|[MP3] Sandro Perri - Sky Histoire|
Sandro Perri, best known as the songwriter behind Polmo Polpo is releasing a CD in which he reworks some of his own songs in a bare bones, folk centric arena. "Sky Histoire" is the third track on Sandro Perri Plays Polmo Polpo, and by far one of the most affecting. His voice is vibrant & his guitar sinewy, spread thin but strong enough to gather the tamborines and trumpets into the chanting circle and stare daydreaming in the sky. Look for this album to be released on Constellation Records.
[MP3] Frog Eyes - Future Fortress
When I first heard the song "Picture Framing The Gigantic Men...." from The Golden River I could hear the waves crashing, and the joints of the boat creaking in the swell, it was a sea chantey, a new and beautiful sound to my ears, and just like that I was hooked on Frog Eyes. They've had a string of releases since, all seemingly more so under the radar than their debut. "Future Fortress" is off of their new EP The Future Is Inter-Disciplinary Or Not At All, and is a great taste of what will assuredly be a fantastic album.
[MP3] Damon McMahon - Not A Slave
Former frontman of Inouk, Damon McMahon is releasing an album of homebody guitar tracks on electro-centric label, Astralwerks. It's a great collection of songs embodying the songwriting nature of James Taylor and the confident doo wop swagger of Marc Bolan.
For quite some time now I've had a small fixation on the Elephant 6 Collective and its respective members and bands. I grew up with my ear fixed over records from the 60's and the spirit of the collective's music exudes that generation, some would say almost to a fault. Well E6 dissenters, the latest release from The Minders stands as another great notch in their collective belt. The album, entitled It's a Bright Guilty World is a breezy walk through the hills of pop music. Bits of orchestration nestle alongside sunshine harmonies and the everpresent jangle of Martin Leaper's guitar. A number of somber tunes are mixed into the bunch, showing another side to Leaper's usually carefree atitude. Proving the signs of age and maturing are only a natural progession of their sound. Of Montreal may have moved to New Wave territory, Mangum continues to be an habitual recluse, and Beulah may have called it quits but the spirit that brought this collective of musicians together is alive and well in the Minders.
[MP3] The Minders -Savour All The Days
[MP3] The Minders -Crest Of The Hill 2:05:00 PM 0 comments
|Um...........Holy crap! This is good, like really good. It's making me a bit uncomfortable....I've forgotten how to process anything that doesn't sound like generic 70's am radio revival, or you know, alt country.....It rocks, but it's different, noisy and um, i don't know, but i like it.....a lot. Yeah but it's just the first song....Ok, so this is good too, and it sounds not much at all like the first track, it's got beats and I think they're screaming....what are these guys trying to pull? Kind of reminds me of the Psychic Ills....Yeah yeah....sort of like the experimental parts of Black Mountain....totally.....though i didn't like it much when they did it,...or that "ride the white horse" song....totally....but this is f#$kin' good! Yeah man, wait till you hear the next track.....what are these guys called again?.....Indian Jewelry...Oh, cool........cool....Awes|
[MP3] Indian Jewelry - Lesser Snake
[MP3] Indian Jewelry - Health & Wellbeing
Visit them at Myspace.
Lindsay Van Demark writes an understated brand of piano pop. Her songs ring with an unoticed charm, like the girl next door you've been friends with since third grade. The kind you share at least a few completely ridiculous inside jokes with. The one you watched movies with crosslegged and platonic for years and never noticed how absolutely beautiful and perfect she is unil it was too late. So you'll always look for a piece of her in every girl you meet. Van Demark comes accross like a more subtle Regina Spektor. Her pop has humor and humility and a bit of goofiness to it. The kind that can play a plaintive melody but can't resist the urge to slam on the piano keys to make you take notice. She's currently working on a new album due out near the end of the summer. "When I Go To Sleep" is a preview of what's to come. In the meantime you can purhase her previous album in all its handmade glory here.
[MP3] Re-Cognition -When I Go To Sleep
[MP3] Re-Cognition -My Heart
[MP3] Re-Cognition -The Fool-Eyed Heart
|Fear Itself - Fear Itself|
Fronted by enigmatic lead singer, Ellen McIllwayne, Fear Itself's sound was informed and influenced by the delta blues. The band worked in a number of standards amongst their roster of originals and had an adept interpretation of the form.
| The secret behind their incredible sound though lay in McIllwayne, a powerful singer on par with Janis. She could not only wail like her male counterparts but she could best them at slide guitar as well, proving to be the key to the band's sound. The band played for awhile in the New York club scene but eventually lack of funding drove them up to the countryside of Woodstock. Sadly though due to the death of one of their members only a year prior to the festival the band had disbanded before they could really make an impact. Ellen went on to a small but minor solo career but never really produced anything as significant as she did in Fear Itself. |
[MP3] Fear Itself -Crawlin' Kingsnake
[MP3] Fear Itself -Born Under A Bad Sign
Buy Fear Itself
|Leaf Hound - Growers Of Mushroom|
Great bands of this era tended to have a mixture of charisma, talent, bravado and a little bit of hedonism. This is what brought Zeppelin, Sabbath and pretty much any other band of the hard rock variety to
| stardom. If there is one band that was on par with any of the great bands of the 70's, it is Leaf Hound. Recorded in just one straight 11-hour session, this album is truly one of the greatest lost gems of the era. In fact the original album was recently voted the most collectable rock album of all time by Q magazine, and quite rightfully so. Few other albums had such consistent quality as Growers of Mushroom without achieving international acclaim. Notwithstanding, the aspirations of the group members proved to be their own undoing. Vocalist Peter French left the group to form Cactus, a band who never achieved anywhere near the quality of Leaf Hound. Following his leave the band pretty much called it quits. This album stands as a testament to what they could have been. |
[MP3] Leaf Hound -Freelance Fiend
[MP3] Leaf Hound -Sad Road To The Sea
Buy Leaf Hound
|A woman picks a guitar effortlessly under an orchard tree full with autumn leaves. She is barefoot, beautiful and stares into the clouds; never glancing down at the strings while she plays. She plays to the wind with little care for whomever else might be listening. Her songs aren't sad but there is sorrow in them. Her songs aren't happy but there is joy in them.|
| Sioux's songs creep from the corners of the room and roll down the back of your neck; surprising your senses and giving you a slight chill. She echoes herself in a perfectly nuanced double tracked vocal, like whispers of long lost loves that wake you from a dream. Her voice is clear and strong with just the sligtest western twang that adds an unmistakeable humanity to her songs. She has no album as of yet but we can only wait and hope. |
[MP3] Mariee Sioux -Buried In Teeth
[MP3] Mariee Sioux -Wizard
[MP3] Mariee Sioux -Ghosts In My Heart
|[MP3] Psychic Ills - Another Day, Another Night|
Probably without knowing it, Psychic Ills have become the savior or modern psychedelic music. They grace the limits of atmospheric soundscapes, folk, rock & roll, and garage-psych all at once with an encompassing clutch. “Another Day, Another Night” comes from their debut full length Dins. It’s a spaced out jam with echoing, indecipherably layered vocals over a rolling drum rhythm, occasional twinkles of xylophone and a nervous guitar line; a subtle and waning fury. This track is a slow burn epic, culminating in hi hat crashes, an all out guitar frenzy, and a straight shot to the soul of any lover of psychedelic music.
[MP3] Sebastian Tellier - La Ritournelle
I haven’t been able to stop listening to this track since it arrived in my inbox. There is surprisingly not too much stateside attention given to Sebastian Tellier, however he does seem to know the right people. He’s been interviewed by Philip Glass for Interview magazine, photographed by Karl Largerfeld and has three albums on Air’s label Record Makers under his belt. “La Ritournelle” is a paralyzing, soulful song with a four minute instrumental intro which builds and expands with gorgeous string arrangements. One of the catchiest and most poignant songs I’ve heard in awhile.
[MP3] Ramona Cordova - Giver's Reply
Ramona Cordova was recently featured on Good Hodgkins, which noted the escapist nature of his music. His songs range from traditional Spanish flamenco music complete with handclaps (no dress though) to simple folk love songs. “Giver’s Reply” is a striped down keyboard heavy track with brilliant production. Judging by the songs I've heard so far he’ll definitely be a unique and important voice in indie songwriting.
Thee, Stranded Horse
|Somewhere in a rural farmhouse in France towards the end of the '60s a man sat with his guitar and began to play. What would he create would be cloaked in solitude, the mysteries of the hillside and his old doo wop 45s. Thee, Stranded Horse akin to the music he makes is a mystery. He may not be that|
|lost treasure of the European 60s underground, but he may as well be. His voice, caught somewhere between Devendra Banhart and Jose Gonzalez, whispers with the intensity of mortar shell. The guitar work is intelligent, sparse and expressive; try not to get the goosebumps.|
[MP3] Thee, Stranded Horse - Tainted Days
[MP3] Thee, Stranded Horse - So Goes The Pulse
Visit Thee, Stranded Horse at Myspace.
|I've seen a couple of posts bandied about the blogs regarding Matt's work (Songs:Illinois, MOKB) and it prompted me to check him out. Bauer has a plaintive almost somber style to many of his songs. They capture the spirit of a time forgotten, reflective but not mired in the past, not unlike collaborater and kindred spirit Jolie Holland. Bits of bluegrass mingle with whisky soaked ballads that|
| leave the taste of sour mash and smoke on your tongue. Bauer's original compositions mesh well with his traditional selections creating a new era of oral tradition. Hopefully years from now his songs will be played in country fields, the notes worn from memory but the story just the same.|
[MP3] Matt Bauer -Heap of Little Horses
[MP3] Matt Bauer -Jordan In A Plastic Bag
Matt Bauer's new EP Wasps and White Roses can be purchased here along with his previous album.
|It’s too hot to move, the fan spins at a nauseating pace and without purpose. The heavy wooden window dangles at attention in its jamb waiting for the breeze. Every rustle of the grass is an inspired second that’s melted away in the sweltering patience. At last the leaves dance like children in the trees and the windowpane creaks and the water on your back turns to ice. A sweet and vicious memory; when you|
|tickle the edges of reality with a subdued hand, and feel your vital solidarity. You’ll hear violins and banjos and you’ll sing along; the sensation of joy and purpose. It starts in your legs and wanders without effort caressing the underside of your skin. Green and yellow Texas afternoons, heavy heated rain showers and the right songs at the right time are capable of this.|
[MP3] Horse Feathers - Finch On A Saturday
[MP3] Horse Feathers - Blood On The Snow
[MP3] Horse Feathers - Like Lavender
[MP3] Horse Feathers - Eyes Full Of Rose
Horse Feathers are Justin Ringle and Peter Broderick; friends from Portland that make fantastic basment folk. The result is beautiful affecting music, both hopeful and melancholy.
Visit them at Myspace.
|Count Five - Psychotic Reaction|
The Count Five have to be one of my favorite 60's garage bands. Sure they aped The Who quite a bit, but Psychotic Reaction is a quintessential song that will always cement them in music history. They are rife with fuzzed up albeit a bit jangly mod-
|punk anthems and this album contains some pretty decent Who interpretations (but three may be a bit too many). The album is damned fun despite its shortcomings and from the first few bars of Psychotic Reaction, just try not feel the urge to move about. |
[MP3] Count Five -Psychotic Reaction
[MP3] Count Five -Can't Get Your Lovin'
Buy Count Five
|The Stillroven - Cast Thy Burden Upon...|
The Stillroven were the biggest thing to come out of Minneapolis until Prince stole their crown. Stillroven do justice to a fair number of standards including tracks from the Animals, Small Faces and their blistering cover
| of Hey Joe. You can practically hear the roots of punk taking shape on their scant 2:37 version of this tune. This retrospective takes a look at the several incarnations of the group, traversing from loose young punks to a more polished group, influenced by the Faces and the Beatles. Little Picture Playhouse is a great example of their later influences adding a clean piano hook to their fuzztone sound. |
[MP3] The Stillroven -Hey Joe
[MP3] The Stillroven -Little Picture Playhouse
Buy The Stillroven
Australian singer-songwriter Grand Salvo, Paddy Mann to his friends, writes delicate melodies that lilt across the prairie and into your speakers. His latest record, The Temporal Wheel sounds like a perfect mix of Kings of Convenience and Iron and Wine. Not such bad company to be in if you ask me. Recorded straight to analog tape in a small wooden studio in an isolated area of New South Wales, the album echoes the calm and beauty of this serene environment. The songs here are surreal and literal at the same time, with almost childlike lyrics that express the idea of reminiscence perfectly. Like being lead through a dream hand in hand with your imaginary friend and trying to make sense of the pictures. The Temporal Wheel and Grand Salvo in general have yet to really make an impact on U.S. ground but I think its only a matter of time.
[MP3] Grand Salvo -Brave Like A Goose
[MP3] Grand Salvo -Three Cats
What A Friday For A Song(s)!
Winter Took His Life
Susanna Brandin's songs remind me of cold winter mornings staring out of a grey bus window in Junior High. They capture the perfect mixture of hope and lonliness and air so cold it burns your eyes. Her song writing is delicate but not timid, quietly beautiful and unabashedly aching with emotion. These are songs for latchkey memories; songs for desperate snow angels. She has a few homemade eps out now and if you contact her site you can purchase one. I've still been kicking myself for discovering her music just days after she played here in New York but hopefully she'll come back this way again.
[MP3] Winter Took His Life -When You Said You Headed Home
[MP3] Winter Took His Life -Where I Can See The Sun
Wooden Wand and The Sky High Band
|Fortune has smiled on your ears as two of Folk Musics' most prolific and talented songwriters have teamed up. Glenn Donaldson (Skygreen Leopards, Birdtree) and James Toth (Wooden Wand) have teamed up on this release due out on Kill Rock Stars in September. Not only is Donaldson a collaborator but the rest of the Sky High Band is basically a combination of members of the Vanishing Voice and Donaldson's Flying Canyon. This album is reminiscent of Toth's solo outing on Soft Abuse but with a bit more polish. The album is a dusted country ramble through salt of the earth folk and back porch sing-a-longs; full of muggy backroad dirges sung by roadside troubadours cleaned up so that they can sit at the dinner table. Quite possibly Toth's best work to date, which considering his catalog is saying something.|
[MP3] Wooden Wand and The Sky High Band -Rolling One Sun Blues
[MP3] Wooden Wand and The Sky High Band-The Bleeder
This seems as good a time as any to bring up the fact that the prolific nature of Wooden Wand makes him prone to a bit of hit or miss efforts and releases. Some songs are incredible while others can be difficult or slapshod and need a patient ear to get through. I thought I'd run down what I consider to be some of the brigther moments.
[MP3] Wooden Wand-Holla Din Joy
[MP3] Wooden Wand-Eagle Claw
[MP3] Wooden Wand-In A Bucket
[MP3] Wooden Wand-Cry With Me
[MP3] Wooden Wand and The Vanishing Voice-Dread Effigy
[MP3] Wooden Wand and The Vanishing Voice-Dogpaddlin' Home In Line With My Lord
Syd Barrett Blues
Peter & The Wolf
| Peter & The Wolf return with a superb collection of songs on "Experiments In Junk". A most glorious, creaking racket of the highest order ordained by the ministers of bayou blues and midnight minstrels. "Experiments In Junk" doesn't have the cohesiveness of P&TW's debut, but the collective energy is a musical uprising laying a solid foundation of anticipation for their upcoming tour. It is advised that you see them when they swallow your town.|
[MP3] Peter & The Wolf - Strange Machines
[MP3] Peter & The Wolf - Sayonara, Suckers!
|Fresh Maggots - Fresh Maggots|
Both members of this UK folk duo, Mick Burgoyne and Leigh Dolphin were only 19 when this album was recorded. It virtually lays down the template for acid folk; balancing light acoustic strums and lyrical flute with ascerbic fuzz guitar bursts that
| set the tone for many artists to come. The lyrical content leans a bit political but with a few exceptions it skirts most of the trite analogies of it's day by interjecting a certain amount of darkness into its content. Leaving it idealistic but rooted in reality. An LP reissue is available but is a bit more expensive than its CD counterpart just released on Sunbeam records. The CD is also embelished with a few bonus tracks. |
[MP3] Fresh Maggots -Dole Song
[MP3] Fresh Maggots -Frustration
Buy Fresh Maggots
|Ton Vlasman - White Rooms With Disintegrating Walls|
Reissue of a late 60's Dutch psych-folk gem. Ton is either blessed or cursed with a voice that sounds just like Bob Dylan. His language barrier keeps him from coming close to anything as profound as Dylan wrote
| but it offers an interesting twist on this album. His cover of the Velvet Underground's Pale Blue Eyes is the closest you'll probably ever get to hearing Dylan cover them. The album is split distinclty into the vocal tracks and two long raga blues instrumentals that have a bit of Floydian overtones to their production. Both the vocal and instrumental tracks stand well on their own but compliment each other when placed into context. Overall an album worthy of reissue and wider acclaim. |
[MP3] Ton Vlasman -Pale Blue Eyes
[MP3] Ton Vlasman - Mithrandir The White Horse Rider
Buy Ton Vlasman
Matthew Cooper has produced albums of two distinct varieties. The first, ethereal and drone based; built around walls of swirling analog hum. The second, a short album of solo piano pieces written as a tribute to a departed friend. Both styles are incredibly adept at conveying saddness and lonliness in doses of staggering proportion. Matthew's new album under the guise of Eluvium is a bit of a mixture of his previous styles. The seas of noise are no where near as deep but the instrumentation hardly feels as sparse as An Accidental Memory In The Case Of Death. The new album, When I Live By The Garden And The Sea is a beautiful, introspective sonic landscape. One that could only be created by Cooper.
[MP3] Eluvium -I Will Not Forget That I Have Forgotten
The Day My Lung Collapses
[MP3] Mountain Goats- Woke Up New
Bonus (from The Sunset Tree)
[MP3]Mountain Goats - This Year
Pre-Order Get Lonely here
Rereleased into the Wild
|Sacred Mushroom - Sacred Mushroom|
Unfortunately this album doesn't quite match the psychedelic intensity of its cover, but it is a great slice of heavy blues based rock representative of the time period. Its also probably one of the better
| records to emerge from Cincinati at the time. Heavily influenced by British blues guitarists like Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, they actully opened for Cream on a few dates around the Ohio area. Its another record that seems like it should have gotten more attention than it did. Search it out on vinyl if you can, the artwork deserves a 12 X 12 display. |
[MP3] Sacred Mushroom -Catatonic Lover
[MP3] Sacred Mushroom - Mean Old World
Buy Sacred Mushroom
|Sapphire Thinkers - From Within|
Sapphire Thinkers have a great West Coast sound; like a more psychedelic Mammas and Papas. The vocal harmonies are tight and sunny but with a melancholy edge to them. Some of the better tracks showcase
| briliant flashes of fuzz guitar and washes of Peggy Richmond's Flute. This one can hardly be called essential but I'd recommend it highly for any one interested in albums with great vocal interplay and the softer side of psych in general (Donovan, Free Design, etc.) |
[MP3] Sapphire Thinkers -Blind With A Borrowed Light
[MP3] Sapphire Thinkers - Get Along Boy
Buy Sapphire Thinkers
Howlin' Rain play loose working man stomps that echo the mid to late 70s and mix it with a bit of latter day guitar freakouts. A departure, but not necessarily a far cry from Ethan Miller (Comets on Fire) and John Moloney's (Sunburned Hand of the Man) other projects but probably the most accessible work from either musician. This album feels like a homecoming for me, sounding like the Faces sitting in for a session with CCR, its steeped in the music I heard playing out of every truck that drove past me with its windows open on summer days in Michigan.
[MP3] Howlin Rain - Roll On Rusted Days
[MP3] Howlin Rain - Death Prayer In Heaven's Orchard
Mmmmm, Bar B Que's
|HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!! As a tribute to the celebration of our nation, here are some indie rock summer songs. |
[MP3] The Bats - Western Isles
[MP3] The Feelings - Blowin' My Mind Like A Summer Breeze
[MP3] The Duke Spirit - Fades The Sun
[MP3] Islands - Jogging Gorgeous Summer
[MP3] Jonathan Fire Eater - Bipolar Summer
[MP3] Ween - Ocean Man
[MP3] Miguel Mendez - Drinking Bears