Archive for the ‘Alternative’ Category

Last Friday I decided to do somewhat of a reissue of my old band, Violet Daydream’s album, Meow as a Bandcamp exclusive digital only release. I can absolutely go on and on about this record because it is certainly one that changed my life. So, why an EDITED reissue of all things? Well, for a number of reasons. First, as a music nerd, I personally love when bands do this kinda stuff. If I dig a band I’ll take any and every version of whatever I can get. It’s just part of the universe that’s created. Second, this version of the album was never commercially available ever before. This features the clean edits of “Taste” and “Sucker” and a radio edit of “A Certain Chemical” with a bonus track remix of “Taste” by our bass player. It cuts out all of the untitled/noise tracks that were sprinkled throughout the original release. And, if you want to get into the very fine details I even shortened the title of “Through A Forest, Up a Hill, Into a Dark Room” to just, “Through A Forest…” The whole point of an edited version initially was to better promote the album to radio and stores due to some of the language and some song lengths. Finally, the color of the cover was altered and includes “Edited Version” stamped across the front. Ultimately it makes the record, dare I say, more commercially viable. To me this. is. not. a. compromise. But rather a step up in artists development and maturity for myself personally. It also had a bit of a remaster by Tyler Green at Tyler Green Sound Services and has never sounded so loud, which is great. I do have more plans for VD music in the future which would be the absolute final offering I could muster up from this era. And third, well, I just wanted to! The band is long gone and we left behind two records (I did try for a reunion a time or two). Our shows were really noisy, raw and gritty and fairly dangerous. It was a great time. There are many stories that can be told about this time period in my music making and creating history. Many memories and stories. Some I’m quite sure you wouldn’t believe. Many people said we were just “too early”, in fact, that was probably said the most out of anything. We were just a trio of weird kids from Long Island that shook my house with our noise on a weekly basis (my Ma was a saint) and in the end learned a hard and shocking lesson about the music “industry” which in turn spelled the end of the band. But these are all stories for another time.

P.S.- After VD: I haven’t stopped creating, it’s been quite an adventure. Mike went on to play with me in ABCSoda and His Mighty Robot, he’s quite a wonderful musician. He now plays in Graces Of Chaos and Blockhead. The drummer, Leo, I don’t know much about.

https://officialsoda.bandcamp.com/album/meow-edited-version

https://officialsoda.bandcamp.com/music

WHERE RETRO MEETS NOUVEAU – CALIFORNIA BAY AREA BAND THE JENNY THING RETURNS WITH AMERICAN CANYON, A HAUNTING EIGHT SONG ALBUM THAT PLAYS LIKE A SWEEPING FILM SOUNDTRACK – STREET DATE JUNE 18

The original quartet showcases a modern approach to the New Wave sounds that made them San Francisco Bay Area favorites in the 90s.

BERKELEY, California — The Jenny Thing came together on the Berkeley campus of the University of California in 1991 when singer/guitarist Matt Easton met guitarist Shyam Rao. Matt and drummer Mike Phillipshad grown up together, and both had been friends with bass player Ehren Becker since junior high. “It took most of freshman year in college before I noticed Shyam had a guitar under his dorm room bed,” Easton recalled. “Turned out he was good, and he knew how to put a demo together. I was a serious pianist and could sing but had little songwriting experience. We were very compatible co-writers and started playing our first handful of songs around dorms and student houses in Berkeley, on acoustic guitars. Once we pulled in Mikeand Ehren, we quickly made our way to playing clubs and making an album at Live Oak Studio in Berkeley.”

That first album, Me, was recorded shortly after the band played their first live shows. Its semi-acoustic sound is emotionally raw, with a style balanced between pop and youthful experimentation. It became the best-selling independent album of the year at Berkeley’s Rasputin Records. 

The band’s follow up, Closer and Closer to Less, was more polished, drawing on the sounds of The Cure, The Smiths and New Order. The arrangements had been honed by live gigs and captured the band’s onstage energy. According to Easton, “We had national distribution for Closer and Closer, and got quite a bit of college radio play. We toured in a van, up and down California, playing colleges, small clubs and The Roxy and Troubadour in LA. We even made it through one round of Star Search.” 

The last album before the group disbanded was 1999’s Nowhere Near You. It showed them transcending their influences to deliver waves of atmospheric guitars, fragmented rhythms and honest emotion. 

“We had become a mature band from a production perspective. Knowing it was going to be our last album, we put a lot of heart and soul into it,” Easton notes. “We were only 27, but we began to move on. Shyam moved away for grad school. All of us eventually got jobs and started families, but we stayed in touch.”

Five years ago, everyone in the band was living in Northern California again. Easton and Rao began writing new songs, recording them in Easton’s home studio in Berkeley. “At first, we were just getting in the room and finishing each other’s demos. Sometimes I’d send Shyam a completed song and he’d hack it up and make a completely different production from it, or he’d come over and we’d pass a guitar back and forth. Then we’d call Mike and Ehren in to track parts, sometimes pre-arranged, sometimes more jammy. It was very non-linear. On three or four songs, we all played live together. Most of the time we worked together in pairs, rotating through the sessions in a random fashion.”

The first track they completed, “Lightfield,” is a love song that balances feelings of resignation and yearning. Dark synthesizer chords, Rao’s chiming guitar fills and Easton’s chilling vocal, intensify the song’s emotional impact. The band put it up on social media and got encouraging comments. 

“American Canyon,” a song that combines an anti-war stance, while celebrating the psychology of war, eventually became the new album’s title. It’s a synth-heavy track with a dark, popping bass line and ghostly vocals. It describes the desire to cling to love, even in the midst of destruction and chaos. “From that song forward, an intensity in the sound and themes began to build. We realized an album was coming together. We started rewriting completed material, reworking vocal parts and lyrics and pushing everything as far as we could. Through this process, the songs told us they wanted to be an album. Even though we’re still separated by some distance, it became our reunion project.” 

The music The Jenny Thing created for American Canyon has a cinematic sweep. Synthesizers, sampled and real drums, and vocal processing were added, and unexpected tempo shifts were made as the songs were rewritten, deconstructed and revamped. And a storyline gradually emerged, enhancing the direction the project was taking. 

“The songs are not expository, but there is a thread,” Easton said. “Each track describes the characters’ emotional reactions at pivotal points in a story where they struggle with faith and doubt, urgency and resignation, love, hate and mortality.” 

“I think this moment—this record and our rejuvenation—isn’t so much a turning point; it’s like a rededication point. We want to keep making urgent and emotional stuff and riding the creative wave. Working in my home studio we found that, if we pour ourselves into the writing and the actual moments of performance, we can make almost anything sonically we care to make.”

https://thejennything.com

(*ALL ARTIST FEATURES INFO IS SUPPLIED DIRECTLY FROM THE ARTIST(S))

So excited to hear that Tommy Walter has decided to make another AP record. When I got the email about his Kickstarter campaign I reached out to him right away to talk about helping promote the endeavor and he sent me all the info. HOWEVER in just 6 hours after he went live with the campaign it was funded! Incredible news as having a new Abandoned Pools album would…will be amazing and very welcomed. SO, let’s keep spreading the word as more resources to make a record for anyone, of course, is never a bad thing.

Audiokicks – Independent 4-piece rock band from Aberdeen, Scotland

Life long project of frontman Iain Jamieson, Audiokicks have survived in various forms through highs and lows with countless gigs and well received releases. A stalwart of their local Aberdeen scene the 4-piece are prolific with writing and touring, making use of every small opportunity in 2020, recording with esteemed producer Mark Morrow. 

New Single “Grow”:
On March 6th Audiokicks release new single ‘Grow’, an anthemic track with pop stylings, pulsing drums & bass, catchy guitar hooks and an engaging melody.  Originally written for the bands frontman’s two children, the song carries themes of personal growth which are relevant to the way many people will be feeling as the world remains an uncertain place.

Audiokicks are working with Mark Morrow to release a string of singles over 2021 including “Grow” that will be released on all Major online platforms including Bandcamp. 

Press- 

“What an absolute f****** BELTER of a track!” – Iain Sinclair at Supersound Radio. 

Audiokicks are a 4-piece indie / alt rock band who blend anthemic riffs, soaring vocals and a juicy driving bass-line into a powerful sound that always entertains. These guys have nailed the live sound; whether it’s a more soulful ballad or an energetic blast, they pulverise the expectations you might have of a “local band”. These guys have made focussed distortion their friend, contrasted it with crisp lyrics and injected an overdose of energy into their music – the world is better for it. – Mike Rushby MNPR Magazine

Follow Audiokicks and Pre-Order Grow- 
https://linktr.ee/audiokicks

(*ALL ARTIST FEATURES INFO IS SUPPLIED DIRECTLY FROM THE ARTIST(S))

Black Glitter Music Promotion​ in association with ​Church Dundee​ and ​The Captain’s Cabin will be kicking off 2021 with ‘Only In Streams’ a series of exclusive livestream concerts, featuring six up-and-coming artists from Scotland’s alternative music scene.

‘Only in Streams’ will present a different livestream every Friday at 8pm from the 12th February – 19th March, and will feature exclusive performances from Justboy, Esther Marie, Man Upstairs, Poür Me, Jordan. (How I Learned To Doubt The World) and Blind Unicorn.

The first Only in Streams performance will come from ​Justboy​, the solo project of Alkanes frontman Dale Sutherland. While Alkanes fans are more used to Sutherland’s abrasive vocal delivery and manic stage presence, Justboy’s music is rooted in delicate acoustic arrangements and vulnerable lyricism, as an opportunity to reflect on the more tender moments of life. Debut single ‘Better Off’, released 29th January, showcases Sutherland’s songwriting skills in a newly refined and grandiose form that fans of Bon Iver, Hozier and City and Colour will find especially moving.

As part of ‘Only in Streams’, we will also be encouraging viewers to donate to the Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues campaign which aims to support Grassroots Music Venues in the UK facing imminent closure as a result of lockdown restrictions to live music. More information on the campaign can be found here: https://saveourvenues.co.uk/#/

Black Glitter Music Promotion ​is a new music promotion company founded by Andrew Davidson, formerly of Dundee concert promoters Pink Emo Promotions. In addition to Only In Streams, we have also produced several episodes of The Black Glitter Music Hour on Mixcloud, which plays music from different up-and-coming artists from all over the world.

Black Glitter Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Blackglitterpromotion – Twitter: @blackglitter20
Instagram: @blackglittermusicpromotion
Mixcloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/BlackGlitterMusicPromo/

The Lickerish Quartet have done it again with their next EP installation. Full of sugar, spice and everything RAD. This EP takes off where Vol. 1 left us but with even crazier and more colorful arrangements. Soaring vocals, music for days and uber tight songwriting once again grace this release. So refreshing yet so familiar as these veteran masterminds come back together to bring the Universe these bright and beautiful sounds. A very much needed medication!

PREORDER HERE: https://shop.bandwear.com/collections/the-lickerish-quartet-shop

Watch the wild and fun video for lead single “Snollygoster Goon”:

Dream Finisher is a self-aware record. Plain and simple. High on the current times and slick like a greaser’s coiffed hair. Ear LSD on a sonic bed of nails. Andee Blacksugar has fleshed out the end of his 2020 trilogy with his signature moves all rolled into one. Smartass lyrics adorn lead single “Twatted”,  “Nobody cares what’s inside your underwear or who went to your fucking party.” A record and sound that all the current soulless pop jackoffs could only dream of having their merry men cook up. Instead, this whole recipe was concocted mostly in a Brooklyn apartment by an eloquent dude with beautiful hair and guitar licks for days who DOES NOT CARE what you think. After one listen you’ll be ready to go for a victory lap. Tracks like “A Prayer Trapped” will get your head bopping, kinda Beach Boys meets Blur.  It bleeds NYC (“Thrill of a Lifetime”) and as much concrete as that may elude to it easily blasts you off to outer space in “Don’t Make It Easier”. Certainly a great achievement, better still is that Dream Finisher is part of a trilogy just as lush and lavish as it’s two counterparts. For those of us who love substance to their music, Black Sugar Transmission has all you need and more.

For enthusiasts of Shudder To Think, Abandoned Pools and Blur

And hey, if you like this review please poke your head in to my reviews of part one and two of the BST 2020 thrillogy. 

 https://musicsurvivalguide.org/2020/06/03/black-sugar-transmission-the-flowering-album-review/

https://musicsurvivalguide.org/2020/01/29/black-sugar-transmission-wandering-into-the-bullseye-album-review/

Just a quick update here. My interview with Eric Dover from back in May was never on YouTube due to tech issues. It had only been available on SoundCloud. Issues have finally been resolved and it is now up on YT! SO, I wanted to do just another quick bump for it so you can all enjoy it over there and please share. Direct link to YT below:

And if you want to see the original post the link is right here:

https://musicsurvivalguide.org/2020/05/06/music-survival-guide-episode-20/

Canadian band, THE SMILE CASE has sent M-S-G a brand new single to debut from their forthcoming album, Bipolar Bear Wildlife Park on Blacktop Records. A great description straight from the horses mouth is below:

“We are releasing a new album called ‘Bipolar Bear Wildlife Park’ on
March 6th which is more than likely one of the most painful ‘love’ records ever written. The band is an acquired taste and for fans of Elvis
Depressedly, American Pleasure Club & Craig Finn. This song and the new
album is an anxiety fueled rollercoaster that sounds better with a pair of headphones and 5mg of Diazepam.”

So, how could you NOT want to check that out? Be brave, here ya go:

The Look All Over

For more info: Blacktop Records

0003810507_10

BST-WITB

Listener beware, you’re in for some intoxicating sensory overload courtesy of, Black Sugar Transmission. BST head-hancho Mr. Andee Blacksugar is at it again with new record, Wandering Into the Bullseye and it is everything you want in a musical meal. It’s got a ballsy dose of a cappella (“Like Glass”), a touch or two of nightclub danger (“Rescue Sirens”) it’s even got some 1980’s style snuff (“Padlock’s On The Cage”) and oh so much more. Look, it’s 2020 and we are overloaded (and overburdened) with computer and celebrity, we’ve digitized our brains to coma. Those of us surviving this chaos so ache for a troubadour like Blacksugar. Intelligent, witty and sharp-tongued. Andee certainly uses all his beta brain waves and frantic little fingers to the nth degree, presenting his sonic offerings as true artistic statements rather than just songs. This guy really wants to make it all matter. And, not to mention, this album is one part of a trilogy. Certainly prolific and poignant, this release sees Blacksugar isolating himself completely to perform it entirely on his own. This is music in a category all it’s own, from an unknown time and place. If you get it, then you GET IT. And if not, we don’t need ya. It’s always a pleasure to review a BST record, certainly one of MUSIC-SURVIVAL-GUIDE’s faves.

So, here’s your new soundtrack for a new year. Let’s dance, let’s break some shit. Let’s roll around in glitter and solicit sex from circus freaks while high on pixie sticks, and don’t forget…turn it up! Wandering Into the Bullseye will see the light in February.

“Don’t blame the horse cause you wandered off course”-BST

BST HQ

andeefence