Blips: Three Under The Radar Bands

Her wise beyond her years sound can be heard all throughout her recently released Fat Possum debut EP Why You Runnin’ – which was produced by Band Of Horses bassist Bill Reynolds. Lissie recently wrapped up holding down the opening slot for Ray LaMontagne on his solo tour, and has a handful of dates already scheduled for next year.

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- Jeffrey Greenblatt

Morningsides

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MySpace / Website

The four members of Morningsides from Chicago and Winfield grew up listening to as much Hank Williams Sr. and Bob Dylan as they did James Brown and Guns N’ Roses. The result is a warm, honest approach that at once sounds like something completely new and strangely familiar. The music is clean and raucous country-twinged rock that would be equally at home in a dive bar as it would be in a classic theater. Their recordings sound dangerously close to vinyl, and that same touch and attention to detail comes out during live performances.

Songwriting responsibilities are shared between two of the founding members, Tom Perona and R.M. Racky. Both are multi-instrumentalists, and both contribute heavily to the band’s recorded efforts. Perona’s funk and pop sensibilities comes out in his bass playing and songwriting while Racky’s psychedelic take on swooning pedal steel and guitar makes their music easy to recognize, but hard to categorize. James Scott, the latest addition to the lineup, plays a rock solid rhythm guitar and also pulls triple duty as a record producer and engineer, helping to craft what has become the band’s signature sound. Tim Rimbos’ mathematical, lively drumming pulls the various furies together. The Morningsides are a living example of schizophrenic rock, rooted in laughter at their own pain in a way few others can pull off outside of the Midwest.

- Benji Feldheim

Local Natives

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MySpace / Website

Pay attention folks as you’re going to be seeing the name Local Natives getting tossed around a lot in the coming months as they are primed to be one the “break out” bands of 2010 – so remember where you heard about them first. The LA-based act draws you in with its combination of hypnotic propulsive drumming and acid drenched post-punk harmonies that is reminiscent of both The Dodos and White Rabbits and is getting a lot of play on my iPod at the moment.

The Local Natives will see their debut album Gorilla Manor get a stateside release via Frenchkiss in early February of next year – which includes a fantastic take on the Talking Heads song Warning Sign (they also do a killer cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Cecelia). The band currently has a lengthy European tour lined up that kicks off in mid-January that will keep them busy into March.

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- Jeffrey Greenblatt

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