Pocket Of Lollipops - RJ Thompson - Marble Mammoth - 1971

Pocket Of Lollipops - Ever Needles.

Background - Official video for Ever Needles by Pocket Of Lollipops pays homage to people saying women are weak because they cry. Studies show that when men cry, they are viewed sympathetically, while women are often labeled dramatic, irrational, or manipulative if they turn on the faucet. Crying is a natural healing system.  It's time we reclaim our right to cry, since we have tons of suppressed feelings that are now being voiced by celebrities.

For example treatment of women on social media, sparked by the uproar over actress Rose McGowan's or from Pussy Riot, Nadya Tolokonnikova saying “It’s important not to say to yourself, ‘Oh, it’s O.K..  This video is Pocket Of Lollipops  response to it all, sexual, political, economical; Maitejosune has made her self seem vulnerable for the cameras but the truth is she has healed, and now the viewer has to experience the pain that we constantly hide.

For the Video Ever Needles, Maitejosune took all her angst, tears for the last 2 years and refused to comment on things or even talk about any situation that was confrontational. She held it all in, sometimes she was ill because of it, but she saved those tears for film. She kept telling Tony (husband and drummer of Pocket Of Lollipops) I will let them out soon just have the camera ready. So the band created a "Crying Corner". This past May she texted Tony "I'm on may home, I'm ready for the crying corner." Once she came in she told Tony don't ask questions just tape," I told him to ignore what I was saying,".

Even when Tony watched the footage during editing he would erk at the visual of Maite. Maite's whole goal was to show we all cry. I could be upset about the current political turmoil, a death, the jerks who cut me off. The idea of holding all that tension is what she wanted to release on camera. She worked with Jacqiline Soire to create the other footage. Jacquline had not seen the crying corner footage but Maite did mention they would be combined some how. WEBSITE, FACEBOOK.

Concentrating on the song 'Ever Needles' first, its a creative and absorbing piece which mixes voices and distant vocals above an addictive soundtrack. The video makes sense thanks to the background details above. It is of course quite personal as tears always are.


RJ Thompson - Blackout Windows.

Background - RJ Thompson has built a name for himself in recent months as one of the countries strongest up and coming singer-songwriters. His poignant lyrics perfectly capture the mood of the past 12 months, with songs that won’t fail to resonate, and all are set against a colourful (and at times nostalgic) soundscape that goes far beyond modern-day singer-songwriter stereotypes.

RJ is an artist who’s had to graft for every great opportunity that’s come his way, getting his big break through consistently playing grass-roots music venues, pubs and clubs in his native North-East. It was a night in Hartlepool where the work paid off. A sound engineer at an open mic night was working with Live Aid organiser and Ultravox frontman Midge Ure. The engineer submitted RJ as a support act, leading to more than 30 shows touring the UK and Europe. Support shows with Gabrielle Aplin, Deacon Blue and Jools Holland (including a performance at the Royal Albert Hall) soon followed as well as several EPs and a live album.

“Up here in the North East there is a saying… “shy bairns get nowt”. You’ve got to put yourself out there, asking and doing, if you want to make any progress. So that’s what I did throughout my early years. I got out and posted my demos to all the local promoters, played at the grassroots venues, the local festivals, and any community event going - even those that had absolutely nothing to do with music!. Every single show has taught me something.”

Now, RJ is stepping out with his first full studio LP “Echo Chamber”. The album features guest appearances from John Waugh, saxophone player for The 1975, and ex-Bellowhead cellist Rachael McShane and serves as a sonic departure from RJ’s traditional singer-songwriter background. After a few tracks, a love for analogue synthesizers and strong electronic-pop production becomes evident. With tracks like ‘The Girl & The Gunman’, ‘Echo Chamber’ and ‘Think About You’, we can hear distinctive retro arpeggios and lush synth chords - perfected with a contemporary mixdown and epic production standard. WEBSITE, FACEBOOK.

The second of nine songs on the 'Echo Chamber' album is 'Blackout Windows' our featured track. It's is typical of the high quality production that is present throughout the collection. Musically and vocally RJ Thompson can and does vary the style, his songwriting is notable as is the quality of musicianship, overall this is a timeless sounding collection of contemporary pop if you will excuse the possible juxtaposition with that description.


Marble Mammoth - The Girl Of A 1000 Thrills.

Background - Swedish, Stockholm based Marble Mammoth wanders seamlessly between classic genres in a dynamic mix of energetic riff based rock and dreamy, melodic psychedelia. A furious rhythm section, screaming organs and fuzzy guitars greets you on their latest single ”The Girl of a 1000 Thrills”, and give you a taste of what’s to come.

The five track self-titled EP immediately draws your mind to the experimental side of early Tame Impala or even classic rock acts like Led Zeppelin, and we find our self as much in the late 60’s as in the present.

"Marble Mammoth is in many ways defined by an endless search. So it only feels natural that the EP sound the way it does. The songs were written in a state of emotional turmoil, and it wasn't until afterward, with some distance, that I really understood what they were all about." – Tobias Bergholm (singer and guitarist)

With band members that have previously played in bands such as The Unisex, that has shared stage with The Libertines, and Dollhouse, that’s been touring the world and done collaborations with Mike Davis (MC5) and Nicke Andersson (The Hellacopters/Imperial State Electric), this is nothing but a pleasant new acquaintance on the Swedish and the international rock scene.

”The Girl of a 1000 Thrills” is out on all digital platforms on November 17th with the full EP to follow on November 24th. FACEBOOK.

A month to the day since we first featured Marble Mammoth they make a welcome return with 'The Girl Of A 1000 Thrills'. Last month we commented "Old school classic rock with a refreshingly modern twist," this time the alt rock vibes are clearer, the power is if anything even more intense, as is the vocal passion.


1971 - Anxiety (In the Depths of Northwestern Ontario).

Background from 1971 - In February 2017 our bassist, founding member, and friend Cameron Glen Cranston suddenly passed away in the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center. He was 25 years old.

We as a band decided to not continue without our brother. Now we’re releasing our last existing recordings with Cameron; two demos we recorded for a grant we received and one of his songs.

The first track “Anxiety (In the Depths of Northwestern Ontario)” was written for Cam in 2016 during a really difficult period while Cam was still around. We’re glad we have “his” song, even though it’s hard to listen to sometimes.

We’ll be releasing this song as well as two others on cassette and 7” vinyl via Art of the Uncarved Block this December 1st. The EP is called No Matter Where You Go, There You Are. We really hope this release properly puts this band to rest and we hope it touches some people who might have experienced something similar to what we went through. Cameron was a great musician and an inspiration to a lot of people he knew. He deserves to be heard and remembered. FACEBOOK.

With the sad passing of band member Cameron Glen Cranston, 1971 understandably have decided to conclude proceedings. All of which makes 'Anxiety (In the Depths of Northwestern Ontario)' a more poignant song. It is also a beautiful track and a stunning tribute of sorts, to a clearly missed young man. In any other setting I would be calling for more.