I stumbled on this band on myoldkentuckyblog, and really was drawn to the sparseness of the banjo over the rest of the tracks. Even then the trumpet comes in, the banjo still dominates without being too much. I agree with the Wilco/Spoon sound, but I’m also hearing a Phosphorescent/Will Oldham squeaky-sweet in Dean’s voice, and an overall Calexico/Sun Kil Moon too.
It’s a really nice composition, thanks MOKB.
Ontario’s Dark Mean have released a new video for Happy Banjo, a single from their upcoming, self-titled full-length which comes out June 14th 2011. Happy Banjo sounds exactly as you might you expect by the title, but add to that a driven, dreamy wall of sound that feels like it’s blithely floating through the ether; grounded only by the deeply personal lyrics. Dark Mean’s Mark Dean’s (see what they did there?) mellow, scratchy vocals bring to mind a Jeff Tweedy or a Britt Daniel, and the vast musical talents of himself and band mates Billy Holmes and Sandy Johnston seem to have a Wilco/Spoon-like proclivity for a wide variety of instrumentation (including glockenspiel!) and malleable styles which they magically fuse together to create a dark, pretty pop motif hard to pin the tail on. With Happy Banjo, you’ve got your jangling folk-rock guitar, poppin’ percussion, and of course, one happy banjo; but then the unexpectedly warm, melancholic horns come in, and this infectiously engaging tune swells into something far more stirring than the sum of its parts. Dark Mean began working on their debut back in 2007 with help of producer Michael Keire (Apostle of Hustle) and mastering by Brian Lucey (Black Keys). Judging by Happy Banjo, it’s an album worth the wait.
MP3 : Dark Mean – Happy Banjo
-Post by Miss Dolly Mod
(photos by lydia see, 9.24.09)
Introducing B-Side Fridays.
Every Friday, Marley Carroll will share a previously-unreleased track, accompanied by a photograph from Troy Lehman. Some will be unfinished sketches, some will be old songs, and some will be fully-realized new tunes. We’ll even throw in the occasional remix or extended DJ mix from time to time.
Stay tuned to the Marley Carroll Facebook page and YouTube channel for updates. Every track will be available for free download on Soundcloud as soon as it is released. Also, don’t be too shy to comment or shoot us an e-mail and tell us what you want more of! And without further adieu…
3.24.11: B-Side Fridays 01 “Outside”
4.1.11 : B-Side Fridays 02 – “Sparky’s 78s”
Detroit duo Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott are collectively Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
They’re set to release an lp follw-up to 2010′s Horse Power ep, and have shared a track from it on soundcloud:
I feel like this track incorporates the perfect amount of analog and digital sound, and reminds me of OK Go’s “This too shall pass” with a little Sufjan Stephens “I walked” and Deerhunter’s “Helicopter.”
They’ve had me smitten since Horse Power and their Daytrotter session, both of which included the song “Simple Girl.”
“Simple Girl” was the first song that Daniel and I worked on together. It was a song that had been around for a little while, and the workflow between us was so easy and natural that it really opened up our lines of artistic communication. It also laid the foundation for what would become the sound of our EP, which was organic drums, mixed with electronic ones.”
- Daytrotter Interview
I became obsessed with that song, and shared it with a friend, who then letterpressed this card:
I knew Adrian when she was a spritely little thing of thirteen, wide-eyed and curious, absorbing everything around her. Ten years later that same attitude has been transformed into a beautiful ability to write whimsical albeit raw and true songs which tell dynamic stories while maintaining a catchy, saccharine sweetness. Emberley has assembled a talented lot as her “revolving band” (performing tonight will be Adrian Emberley, Chris Perry, Jesse Friedberg, Paul Dumas, and special guest: Bryan Murphy) who support her as well as standing out individually as artists.
Imagine Regina Spektor, Grace Potter, Jenny Lewis, and mix in some of my AVL gals Ami Worthen, Caroline Pond, and Angi West.
Here’s the cute little video she did for “I missed the days”
You get a free copy of their CD upon entry, but if you can’t make it out tonight, download their record below. Give it a listen, They have this nice vintage sound: Strokes meets 90′s Sunny Day Real Estate with a healthy dose of garage-revival-reverb and feedback.
WAGES’ debut release, “Drowning in Sun, Sunshine”, was recorded at Asheville’s Echo Mountain Recording (where Band of Horses and the Avett Brothers worked on their recently Grammy nominated releases), and was produced by Hank Sullivant (Kuroma, MGMT, The Whigs). The band was able to work in such great surroundings with the generous support of an amazing label that has since ceased to exist. So, WAGES has a professionally produced record, but no funds to print it!
The recordings have already received some noteworthy acclaim. One track was placed on Gossip Girls’ Valentine’s Day special, and the album has seen positive reviews and radio play from coast to coast.
Despite this, WAGES currently has no supporting label and no financing. With the help of this Kickstarter campaign, the album can be printed and brought into the world properly!
Some of the album’s tracks can be sampled at wageswages.com.
Thank you so much for visiting this campaign, and for your support!
Project location: Asheville, NC
WAGES is two people: Nick Campbell and James DeDakis. However, their debut LP was created with the help of many. Most noteably…. Producer Hank Sullivant (known for his work with Kuroma, MGMT, The Whigs, Gift Horse, Colour Revolt and beyond) who guided the album creatively. Engineer and bass player Alex Hornbake (of Arizona) who literally gave the album its sound. And musician Ben Wigler (of Arizona and now New Beard) who contributed some priceless background vocals and guitar parts at the outset of the recording process.
(this video features my friend Morgan and what looks like a tiny cheetah!)
For the record, I think the production on this EP is spectacular.
Lyrically speaking, Benny Z has a tendency to wear his heart on his sleeve. In the past, with a more pared down sound, his style has been almost too vulnerable and diaphanous. This new incarnation of Ben Zanfagna’s music, however, which includes Mike Gruen on Bass, Brett Bashaw on Drums, Alexander Sandman on Guitar/Keys/Production, and Ben on Vocals, Guitar, & Tenor/Soprano Saxophone lends itself better to his style of writing. His straightforward and transparent words are supported more substantially by the multiple tracks of instrumentation and harmony, and the arrangement of said layers is ideal.
The acoustic beginning of “Trees” into the symphonic harmony-ridden climax is an energetic and organic opener, leading into the the 70′s arena acid-rock “Bilderberg” that reminds me, strangely enough of Twin Shadow’s “Castles in the Snow” mixed with Pink Floyd’s whole Dark Side of the Moon (ok I know that’s a crazy comparison but I think it’s the harmonies – “Your Elvis song in my ear That moonlit voice that I hear”/ “All that is now All that is gone All that’s to come”). A tiny hint of an organ on “I Do” is my favorite little touch, a sweet marriage of sax into a rhodes-ish fade out.
This feels like a tentative taste of what this band is capable of. I’m looking forward to their show on March 12 at the Firehouse to see what else they’ve got up their sleeves.
(photos by lydia see, no use w/o permission)
from the band:
“Songwriter/singer/saxophonist, Benny Zanfagna, bassist/arranger, Mike Gruen, producer/multi-instrumentalist, Alex Sandman and drummer/arranger,Brett Bashaw have teamed up to form “Red Tail Hawk.” All members are Newburyport natives and were friends growing up. According to Benny, “We all studied music formally and independently, toured with national and semi-national acts and came home to reconnect. The result is a culmination of worldly experiences…”
Both Benny and Alex played with the band “Endway” during separate periods. First Benny helped co-write and produce Endway’s sophomore release ‘Action,’ and toured with the band for one year. After being signed with Wind-up Records as the producer/guitarist of “The Rideaways,” Alex joined “Endway” filling the role of bassist and co-writer on Endway’s third release, ‘Running Man’ (each available for free at endway.com). Among Mike Gruen’s accolades he studied at Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA and has shared the stage with some of the most prominent jazz cats in New England. Brett returned to Newburyport after playing professionally with pianist, Rob Gonzalez.
Zanfagna continues, “We are grateful to one another. Each player brings a unique approach to the songs and we all contribute to the arrangements. It is a rare artistic collaboration and the ceiling is much higher because of this…”
“Red Tail Hawk” will be releasing their debut record in the form of an EP this Spring. The band’s performance of Benny’s songs and Alex’s production create an eclectic mix of roots, rock, world, jazz and psychedelic. Inspired by a love for nature, and passion for living, look for “Red Tail Hawk” everywhere online and at http://theredtailhawk.com“
Purchase tickets online here: http://www.firehouse.org or call the Firehouse Box Office directly at 978.462.7336.
(my favorite part starts at 2:08)
Yelle has a knack for making songs with banger beats with lyrics that can lean toward something more silly, including their biggest hit, 2008′s “Je Veux Te Voir”. #4 in their native France and an indie hit stateside, the track is racked in subtle feminist taunting, calling out French rap group TTC on their proclivities. If you aren’t a speaker of the language, the electro pop sounds too fun to be comparing, ahem, men parts to potatoes, but that’s what makes Yelle so great—ability to draw the uncanny in their lyrics without detracting from danceability. “Safari Disco Club” is about just that—a place for the the giraffes and elephants to get their groove on. It’s just as playful as “Je Veux Te Voir”, but a lot more whimsy and even tinged with a little bit of melancholia, yet still a heavy feet-mover. That’s the theme for their second album, Safari Disco Club—knowing that sometimes the dancefloor might also be a place to cry. Find it March 21 on V2.
“Now my heart’s a careless bumbler.”
You should download this right now.
Images from Angi West opening for Gary Jules, Grey Eagle, August 2009
FROM STEREOGUM: Someone made a Smiths vinyl bootleg called Unreleased Demos & Instrumentals. Someone else made a rip of the (pretty illuminating, great) 16-track collection that features, among other things, a couple of previously unreleased Johnny Marr instrumentals (one heavier than the other). Hardcore fans may note it also includes the version of “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” with a final refrain of “there is a light in your eyes and it never goes out” as well as the version of “Death Of A Disco Dancer” with “the improvised ‘whistled solo’ as mentioned in Simon Goddard’s The Smiths – Songs That Saved Your Life.” (I nabbed those specifics from morrissey-solo.com, which is also the place that led us to the collection itself.) Take a listen to a handful of Unreleased Demos & Instrumentals before eyeballing the tracklist.
“There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (Take One)”
“Death Of A Disco Dancer (Monitor Mix)”
“Ask (Pre-Remix Version)”
“Girlfriend In A Coma (Monitor Mix)”
“Untitled Two” (Marr Instrumental)
You’ll find streams of everything at metallicblauauto’s YouTube page. You’ll find downloads of everything if you do a little searching around. This is everything:
01 “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle”
02 “Reel Around The Fountain”
03 “Rusholme Ruffians”
04 “The Queen Is Dead”
05 “Sheila Take A Bow”
06 “This Night Has Opened My Eyes”
07 “Untitled One” (Marr Instrumental)
09 “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out”
10 “Is It Really So Strange?”
11 “Frankly, Mr. Shankly”
12 “Shoplifters Of The World Unite (Reprise)”
13 “Girlfriend In A Coma”
14 “Death Of A Disco Dancer”
15 “Paint A Vulgar Picture”
16 “Untitled Two” (Marr Instrumental)
The Smiths: Unreleased Demos & Instrumentals. (Basement Tapes & Records)
Excellent Stereo Studio Recording :: Double Vinyl LP :: CBR 320 kbps & FLAC.
LP1 Side 1
01. The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
02. Reel Around The Fountain
03. Rusholme Ruffians
LP1 Side 2
01. The Queen Is Dead
02. Sheila Take A Bow
03. This Night Has Opened My Eyes
04. Untitled One (Marr Instrumental)
LP2 Side 1
02. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
03. Is It Really So Strange
04. Frankly, Mr. Shankly
05. Shoplifters Of The World Unite (Reprise)
LP2 Side 2
01. Girlfriend In A Coma
02. Death Of A Disco Dancer
03. Paint A Vulger Picture
04. Untitled Two (Marr Instrumental)
Files: 16. :: Size: 151.39 MB (Mp3) / 473 MB (Flac).
Total Time: 01:06:09 hour/s.
Personnel: Morrissey – vocals :: Johnny Marr – guitars, harmonica :: Andy Rourke – bass guitar :: Mike Joyce – drums.
Notes: Someone made a Smiths vinyl bootleg called Unreleased Demos & Instrumentals. Someone else made a rip of the (pretty illuminating, great) 16-track collection that features, among other things, a couple of previously unreleased Johnny Marr instrumentals (one heavier than the other). Hardcore fans may note it also includes the version of “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” with a final refrain of “there is a light in your eyes and it never goes out” as well as the version of “Death Of A Disco Dancer” with “the improvised ‘whistled solo’ as mentioned in Simon Goddard’s The Smiths – Songs That Saved Your Life.”.<-(Info taken from stereogum.com).