Feb 13, 2008

R.F. Maston and Things Californian; Other Things; And Today Is A Proud Day For All Australians

Allow me to do something I have meaning to do for a little while. Introduce you to R.F. Maston. He is a singer/songwriter from Thousand Oaks, California. Recently, December 15 2007 to be exact, he released his debut album "The Future". Let me state that it is quietly impressive. A thoughtful and considered piece of music, its charms and delights will win you over if you seek it out. "The Future" is entirely the work of one man. Maston recorded and mixed the entire album, playing every instrument along the way. It is an album of quietly intelligent pop, with focused lyrics and a genuine sense of the importance of melody. I particularly like the title track, which features some beautiful instrumentation and the singer's plaintive vocals. "Two Eyes" has a sauntering, luxurious feel, whilst "Mercury" is a dreamy pop number that impresses greatly. This is a very impressive debut, which hopefully will lead to a bigger audience for this fine singer.
MP3: The Future
MP3: Mercury

The Morning Benders also hail from California. Oakland to be exact. I previously writ large about their debut EP "Boarded Doors" which was full of sweet and intelligent pop. Now this four piece are soon set to release their debut album "Talking Through Tin Cans", which is coming out in May. I have a track for sneak preview, which sounds quite excellent.
MP3: Crosseyed-The Morning Benders

In April The Constantines will release their very first album on Arts and Crafts. Now the name and tracklisting can be revealed. "Kensington Heights" is the name and hopefully it will be as searing and energetic as previous releases.

1 Hard Feelings
2 Million Star Hotel
3 Trans Canada
4 Shower of Stones
5 Our Age
6 Time Can Be Overcome
7 Brother Run Them Down
8 Credit River
9 I Will Not Sing a Hateful Song
10 New King
11 Life Or Death
12 Do What You Can Do

MP3: Hard Feelings

I have to believe that Neutral Milk Hotel's "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea" is quite possibly the finest album ever released. It is certainly my favourite. Mind bendingly original lyrics plus highly emotive vocals plus gorgeously overflowing melodies equals perfection in my book. Now Pitchfork have a couple of interesting pieces to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of this masterpiece.
A 1997 interview with Jeff Mangum.
The thoughts of today's artists on this timeless album.

Can I just conclude by saying that I think pride is a generally useless emotion. But I DID feel proud today after the events that occurred in our national capital. Thank you Kevin Rudd. Thank you for returning human decency to our government.


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