LAWN KNIVES | Gobble Gobble

WE ALL GOT CLOTHES: Yeah okay, so Gobble Gobble has joined the ranks of some of the strangest named groups around. But listen to the track “Lawn Knives” below. It’s hard-pounding, anthemic and full of fuzzed out sythn, skittered beats and catchy vocals. It’s such a fun track. Visit the Gobbler Gobbler tumblr page, where…

A MOODY-BLUE BLAZE | Seabear

WARMING TREND: Seabear, a seven-piece Icelandic band, softly swirl their hushed powers around the voice of lead singer Sindri Már Sigfússon. The band will release its 11-track sophomore effort, “We Built a Fire” sometime soon, as a follow-up to 2007’s “The Ghost That Carried Us Away”. It’s no wonder the new album was recorded in…

SPACEY UNDERWORLD | Secret Cities

SHHHHH!: Secret Cities’ two tracks are harder to pin down than mercury. The songs sound like something familiar, only to transition into something else. Like the xx, Secret Cities seem to mix the best of 80s old-school with new-school instrumentation. The band creates dark synth-pop, ethereal dreamscapes of white noise, found sounds, slick grooves, extended…

LOVE AND DESIRE | Sean Hayes

A LOOK AT SEAN HAYES Artwork & Words by David D. Robbins Jr. Upcoming Album: Run Wolves Run •  Release Date: March 2, 2010 (Artwork uses web photo and elements from Hayes’ album covers) It’s too bad San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Sean Hayes isn’t better known, because he’s been one of the best musicians in America…

RABBIT REDUX | Frightened Rabbit

Artwork & Words by David D. Robbins Jr. HIGHLAND SPIRITS: There’s no doubt this Glasgow five-piece band are trying for a fuller, heavier sound on their third album, “The Winter of Mixed Drinks”. (U.S. release date, March 9, 2010) It’s the kind of album intended to fill stadiums with strong hooks, melodies and old-fashioned rock-outs.…

THE POIGNANT PIXIE | Joanna Newsom

ON JOANNA NEWSOM Artwork & Words by David D. Robbins Jr. Album: Have One On Me •  Release Date: February 23, 2010 “Have One On Me,” is the massive orchestral third album from Joanna Newsom, known for her virtuoso harp-playing, oddball lyrics and a strange pixie-esque voice that’s made some listeners wish they were rather…

TRUE LOVE | Hole

A LOOK AT COURTNEY LOVE’S “REHAB DEMOS” Artwork & Words by David D. Robbins Jr. Upcoming Album: Nobody’s Daughter •  Announced Release Date: April 27, 2010 (Illustration made with use of photo from unknown source or photographer.) Rock and roll lightning-rod Courtney Love is about as appealing as a swig of hemlock for some. For…

UNIFIED FIELD THEORY | Massive Attack

WELCOME TO HELIGOLAND: Trip-hop’s biggest studs, Massive Attack, are back with their first LP in seven years, “Heligoland” — named for an island situated in the North Sea. The island is known for being a bomb-testing ground for the British Royal Navy after World War II. “Heligoland” (release date Feb. 9, 2010) feels like the…

BY ANY OTHER NAME | Caribou

HOLDING ITS WATER: I first heard Dan Snaith (aka Caribou) under the stage name Manitoba — through his wildly inventive track called “Skunks”. (Right click, “open link in new tab” to hear song.) That song clanked, smashed, and stormed like a runaway train teetering on disaster. Cymbals clashed off rhythm, a trumpet squealed with delight,…

RAW POWER | Scout Niblett

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED: Scout Niblett’s upcoming release, “The Calcination of Scout Niblett”, is as raw as a skinned knee. Like P.J. Harvey on “Dry”, she feels comfortable to let loose of any pretense. Restrain and sense be damned. But this album is less “Sheela-Na-Gig” and more “Victory” or “Happy and Bleeding” — snaking it’s way…

IN TECHNICOLOR | Miss Emily Brown

LOOKING BACK: MISS EMILY BROWN Words by David D. Robbins Jr. © Album: In Technicolor •  Release Date: Jan. 18, 2010 Miss Emily Brown has done something wonderfully beyond music on her sophomore album, “In Technicolor”. She has given voice to the dead. If there’s one thing to take away from this inventive album it’s…

DAYTROTTER | Brazos

FREE MP3s: Our friends at Daytrotter have recorded Brazos — a band I have been enjoying for months. The music website posted five live tracks, four from Brazos’ album Phosphorescent Blues and one previously unreleased song entitled “Interlocking”. Listen to the track below, then click on the illustration (by Johnnie Cluney) above to take you to Daytrotter,…

C’EST SI BON | Charlotte Gainsbourg

CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG Album: IRM •  Release Date: Jan. 26, 2010 (US) Review and artwork by David D. Robbins Jr. (Photos from web) Charlotte Gainsbourg’s new album “IRM” is nothing short of magical. The title track “IRM” was leaked by the famed French actress last year (with her album collaborator and co-writer Beck), and sounds as…

BELOW THE SURFACE | Phantogram

EARFUL OF DIAMONDS: You may not know what they’re called, but you’ve probably seen a phantogram before. A phantogram is an optic distortion that works on how the eyes use perspective to interpret depth-of-field, changing 2-D images into 3-D. I’m guessing Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, of the band Phantogram, view their music in a…

THE COMPOSER | Kilgore Trout is Dead

KING OF INFINITE SPACE: How about this one for a heteronym from hell? Kilgore Trout is a fictionalized character written by famed author Kurt Vonnegut. Trout was assumed to be his alter-ego. The fictionalized Trout wrote a real book entitled “Venus on the Half-Shell”. Well, sorta. It was really penned by Phillip Jose Farmer —…

THE LANGUAGE OF NATURE | White Pines

LUXURIOUS LYRICIST: White Pines is the name Joseph Scott plays under. His most current release is a five-song EP called “A Face of Wood.” Scott’s voice breaks and lilts through his fragile but confident lyrics. He sounds so much like Martin Sexton on “The American” — another album, dense with opulent imagery. Scott’s songs are…

WEIGHT TO HER WORDS | Sarah Winchester

Sarah Winchester is the same songstress you may have heard singing in the band “A Weather.” She’s released a 5-song set of demos entitled “Northeast Kingdom”. There’s something enchanting about Winchester’s song-writing and the way she staggers her lines in the title track, “Northeast Kingdom”. It’s as if each sentence fragment stops, inhales, and then…

JULY FLAME | Laura Veirs

TAKE A BITE: Laura Veirs’ newest album is named after a variety of peach, with the tint of the album feeling just as sun-drenched and warm. It sounds as if  the Portland, Ore. native is feeling at home. Her music has taken a turn from the tumultuous topics and wild sounds of 2007’s Saltbreakers to…

WHITE NOISE | Clock Opera

ALL THE RIGHT PIECES: Clock Opera is London-based Guy Connelly and his friends Andy, Che and Dan. Not sure if Connelly is a big reader — but the video above (White Noise) has the same name as a novel written by Don DeLillo and one of the bands he usually sings for (The Corrections) goes…

TAKING ROOT | The Parade Schedule

The Parade Schedule is really a one-man band featuring Matt Kinder from Louisville, Kentucky. But Kinder has a lot of musical friends who help him from time to time — 33 of them listed on his MySpace page. The Parade Schedule is a soft, folksy band that would fit in with the likes of Bon…

RIP | Lhasa de Sela

LHASA: Sad news. Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal: “Lhasa de Sela, the singer whose warm, lilting music embraced a variety of folk traditions, died January 1 after a lengthy bout with breast cancer. She was 37 years old and lived in Montreal. Her nomadic childhood infused her music with an appreciation for Mexican and…