A fair number of CDs make their way to my desk here at OnMilwaukee.com. Some I'm eager to hear, others are here simply because a band is coming to town and some are from bands I've never heard of.
I just popped one of the latter and was pleasantly surprised. Then I Googled Erland and the Carnival and saw that they are, at least according to one online source, "Paul Weller's favorite band," and that they're playing some dates with the Modfather in the U.S.
The four songs on the "Trouble In Mind" EP (released in the U.S. on Yep Roc) were recorded by guitarist and singer Erland Cooper, guitarist Simon Tong (The Verve, latter day Blur, Gorillaz and Damon Albarn's The Good, The Bad, The Queen) and drummer David Nock, who has played with Paul McCartney's The Fireman.
The EP is released here on Tuesday.
Although I love the infectious minor key pop of the title track, it is the cover of Jackson C. Frank's "My Name is Carnival" that really grabbed my attention.
After an intro that recalls Cream's "White Room" (oh, yes, it does, my friends), the trio kicks into hyped-up exotica with reverb-laden vibrato guitar and a lyric and title that conjure Bid's The Monochrome Set and their eponymous song.
"You Don't Have to Be Lonely" -- fueled by Farfisa -- is similarly Monochromian, although lots of reviewers have also bandied about 13th Floor Elevators and The Decemberists, which are both valid, too.
Rooted in the folk of the likes of Bert Jansch, but informed by everything since, this is music I want to hear more of. The group's self-titled, 13-song full-length is already out in the U.K. and all four of the songs on this EP are on it.
Looks like I gotta start trolling the interwebs ...
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.