SnC 170 – Wed 03 June 2009


We had summer in the UK over the past week. Perfect for a visit to the circus. Well, not just the circus but the Insect Circus, hugely entertaining if a little frightening for some of the children in the audience.  It’s OK you’re grown up so I’m sure you will enjoy it. Take a look at the site – the movies are great. this week from Missouri, New York, Old Yorkshire (UK), Sardinia, Cambridge and California. Oxygen – Living Things (St Louie the heart of America, Missouri, USA) Habeas Corpus was released earlier this year and has garnered substantial critical acclaim in the media. Alternative Press exclaimed "…the danceable beats and grungy atmosphere make Corpus the ideal soundtrack for debauchery in the face of economic depression," while Rolling Stone calls lead singer Lillian Berlin "one of hard rock’s more compelling politicos," and USA Today gave the album 3 out of 4 stars.Produced by Michael Ilbert and Living Things, Habeas Corpus was recorded in Berlin, Germany at Hansa Studios where the band was in residence for nine months, overlooking the remnants of the Berlin Wall.Living Things will continue touring throughout 2009 and will play a high-profile slot at Lollapalooza 2009 in Chicago’s Grant Park on August 8th.Living Things are Lillian and his brothers Eve and Bosh Berlin on bass and drums respectively, plus guitarist Cory Becker, a longtime friend from their hometown, St. Louis, MO.  Continuing to support their latest album Habeas Corpus, Living Things will hit the road for the Nylon Summer Music Tour 2009. The 18-city trek kicks off June 5th in Seattle at El Corozon. Co-headlining the tour will be Patrick Wolf, Plasticines and Jaguar Love.JUNE 5 – El Corazon, Seattle, WAJUNE 6 – Richards on Richards, Vancouver, BCJUNE 8 – Slims, San Francisco, CAJUNE 9 – The Roxy, Los Angeles, CAJUNE 12 – The Oriental Theater, Denver, COJUNE 14 – Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis, MNJUNE 15 – The Bottom Lounge, Chicago, ILJUNE 17 – Mod Club, Toronto, ONJUNE 19 – Traif Music Hall, Buffalo, NYJUNE 20 – North Star, Philadelphia, PAJUNE 21 – The Middle East, Cambridge, MAJUNE 23 – Highline Ballroom, New York, NYJUNE 24 – Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington, DCJUNE 26 – Cats Cradle, Chapel Hill, NCJUNE 27 – The Loft, Atlanta, GAJUNE 30 – Granada Theater, Dallas, TXJULY 1 – Antone’s, Austin, Coat Me – Lucy Bonilla (Bellerose Manor, New York, USA)Lucy sent me this track during the week. (see also SnC 163).She recently completed her third release at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY, under the expert guidance of producer Jim Weider (The Band, Bob Dylan, Mavis Staples, Los Lobos). She also welcomed the creative writing talents of Dean Batstone, Jerry Lynn Williams (Eric Clapton) and Jim Weider ( to pen various tracks. The title track, Rolling Higher, combines Lucy’s feisty vocals with slick guitar licks that hearken to blues greats of yesteryear. The album also includes a re-recording of the first and only song Lucy ever wrote on piano, "Lonely Goes" on Running Damian Lewis-narrated documentary telling the colourful story of Island Records, the Jamaican-founded record label built by maverick boss Chris Blackwell which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2009.The film features a rare, in-depth interview with Blackwell alongside contributions from former Island artists Grace Jones, Toots Hibbert, Amy Winehouse, Sly and Robbie, PJ Harvey, U2, Brian Eno, Spencer Davis, Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens, the B52s, Kid Creole, Greg Lake, Ian Anderson, Trevor Horn, Paul Weller, Richard Thompson and Keane.News archive and rare performance footage are used to tell the story of the label – its part in bringing reggae music into the world; its expansion into progressive rock in the late 1960s; the rise of Bob Marley into a global star; and the label’s reputation for consistently signing, producing and championing innovative acts from the UK and all over the world.Broadcasts:Fri 5 Jun 2009 at 21:00 on BBC FourSat 6 Jun 2009 at 00:30 on BBC FourSat 6 Jun 2009 at 22:35 on BBC and out – Hollands (NYC, NY,USA)Hollands is multi-instrumentalist John-Paul Norpoth and violinist Jannina Barefield. Together, they formed in February 2008 in Washington Heights, New York. Norpoth, formerly the co-lead of NYC-based Butane Variations, is the son of a classical flautist while Barefield is the daughter of Detroit based avant-garde jazz guitarist Spencer Barefield. Together, they combine fuzzy Flaming Lips guitars with Martin-esque orchestral arrangements and traditional folk nods to the Paul Simon’s and the Grateful Dead’s of years past.06/21 – Brooklyn, NY @ Cameo Art Gallery w/ In Cadeo at 8pm07/09 – New York, NY @ Fontana’s w/ In Cadeo at 12am07/11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Lovin" Cup at 10pm07/25 – Rochester, NY @ Boulder Festival 2009 at 8pm08/01 – Brooklyn, NY @ Public Assembly at Wynes re: Amazing Radio playing music only from unsigned bands. Interesting development but on DAB digital radio. It would be interesting to know how the business model might work.Montezuma – Bert Jerred (Oswego, USA) Based in New York State way up on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. This is real is taken from his newest album Ransom. A quite remarkable album which reminds me a little of Dudley Saunders’ vocal tone and of some of Springsteen’s more authentic moments except that here we have 16 tracks of gut-wrenching reality.The album and a load more is available through in response to articles in ( ) lots of discussion (specifically at Creative Deconstruction) and buzz on Twitter about the demise of CDs and the resurgence of vinyl. I don’t really get it. What do you feel? Why is either better than downloads? If you are downloading and buying physical copies, what sorts of features make you consider buying the record or CD?Drop me a line at and let’s air a few views about what’s preferred and why.Sisters at the Wheel – Trolley (Halifax, UK) From the album Very Plath. One of quite a few that you can download direct from the Jemndo site quite legally and free."Sisters At The Wheel (is) an industrial dance affair with a huge heart and sing song chorus.Very Plath as a whole does what Pedigree Joey did in its finer moments and manages to condense them into more manageable 4 minute chunks – without the schizophrenia, but with all the adventure left intact.  It took me a long time to do this one, but I enjoyed every minute."One review on Jamendo describes the album as "Utterly bonkers, yet possibly genius. Quite unlike anything else yr likely to hear anytime soon – Takes in every type of genre and throws them into a big melting pot, a bit of a headfuck, but entertaining as hell." Western – Sardinia Bass Legalize (Sardinia) AQBA second track from the excellent album Visions Of My Land released May 2008 through the A Quiet Bump net label, based in Sardinia. "Sardinia Bass Legalize project started in July 2006 after a period of collaborations between King Kietu and Sensitivedub.Dr Boost from ‘Big Island Family’ was the vocalist of the ‘Tostoine Dub System’ project together with King Kietu, from 1999 to 2005. ‘Sardinia Bass Legalize’ began as an evolution to the ‘Tostoine’ project..This is a second chapter by Sardinia Bass Legalize for the Aqbmp label. Comprising seven visions of the Meditrarranean island of Sardinia, by King Kietu and Sensitive Dub with Dr. Boost vocal featuring on Barricada." If you want to hear more, I played a couple of tracks on SnC 158 in February.www.aquietbump.comThe Clarendon Road – John Meed (Cambridge, UK)CD launch party last Saturday. A very hot, intimate and social affair at CB2 in Cambridge, from which everyone emerged as good friends. A cracking show from singer-songwriter John Meed and his "big band". The CD When the music ends is available from his Get Wanted next Wednesday 10th – The First playing along with The Worldonfire, The Debut and Fighting of you – War Tapes (LA, CA, USA) "We call it heart-quaking doom pop," says Neil Popkin of the sound of War Tapes’ first full length album, for Seattle based indie label Sarathan Records. The Continental Divide CD release party was at the über-hipster Club Moscow in Hollywood a week or so ago.The foursome includes Neil Popkin (singer/rhythm guitarist, from Boston), his sister Becca Popkin (bassist, also from Boston), Matt Bennett (lead guitar, from Hawaii) and William Mohler (drummer, from SoCal).From the very first time Neil, Matt, Becca and William played on stage together in 2006, they have been perfecting the kind of musical explosion you’d expect from a high-end pyrotechnics lab–or Matt’s volcanic island home of Hawaii. Such mountainous fireworks require elemental alchemy, and each member provides distinct color and flash. Bassist Becca is a classically-trained pianist and guitarist (but had never played bass before joining War Tapes).  William is a jazz-educated bassist and guitarist (but had never played drums in a band before). Matt has roots in the fertile soil of shoegaze and punk guitar styles. Neil evolved his voice and aggressive stage style from his post-punk influences. And Becca notes that, though collectively they play one style of music, they all "love so many different genres of music that the combination is what makes our sound so unique.”The band will be touring heavily in coming weeks around the USA and Canada. Check their site for details. You can also download this track from their site.






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