Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trizonna McClendon, "NewFamiliar"

Trizonna McClendon

I seriously don't know what to make of Trizonna McClendon. No matter how many times I listen to her latest album, NewFamiliar, I'm still thoroughly confused. Some of the songs are fantastic, well written, lyrically clever, and groove in a completely original and addictive way. And then the song that comes after that will be so annoying and clammy that I have no problem saying it's flat out terrible.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tim Pepper, "Beautiful Frustration"

Tim Pepper
Beautiful Frustration

Tim Pepper knows how to write. His intelligence and way with words shows not only on his latest album, Beautiful Frustration, but on his website and his personal blog. He calls himself quiet, saying he does more listening than talking. Maybe he should speak up more often; he clearly has a lot to say, and a smart, quirky way of doing so.

Astral Travellers, "The Truth Beyond"

Astral Travellers
The Truth Beyond

If the best music comes from outside the United States, and the classics influence the best musicians, then Astral Travellers are two for two. Their name, which they plucked from a Yes album, isn't the only evidence on their newest album The Truth Beyond of their wide range of influences. A mix tape made by one of the members must be baffling. Their list of bands they like ranges from Muse to Zeppelin and back around to Metallica.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Laurie Morvan Band, "Fire It Up!"

Laurie Morvan Band
Fire It Up!

Laurie Morvan has been through a lot of heartache in her life – I guess that's why she loves the blues so much. Her biography reads like a tragedy, but her accomplishments (from a college volleyball scholarship to earning her degree in electrical engineering to becoming a teacher), prove what her songs do: you can't keep this woman down.

Nathaniel Sutton, "Starlite"

Nathaniel Sutton

Nathaniel Sutton takes DIY to a new level on his latest release, Starlite. He plays all of the instruments (guitar, piano, drums, harmonica, and synth), as well as writing the lyrics, and mixing and producing the album. And it sounds good, for something recorded at home, except for the biggest problem: the vocals.

Dark Hallow Band, "Real Monsters Look Like Men"

Dark Hollow Band
Real Monsters Look Like Men

I'm not sure if it's pure coincidence that the Dark Hollow Band claims their name originated from the street they lived on and that it's also the name of a Grateful Dead song. In “Silent Prayer”, the chorus talks about listening to the Dead. Coincidence or not, the Dark Hollow Band manages to be influenced by bands like the Dead, Bob Dylan, and Woodie Guthrie while still sounding original.