Tuesday, November 24, 2009

portland's mercury covering THE VERY FOUNDATION


(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”


The Very Enterprise
“This Restless Enterprise”
Available soon

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
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


(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!
(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

(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


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




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.


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

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.

—Tom Llewellin

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fresh Music at the Good Price: Free!

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By Lauren Carroll


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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

"White Medicine"


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

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.