Tuesday, August 16, 2016

We the Wild ‘From the Cities We Fled’ Album Review and Video

Drenched in cutthroat cut time and amicable angst,  Northwest rockers We The Wild capture a nightmare romance with panicked phrasings and a touch of black fingernail polish.
Opening with the misleadingly gentle click of typewriter keys, the 10-track LP begins its onslaught with the pummeling double bass and banshee guitars of “Still Asunder” which, in spite of its sonic density, is equipped with several melodic hooks.
The record remains active, striding along with the rapture of “Roxy, the Cops Are Here!” and the false empathy of “King of Wounds.”
With busy bell-work and pointed lead lines, We the Wild tactfully juggle aggressive gut-punches with clever phrasings and anthemic choruses on their new LP, From The Cities We Fled. Check it out now on Bandcamp.



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Made of Boxes on CD

Made of Boxes on CD

Occupying that same intelligent, melodic indie rock space as Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire, this Seattle quartet is definitely rainy day stuff in a more than geographical way. This eponymous album, their first full-length release after an EP named Alotau, focuses on feelings of loneliness and isolation in a way that neither panders nor seems especially maudlin. Perhaps that's because these four men aren't satisfied with staring out windows and sighing--their music is full of energy and liveliness that might suggest there's a solution to their ennui just around the corner.

Much of this propulsive foundation can be laid at the bass drum pedal of David Testa, who founded the band with guitarist David Chapaitis back in 2013. The focus on percussion is obvious throughout the album--starting off with that visceral kick drum during the album's opener ("Mountains"), Testa's drum kit is recorded with uncommon care, at least for an indie rock band's debut album. If these songs had been performed by a guy with an acoustic guitar and little more, the words "laying it on a bit thick" might come to mind. But the lively tempos and the sheer synergy between the members (which also includes John Hage on keyboards and bass and Luke Brown on guitar, with all four members sharing vocal credits) add another layer to the music that implies a wider range of emotions such as barely suppressed anger and an eagerness to break out of their rut.

I'm not saying the lyrics are overly sentimental on their own, not by a long shot. Take this stanza from "Raconteur":

I'm a color between the lines
Taken back to reality where seasons end and all has been arranged
Where there are love affairs with warfare and the beggars--
The beggars they howl
Oh I don't see things changing, no not on their own
Cause we're all just fucking broke

I think you might find this sentiment quite common at a Bernie Sanders rally--I think it captures the feeling of being young and part of a world that excludes the opinions and the concerns of the young. So if this band winds up going somewhere, you'll understand. They've really tapped into something here, and this is some of the best new music I've heard in a while.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Calisse - Farewell, Blacksheep Reviewed on Babysue

Calisse - Farewell, Blacksheep (CD, Almabrain, Progressive pop)

We love the blurbs that Kaytea from XO Publicity writes for the projects she's working on. For this album, she described the music as "...weird, absorbing, spellbinding, and beautiful. At any moment, the songs are likely to merge vintage Californian garage-pop, a dash of freakbeat, Texas lysergic threnody, and 70s counter-culture inspired vocals." If you can even begin to understand such a cryptic description (we sure could), then there's a good chance you'll enjoy the wildly trippy sounds on the latest release from Calisse. If there's a single word we would use to describe this music it would be...unpredictable. You really never know from one song to the next what these folks will come up with. And in today's world filled with ultra-predictable carbon copycats, that is saying something. The band is comprised of James Collette, Kevin Hoffman, Rob Iggulden, Karen Moore, and Morganfield Riley. So...what other artists or bands can this be compared to...? Well, possibly a number of different obscure artists from the past and present...and on the other hand, possibly none at all. This music exists purely in its own unique universe. These folks aren't trying to fit into a genre, please any specific fans, or make money. They're just doing what they do and, in the process, creating some wildly inventive stuff that is light years beyond the scope of the average listener. This will undoubtedly end up being one of our favorite albums of 2016. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Logan Lynn Taking Over Logo TV’s NewNowNext Twitter Account for the Grammy Awards!

Logan Lynn New Now Next Grammys 2016
Gather your screens, kids. 
This coming Monday, February 15th, is music’s biggest night and I will be taking over Logo TV‘s NewNowNext Blog‘s Twitter account to live tweet the 58th Annual Grammy Awards!
Now go follow NewNowNext on Twitter HERE so you don’t miss a single moment of the snark and .GIF-ing! This is gonna be fun.
Logan Lynn by Adrian Sotomayor (2015)
(P.S. – Check out my new video “The One” on NewNowNext HERE)

Friday, February 5, 2016


On Episode 117 from the Portland based band “CÂLISSE” is James Collette and Morganfield Riley! In this episode the guys cover writing music, getting the musical bug, the accordion and the debut album “Farewell Back Sheep”

Thursday, January 28, 2016

RevoltRevolt in Magnet

Mayer’s Playlist for January 2016

Daredevil Man, Redray Frazier (from the self-released Blood in the Water
Portland-based Frazier has quite the musical pedigree. He has spent time singing gospel music in his father’s Baptist church, touring the country as front-man for a soulful rock band and performing as part of David Byrne’s band. 
While the eclectic background informs the music of his solo career, it doesn’t define it. Blood in the Water is a rocking R&B record, pure and simple. Six tracks of taut soul that is rooted in the 1970’s funkified tradition yet has plenty of contemporary flourishes.
I’m not sure if Stevie Wonder has had the pleasure of listening to this release, but I expect he’d break out into a big ol’ grin if he did.


Here at KXSU we like to profile local bands we’ve discovered and really, really like, just for you. A three-piece band from Seattle, Stubborn Son consists of singer/guitarist Garrett Lamp, bassist Andrew Knapp and drummer Blair Daly. Their debut album, Birthright (available right here on Amazon and iTunes) shimmers with uninhibited, raw energy, emulating vocals with that bluesy moodiness infused with the grating discord of unadulterated rock-and-roll. It’s hard to believe the group only came together in early 2014.
Just last week, Stubborn Son performed at Neumos for “Love Seattle Vol 2.” as part of a stunning local lineup featuring KXSU regulars Fauna Shade, along with Charms, P.S., Bod, Sunder Heed, Uh Oh Eskimo, Colorworks, The Spider Ferns, and Alec Shaw with all proceeds going to benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital.
To set the scene: All questions were answered by all of Stubborn Son, sitting around crowded over Garrett’s iPhone. Garrett is squatting, Blair is cris-cross-applesauce style and Andrew is taking the pose of one well-known drunken sea captain.

BP: Are you stoked for Neumos tonight?! Are you guys tight with any of other local bands playing?SS: Hell yeah! It was one of our goals for the new year to play Neumos’ stage. Not to mention this show is for a fantastic cause [Seattle Children’s Hospital]. We’ve gotten to know the Acid Tounge guys and Scotty from Fauna Shade over this last year and they make some fantastic tunes!

 It says on your site that you’re going to be announcing a tour sometime soon! Can you give us any hints as to where you’re heading?SS: We are working on a few things right now, including Portland, San Fran and Boise. But we’re still getting things nailed down.

What’s your personal favorite song off your album? Mine are Vixen and Make Your Heart Stop. I’ve had them on repeat all afternoon!SS: Wow, thanks, we’re glad you dig them! We really dig “The Broken Heart Proof “(which can be downloaded for free on our Soundcloud page). We also go between a few tracks and digging different things. “Voices” is one of our favorite tracks and “Make Your Heart Stop” is always a damn good time to play live!

Who are your musical influences? Which musicians do you admire?SS: Depends on what day you ask us. We’ve recently been going back through the Jack Whitecatalogue, digging the Arcs record, and Father John Misty. That being said there is always some Beatles and Stones thrown in between all of those.

Have you guys ever wanted to something else besides music?SS: We all thought about being Blue Angel pilots once. But other than that, no. We all really love writing, playing, recording and performing music.

BP: What’s your writing process like? Is it hard? Do you write every day? Like, do you write the lyrics first then the music or the other way around?SS: Typically our writing process starts with lyrics or a hook. Garrett or Andrew will bring a sort of skeleton version of a song to the group and then we’ll all sort of bite into it, chew it up, mull it over and then get to work on it. Andrew and Blair are some fantastic arrangers where Garrett is more of the lyricist. We try to write as much as we can, a lot of songs don’t make the cut and are filed away for some other use or repurpose. Typically though, our process is lyrics/melody, then guitar & bass work, then we work on the rhythms and then put the song back through the ringer again.
BP: Have you played at any local Seattle venues before? Which was your favorite? If not, where would you like to play? Or what’s your favorite venue to play at?SS: Yes, we have played a number of venues here in town. We released Birthright at the Tractor Tavern last summer, we have played the Sunset, the Columbia City Theatre, the Conor Byrne, the old Comet Tavern and a few others too. We really love the Tractor, but there are so many good places to play here in town.
BP: At what point in your career do you think you’ll say “we made it”? What’s your ultimate dream/goal as a band?SS: Not sure. We want to play music and share experiences with people. We really love the opportunity to do that and hope that we can continue to do so till we’re too old.
BP: Okay. Best place to eat in Seattle?SS: Bitterroot BBQ. Hands down the best BBQ we’ve been to. SO.DAMN.GOOD! Late night happy hour after a show…that’s hard to beat.
BP: If you could come up with your own Lays flavor, what would it be?SS: Lays Whiskey Chips. Actually, that might be a good hangover cure…like hair of the dog, but different.

Anything else you’d like to say?SS: Next time we see each other, let’s dance.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Notes from Left of the Dial: Câlisse and more

In Notes from Left of the Dial this week, Nooga.com spends some time with new music from Câlisse, Stranded Horse, My Golden Calf and Sparrows Gate. What have you been listening to this week?
Câlisse, "Stay"
It began, as many things do, with an introduction. Musicians James Collette and Morganfield Riley were both soundtracking different filmswhen they were introduced by a filmmaker friend. By the next Halloween, they were performing together. Drawing together some musical friends, Collette and Riley organized a cover of Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," and these sessions went so well that when Collette announced he was recording a solo album, Riley volunteered to produce one of the songs. Their collaboration blossomed and grew to include other musicians, becoming the foundation for Câlisse. The group will release their debut record, "Farewell Black Sheep" on April 15.
On their new single, "Stay," the band creates a sound that feels drenched in the classic indie rock years of the early '90s but still manages to sound timely and timeless. The guitars are thick and sticky and are filled with ragged distortion and a fuzzed-out attitude. Buried beneath all the hiss and grit, though, is a churning melody that sticks to your brain and anchors the track while also lifting high into the upper atmosphere. It's catchy and hits you like a fist to the chest. It's rare that a band understands this contrast between loudness and melody so well, but Câlisse make this awareness seem nothing more than the next logical step. If "Stay" is any indication of what we're to expect from "Farewell Black Sheep," then April can't get here soon enough.