They say good things come in "threes." Or is it bad things? I don't remember, but it doesn't matter. This edition of "A-Sides" features three unique artists who will either mellow you out or rock your socks off. Actually, if you're mellowing out - aren't your socks off anyway? That doesn't matter either.
The Wilderness of Manitoba are a Canadian folk quintet whose debut album "When You Left the Fire" is the type of album you should play indoors while reflecting on all you do in the great outdoors. Listen to any of their tracks - most of which feature an eclectic mix of instruments (banjo, mandolin, cello, etc.) - and you'll get a sense of what I mean. It's purely turn on the fireplace, and sip-a-pumpkin-spice latte while gazing-out-your-window kind of music. The group, which consists of Stefan Banjevic, Will Whitwham, Melissa Dalton, Scott Bouwmeester, and Sean Lancaric, formed last year and have been touring regularly ever since. They stopped by the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY earlier this month to perform their track "Orono Park" in a rehearsal studio and discuss their origin. As Beastie Boys said, "ch-ch-check it out."
The Wilderness of Manitoba "Orono Park" Live
The Wilderness of Manitoba Interview:
The second artist, Cosmo Jarvis, is also proving the banjo isn't just for "Deliverance" punchlines, Steve Martin, or Kermit the Frog anymore. The 22-year-old singer/songwriter performed his unreleased song "Lacie," an ode to his computer hard drive, on the beloved string instrument within a Conservatory studio late last month. He also chatted about his journey to now which includes a move from New Jersey to the UK as a child. That, by the way, is why his accent is more Anthony Head than Tony Soprano. Earlier this fall, Jarvis released his sophomore album "Is the World Strange or Am I Strange?", and saw the music video for its first single, "Gay Pirates," take off on the Interweb. Jarvis, a budding filmmaker as well, directed the single's video by the way. Watch and listen.
Cosmo Jarvis Performs "Lacie" and Chats with Chatt:
Crystal Antlers are as loud as the previous two artists are downbeat. A screaming blend of hard and classic rock, this band out of Long Beach, CA have been tearing up stages since their debut EP dropped four years ago, and their debut full-length album "Tentacles" blew up the blogosphere two years ago.
The band is currently finishing up its 2011 tour dates in support of their sophomore release "Two-Way Mirror." On a pit stop between New York City and Boston, Jonny Bell (bass, vocals, woodwinds) and the boys pulled their tour van up to White Plains, NY for an atypically stripped down performance at a Conservatory studio.
Crystal Antlers Perform "Andrew"
Crystal Antlers Perform "Dog Days" and Conversation
About "A-Sides with Jon Chattman"
Jon Chattman's music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.