Monday, January 8, 2018

"Prague Spring" by Willie Breeding featuring Caitlin Rose Plays Like A Romantic Dime Store Novel




















Featuring guest vocals from Caitlin Rose, Nashville's Willie Breeding's new track "Prague Spring" stirs cinematic images in your head supported by stately strings and Breeding's and Rose's earnest vocal harmonies that embrace you when the music gets quiet. 

Written by Breeding and Rose (with a last line by Breeding's wife) the song plays like an indie folk minuet or a dime store novel read wearing trenchcoats in a foggy European cafe. I am not sure if the song at it's core is fictional, factual or a blend of both but it appears to have personal ties to Breeding's wife. He explains: "One night in Prague, 1962, the son of the Italian ambassador met an actress they called, “The Czech Bridgette Bardot”.  Their adventures were like a black and white noir. Bullets were drunk out of martini glasses. Official diplomatic vehicles were stolen.  14 years later, my wife was born"



Breeding's debut album "Big Sky" will drop early this year.
-
Robb Donker


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Jessie Jo Stark's "Deadly Doll" (LIVE) Darkly Sweet Hallucinogenic Candy




















Jessie Jo Stark's latest "Deadly Doll" performed live is staged and produced with a lush soft touch by Jason Lytle (Grandaddy, Band of Horses). There are elements that pop up in my mind as I swayed to this lullaby. Hints of Lana Del Rey, hints of that sultry James Bond gone bad soundtrack vibe too. Stark co-wrote with Chris Garcia (Lana Del Rey, Demi Lovato) and I like this "side" of her.

Stark says, "At the time, I felt like 'Deadly Doll' was my alter ego. It still is, depending on my mood. Lyrically, you can interpret it many different ways. I love combining these spooky elements and soft, eerie country tones into a beautiful anthem. The song got me through a tough time. I hope it does the same for listeners."

Stark's look in the video feels like something between Sean Young's Rachel from Blade Runner and a 1940's Jazz torch song singer. The skeleton bones suits on the band feel a bit much but who cares about that, the song is like dark sweet hallucinogenic candy.

-
Robb Donker


Sunday, December 31, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR- American Pancake PODCAST: Age Of Dinosaurs Premiere and Track Talk and Reflections on 2017

A Special Podcast Tonight for New Years Eve--  Those of you who are not dancing the night away at parties can here all the tracks from my new album AGE OF DINOSAURS as well as hear my reflections on the tracks themselves, creative tech talk and reflections on the very rocky, temultuous year that was 2017. On both a macro and personal level it has been a rough tough year full of big highs and very low lows to say the least.

I hope you listen below and email me at donkermusic4u@gmail.com or americanpancakelive@gmail.com and share your views on music, the album and your take on 2017. Love you all for your continued support of my shitty little blog. The slowly growing podcast and my musical projects. I plan on continueing all three.

Cheers
Robb Donker


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from a Frenetic Me

MERRY CHRISTMAS !! Yeah, I know typical me running late. So busy this year with all things and busy in my head with things. Christmas was both weird and wonderful this year. Glad we got to #facetime with family back home but when are they going to invent Hugtime? Get working on that #apple . producing the album has been a bear just because the learning curve is constant and steep. Oh man, all I can say is #hpf or #highpassfilter that has saved me. HOPE you had a lovely holiday. One week to go before #2018 !! THE Age of Dinosaurs #album will come out this year! I swear! Gonna do a special #podcast this week too!! Shout out to Matt for a heavy creative assist on this project! Miss you Lauren, Taylor and Diana so much and see you soon!! #newmusic #merrychristmas #happyholidays #late #nevertoolate #dreams #singersongwriter #musicblogger #art #film #filmscoring #doit #diy #artrock #subpop #review #psychrock
A post shared by Robb Donker (@americanrobb) on

 MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! I hope you had a wonderful time spending this time with your loved ones in any way you could whether it be by traveling to see them or through Face Time. It has been the busiest month and week between a heavy work load at work to all the running around we had to do like car shopping after the accident that totalled our car and sent Cheryl to the hospital. We dealing with insurance companies (bleh) and she dealing with recovery and doctor visits. Also the planning for next year. New arrivals and changes. Missing loved ones in Cali and writing, recording, producing has made my mind both excited and exhausted. So many things to learn, so many questions yet to be unanswered. Crazy up and down life. Glad to be alive and living it. The Age of Dinosaurs EP that has turned to an Album WILL be released this year! Also a year ending podcast coming up this week. Thanks to Matt D for the heavy creative assit on the project, thanks to HPF (ha) and learning curves. Thanks to Cheryl and Alyssa for putting up with me. Miss Lauren, Taylor and Diana (see you soon next year!)- 
cheers
Robb

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Beach Riot- NEW TRACK: "She's A Hurricane" - Strap Yourself Down and Listen


I am in the need of some potent rock and roll and Beach Riot out of Brighton and London came into my view just in time. They just released a track called She's A Hurricane and while the buzz about their sound, the banter about their inspirations mentions bands like Sleater Kinney, Pavement and even QOTSA, on this track in particular I think of the potent rock and roll DNA of old school Husker Du and new sounds of METZ ( listen to Drained Lake). Apart from comparisons the potent point is that I can feel the unbridled passionate kickass rock in Beach Riot's bones, in their musical DNA and that has me incredibly intrigued. Such a cool sound, so very riot-teously cool.

Beach Riot are Rory O'Connor (guitar/vocals), Cami Menditeguy (guitar/vocals), Jim Faulkner (bass/vocals) and Jonny Ross (drums) on Killing Moon Records.

She's A Hurricane by Beach Riot available to Stream or Download Everywhere

-Robb Donker

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday Morning Find: Franz Kline (Wasted) by MOONMOUTH



Some times Mondays feel heavy. For me this has to do with my workweek which entails my busy "day job" as well as those projects that inhabit my life right now. I have my ongoing blog of course and a kind of haphazard podcast schedule that has yet to settle into any discernable groove really and then my music projects. So, yes, today... this morning... right this very moment feels very heavy. So heavy that it almost feels like I cannot breathe without sighing.

Even though American Pancake is by any stretch a tiny blog in the blogosphere I do receive tons of submissions and like too many packages thrown against ones door it is difficult to make my way through it all. Every now and then I find wonderful music other surprising ways and today I found MOONMOUTH through instagram. Instagram is one of my favorite ways to find interesting music because it is not thrown at me or filtered through PR people. It is just there to be found and enjoyed.

So MOONMOUTH hails out of Charlotte, North Carolina and I know absolutely nothing about them which is kinda of refreshing too. From their Bandcamp I could surmise that they are a duo and possible write together but my Spidey Sense is tingling singer-songwriter. Whatever the incarnation is I am liking the track Franz Kline (Wasted) a whole lot. The sound is bright indie pop which has served to lighten my heavy load this morning. Check it out-
-
Robb Donker


U2 on SNL - "American Soul" and "Get Out Of Your Own Way" - Timeless Music But Not In a Good Way



















Bono and U2 have a love / hate relationship with America. I do too and I have that same relationship with U2. While Kendrick Lamar and the video emblazoned behind the band elevated the song American Soul, overall it felt like posturing, like the swagger was not backed up by any potent sounds. Some of the progs and tone hinted at the muscular rock of a band like Queens Of The Stone Age but fell short quickly. In fact, the Edge's lack of guitar bluster (and lead work) really helped kill a song like this. It all felt too orchestrated and safe and while I do applaud the message of the song (best delivered by the lyrics not the song overall) maybe the purview of middle aged muscular rock should be left to Josh Homme and the boys.

Get Out Of Your Own Way felt more like your standard U2 fare and therein lies the problem. Both tracks could of been on past U2 albums and in that sense are timeless U2 songs but not in a good way. They are sadly forgetable and get lost in that U2 haze. A band that has been around this long will either settle into it's own groove or say fuck you all and let loose. I prefer the latter. Word on the street is that these two songs may be the worst on their 14th album Songs Of Experience. I hope that is true.
-
Robb Donker




Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Diary POST- Sleep Studies, Ozark and Sea-Glass Johnny by Nic Coolidge off the Labrador Album

These next few weeks are going to be a bit crazy. I have to master 5 songs, two of which are not completed yet and am concerned I cannot make it. If the EP has to have only 4 songs on it I am content with that too (not really). I also have been having trouble sleeping and when I do sleep it is restless. Ozark, that great Netflix show will be filming right next to my house soon which will be a trip really and I am supposed to sleep at this sleep study facility so they can see why my sleep is so irratic. To be honest I would love to cancel though and do it next week.

I tend to walk around playing my guitar and writing sometimes when I cannot sleep. Not exactly sleep walking or sleep walking and playing but it seems to help calm me. Not much time or energy for the blog or the podcast so I have to hit those things hard soon. Things will be much clearer at least for a while after December 15th. "December".... just writing it feels wrong. Is it winter already? I cannot believe that this year has soared by. In many ways, personal ways it has been a harsh year.



Listining to the Labrador album by Nic Coolidge lately. What a voice. He is from Providence, Rhode Island but apparently splits his life / time between the US and Prague. He crafts intimate folk songs but to me they feel like stories told on a porch or around a fire.

I am hanging in there and hanging on. Hope you all are too.
Check in with me from time to time-
-
Robb






Thursday, November 16, 2017

Blog Diary: "Golden" Live: An Affirmation Song Pretty Good To Brush Your Teeth To

Oh fuck, I did not want to get up this morning for the normal reasons. Tons of stress at work, behind on those things others are depending on. Those spreadsheets, finding a car so we don't have to rack up bills on the rental, getting to that podcast and mixing and mastering AND finish recording tracks for my EP, AGE OF DINOSAURS that is due out in a month from now.  All that and my heart is full of thoughts about my loved ones some who are nearly 3000 miles away.

It is funny. Some moves in your life don't seem pivotal at the time you are making them but looking back at certain periods you think maybe that those precise decisions were like shifting a Jenga puzzle and those shifts result into things crashing down. Things that effect others. I guess I feel this in a cosmic sense not in a "I am shit an to blame" sort of way.

Heres to building the Jenga puzzle back up with care and compassion and consideration.

Cheers-
Robb


Monday, November 13, 2017

Album Review: Los Doggies : "Ear Op" Proggy Indie Rock Will Move You


























When Los Doggies aren't expounding on their fashion (see Facebook vid) they are crafting proggy indie rock somewhere in New York. The three piece band latest release is called Ear Op available on 12" vinyl and digitally via Bandcamp and is their first studio effort with local producer, Kevin McMahon (Titus Andronicus, Swans) in upstate Gardiner pounding out sounds in a crusty old barnyard of a studio with a "reverb silo" out back. The EP is inspired by / about in large part Evan Stormo's childhood ear tube operations. He plays plays drums and sings in Los Doggies along with brother Jesse who mans guitar / vocals) and Matt Ross who drives the bass. The three have been making music for a decade.

As I listened to Ear Op with it's both frenetic and kinetic style with syncopated edges that seem to intricately shift in and out of beats in a progressive personal way I thought of bands like Pavement and Built to Spill. The sound is dramatic and freewheeling. The track S'Long is intensely jammy. There is a lead section with ride cymbals highlighting the way that is exquisitely tight (as is the entire track). This song like others seems to meander in an improvisational sort of way and it is cool to follow the boys find their way if that is indeed what is happening.

The title track Ear Op has thick jubilant bloodstreams flowing through it and in this case it is fun to know the back story on the EP and this song and put the lyrical puzzle pieces together. The guitar sounds are bright but attacking and just work so well with the vocal performance. Often times the Stormo brothers sing together and it seems to me to be a part of their sound, a really good part. Los Doggies do not go for conventional compositional styles, don't expect verse verse- chorus- verse- chorus bridge yada yada. Their sense of building songs feels more like a trek down a road and they take you on the adventure. Love the fun sense of this track.


The track Baetyl has an almost majestic air. There is a sense of 70's rock twisted into the proggy indie. It is a good time to describe the general sound on this album. It is pretty stark, big but not over produced. The approach is minimalistic which for me is so KEY here. I mean Los Doggies is a three piece band so when Baetyl explodes into a delicious lead break I appreciate just hearing heavy ass bass and drums holding those notes up on display. NO need for an overdubbed rhythm guitar here. Producer Kevin McMahon makes it heavy as hell but bright too. Great sound here.

There is something about As It Were So that feels somber and uplifting too. The vocal melody style like getting words out before someone shuts the door on you in contrast to the mid tempo open beat works so well. Midway the song becomes quiet only to cry out musically deepening any wounds in such a heavy lovely way.  Would love to hear this track live. It would be such an amazing emotional closer as it is on this album.
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Robb Donker