Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Memory Band - Apron Strings CD

available now

***The Memory Band began life at the turn of the century, the progeny of one-time Gorodisch electronicist Stephen Cracknell, his computer and a lot of imagination. In addition to releasing Gorodisch records on the Leaf label, Cracknell founded the legendary Trunk label (reissuers of The Wicker Man soundtrack) and spent a short stint playing bass with Badly Drawn Boy.
The group's second album, Apron Strings, is a sublime blend of acoustic folk and homespun electronics. While many tracks were recorded live in the studio, others were created from loops recorded and manipulated by computer. Machines haven't completely paved over the hedgerows, however; alongside Cracknell, Apron Strings features the very non-machine-like talents of singer Nancy Wallace, violinist Jennymay Logan (of the highly respected Elysian Quartet), well-travelled violist Rob Spriggs and drummer / rocket scientist-in-residence Rhys Morgan. Adem, Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) and Simon Lord (Simian, Garden) also turn in sparkling cameos.

The songs mix arrangements and bastardizations of traditional pieces-- a summery take on the trad "Blackwaterside" as beloved of Anne Briggs and Burt Jansch; a genuinely moving take on Irish folk gem "Green Grows The Laurel"-- with original compositions and unlikely cover versions (Carly Simon's "Why" and Ronnie Lane's "The Poacher"), to make an album both modern and timeless, completely unconstrained by most people's ideas of "folk music."

Apron Strings is released via the gentle might of Dicristina in North America and Peacefrog In Europe.

Stephen Cracknell known through previous work as Leaf recording artist Gorodisch and as a former member of Badly Drawn Boy

A 21st Century take on Penguin Cafe Orchestra...i.e. beautiful and pastoral music

buy it

Vashti live review on Pitchfork

Live: Vashti Bunyan / Brightblack Morning Light
The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA: 7 September 2006
Live Review by Jonathan Zwickel

... Settling into a more frank, charming older-aunt mode was Vashti Bunyan, eyes sparkling and pert, speaking voice firm and gentle like your junior high art teacher. "I can't believe I'm here," she told the crowd, who was clearly beyond thrilled that she was. Sitting amidst a young, talented, five-piece string band, Bunyan exuded a true sense of gratitude before she sang a single note. But once she began by introducing "Hidden", an immediate, comfortable intimacy arose, her songs leading down the halls of her past to illuminate memories framed in this simple, gorgeous, eloquent music. Bunyan's albums-- all anyone was familiar with-- are delicate and soothing. At this show, backed by acoustic guitar, violin, cello, banjo, and alternating flute, accordion, piano, and kalimba, she seemed far more robust and substantial, her compositions far more alive. And her voice still sounds like a dream.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Vashti Bunyan on tour

09/01 Vancouver, BC Richard's On Richards
09/02 Portland, OR Disjecta (Halleluwah Arts Fest)
09/03 Seattle, WA Bumbershoot Festival
09/05 San Francisco, CA Amoeba Music (signing 6 PM)
09/06 Santa Cruz, CA The Attic
09/07 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
09/08 Los Angeles, CA The Getty Museum
09/09 Los Angeles, CA The Echo (w/ Nobody and Mystic Chords of Memory)
09/11 Chicago, IL Lakeshore Theater
09/14 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
09/15 Boston, MA Museum Of Fine Arts
09/16 Shelburne Falls, MA Memorial Hall Theater (Hilltown Folk Series)
10/03 Toronto, ON Harbourfront Center, Theater
10/05 Montreal, QC La Tulipe

Step 06 CD

Here Before
Against The Sky
Turning Backs
If I Were
Same But Different
Feet Of Clay
Wayward Hum

Just Another Diamond Day
Step 04 LP/CD

Diamond Day
Glow Worms
Lily Pond
Timothy Grub
Where I Stand
Swallow Song
Window Over The Bay
Rose Hip November
Come Wind Come Rain
Hebridean Sun
Rainbow River
Trawlerman's Song
Jog Along Bess
Iris's Song For Us
Love Song
I'd Like To Walk Around In Your Mind
Winter Is Blue
Iris's Song (Version 2)