Monday, May 31, 2010

Music Recommendation #21: The Tinycakes

The Tinycakes hail from Chicago Illinois. The sole member of the band is Jim and he plays guitar and keyboard and also sings. The first time I came across his music was a few years ago, when he had sent me his (2) CD’s along with several lovely homemade comics of which come highly recommended by myself and precious others. His music to me is very simple yet honest and well crafted. Through his own words and he makes his songs for himself, but also for “People to listen to and forget about the bad stuff”, a message that he successfully conveys through humor, honesty and also through his various emotions of which he expresses from song to song.

Vocally he sounds very original to me, but at times his voice can cause cracks of laughter from listeners, especially through his humorous lyrics. In recent years Jim has succeeded in finding more opportunities for himself to perform at various independent live music venues with many of his favorite up and coming artists in Chicago.

His influences include: Jonathan Richman, Tom Waits, Syd Barrett, They Might Be Giants, Robyn Hitchcock and more.

Check him out here:

(9) free and legal downloads available here:

Music Recommendation#20: The Big Picture

The Big Picture hails from Beijing China via Stockholm Sweden. It is primarily one member named Mikael Salomonsson, though he receives help from several talented musician friends. He’s been making music under this moniker for about 5 years now, and has successfully held performances in both Sweden and China. Basically a few years ago he had moved to Beijing to further study Chinese and while there he settled with a label which helped him release his music in China and the label also helped him with live performances there too. That label is 1724 records. Mikael’s voice has a great range, best described by me as a style closely evoking late great Elliott Smith.

His self titled known to be debut full length album was released in 2008 in USA and later also released in China. When performing live, The Big Picture has consisted of a revolving cast of musicians including Lina Cullemark (Springfactory) and Peter Gunnarson (SKWBN) among other talented musicians.

Hear more here:

Download (3) free and legal mp3’s here

Recommended if you like: Elliott Smith, Springfactory, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names, Jose Gonzalez, Minakumari, Spiders for Love, Oh Sweet Music!;

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Music Recommendation #19: Sweet Sweet Concorde

Sweet Sweet Concorde hails from Orebro Sweden. It is a solo project of Anders, whom also has played some with a very well known Swedish indie band named Robert Church and the Holy Community. To date his primary released recordings appear on a collection he has titled “Life In The Canopy” which is a solo effort of 10 songs, of which are apparently recorded in a bedroom. Initially without having the knowledge he had played in Robert Church, the recording quality reminded me of what it would sound like if someone recorded on the same equipment as R.C.

Whether that is in fact true maybe doesn’t matter all that much. A notable characteristic of Anders is his creativity appears to peak within every song, and this rarely occurs, especially on a debut album.

Recommended if you like the follow qualities: energetic, charm, heartfelt, genuine, humor, playfulness, etc.

(3) Free and legal downloads available here

Hear even more here:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Music Recommendation #18: Broken Folk Transistor

Broken Folk Transistor hails from Collingwood Ontario Canada. I received a package from Ryan including (3) full CDs of music he has made under 3 different monikers. The album that struck my fancy the most is his solo project Broken Folk Transistor. One might think already, three different band names, what does this guy do with his time? Well in Broken Folk Transistor, Ryan conveys his message through 21 songs, and further cements the title of being “prolific”.

Sometimes albums by solo musicians with this quantity of songs, usually achieve quantity over the overall quality of an album, but this piece will certainly be one of the most sublime 20+ song records I’ll probably ever hear. Ryan’s lyrics, vocals and instrumentation qualities surely outmatch the work of several members within many bands. Never having heard of Collingwood before in my life, it’s easy to assume that in obscured areas that most of the time you have to do things yourself, the DIY way, as opposed to exhausting searches for band members. If/when Ryan decides to take a step out of Collingwood, he will surely garner a lot more notoriety for his musical talents.

Heavily recommended if you like early recordings from the following: Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Beck, Jesus and Mary Chain;

Check em out here:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Music Recommendation #17: My Autumn Sons

My Autumn Sons hails from Sweden. There are four total members, each of them having significant roles within the band. The vocals of Anna Ödlund could be described as “lush” and evoke Dominique Durand (Ivy), & Tracyanne Campbell (Camera Obscura). The male vocals tend to have a darkness/ borderline gothic sound evoking 80’s Manchester bands.

Overall the songs have a very catchy melodic basis to them, and the vocals/lyrics also take just as strong of a hold within the songs on a regular basis. There are several side projects; one I’d recommend highly is Leonwalls. Among their several videos, I choose to post their video for song “Plain”.

Recommended if you like: Ivy, Camera Obscura, The Chameleons, The Smiths, Joy Division, Peter Bjorn and John, Radio Dept, Adrian Borland;

Check them out here:

(3) Free & Legal downloads here

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Music Recommendation #16: Modes of Resuscitation

Modes of Resuscitation is a quartet which hails from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. One thing that has always amazed me about this band is the variety of sound that they offer up in their songs. “Triggers” for example recalls my good memories for 80’s Manchester bands like The Chameleons and The Sound. “Triggers” also evokes Joy Division in a very odd way, more so instrumentally and not at all vocally. This observation and artistry has been rarely achieved by followers of Joy Division, they usually mess up the song by trying to make their voice sound exactly like Ian Curtis, but to his own credit, lead vocalist Matthew has a distinct voice.

The band describes their sound as “New Wave, post punk, folk, and blues. Thankfully, not all rolled into one, though”. I’d say that statement is quite valid, and makes their music all the more intriguing to the beginning listener. Lyrically, Matthew would fit in quite well with the late great Adrian Borland (of The Sound fame).

Recommended if you like: 80’s Manchester including The Smiths, Joy Division, The Sound, The Chameleons, New Order; Also recommended if you like: Mahogany, Cleemann, Magnetic Fields, High Llamas;

Check them out here: