The Well-Played List, 11-13-2013: Harry Nilsson, Darkside, The Paley Brothers, Action Bronson & more

Music we're jamming this week; audio, video & Spotify playlist included.

It’s that time of week again, folks — time to get your jam on, that is. The ongoing listening series otherwise known as The Well-Played List features the most listened-to songs, albums and artists of the week as submitted by the CL Music Team along with a rotating crew of tastemakers — local music promoters, record store and venue owners, music fans and scenesters, DJs, musicians, and a radio personality or two; check the past several week’s worth here. Audio and video included, along with any applicable show information. And on that note, what are you jamming this week? Tell us in the comments…

LEILANI

Harry Nilsson, Pussy Cats (1974) Nilsson's vastly underrated 10th studio album was recorded with John Lennon during the latter's "Lost Weekend" period (the 18 months he and Yoko Ono were separated and he was having a fling with filmmaker May Pang). Critics talked lots of trash about the album at the time, mainly because while recording it, Nilsson and Lennon raised alot of hell around LA — drinking and drugging, banging the ladies, heckling Smothers Brothers and punching photographers — when they weren't raising hell and making magic in the studio. In the 2010 documentary about the late singer-songwriter, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?), you get a really good idea of just how much Lennon and Nilsson played off and provoked each other. They seemed to have a creatively dysfunctional relationship; Lennon helped produce this amazing album, and yet it was also Lennon who helped Nilsson shred his pipes by its end.

This album kills me, it's so ridiculously good, and I pretty much love every single track on it. You get a taste of both Nilsson's cleaner vocals along with the grit, and there's a mix of originals (like the bouncy rambling "All My Life" and the bittersweet loveliness of "Don't Forget Me") and covers ("Save the Last Dance for Me," "Subterranean Homesick Blues"), though his take on Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers to Cros" hits me straight in the gut. On a side note, the album cover features children's letter blocks "D" and "S" on either side of a rug under the table where the duo sit, code for "drugs under the table."

Chet Faker, "No Diggity" (2012) A sick and slinky cover of an already fine song by an electro music-making artist, Chet Faker (real name Nicholas Murphy). He's been touring with Bonobo, so that should give you an idea of his style, though he's got a little more hip hop to his grooving production and lovely soulful husk-rubbed vocals where Bonobo's Simon Green doesn't sing a lick. vocals adds his own to his songs. Chet Faker plays Crowbar this Fri., Nov. 15. Check "No Diggity" after the jump...

KEITH ULREY | owner, Microgroove, New Granada Records
Well, this Tuesday 11/12 was a special day for New Granada. As long time fans of Tracy Shedd (ex-Teen Beat, Devil In The Woods, etc.), we were stoked beyond belief to have Tracy's latest full-length Arizona coming out on NG!! Available on CD, digital download and limited white vinyl! You can pick it up online or locally at Microgroove, Mojo Music or Daddy Kool. Here's the new video for the song "Broken Arrows":

ALEX FEDELE | Local musician in Auto!Automatic!!, Poetry n’ Lotion, The Fix Up, The Apes.

I've been rocking some old school local bands! Anyone remember: Denison Marrs - MRENC's early musical endeavor? (This came out in 1999!) What about My Hotel Year ?

Listening to Denison Marrs and My Hotel Year made me breakout the old (not local) Piebald album, If It Weren't For Venetian Blinds, It Would Be Curtains For Us All. "Grace Kelly with Wings" below.

JACK SPATAFORA | Founder, aestheticized presents; DJ, Soft Rock Renegades.

Hot Since 82, "Shadows" featuring Alex Mills (2013)

My Bloody Valentine, m b v (2013) Seeing 'em here in NYC in a couple hours!!!

Action Bronson / Party Supplies, Blue Chips 2 (2013) The Queens rapper reunites producer/singer-songwrite/remixer Justin Nealis (aka Party Supplies) for this mixtape. available for free download here.

JOE D'ACUNTO | THX MGMT Presents

Beartoe, "Fish Crow" (2012) Dirty, up-beat Delta blues from over in Deland. Get your Saturday night hoedown fix when this quintet play with David Dondero on November 23rd at New World Brewery.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones, "Call Me" (2013) Been a while since I've had one song on repeat for six solid weeks. See them live at Crowbar on Feb. 6th with Orlando's The Sh-Booms; check the video for the track below.

GABE ECHAZABAL

The Paley Brothers, The Complete Recordings (2013) As unlikely as it sounds, there was once a recording act that was lumped in with the late-70’s power pop movement, cut their teeth in the fantastic Boston pop scene of the day, hung out and hob-nobbed with downtown NYC notables like The Ramones and Patti Smith AND were featured in teeny-bopper magazines 16 and Tiger Beat, all at the same moment. Yes, it’s true.

Musically, The Paley Brothers (Jonathan and Andy) had more in common with the Beach Boys and The Raspberries than with the skinny-tied bands of their era. Hopes were high for the brother-fronted act that brought Everly Brothers-like dual harmonies to their catchy, infectious pop and offered up smart lyrics and humor as well. Signed to Sire Records by label owner Seymour Stein not long after Ramones and Talking Heads, the band put out their fantastic (yet horribly overlooked) self-titled album for the label in 1978. The leading heartthrob of the day, Shaun Cassidy, hand-picked the Paleys to support him on his massive U.S. summer tour that year and, in an instant, the brothers went from playing the grungy hole-in-the-wall punk mecca CBGB to playing uptown, in front of 20,000 screaming girls at Madison Square Garden supporting Cassidy. The story almost sounds too unbelievable to be true. Here, for the first time, all of the Paley's music is compiled onto one disc — tracks from the band’s only album, tracks intended for a second release that never saw the light of day, early EP tracks, unreleased tracks and a few live cuts from their brush with arena hopes. Phil Spector, Joey Ramone and Brian Wilson were all Paley supporters during their futile rise to prominence. If those aren’t ringing endorsements to pick up this jam-packed disc of pop greatness, I don’t know what is... "Come Out and Play" below.

SARAH GECAN | Daddy Kool Records and No Clubs Entertainment

Bridge And Tunnel, East/West (2008) Sometimes all it takes is seeing a band for the first time to remember how amazing they are. Such was the case with Bridge and Tunnel. They played my stage at Fest and in a instant, I realized why I loved them. Though their music is subtle and melodic, it's the lyrics that get me. In particular, in the song, "Rubrics." It's the small moments that hit hardest, like when he sings "And it may take a village, but sometimes it seems that the village is to blame," or "please bear with me while I try to balance my professional posturing with my punk rock posturing." I feel like Bridge And Tunnel is to my mid-20s what the music of Brand New was to my high school years. An acoustic performance by Jeff and Rachel from 2008, "Call to the Comptroller's Office," below.

TONY RIFUGIATO | No Clubs Entertainment

Van Morrison, Moondance Deluxe Remastered (2013) Irish-bred R&B. Using a term that’s thrown around a lot, it's “essential” to anyone's collection. Can’t add to what's already has been said about Van the Man and his music.

Matias Aguayo - I keep coming back to this. He was born in Chile, lived in Germany, and soaked up lots of influences. He DJ’s all over the world and produces a very percussive dance music. I think there is a good madness about him.

ERIC SNIDER

Albert Ayler - Ignored and even scorned during his lifetime, venerated (by a coterie of musicians, critics and devotees) in the ensuing decades, Ayler poured unfettered, primal emotion from his tenor sax. His rasp-and-cry sound, at times intense and discordant beyond comprehension, is certainly not for everyone. Feeling reigns over form. But for the right person, close and patient listening can offer serious rewards. Ayler, who hurled himself into New York’s East River in 1970 at age 34, lived a life of privation, but recorded prodigiously.

Sample his lauded 1964 album Spiritual Unity here, or his unique take on slow blues below. If you get really intrigued, check out a Swedish documentary, My Name is Albert Ayler (2007).

ANDY WARRENER | freelance writer, CL & TBT.

I'm on an electronic kick this week. I'm going international with both groups. Indeed, it seems as the the electronic/lounge genre takes its cue from Europe. First up is French duo Daft Punk. This group has been around for 20 years but their catchy, futuristic sound has only recently captured the mainstream audience. The group consists of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and their invasion of the North American continent is complete with 2013's Random Access Memories. The most popular (radio) track is "Get Lucky," but "Lose Yourself to Dance" is slowly becoming a signature offering; but my favorite on the album is "Game of Love."

Next up is French Catalan-born Christophe Goze. Goze is another well-known electronic artist in Europe that is just breaking stateside. Goze is widely credited with evoking the style of "Arabiant," which fuses jazz and his characteristic downtempo sounds. He has several albums to his credit, but his most recent release is the single, "Something About Me," its undeniably up-beat side contrasting with earlier offerings, like those on 2006's Turning Inside. That album offers more ethereal, ambiant grooves ala the title track and "Breathing." Then there's my personal favorite, "Promenade with Satie" off 2011's The Long Way Home. Listen below.

ROBBY MCDONALD | Mojo Books & Records

Chrome, Half Machine from the Sun (2013) Unreleased "lost" material from 1979-80. Songs from Chrome's finest and most intriguing hour.

Cosmic Machine, A Voyage Across French Cosmic & Electronic Avantgarde (1970-1980) (2013). This fantastical import transcends time and space with the effort it takes to drop a needle on the first track.

William Onyeabor, Who Is William Onyeabor? (2013) Quite possibly Luaka Bop's finest contribution to world music yet. The Nigerian electronic guru gave the label a hell of a hard time but the wait was well worth it. Poly-rhythmic and beautiful.

Four Tet, Beautiful Rewind (2013) Kieran Hebden is an old soul who has always been ahead of the times. Beautiful Rewind continues to push the limits and Four Tet remains as sharp as ever a decade after releasing the 00's masterpiece, Rounds.

Darkside, Psychic (2013) If you haven't seen ads for this album, then you probably live underground. The Darkside debut lives up to the hype and Nicolas Jaar's genre-defying full-length with guitarist and touring partner Dave Harrington will be spun well into 2014. "Paper Trails" below. All releases available at Mojo on vinyl.

JULIA STEWART / MoonGoddess Entertainment LLC

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, The Bridge (2002) This album is on constant rotation in my apartment pretty much all year long, however, it always gets a little extra love in anticipation of Bear Creek. Denson belts out intelligent, profound lyrics while Tiny Universe provides a seamless backdrop of funk, soul and R&B. It's old school meets new school funk and it's one of my favorite records in existence. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe plays Bear Creek Music Festival this weekend Nov. 14-17.

The Malah, Light Forms (2012) Denver-based trio The Malah have been a Southeast favorite among the jam scene for quite some time. While live electronic acts are are a dime a dozen these days, The Malah have stayed true to their recipe of well-composed songs with exceptional instrumentation. Their latest release, Light Forms, take you on a melodic journey filled with throbbing bass and grooving synths. Standout track "As Above So Below" features soaring piano solos by Tiger Party's Blake Mobley. It's an all-instrumental track that you can somehow find a way to sing along to. The Malah plays Bear Creek Music this weekend as well, and also stop at Crowbar on Nov. 23 with support from Displace.

Spotify Playlist with a little bit of everything for your listening pleasure below...

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