True story. I knew so very little about Ben Kweller in 2002, that I went to his show at the Roxy to see My Morning Jacket open and then immediately split before his set. But truthfully, after all that early-period MMJ rockness, I probably would have thought his schtick to be shit anyways. The accompanying ’02 pr buzz hyping that he was Evan Dando’s little buddy did more harm than good. But, it’s 2006 and the times have changed — and I for one am paying attention now.

For a little over six weeks, I’ve been steadily listening to Kweller’s eponymous third LP and it’s good in that power-pop, high and bright production kind of way. Where his debut wore it’s influences on it’s sleeve, this new jam of his seems to be a synthesis of those influences rolled into Kweller’s own sound. And it’s good.

MP3: Ben Kweller :: Nothing Happening
MP3: Ben Kweller :: Penny On The Train Track

MP3: Ben Kweller :: How It Should be (Sha Sha) [old]
Amazon: Ben Kweller – S/T

+ Ben Kweller available through eMusic’s 25 Free MP3 offer.
+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Ben Kweller MP3s.


The Lemonheads :: Eponymous

And speaking of Evan Dando…and speaking of Eponymous releases, one cannot forget the Lemonheads are back with their first LP since 1996’s Car Button Cloth. Dando, who has been releasing solo, downbeat, folk albums under his own name the past few years re-ignites the Lemonheads moniker and bashes out a fast-paced pop/punk record that actually does sound like an old Lemonheads record. Makes sense.

Not unlike Jay Farrar’s 2005 Son Volt album, this is a Lemonheads project in name only, as the band is made up of Dando and two session players. Although the term “session players” is used loosely here being that said players are drummer Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag) and bassist Karl Alvarez (Descendents).

If you’re a Dando fan (I am) this is a pretty good recent interview. In it, Dando halfway dismisses Baby, I’m Bored, his solo record from 2003 that I quite liked.

Lemonheads :: No Backbone

MP3: Evan Dando :: How Will I Know (acoustic Whitney Houston cover)
Amazon: Lemonheads – S/T

+ Evan Dando available through eMusic’s 25 Free MP3 offer.
+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Lemonheads MP3s.

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