400 songs. He’s also played over 2,000 shows in 25 countries. But as impressive as these numbers are, Wynn’s music offers tons of quality to go along with the impressive quantity. He trail-blazed indie rock with his band, The Dream Syndicate in the eighties. Their masterwork, Medicine Show has been re-released and was recently named one of the 40 best rock albums of all time by the London Guardian. Since then, Wynn has continued to write and perform and even appeared on the Letterman show with The Baseball Project (video below). There’s plenty of great reading about Steve on the official Steve Wynn site along with tour dates, CD purchasing and more.

MP3 sample: Still Holding On To You by The Dream Syndicate from the album, The Medicine Show

MP3: Phenom by The Baseball Project

Brett Newski of The Nod carries a torch for The Thermals

Brett Newski pf The Nod and The Thermals

Brett Newski and The Thermals

Brett Newski’s recommendation: “2 years ago, my roommates and I were sipping PBR’s in our college shit-hole, listening to garage rock on the stereo. I plugged in our first EP. My punk-savvy roommate told me I sounded exactly like the dude from ‘The Thermals.’ I said “who is this dude and who are The Thermals?’. Turns out he is Hutch Harris, who has been sounding like me longer than I have been sounding like me.

I immediately became gripped by the raw, stripped-down rock of The Thermals, and so I decided to interview Hutch for a story in Madison’s Badger Herald. Hutch is a truly honest guy with a great sense of humor. When I asked him about their pre-show ritual he replied, ‘we do a huddle, then Kathy (bass) slaps Westin (our drummer) and I in the face pretty hard a few times. Four tequila shots a piece, then we hit the stage.’

These guys have been busting ass on the rock circuit since 2002 and have proven you can make a living in a somewhat niche market of music. They make me want to work harder as a musician.”

Editor’s Note: The new Thermals record, Personal Life comes out on September 7. Listen to the first single from the album below and check out The Thermals’ site for tour dates and more.

MP3: I Don’t Believe You

Brett NewskiAbout the guest author, Brett Newski and The Nod: Browse through The Nod’s fun-loving promotional photos and video diary on their MySpace page and you’ll immediately start to root for this group of guys from Madison, Wisconsin. The fact that they recorded their album, Easy, Maverick underneath a late night liquor store only makes their story more charming. But also realize that these guys are cutting their teeth and they’re sharpening them fast. They’ve opened for Third Eye Blind and OK Go and their brand of catchy, honest alterna-pop is sure to perk up many an ear. Give ‘em a listen here:

MP3: Lie In All Honesty by The Nod

Melora Creager of Rasputina carries a torch for Brian Eno

Melora Creagaer of Rasputina and Brian Eno

Melora Creagaer and Brian Eno

Melora Creager’s recommendation: “Brian Eno’s second solo record, Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy has been my main model for album making since I started. It was made in 1974, but will never get old. It’s so weird, yet very conventional. I guess they are pop songs. The things just sounds right, like perfect. The song structures and arrangements are tip-top. It’s very dense.

Eno’s first record, Here Come the Warm Jets is just as important, and I often get the two confused. I never know song titles either – I just know this record as a whole, a whole listening experience.

The lyrics are hard to make sense of, but there’s narrative. It’s something about women and Asian spies. I can hear his affection for words- he’s fooling around with them, playing a game. I like to do that too.

His chord progressions and harmonies really get me.The instrumentation is so cool. Are those crickets or guitars? I don’t know! It’s all logic from another dimension and that’s what I’m all about.”

Melora CreagerAbout the guest author, Melora Creager: Creager may be recognized for playing cello for Nirvana on the European leg of the In Utero world tour (including their final live show in Munich), but she also fronts the chamber-rock trio, Rasputina. We’re not going to try to sound all smart and explain what chamber-rock is, but we did supply a track (below) from Rasputina’s seventh album, Sister Kinderhook, a collection of songs about giants, feral children, and, well, a bunch of other stuff that isn’t covered in most of the mp3s in your iTunes library. Make sure to check the Rasputina web site for tour dates.

MP3: Holocaust of Giants from the Sister Kinderhook album

Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate carries a torch for The Glands

Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate and The Glands

Hardy Morris and The Glands

Hardy Morris’ recommendation: “{The Glands} are an often overlooked late 90’s band from right here in Athens, GA. I found out about them when I was in college at UGA. I was working with a guy who was playing a tape of a local Glands show. The tape sounded terrible, but I really liked what I was hearing. It didn’t take much asking around before I learned that they were no longer playing together but that both of their records were essential if you planned on living in town for any amount of time.

I quickly acquired their albums, Double Thriller and their self-titled sophomore release. Their music has been a staple in our van for several years now…and I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. That’s the thing about their style; you just don’t get sick of it. I’m not sure of what you’d really even call it. Experimental pop sounds cool and all, but this is much more than that. They have a way of making every song different, yet each one has this sensibility that is all Glands. A+ Definitely recommended.”

Hardy MorrisAbout the guest author, Hardy Morris: Hardy is the singer and guitar player for Dead Confederate, an Athens, GA band that formed in high school and then caught the attention of the manager of The Whigs. Their 2008 release, Wrecking Ball drew comparisons to Nirvana and the band was labeled as, dare I say it…Southern Grunge. Their teaming up with J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. on their new single (sample the goodness below) helps the classification hold. Check the Dead Condederate MySpace page for tour dates and info about their new album, Sugar which arrives on August 24.

MP3: Giving it All Away (Featuring J Mascis) from the upcoming Dead Confederalte album, Sugar