Soak Covers Led Zepplin’ “Immigrant Song”

We introduced you to then relatively unknown Irish singer-songwriter SOAK (a.k.a. Bridie Monds-Watson) as part of Muruch’s “Surfacing” series over two years ago. Now Soak is signed to Rough Trade Records and set release her debut full-length album in June. In the meantime, here’s her eerie cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.”

Soak Official Site

Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant & Jimmy Fallon Doo-wop Duet

Muruch Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 2

In case you missed it, last week I kicked off Muruch’s Classic Albums Appreciation Club with Led Zeppelin’s IV (a.k.a. ZOSO). A few people told me they’d give it a go, but I’ve yet to hear from anyone who actually listened to the whole album. If you did, what did you think?

The hubby and I quite enjoyed our candlelit Zepfest. We just lit a few cheap candles, turned out the lights, cranked up the stereo, and watched the cats scatter from the noise. Led Zeppelin IV is an old favorite of mine, but it’s been over a decade since I sat and listened to the entire album. My boy isn’t exactly a classic rock fan, but even he got into it. It was definitely a great choice for our first week. Despite my familiarity with the songs, the passage of time allowed me to listen with a fresh perspective. It’s my favorite Led Zeppelin album, because it has my four favorite Zep songs on it – “When the Levee Breaks,” “Misty Mountain Hop,” “Going to California,” and the infamous “Stairway to Heaven.” If only “Tangerine” and “Immigrant Song” were on it, it would be a greatest hits for me. One thing I don’t think I fully realized before was how danceable so much of the album is. I think I pulled a neck muscle halfway through “Rock and Roll.” Even if you lack the patience to listen to the whole album, everyone should hear Led Zeppelin’s cover of “When the Levee Breaks” at least once in their lifetime.

This week’s classic album will be….The Who’s Tommy

This particular choice was inspired by the scene in Almost Famous in which Zooey Deschanel’s character hands her little brother the vinyl record and says: “Listen to Tommy with a candle burning, and you’ll see your entire future.

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Some have said they love this idea, but are shy about leaving comments. But I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (which can be from any decade, including this one).

Muruch’s Classic Album Appreciation Club

As longtime readers know, I’m a fan of the album. So many of my best moments, not to mention my best friendships, will forever be associated with particular albums. Mp3s certainly have their place, but they’ll never invoke the kind of emotion I feel when I see the cover of Tapestry, Dark Side of the Moon, She’s So Unusual, Live Through This, Little Earthquakes, Siamese Dream, O and other favorites of bygone eras.

So I was very interested in the recent BBC News story about a new Classic Album Appreciation club in London. Said club meets weekly to sit in candlelit silence while listening to an entire “classic” album, whether it be The Beatles’ Abbey Road, Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love or Nirvana’s Nevermind.

My husband and I love the idea so much, we’re starting a classic albums appreciation club ourselves here on Muruch. Starting this week, he and I will chose a classic album to listen to in its entirety. Barring unforeseen interference, I hope to do this weekly. At the beginning of each week, I’ll post our choice for the week and any thoughts we had regarding the previous week’s listening experience. However, I won’t be doing proper album reviews, because this is more about the enjoyment of music rather than critical opinions. I’m obviously a little late this week, so I’m choosing a shorter album…

This week’s classic album will be Led Zeppelin IV (a.k.a. ZOSO).

I encourage everyone reading this to take time in the next week to listen to this album from beginning to end with no distractions – physically get away from the computer, turn off the television, sit or lie in a relaxed position, maybe light some candles and pour some wine or coffee. Though I think the audio quality of CD or vinyl will enhance the experience more than mp3, it doesn’t matter what album format you play. Just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Then come back here and comment with your opinions, good or bad, of the album.

I’m also compiling a list of albums for future weeks and I’m open to any suggestions.

What are your favorite classic albums, old or new?

Robert Plant: Band of Joy

Best known as the former frontman of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant’s recent delvings into country and folk may seem an odd choice for the seminal rocker. However, Plant’s genre-crossing experiments will come as no surprise to those familiar with Zep’s affinity for folk-blues – particularly their cover of the traditional “Gallow’s Pole.” Following his successful Raising Sand collaboration with bluegrass darling Allison Krauss, Plant teemed up with folk star turned producer Buddy Miller for his new solo album, Band of Joy.

An almost perfect marriage of Robert Plant’s psychedelic sway and Buddy Miller’s freight train of rocked up Americana, the aptly titled Band of Joy features the backing band of Miller, Patty Griffin, Bekka Bramlett and Darrell Scott.

A rhythmic interpretation of Los Lobos’s “Angel Dance” opens the album with slinky bluegrass instrumentation snaking through a thunderous blues-rock clamor and clang.

The moody wailer “House of Cards” follows and is greatly enhanced by the backing howls of Patty Griffin and Bekka Bramlett.

“Central Two-O-Nine” sounds like an old-fashioned folk ballad, but is a new original Plant co-penned with Buddy Miller.

The new Plant/Miller arrangement of the traditional song “Cindy, I’ll Marry You Someday” is spectacular, but Plant’s deadpan vocal delivery lacks the spirit necessary to carry the repetitive chorus.

The retro pop style of “You Can’t Buy My Love” and The Kelly Brothers cover “Falling In Love Again” are also an ill fit for Plant’s voice. Rather than resurrecting the ironic charm of his Honeydrippers era, Plant simply sounds like he’s singing his age and he really shouldn’t. Yet these are the only flaws in this diamond of an album.

The ominous, driving rhythm of “Monkey” and the chillingly sparse rendering of traditional folk ballad “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” are much better settings for his unusual voice.

Overall, Band of Joy is a worthy successor to Raising Sand and I look forward to hearing the wonders Plant has in store for us in the future.

The stream of “Angel Dance”, which was uploaded with the explicit permission of Rounder Records, has been removed due to false infringement claim filed with Soundcloud.

Buy @ Amazon

Band of Joy - Robert Plant