Fri, 1 Feb 2008
Featured Artist 2/2008
For this month, we're taking it down a notch and enjoying some sweet, smooth sounds courtesy of ANTIQCOOL. Kiddies, I can pretty much guarantee your parents will not only like you listening to this music, but they will try to swipe your albums. It's something to bond over, and no one will scream at you to turn it down; in fact, listening to them on my computer generally gets me requests to turn it up! This group hails from the United Kingdom, and whoever it was that told them to write about what they know did a great thing. All of their songs are meaningful and intelligent, and they all come straight from the heart.
Also a credit to the group is the fact that they have released two albums in two years: the first being Digging for Gold; the second being their brand-spanking-new, just-released Songs of Hope and Despair. It is a credit to both their aesthetic and their work ethic that they have done this with absolutely no sacrifice to quality and meaning in their music. If I was a mother to any single one of them, I would be exceptionally proud. The music realm is a very cutthroat business, and you have to admire those in it who not only make it, but make it on merit and hard work like ANTIQCOOL has!
As for their sound, it is very reminiscent of the Beatles and Beach Boys, with a slight jazz and reggae along with the classic rock. This group is an aural holiday to the realm of vintage. Just like their name, they are the best of the antique and modern, beautifully blended with a twist and cool! Retro is in, and this group is definitely partaking in full-on musical retro-joy with charmingly (and deceptively) simple melodies that sooth the savage beast and calm the soul. If you're having a lousy day, if you feel a little blue, if you're running ragged... take a minute and listen to ANTIQCOOL! Your nerves will soothe, your heart will stop racing, and pretty soon you'll find a smile on your face and peace in your mind. This is a great band to listen to to prevent road rage, and a wonderful group to meditate to.
Your humble web-mistress' faves? "The Storm" with it's deep baseline, rock-n-roll top riffs, and Fleetwood Mac sound is at the top of my list! Following close behind that are "Brothers Are Made This Way", "Beautiful Mind", and "Oh Mary" from Digging for Gold, and "My Avatar" and "Englishman Out in the Midday Sun" from their new release Songs of Hope and Despair. While we've yet to see if ANTIQCOOL will be the next British Invasion, they are well on their way to a shining star of a career!
Links for ANTIQCOOL: Digging For Gold on CDBaby.com
Songs of Hope and Despair on CDBaby.com
ANTIQCOOL on GarageBand.com
ANTIQCOOL on Podshow.com
ANTIQCOOL's MySpace Blog
ANTIQCOOL on MySpace
Don't forget to look for their CD Digging for Gold on iTunes!
Thu, 29 Nov 2007
Erase Negate Delete
Featured Artist 12/2007
ERASE NEGATE DELETE
I am lucky enough to attend the same college as Ralphie Repulsive, the man who does some of the vocals for this group. At first glance, you see him and think "Oh my god, a smiling punker! What on earth does a supposedly angry punker have to smile about?" The answer is that this guy has two awesome bands he's in, a great talent for art, and the END CD Just Like This.
END's new release is a wonder of electronics and a talent showcase- every member in this three-man gig is amazingly gifted and deserves every bit of success they get. This CD is a dazzling experience and proof that Nihilism, industrial sound, and electronic media is alive and thriving (no matter how much some bands are tempted to abuse it). Ralphie's and J'Syn Thetic's vocals are breathtakingly raw, and yet retain a musicality that other "screaming" band singers just don't have. Danny Disaster on drums gives a steady backbeat that helps stabilize the industrial sound and grounds the group in reality. They all sync up perfectly to create a music experience so rich it's completely possible to lose yourself in it and listen to the CD for several hours without even realizing it. I know this for a fact- I've been late for class because of it! (Ralphie, you gave me this CD: I BLAME YOU.)
I would be hard pressed to pick just one favorite off of this CD; I like all of the songs! Of course, I have my preferences ("In Control", "The Void", "Only a Machine", "Forest of Suicides", "Disintegrate"), but the fact remains that this entire album can erase, negate, and delete preconceived ideas of electronic/industrial music as all depression and no creativity. These guys have been compared to Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy... I'm sure it's because the styles of music are similar and these two bands are group-admitted influences. However, END's lyrics tend more to the intellectual than Skinny Puppy's and the music has an etheric/otherworldly quality that I rarely hear in Nine Inch Nails (mind you, this is my personal opinion). For all around sound, range of mood, and style... well, I'd pick END every single time. END of story.
Links for Erase Negate Delete:
END on MySpace
END on PayPlay
END on CDBaby
END on TradeBit
END on MusicIsHere
END on DigStation
END on iSound
Don't forget to look for them on iTunes!
Wed, 1 Aug 2007
Featured Artist 8/2007
I have been in adoration of this charming siren's voice ever since I first heard her in the group Mediaeval Baebes! This woman has helped shape my ideas of what is "good" music... something well put-together, meaningful, fun to listen to, and no matter what genre it has to have beauty in it's own right. In her debut solo album, Midnight Flower, Ms. Blake has certainly lived up to those standards she herself helped instill in me.
The CD is gorgeous, haunting, and melodic. It evokes images of a dark night in a cottage, far away from the world and its troubles. It pulls the idea of mothers singing to their children before bed. It conjures polite medieval dancers in sets, moving in a dreamlike haze of opium and wine and cloaked in opulance. For me, this is not just an ordinary CD, but a work of art! Ms. Blake will have a difficult time topping her debut album, certainly... however, if her past work with Mediaeval Baebes and Miranda Sex Garden is any indication, she will rise to the challenge.
Katharine Blake is an artist that anyone should have in their collection. Seductive, sultry, evocative- this is music that caresses your soul, knocks you on your ass, and leaves you begging for more. Go on, buy the album- get a little culture going for yourself other than the bacteria in your intestinal tract!
Links for Katherine Blake:
Midnight Flower on CDBaby.com
(recommended for U.S. buyers!)
Midnight Flower on CCNow.com
(recommended for International buyers!)
Katherine Blake on MySpace.com
Sun, 1 Jul 2007
Leah Marie Jorgensen (Featured Artist 07/2007)
Featured Group 07/2007
LEAH MARIE JORGENSEN
Ordinarily, I find the artist of the month for this page; this month, the artist found me! The piece I did on the Brobdingnagian Bards attracted the attention of a young harpist named Leah Jorgensen, who simply wanted my opinion on her home recordings. They were stunning, with the only problem being that a couple of them needed to be mixed to bring out her beautiful soprano voice a little more... and technically, that isn't a major issue when music is as lovely as this!
This talented harpist has the potential to become the next Carol Tatum (of Angels of Venice). Based out of Houston, Texas, U.S.A., she's still in music school- but she's certainly a rising star to watch for. Her vast repertoire includes classical music, celtic tunes, even pop and country songs! Once she gets going, I'm sure she'll take the music world by storm.
Oh yeah, Houstonites, here's a piece of good advice.... HIRE LEAH FOR YOUR SPECIAL EVENTS! You'll find her appropriate for just about everything with her magical harpist abilities and charming soprano vocals. After all, if she's good enough to perform before Margaret Thatcher and at the St. Regis hotel (poshness galore!), then she's DEFINITELY the best for your daughter's wedding or your high-class cocktail party! She doesn't have anything for sale yet, but you can listen to wonderful samples on her website and her MySpace... and who knows? With enough of us asking for it, she might eventually grace our music collections with a CD!
Links for Leah Marie Jorgensen:
Leah Jorgensen Official Website
Leah Jorgensen on MySpace
Fri, 1 Jun 2007
The Bastard Fairies (Featured Group 06/2007)
Featured Group 06/2007
THE BASTARD FAIRIES
PARENTAL WARNING! Unless you want your children asking
you embarrassing questions in public,
it would be wise to keep this music out of
hearing range for little ears!
Actually... Stiff, upright, moral people shouldn't
listen to this either... YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
I found these guys entirely by accident (oh, happy day!)... and with my sick, perverse preference for black humor and political/social commentary presented by smart-asses, I fell in love with them then and there. My absolute favorite song of theirs is "We're All Going to Hell". As irreverent and snotty as it is, it makes a very valid point- if each person's religion is the only right one, then everyone else but you on the planet is gonna burn in hell. But even you are not worshipping the right way and will burn in hell according to some other person... I.E., we're all screwed, suck it up and deal!
Enough with the philosophical religious commentary... This group is funny, exuberant, and full-out in their opinions. They are not for the idealogically squeamish, or for those who take absolutely *everything* seriously. This isn't your usual mainstream fare, I guarantee you! Their music has come out of the realization that there isn't anything out there that these talented artists (Robin Davey, guitarist, and Yellow Thunder Woman, lead vocals) enjoyed listening to... So, like true visionaries, they made their own! And the best part, they made it free for the rest of us!
While there is a more complete album copy of their debut Memento Mori available (link below), these wonderful people are dedicated to spreading the joy of their original twelve songs by continuing to offer them F-R-E-E on their website! All the links are below, and I hope you all enjoy the sacred irreverence of their songs as much as I have.
Links to The Bastard Fairies:
The Bastard Fairies Official Website
Memento Mori at Adrenaline Music Group
The Bastard Fairies on MySpace
The Bastard Fairies on YouTube
Memento Mori Free Download
Don't worry- it really is virus free, I wouldn't put it up if I didn't test it MYSELF! I had NO PROBLEMS! :D
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