Music from the US, UK, Canada and Taiwan this week.
Just putting the show notes together and checking the recording I'm
very conscious of the birds outside and the young pigeons who are
nesting and tap-dancing in the space in the roof of the barn that
was supposed to be reserved for barn owls.
I've been up to Norfolk today to visit my dad and thought the
Canadians might like a picture of Captain Vancouver who was raised
in my birth-town (King's Lynn). Even if you are not Canadian, you
are still allowed to like it!
U Suck Noodles - Variety
(Oldsmar, Florida, USA)
Oldsmar's Variety Workshop have an eclectic sound that's not quite
jam, not quite reggae, not quite ska -- but it's definitely a whole
Bassist Ryan Reilly, singer Evan Brenner, guitarist Robbie Pereira
and drummer Brad Whitsett are skate fiends who have produced videos
and even have their own art and video production company.
In January, the band released their debut self-titled CD, which
Brenner says "was the culmination of close to two years of
dedication and devotion creating music that not only is diverse,
but still has an element of mass appeal."
Blacksmith's Dance - Eastern Block
/ Goran Ivanovic Group
EASTERN BLOK features classical guitar virtuoso GORAN IVANOVIC,
joined by DOUG ROSENBERG on woodwinds, MATTHEW ULERY on upright
bass, and MICHAEL CASKEY on percussion.
The band was originally
dubbed Goran Ivanovic Group by founding members Ivanovic and
Rosenberg. They teamed up with Ulery and Caskey in 2004. After
successfully packing venues throughout the country and honing their
musical direction, the band released their self-titled debut album
in 2005. The Goran Ivanovic
record met with critical acclaim, combining
traditional folk music from the Balkans along with Latin, flamenco
and klezmer elements, European classical influences and American
jazz. The track Blacksmith's
was selected out of thousands of submissions as one of
three finalists in the 2005 John Lennon Songwriting
Near my ear - Swimming in
(New York, USA)
From their ﬁrst meeting in October 2008, multi-instrumentalist
Chris Clarke and lead vocalist Meadow Eliz knew they wanted to
write music together. The snowy, subzero climate of Saranac Lake,
New York, lent itself well to winter days spent creating and
recording in Chrisʼs home studio, where they crafted the "Swimming
in Speakers" demo armed with a Casio, a laptop and a hodge-podge of
analog equipment. Jo Sorrell (cello) and Justin Grizzofﬁ
(percussion and guitars) add nuance to the tracks, and local NPR
station NCPR granted access to their brand new studio for
additional recording and mixing.
Swimming in Speakers, the eponymous E.P. is the pair's ﬁrst
collection of demo recordings. From the smoothly burbling synth pop
of In Knowing
couple of weeks ago) to the slippery delicacy of Near My Ear
and the lilting twists and
turns of Nevergreen
Swimming In Speakers' sound deﬁes easy categorization.
Undecided - MoShang
MoShang is a sound jeweller who blends downtempo electronica with
Chinese instruments and sounds from the streets of Taiwan.
Made in Taiwan (2004)
Chill Dynasty (2006)
Asian Variations (2007)
is taken from
his 2008 EP Stone Bell
Friday Evening - The Big George
I played a George Jackson tune (The Daddy
) on SnC 015. Then I
discovered that I'd already played this track almost exactly three
The band recorded the album in their own homemade studio. It's
straight hard-core blues, reminiscent to the raw, biting blues of
the fifties. The band sounds tighter than ever before. No wonder
that George feels so at home with his friends. His singing is
relaxed but intense. I believe you will agree... this man
definitely has got Southern in his soul! He does not only write
great songs, but has got a unique voice and knows to tell a
story... something that's getting rare these days.
George is on the Black and Tan label based in the Netherlands.
by Grandpa Elliot
now on Playing for Change
The latest release from the Playing for Change project. Wonderful
voice and harmonica from Grandpa Elliot in Jackson Square, New
Ethel's Cats - musicians from Pig Dyke
Molly dancing is from the Cambridgeshire Fens - last recorded in
1934 at Little Downham, near Ely. It was about entertainment in an
area and at a time which saw little of it. It was about a challenge
to the 'normal' rules: the Molly is a man dancing in women's
clothes (in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, London had
its "Molly houses" where homosexual men met to drink, dance (!),
flirt, dress as women and... enjoy themselves). It happened in
midwinter - especially Plough Monday (see the Whittlesey Straw Bear
for a revived similar celebration).
It was a "cadging" custom, to extract money, or a drink. Its
dancers wore disguise such as painted faces, goggles, animal
It lay almost forgotten for sixty years... then there was Pig Dyke
Molly (named after a drainage ditch) which has been
performing since the early 1990s. Their aim is to take the essence
of Molly, shake it by the scruff of its neck, and present it in a
way that entertains 21st century audiences.
The story goes that there was a lady called Ethel who lived in
Ramsey Heights, in the Fens between Peterborough and Huntingdon.
Ethel was very fond of cats, as you'd have to be if you had 543 of
Unfortunately, Ethel wasn't very rich. In fact she was so poor that
eventually she couldn't afford to feed the cats. So the cats got
hungrier and hungrier, and one day they got so hungry that they ate
And to this day, if children in Ramsey Heights and nearby villages
aren't perfectly behaved, they are sometimes warned that "Ethel's
cats are hungry..."
Standing in my way - Warren
(Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Warren Charles is brothers W. Peter Jacobson & C. Lucas
Their blurb says:
"Warren Charles is a duo of quirky
singer songwriters that share (and sometimes fight over) the
spotlight. While they typically perform with just piano, guitar,
and vocals, they can also play shows as a full band with drums and
bass. Whatever the lineup, Warren Charles is perfect for the
collegiate crowd who sees intellectualizing over music as a welcome
form of procrastination."
Standing in my way is from the latest album, delightfully titled
When Chandeliers Sway
(2009) which is available on CDBaby and iTunes.
4 Jul 2009 16:00 Venice Beach 4th of July
Extravaganza, Venice, California
Saalam (Club Mix) - EMAR
EMAR (pron. Ehm-Ahr) is an international world music artist. Born
in the Balkans and raised in Canada, EMAR's multicultural
influences inspire her to sing and record in several languages
including Serbian, Hindi, Persian, Arabic and Church Slavonic. Her
debut album Sacred Soul is available from iTunes, CD Baby and
selected stores throughout Canada and the US.