Friday, April 15, 2011

Paper Thick Walls - A Thousand Novels

Paper Thick Walls are Eric Michaels - vocals, guitar, motif / Kate Schell - vocals, piano, trumpet / Roger Sherman- upright bass, Andrew Sabo- drums / Jacques René - fiddle, mandolin, guitar

Chicago's Paper Thick Walls play an indie brand of folk that is colored with the indie pop goings on in Canada as well as the more traditional folk elements of acoustic guitar, and the always cool upright bass. Eric and Kate sing songs about life that are sometimes point and counterpoint and at other times an agreement between the two on their debut album,  A Thousand Novels.

 The somber beauty of the strings on the track "NyQuil" coupled with Eric and Kate's emotive vocals make this my favorite track on this very strong album. The nice little melody underneath is in no hurry, and adds to laid back feel of this song.

"Desolate Place" feature quite a few bells to the great effect of making the song sound distant. This goes nicely with the lyrics. The music box player at the end of the song is a nice touch and a great way to wind down such a moody song.
The he said she said nature of songwriting doesn't always come off as good as it does on A Thousand Novels. Eric and Kate make for very compelling vocalists and have assemble a very strong band to back those beautiful songs. Go see them play these songs live on May 6th at Hideout for their record release show .

Thanks to August and the fine people's as Novo Enetertainment for the heads up on this album.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yellow Ostrich at Andrew Rafacz Gallery April 5 2011

(Yellow Ostrich's set up)

The Andrew Rafacz Gallery turned out to be a cool place to see a show.  I got to check the art on display before watching Yellow Ostrich play. The sound was good and there was a good turnout of fans to see them play. Their sound live was much more raw and immediate than on their albums.  Alex and the guys agreed an interview with me which is posted below. They were very accessible to everyone who attended, even though this was the tail end of their tour.  The rhythm section Jon on bass and Michael on drums sparkled with their jazz influenced playing on the "WHALE" which is on their newest album The Mistress and first appeared on their Wild Comfort release. They utilized some loops for those awesome harmonies as well as live vocals that reminded me of seeing Merrill from Tune Yards do the same thing.  The guys played new songs "Doubter" and "Marathon Runner. I am looking forward to see how those are recorded! Also of note were the sublime 3 part harmonies on "Mary".  I highly suggest you get the myriad of releases by Yellow Ostrich, which can be found on their Bandcamp as well as ordering their vinyl as well.  Thanks again to Alex, Jon, and Michael for the interview and invite. Also, to Tom Williams their manager.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Yellow Ostrich at Andrew Rafacz Gallery (835 W Washington Blvd) tonight April 5 at 8pm

Yellow Ostrich play Chicago tonight at Andrew Rafacz Gallery (835 W Washington Blvd) show starts at 8 PM! I first heard a few songs from the bands Morgan Freeman EP on the ever present The Waiting Room Radio Show, thanks C. I have been hooked ever since.  The group started as a solo project for band The Chairs' member Alex Schaaf who the moved Yellow Ostrich from his home in Wisconsin to N.Y. Also in the group now are Michael Tapper and Jon Natchez.  Their style is a swirl of lo-fi indie goodness that is marked by interesting percussion and must hear vocal compositions. Their latest full length, The Mistress is exclusively available at emusic. The rest of the bands catalog of music can be fond at their bandcamp page as a name your price zero minimum download. I am really excited to see this show and hopefully do an interview with the guys.  Come on by the gallery tonight!

The next stop on their tour is tomorrow :
04-06-11 @ Beachland Tavern - Cleveland, OH