1. THE DECEMBERISTS
No band manages to conjure up vivid images to ones mind like The Decemberists. There are stories of historical romance; sailors at sea; runaway teenage hustlers; embittered social scenes and what have you. Meloy’s ingenuity was emphasized to me as I started collecting words from his lyrics onto my Wordie site. There are words of such loveliness and mystery; one just cannot imagine where he gets them from. Have a look at my list here.
2. OKKERVIL RIVER
I think it was the name that first made me notice the band. Okkervil River is both a book by Tatiana Tolstaja and a river outside Saint Petersburg. Some free songs to be got here.
3. IRON & WINE
Some interesting trivia: The name Iron & Wine was taken from a dietary supplement named "Beef, Iron & Wine" that Sam Beam found in a general store while shooting a film. He liked the name, but decided to drop the "beef".And here is another one: I just learnt that Sarah Beam, Sam Beams sister, has contributed backing vocals on many of the studio recordings.
4. ELVIS PRESLEY
The kids again…
Cool slowcore. Apparently not to keen on the term themselves. It quite intrigues me how such cool music can be implicated with the mormon fate. Did I miss something…?
6. KATE & ANNA McGARRIGLE
Two sisters from Montréal who’s musical career began with the 1960s folk music movement. I love their singing, it is both beautiful and humorous; and of course very sixties! It is their first record I have listened to. It is called by their names and came out 1974. Favourite songs on there would be “Swimming Song” and “Complainte Pour Ste. Catherine”.
The sisters provided backing vocals on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds's 2001 album “No More Shall We Part” and they also appear in the 2006 Leonard Cohen tribute film “Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man”. They have also, among so much else, recorded with Irish group The Chieftains, with Emmylou Harris and with Joan Baez.
Have a listen here
7. ANNA TERNHEIM
Anna Ternheim provided me with one of the most memorable performances at this summers Love & Peace festival in Borlänge. She is so cool and she is so good! She also had the coolest outfit at the festival (well after Alice Cooper that is), with black puffed sleeve blouse, black braces, tight black trousers and black riding shoes. She’s cute!
8. CROSBY, STILLS & NASH
At the site of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum is to be read that Crosby, Stills & Nash are: “…America’s longest-running experiment in vocal harmony and social relevance.” I’d like to hear a bit more of David Crosby’s solo projects.
Here most weeks. And in last weeks chart blog.
10. COWBOY JUNKIES
Does a brilliant version of “Sweet Jane”
11. CARISSA'S WIERD
Slow, rueful country-tinged indie rock. Could possibly join Low in the slow core genre, even though the sound is pretty different.
12. DAVID THOMAS BROUGHTON
Now, this is an interesting musician! Something that also becomes apparent in reading the Wikipedia presentation of him: “Generally playing solo with an acoustic guitar, he creates the sound of a large ensemble by sampling himself singing, playing, tapping and making an assortment of other sounds through a Digitech digital loop/delay pedal. He also uses various non-musical instruments to augment his songs, including long-wave radio and a portable television, and has recently begun incorporating seemingly self-conscious and/or ironic dance moves, as well as off-mic (often off-stage), singing into his set.”
The album I have been listening to, "The Complete Guide to Insufficiency", was recorded in Wrangthorn Church, Leeds, England. Review to be read here.
13. MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO
Everything Jason Molina does turns out gold.
14. GIANT SKYFLOWER BAND
This is real psych hippy stuff and/but very good! Proof is in some of the titles from the album to which I have been listening “Blood of the Sunworm”: “Rainbows and Dreams (With Worms Singing)”, “Bitter Wild Rabbit/Builds the Bone”, “The Arcangel (Hurray for the Beast)”, “Meditations on Christ and the Magi”.
Justin F. Farrar writes in a review of the album “…the dude sounds not only like a psychic hobo from Bolinas, but also a weary toker strung out on twee pop, British folk-rock, and David Crosby's burnout classic If Only I Could Remember My Name. There's not a single composition among Sunworm's 10 tracks -- just the barest of sketches and the acute feeling that Donaldson and partner Shayde Sartin did nothing more than record a stoned jam session, where the two Californians messed around with a room full of exotic instruments.”
The artist himself, Glenn Donaldson, describes the album as: “an exotic, flowery and crumbling new recording project with nods to fruity new age, psych, prog, folk, and pop songwriting.”
15. THE BUTTERFLIES OF LOVE
This is, contrary to what the band name would suggest, not hippy stuff; apparently though the tallest, skinniest band in America. New to me is that the band was doing Peel sessions as far back as 1998. If I had been listening to them for these last nearly ten years, I’d probably be well fed up with them, as I assume they have had this similar classic indie rock style all this time. But as it is they are new to me, and I really, really like them.
16. THE ACORN
17. THE COURT & SPARK
“…soundtracks for driving down a long dusty highway in late June.” Read a very well written review here.
See last weeks chart blog.
19. 16 HORSEPOWER
Can’t really remember listening… Must have been put on by mistake.
20. LEE HAZLEWOOD
See last weeks chart blog.