Nov 25, 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.
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.