Friday, June 08, 2007

From the Inbox...

There is usually a bunch of good stuff lurking around in my inbox, and when I take a little time to listen through it, here is what I find:

A fan of the North Carolina-based Bowerbirds was kind enough to bring this band to my attention, whom he said are "an earth/nature-bound duo (Phil Moore and Beth Tacular) who create gorgeous music (with the help of a 3rd friend, Mark Paulson) using bird-like 3-part harmonies, organic percussives, and unconventional chords/song structures." This page gives a lengthier introduction to the band:
Dude from Ticonderoga, who were pretty awesome, has a new band called the Bowerbirds*, who're straight-up great. I saw them at Bull City Records last week; their three-part harmonies were the sweetest singing I have heard from an indie band maybe ever. Their recordings to date are quite good, though they don't quite do full justice to just how gorgeous their voices are when experienced all in the same space. The melodies, though, could have been recorded on a dictaphone and it wouldn't matter: dude has got the goods. The lyrics, the singing both solo and in magnificent unbelievable nobody's-doing-stuff-this-cool trio unison, the wistul groove. The letter-perfect choruses. They are my favorite new band in forever. They have a Myspace here, which has the entire EP on it; I shudder when I think of people hearing great music through Myspace pages rather than in person or on a decent stereo...

I wanted to indulge you a bit on a band I love that, like most, has fallen under the radar due to the nature of media inundation these days (yes I'm a part of it, but my loyalty is to the underdogs). The band is called History At Our Disposal - HaoD is one person, Jason Reimer, from Denton, TX and he his new album is called Symbols In the Architecture on Creative Capitalism. If you're remotely into any of the bands listed below you might want to give Jason's music a shot.

Jason used to play in the Baptist Generals (formerly on Sub Pop) and when he started HaoD several years ago his live show began to garner a reputation for being unpredictable, hinting at bands like Can, Fugazi and Amon Duul. Soon after HaoD was performing with such groups as the 90 Day Men, Daniel Johnston, Paper Chase and American Analog Set. Symbols is the followup to debut LP Novella, and it takes notes from This Heat, Brian Eno, Charles Mingus and Tom Waits, with lyrics embodying mostly Orwellian themes.

As it turns out, The Loose Salute is not an amazing Mojave3 side-project, but just an amazing project in itself. According to a statement by The Loose Salute founder and Mojave3 drummer Ian McCutcheon, “There are no plans what-so-ever to record another Mojave3 record.” McCutcheon went on to assert that his main concern and only musical concern presently is The Loose Salute.

The Loose Salute is essentially a pop group, with both folk and country overtones that draws songwriting influences from the likes of The Byrds, The Beach Boys, The Mamas and The Papas, The Eagles and Leonard Cohen. “Basically the albums in my parents’ record collection when I was growing up,” McCutcheon laughs.

Some of the more contemporary comparisons include the work of Elliott Smith, The Beachwood Sparks, The Tyde, Wilco, The Shins, Midlake and Dr. Dog. “You could say The Loose Salute sound borrows from all of these bands,” says McCutcheon.” The vibe is different from Mojave3. We’re more of a pop group. It’s a little more fun in places.”

The English band’s debut album Tuned To Love is a record full of summer sounds and nostalgia. These are songs that make you want to go out, find some friends and dance the night away. The songs are about all the facets of life: falling in and out of love, break-ups, partying, wanderlust, home-cookin’, surfing, travel, fields, beaches, stars and bars. “The general weight of the world,” explains McCutcheon.

Chicago’s Graveface Records – home to releases by Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Octopus Project and The Appleseed Cast – will release The Loose Salute’s debut album on June 12th, 2007. Tuned To Love was recorded with engineer Gareth Parton (The Beta Band, The Go Team, The Pipettes, Mojave3) and McCutcheon’s school-yard buddy, producer Pritpal Soor.
Armed with his Akai MPC, heritage and love for genre-bending music, SoCalled is a Yiddish rapping, accordion wielding, Klezmer hip hop maestro. Heralded by Jewish, Klezmer, and hip hop musicians alike, he builds Jewish music from the bottom-up.

For his second album, Ghettoblaster reaches back into the past and mines many varying influences rich with context. The entire album is an amalgamation of traditional and contemporary influences, evoking a sound reminiscent of the past while engaging listeners of all types. "Let's Get Wet" fuses a Klezmer feel with minimal hip-hop instrumentation, while "You Are Never Alone" relays a soulful hip-hop template enriched with SoCalled's unique creative flourishes that encompass a lifetime of Jewish and hip-hop influences. "My God is going to kick your God's ass!!!"...that's how Socalled's new record Ghettoblaster begins. A call to arms – or really – a call away from arms, to set the tone for this thoughtful, yet ridiculous album. Religious systems are fair game, as are crazy combinations like 92-year-old lounge lizard Irving Fields (Google “Bikinis and Bongos”) and underground MC C-Rayz Walz, or James Brown trombonist Fred Wesley and a choir of Hasidic children.
So what better a way to kick off Ghettoblaster than to go on a cruise with a bunch of old Jewish people and get the prestigious National Film Board to film it? Montreal filmmaker Garry Beitel tapped Canadian hip-hop beat maker Socalled (aka Josh Dolgin) to star in a feature length documentary based on his journey down the Dneiper River in the Ukraine, on the first ever Klezmer cruise. From Kiev to Odessa, Socalled shares his love of music and culture with the 150 other 'Klezmer enthusiasts' on the cruise in the aptly titled, “The Socalled Film.” Along the way, an additional camera crew documents the unique experience of filming on the ship on the daily updated video weblog.

Check out the video(s) here, and follow this one to hear the entire album.


Anonymous said...

"down the Dneiper River in the Ukraine..."

It's not "the Germany," it's not "the Japan," and it's not "the Ukraine."

It's Ukraine!

I'm told saying "the Ukraine" is not only incorrect, it's rather insulting.

crooked air fresh said...

Saw Bower Birds in New York about a month ago. Good show. They're music is indeed great though in a long set it all started to sound the same. But so it goes for new bands. However, they're definitely one to watch. I also met them. Very nice people. Buy their music.