Friday, June 24, 2005

Erie Choir


A while back, I went to see a show at the Duke Coffeehouse that included a band called Erie Choir. At the time, their web site was pretty bare, but now they've added some music to listen to, and it's good stuff.

Their live show featured a full band, and although I enjoyed the music, it did start to get a little same-y sounding (lots of songs in a mid-tempo shuffle). These are mostly acoustic guitar, though one does feature a fuller lineup. I think that may serve the songs better.

Here's a review of their recent EP, Bad Tsars is a Drag: "Echoing a '70s singer/songwriter rock style, Eric Roehrig's bright acoustic strum, gentle tenor croon and spare, airy arrangements meld the confessional style with a touch of '80s new wave and jangle."

MP3: "Favorite Fotos"
MP3: "Lullaby for John Grives"
(from Bad Tsars is a Drag [EP], self-released 2004)

MP3: "Trunion Pike"
(from Erie Choir [EP], 2000)

Don't know where you could buy these -- maybe direct from the band (contact). Erie Choir plays tomorrow (6/25/05) at Ooh La Latte with Regina Hexaphone, a lovely band in their own right.

*Photo nabbed off Flickr from ninecherries. See more here.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Comas cover Teenage Fanclub

A quick visit to The Comas' website for a recent post reveals a greatly-expanded media section, including an array of unreleased/rare tracks.

I like this Teenage Fanclub cover -- I originally called it peppy, which it is in the context of the Comas' music, but having listened to the original, I don't think that's the right word. In any case, it doesn't totally reimagine the original version, but it's different enough that it might annoy people who have a lot invested in the original. Which is what a cover ought to do.

MP3: "Radio"
(From Is This Music?, Painted Sky 2002.)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Nikki Meets the Hibachi

Thanks to this article in the Independent for clueing me in to the revival of Nikki Meets the Hibachi. I was only vaguely aware of them when I was in college (I think one of my friends new one of them?), and their acoustic folkish songs are much more to my taste now.

Elaine Tola and John Gillespie teamed up while they were in college at UNC in the late 1980s and played together until 1993, releasing The Bluest Sky and Better Late Than Never during that time. To me, the strongest reference point is old-style Indigo Girls -- a couple of guitars and two strong voices, though this is boy-girl harmonies. Amy Ray actually helped finance an early EP, so there's more than a sonic connection there.

Recently re-formed, Tola and Gillespie added percussionist Arturo Velasquez to the group and recorded new new material, in addition to remastering The Bluest Sky. Both of those should be available this fall.

MP3: "Not Mending"
(unreleased, 2004 recording)
MP3: "The Bluest Sky"
(from The Bluest Sky, Baited Breath 1990. Out of print, but remastered and re-released soon.)
Two more songs available on their web site here.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Portastatic piggyback

First of all, if you haven't already, go take a look at the spectacular Portastatic post over at Pimps of Gore. That's what a music blog ought to be like -- my hat's off to Dylan.

My own contribution to this is a pointer to a couple of brief tracks from the soundtrack to a movie called Looking for Leonard. Mac McCaughan enlisted his brother to play drums and Margaret White (who's moved on from the Comas and North Elementary) on violin for the soundtrack, which was released in 2001. They turned out a fine instrumental pop album spanning a wide range of styles and moods.

MP3: "Stealing Romance"
MP3: "Luka's Theme (Shaker Mix)"
(from Looking for Leonard, Merge 2001. Buy it here.)