The NBT Flagship Podcast : Caught You Looking

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4th July 2011 NBT A

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Four VERY different acts

with one thing in common

they are all brilliant independent artists!

Tara Nevins

Peter Brynglesson

Oh My Darling

Radio Drive

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The NBT Review 123

The Wild Land – Nate Maingard

This Review by Helge Janssen

From the muse…..through the heart – The Wild Land – Nate Maingard CD release June 2011.

If Nate himself is a matrix of cross-referencing wonders with at times a naive matter-of-factness, his debut CD ‘The Wild Land’ is a mesmerising distillation alchemized into the sum total of brilliance. When his muse speaks, we listen…..and wander with him through enchanted forests……entwined with loose vines….glinting sunlight and a rich dark undergrowth…where we encounter PAN (the god of experience) in all his wonderpotent glory….

The astonishingly opulent guitar tone (a Nathan Maingard original – Nate learned guitar-making from his father) matched by a clarity of pitch with an alluring melodic voice in shamanic harmony (the voice and the guitar are one – so much so that at times it seems as if there is a backing homogeneous male vocalist echoing words) rang a unique resonance within me from the moment this
CD made aural contact. It is always interesting when the intended raison of a song expands beyond its original framework and infuses a wider territory! So, while the songs are deeply personal, they transcend and connect with a listener tired of the glib boy meets girl/boy loses girl phrasing of current popular fare. The driving acoustic rhythms weave through the lyrics and travel an expanse that resonates with the crux of the matter conjoining emotion and intellect. The colours, moods, memories, visions that thus emanate throughout this story/concept motivated album inspires a sense of healing and crusades for a return to our intuitive selves: the innocence of the heart matched by the seduction of experience….yet with discernment….and with caution. While this may seem like a contradiction in terms on a surface level, when one is in that deeply felt intuitive (artistic) space, it all makes absolute sense.

And sense it makes!

Each track is a carefully selected gentle-gem-offering of immense beauty discovered within the thicket of…..

The Wild Land –

the track that gives the album its name – deals with the secret landscape where the river of sexuality/sensuality is obligated to course its way through the psyche without hinderance….or face the wrath of the inner voice that speaks no lie. This very important flow is not that easy to attain, yet where the hurdles serve to strengthen resolve and the bottling up of sexuality is done at one’s peril. This is the domain of that which is wild…….tread gently through it least you arouse the displeasure of these guardians of our underworld.

The plea is not to mishandle the serene (yet potentially chaotic) space that respects a surrender to our innermost gifts in our quest to find our authentic self.

Just Like You:

This song is concerned with a search for personal identity which has come about through a lack of being able to live up to the expected norms of one’s peers/society/parents/religion. There is neither anger nor blame: just compassion for oneself. Yet in so finding, discovering compassion for others which requires reciprocation:

“…if no one is listening then this all seems absurd….”

This is, after all, a deeply felt anticipated yet unwritten human pact which we implicitly make with our fellow man. This is further
demonstrated in the final punch line:

“I hold onto my love, just like you.”

…..where the playing fields are gently levelled.

Fire:

two embers in the fire faced one another
said to the other: What are you doing here?
although I question carefully your presence
I am so grateful for your company
in the fire

until we’re gone gone gone gone gone
gone
gone gone gone
gone gone gone gone gone
when the flames have all burned down
what will remain?

The birth/death/rebirth cycle so beautifully and poignantly expressed in a total acceptance of the heat of experience yet posing a mysterious philosophical question: “what will remain?” The answer to this seems to rest with the quality of the experience. The Phoenix undoubtedly springs to mind too, for is it not from/through the ashes that the new is born? Each experience is savoured, considered…..it forms a vital ingredient in our transformation…..of that which we are becoming..

My favourite track is undoubtedly

I Will Devour:

in the soft moist loam
in the undergrowth
where all creatures know
what that seed is worth..
i will lay me down
and i will sink in to
just like the seed
i will feed the new

…..sheer genius!

And performed to mesmerising perfection at the Bean Green Roastery, in Durban, where I had the
delighted pleasure of also filming it! I am also now the proud owner of a signed ‘The Wild Land’ CD.

Yes!
They say that the ‘indie folk’ scene is exploding in Cape Town. If this album is an example of that, then folk music in this country has finally come of age. This has to be the most remarkable folk debut album in many a decade, and in my experience, in South Africa – ever! It draws through its many folk influences and turns out a product that is modern, inspired, fresh and immediate. Nate exhibits an innate sense of drama and timing in his distinctive musical and vocal style. He treads…and plays……where few have dared to go….and through his creative process fearlessly faces his beasts inviting them into obeisance.
Buy “The Wild Land” now. Immediately! You will never regret it.

http://natemaingard.com/album/the-wild-land

tracks from this album can be heard on the NBTMusicRadio

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

iTunes: NBTMusicRadio

The NBT Review 122

Send Me Home – Jaspar Lepak (Independent Release)

This Review by Helge Janssen

The voice opens and draws you in, it soars and takes you with it, it dips and saddens, lilts and widens…..and you suddenly find yourself on the Jaspar Lepak flight:
an inspirational wing across a world landscape as broad as it is deep, as beautiful as it is dark, as light as it is sorrowful. It twists and turns, swings and rhythms, rocks you shakes you….but the beauty never leaves you: a mesmerising combination of the utterly
angelic with the tender pique of hard earned experience. This integration gives a weight to her being, to her presence, with a gravitas that is yet born with ease and is deceptively uncomplicated.
Jaspar is thus immediately accessible to a wide range of listeners, and while her genre is firmly rooted in ‘country and western’
there are elements of folk, rock and blues.

And her words paint fluid pictures –

send me home:

“…I lost my
light, I lost my light
don’t know when I let it go dim
my spirit cries out
my spirit cries loud
I’m sadder in any church
I feel better in any crowd….”

clouds:

“…and you carry your dreams on a million pots of coffee
and your hands can’t find nothing more to hold….”

to pieces:

“…every night we prayed to Jesus
while we told each other lies..”

america the beautiful: this is Jaspar’s foray into a view of her country that looks through the veil of the american dream extremely
poignantly and, in my view, most accurately yet with compassion – and it appropriately takes the form of a lullaby –

“Is their dark inside your spirit?
Are you far down in the well?
Don’t you worry little darling
Love will come and break the spell…
But love won’t come on a white horse
little darling love will come
not just for you but for the masses
who have faces everyone…”

Every track holds a memory in a sacred place and is indelible.

In sum “Send Me Home” while originating/germinating within everyday experience, crosses into the metaphorical – searching, discovering, and claiming the inner journey towards ‘self’. In this sense Jaspar carries the cresset of an established musical tradition that bears the flame of wakefulness. Thus it is that new discoveries of meaning await with each replaying.

And replay it I do!

The production of this album is excellent. The harmonies within the backing vocals (Andy Thompson, Rachel Van Scoy, Kale Lepak, Mother Banjo and Kim Bahmer on specific tracks) are always inventive with an intuitive spontaneity that lends an immediacy that never fades no matter how many times you hear them. The wonderful use of the accordion (Kale Lepak) and the array of backing instruments (Andy Thompson) lends subtlety and distinction.

“Send Me Home” has been expertly produced, recorded and mixed by Andy Thompson at his home in Minneapolis. The track “Minneapolis’ was recorded by Jaspar at her Durban home!

“Send me home” is an exceptional album. Get it. Listen to it. Be amazed.
You can buy the album from Jaspar herself as she performs in and around Durban at regular intervals. Avail yourself of this opportunity to hear her live before she returns to Minneapolis. And be amazed.

http://www.myspace.com/jasparlepak

You will be able to hear trax from this album within next weeks Podcast and spread around the NBTMusic Radio as well !

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

The NBT Podcast Archives 1

due to the fact that the NBT Flagship Podcast has left its old home and made a place for itself right here on WordPress a gentle archive movement has begun. Downloads only for the time being. Starting with the last show hosted by Libsyn and the 2010 Wonderful Ones Broadcast.

The NBT Wonderful Ones 201o

(right click and save as)

NBT_Wonderful_Ones_2010

rare live recordings, cool covers, acoustic takes, specially recorded songs for the show

starring

Richard Kapp  Bill Price Dark Lily, Sarathan/Two Loons for Tea, Danika Holmes Tokyo Rosenthal,

Richie Lawrence 88 Kilos Of Sunshine, Marco Mahler Frequency Theatre, Pollyanna  Aaron English  Small City Calling

Ripple Music Mach Fox Tori Sparks Ruth Minnikin Peter Doran Adventure Spirit

Rebecca Turner Bird Eats Baby Merry Ellen Kirk Carta Marina Elika

Legendary Ten Seconds iCON Orange One Count To Fire.

Read about the artists HERE

SONGS LIKE THESE

(right click and save as)

11th_May_2011_NBT

featuring:

Small City Calling

Brian Lee

IAM:YOURHERO

Chainsaw Murphy

Tokyo Rosenthal

Pete Sinjin

Giula Millanta

HuDost

Of Covers and Colours

25th May 2011 NBT

(to download right click on this link and ‘save as’ or simply stream by hitting the arrow ‘play’ button on the cassette above!)

Or Click on the Picture Below to get to the NBT Player/Channel !

youcan SUBSCRIBE to the NBT Podcast audio HERE

Music manipulated

inspired and inspiring

the independent way

 Read Reviews on these Artists on the NBT Blog

Giulia Millanta

LadyTown and Jebediah Goodthrust

AaronEnglish

 also featured on this show

KimmieRhodes

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Our
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Facebook
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The
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Portal/homepage
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Electronic/experimental/darker
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NBT
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The NBT Review 121

Darling  – Ladytown (Independent Release )

 A songwriter deals(mostly) with the darkness that dwells just inside the edge of life, they are there to document the blur, to transcribe in slow motion the daily stories that most of us would take for granted.

 So to open this short set with a ‘simple’ love song/thank you, a tune that says ‘the battle is done and because of your existence  I can carry on this fight.’ This is most welcome, it offers up that rich redemption and hallowed hope straight away and in these troubled times that is a gift indeed.

 Having given this gift, the singer can explore the darkness a little now, the melancholy that most love, even the best love, often comes wrapped in. She  watches as a writer writes, knowing that her thoughts and requests may be ignored by the one person she
desperately needs to read what she puts down into words.

 In ‘Bombs’ she makes the observation that at times, not doing anything maybe the most pure form of escape after all, a kinda whisper into your ear, that the ‘giving up’ is the only way to keep on. This song is drug like in it’s shading and temptations, a song that seems to say, just for today stop fighting, all the fighting all the pushing in the world will not stop the bomb from falling,

 And yet (and this is the beauty here) this song never feels like a song of defeat. Rather a touching song of acceptance.

Just when we think that this will be a testament to the Internal , a set of lullabies if you will, Ladytown throws a few country rocking tunes full of wit and vigour worthy of a Neko Case or an even more rootsy Jenny Lewis. Showcasing the way the band slips into her songs like forever friends. There is musical telepathy at work here and its wonderful.

In the most touching song here,’Coins’, the fierce glow of an affair is watched as it fades into the passage of time, the finely sketched characters choosing either that escape spoken about earlier, or the heartbreak of not quite letting go.

And then you realise just how well these songs fit together as a whole, that this set has to be listened to and savoured in one setting

Find out for yourself

http://www.ladytownmusic.com

Hear Plenty of tracks from this collection on the NBTMusic Radio

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

The NBT Review 120

Dropping Down – Giulia Millanta (Ugly Cat Music)

It’s a brave thing indeed to start of a set with a song that has, as its main focus, Anger. It could set us up for angst perhaps or that
shouty kinda righteousness that some protest singers favour. But ‘Right Between The Eyes’ balances the singers (rage) disappointment with a restrained sort of energy, holding back when it needs to, letting a gentle folk even reggae mood drift though, but keeping the bite, the tension perfectly.

It’s because its personal. And that’s the album’s defining core, these songs come from the heart and the mind, what takes place is seen through the singers eyes, what is felt is what she feels, and oh she is curious, feisty, humorous, yet introspective. And she manages somehow to make that introspection blossom outwards so that we become emotionally attached to the words and music.

She sets the scene, and often that scene is surreal, yet with a few words you catch on to all the characters, and where they fit, if only for a few seconds before they slip slide away, melt, fade into each other as she tumbles us gently into another chapter.

On the cover we see the artist seconds after taking the great leap off, down, into..where exactly? and we wonder if she will be able to
illustrate through her songwriter this ambiguous fear or joy or that satisfying mix of both.

Wonder no more, this free-fall is seductive, delicious even strangely comforting.

Her arrangements too fit this slow dive, never fussy, the instruments shift around the voice like the wind against the body falling,
special mention must be made though about Lorenzo Forti’s bass which slinks and curls around the songs, sly and provocative.

Millanta takes us on a quirky sideshow reading of Paranoid, which displays a subtle theatrical pose, before ending the set with ‘Floating’ which is placed perfectly as it seems to be an answer of sorts to all the questions raised within the previous stories, an acceptance of love, of self and finally of life.

Find out more

http://www.giuliamillanta.com

Look At The Sound – Jebediah Goodthrust (Independent Release)

 Holy Banjo Batman!  The Country superhero brings us another slice of home cooked rock n roll, or maybe its moonshine, He sure does strut across the speakers like a good old young man all dressed up fine for a Saturday night adventure.

Mr Heise plays about 85% of what goes on here, but weirdly this is the most BAND sounding album of his long curved career.

This is the Breakthrough collection the one that could shove those that merely admire into something resembling pure love. And I for one will rejoice mightily when that happens.

It even boasts a bona fide classic rock single in ‘Go’ which is a gloopy mix of Sweet Jane Velvets and Paul Westerberg  all applied with a big brush onto that unmistakable Heise Brothers structure.

But the fun doesn’t stop there!

There are ungainly waltzes (cowboys learning to love and dance, their minds half on that pretty face half on the hassles and weight of the world outside), and even that peculiar kinda post punk ballad type thing that only a certain type of deviant American really understands or gets right.. again though its the Heise twist that defines them, so its Pixies or Pavement (depending on the hour and the song) but with that  smudge on the windscreen perspective.

Personal favourite  for me, (let it be said that this collection is FULL of faves)  is ‘So Tired’ a song that builds and falls , builds and falls and  contains a delicate tension that bodes well for future releases and also gets that difficult creature that is Nelson’s voice just
right.

Look, they are never really gonna be mainstream, but this one flirts with the possibility, and is perhaps the brothers finest achievement thus far.

And if this ‘solo’ outing makes you , gentle listener want to explore the back roads that the Hit and Mrs and The Heise Brothers travelled, then that’s a damn good thing.

Http://thehitandmrs.bandcamp.com

 Tracks from BOTH these fine recordings can be found on the NBTMusic Radio

http://nbtmusicradio.playtheradio.com/

 and they
will also be featured on the NBT Flagship Podcast going out tomorrow
on this very set of pages 🙂