Mangrove Roots 1, Xavier Cortada
Origins - Blood Feathers
As in blood. Forebears, progenitors, kin, kith, clan, the folks who'd never be your friends if they weren't your family. Musical origins? Say the Kinks emigrated to Philly, lived down the block from the Lilys and asked Quentin Stoltzfus (Mazarin) to produce their first album (that last bit--and the part about Philadelphia--is true). This duo's excellent new LP Curse & Praise (Insound) is on heavy rotation round these parts.
Other Days - Big Buildings
As in rock. Tavern ambiance (is that a big screen in the background?), ragged harmonies, a loping bassline and a heartbreaker, a gutwrencher, a good-bawl-in-your-beer of a melody. Reliable Chicago Reader scribe Monica Kendrick calls Big Buildings' second full-length Water Everywhere her favorite local album of 2006. I'll raise Kendrick one and name it my favorite album of the year so far, period. When I posted the band's minimalist "Skinny Women Shaking" last October, I thought they were cool, but I really wasn't expecting this. Let's just say, Band of Horses, watch yr hindquarters.
The album's in limited release right now, but available at the best independent record store in Chicago, Laurie's Planet of Sound, and in wider release this coming Tuesday--likely at CD Baby, where Big Buildings' other recordings are for sale. I'll keep you posted.