that is good

"Without music, life would be a mistake."
-Friedrich Nietzsche

The Verna Cannon: Okay, so I'm in a band with the lead singer and bassist, but that's not the point. Actually, the chronology is that I was a fan of Danielle Howle, who was in Lay Quiet Awhile (now defunct) with Dan Cook (now editor of The Free Times). While buying the Lay Quiet Awhile cd from Dan, he told me about his new band, The Verna Cannon. I went to hear them and was hooked. Only much later did I get involved with Lunch Money, Molly's side project for children.
All of that aside, after playing with Molly and Jay a bit, I broke out "The Verna Cannon", which is their self-titled debut cd and it is, quite simply, friggin' amazing. Molly is a splendid lyricist with an amazing voice and something about the whole group just gels into a delightfully absorbing slow-core (Dan's term, not mine) sound. Click and listen, then buy both cds, then come hear Lunch Money just for good measure.

Danielle Howle: Quite simply the most talented singer-songwriter in South Carolina, probably much further than that. Why she is not a household name is a mystery to practically everyone who has heard her, including The Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, and everybody I know who has taste in music. See her live, solo and with the Tantrums. You will not be disappointed.

Jump, Little Children: Probably South Carolina's best band, J,LC's "Licorice Tea Demos" (Now available in "The Early Years, vol.1") stands out as one of the most original compositions in contemporary music. Get past some imperfections in production and engineering and you'll have something that will change the way you think about music. After your world has been rocked, start waiting anxiously to buy your ticket to this year's Dock Street performance, where the band plays largely acoustically in Charleston's Dock Street Theatre. These performances are among the best I've ever attended anywhere. After you've done that, buy Vertigo.

Uncommon Ritual: An album, not a band, featuring Edgar Meyer, Béla Fleck & Mike Marshall. Like "Licorice Tea Demos", this album pushed music to new heights of originality and sheer brilliance. Unlike "LTD", it had a plentiful production budget and three of the best musicians in the world (this is general opinion, not just my own) playing on it. Of course, by that I mean to detract nothing from Jump, as I feel safe in assuming that they would back me up on that comment. Listen to it, buy it, be disappointed in everything else you hear this year.