THE NBT Review 98

Bigger Teeth – BirdEatsBaby (Independent Release)

If earlier BirdEatsBaby releases were indicative of those small town
cinemas from stranger times, all romance and slightly twisted in the way they
spread the dream, this EP dares to go widescreen, the cabaret grows epic, the
soundstage morphs into a garden of distraction and the players now become real
indie pop stars.

The cool thing is, while achieving this; the music loses none of its
charm, its delicious sleaziness or cruel power and in spite of the added
polish, the heart and soul still shines through.

The collection starts deceptively with a sparse vocal harmonic interplay,
then a grunted countdown and the circus slides into our town, hints of future
scares, random violence, exotic encounters blur past fast, then it clicks back
to the minimal.

The Replacement is Coco Rosie gone frenzy breathless, a pogo creature of
a tune the counterpointing semi operatic vocal/piano layer just adds a poignant
tension.

Then martial drums, Cure guitar slithers and it’s a modern POP
masterpiece/centerpiece, this is a calling card to the world, about future chart
domination, this is the kind of song that while it is playing the listener
wishes, needs, to see this beautiful thing played damn loud, live. A hint of
the best of those Prog groups of old, Curved Air, Family, even Alice Cooper,
mixed with the arch camp thrill of a Siouxsie, who knew a thing or two on how
not to let a rocknroll jive interfere with the bubblegum deviance. This is ‘Enemies
Like Me’, a song that seems destined to be play listed as often as is possible.

‘Gone’ is Liza Minnelli on speed with a dash of that typical
BirdEatsBaby craziness, and yes the charming Devil IS in the details, the twinkle
here the shiny distorted waltz break-away leading us through to be caught unawares
by the exquisite new folk of the kinda heartbreaking Rosary, heartbreaking that
is, in that sing along rejoicing way of course.

This, my friends, is the sound of the breakthrough, the Birds are gonna
be huge.

http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk

Camouflage Baby – The Histrioniks (CatErratic Records)

This is a kind of fearless indie pop, a nervous lyrical artist
vibrating up against the normal, their songs a blur in the sunshine, maybe visiting
the now from some harsher darker suburbia, it’s the sound of stoplights ignored,
distilled into a brittle modern dance, too sharp to fit into what passes now as
American punk, it reminds me of the raw honest Replacements,(not quite so
shabby ) or perhaps that ragged beautiful Exene led X, though by now the band
has a distinctive mood-sound all of their own, instantly familiar to those who
have loved earlier collections. When I try to pinpoint the secret that sets
this band apart, I think, there is a love of Brit-pop refinement within the
songwriting that lifts it away from the slacker easy alternative, so the dirt within
is not thrown at you but has to be dug for.

While listening to this, I am taken back to earlier this week and a curious
hopeful search for good indie American tunes, and getting song after song of
either ancient hard rock dressed up in new glitter, or soft adult orientated
whimpers pretty much designed by boardroom committees. Thank goodness then for the
arrival of the Camouflage Baby.

This set strays from the powerpop of previous installments in that it
flirts rather madly with the blues and stripped down country rock, but again, strangely,
its country rock as heard, seen, played by outsiders, and this is a very good
thing, cause it gives the tunes shiny hooks and angles, a welcome distortion of
the facts.

And that is the very essence of a Histrioniks release (and never more so
than this child) it doesn’t really belong neatly in any one genre, within any
too structured playlist, it is the stranger at the dinner table, the welcome uninvited
guest.

Stand out track out of a bunch of standout tunes,  is the ghost-dance called ‘The Last Three Days’
where the male and female voices blend and shiver outwards together and haunt
the airwaves.

http://www.thehistrioniks.com/

Songs from both these albums will be played on the NBT podcast going out
on the 21st of October 2010

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com

 

The NBT Review 48

Some Moths Drink The Tears Of Elephants – Boister (Piano Parasite Productions)

Ah this delightful disturbance, this redemption in the darkness. Do you know how ghostly carnival lights seem, from a distance, on a rainy night? This is the soundtrack to that feeling.

Produced by legendary maverick/storyteller Jim Dickinson, who once channeled the sweet twilight of Big Star into something eternal, this collection, seems to be ancient Pop, perhaps even tomorrow’s Americana, Though with wonderful contradiction,  there is a fragmented European soul breathing between the lines too.

It starts with a languid gasp perhaps sigh , definite slow motion thoughts catching up to the moment, the music subtly builds, the room the picture fills with detail, the story unfolds ragged yet elegant. Funeral music that makes you feel very much alive.

Then a lullaby morphs into a sly grin take on Brecht, the band swaggers, the curtains, windows, thrown open onto a vibrant street gathering, a party full of tension.

Then a drum thing that seems to be slowed fractured down sympathy for the devil grooving into horns and guitar, washing up against the vocals, then without noticing we have slid into a perfect rock song sway, a gift with gentle hooks that we will be humming months from now.

These are tunes that are built fragile, crafted intricate standing there, the title track: quick take a snapshot before it all falls down, but it never falls down, no matter how harsh the rhythms that swirl around it, rudely affectionate.

Then the weirdest thing: I hear the east, the far east, not east America, but also: I hear almost a ska thing going, I hear the islands, come on dance and Thank You.

Then invited into this strange tent at this strange market, we shiver into an exotic fumbling before the band throws another cruel ballad or three our way, and as they are wrapped in the most beautiful melodies, we catch them easy, we are captured easier.

Layered and complex, yet never contrived this is a near perfect release.

http://www.boister.net

Catch tunes from this release on the NBT Podcast going out on the 23rd Feb 2010

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

The NBT Wonderful Ones 2009 Part 2

Part Two

Part One Can Be Found Here:

https://nbtmusic.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/the-nbt-wonderful-ones-2009-part-1/

 You can see pictures of Most of the artists mentioned year on our special visual page

http://nbtmusic.jalbum.net/NBTWonderfulOnes2009/

And of course HEAR them on the NBT Podcast, talking and singing rare tracks, cool festive ditties and songs not yet released. That goes out on the 21st Dec09.

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com

Richard Kapp

The Austrian piano man, the song and dance magician, the elegant performer of those wicked sly fragile pop things. Richard conjured up a sublime David Sylvian like tune to my raggedy words and a new theme for NBT was born

Richard Kapp in his own words:

2009 was a wonderful year for me and my band. Not only did I finally find a band name for my band (It’s “Richard Kapp & The Gowns”), we also finished our second album “Lunchbox” just in time. I think that this is my best album yet and I am very excited. Also, magical things have happened through NBT. Last year when I was listening to the show “The Wonderful Ones” on NBT I stumbled upon the fantastic UK band BirdEatsBaby and sent them a message that I really enjoyed their music. The lead singer, Mishkin Mullaly replied and told me that she also liked my stuff. So we send a message here and there and finally thought that it might be a cool idea to share stage in Vienna. They were about to start their european tour at that time and as they already had a gig in Germany it was not that a long way to travel to Austria. First I was not really sure if this will work out, but it did. We had two gigs here together and especially one show was so great (what a frenetic audience!) that BirdEatsBaby told me after the show that this was their best gig of the whole tour. I felt reliefed and very proud on that night. They stayed at my place for five days and we had such a good time. There also was Joe Black, a superb musician, a real master of bizarre art. We enjoyed sharing stage so much that we decided to do it again in 2010, this time in UK. We are all looking forward to this a lot. This would not have happened without NBT and that’s why I want to thank Martin for all his hard work and support. I think that great things are ahead in 2010 and I hope that my new album “Lunchbox” will reach lots of people. Also, we produced a very cool musicvideo which will be released in January, 2010.  For more info have a look at my homepage http://www.richardkapp.com… you will be able to wach it there first. Another highlight for me was that BBC 6 music played a song of my album “Asterisk”. So, I can really say t hat 2009 was a successful year for me and my band and I hope it was the same for you. I wish everyone at NBT and all the wonderful artists that have been featured on the show a nonchalant christmas time and lots of success with their art in 2010!

http://www.richardkapp.com/                                             

 Trey Green

In these oh so serious times a bit of comic relief goes down a treat, backed with a genuine grasp of what works in a rock n roll song, Trey Green serves up the perfect antidote to the credit crunch angst.

 Trey Green in his own words:

2009 was a huge year – videos, recording with Tenacious D, recording a whole second album, some great live shows – but only after a very rough start.  Exactly one year ago today, I broke my hand very, very badly.  A Dutch girl kicked me at the party – we were all drunk as hell.  My fingers broke in half, all the way onto the back of my hand.  How was I to know that she was a competitive kick-boxer?  I literally couldn’t hold a guitar for six months.  At the time, I was getting spins on college radio all over the US, and some in Germany and England. DJ’s were asking for shows, asking about tour dates…everything for which a musician would hope, but I couldn’t even hold my guitar.  So the first half of 2009 was pretty frustrating.

We made two huge music videos in New York City in the summer with Cynthia Kirchner, the Revlon/Guess?/Victoria’s Secret supermodel.   One for Mad Crush, which is filmed in a single shot, and one for Smooth Breakdancin’ Guy, which has been playing on TV in the US, or so I’m told.  Even Cynthia dances in the video – she even did the splits…on concrete. 

In September, I met the guys from Bad Religion backstage at a Pearl Jam concert in Chicago and ended up working with their drummer, Brooks Wackerman, who is also the drummer for Tenacious D, one of my favorite bands.  Brooks plays on my new album, which we recorded in Tenacious D’s private studio in LA, North Hollywood (porn capital of the world), with John Spiker of Filter and Tenacious D on bass.  Got to hang out with John Koneski, aka Kones, Tenacious D’s lead guitarist, and Kyle Gass, who, of course, is Jack Black’s partner in the band.  What a great, hilarious guy!  Finished the vocals and guitar in New York this month – the new album should be out this winter.  Great year, fired up for 2010: new album, more videos, more shows.

Ka-blamo,

http://www.treygreenmusic.com/

Barbara Gilles

In 2009 Barbara gave birth to a soulful EP of heavenly  yet gritty jazz, and then just a week or so ago a baby boy named Juan Martin. AND still found time to send NBT a beautiful lullabye for the end of year show!!!  In may we called her EP with the Favoriti Quartet ..‘‘ An escape. A rescue, a sometimes sly often sensual deliverance, almost 22 minutes of beauty.’’  Seven months later it sounds and feels even more so.

http://www.barbaragilles.com.ar/

Lisa Bianco

In the year of the manufactured pop starlet, when all was artifice and sexploitation thank the bubblegum goddess for Lisa’s take on new wave and perky punk pop with true heart

 Lisa Bianco in her own words:

2009.  Released my album “Post Data”.  CMJ showcase.  New fans. OId fans. Rocked the stages of NYC/NJ/CT/PA including a haunted brewery twice (!).  Busted my van into a parking lot beam 12 AM.  3 Parking tickets.  Writing new songs.   Gave into getting a Facebook account. Finally got T-shirts. Finally got a Mac. Life experience priceless.

 2010.  The bubble finally bursts and music is real again (in the mass media psyche).  More and more touring.  Hit the studio for a new album.  Positive thinking. Enlighten the world.

http://www.lisabianco.net/

 BirdEatsBaby

 Bringing a delightfully skewed take on the dark heart and bright grin of theatre , glam and rolling rock, this most visual of the artists played on NBT are also one of the very few to make it onto the wonderful ones two years in a row!

 BirdEatsBaby in their own words:

Looking back on 2009, it was a big year for us. We released our first full album, Here She Comes A-Tumblin’, at the start of the summer. Then came our first tour, through the U.K. and Europe, playing to some very enthusiastic crowds. We organized the whole thing ourselves, it was a lot of hard work, and we loved every minute. We also released music videos for two of our songs on the album, The Trouble… and I Always Hang Myself With The Same Rope. Not forgetting playing with some great bands in the U.K., like the World Inferno Friendship Society and Belladonna.

                Next year will be bigger and better. We have another video scheduled for release in January, then we get started recording album no. 2. It will be called Feast Of Hammers, and we can’t wait for people to hear it. And hopefully another tour a little later on in the year. Meanwhile, we will continue to perform all over the U.K. throughout the year. We want more of everything next year, more shows, more music, more fun…bring on 2010!

http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk     

 Dune Tran

 The delicate sound of the internal, perfectly judged not too sweet pop sighs. Her music makes me think of the ocean and lonely beaches at the very heart of 3 am.

 Dune Tran in her own words:

I’d like to report that 2009 has been a Tran-tastic year filled with plenty of learning experiences and adventures!  I made my debut into the music community this year with my first album, “Heart Anchors”, a huge accomplishment for me and a dream come true.  This past year I focused on developing myself as a live performer because apart from a handful of open mic performances, I had never played any solo shows to showcase my own music.  I pushed myself to play as many gigs around the bay area as possible.  I’ve overcome obstacles such as finding band members, rehearsal spaces, learning about how to set up a PA, booking gigs, juggling schedules and last but not least, I worked on battling that old stage fright that has haunted me for some time.  The most adventure filled night was when I showed up to a wine bar with all my equipment and found that I had no microphone. The opening act and I raced to the nearest Guitar Center which fortunately was only 2 blocks away.  It turned out to be a fun night regardless.  I performed a total of 15 gigs this past year at venues which varied from dive bar to wine bar and coffee shop to fine restaurant. It’s been an amazing year for me!  I’m grateful to have the opportunity to pursue my dream to share my music and hopefully touch and inspire the lives of others through music.
 
I’ve also invested a lot of time into researching outlets for exposing my music.  I’ve learned a lot about the music business aspects of the industry, such as promotion, licensing, copyrighting, publishing, and distribution.  I know that there’s plenty more to learn.  Several huge successes in my books are making it into the Top 30 chart at CIUT, a radio station at the University of Toronto and getting asked to do an interview for a piece in a local paper, The Daily News, which was published just in time to promote my last gig of the year.  This has been a thrilling year!  I’m so honored to be included among NBT’s best of the year.  Yet another success!  Thank you Martin!
 
For 2010, I plan to focus on writing and evolving and hopefully becoming a better musician and songwriter.   I also want to venture into less familiar territories, whether it is touring outside of the bay area or making a music video or finding a place for my music in TV or movies.  Although there are plenty of obstacles ahead, I’m still ready to face my fears and pursue my dream of making music.

 http://www.dunetran.com/

 Doug Folkins

 Skillful writing and a rock heart swagger, and a keen eye for detail made Folkins the pub folkie of choice this year.

 Doug Folkins in his own words:

 2009 Challenges and Triumphs:

What a year!  In March I released my 5th Indie CD titled “Another Last Call” which was supported by an intense publicity campaign with Cyber PR (Ariel Hyatt) from New York.  I learned all kinds of new words like; podcast, blog, twitter, tweet, friend, social media, etc…  It has been intense, often frustrating but immensely rewarding.  The CD has garnered critical review all from Europe and North America and my songs are more widely played than I could have imagined.  Podcast and internet radio play has exposed my tunes to many people and I have meet some new great fans through these mediums.  Also my single “Calico Girl” charted 5 straight weeks on the Top 100 European Country Music Association charts peaking at #71.  I am still not sure “Calico Girl” is a country song.

 Looking into 2010:

For the year ahead, I am continuing to support my CD with live shows and festival bookings.  I will also continue pursing music publishing deals for my catalogue of over 55 recorded songs.  While I don’t have a new release scheduled for 2010, I hope to record a few tracks for singles and publishing as well as reworking instrumental versions of my previous releases.

http://www.dougfolkins.com/      

 Citizen K

2009 was the year we were welcomed into the dreamlike state of Citizen K. A Personal Favourite for NBT where songs gave up their secrets reluctantly then stuck around to chat and seduce.

Citizen K in his own words:

2009 according to Citizen K

 Well, it’s been a great year. After some hard work, we managed to get the album out in September and the response that followed has been overwhelming. Since I had no expectations what so ever as far as sales were concerned, every unit sold is a maracle. :-)…

 Challenges? Well, some minor health problems I don’t want to get into here, especially since I’m fully recovered now. And, optimistic by nature as I’ve always been, the good events always seem to overshadow the bad ones, by far.

2010 around the corner

 I don’t know what to expect. I’m a bore when it comes to revealing future plans. I know I’ll do some studio work next year, though. I have tuns of ideas for songs and I prefer to just go on and on and on.

http://www.paraplyrecords.se/

 Elika

 Constantly surprising, constantly thoughtful, we called Elika: Madonna fronted by the Pixies, and that was really only a third of the story!

Elika in their own words:

 To be honest, 2009 has been very difficult for us personally, so let’s just forget that one happened. 🙂

We are looking forward to releasing a lot of new material in 2010. Our new ep, “There Was No Summer” will be released this January by Chat Blanc records. It has 5 new songs and is the perfect companion to cold weather. Also, our next full length will be released in 2010. We’ve been working really hard on it and are putting the finishing touches on the mixes. Hopefully, it will be out by Spring/Summer. We think it is by far our best work yet!

http://www.elikamusic.com/ 

 Beth Wimmer

Mixing country earthy with folk sensitive, Ms Wimmer found her way back to the chaos of the NBT fold with a lovely collection of uncluttered honest songs.

Beth Wimmer in her own words:

 Thanks to this wonderful blog and podcast from NBT and to a few other terrific, online outlets for indie-musicians, my “2009: Year of Adaptation” has flowed with a bit more ease. The ‘adaptation’ has been my adjustment to the most monumental change in my life to date: from a busy, energetic life working three part-time jobs to make ends meet and support my music career in warm, sunny Southern California, USA to… living in the crisp, snow-kissed Alps of Europe, working solely as a musician, singing late into the smoky nights, sleeping away the mornings… and learning another language – German!

And if that weren’t enough of a huge change, well, my relationship status went from single (however creatively inspired by the elusive LOVE) to involved; in a deep, growing and soul-satisfying love relationship with a wonderful man. The only challenge that this has presented is that in my present, contented and peaceful state of heart and mind, I am not writing as many songs… seems the fire and feelings of love in turmoil had presented more muse for my songwriting. 

But I’m working on this. 😉 I’m letting the beauty and humor of this new, fulfilling love, along with the more-crucial-than-ever news of the world provide inspiration and depth for my new songs. This past year I’ve enjoyed lots of positive play and attention for my ‘Miracle Girl’ CD, and so in 2010 watch for a new Beth Wimmer CD! i plan to record in summer with a charismatic and highly talented group of musicians from Italy that I had the delight and privilege of playing with in 2009!

Thanks for reading… I wish you all Love, Creativity, Balance and Sweet Music in your hearts,

http://www.bethwimmer.com/    

 Broken Keys

 This mood and sound artist really clicked into the idea of NBT being music tourism. With tracks from his collection ‘’the sounds of the 504’’ he created movies in the mind of all the places he knows and cherishes.

 Broken Keys in his own words:

 Despite all challenges that I’ve experienced this year, 2009 has been a very productive year for me as an Independent composer/producer/artist. In hindsight, I’m always down for a challenge anyway. I have accomplished more this year than any other year that I’ve been involved with making music.  I have been granted the opportunity to sign with popular music licensing company’s such as PUMP AUDIO, MUSICDEALERS.COM, MATCHLESS MUSIC, MUSICSUPERVISOR.COM, GAMECUES, and more. I have also upgraded my equipment and sounds and am looking forward to putting these to use to come up with even more creative different styles of music.

 

In 2010, my focus will be to literally make a living doing what I love to and am addicted to the most…music. I have the making the music part down packed. Now it’s time to do more on the business end and make money. Make money without compromising my art that is. My main goal is to break out of my comfort zone and be more of people person and network. I’m sort of an introvert so this will be a task but, it’s necessary. In conclusion, I will continue to make music for the love of it. I feel like I have definitely paid my dues and look forward to big things happening. And one more thing, I will be putting out a Hip Hop album next year. It’s going to be something very special. Look out!!

http://amiestreet.com/music/broken-keys/sounds-of-the-504/

The Hit and Mrs

The off shoot turned ON, “Ashes Of Bridges‘‘  was the ever Multi-tasking Heise Brothers‘ most focused release so far. Showcasing a darkness and a melodic vulnerabilty the collection of outsider observations aimed straight for the listener’s heart.

The Hit and Mrs in their own words:

We, The Hit & Mrs., had a nice 2009. We released the album “Ashes of Bridges” and Nelly ventured out into the solo star arena with his alter-ego Jebediah Goodthrust and released the self-titled album. Other than that the year was rather uneventful. Nelly and Bubba played a handful of acoustic shows and were showered with mixed reviews (some people have no taste). V. Stak’s graphic design empire Starch continues to grow and just revealed the new Hit & Mrs.’s website (www.thehitandmrs.com). As usual, 2010 will probably bring a new album from the members of The Hit & Mrs. in one form or another. Thanks for the support and have some happy holidays.

– Nelly, Bubba and V. Stak.

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/hitmrs2

Stacie Rose

Flying, darting from the tension of the real, into the stillness of the dream, she draws it in, rocks it out.

Stacie Rose in her own words:

Had an incredible 2009 working hard on my upcoming release “The Alter-Ego EP’s.” They will be like sweet & savory, ying & yang, vanilla & chocolate, thunder & lightning…You get the point!

Been fixin to do something like this for awhile. I’m not leaving my singer-songwriter roots behind…ooh no! Just doing some much needed artistic dabbling. My adventures in genre-bending have been well received (thank you, people!) and my fun-loving lust for collaboration has led me to this place.

I raised over $5,500 to help create “The Alter-Ego EP’s” this year with the help of Pledge Music, Skope Magazine and all my fans!
I won an honorable mention for my song HOPE in the 2009 New York Songwriters Circle Contest.

I also have a song placement in two films on the 2009 festival circuit: Dead End Falls and Pornography: A Thriller.

My newest music video for Love Saves was released this year. It was extremely well-received! Please view here: http://www.youtube.com/stacierose
“The Alter-Ego EP’s” will be released in early 2010! Thank you to Next Big Thing and all my supporters that help me to keep creating my beautiful music

The NBT Review 41

rev41

Here She Comes a Tumblin’ – BirdEatsBaby (Birdeatsbaby)

Once there was Cat-Scratch Glitter and wounded cabaret howls, charged shots of glowing liquid poured across lips of the harshest red. Everything shuddered, everything shivered, and the laughter was strange and sometimes cruel.

It was beautiful.

Now keeping those thrills, but adding extra dimensions, comes this collection.

Bravely, we are now not only shown the garish stage and the freaks, puppets, divas, exhibitionists, scary sexy monsters but… the quiet bedrooms, the rumpled beds where partners may or may not sleep, the view of empty streets from its lonely windows.

We are made curious about the sadness, the stillness that may go on BETWEEN these songs.

Make no mistake this is still a thrill ride, full of carnival hipsters hustling supreme, and frantic punters screaming along with the dangerous rides, but here, and there, and here again, not so hidden away, the girls and boys dare to show their tenderness, even their dreams, unfolded carefully and placed in our grubby hands.

On one page selling this CD they are described as emo, but please don’t be fooled, there is no soft boy rich kid pampered star angstNwhines here. The lipstick is smeared from the sheer exuberant kiss and the eyeliner stains are from tears arrived honestly from fits of giggles and tears that fought hard to escape the calm internal.

There are pop songs to be sung loud by party girls, alive and free holding tight to the simple expectation of a great night out, and there are lullabies of the crooked kind that soothe and push the soul into a welcome unease with extra measure.

There is magic here. Give it a listen to.

http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk/

Karkari –Mammut (Record Records)

I could tell you that Mammut sound like a frosty and refreshing mix of the best of those American 4AD groups (Belly and Throwing Muses) a bit of Bjork, a spoonful of Sonic Youth twisted into the pop sensibilities that Catatonia got so right. I could tell you that the band has had (already)  three number one hits in their native Iceland and managed to cause a stir at the SXSW festival. I could leave it at that, and move on, pretty happy that you curious gentle reader, will go seek out the band and their music. Or you could think I am spitting out (politely of course) a bunch of facts and you will remain sadly disenthralled.

I shall instead shake the songs up in a virtual hat of the finest cloth, and let them hit the senses, and report what occurs.

I am reminded of old toys, cherished by teenagers in smiling nostalgia for their innocent child hood, toys that are still picked up and loved and kept in view as new makeup is applied and new adventures of the heart dreamt about. These plaything have an endearing roughness to them, all is not shiny shiny and plastic disposable.

I think of glam rock bands strutting their stuff on small Televisions in untidy sitting rooms early Friday evenings, the smell of dinner overpowered by the sweeter smell of the night (clubs) ahead.

Some songs make me think of mosh pits and bodies and beer bottles disengaging themselves from sweaty hands and crashing kamikaze to the pavement to join the wrecks of their fellow soldiers. Some songs make me think of almost empty studios, musicians huddled in the centre of a landscape of once twisting now still cables and wires and leads.

Some songs make me close my eyes and fall back, not thinking of the getting UP. Some songs make me want to grin and cook and dance and shop.

See what they do for you

http://www.myspace.com/mammut

 

Catch both bands on this NBT podcast

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=526901

With much more to come.

The Wonderful Ones 2008 Part Two

wonderful-ones1

And so we continue

Listen to These artists On the NBT special Christmas Show Going Out
19th Dec 08
http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/
Also catch the brand new NBT photo gallery featuring a whole bunch of the artists here:
http://jalbum.net/browse/user/album/82358/

Caroline Herring
‘Lantana’ the third release from Ms Herring, seemed to be shipped from another time and place, steeped in folklore and gothic country dreaming, it became a personal favourite for me, its gentle lucid nightmarish qualities revealing secrets with every listen.
http://www.carolineherring.com

The Histrioniks
Thin, the new release from the Histrionik duo was possible the most delightfully disturbing collection this year. Edgy new Wave and garage, it clung to bona fide punk roots while never losing sight of incredibly catchy hooks and melodies. It had an extremely dark heart though( a good thing ).

Larry: 2008 was an exciting year for The Histrioniks. We released our third CD, “Thin” on our own label, CatErratic Records. We were fortunate to get a publishing deal which will hopefully bear fruit in 2009. In addition to significant internet radio we have received some very positive reviews including an exceptionally creative and thorough critique from Martin, our NBT master of ceremonies. The title song, “Thin” along with “Too Black” and “Shattered Youth” have been the most represented.
For 2009, The Histrioniks are recording several demos that will more than likely be posted on our website. “Sleeping with a Ghost” is our current demo which we sent into NBT for airplay in December. Let us know what you think. There are no plans for a new Histrioniks CD in 2009 but there is a side project in the works that should be finished by the summer. Martin will in possession of a copy as soon as the CD is released so hopefully all of you rock ’n rollers out there will dig it.
To all of our fellow NBT artists we wish you a Happy Holiday season and a prosperous and prolific musical 2009. Of course, as always, our sincere thanks to our friend Martin for making NBT possible.
Cat and Larry The Histrioniks Baltimore, MD USA

Email: levy201@comcast.net
Myspace: www.myspace.com/thehistrioniksWebsite: www.thehistrioniks.com

Luke Jackson
Imagine a collection of lost kinks songs recorded in Sweden by a Canadian artist with a full orchestra guided along with a British film soundtrack sensibility.
And you are only a third of the way in capturing the essence of ‘..And Then Some’

Luke: 2008 was a fantastic year for me. I started it off shooting the video for “Come Tomorrow” in the freezing Canadian Winter. I had finished recording my new album “…And Then Some” in late 2007 and I spent most of 2008 getting ready to release it, which finally happened on November 4th, auspiciously the same day that Barack Obama was elected president! OK, he’s not OUR president, but the less said about Canadian politics the better.

2009 is going to be a mindblowing year. I will be becoming a Father at the end of January, all things being equal, and that is going to eclipse anything else that goes on in my life and career. Still, I hope that by the time my wife and I come up for air, I’ll be able to hit the road and play some dates in Europe and the States. Oh, and there’s a video in production for “Goodbye London” that is not like anything else you’ve ever seen!

http://www.myspace.com/luke_jackson

Richard Kapp

Richard calls himself the ‘Mad Musical Scientist’ but to my mind he is FAR more subtle than that, hiding a passion and an extremely warm heart and soul under the veneer of the gentle cynic. Richard composes brittle show tunes for the thoughtful and the jaded alike.
http://www.richardkapp.com/

Holly Long

I wrote this on the NBT blog about Holly’s ‘Leaving Kansas’
The darkness of mortality and the brilliance of redemption, this is an album of personal strength and victory over fear and falling.
The stories captured here are sharply focused, uncluttered and so very real. This is no doom and gloom epic, but is also no shiny happy people holy missive, it realises that even in redemption there is space for dirt and truth.
And truth can be harsh, as in opening track, ‘Brokedown’ where no punches are pulled, but , Whether this is sung to the mirror or directed to another character, the words may just set the woman free.
And the singer knows that when she sings ‘Trust Me’ it cannot be wrapped in sweetness but must allow for the edge of darkness to be believed.
And the singer knows that to haunt (as in ‘bones’) is to seduce and where there is pain light will always follow. You can be saved by the romance of the harmony and the shimmer of the piano.
And
If anyone fails to be moved and drawn into the world of ‘He and I (For Truman)’ then that poor listener is lost indeed.
A beautifully dark uplifting release.
http://www.hollylong.com/Tunes.html

Lotos Nile

Kissy Black and the Lotos Nile team, (specially Patrick Steven Patterson who deals directly with NBT) are the kind of promoters/distributors that go that extra hundred miles for their artists. Never once indulging in hype or hard sell, they remain one of the most dedicated and trustworthy sources of fine music on the net.
In May NBT was honoured to host a special Lotos Nile show
http://www.nextbigthing.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=334852
http://www.lotosnile.com/

Marcie
Dance, Trance, Techno and just good Pop Electronica are genres that NBT DIDN’T feature too broadly this year,( a state I hope to rectify HUGELY in 2009.) Thank goodness then for Marcie, who brought thrilling dance grooves and sleek chic dance floor rhythms into the dusty NBT barn!
Not only that but this multi tasker hosted the unique podcast `behind the lyric’ which she described as an audio commentary behind the songs we hear at the late night discos.
Marcie: 2008 was an amazing year! I saw the release of quite a few tunes, and had a #1 on the Beatport. com, the recognized leader in electronic dance music downloads. I am proud that a variety of releases made their mark on the scene. I think the highlight of the year was getting steady support from XM radio and the worlds top 10 DJ’s, Paul van Dyk, Armin van Buuren, Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten, Matt Darey! 2008 saw the release of my EP with Scottish Producer, D:FOLT, and I’m quite proud of the ideas on that album.

My radio show, “Marcie presents Behind The Lyric” had a stellar year, getting picked up by numerous stations worldwide, and featuring many established chart topping artists, as well as new faces! The best thing about the show is that it gives listeners a glimpse into an Artist’s personal creative process. I find working on the show to be a constant source of inspiration for me, and I love that there is now a ‘family’ of artists who have been on the show. Hearing from each other gives us a new respect for our art. Each episode has its own unique character due to the eclectic mix of featured guests! I am grateful that so many guests have opened up to the fans, and shared an intimate part of themselves on my show.

2009 is going to be just as exciting! I’m always in the studio working on new material. Some people tell me not to try to write as much as I do, so I do not risk burnout or over-exposure… but until I run out of things to say, I will keep writing. Sometimes my songs appeal to other people, and sometimes they are just for myself, but either way, songwriting has become an indispensible part of my life. I appreciate all the support from fans, and from sites like NextBigThing. Sharing my creations with you is the greatest blessing I have.
http://www.myspace.com/webmarcie
http://www.myspace.com/behindthelyric

The Jaik Miller Band

With vocals that get right under the skin and scratch at the soul and gritty tightly constructed pop tunes, the Jaik Miller band made you want to go for a drive with the radio on..LOUD.
Recalling and utilizing a very American grasp of country tinged rock and pop, the band calls on the quirky ghosts of the 80s (violent femmes even tom petty) with the irony and sadness of the hectic NOW.
http://jaikmillerband.net

Sheri Miller
One of the most read interviews on NBT this year was with Sheri, as we talked about subjects as diverse as Diamanda Galas, Magic and Charles Bukowski, revealing a singer songwriter intensely creative and forever searching.
Sheri: 2009—-I’m pretty excited, as I’m already half-way through writing my next record, and I’m pretty pleased with the songs so far.
I’ve been road-testing them live at shows, and have gotten really enthusiastic audience reactions, a true litmus test. I hope to start recording this record
next year…cross your fingers for that! And in January 2009- SOON, SOON, I will debut my new music video for “Waste My Breath” on a big screen and all
over the internet. We filmed it in October 2008, in Soho and South Street Seaport of New York City, with over 30 amazing girls lip-synching the lyrics.
They were fantastic, and it was wild to see all these young ladies lip-synching lyrics I had written. Please keep checking back to http://www.sherimiller.com
and myspace.com/sherimiller for updates on the video! And I’d also love if you’d sign up for my email list on either site, to keep you posted on new
shows, videos, free music give-aways, and exciting news. Oh yes! Bring on the 2009!

2008—-After years and years of keeping my head down low in the trenches, playing shows, practicing for hours, and writing hundreds of songs, I
released my debut EP “Mantra” in February. I’m quite proud of it, and it was also received warmly from the press, with some very nice critical acclaim.
I got to play some wonderful shows in NY and LA, ranging from Hotel Cafe to Bowery Ballroom to B.B. King’s to The Living Room, both stripped-down
solo and with a full band (and live string section!) I just found out this month, that I’m featured in Music Connection Magazine’s “Hot 100 Unsigned
Artist” list in their December 2008 magazine. I think you can buy Music Connection magazine in newstands nationwide. I also cut back on my huge
Starbucks coffee addiction, which is a plus, started eating slightly healthier (less buttercream cupcakes and Philly chicken-cheesesteaks) and have
started listening to classical music again. So I’m grateful for 2008, I really feel like I have a lot to be thankful for. Including NBT- a great podcast, and a
wonderful source to discover great new music. Thanks so much, you guys!
www.sherimiller.com

OurAfter
From the NBT review of Tabula Rasa
John Phillips started this turbulent year by writing a blog for NBT about the independent music scene in Pennsylvania, a rare text of promise and optimism and now his band finishes the year with the release of a five song EP that seeks out new sounds while keeping what worked so well in their previous release.
The EP is full of pure pop moments, allowing rough edges to slide into the perfect polish, injecting tinges of darker edgier rhythms from indie grunge influences (Envious Eyes) to the more anthem like sounds of ‘Echo’ that recall Joshua Tree period U2.
The band talks of a ‘mainstream crossover,’ with this EP, and in the creation of these songs have set their sights high, high in the charts of the indie playlists, on the radios and podcasts across the world.
http://www.myspace.com/ourafter

Amy Raasch
Singer/songwriter/actress/poet there was nothing it seemed to us that Amy could not do, and do extremely well. She had her own 52 songs project to keep her busy and/or slightly insane and released the album ‘Love Or Inertia’ to much acclaim. NBT called it ‘’a love letter to the lost, and a shy note to the soon to be found’’
Amy:
If you’ve ever made a dream come true, you may have discovered a fascinating dynamic of human nature: it isn’t long before all you want to do is make the next one happen!
Such was the experience of releasing my debut album, “Love or Inertia,” in 2007. Making that album was the most difficult thing I’d ever done — a true labor of love — and it was thrilling to play songs from it live. Yet as the months progressed, I began to register a growing ache to return to the well of the songwriting process. So, in the dark hours before the dawn of 2008,“52 Songs in 52 Weeks” was born.

I decided I would post the new tunes on YouTube, in a raw, acoustic form — usually learning them as tape was rolling! Minus the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike, I had to dig for it. And minus the luxury of abandoning too many ideas — for being “not good enough,” “impossible to finish,” stylistically untried, etc — I was forced to loosen my grasp on perfection. The shockingly positive reviews garnered by some of these “risky” songs taught me that I didn’t necessarily know everything about my own songs, and freed me up to take even more chances.

I also found inspiration in the lives of others. As an actor, putting myself in someone else’s shoes has always come naturally, but what crystallizes from a true story into a song is unpredictable and revealing.
“On the Shores of Elsinore,” a bluesy rocker sung from the perspective of a 14 year-old, African-American girl, is one such tune. Confronted with racist boys in big, red trucks in the desert town where her family seeks a better life, she refuses to be bullied even when her life is threatened. “Rooftops of Babylon” expresses the confusion of an Iraq war veteran reviled in whispers she overhears around her hometown, and “Version of Me” shoots from the hip of a defiant teenager gone missing.
All of these people taught me more about life, as did the process of continuing to work even as my own life was plowed through with unprecedented intensity. As a result, I enter 2009 at my humblest, most honest and clearer about my dreams than ever. I am excited to see what will be revealed. My deepest wish is that it will inspire others to make their own dreams come true…one after another.
Your thoughts and opinions on the new songs are welcomed and encouraged. Sign the mailing list at amyraasch.com to share the journey — and to help shape the new album!
http://www.amyraasch.com/

Red Rock Management
Ritchie Koning and the guys at this German based distribution and promotions label are dedicated to getting the best rock and alternative bands to the worlds ears, and introduced NBT listeners to bands from all over including Norway, Italy, the UK and of course Germany. From Industrial to metal to quirky experimental electrix they slipped right into the NBT eclectic.
http://www.redrock-management.de:80/

Sarathan Records

Jonathan Kochmer (owner) and Kara McGraw (head of Marketing) say it all so I will let them take the stage without further ado.

Jonathan: 2008 has been a very busy year for Sarathan Records! Some of the highlights have been our newest releases (War Tapes’ EP, Feral Children’s “Second to the Last Frontier” and Peter Bradley Adams’ “Leavetaking”. Also, I got to tour with my trip-hop band Two Loons for Tea throughout the US for three months, supporting our 2007 release, “Nine Lucid Dreams”. What a blast!

Like all companies throughout the world, big and small, we’re saddened and have been affected by the various global economic crises. But the situation has forced us to think very critically about how we spend every dollar and every minute of our time, and happily, this disciplined outlook has allowed us to simultaneously cut costs, increase efficiency — and to substantially increase sales and our artists’ profiles. A big part of this success is due to the earnest efforts of our growing team of talented interns, both at Sarathan headquarters in Seattle, as well as across the US and Canada. Thanks to all of you!

We’ve only been a full-fledged label since 2006 — so we’re thrilled that 2009 promises to be the year that our artists, and the label, truly explode onto the global music scene. Our 2009 releases will include full-lengths by War Tapes, Abra Moore, Feral Children, Peter Bradley Adams, Two Loons for Tea, our newest artist Thunder Buffalo, and others to be announced later. We’re proud to have such hardworking and talented artists, staff, interns and partners, and look forward to getting our music into the ears and hearts of everyone who might enjoy it. We believe that musical tastes in 2009 will continue to be diverse, which is one reason why we have such an eclectic roster. We also recognize that 2009 is likely to be a very challenging time financially for everyone — but feel ennobled by and proud of being able to offer the gift of music to everyone.

Kara McGraw: Sarathan Records is but one of the many start up companies to take inspiration from Amazon and Microsoft and struggle to come into their own in downtown Seattle. As it is with many labels, the concept of Sarathan started with one band — in Sarathan’s case, Two Loons for Tea. As the reputation of Two Loons for Tea grew, the company gradually expanded to embrace a uniquely eclectic roster of artists whose styles range from singer/songwriter to hiphop to rock. Its small crew of avid music-lovers huddles in a building, once known for being the WTO Anarchist headquarters. Sarathan’s walls picture large, stylized roses and giant hummingbirds that inspire its team to seek out the sweetest things in life: inspiring art, creative music, and good fun!

The year 2008 has carried its share of trials and triumphs for this little indie label. It started off with a bang when the label signed three fantastic artists: War Tapes, Peter Bradley Adams, and the vivacious Feral Children. The responsibility of preparing for three great summer releases transformed Sarathan into a buzzing hubbub of excitement and activity. The marketing team grew to help cover tour and release promotions, and routines were more firmly established to preserve organization during the expansion. As a result of Sarathan’s efforts, Peter Bradley Adams’ album has seen a surge in radio plays, reaching top twenty in the non-com charts and exhibiting some impressive staying power in AAA stations. War Tapes have performed with big names such as Tiger Army, The Bravery, and VNV Nation, and Feral Children been featured alongside Fleet Foxes, Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), and The Ettes. Most recently, Sarathan was proud to announce that Two Loons for Tea was honored as finalist in the 2008 Independent Music Awards.

Despite these successes, this year’s recent financial crisis has unfortunately taken its toll on Sarathan. After cutting as many extraneous costs as possible, Sarathan realized it would have to let go a few of its beloved employees. Heartbroken, yet determined that the “show must go on,” Sarathan looks toward 2009 with faith in its artists and hope for a bright new year.

http://sarathan.com

Dudley Saunders
Simply: Dudley Saunders made the NBT Album of the year by a solo Artist. Ok it seems to have been released in 2007 BUT we only heard of it in 08, The Emergency Lane deserves to be heard by ANYONE who likes the music NBT plays and writes about.
Dudley: “In 2007, I discovered that the old print media had stopped covering underground artists. But in 2008, the blogosphere bucked the mainstream and started to champion THE EMERGENCY LANE – and did a better, smarter job of it than old-media ever did. The result? Burnside Distribution just picked up THE EMERGENCY LANE for an official re-release. I owe it all to podcasters and bloggers who had minds of their own.

And in 2009? I’ve just written and recorded my first song for an independent feature film (which, so far, they like, so keep your fingers crossed). In the spring, I’ll be singing Chris Rael’s song-cycle ARABY in New York. And I’ll be regularly releasing acoustic versions of the songs I’m writing for my next CD, NOVELSONGS – all songs inspired by – you guessed it – novels!
http://www.dudleysaunders.com

Phyllis Sinclair
This gentle Protester….
Phyllis: The beginning of 2008 found me preparing to package my second album, Fathomless Tales from Leviathan’s Hole. It was important to me to present this album in a way that would intrigue because I wanted its stories to be heard. The sentiment of “Fathomless Tales….” didn’t stray far from my first album, Fence Posts and Stones.

Fence Posts and Stones told the story of Hannah, an Aboriginal woman who died in the north end of the city of Winnipeg, and her unique way of coping with the difficulties that met her there while she struggled to maintain her dignity and Aboriginal identity. It also contained songs like “Sleep Baby Blue Eyes” a lullaby which included spoken word in my Cree language, and “North Coast Fisher Wife’s Prayer” all of which I worked hard at writing with integrity and respect for its subjects and subject matter.

My challenge with this new work was to meet, and hopefully surpass, the success of Fence Posts and Stones so that these new stories like “Main Street” and “Sayisi Song” would also be heard amidst “Encinitas” and “Lost for Words”, which I also value for entirely different reasons. The goal for this new album was to, once again present struggle as a powerful impetus for positive change, to view difference as an avenue for exciting exploration, and to shed light on the challenges faced by Canada’s Aboriginal people in a way that everyone could relate to in small way. After wrestling with album titles for over a month, I decided on Fathomless Tales from Leviathan’s Hole, because I felt that that was exactly what this album was: a collection of stories that most everyone could relate to, and which allowed the listener to be taken beneath the obvious surface beauty of life to explore deep, dark and often vulnerable places.

The surprise one finds is that beauty is found here too: to view, to feel, to explore. The stories and packaging of Fathomless Tales from Leviathan’s Hole were designed to allow the listener to be willingly led to witness and explore a side of life whose beauty is often hidden.
I feel that I have met this goal to a great degree since this album was selected as one of the Top Recommended Albums of 2008 by American Music Belgium and was nominated for Best Folk Acoustic Album by the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

Along with gaining interest in my music, 2008 presented a deep personal loss. My mother, the last surviving member of her family, the last fluent Cree speaker of our family, and the strongest link to our Cree culture passed away. Her passing leaves a huge hole in our family. She had a unique and humorous way of saying and doing things that were obviously an effect of the colorful and expressive Cree language that she loved so dearly.
As the eldest member of the family, I feel a renewed sense of responsibility to ensure that those things that make us Cree stay alive. Her passing has somehow ignited my determination to document our historical experience and chart our cultural future. How this will reveal itself in my music will be a surprise to us all.

Regardless, my goal in 2009 is to continue writing songs with the same degree of empathy and compassion, to not compromise my sound for one that is more accepted, and make music that everyone can relate to in some small way. I have a lot of work ahead of me in 2009 but as they say….”inch by inch” A valued friend once said to me “Don’t look up the hill and see how far you have to go. Look back down and see how far you’ve come.” Great advice! Best wishes to my fellow songwriters in 2009, health and happiness to all who listen and who support independent music. Peace.
http://www.phyllissinclair.com

Strangers In Wonderland
Another band, another duo who found the magic: in the dark places in the dreaming and in our fragile reality.
Swedish sugar coated spikes of sonic shivers.
http://www.strangersinwonderland.com/

The Wonderful Ones 2008 Part One

wonderful-ones

The Wonderful Ones 2008 Part One

Listen to These artists On the NBT special Christmas Show Going Out

19th Dec 08

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

Also catch the brand new NBT photo gallery featuring a whole bunch of the artists here:

http://jalbum.net/browse/user/album/82358/

 

Well it’s been 12 long hectic eclectic months since i last featured The Wonderful Ones. In that 12 months the NBT Project became ‘’the little Resource that could.’’

Listenership of the podcast nearly trebled, the readership of the NBT blogs soared to five times as much, the offshoot podcast for darker music was born, and the Alternative country podcast is almost ready for the tear and glare of the internet universe.

Again I was amazed and thrilled to find so much good music out there in Independent Land. Music of honour, strength and passion, Punk, Pop, Soul, Dance, Rock n Folk, all the tribes were heard from, and NBT found itself in the weird position of trying to fit three years of new music in just 356 days.

So. Here they are

The Bands

The Artists

The Resources (labels, promoters, distributers)

The Wonderful Ones of 2008.

Below (in Alphabetical Order) is a bit about each of them, as well as thoughts from the bands/artists themselves about this past turbulent year and their hopes for 2009

Ariel Publicity/Rhoda

Those who are regular readers of NBT, know that we host the Ariel ‘New Media Pioneer Interviews’ which showcase those brave souls/podcasters/bloggers who spend their time promoting independent music on the net. But of course AP is much more than that; it is tireless in its efforts to expose new artists to the world, to get them seen on as many stages (virtual and worldly) as is possible. I asked Ariel to choose and artist for selection onto this blog and here is Rhoda.

A native of Uganda, Rhoda was raised in the Washington, D.C. area, where East and West African rhythms, pop, jazz, Broadway, R&B, and hip hop music imbued her childhood, creating a unique hybrid in her musical sensibilities. As a member of various choral groups, from school and church choirs to a female a capella group while attending the University of Virginia, Rhoda’s musical instruction includes five-part harmony and piano. Her talent emerges from deeply within, guided by a natural force of love and passion for all things creative.

Rhoda: The year that was 2008 has been yet another wonderful year in my musical journey. Early in 2008, I joined a rock band as one of three lead vocalists performing at various charitable events, including fundraisers for local school communities and AIDS research, with some incredible celebrities, including Paul Shaffer, American Idol Ruben Studdard and American Idol contestant Kimberly Locke. As the year progressed, I continued to bring the West Village, Harlem and even Jersey City’s respective houses down performing with the greatest funk cover band in the land, Loose Booty.  And in September of 2008, I released my second solo album. The album Rhoda is my deepest treasure; my collection of soulful songs of the heart which explore some of the most significant relationships of my life.

As 2008 draws to a close, I look back with an inspired and adoring eye, remaining ever-grateful for all the beautiful harmonies sung, every amazing solo played, every kind word of support and encouragement from MySpace friends, music bloggers, and warm faces in the audience, and most of all, for every moment I saw and felt someone moved by the music I feel so honored and compelled to create.  As I look forward to 2009, I see myself performing intimate acoustic sets at various venues in New York City and throughout the East Coast, I see many more endless hours of the funk brought to you by Loose Booty, and yes, I see album number 3 which me and my incredible producer, Kareem A. Walkes, have already started writing. It’s going to be a lovely ride. I hope you’ll join me.

http://arielpublicity.net

http://www.rhodankojo.com/

Bilkis

Bilkis aka Sophie brought a stripped down electronica/folk into the NBT world in 2008, melding the ghosts of This Mortal Coil, and Nick Drake and making shadows and blurs sensual again.

Bilkis: 2008 has been a productive year. I have spent quite a lot of time working at my craft of singing.

And started some recordings with Victor Kuc, I am excited with what we are producing… and although we haven’t had much time together for recording.. he lives in Poland I live in London… we hope to do more work together early next year. We produced a great cover version of Bel Biv Devoe’s Poison, which needs a few finishing touches before it can be released. And have started work on one of my own tracks which I should be done in the next month…(takes longer when you don’t live in the same country!)

 

In 2009 I’m going to be spending more time Poland. While I’m there I’ll not only be recording things and putting down beats for my own Album, but doing some collaborative work on tracks which are stylistically very different from what I do…I’m sure the result will be interesting!!

I hope to have releases also, a single near the beginning of the year… and hopefully an album later on in the year.

www.myspace.com/bilkis

BirdEatsBaby

As the days turned to winter and flirted hard with the snow reflected nights, NBT discovered warmth upon the cabaret stage with the crooked PopTheatre sounds of BirdEatsBaby. Look out for the debut album early 2009, and played an extreme amount of times by us.

BeB: Birdeatsbaby began the year fresh-faced and eager, filled with the hope and energy, which every hard-working band feels, thinking that this would be the year for us. So far, we have watched as the music industry buckled under downloading chaos, and descend further into the same old Indie crap. But we are not broken, we have kept playing, some were bad gigs, such as empty rooms and deepest, darkest Ipswich. We have also had the opportunity to play to wonderful, appreciative audiences, with artists such as Thomas Truax and Lou Hickey. We were one of the last bands to play the hallowed Pressure Point stage before its closure, and we were featured in an acoustic set at the Great Escape Festival.

                However, we are forever looking forward. This year will be the making of us, our album is ready and we will be releasing it around May 2009. To promote this, we are setting off on a grand tour of the U.K. and Europe, with our arch-nemesis Mr. Joe Black. With our combined efforts, we shall descend upon Europe and give them a show they will never forget. We shall prevail.

http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk

Deni Bonet

Classically trained Violinist Deni Bonet, has played with a shiver inducing who’s who of of the finest alternative folk indie and pop artists around including NBT personal faves, REM , Warren Zevon and Richard Thompson. But in 08 she brought out her album `Last Girl On Earth’ which showcased a great mix of the vulnerable and the sassy.

http://www.denibonet.com/

Joe Cassady and the West Coast Sound

This was music of subtle textures, it had a polished surface that enticed into a disturbing yet welcoming world that mixed the surreal with beat poet wanderings, then mixed it all up again with an seeming effortless folk rock boogie. The album, ‘What’s Your Sign’ had one of the best covers this year as well.

Joe: 2008 was a big year for us!  It started out on some pretty high notes with a lot of great recognition for our debut full-length CD, What’s Your Sign?  The first week of the year saw it named by USA Today music editor Ken Barnes as one of his favorite CD’s of 2007, that was followed by a similar recognition from Soundstage! magazine. We then began our European radio and media campaign for the record and were thrilled to have it very well received.  BBC2’s Bob Harris spun us two weeks straight on his show in the UK which was a huge honor and we were similarly honored with all the various airplay and press received we received, NBT included!

In May it was back to the studio again to begin recording our follow-up record The 47th Problem which will be out on the Avenue A Records label in February and which NBT is getting first cracks at previewing in the “Best of 2008” podcast.  Somewhere in between all of this we played 40 live dates and I hosted a weekly Americana Music series called “Avenue A Records Presents” at locations in New York City and New Jersey—it was a busy year!  In 2009 we will be releasing our new CD The 47th Problem in the U.S. and Europe and playing a ton of shows here in the U.S. in support of it.  Hope you enjoy it.  Have a great 2009!

http://www.joecassady.com

Colour Cold

With the release of debut album ‚‘Safe From Silence‘The far from Cold Bloemfontein South African band proved all of us that had been praising them to the mountains and over the oceans and beyond had been right. An example of what College Rock should sound like, taking dashings of EMO, Hard Rock and Power Ballads, and with ‘to die for’ pop hooks left behind the angst and self satisfaction of most of the ‘BIGname’ superstars.

CC: The year we decided to run!

It is always exciting to begin a new year. Something urges you to do better and elaborate plans fill January month to help bring the big world a little closer to your stage. The challenge is not the beginning of the year; it is keeping the excitement and drive long enough to help you through the challenges of those plans.

We began 2008 the same way we do every year, only this time we decided to run.

With a borrowed budget, late night recording sessions after work, phone calls that reached almost one hundred and e-mails to four countries, we released our debut album and performed to a sold out venue in our hometown. Two to three months passed and with June approaching, it all seemed to be slowing down. More phone calls and more e-mails… till suddenly we see one of our songs climb an independent rock chart up and up to number two. Reviews clearly state that a lot of effort was put into the album release and radio stations are now taking our phone calls and arranging interviews on shows we have been listening to for years.

We have achieved more in 2008 than the previous three years combined, but our greatest success has been the friendship and trust we have gained from people around the world who we have never even met.

The video documentary with Gee Davey was certainly a highlight this year. My hope for 2009 is that more artists come together and enjoy the gift of music a little more. I think that the business of music in general will stay on the same road next year, and those who keep their feet firmly on the petrol, or gas if you prefer, will have more success. For Colour Cold, 2009 will be a continuation of 2008, with more music off the shelf, live shows to film and great friends to meet.

And if you thought we run pretty fast, watch us sprint!

Liz Tsikkos COLOUR COLD

http://www.colourcold.co.za/

Ian Churchward/The Morrisons/Legendary Ten Seconds

No ‘best of year’ NBT blog would be complete without mentioning Ian, band member of  The Morrisons AND the Legendary Ten Seconds, Ian forever brings the spirit of John Peel into the NBT studio, which is one of the small things that keeps me going. He also composed the insanely catchy NBT theme tune.

http://www.freewebs.com/themorrisonsband

Feral Children

A private howl for every bedroom, a group gasp and the indie world dances, its the songs behind the stories of the smeared lipstick, the starlight sparkle of the bottle in the forest, the StagediveEternal.  ‘Second to the Last Frontier’ becomes NBT’s   Album of the Year by a Band.

FERAL CHILDREN’S Assessment of 2008:
2008 was a long year, a busy year for our band and ourselves. We started 2008 by playing a sold-out new years show, followed closely by the first of four tours. We saw the courting of ourselves by our current record label, Sarathan Records. We watched sunsets in the Moab Desert on the way to and from Austin. We played benefits for local and national causes. We wondered if we can tour Europe in 2009. We started writing a new record. We found ourselves in New Jersey at a bowling alley eating pork roll and tofu while a band set up 40 amps. We deafly drove home in four days. We’re home now finishing our preproduction for the first recording session of our next record, which will bookend 2008 quite nicely.2009 is anyone’s guess. We will finish recording our second record, possibly in more sections due to talk of tours. We’re still wondering if we can go to Europe or Japan this next year. Our only goal is to hopefully become better musicians through the process of touring and writing. Hopefully that will be the case.
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Lauren Fincham

One of the few Artists to make both the 2007 AND the 2008 lists, Lauren released the album ‚‘Perfect Pain‘and we had the pleasure of writing about it for our first ever NBT Review Blog.

Lauren: 2008 was a quiet, reflective year for me; I feel like I finally regained my creative focus.

 Most of my challenges were internal – emotional struggles with changing relationships and my own economic ups & downs.

I did get to reconnect with some important people that I’d thought I’d lost to drugs, but they’ve returned and are starting to share their musical gifts once again.

I am very grateful for that gift.

I also learned that my dog Anya is helping me to have more patience and know how to enjoy a nap.

 2009

 I really really want to travel more this year – I have been dreaming of going to Iceland for 3 yrs and haven’t gotten it together yet – but hopefully I will soon

I also would like to travel to a lot of the cities and countries to meet the awesome folks that support and play my music.

Maybe someone out there can help me come up with some ideas on how to do that?

 I have big plans to be bolder and more prolific with my creative ventures…

 We’ll see how that turns out.

http://www.12houserecords.com/lfincham/index.htm

 

 

Gee Davey

A time warp-tumble of now and then, hints of hardcore, grandfunky  SoulGrunge pop. Super shiny artifacts rolled reflecting on empty cold beaches and  the super light flares on the highways of the big city.

As well as releasing a captivating EP this year (She Sells Smiles) DJ and the guys collaborated with South African band Colour Cold to make a two part Video Documentary about both bands; check out both bands myspace pages for news on that.

DJ from Gee Davey: 2008 was a great year for us in Gee Davey –land.  We really, really, threw ourselves into our live show this year and we have really just been gigging anywhere and everywhere they would let us play.  This year was such a mosaic of shows, to think back on it now is fascinating.

In 2008:  we played for thousands of people under a beautiful sunset just yards from the water on the north shore of Long Island and we played for only seven people at one of the hippest clubs in New York City; we played during the hell of late August when the air conditioners broke, and we played at midnight during the first snowfall in December  (strangely enough, at the same club); we played at 1 in the afternoon and we played at 2 in the morning; we played with hard rock bands, modern rock bands, classic rock bands, jam, metal, psychedelic-trip, power-pop and cover bands, and some of the best bands we have ever shared a stage with.  We played on while sweat burned our eyes, and blood trickled from our fingers; while our equipment faltered, and our voices gave out.  But most importantly, we played on.

And just as we end every show we play, I give you the very last line of the night, from “Last Song”…

…and I’ll sing my song to you, it’s all I want to do.

Thank you very much 2008…    (and goodnight!)

http://www.geedavey.com/

Grand Atlantic

From Australia the BIG music, on their album ‘This Is..’ Grand Atlantic tapped in the orchestral majestic finding superb sweetness and infinite sighs within their beautiful pop songs.

Phil Usher: 2008 turned out to be a different year from what we had planned, but was a typically busy one for Grand Atlantic.  We began writing and recording our second LP in December 2007 and had hoped to finish up by April 08.  Of course being an independent band, there are many things to consider and we ended up finishing the tracking at the end of August.  The missed deadline wasn’t helped by our usual ambitious approach to writing and recording an album.  I am happy to say that the album has been mixed by the fabulous Magoo and was mastered in Nashville last week.  So we are already looking forward to a release in 2009 with many shows and hopefully some overseas touring. 

 

On the live front, we have done many shows this year in Australia, in and around our base in Brisbane.  Some highlights were the sold out Beatles tribute night, supporting some great Australian and International bands, and launching our new single “Tripwires” at the Troubadour to a capacity crowd.  We’re playing our last show for the year this week and then taking a break for Christmas etc…  2009 will be an exciting one with the release of our 2nd album entitled “How We Survive.”  We hope everyone has a great Christmas and would like to wish everyone a successful and happy new year.  See you out on the road in 2009!!!

http://www.grandatlantic.org/

 

The Heise Bros

 

Country garage, indie rough n rock, the simple pleasure of the unfiltered alternative to the gloss and posing of much of the music industry. The Heise Bros, became , for NBT at least, the spiritual children of bands like the Replacements and the DBs.

 

2008, as The Heise Bros. see it:  It started off with a bang, very literally. On December 31st, Nelson’s wife was getting induced for labor while the brothers had a New Year’s Eve gig to play. Fortunately, the doctor’s assured Nelson and his wife that Paige Susan Heise would not be born until the morning of the next day, Nelson snuck out of the hospital for an hour and played the show and came back to his wife side (with her permission, of course). Paige was born around 9 AM on January 1st, 2008. So things started well as Nelson was a new father and Robert a new uncle. But that did not prevent the boys from putting out their annual album entitled “III: The Return of The Heise Bros.”, featuring their new band mate Matt Egger. The brothers played a handful of acoustic and electric shows in 2008 in support of the new effort, and remain as always an unknown treasure to see live.

2009, as The Heise Bros. see it. This upcoming year will feature the brothers other band, The Hit & Mrs., follow up record. This will feature longtime drummer V. Stak. This tends to display the more rockin’ side of the brothers. Right now, they are working on the vocals and mixes. For your listening pleasure, the brothers will let you hear one of the rough mixes on NBT with a song called “Saint Maria” and a VU cover. Enjoy!

www.theheisebros.com

www.thehitandmrs.com

www.100under60.com

Hemifran

For any broadcaster/podcaster/blogger/radio head honcho, Hemifran is a pure wonderful blessing.

Run with elegance by Peter Holmstedt, hemifran concentrates on getting independent music from around the world, heard in Europe. Many of the bands on this very blog and on the Wonderful Ones Podcast are sourced to NBT by this company.

http://www.hemifran.com

The Wonderful Ones 2008 continues HERE

https://nbtmusic.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/the-wonderful-ones-2008-part-two/

 

 

 

The NBT Review 19 (part one)

rev19

The NBT Review 19 (Part One)

A whole bunch of stuff to get through,( it may take TWO blogs methinks) and in keeping with the NBT Ethos, a wonderfully eclectic bunch of sounds and clutter it is too. Before I begin, just one thing all those that read this ought to know: we here at NBT only write reviews on music we find/think/feel and BELIEVE is good, even maybe great, possibly future masterpieces even. If we think an album is crap, badly constructed, derivative, lazy or BLAND (the worst crime) we just won’t write about it. Independent artists have enough bother and difficulties getting their music out there without a whole bunch of negative opinions thrown together on blogs and podcasts. That doesn’t mean I DON’T sit at home and privately tear apart the latest clean cut emo worthy soul, or poke bitter fun at yet another fake punk with nice hair who got her dad or uncle to write some tunes for her :P. I am only human after all. J

Now

Onwards to the music.

 

BirdEatsBaby reviewed by Martin Smit

Holmes reviewed by William Elliot

 

China Doll EP – BirdEatsBaby (Independent Release)

When Rock flirts with Cabaret, the thrills of the former (daring, egotistical, immortal) are chilled in red glow by the latter (fragile, sacred, self destructive).

BirdEatsBaby knows that the stage they create and inhabit is a strange often lonely place, just a shiny razorblade edge away from the most chaotic heaven or the most serene hell.

The voice in these songs is almost innocent, fresh, almost too pure, it’s the friend’s voice during an out of control drug trip, and makes you feel safer than you should.

The piano is sleazy, and the rhythms swagger like show tunes Bob Fosse dreamt violent before he died.

This is music from a candlelit room, windows protected from the cities howl by dark thick curtains, a mirror showing flame flicker and slightly distorted images of the lipstick smeared wounded.

And underneath this sadness, a smirk, a quiet heart beat, not lost for those that listen closer and drift down amongst the swoops and cackles.

Buy this EP here:

http://www.birdeatsbaby.co.uk

 

Basement Tapes EP – Holmes (Groove Gravy Records)

Take a warmer hearted Donald Fagen, mix in the skewed country that Beck sometimes orchestrates, and add a huge dollop vulnerability and you have some idea of the charm of this CD.

From the love/hate song for the singers computer, to the slyly jazzy groove of the David Bowie cover, the music is never less than gently captivating and honestly unpretentiously charming.

This is crafted pure pop, not too afraid to be called easy listening, but with out sacrificing depth and some degree of internal pathos.

Decide for yourself here

http://sweetholmes.com

Catch BirdEatsBaby on next weeks NBT Podcast AND in December on the NBT WonderfulOnes Best of the year Specials.

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/