Monday, October 31, 2011

deep in the Mississippi Delta on this track POOR BOY's SOUL

Speaking of which, I've got a free download for you! Please check out "Burn Down," the title track of the new EP from Poor Boy's Soul.
Poor Boy's Soul - "Burn Down" Free MP3 Download

Poor Boy's Soul is actually a one-man band, consisting of Trevor Jones, who is getting neck deep in the Mississippi Delta on this track. Having heard the entire disc I can definitely say that if you enjoy the stomp and twang Poor Boy's Soul does on this track, then you should check out the full release of Burn Down when it drops on November 15th.

Free download and photograph provided courtesy of xo publicity. Two horns way up for sharing it with us!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Campfire OK ‘Strange Like We Are’ – Album Review And Free Download

 

Campfire OK ‘Strange Like We Are’ – Album Review And Free Download



By Natalie Ekstrand
Campfire OK’s first album entitled Strange Like We Are dropped earlier this year. It is quite a good record, which begs the question – how come many of us have not heard of this band? With the recent uptick in popularity of folk rock bands it is surprising this Seattle based sextet hasn’t received more attention. If bands’ similarity were described as familial relations Campfire OK would be a cousin of Mumford & Sons as well as Fleet Foxes. That doesn’t mean this band is only for fans of folk rock. You will find plenty of Americana, Jazz, Classical and Ambient influences as well.
Strange Like We Are isn’t all that strange. Defining something as strange connotes a certain odd or dysfunctional quality that this record certainly does not possess. It’s uniquely beautiful. Each song is intricate and brings new discoveries with each listen. “We Lay In Caves” introduces you to the band’s everything but the kitchen sink instrument method. Each instrument is beautifully layered leaving you in suspense for the next track to begin. The LP includes softer somber folk melodies like “Brass” as well as upbeat forceful anthems such as “Strange Like We Are.” While “Primp and Prune” showcases the soulful jazz beats with its church choir piano rhythm. “You Would Owe Me” is basically an ambient rock track featuring the singer’s folk ballad. Needless to say these songs are varied and interesting.
CAMPFIRE OK “Strange Like We Are”
At first listen Campfire OK’s music may seem just like any other indie folk rock band but a deeper look uncovers beautifully instrumented and intricately crafted songs that are rich and full of texture. Their sound is really more like an experimental folk orchestra. Sure the lead singer’s voice may not be for everyone and on the surface many of the songs may seems similar but beneath lays a real diamond in the rough. Campfire OK has put out beautifully orchestrated folk power ballads and emotionally charged pieces with this first effort.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trever Jones was once an organic farmer so likely got his hands


Poor Boy's Soul - Burn Down


Blues has always been the music from those that have seen hard times first time and got their hands dirty by working hard. Poor Boy's Soul also known Trever Jones was once an organic farmer so likely got his hands dirty playing with farm machinery, weeding and picking spray-free vegetabes.

The title track to "Burn Down This House" has a lived-in feel not unlike the music of Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf. If Bob Log played the blues under a full moon and drank much more whiskey then Bob'd be able to emulate a song like "Movin' To The City". More drinking and bluegrass sums up the hoedown of "Nails and Pines". Gospel is touched upon in "Throwing Stones" although your local church pastor is unlikely approve with a smiling face unless he chainsmokes Malboro cigarettes and chases each smoke with a drink of whiskey to get rid of the tobacco tang. Since I've already mentioned Bob Log, I'd be surprised if anyone familiar with the Voodoo Rhythm doesn't enjoy most of this one man band's album. The folky soppiness of Annalisa seems somewhat out of place amongst the rawness of the other songs. The album drops in November but you can listen to the title track
here as it's been given away as a free single.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Paper Tongues | Ride To California

Paper Tongues | Ride To California


Originating from Charlotte, North Carolina, rock band Paper Tongues deliver a sound that shouts Queens mashed up with hip hop. Their track Ride To California is a prime example of their fresh take on genre mash ups. It has the heavy vocals noticeable in any hard rock band, but with a beat so fierce it can catch you off guard at any moment. Check out this band if you haven’t with their official music video for Ride To California.
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

RANKIN SCROO

Rankin Scroo (Jamaica)

esp
At first listen, Rankin Scroo, with songs like "Ganja" and "Roll It Up and Pass It" may seem to be your run of the mill Jamaican reggae artist. With a deeper listen and look though, you will find that he is far from this, having pioneered "Jawaiian" music with fellow vocalist from the Hawaiian Islands, Ginger.
For the last 16 years, Rankin has been producing, recording, and composing out of San Francisco not only his own music, but also for many other influential hip hop artists like Too Short and E-40.
Deeming his music to be "Urban Reggae", any lover of hip hop, rhythm and blues, and reggae will appreciate his versatility, lyrics, and compositional skills, along with his impact in the music industry as a whole.
Songs we recommend you listen to: "Fools Fall In" and "Dream Dream".
Click here to visit this artist’s website.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

W.H. Walker: Suds!

Music: CD Reviews

W.H. Walker: Suds!

(Boogie Creek)
By Doug Simpson
W.H. Walker






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Portland, Ore.’s garage rockers W.H. Walker (formerly Welcome Home Walker, a name inspired by a Sam Cooke tune) have put together a retro-referenced singles collection, the seven-track EP, Suds!, rowdy, pumped-up garage-soul, punk-parlayed pop and British-styled soul/blues. The title track is an infectious singalong ode to bathing rather than beer (Find the frothy video online.).

The four-piece does a cranked up translation of Ted Hawkins’ bluesy “Watch Your Step” that sounds akin to the Reigning Sound covering the Seeds. The band’s first single, “Don’t Let Me Go,” is a hand-clapping plea for companionship. The best pick is soul struttin’ “The Untold Death of Grady Jones,” a sable tale of unforeseen violence.

W.H. Walker puts influences out front, a revivalist approach shared by the Fleshtones, the Mystery Girls and like-minded garage-soul purveyors. The appropriate DIY, low-cost production adds to the particular aesthetic.

Grade: B
.

Monday, October 24, 2011

J Minus releases fun-filled album: "Devil Music"

 

J Minus releases fun-filled album: "Devil Music"


Staff Writer

Satanic or ill is far from the description of J Minus' titled album Devil Music. Releasing their third album since their spontaneous start in 2002, Dylan Fant and Trevor Wheetman began working on their music together as a pet project. "It wasn't planned to be anything," said Fant, "I was doing it to fulfill myself."
Like stepping into a daydream, their jumpstart into the music scene struck the surface of reality with the help of Michael Wilson Black, the current Senior Vice President of MCA. "It was one of those crazy stories where Trevor's buddy was a janitor at his recording studio and they were having lunch together. And he was like ‘Hey! Check out my buddy's song,' and he was blown away." The song, "After Midnight," was one of three Fant had just finished working on, earning him and Wheetman a trip to Los Angeles where they were encouraged to form a band. To sum up the experience, it was "all the things you ever dreamed of being a new musician," said Fant, reminiscing.
The new album's feel is a mixture of acoustic and pop, starting with a lighter tone, mixing in a new appreciation for the banjo and electric beat and moving into a darker, more serious side. Delving forward into the album, the band generates a strong appreciation for going straight to the gut of music and letting the simplicity of acoustics do the talking. It has what Fant describes as a "classic west coast gangster lead" followed by an upbeat rhythm that makes you want to jump from your seat and go for a bike ride around the park or crank up the tunes on a road trip. As far as the production of melodies and the flow of the album goes, Fant claims "I'm just using weird combinations that are like ‘huh, that's interesting.'"
Though Fant describes their genre as pop, it isn't the general definition used by the public. "People instantly think of what's popular today…to me pop has always just been something that is like, you know, catchy. It gets stuck in your head. It's something that can be played on the radio; something that just the general population enjoys." J Minus' new album can be ordered online via their website www.jminus.com.
 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thomas Pridgen Makes Honest Sounds for Anyone and Everyone With The Memorials

Anyways, you can read it online at http://submergemag.com/featured/we-all-got-the-beat/1866/

Or you can look at the actual digital version http://issuu.com/submergemag/docs/issue68 (page10)

 

We All Got The Beat

 by dubs


Thomas Pridgen Makes Honest Sounds for Anyone and Everyone With The Memorials
Words by Robin Bacior
The most stereotypical complaint of any musicians attempting to form a band is that there just aren’t enough drummers in the world. Percussion is the heartbeat, that aggressive slap of stick to skin or steel, an intensity that can’t be mimicked by any other instrument. So why the lack of drummers when they add so much? There’s something so universally understood, yet confusing, about drums; but not for people like Thomas Pridgen, who started playing early on, not even as a conscious decision.
“My grandmother was a piano player in the church,” explained Pridgen. “Where I grew up, all the drummers used to switch off. It was kind of like playing basketball in the hood; everybody did it, so I had no choice but to.”
Pridgen quickly separated himself as a prodigious talent. Not only did he win The Guitar Center drum-off at age 9, and a year later become the youngest recipient of a Zildjian endorsement, but he also was given a full scholarship to the esteemed Berklee School of Music, at age 15.
“Yeah, I was a little badass,” said Pridgen with a laugh.
Now only 26, he’s played with musicians like Dennis Chambers and Walfredo Reyes, Jr., and enjoyed a stint with the highly regarded, extraordinarily progressive force known as The Mars Volta.
At one point while working as a musical director for a childhood friend, Pridgen received a somewhat out-of-the-blue invitation from prog-rock luminary Omar Rodriguez Lopez to hang out on Halloween. In the middle of a few drinks, Lopez casually mentioned he wanted Pridgen to join their set for the night, which happened to be opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers to an audience of roughly 20,000 people.
That was essentially the beginning of Pridgen’s time with The Mars Volta, during which he found a home for his somewhat aurally chaotic style that he thought was outside of most listeners’ realms of tolerance. In fact, they not only understood it, but liked it.
“Sometimes as musicians you kind of feel like stuff you’re doing is over people’s heads, and sometimes when the normal person can like what you’re doing, and actually gravitate toward it, it’s kind of big,” Pridgen said. “I learned I can play all my crazy shit and be as crazy as I want, and it wasn’t far from normal. It wasn’t too abstract that people didn’t get it.”
In December 2009, Pridgen decided to break from Volta and focus on his own creation, something to fill a certain void he felt existed in the current state of rock music. Something that’s purely about sound, regardless of style or ethnicity.
“It’s kind of like if you’re a gangster rapper and you’re from the suburbs then nobody respects you, so in this [rock music], nobody cares where you’re from; but for us, we’re from the hood, from the ghetto, especially when I’m living in Oakland, where it’s predominately black and they’re not playing rock. It’s predominately hip-hop and R&B,” Pridgen said. “I could walk anywhere in my type of black neighborhood and they would not recognize me, but then when I come to more eclectic neighborhoods, they’re like ‘you’re the guy from The Mars Volta!’”
It can be hard to maintain a balance of equally representing your individual style and self with music, especially if the two haven’t historically gone hand-in-hand, but it’s something that Pridgen strives for, and feels like people can get behind.
“For me it’s kind of like a fine line, of trying to have people that respect you and know you’re from a place that’s predominately urban or whatever, and to do a music that most people of your color aren’t doing,” Pridgen said. “That’s why I feel like that voice is missing; Fishbone and Bad Brains, they’re super older than us, there aren’t too many young bands that come from where we come from.”
Pridgen wanted to assemble a band that didn’t have to build an image around the sound, but more just played honestly what they felt regardless of suit or trends.
“We don’t go play rock music and dress up like we’re in the ‘80s. We go and look just like we look when I walk in the hood, so for people my color to see that, it’s inspiring,” Pridgen said. “It’s inspiring to me to see other people—even if they’re not black—just to see people doing their kind of music with 100 percent passion,” Pridgen said.
From all this came the birth of his newest project, The Memorials.
The drums are the meat of The Memorials, with Pridgen’s impressively clean and rapid percussive builds that make for a thick base for their songs, melted over by Nick Brewer’s hammered/licked and sustained electric-guitar noises, drizzled with a glaze of Viveca Hawkin’s smooth, mellow vocals. Stacked and peppered with cameo contributions from various talented instrumentalists (Uriah Duffy on bass, Michael Aaberg on keys), it makes for a unique plate that at one point Pridgen might have questioned if people could even stomach, but now realizes they may even crave. “I never thought it would fail, but I never thought it would be this big so fast,” Pridgen said.
In the history of Pridgen’s impressively long resume of collaborating with other talent, this is the first time he’s actually the appointed head of a group. While it might sound like more pressure, it’s around the same level of obligation, just more hands-on in the entire process of a band’s duties.
“The only difference is I’m there from ground one—all the mixing and mastering, all the headaches—I’m getting the brunt of it,” Pridgen said. “It’s just a lot more on my shoulders, but it’s actually more fun.”
Not even a year old, The Memorials will be releasing their first record on Nov. 23, 2010, according to Pridgen. Coincidentally, the date is also his birthday. However, they’re more excited to go test them out in front of crowds.
“We made all these songs so we could go play them live,” Pridgen said. The core focus of The Memorials is to be able to play as many live shows as possible, to offer their eclectic creation to whomever wants to listen, and to be reciprocated with the experience of fine-tuning that very sound. Even though the group is now a solid trio, they remain open to guests and new ideas.
“I’m totally open to experiment, because I don’t want to make the same kind of records over and over again,” Pridgen said.
No matter who comes or goes, there will of course, always be drums.
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

One part Muse, one part machine, and one part dance, Gunslinger’s

Gunslinger


 
Gunslinger
With a name like Gunslinger, you’d probably expect some Americana-sounding singer-songwriter to be knocking the dust of his boots then taking the stage. Instead, there’s a man named Chris Anthem armed with a pair of headphones and a table full of deejay equipment, determined to shoot out a mix of trance, rock and electro that will blow the crowd away.
One part Muse, one part machine, and one part dance, Gunslinger’s tunes come across as the greatest dance party mix you only wish you had made. While the songs range from anthemic arena shakers to hole-in-the-wall club mixes, they will make you move. The mix master came out with a collection of irresistible ditties called Early Volumes 1 in August that showcases his range of dance hits.
Gunslinger’s songs sound familiar enough to grab your attention but have the variety to keep it interesting. Anthem’s experience as both a frontman in a rock band and a singer/songwriter lend him a depth beyond the typical deejay. Instead of focusing solely on the beat, he slides, mixes and twists a song into a showcase of lyrical know-how with killer grooves and vicious rhythms that serve to accent the song as a whole.
Unlike a lot of electronic music, Gunslinger’s tunes encourage singing just as much as dancing. Listen to “Run for Your Life” for a minute and the chorus will be stuck in your head. Give it two minutes, and you’ll be singing along. Before you know it, you’ll be clad in all black and neon, dancing in the break-out-your-glow-sticks-and-high-heels kind of way, hugging the girl you just met as you both shout out the lyrics while trying to catch your breath. Yeah, one hell of a party.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On October 22nd, Stephanie Schneiderman recording a live, acoustic album at The Old Church!

http://www.stephanieschneiderman.com
I'm excited to announce a big show coming up in October! On October 22nd, I'm recording a live, acoustic album at The Old Church! I'll be backed by a full choir and string section and will be doing songs from Rubber Teardrop and Dangerous Fruit. There will be many special guests including Keith Schreiner, Tony Furtado, Hanz Araki and more...
Umpqua Bank is generously presenting this event and 100% of the ticket sales will go to two local non-profit organizations. Stay tuned I’ll be announcing who they are soon. As many of you know I’m passionate about giving back, so as part of this event, I'm offering a free digital download of the CD to anyone who signs up at the concert to volunteer for an area non-profit organization.


Thomas Pridgen’s drumming accolades—like winning the Guitar Center Drum-Off at age 9

 
 
 
Thomas Pridgen’s drumming accolades—like winning the Guitar Center Drum-Off at age 9, getting sponsored by Zildjian at age 10, and receiving a full scholarship to the Berklee College Of Music at age 15—should help you prepare for his live show. But they won’t. And when the former Mars Volta drummer starts his set with his new band, The Memorials, your jaw will be on the fucking floor. His precise intensity and technical proficiency—combined with Nick Brewer’s guitar easily handling the changes, and singer Viveca Hawkins’ presence scorching your eyebrows off—on the band’s debut full-length makes the group’s music worth the pummeling it doles out.
 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stephanie Scheiderman: Rubber Teardrop

 
 
 
Stephanie Scheiderman: Rubber Teardrop
Sometimes I wonder why artists like this aren't played on mainstream radio. Some of the tracks brought me back to the 90's drinking over priced martinis at a lounge in NYC, due to the laid back trip hop feel to them. The first track "Hush" is very upbeat and might make you want to get up and dance around by yourself. I really like the subtle dub tones in the track earthquake. A nice mellow ballad track "Behind the Bars" reminded me of the sneaker pimps. "Avalon" made me want to pop in a 80's movies for some strange reason. "I am What I am Not" is a amazing track to me because within all the tracks that are more beat oriented you get a striped down folk song. All in all a very well balanced album to listen to that can fit all types of moods

Monday, October 17, 2011

Strange Like We Are

Album Review: ‘Strange Like We Are’ by Campfire OK


http://redlipstickbrigade.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/album-review-strange-like-we-are-by-campfire-ok/


Campfire OK is an indie-folk band composed of a group madmen that know exactly what they’re doing. Their debut album, Strange Like We Are, will be released on February 8, 2011 through Ana-Them Records. As Strange Like We Are progresses, each song has a clear and definitive structure, oozing intelligence in a natural and carefree way. In the album, at times there are moments of carefully construed pure chaos—radiating a brilliance that can only be achieved by artists who truly know both, the science and art of music like the back of their hands.
The anxiety created between the indie and the folk aspects of this band make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and your ears perk up. Campfire OK’s manipulation of instruments such as, the brass, banjo, and piano create a tension that strongly supports the lyrics and voice of the band.
Their single, “Strange Like We Are”, starts out with a luring pitch, which build up tension for the vocals. The song develops into what feels like an anthem for people strange like they are, which is supported by clappers, gentle brass, additional vocals “ooo”ing and a heavy, percussion-induced down-beat.
“We Lay in Caves” introduces the album with an eerie, upbeat, yet destructive mood, filled with brass undertones and powerful percussion. Though, the lead voice is distinct, in songs like “Hard Times”, “Not Young Not Old”, and “Magic Tricks”, it sounds annoyingly familiar to a massively produced Broadway song with a typical and easily produced tune.
Fortunately, those set back moments are brief and you are dragged back to a euphoric musical experience. Even the occasional hums, lulls, and “ahhs” align in perfect harmony, speaking louder and fitting the music more perfect than any other lyric. The album also showcases a choir in “Brass” and featured through various songs.
“Complimenting Parts”, “I Would Like Everything” and “Mexico N-O”, though different from the louder, more upbeat songs, have gentle rhymes on the piano and vocals with undertones of crying brass support the elegant and melodic pieces.
With Hannigan performing on the banjo and brass; Dagworth on percussion; Van Der Speck playing the bass and angelic vocals; Goodweather on piano and vocals, and Exworthy on keys and vocals, it is apparent that every member of the band has an equally vital and powerful role in each song through Strange Like We Are.
Currently, the Seattle bound band is practically unknown. However, with their crisp and professional sound, the second they pick up momentum and are discovered by audiences eager to listen to an evolutionary stew of indie-rock, folk and clever instrumentalists, Campfire OK’s unique music will receive the proper recognition

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Non-etre's Beneath Wind and Waves on CD

Non-etre's Beneath Wind and Waves on CD

http://thevinylanachronist.blogspot.com/2011/10/non-etres-beneath-wind-and-waves-on-cd.html

"I just try to write from my heart and stay out of my head," says Portland-based singer-songwriter Shawn Lawson Freeman, who is about to release his new album Beneath Wind and Waves in December. Recording under the moniker Non-etre, he provides most of the album's content including at least half of the instrumentation, and every second of this album is spent with his heart on his sleeve.

At first listen, these songs are almost too direct in their sentiments. Freeman is short on poetry and long on feeling, and his lyrics often reflect this and sound more like excerpts from a note that was slipped under your windshield wipers last night from the person you just dumped. Lyrics such as "You're the sugar in my tea/You're the one I want to see when you have to go away" won't alert the folks at the PEN Center, but after a while you merge with his specific wavelength and succumb to the all-heart, no brain approach.

The music side of the equation is much more immediate in its appeal. Within a few seconds you realize this is a carefully crafted and delicate album, more than capable of switching gears from soft ballad to rocking outro with a modicum of grace and logic. Freeman the musician is a tinkerer, and even in the quietest moments there's a lot going on in the mix. Even the lo-fi tracks such as "Loop Me in" have a clarity that demands your attention, and when he's just singing in his Will Oldham-meets-Sufjan Stevens demeanor, a simple acoustic guitar on his knee, there's still plenty of originality on the stage.

Stephanie Scheiderman, whose distinctive and playful Rubber Teardrop I reviewed just a couple of months ago, helps out on three songs and makes such a strong impression through the entire album that I thought she was a permanent member of the band, not just a "very special guest." She provides the female counterpoint to Freeman's longing and they create a tangible chemistry. Co-producer Jim Walker also provides half of the instrumentation as well as vocals.

This is Freeman's second album (his 2009 debut is called Nice to Meet You, which was released under his own name), and if there's a third I hope employs a little more mystery and lyricism to keep his more jaded fans engaged. At the same time, I suspect there are plenty of music lovers who just want to be talked to, questioned, comforted and embraced. Those fans will appreciate the love and wide-eyed directness of Beneath Wind and Waves.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

J Minus releases fun-filled album: "Devil Music"

 

J Minus releases fun-filled album: "Devil Music"

Staff Writer
 

Satanic or ill is far from the description of J Minus' titled album Devil Music. Releasing their third album since their spontaneous start in 2002, Dylan Fant and Trevor Wheetman began working on their music together as a pet project. "It wasn't planned to be anything," said Fant, "I was doing it to fulfill myself."
Like stepping into a daydream, their jumpstart into the music scene struck the surface of reality with the help of Michael Wilson Black, the current Senior Vice President of MCA. "It was one of those crazy stories where Trevor's buddy was a janitor at his recording studio and they were having lunch together. And he was like ‘Hey! Check out my buddy's song,' and he was blown away." The song, "After Midnight," was one of three Fant had just finished working on, earning him and Wheetman a trip to Los Angeles where they were encouraged to form a band. To sum up the experience, it was "all the things you ever dreamed of being a new musician," said Fant, reminiscing.
The new album's feel is a mixture of acoustic and pop, starting with a lighter tone, mixing in a new appreciation for the banjo and electric beat and moving into a darker, more serious side. Delving forward into the album, the band generates a strong appreciation for going straight to the gut of music and letting the simplicity of acoustics do the talking. It has what Fant describes as a "classic west coast gangster lead" followed by an upbeat rhythm that makes you want to jump from your seat and go for a bike ride around the park or crank up the tunes on a road trip. As far as the production of melodies and the flow of the album goes, Fant claims "I'm just using weird combinations that are like ‘huh, that's interesting.'"
Though Fant describes their genre as pop, it isn't the general definition used by the public. "People instantly think of what's popular today…to me pop has always just been something that is like, you know, catchy. It gets stuck in your head. It's something that can be played on the radio; something that just the general population enjoys." J Minus' new album can be ordered online via their website www.jminus.com.
 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Their sound reminds me a lot of what the Used Kids

WELCOME HOME WALKER:
Self-titled: 7”
 
 

Their sound reminds me a lot of what the Used Kids are doing in terms of retro rock style like that of The Jam just brought up to speed and made for today’s generation. Here the titled track “Watch Your Step” brings that old school sound with backbreaking tempos. The bass on this track is nice and bouncy and I could imagine a dance hall filled with the feel-good vibe of this music. The B-side of this two-song 7” is the highlight here with the track, “The Untold Death of Grady Jones.” It’s a tune about the murder of a man Grady Jones with lyrics hinting that it was done by a gang: “They really have blood stained hands but did they do it just for game? I guess we’ll never know for sure…some shot the messenger.” The song itself reminds me a lot of Mötley Crüe’s tune, “On with the Show,” in terms of concept. Welcome Home Walker does theirs less epic and shorter in length, but brings richer music influences to the table by having Latin-feeling beats and a “Strawberry Fields Forever”-sounding arpeggio tempo change transition in the song. It’s all around solid songwriting on this track. –N.L. Dewart (Boggie Creek)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Strength gets dark, less dirty with latest album

 
 
 
Strength gets dark, less dirty with latest album
Isamu Jordan Correspondent

Strength

2010 has been a quiet year for Strength, but Portland’s favorite sex-obsessed electro-disco trio is breaking the silence with a new album.

Four years after the Portland playboys’ self-made debut, “Ongoing Strength,” their long-awaited follow-up, “Mind-Reader,” is darker, faster and shorter than its predecessor.
“Mind-Reader” is also less sexed than “Ongoing Strength,” with fewer overtly randy references on the album. Instead, the adult wordplay is slightly slanted toward more monstrous themes. Originally, Strength set out to make a horror-dance concept album, according to a news release, but the members got distracted by lusty all-out assaults on the dance floor.
Singer Bailey Winters said he was reading a lot of monster novels during the making of “Mind-Reader.” That influence comes through the strongest on “Blood,” where Winters sings, “My body is weak, I’m out of time/ I need her blood before sunrise.”
But “Mind-Reader” is not without its arousing appeal. The album’s lead-off single, “Brandy,” replaces body lotion for brown liquor in a sensual massage session.
Instrumentally, “Mind-Reader” stays true to Strength’s signature formula, mixing disco with electro with synthy bass lines, minimalist guitars, ambient noise and dance-inducing beats, supporting Winters’ nasally Jagger-esque vocals. Adding to the mix on “Mind-Reader” is an element of punk-rock in the simple but catchy riffage on guitar.
It’s the same sound that earned Strength’s critical accolades nationwide drawing on the indie-rock retro movement for vintage electronic music. It’s a rare review that doesn’t compare Strength to the likes of Ghostland Observatory, LCD Soundsystem, or even Spokane’s own James Pants.
During peak season of the nostalgic comeback of electro in indie music, Strength is Portland’s pride and joy of the genre. The band has been getting big props in the Northwest and nationwide. While bands with a similar sound are coming as fast as they’re going, Strength continues to stand out with irresistible hooks and an equally infectious live show.
Strength is made up of Winters, John Zeigler on keys and Patrick Morris on guitar and bass, who both share drum programming duties. The three got started playing music together in a rock band while attending the California College of Arts in Oakland. After graduating they formed Strength and moved to Portland.
At the time, Winters said, audiences would stand around and watch bands but then would start dancing while a DJ was spinning records. The goal then was for Strength to be considered more like a dance record than a rock band.
Strength seems to have succeeded in doing so on “Mind-Reader” as well, as critics are begging for more.
Many reviews agree that the album’s only shortcoming is its length. The record plays more like an EP, clocking in at eight songs and 25 minutes long.
 

Age sex occupation at backspace

Magnuson at ash street

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Winebirds, a PDX indie folk/pop quintet with a male/female vocal sound vaguely reminiscent of Belle & Sebastian


Killer Diller


The Gaslamp Killer, plus a Portland standoff, jams, jazz, classics and a few benefits

Meanwhile in Eureka it’s The Winebirds, a PDX indie folk/pop quintet with a male/female vocal sound vaguely reminiscent of Belle & Sebastian and hints of Fleetwood Mac. They stop off Saturday at the Li’l Red Lion on their way south for shows at the Elbo Room in S.F. and the Caspar Inn in Mendo (Blind Pilot plays the Caspar the night before).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thomas Pridgen Makes Honest Sounds for Anyone and Everyone With The Memorials

Emo Mag
Entertainment News Online

We All Got The Beat




Thomas Pridgen Makes Honest Sounds for Anyone and Everyone With The Memorials
Words by Robin Bacior
The most stereotypical complaint of any musicians attempting to form a band is that there just aren’t enough drummers in the world. Percussion is the heartbeat, that aggressive slap of stick to skin or steel, an intensity that can’t be mimicked by any other instrument. So why the lack of drummers when they add so much? There’s something so universally understood, yet confusing, about drums; but not for people like Thomas Pridgen, who started playing early on, not even as a conscious decision.
“My grandmother was a piano player in the church,” explained Pridgen. “Where I grew up, all the drummers used to switch off. It was kind of like playing basketball in the hood; everybody did it, so I had no choice but to.”
Pridgen quickly separated himself as a prodigious talent. Not only did he win The Guitar Center drum-off at age 9, and a year later become the youngest recipient of a Zildjian endorsement, but he also was given a full scholarship to the esteemed Berklee School of Music, at age 15.
“Yeah, I was a little badass,” said Pridgen with a laugh.
Now only 26, he’s played with musicians like Dennis Chambers and Walfredo Reyes, Jr., and enjoyed a stint with the highly regarded, extraordinarily progressive force known as The Mars Volta.
At one point while working as a musical director for a childhood friend, Pridgen received a somewhat out-of-the-blue invitation from prog-rock luminary Omar Rodriguez Lopez to hang out on Halloween. In the middle of a few drinks, Lopez casually mentioned he wanted Pridgen to join their set for the night, which happened to be opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers to an audience of roughly 20,000 people.
That was essentially the beginning of Pridgen’s time with The Mars Volta, during which he found a home for his somewhat aurally chaotic style that he thought was outside of most listeners’ realms of tolerance. In fact, they not only understood it, but liked it.
“Sometimes as musicians you kind of feel like stuff you’re doing is over people’s heads, and sometimes when the normal person can like what you’re doing, and actually gravitate toward it, it’s kind of big,” Pridgen said. “I learned I can play all my crazy shit and be as crazy as I want, and it wasn’t far from normal. It wasn’t too abstract that people didn’t get it.”
In December 2009, Pridgen decided to break from Volta and focus on his own creation, something to fill a certain void he felt existed in the current state of rock music. Something that’s purely about sound, regardless of style or ethnicity.
“It’s kind of like if you’re a gangster rapper and you’re from the suburbs then nobody respects you, so in this [rock music], nobody cares where you’re from; but for us, we’re from the hood, from the ghetto, especially when I’m living in Oakland, where it’s predominately black and they’re not playing rock. It’s predominately hip-hop and R&B,” Pridgen said. “I could walk anywhere in my type of black neighborhood and they would not recognize me, but then when I come to more eclectic neighborhoods, they’re like ‘you’re the guy from The Mars Volta!’”
It can be hard to maintain a balance of equally representing your individual style and self with music, especially if the two haven’t historically gone hand-in-hand, but it’s something that Pridgen strives for, and feels like people can get behind.
“For me it’s kind of like a fine line, of trying to have people that respect you and know you’re from a place that’s predominately urban or whatever, and to do a music that most people of your color aren’t doing,” Pridgen said. “That’s why I feel like that voice is missing; Fishbone and Bad Brains, they’re super older than us, there aren’t too many young bands that come from where we come from.”
Pridgen wanted to assemble a band that didn’t have to build an image around the sound, but more just played honestly what they felt regardless of suit or trends.
“We don’t go play rock music and dress up like we’re in the ‘80s. We go and look just like we look when I walk in the hood, so for people my color to see that, it’s inspiring,” Pridgen said. “It’s inspiring to me to see other people—even if they’re not black—just to see people doing their kind of music with 100 percent passion,” Pridgen said.
From all this came the birth of his newest project, The Memorials.
The drums are the meat of The Memorials, with Pridgen’s impressively clean and rapid percussive builds that make for a thick base for their songs, melted over by Nick Brewer’s hammered/licked and sustained electric-guitar noises, drizzled with a glaze of Viveca Hawkin’s smooth, mellow vocals. Stacked and peppered with cameo contributions from various talented instrumentalists (Uriah Duffy on bass, Michael Aaberg on keys), it makes for a unique plate that at one point Pridgen might have questioned if people could even stomach, but now realizes they may even crave. “I never thought it would fail, but I never thought it would be this big so fast,” Pridgen said.
In the history of Pridgen’s impressively long resume of collaborating with other talent, this is the first time he’s actually the appointed head of a group. While it might sound like more pressure, it’s around the same level of obligation, just more hands-on in the entire process of a band’s duties.
“The only difference is I’m there from ground one—all the mixing and mastering, all the headaches—I’m getting the brunt of it,” Pridgen said. “It’s just a lot more on my shoulders, but it’s actually more fun.”
Not even a year old, The Memorials will be releasing their first record on Nov. 23, 2010, according to Pridgen. Coincidentally, the date is also his birthday. However, they’re more excited to go test them out in front of crowds.
“We made all these songs so we could go play them live,” Pridgen said. The core focus of The Memorials is to be able to play as many live shows as possible, to offer their eclectic creation to whomever wants to listen, and to be reciprocated with the experience of fine-tuning that very sound. Even though the group is now a solid trio, they remain open to guests and new ideas.
“I’m totally open to experiment, because I don’t want to make the same kind of records over and over again,” Pridgen said.
No matter who comes or goes, there will of course, always be drums.
Post from: Submerge Magazine

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This is some garage-tinged power pop that’s pretty awesome.

WELCOME HOME WALKER:
Don’t Let Me Go b/w Second Hand Store: 7"
This 7” came with a note mentioning “members of the Soda Pop Kids and From Ashes Rise.” Well, color me intrigued. This is some garage-tinged power pop that’s pretty awesome. –Joe Evans III (Gone Home)
 
 
 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Poor Boy’s Soul, was locked up in North Dakota

Poor Boy’s Soul
Burn Down
Poor Soul Records
3.5 out of 5 stars



I originally called “bullshit” when I heard that the release of this album was delayed when Trevor Jones, who is Poor Boy’s Soul, was locked up in North Dakota after being busted hopping freight trains. But 10 seconds into the first track “Burn Down That House,” it becomes apparent that Jones is the real deal, with a sound that falls somewhere between Robert Johnson and The Black Keys. It’s as raw as you’d expect from a train hopper, and more genuine than I could have imagined. Jones, who plays as a one-man band drumming with his feet while singing and playing guitar, sounds just like an old rail yard, and somehow, he manages to do it while remaining fresh and relevant for today.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Paper Tongues has been featured on "Lopez Tonight," MTV, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and Fuse TV,

http://www.gopensacola.com/article/20101007/GOPENSACOLA04/10070319/1003/gopensacola04

GoPensacola.com Stage



Paper Tongues has been featured on "Lopez Tonight," MTV, "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and Fuse TV, among many others. The seven-member band, which consists of Aswan North (vocals), Devin Forbes (guitar), Joey Signa (guitar), Daniel Santell (bass), Jordan Hardee (drums), Clayton Simon (synthesizer keys) and Cody Blackler (Rhode keys), met while playing improv music in Charlotte, N.C., in 2007.


The band's debut self-titled album includes songs such as "Trinity" and "Ride to California," displaying Paper Tongues' unique blend of hip hop, rock and pop.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The throbbing, ropey guitars creative a sensual vibe to Black Pussy's

Black Pussy
On Blonde
Made In China Records 2011


http://www.nocturnalcult.com/newcontents.htm
The throbbing, ropey guitars creative a sensual vibe to Black Pussy's new album On Blonde.  With a deceptive bong hit to start the album's opener, Marijuana, we are treated to some fat guitar riffs with a retro 70s stompin' beat.  This is alternative rock with a punk ethos that echoes through the catchy yet repetitive chorus.  By the end of the song though it gets a little grating due to the excessive use of the chorus.  However, this is a minor point that is quickly washed away by infectious beat and warm distorted guitar lines of Can't Take Anymore.  The whole track has a really laidback cool texture and stands as a highlight of the album.  It's like as if The Ramones had big afros and platform shoes while writing songs.  The multiple vocalists swapping back and forth on the track only serve to enhance the "cool" aspect of the track.  Swim is up next and the band lays even further back in their recliners then on the previous song.  The wood block strikes instantly have your neck popping while the guitars take an indie rock approach to some Trouble inspired riffs.  A monstrous stoner doom riff and pulsing bass guitar storm out of the speakers on Ain't Talkin about Love.  The song drops back into some slightly unharmonious vocals and fat bass before ushering back in those menacing doom riffs and bluesy guitar licks.  And the cycle repeats.  My favorite track is the closer, Indiana.  It's a more emotional and barren song relying on some late afternoon fretwork and longing vocals.  In some ways it reminds me a bit of the approach Sleater Kinney took on their song Modern Girl.  Suffice it to say I am a big fan of Black Pussy's On Blonde album.  And if you like Indie rock with some serious retro 70s references then On Blonde will be right up your alley! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Portland’s Strength plays disco like it never went out of style.

Stayin' Alive

Portland’s Strength plays disco like it never went out of style.

 
 
 
 
Mootsy's
History would have it that disco music died in an enormous conflagration on July 12, 1979, in the outfield of Chicago’s Comiskey Park. On that fateful evening — known as “Disco Demolition Night” — thousands of disco records were consumed in a staged explosion in center field, sparking a riot that damaged the stadium.
At that time, six of the top 10 songs in the U.S. were disco songs. Two months later, there wasn’t a single disco tune on the pop-music charts and the entire music industry started a mass exodus away from the genre. It was the end of an era.
Strength, apparently, never got the memo.
And it’s a good thing too. Despite the vapidity and hedonistic excess of ’70s culture oozing from its every pore (Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh once said disco was “like a beautiful woman with a great body and no brains”), there was never any doubt disco got all kinds of people out onto the dance floor. Strength, a three-piece electro-disco outfit from Portland, taps into that booty-shaking allure with abandon.
“I think their music is appealing to everyone,” says Sasha Turner, who booked the band’s first appearance in Spokane a few years ago. “They’re fun to listen to and watch, and they are fantastic human beings. They deliver every time.”
What they deliver are beat-heavy, hook-laden pop songs with panache: not strictly disco in the Donna Summer vein, but disco in the Blondie Heart of Glass or Queen Another One Bites the Dust way. Guitarist Patrick Morris sculpts angular funk riffs that skitter over the top of the beats and synthesizers while singer Bailey Winters lets fly suggestively sexual lyrics with his trademark nasally vocals — the two of them creating enough tension to make the music consistently interesting.
Anyone who has seen them live, however, will tell you it’s not the recorded output of Strength that draws one in. It’s the live show.
“The first time they played here, no one knew who they were. They went on and killed it,” says Turner. “Bailey was dancing, falling on the ground, wrapping the mic cord around his body, rolling on the floor.”
This time, Strength brings a new album, Mind Reader, along with them. Much more polished than their 2006 release Going Strong, Mind Reader finds the band exploring familiar territory, both lyrically and musically. But they’re doing it with a little more je nais se quoi; perhaps it’s confidence, perhaps it’s just seasoning. Whatever it is, it works. And Spokane loves it.
“We love playing over there,” says Morris.
“Playing in Spokane is always bananas.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Black Pussy's On Blonde...on CD

http://thevinylanachronist.blogspot.com/2011/09/black-pussys-on-blondeon-cd.html

Black Pussy's On Blonde...on CD




Strike #1: You name your band Black Pussy. Now I'm no puritan and can cuss a blue streak when properly motivated, but I'm starting to feel numb from the recent trend of naming your band something outrageous and offensive just to get noticed. It's like all those bands with F-bombs as part of their names. It seems as puerile and sophomoric as an afternoon of Bubba the Love Sponge on Sirius--it's just relentless after a while, and it's made even worse by journeymen music critics who line up to review the album because they get a cheap thrill from dropping said F-bombs on the printed page. I'm not even going to tell you what happened when I Googled "Black Pussy on Blonde," either--I just wanted to get the scoop on this band for y'all, and I didn't need to see all that, well, stuff.

Strike #2: You start your album with the sound of a massive bong hit. Great, let's just throw On Blonde on the stack with my unopened Kottonmouth Kings CDs and every other band who manages to put the word "weed" in every song title. I wanna smoke weed every day of my life, every day of my life, every day of my life. Got it. Next. Even the cover of the CD has a little icon in the corner majestic stating that the whole affair was recorded in STONERSOUND.

Strike #3: Well, that's the thing...strike #3 never comes. Black Pussy's On Blonde is actually pretty cool. It's a retro sound that's a little hard to define, '70s hard rock on the cusp of punk, and I can probably best describe it like this: When I was a teenager in the late '70s, we were secretly enthralled with the coming of so-called punk rock, but it was a different type of punk than we think of now. True hardcore was still underground, and the stuff we thought was so different--the "new" wave--was simply tighter and faster rock without the 12-minute guitar solos. Black Pussy's sound, in other words, fits in with an afternoon orgy of Ramones, the Runaways, the Stooges and maybe even a little Kiss. It's simple, it's tight and it doesn't give an F-bomb.

Heck, even that bong hit in the beginning eventually justifies itself. That's because the first song, "Marijuana," isn't a celebratory ode to pot. When the chorus kicks in--she wants your, she wants your, she wants your...MARIJUANA!--it's downright funny, especially if you knew that particular girl back in the day. (Hi, Carmen!) When Black Pussy gently shifts their musical palette from song to song, a move so subtle and pure you'll probably miss it, it's only to add a cowbell (or a wood block; this is pretty lo-fi stuff) or maybe switch vocalists. The purpose here is to loudly declare that self-important lyrics and pretty melodies have no place in true rock and roll, and that's it.

So today's lesson is not to judge a CD by its cover, or a band by its name. Or maybe the lesson is not to cuss or you'll get your mouth washed out with soap. Either way, On Blonde reminds me of a friend I had back when I was in college. When a band met his approval, he said they "rocked amply." You've heard it here from the Vinyl Ananchronist: Black Pussy rocks amply. Now look that up in Google.