The Falcon's Nest

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    • Dusty Springfield ‘Dusty in Memphis’ .. Today’s ‘Cool Album of the Day’ April 16, 2014
      Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#927 in the Series) is Dusty Springfield, Dusty in Memphis The stable of Blue-Eyed Soul fillies from across the pond has been Kentucky Derby quality over the last 10 years. Duffy, with her 2008 release Rockferry has more of a sensitive delivery than her more bombastic contemporaries that should serve her well with the AOR crowd […]
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    • Matthew and the Atlas - Other Rivers April 16, 2014
      After pair of excellent EP's in 2010 (To The North and Kingdom of Your Own), Matthew Hegarty, namesake of London's Matthew and The Atlas, didn't drop anything else but he did pretty much drop off the radar. As the few teasing new tracks last year indicated, MATA's long-awaited debut full length Other Rivers (April 15, Communion) is dramat […]
    • Watch: Marisa Nadler - "Drive" April 16, 2014
      Directed by Galaxie 500 member Naomi Yang, the new video for Marisa Nadler's brooding ballad "Drive" combines Nadler's sweetly nuanced vocals and gentle acoustic backing with some interesting projected images from the work of French artist Bernard Faucon. Says Yang: "The video tells the story of Marissa facing her own ambition—as wel […]
    • RADAR: Emma Ruth Rundle April 16, 2014
      Taking a brief hiatus from a variety of band projects -- Marriages, Red Sparrowes, The Nocturnes -- L.A.-based performer Emma Ruth Rundle heads deep into spectral goth/folk and alt/pop territory with her debut solo album Some Heavy Ocean (May 20, Sargent House). The new project, co-produced with engineer Chris Common, is self-described simply as "a seri […]
    • BRIEFS: Hayden Calnin April 16, 2014
      Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Hayden Calnin uses his studio production background to great effect on his just-released second EP of atmospheric folktronica Oh, Hunter. Generous reverb amps up the spaciousness of Calnin's slow-moving bedroom hymns while his vocals, occasionally taking flight with an haunting falsetto, add a special dimension of sombe […]
    • Watch: Tristen - "Gold Star" April 15, 2014
      Nashville (sm)art/pop songstress Tristen gave us one of the year's best albums of last year with her critically acclaimed CAVES and the breezy, sharp-hooked "Gold Star" is our favorite track of the bunch. Catch the dizzying, kaleidoscopic "Gold Star" video, watch the "Catalyst" video and then trek back to last fall's D […]
    • Listen: Ed Harcourt (w/ Ren Harvieu) - "Sweet Malaise" April 15, 2014
      Despite rhyming "misanthrope" and "antidote" (in the first line, even), utilizing the line "I tooketh and I gaveth away" and crooning and swooning like Frank and Nancy Sinatra, the new "Sweet Malaise" from Ed Harcourt and Ren Harvieu, has no small amount of lush, kitschy appeal. It's the B-side of Harcourt's […]
    • RADAR: Aldous Harding April 15, 2014
      With her impossibly fragile, quavering voice and a batch of mesmerizing songs, New Zealand singer/songwriter Aldous Harding has delivered a self-titled debut album that is so far into and so far beyond what might be described as traditional folk music that it both transcends and transforms the genre. On the surface, Harding (actual name Hannah) creates mysti […]
    • Dan Wilson - Love Without Fear April 14, 2014
      Former Semisonic frontman Dan Wilson is a man who wears as many hats as he has options. A decade's worth of platinum songwriting with artists as diverse as Taylor Swift, The Dixie Chicks, Pink, Josh Groban, NAS and Ben Folds has made him a platinum-selling go-to songwriter specializing in tailoring his melodic gifts with an artist's own particular […]
    • Listen: Lana Del Rey - "West Coast" April 14, 2014
      Not to read too much into a photo, but the rather faded, yellowed image of Lana Del Rey on the cover of her new single "West Coast" does say at least 999 words on the rather dramatic change she's been goin' through musically. Gone are the glam pin-up Hollywood posings and the fresh-from-the-salon lacquer. Now Lana's decided to hold t […]
    • Watch: Wallis Bird - "Hardly Hardly" April 14, 2014
      Wallis Bird's new album Architect, out today in the U.K., has a vivid sense of place and new direction, musically and geographically. Relocating from London to Berlin, the Irish-bred singer/songwriter says her new songs “began with needing a big change in my personal life and environment, and as soon as I realised that I was going to move to Berlin I fe […]
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    • Birdy Set to Fly with U.S. Drop of 'Fire Within' June 3; Watch "Light Me Up" April 15, 2014
      British singer/songwriter Birdy will release her second album Fire Within in the U.S. on June 3. The new album will include the song that originally got the then-15-year-old Jasmine Van Den Bogaerde -- aka Birdy -- noticed in the first place: a stripped piano-ballad version of Bon Iver's "Skinny Love." Stream "Wings" and watch " […]
    • David Gray Announces 'Mutineers' for June 17; Watch "Gulls" April 10, 2014
      British singer/songwriter David Gray will release his 10th studio album Mutineers on June 17. The new project,  Gray's first in four years, was produced by Andy Barlow (Lamb) and recorded at The Church Studios in London. A special deluxe edition of Mutineers will feature two additional discs of live recordings. Watch the video for lead track "Gulls […]
    • Norah Jones' Twangy Puss N Boots Set 'No Fools, No Fun' July 15 Debut April 7, 2014
      Puss N Boots, the countrified female trio of Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper, will release their debut album No Fools, No Fun on July 15. The album will arrive following a string of showcase performances this spring and summer including The Newport Folk Festival. Coming on the heels of Foreverly, Jones' recent tribute to the Everly Brothe […]
    • Ed Sheeran Moves to Multiplication on June 23 'x'; Preview "Sing" April 7, 2014
      Keeping with a math symbol title theme, British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran has announced the release of his sophomore album x, or multiply, on June 23, the follow up to his breakout debut album + (plus). The new album was executive-produced in L.A. with legendary studio man and label executive Rick Rubin, a man who has helped define the sound and guide the […]
    • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Ready to 'Run' June 3; Stream "Coming Down" April 2, 2014
      Press Release: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have announced the June 3 release of its new record Only Run. The new album's first track, "Coming Down" can be streamed below. Like the band's first three records, Only Run will be marketed and distributed directly and independently by them. While this ethos initially struck a chord with fans when […]
    • Gabrielle Aplin Predicts 'English Rain' U.S. EP Drop May 6; Watch EPK April 2, 2014
      Press Release: British chanteuse Gabrielle Aplin is on her way to cementing her status as a breakout artist of 2014 following the massive success of her single "The Power of Love" that launched to #1 on the U.K. and Australia iTunes Chart, achieving certified Gold status in both countries. Now, Aplin is gearing up to take the U.S. by storm with the […]
    • Jack White Announces 'Lazaretto' for June 10; Stream "High Ball Stepper" April 1, 2014
      Jack White will release his second solo album Lazaretto on June 10 via Third Man Records/Columbia. The new project, described as "stormy, delicate, dramatic, volatile, scratchy and velveteen," is being previewed with lead instrumental track "High Ball Stepper." Watch the video below. From the Press Release: In celebration of the new album […]
    • The Antlers' 'Familiars' Arriving June 17; Watch "Palace" March 31, 2014
      Brooklyn art-pop trio The Antlers have announced the June 17 release of their fourth studio album Familiars via ANTI-. The new project was recorded, engineered and produced by the band in their Brooklyn studio and mixed by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, Beach House) and follow up the band's critically acclaimed 2011 album Burst Apart. Wa […]
    • Ethan Johns Sets His Ryan Adams-Produced 'Reckoning' for June 3 March 31, 2014
      Noted producer Ethan Johns (Laura Marling, Kings of Leon) will release his new album Reckoning on June 3. The album is something of a role reversal for the producer/musician as Ryan Adams, who has tapped Johns to produce for him in the past, steps into the role of producer for Johns and his Reckoning. The new album was recorded at Adam's Pax-Am studio i […]
    • First Aid Kit Look to 'Stay Gold' on June 10 LP; Stream "My Silver Lining" March 31, 2014
      Swedish folk/pop duo First Aid Kit will release their new album Stay Gold on June 10 via Columbia. Stream first single “My Silver Lining” below. Recorded at ARC studios in Omaha and produced by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Monsters of Folk), the duo also enlisted The Omaha Symphony Orchestra to play on the record, with arrangements by Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes, […]
  • RSS Clash Music News

    • Pixies - Indie Cindy April 16, 2014
      Awful? Awesome? Somewhere between? Clash delivers its verdict...Amongst the relatively recent spate of comeback albums, from My Bloody Valentine to Black Sabbath, Pixies’ is surely the most contentious. Certainly there's been a very vocal response in some quarters: “No! Stop! Don’t sully your legacy!” It’s kind of a weird response. Pixies have now been […]
    • Win: Tickets To Bestival 2014 April 16, 2014
      Beck, OutKast, Foals, and… you? Enter our competition, and maybe...Rob Da Bank knows how to throw a party... - - - When: Thursday 4th – Sunday 7th September 2014          Where: Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight Why Go? Now with its unique payment scheme of £7.80 a week, Bestival has made itself more affordable than ever. Come September, you could find […]
    • Win: Tickets To Open'er Festival 2014 April 16, 2014
      Foals, Pearl Jam and more are heading to Poland, and so can you...Where the Poles go to party, joined by a growing international crowd… - - - When: Wednesday 2nd – Saturday 5th July 2014 Where: Gdynia, Gdynia-Kosakowo Airport, Poland Why Go? You’ll have plenty of time to explore Open’er’s several amazing stages with the first concerts starting at 4pm, and la […]
    • Win: Tickets To T In The Park 2014 April 16, 2014
      It's the biggest party in Scotland, and you can be there...Scotland’s original, T’s always the real deal, north of the border… - - - When: 11th – 13th July Where: Balado, Kinross, Scotland Why Go? Let the pipes ring out as we celebrate the reunion of Scotland’s favourite sons Calvin Harris, Paolo Nutini and Biffy Clyro, coming home to rock. Don’t miss i […]
    • Introducing... Temple Songs April 16, 2014
      Ahead of their Clash Manchester show...As a city, Manchester is on fire right now - and one of the hottest acts emerging is Temple Songs. Over the last few years they’ve been gigging hard on the local circuit and playing sporadic gigs in the capital, amassing fans and gaining praise from the press. Having put in the hard-graft things recently escalated - a d […]
    • DZ Deathrays Sign To Infectious, Give Away New Track April 16, 2014
      Grab 'Gina Works At Hearts' on Clash...DZ Deathrays are a party band. Hell, Clash even got the duo to describe their perfect party, before inviting them to play a special event in London. Since then, DZ Deathrays have toured the world, before focussing on their next move. Signing to Infectious, new album 'Black Rat' drops on August 18th. […]
    • Win: Tickets To Iceland Airwaves 2014 April 16, 2014
      The Flaming Lips, lava fields, what's not to love...A sure way to ward off those winter blues... - - - When: Wednesday 5th – Sunday 9th November 2014 Where: Reykjavík, Iceland Why Go? If you get the chance, check out Airwaves’ A Rockumentary (here)… They interview festival punters in the world-famous blue lagoon, and hazard guesses at what makes the fes […]
    • Premiere: The Icypoles - Just You April 16, 2014
      Blissful, languid pop from Melbourne...Melbourne is one of Australia's cultural hubs. One of the country's more liberal cities, Melbourne has always played host to an eccentric, idiosyncratic music scene. The Icypoles are a new name, but the some members could well be familiar. Roughly 50% of the band started life playing horns with Architecture In […]
    • Win: Tickets To Kendall Calling 2014 April 16, 2014
      Frank Turner and Suede are due to perform at the Lake District event...The Lake District is really pretty. But it never sounds so sweet as when Kendall Calling opens its gates... - - - When: Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd August Where: Lowther Deer Park, Hackthorpe, The Lake District Why Go: Let’s face it, it’d be pretty hard to convince some of the world’s finest […]
    • Watch: Squarepusher x Z-MACHINES Documentary April 16, 2014
      Warp legend works with actual, genuine robots...Electronic music has always been intrinsically bound with technology - the clue is in the name, obviously. But Warp producer Squarepusher recently went one further and recorded an EP with actual, genuine Japanese robots. 'Music For Robots' is an intriguing diversion for Tom Jenkinson, typically throwi […]
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Artist of the Day: James Jackson Toth

Posted by falconi5 on May 5, 2012


from allmusic.com

When songwriter James Jackson Toth dropped Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice (his pseudonym was the first half of the band’s name) and let that unit simply dissolve into the neo-hippie ether, he created an almost unlimited sense of possibility for himself as a solo artist. That’s not to say that Toth has completely left his post-’60s ethos behind — far from it. He’s still assembling super-limited-edition CD-Rs to give away at impromptu shows and collaborating with many other artists. The hint that Toth was on his way to something else could be heard on 2007′s James and the Quiet, the final Wooden Wand offering. Issued by Ecstatic Peace, it was a deeply introspective album that, while more cohesive than anything Wooden Wand had recorded, was still a meandering cipher of a set. Released in 2008, Waiting in Vain is a 180-degree turn, produced by Steve Fisk and recorded in San Francisco with a band that includes wife Jex Thoth, Otto Hauser, Shayde Sartin, Jason Quever, and Jarvis Taveniere, along with guests including Nels Cline, Carla Bozulich, and Andy Cabic. Each and every tune here has — in comparison to anything he’s done previously — a taut, formal structure, each of them evoking some source of inspiration. For instance, the calling up of the spirit of John Lennon in “Look in on Me” is eerie for all its forlorn need. The production comes right from Lennon’s debut solo album, while the lyrics and melody are pure Toth — ambling, leisurely paced country-rock. The combination works beautifully. The combination of Neil Young and Jason Molina that saturates “Midnight Watchman,” with its blend of hollow-body electric guitars, strummed acoustics, and upright piano, is gentle, forlorn, and sweet, but the only place you know it’s Toth is in the lyrics. And if there is a problem with Waiting in Vain, this is it: too much emulation, too much paying of tributes without enough focus on getting the songs across in his voice, whether they be rockers, ballads, folk tunes, countryish rock songs, or his attempt at psych pop.

 That said, Waiting in Vain is a pleasant listen; there’s plenty to like here, and despite some of its relative laid-back sloppiness, it carries within it the genuine effort of a very good songwriter who is not only trying to communicate but trying to find his way through his heroes into his own sound. Over nearly 50 minutes, however, the listener has to give Toth a generous benefit of the doubt, because it’s simply too long. This is a solid if flawed first try.

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