the james badfellows - principia romantices

virginia based rock band the james badfellows recently released a full length album, available on cassette, but i think you have to email them to ask for a copy. not the most efficient way to sell a tape but whatever.

the album is great, the sleazy vibes channel influences from chuck berry and the ronettes all the way to joy division and back across the dark soul of rock'n'roll, all while not taking it too seriously, or maybe taking it WAAAaaaAAAaaAAY too seriously, i'm not sure. these guys are some of my best friends and a great band so if you can figure out how, you should buy their tape. check out the single from it, 'principia romantices', below.

email the badfellows at thejamesbadfellows at gmail dot com to request a tape.

freddie nunez - heaven's in your head

'heaven's in your head' is the new full length album from brooklyn, new york singer/songwriter freddie nunez. i was excited to hear it because freddie is a friend and his previous release 'demos from the future' was so good.

'heaven's in your head' does not disappoint. all the melodic, sad-guy songwriting chops of the demos are there, but with lush alt-rock production that moves and shakes. freddie handles all the instrumentation except for the drums and his skills as a guitarist are on display. highly recommended.

get it here.

shamar - home and hearth

i am excited today to feature 'home and hearth', the latest album from florida artist shamar, whose debut, 'the samsara blues', i thought was excellent. 'home and hearth' is a departure from the cosmic/acoustic/blues style of the first album. it features deeper production, with lofi synths and drum machines brought to bear at times to craft spacey outsider pop vibes. minimalist acoustic songs remain, however, as well as a reverb soaked a capella opening track.

shamar has kept the dense imagery and lyricism that characterized 'the samsara blues', but with 'home and hearth' he seems to have been able to spend more time focusing on home-studio trickery, to great effect. i can't emphasize enough how great the lyrics are, as well. recommended.

get it here.

north country primitive - new dimensions in fingerstyle volume one

'new dimensions in fingerstyle volume one' is a compilation of american primitive guitar from some of the newest up and coming practitioners put together by manchester, UK based music blog north country primitive.

it features many artists i've covered, and many i had not yet heard. it's good stuff and i recommend it highly.

get it here.

lookout rock recording company - collected: winter waiting

i've written about alaskan outsider folk artist lookout rock recording company before, though he went by different names.

i wonder if his current name is a nod to corwood industries, the company name under which jandek sells his records. LRRC has similar vibes to jandek, although this extensive set, 'collected: winter waiting', features some better produced (still lofi!) and more structured numbers. a returning MFOA champion. recommended.

get it here.

mcgarnagle - phantom vibrations

mcgarnagle (named, i'm guessing, for this dirty harry parody from the simpsons) is a weirdo folk duo from bethlehem, pennsylvania. their music is hard to categorize. they employ a number of twinkly and twangy instruments that are rarely heard, such as tenor banjo, toy piano and glockenspiel, to create a mystical and organic psychedelic atmosphere around their unique melodies, which fluctuate from average folk to eastern swirl to heavy metal influence. the latest album is called 'phantom vibrations'

this is one of those contributions you'll have to check out for yourself if you really want to get it. recommended. great song titles too, such as 'i'd tongue fiona apple's butthole'.

get it here.

baby bear lo-fi - 5300'

baby bear lo-fi is a folk musician from miami, florida. his songs are, as his stage name suggests, lofi, but they are also in a bare-bones traditional appalachian style. his latest album '5300' consists of high lonesome claw-hammer banjo reels and ballads and some great sounding jaw harp solos that give the album a true vibe of the holler. sounds like some alternative tunings were in play as well.

looks about right

baby bear lo-fi must live in the only holler in the greater miami area (i am kidding, i don't like to be narrow minded about the geography of folk music). great album, highly recommended. 'old joe clark' is a great variation on one of my favorite traditional melodies.

get it here.

amit buium - void

amit buium is a singer/songwriter and composer from israel. her new album is called 'void'. it opens with quiet synths and wind sounds that evoke the title. the wind sounds die out as a four-on-the-floor bass drum sound kicks in, followed by the melody, then the wind sounds blow back in. 'void' is an atmospheric album that blends traditional song craft with electronic soundscapes and post-rock explorations.

long-form songs drift through movements like a time-lapse video of clouds. walls of synths build and drop away, drum machine beats ramp up to nothingness, guitar chords echo off into outer space. not like anything i've heard. recommended.

get it here.

farseek - march

'march' is the latest album from one man, ohio based bedroom folk/pop/punk act farseek. farseek has a handle on making lofi songs with big hooks and emotional appeal. there are some excellent guitar riffs along the way.

this guy doesn't like the grateful dead, but i'll forgive him.

i'm into it, but i can't endorse talking shit on the grateful dead. recommended either way. i especially dig the closing jam 'too weird'.

get it here.

c. reider and jeph jerman - pop variations

'pop variations' by c. reider and jeph jerman is a meditation on the physicality of records. it's a manipulated recording of a lathe cut record playing back recordings of cracks and pops that you tend to hear on worn vinyl records...about as meta-musical as you could get.

there are some very interesting sounds that come out of this convoluted conceptual framework.

get it for free here from pan y rosas discos.

wood lake - easy love

'easy love' is the single from 'hell', the upcoming album from ontario based rock band wood lake.

it's a slow burning song with lush production featuring mountains of synths over a central electric piano riff and a chill back beat. the vocals are warm and close and deliver a big melodic hook.

get it here.

ian francis - murky water

ian francis is a musician from baltimore, maryland. his newest song, 'murky water', is sort of an anti-gospel song. it has a big, slow building, charismatic/religious atmosphere, but it doesn't feel holy.

the menacing organ drone and atmospheric guitar line along with the percussion and back up singers give the song serious nick cave vibes.

get it here.

it's chris - third time's the charm

it's chris is a pennsylvania folk/punk artist. emotional, strummy songs with a gravelly mike ness-esque vocal approach. the latest album, not actually his third, is called 'third time's the charm'.

check it out below.

get it here.

ovando - vigilante cabin

'vigilante cabin' is the lead single from the album 'cattle ranching in the americas, vol. 1' by ovando, a montana based band dedicated to the concept of western america. i wonder if they will release a song about occupying a federal wildlife reserve and engaging in a really dumb prolonged stand-off based on an incredibly self-serving and obviously wrong interpretation of the constitution? i don't have a lot of sympathy for cattle ranchers for a host of reasons (ask your average cattle rancher how he feels about welfare, keeping in mind the entire cattle industry, which is environmentally unjustifiable, is completely propped up by taxpayer money through government subsidies), but i digress. forgive me, i am an oregon resident and my real job has brought me into close touch with these places, people and issues.

this song does embody western american vibes...frigid windswept highways where the flying j is a welcomed beacon of comfort, isolation under the massive sky, poverty, loneliness and 'freedom'. nice self-harmonies too. i think this song, and the album as a whole, are an effort to artistically interpret some of the contradictions inherent in the mindset of the rural american west, such as those i mentioned above.

get it here. full album coming soon.

cud eastbound - leaving

cud eastbound is a folk musician from the yukon of canada. his latest full length is called 'leaving'. it's a collection of ragged numbers with some great instrumentation and a punk edge. the fiddle and banjo playing give the music folk cred and gang-style backing vocals give it punk vibes.

as usually with punk-leaning folk, the rough-hewn tunes feature a lot of themes of travelling and hard times.

get it here.

dan weintraub - beautiful empty

dan weintraub is a veteran folk singer/songwriter from vermont. he works in the classic troubadour tradition, telling moving stories in the simple format of voice and guitar.

the set of songs i'm sharing here begins with the phrase 'he was high on peyote'.

listen to more here. buy stuff here.

courtney marie andrews - woman of many colors (video)

in a rare move, this video for 'woman of many colors', a track from the album 'on my page' by songstress courtney marie andrews, was actually contributed by the video director (sam griffith), not the musician. it is a cool video, featuring a kind of animated oil painting that fits the themes of the song very well.

it's a quiet and intimate folk tune about rambling, both externally, across the land, and internally, throughout the mind. a laid back piano and a shuffling snare drum back up the soft guitar and emotive vocals.

get it 'on my page' here.

cowboy menthol - 'til we see the dark

'til we see the dark' is the newest album by michigan based artist cowboy menthol.

it's a whispery collection of lofi folk jams with simple production and intricate guitar picking.

get it here.

prairie wolf - demos

prairie wolf is a heavy rock band from harrisonburg, virginia. their new set of demos slam pretty hard. gritty vocals, ripping guitar solos, great rhythm section, especially the drums. got some blue collar southern rock vibes at play. recorded at hotel appalachia, the new studio opened up by my bros from shenandoah alley.

listen here.

modern folk II and holayela

i release a lot of my own music, and i post about it here. i post my own music here because i make music and i maintain this website for the same reasons. to be honest i don't always work that hard on the music i share.

this recording, 'modern folk II', i have been working on for months, and some of the songs i have been working on for almost 10 years. i put a lot into this one. thanks to anyone who helped and who ever played or listened to these songs.

while i was stuck working on 'modern folk II', i took a break and made another recording called 'holayela'.

name your price for them here.

the pathetic and elegant - slow motives

i am excited this afternoon to present 'slow motives', a new album by baltimore artist the pathetic and elegant (AKA luke fisher). luke is a master of deadpan, velvet underground-esque dark-pop melodies with minimalist, repetitive electronic production. the lyrics are personal and acutely observed.

highly recommended. i think my favorite song is 'and you're still here', which turns up the VU knob by running everything through various forms of distortion.

get it here. also check out the art collective of which the pathetic and elegant is a part, spellabee space, they are friends of MFOA.

c. strom - pastoral underground

another album i'm excited to listen to and to present to you is 'pastoral underground' by norwegian folk singer and 78 rpm record archivist c. strom.

homespun tape recordings of ancient songs, and some original compositions, by a talented and deeply observant interpreter. he covered some of my favorites too, like 'red river valley' and 'the ninety and nine'. highly recommended.

name your price for it here. check out some of c. strom's shellac here.

noah t - the sound of rain

'the sound of rain' is the latest album from tulsa, oklahoma instrumental composer noah t.

it's a collection of dense, multilayered soundscapes created with a blend of electronic and organic elements. i like the subtle hand percussion and guitar picking of 'runaway', it does remind me of the rain.

get it here.

mike benecke - bloodsong

'bloodsong' is the lead single from 'call the waves', the debut solo album by mike benecke.

it's a melancholy song that features an interplay between mike's delicate performances on acoustic and electric guitar, a mellow back beat and a sad story, told in pure images.

get 'call the waves' here.

yes sun yes - the siege of austin

'the siege of austin' by yes sun yes seems to be a power-pop/punk rock opera about austin, texas being attacked by giant robots/aliens. there are some classic rock opera/concept album moves...soaring back-up vocals, huge arrangements, dramatic dynamics, thin lizzy-esque stratospheric dueling/harmonizing lead guitars.

this should probably be brought to the stage in full glam/rock musical form.

get it here.


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