Spiral Stairs

Raccoons do drugs. It’s science…

An excerpt from Spiral Stairs’ biography:

Former frontman of Preston School Of Industry and founding member of Pavement, Scott Kannberg returns with his first solo album, The Real Feel, credited to his long-running nom-du-rock, Spiral Stairs.

“I guess that’s my name now,” he laughs. “It had been so long since the last Preston School Of Industry album, it made sense to call this a Spiral Stairs record. Everyone knows me as Spiral, it’s weird when someone calls me ‘Scott’. I’m not sure anyone knows who Scott Kannberg is.”

Despite the pseudonym, however, The Real Feel is Spiral’s most personal and honest recording yet, the songs’ loose, late-night vibe, soulful ache and charmingly vulnerable optimism shaped by his experiences in the years between the last Preston School Of Industry album, 2004’s Monsoon, and today.

It’s an album heavy with haunted blues and bruised soul, with a soused late-night ambience that perfectly fits both its scuffed and sad-eyed ballads, and its more strident rockers.

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The Heavy

OK, so I found out about these guys from a KIA Sorento commercial; shoot me.

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OK, the dolls are a little creepy, but these guys have a really good sound going here.

Romantica – The National Side from Ryan Newman on Vimeo.

Cool Jobs: Local Rock Star from 651media on Vimeo.

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Choppin’ Wood

How did I not know about this until now?

Who knew? from mikedidonato on Vimeo.

This is Mike Didonato by the way who, aside from being an exceptional wood splitter, is also a mechanical engineer, accomplished rock climber, roller-derby fanatic, Kung Fu black belt and all-round nice guy. He keeps a pretty neat website to document his achievements and tickle your funny bone too.

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You’ll understand my disbelief when I first saw this:

Rayland Baxter

Rayland Baxter

Rayland Baxter looking rather chilly


I knew Rayland in high school. At the time, I was only jealous of his athleticism, devilish good looks and height (he’s well over 6′). Imagine my anguish to find out he’s also a talented songwriter with an angelic voice.

In all seriousness, Rayland is writing some excellent compositions and, perhaps more importantly, he is bringing them to life with judicious instrumentation and uncommon restraint. Have a gander at this video and then saunter over to his Myspace page to get the goods.


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Spoon Video

OK, so this is the second Spoon video I’ve posted in a month. Why, you ask? Because a) these guys are underrated and really, really awesome and b) this particular video is, unfortunately, a very accurate depiction of what a recording session can devolve into when a band shows up with an entourage.

The Underdog from Spoon on Vimeo.

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Serious Sam Barrett

This guy’s from Yorkshire. Like, England!

Serious Sam Barrett – Lay A White Rose from James Rhodes on Vimeo.

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The Morning Benders

I was really taken with this video; real people, in a real room, singing and playing together in real time! This kind of production is becoming rarer by the day and there are some good reasons for this. The additional prep-time it takes to teach a multitude of people when to start and stop is pretty obvious, but it is also exceptionally difficult to edit this type of session because of the bleed from various sources into mics designated for a different source. For example, if the snare drum is off on the drum track, you can move it, but then you’ll still be able to hear the error on the vocal track and the corrected hit on the drum track; this sounds bad.

So, you’re basically left with whatever is captured on one take. This can be a nerve-racking experience, but it can also lead to pretty amazing moments being captured that would otherwise be “fixed” in a modern, non-linear editing process.

This video seems to support the now-novel idea of capturing a real moment in time as apposed to using the recording process as a method for achieving an ideal that only exists on Steely Dan records. It is a very unique piece of music, and that, in and of itself, is a rarity these days.

Yours Truly Presents: The Morning Benders “Excuses” from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

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