Sunday, May 27, 2012
Dreamers' City of Hope is an absolute 'grab you by the balls' pile driver of a song. Potent and unflinching it brings to mind bands like Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction. This project is the brainchild of Megan Gold and Robbie Williamson from the performance art driven "We are the World" and one can only imagine where this creatively possessed duo will eventually take Dreamers.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Heyward Howkins truly waxes poetic on his debut Album "The Hale and Hearty" spinning musical tales that more often than not feel more like sonic art pieces than songs. With a crisp clear vocal performance that is as malleable as mercury, and lyrics that can stray into some obtuse passages, he is very much the whimsical story teller leading you down his own rabbit hole. There are eleven songs on display here and all are totally engaging. The production flourishes can sometimes induce "whaaat?" but these surprising musical choices all work. For example, in Plume and Orange the melodic structure weaves tightly with the guitar work and syncopated drum beat only to give way to an uplifting middle section that feels so free that it induces chills- only to give way to tasty musical breaks complete with a Farfisa sounding organ that harkins back to something you might here in a post punk 79-ish Elvis Costello song. It is a heady, brilliant production and the great thing is it feels like jazz in the sense that these seemingly "out of left field" musical accompaniments (that are sprinkled throughout this album) do not feel overly wrought or overly composed but more like flashes of creative inspirations.
I love Wes Anderson films. The Raucous Calls of Morning (the 6th track) simply belongs in one of Wes' films. It has this beautiful sweeping feel with it's stair stepping piano and glossy harmonies floating around Heyward's bittersweet vocals, "The raucous calls of morning won't beat on your door... and I'm not on board with back and forth...to keep accord we hammer toward not being so hard". The dreamy title track Hale and Hearty with lyrics that can perplex moves sweetly to a big conclusion. Spanish Moss seems to speak of two cultures that collide or do they? Again, the lyrics are open to interpretation but Heywood sparkles with the well phrased melodies. In The Live Oak the guitar lines at times verge on the fringe of what could be a Thom Yorke composition but only for seconds as Heyward is not content to stay in one place for very long letting this musical arc feel like a free form mini surreal movie.
There is much more to gleam on The Hale and Hearty like the hobo train feel of "Cocaine Bill" or "Hudson Piers" that plays like a amalgam of 1920's ragtime/ porch blues/ dance hall music or the exhilarating glammy pop of "Flash Mob"- "street steam... mimics a movie's mystique... when police bring heat and the only thing packed was your keys and your teeth... in a hoody you save for occasions like these."
In the end, The Hale and Hearty is a brilliant piece of work. The songs exist as orchestrations of sorts, each element important to the puzzle. Heyward's vocals also serve as an instrument of sorts as his fluid tone and vocal style are central to each song even if the lyrics can, at times, seem not to make sense. One wonders if the sounds of the words are really more important then their meaning. To me, the lyrical poetry is solid and the interpretive nature of the songwriting only stirs the imagination.
Bravo Mr. Heyward Howkins for this truly inspired, original piece of art.
Heyward Howkins Facebook
The Lovely Bad Things- Video Update- Help The So Cal Rockers get to Primavera Sound Festival and represent!
AP reported on The Lovely Bad Things plight a couple of weeks ago. The So Cal indie rockers are invited to play at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona but barely have enough money to fill up their Lovely Bad Van's gas tank let alone fly over to Spain. With the lovely support of fans and friends they have raised about $1200. The clock is ticking away- getting down to the wire so donate if you can! According to their Indiegogo page, the trip will cost about $6000. Check out it out here: HELP LOVELY BAD THINGS GET TO PRIMAVERA SOUND
American Pancake would like to help the cause. If you donate $100, you can advertise on our side bar for 6 months. Advertise the release of your album, your service or just your mug- anything as long as it is legal.
Do you have a band and need a music video?? AP will produce one for you. Just donate $250- and AP will help you come up with a concept, execute it, fully edit and help to distribute across the webosphere! Will you get a zillion dollar video. No but it will be creative and awesome. Email AP @firstname.lastname@example.org for details!
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Screaming Females covering "If It Makes You Happy" (Sheryl Crow) is pretty mind blowing but then Screaming Females could probably cover any song and elevate it to cult status. Marissa's big wailing vocals blows you back like an air raid siren and her delicious guitar licks, her prowess with her instrument is mind numbing. Awesome as usual. We love you Marissa!
Courtesy of AV CLUB:
Screaming Females cover Sheryl Crow
Looking like cowboy vagabonds among the stately saguaro cactus, the Kingston Springs perform a beautiful live version of "Lover". The sweet harmonica and harmonies along with the soft desert silhouettes only add to the appeal. Very cool.
-- Adler Bloom
Filmed & recorded at Saguaro National Park in Tucson, AZ in March 2012.
Directed by: Jeff Gentner
The Kingston Springs Facebook
Saturday, May 12, 2012
On their 2010 debut Album Crazy For You, Best Coast (front woman/songwriter Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno) were those high school kids who did not go to the Prom (60's style of course) but were content to smoke those funny cigarettes outside while cracking wise on the kids walking into the gymnasium. On this second outing, The Only Place, they are still the same kids but cleaned up, looking fab, crashing the party and catching everyone's eye. The glossy transition from one to another is drastic due to the beautiful production on this record but on some of the songs this beautiful swan approach is not always a good thing. The title song, "The Only Place" sounds a bit like a song that was sanctioned by the California Tourism Board- "Why would you live anywhere else... got the ocean, got the babes, got the sun, got the waves... this is the only place"- the clean production free of any sarcastic edge either musically or vocally doesn't help. The same case is true for "No One Like You". It is a charming slow dance late 50's tear jerker of a song and done so straight up and true to the form, even lyrically, that is lacks emotional weight. Other songs fare much better. The dancy feel of "My Life" juxtaposed with the semi tortured lyrics of a life that (at the moment) might suck so much that you dream of going back to better days- "to go back in time, make what's wrong feel right"- plays well and ends too soon. I, for one, like to wallow in my pain a bit longer. "Last Year" (by Best Coast standards) is a down tempo song, downtrodden and a bit sullen and Bethany Cosentino trades in words for "la di dahs" at the end giving the impression that she doesn't even have the energy to muster out words. For a song that is seemingly stewing in self loathing and depression it hits you in the gut, not hard mind you, but still packs a punch. "Better Girl" has a wonderful swing to it and Bethany has a bitter snarl buried in her pretty vocal performance which gives this song the needed bite. "Do You Love Me Like You Used To" has an almost rockabilly groove and a chorus that sounds live and vital. This is one of my favorite songs on the album. "Let's Go Home" also edges into the rockabilly side of things and Bethany's vocal bed (which sounds like she is harmonizing with herself) sounds incredible. I could actually see Best Coast leaning heavily toward this sound (think an indie rock Louise Burns) with great effect. Hmmm, maybe on the next record.
A very Random Video selection: "The Kick" is an instrumental composition that stirred in my brain the morning after I saw Inception. I literally wrote it in about 10 minutes from the sounds I had in my head. I posted it up for the hell of it and haven't been back to the post for awhile. Nice to see nice comments and the occasional "this sucks" that also pop up in the comments section. Check it out and let me know what you all think.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
"Worst Enemy" by Cusses (a 3 piece power house of a band from Savannah, Georgia) is an edgy rock song that will surely implant in your brain. It is unabashedly straight forward rock, not draped in garage or post punk clothes. Fronted by Angel Bond who exhibits good vocal chops with a raspy bite, the assault is full on with trancy guitar breaks, heavy power chords a plenty and thick drums. The verse progression alone with it's sultry guitar line and Angel's scowling melody pull you in. Have a listen, but I warn you, you will be singing this, replaying it in your mind for days to come.
Check out their FACEBOOK
A new Album is in the works
May 17 - Nashville, TN - The Rutledge
May 18 - Chattanooga, TN - JJ's Bohemia
May 19 - Columbus, GA - Downstairs @ The Loft
May 31 - Savannah, GA - The Jinx
June 1 - Charlotte, NC - The Evening Muse
June 2 - Asheville, NC - The Lexington Ave Brewery June 15 - Chattanooga, TN - JJ's Bohemia
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Visually, Noel Fiedling Luxury Comedy TV show (which premiered in the UK on January 2012) is part acid trip, part Pee Wee's Playhouse and part HR Puff and Stuff. The fodder for all the insanity runs the gamut but what is really fun is all the cross pop cultural references. I especially like the manta-ray record producer Tony Reason who waxes philosophically about the music biz, name dropping all the while. But he is one of the insanely creative characters on display. Brilliant, heady, often times hilarious stuff indeed, whether you are stoned or sober.
Written by Nigel Coan and Noel Fielding
Starring: Noel Fielding, Michael Fielding, Tom Meeten, Dolly Wells, Rich Fulcher and Richard Ayode.
Music Composers: sergio Pizzorno and Noel Fielding
Should one wrestle with their demons or dance with them? Tim Burgess, the lead singer for The Charlatans, a brilliant solo artist in his own right, songwriter, obsessive record collector and now published author has a lot to tell in his book "Telling Stories." I have not read his book yet but I intend to. Until then I will be enamored with the Soundcloud links below as I hope you will be too.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
The passing of Adam Nathaniel Yauch at the young age of 47 not only reminds us all of our own mortality but reminds us that The Beastie Boys cut a hip hop swath through the musical landscape forging paths for many artists to follow. 1986's Licensed to ILL was the first rap album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. It remained numero uno for 5 solid weeks. The rest is hip hop history. As a fitting tribute to Adam Yauch, songwriter, musician, director and freedom fighter- AP created a Beastie Boy playlist. RIP Adam.
1979: Jimi / 1983 Cookie Puss / 1985 She's On it / 1986 No Sleep Til Brooklyn / 1989 Shake Your Rump / 1989 Hey Ladies / 1992 Gratitude / 1992 So What Cha Want / 1994 Roots Down / 1994 Sabotage / 1998 Body Movin / 1998 Intergalactic / 2004 Ch-check It Out / 2007 Off the Grid / 2011 Fight For Your Right to Party Revisited
Friday, May 4, 2012
If you have been to a Lovely Bad Things show you probably left sweaty and smiling. LA Weekly named their latest EP New Ghosts / Old Waves as one of the Top 5 L.A. Punk Albums of 2011 - Kevin Bronson from Buzzbands says they "are so much fun that you'll want to bottle your sweat for next time" - Rollo and Grady named them in their list of 112 bands to watch at SXSW- AND now, The So Cal quartet has been invited to play at Primavera Sound 2012, one of the largest music festivals in Spain. If you are an up and coming band that sounds like good news right? Well not if you have no funds to get there soooo... The Lovely Bad Things are offering up guitarist Tim Hatch's butt in hopes of raising money to play Primavera. More specifically, if you donate a rather large amount of money, your full name will be tattooed on Mr. Hatch's ass cheek for eternity! The Info on Indiegogo (a Kickstarter type website) assures us that they are not joking! Of course, you can donate whatever you want but the window of opportunity is fleeting as the Primavera is at the end of May / Early June. Camron and Brayden Ward, Tim Hatch and Lauren Curtius do seem to have a pretty intense relationship with their fan base, their shows some times turn into back and forth "I love YOU so much!" battles so it is not unlikely that they will be able to raise the $6000 needed to make the trip. As the time clock counts down on Indiegogo (28 days and counting)- take a look at their video plea: (by the way, the cat in the video is none other than Kevin who the Lovely Bad Things song "Kevin" is named after)
If you love the Lovely Bad Things- You can Donate here: Indiegogo link and help them out- AND check out the perks for high cash donations which will get you everything from having the next Album named after YOU or playing a show at YOUR house.
Way to go Lovely Bad Things!!
Thursday, May 3, 2012
The Kingston Springs out of Nashville, TN create music that is at once brand new yet strangely familiar like that cool jacket you find at a vintage store. Kinston Springs music is rooted in a solid foundation of roots rock and rhythmn and blues all the while cutting through with an indie edge.
KINGSTON SPRINGS FACEBOOK
"Aí Então" by Mônica da Silva is breezy, free and easy. Think samba, indie pop, folk and bossa nova tossed in a blender with sugar cane spirit, crushed lime, white sugar and ice. This song is as tasty as A Da Silva Caipirinha!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Tim Burton's Dark Shadows does look like a lot of fun. The wonderfully askew director does seems to revel in the dysfunctional family (remember Beetlejuice) and apart from the fact that his version happily twists the Dark Shadows gothic soap opera (that ran on ABC from 1966 to 1971) on it's campy head, it looks to me that this send up will easily exist on it's own even for those who are not aware of the television show. One can only hope that this current movie will cause a resurgence in Dark Shadows the gothic soap opera which is really so awful that it is downright hilarious.
Guitarist / Singer -songwriter Blake Mills paints in blue collar water colors depicting hardships along with sullen hope in "It'll All Work Out." The percussive picking and skilled guitar work embrace the edgy lyrics and emotional story line like your best friend holding you up after you've had one too many.
Sweet, sweet music.