A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink, Amory, Girl Friend

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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. Girl Friend, an electro-pop outfit from Manchester, England, recently released an EP entitled Arrive Alone, Leave Alone. It’s not so much party music as music for between the parties, a soundtrack to drown out uncomfortable silences in the car, and in your own head. It’s bouncy, and kind of mournful, encompassing the gritty-eyed sore footed … Continue reading

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink, Catherine Feeny

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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. Catherine Feeny, indie folk solo artist has teamed up with jazz percussionist Chris Johnedis to make a record, and it’s scheduled to emerge into the world later this month. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to some tracks ahead of time, and here’s what I can tell you: it’s a many-faceted folk-jazz fusion gem. These … Continue reading

Late Night Listening: Toad In the Hole, Chimpshed A. D.

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Late Night Listening: 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. I am not quite sure how to classify Toad In the Hole by Chimpshed A. D., but I have listened to it several times in close succession, trying to figure it out. Here’s what I like: the low hum, the occasional burst of static, the vague sensation of having perhaps done some accidental time travel while attempting to vibrate with the Universal Now. Golden Ray E.P. by Chimpshed A.D.

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: Nick Morrison, Mumblr

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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. Mumblr, scrappy little band of my heart (East Coast division), recently had the opportunity to be part of the Red Room Series, a new session series which is, like them, out of Philadelphia. My first reaction on seeing the videos was They’re playing in good light!!! What!!! because I may possibly have spent too much … Continue reading

Video: Ryan O’Reilly, Northern Lights

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And now, a return to regularly scheduled programming, in the form of a really lovely video for an awesome song. This is Northern Lights by Ryan O’Reilly. The song is the title track for his upcoming EP; the video was shot in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and my feelings about it are basically a series of animated gestures and the lingering desire to be able to walk around the place and find my own paths through the rusty cars and the snow. It’s bleak, I guess, I mean, it’s a rust belt town, and the cinematography makes everything look beautiful, but that’s just movie magic and romanticizing a grim reality. But there’s a warmth and sweetness, too, a sense of having entered a secret world, of having found small joyful things to love amid the wreckage.

Cranky Commentary: FarmBorough Festival

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Here at NTSIB we try to stick to the positive, but today I’m making an exception, because I just cannot let something this dumb slide by. The target of my irritation: the FarmBorough Festival, New York City’s first (only?) country music festival. I saw it pop up on my Facebook feed and I was excited. Country music! Randall’s Island! Yes! Definitely something I’d probably want to attend. The line-up – with the exception of Dwight Yoakam – is not super great, but it isn’t complete yet, so I was willing to be forgiving on that score. For those of you who just clicked on that link and muttered what??? under your breaths: 1) I’m not especially a fan of Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley or Luke Bryan, but I acknowledge their star power within the genre and 2) I am one of those people who sincerely enjoys going to music festivals early and wandering around catching snippets of multiple bands. It’s a good way to hear bands I’ve never heard of or have heard of but don’t necessarily want to pay to see at their own show. Some of them will be terrible, some of them will be great; I’m willing … Continue reading

TIO, A Simple Way

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And now for something that does not involve a couch: A Simple Way, by TIO, of Toronto. This song is everything I like about electronic music: hypnotic, shimmery, but with a hint of drone, sandpaper and ancient videogames. Plus some ambiguously sexy cover art. Come, let us listen and squint at that picture and wonder if it’s a dick together.

CXCW Highlights: Grace and Tony; EdTang and The Chops; Leslie Jabara and Susan Hurley

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I am still slowly working my way through the CouchxCouchWest performances, but here are three that I think are particularly awesome. Grace and Tony, How Great Thou Art: They got this one in just under the wire, and I am so glad they did, because it is magnificent. The California scenery, yes, but also their voices, and most especially how they revitalized this old hymn. EdTang and The Chops, Willy Loman: In their CXCW bio they state they all met at a Michael Jackson impersonators conference in Asbury Park, New Jersey. I don’t know if that’s a hook or the truth, but I clicked on their video and I was not disappointed. Leslie Jabara and Susan Hurley, Do You Love An Apple: Coming all the way from Ireland, these two ladies, music therapist and music therapist-in-training, bring with them a lovely rendition of a bittersweet traditional song, complete with harp.

CXCW Highlight: Water Tower, Town/Come Down Easy

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One of the many awesome things about CXCW is catching up with old favorites. I developed a deep fondness for Water Tower back when they were the Water Tower Bucket Boys and singing awesome bluegrass songs about acid tripping in San Francisco, and then I lost track of them a little bit. So I was super pleased when their video featuring their new song Town and a cover of Spaceman 3’s Come Down Easy popped up yesterday. They’ve evolved from their bluegrass roots, though not that far – just enough to settle into a psychedelic groove. Water Tower will be at That Other Festival as well (multi-tasking! excellent!), and to follow their adventures, you may consult Facebook, here. To follow CouchxCouchWest, you may consult Facebook, Twitter, or refresh the Festival page several times a day.

Festival Alert: Couch x CouchWest 2015

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Now in its fifth year (!!!) Couch x CouchWest is once again coming to a screen near you. Very near you. Like, in your hand right now, if you’re reading this on your phone. Though if you want to make a YouTube playlist of the videos and project them on the nearest wall-like surface, YOU CAN. Such is the beauty of Couch x CouchWest! Lineup: Anyone who sends in a video. Are you a musician? In a band? You should sit down on your couch / favorite chair / front porch / elevator shaft / etc and sing a song for in the internet. It will be awesome. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS NOON EASTERN MARCH 21st. Dates: March 15-21 Location: Anywhere you want. In bed, in the bath (Carefully! Make sure your device is well protected from the water!), on a train, on a plane, on the bus, you are all welcome, come join us, where-ever you are. Survival guide: As with That Other Festival, you will probably want snacks and cold beverages and comfortable clothes. The major differences: Pants are optional, pets are encouraged, there are no lines, you’ll never be shut out of a show unless your internet … Continue reading