Charming Hostess — Eat
(Vaccination Records VAC016, 1999, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-05-18
Every so often in going down this list of worthy albums, I find myself in need of revisiting an album, usually to refresh my memory or see if it holds up. In the 90s, the San Francisco bay area was a real hotspot of fascinating and diverse musical activity and Charming Hostess' debut, featuring members of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and fiddle player Jenny Scheinman, was one of the real classics from that era. The vocal trio of leader Jewlia Eisenberg, Carla Kihlstedt, and Nina Rolle was the center of the activity, three brilliant singers who combined traditional and modern sensibilities with an infectious feeling of joy, terrific harmonies and superb lyrics that were well-augmented by the other instrumentalists. The combination of all of the elements was strikingly original at the time, defiant of any simple classification, but most importantly it all worked together with a real sense of fun and positivity. Very few debuts come with this caliber of musicianship at all of the levels and the chemistry made it all feel effortless. And over a decade later it still sounds fresh and invigorating.
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more