Sound Off

Sound Off: DJ Dana on Courtney Marie Andrews, Source Victoria, and Sun Ghost

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Source Victoria: "The Only Road," featuring Lisa Loeb

Source Victoria is a rock band from Phoenix -- also featured in that Nylon Magazine article, where Jimmy Eat World mainman Jim Adkins compared them to one of my favorite bands of all time, The Afghan Whigs. Fronted by Brendan Murphy, brother of longtime Valley blogger Kevin "So Much Silence" Murphy (I've contributed to SmS over the years), this song also features guest vocals from singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb.

Up on the Sun: So that was "The Only Road" by Source Victoria. I picked that because it features Lisa Loeb, and it ties in nicely to what we were talking about, the evolution of the female singer songwriter, but I kind of wish I had played one of the more upbeat songs on the record, because we've just done two . . .

DJ Dana: . . . Very melancholy songs in a row [laughs]. But I liked it. The beginning reminded me of a Randy Newman song; then you have that same wall of sound coming in [at the end] again. I liked the piano a lot.

The chord change in the chorus was very classic. Randy Newman is a good one -- him and a little Beatles. What's interesting about these guys is that before this, they released a single of three different versions of the song "Once I'm Dead." The one on the record features Jon Rauhouse, but the single has different versions of it. One is the demo version, one is the album version, and one is a big rock 'n' roll version. What's interesting is that, to me, one of the defining aspects of a classic song is that you can play it any style.

You can interpret it any way.

Right, you can do a country version of it, a reggae version. If it's a really good song, you can do that.

Like Waylon Jennings. He made great decisions about what songs to cover. He covered everything from Bob Seger to Steely Dan to Stevie Nicks; just based on the song. If it was a good song, he could make it in his own style.

That's something I miss -- well, I can't say I miss it, because I wasn't alive when it was happening -- but a lot of my old records I'll dig through and see the same names in the credits over and over again. You'll see Randy Newman or Tom Waits' name on songs from every type of record. You'll see Kris Kristofferson's name. On Donny Hathaway live, you've got Carole King's "You've Got a Friend."

Maybe now, it's just so much bigger. Everyone can produce their own thing. Which is good, but things kind of get diluted.

And they get so stylistically spread out, too. Covers become like a novelty. Like, look, it's a sad version of "Hey Ya."

[Laughs] I know that guy you're talking about.

Not to talk crap about that guy. Maybe that's the same exact thing I'm talking about, an example of it still happening. A song transcending its genre. What I was getting at, with this Source V. song, is that I could have just as easily heard it as a power pop song, more upbeat. It's got a great melody.

The lyrics tied into what we were talking about. Going back to better times. Simpler times. With this economy, and everything happening, people want to go back to that time. Inevitably, it's going to. It's cyclical. People want things to be more home-based, home-made, and local. And it's reflected in the music.

Source Victoria is scheduled to perform and release a brand new album, Slow Luck, Friday, November 25, at Crescent Ballroom.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.