Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Digging for Musical Treasure on MySpace

I have a MySpace account with over 1000 friends. It has taken me quite some time to get there, and I could probably have more than ten times that amount if I accepted every random friend request from bands or individuals. But I'm picky. Very picky. First, I don't accept people as friends unless I already know them somehow. I have plenty of friends and don't need to find more artificially, thank you. I'm actually on MySpace for the music. And I love finding new bands. I get friend requests from a lot of bands, but will only accept them if I like what I hear. I probably reject about 95% of the requests I get. But I certainly have found a few gems. Here are a few of the bands I've been enjoying:

The Cinematics
This post-punk band from Scotland was a big hit at South by Southwest this year, and their album, Strange Education, on TVT Records, is very enjoyable. Musically the band is a bit of a throwback to some of the darker, more melancholy and brooding bands of the late 70s and early 80s like The Cure, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Joy Division. There are some similarities with current bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and, perhaps, Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, and Arcade Fire, to name few. I like most of those bands, but I think The Cinematics might be the best of the bunch, as far as my ears are concerned.

Bosque Brown
There's a tiny indie label out of Philly called Burnt Toast Vinyl that has been putting out great music for years. One of their newer "bands" is Bosque Brown, which is actually the name Mara Lee Miller of Texas uses to put our her music. Miller was discovered by Damien Jurado a few years ago and has been involved in her music since then, and you can hear the similarities in their musical output. You'll want to check out her CD, Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller. Stylistically, Bosque Brown brings to mind the music of Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline, but with more of a souly-gospel sound, rather than pure country. Sparse arrangements help to highlight Miller's wonderful voice.

And finally, if you are looking for something a bit more upbeat and light...

The Brothers Martin
This is a new project from Jason Martin (Starflyer 59) and Ronnie Martin (Joy Electric) and it brings the best of their diverse musical worlds together. Personally, I have always been much more of a fan of Starflyer than Joy Electric, but this new project is a nice mix. The two actually had played together in a band more than a decade ago in Dance House Children, but this new project is far ahead of that earlier project.

Check 'em all out and there is sure to be something you like.

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