Monday, November 18, 2013

Go, Letha, Go!

Letha Rodman Melchoir, several years in, is still fighting cancer. While going through rounds of radiation, giving in and finally settling on chemotherapy, and sporting a purple mohawk, she's also recorded an album and made a video to accompany it. See here:

Her record, Handbook for Mortals, was released last month and can be purchased from husband Dan Melchior's website.

If you haven't yet read through Letha's Happy Hospital Funtime Blog, I very much recommend that you give it a visit and read as much of it as possible. She tackles all of the honest, gory parts that come with cancer treatment, the scary parts that so many people gloss over and are afraid to be let known when giving the timeline from diagnosis to remission. What really separates her from so many others who've written about their experiences, however, is that all the honesty is spoken with an amazing sense of humor that paints her as positively brave. Her battle has been nothing short of terrifying to read about, and it's gone on for approximately three years -- what began as a rare case of clear cell sarcoma (read about the asshole doctor who diagnosed her) became stage IV melanoma, and so began a series of never-ending tumors and experimental treatments. Please help her out if you can.

On a related note, husband Dan Melchior also released an album this year, K-85, and all proceeds from its sale will benefit Letha's care, and the couple's living expenses. As of right now, 25 of the 400 limited edition vinyl copies remain and can be purchased from Dan's website.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The return of Christine Leakey!

Hey! Remember Christine Leakey? Two years later, she's released a new seven-inch and video, and has a new album in the works, due next year.

From her fingertips: 

When I was a teen, I would creep down the stairs once my family was asleep, and under dim light I would quietly play improvisational spooky mood music on my mom's synthesizer. I was most drawn to making up somber creepy toned sounds and circus ditties on keyboards. It's just always been this way since my Great Grandma Jones gave me her 1940s Italian chord organ. 

Th' Whale and th' Warbler

The Whale and the Warbler is perhaps one of the most refreshing submissions I've received as of late; led by Conor McCann, they're a group ranging from six to eight people, based out of Rochester, NY, blending folk and big band in a way that ought to be bothersome on description, but, as it turns out, has much more musical depth than the bands to which they will likely be compared (I'm looking at you, Mumford).

Thanksgiving was recorded in a church, and this recording environment is undoubtedly present in the album's feel. It's like autumn leaves falling, like watching a crowd of people while completely alone, like a wedding, like the anticipation of change. It is at once somber and jolly, lively and soothing. The abundant, occasionally dissonant brass (and very occasional swing) is what sets it apart from so many other folk albums. It mumbles and it crashes, and will make you feel all sorts of things.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The other Heathers.

I absolutely adore this seven-inch by Los Angeles trio Heathers (who are actually soon to take the stage at a Part Time Punks-presented Television Personalities/Wedding Present covers show in tribute to the late John Peel). Deeming themselves "miserablist guitar pop," Heathers are one part Britpop, one part Slumberland-style shoegaze, and one part revivalists of the above (think Pains of Being Pure at Heart). They've got a brand new drummer, and they're so new that their first interview took place just over a week ago.

Heathers will be at the Silverlake Lounge this Tuesday, November 5.