Music insanity!

I have been so slack in posting lately! Here’s a bunch of great releases you need to check out.

Travis – Where You Stand – I’m a lifetime fan of this band, they really can’t do much wrong in my eyes. This album was really a lot of fun.

Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion – Wassaic Way – More of the fuller sound that brought them to my ears a couple years ago, this album is a good companion piece, but not as sticky as that other one.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Fly By Wire – A bit more flighty and sweet than previous albums, this one is a grower, and eventually came around to be pretty great.

Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action – Another grower for me. At first, I thought it was a bit stuck in a rut, but as the songs repeated themselves in my head, I saw that the same power is there in the songwriting.

Robbie Fulks – Gone Away Backward – A bit more on the serious side, as the last few albums have been, this is still classic Robbie Fulks, and well worth the price of admission.

Saves The Day – Saves The Day – a wonderful return to form for this band which took a weird turn for a few years there, but this album is full of energy, brightness, yet still retaining that skewed perspective that makes them so unique.

Valley Lodge – Use Your Weapons – bubblegummy, poppy fun. It is wonderful and does not let up till the end. Highly recommended!

Alexander Von Mehren – Aéropop – Loungey, baroquey fun from this guy. It’s a great sound, done very well.

Adrian Bourgeois – Pop Art – epic in scope (and length) this album covers a lot of ground. Yet all of it is pretty good. Just some of the best pop music I have heard in a long time. Keep it up!

The Nines – The Nines – The return of this artist is well worth the wait, with what seems like an album of singles! So good!

Any Version of Me – We Are You – Great pop music! I like this a lot!

The Candle Thieves – All’s Well That Ends Well – Great piano pop!

Coke Belda – Coke Belda I – Good baroque-ish pop, just good stuff. Listen, OK?

The Starfolk – The Starfolk – Awesome, laid back, smooth pop!

The Polyphonic Spree – Yes It’s True – the return of this band is good, but the album hasn’t really hooked me like earlier ones did. The sound is still there, but its a bit stale.

International Pop Overthrow Vol. 16 – I always enjoy these compilations, there are a lot of good nuggets here. These days I listen to so much new music, that much of this goes in one ear out the other, if I had the time, I am sure I would find a lot to explore here.

The Mother Hips – Behind Beyond – Goodness from this band who always deliver solid tunes with a breeziness yet a powerful sense of a purpose of some sort.

A heads up… Thomas McConnell

Thomas McConnell came across my radar with his YouTube cover of McCartney’s new song “New”.

Off the back of that I ordered his EP which i’ve been enjoying in addition to this rather good ditty over at his SoundCloud page.

I’m expecting good things from McConnell. Definitely one to watch out for.

The Disbandables

Self promotion alert.

I’ve created a new site called http://www.disbandables.com where I interview great bands. The sites been up a few weeks with a new bunch of bands at the beginning of each month.

If you wondered what happened to

Brown Eyed Susans
Jackdaw4
Klaatu
Love Nut
The MerryMakers
Ooberman
The Pursuit Of Happiness
Second Saturday
Sugarbomb
Tiny Volcano

then http://www.disbandables.com is worth a visit.

Aaron from the great Powerpopaholic was kind enough to post a short interview with me about the site.

http://www.powerpopaholic.com/artist-interviews/matt-whitby-disbandablescom

Review: 1-2-3-4-5 (ep) by The Real Numbers

Can it really be 2010 since I last heard an album from San Francisco’s The Real Numbers? Yes, yes it can. See the (short) review here.

I loved the happy, sunny pop of their debut and their follow-up EP “1-2-3-4-5″ could very well be songs from the same album (not that I expected them to move over to a heady mix of grunge and metalcore). I’m happy to say they’re as joyful and buoyant as ever.

Songs about the mile-long, zig-zagging bicycle route from Market Street to Golden Gate Park, Internet Fame and pouring your heart out to a now gone Daphne.

Listen to recommendations; Look there’s just the five tracks. Listen to them all.

Find them at;

Web –
Listen – http://realnumbers.bandcamp.com/

Featured Album – The Duckworth Lewis Method – Sticky Wickets

The Duckworth Lewis Method – Sticky Wickets

4 Stars

4 Stars

The Duckworth Lewis Method - Sticky Wickets

The Duckworth Lewis Method – Sticky Wickets

Having enjoyed the first outing by this band featuring the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon and Pugwash’s Thomas Walsh, I was excited for the new album. Even so, I was pleasantly surprised by it. The first one had more of a psychedelic fantasy approach which was interesting, but soon wore thin. This album seems to take a more forward stance coming at you full on with the opener “Sticky Wickets”. This prepares you for a more straightforward rock approach to the game of Cricket.

Yet if you are looking for the more whimsical approach, look no further than the epic “It’s Just Not Cricket” which blows the lid off of the cricket industry, yearning for some good old days, complete with an orchestra and gang vocals! Other highlights include “Out In The Middle” and “Line and Length”. The key ingredient to all of these songs is the little twist that makes the song less about the intricacies of the sport, and more about life itself. I may not know a thing about cricket, but I get a heck of a lot out of this album.

Definitely worth picking up if you liked the last one, but I feel this one could be accessible to many more music fans and for those sports fans with a sense of humor. Cheers to all!

Album Review: Introducing Ruby Free by Ruby Free

Ruby Free - Introducing Ruby FreeI’ve built myself a time machine and you can too. Tuck yourself under your bed sheets and put on the debut from Rick Hromadka (Double Naught Spies, Maple Mars) and Lisa Cavaliere. The dappled light now leaking through the covers is no longer from your normal surroundings but from Laurel Canyon in its sixties heyday.

Laid back, melodic tunes to while away your time to. With Ruby Free every day is a warm, sunny, carefree Saturday.

Plug in. Switch on. Chill out.

Links;

https://www.facebook.com/rubyfreeband

Band — The Penelopes

I got a handmade compilation CD of songs by The Penelopes from Japan (not to be confused with the Paris based dance rock band of the same name). Having never heard of The Penelopes I tried to do some digging to find out more but there appears to be precious little information. From the All Music Guide; “The Japanese twee-pop outfit the Penelopes was essentially the work of singer/songwriter Tatsuhiko Watanabe; the group debuted in 1992 with the album In a Big Golden Cage, followed a year later by Touch the Ground. Although by this time the band was primarily a Watanabe solo project, he maintained the Penelopes’ name for 1997’s Kiss of Life; A Place in the Sun, issued that same year, was the first LP issued on Watanabe’s own Vaudeville Park label.” [1] which is pretty much what the bio on the send press-release says.

Facebook tells me I have twenty mutual friends of the Tatsuhiko Watanabe so my ignorance of his music is down to me, rather than them.

Twee pop certainly describes some of the bands output which puts it firmly into the Belle & Sebastian category (great purveyors of said genre that they are). Twee Pop is a sensibility rather than being as dismissive as it may sound.

Splitting their output between 60’s and 80’d influences over their substantial output there’s a lot to work through. Often synth based with a love of what I would presume is a glockenspiel there’s often an understated feel to the songs. Melodic, calming and some are almost anthemic if the anthem was designed to get you to sit down and drink a nice cup of tea.

Site details;

You can hear some samples over at http://www.newusb.co.uk

You can pick up three of their albums on iTunes

Reference: [1] Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

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