The former GUIDED BY VOICES frontman didn't wait long after disbanding his long-standing group to unleash his first post-GBV solo album. Pollard is an extremely complex and extremely prolific songwriter who has always managed to delight his fans with a heady combination of intelligent wordplay and pop hooks.
It's easy to get caught up in the splendid idea that surrounds the packaging of this new album... there are two discs in the set: one (the actual finished album) is labeled "Mine", and the other "Yours". The "Yours" disc is a DVD-ROM that allows you to re-mix the entire album using software available online. Pretty cool, and user friendly, too.
In the space of two years (2003-2005), ROSANNE CASH lost her mother, stepmother (JUNE CARTER CASH), and - of course - her father JOHNNY CASH. The result for her musically is the most intense and personal of all of her many releases over a 25-year-plus career.
One of the most promising groups in the Philly Local scene, SLO-MO is led by steel guitarist MIKE BRENNER, a veteran of many bands (including MARAH). Out front is MIC WRECKA, a bona fide hip-hop poet. The groove-oriented tunes are punctuated with sublime female vocals and an absolutely solid rhythm section.
Wrapping up a dizzying year of activity, Adams new album "29" was released the last week of 2005. It was his third (!) official release of the year, hot on the heels of Jacksonville City Nights and the double CD Cold Roses.
Our New Orleans is a benefit album by the New Orleans greats.The net procedes for this album will go to Habitat for Humanity to aid those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Names like Allen Toussaint, Dr. John, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and many others newly recorded each of these songs for this album. On the album website, you can stream a video of the recording sessions as well as interviews by many of the musicians. Many of these amazing musicians had homes, studios, family and friends in New Orleans. The intense emotion is clearly visible in their performances.
Chamber pop quintet Matt Pond PA is led by singer/songwriter Matt Pond, who formed the group upon relocating from New England to Philadelphia in the late Nineties. In 2003, Pond left Philadelphia for Brooklyn, and eventually met the rest of the band that would ultimately become the strongest lineup of Matt Pond PA since its inception.
This is a rare band that really sounds like a band - a complete complimentary unit. They have that special combination of natural, grooove-oriented music combined with the fact that, lyrically, they really have something to say.
Since their 1998 debut "Let's Cut The Crap And Hook Up Later On Tonight", the Philly-based band Marah have won fans across the world with their eclectic, rootsy rock & roll. Fronted by the Bielanko Brothers - singer/songwriter/guitarist/banjoist Dave and guitarist/vocalist/harmonica player Serge, they also count as their fans author Nick Hornby, Bruce Springsteen (who played guitar and sang on their 2002 release Float Away With the Friday Night Gods) and Steve Earle (who signed the band to his label and released the band's 2000 release Kids In Philly).
British pianist/vocalist and songwriting Jamie Cullum mixes jazz with melodic pop and rock into a crossover style that brings to mind artists such as Harry Connick, Jr and Norah Jones. Cullum will just as often cover a swinging jazz standard as a modern rock song, and his original compositions move from earnest ballads to songs of sardonic wit. As a showman he's equal parts Ben Folds and Billy Joel and on his 2004 release Twentysomething. he won XPN listeners over with songs like his covers of Radiohead's "High And Dry," The Neptunes' "Frontin'," "The Wind Cries Mary" by Jimi Hendrix along with standards like "Singing In The Rain," and "I Could Have Danced All Night."