Last week we caught up with Los Angeles based band Milo Greene as they were kicking off their new tour at The Roost in Bellingham, Washington. The band had just finished recording their debut album, for Chop Shop/Atlantic, at Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville. So a quick trip up to Bellingham (which is just shy of the border with Canada) seemed like the perfect starting place for a tour that was going to, as Robbie Arnett states in the video, “caterpillar down the west coast.”
Omaha, Nebraska’s Cursive is set to release their seventh album, I Am Gemini on February 21st 2012 via Saddle Creek. Cursive has been releasing consistently good music ever since their first LP Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes came out in 1997. Although tweaking and exploring new methods of storytelling with each record, the band has always kept it’s unique sound. Lead singer and guitarist Tim Kasher’s unique story telling abilities are a strong driving force that sets Cursive apart from other bands. Kasher employs an emotional heaviness in his lyrics and speaks frankly about issues and other musings.
Music is often at its best when it feels as though you’ve stumbled across hidden treasure, which is how Robby Baier must have felt when he discovered his mother, Sibylle, had recorded an album in Germany during the early 1970s. Thirty-five years later, Sibylle’s son sent the recordings to Orange Twin Records and they eventually published her first album, Colour Green. As the saying goes, better late than never. Baier began to receive recognition for her work so many years after the fact, much to her surprise, as the talented singer put motherhood and family above a music career and never opted to share her talent with the world.
Brooklyn-based artist Gabriel & The Hounds has joined the blossoming record label Communion, which is releasing this artist’s debut record in the UK at the end of February (released by Ernest Jennings Record Co. in US). Entitled Kiss Full of Teeth, musician and songwriter Gabriel Levine is the man behind the moniker “Gabriel & The Hounds,” and while Levine wrote all the songs on the album, it isn’t quite a solo effort, as he is joined by a variety of artists in an effort that is a perfect mix of solitary and communal. Among those who came together to record this album include performers who are in or have recorded with The National, Beirut, St Vincent, Sufjan Stevens, tUnE-yArDs, Bjork, and Jonsi (proving it pays to have friends in high places).
The Glass Canoe was originally the title of an award winning book by Australian author David Ireland. The book’s main character, Meat Man, viewed the world through the bottom of his beer mug, which he referred to as his very own glass canoe. A couple of months back we introduced you to a new interpretation of The Glass Canoe (click here for more). This time however, the interpretation is sonic and musical, rather than literary. There are four main characters in this version, and it goes a little bit like this…
“Everything I want I have. Money, notoriety and Rivieras – I even think I found God in the flash bulbs of your pretty cameras.”
… So proclaims Lana Del Rey’s Twitter page, and while the epitaph sounds like it came straight from the mouth of Kanye West, it aptly sums up 2011 for the sultry songstress. It is almost superfluous to write anything about Lana Del Rey at this point in time.
Another year has ended; another list has been compiled. Often I get this feeling that in 100 years, all that will remain of today’s pop culture will be a number of well-thought-out lists. While many critics are driven to paroxysms at the thought of another year-end list, the fact is that they are essential to annual retrospective analysis. There is a feeling of security and consistency in ‘Best Of’ lists; inasmuch as one can feel safe in the presence of a numerically-ordered selection of things. But in truth, the rapid acceleration of technology and the advent of social media has completely changed the way humans organize their internal thoughts. We no longer think in prose, or even full sentences; we think in lists.
I don’t know. Art is art. I’m cool with that. And I’m a firm believer in stretching the limits. Give me something that will make me think a little, or force me to get out of the box and look at it from another angle. Not all art is for everybody. I can dig that. It’s a subjective thing, and sometimes very personal for the believer.
Amy Winehouse’s life was tragically cut short when she was found dead in July of 2011. The talented singer had one of those distinct and evocative voices that conveys the pain, vulnerability, and sorrow that seems inherent to the best blues/jazz singers. In the capable and loving hands of producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, a posthumous album of Winehouse’s work has now been released entitled Lioness: Hidden Treasures. But it should be noted that there are only two original tracks and the other songs include alternate versions of singles and plenty of notable covers.
Hailing from Vancouver, B.C., Marianas Trench is a young, Juno-award nominated pop band, known for their catchy, upbeat tunes and four-part harmonies. Composed of Josh Ramsay on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Matt Webb on lead guitar, Mike Ayley on bass guitar, and Ian Casselman on drums, these guys are full of spunk and their fun songs are sure to put you in a good mood. Project Rhythm Seed’s Alana Crawley recently had a chat with Matt Webb and Mike Ayley while they were on their tour bus, before a show in Dallas. They discussed their experience with the Vancouver music scene, their most recent tour, and their newest album Ever After, released November 21 on 604 Records.
She & Him is an American Indie pop band consisting of actress Zooey Deschanel (vocals, ukulele, piano) and Portland native M. Ward (vocals, guitar). Together these two make twee folk pop with a vintage feel. Much like Zooey Deschanel’s persona their music has an “adorkable” allure in the indie circuit. With two full length albums under their belt, the duo set out to make a Christmas record, which came out in October of this year.
The setting that comes to mind upon listening to Ben Howard’s debut full-length album is a bonfire on the beach, as one can easily imagine this talented musician strumming his guitar atop a log while the shadows of the flames dance upon the faces of a spellbound audience beneath a starry night with the sound of waves crashing in the background. Howard is both raw and intimate, and the beach vibe stems from a complete lack of pretense to his music, and if I hadn’t already known his nationality, I might guess he was from California (He’s not; Howard is English and from the West Country).
Chris Holmes (tour-mate of some British guy named Paul McCartney) and Brian Liesegang (co-founder of Filter, ex-roommate of Trent Reznor) aren’t interested in being lumped into any one musical category. They don’t want to hear about other artists sounding like Ashtar Command. And though I have no idea if either of those things is true, American Sunshine may have helped ensure that they never will be.
On Monday, November 1st, 2011, Project Rhythm Seed’s Myles Crawley met up with Danish Producer/DJ/Songwriter Anders Trentemøller to discuss growing up in Denmark, his early successes, his current tour and what’s coming up next. Following are excerpts from that conversation, along with a review of Trentemøller’s live show the same night.
Seattle’s beautiful Benaroya Hall was packed to the brim on Friday, November 4th, 2011 for The Symphony Guild and Grammy Award Winning composer Mateo Messina’s fourteenth symphony, “The Last Wonder of the World.” This event not only had a stellar line up, with acts such as Civil Twilight, Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik, and NBC’s “The Voice” finalist Vicci Martinez headlining, but it also was for a good cause: all proceeds went to benefit the Uncompensated Care fund at Seattle Children’s Hospital, which provides quality care to all children, regardless of their ability to pay.
First album, Lungs, from Florence + The Machine was easily one of the most unexpected crossover pop successes. Fast forward to the release of their second album Ceremonials on October 31st and Florence + The Machine is still creating music that showcases Florence Welch’s beautiful voice with a larger than life sound. Ceremonials is an exquisitely crafted baroque pop record that is sure to stir the audience both emotionally and spiritually.
Today marks the release of the Brooklyn, New York band Lightyear’s first EP, All Of The Miles. As a freshman release, this album clearly stands head and shoulders above the field. It’s a beautiful work, starting out with a heartfelt track called “Home” that makes even the most jaded heart long for the warm embrace of a familiar place. The synth pads and textures running through the five tracks are melodic layers that add a magnetic quality that immediately holds the interest of the listener and doesn’t let go.
What’s up everybody? Welcome to another edition of Project Rhythm Seed’s Free Music Friday. The theme for this week’s FMF is collaborations as you will see below. This week has been full of free tracks. On Monday we brought you a review of Campfire OK’s Strange Like We Are which included a free download. On Tuesday it was an in-depth look at Sting‘s new box set , written by Reed Trachy, our newest addition to the PRS team. This post also included a free download of “Rock Of Calvary“. Today we have two tracks to offer you. The first is from Pyyramids and the second is from Eight And A Half. We hope you enjoy them both. Join us next week for more news, reviews and interviews on Project Rhythm Seed.
The project of Seattle resident Eric Anderson, Cataldo introduced itself to the local music scene with its self-titled debut in 2005. Six years later, we’ve been given Prison Boxing; the kind of album that exemplifies an artist hitting his stride. It’s simple enough – most tracks seemingly the product of a lone songsmith and his guitar. But it’s the inventive arrangements that make Cataldo’s third LP the best so far.
There are very few musicians out there today who can claim to have had the same level of musical impact on the world that Sting has. Over the past quarter century he has written and recorded some of the most melodic, intelligent and rhythmically infectious music available. His discography and body of work is staggering and his approach to the creation of music is energetic and downright prolific. He has been able to jump musical genres like they were mole hills rather than mountains, and he’s done it with style and grace.