indie Archive

The Stump Mutts: Working for the Weekend

Asheville and Western North Carolina is home to thriving scenes for most every music genre and subgenre; happily, there’s a seemingly endless supply of Americana artists, bluegrass pickers, jam band noodlers, rhyming rappers, jazz musos and synthesizer wizards. But the Stump Mutts aren’t having any of that; the four-man group from Asheville unapologetically calls itself

100-word Reviews for November 2017: New Music

So much great music and so little time. Here’s ten reviews: all new music, each summed up in 100 words. All are worth your time. Bryant Fabian Marsalis – Do For You? (Consolidated Artists) I struggle with a lot of current-day jazz. No matter how I try, much of it leaves me cold. Here’s a

Album Review: Yonder — Pearl Diver

Some music insists upon itself; rock ‘n’ roll, for example – when it’s done right – is designed to be impossible to ignore. So, too can other forms – progressive rock, jazz, blues – have an element of showiness in their presentation, one that seems to imply, “hey, check this out.” Other musical forms can

Album Review: Floating Action — Is it Exquisite?

Imagine if The Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips were influenced as much by pop and soul as by psychedelia. Imagine, too, that they adopted a more intimate, less expansive production aesthetic. The results might sound a bit like Is it Exquisite?, the fifth album from Black Mountain NC-based Floating Action. Though there is a live, four-man

Album Review: J. Atkinson — Youth Eternal

Jonathan Atkinson has a background that includes immersion in the Asheville punk and indie scenes. The musical fingerprints of those experiences aren’t readily obvious when listening to his latest release, Youth Eternal But if one spends time with the record, they are subtly revealed. There’s an acoustic folk ambiance to “Crooked Smile” that’s slightly redolent

Album Review: Gel-Sol — Horse Head Bookends

It’s inevitable: the first thing one notices about Horse Head Bookends, the latest album from Andrew Reichel (d/b/a/ Gel-Sol), is its stunningly original album artwork and packaging. The vinyl LP is housed in a black, die-cut sleeve with a front window that serves as a frame for a 12×12 full-color art. There’s a collage for

Quilt: A Collective of Individuals

Though the group has released three albums since 2011, Quilt has been together since late 2008. Formed in Boston by Shane Butler and Anna Fox Rochinski – then students at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts – the group grew out of the city’s do-it-yourself musical scene. “There was a very free-form DIY

Album Review: The Long Distance Relationship

I sometimes joke (or as Senator Al Franken says, “kid on the square”) that I avoid reviewing music made by artists local to Asheville NC “because I gotta live in this town.” I do in fact write often (for our local altweekly, Mountain Xpress) about local recording artists/performers, but those are customarily interviews/news stories. But

Album Reviews: Five LPs from Flying Nun Records

The New Zealand-based Flying Nun Records has a well-earned reputation for interesting, largely DIY sounds, all emanating from the small island country off Australia’s east coast. You won’t find any Hobbit-themed music here; what you will find is never less than intriguing. All of these reviewed albums were provided to me in my favorite format:

Album Review: Tall Dwarfs — Weeville

As I discussed in yesterday’s review of Chris Knox‘s Seizure, famed New Zealand independent label Flying Nun has released that title and Tall Dwarfs‘ Weeville on vinyl LP. Some might argue that mentioning Knox and Tall Dwarfs is a distinction without a difference; Tall Dwarfs is, after all, Knox plus musical co-conspirator Alec Bathgate. But