Friday, July 24, 2009

#30 (Percussion Concussion Edition)

White Rabbits offer their ingredients for their beverage: Percussion Concussion

Drums. Plural.
1 Rhythmic Motif
1 Harmonic Motif
Bassy Piano
Radiohead inspired guitar sound & guitar line
Dry hand claps
1 BreakDOWN
3 chilling harmonies

Mix. Repeat. Enjoy. White Rabbits, "Percussion Gun"

Friday, July 17, 2009

#29 (Simple As Sin Edition)

Simplicity is no sin. Campbell's Tomato Soup on a cold day, the aesthetic beauty of a Stop sign...Then there's Bowerbirds. The North Carolinian guy/gal/guy trio play lovely, simple music. Crisp snare drums, dry acoustic guitars, desperately harmonized vocals, sometimes upright bass, sometimes pianos, and sometimes squeezebox coat their rural soundscape.

After their lovely debut Hymns for a Dark Horse, Bowerbirds are releasing the follow-up Upper Air. To this humble listener, the standout is "Northern Lights." And while I've listened to this song at least 10 times today, the only thing I can properly say about it is: "all I want is your eyes PLINK-plink. plinky-plink." Enjoy an autumnal song in summertime...

Friday, July 10, 2009

#28 (More Than a Doppelganger Edition)

English singer-songwriter Nick Drake passed away thirty-five years ago. Drake was never properly embraced in his time. His first three recordings on Island Records sold less than 5,000 copies each during the time of their release. Posthumously, his impressive catalog has come to be revered as it should have been originally. Exhibiting fingerpicking prowess, subtle and crisp arrangements, striking melodies, and a feathery vocal delivery, Drake and his songs have become iconic.

For all those Drake aficionados that never got to see him perform, along comes Alexi Murdoch. While I will never directly compare the two, fans of Drake or songwriting in general should take notice of Murdoch. The Scottish-born songwriter often makes listeners do a doubletake, or simply assume they are listening to a rarely heard Drake song.

It doesn't help that Murdoch's most well known song, Orange Sky, sounds strikingly similar in name and content to Drake's most well known song, Pink Moon, and the two-chord strumming on Drake's Northern Sky. Murdoch also shares Drake's introverted nature, living in a secluded environ, and rarely touring.

Apart from the similarities, Murdoch's work deserves attention in its own right. His guitar playing and songwriting chops are strong and growing. He recently contributed the music for Sam Mendes's Away We Go. Better yet, he's here now (even if secluded). Let's listen to Murdoch's "All My Days" live from NYC's Mercury Lounge...