by Steve Ciccarelli, edited by Erik van Rheenen
The Gaslight Anthem burst into the ears and hearts of many with 2008’s The ’59 Sound, an album with a punk rock exterior and doo-wop soul, taking the era referenced in the album’s title to heart. Wearing their influences on their sleeve — right next to their hearts — songs like the title track and “Old White Lincoln” introduced a new generation to the music of the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Sam Cooke. The B-Sides, taken exclusively from the New Jersey band’s SideOneDummy years, shows the expansive range of a band who didn’t really fit in anywhere. That is, until they fit in everywhere.
More than half of this LP are acoustic tracks, with the Lightning Dust cover “Antonia Jane” being the only widely unavailable cut—although KEXP sessions aren’t too hard to find for Internet sleuths. It’s not too far off from the Lightning Dust version, replacing the ethereal vocals of singer Amanda Webber with the gruffness of Brian Fallon’s laid back croon. “Songs For Teenagers,” a cover of Fake Problems, strips away the bouncy, youthful enthusiasm of the original version to turn it into a haunting lament on what that youth once was. Intricately picked acoustic guitars and a ghastly background vocal lay the groundwork and point out exactly what the song meant to The Gaslight Anthem with the refrain: “It’s a shame, all the ways we build ourselves up just to let each other down.”
The batch of reinterpreted Gaslight songs is varied and intriguing. “The ’59 Sound” really does sound somewhat like “the old gospel choir” of the lyrics, the kind of song a young Gaslight fan could have showed their parents to explain why they loved the band. Like the Simon and Garfunkel scene from Almost Famous, without Frances McDormand saying the band looked like they were “on pot.” “American Slang” is bathed in echoes, sounding like Fallon recorded it from the bottom of a well. It may not have worked if it wasn’t for the passion bleeding from the speakers. The words come from a deep, brooding place and this version eschews the triumphant power of the album version to let the darkness seep through.
Sparrow Sleeps have made lullaby renditions of classic The Gaslight Anthem songs. Listen to the great project and pick it up below after the jump.
Chase This Nightlight: Jimmy Eat World Lullaby Renditions
Quieter Now: Taking Back Sunday Lullaby Renditions
Your Favorite Lullabies: Brand New Lullaby Renditions
Can’t Lay Down: Saves The Day Lullaby Renditions
January is here, and we’re kicking off 2014 with a jam-packed month of releases that PropertyOfZack team members couldn’t be more stoked to hear. In today’s new Discussion, we’re highlighting our personal Most Anticipated January Releases. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with what you’re looking forward to as well!
Fall rules. From the pumpkins to the turkeys to the cider to the utter sadness that fills your heart when you listen to that certain song (whoa, that got dark quick). To celebrate PropertyOfZack’s favorite season, we’re launching a new Essential Fall Listening Discussion filled with TeamPOZ’s favorite albums for this season. Check out our guide, listen along, and feel free to reblog with your favorite fall records!
Brand New - Deja Entendu
While Brand New’s Deja Entendu may have arrived in the summer of 2003 it wouldn’t be for another two autumns that the album’s place as a “fall classic” in my eyes would take center stage. I had listened to the album numerous times in those two years and memorized it well but I never put purpose behind the words and how it meant to someone like me. Driving home after an exhausting day of selling retail (what any 17 year old does in high school) the car ride home was dreary and the rain was pouring. As “Okay I Believe You, but My Tommy Gun Don’t” began to play over the very wet October evening, I knew this was the time of year for such a moody and melancholy record when feelings felt mutual with the atmosphere. “Play Crack the Sky” even now is my go to for nights that slowly descend into very cold temperatures, something that considering current weather patterns, doesn’t always occur but it doesn’t matter. - Jason Stives
The Gaslight Anthem - The ‘59 Sound
While it’s perfectly reasonable to say that any Gaslight Anthem album is perfect for any season, there’s a particular feeling that will come over you when listening to The 59 Sound this fall. With so many of the songs dealing with the agony of lost love and the pain of looking back on better times, the album is perfect for anyone moving into a new phase of life, be it a new school, going to college, or facing the real world for the first time, The Gaslight Anthem’s sophomore full-length is the perfect companion through times of hardship or change, and when the leaves start changing and falling from the trees, that soaring chorus of “Great Expectations” takes on a whole new meaning. Sure, you probably just spent all summer listening to Handwritten up and down the highway this summer, but is there really ever a bad time to listen to The Gaslight Anthem? - Donald Wagenblast
Death Cab For Cutie - Plans
Despite including a song titled “Summer Skin,” Plans by Death Cab For Cutie is constantly in rotation during autumn for me. All Death Cab albums are, really, but Plans has a few standouts. It’s a strange time of year: on one hand, I love it, but there’s also this weird feeling of melancholy since it’s about to get cold and I do not enjoy the winter.
by Jason Stives, edited by Erik van Rheenen
When Brian Fallon and his guitar tech, Ian Perkins, released their side project Horrible Crowes two years ago, it was seen as a subdued extension of the Fallon-fronted Gaslight Anthem. It is only now two years later with the release of their live record, Live at the Troubadour, that we see that this group is far from a mirror image of their Jersey pub rock roots.
The key to a great live album is always capturing the energy and atmosphere of a regular night with an artist. For the Horrible Crowes, this was only their second show promoting their debut Elsie and from the start, the difference between this and a Gaslight show is obvious. The Troubadour is famous for hosting some great live moments, and from hearing the vibrant atmosphere over the Crowes’ music, you can see why. Unlike a loud concert venue, you can hear every last detail from the crowd. From clanging glasses and dirty dishes, to the gentle murmurs of the patrons’ casual conversations, it all adds to the notion of a dimly lit room with a soft cloud of cigarette smoke encompassing the band and their eager fans.
This all adds to the difference in sound that the Crowes present to their audience. As those who were fans of their first record know, gone is Brian Fallon’s signature growl, replaced with a mournful and blue eye soulful voice mixed with piano ballads and the light tapping of backbeats. Hearing songs like “Sugar” delivered with a low billow from Fallon that sheds a rock singer exterior and reveals the reserved songwriter is absolutely stunning.