Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist and lyricist Andrew Bird picked up his first violin at the age of four. Actually, it was a Cracker Jack box with a ruler taped to it, and the first of his many Suzuki music lessons involved simply bowing to the teacher and going home. He spent his formative years soaking up classical repertoire completely by ear so when it came time for a restless teen-ager to make the jump to Hungarian Gypsy music, early jazz, country blues, south Indian etc., it wasn’t such a giant leap. It’s fitting that now, though classically trained, he has instead opted to play his violin in a most unconventional manner, accompanying himself on glockenspiel and guitar, adding singing and whistling to the equation, and becoming a pop songwriter in the process.
The Beauty Shop released their first album in 2002 (Yr Money Or Yr Life; Mud/Shoeshine) and immediately garnered impressive notices in the press. From Champaign IL, this three-piece have been compared with Nick Cave, Violent Femmes and The Handsome Family with a Leonard Cohen “bad attitude” vocal twist.
Sex Mob is a band out of time: a smartly old-fashioned quartet of world-class musicians with a satchel full of charts. Sex Mob is a band of the now: post-modern waltzes mutating into dub-echoed free jazz. Sex Mob is social music: a rollicking midnight set with clatter and drinks and a band. Sex Mob is a happy contradiction: an experimental jazz outfit whose music has slid readily into the mainstream via Saturday Night Live, MTV, and National Public Radio.
Future Clouds and Radar —"Drugstore Bust"
From Future Clouds and Radar: Self-Titled
Listen to “Drugstore Bust”
Heavily influenced by cameras, the asterisk (*), loss of any kind and Bill Monroe’s falsetto, Future Clouds and Radar is the latest creation of Robert Harrison, best known as the leader of Austin cult-garage-heroes, Cotton Mather. Harrison and Cotton Mather were the sleepy underground pioneers of the late ‘90s, having toured with Oasis (during the band’s heyday) they were hailed by NME as perhaps “the best guitar band since Supergrass”, and were most recently featured on Little Steven Van Zandt’s Coolest Songs in the World Vol. 1.
This record started with a simple idea: What if houses had memories? What if, when we lived in them, our stories bled into the walls and became a part of the house? What if our ghosts were always going to haunt the places we’ve lived, along with everyone else who’s lived there? In comparison to the very song-oriented debut by Electric President, 24-year-old Ben Cooper’s alter ego (Radical Face) and second musical affair of the heart, Ghost, has become a songwriter-album. Or rather a song-writing album, the tracks as carefully arranged interiors, chamber folk, pocket symphonies, passionate
When Dieter Sermeus set out to write a follow-up for his 2004 The Go-Find debut Miami, he felt he wanted to move away from solitary song-writing and recording, and involved his live band from a very early stage. Together, they crafted a collection of (quote) “good-sounding danceable pop tunes” in a studio in his Antwerp home-town, which provided a warm and friendly environment, full of ancient keyboards and rare Moogs.
If the Ocean Gets Rough is filled with 11 of Willy’s best songs to date, some immediately direct, others more subtle and evocative. With more developed and ambitious songwriting and instrumentation, Mason joins personal tales with socio-cultural commentary, effortlessly expressing his own experiences while making them our own.
“GusGus once again throw into the flames a track by Daniel Agust “Moss”, a superb addition to the magnificent vocal landscape of Earth. Pall Oskar, the discodiva # 1, lends his smooth voice on “Need In Me”, as well as on “Hold You” with the Detroit fire Aaron-Carl. Omar Gudjonsson lays his calloused fingers over “You’ll never Change” and inspires both President Bongo and Veiran to do handle their own guitar necks in “Forever”. Also our very own “Professor” Ottarr Proppe pukes out the welcome words to “Forever”. Mr. The President himself graces golden larynx through the track “If you don’t jump, you’re English” flashing rusted guitar samples from the everlasting Icelandic 80’s punk band Purrkur Pillnikk and hammered power hi-hats by Helgi “HitHat” Helgason. The rest is history… Well… except for the remixing. That’s part history and part future. These recombinitations and malnourished destructures were and are gonna be manhandled by Moonbootica, Diringer, Mark Bell, Thor, DMS, Patrick Chardronnet, Tim Deluxe, Jack Schidt, Greg Churchill and of course the in-house crew, Biggi Veira and the albino President Bongo.”—Pineapple Records (Iceland)
Neil Young: Live At Massey Hall (release date: March 13), produced by Young and the late David Briggs, is the second Reprise Records release in the Neil Young Archives Performance Series, following last year’s Live at the Fillmore East album. Both are in anticipation of the Archives Volume I collection, due this fall. That eight-CD, two-DVD audiobiography will include Young’s music from 1963 to 1972, and feature a treasure trove of previously unreleased recordings, both studio and live, along with concert footage and rare memorabilia from the first decade of Neil Young’s long and unequaled career.
“This is the album that should have come out between After the Gold Rush and Harvest,” Young says now. “David Briggs, my producer, was adamant that this should be the record, but I was very excited about the takes we got on Harvest, and wanted Harvest out. David disagreed. As I listen to this today, I can see why.”