.:: brought to you by ::.
Born Brian Corrigan, AnOM (An Open Mind) discovered at an early age that hip-hop was an important, guiding force in his life. Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland Anom would race home from school to hear the latest underground hits on afternoon AM radio. The sounds of legendary crews such as The Native Tongues, The Juice Crew All-Stars, and Gang Starr would create the foundation for his life-long love affair with hip-hop.
Creative by nature, Anom would go on to receive a Fine Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. It was at "Wash U" where he met close friend and future collaborator Yahya Jefferies-El, a.k.a. Yah Supreme. Their mutual respect and love for "true school" East Coast hip-hop would lead to the co-hosting of "The How To Flow Show", a late-night college radio slot the duo would hold down for two years on KWUR. The show nurtured Anom's individual style becoming the final piece of his musical foundation. Soon thereafter, Anom would be introduced to another talented young force in the St. Louis hip-hop scene, Producer Cave Precise.
Upon graduation, Anom returned to Baltimore but kept in frequent contact with Yah and Cave. The three would all finally relocate to Yah's native New York City further committing to their musical pursuits and eventually forming SonDoo Recordings. SonDoo's mission was simple: making the best music possible without compromising integrity. Period. Infusing poignant thought-provoking rhymes with smooth, groovy production, the label would assemble a core of artists including both Yah Supreme and Anom, Bronx-born emcee Oktober, and St. Louis standouts Dee Surreal and Altered States of Consciousness. Completing the move to Brooklyn in 1999 and solidifying his place in the SonDoo roster, Anom used his artistic talents as Art Director for the fledgling label.
Anom's first single (produced by Cave Precise), Without A Shadow Of A Doubt was released in April 2000 to receptive reviews with the with b-side, Open Season charting for four weeks and peaking at number two on The Gavin Report's Hip-Hop Chart. In addition, Public Enemy's front man, Chuck D listed the single in his year's best 100 on bringthenoise.com. SonDoo continued to grow with the critical success of eight subsequent releases and international acclaim culminating in the 2001 compilation, For Your Information distributed in Europe by the French label, Underground Academy. SonDoo's final release included Without A Shadow Of A Doubt and a new single, The Bottom Line.
Differences in creative direction would ultimately lead to the unraveling of the label in 2002 but Anom returned in 2005 with his full-length album, So It's Come To This.
.:: crooked fingers
After the Archers of Loaf disbanded, noted songwriter and indie-rock icon Eric Bachmann took his music in a different direction when he formed Crooked Fingers in 2000. Instead of the clamorous, angular tock of old, he began creating the sumptuous and delicately melancholic songs that have come to define the band.
The band convened at Jupiter Studios in their Seattle homebase with producer Marin Feveyear (Screaming Trees, The Minus Five, Presidents of the United States of America, Rosie Thomas) to record and mix new songs for an album that many are calling Bachmann's masterpiece. After recording 21 tracks that were intended to be a double record, the band pared the album down to 12 powerful songs of love, lost and found, illustrated by Bachmann's heartbreaking yet newly hopeful lyrics.
The fourth proper Crooked Fingers full-length release, Dignity and Shame shows the band taking a decidedly new route. Their first three releases (Crooked Fingers, Bring on the Snakes, Red Devil Dawn) were filled with gorgeous portraits of the broken down and abused, the drunken and the melancholy, augmented by string arrangements and orchestral flourishes. In contrast, the beauty of , Dignity and Shame lies in its simplicity and accessibility. Bachmann's vocals are at their most confident, while subtle lap steel surfaces from time to time to compliment the standard guitar / bass / drums set up. The infusion of Latin influences that began on Red Devil Dawn has been taken to the forefront on Dignity and Shame - the bold Spanish guitar of the opening instrumental "Islero" to the hint of mariachi in the trumpet line of "Twilight Creeps" depicts a band expanding on their signature sound. In addition, Lara Meyerattken, the Australian singer / keyboardist / songwriter who has collaborated with Ben Lee, Luna, Nada Surf and Luscious Jackson, lends her Siren-like voice to four tracks on the record. These new elements combine to make Dignity and Shame the band's most cohesive and sophisticated work to date.
.:: mt. wilson repeater
After ten-plus years fronting Los Angeles’ favorite sons, the Radar Bros., Jim Putnam now brings his acclaimed talent for composition, melody and command of the studio to his new project Mt. Wilson Repeater.
Recorded in his renowned backyard studio in Atwater Village, CA, Mt. Wilson Repeater is the sound of late nights at the piano, bourbon in hand, after a day spent watching his dog Hal eat freshly fallen grapefruit from the adjacent tree.
Playing multiple instruments on the album and utilizing many of the techniques learned from his father, Bill Putnam, Jim delivers masterful recordings of his trademark aesthetic. This self-titled debut expresses that warm southern California sun worshipped by Putnam, the Radar Bros. and their fans yet the similarities between Mt. Wilson Repeater and the Radar Bros. suddenly come to an abrupt end.
Vocals take a backseat to music on this album—if they get in the car at all—serving more as an integral part of the sound and instrumentation rather than as a point of focus. Jim creates lush, psychedelic arrangements swimming within an intimate bedroom ambience – a seamless welding of electronic and acoustic worlds. The experiment that is Mt. Wilson Repeater sits comfortably in the backyard along with tradition, sharing drinks until tradition passes out, allowing him to sneak back into the studio.