Millions of people are born in London, or Chicago, or Barcelona, but Neil Finn is not one of them. On May 27, 1958, he was born in Te Awamutu, a rural town in New Zealand. At that time the country was as culturally isolated as it is geographically remote from the rest of the world. "You had to walk miles to find a museum," Neil remembers, and even when you got there, it might be just an old man's collection of twigs."
MOEV is an electronic music group specializing in synthpop that recorded primarily on the Nettwerk Records label (with publication by Atlantic Records). Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, their most successful album was Yeah Whatever in 1989, which combined dark, solemn, anthemic lyrics with disjointed beats, trickling electronics, and occasional spoken-word samples.
MOEV was originally formed by friends Tom Ferris and Cal Stephenson back in 1981. After some initial demos they added the voice of Madeleine Morris and the guitar of Mark Jowett to form a solid four piece. The first recording output of the group was “Zimmerkampf” which only saw vinyl and tape releases and has never appeared on an official release CD (except as part of a compilation collection). Poor album sales resulted in their label (Go! Records) going bankrupt leaving the band to find another publisher for their work.
MC 900 Ft. Jesus is the stage name of Mark Griffin, a classically-trained musician turned rapper and experimenter born in Dallas, Texas. Griffin’s work was often considered well ahead of its time, and much of his sound and experimentation predates artists like Beck and Orbital.
Griffin’s wit and formal education help him to inject complexity and humor into his work as MC 900 Ft. Jesus. Deriving his MC name from a sermon by Oral Roberts, Griffin’s first album, Hell With The Lid Off (1990) was released under the name MC 900 Ft. Jesus With DJ Zero, but the MC has sole billing on Welcome to My Dream (1991) and One Step Ahead of the Spider (1994). According to a Chicago Tribune article dated November 8, 1991, DJ Zero appears on Dream under his real name, Patrick Rollins, because of uncertainty about whether he would have been able to tour in support of the album. Rollins/Zero is not listed in the credits for Spider.
"When the crowd is with you, the jokes are fresh, your timing is just right, and the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars. You feel like you are exactly where you should be, and there is nothing better. Comedy is a rare gift from the gods, an awesome invention. It propels you right into the heart of the universe." - Margaret Cho in her best-selling book, I'm The One That I Want
Margaret Cho stands elegantly on the stage as a sold-out audience welcomes her with a raucous applause rarely heard in the echoing hall of New York City's prestigious Carnegie Hall. With typical poise and flair, these are her opening remarks: "I'm pretty sure I'm the first Korean-American woman who has ever stood on this stage without a violin."
"It's a rebirth," says Ivy singer Dominique Durand about All Hours [Nettwerk], the New York trio's new album and first release in six years. "We really had no idea where we were going for a long time. But in my mind, I knew I wanted to go back to some kind of innocence, and also a feeling of energy and excitement. I wanted to make a record based on those very basic sensations."
Fresh on the heels of her melancholy pop exploration, We Will Become Like Birds (Nettwerk, 2005), Erin McKeown comes roaring back with Sing You Sinners - 13 songs of mischief and verve collected from the forgotten corners of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway. Written by the likes of Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, and Fats Waller, learned from Fred Astaire, Gene Krupa, Nat King Cole, and Blossom Dearie, Sing You Sinners is McKeown's singular and sly take on the not-so-standard entries in the Great American Songbook.
In a time when the thought of another album along the lines of 'X sings the Standards' or 'Y sings Cole Porter' can fill a music fans heart with emotions ranging from foreboding to outright terror, the new album from Erin McKeown is a breath of fresh air.
As industrial and industrial metal made great inroads on the mainstream charts during the late ’90s, many early pioneers continued to record with little fanfare but a large amount of creativity, even if the astounding leaps in technology had largely altered their sound since the heyday of the 1980s. Download was originally begun by Skinny Puppy’s cEvin Key and Rudolph Dwayne Goettel in 1995 as a side project from their rapidly disintegrating full-time interest. Also a part of Download were Skinny Puppy contributors Anthony Valcic and Ken Marshall, plus Philth and Mark Spybey (from Dead Voices on Air). The debut album Furnace was issued on their own SubConscious Records (and distributed by Cleopatra) in late 1995; several months earlier, however, Goettel had died from a heroin overdose.
Autour de Lucie is a French band, led by vocalist Valérie Leulliot. When the group emerged on the French music scene in the early 90’s, the trio’s jaunty electro/pop/rock did not appear to sound radically different from other 90’s French pop groups. However, Autour de Lucie soon went on to establish themselves as leading lights on the French pop scene, and the group’s albums rapidly became best-selling exports abroad, helped by exposure in US on the Lilith Fair tour in 1997. The band broke up at the beginning of 2006, as Leulliot began to plan a solo career.