Category Archives: Acoustic

Cross Record unravels new song “Basket”

Cross Record have released the song “Basket,” on which lies a fair amount of twists and turns. The dreamy synthpop song keeps a steady pace for just about 3 minutes, then throws in a phalanx of guitar and noise that crash together for several seconds before Emily Cross’ heavenly voice fades out for good.

Listen to “Basket”on Soundcloud:

“Basket” is off Cross Record’s upcoming album, “Wabi Sabi” which is a Japanese aesthetic that focuses on accepting imperfection. Cross uses that mindset as she sings repeated lines about the construction of a basket to symbolize parenthood.
Cross Record plays a record-release show in Austin, Texas, at the Mohawk on Saturday, Feb. 6. Wabi-Sabi will be out on Ba Da Bing Records on Jan. 29.

Also, check out KLRU’s documentary on Cross Record from 2014.

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Filed under Acoustic, Cross Record, Indie, Indie Rock, New Music, Uncategorized

Cross Record breathes fire into acoustic song “Steady Waves”

With the gentle bubbling of guitar fingerpicking that’s behind Emily Cross’ breathy and gentle voice, Cross Record’s single “Steady Waves” begins. It builds up through electric guitar beats, then falls back down as cerebral lyrics like “shivering, it makes me dizzy” add even more depth.

Cross Record is husband and wife team Cross and Dan Duszynski are Chicago transplants living in Texas. From the sounds of “Steady Waves,” the two know how to balance dramatic elements with beauty and tense guitar playing.

Read more at Stereogum.

Cross Record is on Ba Da Bing Records.

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Filed under Acoustic, Indie, Indie Rock

Bill Withers grants rare interview ahead of Carnegie honors

Bill Withers posing for a portrait around 1973.

Bill Withers posing for a portrait around 1973.

OkayPlayer has put out an interview with musician Bill Withers ahead of a tribute honoring the legendary musician.

The interview is part of several retrospectives about Withers, who penned the romantic acoustic classic “Ain’t No Sunshine” when he barely had experience as a musician.

Earlier this year Withers was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tomorrow (Oct. 1), Withers will be honored at Carnegie Hall by artists like Michael McDonald, Anthony Hamilton, Sheryl Crow, Ed Sheeran and others. D’Angelo bowed out today due to unspecified illness.

In the interview, Withers speaks about his songwriting skills, his concerts, such as his Zaire event in 1974, and sampling. He also acknowledges he’s 77 and admits he fits squarely in that age group:

I would like to run and jump and roll over and stuff like that, but I don’t want to hurt myself.

Check out Withers’ scathing, honest funk-driven “Use Me”:

And watch him as he sings “Ain’t No Sunshine,” one of the most iconic songs of the 1970s. What has always been striking to me is the song’s simplicity, and beginning with just a minimal acoustic guitar melody sets the tone as the song builds, and then quickly fades. “Ain’t No Sunshine” seems built to go on and on, and the melody is so beautiful that you wish it would last longer than a couple minutes.

Maybe that’s part of the song’s appeal, but Withers packs in so much soul, from the lyrics to his pained voice to the tune’s rolling beat, it’s almost too much to bear. Like all good things, it’s over much too soon.

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Filed under Acoustic, Blues, Funk, R & B, Rock, Soul, VIdeos

Karen O pens Google ode to journalist Nellie Bly

google girl karen oYeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O has penned a song on Google doodle to celebrate investigate journalist Nellie Bly’s 151st birthday.

It’s under 2 and a half minutes but is purely Karen O. It calls reference to her work advocating for unions, and those going hungry, and her work with suffragists.

karen-o-tribute-nellie-blyOne still-timely headline in the graphic reads: “Should women propose?”

Nellie_Bly_WavesSome of Karen O’s lyrics read:

“Someone’s gotta stand up and tell em what a girl is good for

Oh Nellie, take us all around the world/and break those rules/cause you’re our girl

We wanna make something of ourselves too

Oh Nellie you show us just what you would do”

My favorite line?

“We gotta speak up for the ones who’ve been told to shut up”

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Filed under Acoustic, artpunk, Punk, VIdeos

Ty Segall to go unplugged for brief tour

Psychedelic rock-fusion artist Ty Segall will be heading out, sans fuzz, for a brief acoustic tour starting April 21. Cities include the biggies — LA, NYC and Chicago. Segall’s album “Manipulator,” was out last summer, which seems like ages ago, but it should still be in your iPod rotation– Check out the LSD-fueled video for the title track here.

Here are the tour dates: Tue. April 21 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite #

Wed. June 24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right *

Thu. June 25 – Brooklyn, NY @ The Bellhouse *

Fri. June 26 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (early show)

Fri. June 26 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade (late show)

Sat. June 27 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle

* w/ Christian Peslak

# w/ Cory Hanson (Wand), Emmett Kelly (The Cairo Gang)

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Filed under Acoustic, Psychedelic rock, Tour Dates, VIdeos

Hear newcomer Sarah Bethe Nelson’s breakup ode “Paying”

SBN_byColette Levesque2

Sarah Bethe Nelson by Colette Levesque

Sarah Bethe Nelson worked as a bartender in the San Francisco area for several years, gathering stories gleaned from nightly fights and makeout sessions.

Her first song from her debut, “Fast-Moving Clouds,” is reminiscent of that rich, laden landscape and a great breakup song.

“Paying” brings back that slow, ghostly sadcore sound a band like Red House Painters mastered in the 90s. Nelson also knows how to deftly make even her vocal melodies sound lonely, adding another layer of pensiveness.

Listen to “Paying” on Soundcloud.

Her debut, “Fast-Moving Clouds” is out March 10 on Burger Records.


1. Start Somewhere
2. Impossible Love
3. Black Telephone
4. Snake Shake
5. Paying
6. Fast-Moving Clouds
7. Soft Eyes
8. Uneasy
9. Every Other Sunday
10. We’re Not Dead

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Filed under Acoustic, Indie, New Music, Sadcore

In Tall Buildings release another song off “Driver”

InTallBuildings CalebCondit1

Photo of Erik Hall by Caleb Condit

In Tall Buildings (Erik Hall’s project) has released another song off his upcoming album “Driver.”

“Unmistakable” is cut from the same cloth as the first single, “Flare Gun.” It puts forth the same yearning and honesty, with crisp acoustic notes supporting Hall’s vocals. The song ends in a burst of drums and guitar.

Listen to “Unmistakable,” and compare it with the slightly softer “Flare Gun.”

Check out the dream-pop of the City Center remix of “Flare Gun,” which features Dina Bankole.

“Driver” is out Feb. 17 on Western Vinyl.

In Tall Buildings - "Driver" out Feb. 17 on Western  Vinyl.

In Tall Buildings – “Driver” out Feb. 17 on Western Vinyl.

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Filed under Acoustic, Dream pop, Electro-pop, New Music

Presale starts tomorrow for The Twilight Sad’s 2015 NA tour


Scottish band The Twilight Sad is hitting the road after the global success of “Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave.”

Presale for tix begins tomorrow (Wednesday, Dec. 17) at

The Twilight Sad has also put out a very somber but powerful cover of Arthur Russell’s “I Couldn’t Say It To Your Face,” from their “Oran Mor” acoustic EP. The EP is only available on the tour.

According to a press release, plans are also afoot for an expanded version of “Oran Mor.”

Twilight Sad kicks off their North American tour in Boston on Feb. 23 at Great Scott.


Feb 23 Boston, MA – Great Scott

Feb 24 Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right

Feb 25 Philadelphia, PA – The Boot & Saddle

Feb 26 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel

Feb 27 Pittsburgh, PA – Brillobox

Feb 28 Chicago IL – Beat Kitchen

Mar 02 Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry

Mar 03 Fargo, ND – The Aquarium (Upstairs)

Mar 05 Missoula, MT – Stage 112

Mar 06 Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern

Mar 07 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge

Mar 08 Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret

Mar 11 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill

Mar 12 Costa Mesa, CA – The Wayfarer

Mar 14 Phoenix, AZ – VivaPHX

Mar 17 – Mar 21 Austin, TX – SXSW

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Filed under Acoustic, Tour Dates