Category Archives: +++ twee
I met Brandi Ediss online through my pal Mary Lou Lord (also featured on this blog). I think Brandi is one of the most criminally underrated singer-songwriters out there. Her songs are literally… LITERALLY… perfect pop songs. She also makes absolutely charming and mesmerizing music videos for a lot of her songs (stop-motion animation, random slideshows, etc).
She also records with her boyfriend Frank as “Simple Friend”. Featured here are several of Brandi’s original songs, as well as the Simple Friend song “count to three”.
She is one of my all-time favorite songwriters. She should be as well-known as Laura Gibson, Frankie Cosmos, and other huge indie/bedroom pop artists. Hopefully this blog will get her music out there, much more.
She is freakin’ brilliant. I’d love to make bedroom pop/folk music like this with someone this talented and experienced (especially melodically). I love all the people I work with, but I feel like I haven’t yet found a singer/songwriter who writes brilliant shit like Brandi, and also makes such perfect videos to accompany such perfect songs.
Much love to Brandi and Frank!
Not sure if I wrote about them already, but…. yeah. Pretty much a staple of my music-listening, since 1994. Sadly they weren’t together long… but man, did they leave a powerful impact. From College Park, Maryland / Washington DC area. A lot of people prefer their earlier work, such as “My Forgotten Favorite” or the album Copacetic, but I think their best work is their last stuff, specifically the Gilded Stars and Zealous Hearts record (1996).
Sarah Shannon (vocalist) now does solo stuff as her own name. Worth your time, if you like her voice (and how could you not?)
Ugh. It kills me that this band broke up recently. Perfection.
Here’s their 2012 album link from Spotify:
You might know the Vivian Girls, who
are were goddamn amazing (they broke up last year). Well, here’s Katy Goodman’s side project/main music, as La Sera…. as I often write…. dude. Some people just have it. And they give it their all, in every single fucking minute of their musical journey. This is Katy Goodman, aka La Sera.
“Beating Heart” (I LOVE this song)
Latest record, “Hour Of The Dawn” (entire album)
originally posted 6-4-2013
Back in 2000, I used to talk extensively online with an awesome girl named Alexia Anastasia, who ran a Naples-FL based indie label called Distant Rise Records (later, Recovery Records). Alexia and I had a nice little internet connection, even though we had never met before. We would talk about loneliness and great music for hours and hours on end… and tell each other to check this or that band out. This was pre-YouTube and it wasn’t that easy to just look up a song and listen to it right away.
One of the bands Alexia mentioned to me that she said I would absolutely love was The Rocking Horse Winner (from Lake Worth, FL). The singer, Jolie Lindholm, had reached some level of recognition by singing backing vocals for several of the early Dashboard Confessional releases. I always liked her singing when I heard certain Dashboard songs, and one day Alexia mentioned to me that she had her own band.
Their first full-length, “State Of Feeling Concentration” BLEW ME AWAY when I first heard it. I was working at a record store at the time, and I ordered it for myself as it was impossible to find anywhere else.
I can sum up this band in THREE words: MELODIES, MELODIES, MELODIES.
Fucking PERFECT songs… that get stuck in your head forever like the best music… god, I’ve spun this CD endlessly for over a decade now, and it never gets old. (added 2015– the guitar work, creative drumming, etc… just really add so much to the music… I just… god. I’d consider RHW as the American/Indie rock version of The Sundays.
Jolie’s vocals are pitch-perfect… she is such a damn good singer and melody writer.
One negative thing I will say about this band– their second full-length (on Equal Vision Records) is not that good. If you want the best of the best, pick up their 2000 album The State Of Feeling Concentration. It rules.
And now… ONTO THE PERECT MUSIC
Jolie Lindholm later fronted new wave-ish indie band Popvert, and is now a real estate agent in Florida…. I hope she eventually releases more music. With every song she sings, the world is better for it.
Listened non-stop to Rose Melberg’s solo record Homemade Ship last night (and into today). She’s very prolific, and has released music for two decades, first as a duo with The Softies, and many other bands/names, including her own. The list of associated bands she’s been in is below.
I highly recommend her music to EVERYONE. She’s such a great singer… beautiful harmonies, great guitar playing… great lyrics. You know the deal. Just consistently (and I really mean CONSISTENTLY), great, great songs.
Here’s a Spotify playlist of Homemade Ship
- associated artists:
- Brave Irene
- The Softies
- Tiger Trap
- Go Sailor
- Imaginary Pants
I discovered Arrogants (as many bands I absolutely LOVE) through my former student, Mazzy (yes, her real name, after Mazzy Star). She got me into soooo many great bands from 2010-2011…. it’s insane. Thank you, Mazzy.
Sadly, the music of Arrogants is no longer. They broke up, I believe way back in the mid-2000s…. but man, did they leave some great music behind.
I’m spinning all their stuff today, because the weather is in the mid-60s, and it is perfect music for a perfect-weather day, with the windows of my house fully open.
Amazingly, the band leaves all of their music to be freely downloaded and distributed, in the wake of their demise. Get it ALL here…. (two EPs and a gigantic, 23-song full-length).
What’s their music like? In a word, perfect. Fun, catchy, surfy, twee, power-pop, acoustic folk, etc… absolutely charming vocals and vocal melodies over perfectly-arranged, short indie-pop chords. Sometimes with fast drums, sometimes without… and oh yeah, the lyrics are PERFECT.
Some standouts-– “Why T.A.N.G. is my favorite band”, “The Incurables”, and “Nobody’s Cool” (all three are from the Nobody’s Cool EP). GET EVERY ONE OF THEIR SONGS. Seriously… it’s free! And you’ll be glad you grabbed it all, after you hear it.
“I Want You”
“The Distance Between Us”
I want to make music like this with my girlfriend. She’s got a similar voice, sorta…. I say this to everyone (including her)… when it comes to great music, it’s all about the melodies.
There are beautiful-sounding bands, and there are bands that I cannot simply live without. The Innocence Mission belongs to the latter category.
Formed in the early 80s in Lancaster, PA by husband and wife Don and Karen Peris, The Innocence Mission’s music is folk-oriented, with lush guitar layers (acoustic and clean electric) and lovely string arrangements, vocal harmonies, and gentle, sweeping melodies.
I can’t really describe their music at all, because it’s something you have to hear and feel… and sometimes there just aren’t enough words.
Here are some of my favorite Innocence Mission songs… spanning their entire career in reverse chronological order:
a song from their 2007 album “We Walked In Song”
two perfect songs (in one video) from their 1999 album “Birds of My Neighborhood”
the opening track on 1995’s “Glow”, as featured in the 1996 film “Dream For An Insomniac”
their biggest hit, as featured in the 1995 film “Empire Records”
from their second record, Umbrella (1991), and featured in the brilliant 2012 film “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower”
this song above, “Notebook”, contains some of my all-time favorite lyrics.
“He’s painting houses… he’s painting houses for a while. Then home to his canvas, coming to life.”
I know NOTHING about this band. Just stumbled upon the album “Crystal Heights.” Celestial is the name of several different bands worldwide, but the one I’m writing about here is Andreas Hagman of Sweden, who writes all the music and works with different female vocalists. The music is shoegaze/dreampop/twee and it is LOVELY.
Start with the song “Crystal Heights”… and wait for that glorious chorus hook with the harmony… “change it all, change it all tonight”
Then check this one out:
I dedicate “Crystal Heights” to my lovely Hungarian friend Hanna, who reads this blog regularly.
I love how this band came about… two singer/songwriters doing the solo thing, and largely, people couldn’t care less about their solo music. They both got a hold of the other’s CD, and couldn’t stop listening to it. They jammed a few times, fell in love, had some kids… and made (and still make) some killer, KILLER albums.
So, you know how this works… I’m not gonna tell you every single detail of the Weepies. You’re going to listen to the tunes, and chances are, you’re gonna love ’em.
So, here they are….
And for extra kicks, here’s my cover of “World Spins Madly On”