Face front, true believers! I’m back in action! At least for the time being… As I’m on seasonal layoff from my day job through January, I’ll have enough time and brain power to contribute to the blog again, instead of just harassing you all on Twitter.
The NTSIB crew (can it be called a crew when there are just two of us?) love taking part in the Couch by Couchwest festivities every year, not least because we always manage together some new friends who also happen to be very talented. This past CXCW got us acquainted with Tony Fitz when he organized a very lovely Irish showcase.
Aside from all the behind-the-scenes work Tony does in production, recording, and sound engineering, he also makes music with his band Susie Soho. And in between everything else, he has began recording solo songs, releasing them on an as-ready basis, the first of which is “Cut Me Up”, which includes Ciaran Brady from Heritage Centre on drums, along with Jason Maher and Niall Campion on … Continue reading
CXCW (Couch by Couchwest) is on! It’s been great fun so far. If you missed the first day, don’t worry: unlike at other festivals, you can always catch performances later (and even previous years’ performances) at the website. For added fun, be sure to join in the chatter on Twitter by following @couchxcouchwest and the #CXCW hashtag.
“This month we celebrate Couch By Couchwest (http://couchbycouchwest.com/). That’s the alternative music festival that can be enjoyed from the confines of your own home, on your very own luxurious couch! Who needs SxSW? You’ve gotta take time off from work and deal with crowds and drunkards. I don’t know about you, but I’m too broke and lazy to go to the trouble of heading to Austin. Criminy, you can be your own crowd and revel in your own drunkeness!
Thanks to AnnieTUFF (@AnnieTUFF) for this month’s artwork. Grab a beer, a shot or… some herb if you live in Colorado or Washington (like me!), kick back and listen to some tunes. Oh! And leave some comments!”
Around the time Now This Sound Is Brave started, back in 2010, I found myself in the habit of inadvertently seeing Willy Mason play live as he seemed to be opening for everyone I wanted to see. While he clearly had talent and skill, it took a while for me to be won over. Mason had started his career at a young age and was growing into his role.
Seeing his name pop up in the old e-mail inbox after three years is like seeing an old, beloved friend again. Willy Mason is trotting out his first new album in six years, Carry On, and in the run-up, he has an EP titled Don’t Stop Now available for free download from NoiseTrade. It’s a beautiful little thing, ranging from the somber to the downright danceable.
Mason is gearing up to tour the UK and Australia, and will be joining the Gentlemen of the Road tour for four stops this summer.
Willy Mason Official … Continue reading
A new FBFY mix is live, and I’d personally like to thank our FBFY commander-in-chief for not choosing a Valentine theme this month.
“…and we’re back! I considered and then threw out a number of ideas for different themes and went with goulash (def: an eclectic and uncoordinated mixture of something). What a mixture we’ve got! We are spanning quite a few genres and yet it works! Thanks to Matt (@truersound) for this month’s artwork.”
Title: Cleaning Out My Closet (Eminem cover)
Artist: Angel Haze
Album: Classick (2012)
Submitted By: @tincanman2010 (http://tincanland.wordpress.com/)
Comments: NSFW! wtf, rap on FBFY? Yeah, deal with it bitches. Eminem broke through rap’s colour barrier and Haze threatens to shatter it’s gender ceiling, so a cover seems appropriate. Similar styles, too
Title: 1965 (Duas Tribos)
Artist: Legião Urbana
Album (year): As Quatro Estações 
Submitted By: hoosier buddy
Comments: First, thanks go out to my last.fm friend Vitória for turning … Continue reading
When you look at the cover of Swamp Dogg’s album Rat On! now – on a black background, Swamp Dogg, in beret and fringed vest, sitting astride a white rat, Dogg’s arms held up in triumph – it just looks silly (and has indeed been called one of the worst album covers of all time). But at the time of its release in 1971, it managed to offend some people (evidence that people searching for things to be offended by is not a new development). While the photo was never intended as anything more than a visual component of the title’s play on words, Swamp Dogg hasn’t been one to back away from controversy, so he decided to stoke the fires of the offended by claiming the cover represented “the black man on top of the white man”1.
Clearly, what the cover does denote is an album from someone fond of clowning around. What you may miss from just looking at the cover, though, is that, beyond the silly cover and between some jokey songs … Continue reading
New FBFY for you all!
“It’s a New Year! It’s a new curator (@BoogieStudio22)! It’s a new mixtape! We are starting afresh, in 2013, by looking back on 2012. Our motley crew of malcontent, miscreant, ne’er-do-well music lovers have chosen their favorite songs, their “Choice Cuts”, of 2012. Crank up the volume and check out 20 cuts from a variety of artists and genres.”
1. Title: All Over You
Artist: Dead Exs
Album (year): Resurrection (2012)
Submitted By: tincanman (http://tincanland.wordpress.com)
Comments: Rock and roll doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it rarely should. Guitars. Attitude. Mud (see song video: http://bit.ly/Wcnsod). The Dead Exs (http://thedeadexs.com) are my favourite new band of 2012; what the Black Keys would be if Dan Auerbach didn’t have his head so far up his own ass.
2. Title: I Gotta Get Shorty Out of Jail
Artist: Andre Williams & The Sadies
Album (2012): Night and Day
Submitted By: @popa2unes
What struck me most early on in listening to Leticia Rodriguez’s album La Americana is how close and warm her voice is. Not only did it sound as though Rodriguez was in the room with me, but it also felt like she was singing to me in the tenderest way, as a mother might sing to her young child. The clearness, of course, can be attributed to top notch recording engineering, but the warmth is all Rodriguez.
Menealo – Leticia Rodriguez
It makes sense that this album should be imbued with such warmth as it serves not only as Rodriguez’s debut album, but it is also a tribute to her family, especially to her aunt, Decca recording artist Eva Garza. Though Eva Garza’s name is all but forgotten here in the United States, she enjoyed worldwide fame as one of Decca’s first crossover artists. Many of the songs on La Americana, an album of covers, have also been sung and recorded by Garza.
Estoy Como Nunca – Leticia Rodriguez
One of the aspects I love most about Latin music is that … Continue reading
Our men from Sheffield, the Payroll Union, are preparing to release their first full-length album and have offered a preview in the form of the rousing “Peggy’s Tavern” (available for free download).
Peggy’s Tavern (free download) by The Payroll Union
A reading of singer/guitarist/songwriter Pete David’s blog (a read I definitely recommend) indicates more fascinating stories of early American history will be coming our way, set, of course, to the fine stomps and dirges we’ve come to expect from the Payroll Union. If you’re in the Sheffield, UK, area, you can help the men welcome their new album, The Mule & the Elephant, into the world at their album launch show at Club 60 in Sheffield on January 19.
The Payroll Union Official Website
The Payroll Union @ Bandcamp
The Payroll Union @ Facebook
Time again for the groovin’ internet sensation that all the hip kiddies are talking about, the Feel Bad for You mixtape!
“Hello my little red-nosed reindeers! It’s the last Feel Bad for You mixtape of 2012! And good riddance 2012, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Please welcome The Mad Mackerel from Charlbury, England, as our newest contributor! (FYI: If you accidentally Google “The Mackerel” instead of “The Mad Mackerel,” the top hit is a disturbing Picasso painting.) Thanks to TooMuchCountry for the artwork. Although, after tonight’s game, maybe we should Feel Bad For the Texans.”
1. Title: The Money Goes
Artist: The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Album (year): Between The Ditches (2012)
Submitted By: hoosier buddy
Comments: I saw this band at the 8×10 in Baltimore. It was a transformative experience, standing in the middle of a crowd of screaming, stomping, whiskey-fueled, wild-eyed music fans. The Reverend, who hails from Brown County, IN, could teach Jack White a few things about playing guitar…and about performing. I’m completely serious. Catch ‘em if you can.
2. Title: Molotovs
… Continue reading
It’s that time again, kids. The Feel Bad for You mix for November is live!
“Hidely-ho neighbors! We’ve back, and feeling bad for November. Your favorite bloggers, twitters, hurricane survivors, pinko commie liberals, and conspiracy theorist wingnuts present this month’s mix. Thanks to Hoosier Buddy for the artwork – he took the photo while standing in the ocean near La Jolla, California. Feel bad for those of us standing in snow (or worse).”
1. Title: Done Got Old
Artist: Heartless Bastards
Album: Stairs and Elevators (2005)
Submitted By: Rockstar Aimz
Comment: I just turned 40. This is my new theme song.
2. Title: Outrageous
Artist: Paul Simon
Album: Surprise (2006)
Submitted By: @philnorman
Comments: It’s outrageous a man like me can stand here and complain.
3. Title: Sadie
Artist: Hound Dog Taylor
Album: Natural Boogie (1974)
Submitted By: Truersound
Comments: just three guys laying the groove down, no big deal
4. Title: A Horse Called Music