The Watson Twins – Talking to You, Talking to Me + Ear Xtacy’s future

February 10, 2010

The Watson Twins released “Talking to You, Talking To Me” today and they had an album release gig at Ear Xtacy in Louisville, Ky. The Watson Twins have been making great music for a few years now; I’ve been a fan since hearing them with Jenny Lewis on “Rabbit Fur Coat,” and I continued listening to them on their EP “Southern Manners,” a hauntingly gorgeous collection of indie-folk songs. Their first full-length venture, “Fire Songs” added hyper-catchy pop to the mix, especially on the single “How Am I To Be.” “Talking to You…” was available for preview in streaming format yesterday and for full download this morning. I listened to the MP3s a dozen times, caught the show, picked up the vinyl and listened to the whole thing once more—it’s really great, really soulful music. The Twins have broken into new areas, moved away from indie-folk somewhat in dousing most of these new songs with bass-heavy, blues-riffed, classic R&B-soul sounds. Of the 12 songs, only one slips past the five-minute mark (“Midnight,” my favorite cut on the whole album at the moment, but I could be persuaded to change my mind to album opener “Modern Man” any second now) and only one other one comes close (“Forever Me”). Most are 2 and a half to four minute pop songs reminiscent in structure and quality of craft to ‘60s pop gems. The Watson Twins deserve success with this one, they’ve become stronger, better, and more sure of themselves with each record– and they had a heaping amount of natural talent and originality to begin with.

The Watson Twins (Chandra and Leigh) performed several songs from the new record at Ear Xtacy in Louisville, Ky and the set was broadcast on 91.9 WFPX along with an interview about the creative process in the recording of the record. The Watson Twins are from Louisville originally, and since moving to the area last year I have been keeping an eye out to see if they would be back in their hometown to do a show. They’ve been holed up in a cabin recording this excellent record since I’ve been here, but I lucked up since they flew in from California last night ahead of the snowstorm that hit the city this morning. Their sold-out show in West Virginia a few days ago was snowed out, their scheduled show for Pittsburg tomorrow is as well, but the promotional kick off in-store performance went ahead as scheduled. Any ticket holders fretting at a missed performance can rest assured that when the postponed show finally occurs they’ll be in for a great show. As for other Louisvillians and folks from the surrounding areas, if you haven’t heard the music these women are making, you’re missing out on a native-Kentucky talent on par with My Morning Jacket. The band backing Chandra and Leigh on the record and on the road are great too—Russell Pollard, Elijah Thomson, J.Soda, Bo Koster—Pollard and Soda also produced the record.

At the end of the show, John Timmons, founder of Ear Xtacy spoke. Rumors came out this week that Ear Xtacy may be facing foreclosure; Timmons urged everyone to buy the Twins new record and said that he was having a press conference on Friday to announce the future of the business. He said the store had been around for 24 years and he hoped to make it 25. Everyone filing out appeared to be buying a Watson Twins record; it’s going to take more to keep the store open, though. Ear Xtacy is one of the top 10 record stores in the country; it’s an institution, a purveyor of what an indie record store should look like. Out-of-towners stop by due to it’s national notoriety, free shows by great bands have been a staple for years, all new vinyl releases are pretty much in stock. Hopefully something can come together to keep them around—everyone sees music sells going to strictly digital in the near future but places like EXT offer much more than a point and click. It’s a place to see a show and get an autograph, to buy vinyl and CD’s of local artists, indie label musicians, rare and hard to find music collectibles; a place to actually see and converse with fellow fans as you discover and purchase new music; a nexus for the local music scene. Vinyl has been steadily increasing in popularity again over the past few years; for folks who want something tangible with their songs, for collectors, for audiophiles and people wanting a warmer, more classic sound and mix. So if you have a taste for vinyl at all and live near Louisville, go pick up some records. If you were going to pay 10 bucks for a download from i-Tunes, go buy the CD instead. Go grab a T-shirt, a rare concert DVD, or a small label EP not available in a digital format. There are definite benefits of ordering from internet retailers or downloading cheap music; but it’s sad if that results in the closure of something that offers us more than we can get from our computer desks.

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One Response to “The Watson Twins – Talking to You, Talking to Me + Ear Xtacy’s future”

  1. […] I caught an in-store performance by them on the release date for this record (which I reviewed here) and this ones been on my turntable, in my CD player, and on my i-pod ever since. Where their […]

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