Birds, what is up with that? It seems lately that we're getting album artwork that features birds on the cover artwork (especially owls). Can someone explain this to me? Seriously.
Below are a ton of bird-album artwork.
aviaryghost.com ♥ myspace.com
From Illinois is Aviary Ghost, a band that seems to be headed by Charlie Crimando and Stephen Kemsley. Reading their biography, it would seem that they spent a lot of time recording music in a one-room apartment in Michigan.
One of my favorite song on their album, Memory Is A Hallway (featuring cut-out birds over a scenic location), is the most fast-moving song is "Windowlight", which seems to be about the light through the window - sung in an old-fashion cabaret-style song, which I will say works very well for the song.
I thought "Somewhere Else" was also pretty good. The song is described as "catchy Swedish pop", which I'll have to agree with. The lyrics are pretty detailed too, I especially liked the chorus: "we're laughing, 'cause laughing is much better than a scream".
more-teeth.com ♥ myspace.com
I think someone in the W♥M group have this album, One Bird a Day, for review, so I won't go into too much details about it. Surfice to say that it's a compilation of three or four bands in the electro-genre.
Based on what I've heard, I really dig Sparkydog (sounds like new wave) and More Teeth (which sounds like very experimental noise art).
I've decided to go with More Teeth because of their snazzy drums and electroclashesque vocals of Mindy Abovitz.JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD
jessicaleamayfield.com ♥ myspace.com
We're not really promoting Jessica Lea Mayfield (I don't think her PR company knows my address, which I will confess is fine as I have too much music to handle), but I couldn't resist the owl-art on her soon-to-be release album With Blasphemy, So Heartfelt out on September 16th on Polymer Sounds on her press release.
What's there to say based on this one song, "Kiss Me Again"? She has a very nice voice, and sounds like Thao Nguyen.
citizensofcontraryknowledge.com ♥ myspace.com
Yet another Chicago, Illinois band - man, they really love their animals! I believe "putois" is actually a ferret or something.
Anyway, on their second album, Problem Is Not a Problem Anymore, we see a crane with some ducks (while their debut album, The Thinking Fireplace features a cartoon bird dressed as a gentleman).
It would seem that these introspective songs are written and sung by its creator, one Bob Mason since 1995.
Most of this album is acoustic, mostly folky and the song "No More Dancing" would best represent what currently Putois sounds like.
There are a few highlights on the record. For instance, I liked what he was trying to do with "Cta". This had a weird bass and quirky noises and beeps. Even his singing style is different here (although I think this might be a guest-vocalist? It just sounds very different).
The other song that isn't so acoustic is "The Lonely Traveler" with its arrangement of piano and harmonica.
If you like bands like Minnesota's Low, Putois might be right up your alley. Problem Is Not a Problem Anymore is out now, you can get it from CD Baby.
plushgun.com ♥ myspace.com
I love Tommy Boy Records. One of my first CD was a Tommy Boy and I just remember how big they were in the early 90s, especially with the b-boys and girls. Well, I guess the record label is still around and I have one of their latest release by one-man-band, Plushgun. Daniel Ingala's vocals sounds like he has a British accent, reminiscent of early 80s new wave pop bands.
His latest self-titled EP has a cute drawing of a bird with an old SNES controller in a cassette-tape-style mess in the sky. All the songs were available for download on August 19th (iTunes).
The four songs on the EP is a very easy listen. I love all the songs actually, with the exception of the semi-sappy "14 Candles". Although it was nice to hear a woman singing backup on this song, but I didn't think this song belong on the EP. Maybe I just don't like love songs.
His other songs are more upbeat and sounds more like obsessive/stalker feel to them. There are some great lyrics on "Just Impolite" ("I walk the line, like Johnny Cash" and "I'm not upset, just impolite").
A physical copy of Plushgun will be available on September 9th via Amazon and other retailers for $9.99, but if you can't wait the download is sold now for 60% cheaper ($3.98)
BRICE WOODALL AND THE POSITRONS
bricewoodall.com ♥ myspace.com
Check out Brice Woodall and the Positrons with their album, Sine Wave Sea. The artwork on the cover is a flying bird block with a hole in its stomach. I know it's a bird because if you visit the artist's website (trevorbittinger.com), his all-flash website features these same block birds flying around.
Brice Woodall is currently based out of Chicago, Illinois, according to his myspace. Woodall's vocals has a woman quality to them, but not in a falsetto way (and not as a put down). His voice is very interesting, it definitely pulls you in.
I think my favorite songs off this album is easily "This, There, Where", a pop song with some interesting mix. I also dug the experiment on "Winter/Break/Down/Away".
Well, it looks like they are currently on tour, be sure to check them out.
09/12/08 Double Door- Kittypalooza Chicago, IL
09/24/08 Rapture Charlottesville, Virginia
09/25/08 Lucky Buddha Richmond, Virginia
09/26/08 Trash Bar Brooklyn, New York
09/27/08 Murky (upstairs) Arlington/DC area, VA
11/08/08 Art*Bar Riverwest Milwaukee, Wisconsin
11/19/08 Madison, Wisconsin
11/20/08 Chicago, Illinois
11/21/08 Detroit, Michigan
11/22/08 Indianapolis, Indiana
You can pick up Sine Wave Sea from InSound.
CITIZENS OF CONTRARY KNOWLEDGE
citizensofcontraryknowledge.com ♥ myspace.com
Featuring a drawing of a chicken on the cover of Citizens of Contrary Knowledge's You're What You Wish You Are. Upon closer inspection, is that a cock? They do sound a bit southern cock rock...
Reading their biography, it would seem most of the band members are residing in Harlem, New York. Their singer/frontsman, Chris Barczynski, sounds like he doesn't take his biography too seriously (he writes that he was in the Witness Protection Program, etc). This is also a problem when he lists that he's appeared on stage with Green Day, Sugar Ray and Hootie - should you believe him? I'm leaning to 'no'.
I was drawn to the faster/rock song and my favorite is "Complicated" and "Lonely Hearts Society", which is driven by a muscular guitar playing (with some neat tricks). Despite as I have said about their music being rock, they do lean to the sensitive/slow side with "House of Cards", "Unless You Do", "Real Love", and "Wrong Side of the World".
I think listening to them that they might fare better as a live act, perhaps jamming their songs at a longer length at a dive bar.
You're What You Wish You Are is out now, available on CD Baby. They just finished playing Arlene's Grocery, which is apparently a bar?
Here is the bonus segment, some bird-bands we've previously covered: Tinkture, Birdflu, Story of the Year, The Alarmists, The Notwist, Loquat, El Perro Del Mar, Ben Sollee, Peter Bradley Adams (Owl), Death Valley Sleepers, Death Cab For Cutie, Patrick Wolf, Deadbird, Jeff Hanson (Owl), They Might be Giants (Owl), Eels, Biography Of Ferns, Computer Vs. Banjo (Owl), Ash, Susan Krebs
Bands we haven't covered, but I'm sure we'll get around to them. These features birds on the cover: The Great Northwest (Experimental Folk), Nebraska (Folk), Foals (British Rock), The Black Keys (Southern Rock), KYTE (Ambient Pop), and the talented Graeme K (Experimental/Old-time/Dance). Honorable worth mention is Abigail Washburn with her tiny birds on the cover.