Monthly Archives: July 2011

Itals’ Lloyd Ricketts R.I.P.

 

Was member of
legendary reggae group; pictured above, L-R, Itals members Ronnie Davis, Keith
Porter and Ricketts.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Sad news for reggae fans: original Itals member Lloyd
Ricketts passed away last Thursday in Jamaica. The cause of death appears
to be unclear at this time, and funeral arrangements haven’t been finalized
yet.

 

The Itals formed in 1976 around the vocal harmonies of Alvin
“Keith” Porter, Ronnie Davis and Ricketts, recording numerous albums in the ‘70s
and ‘80s and consistently scoring chart hits in their native Jamaica. 1985
LP Rasta Philosophy also received
international acclaim and was nominated for a Grammy. Around that time Ricketts
was given a prison sentence and, unable to travel, was replaced by David Isaacs

 

After over 20 years of not being able to obtain a visa to perform
in the U.S.,
Ricketts was finally able to reunite with the group to perform at two festival
shows last month. All three Itals seemed re-energized and very happy to be on
the stage singing such hits from the past as “Give Me Power,” which Ricketts
sang lead on.

 

Pioneers Of Prog Tour Heads to US

 

More cortex-twisting space
rock than you can shake a laser cannon at. Pictured above: Nektar.


 
 
By Blurt Staff

 

Nektar,
Brainticket and Huw Lloyd-Langton
(of Hawkwind): if you’re a Prog-rock, kraut-rock
and space-rock fan, you don’t need any convincing of the musical heaviness
those names carry. They’ll be arriving in the US next month for a 3-week tour
that promises to be among the summer’s most wigged-out. It kicks off Aug. 17 in
NYC.

 

“I
almost cannot wait for this to happen and become a reality,” said Joel
Vandroogenbroeck of Brainticket, whose band has never toured America since
their formation in 1969. “We’re pleased and excited to participate on this next
tour,” he added. “Brainticket has not performed since decades and this appears
to be a real revival of the once well
known group.”

 
Huy Lloyd-Langton toured America
with Widowmaker, the band he joined after initially leaving Hawkwind back in
the early 70s after their first album. (Widowmaker, formed by ex-Spooky
Tooth/Mott The Hoople guitarist Ariel Bender, released two albums, both of
which reached the Top 50.) “It will be nice to be back there again!” he said.
“Very much looking forward to opening the tour for Nektar, who are a great prog
rock band. With Brainticket on the bill, too, the variety of styles should make
a great concert!” Lloyd-Langton rejoined Hawkwind in 1979.

 

“From
the initial discussions with Cleopatra Records to the actual setting up of this
tour, the excitement is growing rapidly in the Nektar camp,” says Roye
Albrighton on behalf of his band, adding, “It will be great to see some of the
fans from the old days and greet the newer generation to the Nektar style and
sound. I very much look forward to
meeting the other bands and having a fantastic tour together.”

 
Cleopatra Records is releasing special boxed sets of material from Brainticket (the
sprawling 4-disc Vintage Anthology 1971-1980) and Nektar (the 2CD overview Retrospektive is already out, while Complete Live
in New York 1974
and Sunday Night At
London Roundhouse
both arrive in
August) to coincide with the summer tour. MVD has already released Hard Graft, from Lloyd-Langton, and
meanwhile, earlier this year the ItsAboutMusic.com label released 2CD deluxe
editions of Nektar classics Remember the Future and A Tab in the Ocean. Nektar is
also readying a new album titled Juggernaut.

 
Tour Dates:
 
08/17/11 New York City BB King Blues Club & Grill
 
08/18/11 Foxborough, MA Showcase Live
 
08/19/11 Springfield, VA Jaxx
 
08/21/11 Sellersville, PA Sellersville Theater
 
08/24/11 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
 
08/25/11 Sauget, ILL Pop’s
 
08/26/11 Lincolnshire, ILL Viper Alley
 
09/02/11 San Juan Capistrano, CA Coach House
 
09/03/11 West Hollywood, CA Key Club

 

Report: 2011 Mariposa Folk Festival

 

Acclaimed music bash
kicks off its second 50 years in style, July 8-10 in Orilla, Ontario.
Pictured above: Emmylou Harris.

By Lee Zimmerman / Photos by Alicia Cherry

In Canada they really do say “Eh” — as in “How’s it going,
eh?” or “They’re pretty good, eh?” The expression pretty much turns every
statement into a question, while also ensuring that no matter what the
declaration, the listener has the final say by voicing either a yay or a nay.

 

That’s practically the only cliché that can be bandied about
regarding our neighbor to the north, and it also exemplifies the all-round good
vibe that the Canadians exude, both amongst one another and to visitors as
well. And it certainly personifies the genuinely good vibes that accompany an
event like the Mariposa Folk Festival, which just concluded its 51st year of operation this past July 8 – 10. Be assured, there was nothing clichéd
about this line-up.

 

Held in Tudhope Park in Orilla, Ontario – approximately two
hours north of Toronto and on the shores of beautiful Lake Couchiching — the
festival belies its branding by giving equal credence to both traditional
folkies – with tireless troubadours Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary),
Murray McLauchlan, John McDermott, Stan Rogers and Ron Hynes representing the
old guard – and dynamic young rockers – Josh Ritter, Jim Bryson and the
Weakerthans, the Beauties, and Yukon Blonde, among them – performing on behalf
of the new guard. In between, there were those who bridged the divide –
Saturday night headliner Emmylou Harris and mystery guest Ron Sexsmith in
particular. And there were plenty of newbies as well – Amelia Curran, Brett
Caswell and the Marquee Rose, Katherine Wheatley, David Myles, Del Barber and
Reid Jamieson being among the best.

 

With the activity spread among more than half a dozen
smaller stages, a massive main stage for the headliners, and a beer tent —
which, not surprisingly, provided the most boisterous venue of all — there was
plenty of diversity and variety to choose from when it came to indulging one’s
musical preferences. But overall, the vibe was generally mellow, fueled not
only by the festival’s family-friendly tradition, but also the idyllic locale,
which was generally hassle-free and easy to navigate.

 

(Josh Ritter)

 

 

Friday night provided an exhilarating intro, given that the
initial offerings generally cater to a younger crowd. A riveting performance by
Toronto-based band The Beauties set the scene, and by the time Jim Bryson and
the Weakerthans took the stage at 9, the crowd was already geared up for an
electric evening. Bryson and the Weakerthans previously made their own
individual music, but drawing songs largely from their recent collaboration, Falcon Lake Incident, the combination
proved potent, with material divvied between bittersweet ballads and hook-heavy
rockers. Still, all was forgotten when Josh Ritter and his Royal City Band
capped the evening’s offerings. Ritter was nothing if not mesmerizing, and his
songs took on an auspicious aura that imbued a powerful sway. The set climbed
from peak to peak, and bathed in the multicolored hues of the spotlight, Ritter
was absolutely riveting, awing the crowd with his powerful presence.
Unfortunately, a horde of bugs and mosquitoes also opted to swarm around the
spotlight, prompting Ritter to lament the fact that “all the insects got in
free,” while vowing to keep playing, “even if we end up as skeletons.”

 

(David Myles)

 

 

(Katherine Wheatley w/the author)

 

 

 

Saturday beckoned with the first full day of entertainment
possibilities, and the choice to begin with some upbeat bluegrass seemed the
logical way to go. David Myles, a tall, lanky, good-natured singer/songwriter,
hosted the genteel Katherine Wheatley and the instrumental ensemble Hard Ryde
on the shady Estelle Klein Stage and got the festivities off to a boisterous
start. Bryson and the Weakerthans followed, repeating their previous night’s
set, but adding an intimacy that eludes most artists on the main stage. This
being Canada, and the fact that the spotlight falls overwhelmingly on natives
sons and daughters, the next showcase set was devoted entirely to
interpretations of Gordon Lightfoot songs from the likes of Katherine Wheatley,
Reid Jameson and John McDermott, a former member of the Canadian Tenors whose
lusty vocals, and the fact he was originally discovered during an impromptu
recital of “Danny Boy,” made him a somewhat obvious additive for a folk festival.
The homage to Lightfoot was only natural, given the fact that he hails from
Orillia and that one of his last major appearances was as last year’s festival
headliner. Reid’s take on “Summer Side of Life” and Wheatley’s “Early Morning
Rain” offered impressive reminders of why Lightfoot is not only a Canadian
institution but a veritable singer/songwriter phenomenon as well.

 

(Reid Jameson)

 

 

Opting for a break in order to stroll through the stalls and
find some nourishment, we found ourselves making hard choices as to which
showcases to check out next. A return to the Estelle Klein Stage in late
afternoon was rewarded with a double set of round-robin performances, the first
featuring Amelia Curran, David Myles, a solo Jim Bryson and a slightly more
subdued Josh Ritter each trading original songs. The second starred Katherine
Wheatley, Reid Jameson, Garnet Rogers and veteran folkie Marie-Lynn Hammond
singing songs they wish they had written, or at least that’s how the session
was billed. Among the highlights: Jamieson’s version of “Everybody’s Talkin'”
and Wheatley’s cover of “Someday Soon” by Ian Tyson, another native son.

 

(John McDermott)

 

 

(Ron Sexsmith)

 

 

 

Our introduction to Saturday night’s main stage line-up
began with 3 Gars su’l Sofa, a good-natured French Canadian combo whose jaunty
Cajun-flavored tunes helped spur the evening’s energy. John McDermott followed
next, and his stoic presence loaned a certain austerity to the proceedings just
as his renditions of “Loch Loman” (“I’ll take the high road, while you’ll take
the low road…”), “My Bonnie” and, of course, “Danny Boy” drew a hush from the
crowd, which was clearly swayed by McDermott’s reverential readings. When the
so-called surprise special guest was announced afterward, few in the audience were
actually surprised when Ron Sexsmith ambled on stage to play a solo set.
Appearing boyish and shy, despite his prolific 25-year career, Sexsmith
admitted he was amazed by all the anticipation. “I didn’t think it would be
much of a surprise,” he said meekly. “You might have thought it was Bob Dylan
or something.” His set was typically low-key and low gazed, leaving it to
headliner Emmylou Harris, to pull out the firepower.

 

(Emmylou Harris)

 

 

 

“Sorry, I don’t speak Canadian,” Harris joked on taking the
stage, “But I once married a Canadian.” She then proceeded to entice the
audience with a supple set of songs that highlighted her exquisite new album, Hard Bargain. Like the night before, the
bugs swarmed as she defiantly carried on, even though she noted that several
seemed to be attracted to her tea. “Good nutrition,” she joked as she marveled
at the infestation. Nevertheless, there was a certain solemnity to her set,
particularly when she sang the album’s two mournful centerpieces, “New
Orleans,” an ode to that devastated city, and “My Name is Emmett Till,” the
tragic tale of a young black boy murdered in Mississippi by merciless white
mob. Not surprisingly, Sexsmith was brought back onstage to duet on “Hard
Bargain,” the track he contributed to Harris’ current effort, and a beguiling
version of Lucinda Williams’ “Sweet Old World,” a song that easily accommodated
both artists’ appreciation for tender sentiment. Harris’ rousing take on the
rugged gospel number “John the Baptist” and “Born To Run” wrapped the set up in
style.

 

(Brett Caswell & the Marquee Rose)

 

 

(The Rucksack Willies)

 

 

 

Sunday proved equally daunting in terms of choices,
particularly since we had already decided that we’d leave prematurely due to
our hosts’ determination to avoid the final evening’s rush. Consequently, we
began our day early in the beer tent, which found the ever-energetic Brett
Caswell & the Marquee Rose trading their rowdier numbers with the Rucksack
Willies, a fiddle-fueled bluegrass outfit whose two female singers looked like
half the front line from the Mamas and Papas. We then made our way to the
outlying Ruth’s Stage to enjoy a folksy solo set by David Myles, resplendent
once again in a white suit and broad rimmed fedora. Prefacing a cover of an
Anne Murray song, he told a story about being in China and chancing into a bar
with a wall of photos saluting their take on Rock ‘n’ Roll royalty. There were
the usual suspects – John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix, and somewhat surprisingly,
Anne Murray. “I must have missed that,” he remarked.

 

(Peter Yarrow)

 

(Garnet Rogers)

 

 

Still, the highlight of the afternoon proved to be a
showcase set featuring Peter Yarrow, Murray McLauchlan and Garnet Rogers.
McLauchlan began with a pithy take on his own “Sweeping the Spotlight Away,”
the title track from one of his early albums, followed by a raucous rap/rant
from Rodgers that was charged with political venom. “Oscar Wilde once said that
an artist has to suffer for his art,” Rogers observed. “Now it’s your turn.” It
was then left to the exceptionally earnest Peter Yarrow to put the performance
back to the rails, or at least induce some solemnity. Deadpanned and
determined, he seemed unable – or unwilling – to respond in kind to Roger’s
cynical sense of humor. Instead, he reminisced about Peter, Paul and Mary,
recasting a version of “Stewball,” one of the trio’s early standards. The next
round of traded tunes took a sadder turn however, and Rogers’ song about two
estranged brothers found most of the crowd reduced to tears. Yarrow coaxed the crowd
into a sing-along of “If I Had a Hammer” and afterwards idled over to the side
of the stage where he and McLauchlan greeted fans and admirers, Yarrow happily
embracing each devotee like a benevolent grandfather who’s been reunited with
his flock.

 

(Murray McLauchlan w/the author)

 

 

After taking a break from the proceedings, mainly to regain
our composure, finish our shopping at the merch tent and get something to eat,
we decided to end our day at the beer tent for a final set by Brett Caswell and
crew. It was an excellent opportunity to see the band in their own element and
there again they excelled. They’re a rollicking and talented young outfit,
adept at swapping instruments and upping the energy with songs drawn from their
impressive self-titled debut. It was a high note on which to end our festival
stay and one of many exceptional moments that made Mariposa 2011 an exceptional
showcase for Canada’s musical craft and creativity.

 

Damn impressive, eh?

 

(Ukulele Workshop: David Newland, Reid Jamieson, David
Cella, Magoo)

 

 

 

 

Amy Winehouse 1983-2011 R.I.P.

 

Troubled British
singer was only 27 years old. And another musical icon with squandered talent
who let all her fans down is gone.

 

By Fred Mills

 

In the end, it will probably be seen as much of a foregone
conclusion as the sorry, drug-addled deaths of Johnny Thunders or Kurt Cobain –
but it’s no less tragic. British retro-soul singer and tabloid/TMZ fixture Amy
Winehouse has passed away at the age of 27, from causes not yet officially
disclosed. At present, foul play is not suspected.

 

According to reports from the BBC, Associated Press and New York Times she was found earlier
today, July 23, in her north London
home. The AP notes that “the London Ambulance Service
said Winehouse had died before ambulance crews arrived at the house in leafy Camden Square.”

 

Winehouse was most recently in the
news when a comeback tour was canceled immediately following a June performance
in Serbia
characterized by observers as “incoherent” and “disastrous” and led to her being booed off the stage. It was the sad
culmination of a steady artistic and personal decline that came in the wake of
the massive international success of (and multiple Grammy wins for) her 2006
album Back to Black and the song “Rehab” with the last
five years marked by an ongoing struggle with drugs (in particular, crack
cocaine) and alcohol, frequent arrests and recurring stints in rehab. Her
2007-09 marriage to industry scenester Blake Fielder-Civil was no less
tumultuous, and despite occasional mini-comebacks that included a performance
in 2008 at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday, she was never able to
fully overcome her self-destructive tendencies.

 

The family apparently plans to
issue a statement in the near future. Meanwhile, internet ghouls have eagerly been posting “updates” (as it were), including this grainy photo of the Winehouse body being removed from the house and placed in the back of an ambulance. And the usual chorus of
celebrities and fellow musicians have taken to Twitter and Facebook expressing
their sadness, from Demi Moore and celeb chef Jamie Oliver to Tony Bennett and
Ronnie Wood. And there’s no question that Winehouse was not only a huge singing
talent, but one who her friends and associates cared enough about to try to
help her get back on the right track.

 

The saddest part of all, however,
is that in all likelihood Winehouse will be remembered as much for the drug
arrests, intoxicated public appearances and general chaos in her life as for
the inspiring music she made during her lifetime. And that once again, a musical
icon who thousands and probably millions of fans looked up to wound up
squandering her talent and, in the process, letting all those fans down.

 

NPR To Webcast Newport Folk & Jazz Fests

 

 

And tune in to BLURT in
the weeks following the events for our own exclusive commentary, photos and
video interviews.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

NPR Music, together with six partner radio stations, has
announced it will be exclusively live webcasting and broadcasting dozens of
performances from George Wein’s storied Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz
Festival

 

For the Folk Festival on July 30 and 31, NPR Music and WFUV New
York, FolkAlley.com (WKSU) Kent, Ohio, and mvyradio in Martha’s Vineyard and Newport are live video
streaming many acclaimed acts. At the Jazz Festival on August 6 and 7, NPR Music with WBGO
Newark, 89.7 WGBH Radio Boston
and WICN New England are broadcasting and audio webcasting line-ups from three
stages.

 

The festival concerts will be accessible through free, live
audio webcasts at NPR Music, and live station broadcasts.
NPR Music’s folk and jazz festival coverage will be available at npr.org/newportfolk and npr.org/newportjazz. Video webcasts
and broadcasts Performers during these two days include The Decemberists,
Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Gogol Bordello, M. Ward, Mavis Staples, Tegan
and Sarah, Typhoon and Gillian Welch.

 

The next weekend, August 6 and 7 from 11:30AM to 7:30PM
(ET), live audio webcasts and broadcasts will cover three stages from the Jazz
Festival. Performers may include Avishai Cohen’s Triveni with Anat Cohen,
Esperanza Spalding, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Randy Weston’s African
Rhythms Trio and Wynton Marsalis.

 

Norton Recs Plan 25th Anniv. Garage Bash

 

 

Shake that fuzz right
outta yer hair!

 

By Fred Mills

 

Arrrrrrr-OOOOOHHHHH!!! That sound you hear? It’s the massed baying
of thousands of garage ‘n’ punk freaks, howlin’ at the moon and howlin’ in the
direction of venerable label Norton Records, who recently announced their “25th Anniversary All Star Spectacular.”

 

If you can believe it, Billy and Miriam have been at it for a
quarter century (Mirian was plying yours truly with Flamin’ Groovies bootleg
tapes even longer ago than that…), so in honor of this rock ‘n’ roll milestone
they are throwing a four-day party, November 10-13, featuring the likes of the
Sonics, Real Kids, Gino Washington, the Reigning Sound, Mick Collins, Untamed Youth,
Question Mark & the Mysterians (recently interviewed at Blurt), the
Hentchmen, Dex Romweber Duo, Phanton Surfers, the 5.6.7.8’s –  and tons more, plus of course Norton’s
in-house group The A-Bones themselves.

 

Not to mention special guests, including The Mighty Hannibal and
Cyril Jordan & Roy Loney of the Groovies.

 

But wait, there’s more: at the venue, Brooklyn’s Bell House, there
will also be early shows in the front room of the club on Friday, Saturday and
Sunday featuring readings and acoustic music from Andre Williams, Kim Fowley,
Andy/Adny Shernoff, Greg Cartwright and others.

 

Seriously, you need convincing?

 

Go to the official announcement page at the Norton website for the
lineup for each evening along with ticketing info and details on nearby accommodations.

NPR To Webcast Newport Folk & Jazz Fests

 

 

And tune in to BLURT in
the weeks following the events for our own exclusive commentary, photos and
video interviews.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

NPR Music, together with six partner radio stations, has
announced it will be exclusively live webcasting and broadcasting dozens of
performances from George Wein’s storied Newport Folk Festival and Newport Jazz
Festival

 

For the Folk Festival on July 30 and 31, NPR Music and WFUV New
York, FolkAlley.com (WKSU) Kent, Ohio, and mvyradio in Martha’s Vineyard and Newport are live video
streaming many acclaimed acts. At the Jazz Festival on August 6 and 7, NPR Music with WBGO
Newark, 89.7 WGBH Radio Boston
and WICN New England are broadcasting and audio webcasting line-ups from three
stages.

 

The festival concerts will be accessible through free, live
audio webcasts at NPR Music, and live station broadcasts.
NPR Music’s folk and jazz festival coverage will be available at npr.org/newportfolk and npr.org/newportjazz. Video webcasts
and broadcasts Performers during these two days include The Decemberists,
Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Gogol Bordello, M. Ward, Mavis Staples, Tegan
and Sarah, Typhoon and Gillian Welch.

 

The next weekend, August 6 and 7 from 11:30AM to 7:30PM
(ET), live audio webcasts and broadcasts will cover three stages from the Jazz
Festival. Performers may include Avishai Cohen’s Triveni with Anat Cohen,
Esperanza Spalding, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Randy Weston’s African
Rhythms Trio and Wynton Marsalis.

 

British Folk-Rock Supergroup Alert!

Featuring members of
Fairport Convention, Lindisfarne, Magna Carta, The Albion Band, Jethro
Tull, Fotheringay and Steeleye Span.
 

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Despite its somewhat stilted band name, The Gathering
Britannia should put a buzz in your bonnet if you’re a folk-fock enthusiast,
particularly if you tilt Brit. The group has just released its debut, The Bridge Between, via Philly’s
ItsAboutMusic.com, and the players behind it all are among the most esteemed on
the planet, culled from the ranks of Fairport Convention, Lindisfarne,
Magna Carta, The Hellecasters, The Albion Band, Jethro Tull, Steeleye Span,
Fotheringay and Pentangle. The album features original songs and covers of
favorites from the past along with tunes written by Richard Thompson and Alan
Hull.

 

The Gathering Britannia:

 

RAY JACKSON (Lindisfarne)

DOUG MORTER (Magna Carta/Albion Band)

JERRY DONAHUE (Fairport Convention /Fotheringay/The
Hellecasters)

CLIVE BUNKER (Jethro Tull/Pentangle)

JACK KEMP (Steeleye Span)

KRISTINA DONAHUE (3 time Fairport guest at Cropredy
Festival)

 

Now THAT looks like a supergroup to us… Look ‘em up. You can
go to the band’s page at the label website to preview several of the songs.

 

 

Matthew Sweet To Display His Modern Art

 

With stalwarts Ric
Menck, Dennis Taylor and even Fred Armisen (sort of…) along for the ride.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Matthew Sweet has inked in Sept. 20 to release Modern Art (Missing Piece Records), the follow-up
to 2008’s Sunshine Lies.

 

According to the label: Modern
Art features 12 new compositions of Sweet’s trademark wistful, yearning pop
that recall some of Sweet’s touchstones: the Beatles, Beach Boys and Big Star.
“She Walks the Night” is reminiscent of early-period Byrds, while “Ladyfingers”
stomps along with the authority of T. Rex. Other standout tracks include the
swirling, psychedelic  “Oh, Oldendaze!,” the ruggedly assertive “Late
Nights With the Power Pop,” the acerbically witty “Evil By Design, Goodbye
Nature” and the sweetly soulful  “Modern Art.”

 

For this record, Sweet discarded his normal process of
laying down ideas as they came to him and shaping them into songs. Instead, he
allowed these spontaneous kernels of music dictate the direction of each piece.
“In the past,” he says, “I’d make deliberate changes of structures and
normalize things, but this time, I wanted to make it abstract but still human
and natural. That approach gave it a super-personal feel that was really
melodic and musical but still different, so I ran with it. And in an odd way,
this record feels more like me than anything I’ve done.”

 

Modern Art also is
steeped in the time-honored analog tradition. Mastering engineer Glenn Schick
employed his unique “triple analog” process, whereby the masters for the album
were cut to virgin lacquer acetates and meticulously transferred back to
digital, resulting in a rich, full-bodied, “vinyl” sound. “It’s not too loud,
because we wanted to allow the dynamics to breathe,” Schick explains.

 

 Longtime musical cohort Ric Menck (Velvet Crush) does
all the drumming on the album (except for “Ivory Tower,” which is built on a
random drum pattern supplied by Sweet’s friend, actor/musician Fred Armisen). Dennis
Taylor handles guitars.

 

Sweet on the album’s title: “I first wrote down the phrase
‘modern art’ as a possible song title, and it struck a chord with me because of
its similarity to ‘modern heart’ – like a stare-down between the strange
newness of time and the living and feeling-filled but surely doomed heart.”

 

 

 

 

Watch Video: Arrica Rose Covers Buggles

 

Because it is, after
all, a wonderful world.

 

By Fred Mills

 

A cover song can be like the old saw about Forrest Gump’s
box of chocolates, but in this instance I trust we have plucked out a delicacy
that’s pure musical MarieBell: a cover of the Buggles’ great – and to some,
eternal guilty pleasure – “Video Killed the Radio Star,” done up in a manner in
which you have definitely never heard. You can check out the haunting video,
premiered below, for proof.

 

Raise your hand when you get to the interpolation of “What A
Wonderful World”…

 

It’s by songbird Arrica Rose, whose album (billed to Arrica
Rose & the …’s) Let Alone Sea arrives
August 22 on the pOprOck label. One person handily described it as a Cowboy
Junkies-style rendition, which is apt, but there’s a lot more going on here,
everything from early ‘70s Laurel
Canyon folk to ‘90s
opiated Mazzy Star to some of Lykke Li’s more esoteric and muted wanderings.

 

 

 

According to her label, Let
Alone Sea
was produced by Dan Garcia and was “recorded live to analog tape then layered with
Rose’s sultry lead vocals, Andrew Sister-esque harmonies, strings, horns, and
pretty noise. Arrica Rose coined the name The …’s (“The Dot Dot Dots)
to describe the collaborative nature of her project which evolved from a 4
piece guitar-driven band into an intricate sonic landscape including keys,
mandolin, toy piano, omnichord and more.”

 

Rose came
of age on the LA punk scene then attended film school and began scoring short
films. Meanwhile, she established her pOprOck imprint to release her own home
recordings, making her national debut with People
Like Us
, followed by La La Lost in 2008.  In addition to her music projects, Rose is
founder and director of I HEART Inc (www.iheartinc.com)
an artist operated non-profit that raises money for charitable programs and
organizations via creative projects and events. I HEART’s sponsors and
supporters include Willie Nelson,
Crosby Stills and Nash, Iron & Wine/Sub Pop Records, Rachel Maddow, Jack White, Jesca
Hoop, Jackson Browne, Bird & The Bee/Inara George, Martin Guitars, Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios, Radio Hill, Hotel Café and more.

 

 

[Photo Credit: Piper Ferguson]