Listening Party: Millie Palmer, PAN and Talk Show Hosts

This week’s opening act is Mille Palmer, a college-age singer/songwriter with strong pop leanings. The Asheville-based performer is also noteworthy for giving her faith equal billing with her talent. She’s even gone so far as to claim that her songs have a “Christian message behind them.” But faith isn’t Palmer’s only inspiration; on certain songs she’s also very obviously influenced by the music if Stephanie’s Id, particularly on songs like “Do I.” We suggest starting with “Storm,” available on her MySpace page.

In the wrong hands, it can be a horrible mistake to mix-and-match elements from indie rock, garage, post-grunge and alt-country. It can result in a formless glop of a song, with all the characteristic blind groping of a half-hearted jam session. In the right hands, however, it can come out sounding much like PAN. Without coming across as fragmented or aimless, the duo of Jimmy Tutterow and Jon Darconte manages to recombine these various elements into tunes that have something approaching a pop-song’s immediacy to them. We suggest starting with “don’t spit your teeth at me.” 

Closing out this week’s Listening Party, we have Talk Show Hosts. While the group seems to be following the trend of slightly mopey, New Wave-inspired rock, there’s a bit more to their sound than just the cliches. We suggest starting with the song “Telepathic,” which you can find on their MySpace page.

Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these performers by posting into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, so praise and pan as you see fit.

— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor

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10 thoughts on “Listening Party: Millie Palmer, PAN and Talk Show Hosts

  1. Johnny Digital

    My initial reaction to Talk Show Hosts was mixed. They sounded like the saviors of all things guitar pop… but then of course, I know these people, so it’s possible that I gave them too much credit due to my disbelief that any of my loser friends could feasibly get a band together and not suck. …I’ll tell you what, they are huge poseurs… ok, it’s out. They sit around most of the time trying to come up with ways to sound more like Neutral Milk Hotel and the Jesus and Mary Chain. (SUCH LATE NINETIES, POST-GRUNGE NONSENSE) Anyway, you should check them out because most of the other music in the Asheville area totally blows and you have nothing else to do with your weekend.

  2. Gnathan

    I checked out the Talk Show Hosts. My face just melted. I liked it. A lot.

  3. Millie Palmer: below average, female singer/songwriter stuff… not my kind of thing anyway, but I’d go out of my way to avoid this. Someone should buy her a metronome for Xmas.

    Pan: annoying and overly dramatic… lyrics are not bad, but the delivery is kind of absurd.

    Talk Show Hosts: quite enjoyable pop tunes… melodic with decent lyrics. I really like the first 3 songs on MySpace, “Energetic” much less so.

  4. P.T. Anderson

    Millie Palmer is ok. For what she’s doing, she does it well.

    PAN sounds like they might be fun live, but nothing about their actual music strikes me as substantial or captivating beyond its absurdity.

    Talk Show Hosts, however, have a great pop/electronic sound that is both catchy and substantial. The lyrics seem above average for that type of music. It refreshing to hear a band like Talk Show Hosts doing something different in the midst of Asheville’s jam/noodle/clichelyrics music scene.

  5. J Greenwood

    Millie Palmer – Touching ballads, masterful vocals, and heartwrenching lyrics. Classic. A+

    Pan: Progressive and intelligent futuristic epic space jams. B

    Talk Show Hosts – Pop is dead. F–

  6. T. McVeigh

    Millie: superb yet conscientious. tamed yet pronunciated.

    PAN: rigid yet lucid; present yet uninteresting.

    Talk Show Hosts: vibrant yet distinguished. far away yet alienatingly sophisticated.

  7. Leah Driggers

    I really enjoyed hearing Talk Show Hosts – a little off-beat and different. I would be happy to play it at a party to set the mood or just zone out in my car.

  8. Michael Ackley

    Enough with the word puns for titles, that’s advice that should be taken absolutely for talk show hosts, as the titles make me cringe while the songs make me bob me head up and down and shake my booty all around. It’s as though the craft and the work and the effort stops with the songs, which are great, however, stops before the band gets to the titles. Talk Show Hosts are a great band, with style and good looks to match their amalgamation of hipster new new wave and british globalization sensitivity….which is funny, as globalization is so far removed from word puns……….Yes, I endorse Talk Show Hosts but only for their music not for their ability to be clever.

  9. johnny digital

    Seriously… (not that anyone will read this) everything I posted earlier was nonsense. Talk Show Hosta are the greatest thing to happen to music since lennon told mccartney to piss off. I listen to them every day, and I am a better person for it. All of my wildest dreams are coming true. Don’t you want that? -Go see this band, you don’t deserve them.

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