from the tour split 7” “THE END / FROZEN WARNINGS” on JellyFant Records
Ryley Walker - Hide In the Roses (Live at Hopscotch 2014)
I wrote a little bit about guitarist Steve Palmer’s excellent new Unblinking Sun over on Aquarium Drunkard today — go check it out, I think you’ll dig it. I mention that the album is not really the Fahey-esque kind of thing you think it’s going to be at the beginning. But Palmer is definitely a Fahey devotee, as evidenced by this powerful, plugged-in cover of Fahey’s “Dance of the Inhabitants,” recorded in St. Paul earlier this month. Totally great. Seems like the Twin Cities have a hot American Primitive scene going on these days — it’s like Seattle in the early 90s up there, dudes! Except with fingerpicking. [photo via www.reviler.org]
This is an hour-long special that we did on the music of little-known San Antonio-based poet & songwriter Russell Hoke from July 21, 2011, which includes a brief interview with the artist himself. We still think his music is deserving of far more attention and stand by what we wrote for Foxy Digitalis around the time of this show: “In the age of social networking and digital distribution, where music fans are inundated with an endless barrage of preview tracks, video clips, and promotional blurbs, the story of little known Texas-based songwriter, Russell Hoke, reads almost like something swiped from the pages of The Acid Archives than from someone who has released four albums in 2011 alone. The truth is that Hoke had recorded a bunch of songs in the Eighties and Nineties, but has only, in the past few years, begun to actively release this material in limited, hand-assembled editions on his private press imprint, Unheard-Of. It’s not nearly as insular as pre-“Real Wild”-era Corwood Industries, but tracking down these records can take a little work. Without any real distribution or promotion behind this string of albums, Hoke recently stated that his primary motivation in pressing these up was to simply preserve his songs. These details aren’t necessarily all that remarkable, if not for the fact that the music heard on these albums is. His work ranks right up there with a slew of left-of-center folk songsters such as Michael Hurley, Holy Modal Rounders, Lee Hazlewood, Syd Barrett, and Daniel Johnston.” Links: http://ift.tt/11kb7c3 http://ift.tt/1wBbTLj
Oquoa - S/T
We have followed Max Holmquist’s career with some admiration, first as South of Lincoln and then Great American Desert (which we wrote about here). Holmquist is now in a band called Oquoa and they have made their album available for free. Their sound is somewhere between Water Liars and Hip Hatchet, a restrained folky rock which has darkness and grief lurking just beneath the surface. Check out ‘Cigarettes’ below.
You can download the album for free here.
A Singer of Songs - From Hello to Goodbye
Barcelona-based folkster A Singer of Songs is back with From Hello to Goodbye, another album chock full of lovely lo-fi tunes recorded in his home studio. Some tracks are delicate (‘Sand in my Shoes’), some are a little more rambunctious (such as opener ‘Another Way of Saying Hello’), and all seem to have the curious sensation of being between times, as small moments of the past are opening up in the present. Maybe it’s the use of violins, trumpets and pianos or the slightly European street music vibe on tracks like ‘I’ll Follow You’. Maybe it’s just the cartographic artwork.
Steve Palmer - Unblinking Sun
Steve Palmer is a ”Fahey nut and guitar obsessive” who has taken lessons from American Primitivism legend Peter Lang. It is perhaps unsurprising then that Palmer makes guitar driven instrumental music that combines the finger-picking of traditional US folk with more modern sounds of drone and krautrock. The result is a collection of long, complex acoustic songs peppered with ambient and psychedelic flourishes that lend a whole jazzy improvisation feel to things.
Unblinking Sun is being released by Dying for Bad Music.
Ezkiel - A New Mask
Ezkiel is Louis Monroe from New Orleans. A New Mask is his debut release and presents four dark and cinematic folk songs which explore the themes of change and rebirth. The EP was developed almost by accident, as part of a music production class that Monroe was taking at university. Monroe himself was required to production on a singer-songwriter record, but the recording artist pulled out last minute. This forced Monroe himself to record something and A New Mask was the end result. The tracks were recorded at home and have that intimate bedroom pop vibe which I really like. Grab it now via the Ezkiel Bandcamp page.
Charlie Rayne - Wider Waters
Last but not least is Wider Waters, a brilliant album by Beirut-based Charlie Rayne. Rayne makes glorious Dylan-style folk songs which twist and turn with a remarkable lyrical flow. The focus is very much on Rayne’s passionate deliver and the stories held within, the bare bones guitars providing the perfect counterbalance. If Sweden were to stake a claim on Bob Dylan reincarnate with Kristian Mattson, then I think we have to say that Beirut now have themselves a real rival. Get it via Bandcamp.
Some new music to check out and some more love for Steve Palmer’s Unblinking Sun.
utism is a poorly-understood neurological disorder that can impair an individual’s ability to engage in various social interactions. But little 5-year-old Iris Grace in the UK is an excellent example of the unexpected gifts that autism can also grant – her exceptional focus and attention to detail have helped her create incredibly beautiful paintings that many of her fans (and buyers) have likened to Monet’s works.
Little Iris is slowly learning to speak, whereas most children have already begun to speak at least a few words by age 2. Along with speech therapy, her parents gradually introduced her to painting, which is when they discovered her amazing talent.
“We have been encouraging Iris to paint to help with speech therapy, joint attention and turn taking,” her mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson, explains on her website. “Then we realised that she is actually really talented and has an incredible concentration span of around 2 hours each time she paints. Her autism has created a style of painting which I have never seen in a child of her age, she has an understanding of colours and how they interact with each other.”
no metronome, own homemade lo-fi rec.