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Posts Tagged ‘alt. country’

The Handsome Family – Scattered
(self-released 2010)

[tags: southern gothic, alt country, 2010]

I just found out that one of CFM’s favorite bands ever, The Handsome Family – the best southern gothic and alt country band there ever was and will be – is about to release a new collection of songs in the vein of the former Smothered And Covered collection. If those are not the greates news you can get to make your day sweet, I don’t know what else could be. I for myself just pre-ordered the thing and I highly advise you to do the same thing asap. Here’s the link: click it!

At last the official quote from the website:

We have a new CD Release!
“Scattered: A Further Collection of Lost Demos, Orphaned Songs and Odd Covers”.
In the spirit of “Smothered and Covered” we’re releasing another cd full of bits and bobs. We should have copies to sell by June 10 and will have some on our upcoming tour dates. For the first year it will only be available on our website and at our shows. You can pre-order a copy here ( http://www.handsomefamily.com/Nmerch.html#anchor864587 ) and we’ll send one out to you when we get our first shipment pressed or you can buy one from us at a live show.

Here’s what’s on the cd….

“The Lost Soul ” originally recorded for Bloodshot Records’ 2005 compilation, For a Decade of Sin.
When it Rains,” was supposed to be on Twilight but somehow fell by the wayside.
“Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” by Dylan, recorded for Uncut’s, Highway 61 Revisited Revisited.
“Snowball” originally released on Bloodshot’’s 2002 children’’s record, The Bottle Let Me Down.
“Ain’t No Grave” written by Brother Claude Ely.
“Little Buddy, one of our earliest attempts at songwriting (1993).
“Eleanor Rigby bluegrass version with the Rivet Gang.
“A Plague of Humans,” written for David Coulter’s “Plague Songs ” that took place at the Barbican in 2007.
“Famous Blue Raincoat” Leonard Cohen’s classic.
Drinking Beer on the Roof, an alternate to the “Red Leaf Forest. We realized later we liked these lyrics better.
“Telephones and Telescopes” originally released as a 7”” single by Speed Kills in 1992.
“The Lost Highway” most-famously recorded by Hank Williams. Our version’s from 2002.
“Honcho” is an instrumental recorded by Brett on 4-track in 1991.
“The Blizzard” by Harlan Howard, most-famously recorded by Jim Reeves.
What does the Deep Sea Say?” A traditional we first heard sung by The Blue Sky Boys.
“Tranquilized” is Brett’’s sad song about life post mental hospital. 1996.
June Bugs” (alternate take) this version has a certain magic we lost in the final mix released on Honey Moon.
One Way Up” (4-track demo) is an early (1990) 4-track version of a song later released on Odessa .

We have a new CD Release!
“Scattered: A Further Collection of Lost Demos, Orphaned Songs and Odd Covers”.
In the spirit of “Smothered and Covered” we’re releasing another cd full of bits and bobs. We should have copies to sell by June 10 and will have some on our upcoming tour dates. For the first year it will only be available on our website and at our shows. You can pre-order a copy here ( http://www.handsomefamily.com/Nmerch.html#anchor864587 ) and we’ll send one out to you when we get our first shipment pressed or you can buy one from us at a live show.
Here’s what’s on the cd….

“The Lost Soul ” originally recorded for Bloodshot Records’ 2005 compilation, For a Decade of Sin.
When it Rains,” was supposed to be on Twilight but somehow fell by the wayside.
“Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” by Dylan, recorded for Uncut’s, Highway 61 Revisited Revisited.
“Snowball” originally released on Bloodshot’’s 2002 children’’s record, The Bottle Let Me Down.
“Ain’t No Grave” written by Brother Claude Ely.
“Little Buddy, one of our earliest attempts at songwriting (1993).
“Eleanor Rigby bluegrass version with the Rivet Gang.
“A Plague of Humans,” written for David Coulter’s “Plague Songs ” that took place at the Barbican in 2007.
“Famous Blue Raincoat” Leonard Cohen’s classic.
Drinking Beer on the Roof, an alternate to the “Red Leaf Forest. We realized later we liked these lyrics better.
“Telephones and Telescopes” originally released as a 7”” single by Speed Kills in 1992.
“The Lost Highway” most-famously recorded by Hank Williams. Our version’s from 2002.
“Honcho” is an instrumental recorded by Brett on 4-track in 1991.
“The Blizzard” by Harlan Howard, most-famously recorded by Jim Reeves.
What does the Deep Sea Say?” A traditional we first heard sung by The Blue Sky Boys.
“Tranquilized” is Brett’’s sad song about life post mental hospital. 1996.
June Bugs” (alternate take) this version has a certain magic we lost in the final mix released on Honey Moon.
One Way Up” (4-track demo) is an early (1990) 4-track version of a song later released on Odessa .

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Uncles – Replacing Words With Other Words
self-released 2010 (Download the album for FREE!)

[tags: folk, alt country, singer-songwriter, 2010, FREE]

Listen while reading:

Sleep Alone (from Replacing Words With Other Words) download song! or download album!!

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Just wanted to let you know that the new Uncles album (I mentioned it here and here) is finally out and totally amazing. But that’s not too surprising because all the tracks that were available in the forefield were just great. But the best thing about the release: you can download the entire thing for free! So, don’t wait and click the following links to get the album via Divshare or just use the official download from the band page. What are you waiting for?

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Andrew Vladeck – The Wheel
End Up Records 2009

[tags: alt country, country, folk, singer-songwriter, 2009]

Listen while reading:

The Magnet (from The Wheel)

Hold Me Back (from The Wheel)

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We take a little genre jump, but keep up the good quality of yesterday’s music by Lindsay Clark. And so Brooklyn/New York based folk/alt country singer-songwriter Andrew Vladeck’s newest release is what I want to serve you for your musical pleasure (released back in 2009, but only now distributed in Europe). The Wheel is the name of the record and it’s mostly a combination of alt country with little rock influences and singer-songwriter folk. The most characteristic feature seems to be Andrew’s voice, with lots of country feeling – sometimes it pushes you forward (mostly in the harder tracks: Hold Me Back or The Songs You Inspire or the title track) sometimes it sounds really exhausted, harassed (Waiting For The Coffee To Kick In) and sometimes it’s relaxed and confident (Avenue U). And as many facets as Andrew’s voice is able to sing, so is his overall album. The title track, for example, is a banjo and electric guitar driven tune with some hammond organ (or synthesizer) atmospheres in the back, with clear rock influeneces and vocals which, off the chorus, strongly remind of spoken word techniques. Maybe that’s not what you expect the first time you listen to the album, but the fact that Andrew chose this as the title track shows, that this is the sound he connects with the album and from this point every listener should come, to understand The Wheel the right way.

In comparison to the title track, there are tracks like The Magnet or Chinatown or The 21st Century. Those three tracks should serve as examples to show the many styles you can hear on the album. The Magnet, one of my favorites, is a fascinating folk song with country flair accompanied by acoustic guitar and some atmospheres here and there. It’s a love song with a unique character, not least because of the wonderful vocal melodies and catchy lines. A very nice sing-along that emphasizes the folksy side of The Wheel. But it would be too easy to cut the album in half – say one alt country side and one folk side. Songs like Chinatown are experimental, not really folk, not really alt country, somewhere in between. Chinatown sounds like a combination of an oldtimes music banjo melodie and some apocalyptic slide guitar blips/screams which, in the end, get some flow as the noises and melodies unite. A very interesting song, maybe not your number one earworm and also not the track you will play for your friends introducing them to the album, but as part of the overall experience very important and also important as a brick that builds the bridge to the wonderful acoustic versuion of The 21st Century, the last track of the album. It’s interesting to see how the same tracks once works with electric guitars and synthesizer atmospheres (as the third track) and once without those. In this case the versions are still similar in character, but the acoustic one sounds more folky, a bit darker, wherefore the original version got more of the alt country. That Andrew deceided to put this acoustic version on his album seemed to be a very good decision that improves the record – you never will think of it as such gruesome things like bonus tracks or other album concept destroying things. No, this version really rounds up the record and fits well into the album structure.

I hope those tracks I wrote about and embedded showed some of the variety of The Wheel. If you are interested in buying your copy, use this link for ordering a physical copy or the MP3s (if you order from Germany/Austria/Switzerland you can buy from Cargo Records, from the Benelux try Rendezvous Records). Further details can be found on Andrew Vladeck’s band page as well as on his MySpace. Alt country for the heart.

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Sundries!

Help This Frontier Needs Heroes

[tags: alt country, pledge some money]

Firefly (from This Frontier Needs Heroes)

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Hello there, dear CFM readers, I’m a bit lazy today and won’t do a full review. But this also gives me the opportunity to spread the news about some topics. First of all: I hope you all remember the lovely alt country band This Frontier Needs Heroes (if not, I spoke about them here). Jessica and Brad currently collecting money for their new record and started a Kickstarter project to get the money in. If you like their music or if you want to eat pasta with the band or if you even want them to play a personal concert at your house, you should visit their Kickstarter page and pledge some dollars. I know that the upcoming album will be great, so why not pre-order your signed copy right now and help them finance the project? Seriously, this is also the opportunity to get some rare band stuff!

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Two Bicycles – new video from current EP The End
self-released 2010

[tags: acoustic, folk, 2010, scroll a bit down for video]

Into The Wild (from The End EP) download song!

Open Road (Almost Home) (from An Attempt To Be Alone) download album!!

Knitting Something Nice For You (Aidan Knight cover from These Friends (Single)) download single!

***

In other news: Canadian folk band Two Bicycles has just released a new video for a song from their new EP The End. I was totally taken aback as I watched and heard it. It’s just a wonderful folk song full of heart and the spring really delivers some nice colors to the scene. You really should check it out, if you are into acoustic folk. And don’t forget to visit the band’s bandcamp page to download a single from the new EP, as well as a two track cover single and the 2009 full length album for free (or simply use the links above)! I know you want it – so get it.

And here’s the video:

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Amy Annelle – A School Of Secret Dangers
Hush Records 2001

[tags: acoustic, folk, female vocalist, 2001]

Broke Down (from A School Of Secret Dangers)

Idaho (from A School Of Secret Dangers)

***

Ok, the following one is not really breaking news, in fact I’m going to talk about an album that is 9 years old already. Why would I do so? Simply because the music is great and I found it only yesterday, sifting through my HD. It’s from a songstress I never heard of, US folkster Amy Annelle, but she has released many and one album until now and is also about to release a new one soon (called The Cimarron Banks). So, this could be a way to get to know her. I don’t want to spend too much words on A School Of Sectret Dangers because I said, I won’t do a review today, but I strongly recommend to watch out for her music in the future – that is, if you don’t already know it. I will keep you updated as well. And that’s it for today.

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Leonard Mynx – Le Petit Mort
self-released 2010

[tags: folk, alt country, experimental, FREE, 2010]

Listen while reading:

Sing Radio (from Le Petit Mort)

The Bones (from Le Petit Mort)

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Everything seems to point straight to Portland/Oregon – always. So much musical talent and so much good music comes from there, that I don’t want to believe, that it’s sheer coincidence. But this is no secret and Portland is well known for his flowering music scene. Another artist hailing from Portland you’re may be not aware of, is Leonard Mynx who just self-released his second album Le Petit Mort. This particular album will be given away for free in late spring and it seems that it is the perfect music for a Sunday afternoon. On the one side there is some chilled acoustic folk representing weekend’s spare time, on the other hand Sunday is and always was the cursed Saturday because it leads straight to Monday. And for that, Sunday can be a real pain in the arm. This darker side of Sunday afternoons is really good reflected by the darker side of the record. But I will come to this shortly.

If you listen to Le Petit Mort you mustn’t expect the usual alt country and folk influenced album for it clearly reaches over this description. Tracks like the beautiful album opener Sing Radio seem to tell you otherwise for it is pure alt country, maybe in the vein of the new Joe Pug release Messenger (about which you will read here soon too). The drums suite the guitars very well and Leonard’s voice got some serious life experience in it – and at the least when the harmonica kicks in, you have fallen in love with the track. But as soon as you reach track 4, The Bones, you will see that your early feeling wasn’t right.

Further up I spoke of the darker side of the record and this track is the reason why I did so. Passed is the cozy alt country sound, what follows is avant-garde singer-songwriter stuff with circus influences and filtered vocals. The surprising thing is that you don’t have the feeling that this disturbs the overall experience of the album – that is if you heard the whole thing at least twice. The reason for it isn’t so hard to find: if you try to describe how the album sounds, you can’t say that it is alt country with one experimental exception, because you’ll find this “exception” again in the tracks Maybe and Float. This means, that they are constitutional for the overall character and no exceptions (because 3 of 8 tracks are experimental). And if you have this in mind, you’ll come to the conclusion that those tracks don’t disturb but initially create. Two amendments: as I said that The Bones has circus influences I only meant this track and not Maybe or Float, these two work with other experimental features such as reverb or distortion.
The second amendment is sort of a redundant side note: There was a time I listened to metal (no way! – yet it’s true) and one album really stayed in my mind even though I never had a physical copy of it, sigh: King Diamond’s concept album The Puppetmaster. I don’t know why, but as I listened to The Bones something triggered this memory – and that’s really strange because both artists share like zero characteristics…maybe it’s something to the atmosphere or the mood of the track – who knows.

At the end I’m a bit baffled how I could tag this music – avant-garde alt country, alt country influenced experimental singer-songwriter stuff, experimental folk country…hmm. Mynxed alt country seems to be the best I can think of. Maybe this is also the right term to describe Sunday’s disambiguation between spare time and weekend vanitas: mynxed. To grab Le Petit Mort and to get your personal little trip through the music world of Leonard Mynx (MySpace) you have to wait until late spring when he will release a free digital version as well as a physical CD version with even more tracks on it. Firstly you maybe will be a bit scared, but only a scary ghost train is a good ghost train, isn’t that so?

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Various Artists – The Alternate Root: Free Valentines Day Sampler
free sampler (download) The Alternate Root 2010

[tags: alt country, folk, country pop, compilation, FREE, 2010]

Listen while reading:

Billy Franks – The Sacred Art Of Leaving (from Valentines Day Free Sampler)

Small Ponds – Bleeding Heart (from Valentines Day Free Sampler)

Jeff Maddox – Drunk On Love (from Valentines Day Free Sampler)

High Desert Band – Taters In My Stew (from Valentines Day Free Sampler)

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Don’t beat me for the cover artwort! And don’t click away just because of the huge ammount of pink color. The Alternate Root provides a solid Valentines Day Sampler (I know, I’m one day late *sigh*) with over 100 minutes of alt country, country pop, roots and (indie) folk music. To be honest, not all tracks are my taste, but I think this is normal featuring 25 of them. So, if you’re looking for some free music (and I know that we all do), don’t wait and grab your free sampler by clicking here. If you’re not sure, just listen to the four tracks I embedded into the post – they are my personal favorites. Enough said, you know about the sampler and I know that I’ve done my part supporting it. download it!

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The Warped 45s

[tags: americana, roots rock, alt country, video]

Today I found a nice little video for a great song in my inbox and I want to share it with all of you enjoying some good americana, alt country or roots rock. The band is called The Warped 45s and their current album (from which the song was taken) is 10 Day Poem For Saskatchewan. They hail from Canada and remind me a bit of Ox. I hope you like it.

Are you interested in the Making of the video? Try part 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the diary.

To stream the entire album click here and buy their music at Maple Music. Also visit them on MySpace and their personal homepage.

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