Kirstiecat manages to be at almost every great show in her city, and her city is Chicago, so she goes to lots of great shows, trusty camera in tow. I'm grateful someone has the stamina to stay out late and on their feet so often. Her latest catch is Hush Records mainstay Fancie, from Germany, in the States for a sizeable tour (plenty of dates remaining). Fancie plays earthy, off-kilter folk music with a sweet, dreamy nougat center, in the form of her warm, knowing vocals, often double- and triple-tracked to great effect. Check out Kirstie's show report and great-as-usual pics, and also these two tracks from their web site. My favorite is "Stranger to None", rollicking and wistful all at once with its barroom piano lines.
MP3: Fancie - Stranger to None
MP3: Fancie - Baptism for the Dead
Next up on the blogger honor roll is Hugh's Liepaper, who comes through with news of NYC folkie Linda Draper's new EP Traces Of. Draper has long put out records produced by Kramer, but is striking out in a different direction with Traces Of and next year's LP Keepsake, both on Virginia Beach's Planting Seeds Records: Major Matt Mason, who has worked with Kimya Dawson, Adam Green and Jeffrey Lewis, has production duties. Hugh also conducted a nice interview with Draper last year. Draper's got what you might call a "catalogue" but the only thing I've heard is the title track from the upcoming EP, and I keep playing it over and over. The first line is drawn out perfectly to hook you in: "Hey old man, how have you been/I can see that life has not been kind to you/even though you always held the door open/for her." It's all dusty, spare melancholy with just enough ambiguity to give it a spooky edge. Perfect for late Sunday afternoons, maybe it will work for Wednesday morning too.
TW Walsh (ex-Pedro the Lion) of The Soft Drugs is now offering their entire EP, In Moderation, for free download.
The Chicago reader talks to San Francisco songwriter Sonny Smith, whose upcoming album Fruitvale it says "plays like a postmodern barrio version of Our Town set to music, a series of character sketches drawn from the mostly Latino neighborhood in Oakland where he lived for three years. Smith refracts the fragile pop of Daniel Johnston, the cracked bohemian poetry of Tom Waits, and the underdog narratives of Randy Newman through his own skewed kaleidoscope." He's also got a record in the can, One Act Plays, which features vocal turns from Mark Eitzel, Edith Frost, Neko Case, Jolie Holland, and Andy Cabic from Vetiver, among others. Check out "People Seeing People".
MP3: Sonny Smith - People Seeing People
Manic Street Preacher Nicky Wire reminices in the Guardian about busking to afford a burger and a 7" of Tallulah Gosh in a look back at the C86 era, "The Birth of Uncool".
M. Ward shuffles his iPod for The Onion's AV Club and comes up with lots of M. Ward!