Kings of Convenience
Riot On An Empty Street
I had great hopes for this newer Kings Of Convenience CD – “Riot On An Empty Street“, because I’m a big fan of their Quiet Is The New Loud album from before (both are on Astralwerks). Certainly the first part of the disc features that same hushed and beautiful acoustic guitar with intertwined voice harmonies that made a lot of people call them the next great Simon and Garfunkel. Except of course they’re Norwegian.
But while “Homesick” is a beautiful track that reminded me of Azure Ray, and “Cayman Islands” is lilting and just sweet enough to comfort many a weary music traveller, the album seems to go astray near the bouncy “Love Is No Big Truth” and derails with the 80s-like “I’d Rather Dance With You”. It’s almost like New Order or something.
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6.22.05 | Liam Singer – Father I See
Father I See
People who try to combine any sort of traditionalism and piano work will often get lumped either into the New Age category a la George Winston or stand-up Jerry Lee Lewis revivalists like Ben Folds Five. Not Liam Singer. I dug his track “Father I See” because it’s soft minimal tones often seem to be inspired from great modern classical masters but never copy them overtly. This is modern sounding enough, and certainly not piano bar room brawl stuff. There is some beautiful and haunting keyboard work here.
I know some people are going to say P. Glass but I don’t really see that so much. I think he has more in common with some of the newer Earlimart piano songs and his vocal on “Father I See” is very good. I’m almost reminded of Elliott Smith sometimes.
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6.11.05 | Map – Think Like An Owner
Think Like An Owner
[Velvet Blue Music]
I’ve got quite a few CDs by the band Map, including 2 EPs “Secrets of the Highway” and “Eastern Skies, Western Eyes” and this full length album “Think Like an Owner”. I always sort of pegged them as shoegaze, but this album seems to feel quite a bit different. There’s a bit of retro 80s feel to the songs and many of the tracks appear darker in tone.
Josh Dooley leads the quartet Map with his slightly angular harmonies. The musicians are excellent at attaining a dreamy blend of slightly distorted guitar and splashy drums. But the slower songs on the album (like “Girl”) are surprisingly tender and show the band is capable of slower poppy stuff too.
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6.27.05 | Matt Pond PA – Emblems
Matt Pond PA
Yes, I know that Matt Pond PA’s Emblems album is actually from 2004, but I just got a chance to pick it up at Amoeba the other day. Excellent, strongly constructed songs like his earlier work, such as the Measure CD which is where I originally heard about him. To be honest, the slightly weird name (does PA stand for “public address”?) was what first caught my eye in a music magazine. I believe it was an article in Magnet Magazine. But the interesting mix of straightforward rock, alt-country and a bit of folk along with his engaging lyrics was what kept me coming back for more.
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6.25.05 | Sending Demos to Record Labels – Article
Sending Your Demos To Record Labels
It seems everyone is an indie musician nowadays and trying to get signed by a label. Although many people will just buy a resource book that has every single record label in it and just send their CD to all of them, you may want to think twice about sending that many packages. The key is carefully targeting your CD to the right labels in order to save you time and money…