Video: Jameson, Breathe Your Last

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This is the video for Breathe Your Last, by Jameson (Jameson Burt), from his new EP Carnivore. It considers, visually, the battle between artist – writer, in this case – and demons, and artist and self, and contains some weird Fight Club-style bloody violence and Blair Witch-style shaky footage of one man’s mind coming apart at the seams. There is one extended scene with words melting off a blackboard that is seriously the stuff of nightmares for anyone who keeps little piles of scribbled chunks of story and notes-to-self laying around. On the plus side: our hero does climb out of the nightmare pit at the end and presumably lives to fight (and scribble) another day. Some thoughts about Carnivore as a whole: I’ve been listening to it on loop for the last couple of days, and it is the kind of record that 1) will stand up to that kind of test – I have yet to get bored with it and 2) blooms under that kind of scrutiny. Breathe Your Last has a distinctly Americana sound, but the rest of the songs don’t really; they shimmy all over the indie rock spectrum, borrowing from a variety of genres … Continue reading

Two Songs From: Junkie Thrown

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Junkie Thrown (Sanna Holmström) is from Göteborg, Sweden, and she combines crystal-sweet vocals with delicate guitars and the occasional heavy hypnotic beat. I spent most of last night listening to her YouTube uploads on endless loop; that includes her tunes as well as one by a friend – Sun Lions Army, by Sea Lion – and you can replicate that experience if you like, or you can listen to just her stuff, below. Fairy Christmas Day is . . . not your typical Christmas song. It’s Christmas through a haze – a haze of what, who knows – disappointment and alcohol, maybe – but it’s also somehow soothing. And then there is Circus of Our Misery, as an example of her non-Christmas fare, which has a delicate melody over a dark, thudding undertow.

Two Songs From: Nahko and Medicine for The People

Photo by Miko Walczuk

Nahko and Medicine for the People, led by Nahko Bear, are from Portland, Oregon, and are less a band and more an artistic collective that happens to play music. Really, really good music, that you could wedge into any number of genres, including world music, indie rock and inspirational. I came across them the other night when I fell in (yet another) Soundcloud hole, and I am very glad I did. This is the video for Budding Trees, from Dark as Night, which at this juncture is my favorite song of theirs, and I think it also serves as a good introduction to the band and their wider community, because it literally is the band and the community singing together. Not a show, however; they’ve used a broad assortment of footage, some amateur, some probably not, to show the tune winding through different lives. And this is Nahko Bear all by himself, doing their most recent single Wash It Away as part of a Gondola Session: Speaking of Soundcloud: This is their page, and you should go and just listen to the whole thing.

Split: Joyce Manor, Tame and Toys That Kill, Times We Can’t Let Go

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November has come to a close. Novels have been written; moustaches, of various degrees of amazingness and horribleness, have been grown and shaved; turkey has been eaten; in some locations, the first snow has fallen. Here at NTSIB, I’ve been doing NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. I’ll do a masterpost later, but: there’s been a lot of music. Go back through the archives and see what you’ve missed. To finish out, here is the Joyce Manor/Toys that Kill split, set to be turned loose upon the world later this week, via Recess Records. If you like Ramones-style punk, these bands are for you. Joyce Manor, Tame: Toys That Kill, Times We Can’t Let Go: They’re also touring the West Coast together later in December.

Late Night Listening: Two Songs from Tei Shi

Photo credit: Eric White

A home for things that might be fleeting, might be soothing, might be weird, might be soothing and weird. The blogging equivalent of sitting in the garage twiddling radio knobs just to see what might be out there. Tei Shi (Valerie Teicher), from Brooklyn via Argentina, Colombia, Boston and Vancouver, gives her genre as “mermaid music”, and this strikes me as an accurate assessment. It’s subtle, complex, seductive and a little bit otherworldly. See Me is one of two new singles; I’m most fond of the trance-y hiss-click beat that periodically expands into something light and airy, as well as the dark wubble-bubble echoes floating beneath her crystalline voice: Bassically is a little more up-tempo, and has a little more fuzz-grit, and is just delightful: New Yorkers: She’s playing at Glasslands on Dec. 8; everyone else: check in with her frequently, there will be more music coming, and be sure to explore her back catalog.

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: El Xicano

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It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. And now, a very special holiday/Friday/holiday Friday treat: a new song from my favorite international man of mystery El Xicano. This one is called I Mostri (Monsters), and it’s a little bit more mellow than La Grande Pauro, but no less lovely. The rest of the EP will surface next year, but in the mean … Continue reading

Video: J. Tex and the Volunteers, This Old Banjo

Photo by Hans Ole Madsen

This video for This Old Banjo by J. Tex and the Volunteers of Copenhagen, Denmark, is a masterful piece of minimalism – it’s just him and a guitar – and it feels, for lack of a better term, organic. Unfussy, unforced, like he’s just walking around thinking with his guitar. The only thing that could have made it better would be the appearance of an actual banjo.