Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Welcome The Illness to the xo family

Filmmakers Joshua B. Porter and Matthew Donaldson, together known as "The Bushmen", are creating a short film/music video for the San Francisco based band, The Illness, and their song "Lengua de la Muerte," off their upcoming full-length album, "A Monument To Our Gilded Age."
The story is set in the present day, but has two "mind's eye" environment scenes akin to the Dawn of Man period of time.

We were inspired by the ancient Persian poem, "Layla and Majnun" by Nizami Ganjavi, and have incorporated the base elements of unrequited love from that tale into this concept. Some believe that this poem also inspired "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare.

old rubbish garage rock set in an edgy and compelling prog-rock universe

There is something wonderful exciting and refreshing to encounter with beginners and keen amateurs. Not to say that Magnuson is neither. And then you still no denying that there certainly is a kind of innocence about them. There is just something damn sweet that husband and wife make music together. Just as there is nothing innocent about a band whose booking contact has a Hotmail address. It seems neither too stylish or pretentious. We are well on their way. The name sounds Magnuson admittedly bulb Swedish, but Greg and the Kyrsten Magnuson strains apparently both from the neglected part of America between New York and Los Angeles. However, the latter place, Magnuson now has its base.
The 14 tracks on the Crash of Cassini are invariably short and blunt rock songs. The music is a strange mixture of old rubbish garage rock set in an edgy and compelling prog-rock universe. Like all good couple, so shared Magnuson about the work. Both contribute vocals and guitar, as well as drums changing hands from number to number. Neither Mr or Mrs Magnuson is the great singers, but the mixture of strong and fragile vocals works really well with the surrounding soundscape. At least some of the time.Crash of Cassini suffer in any way under the sparse ensemble. Although only two male high Magnuson delivers an incredibly powerful and rich sound. Everything put into very simple framework. Simple melodies and simple texts where only the duo's impressive guitar playing stands out. Which it largely does. It sometimes pop sound is broken again and again by metal riff. Through the speakers, you can clearly feel the enthusiasm and joy of playing. One of the Crash of Cassini 's strengths is also very clear sound that sometimes is so old rubbish and unpolished that you'd think it was recorded on a cell phone.My personal favorite must be the song "Let Me Go". As a beautiful blend of White Stripes 'sound and the Cranberries' vocals are both melodic and sonically a class above the rest of the plate. The well dusty guitar riff kicks experience started, carried along by simple and heavy beatings of drums. Kyrsten Magnusons lovely helpless vowel appears somewhat distant, almost withdrawn between the instruments.So should one is really thinking that everything is just fat. But it is unfortunately not the case. For Crash of Cassini carrying around a couple of weaknesses that we do not come around. So charming vocals appear on some tracks, just as unattractive is the length. 14 tracks with two halvdÄrlige singers require a tolerance, I do not possess sufficiently. When I arrived at "Forever Friday", the tenth plate number that begins Greg Magnusons pretty deadpan vocals to tire me. The same, unfortunately, the melodies, there have been over 14 tracks are very similar in nature.And it is unfortunately Magnusons problem. The powerful energy discharge, where cozy and enthusiastic though it is, fails to rub off on me. Crash of Cassini 's definitely a positive experience, and although it is far from flawless, it is in the length worthwhile to listen to the couple.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rags & Ribbons SXSW tour

Fri, February 24, 2012 - Doug Fir - Portland, OR - More info
Tues, February 28, 2012 - Cosmic Pizza - Eugene, OR - More info
Wed, February 29, 2012 - Marilyn’s On K - Sacramento, CA - More info
Thurs, March 1, 2012 - Rockit Room - San Francisco, CA - More info
Sat, March 3, 2012 - Frog and Peach Pub - San Luis Obispo, CA - More info
Sun, March 4, 2012 - Whiskey Richard’s - Santa Barbara, CA - More info
Mon, March 5, 2012 - Diapiazzas - Long Beach, CA - More info
Wed, March 7, 2012 - Tiki Bar - Costa Mesa, CA - More info
Thurs, March 8, 2012 - Bar 11 - San Diego, CA - More info
Fri, March 9, 2012 - The Hut Tucson - Tucson, AZ - More info
Sat, March 10, 2012 - Burt’s Tiki Lounge - Albuquerque, NM - More info
Sun, March 11, 2012 - The Big Spill - San Antonio, TX - More info
Wed, March 14, 2012 - Austin, TX - More info
Thurs, March 15, 2012 - 29th Street Ballroom at Spider House - Austin, TX - More info
Wed, March 21, 2012 - Unit E - Denver, CO - More info
Fri, March 23, 2012 - Muse Music Cafe - Provo, Utah - More info
Sat, March 24, 2012 - The Venue - Boise, ID - More info
Sun, March 25, 2012 -  Someday Lounge - Portland, OR - More info
Sat, March 31, 2012 - The High Dive - Seattle, WA - More info

synth sets the world spinning

Rags & Ribbons 
The Glass Masses 

Crystalline guitars and shimmering synth boost and bring focus to the smooth vocals on Even Matter, the opening track on Rags & Ribbons debut album.  There are forlorn melodies in the guitars and a sense of yearning to be found in those captivating vocals, all the while a mildly demented interplay of drums and synth sets the world spinning.  And this begins a captivating journey across the initial offering from this Portland trio.  Their alt-rock is amped up a bit more on Liar.  The guitars become meatier and the chorus is like layered angels.  Fragile U2-esque guitar lines are buried beneath what could be called a choir of vocals as The Marks You Make gets rolling.  The drum snaps away like a soldier's beat before the song surges into an upswing accented by piano.  Muted piano and lush vocals slide alongside a sorrowful guitar line in the core of Moving On.  My favorite track, Abacus Kids reminds me of the mega hit by Big Country, In A Big Country.  It has that epic, emotional and nostalgic quality to its main riff and those unmistakable vocals hooks that drag me across windswept landscapes.  The song works towards alternating rock explosions and sweet, melt-in-my-ears melodies.  The deep, shuddering guitars that open We Have Been Here Before remind me of U2, but there is some other influence playing havoc on my mind as well because I can't quite place it.  UGH.  Regardless, the track ebbs and flows in a slow rolling rhythm.  It's cold and rainy in the instruments, but the vocals continue to paint my speakers with quicksilver.  The Glass Masses is a comforting album despite the tinge of despair that lingers across the tracks.  I hear echoes of Drivin' N Cryin' and Queen and U2 sprinkled throughout this album.  The emotional depth of early 90s alternative rock is bled out in rivers by Rags & Ribbons.

Full fledged and unapologetic Rock & Roll seems to have gone to the way side

Bradley Wik & The Charlatans: Burn What You Can, Bury The Rest [Album]

Full fledged and unapologetic Rock & Roll seems to have gone to the way side.  That down home feeling that used to thrive with success in days passed has pretty much subsided.  Don’t get me wrong, I love “indie” music for all it is worth.  And there are still several amazing folk oriented artists out there.  But, what if I want an upgrade of the old Tom Petty and Springstein records my father would subject me to in my youth?  Well, it turns out, there is a cure for such nostalgia for organic, purebred rock and roll.  And it comes in the form of Bradley Wik & The Charlatans.  Or shall we say, Bradley the savior.
Bradley Wik & The Charlatan’s 2012 release, Burn What You Can, Bury The Rest is, simply put, just an amazing record filled with so many full fledged emotions and inspirational outlooks on the struggle and striving process of life and the ambiguties that tend to follow.  You can have the time of your life with this man and his friends with a track like “Friday Night Is For Drinkers”, or you can go on a rock and roll odyssey through time and pain and love in the 8 minute long opus “Just Like Jon Fickles”, which is an amazing story that just isn’t long enough even at it’s current length.
Anyone who listens to Bradley Wik, especially lowly music critics, will instantly put a tag on him as the new generation’s version of The Boss.  And this may be very well deserved.  But, why?  Comparissons can only rationally be drawn because Wik, like The Boss, is doing everything the right way.  His way!  What is the result of yearning to tell a lovely story in the most sincere and organic fashion.  Exactly what you should expect:  One of the finest albums you will hear in 2012.  That’s a fact.
The album is available now through your usual sources, and more information can be found at
And if you find yourself reading this in the Portland area, be sure to make it out to the record release show March 17th at the Secret Society Ballroom.  You will not want to miss this!

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Punk never died," - The Projection

"Punk never died," my younger brother always says, and although he's committed to hardcore he does have a begrudging respect to what he calls Punk Lite, i.e. bands like Green Day, the Offspring and Blink 182. While there are plenty of bands that can still remain true to the original ideals of punk by sticking to the harsh, chaotic and confrontational nature of the genre, I personally feel that you alienate too much of your audience with an unfettered attack via an astounding wall of noise. The Projection, a punk trio from Chicago, gets this. Their new album While You Were Out succeeds at injecting just enough pop into their songs to appeal to a broader, CD-buying public.

The Projection isn't blazing any new trails here, but they have their loyalties in check and provide a sound that's plenty tight and energetic while maintaining the most important facet of punk--speed. They play fast, sing fast and keep it simple. They also know how to mix it up by inserting the occasional synthesizer (such as in the radio-friendly "Trying to Forget) or even some acoustic guitars in the intros (such as "Rock Stars"). They even embrace the very roots of rock by closing the album with an enthusiastic cover of Buddy Holly's "Oh, Boy!" that ties the whole package with a haphazardly tied bow.

Led by vocalist/guitarist Jacques LaMore, bassist Travis White and drummer Collin Benoit, the band even preserves the punk aesthetic by keeping the production quality simple, small and utterly unpretentious. This minimalist approach, which seems to encourage the cranking of the volume knob, is where the band stays the truest to punk sensibilities; they got it right in the studio, in other words. Bands like The Projection won't change the world, but they will keep younger generations interested in punk rock, and make aging punks like my younger brother relatively happy.

Friday, February 24, 2012

with a name like Black Pussy, you are probably going to be embarking on a journey with an extremely bad ass group

Ron's Picks: Black Pussy's On Blonde

It is suffice to say that with a name like Black Pussy, you are probably going to be embarking on a journey with an extremely bad ass group.  Of course, this is a band residing the the fair City of Roses, home to the cult legends Starfucker.  And just as the stars would show, the old 80's hip hop question, "What's In A Name?" is still very relevant.  No matter the stigma, Black Pussy is a group that portrays nothing more than hellride worthy damn genius with speed guitar anthems and piston blowing insanity that is both enjoyable and systematic to chance to have a damn good time.

Black Pussy takes Dustin Hill and a few of his friends away from their regular duties with the thrash core group White Orange, to make some old school road trippin', hardcore songs about weed, crumbling towns, and Indiana chops.  On their stellar initial release, On Blonde, we find a side project that takes a turn for the center lane, and never looks back.  They sound cocaine infused, yet determined to develop a pop worthy sound that can be breast fed to one audience, and then a different one entirely.  Alongside Dustin is Toadhouse Studio founder Adam Pike (also of White Orange) enlightening himself just as Hill has obviously done with this fun and enthusiastic record unlike any blatantly boring shit you have heard recently.

While many avid indie rock listeners might embrace this sort of exuberance as just another way to spend a night fueled up on PBR and lost hope, there is actually a bit in On Blonde for everyone.  It is manic!  It's insane.  It's probably an album you have been waiting to find for sometime, yet were far to chickenshit to extend your ears to something so amazingly insane.  So, how about you lighten up Francis, and learn how to party.  These guys can show you the way.  They'll have you blowing smoke from your ears while juggling chainsaws in the back of a busted up convertible fueled by Jack Daniels doing 90 down Burnside with the intensity of Denis Leary on stage talking about 8Balls.  And who wouldn't want that?

Check out Black Pussy's On Blonde on the group's Bandcamp Page (where they somehow earned a tag of "Fleetwood Mac", which actually makes no sense at all, but definitely intriguing)


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Portland has a burgeoning indie music scene and from its womb is birthed the sweet and soft sounds of Beneath Wind A Waves.

Beneath Wind And Waves
Self Released 2011

 Portland has a burgeoning indie music scene and from its womb is birthed the sweet and soft sounds of Beneath Wind A Waves.  Transference's stark voice and isolated acoustic guitar are imbued with a haunting quality, the music sounds as if a hundred years of sorrow and roadweary experience have piled up on the songwriter.  A muted dance beat lays the foundation for a sleepy pop track on Loop Me In.  The lazy afternoon guitar work shimmers through distortion creating a nostalgic feel on the track.  The back-and-forth duet of male and female vocals is an effective play on the dual sided outlook of a burgeoning relationship.  This dual vocal approach continues on Angry Love.  The song however is far from angry, there are subdued drums and a lazy pacing that causes the song to drag somewhat.  God said opens up with some prairie folk guitar, dry and dusty.  Shawn's vocals really stand out during the song.  Persephone takes on a modern view of the old Greek myth and fills it with sparse guitar and the lush voice of Stephanie.  The song drifts towards a darker, moodier pop locale as the song builds towards it climax and then releases the tension in an ambient voice of stillness.  A subtle folk influence permeates Non-Etre and the minimal instrumentation lends well to Shawn's inviting voice doing the heavy lifting for the album.  Sometimes I feel this album is a little too sleepy for its own good.  The whole album is in a dreamy haze.  It's like a less interesting Mazzy Star, but with male vocals. However, despite its molasses pace and barren instrumentation, Non-etre possesses an angst filled emotional depth.  It is a lovelorn album to be sure.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Loud. Insane. Tritely comprehensive. A shit ton of fun.

Album Review: White Orange – White Orange

White Orange - White Orange
Loud.  Insane.  Tritely comprehensive.  A shit ton of fun.  This could pretty much sum up Portland Oregon’s newly founded thrash rock sensations White Orange.  They are a loud brand of pyschedlic madness, the likes of which have rarely been noticed until now.  With their self titled debut album in hand, this is a group that is approachable for metal, punk, and good old rock and roll fans alike.
While a track with a title such as “Kill The Kids” might disrupt the average not-so-hard rock listener, it is actually a track that holds a 90′s alternative to everything sound that was so highly acclaimed when Sonic Youth did it a decade before, while being accepted in the grunge era as well.  Sure, White Orange is prone to a bit of screaming, but they are without a doubt a much finer portayl of thrash core than their previous successors of this age.  They take sort of classical element when composing tracks like “Save Me” and “Color Me Black”, the latter of which is very reminiscent of the highly underrated Stabbing Westward.
While we have become prone to only loving simplistic indie rock and understandable heavy metal, there should always remain a soft spot for the hard edged, exterminators of reality sound that a group like White Orange has blessed us with in this strangely distant day and age.  Sometimes we just need to rock.  But how can we do this without losing our artistic integrity?  Just throw in White Orange’s self titled beauty and begin to relive the glory years when “alternative” was not a brand name for bullshit radio stations playing “Spoon Man” on repeat while advertising mattress outlets.  Rather the period where you could be loud, proud, and purposely deprived of adhering to the social norms.  You know, the way rock and roll was suppose to be!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bluegrass Tuesday why now!?!?! Tony Rice brings it today with a tribute to Bill Monroe

Record Label: Rounder
Hometown: Virginia
Genres: Bluegrass
Tony Rice – 'The Bill Monroe Collection' (Rounder)

The material, consisting of 14 songs and instrumentals by Monroe, was recorded by Rice in a variety of band configurations over15 years. These songs and tunes have been previously released, but never as a compilation.

Thinking that Mr. Monroe would be very happy with Rice's job well done. Apparently there are a lot of tributes to this bluegrasser out there i have been listening all day i really do think this is the best i have heard. Maybe its the fact that Rice is a grammy winner for Best Country Instrumental Performance as part of the New South band. He has received several IBMA awards, including that for Guitar Player of the Year six times. I mean i would want someone like that to tribute me when i was dead and gone.

Wonder who will do their tribute for Rice maybe Nickel Creek, Ralph Stanley (if he stays alive), Tye Menser of the Oly Mountain Boys, Jesse Mcreynolds, David “Dawg” Grisman, maybe even Alison Krauss?

The 14 titles on The Bill Monroe Collection are …
  • I’m On My Way Back To The Old Home
  • When You Are Lonely
  • Jerusalem Ridge
  • Mule Skinner Blues
  • Sittin’ Alone In The Moonlight
  • Stoney Lonesome
  • Molly And Tenbrooks
  • River Of Death
  • Gold Rush
  • On And On
  • I Believe in You Darling
  • Cheyenne
  • Little Cabin Home On The Hill
  • You’re Drifting Away

Smart soft folky pop with a difference

Beneath Wind and Waves (Independently released CD-R, Pop)

Smart soft folky pop with a difference. Our first impression was that Non-Etre was just another soft folky artist with some nice hummable tunes. But after spinning Beneath Wind and Waves we realized there's a lot more going on here. Instead of just churning out modern folky pop tunes, this fellow writes and records soft pop that has some rather remarkable and unexpected twists and turns. At some points the music is simple and direct...utilizing mainly an acoustic guitar and voice. But other tracks feature some truly cool arrangements that really add extra special flavors to the mix. We particularly love the tasty use of strings on "Loop Me In"...really kicks the song up to the next level. This guy has a great subdued breathy voice and he never comes across sounding phony or contrived. We would place this is in the same general category as Sufjan Stephens but make no mistake...Non-Etre is by no means a copycat artist. Cool reflective cuts include "Transference," "Angry Love," "Hold On Tight," and "98." Totally nifty and absorbing music.

Monday, February 20, 2012

royal mix of roaring guitars over rolling organs and pounding drums, satisfied by Bradley’s raw vocals

Introducing…Bradley Wik & The Charlatans

 Introducing...Bradley Wik & The Charlatans.
Bradley Wik has settled neither here nor there; he’s been traveling all over the continental United States for the past few years, guitar in hand playing whenever and wherever anyone would let him. In Bradley Wik & the Charlatans debut album, Burn What You Can, Bury the Rest… he brings you the tales from his travels, and introduces you to some of the people he met along the way.
Bradley doesn’t shy away from his rural roots. He brings an Alt. Country feel to several of his songs. Burn What You Can, Bury the Rest… is a royal mix of roaring guitars over rolling organs and pounding drums, satisfied by Bradley’s raw vocals and a few guest appearances. Think Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Uncle Tupelo (but less raw), early Wilco or Richmond Fontaine and you’ll not be far off.
Download Bradley Wik & The Charlatans (featuring Brianne Kathleen) – This Old House mp3 (from Burn What You Can, Bury The Rest…)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Live show review : Boots Riley and the Coup at the Wonder Ballroom 2/16/12

Thursday night's effort by Boots Riley and the Coup at the Wonder Ballroom demonstrated unequivocally that hip-hop can be translated to the stage.  It helps to have a full band backed by keys, heavy rock drums, five-stringed bass, and a new guitarist-- who, although down-played in the mix from the soundboards, adequately shredded tracks on a Hendrix-style strat.  New singer Silk-E added energy and a little booty-shakin' while turning the crowd inside-out with one of her own numbers, and covered "Satellite of Love" from Lou Reed's "Transformer" album later in the set.  

    Even with all this hard rockin', some fans found the earlier set by underground turntablist Buck 65 hard to follow.  His quirky gyrating dance moves and lyrics about being "built like a horse from the waist down" had even the most skeptical in the audience doubled over. 

    While Boots said they didn't know the new material from their forthcoming album due out in september well enough to play them on stage, they did cover an eighteen year span of material, playing songs like "Gunsmoke," from "Genocide & Juice".  High points in the set included "Laugh/Love/Fuck" and "We are the Ones."  Boots ended the set by speaking to the ongoing Occupy movement, the band teasing "Smells like teen spirit" in the final jam.  The encore began with a Boots freestyle into "Lazymuthafucka," followed by "Wear Clean Draws" from "Party Music."  There's still hope for hip-hop…at least in Oakland. 

- Blake McIntosh

Friday, February 17, 2012

What I Learned at Bandcamp: Rags & Ribbons

What I Learned at Bandcamp: Rags & Ribbons

After making music together for three years, Portland-based Rags & Ribbons released their debut album, The Glass Masses, on Jan. 17. Tracks are available on Bandcamp and the album can be streamed in its entirety on Facebook.
The trio of Ben Weyerhaeuser, Chris Neff and Jon Hicks will begin touring in March through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Idaho and more, on their way to Texas for South by Southwest.
Recently the band posted on Facebook looking for Arizona bands to play a show with them. “Any Tucson, AZ people friends with us on here? If so, sound off below! We need your help!” Who better to suggest local bands than Arizonans themselves? Leave a comment on their page with suggestions for what bands you think Rags & Ribbons should add to the bill for their upcoming visit.
Read below to see what Hicks has to say about the band and his advice to our readers…
Who or what are your influences?
Some of our musical influences range from Muse, to the Deftones, to Brahms and much in between. But like everyone else, we have artistic, emotional, and philosophical influences, too. And we believe the influences of the people in our lives are most profound, helping us create something altogether different.
How did you come up with your name?
We spent almost a year deciding on this name. In the end, we liked the alliteration, versatility, and the imagery it evokes.
How did you guys meet/form the band?
Ben and I met in college and started making music together then. We (in a very fortunate twist of fate) found Chris on Craigslist.
Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
We’re touring down to SXSW this March, and will be touring the East Coast later this year. We also have some projects in the making that we’ll publicize on our Facebook page as the year progresses.
What inspires your music?
The incredible scope of our shared human experience never ceases to be a source of inspiration for us. As musicians, we (perhaps vainly) strive with everything we do – writing, performing, etc, – to communicate that experience in a way that words can’t, with the hopes that some day we will scratch the surface.
What musicians or bands do you look up to?
Those musicians that go beyond what they’ve heard to create something new. Also, the bands we’ve had the privilege of opening for and playing with like No Kind of Rider and Symmetry/Symmetry.
Why do you make music?
Creating a work of art that can really speak to people and influence their lives in a way that nothing else can is the single greatest triumph that a musician can hope for. It’s these moments of triumph that make all the time, labor, and sacrifice worth it.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know about your band 
Listen to things you haven’t heard before. Take risks.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just don’t be a dick and you'll have a good time: Interview with The Supplement

The Supplement is Dano-Vocals, Paul-Bass, Greg-drums and myself-Brian guitars. 

Would love to start by getting all your personal influences?
Having grown up in Detroit in the eighties I was exposed to the usual rock bands like Kiss, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Ted Nugent etc.  But early on I saw Iggy Pop live and it sparked my curiosity to search out alternatives to the usual music that local radio was playing.  I had seen most of these bands live but none had the rawness and stripped down over the top energy as Iggy.  And his songs were frkn great.  He threw his entire "being" into his performance too the point of self injury.  It was definitely the hour that changed my life and the way I would view rock and roll forever.   Unfortunately for me it took about twenty years to find three other guys that felt the same way.

Thinking back to early childhood, what was your first experience with music for the first time like? What song do you remember most as a child?  
My parents bought me a cheap guitar at about age six.  Soon after my cousin Matt taught me to play the opening riff from My Best Friend's Girl by The Cars and I felt very cool!

What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
There’s always been an undeniable need to play and write music.  A career in music is an extension of what I love and need to do.  First it's about writing songs that get me inspired every time I play them.  That’s the true need.  Then everything else just seems to follow in step.  I feel the true gift at this point is to have found 3 other guys that feel the same way and allow me to air out ideas.  For instance, The Supplement writes lots of songs but only records and puts out songs that we feel have to be played and have to be heard; songs that have meaning but at the same time are exciting and fkn great live.  In the process of elimination if one band member says he doesn’t feel it then that song is never played again.  And at the same time we will not release a CD unless every song is worthy…no fillers.

I notice you give yourself the genres Detroit Rock, So-Cal Punk? What can you tell the readers on what those genres are about?
Well Detroit bands like The Stooges and The MC5 are arguably the founding fathers of punk rock.  From them we mix guitars that are stripped down and straight forward.  Same with the vocals.  No effects, not even reverb usually.  The riffs are cutting and undeniably high in energy.  From So-Cal we blend the ever prominent snare drum and searing melodies.   From both genres you get the testosterone. You also get the "from the heart" lyrics which usually involve some pretty heavy subjects.  The lyrics are meant to involve the listener and give them something to grab onto in a personal way.  To the Mourning was written to inspire those dealing with the death of a loved one.   Sinners and Sons is about overcoming the realty and struggles of personal imperfections to succeed in love.  Heroes tells you to be your own master and to rise above.  A few of the other songs really hit home with the subject of political injustice, etc..

Does your culture aka punk define the way you live your life?
For me "punk" has been an avenue to be myself and accept myself for being different than everyone else as well as to accept all others.  I find a very "free" environment in the punk community.  For instance, as a teenager, punk wasn't accepted in Detroit.  You would get beat-up for being involved etc.  But I would search out underground clubs and have the best time.  No one cared what you wore or your ethnicity or even sexual preference.  That holds through today.  We can play a beaten down warehouse on the LA skid row with hundreds of punks and feel much safer and more welcome than playing the Sunset Strip.  Good luck getting someone to help you carry your gear at The Whisky or the Roxy.  Those clubs even charge the bands for parking and don't even think about free drinks.  Most of the crowds at these places are typically too much the musical expert to enjoy a good show.   But… a real punk show will go off no matter where.

Do you think the public has a stereotypical view of punk?
Probably spikes, boots, mohawks, snot and anti-social acts.  But really punk's about community and expression.   It's just like a lot of other genres of music, they all seem to have their stereotypes and extremism.  But everyone is welcome at a punk show, just don’t be a dick and you'll have a good time.

What do you think about the ska trend that seems to influence punk?
Love ska.  It's a gift to punk.  It brings in a lot of other musicians and fans to what we do.  It's also another tool or variation of rhythm that can be used in song writing etc.  Some of my favorite gigs have been with ska bands.  Their upbeat energy blends really well with what we do.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are great example for a band that mixes ska and punk influences.  We were also lucky to have had their front man Dickie help work out some of the vocal phrasing on Raise Your Glass which is our attempt at the ultimate drinking song.  Pretty sure Budweiser will be calling any day!

Your genre is known for producing its own media: Fanzines, radio shows and record labels… got any favorites you follow/read/listen to?
Regular radio pretty much sucks.  Go online and listen to College radio like WMBR and The Late Risers Club or WRUV etc.   But I do like Joe Sibb's Complete Control here in Los Angeles which also has a webcast, and Eric Stringer on KXLU.  Pandora has been a great source for new music.  As far as the labels I guess Fat Mike's Fat Wreck Chords would stand out along with Tim Armstrong's HellCat and Joe's Sideone-Dummies.    There are a lot of great blogs on the web with interviews and mp3 feeds…Punk Rock 77 Thru Today, PoDunk radio…and so on.
Oh I can't forget No Front Teeth records in the UK.  They recently have been kind enough to release a special edition The Supplement s/t in Europe.  The artwork is really great thanks to Marco!

How did you settle on the band name?
The Supplement was Paul's idea.  We all agreed that it was nice and simple but had a lot of applications, you can use your imagination….

Any tour plans? If so what can people expect to see at your live performance?
High-driving energy.  We play to the point of breaking down our instruments and to the point where we can't speak afterwards.  Nothing is left behind.  It's exactly what musicians shouldn’t do.  We will definitely be playing the South West again by March and since the Cd release the invites are steadily coming in from around the country.  It was our goal to record our next release prior to leaving home, I guess time will tell…But I'm dying to get back into the studio and we have the songs.

Who would be your dream tour co-headliner? Dream tour vehicle? Dream tour rider?
The Stooges, anything larger than a van and Fat Burgers…with cheese.

What is the wildest story with the group?
That we are still together after a year and people give a crap about what we are doing,

If jack helped you off your horse would you help jack off his horse?
Is there beer involved in this story? Jaeger???

Anything else you want to say, rant, comment, complain about?
You gotta picture of the horse?

Currently on Pandora, Last Fm, I-heart Radio, Zune, Spotify (any day) and many other digital sites:

xo kaytea

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Garage Rock department: SASSY!!!

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)
SASSY are coming out of San Francisco and on their CD ‘Diggin’ deep’ they sound like a full 4-piece band, but in fact SASSY is a 2-piece band, consisting of 2 female musicians. Musically speaking they play pure honest all-original Garage Rock and Roll that sounds like a mix between THE DONNAS, THE RIPLETS, BLITZ BABIEZ and THE RUNAWAYS, with however the fast and short playing length of THE RAMONES and a big fat heavy groovy guitar sound straight outta the Garage Rock department. The 13 included songs sound very impressive and highly professional and here and there super catchy, such as “So bad its good”, “You can gave him” and “Something about you”. Must-have for fans of all-female girlie punk’n’garage’n’roll of mentioned bands, then go to:
(Points: 8.4 out of 10)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

White Orange: White Orange

White Orange release their debut self titled release having seemingly spent loving hours listening to Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age or The Sword and deciding that they want to infuse that stoner doom with a brightness and melody not usually associated within this genre. It isn't exactly reinventing the wheel, rather it is more like something that Husker Du era Bob Mould would have brought to this style, although the results are still reasonably captivating and original none the less.

Kicking out an opening riff that could easily be on the next Foo Fighters album, "Where" quickly morphs into a mighty sludgy riff, although one that is played at surprising speed. Vocalist, guitarist and the band's sole songwriter, Dustin Hill leads from the front, although with his easy style of vocals buried deeply under some washed effects it is more of a floaty, spacey vibe than an aggressive in your face meltdown. Added to that are little bursts of higher pitched, melodious vocals which bring a welcome alternate focal point, although never be fooled into thinking that the riff isn't always king here, as it plainly is.
Ably assisted by Ryan McIntyre on guitar, bassist Adam Pike and drummer Dean Carroll, this mix of styles is repeated (maybe slightly too often) across the eight other songs on the album. Hill is a vocalist to be reckoned with and while he and McAllister combine mightily on guitars, the likes of "Color Me Black" and "Sunspots" benefit hugely from the ferociously accurate drumming from Carroll.
Busy though the stoner genre has been in recent years, maybe it is time for some bands to come along and inject something ever so slightly different into its sludgy ass and with their well constructed and slightly more melodic approach White Orange may well be one of the bands to set that ball rolling. Even if they aren't quite the finished article yet themselves.

Track Listing
1. Where
2. Color Me Black
3. Middle Of The Riddle
4. Dinosaur Bones
5. Wonderful
6. Kill The Kids
7. Sunspots
8. Save Me
9. Sigourney Weaver
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: White Orange BandCamp
Hits: 323

Monday, February 13, 2012

Five Questions With: Matt Mooty and Chance Morgan of The Burning Hotels

Author: MADDY

The three members of The Burning Hotels (Chance Morgan, Matt Mooty, and Marley Whistler) blend together post-punk revival with some old 1980s romance to produce what they’ve termed “Sex Punk.” They’re straight out of Fort Worth and stopped in to tell us why they owe their namesake to an abandoned hotel, what makes touring worth it, and why shows are important even if there’s only one fan in the audience.
FrontRow: Where did the name come from?
Matt Mooty: When Chance and I were in our teens we would come to Dallas to see shows, go record shopping etc. and we were always fascinated by this condemned hotel called the Dallas Grand Hotel. I had a dream that the place was burning down and paper was in flames shooting out all of the windows. Plus we also thought it sounded cool.
FR: “60 Days of Burning Hotels,” is a great promotional idea. How do you divide your time and energy between developing new music and promoting what you’ve already made?
MM: Chance and I have very different schedules and it allows us to be able to tend to things as needed. Unless Chance has been promoting the old stuff I think we are specifically focused on releasing the new record at the end of August.
FR: Chance and Matt, you’ve known each other for so long I’m sure you can almost read each other’s minds. How do you work with the dynamic of bringing in a third person into such a tight bond?
MM: That all kind of depends on who the person is, Marley our bass player has an incredible knack of taking something that we have written and making it his own — no ego. So the dynamic is great as far as people know their roll.

FR: Aside from having your fan base near by what’s the biggest difference between doing a show in a Texas venue vs. the northeast?
MM: Familiar faces. Touring the northeast is a blast but we don’t make it back enough to establish a relationship with people in those cities.
FR: How does your motivation change when you’re writing and recording vs. touring?
MM: When writing a record it’s all business, constantly trying to push the envelope. Touring for us consists mostly of pushing the envelope with Jack Daniels and Jim Beam while Marley tells us to grow up. Those days are gone though.
And now, to switch things up, the same five questions for Chance Morgan.
FrontRow:Where did the name come from?
Chance Morgan: Burning Hotels is a mix of two things. The Dallas Grand Hotel and Ambulance LTD. Matt and I use to travel from Fort Worth to Dallas to see shows in high school and we would take Downtown Dallas appose to the highway. On your way into Deep Ellum, there is an art deco hotel that has been vacant for a very long time and the lights were always on. One day, the lights were off and that night he dreamed that it burned down. At the same time we were listening to Ambulance LTD’s “Stay Where You Are” and the lyrics say, “they’re burning hotels down”. Subconsciously, I think it was the reason for the dream and in result, Burning Hotels.
FR: “60 Days of Burning Hotels,” is a great promotional idea. How do you divide your time and energy between developing new music and promoting what you’ve already made?
CM: We just finished making Burning Hotels, which comes out on Aug 30th, so we are in work mode oppose to creative mode. Ideas for songs can come at any point in time, whether we are in work mode or writing mode. I feel like we are putting more of our efforts in the way of getting this record out and getting music that is unheard to most, in the people’s hands. This record is a departure of what we are previously known for, so we are also using it as an opportunity to expand from what we have already made.

FR:You’ve known each other for so long I’m sure you can almost read each other’s minds. How do you work with the dynamic of bringing in a third person into such a tight bond?
CM: We have written in various ways over the years, but on this upcoming record we finally found our niche. Matt and I spent three months in my spare bedroom writing and recording all the parts for Burning Hotels. We programmed the drums, played every instrument and then went into Spaceway Productions with Will Hunt and Chad Copelin and re-recorded the record with quality gear. Marley Whistler, our bassist was present for the Spaceway portion of recording and played bass as well. He is an amazing musician and what really makes us into a band, we couldn’t play without him.

FR: Aside from having your fan base near by what’s the biggest difference between doing a show in a Texas venue vs. the north east?
CM: Distance. We have played in Fargo, North Dakota to four people and played at Piano’s in New York for two hundred. There are always people around wanting to hear new music and we are there to play it for them. We have been told we put on a pretty entertaining show, so we try to keep that in mind. Even if it’s for only one person, that person came to see us and we want them to have a good time and tell their friends.
FR: How does your motivation change when you’re writing and recording vs. touring?
CM: I think we are equally motivated in each, but longing for the other one. When we are recording, we miss playing shows/being on the road. When we are on the road, we miss being in a room filled with musical equipment and time. The recording process is great because it’s like a week and a half of hanging with your smartest, most talented friends making music and then going out at night together, waking up early, and doing it again the next day. Touring is a little more grueling…cramped van, long drives, playing every night, but again you are with your best friends and you wake up early and do it again the next day. I can’t complain, because it’s what we love to do.
Courtesy photo

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Music Discovery w/ free MP3: Michael Donner & The Southern Renaissance

What is it about Dallas that spits out wonderful americana/alt-country projects!?
Michael Donner & The Southern Renaissance is yet another exmaple of this. Describing themselves as a "gang of picker-gypsies from Dallas, Texas." I can see these guys traditionally living by seasonal work, itinerant trade, and fortune-telling, you know the Gypsy ways...

"No Better Time" is for fans of Bob Dylan to Jeff Buckley to Ryan Adams, they've recently opened several acclaimed shows around the South for the likes of Dylan LeBlanc, The Civil Wars, The Lackadaises and Sleeperstar.
After listening to stand out track "Tall Trees" certainly they are going to be alright! The handful of instruments used on this song makes it easliy the single off this album.

However my favorite track is "Big City" they really branch out and capture the indie rock artist title on this one. I love the drumming and mostly the vocals.... alt country turned hipster! Really this whole album crosses genres nicely. With someone like me who has an attention span of a 2 year old this album suits me very well. Catch them at SXSW this year looks ike they are heading over to Austin! Now how do i get them to come to Portland.

Hey michael- "Can you promise me that you will always stay with me"...... actually Michael can you promise you will always put out albums this good! 
xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo xo /10
xo kaytea

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

underneath techno’s pulsating efficiency, there’s room for humanity: some skin, some sweat, some blood

Early Volumes 1
Blitz Music
Available Now

Reviewing what’s essentially an album full of X-laced club music is, for me, a tricky task. I’m familiar with artists that draw on the genre for inspiration and eclecticism—Crystal Castles, Fuck Buttons, etc—but I’m not a club scene regular; my idea of a wild time is drinking a pot of coffee, strapping on padded headphones and trying to pick out the unintentional tempo lags in an Electric Wizard song. The last time I was in a club, I was carrying three Jack and Cokes at one time and punched a guy for asking me if I was “triple-fisting.” 

So I’m not an authority. But I’ve spent enough time with and action movies set in Russia to know the crappy version of this stuff when I hear it, and Gunslinger ain’t it. Sure, the songs are rife with tried-and-true genre templates—sternum-rattling digital bass thumps, high-pitched laser beam wankery—but there’s actual structure here. Tracks rise, fall, and swell with purpose rather than simply service the timing of a doubled strobe rate, and the whole thing is rounded out rather nicely with some surprisingly slick space-age fuzz melodies (“Words”) and cyber-soul vocals.

Look, this kind of thing is generally an easy target, and if you don’t already dig cage dancers and deejays with flashlights attached to their temples, Gunslinger isn’t going to coax you to the dark side. Then again, this isn’t meant for you. It’s meant for those of us who want to believe that, underneath techno’s pulsating efficiency, there’s room for humanity: some skin, some sweat, some blood. Believe.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Radio Free MP3: “The Solution” by The Winebirds

The Solution
By the Winebirds
From the album Seance Hill
I used to have this dream: I’d be the bass player in some great alt-rock band. We’d tour the country, just under the radar but with a fan base that puts the ‘atic’ in Fanatic. Gorgeous college girls would follow our every song. Incredibly cool guys would dream of being us. I’d be the mysterious guy in the back, knocking out insanely infectious beats, yet kind of aloof - not the gregarious front man, or the obscure drummer but the guy both making things happen and yet not sparking all the attention.

It never did happen. I never even learned to play an instrument. Yet I still dig a driving bass line like one finds in “The Solution.” Man, everything about that song is straight out of my teenage fantasy, except for the part where its me on the stage and not some kids I’ve never heard of from Portland.

The bass curls and furls and drives infectiousness home, the long way. The song bounces and trounces and creates a dream pop bubble of deliciousness. Its the kind of song the WB would play in their quirky, hilarious, incredibly brilliant show about college aged music lovers if the WB made shows worth watching. Its the kind of song that would knock the walls down off of my rent house if I played it at a party, that is if I actually threw parties. Its dynamite fun, fit for the whole family, if your family consists of me, and my dog.
You can hear more of the Winebirds frantic, audaciousness at their Myspace page, or their official website.

Monday, February 6, 2012

If you enjoy the sounds of one-man bands like Ben Prestage or Richard Johnston...

Burn Down"
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poor-boys-soulPoor Boy’s Soul

Self Produced

If you enjoy the sounds of one-man bands like Ben Prestage or Richard Johnston, you’re more than likely going to like this album from Poor Boy’s Soul. It’s full of that energetic beat so much associated with these type of performers who work kicking a drum with tambourine and steady, often hard-hitting guitar that requires a good deal of coordination and skill to come across correctly. Trevor Jones, who is Poor Boy’s Soul, can certainly rip up some tasty slide guitar that can come across either mournful or genuinely heartfelt. He can show a bit of attitude as well. His bio on his website makes it bluntly clear he is not out to become the next rock sensation, so he has nothing to lose or gain by telling you exactly how he feels. “I finally pulled my head out of the sand, that’s when I finally learned to take my stand,” as he informs us in the song “Nails In The Pine.”
Based out of Portland, fans of local artists like Hillstomp or Rollie Tussing (who recently moved to Michigan) will find Poor Boy’s Soul exactly what they’re after. Jones played metal, thrash and punk music and worked with the band Biketramp before taking on his solo route. He’s also fond of hopping freight trains across country living the somewhat itinerant life-style of so many musicians before him. By practicing this he found it was easier to carry an inexpensive acoustic guitar with him, allowing him to play with and learn from musicians he encountered.
The songs on Burn Down are pretty basic and the playing is downright raw, but it is because of this that makes it so authentic sounding. It’s also very personal. He tells you his views on peoples’ religious beliefs in “Throwin’ Stones,” “You say I'm gonna burn in hell, ‘cause I wont bow to no throne, one thing that I know well, you shouldn't be throwing stones.” The title track, “Burn Down” with its mournful slide guitar uses the visage of the old house as a metaphor for social problems facing us all today. Jones believes in using music as a social outlet and he should as its been a common and useful means of expressing thoughts and ideas for eons. On “54 Ways” the old train sound approach is used, but it’s not really so much a train song as it is a profession of love that’s real.
All of the tracks use the one-man band format save for the final number, “Annalisa,” which is a moving ballad he wrote for his sister. From the lyrics you gather she has lived a rough life, but he looks up to his older sister and let’s her know, “you’re stronger than those demons in your head.”
Although the album is very short, the feel and the emotion are laid bare before you. It comes from within as all really good blues (or any for that matter) music originates. A strong album from an artist to keep your eyes on.

Total Time: 32:21
Burn Down / Movin’ To The City / Nails In The Pine / Throwin’ Stones / Ain’t Comin’ Back No More / 54 Ways / Annalisa
Reviewed by Greg Johnson

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Introducing…Beneath Wind And Waves

 Americana, Electronic, Folk, Indie, Music
Introducing...Beneath Wind And Waves. Beneath Wind and Waves is Portland-based singer/songwriter Shawn Lawson Freeman recording with Jim Walker.
Recently released long-player Non-etre is a cunningly crafted, mindfully performed, extended moment of clarity in the face of the unknown. Dark love, missed chances, inner silences, and joyful trials are delicately delineated in its shrewdly scribed lyrics, delivered with Freeman’s sweetly pleasuring vocals upon a classy bed of acoustic and electronic instrumentation.
Most of Non-etre sounds like floating out on a wave, where you’re never sure what you might hear or have to think about next – a wash of light noise or the grace of dusky beach nights. Try for yourself with the delightfully seductive Loop Me In

Download Beneath Wind And Waves – Loop Me In mp3 (from Non-etre)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Beats Antique LIVE REVIEW 12/27/12 Crystal Ballroom Portland OR

                                                           credit sequoia emmanuelle
The mood was chaotic at the Crystal Ballroom last Saturday (12/27/12) night. Beats Antique played to a sold-out crowd of all-age kids. The opener, Filistine, a two piece composed of cello ran through myriad effects and electronic beats set of the night with Arabian influenced sounds backed by projections of 16mm film footage.  A packed Crystal Ballroom began to bounce once Beats Antique hit the stage, opening with hits such as "Dope Krunk" and "Caterpillar", from their Collide album.  Of course they had the usual crew of belly dancers only this time one of them appeared to be 8 months pregnant.

                                                            credit sequoia emmanuelle
The band stuck to their favored material, playing very little new songs from the repertoire. I was hoping to hear more from “Elektrafone” since it seems to have taken a different musical direction than their previous releases. I personally snuck out before the final encore in hopes of hitting the fresh air before the stampede of underage glitter bunnies. Even though the stage performance was predictable the music was delivered in a way that never disappoints. Looking forward to Beats Antique's return to Portland just hoping they choose another venue or rather have a show just for the 21+

Blake McIntosh