Here’s Part V of my Band Roundups, featuring Num9, Stephen Soul, Liz Lohnes, NoArt Productions, Rescue Aurora, and others.
Num9 is Coque Yturriaga, who was formerly with Emak Bakia and Spanish indie folk group Migala. The music is a mix of electronics, samplings, and repetitive vocals. Some dreamier vocals mixed in, as on “Immune Slow backwards”. Curious stuff. “El Baile” from his upcoming recording has more of an accessible pop sound, and is quite nice.
Num9’s new recording “El Baile” (“The Dance”), featuring American folk singer Dawn Landes, is due out September 9 on the Spanish label Acuarela, and there will be a presentation of this music at Galileo in Madrid, Spain on Sept. 9. My Spanish isn’t so great, but it seems he’ll be performing with Jordi Sancho (on guitar?), David Unison on drums, and also piano. The CD can be pre-ordered from amazon.com. He has a previous recording called The Glow-Worm’s Resistance (Acuarela, 2007).
Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter Stephen Soul had performed with his bands Civil Beast and Ocean of Soul throughout the 90’s. His music is a mixture of electronic and acoustic; keyboards, guitar and percussion, with half-spoken, half-sung vocals. His influences include 80’s Bauhaus, The Cure, and Joy Division, in addition to newer acts such as Keane, Coldplay and The Killers.
After a ten year hiatus, he returned at the end of 2007 with Ocean of Soul to perform a series of shows, which then inspired his debut album, “Rise Above” (from his song “Caged Bird”: “Time to step out of the dirt, rise above the hurt”). He also released an EP, “Out of the Dirt”, which contains five alternate mixes and acoustic versions of songs from “Rise Above” plus a new song, “Get On”.
Stephen’s currently recording the full-length album “Wingless not Hopeless”, set for release in September.
Sep 15 2009 The Local 269 | New York, New York
Sep 16 2009 The Fire | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sep 22 2009 The Note | West Chester, Pennsylvania
Liz Lohnes is a Boston native with ‘American Idol’ model magazine looks who sings slickly produced Pop/R&B. Not my thing, as I gravitate toward raw, unproduced, charmingly-flawed indie rock. But she clearly has the talent and can probably go a long way with this. At 19, she’s already had some high profile gigs, such as singing the National Anthem for the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium and the Boston Celtics at T.D. Banknorth Garden, performing at the Apollo Theater, and she’s won a bunch of local talent competitions. So if you like her type of music, have a listen.
NoArt Productions is the project of Guillermo Pascual, a recording engineer, producer, composer and musician, based in Glendale, CA. He plays keyboards, guitar, and does electronic programming, and has performed in bands such as Marques de Sade, Dafne, Force, Júpiter, and Sangre Azul. He’s been in the music business for over 20 years, and has collaborated with many different artists on albums, tours, and television performances. He has also done various film and television soundtracks. As much of this seem to have been done in Spain, I don’t know any of these names – David Santisteban, Ángeles Del Infierno, Vilma Palma, Ana Sidel, Alejandro Sanz, Laura Pausini, Marta Sánchez, Paulina Rubio, Mike Tramp (ex-White Lion).. but I did have one peculiar flash of recognition: a band called ZIROQ (with whom Guillermo performed) features Tal Bergman, Randy Castillo, and Carmine Rojas. Carmine I know from back in the 80’s when he was touring with David Bowie. Great to come across his name again. Cool guy; heck of a bassist.
You can listen to several of these people on Guillermo’s MySpace page.
(not sure who he’s playing with)
Sep 9 2009, 10:30P – Conga Room(L.A. LIVE) – Los Angeles, CA
Sep 12 2009, 8:00P – Hecho en Mexico Restaurant – Los Angeles, CA
Oct 22 2009, 8:00P KING KING with ZUR – Hollywood, CA
Rescue Aurora is a Boston-based band that includes Brittany Flynn, vocals; John Boles, guitar & vocals; Cooper Heinrichs, guitar & vocals; Lauren Baker, bass; and Jesse Hangen, drums. Brittany has a sweet voice that sounds almost classically trained with a hint of country songstress in it, and I think gives the band a more polished sound than you might expect from a newish indie group.
Sep 19 2009, 6:00P – The Lilypad – Cambridge, MA
Oct 13 2009, 9:00P – Throwed! – Middle East Upstairs – Cambridge, MA
Nov 8 2009, 1:00P – Middle East Upstairs – Cambridge, MA
Singer/songwriter Jeff Wirtzfeld is from Denver, Colorado, who began writing songs a few years ago when his first son was born and he found himself up at all hours of the night. The songs on his MySpace page feature lovely acoustic guitar sound with harmonica woven in here and there, and vocals with a folksy, alt-country sound. Very nice stuff. His influences include Dylan, Springsteen, Petty, Nick Drake and early R.E.M. If you enjoy people like Steve Earle, James McMurtry, and Bruce Springsteen, give this guy a listen. He’s also a photographer and has a slideshow of his photos.
You can listen to more of his music on ReverbNation, some songs with a full band. The musicians contributing to Jeff’s songs are: Jeff Battershill (Drums), Allan Bumgartner (Bass~Recording Engineer~Music Producer), Jeffrey Cunningham (Drums), Mike Nichols (Lead Guitar), Laurice Quinn (Vocals), Guido Valeri (keyboards and vocals) and Charles “Chazz” Warriner (Vocals).
What he says about his work (in January 2009): “What you have here is my first attempt at writing music and producing photographs about some of the subjects I want to explore: loneliness and isolation; sin and redemption; history; crime and justice, conflict and commitment and sometimes even love and happiness.”
White Picket Fence
From Syracuse, NY, indie pop/rock band White Picket Fence only just graduated from high school this past June (ah, to be that young…), but already they sold out of their debut self-titled EP, returned to The Square Studio and worked with Steve Sopchak (The Brilliant Light, Eyes Averted, Remember Tomorrow) on their debut full-length album, Clocks and Calendars, which was released in June. It is available for download at eMusic.com.
White Picket Fence is: Singer Elise Miklich, guitarists Kelly Clancy and Logan Messina, bassist Ryan Chapman and drummer Garrett Koloski. Since they first formed in 2008, they’ve played in a variety of venues across New York, building their audience and garnering a lot of positive press in regional publications.
Sep 19 2009, 4:00P – Back to school Jam @ the westcott theater w/ Fazeshift, The Score & Phantom Chemistry – Syracuse, NY
Sep 30 2009, 6:30P – FREE HOT TOPIC SHOW @ CAROUSEL MALL! – Syracuse, NY
Oct 6 2009, 7:30P – Funk And Waffles w/ Mandy k, Amely – Syracuse, NY
Oct 11 2009, 1:00P – Syracuse Singalong @ The Westcott Community Center – Syracuse, NY
Oct 24 2009, 6:00P – Bongo’s w/ Honor Bright & Lights Out Dancing – Herkimer, NY
Zachary J Band
Zachary J on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Jon on backing vocals and electric guitar, plus two new band members: Ross on bass and Greg on drums. They’re from Rockville, MD. They have a pretty straight-ahead rock sound, with some very nice vocals. I quite like their stripped-down, acoustic stuff (see video below), but that’s just me. They’ve been on a hiatus and regrouping with their new lineup, so no news yet about recording or shows lined up, but I’ll toss a video in here and you can see what you think. If you like what you hear, Zachary J has a solo album available called Behind the Rain – inquire about it on their MySpace page.
Third Grade Haters
Simply charming punk songs from a Knoxville, Tennessee band with a curious name, Third Grade Haters. There’s Jimi on vocals and guitar, Andy on bass, and Chris on drums. Lately they’ve been in the studio recording their new album. You can check their progress by following their blog or twitter.
My next and final Band Roundup (for the time being) I’m really excited about, as I’ll be doing an update on what my beloved Silverlake bands are currently doing – and they all seem to be doing a lot, so it may take me a few days to coordinate. Stay tuned.