From The Mailbag : MJ Redux

June 27, 2009 by · 1 Comment
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I try not to post on the same topic multiple times in a row, but after this weekend these won’t really be relevant anymore, so it’s now or never.  A couple tunes for you that just arrived in the inbox, a gypsy lounge version of Billie Jean from Quebec’s The Lost Fingers and a special tribute to the King Of Pop by the master of the remix Don Diablo.

The Lost Fingers – Billie Jean
Buy Lost In The 80’s

Don Diablo – Song For MJ (Remember The Time)

New Music : Magic Wands

July 23, 2008 by · 1 Comment
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A random pick from the inbox todaythat caught my attention, a band from Nashville called Magic Wands. I’ll let them tell their story. Enjoy.

Here’s their info:
Magic Wands are a Nashville based girl/guy duo fronted by singers/guitarists Chris and Dexy.

The first time they met, the two only spoke briefly outside a show on in Hollywood in 2006 when Chris was visiting Los Angeles. They wouldn’t talk again for over a year.

In 2007 while living in Nashville, Chris found a song on Myspace that he listened to repeatedly, day and night. Soon he discovered it was a song by Dexy, called Teenage Love. He sent her a message, and soon the two began talking and exchanging mp3s of their music.

Having recently both quit playing punk music, they both agreed they wanted to start something completely different. For fun they began recording songs together over the internet, the first being a song Chris wrote for Dexy called Kiss Me Dead.

Most nights that summer they were on the phone until dawn, 2000 miles apart and talking about things like music, magic, love and dreams.

They would also send packages to each other—gifts such as toy lions, old records, handwritten poems, candy, clothes, plastic rings and one glowing heart lamp.

Quickly they decided they had to be together. So Chris came to L.A. to meet up with Dexy at an old bed and breakfast in the Hollywood Hills. They instantly hit it off— playing guitars, visiting old churches and wearing crowns they bought at a magic shop on Hollywood Blvd.

After Chris left, they decided they were destined to be. Two weeks later he was back in L.A. helping Dexy pack up her old Mercedes Benz for a trip across the country.

When they arrived in Nashville they began recording under the name Magic Wands, taken from one of Dexy’s favorite things that Chris sent her—a magic wand.

Currently Magic Wands are living together in Nashville and will release a ltd. EP in the Autumn.

Magic Wands – Black Magic
Magic Wands – Teenage Love


From The Mailbag : Your 33 Black Angels

November 7, 2007 by · 2 Comments
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It’s always cool to receive a tip from a reader, so when I received what seemed like a sincere recommendation for the band Your 33 Black Angels I checked them out. Although that process diluted the perceived sincerity of tip when I discovered the exact same email went to every other blogger out there, some of whom even posted it.
David Fricke liked them well enough to give them a nod in a recent issue of Rolling Stone saying “The LP is worth the hunt for its pop-wise rattle (Pavement with a case of the Strokes) and singer Josh Westfal’s resemblance, in dry, frank voice and cautious optimism, to another local institution: Lou Reed on the Velvet Underground’s fourth album, Loaded.” Well, I don’t know if I’d go that far, they are a bit less polished than any of those bands, but they’re not bad. Their sound reminds me of the myriad of late eighties bands that strove for a sound midway between the bouncy keyboard pop of new wave and the edgier sounds of punk rock. Worth a listen.

MP3 : Your 33 Black Angels – Sue
MP3 : Your 33 Black Angels – Town And Country

Buy Lonely Street


From The Mailbag : Christine Fellows

November 1, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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Like every other blogger out there I get a lot of press releases and music coming through my inbox everyday. I try to listen to everything that comes through and most of it is relatively good. Some days, it just takes being quirky enough to rise above the din of sameness makes something stand out. Christine Fellows new album Nevertheless is that one today. With a sound that falls somewhere between the overly arty poeticism of Joanna Newsome and the sarcastic showtune swagger of Nellie McKay it catches your attention. Nevertheless is named after a poem by Marianne Moore and is mainly influenced by her life and work. In fact I could easily see it being used as the soundtrack to a play about her.
Opening with the overture like Let Us Have Done With The Umbrella Of Our Contagion, the album winds it’s way through poetically named vignettes like Saturday Night On Utopia Parkway and What Makes The Cherry Red before winding it up with the xylophone laced Yours, And With Ever Grateful Wonder.

Part of the album was recorded remotely at the historic Manitou Opera House in the tiny town of Manitou, and the rest at the Prairie Recording Co. headquarters, a factory loft in the St. Boniface industrial park of Winnipeg.

The Manitou Opera House sessions feature Leanne Zacharias (cello), Cristina Zacharias (violin), Ed Reifel (xylophone and percussion), with guests Howard and Jeannie Zacharias, who sang in our impromptu choir. The Prairie Recording sessions feature Barry Mirochnick (drums and vocals), Keith Mcleod (banjo and mandola), Greg Smith (bass), John K. Samson (vocals), Cam Loeppky (vocals and banjo) and Leanne Zacharias (cello, glockenspiel, vocals). I produced the album, sang and played piano, ukulele, glockenspiel, typewriter and Nord Electro II (Wurlitzer, Rhodes, organ), and compiled all the extraneous bird sounds.

MP3: Christine Fellows – What Makes The Cherry Red
Buy Nevertheless

Upcoming Shows
Nov 2 2007 8:00P Shadow Songs at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery Lethbridge, Alberta
Nov 7 2007 8:00P Phoenix Concert Theatre with The Weakerthans and Jenn Grant Toronto, Ontario
Nov 8 2007 8:00P Phoenix Concert Theatre with The Weakerthans and Jenn Grant Toronto, Ontario
Nov 9 2007 8:00P Call the Office with The Weakerthans and Jenn Grant London
Nov 29 2007 8:00P West End Cultural Centre, Nevertheless CD release Winnipeg, Manitoba
Nov 30 2007 8:00P Amigos with Baby Eagle Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Dec 1 2007 8:00P The Marquee Room with Baby Eagle Calgary, Alberta
Dec 14 2007 8:00P Nevertheless CD release at The Music Gallery, with Baby Eagle Toronto, Ontario


From The Mailbag : Eugene Francis Jnr

July 25, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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Here’s some brand new music for you straight from the inbox, the folky electronic enhanced sounds of Eugene Francis Jnr. Enjoy.

The history:

On March 8th 1977 at 8.13am Eugene Francis Jnr emerged into our world,
for 2 reasons

a. to make music

b. so that ‘International Women’s Day’ would be officially recognised

9 months earlier it is believed that a chivalrous, Apache Indian made
love to an exquisite, Inuit Eskimo under the timid Welsh sun. The
couple were very much in love but also very much in hiding.

They travelled with Eugene from continent to continent, in search of
work and enlightenment. They were stubborn nomads, who in turn raised
an unshakable hippy…but their taste in music was impeccable

Eugene Francis was raised on Country, Blues and Folk Music, although
when he misbehaved his parents made him listen to 80’Synth-Pop or

After returning to London to study the stars and the planets at
University, Eugene Francis decided to capitalise on being in the
nation’s capital and got busy playing in as many different bands as

These bands were not important

Bored and fed up. Eugene Francis packed his little, junior guitar, and
some threads and headed off to America on a Kerouac. During a late
lock-in @ The White Horse Tavern (NYC) under the watchful eye of Dylan
Thomas. Eugene Francis was enlightened by a friend who told him to move
away from the pop-rock music he had been making and look for something
to call his own.

Up to the challenge Eugene Francis headed back home to the Welsh Hills
to start work.

Just like the construction of chitty-chitty-bang-bang, he disappeared
to work on his project behind locked doors. He emerged 4 months later
holding in his hand the proposed album ‘The Golden Beatle’ and the word
‘Folktronica’ would never be the same.

Now he needed a band, to reproduce the layers of instruments and

Not just any old band, an elite band, a concept band: ‘The Juniors’

Drawing from some of the best bands / musical individuals of the
current Welsh Music Scene (Vito, Broken Leaf) Eugene Francis Jnr has
assembled a democracy, which he calls ‘a harmonious,

And now they plan to take over the world, this one and the next

With Poor Me / Kites being the double A-side Ltd Edition Vinyl, due for
release in June and with the debut album nearing completion, this could
be the year where even the heavens will hear about ‘Eugene Francis Jnr
and the juniors’

MP3: Eugene Francis Jnr – Kites

Ltd Edition 7″ Vinyl In Stores Now!!

CLICK TO BUY ‘Poor Me / Kites’ ON iTunes (U.S.only).


From The Mailbag: JadeMcNelis, Mieka Pauley,The Swimmers Live

May 9, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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Shuffling through the mailbag to bring you some recent music fom the inbox.

First up is Jade McNelis. Good Fences Records label mate to BOS favorite Memphis.

Jade McNelis’ debut EP is a terrifically beautiful amalgam of fate and destiny. This 20-year-old singer-songwriter was born in Taiwan, adopted by an American couple at only 42 days old and began learning the piano at age 4. Discovered when she opened for Stars in her hometown of Tallahassee, Florida, she was quickly signed to new Montreal label, Good Fences. She came to Montreal in the summer of 2006 to record and never went back. Chris Seligman (from Stars) co-produced the All The Fables EP. His co-producer and engineer was Drew Malamud, who has worked with The Dears, Death From Above 1979, and Stars. Murray Lightburn from Dears plays guitar, as does Gregory Paquet, formerly of the Stills. Andrew Barr of The Slip plays the drums. It was mixed by Ryan Hadlock at famed Seattle’s Bear Creak Studio. Yet her sound is all her own, a frozen stream unlocking its force by way of hungry piano playing, haunting melodies and a voice that brims with all the hope of a bright dawn pouring through the window. As the EP’s title indicates, McNelis writes songs that are like fairy tales, little stories with their own morals and mysteries. “Aesop’s Fables were one of my first influences as a human being when I was growing up,” she says. Her songs are the decisive moment, a call to adventure, arrows of destiny. Wistful lyrics that soar above rich and affecting piano arrangements. The sun is rising, the town is deserted, but the enchanted landscape is filled with golden, ghostly harmonies.

MP3: Jade McNelis – Life In Grey

Some of Jade’s Upcoming shows:
May 15 2007 10:00P The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, Ontario
May 20 2007 8:30A Bar St-Laurent 2 Montreal, Quebec
May 29 2007 8:00P The Tranzac Toronto, Ontario
May 31 2007 9:00P Union Hall Brooklyn, New York

[myspace] [website]

photo by Baratunde

Next up is Mieka Pauley

Mieka Pauley was born in Boston and raised in Kentucky, Colorado and South Florida. School brought her back to Boston where she makes her home. She started singing as a child and studied classical voice and piano. In high school she sang in alt rock garage bands and Motown funk bands and in jazz, classical and church choirs. In high school she taught herself guitar on an uncle’s old acoustic, then cut her teeth in college playing on the street corners of Harvard Square. Her immediate ability to captivate audiences quickly made her a favorite of Boston’s best clubs including the Paradise Lounge, House of Blues, Club Passim, and Kendall Café – next at New York’s renowned Bitter End, Living Room, Makor, Knitting Factory and Village Underground – and then at the best clubs and festivals throughout the U.S., North, South, East and West.

She follows her own vision for her music and her soul/blues/rock/acoustic/alternative style has brought comparisons to Ben Harper, Cat Power, Neko Case, Patty Griffin, Martin Sexton and others. She came up listening to all of those artists, and also to Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Eva Cassidy, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill. She has traveled in several directions as well in her recordings and bands while defining her own personal sound and style, and this road has lead her to take the reins in her own hands and draw her own map from here forward.

MP3: Mieka Pauley – All The Same Mistakes

Upcoming Shows
May 10 2007 8pm Pianos New York NY
May 12/2007 8:20pm Rusty Rudder Dewey Bch DE
Dewey Beach Chick Fest showcase
May 17/2007 10pm Pianos New York NY
May 18/2007 11pm Twisted Tree Cafe Asbury Pk NJ

[myspace] [website]

The Swimmers just finished a short Spring tour. Here’s a few songs from some radio appearances they made.

From the World Café Live in Philly:
MP3: The Swimmers – It’s Time They Knew
MP3: The Swimmers – Heaven
From WHFR in Detroit:
MP3: The Swimmers – Mr Blue Sky(ELO cover)

[myspace] [website]

From The Mailbag : Matt Lutz, K’Nise’s picks, RIAA and more

March 11, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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First up today is the latest solo album from Matt Lutz, the frontman for popular San Francisco indie-garage rockers The Herms. Matt’s disc is the appropriately named Seesaw, as the gamut of styles on it run from dark Bowieesque goth rockers to loungey instrumentals to the catchy pop number,Took Me A While that I have for you today. If you like this be sure to check out his myspace page for more tunes.

M4A: Matt Lutz – Took Me A While

Big Thanks to Mona at MLC PR for the track.

K’nise Connection’s Pick of The Week(and Last Week)

K’nise‘s pick this week is the sultry, soulful,jazzy sounds of Toronto’s dazzlingly beautiful Emma-Lee. Not only is Emma-Lee an extremely talented musician she’s an impressive photographer as well. Hear her songs on her myspace page and make sure you check out her photographs as well.

Since I was on an unxpected hiatus last week and didn’t get to post much, here’s last week’s pick as well. The Hummingbirds are a sweet country duo from Ypsilanti, Michigan composed of Rachel Lynn on Vocals and Guitar and Stephen Grant Wood on Guitars and Vocals. Watch for their new album due out sometime in 2007

If you like music on the internet, and especially if you’re a college student you’ll want to check out these two articles.

Recording Industry vs People Blog posted this open letter to the RIAA
Open Letter to Universities Whose Students Have Been Targeted by the RIAA

Jefito Blog posted this insightful piece on’s proposed RIAA boycott
A Lovely Month for a Boycott

Way To Go Desmond !
Our former Artist Of The Day, bedroom four track sensation Desmond Reed has had his song Who I’d Like To Meet picked up by Manchester UK based Babyboom Records to be included on their next sampler cd due out March 19th.

Some places to be this week if you’re not in Austin Texas for SXSW

The Swimmers start their Sunday night residency at Pianos in NYC tonight and share the bill with Maria Taylor and Aderbat in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Sun Mar 11 2007 9:00P Pianos [residency] New York, New York
Thu Mar 15 2007 7:30P FirstUnitarian Church w/ Maria Taylor and Aderbat Philadelphia, PA

In the mood for some blues ? Here’s where Jo Wymer will be this week :
Sun Mar 11 2007 02:00 PM – Travelling Poets Society – Espresso Joes, Keyport,NJ
Sat Mar 17 2007 08:00 PM – Twisted Tree Cafe Cookman Ave, Asbury Park, NJ

World Cafe Live has a pair of shows by Nanci Griffith followed up by one from the legendary Leon Russell
Wed Mar 14 2007 7:30P Nanci Griffith World Cafe Live Philadelphia PA
Thu Mar 15 2007 7:30P Nanci Griffith World Cafe Live Philadelphia PA
Fri Mar 16 2007 7:30P Leon Russell World Cafe Live Philadelphia PA

The Hold Steady are back from the UK with The Thermals in tow to continue their takeover of the Boys And Girls In America. If there’s one hot band to see now these guys are it.
Mon Mar 12 2007 08:00 PM – Club Downunder Tallahassee, FL
Tue Mar 13 2007 08:00 PM – The Bottle Tree Birmingham, AL
Wed Mar 14 2007 08:00 PM – Hi Tone Cafe Memphis,TN
Thu Mar 15 2007 08:00 PM – Off Broadway St. Louis, MO
Fri Mar 16 2007 08:00 PM – Music Mill Indianapolis, IN
Sat Mar 17 2007 08:00 PM – Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH

From The Mailbag : Willie Herath,Greg Sears and more

February 25, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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Willie describes his music as “Nod Your Head Beach Rock”!, a mix between Weezer & Jack Johnson. Harder than Jack, but softer than Weezer. I’d say he’s pretty much nailed the essence of it one sentence. His latest disc Cohgie Never Landed is classic alternative power pop music with an unmistakeable West coast flair. It’s pretty easy to imagine these songs blasting from boomboxes at beach parties or out of a car stereo in a convertible with the top down cruising down the coast. If you liked the sounds of the super hot blogger buzz band The Broken West that we recently featured, you’ll like this too. Put on your shorts and sunglasses, turn it up , kick back and party.

MP3: Willie Herath – Shake It Up Baby
MP3: Willie Herath – So Perfect

many thanks to Mona @ MLC PR for the songs


Next up from the mailbag we have Greg Sears and his home recording project called Greg Sears and The Only Honest Ones Left. Greg has created all of the songs in his bedroom using the Garageband program. I especially liked the list of instruments he says he used for percussion – “pencil,pen,turtle(glass, don’t worry, no animal cruelty)”. The songs are earnest Conor Oberst style vocals over unmistakebly lo-fi music. It works especially to the advantage of his song Anarchy Man,where the ramshackle shuffle of the instrumentation is providing its own anarchic chaos beneath the vocals. Hear more songs on his myspace.

MP3: Greg Sears and The Only Honest Ones Left – Anarchy Man
MP3: Greg Sears and The Only Honest Ones Left – War On Love


Some other things this week…

The lovely Audra Mae has been named the K’nise Connection’s Music Maker Of The Week!
~K’nise says : “What a voice. Wow. “Turn Around” is amazing. If you really want a jaunt of a song, listen to “Bottom Of Up”. Wow again! “


This Wednesday February 28th The Swimmers wrap up their Wednesday night residency at the Khyber In Philadelphia and move it to Sunday nights next month at Pianos in New York City. If you haven’t yet, get out and see them. Fighting Trees is by far one of best albums I’ve heard this year. Hear the whole thing at their website. Many more upcoming tour dates on their myspace page including DC,Chicago and Detroit amongst others.

From The Mailbag : Assembly of Dust, Coming Up This Week

February 19, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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Asssembly Of Dust sounds like more the name of a heavy metal band you’re likely to see at the all Ozzfest than on the jam band circuit, but that’s just where you’ll find them. Formed by Reid Genauer after leaving the band Strangefolk in 2002, Assembly of Dust‘s third album third studio CD, Recollection, is being released March 6. Telling Sue is the first song form it and conjures a sound similar to the Grateful Dead but with more of a country twist.

MP3: Assembly of Dust – Telling Sue


Some other goings on this week…

K’nise Connection‘s Music Maker Of The Week is Robert Harris


On Wed 2/21/07 The Swimmers continue their February residency at The Khyber in Philly
This week it’s with guests Elevator Parade and Creeping Weeds
The Khyber 56 S. 2nd St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

Also listen Wednesday night for a full live set on Jon Solomon’s Radio show on Princeton’s 103.3 FM WPRB
Listen via the web at at


Jo Wymer brings her Blues with Attitude to you a couple times this week. Be sure to check out her set of excellent originals and blues classics.

02/21/2007 08:00 PM – Orphan Annie’s – Wine, Women and Song Series, Sterling, New Jersey – FREE
02/23/2007 08:00 PM – Green Planet Coffee Company , Pt. Pleasant, New Jersey –


On Saturday Feb 24th World Cafe Live’s 4th beer tasting festival, Beats, Brews & BBQ
Featurng 30 local and regional breweries, food including Tommy Gunns American Barbeque and musical performances by The Rigbees and


Update !
I almost forgot this one. After you get all loosened up at the beerfest keep the party going by heading on over to The Khyber for a powerhouse night of rocking with Jukebox Zeros, Beretta76, The Safes, and Foxycontin

From The Mailbag : Somme, Awesome Color, and more

February 4, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
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The two piece band has already become almost cliche in today’s indie rock scene. Well, The Somme are not just another White Stripes or Black Keys wannabe peddling rough and raunchy blues based tunes. They go for a more epic wall of sonics in their purely instrumental songs. There’s enough intricacy going on that you’ll forget you’re just listening to one guitar and drums.

In their own words from their myspace:


The 1916 Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles of the First World War. With more than one million casualties it was also one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

2007. Nearly half a decade has passed now since the mighty duo Somme first emerged from a
Chicago basement, endlessly cultivating, refining and rebuilding the ferocious guitar/drum offensive that’s since become their signature sound. Their debut EP, Weight, recorded in one day at Steve Albini’s legendary Electrical Audio Studios with revered engineer Greg Norman (High on Fire, Pelican, Mclusky, Magnolia Electric Co.), is a massive battle cry, at once reflecting the bloodsoaked triumphs of the allied forces and the thousands floating dead in the crimson River Somme on the day that remains, 87 years later, the British Army’s goriest onslaught in history.

Somme is guitarist Daniel Medina, a 20 year-old chemical worker who spends his afternoons in a gas mask at a nearby plant hauling hazardous and contaminated materials, and drummer Kenny Preski whose mammoth drum sound is the explosive foundation and structural framework of
Somme’s epic colossus.

Laid to tape in January 2007, with Norman at the decks, Weight is the first of a two-part series of sister recordings, the second of which is planned for release later this year. Due to the band’s intense working dynamic, it was essential that their music be captured live to analog equipment. The result is a spectacularly ambitious sonic marvel, owing as much to key influences Spacemen 3, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Slow Riot-era Godspeed You Black Emperor as to the spectres of that brutal 1916 holocaust.

Upcoming Shows
March 4 2007 8:00P The Canopy Club Urbana, IL

MP3: Somme – Massless
Somme – Forge


Awesome Color
Thanks to Adam for the tip-off on these guys. Awesome Color is a New York City via Ann Arbor, MI trio that blends the raw power of Iggy and The Stooges with Goo-era Sonic Youth. It’s pretty obvious why Thurston Moore signed them to his Ecstatic Peace label and partly produced their self titled debut disc.
Check out this video for the cooking garage rocker Free Man.

Awesome Color is:

Derek Stanton – Guitar, Vocals
Michael Troutman – Bass
Allison Busch – Drums

Upcoming Shows
02/11/2007 09:00 PM – BAR New Haven, CT w/ Calla
02/12/2007 08:00 PM – Glasslands Brooklyn, New York w/ Demons and Religious Knives
02/14/2007 08:00 PM – Academy of Music Northampton, Massachusetts W/ Sonic Youth and Wooden Wand

Some other things you’ll want to check out this week:

The Slip is making their live performance debut on network television this coming Monday on NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

At the Blue Bar and Rack Room in Nashville, Me and the Machine Records is holding its very first album release party. Josh Preston, Nick Shelton and Brad Sweitzer will each perform. And it’s FREE so get on down there.

Me and the Machine Records First Album Release Party
Tuesday February, 6 2007 6pm Blue Bar and Rack Room 1911 Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee

Bag Of Songs favorite the lovely and talented Chelsea Elizabeth Taube plays
Tuesday February, 6 2007 at The Modern Exchange Southgate, Michigan


For the East Coasters, another Bag Of Songs favorite The Shrinking Islands also play their smart jangly pop this week
Tuesday February, 6 2007 at Bullfinch Yacht Club w/ Tom Thumb & The Latter Day Saints Boston, Massachusetts

The Swimmers start the first night of their every Wednesday in February residency at The Khyber in Philadelphia. It’s still early in the year but I’m going to make a bold statement and say their new record Fighting Trees is pretty much a shoo-in to make many best of 2007 lists at the end of the year. Check out a few songs on their myspace or stream the whole thing at their website.

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