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   Thursday, January 08, 2004  
Antidotes to January: some soft-as-snow, warm as woolly gloves-type sounds courtesy of

--Maplewood Lane. Not to be confused with NY California dreamers Maplewood, they're 'somewhere between The Innocence Mission, Red House Painters and The Cardigans,' according their label, Anniedale. Sample a familiar-sounding but nonetheless lovely slice of twinkling jangle a la The Sundays, or a wideawake Mazzy Star [site | sound]

--California Snow Story. Check out Out of time which springs out of the same Scottish soil that yielded the likes of the Trashcans, Belle&Sebastian, etc [site]

--The Elected, aka Rilo Kiley's Blake Sennett. OK, his tracks on the RK albums tend to be the most skip-worthy but this wispy-to-choral sampler from upcoming (Feb 4) Subpop solo (+friends) effort Me first bodes well [sound | via]

Meanwhile, looking back...
Some '03 releases reallyrather never got to hear but may yet catch up with:

I know you, destroy! by The Trouble With Sweeney
They said:
-'Insanely great..tremendous, epic production, every song an ear-sticking wonder, not to mention witty' [more]
-'The Philadelphia band find their place in the continuum between alt-country and indie rock with a solid new rhythm section that ponies up the urgent backbeat for the acoustic numbers and a steady hum for the rockers. But it's still frontman Joey Sweeney's lyrical turns that make you take pause,' reckoned Rolling Stone
-'Philly's irrepressible agents of observational pop drop lyrical science with a Stonesy jangle' [more]


Preserve, Vol. One - A compilation to benefit the Carnivore Trust put out by the Fractured Disc label. If you're anticipating a collection of mating calls from the wild you'll be disappointed; if low-key alt-folk-pop's you're thing chances are you won't be. 20 tracks, mostly previously unreleased/alternate takes from the likes of - get this - Norfolk & Western, M. Ward, The Decemberists, Shearwater (aka Will & Jonathan of Okkervil River) along with others with promising-sounding names like Work Clothes and Edison Woods. More info here...


..albums by Alasdair Roberts, Delorean, The Six Parts Seven...

No. 4 on the rr year-end list (see below), Wheat comes out top over at The War Against Silence. Meanwhile, in a excellent (and excellently lengthy) interview in the latest MoMzine, Centro-matic's Matt Pence talks about his work recording Nadine's Strange seasons, which topped out this blog's 'Year's best': "[They] wanted to be surprisingly private when they performed". Which is most unlike Centro-matic, apparently. And what of his own band? "There are people that look at us and think, "How are you guys not on a major label? How has all this happened and you're not hugely successful?" Read on...

"Some of the e-mails I get are really heavy and intense. Not that I'm a therapist or anything, but am I breaking some sort of rule in the relationship between a songwriter and his audience?" Damien Jurado ponders life on the other side of fence in this week's Portland Phoenix...

..and, though he doesn't mention it there, Jurado seems to be presently involved in recording the full debut release from Texan singer-songwriter 22yo Mara Miller (aka Bosque Brown - here's the site). "It's not everyday that I hear a voice that completely captures my attention." Maybe we can find out more when the man tours here next month (see below)...

Also playing here in Feb (supporting The White Stripes) will be Detroit twang-noir outfit Blanche, promoting their imminent debut, If We Can't Trust the Doctors.... Sample track Another lost summer strays (rather less engagingly) into Mendoza Line territory [site | sound]
   posted by SMc at 8:35 AM |