Final Fantasy is the name that Owen Pallett used to release his first two albums. He decided to stop using this moniker in December 18th, 2009 and start using his own name, Owen Pallett, as he planned to release his third album in the Japanese market, where the name 'Final Fantasy' may have conflicted with the famous video game franchise. He also announced that previous albums will be re-released under his name
Dirty Projectors are an experimental pop group led by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dave Longstreth which formed in 2002 in Brooklyn, New York, United States. The current lineup of Dirty Projectors is Dave Longstreth (vocals, multiple instruments), Amber Coffman (vocals, guitar), Angel Deradoorian (vocals, keyboard, guitar), Nat Baldwin (bass), Brian McComber (drums) and Haley Dekle (vocals).
White Rabbits come to New York via the arid plains of the Mid West. For their first record, they managed to catch the attention of Say Hey Records and producer Chris Zane (Shy Child, Asobi Seksu, Les Savy Fav). Their second album, "It's Frightening," was produced by Britt Daniel (Spoon).
Chris Koza is a singer-songwriter-composer living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Critics have taken note, ranging from acclaim by local press: “The man’s got ‘pop’ down!” (Minnesota Monthly) to national attention: Paste Magazine calls Rogue Valley one of Minnesota’s best bands.
Koza performs with regularity in the Twin Cities, the greater Minnesota region, and also nationally, supporting such artists as Brandi Carlile, The Jayhawks, Blitzen Trapper, Stephen Kellogg, Tift Merrit, and Field Report.
After eight full-length records, three EPs, and 12 years of touring the globe non-stop, writer, performer, and multi-instrumentalist Erin McKeown is just getting warmed up.
Over the last decade, Erin has spent an average of 200 nights onstage each year. She has appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Later with Jools Holland, NPR, BBC, and has had her music placed in numerous films, television shows, and commercials. She has even written a song via text message with her friend Rachel Maddow.
Erin’s compelling and energy packed stage show teamed with her seemingly effortless ability to bridge genres has garnered her international acclaim:
“Her operative mood is effortless grace” - LA Weekly
“In several distinctive ways- voice, dynamic subtlety, and sheer songwriting ability- Erin McKeown is in a class of her own.” - Sunday Times (UK)
Cleveland-born David Wilcox was inspired to play guitar after hearing a fellow college student playing in a stairwell. His lyrical insight is matched by a smooth baritone voice, virtuosic guitar chops, and creative open tunings, giving him a range and tenderness rare in folk music. He released an independent album in 1987, was a winner of the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk award in 1988, and by 1989 he had signed with A&M Records. His first release on the label, ‘How Did You Find Me Here’, sold over 100,000 copies the first year largely by word of mouth. Now, 17 albums into a career marked by personal revelation and wildly loyal fans, David continues to find and deliver joy, inspiration, and invention.
Based on his musical interests and abilities, singer-songwriter-ethnomusicologist Tim Eriksen might have been born in a splintery wooden crib during the Revolutionary War, in a backwoods North Carolina church, in a hut along the Ganges, maybe even in the CBGBs bathroom. But no, the late-30s Eriksen was born in Massachusetts and grew up surrounded by the sound of his parents singing and by “natural sounds,” says Tim. “I always loved listening to bugs and wind and water and stuff.”
Buille first came into being during the summer of 2004. It combines the unique talents of Niall Vallely on concertina, Paul Meehan on guitar and Caoimhín Vallely on piano. They have just completed their debut album which will be released on the Vertical label in June. The album consists mostly of new music composed by Niall Vallely over the past couple of years. While based in traditional Irish forms, the music draws on a wide range of influences from the worlds of jazz and classical music in particular.
“Berets and Bongos” describes the Café Accordion experience. A loungy, eclectic mix, full of French flare, Latin heat and Bohemian attitude. The heart of the Café Accordion repertoire is the romantic, gypsy-influenced valse-musette. The group complements the musettes with swing, ballads, tangos, cha chas, rumbas, and cumbias to create a wonderfully varied show. They inject their music with good humor and expressive abandon. Their high level of musicianship and passion for performance makes them an entertaining concert act as well as a great dance band.
NOMO were conceived in 2003 when University of Michigan jazz studies graduate and multi-instrumentalist (tenor sax, keyboards, electric mbiri) Elliot Bergman and some of his acquaintances began jamming at an Ann Arbor, MI, house where many of them lived. This led to the eventual formation of the group, which recorded its self-titled EP on Ypsilanti Records that same year, after producer Warn Defever dared Bergman to bring as many people as he could to the studio.
Haley Bonar had already recorded an album as a teenager before leaving Rapid City, SD for Duluth, MN—where she immediately recorded again. Alan Sparhawk heard her at a local Iron Range club one night and a week later, she was transformed from a college student to an ambitious dropout with her guitar and a drummer crammed into a Honda Civic opening for Low. She was nineteen years old. That’s a story already.
Renowned singer-songwriter John Gorka was raised in New Jersey and came out of New York City's Greenwich Village folk scene that produced such songwriters as Suzanne Vega and Shawn Colvin. His award-winning songs have been recorded and performed by such notable artists as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith and Mary Black.
John has recorded eleven solo albums, six on Red House Records. His latest, So Dark You See, featured the song “Ignorance & Privilege,” which was highlighted as one of the top folk songs of 2009 by NPR Music. The album also includes unique musical takes on some of his favorite songs and poems, including Robert Burns' “A Fond Kiss” and Utah Phillips' “I Think of You.” It also includes “Where No Monuments Stand," his musical version of the poem "At the Un-national Monument by the Canadian Border” by Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford, which was written for the documentary on Stafford's life called Every War Has Two Losers.
Cliff Eberhardt is an American folk singer/songwriter who currently lives in the Pioneer Valley, in Massachusetts. His songs have been covered by Richie Havens, Buffy St. Marie, Erasure, Lucy Kaplansky and Cry Cry Cry. His albums have appeared on Shanachie Records, Windham Hill, and Red House Records.
Official site: www.cliffeberhardt.net
For over 25 years, BiL have been innovators in bringing “folk music” kicking and screaming to rock audiences (and rock music to screaming folk audiences!) BiL’s many instrumental dance tunes incorporate global influences, rhythms, and melodies that are guaranteed to keep the feet moving. Original songs stick in the mind long after the concert is over. The players improvise freely yet stay in sync, playing a vital mix of original and traditional material.
The group and the individual musicians have won over 20 Minnesota Music Awards, and toured throughout the US and in Europe. With the return of original lead singer Todd Menton and the addition of world-travelling eclectic instrumentalists Dean Magraw and Marc Anderson, the highly-identifiable BiL sound surges forward. Enthusiastic, powerful, technically brilliant, playing a wealth of instruments with extreme dynamics, Boiled In Lead routinely demolishes genre labels and enchants audiences of all ages.
Written by Michael Rossetto
Produced by Robert Simonds
Host: Jonah Simonds (South High Class of 2010)