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
Wed, 20 October 2010
All that's wonderful about independent music on SnC this week. Tracks from all around the world, news of on-line gigs, a chat with John New of New Average, some great music for you from net-labels and at least one commercial track for you to download free and legal.
Oh and it's CMJ week! So have we got time to listen to SnC? - Hell yeah!
The the bustle and buzz of Manhatten tomorrow will be a bit of a contrast with open fields, forests and huge skies of a rather cold Suffolk this afternoon.
Where the wild ones go - Trevor Sewell Blues Project (Sunderland, UK)
Very much in the tradition of early Eric Clapton and Freddie King, Sewell has his own inimitable style that coasts easily between traditional values and the confident and almost nonchalant style that he has recently become known for.
Has played and recorded with various entourages including The Revillos, The Monroes and the legendary PJ Proby. Loves writing/playing/performing,recording, music and writing for other artists.
His songwriting has to date somehow managed to evade the attention of the masses but maybe … just maybe that might be set to change.
Proximity of Death - Jordan Reyne (New Zealand)
Jordan Reyne is, in the true meaning of the phrase, contrary to popular belief. It’s not just a redhead thing; it’s the day-to-day life of this singular musician. Already with 5 albums to her credit, Reyne is a pioneer on new sonic turf. With a sound that has been described as the soundtrack to steampunk, her blend of industrial-tinged dark folk is a meeting of genres.
Her 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, yet balances that effort with a playful and brash brava.
She has live online shows coming up too. Her next is:
FRIDAY OCT 22nd 9AM (Berlin Time):(FRIDAY 8AM UK, FRIDAY 9PM New Zealand*, FRIDAY 12AM SLT/Los Angeles, FRIDAY 3AM New York* ) *= subject to Daylight Savings induced human error. Please check against Berlin time or join the Facebook fanpage for updates closer to the time.
Her most recent album, How the Dead Live was commissioned by the New Zealand Arts Council, and tells the story of Susannah Hawes, one of New Zealand’s first pioneer women.
Check the video for the song at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy3meFwicG0
400 - Black Era (Naples, Italy)
"The air resound of passion and love and dedication for sound and life itself.
From the black side here is a soundtrack for cleaning wounds and opening eyes.
Black is breath. Black is back."
However, the music really speaks for itself. The fact that it comes from the A Quiet Bump net-label which is based in Irpinia in southern Italy tells us that it is going to be interesting. We've heard music from the label before, notably from Sardinia Bass Legalise.
You can get the track, free of charge on the album How Pierced? Go over to the label and you'll find it quite easily but please, take a look around while you're there, they really do put out some interesting material.
Rain or Shine - Sunflower and the seeds (Clifton, NJ, USA)
Sunflower and the Seeds is a now 6-piece folk/rock jam band from north New Jersey that started out as Kyra "Sunflower" Schenck's acoustic act. Shortly after appearing on the New Jersey open-mic scene in 2007, Kyra joined a local jam band where she met blues-based lead guitarist Teddy Owen and drummer Joe Huster.
Boyfriend and bassist Alex Denney and experienced keyboardist (and father) Bo Schenck finalized the band line-up. Soon after the band started to play live, drummer Joe Huster, suggested to the rest of the group that guitarist Jovan Mann should join. He was a good fit within the band and was included to round out the final line-up for Sunflower and the Seeds.
Joe tells me that Suffolk'n'Cool listeners can download the EP entirely free by visiting the site and leaving their email address. Thanks Joe.
Sun Shaking - Capsula (Bilbao, Spain)
Although from Argentina, that are now based in the Basque Country of northern Spain, their songs are shaking with the punk roar of The Velvet Underground and The Stooges, yet immersed in a psychedelia akin to that of the late 60s and 70s from groups like Os Mutantes and Pescado Rabioso in South America.
The result is 'a furious hologram with adhesive lysergic songs and future’. After three albums released by their own label in Buenos Aires, Argentina, they published 'Songs & Circuits' in 2007 (Liliput) in Europe, an album that garnered rave reviews from the international press and was received with great enthusiasm by the public, and was continued after storming SXSW in 2010 and receiving brilliant reviews placing the band in the Top 10 most exciting bands at the festival from Wired and The Chicago Tribune.
The trio has been wildly on tour with over 100 shows at festivals in Europe and America, launching Rising Mountains, a fascinating strange shock of adrenaline and sounds that hits straight through to your heart and bones.
CMJ and Podcrawl
I'll be in New York from tomorrow for the rest of CMJ and hope to be joining Saturday's Podcrawl in Sheffield via Skype from there.
Sor Bor Palinka - Ant on Wax w/ Orkestra Bohemika (Budapest, Hungary)
From the album Hungaricum on Jamendo. This is such a good album and, yes, I know Codger played a track from it already!
Adam was born in Munich in 1976 to Hungarian immigrants. His relatives also include an opera singer and another music producer. Adam attended the organ school and learned about chords and harmonies from an early age. When Adam, alias "Ant on Wax” was 14 years old he started producing electronic music on his brother´s Amiga 500.
In 2004 Adam got to know the singer Lavinia Jones, who was searching for a new challenge after her world hits of 1995/96. They composed an album together, with some musicians, across the internet which consisted of trip-hop music. The album provided the soundtrack for the movie "Das Musikill”
Adam decided to go back to his Hungarian roots and moved to Budapest. He has been living here since october 2006. In existance now is the "Budabeat Studio”. Here a lot of new recordings are being made with vocalists, musicians, and whole bands. The style of music is always chosen by the artists that are working with Ant on Wax. He just influences the music with his personal touch, much like a cook would spice up a soup. Currently about ten projects are ongoing in the „Budabeat Studio” and new creative artists are constantly arising in Adam’s life.
Currently there are three projects that are especially interesting: The collaboration with the 10 member band "Orkestra Bohemika”, which consists of modern gipsy pop music. Furthermore there is work being done on an electronic-oriental music cocktail with the singer "Jeena”, who has a strong asian influence. Guitar player, "Noar”, who studied music and singing in London, is also collaborating with Adam on some excellent projects. Music can be heard at: www.123audio.de
Interview: John New (New Average)
Over a rather dodgy Skype link from Berlin.
The debut EP Waiting time is out now and will be followed by the album in early 2011.
Is it Love - New Average (Germany)
A second track from New Average who's track Best Friend featured on show 239.
New Average is a musical pop duo formed in 2009 by John New and Emma Average. Their music expresses their passion for writing pop songs with catchy hooks and strong melodies in a contemporary band sound with an all around positive feeling and a feel good mood. Influences can be found by pop music of the late 70's like Pretenders and Roxy Music and Blondie as well as from the 60's motown era.
John's musical work as producer,engineer and musician in the past include acts like "We are Scientists"(crap attack), german multi platinum act "Wir sind Helden" , Indie/New wave act "The Kokoon" and many others.
Rat Rod - Terry Davidson and the Gears (Columbus, OH, USA)
From the album Damnation Blues.
Terry Davidson, a Columbus native, is a veteran of the heartland's music scene. He has been playing Blues and Rock & Roll around the Midwest and eastern United States for over forty years. His band, The Gears, delivers electrifying performances night after night, winning over fans from New England to Florida. Terry's love for the Blues is abundantly apparent, and at the forefront of his music. Styles and influences range from raw, blistering Texas Blues, to low down traditional Chicago Blues, to scorching high-octane Blues Rock; the end result being a ferocious, rockin' Blues blend, steeped in tradition. Over the years Terry Davidson and the Gears have released six albums. The latest album, Damnation Blues, was released to rave reviews, and has been receiving media coverage on many regional and national radio and television programs. This includes the song "Rat Rod" being featured on ESPN2's NASCAR Now, and airplay throughout North America, Europe, and Australia.
Wed, 13 October 2010
Varied styles of music on SnC 241 (nothing new there then!) with every track packed full of interest for you. They're from London, Brooklyn, France, Roma, Washington DC, Leeds, Napoli and Iceland.
There's a feature and interview with Kjartan Holm of Icelandic band For a Minor Reflection in this week's show, recorded at their show in Cambridge (UK) last Friday (right). It seems that audience and band alike had a great time. I know I did. If you get a chance to see them. Grab it!
Heaven - The Brute Chorus (London, UK)
The Brute Chorus has been combining garage, blues and folk music with a scatology of Biblical stories, nursery rhymes and fairy tales since 2008.
The Brute Chorus began taking it to the people with a monthly residency at Camden’s infamous Hawley Arms pub. The band’s first releases were charming offerings of psyched-out garage-folk, put out on the Hawley Arms backed Bumpman records to widespread acclaim from Steve Lamacq, Zane Lowe, NME, and The Fly. The band has toured with the likes of Martha Wainwright, Rumble Strips, Ida Maria and even a trip to the seaside with Peggy Sue and The Pirates plus numerous headlining UK and European dates.
Having spent a snowy January this year recording in a tiny village hall in the depths of the Lake District, The Brute Chorus has emerged from winter hibernation with a new full length album entitled 'How the Caged Bird Sings', which is already garnering rave reviews in their hometown of London. Released in the UK by Tape Recordings, the album got it's US release yesterday and is included in Rough Trade's "must haves".
The band is currently on tour throughout Europe, playing alongside Reverend & The Makers and reformed cult alt rockers The Woodentops. No strangers to touring on a budget, the band has decided to travel via interail in the hope that they’ll squeeze in a bit of sightseeing on the way.
A quick 101-history lesson on the band.
Oct 14- Nottingham, UK- Spanky Van Dykes Eatery and Funhouse @8:00
Oct 15- Reading, Berkshire, UK- Oakford Social Club @7:30
Oct 16- Bournemouth, Hants UK- Sixty Million Postcards @7:30
Oct 28- London, UK- Station Session @ St. Pancras @6:30
Hero - Annie Fitzgerald (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Fitzgerald grew up in Crookston, MN where, at age two, she began to show her artistic talents as a dancer. She began piano lessons at age six. Her talent allowed her the opportunity to travel to New York City, Chicago, Hawaii and Atlanta. By the age of 14, she had become an award-winning choreographer.
She focused on her music in college and received a B.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota, and spent a summer training at the Mountview Theatre School in London. After graduation, she worked in and around as an actress in the Minneapolis area. In 2005, she moved to NYC to focus on performing her original music.
Her work on the "Annie Fitzgerald" the EP, has caught the ears of millions of listeners on iTunes and hundreds of radio stations nationwide. Her song "Ain't that a Shame” from the EP was chosen be on the 2007 Best of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Compilation CD, featuring the most talented of the 57th New Writers Showcase, and they deemed her an artist to watch.
“When I write lyrics,” she explains, “I want them to be as accessible as possible to the listener. I want them to be able to listen to my music and connect to an emotion they might be hiding away."
Annie's debut full-length album "In Good Time” was released last week.
October 13 12th and Porter, Nashville, TN 37212 Info: 615-320-3754 Annie Fitzgerald & Rachel Platten on Tour! They'll be joined by Nashville resident singer/songwriter Lisa Gentile.
October 20 Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401 Info: (612) 338-8100
El Ritmo - Juanitos (Chambéry, France)
No need to go to explore the underground ghettos African American to find the ultimate nugget soul . In Chambery , Savoie , soul 60's and garage exotic have more mystery to Juanitos.
Based on fun, chili and dolly mint , the music of Juanitos is spontaneous, dancing , for a maximum of groove at the intersection of the easy-listening funk of James Taylor Quartet and the rage punk of Seeds.
The Juanitos , it is not too kind chorus vintage of Pro Tools and guitars Ibanez but Vox and its disgusting. With names of songs like " Dynamite funky baby , "" Super Exotic 60's beat " or " The Black Mustang continued , " it's like diving in the heart of a Series B U.S. in the late 60 where Starsky and Hutch trying to dredge my beloved witch.
This second volume of the series " Soul and Roots "is more successful than its predecessor and it heats the low fonky and Hammond organ dripping . Rhythm'n'blues , samba, rock'n'roll and reggae await you in good spirits and in a mess nice , I must say!
These " soul men " Spanish Savoyards , a little black at heart, returning while to base clapping Charleston and singing depraved humor and energy ... fast volume 3!
From the album "Soul Africa".
Dolores Inside - Honeybird and the Birdies (Rome, Italy)
From their album Naiman on Jamendo.
I heard this on Jonny's Edinburgh Man podcast a couple of weeks ago at http://edinburghman.com
Honeybird & the Birdies is an eclectic trio formed in 2007 by three experimental musicians in Rome. They play, sing and perform honeybird songs using instruments, rhythms and energies from around the world.
honeybird was born and raised in Los Angeles. She heard music from an early age as her Italian father strummed and sang Mediterranean melodies and her New Yorker mother kvetched in yiddish. Her passion for creating music began at the age of 3 sitting on an upright piano then embracing the upright bass, until one day the guitar took center stage and she began writing honeybird songs. In 2003 she visited Bolivia which had a powerful impact on her life – both as a cultural and social eye-opener – and that is where she found her first charango, a 10-string traditional Andean instrument, which inspired new honeybird songs such as “shrinking mind”. Her travels in Latin America and contact with social issues, capoeira and indigenous communities are very present in what she does.
honeybird writes sings and dreams about pachamama, justice and the colorful cultures of our world - from mapuche to raramuri, japanese to quechua, italian to iraqi, brazilian to nahuatl. her music sings praise for those who have courage and aren’t afraid of standing up and speaking what they believe and feel.
Almost Over - J-Punch and Dave Moonshine (Washington DC, USA)
Veteran House Music Producer J-Punch is constantly re-inventing what it is to re-invent one's self. After several years of thriving in the underground, having released dozens of tracks through various record labels [System, Global Underground], and having spearheaded one of Washington D.C.'s most successful weekly House events, Pulse, for over 100 weeks, J-Punch has decided to scientifically engineer a new genre of music.
Enlisting the aid of his ghostly writing partner, Dave Moonshine, J-Punch has infused and ensorcelled what would otherwise be known as "Down-Tempo" EDM with abstract and contemplative lyrics that would normally be considered "Alternative Rock". The duo haphazardly refer to this style as "Alt-Tempo" (or "Down-Rock" if you nasty).
J-Punch has been at it for years. He has conquered masses, vanquished impossible odds, and reached the collective unconsciou s of millions. Yet, at his heart, he is just like the rest of us. Blast us with wind, melt us with acid, and set us ablaze, and what are we left with?
Stick Figure Guy.
Topeka - John Gomm (Leeds, UK)
Jon Gomm is a singer-songwriter and virtuoso acoustic guitarist.
"I've never been to Topeka, but I have reason to believe it sounds like this."
"With this tune I was trying to capture that feeling of nostalgia you can sometimes get for a place or time you've never actually experienced, only imagined. In this case I was going for 1950's smalltown America. I decided to name it after Topeka (pronounced "Tuh-PEE-kuh"), Kansas, which ain't exactly small, but it is the hometown of my buddy Andy McKee, the loveliest, most down-to-earth solo guitar player on the circuit."
The tuning is Ab, Eb, C, F, G, Bb. Like an Ab major 13 chord. And the top two strings both get retuned during the intro and outro - the G goes to an A and the Bb to a C. If you want to try this tune at home, I'd recommend tuning up a tone from where I am, cos I use super-heavy strings - try it at Bb, F, D, G, A, C.
From the album "Don't Panic" - listen and buy from his site (Also available on iTunes and from Candyrat.com and GuitarCDs.net)
He is currently touring the UK up until the end of 2010, and is touring Germany, Holland, Austria and Italy in early 2011. All live dates are listed at
Kastljós - For A Minor Reflection
I played Dansi Dans from For a Minor Reflection a couple of weeks ago and had the opportunity to see them live at The Portland a music pub in Cambridge on Friday.
Interview with Kjartan Holm of FaMR.
Fjara - For A Minor Reflection
One of 10 new songs recorded with LA producer Scott Hackwith. The album is is called ‘Höldum í átt að óreiðu’ (Heading towards chaos).
The album is scheduled for general released in Europe. Until that happens, you can get it and other merchandise from their on-line store at their website and from their shows.
The band have made their track Dansi Dans available for free download from Suffolk'n'Cool. Here's the link. Enjoy it and tell your mates.
Wed, 6 October 2010
A remarkable diversity of music on SnC this week from New York, Buenos Aires, Frankfurt and Toronto but that's just one of the tracks! We'll also hear about which artist has been selected Artist of the Month for September by Sarah Groves at Adnams who I met up with earlier today. Head brewer Fergus was recording a video at the time. You can currently see the result (and the lovely brewing vat, which is now in the cafe) at http://adnams.co.uk
Somehow rain on the coast on a blustery warm day with fabulous grey clouds never seems bad. We even went for a paddle, hell yes. Even if it was by accident. There were some big waves!
Stand Back - Kopecky Family Band (Nashville, TN, USA)
The Kopecky Family Band is a living and breathing collage of sorts, combining sound, people, and a DIY sensibility, exemplified in all aspects of their music and aesthetic. Whilst they hail from Nashville, Tennessee, their sound could be placed in cities as far-flung as Brooklyn, Melbourne, Toronto or London. Their infectious multi-layered harmonies, coupled with a string section to rival the Arcade Fire has propelled the band into the forefront of the hard working, fast paced Nashville music scene. The family is now embarking on a Griswald style ‘vacation’, bringing their show to New York City for CMJ in October and releasing their second EP The Disaster on the 9th of November.
Like all families, Kopecky Family Band members each beat with the same heart and write in the same blood. The Family began creating music together in Nashville, Tennessee in the fall of 2007. What started as late night talks about life and dreams has now gradually and continually flowed into eccentric and beautiful music.
Leading the family are singers Gabe and Kelsey, along with Steven (lead guitar), Corey (bass), Markus (cello), Benjamin (violin), and David (drums). The emotion of their music is raw and vulnerable whilst maintaining an unmistakable power and presence. The sounds created by the booming and orchestral-like septet challenge the listener’s ear while still offering simply melodies to sing along with.
Now that you're mine - Leslie DiNicola (NY, NY, USA)
DiNicola moved around a lot when she was growing up, and has that unique perspective of someone who’s been “the new kid at school” a few too many times. After graduating from Syracuse University, Leslie found herself pulled in opposite directions by her love of music and her love of sailing. She reflects, “By the time I was 22 and moved to Manhattan, I had already lived in 8 different places. No matter how much you like a place, the way I liked NY, there’s a hesitancy to get too comfortable. I think that’s what kept me running off to sea so often, sailing to different countries every chance I got.”
Gambler's Blues - Tin Pan (NY, NY, USA)
Tin Pan connotes a world from the past – the most dominant and enlightened strains of American music of the early part of the 20th century – jazz, blues and American popular song. But it would be a mistake to say that Tin Pan is fixed in that past. Rather, it is music created to be enjoyed profoundly and joyously in the present. The band has created a rabid following by playing music that resonates powerfully because its intention is pure – to make people dance, smile and conjure with the spirit of music itself. On their new album, Hound’s Tooth, the band has perfected their sonic vision – effortless, wondrous and festive, feeling much like, as the band describes themselves, Ray Charles and Tom Waits at a Bourbon Street Parade.
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.
Teri Muhabbeta Mar Sutia (Your Love Is Killing Me) - Achanak (Punjab)
I heard this on one of Pete Cogle's shows (find them all at www.petecogle.com )
Sunrise - My Education (Austin, Texas, USA)
For the past 10 years, My Education have released five full-length albums full of feedback-laden guitars, swirling melodic viola, a storm cloud of a rhythm section along with flourishes of vibraphone, bells, strings and horns.
After touring throughout the USA this summer, My Education is busy in the studio right now, slaving away on new material that may show its face next year. The band has been playing new material live and have been seeing audiences being floored. The new music sees My Education expand further and grow further and will be quite a surprise and an engaging listen for all fans. Major touring will commence next year seeing the band head overseas to tour as well as more touring throughout the U.S.
But let us not forget the amazing album Sunrise the band released in April on Strange Attractors Audio House and Golden Antenna.
The album is available on beautiful vinyl. Sunrise is available via all the usual digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon MP3 but help some truly independent record labels and buy direct from them!
scott telles- bass
chris hackstie - guitar
chris stelly - drums
james alexander - viola
kirk laktas - piano
brian purington - guitar
sarah norris - vibraphone
henna chou - cello & piano
Sarah Groves chooses the Adnams Artist of the Month for September.
Sarah took on the mammoth task of selecting an Artist of the Month from five shows worth of great music.
Hear a longer version of the interview on the Artist of the month page.
Morning Sun - Shayna Zaid and The Catch (New York, NY)
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.
A worthy winner of the AOTM.
UPDATE: I have it on good authority that the Ford commercial is all over the world and has been spotted on TV in Germany. Keep your eyer's open, although I think the tune will attract your attention.
Can't see the Soul - RookieCop (Nottingham, UK)
It’s refreshing, in today’s climate of fame-seeking want-it-now! fabricated pop to find an artist who values strong concepts, credibility & a depth of music that reveals more with each listen.
With a number of years in the underground arts & music scene & a sneaky 2 year 'Media Music’ course under his belt Rookiecop has been quietly honing his production skills & learning to write in a number of styles.
Often mixing orchestral elements, trip-hop, ambient, funk & house music, the sound has been described as filmic, dark, melancholic, warm.
Rookiecop signed to Fusion Room Records in 2009 and has started to become more experimental, taking in more esoteric time signatures and sounds.
Rookiecop also produces, remixes, composes music & sound design for films and sometimes experiments with video.
His music has been used in several short films (arthouse, cartoon, documentary) and digital media applications.
Eyes - Neon Legion (New York, Buenos Aires, Frankfurt and Toronto)
Neon Legion, the rock band based around German-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Philip Kurt Kressin. In a music landscape where many artists are concerned with shiny veneers over artistic content, Kressin demands that his work stand for something. With Empire, the debut Neon Legion album, he seeks to honor the values of his forefathers while crafting a sound that brings together elements of rock, electronic, and classical music, honoring his own personal tradition.
Kressin received formal training at the exclusive art and music-oriented Frensham Heights School near London, where rock & roll is an accepted part of the curriculum. Here, he learned about Bach's harmonies and Handel's melodies, toured Europe as a member of the choir and orchestra, and rubbed elbows with the children of rock legends like Roger Waters and Brian May, often visiting the house where Led Zeppelin famously recorded “Stairway to Heaven”. After school, Kressin expanded his musical studies in London with attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in music at Brunel University. He specialized in composition and won the university´s Steve Thomas Memorial Prize during his second year.
Upon finishing his formal education, Kressin returned to Germany, where he began two years of work at Black Solaris Studios, an old (and possibly haunted) WWII bunker in Frankfurt. Here, he produced a number of German hip-hop and electronic artists, and had his first foray into film composing with his classical score for the award-winning short film Geigensolo. The latter would prove to be a most intense experience: The film's director was partially deaf, and had previously rejected the work of twelve other composers. Because the director could not hear high-range melodies, Kressin found himself adding sub-bass frequencies, "so that deaf viewers could feel the bass in their bodies."
Amid his other work at Black Solaris, he found time to record his first album, Cyan (under the name Kirt). But soon after its completion, Kressin left Germany for the sunnier climes of Buenos Aires to release the disc. "I didn't see very much light in the bunker for a couple years," he says. "I just needed some light again."
When restlessness struck again, the artist set out for what are now his twin bases in North America: New York City and Toronto. "The move seemed like a logical step," he says. "I’ve always been nomadic, living in different places, establishing myself there as an artist, and then moving on to the next one, building a network of collaborators in that way."
It took more than a dozen musicians in four countries on three continents to make Empire. After working out arrangements with his Argentinian group, Kressin enlisted Priestbird cellist Daniel Bensi in New York, as well as a large cast of Toronto musicians, referred to him by a mutual friend of Broken Social Scene's Jason Collett.
The album's ten songs delve into existential and sometimes political topics—the nature of man, intellect vs. instinct, man vs. the environment—from an omniscient perspective, in an effort to bring clarity and truth to humanity's larger patterns.