Saturday, March 24, 2012


Alto and tenor saxophones interweave lines in and out of one another while a (dare I use the term)"funky" bass holds down the festivities. The drummer mixes some devilish poly-rhythms while still keeping it delightfully tasteful. Snaarj claims a number of different genre identifiers in their Bio and would like to be tagged as "sax pop" I however feel this doesn't really do them justice. Sure the indie rock spirit is there but these guys seem more progressive rock driven than maybe they'd say. All genre finger pointing aside this is some wonderfully composed music from four friends how clearly love what they do. There seems to be a growing number of bands latching onto this sort of setup and many die by the sword. Snaarj has one song up on their bandcamp from this year (Husky Plus) that seems to sum up in short order what to expect. The live album also shows that there are others to come that are just as excellent. I wait with eager palms outstretched for whats to come.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Punch Brothers- Who's Feeling Young Now? (2012)

A few years ago I heard an NPR interview with Chris Thile, discussing the album he wrote in the wake of a relationship that had ended. I knew nothing of him, or Nickel Creek, or his new band, Punch Brothers. It was an insightful interview, and I picked up and loved their debut album, 2008s Punch. Then, as I do, I sort of lost track of them, hearing a few things but not picking up their follow up, Antifogmatic, or searching them out for news or upcoming shows.

Then in February, I see a review for their third album, and a link to the first track, Movement and Location, and I got my socks knocked off, put them socks back on and they just clean got knocked off again. Punch Brothers have moved way beyond the bluegrass/ folk/ classical style I remembered from Punch and have gone into truly outstanding territory. They are a standard bluegrass outfit: mandolin, guitar, upright bass, violin and banjo and utilizing 4 part vocal harmonies. The pop sensibilities of the group have come to fruition, while never hiding the roots and skills that each of their 5 members have. Hearing them do an instrumental version of Kid A is especially interesting, seeing how an acoustic outfit would pick apart and preform such an electronic track; Who's Feeling Young Now is full of swagger; and I must post the video for Movement and Location for all you Swordsers. It is a doozy:

who's feeling young now?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Jason Lowenstein - At Sixes and Sevens (2002)

Any Sebadoh fans in the house? eh? a couple? alright well then some may or may not be familiar with Mr. Lowenstein here one time drummer of the iconic Lou Barlow fronted Sebadoh. If your still scratching your head (which you shouldn't be) Barlow played/plays bass in Dinosaur Jr.  Back to the task at hand, Jason's first solo effort is an interesting sort. This is pretty rock n roll through and through but with an excellent grasp of the guitar with some punk rock tones and at times pretty intricate lead lines. 90's sounding for sure with a less pop centric guided by voices level of song writing. draw backs? this release is front loaded like a mother. Anywho there is something for everyone going on here. dig in or......dig dug?

At Sixes and Sevens (2002)