Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Butcher the Bar

From Butcher The Bar is 22 year-old Joel Nicholson, who currently resides in the north of England with his acoustic guitar and a couple of instruments such as a banjo, a melodica and an accordion. Leave Town is as minimal and as maximal as a pop song could be: a guitar, a banjo and a warm voice, a bit Elliott Smith like in tone and spirit.

Monday, April 28, 2008

DeVotchKa - New World

I heard the song New World from A Mad and Faithful Telling by the band DeVotchKa on All Songs Considered and was pretty impressed. This Denver-based four piece indie rock group fuses Romani, Greek, Slavic, Bolero, and Mariachi music with American punk and folk roots and rose to prominence recently based on their 2006 Bonraroo performance and their ensuing work for the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack. This latest album of theirs was relased in March of 2008.

Here's their Wikipedia entry.

Here are the lyrics:

There's this place that I know
where they say everything slow
You are the one I would take with me
It's the perfect place to be with a girl like you
if you wanted to we could leave right now
It's the perfect time
It's the perfect day we should get away come on let's go

Did you mean what you said?
cause it sounded so true
is real really dead
cause it looks so damn good
Read you loud and clear
I know I'm all done hear
let's go

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Travis Shawn Hill: Sing

Travis Shawn Hill is a singer-songwriter from Santa Cruz, Calif who participated in this year's RPM Challenge, creating an album called A Bright Wind which features the song


NPR has been featuring some of this year's RPM folks on their Second Stage series including this post about Travis, and he also has a web site. I took part in last year's RPM challenge but didn't quite get around to it this year. It takes place in February and the idea is for all participants to write and record an album during that month.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fire on Fire - Hangman

I heard of the group 'Fire on Fire' from KEXP's Music that Matters podcast. They are five friends having a good time and playing acoustic and world instruments — and they all live together in a big blue house in Maine. They have put a limited edition 5 song EP which is only available from their web site. Have a listen to their song:


which is the first song on the EP and is available as an mp3. To me, it sounds a little bit like Panda Bear meets Old Crow Medicine Show. Their background vocals are just a lot of fun.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Set List - Saturday 4/12/08

I thought I'd post the set list of my solo show from Saturday, the originals are marked *:

Too Creative *
April Come She Will (Paul Simon)
My Winding Wheel (Ryan Adams)
Sister *
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (Beatles)
Don't Think Twice, it's All Right (Dylan)
It's Only Love (Beatles)
Where do the Children Play? (Cat Stevens)
The Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young)
On the Inside of Your Circle *
Friend of the Devil (Garcia, Hunter)
Just Like a Photograph *

Me & Bobby McGee (K. Kristofferson)
Getting Better (Beatles)
In Tall Buildings (John Hartford)
Sitting by the Dock of the Bay (Redding)
Girl (Beatles)
Sunshine (J. Edwards)
Flake (J. Johnson)
Sitting, Waiting, Wishing (J. Johnson)
I Am the Walrus (Beatles)
Late Night Traveling Friend *
Stand By Me (King) > Redemption Son (Marley)
On Alexander Street *
Glass Onion (Beatles)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Almost Famous Pick: Reed KD

Give Reed KD's MySpace page or web site a visit to hear songs such as 'Empty Bottles' which features haunting harmonies reminiscent of the way Elliott Smith used to overdub his own distinctive and evocative harmonies over guitar picking patterns and a gentle folky mix of assorted instruments.

A few CD's are still worth buying

I'm sure I'm not alone in barely being able to remember the last time I bought a physical CD. The hours I used to spend with headphones on in Tower Records' listening posts have long since devolved into grazing and browsing via iTunes and Amazon. Once you change browsing paradigms and get used to song-based picking and choosing, it is indeed hard to go back to purchasing a full CD. But when I find the occasional CD that I feel I must have, I do feel a certain warm glow as I hold the shiny disc and ruminate on it's worthiness. This month, I feel that honor goes to Punch by the Punch Brothers, the brainchild of Mando Phenom and ex-Nickel-Creeker Chris Thile (rhymes with Feely). Definitely a case where the album (we Gen X's love to say this about CDs, I know) trumps having individual songs.

In no particular order, some of my other recent album worthy picks:

Radiohead's In Rainbows
Wilco's Sky Blue Sky
Grizzly Bear's Yellow House
Panda Bear's Person Pitch
Levon's Helm's Dirt Farmer
Ryan Adams' Easy Tiger
John Mayer's The Village Sessions EP
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand

Feel free to send in your own lists from the last 12 months or so!