Mood Monday-Kurt Vile-Pretty Pimpin’

“Who are you?

Who, Who, Who, Who?”

 

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Do you ever wonder? Do you look at your reflection in the mirror and try to recognize the person looking back at you? I guess this Monday is probably the best day of the week to experience this soul searching, questioning mood.

This is my mood today.

“Who are you?

Who, Who, Who, Who?”

Who am I? What makes me tick? What is important and what is just silly stuff on the side? You know, the stuff that is the condiment and isn’t really necessary? Why, after all these years of living with myself, why don’t I know the answer to this yet?

I’d like to think that I am always growing…evolving…and hopefully becoming the me I am supposed to be. Sounds so very nice, but does it really ever flower and bloom the way we want it to? Humph, I think the idea might be up for some serious discussion.

I love to be around people who are always questioning their worth and their role in the world. They are the ones that inspire the heck out of me because they are never stagnant. They are constantly on the move in a positive, self awareness, kind of way. They are the ones who are never satisfied and continue to learn all they can about the world. They throw energy into whims and ideas to find what sticks and is solid.

So could it be possible, not recognizing the person in the mirror might actually be a positive thing? The energy you exude in your confusion and struggle, may be the catalyst that keeps you propelling forward, seeking, loving, and constantly questioning everything? Therefore, you might be learning beyond the norm?

Perhaps, the person you are meant to be is the one who stays forever unsure.

Hmmmm….

 

Kurt Vile is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Philadelphia. He is best known for his solo career and as a former member of  the indie rock band, The War On Drugs.

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His latest hit, “Pretty Pimpin”, is a tune that becomes a fun sing along anthem in your head and yet it has some powerful ideas behind it. The album, B’lieve I’m Goin Down drops September 25th. Known for his undertone of melancholy, I just can’t resist the beauty of the sweet guitar picking in this song. Despite its questioning personal confusion, I find it to be a memorable, thought provoking, honest tune.

A song which fits my mood perfectly.

“All I want is to just have fun, live my life like a son of a gun…”

Apex Shrine-All For You

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Cold and hunkered down? This ripping 70’s inspired rock will definitely warm you up. I am sure of it.

Guitar love, right here, right now.

As if you couldn’t possibly sway to the swagger of the music and the professed love, then just wait for the guitar solos and crushing drums. Maybe we can just heat up the temps with music. Anything is possible, right?

 

https://soundcloud.com/viciousbuzz/04-all-for-you

 

Apex Shrine is a psychedelic-blues rock band from St. Louis, Missouri. They record in a basement at the corner of Apex and Tahiti. The basement is their shrine. The vibe is pure rock and roll and is a little of a departure from my usual listening, but I had to share their masterful music on probably one of the coldest days of 2015.

An epic day for an epic band! There you go.

 

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Apex Shrine are brothers, Jack and Dan Eschmann (guitars and vocals), joined by Brandon Pesek who just started playing the bass a couple of years ago, and Nathan Wilson (aka Crazy Willy) on the drums. They have been playing in the St. Louis area for a while now and have been working on an album entitled, Half Baked. They are writing, playing, recording, and promoting it all by themselves. The work makes them deeply invested in the creativity and originality of this project.

Hear ye hear ye, this is good stuff right here!

Now, if I could just figure out how to get a copy…….

Literature-Kites

Sadly, summer is coming to an end…….

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image courtesy of tumblr

 

As much as I hate the idea of another season passing me by, I also recognize that all things eventually come to an end. When there are endings, it opens the possibility of amazing moments to quietly reveal themselves.

Sometimes, I wish I could manipulate and stop time.

I try to hold onto awesome moments, love, relationships, family, friendships, and even my own dreams and aspirations. Maybe I grip them too tightly. But, time has a way of always moving on. People, instances, and activities come in and out of our lives. Dreams are born and may either click or fizzle. The only way that I know to cope with all of this adjustment is to be patient, tread through the inevitable transition, and hopefully reach that place where a new peace and joy can begin again.

Listening to music is my happy constant, that I know will always be there. Somehow, it softens whatever blows come my way and helps to pave a clearer path for those sweet celebrated, special times to enter into my life. When I want to hold on to time, I can listen to music that is buried deep in my playlists (oldies, but goodies that trigger memories). When I am ready to move forward and face change head on, I find the accompanying new music that suits my mood.

For today, I am listening to Literature.

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This band plays sweet guitar jangle with a chill vibe. They began their start in Austin and then relocated to Philadelphia. Literature is Kevin Attics-guitar/vocals, Nathaniel Cardaci-vocals/guitar, Seth Whaland-bass, and Chris Schackerman-drums. They have a new album, Chorus, that just came out about a week ago, and it is what I need for this Friday. Their song, “Kites”, happily leads me into a long, holiday weekend of impending transition and metamorphosis.

“Don’t forget me tonight

I’ll wait here for another five”

What are you doing to kick back and enjoy your extended time off from the weekday grind?

There is something so joyous in beaching it, swimming, traveling, and playing in the sunshine. Summer is all about the shorts, sandals, outdoor dining, and biking. Time outside provides the energy boost that my body craves. I will be doing one or more of those.

I honestly dread the subtle disappearing of the sun and the shorter days that come with fall. Even though It makes me a little melancholy, I must look forward to fall and find splendor in the changing leaves, football games, cooler days, and stomping boots. Perhaps there is something around the corner that will be an occasion worthy of whooping and hollering about.

I will wonder and dream about it.

Yes, this dream worthy song and video make it all okay. So, say farewell to summer with me, and a…..

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J. Mascis-Wide Awake

Mood Monday

Peculiar patterns.

For some crazy reason, I find myself awake every day at @ 5:30am. This is tough when I am a total night owl. When I glance at the bright red digital numbers, it is (more often than not) exactly 5:38. Feeling restless and tired, I don’t like to open my eyes hoping that darkness will help me sleep another hour or two. I fool myself into believing that if my eyes are closed, it is a healthy rest and good for my weary body.

As much as I try to force sleep to return, my mind drifts to the images that just passed through me, while I was sleeping. I wonder about them and go over them. either willing  a “tied up with a bow” conclusion or a changing of direction altogether. Some are curious dreams which take place on dangerous scenic cliffs over a lovely roaring ocean. Nerve wracking and a little frightening, these dreams are remarkably appealing too. I wish I understood the significance of these complex and quite realistic stories in my mind. Generally, I am not really scared, but I do find myself respecting the danger that could take place at any moment.

photo by Roman Sobus
photo by Roman Sobus

This song, “Wide Awake”, seems to make a meaningful connection to the puzzle that is my mind.  J Mascis is the singer and guitarist for Dinosaur Jr. and will release a solo album, Tied to a Star, on August 25th. His distinctive raspy voice glues me to the songs he sings. Although he is known for decades of guitar shredding, this song (and album) is much quieter than the other albums he has released with Dinosaur Jr. There is a raw simplicity to this tune as well as throughout Tied to a Star.

Listen and thank your lucky stars, if J. Mascis, (despite the mantra wide awake) has you suddenly feeling rested and refreshed. I know I do.

Don’t miss him live. Get your tickets before they are gone.

J Mascis 2014 Tour Dates:

09/24 – Hamden, CT @ The Ballroom at The Outer Space
09/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
09/26 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
09/27 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
09/28 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
09/30 – Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
10/01 – Nashville, TN @ Exit / In
10/02 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
10/03 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
10/04 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
10/05 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
10/07 – Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
10/08 – Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
10/09 – Minneapolis, MN @ Minneapolis Institute of Arts
10/10 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
10/11 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
10/13 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig
10/14 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
10/15 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
10/16 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
10/17 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
10/18 – Boston, MA @ Sinclair
11/07-09 – Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/11 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
11/12 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
11/13 – Long Beach, CA @ Alex’s Bar
11/14 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
11/15 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
11/16 – Sonoma, CA @ Gundlach Bundschu
11/19 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
11/20 – Portland, OR @ Dante’s
11/21-22 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge

Beverly-Honey Do

Girls and guitars. Sound, power, and mysterious intrigue, all rolled in to one. My dream world, for sure.

I remember begging for a guitar for Christmas when I was about 10. Yes, I was a good girl, and yes, sweet Santa brought it to me.

The next part was up to me…..I had to learn how to play. Well, let’s just say, that with an older sister who was playing anything and everything on her guitar by ear, and an older brother who taught himself every Beatle tune within a year (later, a more complicated Spanish guitar), the empty space between my chord changes was deafening to me, and I tired of never measuring up. I struggled with the guitar. Unfortunately, I gave up.

I rarely give up on anything. I still regret it. I wish I could play and yet, maybe this past experience helps me to appreciate anyone who has the stick-to-it-iveness that it takes to play, really play, the guitar. Then, when I come across girls who write songs and play guitar, I find myself in some serious awe. Case in point, the newest band of Frankie Rose, Beverly.

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Beverly is made up of songwriting guitar and drum girls, Drew Citron and Frankie Rose. I am loving their sound. The album, Careers, came out earlier this month and I am listening to it over and over. No, you might not hear wildly complicated instrumentation, but you will instantly find a liking to the combination of guitar blasts and strums, steady beats, and the surreal pitch perfect feminine vocals. Okay, I admit it, I have a serious penchant for noise pop with girls playing guitar and drums.

The tune, “Honey Do” is the catchy first release from the album. Be sure to listen to the nice guitar at 2:15 that reminds me of all things summer. Enjoy.

“Outside
Free light
Outside
Your lines

Tell me your oldest
Memory yes
I will keep it
Oh honey do

Inside
Free light
Inside
Your eyes

Tell me your oldest
Memory yes
I will keep it
Oh honey do”

 

 

 

Phospherescent

Don’t judge a band by the lead singer’s shoes. Well, okay in this case, maybe you should. (Must see picture attached)

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Matthew Houck stepped out among the vases of flowers and the lingering incense to sing and play onstage in Atlanta, GA.  It was incredible. All the hype is real and he proved it, as he and his band, Phospherescent, slowly but carefully, worked their way into our psyches. With each song, the audience seemed to sink deeper into the vibe and that’s when I completely forgot I was standing in the middle of hundreds of people at a Phospherescent sold out show. My emotions got the better of me as a tear puddled in the corner of my eye on “My Dove, My Lamb”.  The lyrics and the wail of his voice that escaped from his lips so tenderly, proved to create a perfect moment in time. Perfect, simply because I don’t think it renders itself to the typical adjectives of hearing a sound that might be somewhat familiar. Is it country, folk, rock? This is unfamiliar territory to me and that is what makes me listen. I will listen again and again.

Yes, he had on a serious ‘old Nashville’ style outfit…..but it was the flashy, sparkly boots that told it all. This guy is surely bold and fierce in his choices for tapping his feet as well as writing, playing, and singing those powerful lyrics. Powerful indeed.

An old one but a great one. ‘Cause I bet you’ve already been playing his winning album, Muchacho.

Then, there is this, a cover of Bob Dylan. Love, devotion, and longing….

https://soundcloud.com/fantasylabelgroup/tomorrow-is-a-long-time

The Silver Comet-Techno

I accidentally stumbled upon an emerging talent with a way cool, head popping, rock and roll sound that is from Atlanta. The song, Techno, has an electric guitar riff in-between harmonizing vocals, that makes me swoon. There is also a subtle hint of an 80’s throw back band that pleases me.  Can you guess who I am thinking of?

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I went to The Silver Comet website and “met the band members”. They seem to be an unlikely group of talented musicians that met up in school and hung out jamming together. They are Perry Kitt lead vocals, Ben McBride lead guitar, Dustin Williams on bass, and Phillip Shuford on drums. They describe their music as rock and soul. I like their energy and power sound. I will watch their tour schedule and see what I can do to see them live. Listen now to the tune that “tuned” me in.

“You either show up, or you fade away”

Check them out on Facebook and follow them if you like their sound like I do.

New Music-Real Estate- Talking Backwards

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Waiting for new music and patience isn’t my strong suit. But, for now, my waiting can go temporarily on hold due to Real Estate releasing a new song which I only just discovered in the wee hours of the night. Yes, I have listened to it over and over since. Their new album, Atlas which comes out in the states on March 4, is highly anticipated after a drought of no new music following their amazing album, Days, of 2011. Gosh, has it been that long? Well, their last album had me over the moon and yes, I still listen over and over because it just doesn’t grow old to me. It even caused me to beg them to travel south and tour, of which I never had any satisfaction.

“Talking Backwards”, their new song, has the unique thumbprint of Real Estate. You just can’t miss it, their strumming guitar, the soft rolling sound of the other instruments, the steady beat of the drums, and the vocals that smoothly glide in and out. The lyrics of “Talking Backwards” are poignant to me because I can totally relate to the idea of talking and talking and not really saying anything, or maybe not really what you want to say. The words from your heart can stay all clogged up because you are scared of the changes that your words might prompt. Moving forward is so very hard to do, yet staying stagnant, still, and not moving at all is dangerously easy. Going backwards is another thought all together. My stream of conciousness signals when “backwards” has actually happened while I am involved in an important conversation. You know the conversation I am talking about, where you get one and only one chance to strip down the fluff and really express yourself.  After the attempt, you realize the other person doesn’t understand at all what you were trying to say. Dang! Human error reminds me of our frailty and vulnerability. That’s when I wish for a do-over that may or may not ever occur again. “Talking Backwards” is a simple song with what I perceive as a complicated message.

You never mind about that, I know that I dig too deeply in music. On a more simple note, Real Estate is one of those bands that just pleases me. I love to listen to them when I am driving. Their sound comforts me when I have miles of road ahead of me or calms me when I have a million things to check off of a to-do list. If for some reason you haven’t heard their other songs, you have a couple of months to dive in now and prepare for the smash that the new album, Atlas, is going to be. A tour south to support the album would leave me swooning! Enjoy!

Quit Yer Bellyaching and Just Watch….You’re Welcome

I found this sweet relief from a new twitter follower (thanks guys!). This video saved my life this very cold morning in the deep South. With only 9〫   at mid-morning, I was in desperate need for a little warmth and a reminder that this weather is only temporary. Thank you, Sensual Harassment, for this great video and dreamy sound. They are a Brooklyn band that describes themselves as new wave/psych-pop/disco. You can even get a free download, just click the link to their website to find out how. C’mon, how sweet is that? I’m going to be listening for sure. Enjoy the virtual, sweet sunshine of “Capri Suntan”. No need to thank me, thank Sensual Harassment.

Bear Hands-Giants

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Today I have a new obsession, and it is a song that has just floated by me recently.  I can’t get enough of it. Bear Hands is a post punk, indie rock band out of Brooklyn, NY. They are Dylan Rau (vocals/guitar), Val Loper (bass), Ted Feldman (guitar), and TJ Orscher (drums). There is not a lot of information out there about them, other than touring with Passion Pit, and opening on occasion for MGMT, Vampire Weekend, and The XX just after the release of their first album, Burning Bush Supper Club, in 2010 through Cantora Records.

The song, “Giants” isn’t really new to those who have already heard Bear Hands. Although they just recently released it, officially, a couple of months ago. The song is a somewhat rapping rant, with an indie twist. Bear Hands has a sweet layering of instruments that really intrigues me while the lyrics connect with me.

“You’re loving me

whether you want to or not,

but I want you for sure

I am loving you more.”

Who doesn’t long to hear those words when they are truly sincere? The guitar chords are pleasingly simple, but the arrangement of vocals and sound has a very cool vibe. I can’t get it out of my head, which tells me that the hook is just prime for a spirited sing-a-long. Can you imagine them live? Yep, after further investigation, wouldn’t you know it, they are headed south to the Savannah Stopover in March…..I am thinking that is just about right for a spring road trip. Check out Bear Hands on Facebook or their website for more info.