Monday, July 31, 2006

Danni Carr -- 47 Miles

by Frank Gualtier -- 07/31/06

Danni CarrThe other day I was expounding on the bred phenomenon. Today I'm finding extraordinary in .

Combine the sweetly rugged voice and bluesy spirit of Danni Carr with the more biased ways of guitarist Michael Tricarico and what do you get? 47 Miles of excellent music with a bluesy/ feel that has guts. Danni also plays guitar, harmonica and percussion -- very talented.

They currently have two songs from their album 47 Miles up on their myspace profile that you can download -- Old Man and Knock Your Head. They're described as a collaboration that explores a "bluesy and swampy sound". I love that description -- especially the word "swampy" because it's so fitting of the lush liquid guitar sounds which find chops in slide and humidified . You know -- "swampy".

Old Man is slightly reminiscent of the Trespassers William songs Lie in the Sound and Different Stars as far as the feel of the music goes. That liquid sound is further enhanced with a good dose of throughout.

Knock Your Head is exactly what you'd expect to hear if you just listened to Old Man and the next title you saw was Knock Your Head. More of an equally emphasized thomp two three four beat with Danni singing "You'll knock your head! You'll move your feet. You'll clap your hands! You'll move your feet." I'm working on a double ear infection today but I'm pretty sure I got those correct despite the swamp in my head.

Treat your ears and give Danni Carr and 47 Miles a listen.

Links for Danni Carr:

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ali Bartlett

by Frank Gualtier -- 07/28/06

Ali BartlettIt was Mark Collins of the Live365 Internet Radio station Women of the '90S who pointed me in the direction of Ali Bartlett. He's a man on a mission not so unlike my own. He set an awful high bar this time.

It seems lately every time I hear something I'd swear was steeped in the American heartland it turns out to be by way of Canadian blood. Ali Bartlett exemplifies this as her Canadian veins are flowing rich with song. As well she has one of those once in a lifetime heard exemplary voices. A voice that is intoxicating to the point of near wreckless abandon and so mesmerizing I think she might stop a few hearts.

It's a smoky voice -- near the neighborhood -- with a somewhere between and Tanya Tucker. It's one of the most uniformly textured voices I've ever heard and very full. When she sings the "ment" of "judgment" (nearly spoken) in the song radiant the lushness of it nearly cuts you in half.

The songs that were on her myspace player when I arrived were Alright By Me, Common Criminals, Lay Me Down, and Radiant -- the last of which features on backing vocals.

Much to my surprise I found out that she writes her own music and the songs I heard were her own. The surprise was justified and I think you'll agree because it's rare to find either a voice or music of this high a caliber. To find both dwelling in the same person? The odds must astronomically disfavor such phenomenon.

My favorite song is Lay Me Down. It oozes acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin (barebones minus fiddle) drenched spirit. It's got a soft.2.3.hard.2.3 rushed catch-up rhythm that I swear projects scenery right out of a small calm in a big storm of the and era American deep south. Like many songs that actually were from 1930's America it sings idealistically with the chorus "lay me down -- won't you stay here beside me -- your wandering heart -- found". If we're not on the same page try listening to the soundtrack of This song would have fit nicely with the overall flavor I believe.

She definitely covers more territory but the orbital path seems to be centered around and with flavors dictated by how far she strays into the alt-* / progressive-* space.

I'd bet a large sum that were she to put out an album comprised entirely of her songs it would be one of those "not a single weak track" affairs.

Finally -- she seems always to sound a bit somber regardless of the mood. I think it's just how she chews her words with that lush smoky voice. Ali herself calls it "optimistically sad". She nailed it.

Click here and to listen to her. Go encourage her. Go tell her you love her music and you want more.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


by Frank Gualtier -- 07/19/06

Ivy Left

First note the 'early days' coiff and snarl.

Next take a gander at the comfortable footwear and trenchcoat holding up that stance -- a must for those physics defying style mic lean-ins.

Finally the sound. I have it on authority that Ivy York is nearly finished with her new album! Get ready because soon you'll be able to buy it and hear what a rock star sounds like!

Go visit Ivy York for a preview and listen to her new song Not The Last Time.

Something Special to Spread Around
Now Linked Directly to the Video -- Click and Play

Ivy York
In Your Arms

-- Put This on Your Page --

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Divine Madness

by Frank Gualtier -- 07/17/06

The Divine MadnessHanging out on MySpace has it's perks. I recently caught wind there of The Divine Madness and while I can't attest to their mental status I can say that I'm enamored with their music.

Fronted by the captivating voice of two time Victoria Mazze they sound something like a cross between and Celeste Lear with a bit more lean towards and darkness. Victoria's voice is breathtaking with a curiously original yet familiar that makes me think of a hybrid between and Lijie.

Victoria Mazze (VOX), Chris Cano (Drums) and Chris Ride (Keys) make up the band. They write and perform their own material and credit "JOHNNY BURKE & RAIN" (Guitars) as "special guest stars".

They currently have one 4 track compilation out with the Precious EP and the debut full length Secrets is due out soon. Last I read it was up in the air but they may be releasing Secrets as a double disc.

A video for the song Closer is included on the DVD for the movie "Bram Stoker's Dracula's Curse" and can also be viewed on their MySpace profile. This is well worth the time even if you're on dialup as it cache's after one run and you can replay it with no streaming glitches after it buffers up fully the first time.

I've embedded the stream of the video below.

The Precious EP can be purchased from their online store or their MySpace profile (see the links below).

If you haven't heard The Divine Madness you're sorely missing out on some really good music.

Links for The Divine Madness:

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Fire and Reason

by Frank Gualtier -- 07/14/06

Photo by Jena C.
The Fire and ReasonWith the recently released self titled debut The Fire and Reason kick a beat you can dance to, it up like and have a soft spot for celebrating dark grooves.

Fronted by the tantalizing voice of Bella Saona TFaR is a group of four highly talented individuals who's combined prowess yields a well oiled sound machine that is part , part and a little bit . This inherently implies such flavors as and .

I had already seen their video for the song Go and was impressed but when I got ahold of the and played it I found that they are not simply one hit dazzlers. The impetus of what I first found carries through.

Pleased To Meat You -- Guts of the Beast

The composite breaks down like this [Left to Right]:

Photo by Jena C.
The Fire and Reason

Thomas Buchmueller -- [Bottom]

Steve Narvaez --

Bella Saona --

Chris Bielfeldt --



Do You Hear What I Hear -- The Voice

Bella's singing reminds me of a bird as it darts in and around the trees in a forest not once hitting a single branch on the way. She often s notes just a few pennies low and emphasizes the 'tween's in downward . It's a style that adds to the dark TFaR atmosphere and gives her a distinct flavor that is somewhere between and . Perhaps better stated as a flair. As well she tends to sing away from any backing or s. I don't want to get too heavy on the but it's like running blind. If you can do it flawlessly it's beautiful. If not it's bloody. Bella doesn't have a scratch on her. Watch her face when she sings and you'll witness it visually as she shows the grace and control of someone like with expressions that echo the emotions of the song and not expressions that echo the challenge of singing the song. The closest voice comparison I've heard is to . Barely close to Bella's unique voice but it gets you in the neighborhood.

Beat It -- The Rhythm

In the can be heard a fair amount of rolling that reminds me of the style of 's . The ic seems at times like a forward from 's . Combined with a that tracks it, frills included, it is itself something of an evolutionary class bred from creatures like 's . These guys pump a rock solid and clean you can feel in your bones.

Careful With That Axe Eugene -- The Guitar

The work is impressive for many reasons. One is that you hear several types of sound. Crunching, clicking, s et al. Another is the use of obviously selective equipment and which leads to s of that completely kick your while retaining a crisp and clean demeanor with each catchy and jabbed out . In tandem with the just mentioned and some aspects a solid foundry is framed for each .

All Together Now -- The Sound

They have an interesting A B A thematic style of alternating between lush, yet always clean and tight, sonic assault and beat with suspended hollows which gives an interesting intermission kind of effect. It's also highly anticipatory as you can feel the strength of the carry on as if to say "take a breath -- you are going to need it". Fantastic and dramatic -- one of many classic styles and TFaR have it mastered.

They also remind me just a tiny bit of but it's difficult to articulate the exact reason. Given that they are it's no surprise. That is to say that they are a composite of many aggregates that they have into their own style. This can be demonstrated by consciously picking out the components and surprising yourself that they were even there because they blend so well into the overall feel. Yes that was a thopping out a ... Smooth integration.

What Are Words For -- The Song & Lyric

The aspects of the s are often dark and always either poetic as in Go with "I know you'll be fine making good on all those promises we now leave behind" or in the spirit of fun such as Faux Party's "Give me the sound, Give me the beat -- I want to see NYC dancing on the street". For those who love culture there's the Sin Drogas entirely in Spanish.

Whip It Good -- Live Performance

My personal TFaR favorite is the Go for which they have a live performance video of on their MySpace page.

The Fire and Reason
TFaR performing Go live on June 25, 2006 in , .

Well written and superbly performed the of The Fire and Reason is suited for , and just plain old fashioned listening pleasure.

Links for The Fire and Reason:

Monday, July 10, 2006


by Frank Gualtier -- 07/10/06

What do you say about a band and their music when just about everything obvious has been said already?

That's a tough one but I'm about to put my thoughts to words on Belladonna's debut album Metaphysical Attraction -- let's see what happens.

Belladonna is:

Luana Caraffa -- VOX
Dani Macchi -- Guitar
Alice -- Piano
Cherry -- Bass
Stef -- Drums

The first thought that went through my mind on hearing Belladonna was "deliciously androgynous voice". That was the clearly disambient voice of Luana Caraffa beckoning my ear's attention. Or chewing on it. Her sexually infused voice dives immediately into the primal and sings lullabies to the animal that resides there with a real lean towards the basic instinct buttons.

Resurrect my soul is the Belladonna song that catches my attention the most with it's thought provoking verse. Here's a snippet:

"In my eschatology
You're Jesus in disguise
I am the Magdalene
You crucify"

These are impressive pros regardless of how you file them in your book of ethos and hearing them through Luana's voice -- a deeply tormented soul is chillingly conveyed.

The music is equally demanding of attention. It's basic dark with a edge and a solid beat. In some ways it's reminiscent of 's Bloodletting album. The lyrics are dark -- swaying and melding lust, love, pain, death, struggle and in ways that are poetically intoxicating. Yield to the draw (and you will -- this is not ) and you'll find these lyrics are the obvious product of passion and intelligent philosophical thought. In fact just as I was writing that line I caught wind of Belladonna's MySpace blog in which it's stated that Luana is a "philosophy graduate and scholar". That vein runs thick as blood through all of Belladonna's verse.

Step away from the tree to look at the forest and Belladonna as a band is rock solid.

From a production standpoint Dani has done an outstanding job. I'm especially picky on the mix and the balance here is just perfect.

Belladonna's Metaphysical Attraction is a welcome addition to my collection. I highly recommend you make it part of yours.

Links for Belladonna:

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Emilie Autumn

by Frank Gualtier -- 07/02/06

Emilie AutumnMy first impression of Emilie Autumn was that perhaps I'd stumbled upon a classically trained violinist gone renegade . I'm still uncertain if that was entirely incorrect but after a bit more ear time and research I'm finding she's more like a red hot onion with enough layers to fill a thick book.

She's a musical prodigy, has , is a classically trained and skilled violinist (she also plays a mean keyboard), a wicked composer with a fiercely passionate writing and performing style, a poet and an entrepreneur. As well she has one of the widest timbre ranges of any vocalist I've ever heard and can sound like anyone from to and anything unique or relative in between.

On A DayHer performance and compositional skills can be heard on her 'On A Day: Music For Violin & Continuo' album which she recorded at age 17. On it she plays pieces by , , , as well as three Emilie Autumn original compositions. Bach, Corelli, and Leclair were composers from the era. Ortiz was from the period. Emilie's compositions here fit more into the baroque style with their s.

By The SwordIn 2002 she released 'By The Sword' as a 9/11 inspired charity single. The disc, more an EP than a single, contains a total of four songs -- one of them in audio and video format. Written on 9/11 the title track is a goose bump raising tribute to those lost -- and those left behind on that awful day. She has this song available for free download in full on the 'By The Sword' section of her web store.

I want to mention a little more about this song because it really put a lump in my throat. Both for it's lyrics and the beautiful job she did with the music. It features an intro and inlays of style fiddling that is mournful yet biting in a way that churns the inner fire. Both a lament and a rally it's set to a strong beat, solid music, and poetic lyric that'll put a lump in your throat too and run a chill down your spine when she sings:

"For in this brotherhood I still believe
And for the ones we've lost my soul will grieve
Yet through the world alone I wander
For I know somewhere
I will find my brothers
By the sword I swear"

EnchanteOn 'Enchante' she covers a lot of ground and you get to experience a wealth of that timbre range I mentioned.

As for that ground you get everything from near with 'Chambermaid' and 'How Strange' to - with 'Ever' and 'If You Feel Better' to the -- of 'What If'. There's also 80's-retro, , and vibes threading through this album.

Opheliac EPShe explores still more of her expansive vocal and genre palette on her 'Opheliac EP', the precursor to either a larger work of the same name or the same thing under a different label -- something pending label negotiations. Here she dives into some pretty dark / water with songs like 'I Want My Innocence Back' and 'Liar' and navigates not far from the zone with 'Opheliac'. She jumps genre's completely with dark yet electro-classical style of 'The Art of Suicide' and goes completely ( et al) with 'Marry Me' -- a song that would lyrically make proud. I'm not even sure how to explain 'Misery Loves Company' but there's a strange companionship it seems to share with 'Opheliac' in that I think these songs are both sprinkled with just a hint of . 'Swallow' is sort of dark with it's use of the word 'giddyup' painting an exact image of it's rhythm.

It's very hard to get all her fingers and toes stuffed into one little genre box. Fortunately Emilie does that herself and calls the genre of her latest work "Victoriandustrial".

She's a fascinating study as a person and her music is easily pleasing to a pretty diverse audience.

According to her banners she's offering the 'Opheliac EP' as a special signed fans limited edition. I just clicked a banner and bought myself copy and got this nifty auto conf back:

Hello you lovely deadly thing!

Just a note to say thanks so much for ordering my new Opheliac EP, and please stay
tuned to the website for news of the full album soon to come...shipping is a bit
delayed due to a robbery that has left the Traitor Records office in shambles and
us replacing a good amount of gear, but please know that we have hired more staff
to get all the backorders out the door as quickly as possible. I might add however
that there are some hidden extras on the EP that I hope will make it worth your

Thank you for being an incredibly awesome fan and supporting victoriandustrial music
and the bloomered girls who make it...can't do it without you...

I'll see you out there on the road very very soon...

With Love & Bloody Crumpets,
Emilie Autumn

This is her best work to date -- click a banner (see below) and get one for yourself!

Your Sugar Sits UntouchedFinally -- I did mention that she was an entrepreneur. In addition to trinkets, apparel, stickers, stationary, buttons and tote bags -- she has a book of poetry available called 'Your Sugar Sits Untouched -- teatime poems by Emile Autumn'.

I don't usually travel beyond the music but a visit to her record label Traitor Records left me impressed enough with all it's widgets and gadgets that I just had to pass a few along.

See the links below the banners. Emilie Autumn is one hell of a musician and I am highly entertained by her. You will be too -- check her out!

Emilie Autumn Banners

Are You Suffering?

Are You Suffering?

Are You Suffering?

Links for Emilie Autumn: