You’d be pretty stupid to miss the Hush Records showcase Nov. 1 at the Living Room In NYC. Sure you’d miss Casey Dienel, Laura Gibson and Shelley Short but you’d also miss out on Jeff London. The two songs below are taken from Jeff’s new record Harm’s Way that he will be releasing himself sometime this year (or pick it up at the showcase). While the production is circumspect (but we like that right?) the songs are concise bits of poetry accompanied by piano, cello and guitar. Clinging People Watching
Change a couple letters around and you have the Pernice Brothers. This band’s sound has more in common with The Band and Dylan than that aforementioned indie soft rock stalwarts. The Felice Brothers are an upstate NY band made up of three brothers (they really are named Felice and are brothers). In the last year or two they have released two records that have garnered critical acclaim (so what if it’s been primarily by Europeans). The band will be doing a December residency at Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn so check `em out there if you can one cold winter’s night. Their song “Rockerfellar Druglaw” says more about the dark road of drugs in one song than all of Pete Doherty’s acting out combined.
Pieta Brown is the young daughter of Greg Brown. I’m guessing she hates seeing that in print all the time and rightfully so since her own music is something special in its own right. She has recorded an anti-war song, or I guess a pro-soldier song. It’s more like a “let’s get the soldiers home right now and stop f@&*ing around” song. A sentiment I think we can all relate to if you’re being honest with yourself.
Here’s a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” by your girlfiend’s favorite singer-songwriter Jude. Jude’s new album Redemption is out now in France and will be released in the states sometime this November. But you can buy it here now from CDBaby.
For my taste the bulk of signings of Swedish bands by US labels are quesionable. Not to take anything away from the artists who have been signed but I would have gone in a different direction. However Secretely Canadian has a pretty unimpeachable track record so I’m going to take them at their word that Frida Hyvonen is the bomb. Her piano driven art pop is not my cup of tea but I can see why it would intrigue people.
Until Death Comes is available now from Secretely Canadian and Frida is about to begin a US tour swing. Here are the dates:
11/01/06 Brooklyn, NY – Union Hall w/ Earlimart 11/02/06 New York, NY – Skirball Center w/ Walkmen + The Wrens 11/03/06 Brooklyn, NY – Sound Fix Records- 2pm 11/05/06 New York, NY – Tonic w/ Jospehine Foster + Rachel Mason+ Kath Bloom 11/07/06 Philadelphia, PA – M Room 11/08/06 Washington DC, – R&R Hotel 11/09/06 Norfolk, VA – Relative Theory Records w/ Trespassers William 11/11/06 Murfreesboro, TN – Casa Burrito 11/14/06 Baton Rouge, LA – Red Star Bar 11/15/06 Dallas, TX – The Cavern 11/16/06 Houston, TX – Proletariat w/ Drity Projectors 11/17/06 Austin, TX – Emo’s w/ Fiery Furnaces 11/19/06 Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen w/ Bishop Allen
El Perro Del Mar is coming to NYC (all the way from Gothenberg, Sweden) and releasing a new record on Nov. 14 on the Control Group. I’ve written about El Perro Del Mar here. These songs sound like they’re right out of an early 60′s film soundtrack. You know that time period when the beats were just fading out but the hippies hadn’t yet appeared on the scene. An innocent time but one with rumblings of sociopolitical and historical change right uder foot.
These shows should be prety special. In fact you’ll probably be reading about them soon on Brooklyn Vegan and Stereogum so acquaint yourself with her music now and just nod knowingly when the hype kicks in.
11/12/06 – Brooklyn, NY @ Zebulon Café 11/13/06 – New York, NY @ Joe’s Pub (7pm) 11/14/06 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall 11/16/06 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
We’ll Inherit The Earth is the new Replacements comp out now on 1234 Records. Made up of mostly punk bands (from San Diego?!) the songs on here capture the youthful exuberance of early `Mats records. The band druglords of the avenues recorded “favorite thing”. Here it is. There’s also punked up versions of “On The Bus”, “Skyway” and others.
ECA Records continues to defy convention and practically thumb it’s nose at the mainstream music establishment. How have they done that you ask? First and foremost by releasing Ramona Cordova’s brilliant but challenging debut record The Boy who Floated Freely, following that up with Christians and Lions’More Songs For Dreamsleepers and The Very Awake and now by putting out a cassette-only ep release by the band Kay Kay And His Weathered Underground.
While the cassette only aspect is a bit of a novelity the songs are nothing but. “Hey Momma” is the Sgt. Peppers meets West Side Story meets Ween freakout we’ve all been waiting for. Throw in a little dixieland coronet, banjo, muted trumpet, toy piano and Beach Boysesque vocal harmonies and you have one hell of a song. You can buy it here. Learn more about the wonderful word of cassettes here.
I think I may be jumping the gun on La Blogotheque’s great homemade video of Herman Dune perfoming two songs on the streets of Paris but I don’t think he’d mind. His video series is as special as anything on the web. He has documented bands like Ramona Cordova, Doveman, Okkervill River and Xiu Xiu. The videos are as low-fi as the music but it’s the capturing of these little moments and not the quality of the actual feed that’s so important.
Here’s Herman Dune performing two songs (“123 Apple Tree” and “I Wish That I Could See You”). Hang in there and make sure you stick around for the 2nd half of “I Wish…” The new Herman Dune record, Giant, should see the light of day in the states in early 2007 with a tour to follow.
Here’s the director’s introductory comments:
“It was 7 P.M. My street was waking up, people coming home from work, doing laundry, buying bread for dinner. And among them, Neman and David-Ivar Herman Dune played two songs, naturally. Their music was part of this life, part of the flow, as if it was normal, natural, having two guys playing music in this hour of everyday life.”
If you strip a band like The Verve Pipe, Oasis, Bodeans or The Samples down to it’s root elements you get a guy with a guitar singing simple folk songs. So for me it’s a treat when bands implode and we’re left with the smattering of remaining ensemble parts. The Verve Pipe was such a success and so hard to ignore but that’s exactly what I did. I guess I’ve heard the hits and while catchy they were not my thing.
Now the lead singer/writer has his second solo record out. Brian Vander Ark now tours in an rv, pulls up to the club, plugs in his acoustic guitar and just lets it rip. Afterwards everyone piles into his tour van for an after party/celebration of music that I’m guessing are more pure musical fun than all the stadium shows The Verve Pipe did combined. He’s relesing his music completely independently so if you like Verve Pipe and these songs below visit his site to buy the new record Angel, Put Your Face On.
Four good blogs bit the dust today. Quickly make it over to rbally, ctasly, good hodgkins and dreams of horses (sort of gone – go see for full explanation). Must be a full moon or something. Or should we blame Gerard, Idolator and the general blog backlash? It seems we don’t get any respect anymore. What a short half-life we had!
———– These songs came in the mail the other day from the French indie folk band Driving With Andy. I haven’t come to a final judgement on these songs so I leave it to you. Not surprisingly there’s something very French and romantic about them though.
I don’t have any hard and fast opinions on the band Split Endz. I don’t know if Neil Finn or Tim Finn was a better singer, songwriter or musician. I was a casual fan of the band. But like their brethen Squeeze, Yaz and Crowded House, Split Endz provided the pop music that some in my generation gravitated towards. Tim is now ancient and more closely resembles a member of Monty Python or an extra on a Johnny Depp film than a talented songwriter with an expertly crafted pop record about to be released.
The single (and video) “Couldn’t Be Done” from Imaginary Kingdom is a great piece of bouncy pop. If all was right in the world this would be a big hit. Since neither Tim nor the label have released that mp3 yet, I’ll link to two album tracks that show the whole record is a fun outing that wouldn’t be too out of place in the Split Endz catalog. Both songs feature lush arrangements with slightly fantastical lyrics (dreams, stars, ocean metaphors etc). This record just came out in the Uk and NZ so I don’t think you can buy it in the states yet but try anyway here.
Blogger ate my first post about this band so I apoligize in advance if my ramblings seem even more pedestrian and half baked then usual. I drove from Chicago to Boston and back this weekend with Sirius radio installed in a friend’s car. My first and last impression of their indie/college radio station is that it sucks. It’s only redeeming factor for me was the chance to hear all the bad bands that the blogosphere is constantly promoting (Cold War Kids, Art Brute, The Raconteurs, Libertines, etc. etc.) and to confirm my initial suspicions about them. However I was able to hear an interesting interview with Colin Meloy. The interviewer was terrible and proceeded to ask embarrassingly bad questions but it was interesting to hear Colin discuss how he had to berate Hush Records’ Chad Crouch into putting out the Decemberists first record. I think that despite the size of the label they are presently on, they would have been better served to stay with Hush or some other mid-sized indie.
Hush Records (Casey Dienel, Kind of Like Spitting, Laura Gibson) is good. They are releasing the upcoming record from Norfolk & Western (here) and have sent bloggers a web page with the full zipped album as well as artwork and bio. They’ve even provided links to a couple of indivdual songs for bandwidth challenged bloggers like myself. None of that would matter if they didn’t have the goods. The new record, The Unsung Colony, is due out on Oct. 24. The songs I’ve heard (especially “Arrangements Made”) lean more toward experimental soundscapes than the eclectic folk-rock of their earlier work. You’ll be hearing more about this band as other blogs begin to cover them and their national tour begins in early November (you can also see Rachel and Adam in the band backing up M. Ward this Fall) . Buy it here now.
The Kennedy’sSongs of the Open Road is now out. They’ve covered some of their favorite songs including Victoria William’s “This Moment”. And since I seem to be mentioning Victoria at least once a month, you’re now off the hook until November.
When I hit up the McKay Brothers publicist for a couple songs from their new record Cold Beer and Hot Tamales she replied with a “Yeehaw!” And that pretty much sums up the McKay Brothers experience. McKay Brothers have had a pretty good track record signing up the hottest producers Austin has to offer. In 2003 for their debut they signed up Gurf Morlix and now with their brand new followup they have hired Lloyd Maines to twirl the knobs. Their brand of smart mid-tempo country is out of favor with Nashville and because of that they join the fine company of The Deraillers, Willie Nelson, Joe Ely and Dwight Yoakum on the outskirts of the mainstream.
“Lock and Key” is a great little song off the new record but even better is the half English/half Spanish misogenous song “Las Bolitas” (seems to be unreleased for now). Buy the new record here.
Ramsay Midwood contacted me after my recent post about his upcoming record and I’m afraid I got a few things wrong and a couple right. There is a new record and it’ll be out soon but the version of the song that I posted will not be on it. This will be instead. Contact the label (firstname.lastname@example.org) to pre-order the upcoming release Popular Delusions and the Madness of Cows.
Video for “Esther” (with Kip Boardman, Mike Stinson, and Randy Weeks)
————————- In somewhat unrelated news and still on the Canadian tip: Luke Doucet will be releasing his 2005 Canadian release Broken (and other rogue states) in the U.S. next month through Red Eye Distribution. He’ll play three week long residencies in Chicago, New York and LA in the next month or so, check his tour dates and catch him if you can. Here’s the cinematic video for his song “Free”.
Quite Scientific has about the smallest roster of bands possible (2). But clearly their goal of quality over quantity is off to a good start as their band Canada’s debut is a college radio hit and a minor blogging sensation. I’ve written about them here. As far as I can tell next up from Quite Scientific is the band I Am A Bolt Of Lightning.
Don’t call this emo or the label will hunt you down. I think anti-folk would be safe but if you don’t hear from me tomorrow you’ll know who to blame. “Greely Square” is a new song that’s unreleased at the moment but scheduled to appear on a record sometime in 2006.
At some point in the next decade or two, and probably sooner rather than later, Wayne “The Train” Hancock will be one of the few true Texas swing meets honky-tonk performers around. His new record continues in the style he’s known for; simple two steps, western swing and crooning country similar to what you might have heard from Bob Wills or Hank Williams. His new record is titled Tulsa and is out on Chicago’s Bloodshot Records.
If you’ve got a hankering for music about Texas, drinkin, highways or death then Tulsa’s for you. In fact nearly all of these themes are covered in the first song released form this record – “Shootin Star From Texas”. Buy Tulsa here.
I’m sure if I did a search of this site I’d come up with multiple uses of the term folktonica. I’m not sure when I used it last but I knew when I heard Canadian Rebekah Higgs that’d I’d have to pull it out again. Her new self-titled record came out in September and appears to be released on her own label. Like Emm this is polished music with some soul.
You can order the record directly from Rebekah by emailing her here – email@example.com.
Rose Cousins (or here) is a wonderfull singer-songwriter from Halifax Nova Scotia who at times comes close to transcending that genre’s narrow boundaries. She mixes traditional instruments like banjo and guitar with her pure clear vocals. The closest comparison I can come up with (mind you last week when I wrote this post I was distracted by the Bears shutout win) is perhaps Shawn Colvin. She has recorded with everyone from Jill Barber to the Heavy Blinkers to the next big thing from Canada – In Flight Safety.
After two well received ep’s Rose is about to release her debut full length If You Were For Me in November. Buy it here from CDBaby.
Glad you found me at my new url. Songs:Illinois is committed to writing about music that is under-appreciated and unique. I've found that the music I write about shares a couple of traits. And they are: lyrical integrity, musically diverse, and written/performed by compelling characters.
Most songs found here are free and legal and have been provided by either the artist or label. If for some reason you'd like to have a song removed, please email me at cbonnell (at) gmail.com.