(Or: The Creepy Random Animal Head Edition)

So, two more reasons I’m thrilled for August… oddly enough, with a similar cover art theme. I’m not sure why Anchor & Braille and Needtobreathe, two artists I adore, have creepy animal heads on the covers, but… okay.

Exhibit A: The Deer Head
I am a borderline fangirl when it comes to Anberlin, so when Stephen Christian’s solo demos first appeared on MySpace a few years ago, I took notice. Along the way he collaborated with Copeland’s Aaron Marsh, played some shows here and there, and released a 7″ vinyl under the name Anchor & Braille. After catching their set at Cornerstone FL in 2007 (has it really been that long?), I knew something great was in the making. But where, oh where was a sign of moving forward on the project?

And now, after a few good years of (im)patiently waiting, the debut LP Felt is here! Anchor & Braille is nothing like Anberlin… yet Stephen’s voice and songwriting is unmistakable. Early reviews point to something even more introspective and personal than his work with Anberlin… very singer-songwriter, a little bit folk, a little bit Copeland-esque pop.

The album releases August 4th (okay, 3 days from now!), but the whole thing is streaming on MySpace now! Experiencing it for the first time as I type this. Beautiful stuff. Definite favorites are “Like Steps in a Dance,” “Wedding/Funeral,” and “Sleep. When We Die.” So worth the wait.

Exhibit B: The Target-Dog-on-Steroids Horse

(Like the Target-Dog-on-Steroids description? I can’t take credit… my friend and biggest-NtB-fan-ever Sheila came up with it. :))

I became a Needtobreathe fan when I got a used copy of The Heat. With their second album, they really came into their own with a lively Southern rock sound, singable choruses, and great lyrics. The Outsiders is an extension of what they did with The Heat, and my after a couple listens to a preview copy, I’m happy to say the new project lives up to the anticipation.

I guess I shouldn’t say too much… you can read my analysis when my JfH review comes out. ;) For now, check out their MySpace for a “Taste of the Outsiders” demo, and please, if you’re not familiar, definitely check out The Heat and get to know these talented guys. The Outsiders drops on August 25th.

***

Now in real life news… hey, Sherri and I are making our triumphant return to the dance floor tomorrow! I don’t know why we stopped swing dancing this year, to be honest. Life got in the way, I guess? Working, taking a writing class… so many things in so many directions. But somehow, I had that nagging little feeling that I missed dancing. I missed the music, the people, the fun of vintage dance culture and telling people I had this unusual skill.

So, we signed up for Flyin’ Footwork’s upcoming Lindy Hop class. I love Lindy, but it’s a tough dance… figured easing back into it rather than showing up at Whirl & Twirl and making a dork of myself would be the better way. I can’t wait to see Rob & Dawn and get on the dance floor again. It’s been too long.

Here’s to the hope of using the “Swingin'” tag on my blog more. I’m excited and terrified. Just pray no poor dancing dudes get injured by my rusty dancing skills tomorrow. :)

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