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Straight No Chaser

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Archive for June, 2009

CD Review – Casper and the Cookies

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Modern Silence

Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records

This is pure indie fun. Lead singer Jason NeSmith has played for Of Montreal and the sound, although not as quirky, is just as fun. Kay Stanton does her best Karen O on “You Love Me” while “Your Eyes of Gold” is a cut up of Stanton singing the Carpenters’ classic “Close to You.” The ambient electronic background sets up a Beck-like feeling especially when the bits and pieces of Stanton’s singing gets sprinkled on top. The craziest track is the last one. “I Am Gone” features 35 different artists including Bryan Poole of Of Montreal and Robert Schneider of The Apples in Stereo, but the track does not include any of the members of Casper and the Cookies. This is an album if you are looking to put a smile on your face.

http://www.casperfandango.com

CD Review – Loxsly

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Tomorrow’s Fossils

Self-Released

Loxsly is a strange amalgamum of indie, pop and weirdness. “You & I Were Working” has a xylophone interlude followed by a chamber chorus of sorts that sounds like it was transplanted from a Polyphonic Spree album. The album as a whole has a certain catchiness that is endearing (especially on the opening track “Pedal to the Coast”). They switch from pulsing to a lounge piano sound and back and then back again on the schizophrenic “Battalions.” If you are looking for something that is simultaneously experimental and addictive, then you have found the right album.

http://www.loxsly.com

CD Review – David Serby

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Honkytonk and Vine

Harbor Grove Records

David Serby is primed for country stardom with a front page feature in the Los Angeles Times and the LA CityBeat calling this album one of the best of 2009 so far. He is like a less twangy Dwight Yoakum especially on the opening track “Get It In Gear.” Songs like “Honky Tonk Affair” and “I Only Smoke when I’m Drinking” harken back to legends George Jones and Hank Williams. Serby is country music unfiltered. It’s also some of the best country music you’ll hear this year.

http://www.davidserby.com

CD Review – Foma

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Inverness

Self-Released

Dark ambient indie-pop complete with cello and viola. Inverness is perfect for a cold wet day hanging out in a dimly lit basement. This album is for indie snobs who want to test out their inner goth without painting their nails black.

http://www.itsallfoma.com

Save Paste Magazine, Get Free Music!!

Monday, June 8th, 2009

I’ve been writing for Ink19 for over five years now and it has been wonderful. When I first started, I barely knew anything about most of the albums or artists that I received. That all changed when I subscribed to Paste Magazine over two years ago. That magazine does not focus on celebrities or who’s the “it” artist- or group-of-the-moment. They focus on music and the artists that make it. Paste has made me a much more knowledgeable music critic and listener. I had not heard of a lot of the artists before subscribing, but now I have heard at least one of their songs thanks to the monthly sampler consisting of anywhere from 19 to 22 songs per month. It’s where I first heard Bon Iver, Janelle Monet, Okkervil River, Virginia Coalition, as well as new music by Tift Merritt, Willie Nelson and dozens of others. Did I (and do I) like every song on the samplers? No, but I can at least say that I’ve heard something by these artists, most of them don’t even have a blip of coverage in most mainstream magazines. (Yes, I’m talking about you Rolling Stone and Spin.)

So why do I post this? Because Paste Magazine is in trouble. They are in dire need of some financial help. Yes, there are a lot of magazines that have gone online-only or just folded all together, but this one is the first magazine I’ve received as an adult that I read cover to cover every single time. The writing is superb (just like the writing here on Ink19) and they profile many artists that I would not know anything about otherwise. So I’m asking anyone reading this to go to this site and help out if you can. I am also running on a very tight budget, but I donated $1. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t sound like much, but it helps and it comes with some serious rewards, which makes this entirely worthwhile.

For every donation, you get a password to unlock a download vault of rare and unreleased tracks from artists like The Decemberists, The Avett Brothers, Of Montreal, Brandi Carlisle, Neko Case and G. Love amongst many others. So far there are over 75 songs that are FREE just for making a donation. As more songs become available, you will have access to those as well. So, you get butt-loads of free music for donating a couple of bucks to a magazine that is one of the best in the music business. I don’t normally do this, but I think that this cause is well worth it. If nothing else, check out the site and see what Paste is all about. You will not be disappointed.

CD Review – The Von Ehrics

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Loaded
Crustacean Records

This trio would be the perfect opening band for Hank Williams III. They combine a drunkish rockabilly with country and a kicked up punk sound to make a sound that is all together unique. Add in Billy Joe Shaver (Old Chunk of Coal) and Steve Earle (A Week of Living Dangerously) covers and you have a true alt-country record.

http://www.vonehrics.com