Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boat


David Crane - front man for the lo-fi Seattle-based Boat - uses songwriting as an emotional outlet. The "music helps me filter out the feelings that I can't get out any other way. It is an outlet for my brain," he told music blog You Aint No Picasso.

Lyrically, his songs are narrative, and based on "personal stories"; this sentimental association makes it easier for him to remember the words. Crane still keeps details at a distance, which is a good thing, when it comes to fans who like to scrutinize the esoteric.

Boat's summer release of the lo-fi sophomore LP Let's Drag Our Feet maintains variety and a good indie-pop pace throughout. The sound has been compared to a eclectic list of bands. And Crane's vocals have been compared to Spencer Krug, which invites a comparison to Isaac Brock. In the midst of all comparisons, one song in particular may cause a disruption in the work flow of the stereotyping department - The Ferocious Sounds of Lobsters and Snakes.

profile @ myspace
home page @ ohnodisaster
mp3 @ magicmarkerrecords (i'm a donkey for your love - boat)
mp3 @ iguessimfloating (holding all the globes - boat)
mp3 @ magicmarkerrecords (last cans of paint - boat)
mp3 @ ohnodisaster (the bar is too low to fail - boat)
mp3 @ box.net (the ferocious sounds of lobsters and snakes - boat)
performance @ kexp
review @ pitchfork
review @ cokemachineglow
review @ popmatters
review @ spin
review @ stylusmagazine
review @ threeimaginarygirls
interview @ threeimaginarygirls
interview @ you ain't no picasso
label @ magicmarkerrecords

Monday, October 29, 2007

Awesome Car Funmaker


The bio on the home page of Madison-based Awesome Car Funmaker describes the band as "a spastic, energetic, crazy, party glam rock band..." The band's name was conceived by members who were not "allowed to leave the restaurant before a name was decided upon."

Juice - second title of the 17-track 2006 release Of Lovers And Monsters - certifies the energy output of this pop-rock dynamo. A catchy guitar-based jam.

Bass player, Justin Taylor, kept a journal of their July Midwest Bleeds Best Tour along with Cealed Kasket. A University of Wisconsin blog reviewed the first stop of the tour that took place at the lakeside Memorial Union Terrace.

ACF will be touring WI, IL and MN through the end of 2007.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ awesomecarfunmaker (juice - awesome car funmaker)
mp3 @ awesomecarfunmaker (time bomb - awesome car funmaker)
mp3 @ awesomecarfunmaker (brand new zombie - awesome car funmaker)
video @ youtube (brand new zombie - awesome car funmaker)
video @ youtube (outlaw - awesome car funmaker)
video @ youtube (dirty - awesome car funmaker)
review @ maximumink
review @ thedailypage
review @ madison
home page @ awesomecarfunmaker

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Owen


Mike Kinsella a.k.a. Owen released an album about one year ago titled At Home with Owen that steps away from the eclectic list of indie bands he worked with: Cap'n Jazz, Joan of Arc, American Football and Owls.

Bad News pulls the listener into the singer's painfully honest acoustic introspection.
whatever it is you think you are, you aren't
a good friend, unique, well-read
good-looking, or smart
well now you know
That last line is sonically absorbed by a fleshed out break that follows. Such vocal subtlety during a hook might seem unconventional. But Kinsella's voice fades to bring out the beauty of a trickling piano rhythm that follows - one scene transitions into another.

Kinsella laid out more tracks in the studio for At Home in order to "get closer" to how he imagines particular tracks should sound. "I hear the songs in my head a certain way," Kinsella told Scene Point Blank. And it is the first Owen album that was not produced solo. Some tracks were laid out at Semaphore Studios and Engine Studios.


profile @ myspace
mp3 @ polyvinyl (bad news - owen)
mp3 @ thankscaptainobvious (never meant - owen)
mp3 @ musicforants (the sad waltzes of pietro crespi - owen)
mp3 @ sxsw (she's a thief - owen)
mp3 @ freeindie (the ghost of what should have been - owen)
mp3 @ freeindie (in the morning before work - owen)
mp3 @ freeindie (places to go - owen)
mp3 @ thankscaptainobvious (never meant - american football)
video @ youtube (one of these days - owen)
video @ youtube (the sad waltzes of pietro crespi - owen)
stream @ purevolume
discography @ amazon
interview @ scenepointblank
label @ polyvinyl
wiki @ wikipedia

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Brunettes


Structure & Cosmetics - latest album by the platonic indie-pop team The Brunettes - is a bubblegum variety pack of styles. This established kiwi band was invited by The Shins to leave home turf for rich American soil, where they signed up with indie-monolith Sub Pop Records. Compared to previous projects, their fully fleshed out S&C reflects a bigger budget with a bigger record company.

The lead track Brunettes Against Bubblegum Youth has been compared to the 'choral symphonic rock'-candy of Polyphonic Spree for it's 'aaahs' and instrumental variety.

A creative balance is achieved between male and female brunette, as Jonathan Bree stated, "I'm the main songwriter, and she is very much a part of the creative process." In addition, Mansfield contributes the sonically superior vocals of the two - a girl-group feature of their distinguishing sound. As heard on Her Hairagami Set.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ pbsfm.org.au (brunettes against bubblegum youth - the brunettes)
mp3 @ pbsfm.org.au (her hairagami set - the brunettes)
mp3 @ subpop (small town crew - the brunettes)
video @ youtube (her hairagami set - the brunettes)
video @ youtube (boyracer - the brunettes)
video @ youtube (holding hands feeding ducks - the brunettes)
video @ youtube (polyester meets acetate - the brunettes)
feed @ hypem
review @ pitchforkmedia
review @ spin
review @ tinymixtapes
review @ stylusmagazine
review @ popmatters
review @ adequacy
interview @ theset.co.nz
label @ subpop
wiki @ en.wikipedia.org

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pleasure Forever


Pleasure Forever, formerly known as Slaves, has followed up their full-album with an EP of unreleased tracks and B-sides titled Bodies Need Rest. The band is currently inactive, while the three members work on other projects; each live in a different Californian city.

Their albums present a variety of styles, while vocal and guitar distortion are ever present. The Bar features distinctive post-punk vocals, with a gyrating rock guitar rhythm, which is built up at the beginning of this Black Flag cover song. The song has been pulled out of its original hardcore-punk wrapper for post-punk experimentation.

If there ever was a potential breakout Pleasure Forever hit, that would be Wicked Shivering Columbine. That title Subpop suggested as another name for the band's latest sky-blue LP Alter. Early in the track, a distorted vocal assault draws the listener to the edge of their seat.

The band's name expresses self-indulgence. But in contrast to the rock-and-roll archetype of self-destruction, exemplified by booze guzzling, and - at its worst - heroin addiction. Instead, risk is incorporated "in things that seem sensible," according to drummer Dave Clifford.
What our whole aesthetic and interest is [as related to human nature is] that we like to be perched at this precipice where we stand a chance of self-destruction in the name of pleasure and in the name of enjoying ourselves. To me, that’s a wonderfully poetic element of humanity, that we risk our own lives to make it feel like we’re actually living." - Dave Clifford

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ subpop (you and i were meant to drown | pleasure forever)
mp3 @ subpop (meet me in eternity | pleasure forever)
mp3 @ subpop (this is the zodiac speaking | pleasure forever)
mp3 @ subpop (wicked shivering columbine | pleasure forever)
mp3 @ warpedrealitymagazine (the bars | pleasure forever)
mp3 @ fanaticpromotion (fanatic promotion | mp3 | miles underneath)
stream @ aquariusrecords (aeon flame | pleasure forever)
stream @ aquariusrecords (axis exalt | pleasure forever)
review @ uk.music.yahoo
label @ subpop
label @ conspiracyrecords
bio @ scaruffi

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Chris and Thomas


Chris and Thomas, Los Angeles-based crooning duo, released their debut full-album Land of Sea during the summer. Along with standard instruments, their southwestern soundscape was sculpted with such tools as mandolin, cello, steel guitar and banjo. In this sonic space, vocals coalesce in harmonies that complement the focal point of their folk sound. True to their band name, neither singer abandons any of their harmonies to sing solo.

Through traditional folk-styled lyrics, the title track - Land of Sea - serenades with imagery of desert coyotes and night skies dense with stars. Smooth melodies to sooth the caffeine-inclined at mom-and-pop java shops.

At the 2006 Independent Music Awards, their song Take These Thoughts beat out four other finalists to take the Americana Song of the Year category.

At performances, Chris and Thomas are known to share a single condenser microphone like a couple of folkies performing on a corner pub's open stage.





profile @ myspace
mp3 @ defendmusic (land of sea - chris and thomas)
mp3 @ defendmusic (horse in the sky - chris and thomas)
mp3 @ aolcdn (take these thoughts - chris and thomas)
performance @ kcrw
video @ youtube (interview)
discography @ amazon
label @ defendmusic
home page @ chrisandthomas
feed @ hypem
review @ blogcritics

Friday, October 19, 2007

Beirut


The francophilian Beirut, a.k.a. boy wonder Zach Condon, developed a European-folk sound roughly resembling the debut of Wisconsin-based Pale Young Gentlemen.

Like an actor immersed in a role, Condon fosters ideas from obsessions with particular artists and styles. For his latest full-album The Flying Club Cup, he delved into Jacques Brel recordings, along with other collections of chansons. Another muse was the photograph used for the cover of Flying Club - a European beach scene from the early 1900s.
I was listening to a lot of Jacques Brel and French chanson music - pop songs shrouded in big, glorious, over-the-top arrangements and all this drama... - Zach Condon
Condon's baroque-pop fixations led to the release of two full-albums and three EPs during 2006 and 2007 - recordings flavored with Balkan and French influences.
It's a new obsession every year, a new obsession overcomes me and that's all I can do. - Zach Condon



profile @ myspace

mp3 @ carlsandburgvisits (nantes - beirut)
mp3 @ t-sides (elephant - beirut)
mp3 @ t-sides (the penalty - beirut)
feed @ hypem

video @ youtube (elephant gun - beirut)
video @ youtube (nantes - beirut)
video @ youtube (forks and knives la fête - beirut)
video @ youtube (the penalty - beirut)
video @ youtube (les bourgeois - jacques brel)

stream @ imeem.com (elephant gun - beirut)

review @ pitchforkmedia

interview @ mtv

home page @ beirutband

label @ badabingrecords

What do klezmer music fans think of Beirut's Flying Club album?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Barzin


The lyrical minimalism of the whispery Pale Blue Eyes by Barzin, from his self-titled debut, can be compared to the alt-country song Cow by Sparklehorse. Which itself stirs hearts through disconnected esoteric imagery. In contrast, Barzin's warm vocals reflect on emotional relationships in slow-motion - and quiet introspection - backed by pedal steel guitar and drums with brushes. In this dreamy sonic space, strings are encouraged to ring out, then fade. And a syllable can have a whole measure if it wishes.

Pale blue eyes
In search of flight
You do not know
How hard you will fall
How hard you will fall
In November 2007, the debut LP will be re-released in Europe by Monotreme to cover a wider area this time; as well as the digital internet offering. His next record is due in October 2008.

In 2006, Barzin released a second - wholly slowcore - album, My Life In Rooms, which contains the track Leaving Time. A Vincent Moon video captures the emotional essence of a man whose thoughts are overshadowed by the lovely face of the woman who left him.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ monotremerecords (pale blue eyes - barzin)
mp3 @ monotremerecords (leaving time - barzin)
mp3 @ monotremerecords (let's go driving - barzin)
feed @ hypem
video @ youtube (leaving time - barzin)
review @ almostcool
interview mp3 @ undertones
home page @ barzinh
label @ monotremerecords

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bart Davenport


Honeycut frontman Bart Davenport's Euphoria, off his second solo disc, sounds like a Van Morrison cover. Compare it to the R&B classic Domino - released at the end of 1970 - with its bouncy piano, and horn section. Which is a tribute to Fats Domino, who also featured horns. This links music history back to the 50s.

You can find Davenport's retro-pop track on his 2004 release: Game Preserve on which he seems to gravitate toward 70s singer-songwriters.


profile @ myspace
mp3 @ antennafarmrecords
video @ youtube (physical world - bart davenpoort)
video @ youtube (here comes my baby - bart davenport)
video @ youtube (want some - bart davenport)
video @ youtube (shadows - honeycut)
review @ pittsburghcitypaper
interview @ sfist
label @ antennafarmrecords

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cloud Cult


The Minnesota-based eco-sensitive Cloud Cult synchronizes with the theme of Blog Action Day through activities led by singer-songwriter Craig Minowa. Who fronts the band and started the environmentally friendly non-profit Earthology Records which "uses only recycled materials and donates all profits to environmental charities," according to Wikipedia.


Their sets are enhanced by live paintings by visual performance artists.

The previous - Advice From the Happy Hippopotamus - seems to be the band's best effort, as of late.

Minowa does not burden his lyrics with his pro-ecological cause - which remains active on the sidelines. In fact, any eco-message is esoteric, if detectable at all. In an EconoCulture interview he related how he does not "want to sculpt the message of the music to be too soapboxy. It can turn a lot of people off. So really all you can do is try to make really honest and loving music, something people gravitate to..."

mp3 @ beatlawrence (chemicals collide - cloud cult)
video @ youtube (chemicals collide - cloud cult)
profile @ myspace
review @ pitchforkmedia
interview @ econoculture
home page @ cloudcult

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Architecture in Helsinki


Formerly Northcote-based(now NYC) band revisits the synth-saturated decade. Indie-pop's sugar-spiked Architecture in Helsinki jacks up the jacked-in listener with dance-driven beats. The cosmic track Hold Music from their Polyvinyl Places Like This delivers a fizzy caffeine-buzz with vocals hinting at late-80s B-52s.

Most of the eight band members pull out multiple instruments during performances, adding a variety of orchestral toys to their sound. This may indicate why Helsinki is commonly tagged "a collective", as applied to this productive collection of musicians featuring a variety of instruments and styles.

On Places, Cameron Bird's vocals can be heard on every track. In an interview, Bird informed Dig that there is "one major government-funded alternative radio station [in Australia] that kind of dictates who's popular in the independent music world. As far as the scene, the support, and the music coming out of it, it's fantastic."

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ traciedwards (hold music - architecture in helsinki)
feed @ hypem
video @ youtube (hold music - architecture in helsinki)
reviews @ metacritic
interview @ weeklydig
home page @ architectureinhelsinki
label @ polyvinylrecords

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Amandine


This Uppsala-based band's latest full-album, Solace in Sore Hands, contains a stirring narrative with civil war imagery that might give listeners the impression that a sleepless Confederate soldier had actually penned the lyrics by the light of a candle. This coming from Swedish songwriter Olof Gidlöf of the alt-country group Amandine, but the uninformed might have assumed that a southern U.S.-based folk band produced the sonically authentic track Soldiers Hands.
and all the soldiers' hands were red
from all the tears and blood that's shed
Then the storyteller switches viewpoints from outsider to insider, offering both angles for the imagination to project.
and in the morning when the reveille
pulls us from more sleep
Through winsome vocal tracks, Gidlöf imbues the ongoing American Civil War story with deep iceberg blues.

Their most pop-friendly track is Secrets.

mp3 @ amandinemusic (secrets - amandine)
profile @ myspace
feed @ hypem
review @ pitchfork
review @ tinymixtapes
review @ popmatters
home page @ amandinemusic
label @ fat-cat.co.uk

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Lovely Sparrows


In the first verse of Chemicals Change  the singer considers father's recurring cliche:
if love's the truth, your heart's the consequence
After the familial quote, no more worn out statements follow, and none of the lines repeat - only the title's phrase. With an anti-hero's attitude, a self-absorbed singer-songwriter reflects on a relationship that has dissolved, and how the chemistry - the formula that initially drew it together - had changed. Shawn Jones' inviting intuitive introspection is absent in much folk material.
five days ago, chemicals changed
rearranged themselves in sad stubborn ways
Modern-flamenco stained fingers and maraca staccato oppose the desolate theme and Jones' somber vocal track(the liquor that keeps these separating fluids solute).

From two questions, the title of Sparrows'  2006 release can be extracted, followed by a few more lines that enhance its meaning.
can I pull up floors? can I pour on new paint?
can I lay down tonight and just forget your face?


profile @ myspace
mp3 @ abandonedloverecords (chemicals change - the lovely sparrows)
mp3 @ thelovelysparrows (i have a need you see - the lovely sparrows)
feed @ hypem
video @ youtube (backstage)
home page @ thelovelysparrows
label @ abandonedloverecords

Update:
In the lead number, Chemicals Change, singer-songwriter Shawn Jones ponders over a breezy flamenco guitar pattern...
- Austin Sound

Contacted Shawn Jones, to ask him about the "flamenco" reference, having detected something Spanish-sounding myself. He suggested, "what most reviewers are getting at is a loose latin feel that begins in the second verse [of Chemicals Change ]."

Jones added how he tends to avoid the "straightforward approach" when writing new compositions, and arranging instrumental harmonies, in particular. He likes "the idea of basic folk songs that are enhanced by an interesting arrangement." An example of such can be found in War Has Seen the Best of Me.

Shapes and Sizes


Shapes and Sizes has been compared to bands like The Fiery Furnaces, for their shape-shifting style(not to claim that Furnaces  and Shapes  have a similar sound). Since Shapes  is difficult to genre-tag, the listener might find it easier to discover comparable styles tucked away in particular tracks. This freak-folk fringe chameleon continues to snatch new sounds out of mid-air with its projectile tongue. But this is not a one songwriter band.
...there's three people writing songs for the band. I think that it makes the band's sound a little harder to pin down than some. I guess the challenges for the band might be different. When some bands are trying hard to make the songs sound varied from each other, we're often trying to make the songs sound more cohesive.
- Nathan Gage, 5/25/07

The first track of their first, self-titled LP, Island's Gone Bad, is a two-act example of the group's genre-jumping potential. In the middle of the track, a new drum rhythm starts, which could be taken as the beginning of a new song. Lyrically, in a sense, the whole song seems to be an analogy, with modern society lapsing into Lord of the Flies-style cannibalism. Also, there is a character in the novel - nicknamed Piggy, which happens to be the title of a track on their new LP.

mp3 @ sxsw (island's gone bad - shapes and sizes)

Shape's  sophomore Split Lips, Winning Hips, a Shiner continues to establish their reputation for convention cracking compositions.

The two tracks - Alone/Alive  and Teller/Seller - each have a forward slash in their title. Coincidentally, one of Nathan Gage's favorite bands is the avant-garde Akron/Family.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ recidivism (head movin' - shapes and sizes)
mp3 @ asthmatickitty (alone/alive - shapes and sizes)
mp3 @ teamclermont (teller/seller - shapes and sizes)
mp3 @ greenclothesmusic (piggy - shapes and sizes)
feed @ hypem
video @ youtube (piggy - shapes and sizes)
video @ youtube (teller/seller - shapes and sizes)
review @ pitchforkmedia
interview @ stagehymns
home page @ shapesandsizes
label @ asthmatickitty

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Papercuts


Including a compilation of home-recorded demo tracks, Can't Go Back is the third release by northern California-toned Papercuts - sonically suspended in late-60s amber by singer-songwriter Jason Quever.

Quever teases mid-60s Dylan with a one-two beat in Take the 227th Exit. A more market-friendly track, John Brown  continues through the psych-folk scented coastal fog - a consistently articulated dream scape. Where peripheral glimpses of the silhouettes of Spector and Dylan can be detected.

His recordings remain lyrically developed and compositionally complete - unlike so many primitive indie-folk recordings. Which themselves stagnate, more than they enhance the genre. Quever demonstrates how far beyond open-mic folk he really is.

mp3 @ gnomonsong (john brown - papercuts)
profile @ myspace
review @ pitchfork
label @ gnomonsong
feed @ hypem

Saturday, October 6, 2007

New Buffalo [Somewhere, Anywhere]

On Feist's latest discography is the title 1234, written by Sally Seltmann, a.k.a. New Buffalo.

The folk nuances of Seltmann's soft-hearted down-under accent combine with keyboards, and manifestations of digital samples and electronic elements.

The hypnotic sonic effect of panned vocal harmonies highlight Cheer Me Up Thank You, on her 2007 second full-length project Somewhere, Anywhere. The panning harmony returns just before the chorus, then sweet soprano notes carry the imagery of a heart drifting through the paradise of romance:

wild flowers growing in the park
summertime, and it melts into dark
dancing together at night until two
you're cheering me up and I'm thanking you

Pale Young Gentlemen


Madison-based Pale Young Gentlemen can be tossed into the baroque pop genre. But their classical compositions featuring piano-cello arrangements are much more baroque than pop. From a group that gives riffs to cello - rather than some distorted electric guitar - the typical indie-head may not expect to find anything buzzworthy. True that - in an MTV sense - but not every ear insists exclusively upon stereotypical pop formulas that spark in the upper slots of the independent Billboard chart. Where you can find emo, rap and death-metal jockeying for position in the top 20.

There may be indications that PYG will not repeat the same theme and style saturation next time. The indie-rock-pop genre tag in their MySpace profile does not seem tongue-in-cheek. A band of this sort would need to lean toward a more popular sound in order to increase their fan base. They clearly have the talent to accomplish that.

PYG's self-titled debut LP is an example of a dark horse avant-garde band disguised as a group of musicians crammed into a tiny orchestra pit in a little theater. The work of a innovative band showing off its classical chops to the world.

mp3 @ obscuresound (fraulein - pale young gentlemen)
mp3 @ obscuresound (saturday night - pale young gentlemen)
profile @ myspace
review @ adequacy
review @ tinymixtapes

Friday, October 5, 2007

Cat Power


Cat Power's latest album The Greatest peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart - which is "based solely on sales". When considering Chan Marshall's story, missing from such an assessment are the factors of cult status and critical reviews. Perhaps a chunk of her wholeheartedly enthusiastic long-term fans have considered the stylistic detour - which the album took - a bum rap. But, based on comments coming out of the cluttered offices of critical acclaim, Greatest blows a hole through the graffiti etched brick wall of her cult stratum. Which opens the door to a wider fan base.

The album's title track takes Chan back to home turf, and includes guitar work by Mabon "Teenie" Hodges, "lead guitarist and songwriter on many of Al Green's popular soul hits of the 1970s." Add to that a group of musicians who took part in the shaping of Memphis soul in the late 60s. Most of the tracks were laid down in one take. Such a influential lineup may be part of the reason why The Greatest costed 7 times more to make than any of her previous albums.

player @ myspace
interview @ harp
mp3 @ matador (the greatest)
real player @ matador (he war)
real player @ matador (cross bones style)
label @ matador

Update:

Against their will, a Cat Stevens cover song has become a hit for Matador Records, sort of. Chan Marshall, sung on a 30 second long recorded section of the song How Can I Tell You, that was used in a generic diamond commercial(probably DeBeers). Marshall's performance proved to be very marketable. During the approaching 2006 holiday season: "For the past several weeks, our esteemed General Manager has been besieged with daily email from persons desperate to purchase some version of this recording," wrote Matador Records Co-President Gerard Cosloy.

Check out the cross-fire between hungry fans and frustrated record company execs on the Matador Records Blog.

video @ youtube (how can i tell you - cat stevens)

As the Cat Power breakout buzz gets a little louder, fans search for information about Chan(pronounced "shawn") Marshall, the law of supply and demand has resulted in more video interviews popping up in YouTube. Below is a partial link listing of various interviews at different stages of her career.

video @ youtube
video @ youtube
video @ youtube
video @ youtube
video @ youtube
video @ youtube

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Spoon



This Austin-based band has a solid long-term following—above ground and below. The tinny band name Spoon was inspired by the title of a 1972 avant-garde krautrock hit of the same title. These days, we use the tag experimental  to reference sound sketching bands that enhance the underground music scenery—and occasionally spike up on popular music charts.

Pitchfork contributing writer Eric Harvey gave Underdog  the if-any-track-was designation of quintessential Spoon pop single. Coincidentally, Spoon has a band member by the name of Eric Harvey who contributes keyboard, guitar, percussion, backing vocals.

Consumers use a spoon to scoop up every drop, as you should. Spoon's latest entrée Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, is a track listing of savory rock creations, and has nothing to do with the Heimlich manoeuvre. Also, any valley girl-ian gag me with a spoon reference is antithetic. Their latest sonic menu is a g-g-g-g-grower, according to the highfalutin critical crowd.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Art in Manila


After receiving differing opinions from legal consultants, "the band formerly known as Art Bell" is now labeled Art in Manila. The former, a more direct reference to the well-known radio host for paranormal research programming. Who in recent years, relocated his show from Nevada to the Philippines - then back to Nevada again.

Band leader, Orenda Fink, is singeing Smokey Bear with the group's August debut of Set the Woods on Fire. Lyrically, her material can tend to be introspective - with explicit details camouflaged, as opposed to a stereotypical "emo tell-all."

Fink's sensuous somber vocal habit carries the upbeat Our Addictions  through haunted string stretches and twangs of country-rock.

stream @ pitchfork (the sweat descends - art in manila)
mp3 @ pitchfork (set the woods on fire - art in manila)
mp3 @ lostinyourinbox (our addictions - art in manila)
mp3 @ saddle creek (the abomination - art in manila)
interview @ miami new times (orenda fink)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Acorn


This month, the fruit of the oak falls to make a sweet sound in the forest with Glory Hope Mountain. A word play title and lyrical silhouette of Gloria Esperanza Montoya, mother of Rolf Klausener - main songwriter for The Acorn.

Last December, this Ottawa, Ontario-based folk-rock band released the six-pack EP Tin Fist, after a year-long tour.

The Acorn is now slated to perform at the second venue of their 21 stop Canadian tour that will hit Montreal on October 11th. The home town of keyboard player Keiko Devaux, who joined Acorn in 2006.

Klausener informed Exclaim! that Lullaby (Mountain) captured the essence of the relationship between he and his mother. Also, after learning that Honduran lullabies were traditionally sung by one or two women, the feminine touch of Casey Mecija from Toronto-based Ohbijou was used for the six-pence sweetened vocal melody on Glory's final track.

mp3 @ gvsbchris (lullaby mountain - the acorn)
mp3 @ ipickmynose (dents - the acorn)
mp3 @ quickbeforeitmelts (blankets - the acorn)
interview @ exclaim!
label @ paper bag records

Monday, October 1, 2007

Broken Social Scene


In 2006, Toronto-based Broken Social Scene performed 7⁄4 (Shoreline) on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. 7⁄4 indicates the complex time signature of the composition. By listening closely to the drums, one can count out the seven beats. In addition to that, there is a half-beat pause before the accented cymbal, on the seventh beat. The musicians are counting: | 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 | 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 | - which is also revealed by the drum pattern.

Feist fans will be able to recognize the vocals of band member Leslie Feist, who is currently signed with a major label.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ jonmwang.com (7⁄4 shoreline)
label @ arts&crafts
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