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Favorite Things: Justin Ringle of Horse Feathers

20 Apr

Dear readers, you may remember that one of my grabs on record store day was “House With No Home” by Horse Feathers.  Well, it’s been all of three days and already I’m behind in my collection, as today marks the release of the band’s eagerly anticipated third album “Thistled Spring“.  In a happy coincidence the wonderfully-talented heart of the band, Justin Ringle, recently took the time to fill us in on some of his favorite things, which easily made my day.  Enjoy all!

(PS – I highly encourage running to your favorite record store after reading this for a copy of the new album.  Trust me, it’ll be worth it)

BookWise Blood [by Flannery O’Connor]
Fictional CharacterMan with no name
ArtistAndrew Wyeth
MusicianAaron Copland
PoetJames Wright
President/Prime MinisterFDR
Article of Clothinglong sleeve buttondown shirt
Musical Termpizzicato
Childhood Toylegos
Quote” I hire people to look into my eyes and the have them kick me,” interviewer asks that’s how you get your kicks? “no, then I forgive them that’s where my kicks come in.” – Bob Dylan

Record Release: Mirah

12 Mar

MirahSorry for my absences as of late, life has been a little crazy.  As a result I am a few days late on this one, but the supremely talented Mirah has finally released her first full length of original material since 2004’s “C’mon Miracle”.  The new album, “(a)spera” was released on (surprise, surprise) K Records and has been recieving copious amounts of praise.  Nearly every mention of it I have so far seen has been in a positive light, with most tipping their hats in commendation to her growth both as a lyricist and in the instrumentation of her material.  Enlisting the work of talented producers such as Tucker Martine (Decemberists, Laura Veirs) and Bryce Panic in addition to long time collaborator Phil Elvrum, the album has a scope larger than those of her previous releases and yet manages to remain consistant and unmistakably Mirah.  

I’ve only had the album myself for about a day, so it is a bit too early for my two cents just yet.  Though I will say it is all I have been able to listen to and it so far sounds better than anything I have heard in quite a while.  In fact so far my only negative reaction has been to the album’s artwork.  After a string of wonderfully designed and resonant cover images, this one kindof smacks you in the face.   (a)speraIs it just me or does this scream 1970’s conceptual prog rock.   I cant help but think of Genesis or something else along those lines.  Not thoughts I’m generally inclined to associate with Mirah.  And what on earth is that weird glass structure in front of her?  Call me crazy but I think it was a bad choice.  If you feel differently or that I am a moron please feel free to let me know, I am rather curious to hear other thoughts on the subject.  Anyway, I promise, more posts soon to come and if you haven’t ever heard Mirah’s beautiful voice than take this as your excuse.  To that end here is a video of her performing “Pollen” using the audience as instrumentation.

Record Release: Emmy The Great

9 Feb

Emmy The Great
Emmy The Great is the moniker, euphemism, or boisterous claim (depending on how you look at it) of Emma Lee-Moss.  I have been looking forward to the release of her debut full length album First Love for only about a month or two now… but I can assure you it felt longer.  The refreshingly simple pop music is made irresistible by Emmy’s wonderfully unassuming use of language.  Her lyrics are hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-book smart, while still being relatable and endearing.  

My first introduction to her greatness was the video for the eponymous first single, that is itself a nice compliment to her songwriting.  Equally simple the video relies on one homemade set with swing drops and light bulbs for its special effects.  It reminds me of the feeling you would have if the best play of your life was witnessed in your best friends basement, in spite, or perhaps because, of its humility.  Which is rather how I feel about the artist as well.  At any rate here’s the video with a special cheers to Leonard Cohen fans.

Emmy is playing a release show tonight at the Arts Centre in Norwich which is nowhere close to me on the globe but if it happens to be near you… Go!

Record Release: Matt and Kim

22 Jan


Matt and KimMatt and Kim are without a doubt one of my favorite bands, if for no other reason than they can almost always put a smile on my face.  They are infectious.  The couple of tracks I’ve heard off the new album are great and I was excited to go to the release show tonight.  Until I was an idiot and forgot that, oh yea, they’re pretty popular now.  Ooops.   Oh well, guess that just means I can skip an encore of the insane bruises I got at the self titled release show.  Click after the break if you want to see the evidence.

In the spirit of the new album here is their (relatively) new video for the first single “Daylight” from their second LP Grand which was officially released tuesday.

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