Archive for March, 2005

Sylvie Lewis Update – A Couple More Songs Off Of Tangos & Tantrums

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

I wrote about Sylvie Lewis here and even though I’d heard only one song I was impressed. The release date for her record has come and gone (Feb 8) and while we’re all on to bigger and better things I thought I’d revisit her debut Tangos & Tantrums.
Right click and save as song title and .mp3
By Heart
When I Drink

The song that caught everyone’s ears (at least mine and Christopher Porter of The Suburbs Are Killing Us) is “All His Exes”. I keep coming back to it on mix tapes and my ipod and I continue to find it a blast of fresh air. That’s still up at the original post linked to above.

Elk City – Songs from New Believer (summer 2005)

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

Elk City is the NY/Nj band that has the audacity to cover Galaxie 500, reference Jesus and Mary Chain and Phil Spector and dare call their music electro folk. What does this all mean. Their new record New Believer is not out yet but with fans and contibutors as diverse as the president of Bar/None records, indie producer extraordinaire Ray Ketchum and members of The Mendoza line this is going to be one release you’ll be hearing about.
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Lead singer Renee Lobue is back with a reformed Elk City. According to the website the volume is a little more amped, the rhythm section a little bolder and the soundscapes a little more expansive. Of course the beauty of a mp3blog is you can hear for yourself and tune me right out. Here’s two unreleased songs from the new record:

Silver Lawyers
Cherries In The Snow

Everyone’s Gone GaGa Over Architecture In Helsinki

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

Apparently one of the band members, Gus, has a side project called The Universe. They will have their debut release out in the US soon on MicroIndie. Here’s the song “Goodbye” from the MicroIndie. In a word this is dreamy, David Bowiesque, “Space Oddity” era psych-folk. On second thought that’s more than one word. Heck this is “Space Oddity”.

Goodbye

Gothic americana part deux – exclusive sneak peek at Liz Tormes’ Limelight

Monday, March 28th, 2005

I’m proud to bring you the music of Liz Tormes. This Nashville transplant and current New Yorker’s first release, titled Limelight, has just been released. Ken Coomer (of Wilco fame) and Jeff Johnson produced and she was joined by special guests Teddy Thompson and Ollabelle’s Amy Helm (Levon’s daughter?!).
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This is fairly stark yet beautiful music. I probably can’t say it much better than the Village Voice who raved,
Tormes plays a rich reverb-soaked guitar-based garage rock…powerful, haunting and rich, she is one to watch.”
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It appears Liz has put this out herself and it’s only available as a cd-r (which makes it even cooler). Here’s two songs from the new cd and I encourage you to support independent artists by buying this now at Miles Of Music.

Without Truth
Limelight

Exclusive first listen of Faris Nourallah’s King Of Sweden (plus one rare unreleased track)

Monday, March 28th, 2005

I’m thrilled to offer two tracks from the April 19 release of Faris Nourallah’s new disc King Of Sweden. I’ve written about Faris, his brother Salim and their band Nourallah Brothers in the past. The brothers record their oddly appealing pop-rock for Western Vinyl Records out of Texas.
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I usually compare one band to another to give you a sense of what to expect. But this time I’m stumped. In the past Faris been compared with Ray Davies and Eric Mathews. Faris recorded this solo record by himself in his 16 track home studio but it doesn’t come accross as some lo-fi basement recording. Both of the songs available tackle the theme of love. The first, “Reverse Engineering”, complains how there is no going back in time to correct ones mistakes. “Tattoo Your Woman” asks why must we be so possesive with girlfriends/lovers/spouses. Check out these two tracks exclusively on Songs:Illinois, as well as a bonus unreleased track available nowhere else (but perhaps Faris’s living room). Order this disc here now.

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Reverse Engineering

Tattoo Your Woman

Bonus unreleased song

Black Car

Great New Mp3 Blog -= SwedesPlease

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

I found this great new blog called SwedesPlease, actually I didn’t really find it cause I wrote it. And actually it’s not great yet although I expect it will be soon due to the incredibly high quality and extreme diversity found in modern Swedish music.
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On my Americana leaning blog, Songs:Illinois, I have posted several bands that while singing in English come from Sweden. The music they creat rivals anything independent artists in the US are putting out and of course is better than anything heard on mainstream radio/mtv or written about in the taditional music press. And unlike Songs:illinois which is contstrained by genre restrictions SwedesPlease will cover everything from hip-hop to indie rock. So without further ado I introduce you all to SwedesPlease and the first post therein from the band Strayfolk.

Emile Millar -Lazy/Hazy Day Music

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

Emile Millar’s been in a couple of LA based bands but it seems as if it’s his solo work that is going to get him the most recognition. His solo debut record Stay Here was just released and was a featured record at Miles Of Music. The sad sounding, lazy/hazy day music is accented by Emile’s husky soft voice and pedal steel guitar.
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The song “I Bet” with it’s lyrics of lost love and desperate relationships compliments the music nicely. For now I’ve only got this one song, but you can hear a few more on Emile’s myspace page and you can buy the full length at MilesofMusic.

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I Bet

Hula The Band

Saturday, March 26th, 2005

Hula plays a very soft style of indie rock. It’s Pedro The lion without all the ferocity. Yo La Tengo without Ira’s feedback driven guitar solos. Motley Crue without the…you get the idea. The lyrics go straight to the heart of the matter and are sung in such a world weary manner that they will definately change your mood one way or another.

Hula is one of these bands with next to no info available on their website. I suppose it adds to the mystery behind this band but for me it’s just plain annoying. However they’re quickly back in my good graces due to the fact that they’ve got four excellent songs online from their new album. Click to get it here for $10 paypal; you really can’t go wrong. Hula has a new record available soon, so stay tuned.

Spitting The Names
Mellow Fare
Over The Ground
Taking Pictures

Click here to go to the Songs:Illnois homepage with music from Greg Trooper, Jaymay, the Moore Brothers, Steve Poltz and Emiliana Torrini.

Greg Trooper’s Make It Through This World (April 12)

Friday, March 25th, 2005

To me a new Greg Trooper record is something to celebrate. His 2003 release Floating was one of my favorite discs of the year and is one of the most eminently enjoyable and accessible records you’ll ever hear. Of course not enough people did here it. Now the followup sounds like it’s a sonic cousin to Floating.
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Utilizing some of the same instuments and I’d guess some of the same recording and production techniques (tubes and analog I’m guessing) Make It Through This World has the same soulful sound as Floating. It must help to have the celebrated soul producer and songwriter Dan Penn (Irma Thomas, Soloman Burke and The Boxtops) behind the knobs.

“Dream Away The Blues” is the song Greg Trooper has added to his website as a preview to the whole release. It’s a great selection; listen to it below. Click here to preorder from Amazon. Click here for the back catalog.

Dream Away The Blues

As a bonus here’s two from Floating

When My Tears Break Through
Lucky That Way **Standout Track**

Jaymay – Singer/Songwriter Discovered!

Friday, March 25th, 2005

It’s fun to discover a new artist. One that hasn’t been blogged about ad nauseum. Someone who’s got their whole career in front of them. That person is Jaymay. I could tell you all about her upbringing and how she got to where she is today…but that’s not important; it’s the music that counts.

Jaymay is a singer-songwriter with a crystal clear voice who sounds like she’s found the secret to mixing folk, cabaret, and jazz (a new trend – Sylvie Lewis and Norah Jones also). If you live in and around NYC you’re lucky, JayMay will be performing at The Living Room on Mondays in May.

Three songs are available online with nothing yet available to purchase, so just sit back and relax (unless you’re a label type then get on the horn to your superiors).

Color Confused (From an upcoming EP)

What Happened (Unreleased)

Tragedy (Live)

Always on the lookout for THE next folk singer

Friday, March 25th, 2005

Could be Josh Joplin we’ll have to wait and see. He’s got no bio on his site but plenty of songs from his previous two albums The Future That Was and Usefull Music. Also Josh Joplin is planning on releasing an album called Jaywalking sometime in 2005.
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Here’s a one from that upcoming 2005 release:

There But For The Fortune **Standout Track**

Older Stuff

Wonderfull Ones
Future That Was

I’ve Changed

Silver Saddle – Another Swedish Americana Band – Is That Even Possible?

Thursday, March 24th, 2005

More Americana music from other parts of the world. This time Sweden. I read the other day that musicians in Sweden until recently were able to apply to the government for a grant to make their music. Some think this is why the Swedish scene is so diverse and successful. With privatization and a global economy (re. American economy) that prcatice is now halted. Ironic then that musicians from Sweden have embraced this pecualiarly American music form.
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Released in 2004 Silver Saddle‘s Four Miles From Here was a worldwide debut of sorts for the band as they at last had international distribution. In the US you can pick up Silver Saddle at Miles Of Music. It’s truly amazing that this band makes such beautiful American music. Here’s three songs from Four Miles From Here:

Dusty Line
Radio Song
Reason To Believe

I’m In Update Mode Lately So Here Is New Stuff From Bart Davenport (Another Moore Brothers Connection)

Thursday, March 24th, 2005

On Antenna Farms Records, released Feb 25, Bart Davenport has a new record with a slightly new direction from this American Brit-pop auteur.
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I wrote about Bart a few months ago here (the links to the songs still work). His new stuff is stripped down and still seems to be harking back to the 60′s, maybe this time with a little Bossanova thrown in as well. Buy it here.
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Paper Friend
Clara
Beg Steal Borrow

Euphoria *standout track*

I keep coming back to The Moore Brothers

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Whenever I’m checking into a band I like (especially if they’re based in SF) The Moore Brothers are somewhere in the thank you section. Now that I have learned the trick on how to convert streaming M3u files into MP3′s I’m ready to share this band with you. Greg and Thom Moore are the Moore Brothers, they have released records under various assumed names and as collabarators with other artists (records that came out on Kill Rock Stars, Kimchee and Anteanna Farm Records).
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Their latest record is 2004′s acoustic Now Is The Time For Love on Plain Recordings (can’t find the label’s website which is probably one reason more people haven’t heard of The Moore Brothers). Here’s a couple from that one as well as some songs from previous releases:

Color And Kind
Falling

Sad And Joy
Emotional Rollercoaster

Collossal Small

Li’l Cap’n Travis from Glurp Records (plus The Only Children)

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

Well I wrote this great post last night which was eaten by blogger, so now I will start all over again with Li’l Cap’n Travis on Glurp Records. Li’l Cap’n is the name of a band not a person and on the Glurp website they’re described as playing a woozy kind of twang. I’ve only got one song to go on from their most recent cd In All Their Splendor but instead of comparing them to Neil Young, Pavement or The Beach Boys (all named on their site) I hear Souled American.
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The band members have spent years in Austin honing their craft in countless country, folk, gospel and indie rock bands but together as Li’l Cap’n Travis they may have found their sound and their true calling. Here’s “Steady As She Goes” from 2004′s In All Their Splendor.

Steady As She Goes

Bonus music from an upcoming Glurp release by The Only Children (formerly The Anniversary). Here’s “The Girl with The Golden Hair” from Change Of Living.

The Girl With The Golden Hair

Click here for Wayne Omaha, Audra Kubat, Emiliana Torrini, Steve Poltz and many more.

Did Anyone Else Love the Rugburns?

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

I did and I’ve enjoyed Steve Poltz solo work as well. Steve’s last record is called Chinese Vaction and while it came out in 2003 I’m sure it’s not too late to revisit one of my favorite artists. Stevce Poltz’s website is set up as a blog with entries every couple of days including postings of his newest songs which are very rough drafts. Reminds me of They Might Be Giants’ Dial-A-Song thing although much more interactive with many people commenting on the songs.
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Needless to say Steve was the lead singer/writer for The Rugburns who put out some great records out on Mercury back in the day. Somehow he seems to have kept the rights to these records and he’s posted some mp3′s from these releases. Steve’s new music continues in a similar vein with witty, clever, downright hilarious songs interspersed with songs that convey deep feelings (sounds so SNL but it’s true). Click here to buy any of these records. First up are two songs from Chinese Vacation:

Friendly Fire
Chinese Vacation

From Steve Poltz’s One Left Shoe

Silver Lining
Beautiful Day

From The Rugburns Morning Wood

Single Life
Hitchhiker Joe

Newest songs from Steve Poltz’s blog

The Boy Needs A New Head
Mix It Up

Wayne Omaha (Fountains of Wayne, Mutual of Omaha?…no, just plain Wayne Omaha)

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Any band using a recorder type intrument, let alone a virtual symphony of recorders, gets my vote (much like Pianosaurus got my support for their all toy instrument band). That this eclectic and humorous band makes exciting and at times beautiful music is a big plus. In fact if I’m not careful Wayne Omaha could surpass Ox as my favorite Canadian band. Their new record Let It Mellow is not available through Amazon so I’m having trouble finding the release date for this one, but figure late 2004 early 2005.
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Their bio names all the usual suspects as influencers and shapers of their sound (they’re right on with VU, Yo La Tengo and Neil Young). So I don’t know what to say beyond that; if you want to buy this I’d start out at the Wayne Omaha website.

It’s Alright
Moonlight
A Girl Named Lee

Everybody’s heard of Emiliana Torrini but me!? (April 26) (Dreamy folk pop pt.2)

Monday, March 21st, 2005

Turns out she had a hit with “Gollum’s Song” on the Lord Of The Ring’s soundtrack, sang with Thievery Corporation, wrote a hit song for Kylie Minogue and put out an amazing solo debut record. Now Rough Trade is readying her sophmore record called Fisherman’s Woman due out on April 26. While I didn’t hear her first one, I take it that it featured deep bass lines and trip hoppy beats. Clearly then Fisherman’s Woman will be a fairly large departure, her fans at Amazon.com who bought the import of this record were not dissapointed, just so you know.
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I guess this record harkens back to a simpler time and place for Emiliana. Perhaps her Iclandic homeland. With a beautiful voice, perfect almost delicate musical accompaniement and great songs Emiliana Torrini’s Fisherman’s Woman deserves to be heard. The single seems to be the song “Sunny Road” linked to below, check `em all out and then click here to preorder.
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Nothing Brings Me Down
Sunny Road
Honeymoon Child

Audra Kubat – Since I Fell In Love With Music (April 19) (Dreamy folk-pop pt. 1)

Monday, March 21st, 2005

Audra Kubat records for the Detroit based label Times Beach Records. She makes beautiful folk inspired music. Like traditional English folk but with a lush dreamy backdrop and a lyrical bent befitting a modern midwestern woman. Her new record is due out April 19 and is simply titled Since I Fell In Love With Music.
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There’s a video or two online at the labels website and from these it seems her live shows are rooted in atmospheric folk simialar to those of Gillian Welch. This record is out on April 19 so there’s little info about it online or on the promo I have, however listen to these three songs and preorder now from Amazon if you like.
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All Or Nothing
Rise Up
Since I Fell In Love With Music

Two bonus songs from her 2003 release Million Year old Sand

Georgia
Tomorrow Never Knows

The Verna Cannon – Sleepy Music To Recover By

Sunday, March 20th, 2005

I like the sleepy music of Verna Cannon, I hope they wouldn’t be upset with me comparing them to Over The Rhine, Cowboy Junkies or the Canadian band Harte Rouge. The singer almost sounds like she has an English accent so these songs also sound like the slower moodier music of The Beautiful South and/or Belle And Sebastian (although I could be completely wrong). The drummer in the band is also the percusionist for indie rock favs Iron and Wine.
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They’ve got 2 discs out plus two unreleased songs on their website. The first two songs below are unreleased so we may see them on a scheduled 2005 release.

Marching Through The Snow
Blurry Line Demo from possible 2005 release
Sunday Fells Like Goodbye

Two from their 2000 release Movie Star Faces
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In A While
Ocean In My Eyes