Friday, March 25, 2011

Cotton Mather - Kontiki

Great news emerging about one of the best records of the 1990's and one of the best power pop albums ever:

In 1997 my band Cotton Mather recorded our second record, Kontiki, on 4 track cassette and ADAT in an old house about 30 minutes outside of Austin. It was released in the US without much fanfare on a little label called Copper. But when the record made its way to the UK a year later on the Rainbow Quartz label Kontiki was quite the hit with the press and music fans.

Now Kontiki, the "lost classic" has been out of print for years. I (Robert Harrison) have been busy readying a re-release of Kontiki which will include an entire second disc of bonus tracks. Not just a few out-takes but an entire discs worth of extras because when I dug back into the archives I found some real treasure...

The money we raise will pay for mixing an 11 track bonus CD (the first one will remain as it was), mastering, new artwork with extensive liner notes about the making of Kontiki and the history of Cotton Mather, manufacturing, publicity and and if we go past the target a good ways- a vinyl pressing.

Kontiki has been a staple on the Pub from day one so I am thrilled at the prospect of an expanded edition release. Follow the link over to Kickstarter to watch the amusing promotional video Robert Harrison and friends put together.

Who knows, you may find yourself hitting the pledge button.

To my mind that would be the best money you could spend today... (unless you are buying medicine for a sick child or something... but in regards to spending on music this would be tops.)


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Linus of Hollywood - A Girl That I Like

This is not really a review as much as it is a simple heads-up to folks. Linus of Hollywood has a new single out on ITunes. It is everything one could hope for from a LoH tune. Listen for it here on the Pub, and then go drop the 99 cents on it.

It's worth every penny and then some.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Tim Butler - All The Rest

This album is the indie pop equivalent of comfort food. There is something familiar, warm and inviting about all of the tracks. Is All The Rest going to blow you away with songs the like of which you've never heard before? No, it is not. However, sometimes you just need to sink your teeth into the tried and true.

That is the key here. This music is tried, never tired. "Reaching Out" is a classic album opener, all driving force and crunchy guitars. "We Can Have It All" is another classy tune, this time with a Crowded House feel in evidence.

An even earlier era is evoked in the fantastic "I Feel what I Feel" which updates 60's AM pop/rock radio, all bright sunshine and harmonies. "The Choice is Yours" is the best of the up-tempo numbers, laden with hooks and great guitar licks.

Really, there are no clunkers on the nine tracks here, and when the "la la la"s appear on the finale "I Feel Love" it hits the spot perfectly, just like that scoop of ice cream you get with a slice of hot apple pie.

My recommendation: Go get this album... and some meatloaf.

Grade: B+/A-

Friday, March 4, 2011

Review: Lannie Flowers - Circles

As far as Lannie Flowers is concerned there can never be too much of a good thing, especially when that good thing is juicy melodic power pop. While Flowers' 2008 release Same Old Story could be viewed as something of an oddity with its 30+ song snippets linked together like the second side of Abbey Road on steroids, Circles is a more conventional effort.

However, it is an effort overflowing with inventive ideas, wonderful hooks, and engaging lyrics. The title track is a full length re-working of one of the Same Old Story tunes and kicks off the album perfectly. "Turn Up Your Radio" sounds like it was recorded in Tulsa in 1978, if you know what I mean by that. "Around the World" contains my favorite lyric on the album; a tale of late night woe told by a fellow who realizes he's been had a little too late to enjoy any sleep.

The sound here is vintage Midwestern power pop with a little roots/Americana tinge here and there. As a result a song like "Where Does Love Go" sounds like an old friend you've just met for the first time. Is there a suggestion of the album being a little too familiar? Maybe, but the song writing is so polished you'll never care. This is the type of album crying out for inclusion on mix CD's. Taken out of the context of the album nearly every track would sparkle on its own as a little gem.

That's more than enough for me.

Grade: A-

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Curse My Location!

Not only is it still freezing around here (6 below zero last night, in freakin' March), but now I get word of the concert of the year. From Webb Wilder's website:

Thursday, March 17th, 2011 - Americana Music Association Presents: AMA at the Bluebird Cafe (website) 4101 Hillsboro Pike Nashville, TN 37215 (map) (615) 383-1461 That Thursday evening, Webb and one other Beatneck will be performing as a duo, as part of this special AMA event. Also performing will be Brad Jones and Hans Rotenberry. The set is expected to last about ninety minutes, or perhaps a bit longer depending on how the evening flows. Tickets go on sale March 10th, at the Bluebird Cafe website.

I need to talk the wife into moving to Nashville.

Genre Hell: Americana

Here is a definition of the music style known as Americana pulled from a Wikipedia article: Americana, as defined by the Americana Music ...