Monday, July 31, 2017

AP- Song of The Day - "Bad Machine" by Elastic Sheep

from the Elastic Sheep Facebook Page
Dreamy Irish self described cine pop band Elastic Sheep has been on the periphery of my soundscape for a while but I haven't fully dived in. From what I have heard I need to as their blend of noise pop meets ambient rock meets arena rock meets dream pop is so inviting. Their sound is pretty, dramatic and envelopes slowly until you are immersed in the dynamic sonic fray. When I first heard the track Bad Machine I thought of Beach House on acid.

-Robb Donker

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Wild Honey Pie Presents: WELCOME CAMPERS!!! Get Your Tickets and Bug Spray!!

Summer Camp like as in a real summer camp. My memories are of 6th grade summer camp which was mandatory and which was part fun and part terrifying for a kid like me who had not really been away from my family. NOW this camp put on by The Wild Honey Pie sound amazing! I usually just don't paste up press releases but this info is just to precise to get wrong and I want to serve it up right so you can get your tickets and bug spray ready.
Robb Donker

(Brooklyn, NY) (Brooklyn, NY) The music and event curators at The Wild Honey Pie are preparing to host their celebrated, 5th annual Welcome Campers experience this upcoming September 8th through the 10th. Hailed as one of the most influential music blogs in the world, The Wild Honey Pie continues to transcended beyond the conventions of the traditional online site with a forward thinking approach to artfully executed video content and unique, intimate and thoughtfully crafted events with Welcome Campers serving as its flagship.

Returning to Camp Lenox in Western Massachusetts, Welcome Campers is a one-of-a-kind experience, eschewing the large, modern music festival model for a weekend of spotlight performances amidst an array of outdoor activities reminiscent of summers past.

Weekend passes include free meals (plus access to food trucks), lodging, musical performances around camp and summer camp activities such as kayaking, arts and crafts, tennis, nature hikes, campfires, volleyball, basketball, kickball and more.

Be on the lookout for more announcements ahead of Welcome Campers 2017.

Partner sponsors for Welcome Campers 2017 include Way Better Snacks and AdHoc.

The Wild Honey Pie links:

Welcome Campers tickets:

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Together Pangea - "Money On It" - Metamorphosize Once Again

I can feel it, I really can. Southern California's Together Pangea are on the cusp. They have been there before but now it feels more real like they are moments away from blowing up. It could be a song or two gracing a feature film (their song "Sick Shit" soundtracked a trailer for HBO's Animals), or an appearance on James Corden or some other defining moment but it will be something. Good for them. I have watched then from afar and sometimes from very close having shot numerous videos of their live shows since 2009. I have reveled in their auditory exorcisms especially the punk juggernaut Living Dummy been quietly moved by their Killer Dreams EP and simply blown away by the song Offer from 2014's Badillac. At the core of Together Pangea are William Keegan's songwriting and sandpaper voice that can be potently snarky but imbued with a deep vulnerability as well.

Their latest public offering, "Money On It", the second track off of their forthcoming record Bulls and Roosters continues the band's metamorphosis. The (dare I say) safer sound works. When I first heard it I actually thought of Kevin Morby a bit. Maybe it was the classic late 60's soul groove or the downbeat strums. Keegan's vocals feel timeless here. The guitar licks that ghost the vocals are pretty damn sweet. They have come a long way from their cum stained punk bravado of years ago but the thing with Keegan and the boys is that they can shift and move quite effortlessly between all their colors and it's all fucking beautiful.
Robb Donker

Friday, July 28, 2017

Ready For The Eclipse, Missing My Beard, Podcast #7, Fond and Plastic Fantastic, Trump Implosion

As I sit eating Cornflakes at 5:30 this morning I am contemplating the future. I am dedicating my cynical self to be positive about the future. The Trump administration is imploding in front of our (the world's) eyes and it isn't even fun to watch. It is downright painful. I am reminded of the psychologists saying that sometimes people who are in a cycle of self destruction sometimes have to hit rock bottom in order to save themselves. I figure maybe that is what the US government is doing. I think things will be ok.

Positive vibes. I am sending them and soaking in them as much as I can lately. As you face challenges and your loved ones endure pain and push through the pain to find those opportunities and dream makers out in the world remember that you have to fail many times over before you succeed. It is just part of the journey and as long as your loved ones give you hugs and kisses and support then you can make it. I know this to be true.

In my world of music and music blogging and such Podcast #7 is up. I hope you check it out and also search for Tuckshop Community Radio. Jack Bacon runs such a cool podcast and has many exciting things in the works including a regular stint on London Radio. How cool is that. I still contribute to both and feel so fortunate that he allows me to invade the program with my song suggestions and babbling talk. Going to be having some exciting things in store for Podcast #8 too.

I just released a single on Bandcamp. A-side is FOND and the B-side is PLASTIC FANTASTIC. Both songs are special to me and full of personal stories. It feels good to get them out and I included them as bonus tracks on the Dying Star album which is cool because now I feel like it is a full fledged ten song album (as opposed to an EP).

The future is today. As soon as a second approaches we experience it and it becomes a memory. Time does move incredibly fast when you think about it. As I get older I want to hold on to each precious memory. It is easy to forget that we all can touch someone's life and make a difference. Make a small difference today. Feel up not down and push closer to find what the universe has to offer.

And rock on.
Robb Donker
(please check out the links below and if you enjoy it let me know- hit me on Facebook or Instagram.

Plastic Fantastic Lyrics Video

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Song for today- "Four Portraits" by Vansire

Every now and then the talky- megaphone-ish or "on the cellphone" vocal just enamores me and it does on "Four Portraits" by Vansire. AND to be honest - this kind of vocal or not this song is so fucking dreamy and beautiful. The synths and  or guitar break at the end just lifts you up and takes you away to a big hug of a place. LOVE this track.
Robb Donker  (FYI- Vansire hails from Rochester, Minnesota- check out their Facebook.

Monday, July 24, 2017

In The Valley Below - "Bloodhands (Oh My Fever) Rocks

In The Valley Below's new video for "Bloodhands (Oh My Fever)" is dripping with a gothic Hammer Films uncomfortableness. Like 70's British horror where everyone acts so properly insane there are kids playing with voodoo dolls, a stately manor and guests who seem to be engaging with either their fears or their secret passions. The song is just plain delicious with a bit of an 80's Eurythmics tone but a hell of a lot beefier. Embedded in the rock tones are deep soulful grooves. Jeffrey Jacobs guitar hooks are just that and Angela Gail's vocal performance (along with Jacobs) feels kind of detached but beautiful like the song demands. Very cool. I haven't heard the Elephant EP that this track comes from but will soon enough especially after hearing Bloodhands (Oh My Fever).

- Robb Donker


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Night Talks - In Dreams Floods Your Senses

When I listen to Night Talks' songs Jungle or Green there is a certain melodrama to their sound. Their songs play like movies with a sense of seething emotions whether it be betrayal or envy. This with their almost torch song meets prog rock pop aesthetic I would describe their sound as pop noir. Their track In Dreams while more chill, more melancholy, still possesses an over reaching cinematic tone in the story telling. Front woman Soraya who can deliver a bite when needed instead tempers her formidable vocal chops with beautiful longing. Enjoy below.
Robb Donker

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Wall Of Ears' "Hello Beautiful Nothing" is Really Something

When I interviewed C.W. Lott (the mastermind behind Seattle's Wall of Ears) several weeks ago he talked about surrealism and his obsessions with "alien" consciousness and UFOlogy and how his three year labor of love (the album) "Hello Beautiful Nothing" was written with the mantra of embracing the void. He talked about trying to clean his mind of all thoughts during the writing process and when sounds, ideas and lyrics came to him that while these trinkets were probably in his subconscious it was (for him) fun and mystical to think that the creative fodder might actually come from a higher level transmitted to him through the fabric of space and time from who knows where. It is trippy thinking full of possibilities and even taken as a pure exercise to foster creativity can feel mind blowing. It is no wonder that "Hello Beautiful Nothing" bristles with and oftentimes explodes with  a trippy vastness that feels at once down to earth and organic but also like from the great beyond all the while dripping with a lush psych pop-ness.

From the get go Sea Legs with it's trippy organ and cool embracing beat you know you are going to take a journey. C.W. Lott's falsetto fills in the voids perfectly carried on a chill bass line and washes of vocals and trippy guitar. There is an unmistakable world cadence and tone to Ray Gun. It is sultry and soaring "you change me... I feel you transmutate my blood... making me stranger" and as multicolored as an Indian Tapestry. Apart from the spaciness on the album there is a solid very Brit 80's pop feel on some of the tracks and We Go Outside feels in that mode. I thought of Duran Duran and it oozes a cool black leather vibe. Mind Moves is just plain delicious as funky pop and stoned cool as Mac DeMarco but also has dashes of Roxy Music. Put Mind Moves on repeat for an hour and feel your stress level dissipate so much that you could literally slide under a lock door (or at least imagine it).

When Talker comes on it feels like such a heady experience. You are carried off somewhere to another place and time. It feels vast and vampy too like a cagey escapade through a safari through Marrakesh. The lead guitar is so exquisitely fun.  Floating Off The Line is super lush and the chorus refrain "I've been floating off the line of what's real... do I feel how X feels" leaves questions unanswered and open to a myriad of interpretations. The way I like it. Lyrics can be poetic or not. Some might read like a diary. People's lives gutted and on display. C.W. Lott's words (at least on this collection of songs) for me feels like bright imaginings. Emotions carried in bits of science fiction on static filled screens. That doesn't mean that they don't say anything and in fact this type of songwriting sometimes says everything. Scattered thoughts that the listener can pick through and take for themselves.

Balloon In The Sky feels surf rocky at times and also feels coyly like a song on a Grindhouse flick.
C.W. Lott expressed his absolute love with Brit rock and the slight British accent when he sings is amplified in Don't Ya Know which feels a bit like The Kinks circa 1970. The psych rock tone of Ooze Out leans heavily toward the hippie side of things. The song itself feels like a movement steeped in a Timothy Leary high.

My favorite song on "Hello Beautiful Nothing" is Brain Thaw. It is a big lush slap of art rock. Blended in this romantic Brit-pop psychedelia is a bottom heavy back beat of 50's doo wop flavors that feel like Americana rock in that Phil Spector or Springsteen vein. This heartfelt blend is what makes this song so very special. The wall of sound, the early rock piano and vocal melody has a starry eyed optimism to it. Something that we all need to swim in from time to time and soak in especially at these crazy unpredictable times.  Get "Hello Beautiful Nothing" push play and immerse yourself.

Robb Donker

See Bandcamp link and link to the C.W. Interview below:

Friday, July 7, 2017

...Spilled Wax Making a Rorschach Pattern On The Floor. But What Does It Say?

MAN O MAN life, as of late, has felt like a long sleepless inebriated weekend of scattered brained-ness. So many things to do, candles burning at both ends to the point of burning out with spilled wax making a Rorschach pattern on the floor. But what does it fucking say??

Hope to get back into a more healthy return of being productive on the blog, on the podcast, and yes the songs for the upcoming EP-

Hang in their with me boys and girls.

sending out good vibes and love-


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Shannon And The Clams- "It's Too Late" Will Put A Smile On Your Face and A Shimey Shake On Your Hips

I can feel it. Shannon and The Clams are about to ascend to that place that rarified place of full on public consciousness and a stint on SNL. I just get this sense that this will happen soon. It is not only that they have grown a huge following since 2009 and it is not only that Hardly Arts Records has done right with these guys it is a sense that their blend of doo wop punk and rockabilly aesthetics is needed right now when the world is going nuts and Trump is actually (throwing up in my mouth a bit) the President of these United States.

Their new song "It's Too Late" is a delicious diversion. Gritty sound. I just love it.
Robb Donker