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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NEW SOUNDS: THE BUILDERS & THE BUTCHERS - THE ANSWERING MACHINE - THE VOYEURS - OTHERS

I've been in babyland for some time now, but it doesn't mean the flow of music piling into FSHQ has diminished. The one nice thing of holding a baby for hours is that you can listen to a lot on your Ipod. There are so many really excellent releases lining up for 2009 that I've been hearing and it's my first chance to call some of these out.

First up, Portland's THE BUILDERS & THE BUTCHERS. I've tipped them quite a bit on how I think they should be a breakout act of 2009, but that was even before I got the new full length. Where this one ends up being released through is still TBD, but I'm immediately excited about "
Barcelona" - a track we will be debuting on the Future Sounds show on WOXY very soon, as well as my early favorite "Golden and Green". The Pacific Northwest keeps cranking out these important folksie bands - FLEET FOXES, PORT O'BRIEN, LOCH LOMOND, etc. and TB&B are the next important point of light in that sequence. I'm not sure what the album is called yet, but I call it delightful.

This next act, THE ANSWERING MACHINE, are from Manchester, England and their full-length, 'Another City, Another Sorry" on Heist Or Hit Records, is brilliant from start to finish. My first impulse was to jump at the single, "Emergency". It's another song that WOXY listeners will get to first in the US soon enough, but then I spent more time in the nursery with headphones and The Answering Machine. Track "Lightbulbs" is the brightest light and a track that I think has big potential and "Oklahoma" is another instant favorite. When they slow it down for "The Information" is when they set the hook in my jaw and pull hard - I'm done. This record will make an impact in the UK, are we smart enough for it over here?
We recently got sent a full-length by the manager of A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS, not only are they a fantastic, ear-bleeding band, their manager happens to be one of the good guys in this business. His latest project is a band we've started playing on the FS show, SHILPA RAY & HER HAPPY HOOKERS, from Brooklyn, NY. Shilpa Ray was formerly in BEAT THE DEVIL, but now heads up the HH's with something twisted in a David Lynch/TRUE BLOOD kinda way. The track, "Filthy and Free" off their 'A Fish Hook An Open Eye' CD, we haven't stopped playing since it's arrival. Here's another act with a big upside for 2009 that I can't wait to see live. Steve, how can we make that happen???

Jumping back to the West Coast, we have Jax from ROCK INSIDER to thank for turning us on to the LA based group, THE VOYEURS. We debuted their track "Things People Say" on the FS show recently, but then received the full-length called 'Well Known Drag'. Again there is pleasure behind this arrival because it's yet another full record of great songs, not just your standard 2 good songs-10 fluff that seems to drip out of most acts these days. My new favorite here is "Something Sets Me Off", but I have the feeling that each track will have it's day in the sun. Their CD release party is set for January 27th at THE ECHO and it's FREE. They go on stage at 11pm.

Finally, hopefully you'll remember THE BOTTICELLIS from FS32 and the amazing track "The Reviewer". If not, you're missing out on this magical band from San Francisco. Fans of FLEET FOXES and BEACH HOUSE will fall into place with this act, and they're finishing up an EP called 'Sierra Songbook' and I got a sneak peak of the rough mixes. "Betrayed" is my early favorite but each one is warm and comforting. This is yet another band that should grab some serious momentum if it breaks out of the West and gets on more people's radar.

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