This Black Friday, the world will get a chance to spin a 7” vinyl of a long-lost track by the oft-overlooked Twin Cities, Minnesota soul outfit the Valdons. The two-track vinyl release features two takes on the track “Just How much Can One Man Stand”: one recently recorded, the other a demo from 1971. Those looking to delve into some history related to the fertile Twin Cities funk scene will have much to learn from the Valdons, who during their heyday in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s were among the most popular groups in their local scene.
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At a meager 1:22, “Treatz”, a track off of the Atlanta-based punk outfit Lowbanks’ new EP The Dogs, doesn’t have a lot of time to waste. Fitting, then, that the tune dives straight into a haze of shouted vocals, fuzzy distortion, and ear-piercing guitar leads right away, making its intentions clear and assertive. The raw punk energy, however, is balanced out with almost poppy production and convivial mood that’s bound to connect with live audiences.
Spanish born Canadian Iris Campo is a drummer since 1997 of the indie band Roads (Indica Records). Iris will launch her solo career in 2015; her forthcoming EP was written at home in Montréal and three singles produced in Nashville together with Scott Moffatt of The Moffatts.
Long Beach, CA rock trio Bella Novela is one of those bands that is able to pull off the tricky task of sounding like classic rock without merely imitating the genre’s tropes. Frontwoman Jackie Laws’ vocals bring to mind Heart and Pat Benatar, but she also sounds undoubtedly contemporary, her voice coalescing perfectly with guitarist Jacob Heath’s Muse-esque leads. On its newest tune, “Four Walls”, Bella Novela amps up the drama with a chord progression and vocal line that sound ready to be the next James Bond theme. But rather than go for the classic Bond theme pace of slow and sultry, the trio amps up the energy, due in large part to drummer Jannea McClure’s rapid fills. This sense of bombast is a fitting one for the group’s forthcoming LP, Telemetry, a concept album based on a popular Mexican telenovela. The new prog influences on Bella Novela’s music, especially on “Four Walls”, make it a distinctive voice in the Los Angeles music scene.
Eric and Leigh Gibson, the two men heading up the Gibson Brothers name, are elder statesmen of bluegrass, having been active in the scene since the late ‘80s. When the duo topped PopMatters’ Best Bluegrass of 2011 list, Steve Leftridge wrote, “Eric and Leigh Gibson might have, pound-for-pound, the most impeccably fine-sounding traditional bluegrass band on the contemporary scene.” Not content to rest on their clearly established laurels, the brothers Gibson have taken on the mantle of covering the songs of music’s most legendary brother duos for their forthcoming album Brotherhood. The album features finds the brothers taking on two well known tunes and nine other tracks that have never been available to the public before.
“Bye Bye Love” stands out as particularly apt for Eric and Leigh to cover. You need only stream the track below to see how comfortably this duo slips into the sound of one of folk music’s most legendary duos.
// Notes from the Road
"Marina's star shines bright and her iridescent pop shines brighter. Froot is her most solid album yet. Her tour continues into the new year throughout Europe.READ the article