Sunday Ramblings & Considerations 6.19.11

In this edition: Brian Eno to release new album, meet the Big Cats, videos.

Brian Eno & Rick Holland Release Drums Between the Bells

 Producer/”Non-musician”/Ambient Visionary Brian Eno has been working on collaborative material with London poet and musician Rick Holland since 2003. Their first work to be released publicly is Drums Between the Bells. Due July 5th, the album will be available as CD, Hardback 2 CD edition, digital download, and 12” double vinyl. The first 500 folks to order the vinyl will receive MP3’s of the instrumental versions.

 Check out: Rick Holland’s work (stream)

  Download: “Imagine New Times” [MP3] (e-mail address required)

Stream: Drums Between the Bells

Meet The Big Cats

From Austin, Texas come the Big Cats, the home recording project of Jon Hall and Paul Nixon. Their sound is twangy Americana: energetic, jangly guitar blended with driving drums and ponderous lyrics that recall peak Michael Stipe or Jay Farrar. Originally from Abilene, where they had previously played together in ‘Eighties bands The Stands and, later, Wayne’s Moon Wax, Hall and Nixon are a natural pair, with a shared love of R.E.M., XTC, and other key vital ‘Eighties bands that only got to shine on MTV once-a-week (at most) during 120 Minutes.

Wayne’s Moon Wax reunited in 2009 to play a one-off show at a friend’s home in Austin, on a street corner that turned out to be a city bus stop, which seemed haphazard yet strangely appropriate as the evening wore on and bemused, confused strangers rolled past, watching the musical tableau through the dirty bus windows, like tourists visiting an aquarium. Long before this reunion, though, Hall and Nixon were already collaborating on home recordings. In 1990, they decided they were the Big Cats and set up a makeshift studio in a trailer on the lot of Nixon’s father’s John Deere dealership. They continued recording in living rooms into the new century, and have recently graduated into the garage.

 Today, they are older but the music is still as sturdy, perhaps more so. “In the ‘Eighties, we were young fellas without careers or families to take care of,” Hall says. “We could get together a band for a couple of months, rehearse intensively, and bang out an album before summer was over. Now we can get together for a couple of hours once a week, at best. Takes us forever to get anything done.” But the results speak for themselves.

 The track “Mars” features Hall on guitar and vocals while Nixon plays drums and bass guitar. It’s got a jangly Peter Buck vibe and a piercing solo that recalls Joey Santiago in his heyday.

 “Amygdala” features Nixon on drums and harmony vocals and Hall on bass and guitars, showcasing a great big E-Bow solo that soars off into the clouds. You will also notice straight-away that this song features prominent female vocals, provided by Kylee Kittrell. “That’s my niece,” Hall says. “She’s a great singer and an absolute pro in the studio. She was only sixteen, I think, when we recorded her for this. She’s worked on other songs for us too, as backup. This was her first time singing lead for us.”

Check Out: Amygdala [MP3]

 Check out: Mars [MP3]

Consider These:

Extended interview/jam session with We are Augustines (formerly known as Pela):

Something new from Greenville’s favorite sons, Future Islands:

 Videos, videos, videos. . .

Most of my family called it “noise,” but this remains my favorite discovery of 2007. Absolutely outside-the-box, genius manipulation of appropriated sounds. God Save Buttress O’Kneel.

From Lafayette, LA, I give you GIVERS:


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