Samara Lubelski

I mentioned Samara Lubelski in my earlier post on Thurston Moore’s solo album. She played violin on it and is currently on tour with him. Parallel Suns is her third solo album for The Social Registry (one of my favorite contemporary labels). Its a collection of gorgeous sun-dappled psych/pop/folk songs that showcase Samara’s incredible and ethereal voice. At times it recalls Stereolab at their most spare, but it has more of a 60s private press vibe (think Wendy & Bonnie). The arrangements a relatively spare; they’re usually just guitar, some percussion, backing vocals and organ. It works perfectly, as Samara’s gentle voice would be overwhelmed by lush arrangements.

Samara Lubelski – Born From the Tree

Sally Shapiro

So Swedish dancing queen/disco princess Sally Shaprio‘s Disco Romance will finally hit US shores on October 30th courtesy of Paper Bag Records. However, its not the same album that you downloaded off Soulseek bought as a Swedish import in 2006. Most visible is the new cleaveage-less cover, but the content has been changed, too. The two remixes have been removed and replaced with 3 new songs (“He Keeps Me Alive”, “Skating in the Moonshine”, “Jackie Jackie (Spend This Winter with Me)”). The original version of “I’ll Be By Your Side” has been replaced by an 8 minute extended mix. So basically, now its more of a proper album and less of an extended EP. Rad.

Here’s one of the new tracks. Its more glorious headphone disco for dancing around your bedroom in your underwear. And it has a vocoder!
Sally Shapiro – He Keeps Me Alive

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Clockcleaner are a Philadelphia band who just put out an awesome album on Load Records. However, Load Records issued the following disclaimer: “This record will confuse LOAD Records consumers however as its not a noise record, it is a record in the HARD ROCK mold. Please go back to your blogging. Good Day.” Clockcleaner also have a fan club with a monthly newsletter. Magic.

Pissed Jeans are probably the closest contemporary of Clockcleaner, but Clockcleaner are a little bit weirder. “Vomiting Mirrors” has a clinking piano that makes me think of Fucked Up.
Clockcleaner – Vomiting Mirrors

Super Famicom

Super Famicom is a boy named PJ. He’s a pretty cool kid. He writes very good songs that recall Daniel Johnston, Adrian Orange, Little Wings and the people on that midwestern folk/punk circuit that I love so much. Here’s two songs from his album Emily Songs II. They’re lo-fi recordings, but he has some hi-fi stuff that is also really good streaming on his myspace page. If you like his music, you can order his CDs and tapes from his myspace.

Super Famicom – The Conception of Widowers (from Emily Songs II)
Super Famicom – Wrapped in the Bodies of Tormenters (from Emily Songs II)

Frontier Ruckus

Frontier Ruckus seem to be the best band in the Lansing area. I’ve seen them (or frontman Matt Milia) play several times since I moved up here, and they always impress. Milia sings in that post-Jeff Magnum indie folk style. Despite that, his voice is loaded with power and emotion and the songs he writes have a deeper connection to traditional folk music than what your average indie folk band has.

So far, their only release is the I Am the Water You Are Pumping EP. At 6 songs and 29 minutes, its long for an EP, but all the songs are great. And it comes in awesome packaging.

Frontier Ruckus – The Blood (from I Am the Water You Are Pumping EP) (Divshare link)

Buy the I Am the Water You Are Pumping EP

Nancy Elizabeth

Nancy Elizabeth (nee Nancy Elizabeth Cunliffe) is a British singer/songwriter who is on the Leaf Label. “Hey Son” is the first single from her debut album Battle and Victory. She gets compared to Joanna Newsom, but I don’t hear it. Her voice reminds me of Marissa Nadler, but pitched down about half an octave. This song, the only one of hers that I have heard, reminds me a lot of some of the more recent work by Six Organs of Admittance. It begins with a simple acoustic guitar figure and a repeated phrase, but it slowly spirals into something much larger as electric guitar, vocal harmonies and huge percussion work they way into it. A very striking and powerful song.

Nancy Elizabeth – Hey Son
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Blog Action Day/Talibam!

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
Today is Blog Action Day, a day where bloggers around the world blog about the environment.

Since, this is a music blog, I thought I’d talk a little bit about music and the environment. One thing every musician must realize is that your art, to a greater or lesser degree, does take a toll on the environment. Yes, even Phish. The most obvious is all that plastic that goes into making CDs, CDRs, vinyl records, tapes, DVDs, etc. There’s also the gas you burn touring, whether its a chartered jet to play a fashion show in Milan or just hopping in your car to play the coffee shop two towns over, it does make an impact. You burn electricity when you plug in your guitar; a tree was cut down to make that cello. Even posting an mp3 of the field recordings of penguins you made with your laptop adds some carbon to the atmosphere. Not that I have any room to talk, I’m blogging away at my power hungry desktop machine surrounded by artifacts of our oil based life. And I’ll probably drive my car to the grocery store tomorrow. Unless you’re a real ass off the grid hippie, we could all do more to reduce our footprint on the planet. It is still good to be aware of how all the little things add up, though. And small improvements are improvements nonetheless.

Which is why I’m posting about the free-noise dudes Talibam!. They are from Brooklyn, and I’ve only heard two of their releases. I am a fan of their self titled proper debut album that came out in 2005 on Evolving Ear. It was released as a CDR and came packaged in a recycled vinyl sleeve with the info pasted on a big shard of recycled vinyl. It’s a nice interesting package that reuses existing materials. Earth friendly!

Less Earth friendly is the music. Its some real scorched earth shit that is certain to scare away deer and squirrels. Here’s the untitled first track.
Talibam! – untitled 1 (from Talibam!) (Divshare link)

buy it here