Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Unit Breed interview w/ TOM TEARAWAY

Please don't shoot any monkeys. The Unit Breed interview is now archived to

http://musicsojourn.com/POD/Alt/OS/topics/u/UnitBreed.htm

THE UNIT BREED – Always Distance the Lonely

THE UNIT BREED – Always Distance the Lonely

Always Distance the Lonely begins with the morphine drip of “Living in Comfortable,” a suburban myth with a caustic undertow. “Anything for Free” is an ambiguous meditation on liberty, there’s a codeine cowboy sound to the cover of “Sand,” “Under Palms” has a keen junkie carousel vibe, “You We and I” has a definitive stoner rock beat, and the band practically nods off during the bonus junkie version of “Surfin’ Bird.” Whispers and echoing instrumentation give the album a subtly fleshy feel that meshes well with the dreamy themes addressed therein, and in fact, with the tuning and widespread instrumental effects, much of the disc has an underwater feel to it that gives it a somewhat narcotic appeal. Perhaps a little too languid to be completely captivating, but ought to go down right well with a bottle of your favorite cough syrup.

NO GO KNOW – Time Has Nothing to Do With It

NO GO KNOW – Time Has Nothing to Do With It

(Note: The track listing on the album didn’t always seem to match up with the track numbers on my CD player, so the titles referenced may be a bit off. But I think you’ll get the picture.) With clear, high, almost effeminate vocals joining the twang of the strings, Time Has Nothing to Do With It flows between a sparse country jangle and a lush, melodic nightclub sound. The mournful, lonesome tone of “In Bleeding Kansas (Part I)” swells into the majestically dusky reverberations of “My Black Dog,” sounding crafted specifically for sunset drives along roads upon which no other vehicles travel; “No, We Won’t” is both plaintive and defiant; electric sorrow spills from “Christmas Prayer”; and some songs are simply, inexplicably beautiful (“Our Bodies Will Float”). Bringing to mind bands as varied as Mule, Interpol, Talking Heads, Boy Hits Car and The Brought Low (but not neglecting to throw in some proper punk chording in the right places), No Go Know builds up and strips away layers between songs, combining elegant simplicity with richly complex arrangements for a multi-faceted performance that is difficult to pigeonhole. Melodic trickles swell into urgent jams only to sink back into a pretty mire, and the program flows on and on as if it simply doesn’t need to end. By turns sorrowful and euphoric, this double album is perhaps a bit bleak to be as enthralling as it might be, but its melancholic sound does possess a note of appeal that is difficult to entirely deny; you may very well find yourself putting these discs on repeat and not bothering to take them off.

THE FAMILY CURSE – White Medicine on PANISCUS REVUE

THE FAMILY CURSE – White Medicine

Raw strings scraped further by the distorted whine of high-pitched female vocals, White Medicine is a breathless dysfunctional mess. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. Although compared to bands such as Butthole Surfers, Pain Teens and The Jesus Lizard, for the most part The Family Curse lacks the organized psychotic structure of those outfits, opting instead in many places to simply pour forth a vomitous maelstrom of sound that threatens to break down at any moment. Not that there’s anything wrong with that: “Back in the Water” crawls from the shore to disintegrate into a throbbing, quavering hymn of de-evolution, replete with the requisite chiming and moaning, “Big Black Mark” sounds a bit like Cyndi Lauper spending some quality time on acid with Rapeman, “Like Lightning” is distinctively feral in a black metal way, and “Sewing Box” has a dangerously seductive allure. Throughout, numerous samples and tape loops are brought into play, bringing equal parts damage and illumination. At times this does evoke a stuttering quality which is a bit too techno for the dangerous bad trip drug culture sound the band seems to be striving for, but White Medicine remains dark and disturbed without a doubt. And if you’re of the same bent you’ll want to give this a spin. Jagged. Definitely jagged.
* * *

http://home.earthlink.net/~newpanaudio/id4.html

The Very Foundation: This Restless Empire

The Very Foundation: This Restless Empire

“Only teeth break. Only earth shakes.”

Michael Lewis and Bevan put out a great release with The Very Foundation's This Restless Empire featuring Kristie Rethlefsen, members of The Decemberists, Blind Pilot, Oh Darling, and all the members of Blue Skies For Black Hearts.

Dynamically, this is such a great album; driving and percussive. The opening track, “My Sweetest Defeat” feels like driving through the streets listening to My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult circa “Hit and Run Holiday”. The horns and general atmosphere of good feeling comes across darker lyrics sarcastically. The Very Foundation uses true trumpets instead of synthesizers which always sounds better live.

“Better Get Off”, a bass-heavy hit, combines stoic, deep vocals and gothic lyrics reminiscent of what Nick Cave might have done had he teamed up with Leonard Cohen, took some anti-depressants and listened to big band music. One of the first songs to hone in on the dynamics of This Restless Empire, “Feel Anything”, sounds off with an acoustic strum joined by a hi-hat. Vocals followed by full band burst in for a climactic chorus to the words, “fuck yourself to get through, just to feel anything”. The music cuts in and out perfectly. The pre-chorus is quietly sung over a simple bass line and hi-hat, but by the time, “alone with your attic view”, is heard the rim shot on the snare clicks like a metronome and releases into “just to feel anything”.

Harmonies like those found between Lewis' lows and Rethlefsen's highs soothe over swelling strings which lifting their mixed melodies in the track, “This Is What We're Asking For”. Again, simple samples of storms and percussion create an atmosphere to pay close attention to the dynamics of song.

Many of the tracks start quietly like “My Angel, One Last Time” and build into moving pieces with targeted chorus filled with lines like, “spread your legs my angel, one last time” and “I won't tell your boyfriend, oh yeah right”. Most of the songs have a recurring theme of sexuality; unashamed and brutally honest. The ideas streaming through songs titled, “Better Get Off”, “Pornography” and “Silk and Stilettos” take the listener by the imagination and ride him into submission with a healthy groove.

The Very Foundation put a great feeling into dark and sexual themes. Check it out at: http://www.myspace.com/theveryfoundation


http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com/uploads/Winter_Reviews2010.php

Indie-rock series continues with ‘Pictures of Then’ concert

http://www.haywardwi.com/articles/2009/11/12/events/doc4afc45c00c8da678688346.txt

Indie-rock series continues with ‘Pictures of Then’ concert

Published: Thursday, November 12, 2009 11:47 AM CST
Pictures of Then, a rising Minneapolis indie rock band, will make a live appearance Saturday, Nov. 21 at Hayward's Park Theater for the WOJB/Park Theater Indie Rock Series. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

Since coming together in 2007, Pictures of Then has gained critical and audience acclaim the hard way, by non-stop touring with stops at music festivals, college campuses, clubs and concert venues all over the country.

If Nostalgia Could Kill

http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2009/10/22/music3.html

If Nostalgia Could Kill


On their new EP, If Looks Could Kill, Music for Animals blends some of the best parts of the 1980s dance pop craze with modern indie rock. The song “If Looks Could Kill” is reminiscent of Saturdays on the couch spent watching Duran Duran videos on VH1 Classic. Hints of INXS and The Cure peek out with jangly guitars and echoed vocals as popping hand claps crack out over clubbier bass lines.

It’s not that other modern indie pop musicians haven’t made their own forays into the 1980s for creativity. It’s just that previous efforts have either been obvious single song tributes to the bygone days when MTV actually played music videos or done in irony to poke fun at the excesses of the decade. Music for Animals really does seem to be from the ’80s, which is evident from their careful attention to rhythmic details and lyrics more intent on describing a singular (selfish?) perspective. In songs like “Nervous in NY” and “Change Yourself”, the incessant use of “I,” “me” and “my” seems to reflect the self-centered and sometimes shallow attitude of ’80s popular culture. In fact, these may be the most used words on the album. The EP’s title track seems to confirm this concept as it describes a woman’s appearance with all the swagger of a man wearing a Members Only jacket who just stepped out of an IROC-Z. Music for Animals plays with Blue Horns at 10 pm Wednesday, Oct. 28, at Luckey’s. 21+. $3. — Shaun O’Dell

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

san diego reader supports PRIZE COUNTRY

Thursday 12

For 94/9’s Belly Up booking tonight, it’ll be about the fuzz-pop music. From the Dum Dum Girls distorto doo-wop and the Crocodiles warm and fuzzy feedback, to headliners the Raveonettes’ hook-heavy blowouts on their latest In and Out of Control, speakers will be dripping swank ooze and ears will smile.... If that one sells out before you reach the door, get down to the Soda Bar’s one-year anniversary event, featuring a smorgasbord of sounds from the venue’s favorite indie rockers, Apes of Wrath, Roxy Jones, Deatheaters, Old In Out, and Bunky! All for the low, low price of nothing!... A couple blocks to the left at Radio Room it’ll be Portland’s post-hardcore crew Prize Country. Give an ear or two to their new one ...with love, a collection whose energy recalls the best of early ‘90s punk’d r ‘n’ r. Also on that bill is Loom from Salt Lake and our own skate-punk supergroup Rats Eyes.... A couple more city blocks south, N.Y. psych-jam duo Blues Control and U.K. garage punx the Lovvers bang the Bar Pink stage.... While ‘round downtown, you get the “ga ga” of ‘90s radio ga ga, as Gin Blossoms test their bloom at Anthology and Third Eye Blind bumps into House of Blues.

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2009/nov/11/club-crawler-all-i-wanted-was-pepsi/

Download: The Very Foundation – Feel Anything

http://www.comfortcomes.com/2009/11/08/download-the-very-foundation-feel-anything/

Download: The Very Foundation – Feel Anything
November 8, 2009 by Comfortcomes
Filed under Mp3s

Leave a comment

Check out the latest track from The Very Foundation. The group has a rather large lineup so just look who played on it:

Nate Query bass player for the Decemberists
Jenny Conlee keyboard player for the Decemberists
Dave Jorgensen trumpet player from Blind Pilot and plays keys and trumpet in Kieskagato
Jasmine Ash lead singer of Oh Darling
Caroline Buchalter sits with Larry Yes and used to play in both the Upsidedown and the Spooky Dance Band
Andrew Stern of Blue Horns, Future Historians, Fast Computers
All the members of Blue Skies For Black Hearts

Grab the MP3 “FEEL ANYTHING” below.

Download: The Very Foundation – Feel Anything

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Prize Country – With Love

Prize Country – With Love
Posted by J-Sin - Inside hardcore, indie, music reviews, punk - Tags: editor's pick, indie, indie, post-hardcore, punk
07 Nov.
http://www.smother.net/2009/11/prize-country-with-love/

I can’t believe more people aren’t gushing and obsessing about Prize Country. “With Love” is a fantastic journey across the myriad of DC hardcore via their hometown of Portland, Oregon with firm nods towards the late great Quicksand. We should all band together and make this band a huge success so that guitarist Jacob Depolitte doesn’t have to drive a cab for a living anymore (unless of course he wants to do it as a side hobby). With artwork done by renowned Philly poster artist, Mike Wohlberg, “With Love” is the total package. Riff heavy guitar-centric post-hardcore that boasts bass-heavy glides and sleekly dirty production and engineering efforts that was polished perfectly by recording engineer and producer Stephen Hawkes. Songs like “Gamble” and “It Was a Night Just Like Tonight” will make you forget your deep seeded resentment towards the demise of groups like Quicksand and Snapcase. This is one of the most essential albums this year, taking Fugazi to task with their intrepid backdrop of caustic guitar chords and surging melodic vocal yells.

Pictures Of Then - And The Wicked Sea

Pictures Of Then - And The Wicked Sea

I’ve written before about how some songs seem to fit dawn. Images of a rising sun, light graceful uncovering the landscape, night time gradually fading away. Pictures of Then conjures those images, especially “Glimpse of Dawn” (of course).

The band reminds me of My Morning Jacket vocally and a more straightforward Spoon with the rest of the music.

Thanks to them, yesterday will have a soundtrack. I listened to And The Wicked Sea at every opportunity. It played every time I got in the car, while I worked, during every walk, and in my head while I stared out the window.

Towards the end, honestly, I was getting slightly tired of it. That reaction is only normal considering the absurdly excessive amount (I just remembered a prize I got in fifth grade for “Best Adjective User.” I’m not kidding) of rotations those songs went through in only one day.

I suppose it was worth it, though.

An entire day will have an album. It’s quite an interesting thing. The deeply notable events don’t hurt the significance of yesterday, either. It was rife with incredibly rare events and personal connections that are equally uncommon. And The Wicked Sea followed every turn.

Posted in acoustic, day time, drunk, indie, love, morning



http://nspicer.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/picture-of-then-at-dawn/

wxpn blogspot on Jessie Torrisi

http://wxpn.blogspot.com/2009/11/my-morning-download-11609-jessie.html

After playing drums for a number of NYC bands Jessie Torrisi has stepped out on her own with a wonderful debut album called Bruler Bruler (pronounced broo-lay broo-lay which means burn burn in French). The now based in Austin, Texas (with former roots in Philly) Jessie wields a guitar and a downright rocking set of tunes filled with swagger and sexiness that finds Jessie at a cool crossroads between the country and indie-rock worlds. If there was ever a female counterpart to Ryan Adams to come along, Jessie would get my vote.

Hungry Like Me - Jessie Torrisi

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

GIANT SQUID more reviews!




That must be the main slogan used by the artists here to fully explore their creativity. The result is a mesmerizing album that explores all areas between the diverse extremes of post-hardcore, eclectic prog and ethereal pop music. I admit, sometimes it's difficult to follow what they are up to. It's a concept album based on a graphic novel from front man Aaron John Gregory. The album takes you from one scene to another and you are bound to tumble from one surprise into another.

It sure takes a couple of listens to fully grasp the range of styles on parade here. Aaron Gregory has a versatile voice with a range between Tom Waits gruffness to an expressive emotional wail that fans of Hammill and VDGG will probably appreciate. One moment you're in Isis atmospheres, then again in Neurosis walls of sound, next it's a gentle violin with the light female voices from Jackie Perez Gratz. Also Anneke Van Giersbergen performs on one track. (Well she's all over the place these days so that's no surprise.) She does a great performance on Sevengill, a bizarre duet with Aaron that is exemplary for this album's eccentricity.

The rich diversity of this album might be the very reason it has taken Giant Squid more then a year to get a record deal: it must be just impossible to market. It's certainly not metal. It has post-metal influences but most of the songs are very quiet and melancholic, almost folksy in a way. It's way too weird for hardcore youngsters, too ambitious for alternative rock fans and it's not prog in any traditional sense of the world. However it might appeal to prog audiences for its eclectic range of styles, the wide array of instruments (trumpet, oboe, flute, violin) and the concept album angle. We always like that don't we!?

I've decided to be a bit more difficult and demanding before handing out 5 stars or they'll stop meaning anything. But the 4 stars here are solid.

We should certainly thank Translation Loss records for supporting a commercial release of this wonderful album (almost a year since it was finished and the band distributed a number of copies themselves). It's become a nice packaging with some inventive artwork, different from the sea star picture here. It's a mutated hand with eye-sockets as fingers now. Could have been a Gentle Giant artwork I'd say. It's no coincidence this band is called Giant Octopus isn't it?

THE DAILY TIMES on THE FAMILY CURSE

THE FAMILY CURSE, “White
Medicine” (Fainting Room Collective)
✰✰✰ — I am totally for the absolute destruction of musical structure as a
concept and waylaying with noise and machine melting when it fits the situation.
Seattle’s the Family Curse sound like, if they wanted, they could whip together an awfully catchy, harmonic pop album. But where’s the fun in that when you can, instead, pour lava all over the thing? So, yes, “White Medicine” isn’t likely to please all listeners. It might not even satisfy most or half. We’ve become too set in our ways with how music is “supposed to sound,” that it’s refreshing to hear Megan Tweed’s deranged, maniacal, effects-drenched voice howl and shriek over equally damaged rockers “Teen Challenge,” “Like Lighting,” and “Sewing Box,” which sounds like golden-era Concrete Blondes beaten to a pulp. I can only imagine the artistic violence in a live setting, somewhere you’re more than likely to walk away from scraped and bruised. You need that sometimes. (BK)

Prize Country is bristling with tremendous energy, passion, and attitude

Nov 03 2009

Prize Country – …With Love
Category: Music In My Ears — dryvetyme @ 07:00
Prize Country
…With Love
Self-Released; 2009

By the time I had worked through my initial listen of …With Love by Prize Country, I was struck by how effortlessly these four gentlemen combined post-grunge hard rock with various strains of third-wave emo-core. However, I quickly realized that I would have to debunk the negative connotations that surround those descriptors if I didn’t want to unduly plague the band with those clichéd terms. The last thing I would ever want to do is for people to think I’m comparing a band whose music I actually enjoyed to the likes of Godsmack or My Chemical Romance.

The music of Prize Country is bristling with tremendous energy, passion, and attitude. Yet, remarkably, the music is thankfully bereft of most/all of the “bro/dude” tendencies that often come with making testosterone-fueled rock music of this nature. Specifically, there seems to be limited quantities of the familiar and nauseating preening and posturing for the crowd – there’s no one component that takes center stage, seeking a level of attention higher than that of the band as a whole. While it’s not quite mosh-ready music, these songs are certainly capable of getting a crowd moving, jumping, and singing along at the tops of its collective throats (especially to such lyrics as “Put your bets on the dying horse and hope he makes good glue,” from “Gamble”).

I was especially pleased to hear some nice dual guitar work: as opposed to simply chugging a series of chords in unison to make things sound artificially “heavy,” the two guitarists play off each other with quality, complementary riffage. A solid bass player, one who seems to be playing through some appealingly nasty pedals and amplifiers, is responsible for broadcasting the chord progressions. The drummer is of the straight-ahead variety and knows that his role is to set a pace, rhythm, and feel for the songs, while never taking them over. On the whole, however, I feel that they key to the band’s appeal is the vocals, in that they feature a slight growl that provides an appropriate amount of menace, and they are mostly absent any sort of screaming, melodramatic crooning, or histrionic wailing that can be quite distracting at times.

The only aspect of Prize Country’s sound that I found lacking was in the seeming reliance upon the somewhat standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge/breakdown-chorus arrangement. The chord changes utilized were creative (as in, not dirty, sludgy, or tired), and, as featured in the guitars, there are some solid part-writing chops on display here, but I’d love to hear the group expand its repertoire a bit. That being said, fronted by tracks like “Regular Nights,” the aforementioned “Gamble,” and “What we’re Made Of,” …With Love does its bit to restore my faith in the existence of above-average hard rock, the kind without pretense or affectation.

http://www.dryvetymeonlyne.com/2009/11/03/prize-country-with-love/

THE FAMILY CURSE / White Medicine (merci à/thanks to xo publicity)

http://blog.monsieurdelire.com/2009/11/2009-11-02-liquid-stranger-embassadors.html


THE FAMILY CURSE / White Medicine (merci à/thanks to xo publicity)

Un rock hurlant, expérimental, complètement déjanté. “Teen Challenge” sonne comme les Butthole Surfers avec une chanteuse, ailleurs on pense à Godflesh. Megan Tweed hurle de manière TRÈS convaincante, mais les chansons reposent aussi sur une solide base musicale. C’est violent, mais agile.Ça n’a pas la vitesse ou l’exubérance du premier Painkiller, mais ça y ressemble, en pent.

Screeching experimental off-the-wall rock. “Teen Challenge” sounds like The Butthole Surfers with a frontwoman; elsewhere the music can sound like Godflesh. Megan Tweed screams VERY convincingly, but the songs also rely on strong musicianship. This music is violent yet agile. It may not match the speed and exhuberance of the first Painkiller, but it gets close to it, in a heavier, slower fashion.

The Family Curse ... good god. according to GUMSHOE

The Family Curse ... good god. When people tell me a band is "crazy" I usually chuckle to myself heartily and think about Edward Ka-Spel. That makes me feel better, usually ...

But in this case "crazy" is actually a fairly apt descriptor (hear it for yourself; listen to all 6 minutes of "Bodies in Rooms" for free over there ---->). The Family Curse are dollars-to-donuts one of the kookiest combos around, dealing in an unseemly din of death loops, car-crashing crescendos and hyper-banshee shrieks.

Roll Karen O and Get Hustle into a nice little spliff and you have the right idea, but that's only the beginning. Sprinkle in a liberal dose of Albini (song title "Big Black Mark" is a dead giveaway), along with some PRE, Jesus Lizard, Death Sentence: Panda, Blood Brothers, San Francisco's Pigeon, AIDS Wolf and maybe even some Sneaker Pimps every so often.

You're getting close but you're still not there. Thirteen-minute mega-jaunt "Back in the Water," in all its fireworks-in-your-face fury, is redolent of none of these bands, nor is "Exodus from the Birds in the Night," a picturesque drone with pics and hum-bars all over the place.

And Megan Tweed; a lot of times frontwomen of her stripe end up doing more harm than good, but she is an exception. There are times when the Groove calls for more room, room Tweed isn't willing to give, yet she never ceases to pull new rabbit tricks from her gorilla larynx.

Same goes for her band. All told, The Family Curse should probably tour with Gay Beast if they haven't already. There's a lot of creative synchronicity going on here. Not that they sound alike at all, more that they're both heavy without being metal, hardcore, punk or noise.

Let's call it post-junk.

http://gumshoegrove.blogspot.com/2009/09/family-curse-white-medicine-fainting.html

Elin Palmer on AW Music

Elin Palmer – Postcards Review
30 October 2009, Allan @ 7:33 pm
Elin Palmer is a Swedish singer songwriter who’s previous work includes playing time with the Lee Lewis Harlots. She’s played with Busia Bulat, M. Ward and The Fray in the past. She’s a seasoned musician who’s been around the block so to speak.

I was interested in her work after hearing a handful of tracks on her album, Postcards. Elin Palmer has a nice voice siding with great classical influenced folk. It’s nice to here all these instruments including the Nyckelharpa. It gives the music as interesting taste. With two tracks sung in her native language, she uses her heritage to further emphasize how great of a singer she is. It’s hard to say how good she is lyrically, I’m not sold that it’s the greatest in the world but it definitely doesn’t bother me,

The album from top to bottom is very sound with many weak spots. I think that’s where it ultimately fails to achieve great success is that it’s too sound. While the songs aren’t similar I just can’t seem to pick up sections where this album has its moments. It’s good music, tons of great classical influenced stuff but I can’t help but be a little more bored then I should be. It’s definitely safe music and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I feel like Elin Palmer’s Postcard doesn’t captivate me like I feel like Elin Palmer should.

For now, I’ll keep my eyes on Elin Palmer. She definitely has some good qualities that can’t be ignored and she should just keep moving forward. Perhaps more risks and more of a personality might do wonders but then again what do I know?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Still an above average album with talent shining more then anything.

Prize Country review on PASTE PUNK

http://www.pastepunk.com/site/?p=20387
PRIZE COUNTRY – “With Love”
October 31 2009 // Posted by Jordan
Oregon’s PRIZE COUNTRY have been around for 3.5 years now, and owe their name to seven releases, including two-lengths, their latest being With Love, on Hex Records. Having not been very familiar with their prior works, I was extremely thrilled to learn that the group’s sound is in the vein of post-hardcore bands like SNAPCASE, TIME IN MALTA, QUICKSAND, and FRODUS. With Love is 30+ minutes of surging, beautifully rhythmic music, lead by tantalizing dual guitars, a sharp-toothed bass drum pedal, and the soft-spoken, but pointed vocals of Aaron Blanchard. It’s hard not to find yourself in a continuous state of ‘bounce’ when listening to this release. The sixth track, “What We’re Made Of,” runs nearly six minutes long, and is the band’s most ambitious effort, starting with a straight-forward linear intro, and delving into a circular rhythm that shoots off waves of guitars like swells from a hurricane. The tune concludes with a firing off of thick slabs of bass and the feeling that PRIZE COUNTRY always tidy up whatever musical mess they create. Although anthems really aren’t this band’s thing, With Love displays its catchy side on “Bigger Picture,” which is custard-filled with memorable lines and pacing, and the sour aftertaste of a FUGAZI tongue-lashing. As a matter of first impression, PRIZE COUNTRY have me hooked solid – time to work my way through their back catalog…

Hex Records

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

decibel magazine on PRIZE COUNTRY ..with love


Prize Country
...With Love

Love ain’t real unless you get ellipses in your album name | Hex

If Prize Country’s second full-length doesn’t immediately transport you back to 1995, you probably weren’t alive in 1995. The Portland band is so reminiscent of noisy post-punk kings Drive Like Jehu and the entire mid ’90s Dischord roster that I feel like I’m living with my parents again when I’m listening to them. And you know what? That’s just dandy. The scrappy vocals, propulsive rhythms and melodic-cum-abrasive guitar charges may be 15 years behind the curve, but this stuff sounds every bit as urgent as Bluetip and Jawbox did ’roundabout my Bar Mitzvah.

Ballsier than your average noise rock band, but not quite heavy enough to qualify as metal, Prize Country bamboozle with guitars that slither and surge against each other and their impeccable rhythm section. On “Gamble,” the slice ‘n’ dice yields to a maddeningly catchy hook (we even get some handclaps on “Cement”). Otherwise …With Love is all right angles and tire skids, all the time.

With the exception of the Shiner-esque title track, which serves up pretty harmonies and ninth chords to soften the edges, Prize Country basically write variations on the same yelpy, mid-tempo, minor key post-punk song over and over again. But that one song is freakin’ awesome, and over the years they’ve gotten increasingly good at writing it. Maybe progress ain’t so important to a band so rooted in a past musical era as Prize Country. And if water-treading sounds as good as Prize Country do on …With Love, maybe progress shouldn’t be so important to us, either.

—Etan Rosenbloom

Read it here

Jessie Torris in THE DAILY NEWS



JESSIE TORRISI, “Brûler Brûler”
(Wild Curls) ✰✰✰ — Jessie Torrisi started off drumming for a handful of NYC bands before journeying through New Orleans and Brazil, finally setting up shop in Austin, Texas. Now on her own (for good, she says), Torrisi has spit shined a debut platter of eight tracks that feel like a big appetizer. That is to say the songs are tasty, yet not entirely satisfying. She has a nice, downhome voice, and I don’t doubt her chops, but she needs to get stronger. Country-rich “Hungry Like Me” is fine as an opener, but no more, and “X in Texas” is overwrought with cliché. But there are some really good moments here too. Witness the breezy, ’70s pop of “So Many Miles” and the closing piano ballad “The Brighter Side,” which gets a sip of pedal steel, and you clearly see what she’s capable of. It’s just a start, and a decent one, and hopefully next record will benefit by her honing her craft on the road. (BK)

Stoner Rock interviews BLACK SKIES


Read the interview here

An Interview with Kevin Clark of Black Skies

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Caravan of Thieves Put on Devilishly Delightful Performances

Posted by: csheppard on Oct. 19, 2009

http://social.richmond.com/blog/csheppard/2009/10/caravan-of-thieves-put-on-devilishly-delightful-p/

The Caravan of Thieves are Ashland Coffee & Tea's latest Artists in Residence.

The quartet, led by husband and wife team Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni, will be back in Ashland Wednesday, October 21.

I caught up with them on the phone from their hometown, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Caravan of Thieves, despite being a relatively young band, has gotten off to a very promising start.

"Our very first show with Caravan was the Spring of 2008," says Carrie, who sings and plays guitar. "We've been playing together for about a year and a half."

The couple married in 2005.

"It was an intimate relationship before it became a musical one," says Fuzz, who also sings and plays guitar.

It's likely you've never experienced a show like theirs. Both Fuzz and Carrie say music has been a part of their lives since childhood.

"As a kid I was doing a lot of theater and Broadway," recalls Carrie. "I was classically trained on piano first and then started playing guitar in high school. My dad taught me."

"I started off as a kid playing guitar, Rock-n-Roll," says Fuzz. "I played my first show when I was 14. I just kind of got hooked on performing and playing in bands."

Fuzz went to school for classical music and arrangement and composition, played everything from blues to jazz to R&B to dance-pop, toured with Deep Banana Blackout and joined up with Tom Tom Club, which is the drummer and bass player from Talking Heads.

"When Fuzz and I met I was doing a solo singer-songwriter thing up in Burlington, Vermont,"

Elin Palmer: Postcard [Album Review]

Elin Palmer: Postcard [Album Review]
20 October 2009 Written by Fense No Comment Tags: denver, elin palmer, sweden

http://www.fensepost.com/main/2009/10/20/elin-palmer-postcard-album-review/

Swedish folk musician turned Denver resident, Elin Palmer varies her song-craft between orchestration and experimentation. Her songs mesh the two arenas of folk, often dabbling in a fairly sizable amount of pop as well. Palmer’s brilliance is partly due to her mystic voice — the Swedish accent is truly what does it. But wherever the unique instrumentation dominates, sheer brilliance ensues.

Title track “Postcard”, and epic closer “Whaleboat” find Palmer developing that interesting balance between the two sounds (orchestral and experimental). The former, as the opening song on the album, acts as an introduction to a sound both fresh and rewarding. The latter concludes Postcard with an almost anthemic climax; about as much as you can expect from an album that is dominated by folk.

“Time” and “No Use” are equally as intriguing; Palmer adds a lovely waltz-ing accordion in each that creates a very harmonic effect. Violin and cello are the focus in “Stora Stoular”, where Palmer slips into her native tongue (a guess, as I do not speak the language). The same happens in “Duvardar” with a more rewarding result.

The power behind Postcard is truly no surprise. Palmer strikes out on her own for the first time after playing part in several fairly well-known acts, from Devotchka to Crooked Fingers. This debut solo effort is well worth every moment, and Palmer has the ability to become just as familiar a name as the groups in which she’s performed.

Elin Palmer: Postcard [mp3]

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

'Prize Country' considers musical integrity, chance to tour the real prize

http://www.pittnews.com/article/2009/10/18/prize-country-considers-musical-integrity-chance-tour-real-prize

'Prize Country' considers musical integrity, chance to tour the real prize
| | More By Liz Keeney / For The Pitt News
published: Sun, 18 Oct, 2009
photo credit: Courtesy Prize Country
Ice cream, not mainstream success, is the band's real 'Prize.'

Prize Country
With Git Some
The Smiling Moose
Oct. 19

Interested in the type of music that concerns itself with staying up late, having fun and raising some hell? Not a big fan of the T-Pain or Britney Spears brands of popular music? You might want to check out Prize Country.

Harkening back to the decades-old formula of loud, fast and rowdy, Prize Country has made a name for itself by playing good old rock ‘n’ roll.

Prize Country — composed of Jacob Depolitte on guitar, Aaron Blanchard on guitar and singing lead vocals, Joshua Northcutt on drums and Jon P. Hausler on bass — has been playing its boisterous music out of Portland since 2006.

A stark contrast to the pop-rock and hip-hop sound currently spinning on top 40 radio stations, Prize Country has made a name for itself by playing heavy, raucous and fast-paced rock ‘n’ roll.

According to Blanchard, the band’s music is “loud and intense and urgent, a little bit of everything.”

Unlike many of its musical contemporaries, Prize Country makes music for music’s sake, Blanchard said: No formula, no copied beats, no forced
lyrics.

Inspired by classic rock giants such as Led Zeppelin and the The Doors, Blanchard said the band “listens to different things, so our sound is a little varied,” and that the result is a culmination of “just loving and listening to music.”

After meeting Blanchard in Salt Lake City, Depolitte moved to Oregon to form a band with him. Soon after, Hausler, a bartender at Depolitte and Blanchard’s favorite bar, joined the lineup, and Northcutt completed the roster.

Beginning in 2006 with “Dead Kingdom,” the band’s self-released debut album, Prize Country has completed seven albums, including its upcoming release, “With Love.”

Blanchard said it’s easy to write songs because band members “know what everyone sounds like.

“Our songwriting processes is very organic,” he said. “After beginning with a few simple guitar riffs, it’s a natural progression to write the rest of the song. Lyrically, we’re a whole different ballgame. We try to be a little tongue-in-cheek.”

Instead of the over-processed, techno-infused studio rock that has dominated the airwaves for the past several years, Prize Country pumps out a more bare-bones sound.

“We initially wrote songs that sounded better recorded, but after touring, we came up with stuff to play live,” Blanchard said. “Everything ends up being a little faster.”

Prize Country said it enjoys playing live, and that has kept the band on tour for the majority of the year.

Despite the band’s busy schedule — with more than 50 shows on each tour — Blanchard said, “Touring’s not easy and it’s not always fun, but all you have to do is think about it for five minutes, and you see that it’s all worth it. We’re really killing two birds with one stone. We love music and we love to travel.”

And the fans love the band for it.

“We often see a lot of the same faces,” Blanchard said. “You make a lot of friends along the way, so you always want to be invited back.”

But Prize Country isn’t just interested in putting on a good show. It’s really the love of music that drives it. Blanchard said the band isn’t interested in making money or hitting the big time.

“[Prize Country] doesn’t want to fit in,” he said. “The industry right now isn’t complementary to what we do.”

He said the band enjoys touring and that conforming to the industry standard isn’t worth giving that up.

When asked about how Prize Country fits into the music scene right now, Blanchard said, “I don’t think we do, and I’m happy about that. We do what we do. We care about music. We have control, and I can’t imagine someone telling us what to do.”

Check out the band's Myspace page.

Bluesy BAcksliders' Album Rockin' Fun at Any Price

FROM http://www.swamprecord.com/

What if FM contemporary radio programmers in the 100 largest cities in America were human beings and not actually "programs" themselves?

What if they decided that any music played on their stations would have to be at least 51% non-Pearl-Jam-derived?

What if no songs longer than three minutes would get airplay?

Remember when you could tune in your town's Top 40 station and hear The B-52s, Chrissie Hynde, Debbie Harry, Heart, and even DEVO? Sure, these artists had songs over three minutes, and the stations mixed in plenty of doggy do-do in between. But how great was it to hear "Back on the Chain Gang" coming from your (or your older brother's) car radio? Not every singer had to sound like Eddie Vedder (or the 1980 equivalent, say, Roger Waters). Really Pearl Jam's okay. But radio used to let guys like the The B-52s' Fred Schneider and DEVO's Gerald Casale do their schtick-- on Top 40!!

So who cares, right? Internet beat the dead radio star, previously killed by "video", presumably. But THe BAcksliders' music, begs another question: What happened to rock bands that sound so good that you want them to be, not only on your iPod, but in the ethers all around you? In the frequency-modulated radiation. It's not nostalgia here, it's physics. (continued above right)

(continued from below left)
Maybe it makes me a crotchety old man that I would love to jump up and call someone's attention
to THe BAcksliders' "Things" playing on Y-100. The point is that THe BAcksliders, from Dallas, Texas, would be all over FM radio, all of the above "what ifs" having been answered. But it's fantasy, and the reality is that WHYI-FM should now be known as "Why-100" instead. Green Day. Green Day is as good as it gets on that station. And, hey, Green Day is pretty darned good. But, yeah... they're the titanium ceiling of quality modern music on commercial radio.

But let's stop picking on easy targets like Why-100 and bands like Creed, for example. "BTW", do you know how long Creed songs are? Ten of the thirteen songs on their ingeniously-titled album "Greatest Hits" are four and a half minutes or longer. "Rock and Roll" by Led Zeppelin clocks in at three minutes, fourteen seconds. You can listen to both "Whatever Happened To..." and "No Reply" by Buzzcocks in four and a half minutes. Does Creed just have so much more to say? Or do they simply play lonnnggg, shiiittty, sonnngggs? But we digress. Joyfully, but we digress.

The Details, for Doubters and Devils: Considering THe BAcksliders' stripped-down, guitar-bass-drums approach, they display a surprising variety of styles. "Last Call" and "Twisted" are satisfying blends of fine country-rock and punchy, New Wave-pop in the manner of Blondie and Pretenders. When they're in that heady domain, it's hard to imagine wanting to listen to anything else. "Bitter Days" revs up the blues, burning past 33,000 rpm, and making you want to be wherever they're playing tonight. Ultimately, what makes THe BAcksliders fully essential is the often velvety, always powerful voice of Kim Bonner and the songwriting. Bass player's great, drummer plays hard, confident, sometimes good-and-sloppy. The guitarist/ 2nd singer has the best of country blues and blues rock in his veins, and the dual lead vocals work great together and individually. Each BAckslider is a 100% perfect fit, and I'll give Kim Bonner 110% for her contribution. The sum is 500% rock-n-roll.

Oh, and all the songs on "Thank You" are under three minutes long, by the way. They all churn, and rock, kick, and jump. They add up to the best album of 2009. A little under twenty-three minutes of rock-n-roll done right. Downloadable for the price of... well... nothing. Have a fun autumn-- the weather's great and the album of the year is free for all. Get it while

the gettin's good. -- A.S.

Blessed with a voice that matches Emmylou Harris for sly

Jessie Torrisi

"Bruler Bruler"

BY JOSH RUFFIN
read here too!


Jessie Torrisi
"Bruler Bruler"
Release date: October 28
Wild Curls
myspace.com/jessietorrisi

AUGUSTA, GA - So here’s the skinny: Jessie Torrisi is a former New York drummer and present-day Texas-based siren of grit, hunger, loss and the eternal search for the Why and the What. Blessed with a voice that matches Emmylou Harris for sly, lust-tinged smokiness and rivals Neko Case in the gorgeous-as-hell-but-can-chop-firewood-all-day department, Torrisi obviously knows her way around not only every back alley saloon that’s ever been littered with heartbreak and bad decisions, but also a few low-lit jazz haunts. To put this in perspective, Case posed for the cover of her last album on top of a hot rod, brandishing a broadsword as if she were about to invent decapitation. Had Torrisi posed for the same shot, the car would’ve been dustier, and she’d have done it in heels.

Regardless, the actual album art features her jumping on the bed, so you get an idea of the dichotomies we’re dealing with here; there IS a certain wink-and-a-nod vibe to “Bruler Bruler,” but one characterized by a degree of transparency. And it has to be; as poppy, catchy, and lilting as some of these songs may be, a mixture of sideways smiles and melancholy is what lies at the core of the album. She may bemoan a lack of love on “Hungry Like Me,” but turns right around on the cabaret-tinged dive-bar tune “Cannonball” with lines like “I wanna dive into your skin/I wanna dive in like a cannonball.” A wilting flower this woman is not.

Salvation is woven throughout, but only at the periphery. The album’s most peaceful track, “Brighter Side,” sounds like something a country gospel group would have written after being stuck in a cabin on the Northwest coast during rainy season with nothing but a record player and a dusty copy of Joni Mitchell’s “Blue.” Simple to accept and tough to unravel, “Bruler Bruler” should very well speak to everyone, but that’s not because Jessie Torrisi knows who you are—it’s because she knows who she is.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

portland's mercury covering THE VERY FOUNDATION

DON OF DIVISION STREET, CELILO,THE VERY FOUNDATION, THE MALDIVES


(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) There will be two sides to the Portland music scene on display this evening. The first, and easily the most important, will be a gathering to remember Celilo drummer Kipp Crawford—hit by drunk drivers in the early morning hours of November 4—that will take place at Mississippi Station (3943 N Mississippi) at 6 pm. Following that, next door at Mississippi Studios there will be music. Lots of Portland music. In addition to a set from Crawford's bandmates in Celilo, the Very Foundation will perform material from their Portland-centric This Restless Enterprise recording. Chances are if you're a local musician, your mark is felt on the collaborative flair of This Restless Enterprise, which ranges from shuffling, contempletive indie numbers to the strut of "Runaway to Tokyo," which shares both sound and inspiration with Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up." EAC

“This Restless Enterprise” review


http://metrospirit.com/index.php?cat=1993101070394080&ShowArticle_ID=11011111092868484read it here


Issue #21.16 :: 11/11/2009 - 11/17/2009
The Very Enterprise

“This Restless Enterprise”

BY JOSH RUFFIN

The Very Enterprise
“This Restless Enterprise”
Available soon
myspace.com/theveryfoundation


AUGUSTA, GA - It’s not a good time to be an indie rock band. Ultra-arty, ultra-hip outifts like Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear and Band of Horses have spent the last couple of years forging a monopoloid dome comprised purely of pitch-perfect, just-challenging-enough pop-rock, so much so that any other indie band, whether or not they sound like any of the aforementioned, are forced to deal with that consequence of comparison. As a result, most groups have to accept their perpetual “under the radar” status and generally deal with it by languishing as the topic of miasmal conversations during smoke breaks at a Xiu Xiu show.

Luckily, The Very Foundation decided “f*** that noise,” figured out how to rock, and released one of the year’s most acerbic, borderline misanthropic indie albums. Believe us when we tell you, this Portland-based duo is not here to give you the warm fuzzies, though the first six songs on the album—“My Sweetest Defeat” and “Run Away to Tokyo” highlights among them—are as likely to get heads nodding as they are eyes glazing. After the comparatively stark, lyric-less “Signs and Wonders,” (which sounds like a remix of the Jesu tracks off this year’s Envy split) though, is when we get cause for celebration, as tracks like “This is What We’re Asking For” and “My Angel, One Last Time” possess the most seamless fusion of vitriol and simple pop pleasure this side of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.”

Though vocalist Michael Lewis has an unfortunate tendency to sound like a less-robotic version of Interpol’s Paul Banks, he eventually finds his stride during the hushed verses of “Silk and Stilettos,” evoking something between a Bon Iver rasp and a Nick Cave sex-ooze. But let’s not get petty; this is sharp, serious, and just out-and-out spectacular stuff. Plenty of bands channel their romantic side, but rare is the group that feeds it Jager shots and slips out the next morning while it’s still in the shower. Kudos, fellas.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Elin Palmer – Postcard

Elin Palmer – Postcard
Category: Music In My Ears — dryvetyme @ 07:00
Elin Palmer
Postcard
Self-Released; 2009


I have more than a few friends who would be turned off at the following comparison, mostly because their proclivities regarding folk and indie music are mostly of the highly traditional and/or purist strains. But when I heard the songs of Postcard by Elin Palmer for the first time, I immediately conjured up images of Joanna Newsom and Owen Pallett making a baby together and raising their child on a healthy diet of classical music and left-of-center folk singers from the ‘60s and ‘70s. If that fabrication makes no sense to you, dear reader, let me put things another way – this native Swede has concocted a delectable indie-folk record that features her elegant soprano and her prodigious skill on the violin and nickelharpa (an ancient, traditional Swedish instrument) alongside strings, piano, accordion, and an excellent percussionist.


What makes this woman’s commendable combination of folk and world instrumentation so noteworthy is that she manages to accomplish this while never bowing to hipster caprice. Palmer’s music is quirky without being weird or obtuse (even as she occasionally sings in her native tongue), and it’s pleasingly quaint without being an odd or sugary anachronistic throwback. Part of me feels that it’s her lovely vocals thankfully refusing those easy stylistic crutches – she has a strong voice with just the right amount of lilt, one that never reaches for histrionic heights and only breaks out its ethereal qualities when absolutely necessary.

Admittedly, given this blonde chanteuse’s pedigree and track record as a multi-instrumentalist recording for the Lee Lewis Harlots, 16 Horsepower and M. Ward, there are plenty of DeVotchKa and Sufjan Stevens reference points with this eight-song record. But on the whole, the only weak songs in my estimation are “Duvardar” and “No Use,” which are each hampered by a rather staid, blasé gypsy-ish waltz tempo, despite trying to charm your socks off with melodies that come straight out of a blissful fairy tale.


Palmer, to my delight, never seeks to evoke anything remotely resembling bluegrass, freak-folk, alt-country, or something else chic and trendy. Moreover, there is nothing bulbous, bloated, or overtly anthemic present with this music, as instead we’re graced with a display of remarkable restraint and compositional acumen. Led by the title track, “Stora Stoular,” and “Balloons,” Postcard is a simple, pretty folk-pop record created by an extremely talented musician and her classically trained friends that’s so very lovely to my ears.

read here

Thursday, November 19, 2009

BUSY WEEKEND IN PORTLAND

FRIDAY NIGHT
AMADAN, THE BEAUTIFUL TRAIN WRECKS, SASSPARILLA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) In honor of a decade of falling from grace with God—and having superior dental work to Shane MacGowan—Amadan are throwing a bit of a party. Ten years is a long time to stay in a band and avoid the inevitable pull of adulthood, so like all shows from these Irish punks, expect copious amounts of whiskey and sin, like a gloriously drunken Peter Pan syndrome. Leaning heavy on the tempo and vocal delivery of westernized pop-punk, Amadan's sound is hardly authentic—unless Fat Wreck Chords has a Dublin branch we don't know about—but still utterly sincere. Never has the sound of cirrhosis sounded so good. EAC

Friday night!
PRIZE COUNTRY, RAT EYES, LOOM
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Judging by the crowd at the Crystal for a reunited Jesus Lizard, there clearly is a market for smart '90s nostalgia (a glorious time when words like "Killdozer" and "Unsane" made sense), which is good news for the boys of Prize Country. ...With Love might be an album with a cuddly title, but as singer Aaron Blanchard ferociously screeches "You're my girl, my girl tonight" (from "Regular Nights"), you get the feeling that's more a threat than an invitation to future romance. Schooled on the Albini sound and attitude, ...With Love stomps along mercilessly, a volume-swelling mass of pounding drums, rolling bass, and hissing guitars for days. If this is the sound of love, I'd be curious to hear what Prize Country's idea of hate sounds like. EAC


SATURDAY NIGHT
DON OF DIVISION STREET, CELILO,THE VERY FOUNDATION, THE MALDIVES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) There will be two sides to the Portland music scene on display this evening. The first, and easily the most important, will be a gathering to remember Celilo drummer Kipp Crawford—hit by drunk drivers in the early morning hours of November 4—that will take place at Mississippi Station (3943 N Mississippi) at 6 pm. Following that, next door at Mississippi Studios there will be music. Lots of Portland music. In addition to a set from Crawford's bandmates in Celilo, the Very Foundation will perform material from their Portland-centric This Restless Enterprise recording. Chances are if you're a local musician, your mark is felt on the collaborative flair of This Restless Enterprise, which ranges from shuffling, contempletive indie numbers to the strut of "Runaway to Tokyo," which shares both sound and inspiration with Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up." EAC

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Elin Palmer steps into spotlight as she's about to step out of town

Elin Palmer steps into spotlight as she's about to step out of town
By Ricardo Baca
Denver Post Pop Music Critic
Posted: 10/15/2009 01:00:00 AM MDT


Palmer is bound for Nashville and Brooklyn. ( Todd Roeth )
You might not know Elin Palmer. You might be unfamiliar with her stark beauty, her delicate nature, her extreme talents and precise playing. Heck, you might not know how to pronounce her first name: EE-lin — a very common Swedish name, like Maria in the United States.

That said, you've likely heard the Sweden-born Palmer sing or play. She is one of the most accomplished, storied accompanists in Colorado rock history, having performed with local acts the Fray, DeVotchKa, 16 Horsepower, Munly and the Lee Lewis Harlots, Wovenhand and the Czars — not to mention national acts M. Ward and Crooked Fingers (and the latter's frontman, Eric Bachmann).

After devoting seven years to the Harlots and pinch playing in studios and on tours during the past decade-plus, Palmer is stepping into the spotlight — and moving on. She will release her debut solo album, "Postcard," with a big show at the Hi-Dive on Saturday.

Not long after the show, Palmer will be on her way to Nashville, where she'll write and record for six weeks before moving on to her new home in Brooklyn, N.Y.

We spoke with Palmer about her reasons for leaving town, her Scandinavian roots and her solo music, which is a lush, multicultural take on indie rock that re-energizes the genre.

Q: When did you start working on "Postcard"?

A: I started to record with Bob (Ferbrache) a year and a half ago. That's when I first thought about starting my own project. We didn't have a full record together when we started recording.

Q: It sounds like you worked with a lot of different players and voices.

A: We had a bunch of different players come in. We have five different bass players on the record. We wanted this person to play this part, and we wanted some string bass, and sometimes I'm playing bass, and sometimes we tuned down a cello — like on the song "Paint."

Q: Why tune a cello down? Did you like that particular timbre?

A: No, I was writing the song at home, and I didn't have a bass there.

Q: What inspired you to step out on your own?

A: I was touring with Eric Bachmann and DeVotchKa, and right around then Tom (Hagerman of DeVotchKa) put out his own record — and Eric was touring for the first time as a solo project. I went on tour with Eric, and I learned a lot from him and Tom. It inspired me to try my own thing. I liked collaborating with people and adding to their music, but I wanted to see what happened if I wrote my own songs.

Q: When you play live, there's a gorgeous, foreign instrument you tend to favor.

A: Yeah, the nyckelharpa is a Swedish instrument that predates the violin. I started playing it when I was 9. I usually write songs on it. I used it some in Munly's band and on the Wovenhand record "Mosaic."

Q: You sing a couple of songs on "Postcard" in Swedish. What determines a song's language?

A: There are two songs in Swedish. And it wasn't conscious. It has more to do with whatever was flowing in whatever language. Sometimes I'm thinking in one language over the other, but it depends on what I'm reading that day or what I'm thinking. If I'm making a song, I try not to limit it by what language it is.

Q: Why leave Denver now that you're ready to move forward with your solo work?

A: I just need to get out of Denver. I've been here for a long time, and I need to inspire my music in a different environment where I can create stuff. In Nashville, I hope to do some recording. And my boyfriend is in Brooklyn. But eventually I want to move back to Sweden — but first I need to get my "in" there as far as the music world goes.

Q: Do you have a plan?

A: I don't have a concrete plan, but at the same time I do. As far as doing the music thing in Denver, I've maxed it out here. I've played all the venues and everything. So the move is more personal. I need to be in a new environment.

Ricardo Baca: 303-954-1394 or rbaca@denverpost.com


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Elin Palmer
Swedish- influenced indie rock, CD release show. Hi-Dive, with Sissy Wish and Andrea Ball. Saturday. 9 p.m. $6. hi-dive.com

http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_13562178

jessie torrisi on FEMMUSIC

Brûler, Brûler by Jessie Torrisi


Jessie Torrisi’s debut album feels like a warm blanket on a cold night. It is familiar, welcoming and fulfilling. Torrissi, a sometimes journalist and drummer with a hoard of NY bands, brings a sweet Southern drawl to an album filled with facets of love and journeys. Labeling Torrissi is hard to do. She is America, country and seems to elicit both Patsy Cline and Bonnie Raitt at the same time.
The album is filled with a mixture of fast moving tracks and slow moving ballads. Your foot doesn’t stop tapping during “Runaway Train” and “Cannonball.” The luxurious visuals painted during “Breeze in California” fill the senses. It is a personal favorite and demonstrates a passionate love of lyrics. The biggest disappoint to the album is it is so short when more songs are begged for.

It is cliché to say this is an album to own and cherish. It is natural and soft and will keep your ears as warm as your soul. Cuddle up with it, and someone you care for. Torrissi is touring so see her and scream for more songs, more albums and more from this new voice. For more information visit www.jessietorrissi.com

http://www.femmusic.com/CDrevs/jessie_torrisi_bruler.htm

ELIN PALMER IN THE ONION

http://www.avclub.com/denver/articles/elin-palmer,33999/

by Patrick Lee October 13, 2009

It's hard to imagine better traveling music than the eight songs on Elin Palmer's new album, Postcard. While the expansive, orchestral tracks would do wonders for even a short drive to Fort Collins, the album's folk frontiers are better suited for riding the rough seas to Norway on a dragon ship. Grand without excess and full with a possibility of new places—like Palmer's native Sweden— the music often stands in stark contrast to the lyrics, which are crystals of a much darker nature. It's strange to hear Palmer sing lines like "This moment is fading fast" and "I don't feel like I will die in this cold, dark house" over music made for exploring forests and making paper airplanes, but that's the eccentric way the former Munly & The Lee Lewis Harlots contributor unravels it.

Live, Palmer saws away on a Nyckelharpa, a rare and old Swedish instrument that looks like a cross between an abacus and an elf's woodworking tools—and it's the instrument's intense, optimistic bowing that grounds Postcard's symphonic pop arrangements. This musical oddity and other clever choices in instrumentation make for brief but transfixing guest appearances—notably the low pianos on "Paint," the 8-bit bleeps that sparkle on top of "House," and the ropes of accordion that join verse to chorus on "Time."

Postcard captures the whale chasing, sea shanty sound bands like The Decemberists bring to the table, but where Colin Meloy needs 45 Scrabble-worthy words per verse, Palmer opts for simple eight or 10-word phrases that get great mileage through her warm, understated voice. Palmer steers clear of the prog-rock bash-fests or jammy eight-minute codas typical of waltzy neo-folk, and the resulting work is brief, modest, and very successful—an audio postcard from cold but green foreign lands. Grade: A

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nice understated melodic pop.


http://www.babysue.com/2009-Nov-LMNOP-Reviews.html#anchor95467

The Very Foundation - This Restless Enterprise (Advance independently released CD, Pop)
Nice understated melodic pop. The Restless Enterprise features plenty of sparse, smart pop tunes. The album features guest musicians from other bands: The Decemberists, Blind Pilot, Oh Darling, Blue Horns, and Upsidedown. We didn't receive the entire package on this one so we'll keep this brief. The folks in The Very Foundation write and record credible, memorable pop with smart lyrics and inventive melodies. Plenty of really nice sounding stuff here...

The Very Foundation "This Restless Enterprise"


read here

The Very Foundation
This Restless Enterprise
Matador

The Very Foundation settles on a mellow yet confidently candid acoustic sound with their sophomore release, This Restless Enterprise. Michael Lewis and the uni-monikered Bevan craft bright yet laconic pop songs with back-up from the “Restless Orchestra,” including members of The Decemberists, Oh Darling and Blind Pilot.

“Runaway to Tokyo” is the standout number, mixing a cop show-style horn section with Bevan’s exhortations on running when you’re in a bind.

The backing band and the divergent day jobs of its members ensures a good amount of stylistic fluidity, while the core duo of Lewis and Bevan keep the album firmly on track and accessible.

This Restless Enterprise teases at the theme of fornication—its pros, cons and fallout, most notably in the wittily deadpan “Pornography”—without beating the listener over the head with an epic unifying theme. Settle into the groove too much, though, and you’ll be in for a bit of a jolt with the album’s latter half. Fans of The National and The Long Winters should definitely give this relaxed and sometimes surprising record a spin.

4.5/5
—Tom Llewellin

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fresh Music at the Good Price: Free!

read here

By Lauren Carroll

Carroll.quadnews@gmail.com

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Published: Monday, November 2, 2009

Updated: Monday, November 2, 2009

What’s better than a MP3 player of cool, new music? How about if all that new music was free and 100 percent legal? It’s not an oxymoron. It’s the main philosophy of the No. 1 Web site for independent new music, NewBandDaily.com
Santiago Vega started NewBandDaily.com with a simple idea;-- help music fans find great new bands and help up-and-coming bands get their music to fans. “I started New Band Daily out of frustration,” Vega said. “ As all other music lovers, I had to spend a considerable amount of time browsing through literally several dozen of online and print publications just to find new acts, not to mention find good music that’s free and legal.”

The Web site initially launched in April 2009 as a forum for bands, but after the demand for music, NewBandDaily.com recently re-launched with an interactive, completely free MP3 download from the featured band . “We foot the bill ourselves,” Vega said. Subscribers don’t have to worry about hidden fees or the dreaded Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lawsuit. Vega worked closely with publicists, managers and bands to be able to offer free music for the Web site’s subscribers..

The Web site couldn’t be easier to use. As a fan, all you need to do is enter in your e-mail address, select your favorite genres of music and wait for a band biography paired with a free MP3 in your inbox. Since signing up for New Band Daily, every morning has been like Christmas morning, with a new MP3 right in my inbox, specifically tailored to my tastes. October was a good mix of American and international bands. By far, my favorite discovery was on Oct, 27. I was introduced to Naïve New Beaters, a cool indie rock band from France, with a bit of a pop and electronic influence to create a new sound.

New Band Daily also has a link for bands and artists to submit their band information and an MP3. “We started thinking about how to also better serve the independent music community,” Vega said. “The more you better address and serve consumers’ needs, the better service you also provide to music artists.”

THE FAMILY CURSE

http://metrospirit.com/index.php?cat=1993101070394080&ShowArticle_ID=11012810093013756

The Family Curse

"White Medicine"

BY JOSH RUFFIN



The Family Curse
"White Medicine"
Release date: Nov. 3
frcollective.com



AUGUSTA, GA - Dude…The Family Curse are f***ed up. This is the kind of shit that happens when you take a CD-R mix of Melt Banana, the nasty side of Godflesh, pre-David Yow Qui, and the long-lost Captain Beefheart-composed soundtrack to Tron, dip it in a mixture of government-engineered cocaine and Pixie Stix, then jam the disc into an iBook and run the whole thing through the Unreal III gaming engine. Their singer sounds like Joanna Newsom and Julie Christmas head-butting it out for territory, ram-style. Your local record store has a backroom “acid trip” section, subdivided into “good trip” and “bad trip;” this album is in both. If the Crank series ever makes it past a fifth installment, this is what you’ll hear in your head, sprinting after you down into the very moss-ringed sphincter of madness itself. And I, um…you know, I think it’s awesome?

Actually, that only applies to about 90% of White Medicine; “Teen Challenge,” “Laughing My Way to the Bank,” and “Like Lightning” are all schizoid gutchecks of electro-laced noise-punk from somewhere outside our solar system, sent here to invade your brain and make you do all manner of regrettable things while wearing nothing more than pink sneakers and a smile. It’s the curveballs, though, the other 10%, that make the album worth buying instead of downloading; the 13-minute “Back in the Water” is less a song than an experience, with a massive god-stomp of a bassline segueing into free-form dronescapes, all while MGN Tweed rants and yowls like she’s upset about getting into heaven. Later on, “Exodus from Birds in the Night” is striking in its soft touch, invoking a field recording of hippies from the eighth dimension.

Never has a band sounded like they’re having so much fun while simultaneously reaping a hundred different whirlwinds. What a beautiful massacre.

Friday, October 30, 2009

NOV 3rd to free show at HOLOCENE


you know....who doesnt like a free show in portland!! specially after spending money on fake blood and masks for Holloween!

Please come out NOV 3rd to free show at HOLOCENE
w/DJ JARED WHITE
RAVISHERS
SERIOUS BUSINESS
APES OF WRATH

The Rumble shows in portland have been a blast! hope to see you out?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

BURN BURN... jessie torrisi

Burn, Burn
October 6, 2009 by Madeline Hollern
Filed under Austin Entertainment

http://envymags.com/2009/10/burn-burn/ (go to linmk looks great!)


Jessie Torrisi played for dozens of New York bands before releasing her debut album, Bruler Bruler, or Burn, Burn in French. Jessie has recently moved to Austin and is about to take on a U.S. tour! But before she leaves, she’s gracing us with her presence through the month of October:

Saturday, October 10, Channel Austin Fundraiser
2pm, 1143 Northwestern.

Thursday October 22, Flipnotics
8pm, with Aimee Bobruck.
1601 Barton Springs.

Sunday October 25, Cedar Street Courtyard
9pm, 208 West 4th.

Friday, October 30, Lambert’s
CD Release Partay!
2nd & Guadalupe.
with Noelle Hampton, Nano Whitman & special guest stars.

Torrisi will be accompanied by her band, The Please Please Me. Her unique blend of influences and the array of instruments (drums, guitar, cello, flute, harmonica…) is sure to dazzle audiences in Austin and across the country.

To learn more about Jessie and tour dates, visit jessietorrisi.com.

-Priscila Mosqueda

Music For Animals!

http://rokchike.blogspot.com/2009/10/music-for-animals-10-2-09.html


Music for Animals 10-2-09
Published by Monica... That One Girl on Sunday, October 04, 2009 at 2:06 PM
I got kind of a sneak peak at Music for Animals, the out of town opener for The Blakes, as I wrote the preview article on them for the Times-Standard. I knew they'd be fun, danceable, and goofy in an very '80s-influenced way.

They were a blast.

Word has it, Music for Animals may be trying to come back through Humboldt toward the end of October/early November. You can bet I'll be there, as will a pile of folks who came out for the Blakes and fell in love with these guys.

Jessie Torrisi- Love, both lost and found, is a powerful songwriting force.

Jessie Torrisi
By admin • Oct 1st, 2009 • Category: By Greg Heaney, Featured Review 2, Reviews
brûler brûler
Self-released
2 Stars

Love, both lost and found, is a powerful songwriting force. Music is full of men and women, longing and crushed, consumed by the fire of love. With this in mind, Jessie Torrisi’s debut album brûler brûler, French for “burn burn,” is an aptly named collection of torch songs with a Texas flair.

A singer in the Cat Power/She & Him tradition, Torrisi’s country-influenced vocals bring heat to her songs. She’s able to evoke a feeling of hopeful longing, like someone still holding out hope that their lost lover is going to come walking through the door any minute now. Torrisi isn’t just a one-trick pony of quiet desperation. On “Breeze In Carolina” she’s able to effortlessly shift from a confident drawl to a breezy frailty, taking the listener with her on an emotional journey. The best moments on the album come when Torrisi’s voice is able to take center stage, like on “Storm Clouds,” where she sings two-part harmony over minimal accompaniment, or “The Brighter Side,” a sparse track with a simple bed of piano and occasional slide guitar.

Where brûler brûler falls flat is Torrisi’s accompaniment. While Cat Power and M. Ward (the musical Him in She & Him) have pushed their music towards minimalism and sunshine pop, Torrisi’s music isn’t nearly as engaging. Her voice is just too throaty, too smoky and dark, for such glossy production. The albums sparkly production ends up coming off more coffeehouse adult contemporary than alt-country torch ballad.

With this album, Jessie Torrisi has shown that she has what it takes to be a great singer. But, one instrument doesn’t make an orchestra. brûler brûler is a promising beginning for Torrisi. Hopefully the future will see her getting more adventurous with the music, pushing the boundaries to find a sound that’s more wholly engaging and exciting and less safe. – GREGORY HEANEY

http://blog.revolt-media.com/?p=1975

Monday, October 26, 2009

JESSIE TORRISI album out tomorrow !!

HERE IS WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:
brûler brûler out!
hear it here: www.jessietorrisi.com

“With this thoroughly impressive debut, she certainly has created an attention-grabber. It’s always a particular pleasure when a “mystery disc” turns out to be surprising delights, and bruler, bruler is one of those surprisingly delightful discs.”-NO DEPRESSION

“Ryan Adams, I think you married the wrong girl. You knew her as the ace rock star drummer in Unisex Salon, Les Fleurs Tragiques, and Laptop. On her debut solo outing (which translates as burn, burn in French) the hot and fabulous Ms. Torrisi has re-emerged as an alternative country rock goddess! With melodies to die for, and a sultry behind-the beat delivery the works every time, cuts including "Hungry Like Me," "X in Texas" and "Storm Clouds" ache in all the right places. Lucinda Williams, Shelby Lynn, and Patti Griffin eat your heart out! Bruler Bruler is certainly among the best debuts of 2009.”
-AMPLIFIER MAGAZINE

“the most exciting debut of the year thus far, is a calm, gritty catharsis.”-SWAMPLAND

“It’s moments like these which capture Torrisi’s personality well. Torrisi brings a certain swagger and sexiness to these songs. Through her words and voice she presents a persona which is easy-going, energetic, and fun. At one point in “Cannonball” she sums it all up with this great line: “I want to sing as loud as I can/Be a one-woman rock and roll band.” And it’s easy to believe that she could do it. Most importantly, she sounds like she is having a blast while making this record and that is clearly communicated while listening to Brûler Brûler.” -BLOG CRITICS

"Blessed with a voice that matches Emmylou Harris for sly, lust-tinged smokiness and rivals Neko Case in the gorgeous-as-hell-but-can-chop-firewood-all-day department"-METRO SPIRIT

“Her correlation to acts like Feist and Regina Spektor are spot on, as most of the tracks from “Brûler Brûler” either feel like a trotting love song, or a slow, yet whimsical, level of swooning solo artistry. Jessie Torrisi has created something special here.” -BRING ON MIXED REVIEWS

“Overall, the plethora of instruments on hand for this record, combined with Torrisi’s captivating vocal finesse and influence from New Orleans jazz and New York City indie rock, have culminated into a fresh and pleasurable presentation.” -Dryvetme Onlyne

“Jessie Torrisi is a bit out of the ordinary. She's a Country/Americana singer with an Alt-Rock sound mixed in with her Country Twang. Her lyrics are intelligent and nuanced; full of sensuality and a personal voraciousness for life that can be startling and then endearing.” -Wildy’s World

“Her unique blend of influences and the array of instruments (drums, guitar, cello, flute, harmonica…) is sure to dazzle audiences in Austin and across the country.” -ENVY MAGAZINE

“She’s able to evoke a feeling of hopeful longing, like someone still holding out hope that their lost lover is going to come walking through the door any minute now.” -REVOLT

“Jessie Torrissi’s debut album feels like a warm blanket on a cold night. It is familiar, welcoming and fulfilling.” -FEMMUSIC

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Style Points, to spotlight the amaaaaaazin' album





Thursday, September 3, 2009
Style Points #1: The Unit Breed


I'm starting a new Gumshoe series, Style Points, to spotlight the amaaaaaazin' album art being disseminated by the indie scene of late. Perhaps buoyed by the proliferation of downloading and file sharing, bands are putting more emphasis on Album Art as an entity in itself.

A good example is the plentiful slabs of colored wax, but it goes beyond that. We're talking hardcover art books, hand-bound; we're talking paper fortune tellers and multimedia.

The Unit Breed are the first entry in my new series because they sent me this spectacular piece of wax after I'd already reviewed their fine album, Always Distance the Lonely . In addition to the wax, The UB include a glossy, full-color art book (shown above) with lyrics and enchanting images.

THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE. Style points, bitch, and an extra oomph given because both sides of the wax are different colors. I'm not going to blab a ton about this; the images, colors and patterns speak for themselves.

Stay tuned for The Lava Children, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Yes! Collapse/Mastema, Burial, Mono, Old Man Gloom and many more.
read here!

Jonesin’: Hi, We’re Jonesin’


Jonesin’: Hi, We’re Jonesin’
(Turn Up)

By C. Molly Smith

Jonesin’s new album tells a story through its simple, cut-to-the-chase lyrics. It is rich in keyboards, fun, bright and very cutesy; not to mention, it has a sort of ’60s, psychedelic twist.

The problem with Jonesin’s album, however, is the voice of Jenny Jones. It is similar to one of a puppet on a children’s show, maybe one of the Muppets or perhaps any of the characters on “Sesame Street” with squeaky, high-pitched voices. If you can overlook the shrieky voice, check out these lively, vibrant and vivid, pop narratives: “Rollerskates,” “Bummer Summer” and “Ice Cream.”

Grade: C

campus circle here

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NBC :: Two Bands to Watch: Becks Regan Duo, Caravan of Thieves


Two Bands to Watch: Becks Regan Duo, Caravan of Thieves

http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/around-town/events/Becks-Regan-Duo---61084382.html

By JENNA HAGIST and KATHY MARKUSZKA
Updated 8:40 AM EDT, Fri, Sep 25, 2009



Getty Images
Summer’s over but the local music scene’s heating up for fall and we’re introducing you to a couple local bands we think you need to check out as you plan your weekends.

BECKS REGAN DUO: The Becks Regan Duo is fairly new to the local music scene but the two Enfield musicians are quickly making a name for themselves and the booking gigs quickly for the fall and winter.

Becks is Becky Schaefer, on vocals.



Regan is Chris Regan, on guitar.



He is also the lead guitarist for Fear Nuttin Band (FNB), a popular reggae style band out of Massachusetts, which recently played with Toots and Maytals as part of the Warped Tour.

Becks Regan Duo covers all sorts of artists, including Amy Winehouse, Otis Redding, Katy Perry and Michael Jackson.

“We try to encompass a song that everyone can move to,” Schaefer said. They’ve been playing locally all over Connecticut at places including Tailgators in Derby, The Stonewall Tavern in Storrs, and Murphy and Scarletti's in Farmington.

SEE THEM: They also have a big show coming up on Sept. 25 at the The Yarde House on Route 5 in Enfield. On Sept. 26, they are at the Southwick Inn in Southwick, Mass. Come check them out!



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


CARAVAN OF THIEVES: The Caravan of Thieves combines folk, with gypsy flare and jazz in a modern way, using instruments – like banjos and fiddles – that you might not expect a group of musicians in their 20s to master.

And, they’re making an impression on audiences throughout the country.

Ben Dean’s on the violin. Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni are singers and acoustic guitarists. Brian Anderson’s the double bassist.

This fancy foursome has a notable resume that consists of music available on iTunes, a new CD called “Bouquet” and a tour schedule that takes them all over the country.

SEE THEM: The Caravan Thieves will perform in Fairfield on Oct. 30 and 31 at the FTC on Stage One at 7:30 p.m.

So take a listen to some of their latest work. We can pretty much guarantee you’ll be impressed.

Follow the band on its Web site.

Who do you think we should profile? Send us an e-mail here with their name and their Web site address.

Licensing deals help unsigned acts reach audience

Licensing deals help unsigned acts reach audience
Posted by: Stephanie De Pasquale on September 24, 2009 at 9:45AM CST

http://my.quadsville.com/post/StephanieDePasquale/blog/licensing_deals_help_unsigned_acts_reach_audience.html

In the past two weeks, I've talked with three unsigned acts that passed through or are headed to the Q-C on a touring circuit.

Without label backing, getting their songs on the radio is close to impossible, but all have reached widespread audiences through licensing deals on television programs.

Gary Jules, who will play at Huckleberry's Pizza Parlor this Sunday, made the Billboard Top 100 chart after his song "Falling Awake" was featured on "Grey's Anatomy." When the folks at Billboard figured out he accomplished the feat without any radio airplay, a label, manager or publicist, Jules said they just started laughing.

"Two days later a writer for Billboard called back and did a whole article about it because it was sort of like a new door had opened," Jules said. "The idea that you could have a song on a television show and that people who watched that television show could immediately go and download that song and that song could subsequently end up on a more traditional record-buying list was amazing to them."

Five Times August's Brad Skistimas tours colleges almost exclusively, partly because he likes not having to compete with the bar atmosphere for attention, but mostly because he has secured multiple licensing deals with college-friendly shows such as MTV's "Laguna Beach" and "Real World." Skistimas has had so much success with licensing deals, that he became the first unsigned artist to sell his CD at Wal-Mart.

"For an artist like me, it's a great way around radio because a lot of artists on my level can't really get on the radio anymore because it's so corrupt and controlled," said Skistimas, who has tried in vain to schmooze his way onto the radio by performing at radio stations and buying the crew lunch. "Getting exposure on TV shows is really a great benefit to how we do things."

Pictures of Then also has had success with licensing agreements and just signed a new one to have their songs featured in upcoming shows on MTV. For them, the money that comes in from the agreements helps keep them afloat while on tour.

"Any licensing opportunity obviously comes with a payoff, and in terms of the payoff, it affords us the opportunity to put gas in the van or to do some promotion for the shows or for the record," said Tim Greenwood, of Pictures of Then, who added that licensing is also about adaptation. "Music is so accessible nowadays that really regardless of how good the music is, the band is not really ultimately going to make it unless they're capable of kind of adapting to the situation that the Internet revolution has brought about.

"So many bands are much more accessible than they ever were and there's so much music going on in the world, that the Internet has really kind of made all the old rules not apply."

But for all the good licensing deals have brought unsigned, up-and-coming acts, Jules says the practice really peaked about two years ago when "Falling Awake" boosted him onto the Billboard charts. Jules released his first record on a traditional record label in 1998, and since then has been putting out music on his own by utilizing the Internet.

"I think I've got it down in that I've finally figured out that things are constantly changing," Jules said. "In the absence of the traditional music industry, everybody sort of wants to know what's going to take the place of that industry and for a while people thought it was going to be licensing, when the truth is, is that nothing is going to take the place that the old industry left. Licensing is going to be licensing, and it's not going to be the be-all-end-all."

Diverse musicians join up, form band ‘For the Cause’

Diverse musicians join up, form band ‘For the Cause’
By Rachel Sullivan - Special to The Telegraph

http://www.macon.com/137/story/855760.html

Romeo Spike founders Mike Kunz and Donn Aaron met in 2006 through a mutual friend. Despite the fact that Kunz lived in Chicago and Aaron lived in Atlanta, the two struck up an immediate friendship that resulted in a friendly weekly songwriting competition.

When they realized that they were writing worthwhile material, they formed the bones of Romeo Spike and began working on their first album, “For the Cause.” Before long, Kunz moved to Atlanta, and the two friends began advertising for other band members. Drummer Will Brown and bass player Skyler Ross answered the ads, and Romeo Spike was complete.



Romeo Spike is set to take the stage Saturday night at the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom.

Kunz and Brown recently gave a joint phone interview in which they took turns discussing the band, their music and each other. According to Kunz, “it was all just for fun in the beginning. Then things got out of hand. We found a producer and suddenly I had to move.”

Brown spoke for himself and for Ross when he said he had been looking for a band to join.

“I answered an ad on Craigslist. I wish I had a cool story, but this one is kind of lame. At least it worked out well,” Brown said.

The band will be featuring songs from “For the Cause,” along with some new songs Saturday at the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom. According to Kunz, “the band is about collaboration, about finding the right tool. Sometimes one of us will come in with a new song. Sometimes someone will show up with a sound or a riff and a whole new song emerges. It’s a bit like trying to bottle magic.”

After Brown finished ribbing Kunz for that last remark, he agreed in principle. “It’s fun because we all draw from various influences. Donn is your classic rock, while I like anything from Motown to Queens of the Stone Age. Skyler, man, he’s diverse and he has a formal jazz background,” he said.

Kunz chimed in: “I’m a recovering jazz musician, too. It took me awhile, but I’ve rediscovered rock.”

Despite their somewhat unorthodox beginnings, the band members complement each other well. Brown, who has never had a formal drum lesson, said, “Mike and Sky are both trained. Donn just started playing one day and he’s a natural-born guitar player through and through. As for me, I make up for my lack of skill with my natural good looks.” There was a moment of silence before Kunz laughed and said, “I would have said your high energy and enthusiasm, but OK.

“Just tell everyone to come out and hear us. It’s a new music blend, different from what they’ll have heard before. It’s rock, modern and classic,” he added, “It’s important to follow your passion and stay true to what you believe. I have a blind belief in myself, in this project, and in the others.”

Brown added, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. There are lots of roads out there, but you can always carve a new one and make your own way, too.”


On the Web: www.romeospike.com

BLOG CRITICS likes JESSIE TORRISI!!

Music Review: Jessie Torrisi - Brûler Brûler
http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-review-jessie-torrisi-brler-brler/

Author: Gavin Breeden -


After playing drums for a slew of rock bands in New York City, Jessie Torrisi has set out to try her hand at being a front woman. To kick things off she has recorded a delightful batch of country-tinged indie songs for her debut record, Brûler Brûler ("burn burn" in French).

Although it may seem like a strange album title, it's a fitting one; these songs reveal Torrisi to be a woman who is both passionate and curious about the world and she also seems to burn with a creativity and excitement for life that makes her record really enjoyable to play.

Bearing similarities to classic country singers like Patsy Cline and current indie queens like Cat Power, Torrisi is able to exist in a space between country music and the indie scene. Thus, it makes perfect sense that she currently resides in Austin, Texas, a city which blends these two worlds more than any other Texan city.

One of Torrisi's most obvious gifts is her knack for crafting melodies. There are moments, like on "Cannonball" and "The Brighter Side," where her melodies are reminiscent of brilliant songwriters like Randy Newman. Yet her lyrics are also notable as they alternate between poignancy and humor, sometimes in the same song. "X in Texas" is an example of this. "You put the X in Texas... you are a wrecking ball," she sings to a former flame and she sells the humor and sadness of each line without undercutting the other. "You can have Texas and every woman in it," she sings to him later and she really means it.

It's moments like these which capture Torrisi's personality well. Torrisi brings a certain swagger and sexiness to these songs. Through her words and voice she presents a persona which is easy-going, energetic, and fun. At one point in "Cannonball" she sums it all up with this great line: "I want to sing as loud as I can/Be a one-woman rock and roll band." And it's easy to believe that she could do it. Most importantly, she sounds like she is having a blast while making this record and that is clearly communicated while listening to Brûler Brûler.

Continued on the next page Page 1 - Page 2

Torrisi hasn't gotten here alone, however. Some of her influences clearly crop up in these songs. For example, "Breeze in Carolina," which finds Torrisi highlighting her country side over a gently plucked acoustic guitar, is a lovely song, one which was probably inspired by Ryan Adams both in its style and subject matter. However, even when it's possible to pinpoint Jessie Torrisi's influences it doesn't detract from her songs. One of her greatest strengths is taking disparate influences from pop, rock, and country and combining them into something that sounds very fresh and original.

Yet, it's the closer, "The Brighter Side," which really convinced me of Torrisi's talent and potential as she sings matter-of-factly in a Texas drawl over a steady piano and shimmering slide guitar. The song lacks some of the energy of earlier songs but makes up for it with a compelling emotional tenor. It's a terrific vocal performance by Torrisi and makes the song endlessly repeatable.

This song combined with the R&B-country of "So Many Miles" and the rest of this record serve as a reminder that Jessie Torrisi is an artist who can't be tied down with expectations.

Page 1 - Page 2

still haven't heard of GIANT SQUID...

Critics around the world have the praised the brutal originality and wave inducing emotional heft of Giant Squid, and their bombastic second album, The Ichthyologist, produced by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, ISIS, Botch). Within a mere matter of months, fans from all corners of the globe snatched up every last copy of the album's original, extremely limited self released pressing of a thousand copies. Formidable Philadelphia based metal label, Translation Loss, immediately signed the band and re-released the album with fresh new mixes of several songs, and stunning new art work by legendary comic book artist, Sam Kieth (The Maxx, Batman, Sandman).


Now for the first time, you can listen to the critcally acclaimed album for free on myspace, linked from Giant Squid's official page, myspace.com/giantsquid. Anytime a new band surfaces that is this fresh in sound, turning a seemingly known genre upside down and churning it about like a crashing surf, dwellers of underground music can find themselves divided in their feelings about the powerful art presented before them. Some choose the safer, shallower waters of the ever prevalent norm. But, now is your chance to decide for yourself whether the engrossing, abyss crossing journey of The Ichthyologist is something you may wish to embark on. Here are the brave words of some that have:


"While the narrative may take a page from Gregory’s personal life, musically, The Ichthyologist invokes the elemental force of Neurosis, the cinematic scope of God Speed You Black Emperor, and the attitude of punk rock" – Revolver Magazine
"Musically, however you view The Ichthyologist, it's a massive undertaking with layers of instrumentation, voices, sonic moods, waves and textures, presenting a life affirming twist on the light-dark, up-and-down, seesaw post metal style." - Decibel Magazine

"An encompassing and engrossing sensory trip." - Terrorizer Magazine

"The Ichthyologist is, for lack of a better term, a grand fucking slam. Sublimely textured but crushingly heavy, deep as the ocean at its heart and yet instantly approachable, this is more than a great metal album—it is a beautiful work of art, by any standard." – metalreview.com

"This is some of the most honest, sincere, and best executed music out there today, and I think every music fan owes it to themselves to hear Giant Squid at least once. Five Stars!" – progarchives.com

"So, I would say that if you want to discover one of the most original and essential bands of the current era, put away your preconceived notions about what is and isn’t progressive rock and heavy metal and give these guys a listen. The album (like the band) is simply incredible and very unique and inventive. " - musicstreetjournal.com

"The band is a gobbling monster, wrecking any ship who wants to confine it in a sole genre… So early in the year and already we have a strong contestant to prog metal album of the year!" – proggnosis.com

"It is fitting that such a beast would serve as the moniker for San Francisco-/Sacramento-based metal band Giant Squid. Titanic in sound, Giant Squid is difficult to categorize." – Submerge Magazine

"The Ichthyologist is a powerfully emotive, original album that accomplishes the rare feat of having powerful singles that don't disrupt the flow of the album as a whole." - stonnerock.com

"GIANT SQUID reaches out to the world with an array of outstretched arms; some quirky and wandering, some melodious (often in disturbing ways) and others are simply heavy as hell." - blabbermouth.net