Sunday, August 10, 2008


Stars &

A loud and loose trio, Boston, MA's Muy Cansado play rock
and roll with a little country on the side. After a couple of listens,
they don't bring any specific bands to mind, but if pressed for
comparisons, I would cite the Replacements and the Pixies.

Chris Mulvey handles the regular-guy vocals and Joey Santiago-
style guitar-slinging, but bassist Lisa Libera, who has more of a
post-punk approach, pitches in for "Erased." She should do
that more often. Stars & Garters is well worth a listen.

Sleeping in the Aviary, Expensive Vomit
in a Cheap Hotel
Science of Sound [10/14/08]

"The best three-piece
since Grand Funk."
-- From their MySpace Page

Quirky title aside, this
Madison, WI quartet brings
the noise on the follow-up to
2007's Oh, This Old Thing?

Granted, noisemakers include ukelele, tea kettle, accordion, and
saw, but don't be fooled. Creativity and quirkiness don't have to go
hand-in-hand, and Sleeping in the Aviary keeps cuteness at bay.

In fact, singer/songwriter Elliot Kozel's lyrics are downright
dark ("She had a pawn shop gun in her teeth," "I'm old, but
I'm young enough to die"), and the band can get as quiet
and spooky as the grave. "Gas Mask Blues" combines
the two approaches particularly well, as it begins like
an Appalachian lament before exploding into full-
bore rawk. Keep an eye on these kids.

Click here to sample a few tracks.

Two Sheds, EP, Filter US Recordings

Oh, it breaks my heart to be alive.
-- "To Be Alive"

Two Sheds deliver torchy
folk-rock. Caitlin Gutenber-
ger writes and sings swirling,
string-laden, waltz-like songs
with backing from Johnny
Gutenberger, Russel Miller,
and James Finch, Jr.

Ms. Gutenberg whispers, drawls, and bites into cer-
tain words just like Rickie Lee Jones and Lucinda Williams before her. Here's hop-
ing her career shines as bright and lasts as long.

I enjoyed the credits almost as much as the music:
"To Be Alive" features "cat food crunching" from
Buddy the Cat, while the EP was "recorded, en-
gineered, produced, mixed, pickled and drank
by Robert Creek and Two Sheds at the Han-
gar and at the home (Sacramento, CA)."

Click here to sample a few tracks.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Endnote: For more information about Muy Cansado, please
click here or here; for Sleeping in the Aviary, here; and for
Two Sheds, here. Images from Planetary Group and the
Two Sheds website
. And for the record, I love Grand Funk!

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