Archive for February, 2005

Pysch-Folk And More From Sufjan Stevens and Devendra Banhart

Monday, February 28th, 2005

Well not exactly, but both heros of the new folk underground contibute to the following songs by Half-Handed Cloud and Vetiver. Half-Handed Cloud is the work of multi-instrumentalist John Ringhoffer and Thy Is A Word And Feet Need Lamps is the name of their new release on Asthmatic Kitty. Sufjan plays drums on this one while John plays almost everything else (cello, guitars and lots of woodwinds).
Apparently most of the songs are bible stories or bible meyhem as the website states. Here’s a couple from Half-Handed Cloud:

Right click and save as song title and .mp3

You Get A HorseshoeLet’s Go JavelinAnimals Are Cut In Two [Download]

Meanwhile Vetiver is a band that contains Devendra Banhart but is a vehicle for the songs of San Franciscan Andy Cabic.
Here’s “Further On” from their new record:

Farther On

Bonus Sufjan Stevens and Half-Handed Cloud songs:


JasonYear Of The DogNiagra Falls [Download]

Half-Handed Cloud

Once, Twice, Seven Times A WerewolfWe’re Very Greatly Loved [Download]

Preview Kathleen Edwards’ New One – Back To Me

Monday, February 28th, 2005

Failer was record of the year for many in 2003. Kathleen Edwards debut disc captured all of the lyricism of Emmylou Harris and the raw power of Lucinda Williams’ rockin’ side. This Canadian from Ottawa suddenly lept to the top of the alt-country heap. Now two years later; on March 1st Kathleen Edwards is releasing her followup entitled Back To Me.


From the first listen it’s clear she has surpassed her much lauded debut. Joining her on disc are Jim Bryson, Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Benmont Trench. They cover Bryson’s song Somewhere Else and Old Time Sake was co-written by Peter Cash of the Cash Brothers. Here’s a preview of this March 1st release on Zoe Records (Rounder).

In State
Pink Emerson Radio
Summer Long

As a bonus here’s a couple from Jim Bryson:

SeattleOne Cigarette [Download]

The Houston (Brothers)?

Sunday, February 27th, 2005

These guys are brothers however they are not named Houston nor do they seem to be from Texas. The Houstons music is fuzzy, indie/american with some whirbles and electronic artifacts thrown in for good measure. They hail from Charlotte NC and have been prsied as one of the best local bands in that vibreant scene. They’ve got two records with three mp3′s total to share with you, the adoring fan.
Here’s two from their debut The Houston Brothers

This AfternoonTranquility [Download]

And one from their 2004 release I Take Care Of You

Is It Dusk [Download]

Charlie Parr Update – Tribute to the Anthology of American Folk Music

Saturday, February 26th, 2005

So it seems people enjoyed the Charlie Parr songs of a few days ago. Hopefully you’ll take him up on his offer and pick up some of his discs. Meanwhile he turns up on a French work in progress compilation on the French non-profit label Hinah (which I now realize is a truly incredible source for great music).
These songs were originally released on the 4 disc set Anthology Of American Folk Music compiled by the now famous Harry Smith between 1927-1940 for Folkways Records. Here’s four songs by Charlie:

Henry LeePeg And AwlMy Name Is John JohannaSpike Driver Blues [Download]

As a bonus here’s two more songs from this compilation one by Dave Decastro and one by the Portland band Everything Is Fine (they’ll get their own full treatment here soon). They both have a decidely different take on how to perform these American folk songs:

Dave Decastro

James Alley Blues [Download]

Everything Is Fine

Little Moses [Download]

Portrait Of David – More Obscure Music With a Norwegian Connection-Perfect For A Late Night Come Down

Friday, February 25th, 2005

Portrait of David released These Days Are Hard To Ignore on Racing Junior in 2004. I guess until recently this was import only but apparently they’ve now got American Distribution. Anyway click on the album link above to get this one from Amazon. I could tell you all about this band but I don’t think it’d matter, it’s pretty obscure stuff really and it probably won’t mean anything to you either but check out the songs.Sweet ThiefNine Day Wonders [Download]

Charlie Parr – The Real Folk Shit (Certified By Greg Brown and Low)

Friday, February 25th, 2005

Greg Brown (the high priest of folk music) says that Charlie Parr is just wonderfull and reminds him of Dave Van Ronk (high praise of course). Alan Sparhawk of Low says Charlie Parr is one of the greatest musicians and human beings he knows.


His newest release is called King Earl and came out in the spring of `04; it features Charlie on twelve string guitar, a national resophonic and a banjo, a friend stomps a board and plays the washboard and Christian McShane plays theremin on two tracks. Charlie’s got all sorts of deals if you buy his discs directly from him so check those out here. It’s a mix of traditional songs and some originals; here’s a sampling:

Reverend’s Eviction BluesMule RiderWest Bank 10th Street Rag [Download]

Other releases include 1922 which features the “often requested/much maligned” Jesus At The Kenmore. Here you go:

Jesus At The Kenmore1922 [Download]

Preview Thrill Jockey Spring Release Dimmer By The Zincs

Friday, February 25th, 2005

The Zincs are on Thrill Jockey and unfortunately for us Thrill Jockey has the worst website of any major indie label. There’s very little info on The Zincs on the website and apparently the band doesn’t have a website of it’s own (is that even possible?). Despite these technological shortcomings The Zincs have released a great sophomore effort.
What I have found out is that The Zincs is primarily the creative outlet for Jim Elkington, a British ex-pat living in Chicago. Something about the cold weather in Chicago has infused The Zincs music with a certain lethargy. In fact their last EP was Forty Winks With The Zincs a sleep themed recording. Their new one Dimmer is slated for an April 11 release date but we’ve (really just me) have got it here first. Here’s a sampling of some of the moody indie rock of The Zincs:

Breathe In The Disease
Bad Shephards

Right click and save as song title and .mp3

I’ve surprised even myself by finding a track off of their first cd Moth And Marriage on OhioGold. The song is “Bluestones”:


Mentioned Ted Hawkins A Week Ago Or So

Thursday, February 24th, 2005

Ted Hawkins was an amazing singer and songwriter who was discovered too late in life and died soon after his discovery. Although he had recorded some throughout the 80′s and had actually moved to Europe and become a star. He never quite had the success he deserved in the states. He would continually wind up busking on the boardwalk of Venice Beach.
It was there that he was discovered by Geffen Records and subsequently released his major label debut, The Next Hundred Years, tragically he died within a year of this breakthrough release. I’ve got some songs from this album as well as several from his last concert tour from The Final Tour on Evidence.

Strange Conversation
Biloxi (for me this is his signature tune)
As Long As I Can See The Light

There Stands The Glass

Right Click and save as song title and .mp3

Who Or What Is Pink Nasty?!

Thursday, February 24th, 2005

I guess it’s the nom de plum (is that even a phrase?) of Sara Beck; a Kansan who is trying to make sense of her humble existence through music. This is bar room, juke joint, good old southern fried country. It’s the country they used to sing and write before they ruined country.
good pink photo
I’ve only got one song to sample from her 2004 release Mule School and it seems like it’s her anthem, “What The Fuck” . You can order Mule School directly from Pink for a measly $10 at her website, in fact you get a bonus disc as well with demos and outakes.

What The Fuck [Download]

There’s more music on the website including an interesting selection of covers including her song from the recent Will Oldham tribute. Here they are:

Over You (Lou Reed)Valentine’s Day (Will Oldham)I’m On Fire (Bruce Springstreen)It Takes A Lot To Laugh (Bob Dylan)Is this It [Download]
(Live) (The Strokes)

Sssnake [Download]
(Demo From Mule School)

With A Name Like Wayne Robins And The Hellsayers

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

I should have expected the heavenly distorted din I encountered midway through their song “Jesus”. Wayne Robbins and band have just released their debut long player The Lonesome Sea and if the songs on their website are any indication they’ve hit the jackpot. Already climbing the Amercana UK Charts (what is it with these Europeans and their good taste?) Wayne Robbins disc is available at all the right places but you should pick it up at Miles Of Music (just because).
These three songs run the gamut from feedback-soaked, acid americana to british sea chanties (not exactly but “Sunset Ode” comes damn close). There are spin off bands and solo projects that I’ll feature, as soon as I can get the story straight. So here’s 3 from Wayne Robbins And The Hellsayers

JesusTime Ia Bird In Your EyesSunset Ode [Download]

Bonus Live Hellsayers Celebrating Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes

Down In The FloodTiny MontgomeryYou Ain’t Goin Nowhere [Download]

Jeffrey Luck Lucas Creates…

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

Slow deeply felt music. Jeffrey Luck Lucas is one time member of 80′s garage band The Morlocks and a classically trained cellist who has played with Chuck Prophet, Barbara Manning and others. In 2004 he released his debut Hell Then Divine that was chock full of his dark, visionary tales that would be the perfect soundtrack to David Lynch’s first western.
Here’s two songs from Hell Then Divine:

CascadeOld Mexico [Download]

Two equally strong home demos:

Just Like MothsWhat We Whisper [Download]

The Gourds

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2005

I always liked the Austin Texas based band The Gourds. They never were one of my most played cds and I never have seen them live although I’ve heard great things about their live show. They have a new cd called Blood Of the Ram that came out in the fall of 2004 on Eleven Thirty Records. They have a tendency to be influenced by and create music that runs the gamut from celtic, to blues to zydeco and of course rock.
These four songs from Blood of the Ram pretty much encompass all that is the Gourds. Whether it’s the blues infused Escalade or the Louisiana cajun thing “What I Do For You” these guys know how to have a good time. Compare to the Band, The Radiators, NRBQ or Los Lobos.

Lower 48EscaladeWhat I Do For YouCracklins [Download]

Rex Hobart And The Misery Boys – The Link Now Works Sorry About That!!

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

In a recent devolopement it seems that Bloodshot is now supporting the mp3 format so you may get tired of hearing about new releases on Bloodshot in the near future. The first one to blog about is Rex Hobart And The Misery Boys, their third release Empty House on Bloodshot is available in all your finer stores and online today (click on Bloodshot to pick it up for $12).
While only one song is up at the site it’s a doozy and from the bio it’s representative of the whole cd. Names dropped in the bio include Buck Owens, Haggard, Paycheck and Kristofferson; you can hear most of these influences on the song “The Good Ain’t Gone”.

The Good Ain’t Gone [Download]

The Perishers Preview – A Rare Dose Of Swedish Indie Rock

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005

Not specializing in indie rock makes it hard for me to write intelligently about a band like The Perishers. I know I Like Coldplay, The Doves and some of what Keane does. I guess it’s an update on the music I loved as a younger man (The Chameleons UK, The Smiths, the Cure, Echo And The Bunneymen etc).
Anyway I would describe The Perishers as kind of low-key epic. Their songs build and swirl until reaching either an exciting finale or just as often fading away. Their new record Let There Be Morning is going to see the light of day on Nettwerk Records in the US in April 2005. It seems like the single will be a song called “Sway”, while the two best songs seem to be “Weekends” and a duet called “Pills”.


Right click and save as the song title and .mp3

Bruce Robison – What Would Willie Do?

Monday, February 21st, 2005

Bruce comes from a fairly famous Austin family. His brother Charlie Robison is a recording artist in his own right. Bruce Robison is married to the beautiful and talented Kelly Willis and as you can see from the photo below they have twins). His sister-in-law is a member of the Dixie Chicks and her father is producer Lloyd Maines. In fact Bruce Robison wrote the number 1 hit song “Travelin Soldier” for the Dixie Chicks.
Bruce’s last record was Country Sunshine which he put together with his wife. This set of upbeat songs is perfectly represented by the nostalgic cover art. Here’s 3 songs from 2004′s Country Sunshine, including the funny and poignant “What Would Willie Do”.

Can’t Get There From HereBlame It On MeWhat Would Willie Do [Download]

Six Degrees Of Seperation (Calexico, Nick Luca, Kris Kristofferson and Marianne Dissard)

Monday, February 21st, 2005

So here’s Calexico with Marianne Dissard featuring Nick Luca whom I just finished blogging about last week. It’s only one songs but it’s a Kris Kristofferson song called “Casey’s Last Ride” so it’s worth at least three songs by mere mortal songwriters. And of course what can you say about Calexico that hasn’t been said.
The mystery woman is Marianne Dissard. All I’ve found out that she is a scenestar in Tucson and Paris, a filmaker and a collaborator with several prominent performance artists. Her vocals on this semi-obscure track from French label Hinah Records are a nice addition to the patented southwestern sound of Calexico.

Casey’s Last Ride [Download]

Christian Kiefer Update

Sunday, February 20th, 2005

Christian Kiefer was kind enough to send me a cd-r of his 2003 release Medicine Show. I’ll link to one more song but revisit my original post to hear more from Medicine Show. Also go to his merchandise page to pick up any of his previous work.


On Feb 23 Christian and Estero will perfom Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over The Sea cd in it’s entirety. Thet’ll be performing at Luna’s Cafe in Sacremento so check him out there or when he comes to your town.

Bad Water

The Guggenheim Grotto – Saturday’s Pleasant Musical Surprise

Saturday, February 19th, 2005

I had a post all prepared for today and then this mornoing I stumbled upon this Irish band called The Guggenheim Grotto. They’ve got an ep out from 2003 called A Lifetime In Heat, Damien Rice has called the title track genius and had it in high rotation on his iPod. Steve Wickham from The Waterboys called it one of the best cd’s of 2003. And until just recently they were scheduled to tour with Mark Geary (but that’s been cancelled).
The Guggengheim Grotto are working on their debut full length and hopefully when it comes out in March you’ll hear it here first. Here’s 4 songs from that EP (download times could be slow from their website but I had no problem)

A Lifetime In HeatPortmarnock Beach Boy BlueOne For SorrowAnd A Tear Isn’t Such A Bad Thing [Download]

Nick Luca (Played with Giant Sand, Neko Case and Evan Dando)

Friday, February 18th, 2005

Nick Luca has played with The Sadies, Calexico, Evan Dando and Neko Case. He continues to play and record with Giant Sand. So I’m guessing if you’re still reading this it is up your alley too.
Nick’s two albums seem a little hard to get, his debut Little Town is on Pantherfact Records while their new one, Slow Motion, is only available on the European label In The Sticks.

From Slow Motion

PainRecovery [Download]

From Little Town

Anywhere in America [Download]

Thanks to Every Note Secure I learned there’s a new Over The Rhine record

Friday, February 18th, 2005

And now thanks to Paste Music I see that they have put up two mp3′s for this new record Drunkard’s Prayer. You can now pre-order this record through Paste and everyone who does will receive and autographed copy and a special surprise from the band. Click here to pre-order
So here’s the two, as always amazing and beautiful, songs from the new Over The Rhine cd Drunkard’s Prayer:

BornDrunkard’s Prayer [Download]

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