The Music Collaborative is an extended group of friends centered around one woman (who also runs Sushi and Queso Designs). The idea is simple: e-mail all her friends and family each week for what they are listening to, then make a playlist out of it and put it on Spotify. You can access the playlists from Facebook or Spotify itself. The list is extremely diverse, with showtunes, rap, indie-rock, top 40, and classic rock all getting rep. Fun times! If you want to contribute to the mix, you can post on the Facebook wall. If you want to know what I’m listening to each week outside of stuff I cover, here’s a good way to find out. (Not a big secret, though: It’s mostly Mountain Goats songs.)
The Lightning Magazine proposes to be a quarterly counterculture magazine (printed on real paper, because who does that anymore?) that has a 20-album series associated with it. That’s a ton of music. Most notably for IC readers, old-school IC faves Pontiak are in on the thing. Here are some other people involved, listed as they styled the names:
SHINJI MASUKO (DMBQ/BOREDOMS) / CY DUNE / WOODEN WAND / PEOPLE OF THE NORTH / SAM AMIDON / CHRIS FORSYTH / WILLIAM TYLER / GREG SAUNIER (DEERHOOF) / AMERICAN CULTURE (and a bunch more). Finally, here’s a short video and description of it in their own words.
IC faves Soundsupply have teamed up with IC faves Deep Elm (as well as The Militia Group) to put out a drop that includes unsung emo heroes Brandtson’s full discography. Seriously, Brandtson and The Appleseed Cast pretty much were Deep Elm to me for a long time. You owe it to your emo-revival-loving self to check out Brandtson if you haven’t. 10 albums! 15 bucks! Totally!
Finally, I have been tapped to join the board of directors for North Carolina non-profit record label Croquet Records. This is really exciting to me, because who doesn’t want to be on a board of directors? Just kidding. I’m really pleased that I’ll be able to work with North Carolina-based singer/songwriters through this record label. (And I’ll make sure to publish any conflict of interest statements that are necessary.) The label will spring into action in 2015, so get ready for that.
The goal of the Everything is New project is to empower the children of the Light of Love Children’s Home (supporting Dalit ‘untouchable’ children in south-east India), many of whom have been rescued from bonded labor, child prostitution, homelessness, and abject poverty. The project creates the opportunity for the children to ‘star’ in the cultural forms they themselves consider most meaningful – popular music and cinema.
The compilation Transgressive North has put out here, Boats, is heavy with very catchy and inspired sparkle-dance and super-thromp knee-bucklers. Each track features a sample of the children’s choir singing, rejoicing, chanting, shouting, making a noise. The various artists on the compilation sure did a lot with the set of raw materials they had at hand. Every band has an interesting offering here (which rarely happens with comps, especially ones with nearly thirty tracks on them).
Whereas the big names such as Deerhoof, Dan Deacon, Max Tundra, No Age, Gang Gang Dance, YACHT, and Jarvis Cocker should help sales of the compilation, what these and other artists–most of whom have stand-out tracks here– submitted to this comp is pretty astounding…not just a two-minute bleep-bop that ends in a shudder. They are notably truly inspired by a noble cause.
This reviewer’s outstanding pick is Ramona Falls’ “On The Line.” It had me dancing around the kitchen, then at work, then with my headphones on in a laundromat near Phoenix; it was stuck in my head for like four days. The use of the children’s choir’s Ahhhs and simple harmonized melody line is very magical on this track.
Another striking track is Rustie’s “Boatsss.” It has a video worth seeing. It’s a serious dance-down. The Max Tundra track, “You, The Living” explores the voice sample in a very arresting way, laying it down as the basis of a real mover. The Deerhoof track, “Play The Hand,” is striking for a different reason. The composition sticks very closely to the original sound sample, only offering small ambient bunny-hops out of something that already sounded beautiful.
The project has a trailer video VERY worth seeing, too. I noted a couple of the artists / contributors getting choked up. Inspiring. Noble. This is worth the money ($18 for 30 tracks). You can purchase it digitally with a booklet on bandcamp, or you can get the CD… or just donate to the project. —Gary Lee Barrett
Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.