Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Knox Road! I know I speak for all of us (Me, Jamie, Abby, Jesse, and Tom) when I say we’re thankful for your support this year and we plan on bringing great things in 2011. We’re always talking about ways we can improve the blog (not just at the turn […]

The Peasant Dramatic

The Peasant Dramatic is one of those folk pop collectives we seem to love around here. Nine members, trombone, cello – the works. They live in Vermont, saying they’re “stuffed like a mute in a bell into the northeastern tip of the American States.” Hey, come on, Vermont’s got a lot going for […]

Rökkurró

Rökkurró is an Icelandic (how’d you guess??) quintet that sounds exactly like what you’d expect from the band name and the album art above. Which is a good thing. Their music is charming, graceful, and exquisite. The compositions buoy themselves to soaring levels, with the prettiest female vocals that side of the Atlantic […]

[MP3] Ori: “Milka’s Dream”

Ori Alboher is a unique musician from Jerusalem, Israel, who creates abstract soundscapes within a traditional Jewish Hasidic context (which should make the music all but traditional). His deep-seated Hasidism doesn’t exactly shine through in the recorded music as he might have hoped for, though I’m sure it’d be fairly obvious on stage […]

[MP3 + Video] Hear Hums: “Woo”

[Bear with me for this oddly structured post.]

What the hell is going on in this song?

Hear Hums – “Woo” [MP3]

I don’t know. But I like it.

Accompanying video below (first half of the video is Hear Hums’ song “Cerebellum”, second half is “Woo”). Knox Road goes psych-o this Monday.

http://www.vimeo.com/17473778

Hear Hums, […]

[Hype Hype Hooray] Indie Musicians Honor the Sanctity of Christmas

Every [two weeks?] Jamie Hale takes a long, hard look at the music industry and the blog scene that feeds it. Here, he releases those findings and makes snarky, sarcastic remarks. Admittedly, both Jamie and Knox Road are a part of this scene. So sue us.

Every December, there is a war waged […]

Blisses B

Every once in a while a band comes around with a sound that’s impossible to define. It’s rock, it’s pop, it’s frantic, it’s not. Blisses B, a quartet out of San Fransisco, ensure that they won’t be lumped into any generic category with their sophomore LP, Thirty Days, Sixty Years. The music is […]

The Farewell Circuit drop free Xmas EP

Okay, seriously, we receive tons of holiday-related songs around this time of year, but that doesn’t prevent us from listening to and enjoying most (…some) of them. There can never be too much Christmas music (yeah, there can), especially from The Farewell Circuit (finally – a truth!). The Farewell fellas have posted a free […]

[The Past Presents] Badly Drawn Boy – “The Hour of Bewilderbeast”

The Past Presents revisits revered albums from the past 20-25 years to ask the question, “Is this album still a classic, or has it lost its edge over the years?”. Was it a great record for that particular time and place, or is it something we’ll be passing on to our kids? It also looks at the “lost classics” – countless albums that should have earned more attention but for one reason or another fell through the cracks.

Debut albums are special. A theory I consider whenever I first play a debut album is when you play that album you could be getting the first-step album, the starting point album, or the big-bang album.

The first-step album is typically a solid effort that leads to bigger and better albums. The first-step record is typically considered a fairly pedestrian debut when compared to the bands future work. A perfect example of the first-step album is Radiohead’s Pablo Honey. That was a pretty good record when it came out, but listen to it now, in the context of Radiohead’s current catalog, and it’s certainly the weakest of the lot.

The starting point album is a debut that is great and leaves you wanting more. With each new album the band gives you pretty much more of the same. Some records are a little better or a little worse than the preceding efforts, but really everything is pretty status quo… see Mudhoney’s self-titled debut and their subsequent albums. Everything is pretty solid, but in the end they never really deviated off the trail set mapped out on their first record.

Then comes the most interesting and most tragic, the big-bang record. This is the debut album that is so good you can barely contain your enthusiasm. You hear this record and you want to buy copies for everyone you know and a few people you don’t know. The tragedy comes into play because typically the big-bang album is so good the artist spends the better part of their career trying to top their first record. Critics compare every new release to the first, no matter how long ago the big-bang was released. The big-bang album explodes leaving you blinded by its greatness and thereby missing the lesser albums released in its wake, even when they have quite a bit of merit. George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass…. I’m looking at you.

Damon Gough, known by most as Badly Drawn Boy, released one of the most notable big bang albums in recent memory. His 2000 debut album, The Hour of Bewilderbeast, was huge news before the album reached shelves. Critics were already dripping with praise for this album; Bewilderbeast was going to be the album of the year, album of the decade and possibly the album of the new millennium, depending on who you asked. No need for a Grammy ceremony, Badly Drawn Boy should just take them all and save every one the trouble. Upon its release it was obvious the critics were right, The Hour of Bewilderbeast was outstanding. It was clear then, as it is now, that this was one of the first classic records of the new millennium.

Continue reading [The Past Presents] Badly Drawn Boy – “The Hour of Bewilderbeast”

Little Light

Little Light was recommended by good friend Brendan Losch, he of Bullets in Madison and, um, Brendan Losch. Considering how much Brendan knows about music and how it essentially takes over every facet of his life, I never take his suggestions lightly. Which continues to be the right decision.

Little Light recently released […]