Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hammock: Raising Your Voice...Trying to Stop an Echo (Darla)
released: November 20, 2006
style: Bliss
similar: Manual, Robin Guthrie, Sigur Ros, Emerald Down
rating: *****

Gorgeous. Stunning. Sublime! Deserves no distractions or interuptions from barking dogs, people talking and general noise pollution. A candidate for best ethereal rock record of the year. -Kenyon

Casper & the Cookies: The Optimist's Club (Happy Happy Birthday to Me)
released: August 22, 2006
styles: offbeat post-Elephant 6 indie rock/pop
rating: **1/2

Given the varied instrumentation, boy and girl vocals and the list of bands they've played with (Marshmallow Coast, Dressy Bessy), it shouldn't come as much shock that they're from Athens, GA and include an ex-member of Of Montreal. In comparison to Elephand 6 artists, Casper & the Cookies is less about Brian Wilson and psychedelics and more about a quirky stew of instruments and optimism. It's not the most exciting indie rock album ever, and in fact it's confusing at times. Still, there are at least a few enjoyable experimental indie tracks to warrant the cute band name. -Kenyon

Beau Tand: s/t (Pinstripe)
released: December 12, 2006
style: singer/songer with dance music
similar: Barry Adamson, Maxwell Implosion
rating: *1/2

Former Eighteenth Street Lounge DJ from Washington D.C. that I'm sure has a very alluring voice....when he's not singing. On this debut as Beau Tand, he's got that right idea to be a singer/songwriter with various styles of music blended together, but most of this just sounds like a washed-up Tom Jones or a tortured Neil Diamond. It's not quite the classic noir film soundtrack music the press release indicates. -Kenyon

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