Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Over The Wheat And The Barley

Not necessarily the first person you’d think of as a workaholic, but Isobel Campbell just released her second album of 2006, Milk White Sheets. Recorded amidst the sessions for Ballad Of The Broken Seas (while waiting for Mark Lanegan to find time to record his parts), it’s quite a different beast from its Mercury-nominated sibling. Whereas that record saw the Scottish songstress exploring new and interesting country-soul directions, Milk White Sheets is a collection of traditional and traditional-sounding songs that is very much in the vein of the wispy, folk of her earlier records.

To be fair, Campbell’s voice – while pretty – isn’t the most versatile instrument and there’s no fault in sticking to one’s strengths. The songwriting (she contributes a number of originals alongside the standards) and arrangements both serve the fairy tale atmosphere of the record quite effectively and for what it aspires to be, Milk White Sheets can be called a success. And yet I can’t help feeling a bit frustrated and even a bit disappointed by this release, which is odd because I don’t actually have many/any expectations of Ms Campbell. I guess I just hoped that the Lanegan collaboration, which I found intriguing if not entirely successful, might signal a new, less predictable phase in her career. But then again, she tells Billboard that she’s been working a little with Giant Sand-man Howe Gelb – that could be promising. What can I say – I think she works best in ampersand-ed projects.

Campbell also talks a bit about making the record with Aversion while Metacritic tallies up the critical response.

MP3: Isobel Campbell – “Beggar, Wiseman or Thief”
MP3: Isobel Campbell – “Cachel Wood”
MySpace: Isobel Campbell

PopMatters has an interview with another artist who walked away from an ultra-successful British band to pursue his own muse – Mr Graham Coxon. His latest, Love Travels At Illegal Speeds, is out now.

The Toronto Star goes quote fishing with Noel Gallagher of Oasis. “…Placebo — I don’t mean to bring that band down, although they are shite…” – got one!

Under The Radar has posted online the whole of their interview with Joanna Newsom, an abbreviated version of which appeared in their Fall issue.

NME reports that the next album from Bright Eyes, due in Spring of next year, will be more apocalyptic. APOCALYPTIC BRIGHT EYES. Think about that.

James McNew of Yo La Tengo talks to Drowned In Sound.

The Constantines inject a little rock into the December concert calendar (which is looking pretty anemic right now) with a show at Lee’s Palace on December 1. Then the next day they’re part of an all-ages matinee benefit at Lee’s for Care Canada, on a bill that also features K-OS and Jason Collett. Collett will then headline the evening show at Lee’s. Tickets for the three shows are $17.50, $16 and $15 respectively and go on sale tomorrow (the Collett tickets are already available). Also just announced – Elliott Brood are at Lee’s on December 15 and are also playing the Weewerk show thing at the Toronto Reference Library next Saturday evening. No idea if tickets for that are still available.

Pitchfork announces that Brooklyn cosmic country workaholics Oakley Hall have signed with Merge Records and will release their next album sometime next Summer, probably by August.

np – XTC / Oranges & Lemons

By : Frank Yang at 8:37 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Mike says:

    I made it out to the Oakley Hall/Micah P. Hinson/Bry Webb show at Lee’s Palace a few nights ago. Gawd, there were barely 30 people there – but otherwise it was a good show. It was a little quiet during Bry and Micah’s sets, but things perked up for Oakley Hall. They were fantastic – a soulful mixture of country and pyschedelia. And the two Oakley Hall ladies are cute. I just had to mention that.

  2. Matt says:

    Thanks Mike. I hope there are a few more than 30 at Micah’s show tomorrow night at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. BTW, I interviewed Micah recently in Being There. Lots of good little nuggets…


  3. Torr says:

    fyi: that new Coxon album is properly released in the U.S. next week.

  4. Frank says:

    ah. Saw a used copy the other day, assumed it had already been released.