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   Friday, September 20, 2002  
"Joanna McGregor's was the most rock'n'roll performance of the night. Additionally, it is worth noting that she embodies the DIY ethic of punk better than any other nominee - she put out the album Play on her own label, Sound Circus. Even to a classical ignoramus, this sounds more interesting than, say, the Electric Soft Parade's mild-mannered indie rock and eventual winner Ms Dynamite aping Lauryn Hill's "conscious" hip-hop/soul." Today's Guardian pores over the entrails of the Mercury Music Prize. Hey Joanna, better get yourself a beatbox, girl...

Rosie Thomas plays a solo date at London Dingwalls October 28....

In a shock move, St.Louis' rather great Nadine update their website. Only slightly you understand, but since it only seems to happen about once a year, reallyrather feels it should be noted. Whether their news is entirely good remains to be seen however:
"We've finally settled on a permanent line-up:
Jimmy Griffin - guitar
Steve Rauner - keys, vocals
Adam Reichmann - vocals, guitar
Merv Schrock - drums, vocals
Anne Tkach - bass, vocals"
The sharp-eyed among you will notice that the words 'Rauner' and 'guitar' are no longer adjacent. This is not good. One of the very best thing's about this band has been Rauner's deft, economical playing, never flashy but invariably satisfying and sometimes quite affecting (anyone else feel the need to keep turning the volume up as Leona fades?) Now it seems six-string duties have been handed to one Jimmy Griffin. If this is the 'Jimmy Griffin' of dodgily-monickered fellow St.Louis outfit Neptune Crush then the omens aren't great. "Jimmy’s pounding guitar bespeaks primal rage," trembled one band profile, worryingly. Please Jimmy, if you have 'chops', won't you leave them in a neat pile at the door along with any leftover primal rage...

And they're still looking for a home for their new album Strange seasons which seems to have been in the can for ages...

'His music is Cat Stevens' poetic imagery fused with the hot sound of alt-country superstar Ryan Adams,' says a recent gig review of LA troubadour Gary Jules. More interestingly, the piece goes on: "Following Jules, Gingersol, a two piece New York based band took the stage. The band was the night's biggest surprise. They have a wholly unique sound formed from country, rock and pop influences. With members of Minibar helping to round out the band, Gingersol commanded the Derby with their infectious songs." Sadly, reallyrather has never seen the 'sol live but is nevertheless completely unsurprised by this 'revelation'...

This blog has also yet to see Jackpot live but an opportunity presents itself on Nov 19 when they call in at The Borderline. Friendly reviews of new album Shiny things continue to stack up:
'Jackpot’s best set of skewed country-pop yet'
'Musically, the album bridges the rustic pine groves of Placerville, where the band was formed, with sunny grooves ripe for beach bumming'
'The entire CD has a classic rock feel with a modern twist'
And their London show is made doubly attractive by the listing as support act of Kingston's finest..

..The Vessels. (For international readers, that's Kingston south-west of London, not the interesting one in the Caribbean.) Emerging apparently fully-formed from these rather unlikely environs, a chimey feelgood glow abounds on their eponymous debut. Thumbnail impression: a synthesis of, say, Horse Stories and the Cosmic Rough Riders (but better than both) filtered through the mainstream Brit-pop of Travis, Stereophonics, etc. But twangy as well. And a bit Beatle-y; Innocence is what Blackbird might've sounded like had an Allman Brother-or-two sat in on the session. A particularly welcome surprise is the unmistakable influence of the great Martha Reeves & the Vandellas on 31st floor. Tracks like Autumn sounds, Don't waste your time, Is my heart are all impressively rounded and Delight is a beautifully weighted closer complete with swelling anthemic climax. Buy it, and one for your friend who seems to buy all his or her music down at the supermarket along with the semi-skimmed...
   posted by SMc at 11:02 AM |