Thursday, November 11, 2004

Dusk in Cold Parlours

I've been a fan of the so called alt-country for a long time now. There was such an amazing scene in San Francisco about 7 years ago. Bands like: The Buckets, The Olde Joe Clarks, Red Meat, Our Lady of the Highway, Richard Buckner (playing as The Doubters), Court & Spark, Sunshine Club (a bit more pop really), Tarnation, and more that I can't think of at the moment. Most of these bands have broken up, moved away or their sound has changed so much that you can no longer classify them as alt-country. Of course, as any movement wanes or becomes played out what remains is often the cream of the crop. I'd say this is the case with the excellent new album "Witch Season" from Court & Spark, which I've been listening to (along with Apostle Of Hustle) fairly obsessively. The other interesting thing that occurs with the slow deterioration of any musical "movement" is the infiltration of other styles into the original sound, thus creating something both similar and distinctly new. Today I'm going to point my finger at Norfolk & Western, an excellent band from Portland, Or. Their sound is clearly rooted in Americana. They take their name from a defunct railway in Virginia, their cover art is of a piano sitting in a cold bare wood floor room, the feel of the music is old time as well tempered by an ear for new music. I'm tempted to describe them as a barefoot less urban Luna. The thing I like about N & W is the way they've skewed their interest in Americana with a dream pop sensibility. It's not unusual to hear a slide guitar, violin and plinking piano abutt against meandering guitar line that recalls forementioned Luna as well as Yo La Tengo and the Feelies. Here are two songs taken from their 2003 album "Dusk in cold Parlours" which can be purchased here.

Terrified

A Marriage Proposal





2 Comments:

Blogger Alexander said...

norfolk and western are lovely. i saw them in a concert in frankfurt openng for sparklehorse a while ago. their sound is so relaxed and down-to-earth.

thanks for your blog. i very much like the choice of music around here.

5:27 AM  
Blogger Baller said...

Very nice blog, hard to come by these days,

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Thanks

5:37 AM  

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