Posts Tagged ‘Alternative’

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))

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/

I recently dug thru some files and found some cool “behind the scenes” video footage from early guests of the M-S-G Podcast. I figured it would be fun to compile and put them up. Thanks so much to all the awesome people that have been a part of M-S-G. And a very special thanks to Monkey for capturing these moments and helping me out with a bunch of the shows. R.I.P. friend. Your legacy lives on. Hope you all enjoy this, thanks for watching

 

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/

THE FLOWERING

Part two in the Black Sugar Transmission trilogy of 2020 continues this week with, The Flowering. Like any other great trilogy you cannot wait for the counterparts to arrive, I’m waist deep…and not disappointed. When an artist dares to release three records in a year you wonder how a blueprint may be laid out for such an endeavor. In the case of The Flowering (successor to Wandering Into the Bullseye) it’s not necessarily a step up, but more like a dynamic dart to the left. Which is wonderful. An intriguing thing I’ve always felt about Andee’s music is that it’s very familiar yet completely fresh at the same time. As The Flowering blooms, it is at times jarring like a classic NIN record (“Death Is Breathing”) and at others like a soundtrack to an 80’s movie drenched in neon (“Through the Torture”). Savory and decadent, it does its share of glamage to your ears but also has real proper indie rock street cred. This is just another trophy in the glitter lined sonic case in the Black Sugar Transmission world. I will await this quicksand to fully engulf me when part three arrives but for now I’m fully content clinging to the branches of The Flowering to stay afloat. Check out lead single and video “This Is Crazy Town” just below.

TLQ Threesome Vol. 1

Don’t pinch yourself, this is not a dream and you are very much awake. The Lickerish Quartet have arrived to whisk you off to a magical place. The odds are good if you are taking the trip you are very familiar with the pedigree in which the gentlemen that make up TLQ carry along with them. And though this band is not about looking into the past, but rather, a very bright future I do believe they are firmly aware of how to tickle longtime enthusiast’s earholes. Thusly, the universe was gifted Threesome Vol. 1. Although only an EP (hang tight, more on the way) it is transcendent in every way imaginable. The three headstones in front of The Lickerish Quartet are Eric Dover, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., and Tim Smith. All powerhouses on their own and together an unstoppable cavalcade that ooze creativity and a knack to really bring the listener on a musical journey. A fine point to make about the 4 songs featured on this EP is that, although the arrangements are superb in every fashion the band manages to deliver it all with such a fun candor only leaving you wanting to take the ride over and over again. And you’d think that only 4 songs may seem served only as an appetizer the meal is quite satisfying. Having 3 voices all worthy of the lead singer role certainly does not hinder the band at all. However, I do not want to take away from the fact that Singer/Guitarist Eric Dover is, was, and apparently always will be a beast of a singer. From every high and every low the guy just delivers with such a gusto you’re almost left dumbfounded. You also have the sweetness put forth in every Roger Manning syllable that you can’t help but smile along with him. And quiet honestly, Tim Smith has never sounded better. All of this is rolled up into one giant ball of meticulous arrangements both vocally and musically. From the fun piano intro and danceable vibe of  “Fadoodle” (look it up) all the way down to the hypnotic last moments of first single “Lighthouse Spaceship”, which unto itself is an epic and manages to collect all the components of the EP into one fantastical cocktail. With all of this said, my personal favorite track (currently) is track 3, “Magic Number”. There is a smoothness there that really hits you where it counts and is quite honestly mildly reminiscent of Chris Isaak’s unforgettable “Wicked Game”.  With all of this said, the sophistication and attention to detail of this debut offering from these seasoned vets does not disappoint. And really, did we think it would? Threessome Vol. 1 is out this Friday, May 15th.

TLQ HQ

Eric Dover - M-S-G Episode 20

I’m very excited to present to you my interview with Eric Dover. This was a tremendous honor for me. We covered a great chunk of The Lickerish Quartet and talked a bit about the past and the future. Eric was great to talk to and gave a great interview. I hope all of you dig this. Thanks so much Eric, stay awesome, we need ya!

*UNFORTUNATELY I was unable to upload this to YouTube due to technical difficulties (very unhappy about this). Please enjoy the interview over at SoundCloud, there is also a free download. Thanks! (link below)

MUSIC-SURVIVAL-GUIDE Episode 20 (Soda w/Eric Dover)

Isolated Dew cover

“This song was written with the idea of spreading hope during the Covid-19 Crisis! Frankie and I have been talking of doing a song together, and well, the song we originally planned to do together was replaced by this and I’m glad so! I want to say this: These times are tough but turn your mind to music, movies, and calls with loved ones. We will all power through this. I want to thank my parents most of all for putting up with my home recordings. Major thanks to Frankie Siragusa who has made my dream of one day being in a studio happen (I was not in studio during this, files were sent online!! Stay home folks please!!)” – Jebb

Some praise for “Isolated Dew” –

“Jebb’s new song Isolated Dew has the perfect balance of angst, optimism, and emotion. His lyrics and voice have plenty of soul. Exquisitely produced by Frankie Siragusa of The Posies, this track will leave you wanting more from this young talent.”-Scott Brown (Lurch 102.9 the Whale)

“Jebb’s finest song yet, which puts him together with another powerhouse musician that I admire, Frankie Siragusa, is a song which has me grinning from ear to ear every time I listen to it. Never give up on your dreams!”-Tyler Green (Host of Not Another Interview Show/Cohost of Jebb and Green Cast)

“Jebb’s finest work yet.. great writing and recording.. it’s powerful, driving and melodic, and has just the sort of optimism we can all use right now. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!”- Eric Barao (The Cautions/Turbo Charged)

Jebb’s Music

Isolated promo 2