2011Candy - January Edition One

2011Candy takes up from where 2010FM left off, however this year we hope to expand the feature along with Beehive Candy in general. In the meantime the new music just keeps on coming and we are delighted to start of the new year with some fascinating artists and music from a variety of genres.

Background: Michael Lee’s debut EP Hold On Till Heaven is Lee’s first foray into original music, and he has a great supporting cast: John “Rabbit” Bundrick on keyboards (The Who, Pete Townsend, Roger Waters, Mick Jagger, The Rocky Horror Picture Show); Steve Bundrick handled production and added drum tracks and producer/engineer Kirt Shearer (Cake) handled the mastering. Lee plays guitar, bass and sings on the album, while exploring issues such as faith (“Believe”), vampires (“Lost In A Touch”) and the evil stench of Paparazzi (“Mind Your Own Business”) in wonderfully post-pop rock arrangements. Hold On Till Heaven is just an appetizer for what’s to come however, as the project took on a life of its own while Lee develops a yet-to-be-released full length album entitled No More Fairy tales.

When you see Michael Lee on stage he looks like a throwback to another era of rock n roll. Part rebel; part glam rock demigod, Lee swaggers onto the stage with his Flying-V guitar and takes it for his own in the name of rock n roll. Lee writes music that pleases him, and in the process he reminds us all what rock n roll was meant to be. Michael Lee hopes to inspire a new rock revolution, one fan at a time, infusing modern elements into classic rock forms to create not just songs but moments. Be a part of the moment with Michael Lee.

2011Candy Says: Others have called it retro 80's rock laced with pop, and words like mesmerising have been dropped into the chat, we hear a mixture of influences that include both David Bowie and Be Bop Deluxe, however there is enough unique elements and just great no nonsense rock guitar music going on to make this both fun and 'want some more please' rock and pop.

Listen: Believe. Web: Official.

Background: Ziggy Franklin and James Curd's worlds collided many years ago when they were both cast in the same short film. Immediately the two knew that they would be friends. Ziggy was a unique and entertaining character whom Curd soon found out was not only a talented actor but was blessed with an amazing voice. Curd had just begun to achieve international success with his Greenskeepers singles and invited Ziggy to feature on his first full album as the host, and result was "The Ziggy Franklin Radio Show".

Through the years Ziggy has continued achieving growing recognition in the film world by being cast in films along side some Hollywood heavy weights such as Hilary Swank, Sam Rockwell, Josh Lucas, and Terrence Howard. Ziggy is always moving from one demanding role to another, so it was with great dedication and devotion that enabled this album to occur. With unguarded honesty, Ziggy put pen to paper to write the songs for the album "No Need To Fight About It".

No Need to Fight About It offers a glimpse of the period from '77 to '85 when the world had all but written New York City off, and artists had a brief moment to explore new musical boundaries. Genres were bended and blended, giving us post punk, new wave, no wave, hip hop, house and proto-everything we listen to today. Ziggy Franklin could easily have appeared at Mudd Club and No Need To Fight About it stands upright next to the greats from this golden era: Talking Heads, A Certain Ratio, Gang of Four, Brian Eno and Devo. Carefully crafted songs set to fast-paced, funk-driven bass lines and snappy dance beats atop a canvas of analog synthesizers, oddball instruments and understated production values all combine to create an instant classic - completely compatible for the modern world.

2011Candy Says: Try not to get hooked to early there is a whole album of this music and if the featured song appeals you will just love the rest. Like the previous artist there is an 80's feel within the music probably the synth and vocal styling but see that as a positive!

Listen: Shelter. Web: Label.

Background: Every once in a while a new indie dance rock revolution pops up from the not so distant future to finish the war they started and lay claim to their territory. That revolution is right here, right now...and it's pink!

Moving Units have released a brand new single, "Pink Redemption" as part of their upcoming EP titled Tension War which will be self-released this Valentine's Day with the help of Post Modern and Indigenous.  "Pink Redemption" is a reinterpretation of "Pink Thoughts" from their previous album, Hexes For Exes.

"Not to be confused with 'Pink Thoughts', their quintessential break-up song, or Pink’s rendition of 'Redemption Song', this new track reflects the band’s ex cogitation on the difficulties of trying to 'harmonize the dualities in everyday life' — which I interpret as 'Why is life so damn hard sometimes?!?!'" - URB.com

2011Candy Says: It's just a fine little indie dance number that does exactly what it says on the tin.

Listen: Pink Redemption Web: Official.

Background: San Diego’s Tape Deck Mountain first made waves by releasing their debut EP Sparks on the unconventional (but quite fitting for their name) medium, our old friend the cassette tape. Frontman Travis Trevisan wants it to be made clear however, that he doesn’t want this to become a “thing” and that he will be working in all formats.

Their Secret Serf EP is released today (11th January 2011) and the band have a west coast tour of the USA as follows:

Jan 16 2011 8:00P - Habitat House- San Diego, California
Jan 18 2011 8:00P - Silverlake Lounge- Los Angeles, California
Jan 19 2011 8:00P - Blank Club- San Jose, California
Jan 20 2011 8:00P - Arlene Francis Theater- Santa Rosa, California
Jan 21 2011 8:00P - Mississippi Studios- Portland, Oregon
Jan 22 2011 8:00P - Student Center Bistro @ Seattle University- Seattle, Washington
Jan 24 2011 8:00P - 1078 Gallery- Chico, California
Jan 25 2011 8:00P - The Hub- Sacramento, California
Jan 26 2011 8:00P - The Knockout- San Francisco, California
Jan 27 2011 8:00P - The Crepe Place- Santa Cruz, California
Jan 28 2011 8:00P - Muddy Waters- Santa Barbara, California
Jan 29 2011 8:00P - Prospector- Long Beach, California
Feb 16 2011 8:00P - Bar Pink- San Diego, California 

2011Candy Says: We featured the band a good few months ago and are impressed with this latest offering from the band which Lefse records have kindly allowed us to share with you.

Listen: It Goes Down. Web: Lefse Records.

Background: Too Dark Records is set to release electro-pop duo Night Surgeon’s debut studio album Day For Night on February 15th, 2011.  The album was produced and mixed by Gabriel Espinosa (Blondie, Fischerspooner, Mobile) and showcases the bands ability to “create complex yet accessible songs that are deliciously effervescent without the throw away frivolity.” (Hayley Haufman, Oakazine Magazine)

Day For Night features nine original songs and was recorded at the Map Room Studio in Portland, OR.  The first digital singles, Brick Moon and Roman Error, were released in October and have already created a buzz within the blog community. Peter Menniti of Baeble Music told readers to, “keep your eyes and ears open for big things to happen” regarding Night Surgeon.  Also, the single Color Me Black and White has been featured on Portland’s KNRK’s HD radio station. The two members of Night Surgeon met in Boston while attending Berklee School of Music. Their sound is electronic and reminiscent of new wave and synthpop, but with an added layer of live drums and guitars.  Comparisons have already been made to Depeche Mode, Cut Copy, and Placebo, and while their music is very dense and layered in sound, the band still maintains a heavy drum and bass dance feel.

The band is currently gearing up for an album release show, slated for February 16 at the Someday Lounge in Portland, OR, followed by a west coast tour in the Spring.

2011Candy Says: We featured Night Surgeon back in November and were really impressed by the two tracks they sent us. Having now heard the entire album our enthusiasm for the band has grown further. Definitely one to watch out for in 2011. 

Listen: Brick Moon. Web: MySpace.

Background: Music often goes beyond melodies, harmonies, arrangements, lyrics and live performances. There's that one thing that no artist in the world can manufacture formulaic-ally, and that something is energy. This invisible thing that comes directly from the veins, throats, and pores of the musician seeps from Brazil’s most promising indie-rock band, Some Community. Forming in 2009 the five piece that met in Prep School, has been combining delicious songs with an exciting presentation, and will drop a musical bomb on this years SxSW, so get ready.

The band consists of Juliana Vacaro who delivers charming and delirious vocals as well as: Veronica Vacaro (keyboards and guitar), Marco Frugiuele (percussion), Gabriela Gonzalez (guitar), and Fernando Fernandes, who brings lead guitar to the mix. This clashing of talent and instruments is augmented and punctuated by an array of casiotones and melodica (played by all) in arrangements sweet enough to give you a cavity, yet hard hitting enough to knock that tooth right out.

Some Community will be releasing a brand new single later this month, and will be traveling all the way to Austin for this years’ SxSW Festival! 

2011Candy Says: We are seriously loving the featured song from their 2010 EP RinoRino and eagerly await the new single. Excellent, vibrant indie power pop that has us jigging away!

Listen: Random Words. Web: MySpace.

Background: Keith Canisius, American born (Cambridge, MA) living in Copenhagen, Denmark is determined to create beautiful, mood elevating, dreamy pop music sometimes with an explosive edge, and other times with a smooth and tender bedroom.  Stubbornly he’s been practicing and learning how to produce his music on his own, putting out records every year since.  Keith Canisius hates and loves genres so much, that he has decided not to worry about them anymore and just make whatever music he wants.  His newest album This Time It’s Our High released on Darla Records is his proudest work so far. The hard work and late night bedroom dreams are finally starting to redeem themselves he feels.  After releasing 4 albums, an EP, and contributing to various remix and compilation albums in 4 years, Keith Canisius is starting to wake up from a long dream where This Time It’s Our High is sounds like an interesting transition to a new one.

Keith Canisius is a self-taught musician and producer, who quit high school music and guitar lessons early on because he hated the rules and systems forced upon him.  In his work anything goes if it makes you let go.

2011Candy Says: There is something about Scandinavia and new music these days, we have big upped a good number of artists from Sweden and clearly it's no different in Denmark if Keith Canisius is anything to go by. Wonderful dreamy music, check him out.

Listen: Peoples Faces. Web: MySpace.

 Background: (from Paper Garden Records) Brace yourselves, because nothing can get cuter or sweeter than this Dutch-French brother/sister duo The Narcoleptic Dancers and their infectious sugary sweet pop songs. This is the kind of cavity inducing sweetness that your dentist would drill you for.

With their track 'Not Evident' from the EP of the same name being released in Europe earlier last year, it IS evident that the band's time to break into North America is rapidly approaching.

The Narcoleptic Dancers take you on a care-free stroll into a world full of animated chirping birds and quirkilicious personalities... or is that just us?  Their simplistic instrumentation packaged with melodic vocals and endearing lyrics join harmoniously together to create a sound born to bring a smile to your dial. The Narcoleptic Dancers were first brought to our attention by French-based labels Bleep Machine & Capitaine Plouf and has been wearing off the digital ink in our iTunes player ever since.

2011Candy Says: We can't argue with 'The Lovely Hearts Club' at Paper Garden who sent us this wonderful tune. It just makes you feel good, simple as that.

Listen: Not Evident. Web: MySpace.

Background: Tacoma, WA’s The Fun Police new album ‘You Better Run’ was recorded and produced by Conrad Uno (Mudhoney, Presidents of the United States of America) at Egg Studios in Seattle, WA. The Fun Police came equipped with a versatile arsenal primarily consisting of a viola, accordion, several vocalists, guitars, bass, drums, djembe and other secret weapons to create their unique blend of Rock, Folk, Punk, Country, and Reggae sound. The CD is officially out and for sale at cdbaby.com (physical and digital download), iTunes, and Amazon.

Of note, The Fun Police are back in the studio of their label, Hourglass Records, already working on a second album.

2011Candy Says: This is a great band to finish our first 2011Candy feature with! How can we describe The Fun Police? Well fun obviously and a little like a whirlwind has entered the room done it's thing and left you wanting another one. Bags of energy and some great songs.

Listen: Gringo Meringue. Web: Official.

2011 Candy - Listen: