Artist of the Week: Serena Ryder

From PasteMagazine.com:

Hometown: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Album: Is It O.K.

For Fans Of: Brandi Carlile , Grace Potter , Bonnie Raitt

In 2001, an 18-year-old girl from a tiny Canadian town sat down at Toronto’s Little India restaurant to have lunch with musician/producer Hawksley Workman. “I’d never even had Indian food at that point, I was such a small-town girl,” Serena Ryder  laughs, describing the fairy-tale turning point of her music career. Workman’s manager had overheard the young singer-songwriter’s on-air performance on CBC Radio, “and all of a sudden I was going to the big city of Toronto,” Ryder recalls. She was immediately invited to sign with Workman’s label, Isadora. “And it was history from there.” Continue reading

Twitter, the Movie: Director Frank Kelly Talks 140

From PasteMagazine.com:

140_twitter_movie_mSocial media phenomenon Twitter has spawned gossip, hilarity, feuding (complete with 140-character-or-less zingers), and above all, an exponential decrease in workplace productivity. Independent filmmaker Frank Kelly, however, is seeking to find meaning in Twitter beyond abbreviated witticisms and one-liner celebrity snubs with his latest documentary, 140. Continue reading

New York Dolls: ‘Cause I Sez So

From PasteMagazine.com:

The Dolls chuck the mascara but keep their glam-rock swagger

Back in the mid-’70s, the New York Dolls  teetered their way to cult status atop platform heels, shredding on the guitars and giving everyone the finger along the way. Now, a Dolls overhaul has resulted in their fourth studio album after 36 years of trash-talkin’ and lipstick-wearin’. And surprisingly, four decades and only two original members later, the’ve managed to retain their glitter-trash sound. Continue reading

Mark Mallman Talks Guinness Book of World Records, Marathon Shows, Keyboard Riding

From PasteMagazine.com:

Last month, when we reported on Gonzales’ 27-hour record-breaking concert, we didn’t foresee the controversy it would stir up. Apparently, we failed to give proper due to Mark Mallman , a singer-songwriter who allegedly performed a much longer show a few years ago. The “Marathon Two,” as it is known, sounded like the stuff of musical urban legend, clocking in at an ample 52 hours in length.

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Levon Helm: Electric Dirt

From PasteMagazine.com:

Helm cultivates the soil of his roots to create an intimate, well-crafted record

The throaty warble that characterizes the vocals of former Band member Levon Helm  in his recent records wasn’t always quite so weathered. After being diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998, Helm’s voice took on a huskier tone—yet it seems to fit in perfectly with the earthy, homespun feel of Electric Dirt. On his new album, Helm continues on the trail of 2007’s Dirt Farmer, crafting humble songs that voice Helm’s love for the land without ever sounding archaically dusty.

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A Good Cause That Rocks: Indie Bands Turn to Kickstarter for Financial Help

From PasteMagazine.com:

Being in a young, indie band is tricky stuff: Try to stay afloat on your own, and you’re eating Ramen for every meal of your tour and peddling your personal possessions to buy gas for the van. Try to make a little extra cash here and there, and you may end up with a Band of Whorses type debacle. But instead of selling plasma for $30 a pop or tap-dancing on street corners for spare change to press a few more LPs, scantily funded artists are hitting up an innovative new website that puts the power to help out in the hands of the fans.

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Band of the Week: Clues

From PasteMagazine.com:

Hometown: Montreal
Album: Self-Titled
Band Members: Alden Penner (guitars, vocals), Brendan Reed (drums), Ben Borden (multi-instrumentalist), Lisa Gamble (drums), Nick Scribner (multi-instrumentalist)
For Fans Of: Broken Social Scene, The Sea and the Cake, The Microphones

Clues, the collaboration between former Arcade Fire drummer/vocalist Brendan Reed and former Unicorns frontman Alden Penner, has deftly eluded most would-be hype, slipping beneath the radar despite their vast potential for buzz. Despite the band’s name, the Montreal musicians have offered little evidence of their existence, playing mostly small, unadvertised shows and and boasting an almost nonexistent Internet presence, which Penner calls a “tactical absence.” But public attention isn’t the only thing Clues has eschewed—the ethereal soundscapes and eerie experimentation of its debut album, Self-Titled(out now) are as puzzling and enigmatic as the band itself, the tangled blend of post-rock instrumentation and experimental art pop nearly genre-proof. It’s hard for even the band members to pigeon-hole their sound. Continue reading