Sunday, July 08, 2007

Orange Alert's Music Minute

Page France: The House Cafe (Dekalb, IL)
Last night I had the honor of seeing the prolific Michael Nau and Page France perform in front of a polite crowd of 30 or 40 people, on a small stage in the corner of a local cafe. Four loyal fans stood in front of the stage and the rest of the gathering stayed seated enjoying the over sized cups of coffee. Despite the size and laid back nature of the crowd Page France, played with passion and power filling every inch of the space with tangerines, halos, elephants, burning bushes, dancing bears, and ruby rings.

Breaking a string on his acoustic guitar halfway through their third song "Hat & Rabbit", Michael switched to electric and finished the song and the show that way. The songs from the new album sounded great and really added to my growing appreciation for "...And the Family Telephone". However, the highlight of the show was for me was their moving performance of "Junkyard" from the band's second album "Hello, Dear Wind". This has always been my favorite song by them for too many reasons, and they completely cut straight into my soul with their live performance.

On July 10th Page France will release a digital ep entitled "...and the bonus telephone" through i-tunes. The ep will contain alternate versions of tunes from the Family Telephone LP. At the show I was able to acquire their tour ep from last year "Tomato Morning" and a plain white disc in a plain white sleeve with these words written upon it "The Cotton Jones Basket Ride". I was told by Whitney McGraw after the show that this is one of Michael's side project. Incredible! Well I don't have to tell you that for a huge Page France fan, this was a night to remember.

For your enjoyment:
"Hat and Rabbit" (Page France) (mp3)
"Junkyard" (Page France) (mp3)
"Friends and Such" (The Cotton Jones Basket Ride) (mp3)

Check out Saturna: This ambitious group, who recently sent me a nice little e-mail, hail from Portland, OR. They say people have compared them to Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Serena Maneesh, Spiritualized, Secret Machines or Silversun Pickups. I believe it... listen for yourself: Pop Rocks (mp3)

The Peel Back: Ben Neill "Goldbug"

1998 was the year without guitars, at least for me anyway. It was peak of electronic music in regards to popularity and the quality of the releases were beginning to suffer. There seemed to be hundreds of Electronic sub genres, and each had their own set of fans. As a fan of Trip-hop, Drum 'n Bass, IDM, etc by 1998 the thrill was starting to wane and I was looking for something new. In June, Ben Neill completely blew me away with his inventive sound and complex beats. "Goldbug" combined classic jazz riffs with drum n' bass, hip hop, and othe genres to present a completely original product. I remember listening to this over and over trying to figure out how he was creating those unusual trumpet sounds. I had to dig a little further to find out that Ben was playing a "mutant" trumpet that he had created himself by adding MIDI controllers to a standard trumpet. According to his website, "Ben is currently working on a new mutantrumpet that will be unveiled in Summer 2007. This one is greatly expanded beyond the current instrument, with 16 on board MIDI controllers and a USB connection directly to the computer".

This album featured remixes from Dj Krust, The X-Ecutioners, and Spring Heel Jack, along with an appearance from Dj Spooky. The album was released by Polygram Records, but is no longer in print. However, you can find used copies on Amazon for $0.56.

Ben Neill "Goldbug" (Polygram, June 1998)
Tunnell Vision/Dark Gift (mp3)/Route Me Out (mp3)/Freezer Burn (mp3)/Looking Last/Shirt Waste/Goldbug/It's Only/Syntonic/Blue Maroon/Tunnel Vision (Spring Heel Jack Holland Tunnel Mix)/Tunnel Vision (X-Ecutioners Mix) (mp3)/Tunnel Vision (DJ Krust Levity Mix)

Lollapalooza Band of the Week: CSS

Sao Paulo, Brazil is home to this energetic electro rock group who puts on a show to remember every time. It was around this time last year when I got my first glimpse of lead singer LoveFoxx, crowd surfing, screaming, dancing, rainbow spandex pants... she's got it all! They performed in a side tent at Pitchfork 2006 and won the hearts and ears of many new fans. The band released their debut album, Cansei De Ser Sexy (or Tired of Being Sexy) via Subpop (the first South American group on Subpop) last July, and since then they have release 3 single and variety of remixes. CSS is playing Saturday, August 4th from 5:00 to 6:00 pm and they are competing with The Roots, The Hold Steady, Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, and Regina Spektor, but they are definitely worth checking out.
Listen to: Alala (mp3) and Let's Make Love and Listen to Death from Above (mp3)


Steve said...

hey can i somehow get a copy of that "cotton jones basket ride?"

Nia said...

Hey, I bought the Cotton Jones Basket Ride stuff at their concert on Sunday, but I am having trouble finding the track names-could you helpa sista out? Also, Do you have more than just the 2 pictures you posted? I didn't have my camera with me at the show and I really wanted some pictures of Mike in his glasses-haha! Thanks a bunch.

Jason said...

Unfortunately, I don't have any other pictures, my camera died after I took these. I was pretty upset because I could have walked right up to the stage that night.

As far as the track list goes, mine did not include one either. Like I said it was a plain white disc in a plain white sleeve. It only had the words Cotton Jones Basket Ride and an e-mail address written on the sleeve. I would suggest sending an e-mail to that address. I knew the name of the song I posted because it was on the Cotton Jones myspace page.

As far as obtaining a copy, Steve, I recommend going to Page France in concert.

Nia said...

Thanks for all of your help! Yeah, I bought the same disc you did then with the handwritten e-mail on it and the plain white CD! I'll try e-mailing him or just waiting for them to pop up on the myspace for the names, I guess. Well, at least you got the pictures you did. I'm taking the one of Michael in the glasses you posted, if you don't mind. :->

Steve said...

what was the e-mial address on the cd?

i've seen page france many times, never seen the merch table with a disc like that though.

Jason said...

The e-mail address is The CD has 12 tracks, four of which can be heard on this myspace page:

I believe it is something Michael just recently finished. There is a 4/28/07 post on his myspace blog taking about recording some songs himself.

matt said...

saw mike the other night, and picked up this disc from him. he said he's been working on it for a while, and just completed it. the tracklist is .

01. to death with you
02. raspberry stream
03. mary
04. all along the year
05. little one
06. cotton and velvet
07. a foot upon the day
08. red cheeks
09. your year's tomatoes
10. friends and such
11. the moon caught me crying
12. singer in a band

also, i just noticed that there is a video that mike made for the song "all along the year" on youtube.