Saturday, March 08, 2008

Orange Alert's Music Minute

It was only nine months ago that I was singing the praise of Fever Marlene's debut release Civil War, and now they give us White China. Recorded during a four night stay at The Chelsea Hotel in New York, this album pushes beyond its predecessor both sonically and lyrically. This is an intimate look at the soul of Scott Starr, accompanied by minimal equipment (which consisted of a single Universal Audio 610 Mic Pre-amp, an AKG 414 microphone, a mac lap top running Logic Pro, an acoustic and bass guitar, and a Nord Electro Keyboard) and it is extremely focused.

Listen to: White China (mp3)

From the always relevant, always cool people of One for the Team and the Militia Group.

Minneapolis-natives One for the Team have found a new and happy home with Long Beach, California's the Militia Group, who will be releasing the Team's sophomore album in August 2008 (they are currently in the studio). One for the Team made waves with their first album "Good Boys Don't Make Noise," finding themselves on the CMJ Top 200 charts for 14 weeks, playing over 100 tour dates across the country, and sharing the stage with the likes of Voxtrot, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Rooney, British Sea Power, Georgie James, Tapes 'n Tapes, Tilly and the Wall, Page France and Aqueduct.

Now heading into their first release as a part of the Militia Group family, One for the Team has 180 tour dates planned, a new van, and really great haircuts.

Listen to: Take Cover from Good Boys Don't Make Noise (mp3)

There are rappers in Minneapolis? Seriously? New additions to the Afternoon Records stable, Cresent Moon is in Big Trouble, bring the street knowledge and the beats from mean streets... ok maybe not the mean street, but Cresent Moon has some skills (sorry, skillz). Big Trouble is his backing band and they bring the funk. Released this past week, their self-titled debut ep, is a great start for this rare rap band.

Listen to: Hunting Season (mp3)

Midnight Movies follow their sophomore LP Lion The Girl with the Nights EP, due digitally March 11 on New Line Records, a combination of their retrospective discography re-mixed and the surreptitious gratification derived from the live experience.

Listen to: Should Have Know (mp3)

Joseph Arthur, NY-based song-crafter and visual artist extraordinaire will be releasing a series of four solo EPs, all leading up to the glorious month of August, when the series culminates with the release of a full-length record featuring his band, The Lonely Astronauts.

The deluge begins March 18 with the release of EP 1: Could We Survive (Lonely Astronaut) a 6-track collection of orchestral songscapes and gorgeous atmospheric pop written, performed and produced by Arthur. Could We Survive opens with "Rages of Babylon," the kind of timeless anthem only Joseph could write.

Listen to: Rages of Babylon (mp3)

The Peel Back: The 4-Squares The 4-Squares (Quincy Shanks Records, 1995)

You never forget your high school bands. Is that true for everyone? In St. Charles, IL we had many bands, and at the time I thought they all sounded incredibly good. I am sure if I pulled out those handmade tapes and cds today they would probably not sound the same. One of the bigger bands from my high school years was called The 4-Squares. I am proud to say that I was in attendance on that warm night in May, 1994, when they made their on stage debut. The community center gym was sectioned off into four parts, almost like a mini music festival. The crowd moved from section to section as one band would end and another would begin. The other bands on the bill that night were Juxtaposed, Dr. Who 22, and Pillar. As The 4-Squares began to play lead singer Rob yells out "I know this is our first show, but this place sucks!", and the fury begins. The highlight of the show was "Kirk", and the screaming of "I wanna Kirk Cameron". Oh the memories!

Listen to: Kirk (mp3)

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