When I Paint My Masterpiece...

I don't know what the hell happened...I've been moaning about quality albums, you know, with great songs top to bottom, and then bam! I get 28-year old singer/songwriter Willy Mason's excellent new release Carry On, Bob Dylan's Another Self Portrait - The Bootleg Series Vol. 10, and newcomer pop-rock crooner Jay Stolar's More Than We Think (image above). Maybe it's my state of mind, maybe it's the state of the world, maybe it's the state of universe. Regardless, this simple, evocative music cuts through all the bullshit that seems destined to drag us down into the abyss of life's giant cesspool.

Rise Up

911[This article, and its accompanying comments by Culture Catch writers and staff of the time, was originally published on 9/11/06.] One of my out-of-town friends recently asked me if I remember what I did five years ago to soothe my anxiety/disbelief/horror on that fateful morning. In the past, when faced with some sort of seemingly difficult emotional situation I would reach for a favorite piece of music or go see a silly movie to lift my spirits. I might have reached for John Hiatt's Bring the Family and let his cathartic roots-rock ruminations about life and family lift my spirit. Or slip on The Monkees' Greatest Hits and let the infectious sugar-coated pop-rock transport me to my childhood and right back to the knowing comfort of my mother's arms.

Song of the Week: Pearl Jam - "Mind Your Manners"

Seems like only yesterday I featured Pearl Jam on the cover of Creem magazine in the early '90s. Yet Eddie Vedder and his bandmates continue to inspire and show no pretentious rock silliness in their music or approach to their business. As this new song proves, they still bring the noise, heat, and passion; from their forthcoming album Lightning Bolt. And don't miss their upcoming fall tour.

Artist of the Month: Lily & Madeleine

Rare that I'm this knocked out by a new act, single, or album, but this works on all three fronts. Lily & Madeleine, two young sisters (16 & 18-years old) from Indianapolis, are certainly deserving of a wider audience. (Trust me, it will happen.) So many wonderful moments on their debut, but you'll have to groove on these two videos -- one more below -- until their debut drops on October 29th, 2013 on Asthmatic Kitty Records.