Amanda Palmer’s live, annual #ninjaTED show in Vancouver tonight will be webcast for free – with a preshow email registration at this link. The show will benefit the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and feature a long list of surprises and special guests, including Rhiannon Giddens, Jill Sobule, Jason Webley and Amanda’s recent Bowie tribute collaborator, Jherek Bischoff (so here’s hoping for some Bowie tunes). The show starts at 10:30pm EST (7:30pm PT).
As promised, here is the second mp3 I was granted permission to share from Great Northern’s upcoming release Remind Me Where The Light Is. The album is sure to be on my favorites list this year. If you happen to pass my car on any given day of the week, you just may hear me singing (badly) along with it. Check out my rave review for an mp3 of “Houses”. Both tracks will be taken down in two weeks. Apparently the band was played in a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Quirky singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is probably best known for “I Kissed A Girl” (far superior to the Katy Perry song of the same name), but most of her catalogue is more folk than kitsch. Particularly her upcoming album California Years, which will be released on April 14th.
John Doe was a founding member of the punk band X. On his solo effort A Year In The Wilderness, his sound occasionally strays into bland folk and country territory. But there are a couple of rockers on there, as well as a brief nod to the blues, and always that underlying darkness that is Doe’s trademark.
The disc opens with the twenty second piano and organ instrumental “The Wilderness” before launching into “Hotel Ghost”, which features the revving guitar of former X member Dave Alvin. It and the crunching “There’s A Hole” – with guitar by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys – are the stand out rock tracks. Auerbach also plays steel on the bluesy “Big Moon”.
“The Golden State”, “A Little More Time”, and “Lean Out Yr Window” feature the twangy vocals of Kathleen Edwards. Jill Sobule pops up on the ballad “Darling Underdog”, though you can barely hear her for most of the song. And Aimee Mann guests on “Unforgiven”, which again simmers the guitars.
Doe’s best vocals on the album are probably on the Cash-lite track “The Meanest Man In The World” and the finale “Grain Of Salt”.