mystery lawn music Archive

Album Review: The Orange Peels — Begin the Begone

On Begin the Begone, the sixth album from northern California pop group The Orange Peels, the group continues to redefine its stylistic parameters while still crafting that winning ear-candy pop with which it has built a solid reputation. Begin the Begone rocks a bit harder than earlier albums like the near-perfect 2020, and while part

The Corner Laughers Let the Music Do the Selling

It’s a source of some mild amusement that when I Google “corner laughers,” the right-hand side of the resulting screen lists a number of the Bay Area group’s songs as dating from 1971. I’m pretty certain that at least two of the group’s number – bassist Khoi Huynh and his spouse, vocalist/ukulele player Karla Kane

Everything Comes Together: The Paul & John Interview, Part Three

Continued from Part Two… The album that would become Inner Sunset was announced in 2013, but the project’s gestation was a lengthy process, especially when compared to the quick, DIY measure employed by most other artists on the Mystery Lawn label. “Several factors contributed to the album taking so long to come out,” John Moremen

Everything Comes Together: The Paul & John Interview, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Speaking of the process of songwriting, the songs on The Paul & John‘s Inner Sunset are truly the product of a collaborative approach between Paul Myers and John Moremen. “When we originally started working on The Paul & John stuff, Paul was writing lyrics for some of my music,” explains Moremen.

Everything Comes Together: The Paul & John Interview, Part One

Music lovers who appreciate highly melodic and memorable rock-based songs – the kind of instantly hummable tunes that stick in your head long after the song is over – should take heart: though the style (however you might label it) doesn’t top the music 2014 charts, the style is far from moribund. In fact, San

Album Review: Marshall Holland and the Etceteras

The name of this act – Marshall Holland and the Etceteras is a rock-pop red herring: every sound you’ll hear on this delightful record was produced by Holland himself. The tunes are often gentle excursions with crystalline production, pop melodies that fold in subtle elements such as accordion and acoustic guitar. Holland often overdubs his

Album Review: Agony Aunts – Big Cinnamon

Readers of a certain age will remember an early Saturday Night Live faux commercial for a product called Shimmer. It was, we were told, both a floor wax and a dessert topping. Silly and a bit bizarre, no? Well, I would posit that Agony Aunts‘ latest album Big Cinnamon offers up a dichotomy that is

The Orange Peels’ Adventures in Modern Recording (and Marketing, and Manufacturing, and…) Part Two

Continued from Part One… “And,” Clapp summarizes, “That’s what we’ve done ever since. We’re not going to become indebted to a label. If they want to help us out, and they’re offering something of value, we’ll partner with them.” And for the project that would become Sun Moon, the band decided to wade into the

The Orange Peels’ Adventures in Modern Recording (and Marketing, and Manufacturing, and…) Part One

The Orange Peels have been releasing albums for sixteen years; Sun Moon is their fifth album. On all of their earlier albums, the cover art incorporated the color orange. Yet Sun Moon‘s cover art is much more overtly dark-hued. That’s consistent with the subtle change in the music on the new record as well: many

Album Review: Jim Ruiz Set – Mount Curve Avenue

Mystery Lawn Music has become associated with a particular kind of music; in broadest terms, it’s highly tuneful, melodic sunshine-y pop. (Look for a feature/interview featuring Allen Clapp, of the label’s flagship group The Orange Peels, coming soon.) But from their earliest days, they’ve cast a wider net than that, bringing in artists outside the