As one of the founding members of the Los Angeles punk band X, John Doe was one of the most influential figures in American alternative rock during the early '80s, but when he launched a solo career in the early '90s, he decided to pursue a rootsy, country-rock direction instead of continuing with punk. X's latter-day albums exhibited a rockabilly and country influence, but it wasn't until Doe's 1990 debut, Meet John Doe, that he recorded a pure country album.
Born and raised in Neptune City, NJ, singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins lived up and down the east coast before settling in New York to write her debut album about her hometown. Atkins was approached by friend and now band-mate Dan Chen in 2005 to start a new band, The Sea, based on the songs Atkins had on her MySpace page.
Tokyo Police Club is a group of four friends from Newmarket Ontario who picked up instruments and formed a band in their senior year of high school. Their debut EP A Lesson In Crime was written up everywhere from indie blogs to Rolling Stone who gushed it had, "seven first-rate mod-punk party starters." Elephant Shell, the debut full-length, is due at the end of April.
The Heavy hail from Noid, a small town in southwest of England. The band will be lumped in with the retro-soul revival, but The Heavy add cool lo-fi samples and facemelting guitar solos to create a one of a kind groove that's heavy, dirty, and funky.
Baltimore duo Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack chose the name Wye Oak after they realized Monarch, their first choice for a name had already been claimed by 7 other bands. Their recorded sound is layered and lush. They try to capture that same sound when the two of them perform live, but they also feel that if a song is good enough, it should be able to stand on its own.
Devonte Hynes used to draw a comic strip called Lightspeed Champion to kill time while he was in math class. When his indie-buzz band Test Icicles broke up in 2006, Hynes resurrected the name for his new project.
Super Furry Animals formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1993. The band signed with the Rough Trade label in 2006 and released "Hey Venus!" in 2007.
Keren Ann released her full-length debut, "La Biographie de Luka Philipsen," in 2000. La Biographie was received well in Europe and earned several nominations for the Victoires - the French equivalent of the Grammy - for Best New Discovery (Artist and Album) and Best Song of the Year.
The band has been called soft revolutionaries and their music described as their rallying cry. Their latest offering "In Our Bedroom after the War" was released in 2007 and the band continues to make beautiful and relevant music.
The prolific singer-songwriter Josh Rouse loves the recording process. He doesn't find it difficult to write twelve good songs, so he finds himself in a recording studio every year or so. After recording over six days in Puerto de Santa Maria in Spain, Rouse released his seventh full-length album, "Country Mouse City House," the title of which was inspired by a 70-mile walk through the north of Spain.
Some bands don't like to be categorized as "shoegazer" music. Ulrich Schnauss takes it as a complement to be compared to artists such as My Bloody Valentine.
Pete Yorn loves to make music. Not only is he a musician, but a true music fan. When he's not making records and touring, he runs a music label called Trampoline Records.
Songs performed: "Last Romantic Day," "Life Without A Brain," and "Sweetness & Tenderness."
Since leaving the Drive By Truckers, Jason Isbell has all ready made a name for himself as a solo artist. Even before he left the Truckers, he was recording his solo album. Sirens of the Ditch oozes with the sounds of Muscle Shoals, where Jason calls home when he's not on the road.
Singer/multi-instrumentalist Annie Clark said she came up with the name St. Vincent to put no limitations on what she could do. She said with a name like St. Vincent, the band could be "expandable and could include other people and really be a whole entity."