Sunday, 29 March 2009

SXSW 2009

This time last year, we brought you Paul Ford's marvellous six word reviews of six hundred plus music acts, that appeared at the 2008 South by South West Music and Media Conference & Festival, with an mp3 link for each and every one of them.

It appears that this year, he's upped his game and covered 1302 bands for the annual event, which is held every March in Austin, Texas. SXSW is split into three segments: interactive, music and film and has blossomed into an event of international importance, since it's inception back in 1987.

My goodness, the boy done good! the task of summing up a band in six words 'a box of wordeggs' if you like must be arduous, especially if like me, one has a tendency to waffle whilst blogging (blaffle anyone?)

Whilst I don't necessarily agree with the sentiments of each and every review, I have to tip my hat to the guy for sheer endeavour and keeping those snappy and sometimes pithy lines going. Let's face it it's all about contrasting opinions in this reviewing lark isn't it and getting a feel for a person's preferred music tastes and then rolling with it if their taste is is tandem with your own. More importantly, this a great opportunity to sample the sounds of bucketloads of up and coming groups.

brilliant brevity brings bountiful mp3some bonanza!

Monday, 9 March 2009

My Brightest Diamond

"String Players Wanted: If you like Pierre Boulez as much as PJ Harvey, call me!"

This was the ad posted by Shara Worden to bring together a motley crew of esoteric performers, that became My Brightest Diamond. It also perfectly sums up their music, which straddles the twin colossi of music genres; classical and rock.

Shara Worden was born into a house of diverse musical aesthetics and was something of a musical prodigy, starting to write songs from the age of three. She was the granddaughter of an epiphone playing travelling evangelist, her father was a National Accordion Champion and her mother was a pianist.

This background, immersed in diverse musical influences, coupled with formal music training via a degree in opera from the University of North Texas, has led to a song writing technique, that tippy toes through lush, orchestrated, dramatic and delicate fields of sounds. A move to New York City opened the door to various musical collaborations, most notably with Padma Newsome of The National and with Sufjan Steven's on his celebrated Illinois album and the 2003 Christmas E.P project.

My Brightest Diamond released their first record in 2006 called 'Bring Me The Workhorse' on Asthmatic Kitty Records This was followed up by 'A Thousand Shark's Teeth' in 2008 with an album of remixes entitled 'Tear It Down' sandwiched between these two full length albums. The following video accompanies the track 'Inside a Boy' taken from the most recent album. It is a cute, dreamy animation and is well executed in a style reminiscent of Jamie Hewlett (Monkey, Tank Girl, Gorillaz etc)

Any artist who uses 'crepuscular' in their promotional blurb (one of the finest words in the English language) is worthy of a Scratchy thumbs up.

My Brightest Diamond - Inside A Boy

Upcoming Gigs

21/03/09 Lookout Mountain, GA, Covenant College, U.S.A
22/03/09 Lexington, KY, Al’s Bar U.S.A