Monday, November 16, 2009

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Remix Monday: The Shoes – “People Movin”

Posted: 16 Nov 2009 04:14 PM PST

The Shoes is a French duo that recently released their EP People Movin and will be coming out with their debut album shortly. "People Movin" was done in collaboration with Primary 1.image2ny

.The Shoes – “People Movin”
People Movin is a minimalist electronic track that brittles with a shiny pop. It has that subtle cool evident in much of the French scenesters. The vocals are extremely soft and charming, akin to an R&B sound. Light synthesizers permeate portions of the song that fit the aesthetic of an old Nintendo game. Amongst the marching band-esque drums is a filtered sound that is reminiscent of background music in French New Wave cinema.

.“People Movin” ( Remix)
The MM remix is a proper transformation into a more electronic track, with thick dubs, recycled vocals, bleeps and sequencers. The pace of the song, however, is extremely slowed down, so this doesn't become a dancey tune by any means. Most of the vocals are replaced by instrumentals, and a thick, syrupy drum machine pounds a muffled beat through the track. Another mix that works more for background music rather than as a focal point, which is what the original really is.

.“People Movin” ( Remix)
There is hardly a change from the original to this remix. I'm struggling to note much dissimilarity. The remix is a little faster, a touch more electronic, the vocals seem slightly stripped down and raw. Musically the percussion remains fairly static, synthesizers appear more frequently, but for the most part could've tried a little harder.

.“People Movin” ( Remix)
This is probably one of the better remixes of this song. It's quicker, lighthearted and permeates an essence of youthful adventure and recklessness. The fast pace of the vocals bring a much needed energy into the song, particularly after the above remixes. 's remix does maintain a similar structure to the song in that it doesn't transform it to a dance floor, electro pounding anthem. It keeps the similar percussion and guitars.

The Shoes: myspace

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Interview with: John Garrison

Posted: 16 Nov 2009 03:05 PM PST

Back from his stint with Natalie Imbruglia, now sets out to embark on his second solo outing. With ambitions that have lead him to James Blunt and Leona Lewis, John's sophomore piece takes in all his travels and embodies them into Departures. PopWreckoning’s Thomas Starks caught up with him to talk a little about writing about ex's, huge harpsichords and Prince.

: Hello, Thomas.
Thomas Starks, PopWreckoning: Pleased to meet you John, How are ya?
JG: Nice to meet you, too….Nice to meet you as well.
TS: So you're in the UK right now right?
JG: Yeah I'm in London right now, yeah.
TS: I really appreciate you taking my call so late, I apologize for the latency. So are you on tour right now?
JG: Um…I just got back from Italy actually this morning, I was playing guitar for Natalie Imbruglia.
TS: How did that go?
JG: It was good, and I just got back, so it's back to focusing on me now.
(John reservedly laughs as though it's a foreign concept to self appease)

TS: I bet it's good to be home now. Do you live in London then?
JG: I'm kind of…yeah, most of the time I'm in London. I was in New York City for a while but these days I'm in London.

TS: So you have a new LP out.
JG: I've got a new one yes, it comes out next week, yes next Tuesday.

(Departures is now available)

TS: Yes I believe that is Nov 10th.
JG: That is correct, yes. It's called Departures.
TS: So what is going to be your launch single from this LP?
JG: The single is entitled "Let's Run." It's the first track on the record and I shot a video for it. It sums up the album really for me.

TS: So where did you record Departures?
JG: Wow, it was recorded all over the place actually. I started in London, put the vocals on in New York, and then I was actually on a world tour playing bass for James Blunt so I kind of did all the little bits and pieces in hotel rooms and really where ever I could. It was very much an "All Over The World" recorded album.

TS: Now did you do any pretrack on your own? Like when you were playing bass for James, were you in the tour bus at all doing pretrack?
JG: Absolutely, most of the times I did it in the hotel rooms, but when we were on the bus, there were a couple of tracks where I actually worked on them in my bunk. Whenever we were on bumpy roads or where ever we were, I did a lot work in the bed. john
TS: Did that help the writing at all, did it influence you, or was it all there before you were on the road?
JG: No, No, it definitely influenced me quite a lot. When I recorded the tracks, when I first had the ideas for the songs, they were much more basic, and then traveling around the world, doing it on laptops, actually using audio from different places. I used a percussion track that I put on from a hotel room in Moscow, then I recorded the drums in London, did the vocals in New York, it really was all over the place. I think it added to the sound.
TS: So this is truly a global LP then?
JG: Yeah it really is, it really is. It's been recorded all over the world.

TS: So "Departures" is fitting completely.
JG: Well that's basically why it's called that. That's the one word I saw more than any other. A lot of the songs are about when I moved to New York from England, yeah it's all about movement. There's the tracks "I Leave on Friday," "Let's Run," you know? "Go." All these songs about going, moving and moving. I just thought "Departures" was just a fitting title really.

TS: So what is your next move then?
JG: Well, we made a video for "Let's Run." I did that in France a few weeks ago and it's out on "YouTube" and it's out on a few TV stations. The next real step is to launch the album next week, I have a show in London next week too, just getting out there and playing it to people.
TS: If someone had to ask what genre that you felt that you fit in, what would that be?
JG: I guess technically I'm a singer/songwriter, but I've been in bands before, I just write songs and record them the best I can. If it's genre, It's a difficult one, I usually go on what other people say, it's difficult to tag yourself you know. So I always just call it "Melodic Indie Pop."
TS: That's a fair answer, it's kind of a trick question. I'm a musician myself, so I get it.
JG: Ahhh, you are, then you know what I mean then. How you hear yourself and how others hear you are often quite different.
TS: It's often the most difficult question one has as a musician.
JG: Absolutely, and even though I've had that question so many times, it's sort of still difficult. When you have a song idea, when you're thinking of lyrics and when you're writing about ex girlfriends and such, you don't think about what genre you are, you just write as best you can, you know? It's really a question for the people.

TS: Let me ask you a question, when you were on tour with James Blunt and then working with Natalie Imbruglia, do you include these artists when you write? Do you consult with them at all, or do you just kinda stick on your own?
JG: No I don't. I completely keep it to myself, especially with James. I don't even mention nothing really. I like to keep the two things separate. I guess it would be great to write with someone else like that eventually. But the nature of being a session musician. That's basically your job. Unless they come to me and say "Hey we need help with a song." I'm just gonna get on with my job, whatever that job might be. I think of the kind of professional outlook you know? Don't get me wrong, I would love it if they came to me and said "Let's do some writing." That would be great, but not just yet.

TS: So as a session musician, do you enjoy doing that and do you multitask with instruments?
JG: I do a bit of everything really. I played bass for James Blunt, played bass for Leona Lewis on her album, but then for Natalie I played guitar, whatever people need basically. I'm quite fortunate, I can play quite a few things, I'm a musical guy to have around the studio.

TS: Speaking of studio, in your LP Departures, how many instruments were you involved with?
JG: Instruments. Well, I do like to get other people in. I brought a guy called Karl Brazil on drums. He plays for Robbie Williams. He played for James Blunt, too. So even though I do play a lot of instruments, I actually on this record, I made it a point of getting other people in. On my first solo record I played actually everything on there, and now when I listen back to it, although I really love the record, it sounds like one person, too much like one person. So on this record I got different drummers, guitarists, keyboard players. I think it kind of adds to the sound of it all. I worked with a producer this time and he helped. I think all musicians have to have that "Self Indulgent" record, and mine was my first one.

TS: So what is the most interesting instrument you have ever worked with on a record?
JG: Well on this record I played an electric harpsichord. It was a huge long harpsichord with a glass top. I plugged into an AC30 guitar amp, it was fantastic! It was the strangest thing.
TS: That is probably the coolest answer I have ever gotten.
JG: To be honest, me and the producer got to the studio, we were just looking at this thing. It was huge! Sort of a massive thing, and we were just like "Well, obviously we have to get this on the record somewhere." We literally went through the whole album, track 1, no, no can't get it in there, track 2, no, and eventually we squeezed it into track 5.
TS: And what is that song called?
JG: "Alexandra and Annabelle" The main rif is the electric harpsichord.

TS: Nice! So are you the type to have a main CD Release party, or are you just gonna go all out, every show a CD Release?
JG: I've got a show next week in London on Monday, so that's kinda like the release party. I like a good party. I'm a musician, we all do. So I'm gonna do the gig, have the new CD with me and then crazy partying with everybody else.

TS: Well thank you so much for your time John and I have one last question for you. If you got the opportunity to work with anybody that you wanted, who would that be?
JG: Ok, well right now, wow, that's a good question. I would love to have Prince produce a track with me. I grew up listening to Prince, I'm a huge fan, even though my music isn't particularly "Prince," I think the way he sees music, the way he looks at stuff, I think guided me, so I would love to work with him.
TS: He is quite a talented individual as you are my friend. I appreciate your time, and you have a great show on Monday.
JG: Fantastic. Thank you, Thomas, I appreciate you for calling. Thank you very much for having me.

: myspace

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Amy Millan @ Mercury Lounge, NYC

Posted: 16 Nov 2009 08:27 AM PST

isn't what you might expect from a Canadian alt-rock, indie siren with two cloistered, heart-rending albums tucked under her seemingly fragile wings. The songs off heamyr sophomore solo album, Masters of the Burial, are hushed and harrowing impressions culled from the absence of what once was, evoking a kind of visceral desire to sing the loss, a feeling that has one easily captured. Despite the delicacy of her sound, on stage at the Mercury Lounge in New York, Millan's performance was nothing less than an emboldened call to arms for the lone, broken, and estranged…read: a sardined bunch of thirty-somethings on a late Thursday night who actually bought albums by Stars and Broken Social Scene in an actual, like, "record store" way back when, who have been sweating sad indie rock for more than a decade, and didn't start thinking country was cool when Jenny Lewis came along in high-waisted denim short-shorts.

Commanding the stage with her husky, earthen vox, dug-up folk-inspired live performance, and cache of consummate stage companions, who create rich, old Western- style weavings of sound with banjos, drums, and an upright bass, Millan gave one of the most honest performances I've seen in a very long time. This was a show without show if you know what I mean, no pretense, just truthful, honest to song, music torn from the scrapbook of her soul. Millan was humble, down to earth, and gave the vivid impression that the songs were almost seeping from the cracks in her gristly skin. Millan live is like sipping moonshine at dusk, on a good friend's porch, catching hints of the magnolia tree around the bend…it's just like being home.

Masters of the Burial, her latest release, is available now on Arts & Crafts records.

: website | myspace | Masters of the Burial review

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