Wed, 29 July 2009
Music mostly from the USA this week but with Iceland and Taiwan represented as well.
Summer has settled into its familiar UK pattern of rain from mid-July (when schools finish for the "summer"). So nothing special by way of a pic this week. Just pointed the camera out of the barn window and pressed the button!
Love is never wrong - Brian O'Shea (Las Vegas, Nevada )
From the album Still alive and kickin' butt
Brian O'Shea is aka Brian Keith
Born in Port-Glasgow, Scotland. Brian began his musical career as a trombonist while in high school performing in local Jazz bands, he then immigrated to Canada and joined the Royal Canadian Guards as a bandsman and ended his stint as a sergeant.
After returning to London he toured as an opening act for Junior Walker & The All Stars, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Wilson Picket, Rufus & Irma Thomas, and Stevie Wonder, just to name a few.
Brian began singing, writing and producing and got his first hit, "Everything I Am”, as lead singer Brian "Keith", with the group, Plastic Penny in 1968.
As Brian Keith he appeared on a rock cd by "Screaming Lord Sutch & Heavy Friends" with Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Jeff Beck, Noel Redding, Nicky Hopkins, Keith Moon, Ritchie Blackmore,, the British Royalty of rock. Not to shabby eh?
The 1980s took Brian to Las Vegas where he has since made his home.
Brian recently produced a cd of R&B, Rock & Roll and Blues songs, and a Disco//trance based cd "Bonetrance" as "Big Bad Bone Daddy" to express his love of the trombone, all songs written, performed & produced by Brian. He is currently starring in a show at Mandalay Bay's World Famous "House of Blues" since 1999. Brian continues to be one of the finest R&B singers to be heard on the Las Vegas circuit today.
Joel Tenenbaum is just like you.
Joel is a 25-year old graduate student at Boston University pursuing a physics PhD. And he loves music.
In 2003, Joel received a notice accusing him of downloading music through the P2P service, and told him that he could settle the case for $3,500. He called the payment hotline, offered $500, and sent a money order in that amount. That offer was denied.
In 2007, a complaint showed up on his doorstep after years of silence requiring that Joel appear in court. Rather than backing down, like the other 30,000 people, Joel chose to stand his ground and elected to proceed pro se with the help of his mother.
Joel filed an answer with a counterclaim asserting abuse of federal power and that the excessive damages were unconstitutional. Joel appeared in court where the Judge ordered the parties into settlement. In the settlement, Joel offered to settle for $5,000. The opposing counsel denied and counter-offered a settlement of $10,500 to be paid over 1 year. Joel declined.
"For the past four years, they've been threatening me, making demands for trial, deposing my parents, sisters, friends, and myself twice - the first time for nine hours, the second for seven. I face up to $4.5m in fines and the last case like mine that went to trial had a jury verdict of $1.92m. When I contemplate this, I have to remind myself what I'm being charged with. Investment fraud? Robbing a casino? A cyber-attack against the federal government? No. I shared music. And refused to cave."A small team of students under the guidance of Professor Charles Nesson, have committed to helping Joel fight back against the RIAA by legally and publicly representing him.
As they say, "It's not a vendetta. It's just that Joel chose to stand his ground. It's about defending the average Davids against the corporate Goliath." Because Joel Tenenbaum is just like us too.
Now as you know, I support copyright laws and despise piracy, but this is surely counterproductive, to go for a little guy and threaten punitive fines and costs is all about the law, and nothing to do with justice.
follow the case on Twitter. Follow @joelfightsback and use the hashtag #jfb
The Rain on 8th Avenue - Dudley Saunders (LA, CA, USA)
From the album The Emergency Lane.
Over the course of three albums, "avant-folk" singer-songwriter Dudley Saunders has populated a veritable township with his strange, Flannery O'Connor-ish characters. And now he is literally putting that "town" online, in a unique new website.
At DudleySaunders.com, web-surfers find a panoramic, 1920¹s-era photo of the entire population of a small town. But as they scroll through the sepia-toned crowd, they discover that the twisted people in Dudley's songs are hidden there. Signs appear over them: Whore. Killer. Masochist. A click brings you video of Dudley taking you inside the fascinating background on the songs and the characters' lives.
The Master Thief - Pc Muñoz (San Francisco, CA, USA)
From the album What Happened? As I threatened, I have to play another track this week.
Free new album out now: What Happened? pc muñoz's "mash-note to hip-hop" jam-packed with remixes, Grab Bag bonus tracks, special guests, scrumptious beats, and other treats is out and available for free. It really is an interesting album. You can get it from:
Oh La La - Adriana Kaegi (Zurich, NY)
From her the album TAG.
This is the original version and Adriana told me this afternoon that there is a remix on the album by Charlie Lagond who was the original sax player in Kid Creole and the Coconuts. There will be a music video of that soon and those that sign up to Adriana's mailing list will get to see it first as an exclusive.
TAG has been announced album of the month at Amazon
"TAG is upscale downtempo music for the recently unemployed," laughs glamorous blond renaissance woman and chanteuse, Adriana. Sultry and satirical, Tag is the cool comeback of the co-founder of the tropical funk mega-band, Kid Creole and the Coconuts. It's a voice we've been waiting to hear - a grown woman making intelligent witty chill-out songs with personality."
Available on both Amazon and emusic
Two charts from Richard Florida's Music & The Entertainment Economy Project at the University of Toronto's Rotman School Of Management illustrate an interesting point. The first looks at the size of various music scenes as measured by the number of artists on MySpace.
New York 34392
When looking at the number of fans that bands based in certain cities have, the rankings shift.
1. LA 37793565
2. NY 20150903
6. Brooklyn 10397596
Those fan figures look unbelievable but I suppose if they are based on the number of friendships rather than unique fans it may be feasible. I'll have to check the sources.
http://tinyurl.com/na4x6q via Ariel
It ain't easy - Josh Charles (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
I've played Josh Charles before - way back in December.
"I grew up in Kansas City and started playing in blues clubs when I was a teenager. New York City (Brooklyn) is my home right now even though I'm more of a "wandering nomad" type and I feel a close kinship to New Orleans. It's hard to put into words what that city means to me, but having been there right up until Hurricane Katrina and spent a lot of time there since, I can say that it's one of the most important and influential places in my life as an artist."Now he's doing something amazing to help the recovery of NOLA. Proceeds from the sale of his song Healing Time go to The Preservation Resource Center (PRC) of New Orleans to help rebuild, restore, and preserve the architectural history and historic neighborhoods that support the local culture and character of New Orleans.
Please download Healing Time today http://tinyurl.com/healingtime and help rebuild New Orleans. Even at just $.99 at a time, it will make a big difference to real people's lives. See this CNN film.
Through August and September Josh is opening for Buckwheat Zydeco.
Aug 19th Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 20 Cleveland Heights, OH
Aug 23 Indianapolis, IN
Aug 25 Ferndale MI
Aug 27 Nashville TN
Aug 30 Evanston IL
Sep 1 Minneapolis MN
Sep 2 Kansas City, MO
Nineth Place - Buckwheat Zydeco (Louisiana)
From Lay your burden down, recorded in Maurice, Louisiana.
The most adventurous release ever by an American music icon. Buckwheat is famous for fusing zydeco's rhythmic energy to rock, R&B and funk. With guest appearances by Sonny Landreth, Warren Haynes, JJ Grey and Trombone Shorty.
Stanley "Buckwheat" Dural started his career as an R&B organist, and then spent two years with accordionist Clifton Chenier before forming Buckwheat Zydeco in 1979. Besides learning zydeco from Chenier, its universally acknowledged king, Dural also absorbed his mentor's maxim that music with real substance must be based on real-life experience: "I like to hear something with ideas," Chenier once told this writer. "See, a lot of young people don't understand that, they cut a record but they don't tell a story -- and you know why? They ain't got no story to tell, 'cause they ain't been through nothin'."
"Ninth Place" (mp3)
from "Lay Your Burden Down"
Buy at Amazon
Getting colder by the year - JJ Soul Band (Reykajavik, Iceland)
(INGVI THOR KORMÁKSSON and JJ SOUL)
The songwriters, Kormáksson and Soul, met in Iceland 1993 and soon began writing music together. In 1994 they made their first CD, HUNGRY FOR NEWS, with JJ Soul Band and CITY LIFE in 1997. On both CDs the music is many-sided; blues, R&B, fusion, rock, pop and latin, sometimes all in one (blues-confusion?).
Singer/songwriter JJ Soul is from Oxford, England but Ingvi is from Iceland as the rest of the band.
Mr. Soul has been living and breathing music since he was eight years old. He used to play drums with small jazz units and worked both as a drummer and a singer with various rock and cabaret acts in England for many years. Since he moved to Iceland, he has focused on his writing skills and writes both songs and (mainly) lyrics. J.J. Soul currently resides in Oxford, U.K. He works as a painter, musician and art teacher.
It seems we had our summer for a few days in June. The Met Office here in the UK - who supply weather forecasts for the BBC and others have admitted that their forecast of a "barbecue summer" seems unlikely to happen. Apparently they had only forecast a 65% of lower than average rainfall and above average temperatures. This has now been revised down to 50% (doh!) and a more confident prediction that August will continue like July. Wet.
As Jeremy G-Spot Gugenheim suggested this morning, the press team at the Met Office stands accused of "sexing up" the weather forecast.
I've been catching up on podcast listening over the past few days and it seems that the hot weather has a detrimental effect on some of my AMP colleagues.
Oliver Benjamin Thayer was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and instantly whisked away by a storm cloud of dust. He spent his youth traveling the globe with his parents as they collected odd jobs, long playing records and volumes of strange verse. The family bounced from Turkey to Italy to Israel to Prague as if no boundaries existed and time and space were a vague superstition. Briefly attending vocational school in Vermont, Oliver began writing songs in earnest out of frustration with his inability to repair corroborators and pay bills simultaneously. Drawing upon his love of hip-hop, P-Funk, Bob Dylan, Country/Western, and the weird and mercurial archival collections of Harry Smith and Alan Lomax, Oliver set out on his musical odyssey. He again took to the road, blowing through New York City where he squatted in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn - chasing demons through the projects and catching images for songs. He made it back to Oklahoma to meet Arlo Guthrie, rambled through Colorado to Minnesota, where he became a band leader, producer and studio sorcerer. He and his bride whom he chased to Taiwan reside together in peace and harmony awaiting the peak and inevitable meltdown of the modern world.
Wed, 22 July 2009
Eastern Europe asserts itself in this week's show. Even the picture is looking east. It's Aldeburgh again I'm afraid, looking out to a rather grey North Sea towards Netherlands/Nederland, over on the mainland - a way of putting it that is guarenteed to upset the political right, racists and Little Englanders. :-)
Deutsches Essen In Russland - Ivan Ivanovich & The Kreml Krauts (Trier, Germany)
The site is all in German so here's the Babel translation: "A Fetzen Ska, a fragment Russia and a puddle from buried Punk flow from electrical guitar basses, horn, saxophone and over Schlagzeug, accordion and violin. Whereupon Ivan Ivanovich and the Kremlin of herb dance. Bass and guitar maintain your legs."
24 Jul 2009 Das Bett, Frankfurt
25 July 2009 Polka Ska Gypsy Sound Vol IV at Club Kuckucksei in Nürtingen, Baden-Württemberg
A small foretaste on a Kremlin herb concert is at:
Piece of you - Annabelle Chvostek (Montreal, Canada)
Great show at The Winelight Club on Friday, where I picked up her new album Resiliance - along with the OK to play you a few tracks. Recorded in New York and Montreal with Grammy-nominated Canadian record producer Roma Baran and her producing partner Vivian Stoll, Resilience has been described as, "a sublime, spare, and profoundly reflective album that Chvostek describes as "a big complicated hug." I like hugs in general, and this one in particular.
One of those magical instrument players who seem to make virtually no movement and yet the most amazing complex sounds come out. Couple that with her beautiful strong and passionate voice and exceptionally well crafted songs and you have something pretty special. My thanks to The Canada Council for subsidising her trip over from Montreal to play just a couple of dates in the UK. She is back in Canada now with appearances at the Eaglewood Festival coming up in August.
Creative Deconstruction's Refe Tuma has been in a briefing this morning on music royalty rates which he describes as "a great way to start the morning on the wrong foot!" We know that big labels are keen to extract as much of the artists earnings as possible before the artist gets their cut but some of this stuff beggars belief. Refe points out, in particular
"New technology deductions?" - maybe when CDs actually cost anything to manufacture. "New tech" is what has made music FREE to distribute.I'm sure it will make it onto the creative deconstruction pages soon. If you are a musician, you might want to check out the site at www.creativedeconstruction.com
"Packaging deductions" - most major labels still take the same percentage for digital downloads. Um, there's no packaging on downloads."
Who's going to save the poor - CSharp Band (Kingston, Jamaica)
C-Sharp Band comprises five young men: Aeion Hoilett- Bass guitarist (singer) Chevaughn Clayton - Lead vocalist Lamont Savory - Guitarist (singer) Dwain Campbell - Keyboard player (singer) and Randevon Patrick - Drummer.
All were students of Edna Manley college of Visual and Performing Arts. The group started in 2001 while they were student. Since then they have opened for many great Jamaica artist. They have graced stages all over Europe, China, Africa, USA.
I was put onto the C-Sharp Band by Pete Cogle who suggested that the track Nurse might be appropriate for me. Cheeky.
www.csharpmusic.net (was not working this morning)
A statistic for you: Out of the 105,575 albums that were released in 2008 just 110 artists sold more than 250K. - Ariel
Photograph - Secret Ocean (Nagoya, Japan)
From their album Kokoro No Furyoku.
Hiroumi Takatsuka: vocal, guitar, harmonica (blood type A)
Tome: drums, percussion and chorus (blood type B)
Forest - Staraya Derevnya (Haifa, Israel & London, UK)
Comment on Jamendo: "I found it profounding but only if you like that kind of music. Very experemintal but can open your mind!!!"
Some may think of this as Ethnic Russian Deep House Metal Shoegaze but as you well know, that would make it very unlikely to get played on SnC. No, Frankly I see it more as Israeli Russian experimental psychofolk freakout punk - one of my favourite styles.
From the album Ячаща (I'm thicket) one of three varied offerings on Jamendo.
Letter from Martin Byrom
Keep on Movin' - Kat Dancer (Edmonton, Canada)
From her excellent album Somethin' Familiar from which I've played a few tracks over recent months.
You'll find those other tracks on SnC 156, 160 and 168
Her 'Swamp Blues' style is steeped in early roots and blues traditions and delivered by her deep, resonant vocals and the soulful sound of her Weissenborn lap slide guitar. Much like a long stretching railroad track, Danser draws a direct line from the Canadian prairie to the Mississippi Delta. She is one part backwoods juke joint, one part plow puller and two parts dusty ol' canvas tent revival. Kat Danser delivers a refreshing approach to roots, blues, and gospel music for the 21st Century.
A multi-instrumentalist, Danser plays the Weissenborn Hawaiian lap slide guitar, a vintage acoustic Gibson, National steel resophonic slide guitar, a tack head banjo and the Zydeco scrubboard.
You can order CDs from Kat's site.
Serve them well - Swimming in Speakers (NY, USA)
From their ﬁrst meeting in October 2008, multi-instrumentalist Chris Clarke and lead vocalist Meadow Eliz knew they wanted to write music together. The snowy, subzero climate of Saranac Lake, New York, lent itself well to winter days spent creating and recording in Chrisʼs home studio, where they crafted the "Swimming in Speakers" demo armed with a Casio, a laptop and a hodge-podge of analog equipment. Jo Sorrell (cello) and Justin Grizzofﬁ (percussion and guitars) add nuance to the tracks, and local NPR station NCPR granted access to their brand new studio for additional recording and mixing.
They seem to be getting healthy doses of attention - at least among the podcast community.
Breaking news: there is a free download of their tiny track Uh Oh on Last FM at http://bit.ly/4FYdal
I know how to handle my liquor & God Move /Bad Move - Pc Muñoz (San Francisco, CA, USA)
I first played Pc Muñoz on SnC 035 back in October 2006. He has certainly been on the move since then with some really interesting work along the way. At heart he is San Francisco-based recording artist and producer known for genre-defying projects which stretch the boundaries of funk and the avant-garde.
Free new album out now: What Happened?!, pc muñoz's "mash-note to hip-hop" jam-packed with remixes, Grab Bag bonus tracks, special guests, scrumptious beats, and other treats is out and available for free. It really is an interesting album. I may well have to play another track next week. Meanwhile you can get it from:
My Radio - Lola Dutronic (France)
Richard from the band sent great summer sound this early this morning, so it is certainly fresh. They were going to release this track in the autumn but it seems to have taken off of its own accord. They also have a fan-made video of the track at: www.youtube.com/watch?v?=EHDLB1_zD5M
OLA DEE - Voice, RICHARD CITROEN - Music
Brigitte Bardot is from the new 3rd album, LOLA DUTRONIC IN BERLIN recorded over a 3 week period in an abandoned Berlin apartment, and mixed in Toronto. it also features the legendary Mike Garson (of David Bowie's Aladdin Sane fame) on piano.
"We divide our time between Berlin and Toronto. We've put out three albums so far: The World Of Lola Dutronic, the Grammy Award nominated The Love Parade and our newest album, Lola Dutronic In Berlin. We've also appeared on several compilation albums and repackages in Asia and Europe.
Available on iTunes and on CDBaby at:
Wed, 15 July 2009
I've been out taking a couple of pics this afternoon for the village produce show. This one used just a touch of HRD (high Dynamic Range) processing. The gulls all seemed to be flying around that particular building - for at least an hour. I hope no-one was trying to record a podcast!
Johnny Wise - Modern Caveman (Sweden)
Johan Sandqvist, Lyrisc & Guitar
Ola Pettersson, Bass Guitar
Jakob Herrmann, Drums
Mikael Magnusson, Guitar
Title track for the album Johnnywise which is released on Dead Frog Records. The band has been touring extensively around Sweden during the spring. Live material filmed at Bryggeriet Rock ´n Roll Bar in Motal is on their website and on YouTube.
The video for the single Johnny Wise:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ezl3yq3WQQ more information:
That Jeremy Gugenheim was round here this morning and called me a "nit wit" - what's your favourite retro mild insult?
A grand selection of tunes from around the world but with a bit of a tendency to mainland Europe this week. Do tell me if this is getting all too weird.
Latitude festival this weekend at Henham Hall, just up the road from the barn (well, about 20 miles). I was hoping that one or two bands that have been on the show would be playing and willing to drop in for a Session at the Barn but alas not this year as far as I could see.
DISKO CIRKÚS - DVA (Hredec Kralove, Czech Republic)
Circus, cabaret, beatbox, tango, popsongs, acoustic electro and electro acoustic in two layers cover. Human voices and acoustic instruments in loops. Lyrics in universal languages. Folklore of non exist nations. Somewhere between north and south, where Dva means 2.
The last weekend of July sees the gloriously named Hachfest. This year featuring Ade Edmondson's band The Bad Shepherds doing vaguely folky rocky versions of punk versions of songs. A little confusing but it could be interesting. Much more my scale of festival and at £10 per day a more sensible price too. Each to their own. Please note that the spelling is like this not as I think I said in the show. Doh!
Litter to Society - Del Marquis and Embryoroom (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Yes, I played Del last week too. This is just so good.
Winelight exciting things in London and a return to Norwich.
Launch event at The Pigalle Club in Piccadilly, London tonight headlined by Lucie Silvas. Then on Friday The Winelight returns to Norwich - the same venue but now under new management and it sounds pretty damned good. We'll be going along.
Moya Hlava - Annabelle Chvostek (Montreal, Canada)
When Annabelle Chvostek joined the Wailin' Jennys in 2004, the rest of the world found out what a grassroots network of Canadian roots fans had known for several years: that Chvostek is a formidable songwriter, a versatile multi-instrumentalist, and a fearless and innovative artist whose beguiling left-of-centre compositions straddle the divide between mainstream roots and acoustic indie pop.
Note from Kimo Watanabe
It's a shame - Boo Boo Davis (St Louis, USA)
Boo Boo Davis is the REAL DEAL. He is coming from the same area, period and tradition as most of the blues greats but there is one huge difference - Boo Boo is still alive and kicking, writing and singing his music .. raw first-hand experience blues directly from the Delta.
July 15 - Jazz à Juan - Antibes - France
July 16 - Rattlesnake Saloon - Munchen - Germany
July 18 - Big Rivers @ Bibelot - Dordrecht - Holland
July 19 - BLUES PEER - Peer - Belgium
July 25 - Au Pre du Blues - Althen des Paluds - France
July 26 - Brielle Blues - Brielle - Holland
July 30 - Glander's Alte Kornbrennerei - Verden - Germany
July 31 - Blues Oan Daa Stoazze - Hamme - Belgium
August 1 - Tyykiblues - Forssa - Finland
August 8 - Blues City Deli - St Louis MO - USA
Chimaeras be met - Vagabond Opera (Portland Oregon)
If you heard Vagabond Opera a couple of weeks ago you may be interested to know that they have extended their west coast tour with dates coming up in Bellingham and Seattle, WA, 2 dates in their hometown of Portland, OR (one with The Wanderlust Circus at the Bossa Nova Ballroom plus CA dates at Los Gatos, LA and San Rafael with a return to WA for a concert in the park at Kenmore. Dates on their site at
Evlari Vaar - Monika Jalili (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
Monika Jalili brings to life the rich history of Iranian culture through its music and poetry. Her entrancing selection of songs spans time and place; traditional Persian folk favorites stand alongside love songs from the 1940s to 1970s, a time of great cultural change in Iran. The songs are performed in their original languages of Persian, Azeri, and various dialects. Using traditional and non-traditional instruments, her ensemble musicians combine their influences to present original interpretations of this music.
Since a serendipitous introduction in 2003, Monika Jalili has worked tirelessly to revive the touching works of these Iranian artists, some of whom are no longer with us, and most of whom have lived the past 30 years into their old age unable to express themselves as they once could. It is their songs that Monika sings with passion, appreciation, care and love.
Balrog Boogie - Diablo Swing Orchestra (Stockholm, Sweden)
From their album The Butcher's Ballroom which was on Jamendo but deosn't seem to be anymore.
The Diablo Swing Orchestra dates back to 1501 in Sweden, where history tells the tale of an orchestra that played like no other. With music so seductive and divine that the ensemble overwhelmed audiences all over the country, and people from all social classes took them to their hearts. Their performances rapidly earned a reputation of being feral and vigorous and gained the orchestra a devoted crowd that followed them around.
Stockholm 2003 decedents found each other.
Unfortunately all of the original scores were confiscated and burned by the church back in 1503. So music-wise the new orchestra were left with no directions on what to play. After some meticulous discussions it was agreed upon that the music should be like a modern version of the old orchestra. Annlouice was chosen to front the band, her angelic yet powerful operatic voice was perfect to bring a bombastic feeling to the music. Pontus dance-influences and programming skills came in handy since the orchestra wanted the arrangements to sound a bit more futuristic. He shares guitar duties with Daniel who also is the main composer in the band. Andy brought some groove to the mix adding powerful slapping and funk-oriented bass licks, while Andreas's energetic drumming made sure the songs are driven and pulsating. Together with Anders, he lays the solid swinging foundation of the band. Johannes's theoretical knowledge and stunning technique combined with an emotive cello-playing style made him essential to the bands sound. Together they answer to the name of Diablo Swing Orchestra and are determined to honour the legacy of their ancestors.
Wed, 8 July 2009
Back in the UK for this week's show having had a great time in the heat of Ibiza visiting Jessie. The island seems a bit quieter this year but the wall art is rather fine. This pic is just a very small part of a large poster on a wall in the Old Town.
We "did" Pacha again and I still marvel a the price of drinks: a vodka and tonic and an orange juice = 23 Euros (that's about $32 or £20). Worth it though it is a great club, just sip slowly!
African Dream - Halo and Kemal
From Classic Dubs remixed by Halo. Thanks to Dave and the team at Mn2S for the OK to play that.
If you like the sound of that you could do a lot worse than get over to www.mn2s.com or even direct to the album at Tracksource.
Hedonist - Sharon Lang (Nashville, TN, USA)
Accompanied by friends and fellow musicians Lyndsay Pruett, John Depriest, and Josh Minyard, Lovers and Thieves is a simple, no-frills portrayal of Lang's experiences both before and during her time in Nashville. Inspired by the unique community of artists, lovers, gypsies, dreamers, saints, and sinners that occupy this fair city, it truly expresses a love of first-class effort and sincere dedication to all things that are good.
from "Lovers and Thieves"
(Per Capita Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Any Kind of Love - Del Marquis and Embryoroom (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
A formally trained furniture designer, Marquis had no intention of becoming a musician. "I practiced a trade and loved to build things, that is one of the main reasons I started playing guitar, it is such a beautiful object.
Things didn't go as planned and Del joined the fledgling nightclub act, Scissor Sisters. "In NYC, September 11th left so many people in a state of confusion; what you thought was your future path, was very much uncertain. I think those events allowed me to take a risk, and see what might happen with music."
Scissor Sisters began 2004 as a little-known act, and ended it as a pop phenomenon. Their eponymous debut album was the biggest-selling album in the UK that year. The album has since gone almost ten times platinum here.
As lead guitarist in Scissor Sisters, Marquis has seen two world tours culminating in three sold out shows at London's O2 arena. Scissor Sisters have sold in excess of 4 million albums worldwide.
Marquis felt it was necessary to make music of his own after so much time touring and recording as a band. "I had an idea to do a pop album, but paired with darker themes than what felt comfortable on a SS album. I wanted the music to be melodic and the production to be big, in that I referenced 80's production, and the records that most successfully incorporated the dawn of digital gear with analogue techniques."
Marquis settled on the concept of a multi-media project that would roll out in smaller doses all leading toward a large, complete vision. Working this way allows the project to evolve and take spontaneous turns en route to the finish.
The releases aren't all retro synths and British homage; Embryoroom multimedia group concepted another side to the project.
Together, Embryoroom and Marquis worked on the idea of the 'Shadow,' an ulterior personality of the work. "We wanted to show a darker side to pop music, how the same song can be reinterpreted to represent a different style and emotion." These versions are called 'Shadow tracks" and are featured as separate tracks in each installment.
The final element of the project is an episodic Science Fiction video, entitled 'Hazmazk," this visual narrative (often starring Marquis as Viz, a character subjected to examination and abduction) is filled with striking motifs and dark content.
Says Marquis, "Its important to have strong visuals as an identity beyond the sound, and although we didn't necessarily want to create music videos as the sole representation for the project People don't absorb things in two or three dimensions anymore, its 5.1 sound verses a stereo mix. I feel the project is unlike anything that is currently available commercially, especially given that it is DIY to the core.
Following the first two well-received installments - Hothouse, released in December and March's Character Assassination, Del is gearing up for the May 19th release of Litter To Society. The 9-track work continues his experimentation in blending emotional themes and a forward-thinking vision with a classic synth-soul-pop palette that recalls pioneers of the sound such as The Human League and Tears for Fears merging with more experimental instrumentals.
"Litter To Society is the most intense thematic release of the series," says Del. "It would be impossible to divorce one element from the other, i.e. the visuals, the songs, the interludes; each element works together to tell a story."
"It is an account of depravity in modern life, told through songs about urban and social decay. Within each moment, there is hope, the 'child inside" and the possibility of redemption."
We got to meet death one day - Kelly Joe Phelps
Kelly Joe Phelps has featured on the show before and it is great to have him back on with such a fine display of subtle slide guitar and heart-felt vocals.
The track is from the remastered and repackaged 15th year anniversary edition of Kelly Joe Phelps' groundbreaking evergreen release Lead me on. This edition features two exclusive, unreleased bonus tracks 'Ever Be Here Again" and this haunting and inspired interpretation of the 1935 song We Got To Meet Death One Day by Blind Willie McTell. On Burnside Records. You can download that track free of charge through the link below.
Kelly Joe Phelps
"We Got to Meet Death One Day" (mp3)
from "Lead Me On (15 Year Anniversary Edition)"
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Why buys CDs? What are the pros and cons of buying downloads vs physical copies. Let me know what influences your decision: peter [at]suffolkandcool.com
Tebje Pojem - EMAR (Ontario, Canada)
From the album Sacred Soul.
EMAR (pron. Ehm-Ahr) is an international world music artist. Born in the Balkans and raised in Canada, EMAR's multicultural influences inspire her to sing and record in several languages including Serbian, Hindi, Persian, Arabic and Church Slavonic.
EMAR worked with three renowned producers to create her ethereal, spiritual sound: Genie Award-nominated Sean Eyre, 2007 Canadian Music Awards winner for Best World Music Group & 2009 JUNO Awards Nominee - Andrew McPherson of Eccodek and noted film composer Igor Vrabac. Playing on five of the album"s tracks is World Music multi-instrumentalist Boris Sichon.
The album was released last September and is available at CDBaby, iTunes and selected music stores in Canada and the US.
Stagger Home to my Baby - Charlie Morris Band (St Petersburg, FL, USA)
Roots rocker Charlie Morris hails from the swampy suburbs of St. Petersburg, Florida, and "writes like a man who has been down the road more than a few times" [music writer and DJ Norman Davis]. The Charlie Morris Band mixes up a soulful stew of blues, funk, Louisiana rhythms and jazzy jams behind Charlie's original songs about wayward women, drinking,gambling and life on the road. Charlie's ability to entertain an audience is legendary, and hot solos on slippery slide guitar, organ and piano keep the action moving.
Seasoned road warrior Charlie Morris tours regularly throughout the Southeast US, as well as in Europe, where he has played at several major festivals in Europe, including the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Great British R&B Festival.
Ten Tall Tales will be Charlie's 5th CD, and contains 10 new original songs recorded in Switzerland, with the same red-hot Swiss band that's been touring with Charlie since 2004. Charlie's Strat and Paul converse with Markus Baumer's piano, B-3 and Rhodes, David Clarke lays down a bucket-of-beans bass, and Marco "Speedy" Jeanrenaud snaps his snare like a young Turk, while building rock-solid grooves like a mature road warrior.
Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich with Lipservice Theatre is putting on a show Desperate to be Doris, a musical based around the songs of Doris Day. They need to recruit a choir leader and local singers to be in a community choir as part of the show in October. rehearsals start at the end of August and the choir will meet once a week for 3 hours. Deadline 14th July call Laura Norman on 01473 295930.
Sala - Abuigail Washburn & The Shanghai Restoration Project (Chengdu, Sichuan, China)
A folk/electronic project remixing voices and sounds from the China earthquake zone to raise awareness for victims still in need.
Presented by Abigail Washburn & The Shanghai Restoration Project in cooperation with Sichuan Quake Relief.
Digital & Limited Edition EP CD Available since May 12th
In honor of the one-year anniversary of the Sichuan Earthquakes, two pioneers in entirely different genres - folk and electronica - have merged to increase knowledge and understanding of the continuing aftermath of the earthquake.
More than 88,000 have died, with upwards of 5 million left homeless or relocated. A portion of the proceeds from this EP will benefit the Sichuan Quake Relief organization.
Afterquake is a collection of raw, remixed field recordings of post-earthquake soundscapes as well as performances by relocated children and their faraway parents captured and
produced by Abigail Washburn and Shanghai Restoration Project creator Dave Liang, in cooperation with Sichuan Quake Relief.
The collaboration was inspired in 2008 through Abigail's volunteer work for Sichuan Quake Relief where she performed in 'relocation schools" with kids from pre-school to high school - most of whom were relocated from mountain villages to schools in new locations far from their families.
"The children and teachers expressed intense grief at the loss of home and family,” says Washburn, a former Sichuan resident featured in Newsweek for her "weirdly wonderful”
blend of Chinese culture and American-roots music. "I wanted to return and record their stories and songs in their own voices."
A kindred spirit was found in collaborator Dave Liang, whose Shanghai Restoration Project combines the sounds of traditional Chinese instruments with hip-hop and electronica. His project has been featured on NPR, KCRW, KEXP and the Beijing Olympics.
Despite the tragic nature of the events inspiring this record, the sounds of the children captured by Liang and Washburn are encouraging and uplifting: playground noises - ping-pong, basketball, jacks, handclapping games - are melded into a danceable rhythm; a 7th grade student performs a traditional Qiang minority dance song for her classmates; Tibetan sisters recite a bedtime prayer their mom used to sing to them; a relocated boy sings a ballad about missing his mom over the sounds of his parents rebuilding their house.
Afterquake is available as a digital EP and limited edition CD.
Abigail Washburn & The Shanghai Restoration Project
(Undercover Culture Music)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Wed, 1 July 2009
Another fine collection of tunes ancient and mostly modern. This week in they've come in from Florida, France, California, Utah and Baden-Württemberg, Germany starting with the Canadians this week and a finely crafted hooky pop track just right for the northern hemisphere summer.
I'm in Ibiza to visit my daughter Jessie this week some of the buildings in the old part of Ibiza Town (photo) are stunning and beautifully lit.
Clever - Whale Tooth (Toronto, Canada)
Whale Tooth are Elise LeGrow (vocals), Norman Maschke (guitar/vocals), Alex Denike (guitar/vocals), Michael McCreary (bass/vocals) and Sep Noroozi (drums) came together in the winter of 2007.
A fine live performance on their MySpace illustrates their energy, well-crafted pop songs and attention to detail. Perhaps Elsie's jazz background lends her vocals an awareness of the musicians around her but together they create a tight, interweaving sound rather than just playing along with each other.
A string of dates next week around Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI, playing venues including Babas, Whipper Snapper Gallery and Foggy Goggle!
Colin's heartfelt rant on the kerfuffle about M. Jackson all over the media, on last week's Ourobouros Podcast #106 www.ourobouros.co.uk.
When I die - Geri X (St Petersburg, Florida)
I played 3,000 lines of Defense a couple of weeks ago. This week it is a song that for me has echoes of Peter Gabriel and perhaps a little of the vocal strength of Mel C. When I die is a song that deserves repeated listens, it is a real grower. You can have it now by clicking on the download link to IODA.
"When I Die" (mp3)
from "Anthems of a Mended Heart"
(24 Hour Service Station)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Stream from Rhapsody
A Bre Ludo - Les Inédits Tziganes (France)
The place where Balkan gypsy and rock 'n' roll meet. Great music and I just love the babelfish translation from the notes on their page at Jamendo:
"Between tradition and modernity, these six troublemakers made the choice of the interbreeding, opening the borders in turn with softness grâe with the flùte, the oboe, l'accordion, sometimes with violence by the distortion of the electric guitar and the impulses of the duet low - battery but always in a spirit impresses popular holidays."OK, it is fast at translating. It is also pretty crap but sometimes deliciously wacky!
Blues Oval - AjT (Bordeaux, France)
Blues Oval has been on the PMN since October 07 when I last played a track from AjT who describes himself as a French geek, Apple lover, Serial blogger and podcaster living near Bordeaux. His music seems incidental but is rather fine, nevertheless. His site is more about Apple computers than music so just enjoy the track.
Podsafe Music Network (now renamed as Music Alley from Mevio).
I get the feeling that although the PMN was a central part of what Adam Curry (former MTV presenter) and Ron Bloom (record producer) were doing with their startup company Podshow in the early days of podcasting, the focus has shifted almost entirely to the business of being a general popular media corporation. Shame, but perhaps inevitable.
Of course I may be quite wrong. If so, let me know by leaving a comment at the bottom of the notes for this show.
Profiticus Prolificus-3rd Movement: Dub Interlude - Cirque du Soul (CA)
From the EP Nautical Bean Tapes.
Cirque du Soul are five members from Ike Turner's band. Between tours with the Father of Rock & Roll, drummer Bill Ray procured a weekly gig at the soon-to-be famous Nautical Bean Coffee Company located in a picturesque setting at the harbor in Oceanside, Ca. Feeling the need for creative release, the goal was simple - come to the gig with no ideas in your head, no preconceptions of what would transpire. No predetermined arrangements of classic songs; a blank slate if you will. Some interesting 100% improvised tracks were captured.
Have a delve around on Billy Ray's site (hint, check "past bands").
Old Love - Kimo Watanabe (Utah, USA)
Rootsy. Raw. Soulful. Kimo has been playing the music that he loves at venues all over Utah and Hawai'i since 1999. He has played at numerous festivals and events in and around the Salt Lake Valley, and his music has been heard around the world on various podcasts and independent music shows.
Kimo Watanabe is a very old friend of Suffolk'n'Cool who I was delighted to hear from this week.
He tells us has a new Roots Reggae getting underway word of which seems to be spreading and some very talented folks want to get involved. The plan was just to recrord an album but it seems that live shows may be a possibility. It was one of Kimo's earlier reggae tunes (Pauoa Valley) that initially caught my ear. The Ukulele really seems to lend itself to reggae. Perhaps it is the percussive sound and lack of sustain that gives it the bite it needs. Whatever, I love it.
Outlaw - Schizoid Club (London, UK)
I played Mission Man a couple of weeks ago and thought you might like an extra taste of Matt's fine music. Some lovely sutry vocals towards the end.
from "Schizoid Club"
(Per Capita Records)
Buy at Rhapsody
Tribalism - Sapiens fx (Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
Well, by the time you hear this I'll be in Ibiza so this is just a little warm up prior to Pacha with Jessie. Guaranteed fun!
From the album Tronikum one of seven on Jamendo.
Ibiza webcam shows the sunset over the sea. The canopies on the corner of the street are Savannah within the same row of bars are Mambo and Cafe del Mar. Sun is currently setting at around 1930 GMT
Back in a few days - catch you next week.