The War on Drugs is an American indie rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 2005 by Adam Granduciel (vocals, guitar) and Kurt Vile (electric guitar, various instruments). The band currently consists of Granduciel, alongside David Hartley (bass, guitar), Robbie Bennett (keyboards, guitar) and Steven Urgo (drums, percussion).
The War on Drugs released their debut studio album, Wagonwheel Blues in 2008. Its follow-up, Slave Ambient, was released in 2011 to critical acclaim.
I saw them in concert a few years back, they were terrific, ethereal, just marvelous. Later this year I’m going to see them again at Bergenfest.
Between the last time I saw them and today they’ve released the album, Smart Flesh that includes the song, Boeing 737.
This is one of the best songs released in the last couple of years. When we made our lists of the best songs in 2011 I just had not paid enough attention, this clearly belong in the top 5.
BBC said: “It sounds like Bob Dylan singing lead vocal for The Arcade Fire” (or something like that), and it really does! They also said: If the Low Anthem doesn’t release it as a single they’re mad.
I’ve included four visual representations of the song.
Here’s the first (“studio” version), The Low Anthem recorded the majority of “Smart Flesh,” their 2011 Nonesuch album, in a cavernous, vacant pasta sauce factory in Central Falls, Rhode Island:
I was in the air when the towers came down
In a bar on the 84th floor
I bought Philippe Petit a round
And asked what his high wire was for
He said, “I put one foot on the wire,
One foot straight into heaven”
As the prophets entered boldly into the bar
On the Boeing 737, Lord, on the Boeing 737
Hey little bird, would you be the one
To nest beneath my Gatling gun?
There’s nothing left I call my own
Come down and build me a home
The two regular members Josh Siegel, Ren Matthew and their additional musicians (they have rotated the rest of the group quite often) have released their debut album, “Red Balloon” and they’re one of the best kept secrets in the business.
Not entirely convinced? Check out the absolutely tremendous video of the band bringing the blues- howl of “Emptied Out” to life during their HearYa session (in late 2011):
I saw this great band supporting My Morning Jacket last fall, it was very good!
The Head and The Heart are an indie folk alternative band from Seattle, Washington. The six piece strong collective of multi instrumentalists formed back in 2009, and in only two short years since their musical birth, have gone on to great things. Here are three songs from their Allsaints Basement Sessions.
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1. Visions Of Johanna
2. Like A Rolling Stone
3. Tangled Up in Blue
4. Ballad Of A Thin Man
5. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
6. Blind Willie McTell (electric version)
7. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
8. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
9. Desolation Row
10. Idiot Wind (New York version)