Saturday, November 29, 2014

CD REVIEW : "BURN" by Rocket 3

BURN by Rocket 3 defines modern teeny-bop rock! This album should be featured on the CW network and/or on the soundtrack for romantic-action movies like The Hunger Games or Divergent. This band's kick bass, guitar action, and harmonic vocals produce layers of purely enjoyable rock! A mellow head bangin & booty shakin kind of rock. A couple of my fav's are Never Again, All tomorrow's Parties, and Good Enough. Good Enough is. 

Catch Me --> An undercover-adventure song for lovers of those who keep life weird.. Like a lunch date with a man-child on Monday.. Good times end with you wanting more. 

Enough --> a "Gett-er-Done", procrastinator-motivating, house-cleaning song, with the voice of a monotone angel colliding with hell's commanders of this positive rock rebellion! -- (the music video doesn't do the song justice)

Submission --> fun & games or business time? Easily both! 

Never Again --> soothing bass and guitar chorus.. Harmonized simply by Ramunes soft-natural rasp 

All Tomorrow's Parties --> uncontrollable need to mimic this drumbeat! Every new guitar jam capture's my attention; they burst with originality 

Rocket 3, you gained a fan & a follower! 8.5/10


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

CD REVIEW: Devin Sinha, The Seventh Season (Self-released)

Devin Sinha, The Seventh Season (Self-released)

Seattle-area singer-songwriter Devin Sinha shifts things up on his second self-released album, adding percussion, electric instrumentation and layered vocals to his acoustic guitar-based, contemporary folk-rock, conjuring a sound equally reminiscent of Ryan Adams and Sufjan Stevens. The 11 songs on The Seventh Season go down easily, with Sinha’s surprisingly mature songs trading on a blend of heart-on-sleeve storytelling and poetic balladry, while his delicate fingerpicking work anchors such songs as “Winter Child,” “Orion” and “The Wolves.” ★★★✩✩

- See more at:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NEW MUSIC: Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun - "QUADS"

Electric bass, punchy drums, and a sweet melodious voice make QUADS the perfect album for cruisin tunes. "Youth found in the night" reminds me of "Here in your arms" by Hellogoodbye, but with a peppier-punk attitude, and a so-long-suckers signature. "Walls" is the second fav for the fact that it set my mind on a journey for the impossible. 

Their use of low bass drops set the scene for a party that won't stop. Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun will go big, and won't go home! Keep'm comin QUADS... 8.5/10 

-Melody Miles

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Goin to Bethlehem; starts off lovely and cheery with the rapid guitar and percussion intro, until the lyrics remind me of elementary school church group leaders. The song is too short for those lyrics to be repeated that often. Thoroughly would have enjoyed this song if something else were said. Short sweet and to the point I guess… 

Offeratory; the piano is grand and beautiful… not a huge fan of Kathryn’s voice, but these lyrics are have the most originality to them. I’m continuously pleased by the piano in the background... expected the song to be longer.  

Light of the Stable; hallelujah… thank god I don’t usually listen to this religious crap. The band is amazing and sounds full and dynamic, but… their writing sounds like every other gospel/god worshiping song I’ve ever heard… this also song ended too suddenly

Momma Mary; Kathryn’s voice lacks any kind of differentially to her other songs (most often sharp and difficult to enjoy). The band carries her… the mood of this song is confusing. Most certainly intended for religious easy listening.   

OVERALL SUMMARY ->  Kathryn Caine’s Christmas is a perfect album for families with little ones that like to sing along for the holidays. All of Kathryn’s songs are short sweet and to the point of praising the good lord’s name, but also end sooner than expected. There is a lack of lyric originality in most of the songs, excluding Offeratory, and maybe Momma Mary. The band makes up for Kathryn’s ordinary voice, and most often hides her tendencies to sing sharply. 

Overall the album gets a 4.5/10 for keeping it simple

-Melody Miles

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

CD Review: ROCKET 3 "BURN"

Rocket 3
Self-Released; 2014
I’m all for complexity, shades of grey, and layers of nuance, but sometimes I enjoy finding a band that wears its influences so obviously. I feel it’s refreshing and honest in an industry that likes to obfuscate and create intrigue that really isn’t there. It allows the group to play music that interests them in hopes they can take those influences and do something interesting with them. Granted, many of these groups come across as hackneyed cover acts, but every once in a while, something of worth will emerge from the morass with something to say.

And I think Rocket 3 could be such a band. Calling Portland, OR home, this trio delivers a punchy, peppy brand of rock music that blends equal portions ‘60s girl group sweetness, ‘90s jangle-pop goodness, and ‘10s retro garage rock sensibilities. The impact of Dum Dum Girls, Veruca Salt, The Fastbacks, and The Sundays can be felt throughout Burn, as this 13-song record alternately buzzes, coos, and swaggers depending upon its mood.
Even with that description, the record isn’t at all schizophrenic, as Ramune Nagisetty (guitars & vocals), Drew Anymouse (drums), and Tony Guzman (bass) manage to hold the sounds firmly in the collective palm of their hands. Ramune has a delightful, airy voice that stands out in contrast to the driving tempos and guitar crunch dominating most tunes. I’m also impressed with the quality of the melodic progressions emanating from her guitar, as they start in familiar pop territory and get inverted and distended along the way. The rhythm section of Drew and Tony provide bright, strong textures, but without sounding rudimentary.

Burn loses its way a bit when the band literally dips into cover band territory by performing renditions of “All Tomorrow’s Parties” (Velvet Underground) and “Only Shallow” (My Bloody Valentine). Sure, they’re good versions of those classic cuts, but they take me out of the pacing and flow the group created with its own music.
I like the swagger and energy of Rocket 3 - it’s never over-the-top, but instead captures a band making straightforward rock music with an outside-the-box mentality. Standout tracks like “Fate,”  “Never Again,” “Ride,” and “We Believe” showcase the band’s ability to take retro sensibilities  and update them with off-kilter styling. Thus, while the trio certainly isn’t cutting edge, they are making fun music inspired by bands that I like, and sometimes that’s exactly what I want and need to hear.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


Rick Hart’s Album, Spiral, tells a story of love and heart break with a soft rock country style. Although these country tunes might give you the blues, his songs, "Mess I’m In" & "Hummingbird", will inspire you to get up and dance around regardless. This, “love sucks, but I can’t get enough” vibe is accented with peppy piano intros and pleasant guitar solos. 

My favorite is "Hummingbird" because I thought I was listening to John Mayer, but Rick’s smooth-rich voice made it an original. Second favorite is "Mess I'm In".. I found myself reflex tapping my feet to the beat. Best line is, "Is it wrong to assume, with all of its perfections, love can conquer and consume.” 

All together, Spiral is fit for easy listening, and thanks to the more cliche and repetitive lyrics Rick uses, you’ll find yourself singing along in no time. 

For Fans Of: Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, John Mayer
RATING 7.5/10  - Melody Miles

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Blue Skies For Black Hearts drops their first single “It’s Gone On Too Long” FOR FREE and releases the video never seen before RIGHT NOW.

“It's Gone On Too Long” was inspired by the songwriting of Smokey Robinson.  It was written around the idea of having call and response vocals between the lead and backups.  The video was born out of an idea that Kevin Hanzlik, the director, had about showing the day to day struggles of being in a band - getting your gear to a show, having an unenthusiastic audience, struggles between band members.  Kevin's story was similar in some ways to a short story I had written a year or two earlier.  I showed Kevin my short story about a group of musicians working a day job as painters.  They paint a house for a musician who has had some success but they end up not finishing the painting because of being distracted by the instruments in the house.  Eventually, the painters take on the successful musician's instruments.  They flourish while the home owner's creativity and abilities whither.  In my story, once the painters are successful, another musician comes along and plays the instruments they acquired, stealing their success.  Kevin combined both of our ideas into the video for It's Gone On Too Long.  Blue Skies engineer, Mark Brachmann, plays the record producer.  Chip Mabry, esteemed documentary producer, plays the record exec. And Peter Hughes, guitarist for Sons of Huns, plays the OSPIRG volunteer who steels the musical talent in the end from The Painters. – Pat Kearns

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Portland's Vortex Music Mag to Publish Issue #1

Vortex Music Magazine is raising $10,000 to print more than 10,000 copies of our first issue, which will hit Portland streets this May.

More Portlanders go out to see live music each night than anywhere else in the U.S.—according to Pollstar—which speaks volumes about our collective interest and investment in the Portland music scene.
When the eyes of the world are watching and consuming the craft and culture of Portland more than ever before, why is it that we don’t have a publication solely dedicated to our music scene?
This is why Chris Young (co-founder and Managing Editor of Oregon Music News) and David Mosher (musician and owner of Art Media retail stores for 37 years) have spent more than a year planning and building Vortex Music Magazine from the ground up. With a goal to publish a high-quality print magazine six times per year, Vortex Music Magazine will focus on thoughtfully exploring Portland’s music scene. Covering aspects and angles often untouched by other media outlets, we aim to tell the stories of the culture, creators, educators and businesses that support our thriving music scene as well as the history behind it all.
Our hard work is already visible on our recently launched, where you can find content created by our team of local writers, designers and staff.
Now, we need your help to print the debut issue of Vortex Music Magazine, which will hit streets this May.

We are asking for $10,000 to design, print and distribute our first issue.

Every dollar we raise beyond our goal will help ensure future issues of Vortex Music Magazine.
If you’re reading this, it’s obvious that music matters to you. We believe we are all in this together, and we will strive to make the Portland music scene more successful by making it more accessible. Because the vibrant music community and culture that is alive in Portland today deserves to prosper.
Having your support, as well as the support of the Portland musicians and businesses listed below, is what will make Vortex Music Magazine successful right from the start.
Plus, support is not without its rewards: Take a look at our rewards to find out how we can thank you for your backing.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

CD REVIEW: Rusty Boxx's EP "Scattered Keeses"

This may just be me, but listening to Rusty Boxx for the first time is sort of like when you hear a Bon Iver song for the first time and it feels like he is singing in a language that is foreign to you by definition but you completely feel for what his meaning is-- then as you listen again and get beyond the emotion of the music and you comprehend the lyrics, and the meaning behind those lyrics, it becomes even more beautiful and wonderful. (And even if you don't ever comprehend, or you don't like what you hear when you comprehend, you can just revert your ears to back to foreign language mode and simply enjoy the implied and musically created emotions.)

Rusty Boxx's EP, "Scattered Keeses," is full of both vocal and guitar harmonies that will squish your heart in a really great way. There is nothing I would love more than to hear these harmonies performed live, in an intimate venue, where everyone present feels wrapped in the the music and it's almost as if the audience has a part in creating the music too. If you're a fan of fantastic folk groups that perform with two guitars and swirling harmonies, I highly recommend The Milk Carton Kids-- they will squish your heart too. 

Start with Rusty, Ellen, and the two Chris' band, Rusty Boxx, first though. They are a tight little group, with tons of the aforementioned beautiful harmonies, wonderful stories rooted in Ellen's drawings, and a new EP "Scattered Keeses," releasing March 31, 2014 on Oh Mercy! Records. 

Anna Leuning

Saturday, February 22, 2014

NEW MUSIC: The Underscore Orkestra " Tales from the Road..."

The Underscore Orkestra " Tales from the Road..." makes sense considering the band has plenty of experience of the road. They are currently on tour in Australia and then head straight to Europe from April to July.  If you are a fan of Squirrel Nut Zippers, Gogo Bordello, Devotchka then yet another reason to go check them out.  

The Underscore Orkestra claims they plays a blend of Balkan, Klezmer, Gypsy Jazzand Swing music both Original and Traditional. 

They often incorporate live Belly Dance and Cirkus Arts in their shows. Their Performance evokes the old world and the new, The eerily haunting air of sounds and movements from the east, with definite roots inthe west. Influences are far and wide but range from New Orleans Jazz, to Eastern European Roma and Klezmorim music, Manouche Swing, to acoustic Metal. Their live shows are something to remember for years to come, they are fond of selling many wares, including Underscore Underwear, Uncle Jerry's Magically Malicious Mustache Wax, CD's, Neck Ties, Nude Calendars, Music boxes, and Stand up tub Bass's. Come to a live show or give an email to see what we've got in store. 

The Band has their 4th Studio album ready for their fans. Where all their songs and arrangements came about during their time on the road. My favorite track off the new album is "American Jam" which the band says they came up with while waiting for a ferry between the South Island and North Island of New Zealand we were eating a gourmet dinner at a restaurant we were playing at in Picton. During dinner this tune came about. That night not having a place to stay a fisherman gave us his apartment that was above the bar, he slept on his boat. Crazy World! The songs and arrangements came about during our time on the Road.

The last time I went to a Gypsy Jazz and Swing show I left the venue sweating like a dog at Michael Vick's house AND didn't care. I plan on hitting these guys up when they decide to come back and grace Portland again with a welcome home show. I am sure i will leave again with all my cloths sticking to me once again!