Due to awaiting correspondences (music submissions), I've decided to leave out two bands: Kid Sister vs Kid Brother. There might be a follow-up article, since I also have The Felice Brothers and Swing Out Sister, to pit against.
|BROTHER AND SISTER
brother-and-sister.com ♥ myspace.com
Words cannot describe the craziness of Minneapolis' Brother and Sister. These are real life brother guitarist (Michael Gaughan), and sister drummer (Katie Gaughan). They seem to have been around a little earlier than 2005, by which time they were acknowledged with several awards, including "Best Live Artist" (2005 City Pages).
Their latest release, 1,000 Parties, really captures the energy and awesomeness in seven live performances, ranging from an old church ("March of Madness Scavenger Hunt" featuring three songs) to the Rollergardens skating ("Rock n Roll Summer Camp" featuring "1,000 Parties") to a county jail ("Sister Send Off" featuring "Never Gonna See Me Alive"). This double-disc release includes both the DVD and CD, but to me it only makes sense to watch the video (unless you're driving, which the audio CD would be more ideal). Also, I would have to say that some of the audio suffers as a result of the poor video source in the bikini funeral. The video quality on most of the live performances are amateurish, but the low-quality bootleg nature of the videos lends itself to that feeling of "being there".
The county jail video looks fun too. They had a few of their fans and friends dressed up correctional outfits and filmed a music video behind bars. Forget the double-neck guitars, how about a custom quadruple-neck guitar??? That monster looks like it has to be strapped onto the body.
The only real video is for "Awesome with my Life", it also means it's really the only studio quality recording. By default, it is really the only song that I can really use as an example for Brother and Sister (since with the other songs, you really need to be watching the video to completely get it).
Watching the videos, I will have to say these siblings have a great time doing what they do best: playing energic guitar metal to a live audience and dressing up in 80s fashion (think neon zebra tights). Good news, you can check out the craziness live in Portland, Oregon, for one of their famous Scavenger Hunt (09/14/08).
I couldn't find any details how you can actually purchase a copy of 1,000 Parties CD/DVD release, as their website under the buy (it looks like "boy") only lists their 10" debut self-titled album. I am sure if you contact them, they'd be more than happy to send you all the details.
|BROTHERS AND SISTERS
thebrothersandsisters.com ♥ myspace.com
Austin, Texas' Brothers and Sisters are an alt-country-folk group, although I think they are leaning more towards country. Mojo Magazine calls them as belonging to such music acts as Neil Young and The Jayhawks.
There are many confusing things about their album, Fortunately, the press material I was given said that it's slated for release on July 22nd, however, a semi-recent press release said that it will be officially release August 19th.
Plus, the most confusing thing was that iTunes recognized this disc as being "The Brothers and Sisters of L.A." I thought about the "Los Angeles" thing for a second and it does make sense if you look at the cover artwork, it features what looks like Yosemite National Park with a UFO over it?
It would seem that the band consists of real-life brother and sister, Will and Lily Courtney. Most of their songs are sung by Will, but on occasion, like the delightful country song "Mason City" features Lily singing on the second stanza. The more and more I listen to "Mason City", the more I'm beginning to think it's not so much about traveling on the road, but more as a runaway. It's still a good song, whatever the subject matter might be.
I think that's the key to listening to this album, you have to listen to it more than a few times to really get it. You see, at first pass, I thought they're nothing more than an alt-country band. But after the third or fourth time, I realize that they're actually more than that. Some of the more memorable songs I liked are the rocking "You're Gone", "I Don't Rely", and "The Trees Are Bare" (with a trio of talk-backs from Will, Lily and a guitar!).
They just finished up their July dates, and their next one is in August. According to their myspace, they are planning on a bigger and expansive tour in late August.
Be sure to check site.weheartmusic.com for any tour announcements.
Let me start off by saying how much I love their cover art of Lake Bottom LP. It is brilliant! There are hints of jealousy, heavy drinking, love lost, and bloody, sinister murder.
This Los Angeles band consists of three real sisters Abigail & Lily Chapin and Jessica Craven, and I hate to compare them to such pop acts as Wilson Phillips, but they both seem to have the kind of harmonies you would expect.
Unlike their pop counterparts, The Chapin Sisters doesn't seem to sing very many happy songs. Take these titles and subject matters into considerations: "Kill Me Now" (no explanation needed), "Let Me Go" (about a break up), "Don't Love You" ("Oh my darling, I don't love you/I'm not about to start.") and "I Hate The Moon" (about hating the night).
Don't get me wrong, I actually really like these songs, they're full of great lyrics and melodies, but I think you certainly have to be in a more morbid mood (alone) to put this on your stereo. It's a CD serving for one.
I've picked out "Hey", as I think this is the happiest song on the album. You can hear more music on their myspace and official site (they seem to really like "Kill Me Now", which I'm sure they find it an amusing song to the three sisters).
07/03/08 JOES PUB with Jen Chapin New York
07/05/08 Acoustic Long Island Summer Festival NY
07/07/08 PETE’S CANDY STORE Brooklyn, NY
07/08/08 GREEN LINE CAFE Philadelphia, PA
07/11/08 MCCABE’S Santa Monica, California
07/20/08 DIAMOND DAYS FESTIVAL Oakland, CA
Bonus: They do a cover of The Smiths' "I Know it's Over" on their concert set list.
These are two real life North Carolina brothers, Scott & Seth Avett. I haven't heard of them before getting The Second Gleam for review, but apparently, if I read it right, they used to be in a punk/rock band called Nemo. Since going acoustic folk, it looks like they've gotten even more popular, especially because they've caught the attention of American Recordings/Columbia Records, who are releasing their next new album.
If these six songs on The Second Gleam is any indications, I'll bet The Avett Brothers will do really well in the ever-growing market for Americana music (see my Americana series).
It seems to me that their songs on The Second Gleam seems to be about love, death, life, and religion (all the good things in life!). I am drawn to their more depressing songs, whether it's about the death of his car on "Tear Down the House", or to his own death on "Murder in the City". Although, I would have to confess that their love song, "Bella Donna", also has a hint of sadness to it.
I noticed that they are on tour, and would be curious to see how "Souls Like the Wheels" translate live. It's a really introspective and painfully quiet song.
22 Jul 2008 The Second Gleam In Stores Nationwide! Everywhere, North Carolina
26 Jul 2008 Koka Booth Amphitheatre Cary, North Carolina
27 Jul 2008 FloydFest Floyd, Virginia
29 Jul 2008 Higher Ground Burlington, Vermont
31 Jul 2008 Outerland Edgartown, Massachusetts
01 Aug 2008 Shangri-La Music Festival Blue Hill, Maine
02 Aug 2008 Pearl Street Northampton, Massachusetts
03 Aug 2008 Newport Folk Festival Newport, Rhode Island
17 Aug 2008 Jackson Hole Music Festival Jackson Hole, Wyoming
19 Aug 2008 Strings Music Pavilion Steamboat Springs, Colorado
20 Aug 2008 The Depot Salt Lake City, Utah
22 Aug 2008 Big Easy Concert House Boise, Idaho
24 Aug 2008 Oregon Zoo Amphitheatre Portland, Oregon
27 Aug 2008 Woodland Park Zoo Seattle, Washington
28 Aug 2008 Britt Festival Jacksonville, Oregon
30 Aug 2008 Strawberry Music Festival Camp Mather, California
05 Sep 2008 Delta Fair & Music Festival Memphis, Tennessee
06 Sep 2008 Copper Dragon Carbondale, Illinois
07 Sep 2008 The Canopy Club Urbana, Illinois
10 Sep 2008 Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa, Oklahoma
11 Sep 2008 Granada Theater Dallas, Texas
12 Sep 2008 Mulberry Mountain Harvest Music Festival Ozark, Arkansas
14 Sep 2008 Monolith Festival Morrison, Colorado
19 Sep 2008 Jefferson Center - Shaftman Performance Hall Roanoke, Virginia
20 Sep 2008 Charlottesville Pavilion - with the Drive By Truckers Charlottesville, Virginia
21 Sep 2008 Pier Six Pavilion - with the Drive By Truckers Baltimore, Maryland
25 Sep 2008 The Jupiter Tuscaloosa, Alabama
26 Sep 2008 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville, Tennessee
27 Sep 2008 Coyote’s Music & Dance Hall Louisville, Kentucky
02 Oct 2008 Georgia Theatre Athens, Georgia
03 Oct 2008 Georgia Theatre Athens, Georgia