TonyDoug's CD Reviews: Michael, Spiv, Sprawl
by TonyDoug Wright
Michael, The Day After My Confidence (self-released, 2002)
THE BAND: David Fairbairn (Vocals and Guitar), Asa Leffer (Guitar), John Nowicki (Bass and Backing Vocals) and Bob Sleppy (Drums).
THE HISTORY: Formed in Athens, GA in 1993, Michael has released two albums: You Must Be This Tall and The Day After My Confidence.
THE REVIEW: Michael spent nearly two years working on and recording The Day After My Confidence. The final product is a harmonious and textured album that is outstanding from beginning to end. David Fairbairn's songwriting reflects a band of beauty and intelligence. If you wish to check out Michael mp3's or if you are interested in purchasing the album, visit www.michaelisaband.com.
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Spiv, Dont'cha Know? (Pop Sweatshop 2003)
THE BAND: Chris Barber (Vocals and Guitar) - Additional musicians for Don'tcha Know include Ken Stringfellow (Bass, Keyboards, Vocals and Percussion), Sean Sippel (Drums and Saxophone), Toad "Too Tuff" Tobin (Drums) and Dehja Clayton (Backup Vocals).
THE HISTORY: Spiv is a British slang term for an individual that uses their wits to avoid employment and it is also the name taken by musician Chris Barber in 1997. The musical biography for Spiv can be found at www.popsweatshop.com and is worth checking out because of the blatant amount of name-dropping. Our good buddy Spiv has jammed with Ginger Baker and played shows with Nirvana and Bikini Kill. Spiv has released albums such as By Definition (1999) and Junior (2000). Ken Stringfellow (The Posies) produced Don'tcha Know. A release date for the CD is scheduled for February 2003.
THE REVIEW: Don'tcha Know is a slick power-pop production that just might end up on my Top 20 Albums of 2003 list. I am not sure if it will make Ginger Baker's list, but that is not the point. The album instantly caught my attention with "Don'tcha Know" (an all-out rocker) followed by the Billy Bragg-ish "Not for Years". Personally, I feel that "Everybody's a Rock Star Tonight" is the best track on Don'tcha Know. The rest of the album is impressive except for the Euro-trash-techno-rap tune "VIPs of the Street." If you are interested in some free downloads, then check out http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/18/spiv.html. To purchase the album, visit www.popsweatshop.com.
Sprawl, Sarah Veladora (IMOJ 2002)
THE BAND: Ralph Kircher (Vocals and Guitar), Jonathan Agensky (Drums and Percussion), Matt Swift (Bass) and Chris Naylor (Guitar).
THE HISTORY: Toronto musicians Ralph Kircher and Jonathan Agensky formed Sprawl in 1996. Since its inception, the band has released Tear and Drain (1996 EP) and Fasterthanyou (1999). Sarah Veladora is their latest album and they continue to be a huge draw in Toronto.
THE REVIEW: This Canadian quartet has released a super cool glam-rock album. Laid-back and dreamy with a cooler-than-you attitude, Sarah Veladora is nearly flawless. Standout tracks include "Bad Girl", "Get Off", "Star in the Basement" and "Feed Your Angel". You can check out some tunes for free or purchase the album at www.thesprawl.com.
ATTENTION: If you want me to review your band's material, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.