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Some Double Bills Are Better Than Others

August 22nd, 2012

Singer-songwriter-guitarist Sam Cohen is a talented, busy dude. In Boston, where the Houston native attended the famed Berklee College of Music, he formed the psychedelic-rock trio Apollo Sunshine. That would’ve been enough for some musicians. But Cohen is also a sideman in demand, appearing on albums for Shakira and Norah Jones, among others. That, too, would’ve been enough for some musicians. But not for Cohen. Instead, he decided to launch himself into another project, Yellowbirds (above, playing
“In Our World” for KDHX FM in St. Louis), in 2009. The group—although it’s really more of a solo project—put out the well-received The Color, filled with auto harp, fuzzy guitars and pedal steel, last year.

In a similar vein, upon returning to Brooklyn from Texas, Gabriel Levine began recording new material and then sought out a rotating lineup of friends to play the songs live under the name Takka Takka. But, again, it wasn’t enough. The singer-songwriter-guitarist had other stories to tell, this time about disappointment and the dissolution of relationships. So he started a new band, Gabriel and the Hounds (below, doing “What Good Would That Do” and “Just Not Like You” for La Blogothèque), and recorded a new album, Kiss Full of Teeth. It “was this really personal, small idea that became this record, and it felt great to do that,” he said. The sound, according to The Guardian, is made up of “a virtual indie orchestra, with guitar, bass and drums augmented by woodwind, French horn, trumpet, violin, trombone, cello and flute.” Want to know how that sounds live? You’re in luck because Yellowbirds and Garbiel and the Hounds play Mercury Lounge tomorrow night.