The Dissociatives: "Young Man Old Man" Video
As Kelly Willis planned to go into the studio last fall, she really didn't know what to expect. She had spent the four years since co-producing her 2002 album, the lovely, laid-back Easy, on family matters: her oldest son Deral, born in 2001, got three siblings -- twins Abby and Ben born in 2004 and baby Joseph, whose birth followed in early 2006. "This time around, I had absolutely no time or energy to be involved in the producer role at all," Willis recalls. So she called a guy "who lives and breathes music," whose instincts she loved and who she felt "really comfortable around": Chuck Prophet, the edgy singer-songwriter who contributed guitar to both Easy and 1999's acclaimed What I Deserve. Together, they would create the most sonically adventurous album of Kelly Willis' seventeen-plus-year recording career, "Translated From Love."
Taken from the Critically Acclaimed Album "The Healing" released on OM Hip-Hop
The Go-Betweens are the quintessential cult band. Throughout their hugely acclaimed career they have sustained an unparalleled artistic consistency which has year by year elevated them above their contemporaries, many of whom have lapsed in to unfortunate artistic decline whilst the unique songwriting partnership of Forster and McLennan garners more respect and acclaim with each new release. Even Princess Caroline of Monaco and the Premier of Australia have become fans with the latter distributing copies of their latest album in the American Senate! Thanks to a fervent fan base the group is now playing to larger audiences than it ever did in the eighties. Their last release, Bright Yellow Bright Orange, has proven to be one of their biggest sellers to date. The Go-Betweens were formed in 1978, when Grant McLennan and Robert Forster, two Queensland University students with a passion for films and the US punk scene, met and decided (in Grants words) ?to do The Factory in Brisbane?. Musical instincts prevailed and, encouraged by Robert, Grant took up the bass guitar. After playing together for no more than four months, the pair went into the studio to record two of Robert?s songs - ?Karen? and ?Lee Remick?. Pressing up 500 copies and distributing it themselves, they nearly ended up with a deal at Beserkley Records (US indie label and then home to Jonathan Richman) but Beserkley ran into financial difficulties. In fact, the Go-Betweens were dogged by label troubles through out their career. Rough Trade who eventually put out their debut LP Send Me a Lullaby in Europe, had to drop the band after their second album due to a lack of finance. Later, both Sire and Elektra who either had the band signed or were in the process of signing them had to let them go when both labels closed their UK offices. But the Go-Betweens always had a phenomenal drive that kept them going- returning again and again to Britain, as strangers and then as undervalued songwriters, in an effort to establish themselves on the world-wide music scene, self-financing singles, supporting the Birthday Party across Australia, recruiting more members as they went (drummer Lindy Morrison, bassist Robert Vickers and, later, violinist/oboist Amanda Brown, whom the band discovered playing a Forster song, ?Draining The Pool for You?, in a coffee bar) and on the last album, bassist John Willsteed. Their second album, Before Hollywood, was recorded in Eastbourne, autumn 1983 and sounds all the more wonderful for it. Four more albums followed: Spring Hill Fair, recorded in France on a major label budget, the more coherent Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express (for which Robert recorded all his vocals in one afternoon, his voice having been out of action for most of the sessions), the bright poppy Tallulah and finally, the more acoustic and reflective 16 Lovers Lane. The heavily played radio single ?Streets Of Your Town? followed, as did a support slot with REM. However, by this point the pressures of being together for twelve years were beginning to have visible effect and both Grant and Robert were pushing in different directions. Finally, the Go-Betweens decided to call it a day. The set up of the band, with two independent singer-songwriters was (and still is) an unusual one, but in this case it worked out perfectly. Robert?s edgy, dark and highly romantic compositions were offset perfectly by Grant?s lighter, more wistfully melodic and lyrically more expansive contributions. It?s hard to say however, what makes them both so special. Unlike a lot of bands the Go-Betweens just made albums of (admittedly highly accomplished) guitar-based pop songs. They didn?t do anything widely unusual or idiosyncratic, but what they did is beautiful and timeless. Maybe it is something to do with the interplay on two perspectives on what must be similar or concurrent events. Maybe its the underlying romanticism of all their records - that they appreciate the fact that love and life are battles but they are battles which must be fought and one should wear ones scars proudly. They also knew how to craft a subtle arrangement around an intelligent lyric and winsome melody. And that should be enough for anyone. After the split of the Go-Betweens, Robert Forster and Grant McLennan had vibrant solo careers. Both released four solo albums and Grant also released two albums with Steve Kilbey of the Church under the name of Jack Frost and one album with Ian Haig of Powderfinger under the name of F.O.C. Recent projects have included a biography written by David Nichols and published by Allen and Unwin in Australia, a Go-Betweens tribute album, an acclaimed compilation: Bellavista Terrace, and a collection of lost early recordings from 1978-79. Since the split, Grant and Robert have played together on several occasions acoustically including the Beggars Banquet birthday celebrations in Tower Records, in Piccadilly Circus London (August 1994) and most notably with a full band at the Les Inrockuptibles 10th anniversary show in Paris (23rd May 1996) and a run of six full band shows in June 1997, two in Dublin, one in Glasgow, two in London (Forum and Fleadh Festival) and the Roskilde Festival in Denmark. As a duo, Robert and Grant toured the world in 1999 to rave reviews, which prompted the pair to consider recording a new album together. Sitting in a Melbourne seaside hotel on the Australian leg of their tour, Forster and McLennan finally agreed to restart The Go-Betweens with a new album. The Friends Of Rachel Worth (2000) was the result. Ten new songs were recorded in Jackpot Studios in Portland, Oregon. The album was produced by the band with Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney on drums, Adele Pickvance (who has played with both Forster and McLennan in their solo careers) on bass, Sam Coombes (Quasi and Elliot Smith) on keyboards along with Carrie Brownstien and Corin Tucker from Sleater Kinney on guitar and backing vocals. The finished record stood proudly alongside anything in their canon and received unanimously rave reviews. The Go-Betweens toured the world with great success playing to the largest audiences of their career and culminating in a headline slot at Australia?s Big Day Out, and Robert and Grant were honoured by the Australian Performing Rights Association for writing one of the ten greatest Australian songs of all time with ?Cattle and Cane?. They completed their eighth studio album Bright Yellow Bright Orange in 2003, which was released to huge acclaim. The group toured again, including Japan for the first time and their UK dates were sold out with a rapturous response. Robert relocated to Brisbane, where Grant is based, and they spent the rest of 2003 and much of 2004 writing. Their work was interrupted only by a short trip to Europe, playing two shows to celebrate the re-release of the albums Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express, Tallulah and 16 Lovers Lane. Vicker Street in Dublin and London?s prestigious Barbican Theatre were both sold out. Whilst in London they met up with Mark Wallis, the producer of 16 Lovers Lane, and agreed to return in November to record their new album with Mark producing again. The album was completed in January 2005 and is entitled Oceans Apart. The release date is May 3, 2005 on Yep Roc Records with US tour dates to follow.
KT Tunstall is a sparkling new songwriter with Chinese blood, a Scottish heart, great legwarmers and a cool name ? ?well, it?s got a bit more attitude than Kate which just says farmer?s daughter to me,? she laughs. KT celebrates classic singer-songwriting in the tradition of Rikki Lee Jones, Carol Kingand Fleetwood Mac with an articulate, accessible, immediate brew of rootsy sass, wistful quandary and after-hours atmosphere. The latest in a line of outstanding contemporary Scottish songwriters including Texas, Fran Healy, Teenage Fanclub and The Beta Band, KT?s unique perspective offers a rare emotionally connecting intensity through it?s gripping lyrical bite and heartfelt melody. Her debut album ?Eye To The Telescope? is the creative consequence of that inquiring imagination. ?My songs examine and explore little specific emotions or situations or stories,? she explains. ?They?re kitchen table songs, like a conversation between me and one other person. It?s almost like an alien has been sent to get emotional samples from human beings and put it all together on a record.? Since completing ?Eye To The Telescope?, life has been a blur of gigs, first as support to Joss Stone, then a tour of Europe, singing with ?klezmer hip-hop? band Oi Va Voi, who ignited the Avalon Stage at Glastonbury. ?It was blazing sunshine and I went on in a turquoise neck muff, glamorous dress and muddy boots and just had the best gig, really emotional. I?ve had emails from people saying that they cried. They promised it wasn?t the drugs.? Now KT is raring to channel all her infectious energies into her own music. ?I?m not exactly sure what has driven me so hard,? she says. ?I?ve never questioned it. I?ve never had a back-up plan. I was never going to do anything else.?
Hailing from the small town of Moscow, Idaho, Josh Ritter?s songs are a rare gift of natural, intuitive beauty. Born in the late ?70s to two neuroscientists, Josh bought his first guitar from the local K-MART after hearing the Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash classic ?Girl From The North Country.? He began Oberlin College with the intent to follow in his parent?s scientist footsteps, but instead, discovered songwriting and the music of artists like Gillian Welch, Townes Van Zandt, and Leonard Cohen. He graduated and then moved east for its close proximity to historic folk clubs like Club Passim in Boston. On a shoestring budget he recorded his critically acclaimed break through album Golden Age of Radio in 2001 at various tiny, one-room studios on the East Coast. In the fall of that year, Josh pressed up several thousand copies of Golden Age, which quickly sold and funded more touring. A copy found it?s way into the hands of Jim Olsen and Signature Sounds Recordings, and the record was released nationally in the US in January 2002. Critics called the modest album ?stunning,? ?elegant,? and ?damn near perfect,? landing Josh in the pages of Details, the New York Times, and Maxim. ?Come and Find Me,? the modest anthem of Golden Age, was featured over the end-credits of HBO?s uber-hip series Six Feet Under, and several successful tours followed. Meanwhile, at a Boston open mic that spring, Josh met Glen Hansard, the lead singer of The Frames. Hansard invited him to open a string of shows for the band in Ireland. Josh?s career took flight in Ireland, buoyed by the single ?Me & Jiggs,? which entered the Irish Top 40 and helped gain Josh full blown cult status, complete with sold-out headline tours, late-night TV appearances, and his very own cover band in Cork. Josh ran the gamut at the Irish Hot Press Reader?s Poll Awards, landing in the Top 5 for Best International Folk Act, International Male Songwriter, and International Male Singer, putting him in the company of Springsteen, David Gray, and Johnny Cash. Josh would spend much of 2002 splitting his time between the US and Ireland, sharing bills with such eclectic artists as Beth Orton, Liz Phair, Damien Rice, and Joan Baez, as well as a celebrated appearance at the 2002 Newport Folk Festival. In the process, he garnered impressive acclaim not only for Golden Age of Radio but also for his richly textured and intimately engaging live shows. Publications like The Village Voice, The Washington Post, and The Irish Times scrambled to describe what made Josh?s music so ?stunning.? Sold-out shows in New York, Boston, and Dublin, as well as a trip to the Sundance Film Festival kicked off 2003 in style. In February of that year, rested, refreshed, and more than ready to make a new record, Josh entered Black Box studios in rural France with his touring band and Irish producer David Odlum (the Frames, Gemma Hayes) to record Hello Starling. Recorded and mixed in only 14 days in an old dairy barn in the French countryside, the thick stone walls, high ceilings, and vintage gear (much of it Curtis Mayfield?s old equipment), made for a record which sounds conversational and honest and shimmers with a new-found confidence. The 11 songs on Starling retain the feel and flow of another era; these are catch-tunes and earnest lullabies that rekindle the warm glow of a young Springsteen or Leonard Cohen in both their literacy and honest enthusiasm. ?Kathleen,? a summer anthem about waiting around a party to drive a girl home, is a live favorite; ?Rainslicker? moves and sways with all the dust-stained imagery of the Clientele; and the show-stopping beauty of ?Baby That?s Not All? suggests an artist at the peak of his new-found powers. The legendary Joan Baez recently recorded ?Wings,? the haunting ballad at the center of Starling, for inclusion on her new album, placing Josh alongside artists such as Gillian Welch, Steve Earle, and Natalie Merchant. Additionally, Norah Jones nominated Hello Starling for the 2004 Shortlist Music Prize and his song ?Kathleen? won the 2004 Boston Music Award for Song of the Year. During 2004, Josh spent the spring on a U.K. tour that was followed by appearances at summer festivals, including the Cambridge Folk Festival (alongside Gillian Welch) and the V Festival (with The Strokes and the Pixies). In Ireland, Josh played his biggest show to date there, headlining one night of the Heineken Green Energy Festival. In October of 2004, Josh signed with V2 Records. V2 plans to release Hello Starling this February. This fall, Josh toured with Sarah Harmer in Canada. In December, Josh will play a series of East Coast performances. In the spring of 2005, Josh plans to enter the studio again to record another album for V2.
MUNK are Italian Mathias Modica and German partner Jonas Imbery. They release their own records and also the music of friends like HEADMAN, WHOMADEWHO and TOMBOY on their own little label GOMMA - the label that has achieved a quite good fame for releasing this new sound which mixes the aesthetics of 70ies Disco and Krautrock with modern Electronics and House. In the past Gomma has released the debut albums of avant-garde pop artists like MOCKY, HEADMAN, New York sculpturist THE RAMMELLZEE and NICK MACCARTHY (of Franz Ferdinand) with his former band KAMERAKINO. In early February the new label compilation was released. GOMMAGANG 3. It includes recent tracks from the above mentioned artists and also new remixes and guest appearances of The Rapture, DJ Chloe, Midnight Mike, Dirt Crew. It was mixed by the MUNK guys and shows the sound of the Gomma label of the past two years and also the DJ style of MUNK. MUNK have released their critically acclaimed APERITIVO debut album in 2004. The single "Kick Out The Chairs!" still gets played in clubs around the world. The album is one of the first records that preceded the current "Garagedisco" and "Balearic" trend. Including guest vocalists such as their friend JAMES MURPHY of LCD SOUNDSYSTEM/DFA RECORDS, French DJ CHLOE, MIDNIGHT MIKE from London and BOBBY CONN ? the album still sounds fresher than many similar recordings of now. Since "Aperitivo", the guys have been mostly djing around the world. Their very own hot mix of Minimal house and Leftfield Disco gets appreciated more in more and so they are playing a lot of clubs around the world. From places like The Pulp in Paris, Culture Club in Belgium and Berlin clubs like WMF or FUN to fancy parties like the one of Colette shop in Paris and festivals like Sonar and Melt.
Ask most serious bands about the recording process, and if they dont compare it to giving birth, they'll likely tell you that making an album is akin to psychotherapy. But lets be real here: How many of those bands actually take the album-as-therapy idea literally? For Atlanta quintet Norma Jean, who for all intents and purposes should be some of the most content dudes in underground music right now, the recording sessions for their third album, Redeemer, packed group therapy, boot camp and endurance test into one gnarly package. Produced by Ross Robinson (At The Drive-in, From First To Last, Sepultura), Redeemer is at once the heaviest and most personal album in this bands arsenaland thats saying something: With their 2002 Solid State Records debut, Bless The Martyr And Kiss The Child, Norma Jean established themselves as one of the noisiest and most adventurous young bands in metal today. With the 2005 follow-up, O God, The Aftermath, drummer Daniel Davison, bassist Jake Schultz, and guitarists Chris Day and Scottie Henry welcomed new vocalist and Arkansas native Cory Brandan to their lineup and took their artful, technical noise to the proverbial next level, earning critical acclaim and a 2006 Grammy nomination (for Asterik Studios awe-inspiring artwork) in the process, and embarking on a grueling tour schedule that most recently found them on Ozzfest 2006s second stage. And now, with a new, expanded edition of Aftermath in stores, the obvious question follows: When you still have past glories to coast on, why make a new album at all? Basically, we had too much material brewing inside us, and we wanted to get it out, says Davison, laughing. We probably couldve waited to record until after we cut back on what we had, but when the opportunity to work with Ross came up, it just felt like, Man, being in the studio with this guy is something Ive wanted to do since I was 12 years old; Im gonna do anything I can to make this happen now. After practicing, in Davisons recollection, pretty much ever day, for about 50 days solid, and going through rigorous pre-production at home in Atlanta, the band decamped with Robinson to Radio Star Studios in the tiny mountain town of Weed, California, to start work on Redeemer. Though some of the songs were still works-in-progress (as Brandans recalls it, Songs were changing up until 20 minutes before we tracked them) the lyrics, again written collaboratively by Brandan, Henry and Davison, really took shape once the band got into the studio. Wed rehearse a song till we felt we had it worked out, and then wed bring in Ross and sit down for another hour or two just to discuss it, Brandan says. He had us all in there as a group, talking about each songwhat the lyrics were about, where they came from, what the song meant to us personally and spiritually. It was really intense; so much stuff came out during those sessions, and in the end, it was really unifying for us as a band. While rehearsals took place in a beautiful, open-stage environment inside the studio, tracking itself was another storyall part of the intense process that would eventually shape the songs. I tracked my drums under the stage, Davison remembers, laughing. Wed get done talking about the song, and then wed head down below the stage into, like, this little dungeon. It was really small, and the drums were set up with mikes all over them; there were hot water pipes, ventilation, everywhereit was really intense. We could barely stand up because the ceiling was so low, but Ross was there the whole time, coaching us and keeping us in that mindset. Just one listen to Redeemer confirms the ferocity of the bands performances. From the discordant breakdowns and jarring time changes of The End Of All Things Will Be Televised to the newfound melodic intensity of Blueprints For Future Homes, the album packs some of Norma Jeans most unhinged, soul-baring playing into the span of 11 songs. And though the weird angles and difficult guitar figures that comprised Aftermath are still prevalent, that albums refined, very-much-studio feel has given way to raw atmospheres in which you can practically see the sweat running onto the instruments. Brandan, whos already proved himself a formidable vocalist, fully comes into his own on Redeemer with a style that veers between unhinged screaming and down-on-his-knees melodic belting. As has been the case with Norma Jeans previous albums, fans will interpret Redeemers title in a number of ways: Theres the obvious (its their shortest album title ever); the semi-obvious (the band members are Christian; the albums called Redeemeryou follow?); and the not-so-obvious (look up Redeemer in Websters Dictionary for even more possibilities). All of these, says Davison, are valid readings, but as before, its better just to listen to the whole album before settling on an opinion about what it all means. We just wanted a title that was short and simple, but also really powerful, Davison explains. Redeemer was the most powerful word we could think of, and obviously, for us, being a spiritual band, it takes on special meaning. Brandan agrees. We didnt call it Redeemer and then try to make the lyrics work around that [idea], he says. Theres some really personal stuff on this record, and even though Im seeing in hindsight that the title ties into some of that, Ive always thought its best just to let people come up with their own ideas about the songs, rather than say, This is our concept; this is what the records about. No matter how you interpret it, one things for sure: Slide it into your player, and you will feel Redeemer more than any other Norma Jean album. Emotional, spiritual, visceral, physicalthis isnt just the third album Norma Jean wanted to make; its the career-defining statement they had to.
Lewis' critically acclaimed album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Independent Album Chart, at #4 on the Billboard Top Country Album Chart and at #26 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart in the first week of its release. The star-studded album, which features 15 members of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame including Lewis himself, has shipped over 175 thousand units and hit #6 on the Americana Radio Charts. This 71 year-old founding father of rock 'n' roll known as The Killer is back.
New Young Pony Club, have already worked the underground up into a lather with dance floor destroyers like "The Bomb" and "Ice Cream" full of their signature provocative lyrics and knee jerking production. The 5 piece are now set to bring the world alight with debut album Fantastic Playroom.