Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Heavy - So Dirty and Beautiful

Those who enjoy music recorded with an autotuner voice, be forewarned, you won't like The Heavy.

Similar to The Black Keys, but with an actual decade of evolved musical roots, instead of just wanting to be musicians later in life after they dropped out of college, and then learning to play instruments in a mediocre manner with catchy tunes that everyone buys on iTunes.  I like The Black Keys, don't get me wrong, but they didn't grow up playing instruments, dreaming of being in a band, learning chords and rudiments and fingerings as grade school kids, putting in a childhood worth of practice.  They didn't spend their high school years wanting to be in a band that rocked or grooved or jammed. 

Shades of Soundgarden crossed with Lenny Kravitz, Prince, and a hint of Fine Young Cannibals, if FYC had a horn section and played more bluesy music.  Big Bad Wolf even sounds like something Andrew Lloyd Weber would have put into JC Superstar.  Mix Tom Waites or Roland Gift, with a leaning towards James Brown and a dash of Johnny Lee Hooker.  Some of their song (see below) present sounds as diverse as Black Sabbath, Soul Asylum, Peter Tosh, and Prefab Sprout. 

I really like these guys, and listened to them throughout the day Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  When Dr Desert Flower & I got home Friday, I played the many links below for her on Youtube, and yesterday, she bought both LPs (Great Vengeance and Furious Fire and The House That Dirt Built) and single song (that Kind of Man) they have on iTunes for a very reasonable (and not yet famous) $6 a download.  I want to see The Heavy live, as they have enormous energy, but the closest they're coming is LA and Vegas, both are over-night drives with hotel stays.  If they get to Phoenix, join me seeing them and dancing with a whiskey in my hand.  I find many of their songs impossible to Not Dance to, inexorably making my foot tap, head nod.  Their raw, powerful, "dirty" sound radiates a beautiful truth that anyone who uses an autotuner has no business selling any records, and anyone who buys recordings of performers who "sing" with an autotuner will probably not enjoy The Heavy.

[caution, if you have younger, impressionable children around, some of the links below should not be clicked upon... unless you want to spice up their vocabularies and answer a child's questions about Human Sexuality and adult relationships]

The easily googled version on "The Heavy" is as follows:
The core of the group, guitarist Dan Taylor and vocalist Kelvin Swaby, became friends in 1990 when they bonded over vintage R&B and Jim Jarmusch films. The other members of the band are drummer Chris Ellul, bassist Spencer Page, and keyboardist Hannah Collins.  The Heavy released two singles in the fall of 2007, and then their first LP Great Vengeance and Furious Fire in September, 2007 in the United Kingdom in April, 2008 in the United States. "That Kind of Man," their first single from the album, was recorded and mixed by Corin Dingley the original drummer/member of The Heavy at Alpha's studio and released on record label Don't Touch Recordings before Ninja Tune heard it and promptly signed them.  In March, 2008, The Heavy were the Artist of the Day in Spin Magazine. The band were also tipped in Rolling Stone's Hot List in May 2008. They played in the 2008 South By Southwest music festival and collected one of the Best Discovery awards in Spin Magazine's Best and Worst of SXSW '08. They appeared on the 2009 LP, Johnny Cash Remixed, with the remixed version of "Doing My Time". On October 2, 2009 their second album The House That Dirt Built was released by Ninja Tune.

"How You Like Me Now?" which sampled the song "Let A Woman Be A Woman" originally written by the band Dyke & the Blazers was featured in the sixth season finale of Entourage, in the fourth episode of Community, and was played live by the band on the Late Show with David Letterman on January 18, 2010. David Letterman enjoyed the band's performance and asked the group play an encore of the song, which was the first time that Letterman had ever asked a musical artist to perform an encore on his show. During the encore, Letterman and Paul Shaffer contributed in a call-and-response section. The band was backed by the horns section of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings for this performance.

In NYC this weekend
in Vegas at the end of this month, at the Cosmopolitian

on Letterman
with the Dap-kings

How do you like me now?
with 5 million hits

this is fun..  somewhere in Greece... and you're so wet...  LOL!
don't listen to this with children in the room, who have not yet added profanity to their vocabularies

In The Morning
get up and dance damnit!  dance until you're sweaty and you're breathing hard.
"you've got me working over time"
This is my favorite song from the Heavy

That Kind of Man
Lenny Kravitz is being channelled.  (I'm gonna put on my head phones and drum to this later today).


Set Me Free

Big Bad Wolf
the live versions (on The Heavy youtube channel) don't do this song justice, as they were recorded with very poor audio quality.

What Makes a Good Man
makes me want to get up and dance, like a Lenny Kravitz song when I've consumed ethanol.
Go Ninja Tune Ltd!!!!  

very nice one handed triplet drags on the snare and rapid fire bass drum. 

Oh No, not you again
Fun, silly, X-like, and DDF's personal favorite.

Strong Enough
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Another excellent tune.

What's So Good Bout Goodbye

Long Way From Home
bluesy, laid back, good groove.  "I'll never be a prophet in my own land"

No Time
Where oh where???  is the girl that I found???
This song kicks ass, and I can't stop listening to it.  The Black Keys need to see a new locksmith, as far as I am concerned.

You Don't Know
Tones of Black Sabbath on the intro... delicious.

What you want me to do
again... this song has got my foot a tappin and head a bobbin...  I want to listen to this with a glass of whiskey in my hand on a dance floor (and I danced to it just so, on Friday night at home)

Cause for Alarm
nicely reggae Tosh-ish.

And when I die  (Blood Sweat & Tears cover)
Does Tom Waits consult with you?

Bruk Pocket Lament
slow blues

Our Special Place
Mellow, sounds like something that would be played at the end of a "feel good" movie while the credits are rolling and people are filing out of the theater.

Who Needs the Sunshine ... slow, and somewhat simplistic...  but ok.
the video is lovely... and extremely strong & flexible

Easier   .. also laid back, and simplstic (repetitive even) but not a bad song.

Love Like That
a little 60s-ish, and very simplistic...  not really my style, since I am not an AARP member (yet) ... but not badly done.

very slow and stoically sad...   almost like Prefab Sprout with a string section.
young & innocent ears should not listen to the obscenity sprinkled lyrics in the 2nd half of the song.

Classic Johnny Cash, "Doin my time" remix   The Heavy live in Luxor Theater Arnhem 27-03-'10 - products

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