Nov 29, 2007

Alphabet Soup, (G)

Hello another Alphabet Soup day, Gee what will it B ? Well a mixed bag, from Chicago a band that has been struggling to find commercial success, maybe they just sound too british , too retro, yet with plenty of eigties energy input, make them sound rather refreshing. Great power pop. Now Lisa Germano followed John Cougar Mellencamp on tour for years playing the violin and some background work until she thought it time (30 years old) to have her voice heard. Lisa self released an album which got her noticed by a major but her Happiness was shortlived as the execs were sacked and their proteges in danger of being shelved, so she bought back the rights to the album and found a home at 4AD, they gave the album a 4AD makeover, courtesy of Fryer and Watts, this in the end made for a completely different work, which you'll find here. Finally, God Is An Astronaut not sure if these guys are fans from Von Danicken or Sitchen but chances are they right there aswell. Anyway Ireland lies close to Iceland and even if they have to do without vulcano's and gletschers, the irish stonewalled pastures do inspire as much, so any comparisons to Sigur Ros have to take into account there's plenty of 'empty spaces' in Ireland aswell. Post-rock is a silly label, ambient doom rock labels it better, anyway the trio puts in great liveshows and if you like what i offer here, do drop in at their site and buy their even better latest album as a hi quality download , when in doubt checkout the YouTube link i posted, it offers all (5) their videos.

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Green - White Soul ( 90 ^ 97mb)

Drawing his initial inspiration from a bipolar quartet of influences — the Kinks, Small Faces, Prince and Motown — Chicago singer/guitarist Jeff Lescher has been the mainstay of the group Green since the mid-'80s. An ace pop songwriter with a knack for assessing the ups and downs of romance without malice, he possesses a phenomenal voice that can shift between stirring pop-rock singing, an ear-pinning shriek and a gospelly falsetto .

In 85 they released their first EP, these joined 10 others on their debut album, Green (86), an inadequately produced but brilliant collection of weirdly derivative originals played with spirit and power. The followup Elaine MacKenzie (88) improves the ambition and results on all fronts and sports a neat cover painting by Lescher. Hooking up with Megadisc (which happily reissued the band's catalogue on CD) and fielding a new drummer, Green released another great collection of memorable romantic pop songs. White Soul (which, ironically, downplays the group's R&B side) benefits from two significant steps forward: improved production quality and the consistency and maturity of Lescher's songwriting. (No more punny nonsense or obviously derivative tributes.) Subtle emotions and striking melodies fill simply executed gems like "She's Heaven," "Night After Night," "Monique, Monique" and "I Know." Kurson's boppy "My Sister Jane" is a delightful pop-punk vestige of his hardcore background, but it was his swan song with the band.

At that point, the indie-label stalwarts — Lescher, Tomasek and drummer Mark Mosher moved onto a bigger small record company and made The Pop Tarts (92) with Chicago studio hound Iain Burgess. After The Pop Tarts failed to deliver the band onto the alternative freeway career path, Green returned to Widely Distributed and made the dispirited but winning Pathétique EP, a diverse triad of new songs, including the surprise country swing of "If You Love Me (Part II)." Green's first new album in six years, 5, is an underproduced but encouraging collection improved by Tomasek's emergence as the band's second strong songwriter; the rejuvenated quartet (with Mosher's brother Jason on guitar) balances Beatlesque tunefulness with ambitious arrangements.

Three years later, Green (the trio) spent a week in France, recording Eau de Vie (01) with Burgess, who sharpens and clarified the sound as never before. Lescher reins in his unmelodic impulses and lets his restrained and tuneful flag fly to heartening effect, mostly rooting around in the popcraft of ' 60s England.

01 - She's Heaven (4:45)
02 - Night After Night (3:15)
03 - Monique, Monique (3:33)
04 - Hear Me (3:09)
05 - My Sister Jane (3:13)
06 - I'm In Love With You (4:38)
07 - I Don't Even Need Her (Now) (4:21)
08 - I'm Not Giving Up (3:19)
09 - I Beg, You Cry (1:33)
10 - I Love Her (2:19)
11 - Give Me Your Hands (3:29)
12 - I Know (3:19)

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Lisa Germano - Happiness (94 ^ 53:40 99mb)

Lisa Germano was born in Mishawaka, Indiana, into a musical family, where the children were encouraged to learn an instrument . At the age of seven, she wrote her first piece of music, a 15-minute opera on the piano and, in due time, Germano learned the violin, an instrument that would ultimately guide her to a professional career in music. She made her debut as John Mellencamp's violinist and fiddle player on his 1987 hit album Lonesome Jubilee. Germano would spend the next seven years with Mellencamp, shaping a smooth, fearless playing style. Additional tours and recording sessions with Simple Minds and the Indigo Girls motivated Germano to do something on her own. She found her voice at the age of 30 and developed a quirky sound rooted in folk-rock and poetry. The lo-fi, shadowy "On the Way Down from the Moon Palace" was issued on her own Major Bill label in 1991, marking Germano's proper introduction as a solo artist.

"Happiness" was much more melancholy and acerbic when it appeared two years later on Capitol.The support(promotion) there had left and Lisa bought back her albumrights. Then she signed with Ivo Watts-Russell's 4AD in 1994 and reissued a new version of the album. "Geek the Gir"l, which also appeared before the year's end, captured Germano's secrets of a wavering self-concept and her disgust for social ignorance. This particular album of sexual conflicts earned Germano her biggest praise from the press to date. People started to connect with her, and that's exactly what Germano wanted. "Excerpts from a Love Circus" was gushing in adoration when it arrived in 1996, but critics didn't take to this glossy body of work. The emotional double-cross of "Slide" (1998) didn't do as well, either, so Germano took some time off. Within months, Germano lost her deal with 4AD as they had lost distribution in her homemarket USA. She questioned her place in music and basically vowed to never make another record.

A move to Hollywood for a simple kind of life gave Germano a much needed break. She took a job as a clerk at Book Soup and enjoyed her anonymity. Songwriting remained an integral part of her life, but having it be a means to making a living wasn't a concern. Joining other artists such as David Bowie, Anna Waronker, and Neil Finn on their respective projects kept Germano connected. Luckily for fans, Germano inked a deal with the ARTISTdirect imprint Ineffable in 2002. Germano's classic, twisted sense of humor was at its finest on "Lullaby for Liquid Pig", which was issued in April 2003. Her music found another new home, Michael Gira's Young God label, where Germano released In the "Maybe World" in summer 2006.

01 - Bad Attitude (6:12)
02 - Destroy The Flower (3:12)
03 - Puppet (6:00)
04 - Everyone's Victim (4:44)
05 - Energy (3:50)
06 - Cowboy (4:07)
07 - Happiness (3:43)
08 - The Earth (2:44)
09 - Around The World (4:26)
10 - Sycophant (4:25)
11 - Miamo-Tutti (1:57)
12 - The Dresses Song (3:39)
13 - The Darkest Night Of All

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God Is An Astronaut - All Is Violent, All Is Bright (05 ^ 88mb)

God Is an Astronaut are an instrumental three piece hailing from the Glen of the Downs, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Brothers Niels and Torsten Kinsella hooked up with drummer Lloyd Hanney in 2002 and released their debut album The End of the Beginning (2002) on their own Revive Records label. Their two music videos for The End of the Beginning and From Dust to the Beyond, received MTV airplay
"The first album was made with a keyboard sequencer and an Akai sampler. There wasn't enough memory to put down live performances from beginning to end, so there were a lot short sound-bites sequenced to make the songs" says Niels, admitting that the new album was maybe a bit easier, "All Is Violent was actually recorded on a computer using Pro-tools. This gave us a lot more options because the system had lots of processing power which allowed us to record guitars, drums etc. as full live performances."

All Is Violent, All Is Bright (2005) is the band's second album. This epic return is smothered in big guitar anthems, mind controlling electronica and a healthy dose of melancholy featuring their build ups from serene ambience to searing intensity. In all its a closer representation of their live sound, a year later they released an EP called A Moment of Stillness in 2006. Earlier this year "Far From Refuge was released, where they have been taking that sound to a new emotive level. The compositions are intricate and well thought out with moments that explode into quietness. Far From Refuge is anything but a cliche post-rock album. Rather, it is a masterpiece that finds the band's sound maturing, the compositions are intricate yet careful and the album as a whole is fluid and the tracks perfectly selected and ordered. Go buy it , not as an expensive import but straight from the source..masters.. 320k quality mp3's for 8 dollars (less then 6 euro's). Here too the band shows initiative..and besides they make more money from 1 download then 10 cdees sold.

01 - Fragile (4:34)
02 - All Is Violent, All Is Bright (4:14)
03 - Forever Lost (6:22)
04 - Fire Flies And Empty Skies (3:55)
05 - A Deafening Distance (3:49)
06 - Infinite Horizons (2:28)
07 - Suicide By Star (4:38)
08 - Remembrance Day (4:16)
09 - Dust And Echoes (4:13)
10 - When Everything Dies (6:03)
11 - Halo Of Flies (2:37)

buy here

God Is An Astronaut @ Base

view here

GIAA's page @ YouTube

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All downloads are in * ogg-7 (224k) or ^ ogg-9(320k), artwork is included , if in need get the nifty ogg encoder/decoder here !

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