The NBT Review 30


Shotgun Daisy – Stacie Rose (Enchanted Records)

She is not going to wait around while we wake up, in her driving harmonic bittersweet world, she believes and sings for the strong, the ones that will find their way aided by a giddy mix of the ragged poetic and the sleek rock n roll.

Her instincts tell her, that love saves, that her tunes can be played without compromise floating subtle on summer TV screens broadcasting emotional misadventures.

She left turns into tales of break up, twisting the confession/recollection by getting Shawn Mullins to join in the chorus, adding dimension, deliciously distorting the point of view.

Sometimes the words tumble out double speed like school kids as the bell rings, sometimes the words sigh and float, stretched across the music like torch songs refugees that have found their hook.

Sometimes this all happens in the same song.

 She is comfortable with soul ballads and country raunch.

She is Stacie Rose and this is Shotgun Daisy

Find out more

The Big Pretend – All Day Sucker (Trademark Entertainment/ big WOW music)

Outside while the wannabe starlets hustle and the cool boys glide, where the Eagles and America are NOT the wild bird and country, but the larger than life glossy surreal epic music groups, all is hot chaotic, beautiful and lost.

Inside the theatre lights dim and the movie begins. The Big Pretend begins.

First, there is car chase, Hollywood love letter style, driven by ‘Who’s Next’ keyboard riffs and frantic country rock vocals.

Then wry prayers, soaked in harmonies that even a cold lost European will know and love as Californian, and then baked in the POP oven Warren Zevon was known to use.

These are often sunny, sun glare bright stories, waiting while in midst shimmer, to flip over to the darkness of the over populated, ultra lonely big city night.

All Day Sucker love, have been seduced, have been hurt, scarred, saved by their city, and these are the songs, the films of the mind, that show it.

And in Riddles and Rain, this sensual tryst ‘tween the cinematic and the closely observed, transforms into a subtle classic that Brian Wilson and Craig Finn would be  proud of.

Find out more here

Hear both of these bands and a lot more on the NEXT NBT Podcast 26th April 09

The NBT Review 29


Springboard –The Water Callers (Independent Release)

And so we shuffle soft into the music, watching the couples sway lightheaded, giddy, entranced by the rhythms of a ‘Night Like This’ and ‘Mama’

 We are soon to discover that this is not JUST a dance band fashioned old.

As we are seduced by the sparkles of reflected mirror, polished hazy from times somewhere long ago, we are startled by what seems to be the ghosts of the Band when Levon Helm took them to a rougher sweeter darker place. This is the Duo, The Water Callers, who initiate this sound, these voices that sometimes wrap warm and bright, sometimes pulse desolate.

Not dusty sepia antiquated, this music still is not afraid to take you back to less rumbling shallow times, though there is an ambiguity in the harmonies offering both honey covered Hope, and frissons of ambrosial Peril.

And as the Lullaby morphs onto cinematic swaggering Ballad, and the Electric kisses and nibbles dirty into the Acoustics’ ear, we walk out into the comfort of the full moon, the music refusing to let go,

Get caught up for yourself

One Thousand Words – Jenny Gunn (Independent Release/Asoma)

Slip into the Dreaming here, the place of the flickering restless shadows, where the flute, carnal, strangely skittish, reverberates around the voice of the magic maker, the seeker of the secret inside the heart of the incorporeal.

This is the mystical other world, the world that overlaps ours, full of the grey brash ordinary, coated with the reds and blues and scares of her imagination.

She is the Monster-Finder, the Creature friend, who sings in fairy tale sighs. She will be compared to Joanna Newsome or Victoria Williams, but as her name suggests she is her own real spirit, forged in the harsh modern but free to fly, sidestep, into this agitated wonder reverie.

Never has the storm been so soothing while it frightens.

Jenny Gunn’s dream world opens up here

Hear both these artists on the NBT podcast this Friday 17th April


The NBT Review 28


Hard Road/Muddy Track – Dennis Kolen (Wyatt Records)

Kolen approaches the themes inside this lovely collection of songs  from two different points of view. Sometimes he is the thoughtful observer, sketching for us, portraits of lonely, often faded, still beautiful creatures, creatures that inhabit the shadows of the too glistening palaces we call entertainment. Sometimes, however he is the star of these stories, road movies, and he shows us what haunts him in hushed detail as he travels.

Alluring moments are many, like the harmonies approaching gospel folk wonder in ‘God of the Mountain and the James Taylor intimacy of’ Elementary’ and ‘Macabre Disneyland.’ Best of all are the subtle sways of country ballad ‘Stand Inside Love’ which seems to offer some sort of hope for his wounded characters.

Find out more

Gentle As The Sun – Naomi Sommers (American Melody)

The first thought that strikes me, is how appealingly free of angst this music is, as the song ‘two Sparrows’ settles into my subconscious I realize that in just 5 verses Sommers has created a complete picture of two people comfortably fearlessly in love.

But don’t, for a second, gentle reader, think this is some smug family rustic collection; there are tingles of the cold beneath the warmth, for example the perfectly realized tale of a woman’s fears for her lover at war in the song ‘Come Home’

Sommers explores the emotions and observations of someone adjusting to the impassiveness of the city dweller. This tale,(‘Grey Sky Girls’)is constructed and played  with an intuitive feel for traditional country that a Dolly Parton or Emmylou Harris would approve of.

Mention must be made of the only non original in the set ‘Sea Of Heartbreak’ which the artist makes her own with the aid of lilting strings and gentle banjo

This Sun in the title is the welcoming presence of Dawn, and the forgiving friend of the Sunset.

Find out more

The NBT Review 27


Post Data – Lisa Bianco (Random Noise Records)

The first sounds we hear are motion picture soundtrack swirls, a gentle tension leading into the girl detached somewhat revealing the trouble, with, inside her. Then there is a sweet shy like bridge and the instruments join PowerPop delightful and this radio loving tune truly takes off.

It’s a seductive construction.

This is the kinda pop I wish would dominate the American mainstream charts, crafted and cool bittersweet yet catchy, it brings back the new wave sounds of the Bangles the Cars and the Go-Gos without cynical gloss or manufactured glamour.

In the tune ‘Whatever The Cost’ the pounding drums come straight from a 50s TV show, the rest is this side of BubbleGum Yeah Yeah Yeahs  ( a good thing girls and boys) then into this mix, the folky/country voice adding a skew slant to the mix, placing it 8 times removed from retro pastiche and breathing into it a unique feel all of its own.

This in fact maybe this albums biggest problem, especially among the ‘’Oh I’m too cool to like this non lofi recipe’’ The album is in danger of being thought of as ‘too light’ by those who can’t be bothered to scratch for the darkness beneath the surface.

Just listen to the Title Track and see what I mean.. for me however this song and this fine release is the perfect antidote to the pessimistic fake of the Disney kids and the dancers turned popPuppets of this world.

This is bold shiny and long-lasting..  

Find out more here

Off The Radar – Ally Kerr (Much Obliged Records)

Oh the Postcard jangles, the Cherry Red way with a sweet tune flavor, the harmony ice-cream with discord flakes, quick eat it up before it melts.

Yes this is fragile, this is tender, but don’t think you can pin this music down and smother it with self conscious analyzing, there is toughness behind the wry smile and steel pranks behind the heavenly voice and strings and stuff.

This is music set for spring, made in winter, dreamt about at midnight and whistled after breakfast.

There are even gifts for the (American) country cousins in tracks like ‘ I Think I’m Bleeding’ and St Etienne  really should cover ‘There’s A world’  and with the title track one can see/hear where all those Belle and Sebastian mentions come from, though for me Kerr gets slightly dirtier allowing the heartbreak to crumble the shrugs.

Find out more

Catch both these artists on an upcoming episode of the NBT Podcast



The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity)New Media Pioneer Interviews 17


Adam Hiniker

EarCandy New York

Q:  How long have you been broadcasting/blogging?

We created Ear Candy about a year ago and recorded shows sporadically for the first nine months. It was just December that we started doing a weekly show.

Q:  In your opinion, what does a good song need to consist of?

In my opinion it has to have an edge or some very apparent emotion behind it. I don’t necessarily think a song has to be cutting edge or innovative to be great (though it helps) as long as an artist shows skill in their craft and confidence in how they deliver it.

Q: What is your favorite band or favorite genre of music and why?

The genre I listen to the most is hip hop, it’s an extremely raw form of expression considering the overhead is very minimal and  so much can be said in just sixteen bars of a hip hop verse. I grew up listening to hip hop and always liked it for superficial reasons but in the early nineties I discovered their were acts out there that wrote about things I could actually relate to and that’s when I started getting ideas about producing music.

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc. have effected you most?

With all of the podsafe music resources and the fact that most artists and labels are more than willing to let us play their music these types of changes haven’t affected us much.

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in generating album sales, do you feel that that is a true statement?

Yes, I think their is a lot of random solicitation on myspace, however when someone blogs about an artist or album it’s a form of reference for the reader who generally values the bloggers opinion. Blogging is a great form of promotion for artists and also gives music fans an opportunity to be a journalist, I think this drives sales in a way that making mix tapes used to but on a much larger scale.

The NBT Review 26


Array – Black Nite Crash (on Vinyl and CD by Custom Made Music)

The secret’s in the slow burn.

Opener ‘Revelator’ uncoils itself slow and sinister, with much atmospheric fuzz, rumbles and buzzing, and then the voices, light and dark, she and him, tumble seductive overhead.

By the time the howling pop of ‘Falling Down’ has arrived we accept this elementary darkness as our home and let the songs reveal their soul, bit by bit.

Comparisons to the J and M Chain and The Pixies have been made, but to my mind the band recalls a rougher Spiritualized or a gentler Sonic Youth, (though beware the gentle in these missives, there is a wickedness, wry and wonderful, at play here too.)

The trick is that the music is both thoughtful in that dirty RockNRoll way, and completely, frantically, danceable.

This is a welcome addition to the playlist sounds of any wrong (right) side of midnight deviant dance floor.

Find out more here

Fix – Adam Balbo (independent release)

19 songs in 30 or so minutes, NO!!  This is no retro punk surge, or even some novelty out-take throwaway, but rather a collection of discreet and contemplative miniatures.

Playing with the genre of Stripped down folk, Balbo comes at you with an almost shy warm voice, mixing in humor with a side portion of melancholy and sometimes (when it fits) even bitterness. Sometimes the words flicker and flutter out urgent to get to the conclusion, sometimes given the brevity of the tune; they seem to stroll calmly into storytelling land.

Stand out tune for me is the slightly longer than normal (for this set) ‘Forget About The Crease’ which time shifts an intimate relationship, focusing on tiny movements and fragments of dialogue, it seems to be a song about regret, but regret for something about to happen!

And that is the beauty of the writing here, so much is implied, sketched, and it trusts in our empathy to complete the journey.

A Highly Rewarding Listen

Look Ahead – Chrissy Coughlin (independent release)

Chrissy Coughlin creates a sturdy unpretentious form of RocknPop, utilizing ingredients from rich country music stews and satisfyingly deep rhythm n blues concoctions.

In the tradition of artists like Bonnie Raitt, she creates polished yet also gritty chart friendly tunes, which remain honest, revealing and perceptive.

She is not afraid to share/show the fragile (‘Honestly’) and restrained anger (Watch Your Step) or offer up her love (the title track) this latter tune specially stands out and is destined to be a summer hit, playing from car radios across the nation.

Look out too, for the driving somewhat bluesy cover of Robert Plant’s,’Big Log’ which adds a sweetly harmonic and female slant to the steamy original.

Find out more here

Hear Black Nite Crash on the NBT DarkElectric Podcast

And Adam Balbo + Chrissy Coughlin on this weeks NBT podcast