Monthly Archives: June 2007

Once; Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

“Take this sinking boat and point it home…”

I’ve harbored a pretty serious crush on Glen Hansard ever since I met him at last year’s Lollapalooza. So, naturally, I set out to see his new film Once at my earliest convenience. Chances are you’ve already heard a bit about the film, especially if you’re a Frames fan. If not…it was directed by former Frames bassist John Carney and features Marketa Irglova, with whom Glen has written and recored a studio album entitled The Swell Season. In the film, Hansard plays a charming street busker who meets Irglova in the streets of Dublin and soon after asks her to record a few songs with him when he finds out she is a talented singer and pianist. As far as I’m concerned, Hansard is a prolific songwriter. Not only do I earnestly endorse the soundtrack and the movie, both of which are beautiful and fantastic, but see if you can’t get your hands on The Swell Season as well.

Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova – Falling Slowly
Glen Hansard – Say It To Me Now

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Scattered Trees

“A lonely creature of habit, just one bird on a wire…”

I just like to groove, you know? Bring on the slow jams. I’m likely giving you the wrong impression of both me and the upcoming band, but I reckon that “groove” isn’t a completely inaccurate word to use. Scattered Trees, a folk/indie band from my favorite Midwestern city, Chicago, caught my attention about 2 weeks ago. I was hooked after I found out songwriter/vocalist Nathan Eisland was a fellow Minnesotan. The released their EP, Heart of Glass, back in the 2006. The title track is below, as well as my favorite cut “Blackbirds In Autumn.”

Scattered Trees – Blackbirds In Autumn
Scattered Trees – Heart Of Glass

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Weaver at the Loom/the Spirit of ’76

Naturally, I’ve always been one to champion the local circuit. And when you live in Minneapolis/St. Paul, it’s certainly not to hard to find yourself a group of genuinely talented musicians. The two forthcoming bands are my new local favorites. I can only hope that you’ll be hearing a lot more about them – and not from just me.

– Weaver At The Loom –

Excuse the overly nerdy epigram, but my cup runneth over with praise for local newcomers Weaver At The Loom. After apparently only being a band for a mere two or three months, they sure have a lot to show for it. The band already has a beautifully written and performed 5 song EP under their belt. As far as I’m concerned, any number of months isn’t enough time to perfect, record, and debut a collection of songs this good – this band, however, pulls it off wonderfully. I Was Searching And I Found, the band’s debut, which is essentially a mini concept album, is brimming with beautiful atmospherics and lush, melodic instrumentation. Stream the entire EP at the band’s Myspace page.



(MP3) Buck Up, They’re Coming

– The Spirit of ’76 –


Who said that indie kids can’t dance? The Spirit of ’76 sure makes it easy. I hate to pigeonhole, though my intentions are very good, but Minneapolis certainly wasn’t going to miss out on their slice of the dance-punk pie. The band, whose moniker pays homage to seminal British rock band the Alarm, self describes their sound quite simply as music for the “movers and shakers.” Hmm, sounds about perfect. The chosen track is from the band’s 2006 debut EP, All Talk. If you’re in town, grab the disc at Electric Fetus – you’d be doing yourself a giant disservice if you didn’t. Otherwise, out of towners can purchase the EP online via the band’s Myspace page . Be sure to head here to listen to some newly recorded demos. “We’re All Saying” comes highly recommended.



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Ryan Adams. June 18. Minneapolis. The Cedar Room.

Have I ever mentioned that I’m hopelessly in love with him? I had a beyond fantastic night last night. I don’t think it needs much elaboration. He’s closed with “I See Monsters” the last two times I’ve seen him, so it only seemed appropriate. Granted, this version is not from last night, obviously. Easy Tiger comes out next Tuesday. It’s absolutely fantastic. If you’ve never purchased a Ryan Adams album, become a better person and start doing so…

Ryan Adams – I See Monsters (live)

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Poor Bailey

“I’m not great but I’m good enough.”

…and today, a slice of Americana via Bay Area band Poor Bailey. The minute I heard the title track from the band’s 2006 disc Pyrite & Gold, I knew it was the beginning of a long and fulfilling performer/listener relationship. Exaggerations aside, Poor Bailey really has something seriously exceptional going on. The band specializes in country infused rock and roll reminiscent of my personal favorites, the Damnwells, with vocals slightly akin to Conor Oberst. It really is a thrilling combination, I promise. My suggestion…Pyrite & Gold is worth every bit of your cash (especially considering it’s a two disc set).

Poor Bailey – Pyrite & Gold
Poor Bailey – Musical Mattress

more info…
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Wesley Jensen

“How many times must we get lost in our lives?”

Jangly acoustic guitars, harmonicas and a penchant for pop music? I’m sold, and that’s no secret. Wesley Jensen, a Redding, CA resident, has perfectly aligned country, folk, and pop music in his debut offering entitled Pirates & Cowboys. Modest verses launch into epic choruses, leaving very little to be desired. And as if I needed a reason to dig the music even more, Jensen’s lyrical ability gets my vote as well.

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Low Vs. Diamond

“Where was this life that you had?”

I’ve been in possession of this disc for the past couple of months now. As far as I’m concerned, it’s far too long for me not to have shared the musings of Low Vs. Diamond with you. While I still can’t quite come to grips with the band’s questionable choice of moniker, I am able to recognize something pretty substantial going on below the surface. Grandiose, orchestral pop stylings that remind me very much of Hamilton Leithauser and his boys in the Walkmen are LvD’s forte. Definitely an enjoyable four track EP. The band has recently released their first single over in the UK. So, if you’re lucky enough to live across the pond, keep your eyes peeled.

Low Vs. Diamond – Life After Love
Low Vs. Diamond – This Is Your Life

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