microphones in the trees: June 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

david a. jaycock

"new solo outing from big eyes family players' david a. jaycock. named after a hitchcock-esque nightmare in which he was set upon by a pair of hard-winged, marauding cuckoos, david a jaycock's second album is step forward from the pastoral motifs of his debut, incorporating an expansive country-folk sound alongside the indigenous qualities and general oddness that have made his name. taking inspiration from players such as segovia and john fahey, there are drones, waltzes, dirges, sea shanties, dissonances, bells, european flavours and the sound of ghostly train journeys. “Some longer songs, some shorter songs, some singing songs”, explains David, “sinister fairground melodies, Spanish preludes, improvised laments…" woven wheat whispers

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

james blackshaw

james blackshaw - litany of echoes (tompkins square 2008)
"...Litany of Echoes, James Blackshaw's sixth studio album in five years, shows a more mature, focused and, on the whole, accessible approach to composition. While the album often feels darker and more introspective in nature than on previous releases, many of the songs have a huge-sounding, classical quality to them. With Blackshaw adding some glistening piano work for the first time and Fran Bury returning to play swarms of sweeping string parts for violin and viola, Litany of Echoes is a truly original, affecting and timeless album from a guitarist/composer coming into his own." tompkins square

Sunday, June 22, 2008

fantastic magic

"For anyone who missed out the first time around, or those looking for a higher fidelity version of this release... "Take a magical trip on a pegasus through a field of lsd. Flowers harmonize and dance among young wizards at the festival of the equinox.", stated a mystical nypmh as he sat perched apon a toadstool, shanai in hand. These thoughts come to mind as a neo-psychedelic journey begins through a field of emerald green grass and a multicolored sky that is Fantastic Magic. Pull up a woven floor mat and enjoy the fruits of the earth as you delve into three young wizards journey through the island forest." orion ferguson

Thursday, June 19, 2008

richard youngs

“Summer Wanderer” is a sideslip in the discography of the Scottish avant folk musician Richard Youngs because it’s the only acappella release in his eminent and extensive list of recordings.

Summer Wanderer” was released for the first time in 2004 in an edition of twenty copies. For close friends only. A year later, Youngs re-released these recordings on his own No Fans imprint. So this vinyl release on the Ghent based Gipsy Sphinx label can actually be called a re-re-release. But that doesn’t matter because the more people who hear this music the better.

And this is why: “Summer Wanderer” of course gets to your attention because of its concept: a full album with the singer's voice as the only instrument. But besides that, this album also contains all the specific Richard Youngs characteristics: it sounds minimal, repetitive, meditative and improvised. I’m not sure if these songs are actually improvised but it sure sounds that way.

Time for a conclusion: “Summer Wanderer” doesn’t only stand out because of its concept but also because of its musical quality. For me personally, “Summer Wanderer” is as excellent as “The Naïve Shaman”. And that means something because “The Naïve Shaman” was, to me anyway, the best record of 2005. 9/10" foxy digitalis

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


"While the number of Davenport releases has grown and grown, they still manage to never record the same thing twice. Only one release is backporch folk: Free Country, only one release is tiny wind-up box drone: Tongue of Bear, only one release is an Appalachain folk/hillbilly jam session: Marble Seed, and only one release is a joyous raga: Springtime on Saturnalia" fakejazz

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


"I May Be Gone For A Long, Long Time is the second album by Caethua, the song-based alias of Midwest multi-instrumentalist Clare Hubbard who also records as Sports and a member of dbh. In the former, she builds collage-based hip hop; the latter is a gutter jazz improv troupe, where she mans the sax. The diverging recipe is not that unlikely for a young artist these days, and Hubbard does a nice job of keeping her differing personas distinct. Caethua, for instance, builds a majestic framework of rural poetics and darkly colored orchestration that manages to cross the aesthetics of Harry Smith and This Mortal Coil.

The mood of the 14 songs here are summed up nicely in the opening “Oily Heat and Muddy Waters.” With an acoustic folk strum as anchor, Hubbard’s strong voice blends in and out of the chimerical atmosphere and becomes another leaden layer at times. Folk notions are subdued in an almost eerie ambience that ebbs from clanging bells and distant creaks that are more incidental aura than craft. The abstract is amplified in the instrumental “Cutting Away the Ice,” in which a saxophone wails faintly as a distant foghorn..." dusted magazine

preciosísimo, recomendación de jesusitos

Sunday, June 15, 2008

tender buttons

"what do you get when three danes, two girls and one guy, take a trip to sweden with a tape recording, a guitar, and a few other instruments? you get tender buttons. this trio features three members of the exquisite pink luminous invocation, and this one-off project is quite special. tender buttons is named after gertrude stein's impressive book of the same name, and if that wasn't enough, the lyrics are all adapted from her writing. it's a deadly combination and though this release is short, the brevity makes you want to play it over and over again. simple folk melodies complemented with mouth organ, percussion, and other random instruments, and highlighted by, mostly, female vocals. lovely indeed." foxglove

Saturday, June 14, 2008

my two toms

my two toms - "field recordings" and "two" (mole in the ground 2006)
“The melodies are direct, memorable, and inseparable from the interlocking harmonies that are weaved around them. My Two Toms carries the traditions of the most memorable music; the complexity found deep within the drone of the Appalachian Mountains, the spiraling melodies of Northumberland pipe tunes, a simple song that stands well the test of time and is remembered not in a crazy-making way but as an old friend.” charlie parr
"When My Two Toms write music, they often use broken instruments and allow the remaining strings to dictate the structure and melody. They have a deceptive simplicity that can sometimes trigger images of rural landscapes. Their music is as familiar as an old children’s tv programme. It is also often driving and hints at folk and American country, with a very English slant." mole in the ground

Thursday, June 12, 2008

the lamb called light

"The Lamb Called Night is for now like a one-night inspiration musical project by Theresa Behnen and Clay Ruby. Both had a late night musical vision, seeing and provoking the lamb, the lamb called night. In the shadows of that late night a semi-religious ritual was set up. With hum Hum the Om-drone vocals, plucked strings and campfire-reminiscent percussion the invitation is expressed. Like former churchvisitors on poison, they now sing for a different holy place, preferably with nature. The female vocals are whispery ; the vocal harmonies are from harmonious to very odd. Some combinations of its kind of religious song inspiration sounds in its sphere, as something in between a very tempered Spires That In the Sunset Rise, with a devotional aspect of course, and Long Live Death, with something of the mystical aspects of the Finnish Lau Nau & Islaja. The second track, listed as “Alleluia”, is a most recognisable song, with drums and percussion, electric bass, acoustic guitar. "Part of The Plan" is done in a semi-Middle Eastern mode, with droning plucked strings. Of course this is also a psychedelic (folk) song. Very good and very enjoyable." psychedelic folk

foto: tanaken

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

cosas que pasan

Sr. Jefe de la Policía Municipal de Vigo y Sr. Director del periódico en cuestión

Vigo 6 de junio de 2008

Paren por favor, me bajo

Sí, me bajo y lo pido por favor. Quiero bajarme de este mundo, quiero creer que debe haber por ahí perdida otra alternativa, otro lugar dónde la justicia existe y dónde todos los valores asociados a ella sobreviven. Donde el ser humano es ser y, sobre todo, humano. O por lo menos hace todo lo posible (algunos incluso lo imposible) porque así sea. ¿Por qué?
Pónganse cómodos.

Ayer 5 de junio (Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente) leía en la prensa (Faro de Vigo, La Voz de Galicia, Atlántico Diario) una noticia que para los vegetarianos, voluntarios de la ONG Igualdad Animal y afiliados al PACMA (Partido Antitaurino Contra el Maltrato Animal) como servidor, suena a barbaridad y duele especialmente, cito textualmente:

Una guillotina con maíz
Hallan una trampa para patos en el paseo del Lagares

“Una patrulla de la Policía halló una trampa para mamíferos activada bajo el túnel de la calle Val Miñor, en el paseo del río Lagares. Se trata de una trampa de malla metálica con sistema de guillotina. Los agentes indicaron por el cebo encontrado –maíz- que probablemente se tratase de una trampa para patos, debido también a la presencia de estas aves en la zona. “

Eso es lo que te cuenta la prensa a ti que compras el periódico para saber qué pasa en el mundo, en tu ciudad, lo que defiende esa policía que suponemos está para ayudarnos y protegernos de los males o de los malos. Pero la realidad habla un idioma bien diferente.

Resulta que en el túnel de la calle Val Miñor hay un gato atrapado desde hace 60 días, un gato que algún desalmado abandonó tirándolo al río Lagares. Un gato que si sobrevive, es gracias a la labor de María, una persona que todos los días va a darle de comer, una persona que solicitó ayuda a los bomberos (uno de sus Cuarteles está justo enfrente del puente) para poder rescatarlo y recibió más reproches que ayuda, una persona que superada por la situación solicitó ayuda a una Asociación Protectora (Proyecto Gato) para rescatar al pobre gato.

Un miembro de esa Asociación acudió a la llamada de auxilio y también recurrió a la ayuda de los bomberos porque llegar al lugar dónde se encuentra el gato, sin ayuda, es imposible. En un primer intento, con la generosa ayuda de un bombero sensibilizado, se colocó un tablón para ver si el gato conseguía subir por él y salir por su propio pie, lamentablemente no sucedió. En un segundo intento ese voluntario colocó, de nuevo con el consentimiento y ayuda de una pareja de bomberos, una jaula-trampa (eso de la guillotina queda muy lejos créanme, afortunadamente en la revolución francesa, allá por el 1789) con un cebo. Sí, un cebo, una latita de comida gatuna para ver si “picaba” y podía recogerlo. Eso sucedió el Viernes 30 de Mayo, María y el voluntario estuvieron controlando durante el fin de semana mañana, tarde y noche la jaula para saber si el gato había caído pero no fue así, el lunes tampoco. Vista la situación decidieron conjuntamente retirar la jaula el Martes 3 de Junio y esperar a que la llegada del verano y el cese de las lluvias sequen el río para que el gato pueda salir de allí por sí mismo.

Pero el martes la jaula no estaba, sorprendidos por la desaparición María y el voluntario le preguntaron a los bomberos si sabían algo del supuesto robo, les contestaron que no, creían que una señora había alertado a la Policía Municipal de la colocación de una jaula para cazar patos. Ante semejante esperpento el voluntario se puso en contacto con el Ayuntamiento el Jueves 5 de Junio (Día Mundial del Medio Ambiente recuerden) por la mañana, allí le remitieron a la patrulla rural y ésta solicitó una dirección en la que poder contactar con el voluntario ya que éste les había llamado para recuperar la jaula. Al poco rato una pareja de policías de aire chulesco se presentó en la dirección facilitada y le solicitaron el DNI al voluntario de la Asociación Protectora de Animales, afirmando que iban a denunciarle por poner una jaula con guillotina para cazar patos y por alimentar a animales salvajes en un tono más propio de los spaghetti westerns de Morricone, Sergio Leone y Clint Eastwood. El voluntario (que soy yo) explicó ésto que les estoy detallando añadiendo que si había maíz en el interior de la jaula se debía a la existencia de un grupo de patos en el lugar en el que estaba la jaula, pero también hay patitos e incluso un ganso que tiene muuuuucha hambre, por eso María y el voluntario le echaron maíz para alejarlo de la comida “cebo” destinada al gato, pero claro, una jaula trampa tiene huecos y entre ellos, se colaron los granos que se citan en la estrambótica noticia publicada en la prensa. La respuesta de los policías; “la jaula está incautada, tenemos fotos y vamos a denunciarte, a ver cómo te defiendes.”

La conclusión de todo esto es el párrafo del principio. Quiero bajarme de este mundo porque el sentidiño común está en peligro de extinción. La conclusión es que si eres uno de los miles de animales que luchan cada día en las calles por sobrevivir en condiciones miserables y te ha tocado vivir en Vigo lo llevas crudo fiel amigo. Porque además de no recibir buen trato, ni por parte de los desalmados (que por desgracia son mayoría), ni por parte de las autoridades, lo tendrás extremadamente difícil para que los seres humanos que sí empatizan con tu situación puedan hacerlo. Que si está penado alimentar a los animales salvajes que alguien por favor lo haga (¿alguna autoridad levanta la mano?) para evitar el trabajo tan poco gratificante y tan sacrificado de todas esas personas mayores casi siempre -en su mayoría denunciadas, acosadas e humilladas- que alimentan colonias de animales subvencionadas por sus miserables pensiones, por sus diminutos bolsillos y por su insondable humanidad.

Suerte amigo, la denuncia me importa un pepino, volveré para sacarte de allí y conseguirte un hogar mientras María hace todo lo posible e imposible por darte de comer todos los días.

Rafael Romero Matos
(el voluntario de la Asociación Protectora Proyecto Gato denunciado ante la Concejalía de Medio Ambiente el día Mundial del Medio Ambiente)
p.d.: Es gracioso, ¿no creen? Y recuerden, la policía no es tonta, si hay colillas saben que fumaron.
podéis leer la noticia de Faro de Vigo y La Voz de Galicia aquí y aquí

Sunday, June 08, 2008


"Information on Aindriu Conroy is hard to come by - partly, one suspects, because this young Irish blues excavator aspires to the murky coolness of his inspirations, Mississippi John Hurt and Skip James. He describes his music only as "songs in the key of D", and Close to Cotton is just that: a six-track, 18-minute mini-album composed primarily in one key and sung in one register. But if Ain ploughs a narrow furrow, he does it well. Sleepily plucking an acoustic guitar, he commands attention by the old gambit of being the quietest person in the room. There's a bit of Neil Young to his raw-boned croon, and more than a bit of the Bad Seeds to the lurid pictures he paints of his "dead-eyed mistress". Excellent listening for the bleak midwinter." caroline sullivan

Saturday, June 07, 2008

the cherry blossoms

"This Nashville collective long shunned the notion that music is something to be consumed, preferring the communal experience of the live show. John Allingham, Peggy Snow and/or Laura-Matter Fukushima, Allen Lowrey, Chris Davis, Chuck Hatcher, Taylor Martin, Aaron Russell, Beth Matter have been playing as The Cherry Blossoms for almost 15 years, making loose folk that sounds like a combination of Harry Smith and Sun Ra. Finally, seven years after laying songs to tape, they got around to releasing their debut album this summer, with the help of six different labels, and it's easily the most unapologetically joyous recording I've heard and enjoyed in some time." dusted

"Mind-bending lp from Nashville's number one clatter-folk band. Listening to this record is like listening into the slipstream of general music conciousness. Sure, it was recorded a number of years ago, but the music still has a vitality that is completely unique in today's sonic landscape. This is truly timeless music that resides on the edge of collapse without actually snapping the tether, like some of the best historic rollercoasters now in disrepair. Nothing too flashy about this rickety ride, just some good, honest, fun. Beautiful cover art by Peggy Snow" apostasy

"This thing has 12 songs and every single one is a gem ~ I love the two Allingham songs with "rock" in the title, "Rockin' Rocket Ship" and "Rocks and Stones" and Snow's great ones include "The Mighty Mississippi," "Golden Windows," and "The Wind Did Blow," which is so nice it almost sounds like what woulda happened if the Velvet Underground had just had Mo Tucker sing the ballads on their first album instead of Nico, after inviting the Holy Modal Rounders' Indian War Whoop lineup to sit in of course. There's even a Blue Oyster Cult cover. Kudos all around ~ now the only question is where is the Arizona Drains vinyl?" blastitude

Friday, June 06, 2008

loren mazzacane & kath bloom

loren mazzacane & kath bloom - round his shoulders gonna be a rainbow (daggett 1982)

"singer/songwriter Kath Bloom cut a run of impossibly gorgeous and bewitchingly out-of-time sides accompanying guitarist Loren Mazzacane Connors in the late 70s and early 80s, all of which are treasured by fans of privately distributed late-night soul poetry. the kind of fragile broken heart blues all the way out to the front porch." volcanic tongue

robert martin

"I first heard Robert Martin's Long Goodbye while surrounded by friends. Even over the din of voices rallying to quantify, qualify, contain, bag and tag what we were all hearing, I was sure I'd never heard anything quite like it. Long Goodbye opens with some broken acoustic noodling that sounds like a Derek Bailey slow motion replay, over which a double-tracked cry of voices transmits mournfully, meticulously, and with an unnerving sense of purpose. From there it gets stranger and more beautiful, as Martin sings with unique abandon - is there such a thing as sad joy? - often wordlessly, frequently incoherently. The tunefulness of Martin's achingly beautiful voice sits in sharp contrast to the crudely played guitar, and sets Martin apart from his lamentably more 'in the know' contemporaries. There are few touchstones for the magic contained herein - Bobb Trimble at his most wounded, Tony Caro and John's All On The First Day LP, the earliest blues recordings of Guitar Roberts - but Martin's intensely private music is all his own. And now, ours to share." James Jackson Toth

"...un misterio. En el año 2001 en la costa oeste estadounidense aparecieron unos pocos discos en formato cd-r, sin ninguna información sobre el autor: supuestamente una grabación casera de mil novecientos ochenta y algo de un surfista y músico underground. En el 2008 el sello Yik-Yak lo edita en formato vinilo sin dar mayores precisiones, y algunos llegan a decir que los que están detrás son James Jackson Toth (Wooden Wand) y el dueño del sello, un sr. llamado Tim Daly. Los ingredientes no son muchos. Por un lado una guitarra en forma de simple rasgueo, en otras ocasiones un punteo y armonías esporádicas, o una mezcla de ambas. Por el otro, una voz preciosa grabada en dos canales que van girando uno sobre el otro, adelante o atrás. Un efecto tan simple como complejo. Una flauta por aquí, un silbido por allí y se acabó, no hay más. Con tan poco construye canciones folk casi modélicas, de melodías perfectas, y otros cortes más experimentales que redondean 30 minutos alucinantes." Gabo

...y poco más que decir. en general me recuerda a 'round his shoulders gonna be a rainbow' de Loren Mazzacane Connors & Kath Bloom, por esa forma peculiar de tocar la guitarra, la producción bajo mínimos y el débil sonido de la voz, dulce y ligeramente desafinada. único, como Valerie & Paul, Boots,C.C. Snake & Remus, Loren & Kath, ...

foto: stella

Thursday, June 05, 2008

paz lenchantin

"In 2006 Paz Lenchantin came out with her second solo release “Songs for Luci” which is dedicated to her brother Luciano Lenchantin who sadly passed away in 2003.
Recorded in Louisville, Kentucky “Songs for Luci” is a very short, but sweet album clocking in at 18 minutes and 4 seconds and has a lot to offer the listener in its short playtime. “Songs for Luci” is a very touching album. Paz does a great job in creating a very pleasant atmosphere filled with her vocal harmonies and layers of instrumental melodies. Paz said so herself on her website. “This album is not for everyone but is available only here for anyone.” This album will only be available on Paz Lenchantin’s website until the beginning of March." James McDermott
"...The soaring and beautiful folk melodies on Songs for Luci contain some of the best female vocals I have heard from the collective folk movement." naturalismo
un disco bonito de verdad...hace muy poco que lo descubrí pero desde ayer lo tengo en repeat. canciones que con el título ya lo dicen todo: "Montana Train" y "Kentucky Hymn", como dusty in memphis, tropical malady o field recordings. hay violines, un banjo, fingerpicking, un bucle precioso llamado "365" y la voz de Paz. dura muy poquito, apenas veinte minutos

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

willie lane

"Willie “Gutbucket” Lane is a young guitar player from Maine who is also the protégé of Matt Valentine. This is his first release on MV’s own Child of Microtones label and it features Lane travelling similar paths as those trodden by MV himself or Joshua Burkett.

Lane’s playing, though very clear and assured, is unmistakably imbued with these unique kind of “psychedelic” fixtures as found on the most far-out mv/ee outings. I’m thinking of the “Ragas and Blues” lp or any of those “free folk” excursions that alternate more straightforward guitar playing with a very controlled and measured use of delays, reverse effects and other sound altering devices...." foxy digitalis

Recliner ragas es otro de esos discos pequeños y especiales salidos de la nada y de los que se sabe muy poco, sólo una referencia en Foxy Digitalis y apariciones en los 'blues lunares' de Matt Valentine & Erika Elder. Willie Lane se sitúa justo a un paso de Matt Valentine & Erika Elder con una colección de deliciosos ragas que siempre apetece escuchar y que resumiría en dos palabras y una frase: ingravidez instrumental y una preciosidad de principio a fin.

foto: leon rouge

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

pump kinn

"Pump Kinn is Michelle. Whether gliding on the diamond lakes on a porcelan swan or herding the wild equestrian hordes on top the tenebrous mountains she molds the loveliest concoctions of throat plumage confection and the most crepuscular cacophonous caterwauling of a thousand shrill stallions. Admirers of Diamanda and Fursaxa rejoice. Limited to 500 copies housed in a custom, full-color, 6-panel fold-out cover." weird forest
"This most recent exploration of the human voice comes from the strangely monickered Pump Kinn, a vocalist named Michelle who channels the spirit of Diamanda Galas, but adds a heaping dose of effects and stereo panning to send our heads spinning and our ears into a confusional tizzy. The first track sounds like water running, a shower, the soothing white noise slowly shifting from the right speaker to the left speaker and back again, a soothing, slightly dizzy sensation, before the vocals appear on track two, a soft faraway cooing, swinging from right to left along with the fuzz of the running water sound. Track three is a strange world of creaks and cackles, screams and shrieks, lots of reverb and delay, a world of alien bird calls, and cooing alien infants. Track four finds the voice turned into rhythm, careening from speaker to speaker, truly haunting and disorienting. The next five tracks drift from haunting ethereal ambiance, to swirls of high end shriek to dreamy drifts of distant harmony, like a feral Joan LaBarbara or an outer space Fursaxa scampering wildly between your speakers. Truly far out." aquarius

Monday, June 02, 2008

james jackson toth

"July 29, 2008. On Waiting In Vain, Toth’s scenarios are intriguingly tawdry, his sounds tantalizing, with beautifully layered, almost-dreamlike harmonies; touches of blues, country and soul; the occasional flash of punk swagger; and even some sweet Fleetwood Mac-inspired pop. With his evocative, world-weary drawl of a voice, Toth assumes the role of storyteller, maybe even confessor, spinning inter-linked tales of hope and misfortune, romantic trials and spiritual yearning with an underlying theme of “temptation and redemption, and the varying ways you can view these things” throughout.

Waiting In Vain is the first album that James Jackson Toth, long a cult figure among underground rock followers, has chosen to release as a solo artist, and it marks a new beginning for him. For several years, he and wife experimented with a folk-psychedelic rock hybrid, releasing music under many pseudonyms including variations of the name Wooden Wand. For his last Wooden Wand release, James and the Quiet (2007), Toth stated that he was deliberately trying to make an “un-weird” album, and he set aside the psychedelic ramblings for more concise song-forms leaning toward the sound he’s realized on Waiting In Vain.

Toth, who plays some electric guitar, is joined by a small circle of musician friends, including guitarists John Dietrich, Nels Cline and Andy Cabic; alt-country multi-instrumentalist Carla Bozulich; bassist Shayde Sartin (Giant Sunflower Band); drummer Otto Hauser (Vetiver, Devendra Banhart) and Steve Fisk as producer." skope

Sunday, June 01, 2008

mont smokey

mont smokey
"When it comes to mountain music, I fall for it every time. Mont Smokey, a new band from Seattle, uses harmonies, bluegrass instruments, and vintage recording techniques to make me swoon. A duo between Sean and Toby, Mont Smokey brings back a fundamental sound that shaped much of early America, and now a large part of my "on repeat" playlist." moustache salad
"sweet crackling ghost of a.p. carter... this is pure love of angels." born to be nervous