Friday, May 31, 2013

Jenny Dragon -- A Fair Souvenir

Apologies for the lack of updates -- I moved recently. But don't think, dear readers, that I forgot about you!

Here's a band I've been meeting to write about for a while now. Hailing from Chicago, Jenny Dragon brings a unique sound to the table.

The band describes itself as "Heavy Whimsy." Basically, if you took a supercollider and filled it with doo-wop, country western, tango, blues, and '20s jazz, you'd have yourself A Fair Souvenir (see what I did there?) The only song that's really "heavy" is the final track, "Jenny Dragon," in the band which takes itself much more seriously than in the rest of the album (and, for that reason, is a weak note to end on.) Jenny Dragon is at their best when they're having fun.

"Slow Ride West" and "Boom Boom" are better examples of the band's light, wistful sound.

Maybe running that supercollider will create a black hole, Large Hadron Collider-style. But I don't care. Because I can't help getting sucked in to Jenny Dragon's tunes.

Jenny Dragon -- Official, Bandcamp, Facebook

Friday, May 24, 2013

New Music Video!

We wrote about her stunning voice a few days ago. Check out Emma Hill's brand new music video!

Emma Hill -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, iTunes, CDBaby

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Want to see Lambchop?

The band. Not the puppet.

They'll be playing Warsaw (in Brooklyn, not Poland) on June 16th. $25.

Buy tickets here. It will be part of the Northside (not Southside) Festival.



Monday, May 20, 2013

Larabee -- Expose a Little Wire

There's something a-brewin' in Philly, and I rather like it. The Sparklers and The Miners (my two new favorite bands since starting this blog, incidentally) are shining examples of alt-country revival. Add Larabee to the list.

The only critique I have of Expose a Little Wire is that it's far too short. But that's the trouble with EPs. (Really, why do we need them in this day and age?) Maybe if enough of you buy the EP, the Studio Fairy will help Larabee record a full album.

Larabee -- Official, Tumblr, Facebook, Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Blind Owl Band Wants Your Money

You may remember my post from some time ago about a barefoot, rabble-rousing bluegrass group called the Blind Owl Band.

Well, thank goodness, they're making a second album. But they need your help.

See Kickstarter and give them some dough!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Joe Kille -- Arkadelphia

A strange thing happened the other day. I often get CDs sent to me in the mail. I'm not quite sure how individual bands get my address (and I'm not sure if I want to) but they manage to find their way to my home.

That's not the unusual part.

I also received a large, somewhat flat box. I knew what it had to be: an LP. But as much of a totally-not-hipster-except-I'm-the-only-one-who's-fooling-myself music buff as I am, I do not own a record player.

After a few exchanged e-mails, Arkadelphia was absolutely worth the wait.

A fellow TriCollege alumn, Joe Kille's songs are emotional as they are literary. I know it's my job to tell you more about the music, but there's not much I can say. The entire record is captivating from the first note to the last. It's certainly one of my favorites so far this year.

Joe is not so into the Internets and technology, but here are some YouTube videos and there are instructions for how to purchase the record below.

 Listen to the rest on Joe Kille's tumblr

If you'd like to purchase the LP, send Joe an e-mail.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Hems -- Those Early Years

Thank goodness for the Civil Wars. If not for their popularity, we wouldn't have folk duos like The Hems.

I think at this point we should just admit that this is a subgenre (or maybe it is and I'm late to the party.) There's an intimacy and a special chemistry between two people playing music together that you just don't get with a band.

The Hems' synergy is evident. Heavily inspired by classic country acts, The Hems add their own off-kilter touch to their music. "Honey Twist" and "Acres of My Own" have a weird (to me) at least chord progression that simultaneously confuses my brain and makes me want to hear more. Songs like "Dream Will Do," "Novaleen," and "Rebecca" are more traditional in approach, but that certainly does not make them weak or derivative. Those Early Years is a fantastic debut. Can't wait for the later years.

The Hems -- ReverbNation, Facebook, Bandcamp

Friday, May 10, 2013

Molly Venter and Eben Pariser -- Goodnight Moonshine

"Synergy" is really the word for this album. Venter and Pariser, giants of the Brooklyn folk scene in their own rights, sound like they were born playing music together. Showcasing a mixture of roots and pop on their debut album, Goodnight Moonshine is a powerful  album.

Venter and Pariser have talent in ample supply. "Gasoline" is sure to be a breakout hit on the independent radio stations of the world. "Willow Tree" is a more traditional song, and I think it will be the favorite of most of you folks. "Dark Side of the Rainbow" is easily the coolest mashup I've heard in a loooooooong time.

While the songs embedded below are from Bandcamp, you can (and should) buy the album on CDBaby. See the link below.

Goodnight Moonshine -- Official, Buy Goodnight Moonshine

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Emma Hill -- The Black and Wretched Blue

It is difficult, Dear Reader, to stay inside and listen to music (much less blog about it) when you are a young buck and it is springtime in New York (as my friends know, I don't really do mp3 players.)

While there are many ignoble uses for the Internet (I am sure you can think of a few that are best kept to yourself), it gives artists a voice who might not otherwise gain exposure.

And what a voice does Emma Hill have. Based in Alaska, the lower 48 might have remained ignorant of Ms. Hill were it not for Al Gore's fortuitous invention. And it's a good thing, too. Emma Hill has every right to sing from the mountaintops and be heard by every American. In truth, she owes it to us. Her talent should not be confined to the Northern reaches of our Continent.

Sorry. I've also been reading a lot of 18th-century stuff when I'm not outside sunning myself. I'll stop now.

Anyway, you should listen to this. It's not just that Hill has a great voice. Her songwriting is incisive and raw. Just because it's an upbeat folk tune doesn't mean Hill won't twist a knife through your heart before she's through.

Emma Hill is a songwriter who deserves your attention and your dinero. Enjoy.

Emma Hill -- Official, Facebook, Bandcamp, iTunes, CDBaby

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

FREE MUSIC: Lance Howell -- This Town EP

Rabbit, rabbit, friends!

Spring is indisputably here, and that's why I've been scarce lately. Sorry I'm not sorry.

Here are some tunes I've been sitting on for a while, and you won't be sorry to hear them!

Lance Howell hails from Gainesville, Florida. Honestly, he makes me want to move down there. I guess I could make myself enjoy college sports.

Howell's 5-song EP is an efficient 5 punches to the gut. Howell sings about life on the road, loneliness, and trying to find new love while possibly still maybe lingering on the old one (which hit especially close to home - thanks for ruining my weekend, Lance -- but in a good way. Made me think.) Howell's approach is not gritty, but it's far from easy listening. I am especially excited for his future work.

You can download the songs for free on ReverbNation.

Lance Howell -- ReverbNation, Facebook