Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
Location: California

uao is also a contributor to Blogcritics.org, Rhapsody Radish. and FIQL.com.

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Feel free to dig through the Deep Freeze for more, but stuff dated before mid-March 2005 is still formative and impressionistic, and not really worth the effort.

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Note: the copyrighted audio material on this site is for listening only, and is not downloadable. It is provided as illustrations to the articles, and to interest people in the legal purchase of these artists' material. Any copyright holder who would like their material removed should contact me, and I'll remove it.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005
 

New Artists On The Web #3: The Sharp Things, Summer Lawns

New Artists On The Web is a regular irregular feature that profiles up-and-coming bands who maintain a website and offer samples of their music. If you'd like your music profiled (which will help this series appear more often), please see the details following the first installment. The second one is here.

Summer Lawns: Piano Song
Summer Lawns: Twin Peaks
Summer Lawns: Choke
Summer Lawns: Jack The Ripper

Summer Lawns: First We Waited...Then It Started (2005) Formed in 2003, Summer Lawns, from Brooklyn, New York City, is one of those bands that you can tell is going places upon the very first listen. Consisting of Jermey Linzee on vocals and guitar, Laurel Birkey on cello and vocals, Andrew Landry on guitar and keyboards, and Kieran Kelly on drums and backing vocals, the band's sound is both lush and spare and features a dreamlike texture that recalls dream-pop legends Yo La Tengo to a degree, while Linzee's vocals are eerily reminiscent of the late Jeff Buckley. "Choke" benefits from the delicate interplay between tuneful, melancholy guitar work and cello; Kelly's metronome-like drums contribute a sparseness to the recording that highlights the gentle wash of sound and voices from the others. "Piano Song", is a little more aggressive in its arrangement, based around a gentle, melodic Landry keyboard line that lurks deep in the mix, reaching a number of mini-crescendos before a busy middle section with discordant guitars and distorted multi-tracked vocals before returning to its gentle almost lullaby-like melody. "Twin Peaks" benefits from its unconventional time signature and its gentle guitar work that ebbs and flows, spacing moments of sonic eruptions between washes of space; Linzee really recalls Buckley on this track, and the backing vocals particularly shine. "Jack The Ripper" is perhaps the most ambitious of the four samples offered on their website; opening with a harsh cymbal and Linzee and Birkey's vocals, it maintains an understated momentum helped along by Kelly's muted drums and percussion, and Birkey's cello. The spare guitar work vaguely recalls early Mazzy Star.
Summer Lawns [Promotional Picture]
Many dream-pop bands suffer from the difficulty of transcending their influences and developing a sound of their own. Summer Lawns' smokey late-night ambience, despite their obvious influences, avoids this trap; they're instantly engaging, and atmospheric; at their best, they're spine-tingling. Anybody who misses Jeff Buckley owes it to themself to hear this, as should dream pop fans in general, and Yo La Tengo fans in particular. But the music here is so well defined, idiosyncratic, and gorgeous that their potential reach extends well beyond this niche. They're a definitely a band to watch.

Don't take my word for it; visit the Summer Lawns website. Or listen to the songs at Summer Lawns' Myspace music site.

Summer Lawns' debut album, First We Waited...Then It Started will be released July 26, 2005; look for them on tour in the northeast and midwest this summer.
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The Sharp Things: Homeless
The Sharp Things: The Suicide Bombers
The Sharp Things: I'll Always Be Your Loser, Honey
The Sharp Things: Foxes and Hounds (2005)
The Sharp Things, from New York City, are a unique blend of orchestral chamber pop with a sensibility adapted from the traditions established by Jimmy Webb, Leonard Cohen, Burt Bacharach and Scott Walker. The band has already released one album, Here Comes The Sharp Things on Dive records in 2003; their new disc, Foxes & Hounds is available now from Bar/None Records. Led by the soulful voice of Perry Serpa, the band consists of an array of musicians who create a dense, layered, textured sound that recalls Polyphonic Spree-meets-XTC at first listen, but also takes its own original approach. "Homeless" opens with a rolling piano that almost recalls Elton John, before the airy, jaunty melody kicks in. Strings, french horn, melodic bass, snare drums, guitar, and Serpa's rich expressive voice come together in a grand orchestral sweep that's instantly accessable and catchy; disarmingly cheerful given the title. "The Suicide Bombers" opens with a heavy bassline that propels the song and an Eastern-tinged synth that returns throughout; Serpa's vocal recalls David Bowie on this number. Harder rocking than "Homeless" it features an excellent semi-discordant guitar solo and great backing vocals on the bridges. The amusingly titled "I'll Always Be Your Loser, Honey" opens like a grand ballad, with piano and vocal, joined by french horn and strings on the second verse. A lonesome horn solo over strings becomes a double horn solo; the ambience of the song is uneasy and regretful. Overall, the band displays an imaginative and winning knack for arrangement, and is not without a sense of humor.

The Sharp things


The Sharp Things get a lot of sound from their 11-member lineup, and pack enough surprises into each track to keep things interesting. More info from The Sharp Things at The Sharp Things official website. Visit their Myspace page for music.



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Would you like your band or music profiled here? Simply send an email to freejam@gmail.com with a link to your music and band info. You have nothing to lose, and you'll be among good company on these pages.

 
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I'm back! Gotta play catch up now. Hope alls well with you, have a good weekend
 
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