Patrick Watson at Manhattan Inn

This one's a little late coming, but it was a great little show, so it's still worth sharing with Dig Nation. I unfortunately missed Patrick Watson opening for Andrew Bird last weekend, but when life closes a door, a nice little cocktail bar near you throws a show, or something like that.

I had the distinct pleasure of catching Patrick Watson and his band Patrick Watson play an intimate show for probably 50 people in the piano lounge at the Manhattan Inn in my Greenpoint hood. The set-up was essentially in-the-round and definitely up close, which ended up being the best possible way to absorb Patrick and co.'s sentimental, cinematic pop tunes. It was so intimate, in fact, that it ended up being more like a house show for friends with audience interaction, laughs over goof ups in songs, and a tip jar.

Patrick Watson (the man) has a fascinatingly emotive voice that carries the ballads (despite his cigarettes and two glasses of whiskey). Patrick Watson (the band) play perfectly off of eachother and weave their voices and instruments into a mesh dripping with feeling. 

The guys (and gal) released their album Adventures In Your Own Backyard last month and will be touring with Andrew Bird for awhile longer.

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Everyman Of Parts – Arid Eyes

Everyman Of Parts – Arid Eyes

I think I always liked Badly Drawn Boy more than most people seemed to. A lot of this stems from the fact that I loved About A Boy. Yea, jerks, I mean the sentimental Hugh Grant early-oughts heartwarmer. Mostly, i just worship at the alter of Nick Hornby (which in turns stems from my complete obsession with High Fidelity). But, tender admissions aside, Badly Drawn Boy's full-hearted, diverse, sometimes acoustic warblings always struck the right chord for me.

Everyman Of Parts is the musical project of Andrew Sheron who plays almost every instrument of his upcoming album, Travelling Time. Sheron is chanelling Mr. Gough something fierce here, which is refreshing really. It's a form of honest, meandering indie rock that's been lost in the current reverbed, synthy haze. The songs of Travelling Time are comforting with an underlying fierceness. Sheron's talent is always evident as he jumps around genres and woos you with his words. 

Check out Everyman Of Parts on Facebook and pick up the album on his Bandcamp page.

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Kapowski – Section 8

Kapowski – Section 8

Really, I'll give a fair shake to any band potentially named after a Saved By The Bell character. It's icing on the cake that the Bay Area's Kapowski are actually really good. "Section 8" is a tidy little 60's inspired rock song with a sizable portion of awesome organ. The breakdowns are particularly intriguing, only to be sucked out of existence by the hard-driving percussion. All in all, it's a great teaser for the bands' upcoming February 1st album, Boy Detective.

Bonus robot butlers:

 

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Kyle’s Best Albums Of 2011 (10-1)

I'm pretty excited about my Top Ten this year. There's some legends, some givens, some surprises, and a few that unfortunately I haven't seen on anyone else's lists. There's something for everyone and I hope you all dig some new music for yourselves, because all of these albums are brilliant.

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Eric & Magill – Kick The Covers Vol. 1

Eric & Magill – Fields

Our pals Eric & Magill have magically released a new album despite being continents apart. Kick The Covers Vol.1 is the first in a series of cover albums they're completing of songs originally written by collaborators and friends like The Snake The Cross The Crown and Shearwater. It's a perfect thank you gift and hearing the Eric & Magill spacey, heartfelt spin on each song is awesome. Head over to their Bandcamp page to download the EP for free!

The lads also just released a great video for the song "You Make It So Good" from their lovely first album, All Those I Know.

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Kyle’s Best Albums Of 2011 (21-11)

I've seen a lot of people complaining about this being a sub-par year for releases. I call bullshit on that. I can't remember there ever being a year where there weren't at least 20 albums I loved. This year was certainly no exception.

 

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John Statz – Distance

John Statz – Distance

Some more beautiful, down-tempo midwestern folk coming at you. John Statz is a songwriter who has traveled all over the world to write, record, and perform and lucky for us he returned home to cut Old Fashioned which is due out January 24.

It's hard to be wholly unique when working in such a time-worn genre as folk but the best new folk artists have learned that creating a singular sound is about subtlety and precision songwriting, not experimentation. You can hear from Old Fashioned's first single "Distance" that Statz knows what he's doing. The lovely harmonics and layered guitar work create a glass case of emotion that complement Statz's unhurried vocals.

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Fort Frances – The Lowlands

It's been a minute since we've heard from the gentlemen of Chicago's Fort Frances but the wait was worth it. "The Lowlands" is a lovely, acoustic, down-tempo number featuing sparse instrumentation that leaves a nice focus on the lyricism and vocal perfomance. The rootsy sound fits the band well and David McMillin's voice is gentle enough to convey the downtrodden country emotion.

Be sure to check out Fort Frances' Facebook page for more information on the lads.

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