Wed, 29 December 2010
After the snow of the past few weeks our good friends on the eastern seaboard of the USA seem to be taking their turn. It is difficult to imagine so much snow in the streets where we were strolling in the Indian summer only a few weeks ago.
I was waiting for it to get light today before taking a pic for the shownotes. I'm afraid it just didn't. Foggy and dank all day then it got dark again. Here's the barn at dusk tonight.
All that Glitters - Sweet Soubrette (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Sweet Soubrette features the songwriting, vocals and ukulele of Ellia Bisker, whose dark, edgy love songs have captured fans' hearts since she began performing solo in 2006, first appearing in the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’s Winter Cabaret.
Since the release of Siren Song, Sweet Soubrette has expanded from a solo act to include a talented backing band: Violinist Heather Cole has played classical violin since she was a four-year-old Suzuki student and has also trained in bluegrass, klezmer, and Irish fiddle. Bassist Bob Smith toured with the indie rock band Trunk Federation in the '90s and is now the director of a public school music program. Drummer Mike Dobson attended the Hartt School and Mannes College of Music for percussion, can play anything you can hit with a stick, and works mainly symphony orchestra and professional circus gigs when he’s not playing with Sweet Soubrette. This unique combination of talents leads to unusually rich arrangements. Sweet Soubrette plays most frequently in NYC, at such venues as the Knitting Factory, Rockwood Music Hall, Pianos, Jalopy, Barbes, Pete’s Candy Store, Galapagos Art Space, and Sidewalk Café. Festival appearances have included CMJ, the Paris Uke Fest, the Extremely Hungary Festival, the New York Uke Fest, and the Berkshire Fringe. Sweet Soubrette has also toured in France (2008) and Italy (2010).
Sweet Soubrette’s second album, Days and Nights, will be released by MH Records in January 2011, on CD and a limited edition vinyl LP, with a special show celebrating the release on Saturday, January 8 at the Bowery Poetry Club. This playful, thoughtful album can be seductive, humorous, or devastating, with material ranging from gold diggers and other dangerous women to troubled love in all its permutations. Catchy melodies, skilled instrumentation, and witty lyrics combine with a dark sensibility.
01.08.11 Bowery Poetry Club (Record Release Show) New York, NY
01.27.11 Cornelia Street Cafe New York, NY
02.12.11 Bushwick Book Club at the Brooklyn Public Library Brooklyn, NY
02.25.11 Club Helsinki Hudson, NY
Bo - Moon and Sun (Sweden and Amsterdam)
Apocalypso music from visual artist as well as singer/producer Monica Tormell.
One of Jamendo’s newest artists is singer-songwriter Moon & Sun. Hailing from Sweden, Moon & Sun is a lovely musical contradiction. Her music is both sweet yet gloomy and many of her tracks are both soft yet percussion driven. Although her music may be tough to pinpoint, her talent is obvious.
The record was co-produced by Staffan Björk. The two of them have worked together many times before in sonic art projects and several bands. Their last band being the shy shoegaze duo Mustafa et Monique.
Monica went to Curacao ( near Venezuela?) for the first time in 2009 where she had an artist residency for 3 months at Instituto Buena Bista (IBB). She met a local percussionist, Crisanta Martha, and started recording her drumming which later came to function as Moon & Sun’s own ‘drum-library’. Within a year’s time Monica went back again.
Reading the book ‘Zoutrif ’ by Miriam Sluis and taking walks through the beautiful, but traumatized, ruins of the old plantation area (Rif) together with the author inspired Monica to write the song ‘Salt & Indigo’.
The song Bo is a tribute to the Swedish musician Bo Hansson, who past away earlier this year, describing a sense of belonging when you stand alone outside your cottage on the Swedish countryside surrounded by the woods and the midnight sky.
Ganesvoort - Mojo Mancini (NYC, USA)
Put five musicians together in a room and let them improvise. When those five are Grammy-winning producer and guitarist John Leventhal, “Saturday Night Live” drummer Shawn Pelton, saxophonist and engineer Rick DePofi, keyboardist Brian Mitchell, and bassist Conrad Korsch, you’d better hit the record button - hard.
The quintet in question is Mojo Mancini, five of the most diverse and in-demand players in the business, total pros who eat and breathe music even when they’re away from the studio or stage? Artists who between the five of them have worked with—and this is just a partial list—Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, Al Green, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, David Byrne, Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Sheryl Crow, Buddy Guy, Charlie Haden, Levon Helm, Shawn Colvin, Bruce Hornsby, Joan Osborne, Madeline Peyroux, and Regina Spektor? No surprise in that case the air in that room would be filled with staggeringly great sounds, music that transcends even the sum experience of its makers as it moves from one moment to another. Such moments are found throughout Mojo Mancini’s stunning self-titled debut.
Your Sweet Name - Harry Manx (Gulf Islands BC, Canada)
Harry Manx has been dubbed an “essential link” between the music of East and West, creating musical short stories that wed the tradition of the Blues with the depth of classical Indian ragas. His unique sound is bewitching and deliciously addictive to listen to.
Born on the Isle of Man, Manx spent his childhood in Canada and left in his teens to live in Europe, Japan, India and Brazil. He honed his hypnotic live show on street corners, in cafes, bars and at festivals. But it was Indian music that captured his attention and in the mid 80s he began a five-year tutelage with Rajasthani Indian musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Grammy winner with Ry Cooder for A Meeting by the River). Receiving the gift of Bhatt’s custom-made, self-designed mohan veena (a 20-stringed sitar/guitar hybrid) was the catalyst for Harry to forge a new path with his now signature east-meets-west style of music. While the mohan veena itself is beyond exotic, Manx uses it within traditional Western sound structures.
Into the Valley - Manisha Shahane (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
As a child, Manisha was encouraged & taught by her mother to sing in both Indian and Western styles. She later began her formal musical training by singing in choirs and taking private classical piano lessons throughout her teens. Over the years,
Manisha continued to engage in periodic instruction in voice, guitar, piano, and dance. She also sought out training in Indian classical music. Before moving to Los Angeles, she studied in the Boston area with Charlie Banacos, a master of jazz theory & improvisation.
A four-year recipient of the ASCAPlus Award in the Jazz and Popular Division, Manisha has been writing songs & music for nearly 30 years. In 2009, she released a single titled "Speak, Memory Speak", through which she hopes to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease, and she just released her second album, "When Parallel Lines Meet," in 2010.
Undercover Blues - Boo Boo Davis (St. Louis, USA and Amsterdam, NL)
Another track from the great creative partnership of Boo Boo Davis (vocals and harmonica) and Jan Mittendorp (Producer/guitarist) along with John Gerritse (drums).
During the Fall 2010 tour Boo Boo and the guys got a lot of idea’s and decided to record them on one of the off days. As usual all original songs and with Boo Boo you never know what will happen. This time he surprised us again and he even had a Christmas and a gospel song. For the recording they picked a funky (but full analog) studio in rural Switzerland; nothing beats the sound of warm tubes and real tape. All tracks were recorded in six hours / one take with all three guys in the same room. Raw, loud and simple, just like they sound live on stage. The mixing and mastering is done by miX&dorp; a music freak that Boo Boo met a few times during his recent tours. He happened to be in the area and was happy to help out.
Bill's Change - Lynwood Slim and The Igor Prado Band (California and Sao Paulo, Brazil)
From the album Brazilian Kicks
Two continents collide as California native Lynwood Slim teams up with the premier jump blues outfit, the Igor Prado Band, from Sao Paulo, Brazil. This is a remarkably young band: Yuri Prado, age 23 (drums), Rodrigo Mantovani, age 23 (bass), Denilson Martins, age 20 (saxophone), and Igor Prado, age 24 (guitar).
LYNWOOD SLIM: Armed with an impressive catalog of iconic recordings, Slim's own uniquely cool blues meets jazz approach has landed him international acclaim and endeared him to an audience around the globe with a devout affection for California Blues. His mastery of blues harmonica - both the "little harp" and the more difficult chromatic - is second to none. He is also one of the finest blues vocalists of his generation. His first hand experience and apprenticeship under veteran blues masters such as multi-instrumentalist Leonard "Baby Doo" Caston and harmonica giant Big Walter Horton has served him well as he has mastered the subtleties of tone and phrasing, and developed his own distinctive voice in the blues.
IGOR PRADO BAND: The Igor Prado Band has been quietly but steadily gaining their reputation as the foremost authority and leading practitioners of 1940-50s style Chicago/Jump Blues. Based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the band (all of whom are still in their twenties) is comprised of two brothers; Igor Prado on guitar and Yuri Prado on drums, bassist Rodrigo Mantovani and saxophonist Denilson Martins. The Igor Prado Band has become an increasingly popular and in demand unit for supporting many of today's blues elite while touring South America. They have backed such highly esteemed artists as Eddie C. Campbell, Steve Guyger, James Wheeler, Phil Guy, Mud Morganfield (eldest son of Muddy Waters), R.J. Mischo, Gary Smith, Mark Hummel, Mitch Kashmar and Rick Estrin.
The album was recorded at Guidon Studios, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Clear Lake Audio, North Hollywood, California.
AMPed new music weekly
Jonny Dobson of Edinburgh Man podcast with an excellent 2010 review show and next week Rich Palmer gets 2011 underway with show 264.
Saraha - Hassan Erraji (Leeds, UK)
Hassan Erraji - a gentleman, an inspiration, a multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire - has been absent from the wider-consciousness of the world music scene for many a year (hey, everyone is allowed some private time and space.) His journey has not always been an easy one but one thing Hassan has learnt is perseverance, and he now stands poised for a triumphant return with this new album - Awal Mara (“Love at First Sight”).
As a child living in a village near Marrakech, Hassan was introduced at an early age to the rhythms of the Atlas mountains. Virtually blind from birth and becoming totally blind as a child, but blessed with innate musical ability, he later undertook formal studies in Casablanca and Brussels, staying in Europe to seek a route along the oft-capricious pathways of a career as an entertainer.
Hassan was a progenitor, a key presence in the early days of world-music-as-we-now-know-it, providing many of us with a transcendent first taste of Arabic pop-roots and instructing us in the names and sounds of his diffuse instruments. His trio of albums for the Riverboat label in the early eighties remain richly rewarding, emblematic of his faith and individualism. Hassan’s stage presence is a joy to behold; a man prone to oud-flailing à la Hendrix with his Strat and joyously sacrificing his forehead as a percussive mallet is a welcome sight on any stage, and he, bashful grin manifest, has graced many across the world.
Now resident in Leeds, in the north of England, and enjoying the patronage of that city’s foremost musical sons, the Kaiser Chiefs (who provided their recording studio for the making of Awal Mara), Hassan’s musical integrity proves stronger than ever alongside his extravagantly-gifted UK rhythm team of Kenny Higgins and Ben Stephens.
There are new generations of music fans for whom the joy of discovering Hassan Erraji is about to blossom, and there are many more who will welcome him back as an old friend.
Welcome back Hassan.
Wed, 22 December 2010
45 minutes or so of mostly very new music from the USA, Australia, Ireland, Italy and Germany.
Time sensitive news this week about CMJ badge discounts which end on Saturday. Get 'em while they're hot ;)
The cold continues with the snow slowly melting almost away only for another lot to dump itself on the fields around the barn. My sympathy is with those folks that are struggling to travel this week.
Paris (Ooh La La) - Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (Vermont, USA)
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are like a modern-day version of Tina Turner stroking the microphone in a spangled mini-dress while fronting the Rolling Stones circa Sticky Fingers. The proof is there for all to hear on the band’s third album for Hollywood Records, hitting this spring, and marks an artistic breakthrough for a vital young band caught in the act of fulfilling its immense promise. Little wonder that Grace and her cohorts have chosen to title it, directly and emphatically, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.
“This record is the first time it’s really been us — the first time we’ve all found each other and ourselves,” says Potter with obvious excitement. “Everybody was totally comfortable, everything we had was sitting right in front of us, and it just poured out of us. The whole thing was fluid and effortless. In my mind, an album shouldn’t be self-titled unless it feels that way.”
Loveliest Creatures - Savoir Adore (Brooklyn, NYC)
Brooklyn's adventure-pop duo Savoir Adore is giving away a free download of their new single "Loveliest Creature" as a Free Download.
Recorded in upstate New York at the band's home studio, "Loveliest Creature" is a bumpin' tale of a monster love.
In other news, Savoir Adore was recently featured on MTV's The Seven, as well as NYC electro-pop blog Neon Gold
Pharmacist - Coyol (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Céleigh Chapman grew up singing country standards in the juke joints of Bakersfield, California. After seeing her perform at the Crystal Palace, Buck Owens gave his approval. Isaac Watters was born in Mexico City, Mexico and raised in Tucson, and spent much of his youth in El Coyol, Mexico. He is an artist, writer and architect.
Celeigh and Isaac met and began performing together in Los Angeles. COYOL is whiskey bravery and absinthe romanticism, a collision of the Old Southwest and the New LA. The songs were primarily recorded live on 2” tape in summer 2010 at the Carriage House in Silver Lake, CA. Will Gramling produced.
Alone - The Morning after Girls (New York, Melbourne and Tasmania, Australia)
The Morning After Girls are Australia's answer to the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, which should make it no surprise, then, that they've toured with both. Less diva than Anton and lighter on the drugs, the band is back after a couple of years on hiatus with its breed of pop-minded pychedelia. Exclusively released as an unsigned record on iTunes in 2009, "Alone" is the title track from the album that will now finally find its way to shelves courtesy of Xemu. Mixed by Alan Moulder of My Bloody Valentine and Interpol fame and recorded in a church in the Australian Outback.
In the midst of their move to New York, Sacha Lucashenko and Martin Sleeman recorded Alone. Sleeman recalls “It was in a refurbished church that our friends made into a studio. they kept the basic internal design, the main drum room is in the highest part of the church which got this huge echo. there was two ambient room mics hanging from the highest beam of the church which captured this natural cavernous effect. we used them on everything, there’s no digital effects on the album at all.”
Luchensko says “i’m not a religious man but there was a spirit to that place that left a stamp on these songs.”
Armed with a lineup rounded out by americans e.j. hagen, anthony johnson and alexander white, the morning after girls are readying to hit the road in support of the album’s release on the mystical convergence of 1/11/11.
The vinyl and cd version of the full-length drops on 1/11/11 via xemu records (dead meadow, spindrift). alone marks the first new album from the group since their self titled album in 2005. it is possessed by beautiful melodies, sublime harmonies, shimmering guitars and a cavernous reverb that touches everything.
Originally hailing from Australia, the band currently resides in NY and has toured the world with such artists as the black keys, the church, black rebel motorcycle club, the dandy warhols and many more. The Morning After Girls will be holding a record release party at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC on 1/13/11.
I'm Tired - Bright Light Quartet (Virginia, USA)
The Bright Light Quartet, a group of menhaden fishermen of the Eastern Shores of Virginia.
In 1959 and 1960, at the height of the Folk Revival, Alan Lomax undertook the first-ever stereo field recording trip through the American South to document its still thriving vernacular musical culture. He traveled through Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee,
Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina, making over 70 hours of recordings. The trip came to be known as Lomax's "Southern Journey," and its recordings were first issued for the Atlantic and Prestige labels in the early '60s.
The Alan Lomax Archive is the repository of thousands of hours of Lomax's field recordings from across his seven-decade career.
Port Linda Welby - Linda Welby (County Galway, Ireland)
Each year Linda sends me her new CD and each year there is a fine instrumental track. This year it is this one. The songs are very capably performed too but I don't tend to find them quite right for the show. I'll have another listen, and you can too, on her website. Let me know what you think.
Playing for Change
In the beginning of 2010 the Playing For Change crew began work on a new Song Around the World, John Lennon's "Imagine." It has been an amazing year of production, taking the crew from the favelas of Brazil to the shrines of southern India, from villages in Nepal to the glittering urban landscape of Tokyo and New York, and beyond.
This song is the Playing For Change Foundation's gift to the world. The Playing For Change Foundation feels honored to have the blessing and generous support of Yoko Ono as music lovers around the world join together to launch the Power to the People campaign. The campaign seeks to advance John Lennon’s vision of peace by engaging artists and audiences to contribute to music education programs worldwide. Proceeds raised will help build music schools, support teachers and music programs, purchase instruments, and connect schools for cross-cultural learning and conflict resolution across borders. Music IS the power: Power to the People.
To stay informed about the PFC Foundation, the schools we are building, the lives we are touching, and how you can participate, please join our mailing list at playingforchange.org, and participate in this global movement.
Chrystal Vases - The Last Royals (New York, NY, USA)
The Last Royals, a duo of writer/singer/producer Eric James and drummer Mason Ingram, are nascent, having only recently emerged from a joint project that brought the two musicians together in Spring 2010. The connection urged a new chapter in Eric’s career as a musician, evolving him from a solo artist who played under the moniker The Early Hours to one-half of a self-proclaimed pop band.
The songs that appear on The Last Royals’ debut self-titled EP, out November 16th, 2010, re-imagine tracks originally penned for The Early Hours, which appeared on a self-released album of eight tracks called A Week And A Day. That project, driven simply by Eric’s desire to create solid, expressive songs, was written in eight days, each track representing one day of the week, plus an additional day. Eric’s sense of the performative was initiated in that collection as he built stories around imagined yet brutally real characters in a cityscape.
CMJ 2011 New York City October 18-22
CMJ Music Marathon will be held from October 18 to 22, 2011, and will once again be headquartered in downtown Manhattan. Daytime events include panel sessions, seminars and other special events; at night, CMJ Music Marathon takes over more than 80 of New York City's premier clubs and music venues to showcase thousands of the best new artists.
Now is final call for CMJ badges at the most heavily discounted prices. You need to buy by 27th December to get these prices.
CMJ Full Badge admits access to hundreds of CMJ showcases, dozens of panel discussions and film screenings, admission to CMJ Entertainment Law Seminar, CMJ Exhibitors' Loft and Registrants' Lounge, seminars, exclusive parties, and other special events. Full badge $275 save more than 40%.
CMJ Full student badge $85 - save more than 70% all the benefits as above
New for 2011 is CMJ's first ever ShowPass. For only $149, this pass allows access to all CMJ Music Marathon showcases and Film Festival screenings, subject to venue capacity. Show Pass $149 (Limited quantity).
Index - Para (Napoli, Italy) with Dadub (Berlin, Germany)
Final track from the Digital Crakle EP [aqbmp027, 2010] on the excellent A Quiet Bump netlabel
Monolithic and Altering. Structures never completely revealed. A job that consists of sipping few elements from echoes and reverberations. Martial treads interrupted by digital crackling and basses, reassuring us as only a mother's voice can.
5 tracks plus a remix from Dadub ...to close with a bang. An e.p. in which the attitude is clear. Dub is the form.
Mario Parascandolo aka "Para" was born in Napoli, Italy on 1979. About 14 years old he start to study guitar, bass guitar and musical harmony... and then studing informatic, analogic and digital component parts. Currently soundesigner, electronic musician and sound engineering. “Digital crackle” Ep was born as a tribute for him passion for minimal sound and dub style. As a tribute for all old dub traditions.
Wed, 15 December 2010
A strong US representation on this week's SnC. Not that these things are planned. A couple of rather heavier tracks too, perhaps as a result of the great time I had presenting AMPed last week with metal offerings from other AMP members, especially Rodrigo's Portuguese metal band.
Almost all of the snow has now melted and we're set for more cold weather from tomorrow. A good opportunity to get over to Aldeburgh for this week's picture of fishing nets on the beach. I realised how rarely people look inland from a beach. Mostly we just stare at the sea, perhaps longing to shed our legs and become marine life again!
Sinners in the Holy Land - Poster Child (LA, CA, USA)
Poster Child is singer/composer Enzo Tiano, who started writing songs at the age of twelve. After immigrating to Los Angeles from the Philippines when he was fifteen, he started singing for the church choir. He then began to develop a sense of melodic urge to write and sing his own songs. Influenced by artists like John Lennon, David Bowie, and Thom Yorke, he manifested his songwriting into an imaginative, twilight-zone, party vibe and formed his first live band "Paraventure" when he was 17. After a couple of years, he put music aside to pursue fashion design as a student in FIDM in Los Angeles, California for a year. In 2010 he felt called to return to music and joined the band Twin Falcons that, along with Poster Child, became his rebirth into the music scene.
Poster Child will self-release Suspicious Characters EP on January 22nd, 2011 to the blogosphere, college and non-commercial radio, and the music-loving public. Tiano is currently working on a full-length album for Poster Child and plans to release an album with the band Twin Falcons in early 2011.
X Factor - what on earth have we sunk to?
Avalanche - The Moviegoers (San Diego, CA, USA)
The Moviegoers is a pop band formed in 2008 in San Diego, California. They are Richard Hunter-Rivera (vocals, guitar), Jessica Monday (vocals, keyboards), Jordan Heimer (bass, vocals) and Carlos Robles (drums). They draw their inspiration from the San Diego sunshine, 90s indie rock, poetry from Plath to Ginsberg to Cohen, their unconditionally loving pug Dylan (and his namesake of course), Latin American crooners, and Encyclopedia Britannica.
The Moviegoers play music with melodic male/female vocal lines, alternative song structures, and noisey neo-experimental elements. Richard, Jessica, and Jordan all met while attending Columbia University in New York City where they began collaborating musically. The bands' latest effort, the self-released debut 7'' BIG HIGH SCHOOL / AVALANCHE, is out on Mangoose Records. They are currently recording a follow up EP and playing shows in support of their latest release.
Release It - Hard Nips (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Hard Nips have arrived from the far east brandishing a riff-heavy, post-punk sound laced with the angelic strainings of vocalist Yoko Sawai. Whether playing parties for Vice Magazine or CMJ gigs alongside the likes of Sean Lennon and TVOTR’s Tunde Adebimpe, this Brooklyn-based four piece commands the attention of any room they play. Known for their magnetic stage presence and rowdy antics (on stage and off), these women are living breathing rock and roll. With this four song, self-titled EP, they bring the right riffs, the right hooks and a no-holds-barred bravado that is winning hearts and minds. The Hard Nips EP droped Dec. 7th on Mixpak Records.
Kids - Sherlock's Daughter (Australia and New York)
Tanya Horo, William Russell, Liam Flanagan, Jonti Danilewitz and Tim Maybury
The adventures of Sherlock’s Daughter produce a sound where noise meets calm, mystery challenges imagination, layered vocals nurture sweet melodies while embracing darker elements of life and music...
They played an acoustic set at Cyber PR for the CMJ closing party a few weeks ago and were amazing. They seems to spread their time between Australia and New York.
Ma Do Na - Los Chicharrons (Copenhagen & New York)
Tummy Touch is delighted to welcome back Los Chicharrons, one of their very first artists back in the warehouse party days in London’s East End, for a brand new Afro Funk album to help celebrate the label’s 15 year birthday!
Roots Of Life (out 1/25/11) is the fourth Los Chicharrons album from dance music’s own odd couple, Ramon Santana and Morten Hansen. They are both musicians, DJs and producers but their backgrounds couldn’t be more different.
Ramon was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up within earshot of the voodoo drums of Haiti (the birthplace of real trance). Relocating to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the mid ‘60s, he gradually steered a course towards Corona, Queens, where a period of a rich musical development began.
In the early ‘80s Ramon’s DJing progressed apace, with regular shows in Dancetaria (where Mantronix were resident) leading to the inception of a club called Boomba Makao, operating out of three NYC venues: Giant Steps, The Soul Kitchen and Great Jones.
Morten Varano’s rich background is something of a contrast to his musical spar. Born in Copenhagen, he started playing piano at age 6, and at 14 began playing ‘indie-rock-techno-pop’ in his first band. Morten’s interest in dance music and sounds of a left-field persuasion led him to the start up of a club called Lust in Copenhagen which formed the missing link in the evolution of Los Chicharrons when Ramon’s international DJ'ing excursions took him there.
The idea of Roots Of Life came to them when Morten traveled to Bamako in Mali. Mali might be one of the poorest countries in the world but it is rich with music and a great philosophy of life. They hooked up with local musicians and recorded some songs in Mali and in Paris with finishing touches applied in Copenhagen and London. The truly international culture clash that is Roots Of Life, with its irresistible blend of Bass Music, Afro Funk and House, will be filling dance floors around the globe in 2011.
Chanson Du Forçat - Marc Farre (Piedmont, New York)
The newly released EP by Marc Farre is a bilingual (English and French) offering of emotionally charged and beautifully crafted songs featuring some remarkable playing from all involved. Available from iTunes and Amazon through Marc's site:
Saadi video for Clothersline
Also a live performance at The Knitting Factory at:
If I Stay Too Long Can I Join Your Band Nightmares - Vaudeville and Bad Omens (Ravenna, Italy)
Formed at the end of 2008, Vaudeville & Bad Omens have shown from the very start the strength of an unusual union between a guitarist who played in an ‘extreme metal’ band, and a singer who is faithful to Pop-Rock melodies. With the addition of a powerful former Metal-Rock drummer and a Blues/Soul bassist the end result is a unique sound of Alternative Rock.
Having played many gigs in Italy which has helped increase their profile in their home country, the band recently finished in the Top 3 at Faenza Rock Festival where their 20 minute set consisted of just one song that involved jamming on the bridge before the final chorus, much to the pleasure of the crowd.
More gig dates will soon be announced, details of which along with further information about Vaudeville & Bad Omens can be found on their website
Middle of the Night - Eastern Conference Champions (LA, CA via PA, USA)
Things have been looking up for Eastern Conference Champions, and they keep getting better. After parting ways with their major label, ECC embraced their new-found independence and got back to work.
The band was originally formed in Bucks County, PA when longtime friends and collaborators Joshua Ostrander and Greg Lyons parted ways with their old group, Laguardia. They immediately started ECC and began writing material that would become The Southampton Collection EP.
Back from the road and in the studio in their adopted home of Los Angeles, Ostrander and Lyons were lucky enough to meet Melissa Dougherty and asked her to contribute some guitar tracks to their latest batch of recordings. She soon became an integral part of the group and the next phase of ECC was underway.
The trio recently made waves when they contributed an exclusive song for the third instalment of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The unsigned act was chosen from more than 400 bands competing for the coveted soundtrack slot, and the resulting song, "A Million Miles An Hour," is receiving rave reviews. ECC is busy working on their full-length record SPEAK-AHH, slated for release in Spring 2011.
To hold you over until their full length release next year, ECC has gone back into the studio and produced the beautifully intimate AKUSTIKS EP.
"When we started the project the idea was just to record acoustic versions of some of our songs for the fans to have, but it’s always more fun for us to write and record new stuff, so once we got into the studio we started fleshing out some new material as well. Recording acoustic was something we’d never done before and we wanted the challenge. It really ended up being a lot of fun, and hopefully listening to it will be the same."
Wed, 8 December 2010
The unprecedented freeze continues here in Suffolk. Not wanting to miss out, the softies in NYC have started moaning :) You know who you are ;)
On SnC this week, music from France, Colerado, Louisiana, New Zealand, Los Angeles, Tehran, Vancouver and some cracking reggae from Germany.
Dual Sphere - Bruno Pitch (Auvergne, France)
In 2004, Bruno Pitch left his guitar to devote himself entirely to a fascinating instrument: the Chapman Stick.
With 10 or 12 strings, the Stick is played exclusively in 'Tapping', a technique allowing him to simultaneously play the bass and guitar parts.
He begins his apprenticeship in composing and putting its first tests on the web.
In 2007, he met the drummer Guix Huré, the bassist Boris Nicolik, a meeting that will lead to the creation of instrumental funk Group: Magic Street.
In 2009 Bruno and Guix decide to create a progressive rock album project dedicated to Chapman Stick, the album was released in 2010 under the title 'Crystal Garden'.
Composed of 8 instrumental tracks, the album mixes rock influences as diverse as metal, jazz and classical music.
Skin Hammer - The Mourning Sickness (Denver, Colorado)
"The Mourning Sickness, progressive power-trio from Denver, Colorado, has been gigging extensively for the last fifteen years, and has been completely ignored by both the local media and the underground scene: The invisible band.
Playing music that must seem confusing to the management and patrons of clubs and theaters around the world, The Mourning Sickness continues to be forgotten. Nonetheless, it refuses to die.
No provocateur of music wants to hear the same old tired piles of cliché. Trend watchers and teenage wannabes aside, The Mourning Sickness will continue to venture forth, pushing the boundaries back, despite the overwhelming evidence that no-one is listening.
Sisyphus the king was condemned throughout eternity to push a rock up a hill, only to see it fall back to earth before reaching his goal. He had no choice.
We do have a choice. And it is in the futility of music that The Mourning Sickness revel."
Check out their album A Daydream on Oak Street at:
IODA and Jamendo
I'll be really pleased to know what you're finding on IODA and Jamendo. Email is peter [at] suffolkandcool [dot] com and on Twitter I'm @suffolkandcool
Better Go Get It - Dwayne Dopsie and the Hellraisers (Lafayette, Louisiana, USA)
While Cajun and zydeco usually get the most attention, there’s a special brand of music that evolved along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, Louisiana, and southeast Texas (with influences reaching into southern Arkansas and Tennessee) called “swamp rock” or “swamp pop.”
The genre combines early R&B formats with a mainstream sensibility and a strong blues feeling. But what makes this music unusual is that most swamp pop musicians, and a large part of the music’s audience, are white.
Swamp Rock is the first album in LocoBop’s new series featuring some of the most exciting and authentic interpreters of this genre.
Dwayne (Dopsie) Rubin is youngest the son of the late King of Zydeco , Alton Rubin Sr. (aka Rockin' Dopsie). Born March 3rd, 1979, Dwayne Dopsie was raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he grew up listening to and playing Zydeco music. At the age of four, he played the washboard like his brother, David, “Rockin' Dopsie Jr.”, but he soon picked up the accordion and followed in his father's footsteps. After traveling the Zydeco circuit with his family, at the age of nineteen, Dwayne started his own band and has continued in the family tradition of entertaining.
Currently, Dwayne is burning the trail on several continents touring to support his newest Sound of New Orleans release, Up In Flames. Reviews of both his performances and his newest recording are always glowing. Travelling Man, Dwayne's last release, also received a Grammy pre-nomination in 2006.
Come to me (JStar Remix feat. MC Ishu) - The Black Seeds (New Zealand)
New release: The Black Seeds Specials: Remixes & Versions from Solid Ground
For The Black Seeds, this album was an opportunity to present songs from their Solid Ground LP in a new light and encourage experimentation by giving a range of artists, producers, and MC’s - some established, some up and coming, from New Zealand and around the world, a chance to put their take on a ‘Seeds’ song.
It was also an opportunity to officially release some Solid Ground B.side material, and dub and acoustic versions that they recorded during the album sessions.
The end result is a 14-track digital album which mashes up the Solid Ground LP into a huge range of styles and genres — from funk to dubstep to acoustic to electronic and back again. Some tracks have a more familiar ‘Seeds’ sound to them, while some come totally out of left field.
They’ve now begun working on their fifth studio album, which is due for release in 2011.
Jamaican born MC Ishu is now based in the UK after moving to London in the ‘80s to record with seminal punk band The Slits. On the Specials he adds his sublime vocals to JStar’s re-working of ‘Come to Me’. He’s also a member of UK live dance act Step 13 - who have stormed UK venues from East London's Cargo to Bristol's Clockwork, and performed at festivals such as Glastonbury, and Secret Garden:
Guilty Filthy Soul - AWOLNation (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
“AWOL, the brain child of Aaron Bruno delivered a loud mix of '90s flavored alt-rock with hints of hip-hop and synths”
Like Peter Finch’s newsman Howard Beale in the movie Network, AWOL is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. Broke and with his world crumbling around him, he launched a NATION.
And indeed, what can a poor boy do… except make some of his toughest, hardest, most passionate music ever, slamming it with the most up-to-date hip-hop and electronic dance beats in a genre-blending mash-up that defines AWOLNATION. It’s not just music, but a crusade designed to fight all that’s fake, commercialized, compromised and debased in popular culture.
In the self-lacerating “Guilty, Filthy Soul,” with its Queen/David Bowie “Under Pressure” harmonies by way of the Beatles and the Beach Boys, AWOL doesn’t point a finger, as much as he takes full responsibility for the situation he finds himself in. “I built this not necessarily thinking anybody else would believe it but me, and now everybody else is starting to believe in it even more than I do,” he marvels. “I’ll agree to steer the ship, but it’s up to other people whether they get aboard or not.”
“If I’m going down in flames, it’ll be my way,” confesses AWOL. “Why do it if you’re not going to do it all-out? - Metromix NY
Show tomorrow: Dec 9 Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, Georgia , US
Don't You See the Cheerful Rainbow? - Salim Ghazi Saeedi (Tehran, Iran)
Rock music is of course not rooted in Iran, but the enticement within the genre has strikingly pierced Salim Ghazi Saeedi’s heart in his hometown.
Living in a country with domination of traditional culture, Salim has now globally released his 4th album, Iconophobic. An album as a "strong statement from Saeedi on life in his home city of Tehran" (Steven Reid, Sea of Tranquility webzine, Sep 2010) or let's say “a stream of conscious story without words." (Christy Claxton, Stave Magazine, Sep 2010 )
Iconophobic is an instrumental concept album on “fear of the world of imagery”, composed and performed for electric guitar, bass and synthesizers by Salim, hiring various elements of classical, electronic and progressive rock music to communicate artist's extreme feelings: Satire, bizarre phobias, ecstatic joy and embryonic love are themes of this daydream.
He has composed three albums "Abrahadabra" (2006), "Sovereign" (2007) and "Ustuqus-al-Uss" (2008) in the band Arashk. His fourth album, "Iconophobic" released in 2010 under his own title in which he played the roles of composer, guitarist, keyboard player, drums arranger, mixing engineer and producer.
Adnams Artist of the Month - Bleu
Interview with Sean Clark (Head of Web at Adnams)
There is more information about Bleu on the AOTM page for November 2010. A slightly extended version of the interview will be posted at the weekend. Sorry, the upload allowance is causing a few problems these days but I'm negotiating for a bit more space for more goodies. You can keep up with what's happening at the brewery @Adnams on Twitter.
Singin' In Tongues - Bleu (Vancouver, BC, Canada) Musebox
The release follows on the heels of 2009’s critically admired A Watched Pot (which suffered, promotionally, from big-label implosions far out of his control), and comes amid a flurry of co-writing and production projects. “I really enjoy working with other artists part of the time and then creating my own material,” he says. “It keeps things nicely balanced.”
He has just completed a UK tour.
Get on Board - Oneness (Bad Oldesloe, Germany)
Title track of his 2009 EP. I can't tell you a lot more about Oneness because I don't have the German for it :)
He is playing a live show on Dec 31 (New Year's Eve) at Sylvester in Lübeck, Germany.
Farai kam eigentlich als Profi-Fußballer aus Simbabwe nach Deutschland, begann aber 2005 sein musikalisches Talent als Songwriter und Sänger mit seiner Band Oneness zu verwirklichen. An seine Mitmusiker aus Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein konnte er schnell seine Liebe zum Reggae weitergeben.
Diese Leidenschaft und Lebensfreude bringen Oneness nun dem Publikum näher und kreieren dabei einen tanzbaren Reggae-Mix aus Roots, Dancehall und R'n'B, der sich keiner eingegrenzten Ziel- und Altersgruppe verschreibt. Oneness bedeutet Einheit; Unterschiedliche Menschen und unterschiedliche Lebenslagen über die Musik zu verbinden ist der Gedanke, der sich dahinter verbirgt.
Der energiegeladene Sänger vermag manchem durch seine authentische Stimme und seine überzeugende Bühnenpräsenz als Reinkarnation Bob Marleys erscheinen. Gerade deswegen dürfen neben den vielen Eigenkompositionen auch Interpretationen bekannter Songs nicht fehlen. Unter Einbeziehung des Publikums ergibt sich immer eine individuelle Show mit improvisierten Einlagen.
Wed, 1 December 2010
Music from Canada, Iceland, France, Boston, Asturia, New York, Germany and Singapore for you on SnC this week along with news from the LIET festival and Stowmarket.
It's a bit of an odd mix. Probably induced by the exceptionally low autumn temperatures in the UK at the moment and the hugely enjoyable Session at the Barn which we recorded yesterday with Something Happened. What jolly japes with Derek, Terence and guest vocalist Ruby. (right)
I don't know - The Sheepdogs (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Sporting the long hair and scruffy beards of their musical forefathers, The Sheepdogs create old school rock and roll that moves and grooves.
The Sheepdogs’ third record Learn and Burn, on which each track gushes 70s classic rock sound, has just been re-released on vinyl. The band’s grooving melodies and dueling guitar riffs transcend generations with their double helix of rock revival and contemporary flair.
Comprised of Ewan Currie on guitar and lead vocals, Leot Hanson on guitar, Ryan Gullen on bass and Sam Corbett on drums, The Sheepdogs started as just a group of old souls that loved to jam. Songs like “I Don’t Know” and “The One You Belong To” showcase the radiating guitar skills and lush harmonies between lead and back-up vocals.
Sólin mun skína - Rökkurró (Reykjavik, Iceland)
Rökkurró’s melancholic serenades are evocative of the cold and desolate landscapes of their distant homeland. Mesmerising tones and swooping strings projected against a bleak and solitary Nordic backdrop. And yet, unique warmth pervades Rökkurró’s music owed to the fragile and soothing voice of Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir.
Their debut Það Kólnar Í Kvöld (It’s Getting Colder Tonight) was released in 2007 in Iceland, Europe and Japan to great critical acclaim, followed by tour dates with iconic figures of the Icelandic music scene múm and celebrated neo-classical composer Ólafur Arnalds.
Three years on Rökkurró are releasing their sophomore album produced by Alex Somers, partner and music collaborator of Jónsi Þór Birgisson (Sigur Rós). Í Annan Heim is a collection of nine graceful compositions that showcase a darker, more expansive and mature sound, full of meticulously crafted melodies, complex arrangements and smooth sonic textures.
Nouveau Départ (Feat Manhope) - Yemguy (France)
This EP is an album of transition, as its name. First, it marks a break with the project Fudd (even if the sound is close to final) is just the beginning of a schizophrenic musical and artistic ...
This is a studio EP, most tracks therein will never be played live, but they are laying the foundations of the universe that will be discussed later.
The songs were written and recorded between March 2009 and May 2010, and I am very happy to share them.
A big thank you to those who contributed directly or indirectly to this album, it will recognize to ... Guilhem aka Fudd or Yemguy
John Peel Arts Centre plan for Stowmarket wins grant
A scheme to open an arts centre in Suffolk to commemorate legendary BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel has won a £50,000 Big Lottery Fund (BLF) grant.
Mid Suffolk District Council wants to refurbish the Stowmarket Corn Exchange building to create the centre named after Mr Peel, who lived locally.
The John Peel Centre for Creative Arts aims to promote strong interpersonal skills, education and community.
UK community groups were invited to bid for a share of the £3.6m from the BLF.
Mr Peel appeared regularly on the airwaves from 1967 until his death in 2004, becoming one of the UK's most famous and popular presenters.
Sheila Ravenscroft, Mr Peel's widow, welcomed the grant.
She said the centre would be for "music, art and drama for all ages. That's why people are so excited about it".
Ride - John Eye (Boston, USA)
A former art student, John Eye has been painting with sound since he formed the band one of us in 1992. It started out as his way to "compile and illustrate all the emotions and ideas that seemed difficult to confine to a canvas." The band released seven recordings and tracks on various compilations exhibiting a continually evolving sound and songwriting style, mastering genres from rock to world to beat driven dance music. The track is from his current EP Cannonicus 3.14 released in the Fall of 2010. The beat-driven offering spans rock and club genres and includes a traditional Lakota Sioux sun dance song. The work is a testament to nearly 20 years of musical evolution and showcases original songs and re-mixes by John Eye and renowned East Coast producers and DJ's.
You can buy his music through iTunes and CD Baby links on the site.
I mentioned the LIET festival at which Asturian artists Xerta were competing. You can see their performance here.
Valsiau de San Andros - Xera (Asturies, Spain)
They came a very creditable second in the jury prize which was won by Orka from the Faroe Islands who Grumber played a fair bit of when he was actively podcasting
There are loads of videos of performances at this years festival at
Slam Dunk - Dashboard Madonna (Hamburg, Germany)
Honey and Sascha met at a recording session. Sascha was producing a track and a female singer was needed. Honey was recommended by a friend, and after recording a couple bars Sascha new he had found the right singer, not only for the song, but for his own band he was forming called Dashboard Madonna. The band have successfully played live in Germany and London and have built a steady fan base.
The album was recorded and produced in sorts of countries such as Portugal, Italy, Great Britain and Turkey, as Sascha loves to travel. "With technology so advanced these days it's possible to be creative anywhere you happen to be and capture it on your Laptop." says Sascha.
The songs on Neon Life contain lyrics that are short stories about peoples lives instead of dishing up the usual about love and relationships most artists tend to do. Honey: "We've got all sorts of different characters in our songs. One is about a gambler, one is about a guy obsessed with Bond-Girls or another one is about a frustrated housewife who decides to escape her boring life. Most of the lyrics are very tongue in cheek. Music should be fun to listen to and we think we have achieved that." The albums first single is Slam Dunked a funky song about a girl who chooses her guys by how good the are at basketball. Slam Dunked is available at all major digital stores including the itunes Music Store, Amazon MP3 and Napster.
Ghali Ya Bouy - Sephardic Music Festival, Vol. 1 (New York, USA)
A mix of traditional, dance, electro, hip hop, and folk songs from around the Sephardic world makes up the Sephardic Music Festival's first compilation album, released world-wide yesterday.
Founded by American-Israeli producer Diwon, the Sephardic Music Festival showcases the latest Mizrahi, Yemenite, and Ladino talent from around the world. Selections range from traditional Sephardic folk songs to hip hop, electro, and dance music.
A whole other world of Jewish culture and inspiration can be traced to the Jewish communities of North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Whether live or on CD, the Sephardic Music Festival presents a tapestry of harmonies, rhythms, and motifs as rich, vibrant, and diverse as the Jewish world itself.
The 6th Annual Sephardic Music Festival hits NYC from December 1-8. The annual festival is produced by www.shemspeed.com
The festival starts tonight with a Jewish Diversity Night @ IndustryCity NYC in a 20,000 square foot loft on the water at 220 36th St Brooklyn, NY 11232 The event includes: Interactive art installations, Live art performances, Art gallery, Tagging wall, Dveykus Fashion Show feat. their famous Israeli Keffiyeh lineand music by Diwon, DeScribe, Y-Love & more.
It closes on December 8, 2010 with Culture Mash (Closing Night Party!) with Saadi, Dr. Israel, Diwon & tons more artists tba @ Knitting Factory
Culture Mash takes Shemspeed's Balagan Boogaloo series, which The Village Voice dubbed Stereotype-defying music, to the next level. The party series is produced byIsraeli/American world music maestro Diwon and hosted by Brooklyn's Knitting Factory. It features worldwide MCs and Dub Selectas from varied backgrounds, including Balkan, Dancehall, Baile Funk, Mizrahi, Bhangra, New Mediterranio and Afro Beat. Culture Mash is a festive and energetic blend of the sounds that moves shoes to dance floors worldwide, and unifies people through culture and music, celebrating diversity and finding the common ground.
Location: 361 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn 8pm | $10 pre-sale | $15 Door
Full information from: www.sephardicmusicfest.com
The Violin Song - Arun Shenoy (Singapore)
Arun Shenoy has most recently released his debut world fusion record titled Sol, an elaborate production recorded almost entirely live at various locations across the globe. The passionate rhythms of flamenco, fused with contemporary popular music sensibilities make this a unique and evocative musical experience.
Sol is a free for download through his Facebook page. A 5 track EP features music from the full length follow-up to Sol, titled Rhythm Of the Sun. In parallel he will be co-writing and performing in a new alternative rock act he has just formed with singer and songwriter Sridhar, in Singapore.
For latest updates, videos and free mp3 downloads, join the very active community at:
Wed, 24 November 2010
Some cracking music from Italy, California, Finland, the UK, Brooklyn and Canada. Along with news from Codger and a delicious rant from Dave Stewart.
The hops which grew up the barn again this year didn't really throve but they look pretty good now with the light behind them.
A very happy Thanksgiving to all my old and new friends in the USA. Your generosity, hospitality and warm welcome made the recent New York trip a total blast and gave me so many memories which I shall always treasure.
You!You! - Stylish Kids in the Riot (Bozano, Italy)
The newcomer-band Stylish Kids In The Riot was founded during a train ride from Bolzano to Meran-City in February 2010. It was Alessio Posar’s (guitar) and Francesco Sartorel’s (drums) idea; Sasha Vergolini joined the two young musicians and Theo Durante (vocals and bass) did so shortly afterwards.
Stylish Kids In The Riot performed successfully at the Upload Festival and so the band was given the opportunity to play at Upload Firmian in September 2010, too. After some live gigs in, the band was taken to the studio by Carmelo Giacchino and recorded their first & stylish “You!You! EP” which you can download from Jamendo or from www.airbagpromo.com/records
PC Podcast the end of an era. Let's hope there's another one soon.
"I’m not giving up podcasting, but after 5 years, I’ve decided that PCP#336 will be the last show. I’ve really enjoyed the diversity of music I’ve played since Jan 30th 2006 and worked with some amazing musicians. You can still listen to The Dub Zone or The Dub Step Zone for regular infusions of fantastic music."
"Don’t worry…. I’ll be back with something new sometime in 2011. In the meantime, thanks for listening, thanks for contributing and thanks for supporting independent music."
Goodnight Company - Jane Lui (San Francisco / LA, CA, USA)
Her instrumentation and vocalization have a whimsical, homemade feel that is inventive, magical, masterful and intimate. Jane integrates left and right brain to produce her own videos and play 14 instruments including piano, guitar, xylophone and harmonium, not to mention Ikea wine glasses, handmade music boxes and fireplace brushes against walls. “You’re poor in college -- don’t have stuff, so you make it up. Found objects sound grittier, dirtier and more acoustically imperfect than manufactured ones. If they rust, they rust then resonate differently,” claims Lui.
True to her independent spirit and mastery of choral music, Jane is largely responsible for her own sound. She records most of the music with a mobile studio and mini-disc in classrooms, churches, recital halls, houses, and 19th century sailing ships. “Accidents and lack of budget can give life to music. I’ve never worked in a huge recording studio,” says Lui, “I’ve always had a small board and moved wherever I needed to. On location, the sound lives more vibrantly in 3-D and it has become my favorite way of working.”
Goodnight Company, Jane’s third album is out as a free digital download from her site and will be released on CD in January, 2011. It builds on her previous successes with debut Teargirl and Barkentine.
“Goodnight Company has the most production value. Of all my albums,” says Lui, “I let the reins go and allowed the songs to speak for themselves. I'm at a much happier point in life -- more confident to let my co-producer, Aaron Bowen bring out the real ‘Jane.’ These songs feel best to me.”
Using PledgeMusic.com, Lui raised over $11,000 in two months to fund 50% of the album. “I couldn't believe how much people wanted to help and it’s made the project more real now that I’m responsible to my fans. Youtube really helped,” she says, “The world is watching; it’s crazy."
Anything But Hopeless - Rendezvous Park (Helsinki, Finland)
A longer form instrumental piece. Founded in 2008 by Kai Kousa and Mikael Nousiainen, Rendezvous Park was supposed to be just a simple side project for releasing tracks that were too different for their other band project. Two years later this small side project had already become the primary vehicle for their creativity.
From 2008 to early 2010 they spent writing, re-writing, recording and re-recording their debut album The Days You Didn’t Notice. The process of making the album was slow and challenging, but in fall 2010 the album was finally ready to be released. Musically they draw influences from post-rock, movie soundtracks, French minimalism and diverse collection of artists.
They write, perform, mix and produce all their material. Rendezvous Park is: Mikael Nousiainen - piano, glockenspiel, percussions, drums programming, recording and mixing Kai Kousa - electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric bass, music videos and graphic design
The single, Anything But Hopeless is available for free download from:
Dave Stewart's words of wisdom on Twitter
Dave Stewart (Eurythmics, etc.) was watching the American Music Awards TV show on Sunday.
OK, so how do I know? Well a bit of a give-away is that he was tweeting to his @DaveStewart Twitter account at the time. It has been suggested that he was jet-lagged and/or drunk, but regardless, I think he spoke his highest truth and expresses how a lot of us feel about an awful lot of big label music right now. So what did he say? Well here are the relevant tweets:
"AMA's ridiculous why is evrything like a pole dance... What have we come to."
"We used to have amazing artists now it's fucking ridiculous , record labels are to blame"
"Rhianna I'm sure you could be interesting but wht the fuck are you doing , who the hell is writing these ridiculous songs"
"AMA's get a life American Music Awards , where is the music?"
"What the fuck has happened we need artists directly communicating with their fans get rid of the media companies fucking it up greedy pigs"
"There are great new artists that don't/won't get a chance because _____________________ you fiLl in the blanks"
"I had to stop wtaching as it remibded me of when I injected amphetamines in my tearduct"
"I love new young artists with something to say , in any style of music what would Lennon think if he was alive he would throw up"
"Ama's I turned off because Not one thing was real , now listing to Buddy Guy LOUD"
"Fucking TV crap , everyone is in a panic (partly by the way is because 90% of music is now downloaded for free) so spiralling downwards"
"Signing off with last comment , bring back "sex and drugs and rock n roll" better than "botox , tits and autotune"
Yes, he was obviously angry and, in my opinion, that anger was honestly felt, clearly expressed and fully justified.
I've been wondering for some time why so many musicians have to go through the nonsense of a dance routine. It is almost as though the director, labels, management or whoever don't want us to notice that he/she may just have a great voice. I've been wondering for a while why we can't just listen to and watch someone making music; that's where the alchemy is to be found. Not in bloody choreography.
As is blatantly obvious from the number and of tracks I get submitted every week and from those that really have what it takes, the music business is actually going through quite a boom right now, more live music than ever, music available in decent quality from so many sources and fans hooking up with artists through channels such as Facebook and Twitter to create and manage their own sustainable careers.
Yup, the music business is doing just fine; I'm not so sure about the record industry though. Every dramatic lurch the big labels make looks more and more like a death throw. It must end soon, surely. I suspect that the remaining big labels will become mainstream entertainment companies and may do quite well with pretty boys and girls dancing nicely to appeal to a very young, pre-teen market.
* [Actually, add to that the nostalgia market. I just saw that The Beatles sold 450,000 albums and 2 million individual songs in their first week on iTunes].
The real/ indie/ DIY/ DTF music business model has changed so radically with the advent of digital technology that it will take a little time to settle down. But we live in exciting and unpredictable times, out of which will surely come another wave of amazing new music and exciting means of getting it out to making a living.
I can't and won't believe that is really is impossible to make a living in music other then through through "Botox, tits and auto-tune".
Hardly "living" is it?
Fish and Crab + Have Some - pc Muñoz (San Francisco, CA, USA)
A couple of the new batch of micro-jams that are available for free download.
Drum programming, acoustic percussion, belembaotuyan, and voices by PC Muñoz
Drum programming recorded and edited by Willie Samuels and Justin Lieberman at Studio Trilogy
Acoustic percussion, belembaotuyan, and voices recorded by PC Muñoz at Studio Trilogy
Produced and mixed by PC Muñoz
Roll Back The Years - Graham Robins (Hertfordshire, UK)
Graham Robins began performing in the 60s and played alongside Amen Corner, The Herd, Geno Washington and Ram Jam Band, Long John Baldry, Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames, Jimmy Ruffin and many others.
Graham is a superb performer with great songs and a soulful voice that has been likened to Van Morrison's while Geno Washington has said of Graham 'This man has soul' - and he should know.
Graham has recently ben touring with Van's daughter, Shana Morrison, and recording a forthcoming album.
Graham is playing CB2 in Cambridge on Saturday. The music starts at 8.30 and entry is £5. CB2 is in Norfolk Street, Cambridge CB1 2LD.
They've already sold quite a few tickets, so if you'd like to come, please send an email to john[at] johnmeed.net or call Dave on 07734 504274 to reserve.
Further dates include:
2 Dec 2010 The Crossroads Blues Club, Cotteridge, Birmingham, GB
5 Dec 2010 Blues At The Red, Old Town, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, GB
9 Dec 2010 The White Horse, Stony Stratford, Milton Keynes, GB
10 Dec 2010 The Kontra Roots Club, Irthlingborough, Northamptonshire, GB
12 Dec 2010 The HALFMOON (With Gary Fletcher), Putney, London,
Dansi dans - For A Minor Reflection (Reykjavík, Iceland)
I keep forgetting to tell you that For a Minor Reflection, who I interviewed in SnC 241 (13th October 2010), have made their single Dansi Dans available as a free download from Suffolk'n'Cool. Thanks guys. Just go to the shownotes at http://suffolkandcool.libsyn.org/sn-c-241-wednesday-13th-october-2010 and use the link.
FaMR comprises of four 20-year-olds from Reykjavík, Iceland. Their music is best described as energetic, melodious post-rock, though being the natural creative visionaries they are, the band expand and even subvert their style with almost every song.
Lines - And the Wiremen (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
And The Wiremen is lead by Brooklyn-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lynn Wright. A member of the cinematic orchestral rock band Bee and Flower, in this project Wright collaborates with former Sparklehorse guitarist/trumpeter Paul Watson (Michael Hurley), Pere Ubu bassist Tony Maimone (Frank Black, Mekons, Book of Knots, etc.), guitarist Jon Petrow (Cloudroom, Bee and Flower), and a revolving cast of musicians to create music that evokes images of a gothic deep South combined with the rhythms of South America and the grainier elements of barroom jazz and avant-pop.
Their eponymous debut was recorded over the course of the last five years with the bulk of the sessions taking place at a now defunct studio in a tin-roofed, cedar-walled camp beside the Tangipahoa River north of New Orleans. While the rest was recorded at bassist Maimone's Studio G Brooklyn, it's easy to imagine their sound coming off the muddy waters of a Louisiana swamp.
The band is currently working with a group of filmmakers and multimedia artists to create videos/short films for every song on the album. Starting November 1, a new video will be released every 3 weeks to a month via their Myspace and Facebook pages.
Once loved a Cowgirl - Marshall Lawrence (Edmonton, Canada )
Not many blues artists can call themselves “the Doctor of the Blues” without a whole stretcher-full of the idiom’s winking big talk. But Marshall Lawrence can, and with only the slightest bit of irony. The award-nominated Canadian bluesman actually holds a doctorate in psychology, and he knows how to use it—just as he knows how to use his slashing guitar, stinging, lightning-fast slide, and pleading, mournful moan: Marshall’s prescription for a maximum blues remedy.
Another track, Going Down to Louisiana was played on SnC 233, back in August.
Wed, 17 November 2010
Quite a bit of news, comment and an interview with Jordan Reyne this week as well as fine music from Iran, New York, Chicago, Hamburg Essex squished into a sandwich between two slices of Canada.
We've had a couple of impressive sunsets this week. Still, cold air seems to do it.
The shownotes are getting bombarded with spam comments recently so I may well turn the facility off for a while and hope the spammers go away. If you'd like to get in touch by all means do so through the contact tab on the site.
Oh and just a reminder that you can help cover some of the production costs of Suffolk 'n' Cool by shopping via the affiliate links on the Deals page at suffolkandcool.com.
Mean What I Say - Clothes Make the Man (Toronto, Canada)
From their very new EP Control (2 Nov). Clothes Make the Man is like a group of loud mouthed kids yelling into microphones alongside cranked up amplifiers and pounding drums... except with beards and deeper voices. The band manages to maintain the same level of wide eyed enthusiasm with every set they play, so each audience member feels as they did the first time they ate sushi on a yacht made of diamonds.
Rest assured, CMTM are not a metal or hardcore band and lack the immature essence kids often bestow. CMTM are masterful songwriters, almost unbeknown to themselves.
The EP is out now and the forthcoming full album Distance should be available in the new year.
Marc Farre posted a new video: "Harry..."
The Beatles on iTunes - I wonder who's bothered.
Asiyeh - Salim Ghazi Saeedi (Tehran, Iran)
Rock music is of course not rooted in Iran, but the enticement within the genre has strikingly pierced Salim Ghazi Saeedi’s heart in his hometown.
Living in a country with domination of traditional culture, Salim has now globally released his 4th album, Iconophobic.
Iconophobic is an instrumental concept album on “fear of the world of imagery”, composed and performed for electric guitar, bass and synthesizers by Salim, hiring various elements of classical, electronic and progressive rock music to communicate artist's extreme feelings: Satire, bizarre phobias, ecstatic joy and embryonic love are themes of this daydream.
He has composed three albums "Abrahadabra" (2006), "Sovereign" (2007) and "Ustuqus-al-Uss" (2008) in the band Arashk. His fourth album, "Iconophobic" released in 2010 under his own title in which he played the roles of composer, guitarist, keyboard player, drums arranger, mixing engine er and producer.
This week Smile / nickydigital.com are making a great mix of Saadi indie world pop tracks. It is available for free download
Four Days Straight - Scattered Trees (Chicago, IL, USA)
Scattered Trees is a dapper, young group of artists who grew up together in the outskirts of Chicago, often playing music. Some of the members share last names, albeit for different reasons. They are the kind of friends who can separate and come back together at ease, entertained by a constellation of conversations and the familiarity of each other’s voices. As is the case with any ambitious set of individuals aspirations beyond their hometown, as they grew, Scattered Trees spent more and more time apart until it seemed the norm. Just when it appeared life had separated them for good, tragedy struck, a death, and Scattered Trees came back together, recording an album emblazed with the sincerity and beauty that only the most terrible of times can yield. This fall, the first singles from this record will be made available to purchase. In the coming months a short, multi-part documentary will be released telling Scattered Trees’ tale in a far more intimate way than a band bio ever could.
Jordan Reyne interview - A conversation with Jordan, over a slightly dodgy Skype line, about her music, her influences and about playing gigs almost every day to a world-wide audience from her kitchen!
If you want to know more about the technicalities of how Jordan does her on-line performances , take a look at: One Minute How To (George Smyth) Item #523 How To Perform Ur Music Internationally W/O Leaving Ur Couch by Jordan Reyne at http://lnkd.in/RmEreZ
The Brave - Jordan Reyne (New Zealand via Hamburg)
No Black Crayons - Mux Mool (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
“I know it's electronic music,” Brian Lindgren says, “but sometimes I feel like an old-timey traveling musician with an M-Audio Trigger Finger instead of a guitar.” As Mux Mool, Lindgren has been criss-crossing the USA by himself for years, collecting records, loops, and samples, and rocking parties in towns both large and boondock-small. Lindgren is a self-confessed nerd to the bone, an incurable doodler, a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan; he lives on energy drinks and barely sleeps, spending his days working on music and his nights absorbing Internet memes by the hard-drive load. Mux Mool’s homespun electro hip-hop is the product of an introverted mind, an extroverted imagination, and a bottomless cultural appetite.
“I think beat-making is really the study of every kind of music, anyone who makes beats should be experimenting in other genres.” On Skulltaste, Lindgren’s full-length debut on Ghostly International, the producer was determined to explore every corner of his beat-steeped psyche, and the resulting document is a masterpiece of eclectic cohesion: chunky instrumental hip-hop sits next to new-wave anthems and dubby dancefloor bangers, which abut skittery slices of D’nB and made-up video-game soundtracks. Skulltaste may cover a lot of ground, but Mux Mool pulls it off. He even makes it look easy.
Racing with the Sun - Annabelle Chvostek (Montreal, Canada)
Annabelle played a great show at The Winelight Club a little over a year ago now, where I picked up her then 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."
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.
Gold Panda (played last week)
A show this week, along with Banjo Or Freakout & Ghost Eyes. Saturday 20 November at the Norwich Arts Centre 8pm : £7.00 adv : £8.00 door
Norwich Arts Centre, St. Benedict's Street, Norwich (01603) 660352
Rudies Don't Care - Rude City Riot (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Yes, they've been on the show a few times and deservedly so.
Rude City Riot is a hard hitting 7 piece “Power-Ska” band from the Pacific NorthWest, Vancouver BC, Canada to be exact.
What is Power-Ska you ask? The answer when applied to Rude City Riot is “start with Ska Music and add equal parts Reggae, Punk and Hard Rock and you get “Power-Ska”.
RCR released their debut self titled EP / CD in Nov. 2008 and has released 3 digital singles on Skaspot Records in 2010 and are currently working on their first full length LP for release in early 2011 on Stomp Records.
Dustin Lionhart, lead singer and primary songwriter for RCR has been writing Ska songs since age 14 and is now writing melodic anthems accessible to all those who love good music and well crafted songs.
Wed, 10 November 2010
Some wonderful music from around the world, news of some gigs that you might just want to get to and the announcement of Adnams Artist of the Month for October
I was in Southwold yesterday. The sea was heaping up on the beach and stained brown from all the sand and silt the high winds had caused it to stir up from the seabed. The sandwich and a pint a The Lord Nelson were a great comfort on a cold, wet and blustery day. :)
Pen 15 - Unsolved Mysteries (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Unsolved Mysteries began in 2004 as the solo musical project of Jon Lynn and has since evolved to a full collaboration with producer Colin Alexander. Drawing from inspirations as diverse as Vangelis and Three Six Mafia, New Order and Keith Sweat; it is everything weird that you barely recall from childhood memories.
Tin Pan (played last week) have a show coming up on 11/11/2010 at 05:00 PM at the 34th Street - Herald Square subway station above the N/R/Q trains. Reverbnation has them down as headlining - lovely! Details at www.reverbnation.com/show/3384599
BTW, the Twitter engine has it that Jesse and Clifton from the band are "working on vocal tracks. Album is getting closer and closer to being done, yall!!! " This con only be good news.
Tin Pan Band will be done by 7 so you'll have an hour to high tail it to The Living Room on Ludlow Street for a show with our good friend Marc Farre. Details of Marc's show at www.reverbnation.com/show/3182341
Harry - Marc Farre (Piermont, NY, USA)
Singer/songwriter Marc Farre was born in France, but immigrated to the U.S., where he managed the Merce Cunningham Dance Company during the 1980s and worked with avant-garde classical composer John Cage.
He composed a dozen scores for modern dance in the '80s and '90s. His work with Cage brought him into contact with MODE, a classical record label, which signed him to its AVANT imprint (notwithstanding his desire to record his own pop/rock songs) and released his debut EP, Margaret Maybe, in 1994. The disc gained little notice, however, and Farre sought his release from the label, going on to issue his subsequent recordings himself on his own All Weather label. The first of these was his debut full-length album, Unsafe Songs, released in 1998. Man on the Sun followed in September 2000. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he released a benefit single, "Prayer Flags," to radio only. In 2003, he scored the documentary film He Who Is Blessed for public television. Harry is taken from his third full-length CD, Secret Symphony, was released on June 23, 2008.
The best news is that a new release is imminent.
Japanese - The Art of Shooting (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
The Art Of Shooting is 3 folks from DC and one from Detroit who all live in Brooklyn and love one another very much. Their sound comes directly from Kelly's pelvis and inability to play by ear, making for a unique sound.
They are often compared to Feist meeting Explsions in the Sky, the Pretenders, and an early Smashing Pumpkins and, in their time, have played every imaginable venue Manhattan and Brooklyn have to offer.
Nov 10 The Sunset Tavern, Seattle, WA
Nov 11 TBA Seattle, WA
Nov 12 Le Voyeur Olympia, Wa
Nov 13 Full Tilt Ice Cream Seattle, WA
Mace Spray - The Jezzabels (Sydney, Australia)
One of the frustrations of CMJ was the artists that I didn't get to see, with around 50 shows on at any one time, it just isn't possible to see every you want to. The Jezabels are one such band.
Formed at university in Sydney in 2007, their careers seem to have really taken off in the past 12 months.
Since releasing their second EP, She’s So Hard, in November 2009, the four-piece have toured the country supporting Tegan & Sara, Katie Noonan and Josh Pyke, and as headliners in their own right (selling out shows nationally in the process). They’ve watched Hurt Me, the lead single from She’s So Hard, receive heavy rotation on radio in Australia and abroad, a feat also achieved by its follow-up, Easy To Love. Fittingly, The Jezabels have seen their fanbase grow every step of the way.
There have been lessons learned along the way. The constant touring has, says 24-year-old keyboardist Heather Shannon, made the band – completed by guitarist Sam Lockwood (24) and drummer Nik Kaloper (25) – much tighter. Sharing the stage with Tegan & Sara, they learned how to work the biggest rooms of their career. Best of all, the long hours travelling betweens gigs and the routine of performing every night has solidified the band’s understanding of what it is that makes them tick.
The Jezabels’ new EP, Dark Storm is the third and final release in a trilogy of EPs that began with 2009’s The Man Is Dead, its five songs represent the band’s most confident outing to date – moody, mysterious and epic, yet buzzing with the quartet’s ever-present knack for an irresistible pop hook.
Liet International 2010
On Saturday 27th of November the Breton city of An Orient (French: Lorient) will host the seventh edition of European minority language song contest Liet International, the one and only song contest for singers and bands who sing in a European minority language.
In previous contests Liet international had songs in languages such as Basque, Breton, Catalan, Cornish, Corsican, Frisian, Friulian, Gaelic, Galician, Karelian, Lowgerman, Manx, Meankieli, Mordvinian, Northfrisian, Occitan, Romani, Sámi, Sorbian, Votian and Welsh. The Sámi (Laps) have won the festival four times, but the 2008 contest in Swedish Lapland was won by the Corsican singer Jacques Culioli.
Lliendes - Xera (Asturies, Spain) Jamendo
One of the bands in the contest final is Asturian folk music group Xera. Asturies is right up in the far north of Spain facing out over the Bay of Biscay. Head due north from there and it's pretty much next stop Dublin!
Their sound is an integration of electronic and traditional Asturian music, mixing live instruments with samplers, industrial percussion... with a symphonic treatment that result in a very wide spectrum of sensations.
You can buy the CD or listen to the full Lliendes album for free on their site where you can also find more info about them (philosophy, concerts, etc.)
Check out the contest site too at: www.liet.nl/internationaal/
I was in Southwold yesterday to meet up with Rob Chase who chose this month's Adnams Artist of the Month and has the glorious title of "Fine" wine manager upon which I, of course, immediately challenged him.
There is an extended version of the interview with Rob on the SnC site under Artist of the Month (well, there will be tomorrow) and there will be an interview with October's AOTM Jordan Reyne in next week's SnC.
Blood - Jordan Reyne (New Zealand via Hamburg)
Jordan's unusual approach to music pairs the rhythms of steam-based technology and machinery with folk instruments and vocal styles, crossing technology with history to tell the dark stories of characters real and imagined. As evidenced by her 3 nominations for the “Tui” Music Award in her native New Zealand and her performance on the soundtrack of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films, she is a serious artist who puts an immense amount of time and effort into her work.
There is an interview with Jordan in next week's show. She is one articulate and interesting woman with a very interesting approach to creating and playing her music.
The Extras, is a remarkable book of photographs by my podcasting colleague George Smyth. In it he beautifully records images of those people with whom he has no direct connection, who play no significant part in his life and yet who populate his world. The Extras.
George's Bromoil prints are stunningly beautiful low resolution one-off prints. No two prints, even from the same negative, can ever be the same. There is an explanation of the process at the back of the book which you can view online and, if inclined, purchase from the site. Please do take a look I think it is just magic.
Snow & Taxis - Gold Panda (Essex, UK)
“I didn’t want to write ‘beats,’” says UK producer Gold Panda, “I didn’t want bangers. I wanted songs with structure.” And yet, despite the artist’s protests to the contrary, his debut album, Lucky Shiner, is full of bangers—of a kind. “Lots of factors affected the way it came together,” he explains, “touring, mixing, moving houses and splitting with a girlfriend. Family, friends, and lovers, places I’ve never been.” It’s that mix of directness and emotion that characterizes Lucky Shiner, an album of beat-driven electronic music that’s easy to fall in love with, and to. In Gold Panda’s world, vinyl-static beats and heart-on-sleeve melancholia collide, and the results are breathtaking.
The first single, "Snow & Taxis," is available at The Ghostly Store (digital only) now and available at all digital retailers in North America and Continental Europe while the 12"/Digital version is available in the UK now. The single includes remixes from Glitterbug and Throwing Snow . Cologne-based producer Glitterbug’s “Pink Snow Balls Remix” stretches Gold Panda’s original to nearly twice its length, expanding the track’s sense of time into nine minutes of luscious ambient twirls and swirls. UK producer Throwing Snow bumps the BPM to a near-frantic speed and stirs up a flurry of micro-samples that lend “Snow & Taxis” a giddy, disorienting rush.
Some dates in UK:
11.11 Brighton, UK @ Audio
11.13 Newcastle, UK @ The Cut
11.14 Leeds, UK @ Constellations Festival
11.15 Manchester, UK @ Ruby Lounge
11.16 Glasgow, UK @ King Tuts
11.18 London, UK @ Corsica Studios
11.19 Bristol, UK @ Start the Bus
11.20 Norwich, UK @ Arts Centre ... and France ...
12.10 Lille, FR @ La Peniche
12.11 Paris, FR @ La Maroquinerie
Wed, 3 November 2010
Just a few New York tracks this week, now that I'm back from CMJ.
It is certailly easier to produce the show on the dual screens rather than on the laptop which died again today. This time I think it is permanent. Shame I spent $100 last week on a new battery for it :(
A brief visit to Cambridge demonstrated that autumn really is here - very few people out punting!
UPDATE: Sorry about the delay to the mp3 being available - a glitch in the system that was probably caused by me. Thanks to DK in Germany and François in London for pointing it out ... very nicely :)
Singing in Tongues - Bleu (LA, CA, USA)
The astonishing generosity of Bleu's fans helped him raise $40,000 following the launch of his campaign on DIY fundraising site Kickstarter.
As a result of fans’ contributions, he’s been able to launch his own record label and put his album Four out himself in North America (U.K. indie Lojinx acquired the rights to release the record here in the UK).
The financial offerings were accompanied by fervent good wishes. “I only wish I could afford to pledge more,” goes a typical comment. “I want to help because you are giving me so much with your music,” reads another, while still another admirer writes, “Loved your music for years—so glad to help in any way and be a small part of your work!”
Bleu was stunned by the enthusiasm of his loyal fan base, “I was playing a show a couple of weeks ago and told everybody about the whole thing,” he recalls. “I started crying onstage.”
The release follows on the heels of 2009’s critically admired A Watched Pot (which suffered, promotionally, from big-label implosions far out of his control), and comes amid a flurry of co-writing and production projects. “I really enjoy working with other artists part of the time and then creating my own material,” he says. “It keeps things nicely balanced.”
He has just completed a UK tour and is heading for the US with November dates lined up:
11/09 Boston MA TT The Bear's
11/10 NYC NY Rockwood Music Hall
11/11 Easton, MD Nightcat
11/12 Philly PA Tin Angel - late show
11/13 Silver Sping MD House Concert
11/16 Nashville TN 3rd & Lindsley, 7pm early show
11/19 Indianapolis IN House Concert
11/21 Chicago IL Mayne Stage
If the Sea was Whiskey - Tin Pan (New York, NY, USA)
The band comprises Jesse Selengut on trumpet, lead vocals and compositions, Clifton Hyde on guitar and hollerin’, Stefan Zeniuk on reeds and boy soprano vocals, and Peter “Baby Hands” Maness on bass and some singin’.
They describe themselves as a “street band,” they often play in Central Park and in the New York City transit system. It’s the embodiment of the band’s belief that their music should be accessible – literally and figuratively. With two previous CD releases, Early Jazz and Americana and Alice McNulty, they sold a total of 6000 CD’s in 2008, a phenomenal total for an completely unsigned band, and earned rave notices in the New York Times and Huffington Post, among others.
If You Happen to See a USB Sticking Out of a Wall In New York... (via digitalmusicnews.com)
This is one of those catchy ideas that may never get past novelty stage, and probably never make a dime. Then again, innovation has a funny way of spawning more innovation, often in unimaginable ways.
The latest fun idea is happening in New York, where one disruptor is actually fixing USB sticks into walls. That's right, passers-by will just see the stick popping out, and can plug and share content at will. The idea, called 'Dead Drops' and created by Aram Bartholl, is just getting started, and just a smattering of sticks are planted right now (see list below).
The overall concept is to encourage sharing within public spaces, and fan the flames on anonymous, anarchic trading.
Bartholl is hoping this catches on, and encouraging similar 'implants' on deaddrops.com. Sounds fun, though use protection, son: who knows what's lingering on those dirty sticks.
Some spots to check out...
87 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (Makerbot)
Empire Fulton Ferry Park, Brooklyn, NY (Dumbo)
235 Bowery, NY (New Museum)
Union Square, NY (Subway Station 14th St)
540 West 21st Street, NY (Eyebeam)
Birthplace - Mon Khmer (Brooklyn, NYC, USA)
Rising Brooklyn act Mon Khmer (pronounced: Mohn-Kmair) released their debut EP, Birthplace on October 19th via High Scores Recordings. Tiding listeners over until their forthcoming debut LP, the six track EP contains the highlights of their short but fruitful two years together. Playing alongside acts like Bear in Heaven, Secret Machines, and Micachu & the Shapes, Mon Khmer have been captivating listeners sending them into a groove/trance/dance mode thanks to their tribal relentless and hypnotic rhythms that are legitimately hard to resist with their refined yet unclassifiable sound.
The band’s unusual name derives from a family of languages that exist in Eastern Asia, called Mon Khmer. The worldliness of the name is quite fitting taking into account the wide array of influences that co-exist with each member. Having met in Boston, the four friends found home in Brooklyn and formed Mon Khmer, following a summer of session work that included Hammarsing (Vocals/Guitars) joining Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) on a world tour. With Hammarsing’s departure, the remaining members of Mon Khmer kept busy with equally as exciting side-projects; Dave Cole (drums) is also a member of Rubblebucket while Matt Scheiner (bass/synths/vocals) splits his time with other Brooklyn band Oberhofer and Elias Meister (guitar) spends time playing in various jazz side projects.
The Return of Point of No Return - NuShooz Orchestra (Portland, OR, USA)
The SHOOZ are back!!!
More than two decades after their 1986 Top Ten Hit single, “I Can’t Wait,” took the world by storm, it continues to be played on radio stations around the globe every 11 minutes.
Now NU SHOOZ returns with a new album, “Pandora’s Box”, and a 10 piece orchestra Gil Evans would have loved. Formed in Portland, Oregon in the summer of 1979, their line-up has changed over time, but in all its various forms, they’ve always pushed the boundaries between pop, funk, and jazz. Now, with the release of Pandora’s Box, Portland’s favorite soul explorers take one giant leap for mankind with a brave new sound, combining their signature brand of funk with elements borrowed from Film Noir, ‘60s Spy Movies and even Tarzan.
This really is an interesting album. That said from one who really lost interest in a lot of chart music during the 80s.
Even better news is that Valerie and John will be in Manchester in a week or so to play a gig at Sound Control.
November 13, 2010 - 10 PM to 3 AM
Venue: SOUND CONTROL Manchester, Greater Manchester M1 5NP Info: 0161 236 0340
Ticket price: £16.50 Ad Minimum age: 21
Other Information: Legends of the Old School presents the iconic NU SHOOZ performing their “Old School” hits at Sound Control, Manchester England. Also appearing: DJ’s Gordon West and Ben Chesters.
For more information on Valerie and John’s first appearance in the UK since the 80′s, visit
Let's Kiss - Living Days (Brooklyn, NYC, USA)
LIVING DAYS is a dark romantic pop group from Brooklyn, NY. The band begun when two broken hearted life long friends met up with the desire to soundtrack those hearts. The recording process was psychedelic and debaucherous, full of thunderstorms and fireworks and broken light bulbs (all of which they recorded).
As an experiment, they began to consider the notion that the universe was a benevolent one and the rest of the five members showed up. Now, they all consider each other family. Their unpredictable front woman, Stephonik Youth, is an underground legendary performer. Venus magazine writes, "Stephonik is of a reckless charisma, a dizzying combination of swaggering bravado and heart-wrenching emotion."
They have completed a full length album called "Make Out Room" produced by Matt Boynton (Gang Gang Dance, The Lemonheads, Amazing Baby, MGMT). They will release the album in two parts. The first part is an EP entitled, "Make Out Room, Part 1"
How it ends - DeVotchKa (Colorado, USA)
It wasn't too long ago that a weary band hauling a violin, a tuba, an accordion, and trumpets into rock club were told they must be in the wrong place; when a band fusing musical elements from across the globe needed to fight to be considered a rock band instead of being marked by the dubious 'world music" tag.
DeVotchKa is a four piece multi-instrumental and vocal ensemble that fuses Romani, Greek, Slavic and Bolero music with American punk and folk roots. The quartet is made up of Nick Urata, who sings and plays theremin, guitar, bouzouki, piano, and trumpet; Tom Hagerman, who plays violin, accordion, and piano; Jeanie Schroder, who sings and plays sousaphone and double bass; and Shawn King, who plays percussion and trumpet. Numerous nationwide tours in support of self released records earned the band an underground following. Their song “How It Ends” was featured on the trailer for the film “Everything Is Illuminated”, introducing the band to a widening audience.
To hear more - visit their site.
Spanish foufou l'electro - Audio_Out (Tarbes, France)
By day a tracker and first-aid worker for a ski resort in the Pyrenees, Audio_out has been DJing for 6 years and his background in piano goes back twice that far.
He has produced a few works on vinyl under the Fox Tanz and Freestylelisten labels and was more involved in the underground scene rather than clubs or festivals. You may want to take a look at http://www.freestylelisten.com/label/label.php?menu=art Watch out for the little pop-out player.
One more night in Brooklyn - Justin Townes Earle (Nashville, TN, USA)
Justin Townes Earle's age belies his experience. Growing up in Nashville he mis-spent his youth playing in bluegrass/ragtime combo The Swindlers and the louder, more rocking The Distributors and developing some very bad habits. During tours as guitarist and keyboardist (“…and not a very good one,” laughs Earle) in his father Steve Earle's band, his problems became untenable and he was fired. Ultimately he cleaned up his act, dropped his self-destructive habits and began to focus on songcraft. “You don’t have to be fucked up or torture yourself to write songs,” explains Earle, “I used to write a lot, a whole lot, and half those songs I don’t even remember. Now, I sit there and I write it and I finish it and I keep it.”
Wed, 27 October 2010
A Suffolk 'n' Cool special this week from New York where the music world and his performing dog is recovering from a frantic CMJ2010 and where I'm still having a ball and working my socks off.
The sound quality isn't up to the usual studio standard and is made worse by the fact that my headset is falling apart. Sorry.
My eyes to see - Alcoholic Faith Mission (Copenhagen, Denmark)
I've played them on the show before and I was severely impressed by their live performance at Fat Baby here in New York on Saturday.
Ariel Hyatt who runs Cyber PR, helping artists gain traction on the slippery slope to getting noticed and building a sustainable music career has made me so welcome this week and I am more grateful than you can imagine.
You'll find Ariel at: http://arielpublicity.com/
With up to five artists to catch per night (always in different venues) as well as a full programme of panel sessions during the day it has been all consuming.
But the leg-work has been so worthwhile, I've found some remarkable artists that I hope you'll enjoy as much as I have.
Immigrant hands - Will Knox (Astoria, New York)
Raised in Hammersmith, London, songwriter/troubadour Will Knox is now very much a New Yorker. Armed only with a pen and notebook, he’d ride the subway for hours, observing this new, rich, frenetic underground world—or as one track on his debut album "The Matador and the Acrobat" describes it, the “Belly of the Beast.”
I caught Will last Saturday night at Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side and was immediately captivated by his writing and beautifully presented songs; as was the audience. The room fell totally silent.
There will be a larger Suffolk'n'Cool feature based on the interview, recorded in Central Park, coming soon. He's that good!
Sons and Daughters - Sherlock's Daughter (Australia and Brooklyn)
Tanya (singer / writer) is a New Zealander who formed the band in Sydney.
They have a debut EP that was released in Australia (only) last year. They performed at CMJ 2009 and went on to have a residency at Pianos for the month of November 2009. During the residency producer John Agnello saw the band play after being tipped off by Thurston Moore.
They returned to Australia for summer festivals (Big Day Out, Parklife etc) and were invited to play at SxSW 2010 where the band decided to relocate to NYC.
Arrived in New York and started recording debut album with John Agnello while touring and playing shows with Warpaint, Freelance Whales, School of Seven Bells, Metric, Neon Indian and The Charlatans UK.
Shayna Zaid and the Catch - interview
Bonita - Shayna Zaid and The Catch (New York)
Blending elements of folk, jazz, indie pop and cabaret, Shayna Zaid's melodically inclined lyrical work leaves traces of solace, reflection and affection. The combination of Zaid's dynamic stage presence, her powerful smoky voice and her playful jazzy swagger lends an enchanting display.
I found you - Luluc (Melborne / New York)
Although from Melbourne, Zoe Randell and Steve Hassett are now based in Brooklyn.
With the release of their debut album, Dear Hamlyn, Luluc has become a quiet sensation. Songs pared down to an essential core, the music of Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett is of austere and unadorned beauty.
Since their album's release, they have achieved much, playing major Australian & Canadian festivals and being hand picked to tour with Fleet Foxes, Jose Gonzalez and Lucinda Williams.
Relocating from Melbourne, Australia, to Brooklyn in 2010, coincided with wide exposure for Luluc, with two songs, 'I Found You' and 'One Day Soon' featured in ABC TV series Grey's Anatomy.
Like a whisper or a caress, Luluc hold their audiences entranced. Zoë’s unique alto is central and provides a strikingly beautiful counterpoint to her nylon guitar. Exquisite melodies are accentuated by Steve's close vocal harmony and guitar accompaniment. Together they create a rich and deeply affecting sound.
Sounds of New York
Drumming on subway and Ron Raffle
Insincerely Yours - Shayfer James (New Jersey)
The Villain King of New Jersey’s underground noir-pop music scene, Mr. James is devilishly captivating and deliciously unusual.
When Shayfer James approaches the piano, there is a certain power and mischievous charm that surrounds him. A bewitching sense of foreboding builds as his fingers touch the keys, and as he begins to sing, we are immersed in his darkly lyrical and evocative stories. His wry poetry is stitched seamlessly to peculiar arrangements that are simultaneously unsettling and familiar.
Mr. James lures us into a devious world where the gods tear wings from angels and every man has a siren waiting to devour him.
I met up with Shayfer at Ariel Hyatt's CMJ party in Park Slope, Brooklyn Take it from me, this is one hard working band.
Picture of Sarah and her saw at http://tinyurl.com/2e9b9ny do check out the rest of Ariel's CMJ pix.
Crazy Car - Ólöf Arnalds (Iceland)
A remarkable find at CMJ. My initial reaction was so-so but then Ólöf's voice found it's way in. It felt as though she had no more choice about singing than she has about breathing. And what a voice. For me like a gentle wind blowing across an empty landscape under northern sky.
Ólöf Arnalds is an Icelandic singer and multi-instrumentalist. Classically educated on the violin, viola and self-taught on guitar and charango, Ólöf’s most distinctive asset is, nonetheless, her voice. A voice of instantly captivating, spring water chasteness possessed of a magical, otherworldly quality that is simultaneously innocent yet ancient (“somewhere between a child and an old woman” according to no less an authority than Björk).
Ólöf’s approach to making music remains highly individual: playful but intimate; accessible and uplifting, yet deeply personal and suffused with a timeless mystique that goes beyond the puckish inscrutability of her native tongue. Ólöf has also quickly proved herself as a magnetic, utterly self-assured stage performer, reliant as much on screwball humour, vaudevillian charm and even outright bawdiness, as much as the contrasting delicacy of her song delivery.
Check out the video for this track at:
Take it easy (from Summer of Saadi Mixtape) - SAADI (East Village, New York)
Just a taster for this week from one of the most intriguing artists I've come across this week. Saadi (Boshra AlSaadi) is based in New York and seems to be in that fine old Greenwich Village tradition of breaking new ground.
I saw her at R Bar the other night and met up again at the party on Sunday. I'll have more for you in the next week or two after we've recorded a conversation and (hopefully a live acoustic song) this evening.
A tiring week? Hell yes, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world and everyone has been so hospitable.
My particular thanks to Ariel Hyatt who has been absolutely instrumental in my meeting some remarkable talented individuals and a lot of very influential people in this wonderful city and from around the world.
"Game changer" isn't too strong an expression.
There will be more from CMJ over the next few weeks with focus on particular artists. Join me then. Meanwhile I'm off for one last foray on the D train into Manhattan from the Brooklyn apartment.
There are some pictures from CMJ/NYC on Flickr at http://tinyurl.com/2524w7h