After hearing the wonderful "Calliope!" on KEXP, I finally got a listen to The Veils' Nux Vomica in full, and the results are mixed. While the album's been getting the most raves for the darker, more gothic, yowling tunes compared to Waits and Cave, I'm less excited by them than the handful of poppier, right-side-of-melodramatic songs that recall a heady, unique mixture of Bowie, Ferry, Cocker and Hannon, full of knowing sadness, humor and melodic swagger. Even better than "Calliope!" (which you can stream at their MySpace) is "Advice for Young Mothers to Be", where female backing vocals underscore the great, aching chorus. Also be sure to check out their recent French radio Black Sessions MP3s on Sixeyes, including a cover of Springsteen's "State Trooper".
MP3: The Veils - Advice for Young Mothers to Be
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (AKA Owen Ashworth) is heading out on tour with the Donkeys, who will provide him with a wall of sound. These should be great shows, as the collaboration has sounded teriffic on their Daytrotter session and live tracks from the Bobby Malone Moves Home EP.
There'll be a new split 7" for sale at the shows, and Owen has posted one of the new tunes, "White Corolla", on his MySpace. He's also kindly made available "the first CFTPA song", "Seattle Wash", from a long-lost 7".
MP3: Casiotone for the Painfully Along - Seattle Wash
It's Hard to Find a Friend talks to Centro-Matic's Will Johnston in sprawling, Big Takeover style, and gets the scoop on tour-bus stories from the Undertow Orchestra days: "Well, there's the time that Vic [Chesnutt] told his story of taking 40 hits of acid all at once, then sitting in his house, mostly motionless for five days straight...apparently he could hear the phone ringing, and people knocking at his door, but he just couldn't move to answer either one of 'em."
TW Walsh, ex of Pedro the Lion, has a new online store, which makes his two brilliant solo albums available, and features free full album streams. Especially worth it is the $7 download for Blue Laws, which includes scans of the liners, something I wish more online downloads had. Seriously, head to the store, stream the first two tracks from Blue Laws ("Kudos to the Player" and "Old Fashioned Way of Speaking"), and try to resist.