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Listed: Wildbirds & Peacedrums + The Shaky Hands

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Dusted Features

Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Swedish "jazz" duo Wildbirds & Peacedrums and Portland youngsters the Shaky Hands.

Listed: Wildbirds & Peacedrums + The Shaky Hands

Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Andreas Werliin and Mariam Wallentin began making music together in 2006 at Sweden’s Gotheburg University, Wallentin improvising wild, emotionally-freighted vocals, Werliin building nests and thickets and brushfires of drumming around her. After coming together as a musical duo, the two married, recorded their first album Heartcore (2007) and received the Jazz in Sweden prize (2008) in short order. In his review of this year’s The Snake, Dusted’s John Eyles observed that early on, “Werliin’s percussion had a tribal energy reminiscent of the Burundi beat of Adam & the Ants or Bow Wow Wow. Wallentin’s elastic voice soared and swooped, displaying freedom and flexibility combined with the ability to convey great emotion.” The new album incorporates a wider variety of instruments – autoharp, harmonica, bass, flute and xylophone – and subtly extends the band’s sound. The Snake came out in America on The Control Group label.

1. Jan Johansson - Jazz på Svenska
Sweden’s most groundbreaking jazz pianist and composer who passed away in a car accident in 1968. This recording (Jazz on Swedish) is future songs from the Swedish folk history. It’s all made with a lot of space, melodies in focus. Melancholy!

2. Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden
The last record (sic) of this misunderstood group that in the end turned their back to the world and record industry and made one of the most beautiful endings of a band ever. Their fans turned their backs, too, but the freaks went bananas. (Ed. Note: Laughing Stock (1991) was the band’s final studio album)

3. El Perro Del Mar - From the Valley to the Stars
Sara Assbring has just made a great new record that’s called Love is Not Pop, but we can’t let go of her old one about heaven and death. She sings like a pure angel and it’s just so beautiful you want to cry.

4. Max Roach - Lift Every Voice And Sing
If you only can bring one angry-choir-with-rolling-drums to the party, this might be the one.

5. Micachu and the Shapes - Jewellery
Our new musical crush is on Mica. We made a BBC recording together with this band and confirmed that their London Beat beats everything else. Jewellery is produced by Matthew Herbert, who took good care of the band’s natural dirt.

6. Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle
One of the few good voices on record this year.

7. Raymond Scott - Manhattan Research Inc.
The electronica pioneer’s first recordings on his home-built analog sound-making machines. Sometimes introduced with a laboratory-dry voice explaining what original sound the machine is reproducing, like "the breakdown of a car."

8. Maria Callas - La Leggenda
The best thing ever to listen to when your in an airplane. Everything she sings becomes clouds and birds

9. Snöleoparden - Snöleoparden
A beautiful collection of bits and pieces of people making sounds and rhythms. At first kind of cute, but after a while it gets darker. A Danish treasure.

10. Little Dragon - Machine Dreams
Gothenburg fellows that, like us, don’t have the typical average "Swedish sound." They go their own way. And Yukimi sings like a goddess on pills (that’s a compliment).

The Shaky Hands

Dusted has been following the Shaky Hands since the Portland band’s 2004 self-recorded CD-R debut, a loose and jangly take on indie pop that referenced Americana, British Invasion and lo-fi home taping traditions in equal measures. Since then the band has recorded three full-lengths, infusing carefully crafted songs with irrepressible DIY energy. Brandon Bussolini said in his review of 2007’s self-titled debut, “In a way, The Shaky Hands embody the reason bummed suburbanites from across the country make the trek to Portland…If a slow-music movement emerges in the next couple of years, these guys will be at the forefront.” The Shaky Hands spent early 2009 touring with the Meat Puppets. Their third album, Let It Die, is out now on Kill Rock Stars. Drummer Jake Morris wrote this week’s Listed.

Here’s a brief window into what is passing the time, and giving us strength on the 10-hour drives as the Shaky Hands travel through this nearly three-month international tour season:

Podcasts, podcasts, podcasts

1. The Best Show on WFMU’s "Gems"
Pretty much been a tour staple for me since ‘03. Now they’re offering up-to-date gems, mostly calls from the wacky characters voiced by Jon Wurster. Though I’ve discovered a few new contributors, including a painfully hilarious endurance test involving a sales rep for Smirnoff Ice. I don’t know his name, but I believe he used to be on Dr Katz?

2. Dan Patrick Show Podcast
As a pizza delivery dude, the DP show has been getting me through the banality of my job for years. Now, I can take the enjoyable part of my job on the road! My favorite part of the show is not necessarily the sports element, but the chemistry between Dan and "the Danettes." After listening as long as I have, you feel like you know them, and can laugh along as they point out each others embarrassing character flaws.

3. NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross
Terry has the sexiest voice in the world, hands down, and can handle an interview with any heavy hitter in the world, and get real personal insight from the toughest nuts to crack. Recent favorites include interviews with Woody Allen and Quentin Tarantino. Also check out the transcript from her interview with Gene Simmons from years back where she essentially tears him a well-deserved new one.

4. Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffitti
Picking for guitarist Jeff "Steamin" Leaman. C’mon really? You need an explanation for this one? Mid-day Kansas landscape, or late-night metropolis parking search, this one ALWAYS delivers.

5. The Wipers - Is This Real?
Picking for bassist Mayhaw Hoons. The first from arguably Portland’s finest export. I, a soft-rock enthusiast, was turned on to this band by Mayhaw, and now, like it or not, I got punk CRED y’all!

6. David Byrne and Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
For singer Nick Delffs. If you put him in a corner, he would say George Harrison, but he’s going on record with this one. Jay Pellicci, who recorded our new album, Let It Die, was enjoying this album in the studio in between butchered takes and changing reels. Nick took his recommendation and ran with it.

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