Artist To Die For: The Watson Twins

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So in the event you’re wondering why I’ve done two Artist To Die for posts in the past day it’s really because I haven’t written one since September.  (School has been owning my life) And the two sets of artists I’m writing about are amazing so just consider it double the amount of good music to add to your library.

Today’s installment features two women you might have heard of before.  If anyone listened to Jenny Lewis’s lovely “Rabbit Fur Coat” album, odds are you heard one of the tracks the Watson Twins were featured on, easily making it the most gorgeous album to come out in the past five years.  Last year the girls released their first full length album “Fire Songs” which featured the memorable cover of “Just Like Heaven” and with the release of their second album “Talking To You, Talking To Me” a month ago, everyone is finally starting to take notice. Continue reading

Artist To Die For: The Drums

Press | Connor Hanwick, Jonathan Pierce, Adam Kessler, Jacob Graham | The Drums

From left: Connor Hanwick, Jonathan Pierce, Adam Kessler, Jacob Graham

If you live in Europe or read Under the Radar magazine then you’ve probably heard of the Drums.  If not, then please stop trying to convince yourself that Grizzly Bear is going to change the face of indie music and do yourself a favor by checking out this band. Continue reading

Artist To Die For: Paris Carney

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It’s been a while since I’ve done Artist To Die For, but that’s only because it took me forever to decide who to do because I’ve found so much amazing music lately. But this time I decided to do a true indie artist: the incredible Paris Carney.

If the last name sounds familiar, that’s because it is–she’s the sister of Zane and Reeve of Carney. For some strange reason though, she has yet to get a record deal. So please, SOMEONE get this girl a record deal! Because the girl has got raw talent. Her lyrics are poignant, and sung like you’re listening to someone’s diary. And her voice is laced in honey-drenched harmonies and vocals that can stop you dead in your tracks. If Johnny Long or Ray Lamontagne had a little sister, it would be her. Also reminiscent of Jenny Lewis, Jewel, and A Fine Frenzy’s confessional style of writing, accoustic sound and vocals, Paris’s music is the kind that you akes you over and doesn’t let go.

One thing that I personally find so inspiring about Paris is how hard she works so hard to be heard and get her name out there. If you sign up for her email list you’ll begin to notice she does A LOT of shows in and around LA. (And she’ll actually be opening for Johny Long pretty soon!) I think she’s a true testament to girls, and anyone else like me who’s nineteen and has a dream of doing something, that you can be anything you want to be as long as you put yourself out there, have the talent, and work for it. She’s also an incredibly sweet and gracious person which only makes you hope that one day she will get all the success she so deserves.

You can follow her on Twitter @ParisCarney and get all the info on upcoming shows, plus listen to new music on her myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/pariscarneymusic

And you can listen to a few of her songs below!

“Memoirs” (because the name of the song isn’t on the video)

Artist To Die For: Jenny Owen Youngs

So the other day I was listening to my latest obsession, Pandora Online Radio which lets you create artist stations that play songs by that artist and other artists or singers who are similar, and came across Jenny Owen Youngs.  I had heard of her before (she had a brilliant song on “Weeds”), but I had never actually listened to her music until I heard “What Beats Within” which had this extremely original and hypnotic opening complete with flutes and strings.  And after that, I was hooked.

In the style of Liz Phair and Jenny Lewis (who she looks strikingly similar to), Jenny combines witty and frank lyrics with catchy rock hooks.  Her lyrics can be sometimes explicit and raw, which is typically when they’re at their best, but also regretful and self-depricating.  Her latest album “Trasmitter Failure” was just released a few months ago and stays with you in the way only true great albums do.  It’ s mesmerizing, seductive, and dream-like–sometimes all at once–which is really all you can ask for in an album.

A few songs of hers below and after the jump…

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Carney Is Playing At Lollapalooza!

If you’ve been wondering to yourself, “Where has B been all this week??!” Or, “Why has there not been five or more upates a day?”

Well let me refer to you to the dudes in the video above as the reason.  Carney was back in town this week so I was busy hanging out with them and whoring their concert.  Sorry.  I have my priorities. 

For those of you lucky enough to attend the Lollapalooza festival though, Carney will be playing TOMORROW at 12 on the Citi stage.  The guys made a video about it which you can watch above.  So to anyone in the Chicago area, you will not be disappointed if you see them live tomorrow.  They put on the best show I have ever seen in my life.

I swear to God they are going to be the next big thing.

Also, follow them on twitter!!! Links: Reeve, Zane, Aiden, and Jon.

Artist To Die For: Uh Huh Her

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In my latest installment of Artist To Die For, I’m shifting the focus to music. So for those of you who are fans of indie pop, listen up.

I have to admit before I any go further in this post though that I LOVE LESBIAN BANDS AND SINGERS.  I’m obsessed, litearlly.  It’s sad. I’ll listen to any girl who’s singing about falling in love with another girl just because.  I love Melissa Etheridge, Tegan and Sara, Indigo Girls, The Gossip…anyone of that nature.   They have some of the best, rawest music and their lyrics are insanely good.  So you can imagine my giddiness when my friend in admissions (where I do my work-study for a cool $8 an hour–suck it, minimum wage!) introduced me to a band who identifies as lesbians.  Oh, but they are sooo much more than just that.

Take the glamour of Peaches’ synths and electro-glitter pop beats, the emotional rawness of Tegan and Sara’s lyrics, and the  vulnerability of A Fine Frenzy and you have Uh Huh Her.

Named after P.J. Harvey’s album, the group is made up of Camila Grey and Leisha Hailey–who some of you may recognize from Showtime’s “The L Word” or one of the best movies ever made “All Over Me.”   The girls came together to release an EP titled “I See Red” and have been playing beautiful music ever since.  What has resulted is a sound that is like cotton candy (if it had a noise) and is extremely addictive.

You can check out a few of their songs including “Explode” and “Say So” below and their debut album “Common Reaction” is in stores now.

Explode:

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Artist To Die For: Max Minghella

Continuing on my quest to shine some sort of a spotlight on lesser known artists, it’s my next installment of Artist To Die For!

For those of you who are not in the know, there’s a new shaker of independent film:  Max Minghella.  The son of late Academy award winning director Anthony Minghella, Max isn’t your typical actor.  Opting to go indie instead of mainstream and attending Columbia University because he simply wants to be more educated, you might not have heard much about Maxyet but that’s all about to change soon.

After appearing in films like Art School Confidential (extremely funny movie) and How To Lose Friends and Alienate People, Max is set to co-star with Rachel Weiz in the new film Agora which is slated for a Decemeber release (just in time for award season) where he plays an Egyptian slave who falls for his master played by Weiz.  “It’s an epic, romantic film that’s different than anything I’ve done before,” he told VMAN recently.  “It’s massive, but it’s unique because it’s also independently made.  We didn’t have any pressure to anybody but ourselves.  It was like making a student film on a larger scale.”

I actually just saw Max in Bee Season, which is this small film starring Richard Gere (he plays his son)  about a family who falls apart after the daughter wins a school spelling bee and goes to Nationals, and he was incredible in it.  I loved how he could be extremely respectful and timid but also full of total angst and rage.  It immediately made me excited to see him in Agora which I hope will give him the attention he completely deserves.  If you ever read any of his interviews, you’ll notice he’s extremely intelligent and not the least bit cynical or fake but really speaks for a genuine love for acting as an art which I respect.  It’s always frustrating, for me at least, that these actors who really could care less about the art of acting and are only doing movies to make their fans happy continue to get attention and press.  I always love it when actors like Max or Paul Dano or Emile Hirsch act because they love it and are unafraid to take risks.  So if you are trying to decide on which movie to rent this weekend, I would definitely recommend one of this kid’s movies.  You can thank me for it later.

Also here’s an interview from YouTube: