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SnC253 – Codger’s Cottage

 SnC 253 kicks off the new calendar year with a selection of tunes that you’ll almost certainly not have heard over the holiday period. There’s a couple of tracks that involve the cello this week but in contexts where I’ve certainly not come across it before. 
Congratulations to Pete “Codger” Cogle who was planning to retire PC Podcast and take up residence in this little cottage. Until, that is, he discovered that he’d won the UK section of the European Podcast Awards. The icing on the cake arrived today when we heard that he’s taken the European “Personality” Podcast title. Well done Codge.
Money – Ringside (Burbank, CA, USA)
Ringside’s title track off their upcoming album Lost Days features Ben Harper, who Ringside singer and songwriter Scott Thomas met when Ringside opened for him on a tour of Australia. Thomas played most of the instruments and produced the new album, but Lost Days features appearances from an impressive list of musicians and collaborators:
The title track Lost Days, a somber rocker with a big chorus, and in the accompanying music video featuring Ben Harper. Check it out:

Bricks – The Damned Choir (Chicago, IL, USA)
The Damn Choir’s use of guitar, cello, vocals and drums, along with Gordon Robertson’s introspective lyrics, create songs that range from meandering and melancholic to pulsing and vengeful.
The Damn Choir began in January of 2009 on a freezing and fated night in Chicago.  Gordon Robertson sat slumped at the bar, drowning his post-horrific-break-up dejected self in whiskey and happened to meet cellist Katy Myers.  Although at first Myers rejected Robertson’s musical advances, eventually she gave in and agreed to give him a chance. 
Within weeks the two were musically inseparable and involved in an (arguably unhealthy) co-dependant friendship.  After playing for months under the name, “Gordon and Katy,” the two recorded an album, re-named the band, and recruited Chelsea Heck on vocals and Miguel White on drums.  The four-piece creates a sound that rises and falls in harmony with the spirit of Robertson’s angst-filled lyrics.
“…the patient thrumming of an acoustic guitar, an eloquent co-ed duet that’s just off-rhythm enough to raise an eyebrow, and unexpected piano harmonies. The Damn Choir has this formula down pat, but it doesn’t sound like a formula—it’s more like an approach locals Gordon Robertson and Katy Myers are deeply rooted in.” – Onion A.V. Club Chicago, January 2010
Gordon Robertson – vocals & guitar
Katy Myers – Cello
Ryan Farner – Drums
Sherri Stouffer – piano
Current album: Faithful Fools
Hiro – Tobias Borelius (Malmo, Sweden)
With the help of producer Carl Granberg from Malmö, Lund Tobias Borelius from Emerald Park (Malmö, Sweden) has recorded a solo album with Swedish lyrics. “Du känner mig för väl, farväl” (“You know me too well, goodbye”) is a musical tapas table – small pithy and tasty songs spiced with humour, love, earnest and cynicism.
The musical theme of the record is the old analog synthesizers, the Nordlead and the acoustic guitar. Where Emerald Park sometimes goes against the great and lengthy, Tobias solo songs is short and intimate. The sound is influenced by Swedish artists such as Familjen, Adolphsson & Falk, Kent and Olle Ljungström. But the goal during the recording process has always been to keep that “home-in” feeling that existed in demo recordings.
Released by: Smaragd Records (Smaragd07) Release date: Jan 14, 2011 
Tin Pan Band
Playing in Union Square subway station, 6-9 TONIGHT.  Lindy Bomb it!!!
I narrowly missed catching Tin Pan Band in New York a couple of months ago. I’ll not be making that mistake again! Upcoming dates on their site:
Undiscovered Colours – Flash Bulb Inventor (Russia)
Inventor is a young producer from Russia. The album The First Step of a Devil is his debut official release. The album contains 7 heavy tracks which are filled with devastating bass and punchy snares. You will hear hard tunes and tracks with a bit of dark atmosphere: “Steps of a devil”, “The Flashbulb – Undiscovered Colors (Inventor Remix)” and all others tracks reflect the power and energy. These sounds, charge unexplained positive emotions and detach you the listener from the craziness of our real world.
This music truly gets you moving in the right direction! Inventor intends to set the framework and goes beyond the format and is not afraid to mix Dub step and Tech-noid with such styles as: Neuro-tech, Darkside, Darkstep etc. This gives the unique sound.
Release: Dec 27, 2010 on Foulplay Records
Flash Bulb, Inventor “Undiscovered Colors” (mp3) from “The First Step Of A Devil” (FOULPLAY RECORDS INC) Buy at iTunes Music Store More On This Album
Synchronised Swimmers – Hafdis Huld (Iceland)
Hafdis was born in Reykjavik, Iceland. From the age of 15 onward she toured and recorded with the Icelandic band Gus Gus. Two world tours later, she left the band to collaborate with chill-out electronic outfit F C Kahuna, co-writing and performing on the classic ‘Hayling’ and ‘Machine Say Yes’. She later studied music at the London Centre of Contemporary Music graduating with Distinction in 2006 and now divides her time between the UK and Iceland.
Hafdis released her debut solo album Dirty Paper Cup in October 2006, which included writing collaborations with highly respected co-writers including Jim Abbiss, Boo Hewerdine, Pascal Gabriel and Chris Corner. The album got great reviews from critics including The Guardian, The Fly and The Independent, received national radio play on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2 and 6 Music and won the Icelandic Music Award in 2007 for Best Pop Album.
Synchronised Swimmers, her second solo album, explores bigger sounds and has a live, organic feel. It was released in November 09 on special early license to the Sena label in Iceland, where it debuted at no, 2 in the album charts. The first single ‘Kongulo’ went to no. 1 in the Icelandic charts. ‘Kongulo’ is the Icelandic word for ‘spider’; the song is a percussion-driven upbeat number inspired by ‘human spiderman’ Alain Robert, who climbs skyscrapers using only his bare hands. The second single, the title track of the album, also reached the number 1 spot in Iceland. Another track, ‘Daisy’, is currently being used to advertise Iceland Airways.
Rebel Music – Coastwest Unrest (Las Vegas, NV, USA)
Combining elements of the eclectic country music style of Beck, the folk punk power of the Pogues, and the edgy, emotional storytelling of Tom Waits come this dynamic group via Las Vegas, NV. Coastwest Unrest is the moniker for the collaboration between violin whiz kid Alex Barnes, and brothers Josh and Noah Dickie who formed the band in the spring of 2009. Immediately after forming they poured out an albums worth of material and went into the studio to record their first full-length album, Songs From The Desert that was recorded and engineered by Larry Crane (Elliot Smith, The Decemberists, Jackpot! Studios). The album was released on their own label, Reclaim Records and was received well on college radio setting up a national tour of college festivals and venues around the country. In the wake of the success of “Songs” and inspired by their travels across the country on tour Coastwest went into the studio in the summer of 2010 to record their second full-length album Old Weird America. 
The album is full of material that lives up to its title with songs about redemption, biblical imagery, rebellion, loss, the nightmarish American landscape and the haunting ghosts of Americas past. The album also takes musical cues from many different directions combining americana punk, gospel, traditional folk & country as well as Indie bluegrass and roots. Coastwest plans on touring much of 2011 and has already begun the demo process for their follow up to Old Weird America.
01.09.11 Skylark Cafe Seattle, WA
01.11.11 The Wood Portland, OR
01.12.11 Sam Bond’s Garage Eugene, OR
01.14.11 Bootleg Theatre Los Angeles, CA
Earth’s Paradise – Dave Eggar (NY, NY, USA)
(vocals by Jamaican roots reggae legend Luciano)
Dave’s mission to “not just cross over, but to cross through” multiple genres of music is apparent in all his music. Whether it’s classical, reggae, bluegrass, jazz, pop, or world music, he finds a common voice within his musical vocabulary.
Dave notes, “The new project represents to me a new and extreme brand of high-risk, high-impact classical crossover. Kingston Morning juxtaposes Reggae music and Appalachian music in a look at local culture fighting for a voice in an increasingly global environment.”
Eggar says this project was an especially moving and emotional recording for to make. He adds, “This is a project of ingenuity and improvisation which took many hours of dedicated perseverance to complete. With open minds and open hearts, our lives were forever changed as these unique Reggae and Appalachian collaborations took shape. As we immersed ourselves in these seemingly disparate cultures, amazing similarities in the history and storied cultures emerged. Their individual hopes, dreams and the power of the music eventually seemed to bring the music and people of Jamaica and Virginia ever closer together.”
Dave continues, “My imagination has always been captivated by the music and culture of Jamaica and Appalachia. These journeys to Kingston and Big Stone Gap were truly a life altering experience for me. I am especially proud of the music that has been produced as a result of our efforts.”
The New York Times said: “Eggar’s work is breathtaking … a deliverance from the sedate formality of the typical cello recital.” Truly it is.
Original Release: Aug 10, 2010
Dave Eggar “Earth’s Paradise” (mp3) from “Earth’s Paradise / Kingston Morning [Digital 45]” (Domo Records) Buy at Napster Buy at iTunes Music Store Buy at Amazon MP3 More On This Album
God and Me – Kopecky Family (Nashville, TN, USA)
Only a family could write music this intimate. Steeped in the tradition of Nashville, Tennessee, but free of any sort of genre restraints, the eccentric strains of Kopecky Family Band are both universally beautiful and resoundingly unique. Led by the dueling male/female vocals of Gabe and Kelsey, the clan rounds out their sound with an augmented line-up featuring the standard guitar and drums with the added complements of cello and violin, as well as guest spots from various reeds, mallets, and more. The result is the sort of emotive, orchestral rock that has won the band so many fans on their 2008 debut Embraces EP and the 2010 follow-up Disaster EP.
After riding a wave of anticipation from their native Next Big Nashville Music Festival all the way to SXSW in Austin, the band’s 2010 CMJ appearance in New York proved to be a tipping point. With a backdrop of thousands of bands scrambling for attention, Kopecky made their mark, playing the official Paste Magazine showcase and winning the praise of the pundits at NPR Music in the process.
Never ones to rest on their laurels, the clan would quickly return to the studio after the successful stint at CMJ. What they emerged with was like a peak into the Family photo album — a collection of lovingly-assembled odds, ends, B-sides, out-takes, rarities and everything in between called (Of Epic Proportions). It’s the sort of assortment that lesser bands cram with also-rans and cutting room floor fare. But the Kopeckys’ knack for crafting simple beauty can never be overstated. This is a band whose cutting room floor makes others envious.

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