Music vet and New Times scribe Lee Zimmerman offers his insights, opinions, and observations about the local scene. This week: The return of Ex Norwegian.
There are several new developments in the Ex-Norwegian saga of late. The band's epoch sophomore album, Sketch, was recently re-released, and yours truly takes great pride in the fact that the laudatory liner notes I wrote at Roger's request grace the back cover this time around. Yes, I offered effusive praise for this endeavor, but I thought then -- and I think now -- that Sketch is an album with the kind of indie appeal deserving of a wider audience. It's melodic, well-executed, and a reflection of that certain savvy he and his colleagues clearly had at their command. Roger recently returned from New York, where an attempt to change course -- personally and professionally -- didn't exactly go as planned. Still, South Florida is happy to have him back.
I had already recorded a full album with Eric Hernandez (Capsule, Psychic Mirrors), which I wanted to release under a different name. As the months went on, I kept going back and forth as to what the plan of action should be. It wasn't until August, when I was starting to talk with various publicists, that I realized there is simply no way to put out Sketch and not have Ex Norwegian in action. Worst of all, the original idea was to somehow tie in Sketch with a new album by a new group. All the people involved felt it simply wasn't going to work.
The scene seems pretty much the same. Just a couple new hot spots here and there and some new artists making their mark. I try to keep up with all that's going on, but there really is so much that it overwhelms me quickly. It was fun in New York actually, because I got the chance to catch some South Florida artists on the road -- Rachel Goodrich, Sam Friend, Jacobs Jeffries Band -- it's nice to see these guys playing to completely different crowds and packed venues with people who actually listen to the music. That kinda blew me away... not to say the audiences down here are bad... obviously there are good nights and all that... but it's just a different vibe. It's why it's so important for local bands to travel!
You emulate a lot of different styles in your musical mix.
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