Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Put Your Pink Headband On and Listen to "Flicker" by The Able Bodies via their Official Video

It is Wednesday and time to get moving. During these hard political and socially trouble times I could stand to take a B positive pill. Yes, I actually wrote that. But truly while we all cannot ignore the unrest or the people hurting or the horrendous situation in Houston being engulfed with rain water, we can attack those important issues with a sense of positivity and even a sense of fun. It is afterall fun to help people. There is no better feeling.

These two guys out of Rochester, New York are spreading good vibes. Known as The Able Bodies, John Viviana, aka Vivitron (Blue Falcon / Filthy funk) and Eli Flynn aka Flynnstone (Upward Groove) blends sounds inspired by their love of synth pop, hip-hop, new wave, funk, jazz and rock coming up with kind of dreamy meets fanciful meets retro indie pop sound. Put on a pink headband and check out Flicker and move.
Robb Donker

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Weeds by Clara Strauch. This Beautiful Orchestral Pop Ballad Seems Especially Relevant Today

Is it just me or are there Weeds growing everywhere. Definitely the cultural / political climate has seemed to let weeds flourish. Everyone is at odds with each other. There are icons of hate in high places and yet we have to persevere and not be afraid to press forward and do the right thing in all aspects of our lives. Persephone is the debut album of Swedish / American singer-songwriter Clara Strauch. The album was recorded at Homefry Studios in Brooklyn, New York. Weeds offer a glimpse into this album inspired by the myth of Persephone, the queen of the underworld in Greek mythology whose fate of eternal traveling created the seasons. Beautiful, dreamy stuff.

 ”Weeds”, which is a pop ballad on piano, featuring sincere, strong vocals accompanied by ethereal strings and trumpet. ”Weeds” is a song about dealing with what we’ve been trying to avoid — "where the weeds grow" — and how petrifying, yet inevitable, it is to break free from a lie. Our sorrows can be portals to our strengths. For Strauch, this especially resonates with coming out of the closet. ”Weeds”
Robb Donker


Clara Strauch leads a life of contrasts. She grew up on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, where she befriended the piano at age five, and began songwriting and guitar playing in her early teens. At eighteen she moved alone to her father’s hometown of New York City, to study acting and singing at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. During this time, she released the EP Doda, played shows in both North and South America, and was featured on Swedish national radio. After five years of hectic city life, she felt the need to return to her peaceful island, and she now splits her time between the two countries — like Persephone. This ongoing bi-cultural smörgåsbord feeds her poetic, sincere, storytelling songs in which her warm, wide-ranged voice explores playful ways of songwriting and singing. Her lyrics often tell stories of loss and the process of letting go of past illusions in order to come home to oneself, such as ”Weeds.” With a background in theater, Strauch has composed scores for the plays Love’s Labour’s Lost at Romateatern — Sweden’s biggest Shakespeare theatre — and The Tempest at Smith Street Stage in Brooklyn, NY. For the latter she was nominated for Outstanding Original Music at The NYITAwards. With Romateatern, she has recently developed a theatre and music program for integration of refugees in Sweden. Strauch has also written the folk musical Wayward Home - A Musical Folktale in collaboration with playwright Maizy Scarpa. Inspired by Noah’s Ark and migration stories, it has been produced at Hubbard Hall and Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York, and The Stonington Opera in Maine.

Friday, August 25, 2017

OFFICIAL DROPS- Lovely Bad Things - "Teenage Grownups" via Burger Records AND Together Pangea's "Bulls and Roosters" via Nettwerk- HEAR Both Here.

What a day. The Lovely Bad Things - "Teenage Grown Ups" (via Burger Records) is finally seeing the light of day. Teaser tracks have been seeping out since mid last year. Also officially out (via Nettwerk) is Together Pangea's "Bulls and Roosters".  It is a lovely thing as both bands have been close to my vest and I am fond of Jonny Bell (Crystal Antlers / Jazzcatz Studio) who recorded Lovely Bad Things and Andrew Schubert who co-produced Bulls and Roosters with the Together Pangea. Congrats to all.

Reviews and more coming up on both but for now hear them both via Youtube streaming:

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tess In Venice - "Show Me Summer" Is Pop Induced, Sparkly and Teary At The Same Time

Oh so cool to hear an early peek from Tess In Venice (Tess Cunningham) - in her new video release for "Show Me Summer" shot in Australia, Ireland and London. The single's official release is September 1st via Midnight Cat Records.

This particular track veers into a more pop vein than Once Upon A Time (that felt more like 90's post rock and darker) that I reported on last year.

I have always liked that Tess explores different flavors to her art and Show Me Summer has a strong free pop framework and (dare I say) I thought a bit of early, early Madonna (my favorite Madonna) because it doesn't feel over thought just care free, dreamy and, yes, with a patina of somberness too like the summer sway is peppered with pieces of a broken heart. Lovely stuff. I love this song.
Robb Donker

Monday, August 21, 2017

Happy Eclipse Days and I Apologize For....

WHOA! Just wanted to say "Happy Eclipse Day" and please be careful especially with all the wee little ones who might not have their glasses on properly and damage there eyes.

Big apologies to those submissions that are stacked on my virtual table and in dire need of attention. There are many and my blog duties have taken a bit of a back seat as I am currently working on 3 new songs for the upcoming "Donker" EP (Age of Dinosaurs) due out December 1st. Apart from that writing some pieces for my Medium Page and curating for the Podcast. This while juggling a very busy day job and personal life too.

Yes, not enough hours in the day. I was thinking about that when in the middle of the day I was sawing up a couch in the garage that no one will take and has a date for the dumpster. What a life, huh??

I posted an incomplete song on the AP Facebook page- check it out-- Will it make the EP cut? I haven't decided, it sure is a bit different for me. Some info on the post about how I ended up putting images from the Virgin Suicides with it.

Thanks for all you who are supporting the blog, the podcast and my music.
Love you-



Monday, August 14, 2017

American Pancake Radioshow PODCAST # 8: Athen's Pop Fest and Juggling Too Many Balls

It has been a couple of weeks since the last Podcast as my busy life seems to have gotten even more busy. It has been a combination of longer hours at the proverbial day job that can spill over into less time to work on songs for the new Donker EP set to drop before Christmas which then spills over into not keeping up with submissions to this here blog which then spill over into certain such home life chores as in taking care of certain car repairs to purchases that are time sensitive for recording Daws upgrades to taking care of actual important Governmental concerns to then circle back around to delaying some day job work thingies that I could better do at home!  A vicious revolving circle to time death. And time is so fleeting as it is. But enough complaining.

On to the Podcast. On the heals of seeing Blondie, Garbage and Deep Valley several days ago at Chastain Park Amphitheatre I also attended DAY 3 of the Athen's Pop Fest which is just a cool event in a very cool town. When you are in Athen's you must visit and purchase vinyl over at Wuxtry Records which has been helping to shape the music scene since 1976 and was voted in the top 25 of the best record stores in the country by Rolling Stone magazine. Grabbed great drinks and food at the Globe, got literally soaked to the bone by a typical Georgia torrential rain downpour so much so that I had to change clothes and missed the first band and then finally got over the historic iconic Georgia Theatre that quickly became my favorite venue of it's size ever. I also feature the luscious psych rock of Leaf, the amazing deep hooks and narrative of Sarah Bethe Nelson, the Indie pop prowess of Real Estate and a big fat shameless plug for some of my musical stuff!

Seeing Superchunk, meeting Kelly Deal and more-- so awesome. Check out PODCAST #8- (great for listening at work too!!)
Robb Donker

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Canto- "Say It Out LOUD" Dark Surf Psych Rock contains Emotional Magic

Say It Out Loud- those words conjure up many things steeped in emotional magic. Like the mere saying of something like "I love you" or "I will drive your sister to San Francisco" will make it set in stone, will make your intentions so real that if you are not telling the truth dire things can happen. It also makes me think of horror movies when the utterance of something will bring dark consequences. And, now it makes me think of Canto, three brothers out of Pasadena, California who are in sync when it come to their potent dark surf / psych rock. Say It Out Loud is from their latest EP release called Limbs.

Seamus (lead vocals/ guitar), David (drums) and Aidan (bass) have been making music together for years. Limbs has different flavors but they all possess pearly guitar, lushs bass runs and evocative vocals. Sad Dreams is appropriately dream with the guitar lines floating so cooly, Violence is so jaggedly sharp and edgy, I'll Never Know is sultry in it's rock persona and Say It Out Loud is, well, you decide for yourself. Look for Canto on tour this month and you can learn more about them at

Robb Donker

Friday, August 4, 2017

BANDCAMP Will Donate 100% of Sales to The Transgender Law Center This Friday, Aug 4th- I Invite All Bandcamp Artists To Double Down This Friday


As a new member of the Bandcamp family I am so incredibly proud of Bandcamp as a company when they announced that this FRIDAY, yes, this FRIDAY Aug 4th Bandcamp will be donating 100% of their share of every sale made. So this is a grand opportunity to support artists whom you love as well as the Transgender Law Center (you can read more about their important mission below). I encourage Bandcamp artists to double down on Friday by donating their share of any sale of any specific song or album of theirs. To do my part I will give 100% of any Bandcamp revenue of Shadow Box Butterfly, a song dedicated to those in the LGBT community and anyone else who is fighting to be their true-self in a world that can sometimes not be so accepting of who they are, to the Transgender Law Center not only on Friday but for the entire month of August. I will also give 50% of the sale of my album Dying Star to the cause as well for the entire month of August. I encourage YOU to do the same. Please check out the important information in the Bandcamp Press Release Below.


Bandcamp is a platform for artistic expression, and all manner of variance in experience and identity, including gender and sexuality, is welcome here. We support our LGBT+ users and staff, and we stand against any person or group that would see them further marginalized. This includes the current U.S. administration, and its recent capricious declaration that transgender troops will no longer be able to serve in the military. That this announcement was motivated in part to help fund the border wall exposes it as part of the administration’s cynical, discriminatory agenda.
In response, we will be donating 100% of our share of every sale on Friday, August 4th (from midnight to midnight Pacific Time) to the Transgender Law Center, a nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to change law, policy, and culture for the more equitable. TLC does critical policy advocacy and litigation on multiple fronts, fights for healthcare for trans veterans, defends incarcerated trans people from abuse in prisons and detention centers, supports trans immigrants, and helps trans youth tell their stories and build communities.
When an Executive Order was issued earlier this year barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States, we held a wildly successful fundraiser for the ACLU. We hope you’ll join us in now doing the same in support of trans rights. To participate as a fan, simply purchase music through Bandcamp on Friday and we’ll donate our share of the sale to TLC. To participate as an artist or label, send some or all of your share of Friday’s sales directly to TLC here, and let us know your plan in the comments below so that we can help spread the word. Thank you!
—Bandcamp Staff

Thursday, August 3, 2017

AP Song of the Day: Dylan Hicks: Days of Dayton, Nights of Columbus - Listen to his Beautifully Slightly Bent Stories

Dylan Hicks hails out of Minneapolis where he hangs with his beautiful wife and child while putting his illustrious and slightly bent thoughts down or paper. Those thoughts eventually become novels, or fiction pieces / essays for numerous periodicals such as the Village Voice, the New York Times, New England Review, the Guardian and more and many of his thoughts become immortal lyrics in his songs that are too quite illustrious and slightly bent.

Dylan has a new album called Ad Out coming out in the fall (more on that in subsequent posts) but for now fall into his beautiful funk and listen to the song of the day: Days of Dayton, Nights of Columbus from his album Dylan Hicks Sings Bolling Greene. After you hear the song of the day go to his Bandcamp here and push play on the entire album. It goes down easy and afterward you will be glad you listened to Hick's stories.
Robb Donker

Side Notes: Vocally Dylan reminds me a bit of Ryan Sambol (formerly of the Strange Boys)