The NBT Review 88

The Scorpion In The Story – Tori Sparks (Glass Mountain Records)

Every time you listen to a piece of music you are entering into a journey. Depending on the art and talent of the creator, the songs will take you to places away from where you sit and listen. Sometimes they will take you to truth and knowledge deep inside of yourself, secrets you didn’t even know you had, sometimes they will take you on adventures, show you strange souls, show you the ragged wonder hiding behind the ordinary blur too many of us take for granted.

Without really setting out to do so, Tori Sparks has concocted a set of stories about places she has traveled through while performing across the USA, observing in fragments and miniatures the ever ongoing battles and victories of those curious mortals that live and strive and love there.

We observe along side her and learn with her, not just about the things she sees, but the way they touch her inside. So in a way dear listener this is really thirteen chapters, all about, You.

 Chapter one: On a choral whisper/grunt, over sleepy sly upright bass, and sweetly clear banjo, we slide into the slow focus dream of the perfect man, the perfect address, then as the song blossoms into full giddy country dance the wry truth tumbles gleefully in, the fairytale shimmer is blown away.

Refreshing.

Chapter Two: Does she escape these cascading photographs, black and white reminders, she drives fast but distance was never the cure for the ghosts in the past.

Chapter Three: As the honky tonk Taxman riff sashays around, the free girl sings in the voice of the trapped girl, what is she trapped by, by her lovers failed ambition, that’s a strong prison right there.

Chapter Four:  we mostly choose those who will make us safe, not those who make us happy. Slow dance of regret

Chapter Five: this is a minor epic, the singer tells of a life lived small and long, of the years of holding in, the singer can only respond with a song that breathes and yearns wide, she paints this brittle soul as if it were the entire world.

Chapter Six:  one of the stand out tracks, reminds one of the ‘other’ tori, but with less waft and with more dirt on her fingertips, this is the tears, then the smile through the tears, then the ‘what the hey!’ after the tears , get back on, this time around will be fun no matter what. This contains that secret ingredient of a hit song, the enjoyable heartbreak.

Chapter Seven:  Oh yes the Devil is such a charming man.

Chapter Eight:  the self image of the wild girl, after the chaos of the loud night, the quiet scary look at  the villain that may not even be there.

(All this to music that ties itself with understanding, to every word.)

Chapter Nine: look closer there are shadows in this picture of the sunlit couple.

Chapter Ten: the skill here is how she takes the story on, from the start of the disaster, and then travels on, she wants to ride the shockwaves, the afterglow, rather than the obvious big bang.

Chapter Eleven:  with a few lines the internal machine of the odd couple is caught, roots Americana  the Dixie Dregs  would be proud of.

Chapter Twelve:  Another hit in the dreaming, the subliminal brass touches deep inside, why is this not a mainstay on all the alternative playlists?

Chapter Thirteen: no not the end, cause this song makes you want to simply start the album again, come dance, come think, come lose yourself in these stories.

Don’t just take my word for it go here and find out for yourself

http://www.torisparks.com

Tori will be featured on NBT podcasts during September

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

If you use Internet Explorer you can stream snippets of a couple of the Tunes here

                               http://www.nextbigthing.co.za

  (After the intro Click on the ‘#Just want to look around# text it will take u thru to next page)

   A chart made up from browsers rating and listening to the song streams can be found here:

                                      http://nbttopten.podbean.com/

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The NBT Review 78

Ghosts Of Radio – Patrick Bloom (Mud Dauber Records)

Listen deeper, closer.  At first it is just this gentle country swing, somewhere between a slow spin between old lovers and a prelude to a giddy Saturday night shindig. Then the tale of this broken( but not defeated) survivor comes into focus. Once a prisoner of both his fragile mind and government institutions this is a song of escape from the chill into the warmth of an ambiguous Minnesota.

Even though, as I listen, I think that this journey is towards the conclusion of this man’s story, the feeling of hope, of release, of peace, shines oh so brightly.

Patrick Bloom creates a cast of quiet eccentrics who he has a great deal of affection and empathy for. Most are indeed Ghosts, fading in and out of family and our ‘normal’ day to day strivings. These are nostalgic, wishful creatures, the blur in the photo, and the crackle on the radio, the voice in the creak of a chair or the turn of a smile.

This is time travel, history told without bombast and an eye on the personal, the tears are in the details, the joy in the simple effective sketches and descriptions. It is roots music about America but so well constructed and felt that anyone anywhere can relate, can be touched.

The musicians share the songwriter’s communion with his stories and Bloom produces the collection with restraint and elegance, (the subtle use of brass on Red Dodge Dart in a very ‘The Band’ way is a particular delight.)

What is unique about this album is that it’s about how these ghosts BECOME ghosts, Bloom seems to capture the moment of flight from this troubled world out, away into a better place. This perhaps is a collection of goodbyes, but devoid of bitterness. The dying here is natural, even wanted, not with fear not with hopelessness, but a reward for hard lives lived full.

This is not about giving up, giving in, but rather acceptance.

Highly moving and beautiful.

http://www.patrickbloom.com

Catch Tunes from the Album on the NBT podcast going out on the 22nd July 2010

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/

If you use Internet Explorer you can stream snippets of a couple of the Tunes here

                               http://www.nextbigthing.co.za

  (After the intro Click on the ‘#Just want to look around# text it will take u thru to next page)

   A chart made up from browsers rating and listening to the song streams can be found here:

                                      http://nbttopten.podbean.com/

The NBT Review 67

Ghosts – Tokyo Rosenthal (Rock & Sock Records)

Begin with the urgent, like when Elvis was more country than Las Vegas; this is Sun Sessions with a lyrical sting in the tail. Is this about the way obsession wounds, or is it about the will to escape from a relationship where destruction’s maybe it’s only saving grace? In a skillful bit of minimalist writing Rosenthal shows this story from multiple points of view, and all the while the music rock-a-billys on.

Then the song gets gentle, gets personal, the insight is tempered with deep love, and a character (a soul) is sketched as we listen. A life is shared, the small tragedies and tiny (yet tremendous) triumphs, this is the way one person keeps, keeping on.

There is no perfect love but there is damn near perfect old time Americana swing here, the affectionate dance prevails, giddy yet tender it heals.

Almost an island lilt to the title track, the singer treats his darkness with care, as he moves into ballad; the beauty is in the details (no need for a million words of explanation) just the hint of a touch or a smell or, perhaps most importantly, an echo. Poignant memory, stripped off angst, no brittle thing this, rather considerate and eternal.

Mister Tell Me why this next song shouldn’t be a miracle of a cross over hit , just enough rough, just enough dirt, the smile this induces, is an intimate thing.

Then a curveball, an jazzy pop 60s curveball,  the less frantic Loving Spoonful perhaps, or the Monkees drifting towards psychedelic bubblegum, A lazy charming thing.

These are songs that are constantly surprised by the danger within an emotion let loose, are amazed by how the smooth flow of a day’s journey can be tumbled chaotic with just a word or a gesture. These are songs that are entranced with the Consequences of love and anger, how we travelers have too much understanding sometimes, thoughtlessness other times. These are songs that know that it is not necessary to preach an answer, but it is rather cool to set a listener down the road towards his or her own conclusion.

These are songs that seem to talk to each different one of us they are immediate in their connection yet their caress abides long after the player has stopped spinning.

http://www.tokyorosenthal.com

Hear tracks from this album on several NBT Podcast shows

 http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=619263

http://nextbigthing.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=614489

And coming up on the 30th June 2010 as well.

If you use Internet Explorer you can stream snippets of a couple of Tokyo’s Tunes here

http://www.nextbigthing.co.za

(After the intro Click on the ‘#Just want to look around# text it will take u thru to next page)

A chart made up from browsers rating and listening to the song streams can be found here:

http://nbttopten.podbean.com/

(personally I hope this cool Americana music will be up there really soon J)

The NBT Review 64

Melancholy Waltz – Richie Lawrence (Big Book Records)

This is what music is meant to do. I am transported from a weak summer day, still losing its battle with should be long gone winter, to standup flying through the shadows and the heat and sleepy heaviness of somewhere deep in old America.

This is stripped down dreamtime, breathing slow, deep and moody.

When the vocals start (accompanied by seductive accordion) they are laid back but almost flirtatious, in ‘Danielle’ one gets the impression that even if the woman in question is angry enough to THINK about leaving, she is also charmed by the gentle nostalgia of the playing.

Within the title track, Lawrence blends the sad dramatic with a sense of liberation, this and the other songs are flickering ancient images of battles fought and, again, one is taken back to the feel of dreams, the hopefulness perhaps of the weary optimist.

These are songs that soothe the savage self pity of the barroom late night, in awe of the days past, in love with the possibilities of the here and now.

Magically Lawrence creates secular hymns crossed with just the right hint of music hall bawdiness. When there is regret it is gentle and when there is love it is profound and utterly moving.

This collection is an escape, played pure, from the heart.

http://www.richielawrence.com

Hear tracks and thoughts from Richie Lawrence about the album on the NBT Podcast of the 13th May

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 37

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Songs Of Sins And Redemption – The Molenes (Independent Release)

Take in the purity of Roots Americana, dirty it lovingly with hints of feedback, splashes of political anger and huge gulps of driving rock n roll, and you have the first two tracks, the gateway into the world of very human very fragile saints, and  sometimes beautiful sometimes scary and sinister devils.

As just music this collection is oh so easy to fall in love with. There is not an instrument out of place, no arrangement over blown or underdone, and the nuanced interplay between musicians (who follow each others rhythms as instinctively as brothers) is thrilling.

Of course it’s not just about the playing and the tunes, but a journey towards the light with all the perilous thoughts and shadowy images that the odyssey entails.

Stealing from the track, ‘Bring the Bottle’ these are often snapshots onto a world that is ‘One Righteous bloody mess!’ and as the cover of the CD suggests, there is  an allure to the decay, there is something deeply uplifting in the fact that the broken souls will keep standing, keep moving on.

And the Molenes will be the dance band they party  loud to, in wicked stops along the way.

Find out more here

http://www.themolenes.com

And you can hear the Molenes on this episode of the NBT podcast

http://www.nextbigthing.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=495389

Foresight/Poorsight- The Johns (Ghost In The Cupboard)

Rewind the film, slowly. A train sneaks back tragic into a tunnel, and the sun slipSlides behind a cloud. With rolling thunder, the drama of ‘Sun For Days’ unrolls. This is the end. NO, actually this is a seductively brutal beginning.

The theme of loss continues, made strangely sweet with a power pop chug, kinda like Mathew Sweet fronting a new wave Byrds. These are songs about dancing as close to the edge as possible, sometimes accepting that the fall is the most wonderful thing, these are songs that SEEM to be about giving up, but look/listen closer and they are about surviving the dull chaos of break ups and fractured dreams.

The singer is a cynic, the singer is conflicted, and the singer is a romantic, he searches through the shudders of the songs, through leftovers of a rock n roll explosion, the shattered remains of affairs and love, and he tries to explore the truth of things. And with this band, these are his findings.

This is no one man quest though; this band is a whirling strumming thrumming beating heart of a music machine, creating swirls and harmonies, a subtle modern wall of noise.

Through the loneliness, this band wants to reach out and touch you.

Find out more here

http://www.thejohnschicago.com/

Catch songs from this album on this weeks NBT podcast.. Going out this Friday

http://www.nextbigthing.libsyn.com