Friday, April 21, 2006

I've heard that wind blow before

Play it: Tommy Keene Crashing the Ether
Download: "Warren in the '60's" (
Download: "Death of the Party" Keene Brothers (

So while I was hopped up on pain killers a couple weeks ago, this treasure from cult power-pop legend Tommy Keene dropped on the public. And just like all prior releases, it appears to have fallen on deaf ears, which is a wind that Keene and fans alike have heard many times before.

While Keene has released some fine albums since his prime days (1985-1993,) Crashing the Ether feels like a return to those days, with the songs just seemingly dropping out of the sky one right after the other. The first three tracks ("Black and White New York," "Warren in the 60's" and "Quit that Scene") announce triumphantly that he's back, with crashing drums and those sweet crunchy and jangly guitars all covered by note-perfect harmonies - the picture of power pop, which he helped further along in the 80's (a genre he now happily calls home.)

Currently, Keene is playing guitar on tour with Robert Pollard, and their collaborative project, Keene Brothers, has an album (Blues and Boogie Shoes) that will be released here soon in early May. A preview track ("Death of the Party") from the album is available from Robert Pollard's official site, and if it's any indication, the indie pop dream merger of Keene & Pollard should be a tasty delight. Pollard was added to the Intonation Festival lineup recently, and also is opening for Pearl Jam for a couple dates on their tour.

I'd planned on doing a full retrospective playlist and post on Keene, but the absence of crucial albums (Songs From the Film, Based On Happy Times and The Real Underground,) left too many holes for any proper appreciation of Keene's craft. Just please, check him out... give the guy a break already.

Recovering (Pollard w/ Keene Live revew)
Power Pop 1979-1989

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Tommy Keene Crashing the Ether

1. Black & White New York
2. Warren in the '60's
3. Quit that Scene
4. Driving Down the Road in My Mind
5. Wishing
6. Lives Become Lies
7. Eyes of Youth
8. I've Heard that Wind Blow Before
9. Alta Loma
10. Texas Tower Number 4