Friday, May 29, 2009

The Waltons they ain't

They met over a tambourine and a bottle of tequila ... now Brett and Rennie Sparks have made an album celebrating 20 years of marriage. They talk music and married life to Amy Fleming of The Guardian.

Who would you rather work with than someone you love?" asks Rennie Sparks, plainly. When she puts it like that, placing all your eggs - creative, professional and personal - in one basket sounds like a no-brainer. "Maybe," adds her husband Brett, smirking, "before everyone gets married, they should be forced to write a song together, to make a record and go on tour together." If you can do all that without falling out, you can safely assume that you are a highly compatible couple.

To read more about The Handsome Family and their life together as a couple and as bandmates, go to Click Here to Read More..

"Shame On The Soul" is one of Q's 50 Essential Trackes

Speck Mounatin--Chicagoan's second helping of superior dream-pop.
If, as some reckon, a full-blown shoegazing revival is imminent, Speck Mountain have plenty going for them. In fact, Marie-Claire Balabanian's lonesome vocals, the languid pacing and fuzzy, opiated atmosphere their songs generate make them the closest thing there’s been to Mazzy Star for a long time. Though Balabanian and partner Karl Briedrick prefer to call what they do "ambient soul", what really matters is that they do it beautifully. Curtain-raiser "Shame On The Soul's" lightly-fingered tambourine, churchy organ swells and shards of acid-etched guitar instantly set the dreamy mood. Never straying far thereafter, it all makes for a heavily addictive, comfortably numbing kind of experience.—Peter Kane Click Here to Read More..

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

MOJO--LA meets Detroit, they record in Chicago and sound like the Delta.

Speck Mountain core members Karl Briedrick (guitar) and Marie-Claire Balabanian (vocals) call their sound "ambient soul." The "soul" bit is no empty boast; their echoey shimmer has the ghostly quality of mist on the bayou...Balabanian intones fetchingly, like Patti Smith in slowmo.--Phil Sutcliffe Click Here to Read More..

Monday, May 18, 2009

KEXP names "Some Sweet Relief" the Song of the Day

Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is “Some Sweet Relief” by Speck Mountain from the 2009 album Some Sweet Relief on Carrot Top Records. Speck Mountain consciously avoids the extremes of shoegaze and folk, instead cherry-picking each school’s finest qualities and bolting them together with the sincerity and richness of Motor City soul, creating oscillating texture grounded in human truths and softening reality’s sharp corners with warmth and sonic space...they will send you searching for your headphones, closing your eyes and sinking into the floor. Some sweet relief indeed. Click Here to Read More..

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Speck Mountain is the Word

Word Magazine
Speck Mountain-Wherein square dances with psychedelic gospel
Musical collision could just be the last refuge of the indolent scoundrel, yet occasionally something genuinely thrilling can squeeze out between the cracks of genre paving stones so willfully tossed around. Speck Mountain’s Karl Briedrick and Marie-Claire Balabanian achieve an absorbing alchemy on their second album, compiling country, gospel, shoegazing, ambient and psychedelic sounds into what we could foolishly call a sonic Battenberg. In spirit and mood, these nine careful, sighing, unfolding tracks may on the surface call to mind Cat Power (Backsliding), Throwing Muses (the title track), Dusty In Memphis (I Feel Eternal) or mid-period Lambchop (Twinlines); but it’s the repetition of lethargic chords, beaten out over sleepy and minimal percussion, that delivers the music into a more spectral plane. Balabanian’s tired and pained voice is their trump card and sparse, whispered musical arrangement allows her the space to glide, a torch singer in an emotional power cut. —Eamonn Forde Click Here to Read More..

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Handsome Family Announces West Coast Tour in July

7/14 Seattle at Tractor Tavern
7/15 Vancouver at the Biltmore
7/16-7/19 Dawson City Music Festival
7/21 Portland at Doug Fir
7/23 San Francisco at Bottom of the Hill
7/24 Santa Cruz at the Crepe Place
7/25 Los Angeles at Spaceland
7/26 Los Angeles at McCabe's
7/27 San Diego at Casbah
7/29 Tucson at the Congress Click Here to Read More..

Friday, May 01, 2009

Ten Tips to Increase Media Exposure

Look we get it. It's tough out there. So we thought it was time we lent a little insight on how to increase exposure in the media world. Check out the article written for Musician's Atlas April Newsletter, Atlas Plugged at Click Here to Read More..