Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Eyes Are At The Billions

Last week I directed you to a stream of Cortney Tidwell’s new album Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up. While I can’t tell if the stream still works – it’s still reachable through the navigation but I couldn’t get it to play – I still want to talk about the record.

Though you can’t hear the whole thing anymore, the one MP3 that has been made available – the opener “Eyes Are At The Billions” – really tells you all you need to know. It opens with a delicately fingerpicked acoustic guitar figure and is joined the second time around by some gentle keyboards and Tidwell’s airy, voice – gentle, but obviously capable of huge things. Then, two minutes in the drums appear, as though miced in a cavern and it explodes into a sonic wash worthy of Slowdive – launched into space but somehow never leaving the countryside.

That essentially tells the tale for the record. Not that they all go from folk-to-shoegaze in under two minutes (though that wouldn’t be a bad thing) but that they take Tidwell’s traditional folk/country upbringing and wrap them up in sounds and ideas that come from much farther away than her native Nashville. In addition to the celestial rock vibe that crops up a few more times, there’s a pervasive Bjork-ish feel to the production, both in her vocal timbre and acrobatics (nothing excessive, don’t worry) and in the electronic production sheen that rests over much of the album. The finished product is hazy and dark, a little creepy and a lot beautiful.

Stars was released in the UK last year but has only come out in North America last week. Drowned In Sound and Indie London talked to Tidwell last Summer on the occasion of the record’s British release. She’s playing SxSW with an official showcase Wednesday night at midnight at the Ale House and an in-store at Cheapos at 5PM on Saturday afternoon. Obviously I advise you to catch one or the other but if you can’t (or won’t be in Austin), check out the live performances assembled in this AOL 3×3 feature. Sorry about the commericals.

MP3: Cortney Tidwell – “Eyes Are At The Billions”
MySpace: Cortney Tidwell

And also looking back to last Friday’s post, The Rich Girls Are Weeping celebrates (and takes a little credit for) Shearwater’s signing to Matador by posting the three available versions of “Red Sea, Black Sea” (nee “Turn Your Transmitters Off”).

eye and NOW talk to Sarah Assbring of El Perro Del Mar, in town for a show at Mod Club on Monday and also doing an instore at Soundscapes on Sunday at 6PM. New City Chicago and The Boston Herald also talk to the singer.

UK brothers in arms (and by birth) The Cribs are at the El Mocambo on April 30.

Lucinda Williams complains to The Globe & Mail about some of negative reviews her latest album West has been getting. Williams is at Massey Hall on April 17.

Drowned In Sound reports that Camera Obscura will squeeze another single out of Let’s Get Out Of This Country. “Tears For Affairs” will be out as a single in the UK on April 16 and be b-sided by a cover of ABBA’s “Super Trouper'”. Oh yes please. X-Press talks to keyboardist Carey Lander about missing John Peel.

Malajube are discovered by the American west – witness interviews by Tuscon Weekly, The Arizona Star, Seattle Weekly and The Portland Mercury as they try to make heads or tails of the Francophones. Oh – and in a bit of Hot Freaks news, due to scheduling issues Malajube are no longer able to play our party. However we’ve found a pretty decent pinch-hitter and even manage to maintain our Can-con quotas – the 1PM slot on Saturday, March 17 at the Mohawk will now be taken by Victoria, BC’s Frog Eyes.

Dirty On Purpose have released a new video and seriously, these guys make the best vids. Trebuchet! Awesome. They’re playing the other SxSW party I’m involved with, the LiveDaily/Spaceland jag now dubbed “The Bomb” (hopefully not a prediction). Like the poster says, the show is at Antone’s on Thursday March 15 and DoP are on around 1:20PM.

Video: Dirty On Purpose – “Car No Driver” (MOV)

Pitchfork talks to National frontman Matt Berninger about their new record Boxer, out May 22.

Dylan Hears A Who – this is one part brilliant, one part demented and all parts too well-executed.

By : Frank Yang at 8:25 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Karl says:

    BTW, The Cat in the Hat just turned the big 5-0: