All My Pretty Ones

All My Pretty Ones are a six-member group from the San Francisco Bay Area. Led by songwriter Derek Schmidt, the band plays richly-orchestrated, folk-influenced music. Songs rely heavily on acoustic guitar and piano, with occasional flourishes from a wide array of instruments like oboe, upright bass, mandolin and glockenspiel. Their debut EP, "Handsbreadth," was released last year and includes five songs combining lighthearted melodies with …

William Fitzsimmons

His name echoes those of colonels and soldiers who fought in the American civil war. But far from that, William Fitzsimmons is actually an obscure songwriter from Jackson, Illinois, building a fan base through Myspace and, would you believe it, the TV show "Grey's Anatomy." When I hear his song, "It's Not True," I think of bleached wood, smoky red wine, and the great American …

Holiday Playlist 2007

Le Loup: The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly A weird mixture of banjos, percussion and computer sounds Le Loup creates an experimental sound that's still fun listening. Based on Sam Simkoff's original cheap recordings of a hodge-podge of inexpensive instruments, such as toy glockenspiels and an old banjo, and recorded using the microphone and recording software included with his …