Friday, May 29, 2009

Me Likey

Here are a few songs I have been enjoying quite a bit lately. I think its a good selection for the transition into the weekend. Just a heads up, I'm not going to be posting this weekend because I'm moving and that is sure to eat up most of my time. But when this whole debacle is over I'll be back at it.

Green Go
Let's Eat Brains For Breakfast
This track has been my morning jolt awake song for the last week. Its got a summer anthem vibe to it as well. Green Go is a Canadian posse that knows how to craft a catchy pop tune. Admittedly I have a weakness for group shout/sing along choruses and paired with the silly lyrics of this track it is addictive.

The High Strung
Black Mad Wheel
The High Strung have slowly crept into my play lists. I had received some of their stuff and liked it but not until I found out about their new blog project that I really gave them a good hard listen. They have begun posting free tracks for fan's in the know. Of the many bands who are pushing a low-fi sound this year The High Strung have a 70's feel that makes their approach respectable rather than messy. They are play at Kung Fu Necktie on June 18th .Consider yourself informed.

Oh no! Oh my!
The Party Punch
I can't remember exactly when Oh No! Oh My! first tripped into my iTunes but I couldn't be happier that their stuff is tucked in there. This particular track also has a fair share of group sing, whoops and clapping. From what I've heard of their stuff I'd say they aren't a one note twee band but a group that can do a sweet little love song and a silly romp like this without breaking stride. To many bands take themselves too seriously these guys just make good indie pop.

Free Energy
Dream City

Blowing up outta Philly is Free Energy. Made up of ex Hockey Night members they are harnessing a slightly more pop friendly sound in their new incarnation. This is another group made up of people I went to college with. Considering our school was a small granola enclave in southern Minnesota I'd say we have a nice (albeit disproportionate) run of talent representing our alumni. I caught them in a basement in Northern Liberties a few weeks ago and despite it being stiflingly hot the fellas put on a nice show. They just signed to DFA and I see big things coming round the bend for them.

The White Rabbits Live at Bowery Ballroom

Apparently I have a thing for bands with "rabbit" in their name. Its no secret I love me all things Frightened Rabbit but recently I have realized I may have a subconscious draw to the presence of rabbit in a band. This came to my attention last week when I got to see The White Rabbits at The Bowery Ballroom. I had enjoyed listening to their recent release It's Frightening but that didn't even come close to preparing me for their astounding live show. It was intense, it was brash you could feel the pulse of the percussion in your toes and the tautness of their rhythm in your tum. The group consists of six wildly talented musicians who are so incredibly in tune with each other they are able to work the stage with a cool ease you wouldn't expect from a group that rocks so hard. The two percussionists are a sight to behold. They dance around their set pushing the beat out over the audience with their mad full body playing style.

The band's vocalist and keyboard player put his all into his delivery as well. The band has a bounce to it that is reminiscent of big band swing music with the gritty edge of punk to really suck you in. It is very apparent that the entire band has put a little of themselves into the creation of these tracks. I am constantly amazed at how much more enjoyable live shows are if the performers are sharing a little or, in this case, a lot of their excitement and energy for their music. There wasn't a single song where I was left wanting more. They put their all into the entire set. I was not intending to review that show but I felt I needed to get you guys excited for their up coming tour. I will be catching them again in Philly next week and it is highly advised you see them if and when they come to your area. Just be sure to leave your inhibitions at the door cause they are going to rock your socks off!

To get a little taste of their live show...

The White Rabbits

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Dinosaur Feathers Track

I'm not gunna deny I have a thing for Dinosaur Feathers. They are making the kind of lo-fi pop I think we're going to be seeing a lot of this year. Except they're doing it better than the majority of the bands out there. Their first single Teenage Whore is deceptively tender despite it's title and now we have this new nibblette of ear candy:

They're playing Pet Ghost Project's Record Release at Fontana's on the LES Friday May 29th (this Friday) so come out and catch them live.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Silly Lou

Today is my sister Lilly's 30th birthday. From choreographing dances to NKOTB to camping in a van at Phish shows we have shared a number of amazing musical moments. Her incredible ability to remember the lyrics to any song she has ever heard (a talent I have envied my entire life) and true knack for finding a nice piece of pop music have both greatly influenced my musical tastes and knowledge. So in honor of this milestone birthday I salute her with a lil lilmix.

Sparkle - Phish (live)
Just Like Heaven - Kat Edmondson
Listen Girl - The Frames
Getting Better (Beatles cover) - Fionn Regan

Friday, May 22, 2009

So I'm Easily Distracted

I was on deadline for two projects today and the cosmos were just not aligned for efficiency. Internet fail at the mobile office, man passing out/seizing next to me at Starbucks , late trains, I could go on. Despite insanity breathing down my neck I kept getting drawn into some musical awesomeness. Fortunately I made my deadlines so as a little long weekend treat I'm putting out a little post of what caught my fancy amidst the chaos.

Saw White Rabbits last night at The Bowery Ballroom (full review to come) and the album doesn't even touch the electricity of the live show. This has been on loop pretty much all day...

You know I can't resist a dance video and this guy has got a nice mix of geek + groove + carefree attitude I immediately adored him.

DaveyDanceBlog -64- NYC Union Square from Pheasant Plucker on Vimeo.

And finally IAMXL is apparently using the peppy pills cause he's been pumping out really awesome work lately. The assortment compliments the RANDOM theme for this post. He tackled Gogol Bordello and Stars, of course.

Gypsy Part Of Town (remix)
The Night Starts Here (remix)

Put these on, take a deep breath, and let long weekend status officially set in!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Its Thursday what else you have going down?

Tomorrow night at The Fire in Fishtown there will be a whole slew of fantastic music making. One of my favorite Philly entertainers Chang Chang will be performing with Brooklyn's Adams Castle & Me You Us Them. There is no doubt in my mind that this will be the best way to pass your Thursday night.

To get your party started enjoy these track:
Choose To Get Loose - Chang Chang
Girls Love Coke, No Joke - Chang Chang
Quick Strike They Live - Ruin It (featuring Chang Chang)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yarn: A Bluegrass Act From Brooklyn, Of Course

If you have a soft spot for mandolin or an affinity for well crafted country ballads you should clear your calendar for May 27th . Yarn is a rare species of bluegrass group. While they sound and look like they're fresh outta some Georgia backwater they actually reside in the hipster/indie hotbed of Brooklyn,NY. Despite the lack of overwhelming immediate influence for a typical blue grass ballad, or perhaps because of it, they produce a sound that out does most of their cohorts on the blue grass circuit. The fella's have been paying their dues playing all sorts of interesting venues in the north east and finally they are coming to Philadelphia to play a gig at the Tin Angel on May 27th. The venue's intimate setting will make this show you'll one day say "I saw Yarn at a tiny little club way back when they were getting started" and momentarily look off into the distance with that look of fond remembrance of a night incredible music. Get you ticket quick because they are sure to sell out. See you there!

Can't Slow Down

It Just Couldn't Wait

Sometimes I receive new tid bits I'm so in love with I have to numb my desire to write scads about how much I enjoy them and just get them posted to ignite your aural fires. It helps that tonight I am so beyond tired that writing a lot wouldn't be doing anyone any favors.

First Up: Mark Mallman, my fellow Minnesotan and the front man for Ruby Isle, is releasing his new album Invinceable Criminal in August. Here is a track off said album - You're Never Alone In New York as well as the cover of Boy In The Bubble MM did for the Buffet Libre Rewind. Mallman was a frequent visitor to our campus bar/music venue The Cave so I've seen him a bunch and every time is a little more frenetic than the last. I will certainly be hunting him down on his pending tour.

Next up: IAMXL. This man is quickly snatching up property on my summer remix playlist. His take on For The Longest Time has been on consistent replay and now he sends along this batch of wonders. Feist's Mushaboom and Bloody Beetroot's Warp are both given the IAMXL spin. Go here: Crack4dj' to find out what other spectacular remixes he's been throwing down.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Learning Music Series

One of the reasons I put the effort I do into maintaining The World In A Paper Cup is the incredible community of people involved in creating, producing, promoting, debating, supporting and sharing music. In the last six months I have met (both virtually and literally) some sincerely passionate, fascinating and knowledgeable music heads all with their own unique stories and perspectives to share. One such person is John Wood the man behind The Learning Music Series. You may recognize his name, he has manned the keyboards for a wide swath of act out there today (including Inara George, Sebastien Tellier, Mike Andrews etc). He is also a fervent supporter of all things creative.In 2006 he began a collaborative effort to produce a homemade "album" a month. These initial efforts included cassette recordings, music videos, new material from electro, folk and pop artists, even a autobiographical musical contributed by a robot. The material isn't limited to one genre or aural aesthetic. The only consistent thread is the high quality of intent and skill put into each piece. As the momentum grew the project became a live act performing with a revolving cast ranging from four to 20 musicians. Wood has tapped the talents of some of his friends in the Bird & The Bee, The Section Quartet, Beck and Obi Best to lend their hand to these performances. An experience that I have no doubt must be a sight to behold.

They still release an album a month on a sliding scale from $.01 for the digital edition to $59 for a beautifully packaged album with homemade cover art delivered to your door every month for a year. The 2009 series began in March so you're not too far behind (and you can still catch up). The material thus far is astounding. My personal favorite being the single off of May's album; 87 Year Old Brain. An enjoyable little morsel featuring hand clapping and sing songy harmonies that leave you wanting more. The full album is a collection of frequent LM contributor Jeff Eliasson's favorites from the first LM series; re-recorded by Jeff and his band with Wood providing vocals. Listen to the single from April Electric Letter and you will get a sense of the variety these albums provide. Enjoy these two tracks but go and sign up for the full she-bang. It will be like Christmas coming every month when that Learning Music package is delivered.

*Art courtesy of Jeff Eliasson

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Will Dailey : No Longer A Mystery

Will Dailey, a singer/song writer who hails from Boston who has been hovering on my radar for a while, is finally breaking the surface of wider, much deserved, acclaim so I thought I'd do my job of keeping you in the loop on acts you need to know about.

Will's voice has a fresh rasp to it which allows for a surprising degree of flexibility when delivering his work. This year he will release a new EP every three months, each with their own focus. So far, vol. 1 Fashion Of Distraction tossed a nod to the southern rock of the 70's, captured perfectly on the track Piece of Mind. Vol 2. By The Blue Hills is a homage to his Boston musical roots. The vocal cameo's that support the effort range from Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo) to Tanya Donelly (Belly, Throwing Muses) to Elliott Easton (The Cars) and even Tim Brennan (Dropkick Murphys). The eight tracks on this EP prove his dedication to and respect for the musical community distinct to Boston. I'm particularly fond of Tomorrow Still Comes and the wonderful How Can I Make You Happy.

He is setting out on an East coast tour this month and you should really make an effort to see him. I'll be at the World Cafe show on July 25th. See what you'll be in for ... watch him cover the Tears For Fears classic then go buy your ticket.

Enjoy this video of a track off of Vol 1.

Keep You A Mystery from Will Dailey on Vimeo.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Playing For A Change: There's More To Love

A little while back I featured a video of an international "cover" of Stand By Me. Well, it turns out it is just one track of many featured on Playing For Change a recently released two disc CD/DVD. The project started in 2005 and has gone all around the world recording various musicians singing the selected tracks. Then the recordings are interwoven to create collaborative covers that really demonstrate that music is really a universal language. Starbucks [a company that has totally restructured itself in the last six months from world devouring coffee conglom to refocus on localized services and higher standards of service] has been promoting the CD at it's POS and the Playing For Change team is continually working on new tracks and posting new video.

I am so beyond envious of these guys. I would love the chance to travel the world recording music. But until that check from winning the dutch lottery I keep getting emails about arrives I will have to make due with being the person who brings this good work to you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ra Ra Remix Rehash

This edition of remix rehash is a mixed bag of soul, pop, electro and awesome. A lot of heat was put on my in box this week and there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to sort through it all. I leave such insanity to my fellow manic dedicated efficient bloggers. However, there were a few that really grabbed my ear.

Gypsy Woman (mike Genius remix)
My current roommate and I are about to part ways and this track reminds we of him a little glammy a little old school a lot of fun. So it is for him I put this out there.

Little Secrets (Pepepe Remix)
There are a gajillion and one Passion Pit remixes out there right now. Some are pretty fantastic and deserve you seeking them out. I like this one because it tosses a little nod to Passion Pit's first EP while still putting a wicked edge on their new track.

Hooligans (Don Diablo's Drive By Disco Mix)
This has a little bit of a eighties pop punchyness to it. Another grand roll with Don Diablo

Make It Funky

This mix hit me so right this week. Coming to me courtesy of Cubik Musik it scratched a soul funk itch that was nagging me all week. I have had this on regular replay all week and has been instrumental in averting some crazy making melt downs.

Dance Dance Dance (Buraka Som Sistema remix)
I really can't tell you how very very much I like this remix. It continues to find me at the absolutely best moments. Load it on your shuffle and let it speak to you as well!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wordless Music Series: Mono Anniversary Show @ NYSEC

Last Friday I made a trip up to New York to catch my first Wordless Music Performance. The show was in honor of the Japanese cinematic ambient rock group Mono's 10th anniversary. For those of you unfamiliar with Wordless, as I was until the fantastic Ryan Hansen of Ryspace brought it to my attention, it is an on going series of concerts that explores the similarities, parallels and influences shared by "the sound worlds of classical and contemporary instrumental music" by presenting rock or electronic acts and classical musicians in tandem. As someone who actually lettered in orchestra I fully appreciate any kind of musical experience that brings orchestra into the fold. The musicalstylings of Mono were also relatively new to me as well so, on the whole it was a night filled with firsts. And as far as first anythings go that evening's collection of them will not soon, if ever, be forgotten.

The show, held at the acoustically spectacular New York Society for Ethical Culture, opened with the premier of Arvo Part's Symphony No. 4. A beautiful piece given life by the Wordless Orchestra conducted by Jeff Milarsky. It set a calm scene. Essential for the performance Mono was about to lay down.

The quartet, backed by a condensed version of the orchestra, played an hour plus set that quite simply defied my greatest expectations. Their regular sound is already unusually instrumental for a rock band so the inclusion of an orchestra was seamless and, for lack of a better word, epic. The 800 plus die hard Mono fans that had lined up around the block to get in were clearly transcended by the event. They four band members put everything they had out there. At one point the lead guitarist was on his hands and knees while a die hard fan hovered near by. Its an interesting experience, witnessing other people experience what may very well be their live musical apex. Even for someone like myself ,who may not have had an abundance of Mono exposure, the music that was created Friday night left me appropriately wordless.

If you're already a classical fan the Wordless Series would be an superb way to get your fix of strings and timpani. If you're looking for a comfortable way to ease into the genre then Wordless is the place for you. This is an endeavor I fully believe should be spread throughout the country. But if you're lucky enough to be within easy NY travel distance, make it a priority. They have a Fiery Furnaces show coming up that I would highly recommend you put on your calendar.

**Photo by Teppei Takazawa

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mama, I've Got You Covered

My mother is the person responsible for instilling in me a passion for three of life's greatest things politics, books and music. She's the one who always made sure Dire Strait's Money For Nothing was playing every time we drove Glacier's Going to The Sun Road. The one who expected me to know who played lead and who took vocals on all the Beatles tracks. The main supporter of my decision to feature the Fixin To Die Rag in my report on songs of protest in seventh grade. She came to my music listening competitions and has kept me on my toes with new music discoveries over the years. There have been times when music was the only way she and I could communicate. She sent me on the road to Philly (a move she referred to as "something I was doing to her") with a mix CD series that broke my heart, made me laugh but let me know that, despite her inability to say so, she was proud of my independence. So, it is only natural that today I would honor her with a playlist that I know will speak volumes without me having to tell her much more than I wish I were on the deck with you at the lake right now.•I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Damien Rice
•Tracks Of My Tears> Cupid > People Get Ready

Gavin DeGraw
•Into the Mystic
Tres Tangled Truckers (Jason Isbell, Caitlan Cary, Kevn Kinney, Dave Bartholomew)
•Mamma Mia

Miniature Tigers
•Beast Of Burden & Sweet Jane
The Kooks
•Always On My Mind
Ryan Adams
•These Days

Gregg Allman
•Tonight You Belong To Me

The Bird & The Bee

**I love you most**

Friday, May 8, 2009

MAKING TIME 9th Anniversary Freakout!

Today's golden ticket? The flyer announcing the line up for Making Time's Anniversary show! The Philly Dance Party institution will be 9 and to celebrate they're bringing in the big guns...

Its going down Friday May 22nd at Pure Tickets $10 pre $12 door. Gettem at Last Drop Coffee House or a

*Note the info isn't live on their site yet but I'm sure it will be up soon. That's right kiddos, you heard it here FIRST!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It Was A Funky Funky Night Rit Mo Collective & Illinois

Under the none stop rain that has been pounding this city for the last nine days there were some amazing musical antics going on in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, the quality options were spread like buckshot through the regular venues. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Fischerspooner & Junior Boys were all in town, and I've heard good things about all of their shows, but I took path less travelled by and oh what a night it provided.

First, I caught the early show of the Rit Mo Collective's double header at Chris's Jazz Cafe in honor of their CD release. It was a brilliantly orchestrated jam session led by the group's main arranger/composer Chris Farrell. Having spent a little time with Chris discussing his inspiration and the process behind this work I was not at all surprised to hear suggestions of jazz, funk, international, jam and lyrical scoring on the demo I received. The assembled crew [Wesley Rast, Dan Barman, , Baba Joe Bryant, Will Martina, Kaveh Saidi and Lee Clark] played a few pieces not on the album before launching into the three movements that make up Arianna's Thread. The three pieces weave together pushing and pulling each other to tell a very haunting and beautiful story. The cello's line throughout all three pieces really anchors the ethereal violin, percussion and guitars that establish the emotion. This could easily be the score to Michael Gondry's next movie the entirety of Arianna's Thread lasts a little over ten minutes but stays with you much longer. The group went on to play some of the more Indian and funk rooted pieces off of the CD. They're clearly very comfortable with each other and the music Farrell has crafted for them and it is felt in their playing. They closed the first set with Knevelled which has a strong bass hum to start off and proceeded to totally funk out (an essence not fully captured on the recording). That evening tucked away at Chris's would have been complete, especially if I had caught the more free flowing second set, alas I was on to the next stop.

It was up to Johnny Brenda's to see Buck County's own Illinois. Yes, a band from PA named IL is a little confusing but its actually the lead singer's grandpa's name. I really had no idea what to expect 'cause nearly everything I've heard from the group has defied genre-lization. They came on, Chris "Arch" Archibald was wearing a blond wig naturally, and blew up the stage with what I can only describe as The Gourds, Mark Mallman, Beck with a touch of Ryan Adams. Drawing inspiration like an ADD kid in a arcade from the smarter end of the "who's who" in alt music making in the last five-ish year they went from the "only nice song" they have to some tight country rock to funk driven rap. The hometown crowd rocked out right there with the group, who have an infectious chaotic fun stage presence you can't help but dig in to. Arch seems to enjoy throwing sharp left turns into the set list. I most enjoyed the introduction of a banjo put to fine use on the rough and tumble Big Country. His crew most definitely has the chops to deliver the goods. There were a few guitar riffs in there that stood totally on their own. And the bassist, man there was a gnarly deep pull to his playing that put a fresh dimension to the live show that isn't really conveyed on the groups EP's. At one point Arch slowed it way down in honor of a friend's birthday playing the honest ballad Missing Piece solo on the piano. By the end of their set, to be honest with you, I'm not sure I'm was any closer to figuring them out but that may very well be a big part of the appeal. I can say for certain its a group I will be seeing again.

Skinny + Sammy = Players Club

Skinny Friedman (one half of Philadelphyinz) & Sammy Bananas are beginning a run of regular appearances the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at Piano's in New York. In their utter excitement over the kinda jams they will be bustin they crafted a 30 mash up of "cuff links music"
It the perfect kick off to a weekend I hope to be spent dancing away the last 9 NINE days of rain.


Yay New Stuff!!!

I just wanted to call your attention to some new additions to the show list and blog roll...

The next month or so is going to be a doozy on the quality concert front. Some of the shows I'm looking forward to include, but are not limited to:

The Papercuts + Jana Hunter - KFN May 8th
Animal Collective - Electric Factory May 12th
Pomegranates - KFN May 12th
The Thermals + Shakey Hands MAY 12th
*If anyone knows how I might be able to be at all of these shows at once let me know cause I hate choosing
Chang Chang + Me You Us Them - The Fire May 20th [local favs and A LOT of fun live]
St. Vincent + Pattern Is Movement - The Church May 21st
MewithoutYou - The Troc May 23rd **CD release**
Hoots & The Hellmouth - Johnny Brenda's May 28th AND 29th **CD release**
The Avett Brothers - The Troc May 30th
Fiery Furnaces - KFN June 10th

There's a grip of other shows you should know about and attend just take a gander to the left (and check back regularly).

Also there some new additions to the blog roll. The Twitterverse has brought some excellent bloggers to my attention and I now bring them to yours...

Together In Digital Dreams [fellow Philly bloggers]
Cream Team
Tastes Like Caramel
The Music Slut
The Culture of Me

And to send you off to the rest of your Thursday, some Daytrotter Session gems from two Philly acts I have big love for

Crazy In Love
(Beyonce cover)- Pattern Is Movement
Lovers Play Dead - Drink Up Buttercup

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Takeover UK @ The Khyber

On Tuesday night the Takeover UK busted through the Khyber. They are a quartet out of Pittsburgh with a sound you would expect out of a blue collar steel town. They come on pretty brash with some harder rhythm and percussion lines but soften the whole package with a vocals that are at times playful and pop-esque and at others a volleying duet. They threw down some interesting syncopation's that didn't break the rhythm of their set however, I'm not sure it contributed much either. These four guys had a lot of fun up on the stage and a little brooding edge that infused their pop tunes with a appreciable grit. The old city bar was the perfect setting for the danceable show and I was happy to see the crowd was actually feeling it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In the Kitchen With Kathryn Ostenberg

I have spent a lot of time in kitchens. It would be safe to say I work out most of my issues while mixing up something tasty (hopefully) and grooving along with the most appropriate mix for the matters at hand. If its been a good "session" the outcome looks a little like this >

Kathryn Ostenberg singer/songwriter just starting out in LA whose best work comes from her kitchen recording sessions. Her offerings take this form:
Now, I get a lot of singer/songwriter's demos and while I have nothing but respect for their dedication to their dream there are only few I think may have something distinct to offer to the muddled s/s fight. When I first watched a Youtube video of one of her college era performances there was a raspy charm to her vocals. She didn't lapse into a baby-like coo when trying to be sweet nor force her range into Susan Tedeschi mode in an attempt to grab attention. Instead, she has taken what comes naturally and begun to really explore its potential.

Kathryn's talent is still fresh but she is digging into every opportunity she can find to play and play in LA's music scene. Joining forces with fellow artists when the opportunity arises and seeing where they take her while still refining her solo work. You can find her gigging around town at venues such at Room 5 and Genghis Cohen and I would encourage you to catch her while you can. She's currently in the process of organizing a non-kitchen recording session and I can't wait to hear what comes about. But I will always have a fondness for her kitchen work.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rainy Sunday Soundtrack

Its raining for the fourth day in a row here in Philly. I'm more than ready for the high temps of last week to return. Alas, I have very little control over that so I thought I'd use the inside time (and feed the procrastination beast) to share some of the highly enjoyable new music I've been listening to lately.

Created From Silence
This group from Scotland was assembled via Myspace Ad in 2008 and in the short time since has carved out a rock/pop sound with a hint of country. The presence of an organ in their work contributes nicely to separating them from similar acts. The track Strong, in particular, is well written and tightly performed. With a little more time and group experience I think the fella's of Created From Silence could push themselves towards an even more distinct sound.

Melanie Fiona
Ms. Fiona delivered the touch of soul and Motown I found myself craving earlier this week. She has crafted her first album The Bridge (due out this summer) from a wholly listenable mix of soul, hip hop and Motown both new and old. She more than suggests a more international (not surprising considering her Guyanese parents raised her in the melting pot that is Toronto) Lauryn Hill or Jill Scott. I am really excited to see what she will be bringing to the scene as her album begins making its rounds. This video of her riffing is an excellent intro to her style and ability. Her first single Give It To Me Right is available now.

Melanie Fiona Give It To Me Right with Human Orchestra

Rosie & Me
This act hails from Brazil (I am just now realizing this post is almost entirely foreign, which is pretty awesome) and draws a lot of inspiration from Stars and The Weepies. The guitars carry sweet harmonies giving voice to simple lyrics. Its not a complex arrangement but it doesn't need to be.

Come Back
The Big Fight

Ten & Six
Ten and Six is what happens when a college band doesn't give up they just get better. Having apparently gone through a number of "phases" along the way lead singer Even Moran has managed to take the best of each and built a comfortable mix of folk, bluegrass and rock. The years of development are noticeable in the intricate instrumentals, the drip drop of the glockenspiel on Bedside Regiments for example. He doesn't force his voice instead their is a true balance between all the contributing factors on the recently released self titled EP. Its a consistent and intelligent effort hinting of even more promising work in the future.

Antique Heart

Update: Ten and Six want you to know you can download the album for free or buy a CD here

Friday, May 1, 2009

So Very Much For Everyone: Photons-Glory EP

The Photons, a fabulous octet out of San Francisco has just kicked off a grand CD release project. Its a multimedia extravaganza, which is quite appropriate for a band that uses anything they can get their hands on to make their music, they will be unleashing three EP's starting with a limited release of Glory on May 12 via insound (it will go wide on June 23rd) and two others later in the year. The neat part is the "We Are Photons" comic book that will be packaged with each EP. The groups ring leader Calvin Liu is also a comic strip artist and has combined his two loves to bring fans a highly enjoyable package of sights and sounds.

I first stumbled upon the Photons when I was given a mix that included Animals (from their 2008 self titled EP). This group of buddies first got together in 2008 as part of an effort to encourage each other to learn a new instrument. What has resulted is a fun exploration of "instruments" ranging from electro-harp to soda bottle percussion to the bulbul tarang (Indian banjo). The four tracks on Glory are proof that they are maturing into a chamber-ish folk rock sound, suggestive of Arcade Fire. Their lyrics are taut and witty while managing to stay on non-annoying side of the twee divide. The first single Where Were You Last Night demonstrates an impressive leap from last years work. Each instrument contributes a unique cog in this machine. They push and pull each other while supporting the call and answer group vocals helmed by the rasp-tastic James Parrish. Its already got a locked spot on my summer play list.

And the comic book you ask? Its a nice look inside the drama and politics that is the Photons with foot notes none the less! Today is Free Comic Book Day btw. so drop into and support your local shop. Then take a second to relish in the simple joy that are The Photons.

Photons website
Where Were You Last Night