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November 23, 2005

{Album Spotlight}

{Ashbury- Last Sensation EP}

ashburylast1.jpg I’ve been an aficionado of this band ever since I picked up their self-titled debut EP, which is filled with meloncholic lyrics set to familiar new wave rhythms. Quite simply, they had me at the opening line of “Blood on Stone” (“I could never be the one to trust with your life, I would only break you down with time”). Over time Ashbury have drawn comparisons to The Killers or The Faint (simply because they play electro-rock), but to my ears Ashbury finds influence in a Joy Division/ New Order hybrid. With so many L.A. bands begining to gain notoriety worldwide (The Blood Arm, Moving Units, Autolux, Dios (Malos), Giant Drag), it will be interesting to see how much longer can this band remain one of L.A.’s best kept secrets? On this second EP, the East L.A. five-piece seem to be coming into their own with a darker and more polished sound, which may be the result of working with Hot Hot Heat Producer Warren Huart. The EP is filled with sleazy synths, pounding drumbeats, electric guitars, hard bass lines, and singer Jesse B.’s signature stoic delivery. With one foot planted firmly in the past and one in the future, all this group needs now is a full-length album under their belt. Listen to tracks from Last Sensation here or checkout a couple of Mp3's from their debut EP: "This Doubt Remains"/ "Blood on Stone".

November 22, 2005

{Album Spotlight}

{James Apollo-Good Grief}

jamesapollo.jpg I was pleasantly surprised to hear from James Apollo via e mail this morning and I haven't been able to stop streaming his new album Good Grief since. The album is filled with western-rich folk, hints of Latin rhythms and Tom Waits-style cabaret. The album plays out like the soundtrack to an old movie with tales of the civil war, sunrises, and broken hearts. Here's a couple of Mp3's: "Dead Men Weigh More"/ "Three Birds" or stream the album in it's entirety here. Purchase here.

{Album Spotlight}

{David Dondero- South Of The South}

daviddondero.jpgSouth Of The South is the new album from one of my favorite singer-songwriters David Dondero, who delivers yet another impressive collection of literate folk-blues numbers. Dondero writes in a stream-of-consciousness style with equal parts humor, condescension, lust, and sentiment. His music shares a kinship with folk music troubadours Woody Gutherie and Townes Van Zandt...but in his lyrics there is always some sort of political message (wether it be the politics of love, war, or sex). So, I guess from that angle he'd even have some Bob Dylan influence in there too. Dondero recently switched labels from Future Farmer to (Conor Oberst's ) Team Love Records and I feel sorta guilty pointing out that South Of The South is available for download FOR FREE in it's entirety courtesy of Team Love make sure you check him out when he comes to a venue in your town. If your a fan of Bright Eyes then you should know that in the past Conor has listed Dondero as an influence stating that "It was hearing his voice that made me comfortable with my own.” Nuff said.

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