Monday, August 30, 2010

J.R. Hardee Of Paper Tongues in MODERN DRUMMER

modern drummer

J.R. Hardee Of Paper Tongues
2010-08-30


Hey, guys, this is J.R. Hardee from Paper Tongues! I’ve been playing with Paper Tongues for three years, but I’ve been tappin’ them old skins since I was three feet tall. I used to drag out all the pots and pans from my mom’s kitchen and make a drumset out of them. Now I play a Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute kit, and it’s sweet because it actually sounds like drum tones instead of the annoying clanging of metal on metal. We all have to start somewhere, right?

I didn’t grow up taking lessons, but I had a natural sense of rhythm from my pops, Ricky Dean, the percussionist/BBQ god, and my poppy Gary, the fishing drummer. Poppy now plays steel guitar and is the proud songwriter of hits such as “Margarita Momma.”

Though I never took lessons, I always looked up to and studied the underground hip-hop community, Carter Beauford, and Jeff Buckley’s drummer, Matt Johnson. With all the amazing opportunities Paper Tongues are getting, I hope to truly inspire kids to play drums as much as these players inspired me.

I’m going to exit now due to the fact that I’m writing this on my iPhone and my thumb is getting tired. I’ll post more down the road. Thanks for reading and hopefully I’ll see you out at a show. Play with your heart and soul, stay in control, and rock ’n’ roll!

Photo by Brad Moore. For more on J.R. Hardee and Paper Tongues, go to www.papertongues.com.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Burning Hotels: Austin's Birthday [Video] FENSEPOST

The Burning Hotels: Austin's Birthday [Video]
Written by Ron Trembath No Comment Tags: the burning hotels

http://www.fensepost.com/main/2010/05/28/the-burning-hotels-austins-birthday-video/




A night in an amusement park is always a memorable experience. The thrill
that a few PBR's and a belly full of elephant ears can bring is almost
indescribable. It's an event that is best left documented in the sands of
time via home video camera. What can make said documentation of the evening
better? How about if you threw in a nice indie pop ditty like "Austin's
Birthday" from Texas-based The Burning Hotels. Their crisp and highly
effective sense of rhythm is nothing short of a perfect reincarnation of the
modern post punk era that has been imitated many times before, but save for
The Strokes or the now debunked Young Immortals, never quite like this.

The Burning Hotels produce a high quality sound that spoon feeds you
teaspoons of pop goodness and a codeine-laced combination of harmony and
disarray. Much like the up-yet-sort-of-down-tempo track "Austin's Birthday",
the video is a classic "living in the moment" sort of rendition of a typical
exploration of America at its most entertaining - a display of commercial
greed (why the county fair of course!). But, at one point in the video the
band stops for a second to ponder something, or everything, as they float
around a slow moving Ferris Wheel. It's in this moment that a real sense of
actual being can be seen in the eyes of this truly
devoted-to-personal-success band of merry Texans. Many more evenings of
laughter and dysfunctional behavior are sure to be had in the future for The
Burning Hotels.

"Austin's Birthday" is the first track off The Burning Hotels' latest album,
Novels.

Download: "Austin's Birthday" by The Burning Hotels





The Burning Hotels - Austin's Birthday from You and Yours on Vimeo.

Judge Jackson – Drive – Review


Judge Jackson – Drive – Review



http://www.bringonmixedreviews.com/?p=6602

Release Date: 2010
Record Label: Curtis-Joe Records
Genre: Southern Rock

There is just something about a an old Buick and the word “Judge” that just screams for the simple times of hill-jumping in the General Lee ala Dukes Of Hazzard. I don’t know if Judge Jackson intended for that link to happen, (I’m sure they did) but this southern rock quartet that loves stanky bars and finely aged……women, certainly has the sterotype down. Song featured on Nascar? Check. Gnarly mustashes and semi mullets? Check and Check. Obscure label? Check, Curtis-Joe Records. And with their latest record “Drive,” it all seems to be coming together. Let’s just hope they don’t pull out a banjo, or I’m getting the hell out of here.


Ok, so it isn’t that bad, as it does stir up some authentic southern rock. Sadly though, it’s still very bland. For instance, “Drive“’s opener “Head Over Heals,” where you should be putting your best foot forward, not only sounds like a plain-jane radio track, but it also sports lyrics that read like they were written for Sesame Street (repeating, simplistic words, etc). As I listened a few tracks in I learned this was a reoccurring theme.

One of the main reasons that I loath country and southern things in general (except food) is because there are no detailed metaphors or well-versed lyrics/vocals/music that don’t immediately make me think of the word “hic” and the sentence “god these guys/gals are a bunch of hics.” The reason I mention this is because Judge Jackson have some of the laziest easiest musical structures and lyrics I’ve heard in some time. Even when compared to similar acts such as Journey, Shinedown, and Hinder, all who need some serious creativity classes in their own right (save Journey), “Drive” doesn’t stand up very well next to them.

The album finds redemption with “Me Then You,” which sounds like a golden nugget that Chris Daughtry dug out of his b-sides, which doesn’t sound like a “Nascar” track and instead takes shape as a fine regular rock track. And even though you might get the impression that these guys are romantic smooth talkers, their words won’t be impressing anyone that can read at higher than an 8th grade level. On the other hand, if you really aren’t aware of sophisticated music and you like songs that you can easily relate to (if you live in TX) then Judge Jackson has some simplistic tracks to occupy a short trip in your beat up buick. ~Staff

Score: 1.5/5

Track Listing:
1. Head Over Heels
2. Radio
3. Drive
4. Pickin’ Me Up
5. Letting Go
6. Me Then You
7. Just Because
8. The End
9. River
10. Meant To Be

97X Backyard BBQ w/Paper Tongues

97X Backyard BBQ w/Paper Tongues

The 97X Memorial Day Weekend Backyard BBQ has grown steadily since it’s debut at St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park in 2007. Growing from two bands — The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and The Almost — in its first year to seven bands for the 2010 edition, 97X has shown they have an ear attuned to the wants of Bay area rock music fans. Headlined by the rabid-rapping, Randy Jackson-backed Paper Tongues and alt-rappers Flobots, this year’s barbeque promises “the Bay’s biggest beer garden,” great food, open volleyball, corntoss, and moto-x demonstrations throughout the day. For a measly $10 bucks, it’s quite the steal. Noon, Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg, $10. –Andrew Silverstein

http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2010/05/27/this-weekends-best-bets-in-bay-area-music-millionyoung-crash-mitchell-five-97x-backyard-bbq-reggae-lovefest-peter-baldwin-and-more/

BONEDOME review on The university times!


http://www.scribd.com/doc/30900003/The-University-Times-May-4-2010

Bonedome: Revives 90’s alternative and grunge
Texan alternative group Bonedome released “Thinktankubator.” The name is incredibly indica- tive o what the album becomes. It seems to be an out-o-the-ordinary musical experience intended to orce a new perspective on its listeners. The Dallas-based group was ormed under the leadership o Allan Hayslip, who intended the group “as the nom-de-rock or songs and peror- mances that have never quite t in his other bands,” according to the website

Hayslip lls a lot o roles or the group, includ- ing “vocals, bass guitar, guitars, tracking engineer, composer” and “producer.” He is joined by Gerald Iragorri on drums and percussion, Edward McMa- hon on guitar, Paul Williams on guitar and keys, Colin Boyd on guitar, Jonathan Lacey on guitars and composition, Gregg Prickett on guitar and Chad Stockslager on keys or the album. Stewart Bennett served as the tracking manager.

The music is a strange combination between Frightened Rabbit, Green Day and Dishwalla, with the same eccentric, esoteric and cynical lyrics stan- dard in 90’s alternative rock. I you listen to the “90’s lunch” on 106.5 and want a resh band or a similar sound, Bonedome is or you.

“Slow Jesus Xing” epitomizes this sound, with slow, drawn out ris that, on the surace, mask a critique on American, religious culture. The lyr- ics are akin to the style ound in Porno or Pyros’ “Pets” and the Butthole Surers’ “Pepper.” In “Eraser,” Hayslip croons to losing a woman he’s abused. child, a song that serves to remind the world is in- deed a sae place, becomes an apology or a child stuck between an unair situation that punishes the least responsible.

Whether he’s looking at an outside situation ironically or being brutally, apathetically honest about a situation o his own, he turns the normal breakup song on its head. This is a consistent pat- tern. Bonedome turns normal sounding alternative music into an interesting play on the expected; He turns normalcy into abnormality. The most brilliant o any o the songs on the album in this way is “Custody Lullaby.” What’s normally considered a way to comort an unhappy Not all o the songs impress, however. “I Can Lose You” is not only generic musically, but so are the lyrics. Nothing complex in the way o musical style or lyrics are oered to the listener, with sim- ple lyrics like “i losing me now makes you better somehow, all right” and “the signals we’re used to aren’t very strong.” It’s obvious that’s what the group was going or. The album is sel-described as “a product o a mu- sical omnivore” whose lyrical style is “dark, indeed oten chilling” because o “his massive grudge against the world,” according to the website. All o that is evident in everything the band does. I that was the point, they’ve more than suc- ceeded. The band also proclaimed to encourage on their website, promising that “it’s an album that rewards each urther listening, as layers o guitars reveal hidden melodies and a previously unnoticed line reveals itsel to be a subtly clever bit o vin- dictiveness.” On the second and third play o the album, this is precisely what happened. The album’s better songs will make you thing, and you’ll skip past the less impressive ones on your playlist. Let’s be honest, though. What album doesn’t have songs that displease someone somewhere, even i the listener actively likes the band? I you want a throwback to the shockingly blatancy o 90’s grunge and alternative, check them out. You won’t regret it i you do.

MICROTIA review of SPACEMAKER


MICROTIA


Spacemaker


Any band whose CD sleeve is made from remnants of beer packaging will get my interest. Microtia is one such band. They also made the track listing insert from old cigarette packaging. They claim to have consumed 1650 beers and smoked a ton of cigarettes in order to make the packaging. I guess that is being eco-friendly, right? Anyway, the disc I was sent used a PBR box for the sleeve and the track list on an a Camel box. I'm gonna crack open a beer (a Maine Logger Lager, if you care to know) myself and write this review.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Microtia play a mix of metal, punk and pop with some pretty progressive overtones at times - check the last 2 minutes of "Early Fish Gets The Worm" for a really good example of this. "Tone Mtn. Vs. The Body of Riffage" is my pick for standout track here. Starting off fairly quiet, the song builds into a monster riff, with some pretty cool spacey sounding synths bouncing around in the background. The crescendo that it builds up to is amazing good - the guitar work here is insanely good, and superbly catchy. I also love when the guitar and bass are playing lockstep with each other, even if it's only for a short bit.

This is some good, solid rock here. It is overall a good disc, with a few standout parts (mentioned above) and a lot of stuff that is decent, yet unspectacular. I would like to check this band out live, though. I figure they'd be cool to have a few beers with, and would likely put on a pretty entertaining show.

B -Goz



http://gaspetc.com/TraxSpring10.html

listen to interview with PAPER TONGUES on FEARLESS RADIO

http://www.fearlessradio.com/cms/index.php/Fearless-Shows/NMB/paper-tongues-052610.html

Transient Songs on POPMATTERS



Transient Songs
Cave Syndromes
(Indian Casino)


Seattle-based dream-rock maker John Frum (Transient Songs) is set to release the debut full-length, Cave Syndrome, on May 25. The track “In the Darkness Light Seeps Through” is available as a free teaser—see below for stream. With an earthy psychedelic sound reminiscent of Mercury Rev and Galaxie 500, expect Cave Syndrome to be something special.



SONG LIST
01 In This Darkness Light Seeps Through
02 Smoking Slows the Healing
03 Greenwood Backyards
04 The Cancer in Our Bloodlines
05 Wide Open Skies
06 Sin Through the Summer
07 Golden Gardens (Lungs & Livers)
08 Astoria
09 A Burrow Patch
10 Cave Syndrome



In This Darkness Light Seeps Through [MP3]

read here as well

Grab free single from TRANSIENT SONGS on large hearted boy


daily download....
http://blog.largeheartedboy.com/

http://music.travelingluck.com/daily-downloads-roots-jay-bennett-and-more

http://hypem.com/#/track/1120710/Transient+Songs-Sin+through+the+Summer

Local band makes it big at NASCAR All Star Race

Local band makes it big at NASCAR All Star Race
By Dana Nigro

http://www.nineronline.com/a-e/local-band-makes-it-big-at-nascar-all-star-race-1.2269161



The University Times - Editor-in-Chief


Charlotte—a local band, the Paper Tongues, has made it to the big time opening for Creed at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NASCAR All Star Race.
This isn’t the first time Paper Tongues has performed at the track but they actually played for the fall race back in Oct. The band’s lead singer, Aswan North, described their first performance at the speedway as “a different world”. North had never been a spectator of NASCAR but coming back a second time he said, “I love it, I can see it something I could become addicted to.” He went onto say it is a totally different experience from watching it on TV than being present in the stands.

This exceptional band which consists of 7 members (Aswan North, Devin Forbes, Cody Blackler, Joey Signa, Clayton Simon, Jordan Hardee and Danny Santell) raises the bar with their unique music. “We explain it as Journey meets Roots,” said North. Their rock, hip-hop, and funk mix together and create a sound unlike any other.

They are “different” said Angela Baker from Tazewelo, VA after Paper Tongues performance. During their opening song NASCAR fans weren’t sure what they were hearing, but as the set continued the mood changed. By the time Paper Tongues started their last song ‘Ride to California’ there wasn’t a single body standing still in the crowd.

“I love this city,” North said about Charlotte “it’s my favorite city in the country.” Eating at Brixx Pizza and the Dillworth area are among his favorite things to do at home. “I love to drive my car around uptown and look at all the buildings.”

North tributes his understanding of how to flow with the music of his band by his time with the “Improv Music Experience” which he and a buddy started over 10 years ago. It is a gathering of local musicians on Saturday nights who improv with all kinds of instruments, in the city of Charlotte, NC. North said that this helped him find the other members of Paper Tongues; they have now been a committed band for three years.

North’s powerful voice, complimented by the band’s tight harmonies, and their high energy was all for the people. Paper Tongues was more than gracious to be performing in their hometown. “When we aren’t on tour we are here cutting grass,” said North between sets.

“Thank you for treating your local boys so well,” North said after ending a well received set. Looks lile these local boys will be back in demand soon. Their debut album is currently in stores now.

On The Tip Of Their Tongues

http://www.erraticnews.com/celebrities/on-the-tip-of-their-tongues/2010/05/25/

On The Tip Of Their Tongues
by J.T. Ryder
Filed under Celebrities, Featured, Singers/Musicians

Leave a Comment

An Interview With Paper Tongues’ Guitarist, Devin Forbes
The Paper Tongues began organically, coalescing from within the Charlotte, NC music scene in 2007, eventually releasing their debut album on March 30th, 2010. The future members of the Paper Tongues drifted into the orbit of Uptown Charlotte, where those who had something to play and wanted to be heard go. It has been misquoted at times that the Paper Tongues created something called The Improv Music Experience. It was nothing so formal as one might infer from the misquote. It was more in line with a jam session with different musicians joining the fray at will. Yet, it did serve an important function as it introduced and nurtured those who would eventually forma the Paper Tongues.

It is a rare thing for a band to meet, meld and mature in such a short span of time. Going from performing impromptu jam sessions, then laying down demo tracks and promoting them on MySpace, which gained them an immediate moderate notoriety and jump started their journey through the world of the club circuit. Fast forward a short time later and we see the group as polished performers, introducing the masses to their music through their self titled debut album, which ran up to #110 in the Billboard charts. The spotlight began to shine more intensely on this seven member group and they began touring with the likes of Flyleaf, Everclear and Switchfoot and, at various times, sharing the stage with Anberlin, 30 Seconds To Mars, Rise Against and Muse. They have just recently been booked to appear at the Bonnaroo Festival on June 12th. Quite a huge leap for such a newly formed band, but judging from their sound and performances, it is an honor that is well deserved.

Describing the band’s sound is impossible. They have, in other interviews, described it as “club rock,” but that is an oversimplification. While their music does possess the incessant hooks and danceability that is a requirement of the club scene, but there is more depth to their lyrics and more of a layered texture to their rhythms and melodies. All seven members of the band bring various influences to the sound of the whole and almost every conceivable musical genre becomes can be found lurking within the band’s tracks. From the pop-hop, maniacally insistent song Ride To California to Trinity, with its roughly apocalyptic R&B vocals set against a backdrop of electronic elements and a symphonic wall of guitars.

Aswan North possesses a beatific face framed with spiraled curls and a voice that runs the gamut from harsh hip hop to intensely burning R&B. He possesses a shamnistic stage presence, like a hip hop Jim Morrison, his body becoming another facet of his voice, interpreting the lyrics with an animistic wave of emotive motion. The other members of the band are a constant surge of movement and sound with Cody Blackler working the keys of his Fender Rhodes, Devin Forbes and Joey Signa laying down the guitar tracks while Daniel Santell wields his bass guitar, creating a running rhythm on each song. Jordan Hardee keeps the beat behind his drum kit, producing a percussive drive behind the band while Clayton Simon utilizes his synthesizers for flourishes and persistent rhythms, holding together and expanding the sound of the band.

I was recently able to correspond with one of the guitarists from the Paper Tongues, Devin Forbes, prior to the announcement of their upcoming Bonnaroo appearance.

J.T.: This is kind of a multi-tiered question: With bands like Switchfoot, Flyleaf, Muse and yourselves, there is a vastly shifting terrain within the music industry. It seems like the whole industry is changing and your group is on the forefront of this change in terms of marketing, performances, venues, etc. Do you see this change as bringing the fans and the group closer together as opposed to the “supergroup” days when fans filed into an arena, the band played their set list and then everyone went home?
Devin: I really hope so. Not that we don’t want to reach as many people as possible…we would love to play arena’s if we got the opportunity…but the band/crowd interaction is so important to us. The first thing Aswan does at the beginning of every show is jump out in the audience to shake as many hands as possible. We love hanging out after the show to meet people and actually make some kind of connection beyond the performance. As far as things changing from the “supergroup” days, I really don’t know what it’s going to look like a year from now or 5 years from now. We’re just taking life as it comes and trying to be as prepared as possible for changes that are inevitable.

J.T.: Have these changes affected the way your music is created, possibly giving you more freedom to write and create works that reflect the really, real world?
Devin: I think that there has been so much music in the past however many years that is extremely fun to listen to, but doesn’t really have a message. People are ready to hear something positive that actually hits on deeper issues. Granted, I listen to just about anything and there is obviously a time and a place for every kind of music, be it hip-hop, rock, dance, club, funk, folk, or jazz. We write about what means the most to us and hope that it touches somebody in a real way.

J.T.: Your music is such a fusion of so many different influences, from hot hip hop beats and hooks to crushingly heavy riffs; does this endless well of energy make it difficult to create a signature sound or does the sound kind of create itself?
Devin: It has been somewhat been creating itself. When you put 7 musicians from completely different backgrounds in a room and tell them to write a song, the outcome is a complete mystery. There are so many influences floating around our group and showing up in songs where we’d least expect it. There really is a piece of everybody in our music which gives it a sound we’re not sure what to call. It’s hard to define, but it hasn’t been hard to create our sound; it’s just a combo of all of us. Of course we are still trying to figure out what exactly our sound is. I think it will always be a collage of different styles.

J.T.: You can feel a lot of the essence of each member of the band’s personality and essence and contributions in each of the songs Paper Tongues has performed. Does that ever leave any of the members of the group feeling emotionally drained or vulnerable?
Devin: Of course! Performing in front of people is the most naked and vulnerable you could ever be. When we write these songs, we’re in a room to ourselves and we have the freedom to explore anything we want with music without being judged. When you play in front of people, it’s taking something you have written, an expression of you innermost being, and putting it up for judgment. The audience has every right to simply say, “Eh, this really isn’t that good”, but you just spent a month working on wording it just right. It’s hard to put that much personal emotion on the line every day.

J.T.: With seven members, does it become a logistical nightmare to tour incessantly as you do?
Devin: Yeah, it’s insane trying to get 7 people on the same page every single day. Being on time for sound checks, interviews, radio performances, shows, signings, etc, is a nightmare in itself. We do our best and truly love what we do. We love being busy and touring all the time. This is our passion and we do it with zeal. It’s hard, but worth every minute.

J.T.: What are the big things coming up for Paper Tongues in the near future?
Devin: We’re playing Bonnarroo here in a couple weeks! I can’t wait for that. The roster is absolutely incredible this year as always. We’re touring with Civil Twilight and Neon Trees this summer, so make sure you find a show close by and come see us. We’re playing “Lopez Tonight” on the 24th this month. Other than that, we’re just going to be touring our butts off for as long as we can.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Strength covered in OREGON MUSIC NEWS w/ free single!

http://oregonmusicnews.com/blog/2010/08/27/qa-four-years-of-horror-strengths-darker-sophomore-album/

Q/A: Four years of horror: Strength’s ‘darker’ sophomore album
by Chris Young on August 27, 2010



What are three art school, almost 30-something white boys doing making funky, sexalicious music? Not asking for your permission, Strength is telling you, “Let’s get down” with the release of their second–long, long, long-awaited–album, Mind-Reader. The self-produced, recorded and released album comes out on September 3rd, coinciding with a CD release gig at Holocene with Fake Drugs, DJ Copy, and DJ Patricia Furpurse.

Feeling up MJ and Prince for their goodies, the California-natives but PDX-transplants since ‘03 set out to make a horror-dance album but got distracted along the way by their normal shenanigans of sexy electro-funk-soul. And why shouldn’t they get diverted? …While diverting themselves with their tongue-in-cheekiness. Ridiculous lyrics, indelible riffs and thumping beats make you wanna get up and freak your girl while trying to lay her down.




Looking to make a “darker” sophomore album, Bailey Winters (vox), John Zeigler (keys, programming), and Patrick Morris (guitars, programming) didn’t get distracted with the production, it consumed them–every sound is delicately and deliberately placed. This is why it took them so damn long–four years long–for the release of album #2. But being seriously scrupulous doesn’t mean they can’t have fun, including a vampire track (“Blood” with lyrics “My body’s weak, I’m out of time, I need her blood before sunrise”) and a bit of punk rock, albeit still quite smoothly produced punkiness, on the energetic “Disaster.”

“I thought it would be great to just have a punk song, one of our own,” says lead singer Bailey Winters. “And it goes over pretty well. I think it shakes things up a little bit.”

And the darker vibe is plainly typified by the aggressively hitting first single “Metal”:



The guys met at the California College of the Arts in Oakland in 2001, forming a “Weezer-esque” rock band called The Suds. Strength was then formed in 2003, the same year they graduated, after they realized that the real dance party began after the bands, when the DJs started to spin. Post-graduation, they moved to Portland because “John was chasing a girl,” says Winters, but also “it sounded exciting to all move together.” They were not familiar with Portland but it was cheaper and “fun to get away from where we grew up.”

After four years between their first and second album, Strength still retains their sense of humor in their recordings and on stage, where the act is stern and seductive (hilariously so), while they look to tour more in support of Mind-Reader.

You always say so in concert, but you two [Bailey Winters and Patrick Morris] aren’t really brothers, are you?


Bailey Winters: We’re not actually related but I do like saying that he’s my brother. [Laughs]

I can see it… it could be plausible.


We used to get it a lot. I used to wear big glasses like Patrick so I just kinda brought it on the stage.

Live in concert, how much of your show is an act, going into a stage persona?


I’m nothing like the person on stage. If [people] know me from off stage, they’re a little shocked to see me on stage. And if they only know me from the stage, they’re probably disappointed when they talk to me in person just because I’m super laid-back… the three of us are. We’re really mellow people and pretty quiet off the stage.

Every time I see you guys, I spend about half the time just kind of smiling and laughing. Then about halfway through your set, I really get into it.


Yeah.

But really, when you’re singing things like “Rub me down with brandy” (on the new song “Brandy”), how can you not grin?


Yeah, yeah, it’s a good time.

What inspired you guys to make this kind of soulful, funky, let’s get down music?


We were going to parties at art school a lot. Usually a rock band would go on at like 10 or 11 and everyone would just kinda watch the band. Then after that people would put on records, so there were DJs, and they were always dance records and that’s like when the party started. And I just kinda felt like, “If we could be the dance record instead of the rock band before the dance record, we’d have it made.”

It’s been four years since you put out your first album…


Yeah, it’s been so long…

What’s happened during this time?


Well, we wrote the second album, which took forever. And then we recorded the second album, which took forever. We toured the East Coast for the first time, we’ve done some West Coast tours–a West Coast stint with Starfucker where we opened. But we seem to go over pretty good if it’s just a DJ night and we’re playing.

Well that’s exactly what you were going for when you started Strength.


Yeah, I like the idea of having a band that’s caught between the DJ set and the full on rock band with drums and stuff.

How has your sound changed and evolved since the first record?


I think it’s definitely darker. It’s a little more hard-hitting.

Yeah, a song like “Metal” in particular is definitely darker but still has your dance-y groove.


Yeah, it’s still very dance-y and I’d say it’s still very tongue-in-cheek but it hits a little harder.

When you start to write a song, are you trying to be humorous about it, tongue-in-cheek?


I can say with the lyrics, for this album in particular, I was looking at a lot of [things] like Dracula and Frankenstein and reading a lot of books in that genre and just looking at dated language. So that’s where a lot of the lyrics come from. We set out to make a horror-dance album and we got a little sidetracked. So it’s kinda like half of a horror-dance album.

It’s only eight tracks. Why so short?


I like dance records that don’t have any filler and I don’t want to put any filler on the albums. I don’t want to put a two-minute track on the album just to make the ninth track. I think a lot of the dance records that we listen to from the ’70s and ’80s, they’ve got seven, eight songs. You know some of the Georgrio records have like six songs and they’re fucking good. If you take an album like Justin Timberlake’s Justified… if you cut out like five of those tracks, that’s the only way you can make the album better. So there’s that, and then the other aspect is, we fucking take forever to write songs and we’re constantly editing them. There’s like three of four songs within each song basically.

Why does it take you so long to write songs?


We’re really meticulous and it’s very democratic. We’re all sitting down and writing the songs together and nobody gets to have [or add] a part unless everyone thinks it’s good. When you’ve got a band that’s one person writing all the songs, I can see how you could turn out a bunch more songs than we do. I think the only way that Strength works is if we’re all happy with everything, which can be painful but I think that’s why we’re still together.

You’ve been playing these songs for a while know. Are you pretty comfortable with them?


Yeah, we’re very comfortable and I’m really thrilled to finally be putting this record out because it’s pretty much what we’re playing at our live shows.

Recently when you’ve been playing live, you’ve been covering The Romantics’ “Talking In Your Sleep.”


Yeah, I wanna work out some more covers but that one has just stuck around–it seems to fit into our set. And I like the idea of just coining a song, just taking a Romantics song.

And believe me, you guys do sound damn good when you play it.

Thanks, thanks a lot.

Do you have anything newer that you’re working on?


We’re just getting there. We are going to be working on remixes for a handful of people here in Portland. As soon as we do the CD release show, we’ll sit down and start writing a third album.

Where does the album title Mind-Reader come from?


You know [laughs], we used to have a piece of paper that was above a fish tank at our house and people would just write down ridiculous title names that they’d come up with. [Laughs] Patrick wrote down Mind-Reader and it seemed to stick. It just sounded good and it seemed to fit in with the horror theme but it wasn’t blatant.

Strength celebrates their CD release at Holocene on Friday, September 3rd with Fake Drugs, DJ Copy, and DJ Patricia Furpurse. Show starts at 9pm, $5, 21+.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Strength CD RELEASE SHOW IN PORTLAND!

An Interview With Paper Tongues’ Guitarist, Devin Forbes



On The Tip Of Their Tongues

Filed under Celebrities, Featured, Singers/Musicians



An Interview With Paper Tongues’ Guitarist, Devin Forbes
The Paper Tongues began organically, coalescing from within the Charlotte, NC music scene in 2007, eventually releasing their debut album on March 30th, 2010. The future members of the Paper Tongues drifted into the orbit of Uptown Charlotte, where those who had something to play and wanted to be heard go. It has been misquoted at times that the Paper Tongues created something called The Improv Music Experience. It was nothing so formal as one might infer from the misquote. It was more in line with a jam session with different musicians joining the fray at will. Yet, it did serve an important function as it introduced and nurtured those who would eventually forma the Paper Tongues.

It is a rare thing for a band to meet, meld and mature in such a short span of time. Going from performing impromptu jam sessions, then laying down demo tracks and promoting them on MySpace, which gained them an immediate moderate notoriety and jump started their journey through the world of the club circuit. Fast forward a short time later and we see the group as polished performers, introducing the masses to their music through their self titled debut album, which ran up to #110 in the Billboard charts. The spotlight began to shine more intensely on this seven member group and they began touring with the likes of Flyleaf, Everclear and Switchfoot and, at various times, sharing the stage with Anberlin, 30 Seconds To Mars, Rise Against and Muse. They have just recently been booked to appear at the Bonnaroo Festival on June 12th. Quite a huge leap for such a newly formed band, but judging from their sound and performances, it is an honor that is well deserved.

Describing the band’s sound is impossible. They have, in other interviews, described it as “club rock,” but that is an oversimplification. While their music does possess the incessant hooks and danceability that is a requirement of the club scene, but there is more depth to their lyrics and more of a layered texture to their rhythms and melodies. All seven members of the band bring various influences to the sound of the whole and almost every conceivable musical genre becomes can be found lurking within the band’s tracks. From the pop-hop, maniacally insistent song Ride To California to Trinity, with its roughly apocalyptic R&B vocals set against a backdrop of electronic elements and a symphonic wall of guitars.

Aswan North possesses a beatific face framed with spiraled curls and a voice that runs the gamut from harsh hip hop to intensely burning R&B. He possesses a shamnistic stage presence, like a hip hop Jim Morrison, his body becoming another facet of his voice, interpreting the lyrics with an animistic wave of emotive motion. The other members of the band are a constant surge of movement and sound with Cody Blackler working the keys of his Fender Rhodes, Devin Forbes and Joey Signa laying down the guitar tracks while Daniel Santell wields his bass guitar, creating a running rhythm on each song. Jordan Hardee keeps the beat behind his drum kit, producing a percussive drive behind the band while Clayton Simon utilizes his synthesizers for flourishes and persistent rhythms, holding together and expanding the sound of the band.

I was recently able to correspond with one of the guitarists from the Paper Tongues, Devin Forbes, prior to the announcement of their upcoming Bonnaroo appearance.

J.T.: This is kind of a multi-tiered question: With bands like Switchfoot, Flyleaf, Muse and yourselves, there is a vastly shifting terrain within the music industry. It seems like the whole industry is changing and your group is on the forefront of this change in terms of marketing, performances, venues, etc. Do you see this change as bringing the fans and the group closer together as opposed to the “supergroup” days when fans filed into an arena, the band played their set list and then everyone went home?
Devin: I really hope so. Not that we don’t want to reach as many people as possible…we would love to play arena’s if we got the opportunity…but the band/crowd interaction is so important to us. The first thing Aswan does at the beginning of every show is jump out in the audience to shake as many hands as possible. We love hanging out after the show to meet people and actually make some kind of connection beyond the performance. As far as things changing from the “supergroup” days, I really don’t know what it’s going to look like a year from now or 5 years from now. We’re just taking life as it comes and trying to be as prepared as possible for changes that are inevitable.

J.T.: Have these changes affected the way your music is created, possibly giving you more freedom to write and create works that reflect the really, real world?
Devin: I think that there has been so much music in the past however many years that is extremely fun to listen to, but doesn’t really have a message. People are ready to hear something positive that actually hits on deeper issues. Granted, I listen to just about anything and there is obviously a time and a place for every kind of music, be it hip-hop, rock, dance, club, funk, folk, or jazz. We write about what means the most to us and hope that it touches somebody in a real way.

J.T.: Your music is such a fusion of so many different influences, from hot hip hop beats and hooks to crushingly heavy riffs; does this endless well of energy make it difficult to create a signature sound or does the sound kind of create itself?
Devin: It has been somewhat been creating itself. When you put 7 musicians from completely different backgrounds in a room and tell them to write a song, the outcome is a complete mystery. There are so many influences floating around our group and showing up in songs where we’d least expect it. There really is a piece of everybody in our music which gives it a sound we’re not sure what to call. It’s hard to define, but it hasn’t been hard to create our sound; it’s just a combo of all of us. Of course we are still trying to figure out what exactly our sound is. I think it will always be a collage of different styles.

J.T.: You can feel a lot of the essence of each member of the band’s personality and essence and contributions in each of the songs Paper Tongues has performed. Does that ever leave any of the members of the group feeling emotionally drained or vulnerable?
Devin: Of course! Performing in front of people is the most naked and vulnerable you could ever be. When we write these songs, we’re in a room to ourselves and we have the freedom to explore anything we want with music without being judged. When you play in front of people, it’s taking something you have written, an expression of you innermost being, and putting it up for judgment. The audience has every right to simply say, “Eh, this really isn’t that good”, but you just spent a month working on wording it just right. It’s hard to put that much personal emotion on the line every day.

J.T.: With seven members, does it become a logistical nightmare to tour incessantly as you do?
Devin: Yeah, it’s insane trying to get 7 people on the same page every single day. Being on time for sound checks, interviews, radio performances, shows, signings, etc, is a nightmare in itself. We do our best and truly love what we do. We love being busy and touring all the time. This is our passion and we do it with zeal. It’s hard, but worth every minute.

J.T.: What are the big things coming up for Paper Tongues in the near future?
Devin: We’re playing Bonnarroo here in a couple weeks! I can’t wait for that. The roster is absolutely incredible this year as always. We’re touring with Civil Twilight and Neon Trees this summer, so make sure you find a show close by and come see us. We’re playing “Lopez Tonight” on the 24th this month. Other than that, we’re just going to be touring our butts off for as long as we can.

read here

Amplifier on Transient Songs


TRANSIENT SONGS
http://amplifiermagazine.blogspot.com/2010/05/transient-songs.html

Cave Syndrome
Indian Casino (05/25/10)

Welcome to the machine. We exist in an age wherein rock 'n' roll tends to repeat itself. Regardless of your generational bent, nothing is off limits. Enter Transient Songs, a "band" commandeered by veteran Texan singer/songwriter John Frum with bassist/multi-instrumentalist Andy Gassaway in tow. It's no surprise that the wonderfully wistful Cave Syndrome collection represents the duo's affinity for 1970s psychedelic rock, which is what brought them together in the first place. However unlike many unabashed retro ensembles who simply dress for the part and hire a publicist, TS' delightful debut album gets it right by ably melding all that was appealing about Pink Floyd, Big Star, Galaxy 500, and the trippy incarnation of McGuinn’s Byrds(think Notorious Byrd Brothers) sans the outright aural plagiarism which often runs rampant in the indie rock realm.

Nevertheless, all the ingredients needed to turn off your mind and float downstream are in abundance: legato melodies, bleary guitar lines, plenty of reverb on the keys and vocals, assorted tape effects (which may have been rendered digitally, who knows!), surrealistic lyrics meshed with affection for the opposite sex, fanciful codas, etc. which are all couched in a somnambulant swoosh of a mix that would not be out of place when Richard Nixon was commander and chief. "In This Darkness Light Seeps Through" lopes along with a guitar line straight out of David Gilmour's Meddle repertoire. If someone told you "Greenwood Backyards" was written by Alex Chilton, you'd never ask a second time. "Smoking Slows The Healing" is the stuff of Roger Waters - right down to the phrasing and vocal timbre. Sure, it's all been done before, but if it ain't broke, why fix it?
--Tom Semioli

Transient Songs Myspace
Posted by AMPLIFIER at 6:44 AM
Labels: Tom Semioli, Transient Songs read here too!

FESTIVAL: NASCAR Rev'd Up with Switchfoot, Parachute and Paper Tongues

FESTIVAL: NASCAR Rev'd Up with Switchfoot, Parachute and Paper Tongues

By Anita overcash
enlarge
Despite what you might be thinking, you don't have to be a race fan to attend NASCAR Rev'd Up, an annual event held in preparation of NASCAR's Sprint All-Star Race. Of course, if you are that's fine and dandy (and you'll definitely be appreciating the featured appearances by NASCAR drivers, show cars and interactive displays), but the larger portion of the event is all about the music. This year's fest includes three performers: Charlotte's own successful pop act Paper Tongues (pictured) opens, with a performance to follow by pop/soul band Parachute and headlining alt-rock act Switchfoot. Free. 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Held Uptown at Third Street and Mint Street. www.nascar.com/allstar.

DIRECT LINK: http://charlotte.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A953584

Lincoln Star covers THE BURNING HOTELS!


http://journalstar.com/entertainment/music/article_dfa990b2-6470-11df-995f-001cc4c03286.html

The Burning Hotels set to make a return trip to Lincoln
Story Discussion By L. KENT WOLGAMOTT / Lincoln Journal Star | Posted:



Font Size: Default font size Larger font size
The Burning Hotels, with members Chance Morgan (from left), Wyatt Adams,
Matt Mooty and Marley Whistler, is scheduled to perform with The Machete
Archive and It's True on Wednesday at Duffy's Tavern. (courtesy photo)

If you go
What: The Burning Hotels with The Machete Archive and It's True

When: 9 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Duffy's Tavern, 1412 O St.

Cover charge: $5 for those 21 and older, $7 for 18 to 21
Matt Mooty can't wait to get to Lincoln.

The Burning Hotels, Mooty's band, has just released "Novels," its debut
album, and the group is heading out from Ft. Worth, Texas, to plays some
shows to support the CD.

The first out-of-town date is Wednesday at Duffy's Tavern, by design.

"We're all feet tapping like crazy," Mooty said. "The anticipation is so
high. The show we had the last time in Lincoln was awesome. Sometimes you go
to a city where you just click. That's what happened in Lincoln. The
audience was great and we really liked it there. It's kind of like a
laid-back version of Austin."

"Novels" has received good reviews. Most writers are comparing the band's
downstroke-driven buzzy guitar sound to The Strokes. But The Burning Hotels
sound is rooted in earlier music, late 1970s punk and 1980s post-punk from
the likes of the Gang of Four.

"That's exactly where it comes from," Mooty said of the earlier music. "When
we were getting out of high school, The Strokes first record was coming out,
so it was kind of influential. But it definitely comes from The Clash and
those kind of bands. That's where we started."

Some of The Burning Hotels members have known one another for quite some
time.

"Me and Chance (Morgan) have known each other since we were 10," Mooty said.
"We skateboarded together."

The two started playing together and hanging around the Ft. Worth music
scene at 16 and added drummer Wyatt Adams, whose family had what Mooty
called a "garage/apartment" out in the country. There, The Burning Hotels
honed their angular post-punk sound, putting together the songs for its 2007
EP "Eighty Five Mirrors."

Last year, the band, which also includes bassist Marley Whistler, appeared
in the movie "Bandslam." The Hotels' song "Stuck in the Middle" is on the
soundtrack.

Consistently garnering rave reviews for its energetic live show, including
an avalanche of hosannas for its South By Southwest performances in March,
The Burning Hotels now has a disc that showcases its spiky sound and
romantic/sexual lyrics that have rightfully been compared to the early sound
of The Killers.

But Mooty admits the disc doesn't capture everything about The Burning
Hotels.

"The record does it as much justice as it can," Mooty said. "But we're
definitely a live band. It (the music) has more character live, I suppose.
It's just two different things. Being in the studio is fun, but it's like
writing a thesis. Playing a rock show is just fun."

All four band members still have day jobs, but with the upcoming tours going
into July, that could change.

"It's starting to go more toward that, touring rather than working," Mooty
said. "It's way more fun. Driving a forklift isn't a dream job for me."

Instead, Mooty's dream job is jumping in a van and driving about nine hours
to Lincoln, playing a show, staying at the Great Plains Motel at 27th and O
streets, then heading out down the road for another show.

EXAMINER feature on Austin's JESSIE TORRISI

http://www.examiner.com/x-34254-Cape-Cod-Rock-Music-Examiner~y2010m5d20-Singersongwriter-Jessie-Torrisi-is-equal-parts-sexy-swagger-and-sincere-soul


Equal parts sexy New York swagger and doe-eyed, down home Americana, Sicilian songwriter Jessie Torrisi is determined to carve out her own unique niche in an indie scene crowded by singers searching for their spotlight. What Torrisi’s debut album, Bruler Bruler does differently, however, is ride than thin, dividing line between quirk and confidence…all the while ushering in Torrisi as a name to watch in 2010.

“I’m happy with the record,” says Torrisi. “I had very low expectations, or rather no expectations going into it... I'd never been at the helm of making a record, and hey it sounds like a real record, one I imagine I'd like if it was some other girl singing. But I don't sit around listening to it. That helps me hold on to the rosy glow.”

The raven-haired songstress continues, “I’m definitely a perfectionist, too. It's part of the curse of being a Capricorn, a first child, and an only child for the first 10 years of my life -- all that thinking. Right now, I'm busy agonizing and obsessing over new songs I'm writing and how to make the live show totally unique & undeniable. Why obsess about the past when you can obsess about the future?”

Said live show has been receiving quite the response in terms of the singer’s energetic approach to the craft. “Well I like company,” says Jessie, “so my band The Please, Please Me is an ever-growing circus with cello, trombone, drums, bass, guitar and lots of switching instruments. I'm originally a drummer, so there's at least one song where we all swap and I drum, sing 'n play harmonica. I'm starting to do a lot more of that...sometimes just singing and pounding the bass drum and shaking a tambourine There's one tune where I can actually play the acoustic guitar and the drums at the same time…but not in schlocky boardwalk one-man-band fashion! I keep waiting for some critic to call me the female Levon Helm!”

She continues, grinning, “Other things that make my show mine: Having a trombone. It's like lighting a fire onstage. I sometimes duel with my trombonist -- him on horn, me on kazoo. Obviously, he always wins. My new guitarist/plays a bit of everything guy is like a Mexican Elvis. He can't not swivel his hips. We never know whether my cellist is going to show up as a blond or brunette; her dream is to open a wig shop. My drummer's bad-ass. My bassist is a wisecracker. The whole band has personality. I wouldn't want it any other way.”



Torrisi also wants to involve her audience with the show as much as possible…reeeeal up close and personal-like.

“We always close out the show... should I give away the ending?... by dragging the audience (as many as fit) onstage to be our kazoo chorus. The stunts are fun.... they're about bringing the audience into our playground. My show is inspired by the looseness and wild streak of New Orleans. What's the point of being a rock star? To do fun, outrageous, playful, childish things. Things no grown-up in their right minds remembers to do once life gets serious. I try to do that onstage, but I take writing songs very seriously. I don't believe in whipping up energy for its own sake. The substance comes from the melody, lyrics and soul of the song…which I slave over. Then ask myself, how can I unleash that, push it to an extreme acoustic guitar alone never could?”

Torrisi’s music has an old soul. There’s an appealing warmness on Bruler Bruler which should win over the minds (and hearts) of most who grace it with a listen, echoing Jessie’s varied influences all the way home.



The singer agrees. “I am a bit of an old soul. It's the old souls that inspired me, were my musical foundation... especially the jazz greats from Louis and Miles to Billie and Ella. I was a jazz drummer way before I even dreamed of singing or writing songs. Then when I was living in New Orleans, I fell in love with Motown. Frankly, I've always been over the moon for black popular music…but especially Otis Redding. It’s surprised me how much people call my music country or Americana. While I love me some Lucinda Williams and Ryan Adams, I think their style has run its course with me. There might be a lot less country twang in my singing next record.”

“As for the message and the feeling,” she adds, “…it'll probably still be old soul. Passion and the urge to chase it never really goes out of style. In moments of doubt, I try to remind myself that uniqueness trumps everything... I've always come from a lot of places -- musically, spiritually, intellectually, in every way. Everything you dig finds its way in eventually. Something I'm obsessively listening to now will get turned out in the washing machine and emerge in one my songs -- hopefully as only I can do it -- in a year or two. Overall, I just try to be myself as bombastically as possible.”

Jessie adds, “I've done a bit of stewing about wanting to be in a more ‘right now’ ‘the thing’ style recently. I would kill to be Lily Allen or Thao Nguyen or Yael Naim or Feist -- any of the hip hoppy, anti-folk, simple songs with boppy melodies and horns artists. But these women are so great because they invented that thing they do. That's how I want to be. I guess I don't believe in the shortcut. I'd just f*ck it up if I tried.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Transient Songs: Cave Syndrome [Album Review] FENSEPOST


http://www.fensepost.com/main/2010/08/18/transient-songs-cave-syndrome-album-review/

Transient Songs: Cave Syndrome [Album Review]
18 August 2010 Written by Ron Trembath


Are you tired of your father’s versions of psychedelic rock? It can be granted that the 70’s were the age for some of the finest LSD-related music and mishaps history will ever know. But, surely it becomes tiresome to constantly hear about Rush’s supposed futuristic nonsense, or Roger Water’s boring obsession with the sky, and not having anything of your own time for a real comparison. Well, degenerate hipsters and demon-friendly youth-mongers, you are in luck. Introducing: John Frum a.k.a. Transient Songs. Stick it to your old man you gentle monsters!

The dark flames of Frum’s appealing fury is evident and enlightening throughout Transient Songs’ album Cave Syndrome, which serves as a powerful demonstration of spaced-out rock and roll that is reminiscent of old times, yet strikingly fresh. Not every track is entirely complicated though. Take “Smoking Slows the Healing”, which has a well-blended nuance that pushes the envelope once sealed by Feral Children. But the notable spiraling essence of John’s eccentricity is at its most vulnerable with “Astoria”. And for the borderline hardcore fan in all of us, “Sin Through The Summer” is a delightful offshoot from the estranged.

Cave Syndrome is an album you can’t hear just once. It might require a few long drives in the summer sun or a quiet hiding spot beneath the winter moon to fully comprehend the excursion into the bizarre that Frum is desperately and accurately trying to convey. And if that midnight conversation with dear old Dad over a few PBR’s only leads him to despise your “new crap” called music, it’s probably safe to say that he would have loved them 35 years ago. Sadly enough, defiance can disappear with age and responsibility. But, quality spin-drifting rock and roll like this well never die.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Austin CVB and DoubleStereo bring local music, Live Music Capital of the World® merchandise to AustinTexas.org


Austin CVB and DoubleStereo bring local music, Live Music Capital of the World® merchandise to AustinTexas.org Launch party showcases new microsite, Sept. 3

August 12, 2010

AUSTIN, TX - The Austin Music Office, a division of the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau (Austin CVB), is partnering with DoubleStereo to launch a customized microsite within AustinTexas.org for visitors to search, listen to, and buy Austin music and a new line of official Live Music Capital of the World® merchandise.

The new Austin music and merchandise site goes live on Sept. 3 with a public launch party from 5-8 p.m. at Club DeVille (900 Red River Street). Hard Proof Afrobeat and Bus Stop Stallions provide live music, and guests can also enjoy food from Frank and merchandise by Southside Sanctuary. The party is part of the “First Friday Frolicks” series (formerly “From the Mind of Adi”) presented by Transmission Entertainment.

The new site invites visitors to explore the city’s music scene, which can be overwhelming to a first-time visitor, prior to their arrival. Featured artists include Los Lonely Boys, Asleep at the Wheel, Drew Smith, Grupo Fantasma, The Black and White Years, MC Overlord, White Ghost Shivers and more than 50 others.

“Many visitors have heard about Austin’s music scene, but they don’t know where to begin to experience it,” says Rose Reyes, director of music marketing for the Austin CVB. “Now any band that signs on to sell their music at AustinTexas.org can connect with visitors before they arrive. This allows visitors to find out which bands they’d like to see, learn their music – and maybe even sing along when they get here. On the other side, if a visitor stumbles upon a band they like, now they can find their music on our website. It’s all part of our efforts to make the Austin music experience more comprehensive.”

The Austin CVB selected the local company, DoubleStereo, to produce the microsite. Founded in 2009, DoubleStereo has recently emerged as a leading digital music platform, blog and merchandise fulfillment house for bands and music vendors. DoubleStereo signed on to the project in order to more closely align itself with the Austin music community and encourage participation by local bands.

Sal Silva III, founder of DoubleStereo, says, “This is a great partnership for DoubleStereo because it directly showcases the talented Austin bands and their music that our site makes available. By enabling visitors to directly listen, download and discover the Austin music scene via the city’s tourism site, we hope this partnership with ACVB will play as an innovative way for visitors to recognize the rich talent pool and music culture Austin offers.”

###

About the Austin Music Office
An accredited member of the Destination Marketing Association International, the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau (Austin CVB) is the official marketing and sales organization for the City of Austin. Austin CVB promotes Austin nationally and internationally as a premier convention and leisure destination in order to generate business for hotels, event and music venues, restaurants, transportation providers and attractions, thus enriching our community's overall quality of life. A division of the Austin CVB, the Austin Music Office promotes the city’s vibrant live music scene by booking bands for visiting conventions, advocating for the local music industry and marketing local artists. For more information, visit www.AustinTexas.org.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

J Minus review of DEVIL MUSIC on Metro Spirit


“Devil Music”

Jminus.com

A band’s appearance can be misleading, especially where publicity stills are involved. Tom Jones looks like a flamboyant banker; the Saturday Knights, a great hip-hop group out of Washington state, have a dude that looks like he works at a vegan market. And fronts a hardcore group on the side. Of course, band members typically just stand beside some railroad tracks or lean against a wall, so I doubt we’re supposed to tell them apart anyway.

In the case of J minus, we get a little more imagination, not to mention truth in advertising: four Armani-clad scruffers standing in a wooded clearing, the sun peeking ever so gently through the trees, and the image, for once, accurately reflects the music found therein. The band’s sly concoction of 90s alt-rock, epic-leaning emo, and wry Americana manages to sound both off-the-cuff and streamlined at the same time, and while the path they follow is not of the beaten-to-death variety, they hold to it to great effect. Think Story of the Year, The National, and Dishwalla all attending AA together. Yeah, I like that. That makes sense.

J minus dabble successfully in several areas, so it’s surprising that their only real misstep here is a track likely meant to inject even more variety into the album: closer “Congratulations, You Suck” isn’t a total loss, but a borderline-snarky, acousti-crunk ditty at the end of an album’s worth of emotive, near-flawless power pop (“When the Lights Go Out”) and lived-in balladry (“No Sleep Tonight”) is questionable game-planning. Still, we’ve got ourselves a winner.

read in full here as well

Friday, August 6, 2010

POPDOSE on Microtia "Spacemaker"


http://popdose.com/cd-review-microtia-spacemaker/


I was bound to review Spacemaker no matter what genre the band was thanks to the intriguing information that Microtia create their own instruments and that this album cover and artwork is made out of Pabst Blue Ribbon and Marlboro Light boxes. That’s rock ‘n’ roll right there folks. Or at least that’s broke-unsigned-artist. Thankfully, the disc (which unfortunately is not made out of the beer that was inside the PBR boxes) contained a sound that fits the nature of the artwork pretty well.

The name of the final track on the album describes Microtia’s sound perfectly – “Pocket Full of Bee Stings”. The sharp, jagged guitar riffs sort of poke at you until you’ve given in and accepted the fact that that many different rock and metal genres join forces on this disc to create a loving family. The overall sound is a post-something – maybe post-rock, more certainly post-hardcore (one day I’m calling something “post-music” and seeing if it sticks) with some spacey moments, some stoner riffs and some good old fashioned RnR tossed in for good measure. And you know it has to be post some kind of genre with song titles like, “That’s the Problem with Owning Half the State of California”, “Tone Mountain vs. The Body of Riffage” and “I’ll Fight Harpsicord” (would have been better with a comma after Fight – just sayin’).

Cave In fans and stoner dudes would probably like this album a lot, which means a lot of people should like Spacemaker. Interestingly enough, after going through this, it made me pull out the debut album from The Used though. I keep hearing “A Box of Sharp Objects” (maybe the aforementioned bee-stings) from them in many of the Microtia tracks. I hope that’s considered a good thing at this point, because the disc is quite solid, especially “1000% Sure” which is certainly going to remain in my rotation for a while.

Now maybe just like the Used, Microtia can have their singer have sex with some member of the Osbourne family and they also can get their 15-minutes of fame! Wait – that won’t work anymore. How about Gene Simmons’ kid? They’re still on TV.

Eastern Surf Magazine review of MICROTIA


http://www.easternsurf.com/vitalreverb/080610/



The way Microtia physically releases their albums is cool. They use old cigarette boxes and beer case cardboard to fashion their records and merchandise — 1,650 beers and 2,500 cigarettes for Spacemaker alone — they supposedly make their own instruments, they present themselves really well visually, and they would seemingly be up to the challenge of making a power play with Spacemaker. Unfortunately, this Portland quartet falls just short.

Microtia’s intentions are good, as they self-describe their creation story as “pump[ing] Bj√∂rk with 400 CCs of testosterone and put[ting] her in a rough-edged rock band,” but their attempt to move far from the soft and defining sound of the Pacific Northwest has left the band placing upon us a release that sounds more like a late ‘90s Nickelback album or Creed torture session, not a palatable prog-rock album.

The name Microtia is possibly derived from a congenital deformity that messes up one’s ear, to put it lightly. If this is the case, then I get it, because ears and loud music and shit getting damaged makes sense. But I wouldn’t have been the first of the band members to jump on board and start chanting the name out of excitement. There were probably a couple of guys in the group who sat back when the name came up and said to themselves in a hushed grumble, “Man, I’m in another band named after a disease.”

I agree with a lot of what seems to buzz around Spacemaker. The instrumental talent from keyboardist Dan Roberts, bassist Oliver Merson, and drummer Tim Steiner is a tidal bore of power, but Eric Leskovar’s vocals drown out his raw guitar and the heavy, well-played drum and bass lines that would be otherwise enjoyable. “Pocket Full Of Bee Stings” is the one song I found on Spacemaker that allowed Leskovar’s incredible guitar work to cut through his vocal wake. Microtia earns high marks for sustainable creativity and DIY awesomeness, but barely passes on the strength of their music alone. By Will Tunstall