Thursday, February 26, 2009

Two of the best bands no one's ever hear of

Blue Merle and Bark Psychosis. I'll bet there are only a handful of folks out there who have ever heard of either one of these groups. And it's a shame. Let's start with Blue Merle. I like to describe them as Coldplay meets Mike Marshall & Darol Anger. The Coldplay comes from Luke Reynolds's voice, which sounds quite a bit like Chris Martin. Hey, I'm sure he didn't try to imitate him, it's just a fortunate coincidence for him. The music has a folksy, bluegrassy sound to it--reminiscent of Darol Anger's cd "Chiaroscuro". What's not to like? They write catchy songs and really swing at times. Unfortunately, the group put out just one studio recording "Burning in the Sun" in 2005 and a somewhat obscure live recording, and then broke up. The music world's loss.

The second group is Bark Psychosis. The grouo was formed in 1986 in England and and has a very modest discography. However they were so innovative and ahead of their time, one rock critic felt the need to invent a new term to describe them--"post rock". One listen to their music and you can see why. It could loosely be categorized as electronica, but that would be selling their music short. It's pretty and unlike anything I've ever heard. As close as I can get is to compare them with the best of Cinematic Orchestra and Yo La Tengo. They've put out a few discs over the years, the best being "Hex". Their music is engaging, sophisticated, and at times, romantic. I could easily envision any number of their tunes being utilized to great effect, in a soundtrack for a film. I've done some investigating, yet it remains unclear whether the group is still together or not. If anyone has an answer to this, please drop me a line.

To give you an example of the music of these two groups, I've posted a couple youtube videos. Their music is available from the iTune store and Amazon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Latest discoveries

I've been listening to a lot of Andrew Bird lately. This guy is incredible. He sings, plays violin, and whistles. Yes, whistles. Although he's classically trained, his music is all over the map. From Celtic, to folk, to bluegrass. There's a charming little clip of him improvising with Yo Yo Ma on youtube. Just enter their names and do a search.  A couple other singer/songwriters that are getting lots of airplay around here are: Daniel Lanois, Jeremy Fisher, Devotchka,  and The Submarines. All worth looking into. Happy Saint Valentine's Day! 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Launching off point

Okay, I started a music blog. The main point of the blog is to share my musical discoveries. I'm so into music, you can't believe it. Just stop by the ol' manse and take a look at my collection of CDs. It's totally out of control, as my wife will point out. Anyway, here's what I'm into: electronica. world, celtic, jazz, indie. singer/songwriter, and just about everything except country and rap. So I'll be posting, for the dozen folks who give a damn, what my latest discoveries are. Stay tuned folks!  Right now, I'm listening to "I am Robot and Proud." Haven't heard of them? Not surprised. Download some of their stuff. Enjoy!