Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dust Bunnies - We Are Not Alone

Paul Nixon rules.  Hard.  I met Paul through mutual friends and subsequent singing in The Blue Ribbon Glee Club for a couple years.  We lived a couple blocks from each other in Pilsen some years ago and hung out frequently one summer when I recorded an album out of my apartment for Paul's band/moniker, Dust Bunnies.  Sadly this is not that album, BUT it's still an amazing effort from Paul.  Recorded and multitracked almost solely on the Zoom H4N, this album sounds far from what one might imagine to be recorded on such a device (for those familiar with the H4N).  They don't sound bad at all but the common use for the recorder is to capture live performances.  Paul surprised the hell out of me when he played this album and tells me it was multi-tracked on the humble device.  Some real mastery of one's tools went in to the process here.

As for the music, I recall Paul posting a Facebook event for a show a while back and called the Dust Bunnies "The Leaders of the Turn It Down Revolution." Or something to that effect, I think.  I always liked that idea for this band.  Thoughtful (and deeply universal) lyrics (complete with Crystal's elegant harmonies) and good feeling chord progressions sprinkled with careful keyboard/glockenspiel melodies sometimes break way for hypnotic grooves laced with a type of guitar shredding that only Paul Nixon can unleash.  Shredding gets old real quick, but Paul's take on it is dope.  I hesitate to reference other musicians here, but this album in particular seems to take notes from the school of Phil Elvrum, Stephen Merritt, and Tim Kinsella.  Decent company, I'd think.  Take a flight on Paul's Flugzeug.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Willow 2007 Field Recordings

I finally got around to organizing/editing my digitized cassette recordings of the '07 Willow Folk Festival.  If you are unfamiliar, see my previous posts here and here. That year's tapes seemed to be rolling during the more candid and lesser heard moments of Willow, though there are plenty of stage performances on this collection.  This was also the year of the infamous windstorm that took tents in to the creek and sent folks in to the church for a brief spell.  All was calm later that night and I recall staying up till dawn with the tape recorder in tow.  A lot of the fireside tunes are a bit more subdued on this one, likely due to the windstorm putting a damper on things.  I decided not to divide this collection in to stage and fireside recordings.  Re-live the magic: Part One and Part Two.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Stephen Molyneux - Called to Leave

The fantastic Lee Noble posted a link to this album online today.  Been on repeat ever since.  Really raw and honest folk/country stuff going on here.  I realize there is a ton of that out there these day but this stands out to me for some reason.  Maybe it will for you, too.  I don't know how to buy or download the album but you can stream it for free here.