Guest thom_jurek

New Stuff Worth Hearing

574 posts in this topic

yes, but there's a catch - you can listen to the same track free for 5 times but then you have to pay for it.

I don't think there's any such thing as a free lunch. ;-)

No, it's just 5 times per valid e-mail address. So you could make 10 e-mails at yahoo and listen to the track 50 times. I use NapsterLinks all the time at work because we are not allowed to d/l anything to listen to. So cool that I can listen to free, web-based music.

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I'll be interested to hear what you think of Hem, Josh. (I'm assuming you'll be staying for both performances at those shows.) It was my first exposure to them.

Holy smokes! Last night's show in Nashville was one of the tightest, most electrifying shows I've ever seen-- ten times better than their show in Knoxville last year, which was itself an excellent, grade-A performance. These guys are to small clubs and theaters what U2 is to arenas and stadiums.

A few highlights:

-- THEY'RE RECORDING AGAIN! Karin said they'll be hitting the studio again very, very soon. Her description of the new record was priceless: "We're not sortin' through a bunch of heavy crap this time, so it should be a pretty light-hearted record."

-- The new songs... well, gosh, where to begin? They played four brand new ditties-- all of which, I assume, will be on the new album-- and at least three of them ("Trouble," "I'm on a Roll," "Entertaining Thoughts") sound like instant OtR classics. "I'm on a Roll," especially, ranks right up there with "My Love is a Fever" as one of the most whimsical, downright FUN songs they've ever done. And as for the fourth new song, "I Don't Want to Waste Your Time"... well, it still sounds a little rough at this point, and the music sounds far too similar to "Little Did I Know." The lyric is killer, though-- I'm sure it'll end up being a concert-closing highlight if they play with the arrangement a bit.

-- Linford is a helluva storyteller. He didn't say a word in Knoxville last October, but he was talking up a storm last night, sharing stories about his upbringing and how some of the new songs got written. I'd pay money just to hear him talk.

-- They opened with "Latter Days," and the song has never sounded better.

-- Same with "Jesus in New Orleans."

-- Same with "Show Me." And "Lookin' Forward"-- I've heard four or five versions of that song by now, and last night's was far and away the best.

-- I'm leaving to see them play again in about one hour!

Oh, and Hem played some songs too, I think.

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Here's Atlanta's set list; the Nashville show was mostly the same, minus "I Want You to Be My Love" in the main set, and, because the club was triple-booked, they only had time for a one-song encoure, "When I Go."

Latter Days

Jesus in New Orleans

Born

Lookin' Forward

I'm On a Roll

Entertaining Thoughts

I Don't Want To Waste Your Time

Linford's monologue/Piano instrumental

Little Did I Know

Firefly

Show Me

Trouble

Drunkard's Prayer

First Encore:

The Seahorse

Summertime

When I Go

Second encore:

Hush Now

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Good to see you back, Thom.

New stuff I'm really digging:

-- Birdmonster -- No Midnight

-- Ollabelle -- Riverside Battle Songs

-- William Lee Ellis -- God's Tattoos

-- Lambchop -- Damaged

-- Johnny Dowd -- Cruel Words

-- Camera Obscura -- Let's Get Out of This Country

-- Ane Brun -- A Temporary Dive

-- Tom Ze -- Estudando O Pagode

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Indeed, Thom, glad you stuck around!

Andy, I'd love to hear more about Camera Obscua and Tom Ze-- I've been reading rave reviews for both of those records and contemplating whether I want to risk putting down money on them (my library doesn't have either).

And it's great to hear that Ollabelle is back. Their debut was quite pleasant

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Andy, I'd love to hear more about Camera Obscua and Tom Ze-- I've been reading rave reviews for both of those records and contemplating whether I want to risk putting down money on them (my library doesn't have either).

The Camera Obscura album is really delightful. It's pure pop, in the best sense of the term. It reminds me of some of Phil Spector's work with the girl groups of the early '60s, Dusty Springfield, Leslie Gore -- sweeping strings (actually faux-synthesizer strings), everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production, and incredibly catchy melodies and choruses. And Tracyanne Campbell's songwriting is a revelation. It's quirky as can be (the first single, "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" is actually an "answer" song to Lloyd Cole's "Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken," twenty-two years after the fact), but always supremely melodic and accessible. The Belle and Sebastian influence is undeniable (the first two albums were produced by Stuart Murdoch of B&S), but really, Camera Obscura may be at the point where they are surpassing their heroes. It's definitely a contender for Best of 2006.

Tom Ze is one twisted dude. It's Brazilian samba as filtered through a Martian sensibility or something. I like it, and it's a lot of fun, but it's also bizarrre, and I can only handle it in small doses.

And it's great to hear that Ollabelle is back. Their debut was quite pleasant

The new Ollabelle is significantly different from the debut album. There's much more of a focus on original songwriting, and there's much more of a "band" approach here. It's good, but not as impressive as the debut album, in my opinion.

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Andy, I'd love to hear more about Camera Obscua and Tom Ze-- I've been reading rave reviews for both of those records and contemplating whether I want to risk putting down money on them (my library doesn't have either).

The Camera Obscura album is really delightful. It's pure pop, in the best sense of the term. It reminds me of some of Phil Spector's work with the girl groups of the early '60s, Dusty Springfield, Leslie Gore -- sweeping strings (actually faux-synthesizer strings), everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production, and incredibly catchy melodies and choruses. And Tracyanne Campbell's songwriting is a revelation. It's quirky as can be (the first single, "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken" is actually an "answer" song to Lloyd Cole's "Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken," twenty-two years after the fact), but always supremely melodic and accessible. The Belle and Sebastian influence is undeniable (the first two albums were produced by Stuart Murdoch of B&S), but really, Camera Obscura may be at the point where they are surpassing their heroes. It's definitely a contender for Best of 2006.

I'm glad to hear you like the new Camera Obscura album. I really, really enjoyed Underachievers Please Try Harder and have been eagerly anticipating their latest. I was a bit nervous to see how it would turn out with the departure of the male singer, but from the sounds of it, its all good.

I'd also like to throw my two cents in praise of Voxtrot's EP "Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, and Wives". Rather than immediately releasing a full-length this new band seems to be taking it slow by releasing ep's and "Mothers" is great. Really great. It sounds like every indie rock band you've ever heard but manage to sound like none of them at the same time. Their quirky and thoughtful lyrics combined with killer melodies make for an exciting listen.

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I thought I'd throw in a couple of current favs:

- The Boards of Canada: The Campfire Headphase

- Nine Horses: Snowbourne Sorrow

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- Nine Horses: Snowbourne Sorrow

I'm still on the fence with this one. When he's on, Sylvian is one of my fave songwriters, and Snowbourne Sorrow does have some excellent tracks (esp. his duet with Stina Nordenstram), but other parts of it just drag for me. I think my overall reaction is the same I had for Sylvian's Blemish. I appreciate it, but it doesn't move me quite like his earlier works.

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I've dropped their name a couple times here in the past and will do so again. The Benevento Russo Duo (or just The Duo) are hands down my favorite new music discovery of the past year. An organ and drum duo (with occasional guest bass player Mike Gordon), these guys demonstrate the best of the modern improvisational groups-- great songs, robust musicianship, a broad vocabulary and a love of exploration and fun. Their new album will be out in the summer and here's an mp3 of the opening track... a brooding, emotional little comp that starts the slow burn around the 5-6 min. mark and really gets nice i think. Cant wait for the album.

BTW, Paste listed the Duo in the "4 to watch" a few issues back... their live shows are white hot with a thriving fan base-- I say, look for a break-out in 2006

I have been listening to the new Benevento Russo Duo album (Play Pause Stop) quite a bit in the last few days. It's very adventurous, and very good. I haven't heard the first album, but based on what I'm hearing I'm guessing that the new one is less jazz-oriented than the debut. It's all instrumental (except for a few "oohs" and "aaahs" on the first song), heavy on the organ, synths, and tape loops, and reminds me of what The Flaming Lips might sound like without Wayne Coyne's inane lyrics (sorry, Lips fans, but songs about pink robots just don't do it for me). As Coltrane notes, the musicianship is exemplary. These guys can play.

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You dog. The unpriveleged masses have to wait till July. <_< I really should become a music critic.

These guys can play.
I collect their live shows and this is where they really shine. Even someone who hates jamming and improv can get off on what they're doing. Marco's references fly by so fast and furious that its never boring and his "teasers" are brilliantly quirky, running the gamut from snippets of the Rockford Files theme to Hava Nagila to Zeppelin ... in a single, inspired stream.

Edited by coltrane

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Hi, I'm Hugues, I'm French, and just found this board today while googling about Sam Phillips news. I found very interesting discussions here, and some familiar names I know from my regular readings of All Music Guide and Paste magazine. I even must confess that Thom Jurek is the reviewer I admire the most out there! Each time I want to read something about one of my favourite artists, it's signed Thom Jurek (or Mark Deming)! :)

So, I'm especially music obsessed on daily basis, and you may notice my English is not perfect.

Some 2006 releases I really enjoyed so far:

Amy Allison: Everything & Nothing Too

Neko Case: Fox Confessor Brings The Flood

Annie Gallup: Half Of My Crime

Richard Julian: Slow New York

Essra Mohawk: Love Is Still The Answer

Niobe: White Hats

Ron Sexsmith: Time Being

Young & Sexy: Panic When You Find It

releases gladly anticipated:

Jenifer Jackson: The Outskirts Of A Giant Town

Devon Sproule: Keep Your Silver Shined

M.Ward: Post-War

Cheers,

Hugues

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Welcome aboard, Hugues! Looks like you'll fit in just fine here; if you search the site you'll find that we have whole threads devoted to those Neko Case and Ron Sexsmith records.

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Welcome aboard, Hugues! Looks like you'll fit in just fine here; if you search the site you'll find that we have whole threads devoted to those Neko Case and Ron Sexsmith records.

Thank you, Josh. Yes, I did the same observations to myself when I saw the Sam Phillips and Ron Sexsmith topics! :)

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4. Antje Dovecott- Big Dream Boulevard. I am lare getting on the bus when it comes to htis immensely gifted songwriter. This record will also make my year end list most likely, if for nothing than the songs Jerusalem, Sexual Band-Aid, and most importantly: Judas. This record has to be heard to be believed.

I'll second this motion. and I just wanted to correct the spelling in case anyone tries to google her.

it's Antje DUVEKOT.

another new artist/band I'm digging:

Beirut - Gulag Orkestar

this is some American Indie kid but it sounds like a full band from Eastern Europe.

Favorite Tracks (in no particular order): Brandenburg, Mount Wroclai (Idle Days) [Amelie-like accordion], The Canals of our City

Also for some good pop check out Islands - Into the Sea. This was featured in Pitchfork's Best New Music earlier this year. Is this thread for more obscure bands or is it ok to reiterate a band that has already got some substantial recognition?

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I haven't heard Josh Ritter's "The Animal Years" mentioned anywhere! Doesn't anyone like it as much as me. It's not groundbreaking but it's darn good folk.

a dash of folky Springsteen. a touch of Petty. a pinch of Dylan.

whoa, that recipe sounds way too generic. Anyone else come up with a good description.

(as you can tell I'm not very musically trained)

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Kaki King: ...Until We Felt Red

I'm just amazed and blown away (as they say). It's Devon Sproule, another great artist, who recommended Kaki King on her newsletter. They shared some tour dates. So I went to AMG to know more about her, and of course Thom Jurek had already reviewed and praised her first previous records. =D>

I've ordered them as well, can't wait to hear that. If it's as good as this third album, I'll be in Heaven for the next weeks.

How to describe her music? She has a sense of sounds and space, it's deeply pleasant to listen to, so pleasant actually, that it's far more than pleasant : it makes you feel GOOD. God only knows what she must have experienced, inside and outside, to reach such natural, easy-going, relaxed, secret mastery.

kakiking.com (you can see a video on her myspace)

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Thom, as an obsessive Little Feat fan, I was intrigued by your mention of The Bird and the Bee and so I checked out their MySpace page. Unbelievable. Any idea when I'll be able to buy a copy? The site just says "Jan. 2007 (at the latest)."

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Thom, as an obsessive Little Feat fan, I was intrigued by your mention of The Bird and the Bee and so I checked out their MySpace page. Unbelievable. Any idea when I'll be able to buy a copy? The site just says "Jan. 2007 (at the latest)."

The new information from Blue Note is that it will be available at the end of Rocktober.

*Nods* I got the same info from Blue Note, though I haven't heard the album yet.

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Horse Feathers -- Words Are Dead -- Baroque folk from Portland, Oregon. Violins (not fiddles), acoustic guitars, mandolins, and banjos, but this music has nothing to do with bluegrass. It's a folk/chamber music hybrid, and it's quite good.

Elanors -- Movements -- Thom Yorke/Rufus Wainwright crooning and lovely romantic piano (think Chopin) from this Chicago band.

The Kennedys -- Songs of the Open Road -- Great folk harmony singing on this covers albums, with classics from the likes of Dylan, Victoria Williams, Bob Neuwirth (!), and Gram Parsons. And check out that spine-tingling cover of The Byrds' "Eight Miles High."

Trolleyvox -- The Karaoke Meltdowns -- Melodic jangle pop. Beth Filla is a very fine singer.

The Memory Band -- Apron Strings -- Another UK folk band following in the hallowed footsteps of Fairport Convention. But wow, if Nancy Wallace isn't a dead ringer for Sandy Denny, and wow, if Jennymay Logan isn't a fiddler who can rival Dave Swarbrick. So Stephen Cracknell is no Richard Thompson. I'll take two out of three and sing their praises.

Edited by Andy Whitman

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Hem - Funnel Cloud

The Evenng Call - Greg Brown

I have been disappointed with Hem since Rabbit Songs. Thom, can you compare this new one to their old stuff? ditto for the new Greg Brown?

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I iTunes'd Inara George's solo record, All Rise, and am madly in love with it. After watching this video for "Fools Work," I have a bit of a crush on her too.

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I think Pitchfork has been too harsh with Rose Melberg's Cast Away The Clouds, to the contrary of AMG.

I did need many listens myself to get into the record, but it's really a good one. Very delicate and sweet, but that never falls in cutesy. Quiet and peaceful, but not boring. Actually Rose's music is really naked and out of sugar. This record is different from The Softies years.

So I second AMG's recommendation.

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Got hold of the Benevento/Russo Duo album Play Pause Stop and, yes Andy, it is decidedly more rock-oriented than the last album.

I miss the exploratory, improvisational jazz style of Best Reason to Buy the Sun, but there's no escaping the contagious enthusiasm of these performances. It's going to be a big part of the soundtrack to the next few months of my life.

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I'll cast another vote for Rose Melberg's "Cast Away The Clouds". Rose played at a music festival I helped put together this summer, and was absolutely entrancing. She did a really beautiful cover of Iris DeMent's "Let The Mystery Be" as well.

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