On Scotland Yard Gospel Choir’s self-titled sophomore album (their first for Bloodshot Records), the band’s pop sensibilities jump into hyper-drive with casual nods to everything from the Libertines (“Aspidistra”) to Kimya Dawson (a bunch of songs) and they end up with a cute album that reminds me of college bands who were more almost than famous. There’s an almost deliberate sense of unfinished work here and that’s too bad because the work that was started deserves to be finished.
SYGC singer/songwriter Elia Einhorn tackles our Ten Questions We Ask Everyone and sucks up to Morrissey and Britney Spears in the same breath.
Ridley Bent is an entertainer, a crooner, a guitar player, and a songwriter with a knack for detail and has mastered the art of telling a story. Love and betrayal, cowboy songs, songs of hope and glory, tales of the old west and pop culture, this is Ridley’s addiction.
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Ridley Bent spent his youth as an army brat traversing the vast expanses of Canada and listened to his father play Johnny Cash and Hank Williams on his beat-up old guitar. At the time, he never did dig that old country and western. He preferred rock and pop but those old tunes must have sunk into his subconscious because that southern twang is evident in his songs. Ridley recently completed a new album titled Buckles and Boots.
We harrassed him with our Ten Questions and then gave him the “you can’t just jump to the top of the ladder” speech.
Founded in 2000 by Vancouver drummer, musician and producer Hamish Thomson, The Hermit began life as a solo electronic project but–over the course of seven years and three albums–morphed into an award-winning, 5-piece indie/pop/electronica band.
On The Hermit’s recently finished third long-player, Turn Up (The Stereo), Thomson reunited with singer Allison Shevernoha and co-wrote eight of the new album’s ten tracks with her. In a departure from his electronic roots, Thomson says he sought to capture the energy of the band’s live performances where many of the new songs had their beginnings, and several of the tracks were recorded “live off the floor.”
GLONO suckered Thomson into answering Ten Questions and found out that a love of garlic and touring do not mix.
Hailing from Winnipeg, Brandy Zdan and Dave Quanbury met in 2002 at the Trout Forest Music Festival in Ontario. As a duo, Twilight Hotel has been compared to such memorable folk teams as Ian and Sylvia and Johnny and June, and they radiate that certain elusive chemistry that can only come from two people in love singing together. Couples that make music together rarely find harmony in their relationships (just ask Fleetwood Mac); Zdan and Quanbury are hoping to buck the trend. Their new album, Highway Prayer, will be released on January 29 to follow their critically acclaimed 2006 release Bethune.
We caught up with them for a run-through of our wildly popular Ten Questions series.
Leigh Marble’s sophomore album Red Tornado opens with an ode to the dirtiest band in the world. Musically and lyrically, Marble pay hommage to the Rolling Stones with a sleazy slide guitar, Hammond organ, and a sly namecheck with “I don’t see no shots of Charlie Watts.” But don’t think for a moment that Marble is a cut-rate Mick Jagger reinventing Exile on Mainstreet on digital gear and ephedrine. No, Marble does for 70s rock what Beck did for anti-folk in the early 90s. There are strange juxtapositions that walk a fine line between the warbly vocalization and stumbling rhythm of Bright Eyes and the hazy lyricism and story telling of Josh Ritter. The fact that I can’t easily pin this kid to the alt.country world who worships at the alter of Gram Parsons and embarrasses itself with self-conscious faux alcoholism is a very good sign.
On “Salt In the Wound,” a song Marble describes as “a memoriam to a number of slow-suicide cases I’ve known in Portland. Frustrated artists that forget their beauty and drink themselves to death”, Marble pulls no emotional punches in his pursuit to speak his mind and let his voice be heard. See what I’m saying?
We suckered Marble into answering our dopey questions and found that he ain’t cut out for farming so took up the lazy life with a guitar and a strong cup of coffee.
Recently cited by the New York Times as one of the few suburban bands leading the race to achieve rock greatness outside of Manhattan, The Milwaukees are a band from New Jersey that proudly believes in rock and roll’s redemptive spirit. The band’s latest release, American Anthems, Vol. 1, the first on their new City Desk Records imprint, was touted by All Music Guide as “a rock masterpiece for a new generation.”
GLONO caught up with guitarist Jeff Nordstedt and found a long lost passion for the Oak Ridge Boys in our Questions We Ask Everyone.
What happened to the Digital Undergrounds, the Biz Markies and the De La Souls? With all this serious rap, who fills in the gap for the people who just want to get their dance on? The answer, according to their PR folks, is the dauntless duo of deejay Yea Big and emcee Kid Static.
South Side Chicagoan Kid Static started off at the age of 12 making frenetic & glitchy chiptunes. Years later, he gained local recognition as the front man for the defunct instrumental hip-hop group, The Cankles, whose much lauded Goddamn!! dropped in 2005 along with Static’s privately issued solo debut Have You Seen This Man?
Yea Big (Stefen Robinson) was reared on Ravi Shankar, bluegrass & Motown. He released his first full length CD, The Wind That Blows The Robot’s Arms, on Chicago’s Jib Door label in 2006.
Portland, Oregon singer-songwriter Chris Robley digs that experimental folk sound and the darker elements of pop. Interestingly, Robley and GLONO’s own Quasar Wut-Wut would make a hell of a double bill. Perhaps they’re long lost soul brothers?