SnC 368 – and a lot of it
A diverse selection of music this week and a lot of it. Tracks from Australia to Iceland and LA to France. There’s also some surprising news on the effect of piracy on legitimate music sales.
Plastic Guns – Emperors (Perth, Western Australia)
Emperors’ debut album Stay Frosty has arrived with a bang. Widespread Australian airplay, US iTunes Single of the Week AND Rock Song Of The Year for Be Ready When I Say Go and tour supporting Everclear have been some of the highlights since Stay Frosty’s April 2012 release.
Stay Frosty is noisy pop at it’s best, played by a band unashamedly stuck in their own bubble of musical influences and unlikely to become the darlings of Pitchfork anytime soon. No song titles are spelled incorrectly or without vowels, and there are no traces of synthesizers or keys. There is no content which should inspire reviewers to use genre names such as “chill wave” and “glitch hop”, nor any music written whilst wearing a v-neck t-shirt.
Emperors first made their mark on the Australian music landscape in 2010 when they were ‘Unearthed’ by national alternative radio station Triple J shortly after forming. This led to a slot at the Big Day Out, a Rolling Stone feature and the release of the EP Sam. Along the way there’s been Australian tours and support slots with Manic Street Preachers, The Big Pink, Silversun Pickups, Ladyhawke and many more.
They’re a hard working band touring this month with Grinspoon and Kingswood:
April 5 @ Prince of Wales, Bunbury (WA) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 6 @ Capitol, Perth (WA) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 11 @ Waves, Wollongong (NSW) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 12 @ Capital, Wagga Wagga (NSW) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 13 @ ANU Bar, Canberra (ACT) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 14 @ New Albury Hotel, Albury (NSW) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 17 @ Entrance Leagues Club, Beateau Bay (NSW) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 18 @ Panthers, Newcastle (NSW) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 19 @ Hoey Moey, Coffs Harbour (NSW) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 21 @ Cooly, Gold Coast (QLD) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 24 @ Bended Elbow, Geelong (VIC) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 25 Pier Live, Frankston (VIC) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 26 @ Inferno, Traralgon (VIC) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
April 27 @ Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully (VIC) w/ Grinspoon & Kingswood
The Backbone – Lay Low (Iceland)
LAY LOW is the alter-ego of Icelandic singer/songwriter Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir.
Born in London to a Sri Lankan father and Icelandic mother, LAY LOW’s musical abilities stretch as far as her geographical heritage. Starting out as a pianist and bass guitar player; she has jammed on keyboards and synthesizers with Benny Crespo’s Gang, found her voice in blues folk and a little honky tonk bop collaborating with producers such as Liam Watson. Although her new material is taking on a new trip hop twist, LAY LOW’s distinct musical journey can still be felt at its roots, producing a honed yet experimental sound that is all her own.
LAY LOW came about in 2006, after Lovísa was contacted by a local label that picked up on a raw demo that she had uploaded onto MySpace. Not one to waste an opportunity, LAY LOW’s debut album ‘Please Don’t Hate Me’ was released that same year. An intoxicating take on classic Americana sounds, the record topped the Icelandic charts and became the bestselling original album in the country, winning no less than 3 Icelandic Music Awards.
Piracy Has Zero Impact on Legit Purchasing, European Study Concludes…
This is one of the biggest debates in music right now, and it goes far beyond morality and artist rights. Because what if pirates are simply buying more stuff?
That’s actually the conclusion of a new study just published by the European Commission’s influential Joint Research Centre, one that involved more than 16,000 participants across five EU countries. And at a top level, the survey, conducted by the Centre’s Institute for Prospective Studies, found very little cannibalization between illegal and legal. “Perhaps surprisingly, our results present no evidence of digital music sales displacement,” the report concludes.
“Our results suggest that internet users do not view illegal downloading as a substitute to legal digital music.”
So, they wouldn’t be buying, anyway? Pretty much. “In other words, music consumers are found to substitute legal music consumption for illegal music consumption, but much of what is consumed illegally would not have been purchased if piracy was not available.”
“This means that although there is trespassing of private property rights (copyrights), there is unlikely to be much harm done on digital music revenues.”
Sky is the Limit – SaReGaMa
SaReGaMa is the pseudonym of Serge, an independent sound artist, muasti-instrumentalist, composer and producer.
Sa, Re, Ga and Ma are the first 4 notes of a seven notes octave in Indian music, equivalent to Do, Re, Mi, Fa in Western music.
“I had a big passion for music but not enough means to afford musical instruments, so I learned how to build them. Most of the instruments I have are homemade. The instruments I play today are : keyboard, guitar, different kinds of ethnic flutes, didgeridoo, percussions, kalimba and jews harp.
His first album was published on Jamendo in 2007 and since then he’s been listed there among the top artists and his albums have hit number one several times. His work is featured in various large scale projects around the world and he’s a member of the excellent Triplexity whose music has been featured on SnC quite a few times.
There’s a very succinct description of the track on Jamendo:
“Trip-Hop styled composition with classic and modern influences. Dirty drums and aggressive synth lines get along the jazzy piano, funky guitar, dreamy vocals and trumpets.”
Take a look a the video below of SaReGaMa playing Kalimba solo for Lotus – and note how many views it has had. Remarkable.
They can’t tell me nothing – Paper Diamond (Boulder, CO, USA)
“They Can’t Tell Me Nothing” is the first single from Boulder based – genre defying Paper Diamond’s forthcoming EP ‘Paragon‘ set to be released April 16th 2013. Paragon will feature a range of production, instrumentation, and collaborators all weaved into Paper Diamond’s signature style.
While “genre-defying” is an overused word, Paper Diamond is one of the few producers who truly pulls it off, seamlessly weaving together genres as diverse as electro, trap, funk, dubstep, house, moombahton and hip-hop, all with a whiff of ganja smoke floating through it.
Paper Diamond continues his nationwide tour with Excision. The remaining tour dates are:
4/04 – Norfolk, VA @ NorVa
4/05 – Richmond, VA @ The National
4/06 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
The Animal – Erica Glyn (NYC, USA)
New York City based artist/producer, Erica Glyn, is an amplifying force in the music industry. From her self-made creations to her songwriting/production work, she’s becoming a well-known entity and making fans across the globe. She produces a unique and intriguing sound, mixing elements of trip-hop, rocktronica and a splash of psychedelic rock with her captivating vocals and commanding lyrics. Erica leans towards the unconventional, experimenting with instrumentation and tonal effects, which garner her comparisons to boundary-pushing powerhouses like Florence Welch and Fiona Apple.
Erica’s vampy, garage-pop lures listeners into “a world of the unusual and strange”, a landscape of pulsating beats, surging synthesizers, elegantly volcanic melodies, and dark, poetic lyrics. Her passion and drive for her own development exploded in her 2012 full-length release, STATIC.
Like all her work, the album was written, recorded and produced solely by Erica, with contributions from a collection of well-respected artists and special mixes by multiple Grammy award-winning master music-maker and friend, Chris Lord-Alge.
The Hammer – We Are The West (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
We Are The West uses sound and space to create an experience that is welcoming and honest. The Los Angeles-based duo has recorded in storm drains, performed on sheep farms, and now hosts a concert series in the underground parking garage of an office building the Saturday night before each full moon. This February they release the second in a four part album of recordings, handcrafted with love and care in a barn in Western New York during the summer months. ‘The Hammer’ is the opening track.
Fill Yourself – Mia Dyson (Melbourne, Australia)
You are Mia Dyson and you’ve worked your ass off the past decade to be heard on the Australian continent. That work has paid off. People know your name. Writers gush about your whisky-tinged voice and liken you to Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan and the Boss. You’ve headlined shows, played the festivals, cut three records and received plenty of radio play. You’ve been nominated four times for an ARIA, winning one. You’ve toured with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and Stevie Nicks.
But there is this dream you’ve had since you were a child listening to your parents’ vinyl collection and reading E Annie Proulx. Get to America. Tour across the States playing music, soak into the American culture and ultimately, make a lasting record.
So you sharpen your teeth and sink into that dream.
Well, Mia Dyson, welcome to America. It’s 2009 and nobody knows your name.
In the next three years you’ll separate from your long-time partner, you’ll go broke, lose your band and your management will try to change your name and sell you out to reality television.
And what is your response to it all?
You make the most gutsy and revealing album of your life. You reclaim the helm of your career, building a community of players and friends, touring the vast cities and big sky country you’ve heard achingly described in your favorite songs, revelling in America the way you dreamed of it.
“The Moment” is the kind of album America meant for Mia Dyson to make all along and Australia has responded with a standing ovation. Released in the fall of 2012 in Australia, “The Moment” has captured the hearts of new fans and connected her more deeply with her existing supporters. Dyson toured the country, playing to capacity crowds and nabbed her fifth ARIA nomination – this time for Best Blues/Roots album.
Now it’s back to America.
With the wind at her back from a trip home, Mia returns to the US this spring to release “The Moment” in the states on April 23, 2013. An album release tour will put her in front of audiences on both coasts, and the work of holding up her artistic mirror to a mythic land of musical opportunity will begin again.
Don’t Let Me Dubbbb – King Dubby (Angers, France)
“Montez les basses !!!!!!
Ici point de fioritures, du dub du dub et encore du dub
dans la plus pure tradition tubby’esque.
Si vous scotchez sur les echos interminables, les réverbes
qui claquent comme des coups de tonnerre et autres phasers
alors ces albums sont faits pour vous.
So there you have it.
More dub with Pete Cogle at The Dub Zone
August – The Hollows (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
The Hollows are a group of multi-instrumentalists; a freewheeling hootenany of a band. A veritable junkyard of mandolins, banjos, guitars, accordions, horns, harmonicas, and various other musical doodads are in constant rotation. With no frontman (or six frontmen), everyone writes and arranges material, creating a diverse and uniquely blended sound. The live show is a high-octane, unpredictable barn-burner. Check out the music video for August off their self-titled EP – it’s playing in the shownotes.
The formation of The Hollows was a very gradual process. Erik Saxvik (Illinois), David Paarlberg (New Jersey), Jeffrey Kurtze (Indiana), and Daniel Kwiatkowski (Michigan) all studied theatre together in college during the mid-2000s. The four friends would spend many a night playing music in living rooms, bonding over their love of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits and all things strange and spooky; but it wasn’t until the foursome relocated to New York City and met Rob Morrison (North Carolina) and Justin Aaronson (the only native New Yorker) that The Hollows sextet was finally complete.
After receiving high praise such as The Deli Magazine’s Artist of The Month, TimeOut NY’s Critic’s Pick, and rave reviews from The Huffington Post, CBS Radio, My Old Kentucky Blog, Relix, The Wild Honey Pie and more, The Hollows show no sign of slowing down in 2013 with the release of the album Neverending Show on April 23.
04/4 – New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2)
4/23 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl – Album Release Show
5/17- Brooklyn, NY @ Littlefield w/ The Future Laureates, The Third Wheel Band, The Woes