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Showing posts from January 8, 2017

A Couple More Weekend Wonders: Dirty River - Hand Habits

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Dirty River - Purple Dreams.

Background - Alternative, eclectic country duo Dirty River formed in 2012 around the talents of singer/songwriters Lea May and Jimi Dobbs. Lea was working as a solo artist and needed a fuller sound. Jimi was also searching for something different, having played in bands and solo for more than 20 years. Somehow their voices found each other and it was inevitable that this was the beginning of something that needed to be heard.

This dynamic duo are passionate storytellers who have only just begun to tell their story. Their new single, ’Purple Dreams’, is ultimately a love song that depicts the story of two people desperately searching for a kindred spirit who has the ability to love honestly and see them for who they truly are.

“The song started out very different in the beginning, the guitar melody was a lot darker. I asked Lea to write the second verse and somehow she came out with this completely different vocal melody... I rewrote the guitar parts and ‘P…

BeeVids: Spiral Stairs - Dutch Uncles - Grog - Cavegreen

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Spiral Stairs - Dance (Cry Wolf).

Background - Spiral Stairs (Pavement's Scott Kannberg) will release his second album under that name, Doris and the Daggers, on March 24 on the Nine Mile label in the US, on Domino in Europe and on Coolin' By Sound in Australia / New Zealand. This week he has shared the first single and video from the album, "Dance (Cry Wolf)". The video stars Jason Lytle of Grandaddy who plays the part of Spiral Stairs in the video.

The album features guest appearances from Matt Berninger of The National, Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew and Justin Peroff, Kelley Stoltz and Shudder To Think's Adam Wade. Spiral Stairs has also launched a Pledge Music campaign where fans will have the option of buying archival Pavement and Preston School of Industry merch and memorabilia (or a DJ set, private show, trip to IKEA or a round of golf with Scott) along with their pre-order of Doris and the Daggers.

The Real Feel – the Pavement guitarist and Preston …

Weekend Wonders: Joe Goodkin - Illuminertia - Equinox - Tobin Sprout - James Parry

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Joe Goodkin - Never Come Back.

Background - Joe Goodkin’s musical career took an unusual turn when he wrote a thirty-minute adaptation of Homer’s “The Odyssey” for voice and guitar. For years now he has been a travelling bard performing this piece all over the country. It’s the same ethos that has worked its way into his trinity of EPs, starting with Record of Life and now continuing with Record of Loss.

If you’re unfamiliar with Record of Life, the 6-song EP is an extremely personal record—sorrowful, profound, and a reminder of the human condition. It’s a visual record in that his lyrics provoke powerful imagery and have you examining your own life in the process and taking comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone.

Record of Loss is conceived of as the first side of an eventual piece of vinyl... one side is called Record of Loss, the second side (to be released in summer 2017) will be called Record of Love --as in, Love and Loss are the two sides of Life—to complete a trilogy with Rec…

Genre Wander: Greg Graffin - James McArthur - Torgeir Waldemar - Eureka California

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Greg Graffin - Making Time.

Background - Greg Graffin, frontman of the iconic Los Angeles punk band Bad Religion as well as a renowned author, will be releasing a brand new solo album entitled Millport this March 10th via Anti- .

Millport delivers a stirring though perhaps unexpected reinterpretation of the classic Laurel Canyon country-rock sound alongside Graffin’s insightful lyricism, all propelled by some esteemed colleagues from the LA punk scene including Social Distortion members Jonny ‘Two Bags’ Wickersham, Brent Harding and David Hidalgo Jr., with Bad Religion co-founder Brett Gurewitz producing.  The resulting record is less a reinvention then a creative liberation -  a group of Los Angeles musicians at the peak of their game, playing a brand of music they genuinely love.

As Graffin explains, “This feels as exciting to me as when we made the Bad Religion record Suffer. Like everything had been leading up to the songs and they just happened totally organically in this short int…

Midweek Muse: A Valley Son - Loose Buttons - Jo Harman - Les Bohem

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A Valley Son - In the Low Light of the Late Afternoon.

Background - “In The Low Light of the Late Afternoon", is the newest single from A Valley Son’s debut Sunset Park EP that they’re self-releasing on January 27th. The song tells a cautious tale, and perfectly showcases the bands’ harmony-laden, soulful rock & roll, following on the heels of the EP’s previous singles, “Lights In The Sky” and “Dark Places”.

As a band that is barely a year old, this collection of songs is simply a starting point for A Valley Son (whose name comes from the title of a deep cut from Grandaddy’s catalog), but it’s a strong one. Much like their home base of New York City, the group is an anomaly, comprised of three Southern transplants that grew up on Stax and Motown, and one Yonkers-born Gospel drummer turned bassist.

After seeing a generation of bands seemingly value aesthetics over substance, the four members vowed to make music that strips away all of the unnecessary decoration and puts songwr…

Tuesdays Alternative Take: Klasey Jones - Khodara - The Proper Ornaments - Anna of the North

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Klasey Jones - Cement.

Background - Plastician’s Terrorhythm imprint have been breathing plenty of life into the mutated, hybrid club sounds emerging from both UK and US beat-makers over the past two years, crucially spotlighting producers like Ganz, AWE, Patrick Brian and JD Reid for the first time.

The latest name to emerge from the camp, Klasey Jones, has been bubbling under for the past year, with his tracks earning heavy rotation on Plastician’s Rinse FM show in particular — itself often a valuable resource for those seeking a link between grime, drill and instrumental, cloud-wave rap. Jones’ debut EP — the widescreen, cinematic ‘Foreign Buyers Club’ — is a profound case in point, linking the above sub-genres with flashes of 80s synth music, anime OSTs and some genuinely one-of-a-kind sound design.

At five tracks long, Jones is also able to explore the variants to his sound fully across the EP; see the morbid dystopia of opener ‘Area 55’ for example, or conversely, the hazy, strin…

The Monday Mix: No Monster Club - Harlea - The Darts

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No Monster Club - French Revolution / Life Is Flashing Before Your Eyes (Aardvark - Blessing).

Background from Bobby Aherne of No Monster Club - I'm here to tell you about the 'Encyclopedia Project' that I have planned for the foreseeable future: On the first of each month, I'll be releasing a new single (consisting of two songs) that'll be available for free download - or as 'pay what you like', should one be willing to throw some change into the virtual tips jar.

The first instalment arrived on January 1st, containing one new song and a cover of an amazing Vince Collins song from 1984. As I'll be utilising an alphabetical, encyclopedia-based naming scheme, issue #1 is entitled 'Aardvark - Blessing'.

My 2015 and 2016 albums ('People Are Weird' and 'I Feel Magic', respectively) were unanimously acclaimed ~ they were released by indie labels based in NYC & Chicago, and each picked up four stars from The Irish Times.  Website her…

BeeVids: David Bowie

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David Bowie - No Plan

Background - No Plan is an EP by English musician David Bowie. It was released posthumously in digital form only on 8 January 2017 through Columbia and Sony, coinciding with what would have been Bowie's 70th birthday. The songs "No Plan", "Killing a Little Time" and "When I Met You" first appeared in the Broadway musical Lazarus and were originally recorded during the Blackstar sessions. All songs on the EP had already been released in physical form on the Lazarus: Original Cast Recording CD and LP in October 2016. The release was accompanied by a music video for "No Plan".

Beautiful.

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Quality Not Quantity: Grumby - Frederick The Younger

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Grumby - Stuck (feat. Sola Fide).

Background - “Stuck” comes as our first taste of Grumby's forthcoming EP and a humble reminder of the duo’s knack for genre-melding production. Featuring fellow New York-based songstress Sola Fide (aka Overcoats), percussive keyboard arpeggios build through the intro and then burst into an acclamation of affection with pounding drums and heavy synths. 

Ultimately this story of an addictive relationship ends with a heavy head bob of acceptance as the love interest moves forward.

Out February 6th, the duo's album ‘Changes Pt II’ is starting to sound real good right about now. Website here. Facebook here.

With rich and smooth synthy vibes and vocals that just glide and fly above the soundtrack 'Stuck (feat. Sola Fide)' is already getting considerable attention, and deservedly so.

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Frederick The Younger - Tell Me.

Background - Louisvil…