Tuesday, October 31, 2017

C'mon Guys Help Your Sister Out - Lydia Night of the Regrettes Attacked By Woman at the Growlers Six Festival

Let's get to the point. Some asshole apparently abused other concert goers and climbed on stage and violently pushed down Lydia Night of the Regrettes in the middle of a song at the Growler's Six Festival. Who knows why. It is so unfortunate and I really feel for Lydia. It nust of been really scary especially at these uncertain times. I am also so very shocked at the seemingly slow motion reaction of not only security but of Lydia's bandmates. Hey, I understand. Many musicians are not the agressive type, they are (as a whole) lovers not fighters but seeing them stand almost motionless during this crazy attack made my mind go numb. A band should be like a family and family members protect each other.

Feely better Lydia!
Robb Donker

Responding on Instagram, Night wrote: “Being a performer is one of the most vulnerable things you can do. The last thing I want to worry about during a performance is being in danger in any way. The stage should always feel like a safe space for self expression and art. Yesterday, someone invaded my safe space in an aggressive manner and that is absolutely not okay. Thank you for all of your concern and love. I am still pretty shocked about what went down, but I will be totally fine. I did not know the girl who attacked me. I was told she was on a lot of drugs and mistook me for someone else. Love you all and I’ll see you next month on the east coast.”

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sego - The Track Sucker / Saint Has a Lot of Levels to Enjoy

As the story goes, singer / guitarist Spencer Peterson had planned on writing songs for other artists but that didn't happen. He met Thomas Carroll who was drumming in another band at a kind of battle of the bands thing in Provo, Utah where they were from. Shortly after that the two headed off to California. At some point their band became just a duo and while I am not clear if Sego was the full band that became two or if the two became Sego. Whatever the origin story is I do know that I am infinitely happy that Spencer and Thomas found each other. My introduction to Sego was the track Sucker / Saint and the attraction was immediate like the first time I saw Scarlet Johannsson on screen.

Push play on Sucker / Saint and the beginning feels like 60's Detroit rock with Southern rock guitars finding their way. Once Spencer's vox come in it feels earthy and masculine. Still tinged with an almost Woodstockian late 60's jag it stirs in pychedelic strains meets massive motor city down beats. When the "carry on, carry on" refrain start it is like Crosby, Still, Nash and Young. The track is a delicious time machine and sounds so fucking real and refreshing. Love this track from start to finish.

As my curiosity got me discoverying more about these guys on their Bandcamp it became apparent that Sego has a lot of sides. Their 2016 full length debut "Once Was Lost Now Just Hanging Around" has about as many flavors as a Sees Candies box (Engineer Amnesia is quietly blowing my mind). That, specific sound on Sucker / Saint is but one facet in their musical DNA. I have a lot to listen to and I hope you do too. For now check out Sucker / Saint below. Also check out Sego's latest video via the NPR Link HERE - my instagram about them below and below that a link to Sucker / Saint via their Bandcamp page. Enjoy boys and girls.
Robb Donker

Thursday, October 26, 2017

BLANK CITY RECORDS ANNOUNCES “SOME GHOULS EP” SPLIT HALLOWEEN RELEASE FEATURING TRUE GHOULS & SEA GHOULS Released On Strictly Limited Edition Vintage Medical X-Ray Pressing, Ghoulish Green Flexi & Digital Release On October 31st

Split EP To Be Released On Strictly Limited Edition Vintage Medical X-Ray Pressing, Ghoulish Green Flexi & Digital Release On October 31st

Los Angeles-based X-Ray Record Label specialists, Blank City Records, will release its latest EP, Some Ghouls, featuring local Los Angeles “Rock’N’Roll Ghouls” True Ghouls and Sea Ghouls as a very limited edition split release pressing on used medical X-Rays, Ghoulish Green Flexi & Digital on Halloween October 31st 2017. Pre-order the digital version of the record now for only $1.99 at iTunes: http://apple.co/2zmckS7.   

True Ghouls is Lauren Andino, Derek Mabra and Wesley Thatcher. Friends playing respectively in their own shoegaze and darkwave bands in Brooklyn, circa 2010 they decided to combine forces in revisiting their teenage punk rock skateboarding roots to create True Ghouls. Now reunited in Los Angeles they are releasing a new witches cauldron concoction of skuzzy sludge rock to move your skeleton bones to in the track “Muscles And Bugs”.

Sea Ghouls formed in South Gate, CA in the spring of 2013. The group has been driven by a collective commitment to short memorable songs and raw production values. “We feel this is a direct reflection of our influences, a few of which include the Gun Club, Rolling Stones, Violent Femmes, Hank Williams, Lee Hazlewood, the Velvet Underground, and the Stooges,” says Sea Ghouls frontman Max Fields. “The songs ‘Warren’ and Sunday Afternoon’ were chosen for this release because they are the best representation of what we try to do as an ensemble.”

BCR003X X-Ray & BCR00F Flexi release info featuring two tracks – one from each band:

Release Title: Some Ghouls EP Digital Tracklisting:
1. True Ghouls - Muscles And Bugs
2. Sea Ghouls - Warren
3. Sea Ghouls - Sunday Afternoon

4. True Ghouls - Muscles And Bugs ("Empty Grave" Remix by IYEARA)

i. True Ghouls “Muscles And Bugs”
Music and lyrics written by True Ghouls.
Recorded & Produced by Travis Pavur & Aaron Zee at Golden Beat Recording studios.
Additional Production by Noah Harmon at Blank City Records in Los Angeles, CA.
Mixed & Mastered by Erik Wofford.

ii. Sea Ghouls “Warren”
Written, produced and mixed by Sea Ghouls.
Recorded by Alvin Gonzalez. 
Mastered by Erik Wofford.

The first 13 copies of the X-Ray edition of the release will come with a limited edition deluxe “13 of 13” Halloween treat bags of candy and Halloween goodies and special green ink artwork.
The physical release also comes with a dropcard featuring the full digital release of the EP that includes a remix of True Ghouls’ “Muscles And Bugs” by IYEARA, a new UK electronic three-piece formed by The Duke Spirit guitarist Toby Butler, producer Malcolm Carson, and singer Paul O'Keefe.

Live Dates
True Ghouls and Sea Ghouls will be playing live as Blank City Records presents a special Halloween show at Harvard & Stone on “Devil’s Night’ Monday October 30th featuring special ghoulish guests, True Ghouls, Sea Ghouls and Dead Dawn PLUS all vinyl Blank City DJs.
Monday “Devil’s Night” October 30th 2017 - Blank City Records presents… @ Harvard And Stone, Los Angeles, CA. 8pm to 2am

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fever High Premieres "Good Advice (ft. Jeff Goldblum)" at Interview Magazine Adam Schlesinger-produced Album FHNY out 11/10

YES, it's come to this-
Robb Donker 

On November 10th, Brooklyn's FEVER HIGH will release their long-awaited full length album, FHNY, which expands further on the danceable, retro-tinged sound that The Guardian described as "iridescent and infectious." Today Interview Magazine premiered the album's second single "Good Advice (ft. Jeff Goldblum)," which they called a "fizzy blast of electro-pop."

The duo - multi-instrumentalists Reni Lane and Anna Nordeen - made their debut with last year's critically acclaimed All Work EP. They found fans in places like NPR MusicBitch Media, and Nerdist, who said who said "if it doesn't make you flex your butt cheeks and swing your hips wildly from side to side, then you should probably consult a physician." 

Reni explains of the Jeff Goldblum connection, “I knew Jeff through our mutual friend Vincent D’Onofrio. We bonded over our mutual love of jazz piano and stayed in touch. When we sent him ‘Good Advice’ and asked him to improvise something, to my delight he sent us an 8 minute rant of hilarious anecdotes about bad advice he’d been given in his career.”
FHNY continues the band's collaboration with Adam Schlesinger (Fountains Of Wayne, Ivy) who also produced the All Work EP. Reni says, "After releasing All Work, we entered a new stage where we really honed our sound, lyrics, and mood... the new batch of songs takes everything to the next level." Adds Anna, "We want to sing about things we really feel and have fun at the same time."
New songs like “Spy” and “These Boys” find FEVER HIGH exploring new rhythmic territory while maintaining their flair for melodic hooks and lyrical playfulness. 
After releasing the All Work EP, FEVER HIGH began to play live, with Adam and drummer Brad Wentworth joining Anna and Reni onstage for a run of club shows, as well as a string of dates supporting synthpop pioneers Book Of Love. They found radio support from influential stations like Los Angeles' KCRW and Austin's KUTX, and their songs showed up in numerous films and TV shows, including the CW comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Netlfix’s To The Bone, and three songs in the 2017 film Fun Mom Dinner.
FEVER HIGH will tour in support of FHNY, starting with a record release show at NYC’s BERLIN on Oct 26th. More dates to follow.
1. Spy
2. Casting My Spell
3. All Work
4. You Rub Her the Wrong Way
5. Tantalized
6. These Boys
7. Spit It Out
8. That's So Typical
9. Good Advice
10. One of the Guys
11. In the Basement

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

BURST REVIEW: The Randy Spike Conspiracy - Teenage Cancer

Meet Randy Spke from the Randy Spike Conspiracy. He is a one man band out of Long Island, New York who just released an album on Itunes and Bandcamp called Teenage Cancer. It is of the lo-fi indie variety, kind of punkish in that Burger Records vein. He mines some similar tones, progs in that punk milieu but listening longer and deeper there is a rich streak of wit and engaging vocal melodies that suck you in.

The titles spark interest. Like Becky With The Good Weed, My Girlfried Works for the CIA or Britany Spears Will Have Her Revenge On Long Island. The tracks are fun. Current Favs Dead Apples, Strange and Gotta Be run deeper blending in emotional angst. Gotta Be maybe the sleeper on this collection. Slow and heartfelt and even simply moving.

Not sure if Randy plans on supporting his music with live performances but my hope is that he gets some other players and puts this music out there on stage. The stage of any kind is were this kind of music flourishes. Do it Randy.

Check out his music.
Robb Donker

Monday, October 16, 2017

Project Diary: Thin Ice : Donker, Whimsy with a Dark Center, faint shades of Modest Mouse and Wes Anderson Soundtracks

NOTE: Every Monday I will post an insight into my music project as Donker until I get a Donker page up somewhere. 

THIN ICE- "Shooting columns in the sky"

I have always wanted to write a song with hand claps as part of percussive engine but never had until now. The cadence of what would become Thin Ice was part of the song from the very beginning as I dinked around on the guitar and after a folk C chord I highlighted the G note 3 times. At that moment I instantly knew that 3 hand claps would coincide with those G notes. Sometimes it is the little things that create the tone and atmosphere of a particular song and this was the case. In my mind the tone felt a bit whimsical like a mellow Modest Mouse song (oh only if it were that brilliant) and faintly resembles a song that could be in a Wes Anderson movie (I would die and go to heaven).

There are some references to Georgia where I relocated to from California a little over 3 years ago. I went from multi laned roads and freeways to a lot of two lane roads with some of the craziest ass drivers in the world. There are also trees raising to the heavens right next to our house and when storms come they sway like large hammers. I tell friends and family in the Golden state that I will be killed by either a crazy GA driver or a tree will fall on me and squash me like a bug. There is a line in the song about just that.

A lot of fables have a dark center and the center, the bridge of Thin Ice has one too. It may or may not contain a revenge fantasy and it may or may not have a very personal angle. I will leave it at that. Early on my friend Matt who lives out west felt the vibe of the song perfectly and his use of string sounds and an incredible Ebow guitar lead during the bridge twisted the sound and atmosphere once more. He elevated the sound and once again found the vision that was in my head. A lot of the time Matt and I are at once on the same wavelength but also shape each others sounds and I am so blessed to have him as a collaborator on my music. Like my debut album Dying Star he is all over key songs in the upcoming EP Age of Dinosaurs. Matt did most of the work on Thin Ice in California but also provided some sounds while living in Washington State where he lives now. I keep thinking that he will have to get used to those tall trees and roads shrouded in fog too.

I have ideas about the video for Thin Ice and it involves a lot of panels like a children's book. In discussion with a talented artist and I hope it comes to be. Too early to tell but wanted to share the song. Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom seemed to fit in a strange or at least servicable sort of way until that happens. I appreciate you all listening.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Fader and Ezra Marcus Owe Anthony Fantano A Big Fat Apology - See Fantano's Response to Fader's Hit Piece

Fader published a "Hit Piece" on Anthony Fantano, no not because of the content on The Needle Drop where his music reviews have blown up in recent years so much so that I suppose it was time for someone to take shots at Fantano. The writer Ezra Marcus pretty much iviscerated Fantano as a sort of  Alt-Right song and dance man and even one with racist leanings. WHAT?? Anthony Fantano??  The same Fantano who supported Bernie Sanders and who by any stretch of the imagination is about as conservative as Larry Sanders(??) Ezra's well written scalpel sliced and diced chosen excerpts from Fantano's other now defunct YouTube Channel "thatistheplan" which did swim in dark territory, in the meme culture, dark satire and dark comedy. Not for the squeamish for sure but Ezra seems (in the article) to carefully show only the ghosts in the dark with out any context and even put pointy white hats with swastikas on them.

Clearly Ezra's article, dare I say, treads heavily and his balancing act steps off the razor blade into slander. It is the kind of stuff that could cost Fantano listeners, viewers and sponsors. Because of what I know or seem to know about Fantano I was more than interested in his "response" video. In it, he clearly points out the inconsistencies and species point made by Ezra and Fader. But is the cat that is not really a cat out of the bag? AV Club, Noisy and other publications basically republished the hit piece. Lazy journalism.

Let me be clear. I know Fantano from The Needle Drop and I am not into the kind of content from thatistheplan that can only now be seen in Fantano's rearviewmirror but the point is this: Ezra clearly is not a dumb young man, he is obviously a writer trying to set the blogasphere a blaze and poised to do so having been so super prolific for a guy his age. His Fader piece as the do-gooder who shines a light and exposed the roaches seems to indicate that he, at least, thinks he has a moral compass. But is his compass pointing due north if he involves himself with such shoddy journalism?

I truly feel bad for Fantano. There is just too much evidence to suggest that he is NOT what Ezra is suggesting. Posted below is a link to the hit piece and Fantano's response. Fantano supporters are suggesting he sue Fader and Ezra for slander. I cannot see this happening and hell, it would probably be a big waste of time. On the positive note this article was, after all, just published in Fader. There is that.

In the end Fantano by publishing his response on the Needle Drop does what he does best and that is to dissect and express his opinion in a concise passionate manner. Ezra hopefully will mature as a writer and as a person. He owes Fantano an apology and I hope he is man enough to deliver it publicly.  Hell, maybe the guys should get a drink somewhere and talk it out.

Robb Donker