Artist: Juana Molina Album:Un Dia File Under: Folktronica, World Music Recommended if You Like: Beth Orton, Four Tet, David Byrne Featured Track: Un Dia
Argentinean singer/songwriter, Juana Molina, is an amazing interpreter of sound. I discovered her by chance many years ago at Bimbos, opening for a band I can’t even remember now because her performance was so compelling and mesmerizing I’ve forgotten everything else about that night. I’ve been an ardent fan of her dreamlike, hypnotic music ever since.
Listening to Juana Molina is an experience in and of itself. She’s mastered the art of looped acoustic guitar, percussion, keyboards, feedback and melodic vocals to bring to life the most far-out hypnotic sound you’ve ever laid your ears on. Seeing her live, however, the experience transcends to another level for you realize all of this sound is created solely and independently by her. She’s a one woman show and her talent is mind boggling.
Her fifth full length album, Un Dia, is more adventurous, upbeat and rhythmic than prior releases – making it probably more of a cross over album for her. The feature track here, ‘Un Dia’, will give you a good sample of the beats to come on her album. And it just gets better from there, looping and building in layers and complexity. ‘Los Hongos de Marosa’ is a highlight of the album for me.
If you’d like to dig deeper into Juana’s musical psyche, take a look at this video.
Artist: The Acorn Album: Glory Hope Mountain File Under: Canadian Indie Rock Recommended if You Like: David Byrne, Fiery Furnaces Featured Track: Flood Pt. 1
Part biographical narrative, part surreal fairy tale, Glory Hope Mountain is the story of Gloria Esperanza Montoya. Based on interviews recorded in early 2006 by her son, Acorn songwriter Rolf Klausener, the album is a sonic retelling of the stories from her early life in Honduras to her eventual immigration to Montreal in 1972.
It’s an incredible concept album whose songs weave a beautiful tale – infusing traditional Honduran folk forms with lovely melodies in a way that’s very reminiscent of David Byrne – and ends with one of the most gorgeous lullabies I’ve ever heard.
Be sure to check them out at The Hemlock on October 21. Enjoy The Flood Pt. 1:
Topspin officially emerged from stealth mode last week to unveil their technology platform that aims to help music artists build their business and brand directly with fans – without the help of a label.There’s not a lot of public information on the product itself other than it sounds like a Salesforce.com (CRM) for the music industry – a suite of tools designed to help artists build relationships and distribute music directly to fans.
What’s great is that Topspin is not trying to brand this product to consumers.It’s completely B2B, which means artists will be able to incorporate Topspin technology into their own websites and social networking platforms.Reportedly artists like David Byrne and Dandy Warhols are already using the technology to offer a subscription model to fans that will give them access to a host of content either exclusively or before general release.
While the direct-to-fan model is not a new concept – think Radiohead, The Raconteurs and supposedly the forthcoming Beck album – not every band has had the longevity or popularity of groups like these to implement such a strategy successfully.That’s where the beauty of technology like Topspin comes in.As Topspin’s new CEO, Ian Rogers, stated in this month’s Billboard interview, it empowers the middle class of artists – those either past their commercial prime or too new to enjoy the marketing support of a major label.
It’s a paradigm shift either way you slice it, for both artists and fans in terms of how music is distributed and consumed.I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. I just hope Topspin plans on launching a similar platform for the film industry too!