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SnC 184 – Wed 09 September 2009

Some cracking tunes again – a selection of extremes of acoustic and very electric from the likes of New York, British Columbia, Edmonton, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Budapest, Nashville and Brooklyn. Sorry. No picture; I’ve been confined to studio and office all week. Heavy deadline met this morning – whoo hoo! Plan to take it easy until next year now (yeah right!)Radio Days – The Octagon (New York) In case you’re new to The Octagon, the band’s been around since ’04. Front-man Zachary Mexico is a best selling author, drummer Will Glass is a former member of the Dirty Projectors and the bass guy is a shadowy Dead-loving loner known only as Bunny. The band has performed with Idlewild, Jay Reatard, the Homosexuals, Tokyo Police Club, Sam Champion, the Spinto Band, Ra Ra Riot, Dragons of Zynth and many more. Radio Days is from their Arm, Brain, Heart and Liver album.www.theoctagonrock.comwww.myspace.com/theoctagonMidnight – Allison Crowe (Nanaimo, BC, Canada)"I love singing for people," says Allison Crowe. "It’s a way to connect and share with others. Communication is crucial. Just being able to do what I do, to write and sing and perform, makes me feel not only alive, but incredibly lucky. Knowing at any moment everything could change, I don’t take one second for granted."

Born 26 years ago, on an island, in the harbour city of Nanaimo, B.C., today Crowe’s reach is global. The audience for her music videos and song downloads numbers in the millions and she has had the sense to plough her own furrow.www.allisoncrowe.comHenry Porter in The Observerhttp://tinyurl.com/lhngepWhen a Newfoundland-based singer Allison Crowe and two of her band members, Billie Woods and Laurent Boucher, arrived at Gatwick to tour Britain they were arrested, held in cells, photographed and fingerprinted and had their passports stamped "Barred from Entry" before being returned to Canada. … new laws that mean that artists have to submit to a set of expensive and time-consuming procedures to get their visa and further restrictions on their movements while they are here.This shocking and disgraceful treatment – designed to exclude illegal immigrants and terrorists – seems fundamentally unBritish. So let’s just agree that new rules barring artists from visiting this country and so enriching our culture are some of the most contemptible ever devised, even by this narrow-minded apology for a government.The English National Opera and [the London] Southbank have both had problems bringing in foreign performers because of the stringent requirement for non-EU citizens to provide biometrics and photographs and submit to controls over their day-to-day activity while here.Is this Britain? If so, the rational half of our brain has been overwhelmed by "suspicion and parochialism", in the words of the staunchly sensible Manifesto Club, which has started a petition against the laws .The Manifesto Club needs your support and, if you’re in the UK, your signature on a petition: www.manifestoclub.com/visitingartists Shrug it off – F&M (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)A very new discovery for me which I would guess some of you may have already checked out after my Twitter post this afternoon about F&M. The hit me like a very gentle and sincere steam-train, but hit me they did.F&M is a gently sardonic, dark and hopelessly clever art-folk band that began as a 48 hour experiment in recording during a fireworks festival. Delicate, glacial, heady, F&M approaches folk music with refreshing maturity and restraint. Music that breathes.www.fandmtheband.com/www.myspace.com/fandmthebandYou can keep your finger on the generally unfaltering pulse of @suffolkandcool along with Pete Cogle, Rowley and his beer, Alan at Darkhorse,  Colin Gazeley, Stuart from Insomnia Radio, Graham Holland, Erk in Aus and a few other of the usual suspects. I’ll see if I can get a Twitter list together.Ever Be Here Again – Kelly Joe Phelps (Oregon, USA)In the UK from 18 to 30th Sept then over to Belfast, Dublin and Cork. Dates are on his site at:www.kellyjoephelps.net/tour/index.htm

Kelly Joe Phelps "Ever Be Here Again" (mp3) from "Lead Me On (15 Year Anniversary Edition)" (Burnside Records) Buy at Allegro Music Direct Stream from Rhapsody Buy at iTunes Music Store More On This Album

The End – Peasant (Bucks County, PA)Peasant is Damien DeRose, 23-year-old poet turned artiste, from fabled and beautiful Bucks County, PA.  The sleepy hometown and its surroundings, melded with trials and tribulations, to inspire Peasant’s confessional and straightforward style of music. In and out of the bedroom studio throughout high school, DeRose helped form a small scene in Bucks County by doling out frisky live performances and DIY records. After high school, he traveled solo on several tours of the US and Europe before signing with Paper Garden Records in 2008 and releasing "On The Ground."This track was recorded at the Daytrotter Sessions (http://daytrotter.com/article/1507/peasant.) He has a whole load of dates in Europe over the next few weeks in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium Holland and one date in London.www.myspace.com/peasantwww.papergardenrecords.com/shop/item/47A Piece of All Other Things – Zanza (Budapest, Pest, Hungary)"Zanza is a new Hungarian Rock Band founded by Lehel Kovács. Debut album (Plug In) is coming out in August. Songs mainly influenced by Kravitz, Hendrix, Zep, Robben Ford, Hungarian folk music… singing both in English and in Hungarian. The Plug In album was recorded on the one hand by my previous musicians: Miklós Szalóczy (drums) and Csaba Pázmándi (guitars) and by sterling session musicians like Antal Gábor Szűcs (guitars), Albert Földi (piano) and Zoltán Balogh (bass). ZANZA – "Plug In" album released August 14, 2009. www.zanzaband.hu  (page under construction at time of posting)www.myspace.com/zanzabandSmackin’ Pepper – Johnny Neel and the Criminal Element (Nashville, TN, USA)Although not a household name, Johnny Neel is a Grammy award nominee recognized in the music world for his work with the Allman Brothers, Lonnie Mack and Gov’t Mule, among others. In addition to his soulful vocals, harp, piano and B-3 proficiency, Johnny is an accomplished songwriter whose tunes have been recorded by the likes of the Allman Brothers, Joe Louis Walker, John Mayall, Irma Thomas, Ann Peebles, Marie Osmond, the Oak Ridge Boys and Travis Tritt.Born and Raised in Wilmington, Delaware, Johnny Neel cut his first single at the age of twelve, as Johnny Neel and The Shapes Of Soul. As an adult, the Johnny Neel Band had a strong following up and down the East Coast and released two well-received independent albums. Neel moved to Nashville, the premiere song writing city, in 1984, where he immediately became recognized as an "A" session studio player. Others began to notice Neel’s songwriting talent and decided to take advantage by recording his songs on their albums.www.cdbaby.com/thecriminalelementwww.johnnyneel.comSubway Man – Jesse Alejamndro and the Big Fatt (Brooklyn, NY) Like zombie Batman coming back from the grave to exact revenge on the
joker who stole his woman, this band is intelligent, vicious and
unstoppable. The Big Fatt hold permanent resident statuses in funk,
blues, and classical music, but spend most of their time in Brooklyn.From "Belly Full of Brains" LP – Release Date: 9/9/09 – today!The music of this ensemble mirrors the monster of amalgam that is the Brooklyn music scene, stealing from heros as far flung as Duke Ellington, Tom Waits, Claude Debussy and Stevie Wonder. The group’s morbidly obese base of influences and guillotine sharp execution ensure an entertaining evening for anyone who isn’t a Nazi child molester.Jesse Alejandro- Vocals, GuitarMatthew Ferry- DrumsWestbrook Johnson- TromboneMatt Scott – BassHeather Sommerlad – ViolinPeter Ferrari – SaxophoneMarie Valigorsky – Violawww.thebigfatt.comwww.myspace.com/thebigfatt

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