Friday, July 24, 2009

Fire In July debuts in Boston on Saturday

Fire in July’s debut album, Ancient Star, features singing cellist Redhage’s inimitable “indie art songs” in ensemble arrangements.

A trio subunit of the Brooklyn indie crossover collective Fire in July will make the band’s Boston debut tomorrow night. Come and check them out live!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

8:00 pm

Kaji Aso Studio

40 St. Stephen Street

Boston, MA 02115

$10 tickets

Jody Redhage, voice/cello/compositions

Alan Ferber, trombones

Tim Collins, vibraphone

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ruby Throat: review; mp3

Ruby Throat

The Ventriloquist

Sleep Like Wolves (Ryko)

Ruby Throat is Katiejane Garside (Daisy Chainsaw and Queenadreena) and Chris Whittingham. Previously released in a lavish, extremely limited pressing, their LP The Ventriloquist finally is seeing wide release. The duo creates alt-folk of a brave nature and formidable presence.

Garside is capable of stratospheric vocalism. She frequently explores her upper register here amidst arrangements inhabited by drones, pitched percussion, and understated guitar work. Sitting astride darkly-hued Gothic Americana and English traditional music, the music unfolds gradually; at times wafting sinuously at the periphery of awareness; at others, boldly taking center stage. Most ambitious is the sixteen-minute long song based on that most-famous of verses, “John 3:16.” It begins with hushed singing and repeated guitar figures, building to a howling, unsettling, avant-rock climax.

MP3: “House of Thieves” (via Tumblr).

Owl City – iTunes sensations! (video)

While fans of alt/experimental/avant/indie etc. music tend to look askance at sales numbers and mainstream popularity, sometimes the big web vendors get it right. EMusic has recently touted contemporary classical artists Nadia Sirota and Julianna Barwick. Both of these talents are accessing mainstream audiences in part due to the site’s efforts to raise their customers’ awareness of contemporary classical music with reviews, playlists, and primers. Mega-kudos EMusic!

Online juggernaut iTunes is posting big sales numbers for an electronic pop act with skilful arranging and composing chops. The site’s #2 overall and #1 electronica recording is Owl City’s new LP Ocean Eyes. Fans of Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, and vintage bleeptronica will likely be please in equal measure by “Fireflies,” the recording’s leadoff single. Check out the video below.

Video “Fireflies” (YouTube)

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, July 20, 2009

David Mead; new album; 2 MP3s

After a hiatus, singer-songwriter David Mead is releasing a new album August 25 on Cheap Lullaby. Almost and Always is well worth the wait. Mead has long been a songwriter who can combine polished craftsmanship with authentic emotional appeal – the new LP continues that trend. That Mead has overcome career vicissitudes – label changes and the like – to deliver some of his finest songs to date makes it all the sweeter.

Two tracks from Almost and Always are linked below.

MP3: “Blackberry Winters”

MP3: “Rainy Winter Friend”

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Book Review William Parker – Who Owns Music?

William Parker
Who Owns Music?
150 pages, ISBN: 978-3-00-020141-7
Published by Buddy’s Knife

Bassist, composer, arts organizer, and educator William Parker has had a distinguished musical career. One of the premier exponents of avant jazz on the New York scene, he’s recorded prolifically as a sideman and as a leader of small groups and large ensembles.
For over forty years, Parker has also been active as a writer. Who Owns Music? is a collection of his poetry, reminiscences, and writings about the philosophy of music. Parker is an eloquent advocate of the intrinsic connection between art and the spiritual. He frequently likens advocacy for experimental music to a spiritual struggle. His words will no doubt be heartening news to artists who long for an elevated discussion about the religious impulse in music, sans positivist scoffing or, alternately, dogma and judgmental proselytizing.
For Parker, societal woes and artistic concerns are also linked. Thus his discussion of the ideals of improvised music and composition are interwoven with advocacy for civil rights, free speech, environmentalism, and arts education. The perils of music criticism, particularly the danger of poison pen tirades, are also taken up. Parker occasionally paints with too broad a brush here, giving a sense that he is indicting the majority of music critics. This is perhaps understandable in context; much unfair and ill-informed criticism has been levied at avant jazz in general and Parker in particular. But, even here, he doesn’t stray long from the positive, providing a manifesto that writers should take to heart. He writes, “The role of the critic is to become the poet. (S)he must find a plant and water it and care for it without crushing one blade of grass or one weed along the way.”

Free Web Counters
Free Counter