Longtime devotees of The Song of the Day List will certainly know of my affection for Azure Ray and Maria Taylor…as recently as this past January I dropped a cut from Maria’s new album, LadyLuck, on The List (pre-blog), so today when I found out that the other half of Azure Ray, Orenda Fink, will be dropping her debut as O+S next week. She’s apparently taken recordings from around the world and turned them into loops and beats to incorporate into her new songs…and despite how that might sound, the result isn’t the typical electronic background trickery you might expect. Her new collaborator, Cedric LeMoyne (AKA: Scalpelist…Orinda + Scalpelist = O+S, get it?) and producer Michael Patterson, with their hypnotic drum loops and backwards-masking, have created a controlled and elegantly weird musical landscape for Orenda’s airy, harmonious vocals. Check ’em out on MySpace
Today’s song is a brand-spankin’ new version of a song The Idle Hands released on a rarely heard U.K. EP back in 2006 (I own it)…but the two Irishmen and three Americans are now based in Minneapolis and they’re recording their first American release and they just leaked this smokin’ re-do of ‘Loaded’ that has me got me on my feet and clawing my way back to reality this afternoon…I just had to pass it on. Still too soon for a name or release date on the new album, but you can stream more songs and follow the gang over on MySpace and for those of you SXSW-heads in Austin this week, they’re playing tomorrow night at 7:45pm at the Irongate Lounge…..
I kinda knew I was gonna like this right from the jump…..I didn’t even care if the lyrics ever turned up, I was so enthralled with the tap-tap-tap of the lone cymbal and the thump of the bass…..but when Faris Badwan’s vocal slides in it’s like a bastard-child cross between Peter Murphy and Ian Curtis…tres cool! ‘Sea Within a Sea’ is off their new album, Primary Colours, which is set to drop May 4th. You can head on over to MySpace or their website for more black eye-liner goth goodness.
I gotta say…the kind or responses I’ve been getting with the new design was everything I could have hoped for and the guys at livebooks really made it all possible. And it was their idea and constant pushing that convinced me to do the blog as well. Great company, great product, great results and thanks to Ryan, Adam, Jason, Taylor, Matt and all the others who worked with me to make this all come together so well.
With some of the songs I’ve dropped on The List lately (from Our Broken Garden…Pete Yorn…The XX…Young Galaxy, to name a few), ya might think I’m stuck in a deep hole of melancholy…I dunno…it’s not like turning on the news offers anything even remotely cheery these days…but I just find the music, I don’t make it! I think this current wave of aural depressants says a lot about the state of things overall…
Anyway, now that I’ve dropped us all into an even darker mood than we were in a few seconds ago…..the L.A.-based electro-acoustic popsters known as Lemonwilde just dropped their new EP, Red Room, and it’s damned nice, even if it does fall into that Glum Rock category. I really love how vocalist Joseph Murray has a little Ian McCulloch/Bunnymen thang goin’ on with the way his trembling voice goes up and down the scales. They’re giving away the whole EP on MySpace…CLICK HERE and check it out!
So when I first heard this cut from the new Our Broken Garden album, When Your Blackening Shows, I immediatley thought of Julee Cruise and and the Twin Peaks-y vibe the song gives off…then I saw the promo art with singer Anna Brønsted laying battered and broken in a bed of moss…and I really got Laura Palmer chills! Our Broken Garden, with the slow-core wall of production, lazy drums, church-like organs and dark, moody guitar work, kinda sounds like Radiohead on heroin, if they had a sexy Danish guest vocalist take over on the gloomier-than-usual songs. Probably not the kinda thing to listen to if you’re already in need of a Zoloft, but sometimes a dose of self-indulgent, ethereal melancholy is just what the doctor ordered. You can head on over to their MySpace page to get further depressed…..
Often, getting a corporate mind to put aside the literal and think like I do isn’t always that hard…sometimes you just have to ask…..
In today’s BusinessWeek is the story on David Johnson and Conmed that I went up to Utica to shoot a couple of weeks back. It was one of those jobs where BW photo editor Sarah Morse and I talked about what might make a cool shot, but neither of us had any real idea what was possible or if there were any eye-grabbing visuals strong enough to anchor the story. Conmed manufactures medical and surgical equipment and the story was about in order to streamline production, they went from long assembly lines that cranked out warehouses of product to compact U-shaped workstations that filled orders as-needed. We knew that showing the workstations was a must, but production lines are rarely as groovy as they appear in the movies…still, after getting the tour, Bo and I slapped on our hairnets & bunnysuits and went to work on this…
Now, the workstations were OK and they got us this shot…
…and Dave loved it ‘cuz it showed off their new production facilities and how they used new ideas to solve a manufacturing problem, but for me it was more of a ‘point picture’ and I knew there was more we could do to sell the idea of individual, hand-assembled production. I suggested to Dave that we look at a couple of other locations I had briefly seen on my walk-through that didn’t involve the production facility. I convinced him that we could use one of the production teams showing the final product in a more graphic location and still convey the idea of the story. One location was a bank of ‘windows’ just off the reception area in their plant…
…and that was nice, but still a bit too sterile and corporate. The real winner was down a hallway that linked two parts of the building…an circular elevator bank that was covered is shimmering white tiles surrounded by acid-green walls!
And here is the final spread…..
The combination of the sterile white tiles and scorching green walls just screams medical and the nice balance of the workers blue smocks and Dave’s blue shirt made for a perfect image.
And as usual, to finish things off, I gotta get into the fun!