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    • Watch: Bat For Lashes - “Sunday Love” Video
      Bat For Lashes (aka Natasha Khan) is releasing a new album, The Bride, on July 1 via Parlophone/Warner Bros. Previously she had shared "I Do" and "In God's House" (as well as the video for "In God's House"). Now Khan has shared another song from the album, "Sunday Love," via its video.
    • Fall Forever
      Fear of Men's 2014 debut, Loom, was an alluring blend of lo-fi dream pop, straddling an unusual space between the fuzzy, unpolished appeal of classic K Records singles and the more recent wave of ramshackle indie pop typified by bands such as The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. 
    • Listen: Swans - “When Will I Return”
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    • Four Tet Shares New Song with Impossibly Long Title in Honor of SoundCloud Milestone
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      It was recently announced that Gord Downie, the frontman of Canadian rock mainstays The Tragically Hip, has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. The 52-year-old has still vowed to go on one last tour, in support of the band's newest album, Man Machine Poem, which is due out on June 17. 
    • Watch/Listen: Garbage - “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed” Lyric Video
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    • Watch Arcade Fire Perform a New Song Outside the Louvre in Paris
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    • Radiohead Share Video Vignette Inspired by “Desert Island Disk,” Mess Up “Nude” Live
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      Amber Arcades—the thrilling and delectable project of Dutch artist Annelotte de Graaf-—revel in the ability to combine textures, sounds, and colors together to create dream-like sounds and sequences; but forever being driven along by a pop heartbeat. 
  • RSS Clash Music News

    • Live Report: Radiohead - Roundhouse, London May 30, 2016
      A stunning set from a group who must be cherished...It's the silence that gets you. The quiet, dignified respect shown by the crowd, the waves of silence that lap across the venue, as if to further underline the intense concentration being shown by everyone in the room. Perhaps that's a sign of the efforts made by each person to be here. When Radio […]
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    • Photo Gallery: Gilligan Moss Hit Brighton May 27, 2016
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    • Premiere: Troy Gunner - ‘Slack In The Noose’ May 27, 2016
      Bristol producer takes it tech...Fresh from appearing at fabric’s Room 1 and dropping releases on Black Butter and Akkord’s EMF, Bristolian producer Troy Gunner has headed over onto Jakwob’s Boom Ting Recordings for a brand new release. Veering slightly away from the UK bass-centric style into deeper techno spheres — but keeping things dark — ‘Slack In The N […]
    • Gabriel Bruce Reviews The Singles May 27, 2016
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    • Premiere: Alizzz - 'Body Slam' ft. Santell May 27, 2016
      From the new 'Ocean Drive' EP...Alizzz emerged a few years back his music first gaining a trickle of fans, and then a flood. The producer's work seemed to explode online, the viral effect taking him from virtual unknown to online celebrity. Debut EP 'Your Love' was irrepressible, with Alizzz now focussing on new release 'Ocean D […]
    • Clash DJ Mix - Fujiya & Miyagi May 27, 2016
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    • Premiere: Matthias Zimmermann - 'Martin' ft. Olivia Merilahti May 27, 2016
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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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