Song In My Head #88: “If Not True” by Velvet Crush

Fun fact: The first time I heard the “‘Free Bird’!” heckle, I was watching Velvet Crush open for the Jesus and Mary Chain at Stanford’s Memorial Auditorium. (I can’t remember drummer Ric Menck’s comeback offhand, but given the excellence of his book about The Notorious Byrd Brothers, it must have been pretty good.) The long-running band continues to release great records, but here is one of the band’s earliest singles. Ken Stringfellow once cited this song as one he wished he’d written, which is high praise indeed. (With a riff like this one, it’s easy to see why…)

Song In My Head #68: “Runaway Girl” by Chariot

Posies co-founder Ken Stringfellow and his many side projects have been praised here before. Today we revisit Chariot’s I Am Ben Hur, released on Spain’s (awesome) Munster Records in 1997. Chariot featured Stringfellow, White Flag’s (since deceased) Pat Fear, Posies/Fountains of Wayne drummer Brian Young, and the Zeros’ Javier Escovedo. (I heard the Zeros’ “Beat Your Heart Out” in the Santa Cruz Streetlight Records recently, and remembered how much I always enjoyed that LA band. But I digress.) “Runaway Girl” is a departure from the rest of the rather raucous album, but no less lovely for that:

Song In My Head #25: “Best Mistake” by The Disciplines

I thought I knew all of The Posies’ various side projects (and believe me, there have been many to follow). Imagine, then, how surprised I was to find The Disciplines a few years ago. The Disciplines feature the Norwegian band Briskeby, fronted by Posies co-founder Ken Stringfellow. The band has flown under the radar in the United States (except for rave reviews in such music zines as The Big Takeover), but American listeners are missing out on some of the strongest vocal performances of Stringfellow’s career. From the band’s 2009 debut Smoking Kills, I give you “Best Mistake”: