Barring a massive shake-up of the Billboard charts — and American tastes — "Little Mistakes" will not be the song of the summer. But that's not for lack of trying.
The song is the lead single off Brick and Mortar, the latest album by Watershed — a band from Columbus, Ohio, that most people have never heard of. But they have been playing dingy bars, tiny clubs and even the occasional arena for 27 years.
That career has inspired a new memoir called Hitless Wonder: A Life in Minor League Rock and Roll, written by one of the band's founders, Joe Oestreich.
Metric has long been identified as an indie-rock band, but it recently embraced the "indie" part of that descriptor in a big way.
For their last album together, the band's members formed their own company — Metric Music International — to distribute the record, organize a tour and handle promotion without a label's support. The result was the biggest album of Metric's career: Fantasies sold half a million copies worldwide.
Nonesuch Records has just released the new Shawn Colvin album, All Fall Down. A collection of 11 songs, All Fall Down is Colvin's eighth studio album and the first to be produced by her longtime friend and cohort Buddy Miller (Robert Plant, Solomon Burke). Recorded in Nashville, with a group of stellar musicians, All Fall Down features performances by Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Jakob Dylan, Bill Frisell,Viktor Krauss, Brian Blade, Stuart Duncan, and Julie Miller, among others.
"The Germans can't pronounce it," Jukebox the Ghost says of its name, which its members admit is "impossible to say." The trio came together while attending George Washington University in Washington, D.C., when the drummer and keyboardist responded to a flyer the guitarist had posted in the school's music department. The trio initially performed under the name The Sunday Mail, but after a few years decided that a new identity was in order.
Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 11:30 am
Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack combine to form a huge-sounding, full-blooded rock band, with the former blustering epically on guitar and the latter multitasking on drums and keyboards. Moody and portentous, the Baltimore duo's songs billow menacingly when they're not booming majestically, aided and shrouded by Wasner's enigmatic mumble.
On June 19, a week and a half ago, Fiona Apple released a brand new album, her first in seven years. The entire album had been available for streaming by NPR Music for a week and a half by then. Three days later, my copy arrived in the mail. It hasn't left my desk since.
Originally published on Wed August 15, 2012 3:16 pm
The way he was tearing it up during an impromptu set at the Sasquatch Music Festival, you'd barely notice that Jordan Cook, a.k.a. Reignwolf, broke a string midway through his fiery rendition of "In the Dark" — that is, until you saw the mangled remnants of his guitar, smoldering on the ground after he'd wrenched every wailing chord from its guts.
Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:09 am
Though John Lydon remains best known as Johnny Rotten, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, his music career didn't end with the pioneering punk act's split in 1978. Lydon formed Public Image Ltd shortly thereafter and dropped his adopted stage name. Widely considered the first post-punk band, PiL experiments with a wide palette of sounds, including dub, rock and disco.
Call JD McPherson's style a throwback if you like, but don't mistake it for novelty. The former punk rocker and middle-school art teacher crafts a raw and energetic blend of jump blues, rockabilly and early rock 'n' roll on his debut album Signs & Signifiers, recording to 1/4 tape on analog equipment. Still, McPherson is as likely to cite The Smiths or Wu-Tang Clan as influences as he is Little Richard or Ruth Brown.