Ducks Ltd-18 Cigarettes

Ducks Ltd is jangle pop at its best. Their new release, Modern Fiction, is a worthy listen. Click and learn why.

My favorite Ducks Ltd’s song, “18 Cigarettes” is jangle pop at its best. The fun beat is meant for an ear bud supported workout, a cross country road trip with the windows down, or even getting ready for a sparkly night out. The beat will give your ticker a much needed reinvigoration. The beat and tempo are powerfully enhanced with frenzied guitar throughout which keeps the tune interesting.

Their album, Modern Fiction, is a must listen if you appreciate good songwriting and music with dueling guitar influence. Thankfully, this duo carves out their own specific style. Ducks Ltd. are masters at balancing uptempo tunes with a bit of lyrical melancholy, crushing the mold.

Photo by Chritiane Johnson & Laura Hermiston

“I wanted things to stay

how they would not stay

I’d ask you to explain

but its not your problem

Oh I’ve been in a state

and you don’t relate

I wish that I could say

where it got me

but its not me”

Slaughter Beach Dog-Safe and Also No Fear

When you simply love the songwriting and connect deeply to the music, you can’t help but write a glowing album review. Slaughter Beach Dog
From July29,2019

From July 29, 2019 (Soundblab Review)

When I began listening to Slaughter Beach Dog’s latest album, Safe And Also No Fear, I instantly connected to Jake Ewald’s songwriting ramblings and lyrical journaling. Each song provides a window to his world, through his unique perspective. His lyrical storytelling is compelling, introspective, and a masterpiece of his everyday moments. 

“I live upstairs
I wash my hair
I take my meals alone inside the parlor room
I win the war
I feed the poor
I get anxious and I curl up on the floor”
-”One Down”

Then it hits you, the power of the punch. A struggle unfolds in his seemingly disjointed phrase choices. Each song grapples with his past and his future and his coming-of-age. He recognizes something is different but is not sure how to handle it. It is meaningful and something we all have to face. His struggle is my struggle, our struggle.

Safe And Also No Fear, the third album of Slaughter Beach, Dog will be released via Lame-O Records on August 2nd. At the heart of it are delicate, radiant folk melodies. There is a simplicity in it’s language, but collectively the words translate a bittersweet understanding. He is struggling with his fading youth and grappling with his inevitable adulthood. Ewald examines his existence and humanity in such a cunning, casual way. The conflict almost slips by unnoticed as it’s carefully hidden in upbeat sparkly tunes. Then with reflection, the wisdom of his everyday ramblings hits brilliantly.

Jake Ewald, formerly of Philly emo-punk group, Modern Baseball, went off on his own after the band’s breakup due to exhaustion and mental health issues. His albums with Slaughter Beach, Dog, Welcome and Birdie garnished a loyal following with Ewald’s breakout songs based on fictional characters. His latest project is further enhanced by the addition of more members, with bassist Ian Farmer (Modern Baseball), guitarist Nick Harris (All Dogs), and drummer Zack Robbins (Superheaven). Their creative input and dynamic helps Slaughter Beach, Dog to be more cohesive and complete by adding depth to the simple folk tunes, creating a collective mosaic of sound. Welcomewas raw and experimental. Birdie was a healing departure, by Ewald writing about something other than himself. But the third album, Safe And Also No Fear, hits harder and is clearly a creative, deeply diving personal gamble.

On Safe And Also No Fear, Ewald’s warm, vulnerable vocals unleash simple storytelling masterpieces. His songwriting is more developed, mature, and keenly observant. As his buttery vocals are softly offered in each song, the acoustic guitar and changing musical arrangements balance the foundations by filling each song with an expansive complexity.

The first track on the album,“One Down,” is clearly autobiographical. It is a testimony to Ewald critically viewing his life in an open, honest way. He begins with his folksy, acoustic roots, while confessionally listing his everyday actions. As the song progresses, it shifts from being a solo singer and acoustic guitar to a gradual introduction of other instruments. The music builds into something more complex, but continues to stay vulnerable and tender. “One Down” immediately alerts the listeners the album is going to have a broader, more expansive shift, and move in a compelling new direction.

“Good Ones” is chock full of clever lyrics, heavy bass, and pounding beats which add the perfect tinge of punk defiance. His artistically creative, poetic lyrics tumble out rapid-fire which contrast the slowing tempo, shaping the puzzling verse.

“Into the void, a plea to make it through the night 
My kind of man, always right,
Dead on deployment sea, your dog went toward the fight
Licking his wounds, with stars in his eyes”

Each song on the album needs to be sifted, sorted, and listened to on repeat to discern the beauty and the hidden hefty meanings. “Black Oak” because of its risky seven minute length requires that breakdown. Beginning with a simple strum of guitar and a repetitive thumping of a drum, it’s entirely spoken and unveils a murky, curious story. This peculiar dark story tells of ingesting everyday objects like a tea towel, refrigerator magnets, and a watch on a dare, only to get sick in the street. When spit out, the magnets perfectly spell out his lover’s name. He then goes searching for her. The narration finishes with a shocking twist, and for the second half of the song, the instruments beautifully blossom among soothing hushed choruses. The fictional story reflects his ability to create characters outside of himself, compared to other, more realistic songs on the album. This proves to be a well-done, thematic outlier on the album.

An odd addition for its rawness and lack of sleek production is “Petersburg.” The fuzzy humming background, which sounds as if it was recorded in a space separate from the rest of the album, provides a needed diversion from the rest of the album and reflects Ewald’s past songwriting, an ode to his roots.

Many of the tunes on the album embrace a happy catchy beat, but after further examination prove to be darker in subject, including the songs, “Good Ones,” “Tangerine,” and “Heart Attack.” As one of the poppiest songs on the album, “Heart Attack,” expresses the exaggerated result of leaving a message and waiting for some kind, any kind of response. Ewald’s ability to make light of the torturous waiting allows him to express his deepest fears of rejection in the context of humor.

“One Day” expresses the internal urgency to be better, do better, and behave better despite our basic humanity and inescapable flaws. Supporting the theme throughout the album, Ewald delicately balances his youthful behavior and lifestyle with the person he wishes to be one day. A steady drum beat and expansive shiny guitars emphasize his analytical lyrics. 

“One day you’ll be good
You won’t know why it scared you
You’ll act just like you should
You’ll fix that awful hairdo
Anyday now, Anyday now”

“Map Of The Stars,” a favorite of mine, sentimentally reflects on his life, bandmates, and friends. It openly exposes his fragility and shortcomings while simultaneously making a concerted effort to mature. 

“Begging for brains in your prayers
Falling asleep on the stairs
Waking up angry and scared
Coughing up sand everywhere”

He inspects his vulnerability again in the final tune, “Anything.” Through the mundane responsibilities like picking up groceries and not being recognized by friends, he implies a transition between his boyish youthful self and his gradual attempts to become an adult. Although “Anything” is upbeat, it’s lyrically quite touching and meaningful. Beginning acoustically, it builds gradually to a full band. A haunting humming synth sound evokes emotions and grounds the album, as a final bow to his youth.

“I tried to tell about difference in the nighttime
But I could not tell it then
If I needed you to swim 
Would you swim back?
Would you come to me again?
Anything you want to know, you could find out
Any place you want to see
I can promise I will be a friend to you 
If you will be a friend to me”

Jake Ewald delicately exposes his weaknesses and deepest desires through his everyday thoughts and vivid, charismatic songwriting. Safe And Also No Fear uses simple but powerful lyrics to uncover complex, thoughtful ideas on life, growth, and change. A creative risk because it appears to be deeply personal, the album proves Ewald is a musical force. The addition of a full band and their close collaboration is the instrumental emphasis to the album’s coming-of-age theme. Clearly putting aside any anxiety or fear, Slaughter Beach, Dog is something worthwhile, unbearingly honest, relatable, and truly brilliant. 

Music You Shouldn’t Miss-Tame Impala, Kevin Morby, Andrew Bird, Karen O, Charlotte Cornfield, Daniel Norgren, Cat Clyde, Slowness, Le Boom, and Torres

Spring brings lots of new music from Tame Impala, Kevin Morby, Andrew Bird, Karen O, Charlotte Cornfield, Daniel Norgren, Cat Clyde, Slowness, and Le Boom Listen…

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My heart skips a beat when I hear amazing music, and I know it isn’t my mitro valve prolapse (look it up, it is a bona fide affliction of mine, which doesn’t really bother me as much anymore).

Spring is full of new songs and great album releases. As the earth renews, creativity kicks in and in the process music renews and refreshes as well.

There are so many great tunes and so little time to share it all with you. But, I will attempt to randomly toss some great tracks from many different genres your way. Here are my most recent favorites.

Listen and learn about the bands you dig. Then, follow my playlist (at the end). I’ll keep adding on, and if you follow, you won’t miss any of my most listened to tracks.

My list will begin with the most buzzed about music, then slip into the bands that are newer to me and might be new to you. They are all amazing!

Tame Impala

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We haven’t heard a new Tame Impala song since 2015. In that time, they have toured, collaborated, and Kevin Parker even got married. But the dawning day of new music has finally arrived and their newest single, “Patience” is a doozy of a winner! It is the perfect combination of psych, rock, and a peppering of disco. They are so good at creating a dreamy combination which is loved worldwide and is one of my most searched band names on the blog.

Also, set your DVR for Saturday Night Live on March 30th, because they are the musical guest! If you are like me, you don’t want to miss any other surprising new music from them, or maybe you just want to know if Kevin will wear shoes. Swoon…

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Kevin Morby

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Kevin Morby is about to drop his latest album, Oh My God on April 26th via Dead Oceans, but why wait all that time when you can listen to his latest track release, “No Halo”. It is a double album concept album focused on spirituality. For his press release he explains,

“Religion is around all of us. It’s a universal language and there is profound beauty in it. I’ve found it a useful tool within songwriting, as it’s something everyone can relate to on some level. There are religious themes or imagery in a lot of what I’ve done, so I wanted to get all of that out and speak only that language for a whole record. It’s not a born-again thing; it’s more that ‘oh my god’ is such a profound statement we all use multiple times a day and means so many different things. It’s not about an actual god but a perceived one, and it’s an outsider’s view of the human experience in terms of religion.”

Next week, on April 3, the short film Oh My God will premiere at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Directed by Good and starring Morby, it features music from the forthcoming LP and functions as its visual companion. Kevin Morby will also perform after the screening.

I don’t want to miss this release. There will be so much to unfold.  Listen.

Kevin Morby-Nothing Sacred/All Things Wild

Andrew Bird

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Okay, Andrew Bird released his latest album, My Finest Work Yet, on March 22nd and I am obsessed with it. In a world of easy distraction, listening to an entire album can be daunting, but every song has depth and each singularly captures my interest.  I have been listening on repeat. This tune has been out for a while, so if you totally gel with it, I beg you to catch the entire album. Bird is an indie rock musician making music for decades. He is a talented violinist, guitarist, glockenspielist (?) and is an expert whistler….here is the proof!

Andrew Bird-Sisyphus

Karen O & Danger Mouse

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Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and Brian ‘Danger Mouse’ Burton is a collaboration made in heaven and began in a crazy, unexpected way.

In an interview for Rolling Stone Karen O explains….

“It all started with me drunk-dialing Brian, back in 2008. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, we did one of those live television things with Beck, and Brian had just done Beck’s record [Modern Guilt]. I drunk-dialed him from Europe: “We gotta work together!” I had no recollection of this until he mentioned it. But we had been on each other’s radar for a while.”

They recently released their album, Lux Prima.

The collaboration between Danger Mouse and Karen O extends beyond just this album. They plan to pair their music with an immersive art installation at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles in April. The event, which Danger Mouse called the “ultimate listening experience,” is already fully booked.

Karen O & Danger Mouse-Turn The Light

Charlotte Cornfield

 

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If you are in the mood for a tune that strikes you in the heart pumping zone inadvertently creating dampness to your eyes, then this is the one for you. Charlotte Cornfield out of Toronto, has a penchant for carefully chosen relatable words and a vocal style so uniquely her own. She expresses deeply personal experiences, but somehow manages to connect emotionally with so many. It is a gift. Who hasn’t done a double take when seeing a familiar car of someone we loved and lost?

Charlotte Cornfield has a new album, The Shape Of Your Name, coming out on April 5th. This is going to be an important release, meant for some serious pondering.

Charlotte Cornfield-Silver Chic

Daniel Norgren

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Let’s pump up the vibe just a bit. Daniel Norgren is a name I will never forget. He proved to be a lovely new find, when I attended Pickathon Festival in Happy, Oregon a few years ago. I wrote about him HERE. Norgren is a Swedish singer/songwriter/musician who has the musical sensibility of a true southern rock and roll man and band. His performance was magical, rowdy, and fun to witness as he commanded the stage and powered up the vibe on a cold, dark night in the woods. This song is a nice return to that vibe. It is catchy, anthemic, and memorable. He has a new album Wooh Dang, coming out on April 19th via Superpuma Records.

Daniel Norgren-Let Love Run The Game

Cat Clyde

I am very excited to announce Cat Clyde has a new album coming out in late April or early May. I have followed her since 2016, where I shared one of my all time favorite tunes, “Mama Said” (HERE). It was one of my first posts for the year, and in it I discussed my goals. It is fun to look back and see what I was thinking, and to see that her music still holds up well to my scrutiny. Cat Clyde has lovely voice control and a very cool vibe, smooth and unique. I can’t say enough about her voice, but add that with the pulsing guitar and I am a puddle.

 

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Cat Clyde-All The Black

Slowness

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Slowness is an alternative rock, shoegaze, band with the purest of sound. Ethereal and chill, Slowness has a new track, “Rose”, which is the first release from their upcoming album, Berths, June 12th. Prepare to be soothed by their radiating surround of sound.

Slowness-Rose

Le Boom

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I would be amiss if I didn’t include a bit of electro/indie/dance pop. Some days you just wanna have fun. Ireland’s Le Boom provides a nice track for doing just that! Bring it on! The Dublin duo has a debut album, All My Highs, coming up soon, so check them out. They are going to hit it big in the US electro music scene and if you follow the genre, don’t you want to know?

Le Boom-Be There For You

 

I am going to add a singer that was recommended to me by a new follower. Torres is new to me and I am wowed by her lyrical reflection, and her impressive vocal delivery. This tune is haunting. It is a little slow for me, but I can appreciate its fierceness. Thanks for the head’s up! Hope this video might be new to you!

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Torres-A Few Blue Flowers

Tell me what you think? Tell me your favorite. Are there any you might recommend?


 

 

 

New Music-The Beths, Rubblebucket, Elephant Micah, BRONCHO, and Julien Baker-Phoebe Bridgers-Lucy Dacus

Sifting through hundreds of submissions and these are my favorite right now.

Listen…

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Another week has slipped by and music has been hurled at me at a broken fire hydrant spewing force. Despite the amount, the songs rarely fit my stringent requirements….sorry y’all. Over the years, I have discerned what I am looking for and it has everything to do with it sparking my soul. Yep, I can sense it immediately….the spark. Then, over multiple listens and working through the band’s catalogue, I ask myself…”Does it spark enough to bring a fire of listens, desire to share, and does the back story show hard work and growth or maybe new innovative genius?”

So when I share music, you can bet that I have researched the band, all of their music and carefully considered the lyrics. It isn’t something I take lightly.

For the past few weeks, I have rarely found that “spark”. I sift through hundreds of submissions. When I do find a great sound, I share it with you all. Maybe the ones that don’t make the cut help me to immediately recognize amazing talent when I need it the most.

So, these amazing bands with incredible music showed up this week and I am listening to all of them on repeat. Check them out and listen.

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The Beths is a band I stumbled upon and I am totally obsessed with them right now. They are out of Auckland, New Zealand and they just released their newest album, Future Me Hates Me. It was difficult to choose which song to share because they are all worthy of your ears. But somehow, I know there might be someone you think of when you hear this song. If you love the clever lyrics and jam of Courtney Barnett, you are going to be stoked to learn about The Beths, cause they take it to a fresh level.

The Beths-Little Death

 

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Rubblebucket wasn’t really on my radar until I saved a Spotify algorithm chosen song that was cool. It was called “Fruity”, and I fell in love with the jazzy dance vibe right away. Then ironically, I was given the opportunity to write a review of their album, Sun Machine, for Soundblab and jumped at the chance. It just came out (click here-Soundblab). Oh, and they will be at Terminal West, in Atlanta, for Halloween. Bet it proves to be a crazy good show!

Rubblebucket-Party Like Your Heart Hurts

 

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Found this artist on Bandcamp. Bandcamp is my go to when I have some time to explore and need a new music fix. It has the softness of the Appalachian sound passed down over generations combined with a folksy rock. Elephant Micah is so mellow and chill, perfect for a lazy afternoon.

Elephant Micah-Fire A

 

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This is the ultimate dream team collaboration. With an EP, boygenius, out in November. Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacusare are all talented in their own right. Hoping they go on tour together and come to Atlanta!

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus- Bite The Hand

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BRONCHO is an indie rock band out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. All I know is that they are crushing it and I am glad I found them. They will come to the Masquerade on 12/08!

Broncho-Get In My Car

Savannah Stopover-24 Bands in 2 Days-Day 1

 

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Happy St Patrick’s Day, Weekend, Month!  When you are visiting Savannah, it is a wildly celebrated event for the month of March. Despite my own forgetfulness, I saw hundreds of others celebrating with abandon. I was too hyper-focused on Savannah Stopover, the people, the venues, and the city which welcomed me with open arms.

This festival was all about living in the moment.

As I reflect on my amazing music weekend in Savannah, I recognize I was truly present in the moment, clear about my listening intentions, and joyful for the opportunity to see so many talented artists.

I saw, I heard, I experienced.

Whoa…

Savannah Stopover is clearly becoming like the music performance component of the early stages of Austin’s SXSW. Like the SXSW founders, I believe in the incredible local talent, but perhaps, the south is not yet a large enough platform to provide the kind of exposure other music hubs create. Make no mistake, there are many in the music business in Savannah and the south, but outside of Nashville, for example, they are working 24/7 to create, perform, and when free time happens….promote their music.

A music festival  which highlights local bands and musicians in small venues and pairs them with emerging ‘must sees’,  organically creates a devoted new fan base. I love the accidental find, where the music is pure and the performance is powerful. I cherish the moments when I hear a band before they break out into a wider arena. I recognize when  hard work and determination, sprinkled with a little good mojo, can be the deal maker for a talented band. A successful music festival can boost a band and thrust them into success, one listener at a time.

I saw 24 bands in 2 days. No joke.

I was literally running from venue to venue trying to see as many talented bands as I could physically manage. I can only compare my experience to being a winning millionth grocery shopper, who gets to fill a cart for a set amount of time, and walk away with all the goods. I admit, I was pretty drained afterward, but in the moment, adrenaline and joy pushed me to keep going. I came home with all the goods for sure-a lifetime of fun memories and some really cool bands to watch as they inch their way closer to success and stardom.

Arriving in Savannah is a wondrous joy, especially when you are greeted with hundreds of runners in St. Patrick’s Day paraphernalia. Luckily, I passed the intersection before it was halted for traffic! Due to my difficulty packing with a broken arm, late leavings, and having to navigate to the wristband headquarters, I missed a couple of the Friday music acts I really wanted to see. So I will be on the lookout for Weekender and Wray. I hope they might get to Atlanta real soon.

After wristbands, schedules, and maps were acquired and mulled over. We darted and ran to Trinity Methodist Church where many bands I wanted to hear were performing.

We began our music weekend with a joyous introduction to the music of Sweet Crude. They proved to be an  unusual surprise of talented musicians from southern Louisiana and charged with making progressive music while simultaneously keeping the French speaking tradition alive.

Sweet Crude
Sweet Crude

When Sweet Crude finished their set, we waited patiently for Rainbow Kitten Surprise from Boone, NC.

Okay, okay….I had some frustration trying to justify listening to a band with that name. Where did it come from? They were announced and the MC even stumbled a bit. Let me tell you, after you experience their music and their show, you will never forget them! Each song had an anthem like chant where the faithful followers sang along in spirited camaraderie. I wanted to be a part of the lyric knowing club after watching the lead singer and his incredible dancing skills and impressive bouncing off of the stage (church altar). It was something to behold and captured us in a way we never expected.

A first time ever performing in GA, I totally hope they make their way to Atlanta soon so I can invite a hoard of friends to dance and sing a long!

 

Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Rainbow Kitten Surprise

 

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Once their set was over, we exited quickly and made our way across the street to get a cold beverage at the Savannah Museum. In our absence, the church began to fill up with the Family And Friends devoted. They are a folk/rock Athens band. I could totally watch them play their instruments and belt out their tunes, all day.

Here is why….

Family And Friends-Amadeus

Family and Friends
Family and Friends

I’m a little sad I missed Sydney Eloise and the Palms, but because they are from my hometown of Atlanta, I am hoping to catch them again soon.

It was time to head out to other venues and listen to exploding sounds.  We hightailed it to The Jinx to catch Washer, a Brooklyn band.

 

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Washer

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Rooted in punk, Washer played their set with serious strumming, drum banging and the occasional belting scream. I watched as several listeners hurriedly purchased earplugs at the bar. I thought it a very good idea…..and it actually gave Washer the ragged credibility of their true pure sound.

Keeping the vibe real, we couldn’t miss Muuy Biien from Athens, GA. With the lead singer’s distinctive punk vocals and the bands jamming support, they burned a fire through the crowd with a bit of mania and a cool jumping jack flash dance-a-bility.

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Muuy Biien

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Like, how cool is that picture? Sometimes… I get lucky. The photo really captured the energy of Muuy Biien‘s set!

We headed off to another venue to catch a few bands, and caught the tail end of a Savannah local band, COEDS. It was hard to get a full band photo, but the lead singer, Anna, was in constant motion as we listened to their raucous rukkus.

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COEDS

And The KIds from Massachusetts, played next at Ampersand in Savannah. They were fun, talented, and put on a fantastic show full of swirling guitars and popping drum beats.

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And The Kids

I am not sure why they had a stuffed dear as a mascot, but it was fun to pass around and dance with! Funny how a silly prop like that can make people smile.

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Lucy Dacus, from Richmond, was a must see for me and her band was up next at Wild Wing.

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Listening to her songs is like opening up a personal diary and reading about someone’s  innermost thoughts. The lyrics are so intimate and her vocals have such a distinctive lovely tone. Her set was something to behold, but I am a lyric fanatic and wanted to listen again and again to hear each word. The album, No Burden, will definitely be on repeat at my house.

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Experiencing a bit of exhaustion, instead of rushing to see Diet Cig like I had planned, I just sat for a bit and waited for Yuck to set up and play. Looking back I could kick myself for missing it. Fortunately, they will be at Shaky Knees in May.

Yuck, all the way from London, brought the crowd and had us all up front and moving to their tunes.

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Yuck-Hearts In Motion

 

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I don’t know why, but I was fascinated by the reflection in the drum of those flowery pants. I wish the picture had come out clearer, cause it was kinda cool.

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I totally heard a Beatlesque vibe from some of their songs. It was great to get to know their sound a bit better, and I loved what I heard.

So the night didn’t end here. What is a day of music without a serious dance pop sound and a glittery ball reflecting all the lights? Mr Little Jeans was our close out sound for the evening. Mr Little Jeans is a Norwegian songstress that now resides in LA. We gathered with the late night crowd listening and swaying to her soothing vocals and electronic beats.

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Day one wrapped up, with one exception….the long walk home. The people watching was glorious and who knew there were so many brides to be in this town?

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Good golly, I seriously lost count!

Stay tuned for day two, coming soon!

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Alternative shoegaze foursome cranks out a solid tune

Mood Monday.

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I was presented with a bunch of music this week, lots of new bands and amazing submissions. But, on this particular Monday, my mood is my mood and the band Dream Vacation finds a sweet spot in my heart.

Shut out the world and just crank it up. Yep, full throttle. This is a tune meant for good speakers or powerful headphones, and closed eyes. There are layers of instruments, whispers, and repetitive reminders that over distance and time, caring and compassion never end.

Lovely.

Dream Vacation-End Of Time

“End Of Time” is transcendent and a bit melancholy. The song is representative of the wonky space I live in right now. I find the world around me to be a little helpless, unchanging, and despite some dissatisfaction, I still care.  I care deeply. The song is heartfelt and deep enough to dig into solidly.

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Dream Vacation is Ray Silva on vocals and guitar, Noah Alexander on drums, Morgan Terrinoni on guitar, and Gerry Matthews is the bassist and backing vocals. The alternative shoegaze foursome is out of Los Angeles.

“We hope to inspire people to think and see things differently than they normally do.  And maybe even remember things they thought they forgot.  To feel more connected and sense that there is more kindness available than it seems.”

Nice inspiration for my Monday.

Mood Monday-Grappell-Arrow

Mood Monday

Fly like an arrow….

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I’m a sucker for a saxophone and a song that speaks truths of the heart. This song won me over immediately. I am new to Grappell, but this tune seems perfect for my mood today in all of its intricate simplicity, so I just had to share. The track “Arrow” has a soulful quality that grabs my attention on yet another rainy Monday. The sun depicted in the lovely photo is a personal want and  unfortunately not the reality of my day.

Grappell-Arrow

Is there no love left to make?
I got the look that you gave
And it got me down on my knees
“close your eyes and you’ll see”

“Its not in the time or the place
Or in the money you make
You dream of feeling complete
But you don’t even know what you need”

And In the dead of night
When the feeling is right
You’re sinking down to your knees
And you’re begging for love

And it is in the way that I take
Its in the way that I fake
And I’m too fed-up to see
That you’re too sharp for me

Is there love left to make?
Or just a game left to play?
With all the moves we should make
And all the things we shouldn’t say

Yeah I’ve never hurt with anyone else
the way I hurt with you
Yeah I’ve never hurt with anyone else
The way I hurt with you
You’ve got the feel of a knife
You cut me up and let me dry

Some people turn in the wind
Others find ways to get in
You always move towards your goal
You fly like an arrow

And I’m seeing signs everywhere
But none too bright or too clear
They’re pointing different ways
Shooting holes in my brain

You offer others your help
But never got the time for yourself
You’re drawing lines in the ground
You want to be lost and found

But it’s in the way that we merge
It’s in the way that we hurt
It’s in the way we’re so mean
And it’s in the way that we love

Yeah I’ve never loved with anyone else
The way I loved with you
I’ve never loved with anyone else
The way I loved with you
You’ve got the feel of a knife
You make me feel alright

 

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Grapell, Emil Erstrand and Nils Nygårdh, are long time friends and an alternative duo from Stockholm. To me, this song suggests the strife between love and pain. Why are we tortured so? Why can’t love be easy and simple? Because we all know, love is multifaceted and complicated. The love of a mother, father, friend, sibling, spouse, child….they all have different roles and ways of dealing with life. This tune carefully rides the line of  the intense emotion of love and the depth of feeling and how it can be painful at times.  A human truth, right?

Power to Grapell for musically nailing the fine line we all walk, when it comes to love. Do we give enough? Get enough? Share enough? Understand enough? Hmmm. A song worthy of soulful contemplation.

Grapell explains:

“Initially we were inspired by ‘King Kunta’ by Kendrick Lamar when playing around in our rehearsal space. But in the end it turned out to be something completely different. It all happened very spontaneous so we wanted to release it that way too. We’ll see if it ends up on the next release we’re currently working on.”

This tune can’t be farther from Kendrick’s song, but I sense a slightly similar distress and discord. Powerful and worthy of placing on the EP, for sure. Interesting to think of the two different tunes and how a song begins and develops.

Amazing!

P.S. By the way, I really want to know who that interesting older gentleman is on the song promotion. Chime in please, anybody?

 

Music Midtown 2015-Get excited and listen with me

Checking out Vinyl Theater, Kodaline, and Jamie N Commons

I am all about the music festival experience.

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I love the camaraderie of listening to bands with a concentrated group of their biggest fans. The fans are so diverse and make me curious. Why are they here, what is it that they love to listen to?  I love the space of difference in it all… the people, the music, and the weather.  I learn about a fraction of life in the happiest ridged margins of commonality and connectedness through music.

Next weekend is Music Midtown.

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Yes, they have a hefty lineup of tried and true performers, but I am trying to justify purchasing the weekend pass and the mega dollars that this is going to cost me. I have to defend shelling out the hard-earned cash to attend. So I am listening to them all and honestly thinking about the experience. Listen to Music Midtown bands with me and help me decide what to do.

Looking at the Friday lineup, I want to see the bands that make me excited about music. These are the first band choices,

Vinyl Theater, Kodaline, and Jamie N Commons

Listen with me….

 

 

 

 

They essentially play around the same time? Do you have a favorite?

Which one would you hang to see?

 

Mood Monday-Zurich-Alone

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Mood Monday

It has been a quiet day for me.

I experienced almost a full day of alone time. You know, the much needed time to reflect, dream, plan, and act. I sometimes don’t allow myself the luxury of real alone time. I am always checking on others, working on projects, creating new ventures, and completing to-do tasks. So, today was a nice gift.

I don’t really want too much time alone, or even too much time with others.

I want just enough of each.

A healthy outlook and a healthy life is a unique balance of social connection and quiet time, alone. When I am given the freedom to be alone on occasion, I find I am infinitely better at being with others. This time always becomes the important fuel that helps all of my relationships thrive and survive.

There are moments in my life when I tend to fill every possible second on things to do, people to be with, and checklists to check off. Then, more often than not, there are moments where I have time by myself, but I fill it with wasteful endeavors that leave my head shaking (yea, I’m talking about you internet and tv binge watching!). I suddenly wake up from my stupor and realize the waste I have made of that fleeting amount of precious time.

What do you do when you have some time all to yourself? Do you plan activities? Do you read? Do you listen to music? Do you frantically fill it because you don’t want to be alone?

I believe my mood Monday song, “Alone”, speaks more about the fear and frustration of a change or harsh ending to a relationship. Perhaps it describes the fear of being alone, no matter how bad the situation is. Nevertheless, it sure ignited my thoughts today.

 

“I am not alone
But I know I could be
This wave I ran from collapsed right in font of me
Now I’m drowning in these waves and I know that I shouldn’t be
But you drew blood with your final breath
and you wrote me out of history

When we collide we fall apart
And the memories, they’re just breaking me down

I am not alone
But I know I should be
You can’t hide the truth thats lost inside your transparency
Now I’m drowning in these waves and I know that I shouldn’t be
But I’m fighting a war that I just can’t win
Can you tell me why? Do you feel anything at all?

Anything

When we collide we fall apart
And the memories, they’re just breaking me
Down I fall, were we in love at all?
Baby see our lives crashing through these walls

When we collide we fall apart
And the memories, they’re just breaking me down.”

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Zurich is an English rock band from Oxford, who play widescreen post-punk rock with a nod to the darker side of eighties electronic pop. The band members are Adrian Banks (Bass & Vocals), Chris Gillett (Guitar & Vocals) and Leigh Taylor (Drums & Samples). They have just finished working on a debut EP, Small Wars  releasing on September 21st. The haunting depth of the lead vocals paired with the band’s ability to create a powerful tune, leaves me wanting more. This is a band to watch and I look forward to hearing what will come next.

Today, in my quiet moments of deep thought, I brainstormed my action plan for several new projects I have jumped into. I have been putting off the sincere focus necessary to accomplish a positive result. Now, after putting aside the time, I feel so much better. My anxiety has calmed and I am now stronger and more ready to attain my goals, and I even left room to do a little daydreaming.

My mood today? I am feeling sweet satisfaction, and it just took…time alone.

 

Wrecking Ball Atlanta 2015-Music Festival Review

Better late than never, right?

Another festival came to town last weekend and I made a last minute decision to be there for the final day. Wrecking Ball had four stages and over 60 bands gathered for celebrating 25 years of music at The Masquerade. The Wrecking Ball website boasted that stylistically, rock, punk-rock, hardcore, post hardcore, emo, and all of the flavors in between were represented at the festival. I primarily stuck to what I love….

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Planning for any festival is essential and listening to the band line-up helps narrow down the music that interests me the most. I chose to attend on Sunday due to a couple of the bands were ‘no brainers’, because I have blogged their songs or I have them on my playlist. Then, I considered the new bands I was excited to explore. Here is the simple compilation of my photos and experiences that rocked my day!

 

Oh and yes, I had to do the ultimate wrecking ball photo….. don’t judge me. It was just a spontaneous happy moment!

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There were the bands, because a festival is all about the bands….right?

My day began with the energy infused….You Blew It from Orlando, Fl.

 

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No festival experience is complete until the guitarist shreds while crowd surfing.

 

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We worked our way closer and then of course this happened!

 

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It was time for a much less intense set. Next came the calm, shy, but talented and thoughtful Frankie Cosmos

 

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She seemed genuinely surprised at the venue and the audience. She was so shy behind the stage lights and each song was sung with her eyes closed, but she belted the songs out with purpose. I couldn’t help but appreciate her and the apparent camaraderie of her band members. They were having fun, chatting it up between songs and chuckling at who knows what. Here’s a little more about why I wanted to hear her, the back story from a post I did a while back. Oh and I found this one too!

 

Then, with creativity and poetry power, the band of Girlpool became a force of witty punches and masterful musical presence.

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I thought I would share a tune I haven’t already blogged. If you are curious about my other post….here is my post on Girlpool. They were funny discussing the stage they were playing on….’Hell’ at the Masquerade and both chuckled about Girlpool in Hell, and the wild tweets that might come out of it. After their set, I quickly chatted with Cleo about their song writing and she assured me, they (she and Harmony) collaborated together on all of the songs. There is something so raw and interesting about them and I am not alone in my fandom. They had many in the audience singing along and cheering their music.

From there, I took a break to grab some food while waiting on Desaparecidos (yes, I had to check and re-check the spelling). Weirdly, after a yummy food truck dinner, we went to another stage and thought we were up front and ready, but we were at the wrong stage. It was a glorious snafu because the band playing, The Appleseed Cast was truly amazing. They played their hearts out to an appreciative and tight crowd.

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I hope you notice the three guitars up front. All three guitarists were talented musicians and the riffs were mind-blowing and full of diversion. I am a new fan of this band from Lawerence, Kansas. You probably already know them due to their eye-popping six albums! The Appleseed Cast plays the kind of jam that is perfect for a weekend and pure listening pleasure. Chris Crisci, and founding member, has warm vocals that add so much to the music, while the drummer never slows his energetic pounding and punctuating of each song. Here’s a track from their 2013 album, Illumination Ritual, “Great Lake Derelict “.

 

 

So mesmerized by the music, I couldn’t leave and found that I missed the first few songs of  Desaparecidos. Such is a festival with wonderful music distraction…too many bands and not enough time to hear them all.

When we finally arrived at the outdoor stage, they were playing full tilt and the crowd was having a blast. This was as close as we could get…

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They played some powerful, pumping music that had heads bobbing throughout the crowd. I have blogged them before so check it out, here. Conor Oberst, of former band Bright Eyes, is the lead singer and his familiar voice belted out ‘fight the establishment’ lyrics. Desaparecidos take their name from the word given to political dissidents who mysteriously disappeared under Augusto Pinochet’s right-wing dictatorship in Chile from 1973-1990 for questioning his and his government’s mode of rule. Their music plays on that theme with passion.

Then, as the sun was setting and the last bands were playing I caught another band that was new to me. Somos, a four piece band from Boston, Mass. They are Michael Fiorentino- Vocals + Bass, Phil Haggerty- Guitar, Justin Hahn- Guitar, and Evan Deges on Drums (check out the photo I caught of him with perfect head swinging hair).

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With a new album coming out and a bunch of touring dates this fall, you might want to catch them live. Check them out on Facebook to keep up with their music and shows. If you like the music, you really don’t want to miss them perform. Their Facebook page describes their sound perfectly,

“The Boston band works in catchy, passionate three-minute rock songs recorded with too much punch to be lo-fi, too melodically contoured to be punk.”

So with that last set, I called it a night. Fall is almost here and the music scene is going to be so insane! I hope you’ll stick around and listen with me.

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